Change can be good

Some days the mailman brings interesting mail. Occasionally I hear from Lloyd Revis, who now lives in Warren. I think he grew up in the small community of Oakfield, which is a part of Bristolville Township.

Oakfield, at one time an active thriving community, developed around the old Pennsylvania Railroad. Today it is a much smaller community than it was years ago when Lloyd was growing up. In the past, he has sent me some information about his experiences growing up in Oakfield.

In his recent letter, Lloyd mentioned he had moved to the Warren area and had lived in the same house for 66 years. During that time, his address has changed three times. That indicates changes were taking place in the area where he lived.

Then he mentioned his only bank had changed names four times. His first one was the North Bloomfield Bank, Champion Branch. Next was Union Savings and Trust, then Bank One and now Chase Bank.

As he said, the more things change, the more they stay the same.

He also sent a picture of his first grade class in Bristolville School. It included a picture of his teacher, who passed away last May. His comment was how many people 89 years old have their first-grade teacher just die?

Another day’s mail brought a pleasant note from Wayne and Marilyn Johnson from Bristolville. They are active in the Ashtabula County Antique Engine and also in the Agricultural Breakfast group in Gustavus on the first Friday nine months of the year. Marilyn grew up in Ashtabula County on a farm that raised registered Ayrshire cattle.

Their letter talked about some of the changes being made at the engine grounds. They are constructing a 50-foot by 25-foot building and a demonstration of making gasoline out of natural gas.

The kitchen is too small when their summer show is being held. So they are also in the process of enlarging it so they can better serve the many hungry people that like their good food.

The Ashtabula County Antique Club is an active and energetic group that has made many improvements in their facilities and programs over the years.

Wayne also restores Farmall tractors. I don’t know how many he has restored over the years but he does a nice job. Their home is identified by a restored Farmall painted on a big rock at the driveway entrance.

I do some research for agricultural articles that I write and sometimes come across interesting information. For example, if you are interested in chickens, I found a company that will rent you city folks two or more, along with the needed house, equipment, feed and an instruction book on caring for them.

This company offers contracts for chickens from April through October or May through November. These months miss the bitter cold of the winter months and freezing water dishes.

Rental price for the season for two chickens is $450. There are standard upgrades for four chickens for $550 or six chickens for $650. What you get is what you want in the number of eggs you can use.

Some city folks want to make pets out of their chickens and find it hard to part with them when a contract is up. They also like the idea of white or brown and cage-free eggs because the coops allow them to range on the ground and not be kept caged.

Rental prices of $450 or $550 sounds expensive to me and I think they are, but this company needs to make a profit. Maybe that isn’t too much for the chickens, coop, feed and utensils to feed and water them with.

Let’s see, two chickens will produce two eggs per day. That is two times 180 days would equal 360 eggs divided by 12 is 36 dozen. Divide that into $450 equals $15 a dozen if my math is correct.

Maybe it would be cheaper and less work to go to the super market and buy them. But they wouldn’t be as fresh and you wouldn’t have the chickens to enjoy-if you like taking care of them two or three times a day.

Parker is retired from The Ohio State University and is an independent writer for the Tribune Chronicle. Contact him at 149woodside@twc.com.

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