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Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014

Honey, history, home, and horses

Saturday, July 21, 2007

There are certain people and events that pass through your life, leaving it a better place to revisit. I guess I am fortunate to say this has been a week of memories I will often wish to regather.

On a particularly hot day, with the paper on the press, I gathered my camera, forgot my directions on a list, and headed out to see the world. This is a relatively new experience for me in recent weeks, having been sequestered to the computer keyboard so it was no surprise that I got lost and delayed -- often.

Three times poor Doug Dezotell took my calls to tell me where to go. Being the kind gentleman he is, he only offered directions on my curious route.

I drove through the countryside, enjoying the rolling hills, continuously thinking how fortunate we are as Bedford Countians to enjoy such scenery. Many people can only view winding rolls of asphalt and concrete during a drive around their neck of the woods.

I was astounded to see a number of hawks during my drive. The cattle looked steamy after a brief thunderstorm in one area and some ducks were agitated in a field where no water was flowing.

I enjoyed a visit with Edwin and Elaine Holcombe. Despite the bee attire I, by necessity, had to wear, the time I spent gave my a new appreciation for the term "honey."

It is amazing to see the number of steps necessary to simply check on the progress of the active bee-hives. I can't even imagine what must go into robbing the hives and stuffing the honey in a jar.

Elaine did show me the techniques involved in her beeswax candles, taking it from a hard slab of wax to the beautiful artwork she created.

My next visit took me further still into the countryside, this time to the precious church at Crowell's Chapel. I have learned a great deal about the area during my frequent visits with Randall Crowell, his sister Jean and his cousin Hazel.

The history these three alone know about the area is astounding. But the information contained in the church vault was a treasure-trove of wonderment. The church, itself, dates back about 150 years. Within the archives there are literally generations of historical pictures, books and documents that are as good as any motion picture in presenting the detailed events of day-to-day life.

As the sun beat down upon me, the hour neared 3 p.m. I was late, again, thanks in part to an unfortunate car accident that kept motorists sitting a while. However, my trip to Flat Creek was not to be missed.

And, oh, how glad I was that I didn't miss it! History teachers throughout the county should employ the knowledge this family has!

The Southern grace and hospitality of Ike and Mary Farrar and their youngest daughter Jeannie, home for a visit from Cincinnati, was endearing.

I toured the house, in the Farrar family for many generations, enjoyed the stories of Mr. Ike and pictured myself in a lovely antebellum gown, toasting beaus on the front verandah.

A pending rain shower and accompanying thunderclap brought me out of my reverie but the wonderful ghosts of troops exercising just down the road, cattle grazing in the field and the smell of fresh mown grass lingered for much of my drive back into town.

My day didn't end there. A quick trip to the Walking Horse Trainers' Association allowed a visit with Marcia Allison and Wink Groover. Wink had arrived in town for the signing of the affiliation of The Celebration with the National Horse Show Commission.

He came because he has a deep desire to see the future of the Walking Horse at the top of the charts. He drove in from Texas at 4 a.m. and was beginning his return drive at midnight. He didn't want to miss a horse show in his area this weekend, so double dedication was due to get the job concluded, in all departments, correctly.

Wink has a real heart for this industry. It has showed profoundly since January when he took office as both the president of the WHTA and the chairman of the NHSC. Wink was the rider of the 1970 World Grand Champion, Ace' Sensation, as well as the Trainer of the Year that year, but that's another story.

Marcia was her usual self -- full of funny stories that kept me laughing long past her closing time. She, too, has been dedicated to the industry for a number of years -- and time flies fast.

The day had passed quickly for me, I realized as I glanced at a clock. Well past 6 p.m., I was returning to the T-G to unload my notes and deposit my camera.

Somewhere along the way, I got lost, this time in thought and memories. I decided there were many fortunate people in the world, but I was among those considered blessed with good friends and good stories!

René A. Capley is the managing editor of the T-G. She may be contacted at rcapley@t-g.com.

Doug Dezotell
Memories and Musings