Bus mishap on rural roads should be a call to action

Dear Editor:
Enough is enough. Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 2) an Aurora School bus slid off 12 Road between F and G Roads. My daughter was on that bus along with 20 or so other children. If there had been injuries there is no way an ambulance could have got closer than a quarter mile to the bus.
Every road in the county has issues. I know they will blame the rain for Wednesday’s problems. I live a mile and a half from where the bus got stuck and I had less than a half inch of rain.
It is time to recall and terminate. I am going to start a petition to eliminate two of the board positions and go back to a three-man board. We need to have good people step forward to fill these positions. Honestly, common sense and a desire to work hard to get Hamilton County back to what it needs to be is required. If you are going to listen to anyone but your constituents don’t bother to run. We can’t always take, we have to be willing to give and it will take a lot of your time and talent to get things back in order. There is no quick fix to county’s problems but working together we can clean up the mess the past administrations have left us with and look to a brighter future.
Duane Katt,

Railroad photo stirs memories
Dear Editor:
In the Sept. 25 issue of the News-Register, the train picture from the museum brought back many fond memories. As a young girl growing up in Aurora, 1940’s, the train and the depot was a prominent figure in our lives. During my junior high and early high school days, I delivered the World-Herald, with the papers coming in on the early morning train. Bob Wilson, a friend and neighbor, also delivered, and we would meet around 4:30-5 a.m. and ride together to the depot, where we sat and talked while we folded the papers into small squares, packed them into our bags and took off. They were ready for tossing on the porch or wherever they were wanted.
I headed north and around the square, back home to 418 N Street in time to clean up for school, and we usually walked to the old school eight blocks. Bob had a southwest route. I do not remember ever being tardy, even if a chain broke or I had to push my bike through the snow. I also had a sister in Alliance and we would ride the train there and back, get on around 10:30 p.m. and reach Alliance around 7 a.m. The ride back was reversed with a 5 p.m. stop in Ravenna for supper. That restaurant is still there.
To visit my oldest sister in Hastings, we could ride in the caboose with another neighbor, Pete Hood, stopping at all the towns along the track. Back home, we would get off at the round house, which was just south of the elementary school, and walk home. Lots of packages were sent back and forth with Pete in the caboose.
Probably my favorite memories are of the train men. They were always happy guys. One of my earlier jobs was with Fred Wilmot, who owned the shoe repair shop on the south side of the square. He did not have a shoe shine boy, but he had the stand. He said if I wanted to learn, I cold keep 15 cents out of each 35 cent shine. Willing to try anything in those days, I learned and built up a good business. Shoe shines were popular and a must then. Fred never let a pair of shoes that had been repaired leave the shop without a polish. I loved Fred. He was the kind of guy you wanted to keep as a forever friend.
One time a railroader came in with black boots for a shine. I couldn’t believe how easy it was to get a perfect shine, and we were all three happy about it. He gave me a 50 cent tip! Fred complimented me, but not to spoil it for me did tell me the boots were made from kangaroo leather which always took a good shine. Just learning. Later on, my Uncle Van established the Little Owl Diner, so I began “slinging hash” for him. Actually, he made a fabulous baked hash dinner and we served lots of train men when they came through for a layover. They would get off the train and walk uptown to the diner. We always enjoyed seeing them.
I graduated in ‘49, married in ‘51 and life changed. While my husband was in Korea I wrote him every day. I would walk to the depot with my letter because it would go out faster. And would you believe he never received a letter every day, but when he did once or twice a month he got a whole stack.
One more memory of the train was when my sister’s boyfriend drown while following the harvest in Oklahoma, we went to meet the train when his body came in. Things are done so differently today, and whether they were always the “good old days” or not, they were our days and very much a part of my growing up years. Once when my older son was young, a train came through and picked up kids in Aurora for a little road trip, so I took him in to have at least one experience with the train. My husband was also fascinated by trains, having had his first experience traveling to the world’s fair in Chicago as a young boy.
I know this is a long letter, but I have lots of memories, so it’s hard to leave some out.
Thanks for listening.
Noni Troester,

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