Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Horsing Around...

Monday afternoon I headed north to Leipsic, Ohio...some 65 miles through the heart of the Old Black Swamp from the early days of the settling of Northwest Ohio.   I usually take a few games, baseball in the Spring or Summer, and Basketball in the Winter, which gives me a chance to stop in and see my old friend Tom, the Horse Groomer/Trainer from Rockford.  Tom works for Suggs Stables in Deshler, Ohio, another 10 miles north of Leipsic, and located on the Wood/Henry County Line.  Deshler, home of Patrick Henry High School is nicknamed "Corn City"...and maybe it should be named "Train City" least 40 of those suckers go through at night, and if you are not used to it, makes it rough to sleep, especially in the cool of the Summer, with windows open.

I did the plate in a quick 1 hour 25 minute game, which saw the host Vikings defeat county rival Ottoville, 5-0...then it was off to Tom's place and the famous Corn City Bar.  A monster deep fried Tenderloin and a few draft beers later, I wasn't about to drive the 90 minutes back to Celina, so I crashed at Tom' place in town...where the Train Whistles kept me company, and awake through most of the night.

Tom is usually up and off to the horse barns by 5am...I managed to sleep in until maybe 6, although sleep was hardly what you can call it with the trains...I got up showered, grabbed a large coffee down at the Shell Station/Store, and headed the 3 miles across the county line into Wood County, taking Ohio 18 to the Sugg Stables.  This season they are housing about 8 ponies, down from previous years.  Working the trotters and pacers in the Ohio County Fair circuit, down at Delaware, in Indianapolis, and traveling into upstate New York and Canada.  I talked to the horses, led by "Manny Shuffle", who is having some problems this year as a 3 year old, compared to his excellent season last year...several fillies are in fold, and Tom gave a couple others a 4 mile run around the track as I took some photos, and finished off my coffee.

Heading home towards Celina at 8am, I stopped in the county seat, Ottawa for another coffee, and drove the back roads in the cool and morning sun home...arriving home just before 10.  The lack of sleep slowed me down, so I grabbed a nap upstaris at about 1pm, climbed out of bed at 3:15 and was on my way to Lima Central Catholic by 4:30 for my final regular season game of the year.  Tournaments began last night, my first of two at Crestview start tomorrow, and after that the as yet unfinished schedule will run through most of July, before my baseball season shuts down on July 28th at latest.  We will head for Wisconsin on July 29th for Patrica's nephew's wedding on July 30th.

A run filled last inning and a half, which saw 13 runners cross the plate(which I worked again), ended with LCC coming out on top of Allen East 12-8...tonight I am off, which will give me a chance to trim the bushes and shrubs around the house...with temperatures near 80 and low humidity, this may be the best opportunity to get that thankless job done.

The July 4th weekend is upon us and Patricia, Anissa, maybe mom, if she decides to go, and I will head down to Centerville to take in the July 4th festivities with Hal and Lisa....Sam will head back to Columbus to work a tournament down there...enough for now it's time to get out and get to those shrubs....

back later>>>>
Photos-"Manny Shuffle" is his stall...The Corn City Bar, Great Food!..Tom with one of the Fillies right before taking her out for the morning run around the 5/8 mile track at the ranch...and a look out east of the Sugg's Stables, when the weather is nice(like yesterday), you could sit in a lawn chair and catch the breeze, without a care in the world....Tom works the horses here in the Summer and Fall, then they head south to DeLand, Florida, for the Winter and early Spring months.

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