Brownstown-Sefton

Helping Hands Food Pantry …
… food give-away will be held Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon at the Golden Years Building in Brownstown.

The lack of news, due to COVID-19, has created time to delve into some of the history of Brownstown/Sefton, and I have been impressed by the stories of the neighbors helping one another, sharing what they could of their own family’s food or by hunting, cleaning and dressing wild game, providing meat for their neighbor’s table.
The following paragraphs bear witness to the compassion felt and the action taken by those who most likely were in much the same situation, because of difficulties of the times.
Caring Hearts & Helping Hands
Mrs. Stine’s Compassion
The late Wayne “Sturdy” Stine shared this story many years ago during a Brownstown-Sefton News column interview.
Every Christmas and Thanksgiving, she would tell her son, Sturdy, early in the morning to go out and kill a rabbit, clean it and take it to a neighbor. She wanted to be sure that her neighbors would have meat for their Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner table.
Nancy’s Mother’s Preparation for Others
David Arnold shared this story about his mother-in-law’s unusual method of preparing for others’ future needs.
Nancy’s mother apparently had a very large garden that yielded bumper crops of vegetables every year, from which she canned many quarts of food … for others’ possible needs in case of misfortune.
As Dave, who is a great storyteller, told it: “Nancy’s mother canned a lot, over a hundred quarts of vegetables, in case someone got out of work, got sick, had a fire or some kind of trouble and just needed some help.
She would give them corn, green beans – all kinds of vegetables – to try to fill their needs.            
Preparation in a Bath Tub
What was unusual, Dave said, was the way she canned them. 
“She had an old iron bath tub sitting in the corner of her yard.
They would fill it with water and build a fire around it to get the water hot.
She would do 30-40 jars of her canned vegetables in the tub at a time, and that was the way she cold-packed them.
It worked. They were good. She helped so many people that way.”
She was evidently ahead of, and using, the industrial method of canning. 
And Food for the Soul, Ruby Goldsboro
Ruby was our resident poet, a title her nephew, Dave Arnold, now holds.
She was also grower of beautiful flowers, which filled her yard in the summer. She frequently decorated the Golden Years Club tables or the potluck meals.
She also shared her gift for poetry when requested on the spur of the moment by reciting them from her amazing memory.
Many of her poems recalled and documented times and events of history, some of which I had the pleasure and privilege of sharing with others through the newspapers.
Darlene Walters, another member of that talented group, shared the gift of composing and a beautiful poem she had written was shared on a radio broadcast after her passing.
There are, without a doubt …
… countless similar stories in the descendants and families of the Brownstown-Sefton area who are now passed.
Regretfully, many who had studied, or knew of, the history have passed.
One was the late Gene Watson, who contributed so much to our awareness and who shared many facts of the area, such as the stagecoach road that went through what is now Griffith Cemetery.
He pointed out the still-remaining ruts the stagecoach wheels left in the south band of the Little Sandy Creek and displayed the remained of one of the timbers that was a part of the  “Corduroy Road,” before the National Road was built.
The timber had been buried by time and uncovered by workers.
Gene and his wife, Wilma, owned and operated the Red Fox Market for many years.
The same virtues of caring and concern that existed in those days, “way back when” (Jesse Miller’s words), are still evident today, as displayed in the local Helping Hands Food Ministry workers
The Helping Hands Food Ministry, which is sponsored by the Ministerial Alliance of Brownstown, is picked up, sorted, prepared and distributed by our local Brownstown-Sefton  people who care enough for others to give of their time, skills and energy to provide for others.
Helping Hands’ Caring Hearts …
… seemed to have been ingredients in the values people who helped build the villages of Brownstown and Sefton, and continued to grow as the years passed through the times of births, deaths times of harvesting crops of plenty and crops of little or no yield, due to weather conditions, illnesses, accidents, etc.

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