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A Halloween story with a Bluffton twist

By Fred Steiner
www.BlufftonForever.com

Want to hear a good Halloween story? Here’s one. And, it’s true.

Most of us have forgotten that the bend in the road on State Route 235 north of Ada was originally laid out as a 90-degree angle. If you head north, you can see a remnant of that angle – but look closely.

Most of us have also forgotten that the 90-degree angle once had a name: Dead Man’s Jog. 

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What BHS graduate has contributed more to athletics?

By Bill Herr

What graduate in Bluffton High School (BHS) history has contributed more to athletics before and after his graduation than any other? My choice is Jim (Spike) Berry. This is his story. Today Spike lives with his wife Joyce in Bluffton. They have two children, Julie and Jay, and four grandchildren. Spike graduated from BHS in 1956. He was a good athlete in three sports: football, basketball and baseball.

Ron Lora played football and basketball with Spike and shared these reflections: "Spike and I were classmates in high school. We even roomed together at Bluffton University in Lincoln Hall. He was always upbeat, outgoing, and friendly–popular with all of our classmates and teammates. Spike understood the fundamentals of the sports he did. I asked him which sport he liked best. He said that whatever sport was in season, he liked that sport the best."

In high school Spike was a team leader. He played in memorable games. Bellefontaine was ranked either 1 or 2 in the state in basketball. There were two divisions then, A and B. They were in A and BHS in B. Bluffton defeated them. Willshire was undefeated and won the State tournament, but their closest game was with Bluffton, which was ahead 16 points at halftime. Willshire's 6 foot 11 inch center dominated in the second half and they won. Spike scored in double figures in both games.

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Diamonds and crayons are forever (practically)

A crayon recycling collection box can be found in the children's area of the Bluffton Public Library.

By Liz Gordon-Hancock

Don’t throw your unwanted crayons away! According to Crayola’s website, Crayola crayons are made of paraffin wax, which is refined from petroleum. That means crayons take years to biodegrade if thrown away and taken to landfill. 

According to the National Crayon Recycle Program, 12 million crayons are produced each day. That makes a potential 12 million crayons going into landfill tomorrow. 

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Memories of the first day of school and favorite teachers

The following reflections on being a student and a teacher come from columnist Bill Herr who taught high school for 32 years. He taught math at Bluffton High School from 1975-1995.

By Bill Herr

Yahoo! School is starting.

When I taught high school I really enjoyed the first day back. The students were excited to see their friends and they often wore new clothes. The teachers were excited. I always asked the students to write what they did that summer. And I asked them to write the names of their siblings in case I had them in school before. They needed to know that I cared about them beyond the classroom. 

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Book Review: Horse

Review by Robert McCool

Horse, A Novel (ISBN; 978-03999-56296-9) by Australian author Geraldine Brooks tells a tale of one of the greatest racehorses ever, focused through the dark camera obscura of slavery, when people could be owned like horses. This book is about that ownership.

The book tells the true history of a horse and its young Black groom named Jarret in 1850, before the Civil War. Jarret is there when the foal Darley is born. Darley's name soon becomes Lexington, and Jarret loves and stays with the horse through the animal's whole life.

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Book Review: Navajo mythology comes alive after the climate apocalypse

Review by Robert McCool

If you have read Tony Hillerman you know the legends and folktales about immortal beings living in the Sacred Mountains that surround the Dine'tah (the Navajo reservation). Those same mountains protected the parched desert that is now the Dine'tah when the apocalypse drowned most of the world with the “Big Water.” And, after the Energy Wars there wasn't enough fuel to maintain the lifestyle we enjoy now. The world lay fallow and empty without an apology from anyone. These are dystopian tales.

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