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Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project

The following is a news article published April 19, 1984, The Jefferson Herald, Jefferson, Iowa.

It was written by Christopher Baker, son of Kenneth and Patricia Wells Baker; Christopher, a junior in Jefferson High School at the time it was written, being the grandson of Vivian and Ida Mae(Y) Sharp Wells, long time residents of Ringgold County, Iowa.


Chris Baker

Visiting my grandparents, that once hated task most children are put through during their young lives, has become a source of comparison for me, a comparison of the past and the present.

My grandparents live out in the country which means that one must travel the hilly gravel roads of southern Iowa in order to reach their farm. When I was a little kid the roller coaster effect that riding over the crest of a steep hill and plunging downward was probably my favorite part of visiting my grandparents. Today, however, when Iím the driver, most of the thrill is lost. For after projecting myself over a steep hill at 90 mph a couple of times all else seems a bit trivial.

So upon my arrival I was greeted the same way Iíve always been. Grandma says ďWell I didnít know when you were going to get here so I didnít fix dinner yet.Ē

Thatís okay, Grandma, we always reply. (Iíve often wondered what would happen if we acted like we were mad.)

Grandpa always greets us with a hello, and after a bit of small talk usually goes back to his nap. Dinner time rolls around and everyone is packed around the kitchen table, which is small even without six people around it. Weíre then treated to delectable meals of all sorts. This has become a favorite part of visiting my grandparents. Table talk varies but always has my grandmother telling my grandfather what he can and canít eat because of his diabetes, but he always eats whatever he wants anyway.

After the table is clear and the dishes clean everyone gathers around again to play my grandparentsí favorite game, Aggravation. It is an insanely simple game but usually gets exciting because of one of grandma and grandpaís famous disputes. One will always accuse the other of cheating and then theyíll bicker about it for the rest of the night.

When the game is over everyone gathers around the T.V. and watches it until about 10:30 which is the generally accepted bedtime. I donít mind this early bedtime though because they must have the most comfortable beds Iíve ever slept in.

So after a restful night of sleep everyone wakes up and eats another of Grandmaís meals. Itís a nice way to wake up. After sitting around for a while, we decide itís time to leave and our visit is over.

Upon leaving I always feel like itís been a dream because the visits are so short. But I guess I always have the roller coaster hills to look forward to.

Submitted by Ken Baker, May of 2009

To contribute to "Tales from the Front Porch: Ringgold County's Oral Legend & Memories Project"
contact Sharon R. Becker at
Please include the word "Ringgold - Front Porch" in the subject line. Thank you.

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