Linn County Leader - Brookfield, MO
Take a trip down memory lane as bloggers Danny Batson and Gary Thomas recollect their experiences while growing up in the Chillicothe area. We hope our discussion starters, pictures, and articles will evoke your personal recollections of Chillicothe; we invite you to share your stories with all of us. So, let us discuss the days gone by and have fun!
You Shock Me by Danny Batson
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About this blog
By Gary Thomas

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state ...

Chillicothe: As We Remember

Hi, I am Danny Batson (Knouse) and I am a lifelong resident of the Chillicothe area. I was born in 1951 and graduated from CHS in 1969. I took over my dad’s septic tank business that he founded in 1937. While I have been in every state (except Hawaii and Maine), there is no place like home! I love taking pictures of old and unusual things and sharing them. There is beauty in everything, if we look for it. I have three Facebook pages filled with local pictures that may be of interest: “Where Has Danny Been,” Chillicothe Now,” and “Danny Batson”.

Hi, I am Gary Thomas and I was born just across from Central School in 1942. I graduated from CHS in 1960 and MU in 1964. After two years in Army, I completed a graduate degree at the University of Chicago in 1970. After working in software development for more than 40 years, I retired from Raytheon in 2007. I have an abiding interest in history and in researching past events, places, and people. My latest project is developing a history-based chronology for Livingston County from 1801-2000.

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Dec. 5, 2012 12:47 a.m.

It was just one more winter at Grandma and Grandpa's farm. It was cold and stormy and the snow had blocked the roads in or out of the "round barn" farm south of Dawn. Not much for two kids to do in that kind of weather. My aunt, who was about four years older than me, was that smart little country girl who knew how to have fun in any situation. We would play checkers, marble games, and Dominos. We even had a deck of well used Old Maid cards which we played with often.
With Grandpa outside all day and Grandma in the kitchen most of the time we had the whole living room, which was warmed by a wood stove, and the whole upstairs which was cold most of the time, all to ourselves. There was nothing fancy in the old country home, just the basic items like a table to eat on, a couch to set on along with wood chairs, a bed with one chest to store things, and of course, the kitchen's cook stove and fridge.
Now you see why we had to make things up as children. Our little minds were work all the time to find something new to do. It was my aunt who liked to trick me often, and yes she always won at the games too. After getting bored with the living room floor we headed up stairs to find something else to do. Little did I know she had something in mind already.
We found a clothes hanger and started unwinding it to make a single long wire. Grandma would have been mad if she knew we destroyed a clothes hanger so we unwound another and used them as swords. She was bigger than me, so I got hit the most during our swordplay.
It turns out that there was a light above the staircase which never had a bulb in it; as long as we could remember. I just thought it didn't work. My aunt said "Lets check it out."  "How?" I asked. We tied the two hangers together to make a long wire, then she stuck it in the socket and it didn't do a thing. Nothing happened.
"Here you try it" she said. I did, and as I stood on my tiptoes I stuck it in the socket and she hit the light switch. This was my first experience with electricity. "You told me it was dead." I yelled. She said "It is. Try it again." Now I'm not stupid, but that shock must have affected my thinking. I did it again and this time it was dead...until she hit the switch again. It's a funny feeling when electricity flows through you. It seemed to travel to every area of my body.
My aunt and I fought a lot back then, but we only had each other so we made up fast. Today we are more like brother and sister. We even get along without fighting!  DB

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