BLANTON: Sometimes it’s best to fix what you have

Published 5:05 pm Wednesday, December 23, 2020

I was cleaning out some old files in my computer the other day and this popped up. I started this just as random notes to myself in September 2017 and never meant for it to be published. But now, as I look back, maybe random thoughts are better than some planned. The notes follow.

My 100-plus-year-old kitchen chairs were getting wobbly.

Apparently, the chair rungs were getting loose and the best joint glue is in Fleming County at Humphries Antique Shop.

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When I bought the 11 carved high-back elm chairs at a Richard Berini auction in 1983 on North Main Street, they had no doubt been there since the United Benevolent Society purchased the property in 1880 and long before Julies Restaurant.

They were blackened with age yet beautiful and strong.

So, one Sunday, we set off to get the glue and enjoy the drive north, heading up the Highway 11. The new road is nice and you can safely speed along but I missed seeing the Judy Drive-in and the old stores in Sharpsburg.

As we got close to Poplar Plains, it was obvious that we were in Amish country.

Arriving at our destination, we learned that two of the older gentlemen who operated the shop had passed but the antiques were still there (many of them were the same when we visited 10 years ago) and they still had the prized glue.

Nearby, was the old barn that once was the Colliver Furniture Store. It had closed since our last visit and the barn was once again being used by the farm.

Since it was a nice afternoon, we headed up the AA Highway towards Maysville just to make the trip interesting.

When we arrived at Highway 68, instead of heading home, we continued our adventure to Augusta. No, we did not see George Clooney, but we did stop by the General John Payne Bed and Breakfast.

The 1793 mansion on the banks of the Ohio survived the 1937 flood. A good friend renovated it a few years ago and I had always wanted to see it. I was not disappointed in its magnificence.

After a late lunch there in the historic General Store (a place so old the stone threshold to the door is severely worn), we were off to Winchester.

Down Highway 68 that has seen some stretches of new construction, one of which will bypass Millersburg when complete.

As we approached Millersburg on the old road, we could see the renovation at the Military Academy.

After we went through Paris, it was a welcome site to see the Winchester/Paris Road (627) with the stone fences and horse farms that have lined it for many years.

As we got into Winchester, I thought of the old chairs and how they started their journey on Main Street and of this journey. I guess I could have discarded the old wobbly chairs and bought new ones, much like the new roads we had traveled that had replaced the old but familiar scenery.

But I chose to fix up what I had, much like the renovated B&B, the General Store, MMI, Paris Road and even Winchester … all old but good for many years to come.

The notes ended there.

So, what is the point? I really do not know that there is one.

But MMI is now the beautiful Mustard Seed Hill and beautifully decorated for the holidays and the highway improvements have been completed.

Paris Road is still magnificent and Winchester has seen continued improvements.

Oh, and my chairs are still very solid and very useful.

Robert Blanton is a magistrate on the Clark County Fiscal Court and former city manager for Winchester.