Time flies being Bob
Time has been flying, literally. A whirlwind trip to my
home state of Ohio for one of a series of dive shows
allowed me to drop in on Bob Smith, my trombone prof
from Ohio University, or "Harvard on the Hocking" River
as OU alumni fondly recall the Athens campus. My
mentor alas no longer can play the horn, but he's found a
great toy in a 1946 Ercoup. Barbara and I had the fortune
to arrive on an ideal day for a ride, so we got a pigeon's
eye view of the campus and environs. To really appreciate
the locale, though, it's got to be viewed at ground level.
Mount Nebo, for instance, the highest point in Athens
County, has a well-deserved reputation for eeriness. A
coven of 13 pines still dominates the summit, a point held
sacred by native Americans lifetimes before OU students
gathered here to sample effects of Indian hemp. The site
now has a full-time resident, a braver soul than me to
want to spend eternity in such an intersection of spirits
Artifacts of horse-drawn farm machinery nearby lent a
bucolic aura to the area. And Old Man's Cave, another
geological feature of the area held sacred by natives felt
timeless enough that they probably would be comfortable
there to this day. Trees still reach from cliff tops to water
dozens of feet below in the stream that formed the cave
during millennia of erosion. The first visit to my grad
school campus in decades was just a side-trip of an Ohio
road trip. The intended destination was Columbus, the
state's capital, where Barbara and I delivered three
presentations at the 50th annual Ohio ScubaFest. We also
Midwest Dive News. That was easy.
Magazines and subscriptions seemed to fly out of the
booth, and it was great to hear Ohio accents again. Being
downwind from one of Budweiser's biggest brew houses
added a dreamy air to the show too. No trip to my home
state is complete without visiting my parents and the
family farm, Wilbur and Pauline Sterner are resting quite
soundly at Williamstown. It's tough to imagine a more
tranquil place to spend eternity. The farm seemed to be
just awakening for another productive season of crops.
The woods that yielded game for many meals were abuzz
with life. Clearing out timber five years ago opened up the
acreage to sunlight and the land was responding to the
added energy. Plants were popping out of the ground like
dandelions as insects and creatures of all sizes bustled
about as Barbara provided a cadence on the digeridoo. Her
pulsating sound kept me looking over my shoulder to try
to espy any wild Bobcats preparing to pounce on this Bob
Cat as prey.
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Bob Sterner
photos © 2008
Ohio University
Bud Brewhouse
Country Roads
Nebo's Resident
Mount Nebo
Nebo Ring
Spring springs
Old Man's Cave
Old Mans Cave Tree
Parents home
Farm Woods
Sunny days
Didgerie Do
OU Bobcat / Barbara Krooss photo
Old Man's Relaxtion / BKrooss photo
Magazines fly / B Krooss photo
'46 Ercoupe / B Krooss photo
Two Bobs / B Krooss photo
OU Music School