DCC News


Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church


June 6, 2008


Summer of Woodstock… in Lima

You would think that after 40 years I would realize that Summer Vacation is long past. I am referring to June, July & August and the school break that is a part of every student, parent and teacher’s schedule.

I talk with countless folks at Dublin Community Church who have kids and now have some time off and so they grab that vacation before August rolls around again. I sense a sigh of relief on the part of most teachers and with a wife and daughter in teaching, I see the change in their routine. And even though I do not get that same break; it is still June and it still seems like I should be getting the entire summer off…even though I know I will not…even though I have not gotten one off since about 1968.

That’s 40 years ago and I was between my junior and senior years in high school and I just had a part time job with a blue printer. I was not working 40 hours a week yet and didn’t know any other high schoolers who did. That all changed the following year in 1969 when I did graduate from high school and was about to enter the Ohio State University in the fall at the Lima Campus.

I was especially reminded of that summer this morning as the humid, hot and then rainy June morning became apparent. I worked for a neighbor that summer as a carpet layer. Those were the days in the late 1960’s when people were carpeting their hardwood floors. I remember the owner of the business saying more than once as we nailed carpet tack to the polished hardwood floors, “These folks will regret covering up this hardwood someday.”

I remembered his words but it did not really register with me since I grew up with a rug over hardwood floors and not carpet in the first home, which I remembered as a child. I do recall that our hardwood floors were not the elegant hardwood of today. As a child, I seem to recall that the emphasis on hardwood was the word “hard.” We moved when I was in elementary school and the new house was carpeted (though not over hardwood, probably plywood). But I do remember thinking that it was so much easier to rough house with my brother on carpet than on hardwood.


So, a few years later I was covering all the hardwood in Limaland homes, courtesy of Sears and Don Herold’s Carpet Service. Even then, or especially then, every home had a hide-a-bed or two. Families could never lift them out of the soon-to-be-carpeted rooms and so I and one of the other summer helpers would haul the hide-a-bed into the next room. Sometimes it went onto the lawn. Sometimes the rains came and inadvertently “cleaned” the sofa. A few times we knocked out some walls with the massive “carpet stretcher”, several times we spilled the chalk line chalk onto a new carpet. A couple times we had to unroll the new carpet and re-roll it another way in order to properly lay it. More than once we needed a large flat surface on which to unroll it so we took it out to the highway…scanned the horizon for trucks…unrolled it quickly and re-rolled it properly. I seem to recall a highway outside of Bluffton as being especially good for “carpet re-rolling.” And can you imagine a semi driver barreling down the road and spotting a Tufted-Berber being unrolled a ½ mile ahead on the highway?

But, we carpet layers had our morning rituals there at Don’s. We would arrive at the shop at 8 and lounge on the massive rolls of carpeting (at least, the summer helpers like myself did.) That’s one thing about a carpet layer’s shop as opposed to a brick mason’s…plenty of comfortable places to loaf…and as an 18 year-old that was paramount in my day.

We would be divided into usually two work groups for the day and given assignments. If we were lucky we got assigned to the van that had a radio, which detached from the van and could be plugged in at the work site…another thing that was paramount in my day. The other van had no radio. I am not certain why we never thought to bring our own radio to the job, especially if it was a new home or business with no one living or working around us. Thinking outside the box was not my strong suit as a newly graduated 18 year-old.

Before our day’s work, there was always a stop at the “Tip-Top Restaurant” for coffee and doughnuts. We were “on the clock” at that point and I thought it was pretty great to get paid while eating donuts.

Yet, with the summer now upon us, all of these thoughts come back to me on an early June day and I still feel like I should be off for all of June, July and August.  I still feel 18 and wonder if the “Tip-Top” is still there. Back then I got paid $1.50/hour. Today, that is what a donut costs.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing