Roger Baker 1922 - 2003

ROGER BAKER 81, of Enon, died Tuesday, September 30, 2003 in Dayspring Nursing Home. He was born in Clark County on September 9, 1922 the son of Ezra and Ruth Baker. Roger had worked as an electrical engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base for 32 years, retiring in 1972. He was a United States Navy World War II veteran. He is survived by his daughter, Linda Baker of Sarasota, Florida; two sisters, Jane Gascho of West Lafayette, Indiana and Jean Palmer of Beaver Island, Michigan; a brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Beverly Baker of New Carlisle; a sister-in-law, Edna S. Witt of Georgia; and several nieces and nephews. His parents and his wife, Dorothy M. Baker preceded him in death. Graveside services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday in Enon Cemetery with Pastor Chris Farmer of Enon United Methodist Church officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that memorial contributions be made to the Enon E.M.S., P.O. Box 64, Enon, Ohio, 45323. The family is being served by the Littleton & Rue Funeral Home, Springfield, Ohio. You may express condolences to the family at   Our thoughts and prayers are with Jean and her family at this sad time.

It's A Boy!!

Erin and Chris are the proud parents of an eight pound, eight ounce baby boy!  Zander Ian Holmes arrived on September 29, 2003.  Happy grandparents are Colleen and Bud Martin of Beaver Island and Bernice Pigotte of Shallote, North Carolina.  Great-grandmothers' are Madonna McCafferty of Beaver Island and Isabelle Pigotte of Shallote, North Carolina.  Congratulations, Erin and Chris!

Smoke Signals

Gerald LaFreniere comes for coffee here most mornings.  On Friday morning he arrived and proceeded to tell about visiting my folks (Phil and Lil Gregg)  the previous day and discovering a burning log in their front yard.  Of course, knowing my dad, there was a 'reasonable' explanation, so when they arrived for their coffee a few hours later I asked;

Their home, next to the post office, is a typical island home meaning that it's been "adjusted" over time.  Rooms have been either added or removed.  During one of the "adjustments" a bricked chimney was placed between two valleys of the roof for the basement furnace.  Being in the valley, the chimney, over time, developed leaks and after a heavy rain the water would back up the valley and some would leak down the chimney into the furnace.  Things didn't get too bad until last winter when water not only filled the chimney, but the furnace and flowed out on the floor.  This doesn't make for a productive heat source so they decided to have the chimney removed and get a new gas furnace.  Now I have to mention that more than twenty years ago my dad wanted nothing more than a Dick Burris stone fireplace, which he eventually got.  They heated with that for a year or so but like most folks discovered that it just wasn't all that practical and so closed the damper, put a screen in front of the opening and switched to a fuel oil furnace.  This summer Amy and Dick Burris removed the brick chimney, Dad took apart the old furnace, cut the pieces up, hauled them to the transfer station and ordered a gas furnace through John Robert, who told him it would be probably October before they could get it in.  "No problem," said my dad, "we have the fireplace to use temporarily."  Last week our weather turned a tad bit chilly and for a couple days the oven kept their house warm - course Mom had to keep cooking all night and now has a freezer full of meals for the next 34 1/2 months - but they were comfortable.  The weather then dipped a few degrees lower and they brought out a ceramic heater which worked for a day or so.  Then the wind and rain along with another dip in the thermometer made Dad realize that perhaps he'd better get the fireplace going, after all it is still September and the new furnace won't be here until October.  He removed the screen and checked the damper only to discover that over the years creosote and other things we don't want to think about had fallen down the stone chimney effectively blocking the damper except for about 3 inches.  At this time both Mom and I mentioned that perhaps he should call Amy and Dick about coming to clean it out. "Heck, no," he replied, "I'll just jiggle the damper and shake all that stuff down."  Yuppers, that just what he did.. he shook the damper handle really well, so well in fact that now there is probably a foot of rubble on top of it and it only opens about an inch and a half.  "I'll just use a coat-hanger and scrape that stuff loose and then build a fire and burn the rest off," Mr. Ingenuity stated.  He scraped all right, and then got a fire going however, a fire needs a bit more air than 1 1/2 inches of open damper or it'll fill the house with smoke.  You got it.  The house filled with smoke although the alarms didn't go off because he'd removed the batteries due to them ringing every time Mom used the oven.  Through a veil of tears he grabbed a shovel and balancing the burning log on it, carried it outside and dumped it next to the cedar trees.  Then every window in the house had to be opened to air it out.  The house was now colder than the outside and smelled similar to Yellowstone forest fires in the summer of 1988.  Even the pet cat was gasping for air.  John Robert, who happened to be in the basement measuring for the new furnace when all this occurred, left for a few minutes and returned with a 3 foot long electric heater and suggested politely that perhaps Dad might want to not use the fireplace until that chimney was cleaned.  There was one good thing about the episode.. my dad no longer has any of those pesky little hairs growing on the back of his hands after hauling that burning log outside.  See, I told you he had a 'reasonable' explanation for the burning log.

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