The Music of Leo Bowers

Music is what feelings sound like!


OHIO The State of My Soul

Posted on November 2, 2014 at 9:40 AM



I have always wanted to write a song about my home state even before Lynard Skynard's "Sweet Home Alabama". I think I was only about 17 years old when that came out and I remember thinking; "Why is it that I can't think of things like this first"? Gosh! Well actually other words come to mind but I think you get my drift!

OHIO is a very unique place and in my travels I haven't found, felt or seen anywhere else like it, but that could be somewhat a biased point of view being that it's where I'm from and the location of my home. Nevertheless the closest I've seen and felt was St. Louis Missouri , but it still didn't have that full OHIO feel to me. Then of course there was Illinois that also came close, but it was still not as homey as OHIO and even less than Missouri even though it was geographically closer.


What's really strange to me and it could be because I was so young and only remember it that way is the town in France I lived in had a similar feel as the one I get right here in my home State. I mean the weather was pretty much the same and the people grew gardens and there where fruit trees of the same order that grow right here in OHIO. I must admit though the people seemed to possess 99% open caring as compared to OHIO's 35% by my individual estimation of course. 35% ain't bad and the numbers could be allot higher or lower depending on another individual's take on the matter.


I come from a line of "growers" on my mother's side of the family. Their predecessors farmed and raised minor livestock of sorts so I guess I really have a backline of Country type people that came down through the ages and all but ended with my grandfather "Poppy" my Mom's Dad. Which by the way is the same plot of ground I live on today. A big garden in the yard was commonplace and extra gardens through out the County served as a part time job for me in the summer months going door to door selling fresh home grown produce. Then too there was my Dad with that darn egg route and he had me pushing chicken and eggs! Those were the days and experiences that taught me something so valuable. I don't have to work for anybody, and because of what I learned I find it impossible not to have a job because I always make my own out of just about anything thanks to my predecessors!


As I got a little older when I wasn't in trouble for doing something silly I was working and helping out in my own way. But what I didn't realize is what I was learning along the way. My grandparents and parents gave me the most of what they had to give and of that I have no doubts, but so did my home State of OHIO! Even when I was (bad) my State acted as parent disciplinarian with my best interest at heart despite some of the people working in the system who thought they ran things independently of the "Spirit" of OHIO! There were those who operated strictly by the principles of the Soul of OHIO because somehow they we're linked just as I was and they made it known by their actions and the love they emitted into the very air itself. That doesn't mean they would hesitate to kick your butt if you got out of the way though!


Mrs. Brown, Mr. Gunn, Mr. Stewart from my very own neighborhood where there helping to raise me even in my confinement at JDC (juvenile diagnostic center), which has long since become Buckeye Youth Center and sadly no longer occupies the same ground. From FSB (Fairfield School For Boys) Mr. and Mrs. Meadows, along with my favorite (Mr. Converse), Mr. Yabarrow and Mr. Able all helped to raise me. Their characters and personalities are with me still.


In my Forties after a legal mishap many of the adult staff where either my age or younger, but the parental figures where there like "Buzz Carrouth" brother in law to "Bob Seger". He was old enough to be my father and imparted wisdom to me I had yet to achieve. Mr. Davis was old enough to be my older brother and left me with thoughts and practices I still hold on to because of their effectiveness in social interactions that keep the playing field level. Big "O" a Senior Staffs man and Captain of the Guard type personality was known and feared by many as mean, ruthless and uncaring, however I didn't see or get that from him, I got quite the opposite. He was a very caring man who did his job really well and could smell the con-artist and pretenders a mile away, so in essence that's who probably tried to label him as mean etc... be it staff or inmate! He could equally distinguish and see the genuinely pennant by their actions and endeavors as well. He actually had a heart of gold.


I remember making a joking comment to him that "they needed us boys in blue because without us the boys in brown wouldn't have a job"! I remember how his cheeks got red when he smirked almost resembling a watchful Santa as he let out a small chuckle and said", get outta here Bowers"! I was fortunate enough to be there at a time when Associates degree's where still offered and had some of the best teachers and instructors anyone could ask for.


Both times in my younger days I spent at FSB I was selected to be "Stair guard" monitor which was 2nd to "Home" monitor. Home and Stair guard got to march outside formation, called cadence, and kept every foot hitting at the same time. The downside is we had to take names and report guys who were up to no good, but with only two cottage parents working 105 boys they had to come up with a system that worked and it did. The only cottage parent that worked alone was (Mr. Converse) he was the coolest cat I've ever come across in my life. He had quaffed back black hair wore those pointy Stetson type shoes and drove a black Mercury Cougar with a red leather interior. On weekends he'd always get me to wash and wax his car because he said I did it right! I don't know if I was all that good, but it sure made me feel like somebody! I felt privileged, but I knew I earned it by my behavior and through my character from people who where just that; "Good judges of character" at least they saw the good in me that was widely ignored by people who were supposed to be close. In learning of human nature what I have to date I now I understand why. Oh I got mine when I deserved it and that's why I was careful not to make myself deserve it!


So you see between my God, family, life and my State I've been well cared for and I am deeply grateful and indebted. Yes it could be argued that it's the people who make the State and that does hold true in this; "The people who possess the Spirit of the Sate of OHIO" are the ones who balance the scales of everything from justice to the emanation of order and the mutual goodwill toward humanity by their very presence in character. HOME is HOME.


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