Here is a story by Bill Hopkins reminiscing what it was like running back in the late 1970s and 80s. Bill says, “Memory brings me back to a time it seemed we could run forever, not only over hill and dale in KY, but also through Norwood and Clifton, by your store in O'Bryonville, around Hyde Park Square and back to UC...those were wonderful times and ours was the greatest era to be a distance runner. On occasion I see Ohio guys from back in the day...Howard Hughes, Ed Hunter, Ron Sterling, Bob Roncker, Greg McCormick, Gary Miller...to name a few. It is always special. We share a bond.
Check out the current number of masters runners that break an hour in the Mini (or 40 minutes in the Thanksgiving Day Race) and compare them with the guys from our era. No contest. We rule.”
By Bill Hopkins
About thirty years ago Steve Adkisson and I enjoyed taking long runs over hill and dale, through wood and over field, along path and across meadow. Not even tracks and trestles stopped us...this is the story of one such run.
We started at my house in olde Ft Mitchell and proceeded to Krumpelman's farm, thru his bean field, by his pond, across St John's cemetery and down a thickly wooded hill to the Norfolk and Southern railroad tracks. Then over the Amsterdam trestle, across Crescent Springs-Bromely Road and up through Holman's cow pasture on the way to Villa Hills. It was turning into a nice run.
On the way back we approached an area alongside the tracks and off the beaten path - an area where most runners feared to tread. This was good `ole boy country...washing machine on the porch, old Chevy up on blocks...pure Kentucky.
So my running partner reached down and grabbed a big stick and I inquired, "What's that for?" Steve mentions the assorted mules, horses, chickens, cats and dogs in the area and says..."might need it for self-defense."
I'm thinking the stick is a good idea when suddenly a big dog ambled out from the shadows and clamped his teeth on my right buttock. Then, just as suddenly, the pooch let go and walked away as if nothing had happened. Well we stopped and I checked my wound and discovered blood had been drawn. Just about then a gentleman shuffles over and calmly inquires: "`Ole Yeller get ya?" "Yep, `Ole Yeller got me.” I responded in a somewhat irritated tone. My thoughts are on long needles, lockjaw, tetanus and all the stuff about rabid dogs that my mom had taught me as a kid. I immediately inquire, "Has this dog had his shots?" I was waiting anxiously for an answer..."shur did" comes a quick reply and the gentleman motioned us into the front room of his small bungalow and proceeded to pull out `Ole Yeller's shot records. Everything was in order and I breathed a sigh of relief.
I am a little more at ease by now but did notice the gentleman was continuing to look at us quizzically and finally he blurts out "`Ole Yeller and I would surely like to know what you all are doing running down the road lickity-split in your under shorts?" Well we knew we couldn't answer that one so we just looked down at our shoes and proceeded to thank the tall gentleman (I figure he was at least 5'8", Steve said taller) for his cooperation and bid he and `Ole Yeller ado. We were on our way...
We traversed the tracks, up the wooded hill, past St. John's and across Krumpleman's bean field. I said "Steve, why didn't you use that big stick to fend off `Ole Yeller?" He mumbled, "Didn’t want to hurt `Ole Yeller." I inquired (a little agitated) "What about me?" he replies, "Didn't want to hurt you either." Well I was a little flummoxed about that answer so mulled it over for about a half `a second and concluded, "it's good to have friends." No worries mate.
A half hour later Steve had gone home and I was in a prone position while my loving wife Debbie was applying salve to my wound. Just about then my runner's high started to kick in. Perfect timing.