‘New’ mower is a big fan of Ohio State

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 12, 2014


It isn’t what I had imagined for my first riding mower. There must be holes in the muffler it’s so loud. There are fading Ohio State football decals on top, both sides and back.
I don’t care at all for the Buckeyes, but the decals came at no extra charge.
I had pictured myself in something grand — with a roll bar. Maybe even with a canopy to keep off the sun. Something with a hydraulic deck lift, a zero-turn feature, a mower so big and powerful it’s called a “tractor.”
Something to awe the neighbors.
I didn’t picture myself paying that much, however, to replace my cantankerous 21-inch walk-behind. For several years, I had the last surviving push mower on the street. Neighbors pitied me as I sweated through the summer. There’s one other push-mowing neighbor now — a family with three boys.
“Can’t we get a new mower, Dad?” my son would implore when it wouldn’t crank or when it stalled for no apparent reason.
Frankly, it has been a dud.
I walked behind the mower imagining that I was preparing for mountain hiking. I planned to upgrade when Michael goes off to college in several years.
Then opportunity knocked unexpectedly in the form of my across-the-street neighbor.
He moved to Pinehurst on Monday where he can play on a different golf course every week of the year. His aging Ohio State-loving mower, however, couldn’t go. The owner is moving to a place with a tiny lawn — suitable for retired folks who no longer care about having the greenest lawn in the neighborhood or whether dandelions and chickweed bloom in the turf.
It is a crazy addiction we suburbanites have developed to spend our weekends enslaved to our lawns. We fertilize to make the grass grow faster so we will have to mow more often. We declare the easy-growing weeds a nuisance while fostering the delicate fescue that quickly wilts when the weather turns dry. We install irrigation systems and buy very expensive lawn mowers to clip our lawns at manicured heights. We mow with the enthusiasm of a Major League Baseball park lawn maintenance professional. The neighborhood is abuzz all weekend with the noises of lawn mowers, blowers and edgers.
It’s lunacy. But the mad house is only getting more populated.
I haven’t used the Ohio State mower yet. It arrived shortly after Michael used the old push mower —maybe for the last time. I’ll wear ear plugs to reduce the noise … and pretend not to see the Buckeye decals.
Clemmons’ self-imposed exile

It’s usually nice to see a government board cut spending, but Clemmons sudden retreat from the state and national municipal leagues is alarming. Village board members have historically taken an active role in those leagues. The late Chris Jones served as president of the state association.
New board member Bill Lawry has objected to discussion of amnesty for illegals at the national meetings. It is a sad, philistine trend that some will only associate with people they already agree with. Forbid that Clemmons would be confused or seduced by new and different ideas.
In its budget for next year, Clemmons has cut expenses by a 3-2 vote for membership dues and travel to association meetings. It’s all the more embarrassing because council member Mary Cameron has been appointed to the national board. The board should applaud her willingness to serve.
It’s not too late for the Clemmons board to see the light, so to speak, and step out of this self-imposed exile.