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A Day of Fox Hunting at Flint Ridge Column

March 25, 2006

The story of the week comes from an old-timer to Greene Valley, Iowa. For sake of the web, we'll just call him Marlo. Our friend Marlo is well-known in these parts. He gets around quite well for his age, frequenting the gathering places of North English. Using a walker on wheels, Marlo can be seen going from table to table, greeting his many friends and sharing the tales of the past. A few weeks ago, his car met up unexpectedly with the north side of the Greene Valley Bridge; Marlo coming out of the whole episode in much better shape than the car. He’s one of a few WWII vets still around here; he was a sergeant overseas in several campaigns across Europe.

Marlo wheels into the coffee shop and finds a comfortable chair. His wife Dorothy asks for another chair to be brought alongside; “I want to sit by Marlo.”

The feature story begins with Marlo’s wallet. When Marlo gets a gleam in his eye and pulls out his wallet, you may as well just settle in and relax. Tucked in amongst his driver’s license and other cards are a few small, time-worn photographs, the kind that were taken back in the 1930s. They measure about 1 1⁄2 by 2 1⁄2 inches, with alligator cracks all over the surface. The fact that he's carried these around in his wallet all these years means they must have special meaning. This story focuses on two of the photos.

The first that he pulls out is a photo of four young men and an old car loaded down on the roof and hood with foxes, a box of shotgun shells and a half dozen shotguns prominently displayed on the big grill of the car. On the back of the photo is written “Flint Ridge Column,” a place somewhat east of Kalona, Iowa. The boys went out for a day of fox hunting and returned to Greene Valley to the Patterson place, where they memorialized the event by staging several photographs. It must have been memorable, for separately from the photo in Marlo’s wallet were others that were sent to the coffee shop, all the way from “Pat” Patterson in Black Canyon City, Arizona. These were also tiny photographs, of better quality, displayed here for your enjoyment.

Marlo catching up on letter writing in Germany during World War II.

Greene Valley Boys - Marlo, Roy Patterson, Carl Patterson, and Ralph Ballard after their Flint Ridge Column fox hunt.

Buying a Horse that came with a Girl

Marlo pulls another photo out of his wallet, one he has also carried around with him most of his life. It is of Marlo on a big stallion, the horse rearing up on its hind legs. He gets another gleam in his eyes as he passes the photo around. As the story goes, he went to see a man about a horse, and visited a farm in Frytown, Iowa. However, the horse was too wild to ride. He liked the horse, but was told by the man’s daughter that he’d never break the horse without her help. And so he bought the horse, and the girl and the rest is history. His wife, Dorothy, sits nearby and just shakes her head and smiles. Marlo pipes up, “The girl came with the horse.” In fact, this golden marriage took place as a result of the horse; Dorothy went to visit a week or so later to see how the horse was doing, and as Marlo says, “we got to messin' around.”

Marlowe with the horse that "couldn't be broke."

Marlowe with the girl that "broke him."

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