“I came here in 1928, as a bride. Harry (Virginia’s husband) lived in Darrtown all his life. We met at a dance at the Masonic temple in Hamilton.
If you asked me where I live, I would say Darrtown. But, I really don’t. Darrtown ends at the street beside my house and I live in Milford Township; outside the Darrtown square. But, the property used to be Darr property.
Johnny Darr used to live in a tumbled-down shack here, until he was struck by an automobile. I remember my husband saying he took the old man to the hospital. My husband was just a kid and he was an old bachelor. And, Johnny Darr told him that he wanted my husband to buy this land, when he died. So, he did.
We built our house here, right afterwards in 1928. This is a very choice place in Darrtown, because it’s close to the church and the nice property of the Mees.
I don’t know how I’ve lasted so long. Time gets so fast. It’s entirely different from when I came here. We were all neighbors. Now, our neighbors are good, when we need help; but, they don’t visit anymore, because wives work. It’s a different town. I do visit the Youngs, Alice Pierson, and my next door neighbor, Lawrence Gaiser. He lives alone, too. We check on each other.
Miami University use to send out a scout from the university to increase their enrollment. Dean Minnick’s son came to Georgetown, where I lived, to recruit. And, he was the most handsome fellow you ever saw; so, I decided that would be a good place to go.
I taught, before I was married. Then, I didn’t teach for sixteen years, when my kids were growing up. But, during World War II, they needed teachers and I thought I’d teach for one or two years. So, I went back for fifteen. I used to give piano lessons, too. My husband had the trucking business, of course.
I go to the Priscilla Club and another club called the Pals. We started out as the Sunday School Pals; but, we dropped that, because people don’t go to Sunday School. But, we do a lot of nice things for shut-ins.
I belong to the Milford Township discussion group. There are usually twelve couples that belong; but, it’s a little out of balance, because several of us have lost our husbands. I’ve belonged, since the first meeting in 1936. We always have our meeting on the fourth Friday, except at Christmas. Georgia Wills has the December party on New Year’s Eve each year. She has a lovely home.
Dr. Ernest Dayka, our minister, is a professor at Wittenberg College in Springfield. He’s been here for eighteen years and he is good. But, we don’t have someone to minister to us through the week. I go every Sunday. Before he came, we had church every other Sunday. The Methodists had it the other Sunday. We never had any problems; but, finally, the organizations higher up thought we should have church every Sunday. It’s worked out all right.
We don’t have many weddings over there. People used to grow up and marry somebody in their community. When I first came to Darrtown, people’s families lived in this area. But, that isn’t the way it works anymore.
Some people went down to the Hitching Post to drink; my husband never did. And, I wouldn’t let my children; didn’t want them hanging around that place. We’ve never had anybody from Darrtown that I can think of, who got involved in drugs or any serious trouble of any kind.
We have a lot of young men who have become successful. I’m not talking about rich people. I’m talking about good citizens.
Of course, you have to put Smokey Alston at the top. I never heard anybody say anything against him. I don’t know how he felt inside; but, he was just on the level with everybody else. He used to have the men down there in his shop a lot. We have always been good friends and neighbors; but, they were never people who did a lot of mixing. Smokey’s wife, she stayed with him. When he went, she went. Nobody would ever have a chance to tell any tales on Smokey.
Luther McVicker was a friend, too. He and my husband were best friends. They grew up here from the time they were little boys in school. At Christmas time, Luther always gave my husband a carton of Camels and Harry always gave him a carton of Chesterfields.
They used to meet down at Luther’s garage every night. Earl Stang owns that place now. But, you had to be accepted by the garage group, if you wanted to have a nice time in the village.”
[End of interview]
Recollections of Virginia Teckman
The following narrative was taken from “The Old and Now In Darrtown, Ohio: An Oral History,” which Jon Jeffrey Patton wrote as partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Philosophy Interdisciplinary Studies (Western College Program) at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1988. The following excerpts from the Patton paper do not represent the paper in its entirety.
Comment of author, Jon Jeffrey Patton: At ninety-two, Virginia Teckman lives alone, across from the Darrtown Lutheran Church. Her solid stature shows no signs of sickness. She looks like she should be behind a kettle in a soup kitchen in a Depression documentary. She radiates strength. Inside the house, everything is in perfect order; television in the corner, a large wooden, dining room table is covered with white plastic for protection. The latest issue of Modern Maturity sits in a magazine rack, next to a chair, under a window, so Virginia can read about aging, while watching cars rush by on the highway out of the corner of her eye.