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Miller captures ‘Characters’ in booklet by same name

I have just finished reading a little self-printed paperback by R. Earl Miller called ‘Characters.’
Earl Miller began working at the Corydon State Bank in 1923 and became president of the bank in 1943. He retired in 1970 and wrote this little volume of fond remembrances of the typical town personalities and quirky citizens whom he knew personally and through his business. His fondness for all these ‘characters’ of Corydon life comes through in each paragraph.
He talks about Frank Crosier, the pharmacist, and Percy Davis who owned the Drug Store. Miller ‘shinnied’ up a black walnut tree to gather nuts and climbed through a stretch of poison ivy that left him ‘completely covered in poison ivy from head to foot, front and rear, with the exception of one spot about as big as a silver dollar on one elbow.’ Frank Crosier saw him on the street one day and declared he looked as if he was going to die. Crosier said he would prepare an ointment that would clear it up, and he did. Miller was on the way to recovery in one day. Miller writes, ‘Frank died before I could get the prescription.’
Norval Yeager, who lived in Mauckport on the bank of the Ohio, one day declared, ‘The river rose so fast you could see right under it.’ Yeager, obviously a devotee to a tall tale, said, the ‘wind blew so hard it blew the shade right out from under the trees.’ Miller’s description of Norval Yeager makes you sorry to have missed him, doesn’t it?
Miller writes of his own Uncle Harve who was deaf and spent a good bit of time reading because of it. ‘One night, about midnight Uncle Harve was reading ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’, which you know is quite frightening. He looked up at the clock and it did not look right, but he kept on reading. Soon he looked at the clock again, and both hands of the clock were rotating very rapidly. He could not bear to look at the clock, so he took it out in the backyard, placed it in the fork of a tree and shot the clock with his shotgun.’
This little booklet is a valuable piece of Corydon history because of the way it depicts oiling the dust in the streets, meat buying from peddlers, football practice at the fairground, and a myriad of other details too numerous to mention. Thank you, Mr. Miller, for a brief glimpse of some of the colorful characters of the past.
Leah Porter is at the Harrison County Public Library in Corydon on the first and third Saturdays of the month from 1 to 3 p.m.

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