I have lived my entire life in Wilmington, Delaware, but from the spring 1967 until spring 1968 while serving in the U.S. Air Force I lived in Wilmington, Ohio. While living in Wilmington (Ohio) I had a chance to experience small-town America. It was an experience I will never forget.
In the spring of 1967, I was transferred to the USAF detachment at Clinton County Airport. My wife and I began looking for an apartment in Wilmington. Unable to find anything, the last realtor put me in contact with Mike Ewing. She told me Mike’s father, Walter Ewing (D&E Equipment) might have an available apartment on Mulberry Street. I met with Mike and his wife and they showed us the apartment. We wanted to take immediate possession of it, but Mike said it was his father’s decision and his parents were on vacation and wouldn’t return for several days. I told Mike that I and my pregnant wife would stay at the motel just outside town until his parents returned.
Mike stopped me and invited us to stay at this home until his parents returned. We had only known Mike and his wife for an hour and they invited us into their home. We agreed and several days later met his parents and took the apartment. Mike, his wife and parents became close friends. Their hospitality showed the spirit of small-town America.
I remember Mike telling me a bout a Dayton high school baseball shortstop the he said would be a Major League star; he later became the Philadelphia Phillies’ greatest player, Mike Schmidt.
Two months after moving to Wilmington, Ohio, our daughter Tammie was born at Clinton Memorial Hospital. Living next door was an elderly lady we knew as Mrs. Grove. We regularly checked on her. She loved our baby girl. Each day she would spend hours with my wife watching our daughter grow. Personally, I think Tammie gave Mrs. Grove a reason to live.
My wife and I do a lot of traveling now that we are retired. Every time I travel across Ohio, I think of Wilmington and the great people I met.
I hope the town hasn’t changed, because the people of Wilmington, Ohio represent the true heritage of small-town America.
George H. Williamson