North Canton has a population of 17,404 in 2012, when I was growing up here the population was around the 15,000 mark. We were a factory town. Many of the people here worked at the Hoover Company making vacuums for almost 100 years until it was moved away to a foreign land. I grew up seeing neighbors with their packed lunch boxes walking to the factory. The whole city centered on it –it helped us live and breathe. The city seems to be bouncing back from that blow. My father was a teacher so he would get in the car and travel to Kent to teach –he taught college level courses and taught at different times so we were very lucky to have a somewhat different schedule with our parents. My Mother was a retired telephone operator from Ohio Bell-boy did she have some stories about the old days with the headsets and switchboards.
At this time of year I think of pickles and applesauce. Mom canned the best bread and butter pickles you could every imagine-unfortunately her recipe died with her, every year I think I am going to attempt to can those same pickles and every year flies by and before I know it, winter is here. She also made transparent apple sauce. Transparent apples were cooking apples and they were some of the first apples of the season. We would go visit Mom and Dad’s good friend-he was a very shy confirmed bachelor with a horrible stuttering problem of course he also worked at the Hoover Company. He always appeared a little rumpled, clothes not pressed and maybe slightly too big. He was soft spoken with a huge heart. He had a small orchard behind his house –it smelled delicious-sweet and green and light and when we went there I just knew that in the next few days the house would be filled with the smell of those wonderful apples cooking into a delicious sauce containers stacked up everywhere to go into the freezer. The applesauce was slightly tart, Mom would add some sugar when she cooked it but not too much- just enough. This year I am going to make applesauce with my Grandson and he will get to delight in the smell of the cooking apples and the delicious taste-you can’t get transparent apples anymore –at least that I have found in ohio but I will make do.
It is funny how at different times of a person’s life it is viewed with such a different perspective. I see the city much differently now than when I was young.