Although I've heard the name Chet Vice all my life, I had never met him or his lovely wife, Dorothy before, so I was thrilled to spend over an hour with them recently.

Lovely people, they were full of energy, laughed and had fun.

Although Dorothy came to Ladoga as a teenager, Chet was born, raised and stayed in the area his whole nine plus decades. Both feel that Ladoga is the best little town around.

Chet has had chances to leave the community (one to go to Hawaii as a worker for the Libby's Pineapple Plant) but each time said no. He loves Montgomery County, the out of doors in this area, coon hunting and having a big garden.

The Vices had one of those for decades. Dorothy said she would take her little cart to their garden that was a couple of blocks away and on the way back, the kids would all run up and grab handfuls of strawberries.

She really didn't mind too much as the Vices always shared their goodies, anyway.

Chet was the third of 11 children and Dorothy the middle of five girls.

They met at one of the Thursday evening concerts in downtown Ladoga. Dorothy had just moved here from Boone County and really didn't know anyone. A friend, Wilma Lawson, introduced them and it was pretty much sealed after that.

Chet said the Thursday night concerts were one of three things the kids in those times looked forward to each week. The town was open with stores going strong, families gathered and great fun had by all.

On Mondays, the Brunst family would butcher and the kids would all go watch. Then on Saturdays, Haven's would load their chickens and eggs on the train and send them off and it was super fun to watch that.

Chet's very first job was working for Lop (Glenn) Walsh at the pool room. He got $5 each week. When Lop realized he had to take out Social Security on Chet, he felt bad and just paid the penny per dollar from his own wages and Chet continued at his five bucks.

Of course, a married man needs a bit more than five dollars, so Chet started working at 30 cents per hour at the canning factory. He remembered that their rent was $8/month and groceries ran about $2/month.

It was hard to make things work, but in the fall when the perishable good exemption was in full force, workers at the canning company often were there 100 hours/week and then they could catch right up on their bills.

The year after they were married, they purchased the home they still live in today, a lovely place I thoroughly enjoyed visiting in. Dorothy said that at the time they moved into their home, they were the youngest on the block.

You guessed it; now, they are the oldest, but certainly young at heart.

Chet worked for the canning company for 10 years, not only in Ladoga, but in Lebanon and Brookston, as well. He also drove trucks to pick up supplies or deliver food items.

Chet went to Allison's for the next 31 years and retired in 1980. Dorothy was a cook at the grade school for many years.

For more than three decades, Chet either mowed the Ladoga cemetery or was on the board. Several of Chet's relatives are buried in the cemetery there in town.

Both have been active in the Eastern Star and Christian Church while he was a Mason (past master); in the Scottish Rite; and Ladoga Fire Department for 25 years.

The have three children (Dave, Judy and Linda), eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

In regards to their life, Chet said he let Dorothy do changes on the inside and he'd work on the outside of the house, plus neither drank or smoked, stayed close with their family and served their God.

Great pieces of ad-Vice, Chet and Dorothy - sure appreciated you being my subjects for this week's "Around the County!"



Karen Zach's column, Around The County, will appear each Thursday in The Paper.