My Relations in Chester, Ohio
All my Union relatives and their friends are from Chester, Ohio, a composite of the three small towns in Ohio, New Philadelphia, Urbana, and Ripley. My mom is from Urbana, Dad New Philadelphia, and nobody I know of from Ripley but I needed it because that’s where the novel takes place across the Ohio River from my Confederate relations. I know mostly about Urbana because that’s where my grandmas lived when I was growing up. There was kindly Grandma Richards nee Kerns who baked peanut butter cookies and the wicked witch of the midwest, Step-Grandma Greene, who lived in a big house on College Street and wouldn’t let anyone in who wasn’t a Protestant. She made an exception for the rich. That’s why my Grandma and her relatives couldn’t visit and Judge Kerns could.