Wednesday, March 27, 2019

McDonalds as a Religion???

   The McDonald brothers opened their drive in restaurant in San Bernardino , California in 1940 complete with car hops.  The more they promoted their barbecue the more their customers asked for hamburgers.  So, they closed their doors, remodeled, fired the 20 car hops and reopened with the format that we associate with McDonalds today.  They struggled for awhile but things eventually took off and they opened at other locations.  By 1954 a milk shake machine salesman named Ray Kroc was so impressed with their success that he secured from the brothers the rights to franchise their name and business nationwide.  Ray opened the first "Golden Arches" in Illinois in 1955.  By 1961 he was rich enough to buy out the McDonald brothers' interest in the business and it was all his.

   The first one that I ever recall eating at was on the north edge of Ft. Wayne, Indiana on U.S. 30.  It was on our way to and from college at Winona Lake, Indiana.  There were no tables or chairs, just a small area to walk in and order at a window and then go back to your car.  The burgers were, as I recall, 15 cents.  We had no idea at that time that this would become the largest restaurant chain in the world!  The next step in this journey for us was a magazine article in the late 70's or possibly the early 80's.

  The magazine was "Natural History" (an unlikely place to find an article about McDonalds).  The title of the article was something like "McDonalds As A Religion".  Before you dismiss this as preposterous consider the following.  In the days before "fast food" places like McDonalds, Burger King (started about the same time as McDonalds), and Wendys (1969), selecting a place to eat, especially when you were traveling, could be a very risky "roll of the dice".  Would you get a good meal or would you get ptomaine poisoning?  Was the kitchen clean or . . . ? 

   On the other hand, when you were traveling and you wanted to attend church on a Sunday morning, you would go to a church of the denomination to which you belonged.  If you were, for example, Lutheran you would go to a Lutheran Church knowing there would be no surprises.  You knew exactly what the liturgy (order and form of service) would be.  Thus, the Golden Arches, when they appeared on the landscape, told you "no surprises here; you know exactly what you will be getting and what it will cost".  Anyone coming of age on this side of the advent of McDonalds cannot appreciate what it was like for the first time to have a restaurant chain available just about anywhere you traveled that would be as predictable and free of unpleasant surprises as the liturgy in your church denomination.
   Fast forward to the present and the continued growth of McDonalds as a food service giant is still largely due to being predictable and free of unpleasant surprises.  There is perhaps another way in which McDonalds resembles a religion.  People crave what is often called "fellowship".  On any given morning what do you see at many McDonalds?   You see a "gathering of geezers" having fellowship!  Retired men, and often women also, gather at McDonalds for "fellowship".  And just as good churches "feed" you healthy spiritual food the menu at McD's is decidedly more healthy than just the "burger, shakes and fries" offered in the early days. 

   The Golden Arches are like a church in some other ways also.  Most churches gladly welcome a large group of traveling visitors to drop in on a Sunday service.  So, if you are traveling with a bus full of young people you don't have to think twice.  Stop at McDonalds and you know you will, with rare exceptions, be welcome.  One other observation:  it seems to me that more and more McDonalds restaurants have ceased to be "fast food" places.  Now it's "take a number and wait for your food".  That may or may not make McD's like a church but it is not necessarily bad.  I have been part of men's Bible studies that met in a back corner of the dining room of McD's.  If we are anything less than supremely grateful to God for the abundant, affordable food and clean restrooms available to us at this moment of history then we are . . . well you know.






Thursday, March 7, 2019


   The Father of English Bible translation was William Tyndale.  His choice of words is retained in most translations today.  Words like "Red Sea", "Judges" and many others were originally his translations of the Hebrew words in the 16th century.  Following his work came the Geneva Bible, the one that the Puritans brought to America with them.  The Authorized ("King James") Version of 1611 only slowly replaced the Geneva Bible.

   The KJV will continue to be used by many Christians but for the wrong reasons.  Its enormously important place in history should be remembered and it should be quoted from time to time.  But the claims that is is "more accurate" or based on a "better text" are just wishful thinking.  The best edition of the KJV ever was the New Scofield Reference Bible of 1967.  Archaic words and the most egregious mistranslations were corrected.  With that Bible available there was no justifiable reason for what is called the New King James Version.  The New KJV retains that deliberate addition to the text of Scripture in I John 4:7 and therefore loses all credibility in my judgment.  I do not recommend it at all.  Men who are either ignorant or dishonest will tell you that modern translation "leave out several verses in the Bible".  These are "left out" because they are not found in the oldest manuscripts of the New Testament.  So why were they numbered?  The numbering of verses in the text of Scripture was done with the late manuscripts put together by Erasmus, a Christian humanist, at the time of the Reformation.
   The American Standard Version of 1901 never "caught on" among American Christians but the New American Standard Bible of 1971 did.  It is accurate and trustworthy.  Its main faults are 1) following the Hebrew and Greek word order, which makes for clumsy English sentences; and 2) making every verse a separate paragraph.  This was also a main fault of nearly all editions of the KJV.  The NASB would be 100% improved if its text were put into normal paragraphs.

   The New International Version of 1978 involved more qualified scholars than any version in the history of the English language.  It involved multiple cross checking and final reviews more than any other.  It was well on its way to becoming the standard Bible of English speaking people . . . until . . . 
the committee that controls the text began to "tinker" with it.  First in 1984 and then in 2011 they changed the text.  The 1984 edition is OK but unnecessary and the 2011 is best ignored.  I use the orignal 1978.  All subsequent changes  should have been totally in the footnotes and the text should have been left alone!

    The same mistake is being made with the English Standard Version.  It is reported that they are going to tinker with the text.  The ESV, to understand it, is nothing but a revision of the Revised Standard Version of 1952.  The RSV, while generally accurate, was never accepted by many Evangelicals because of obvious liberal bias in several passages.  I have no problem recommending the ESV but it is no improvement over the original NIV of 1978.

   I will not discuss other translations currently available, not because they do not have value, but because they are what is now called "inclusive" translations to suit the feminist agenda by eliminating male pronouns.  I do not speak against them, I just do not recommend them.  If someone wants to read a paraphrase of Scripture there is none more refreshing than the Phillips New Testament in Modern English  (1958).  You may address questions to me about this subject either here or on social media.  


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

WOUNDED: NOVEMBER 1st, 1918. In memory of my father-in-law, D.H. Weigle

   At around 9 am French time on November 1st, 1918, a German infantryman pressed the trigger on his MG-08 Maxim machine gun and let fly a hail of 8 m/m bullets.  Moments earlier the Germans either let loose a deadly poisoned gas attack or Dorr's unit believed they were about to.  In any event,  Pvt. D.H. Weigle of the 4th Brigade, 2nd Marine Division rose up just slightly in an attempt to fit his gas mask over his face.  One of those 8 m/m bullets was bearing down upon him.
   Dorr had been born September 2, 1896, the ninth of twelve children of Charles and Mary Weigle.  Their home was near the village of Elizabeth, West Virginia.  In 1970 he showed my wife (his daughter Susan) and I the family home, the church and school built by his carpenter father and the cemetery where his parents were interred.  His formal education ended after the eighth grade and he went to work mainly in farming jobs.  When the U.S. entered the "Great War" in April 1917 Dorr was employed by the Coraopolis, Pa. Police Dept. and was deferred from military conscription.  But there was such an intense pressure on young men to not be "slackers" or "shirkers" that he followed his older brother and enlisted in the Marine Corps.  Paris Island had just been opened and Dorr remembered being one of those assigned to pave the new streets there with crushed oyster shells.
   He demonstrated a high level of marksmanship with the 03 Springfield rifle and was told that his scores on the rifle range would mean that he could remain there and be a rifle instructor.  But he so hated the heat and the sand fleas that he deliberately pulled one or two shots out of the bulls eye on qualification day so that he would not be assigned to stay there.  He later considered that one of the biggest mistakes of his life because it would nearly cost him his life.  He recalled that upon arriving in France it was march, march, march just about everywhere he went.  He received his food in the chow line one day and sat down on a pile of brush to eat.  Noticing that no one else was sitting near him he looked down into the brush and beheld the remains of a dead German.
   On the fateful morning of November 1st Dorr, as a member of Co. E, 5th Marine Regiment, 4th Brigade was in that part of the Argonne Offensive intended to drive the Germans from the town of Landreville.  The machine gun burst of fire that was to hit him must have been fired in an upward trajectory to rain down on the Marines.  The bullet that struck him entered at a downward trajectory and lodged near a pelvic bone.  The surgeons, fearful that he might be paralyzed, left the bullet where it was.  But they did not tell him this fact.  It would be nearly 20 years before he would learn that it was still in him.  After the war he married the lovely, dark eyed Orpha Shankland of Wayne Co. Ohio.  Soon after their marriage he turned down an offer from the Veterans Bureau to pay for four years of college if he would teach vocational agriculture.  He had no desire to return to school.  Another decision that he would someday regret.  He opted instead to learn automobile mechanics and for six years worked at the Canton (Ohio) Motor Car Co. where he serviced the first Chrysler to come to Canton.
   In the years following the birth of their first child, a son in 1921, Dorr and Orpha endured the anguish of three baby girls either being still born or dying soon after birth.  In 1928 Dorr joined the Canton Police Department.  In the early 1930's he used the veterans bonus to buy a 100 acre farm near Greenwich, Ohio.  He and Orpha would rent out the farm for ten years before moving there.  From 1936 until 1942 they welcomed into their lives two sons and a daughter, Susan.  In 1943 Dorr took early retirement from the police department and the family moved from Canton to the farm they already owned. Dorr now realized his life long dream of operating his own farm.  At that time the oldest son, now 22, was serving his country in World War II.
   The most critical moment of Dorr's life, since nearly being killed in 1918, was to happen at the very middle of the 20th century.  Dorr was a man of honesty and integrity but he could exhibit a terrible temper and cursed as a second language.  His two youngest sons often fought so angrily their mother feared they would not live to adulthood.  A friend invited the two Weigle brothers to church and they soon committed their lives to Christ as Savior and Lord. Their lives changed radically.  Early one Sunday morning Dorr said to Orpha, "Get ready.  We are going to church.  I want to see what happened to those two boys."  She nearly fainted!  In the weeks that followed Orpha recommitted her life to Christ and Dorr, the proud, ramrod straight Marine, became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 54.  As a young boy I witnessed his baptism and subsequent struggle to overcome the lifelong habit of cursing.  One of his sons and his daughter would spend much of their lives in Christian School and Christian camp ministries.  His daughter is still very involved in ministry to all age groups at her church.
    Dorr was always an avid hunter and an excellent marksman.  It was my joy as his only son-in-law to supply him with several accurate rifles.   From age 76 onward he was legendary among local farmers for the number of groundhogs he took out of their fields.  He hunted until well into his 90's and kept me busy loading ammunition for him.  Eventually, the years took their toll.  At age ninety he had to have a pace maker.  I conducted Dorr's funeral service in April 1996.  He was just five months short of his 100th birthday.  The honor guard at the cemetery were young enough to be his grandchildren or great grandchildren.  Orpha had preceded him in death by nine years.  The 8 m/m German machine gun bullet was still in him!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018


   This November 11th will mark 100 years since the end of the "War To End All Wars", as President Woodrow Wilson called what we now know as World War I.  That title would be laughable if it was not so unrealistically tragic.  In the months that followed, the U.S. government disposed of tons of surplus gun powder (properly called "propellant") by dumping it in the ocean.  It could have been sold to ammunition companies or to the many citizens who were even then learning to load/reload their own ammunition for hunting and target shooting.  But saving taxpayer money was not a consideration.  Following World War II the story would be different.

   Of the more than sixteen million Americans who served in the armed forces in that terrible conflict, one of them, Brewster "Bruce" E. Hodgdon was not about to let his government dump perfectly good propellants into the ocean.  After being discharged from the Navy he wrote letters to government officials up to and including President Truman.  His efforts would pay great dividends, not just to him but to countless Americans.  In 1947 he purchased 50,000 pounds of surplus IMR 4895 rifle powder and the Hodgdon Powder Company was born.  Seventy one years later the many thousands of us who load our own ammunition are indeed grateful.  But let's leave this story for a moment to give you a little historical background.

   Since before the American Revolution the largest manufacturer of gun powder was the Dupont family and later the Dupont Corporation.  This was true when Bruce Hodgdon was just starting out.  By the twentieth century Dupont had transitioned from making black gunpowder to making modern smokeless powders.  By the end of World War II they had developed some excellent rifle powders with names like IMR 4831 and IMR 4895;  The number indicated how rapidly or slowly the propellant burned.  Propellants do not explode when they are ignited by the primer in the cartridge, instead they burn rapidly producing gases which propel the bullet.  Changing times brought changes to Dupont.  Their slogan of the 1950's  "Better thing for better living through chemistry" has been changed to "Better things for better living" because in this irrational age "chemistry" is a dirty word.  But for purposes of this blog the significant change was when Dupont sold off their historic powder manufacturing business entirely to Hodgdon.  Today Hodgdon sells the IMR powders.

   So today Hodgdon is THE name in propellants.  Many thousand of Americans, including me, find great satisfaction in loading their own ammunition for hunting and target shooting and Hodgdon can supply whatever we need.  There are other brands; Hodgdon does not have a monopoly by any means.  But nearly every powder I use, except for one or two, is made by Hodgdon.

   If you came to this Blog from Facebook you are wondering about the Mission Statement of the Hodgdon Company.  Here it is in its entirety:  "Hodgdon Powder Company operates following Biblical principles to honor God.  Our Mission is to provide quality products and services in a manner which enhances the lives of our employees, families, customers and our communities.  In doing so, we will deal with integrity and honesty, reflecting that  people are more important than dollars and our purpose is to bring credit to our Lord Jesus Christ."

   Even if you do not buy Hodgdon products you might want to send a message to them thanking them for their Mission Statement.  If you would like to read a longer history of Hodgdon see the current issue of American Rifleman the official journal of the National Rifle Association. That article tells how Hodgdon propellants are used in non-firearm applications as well.  It may be available online.  Also, if you have questions about loading/reloading ammunition send me a message on FB.  If a member of your family wants to learn how this is done I would love to show them.

   One final word to any reader who may have strong feelings against firearms and ammunition:  the misuse of any product by a few does not make that product inherently evil.  To believe otherwise is to to hold a modern version of the ancient Gnostic heresy.  Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


   Carol Weigle, Chester's wife, answered the phone at Trail To Life Camp on the afternoon of July 21, 1970.  It was Mike Mecurio calling from Canada.  Crying as he spoke he broke the tragic news to Carol that Don, Chuck and Tim were missing and presumed to have drowned.  It was senior girls week at TTLC and Chet and I were away from camp for awhile that afternoon.  We arrived back shortly before the evening meal was to begin.  I vividly recall Carol walking with Chet down toward the lake to break the news to him alone.  She then came and told me that Chet needed to see me.  After he broke the dreaded news to me I got Susan and we went to my parents' home to tell them.  They were not there and I had no idea where they were.  In the meantime I called their pastor and wife, Ron and Donna Lou Merrill.  They were ready to leave on their vacation but instead came immediately to my parents' home.  I made other phone calls and soon there were many people gathered and waiting in the living room.
   When my parents finally came home from visiting someone in Mansfield they were puzzled by the number of cars in their driveway.  I met them at the back door and they sat down on the porch swing.  My exact words were:  "We know that we will all be together again someday but Donnie is now with Jesus."  I have often wished that I would have had someone else tell them because it seemed to me like I had just driven a dagger into their souls.  But later Mom told Susan that she was glad that I was the one who told them.  Everyone there gathered around them and Ron Merrill led in prayer.  One by one more and more people began to arrive; my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.  Before the evening was over I had to go to the home of Dr. C.O. Butner at Shiloh and get something for my parents to take to help then through the emotional trauma.
    I called a pastor friend in Lexington to break the news to Don's wife Twila.  I have since regretted putting that burden upon that pastor but I thought that someone should do it in person rather than just a phone call.  Since Twila was spending that week with her sister and brother-in-law Bob and Alice Witzky, I should have probably called the Witzky home and asked Bob or Alice to tell her.  Somehow Twila got the impression that Don was missing but that there was a possibility he was alive.
   The next morning Harold Laird, a long time friend of my parents, and Paul Enzor, dad's cousin, arrived.  They knew nothing about what had happened.  They had come to begin the work of taking out my parents' old coal burning furnace and installing a new gas furnace.  I met them in the driveway and told them what had happened and as they were about to leave and postpone the work my mom called out to me to have them go ahead and start work. In the sad days that followed, this project was actually a helpful distraction from all the heaviness.  I was often busy going to get parts and materials for them -- when I was not going to the funeral home to make arrangements.
   Shortly after Harold and Paul arrived Jim and Eva Mae Brundage arrived bringing Twila.  We began to get phone calls from news outlets and the Moody Bible Institute station in Cleveland, WCRF, picked it up on the wire services.  Their announcer Bob Devine dedicated the song "He Giveth More Grace" to Twila that morning.  That afternoon the phone rang again and the news came to us that the bodies had been found.  When I got off the phone and told what the call was about Twila fainted.  It was later that we found out that she holding onto the possibility that Don was alive.  I immediately went to see Atlee Meyers the owner of the funeral home in Greenwich.  He looked up the name of the funeral home in Canada that was closest to where the tragedy was unfolding.  It was Goulet Funeral Home.  I did not tell my family then but I soon learned that Canadian law required that an autopsy be performed on my brother's body.  Mr. Goulet brought the three bodies from Canada to the funeral home in Greenwich.
   On Friday afternoon I took our family:  Twila, Mom, Dad, Susan and myself to the funeral home to view Don's body.  Twila decided to have a closed casket and I agreed.  I feel this was another mistake on my part.  I should have urged her to allow Don's many friends to see his earthly form one more time.  I regret that greatly.  That evening there was a very large memorial service at the camp.  We borrowed many chairs from a local church to seat the great number who came.  Robert Collitt, who had been our pastor when Don and I were boys, was there from Maryland.  My brother had met and become friends with the Chief of the Mansfield Fire Department Leonard Boebel.  That evening Chief Boebel put fire station No. 7 out of service for awhile so that he, fireman Dean Scott, and another fireman could come to the service.
   The funeral the next day filled Bethel Baptist Church at Savannah (their old building) to capacity.  Chet Weigle and others from the camp went the next two days to the funerals of Tim and Chuck in western Ohio and Chicago.  About two weeks after the funeral Twila told Susan she was not feeling well.  Susan said, "I already have an appointment with Dr. Butner.  Why don't you come with me and have him check you out also."  That was the day we all learned that that Twila was expecting a baby.  Susan and I had been invited to move onto a farm that a Christian couple had purchased.  We asked Twila to come and live with us there.  So it was on the cold, snowy evening of February 23, 1971 that Susan and I took Twila to Mansfield Hospital where she gave birth to Aaron Eugene Enzor.
   Doctors had told Susan and I that it did not look like we would ever have children.  But on June 21, 1971, after being in labor for thirty-one hours (!) Susan gave birth to Miles Daniel Enzor.   During the previous winter, before Aaron was born, a carpet sales rep. came to the door one day.  We were getting a small room ready as a nursery for Twila and she had called to have it measured for some carpet.  When the carpet rep. rang the door bell both Susan and Twila went to the door and both were obviously pregnant.  The sales rep asked, "who's the lady of the house?"  They answered together, "I am".  He said, "where is the superman?"  My brother Don would have loved that.

Sunday, July 1, 2018


  This title is borrowed from a 1950's book by J.B. Phillips.  He was a friend of C.S. Lewis and the translator of the first of the popular paraphrases of the New Testament, "The New Testament In Modern English" (1958).  It is largely forgotten now but its literary qualities and forceful rendering of many passages have made it a favorite of mine ever since I bought my first copy as a senior in high school.  I used this title because it sounded much better that the dry, technical heading of "Some Thoughts On The Meaning Of Predestination And Election".   I'm sure these thoughts are not entirely original with me but I did not get them from any book, sermon, etc.  They have come from years of reflection on the Scriptures.
   This little essay should not be construed as a critique of 'Reformed' theology or any other system of interpreting Scripture, even though some may take it that way.  It is not that I believe certain doctrines about predestination and election are completely wrong, it is just that their advocates have not always been careful to clarify some things.  To 'cut to the chase' as they say, I will say right up front that it seems to me that the terms "chose", "elect", etc, are used in Scripture as anthropomorphic words.  'Anthropomorphic' is a word formed from two Greek words:  'anthropos' (man/human) and morphos (the form, essence or nature of someone or something).  Most people are familiar with the anthropomorphic images in many cartoons when animals are portrayed as humans.           Anthropomorphic terms in Scripture compare God to people so that we can better grasp things.  Scripture speaks of the 'hand' of God, the 'eyes' of the Lord, etc.  Just before the flood of Noah's time the Scripture says that God was "grieved" that he had made man.  The King James Version renders it "repented" that He had made man.  Now, of course, nothing takes God surprise.  He knows eternally all things.  (We need to let that sink in for a moment.)  When anthropomorphic terms are used of God they are intended to help us at lest partially grasp things that are ultimately beyond total comprehension.
   So it is with the words 'elect', and 'choose'.  If we are not very careful how we define and explain these terms we make God out to be finite/limited.  God is the Creator of space and time.  That is what happened at Genesis 1:1.  He is not bound by time or space.  There is no time at which those who are called God's 'chosen ones' or 'elect' were not chosen.  To give the impression that there was a point of time in the past when God said "I now choose _____ to be saved and I do not choose _____ to be saved is to put God into time and thus make Him finite/limited.  Hence, the title "Your God Is Too Small".   We can only grasp words like 'choose' and 'elect' in the way that we as humans use them.  At a certain point in time we decide and act.  We are finite/limited.  Before that time we had not made the choice or elected.   
   But now comes the most important part of all.  The words 'chose' and 'elect' must be defined in a way that fits how they are used of Jesus,  He is "the living Stone -- rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him" and he is the "chosen and precious cornerstone".  (I Peter 2:4-6 NIV)  If the words 'chosen' or 'elect' are used of Christ the way that some people have defined them (as applied to believers) then Christ was chosen from among a larger group of beings to be the Savior of the world.  This is, of course, exactly what some cults say about Christ.  He is the highest of the angelic beings chosen by God to be the Savior.  Now do you see why we cannot define 'chosen' and 'elect', when used of believers, as "God chose certain ones to be save and did not choose others".  If you apply this definition to Christ you have denied his absolute uniqueness.  Not to mention that you have also denied several explicit Scripture that declare God to be unwilling that any perish and that he would have all men to be saved.  (I Tim. 2:4 and II Peter 3:9)
   Now, we need a definition of 'chosen' and 'elect' that:  1) does not make God finite/limited; and 2) fits the words when they are used of Christ.  We have that definition in Jesus' great High Priestly Prayer in John 17.  Jesus said, "Father . . . you loved me before the Creation of the world"  (vs. 24)  That, my friends, is the biblical definition of what it means to be 'elect' and 'chosen' of God.  It means:  that the believer, like Jesus the unique Son of God, is eternally loved by God the Father.  To go beyond this definition and portray God as 'choosing' in the way that humans choose, is to portray God as crudely arbitrary and to portray Christ as just one of a larger group of similar beings.
    So now when you read these words in Scripture, or hear them used in a sermon, just think to yourself:  "John 17:24"; I am eternally loved by the Father, just as Jesus, the unique Son, is eternally loved.  It is supremely good to give God all the credit for our salvation but to do it in the way that some people have defined 'chosen' and 'elect' is, as we have seen, to portray God the Father and Christ the Son very poorly, even ugly.  Stick with John 17:24 and ignore the theologians.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


   Whatever fruit was involved in the temptation of the first man and woman it was almost certainly not an apple; not in the Middle East that early in human history.  I read once that there was a possibility it was an apricot.  The prohibition against eating from one tree was not arbitrary on God's part.  There were undoubtedly other instructions we are not told about.  Israel was commanded to not eat the fruit of trees they would plant in the Promised Land for three years.  See Leviticus 19:23ff. There are evidently practical horticultural reasons for this.  Obeying God has both temporal and eternal rewards.
   Let us now describe some things I have learned from a lifetime of experience that should be delightfully practical for you.  First, the best apple cider is made when several varieties of apples are combined in the pressing.  True cider apples are nearly impossible to find today.  The cider available today is normally made from the culls of dessert apples and not true cider apples like Golden Russets. To add insult to injury the law now requires most cider to be pasteurized further destroying its flavor.  I saw this coming years ago when I watched dirty apples being unloaded at the cider mill.
    Beginning in 1978 we planted a variety of apple trees with the goal of having the best cider.  We had a good start because there were two mature Golden Delicious trees on the property when we bought it the previous year.  They were the old strain of that apple and they made excellent cider by themselves.  When other varieties were added the best only got better.  We had many loyal customers.  We sold the orchard more than three years ago.  If you have your own apples or can pick them somewhere you can schedule a pressing at Mowry's cider mill in Loudonville.
   We learned after many years experience to immerse our apples in bleach water before taking them to the mill.   Add at least a cup of bleach to a large tub of water and set each bushel of apples in it the day before you go to the mill.  This will make your cider, for all practical purposes, as safe as pasteurized and it will keep fresh much, much longer.  To clean milk jugs to be used for cider you have to stuff your dish cloth inside the jug with some hot, soapy water and swish it around vigorously and rinse it thoroughly.  When dry put the cap, after washing it, on tightly.  You cannot simple rinse milk jugs; they will not be clean enough unless you do what we described.  If there is any doubt about the cleanliness of jugs you should rinse them with bleach water.
   Pour a little cider out of the jugs you want to freeze to allow for expansion.  Frozen cider will keep fresh for a long time.
    The very best apple sauce is made as follows:  NEVER peel the apples.  You are throwing away the good pectin in the skin and the vitamins near the skin.  Quarter the apples and cut out the core and any blemishes.  Put a little water - not too little and not too much - into a large pan and bring the quartered apples to a boil.  When they become very soft and mushy, put them through a funnel shaped colander (sometimes spelled 'cullender').  You can probably find one on the internet.  The sauce will pass through the small holes in the colander and the skins will remain inside to be disposed of.  Unless the apples you use are very tart you will not need to add sugar.  If you do, use fructose available at bulk food stores.  With the pectin from the skins, your sauce will have a much nicer texture and flavor.  Add a little cinnamon to taste.  You have just made the very best apple sauce.
    To make the best apple butter begin by making the sauce (see above) the day before.  If you want a good sized batch of apple butter make five gallons of sauce, but any amount will work if done to the following proportions.  Begin  by cleaning the inside of the copper kettle you are using.  Do NOT clean with anything that will leave a toxic residue.  We always cleaned the inside of the copper kettle with a mixture of strong cider vinegar and salt and rinsed thoroughly.  If you made five gallons of sauce put TEN GALLONS of cider in the kettle and boil it down ONE HALF so that about five gallons of concentrated cider remains.  Slowly add the five gallons of sauce.  Stir continually with an apple butter stirrer as it cooks down to the consistency of apple butter.  If you feel you need sweetener use fructose and a little cinnamon.  Can it in sterile jars while piping hot.  Eat it on homemade bread.  Enjoy the good gifts of God.
   If you live in our area we would be please to come by your place and give you pointers on any of the above.