Doc Stewart- a crusty character

In 1997 we were directed to the Ohio Department of Agriculture Food Safety Division to obtain a bottle water license in order to operate the spring. The fella in charge at that time was Doc Stewart, a crusty character. Phone calls to him  to discuss how we were designing the system were always confrontational to say the least. He did not mince words and felt whatever we were building would not be adequate. He thought we just had a pipe sticking out the ground, even though I tried to assure him it wasn’t. Well in May 27, 1998, just before we had everything completed, he scheduled a meeting at the spring to see what we had built thus far. His main mission was to inspect the Steubenville public water treatment plant to resolve problems there, and was including a stop at our spring to save him a trip in the future. It had rained recently and the banks were muddy. At that time we had a wooden bridge over the creek to hold the pipes providing the spring water to the kiosk we used to cross the bridge.  The first thing he wanted to see was the source of the spring so across the bridge we went to the Big Rock to show him how we protected the spring. Since we didn’t have steps up the bank yet, it was quite a sight with he and his inspector trying to make it up the muddy bank. They finally made it, with a little mud on there pants. He looked at what we had and said nothing. Back to the water kiosk we went so he could look at the equipment we had installed thus far. Keep in mind it wasn’t all completed yet. He asked a few questions about the design looked at the inspector and said “Give them their license” and turned to us and smiled and said we had done good and commented how pretty the setting was. He was tough, but fair, and I came to the conclusion that his gruffness was the way of getting rid of those who were not really serious.  I talked to him by phone a few times afterwards.  He died a few years later. Thats when our problems with the government began.  He  appeared to like us and what we had done and was all for promoting new businesses in Ohio. Once he died his successor apparently felt otherwise. It was a honor to know him. By the way, the day we received the license was Tony G or Czekaj’s birthday.