A Teacher's Story
By Jim Rowlands Nov. 20, 2019
A Helping Hand
I was going from job interview to job interview but without any firm offers. I thought my teaching resume was quite strong: two years of teaching high school American History, high school football coach, head baseball coach, intramural director, and chess club advisor. A few schools showed interest in hiring me and even took me on a tour of their school complex, but I still had no contract offers. Then out of the blue I got a call to interview at a local Catholic elementary school only a few miles from my house.
I asked the principal how he got my name and he explained one of the principals I had interviewed with, had strongly recommended me. Strange world, they were old college friends and my name came up during their weekly golf outing.
Eagerly I agreed to meet for the interview the following morning. I awoke with a feeling this interview would lead to a teaching contract. My wife laid out my best outfit including a new tie she brought for the interview. After my good luck kiss, I was off to hopefully impress my new boss. I had no problem locating the school. It was right across the street from the best donut shop in Ohio - maybe the nation. As I was about to enter the building; I heard a voice call out "hey young man can you give me a hand?" I glimpsed around to see the voice belonged to an elderly gentleman, who I assumed, was the school's gardener/custodian. He was trying to plant a tree in front of the school but, was struggling to wrestle it into the hole. I didn't know what to do – help him and get all dirty or just ignore him. Luckily as you will find out, I chose to help him. I took off my suit coat, loosened my new tie, and we both began to roll, push, and drag this rather large tree to it's final resting place. When finished, we both sighed a big sigh, and wiped our foreheads; after which, the elderly gentleman confessed "I think the next time I'll get a smaller tree." We both laughed and as he shook my hand he said "thanks young man for lending me a helping hand."
After brushing off as much dirt as I could, I entered the school and to my good fortune, I spied a restroom, offering me a chance to clean up and make myself as presentable as possible. But just my luck, it was marked "Sorry Out of Order!"
So with much trepidation, I made my way to the principal office; knocked on his door; and was invited in for my interview. As I introduced myself I held out my hand, which as you can imagine, was still quite dirty. After shaking hands, the principal gave me a quick once over before asking me to sit down. Right then and there I knew I didn't have much hope of getting this teaching job,- not the way I looked!
Surprisingly the interview went very well, and as our conversation was wrapping up; in walks, without an excuse me, or sorry to interrupt, was the elderly gentleman I had helped with the tree. He told the principal "hire him he'll be a good teacher for our children." The principal stood and said "Yes Father!" As it turns out the old gentleman was the church's pastor and resident gardener. The principal said "Jim, you're hired!" And that's how I got my job which I would hold for 39 years.
"God works in mysterious ways"
Once or twice each year the pastor would weave our chance encounter into one of his homilies (sermons) "on lending a helping hand to those in need." He never used our names but he would always look over at me and smile.
The Lost Purse!
By Jim Rowlands
August 22, 2019
Most kids my age (12) had paper routes but not me! Call me weird, but, I had a regular trash route. Each trash day,- weather permitting,- I would jump on my trusty Schwinn bike and cruse the neighborhood checking out each trash can to see if there was something interesting to be had.
My usual route took me up and down alleyway after alley looking for "cool stuff." And yes, I found a treasure trove of "neat things," from antique jewelry/watches, vintage toys and tools; to an ornate box filled with very old U.S. coins, (which I still have today). Every few weeks or so, I would take my "treasures" as I called them, to a local antique shop; where on a good day, the owner would give me two or three bucks for my cache of goodies. But one chance discovery would change my life for the better.
Early one summer day, after taking out our trash cans, I was off for a day of "trash picking" (my Mom's term.) I had only gone a short distance when something cool caught my eye. Sticking out of a trash can was an old baseball glove. It peeked my interest because it looked just like my Dad's.
After pulling the glove from the trash can, I spied an old purse. Immediately I dropped the glove, and eagerly began examining my new discovery. At first glance, the purse contained just a few old photos of two soldiers. Being a history buff, I straight away recognized the pictures were of two Marines- one from "The Great War" and the other from World War Two. But as I glimpsed deeper into the purse, I found a grocery list and a few dollars. That's when my Boy Scout Oath kicked in, reminding me to do "my duty" and return the purse. This was not going to be as easy as it sounds, because the owner (an elderly lady) and I had a history of minor run-ins over the years.
Let me provide you, my reader, a little background. Every few days, a gang of us neighborhood kids would get together for a game of football and unfortunately our playing field was the side street next to her house. Like radar when the game began, her screen door would fly open and she would make her way to an old wicker chair. Her back porch made an ideal perch to oversee and if need be, safeguard her precious flowers from potential trouble. Our football must have been partial to flowers because every few minutes that football would take a crazy bounce and land smack-dab in the middle of one of her flower beds. What ensued next was a furious race to see who would get to the football! Thank goodness her porch had three steps, because by the time she negotiated the final step and had reached the ground, one of us kids (usually me because it was my football) had snatched-up the prize and made a hurried dash back to the safety of the street. After some cheering and a few slaps on the back the game would resume.
She on the other hand was yelling at us to "keep out of her garden or she would call our parents!" Lucky for us she never did. Well, now you understand my dilemma.
Gathering my courage, I knocked on my elderly neighbor's door. When the door opened she had a very puzzled expression on her face. I immediately held out her old beat-up purse; explaining I had found it in her trash. "Oh my, I've had been looking for my purse all morning" she said. With a big smile, she thanked me, and to my surprise invited me in for some milk and cookies. While munching on the cookies, I looked up and there on her wall hung a number of display cases filled with military metals and photographs.
She noticed I was looking at the display cases and began to tell me, with great pride, that both her husband and son earned these military awards and the photos I had found in her purse were of her husband and son. I could now see why the photographs were so important to her. Looking at all their awards, I said "Wow they both must have been very brave to receive all those medals." She merely nodded and then asked "if I would like to see their wartime scrapbooks." I replied "yes" and found the scrapbooks filled with other interesting photos and citations that chronicled their military service. After closing the last scrapbook, she reached into her purse and pulled out a dollar and said "please take this", but I politically turned it down.
As I got up to go - she added "one day I will beat you to that football." We both laughed and I said "we would be more careful while playing in the street."
But the story doesn't end here. I began to visit her once a week to see if she needed any chores or errands done. She always had something that needed to be done from gardening, to cutting her grass. But mostly, we just sat on her front porch and talked. We chatted about anything and everything. But her favorite topic was the Cincinnati Reds and baseball in general. My Dad had told me, "her husband had once been outstanding baseball player before World War One; adding he was wounded during the war and was never able to play ball again." Dad also told me her husband had died a few years back, and she had him buried overlooking the VA's baseball field." I thought how fitting! Now I understood why she loved the game of baseball.
Over the next few years I got to know her quite well. She told me stories about living through Dayton's Great Flood of 1913, her husband's baseball career, to a chance meeting with Orville Wright.
One day, as we talked she took me by surprise when she thanked me for playing catch with her husband while he was a patient at the Dayton VA. She explained "those shared moments with him made his stay a little easier." I was puzzled for a moment, but, remembered my Dad would schedule three or four baseball games each year at the Dayton VA. As his batboy, when the game ended, I would gather up all the equipment, while my Dad and a few of the ballplayers would stay and chat with some of the patients. On one occasion after everything was packed up, I noticed one veteran with a ball grove sitting in the stands; and since I had time to spare, I asked "if he wanted to toss a ball around." He said "sure he would love too." We would play catch until it was time for me to leave. I remembered tossing the baseball with this same patient after each game. I asked "that was your husband?" and she answered "yes."
With summer vacation over, my life was now filled with going to school all day followed by two hours of football practice. One day coming home from football practice, I saw my neighbor sitting on her front porch, lemonade in hand. She called to me to come over and have a glass.
As she handed me my lemonade, she asked how things were going? I told her about the trials and tribulations of being a high school freshman, adding that I had made many new friends at Colonel White. With a mischievous smile she said "are any of those new friends' girls?" I just laughed and quickly changed the subject.
Over the next year or so, when I saw her on the front porch, I would stop to see how she was doing and ask if she needed anything done. After reeling off a list of chores; she would always ask how I was doing in school, and at times she would insert some much needed encouragement or advice.
One day my mom told me my elderly friend was not doing very well and maybe I should visit her to cheer her up. I, however, found her in good spirits and full of questions. We talked for a while and after a few minutes of getting her up to speed on all the things that had happen to me since we last talked, I proudly announced, "I have a girlfriend." She just chuckled and said "about time!"
She then sadly announced "within a few weeks she would be moving to another city to live with her son and his family." Not knowing if I would see her again, I took the opportunity to thank her for everything she had done for me, and how much she had taught me about life. She just smiled and said "enough of that."
What happened next took me by surprise; she asked me to get her husband's military display case from the wall. After I handed it to her she opened the case and pulled out his "Good Conduct Medal saying "give me your hand."
As I reached out, she tenderly pressed the medal into my hand and gently closed my fingers around it. She explained "I want you to have this for all that you have done for me and my husband." Before I could say another word, she told me "now go run along" and with her most mischievous smile said "I'm sure your special friend is waiting to hear from you."
I will always be grateful for having the opportunity to be part of her life. Even after these many years, she still holds a special place in my heart.
Pull Over Kid
By Jim Rowlands
April 9, 2019
I was only nine years old when I heard "pull over kid." That's right, I was asked to pull over by a policeman in a cruiser. No, I didn't steal my Dad's car, if that's what you are thinking. My odyssey began a few weeks earlier, when my oldest brother, Bob, came into possession of four soap box wheels with axles. Enlisting the help of my middle brother, Jack, they began scrounging up all the necessary parts to build their own soapbox racer: Boy's Life, (it had the blue prints), paint, wood, wire and an old steering wheel plus other assorted parts. Sometime during construction they realized their creation was not working out as they had planned. That's where I came into the equation. I was chosen to be their driver (later I realized I was more like their test dummy.) A course it didn't take much persuasion on their part. I was more than eager to pilot their contraption.
The day finally arrived for my maiden trip down the steep alley near our house. To make the car faster, my brothers found an old clothes line pole that would be used to give me a big running push. As I got into the car, Bob offered me his old football helmet, adding "just to be on the safe side if something should happen."
With pole in hand, I was launched down the alley at a breakneck speed. All was going as planned until I got near the curve at the end of the alley and suddenly it dawned on me, - I was going too fast to make the curve successfully and to top it off, I had no way of stopping. In all of my brother's wisdom, they had forgotten to install BRAKES! Having no way out of my fast approaching predicament, I hit a rock that catapulted the front part of the car right through the middle of a split-rail fence.
And as for me - I was lucky the steering wheel had stopped me from striking the fence. My brothers raced down the alley to happily find both the car and their little brother no worse for wear. Then Jack offered up a bit of wisdom saying "maybe we should have had brakes." "Now he thinks of it."
After a few more successful trial runs down the alley, - this time with a hand brake, - my brothers concocted a new soapbox challenge. They envisioned my racing career taking on a steeper hill. The only problem: - the hill was a long winding street located a few blocks from our house. It sounded like a cool idea to me. What could possible go wrong?
After tinkering with the car, my pit crew (my brothers and now Ron one of their friends) tied a rope to the front of the soapbox car and began hauling it to the crest of the hill. Ron, our newest crew member, was to be stationed at a stop sign to signal me if it was all-clear to run it.
Arriving at the top, they hurriedly gave the car a final inspection; after which, Bob handed me my trusty helmet, which I had painted a fancy bright red. This time they didn't need to give me much of a send off (push). The hill would get me up to speed quiet quickly. All was going as planned. As I was blazing down the street, Ron flashed the go-ahead signal, and I blew right through the stop sign. No problems so far, I was having a blast. But my luck ran out when I heard a loud siren followed by a shout of "Hey Kid Pull Over!"
It had to be the police - and it was! Again I heard "Pull Over!" What did he think I was driving, a car? I tried my handbrake but, like in a Wile E. Coyote cartoon, it broke and I was left holding the lever in my hand. I had no choice but to let gravity run its course. Eventually I slowed to a stop.
The officer got out of his cruiser and yelled "Hey kid why didn't you pull over?" That's when I showed him what was left of my handbrake.
To my surprise, he just laughed and told me when he was my age he had built a soapbox car himself. The officer then gruffly added "I should run you in." He began giving me a stern lecture, but, seeing tears welling up in my eyes; he took pity on me and said "I'll just give you a warning this time" followed by "I better never catch you doing this again." I said "I won't officer and thank you." The drama mercifully ended when his car radio sent him somewhere else. As he drove off, I looked for my brothers who had vanished without a trace. Imagine that?
After getting home, my pit crew was sitting on the front porch just howling with laughter. They composed themselves long enough to innocently yell, "Hey little brother, what happened to you?" I didn't answer as they knew darn well what had happened. I just ignored them. But, as I was hauling the racer to the back yard; I heard, "hey did the cop give you a ticket"- followed by more laughter?! I wish I had a great come-back, but, I just said "no, he just gave me a warning and by the way thanks for helping me bring the car home!" Consequently my soapbox racing odyssey was over. I thought to myself, the next great idea my brother's come up with - I'll just walk away.
Still Kickin' It - Yes We Are!
By Jackie Winkler
May 8, 2018
Over two months have passed already since ten of us Colonel White old gals met for lunch again, and as usual we wished we could work more frequent lunch meetings into our busy, retirement schedules! It seems that when Pam (Jacobson) Driscoll knows that she will be making the trip from her Florida home to the Dayton area, we get motivated to catch-up with each other. I (Jackie) was in Ohio as well, so it was perfect timing - we were disappointed that other gals who were invited were unable to join us.
Back row, left to right: Jackie Winkler (with my eyes closed), Susie Bagwell Harker, Pam Jacobson Driscoll, Sandee Garwood Kline, Kristi Duckwall Andreae;
Front left to right: Diane Krandall Briggs, Lynda Hickerson Hoffman, Jeannine White Cash, Mary Mitrousis Searles, D'Ann Study Runkle.
D'Ann (I've called her DeeDee since 5th grade, and I can?t change now) and I rode together; and as we stood in the parking lot of the THAI 9 restaurant, we worried between us, "What if we don?t recognize anyone!" One by one we began to see those familiar faces as we watched the arrivals look for parking places. Of course, we were all smiles as we greeted each other and began to make our way inside the restaurant. No time passed at all before we resumed our natural long-time connections. We all look mostly the same and totally recognizable, right?
What we need to do the next time we call ourselves together is set a timer that nudges us to move one seat to the left (or right) every 10 minutes. We frustrate ourselves while we try to concentrate on who's on our left or right while also trying with the other ear to catch what's being said in another conversation a few seats away. That gets exhausting! All of that is to say how much we enjoy each other and how interested we are. Our lives are overflowing with stories: hard times, good times, travels far and wide, those with firm Ohio roots, family glitches here and there of all types. I have to say, though, that immeasurable good has been accomplished by the ladies that surrounded our table and beyond in our class.
The young men who staffed our table provided a few chuckles as we watched them try to navigate among us; some of us take a longer time deciding; others of us had to change our minds; and one never did get the meal she ordered! Then check time. A lot of shuffling around the table, all while what we really wanted was to continue hearing about our lives. When it was time for us to break away, we wanted a group photo, of course. Most of us fought for the back row, but you know how that works! Four phones were handed to four of the wait staff when I heard one say, "You know, you could have given us one phone and then sent the pictures to the others!" Duh.
We had hoped to enjoy another luncheon together before the out-of-towners left, but that did not work. I am more and more convinced that our class was unique as I travel around and chit-chat the basics with new friends, only to hear their surprise when I talk about how dear to me are my grade school and high school friends. No, most of us are not in touch often or regularly, but when we reunite, we are familiar. Next time.
It Pays To Be Your-Self!
A 65 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God She asked "Is my time up?"
God said, "No, you have another 33 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."
Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth! Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.
After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance.
Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 33 years? Why didn't you pull me from the path of the Ambulance?"
God replied: "I didn't recognize you!"
Retirement Home High-Jinks!
A man is walking by a retirement home and hears all the residents chanting, "Thirteen! Thirteen! Thirteen!"
Being curious about all this, he finds a hole in the wood fence. When he looks in, someone pokes him in the eyes.
And then all the residents loudly chant "Fourteen! Fourteen! Fourteen!"
Top 15 Senior Texting Codes
(ATD) - At the Doctor's
(BFF) - Best Friend's Funeral
(BTW) - Bring the Wheelchair
(BYOT) - Bring Your Own Teeth
(DWI) - Driving While Incontinent
(FWIW) - Forgot Where I Was
(FYI) - Found Your Insulin
(LOL) - Living on Lipitor
(ROFL) - Rolling on the Floor Laughing...
(TGIF) - Thank Goodness It's Four O'clock - Early Bird Special
(TOT) - Texting on Toilet
(WWNO) - Walker Wheels Need Oil
(WIWYA) - When I was Your Age
(IMHO) - Is My Hearing-Aid On?
(GGPBL) - Got to Go, Pacemaker Battery Low
Hope these help. GGLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In!)
What To Do With Old Goats!
A group of elderly farmers from Ohio were traveling by tour bus through the country side of Holland
As they stopped at a cheese farm, a young guide led them through a process of cheese making, explaining that goat's milk was used not cows.
She then showed the group a lovely hillside where many goats were grazing. These, she explained, were the older goats that were put out to pasture when they no longer produced enough milk.
She then asked, "What do you do with your old goats that aren't producing?"
A spry old gentleman answered, "They send us on bus tours."
Reflections on Aging!
Some people try to turn back their odometers. Not me! I want people to know 'why' I look this way. I've traveled a long way and many of the roads weren't paved.
First you forget names, and then you forget faces. Then you forget to pull up your zipper.
You know you are getting old when your memory's not as sharp as it used to be. Also, my memory's not as sharp as it used to be.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, martini in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
I've sure gotten old! I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded, and subject to blackouts. Have bouts with dementia. Have poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 72 or 62? I have lost most of my friends. But, thank God, I still have my driver's license.
I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising. I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour. But, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over.
An elderly woman decided to prepare her will and told her preacher she had two final requests. First, she wanted to be cremated, and second, she wanted her ashes scattered over Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart?" the preacher exclaimed. "Why there?" Then I'll be sure my daughter visits me twice a week."
As you get older, your secrets are safe with your friends. They can't remember them either.
Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.
THE SENILITY PRAYER
Grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.
A MANS FOUR STAGES OF LIFE
1. You believe in Santa Claus.
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3. You are Santa Claus.
4. You look like Santa Claus
Hey, Wasn't This Us?
A little house with three bedrooms,
One bathroom and one car on the street.
A mower that you had to push
To make the grass look neat.
In the kitchen on the wall
We only had one phone,
And no need for recording things,
Someone was always home.
We only had a living room
where we would congregate,
Unless it was at mealtime
In the dining room where we ate.
We only had one TV set
And channels maybe three,
But always there was one of them
With something worth the view.
For snacks we had potato chips
That tasted like a chip.
And if you wanted flavor
There was Lipton's onion dip.
Store-bought snacks were rare because
Mother?s liked to cook
And nothing can compare to snacks
Made with Mom?s loving care.
Weekends were for family trips
or staying home to play.
We all did things together
Even go to church/temple to pray.
When we did our weekend trips
Depending on the weather,
No one stayed at home because
We liked to be together.
Sometimes we would separate
To do things on our own,
But we knew where the others were
Without our own cell phone.
Then there were the movies
With your favorite movie star,
And nothing can compare
To watching movies in your car.
Then there were the excursions to the local
Soda fountain at the peak of summer season,
Reading comic books, ordering a cherry coke
With never a care in the world.
Get a baseball game together with all the friends
you know, and have real action playing ball or
recall when right after super all of the
Neighborhood kids would gather for a game of
Kick-the-can or Ollie-Ollie-in-come-free
With no one being left out.
Remember going to the five and dime store
And shopping casually,
And when you went to pay for it
You used your own money?
Nothing that for a quarter or so, You
left with a comic a coke and a bag full of candy,
And remember when the cashier person
Had to really count?
The milkman used to go
From door to door,
And it was just a few cents more
Than going to the store.
Recall a time when mailed letters
Came right to your door,
Without a lot of junk mail ads
Sent out by every store.
The mailman knew each house by name
And knew where it was sent; There were not
Loads of mail addressed To "present occupant."
There was a time when just one glance
Was all that it would take,
And you would know the kind of car,
The model and the make.
They didn't look like turtles
Trying to squeeze out every mile;
They were streamlined, white walls, fins
And really had some style.
One time the Rock and Roll music that you played
Whenever you would jive,
Was from a vinyl, big-holed record
Called a forty-five.
The jukebox player had all
The latest records keep all neatly in line
And then the records would drop down
And play one at a time.
Oh sure, we had our problems then,
Just like we do today
And always we were striving,
Trying for a better way.
Oh, the simple life we lived
Still seems like so much fun,
How can you explain a game,
Just kick the can and run?
And why would boys put baseball cards
Between bicycle spokes
An d for 10 cents, red machines
Had little bottled Cokes?
As our youth faded into adolescents we came to
Colonel White from different
Grade schools, But four years of shared
Experiences would unite us all as one,
An then in 1964 our graduation sent us on
Wondrous journeys full of Adventures,
Accomplishments, and Obstacles,
But sealed in our hearts were lasting friendship
And memories that would never go away.
This life seemed so much easier
And slower in some ways.
I love the new technology
But I sure do miss those days.
So time moves on and so do we
And nothing stays the same,
But I sure love to reminisce
And walk down memory lane!
Elderly Man Thinks Fast
An elderly farmer in Ohio had a large pond down by his fruit orchard. One evening he decided to go down to the pond and took a large bushel basket to pick some fruit.
As he neared the pond, he heard female voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw a bunch of young women skinny-dipping in the pond. He made the women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end. One of the women shouted to him, 'We're not coming out until you leave!'
The old man thought for a second and said, 'I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim or to make you get out of the pond naked.'
Holding the bucket up he said, 'I'm here to feed the alligator!'
Moral: Old men can still think fast.
This Senior Citizen Has A "Senior Moment" And Comes To A Hilarious Realization
Every now and again someone puts into words what so many people are feeling! Read this amazing saga and see if you can relate. I know I can...
Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. -
Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder.
This is how it manifests:
I decide to water my garden.
As I turn on the hose in the driveway,
I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.
As I start toward the garage,
I notice mail on the porch table that
I brought up from the mail box earlier.
I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.
I lay my car keys on the table,
put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table,
and notice that the can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills
back on the table and take out the garbage first.
But then I think,
since I'm going to be near the mailbox
when I take out the garbage anyway,
I may as well pay the bills first.
I take my check book off the table,
and see that there is only one check left.
My extra checks are in my desk in the study,
so I go inside the house to my desk where
I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.
I'm going to look for my checks,
but first I need to push the Coke aside
so that I don't accidentally knock it over.
The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to
put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.
As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke,
a vase of flowers on the counter
catches my eye - they need water.
I put the Coke on the counter and
discover my reading glasses that
I've been searching for all morning.
I decide I better put them back on my desk,
but first I'm going to water the flowers.
I set the glasses back down on the counter,
fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table.
I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV,
I'll be looking for the remote,
but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table,
so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs,
but first I'll water the flowers.
I pour some water in the flowers,
but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.
So, I set the remote back on the table,
get some towels and wipe up the spill.
Then, I head down the hall trying to
remember what I was planning to do.
At the end of the day: the car isn't washed
the bills aren't paid there is a warm can of
Coke sitting on the counter
the flowers don't have enough water,
there is still only 1 check in my check book,
I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses,
and I don't remember what I did with the car keys.
Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today,
I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all the damn day,
and I'm really tired.
I realize I have a serious problem, and I'll
try to get some help for it, but first
I'll check my e-mail... Now where did I leave my laptop?
Don't laugh - if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!
The other day my wife and I were watching the old Andy Griffith show with Andy, Aunt Bee, Barney, Otis (my favorite character)and little Opie; when I kept hearing expressions my parents used to say to me and my brothers while we were growing up in the 50's and 60's.
I sometime catch myself saying these same expression to my grandchildren who sometimes have no idea what I mean. So I decided to write down some of these wise old sayings and share them with you. I hope this will bring back some fond memories of when you were growing up?
1) I love you no matter what!
2) When you get to be my age, you will understand!
3) I can always tell when you're lying to me!
4) I know you tried your best. That's all that matters!
5) Because I said so! That's why!
6) No! And that's final!
7) Am I talking to a brick wall?
8) Don't you have anything better to do?
9) Do you thing I'm made of money?
10) I knew you could do it if you just tried a little harder!
11) You're acting like a bunch of wild Indians!
12) Fill the ice trays when they are empty!
13) Life isn't fair!
14) Children are to be seen- not heard!
15) Cut the grass. / Take out the trash./ Shovel the walks! Â
16) Do you have any homework tonight?
17) Is your homework finished?
18) To the barber: Just give him a flat top!
19) Do you think money grows on trees?
20) It's raining out; wear your galoshes (rubbers)!
21) Don't' slam the screen door when you leave!
22) Don't sit so close to the TV; it's hard on your eyes!
23) Go comb your hair; it looks like a rat's nest.
24) Take the empty bottles back to get the deposit.
25) I will wash your mouth out with soap.
26) Is that what really happened?
27) Stop crying or I will give you something to cry about!
28) Just wait until you have children! I hope they act just like you!
29) Finish your supper! There are kids in China that are starving!
30) If Johnny jumped off a cliff would you?
31) Wash behind your ears!
32) You're going to get it when we get home!
33) School is starting, so it's time to get you some new Buster Brown shoes!
34) As long as you live in my house you will do as you are told!
35) Close the door you don't live in a barn!
36) Answer me when I ask you a question!
37) Don't talk with your mouth full!
38) If it was a snake, it would have bitten you!
39) Don't walk away when I'm talking to you!Â
40) Eat your vegetables, they're good for you!
41) I don't know, is NOT an answer!
42) Go straight to bed after supper!
43) Go ask your Father / Go ask your Mother!
44) If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all!
45) If you don't clean your plate, you won't get any dessert!
46) Change into your play clothes before going outside!
47) I don't care who started it. I said stop!
48) Get dressed you're going to be late for school/church!!
49) I'll treat you like an adult when you start acting like one!
50) If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play outside!
51) I'm doing this for your own good!Â
52) I'm going to skin you alive!Â
53) I'm going to give you until the count of three...
54) I'm not always going to be around to do these things for you!
55) I'm not your maid!
56) If I've told you once I've told you a thousand times!
57) It's no use crying over spilt milk!
58) I've had it up to here with you!
59) Leave your sister (brother) alone!
60) Don't use that tone with me!
61) Look at this room! It looks like a pig sty!
62) Don't cross your eyes, they will get stuck!
63) Nobody asked you!
64) Over my dead body!
65) Pick that up before somebody trips on it and breaks their neck!
66) Running away? I'll help you pack!
67) Shut the door! I'm not heating the entire neighborhood!
68) There's enough dirt in those ears to grow potatoes!
69) What part of NO don't you understand?Â
70) Who said life was going to be easy?
71) Why? Because I said so, that's why!
72) You are getting on my last nerve!
73) Who do you think you are?
74) When is the last time you took a bath?
75) You have an answer for everything, don't you?
76) Always wear clean underwear in case you get in an accident!
77) You must think rules are made to be broken!
78) You won't be happy until you break that, will you?
79) You'll understand when you're older!Â
80) You call this room clean?
81) You're the oldest. You should know better!
82) Are you deaf or something?
83) Beds are NOT made for jumping on!
84) Go outside and play!
85) You had better wipe that smile off your face before I do it for you!
Our 1964 Colonel White Generation born, in the 1940's have lived in:
Without a doubt we had the best music:
Rock and Roll!
The Craziest Dances:
Jitterbug, Stroll, Shimmy, Watusi, Hand jive, Pony, Jerk, Twist, Monkey, Swim, Skate, Locomotion, South Street, Mashed Potato, Hitchhiker
The Fastest Cars:
Dodge Charger, Pontiac GTO, Ford Mustang, Shelby Cobra, 57 Chevy Bel Air, Ford Thunderbird, Chevy Corvette, Pontiac Trans-Am, Chevy Camaro, Plymouth Barracuda, and the classic Hot Rods!
The Coolest Drive-In Theaters:
Dixie, Salem, Belmont, North Star, Southland 75 and Millers Grove!
The Neatest Drive-In Restaurants:
Parkmoor, Frisch's, Hasty Tasty, Burger Chef, Red Barn and the Country Kitchen!
And by today's standards we're not even considered old!
We're just cool!
Keep it real!
During our life time, we have born witness to and experienced so many historic events and technological changes that, taken in total, stagger the mind. As our generation came of age, we were exposed to many fundamental changes that would transform our lives, and alter the world we know. As Bob Dylan would sing "The Times They Are A - Changin;" but, we can testify not always for the better. We, the Baby Boomers, would be the last generation in many ways to experience an age of apparent innocence; thus making the saying "the good old days" a time many of us look back on with fond memories.
Let us consider some of the major changes we have lived through. First of all most of the Colonel White High School Class of 1964 has the distinction of being labeled "Baby Boomers" (1946-1952). That said, our lives began before Color Television, Diet Soda, before Polio Shots, TV Dinners, XEROX, the Internet, Contact Lenses, Frisbees and the PILL. We came into the world prior to Car Stereos, Credit Cards, Satellites, Laser Beams and before Pantyhose, Dishwashers, Microwave Ovens, Electric Blankets, Home Air Conditioning, Miniskirts - and before Man walked on the moon.
After high school we got married first and then lived together, a quaint notion by today's standards. In our youth, closets were for clothes, not for "coming out of." Bunnies were small rabbits not a white tailed Playboy Centerfold. The Beatles were bugs you tormented girls with, and when Mom or Dad said "because," you did what they said. We were before Pocket Calculators, Home-Schooling, Computer Dating; Cell phones, Hair Spray and Video games. We did chores like cutting grass without a power mower and raking leaves without a leaf blower. How did we ever survive to adulthood?
We played outside all day- only coming home to do chores and eat supper. Our childhood was spent playing all sorts of sports:
baseball, basketball, football, tennis, and track. Passing the remainder of our spare time, we engaged in spirited contests of Marbles, Kick- the- Can, Hide and Go Seek, Hopscotch and Capture- the-Flag.
Today our grandchildren never leave their house except for school and being driven to a practice or a game. Going to and from their activities, they engage in texting their friends or listening to "god awful music." Arriving home, they resume sitting in front of the TV; playing video games; or rush off to their rooms to see what has been written on Facebook.
We were before Day-Care Centers, Group Therapy and Shopping Malls. We never heard of the Sexual Revolution, FM Radio, VCR's, DW-40; Heavy Metal bands, Yogurt, or Backpacks. Guys did not wear earrings unless you count pirates. For us, dinner meant family togetherness made lovingly by Mom, where we ate what was served or else. We did not go to McDonald's for a Happy Meal or order a Pizza from Domino's. We were deprived for quite some time from ordering a $4.00 Star Bucks' Latte or Frappuccino.
DNA was yet to be discovered (1953), Jonas Salk's Polio Vaccine was waiting for our little arms (1954), Hardware meant hardware, and Software wasn't even a word, in the 1950's, "Made in Japan" meant JUNK and the term "Making Out" referred to how you did on your exams;- but not all of time.
We Hit the Scene when we went downtown to Woolworth's 5 and 10 cent store, or when we visited Rike's Christmas window displays. Soda jerks were cool because they made you sundaes, banana splits, floats, and cherry cokes, all for a nickel or a dime. Also for a nickel you could ride a bus, make a phone call, buy a Pepsi and for another nickel buy a hotdog. When you were sent to the local grocery store, with 20 cents you could purchase a loaf of bread a big hunk of bologna and round it out with a Baby Ruth candy bar. For a nickel you could head out to buy a whole bag of penny candy and have plenty to share with your BFF. Which reminds me, another thing we did not have was" Initial Speak." (I coined that phrase?)
A family vacation to Disneyland was only a dream being born in Uncle Walt's mind. You could buy a new Chevy Coupe for $600; but who could afford one?! A pity too, because gas was 11 cents a gallon!
In our day, cigarette smoking was fashionable, GRASS was mowed, COKE was a cold drink, POT was something you cooked in and Rock and Roll Music was just becoming popular by1954. We were before the Sexual Revolution;-( but certainly not before we realized the difference between the sexes.) Hugh Hefner's Playboy magazine helped the male youth see and appreciate the wonderful differences.
How simple our lives were before numerous forms of social media defined our daily existence. Today we have Facebook, Blogs, You Tube, Twitter, Instagram, Texting, and a myriad of other formats. I always chuckle at the word "Tweet" because my mind associates that word with Sylvester the Cat and his never ending attempt to catch his nemeses "Tweety Bird." Instead of the Star Wars movies to entertain us we made do with Superman and Batman comic books.
How did we survive without Cable TV, Home computers, Spell check, Cell phones, I-pads, and most importantly our numerous Remote controls? We made do by watching three channels, using a dictionary, talking to people on the phone or in person without a smart device attached to our face.
Today, we see the future unfolding as a collage of challenges that engulf our daily lives. No wonder at times our generation collectively shakes its head in utter amazement at all the event s we experienced. But somehow we survived! But what daunting tests await us? Only time will tell...
As our generation fades into history, a fitting epitaph would be:
Top Ten Reasons To Have Total Knee Replacement Surgery!
- You will stop having pain in your knee!
- You can now play with your grandchildren!
- You get to have a handicap sticker!
- You'll share hilarious antidotes with all your friends!
- Your surgery wasn't as bad as you expected!!
- You get waited on by your loving spouse!
- You get all your meals in bed for a few weeks!
- You're children and grandchild will visit you more!
- Your grandchildren will imitate your funny walk!
- You'll get your life back after about seven months!
At the Colonel White High School Class of 1964's 50th Reunion celebration I was forced to use a cane to get around because of the pain and stiffness in my knees. As I socialized those two nights, people naturally asked if I was going to have knee replacement surgery. I told people I was only a few weeks off from undergoing a total knee replacement; explaining I had put off surgery for far too long limiting my quality of life. During both Friday and Saturday nights, I discovered that a number of my alumni friends had already gone through the procedure or were thinking about having it done. A few alumni suggested I write an article for the CWHS 1964 website about my up-coming surgery and recovery. So for those of you that are debating a knee replacement procedure, I dedicate the following account of my surgical odyssey in hopes it will give you some insight into the total procedure.
I knew it was time to schedule my surgery when my cortisone shots only lasted a few weeks and not the three or four months they were intended too. With the return of the pain and stiffness, my mobility became severely limited. For the most part I was house-bound and when I did go anywhere, I was relegated to using a cane, signaling it was time to have my knee replaced.
I don't know how many times I picked up the phone to schedule my surgery and then quickly lost my nerve and hung up. One morning I didn't hang up and I scheduled my surgery for Aug. 19th 2014. I could have had it done earlier but; I didn't want to miss the 50th reunion celebration after all the hard work I had put into it.
After months of waiting, Aug. 19th finally arrived and I was on my way to Miami Valley South hospital. I had already completed all of my pre-admittance forms, x-rays, an educational class, and a physical, so there was very little to do when I got to the hospital, except wait to hear my name called. To my surprise, I was able to hold my anxiety in check and found myself quite relieved that the waiting was finally over. I thought in a few hours, my surgery would be history.
The next chapter in my journey would be my stay in the hospital. Keep in mind I had never been a hospital patient, so this aspect of my surgical trek would all be new to me. After my procedure, the Doctor told my wife that the surgery was successful and I would be in recovery for a few hours before I would be taken to my room. Once I got to my room my wife said the Doctor came in to check on me, followed by a series of other medical staff. Since I had only a few recollections of that morning, my wife later filled me in on all that transpired before I came to.
As I finally awoke, I surveyed my room and was happy to see my wife at my bedside making sure everything was in order. She should know because she had one of her knees replaced. Unfortunately, she had to have a revision done on the same knee. The first thing I truly remember was asking Marsha if I had missed lunch. My wife and the attending nurse both laughed. The nurse said "no and she would bring me a menu and I could order anything I wanted."
My stay was filled with nurses almost hourly checking my vital signs, followed by a series of nurses asking me my name and birth date before giving me my medications. This routine was performed around the clock. My physical therapy came on the second day in the hospital. I was asked to walk down the hall with the aid of a walker, to the therapy room where they taught me how to go up and down stairs. Since adding a stair lift to my home, I only needed to demonstrate I could climb two steps to reach the stair lift, which I did. When I got back to my room, the discharge nurse (they have a nurse for everything) was processing my paperwork so I could leave that day. After a few hours wait, I was wheeled down the hall and out the door to meet my wife, as she was now my official chauffeur for the next six weeks.
A short drive later we arrived home and my wife quickly ushered me into our house. Once inside I traversed the two steps as I had been taught and was now slowly being transported up the stairs on our very expensive stair lift. With a sigh of relief, I tucked myself into bed and said a small prayer of thanks for helping me do the unthinkable. My first ordeal was now history and the second act was about to begin - my recovery coupled with rehab.
My first few weeks at home were very hard on me, not because of any pain but, because I was unable to find a comfortable position to sleep. If I got a few broken hours of sleep at night, I called that a blessing. My wife was up almost hourly, both day and night for the next week or so tending to my every need. She helped me to the bathroom, administered my medications, refilled my ice machine, and brought me my breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed. I know our love was strengthened by this experience. She lovingly reminded me I had done the same thing for her- but twice.
My in-home convalescence began with an evaluation to determine the length and type of home therapy I would require. I was scheduled for therapy three times a week and in addition a home-care nurse would regularly look in on me.
The home-care nurse was very friendly and answered all of my questions. She took my vital signs, checked my knee to see that it was healing properly and showed my wife and I how to change the dressing. After two weeks she removed my surgical staples - mind you, with out causing me any discomfort.
My home-therapist put me through a number of strengthening exercises plus she taught me how to walk properly using a cane. After five weeks I was evaluated and found ready for out-patient physical therapy. I went to out-patient therapy for four weeks. Twice a week my therapist put me through a variety of exercises from riding a stationary bike to climbing stairs. He also gave me exercises to do each day while at home. I became strong enough to walk without using a cane but I still used it to go up and down steps.
My overall progress was somewhat hindered because my cortisone shot in my other knee was slowly losing its effectiveness. My doctor had told me that I would need to have the same surgery performed on that knee. I am now scheduled for my second replacement surgery this March.
As of today I am back using a cane to lessen the discomfort associated with my left knee. It is my goal within six months of my second surgery to be able to walk without the aid of a cane and be free for the first time in twelve years of severe joint pain. Last week one of my grandkids who delighted in imitating my "penguin-like" walk, told me "grandpa you're walking pretty good now. Now you can come to all of my soccer games."
But before I can go to all of my grandkids various games and dance recitals, I'll need to go through the entire process one more time. However this time I'll know what to expect and be able to hopefully recover in a shorter period of time.
Well, the second total knee replacement is now history. Unlike the first, I remember every detail of my hospital experience. After a day in the hospital, I was sent home to begin my recovery process. It's been fourteen days since my surgery and in many ways I am progressing at a much faster pace. The one and very painful difference is severe pain in my upper thigh area above the incision. The pain does not last long but it is very intense. Today my nurse just took out my staples that bond the incision together and I am now ready for my first shower. Sponge baths are now a thing of the past!
My home therapist is putting me through a very rigorous series of exercises from walking a few blocks to having me on my peddler for 15 minutes. I have now graduated to out-patient physical therapy at Miami Valley South Hospital,- the same place I had my first therapy workouts. Because my goal is to have my knee flex to at least 120 degrees and my knee extension to zero that's what my therapist works on during my sessions. I had no problem with my knee flexibility after my first surgery. I got to 120 degrees before I even went to out patient therapy but, this is not the case this go-around. My knee is still swollen and quite stiff and that has limited my flexibility. After much pain and repetitive stretching exercises, I am up to 120 degrees. It has been a long and arduous process but, I have reach to my goal. I still have one more week of out-patient physical therapy. Note,- the pain I had experienced in my upper thigh, is now gone and probably was caused by the "T.E.D. Hose" I was required to wear for so long to insure against blood clots.
I have been walking more and more without the use of my cane and I hope to be free from using a cane for the most part by the first week of June. My grandchildren won't like that because stealing grandpa's cane has become a cool game to play. I make a big fuss over who could have taken grandpa's cane. Everybody gets a big laugh but, right on cue, my cane miraculously appears with no guilty party confessing to the deed. I will miss this game too.
I hope this article will help anybody that is contemplating knee replacement surgery.
"A Christmas Remembered 1965"
The house is now quiet. Christmas dinner has been enjoyed. Presents have been unwrapped and the screams and laughter of the grandchildren have faded away. The Christmas celebration comes to an end. Each grandchild, - parent's in-hand, - embraces grandma and grandpa while bidding us a goodnight. Grandparents can attest that a grandchild's hug makes all of the holiday effort worthwhile.
The last goodnights having been said, emptiness gently falls on the Rowlands' house. Even the allure of the Christmas tree which once bedazzled the grandchildren with all its sparking lights and beautiful decorations and its horde of presents; now stands mute. Its Christmas enchantment now lost; it signals another Christmas has come and gone. My wonderful wife, exhausted, and rightly so, tromps slowly off to bed to sleep the sleep of a mother, a wife, and a grandmother. Sleep tight my love, you deserve it after all your tree trimming, shopping, wrapping, cooking, and cleaning up. She has once again made our family Christmas ever so magical for each one of us.
I take a quiet moment to sit by the Christmas tree, ablaze with dazzling lights and ornaments reflecting our family history. I glance fondly from ornament to ornament. Each triggers memories of Christmas's long-passed. There are decorations that Marsha and I enjoyed when we were growing up those many childhood years ago. My mother's hand-made decorations still bring delight to my heart each time I place them on the tree. Scattered throughout the branches, are ornaments that commemorate first Christmas's of our two children and now our five grandchildren. Our Christmas tree has become a fountain of memories that reminds me of all that is good about the most wonderful holiday of all.
It is now my turn to head off to bed; but the excitement of the evening has left me unable to sleep. I slowly and quietly make my way to my den and before I can turn on the computer, my eyes glance up to see an old holiday picture of my father, mother and my two brothers gathered around the family Christmas tree. Smiling, my mind drifts back to the wonderful Christmas's we all shared together. I remembered my aunts and uncles, the mountains of toys, the laughter; the food and of course the infamous poker games that always brought such merriment to this most wonderful day of the year.
Looking deeper into the photograph, my mother's "Mona Lisa" smile reminds me of what turned out to be the Greatest Christmas Gift that I would ever receive. It was Christmas Eve 1965, and I felt no present or holiday cheer could brighten my spirit that year. The Grinch must have been working overtime because after he left "Whoville," he visited my house.
My future did not look very promising at this point in my life. I had just broken up with my girlfriend, and a few days later I received a letter placing me on academic suspension from Wright State University. Weighing heavily on my now over-burdened shoulders; was the shame of failing once again. This all seemed like a self-fulfilling prophecy that had foreshadowed me throughout all my school days. I kept the grim news to myself, knowing my friends and family would find out soon enough.
As the family gathered to celebrate Christmas that year, my mother must have sensed the sadness in her always happy-go-lucky son. When there was a lull in the festivities, mom took me aside and asked "if there was anything bothering me."
I sheepishly smiled and said nothing was wrong. She knew better than to let my answer slide, so she asked once again. This time I confessed what had been troubling me. My mother gently took my hands and said, "Jimmy you're a good kid, with a kind heart." She reassured me that she and Dad were very proud of me no matter what and said things would work out for the best. Trying to boost my confidence, Mom's loving voice then added, that I could accomplish whatever I set my mind to do, if only I would believe in myself and never give up.
What else is a Mother to say...?
I thanked her for caring and with my burden now revealed, I began feeling a bit better. For the briefest time, I forgot about my worries and joined the family in celebrating Christmas (I even won a few bucks playing poker.)
A few days after our holiday get-together, I decided to go out to Wright State and get a re-admittance form. To this day I am not sure what really motivated me to re-apply. However, as I reflect back on that Christmas Eve of 1965 I now think it was a combination of my mother's little pep talk; and me not wanting to disappoint my parents who believed in me.
With my brother, Bob's help, I filled out the form and added the required essay explaining why I should be given a second chance to attend Wright State. My brother even suggested a few other attributes to include in my essay; things I had failed to see in myself.
Each Christmas I say a prayer thanking my mother for her special gift. Unlike most presents it was not wrapped and placed under the tree but came from my mother's heart. Her gift of motherly wisdom would prove to be the Greatest Christmas Present I would ever receive, outshining all others. Her trust echoed an unending faith in me and filled me with the confidence to achieve whatever I set my mind to accomplish.
This Christmas tale does not end the way you might think. I was denied re-admittance for the winter trimester; but permitted to attend the summer session. If I did well during the summer session; I would be re-admitted for the fall trimester. True to my mother's prediction things did work out for the best. In April of 1968 I married the most wonderful girl and in December of that year, graduated from Wright State. I went on to teach American History for 41 years and even served as assistant principal for two years. By the way, no one ever made fun of me. I wonder why?
There is a sequel to my story. As my daughter was growing up, I saw in her the same struggles I had endured while attending school, including being teased. Lucky for her, my mother's magical words would save another lost and frighten soul from a life of self doubt.
One summer day my family went to visit "Granny" (as the family now called my Mom.) She was living right across from the Dayton Airport. We brought lawn chairs to watch the Dayton Air Show from her front yard. Granny asked my daughter to help her make lunch. When the air show ended, we all hugged Granny and thanked her for everything. The following day, my daughter told me what she and Granny spoke about while making lunch. My dear mother had given my daughter the same advice she had given me that Christmas Eve of 1965. Happily, things worked out in the end for my daughter. She graduated from college with more awards than her brother and husband, which is a fact that to this day, she likes to remind both of them of! She became a teacher and now is a stay-at-home mother raising two wonderful children.
The moral of this story? A few kind and loving words can make a significant difference in a person's life. To my family: my wife Marsha, my two grown children, Jason and Britt, their spouses and my five wonderful grandchildren, please take note; a sympathetic word or loving gesture, can leave a lasting impression; far out-weighing your immediate intentions.
Thanks Mom for believing in me.
You were the greatest.
Annual Transient Veterans' Christmas Charity Event @ Dayton, Ohio VA Center
Each year between Christmas Day and New Year's Eve our family and friends celebrate with approximately 115 Veterans who are temporarily domiciled at the Dayton, Ohio Campus. This group known as "Transient Veterans" is represented by individuals who are in need and have been down on their luck, so to speak, including some who are sick and unable to support themselves without help. These Veterans are given help through the local VA Center to regroup and get back on their feet. The help at the VA Center, normally for up to six months, includes in addition to shelter and food, counseling, medical support and clothing. We also invite approximately 55 Veterans domiciled at the Volunteers of America Building 410. Charity donations such as ours, "Transient Veterans", help support these efforts in many ways.
Our family and friends started helping ten years ago to make a difference each year at a time when friendship is wanted and needed by these Veterans. Contributions are sought in the form of money, food and new clothing including coats, jackets and shoes. 100% of the contributions are donated and/or spent on the Veterans group. Throughout the year we also collect new clothing for the Transient Veterans group as there are always new transient Veterans reporting to the VA Center.
In the past we have also been able to receive donations in some form from several companies in the local geographical area such as: Adventure RV Service, Panera Bread Restaurant, Boy Scouts of America, Reynolds & Reynolds Employee Club, Dayton VA Volunteer group, KD's Kettering Bar-B-Que, Cheryl's Town & Country Cookies, C& G Mortgage, Gordon Food Services, Kroger, Mrs. Price's Candies, Bob Evans Restaurant, Max & Erma's Restaurant, Wright Patterson Wives of Officers Club, Lowes Stores, Reiber Cleaners, Dunham Fire Extinguishers, Dog's Breath Tavern, Bella Vino Wines and Karn's Fairborn Automotive. We will continue to seek their support each year as well as other businesses and groups who are local and not yet participating in an attempt to make yet a bigger difference for the Transient Veterans.
As we start our planning process for this festive event, we are asking you now to make a pledge to "Transient Veterans" (Dayton, Ohio) through an email to us @ firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to: P.O. Box 291901, Dayton, Ohio 45429. All donations are communicated at our event. Please view our website @ www.transientveterans.org We work with the Veterans Volunteer Group at the Dayton, Ohio VA Center and at the Domicile Building 410 Admin Group.
Thank you in advance for any support you may give and be sure to thank Veterans everywhere for their sacrifices on behalf of Americans everywhere.
|On behalf of Transient Veterans,||Transient Veteran's Charity
|Gary & Rose Mary Leasure, Founders||P.O. Box 291901
|937-823-3922||Dayton, Ohio 45429
On November 22, 2013 the City of Dayton lost one of its high school football legends with the passing of Belmont’s 1964 gridiron star, Gary Stookey.
This article is dedicated to the fifteen senior Cougar football players who could never forget preparing for, and then facing the Belmont Bison’s premier running back, Gary Stookey. For two years when Colonel White prepared to face Belmont on Friday night, all I heard from the coaches was “we had to stop Stookey to win the game!”
Being a member of the scout team, we were assigned the task of running the Bison’s offense against our first team defense. Other than preparing for Chaminade, I can’t remember a longer or tougher week of practice. It was our thankless task to run play after play; mimicking the Bison’s offense until our Cougar defenders knew what to expect on each and every snap of the ball. One of our scout players was given the unenviable task of portraying Belmont’s star player, Gary Stookey. Needless to say, he was the prime focus of our defense on every play. Our scout team took great pride in getting him at least a few yards on every play. On a rare occasion when we ran a very successful play, our coach would loudly congratulate us on a job well done. Coach would say “now that’s how you play football!” Right on cue, the defensive coaches would jump all over their players screaming, “how could you let a bunch of scrubs run all over you?!” Then one of the defensive coaches would yell what we all knew was coming “RUN IT AGAIN!” I proceeded to huddle us up and then Stamas, with a voice of optimism and few words of encouragement, proceeded to call the same play. We broke the huddle and raced to the line of scrimmage determined to do our very best; however, we all knew what lay in store for the unlucky running back that played Stookey. As I bent over to snap the ball, I quickly glanced at Stonerock, who was fired up to unload on me, and then proceed to crush the hapless ball carrier. As I snapped the ball to Nick, the defense, true to form led by Annis, Reece, and Stonerock, came busting through our line, eagerly waiting to deliver a monstrous hit on our doomed ball carrier. Right at the moment of contact, our coach’s quick whistles saved the running back from total annihilation. As we dusted ourselves off and returned to the huddle, it was now our turn to hear our coach blast us for such a poor effort. I can remember my coach shaking his head and sadly lamenting “and you guys call yourself football players…”
After an hour of defensive practice, we finally turned our attention to practicing our offense against the scout defense. Lucky for me, I was told to snap the ball for the first team offense. I now thought – “it’s my turn to dish out some punishment to my friends on the scout defense.”
But, low and behold, that would not be the case; for after running a single play from scrimmage, I heard “Stonerock, get in there at middle guard!” We both smiled at one another and then proceeded to bang heads for the next hour.
On Friday night all of our hard work paid dividends! At the end of game, the Welcome Stadium score board read Colonel White Cougars “12” the Belmont Bison’s “0.” We then lined up and began to shake hands with the Belmont players. I routinely said the preverbal “Good Game” and then like an echo, heard back the standard reply “Good Game.” However, as I proceeded through the line of Belmont players I finally came face to face with Stookey. His head was somewhat bowed in defeat and as I grabbed his hand, instead of saying “Good Game,” I said “Hey 32. You’re one hell of a ball player!” Lifting his head up, he looked me right in the eyes, and fired back, “55, you’re not bad yourself.”
I thought that would be the last time I would hear Stookey’s name, boy o boy, was I wrong! In 1967 I began to date a most beautiful girl, who just so happened, (you guessed it,) was a graduate of Belmont High School. On our first date, the topic of high schools naturally came up. She began to tell me about how great her high school basketball team was and how Belmont had won the state basketball championship in 1964. Not to be out done, I told her, -with great pride- I played football for Colonel White High School and before I could brag how we had defeated her Bison’s; she interrupted me with this most captivating smile and stated, “Football, you must have played against Gary Stookey.” Before I could answer, she proceeded to tell me what a great player Gary Stookey was and how he received a college football scholarship. Not having had my first kiss with her, I decided not to mention how we had beaten her Bison’s. (That may have put an end to our budding romance.) But, I had to agree on both accounts; - Belmont had a fantastic basketball team in 1964 and Gary Stookey was a great football player. Oh, by the way, we were married in 1968 and will be celebrating our 46th wedding anniversary in April 2014.
Jim Rowlands, CW’s “55”
Obituary from Dayton Daily News, Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013:
STOOKEY, Gary Age 68, died on November 22, 2013 in the Philippines, where he lived for more than 20 years. Gary was born and grew up in Dayton. He graduated from Belmont High School in 1964 where he was known as an outstanding football running back which won for him a full athletic scholarship to college. Gary loved all athletics, including his large speed boat behind which he expertly water skied. Gary served in the military as a Green Beret in Vietnam. His years living in the Philippines were happy for him. His death was preceded by his loving parents, Garold and Nora Stookey (Bower). Gary is survived by his son and only child, James Helms, in Washington, NC, and by his only sister Esther (Kadash) in Kettering, Ohio.
LYNDA (HICKERSON) HOFFMAN -
ONE OF TEN TOP WOMEN MAKING A DIFFERENCE
As our 50th Class Reunion approaches, it is with great pride that we announce that one of our own, Lynda (Hickerson) Hoffman, was honored during the 51st year of the Ten Top Women Awards at Sinclair Community College’s Ponitz Center on December 3, 2013.
Dayton Daily News and Cox Media Group Ohio, supporters and hosts of the Ten Top Women Awards, introduced Lynda and the other nine women earlier this year during the Dayton Women’s Fair at the Dayton Airport Expo Center. The award was originated in 1962 under the guidance of the late Betty Dietz Krebs, the former Art Director for the Dayton Daily News.
Since its inception the more than 510 Miami Valley women, who have been previously nominated, serve as inspirational role models for countless women, both in the professional arena and in a community service setting, with their volunteer commitments. Having received more than 100 nominations for the award this year, the women selected were chosen by a panel of community members, who are not affiliated with the Dayton Daily News, to screen the nominations. Letitia Perry, anchor for WHIO-TV, was this year’s emcee at the ceremony. Many past Ten Top Women recipients were in attendance to share in recognizing this years honorees.
The highlight of the luncheon is always the personal reflections, shared by the honorees concerning the challenges and inspirations in their lives. Lynda, who is Community Affairs Manager at Vectren Ohio, spoke about reaching out to others through volunteerism. “Ask yourself if you can make a difference in someone’s life - even if only for an hour or a day,” she advised.
At this time, we are delighted to introduce CW 1964 Alum, Lynda (Hickerson) Hoffman.
Lynda Hoffman believes in living each day to the fullest.
“We never know what tomorrow may bring or if tomorrow will even
come,” says the woman who serves as Community Affairs Manager for
Vectren Ohio. “Take care of yourself. Be good to others and count
your blessings every day.”
Nominators, Joyce Kasprzak and Debbie Lieberman, said their friend
lives that philosophy, addressing community needs as she encounters
them and sticking with them until the desired results are gained. They
say Lynda engages in hands-on work for organizations ranging from
United Way to Culture Works.
“She has an unstoppable perseverance for helping others,” they wrote.
Hoffman’s responsibilities range from organizing nine years of hospitality
tents for more than 850 attendees at the annual Vectren Dayton Air
Show to picking up a hammer for Habitat Build days.
“I have always wanted a job that lets me work on my own, but still have
the opportunity to interact with others from many walks of life.” Hoffman
said. “When I was given the responsibility of representing Vectren to the
Community, I found my niche.”
Every once in a while, you become acquainted with someone, who manages to push beyond what is excepted of them to making contributions that positively impact their community thus making it a better place to live. Lynda has managed just such a feat. Congratulations Lynda! We are proud of you!
By Jim Rowlands
Making Time for Friends!
By Jackie Winkler
Several of us gals (pictured below) enjoyed the second luncheon that began with a casual mention about getting together for lunch sometime. (I missed the first lunch because I had to make an emergency run to the hospital for gallbladder surgery!) The classmates in the picture below met at Benham’s in downtown Dayton this time. The first get-together was at the Coldwater Café in Tipp City. Although the food was great, it was secondary to all the chitter-chatter going on among us. We all wanted to hear what everyone was saying, but since we feel like we have just begun to have fun together, we want to have another get-together in March and maybe another in June. Pam Jacobson Driscoll lives in Florida so we planned this one to coincide with one of her trips back to the cold weather to visit family. Jeannine White Cash was unable to join us in person because she was taking Pam’s place in Florida! Jeannine called us during lunch so we could share a few minutes with her on Pam’s phone, speaker mode.
We had no trouble at all spending 2½ hours together; the talk continued while we ate—no silence as usual when food is served! Some are still working and arranged a long lunch hour, and others are retired but so busy they wonder how they ever had time for work. If you are in the area or will be in the Dayton area and would like to be invited to our next luncheon, contact me (email@example.com) and I will make sure you are notified of date, time, and location! Ladies only, please…
(L to R)
Mary Mitrousis Searles
Kristi Duckwall Andreae
Lynda Hickerson Hoffman
Diane Krandall Briggs
Sandee Garwood Kline
Susie Bagwell Harker
Pam Jacobson Driscoll
|Jackie Winkler retired from Lockheed Martin Corporation in 2008 after working 12 years with several Lockheed Martin companies, mostly in Orlando, Florida. She worked as an Administrative Assistant in the Employee Learning and Development Department, for Human Resources
| Corporate Operations, and as a Senior Administrative Assistant for Supply Chain Management. In 2005 she transferred with Lockheed to Cleveland, Ohio, where she worked as a Technical Writer in the Congressional Department on a government contract held by Lockheed.
|Prior to going to work for Lockheed, Ms. Winkler spent one year as a cross cultural teacher (1995) in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), training Russian public school teachers how to implement a western style curriculum into their classrooms. Before making the trip to the CIS, Jackie served the community of Jackson, Tennessee, as a pastor’s wife. Her highest calling was as a stay-at-home mom to her three children for 27 years.
|Ms. Winkler studied at Columbia International University, Columbia, South Carolina, and graduated in 1984 with an Associate of Arts degree. In addition to earning her degree, she completed the core curriculum for a four-year degree along with performing at-will services for the University. Her training in preparation for serving in Russia was the equivalent of one year’s seminary training.
|Her three children have given her ten grandchildren, all of whom reside from Alaska to Iowa to Florida. Jackie lives near family and friends in Ohio and is fulfilling one of her dreams: to write. Another dream is . . . as God wills.
A Toxic Retirement at Grand Lake St. Marys
By Ginny Lake Burroughs
It’s snowing and cold now, and much of Grand Lake St. Marys is frozen – but the images of the lake this past summer still haunt me. When I made the decision to move from Dayton to Celina after retirement, I was an ignorant “city girl", dreaming only of fishing, swimming, rides on the pontoon and jet-skiing – what a life, (not just for me but for my kids and grandkids!) I retired and “settled” in my place on the lake June 4, when school was out, and, by the July 4th weekend, the lake was covered with blue-green algae.
Click Pictures To Enlarge!
A ban was put on the lake when two toxins were discovered in the algae, and our pontoons, boats, jet-skis and kayaks sat in the channels, trapped in the green or blue swirls for the remainder of the summer. A neighbor’s lab died after swimming at the beach. The neighbor got sick. Every day, I drove my bicycle to the channel where our boats were tied, and discovered dead ducks floating in the algae;- I even watched two herons die. I’d never seen and couldn’t possibly have imagined, the sights and smells that greeted me each day.
I’m quickly learning how much influence and impact farming has in Ohio. Richard Middleton, the “Erin Brockovich” of farm pollution, wants to file a class action suit against the offending farmers and corporations behind them, whose manure runoff, (and illegal dumping into nearby creeks,) has made the lake toxic; but very few residents here are willing to participate. They’re either related to farmers, or dependent on the farm industry in Mercer County. When word got out that a suit might be filed, folks started boycotting all businesses they thought were affiliated with the suit.
The “official” stance is: “We must cooperate;” “The farmers are our friends;” “The farmers must voluntarily patrol one another – regulations aren’t the answer;” and, the best: “We must educate the farmers.”
I’m not sorry I moved here, because I’m not dependent on the farmers and can voice my opinion and spread the word through photographs, writing and the spoken word. Look at the photos – too bad smell can’t be recorded – and if you know ANYONE who owns property on Grand Lake and would like to be a part of the lawsuit, have them contact Richard Middleton in Savannah GA at 912-234-1133. There’ll be no cost to be part of the lawsuit - (if a settlement is reached, the Middleton Firm will get 40% + expenses; if not, they get nothing). Check him out at: closeanimalfactories.org – he was one of a handful of prominent lawyers handpicked by Bobby Kennedy Jr. to fight bad agricultural practices.
You’ve probably been reading about all the “fixes” and experiments going on at the lake; but if the source isn’t stopped, nothing will help it; - and believe me, this isn’t just Grand Lake.
We may have the largest and most shallow lake in the state, and were hit the hardest - (Mercer County is the largest agricultural county in the state) - but 21 Ohio lakes were affected this summer – and eventually, if we don’t stop the source, the algae will be coming to a waterway near you. We MUST change our farming practices if we want to enjoy our waterways!
The Night of the Thousand Laughs
By Jim Rowlands
On February 20, 2010, seven friends from an age long ago, got to share a laugh-filled evening reminiscing about their once proud Friday nights under the lights at Welcome Stadium. At Nick Stamas’ studio loft in downtown Dayton, seven former football players from the class of 1964 renewed their friendships forged on the grassless practice field at Colonel White High School. As I parked my car and got out, coming across the street, was Carl Woesser in his Colonel White Varsity Letter Jacket. After all these years he could still fit into it (a little snug mind you) but; still looking like he was 17. We met Mike Kline at the entrance door and the three of us made it up the four floors to Nick’s loft. With one knock on the door we were greeted by Nick Stamas, sporting his always cordial and inviting smile.
John Cromer, John Nugent, and Nick Stamas
As we entered his loft, Nick immediately pointed to an interior wall where he proudly displayed seven enlarged pictures of each of us in our Colonel White football gear. The “magnificent seven” as I nicknamed us, were Carl Woessner, Nick Stamas, George Keller, John Nugent, Mike Kline, John Cromer and yours truly Jim Rowlands. Man did we look young!
After a round of greetings, handshakes and some manly hugs, the night of a thousand laughs began. One of the funniest stories and perhaps the biggest laugh of the night, took everybody off guard. George Keller made a most bizarre confession to John Cromer, our quarterback. He expressed being upset with something John had said in the huddle during the Dunbar game in ‘63. As George came to the line he whispered to the Dunbar defensive tackle that he had been blocking all night, that the next time number “13” ran the ball, he was going to intentionally miss his block and let the Dunbar player have a free shot at John. When John ran the ball, the defensive tackle didn’t believe George and missed his chance for an easy tackle. However, the next time Cromer carried the ball to George’s side, John unfortunately came facemask-to-facemask with this enormous Dunbar player, who promptly, and with the greatest delight, planted Cromer into the Welcome Stadium turf. This story, was whole-heartedly, one of the biggest laughs of the night. Even John found the story entertaining. I think? George’s anecdote had triggered an avalanche of outrageous stories that delighted us all.
John Cromer, John Nugent, Nick Stamas, and Carl Woessner
Later that night we began watching game films from our 1963 football season. Every time George changed a reel, we took a beer and pizza break. During one of these breaks, George, a city league head football coach, recanted a rather funny story that happened to one of his players at Meadowdale High School. As soon as he finished his story, George, without missing a beat, dramatically pointed his finger at Mike Kline and asked him if he remembered creeping in on one of our showering teammates, and dumping a massive amount of Tuff Skin, (a very sticky substance), all over this unsuspecting target’s head. Mike, with a sheepish grin chimed in with “you should have seen his face as he tried to get the glob of Tuff Skin out of his hair.” All of us looked at each other to see if we had been Mike’s target, and happy to report, it was none of us!
As the aged football films played on, I was amazed at some of my blocking skills – saying to myself, “not bad Rowlands-not bad at all.” I marveled at Nick’s gifted running and throwing; - boy was he a gifted QB. Mike’s blocks were devastating; and in one instance pulling the wrong way; Mike cleverly added that he had just invented the “influence block”. George must have re-run that play ten times. I played next to Kline and I can honestly say he was one hell of a lineman. John Nugent, quite a force, was a hard nose running back, who always seemed to get the extra yard when needed. Nugent became our own defensive wrecking ball with his tenacious tackling of enemy ball carriers. His football exploits brought a lot of replays accompanied by “way to go John!” John Cromer’s mastery at running the offense and on occasion, intercepting an errant pass, showed what a gifted athlete he truly was. Our offense was always in talented hands with either Nick or John at the helm. George’s crushing blocks left gaping holes for Nugent and others to run through. His blocking technique was a marvel to behold.
Carl Woessner in his letter jacket
Carl Woessner, a devastating and prolific running back, was also equally accomplished on the defensive side of the ball. He was known as a defensive force that could demoralize the opponent’s offense with his ability to seek out and crush the enemy running backs. After watching the game films, I realized, no matter what the score was, or who we were playing; my teammates were a very special breed of competitor who gave all they had on each and every snap of the ball.
George Keller and John Nugent
That night we did not forget the other seniors, who gave so much of themselves to make our playing days so memorable. Each one holds a special place in our hearts: – Chris Pavlakos, Ronnie Stonerock, Dave Annis, Ronnie Reece, Gus Kontonickas, Ronnie House, Jeff Allen, and Bob Evans. Bob even sent me a most wonderful e-mail expressing how much he would love to be at the reunion, but living in California made it out of the question.
These were the “magnificent seven,” who, for a brief moment in time, got to re-live a part of their youth, where they were truly the power behind the “Power “I” formation.” That night in February proved to be a very precious gift to us all.
Arriving home from treating our 6 year old granddaughter, Jane, to dinner at her favorite restaurant, (Skyline Chili;) we did what all families do as soon as the door to the house is opened,- someone immediately goes to the television to see what is on. The evening news was running a human-interest story about a prized fish that got away from an amateur angler. He was explaining to the reporter, in great detail, his valiant struggle to land this titian of the sea. His story brought a smile to my face as I thought; “he thinks he lost a big one.” I must have laughed out loud because Janie asked me what was so funny. Before I could answer my intuitive granddaughter; my wife blurted out, “you’re not going to tell that ridiculous pigeon story are you? I’ve heard it a hundred times!” She then muttered loud enough for all to hear “fishing for pigeons; that’s the craziest thing I ever heard.” I defiantly fired back, “I know you’ve heard the story a few times but Janie hasn’t.” Right on cue, Janie pleads for Grandpa to tell her the story about fishing for pigeons. She crawled up on the couch next to me and I began the tale I entitled “The Pigeon that Got Away.”
Long, long ago on a beautiful summer day in 1960, my two brothers and I left the house early Saturday morning to deliver the Dayton Journal Herald newspaper. Our routes took us all over lower Riverdale. Usually we would all be done by 7:00 a.m. - except for me. Being an adventurous lad with a vivid imagination, I would explore the Stillwater River area (only two blocks from my house) and pretend to be an American soldier fighting the Germans or Japanese; or a pirate looking for buried treasure. When I finally got home, we all knew the rule of the house was to be very quiet and not to make any unnecessary noise. If by chance, we did wake any member of the family, we would be in trouble. So as not to disturb anyone, I took off my gym shoes and quietly headed straight upstairs to bed and back to sleep.
My brother Bob came in the house next and immediately sat down at the kitchen table; ate a couple pieces of toast and a downed a big bowl of cereal. Moments later the soft footsteps of Mom could be heard entering the kitchen. Her morning routine never varied. She poured herself a cup coffee and then proceeded to read the morning newspaper.
Finishing his breakfast, Bob bolted upstairs and quickly closed my bedroom door. He paced around the small room looking for something. I could tell that he was wide awake and that meant I wouldn’t get any more sleep. With Mom downstairs he knew we couldn’t go outside and play. It was way too early for that. I then heard, “Jim, are you asleep?” (He knows I am not.) He then shakes me to make sure I’m awake. Bob whispers “I’ve got a great idea for us.” My brother Bob had a great imagination, just like his little brother, so I was expecting almost anything. But his great ideas usually led to nothing but BIG trouble for me. [For example, he decided to build a soap box racer and have me as the test pilot. I had to admit it sounded like fun. He decided to have our maiden run on one of the hilliest streets in our neighborhood. At the top of the hill he tapped me on the head and sent me cascading down the hill from hell. As I plummeted to what ever fate had in store for me; I realized two things: Bob forgot to install the all important brake; (or did he?!) He also forgot to plan for the police, (or did he?) who now suddenly appeared and were in hot pursuit (lights and all) of one out-of-control soap box racer! Happy to report I did not wreck, nor was I arrested.
Bob’s imagination on this morning, must have been working overtime I thought, for what he said next blew my mind. We are going to fish for pigeons! I set up in bed and quizzically looked at him. I knew better than to ask any questions, so I just sat there on the edge of my bed and watched him proceed to take out the second story window screen. He said to me, “I have something to show you.” Now wide awake, I think to myself, “this should be interesting.” Bob had smuggled up a couple pieces of bread and began to tear them up into small pieces. He took the assorted pieces of bread and neatly piled them up on my desk. The next step to his plan took him to my closet, where he searched for my fishing pole. With pole in hand, Bob skillfully attached a small hook and sinker to the line. Here is where I became his willing accomplice. Bob instructed me to throw out a few handfuls of bread to entice the pigeons. He then announced that within a few minutes the yard would be filled with our feathery prey. Those few minutes turned into a fifteen minute wait before our hungry friends arrived. Bob peeked out the window and saw to his utter delight that much of our yard was now covered with pigeons having a grand feast. He picked up my fishing pole, placed a piece of bread on the hook, and cast the line out the window. He triumphantly proclaimed “we are now fishing for pigeons!” “Well,” I thought to myself, “this is turning out to be quite the fun adventure!” Unbeknownst to any family member, Bob and I were now fishing for pigeons from my bedroom window. In the next few minutes my brother Bob would prove to be one smart guy! I was soon to find out just how smart and clever he really was.
As with all his great schemes, Bob had failed once again to calculate one small factor, Mom. She must have heard all those pigeons cooing outside her kitchen window. So our dear Mother, being the bird lover of the family, peered out the window and not only saw the pigeons; but a peculiar line dangling down from the second story. She went outside to investigate this mysterious line and naturally grabbed it and gave it a tug. Bob felt a little nibble, and excitedly turned to me and proclaimed, “We got one!” He anxiously stuck his head out the window and to his great surprise he saw Mom’s hand pulling on the fishing line.
Bob must have had an epiphany when he realized that his great idea was about to be unraveled and he would be blamed. Handing me the fishing pole, he said “Jim I want you to have the honor of catching the first pigeon.” I leaped from my bed and as soon as I grasped the pole, there was a sudden yank on the line that made the fishing pole almost bend in half. My heart was starting to pound faster and faster with the anticipation of landing my first pigeon. With the next pull on the line I excitedly screamed out “I GOT A BIG ONE!” With that, the whole house erupted. Dad jumped out of bed, thinking the house was on fire. Mom heard all the commotion upstairs, but by now the line had wrapped itself around her hand and she was screaming for help. Dad heard me scream again, “I GOT A BIG ONE!” Bob, knowing all hell is about to be unleashed on whoever is holding the fishing pole, smartly disappeared from my room seconds before Dad stormed in. As Dad entered my room, he saw my fishing pole bobbing up and down. Just for a second, he must have thought I had truly caught a big one. I turned and looked into my Dad’s eyes and knew we were in serious trouble. I looked over to where Bob had been sitting, hoping he would share the blame with his little brother; but, he had conveniently vanished. I told you he was smart! As Dad was marching me down stairs to see if Mom was alright, we passed Bob’s room. This was his cue to yell out “what’s going on?” I had been set up by the master.
To both of our delights Mom was fine. Mom, who had always taken my side, came to my defense once again. She put her arm around my still steaming Dad, and playfully said; “dear, he did catch a big one, didn’t he?” Dad smiled and said “maybe it’s time I take Jimmy fishing for real.” Needless to say, Dad ended my fishing for pigeon career that day without saying a word! By the way, I never actually hooked the pigeon, so it was never harmed in anyway
THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE A PIGEON, JUST ASK YOURSELF, I WONDER IF THAT’S THE BIG ONE THAT GOT AWAY!
(Special Appreciation to Phil Clarke, Class of 1970, whose goodwill, expertise and generous spirit provided me with this amusing and comical family story, which he encouraged me to edit. Phil, we make a brilliant team of brains and heart! Thank you!)
Recently we took a trip back to the old neighborhood. Judy Zimmeramn Parejko came to visit me for a week and we tramped around the old area and visited some of the old haunts. We made it back to CW with Phil Clarke from the class of 70 and watched as the foundation was bulldozed, destroyed and being loaded into very large dump trucks to be hauled away. It was rather sad but time does march on.
We visited old places, EJ Brown School, Fouts Market, the Library on Salem, my home on Amherst, Ed’s house on Marathon, Judy’s on Brookview and Grace Methodist Church. Some places were in great shape others were rather sad. Please enjoy the pics. There will more trips to the other feeder schools and areas of interest that we all remember. We have included a few extras, see if you can remember them.
Click here to see some extra pictures...
Click Here to view My Snapfish Photo Album
History Chronicle And Insights 1961-1962
I have just had a most joyful Christmas Eve celebrating with my family like so many of you, who are reading this article, do each year. It is late that night; the sounds of laughter and mirth have faded away, the wrapping paper is in the trash, the dishes had been washed and put away, and the house is still and hushed. Sitting in my favorite chair, I take a few moments to look at our Christmas tree with all of its sparkling lights and beautiful ornaments, - some very old, dating back to my childhood days; -others reflecting my life as a husband, a teacher, and father of two. However, the one ornament that catches my eye, was specially-made to symbolize the newest addition to the Rowlands family, - my first grandchild, Jane. Her name is magical to me because my daughter, Brittainney, named her after my mother.
Earlier in the evening, when I held Jane in my arms, and gazed into her smiling face; I was suddenly flooded with memories of Christmas’ long ago when my parents made Christmas the most special day of the year. In an instant, my mind rewinds time back to my youth, when I was full of life, adventure, and great promise. My tomorrows are many, my dreams abound, and for an instant I let my mind transport me back to my sophomore year at Colonel White High school. The year is 1961-1962, - a time to remember!
To continue my theme of recanting tales of my football narrative, I take you, my reader, back to my first encounter with varsity football. New coaches, new expectations, new friends and new realizations awaited me and my classmates of 1964. When I stepped on the practice field for the first time, a sea of humanity filled my eyes. There must have been over 100 players trying out for the team. I thought to myself, what chance did I have of making the varsity squad? However, my football innocence was short lived, when on my first day of football practice Coach Eby called all of the quarterbacks and centers together to practice taking snaps. There were about six of us centers and I could tell I was dead last on the depth chart. Matter of fact, after a few quarterback center exchanges; I saw one of my new coaches smile at me; and while shaking his head he began to chuckle. Nick, the quarterback I was working with, patted me on my helmet and said “not to worry about it, coach was probably laughing at him.”
On the second day of practice, there had been a sudden transformation. I had moved up to number three on the depth chart - (and so had my new quarterback friend.) I was both ecstatic and at the same time, mystified! Later that day our starting varsity quarterback took me aside and told me, with a huge smile on his face, why I had been moved up on the depth chart so quickly.
He explained that all the quarterbacks had approached coach Eby after the first practice and pointed out to the coach, that they liked taking snaps from me, rather than any other center. Upon hearing that, I naturally became full of myself, until, he unveiled the truth behind the mysterious promotion. He whispered, “all the other centers wore protective cups and that hurt the QB’s fingers each time they took a snap.” Protective cup I thought! What’s a cup? I was so clueless. Well that sobering news sure brought me down to earth, as only “good old Charlie Brown” would understand. Obviously, I was still learning the finer nuances of football.
I now asked myself, what would come next and at what price? The answer to that question came rather quickly. My front teeth! Remember, I was a lowly scrub sophomore, and naturally, I received the worst equipment.
So when it came time to suit up, I was given a choice of helmets - either a white freshman helmet with a protective cage or a golden varsity helmet with one bar for a face mask. Da! I choose the varsity one. When the coaches called for defensive practice, I thought to myself (at a mire 137 pounds,) I’d better try out for a safety or cornerback position. However, my line coach had other vastly different ideas. He called my name to practice with the defensive line. What! What did my ears hear? Defensive line! There had to be a mistake! No there was no mistake. I was now a 137 pound defensive lineman. I am sure my coaches wanted to see if I had the guts and determination to be a football player. During one of the notorious tackling drills, (called the meat grinder or hamburger drill), I was given the football and told to run at a 220 pound defensive tackle … and thus I became a live tackling dummy. As the whistle screamed, I found myself facing my moment of truth. Did I have the heart to be a varsity warrior? This giant “Shrek”- like lineman picked me up and slammed me to the ground with a picture perfect tackle. His thundering presence had separated both, me from the football, and my two front teeth from my smile. As “Shrek” helped me up, he said, “Hey Rowlands, welcome to Varsity Football!” But what I remember the most was my line coach turning to the other players and in a loud voice saying, “Rowlands may be small, but, he has the heart and guts we want to see in all our players.” The coach then smiled and sent me to see the manager. Those few words put to rest any doubts or fears; I had about wanting to play football. Everyone slapped me on the shoulder pads and congratulated me. I had made a few more friends that day even though I would be on a liquid diet for the next week.
As the manager wiped off the blood, sweat, dirt, and yes tears, he ever so gently pulled my two front teeth back into position, “I thought to myself, a lot of good that facemask did!” I now had my smile back, but it hurt too much to smile. Ironically, the next day, I had a new facemask and to my surprise, mouth guards were issued soon after. Just call me “Lucky!”
As two-a-day practices mercifully ended, it was time for school to begin. It was now September 1961. Little did our sophomore class realize that we would be on the threshold of one of the most turbulent decades in American History? As one author puts it, “the times they were a changing.” But, like all teenagers, we were self-absorbed with our school life at Colonel White, rather than the troubling events of 1961-1962. We looked forward to Friday night football games, socializing at the White House, dances, hanging out at Parkmoor with our friends and a myriad of other school functions.
1961 – 1962 A time of innocence and a lifetime of memories
Events of 1961 – 1962 / How many do you remember?
Major Events of 1961
ï¿½ John F. Kennedy becomes the 35th President
ï¿½ U.S. B-52 bomber carrying two nuclear weapons crashes in North Carolina
ï¿½ Beatles perform for the first time
ï¿½ US commitment to Vietnam
ï¿½ Bay of Pigs Invasion
ï¿½ Freedom Riders attacked in Birmingham, Alabama
ï¿½ Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space
ï¿½ Ernest Hemingway commits suicide
ï¿½ CHARLIE Brown successfully flies his Kite
ï¿½ Construction of the Berlin Wall begins
ï¿½ First grey alien is reported
ï¿½ Roger Maris hits 61 home runs
ï¿½ Yankees beat the Reds in the World Series
ï¿½ Celtics destroy the St. Louis Harks for the NBA championship
ï¿½ Ohio State goes 8-0-1
ï¿½ Erie Davis wins the Heisman Trophy
ï¿½“Pony Time” Chubby Checker
ï¿½“Surrender” Elvis Presley
ï¿½“Blue Moon” The Marcles
ï¿½“Runaway” Del Shannon
ï¿½“Mother-in-Law” Ernie K-Doe
ï¿½“Travelin Man” Ricky Nelson
ï¿½ The Guns of Navarone
ï¿½ The Absent-Minded Professor
ï¿½ The Parent Trap
ï¿½ Swiss Family Robinson
ï¿½ 101 Dalmations
ï¿½ Best Picture: “West Side Story”
ï¿½ Best Actor: Maximilian Schell … “Judgment at Nuremberg”
ï¿½ Best Actress: Sophia Loren … “Two Women”
ï¿½ Song of the Year: “Moon River” Henry Mancini
ï¿½ Male Vocalist: Jack Jones … “Lollipops and Roses”
ï¿½ Female Vocalists: Judy Garland
Most Popular Television Shows
1. Wagon Train (NBC)
2. Bonanza (NBC)
3. Gunsmoke (CBS)
4. Perry Mason (CBS)
5. The Red Skelton Show (CBS)
6. The Andy Griffith Show (CBS)
7. The Danny Thomas Show (NBC)
8. Dr. Kildare (NBC)
9. Candid Camera (CBS)
Cost of Living 1961- 1962
ï¿½ Yearly Inflation Rate 1.07%
ï¿½ Average Cost of a new house $12,500.00
ï¿½ Average Income $5,315.00
ï¿½ Average Cost of a gallon of gas 27 cents
ï¿½ Average Cost of a new car $2,850.00
ï¿½ 45 rpm record $1.00
ï¿½ Loaf of bread 20 cents
ï¿½ Minimum hourly wage $1.25
ï¿½ Pound of ground beef 35 cents
ï¿½ Fast food hamburger 20 cents
ï¿½ You need today $586 to buy what $100.00 would buy you in 1961 - 1962
History Chronicle And Insights 1960-1964
It is June of 1960, we have just said goodbye to our assorted elementary schools ï¿½ E.J. Brown ï¿½ Fairview ï¿½ Jefferson ï¿½ Loos ï¿½ Longfellow ï¿½ Van Cleve - Cornell Heights - Hawthorne
and Fairport. Now the long hot days of summer vacation marked by the joys of swimming, playing basketball and baseball or just sleeping in, eagerly await us. Then those oh so few summer days swiftly faded away and September fast approached. With the new school year; each of us incoming Colonel White freshmen had a million questions running through our minds. Who would be in my homeroom? How would we be treated by the feared upper classman? Would any of my best friends be in class with me? Would I make any new friends? Could I be able to find all of my classes on the first day? Could I open my locker, locate my books and get to class on time? Might I be so lucky as to sit next to any good looking girls? But, most importantly to me, would the cafeteria food be any good? For me, the anxieties of the first few days were quickly forgotten and replaced with other more troubling uncertainties.
So what was the big news story as we entered our freshman year?
The one story that overshadowed all other topics for most of us was the on- going saga of the mighty Cougar football team. The 1960 varsity football squad was, without a doubt, the greatest high school football team the city of Dayton has ever produced. Pound for pound, they dominated each and every opponent and would win the city football championship over our archrival, the Chaminade Eagles. The championship game was played at Welcome Stadium before a cheering crowd of over ten thousands fans. At the end of the game the scoreboard lights would read Colonel White 32 Chaminade 14. These now legends of the gridiron would set a benchmark for all future Cougar football squads to endeavor to achieve.
As for me - and I can imagine many other newbie's - the trepidations surrounding our chosen extracurricular activities loomed large in our minds. I was taking up organized football for the very first time and I didn't know any of the nuances of the game. Let me illustrate this point. When I tried out for the freshman basketball team, my coach asked me ï¿½why my knees were all cut-up and back and blue.ï¿½ He sarcastically asked ï¿½didn't you wear any knee pads during football season?ï¿½ I immediately fired back ï¿½of course I did.ï¿½ (Knee pads what were knee pads?) I was so new to the game of football I didn't know we had been given any pads to protect our knees.
My football naiveté would be equally match by my gullibility on the basketball court. I had been raised by my Dad, a local sports legend, to play hard and practice good sportsmanship. Well, the value of good sportsmanship would be truly tested during a freshman basketball game at Kaiser High School . Kaiser had an outstanding guard who was killing us, and the hostile crowd loved his every basket. In the second half, our coach had a sudden epiphany. He strolled down to the end of the bench (my traditional spot) and sat down next to me. He put his arm around me and said ï¿½Jim, I want you to go into the game and guard number 12ï¿½ (a future all-city basketball star I might add). My heart soared, because my game was playing hard-nose defense. I had been given a golden opportunity to prove my worth to my teammates. And then to my utter dismay and chagrin, he instructed me in a very direct and forceful manner to ï¿½do whatever it takes to get him (Kaiser's scoring machine) out of the game.ï¿½ I looked at him with an unbelieving stare. Somehow I got up the courage to ask coach ï¿½what he meant?ï¿½ He angrily said ï¿½do it or else!ï¿½ I understood what that implied, ï¿½I would never play for him again.ï¿½ As I reached the scorers table to report in, I looked up at my Father, our eyes met for a fleeting moment and I knew I couldn't do what the coach demanded, even if it meant, not playing for the rest of the year. After the game (by the way we won) the Kaiser super star came over to me and said ï¿½great game 15ï¿½ and I replied back, ï¿½you too 12!ï¿½ How could I ever imagine, in a few years, we would become best friends? And to this day, each time we get together, we always reminisce back to that freshman basketball game at Kaiser High School . He still insists that Kaiser won that fateful day. Maybe we both won that day.
So as school began in September of 1960, so did our journey of discovery. The 60's would prove to be a decade of challenge and trial, anguish and achievement for us as individuals and our nation.
Quite possibly the 1960's would prove to be one of the most significant times in American history. The traditional worlds of music, dance, theater, fashion, sports, politics, human rights, and family values were being seriously tested and challenged by our generation. As we look back on our high school days some 47 years ago, we are left with a kaleidoscope of memories. We now have only fleeting memories that have become just transient glimpses back on those formidable years at Colonel White High School .
In the world around us the ï¿½Cold Warï¿½ raged and continued to become colder. Nikita Khrushchev pounds his shoe on a table at a U.N. meeting shouting ï¿½we will bury you.ï¿½ A Soviet Sam missile shoots down a United States U2 spy plane with Francis Gary Powers taken prisoner. Senator Kennedy first suggests the idea for the Peace Corps . The U.S. Supreme Court upholds a Federal Court ruling that Louisiana 's segregation laws are unconstitutional . The United States announces that 3,500 American soldiers are going to be sent to Vietnam . The American Heart Association links smoking to heart disease and death in middle aged men.
The sexual revolution took its initial step with Hugh Hefner opening his first Playboy Club in Chicago . I know each time we take a shower we re-live the scene from the 1960 movie Psycho. The now famous Kennedy and Nixon first TV presidential debate takes place. We were all dancing to Chubby Chequer's new dance called the ï¿½Twistï¿½. Topping the Rock and Roll music chart was the ï¿½Kingï¿½ himself-Elvis with ï¿½It's Now or Neverï¿½ and ï¿½Are You Lonesome Tonight . ï¿½ Do you also remember these oldies but goodies ï¿½ Alley Oop ,ï¿½ ï¿½ Cathy's Clown , ï¿½ and my all time favorite " Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini ?ï¿½ On a much sadder note, no longer would we hear the familiar voice of Buffalo Bob saying ï¿½Say Kids, what time is it?ï¿½ for Howdy Doody was taken from us and replaced with a new kids show - ï¿½Sesame Street.ï¿½ A boxing legend will come in to his own with Cassius Clay, telling the world ï¿½I am the greatest,ï¿½ while winning a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics. Wilma Rudolf dazzles the sports world by winning three track gold medals becoming one of the greatest female athletes of all times. Ohio State wins the NCAA National Basketball championship. Aluminum cans would be used for the first time and to the future delight of the beer drinking world.
One memory I have cherished for a lifetime, came during my study hall class, when I heard Bill Mazeroski of the Pittsburg Pirates, with one swing of his bat, had won the World Series; beating the New York Yanks 4 games to 3. My father, a former minor league baseball player for the Pirates, had told me with the greatest of confidence, that the Pirates would win the seventh game of the World Series. Every time I see the news clips of Mazeroski's fateful homerun, I fondly recall my Dad, who never ceased to amaze me. He truly was my hero.
How much did things cost back in 1960:
ï¿½ Average cost of a new house $12,700.00
ï¿½ Average cost of a home $2,530.00
ï¿½ Average monthly rent $98.00
ï¿½ Gas per gallon 25 cents
ï¿½ Average cost of a new car $2,600.00
ï¿½ Loaf of bread 20 cents
ï¿½ Movie ticket 69 cents
ï¿½ Stamp 4 cents
ï¿½ Milk 41cents
ï¿½ Can of Beef Ravioli 30 cents
What were the top ten TV shows of 1960?
ï¿½ Wagon Train
ï¿½ Have Gun Will Travel
ï¿½ The Andy Griffith Show
ï¿½ Candid Camera
ï¿½ The Untouchables
ï¿½ The Price is Right
ï¿½ 77 Sunset Strip
ï¿½ My Three Sons
ï¿½ The Ed Sullivan Show
1960 would be the year that launched the Colonel White Class of 1964 on its long journey of discovery.
What would 1961 bring?
I was asked if I wanted to write an article for our website. I said yes, knowing it would be a labor of love trying to come up with something interesting to write about. I loved my high school experiences, but hate to write. Now, you must know something about me and writing/reading.
First of all I should have been writing this article for the class of 63, because I was retained in the third grade at good old E.J. Brown Elementary. As with all kids (like me) on the last day of school, I picked up my report card, briefly glancing at it, and began to race home to start my long summer vacation. Hell, I didn't even know I was retained because I couldn't even read much of the report card.
When I got near my house my big brother Bob, with a big smile on his face, snatched my grade card from my hands and in front of all his friends informed me, I had failed third grade. Years later I told myself, I really didn't fail; I was retained in the third grade for a second go around. How much more comforting that sounds, rather than being labeled a failure!
Twenty years ago I would have been diagnosed as a student who had learning disabilities or in the educational jargon of the day an LD-student. However today, I would be sent to a doctor who would pronounce me a prime candidate for Ritalin, in other words, I was would have been diagnosed as having ADD or more likely ADHD. Current educational wisdom refrains from failing or retaining students with initials. It's bad for the student's self-esteem. Just my luck to be educated before initials!
My writing/reading odyssey faired only slightly better in high school. I was passing English and Literature with C's and B's - God only knows how? I happily graduated from Colonel White High School and was accepted by Wright State University in 1964. After passing freshman English on the third try, my college resume began to pick up. You might be asking how did I ever pass college English? Well I had a little help from my big brother Bob, who was also attending WSU. Bob my childhood tormentor, became my mentor.
Keep in mind he was a published author of poetry, short stories, a college literary magazine contributor and future outdoor editor for a local newspaper. Now it didn't hurt my English grade either, when my brother Bob became good drinking buddies with my English professor. You don't have to be Sherlock Homes to figure out how I passed freshmen English.
My educational odyssey gave birth to a passion to teach. Since leaving the hollowed halls of Colonel White High School and graduating from WSU ï¿½ I have been teaching American History for 37 rewarding years. Who would have guessed?
I have always tried to be a positive role model to my students proving to them that learning obstacles can be surmounted. I have learned that students don't care how much you know, they only want to know how much you care.
So now you know why writing is such a labor of love for a person who was born before educational initials. I plan on writing a few articles for our web page that chronicles the years 1960 through 1964. The articles will focus on some of the major events during our high school years. The topics will range from sports to politics and everything else in between. Let's see how much you and I can recall of the events that shaped our lives, our fortunes, and our destiny.
Please write in to the web site and share your thoughts, recollections and experiences while at Colonel White.
By Buck Arnold
While attending Colonel White, I was working on my power and glider pilot licenses. Several of our class mates were brave enough to fly with me at the Soaring Society of Dayton flight facilities then located in Richmond , IN and Waynesville , OH . Dagmar Taudine and her father, who flew gliders in Germany, were among my first victims. Paul Gustin, Steve Dohme and Jack Wegledge flew with me on several occasions. Looking into my old log book, I see we had some great flights.
I wound up going to California State University in Sacramento and continued my gliding experiences in the high Sierras. There are a number of forms of lift in gliding and all are present in the Sierras.
Thermaling is circling below cumulus clouds hopefully in lift. Most people have seen this done by larger birds and even in Ohio I have joined birds in a thermal. It would become exciting when several chicken hawks would start diving at you to try to drive you off from their thermal. I guess they did not like flying with a bird that was bigger than them. In Ohio , rising 400 feet a minute was a good day. In the Sierras, 800 to over 1,000 a minute, was common and the lift really pushes you into your seat. It was not uncommon to reach 16,000 to 18,000 feet over the Sierras in a thermal. Yes we fly oxygen equipped.
When the wind blows against a mountain side, it creates a form of lift known a ridge soaring. Many of you have seen sea gulls using this lift while soaring the shoreline and almost becoming suspended as they use the lift and their forward motion in equal proportions. Working this kind of lift brings you close to the mountains and allows you to cover a great distance in a short amount of time.
With out a doubt, wave soaring is the most exciting thing I have done. If you have been to a river and seen fast moving water roll over a rock, you will notice that the water drops down over the rock and then goes back up even if there is not a second rock to push the water up. Now take that same principle and add a storm front and air mass hitting a mountain range and you have wave soaring. Getting into a wave usually takes place behind a tow plane and staying in formation is a challenge due to the rough air associated with the edge of the wave. Once you are in the wave it is a s smooth as glass with lift taking you up at over 1,000 feet per minute. I was in a wave over the Sierras and went to 23,500 feet and had to pull out of lift due to my oxygen equipment restrictions not allowing flight over 24,000 feet. The picture to the left gives you an idea of how it looks from the cockpit in a Sierra Wave.
Three summers had passed from our graduating from CW when I had a great flight in Switzerland flying through the Switzer Ural Alps . Flying formation with two other gliders, we flew through mountain passes and landed for lunch at a glider port before starting back. I did become a bit concerned when the guys I was flying with had a beer with their lunch. No big deal to them. It is an extreme violation of flight rules here in the US . It was the highlight of my 21 st year and a summer in Europe . The picture below will give you an idea of what the flying was like. We would all call to each other on the radio when lift was found. I would never have attempted the flight if it was not for my German and Swiss friends that I was flying with.
I discovered a new form of lift when flying in the remnants of Hurricane Charley last year in NC now my new home. We took off and the ground air was dead still. It was overcast and I expected no lift and just a sled ride back to the airport. As we neared the clouds, I could see that they were boiling and I was in lift. Normally this is not the case. I talked to several weather guys and the only thing we could figure out was that Charlie's cold air was pushing down on the warm ground air resulting is a massive uplift of air.
I hope to see all of you at the reunion.
CW Class of 64,
I just happened upon your new web-site today and Wow! You guys did a wonderful job on it! It's now been added to my computer's "favorites list". I've followed the Class of ' 63 website for several years and their site too is very well done. I can't believe what good pictures you were able to share. The Class of ' 64 still has beautiful "young" ladies and very handsome guys.
Your October get-together was hugely successful. A great idea from some special folks. Good luck with future gatherings.
Over the many years I've had various contacts with many, many high school graduating classes and yours and the CW Class of ' 63 are the best, by far. And, it seems to be the season to say "I approve this message".
Regards and best wishes to all. I always thought you were a very special class and your creative website is further proof of my theory. I'm well and wish you the best.