Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Back to School - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

Series of Guest Blogs by an out-of-state Fish Report reader originally from this area about fond memories of growing up in Midwestern Ohio during the 50’s & 60’s

Back to School


It’s back-to-school time which brings back memories of August, 1966 when I headed to Sinclair Community College in Dayton after saving some money while working at Copeland’s (now Emerson) for the summer. Rather than commuting from my parents farm in Ft. Loramie, I rented an upstairs room in the house shown above located on Riverside Drive in Dayton, just north of downtown. The place was owned by a widow lady named Mrs. Orsi who rented out the three bedrooms upstairs to college students. Two other Ft. Loramie natives stayed in the other upstairs rooms, including my older cousin, Mel. He’s the one who connected me to Mrs. Orsi as she relied only on word-of-mouth to rent her rooms. She was a wonderful lady we all respected and admired.


At the time, she had some heavy bushes in front of her house above the retaining wall that hid the busy roadway so all she could see when sitting on her front porch was the Stillwater River across Riverside Drive. She would sit out there most of the day, sipping her ice tea and reading a book. I don’t recall her even having a TV. Her husband was a businessman who had died years earlier and her son now ran the business. She was always involved and understood how things were going, as her livelihood depended on it. The $75 we were each paying per month for rent surely wasn’t sufficient.


Sinclair classes were held in the Dayton YMCA building, and students were allowed to use the YMCA facilities, which was a nice benefit for a sports-minded guy like me. Sinclair also offered a co-op program, which allowed me to both work and go to school, fortunately avoiding any student debt. I worked on the night shift at Frigidaire on the dishwasher assembly line. Most likely I could have also taken a room at the Y rather than renting, but Mrs. Orsi’s place was special. The interior furnishings were art deco style and her late husband's old Packard was still stored in the garage. Their son sometimes started it up and drove it around the block. What a treat it was to get a ride in that old car.

Speaking of cars, just down Riverside Drive stood this garage. After filling up my tank a few times, I befriended the owner and convinced him to let me use his bay to perform occasional work on my ’62 Chevy. It was there that I converted that old two-door Bel Air to a SuperSport Impala as described in this previous blogpost. JC Whitney automotive catalog was the source of all those parts; their nickname was JC Junk, but the prices were right. I was surprised to find out they are still in business - since 1915!


I recall further down Riverside Drive was a small grocery store that carried Busse meats, so it was really handy to pick up some tasty sausage for supper several times a week. Another favorite meal was scrambled eggs with Busse’s grits and canned mushrooms. Yummy!

Busse’s Meet Market in Ft. Loramie

All three of us staying with Mrs. Orsi had each played basketball for legendary Loramie coach John Kremer. The stories were memorable and some are documented in this previous blogpost dedicated to Coach. He's still living at age 95; teaching all those phys ed and health classes really paid off for him! Wish I’d have paid more attention.

After a year going to school at Sinclair and working at Frigidaire, I was fortunate enough to transfer to General Motors Institute, another coop college, where I eventually received an engineering degree. That year staying at Mrs. Orsi’s place was so memorable. It was great to be on my own with the freedom to come and go as I pleased - with one exception - girls were not allowed in our rooms. In fact, the guy I introduced to Mrs. Orsi who took my place snuck a girl upstairs and got kicked out! He was from Greenville - should have recruited a Loramie guy, I guess.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Ohio State Line - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

Series of Guest Blogs by an out-of-state Fish Report reader originally from this area about fond memories of growing up in Midwestern Ohio during the 50’s & 60’s

Ohio State Line

Back last winter while watching Fish Report Live, I noticed that the logos for the various conferences and organizations represented in the background of the set had some skewed Ohio maps that were no-where near consistent. So I made a mental note to check out the discrepancies at some point in a future blog. So in the dog days of August, here goes.


As you can see in the above logos, the Ohio boundaries are all aligned differently.

Similarly, the various Ohio maps I found on-line were all different as indicated below:


So which version is right? After some digging on google and I found that the territorial lines were determined back in the late 1700’s before Ohio’s 1803 statehood according to the longitude lines as shown below:


This version based on the boundaries parallel to longitudinal lines makes sense to me. However, back in the day, all the early explorers had were compasses, which were not accurate by about 5% as indicated on this diagram. To put it in perspective, the geographic north pole is actually about 500 kilometers from the magnetic north pole indicated by a compass, or about 5% off.


Based on this map, the MAC logo seems to be the most accurate depiction of the state of Ohio boundaries. Maybe that explains why the MAC conference dominates Ohio athletics - it’s simply geography!!

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

45 Records - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

Series of Guest Blogs by an out-of-state Fish Report reader originally from this area about fond memories of growing up in Midwestern Ohio during the 50’s & 60’s

45 Records


For Christmas one year in the early 60’s, my siblings and I got our first record player like pictured here.


The device was very crude, having a mechanical sound arm with a needle that picked up the undulations on the record as it rotated at 45 revolutions per minute. Low level sound could be heard emanating from the circle of small holes in the round head holding the needle, but was further amplified as it traveled through the arm into the base where the sound again was amplified via ever-expanding plastic tubing before emanating through the 4 holes in the front. I was intrigued by the device and recall taking the record player apart to see how it worked, then successfully reassembling it. My sisters weren’t as intrigued as I was, thinking their treasured record player would never work again.


45 RPM records were invented by RCA in 1949 to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Their new record had a large hole so a simple spindle adapter had to be added like shown above. Each 45 held only one song per side, so it meant a lot of flipping and changing records, but they were cool! Plus they were color coded, as shown below:


Speaking of records, ironically, our Christmas gift came with none, so my siblings and I pooled our allowance money of $1.25 per week to buy our first batch of 45 records, since they were much cheaper than a full album. Plus then we could just buy the songs we liked. There was no place in Ft. Loramie that sold records, we headed to Woolworth’s Five & Dime in Sidney with our Mother in our family’s 59’ Chevy like the one pictured below in front of Woolworth’s.


We bought several titles with each of us picking out one record. I recall my choice was by the Beach Boys with Surfin’ Safari on one side and 409 on the flip side. I have no recollections of what my sisters chose.


The Beach Boys were by far my favorite group at the time primarily because their records typically dealt with surfing on one side and cars on the other. Here are more examples:


That original 409 song on the flip side of Surfin’ Safari was about a ’62 Chevy with a V8 engine having a 409 cubic inch displacement. I had written about the car in this previous blogpost. Unlike these examples, most 45 records had a popular hit song on one side and a much less noteworthy song on the other side. But after hundreds of plays with worn needles worsened by my younger sisters frequently sliding the needle across the record, the hit side became so scratchy it was unlistenable. So we’d listen to the flip side until it too became scratchy. So we know by heart the lyrics of some pretty bad songs back from that era!

More on cars, before 8 track and cassette tape players, there were aftermarket record players that could be installed under the dash. They could really only be listened to while stationary since the needle would readily jump across the record tracks pretty easily when hitting a bump.

Juke boxes were another marvel of the time, with stacks and stacks of 45 records just waiting to be played for a quarter. Many places had coin operated devices in each booth to make your selection. The word "jukebox" came into use in 1940, apparently derived from the familiar usage "juke joint", derived from the bayou word "juke" or "joog", meaning disorderly, rowdy, or wicked.

Our collection of 45 records is long gone after all these years, but the memories flourish.

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Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Minster eBay Memorabilia- Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

Series of Guest Blogs by an out-of-state Fish Report reader originally from this area about fond memories of growing up in Midwestern Ohio during the 50’s & 60’s

Minster eBay Memorabilia


After last week’s blog about Ft. Loramie eBay offerings, it’s now Minster’s turn. No surprise, there were tons of Wooden Shoe offerings on the auction website, from old bottles, signs as shown above, photos and bottle openers. Some of the more interesting follow and for the entire list, click here.

Bottle  $11.99
Cancelled checks $28.54  
Wooden Shoes $25
Wooden Shoe Keychain $44.54
Soda bottle by SBC Co of Minster with wooden shoe embossed
underneath offered at $7.00. 
This was the product the brewery
made during Prohibition in the 1920’s.
Wooden Shoe beer openers  $19.00
$25.00

Wooden Shoe had closed in 1954, so my only memories about the beer were stories Mom & Dad would tell as we’d drive by the old brewery on our way to our cousin’s home in Minster. At that time, the building was used as a canning factory for processing tomatoes grown on surrounding farms. Speaking of stories, the Shelby County Historical Society has this wonderful article about the Old Wooden Shoe Brewery. And don’t forget about the Wooden Shoe Inn, still in business serving wonderful chicken dinners. Click here for a previous blogpost about Wooden Shoe.

There were also lots of offerings associated with Minster Machine, such as this ash tray and many expensive Minster punch presses.

$3.50
$46,500

This 1958 photo of downtown Minster brought back many memories, some of which were captured in this previous blogpost about Minster businesses.

1958 FOURTH ST PHOTO $1.99

But I don’t recall Pete’s Place, a grocery owned by Peter Schwenzor.

Pete's Place 5 cent token: $39.99

FleetWing match book cover offered for $4.98. The gas station was operated by Schafer Oil Company, owned by the father of one of my high school classmates.


This small screwdriver offered for $14.99 was a Christmas present to customers of Hoying and Westerheide hardware store. One of the owners was my grandpa’s brother. To this day, I enjoy hardware stores to this day thanks in large part to my great uncle allowing me to tinker with the goods on display in the store.


A similar screwdriver in much better condition from Streakers implement dealer was being offered at $12.52. I had an uncle that worked at Streakers for many years, and because of that connection, Dad always bought his Oliver tractors and other implements from his brother.

ST. AUGUSTINE’S CHURCH POSTCARD $10.58

There were a number of Minster High School Fanfare yearbooks also being offered from $16-$20, and I was intrigued by the themes of the various editions. For example:

1993 - Out of Control
1994 - What’s Your Point
1998 All Mixed Up
2001 Pushing The Limits
2004 Yearbook - Mix It Up

Minster’s school administrators must exerted much less editorial control on their Yearbook staff than when I was in high school!

It’s amazing what one can find on eBay and the Internet. I’ll keep searching, reviving and sharing those old memories.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Loramie eBay Memorabilia - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

Series of Guest Blogs by an out-of-state Fish Report reader originally from this area about fond memories of growing up in Midwestern Ohio during the 50’s & 60’s

Local eBay Memorabilia


Routinely I search eBay for items of historic interest related to local communities. This week there were some interesting offerings related to Ft. Loramie that brought back some memories. First was this vintage postcard showing Shorts Landing on Lake Loramie with a starting bid at $8.99.

The postcard brought to mind this Fish Report article by Harry Boerger that included vintage black and white photos of Shorts Landing on the south side of Lake Loramie. I distinctly remember the Merry-Go-Around with an ad for Busses Meat Market. Shorts Landing was established by Jeremiah Chambers in about 1920 and then later run by his son-in-law George Short. When I was a kid, the place was called Slippery Sal’s and owned by Sally Wagner and her husband Joe. Now it’s a condo development located on appropriately named Short Dr. My niece Leslie at one time owned one of the units.

There were several eBay offerings of matchbook covers from Loramie area restaurants, including Filburn’s Island adjacent to Shorts Landing on Lake Loramie for $4.18. My niece and her husband recently built a beautiful home on the lake near the spot where the restaurant was located. Another offering was a somewhat risqué vintage matchbook cover from Brucken’s Cafe being auctioned for $3.99. Ironically the matches for both covers are gone.




Brucken’s was a popular bar and restaurant as a kid. The place would be packed after basketball games each Friday night. They served the best tenderloin sandwich and onion rings. No doubt they still do.

I was surprised to find three handmade knives created by my brother-in-law John Francis for $79-$95.



Here’s an offering for a book about the interurban railway that ran between towns in western Ohio, including Ft. Loramie as indicated in this excerpt.


And here’s an article originally published in 1911 by the New Bremen Sun commemorating the railway’s opening. Since the railway didn’t last too long, calling this event the most important in Ft. Loramie’s history may be considered “fake news” in today’s vernacular!


Next week’s blog will focus on eBay offerings related to other area communities.

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