Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Mars - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

A 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

Mars


The recent successful mission to Mars by the InSight landing craft got my attention as I always considered myself a wannabe rocket scientist. Somewhere along the line, my career got “sidetracked" into automotive engineering. Too late now to do anything about it except appreciate events like the mission to Mars and future space explorations.


It was only natural while growing up in the 50’s & 60’s to be interested in outer space, as reports of unidentified flying objects (UFO’s) were common place back in those days. Flying saucers from Mars carrying little green men occupied the imagination of youngsters like me.


TV shows like the Twilight Zone, Star Trek and My Favorite Martian just reinforced the illusion. Notice the vintage TV is unplugged!


Comic books back in those days also really fed the imagination.


Over the years, the reality of modern science fiction movies just bolstered my fascination even more. My favorites were 2001 Space Odyssey, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Extra Terrestrial and The Martian.


Flying saucers were intriguing to me as well. I tried to imagine how they flew, with no wing or rocket engine. Since they weren’t (supposedly) real, any means of imaginary flight and propulsion could be visualized in my mind’s eye..


But the absolute culmination of my rocket science passion occurred during the moon landing in1969, especially with Wapak native Neil Armstrong taking that first “giant leap for mankind".


Regarding Neil Armstrong, even though the following story originated with Buddy Hackett, not Neil Armstrong, I’ll share it anyway:

When Apollo 11 Astronaut Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon, he not only gave his famous “One small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” statement, but followed it by an enigmatic remark “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.” Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs.

Over the years, many people had questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky” statement meant. 26 years later, following a speech, a reporter again brought up the question to Armstrong. He finally responded. It seems that Mr. Gorsky had died and so Armstrong felt he could finally answer the question. When Neil was a kid in Wapakoneta, he was playing baseball with his brother in the backyard. His brother hit a fly ball which landed in front of their neighbors’ bedroom window. The neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, Neil heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky, “Sex you want? You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”

Consider this just another story confirming:


Maybe that will be the topic for next week’s blog, but my wife should write it!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Redskin Field Crew - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

A 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

Redskin Field Crew

 

Congratulations to the Loramie Redskin football team for an outstanding season! First year coach Spencer Wells and his assistants did a terrific job elevating the program to a new level one game away from the state championship. In addition to the coaches and players outstanding efforts, I’d like to recognize a behind-the-scenes group who contributed to the team's success; namely the members of the field crew pictured below.

Sitting (l-r) Coach Wells, Tom Eilerman, Don Ruhenkamp, Jeff Schulze, Ralph Fleckenstein, Jake Sherman
Standing (l-r): Bob Theis, Roger Frilling, Ron Schulze, Tom Wisener, Russ Seger, Ken Boerger, John Sherman, Norm Albers, Ken Meyer, Jim Eilerman, John Meinerding, Frank Schafer, Tony Winner, Ron Pleiman

There are about a dozen more members not shown who weren’t able to attend the recent recognition event for the field crew. They were honored with the “Fields of Excellence” award within the area for having the best maintained field. The group was also honored during halftime of a game earlier in the season. Don Ruhenkamp has been the leader of the volunteer group of local retirees and recently turned over the reins to Ron Schulze. Some photos of the team in action preparing the field follow.

 

And here’s the award-winning finished product. Perfect!


Two of the members of the field crew were in my class in high school; John (Spike) Meinerding and Frank (Red) Schafer. Spike and I took mass server lessons (in Latin) together with Fr. Raterman that I had written about in this 2017 blogpost. Red and I roomed together after high school at 52 1/2 Anderson near U of D’s campus as documented in this 2017 blogpost Also, I played softball with or against about half the group, including Ralph (Ferd) Fleckenstein, whom I had written about in this 2016 blogpost. He was the best softball player I had ever seen play. And, who can forget Don Ruhenkamp, my ditch-digging boss, whom I had written about in this 2015 blog post.

Obviously, with all these previous blogposts about members of the field crew, they are a memorable group to me and I know how dedicated and committed they are to maintaining the Redskin field in such perfect condition. Seeing the group photo brought to mind some other memories about individuals on the field crew that I’ll have to write about in the future, so stay tuned. Thanks and congratulations to each and every crew member.

And finally, here’s another blogpost about Friday Night Lights from back in 2015:
http://fishreportonline.blogspot.com/2015/10/daves-midwestern-ohio-memories-from-50s_27.html

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Vin Scully - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

A 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

Vin Scully


Today is retired LA Dodger announcer Vin Scully’s 91st birthday. He is an amazing personality not only in baseball but all sports. For years, he was the TV announcer for the World Series games and always provided an informative and entertaining telecast. He broadcasted for 67 seasons, a record for any announcer in any sport.


The living baseball legend called Don Larson’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, four Sandy Koufax no hitters including a perfect game against the Cubs in 1965, Hank Aaron’s 715th home run in 1974, the hobbled Kirk Gibson’s epic World Series Game 1 walkoff homer in 1988 ("In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened") and many more classic baseball moments.


He wasn’t as flamboyant as Harry Carry or Bob Uecker, but his amazing stories were the greatest. To quote MLB.com, "You could build Vin Scully's legacy with his calls of some of baseball's most iconic moments -- the walk-offs, the perfect games, the World Series wins. But what made him so special, what made him America's voice, has always been his ability to fill in the gaps with bits and pieces that breathe new life into the game, day after day, for more than six decades. The man could turn a grocery list into poetry.” A couple examples follow:

Normandy Invasion Heroics:
On the 71st anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II, Scully made sure his audience wouldn't go uninformed, sprinkling anecdotes from that fateful day throughout the game. Ever the showman, in the 8th inning, Scully told the tale of Lt. Col. John Malcolm Thorpe Fleming Churchill, otherwise known as "Mad Jack.”


Jack, as you may have guessed, more than lived up to his name: "He actually jumped from his landing craft with a sword in hand," Scully explained. "He also threw a grenade for good measure as he ran towards the battle, and he managed to capture over 40 German officers at sword point during one raid.”


He closed the game by telling of a young author, slated to land on Utah Beach on the frontlines of the invasion. But ocean currents that morning pushed his vessel further down the coast, and he and his fellow soldiers ended up reaching land at a point less-heavily defended by the Germans, helping him survive the day. The author's name? J.D. Salinger, and he happened to have the draft of the first six chapters of "Catcher in the Rye" in his backpack the entire time.


MADBUM Madison Bumgarner:
“During spring training in Arizona, Bumgarner and his wife were roping cattle, which is what they do—one-one pitch. Sinker low ball. Two and one—and they were startled by a large snake. And Madison thought it was a rattlesnake, so he grabbed an ax and hacked the snake to pieces. But there’s something more to this story—low ball pitch. Low. Ball three. Three and one—His wife Ali examined what was left of the snake, she found two baby jackrabbits. And after she extracted them—three one pitch to Turner. Way inside. Ball four—she noticed that one of the rabbits was alive. Well his wife brought the rabbit back to their apartment, the next days they kept it warm, bottle nursed it, and the rabbit was soon healthy enough that they released it into the wild.”


Jackie Robinson #42
“It was in the early ’50s, I was traveling with the ball club and we were in Cincinnati. Now, Jackie Robinson had received a lot of threatening letters, but when we got to Cincinnati, they really took a particular letter very, very seriously... And the Dodgers were having their usual pregame meeting, although on that particular day that meeting was very tense. And it was very serious as you can imagine, talking about what might happen, what disaster might occur to Jackie Robinson... In the middle of these tense discussions, [Gene] Hermanski said ‘I’ve got it!’ and everything stopped and everybody looked at Gene and he said, ‘let’s all wear number 42...’ And it came to pass, years later, where indeed, like Gene Hermanski said, everybody should wear 42.”


Willie Mays Greatest Catch:
“I was also privileged to see Willie make the greatest catch of his career, and he agrees with me that it was. No, not the catch in the World Series against Vic Wertz and Cleveland, I'm talking a Dodger-Giants game at Ebbets Field. Dodgers trailing by a run, bases loaded and two out. We had a young third baseman out of Oklahoma by the name of Bobby Morgan and Morgan hit a line drive out to left center. As soon as the ball left the bat you knew it was an extra base hit. Everybody knew that, except Willie. And Willie, running as hard as he can, left his feet, parallel like an arrow throughout the air, and caught the ball. In those days, certainly at Ebbets Field, we had a gravel warning track. So Willie, going head first, hit that gravel and then bounced head first into the wall. And he was not wearing a helmet. They didn't wear helmets in those days. He hit the wall and rolled over onto his back. The left fielder was a fella named Henry Thompson for the Giants. Henry came over, bent down, there was Willie, unconscious, holding the ball on his chest, and Henry reached down, held it up for the umpires. ‘Out,’ for Bobby Morgan. And that, was the greatest single catch I've ever seen.”


Friday the 13th:
"It's pretty hard to figure out, and in doing a little research about why and how Friday the 13th became such a superstition. You have to go back to an 1869 biography of a musician, where they referred to it as a bad day... in numerology, the No. 12 is considered completeness. You know 12 months of the year, 12 hours on the clock, 12 gods of Olympus, 12 tribes of Israel, the 12 apostles of Jesus, the 12 successors of Mohammed in Shia Islam, the 12 signs of the Zodiac, for that matter as well... The number 13 is considered irregular. You might not know it, I never did, in Spanish speaking countries, instead of Friday, Tuesday the 13th is considered a day of bad luck. Tuesday the 13th. I never knew that.”


Yogi Berra:
"The legacy of Yogi Berra, I believe, as long as people talk about the game, whenever they mention the name Yogi Berra, they will smile. Because he was that kind of a human being. Don Mattingly played with him, knew him so very, very well -- Don usually wears a windbreaker, but he is not wearing the windbreaker tonight. He is proud to wear the No. 8. That was Yogi's number when Don played with him in New York. ... One of the sweetest men, and one of the great players. Overshadowed by some of the great names in Yankee history … but for instance, you know he only hit three home runs less than Joe DiMaggio?”




Vin Scully has won every award one could possibly imagine and is universally considered the finest announcer to ever call a baseball game. I couldn’t agree more.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Michigan & Ohio State - Dave's Midwestern Ohio Memories

A 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

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Michigan & Ohio State


Big game Saturday! OSU-Michigan with another Bid Ten East championship on the line. This game always brings back memories of the Woody & Bo days that I documented in last year’s blog before the Big Game.

Enjoy this video tribute to the rivalry including highlights from the 2006 Game when both teams were undefeated & ranked 1 & 2:


Here are some bits & pieces found on-line about the storied rivalry:

  
 
 
 


Blind date gone wrong between a Michigan and Ohio State fan: 


In Sunday night's Simpson’s show, Moe, the socially creepy bartender, portrayed a Russian priest marrying a Russian woman in a wedding ceremony. But Moe couldn't go through with it. Which is a good thing, especially since both the priest and the woman weren't Russian. Moe is actually from Brooklyn. And the woman?https://www.freep.com/story/sports/college/university-michigan/wolverines/2018/11/12/simpsons-michigan-ohio-state-rivalry/1975918002/

Seems like there's at least one Wolverines fan on the Simpson’s writing staff.

On that note, Happy Thanksgiving!




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