Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The Day the Music Died - 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

The Day the Music Died

This coming Saturday, February 3rd will be the 59th anniversary of rock and roll musician Buddy Holly’s death in an airplane crash.

The crashed plane pictured above was named American Pie, which was the title of the 1971 song The Day The Music Died, an 8 minute ballad by Don McLean about Buddy Holly. There are many references to historical events that occurred after the crash and are referenced in the epic saga. Here’s an interesting video that shows scenes associated with those consequential events between 1959 and 1971 when the song was written. Including the song’s words (hit cc to show the lyrics) with photos and film clips, the ballad takes on even more meaning. There is also a current Broadway play about Buddy Holly I really enjoyed during a recent trip to NYC.

Buddy went down in the plane with fellow musicians, Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson, aka the Big Bopper, while on a winter tour of the midwest as indicated in the flyer above. All were very young and only had a handful of hit songs. Buddy Holly’s best known for "That’ll be the Day", Ritchie Valens for “La Bamba” the Big Bopper for “Chantilly Lace”.

My favorite line in the song near the end references the three people he admires most, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost symbolized in the photos below.

Here’s an informative article from Time magazine about the Day the Music Died.

Enjoy! Glad the music really didn’t literally die, but no doubt the death of Buddy Holly and his cohorts irreparably changed the course of music.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

1968 - A Year to Forget - 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

1968 - A Year to Forget

The year was 1968, now fifty years past. I was a freshman in college, just starting my second semester. The day before the semester was to start, I tore the cartilage in my right knee trying to block a shot playing a pick-up basketball game. That painful event was the first of a string of incidents that lead me to conclude that 1968 was the worst year of my life.

Not only was I suffering, but the nation was as well, as you will see (and recall, for you oldsters out there). Things got worse when my beloved Browns lost in the NFL Playoffs. Green Bay subsequently captured Super Bowl II against the Oakland Raiders after beating the Cowboys on the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field with temps at -13, dubbed The Ice Bowl.

Shortly thereafter, a U.S. B-52 Stratofortress crashed in Greenland, discharging 4 nuclear bombs! Fortunately they did not detonate.

And in the Vietnam War, The Tet Offensive began, as Viet Cong forces launched a series of surprise attacks across South Vietnam, which was the turning point of the only war the US has ever lost.

President Lyndon B. Johnson announces he will not seek re-election, having been disgraced by the Viet Nam war.

U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Sirhan Sirhan is arrested. Kennedy dies from his injuries the next day.

Summer Olympics are held in Mexico City, underscored by sprinters John Carlos and Tommy Smith raising gloved fists while the Star Spangled Banner was played during the metal ceremony, representing a Black Power salute.

Saddam Hussein becomes Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council in Iraq after a coup d’├ętat.

Jose Feliciano sings a controversial version of the National Anthem during the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and St. Louis Cardinals, which the Tigers won in 7 games.

Republican challenger Richard Nixon defeats the Democratic candidate, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and American Independent Party candidate George C. Wallace, but must eventually resign in disgrace for the Watergate burglary to avoid being impeached.

While a these troubling events were going on, I was also struggling with my engineering classes in college; specifically Organic Chemistry, Advanced Calculus and Physics II. It was the second semester of the freshman year when they tended to weed out those that couldn’t cut it. There were many a long night spent studying, motivated by the Dean’s Freshman Orientation talk when he said, “Look to the person on your right and on your left; only one of you will make it!” Once that testy semester was over, I gratefully headed back to Dayton to a job at Frigidaire, but shortly after starting work, I got a case of strep throat that really knocked me down. I recall living at the boarding house pictured below on Grand Avenue in Dayton in a small room on the third floor opposite the turret (it was the cheapest room!). For two weeks I was laid up in that bed staring out the window sick as a dog. With my injured knee, I’d hobble down three flights of stairs once a day to get something to eat; always making scrambled eggs with canned mushrooms, the only meal I knew how to cook at the time. Since then, I’ve now gotten my meal repertoire up to 2-3 additional delicacies!

A month or so after recovering from strep throat, I had surgery for the torn cartilage in my knee that caused me to miss even more work. So I was laid up again, this time for 6 weeks of more scrambled eggs and mushrooms before finally heading back to school in late summer, documented in this previous blog post. That trip was really the only good thing that happened to me all year. On second though I do remember being driven around town when I was recuperating from knee surgery by my fellow-boarding house roommate in his beautiful red Austin Healy like the model pictured below. Now that sports car was a chick magnet! With a 6’4” frame, my head stuck above the windshield, great for spotting mini-skirted co-ed’s while cruising around the University of Dayton campus.

Meanwhile there were a few other good things happening around the world to partially offset some of the bad things. For example, the wonderfully funny comedy, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In debuted on NBC.

The Winter Olympics in Grenoble France were held, with speedy Jean-Claude Killy capturing three gold metals in downhill skiing.

Madison Square Garden in New York City opens, home to the Knicks, Rangers and NIT Tournament, won in that inagural year by the UD Flyers, led by forward Don May, as they beat Kansas 61-48.

The film 2001: A Space Odyssey premieres, featuring Dave, the lone astronaut with Hal, the talking computer.

The American movie Planet of the Apes was released featuring Charlton Heston and written by Rod Serling of Twilight Zone fame

The rock band Steppenwolf released Born to be Wild, which became the theme song for the movie Easy Rider the following year. Both are among my favorites.

The semiconductor company Intel was founded, contributing to the advent of the personal computer and smart phone.

Detroit Tiger Denny McLain becomes the first baseball pitcher to win 30 games in a season since 1934. He remains the last to accomplish the feat. I think he’s in jail now for racketeering, extorsion and drug-dealing!

60 Minutes debuts on CBS and is still on the air as of 2017.

Boeing officially rolls out its new 747. The giant plane's last commercial flight just occurred a few weeks ago after 50 years.

The movie Bullitt was introduced starring Steve McQueen and his fast, green Mustang.

The year finally ended on a very positive note with U.S. spacecraft Apollo 8 orbiting around the Moon. Astronauts Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William A. Anders become the first humans to see the far side of the Moon and planet Earth as a whole.

50 years gone by and still the consequential memories from 1968 are hard to forget. Glad to have survived that crazy year - and every year since. Just like being the only one of us three in that Freshman Orientation to survive!

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Galen Cisco - 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

Fish Report Readers: Please be reminded to give generously to the worthwhile cause documented in last week’s blog about the North Star native Sister Donna Liette’s ministry on the south side of Chicago. Sixteen generous Fish Report readers have contributed so far, with one donor committing to match dollar-for-dollar any and all contributions up to a limit that has not yet been reached! Donate by clicking on this link.

Galen Cisco - Major League Baseball Player, Coach & OSU Football Player

Galen and Coach Hayes, with fellow Buckeye Leo Brown
Galen and Casey Stengel

A recent Fish Report’s cover story about a speaking engagement by local legend Galen Cisco brought back some memories that I’m about to share. The memories are mostly mine, but also include interesting Galen Cisco stories that I found on-line. As reported last week, Galen is a St. Mary’s native who played football and baseball at Ohio State and baseball in the Major Leagues. As shown in the photo above, Galen played for two legendary coaches, Woody Hayes and Casey Stengel, plus also Hall of Fame coach Dick Williams. So here goes:

My memories of Galen Cisco go back to 1962 when his rookie baseball card (pictured above) turned up in a Topps bubble gum pack I purchased. It showed he was from St. Mary's so naturally I took an interest. Like me he grew up on a farm, worked hard and enjoyed sports of all kind. That baseball card disappeared along with my Erector set after I left for college. My young brother at the time likely was the culprit, but he blames our now-deceased Mother for throwing it out during one of her infamous spring cleaning binges.

Galen & Martha
Galen in the Horseshoe
Galen is married to childhood sweetheart Martha and they live in Celina. They were married over 60 years ago just before the 1958 Rose Bowl game because Coach Hayes said any married players could bring their wives to Pasadena at school expense. So Martha and Galen quickly got married and spent their honeymoon in Southern California while also celebrating a big win over Oregon that earned the Buckeyes a National Championship.

As a senior on the Buckeyes, Galen played both ways as halfback and linebacker, while also gaining a 12-2 record pitching for Ohio State during his career. In 1995, he was recognized for his accomplishments by being elected to the Buckeye’s Varsity Hall of Fame.

Galen, second from the right, along with other National Champion Buckeye Players

Galen was signed by the Boston Red Sox and made the big leagues in 1962, but was sent later in the season to the expansion NY Mets, who were established after the Dodgers and Giants bolted to California in 1958. The Mets went on to lose 120 games that year, the worst in major league history. In one game, he incurred 162 pitches in one of the few wins all season. Galen’s autographed baseball card is shown below. In 1969, Galen landed with another expansion team, the Kansas City Royals where he finished his career as a reliever with a 3.63 ERA. Galen then became a darn good pitching coach over three decades for a number of teams including the Toronto Blue Jays. It was during that stint at Toronto as the Blue Jays pitching coach that our virtual paths crossed again, as Toronto was in a heated pennant race with the Tigers at the end of the 1987 season. Recall that I became a staunch Tigers fan after moving to Michigan about the same time Sparky Anderson moved from the Reds to the Tigers. Late in that 1987 season, with the Tigers tied with the Blue Jays, I recall watching a game on TV when the announcer said Blue Jays pitching coach Galen Cisco was heading to the mound to talk to the pitcher. That name struck a cord but I never did figure out the connection until reading the Fish Report article last week! Well the Tigers went on to win the game and their division that year, making the playoffs but unfortunately losing to the Twins in 5 games.

Entering St. Marys is a green sign shaped like a diamond off state Route 66 that identifies the town as the home of Galen Cisco, baseball pro. Also, in his honor, the St. Marys Little League has given the Galen Cisco Award to the MVP each year since 1965. In fact, the award went to Galen's nephew, Ty, in 1980.

According to Galen about his legendary career, "There’s not one regret. Why would I change a thing? It’s been a truly wonderful life.”

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

North Star Native on Megyn Kelly Today Show - 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

North Star Native on Megyn Kelly Today Show

Watch an excerpt from this fall's premiere show of Megyn Kelly TODAY and learn about the uplifting story of Sister Donna Liette, a 77-year-old nun and North Star native pictured above with Megyn Kelly.

Sister Donna, along with her cohorts pictured below, Father Denny Kinderman from Dayton, Sister Carolyn Hoying from Egypt and Fr. David Kelly from Greenville, decided to do something about the violence tearing apart their Chicago neighborhood. All are members of the Precious Blood religious order headquartered in Carthagena.

Fr. Denny,  Sister Carolyn,  Fr. David 
Precious Blood Hqds., St. Charles Seminary, Carthagena, Ohio

These local stalwarts are doing some amazing work in the rough and tumble neighborhoods on the south side of Chicago. I had the pleasure of speaking with them recently about their Precious Blood Ministry and came away inspired to help them in some way. So this blogpost represents a start.

Sr. Donna's deep religious faith can be attributed to her parents and grandparents who were lifelong members of North Star's St. Louis Catholic church. Sister Donna still stays connected with her 13 classmates from elementary school in North Star and tells the story that her grandfather once went hunting with Annie Oakley, another North Star native whom I had written about in this previous blogpost. In fact, Sister once direct a local production of the musical, Annie Get Your Gun, about the famous sharpshooter. She even sang this verse from the musical over the phone! One other famous North Star native she was surprised to learn about is professional baseball pitcher Craig Stammen. I doubt Craig knows about her either, but hopefully he will!

And regarding Sister Carolyn, I came to find out she is a distant cousin of mine, having grown up in Egypt, attending St. Joseph Catholic church with her parents. Sister remembered my parents and said they played cards with her parents for years! Sister Carolyn is pictured below with her brother and sister-in-law, Bud and Doris Hoying from Russia when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary and Sister Carolyn’s 50th year as a nun at the same time in 2012.

Both future Sisters entered the Precious Blood convent in Dayton after the 8th grade. My sister also attended there as well; a few years behind them.

St. Louis Church, North Star

St. Joseph Church, Egypt
Precious Blood Convent - Salem Heights, Dayton

Over the last six decades, Sister Donna has ministered through teaching, vocations and campus ministry in California, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. For 13 years, she had served as director of Mercy Manor in Dayton, which provides housing and services for women with histories of addiction, incarceration and abuse.

On the other hand, Sister Carolyn focused her career on being an educator, eventually becoming the principal of St. John the Evangelist Catholic School in Loveland, Colorado from 1986-2002. Recently Sister Carolyn was recognized for her many years of service to St. Johns by having their new gymnasium named in her honor as shown in the photo below.

Father David Kelly was born in Lima, but his parents moved to Greenville when he was 5, where he attended school and church at St. Mary’s parish. Father Kinderman grew in the Dayton area. After the 8th grade both joined Brunnerdale Seminary, about the same time I attended there in the 60’s. Both stayed; I didn’t as documented in this previous blog After becoming priests, both held numerous posts within the religious order. Fr. Denny's assignments involved pastoral work, campus ministry, retreat services, youth assistance and provincial administration. Fr. David served as chaplain of the Cook County Jail and Detention Center for over 30 years. He has a doctorate from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. His doctoral thesis was entitled: Responding to Violence among Urban Youth: a Restorative Approach, research that no doubt serves him well in his ministry.

Brunnerdale Seminary
Cook County Jail

So how did these dedicated midwestern Ohio natives end up together in the south side of Chicago? Divine intervention most likely along with having similar backgrounds and experiences in a religious order renown for it’s charity, spirituality and missionary focus. Their quest is to bring the Word of God to where it is most needed. And clearly in the south side of Chicago the need is staggering. They operate a Center in a once abandoned building that’s been refurbished thanks to donor generosity.

The Center is a safe place in which people feel as though they belong; a place where no one judges them. They seek help in trying to find a job or do better in school. Some work part time merely to feed and clothe themselves. You often find people sitting in a circle sharing their pain and discovering that they are not alone. They counter the negative stereotypes or labels that seem to be too often depicted in the media.

The ministry also focuses on youth who are incarcerated and mothers who have lost loved ones to violence or incarceration. They help enable juvenile offenders to earn money for restitution to their victims. Kids are a constant at the Center. You’ll find them rummaging through the refrigerator trying to find something to eat, using the meager weight room trying to build muscles, working out in the garden or simply sweeping floors or moping halls.

Early on, Fr. Kelly was put in a very difficult position as a result of a murder in the neighborhood because he knew both the parents of the boy killed as well as the killer. Working with so many challenging cases must certainly be difficult, but the attitudes of everyone I spoke to were amazingly positive. They are making a difference every day. No doubt their efforts and prayers have and will continue to provide a beacon for hope on the south side of Chicago.


So now the team is doubling down by raising money to renovate another abandoned building to house an Early Learning Center for babies and beyond that will offer affordable care and quality learning experiences for the children of their community, plus give women with children the freedom to work and know that their children are cared for in a safe and healthy environment. A Catholic grade school is nearby and as envisioned, the Precious Blood Early Learning Center will hopefully be a feeder for properly-prepared and faith-filled students for the school.

Fr. Kelly, Fr. Denny, Sister Donna and Sister Carolyn are trying to raise $200,000 for the Early Learning Center and are asking for our help. They already have $22,000 in seed money from Caldwell Banker and Ace Hardware as shown in the Megyn Kelly piece. To donate, click on this link to their ministry website. Be generous, Fish Report readers!

Hear directly from those being served at the Precious Blood Center by clicking on this informative video. And check out their facebook page at this link.

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