Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Loss of a Friend - 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

Loss of a Friend

Dr. Pete Quinter - RIP
After recently searching through my list of potential future blog topics, I noticed one entry about my memories of a friend from my youth, Paul (nicknamed Pete) Quinter. So, this week’s blog is about Pete. Shockingly, I discovered while doing on-line research for this blog that Pete had, unbeknownst to me, passed away last fall from brain cancer. This blog is dedicated to Pete and his family.

As kids, we grew up on nearby farms; however, because our respective farms were split by the Shelby-Auglaise County line as shown on the above map, Pete attended Minster elementary school while I attended Ft. Loramie. That factor did not make us any less friends while growing up.

Pete eventually became a skilled surgeon at St. Marys hospital. The last time I saw him a number of years ago, he had just performed successful aortal femoral bypass surgery on my mother that prolonged her life by at least 10 years, for which I’ll be eternally grateful.

Pete and I would ride our bikes to each others farms at least weekly and always have fun playing whatever sport was in season, pretending to be cowboys and Indians or just goofing off doing a whole lot of nothing! Our ambition in life was to become "river rats", living on a house boat and floating down the Ohio River just like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn did along the Mississippi.

One incident I recall involved an old BB gun that no longer worked, or so we thought. The gun would make a pop after it was cocked, but for some reason, it would not shoot BB’s. So, we used the beat-up gun for our cowboys and Indian exploits. However, on one occasion, a BB must have became dislodged and was fired while we were playing. The BB shattered the lens on Pete’s eyeglasses as depicted in the photo below.

Imagine if Pete has not been wearing his glasses. The BB no doubt would have damaged his eye and likely would have made it impossible for him to be the outstanding surgeon he eventually was to become. Dad paid Pete’s parents for a new lens, and then took away my $1.25 a week allowance for for several months to “pay back” the expense. We were lucky that time.

However, fate was to change a few years later in 1962 when Pete and two older brothers were pheasant hunting and an accident occurred regrettably killing the oldest brother Joe. What a sad day I and many others will never forget. When young Pete was exposed to that tragic accident and the heroic work by the doctors as they tried to save his brother’s life, it was at that point when he decided to become a surgeon. Read more about Pete in this wonderful tribute to his life. And below is the touching thank you message sent to mourners by the family after Pete’s death last fall. May he rest in peace and may wonderful memories of Pete sustain his family and friends forever.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Birthday Gag Gift - 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

Birthday Gag Gift

Recall several posts back that I had “celebrated” my 70th birthday? Well, as a gag, a good friend gave me a gift certificate for a pedicure at my wife’s nail salon - so that provides a clue that she was in on it, too.

This week my wife had scheduled a manicure, so I tagged along to check out what a pedicure would entail. Needless to say, I took the plunge (literally starting by soaking my feet in something akin to toilet bowl cleaner) and got my first-ever pedicure as pictured above. As further evidence my wife was in on the gag, the couple who gave me the gift certificate pictured below showed up to razz me and take photos!

I recall as a kid on the farm, going barefoot all summer long, stepping on rusty nails (requiring painful tetanus shots), getting splinters and stubbing toes. And when I did wear shoes, they were cramped hand-me-downs or worn out basketball sneakers. After 70 years of wear and tear, my feet were really in need of some tender loving care.

No, the pedicurist did not need metal cutters to trim my toe nails as pictured above, However, she did need something that looked like a cheese grater and some course sandpaper to smooth out the bottom of my feet.

Now, I’m not the first guy to get a pedicure, as back in the mid-1700’s, Thomas Jefferson brought the practice to America from France as outlined below. Therefore, I'm in good company.

The pedicure also included treatment to the lower leg as pictured above. The vibrating lounge chair provided a thorough massage to my back as the pedicure was being performed, plus they offered a glass of wine as a refreshment. All-in-all, the pedicure was very relaxing and much more enjoyable than I had imagined. And for at least a week afterwards, my toes sort of tingled in a good way, somewhat like after a thorough teeth cleaning, only on the opposite end. Will I ever do it again: maybe in another 70 years, but for now I have happy feet, thanks to my gag-gifting friends!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Roo-shee Girls - 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

Roo-shee Girls

During the spring of my junior year in high school, we got knocked out of the tournament early because our team was not very good. For a reason I don’t recall, all the seniors on the team quit early in the season, so that left me and four sophomores elevated from JV as starters. To keep the scores close, our primary tactic was a stall coupled with a full court press, which worked ok during the season in the cracker-box gyms we played back then. But in Sidney High’s huge gym where the tournament was played, that strategy was dealt a fatal blow, so we lost big time.

On the following Sunday afternoon, I was riding around with some of my high school buddies, when we heard through the grapevine (predecessor to the internet) that there was a party at a farm house near Russia, so off we went, having no idea where the party was being held. So we drove up and down the various roads around Russia, finally finding a farm with a bunch of cars in the driveway north of town that we hoped was the party place. For some reason, I remember the farm also had a bunch of antique stuff around the yard somewhat like the photo below. The mailbox indicated the name of the family that lived there, and we knew there was a Russia cheerleader with that same last name. So we drove in and indeed found the party was going full blast! Apparently, the cheerleader’s parents were gone for the weekend, probably looking for more antiques!

Other than visiting my cousins in Russia, as documented in this previous blogpost, that memorable Sunday was my first exposure to the girls of Roo-shee! Wow, they were all knockouts and super friendly. Seems they were kind of intrigued by us out-of-towners almost as much as we were with them. No doubt the local guys were peeved, but who cared. We were in seventh heaven, partying to the max. It was a very fun and memorable afternoon, as from that moment on, Roo-shee girls were always on my radar screen.

Our favorite meeting place at the time is pictured above; Louie’s in Newport, now Scudzy’s, located on State Route 66 right along the old Miami-Erie canal. Louie Bruns was the proprietor, and because his bar was located about half way between Loramie and Russia, it became the place to connect up with Roo-shee girls.

The juke box was always rocking with the latest hit songs and the red booths were gigantic, so we’d all squeeze in together to share some food, drink and the latest scuttlebutt around our two neighboring towns.

Well, that connection to Roo-shee still exists to this day, as about 6 years after my initial encounter described above, I was fortunate to meet a very special Roo-shee girl who is now my wife of 46 years. Love those Roo-shee girls!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sinclair Community College - 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

Sinclair Community College

A recently Fish Report article was about a girl from Covington signing to play basketball with Sinclair Community College, which brought back recollections about my basketball playing career at Sinclair. So I went on-line and found the photograph above of Sinclair’s current team. As shown above, their record is 14-13.

With little money after graduating from high school, I started working on the night shift at Frigidaire in Dayton while attending Sinclair during the day at the old Dayton YMCA building, squeezing in basketball practice after my classes before going to work on the washing machine assembly line. Because of having the lowest seniority, I was assigned the worst job, loading the 50 pound tubs into the washers at the rate of about 1 per minute. The good news it helped my strength and endurance for basketball.


Fortunately, all of Sinclair's basketball games were on the weekend, several times playing other community colleges in Kentucky and Tennessee. The long bus rides to those games were fun since the cheerleaders came along with us. My appreciation for cheerleaders back then was well documented in this previous blog.

Our team had several African American players, so whenever we went to those Appalachian schools, many times the opponents and their fans reacted poorly towards those players. Such behavior really upset us and provided extra motivation for our team; literally every time leading us to a blowout win. Fortunately we never faced the likes of those type of fans and opponents when playing local teams in Ohio; otherwise, we’d have gone undefeated! As it was, if memory serves, our record was something like 12-7.

That season represented the start as well as the end of my college basketball career, as I subsequently was accepted at General Motors Institute as described in this previous blogpost. They had no basketball team but fortunately had great professors!

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