Monday, May 28, 2018

Local Legends - 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

Local Legends

Hope all you Fish Report readers are having a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. It is an especially poignant time for me because of the flags mounted along Ft. Loramie streets honoring two of my living uncles who both served valiantly in the military; Pat and Linus Hoying (Linus aka Lindy is grandfather to pro baseball player Jared Hoying). In addition, a deceased relative, Richard Barhorst, is also honored with a legends flag as shown in the photo below with his descendants including his son Doug (in the yellow shirt who's a high school classmate of mine - '66).

They and many other veterans are similarly honored at the Ft. Loramie Veterans Monument in Canal Park. Eagle Scout Nathan Hausfeld conceived the idea of a monument and made it’s creation and dedication in 2016 the theme of his Eagle Scout project. This Community Post article describes the accomplishment.

My uncles had 5 other brothers who served in the armed forces, as described in this previous blogpost. Uncle Pat served as a guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

And my Godfather, uncle Hank, was likely involved in the transport of atomic bomb materials or personnel to the South Pacific’s Tinian Island from where B29’s took off to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima & Nagasaki in 1945 to the end WWII. Check out this blog for more details.

My uncle Ralph landed at Normandy on D-Day. I recall my Dad telling the story about how my uncle returned home on leave after the landings, arriving in the middle of the night. He quietly crawled into bed which he had always shared with my Dad, then came down to the breakfast table the next morning as if nothing had ever happened to totally surprise his Mother and the rest of the family.

Another uncle Edwin worked at the White House as a Naval aid to President's Roosevelt and Truman, and attended several important conferences with Churchill and Stalin during the course of the War.

We will be forever indebted to our 13 uncles along with all of our relatives who served so courageously in the military, and are eternally thankful for the sacrifices they made to protect and preserve our freedom. God bless them all.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

RFD - 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


Someone asked how I come up with ideas for the blog each week, so this blogpost provides some insight into the bizarre process I sometimes go through to find a topic. So bear with me as we follow the convoluted mental gyrations sometimes necessary to generate the weekly blog. A few days ago I was surfing through channels on the TV when an old show called "Mayberry RFD” from the 1960’s popped up. It starred Ron Howard as Opie.

I hadn’t heard the acronym RFD for years, which means Rural Federal Delivery. So I googled it and discovered that before 1880, farmers across the country had to go into the closest town to pick up their mail, sometimes many miles away. Fayette County, in southeastern Indiana was the first to try a system for daily mail delivery to the rural areas of the county.

Ironically, about a hundred years later from 1978-1982, I worked at a Ford components plant in Connersville, the county seat of Fayette County. The plant was unfortunately closed in 2007 and the production move to South Korea. We have fond memories of those times as our son was born while we were stationed in Indiana.

More on RFD; Ray Delaet was our long-time rural carrier in Ft. Loramie when I was growing up. He was a veteran who had survived the killing fields of Argonne, France during WWI as corporal in the 324th Army regiment.

Back in those days, soldiers from the same area tended to be drafted together and placed in the a single regiment, meaning there were dozens of other soldiers in the regiment from Ft. Loramie. One of the noteworthy veterans serving with Ray was Clem Ruhencamp, who became the ditcher extraordinaire back after his military career. I’ve documented in this previous blogpost my escapades as a honey dipper working for Clem and his son Don during summers while in college.

Of course everyone in the area knew and respected the mailman, Ray DeLaet. He epitomized the postal service motto: Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds, as did my father-in-law, Delbert (Doc) Francis, who was the RFD postman in Russia during the same time period as Ray. No doubt they knew each other well. I was always amazed at how both Ray and Doc could drive their postal vehicle, which doubled as the family car, from the passenger seat!

Ray's wife Marie was active in many of the various women’s organizations around town and was equally respected. Ray died in 1975 and Marie in 1979.

While researching more on-line information about Ray and Marie DeLaet, I discovered Marie had a brother named Joe Dickman, pictured here, who in the 1920’s lived as a hermit squatting on land in California and later Florida.

The DeLaet’s even traveled to California in 1931 to connect up with Joe, but couldn’t find him because by then he had moved onto Florida, squatting on land south of Marco Island.

According to this interesting Community Post article from 2008, Joe did not connect up with any of his 9 brothers and sisters until 1960. By then he had become somewhat of a legend having spent almost 30 years collecting and selling sea shells found on the Florida island, which was eventually named after him as shown on the map.

So now you know how some of the off-the-wall ideas surface for some of my blogposts. Something sparks a thought and I let the internet coupled with my memories of the past lead me to topics you hopefully fine interesting. Most searches lead to multiple potential blog topics, which I then save in a file of future blog ideas that now has hundred’s of entries waiting to be written about. So continue to stay tuned. By the way, I just joined Twitter and will be posting the blog each week. Be one of the first to follow me at this link.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

May 15th Recollections - 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

May 15th Recollections

Today is special to me because it is the day I met my wife 47 years ago as documented in this previous blogpost. It happens to also be the birthday of her father who would be 89 today if he were still living. And my wife’s grandfather’s death occured on this date in 1976. So all those events make the day especially memorable to our family. Here’s some other notable events that happened on May 15th over the years:

1862 - First baseball game in an enclosed park held in Union Grounds, Brooklyn, NY

1869 - Susan B. Anthony starts the Women’s Suffrage movement that eventually led to women being able to vote

1905 - Las Vegas founded

1918 - 1st US airmail postal service between NY, Philadelphia & Washington, D.C.

1919 - Brooklyn Dodgers score 10 runs in 13th to beat Reds 10-0 (Reds went on to win the World Series)

1940 - McDonald’s opens it’s first restaurant in San Bernardino, CA

1941 - Joe DiMaggio starts 56 game hitting streak

1953 - Heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano KOs Jersey Joe Walcott

1973 - California Angel Nolan Ryan's 1st no-hitter beats KC Royals, 3-0

1990 - Dow Jones avg hits a record 2,822.45 (current record 26,616, almost 10x)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kentucky Derby - 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

Kentucky Derby

Having never attended a Kentucky Derby in person, my memories are pretty slim on that subject; especially since the race only lasts about 2 minutes. However, Saturday’s muddy Kentucky Derby won by Justify led me to recall the 1974 Derby, not that it was run on a muddy track but rather the poor weather occurred where I was a long way from the site of the race. It was the 100th running of the Kentucky Derby, plus the year before Secretariat captivated the nation winning the Triple Crown (Derby, Preakness & Belmont) for the first time in 25 years.

Our softball team had a practice scheduled that first Saturday morning in May but was rained out shortly after we started, so our manager asked us if we’d help him move an above-ground swimming pool that he had purchased at a bargain price from a neighbor. He now wanted some bargain priced help to disassemble and move it!

First we had to drain the pool of the green, algae-contaminated water and leaves that had accumulated over the winter; then we had to carefully remove the liner without damaging it, followed by dismantling the wood support structure, and finally carrying the pieces to his place a couple houses down the street. All the while, the rains continued intermittently to the point by late afternoon, we were soaked and exhausted. Our manager had some pizza delivered and we rolled his TV into the garage to watch the Derby rather than destroying his family room with our wet clothes and muddy shoes.

Connonade won the race on a beautiful sunshiny day in Kentucky, compared to the wet weather we had suffered through. The worst part of it all, our manager didn't get the pool assembled and running that summer (if ever), since we never did get invited back for a pool party!

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Wally Post Red - 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

Wally Post Red

Last weekend, we traveled to Napoleon, Ohio because my wife was invited to a baby shower for the spouse of our nephew, Derrick. While the shower was going on, I had the pleasure of enjoying a nice lunch with the soon-to-be-father at a wonderful establishment place called Spenglers.

Spengler’s is quite a place that hasn’t changed much since it’s founding in 1897. This excerpt from it’s menu explains it all!

To further enhance the experience, soon after we got seated at the very table shown in the photo below, my nephew's father-in-law, Tom, a lifetime native of Napoleon, joined us for lunch.

Tom ordered a local craft brew by the name of Wally Post Red. I immediately cancelled my ice tea order and got the same beer for myself. Wally Post was a personal hero of mine growing up and it was a real honor and pleasure to enjoy his namesake brew produced by the Moeller Brew Barn in Maria Stein.

Our waitress claimed the Cincinnati Reds were going to start serving Wally Post Red at the stadium soon; maybe then they’ll start winning!

Enjoy this Press Pro article about Wally Post that was published back in 2015 by Sonny Fuchs as well as the story on the back of Wally’s ball card shown below about his biggest thrill in baseball.

Legend has it Wally Post hit the longest home run ever. The feat supposedly occurred in Cincinnati’s old Crosley field when Wally hit a homer out of the park that landed in a southbound rail car traveling by the stadium that didn’t stop until getting to Lexington, Ky.! The story may be partly true, because there was a rail yard next to the old stadium but it was in foul territory, so most likely Wally hit the longest foul ball in history!

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