Monday, May 27, 2019

Blacktop Basketball - 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

Blacktop Basketball


West Virginia basketball coach, Bob (Huggy Bear) Huggins recently was attributed the following quote, 
“Today’s players don’t play the right way because they don’t play on the blacktop w/ older guys. You’d take a bad shot, wouldn’t play defense, wouldn’t play hard, you wouldn’t get picked. There’s nothing worse than sitting out in the hot sun and not being picked”

Huggins is quite a character as evidenced by this recent ESPN article about him. Having played a lot of basketball on blacktop surfaces after my barnyard basketball playing days as a youngster were over, I can personally attest to the challenges of blacktop basketball.

Near an apartment complex were I lived in northwest Dayton back in the late 60’s, there was a blacktop court in College Hill Park that attracted some of the best players in the area. As is evident from the current aerial photo below, the court has seen better days. Pickup basketball games were exactly as Coach Huggins described in his quote. Players would congregate about 7:00 every week night for some pick-up basketball. To get the ball rolling, all the players would shoot from a distance about where today’s three point line is (no such line existed back then). First two to make a shot picked the teams. And as he implied, there was indeed nothing worse than not being picked. 


The games were hard-nosed and rough. Without a three point line, the most effective shot was close in, which also meant the shot was invariably challenged by staunch defenders. Defense was the name of the game. Fouls were called by the shooter, but if you had a reputation of calling them too closely, you weren’t picked to play. Those not chosen sat around to play the winners of the first game, picking players from the losing team. So that meant you kept playing if your team won. But the games were so rough and tumble, eventually the winners would get tired and lose. Without a three point line, play was almost exclusively in the paint (even though there was no paint!).

Back in the spring of 1969, at age 21, I was playing a pick-up game at College Hill and got an elbow in the mouth that knocked out one of my front teeth. It broke off right above the gum line, so it needed a root canal to attach a replacement crown.

A root canal in those days meant a dentist has to drill through the tooth stub to the nerve core, insert a hot metal probe into the tooth's core to burn off all the nerve tissue and cauterize the nerve ending, followed by inserting a silver rod into the nerve core to which the crown would be anchored. Inserting that inch-long burning hot probe into my tooth was the worst. It seemed to take forever reheating and reinserting the probe into the tooth until the dentist reached the end of the root. But fortunately he did it right, as the root canal hung in there for 50 years until…..


…..my most recent dental check-up, when the dentist noticed inflammation above the gum line on the tooth with the old root canal. He probed the inflamed area and pus came out indicating an infection had formed. Ironically, I had been noticing a slight pain at that tooth whenever there was a weather change. He suggested seeing an endodontic specialist to have the root canal checked out. After undergoing a 3D x-ray, the endodontist gave me the bad news that dental surgery was needed to remove an abscess that had formed at the end of the root canal. The procedure is called an apicoectomy. Here’s a youtube video he provided to demonstrate what was to be done during the hour long surgery.

The tip of the tooth’s root was exposed during the surgery, as is evident by the white dot on the above actual photo taken during the surgery. Fortunately, the doctor thoroughly numbed me up, and after applying an ice pack to the area on and off for 8 hours afterwards, I felt very little pain. Stitches have been removed and everything is back to normal. Except of course my basketball playing days are over, having given up the game a long ago, except as a spectator, in my dreams and vicariously through this blogpost!

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

I saw It on TV - 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

I Saw It on TV


Regular Fish Report readers know from previous blog posts that my favorite classic rock band is Creedence Clearwater Revival with lead singer and guitarist John Fogerty. I know all their songs by heart. In fact, my regular Pandora setting is John Fogerty Radio. Listening while taking a walk this week gave me the opportunity to really concentrate on the lyrics and one song in particular struck a cord that brought back so many memories; namely “I Saw It on TV”. Check out the lyrics below:


And here’s a music video of the song with photos of many of the memorable moments captured during the early days of black and white TV in the ’50’s and ’60’s.

The song’s premise “If you saw it on TV, it must be true" is unfortunately seldom the case today. Too bad the media has become so untrustworthy and biased. For example, the contrast in Fox News & CNN on just about every news item is like night and day.



Twice in our country’s history, laws were passed to address media bias, the Sedition Act of 1798 that criminalized making false statements critical of the federal government and again in 1918 banning speech and expression of opinion that cast the government or the war effort in a negative light or interfered with the sale of government bonds. Both Acts had expiration dates of only a few years and experts say each would have been considered unconstitutional if brought before the Supreme Court.


Because of the disparity in views among the media, I’ve searched out and regularly tune to this news link entitled All Sides News: https://www.allsides.com/unbiased-balanced-news


Try it; perhaps you’ll like it.

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

PGA Golf Championship - 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

PGA Golf Championship


This week the PGA golf championship will be held in Bethpage, NY. Historically, the tournament is the last of the four Majors normally held in August, but the PGA switched the event to May so the Ryder and President Cups can be pulled ahead to August rather than competing for viewership with football in September. Confused? Personally I like the switch, as it means a major golf event occurs every month through the spring and summer to keep interest at a peak.






50 years ago, the PGA tournament was held at the NCR Country Club in Kettering. Ray Floyd beat out Gary Player by one stroke to win his first of 4 major championships in some rather severe weather for August according to reports at the time. Wait till the event is held in May at some northern location for really bad weather! Floyd also won the Masters and US Open, but never did win a British Open to complete a career grand slam, although he came close, finishing 2nd in 1978.




In 1996, I had an opportunity to meet Floyd at a Senior PGA event in Dearborn, MI sponsored by Ford where I was working. As an executive of the company, I was invited to play in the ProAm the day before the tournament started.


Although I was paired with Billy Casper, not Ray Floyd, they were close friends on the tour so Billy introduced our group to Floyd who was playing in the group ahead of us. They organized a small wager between our two teams, which we proceeded to lose, but fortunately, Casper covered the bet for us. Floyd went on to win the Senior PGA championship that year.

The PGA winner gets his name inscribed on the trophy called the Wanamaker Cup, named after Rodman Wanamaker, who helped create the Professional Golf Association in 1916. He also founded a department store that is now Macy’s as well as sponsoring the Millrose Games, a famous indoor track and field event in NY held each winter.

For a couple years in the late 1920s, the Wanamaker Trophy went missing. It was lost by Walter Hagen, who had won the event four straight years (1924-27). When Hagen lost in the 1928 final to Leo Diegel, the PGA needed the trophy back in order to present it to Diegel. But Hagen didn't have it. When PGA officials asked Hagen about what had happened to the Trophy, the five-time PGA Champion declared it was irrevocably lost. Hagen said that he had entrusted the trophy to a taxi driver to take the precious cargo to his hotel. It never arrived.

Luckily, Hagen's contention the trophy was "irrevocably lost" turned out not to be true. The Wanamaker Trophy was found in 1930 in a cellar of the L.A. Young & Company (makers, at the time, of Walter Hagen-branded golf clubs) building in Detroit. It was in an unmarked case and was discovered by a worker cleaning the cellar.

That original trophy shown below in the circle now resides at the PGA Historical Center in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

My uncle Hank worked for NCR back in 1969 and also was a member of NCR Country Club, so he was actively involved in bringing the PGA to the Club and for soliciting volunteers to be marshals at the event. Had I had any interest in golf at the time, no doubt he could have recruited me to be a marshal, a job I eventually did perform in the 2008 PGA Championship as well as the 1996 US Open, 2004 Ryder Cup and 2002 & 2016 US Amateur events, all held at Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham, MI.


Enjoy the PGA Major Championship this weekend! Will Tiger do it again?

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Uncle Lindy - 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

Uncle Lindy


We lost another member of the greatest generation this week, Army veteran and my uncle, Lindy Hoying, age 92. His funeral is today. Click here for his obituary.


Uncle Lindy served in the top secret Army Counter Intelligence Corp, a predecessor to the CIA!





Lindy was one of 7 brothers to serve in the military. Within our family, they were known as the “Band of Brothers”, corresponding to the book and HBO series of the same name about the soldiers in the 101st Airborne during the WWII D-Day campaign.


In their honor, this commemorative brick lays at the Veterans Memorial in Sun City, Florida.


Uncle Lindy married my aunt Mary in 1950, almost 70 years ago. Mary's sister and maid of honor, Hilda, became my mother-in-law 22 years later. So there were many wonderful connections between our families.


Lindy & Mary raised five children, Mike, Kathy, Jerry, Chuck and Bill. Here’s Lindy with Kathy and his daughters-in-law.


Lindy had a farm in St. Patricks shown in this aerial photo below, which happened to back up to his father's farm on Hoying Road. I can recall spending summers there helping Grandpa, Uncle Lindy and my other uncle Pat with the harvesting.




They had Allis Chalmers tractors, which were rather strange in that the seat was offset to the right so the steering column could connect directly to the front wheels. Kinda like riding side-saddle!

In addition to farming, Lindy was also manager of the Osgood branch of the Minster Farmers Coop for many years.


Lindy was an excellent athlete, starring on the 1943-44 Loramie basketball team.


As a kid, I recall Lindy playing baseball, then softball for the local teams. He was strong, quick and nimble, just like his grandson Jared pictured below now playing professional baseball. And his great grandsons, Mike & Darren Hoying, played on Loramie’s 2018 State Champion team. Darren’s on top in the celebration photo below and Mike's somewhere in the pile! This year’s team is currently undefeated, hopefully heading for more glory. State champions run in Lindy’s family, as Jared and Justin Hoying won in baseball, Julie Hoying in basketball and Janelle Hoying in both basketball and volleyball. Good genes for sure.


Lindy was active in civic and charitable affairs as well, serving as St. Patrick’s Parish Council President, Choir member, Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Eagles, Fort Loramie Athletic Boosters and Library Board. Lindy was a dedicated parishioner of St. Patrick’s before it’s closing in 1997 and since then with St. Michael’s.


Lindy had many relatives as evidence by this 1997 Hoying reunion photo on the home place. Lindy is in the boxed section with the striped shirt. Mary is right behind him and grandson Jared is right in front of him.


Here’s a 1937 photo of the Hoying family celebrating grandpa and grandma’s 25th wedding anniversary. Lindy is wearing the light suit in front and my mother is just behind him. The two youngsters, Pat & Gene, are the remaining family members still living.


Rest in peace, Lindy. Give Mom a hug and Dad a beer!


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