Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Lake Loramie - 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

Lake Loramie

Just over 80 years ago, the Lake Loramie Improvement Association made up of local civic leaders, was formed to work closely with the State of Ohio for lake-related capital improvements. All the hard work has paid off over the years, as Lake Loramie is today considered the most picturesque of the five Miami-Erie canal feeder lakes. The eagle on their logo is apropos as my sister who lives on the lake, has seen many of the majestic birds flying overhead or setting in trees eyeing the lake for fish. Without the Association's diligent efforts, it’s doubtful the eagles plus a lot of other wildlife would be habitating the lake, as the demise of canal traffic in the later part of the 1800’s caused the lake to be neglected and literally forgotten.

Then in 1917, the State of Ohio recognized the Lake as a state park, following thereafter by the formation of the Improvement Association that still actively functions today; considered to be the longest running organization of that type in Ohio.

As a kid I can vividly recall the opening of the swimming beach, one of the many improvements implemented on the lake. We’d spend hours out there each summer on hot days, enjoying the cool water and sandy beach, while having a cookout on one of the adjacent charcoal grills. During one summer, I can recall a number of my school classmates on a whim deciding to do some skinny dipping at the beach one warm evening after a few too many brewskis. Unfortunately, none of the girls in our class chose to participate!

My sister’s husband Leroy loves fishing Lake Loramie, knowing but not divulging all the hot spots around the lake. We enjoy his fish fry's and his well stocked cooler. My Uncle Bob also was an avid Lake Loramie fisherman. No doubt both would be or were inducted into the Fish Report Wall of Fame if it was still active!

The Lake Loramie camp ground was kinda neat, especially since there were girls there camping with their parents, so most were bored and looking for some fun. No, not skinny dipping kinda fun! Instead we'd go to Morrie’s Landing for an ice cream cone and check out the old spillway next door. Us townies never had much success beyond the occasional ice cream cone.

The annual Fall Festival on the lake is always special, with all the old farm machinery and other such antiques on display. When Dad was alive, he could tell a story about each and every artifact. He especially like the threshing machine demo.

During the winter as a kid, I’d ice skate down the creek running through our farm to the lake. Here's a past blog about those ventures.

Family reunions were sometimes held in a pavilion at the lake, and the highlight was always a ride on my Uncle Pat’s boat. The speed zone was a designated oval that allowed boats to get up to speed, as everywhere else was designated a no wake zone. What fun! Kayaking has really become popular on the lake. No doubt kayakers don’t like the speed boats like I did back then!

Look out each summer for the annual Boat Parade made up of pontoon boats converted to the theme of the year, like the zoo and Gilligan's Island.

With these strange beasts roaming Lake Loramie, it’s no surprise that a UFO was also spotted on the lake in 2007 as described by this witness:

2-19-07, 9:00pm to 11:00pm
Side-note: This witness reported observing a rectangular shaped object the size of a "hovering apartment building", over Lake Loramie, in Fort Loramie, Ohio. In addition, this craft hovered at approximately 1000 feet, and then "abruptly shot out into space...", leaving a hole in the clouds. The witness reports heavy winds associated with the event. Weather conditions were reported as "calm" for this area. "While driving home on County Rd. 78 ( Luthman Rd.) in Shelby county, said person stopped along the road near a state park area to use a blue outhouse to relieve himself. While using the facilities he had left his car door open with the radio playing loudly on a local fm station.

Upon exiting the blue outhouse he noticed his radio went to complete static. As he attempted to take the few large steps thru the knee high snow, he for whatever reason looked out over the lake and upward to see what appeared to be a rectangular structure hovering above him in the area of Lehmkuhl Landing, near the intersection of Rte. 119 and Luthman Rd.

"The object seemed to be a kind of Black which seemed to mimic the stars around it in order to blend in. The surfaces were hard to distinguish, and not enough to discern an exact shape. Nevertheless best guesses lean towards an upright rectangular shape. "The distance between observer, the object, and the lake below was extremely hard to observe therefore the altitude of the UFO was not possible to calculate. Guesses lean towards the huge object to be approx. 1000ft in the air while the top of the object must have been approx. 30 to 60 floors high as described by the observer while comparing it to a hovering apartment building from a large city.

"While the observer was stunned and had been standing, staring in amazement for approx. 30 seconds the silence of the entire area including the object was noticed. There was no sounds except for the car and the static radio.

"The object abruptly shot off towards space with no sound and at speeds incomprehensible to the observer. The object traveled through a cloud in the sky which left a hole that quickly refilled in the cloud. It would also be noticeably important to mention that there were considerable windy conditions during this event.

"The following night while typing this out the weather conditions where described as winds having calmed causing freezing fog to plague the dark area.”

For sure the witness had visited the many drinking establishments around the lake, as have I many times over the years. So I’ll continue to anxiously await observing my first UFO! That all being said, a similar siting was observed and photographed in Hawaii! Go figure! In the meantime, enjoy this rainbow over Lake Loramie. The pot of gold is somewhere along the shoreline.


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Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Olympics - 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


The 2020 Olympics in Tokyo will start this week with the opening ceremonies and torch lighting after being delayed a year due to Covid. This Olympiad will be the 19th of my lifetime, and other than the first few, I recall them all with mostly fond recollections. Beyond the opening and closing ceremonies, the track and field events were my favorites, especially the decathlon, 100 meter dash and the marathon. With gymnastics and swimming my wife’s favorites, that means for lots of enjoyable TV watching during the 17 day duration of the Olympics.

At age 12, I recall boxing legend, Muhammad Ali, known then as Cassius Clay at age 18, win the gold medal during the 1960 Olympics. However, rumor has it that after being refused service at a restaurant in his hometown of Louisville, Kentucky because he was black, Ali threw his medal into the Ohio River. The boxer was presented a new medal after he lit the torch at the opening ceremony of the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

Another favorite Olympic memory occurred during the 1968 Olympics when Dick Fosbury used a backwards layout-style jump, dubbed the Fosbury Flop, to win a gold medal and set an Olympic record. It is still the preferred high jump approach used by current competitors. Also in that same Olympics, Bob Beamon won the long jump gold metal, setting an Olympic record of 29’ 2 1/4" that still stands.

Bruce Jenner winning the decathlon during the 1976 Olympics in Montreal represents my most memorable moment. Must be for others as well since an unopened Wheaties box with Jenner gracing the cover has garnered $225 on eBay. That accomplishment has brought him much fame and fortune, but nothing compared to his gender change and his famous family.

Mark Spitz's seven gold medals in swimming were a highlight of the 1972 Olympics. Michael Phelps bested him in 2008 by taking home 8 gold medals, eventually setting an Olympic record in 2016 for the most decorated athlete of all time with 28 medals, 23 gold.

The marathon to close the Olympics is always a favorite event, with the winner running into the stadium as the closing ceremonies begin. The only American to win the event in recent history was Frank Shorter in 1972. Here's for a 3 minute video of the race that lasted over 2 hours and 12 minutes.

The marathon has ancient roots, but the foot race’s official length of 26.2 miles wasn’t established until the 20th century. The first organized marathon was held in Athens at the 1896 Olympics, the start of the Games’ modern era. The ancient games, which took place in Greece from around 776 B.C. to A.D. 393, never included such long-distance races. The idea for the modern marathon was inspired by the legend of an ancient Greek messenger who raced from the site of Marathon to Athens, a distance of about 40 kilometers, or nearly 25 miles, with the news of an important Greek victory over an invading army of Persians in 490 B.C. After making his announcement, the exhausted messenger collapsed and died. To commemorate his dramatic run, the distance of the 1896 Olympic marathon was set at 40 kilometers.

For the next few Olympics, the length of the marathon remained close to 25 miles, but at the 1908 Games in London the course was extended, allegedly to accommodate the British royal family. As the story goes, Queen Alexandra requested that the race start on the lawn of Windsor Castle (so the littlest royals could watch from the window of their nursery, according to some accounts) and finish in front of the royal box at the Olympic stadium—a distance that happened to be 26.2 miles (26 miles and 385 yards).

The random boost in mileage ending up sticking, and in 1921 the length for a marathon was formally standardized at 26.2 miles (42.195 kilometers).

Not all my Olympic memories are positive; for example, the protest on the podium by runners John Carlos and Tommie Smith raising black gloved fists during the 1968 track and field medal ceremony while the national anthem was being played. This incident became the forerunner of the present day protests by Colin Kaepernick and other athletes dissenting about racism in America.

Another appalling Olympic memory came during the 1972 Olympics in Munich when 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September to protest Israel’s occupation of Palestine. All the hostages were killed by their captors during an attempted rescue raid by German police. Ironically, one of the dead was an Israeli wrestler by the name of Dave Berger, an Ohio native with dual citizenship who returned to his homeland to wrestle for Israel.

And another disappointing Olympic moment came in 1980 when the US boycotted the Moscow Olympics because the USSR had invaded Afghanistan the previous year.

Well before my time, probably the most famous Olympian of all time is Ohio State’s Jesse Owens for his 4 gold medals in the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, Germany just before WWII. Owens won the 100 meters, long jump, 200 meters, and 4 × 100-meter relay and was the most successful athlete at the 1936 Games and, as a black man, was credited with "single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy" although he wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with President Roosevelt, either!

Enjoy the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Fish Report readers; it’s been a long time coming.


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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Competition - 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


As a competitive person, my desire to win has helped me over the years whenever playing sports and competing in business. On the other hand, my wife tends not to be nearly as competitive, which makes our lives together interesting and rewarding because we tend to complement each other. My competitive spirit started slowly, primarily because I was the oldest child and had no one to compete against growing up until we would visit my older cousins who had such things as basketball hoops and makeshift ball diamonds in their back yards. Trying to “compete” against older cousins who had obviously played the various sports much more challenged my limited skills. Needless to say, I’d get creamed, but did quickly learn the games and especially to buckle down and win. If you knew my cousins, they never intentionally let the younger ones win; instead you had to earn it the old fashioned way. It was those early experiences that provided the foundation for my intense competitiveness.

My wife was also the oldest child, plus she was one of the oldest cousins in her extended family, so that meant no games to stir the competitive juices. Knowing her, she also was much nicer to her younger family members and cousins than in my case. To further compound the situation, during an incident in grade school she was relegated to the end of the chain in a crack the whip game to see who could hold on the longest. Almost flying off the ground like this sculpture depicts, she had to let go and broke her arm!

That sculpture is along the route of one of our regular walking paths, so needless to say, she's always reminded of a painful period in her life, with such an incident at such a young age obviously limiting her competitiveness. And all along the way through her school years, girls sports, had they existed like today, would have potentially allowed her to nurture her competitiveness. Worse yet, the gym classes back then were no better at generating competitiveness, limited mostly to exercises and running with no real goal in mind. This quote essentially captures my wife’s perspective on the subject of competition.

Competition in areas other than sports obviously presented themselves growing up, such as the quest for good grades and events like spelling bees, science fairs and art shows. At the time, we didn’t perceive those as competing against our fellow classmates, but instead the test itself or the word to be spelled was the “opponent” that had to be conquered. Probably the most competitive thing my wife did in her younger years was trying out for the cheerleading squad. No doubt she was a great cheerleader, but it’s unlikely she considered it competition. It was more of a popular thing to do. Ditto for her three younger sisters shown on this photo from their cheerleading days.

As kids we played lots of board games and cards, so those activities generated some added competition, but mostly it was considered just fun stuff to do. Finally, playing in organized sports starting out with Little League baseball providing my real first official taste of competition. We didn’t start with T-Ball like today, instead faced live pitching on day one, which was a real challenge for me. So was fielding, so bottom line, I spent a lot of time on the bench. Basketball was similar, because I was very clumsy and uncoordinated.

But over time, dissatisfied with being a sub and a strong desire to improve, my competitive skills were honed not just for sports but also later for the business world. However, the auto industry where I worked for my entire career took its toll, as the business competitiveness was intense. And working in Ford Truck engineering, the drive stay #1 was daunting, yet exhilarating.

Without the physical exertion of sports competition, there was no stress relieving mechanism in the business world, so I could feel my body aging by the year at a rate faster than my actual age. That’s why I chose to retire on the first day eligible in 2000, over 21 years ago, having never looked back. Of course I did work after officially retiring, but on my own terms. Next to marrying my wife and having our son, retiring early was the best thing that ever happened to me.

For one thing, the extra time allowed me to further nurture my competitiveness in golf and tennis, sustainable even to this day. At age 73, somehow I’m playing the best golf and tennis of my life! I enjoy the competition more than ever and love to beat the younger players! It’s not only fun, but also healthy, except perhaps for the beer afterwards!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Barbeque - 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


Fish Report readers,
Hope you had a happy 4th of July and enjoyed a nice barbecue with friends and family. If so you may appreciate this bit of history:

On June 16, 1903, the Ford Motor Company was established by the founder, Henry Ford. This was not his first rodeo, as he had previously operated the Henry Ford Company. He left that company and took his name with him. What became of the original Henry Ford Company? It was renamed the Cadillac Motor Company, eventually becoming part of General Motors.

What does any of this have to do with the photo of a BBQ grill? Hang on for the rest of the story.

Ford’s Model T, which would number in the millions sold, required 100 board feet of wood to build. Ford despised waste. His motto was, “Reduce, reuse, and recycle.” He was also a nature-lover, an environmentalist of his time. His escape from the stress of life was camping in the great outdoors.

Frustrated by the mountains of sawdust his lumber mills created, he and his partners sought a way to utilize the scrap wood and sawdust into a useful (and profitable) product.

An idea came to him one day as he was camped with some friends in the wilds of Michigan . After his party spent a long time collecting sufficient wood for a campfire, an idea spring in Ford’s mind. Upon returning back to the lumber mill, he shared the idea with some of his partners and set to work on it.

The idea? Lumping a fistful of sawdust and cornstarch with a bit of tar to form a briquette. After charring it, it performed exactly what Ford imagined it would. He then built a charcoal briquette factory adjacent to his lumber mill where the waste from one became the fuel for the other.

A new Model T was now frequently sold with a bonus bag of Ford Charcoal Briquettes, so you could drive into the woods to camp and not worry about finding campfire wood.

So now you know. Ford not only created the modern automobile industry which takes millions to work and back each workday, but he also created the weekend grilling and camping industries.

In 1951, the Ford Charcoal Briquette Company was sold. The new company was named after Ford’s real estate partner who helped him find the land to supply wood for building the early Ford automobiles- E.J. Kingsford.

Kingsford Charcoal is the largest producer of charcoal briquettes in the world.

Now you know the rest of the story!

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