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02/17/19 06:46 PM #3868    

Barbara Kahn (Tepper)

Thanks Paul

02/17/19 07:36 PM #3869    


Jerry Ochs

"I didn't need to do it," Tom said unwittingly.

02/18/19 12:14 AM #3870    


Philip Spiess

"I used to visit him at Arlington House," said Tom speaking generally.

02/18/19 03:07 AM #3871    


Jerry Ochs

"Nepotism is not a crime," Tom said avuncularly.

02/18/19 05:11 PM #3872    


Philip Spiess

"Let's stop this nonsense right now!" said Tom Swiftly. 

02/18/19 07:22 PM #3873    


Jerry Ochs

"The name's Bond, Fasten, Stick, Bind, Fuse or Glue. James Bond, Fasten, Stick, Bind, Fuse or Glue." - Roget Moore

02/19/19 12:12 AM #3874    


Philip Spiess

Jerry, I'm shaken by your statement, but certainly not stirred.

02/19/19 04:53 AM #3875    


Jerry Ochs

I can't take credit for about half of my submissions. I steal from Twitter.

I'd like to see a cross between the car from The Dukes Of Hazzard and the car from Knight Rider… generally speaking.

02/19/19 11:23 PM #3876    


Philip Spiess

And now one for Presidents' Day:

They say George Washington couldn't tell a lie.  Don't you believe it.  He could tell a lie before you had it halfway out of your mouth.

02/20/19 01:36 PM #3877    


Paul Simons

"Baloney!" said the Lonely Bull.
"It's baloney. All BALONEY!!"
With that, the Lonely Bull fell silent.

02/21/19 12:53 AM #3878    


Philip Spiess

And now for another edition of "Wait!  This Really Happened in Cincinnati?"

The Set-Up:  Several posts ago I dropped a "Tom Swiftie" verbal quip into the Forum mix; Jerry Ochs, ever erudite, knowing the game, joined the fun.  (A "Tom Swiftie" is a statement in which the adverb of the clause makes a pun on the statement which Tom Swift has just made.)  The verbal game is named after the juvenile fictional hero of the series of books written pseudonymously in the early 20th century (starting 1910) by "Victor Appleton," but actually produced by Edward Stratemeyer, who later syndicated (1914) a whole writing factory of pseudonymous authors -- "Franklin W. Dixon," "Carolyn Keene," "Laura Lee Hope" -- which produced a number of series of much-beloved children's books:  "The Hardy Boys" mysteries; the "Nancy Drew" mysteries; "The Bobbsey Twins"; "The Rover Boys"; etc.  The "Tom Swift" series featured a youthful inventor who invented such items as "the electric rifle," "the motor-cycle," and "the giant cannon" (which saved the construction of the Panama Canal, then taking place, by blowing a hole through a mountain, thus diverting a flash flood into an adjacent valley).  The overblown and overly dramatic language of these books is what led (much later) to the creation of the "Tom Swifties" verbal ploys.  In the 1950s, in my youth (and yours, too), the Stratemeyer Syndicate issued a new series, "Tom Swift, Jr." (written by "Victor Appleton II"), in which the son of the original Tom Swift invented more modern devices, such as "the rocket ship," the "aquamarine" (an advanced submarine), and "the giant robot."

Our Hero:  But in this same time period of the early 1920s through the 1930s, Cincinnati had a juvenile fictional boy hero as famous nationally -- possibly even more so -- as Tom Swift.  This was "Seckatary Hawkins," a pleasant and morally upright fat boy with a cowlick hairdo, who faithfully recorded the adventures of a gang of boys, "The Fair and Square Club" (Hawkins was the secretary, hence his name), which met at their own clubhouse (complete with heating stove, telephone, and organ for singing practice) on the banks of a river (much like or quite near the Ohio; the descriptions were based on the Licking River, the Kentucky River, and the Ohio; "Watertown" in the novels was Cincinnati).  These adventures were recorded in a series of eleven novels:  Stoner's Boy; Seckatary Hawkins in Cuba (a.k.a The Cazanova Treasure); The Red Runners; The Gray Ghost; Stormie the Dog Stealer; Knights of the Square Table; ChingToy; The Chinese Coin; The Yellow Y; Herman the Fiddler; and The Ghost of Lake Tapaho; these books were illustrated memorably by Carll B. Williams, director of the Cincinnati Enquirer art department, in clean line drawings.  In the adventures, which were led by Seckatary Hawkins, the club solved mysteries and kept the river bank safe from marauders (of which there were several).  Each chapter ended (mostly) with a determination of action -- and then the phrase, which became memorable (as my father told me) "Which we did."

The Author:  The author of this series of boys' books was Robert F. Schulkers, who was born in Covington, Kentucky, but who went to work for the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1911 as secretary (you see a connection here to his fictional hero?) to the paper's publisher, W. F. Wiley.  In 1918, the Enquirer's editor asked him to write "something weekly."  So he wrote the first "Seckatary Hawkins" story, "The Snow Fort" (subsequently republished under several slightly different titles) for the children's section magazine.  Later in the same year he wrote "The Rejiment" story, that being the name of the gang's clubhouse.

The Clubs:  By 1922 there was a growing bi-monthly magazine which contained "Seckatary Hawkins" club news, an ongoing series of stories, member letters, radio news (more of which anon), contests for free books, and the opportunity to purchase various "Seckatary" paraphernalia -- blue and white pins (the club colors), spinners, flag banners, statue bookends (featuring a model of "Seckatary Hawkins" by artist William F. Mcdonald, and produced by the Rookwood Pottery Co.).  These clubs spread nationally; there were several million members worldwide in "Seckatary Hawkins" heyday, 170,00 members in Cincinnati and 300,000 members in Pittsburgh in 1930.  In the 1920s, over one hundred newspapers carried "Seckatary Hawkins" nationally (both stories and comic strips); there were "Seckatary Hawkins" days at Coney Island.

The Radio Shows:  The first "Seckatary Hawkins" half-hour radio shows were transmitted to crystal radio sets, often built by the boy readers themselves, from Cincinnati's WSAI on Saturday evenings.  The Milwaukee Journal's WTMJ featured him daily in the evening and for one hour on Sundays.  By 1929-1930, nationally broadcast radio shows of "Seckatary Hawkins" were broadcast from the Chicago Merchandise Mart, with Robert Schulkers doing the readings of the scripts.

The Movie:  The Milwaukee Journal's WTMJ radio station sponsored a silent movie "Home Run Hawkins," with an all-club cast:  every member of the club was an actor.  The movie was filmed with the Kemper Log Cabin (1804), then located in the Cincinnati Zoo (as it was in our youth; now located in the Heritage Village Museum in Sharon Woods), as the club's clubhouse, and the Zoo's surrounding grounds as backdrop.  [Note:  The movie is now lost.]

"Seckatary Hawkins" and To Kill a Mocking Bird:  In 1960 Harper Lee wrote her now famous novel To Kill a Mocking Bird.  There are a number of references in the novel to the "Seckatary Hawkins" books, notably in Chapter 1:  Dill bets Jem a Gray Ghost against two Tom Swift books.  Later, The Gray Ghost and Stoner's Boy are referred to again.  But Harper Lee chose to end her book with the moral lessons of Seckatary Hawkins as Atticus Finch reads from The Gray Ghost to Scout (look it up for yourself).  [Note:  Harper Lee told Robert Schulkers' grandson that she is proud to be a member of the Seckatary Hawkins "Fair and Square Club."]

One Other Note and a Motto:  Robert Schulkers' eldest son, Robert Franc Schulkers, Jr., was a graduate of Walnut Hills High School (Class of 1935?); he was drum major and had his own 8-piece band called the "Victorians."  And the motto of "The Fair and Square Club"?  "A Winner Never Quits and a Quitter Never Wins."

02/21/19 02:21 AM #3879    


Jerry Ochs

As usual, Phil fills us in.  Thanks Phil.  Do you know anything about abandoned subway tunnels under Cincy?

We have our peeves and we have our pet peeves. 

In recent months a number of people have said or written something horribly rascist, sexist, or homophobic, and after being sharply criticized have declared, "That's not who I am."   This is my latest pet peeve.

Of course it is who you are unless you are a ventriloquist's dummy.

02/21/19 02:28 AM #3880    


Philip Spiess

Jerry:  Yes, I do know about the filled-in Miami & Erie Canal (1925), which became, above ground, Central Parkway, and below ground, the Cincinnati Rapid Transit (subway) System, which was never completed.  More on this later.  

02/23/19 06:54 PM #3881    


Jerry Ochs

I was looking at the shoes of my fellow subway passengers the other day when I spotted a pair of bright white sports shoes.  Those spotless bright white shoes transported me back in time to my wacky teen years when I diligently scuffed and dirtied any new white shoes.  Were you guilty of the same insanity?


02/24/19 07:05 AM #3882    


Paul Simons

A couple of things here flipped my switch to "On". One in Phil's dissertation was WSAI on the crystal radio. Check. I got a crystal radio kit somewhere and got it to work and that's the station that came in through an earphone made of a primitive but strong black plastic. Then I found my way to Steinburg's down on Walnut Street I think where on the street level they sold finished products like washing machines and radio/phono consoles but in the basement they sold electronic parts and kits. I got a 2-transistor radio kit and with the help of the Bond Hill TV repair man got it to work. WLW was the main station it would pick up. There was a farm report. I don't remember what exactly was reported on. Sorghum prices? Pork belly futures? I recently learned that the main economic activity of the state I live in, Pennsylvania, is agriculture, but there are no farm reports on local radio. Well, in a way reports of certain Twitter traffic could be considered pork belly emanations I suppose and the deregulation of herbicides that are annihilating pollinating insects like bees could also be considered reports of corn and cabbage, potato and tomato and everything else futures.

Then about Jerry's white shoes - I might have done that as well but I also might have worn penny loafers without the pennies. Can you imagine not putting bright copper pennies into that opening between the shoe's upper leather and the decorative overlay? When I think about how far today's youth have come - multiple facial piercings, tattoos, and hair the various colors of that plastic stuff in metal tubes that we used to chew on and create metallic iridescent plastic bubbles from, which was probably not too far from eating lead paint in terms of its effect on developing brains, I am amazed and delighted that so many of us are still around as great role models for them.

And then Rapid Transit!! What a thrill - ride bikes down Paddock Road to where a concrete bridge had been built across it but never used. The trees had been cleared on either end of it but no highway was ever built until the whole thing was incorporated into the Interstate system and that stretch became the Norwood Lateral. But back then it was the path to the Grace Chemical Company's back lot where we would find something that looked like chunks of broken green glass, but wasn't glass, or plastic. I still don't know what it was.

02/24/19 12:17 PM #3883    


Gail Weintraub (Stern)


If is with great sadness that I post the death of our classmate, Betsy Von Benken, on February 15, 2019 in New York.

Betsy's obituary appeared in today's Cincinnati Enquirer. Memorial Service on Wednesday, February 27 at 11AM at Spring Grove Funeral Homes Norman House, 4521 Spring Grove Avenue, Cincinnati.

Please share your memories of Betsy on her In Memory page.

May Betsy's memory be a blessing. RIP, dear Betsy.





02/25/19 03:03 PM #3884    


Becky Payne (Shockley)

Thanks for sharing the sad news, Gail. I appreciate it.

03/02/19 01:59 PM #3885    


J Terrell (Terry) Hoffeld

Yesterday, a smile came over my face as I was reading through the weekly newsletter issued by RADM Tim Ricks, the Chief Dental Officer of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS). It was evoked by the following paragraph:


This week I had the pleasure for joining my first rehearsal of the USPHS Commissioned Corps Music Ensemble, also known as “The Surgeon General’s Own.” Begun by CAPT (Ret.) John Bartko and CAPT (Ret.) Derek Dunn in 2000, and with the support of Deputy Surgeon General RADM (Ret.) Kenneth Moritsugu, the ensemble is an all-volunteer group consisting of a ceremonial band and a choral group. This is what sets this group apart from our military service bands; the members have “day jobs” in the USPHS, work all over the country, and come together just a few times a year to rehearse and perform. They have performed at every USPHS Scientific and Training Symposium since 2000.


In 2000, Tim Ricks was a new Officer (commissioned in 1999), practicing with the Indian Health Service in Pyramid Lake, NV, whom I had just welcomed as a new member of the Dental Professional Advisory Committee, of which I was then Chair. I do not have any reason to believe that he ever met Derek Dunn, then Chief Scientist Officer of the USPHS, before his untimely death in 2002; nevertheless, I am impressed that he had enough respect for the history of the institution that he would mention him to the readership of his newsletter (probably about 800 active duty and retired Officers).


Memories of Derek, working mostly with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati and commuting frequently to USPHS Headquarters here in Rockville, MD, came flowing back. In particular, I had forgotten that he was instrumental (pun intended) in the organization of the Music Ensemble at the annual conference.

03/03/19 02:00 PM #3886    


Susan Patterson (Schramm)

 For those nostalgic for Cincinnati, there’s a Facebook group called “Cincy kids from the 60’s” that’s fun to browse.  Sparked a lot of memories.  Yeah, I know, Facebook, but’s snowing in Cincinnati, again.  What else you gonna do today?

03/03/19 06:32 PM #3887    


Jerry Ochs

HOMOANTONYMS are pairs of words that sound like different pairs of words that are opposites—like ‘daze’ and ‘knights’.

03/05/19 12:37 AM #3888    


Philip Spiess

Jerry:  I don't know whether this fits your definition, but there is the old story of the lady who rushes up in a tizzy to the passenger gates at Cincinnati Union Terminal (in the good old days) and says to the gate attendant, "Oh goodness!  I'm so late!  Quickly, which is the way to the 11 o'clock train to New York?"  He replies, "Go to the left and you'll be right."  "Young man," she says, "Are you being impertinent?"  "Okay, lady," he says, "Go to the right and you'll be left!"

Jerry Ochs:  Concerning white shoes:  There were two versions of this:  the scuffed-up white gym shoes you mentioned, and the "Pat Boone" white bucks.  I don't remember white gym shoes; mine seemed to be the then de rigeur black high-tops, but the white bucks were something else.  When purchasing them, you actually got a little bag of white powder with which to "renew" them when they got scuffed.  If that were the case, you whacked the powder bag against the scuff mark and, if lucky, it got covered up with more white powder (sounds sort of like 18th-century wigs).  Shortly after the inroduction of "white bucks," beige and gray bucks (even blue bucks) were introduced; given their color, nobody bothered with powder bags any more.  Much later, when I was in graduate school or beyond, white tennis shoes came into fashion, and it seemed that one wanted to keep these as white as possible, but simply couldn't.  (They looked spiffy with brand-new blue jeans.)  

Then there was the matter of new leather laced dress shoes (brown or black), always gotten for Easter.  If they had real leather soles, you really had to scuff the very smooth bottoms (soles) on rough concrete paving almost immediately, otherwise you ran the risk of doing the "upsy-daisy shuffle" and standing on the back of your neck the minute you stepped out.  (Those were the days.)

Paul (and Bruce Fette):  I got my crystal radio set kit probably in Cub Scouts (circa 1956).  I put it together and, by god, it worked!  It sat for years on the window sill of my bedroom window, which faced east.  It was connected to a heavy set of earphones which had been my grandfather's, and, shortly after installing it, I heard, one night as I was in bed, tiny voices in the atmosphere.  I pondered over this for several nights in the dark, until it dawned on me that the sounds were coming from the crystal radio (which you couldn't turn off).  So many an evening I listened to this and that station when I was supposed to be going to sleep.  The two instances which made the most impression on me were hearing the songs "Charlie and the MTA," later made famous by the Kingston Trio, and "Green Door, What's That Secret You're Keepin'?"  I listened night after night, hoping to hear one or another of those songs. 

Note to Paul:  I think I reported some time back on WLW's Farm Show, when I was responding to Bruce Fette (and others) about Cincinnati's radio transmissions (i.e., Crosley) from Mason, Ohio, but I'll repeat it if necessary.  And, as I said, in the not too distant future I'll give you a rundown on Cincinnati's Rapid Transit System.

03/05/19 06:17 PM #3889    


Paul Simons

Phil you have perhaps unintentionally taken a deep dive into the dark waters of words that mean one thing here and another there. Is "impertinent" the opposite of "pertinent"? Heck no. In fact I was carefully disguising my own impertinence from the guardians of propriety. What I was saying about the content of the WLW farm report was not pertinent to soy or pork belly futures then or now. But to stay out of trouble let us remember the elongated diamond shaped Blaw-Knox transmitting tower that sent the glorious Voice of Cincinnati to the world. See photo. If you look closely you can even see the "WLW" at the wide mid-point of the tower.

03/07/19 01:10 AM #3890    


Philip Spiess

Paul:  "All things bright and beautiful, all things great and small, all things used quite world-wide, yes, Crosley made them all."  Thanks for the picture.  Apparently my mother's cousin, Clyde "Buddy" Haehnle, was the key engineer instrumental in designing and building the Mason, Ohio, radio complex (he ended up as the last employee of Crosley / Avco, and shut it down).  What I think I repeat here (as I said I would) is about the Gray "History of Wireless" Museum, located near the corner of Church and Frank Streets in Mason, Ohio.  A number of early Crosley-manufactured radio equipment items can be seen there, including a "Harko Jr." crystal receiver, a "Harko Sr." one-tube receiver, and a Crosley "Pup" receiver.  Other manufacturers' items include those from De Forest, Radiola, Westinghouse, Western Electric, and Atwater Kent.  My favorite item in the museum is the famous WLW Farm "Corn Cob" Microphone, designed for WLW's working farm shows, such as "Everybody's Farm"; the microphone, a true "kitsch" piece from the days of "rural programming" (as it was called) was cast in aluminum from a large ear of corn, big enough to hold an RCA "salt-shaker"-style microphone, and -- yessirree -- looks like a real ear of corn on an electric cord!  Is Cincinnati true Midwest, or what?

03/16/19 09:20 AM #3891    


David Buchholz

Among the countless images I have saved over the last few years are those of our avian friends.  I have posted about fifty of them on my website, and for those who have time on your hands I invite you to go to...

I tried to include images of the birds in ways that the average person doesn't see them, including the four I posted below:  the majestic and elegant Great Blue Heron. the hitchiker, the snowy egret, and penguins in New Zealand returning home from a long day in the Pacific.

Great Blue Heron

Water Buffaloes with Companion in Tanzania

Snowy Egret


03/17/19 07:18 AM #3892    


Paul Simons

In reverse order - thanks Dave for showing us what a camera and lens can do. I will most likely never be as close to these animals or to any animals as your photos take me. They reinforce my amazement at the very fact of the existence of life itself.

Phil your memory of the name of that radio program "Everybody's Farm". It brings back a feeling of some kind of innocence. That was way before certain traumatic events that have occurred in and to this country. And, of course, ignorance is bliss. There were traumatic events they didn't go into very deeply in history classes at WHHS or apparently anywhere, that perhaps they should have.

This is a very interesting amateur documentary about WLW radio

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