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Author Topic: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two  (Read 102 times)

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Offline Christine

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Summer 1958

This is a true story about one of my adventures during the summer of 1958



During the summer of 1958 I went to work at Phil's Gulf Service at 2808 Front Street, Cuyahoga Falle, Ohio. It was at the northwest corner of Front and Vincent Streets. On the opposite corner stood the Atlas Mold and Die Company. At that time it had closed its doors due to bankruptcy. Phil's Gulf was a new station that had not yet opened for business when I was hired. We were supposed to open in early July, close to the 4th if I remember correctly. Normally I'd still have an old pay stub to look back on for reference, but my pay was so meager they didn't have stubs that small.

When we opened we did like most all Service Stations during that era, we had a grand opening. We gave away lots of mundane items like cheap dishes that broke if you looked at them cross-eyed, other items that didn't leave an imprint on my memory, and drinking glasses with various antique cars embossed on them. Now those were nice glasses. I liked them so well I bought a whole case of them, which cost me $5.00 (Probably $50.00 in today's worthless bucks). I think there were 48 glasses to a case. Believe it or not, fiftyone years later, I still have some of those glasses in mint condition.

The gentleman that owned the station lived just a couple doors north on Kent Road. His was the first house in Silver Lake on the northwest corner of Landon Drive and Kent Road. When you sat at the traffic light while exiting the River Estates you couldn't help but see his house.

The night before the grand opening I was home working on my car. I had had some trouble with it, of my own making, which is another story for later. I had it towed to Summit Buick on Exchange Street in Akron, Ohio for repairs. It was now home and I was installing one of those gizmo's that promised to improve your gas mileage by some astronomical amount. If wanting your car to run like it had 400,000 miles on it, along with an astronomical drop in mileage, it could be considered an improvement. While I was working on it, my Uncle Jerry stopped by for a visit. When he arrived I had the engine running, the hood was up and I was standing there counting how many times the fan belt went around the generator (this was pre-alternator days) in one hour.

My Dad came out of the house so we just stood at the front of the car and shot the bull. Eventually the subject switched to the car. My Uncle Jerry asked: "What are you doing to your car?" I explained that someone in the family, who shall remain nameless, thought it would be a great idea to install a wonder of modern technology, a fuel saver. I also explained the work that Summit Buick had done on the car. As I was "splaining" away, I pointed to the new fuel pump they had installed. It was right down close to where the lower part of the fan belt passed close to it and where the belt ran up over the generator pulley. I managed to get my hand close enough to the pump I could almost touch it. Not satisfied with defying the basic rules of safety while working on a running motor (engine if you prefer), I decided to test the tension on the fan belt by allowing my left index finger to go between the belt and the generator pulley. When my finger emerged at the top of the pulley it looked a bit different than it did when it went in. It was now in two pieces with the end piece hanging by what was left of a tendon, or some other piece of unrecognizable tissue.

As I pulled my now red stained greasy hand from the engine compartment, I said to my Dad and Uncle: "I think I need to go to a hospital." Here I am, calm, cool and collected with my index finger dangling from what looked like a piece of frayed string, and two grown adults in panic mode. Actually my Uncle Jerry wasn't in a panic, I just thought I'd throw that in for effect. Uncle Jerry was a WW II vet that saw a lot of action in Africa. A stinking index finger wasn't going to bother him.

Uncle Jerry offered to drive us to St. Thomas Hospital, which was a nice gesture being as how I was bleeding and he had a new set of wheels. My dad ran in the house and grabbed an old towel to place over my hand, just so he wouldn't have to look at it. On the way I kept removing the towel to have a better look at the damage. Have you ever seen what a chopped off finger looks like? Well let me explain; on second thought let's skip that part for now and get back to the rest of the story.

We arrived at the Emergency room and walked in. The first thing they had me do was sit in a wheel chair. I didn't cut my foot off, just a finger so why the wheel chair? Hospital policy I was told. OK, so I have to sit in a wheel chair. I'm sure most folks have had an occasion to visit an emergency room for one reason or another. They have their ways of doing things that seem to defy logic. But, it's their ballpark so you play by their rules no matter how ridiculous.

I forgot to mention my hand was covered with black dirty grease when the finger was testing the belt tension. Oh yeah, the belt was adjusted perfectly. The nice nurses made a vain attempt to wash all the grime off my hand. They managed to get some of it off after about an hour of scrubbing. Once that was done the Akron Police arrived to give me the third degree for their Police Report. All the while on a five minute rotation someone new would walk into the room, unwrap my hand and look at the two piece finger. They'd shake their heads, re-wrap it and walk out. This went on for what seemed an eternity.

Now it was time for an X-Ray. I climbed off the table and started to walk out of the room when the nurse ordered me to get in the wheelchair. I protested but she insisted that she had to wheel me to X-Ray lab as it was the High-priest's policy; patients are not allowed to walk. Off we went to the photo studio where she parked the chair with me in it. A few minutes later the X-Ray tech appeared and took me inside the Atom Bomb room. He took a few pictures of my hand in various poses then told me to go back to the emergency room. I said: "Who is going to push the wheel chair back?" He said: "You are." Off I went pushing the chair with one hand. Try it sometime, it doesn't go as straight as it does when you use two hands. Seeing as how the "Wheelchair Policy" only covered one way trips I was glad I hadn't used my foot to test the belt.

During the sign in process they asked who my doctor was. Since I didn't have one my Dad volunteered the company doctor. They put in a call to him and after about an hour located him at a party. Eventually he (shall remain nameless to protect the guilty) showed up three sheets to the wind. They poured a few cups of black coffee into him, splashed lots of cold water on his face then sent him to the operating room. After wandering around the parking lot for about thirty minutes the security guard retrieved him and guided him to where I had been waiting, in the operating room.

This paragraph Hollywood style

When I woke up I found a huge cast on my left foot and my finger was missing. I called the nurse and told her someone made a really BIG mistake. They got the doctor back and sent us both back to the operating room, but this time he was pushing the wheelchair. Round two, this was getting to be fun, the going under part. Woke up again and now
that large cast was on my left hand with a great big pointer where my index finger was hopefully ensconced. Went home and went to bed as it was late and I had to get up early as the next morning was "Grand Opening Day."

When I showed up for work I could see the boss was real pleased to have a cripple on the payroll. I showed him I could do with one hand anything anyone else could do with two. Over the next month I managed to change the look of that big white pointer to a big greasy black pointer. When I went to my first post op visit, the doctor asked me who I was and what was I doing in his office. It's amazing how alcohol clears ones mind. He gave me hell for getting grease inside the cast and for using my index finger to pry the lids off 55 gallon drums. He took out some of the stitches but left a few in to make sure the end didn't fall into someones bowl of soup. Back I went to work with a brand new cast white as snow. One day later it looked as seasoned as the previous version.

And now to the point of this whole story: One of our best customers was a gentleman named "Frankie" who just happened to own "Frankie's Tavern", which was down the street a short walk from the station. It also just happened that my boss was "Frankie's" best customer. Well I got to know Frankie pretty well mainly from working on his car and filling his tank with Gulf Crest, known to the hotrodder's as "Grapette" due to its color. Eventually I got up enough courage and wandered into Frankie's Tavern one evening and ordered a Six Pack of beer to go. At that moment in time I was eighteen years old. Frankie's did not sell 3.2 beer and I was not of legal age for the 7% stuff. Frankie was the one waiting on me and low and behold he gave it to me without asking for ID. Off I went with our beer (our being my buddies and me). During the ensuing years I was a regular visitor to Frankie's Tavern, always ordering beer to go. In 1961 on a very special day I went into Frankie's for a Six Pack. Frankie set it on the bar then did something he had never done before; he asked to see my ID. I pulled out my Driver License (sorry, it is not "drivers" license) and gave it to him. He looked at it and then looked up at me with a look of astonishment. That day was 05 Aug 1961, my 21st birthday, the very first day I could legally buy beer there. I smiled, said thanks, retrieved my license, picked up my six pack and walked out. I bet that turned out to be one of Frankie's most unforgettable moments. Over the years I still frequented Frankie's though I did go in and have a few inside instead of always on-the-go. By the way, Frankie was a darn nice guy who helped a lot of folks without ever asking for anything in return.

Copyright © 25 October 2008
Copyright © 18 December 2019
Christine Jessica Headley
All rights reserved
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Linde

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2019, 07:32:16 PM »
Well Christine, because I am similar in age to you, and I was a gearhead, too, I have a similar stupid car story to tell.  I am not such a good novelist, as you are one, and therefore there is not much to laugh about my story.  Mine was set about 10 years later (which makes sense, because I am younger than you  ;D).  At that time, I owned  German designed and build Ford 17M, which was nicknamed by everybody Badewanne (bath tub), because of its shape (https://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1CHBD_enUS838US839&sxsrf=ACYBGNSiAjHK00K7NQr_XgVBy0HDZs-Abw:1576804761283&q=pictures+of+Ford+badewanne&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjFhrS9h8PmAhVQeawKHbl5BNwQ7Al6BAgJECQ&biw=1920&bih=937).  Anyway, the headlights of those vehicles were glas lenses, and like with all European cars, one could exchange the bulbs (sealed beams were illegal).  The glass lens was inserted into the housing with some kind of rubber lieep that had to shanks, and the glass was sitting in the slot between the two shanks.  I had taken the lens out to "spring clean" it and the reflector, and had popped it in , and to make sure it was fitted right, I pushed with all fingers spread against the glass.  The glass broke from the tension, and a sharp edge cut my right thumb off at the base joint of the thumb, which was just angling on my hand with a tin piece of the skin.  I looked at it, and was amazed that the bones did not look white, but more ivory colored.  Also amazing was that I did not feel any pain, I think the shock protected me.  I was alone, went into the house, wrapped a clean kitchen towel around my hand, and drove to the emergency room.
Well, I still am the owner of said thumb, it is kind of stiff these days, because the base joint was gone for god, and some tendons could not be repaired in those days.

It took me quite a while before I started to tinker with cars again, but not that much later, I threw a Porsche engine (the 1600 CC) into a VW Beetle, and made a screamer car of it!
If life deals you lemons, make the best out of them, make lemonade, or put them into your bra to make it look like you have big boobs!

Email contact through linde@transrefuge.org

Online Katie

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2019, 09:20:34 PM »
I was forced into being a gearhead by my father. I have many crazy car related stories.

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Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2019, 11:42:30 PM »
I was forced into being a gearhead by my father. I have many crazy car related stories.

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Hi Katie,            20 December 2019

Plug your stories in here, it'll make this thread more interesting.

Take Care mis amiga; hope you are feeling well.

Best Always, Love

Christine
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2019, 12:53:26 AM »
Mr. Howard D. Saurer - Dean of Boys, Cuyahoga Falls High School
Part One:

Sometimes one is fortunate to have had an extraordinary person intervene in their life. This is a true story about just such a person.

My first year of High School, 1954 - 1955 was at St. Mary's High School in Akron Ohio. When the Fall registration started for the 1955 - 1956 school year I took myself to Falls High to register, unbeknown to my parents of course. Back in those days you weren't required to have your parents with you when you made such a momentous decision. All of a sudden I was now a student at the High School I had longed to attend since the first time I laid eyes on it.

Prior to moving to the Falls we lived at 1143 Murray Avenue in Akron. Our house was about one and a half blocks north of Cuyahoga Falls Avenue. During the school year of 1945 - 1946 I attended kindergarten at Jackson School. My teacher for most of the year was Mrs. Parrot. Late in the school year she took leave due to illness so I never saw her again. Just before the end of the school year we moved to 2529 Whitelaw Street in the Falls. When it came time to register for grade school my parents decided they would enroll me at Saint Joseph's. This was something I was against because I wanted to go to Crawford where most of my new found friends were going. As an aside, at that time our street was the dividing line between Crawford and Broad Street Schools. Those on the North side went to Crawford and those on the south side went to Broad, and young little oddball me got to go to Saint Joseph's. Quite frankly I was devastated.

From the Fall of 1946 through the Spring of 1954, I reluctantly attended Saint Joseph's School. All during that time I usually walked to school passing by Falls High almost every day. I thought it was the most magnificent school building I had ever laid my young eyes on. For eight long years my dream was to attend High School there. What impressed me the most about Falls High in those early years was the stately beauty of the building and the beautiful campus. The front yard, for lack of a better word, was spacious and was populated by huge trees that provided many shady areas where students could gather. It just looked like a place I wanted to be a part of.

As luck would have it my parents made another decision for me that didn't sit too well with this now 14 year old. I was going to attend a Catholic high school whether I liked it or not. That left me with three choices: Hoban, which was out of the question because it was all boys, Saint Vincent's and Saint Mary's. Since my best friend Tom was going to Saint Mary's I decided that's where I'd go. My Freshman year at Saint Mary's was unremarkable in that I enjoyed it about as much as I enjoyed Saint Joseph's. It was a long trolley bus ride all the way out South Main Street to Thornton and Coburn Streets. And it was just as long going home, which made for a really long day.

When the summer of 1955 rolled around I made my plans which were to go to Falls High come hell or high water. No one, not even my parents, were going to make me go back to Saint Mary's. Please don't assume I am disparaging Saint Mary's or Saint Joe's. I just happened to not want to attend either one of them and when you are forced to be where you don't want to be for nine long years you don't have much of a soft spot for it. So we're now at the 1955 - 1956 Falls High registration day. I went around and talked to the various teachers and Mr Saurer. He was the person who had the final say as to your course selections. He approved all of my class selections with one exception, Home Economics. He saw through me like a Laser. I then selected Metal Shop in its place. Oh well I tried.

When school started in the Fall of 1955 I heard many tales of what and who to avoid. The word was to avoid Mr. Saurer as he was strict and meaner than a junk yard dog. It didn't take me long before I had my first visit to his office. I was scared (the word ends with less). When my turn came I went in and to my surprise he was really nice to me. I found this to be quite confusing; everyone had said he was mean and strict and he wasn't mean, strict yes but that's to be expected and isn't the same as mean. Believe me I was dumbfounded.

As time went on I kept hearing the same horror stories about Mr. Saurer and how mean he was. If you knew me back then you'd know I spent a lot of time in his office. Never ever was he mean to me and believe what I'm telling you; I deserved mean and he was nice and always tried to help me. At the time, due to my stupidity, I didn't fully appreciate what he was doing for me. I had never encountered anyone like him before. Somehow though, down deep in my soul, I knew he was trying to help me and that everything he told me was right on the mark. The last time I talked with Mr. Saurer at school was sometime in 1958.

Continued in Part Two

Mr. Howard D. Saurer - Dean of Boys, Cuyahoga Falls High School
Part Two:

After High School I worked a few dead end jobs until the US Government intervened in my life. Since I didn't have too many options when they came a "knockin" I went into the Service voluntarily. I was extremely fortunate when I made the decision to join the US Navy. They sent me to so many schools I almost used up half my four year enlistment in school. It was while attending these schools that I started to understand what Mr. Saurer had been trying to tell me and I began to apply his console. Then when I received orders to my first permanent duty station I hit the jackpot. I had been selected for a special Navy program run by the "Office of  Special Projects." At that time it was super secret and top priority.

My first permanent duty station was with Oceanographic Detachment Three embarked aboard the USNS Michelson T-AGS 23.  I found myself working with civilian engineers and scientists from high tech companies and government agencies. It was here that I came to fully understand and appreciate what Mr. Saurer had been trying to do for me. It was finally bubbling up into my consciousness. Fortunately I had remembered most all the advice he had bestowed upon me during our counseling sessions. Now it was working big time.

After I was out of the service and had finished working for the Navy as a consultant, I returned to the Falls. Over the years I wanted to visit with him to thank him for everything he had done for me and to let him know that he succeeded. For some reason I had this fear of meeting him. Not because I thought he was mean, because I knew he wasn't. It was probably because I was too ashamed of how I had acted while at Falls High. I knew where he lived and would drive by his house on occasion hoping to see him in his yard working on his flower beds or something. I just didn't have the guts to pull into the driveway and knock on his door.

Eventually I moved to Texas and only got back to the Falls for brief visits, mostly while on business trips. In 1988 I made a trip to the Falls to see a friend. At the conclusion of that visit I went through my usual ritual of driving around the Falls for a last visit with my friends and to have another look at all the places that meant the most to me. As I was heading down Portage Trail towards the expressway I passed by Mr. Saurer's street. I thought to myself that one of these days I have to stop and visit with him and to apologize to him for how I had acted in school and to also thank him for all the help he gave me. As I proceeded down the street I kept thinking of him. I had remembered he wasn't real young when I was at Falls high and it was now thirty years since I had last seen him. All these thoughts kept racing through my head. Eventually I reached the expressway entrance ramp at Broad Blvd. I turned south on the ramp towards Akron Canton Airport. As I proceeded down the ramp a little voice inside me told me to go back and see him. One thing I have learned the hard way is to NEVER go against that little voice. It has never been wrong, only I have been wrong when I didn't heed its advice. I quickly drove to the nearest exit then headed in the opposite direction back to the Portage trail exit. I then turned left and headed west up Portage Trail to 14th Street,  made a left turn and drove down the street with some trepidation, as I did not know what to expect.

When I approached his house I slowed to a crawl then pulled into the driveway. I got out of the car with my heart jumping around in my throat and headed for the front door. I climbed the steps to the porch then knocked. Now I'm scared (you know the word) again. After a short wait a very nice lady came to the door and asked if she could help me. I said: "Yes, is Mr. Saurer home?" She responded: "Yes, I'll get him for you" and then left. A few moments later Mr. Saurer appeared, "Can I help you?" he said.  I then responded: "I don't know if you remember me..." at which point he interrupted me and said: "I don't see so well any more but I recognize the voice." He invited me into his home and had me sit down after he introduced me to his wife and stepdaughter.

We sat and talked for a couple of hours. It was the best conversation I have had in my life. I realized then that this man was one of the greatest people I have been privileged to have in my life. As we talked he told me about all the things he knew that I had been doing over the previous thirty years. In fact he knew more about what I had been doing and where I had been than my own family, parents included. He then went on to tell me about many of my fellow students and what they had been doing all these years. I now understood him better than I could have had someone written his biography. They would not have known him like I was coming to know him. This was deeply personal and was penetrating to the deepest reaches of my soul.  He had no children of his own, we, his students were his children and he loved and cared for us as if we were. The fact that he kept track of us over the years was a testament to his love, kindness, goodness and selflessness. Unfortunately my time was running short as I had a plane to catch. We said our goodbyes with a promise that I would come back to see him in the summer when I returned for our 30th High School Reunion, which was only a few short months away.

As I headed for home I got a bit mad at myself for waiting so long to do what I should have done many years prior. I had missed so much by not having gone to see him early on. The consolation was that I finally did do it and could now make peace with myself.

Not too long before our 30th reunion I received word that Mr. Saurer had Suffered a mild stroke. This was not a happy day. Turning my car around that day and going to see him had to be the best decision I have ever made, thanks to the "little voice". I realized then the importance of not putting things off until tomorrow, for there may not be one.

As soon as I got back to the Falls for the Reunion I went to visit with Mr. Saurer and his family. The stroke had taken a toll though we were still able to have a fine conversation. I saw him again before I left, which was the last time I would see him. I miss him dearly and thank him for rescuing me. I owe him a debt that I'll never be able to repay.

A couple months after the reunion, I received a call informing me that Mr. Saurer had passed away. Had I not gone to see him when I did, I would never have been able to forgive myself had I not done so. Thank you Mr. Saurer for saving me from myself.


Chet Headley - Cuyahoga Falls High School Class of 1958
« Last Edit: December 21, 2019, 10:16:07 AM by Christine »
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #5 on: December 24, 2019, 12:52:15 AM »
Hi Folks,                   23 December 2919

As I was searching through my archived files I came across this old Indian poem. I don't remember where I found it other than it was on the Internet; The author is unknown.

I think it is worth reading from time to time


Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said:
“My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Author Unknown

Best Always, Love

Christine
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2019, 01:10:34 AM »
Hi Folks,                       23 December 2019


FORWARD:

Here's another story I wrote several years ago for my ship's Website. It never was posted there because the guy that started it passed away before he could post it on the site. It's about an impromptu inport in Rota, Spain. This really happened, was a lot of fun; had a great guide, my buddy Jack B. was Italian, spoke fluent Spanish and knew his way around Europe.

We did consume alcohol while at sea, just about everyone on our ships did. As mentioned in the story, we did consume large quantities of alcohol, though we were not in a position to jeopardize the operation of the ship. We did endanger ourselves by being out on deck at night, during heavy seas disposing of the empty bottles, cans and other debris that resulted from our impromptu parties.

We spent a lot of time at sea, 28 days out and 7 days in. Our accommodations were some of the best the Navy had to offer. We had staterooms, ate in a dining room, ordered our meals from a menu and a waiter took our order and brought it to our table on china, not trays. We worked and played hard. Would I do it again? You bet if I was as young as I was back then and the love of my life was with me. Without her, no way.

The ship was the USNS Bowditch T-AGS 21, an oceanographic research ship on a Top Secret Mission at the time.


Chet and Jack’s trip to Seville Spain

Here we were at sea again, this time with a catastrophic systems failure. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on ones perspective, we didn’t have the necessary spare part aboard the Bowditch. That left the CO and Senior Scientist with a difficult choice. We could break radio silence and request a spare to be delivered at our next in-port, which was a couple of weeks away; or, we could head for Rota Spain to the Navy sub base and have the part sent there immediately if a spare wasn’t available in Rota..

From my perspective and what I discerned was the overwhelming perspective of the crew, the latter option was what everyone was hoping for. Now, to dispel any idea that we crew members were unpatriotic let me explain something. Some of the systems aboard the ship where still in the development phase and could not be considered fully operational or front-line systems. Aside from much needed development work, some of these systems were just not yet reliable enough. The MOT (Mean Operating Time) was so low as to render it useless for actual data collection. So the reality of the situation was that an emergency stop in Rota would allow us to obtain a replacement part if not immediately, within a day or so. This would allow the systems to be back in operation in minimal time allowing us to complete our cruise more or less as originally planned. So we went to Rota for an unscheduled in port; lots of smiles for sure.

I’ll have to commend the Navy for its ability to handle unexpected changes of plans. When we arrived they had our mail waiting for us. Total surprise and definitely not expected.

Since SASS was not the culprit this time, Jack ***** (GI) and I decided to take a trip to Seville. I had never been there so Jack was the ideal person to explore Spain with. He had a vast knowledge of Spain, its culture, cuisine, and geography; Jack also spoke fluent Spanish, which was a big plus. We grabbed a taxi and headed for Seville. We went to a nice restaurant and had a fantastic dinner after which we went to a bar for a drink or three. Well, I had never seen such gorgeous women in my life. I fell in love immediately. We bounced around the bar scene most of the evening, each stop replete with women more beautiful than the previous watering hole. I couldn’t believe my eyes; the scenery just kept getting better.

I know this treasure trove of beautiful women had nothing to do with what or how much we were drinking, or anything else for that matter, like testosterone. These were genuinely gorgeous women. To be candid, by the time we left the last bar I was so stinking drunk that a toothless hag with a glass eye and wooden leg would have looked good. Come to think of it, I seem to remember a few fitting that description during some of my other port calls. Fortunately Jack had the presence of mind to drag me into a cab and haul me back to Rota before I ended up doing something more stupid than I did in Fatima.

As I write this I am beginning to see a common thread in most, [but not all,] of my “adventures” while aboard the ships.

We made it back to the ship in one piece, which undoubtedly was a good thing. I didn’t need some reminder of my visit to Seville once we had been at sea for three days. I hope you are duly impressed with my vast medical knowledge.

I did learn a couple of things about Seville and that is it really does have beautiful women and it grows the Seville Orange which is extremely tart and is used for Marmalade and orange-flavored liqueurs. I even gained a bit of culture during my Bowditch tour, albeit a mighty small bit.

If my memory serves me correctly we managed to locate the part we needed in Rota, as this was the Navy sub base and there was some commonality of equipment ‘tween’ us. We returned to sea with the remainder of the cruise being uneventful save for a party or two every night.

Please don’t come to the conclusion that we may have consumed large quantities of alcohol while at sea. Let me set the record straight, we consumed huge quantities of alcohol while at sea. Some day when the ocean floors rise to where man can walk on them, he will find it littered with a treasure trove of exotic wine, whisky, beer and liqueur bottles; and let’s not forget the occasional empty five gallon can that once contained 190 proof USP alcohol, compliments of US Navy Supply channels and the good old American tax-payer. I’d put the FSN (Federal Stock Number) for it in here except I don’t want to give away all my secrets.

Teetotalers we weren’t nor were we alcoholics, we just enjoyed socializing when we weren’t working and best of all we didn’t have to drive home three sheets to the wind, which reminds me of another of my “adventures” aboard the Bowditch and the contents of a certain five gallon can. That story is a story unto itself. I can tell that one now because enough time has passed that no one’s Naval career can be jeopardized, just their reputations. Watch for the next installment.


Copyright © 22 August 2008
Chet Headley
Copyright © 23 December 2019
Chet Headley, Christine Jessica Headley
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #7 on: December 24, 2019, 01:32:27 AM »



My Daisy B-B Gun

Saturday 18 October 2008


Best that I can remember B-B guns were synonymous with American boyhood. Just about all of the boys in my neighborhood had one. Mine was a Daisy Red Ryder Carbine meaning that it had a lever action similar to the rifles used in most western movies. Santa brought mine Christmas-eve 1947. I was pretty excited when I saw a long slim box neatly wrapped and under the tree with my name on it.

Christmas at our house was different than most. About a week or so before Christmas my Dad would go out and drive around town looking for the prefect tree, which was a Scotch Pine or something similar. After he brought it home he'd put it in the garage until it was time to put it up in the living room. Usually two days before Christmas the trunk was trimmed and placed in the tree stand. We'd then struggle to get it though the back door and up the steps into the kitchen. From there it was a fairly easy task to move it into the living room. We usually found a nice corner reasonably close to the fireplace so Santa wouldn't have any trouble finding it. My Dad would than make sure the tree was secure and had lots of water to drink.

So now the anticipation began. The tree was up and that was it. No decorations, nothing; just a tree sitting there as bare as it had been when it was living in the forest with all of its friends. Every day the trees limbs would droop a little further, which my Dad explained was due to the way the tree had been handled during shipment. Made sense to me cause my Dad knew most everything. Christmas-eve was quite exciting, my Mom would bake lots of cookies and other pastries that evening so they'd be ready for Christmas Day. The best part was the special cookies she baked for Santa, Chocolate-Chip, which were my favorite (and still are though I have never found any quite as good as the ones she used to make).

After Santa's cookies were finished baking we got to sample a few of the extras while they were still warm. I can still remember the wonderful smell of all the goodies in the oven and how wonderful those cookies tasted when I finally got to sit down with my glass of cold milk. I would eat them slowly sometimes dunking them. I guess back then if I would have been asked what I thought Heaven was like I'd have said: "It's just like this."

Once we were through with the cookies it was time for a bath and off to bed. I remember it always seemed strange that we had to go to bed earlier on Christmas-eve than at any other time of the year. Once in bed I found it impossible to fall asleep. I'd listen for the sound of hoofs on the roof, the jingling of bells and the sound of Santa sliding down the chimney. Somehow I must have fallen asleep at some point though I never remember it happening. Around four or five in the morning I'd awaken and lie there listening. It was as quiet as an empty church. I'd then get up and sneak down stairs to see if Santa had arrived yet. As I quietly crept down the stairs, my heart pounding like a base drum, I was suddenly confronted by the most glorious sight I had ever seen. Santa had decorated the tree and trimmed the whole house. It was absolutely beautiful. I turned around and ran back upstairs and woke my sister and told her Santa had been here. I then ran to Mom and Dad's room to give them the good news. For some reason it was very difficult to wake them up. You'd have thought they had been working all night or something.

Eventually they'd crawl out of bed and take us downstairs with them. What a magnificent sight it was to see everything Santa had done during his visit to our house. We knew for sure he had been there because he ate most of his cookies and drank the milk we left out for him. He even left us a note thanking us. We were allowed to open one present then it was back to bed. My folks explained that us kids being so young we needed our rest. So off we went, back to slumber-land, though I don't think my sister and I got much sleep. Eventually the family got up and then it was back to the bounty that Santa had left. Once we had the packages sorted it was time to let it rip, literally ripping the paper off the packages and tossing it to one side. I found the long slim box and ripped the paper off in anticipation of what could possibly be inside. The label on the box said it all; Daisy Red Ryder B-B Gun. I was in seventh heaven. Somehow I knew Santa wouldn't let me down. I had visited him at O'Neil's in downtown Akron and had even sat on his lap and had my picture taken with him. I still have that picture.

I couldn't wait to try it out so Dad and I went out in the back yard and used the side of the garage as a backstop. Now here I am, a scrawny seven year old with a B-B gun that weighed almost as much as I did, or so it seemed at the time. He showed me how to put the B-B's in and how to cock the gun so it would fire. Then I'd have to hold it up to aim it. That was almost as difficult as it was to cock the thing. For someone a bit older the cocking procedure was a no brain-er and didn't require much effort, hardly more than what the movie cowboys had to exert when they loaded their trusty Winchester Carbines. Little old me had to devise my own procedure. It went something like this: Point the barrel down and place the business end on my toe. Hold the shoulder stock with my left hand and then with my right hand push down on the lever action with all my might until I felt and heard the click. At that point the lever was no longer difficult to move. Return the lever to its closed position, lift the gun and aim it at the target. Then pull the trigger. Believe me I never realized how much work it was just to shoot a gun. It also made me realize Gene Autry, Roy and all the other cowboys had to be really strong and tough to shoot those guns as fast as they did.

Later on I came up with a better method of loading my B-B Gun. I put the stock on my toe then leaned over the barrel and pulled up on the lever. Got more leverage that way. Of course my Dad didn't see my new method and it's probably a good thing he didn't. (Later on, much later, I finally realized just how dangerous my new procedure had been. By then I had grown enough that I had the strength to do it properly and safely. It was just that "tween" period.)

Once I got the hang of things in those early days I became a pretty good shot. One day I was practicing something I saw during a Saturday Matinee western movie at the Falls Theater. It was shooting from the hip. I was using a garbage can lid as a target leaning up against one of the garage doors. I'd load the gun, hold it in my right hand pointed down. I'd turn my back to the target and walk towards the house. I'd then spin around, bringing the gun up grabbing the for-end with my left hand and then firing it as I pointed it at the target. Mind you, I was not using the sights. All was going well, every time I fired I could hear the B-B hit the lid. I was having a ball and getting faster on the "draw" with each shot. I thought I was as good as Gene or Roy or any of the other sharpshooters I saw on Saturday's.

As I continued with my routine something strange happened. I didn't hear the familiar "ping" of the B-B hitting the lid, I heard a delayed ping that sounded much further away. At first I thought I was out of ammo but a quick shake of the gun dispelled that notion. It must have been a malfunction where a B-B didn't load properly. So I continued my little cowboy sharpshooter routine until the time I spun around and there was a stranger standing there. I think I about peed my pants. I asked him what he wanted. He said in a not so friendly voice: "I want to talk to you Mother or Father, you just shot a hole in my window." Well, at least I now knew where that B-B went and what that distant ping was. I also knew that my trusty Red Ryder Carbine hadn't let me down, it didn't malfunction, I did. Got my Dad so the "mean" man who lived behind us could talk to him. Long story short my shooting sessions were immediately curtailed for the foreseeable future and my Dad agreed to pay for a new window. My Red Ryder was put away for a long time. I think the next time I got to use it was when a friend of the family took me hunting with him down along Akron Peninsula Road the next year.

Since all this happened on Whitelaw Street I don't think I used it much there. Once we moved to 1200 Ruth Avenue in the River Estates I made good use of it as there were a lot of wide open areas back then. We owned the ball field next door and there was a lot of undeveloped land next to the field. This was the pre-Heslop era in the River Estates. There was also a woods up the street I had to go through to get to grandma's house. There were no more B-B gun incidents until one occurred at home. When I would come in from outside and I had my gun with me I would usually stand it in a corner of the kitchen next to the basement door. Every time my Mom would see it there she would say: "One of these days I'm going to throw that gun down the basement stairway." I just took it as an innocent threat. It was something that I did and she said on a regular basis, until one day my younger sister was standing there close to the basement stairway. My Mom went through her usual oration when all of a sudden my little sister grabbed the gun and threw it down the basement stairway. I didn't like the sound I heard so I ran down to get my gun. What I found was a gun with a stock that was now a bunch of splinters. Of course my Mom asked my sister why she did that. My sister said: " You said you were going to throw it down the stairway so I decided to do it for you." Thanks sis, you sure made my day.

Now my Red Ryder was out of action for the foreseeable future. My Dad being a resourceful man took the pieces of the old stock and made a pattern. He then enlarged it as I was now twelve and had grown a tad since I first got it. Once he made the new stock and installed it on the gun it was actually better than new. The new stock was made from a sturdy piece of Oak that he put a nice finish on. The only thing it didn't have was the Red Ryder brand on the stock. Small price to pay for the nice repair job he did. Over the remainder of my pre-legal driving years I hauled that gun around almost everywhere I went. I used to spend many of of my weekends at a friends house on Turkeyfoot Lake. Most of the time I'd hop on an ATC (Akron Transportation Company) bus and ride all the way out to Manchester Road where my buddy's Dad would pick me up. We'd spend the weekend prowling around in the woods and just having a great time. I have often wondered what some of my fellow passengers thought when they saw me board the bus with that old B-B gun. No one ever said anything back then. I can imagine what would happen today if someone tried that.

Where is that gun today? I think I know what may have happened to it. When I left for the service in 1963 it was at my folks house. I was gone for four years except for my occasional leave periods. By then B-B guns were not high priority as I had other things on my mind. After I got out of the service I went to work for a company in New York as an engineer. They contracted me out to the US Navy so I found myself back aboard my first ship as a civilian. At that time the ship was in Japan and my contract was for one year. I stayed for 13 months returning in April of 1968. I was now almost 28 and B-B guns were about as far from my mind as Japan was from me. One day I started looking for the youthful treasures I had saved. I couldn't find them. My train set was gone, my collection of baseballs gone, bats, comic book collection, games, and MY B-B GUN, all GONE. I asked my folks what happened to all my stuff. My Mom said: "Oh, I gave it all to a friend of mines children." "Holy cow, you gave it to whom?" Well there wasn't any point in continuing that conversation, what was done was done. I kind of had the feeling that they never expected me to return, like I was supposed to get killed in action or maybe fall overboard and drown. I guess we all had our disappointments.


Copyright © 18 October 2008
Chet Headley
Copyright © 23 December 2019
Chet Headley, Christine Jessica Headley
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #8 on: December 24, 2019, 01:40:56 AM »



Monday 08 December 2008



My Baseball Collection

I'm assuming that most folks think of a "Baseball Collection" as a collection of baseballs retrieved from major league games. My collection was slightly different, it consisted of balls from the teams that played baseball at the field that was on the opposite side of the B & O Railroad tracks that ran behind our house at 1200 Ruth Avenue in the River Estates.

Around 1954 a ball field was constructed in a field that was accessible from Munroe Falls Avenue near where Reuther Mold is located. Basically it was behind the State Highway Departments maintenance facility, which was on the northeast corner of Bailey Road and the B & O railroad tracks. Right across from it on the southeast corner was the "Dead Fish Factory" (Manufacturer of Latex products). That place had a stench that could drain your sinuses.

A large embankment (remnant of the old Ohio Canal) separated the ball field from the tracks, which was a plus. On the ball field side of the embankment there were numerous trees that provided fairly dense cover. The backstop was placed so that the playing field was away from the embankment. My buddy Tom and I used to cross the tracks to watch the games; for us that meant climbing the steep embankment to get to the field.

While watching the games we couldn't help but notice that a fair number of foul balls went over the backstop and landed on the embankment. Along with quite a few trees there was plenty of other vegetation making for a fairly dense ground cover. Since the ball teams didn't have time to look for the "lost" balls some of us volunteered to search for them. Eventually most of the balls were recovered though on occasion one or two would not be found during the game.

Since games were not played every day, Tom and I would go over on the "open" days to look for lost balls. It didn't take too long before we each found a ball. These balls were in nice shape, much better than the balls we had been accustomed to playing with. Most of what we had didn't have covers on them, instead they had "friction tape" in its place. It was kind of nice having a baseball that looked and felt like a baseball rather than a sticky wad of taped string. Besides the lousy feel they didn't sound like much when you managed to get a hit. Nothing like the crack of a bat when it hits a real ball.

It didn't take long for our devious minds to come up with a plan to acquire a few more baseballs. We began by positioning ourselves so that we could better see where the foul balls landed when they went over the backstop and up onto the embankment. We were almost always the first ones up the bank to look for them. The first thing we did was create a diversion by looking for the ball where we knew it wasn't. Others that decided to join the fun would look where we were looking. Eventually everyone would grow tired of the futile search and would return to watch the game. The next day Tom and I would cross the tracks and retrieve the balls. This was a slow and tedious method because we could only manage to divert one or two balls per game. Sometimes the diversion didn't work as someone would go where the ball actually went and would find it. We were up to about four balls each when the season was about half over.

We needed to rethink our current methodology and come up with a better plan. While we wandered around the embankment looking for balls we noticed numerous clumpy bushes growing on the railroad side of the embankment. We decided we needed a place to "stash" the balls before anyone else could find them. We dug holes under a couple of bushes then put a couple of stacks of flat rocks in the hole that would support the section of sod that we placed over the hole. It was perfect, our ball stashes were invisible. We did such a good job we had a hard time finding them the first time we went to use them. It didn't take long before we had their locations memorized. It also didn't take long before we had twenty plus balls each.

One afternoon we were over watching the game. Since we had so many balls we no longer bothered chasing after the fouls. It just so happened that one of our neighbors, who was several years older was on one of the teams. The game was going along fine, we were sitting there watching when the batter fouled a ball. We sat and waited while the other folks scurried around looking for it. Something unusual happened this time, the coaches and team members went looking for the ball. We couldn't figure out what the big deal was until our neighbor Jim pipes up in a loud voice: "Why don't you guys bring back some of the balls you've taken so we can finish our game?" As luck would have it neither team had another ball. The game came to an abrupt halt. We kind of slunk, or maybe slithered, our way out of there. We decided to teach them a lesson by never returning to chase foul balls. I'm sure they regretted it.

Of all the balls I had in my "collection" I have exactly one left. As I mentioned in my post about my Red Ryder B-B Gun, my Mom gave them all away. I think the only reason that this one survived is because it was in the pocket of my baseball mitt, the one that my Dad gave me for my tenth birthday. (In a previous post I mentioned that he gave it to me for my eighth or ninth birthday but I have reason to believe it was the tenth. I'll go back and correct my earlier post.) The glove was not kept with my other treasures so either my Mom missed it (glove with ball) or my Dad stopped her from giving the glove away. That glove is one of the very few treasures I have from my youth that my Father gave me. I think if she had given it away I would have been devastated as that glove meant a lot to me then; it means even more today.

Parents, please save your children's treasures for them. When they have children of their own they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.


Copyright © 08 December 2008
Chet Headley
Copyright © 23 December 2019
Chet Headley, Christine Jessica Headley
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2019, 01:47:32 AM »
Hi Folks,                              23 December 2019

This post includes the rules for copying and or using items I post in/on this thread. Most of them were written by me several years ago and were posted / published on the Internet. They are © copyrighted and owned by me. Their posting here does not confer or change ownership status of these original works nor does it confer "works for hire" status. It does allow for "Trans Refuge" members, not visitors, the right to copy these works for their private use. Attribution is required. Commercial use is prohibited.

Note to Moderators:

If you find anything objectionable in any article I post in this thread, do not make any modifications; I prefer you delete the entire article rather than have your words substituted for mine. These articles are copyrighted.


Hope you understand

My legal name is C J Headley, AKA Chet Headley, Christine Jessica Headley

Now you know me better than I do. Hope you enjoy the postings on this thread. Thanks in advance.

Best Always, Love

Christine
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2019, 02:21:53 AM »
FORWARD

This story is true; it happened during the summer of 1961 in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, a town that the Cuyahoga River flows through on its arduous trip to Lake Erie.

It became infamous when it "caught fire" in 1969, which helped launch the environmental movement.


Sunday 18 January 2009

G & G Falls (as in Water)

We all know, or should, that Cuyahoga Falls was named after the Cuyahoga River, whose name came from the Iroquois language, meaning "crooked river." Well, did you know that G & G Radio & TV had its own water fall, albeit much smaller than the river's, that was man made and operated intermittently?

On hot summer days we usually kept the front door at C & G propped open along with the back door for ventilation; we didn't have the luxury of air-conditioning like the Falls Theater, whose system could give a Polar Bear frostbite. That was some system back in those days.

One summer day a couple of kids came into the store not unlike what I used to do at various stores when I was a young snot nosed urchin. Now that I was an older snot-nose I found them to be a bit pesky, in a fun sort of way. Bob and I decided we would have some fun with them, at their expense of course. We had a hand pump device that was designed to clean radio and TV controls, the kind with a knob you turn. For the most part new electronic equipment is void of these archaic protuberances.

I have to digress here to explain what a control is for those unfamiliar with electronics of that era, as controls are no longer anything like they were in the "olden-days," as my Pappy used to say. Controls were variable resistors that had a knob attached to a shaft that ran back towards the chassis on which the variable resistor (control) was attached. The controls had a threaded section that protruded through the chassis with a nut that held the control firmly to it. The device we had, had a long tube that had threads inside the open end that matched the threads of the control. Basically it was a single stroke pump that we would draw special cleaning fluid into. We would then slip the long nozzle over the control shaft and screw it onto the control housing. Once it was in place we would slowly push the plunger in, which would force the cleaning fluid into the control thereby flushing out the contaminants that had accumulated inside the control. Back in those days we used the environmentally "friendly" and "healthy" Carbon Tetrachloride. It worked so well its use is now banned for this purpose. That crap was deadly, we just didn't know it until many years later. Actually we no longer used the pump device for cleaning controls as spray cans of Carbon Tet were on the market, which made the job much easier... and more deadly. Instead of relegating that old hand pump control cleaner tool to the scrap heap, it received a reprieve via the ingenuity of us older snot-noses. It made one heck of a single shot squirt gun. You could shoot a three eighth inch diameter stream of water 75 feet with that thing. It became our "squirt-gun." Now back to the story.

We decided to use our squirt gun to have a little fun with the kids. About half way into the store was the front counter. Between the counter and the shop (work area) was a partial wall with shelves where we kept the tubes (I can see this is going to get more complicated than I had planned). Short digression time. Tubes were Vacuum Tubes that were replaced by transistors, which were replaced by integrated circuits which were replaced by micro circuits which have been replaced by micro-processors ad infinitum. I think you get the picture. There happened to be a small hole that had been cut through the wall that allowed anyone in the shop area to see into the store without being seen. The hole was partially obscured by the tube boxes on the shelves. Bob allowed the kids to come up to the counter while I got into position with our "squirt gun." As they stood there, oblivious to what was about to take place, I gave them a blast of water that got them a bit wet. They ran out the front door but didn't leave; they were having too much fun.

We refilled and chased after them squirting them on the run. The long and short of it, they turned the tables on us by having fun at our expense, they had us running our butts off. OK, so how long can we keep this up? They didn't go away, they kept coming back for more. One of the things I noticed was that they liked to run around the building into the small alley in back. Bob and I came up with a new plan. He would let them come into the store and just talk to them while I set up for the next stunt. You may remember from a prior post that I mentioned climbing onto the roof of the building.

While Bob kept the kids occupied I took our big ladder out into the alley along with a large bucket of water. I don't mean a typical household bucket; this was a huge bucket that held about 100 gallons of water. OK, it held about five but felt like it had 100 in it on the way to the roof. I had filled it as full as I could get it before I took it into the alley. I set the ladder up so I could climb up to the fire escape platform. I carried the bucket up with me and set it on the platform, climbed onto it and then pulled the ladder up. I next positioned the ladder so I could cross over to the roof of Charlie Boyd's building. I carried the bucket of water over to his roof then pulled the ladder over there so I could climb across the alley to our roof. That was a lot of work and I was beginning to question the wisdom of all the effort. I think I should have done that prior to initiating the prank. Once I was there I was able to watch what was going on outside the store down at sidewalk level. At a prearranged time Bob got the kids to run out of the store. As usual they ran around the building and ducked into the alley. As they stood there peeking around the corner I inaugurated the C & G Water Fall by opening the flood gates. When I dumped that bucket load of water it splattered all over the kids; they were drenched and surprised. I think their spirits were dampened a bit and they had finally tired of the game; they just up and left. All that climbing and carrying that full bucket of water wore me out. I was kind of glad when they left; if they hadn't I would have quit.

I have often wondered how they explained being totally soaked on a hot summer day when they arrived home. I'm surprised their parents didn't pay us a visit. I'm going to guess that those kids should be about 60 years old by now; seems like yesterday. Kids, thanks for the fun even though you did wear us out. You may not have known it back then but you won!

The C & G Waterfall... it was only in operation that one day. Can you imagine anyone doing and getting away with that kind of crap today? You would be sued into oblivion. It's a good thing there's a statute-of-limitations. How times have changed.

Folks, don't get your hopes up that there's an end in sight to these stories, you haven't seen anything yet.

I guess the difference between those that landed in Juvenile Hall or jail and those that didn't is the difference between getting caught and not. I surely wasn't any better than they were; just a tad luckier.



Copyright © 18 January 2009 - Chet Headley
Copyright © 24 December 2019 - Chet Headley, C. J. Headley,
Christine Jessica Headley
All Rights Reserved
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2019, 02:35:28 AM »
Forward
Tuesday 24 December 2018


This story is true, nothing has been changed to protect the guilty. The setting is C & G Radio and TV in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. This probably occurred sometime in 1960 or 1961. The business next door was a restaurant that had good food and reasonable prices. Our store shared a stairway to the basement with Barger's restaurant. The basement was divided into two sections. The stairway was probably twelve feet down,

Cliff was a young lad that liked to hang out at the TV shop. Since he didn't cause any problems, he was always welcome. Bruce is a person I met a number of years ago that lived in the apartment above our store while I worked there.


Friday 16 January 2009
The "Box Ride" at C & G Amusement Park

Thanks to Bruce and my friend Tom"2" for reminding me of an "adventure" at C & G. As Bruce mentioned in his post in "Down Town Businesses" the stairs to the basement were quite steep and long. We used the basement as a place to store inventory that wasn't on display in the showroom. Carrying that stuff down wasn't an easy task and getting it back up was even worse. Bob and I, being the ingenious clowns that we were, decided there had to be a better way of moving those big heavy boxes to the basement. Keep in mind that during that era TV's were quite heavy. It took two people to do anything more than slide them around. When they were in their shipping containers (boxes) they were even heavier and more difficult to handle; there wasn't anything to grab onto for a secure hold.

We decided we'd try letting them slide down the stairs with one of us being at the bottom to stop them before they hit the floor. We tested our plan with a box that was basically empty except for the packing material, which was fairly heavy in those days being as how it was mostly made of wood. We set the box on the landing that was at the top of the stairs between C & G and Barger's. So far so good. We slid it over to the edge and let it go. It slid down, hit the floor and overturned. That was OK as there was nothing important inside to worry about. We tried it again but this time I was at the bottom to stop it before it hit the floor. This worked fine too; it didn't take much effort to stop the box. Now it was time to try the genuine article. Low and behold, it worked. This now became standard procedure.
 
Anytime we unpacked a box in the showroom we'd take it to the back of the store and send it down the stairs without either of us being there to catch it. It was no big deal since there wasn't anything in the box of consequence. It did create a bit of noise that Barger's found objectionable at times. We usually knew when we exceeded the threshold of their tolerance; the back door would slam so hard it shook the building, which made more racket than the boxes. They just didn't share our values, thank God.

One day, when business was a bit slow, Mr. and Mrs. G decided to leave Bob and I in charge while they took a well earned day off. After they departed our devious minds went to work; we got to thinking it would be fun to ride down the steps in one of those empty boxes. OK, who was going to take the first ride? It wasn't going to be Bob and it sure wasn't going to be me. We needed a volunteer (read that as Guinea-pig). It didn't take long before our friend Cliff stopped by for his usual visit. Hmm, maybe Cliff would like to take a ride. Being as how Cliff was always eager to try something new, he agreed to ride the box. We placed a completely empty box on the landing and had Cliff climb in. We closed the top with the flaps intertwined to insure that Cliff couldn't fall out. We slid the box with him in it to the edge of the landing. I went down to the bottom to stop the box before it could hit the floor. When I was ready Bob slid the box until it was at the point where it could easily be tilted. He gave it a little nudge and it started on its way.

Unfortunately we forgot one important item: Cliff was not very big and the box was. As the box tipped he slid forward shifting the center of gravity. Instead of sliding down the box tumbled, all the way. Poor Cliff was yelling for all he was worth, which could be heard in the restaurant next door. I stopped the box before it hit the floor but it was upside down. Since Cliff was yelling we knew he was still alive but we didn't know what shape he was in; he could well have been seriously injured. Bob ran down and helped me right the box. We slowly opened the lid and there was Cliff, smiling like a cat eating a mouse. He thought it was so much fun he wanted to go for another ride. We decided it best to close the C & G amusement park, at least for the day.

Have you ever decided to do something and when you reached the "point-of-no-return" you immediately knew "this is a big mistake" and wished that you could halt it immediately but knew that you could only watch it to its conclusion? This was one of those times. That poor little guy could have been seriously injured, or worse killed. It seems our youthful exuberance overcame any shred of common sense either of us may have possessed. Obviously we didn't posses any that day. Thank God Cliff was OK and actually enjoyed it. The folks at Barger's weren't quite as enthusiastic; they didn't appreciate all the commotion as they almost always kept their back door to the stairway open. Any loud noise originating back there echoed throughout their restaurant. So, if you happen to have been dining there that day and heard a ruckus emanating from the kitchen area, you now know what it was.


Copyright © 16 January 2009 - Chet Headley
Copyright © 24 December 2019 - Chet Headley, C. J. Headley,
Christine Jessica Headley
All Rights Reserved
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2019, 03:01:32 AM »
The Almorranas Story

Hi, I’m Mr. Almorranas’ ranch foreman. He asked me to respond to the questions one of your writers asked. Computers are a bit foreign to Mr. Almorranas who is what folks around here refer to as a genuine cowboy and rancher of the old west. We are up here in Oregon close to Halfway, which is halfway between two places. The town is a way too bitty for the ranch to fit inside its boundaries. More reasonable would be the fitting of Halfway inside our ranch. Halfway has a post office and a few stores so we kind of refer to it as where we live just so folks will have some idea where we are. It’s kind of hard to find a place if it doesn’t have a dot on a map. In all we’re a bit over 100 miles south.

Mr. Almorranas was born around 1932 or there about in his folk’s house in your town. The house was very large and was in the shopping district on a small street named Holloway Court. He thinks he was about eight years old or so when his mom and pop pulled up stakes and headed west, probably in the early 1940s. Along the way they settled down numerous times, unfortunately only temporarily. For Mr. Almorranas this did not bode well for his formal education. Many different schools and long gaps in attendance, I think you get the picture. By the time he was driving he was entering the eighth grade. One day he finally grew tired of the taunts and ridicule from the much younger kids in class so he up and walked out never to return. That ended his formal education. He is well aware of the fact he has difficulty expressing himself with the written word. That’s one of the areas I help him with when he asks.

Eventually the Almorranas family made their way to this area purchasing a small ranch of about 100 acres. Mr. Almorranas’ mom and pop oversaw the place while Mr. Almorranas worked as the foreman and ranch hand. In those early days he was the only ranch hand, which made him boss of himself. Ranching seemed to come natural to the Almorranas family. Every year they added more territory to the place. Eventually his folk’s retired and Mr. Almorranas became the ranch owner. By that time the ranch had grown large enough to require several ranch hands to keep things running smoothly.

Over the years the ranch has grown considerably under his expert stewardship and management. From that humble beginning it will have grown to over 100 sections by years end. Maybe I should have said this right off, Mr. Almorranas never liked to be called by his given name preferring everyone to simply call him Al. I’ll do that from here on out. Typing Al is also much easier.

Al never married. His mom and pop have long since passed and are buried here in the ranch cemetery. He has no other blood family, his family being all the ranch hands and their families living and working right here on the ranch. We all love him and every minute we spend here with him. He is a father to those who are older and a grandfather and great grandfather to those of us who are their children and our children. I don’t think anyone could ask for a nicer place to live, work and raise a family. Probably the best description is “it’s a wonderful way of life.”

Al is generous to a fault. To see him you would never guess he is incredibly wealthy. If he were not a generous man he would have sold this ranch and retired long ago, as he well could have. But not Al, he chose to do something few folks would even remotely consider. He placed the ranch and his entire fortune into a trust for the benefit of the wildlife that live here, the land, our families and those of us who work here on the ranch. He has provided for our children’s education so they will have an opportunity to enjoy a bright future. Once the ranch ceases operation, which is defined in the trust, those of us remaining that so choose will move into the retirement facility Al has provided for us. Once that happens the ranch will be restored to a natural state meaning that all traces of human encroachment will be removed, with the one exception being the ranch cemetery. Eventually it too will succumb to the call of the wild, as all grave markers are level with the ground and will eventually be obscured by Mother Nature. Al doesn’t want the ranch, which will become a wildlife preserve, to be a monument to him but rather a monument to a way of living. He has chosen to simply call it “Nature’s Way Wildlife Preserve.”
 
Our livestock consists mostly of cattle, sheep and horses as it always has. The horses are mainly working stock for the ranch because we do not use motorized vehicles for the majority of our operations. After a couple of years working the range our horses retire to pasture. They live the remainder of their natural lives being cared for in a natural environment. We raise a few fine thoroughbreds for sale to owners who enjoy the sport of racing. We have hunting safaris at various times during the year. The only shooting permitted is with cameras. Lots of folks come here just to see and photograph the many species of wildlife that live on the ranch with us. We co-exist with the wildlife, they don’t harm us and we protect them. I know they sense this because they do not hide from us when we enter an area where they happen to be foraging. Many of them have a special relationship with Al, knowing him by sight and smell. When they detect his presence they run to greet him going right up to him. He pets them and hands out the treats he always carries for them. I think they know he’s their great benefactor and protector. How all this first came about occurred long before I was born. Ever since I became old enough to ride the range with Al and my pop I have been witness to it.  All I can say is there is something very special about Al. You can be in a room full of folks with your back to the door. If Al walks in you can sense his presence without a word being spoken. His interaction with wildlife and folks says it all.

Early this spring Al asked me if I’d mind taking him back to his birthplace. Once we had things tidied up at the ranch where we could get away for a few days we flew to Cleveland and drove to your town. There was nothing between Cleveland and your town that Al recognized. We saw nothing but large highways passing by areas dotted with various buildings and houses. When we got close to town where Al was born he expected to see a few farms like he remembered. That was not to be, all we saw was lots of houses. When we arrived at the place where Al knew he used to live all we saw was, as Al best described it, “There’s nothing left but nothing.”

We wandered around some thinking we might run into someone Al’s age or older that might remember Al or his mom and pop. That wasn’t to be either. It must be that most the folks Al’s age get moved off someplace where they won’t be a reminder to the younger folk that one day they too will grow old. That’s not the way it’s done up our way.

We didn’t stay long because Al didn’t think there was any reason to. Seems everyone he might have known or may have known his mom and pop have vanished to parts unknown. All wasn’t lost though as this was Al’s first trip on an airplane and also his first ever vacation. We rode first class both ways. To say that Al was the center of attention on that plane is an understatement. He has a way of telling stories and expressing himself that is genuine and folksy. I’m sure all the folks on the plane will cherish the memories of their trip with Al.

If you happened to see a couple cowpokes wandering about town this summer past, it was probably Al and me. Next time you see some older folk, go on up and start a conversation with them. You might be surprised at how much fun you have, and you never know, it just might be Al you’re talking to.

I think I have mentioned everything Al wanted to say plus the few things I added so you would have a better understanding of him. I read this to him and he gave it his blessing except he would have preferred I not mention the generosity thing. Fortunately I was able to convince him that it belongs.

I printed him a copy so he could read it again one day. He’s very proud of what he has accomplished in life and at the ranch and we’re most proud of him. Al hopes this answers all the questions your writer has.

By now you may have figured I was born here on the ranch. My father was also Al’s foreman before me. I took over for him when he retired some years back. Mom and pop have remained here on the ranch since. Sure is nice having them and all the other retired hands and families here with us. Best of all, we have Al as the Patriarch of our extended family.

It’s time to get back to my duties. Winter is setting in and there’s much that needs doing before it arrives, which it sometimes does without warning.

Al asked me to tell you he said, “Tell them By again,” and that goes for all the rest of us as well.

Regards,

T. L. C. Masterson IV
Foreman
Hacienda del Lobo
 

Copyright © 24 October 2009 - Chet Headley – All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 24 December 2019 - Chet Headley, C.J. Headley,
Christine Jessica Headley
All Rights Reserved

Back Story


This story is 99% fiction; it's taken from a long running childhood dream I had of what I wanted to do when I grew up and how I wanted to live. I never achieved this dream, others have come and gone and now I have one I am living and it trumps everything that has preceded it.

This came about because I was writing articles for another Web site that was dedicated to the city I mostly grew up in, Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio from 1946 - 1960, ages 6 - 20.

One day as I was reviewing articles I had written for the site, I noticed that some of the wording had been changed (edited) without my permission. I contacted the site's self styled censor about the fact that my work had been altered without my permission. A disagreement arose between us and I was banned from the site. About 10 minutes later I was back on the site and logged in as Almorranas.

My purpose in doing this was to show them just how silly they were and also to highlight the ignorance of their self styled censor. I decided I'd become a pain in the rear that they would have a difficult time recognizing. The name I chose, Almorranas, is Spanish for Hemorrhoids, which are a real pain in the butt when they become inflamed. No one noticed.

A bit of a side story, hemorrhoids are something we are born with. They are in the rectum as a cushion;  so we all have them, just some of us lucky folks have problems with them once in a while, which I know from experience.

I don't remember exactly when I started writing this story, though it was in October 2009. There was a lot of posting prior to the actual story as I had to build momentum for it. I wrote this story 24 October 2009.

So there is the story as told by T. L. C. Masterson IV, Foreman of Hacienda del Lobo (Home of the Wolf). It takes place in Halfway, Oregon, a real town about the size of a postage stamp and a ranch of 100 sections, 64,000 acres, 100 square miles or 10 X 10 miles square.


Copyright © 24 December 2019 - Chet Headley, C.J. Headley,
Christine Jessica Headley
All Rights Reserved


Best Always, Love

Christine
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #13 on: December 24, 2019, 03:42:04 AM »
12 November 2007

What Did I Do To Deserve This?

Before you get the wrong impression from the title let me set the record straight. I consider my long and multi-faceted affiliation with the ships, Ocdets/Ocunits, and the program a privilege and honor. I don’t think I could have picked anything better if I had been allowed to select my own duty assignments from the get-go.

I joined the Navy 24 January 1963 in Cleveland Ohio, the coldest day, temperature wise, I had experienced, like –25° f. After a one + hour Greyhound bus ride from Stow Ohio the bus arrived at the Cleveland Greyhound terminal close to Lake Erie. If I thought it was cold in Stow I had a surprise waiting for me when I walked out of the station and headed in the direction of the Navy receiving station which seems to me to have been about a mile away, and closer to lake Erie than the bus terminal. I was wearing a windbreaker, loafers, no hat, gloves or boots. The sidewalks were covered with snow that squeaked as you walked on it, wind that seemed to be blowing from every direction possible at a velocity that instantly sapped the heat from my body. I realized I had made a big mistake dressing like I has heading for San Diego, which I thought I was. Finally made it to the receiving station after ducking into every doorway I could find in order to try and regain some body heat. By the time I made it inside my feet were past the point of feeling pain, they were numb.

Once inside I was told where to go (it wasn’t hell, at least not yet). My assigned room was full of other young men getting ready for the adventure of a lifetime. There must have been at least a hundred of us in this room. I struck up a conversation with the guys sitting nearby, during which the subject of where we were going for Boot Camp. Everyone I talked to said San Diego. Pretty soon someone called my name and told me to report to the desk. It was there that I got the great news; I was going to Great Lakes for Boot Camp.
 
It wasn’t long when an Officer came into the room and gave a little speech then had us stand up, raise our right hand and take the Oath that would forever change our lives, in my case for the better.

Soon there after they told everyone that was going to San Diego to line up on one side of the room and the rest on the other. It seems that everyone in that room was headed for San Diego except for three people, me being one of them. If I thought Cleveland was cold I was in for a bigger surprise awhile later.

We were given our orders and told to go to Terminal Tower in downtown Cleveland where we were to catch a train for Chicago. I believe the Navy was accommodating enough to provide us with transportation to the train station. Once inside we got our tickets, train & track number and departure time. Needless to say this was my first introduction to something I experienced quite a bit during my time in the service, “Hurry Up and Wait”. Our departure was scheduled for late in the afternoon, which meant sitting around in Terminal Tower marking time.

After a couple of hours I developed the urge to pee. Off I went in search of a men’s room. Relief was in sight just a stone throw away from where we were sitting. Once inside I made my way through the large crowd of men to a urinal. I no more than unzipped my fly when men suddenly surrounded me. I thought to myself “What the hell is this all about?” It took me about two seconds to figure out that this place was awash in sickos. I had never experienced anything like this in my life before. This may have been Sicko Boot Camp for some of our future politicians. So much for using the rest room at Terminal Tower. If I think of it the next time I’m in Cleveland, which I hope won’t be any time soon; I may stop by there and see if things have changed any. What with the antics of some of our illustrious politicians recent outings, I doubt that it has.

Once we were on the train I thought were would have a nice leisurely trip to Chi-Town. It was leisurely all right and darn cold. It seems the steam pipes were frozen so there was no heat. The only difference between the inside of the passenger car and the outside was the lack of wind. Again my feet became numb and would remain that way for the duration of this phase of the trip.

Once in Chicago we boarded a train for Jack Benny’s hometown of Waukegan Illinois. Finally we had some heat, enough to temporarily thaw our feet. Once in Waukegan we had to catch a cab to the training base. We arrived sometime around 0300 hours. Once inside the enlisted sailor charged with greeting incoming recruits took our orders/paper work, gave us some bedding (fart-sack, sheet, pillowcase and itchy wool blanket). He then showed us where we were to bunk for the evening. If I remember correctly I finally climbed into the rack around 0400 hrs. It seemed like I no more than put my head on the pillow and some jerk came into the barracks with an empty Coke bottle that he stuck inside the trash-can and started running it around the inside of that corrugated galvanized trash-can all the while screaming at the top of his lungs: “Reveille, reveille, All hands hit the deck!” If you haven’t been treated to this method of being awakened from a deep sleep you haven’t lived. All I could think of when I finally gained consciousness was: “I signed up for four years of this stuff?”

Little did I know at the time that this was only the beginning of experiences that would cause me to question my decision to join the Navy. Quite frankly I was so stinking naïve at the time I didn’t have a clue why they were doing this silly crap. It wasn’t until much later that I figured out they were cutting the apron strings, tearing us down and rebuilding us into something that could function effectively as a team and in an emergency.

After the initial shock wore off it became an interesting contest between the company commander and me, a test of wit. The net, net was that I didn’t do squat the whole time I was in boot camp, I just made it appear as though I was busting my butt when in reality I was skating along doing little to nothing. The part I liked the most about this game was that no one could figure out my system for doing nothing and getting away with it. The reason I was successful at it was that I never told a soul about this until I was out of boot camp. A secret is only a secret as long as you are the only one that knows it.

Our CC came to me several times saying: “You think you’re smart don’t you?” I’d just look at him like I didn’t know what he was talking about. Michael J. Stokes MR1 (at the time), Company Commander Company 39, if you are out there, and I hope you are, no hard feelings. I know it wasn’t personal; you were just doing your job. You did a fine job, I learned a lot, which paid off well in later years. I hope life has treated you well and that you are enjoying your well-deserved retirement. I do remember that Michael was originally from Kokomo, Indiana so if anyone out there knows or remembers him, please let me know, through the administrator of this Web site, how I can contact Michael

Michael passed away around 2001. I never got to see him after I got out of boot camp.


Copyright © 12 November 2007
Copyright © 24 December 2019
C Headley
All rights reserved
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #14 on: December 24, 2019, 05:00:03 AM »
Sunday 19 Oct0ber 2008
Tuesday 24 December 2019
 
This story takes place in Cuyahoga Falls, Akron and surrounding Ohio communities during 1960.
 
Cuyahoga Valley Adventures:

Back in the early days of my youth, which differentiates those days from my current "olden" days of youth, my buddies and I all had access to vehicles. Some were owned and others were occasionally "borrowed", while the owner was asleep or even better out of town. The Cuyahoga Valley, before it was a National Park, was our playground of choice. Sparsely inhabited, rarely patrolled by the long arm of the law, which was important for our success, and pretty much deserted in the night season.

If you are close to my age (1940, my birth year, not my age) and had spent any time in the Valley during the mid 50's through the mid to late 60's you will remember that the area was mostly farms and the occasional house or two. There was the small community of Everett which was a quaint place with a few homes and small store that was in operation in the mid 50's. There was also a mobile home community on River View Road. Never figured out why they are called 'mobile' homes. Have you ever tried hooking one of those things to the bumper hitch on the back of your trusty old family station wagon and heading out on vacation? If you did your bumper and mobile home would still be at the starting gate when you arrived at the KOA campgrounds.

There was the town of Peninsula on Route 303, which tied Akron-Peninsula road to Riverview Road on their north ends. This was another quaint place that had a Church and a couple of stores, a gas station, police station and the Bigelow Chevrolet dealership. I always liked that Chevy garage because they always had a hot car (fast, not borrowed) or two around the place. I'm assuming it was because the owner had a young son or two. I had heard it was a good place to buy a car because they were small and gave really good deals; and they were friendly, which means they treated this pimply faced teenager like a pimply faced teenager. I was just too dumb to realize it.

There were many additional roads that intersected both Akron-Peninsula and Riverview Roads, which were also sparsely populated. Once you were North of where Akron-Peninsula Road, Portage Trail and Merriman Roads intersected and Merriman Road and Riverview Road swapped names and intersected with Smith Road you were pretty much in the boonies.

Our usual entry point of choice was Portage Trail due mainly to its proximity to where we lived, and the fact that State Road and its various restaurants, especially Krispy Kreme, and gas stations were close at hand.

One of the neatest places we had heard about in the Valley was "Lone Pine". This was up Hardy Road off of Akron-Peninsula Road across from the Botzum sewage plant. You drove up the steep dirt road and instead of making a hairpin right turn to stay on Hardy you went straight ahead into what we thought was an area owned by the National Guard. As it turns out it was owned by the City of Akron and was part of the Botzum sewage treatment plant. It wasn't used much by the city though the National Guard did hold maneuvers there about once a month. It was a large area with lots of "roads" created by all the military vehicles cruising around in every direction imaginable. When we'd go in we usually took along several powerful portable spot lights called "Radar Lights." They were nothing more than a huge battery with a handle and a huge sealed beam spotlight lamp mounted to it. In their day they were as bright as it gets. I guess they had to have been as they used the same sealed beam lamp as a car spotlight. If you've ever experienced the police lighting you up at night with their spot you'll know what I'm talking about.

Things started out innocently enough, we'd drive around in Lone-Pine at night by the light of the moon, when it was available. Other times it was by memory, which worked some of the time. For some reason on the nights we managed to come across a six pack or stray bottle of Ripple the car usually ended up running into something or getting itself stuck somewhere. Fortunately there were usually five of us so that made getting unstuck fairly easy.

One of the other features of Lone-Pine was the actual tree that gave it its name. It grew on a very high spot that overlooked practically the whole place. If you parked your car under it with your lights out you could see anyone coming into the place, if they had their lights on. This was the perfect spot for parking with ones favorite girlfriend. You didn't have to worry about anyone bothering you, or so we thought.

It turns out that I was there with a young lady late one evening. We were so engrossed in a technical discussion that we didn't notice a car coming into the place. The conversation eventually evolved into a scientific experiment that interfered with our ability to see through the windshield. Somehow the experiment was causing condensation to form which obscured our forward visibility, until we were hit with four headlights and two spot lights. Hmm, I wonder who that could be? As we scrambled around trying to put a decent face on the experiment, there was a tap on the drivers window. All I could see through the fogged up side window was a big belt buckle, the outline of a gun, and a flash light that looked like it held at least 10 'D' cells (batteries for the uninitiated). I slowly lowered the window a crack and asked the gentleman what he wanted. He said I needed to roll the window "all the way down." Since he had a gun who was I to argue. He asked what we were doing there. I decided I had better come up with something better than "Scientific experiment." Quite frankly, I was a bit scared and really don't remember what incoherent drivel I spouted. I know he wasn't impressed nor was he seeing any humor in what I was saying until he asked me where I worked. When I told him G & G Radio his demeanor changed, all of a sudden the conversation turned friendly.

He cautioned me about bringing my girlfriend to this deserted and desolate spot. He mentioned lots of rather unpleasant scenarios I'd rather not delve into here. Then he offered a piece of advice that I should have thought of beforehand. He asked me if I knew where the Ascot Drive-In was. Of course I did, it was on State Road right across from Ascot Race Track. He then said "If you want to park, go there. No one will bother you, especially ME." He then went back to his car. Once he was in his car and started to leave we packaged up all our scientific equipment and headed on out of there. Needless to say we became some of Ascot Drive-In's best customers.

Since the cop didn't say anything about C & G, I couldn't figure out why when I mentioned it his demeanor suddenly changed. When I got to the store the next day I told this story, actually a significantly altered version, to Mr. G. It turned out that Mr G. and the Northampton cop were friends. That was nice to know. It pays to have friends who have friends in high places.

I relayed the events of the previous evening to my buddies so they wouldn't find themselves in the same position, I mean situation I found myself in. Everybody was informed so no one should have a problem, right? Yeah, you guessed it. My buddy, who shall remain nameless to protect the guilty, went there the night after I had been there. Sure enough he parks under the Pine tree and fogs up his windows. Bright lights, tap on the window and a lot of scrambling around inside the car. Open window a crack, then open it all the way. The not too friendly conversation until that same question: "Where do you work?"  As soon as he said C & G the cop says: "Get out of here and ask your buddy where to park." He packed up his scientific equipment and headed for the Ascot Drive-In.

That was the end of our scientific interludes at Lone-Pine. Ascot now had Four steady customers that would show up regardless of the weather. We even had our own parking spots, which were all the way at the rear of the grounds. To insure that no one else would take our spots we removed the speakers. The theater must have realized what we had done. They never bothered to replace them while we were their best customers.

Copyright © 19 October 2008
Copyright © 24 December 2019
C Headley
All rights reserved
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide

Offline Christine

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Re: Christine's Stories - Fiction, Biogrphical, Humor and Maybe a Rant or Two
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2019, 10:57:59 PM »
Thursday 09 October2008 0125 hrs CDT

Things I remember about my neighborhood

Most of my "growing" was done in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in four neighborhoods. We moved to 2529 Whitelaw Street (Avenue would sound better) around May 1946. This was a nice relatively mature neighborhood. The houses were about 25 years old at that time give or take a few. I had two favorite haunts (no pun intended as you'll see in a moment), Harrington Field and Oakwood Cemetery (see). When we first moved to Whitelaw Harrington Field was an old ball field with nothing more than an old dilapidated backstop and a field that was just a field. Around 1947 or 1948 the city decided to actually make it into a real ball field. They brought in earth movers and dozers and leveled the field to just above street height. It had been about two feet higher than the street with a ragged bank you had to climb to get onto the field.

After the field was leveled a new backstop was built and lights were installed for the first time and a decent set of bleachers were installed on each side. Once this was done the adult softball leagues started playing night games during the summer months. Needless to say this young snot-nose was there for every game. I was usually given the job of 'bat-boy" for one of the teams. I also crawled around under the bleachers after the games retrieving pop bottles that folks would drop on the ground after they were finished. I'd collect these discards and return them to the refreshment stand. The guy running it would then give me a bottle of "pop", of my choice, for my efforts. I usually chose a bottle of RC Cola because it came in a bigger bottle than Coca-Cola.

I think it was in 1950 that Little League came to the Falls. Through "connections" I managed to get on the Red Sox team managed by Harry Kalbaugh Sr., an ex-major league player. I wasn't worth two cents as a player so I was traded to the Pirates who were managed by Mr Clarence Hinkle, who would later be my 10th grade Biology teacher. Unbeknownst to me or a future friend, Sam Messina, we were traded for each other. Now Sam was an athlete. Me, I was a scrawny "wannabe". I can only imagine what Mr Kalbaugh told Mr Hinkle about me so he'd trade away Sam. While I was on the Red Sox I was able to practice at Harrington Field. Fortunately I didn't last too long on the Pirates team. Our practice field was way over on the east side of town in a clearing of a wooded area off some non-descript road in an area you couldn't get to from anywhere unless you went somewhere else first. Here I am 10 years old and I'm supposed to find this place? I did find it once by accident but then I couldn't find my way home because I couldn't remember which I had to find first, anywhere or somewhere. I finally made my way to a freight yard, hopped a train and was rescued by the railroad "Dicks" in Kansas city. When they asked me where I lived I lied and told them I lived in Arizona, hoping I could get to Gene Autry's ranch. I figured if I showed up there he'd adopt me and I'd live happily ever after.

After I woke up from that dream I got up, dressed and had breakfast. I then headed on over to Oakwood Cemetery. Spent a lot of time there "helping" to dig graves and just being a general nuisance. I got to ride in the back of the dump truck and sit around the grave diggers office which was down under the main building as you went into the cemetery using the main gate. It was neater in the winter because it had a pot belly stove that always had a fire burning to keep the place warm. There was also a fish pond right along side that main road as you entered. They left the fish in the pond all winter. Sometimes the thing would freeze over and I'd walk out on the ice to look down at the fish. One time I found myself looking up through the ice when it gave way and I fell in. Good thing it was only a couple feet deep. No harm done except for a bruised ego.

Almost forgot, sometime in 1949 or 1950, maybe some of both, we moved to 455 Thomas Court. We still owned the house on Whitelaw and this place was only about three blocks away. We stayed there about six months and then moved back to Whitelaw. My Dad blamed my Mom and she blamed him. I never got a straight answer and now that they have gone to the "Happy Hunting Ground" it'll be a while, I hope, before I am where I can ask them the question again. One nice thing about that place was that the back yard was right next to Oakwood Cemetery. I was still able to visit my favorite haunt.

Now we are back on Whitelaw. I was starting to feel like a gypsy. It was good to be back as I had a lot of fun in this neighborhood. In 1951 my folks sold the house and we moved again which seemed to confirm my suspicions of gypsy blood in the family, or worse.

Off we went to 2538 25th Street. This house was small though it did have a nice basement. I was in sixth grade at St Joe's that year so I rode the school bus most of the time as it was a long walk from 25th to Third St. And remember, you had to attend Mass every morning so you had to get up really early, like zero dark thirty. Fortunately we only stayed there one year and off we went again. Seems like we were moving all the time. I remember asking my folks if we were fugitives or Gypsy's. Never got an answer, just sent to bed without supper.

The next year being 1952, only because it comes right after 1951, we moved to 1200 Ruth Avenue. This was in the River Estates. When I heard we were moving into an Estate area I was convinced we were fugitives. I watched carefully as my folks packed our belongings. I figured if I watched every move they made I'd spot telltale signs of criminal activity. As my Dad was packing some stuff I saw him retrieve a violin case from under the bed. I now knew we had to be fugitives because that's where he had been hiding his "Tommy-gun". Boy I thought I was cool, a gangster's son. Nobody was going to mess with me again, my Dad was a "hit man".

Off we went to Ruth Avenue. It was a nice place and it turned out to be my favorite neighborhood. Our back yard ran all the way back to the B & O Railroad tracks. Grand old Baldwin steam locomotives pulled most of the freight in those days. I was so enamored with those steam locomotives that every time I'd hear a train coming I'd run to the back yard and sit on the bank while the train went by. It didn't make any difference what I was doing, if I heard a train coming I ran back to watch it. Glad I did because the steam era was in its dying days.

We had a ball field right next door and water Works Park was just up the street and through the woods past grandma's house. It was an ideal place for a 12 year old to grow into a 20 year old.

Some time during the Fall of 1954 or late spring of 1955 a boy younger than me fell into the Cuyahoga River behind his house. Divers found his body late that night or early the next morning. This cast a pall over the whole neighborhood. For a long time it changed how everyone viewed the river.

Eventually I grew up into a nice young punk that thought "old" people weren't as smart as I was. It turned out that I was right, they were smarter. Did take a while for that realization to finally register.

In 1960 it was off again, this time to Munroe Falls. One consolation, it was still the Falls, just not the real one. Actually I liked them all though the River Estates was my favorite and the one where we lived the longest. I also had more adventures there.

I eventually found where Dad hid his Tommy-gun. When I opened the case it was nothing more than an old fiddle. Aw Shucks.



Copyright © 09 October 2008 - Chet Headley – All Rights Reserved
Copyright © 24 December 2019 - Chet Headley, C.J. Headley,
Christine Jessica Headley
All Rights Reserved
"He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas." Benjamin Franklin

"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not." Andre Gide