Monthly Archives: September 2015

The Earth is Moved, the Toboggan Returns and Two Boys Kneel

A pre-schroer memory of Schroer, the street where all the water goes. There were yellow other-wordly earth-eating machines running  across a dry and dusty field. They were much larger than life and I didn’t know what they were doing, but this world evoked a work of the gods: they just kept going around the same oval track with a pleasing sound of purpose. Mythological beasties. It was actually an ill conceived scheme from the outset but I was not aware that earth-moving creatures represented the proverbial deck-chairs of a Titanic metaphor: water always find its level.

Toy on eBay from the era. They looked like this. But the real movers and earth shakers circumnavigated pre-schroer.
Toy on eBay from the era. They looked like this but the real movers and earth shakers circumnavigated pre-schroer.

We followed the same path of water in a more snowish form from the King house to Rodescheimer, probably navigating the same toboggan that leveled the silver maple of a previous telling (right here on 315glenroy). A wall of trees began as a couple American elms

I actually named our cat "Sticks" in honor of the threatened American Elm. As a kitten Sticks would click like a stick on a wood floor. The fur on her legs was the shade of an elm. So the name on her apocryphal birth certificate is "Elm Sticks."
I actually named our cat “Sticks” in honor of the threatened American Elm. As a kitten Sticks would click like a stick on a wood floor. The fur on her legs was the shade of an elm. So the name on her apocryphal birth certificate is “Elm Sticks.”

and a choke-cherry tree with chewable sap. Sap and rumination in a 1950’s existence. The tree wall proceeded along a ridge of ever denser trees that demarcated the southern bounds of the Hunefeld farm: right where Dolly, the retired white mare of sagging-back persuasion, waited for us to bring carrots foraged from the 315 kitchen. Dolly wasn’t interested in any tomatoes from the field of 10,000 ripe ‘maters that dominated Mt. Alverno west. By way of unneeded advice: if a tomato fight finds you in a tree when Farmer H appears, tell that gentleman of earth that he saved you from the Hillside Gang or the convenient ne’er-do-wells of the moment: the ones who sent you climbing that tree to escape vegetable projectiles. The Hillside Gang will appear in The Legend of Sacred Mountain.

Well, before getting mired in details from Schroer to Hillside Gang I return to that speedster toboggan. Those trees midway from King to Rodescheimer, narrowly separated, tested the mettle of sled riders: thread your snow vehicle of choice between two trees and immediately encounter the steepest of 315 slopes. That slope is only a few yards from the construction workers’ scrap materials fire: the fire that Paul and I thought could be extinguished by tipping a refrigerator carton onto its flames. We learned something about the flame point of a cardboard structure that day, then discovered how divine pardon for setting off an inferno may be achieved through Mom’s familiar way: “You two kneel and pray until I tell you.” While thus serving time, we would share giggles from around the foyer corners.

Built upon an ancient stream, it would have made a good place for finding Indian arrow heads: I remember finding them in the 1950's primitive environment. A bit closer to Gaia.
Built upon an ancient stream, Schroer would have made good ground for finding Indian arrow heads: I remember discovering them in the 1950’s somewhat primeval landscape surrounding 315: a bit closer to Gaia.

Setting the Scene

315Glenroy or the briefer 315 is an eponym for a family living in a small brick house in a neighborhood bordering Cincinnati west. This blog is about that brick house, the people who lived there and the historic trees growing and dying around it. All this in a rich panorama sweeping from 1952 to 2013 (Truman to Obama).

The setting as it appears in 2015. Now otherwise occupied.
The setting in 2015. Otherwise occupied now, but the bricks are intact.

The cast of characters: Dad (1921), Mom (1921), Terry (1946), Bill (1947), Paul (1949), Tom (1951) and Claire (1963). Claire was still a pre-me, Clayo’s word for her preexistent presence before 1963. Famous silver maples planted in the 1950’s: two are still clinging to life with arboreal seniority. The tree closest to the house was a foot-long shoot when flattened to the ground by a speeding toboggan but demonstrated resilience in what matters for all silver maples: launching countless helicopters and dropping red things on the pavement.

'copter onslaught about to begin in earnest
Helicopter onslaught about to begin very earnestly

Shacks built, tents raised, journeys to Sacred Mountain taken, Dolly the retired horse visited, mulberries eaten and a 6 foot snake adopted.

Here is a future excerpt to whet your reading appetite:

Paul and I served as babysitters while the five other Glenroyers were at a later-in-the-morning mass at St. Dominic (‘s optional), clutch_membershipattention drawn between Clutch Cargo in the living room and Claire in the brightly lit yard; she liked the silver maples in the front, but was not interested in Clutch, Spinner or Paddlefoot.

A Clutch Cargo Fan Page


By way of postscript, all episodes of Johnny Dollar are on

Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar 

Fifteen minute segments, broadcast from Monday through Friday, starred the most popular Dollar: Bob Bailey. You might not be interested to know that both Suspense and Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar ended their respective long-running series on the same day, September 30, 1962 (marking the end of old-time radio).  Four months before Claire’s pre-me era came to a close.

America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator
America’s fabulous freelance insurance investigator

Prologue on Renshaw

Memories are for sharing

Dim memories of Terry and me, four or five years old, climbing into the neighbor’s car from the passenger side, seeing a parking brake between the seats. Realizing that our mother was chiding us: “you two get out of that car” or words to such effect. A 1940’s automobile of sturdy steel, perhaps a running board for a toddler’s knee. A nice springy upholstered place to crawl upon. These recollections are my latest discovery of hoarded thoughts of 1951 glimpsed from 2015.

Here is a house on modern day Renshaw 41076. This one doesn't fit the driveway moment of 1951 but who is going to trust a four-year-old?
Here is a house on modern-day Renshaw 41076. This one doesn’t fit the driveway moment of 1951 but who is going to trust a four-year-old?

The running of the dogs and running with the dogs past the firehouse up Renshaw toward US 27. I don’t remember getting to the top of the street, but do recall that the dogs were very enthusiastic, eager to have us on this merry adventure: tongues and tails a wagging in doggy-dog harmony. Shoulder-to-shoulder with a dog pack of seven or eight doglets.

Another Renshaw house of the very modern day. This one could house a driveway moment or two.
Another Renshaw house of the very modern-day. This one could house a driveway moment or two.

I’m crawling in the back yard of a tiny house in Highland Heights 41076 with a goal in sight: a tin doll house open on one side inviting me to get in by pulling the wall of that tin house up, then feeling safe and cozy in that perfect shell, looking out at the grass and at our Renshaw house. It was a bright and sunny day, suddenly a shot did not ring out. Maybe bees were buzzing.

A rare circa 1952 photograph from Tom. Posed but still candid. Tom in haute style in red nosh gosh b’gosh unlederhosen that complement Terry’s 50’s look. Paul sharing same subject of attention with his brother (they are both looking to their left as you may have perceived). Terry in writer’s mode with mid-twentieth-century text in hand and inspiring gaze, wearing intriguingly complementary colors to contrast with b’gosh. Is that a 10,000 mile stare on Billy?  He is the author of these very words but that guy doesn’t remember what he was thinking when the camera clicked in 1952. Bill Jr. shares that long-sleeved plaid style also favored by Paul who, as earlier reported, is looking at the same interesting stuff as Tom.

220 Sunset Ave 41076 is my guess. The poseurs are either darting eyes elsewhere or headed to stage left or right. Search internet for Snagglepuss to distinguish stage-left from stage-right.
220 Sunset Ave 41076. Much better known as Grandma and Grandpa’s house.

The other two (2): Über first cousins Larry and Hal, discussed under separate cover perhaps. Or commented upon by the reader of these very words in the space provided by WordPress for comments.