Category Archives: Reminiscing

Resolutions for my kids…

The older I get, the clearer some things become.  I tried to accept some of these things along the way, some with enthusiasm, some begrudgingly, but they all make sense to me now.  So think about embracing these traits in the coming year..

  • Try not to over-react to ANYTHING.  It’s so hard to do, but will make your life so much easier if you can.  In most cases, your worrying doesn’t help anyway…
  • Try to accept the changes around you.  I started to realize what was going on many years ago, and now I just go with the flow.  My memories will never go away, I will cherish them forever, but life goes on… and change is but one of life’s mysteries we must learn to accept.
  • Give yourself a break… if not every day, at least once a week.  If you’re doing the best you can – THAT’S ALL YOU CAN DO!  You may have to face some disappointments, but all you can do is try a bit harder… please accept the fact that as humans – we all have limitations.
  • CHOOSE to be happy.  It won’t take much soul searching to realize that health, love and helping others when you can will get you through even the darkest days…
  • Accept your kids for who they are… they certainly won’t admit it, and you won’t realize it for awhile, but they truly do carry a LOT of your traits, habits and thought processes.  Encourage and challenge them, reign in the terror when you can, but don’t try to change them…
  • Today’s world is as uncertain as I can remember.  But I have never been more certain that all of you are blessed with the tools to succeed… in this or ANY economy… do NOT second guess yourselves…

I leave you with a list I cut out of a magazine well over 30 years ago and I’ve kept in my wallet ever since… I hope you will see that I’ve tried to embrace these in my life and hope you will think about them as well….

10 Things to Remember

The value of time

The success of perserverance

The pleasure of working

The dignity of simplicity

The worth of character

The power of kindness

The obligation of duty

The influence of example

The wisdom of economy

The virtue of patience

As you all know, I am NOT a religious man… but I already know that my destiny has been fulfilled.  I will live on for generations long after I’ve left this world.  I am in your hearts and through your guidance and love,  in the hearts of your children.  You often tease me about how hard it is to get me presents.  It is NOT hard at all… I get those presents EVERY DAY, as your lives unfold…

Have a great year!

With much love,

Dad

 

 

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Places I’ve visited – Part 1…

During a recent five hour trip in the car, my lovely wife Sue and I passed the time by trying to remember places we have visited or been to.  This is harder than you think when you realize you have to think back almost FIFTY years to remember, but I’ll try.  I’m doing this alphabetically to help jog my memory…

     Alaska – Air Force -1966

Never set foot on soil, but I   did fly over Alaska on my 24 hour flight to the Philippines.  Same flight, landed at Tachikawa AFB to refuel, so I was in Japan, but never set foot on soil.  Same flight, passed over Guam.

Arizona – Sales Meeting for Infinet – February 1985

These meetings are booked at desirable locations but at bad times of the year when the rates are the cheapest.  I got to play golf and volleyball in Scottsdale but the temperature was in the 40’s.  Since I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have played at all under normal desert air conditions (100 degrees) I guess it wasn’t that bad after all

California – Multiple locations

Tymnet was based in Cupertino, so I got to see the “silicon valley” up front and personal – many, many times.  I was struck by the landscape which was mountainous and the trees were SO different than Ohio.  One sales trip for them got me to San Diego.  The good news? The weather there truly is amazing.  The bad news? I was sick as a dog the whole time – went through two bottles of cough syrup and had to listen to a motivational speech by Lou Holtz.  Another trip got me to San Francisco and I ate a meal in China Town and bought chocolate at Godiva Square.  I’ve never set foot in Los Angeles, but that trip mentioned above about Alaska started in Detroit and the second leg was at LAX, but I never got off the plane.

Connecticut – Darien

As a Regional Support Manager, I had eleven people reporting to me, including two supervisors.  One of the sales offices I used to visit was managed by Harry Ruda, a Jewish wildman who was a big Phil Ochs fan.  Harry was a little nuts, but a great salesman.  He lived in Darien of course, which is why the office was there.  We had some accounts there, but most of his damage was done in New York.  This was one of my most frustrating visits, because I would rent a car at LaGuardia  and drive up.  The problem was returning – I always missed my flight and wound up on the last flight out back to Cleveland, which didn’t get me home until after 11:00pm.  Nothing like passing the time at an expensive airport – trying hard not to eat much because it was so expensive and you knew dinner was waiting at home.  Nice area, but I don’t miss it.

  Florida – multiple locations

I was salesman of the year in 1976 for Anacomp and won a trip to the company condo in Sarasota.  I must admit, driving there drove me crazy, it’s true what they say about the old people who drive slow.  And yes Josh, THAT was the trip! One of my friends from the Air Force, Tony Prebil from Chicago took an accounting job in Jacksonville and bought a condo.  We visited him and it was a very nice place.  Unfortunately, he lost his job, couldn’t find another and lost his house.  He wound up living with us in Westlake for over a year just prior to us moving to Hudson.  I haven’t spoken to him since I dropped him off on the Ohio Turnpike in 1988.  His sister was picking him up.  Don’t know what happened to him, but I think I can safely say, we all had enough of him to last a LONG time.  And of course, we took a family vacation to Disney World and Epcot Center.  Jess was terrified of the haunted house ride and I can still hear “It’s A Small World” in the back of my brain.

Georgia

I attended a sales meeting in a suburb of Atlanta while with Infinet.  I can’t remember why we had the meeting, but the trip did have a highlight.  Right next to the hotel we were staying at was a Hardee’s restaurant.  I had never been to one before, and I wound up eating there the three nights I was there.  I quickly grew fond of the Frisco burger, which was the first fast food sandwich I ever had on sourdough bread.  We had one close to the Cuyahoga Falls border, but it closed.  I don’t know why they never made it very well in Northern Ohio, but I think the food is great.  The recent 5 hour trip in the car that prompted me to write this entry included a stop at Hardee’s on the Turnpike – good food, but very expensive.

Hawaii

My first job out of the Air Force was as a Programmer Trainee for Honeywell, manufacturer of Mainframe computers and competitor to IBM which had 73% of the market at the time.  I was assigned to Ford and converted all programs for five of their locations as we replaced their IBM mainframes with ours.  I trained the operators, programmers, and system people.  My efforts got me a Cross pen and pencil set, with my name engraved on it.  It also bought me a “lottery ticket” of sorts and my name went in a hat along with the many others that had distinguished themselves on this year and a half old project.  Luck of all luck, I won a two week trip to Hawaii.  I wasn’t making a lot of money, and when I discovered that hamburgers by the pool were $10, I stuck to the trip plan for meals.  Along with the other winners thanks to the schedule for us, we got to go to a real pig roast, including Don Ho performing.  There was also a tour of the Dole plantation.  The clay is an amazing deep red. I played golf on the same course that the pros play on the PGA tour.  I got a pretty good wind burn, but I think I only went through two sleeves of balls (6) for 18 holes.  We stayed at the Kahala Hilton and the weather was amazing, despite the fact that it rained EVERY day, just not for very long. I was like God was watering his plants.  The rest of the day, the trade winds took over, spreading a cool breeze over everything.  No matter where you went, it was like seeing a postcard.  The other think I remember is how clean the water was.  You could see to the floor of the ocean and watch the fish flow by.  This was 1973, and the original Hawaii 5-0 was still being filmed there.  I thought it was pretty cool until I found out I had to pay the state and local taxes on the trip, which was valued at $2500.00 which was a LOT back then.

CHECK BACK FOR PART TWO

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All The Way To Yesterday…

One of my all-time favorite songs is “Rhythm of the Rain” by the Cascades.  The lead singer, who also wrote this marvelous tune is John Claude Gummoe, and like me, he grew up in Cleveland.  I got to interview him many years ago, when I still had a show on a commercial radio station in Cleveland.  We kept in touch over the years, and a few years back he recorded a new CD with some of the songs from the original Cascades album and a new song that just completely blew me away.

As soon as I heard “All The Way To Yesterday” I knew I was listening to a hit… unfortunately, the times have changed, radio has changed and for the most part, the world has been deprived because they haven’t heard this song.  I’ve done my part, as it’s been on the play list (in high rotation) on TUNEDEX MEMORIES for the past three years.

John left Cleveland for the Navy and never came back.  His tour took him to California and he never left.  In fact, he had never performed in his home town.  I am happy to say that I provided some assistance in getting him here, and he took the stage 2 years ago at Solon High School.  He gave a marvelous performance and when he sang his “new” song, I was one of the people in the audience who could sing along.  Before the concert, I got the opportunity to hear him rehearse and sing the song acappella.  Afterwards, my wife Sue and I had dinner with John and his music director (and guitar player extraordinare) Chuck Crews.  All in all, quite an experience…

The song is about going back home… recalling old friends… daily life… schoolboy crushes… in general, a wonderful excursion to recalling your childhood.  My daughter Jill turned a “special” birthday recently, and we surprised her with a birthday breakfast.  On the way to the restaurant in Cleveland, I stopped by the house that my Grandfather built, the place I spent many years and the street where I got to play so much wiffle ball.

His house is still there, but the surrounding area was like visiting Iraq.  Sporadic empty fields dotted the street where houses used to be.  The building that I “pitched to” from the curb for so many years was completely gone, a massive fenced in area of high grass in it’s place.  The garage which provided the backdrop for those wiffle ball games was gone as well, and while I can’t remember the address, I’m not so sure my friend’s house remained either.

As I turned down Madison Avenue, making my way down to Detroit Road, I saw  empty building after empty building.  The Royal Castle where I discovered Birch Beer, Rose Drugs, all the little stores where I bought baseball cards and comics, the bakeries, the dry cleaners – even the gas stations were gone.   When I got down to Detroit, it didn’t get any better.

We had a wonderful breakfast in a restaurant which was converted from an older home.  This once vibrant area and big part of my youth is now “rebuilding”…

I’m in the twilight of my life, so I didn’t expect that things wouldn’t change, but I had no idea how devastated the area has become.  Thanks to John’s song and my own memories (at least for now)… I can listen to the words and see the neighborhood through the eyes of a 12 year old.

I learned to play hearts and canasta in that neighborhood.  Played a LOT of baseball, swapped oh so many baseball cards, and purchased (with the help of my Grandmother) my very first 45… “Oh, Oh, I’m Falling In Love Again” by Jimmie Rodgers…

If you can’t make it back to your old neighborhood… please listen to John’s song… preferably on TUNEDEX MEMORIES, but you’ll also find it on YouTube.

Don’t EVER forget where you came from…

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