Archive for July, 2010

Facebook Fan/ Friend – NOT!

The worst of ME is known, thou knowest, my people knowest- but thine face is false thy face as well as thy heart” ( Maxwell Anderson Mary Queen of Scots ( Mary to Elizabeth)

My son set me up a facebook page a couple of years ago. Why? I have no idea. I would from time to time get people wanting to be my friend but since mostly they went to spam I didn’t bother to follow through, actually my “friends” know exactly where to reach me and if they want to know how I am or have something to share they can come to this blog.

I don’t twit , sorry tweet,

I leave that to the twit(ters) or the birds at 4 o’clock in the morning. I find it bad enough keeping up with 6 different email accounts, a website and this blog.

Since a lot of life and losing of life got in the way in the ensuing months I never really paid attention to the facebook account or those messages of friending.

However, after Chris died I was receiving a lot of messages on the “page of the face” . I accessed the account and clicked on some of those messages that came through on a wall……


writing on a wall?????—-hmmmm well that could segue into a philosophical debate or graffiti gurus unleashed.

CRASH!!!!!!!! and Yahoo was compromised. I received a virus ( a fake face book message) that came through on one of my yahoo accounts which I naively opened.

This virus then inserted itself as a nice little “OK’d ” file in my computer so wasn’t recognized as I had apparently allowed and OK’d this file SIGH….
but who is to tell whether a friend is “fake”? especially if you are the type to take things at “face value”

Angela Lombardi ( ritchey) by CHRIS RITCHEY

I have enough trouble with fakers of face” in my real world let alone the cyber world – real people who I thought I knew can be their own kind of virus.

And on top of “CREMAINSNAPPING” I now have to watch out for ‘TABNAPPING’

My lovely Trend Micro took care of the insidious virus after I had to hijack my files. (Pity they can’t do the same with people virus)


Still I persevered with the “page of face.” And yes! – lesson NOT learned -a couple of months later I was hit again and once more hijacked and cleaned. Now this all takes time out of my day and causes much frustration. On the “face” of it it is just not worth it!

So to all my “friends” who know my face well , please don’t think me unkind for not replying to your offers of friendship on a “page of face”.

You see my world is crappy enough without having to decide on the web who is real and not real and what face they really wear.

My “friends ” already know where to reach me !

And it seems friends or not according to the BBC they would also know 100 million of you too

Details of 100m Facebook users collected and published

Chris' facebook icon

July 29, 2010 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Lorain Dude – to swim or float but not sink

Apparently my Nag Nog taught my mummy and loads of other kids to swim in “Kuncle’s” pool. And since it is really really really hot I have been taking a plunge ( special diapers and all)

She was a Red Cross swim instructor a long time ago , probably looked a lot better in her bathing suit then too!

Nag Nog says that since we live by a lake and have a pool that I have to know what to do if I fall in. She also says that it isn’t just about swimming from one end of the pool to the other and that swimming in the lake is different from swimming in a pool.

There are currents and waves ( well Nag Nog knows how to make waves I have heard)
Now it is my turn only I think she is a little crazy.

I thought I would doggy paddle, and Tetley could help me but no I am not allowed to learn the doggy paddle-

Bummer Tetley !!!

or the crawl ( hey I passed the crawl a couple of months ago – I already know how to crawl)

Nag Nog told mummy I have to learn how to jump in and get used to the water and what to do incase I ever fell in…
Ahhhh excuse me I have a better idea

Hey I can get used to water with the hose I don’t need to jump in!

And then , if you can believe it, I am to put my face in the water and blow bubbles-

I am sure ‘Kunckle” has a bubble maker – I don’t need to get in the water to blow bubbles

but no heavens she wants me to first put my face in the water and blow out . She is having a laugh at my expense!!!!! She is so funneeee!


There will be no shutting her up if I ignore her ( you all know that – even the Pope knows that 😉

Here I come Mum!!!!

I have to wear a life jacket out of the pool but I get this swim aid and at least three lifeguards ( mummy , Nag Nog and Poo Bah) watching my every move in the pool. I am not sure about this swim aid- the blue is OK! but do they think pink is my colour?

I have tried this face in the water business, it is OK! as long and you are making motor boat sounds but don’t breathe in!

Next apparently I have to learn how to kick- ha! I was kicking in the womb, don’t they know that?

I heard them saying the first thing is treading water– well I am good at walking now and I am pretty good in the tread dept. but on water- beyond ME at the moment

But I guess I will be getting a jelly fish float after I can do that , so maybe something to look forward to. Wonder if it will go with the turtle I won at Cedar Point!

The jellyfish float is also known as the survival float. The survival float is used to conserve energy when you are in trouble in the water, or waiting to be rescued.
1. Take a deep breath
2. Put your face in the water and exhale, let your arms and legs hang freely and rest in this position for a few seconds.*
3. To take another breath, slowly lift the arms to about shoulder height and move the arms forward. Separate the legs, moving one leg forward and the other back.
4. Gently press down with the arms while bringing the legs together. This movement lifts the mouth out of the water and now you can take another breath.
5. Return to the resting position and repeat the steps to continue breathing and resting.

July 25, 2010 at 12:15 pm 8 comments

A Place of Echoes- Chris Ritchey

“In search of my son- in search of me.” series
Part Thirteen

SOURCE ( ED note please check out Leonnie Isaacs poem that goes with this artwork.

In the Don’t Ask- Don’t Tell- Don’t Ignore post and answer to
How are you ?

Most days I try to get through but then there are days that I am not sure I will make it through

There are no good days , at least I haven’t found any as yet, but there are people amateur and professional that have tried to give me a good day or at least move on. We have, as a family, had loads of advice. There is always a question I ask to those of the professional kind.

Have you lost a child, a son

NO !.

Did you watch your child die -take his/her last breath -watch as their heart stopped- did you scream silently for them to hold on, not to die , even though you were the one that had to make the decision to let them go?


Do you know what it is like to relive that moment every time you close your eyes?


Have you had (due to control, spitefulness and cruelty toward you) had your closure and final goodbye taken from you – Do you watch every day the pain that has caused?


NO???? Ok! then well sorry but unless you have lived that you cannot possibly , even though you have years worth of “academic knowledge” help me because you cannot relate.

This is like nothing I have ever known- I have no words that adequately describe what is happening to me .

One Dr. (a lovely person) who is childless, told me

Take down from your house all photos, reminders of Chris put them away out of sight. Put the things that are most meaningful to you in a drawer and leave them there then when you want to remember go to the drawer relive your memories you get them out and then shut them away again.

I smiled, thanked them for the advice and came home.

As I walked up the path to the front door, through the wrought iron gate Chris had helped me choose and put up , to the pair of lions that flank the steps I once again saw the chip on the nose where a naughty little boy had tried to change the shape of the lion’s nose, still visible .

The front door where the welcome bells ( a mother’s day gift) scratch the wood- And I hadn’t even made it into the hallway where a little brass lion sits , a

I am sorry for defacing the lion

gift .

There are hundreds of reminders in this house, gifts, photos, artwork. I checked there isn’t one room including bathrooms-( candles too pretty to burn) ) not one wall that doesn’t hold some reminder of the baby, toddler, child, teenager, and young man who called this house home 27 years.

I wandered from room to room -I would need a storage unit, I haven’t even touched on the attic and basement. And then what would I keep in that drawer?

As I wandered realizing the daunting task that was ahead of me, the bricks on the fireplace caught my eye –
Yes the day of the “lion’s nose” had also found him trying to leave his name on the mortar of he brick, it is still there – first left as reminder to him NOT to do such a thing again, then forgotten with a “I must get to that” and now evidence that the child existed at all.

Which drawer? Would I choose the one where resides an envelope with a nugget of coal and some pencil flowers? Another I am sorry gift made for me after he had been particularly naughty. The homemade flowers delivered by dirty chubby hands looking for a softening of his mothers face, which he didn’t get until he handed her an envelope saying “if these don’t warm your heart ( the flowers )maybe this will” as the nugget of coal fell onto a white rug- but my heart was warmed and the smile and forgiveness followed.

Assignment by Chris Ritchey

In my world the scenes of “past life’ are so real , the colours, the voices, even those terrible last months and days, are with me – We all know about split personalities , various people living in one body/ brain.

I experience split lives, going through the motions of the present, simultaneously living the past- as it comes unbidden to the fore.
I can see the toddler as he stood at the top of stairs after finding out he could get out of his crib. I see him on the kitchen floor when, at two in the morning, he had decided he wanted more of the chocolate cake , this little boy cross-legged face full of cake looking innocently up from the mess he had made

“want some???”

The archway into the dining room where he would jump up and hit it as he grew leaving handprints on the off white wall. The dining room floor he helped me refinish whilst his dad was away just a 4 years ago. Even the damned ivy that is growing over the windows once again, he was supposed to cut it back for me. As it grows, it is a constant reminder of his not being here.

I sat on the couch where he had sat dazed and afraid ( although he tried not to show it) the day the Drs. told him you have cancer.

As I sat there surrounded by the visual reminders the echoes of his laughter, the nights he would do anything not to go to bed , even in his big boy bed-

“Dad come up and kiss me goodnight”- Mum I need a drink., How come Nikki isn’t in bed?

Children’s laughter as they tore through the house playing their games. The bedroom ceiling fan he chose. The fish ,frogs and even Misty which drawer do they go in ? Which reminders are not as important as others?

Do I move out the house altogether? I see him in the street signs , I see him at Settlers’ Watch , I see him playing over at Irving , the baseballs and soccer balls lost on the roof, the broken window ( they never fixed just boarded over) all those years ago.

Cleveland Signage design- Chris Ritchey

I see him on the storefront windows, on television, his ads, his design on signage in Cleveland. I am reminded every time I see a soccer ball, a Nike commercial, Adidas,

everytime I vacuum I look at his logo on the machine. I see him in my daughter’s eyes, in her smile – my grandson’s hands . The very sign on our street designed by my son.

No there isn’t a drawer that can contain and lock away my heart memories,

Photo Mark Teleha -artwork Chris Ritchey

there isn’t a storage shed anywhere in the world large enough to lock away and hold those memories.

My parallel world of the past cannot and will not allow confinement .

There truly are days that I wonder if I will make it through until tomorrow but I suppose the day I don’t is the day the heart memories and echoes will no longer cause the smiles, the wishing, the whying and nights of crying .

Think I Am - Chris Ritchey

“In search of my son- in search of me.”
Part One In search of my son- In search of me
Part TwoTourjours Moi-Always Me
Part Three Always Me – Always Chris
Part Four In search of My Son-
Chris Ritchey – Thanks

Part Five Dark Humour- Shedding a Light
Part Six – The Unfinished Portrait

Part Seven– The Unfinished Portrait- The Artists
(2) Part Two – Who Are We Really?
Part Eight– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight

Part Nine– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight – Part Two
Part Ten (a)There is an “I” in Death
Part Ten (b)- I didn’t know my son- Chris Ritchey
Part Eleven- Unfinished Portrait the Artistic Gene
Part Twelve- Unfinished Portrait- the Artistic Gene- Part Two

July 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm 14 comments

Paula cuts the ice on the Neah Bay

I had the privilege and honor of being asked to accompany the crew of the Neah Bay on their journey from Cleveland to Lorain for the Port Fest.

I was greeted by a very courteous crew member and found my way onboard. My first impression of the ship was what tight quarters and how “solid” it was. This was an “Industrial Strength” ship. I’ve been on the Jet Express and it was built as a pleasure craft, this Ice Cutter Tugboat was built for power.

To get to the different levels of the ship I had to manage ladders, not steps, these were very vertical. I’m not sure of all the technical names for different areas on the ship but I searched every little nook and cranny except for the “basement”, there was no way I’d make it down and back up again, but I could hear the engine and watched my bottle of water drop off a table due to the vibration while at the stern of the ship.

I told the Lt. Commander, if we were able to bottle the feeling of cruising on the water, wind in your face, perfect temperature, beautiful surroundings, we’d be millionaires.

I introduced myself to several crew and officers. I was very struck by their good nature, politeness and knowledge. You couldn’t pick better PR for the military. I found they came from Rochester, NY, San Francisco, San Diego, South Dakota and even Steubenville, OH.

Saturday morning I ran down to the ship to take pictures for my Editor (That Woman) for her afternoon edition. While standing next to the Neah Bay cars were driving by to take a look. One car stopped and two gentlemen and a woman stopped to talk. They were both ex Navy and Lt. Commander Woityra came ashore, shook their hand and answered questions. There was some reminiscing and promises to come back later for the tour.

When I returned home to download my pictures for the Editor, I thought back at just how touching all this is. Do we realize how much the Coast Guard really does for us? They protect our borders every day, here on our land. They save millions of dollars, if not BILLIONS by preventing flooding during the winter months with their Ice Cutters. They save lives, remind us to be safe on the water, rescue individuals (on boats, ice flows etc).

I was a little jealous, cruise on the water for a job…. I could live like that and then I remembered the other side of the Coast Guard, those that have been deployed overseas; away from family for months on end.

Please join me in thanking all that serve and protect.

July 20, 2010 at 5:09 pm 2 comments

BP -does it stand for Bishop, Priest, British Petroleum or Bloody Pathetic?

The other day I received a comment (ah! those comments) of course from a “nom de plume” from the Indiana State Dept of Education server. He/she/it basically took me to task for blaming my troubles ( re the loss of closure and the legal “cremainsnapping of our son” ) on the “institution” of the Roman Catholic Church .I tested the email it came back false so I didn’t bother to approve the comment.

I didn’t blame the“institution” of the Roman Catholic Church just some of the “holier than thou types that profess to be believers,

and how the enabling of the actions of the few?? by employees of the “institution” has effected my little part of the world.

WHY shouldn’t I hold the “employer responsible for the action of the employees, whether it is the business of religion or oil?

I have been very disappointed in the actions of Bishops , priests and parishioners and also of BP! Although a multi national corporation , I would have hoped that as once the B stood for British I held them to a higher standard. Sorry BP, but there you have it. You have let the side down!

And now I am reading :

Al-Megrahi, 57, is the only person convicted of carrying out the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, that killed 270 people.

He was released on compassionate grounds by the Scottish government after doctors said he was likely just months from death. Nearly a year later, he remains alive.

BP signed a $900 million exploration agreement with Libya in May 2007, the same month that Britain and Libya signed an agreement that paved the way for al-Megrahi’s release from a Scottish prison.

BP has admitted that it lobbied the British government over a prisoner transfer deal with Libya in late 2007, but denied playing any role in the actual decision to release al-Megrahi nearly two years later.

Todays news has the headline”
BP admits ‘lobbying UK over Libya prisoner transfer scheme but not Lockerbie bomber’

Well BP I hope you didn’t have an oil(y) palm extended with regard to releasing this person who hopefully will end up as his own form of fossil fuel in the near future.





BP let me tell you a bit about that tragic day and how it touched this little family in Lorain ,Ohio. I was so worried, incredulous and bloody scared at the time but I would never have thought that 20 years later I would still be feeling anger but at a “corporation”

Granted it was nothing compared to the horrific happenings that devastated a community and many many families, we were also due to fly out of the USA a few hours after the disaster to London for Christmas that December 1988.

We went to the airport with mixed feelings. The children Nikki 12 and Chris 8 were terrified that they would be blown up. They looked suspiciously at every one as we boarded the big 747- just like the one that ended up blown out of the sky.

We arrived safely in London, the news was grim for those on the plane and the town of Lockerbie, Scotland


Unfortunately, London wasn’t our only scheduled part of the vacation we were heading on to Morocco for 8 days. Thousands of dollars had been paid for the vacation,

No we couldn’t get our money back just because we were uncomfortable with going and the State Dept said Morocco was OK.

So we went ! As you know we were heading into a very troubled area. Feelings against the Americans were running high there was distrust everywhere.

We were booked into a French Hotel, since I spoke a little French I did all the talking. The Americans in our party were told to shut up and look German ( the Arab population had an affinity for the Germans). Being an American that week was not a popular thing to be , as evidenced by the conversations at the surrounding dinner tables, being English was only slightly better. Luckily my two blonde children were thought to be German. I think the fact my husband had a sort of tweed Tyrol hat on most days and was carrying around the book he was reading that had to do with Germany in World War Two and had a swastika on the front endeared him to the staff. All I know was that he never paid for a beer the wholetime he had that book.

We did not go out of the hotel unless escorted by our private guides. It was the most awful tense and stressful time as far as traveling I have ever been through. And I have been through some Vacations from Hell that could fill the pages of Horror Tales of Travel Abroad.

I will write more about the “road to Morocco” in a future post.

However, once again an “institution” or corporation out of greed possibly or not having a real plan of action has effected the lives in this country in the most disastrous fashion. And now they seemingly have the audacity and lacking any respect for those who lost their lives in 1988 allegedly petitioned a government to release the cause of so much horror and heartaches so they can pump more crude out of the ground. I hope this isn’t the case and there is still “British ideals” in BP

July 19, 2010 at 11:10 am 11 comments

From Bridges to Broadway – Part Four

Part One here

Part Two here

Part three here


Lorain's first Swing Bridge

1894 2nd Swing Bridge

1899 3rd Swing Bridge

1899 Viaduct

Erie Swing Bridge

Swing Bridge Open

1936 traffic closed bridge

1939 Old and New

Charles Berry Bascule Bridge


1880 Horsecars on Broadway ( before the Great Awakening)

Broadway working

1913 East Erie Viaduct

Perry Centennial Parade 1913

Broadway from 4th

Broadway at the Loop

Lorain Hardware - LFD testing their ladders

1930 Aerial View

Lorain Loop 1930

Christmas 1933 ( Palace)

1935 New Loop

Downtown - car to Elyria

Lorain Downtown Aerial View

Street Car Yale

Once again many thanks to Dennis Lamont for sharing these photos.


July 18, 2010 at 1:56 pm 12 comments

Lorain Port – Industry-Part three

As we continue with Port Fest activities:

Part One here

Part Two here

many thanks has to go to Dennis Lamont for all the historical photos he has shared.

Essex, Niagara and Wolverine 1913

Remember the Niagara today??

Early  Shipbuilding Lorain OHio

Early shipbuilders, Lorain Ohio

Lorain Tug Cincinnati Lauch Party

Largest freshwater dry dock USA

1938 launch Irvin

Am Ship

ASB Aerial

ASB Dock

Condos on the Dock

Sales Zaremba Homes

Harbor Walk Housing development

And now we have condos and cottages being built and sold where once the ship reigned supreme.


Loading Coal 1886

1939 B n O docks

car dump

Coal dump colour

Loading Coal


The Neah Bay July 2010

The Neah Bay City of Lorain

You can visit the Neah Bay
North of the Bridge on the West Bank of the Black River.

Tours are: 1-4 and 6-8.
Neah Bay photos Paula Tobias

July 17, 2010 at 2:48 pm 1 comment

Lorain Port Pictorial – Part two

Part one – Lorain’s Port


As the Port of Lorain celebrates this weekend

a time for reflection

Niagara-courtesy LPA

Black River Landing 1950

Black River Landing in the early 1990’s

Lorain Harbor -1894

Lorain Harbor – 1898 Survey

1898 survey North of East Erie

1898 Survey near furnaces

Early Aerial View

Aerial View 1930






You can check out the Port of Lorain history here

To be continued

July 16, 2010 at 5:51 pm 4 comments

Lorain’s Port – A Happening Place- Then and NOW

We are celebrating ( this weekend) the Port of Lorain at Black River Landing and you will hopefully be enjoying all the offerings of PORTFEST; this blog will celebrate the “then ” so you can compare to the “now”.

Please go to for more information of this year’s” Hooked on Perch” PORTFEST

Thanks to Dennis Lamont for sharing his collection of photos, there are so many of them that this too will be a series, divided loosely into categories from the harbor to bridges to Broadway.

Since Paula has been discovering in past posts the Coast Guard Station Open house and Ice Breakers and has covered the NOW. We will start with the THEN- (you can compare by following the links in green or click on the category Lorain Port Authority on the right hand side for all coverage of the LPA on this blog )








Dockage anyone????

All hands on deck ( Schooner)

Cleveland Steel Canal Boat Company SP Docks- Black River




July 15, 2010 at 5:23 pm 5 comments

A Festival of the Port- Lorain- Ohio -Paula Tobias

UPDATE: From Dennis Lamont some great pictures from the “Old Port”

From the collection Al Doane and I have assembled comes these pictures of the first Erie Avenue swing bridge (manually operated). Note the great collection of hi-masted freighters (why the electric lines had to be raised over the river). The second picture shows the damage caused when one of the freighters pushed its tug into the span. Great collection of wooden lake freighters!

ED: NOTE Just a reminder to check out Renee Dore’s article on Lorain’s Port Then and Now- somethings have changed – the Capt is now at Settlers’ Watch but a worthwhile read about this old Port of Lorain

I would like to invite you to this year’s Lorain Port Fest

Port Fest 2010
July 16th and 17th – Black River Landing
Kids rides and games, nautical gifts, artwork and apparel, and your favorite festival foods all in celebration of Our Waterfront… Our Future!

FREE Admission • FREE Parking
Festival Hours & Location:
Friday 6-11pm • Saturday 12-11pm
Port Fest will be hosted at Black River Landing, one block East of Broadway in Downtown Lorain. Free parking is available throughout Downtown Lorain.
Port Fest 2010
Musical Entertainment Schedule – Black River Landing
Friday July 16, 2010 6pm-11pm
Saturday July 17, 2010 12pm-11pm
Sarah Wilson
This upcoming Nashville Recording Artist makes her debut on the Black River Landing Stage showcasing her latest single “Walkin on the Blue Side”

The Neah Bay, is an 140-foot Bay Class icebreaking tug; permanently based in Cleveland, that can break 22 inches of ice by running at three and a half miles per hour. It can break thicker ice using a back-and-ram technique.

The Coast Guard works closely with the Lake Carrier’s Association and Canadian Ship owner’s Association, which on average each winter ship about $2 billion dollars of cargo, including steel, coal, heating oil and grain.

It also works with the Canadian Coast Guard to keep the Great Lakes’ navigation lanes open and provide search and rescue, such as when ice fishermen become stranded.

The Coast Guard also breaks ice so that ferries can bring food and other supplies to the year-round residents of the Lake Erie Island and helps break up potential flood-creating ice jams on local rivers such as the Vermilion and Black River.

The Neah Bay and its siblings are the most efficient icebreakers of their size in the world, says the Coast Guard. Such vessels have a high horsepower-to-displacement ratio, which provides ample power to maneuver easily in ice. Two Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines provide 2,500 horsepower to a single shaft via a diesel-electric propulsion system.

A unique hull design with a low length-to-beam ratio allows the cutter to break a wide track in the ice. The ship also generates a pronounced wake designed specifically for ice-breaking, the Coast Guard says.

The ship’s standard complement consists of seventeen personnel including three officers and 14 enlisted crew members.

(Makes you cooler just looking at this doesn’t it?)

July 13, 2010 at 6:31 pm 2 comments

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July 2010