Archive for November, 2013

Why Lorain- the Lilac City- the paper trail 5

Marks lilacs

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Part Four

The train was met and November 13, 1930 found the Lilac Big Dig commence:
plant lilacsNOv 13 1930text

And so it started – the next May 1931 -found the City of Lorain proclaimed City of Lilacs, contests were held for artwork, songs, competitions for the best lilacs , Queen of the Lilacs – both floral and in human kind, Lilac courts . In fact the Lorain Journal now ran the fact Lorain was the City of Lilacs across the front page of its paperapril 29, 1931 part 1
april 29, 1931 part 2

Eleanor Hill( 17) Lorain High School -1310 9th  Street-winner

Eleanor Hill( 17) Lorain High School -1310 9th Street-winner

Marks lilacs
It was certainly Lilac Time in Lorain-as Mayor Paul Goldthorpe so proclaimed
Lilac Proclamation
That first year Mrs. C.E Kent of 1601 9th Street and her lilacs were proclaimed the finest in LorainUnfortunately I can no longer find the address 1601 9th street or for that matter 1310 the winner of the poster gone with the way of the Lilacs one would presume.
You see , what was at first the saving of Lorain by Lilacs, pronounced international and national recognition due to Lilacs, faded like the Lilacs of July.

What started with so much anticipation slowly died a death- by 1935 no longer was the Lorain Journal proclaiming Lorain the Lilac City on its banner, the event came to be “Bi-annual” – In 1939 The Pittsburgh Press announced :mail

and indeed there were some celebrations in the year of 1939
may 19 1939 part 1

may 19 1939 part 2

Possiby the winds of war or at least Lilac apathy may have paid a part in the loss of the Lilacs- at least the festival, if held, no longer made the Lorain Journal with the vim and vigour of past festivals . At one time roses substituted for the event. Once again Lorain reinvented herself or tried to. About the same time a town LOMBARD , ILLINOIS also decided upon the Lilacs as a theme

Since 1930, Lombard has hosted an annual Lilac Festival and parade in May. “Lilac Time in Lombard,” is a 16-day festival ending in mid-May. It starts with the Lilac Queen coronation and her court. Many lilac themed events take place, including concerts, a Mothers’ Day Brunch, an arts and crafts fair, and tours of the park. The grand finale is Lombard’s Lilac Festival Parade

Lombard succeeded where Lorain failed and crowned their queen for the 83rd year in 2013

However, due to the Lilacs, parks were “planned” and a parks department commissioned, renovations of Lake View Park were announced at the first Festival of the Lilacs ….. To be continued………
Marks lilacs

NOTE: I could only find the name of the 1993 Lilac Queen
Jean E. Wilms

NOTE Update:: I received the following jpgs from a reader

Lilac Queen 1933

Lilac Queen 1933

returns as the Sesquicentennial Lilac Queen
lilac queen


November 29, 2013 at 2:57 pm 1 comment

Why Lorain- the Lilac City- the paper trail 4

Marks lilacs

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Within two short months of the Journal editorial, the City of Lorain and all her organizations, were meeting the train to unload the first 5,000 Lilac on November 11th 1930. It had taken just a month to get the project up and running- and they did it without STUDIES or the internet for communication just the newspaper of the day and word of mouth.
Click on jpg to enlarge

Oct 9 1930
NOv 11 1930 pt1

NOv 11 1930 pt2

Without all our “modern conveniences” flash drives, power point presentations , visual aids galore these “movers and shakers of Lorain in 1930 managed to move faster than we do today. The fact Lorain had a myriad of social service clubs at the time had to help and Lorain City schools came on board after the Chairman of the project Carl Robinson spoke to the 1,000 junior high children attending Hawthorne
Sept 27 1930 Pt1Sept 27 1930 Pt2
Marks lilacs Mayor Goldthorpe had the Parks department prepare all city parks to receive 700 of the 4 ft. high shrubs and trees. In fact St. Josephs Hospital, gas stations, businesses and private gardens were all going “lilac”.
Marks lilacs
Plans were made for the parks and in October an expert came to Lorain – Jean Henri Nicolas
Jon Henri Nicolas


Jean Henri Nicolas was born in 1875 in Roubaix, France, permanently moved to the U.S. after meeting his wife here (and promising her father he would not take her back to France), and died in New York in 1937. Although his love affair with roses started as a hobby, he became a world-recognized expert and gave up a business career to make his living in rose horticulture. In addition to writing three books on roses, his accomplishments included serving as the first Director of Research for Jackson & Perkins Company (when it was among the largest rose growers in the world), and before that served as a researcher for Conrad-Pyle / Star Roses. He was a Trustee of the American Rose Society, Vice President of the National Rose Society of England, and was frequently honored by the Rose Society of France and the German Rose Society. He held a doctorate in natural science for his accomplishments in creative horticulture, was a Knight of the Merite Agricole, Officer of the Academy of France, and Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. And to top it all off, he was also a gourmet. As the French rosarian Francis Meilland once said of him, “He was everything all at once, a man of fine letters, a fine speaker, a good writer, a wonderful diplomat and a surprising geneticist

Marks lilacs
AND HERE IS THE LORRAINE FRANCE CONNECTION: IT WASN’T THE LILACS THAT WERE DONATED TO LORAIN AFTER THE TORNADO- THE LILAC, COINCIDENTALLY IS ALSO THE “NATIVE” FLOWER OF LORRAINE, FRANCE after which Herman Ely named the county and subsequently Postmaster Vorwerk re named Charleston Village after the county when she was incorporated in 1874

and from whence hailed THE EXPERT JEAN HENRI NICOLAS


Click on jpgs to enlarge

October 15 1930 Expert Pt1

October 15 1930 Expert Pt2

You can read more of his thoughts in Lorain in the following article:October 15 1930 French Pt1
October 15 1930 French Pt2

October 15 1930 French Pt3

TO BE CONTINUED……….Marks lilacs

November 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm Leave a comment

Why Lorain- the Lilac City- the paper trail 3

Photo Settlers' Watch  Lilac - Mark Teleha

Photo Settlers’ Watch Lilac – Mark Teleha

Part One

Part Two

As mentioned in Part two, in 1924 this community was hit with a devastating tornado in a matter of minutes the town and business district went from this
Briadway early
to this

Amazingly, ( considering what it takes in this day and age to get anything done) two years later the business district was back and as mentioned in part two so was the surrounding neighborhood.

Building the Broadway  Building 1926- Dennis Lamont

Building the Broadway Building 1926- Dennis Lamont

Yes! that would be the pride of Broadway ( The Broadway Building) being built- I wonder what they would say to its worth today- a man-made tornado of destruction that is known as “NEGLECT”

Marks lilacs
Then by the 30’s when Lilacs were on everyone’s lips it was Lorain back in business1934

The citizens had their say:
AUG 26 1930 Part1

AUG 26 1930 Part2root

The ladies mentioned in the above cutting as to their “lilacs” and their homes today
Marks lilacs

103 Arkansas

Marks lilacs
pen_ink root

Miss Harriet Root- 3535 E. Erie Avenue
More on the Root Story here

photo Dan Brady

photo Dan Brady

Marks lilacs

collarg 550
Then there was WINTER ROSE- OF 550- 6TH Street
The Mayor , at the time, Paul Goldthorpe was behind the “Lilacs”

Aug 28 1930 mayor
TO BE CONTINUED…………Marks lilacs

November 24, 2013 at 7:37 pm 3 comments

Why Lorain- the Lilac City- the paper trail 2


Part One

The one thing that was very important to communities ( world-wide) in decades past was the newspaper. I would imagine, for those early residents of “Black River”- then Charleston -then Lorain the importance of newspapers was it was one of the few sources of communication with the outside world. Now of course, we are in information overload with our internet scanning of websites of today with their ersatz sound bite news. cv 1807 LOGO

The newspaper back in the day , was just that, a paper full of news connecting people and communities. It was tangible, you could discuss the news of the day over breakfast or evening meal, decide how your day would be as far as business, or use it to put under carpets for padding or in drafty places to keep the house warm or light a fire, a source of bedding for animals , to clean boots and in England wrap your fish and chips. A newspaper, was indeed very important part of community. A strong newspaper helped to strengthen the community!
Lorain’s first newspaper was the Lorain Monitor and its editor, reporter, ad man, printer and distributor was a 16-year-old. This young entrepreneur went on to become one of Lorain’s finest citizens before the tragedy that wiped out 9 of Lorain’s then movers and shakers . You can read about Lawler and the Leo in the series here

Editors of newspapers held great power and sway -as some still do- it is their connection to the public , the ability to reach into the homes and minds of the general population. They have been courted by politicians, kings and queens, merchants and groups of all kinds just to get into print or in some cases “stay out of print” .
So is it any wonder when an editorial on August 22nd 1930 in the Lorain Journal called together the civic-minded groups of the day to embrace the idea of a city flower , especially when comparing Lorain to Washington DC and the cherry blossoms and by doing so was going to spread the word and market Lorain nationwide ( where have we heard that before 😉 ) a gathering of Lilacs commenced

Click on to enlarge !

Aug 22 1930 first ed

The power of print caused Lorain, as Dan Brady researcher for these posts) observed to go Lilac -looney. But again, you have to hand it to those citizens when they got on board with something they went all the way – you see this was seen as a way for “Community Development “. Just one day later the Lorain Journal ran the story – you will see in the article familiar organizations of today.

Click on to enlarge
AUG 23 1930 Pt1AUG 23 1930 Pt2 and then just 2 days later we have , Law Williams” Lorain Industrial Commissioner stating:

“the commission expressed itself unanimously of the opinion that the adoption of a community flower will doubtless contribute to a more beautiful atmosphere to Lorain and play no small part in furthering the growth and development of the city , even so with regard to our industrial development

AUG 25 1930

Whew! a lot riding on the backs of those Lilacs…. more to come ! OH has anyone found the missing “red lantern on Reid” 😉 To be continued ……….

November 22, 2013 at 4:14 pm 4 comments

Why Lorain- the Lilac City- the “paper” trail

Captain's Walk Artist Fran Cellozzi

Captain’s Walk
Artist Fran Cellozzi

It was a pleasant summer evening on Rich Robbin’s
front porch sipping wine with other neighbors over 2 decades ago, there in lies the tale of the start of Charleston Village Society Inc – some woozy neighbors sampling the grape . We had a lot to learn those first months about the “history of Lorain” – Charleston Village. Two thirds of the group were transplants from other far away communities- a bit like the original settlers when you think of it!

However, we did hear from someone- I can’t remember whom ( wine has that effect) the Lilac was the flower of the city and there were festivals, songs and queens. We heard the stories of how after a devastating tornado Lorraine , France sent over Lilac bushes to beautify this devastated city – sounded reasonable and so we carried on perpetuating the “myth”.

Photo  Lorain 365 Blog

Photo Lorain 365 Blog

In the past few weeks Charleston Village Society Inc. Outreach and Promotions committee took on the task of decorating one of the trees for the 2nd Annual International Trees and Model Train Display at Black River Landing as part of the Light Up Lorain Festivities .


We chose to decorate the tree with Lilacs and history. As we were decorating the tree, other participants asked Why Lilacs? and we realized we really didn’t know the whole story of how the Lilacs of Lorain came and “went”.

Thanks to Dan Brady of who was absolutely brilliant in his detective work with so much documentation from 1930 through 1939 we have at last separated myth from fact.

The story of the Lilacs of Lorain is one of coincidence , civic pride, leadership and the fact, no matter the decade, we tend to reinvent the wheel. Part Two will put paid to the myth of Lorain/ Lorraine but let us just go back in time to a time of devastation by Mother Nature.

Courtesy  Dan Brady/Dennis Lamont

Courtesy Dan Brady/Dennis Lamont


This community had very little left to her after that dark day in 1924. You have to hand it to those citizens at the time, who in just a few short years, managed to bring back a community. They obviously took it upon themselves to get stuck in with apparently no federal help to rebuild.

Deeping Gate artist Fran Cellozzi

Deeping Gate artist Fran Cellozzi

My own house sits on a lot that had the previous structure destroyed and yet just TWO years later ( 1926) this was the result- a Mock English Tudor and a Mock Cape Cod were built over the cleared rubble of destruction – a mother and daughter occupied the now “split lot”.
Antiquity  Inn - Artist Kat Skye

Antiquity Inn – Artist Kat Skye

Is it any wonder after the effort of rebuilding a city from the muck and mire there was just 6 years after the tornado a call for beautification….. to be continued

November 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm 7 comments

Meddlesome Matty and I Should’ve listened to Nanna

Nanny  HinesThe recent post about my Granddad Hines and World War 1
brought to the surface other memories , of my Nanny Hines ( his wife and my Nanna) tucking me into her lovely feather bed as she told me stories of my mum as a little girl, spoke of poems and sang the songs of my childhood. .

One particular poem, she would say was just for me – Meddlesome Matty. I was the “curious grandchild” the one who seemed to always be in the thick of any event from apple scrumping, climbing over the high walls that were covered in broken glass- set into the top to keep out the villians, in the middle of any altercation-

a lonely little petunia in a onion patch

my dad used to say. The trouble was I always wanted to see why I was being kept out! or what was going on. This little girl was always with her boy cousins getting into mischief, being the one who would be first to crawl through the boarded up doors of bombed out buildings – and the excuse

” I just wanted to see”

I have a strong feeling Braedyn has inherited the trait.

No! I didn’t get into Mummy’s lipstick!! WHO ME????
braedyn makeupres

Meddlesome Matty was recited often as a “lesson” to me as was

The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.

The Little Mother Goose (1912), illustrated by Jessie Willcox Smith.

There was a little girl
By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807–1882 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

Meddlesome Matty_NEW

One ugly trick has often spoil’d
The sweetest and the best;
Matilda, though a pleasant child,
One ugly trick possess’d,
Which, like a cloud before the skies,
Hid all her better qualities.

Sometimes she’d lift the tea-pot lid,
To peep at what was in it,
Or tilt the kettle, if you did
But turn your back a minute.
In vain you told her not to touch,
Her trick of meddling grew so much.

Her grandmamma went out one day,
And by mistake she laid
Her spectacles and snuff-box gay
Too near the little maid;
“Ah! well,” thought she, “I’ll try them on,
As soon as grandmamma is gone. ”

Forthwith she placed upon her nose
The glasses large and wide;
And looking round, as I suppose,
The snuff-box too she spied:
“Oh! what a pretty box is that;
I’ll open it,” said little Matt.

“I know that grandmamma would say,
‘Don’t meddle with it, dear;’
But then, she’s far enough away,
And no one else is near:
Besides, what can there be amiss
In opening such a box as this? ”

So thumb and finger went to work
To move the stubborn lid,
And presently a mighty jerk
The mighty mischief did;
For all at once, ah! woful case,
The snuff came puffing in her face.
( If you wonder what ‘snuff’ is, it is ground up tobacco leaves flavoured with fruit or flowers or spices. People put it up their noses )

Poor eyes, and nose, and mouth, beside
A dismal sight presented;
In vain, as bitterly she cried,
Her folly she repented.
In vain she ran about for ease;
She could do nothing now but sneeze.

She dash’d the spectacles away,
To wipe her tingling eyes,
And as in twenty bits they lay,
Her grandmamma she spies.
“Heyday! and what’s the matter now?”
Says grandmamma, with lifted brow.

Matilda, smarting with the pain,
And tingling still, and sore,
Made many a promise to refrain
From meddling evermore.
And ’tis a fact, as I have heard,
She ever since has kept her word.

Ann Taylor
(30 January 1782 – 20 December 1866 / Colchester, England)

Unfortunately, I made no such promises –

I have been burned by reputation,
sneezed at by the powers that be
on so many occasions,
plowed in where angels feared to tread

I have smarted with the pain of “people”

become dizzy with the spin of government and legalese

And still it seems I haven’t learned the lesson my Nanna tried to teach me – time for Meddlesome Mattie to grow up me thinks before I “snuff” it

For more poems by Ann Taylor

November 20, 2013 at 1:20 pm Leave a comment

Welcome to Fairyland – aka In the Pink Lorain, Ohio

cityhall castle

As a follow-up : Rick Payerchin and the Morning Journal expanded coverage of Tuesday nights meeting ( you know the one where I threw a wobbly)

The Morning Journal coverage Wednesday morning

had more to say today

Lorain housing study draws praise, but citizens frustrated

In the article I am quoted ”
fairy  wings

The study included a photograph of “my icon house” at 1034 W. 4th St, said Loraine Ritchey of the Charleston Village Society, which seeks to preserve the city’s oldest neighborhood in central Lorain.
The house has been vacant and falling apart for 40 years, said Ritchey, who moved into her Lorain home in 1973. She added she has bugged eight administrations and the building department about it for decades, and credited former mayor Joe Koziura, who at least made the owner repair the roof.
“It’s a disgrace,” she said about the structure.
“You have let this city deteriorate, all of you, all of us, because we talk,” Ritchey said. “I’m not saying you’re doing that now. I think you’re trying to use the tools in order to get money to help.”
Stronger building codes are needed, she said, not just standing on the sidewalk making inspections.
Ritchey also disagreed with the “niceness” of the report and said she believed the city’s housing stock is in worse shape than the report stated.”

do nothing
I have to agree with myself :

What I didn’t say was that I have been complaining ( in this complaint driven process – AT LEAST THREE YEARS , IF NOT LONGER, THAN THE CURRENT MAYOR HAS BEEN ALIVE AND WHEN DAN GIVEN( mentioned in the article) WAS STILL IN GRADE SCHOOL.

How these “departments’ etc, because administrations come and go but the “departments such as Building Depts and inspections as well as Community Development or whatever name it now has are constant with each administration, can sit there – faces blank – the first we have heard of it glaze– knowing that since 1975 complaints have been made….


Mr. Husky the neighbor of the “Icon House” also has been complaining for decades his frustration showing .
2th and Hamiton

“It’s time to take the house down,” Husky said. “That’s like one of the worst houses in the city. I’ve seen a lot of other nicer houses that could have been fixed up that you tore down. I don’t understand why this house is still standing”

fairy  wings

WHAT DOES IT TAKE? I suppose my latest frustration with this city is the fact that we as citizens have done what we were supposed to do, followed protocol and procedure – this house is not a one-off……. it is the icon of what is wrong with Lorain– citizens ignored through Republican and Democratic Administrations and the “allowing” of deterioration by those that are PAID a very decent salary to carry out the will of the people when it comes to their quality of life.fairy  wings

AND THE THERE SHE WAS IN ALL HER GLORY ON THAT BIG SCREEN – with the warning that houses like this “F” House will impact the A and B and C housing in Lorain-

Fairy  Folk

January 31ST 2008 I WROTE:

THERE IS A SURPRISE – ( after we had spent $90,000.00 on yet another study and report:

There was nothing really new in the report from Staubauch except “time lines”. Basically the developers will know we have a mess but that we intend to take care of it, and how and when will be needed to be part of the package that is sent out with the RFP.

Get rid of the Urban Decay –
Clean up the entranceways and gateways to downtown
Fix the existing commercial and building facades on Broadway
Uniform signage
Get rid of the Transmission Lines
Move the sewer plant
City Hall is taking up valuable real estate
Take advantage of your “history”
Bring in the Arts
Get rid of the eyesores
Camouflage the existing industry on the river and lake front
HAVE A TIME LINE for completion, a plan and how it will be financed

The faces in the room told it all

“ We have been saying the same things for years”,

However, maybe now, a $90,000 opinion will be listened to by our leaders

Oh and just incase you think well maybe the powers that “B” (make that an F) don’t read this blog I will share one of the many emails about the Icon House


From: Loraine Ritchey
Subject: Gow House 4th and Hamilton 1034 4th Street
To: “tony krasienko” ,, “phil dore” , “Richard Klinar”
Cc: “Cathy Deangelis” , “Date: Wednesday, February 4, 2009, 3:35 PM

For 34 years I have looked at this home deteriorating because for 34 years this house which was one of Charleston Villages oldest homes has sat empty I have attached a photo taken in 2002 by the County Auditor and another one taken in 2006 –

However windows have been broken out and it sits falling into further decay rapidly . This property is now open to the elements and to anyone who wishes to “use ” the property for nefarious means.

When Mr. Miller was the Safety Service Director he had it secured as undesirable activities were taking place – people using the property for criminal activities. This property is across the street from Irving Elementary School. Whilst we had great hopes last spring that the property was being purchased and rehabbed that deal apparently fell through and “nothing” has happened with that house for months except being open to the elements and becoming even a further eyesore.

Ideally we would like to see this property which was known as “The Bluffs” in its heyday rehabbed but something HAS to be done now- I believe a house that has been vacant for 34 years is rather a long time for us in this neighborhood to be patient Every day I look out my window at this picture of sadness and decay and I am not alone . I have written more than one article on this home . It is now 2009 and it is time for the owner Mr. Gow of Amherst to do something . Thank you Loraine Ritchey

construction TP
And Dan Given , who as of Tuesday night had finished grade school, high school, college and beyond since I first started my “complaints “ and has had to put up with those complaints ,as he as part of the “legislative branch, sent them on the to “right” departments – along with others of his ilk stated :

“I’m still going to spin this thing back; the way we’re doing it now is broken,” Given said. “Issuing citations to property owners now, we might as well be writing them on toilet paper.”

November 16, 2013 at 1:50 am 9 comments

Away with the Fairies – Living in Lorain

UPDATE: For Paula and Tammy re the plans and studies REMEMBER THIS ONE??????
Lakefront urban development

‘COME FLY AWAY WITH ME !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Away with the Fairies

Come and lay down in the meadow
Rest your head amongst the flowers

It is probably time for me to just walk away FROM ADVOCACY- wrap myself in my ivy covered walls and let Lorain go- she is no longer good for my blood pressure. Perhaps, due to age and time, I just can’t go on looking at things with rose-coloured glasses as I posted on face book last night – maybe I am done with “data dancing” and studies. and the way “government works ( or doesn’t )….I no longer have the time left to wait for the results of government- not this Loraine or that Lorain.

the law

I have just returned home from the Buildings and Lands committee meeting at city hall… I am bemused, disgusted, and totally fed up with the way this city and government postulates and procrastinate and uses studies as tools and YET for all their talk my icon house which was featured in the study was used as an example of the problem – trouble is this vacant house has been a problem and complaint driven to these same Lorain city government agencies for 40 YEARS!!!!! Lorain has no teeth in her building codes or enforcement but they talk a good game – give me strength it is like living with the fairies in this community!

Should you care to see the lack of teeth in our building codes and enforcement in Lorain here they are . I wrote series about our “enforcement” or lack thereof !

So what got me in a tizz- wozz last night? You would think the report from Thriving Communities Institute of the Western Reserve Land Conservancy- Sarah Ryzner, the institute’s director of projects, and Paul Boehnlein, GIS and conservation planning specialist as summarized by Rick Payerchin of the Morning Journal would have been something to smile about. You would be wrong !

We sat in the audience listening to the self- congratulatory twaddle that always comes with these “study projects”. We sat for 40 minutes whilst we learned about how the process went ,pregnancy and yellow T-shirts included, although quite frankly it should have taken no more than 10 minutes- but that too is par for the course.

study  heads

And then the numbers!
Oh we aren’t so bad off at all with our housing stock as we were treated to examples of home gradings of A through F.

As I looked at the photos of what this group considered a “B” home I choked- the C caused me even more discomfort but the F example was my “icon home

Yes! the one that I have complained about on three different blogs for many years and to whom I have spent 30 of the 40 years it has now been standing EMPTY and open to the elements complaining ( and this IS a complaint driven process here in Lorain) through the BUILDING DEPT. Nothing happened with in 30 years of complaints but of course if you read the links of what the Building Dept. can and can’t do and taking into account the loop holes found by our illustrious slum lords ( oops can’t call them that now after this report, you see those homes are apparently B and C) well don’t hold you breath.

Complaints made to administrations that come and go , through Community Development, through representatives on city council , anyone who was PAID to listen and deal with these problems . Still the house on the corner of 4th and Hamilton stands as derelict and disgraceful as she has been for decades.

2th and Hamiton
Yes! here was that house – bold as brass up on the screen- part of YET ANOTHER study . A study and report that I find decidedly lacking .

I would like to know the experience and knowledge as to the people conducting the study as to their expertise in Lorain’s building code violations, their architectural background as they stood on the sidewalk determining their A, B, C’s . The bar they set was so LOW as to what was an A, B, of C home was to me just another “Data Dancing” report to get the money to pay the piper.

data dancingcol
So what ? These studies/reports are just another tool governments use is done all the time, nobody reads these things anyway – it is just used to show the whomever is doling out the dollars they have documentation. Oh look! we have included data in our quest for tax payer dollars.
Everyone on the administrative staff and council knew the “protocol” as did we.

That is fine only please don’t insult the intelligence of those of us who live here, who deal with those B and C homes with such a report.


WE have to identify the problems to fix them . BUT!!!! I can only stomach so much clap trap and I am full to overflowing.

I said my piece at the microphone, which included my differing opinion with the way the homes in this community are graded by this particular “study” and data, because quite frankly I have dealt with the “vermin” in some of those very homes B and C. I wonder the grading curve , was Lorain’s housing stock compared to Youngstown, East Cleveland certainly not Lakewood as their D even F houses would fit in the A category for Lorain according to the photos presented.

So what good my rant? It amounts to nothing, it won’t change a thing in the way government works, dollars are dished out , data is danced and Lorain continues, just as ranting about a house on the corner of 4th and Hamilton has done NOTHING we continue…….. . Oh the house will come down one way or another , either by its own volition or the system will “FINALLY” work but even as we speak this B and C homes so “nicely” portrayed are deteriorating with each rain drop , each broken window, each missing downspout, each building permit NOT USED or code enforced, each STUDY!!! My data doesn’t dance it screams …….

The only positive thing I took away from the meeting at least the City of Lorain didn’t pay for the study that was Nordson………….

Away  With  the Fairies by  Richard Adams

Away With the Fairies by Richard Adams

November 13, 2013 at 4:48 pm 20 comments

NOV.11th- Flanders Fields -Remembering War


I use this video in most of my November 11th posts it tugs at my heart and my conscience. The Great War – 1914-1918 – my grandmothers and elderly aunts called it. When they spoke of the Great War it was not with the same camaraderie my mother and younger aunts and uncles who had fought and been “blitzed”. They, the aged, didn’t seem to have the same national fulfillment of achievement in their voices the attitude shown by those of the next generation.

Uncle Jim- lost two  legs RAF Pilot WW2

Uncle Jim- lost two legs RAF Pilot WW2

“We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be” Winston Chruchill

The pride of watching the skies above as the Battle of Britain Pilots as they defended their “sceptered isle.” seemed missing as they talked of bombs and carnage, although on the side of victory , there was somehow something hollow in their remembrance of those years of World War 1.

This was a war that was so horrible, unthinkable with so many men lost, a generation lost , never had there been such human destruction on such a scale before or since. It was supposed to be the war to end all wars The Great War in Europe started in 1914- the 100 year anniversary will be noted in Europe next year.

man to  war

The number of men mobilised by both sides: the central powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey), and the allied powers (Britain and Empire, France, Belgium, Russia, Italy, USA), totalled over 65 million.

When the fighting was finally over, no-one could tell exactly how many had been killed but historians estimate that up to 10 million men lost their lives on the battlefield – and another 20 million were wounded… is perhaps best remembered for the staggering loss of human life. In the decade following the Great War many had the firm conviction that it should be “the war to end all wars”. …

I wasn’t born during either of the “World Wars” but I do remember my grand dad who lived to a ripe old age . I remember his whiskers, the smell of beer ( which wasn’t that unpleasant) and of sweet-smelling tobacco, although I can’t remember him with a pipe or a cigarette. The roughness of his jacket on my cheek as he held me on his lap toasting bread by the fire .

He was an old reprobate (I later learned) but to me he was the one who would come home from the pub and always had a present in his pocket for me , sometimes sweets, sometimes a few pennies and on one brilliant occasion a kitten named Jimmy!
gradad ages and me

I was the youngest girl grandchild and he would tease me unmercifully ( or so it seemed) but I knew he loved me even if his nickname for me was “maggot”.

In fact I was just married when he died , he had been to my wedding just weeks before with his fancy woman as my one aunt called her. My grandmother had died 10 years before .

We received a call he was in hospital and asking to see me . I went. I remember his little old face as white as the hospital pillow case upon which his head rested . He smiled , the twinkle had gone out of his blue eyes- he told my husband you take care of my little maggot in those United States of yours, squeezed my hand and said

come back tomorrow

and I said I would. What I didn’t know , he had told my aunt, who was a nurse at the hospital, he couldn’t die until he had seen me and then he could go.

As we drove down the country lanes in Suffolk to get to my other aunt’s, I could not shake the feel of his hand squeezing mine, it stayed with me the whole journey home. When we arrived my aunt told me he died not 5 minutes after I had left the room. He had made my grandmother’s life miserable, had given her 6 children , three sons and three daughters, and many, many hardships.

But as I read articles and history such as the Diary of Harry Drinkwater:

After five days in the trenches, we’re thankful we can still walk. I’ve had approximately an hour’s sleep a day – always standing up.

Often, when from sheer exhaustion I doze off, I’m awakened by a fat squeaking rat on my shoulder or feel it running over my head.

Most of the rations fail to arrive – because the communication trenches are water-logged and being continually shelled. We eat with hands caked in mud, which has caused many cases of acute dysentery.


Deluged: Three members of Harry’s company can be seen here posing in a trench flooded with mud almost to waist height

In common with others, I’ve done regular turns at the firing line. It’s a very creepy business looking over the top, imagining every noise is a German. A rat skirmishing among empty tins in no-man’s land is sufficient to attract all our attention.

Each morning, one hour before daybreak, every man stands in the trench until daylight. This is in case the Germans follow the old custom of attacking just before dawn. The same happens an hour before sunset.

Last night, I had a narrow squeak. I was wedged in the mud when I heard a shell coming. Unable to move quickly, I crouched when it burst on the parapet and got covered in dirt.

Later, we marched to our billets [for rest days]. This morning, Christmas Day, I took my shirt off – thick with dried mud – and had a wash. We had one tub and no soap between about 50 fellows.

Friday, December 31

Back on the firing line, and nearly up to our waists in mud. We’ve found a new diversion — at dusk, we put a small piece of cheese on the end of a bayonet, wait for a rat to have a nibble, and then pull the trigger.

I think of my grand dad as a young man , a career soldier, who fought in those trenches, slithered in muck, covered with lice and blood , fodder for cannon and rats alike , living the horror of trench warfare, and ultimately being “gassed ” and shot. I am sure this had to change a man. He sent three of his sons to war 20 years later, and according to my mum they too came home different men, as did my father
and millions of young men from around the world through the wars to follow .

Lyrics to I was only 19 at the end of the post

Today, more young men are returning home battle weary and scarred both physically and emotionally. And yet we count them among the lucky ones for many will never see the shores of home and we should never forget …………..

Photo Roger Brownson

Photo Roger Brownson

and grand dad this one is for you – Maggot

Lyrics to I was Only 19

Mum and Dad and Denny saw the passing-out parade at Puckapunyal
It was a long march from cadets.
The sixth battalion was the next to tour, and it was me who drew the card.
We did Canungra, Shoalwater before we left.

And Townsville lined the footpaths as we marched down to the quay
This clipping from the paper shows us young and strong and clean.
And there’s me in my slouch hat with my SLR and greens.
God help me, I was only nineteen.

From Vung Tau, riding Chinooks, to the dust at Nui Dat
I’d been in and out of choppers now for months.
But we made our tents a home, VB and pinups on the lockers
And an Agent Orange sunset through the scrub.

And can you tell me, doctor, why I stil can’t get to sleep?
And night-time’s just a jungle dark and a barking M16?
And what’s this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only ninteen.

A four week operation when each step could mean your last one on two legs
It was a war within yourself.
But you wouldn’t let your mates down til they had you dusted off
So you closed your eyes and thought about something else.

Then someone yelled out “Contact!” and the bloke behind me swore
We hooked in there for hours, then a Godalmighty roar
Frankie kicked a mine the day that mankind kicked the moon,
God help me, he was going home in June.

I can still see Frankie, drinking tinnies in the Grand Hotel
On a thirty-six hour rec leave in Vung Tau
And I can still hear Frankie, lying screaming in the jungle
Til the morphine came and killed the bloody row.

And the Anzac legends didn’t mention mud and blood and tears
And the stories that my father told me never seemed quite real.
I caught some pieces in my back that I didn’t even feel
God help me, I was only nineteen.

And can you tell me, doctor, why I still can’t get to sleep?
And why the Channel Seven chopper chills me to my feet?
And what’s this rash that comes and goes, can you tell me what it means?
God help me, I was only nineteen.

November 9, 2013 at 5:12 pm 5 comments

November 3rd- “take my breath away” -Chris Ritchey

Once again, my recent life has been “preparing for the suffocation” that is my grief. These past few weeks have been especially hard – I knew I would have to be laced in a corset of control – keeping me upright – bound tightly, each breath measured, so I could get through .


The art show in Cleveland was the first hurdle
, but I knew with your dad’s and sister’s support I could manage the getting together of your work and the pre show. We three, are like three different poles bound together, lashed to one another by our love of you , supporting each other as a “whole”- but knowing it would take just a moment of weakness from any one of us and the knot of strength would come undone causing all to topple in a fragmented and broken heap.

This event was followed by the meet the young people who were awarded your scholarships both at Cleveland Institute of Art

and then days later at Lorain County Community College.

You would think walking through the halls, even the parking lot, would get easier- it doesn’t! I still see you there, memories flood back but I have managed to control the intense emotions that stir knowing they would be with me and gearing up for their onslaught. I have the armour of knowing!

Yes, I have managed even when little fingers once again mimic those days of your childhood- I prepare for those flash back memories as they burst in and out of this reality.

And then, thinking myself safe in the mundane, some thing as insignificant as looking for a recipe for a friend, causes me to let down my guard on grief.I feel protected here in my home where I know all too well where the emotional mine fields are. – mumbling to oneself ,

why do I not “put things away “- why can’t I remember where I put something I just had a couple of months ago?

and then I become the victim of your death once again as my eyes focus on your face and photos I didn’t know were there or had even been taken as they appeared amongst the papers and folders piled willy-nilly in a box marked recipes!

I am undone, the corset tightens, no longer a tool for getting through, it becomes murderous turning upon me, squeezing all breath from my lungs, the pit of my stomach recoils , my heart feels like it is stopping, I shake, my teeth clench and my jaw locks so hard as to send a searing pain through my temples – I try to carry on- to push aside and down the agony that wells up from within but I am no longer in control……. the rawness of your loss , the life you should have had , the weeks, months and now years since you died are for nought, they were not lived- I am back in that damned room watching your life drain from your face……… I am crippled by a smile………

November 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm 3 comments



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November 2013