Archive for January, 2014

When Death becomes Divorce- Chris Ritchey

The Parents ( memorial) Kathe Kollwitz 1932

The Parents ( memorial) Kathe Kollwitz 1932

I have in my lifetime , of course like all of us, experienced death of a loved one, a grandmother, grandfather, father , cousins, uncles and friends. I have cried tears reached out, tried to comfort. Any hurts and bad memories pushed away as one says goodbye and tried to ease the heart hurt of those who had loved who were left to grieve.

I couldn’t begin to imagine the pain borne by mothers and fathers of those who had lost a child. It was something foreign to me and I never wanted to know such pain.

Unfortunately, I know now how torturous, overwhelming and unending such anguish follows one day after day hour after hour as you are trapped in a surreal world.

The only experience I had, up until the point we lost Chris, with death was compassionate, a coming together of those that loved and grieved for the deceased. Honouring their final journey was paramount, in my personal experience, understanding the needs of those of the family- who were of paramount importance.

The worst thing in the world is the loss of a son or daughter. There is no greater loss- I defy anyone to disagree. Less than a year after Chris died I started to write a post- which I didn’t publish but I have now copied here.

My thoughts have not changed, my pain has not lessened. I wondered, as I wrote the draft those three ago, whether my feelings changed. They haven’t There is still the bewilderment of the cruelty faced in a parents worst of worst, the unfeeling inhumanity from those pious sycophants to religion and their church. No! they live their lives unscathed and unscarred ….

Ripped

Ripped

I have lived through November once again and have come to the conclusion date of a life I so nurtured and loved – my son. I unwillingly replay those last weeks, days, minutes and hours over and over again .

I question WHY? with so many things that happened- Why him, why a curable cancer that wasn’t curable- and Why didn’t I? I have had time to reflect and try to find answers for all of what happened- there aren’t any.

I knew that last day of his life how dreadful “living” was going to be without my son, I prayed I would die too. I was in such a state of confusion , the lack of reality of not fully comprehending this horror – but somehow I also knew his in-law family were not of the passionate feeling kind but they had a remarkable coolness as to the situation in which we all found ourselves fated together Little did I realize that coolness was a coldness of heart and soul that would shrivel compassion into nothingness.

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/dec-4th-how-cold-is-cold-lombardi/

angsuecol

I kept trying to put myself in Angela’s ( his bride of 549 days- )place – what must she be going through, I tried to understand –

I really did – BUT try as I might try to put myself in her shoes wasn’t happening- her reactions and that of her family ( especially her mother) to situations were totally foreign to me. I have said – she must have really disliked Chris family from the very outset- that has now become painfully obvious in the aftermath.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/01/14/the-visitation-or-what-to-decorate-is-the-question/

I have experienced death and when a loved one dies there was a “gathering of comfort, a support system, people understood the loss one was feeling” and when a parent loses the most precious thing in their lives their son or daughter- the gathering of comfort was intensified- because every parent dreads outliving their child. It is understood universally by everyone on the planet and yet…………

artwork Chris Ritchey

artwork Chris Ritchey


And yet this certainly wasn’t the case from my perspective with Angela Ritchey DO Now married to another Chris and now Angela Murphy DO
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?DoctorID=16147

her parents Tim and Sue Lombardi and their clan.

They compounded the pain, anguish and grief , the most torturous time of a mother and fathers life and seemingly , at least in Sue’s case relished the power, she had by default- the power of punishment. I have written hundreds of thousands of words on what they did and the effect-

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/chris-ritchey/

They like some plaintiffs in a divorce “grabbed ” what they were legally owed – without regard to the utter misery they caused in the day my son died and beyond. We were not a thought in their greedy self righteous thinking. Well I certainly don’t expect well wishes now of course but I can attest to the sheer anguish, pain and disgust they left with us.

In a divorce there is the dividing of assets, hurts and he said/ she said – nastiness, gossips and the trying to get the friends to take sides- this has happened as my son died and they did their worst. All this over the body of Christopher to whom I gave those days of life from my body and whom I would have traded places if it meant he could live. .

Life, I have had too many hours to ponder – I saw a television commercial the other day where it stated we live for 25,000 DAYS – it struck home – not a lot of time is it – especially to those of us who count the days wanting them to end the anguish I carry.
chrsnow
I decided to do some research and Chris only had 10,259. Then, as this brain that drives me, started going through those days I realized that we were lucky enough to have spent
over 9,509 of those days – every day with our son.

The days we didn’t spend with him whilst he was at CIA, we talked at 9:00 p.m. every night, when the free cell phone rate kicked in 🙂 ( he would check in) – my Chris Fix Wednesdays would see his father and I meeting him at indoor soccer games at 11:00 pm at night to give him clean laundry, money and food for the week.

Even the days after his wedding- I was there at his apartment during the roughest Chemo, I cooked for him, made him comfortable, did what I could.

I was there every day of the weeks in hospital for the stem cell transplants , taking his food, changing the sheets, getting him water, orange slices anything to give him strength and hope.

We saw him at Nikki’s every weekend and I was with him everyday during his forced stay in Texas for the “SGN 35 Trial”” in Texas -bar 6.

I didn’t question at the time WHY I was with my son and not his “wife” I was just grateful I could be with him and take care of him- I didn’t question her “absence….. or the nagging thought

why does a woman who knows her husband is dying not want to spend whatever time she can with him?

counting days
I have plenty of time to add and subtract in my research and I came up with the fact although they dated – Angela Marie Lombardi was away at college, and then at medical school, it wasn’t an everyday romance– lives were being lived elsewhere hers and his. The high school relationship in the obituary (didn’t start til his senior year and yes there were other girls ( I have the homecoming and prom pictures). In fact, they broke up at one point during his college time and a girl named Kate was in the picture. The worst decision I now realize was the talking to my son about getting back together with Angela- how many times during this horror have I wished I hadn’t interfered. His story of the “cancer may not have changed BUT ours with this “family of misfortune” would not have happened.

I added up the days and added a few more just incase the fog of memory clouded the research and I may have missed a few.

The days with Angela totaled less than a thousand – Even Anne Boleyn had a thousand days but Anne Boleyn felt the sharp edge of the axe of a “ruling family” and we have felt the weight of the sharp edge of control of the Lombardi Clan.

thecontrollers-2
As for Angela’s family I never met them until Angela graduated for Lorain Catholic High School we went to her graduation- quite frankly I said to Chris – well they certainly are rude are you supposed to be dating her after all they never even said hello- I didn’t see them again for 2 years when Nikki got married and they were invited to the wedding ( Angela was a bridesmaid) and then we went to a couple of their “Christmas Eves”.

I don’t suppose in the total time Chris dated and was engaged to Angela we spent a full 24 hours ( combined) in conversation with these people. And yet, these same people took our son remains, our closure , and grace in his final days and any comfort our faith could give us . They took away with it my faith in people, in priests, in religion, in family in healing and

And now these many , many months later, the pain still writhes ,slithers and encircles and the property of control was divided as they carry on with their lives , their plans and new romances but humanity and the milk of human kindness remains lost among the perpetrators of self……….

You don’t need a bible, a priest or a social book to tell one what is right and kind unless you are amongst the hypocrites of self

January 27, 2014 at 8:47 pm 2 comments

Lorain-The Real Postcards of Willis Leiter

UPDATE:
Dan Brady ‘s Blog
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/2014/01/lorain-real-postcards-of-willis-leiter.html


As part of the celebration surrounding this book, my blog this week will focus entirely on Willis Leiter – his life, his work and even his former home on East Erie in Lorain. Plus, more about the book!

Click on images to enlarge:

Postcard  History  Series

Postcard History Series


The cover and back cover of the book depicting Lorain in its heyday
LorainBC

A new book about Lorain will be going on sale Monday January 27th 2014, published by Arcadia Publishing

Lorain: The Real Photo Postcards of Wilis Leiter, $21.99 will be available at local retailers, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at www. arcadiapublishing.com or (888) 313-2665. I believe locally you will be able to purchase the book through what was Black River Historical Society – now Lorain Historical Society-(440)245-2563 – they will also be holding a book signing in March

authors

This is a collaborative effort by authors Albert Doane, Bill Jackson Paula Shorf, Bruce Waterhouse Jr., and Mathew Weisman-

“Bill Jackson and Paula Shorf are longtime collectors of Leiter real photos postcards. They joined forces with Lorain historians Albert Doane, Mathew Weisman, and Bruce Leiter Waterhouse Jr. – a great-grandson of the photographer” …..

“Between the years of 1908-1915, Willis Leiter carefully composed and skillfully developed images of life in early Lorain. The authors explain ” This is Lorain in its heyday- business booming, citizens marching in parades, streetcars traveling up and down Broadway and Willis Leiter was there capturing it all through his photographs.

photo

ED NOTE:For those who “remember” and care for Lorain and her history or wish to get to know this old town, her people and places this is a terrific publication – 128 pages of a time gone by and yet still captured in the pages and in the hearts of the authors and hopefully the readers .

Ed: Note all information is derived from the publishers Arcadia Publishing and Mary Margaret Schley- Publishing Editor

January 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm 5 comments

Morning Journal- Lorain- Going going oops!

Out of time and no  light at the end of the "tower" Photo Lorain 365

Out of time and no light at the end of the “tower”
Photo Lorain 365

It is true! I have had an on again, off again, on again and now luke warm relationship with what used to be the “local newspaper” for Lorain – The Morning Journal . In fact, thanks to the now deceased editor, John Cole

http://web.archive.org/web/20070813211452/http://thewomblog.com/?p=881
I had a one woman boycott and before him under the publisher Kevin Haezebroeck of

” the “never argue with someone who buys his ink by the barrel full threat”

fame, I wrote the column:

Who is Watching the Watcher found here
Who is Watching the Watcher

……Who? I ask, stands up to the publications and say “NO! We will not be bullied”. Members of John Q. Public who quiver with fear at the thought of their company, political ambitions or organization being on the receiving end of a “nasty editorial”. Yes, it seems our local media has us by the throat, they will be fair and balanced when it suits them, they will as a recent quote in an editorial stated, “we will be watching”. The question begs to be asked, “Who then watches the watchers?” …..

Years came and went, another publisher (Jeff Sudbrook) and another editor ( Tom Skoch) took the helm – fences mended between them and I. BUT the bricks and mortar of this publication at 1657 Broadway also changed- slowly the creeping disease of “web publications” and lack of print sales , bankruptcies, reorganizations took its toll,
http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/07/alden-global-capital-drops-a-shoe-is-the-journal-register-acquisition-prelude-to-more-consolidation/

The acquisition may foreshadow additional moves by Alden, which is interested in two strategies to add value to its investments: (a) it wants its newspaper holdings to aggressively develop digital capabilities and revenues, and (b) it wants to see consolidation (mergers) among newspaper groups”

as well as downsizing, hiring of interns to “report” ( who had no clue as to this city and her “history – let alone the who is who ) did their time before moving on, moving the printing presses moved out of the building, leaving behind but an echo of the newspaper that was Lorain .

The building and the offices have become quiet and as sad as the aging newspapers stacked up along the walls in the last editor’s office. The smell of slow rot permeates the air. The parking lot now, with just a scattering of vehicles, gives one pause as to who will be the last to “turn off the lights” as far as Lorain is concerned.
mjwebsiteres

The Morning Journal has revamped its website to fulfill the directive “to aggressively develop digital capabilities and revenues“- it is in my humble opinion ( remembering I am a potential customer) atrocious, hard to navigate, and definitely not user-friendly and has very little Lorain news- probably because the demographics in this city do not lend themselves to people’s “purchasing power” therefore the covering of more affluent communities.

Oh yes! I know about websites and “hits and page views” and I know that clicking here and there and everywhere when trying to find the “news” sends electronic calculations as to page views / hits and visitors and the numbers game to tell advertisers of your successful website. ” no matter the continent or country.

the more images used in a page, the higher the hit count – so while hits may be a good indication of poor page design, they won’t tell you much about traffic. Hits are often knowingly quoted by website owners in order to impress potential customers, most of whom are likely to think hits equals visitors – wrong!An example: If we have a site averaging 500 ‘unique visits’ a day and each visitor views four pages which each consists of seven images and one HTML file (representing eight hits) you will have a site ‘claiming’ 112,000 Hits a week!

500 visitors x 4 page views x 8 files (hits) x 7 days = 112000 HITS

Armed with these facts you will, we hope, be able to make a more informed judgement about the services on offer and the claims made by potential suppliers

A page view is where the page itself is viewed by a visitor – this is the most important statistic to take note of when managing a website.

A hit refers to a ‘document hit’ – you get a ‘hit’ whenever a document in your website is loaded. This includes pages, but also any images and external files within those pages.

If a page on your site has two images on it, you’ll get 1 page view but 3 hits.

So unlike page views, hits are really meaningless and should be ignored for most purposes.

https://support.google.com/analytics/answer/1257084?hl=en

It is a numbers game and the “punter” ( we the people) are the numbers in the game. Newspapers/ media are dependent upon advertising for their bread and butter. It costs money to report the news and people will pay one way or another to access the media.

The MJ’s competition Chronicle Telegram requires click on answers to questions by Google to read on their website. of course we may not be “truthful” when answering those questions 😉 You don’t get the editorials or the letters to the editor on the Chronicle website but you can access the main news with an answer to some “marketing questions”.

csc
However, I have to say the Chronicle Telegram , has stepped up to the plate with their reporting and have in my opinion overtaken the Morning Journal in their “local news coverage”. Just as well as the Morning Journal Newspaper ( print edition) has become as thin as a street walkers foot wear .

I don’t have to buy it , I don’t even go to their frustrating website that often. So I was taken aback the other day when I was clicking around trying to find a specific article ( which I never did find) when this pops up.
MJ 5 articles
I immediately left the page with a “you got to be kidding”giggle at the screen.

shooting+yourself+in+the+foot

Then came the phone call Friday evening. A pleasant young man introduced himself as being with the Morning Journal. Since the turnover of “reporters”for the Morning Journal is quite frequent lately and I have been known to “give background information” etc. on certain articles they are trying to write, I waited to see what the chap wanted.

What he wanted was

” The publisher of the Morning Journal has invited you to read the Morning Journal- since we have expanded into Cuyahoga , Youngstown and Toledo we..

I stopped him right there- you see I started to laugh realizing it was not a personal invitation from the “publisher” – Oh! he said –

did I lose my voice or are you just having a good day.

I said

No! the print edition is not even thick enough for me to buy it to light my wood burning fire , most of the news is a day late and behind the Chronicle Telegram’s- more or less regurgitated after the fact- and sorry but your website sucks and if I wanted news from Toledo I would go the Toledo Blade website .

http://www.toledoblade.com/
The poor chap, he was at a loss for words- then recovering slightly informed me “

Yes! we are working on the website and going to the Toldeo Blade site won’t give you the whole of the news-

I started to feel sorry for him , obviously he was not a reporter but a telemarketer trying to get me to subscribe. So needing a bit of fun- after all HE CALLED ME AND INTRUDED ON ‘MY’ FRIDAY EVENING- I said:

Who is the publisher for the Morning Journal that wants to invite me ?

Telly the Telemarketer said:

Tom Skoch

Tom Skoch

The publisher is Jeff Sudbrook and the editor is Tom Skoch and they do a wonderful job

– Once again I set the poor chaps ears ringing with a loud guffaw –

I am sorry Tom Skoch has not been the editor for the past 6 months or so-

Tom Skoch retiring as editor of The Morning Journal on June 21
http://www.morningjournal.com/general-news/20130609/tom-skoch-retiring-as-editor-of-the-morning-journal-on-june-21

Well I am not sure that is true- I will have to check with my supervisor

– said a shocked Telly the Telemarketer

Oh it is true

says I –

maybe you should check with the Chronicle

– he didn’t find that as amusing as I did -so I said

call Rick Payerchin at the Morning journal Lorain beat – tell him you spoke with Loraine Ritchey – and told her the news that Tom Skoch is the editor and what a wonderful job he is doing

with that he said

” Thank you for supporting the Morning Journal”

Oh dear if I wasn’t laughing so hard I would have cried. How the 4th estate in Lorain has fallen………..

What a way to run a newspaper…………..

4th Estate:
“In current use the term is applied to the press, with the earliest use in this sense described by Thomas Carlyle in his book On Heroes and Hero Worship: “Burke said there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate more important far than they

NOW???? NOT SO MUCH IN LORAIN

January 19, 2014 at 1:44 pm 16 comments

Charleston Village Annual Report- People Power

cv BOT 1834

ED Note: As I wrote this report I realized it was truly down to the “people” who volunteer, take ownership in this community and the in kind donations which help us to continue to do what we do. There has been very little “cash” donated this year but still thanks to all the people who help this neighborhood with their expertise, talent and hardwork- it was a very successful year.

Village sketch 1891

Charleston Village Society Inc. Annual report for 2013
Submitted January 15th 2014

http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/

The in-kind donations continue to help us thrive and survive with all the projects we have taken on in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood. For every dollar in cash we receive three times the donations with in-kind support of materials labor and equipment. We could not attempt these projects or their upkeep without the partnerships and in kind donations.

We filed our IRS form for our non-profit for the year 2013 on January 14th 2014 and once again I am pleased to report we were accepted January 14th 2014

You can find a record of our projects and events here: https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/category/charleston-village/ as well as on our website, which continues to be hosted thanks to Emerge here: http://www.loraincounty.com/charlestonlorai/
As in previous years 100% of all money collected goes toward the project for which it is designated.

The majority of our projects are on city owned property or involve the City of Lorain and it is thanks to the partnership and involvement of the City of Lorain- the Administration, Lorain City Council members, heads of various departments such as the Utilities Dept., Property Maintenance, Lorain Police Dept. and Lorain Fire Dept. and Economic and Community Development Dept. we are able to have continued success.Cemetery  county  collage

Charleston Pioneer Cemetery:
Many thanks has to go to the continued efforts of our Chairperson Diane Medina for continuing to take care of the historical and physical wellbeing of the city owned oldest Lorain cemetery on 6th Street. Without Diane’s volunteers and her passion, this oldest cemetery would be non-existent. She has been the driving force once more re planting, clean-up and preserving the history and the headstones

captainmag
Settlers’ Watch:
We continued with Pride Day and many volunteers raked, mulched, planted, weeded and prepared the site for the summer. Lorain County Recycling and the Lorain County Commissioners delivered the matching bench for the area by the Children’s Garden. Since First Energy took down the rest of the power plant and the electrical towers the area has some beautiful views. I am pleased to say everyone has been very respectful of the carvings and the area. There are a great many visitors every day in the summer and fall enjoying the ambiance. With the addition of the recycled bench from Lorain County Recycling I am pleased to say everything at the SW site is NOW 100% from recycled items from mulch to hardscape!

However, we have had an issue with the Ship’s Captain. He attracts more than tourists. Unfortunately, he has become a stopping place for the seagulls and what they leave behind caused the sealant to be eaten away. He also was attacked by wood wasps and within a couple of months was being eaten from the inside out.

After much research we found a product that hopefully kills the fungus and the bacteria stabilizes and solidifies the decayed wood. Holes had to be drilled and the product poured into the Captain. The holes were then filled with corks. We are hoping that by the spring we will have a better idea if this has worked. The product has caused a reaction with the stain etc. used earlier and the Captain is now a dark mahogany. The product was very expensive but cheap at half the price if it works. We have been in contact with Bud Emerson, the artist and hopefully the Captain will be saved. Thanks has to go to Sherwin Williams who are donating the marine varnish for the spring sealing of the carvings.
bud4
The carvings, as we always knew would be the case, located on the tree lawn were carved from living trees but after 5 years the roots will rot. We have been lucky that we are now entering the 7th year. That being said this spring we will have to take the tree lawn carvings and put them on concrete and move them into designated places in Settlers Watch and through the Eric Barnes Heroes Walkway. As each carving is taken down it will be taken indoors, sanded, have any issues fixed and then sealed before being taken to its new designated position.

This will take some funding therefore we will have to start a donation campaign to cover expenses.

AK 2 without tower

The Admiral King Tribute Site

Pride Day found the Admiral walk to the flag pole decorated with marigolds and two more rose bushes were planted by Ariel Vazquez and his crew from the Lorain Utilities Dept. Lorain County recycling supplied us with a metal waste paper basket. New flags were purchased and batteries for the solar lights as well as min solar lights. The solar lights are not working as well as we would have hoped however, we do not have any electricity at the site, so they are our only option.

This is also a shame as we have had a donation from Councilman Dan Given of 6 decorative iron bollards with lighting capability which is going to add so much to the area. Our wish list- watering capability at the Admiral King Tribute Site and electricity.
The City of Lorain will be using the photo taken by Lisa Miller for the City of Lorain App

GE DIGITAL CAMERA
Eric Barnes Heroes Walk:
The 2nd phase of the walkway is underway. Ariel Vazquez and his crew prepared another area for the Marine Corps monument which will hopefully find its new home along the walkway this spring/summer. We have been very fortunate with the donations of plants and trees and shrubs which have also found homes along the pathway. Although some summer storms caused some damage to trees we were lucky in the fact no hardscape was destroyed.

We were able to use donated funds to add a 5 ft. military concrete statue representing the armed services to the walkway in time for Memorial Day. The Veterans Council also has donated flags for the pathway and as the flags get damaged we are able to replace them. This project is ongoing and a great deal of our funding for the project has gone on perennials and trees to landscape the walkway.

logo Chris Ritchey

logo Chris Ritchey


The Crime Watch Program
Participants, Block Captains continue to quietly look out for the neighborhood especially Veteran’s Park. We have had a number of issues with some noteworthy happenings both drugs and arson however I am pleased to say the Fire Dept. and the Lorain Police Dept. have handled the situations with professionalism and concern for this neighborhood.

veterans-planter-w-city-hall
Veterans Park
We are hoping to bring back the park once again. It has deteriorated sadly of late. We have met with the City of Lorain and Veterans Council in the hopes of finding a solution to the decay of Lorain’s oldest Park ( if not the county’s ) This historical green space needs , in our opinion, to be promoted not only as to its historical worth, the worth of a place of remembrance but also as place of reflection and an anchor to the business district.

Outreach and Promotions Committee:
Thanks to the members of this committee they promoted the organization at various events such as Lorain County Reads and Lorain County Preservation Exhibition and attended various meetings on behalf of CVSI.
2nd mock up cover
I am pleased to say we now have a “guided tour available within the “village” and a booklet focusing on the “history of this area.

Frank and Carolyn Sipkovsky, Renee Dore, Diane Medina and Dave Cotton have been working very diligently in promoting not only the history but the organization. Thanks also has to go to the committee for researching and decorating the “Lilac City of Lorain” Christmas tree at the International Festival of Trees this past Christmas Season

Lorain 365

Lorain 365

CHARLESTON VILLAGE SOC. End of year financial report 2013

CHARLESTON VILLAGE SOC. Accounting 2013

Main Account:

Starting Balance carry-over 2012 = $9.00
Donations 2013 =$129.59
Expenses 2013 = $37..49
Ending Balance= $101.10

Cemetery Fund

Starting balance carry-over from 2012=$104.27
Donations 2013 = 0
Expenses 2013= $88.30
ENDING BALANCE 2012 = $15.97

Raffle Account for sealers

Starting balance carry -over from 2012= $219.55
Donations 2013 = 0
Expenses 2013 = $176.20 (stabilizers and sealers for Captain)
Ending Balance 2013 = $43.35

Settlers’ Watch

Starting balance 2013 = $112.74
Donations 2013= $200.00
Expenses 2013= $292.98
Ending Balance 2013= $19.76

Admiral King Tribute Site
Starting Balance 2013= 43.56
Donations 2013= $25.00
Expenses 2013- 0
Ending Balance= $68.48

Eric Barnes Heroes-Walk-
Starting Balance 2013= $2,153.19
Donations= $25.00
Expenses 2013= $1,730.20
Ending Balance 2013= 447.99

As you can see donations of cash were very sparing in 2013 BUT we fulfilled all obligations and moved in a positive direction thanks to the many “IN KIND “ Donations and also the volunteers who worked so hard giving freely of their labor and expertise. It is obvious we are going to have to have a fundraising effort of some sort to continue with the maintenance and perpetuation of those projects

Respectfully submitted January 15 2014 by Co- Chair CVSI Loraine Ritchey

January 15, 2014 at 4:37 pm 7 comments

A Lesson in Lilacs- Lilacs Past- Crumbling Concrete- Lorain

memory oflilacs
We have all heard reasons and excuses for the decline of parks and beautification efforts in Lorain.

Oh! loss of industry , poor economic times.

The City of Lilacs – garden clubs and hoopla post World War One. Then the rebirth in the 30’s 40’s and so on and so forth bringing us to the 1980’s

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/lilacs-of-lorain-and-now-roses-part-6/

PD opening

Monies being thrown at Lorain’s oldest park – founding greenspace- that tore out the Lilacs to put in the concrete bunker amphitheater in the 1980’s and three years after spending the equivalent of 1.5 million in today’s money the recipients of that money threw up their arms and walked away.

The park has been left in shambles and decay- far from the beauty and ambiance envisioned by Lorain’s founding fathers as they platted this town from its corner
.https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/veterans-memorial-park-thanks-for-the-memories/
1834-mouth_of_black_river-lorain

Well poor economic times etc etc. there are always the excuses and apparently when times are “good” that too was the problem in Lorain . June 10th -1960 an editorial from the Lorain Journal throws a different spin on WHY things have gone beautifully bad in Lorain-

forgotten Lilacs

I seems that in 1960, at least, LORAIN’S SUCCESS was the culprit

growthblightsuccess

Whether the spin is lack of success , growth and poor economic times or the fact Lorain was too successful it seems there are always excuses as the why Lorain lacks the beauty so many had envisioned , fought for and “tried to bring” to her streets.

We are left with the fact that it is just not that important, apparently, to the citizens and various administrations throughout the over 200 year history of Lorain in times of bad or in times of good . It seems the lack thereof of beauty and pride has made good copy for editors through the years but that is about all that has come from their words, a rally round the ideas and then PHUTT!!!

Nothing but a place for deadbeats and bums!” “ It has outlived its purpose” There is nothing historical about that park!” The city can’t afford to keep it up” It is a “piss park!!Nobody uses it, it is worthless!

So said John Cole and his editorials


and yet another time another editor

Aug 22 1930 first ed

Beauty certainly is in the eye of the beholder.
VP11 light post 1

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And 54 years after the 1960 editorial? It seems to me the last thoughts of that editor back in 1960 still hold true today

lilaclast word

and definitely one that outlasts administrations and editors.

You can see the whole editorial here ( click on jpg to enlarge) and once again thanks has to go to Dan Brady for the research
http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/

June 10 1960 Lilacsres

January 7, 2014 at 6:56 pm 15 comments

Jan. 3rd- The Three- Chris Ritchey

chrnikhap

I was sure I would be receiving a bill from the hotel that year. Nikki had just come back from her honeymoon- Tony had flown over from London for her wedding gone back and then returned again to spend New Years. hottbres

It was a strange New Year’s Eve that year. Nikki had left this house for her new home – she had been here for all her life until the night before her wedding . That Christmas marked the first of the many changes. You and Tony made your way to Kennedy’s and apparently you felt badly your dad and I were by ourselves, so you brought back half the bar with you( complete strangers) so we wouldn’t be alone. I was not sure I fully appreciated that particular gesture 😉

nikski
January Third– and on a whim Nikki , Tony and you decided to go skiing for a couple of days. I watched as the three of you drove off laughing and waving, I knew then , even though Nikki was now married , you and she would continue to be close and be best friends. I was happy in the knowledge that you would always have each other and no one would come between you. I didn’t figure on cancer and cruelty ……

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/a-letter-a-legacy-nikki-to-chris-ritchey-sister-to-brother/

I didn’t know what transpired on that trip, there was much giggling and knowing looks passed between the three of you on your return but I was a little worried when Tony said :

if there are any damages just let me know I will cover them…..

I never received any bills but during the course of the months after you died and going through your portfolio I came across a box ( yes another box)
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/boxes-little-boxes-outside-the-box/

filled with photos that obviously held a special place in your heart – and there you three were – once again with your sister and the closest person you had to a big brother……….

crbed 003
The photos told the tale a Murphy bed -the entertainment

nikbed
crbed 001
crbed 004

I saw once again the laughter in your eyes when you were “up to something”

crbed 002and could it be to win a bet crbed

that caused you to take a “run ” in the snow that night…

chrsnow

The photos made me laugh and broke my heart at the same time. Oh ! how I wish this January 3rd was as full of laughter and life.
I will think of you running in the snow , laughing and loving your life , your sister, your true friends and “daring” thanks to another little box of mementos of moments I know were very special to you and are precious to me…….

January 3, 2014 at 12:40 pm 6 comments


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