Archive for November, 2014

Thanksgiving USA- celebrations – one breath at a time – Chris Ritchey

Yes! there is a turkey in the oven this morning – Queen Anne potatoes and roasted veggies getting prepared to take the journey to Nikki’s. There will be smiles and little boys getting into mischief helping
Family will gather and some of us will push away the memories of the last Thanksgiving Day when we “were a family complete” in order to make happy memories for children and realtives.

The tears will be held in check as best as able with a helping hand from those loved beyond all tears- they are my life support . I know I am not alone on this day , there are other mothers and fathers , sisters and brothers who are being brave this day and remembering and missing silently with controlled breathing –
chrisbrowns

Thanksgiving Day I sat all alone in a waiting room, hustled out of the ICU room as my son, with tears slowly filling his eyes dropping silently on his cheek, was being prepared for the vent as he had started choking on the sip of water I had given him.

I heard the last words he ever spoke that Thanksgiving Day. I waited in the ICU waiting room as Code Blue was called , the technicians coming out high fiving as they had completed the procedure in record time – celebrating their own kind of “touchdown”. Did they not realize they broke my heart…. and then a young doctor coming out to me asking if I wanted Clergy as my son was dying. That was our last Thanksgiving Chris. There was no one there in that waiting room- I was alone, totally in another world , reality crashing forth into my brain my heart not accepting….,
my mind whirling with wanting to stop time , to find a way to wake from an nightmare.

The Cretans of Control ( Lombardi and co)
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/11/23/thanksgiving-2011-a-time-not-to-remember-chris-ritchey/
showing up later with their nut rolls and recipe swap – I couldn’t grasp what was happening , who were these people invading my terror with their leftovers? –

The missing is monumental…. it is taking all I have to keep breathing.

So I am thankful this year for my own special life support, Nikki, Jim, my husband, Nana my wonderful friends, cousins and especially those two little boys Gavin and Braedyn, who make me smile when I struggle to breathe .

IMG_0022

November 27, 2014 at 4:46 pm 1 comment

Mayor George Wickens- Reputation sullied- Lorain

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Part Two https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/mayor-george-wickens-yellowing-journalism-lorain/
newspaper-clip-art-monkey-news-hi It has seemingly become increasingly difficult for those of us in the general popuation to trust those in public office and especially the 4th establishment – the slanted prime talking heads news and so called editors. Editorials that can sway the local populace thinking because editors, especially, are thought to be “above” agendas, educated intelligent, and respected in their position of “power of the press”. They can and do hold sway over the thinking of a community. In this local community , our local paper- Morning Journal– has, on occasion, used that power if not always wisely – too well.

They, tend to denigrate the naysayers in this community on more than one occasion in which I have personally been involved . Morning Journal Editor- John Cole- now deceased ( who named this blog – due to his insistence of calling me “that woman” when we came out against the building of condos that he, Foltin, Prudoff and Veard wanted in Lorains historic greenspace.

The new editor Daryl Tucker of the Morning Journal once again, in relationship to a piece of legislation coming before a council committee tomorrow night, has his “naysay say” editorial …..( I won’t link to the editorial you can find it.)

“However, since the legislation was published Nov. 13, we have heard — and Fowler — rumors from naysayers and those who are stuck in the past that the administration will allow strip clubs downtown
Morning Journal

Oh those terrible naysayers !!!!!!! Also known as those that might have a differing opinion, denigrated to “historically past thinking”.

( Sorry DT so-called forward thinking hasn’t gotten us anything downtown but 60 percent empty dilapidated buildings.
http://www.newsnet5.com/news/local-news/oh-lorain/60-percent-of-downtown-loran-empty-hopes-of-rezoning-as-entertainment-district-to-breath-new-life

Maybe a look into the past where a community sprang from 40 acres, rebuilt itself after a tornado and try to tap into that “ownership of Lorain” might be worth that look. And remembering the “past” may have stopped the local newly built school facing the difficulties they are experiencing today yup – the past will come back to bite you!
http://chronicle.northcoastnow.com/2014/11/06/lorain-school-gas-leaks-source-found/
However, I digress. I seem to remember, the previous editor but one, John Cole and “naysayers” and that self-same paper ( “historically the great, great-grandchild of the Evening Herald) which pilloried poor old George Wickens. The offspring paper of that paper Morning Journal and editor John Cole being used by Mayor Foltin– being used to Squash the naysayers ! a devious plot indeed!

foltin

John Cole, longtime editor of the local newspaper.
“I feel he should be briefed early (even in the next week or two) with the understanding that we are in very early stages and he will be the first to know if anything happens and when it becomes public,” Foltin wrote Oct. 11 in an e-mail to Casey. “He can personally squash any naysaying and ensure broad community support.”
March 6 2005 Cleveland Plain Dealer

Full article found here
Foltin Cole and Casino

Oh yes the media once again labelling those who dare have an opinion and listening to rumor and innuendo and of course using the “power of the press”

Historically not much has changed since George’s Day in Lorain. He too had his reputation sullied in the press of Lorain . And I will put up once again in fairness his denial since he is now “history”

wickens rebuttal

Apparently one of the cases coming before the newly sworn in Mayor on his docket ( which was taken care of by Miss Pershing ) was of a young girl who had gone deeply into sin and Mayor Wickens claiming as Miss Pershing was no spring chicken” to take on some missionary work for the girl.

*** It looks like the girl in question was Lorain’s version of a prostitute


The docket was in all likelihood a description of what had occurred with the young woman’s “criminal offence”

As Mayor Wickens signed the completed Docket he looked up at Miss Pershing and stated:

“Mida, do you know that such things were more free, society would be in a better condition than it is today”

Miss Pershing expressed surprise at this and the Mayor said

“Well it is a fact”

The next day he spoke of the girl again , saying she got a quarter for staying all night with that man, and said

“half of the church people and preachers are doing the same thing, and they take it that if God justified Abraham , they have the same right……

And this is where George got tangled in the “sexual harassment and obscenity” of the day………

To be continued

November 23, 2014 at 7:15 pm 9 comments

Mayor George Wickens- Yellow(ing) Journalism- Lorain

Part One https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/mayor-george-wickens-buried-on-the-back-pages-lorain/

Geo Wickens 1898

Geo Wickens 1898

Thanks to Paula Shorf a younger image of George Wickens 1898
According to the “History of the First Methodist Church” Geo Wickens – History of The First Methodist Church 1856-1956, lorain

he had fiery red hair, long red moustache, bushy brows and an infectious grin indicated that things had to move fast when he took charge……..

George Wickens became Mayor when he was 42 -April 1894 and was immediately caught up in scandal.

“The Mayor’s Trouble” Within the past 24 hours a matter involving the good name of the Mayor of Lorain has arisen which the public will learn of with feelings of the keenest regret and deepest humiliation” Evening Herald June 1894

Charges against Mayor Wickens ” were the most serious that could be made” causing him in fact due to the charges against the Mayor caused him to have to withdraw from the church and the Rev. J.F. Smith has informed him [Wickens] that his services as Superintendent of the Methodist Sunday School will be no longer permitted

Whatever did George do- murder?? rape? incest? blackmail to be “thus pilloried without a trial”. The newspaper Evening Herald calling for him to be disgraced and his behavior disgusting or is this the politics of the day a Republican and Democrat go around in 1894.

Now George Wickens admits to being indiscreet but that the woman in question [Mida Pershing] magnified the “troubles” “the so-called scandalous story”

It seems, according to the report of the day, George Wickens hired a Miss Mida Pershing as a bookeeper for his business.[Wickens and Wilkins]- she stated that her duties were to take of the books and the Mayor’s docket.

Within a few weeks Mida resigned her position. and what followed according to the Evening Herald

it soon became whispered about there was a scandalous story to tell. It was related at first to a very few confidential friends, but soon spread , as was to be expected, like fire to an oil refinery……..

 "The Evil Spirts of the Modern Day Press". Puck US magazine 1888; Nasty little printer's devils spew forth from the Hoe press in this Puck cartoon of Nov. 21, 1888.


“The Evil Spirts of the Modern Day Press”. Puck US magazine 1888; Nasty little printer’s devils spew forth from the Hoe press in this Puck cartoon of Nov. 21, 1888.

…..”interest in the scandalous story of the alleged improper conduct of Mayor Wickens toward Miss Mida Pershing, his bookkeeper, grows rather than diminishes with each succeeding day. Monday am at about 10 o’clock Mayor Wickens was formally charged under arrest on the charges od using obscene language in the presence of a female and of committing an assault.

When you read the full report by the Evening Herald , the article tries to set the tone of unbiased reporting, talking of letting the people make up their own minds whilst gleefully latching on and using the inflammatory language of the time to “sway public opinion whilst seeming “reporting the news even with the lead in

“The Evening Herald refers to the subject with the greatest reluctance but it seems best to state the facts and allow the people to form their own conclusions”

Ah seems history continues to repeat itself…………

https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/03/17/hear-ye-hear-ye-all-rise-the-right-hon-public-opinion-presiding/
To Be Continued………..

November 18, 2014 at 2:23 pm 3 comments

Mayor George Wickens- buried on the back pages- Lorain

George Wickens

George Wickens

When I wrote about “Veterans Park” and its over 200-year-old history as the first public square of the little settlement on the Black River and the birthplace of what became Lorain, I touched upon an Englishman- George Wickens . George Wickens , Lorain businessman, a man held in high esteem and the namesake of Wickens’ Place the little lane that runs parallel to what is now Veterans Park.
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/07/25/veterans-memorial-park-the-englishman-commeth/
In that post you will find links to a series on George Wickens by Dan Brady of Brady’s Bunch of Lorain County Nostalgia http://danielebrady.blogspot.com/search?q=Wickens. The obituarys in the newspaper reports of the time extolls the leadership, the abilities and much-loved regard for this native son of England who made Lorain his home.

Mr. Wickens, whose death(19th March 1908) came as a great shock, was one of Lorain’s most highly respected and prominent men and his demise is mourned by all. In his death the city loses a man who took a great interest in all things pertaining to the welfare of the city and her citizens and whose place Lorain will be unable to fill.

Elyria Chronicle March 19th 1908 courtesy  of Dan Brady

Elyria Chronicle March 19th 1908 courtesy of Dan Brady

His funeral was almost one of “state” for that time.

I had a soft spot for George, I had written a short story based upon the drawing of his son George
CVSI_sketch

and the fact like Captain Thomas Wilford
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2008/02/12/capt-wilford-a-hero-of-the-inland-seas/
and myself, we were transplants from England who ended up here on the shores of Lake Erie. Coupled with the fact, although generations apart, we trod the same streets, saw the same homes ( well most of them) in this Lorain’s oldest neighborhood.

Gillmore Home, Wickens Home, Captain Wilford's home

Gillmore Home, Wickens Home, Captain Wilford’s home

Yes! George was by all accounts beloved, admired and a shining example to his community. So it came as a bit of a shock when looking through the artifacts from Peggy Gillmore
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/04/28/history-mystery-lives-of-lorain-gillmore/
I found a crumbling yellow newspaper article- The Evening Herald June 16th 1894. Titled:
DOUBT IN THE MINDS OF THE PEOPLE OF LORAIN AS TO THE CHARACTER OF THEIR MAYOR. the almost full page article continued to list the “shame and the accusations”
I was fascinated by the article as to the thinking and what was acceptable at the time and a few quotes from George that made me chuckle and remember the English aren’t exactly without a sense of humour. I believe this “case of a woman’s accusation” and indeed one other accusation where he was publicly vilified in the press- having experienced that myself on occasion 😉 needed to be explored further. ( Republicans and Democrats having at it in 1894 )

My problem was trying to find the outcome of the cases pending against George. Thanks to Paula Shorf and with special appreciation to Dan Brady it has taken many weeks but I am able to say George came out of both his reputation intact, although his regard for others substantially damaged ( as well as the politics of the day). But as always with these things just a paragraph buried in the back told the rest of the tale. So before giving “airing” to his supposed actions I will quote George from the article itself
Note George Wickens became Mayor of Lorain in April 1894 , just two months prior to the scandal!

” A statement from the Mayor”
Lorain, O., June 16th 1894
To The Evening Herald
Inasmuch as you have printed certain rumours affecting my character as a man and as a citizen, I ask the privilege of saying to the public through your columns, that, while I am not informed as to the specifications of such charges, I deny generally and specifically each and every one of them, reflecting in the least degree upon my character as a citizen, and honour as a man, and ask the public to withhold judgement until the truth shall be known.
Yours Respectfully Geo. Wickens

My respect for George has risen two-fold – one he had the courage to take on the media of this town – maybe that is also an English trait 😉
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/veterans-memorial-park-fini/
Title: The Evening herald. : (Lorain, Ohio) 1894-1901 Place of publication:Lorain, OhioGeographic coverage:Lorain, Lorain, Ohio | View more titles from this: City County, State
Publisher:Frederick A. RowleyDates of publication:1894-1901Description:Vol. 1, no. 1 (May 22, 1894)-v. 7, no. 287 (May 4, 1901).
Frequency:Daily (except Sun.) Language:English
Notes:”Republican.”
Editors: Rowley & I.H. Griswold, 1895-1899.
LCCN:sn 84028328OCLC:10922716 Succeeding Titles:The Lorain times-herald. (Lorain, Ohio) 1901-1932

and then the Lorain Times became the Lorain Journal and The Journal and then the Morning Journal..
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/morning-journal-lorain-going-going-oops/
thatwoman

Oh! for goodness sakes looks like over a hundred year later George and I fought for the same park, the same neighborhood and took on the same “newspaper” – How is that for history repeating itself- “an Englishman cometh indeed!

Two – He also it seems had similar penchant for run on sentences ( guilty as charged!)

Yellowing Journalism
wickens rebuttal

To Be Continued ……

November 12, 2014 at 2:09 pm 5 comments

Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red- Remember

Photo Rosie Hannon UK

Photo Rosie Hannon UK

Tower of London Poppies
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-29965477

Scarlet corn poppies (popaver rhoeas) grow naturally in conditions of disturbed earth throughout Western Europe. The destruction brought by the Napoleonic wars of the early 19th Century transformed bare land into fields of blood red poppies, growing around the bodies of the fallen soldiers.

In late 1914, the fields of Northern France and Flanders were once again ripped open as World War One raged through Europe’s heart. Once the conflict was over the poppy was one of the only plants to grow on the otherwise barren battlefields.http://www.bbc.co.uk/remembrance/how/poppy.shtml

For the past months a huge army of volunteers planted ceramic poppies around the Tower of London. Created by ceramic artist Paul Cummins, with setting by stage designer Tom Piper, 888,246 ceramic poppies progressively fill the Tower’s famous moat.

logo-tolr-medium
You may read more about the installation here
http://poppies.hrp.org.uk/

Every evening the “Last Post” was played. Americans have not embraced the poppy here in the USA. The poppy may not have been recognized with its significance but the “Last Post” has certainly made an impact and is played reverently throughout the nations. Armistice Day 11-11-11 was the thought of King George the V. Exactly a year after the guns of World War 1 fell silent 1919 he prounounced:
Geoge the 5th

I believe,’ he had announced, ‘that my people in every part of the Empire fervently wish to perpetuate the memory of the Great Deliverance, and those who laid down their lives to achieve it.

He suggested that ‘at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, there may be, for the brief space of two minutes, a complete suspension of all our normal activities’.

The parade ended with a bagpipe lament and the playing of the Last Post on a solo bugle. The use of the humble, functional bugle — rather than a cavalry call proclaimed with ceremonial splendour by state trumpeters — was a poignant, heartrending lament for the hundreds of thousands of ordinary husbands, sons and fathers for whom the nation grieved.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2824621/How-people-power-created-Remembrance-Day-millions-flock-Tower-poppies-remarkable-story-ordinary-Britons-won-right-honour-fallen.html

Royal Marine Playing The Last Post in Afghanistan MOD-
last post

During World War I the Last Post took on a new significance, with a bugler standing over every grave and playing the haunting melody at the start and end of each day

Although the origins of its haunting melody are unknown, the Last Post had been used since the beginning of the 18th century in Army camps to mark the ending of the day and the sealing of perimeter fences. In hostelries and brothels, it was sounded to alert Army personnel that they should return to their headquarters.

During the previous 50 years or so, however — and particularly during World War I — the tune had taken on a new significance. No longer just a military signal, it had become a powerful symbol for the ending of a life, rather than the literal close of a day.

During the Battle of the Somme, a tradition arose that the dead were buried at the beginning and end of each day. Morning and evening, a bugler would stand over every grave, playing the Last Post……….
………..That first Armistice Day commemoration in 1919 would complete the melody’s transformation from practical signal into the unique, almost sacred, symbol it has become for both army personnel and civilians today.
(Daily Mail)

On November the 11th here in the USA Veterans Posts and organizations will be honouring the fallen for all the wars, the Last Post will be played , eyes will fill with tears and honor will be given to those who have died and given young lives for us, including the young unknown soldier from World War One who wrote the poem before he went over the top ( of the trenches)into ” no mans land “.

over the op

and whose words now touch millions 100 years later:
Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red
By Anon – Unknown Soldier

The blood swept lands and seas of red,
Where angels dare to tread.
As I put my hand to reach,
As God cried a tear of pain as the angels fell,
Again and again.
As the tears of mine fell to the ground,
To sleep with the flowers of red,
As any be dead.
My children see and work through fields
of my own with corn and wheat,
Blessed by love so far from pain of my resting
Fields so far from my love.
It be time to put my hand up and end this pain
Of living hell, to see the people around me
Fall someone angel as the mist falls around,
And the rain so thick with black
thunder I hear
Over the clouds, to sleep forever and kiss
The flower of my people gone before time
To sleep and cry no more.
I put my hand up and see the land of red,
This is my time to go over,
I may not come back So sleep, kiss the boys for me.

.

November 9, 2014 at 4:59 pm 2 comments

Nov. 3rd- the days of dark- Chris Ritchey

crop2chris

“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”― William Shakespeare

The dark days of November, I have lived these months of dying over and over again. I am ripped to my very soul- a soul that is scarred and cannot heal. Like every mother who has lost, I still search for the reasons- why? Knowing full well there is no logic, bar the one, your body could not fight the insidious obscenity of the cancer that invaded your being. You fought with every last breath and I fight every moment this overwhelming place I am left with called life.

There are moments of color that break through, love for what is left of my family, a child’s smile, laughter, innocence and anger bring some respite through the grey world of this grief.

Color Wash by  Chris Ritchey

Color Wash by Chris Ritchey

I found a small watercolor, among others – probably the experiment in color wash for some assignment at CIA. I look at the piece and saw the greens of hope – washed- tinged with darkness of grey, the splash of a muted red – the passion tempered with black- and then just faintly in the wash of white purity – a semblence of a face, just out of reach – a face and wish for which I search the heavens.

The dying days are the hardest because they remind me of the hope and laughter, your life lost. I am awash with grey ……….

Chris Ritchey  BFA- CIA

Chris Ritchey BFA- CIA

November 3, 2014 at 1:42 pm Leave a comment


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