Posts filed under ‘Lorain Dude’
The Tornado of Lorain
took down homes, and with it lives as well as beauty . The people living in Lorain in the early 1900’s cared- they cared about quality of life of beautification, they were proud of their homes , we don’t see a lot of that in Lorain’s old neighborhoods nowadays.
Admiral King Home back in the day-
The Gillmore’s https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/03/20/general-gillmore-a-portrait-of-a-man-a-home-at-last/
at the end of my street, their home, now well over 100 years old , planted a tree . That particular tree grew through the decades, spared by the tornado, but age took its toll just as it does with all of us. The tree became a hazard and one day after a particularly bad storm in the early 2000 ‘s the tree fell across Oberlin avenue. Peggy Gillmore, was extremely upset about the loss of that tree planted by members of her family long passed.
When the little park at the end of the street, now known as Veterans Park
was cleaned after the tornado. The community planted trees to once again add ambiance and to honor those lives lost in the tornado.
On the right side of my property ( next door) to the west was a huge Maple tree- actually tied with iron rods at some time in its history)You can see it in the photo from the Lorain County Auditors site –
I believe that tree must have been young at the time of the tornado. The circumference of the trunk took up over a third of the small back yard- 33 feet . The property to the east side of my own 33 foot lot stood another very large maple – not as big as the one to the west – but gigantic in its own way.
This tree was probably planted after the tornado or perhaps grew from one of the maple seeds. Nevertheless , I could literally see it up close and personal from my den window, as it stood no more than 8 foot away. There have been times as I have watched “life ” in that tree. It hid a lot of “less than pleasant” sights through the decades as the properties on that lot and the one next to it deteriorated.”
Finally , the very large “pre tornado” tree to the right gave up and split where the crown met the trunk – sent one third of its branches crashing down.
This one “branch”- bigger than most trees- fell across our property and landing with a bang onto the house next door, which was luckily vacant and abandoned . The huge maple, on the lot to the east , just feet away from my home took the force and redirected the fallen limb away from my home leaving the tree damaged and lopsided.
That was January 2008–
A great deal has happened since then, not of all of it good. We put up with a lot of issues from the lot next door. The little historic house was killed by “pimping landlords” https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/for-rent-one-city-who-dictates-the-health-of-your-neighborhood/ who saw that little house as only a way to make money for the least possible outlay –
and the tree from two doors down finished the job. The house, after a few years, was finally torn down. A sigh of relief , no more vagrants and critters of the 4 and two legged kind hiding out.
Then it began -the parking lot from hell- lack of respect for another’s property- dump trucks, overflow parking and then the shortcut route from the alley to 4th- a cut through for traffic.
How many times did I watch the lot become a road way ( even as recently as last week) ? Luckily , the Maple tree, dangerous as it was, as it too suffered over the years, was large enough to stop two-way traffic and large vehicles from making it an even more convenient roadway.
That did mean however the reversing into the alley by the dump trucks etc. We would be woken by the sound of backing up construction vehicles – no bird song here. NOTE: it seems to me if you are running a business from a residence then you should have legal parking for your construction vehicles .This block is R 3.
Fortunately we were , at last , able to purchase the lot. This meant the tree which I had complained about to the powers that be and insurance company as a hazard had to come down.
The view from the window has changed – the Maple tree , by the very size of its trunk blocked a less than perfect view. I will have to do some creative landscaping so I see green once more and appease the birds and squirrels who are definitely NOT happy with the humans here on 4th!
I am extremely happy with the difficult job Tree Pro of Lorain ( 440-288-tree) did in taking down the tree. I would recommend them highly and you know readers coming from me that is not given lightly!
Nog, ( that is me) why don’t you have a Christmas tree?
Oh their great- grandmother still has Christmas in her little lounge full of dancing Santa Clauses .
This fact not lost on them as they decorate it for her every year!
No ! I visit Christmas at my daughter and son- in- law’s. I enjoy their wonderful tree, the laughter of children and family, all the lovely food , but I can leave Christmas when it all becomes too much.
Since the dreadful December when my son died , there hasn’t been any Christmas lights adorning the house, not even a hat tip to the season. However, anger stirred me this year. Almost every post on facebook,the posturing, the Christmas wars , the share if you believe groups, the anti this religion , the anti that in politics , the media , every holier than thou my religion is better than the other’s religion , the tirade and yes the killings against those that do not share a belief ( all in the name of “human – KIND” and whose god is on whose side) really, as the saying goes It got right up my nose …. talk about “lack of ” goodwill toward men –
I decided to decorate for the Winter Solstice and add another “holiday” to the bunch. , why not part of my ancient heritage and my own way of making a stand against hypocrisy . It took no more than an hour to gather the materials from the tree branches, the holly and the ivy found around the garden – heck there was even a version of a jolly old elf for the wreath on the front door .
My mother, at first was pleased –
“Has my daughter finally got the Christmas spirit once more- you so loved Christmas , Loraine?”
was horrified when I said
No! I decided to celebrate a pagan holiday of the Winter Solstice outside.
Realizing I was having a sarcastic pop of my own at the holier than thous with the decorations she said:
Oh Loraine , you can’t do that what will the neighbors think?
They won’t even notice mum, because every single thing used ( including a jolly old elf) is used in today’s Christmas celebrations
However, when a little six-year-old asked why I didn’t have a tree, I told him my Christmas story :
How every year his Uncle Chris would insist on a real tree and he and I and sometimes mummy would go and have some lunch and pick out the real tree, drag it home needles falling everywhere , the grumbling from Pooh Bah! The decorating with all the ornaments that were special to his mummy and Uncle Chris.
And NOW it makes me sad to hang all the ornaments that were from happy times on the tree. Instead, I had given all those ornaments from Christmas past so he and Braedyn could hang them on their tree, which makes me happy. I told him it is time for his mummy and daddy, Braedyn and himself to make their own Christmas traditions.
I will come and visit Christmas at their house. This seemed to satisfy him until
Oh Nog! if you don’t have a tree do you put up stockings?
No! I said ,
Oh! then Santa won’t come and you won’t get any presents.
And as I looked at his little concerned face I said
He, Braedyn and his mum were the best presents ever!
2002- You had just completed the 1st year of foundation courses at Cleveland Institute of Art. That Summer- a time of excitement in this family – getting ready for Nikki’s Christmas wedding. Once again I volunteered you for one of my community projects – your words still ring in my memory.
-” Mum if I was a mechanic would you volunteer me- Yes, I replied if you were a good mechanic”
MainstreetLorain( Now Lorain Growth Corp) had purchased a shed- it was going to sit on the ‘ mile long pier” welcoming the boaters, tourists and fisher folk, to be filled with welcoming information of what to do and where to do it in Lorain. John Houser, the MainstreetLorain Director, wanted a mural on both sides of he shed so it could be seen coming and going and a “free hand cursive “Welcome” .
Oh how you grumbled and I believe swore more than once at me – the surface was rough, hard to paint, there were grooves galore the heat didn’t help , the conditions lacking .
Mum this isn’t easy to paint this thing- why don’t you just stain it and put up a sign , I am sure there are plenty of photos of the lighthouse”
and so it went our back and forth.
The “Lighthouse Shed” eventually moved from the mile long pier to Black River Landing – It had weathered and a window added
The shed sat there season after season , becoming even more weathered and worn
but you weren’t interested when I would send them to you –
” Not my best work mum!- I don’t know why I let you talk me into doing these things for you”
The shed faded from memory, especially when we received the dreaded “cancer” news.
It was just a few weeks after your death- I didn’t go anywhere , withdrew from the world, the grief too much to deal with , let alone meet up with “people”. However , I was expressly asked by a dear friend to attend a meeting at the Port Authority. I sat in back of the meeting looking everywhere but at those faces- so full of compassion for me- I dare not meet their eyes….. and there my gaze fell, as I looked out the window, on that damned shed – still there! The snow circled danced with her partner, the all prevailing wind,blurring the little painted lighthouse, and yet bringing those summer days to the fore.
– how is it possible ?I thought – the shed still there facing the elements but you – you were gone. Why???
I fled the meeting in tears , hopefully without causing alarm to others knowing I would not find any answer.
I stayed away – from festivals- from life and the shed went back into memory. Then, once more I had to attend an event at the “landings”. The poor old shed looked worn and dull but Gavin and Braedyn were impressed when they saw the lighthouse was painted by Uncle Chris. And so another opportunity for you to become tangible in their little lives, to share another story of Chris told to little bright faces. .
Two years later a phone call-
Would Charleston Village Society like the donation of the “Lighthouse Shed ” for Settler’s Watch- great for keeping stuff in it?
I said yes, knowing I couldn’t bear to think of it ending up on a dump somewhere . And so the shed arrived to be placed behind the grapevines- my romantic notion – from a distance and if you squint your eyes this old weather-beaten shed looked eerily like an old settler’s cabin.
The shed certainly doesn’t look out-of-place. BUT the murals , well the rocks and lake were gone on the one side, the seagulls had lost their wings and the lighthouse itself faded into a mere shadow of itself all details gone -just an outline of what was once. –.
I knew I could call upon artists I know to redo the murals but I just couldn’t do that- I couldn’t bear your work and those memories to be painted over by anyone else. I had to do it but as my old art teacher informed me time and time again in school –
“Loraine you couldn’t even draw unemployment”
I decided I would “paint” not by numbers but by colours – fill in the lines, do what I could with your work to guide me . How bloody hard was that?
Tears streaming down my cheeks, blotting out the picture before me, trying to hold back the sobs that wanted to escape the confines of my heart. The wood had become even rougher in those 13 years of seasons, I would apply the paint only to have only half of each stroke adhere. I cursed the surface wondering if you were laughing at getting your own back. It took many mornings – it wasn’t the heat or the job itself which took so long it was the dealing with the raw emotions that attacked me as I worked. I could only stand up to that emotional maelstrom for so long.
Then came the bigger problem- the lake and rocks which had disappeared totally from the one side. How the hell was I going to paint rocks, waves , spray and the changing colours of the lake? I am not an artist, as I said . I went to the internet, pulled up “how to paint rocks and water”. I took a deep breath and began terrified I would mess the whole thing up. It doesn’t look too bad although I am sure you would be shaking your head at my endeavours .
The shed had turned for the most part a deep grey, rather than trying to power wash and bring it back we have decided to stain. And so two little boys were drafted to help stain “Uncle Chris’ Lighthouse Shed”
It became a “family affair” with your dad staining the “higher up” sections.
We ran out of paint- the old wood soaked up the stain- more was going to have to be applied, another day-
A trip over to Nog’s, where Nana had some chocolates and a chance to feed your fish. We love you Chris – not forgotten as life continues to weather us.
A little over 2 1/2 years ago Lorain Mayor- Chase Ritenauer, Chief of Staff- Derek Feurestein , Ariel Vasquez of the Lorain Utilities Dept. met, along with the parents and family members of three of the young men who had lost their lives for our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, on what was then a derelict waste and dumping ground .
We trudged , and I mean that literally, through bracken, weeds, over fallen trees and mud as Ariel explained his vision for what would become Eric Barnes Heroes Walk.
Ariel explained how each young man would have a tribute garden with a bench , signage and artwork along a path which would meander through what was left of a woods, flower beds and a view of Lorain’s lakefront a priority . The pathway would connect the two areas already in place known as, Settlers’ Watch 2009
and at the opposite end of the site Admiral King Tribute site 2011.
The plan was ambitious. Ariel and his crew, with the support of the volunteers and donations through Charleston Village Society, would have phase one completed by November 11th-2012.
As I walked the pathway on Pride Day,
I could not credit how far the area had progressed in the months and changing seasons since that walk of vision. The plants grown and tended so beautifully by our volunteer “Constant Gardener- Joe” . Thinking back to that day in 2012 I remembered the look on the faces of the others as we stumbled through the undergrowth – they weren’t so sure themselves this plan would come to fruition!
Once more this morning, I walked in the sunshine, the blue of the lake sparkling as the waves danced and the wind blew the clouds around an azure sky, with my two grandsons- ages 6 and 3. We were putting out the flags for Memorial Day, a job they hold very dear.
As we went along, making sure each garden and area was recognized, I admonished Gavin telling him to make sure the flags never touched the ground. Being six, the question arose,
I didn’t want to confuse them anymore than I usually do with my explanations and this was an important WHY? I said it was
out of respect for the young men and woman who gave their lives for their country, in this case the United States and the flag was very important as it was carried into battle.
But why can’t it touch the ground- NOG?
Even from Roman times the “standard” was considered extremely important –
The standard-bearer normally was in close proximity to the unit leader. When the standard ‘fell’, the unit members did not have a visual point to rally around or return and the possibility that the leader had fallen was great. Loss of a standard in battle was considered to be one of the worst things to happen – the Honor of the unit was lost. By the same token, capturing a standard by an opponent was considered to be a tremendous act of courage.
With England’s long history emblems and flags ( standards) were most important on the field of battle and like the Romans the disappearance of the a standard/ flag on the battle field may well mean the battle was lost.
But I wasn’t absolutely certain about the United States history and the flag not touching the ground– was there another aspect my grandsons should know about?
Once again, the search for a reason – apart from respect as I knew it had to be – sent me to Google. To my surprise, I was brought full circle back to this community of Lorain. As I googled the reasoning, I was directed to a site about the Civil War and my eyes beheld a familiar painting .
COPY RIGHT 1890 STORMING OF FORT WAGNER – “CHARGE OF THE 54 MASS(COL) RGT JULY 18TH 1863- (UNION) GENERAL GILLMORE
Yes the Storming of Fort Wagner – the movie Glory – and my dining room companion General Gillmore !!![
Among the troops who assaulted Ft. Wagner was the 54th Massachusetts, a regiment of African-Americans led (as required by regulation) by white commissioned officers. Gillmore had ordered that his forces be integrated and that African-Americans were not to be assigned menial tasks only, such as KP or latrine duty, but instead they were to carry arms into battle. They and their assault on Ft. Wagner were the subject of the 1989 Civil War movie Glory, which starred Morgan Freeman and Matthew Broderick.
There, also, Sergeant William Carney, who had earlier taken up the National Colors when the color sergeant had been shot, planted the flag and fought off numerous attempts by the Confederates to capture it. Without support, and faced with superior numbers and firepower, the 54th was forced to pull back. Despite two severe wounds, Sergeant Carney carried the colors to the rear. When praised for his bravery, he modestly replied, “I only did my duty; the old flag never touched the ground.” Carney was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions, the first African-American to receive the award.
The next time I walk the path with my grandsons- I will tell them the story of General Gillmore, whose father owned all the land
upon which we walk, when we wander through Settlers’ Watch, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk, and Admiral King Tribute Site and how it was the men under his command who “never let the old flag touch the ground”
The Lorain Dudes and Pride in Lorain- Growing year by year
Settlers’ Watch dedicated August 2009– follow link for the videos of the ceremony- Mark Teleha
The story of Settlers’ Watch – Mark Teleha
Admiral King Tribute Site dedication September 18th 2011
follow the links for the dedication Mark Teleha
Eric Barnes Heroes Walk – ( Phase One) November 11 – 2012
follow link for the videos of the ceremony Mark Teleha
It takes as lot of work and pride to take this site from this
to what it is today . A pride that grows and continues – The Lorain Dude
Pride Day 2010 Settlers’ Watch https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/lorain-dude-discovers-pride-and-settlers-watch/
Photo Lisa Miller
Pride Day 2011 https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2011/06/17/a-pride-full-day-settlers-watch-2011/
Pride Day 2012
Pride Day 2013
That year found the Lorain Dude having a family helper – the other Lorain Dude.
Pride Day 2014– the Lorain Dudes were kept home by mum due to the terrible weather but that didn’t stop the faithful
And now a collage of sorts from Pride Day Settlers’ Watch, Eric Barnes Heroes Walk and Admiral King Tribute Site
Screen Shot – Rotary – Dina Ferrer
Photos by Lisa Miller
Lorain Dudes back to work
Link to Lisa Portfolio of Pride
The area , thanks to Charleston Village Volunteers, Lorain Rotary, The City of Lorain looks cared for , beautiful and unique.
We would be remiss if we didn’t thank Mr. and Mrs. Perez of 6th Street and the Girl Scouts for the sign and V space for the Charleston Village sign – Thank you so much !!!
And finally another sunset – Settlers Watch- Lisa Miller
It is that time again- Mummy and Nog helped us make a ginger bread train and a gingerbread carousel. Mummy and I did very well on our train
BUT NOG and Braedyn – well see for yourself. Although NOG says the supports weren’t right , the icing bag broke and the candy canes were in pieces. I just don’t think NOG can cook!
But that is OK as Nog takes us to Red Lobster, where we get a special booth away from everyone else and then we go shopping for mummy.
The “elf” dude has been hanging around all over the house but when we went to Florida and Mummy and me and Braedyn went on the roller coasters
he stayed home to make sure NOG was being good, apparently she can be very, very bad at times. Braedyn can get into trouble without even trying he broke the drawer but then he fixed it
Nana though is always very good –
Hope you all have fun and don’t end up in Nog’s Lobster Pot for next year!!!!
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
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 –
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)
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 .