Posts tagged ‘Fathers’

Lorain Dudes- the Boys of Summer- Father’s Day 2013

Father’s Day in this family – is one of those bitter


and yet sweet anniversary days. Nikki’s father and my husband will be once more “missing” and missing memories that should have been.
nikki and dad

But his daughter has given him, her father, two special gifts and also given them to the special man in her life and in so doing the gifts of “Father’s Day”


These two noisy , rambunctious, full of the joie de vie , energetic, “run you ragged” gifts of pure love. They are always READY TO ROLL-
readyto roll

Hey Nog!!! that isn’t a pacifier -it is my “mouth guard 🙂

Braedyn Monkey  man



Daddy’s Little Helpers

we can help

The Water is fine- Nana come on in

splash collage

We love to share ( well sometimes)


Dad took “ME” Fishing and helped build my first monster truck!


Ahhhhhh BUT he showed “ME” how to Power Nap!




June 14, 2013 at 11:40 am 4 comments

Dedication Ceremony- Eric Barnes – Heroes Walk-The coverage

Thanks to Joe Bock from Lorain City Schools Channel 20 who uploaded to You tube

Further update” More pictorial coverage from Mark Teleha

UPDATE: further coverage on the LCS Channel 20 and from their face book page

Photo Roger Brownson

The sun warmed the earth and air the young people of Lorain High School Marching Band and the Lorain High JROTC, the representatives from the United States Marine Corps, The United States Army, Unites States Air force, the United States Navy warmed hearts. It was a morning of tribute to the young by the young as they stood proudly honoring the young men who gave their lives- the ultimate sacrifice.

The coverage for the dedication can be found in the following links . The area media also has to have our heart-felt thanks, their coverage of the project as it progressed reached out and their readers sent in donations. Without such generosity the project would have been “less”.

This is phase one of the walkway more to come.

In the meantime please view the videos of the morning taken by Mark Teleha of Lorain County Photographers Blog

Photos by Lisa Miller on the Lorain 365 Blog ( one of the Morning Journal Media Bloggers)also on her blog Busters House

The thoughts and photos of Dan Brady- who designed the Commemorative Booklet – of Brady’s Bunch of Lorain County Nostalgia

Chronicle Telegram-

Heroes Walk memorial trail dedicated on Veterans Day filed by Evan Goodenow

“They share pain from a loss that will never go away and belong to a club that no one wants to be part of.”

Morning Journal Photo Jason Henery
Heroes Walk: Pathway dedicated to fallen soldiers by Jason Henery

I’m going to donate my time to make it nice,” Torres said of the park. “I’m glad for my city to appreciate the sacrifice my son made.”

Photo Lisa Miller

As always click on photos to enlarge and thank you everyone who made this dedication memorable –

November 12, 2012 at 1:33 pm 14 comments

“Father’s Day” 2012 – garden of gifts- and undying love – Chris Ritchey

Father’s Day 2010 -2011

and out of a self-righteous, sanctimonious, self-serving spite he was punished two fold- he lost his son – those not of his blood took his closure – his chance to say goodbye and they dishonored Chris’ father – this kind quiet gentle man who never hurt or did anyone any harm in his whole life.
Punished by “control”

These “anniversary days” are so hard and yet I know my son would not have wanted them to go by without a mention. June the 7th another memory – one I wished had not happened – the pain that day eventually caused this family cannot be erased .

After posting the latest June 7th 2012 piece I went into the “black hole” – the worthlessness of that wedding day which legally enabled selfish control makes my stomach turn. I have to hold onto what my mum says :

Chris at least had a wedding day – and maybe not much of a married life but he had one and he got to experience life and in-laws

Experiencing the “in -laws’
(ED Note- pity about experiencing the Lombardis and co and more is the pity WE have had to experience them.) If there ever was justice one day the father of the clan Tim Lombardi should know what it is like to walk in the shoes he “designed” for Chris’s father.

I didn’t feel like writing anything after that post of June 7th 2012 –
I always wonder when this blog will finally finish, you see I have no notion of when I will publicize the last post.

My emotional world is disabled – I am crippled. It takes so much to bring me back from lethargy, bitterness toward those of “self” and the futility that permeates my world where for the most part-time has stopped and only a little happiness and laughter finds its way through the maze of grief. Then a shake of the head with disbelief or to be roused from the depths through anger or the need to help as the phone rings , an email sent and the need to “journal” has brought back into being this blog again.

The Touch- Chris Ritchey

Father’s Day 2012 – Nikki and I cannot give Chris’s father the gift he most desires- no one can- I cannot turn back time and stop it at a place where his son was well and healthy and even if I could the joys of grand children would then be denied. I can only give him the memories of his son and remind him of his “undying love”.

There are fairies in the bottom of the garden – thanks to a small boy with a love of all things mystical and magic.

There is a fountain of love – carried in on a June day 2008 by a young man with hope as a thank you for all we had done –

and a frog

who teases daily his dog- Misty

and of course a “ghost in the pond”!

I cannot but give him the words of his son in his last note we received from him
a gift of love remembered :

June 17, 2012 at 10:43 am 1 comment

A Year passes ——–

Moon beams - Chris Ritchey

As revelers the world over celebrate December 31st with song, laughter,food, fireworks and noise makers they will not notice a small light is no longer shining this year.

But in a home in Lorain, a mother and father dread this New Years Eve, they will not celebrate because all the fireworks, lights in the sky cannot make up for the “light they lost” – their precious moonbeam -who shone so brightly for just a little while and radiated such love and truth as to shame the dark.

Remembering a light lost- and a love that does not fade

GABRIEL MILLER a special moonbeam December 31-2009

December 31, 2010 at 3:34 am 4 comments

Long time passing- Gone to fighting – Part 6

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five

The last ship my father was on was a hospital ship in Belfast- my mother can’t remember the name – he didn’t have to start the ship or run it – he was there to survive . The injury from the HMS Speedwell caused an ulcerated stomach injury- the ulcer perforated. He was out of the action in 1945.

The day VE day was declared he was in Ireland with my mother- He was 27 years old and had lived through a world of carnage , my mother just 25 had seen more in her young life than most 25 year olds of today could even imagine in their wildest nightmares. Is it any wonder they are called the “Greatest Generation”.

How I wish I could talk to my father- my grandparents – the time wasted – the opportunities missed to talk…..HOW IN WISH I COULD TALK TO MY SON …… those of you that still can – do so !!!!!

My exploration of this tiny part of my son, Christopher’s, heritage made me realize where he got his strength from- because he was strong. He tried valiantly to fight his own private war with the obscenity that is Cancer.

I wish I had the strength I have rediscovered of my parents and grandparents- I always was proud of our heritage – the tenacity of will of my countryman and ancestors.

I was brought up to uphold those principles- but I am lost – the enemy he fought was not of flesh and bone but an enemy without a cause- even an unjust cause.

When my father died – my son purchased a pure white rose-bush and planted it at 5 am in the morning – the time corresponding to my fathers funeral in England that July day. Chris was 11 years old as he planted the bush he had chosen for his grandfather. He checked that rose-bush by the willow tree and garden wall and was incensed when it fell to “poison” by the overspreading of “Round Up” by the “landlord” and tenant next door in that dilapidated house.

Chris was in his teens by then- almost a man – he couldn’t understand the selfishness and control exercised by those that can. He was ready to hoist the landlord up on his own roof.

NOTE – on the old WoM I wrote about my father and Chris’ rose- bush- it seems a lifetime ago- and indeed it was-
An Old Cowboy

I know Chris wouldn’t understand or give countenance to the vindictiveness , destructiveness and pain caused to his own family by that of the extended Lombardi Clan.
Had they done what was right by his family part of him would have joined his grandfather -over the sea- and a new white rose-bush would have joined the one planted in perpetuity in that place of his ancestors.

Instead the place where they have locked his last worldly remains has become a place of tacky plastic decoration and they dishonor those that loved , formed and grieve for him as our own wonderful Chris.

Chris’ family , dishonored, by those of supposedly civilised and god fearing people –

the wars that continue throughout this world continue because of greed, a separation of ideology and people who wish to control – is this so different on the large-scale than the smaller. It is people

Yes, thanks to the Lombardis,(Tim and Sue Lombardi – Lorain) their daughter, their family and in my opinion by their acts of greed, cruelty and control toward this family there is no peace.

I am being reassured that I knew my son as I continue this journey just as sure as I am his mother –

BUT thanks has to go to Dr. Angela Marie ( Lombardi) ritchey(now Murphy) for starting me out on this quest for without her cruel words unasked for and unappreciated, without her deeds of deceit as mentioned in previous posts I would not be writing this series In search of my son in Search of me.

A mother understands what her child does NOT say

( an old Jewish proverb)

September 25, 2010 at 11:24 am 11 comments

Long Time Passing- Gone to Fighting- Part 5

Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

There comes now a period of great confusion as far as time lines go. I do know that my father was transferred to a hospital as the injury suffered on the HMS Speedwell caused some major issues. Since he was off loaded to a hospital in Algiers and going by the HMS Speedwell’s timeline it was probably 1943. This ties in with the timeline of my father’s next ship the American built HMS Goodson-

My mum had been bombed in London and so was no longer at the Ministry of Information where she had been transferred early on in her job as a telephonist:

“I was to go to the “Ministry of Information, which was temporarily housed at Senate House , University of London, near Goodge Street. We had triple forms to fill out, swearing us to secrecy , never to divulge or talk about anything we might hear there.

Three of us would be required to man the emergency switchboard, which was housed in the basement of the building, this was called the War Room ……..


We used to be able to tell by the sound of the aircraft engine whether it was one of ours or one of the Germans. The whistle of the descending bombs and the explosions was terrifying. This night I did not hear the whistle , nothing, suddenly complete and utter silence. The bricks seemed to be crumbling and falling all around. I tried to hold onto to something, I only grabbed empty space. The air was filled with dust. I realized the house must have received a direct hit and the three people who were near me had disappeared. I tried calling – the silence eerie and shocking. I had bricks, wood and plaster all around me “was I going to be buried alive.”

This was the story of many of those young lovers, the men torpedoed , shot down , blown out of the sky knowing their loved ones at home were also facing the same .

My grandmother , my mum’s mother was living on the east coast.

“My mother was outside her little house on the lawn chopping up the kindling for the fire. Hearing the sounds of an aircraft overhead, thinking it was one of ours lifted her little axe and waved to the pilot only to find it was a bloody German who proceeded to strafe her. She came running in the house scared witless and it took precious brandy in the tea to restore her.

My fathers next ship after the was the HMS Goodson- and American built destroyer escort ship.

The ship was laid down as George on 20 May 1943 at the Boston Navy Yard, and named after Eugene Frank George, posthumously awarded the Navy Cross at Guadalcanal.

She was assigned to the United Kingdom under the lend-lease on 22 June 1943; launched on 8 July 1943; transferred to the United Kingdom on 9 October 1943; and commissioned in the British Royal Navy as HMS Goodson.

During the remainder of World War II, she served on escort and patrol duty in the Atlantic and along the English coast. She supported the Allied Invasion of Europe at Normandy on 6 June 1944.

Damaged late in August by U-984 commanded by Heinz Sieder,

she was returned to the United States on 21 October. On 9 January 1947 she was sold to John Lee of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

My father also ended up in Belfast, but in 1945.

To be continued………..

September 22, 2010 at 11:15 am 3 comments

Long time passing- gone to fighting everyone- Part Three

HMS Vindictive

Part One

Part Two

HMS Vindictive :
The young couple was married June 17th- 1940 the day France fell.

“He was on leave from the Navy for 4 days. He phoned on the Sunday and we were to be married by special license in the little church on the Ridgeway , Mill Hill on the Monday.
What a day for a wedding France had surrendered and our guests were more concerned with the war news”
After the reception we left Roy’s home to “go away” Where? we had no idea.Uncle Jack had kindly lent us the Humber. As he stood at the door waving us off he said: “You look such a couple of kids no one will take you in” I was silent as we sped along the great North Way – this was June and the last time I had seen Roy was the previous Christmas when we became engaged”

Digging for Victory

After two days my father left his bride – she continued to work for the Ministry of Information and his new assignment found him gone for two years-

HMS Vindictive

July Deployed with Home Fleet at Scapa Flow.

August -Transferred to West Africa Command for support of escorts.
Passage to Freetown.

September -Deployed as Base Repair Ship at Freetown to December

1 9 4 1 Freetown support duty in continuation

1 9 4 2
January- Freetown deployment in continuation to September

October – Nominated for transfer to Oran for support duties after allied landings in North Africa (Operation TORCH)

November – Passage to Oran -Joined HM Destroyer Depot Ship HECLA escorted by HM Destroyers VENOMOUS and MARNE west of Gibraltar. (See HITLER’S U-BOAT WAR Volume 2)

12th Avoided torpedoes fired by U515. During a series of attacks HMS HECLA was hit by three torpedoes and sank with heavy loss of life.

HMS MARNE was seriously damaged after being hit by another torpedo.

My father was one of the young men deployed to repair the engines etc as they limped into Freetown .

I remember once in my flippant youth being a “know it all” about the war during my “Peacenik” days – my father was furious at my attitude. It was one of the rare times he spoke about his personal experiences.

I remember being shocked as he told me of the ship in the convoy being torpedoed- how it was dangerous to pick up survivors because of the U boats and your ship being lit up as a target in the flames. The men covered in oil and fire screaming in the water. He told me of how ( not being on duty) had been ordered to help the Dr. and medics with the wounded as they were brought on board. He was shown how to give the fatal dose of the drug. Those with no hope were triage to him and those without medical knowledge. He spent the last moments of men’s life with them – giving a cigarette and comfort to one chap who had no lower body , his blood stopped by the quarterizing of the fire he had been in. The smile remembered as he said “you ‘ll be home for Christmas mate” whilst giving him the shot that would end his nightmare. A 23-year-old who as my mother had written

“I guess half the charm of Roy was his inability to take anything too seriously . He laughed a lot and lived for the day only .”

Is it any wonder that the next time my mother saw her husband after that 2 year absence had aged beyond his 23 years?

” I imagined Roy would arrive with his hair bleached golden from the West African sun with beautifully tanned skin. When he stepped from the train I barely recognized him. His naval case was battered, he looked weary, tired and half frozen- I went to the nearest telephone box, where I stood like stone and inspected him without his knowing. I decided I just didn’t like him. He looked expectantly up and down the platform, blowing on his cold hands for warmth . Finally all the passengers disappeared over the bridge, there he stood alone and lost – looking- I reluctantly left the safety of the telephone box and walked toward him, his golden curls had turned grey and he had lost nearly thirty pounds since I had last seen him.

Roy was being directed to a new ship the HMS Bellona, for what waters or convoy he would be guarding we knew not……..

To be continued……………….

September 17, 2010 at 11:49 am 8 comments

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