#1 Click here for the 2013 Baby Boomer Blog Entries

#2 Click here for the "Latest" Baby Boomer Blog Entries

#3 Click here for the Osborn School Dedicated Site

Some people try to hold onto their memories. Others try to forget. Neither works.
And after enough time passes by, you find you
are not the same as you used to be.

 Baby Boomer Blog - January 2014 - June 2016 Entries

"the social generation born from 1943 to 1960, who were too young to have any personal memory of World War II, but old enough to remember the postwar American High"

Below are the 2014-2016 years of Jeff's "Baby Boomer" Blog,  an endless ramble about all things historical and nostalgic.  Having grown up in Ohio's Ashland County,  much of it relates to that area during the 1950's and 60's.   I will add to it as things occur to me and it will for the most part be completely disorganized.   I find the basic tendency to wax nostalgic an interesting one and am starting to get a handle on why it is so appealing, at least in my case.  For me much of the attraction is that childhood was a time when the world seemed limitless and exciting.

Please contact me at jeffrey.ewing1@gmail.com with any comments you wish to add to the comment section or with requests to remove (or properly credit) a borrowed image.  Spelling corrections are also welcome.

It is the Human Condition,  in which we all live slapstick lives,  under an inexplicable sentence of death,  and when we try to find out what the Castle authorities want us to do,  we are shifted from one bumbling theocratic bureaucrat to another.  We are not even sure if the owner of the Castle really exists.  Life is a chess game in which living pieces are ignorant of the game's plan and cannot tell if they move of their own wills or are being pushed by invisible fingers.

(vaguely attributed to Lewis Carroll)

We are running out of space so beginning with July 2016 new entries will be made at:

 Latest Baby Boomer Entries

"This book is all over the place, but I don't read Camus for coherency. I read Camus to get into a Camusian state of mind, to see things as meaninglessly as he does. Mersault lives for nothing; he appreciates the night and the sea, but knows they're meaningless too. He lives and meets death with open hands, because it too is meaningless, and that only makes his life more free and beautiful. This book was not meant to be published, which allowed Camus to be less organized, but also less reserved, and provides another rare opportunity to glimpse into the ways of the absurd man who is detached from life and lives for nothing, and that is enough to happily fill his heart, at the cost of unrelenting effort to will consciousness and lucidity."

30 June 2016

Kenner Bridge & Turnpike Building Set

Kenner Girder & Panel Hydro-Dynamic Building Play Set

Arguably my favorite series of toys as a child.  These were not just amazing but for the most part the pieces fit together and the building you constructed  "actually" worked.  The main drawback was that the plastic girders and panels were somewhat fragile.  During disassembly the tip of a girder sometimes broke off (they were of a tongue and groove design) and the holes in some panels tore. 

Click below to see more on this topic in the Top Shop:


22 May 2016

A snapshot of us playing football on Duff Field in back of Krogers,  it was unusual to have two adults observing or coaching as this was a neighborhood group of boys,  not an organized team.  Despite the date on the print this was probably taken in October 1961 as film would stay in the camera until the entire roll was used.  There are lines on the field so even at that point it was used for football,  this would be the left and left-center area of the baseball outfield.  A year later this would be the main field we used for junior high football.  Note that the Super-X Drug Store has not yet been built.  It went up the next spring or summer as I recall buying 1962 football cards one night after junior high practice.  I also recall being allowed to stand inside the building during its construction and watch the plumbers install the drain lines in the floor. 

The cinder path to Osborn School was new in the fall of 1956 and the baseball backstop was erected beside it in about 1958 .

I can't tell if the small Duff barn in back of Luray Lanes is still standing as that area is off camera to the left.  It was close to that time that it was torn down, thereby ending our game of jumping off the roof into the hay on one side - pretending we were paratroopers.

And speaking of newly built structures from this time frame,  note that the football field still has no stands.
Of course it was supposed to look like this:

14 April 2016

The Rotor at Cedar Point

Cedar Point had several versions of this ride until 1984.  These photos are of the one I recall.  It was my favorite ride in the 1960's.  The Rotor was a spinning circular room with padded walls.  When the ride is in mid-cycle the riders are stuck to the wall of the barrel by centrifugal force and the floor drops away from them.  There were yellow lines on the barrel of the wall to indicate the level the floor is at during different points of the ride; the highest line is level with the floor when the ride begins.  This allowed you to participate in much the same experience those carney motorcycle riders had when they operated the Wall of Death attraction at county fairs.  The intensity of rides like these was more about awe & disbelief than about detaching a retina on a roller coaster.


21 March 2016

Time Marches On

In a couple more days Ashland "high - junior - middle" school will be totally down.  What is startling about its absence is the degree to which this massive building dominated this area of downtown.   Details (some quite beautiful) of the surrounding buildings have unexpectedly revealed themselves.  It has been much more dramatic than the wiping off of the somewhat larger Myers Pump complex,  in part because the buildings around the school are simply better that those around the factory and in part because the Myers complex had an Industrial Age charm that the school completely lacked.

18 March 2016

The Ghost World of Ashland Ohio

Increasingly apparent that my return in Ashland was almost too late.  Driving though downtown this week I passed Gerald's going out of business storefront (in the old Montgomery Ward building) only to glance down the other side of the street and see them tearing down the old Sale Chevrolet building (or at least the service area behind the front showroom).  The Chevy dealership was housed in that building for many decades until moving near the fairgrounds back in the late 1960's.  In its better days the building had that classic 1920's Hollywood look.  We were a Chevy family and my father loyally bought every car there,  he was a lifelong friend of Wayne Wright and even continued to buy cars from him after our move to Strongsville;  of course by then they had moved out of the original building.  The earliest I remember was a 1953 Chevy.  This was followed by a 1959 Bel Air - with the massive horizontal tail fins.  Then a 1962 Corvair,  a 1964 Malibu station wagon,  a 1967 Corvair,  and a 1968 Impala.  The Impala was the first one with a radio (just AM),  also the first with air conditioning and power steering. 

Since I returned they have torn down four schools,  much of the Myers Pump factory complex,  and now all but the front facade of the old Chevrolet dealership. 

William John Bishop, 63 of Ashland died Sunday March 13, 2016 at Good Shepherd

Nursing Home.  He was born August 1, 1952 in Ashland the son of John and Mary

Smalley Bishop.  He was a factory worker at Coburn Inc. and also a mechanic for the family

business.  Bill was a 1970 graduate of Hillsdale High School and loved sprint car racing.

The above photo is of me (on the right) with Billy Bishop in Jeromesville during the summer of 1956;  with David Kyler in the background who was killed in 1973.   Both of their gravestones are about 100 yards from where we are all standing in the photo and my plot awaits in the same area.   For three seemingly interchangeable small town Ohio boys playing together in their backyards,  it is hard to imagine three so remarkably different lives.

The toy gun I am holding in the photo is not the jet automatic rifle pictured below,  it is probably one of Hubley's Frontier Rifles. 

I played with borrowed jet rifles many times but typically they only had 2-3 balls to fire,  the rest had been lost.

20 January 2016

Workers from Baumann Enterprises Inc. of Garfield Heights began the demolition of the more than 100-year-old Ashland Middle School on Tuesday.  The building was built as Ashland High School in 1915. A north wing was added in 1922 and a south wing was constructed in 1924. McDowell Auditorium was added in 1927.

Went downtown to check out the demo late this afternoon,   it had been snowing all day.  They are in effect tearing things down in the reverse order in which they were built.  The new addition (only 70 years old) to the shop area was first and now they are going after the entrances on Church Street.  They are also taking down much of the old Myers Plant so that area of town is going to look much different by springtime.

Downtown Ashland is an eerie Ghost World on a late winter afternoon.  Only the courthouse shows much sign of life.  On nice days I used to walk down 4th Street to Garber's after school and wait on the train tracks for my father to get off work,  that was a bleak and depressing experience today.  Like being the only person remaining on the planet.   And for me a truly "you can't go home again" feeling.  
click the above link to view more junior high photo sections

18 January 2016

My Fair Lady

Mad Cow Disease continues to erode away my brain cells,  I rushed around this morning getting packages ready for the mailman only to realize in mid-afternoon that it is a postal holiday.  One of the items was this "My Fair Lady" soundtrack album which was purchased from me today.  It was one of the earliest remaining from my original record collection.  A bit of irony as I purchased it in 1966 - a few months before we left Ashland,  and I sold it a few months after returning to Ashland - 50 years later.  My Fair Lady was the Ashland High School musical during my Sophomore year and I was apparently impressed enough to purchase the LP shortly after seeing the live performance. 

Melanie Schussler,  the older sister of a friend and the town's resident singing prodigy,  really nailed it as Eliza Doolittle.  Perhaps the best stage performance in the history of Ashland.  Of course Eliza is a dream role with lots of cute songs and subtle comedy, yet she is not so totally the focus of the story that you grow weary of her on the stage.  Eddie Highman was also excellent as her comical father.   Saturday's paper said they were about to begin demo on the old Junior High School building,  including McDowell Auditorium where all the past high school musicals were presented.


Click above for more on Ashland High School

31 December 2015

Don't Fear the Reaper

(Great, but it needs more cowbell)

All our times have come
Here, but now they're gone
Seasons don't fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain
(We can be like they are)

Gallery Celebrity Deaths 2015

Her contribution to the Partridge Family was playing "anything they put in my hands," including a tambourine, triangle and cowbell.

A rough year for baby boomer icons leads to an odd confluence of thoughts to end the year -  vaguely relating to death and cowbells.   Suzanne Crough is one of those noted in the end-of-year "in memoriam"  features that appeared today.  She played Tracy Partridge,  perhaps the most curious character in television history.  The character was background filler,  forgotten when the main characters attained almost instant mega-popularity status and never even remotely developed.   The producers were stuck with the unwanted Tracy as they did not want to take dialogue or screen time away from the show's pop star characters.  So Crough stayed around for the entire four seasons of the series just collecting a paycheck.

Link to Blue Oyster Cult

Come on baby
(Don't fear the reaper)
Baby take my hand
(Don't fear the reaper)
We'll be able to fly
(Don't fear the reaper)
Baby I'm your man

Then the door was open and the wind appeared
The candles blew and then disappeared
The curtains flew and then he appeared... saying don't be afraid
Come on baby... and she had no fear

And she ran to him... then they started to fly
They looked backward and said goodbye... she had become like they are
She had taken his hand... she had become like they are
Come on baby... don't fear the reaper

Flipping though my record collection it was strange in retrospect that I was among the first to the table with both Blue Oyster Cult and Led Zeppelin,  I was too poor to buy many albums back in those days but I sprung for their first two within days of release. 

2015 Christmas Newsletter

What a Long Strange Year It's Been

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me - What a long, strange trip it's been.

Never has a song been so “dead-on” if you will excuse the pun.  December 2015 finds Jeff back at his point of origin,  Ashland Ohio,  the home town I moved away from in 1966.   I’ve essentially been here since April although I did not actually get my house sold in Alabama until August.  I’m renting a duplex on a street two blocks east of where I lived until 1st grade and two blocks west of where I lived from 1st through 10th grade.  

I needed to move enough stuff out of the Alabama house to put it on the market and I needed to make good on my vow to return home – at least for long enough to get it out of my system.   Last March, what with my old elementary school slated to be torn down in the coming months,  it was now or never as I knew that the town would not hold much allure without the school.   At this point I am undecided about the future,  throughout each day I find myself vacilating between staying,  moving to Dayton,  or going back to Alabama.  So stay tuned.

The return has afforded me the opportunity to assemble a wealth of stories and photos associated with my days growing up and going to school in Ashland which I am slowly putting on this website.  So keep checking back.

This little adventure is along much the same lines as my return to school as a full-time undergraduate back in 2003,  with most of my furniture again going into storage and life somehow becoming both simplier and more interesting.  As I devoured The Hunger Games Trilogy last week I came to the realization that this back-to-school adventure had made a lasting change in my identity.  Hanging with a bunch of millennials for two years and being immersed in their pop-culture has apparently blended forever into my baby-boomer identity. Studying video production and graphic design with them meant being shaped by the same group of films and media that were shaping them.  Say what you will but mine has definitely been the path less taken.  

10 November 2015


I had a dream last night which caused me to fight my way back to consciousness about an hour after going to sleep.  I came awake in the middle of the deepest "black dog" depression that I have ever experienced.  It was a depression so intense that a primal fear was triggered,   rather than springing out of bed I huddled there in numb panic.  Eventually I talked myself back to normal but for several minutes I was dangling above the insanity abyss, much like Harry Potter overwhelmed by dementors sucking all joy and optimism out of him.  It seemed impossible to not give into it but that would have meant giving up on everything.  No doubt from the timing that this was Osborn Demo related,  and my core acceptance (finally) that it was gone forever. 

I have experienced this black dog depression for brief intervals throughout my life,  because it passed rather quickly I have tended to discount its potential danger and not dwell on it.  But after this incident I can see how someone it its grip for an extended period could become so overwhelmed with despair that they would no longer wish to go on living.

19 October 2015

Polaroid Model 20 "Swinger"

A bit of a find today.  Inside my old Thorndike-Barnhart Junior Dictionary I found eight Swinger photos I took in 1966-68.  These are the only surviving photos from that camera,  which I got for Christmas 1966.  I was surprised to find them.  Although I really wanted the camera at the time the expensive film soon relegated it to the closet shelf and the quick deterioration of the prints meant that most of them were trashed years ago;  not entirely a bad thing as it was a 20-month period of unrelenting depression and reminders are not really welcome.  

The Polaroid Model 20 "Swinger" was sold between 1965 and 1970. At $19.95 it was the first truly inexpensive instant camera, a fact that helped fuel its enormous popularity and made it one of the top-selling cameras of all time. The Swinger was especially successful in the youth market due to its low price, stylish appearance, and catchy "Meet the Swinger" jingle sung by Barry Manilow in a television advertisement featuring a young Ali MacGraw. 


Click here for additional swinger stuff

3 October 2015

60 Years Ago Today
(literally to the day)

This was from the third year (1957) of the show,  confirming my memory of watching it in both our Edgehill (1st season)
and our Duff (2nd & 3rd season) houses.  Note Bonnie in the lower left.  The last new episode was broadcast in January 1958 although using reruns ABC kept the series in their lineup until June 1959.

Happy 60th Anniversary…Original Mouseketeers (back row from left) David Stollery from The Mickey Mouse Club’s Spin and Marty with Mouseketeer Bobby Burgess (middle row from left) Sherry Alberoni, Darlene Gillespie, Tommy Cole, Doreen Tracey, Tim Considine from The Mickey Mouse Club’s Spin and Marty (front row from left) Mouseketeers Karen Pendleton and Sharon Baird, celebrate the 60th Anniversary (October 3, 2015—Show debuted on October 3, 1955), at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco.
Credit: Photo by Frank Anzalone, courtesy of The Walt Disney Family Museum.

Ain't getting old just swell!

Sherry Alberoni sixty years ago.

| Wed Sep 23, 2015 4:21am EDT

Baseball legend Yogi Berra dies aged 90

Lawrence Peter Berra, known to the world as Yogi, was a tough catcher and a feared clutch hitter who helped the Yankees dominate baseball from 1947 to 1963.

Yogi was certainly a part of any sports oriented Baby Boomer's childhood,  although he had not yet started to say interesting things - or at least we weren't hearing about them in Ohio.  He played for the hated Yankees yet by 1959 was on the downside of his career so to us he was more a goofy looking phenomenon than someone for the Indians to fear.  1956 was his last great year.  He played about 2/3 of the time from 1958 to 1961 and then hung on for a couple more years as a clubhouse presence.   We regarded Elston Howard as the feared Yankee catcher during my baseball card collecting years.

 I include this card from 1961 because I recall that when first seeing it I was absolutely shocked that the guy had been the MVP three out of five years in the early 1950's.  Although not as shocked as Mike Brucato and I were in 1959 to discover that a Ted Williams card set had been issued,  we had heard of the guy but had no clue about the significance of this career.

23 August 2015

You can find it at the Ashland Y.M.C.A.

An afternoon walk brought me to the "Y",  and curiosity about what remained of this building from my era caused me to walk around the outside of the strange structure that now stands on this spot.  The facility was closed for its annual week-long clean-up and the director was outside spreading a tarp on the grassy hill leading to the athletic field in the rear - for draining out the swimming pool.  I was able to go inside where her husband showed me around.  It turns out that what you see in this postcard still exists,  but is almost totally covered up by the assortment of additions that have been constructed over the years.  He took me into a small meeting room in the front of the facility where the old 1955 cornerstone (in the lower right of the postcard) has been left exposed. 

Contrary to popular belief the athletic field was here well before the YMCA building,  the above photo dating from 1928.  With the baseball stands in the photo below backing up to Holbrook St. and Cleveland Ave.

In about 1958 Duff Field was built behind Luray Lanes and the high school began playing their games there.  These wooden stands were torn down and the cinder running track in back of the YMCA extended over into this area for track & field purposes.  At roughly the same time Ashland college put a baseball diamond in a field behind Katherine Ave.

21 August 2015

Melody Patterson

A rough week for Baby Boomer males as we lost yet another of our 1960's fantasy girls yesterday,  just four days after the passing of Yvonne Craig.  Melody was a baby boomer herself,  born in 1949.  She was just sixteen during the first episodes of F-Troop;  far more obvious in retrospect than at the time.

11 July 2015

9 July 2015

The school district filled the gym with discards from the other schools.  A final indignity.

19 June 2015

Harry A. Fulton

"The Dean of School Architects"

Osborn School staircase where form perfectly follows function

Click the link for more about the architect and his design of Ashland's most significant architectural achievement:

or my time at Ashland Junior High School

Click Here For More Junior High Material

Nothing says "Ashland Junior High School" better than this 2015 eye-level photo of the courtyard.  When I rode my bicycle to school in the early 1960's I would park it in this courtyard chained to one of those railings.  It looks exactly the same except for needing a coat of paint and except for the middle school initials on the painted windows to the girls' locker room.  Center and right is the original 1915 high school,  on the left is the new gym and the auditorium which were added on in 1926.  The gym was actually built on top of the basement and heating plant of the first Ashland High School which served as the Junior High from 1915 to 1925.  Then as now the courtyard is one of my favorite features of the school,  perhaps because there is no attempt whatsoever at pretense.

  For more discussion of these topics click on the purple link above the photo.

11 June 2015

"Free Will vs Destiny"
(or the Linda Wharton story)

Back in 2003,  the Class of 1968 reunion committee contacted me about the "In Memoriam" display they were assembling for the upcoming reunion.  At that point the growing list consisted of 20 deceased classmates.   They had solicited living class members for personal memories of each of the 20, which was to be displayed at the upcoming reunion.  But given the homogeneous nature of those who typically participate in this sort of thing,  there were several deceased classmates as yet unaccounted for.  One of these was Linda Wharton who has always headed the class "In Memoriam" list,  as she was killed in a car accident outside Fitchville the summer between 10th and 11th grades.  As my time with the Class of 1968 was likewise severed that same summer I have always felt a connection to her.  Click below for more on this topic:


3 June 2015

Osborn Elementary School

Big day yesterday as I was able to wander around inside Osborn and inside the Junior High with my camera.  I will link to the photos and will save the junior high story for later. 

Please bear with me as i indulge my mystical side.   Last Friday I returned to the Osborn school grounds at sunset, a few hours after I had watched the last recess.  Something seemed to draw me down there again and I am within easy walking distance.  There were still three kids in the orange shirts on the playground,  but the building was empty and locked up for the night.  I felt the nurturing and protective force that has always emanated from the building flow to me as I stood there,  as it did 50+ years ago each time I returned to the near empty school building from my afternoon safety patrol shifts to pick up my books before walking home.

 But yesterday, as I wandered around inside, that feeling was missing, although I was so preoccupied that I initially did not note its absence.  I would like to think that it was ready to leave last Friday at the close of what was its last official day of business,  but that it waited around a few hours to say a final individual goodbye.  Perhaps it left as I turned up Liberty Street and went out of sight around the corner as I walked home by the same route I used after the first day of classes in September 1955.   Of course I want to believe that the spirit of the building has moved on,  mostly because it makes it easier for me to deal with the physical loss of the school.
  Or maybe I just need to get a lifeI suspect that being a virtual orphan these days has left me craving a protective entity.

"The tale is told. The world moves on, the sun shines as brightly as before, the flowers bloom as beautifully, the birds sing their carols as sweetly, the trees nod and bow their leafy tops as if slumbering in the breeze, the gentle winds fan our brow and kiss our cheek as they pass by, the pale moon sheds her silvery sheen, the blue dome of the sky sparkles with the trembling stars that twinkle and shine and make night beautiful, and the scene melts and gradually disappears forever."

Sam R. Watkins

29 May 2015

Osborn Elementary
"The End of An Era"

Just returned from a walk over to Osborn School.  Today was their last day of classes for the school year,  the end of the last school year the building will be used.  The kids were all out in the playground area wearing bright orange t-shirts that said "Osborn School 1923 - 2015"; many of them gathered in the shade of the back wall where we used to shoot marbles.  I spoke to one of the staff who was also wearing one of shirts.  I told her that my father had started at Osborn in 1926 and that I had attended K to 6 from 1955 to 1962.  IMHO Osborn has always been the best school in the system,  a quality that I attribute to something magical about the building.  Very sad moment for me but I felt that I owned it to the old girl to be here on the final day of classes and the final recess.  Which might explain why I was so intent on spending this summer in Ashland while my realtor deals with selling my house in Alabama.

 That same patch of playground has been used for recess for 92 years.   I never dreamed when I went in that door in September 1955 that I would be standing there 60 years later on the school's last day of community service.

10 May 2015

"A Perfect Week" 

About halfway down in my 2013 blog is the "Perfect Day" entry,  which rather nicely describes someone's perfect day.  In much the same way the week of May 2nd to May 8th qualifies as my first ever perfect week,  or at least the week of the most varied range of experiences - certainly not the type of week many who are pushing 65 are likely to experience.  It began at about 4AM Saturday morning when I departed for Ashland with a carload of stuff including my main computer.  The 546 mile drive was basically nonstop and I arrived in Ashland in time for a sunset walk around the old Duff Field and along the streets of my old paper route.     This was my first chance to actually explore Ashland on foot as I was too busy for this during my two day U-Haul visit in April.  The weather was perfect and the baby boomer memories were cascading.  Can't actually call it a move yet because I am still living in Alabama - working to get my house ready to hit the market during the prime selling season.

On Monday May 4th I drove up to Kent for the 45th anniversary commemoration ceremony.  Another rush of emotions 
as in many ways Kent State was the most important event in my life,  although I think it was more validation than revelation.  I think that I had long identified with the rebellion shown in "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner" which came out when I was in Junior High -  I understood the ending and absolutely connected with the main character (still do),   I just didn't know how it had shaped my world view until May 4, 1970.  The shootings were the most popular murders in the history of the country and the continuing failure to punish those responsible provides an ongoing commentary on the myth that the average citizen places any real value on being part of a society that proudly tolerates dissent.

Click here for the Kent State page

 Interestingly I have only visited the memorial four times (1973, 1990, 2003, and today) and each time has been during a point of crisis or remake in my life.  During the 2003 visit (I was actually there for some Miami softball games) I knew that I was going back to school and had ditched my career.  And it occurred to me that I was so lucky to have a chance to embark on a second life,  in contrast to the four murdered students.   That same thought came back to me Monday,  as I begin a third life.   But at least in the intervening years I have found something to help me manage my anger:

“Anger and resentment can stop you in your tracks. That’s what I know now. It needs nothing to burn but the air and the life that it swallows and smothers. It’s real, though – the fury, even when it isn’t. It can change you… turn you… mold you and shape you into something you’re not. The only upside to anger, then… is the person you become. Hopefully someone that wakes up one day and realizes they’re not afraid to take the journey, someone that knows that the truth is, at best, a partially told story. That anger, like growth, comes in spurts and fits, and in its wake, leaves a new chance at acceptance, and the promise of calm. Then again, what do I know? I’m only a child.”

Lavender “Popeye" Wolfmeyer

Another all-day drive on Wednesday put me back in Huntsville for the state high school softball Regionals.  The second day (Friday) went until almost midnight,  the delayed start of our (Sparkman's) championship game meant that the games on the other five diamonds were over a hour or more before ours concluded.  14 hours of almost constant softball viewing.  The state championships will begin in Montgomery on Wednesday.

9 April 2015

Lazy - Lite

The past few weeks I've been using all my energy to construct the Ashland and Jeromesville sub-pages,  so just in case anyone thought I had given up the blog here is a bit of 50's nostalgia. 

Perhaps my earliest memory of an object,  this is both a night light and a wind up music box; I had an identical one in my bedroom.  The music box has a wind up "key" on the bottom.  The dome has raised nursery rhyme figures,  I think it played "Away In the Manger".  About 5" high x 7 1/2" long.

Great Art Deco night light for a child's bedroom, it is called a "Lazy-Lite".  You push down on the end of the shade where you want to light that side, the shade itself is the switch and rocks back and forth to turn either light.  Marked on the bottom Hungerford Lazy-Lite.   Made of molded pink plastic. 

27 February 2015

The Ewing's Of East Walnut Street

This is my favorite photo of my Aunt Carol (the one on the right) and one of the few childhood photos of her where she is NOT holding a cat.  She graduated from Ashland High School in 1950 so I'll let you date the photo.

For more go to:


24 February 2015
Suzy, dear Suzy,
What stirs in the straw?
The prettiest goslings
That you ever saw;

But narry a gosling
Has stocking or shoe;
Now what will our
Poor little goslings do?

Send for the shoemaker,
To him we'll say,
"Could you make some shoes
For our goslings today?"
The cobbler has leather,
But no last to use,
So our little goslings
Must go without shoes.

Another song from childhood that popped into my head this morning.   The only part I remembered was the final four lines and I remembered it as "but no less to use" and "but no less to lose", the former being what I thought it was when I first learned it and the latter probably the impact of time on my memory.  I never understood the meaning of that line.   But it makes sense if the word was last (not less) because a last is a pattern form that has a shape similar to that of a foot. It is used by shoemakers in the manufacture and repair of shoes.  It would not surprise me if our whole class and sang it as "no less to use" but no teacher picked up on our mistake and confusion.

11 February 2015

Campus Maps

One of my pet projects is campus maps and aerial photos,  I will be slowing building an archive in this new section, just click on the purple link:


24 January 2015

1959 Topps Hal Woodeshick #106

"Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks, the Hall of Fame slugger and two-time MVP who never lost his boundless enthusiasm for baseball despite years of playing on losing Cubs teams, died Friday night.

Greeted with this headline today I found myself flashing back 55 years to my salient Ernie Banks moment.

Card #350 - a disappointing 3rd Place in the 1959 Duff Drive baseball card draft.

In our Ashland neighborhood,  baseball and football card collecting first arrived in a big way during the summer of 1959,  when most of us were eight and nine years old.  1959 was the third summer for most of us in the neighborhood - the streets had been developed in 1955-56 and most families moved in at that time.  Why this hobby did not hit us in 1957 or 1958 I do not know,  why it hit so big in 1959 was probably just a need to first attain a critical mass.  Little did we know at the time that by a bit of life's serendipity the 1959 baseball cards were destined to become the most important and lasting images of our youth.   In those days Topps released cards by series,  with the lower number cards released in the spring and the higher numbers released gradually during the course of the season.   Our collecting did not take off until summer and by that point the stores had sold their supply of boxes containing low number cards.  So all of us had a good supply of high number cards,  some middle number cards, and just a handful of low number

For more about our 1959 baseball card collecting adventures and the significance of Hal Woodeshick click the above link.

18 January 2015

It's Rex Manning Day!


I heard you on the wireless back in Fifty Two
Lying awake intent at tuning in on you
If I was young it didn't stop you coming through
Oh-a oh
They took the credit for your second symphony
Rewritten by machine and new technology
and now I understand the problems you can see
Oh-a oh

I met your children
Oh-a oh
What did you tell them?
Video killed the radio star
Video killed the radio star

Pictures came and broke your heart
Oh-a-a-a oh

And now we meet in an abandoned studio
We hear the playback and it seems so long ago
And you remember the jingles used to go
You were the first one
Oh-a oh
You were the last one

In my mind and in my car
We can't rewind we've gone to far

"Buggles group member Trevor Horn has said that his lyrics were inspired by the J.G. Ballard short story The Sound-Sweep, in which the title character, a mute boy vacuuming up stray music in a world without it, comes upon an opera singer hiding in a sewer. 

He also felt "an era was about to pass." The theme of the song is thus nostalgia, which is also echoed in the tone of the music. The lyrics refer to a period of technological change in the 1960s, the desire to remember the past and the disappointment that children of the current generation would not appreciate the past. In the 1950s and early 1960s, radio was an important medium for many, through which "stars" were created."

The Sound-Sweep was first published in Science Fantasy, Volume 13, Number 39, February 1960

The Sound-Sweep,” J. G. Ballard, 1960 — Ultrasonic music is the new fashion and phonographs and live performances are a thing of the past.  It is a world where the echoes of music remain in their concert halls, where conversations are preserved in the walls and floors, and “sound sweeps” use sonovacs to clean up the past, often at the request of those fearing blackmail or noise pollution.  Madame Gioconda, the aging and discarded opera star, and Mangon, a mute “sound sweep” enjoy an unlikely friendship, one Mangon desperately hopes is real, as he loves the decaying but once magnificent diva.  When Gioconda finds a way for Mangon to help her reclaim her fame through a comeback performance, Mangon feels the depth of her trust in him and  suddenly regains his voice.  The night before her comeback, a rival asks Mangon to “sound sweep” her during the performance for her own good, as she doesn’t realize that her voice has lost its beauty.  Mangon refuses, still loyal, and tries to reach her, but she has packed up her apartment and abandoned him in anticipation of her impending success.  A brutal message of sound has been left in the wall for him to “read”: “GO AWAY YOU UGLY CHILD! NEVER TRY TO SEE ME AGAIN!”  Mangon attends her performance as planned, but he destroys his sonovac so that her caterwalling will be heard by all.

If you got the Rex Manning Day reference you are probably a boomer in spirit who like me connected deeply with Alan Moyle's "Empire Records".  Although a 1995 film it evokes certain flower child values and a childlike wish that such a place existed.  "Video Killed the Radio Star" plays as the store employees prepare for the arrival of music video personality Rex Manning.

1 January 2015

In Memoriam

The inspiration for starting this site two years ago was the death of Bonnie Fields,  my childhood crush on the Mickey Mouse Club.  With the passing of 2014 it seems appropriate to feature those baby boomer related celebrities who we lost since last New Year's Day.  For more Bonnie stuff click the U-Tube link to see Bonnie's first appearance on Talent Round-Up Day or go to the 2013 blog entries and scroll down to the first entry in January 2013. 

"In Memorian" is continued on this page:


24 December 2014

For no reason other than the season (I assume) this song has been running through my head all day.  I was not sure of the entire song or where I heard it but it turns out that Doris Day released it 50 years ago,  and it turns out that my memory of the lyrics was amazingly accurate.


Music: Victor Herbert
Lyrics: Glen MacDonough

When you've grown up, my dears,
And are as old as I,
You'll often ponder on the years
That roll so swiftly by,
My dears, that roll so swiftly by,
And of the many lands
You will have journeyed through,
You'll oft recall
The best of all
The land your childhood knew!
Your childhood knew!


Toyland! Toyland!
Little girl and boyland,
While you dwell within it,
You are ever happy then.
Childhood's joyland,
Mystic merry Toyland!
Once you pass its borders you can ne'ver return again!

When you've grown up, my dears,
There comes a dreary day
When 'mid the locks of black appears
The first pale gleam of gray,
My dears, the first pale gleam of gray
Then of the past you'll dream
As grayhaired grownups do,
And seek once more
Its phantom shore,
The land your childhood knew!
Your childhood knew!



Victor Herbert

Herbert was long gone before us baby boomers were even born but Disney brought some of his music to us in their 1961  "Babes In Toyland" movie.

9 December 2014

Yesterday the Ohio Senate passed a bill legalizing the use of bottle rockets, firecrackers and other consumer-grade fireworks in Ohio despite hearing earlier in the day from doctors, firefighters and safety advocates who oppose the measure.

Some were concerned by testimony from doctors and safety advocates about the dangers of fireworks. The bill's opponents said about half of all those injured by fireworks are bystanders who did not choose to set off the explosives.It is a first-degree misdemeanor for unlicensed individuals to discharge fireworks in Ohio or to possess the goods after they should have been taken out of the state. First-time offenders face fines up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

Senate President Keith Faber, a Celina Republican, said fireworks regulation has evolved over the years and the bill ensures only "regulated, approved" fireworks will be allowed in Ohio. The bill also allows counties and townships to ban the fireworks or restrict dates and times when fireworks could be set off.  "We're all for safety but we also want to make sure that we give personal liberty an option as well," Faber told reporters after the vote.

I only mention this because it means that my two biggest childhood wishes have come true,  although in this case too late for me to get maximum enjoyment.  The two things I wanted most of all in 1960 was my own private collection of movies (complete with screening equipment) and for Ohio to legalize fireworks.   I got my first wish years ago with the introduction of Beta and VHS tapes.  To learn about a fairly typical Ohio baby boomer's fireworks history click on this link:


22 November 2014

Penny (Gloria Winters) passed away in 2010 at age 78.  She was not really a baby boomer but was certainly a fixture of our television viewing.  I have to agree with this U-Tube comment although I don't recall it being that noticeable until Yvonne Craig appeared as Batgirl. 

"Penny was bound and gagged in a number of Sky King episodes.  Television drama shows in the 1950s often depicted people tied up .... I suspect many of the writers on these shows were bondage lovers..."



29 October 2014

Betsy Jobs

"Betsy Jobs"

Click here for the page on this story.

7 July 2014

My Readjustment Blues In Greensboro

I spent last Friday in Kentucky,  and the 4th of July celebration in Bowling Green got me thinking of how it has been 39 years since I spent the summer in Greensboro, North Carolina (including July 4th 1975), sharing the second floor of a house on Mendenhall Street between the two colleges and taking Macroeconomics & Sociology 101.  I had driven down from New York (I had been discharged that January and had spent the spring semester at Cornell) and I found a notice in the student union from two guys needing someone to rent their 3rd bedroom for the summer.  Amazingly the house had no air conditioning and we had no television set;  we just kept the windows open,  fans blowing, and the stereo playing Jethro Tull and Elton John.  The house backed up on a Greensboro College dorm (#7 on the attached map) and I spent a lot of my time in their lounge, which was far cooler than our house and had a television set.   I just acted like I belonged there and took books with me to study,  nobody questioned my hanging around.

This was the summer when I sold the old 190SL Mercedes that took Ashland friend Brian Linke and I around Europe in 1974 (well technically just France, Monaco, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Holland).  I had an ad in Road & Track magazine but ended up selling it to a milkman in Greensboro after I listed it in the Greensboro paper. So if you see a right-hand drive Mercedes cruising around North Carolina,  it very likely is the one I brought back from England.   Interestingly,  with Brian staying on my tiny base in Bedfordshire England,  we had three guys who had been roaming around Ashland Junior High School just a few years earlier;  as Marc Robbins was also assigned there.

Click here for discussion of my Mercedes-190SL

I came to Greensboro with a 1958 Mercedes 190SL and left with a green 1974 Ford F-150 (much like this one) and an Irish Setter puppy.

20 June 2014


I did not own this pedal car and cannot swear with complete certainty that I played in one of them,  but the little roll bar and the other details seem quite familiar so I am 90% certain that someone I knew had one.  They were not around long,  probably coming out toward the end of "Roy Rogers" television show, which ended production in 1957.  There was no space between Nelly and Belle although both spellings are common.  Interesting that Pat Brady and Roy Rogers were both Ohioans.  Click below for more:


14 May 2014

It's A Daisy

click here for my Daisy BB gun story

21 March 2014:

My Radio Flyer was a "Rex Jet"

Antonio Pasin started building wooden toy wagons in Chicago in 1917, selling them to area shops. His business grew until the Liberty Coaster Company, named in honour of the Statue of Liberty was formed in 1923. In 1930, the company was renamed Radio Steel & Manufacturing. The renamed company produced steel-bodied wagons and used assembly line manufacturing techniques. The new Radio Flyer wagons were named for Pasin's fascination with radio and with flight.

Click this link for more pages of this story:

My Rex Jet Wagon

9 February 2014:

Fifty years ago today,
on Feb. 9, 1964, via “The Ed Sullivan Show,” America met the Beatles.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/07/3273654/the-beatles-50th-anniversary-ed.html#storylink=cpy

The Beatles would have happened here whether they played “The Ed Sullivan Show” or not. Indeed, for many the only reason the show is remembered is that the Beatles were on it, but they might not have happened so explosively, so definitively, so fast. Their first appearance on the show, which they opened and closed, was estimated to have been seen by a record-breaking 73 million viewers, or one in three Americans, and they appeared the next week as well, remote from Miami Beach, and the week after that, on videotape.

Not everyone who watched was converted, of course. If they were relatively friendly revolutionaries, with their pressed suits and bemused grins, professional politesse and malt-shop lyrics, they were revolutionaries nonetheless. Their energy was fearsome, their wit sharp and their hair, by local standards, was for some confusingly long.

Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2014/02/07/3273654/the-beatles-50th-anniversary-


Click this link for more pages of this story:

29 January 2014: 

Little Rita Rosebud
"Tubby is devastated when he can't afford to attend Little Rita Rosebud's stage show".  Script by John Stanley, art by Irving Tripp.

If you search for "Little Rita Rosebud" on the internet,  this is the only link other than a comic book character index.  Think about the implications of that,  it means out of the billions of people on the planet I am the only one with enough interest in the story (my all-time favorite) and in the internet to post something about this material,  the reinforcement of our uniqueness is perhaps the most significant thing about the internet.  Jeff is weird!

Little Rita Rosebud

Click this link for more pages of this story:

26 January 2014:  Brewster McCloud

This has been on my list of top ten films since I first saw it 40+ years ago.  It withholds at lot from the initial viewing and you discover something new each time you watch it. 

The film has references to other films, Altman's own work, and other places. Altman refers to Bullitt (1969) by including a character named Frank Shaft, who is a detective from San Francisco.  The name may have inspired the name of Richard Roundtree's "John Shaft" character,  in a more subtle parody from 1971 ("he just took my man Leroy and threw him out the God damn window").   

Homages to The Wizard of Oz (1939) have been noted in the film, as Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West, is the music conductor seen during the opening credits. She is seen wearing ruby slippers in the film.  Hope (Jennifer Salt) who supplies Brewster with health food, resembles Dorothy, as she wears a distinctive gingham dress, has pigtails and carries a basket. At the end of the film, she is shown in the cast as Dorothy carrying Toto.

Shelley Duvall (below) plays a Raggedy Ann airhead character (without Luna Lovegood's redeeming qualities) and actually appears as a Raggedy Ann clown in the final scene.  

The coolest of all the images from the 60's-70's,  this one was right in the middle of that period as Altman's film was made in 1970,  just after he made "MASH".

Brewster McCloud

Click above for full review.

22 January 2014:  Harper Valley P.T.A.

Harper Valley P.T.A.

Click above for full story.

12 January 2014:  "Back On That Old Bipolar Pony"


Evan's "King of California" character actually says: "Time to get back on that old bipolar pony and ride";  which seems an appropriate ("polar" duh) title for a discussion of greenhouses and of global warming, as well as a nice title for my first blog entry of the new year.  So click on this link and prepare to be both informed and entertained:

Click above for full story.

The mother of stupidity is always pregnant

Hell is empty and all the devils are here as religious fundamentalists.

This Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' - Isaac Asimov

A successful earthly life is the transition from self-importance to insignificance.  From seeking certainty to embracing uncertainty.  Of becoming infinitesimal in order to become part of the infinite. - Jeffrey Ewing

"Fanaticism is the only form of willpower to which the weak & irresolute can rise." –Nietzsche

City and civil rights leaders in Birmingham unveiled the “Four Spirits” statue in Kelly Ingram Park Saturday memorializing the victims of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, one day before the 50th anniversary of that tragedy. On Sept. 15, 1963, a bomb placed by Ku Klux Klansman exploded before Sunday services killing four girls – 14-year-olds Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley and 11-year-old Denise McNair. The bombing shocked the public, helping lead to passage of the Civil Rights Act a year later. However, other than a plaque on the side of the church there has been no permanent memorial to the victims in Birmingham.

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