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“Top Ten Things Overheard During the East Coast Earthquake”

10. “How can we blame this on Obama?”

9. “Please God, take the Jersey shore!”

8. “New York earthquakes are better because of our thinner crust”

7. “Did you see how scared Nancy Pelosi was? What do you mean she always looks like that?”

6. “Sounds like someone’s breaking into the Ed SullivanTheater again”

5. “Was that the stock market?”

4. “Chris Christie just jumped into the race”

3. “Help us, Captain America!”

2. “All this shaking makes Letterman look alive”

1. “Well, at least there isn’t a hurricane headed this way”

Fairmont’s premier marching band competition, The Kettering Fall Classic, will be held on October 8, 2011.

The band boosters are inviting you and/or your business to consider becoming a patron for this event. Your support of the 2011 Marching Band Program impacts the lives of not just those participating in the Fall Classic but the nearly 400 students in the Fairmont Band programs. As a patron you can support the band programs by placing an advertisement in the Fall Classic Program.

If you happen to be a business owner you may promote your business at the Classic. This event attracts over 5000 performers and music enthusiasts, and you may gain valuable visibility and positive impressions by having your advertisements announced during the Fall Classic event and read in the event program.

You may also wish to send a “good luck” greeting to one of your Fairmont marching band members, publicize an organization to which you belong, or to highlight an upcoming event with your own organization. What a great way to get the word out!

The Fairmont Bands welcome your donation in any amount to help make this event and season a success. Please send it to the address noted on the Patron Drive Ad flyer. If your donation is received by Tuesday, September 13, 2011, we’ll include your name and advertisement in the Fall Classic Program.

Thank you for supporting music programs in the Kettering Fairmont High School Band Department.

If you have questions, please call Mike Wager @ 435-5974 (home), or 361-1369 (cell). Please return the Patron Drive Ad with your contribution by Tuesday, September 13, 2011.

(Adapted from patron drive letter sent by Mike Wager, 2011 Fall Classic & Patron Drive Chairperson)

I will be honest.

I only attend football games for the marching band.  Yes, I am now in my fifth year as a marching band parent so there is an incentive to get me to the games.  For me, I am paying $7 for a ticket to watch pre-game and half-time.  Later in the season, I will go to the game after half-time so I don’t have to pay $7 to watch the band’s post-game show.

I love baseball games and soccer games, but sadly, they generally do not have marching bands performing pre-game and half-time shows.

It’s not about the money.  It’s about – what is for me, personally – a waste of time.  I am one who likes to keep busy, and sitting through something that does not hold my attention is draining.  When I go to medical appointments or any place where I might find my self waiting, I have a book to read, or something to work on.  A football game is no different.  However, during a football game I generally go over to sit on the steps of the nearby school corporation’s administrative building to read or work.

Last night was an interesting night of football.

After the normal pre-pregame festivities of Step-Off, Entering the Stadium, and… (I guess that was it) I settled into my blue seat with a back next to a lovely lady and her trio of well-behaved, very polite daughters.  After a bit of chit-chat it was time for one of the most exciting (for me) parts of the evening.

The marching band took the field for pregame, and it was a special night because my son, Quintin, carrying two large cymbals, was marching for the first time.

My absolute favorite part of pregame is something that has become a tradition since it’s 2008 (I think) introduction: Script BIRDS.  The marching band moves to the backfield (visitor’s side for football folks) and winds its way out of a tightly packed blocked to spell out B I R D S in script formation.  This marching event was borrowed from The Ohio State University Marching Band’s Script OHIO and has become Fairmont’s crown jewel of the pregame excitement.

As I filmed the letters of BIRDS carefully connecting smoothly, out the corner of my eye I saw something that seemed to be caught somewhere between an impending disaster, and a video from America’s Funniest Videos: the Fairmont football team was plowing across the field at full force, heading directly toward the marching band just as it was completing the ‘D’ and preparing to move on to the ‘S’.  You could feel the fear wrap through the stands as the charging teammates barreled across the field seemingly blind to 200+ band members blocking their way.

Fortunately, the football players stopped within feet (possibly inches) at the edge of the ‘D’, dancing in place as they tried to figure this new formation.  The marching band continued moving through the team to form the ‘S’, and eventually, the football players realized they were in the way and moved to the sidelines while one player remained imprisoned by the forming ‘S’ (OK, that part was actually funny).

While this scene was playing out around the 30, over on the 50 the opposing team’s players had run onto the field but with a less crushing charge.  They hovered in the middle of BIRDS, bringing out a nasty chorus of “Boos” from the Fairmont stands.  Finally, the players were motioned off the field by zebra-striped officials.

Despite this game being the hottest competition of each opening season, the hottest topic was pregame’s near disaster.

For me, personally, the situation was over.  Thankfully, no one was injured (later in the game there was a band injury).  It was the first time since the band began doing Script BIRDS that there was ever an incident on the field – to my knowledge.  However, there was widespread grumbling in the stands, and beneath the stands, and not just from current, and former band parents.

The pre-speculation was to blame the football team for “being so stupid.”

Now, anyone who is mildly acquainted with well-practiced athletic teams and marching bands know that someone had to give the order to move.  I honestly could not see the team deliberately charging its own marching band.  I am sure this happens in some schools, but from my vantage point, the Fairmont directors and coaches have always appeared to have a mutual respect for one another, and this has always seemed the case with the students in both organizations.

Then, the blame was being sourced out to the coaches of both teams – but mainly to our coach whose players could have caused the most harm.

All I cared about, up to half-time, was heading home to rest, and download my photos for my mother to see (she is always proud of her grandsons).

While getting my popcorn, more out of boredom than hunger, one former band parent asked what I thought caused the near-onslaught of our band members.  My first reaction, kept to my self, was, “Why does my opinion even matter?  This is just part of your drama-ensued nature, Lady.” (You’d have to know this lady!)  Instead, I said that I was glad all was well, and turned to give my order – and thankfully, the parent followed my dismissal.

The next band parent, following me up the stadium ramp and stairs, asked, “What do you think caused the pregame incident?”

“Obama,” I tossed back over my shoulder.  “Everything seems to be his fault these days.  I say it’s Obama’s fault our kids nearly got crushed.”

He laughed and went to his seat.   I went to mine.

Later, on a Facebook post, the band director did note that it was the head official’s (ref) decision to send the football team in too soon.  

The score board indicated the first quarter was not over… one more quarter and then it would be half-time.

A gentleman seated two rows behind me must have been the same guy who sits with a group of drunk pals at Elsa’s restaurant in Kettering whenever there is a game playing on the large screen.  He is THAT guy that has the loudest, most penetrating voice, and is THAT guy who knows everything about the coach’s job.  Most are referred to as “arm chair quarterbacks.”  I simply refer to them as ‘loud-mouth, drunken asses.”  The LMDA behind me did not sound intoxicated, but was certainly loud and obnoxious.

However, he did something that makes me want to turn, and create a Jerry Springer moment in public.  He belittled players when they did not succeed with a play on the field.  This bullying behavior from spectators is wrong in any venue, but I find it severely inappropriate behavior when teenagers, or younger, are playing the game.  This kind of behavior should be always be removed from any game.  Finally, one of the folks across the aisle rose to say something privately to the LMDA.

The cutest moment was listening to the elderly couple directly behind me.

The visiting team’s band was attempting to perform their half-time presentation, but were held up by technical difficulties (electricity to their keyboard).  The couple suddenly became Howard Cosells with play-by-play commentary which cracked me up.  The seriousness invested in their comments made it all the more rich.

“I’ve still got that extension cord in the truck.  Should I go get it and offer it to them?”

“You mean the cord you used when you went to fix Helma’s porch light?”

“Hmm Hmm.  She just needed a new light.”

“Why didn’t you bring it in?”

“I forgot.”

The visiting band began their show, but directed it to their fans, and not to the Fairmont side.

“I’ve never seen a band march with the backs to the crowd.”

“Something new I suppose.”

“Why do they have lamp posts on the field?”

“Maybe some school football bleachers don’t have good lighting.”

“But they are not lit.”

“I should have gotten my extension cord.  Could’ve lit at least one or two of their lamps.”

Finally, it was Fairmont’s turn to take the field.  At the close of their presentation, the marching band moved towards the stands playing the fight song.  The lady behind me, having apparently forgotten about the lighting situation from the previous band, says, “I don’t like it when those one horns slide up.”

“They’re slide trombones, for Christ’s sake.”

And with that chuckle, I slid down the steps to make my retreat home.

An eventful game, indeed.

This note to band parents just arrived from the band director:

A few items “for the record”

  • The Band did a great job – Congratulations!
  • The Head Referee told our football players they had to take the field, however his timing was not in alignment with the planned game schedule the FHS athletic dept had published
  • The Alter football team was instructed to NOT go to center field but to angle over to the sideline
  • Band Student name withheld, who was tackled during the drum line 3rd quarter was checked out by the EMT at the game and is OK. He is here for donation day today.  This was an unfortunate accident and we will take measures to correct this for next week.
  • Thanks to all students, parents, and staff for a “memorable” first game!

If you have never been to a Fairmont High School football game, you are missing some pretty neat traditions.

The high school and football stadium, one of the nicest in the area, are several blocks apart.  At first I thought this was logistically impractical; however, now I see it as one of the neatest, most exciting moments one can experience.

At 6:45pm, in front of the performing arts wing, the entire band lines up for what is called, Step Off.  The band moves around the high school’s Southern campus inviting tailgaters and other fans to fall in behind the band.  The Marching Firebirds and trailing fans wind through a picturesque neighborhood filled with more cheering fans enjoying barbecue parties, fans waiting from their parked cars to join the procession, and fans who simply stand on their front porches to watch the band go by.

I mean, how neat is that?  Six Fridays each fall you have a 200+ marching band pass by your house.

While this is going on, there is a growing momentum at the stadium.  This particular night, I hurried to the stadium to catch the band’s entrance – clearly a major moment for Firebird football/band fans.

The announcer brings stadium attention to the marching band as it rounds the corner from the neighborhood, and this is often accompanied with cheers.  The band winds through the parking lot, through a gate, and then proceeds under the stadium seating which is heralded by the pounding of percussion.  The stands vibrate and shake while the fans go nuts.

Last night, as the marching band moved beneath the stadium, the announcer referred to the band as “the Pride of Kettering.”  Yes… it is!

It really is a neat tradition that rivals many college traditions, and if you live in The Miami Valley, it is worth the time to swing by and watch.

In fact, stay for the game and watch the pre-game production which offers another incredible moment when the marching band spells out a script “BIRDS.”

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It was so cool this morning and this afternoon that I set a box fan just outside my study so it would push in some cool air.

Chief kept walking in front of the fan, nudging his nose in the air toward the fan when he would return to the deck where he snores away much of his outdoor time.

This afternoon I realized I was receiving no air from the box fan and discovered it was turned around.

I re-positioned it and Chief whined a little (now remember, this is the same big lug that threw himself on the floor with whimpers when he thought he was not getting a treat one evening).

I returned to my desk, and out the corner of my eye I see Chief rise, saunter over to the fan like he was Merv Griffin entering the studio, nudge it with his nose until he turned it back towards where he chose to lay.

I am still sitting here howling!

Chief is also aware that there is a ton of activity happening on the other side of the privacy fence now that school has resumed. He simply lifts him self onto the glass top table on the deck to sit and observe.

A year ago we were in the process of bidding farewell to Flyer… she’s had a semi-difficult year, but she’s still just as sweet, and full of love!

Thanks to Debbie Allen for this trivia….


Did you know the saying “God willing and the Creeks don’t rise” was in reference to the Creek Indians and not a body of water?

It was written by Benjamin Hawkins in the late 18th century. He was a politician and Indian diplomat. While in the south, Hawkins was requested by the President of the U.S. to return to Washington. In his response, he was said to write, “God willing and the Creeks don’t rise.” Because he capitalized the word “Creeks” it is deduced that he was referring to the Creek Indian tribe and not a body of water.


In George Washington’s days, there were no cameras. One’s image was either sculpted or painted. Some paintings of George Washington showed him standing behind a desk with one arm behind his back while others showed both legs and both arms. Prices charged by painters were not based on how many people were to be painted, but by how many limbs were to be painted. Arms and legs are ‘limbs,’ therefore painting them would cost the buyer more. Hence the expression, ‘Okay, but it’ll cost you an arm and a leg.’ (Artists know hands and arms are more difficult to paint)


As incredible as it sounds, men and women took baths only twice a year (May and October). Women kept their hair covered, while men shaved their heads (because of lice and bugs) and wore wigs. Wealthy men could afford good wigs made from wool. They couldn’t wash the wigs, so to clean them they would carve out a loaf of bread, put the wig in the shell, and bake it for 30 minutes. The heat would make the wig big and fluffy, hence the term ‘big wig.’ Today we often use the term ‘here comes the Big Wig’ because someone appears to be or is powerful and wealthy.


In the late 1700’s, many houses consisted of a large room with only one chair. Commonly, a long wide board folded down from the wall, and was used for dining. The ‘head of the household’ always sat in the chair while everyone else ate sitting on the floor. Occasionally a guest, who was usually a man, would be invited to sit in this chair during a meal. To sit in the chair meant you were important and in charge. They called the one sitting in the chair the ‘chair man.’ Today in business, we use the expression or title ‘Chairman’ or ‘Chairman of the Board.’


Personal hygiene left much room for improvement. As a result, many women and men had developed acne scars by adulthood. The women would spread bee’s wax over their facial skin to smooth out their complexions. When they were speaking to each other, if a woman began to stare at another woman’s face she was told, ‘mind your own bee’s wax.’ Should the woman smile, the wax would crack, hence the term ‘crack a smile’. In addition, when they sat too close to the fire, the wax would melt. Therefore, the expression ‘losing face.’


Ladies wore corsets, which would lace up in the front. A proper and dignified woman, as in ‘straight laced’ wore a tightly tied lace.


Common entertainment included playing cards. However, there was a tax levied when purchasing playing cards but only applicable to the ‘Ace of Spades.’ To avoid paying the tax, people would purchase 51 cards instead. Yet, since most games require 52 cards, these people were thought to be stupid or dumb because they weren’t ‘playing with a full deck.’


Early politicians required feedback from the public to determine what the people considered important. Since there were no telephones, TV’s or radios, the politicians sent their assistants to local taverns, pubs, and bars. They were told to ‘go sip some Ale and listen to people’s conversations and political concerns. Many assistants were dispatched at different times. ‘You go sip here’ and ‘You go sip there.’ The two words ‘go sip’ were eventually combined when referring to the local opinion and, thus we have the term ‘gossip.’


At local taverns, pubs, and bars, people drank from pint and quart-sized containers. A bar maid’s job was to keep an eye on the customers and keep the drinks coming. She had to pay close attention and remember who was drinking in ‘pints’ and who was drinking in ‘quarts,’ hence the phrase ‘minding your ‘P’s and Q’s’.


One more: bet you didn’t know this!

In the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and many freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls. It was necessary to keep a good supply near the cannon. However, how to prevent them from rolling about the deck? The best storage method devised was a square-based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine, which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem…how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling from under

the others. The solution was a metal plate called a ‘Monkey’ with 16 round indentations. However, if this plate were made of iron, the iron balls would quickly rust to it. The solution to the rusting problem was to make ‘Brass Monkeys.’ Few landlubbers realize that brass contracts much more and much faster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannonballs would come right off the monkey; Thus, it was quite literally, ‘Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey.’ (All this

time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn’t you.)

In less than 15 minutes, Quintin will return home from his first day of high school. The boy was so eager to begin this new chapter of his life, and I am so proud of his enthusiasm.

However, I will be buried under the usual heap of paperwork to read, fill-out, sign, copy, and make sure Quintin has his marching orders to return all the paperwork.

We will have a brief time at home to discuss his day, and grab a bite to eat before marching band practice. I will have the luxury of several hours of writing time before walking the one of the three dogs to the football stadium for the end of rehearsal. And this also marks Quintin’s first time on the stadium field for a marching band rehearsal – exiting.

I am enjoying my ALONE TIME. My business email is turned off and will not be opened again until Monday morning. If I do contribute anything to Facebook it will be purely social. And I may type an occasional blog. Unlike President Obama, I am going to be more selfish with my “week away” because I can. I only have an endocrinologist appointment tomorrow, and a special fun lunch scheduled for Friday. Saturday, while Quintin is engaged with the marching band’s donation day, I will write. We may go to Kings Island that evening, and Sunday we will do some more fire-pit work.

Monday will not only return me to my teaching schedule (with 49 students – and I have not even scheduled my middle school students, yet!), and preparations for my family’s visit for the Labor Day weekend.

Photos of Quintin before heading over to the high school…

So, this is really Navi and Chief’s first experience with the start of school. The end of this past school year there was no back fence to keep them in, and they could easily escape from the deck; therefore, they spent most of their time inside.

Well, at 6:30 this morning, while I was still deep in slumber, the deep roars of barking began from those two… the first teachers were arriving.

Flyer laid in her corner of my bedroom, content with this oft repeated ritual of teachers arriving (every day, actually).

All morning long The Kids have been greeting every blasted car door opening while I am trying to write. I either do not hear the offending car door, or I am too accustomed to the sound. Before their barking chorus commences each time, the sound of their claws and paws scrambling from their curled up positions directly behind me reverberates from the wood floors.

All summer long the only time a car door was heard in the parking lot was when a private student was arriving or leaving – The Kids got use to that routine.

Chief also stands on the deck table to see over the fence, and Navi prances and dances all around the table wishing she could climb up as easily as Chief.

I am wondering how long it will take them to connect the arrival/departure of school buses to the fact that most students, and Quintin, will be arriving within minutes. Flyer quickly figured this out, and even after nine years, still prepares her self for the start of her day’s responsibility as the official Haasienda Hostess.

On May 25, 1910 at Huffman Prairie, just outside Dayton, Orville Wright piloted two unique flights.

First, he took off on a six-minute flight with Wilbur as his passenger, the only time the Wright brothers ever flew together. They received permission from their father, Bishop Milton Wright, to make this flight. They had always promised their father that they would never fly together to avoid the chance of a double tragedy and to ensure one brother would remain to continue their experiments.

Next, Orville took his 82-year old father on a nearly seven-minute flight, the first and one of Milton Wright’s life. The

airplane rose to about 350 feet while the elderly Wright called to his son, “Higher, Orville… higher!”

And that’s how I felt today while being one of the first to ride the new carousel – the new gem of Dayton’s Carillon Park.

After lunch I rode with several Wright brothers enthusiasts to the site of the Wright family home on Hawthorn Street, just off Third Street in West Dayton. August 19th, 1871, Orville Wright was born in the front second floor bedroom. Three years later Katharine Wright was born on the same day, in the same room. We spent some time in the Wright brother’s bicycle shop on Williams Street, and then the aviation center across the plaza.

We stopped by Woodland Cemetery to pay our respects to the Wright family, and passed by Hawthorn Hill, the gorgeous mansion crowning a gigantic hill in Oakwood.

I retrieved Quintin from home so we could attend the Carillon Park/Dayton History annual meeting. I was slightly miserable from the heat and decided I would show Quintin the same things I visited earlier that afternoon. While at the cemetery, a couple from Oklahoma City approached and asked if I knew much about the Wright family.

It was nearing 5:00pm, and I knew I should be at the meeting. However, with a passion for history, I believe there is a duty as an ambassador to share Dayton’s history with others. By 5:20pm we were heading over to Carillon Park.

We stood in the back of the tent, catching the last 10 minutes or so of Brady Kress’ speech.

Brady Kress…

Dayton was so lucky to be blessed with the likes of Wilbur & Orville Wright, Charles Kettering, Col. Deeds, John Patterson, and countless others, but we are equally blessed with Brady Kress who is equal as a visionary to the Wrights, Kettering, Patterson, and Deeds combined! As local news media maestro, Jim Bucher, claimed, “Brady is Dayton’s own version of Walt Disney!”

Bucher is so right on target!

As Brady concluded the annual meeting, he encouraged everyone to check beneath the seats of their chairs. Thirty-three lucky people would find, taped to the bottom, a gold carousel coin honoring them with the first ride. I was a bit disappointed that I was not seated in one of the several open chairs and even considered making a mad dash for several.

As Quintin and I turned to head to the ribbon cutting ceremony, I saw Amy Kress, Brady’s wife, and her father coming towards us. Her father, Mr. Schwartz handed me the gold coin taped beneath his chair. He had already ridden the carousel during his granddaughter’s birthday party, and Amy said I would probably be thrilled to ride it. Of course, all week long Amy has endured my emails of childish glee – but she did start it several years ago when she first told me of the carousel’s unique design. Two of the special designs were to be Orville Wright’s Saint Bernard, Scipio, and Wilbur Wright’s dog, Flyer. I even loaned Brady one of my books that contained a photo of the original Flyer.

I know Mr. Schwartz was talking to me about something as we walked to the ribbon cutting, but honestly, I was not even close to earth as I held tightly to that gold coin. Being one of the lucky 33 ranked right up there with

  • getting to hold Mary Todd Lincoln’s gloves
  • holding the small portrait of Mary Todd Lincoln’s father, Robert Todd
  • thumbing through Bishop Wright’s family Bible and holding his spectacles (thanks to Melba Hunt)
  • holding Orville Wright’s white dinner jacket which he wore to a White House dinner in 1942 (again, thanks to Melba)
  • meeting Vice-President Gerald Ford in July 1974
  • singing “The National Anthem” as the first actual performance at The Schuster Center for the Hard Hat Concert
  • standing a few feet from John Glenn and Neil Armstrong during the closing ceremonies of the 2003 flight centennial

I am sure there have been other major highlights like these – and beyond the arrival of a new son, or the birth of one my brother’s children. Today was one of those exciting, magical moments for me.

After the ribbon cutting, Quintin and I joined the crowd of 450+ and strolled into the building. The exhibits were great, but to be truthful, I was aiming for the carousel. We can return any time to enjoy the wonderful new exhibits.

We entered the carousel pavilion, and I heard workers calling for folks with the golden coin. I barreled through the bodies with out causing casualty to anyone and presented my golden coin. Willy Wonka, here I come!

I got to Flyer before a kindly looking woman who was eyeing this ride. She just thought it was an ordinary dog displayed on the carousel. Poor thing got a quick history lesson right there, and then. When I told her my dog was named Flyer she backed off and found another ride. One friend asked, “What if Amanda Wright Lane [the great grandniece of the Wright brothers] had been the lady and had wanted to be the first to ride Flyer?” Well, there was a cute little bi-plane representing her uncles and it would have only been fitting for her squat her rights on it!

I am hoping to head to Carillon Park Sunday afternoon to take in the exhibits.

Dayton – thank you for supporting our community’s rich history, and thank you, even more, for entrusting it to Brady Kress.

“Believe and act as if it were impossible to fail.”
Charles Kettering

Grand opening
Join us at Carillon Park as we celebrate the

Grand Opening of the Heritage Center of

Dayton Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship on

August 20, 2011

Carousel of Dayton Innovation

Deeds Barn

NCR Cash Registers

Animatronic Theater

1912 Cadillac

and so much more

dayton toys


Mike-Sells Potato Chips



For more information call 937-293-2841 or visit

Lincoln Society of DaytonThe Historic Patterson Homestead
Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social

August 21 · 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm

The Lincoln Society of Dayton is having their Second Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social on the Great Lawn of the Patterson Homestead on Sunday afternoon, August 21 between 4:00 pm and 7:00 pm.

There will be games (played in the 1860s) for all ages, story time, Lincoln bingo, and even some prizes.

Free ice cream! Bring your own blanket and picnic! Special programs and surprises!!


Lincoln loved Ice Cream…we do, too…Come on the 21st so we can share with you!

Victorian Afternoon Tea’s
Sponsored by
The Wellington at Dayton

Come join us at the Patterson Homestead for a 19th century afternoon tea. You will enjoy tea service from costumed interpreters and a bread, sandwich and desert course all baked from authentic Victorian Era recipes. Each of our teas is from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and will highlight the history of the Patterson family, the time they lived in, and the historic Homestead itself.

August 21th – Etiquette Tea

In the Victorian Era, there was a proper way, and an improper way, to attend a tea. Learn how you would have visited friends and acquaintances, attended or hosted a tea, and even how to subtly communicate using your fan.

Reserve Your Spot Now!

Space is limited and prepaid reservations are required. The cost of each tea is $18.00 per Dayton History member and $20.00 per non-member. For additional information or to make reservations, please contact the Patterson Homestead at (937) 222-9724.

Train by Transportation
Carillon Park
Rail & Steam Society
Train Run Schedule

The Carillon Park Rail and Steam Society will be operating their scale train rides (for an additional $1 fee) for the visiting public from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, unless otherwise noted, on the following dates:

Saturday, August 20
Saturday, September 10
Sunday, September 18
Saturday, October 1
Saturday, October 15
Saturday, November 26
Saturday, December 17

Carillon Bell Tower
Carillon Concert Series

Summer Schedule

August 21 – 3:00 pm

August 27 – 1:00 pm

September 5 – 12:00 pm

September 11 – 3:00 pm

September 18 – 1:00 pm

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Keep up to date with everything that is happening at Dayton History by following us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Quick Links

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Become a Volunteer

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Enjoy a day of fun for the whole family!

August Park Coupon

Carillon Historical Park 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, OH 45409
Enjoy beautiful Carillon Park then stop in Culp’s Café for lunch!

August Culps Coupon

Carillon Historical Park 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, OH 45409

This afternoon Quintin returned from marching band practice and I could tell he was a tad agitated. As we went out for our fresh vegetables, he finally admitted why he was a bit grumpy.

“I get so pissed when band members talk bad about other sections or the guard and say mean things.” I nodded my agreement. “Like today, some of the band members were talking about how they hated the guard costumes. When they say bad things about the guard or anyone else they are talking bad about the entire band because we should all be one.”

It took me a moment to let that one absorb. That was pretty heavy stuff for a teenager, especially one who has never been involved in any corporate activity like marching band.

In fact, it was profound.

The night I attended the marching band camp parents’ show I was so excited to see Quintin marching. I had been spoiled by not needing to search for my child in the sea of marchers, as Jose played in the front-line percussion. After the show, Quintin could not stop talking as we headed to the dorm to retrieve his bags. The talking continued throughout the drive to the restaurant for dinner, and for a good hour following dinner as we sat to chat some more about band camp. Not once did he volunteer information about the “fun” things he did at camp: going to the pool, the water balloon toss, the bonfire, freshmen serving the seniors. I actually had to ask about those events. Quintin’s focus was on the marching, the music, what he was learning, how everyone worked together, the various sets in the marching, and particulars about marching.

What did he not like about camp? Band members talking as instructors were trying to teach.


Yip! “I just wish people would shut up so we can get more work done.”

And this has been his daily mantra since band camp ended three weeks ago.

Naturally, as a parent, and teacher, I am suspect to wonder if he does any of the talking. But, for some reason, I am led to believe he just might be extremely focused during rehearsal.

Today’s conversation was quite exciting because I know Quintin is on an entirely different level than so many students his age, even his older brother who was in marching band for four years. Quintin seems to comprehend his duty, and responsibility to the band. And he is much like someone else when they were his age. His dad.

I told Quintin how proud I am of his devotion to band, as well as his understanding that the guard is definitely “the band” just as the winds and percussion are. It is all ONE BAND.

I find it interesting, even an incredible “wow” that Quintin has captured this thought process, and mentality so early. It’s exciting, actually!

This is a beautiful place I love to visit…

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This is from a family friend, Kathy Manoussakis, a breast cancer survivor. Please share in her victory, and support this great cause!


Hi everybody,

I am starting my “walk” campaign a bit early this year and wanted to let you know that you should have received or will receive an email from me regarding this year’s breast cancer walk. In the email, there is a link that you can click on to add a donation. It does require either a debit or credit card, and the security is top notch. If you don’t feel comfortable in doing the online donation, you can give me your donation via a check (made payable to the American Cancer Society) or cash and I will make sure it gets loaded to my page as a donation and given to the appropriate party at the walk.

Also, the designated offering for the month of September at Mighty Fortress is for the breast cancer walk, so if you would prefer to donate that way, it will be most appreciated. Any contribution, no matter how big or small will go towards research to stop this dreaded disease.

I am a three-year survivor and have seen first hand what the research has done. My cancer was the same type that my mother had, but the big difference because of research, I only had to have a lumpectomy and lost only a piece of my breast. Mom had to have a mastectomy and had to have the whole breast removed! Research is finding more and more each day!

Thank you in advance for any donation you can make!

Kathi Manoussakis

The American Cancer Society

“The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.”
Marcel Proust

You have new Picture Mail!



All those who have achieved great things have been great dreamers….

You have new Picture Mail!


This was such an enjoyable week, and an even better weekend!

Beavercreek HS Show Choir Camp

I don’t think I have enjoyed working the Beavercreek High School show choir camp as much as I did this past week.

Sharon Busch, having completed her second knee surgery, was in excellent spirits, and it was great to see her not in pain.

The instrumental combo was an absolute blast! We added Sophie Lockhart, Ben Scudero and Josh Strange from Fairmont HS, and Andrew Blake from Xenia HS to fill in for the BHS band students who were attending band camp. This combo with Kevin Fagan, Alex (guitar), Mark Monroe, Alex (alto sax), Maggie (trombone), and of course, the wonderful Keith Hitt, rocked from Monday’s first session to Friday’s parent performance.

After the parent performance, Quintin and I joined Joanie & Brian Pollock for a Mexican dinner that was accompanied by more laughter than salsa!

Quintin spent 90 minutes playing lazar tag with the BSH show choir, and I was so appreciative of this invite as Quintin had a blast! I finally got to chat with Don Adams for a spell, and that is always a great treat. Don is one of my favorites.


Quintin and I finally rolled out to the back yard by 10:00am to begin the near-final touches on the fire-pit. The track for the crushed stone is completed, and ready to be filled. I transplanted ground cover, ivy, and mums, mowed the front yard after Quintin mowed the back yard, trimmed, weeded, edged, and cleaned up the debris. Quintin is a hard worker, and always has a great attitude about working on projects.

By 4:00pm I was a bit red, tired, and quite dirty. I laid down for an hour’s nap, showered, and fed pets.

At 6:30pm we were out the door for Carillon Park’s German Festival. It was packed, and the lines were incredibly long for the one major food tent. Instead, we decided to head to the Dayton Mall area for Chinese food, but not before we had the chance to check out the new facility through the windows.

Brady Kress, President & CEO of Dayton History At Carillon Park, has done an enormous job of orchestrating the vision of this new wing of Dayton history which includes a carousel that highlights Dayton’s history… a cash register, a Wright flyer, and the two most exciting items: Wilbur Wright’s dog, Flyer, while he lived in France (1908-1909), and Orville Wright’s Saint Bernard, Scipio. I am so pumped to see it up close, and maybe even ride the carousel this coming Friday at the annual meeting of the board and members! What an exciting event!

The Chinese meal was so-so, but the tons of laughter, and great conversation, made up for it.

Back at the Haasienda it was apparent that the hideous storm that reeked havoc at the Indianapolis State Fair was upon us. However, the thunder, lighting and torrential rain that blasted other parts of Kettering apparently decided to abort our neighborhood.

The windows are open, the breeze is delightful, guitar music floats up from the basement, three dogs are asleep in my study, Logan is curled up on my desk, and I am ready to call it a day!

Tomorrow is writing, and time with Quintin who wants to go on some sort of adventure. That should be fun – whatever it is!

Darin L. Jolliffe-Haas

Bending history
Indian Trail trees offer a look into the past
by SARAH JONES Calhoun Times1E24_trail_tree_0202.JPG

Spotted across the continental United States, Indian trail marker trees offer insight into a heritage and tradition long forgotten.

According to Donald Wells, president of Mountain Stewards out of Jasper, these “funny bent trees” tell the tale of the Native American’s way of life, prior to European colonization.

In his presentation of “Mystery of the Trees — A Lost Native American Culture,”Wells explained the importance of these trees to the Friends of New Echota during the group’s monthly meeting Thursday.

The ancient marker trees marked Native American graves, camp sites, water, trails or “just about anything,” Wells said.

“They bent trees. This was their maker, their sign,” he said. “We probably have the best database (of trees) of all the evidence.”

Mountain Stewards members have been working for years to document all of the Indian marker trees throughout the United States and into Canada.

The process of bending

Although the exact mechanics of how Native Americans bent the trees is unknown, Mountain Stewards has been able to shine light on the basics of the process.

According to Wells, the Indians took a small sapling and bent it horizontal to the ground. The tree was tied to the ground for a year, allowing it to grow into a bend. At the end of that year, the Indians would bend the tree again and begin shaping it for its particular function.

“They bent them all different ways,” he said, and some trees were bent in groups of two or three.

Marker trees typically had a “nose” on the front, which would atrophy or be cut off after the initial bending process.

The bending process usually took between five and 10 years, Wells explained.

Besides trail markers, the trees served as, prayer trees, medicine trees, campsite markers, witness trees and grave markers.

“Trees were spiritual to the Indians,” Wells explained.

The Utes in the west used Ponderosa Pines as prayer trees, he said.. Every year during their spiritual pilgrimage, the tribe would return to their tree and continue the bending process. Once the process was complete, the Utes would offer tobacco to the tree because they believed their ancestors resided there.

The trees also played a part in human healing processes. The cambium layer of bark, inside the outer and inner layer of bark contains as much calcium as nine glasses of milk, Wells said. Indians in some tribes would eat this bark to nourish themselves to survive the winter.

Many of the trees used as markers in the south were white oaks, according to Wells; these trees have been found to mark water and trails.

The Comanche Indians used pecan trees as campsite markers to mark favorable sites with high bluffs and flat ground near water.

Other marker trees known as “witness trees” were carved with messages that only Indians knew how to read, ac-cording to Wells. This practice was adopted by early American settlers for use in surveying, he added.

A lost tradition

The tradition of tree marking faded with the waning population of early Native Americans. The Indians were an orally-based society, Wells explained, and many of their traditions have been lost to time.

After the arrival of Europeans in America, many tribes were forced to abandon certain aspects of their culture.

“The elders are the key (to these traditions),” Wells said. “But over time, they were lost.”

In the late 1800s, many Indian children were forced to attend boarding schools where they were “brainwashed,” Wells said. The children were not allowed to speak their native language or learn about their ancestors.

Therefore, Native American descendants were not allowed to pass on the secret of the trees, and because of this, the tradition has been lost.

“We don’t know a lot about the trees because of 250 years of government policy, lost numbers, lost way of life, lost knowledge, and lost culture,” he said.

Indian culture is on the rebound, however, with many descendants and advocates working to restore it.

“They (the Cherokees) are bringing it back,” Wells said.

Indian trails

In addition to mapping trail marker trees, Mountain Stewards maps old Indian trails throughout the United States.

According to Wells, the majority of the maps from that time period were old surveyor maps. Mountain Stewards members take those maps when available and walk the area to find old Indian trails.

According to Wells, several trails have been found in the New Echota area of Gordon County.

The trail running through New Echota runs from St. Augustine, Fla., to Cincinatti, Ohio, Wells explained, and it’s still there today.

When Mountain Stewards finds a trail, they register it on Google Earth, Wells said.

About Mountain Stewards

Mountain Stewards, a non-profit organization, was founded in 2003 after Wells and four of his friends sparked an interest in bent trees while building hiking trails.

Mountain Stewards began the Trail Tree Project in 2007.

“It just took off like a rocket,” Wells said.

Since its founding, Mountain Stewards has mapped over 1,000 miles of Indian trails and documented more than 1,600 trees in 39 states across the United States.

“We felt like it was something that needed to be done,” he said. “… we’re trying to document this heritage.”

Mountain Stewards has also compiled more 70 hours of documentary film about the trees and trails.

In 2009, the organization teamed up with Cherokee Preservation Project to collaborate with in this effort, and received an additional contract for 2011-2012.

Mountain Stewards has met with various Indian tribes, particularly with the eastern band of the Cherokees, Wells said. He and his team have interviewed several elders to gain knowledge about this culture.

“We’re going to continue as long as we can keep finding things,” he said.

They are now gathering enough materials to present their findings to Congress and change laws to protect the trees, according to Wells. Current legislation does not protect living historical sites, he explained, and Mountain Stewards is working to change that.

Wells is also in the process of publishing “Mystery of the Trees – A Loss of Indian Culture” which is set to come out later this year.

Those who might believe they have found a trail marker tree may report the tree online at

Read more: Calhoun Times – Bending history Indian Trail trees offer a look into the past

Just a test




Darin L. Jolliffe-Haas

Who was the first President?

I’m sure that George Washington was your best guess. After all, no one else comes to mind.

But think back to your history books – The United States declared its independence in 1776, yet Washington did not take office until April 30, 1789.

So who was running the country during these initial years of this young country? It was the first eight U. S. Presidents. In fact, the first President of the United States was one John Hanson.

I can hear you now – John who?

John Hanson, the first President of the United States. Don’t go checking the encyclopedia for this guy’s name – he is one of those great men that are lost to history. If you’re extremely lucky, you may actually find a brief mention of his name. The new country was actually formed on March 1, 1781 with the adoption of The Articles of Confederation. This document was actually proposed on June 11, 1776, but not agreed upon by Congress until November 15, 1777. Maryland refused to sign this document until Virginia and New York ceded their western lands (Maryland was afraid that these states would gain too much power in the new government from such large amounts of land). Once the signing took place in 1781, a President was needed to run the country. John Hanson was chosen unanimously by Congress (which included George Washington). In fact, all the other potential candidates refused to run against him, as he was a major player in the revolution and an extremely influential member of Congress.

As the first President, Hanson had quite the shoes to fill. No one had ever been President and the role was poorly defined. His actions in office would set precedent for all future Presidents. He took office just as the Revolutionary War ended. Almost immediately, the troops demanded to be paid. As would be expected after any long war, there were no funds to meet the salaries. As a result, the soldiers threatened to overthrow the new government and put Washington on the throne as a monarch. All the members of Congress ran for their lives, leaving Hanson as the only guy left running the government. He somehow managed to calm the troops down and hold the country together. If he had failed, the government would have fallen almost immediately and everyone would have been bowing to King Washington.

Hanson, as President, ordered all foreign troops off American soil, as well as the removal of all foreign flags. This was quite the feat, considering the fact that so many European countries had a stake in the United States since the days following Columbus. Hanson established the Great Seal of the United States, which all Presidents have since been required to use on all official documents. President Hanson also established the first Treasury Department, the first Secretary of War, and the first Foreign Affairs Department.

Lastly, he declared that the fourth Thursday of every November was to be Thanksgiving Day, which is still true today. The Articles of Confederation only allowed a President to serve a one year term during any three year period, so Hanson actually accomplished quite a bit in such little time.

Seven other presidents were elected after him – Elias Boudinot (1782-83), Thomas Mifflin (1783-84), Richard Henry Lee (1784-85), John Hancock (1785-86), Nathan Gorman (1786-87), Arthur St. Clair (1787-88), and Cyrus Griffin (1788-89) – all prior to Washington taking office.

So what happened?

Why don`t we hear about the first eight presidents?

It’s quite simple – The Articles of Confederation didn’t work well. The individual states had too much power and nothing could be agreed upon. A new doctrine needed to be written – something we know as the Constitution.

And that leads us to the end of our story.

George Washington was definitely not the first President of the United States. He was the first President of the United States under the Constitution we follow today. And the first eight Presidents are forgotten in history.


Years ago an Alabama grandmother gave the new bride the following recipe: this is an exact copy as written and found in an old scrapbook – with spelling errors and all.

Build fire in backyard to heat kettle of rain water.
Set tubs so smoke wont blow in eyes if wind is pert.
Shave one hole cake of lie soap in boilin water.
Sort things, make 3 piles

1 pile white,

1 pile colored,

1 pile work britches and rags.

To make starch, stir flour in cool water to smooth, then thin down with boiling water.
Take white things, rub dirty spots on board, scrub hard, and boil, then rub colored don’t boil just wrench and starch.
Take things out of kettle with broom stick handle, then wrench, and starch.
Hang old rags on fence.
Spread tea towels on grass.
Pore wrench water in flower bed.
Scrub porch with hot soapy water.
Turn tubs upside down.
Go put on clean dress, smooth hair with hair combs.
Brew cup of tea, sit and rock a spell and count your blessings.

Paste this over your washer and dryer Next time when you think things are bleak, read it again, kiss that washing machine and dryer, and give thanks.. First thing each morning you should run and hug your washer and dryer. For you non-southerners – wrench means, rinse!




Darin L. Jolliffe-Haas

Over the past several weeks a number of “You might be from _______ if you…” have taken over Facebook. I read a few posts, and did not wish to join.

However, Sam Fisher added me.

I guess I should thank Sam for adding me as I have been reminded of the wonderful blessings I had growing up in Elwood, Indiana, the land of the Panthers, and the home of Wendell L. Willkie, 1940 presidential candidate opposing President Franklin Roosevelt. It truly was a great place in which to grow up.

Once upon a time, Elwood, first known as Quincy, was a Boom Town, and thrived for many years on the numerous industries, chiefly The Tin Plate. There was a magnificence to The Tin Plate, and the stories passed down through the years have been equally magnificent.

The stories told to me by my grandparents, great-grandparents, and their siblings, are still with me, and I treasure them not only as family heritage, but my hometown’s heritage, as well. Most vividly are my grandfather’s stories during The Great Depression. By the time they were repeated to me the stories were cherished, humorous anecdotes of the Barmes family who lived in the Northeast quadrant of Elwood. Now they are historical notes of survival, determination, working together, and spirit! There was no welfare to assist the millions who were out of work, trying desperately to feed families. There was, however, a grit that fostered the incredible spirit of that generation that also went on to endure WWII, The Korean War, and for many, even The Vietnam War.

When I was a little peep, Elwood was your typical Middletown, USA. It could have even been a Mayfield from LEAVE IT TO BEAVER. There was such an ease in the atmosphere, and an incredible amount of pride. In fact, it seemed as though there was quite the element of “class” which was abundant in that era. There was always a certain way of doing things, and it had to be done with not only completeness, but class.

My neighbors – the Myricks (Luther & Ida), the Herndons (Dick & Betsy), the Fortners (Don & Susan) – were probably like many neighbors throughout the Midwest, but these six adults, and their children, were MY neighbors. Therefore, they were exceptionally special – and they still are. For a while, our immediate neighbors at 9th & South A were Nick & Kathy Wolff who moved to the opposite corner. Beyond the corner of Main & 9th where I grew up were other many wonderful families with last names of: Mangas (yes, the cafeteria), Skalkostas, Poynter, LaPierre, Welcher, Savage, VanNess, Wolff, Noble, Parker, Kieffer, Aaron, Copus, Updyke, Davis (Zip the Barber), Hofer, Bunch, Hennegan, and so many, many more. When I return home and see many of these familiar faces of my childhood and youth, it is just like seeing members of my own family. In those years, your neighbors were much like family – and they still are.

The past several days I have struggled to keep up with the Facebook page that has kept over 800 people engaged in memories of our beloved hometown. I am grateful for those who are sharing their memories, but more importantly, I am grateful for the spirit that is uniting over 800 of us with pride for our wonderful hometown. It’s not necessarily Panther Pride – it’s a pride that goes much deeper than a mascot. It is the pride that flowed through, and from so many of our family members who settled in Elwood during The Gas Boom, and even in the years before. A pride that cannot be entirely described, but most definitely, a pride that can be felt. There are people I’ve never met who are sharing their hometown memories, and I feel a connection to each poster. A connection that is fostered by our mutual pride.

Sadly, the community of Elwood has glided into harder times, not unlike countless other small towns across the country. The luster of its once neat, tidy appearance has dulled as citizens move closer to jobs in larger communities, and as so many struggle with the current economy. Despite these physical set-backs, there is still a pulse – a pulse that goes beyond the crossroads of several major highways that dubbed Elwood with the title, “The Heart Of Hoosierland.”

As one classmate wrote tonight, “Elwood is still home to me.” I echo Frank’s sentiments. I moved to Ball State University in 1983, and on to Ohio in 1990. Ohio has been my residence for 21 years. However, Elwood will always be “home.”

You got it right, Dorothy… “there’s no place like home.”

The Clydesdales will be here!!!!!

Join us at Carillon Park as we celebrate the

Grand Opening of the Heritage Center of

Dayton Manufacturing and Entrepreneurship

on August 20, 2011.

Carousel of Dayton Innovation

Deeds Barn

NCR Cash Registers

Animatronic Theater

1912 Cadillac

and so much more

For more information call 937-293-2841 or visit

Last Weekend!! Innocent or Guilty??388.jpg
Courtroom Drama

At the Old Courthouse
August 5 – 7

Join Dayton History for an interactive courtroom drama at the Old Courthouse. This summer, the sensational 1896 Bessie Little murder case will be re-tried, with the verdict decided by you – the audience. After listening to evidence from both the prosecution and defense, spectators will be left to determine whether Bessie Little met death as a result of suicide – or murder. With one of Dayton’s most notorious court cases re-enacted, audience members will learn what law and order was like in the Gem City at the turn of the twentieth century.

Performances will be held on the following days:

Friday August 5, 7:30 pm

Saturday August 6, 7:30 pm

Sunday August 7, 3:00 pm

$10 – Dayton History Members

$12 – Non-members

Reservations suggested

Suggested ages: 14 and up

For more information call 937-293-2841 or visit

Old Courthouse is located at 7 N Main St. Dayton, OH

Dayton History Position Available Carillon Park
Development Coordinator

Part Time (32 hours / week)

The Development Coordinator is responsible for supporting Dayton History’s membership program, sponsorship program and fundraising events to achieve annual goals, corporate sponsorships, foundation and government grants, and fundraising events.


  • Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree, with coursework in fundraising preferred.
  • Strong knowledge of Windows-based software – experience with Raiser’s Edge software required.
  • Some event planning experience preferred.
  • Basic accounting proficiency required for preparing financial summaries and reports.
  • Excellent interpersonal and both written and oral communication skills.
  • Self-motivated worker with good project management skills.
  • Guest service orientation.
  • Ability to be a solid team player.

Please submit cover letter and resume to:

Elise Hafenbrack, Director of Community Development

Dayton History

1000 Carillon Boulevard

Dayton, OH 45409

or email to:

Train by Transportation
Carillon Park
Rail & SteamSociety
Train Run Schedule

The Carillon Park Rail and Steam Society will be operating their scale train rides (for an additional $1 fee) for the visiting public from 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm, unless otherwise noted, on the following dates:

Saturday, August 6
Saturday, August 20
Saturday, September 10
Sunday, September 18
Saturday, October 1
Saturday, October 15
Saturday, November 26
Saturday, December 17

Carillon Bell Tower
Carillon Concert Series

Summer Schedule

August 7 – 3:00 pm

August 21 – 3:00 pm

August 27 – 1:00 pm

September 5 – 12:00 pm

September 11 – 3:00 pm

September 18 – 1:00 pm

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Enjoy a day of fun for the whole family!

August Park Coupon

Carillon Historical Park 1000 Carillon Boulevard, Dayton, OH 45409
Enjoy a day of fun for the whole family!

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A blonde & her husband are lying in bed listening to the next door neighbor’s dog. It has been in the backyard barking for hours & hours.

The blonde jumps up out of bed and says, “I’ve had enough of this”.

She goes downstairs.

The blonde finally comes back up to bed and her husband says, “The dog is still barking, what have you been doing?”

The blonde says, “I put the dog in our backyard… let’s see how THEY like it!”

And then…
Lisa & Judy were doing some carpenter work on a Habitat for Humanity House. Lisa was nailing down house siding,
would reach into her nail pouch, pull out a nail & either toss it over her shoulder or nail it in.

Judy, figuring this was worth looking into, asked, ‘Why are you throwing those nails away?’

Lisa explained, ‘When I pull a nail out of my pouch, about half of them have the head on the wrong end & I throw them away.’

Judy got completely upset & yelled, ‘You moron! Those nails aren’t defective! They’re for the other side of the house!’

And then…
Did you hear about the two blondes who froze to death in a drive-in movie? They had gone to see ‘Closed for the Winter.’

And then…
A blonde hurried into the emergency room late one night with the tip of her index finger shot off. ‘How did this happen?’ the emergency room doctor asked her.

‘Well, I was trying to commit suicide,’ the blonde replied.

‘What?’ sputtered the doctor. ‘You tried to commit suicide by shooting off your finger?’

‘No, silly’ the blonde said. ‘First I put the gun to my chest, & then I thought, ‘I just paid $6, 000.00 for these implants…

I’m not shooting myself in the chest.’

‘So then?’ asked the doctor.

‘Then I put the gun in my mouth, & I thought, ‘I just paid $3,000.00 to get my teeth straightened. I’m not shooting myself in the mouth.’

‘So then?’

‘Then I put the gun to my ear, & I thought: ‘This is going to make a loud noise. So I put my finger in my other ear before I pulled the trigger.

And then…
A blonde was driving home after a game & got caught in a really bad hailstorm. Her car was covered with dents, so the next day she took it to a repair shop. The shop owner saw that she was a blonde, so he decided to have some fun… He told her to go home and blow into the tail pipe really hard, & all the dents would pop out.

So, the blonde went home, got down on her hands & knees & started blowing into her tailpipe. Nothing happened. So she blew a little harder, & still nothing happened.

Her blonde roommate saw her & asked, ‘What are you doing?’

The first blonde told her how the repairman had instructed her to blow into the tail pipe in order to get all the dents to pop out. The roommate rolled her eyes & said, ‘Uh, like hello! You need to roll up the windows first.’

And then…
A blonde was shopping at Target & came across a shiny silver thermos. She was quite fascinated by it, so she picked it up & took it to the clerk to ask what it was.

The clerk said, ‘Why, that’s a thermos….. It keeps hot things hot, And cold things cold.’

‘Wow, said the blonde, ‘that’s amazing…..I’m going to buy it!’

So she bought the thermos & took it to work the next day.

Her boss saw it on her desk. ‘What’s that,’ he asked?

‘Why, that’s a thermos….. It keeps hot things hot & cold things cold,’ she replied..

Her boss inquired, ‘What do you have in it?’

The blond replied…… ‘Two popsicles & some coffee.’

And then…
A blonde goes into work one morning crying her eyes out.

Her boss asked sympathetically, ‘What’s the matter?’

The blonde replies, ‘Early this morning I got a phone call saying that my mother had passed away.’

The boss, feeling sorry for her, says, ‘Why don’t you go home for the day? Take the day off to relax & rest.’

‘Thanks, but I’d be better off here. I need to keep my mind off it & I have the best chance of doing that here.’

The boss agrees & allows the blonde to work as usual.

A couple of hours pass & the boss decides to check on the blonde. He looks out from his office & sees the blonde crying hysterically…

‘What’s so bad now? Are you gonna be okay?’ he asks.

‘No!’ exclaims the blonde. ‘I just received a horrible call from my sister. Her mother died, too!’

Mother sent this to me after a post reflecting on life as we knew it… some very interesting points. Most of these things, I remember…

In the line at the store, the cashier told an older woman that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment.

The woman apologized to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right — our generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soda bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycled.

But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But he was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s diapers because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts — wind and solar power really did dry the clothes. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that clerk was right; we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana.

In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us.

When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But he’s right; we didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water.

We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the streetcar or a bus and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their moms into a 24-hour taxi service.

We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

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August 2011