JUNE 30, 2009 NEW LEASE ON LIFE
The top story from this week's Richwood Gazette: When Mills Chevrolet in Richwood closed its doors in October, many residents of Richwood were disheartened. Richwood Village Council members saw it as an opportunity. While losing one of the village's biggest businesses was never going to be a good thing, officials decided that they would not let Richwood suffer another vacant storefront and empty parking lot.
After five months of negotiations, Council voted 5-0 to purchase the dealership to consolidate operations from two aging structures which no longer suit the needs of Richwood. Moving out of these two buildings will save as much as $12,000 a year in utility bills.
One is a flood-prone modular home that currently houses administrative offices. Now that house can be sold.
The other is the Village Hall, the landmark Opera House, which would require more than $675,000 to be made safe and usable. Now the repairs can be limited to patching the roof and repairing the clock.
The village will spend $288,000 for the Mills Chevrolet building and land, plus another $50,000 for remodeling. The showroom will become a council chamber. Other parts of the building will house administrative offices and the police department. Part of the used-car lot will become an impound lot. The former service department will be used to repair, wash, and store village vehicles.
When my father built the dealership in 1964-65, he had no idea he was constructing a future city hall.
JUNE 29, 2009 CATCH-PHRATHE
I never knew all the details of this story. Lets say that it took place in a small Kentucky diner on a hot day in the early 1940s, before air conditioning became widespread.
My newly married parents were looking over the menu. Someone inquired about the soup of the day.
The response from the cook became a family joke forever after:
JUNE 24, 2009 MORE FAMILY PHOTOS
Ive used some of them to put together a new article about her grandfather, my uncle. Ralph in a 1931 swimming suit! His bride in eggshell horsehair and lace mitts! See it all in Uncle Buck.
JUNE 19, 2009 A BENCH FOR REFLECTION
Today is Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when, more than two months after the conclusion of the Civil War, slaves in Texas were finally told that they had been emancipated by a proclamation from President Lincoln 2½ years earlier.
Gilbert Cruz wrote in Time last year, Advocates say Juneteenth is as deserving of recognition as Independence Day. We may have gotten there in different ways and at different times, says [the Rev. Ronald V.] Meyers of blacks and whites, but you can't really celebrate freedom in America by just going with the Fourth of July.
Ms. Morrison wrote in 1989, There is no place you or I can go, to think about or not think about, to summon the presences of, or recollect the absences of slaves; nothing that reminds us of the ones who made the journey and of those who did not make it. There is no suitable memorial or plaque or wreath or wall or park or skyscraper lobby. Theres no 300-foot tower. Theres no small bench by the road.
A bench would be the least we could do. And twenty years later, the Toni Morrison Society did it, placing A Bench by the Road in the parklet that commemorates Oberlins involvement in the Underground Railroad.
JUNE 13, 2009 TODAY IS SATURDAY
Whew! That was a close one! Friday the Thirteenth come on a Saturday this month!
JUNE 10, 2009 REMEMBERING THE GARAGE
Forty-five years ago today, as I described in an earlier article, a Wednesday-afternoon fire destroyed my father's place of business in Richwood, Ohio.
Later in that year of 1964, it was a rainy Christmas Day when I took the photo below.
More details, and a dozen more pictures from the early days of the garage, are in my new article Beginning and Ending.
JUNE 9, 2009 BE PREPARED
If I were a professional columnist, or a blogger with an expectation of producing something every day, I think Id want to be working ahead. Id have some columns written in advance so Id be ready for the inevitable deadline when there was absolutely nothing to write about.
On this amateur website, I try not to let more than six days go by without an update. To make sure that I can satisfy that self-imposed rule, I do work ahead. You arent reading tweets that have just occurred to me! Since April Ive been holding one piece that can run at any time, and I have several other ideas in various stages of development, including one planned for tomorrow.
Then there's the occasional topic that interests me at a random time of the year but will be most appropriate for a different season. Ive pre-written one piece that will run later this month, two for July, one for September, one for October, three for December, and one for March 2010. Stay tuned.
MAY 30, 2009 WHAT RHYMES WITH ALABARMY?
One sunny day one glorious May, Bill Doodle made a rash decision. Click his name for the backstory, which includes my lyrics from 1965.
MAY 29, 2009 ALLEY BANK
Here we go again. I saw a magazine ad this week: Introducing Ally. A bank that believes... its your money, not ours.
A little research reveals that Ally is a new name for a troubled institution, GMAC Bank. So how does this new bank expect us to pronounce its name?
It might be the traditional AL-LIGH, as in The Soviet Union was our ally in World War II. But Ive grown to expect cutesier corporate pronunciations.
Give us a hint, GM. After all, how did people ever learn that Chevrolet doesnt rhyme with violet?
MAY 22, 2009 MAY IS NATIONAL STRAWBERRY MONTH
"Do you know who the lady with the strawberries is?" asked Cousin Linda last year.
MAY 16, 2009 BRAND THIS
Several months ago, I worked on the closed-circuit telecast of a corporate meeting. The company president was excited about this concept hed recently discovered called branding.
Eureka! thought the boss. We can get people to pay us 241% more than they pay our competitor. All we have to do is convince them our brand means higher quality. We can increase our revenue without increasing our costs. Free money!
The boss asked his employees, gathered in the ballroom and watching on TV, to split up into small groups and come up with operational improvements to turn branding into profits.
Unfortunately, the company was not one that sold low-priced name-brand products. It sold services. And Im sorry to report that the brainstorming employees failed their assignment.
Their best idea had nothing to do with branding. It was, "New employees just sit around for their first two weeks unable to use their computers because they're still waiting for their passwords. We should speed up the password-assignment process."
A valid point, but probably not the kind of thing the boss had in mind.
MAY 12, 2009 GIRLS! WHAT'S THE MATTER WITH GIRLS TODAY?
Good news, music lovers! In my archives from high school days, I've located the show-stopping quartet from my never-produced 1964 musical, Follow Your Star. I had previously posted an excerpt on this website, but now the complete manuscript is available!
The song is called "They Don't Make Girls the Same." A group of young men express their objections to the newfangled concept of feminism.
folks ask, "Why is chivalry dead? Why do men not show
respect to women? I wonder why." It's because the
women aren't so tame!
For damsels in distress have a charm that makes men want to help them all they can; but today's females have gained all the rights that the males have, so they don't need any man to help them. Girls today are not the same!
don't need us, they say;
MAY 1, 2009 CHANGE OF ADDRESS
I started this website in 2000 using the free Geocities service offered by Yahoo! As I recently noted in my "wayback machine" entry, within a couple of years the service was no longer free for me, because I began paying a small amount to add capabilities and subtract advertising.
Recently Yahoo! announced that it will be phasing out Geocities over the summer. Because this site has become my major hobby, there was no question that I would keep it alive, but I had to find it a new home. Now I'll be paying a slightly larger amount, about $10 a month, for an actual domain of my own. The address t2buck.com refers, of course, to my "T-squared" nickname at work and to the version of my name that I'm using as the author of this website, T. Buckingham Thomas.
So far I've copied 2,638 files (pages and images) to this new address, which makes it fully functional. You may have found it when the old address referred you here. If you care about such details, I plan to spend May, June, and July on three additional projects before Geocities disappears for good: