T. Buckingham Thomas physics Oberlin WOBC Richwood Tom Thomas Chyron Infinit Pittsburgh
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Thanks for your responses to date! Several of them filled gaps in my knowledge, so I made corrections. A couple of e-mails resulted in new articles. And as for the other comments, here are some excerpts, mostly from 2001 and 2002.
A majority of the comments were from the Ohio town where I grew up. As Lynne Ledley wrote, "Our roots are Richwood through and through, and we so willingly want to share our love for our hometown!"
But first, some reactions from other people when they first saw this site.
From Jim Stockdale, Oberlin class of 1952:
What a surprise to learn that there had been some other Oberlin football broadcasts besides ours back in 1950!
The Oberlin football team of '50 was really good. I think they lost only one game, and believe it or not, we had good crowds at the home games. So a lot of folks listened to our broadcasts, as primitive as they were (and I mean primitive).
We tried to broadcast a basketball game that year, but it turned out to be a disaster. We were driving down to Wooster, ran into a sleet and ice storm, slid off the road, and had to eventually be pulled out by a wrecker, so we never made it for the broadcast.
Believe it or not, Mike Berla and I broadcast all of the home swimming meets live from Crane Pool, then went to Kent State for the Ohio Conference meet and broadcast it live. Oberlin's swim team was undefeated and won the Ohio Conference. Mike did the actual play by play, and I did the color. And there was a lot of time for color in a swim meet.
The story of your statistical study on baseball games struck home. That was very much like a masters' thesis that I did at the University of Tennessee in 1954-55. I was trying to determine, by the use of statistical significance, what elements actually make a difference in a high school basketball game. We secured a great amount of stats (shooting % and where from, FT %, rebounding, player heights and game minutes, time of ball possession, turnovers, significant turnovers, etc., etc., etc.). To try to eliminate the home court factor, we used only tournament games. This was long before the days of computers, or even modern calculators, so I had to crank all of this stuff out on a one-armed bandit type of hand crank calculator. But it was a lot of fun. Your study reminded me of all that occurred a long time ago.
From CR Lawn, Oberlin class of 1968:
I still like basketball and can recall a game we [broadcast] at Muskingum that went into overtime. You had a great voice but you went hoarse that night and I had to do the overtime. We beat 'em, I think, and I recall I yelled into the mike, "hold the ball!" as the last seconds ticked down.
Enjoyed your reminiscent article of our sleep-in demonstration in Peters Hall 35 years ago. Fun to look back after all these years. Thought your conclusion a bit facile.
Of course we were young and a bit thoughtless about concerns of others. On the other hand, Carr and his lackeys were pretty out of touch with our concerns, and the present administration at Oberlin has even acknowledged as much: that the dorms erected when we were there were pretty horrendous.
Of course, it wasn't our demonstration that changed college policy; it was the fact that they had to change because the Ivy League schools like Yale were going co-ed, and there would be no market left for Oberlin if it continued to segregate the campus and treat us like a bunch of high schoolers!
In any case, I have a lot of fond memories. It was good to believe we could change the college and change the world. Too bad we get wiser as we get older.
From Ted Morgan, Oberlin class of 1968:
I had forgotten this series of events, or I was confusing them with an event in the fall in Wilder when, backs to the wall, I remember the student resistance kind of fizzling out.
There was a sense that at some point it no longer made much sense to beat the dead horse of institutional resistance on this issue when the war was so much more profoundly crucial (and many actually enjoyed 'section autonomy' anyway). I remember some kind of comment I don't remember if Paul Osterman made it or I did about "I'm not willing to get suspended for section autonomy. I am for the war," or something to that effect.
Anyway, those faces sure look young! And, well, it's sobering to realize that was 35 years ago!
From Barbara Ashley, Oberlin class of 1969:
Thanks for drawing my attention to your write-up of the events at Peters Hall. To be quite honest, I recall parts of the event but not entirely as it is portrayed here . . . and indeed, I'm not clear how, exactly, I personally have been portrayed.
Looking back on it, those were times of high emotion and still-limited maturity. While I respect and applaud our passion and principles I would, given the advantage of maturity and hindsight, have wished we were more open-minded more civil to those who held different points of view and far more understanding of the other victims of the war the returning veterans who, for many reasons not nearly as black and white as our youthful perspective appreciated and often from backgrounds far less privileged than our own, found themselves in the midst of heinous circumstances, only to return to insult and abuse at the hands of their countrymen.
I continue to feel privileged to be part of the 60's generation. We are a generation that has been able to question and define our society in a way that was previously unknown, but we were young and not all that we did was as I might have done it now. I can only say, however, that is was motivated by the purest of intentions and the passion of youth.
From Ted Gest, Oberlin class of 1968:
At the May 2001 WOBC reunion, we did what amounted to a shortened version of the oral history you no doubt have from 1988. I also talked to a couple of the current students and alums about trying to maintain and expand the station archives.
I left U.S. News recently to become full-time head of a group I co-founded called Criminal Justice Journalists, based in D.C. with the University of Pennsylvania.
From Michael Barone, Oberlin class of 1968:
Ah, the days when Bongarten and Rouse were my "employees"! Ha. Great to be reminded of marvelous, magical moments.
Was I ever really "Mike"? Yes, I seem to be able to hear Heckenlively calling me that.
So much has changed, but so much remains the same; I'm still a "casual" dresser. And by what strange circumstance I ended up out here in Minnesota . . . and stayed!?!
From Georgia Dzurica, Syracuse graduate class of 1970:
I clicked on your three recurring dreams, and I recognized the first two as dreams I've always understood as common to the human experience. But I was shocked when I rolled down to #3.
It was just last night that I revealed to a neighbor (a Syracuse grad from Ohio!) that I had had a recurring dream for 32 years after my mother left me lying in the back seat of the car while she stopped at a stand for tomatoes. Since she failed to yank the emergency brake on fully, I was rolling back into a five-way intersection when a guy jumped into the car and saved me. My mother was just walking out to the parking lot with her bag of tomatoes when she saw a strange guy at the wheel of her car, with her kid's white face peering over his shoulder.
I expounded on 32 years of dreams in which I was either in the back seat, or at the wheel of a car or panel truck, or riding a Victorian bicycle. We stopped at Kinko's, and I said I'd wait in the car while my neighbor ran in for six copies. She didn't put the brake on all the way, and the car started to roll back in Kinko's parking lot!
I'm listening to Whitley Streiber's Dreamland on the radio now, and he has a dream expert on tonight. I'll see whether she talks about the commonality of being unable to drive the car. Mine was a literal experience, but there is apparently a metaphoric and symbolic aspect to it as well.
From Emma Founds:
Thank you for the wonderful article on the Pledge of Allegiance! I am a high school student writing an argumentative paper against the Pledge being recited in schools, and found some very helpful info in your article (I'll cite it, of course)! I am glad to see that there are people questioning what role God has in the state.
From James Bird:
Thanks for spreading the info [about the old Ohio sales tax stamps].
I counted these unwanted stamps back in the forties at the orphanage. Two years ago I started to collect them. Now I find that it was more work than I believed, but it is a challenge to see how many varieties I can find. There was also a 3-cent card; do you know of any from your town?
The hardest is to locate those big hoards out there. As far as I know, no one within 50 miles of Dayton collects them. If you get any other inquires about the stamps, you can give them my e-mail.
From Larry Bliss:
Wonderful days spent building . . .
I ran across your excellent photos and text of your construction days as a boy.
I had a set of American Plastic Bricks, too back when I used 'em, they were just American Bricks. Fun to build and great fun to topple over!
Really loved American Skyline. I just wish my Dad had bought me the really big box. Your models are great.
I found a mint condition American Skyline set, 400 some pieces, on Ebay. Waiting breathlessly for it to arrive.
From Bob Circosta, colleague in 1972-73:
How great to hear from you. It brings back a lot of great memories.
I'm still in Florida. I was there at the beginning of a whole industry the home shopping business! I stayed with them for about 15 years as an on-air host, vice-president of sales, and vice-president of on-air sales training.
Then I started my own company (Bob Circosta Communications, Inc.), and it's been going great for the past 10 years. My company sells products on TV (infomercial and home shopping) and trains people to sell on TV, and then I have a complete sales training program for those not related to TV in which I do seminars for corporations and businesses.
So, I am happy to say that I have been truly blessed and am enjoying life to the fullest.
From James DeMay of Tennessee:
I was born in raised in Washington, Pennsylvania, and grew up mesmerized by this wonderful new "cable TV" thing in the early '70s. I would watch the B&W camera scroll back and forth on channel 3, passing the clock, temperature, and the cutsie handwritten ads for, say, Pat Charmley Plumbing.
Ron King recalls he worked there 1971-'74. He shared a couple stories with me, interesting tidbits of the station. Ron still has an office on Main Street, and owns a Christian radio station, WRKP.
Finally, the bingo games! Habit forming, that show was. My sister won a savings bond once.
I went to JFK grade school. The school itself had a B&W camera and videotape contraption, and the JFK teachers taped our Christmas plays and stuff. You may know, however, the high school shut down, circa 1990, due to declining enrollment hand-in-hand with obscenely high tuition. Oh, to locate that old JFK tape machine somewhere . . . in working order . . .
From Tom Huet, current colleague:
You have too much time on your hands!
And now some responses from my hometown, Richwood. From Vonnie Wasserbeck, daughter of my mother's friend Eileen Mosher:
I also used to spend my Friday nights at the speedway in Richwood (or was that Saturday nights) rooting for Todd Gibson, because he grew up in Essex, my old stomping grounds. It's a wonder I lived to grow up with those Gibson boys tearing up the roads around there!
I thought a lot of your dear Mom and Dad, and they were so good to my Mom and Dad. Your mom and my mom were best of friends.
From Mary Jo (Fetter) Motz, class of 1965:
I am impressed that you still have all of those "artifacts" from school to back up your recollections. It was interesting to read all about things that I had long ago forgotten, or maybe even repressed.
When we were in eighth grade, Ed Olson promised to make me the first woman Secretary of State when he became President. I am still disappointed that Madeline Albright beat me to it.
The kindergarten operetta was an annual event. We have family pictures of my sister Linda in her costume two years prior to our class's production. Her classmates were all representative of nursery rhymes too, so I don't know if they always presented the same production, or if nursery rhyme characters were just popular for children's programs.
The poem "November Rain" was wonderful. I had not realized you were such a talented writer on top of all your other accomplishments. You added a lot to our class with your many talents; your mind challenged all of us to learn more.
From Dan Anderson, class of 1963:
I especially enjoyed the Olson story and the pictures.
From Terry Rockhold, class of 1965:
I read the story about the kindergarten play. You surely remember a lot more about it than I did. I do remember one thing, though. Barbara Bugg and I were in the center of the stage, and they told me to kiss her hand. Being a five-year-old boy, I didn't want to do that. Eventually, they talked me into it. When I kissed her hand during the matinee performance for the students, everybody laughed! How humiliating!
From the April 2001 "Telstar," the monthly newsletter of South Towns Amateur Radio Society near Buffalo:
The Internet is a gold mine of information on almost all subjects. Now, it finally includes pictures to answer the question, "Where did STARS Newsletter Editor Terry Rockhold K2OO grow up"?
Yes, you can see actual photographs of Richwood, Ohio, a quiet village of about 2200 people located in North Central Ohio.
Best yet, you can see the modest two-story stucco house where the Rockhold family lived. Even though the house was sold to others when Terry's parents passed away 20 years ago, it still retains its distinctive yellow color. Terry started his interest in radio sitting in the kitchen of this house listening to the BBC and Radio Moscow on an old floor model radio bought for $5.00 at a street auction.
As a bonus, you can also see the high school that Terry attended as well as the church were he sang an occasional solo.
While you are at it, check out the web site of Tom Thomas, a close friend of Terry while they were growing up. Under the Richwood section, you will find a story about the Kindergarten Operetta that Tom and Terry starred in during 1953!
From Connie (Cameron) Ransome, class of 1965:
I don't get back to Richwood often. We live in South Carolina but do return every few years for a visit with remaining family. As a result, I don't reminisce often about the "good old days," but Dick and I both remembered some of the info. The pictures were especially helpful. I think we went up and down every street in Richwood, remembering who lived where. (Had to dust off some serious cobwebs to even begin to do that!)
From Barbara (Baker) Williams, class of 1968:
I, too, have so many fond memories of Richwood, one of which was how sweet your Mom and Dad were. Don't think there will ever be as honest a car dealer as Vernon. Was so touched by your website and all the memories and pictures. I especially loved the one of your mother dated sometime in 1940.
From Sharon (Adams) Kaspari:
Connie (Jordan) and Vonnie (Mosher) sent me your website. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about and seeing pictures of members of my family. I really liked the picture of Aunt Alice and Uncle Bee's house. I always loved that [Rockhold] house.
I also remember the day the Chevrolet garage burned down. My husband and I lived next door to the DeGoods at the time, and Hilda came running over and asked my husband to take her down there. He had not even stopped the car, and she had the door open and was jumping out. That was really a tragic day, but at least no one was seriously hurt.
Thanks for all the memories your site brought back to me.
From Marcella (Marcie Weber) MacKey, class of 1964:
I definitely remember when the garage burned out. I was on guard at the Richwood Lake and was the first at the lake to see the flames. Of course, my first thought was that it was Web Plastics until I realized that the location was too close.
From Bonnie Bell, class of 1965:
I did not know that you were at your father's dealership the day of the fire. I guess we didn't really talk too much during school.
I do remember being your partner at our 8th grade graduation party. We were in the gym at the high school, and Jim Price's uncle and aunt, Lester and Margaret Eblin, were giving us square dance lessons. I wore a red suit (skirt and jacket) that my mother had made for me. You did just great, but we were a little stiff.
From Renetta Penix Johnson:
I live in Richwood, Ohio. I was born in 1965, so I am unfamiliar with most of the people and places that you speak of. I am amazed by the amount of information you have and names of people you remember.
I have a lot of family history here in Richwood, and I would like to leave my email address ( email@example.com ) for anyone who accesses your site, in case they would know anyone in my family from Richwood.
I am a Penix. My dad is Roy; his father is James. My mother was a Griffith. Her name is Rona, and her dad was Ronald. We are related to so many people in Richwood! I have lived here all my life, and I wouldn't want to live or have grown up anyplace else!
My grandmother grew up in Essex, and her family are Seamans (and Doyles). Her brother is buried in Price Cemetery. Our family also has roots in Kentucky: Salyersville, Kentucky. In fact, my parents just bought property there and are building a home for a place to get away.
Thank you for the look into the past.
From David Rankin:
Crazy thing, I happened to stumble onto your site. I live in Richwood. Good pics. I knew your Dad had that dealership, but I didn't know it burnt (before my time). You probably don't know me, but my parents are Virg Rankin (school teacher retired) and Jani Rankin (she was a McBride). Thanks for the entertainment.
From Eileen Jividen Pfarr, class of 1965:
Thank you for including "The Bixbys" on your website. I was amazed to discover that anyone even remembered it after all these years. The sixth grade was definitely my favorite year of school. Mr. Merriman made everything so much fun. It was a joy to be in his class.
Jerry and I have been married 36 years. Remember when you played the organ at our wedding? We have two sons and four grandchildren (one of whom is named Ashlynn Eileen after her grandma, although I have to agree with you that not many people use that name anymore).
Our life at this time consists mainly of spending time with our family and serving God. We are short term missionaries and go on trips to Latin America as often as possible. Jerry is in the Dominican Republic right now teaching in a Bible School. We'll both be going to Argentina in a few months..
From Carol Cochran Lafontaine, class of 1960:
I am the daughter of Marian and Dean Cochran. I sent your site to my folks, as my dad has entered the computer world now, and he has written back that he enjoyed rambling around in your presentations and well remembers giving you an "A" on your rainy night in front of the high school.
I remember your dad's garage for something that others may not. I always seemed to get the news, when I was in grade school and it was October, that the new models were out and it was time to go to the Chevy garage on my way home from school. Donuts and cider were being served! Of course, I always checked out the new Chevrolets, too, though my dad was a Ford man. (Ford had no donuts!)
And you mentioned Hazel Mae Bowersmith. She was our neighbor where we lived, on a 10-foot hill your mother might have liked, on Fulton Street. Each spring Hazel Mae would take me with her two girls to the woods and we would dig up wildflowers and plant them at home. It is because of her that I know what Dutchman's britches, spring beauties and dogwoods are.
Last June I went back to Richwood for my class's 40th reunion, and we toured the old high school. (I have lived in Canada for 38 years, having married the first Frenchman I ever met.) After not seeing the school for so long, I was disappointed at the shape it is in; rather in a shambles. But we grown-up "teenagers for a day" went into each room, on the stage, in the auditorium, and relived things that happened in those rooms. We even found out some things that some of us knew that others hadn't experienced.
I can see you standing alone outside the school on a rainy night. I heard old Judge Allen, this winter in Florida, tell about how he was embarrassed to pull up to that same school with his horse and buggy, so he would put it in a shed on the north side of town and walk the rest of the way to school. The memories there must be about that place: so much intrigue, cheering, and personalities that lived a very special part of their lives in that building.
Your site was so interesting that it almost makes me want to make one of my own.
We live between Cornwall and Williamstown, Ontario. Jacques was a forest ranger here, managing the hybrid poplar and tree planting operations. We used to live way up north in Chapleau, Ontario, where the only place to go was to the "bush." The main street wasn't paved. I taught school there until I became a mother of four boys. When they got to high school, I became a licensed practical nurse and then a supervisor of a detoxification center.
I met Jacques on a lake north of Chapleau when Fritz Drodofsky scouted out the place and asked other friends to come on up. He was with a group of Junior Rangers who came to the park after work to look for girls. Marsha McDaniel and Nancy Allen were with me. Jacques did not speak English at the time, but when we three girls sent a postcard to the boys, he answered and wrote to me. (Nancy had written "Richwood, Ohio" under our names or he never would have known where to write.) What a little thing brings about one's destiny!
Mother is almost 85 and Dad is 83. When I visited Richwood last June, I went to the Price Cemetery to see where they had buried Perry Allen, and I had a real shocker. There were the tombstones of two of my old boyfriends and many of my friends' parents! I know I am very blessed to have my parents still.
From W. Dean Cochran, former high school principal:
Tom, I have been enjoying your materials on the Internet. In particular, I have read "Rainy Night," and in so doing recall that long ago I received a paper suspiciously like it from a student of yesteryear. I gave it an "A" then, and I still do.
It is great to make contact with that student again. Your photo indicates that you haven't changed much in appearance over the years.
I can hardly believe it myself, but you are now talking to an 83-year-old octogenarian! That does amaze me, and I'm frequently brought up short when I can't think of a name to go with a well-remembered face. Gets downright embarrassing when the person is one you're talking to.
I get an occasional phone call from Dick Fetter [who was Superintendent of Schools when I was Principal]. He lives down here at Sun City Center. At the age of 91, he's still playing golf a couple of times a week and still runs Friday-night bridge for the area. He has mellowed considerably and is much easier to talk to than he used to be. He was a good school man and delivered an economical program which didn't overmatch the financial resources of the community.
From Sherry Keigley, class of 1965:
I want you to know that your poem Rain in November really touched my heart. I felt like I somehow became of your mind and experienced that moment with you. Your writing is truly beautiful, and I must say I am very impressed.
I am now living in Sarasota, Florida. I am an office manager for a dental office and am happily married. I wrote and published a book on metaphysics about six years ago, and am teaching a class on it on AOL on Friday nights. It has been fun. The book came about from 11 articles that were published in the Sedona Journal of Emergence.
From Tonya (Davis) Payne, class of 1965:
Denny Roberts and I were married for almost 11 years, and we have two beautiful daughters and six wonderful grandchildren. I changed my vocation at the age of 42 and entered the world of finance.
I, too, have a website, and I would love to have you visit it. Here is a link: www.astariascrystalball.com. I hope you will sign my guest book, and let me know what you think. It's a controversial subject, I know, but one that has grown to be an important part of my belief system.
From Brenda (Beeney) Frank, class of 1964:
Enjoyed your website; it brought back many happy memories of Richwood and your Mom and Dad. I had forgotten about her flowers and Mrs. Miller. For years everywhere we moved, I moved transplants from a big bamboo bush my Mom originally got from Mrs. Miller. This reminded me of all the arrangements of hers and other garden club members I always admired at the Richwood Fair.
From Lynne (Glass) Ledley, class of 1965:
You will be glad to know, looking at your mother's flowers at your home on Hoskins Road, that Pearle Evans (who lives there now) has continued the flowers and has added many other plants as well. She also belongs to the Garden Club. Must be something about that house!
From Dixie Ledley, class of 1965:
I was so surprised and glad to hear from you. It brought back some great high school memories!
Sounds like you are doing well. I have been working for the John Deere Company since 1984 and was located in Columbus until three years ago when I transferred to the Kansas City, Kansas, area. It is OK, but I surely miss family and friends.
From Jeannie Evans:
Lynne Ledley just told me about your website. Don't know what took her so long!
Even though I'm not originally from Richwood, I do remember your parents. You'll probably remember my husband (Thad Evans) more than myself. I assume you are up on the news enough to have heard of Thad's unexpected death on May 20, 2000. I remember you most when you came back to town and played the organ at the church. Everyone loved your music.
I'm not sure if you are aware of the North Union FFA website www.angelfire.com/oh/nuffa/ created and maintained for the last three years by my son Jared, who is a senior at BGSU. Maybe you'll know the parents of some of these kids!
From Connie (Jordan) Hill, class of 1960:
I am Spence Jordan's "older" sister. Bob and I graduated from RHS in 1960 and had our 40th class reunion last year. We love Richwood and reminiscing about our time there.
I send out newsletters during the year prior to our reunions. I wish our class had a historian of your caliber.