jerryfroehlich

Memoir by Jerry Froehlich


PROLOGUE

            Why write a memoir, particularly if one has had an ordinary life with nothing unusual or eventful to recall? I kept no diaries or records and certainly am not a writer, so there was not thought of a memoir of my rather "ordinary" life. There was an event, however, which altered my thinking and triggered the start of this enterprise; I saw a television interview of John Updike, a noted and much admired American writer; he was about my age; he spoke about his childhood, nothing unusual, but I found his stories of a vanished time and place fascinating; as did the interviewer, who suggested that he write a memoir; Updike agreed and said that it was something that he really should do; he died a short time later, the memoir never written. I realized then that I too had a story to tell, looking back on a long road, but with the way ahead much shorter. I thought about my great-grandmother, Kathrina (Bezler) Dicke, who wrote her story when she was 90 years old, with recollections of her Württemberg childhood in the 1830's to her life as the wife of a country preacher in the backwoods of Wisconsin. I thought about two of my aunts, Lydia (Runge) Nicolaus and Lydchen (Runge) Froehlich who could tell wonderful family stories and oral histories, only a few of which I remember, and none of which were ever recorded. I thought about all the family members, friends and colleagues who had crossed my path, and this became my primary motivation - I wanted to put down their names and the stories of their lives as I knew them; I did not want them, their times or places to be forgotten. This is a memoir, not a researched historical document; many things I can remember clearly, other things only through the fog of distant time. This is the story, as I remember, of a rather "ordinary" life.





SIOUX CITY
Early Years

            I was born on November 10, 1930, at the Lutheran Hospital, Sioux City, Iowa, the first child of William Rudolph Froelich (Fröhlich) and Paula Anna (Runge) Froelich. I was baptized on November 24, 1930, by my grandfather, Rev. Carl A. Runge, with sponsors (godparents) my grandfather Franklin Fröhlich, my late grandmother's sister Emma (Salzwedel) Moesch, and my mother's brother Bernard Runge (Uncle Barney). Because my birth date is also the November 10 birthday of Martin Luther, I narrowly escaped being named in his honor, but Mother stubbornly prevailed with the name she had chosen - Gerald.

Baptism

Baptism certificate, 1930, St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hanover Twp., Crawford County, Iowa

            My parents rented a small house on the west side (3718 West 4th) when I was a young child; in 1932 they rented a duplex on Stone Avenue in Morningside, on the east side of town. Morningside became the home of my parents for their next 35 years in Sioux City. We lived on the first floor together with my mother's bachelor brother, Alfred (Uncle Al) and his dog Rex, a German Shepherd. Mother's sister and her husband, Esther and Helmuth Schilke lived on the second floor, together with their two sons, William and Richard. My cousin Bill was 2-1/2 years older than me, and cousin Dick 9 months younger. The house was a wood two-story probably built in the late 1800's as a duplex, on the edge of a hill where Stone Avenue began its long descent to the railroad crossing below. My very earliest certain memory is that of Mother and me leaning out a side window waving to my dad as he left for work, driving up the steep roadway from the back of the house. Dad had a job as an auto mechanic at "Greenlee's Lead," a large service garage downtown, which later succumbed to the Depression. I also recall an incident in which cousin Dick and I destroyed a neighbor's rhubarb patch with garden hoes. The punishment was severe. Mother always said I was a difficult child. At some point the Schilke family moved to a small house at the bottom of the hill and I can remember the long walks up and down the Stone Avenue hill for visits. In September 1933, Uncle Al married Florence Shaw and moved out, leaving us with Rex.
            In 1934, after serving as pastor for nearly 45 years at St. Paul's Hanover Township, my grandfather, Rev. Carl A. Runge, retired. He and my grandmother, Pauline (Dicke) Runge moved back to Sioux City. As seemed to be the custom at that time, when the old folks retired, the oldest son got the farm and the youngest daughter got the old folks, except that in this case, there was no farm. The Froehlich Family (and Rex) moved from the Stone Avenue duplex to a rented two-story bungalow type house on Garretson Avenue. We had the first floor and the grandparents had a bedroom and sitting room on the floor above. The house was near Redeemer Church and only a few blocks from Peters Park, the commercial center of Morningside. At that time, I was three years old and had a tendency to wander off. This didn't seem to be of much concern to Mother as faithful Rex would accompany me and somehow get me home again. One time, however, I made a trek that was too much even for Rex. He probably went with me as far as Morningside Avenue, a major roadway and street car route, which I crossed alone, passing the campus of Morningside College and down to Lewis Park, a large city park. I stopped at a parkside house, rang the bell, and asked if I could please use their bathroom. They called the police.
            I knew my 4212 Garreston Avenue address, but only my first name - apparently had a problem with the umlaut oe (ö) of my last name. Seated between two large policemen, I saw Mother (concerned now that Rex had come home without me), Grandmother and some neighbor ladies standing at curbside as the police car drove on past the house. I didn't say a word. The officers soon realized they had overshot and I was back home.
            Another Garretson Avenue memory: Easter morning, I received a large filled chocolate egg. While we were at church, the cat (we had somehow acquired a cat at this time) nibbled off the top of the egg which was so proudly displayed on the dining room table. In spite of my bitter crying protests, Mother threw out the egg. I probably pummeled the cat.
            In 1935, my parent bought a larger house in Morningside, 4016 4th Avenue, on the southwest corner of 4th and Royce, which would be their home for more than 30 years, and where for some 20 years, my grandparents lived out their lives. It was my home until 1956 when I moved to Minneapolis after graduating from college.
            Located on a rise above the street, the house was a two-story wood structure, probably built around 1900, with an open front porch and a screened porch in back. The front door, with a large glass oval, opened to the hallway, with an open stair on the right, sliding doors on the left leading to a living room, and at the end, a door into the dining room. There was also a small hall closet under the stair. A room on the east side of the house with a bay window overlooking Royce Street had sliding doors into the living room and a large opening into the dining room. This space became the grandparents' "sitting room." The kitchen, an addition on the south side of the house, had doors into the dining room, to the basement stair, and out to the screened porch. The second floor had 3 bedrooms, a bathroom, a small attic above the kitchen, and a hatch in the hall ceiling for access to the main attic above the house. The basement was a dark and foreboding place, a dugout type (no foundation walls) with a concrete floor, cement covered sides, and a few small windows. Centered in the basement was a coal-fired warm air gravity furnace, crowned with arms of metal ductwork feeding floor registers above. On a basement ledge, there was a large compressed air tank served by a long-handled manual pump which fed water from a rain water cistern into the "soft water" house plumbing. The city "drinking water" (actually very good water from artesian wells) was much too hard to use for washing.
            Some remodeling work was done as soon as we took possession of the house, at the behest of Mother, I'm sure. The old cabinets and wood wainscot were taken out of the kitchen and replaced with a new counter and wall cabinets. I remember intently watching the carpenter at work (no ready-made cabinets in those days). The kitchen also received a new linoleum floor. The large sliding doors were taken out, replaced with a single glass-paneled door between the living and sitting rooms, and a plaster archway between the living room and front hall. There was also a new built-in bookcase with a plaster arch. Again, I remember watching with fascination as the plasterer installed the lath for the arches and the layers of plaster (no dry-wall in those days). In the upstairs bathroom, the wood wainscot was taken out and replaced with hard plaster, scored to simulate tile. Dad spent many weeks of hard labor enlarging the basement under the kitchen and building foundation walls for a new coal bin. By late summer, we had a "new" house.
            St. Aubin, a busy street, was one block west of the house, and Patterson, a quiet residential street, one block east down a steep hill. Morningside Avenue and Peters Park were just one long block north. Peters Park, with its many shops and businesses, post office, library, theater and two streetcar lines made it an ideal city neighborhood business center. The park itself was a block long triangle of green within the surrounding bustle. There were flowers in the park and benches were old men sat musing on summer afternoons. On a large green space east of the park stood the Garretson Mansion, a red stone beauty from the late 1800's which had been converted into the Morningside Branch Library (sadly, this historical gem was torn down in the 1960's and replaced with the typical forgettable blandness of that period). Redeemer Lutheran Church was behind the Library on Oleans Avenue. East High School, just beyond the north tip of the park, a large state-of-the-art 1920's school, was another architectural landmark (also a victim of the wrecking ball, about 2005, doomed by the asbestos obsession). Across from the high school on Morningside Avenue was the imposing Grace Methodist Church, center and religious arbiter for much of the Morningside community (destroyed by fire in the 1960's, it was replaced by a more modest structure). Morningside College, also a Methodist institution, is just north of the church. Streetcars were a colorful part of this urban mix. The Morningside Line ran from the "East End" to Peters Park, then north on Morningside avenue to Cecelia Park, down the hill to the Greenville district, across the Floyd river, through the industrial area on East Fourth Street, over a railroad viaduct and into downtown. The Riverside Line began its journey in Peters Park, running through the western part of Morningside, across the Floyd River, through the stockyards and meat packing plant district (a nose-holding experience), past the ballpark, over another railroad viaduct, through downtown, out to the "West Side" and Riverside districts, finally ending at the Big Sioux River. North Sioux City, South Dakota, lay on the other side of the bridge over the Big Sioux.
            Much of that vibrant city is gone now. Empty lots and empty storefronts; Diesel buses spewing fumes; Peters Park, a foot traffic destination, now decimated by flight to suburban malls, sprawl and the automobile culture.
            Early memories: One afternoon I was outside, taking a break from "helping" the kitchen carpenter, when a kid my age came walking over. He was wearing short pants and faded red pullover and lived two houses down on Royce Street. He said "Hi. My name is Gordon Henry." We've been friends to this day - I was best man at his wedding, 1957, in Pella, Iowa, and in 2007, we traveled to Newberry, South Carolina for the 50th anniversary celebration. At that time, Grandfather still had his car, a 4-door Chevy, probably a 1929 model. On a warm summer day they decided to have picnic at Brown's Lake, an oxbow lake about 10 miles south of town. It must have been midweek as Dad was not with us. I remember the ride down Lakeport Road, Grandfather at the wheel, mohair seats and hanger straps between the doors (no seatbelts in those days). The picnic was on the lakeshore, a grassy spot next to a huge cottonwood stump. Before too long, because of failing eyesight, Grandfather had to give up his car. Old Lakeport Road, once the main road south from the city, has been severed by a freeway. Grandfather did not fully retire in 1934. He served for many years (without pay) as chaplain at the Lutheran Hospital, which he visited at least once every week. Sometimes I would tag along. Streetcar fare was only a nickel for children and Mother was happy to get me out of the house. We took the Morningside car downtown and transferred to the Pierce Street car up to the 27th Street, right at the hospital entrance. There was a lawn with walkways and benches in front so Grandfather parked me there, leaving me to my own devices. After he made his rounds there was usually an ice cream treat at the commercial strip across the way. There were three barber shops in Peters Park. Grandfather had his cut at a three chair shop on Morningside Avenue between Ferris Shoe Repair and Barney's (later Graham's) Drug Store. He would take me along for my haircut, seated on a board placed on the arms of a shop chair. One time Grandfather thought it would be amusing if I spoke to his barber in Latin. He taught me a few phrases which I duly recited. For many years, even after Dad sent me to a cut-rate basement shop under the corner café, Grandfather's barber would always smile and wave when I went by.
            On my fourth birthday I got a tricycle; it was bright red and had rubber tires. One day, I went out for my morning ride, but the tricycle had vanished. After much searching, I found the mangled remains in a far corner under the back porch. Apparently the evening before I had left it behind the car; dad backed over it and hurriedly tried to dispose of the evidence.
            Sometime later, probably at Christmas, I received a replacement tricycle; it was larger and had a front fender, but didn't pedal as well as the original. Old Mr. Gruen (Grün) died; he was a member of St. Paul's, the big downtown church; my Grandparents probably knew him from their early days in Sioux City. On the drive to the funeral, Mother tried to explain the concept of dying and death. I didn't really comprehend until I saw old Mr. Gruen, stiff, still and ashen faced, lying in his coffin. I understood then. Mr. Gruen was quite dead.

Washington School

            Our house was on the very outer edge of the Washington School district. The kids on the north side of the street went to Longfellow School, those to the east went to Whittier School. Although they were neighbors, those kids were strangers to me, from another country. By going down alleys and cutting through vacant lots the walking distance to school was a little more than a half mile. There were no yellow school buses in the Sioux City public school system. I became a five-year old in November so was placed in a mid-year class, half-day kindergarten, starting in January 1936. Grandfather was designated to walk me to school that first day, and as we walked along on a cold January morning he drilled me on the alphabet, numbers, and most important, the spelling of my name. Kindergarten was a large well-lit room; Washington School was fairly new, probably built in the late 1920's. The teacher, Miss Converse, was a pretty young woman. Sadly, a year or two later she married and we never saw her again. On that first day, and probably most days thereafter, we played games, sang songs, and what was really strange (for me at least), there was a nap time on individual pads placed on the floor. There was no alphabet or numbers recitation. I reported this to Grandfather when he picked me up at noon. He was astonished and upset at this "foolishness."
            School soon became routine, full days starting at first grade with a break at mid-day to walk home for lunch. There was no hot lunch program, but on very cold and stormy days, we could bring in a bag lunch; my favorite was usually peanut butter and honey on white bread. My walking companions (and mid-year classmates) on most days were Eugene "Buster" Redden and "Dicky" Graham. There was some concern about this by my parents as both were from families broken by divorce. Dicky lived with his mother and stepfather in a rather nice stucco house on St. Aubin. Buster lived with his grandparents in a rather shabby house a half-block down on Royce. Buster had a younger sister, Shirley, and an older sister Verdeen, who (to my wondering eyes) was the epitome of maturity and sophistication. Buster's grandfather was the head maintenance man at Grandview Park; Buster's Uncle Archie, who was killed in the war (WWI), would sometime visit late at night, as told to me by Buster, marching back and forth on the porch in a ghostly tread. I never saw either of Buster's parents.
            When I was in second grade, or thereabouts, there was a special school assembly. Seated in front were the principal, a sad-looking girl, perhaps a first grader who I didn't recognize, and the girl's mother. The principal rose and explained that the girl had been subjected to taunts and name-calling to and from school, and that this behavior had to cease. He listed examples of the name-calling, which I duly noted. On the walk home that noon, I encountered the Principal escorting the girl and her mother, so of course, I blurted out my newly acquired vocabulary of forbidden words. I ran off, but the Principal caught me and hauled me before the girl, who tearfully announced that I was not one of her usual tormentors. The puzzled Principal let me go. I don't remember the name of the girl or whether we ever crossed paths again. Would have made a great love story.
            I have little memory of what actually happened in the classrooms during my time at Washington School. Art was my favorite subject. I once did a drawing of a fat policeman which was greatly admired. In third grade, I received an after-school paddling, administered by the teacher, Mrs. Chapman, witnessed by the second grade teacher, Miss Murphy (probably for fighting). The main (and remembered) events of each school day were the happenings at recess and immediately after school. There were organized, but mostly unorganized activities of all sorts. In winter, we created snow/ice slides on the steep hill behind the school; by March these were mostly mud slides. Fall and Spring brought out the marble games; every kid had pockets bulging with marbles, at least at the start of the week (it was a very competitive sport); and then there were various "jack-knife" throwing games; every boy had to have some sort of a jack-knife (a multi-bladed folding pocket knife) usually carried in a side pocket of high-laced boots in fashion at the time.
            And, of course, there were fights, both organized and impromptu; somehow I always seemed to be involved. There was a kid in my class, Louie, who was a bit slow academically and thus about two years older (no special ed classes then); he was big and strong, but had a heavy brace on one arm. His parents were Italian immigrants who had a small hard scrabble farm on the edge of town. Louie decided to be my "special protector" because, after all, he reasoned, Italy and Germany were allies in the war (this was probably in fourth grade, about 1940). During one recess, I was having an altercation with Donovan "Dumpy" Wilcox. Louie intervened, bashing Dumpy in the head with his brace, knocking Dumpy unconscious. This caused much distress among the teaching staff, but after a while Dumpy opened his eyes and, somewhat dazed, was back in class after recess. Dumpy dropped out of high school and joined the Navy, but he was at the East High 50th reunion. I have no idea what became of Louie.
            There was a very fat kid in my class, Alvin Maycock, who lived on St. Aubin at the end of Glen Avenue. Sometimes he invited me over to play after school (he had an impressive collection of toys). His house was high above the street and I remember Alvin panting and puffing as we climbed the long flight of steps. Nancy Lee Lowe was a slight, thin, and rather pale little girl (her father ran a gas station on Lakeport Road); one day in class, she fainted, falling to the floor from her desk, which caused quite a stir; she was carried to the "sick room," next to the principal's office; after a time she was back, but was often absent. Tommy Monol lived in a wretched hovel down the hill behind the school; he had a brother, probably a year younger who never spoke a word - his face always an expressionless blank stare. Tommy was a tough kid but quiet and unassuming. He and his brother wore bib overalls, barefoot until late Fall, when they appeared in heavy leather ankle-high shoes.
            In 3rd grade the class, was joined by a pretty dark-haired girl with bright blue eyes. Her name was Barbara Iverson; her family went to the Norwegian Lutheran Church. In April 1940, a small force of Germans made a surprise invasion of Norway by air and sea (beating a planned British invasion by only a few days); Grandfather and I always followed the war news from Europe. The next morning, on the way to school, Barbara angrily confronted me, "You dirty Germans invaded my country." I wasn't sure how to respond; I had nothing against Norwegians, especially pretty dark-haired ones. Later she apologized and we became friends; by 6th grade, I was in love with her. She took an early graduation and went off to the University of Colorado. At the East High 50th class reunion, it was announced that Barbara had recently died. I was saddened; after 50 years, I had wanted to see her again.
            In winter, the streets were often packed solid with snow and ice. When cars had stopped or slowed, kids could grab the rear bumper (unbeknownst to the driver), squat down and enjoy a brief, but exciting ride. This was actually quite dangerous, especially if the car hit a spot of bare concrete. One day on our noon walk from school, Buster Redden and I were engaged in this activity on St. Aubin. A police car happened by; the two policeman jumped out and gave chase. They caught Buster, but I raced through back yards and alleys, eluding capture. After a very anxious lunch, I warily made my way back to school, again through backyards and alleys. Buster said the police questioned him about the kid who got away; he claimed (though I never really believed him) that he told them only my first name and that he didn't know where I lived.
            Each school day started with the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the "Iowa Song" (even though we were only a few miles from the Nebraska and Dakota prairie):

            We're from I-o-way, I-o-way
            State of all the land
            Joy on every hand'
            We're from I-o-way, I-o-way
            That's where the tall corn grows

            My favorite teacher by far at Washington School was the 6th grade teacher, Miss German. On our first day she explained in great detail that she was not "German." Her name was French, and she looked French with dark hair and eyes, Mediterranean features, very attractive, probably in her late 30's. She made the subjects interesting, and started each day reading part of an adult-level novel, followed by a discussion of current events.
            In the late Fall, probably 4th or 5th grade, a new kid joined the class. His name was Bob Fiala; he was tall with fair hair and blue eyes, quiet and somewhat shy. Because he was new, it was decided that I should fight him after school (I'm not sure who made these decisions). Sometime during that day a construction company unloaded dozens of large concrete pipes in the swale behind the school, probably for a storm sewer project. These objects immediately became the center of attention; kids climbing over, through and around in wild delight. I remember Bob and I sitting inside one of the pipes, talking quietly, warmed by the late afternoon sun. We never had our fight.





Other Early Adventures

            When my brother Ken arrived (Kenneth Paul Froehlich, born May 15, 1936), I was no longer the favorite grandchild (or so it seemed to me). By the time Ken was 2 or 3, Grandfather was taking him for walks to Peters Park which usually included an ice cream or candy treat. I was furious and complained bitterly to Mother about not having the money to buy my own treats. It was mid-summer and Mother's flower garden was in full bloom. She made up a dozen or so small bouquets, dressed and cleaned me up, combed my hair and sent me off with my wagon full of flowers, with instructions not to come back until I had sold all the bouquets, probably for 10 cents each. I was chagrined and embarrassed and hoping my friends wouldn't see me, went to the nicer areas west of St. Aubin. The ladies were charmed at the sight of a little boy selling pretty 10 cent bouquets, and I was soon back home with an empty wagon and a pocket full of dimes. In spite of this success, I vowed never again to endure such humiliation, and there were no more complaints about lack of funds.
            Unless it was a school day, Sunday, or the weather was really bad, Gordon Henry was at our back door in the morning, calling my name. We often played on our front porch, which could be a ship at sea or a fort under siege; our yard could be a battlefield, a dangerous wilderness or a faraway planet. On one such adventure, among drying sheets in the side yard clothesline, Mother came looking for her laundry basket. The large wicker basket was missing so Gordon and I were sent out to find it; little brother Kenny (just 3 years old) was also missing and we were to find him as well. We soon spotted the basket at the corner of 4th Avenue and St. Aubin; the top of a straw hat was just visible over the rim of the basket. Kenny was inside the basket watching traffic on St. Aubin. Gordon and I thought this was hilarious and went back to report to Mother. She was not amused; we were sent out to fetch both the basket and little brother.
            Summer in Sioux City can be very hot. Sidewalks and pavements would scorch the bottoms of bare feet so we walked on the grass side strips and looked for shade to cross streets. Summer nights, Ken and I slept in the screened back porch, the coolest part of the house. One summer, much to the dismay of Mother, we built a "camp" in the front yard using old blankets, crates and cardboard, and even slept there one night. Summer evenings the neighborhood kids gathered in the large open alley space behind the Sjoblom and Henry yards, playing games, usually "kick-the-can," until called in by parents and the darkness. There was a fire one evening at Lowe's gas station on Lakeport Road, about a half-mile east; there were explosions, spectacular fireballs and a great column of smoke; I begged my Dad to take me over for a closer look; he said we could see just fine where we were. Mid-summer was mulberry season; the Fischers, an older couple who were members of Redeemer Church, lived just down the hill on Patterson; they had a very large yard and a great old mulberry tree; our combined families held a large canvas sheet under the tree while the Fischer's bachelor son, Gary, shook the branches with a long pole; the mulberries were carefully sorted and canned in one quart glass jars together with pitted cherries to make a delicious winter time dessert. The best memory of summer: lying in the grass after dark, looking up into the sky at the vast, bright Milky Way, now a thing of the past for most of the country because of light and air pollution.
            The city swimming pools were open summer afternoons and evenings, and for a small fee you would get a numbered basket for street clothes and a clean white towel. In the morning, however, the pools were open for free swimming lessons (bring your own towel), which is when I was sent for my summer water recreation. I remember the long walk on cool summer mornings to the Lewis Park pool, and the tooth-chattering plunge into the night-chilled water. I did learn to swim, but never mastered the diving board. Childhood illness could be a feared and darksome thing (though not the frightful Erlkönig's ride of earlier generations). Polio, especially in late summer and early fall, could strike suddenly and I remember kids talking quietly about an older boy who died of Polio. If a child had mumps, measles, chicken pox or scarlet fever, the City Health Department would post a brightly colored quarantine warning at the front door. When I was about 9 years old, probably in the winter, I was diagnosed with scarlet fever and a six-week quarantine went into effect. I'm certain that it was a very mild case, but Ken and I were confined to our bedroom and the front living room. Contact with Dad, grandparents and visitors was forbidden. The living room became our playground, but for Mother, it must have been chaos as using furniture, we made the main carpet into a large tent. At that time, it was fashionable to remove children's tonsils, but fortunately, my parents resisted this and I've rarely had a serious cold.
            About this time I discovered the neighborhood library although Mother must have taken me for my first library card. The old Garretson Mansion was an architectural gem. Except for a few supports the first floor partitions had been removed, but the original woodwork, bay windows and stained glass remained. The walls were lined with bookshelves. I devoured my way through the "Junior Adventure" section - frontier stories, medieval knighthood and high seas tales. Eventually I progressed to the main library downtown with its multi-tier open stacks and the wonderful aroma of books. The hours I spent among those rows of books, browsing, reading random pages, words from many times, places and writers, are among my most pleasant memories. There was a small museum on the top floor of the main library (the only museum in town) with a collection of Indian artifacts, old uniforms and a model of a steamboat. I decided to create my own museums. In the bedroom, on a card table and the top of dressers, I displayed old U.S. coins, some of Grandfather's Latin and German books, a jar of Missouri River water and other rare collectibles.
            MacDonald's Garage, on an alley behind the main Peters Park business strip, was dark and cluttered; floor, walls, ceiling and even the windows ran from black to shades of gray. The gloom was broken only by lights at the mechanics' workstations. Old Mr. MacDonald wasn't in the car repair business; he owned the building. For Buster Redden, Dicky Graham and me, it was a warm inviting refuge on winter Saturdays. It became a regular hangout. We sorted grime covered nuts and bolts, dug through heaps of discarded auto parts, taking home interesting finds. The mechanics tolerated this as long as we kept to ourselves. MacDonald had a son, George, a pathetic hulking figure, walking with a shuffle, dragging one leg, holding a useless arm; he had a sagging drooling lower lip and slurred speech; folks said he had been hit by lightning. George wandered the neighborhood late into the night.
            When I was about 10, after much pleading I'm sure, I was allowed to "hike" to South Ravine, a city park 1-1/2 miles south on the edge of Morningside. The creek that ran behind Washington School continued south, eroding a line of clay (loess) hills creating the ravine, and then emptying into the Missouri after passing under a long, high railroad trestle. The park, usually empty on weekdays, had a steep "clay banks" (great for mountain climbing), picnic tables, playground equipment, public toilets, and wooded trails that wound up to the top of "bluffs;" from these heights, one could see the airport and town of Sergeant Bluff six miles to the south, and west across the Missouri to the flat expanse of Nebraska prairie. These "hikes" were an all day affair (Gordon Henry was my usual companion) so we took sandwiches and for lunch bought a five cent pop (Royal Crown Cola had the largest bottles) at a small general store across from the park. When Ken was about six he was allowed to tag along, and the Sjoblom kids also joined in. The one absolute stipulation for these adventures was that we were never to cross the railroad tracks, for beyond the tracks lay the dreaded and dangerous Missouri River. What ten-year-old boy can resist the call of a river? We soon discovered that we could follow the creek under the trestle, thus never actually crossing the tracks. One frightening episode still makes me shudder: Gordon, Ken and I decided to walk across the trestle (no walkway, just rails and ties); about halfway we saw a train coming in the distance and hurried our pace, but Ken, much younger, had a problem treading the wooden tiers; the train wasn't slowing, like an automaton moving steadily closer; finally, near the end of the trestle, with engine bearing down, we jumped; by then, fortunately it was only five or six above ground; no word of this incident ever reached our parents.
            The Sioux City Art Center was downtown in the basement of a building on Pierce Street (precursor of the excellent Art Center now on the riverfront). A shop above the center, run by an elderly Japanese couple, smelled of incense and was filled with fragile things made of wood, glass and folded paper; after Pearl Harbor the shop simply vanished. On Saturday mornings, there were free art classes at the center, so at age 11, I was sent there to broaden my education. I rode downtown with Dad (he opened his auto repair business on Saturday mornings, and was given a dime to take the streetcar home. After class, I had 3 choices: take the streetcar (which I never did), buy a lead soldier and walk (I was in a collecting rivalry with Gordon Henry), or buy a lunch and walk (this was the greatest temptation). There was a small lunch place downtown where one could get a five cent hamburger and a small five cent malt (which the countermen hated because of the work and clean-up); one time when I walked in the counterman called out "Here comes that kid again who orders a five cent malt." The walk home was about four miles, down lower 4th Street past the bars, pool halls and junk shops, across the old Wall Street viaduct, up steps to the new Gordon Drive viaduct nearly a mile long crossing the main railroad yards and the Floyd River (the yard was busy with steam powered "switch engines;" if one was lucky and the timing was right, by standing directly above a track, you could experience a hot sooty blast from an engine stack), past the Greenville car barns, up a long climb to Cecilia Park, and finally the trek down Morningside Avenue to Peters Park. I don't recall much about the art classes; I probably picked up the basics of watercolor painting. The classes were a mix of age groups from throughout the city. Apparently I made some disparaging remarks about the work of an older Northside kid. He said the next week he would bring his younger brother (my age) to "beat the hell out of me." The following week, younger brother was indeed there, waiting on the sidewalk class. I remember Ruth Ann Ruby, a girl from Redeemer Church, crying anxiously, and a crowd of curious adults. Younger brother proved to be a reluctant opponent and not much of a fighter; afterwards I had my usual hamburger/malt lunch, or perhaps bought another lead soldier.
            Our lead soldiers were not mere shelf ornaments; Gordon and I constructed trenches, bunkers and forts in the side yard (tolerated as long as the lawn and flower beds were not disturbed), and subjected our little men to furious bombardments. Gordon and I also collected matchbooks and road maps; we walked the gutters of major streets for matchbook finds. Gas stations gave free maps to their customers; I would walk into a place and say, with great sincerity, "My parents are taking a trip to North Dakota" (or whichever state was needed); East and West coast states were hard to come by; the Deep South was impossible. When I was about 8 years old, I started building model airplanes from kits; my first attempt was a Fokker D7 biplane, a frame of glued balsa wood strips, red tissue covering with black crosses and a rubber band powered prop; trying to be helpful Dad wound the prop too tight, crumpling the flimsy fuselage; I cried bitter tears. My next attempt was a Curtis Robin, which actually did fly for a few yards.
            Peters Park had a movie theatre, the "Esquire" (later changed to "Empire" because of a legal battle with the magazine), which on Saturday afternoons had a matinee packed with raucous kids; there was always a double feature (a Western and a detective or Fright Film) and a "serial" (Long Ranger or Hopalong Cassidy - our hero in peril at the end of each episode); any romance or kissing scene was greeted with loud boos and derision. In 1939, the highly promoted "Gone with the Wind" came to the grand downtown "Orpheum" theater; Mother had to see this film and, not wanting to go along, she took me along in spite of the added cost; I remember a very long Technicolor movie (with an intermission) and especially a scene at the Atlanta railroad station with hundreds of wounded and dying soldiers laid out in rows on the street. Most of our entertainment had to be free, such as driving through Northside looking at the large homes of "rich people;" or best of all, Sunday evening concerts at Grandview Park (The American Legion Monahan Post Band - I wonder if it still exists); sited in a natural amphitheater, looking down on a large concrete band shell with its reflecting pool and colored lights, and to the rose gardens and wooded hills beyond, it was a pleasant relief from the Depression era poverty; on the way home, if Dad was feeling flush, we stopped at the Penguin Ice Cream Shop in Cecelia Park.
            When I was 10 or 11, I got my first (and only) bike; Dad found a used one somewhere, and with it came a new feeling of freedom and mobility, and a bit of daring behavior. There was a new cemetery at the East End which had a long road to the top of a hill (a large WWI artillery piece at the top marked an area for old veterans); one could race down this hill at high speed, which Philip Otten (Pastor Otten's youngest son) and I were doing one afternoon; Philip lost control and had a spectacular spill; he was quite banged up, but refused to cry. Mother saw this new mobility as an opportunity to further my cultural life; I was sent for piano lessons to a Mrs. Muma, who lived about a one-mile bike ride west, across from the Floyd Golf Course; this went on for only a few months as it was apparent that I was no piano wunderkind. At this time, the Sioux City airport was transformed into a training base for B-17 heavy bombers; the roar of engines overhead became commonplace; one summer day, probably in '42, while several of us were in our backyard, a DC-3 transport came over, flying very low with laboring engines; over the East End the engines suddenly stopped and the plane plunged straight down; we hopped on our bikes and raced to the site, a wooded area on the edge of town; fortunately the police arrived first and blocked access to the wreckage; there was no fire but all the men on board were killed.
            There was a small attic above our kitchen which had a large trunk filled with old clothes and papers, and a main attic above the second floor which had a north window giving a birds-eye view towards Peters Park. This attic had more boxes of clothes, and also Mother's guitar and Dad's cornet from his college band days (Concordia Teachers, River Forest, Ill.), neither of which was ever played again to my knowledge, detritus of a former life, faded into the past.
            One evening in early December of 1941 a newsboy came shouting down the street with an "Extra;" the German High Command had announced that Moscow was surrounded; it was a desperate false hope; the Wehrmacht was exhausted, nearly out of fuel, and totally unprepared for the Russian winter. A few days later the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and we were at war.





Neighbors

            The Peters Park neighborhood, when I was young, seemed timeless and unchanging, a solidly ordinary way of life. During the 1930's Great Depression followed by the war years, most folks if they had a job and a house tended to stay in place, so the neighbors were part of this stable familiar world. The houses, wood-siding or stucco, small or midsized, had been built in the 1900-1920 period. A house with more than one bathroom was a great rarity. I had no idea that most of us lived on the edge of poverty.
            The neighbors as a I remember them:
            Sjoblom: The house immediately south on Royce was a two-story white frame, occupied at first by a family whose name I think was Mellaster. The Sjobloms moved in about 1940. Mike, the father, was manager of the O.P. Skaggs grocery (a local chain) on Morningside Avenue, until he bought Ernie Schietzelt's meat market and renamed it the Park Market. There were 4 children, Patsy and JoAnn, 3 or 4 years older than me, Mickey and Larry, 4 or 5 years younger. A large box elder in their sideyard had a platform with a trap door, accessible by wood rungs nailed to the tree. One summer evening, high on the platform, I couldn't work the trap door, yanked it free, and it fell hitting Larry, far below, on the top of his head. It might have killed him. I received a stern lecture from Mrs. Sjoblom. We invited Mickey and Larry to our Sunday School. Mickey, a skinny kid with a chronic running nose, replied that their grandmother read her Norwegian Bible every night, and that was quite sufficient for them.
            Henry: The next house down, a 1-1/2 story wood frame on 2113 South Royce, was the Henry residence until the old folks died in the 1970's. Mr. Henry, a big Swede (the original family name was "Hendricks"), was a warehouseman at Tolerton & Warfield, a large grocery wholesaler near downtown; he still had a share in the old family farm, in the Missouri bottom lands near Sloan, a small town south of Sioux City. One summer day I went there with Gordon and his father; an old horse had died that winter, the bones scattered and drying in a grassy field. Mrs. Henry, a small bird-like woman, had been a school teacher. Gordon was a few months younger than me, his brother Boyd about 5 years older. Boyd, tall, thin and blond was a very serious fellow; he created a large map of Morningside, every street neatly shown and labeled, which hung on an upstairs wall. The Henry's were devout members of the Methodist Church and very much opposed the spirits of any kind.
            Ault: An older couple, the Aults had lived for many years in a stately well kept a two-story wood house next to the Henrys. Mr. Ault was a salesman for the Sioux City Brick Company; he had a larger newer car, always clean and polished. Mr. Ault also kept his yard and lawn immaculate and totally free of weeds, separated from the lower Redden yard by a small retaining wall and neatly trimmed hedge. Mrs. Ault, a small white-haired lady, was active in the Methodist Church.
            Redden: My schoolmate "Buster" Redden lived here with his grandparents and two sisters. The house, a 1-1/2 story with cement-asbestos shingle siding, and yard, were a bit unkempt.
            Bradley: There was a house directly across from us on the corner of 4th Avenue and Royce, a long one story dark stucco. An older lady lived there originally; in the early 40's the Bradley family arrived. They brought a bit of tumult to our quiet neighborhood, with three small boys, the oldest probably two years younger than Ken, who tended to wander freely. Mother was startled several times on finding the Bradley boys in our kitchen. The Bradleys were unabashed evangelical Christians.
            Wilson: Another older couple, long time homeowners next to the Bradleys on Royce, a 1-1/2 story beige stucco with a closed-in front porch. Mr. Wilscon could be seen occasionally working in his yard.
            Kruse/Bang: Immediately to our west on 4th Avenue there was a small one-story wood house. In the late 30's the Kruse family moved in with their three kids, Bill (about 6 months younger than me), Fred (about 3 years younger) and a baby girl, Marian. Bill and Fred soon became part of the neighborhood "gang." As the Kruse's had no church affiliation, Grandfather saw this as a mission opportunity and visited them every evening, having serious discussions around their kitchen table. The Kruse's became faithful and long time members of Redeemer Church. In the early 40's they moved to Council Bluffs, but back to Sioux City in a few years, to a larger house further down on Royce. The Bang family were the next occupants; there were two girls, Muriel about a year younger than me and Beverly, still a baby. Mr. Bang, a large man who walked with a limp, had some sort of sales job and was on the road much of the time. At some time during the late Kruse or early Bang years, Dad planted a fast growing hedge to separate our yards. There was a trellis and wooden gate which gave us access to the alley (the weekly trash pickup was limited to alleys). The hedge was soon six or seven feet high and it was my job, until I started my architectural career in St. Paul, to keep it properly trimmed. As long as I lived at home, it was also my responsibility to get the garbage cans out to the alley each week; as the trash men were not particularly light-fingered, the metal cans were battered and misshapen, but gave many years of useful service.
            On the other side of the alley from the Bangs, on the corner of 4th Avenue and St. Aubin, there was a large two story white house owned by Mr. Jamison, a lawyer. He drove a large expensive car which he kept in his large white garage.
            My classmate "Dicky" Graham lived next to the Jamison house on St. Aubin, but his backyard was part of the Sjoblom/Henry alley playground. I rarely saw his divorced and remarried mother; an attractive and refined woman, she did not care to have the neighborhood "ruffians" in her house. Dicky had no brothers or sisters, I never saw his stepfather, but his father, who owned Graham's Drug Store (formerly Barney's on Morningside Avenue), was a continuing source of monetary generosity. Dicky and I launched our model airplanes (rubber band powered) from the Sjoblom tree platform watching them rise and then drift down. At some point he did an odd thing, lighting his planes with a match, watching in fascination as they plunged down in flames. At about this time, a friend of Dad gave me a wooden house which he had built, probably for his kids who were new grown and gone. It was about 18 inches high with door and window openings and little rooms. Dicky became obsessed with the idea of setting fire to this house, and pestered me with this notion. Finally, he offered to buy the house for the enormous sum of 50 cents. I couldn't resist. It was an elaborate ceremony, performed in the alley out of sight from Dicky's house. He placed lead soldiers in and about the house, stuffed paper into one corner and lit a match. Dicky fixated on the flaming spectacle in delight. I thought it was a stupid waste, especially watching the soldiers disappear into little pools of molten lead. Dad was very angry when he found out.
            On the other side of 4th Avenue to the north, there were several empty lots. Beyond, on Royce, there was a ramshackle one-story house inhabited by five or six kids, a gaunt looking father who in the summer would sometimes appear in his undershirt and a thin, very exhausted looking mother. There was no lawn, just bare ground hard-packed by many bare feet. Grandfather, probably because of his background from the part of Germany where there was a disdain for the Slavic untermensch to the east, labeled these folks as "Polacks." I hardly knew the kids as they were in a different school district and not in my grade level. At some point we learned that their name was Kading, surprised that they were of German descent, and really startled on finding that they were Lutheran. Several of the kids, perhaps all of them, went on to college. Glen Kading was at Iowa State at the time I was there.

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Aunts, Uncles and Cousins

            My grandparents were of a generation of larger families. Mother had 46 first cousins; Dad had 28. I should mention that there were three Wisconsin sisters who were first cousins of both Mother and Dad. The next generation was much diminished; my brother and I had only 18 first cousins, two of whom were adopted. I should also mention that our first cousins Lorenz and Lois Froehlich were second cousins on my mother's side; Dad's older brother, John, married Mother's first cousin, Lydia "Lydchen" Runge. (Lydchen is German for little Lydia, thus distinguishing her from my mother's sister, Lydia.)
            After their marriage in July 1928, my parent's moved to Bonduel, Wisconsin, where my dad had a job as an auto mechanic at his brother John's garage. Mother's two sisters were also living in Wisconsin, Esther at the Schilke farm on the Bonduel outskirts and Lydia on the nearby Nicolaus farm south of Shawano. Two of Mother's friends, sisters from the Rabe family of Hanover Church in Iowa, had also relocated to Wisconsin; Frieda, married to Mother's cousin Walter Runge, and Tillie, married to Charlie Mueller who ran one of the many beer taverns in Bonduel.
            In spite of these many Bonduel area connection, Mother was homesick. She said the surrounding pine forests were oppressive, and longed for the high loess ridges of western Iowa where one could see for miles to the horizon. By 1929 Mother and Dad were back in Iowa, joined about the same time in Sioux City by the Schilkes, including little Billy who was born in Bonduel. Uncle Helmuth was involved in some sort of dispute involving ownership of the family farm and swore on a Bible, according to my great uncle John, that he would never again set foot in Bonduel; he never did.
            About the time my parents were in the 4th Avenue house, the Schilkes had moved to the west part of town, a 1-1/2 story stucco house with a large closed-in front porch, 3718 West Fourth Street. West 4th was a very busy roadway, the main highway from Riverside and South Dakota beyond. The street at their house was on a very long hill, and in the summer while big cattle trucks labored up all conversation on the porch came to a halt. As they lived only a 45 minute streetcar ride (Riverside car) from Peters Park I was a frequent visitor, sometimes overnight. My cousins Bill and Dick and their friends became my second gang of playmates. Because the Schilkes didn't have a car the garage became a workshop for all sorts of wondrous boy creations. There were various types of vehicles, mostly scrap wood and salvaged wheels, wood "scooters" on discarded roller skate parts, and best of all, weapons. There were swords and shields of course, but the main product was "rubber guns;" those devices fired projectiles cut from automobile tire inner tubes (inner tubes no longer exist except in historic restorations, became obsolete about 1970) and stretched down the length of the gun, painful at short range but lacking in accuracy and slow in reloading. We did create an ingenuous triggering device, not always successful, which allowed sequential firing of two or three shots. Our "piece de resistance" was a cannon, the barrel an old fence post, mounted on a wheeled gun carriage and firing missiles cut from truck tire inner tubes, we were certain it would terrify the enemy. In battle, however, it proved to be unwieldy and difficult to reload. Most of the neighborhood kids lived down on West 3rd, and many were quite poor. There was one large family of at least 8 kids living in a very dilapidated house. I can remember free movies on summer evenings at a nearby park, silent films, my introduction to Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy. Just up the hill on the north side of West 4th there was a large loess ridge, partly cut away for a street that was never completed; this was the "clay bank," a wonderful playground of dense yellow clay into which caves could be dug, trails and climbing steps cut into the steep sides, and trenches built for defense; at the end of the day we would come home covered with yellow dust; Aunt Esther simply hosed us down and let us air dry. Years later, probably in the 1970's, the ridge was cut down into a small rise for a housing development.
            About a mile from the Schilke house there was a high bluff overlooking the juncture of the Missouri and Big Sioux Rivers with a monument to War Eagle, a Sioux chief. On the way we walked through an abandoned subdivision site, a victim of the Depression I'm sure, with paved streets, sidewalks and steps leading up to the non-existent houses. Nearby there was a small Black neighborhood, a collection of shacks probably with no city services. At that time Sioux City had an African-American population of only one or two percent. One summer morning we heard that there had been a murder in this place; Bill, Dick and I were soon there; a small crowd had gathered as well as some police (no crime scene barrier); a woman had been stabbed to death. I remember looking into that dark hovel. It had a dirt floor.
            Riverside Park, on the Big Sioux River, just a 10 minute streetcar ride from the Schilke house, had a roller coaster, Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, funhouse (where an air jet would lift women's skirts), food and game booths, and a bingo shed where old folks sat at long tables hunched over their chances. The place was open every day, and for a small admission fee, access to everything was free. One time at the Ferris wheel, where the operator would shove three kids into each seat, I missed a place with Bill and Dick and was seated with two little black girls; they giggled non-stop and wouldn't look at me. My first close encounter with persons of another race.
            Dick and I would walk the streets and through empty lots looking for soda pop bottles which we could sell for a penny each at Jake's Grocery, at the bottom of the West 4th hill; this fortune would all be spent on candy. One day when we were about 10, Dick and I went to the top of the hill and took the West 3rd Street car downtown (the Riverside car stop was at the bottom of the hill). In one of the department stores, Dick pointed to a black girl with her mother on an open stairway, saying "That girl is in my class at school." The mother saw Dick pointing and came storming over; "I saw you pointing. We have as much right to be here as anyone." The girl said nothing. Dick said nothing. The civil rights movement didn't start with Rosa Parks.
            The upper level of the Schilke house, although sometimes used as a spare bedroom, was really one large play space. In winter months this became our center of operations. On Sunday afternoons the Froehlich family would often drive over for a visit. While the folks socialized downstairs, the upstairs erupted in pandemonium. Uncle Helmuth would periodically shout a warning up the stairs that if the noise didn't stop, he would be up with his stick. The noise, of course, didn't stop and Uncle Helmuth would appear as promised, stick in hand. We would all receive a beating, except little brother Ken, who while not entirely innocent, was not a major perpetrator. Bill Schilke was a talented model builder; his model shop was in the upstairs playroom; he built a scale model railroad passenger car and several beautifully carved and shaped solid model airplanes, including a magnificent B-17 bomber.
            In the summer of 1944, Uncle Helmuth decided that he had had enough of Western Iowa winters (he drove a milk delivery truck for Young's Dairy) and that the family would move to warm and sunny southern California. They sold their house and nearly everything else (we acquired their dining room set which Mother always admired), and bought a car and house trailer (which for a long time became their home in California). It was a sad day when they came to say their goodbyes. Bill gave me two of his model planes, a Spitfire and a Messerchmitt ME109; the planes hung from a bedroom ceiling for years. Aunt Esther and Dick came back in the summer of 1946 for a visit when all of Mother's brothers and sisters were in Sioux City for a reunion. Dick and I spent a lot of time in junk shops downtown in East 4th Street. Helmuth never again returned to Iowa.
            Mother had an older brother, Bernard Runge, who with his wife Edna and daughters Margaret and Phyllis, lived in Alta, a small town about a 70 mile drive northeast of Sioux City. Uncle Barney was a banker and later went into the insurance business. They lived in a small 2-story house with a large screened front porch and large shade trees in the yard. We usually visited in the summer, grandparents included, Margaret "Mugs" was four years older than me, Phyllis nine months younger. Phyllis, Dick Schilke and I were all tall with brown eyes and dark hair (a legacy of our South German great-grandmother, Kathrina Dicke) unique in our family of blue eyes and fair hair (cousin Gorda Nicolaus had brown eyes but red hair). Alta was a lovely town in the midst of the rich farmland of northern Iowa; it was near the highest elevation in Iowa, as can be deduced from the name, but with nary a mountain, or even a small hill in sight. Margaret ended her days in Texas, Phyllis in Arizona, both a very long way from that small town in Iowa. I still remember summer afternoons and quiet voices on that porch in Alta.
            Mother's brother, Martin Runge, with his wife Ella and children Paula Jean, Martina and Richard lived in Denison, the country seat of Crawford County, about a 70 mile drive southeast of Sioux City. Uncle Martin was a banker and they lived in a large house with a wrap-around open porch and a covered car port. Denison, perched on a hilltop, was then a bustling center with converging rail lines and highways. The Martin Runge house was just south of the downtown near the edge of the hill. There was a playroom on the third level which had a great view. Paula was 3-1/2 years older than me, Martina the same ago and Dick the same age as Ken. Sometime during the war years Uncle Martin traded his 1936 Pontiac for a huge old car belonging to Pastor Otten of Redeemer Church in Sioux City; he said it would make a great hunting car and hunting was his passion. The girls were mortified, crouching down in the back seat so as not to be seen riding in that hulking antique. On an autumn afternoon when I was 13 or 14, Dick, Ken and I were playing catch in the yard; Dick thought it would be clever to stand on the car's flat roof; I throw a fast ball, but too low; it broke through the window on one side then cracked a window on the opposite side. I debated on whether to tell or to run away; as running away from Denison did not seem a logical option, I went in and confessed to Uncle Martin. In a typical Runge fashion, he calmly drew on his pipe and shrugged it off. Because of the war, replacement glass was hard to find and the girls were even more shamed at having to ride for months in a car with patched windows. Aunt Ella was an avid golfer and one time she stayed with us to play a tournament in Sioux City. Going to Denison was always great fun, but there was a family problem in that we had to drive through Charter Oak. We couldn't combine Denison and Charter Oak in a single day's journey, but that's another story.
            Charter Oak, another lovely Iowa small town is about a 60 mile drive from Sioux City, west of Denison. It was the long time home of Uncle Paul and "Tante" Julie Fiene and "Tante" Anna Rothe. (Tante is German for aunt.) Julie (who lived to be 108) and Anna were sisters of Grandmother, transplants from the Wisconsin Dicke clan. Paul Fiene, a very dignified looking white haired gentleman, owned a Charter Oak bank. Gustav Rothe, a retired Farmer, died in the mid-1930's, so I hardly remember him. Uncle Paul had 2 sisters, Emma and Suzie, maiden ladies, who ran a milliner shop in Charter Oak. The Fiene home was a leafy street, only a block from the town center, a 2 story house with a small screened front porch, an etched glass front door, early 1900's décor with a beaded glass curtain, deeply upholstered furniture and a reed organ. Daughter Irma Fiene lived at home and as Hanover church is only a few miles from Charter Oak, Mother's cousin became a childhood playmate. Irma was a school teacher, at the nearby Mapleton public school and the Charter Oak Lutheran School. Tante Anna, widowed for many years, lived alone in a small house across the street from the Fienes. Her children, Agnes Schau and Theodor (Ted) Rothe had farms near Hanover Church. Cousin Agnes was probably Mother's dearest friend. Grandparents were always part of the Charter Oak visits, conversations always in German. Not much for a kid to do, but I do remember sleeping on the screened porch during overnight stays, listening to the sound of passing trains blowing their whistles at the Charter Oak crossing.
            Before we embarked on visits to the Schau and Rothe farms, Dad would carefully check the weather. When we left the paved highway, the back roads were mostly dusty hard-packed clay, which in a heavy rain became an oozing yellow slippery mud. A journey to the farms was a journey back in time; even in the late 30's and early 40's, there was no electricity, no indoor plumbing and no central heat. The Schau and Rothe homes were typical 2 story Iowa farm houses, the Schau house being the smaller. I remember the smell of kerosene from lamps at the Schau house, a large kitchen with a cast-iron stove, always radiating heat and a front parlor with a small round stove lit only for special occassions; the upstairs rooms were unheated. There was a hand pump for water in the front, an outhouse in the back. Mother's cousin Agnes (Rothe) Schau with her husband Hans and children Howard, Allen and Connie lived here. Howard was 2-1/2 years younger than me. Farm life was hard during the Depression and war years, but there was always a large dinner at the Schau house, chicken and mashed potatoes with gravy (sweet corn and tomatoes if in season) and pickled vegetables. The farmyard was a paradise of old and abandoned farm implements, wagons and cars. A derelict Model-T Ford was a major attraction. On the long ride home, the setting sun cast fascinating shadows of the car as it moved along the hills on east side of the road; the flat darkening Missouri River flood plain lay to the west.
            Mother's youngest brother, Alfred, moved to a bungalow type house on the north side of the city in 1933 when he married Florence Shaw, a Sioux City girl. Uncle Al worked in the office of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway depot downtown. In 1937, he and Florence adopted a baby boy, Carl, and in 1939, a baby girl, Katherin. About 1940, Uncle Al was transferred to a much better position in Des Moines. Although Dad hated the long 150 mile drive to Des Moines (no interstate highways in those days), we went there several times. On one visit Carl, Ken and I climbed to the top of the Iowa State Capitol dome, a narrow winding stair between the inner and outer domes, for a spectacular view of the city.
            Mother had a cousin, Henry Krieger, in Ireton, a very small town about a 40 mile drive north of Sioux City. He was pastor of the Lutheran Church, where he and wife Hattie had a large family, Ellie, Lois, Robert, Herbert and Helen. There was another son who died of polio; the other kids spoke of him in hushed voices. Henry Krieger's mother, Tante Marie, was Grandmother's sister, another Dicke transplant from Wisconsin; they lived in Waterloo, a small city in north-central Iowa. Mother's Waterloo Cousin, Elsie Krieger, who never left home, was another of her dear friends. Lois Krieger was a teacher in Sioux City; Helen worked in a downtown bank, married and stayed in Sioux City; Herbert became a Lutheran pastor, much of his ministry in West Virginia. Our Grandparents were always with us on the Ireton visits. Not much for a kid to do in Ireton on a Sunday afternoon; Herb and I (he was about two years older) pitched stones at an abandoned storage building on the edge of town, breaking out many windows.
            Mother's oldest brother, Hans lived in St. Louis, where he was principal of a Lutheran school and played the pipe organ at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church. Dad would never drive all the way to St. Louis, but they (Hans, Aunt Lottie, cousins Clemens, Eleanor and Carl) visited us several times. As Clem was only nine years younger than my mother, when I was small, the St. Louis cousins seemed to be just more tall, well-dressed adults. We never knew for certain what time of day they would arrive as Uncle Hans would stop to investigate anything along the way that he found interesting.
            Shawano County in northeast Wisconsin was the epicenter of the Fröhlich/Runge/Dicke families, where they settled, directly or indirectly, from the "Vaterland." The 1890 census of Shawano County lists a population of 19,236 of whom 12,316 were native born (including 4 "colored"), 4,860 German born and 2,060 "other nationality." We made periodic visits to Shawano County, but the one I remember vividly in a two or three week stay in the summer of 1944. Dad drove Mother, Ken and I back and forth, but he stayed in Sioux City for most of that time (no paid vacations at the Froehlich garage).
            The first week or so of our extended Wisconsin stay was at the Nicolaus farm. Mother's oldest sister, Lydia, married Reinhard Nicolaus, and it was said that the only time Uncle Reinhard ever left Wisconsin was to come to Iowa to get married. It was a large dairy farm with a newly built house, replacing the house destroyed by fire two years before. The family, Aunt Lydia and Uncle Reinhart, cousin Roland (12 years older than me) and "Mutter" Nicolaus (Reinhard's mother, who spoke no English) lived temporarily at another house on the property. Their daughter, Gerda, married to Paul Heyse and still an attractive young women of 30, was also visiting at that time with her son Richard. We were the first occupants of the new house, which unlike the hardscrabble farms of Western Iowa, had electricity, indoor plumbing and central heat, and the back roads in Wisconsin were paved. Mother immediately busied herself doing the finish painting of upstairs windows and trim. Uncle Reinhard allowed as no professional painter could have done a better job. Strawberries were in season so there were great bowls of strawberry sauce and mountains of freshly baked doughnuts. They had a collie type dog "Rusty" who had various tasks about the farm. It was decided that one of my jobs would be to "bring in the cows" in the late afternoons. I had no idea what this entailed. "Just follow Rusty" they said, "He'll find the cows." The farm had several pastures and hayfields, a large forest with many very old trees, and two lakes. The cows were at the marshy end of one lake, standing contentedly in the water. I informed the cows that it was time to go back to the barn. They were like statues, staring at me (who is this strange kid?). Rusty leaped into the water, barking and nipping at the cows legs. They started to amble slowly out of the lake and into the woods, always looking back at me. They deliberately took a very roundabout way. When we finally reached the barnyard Roland said "What took you so long?" The following afternoons things went much faster. On a sunny day it was decided that hay which had been cut in one of the fields was sufficiently dry to be taken to the barn. Uncle Reinhard and Roland hitched a team of horses (it was wartime so use of tractors was limited) to a wagon with a hayfork. My job was to drive the horses along the rows of cut hay at just the right distance for the hayfork to operate allowing the hay to be pitched into the wagon. Roland couldn't understand why I was having a problem ("Anyone can drive a team of horses") but Uncle Reinhard was patient and after a while I got the hang of it. One afternoon Mother, Gerda, Ken, Dick Heyse and I went to the larger of the Nicolaus lakes; it had a boat dock and small beach. Uncle Reinhard opinioned that lakes were made for fishing, not swimming and sunbathing. In the evenings when there were clouds of mosquitoes, we sat indoors and listened to Aunt Lydia tell her many stories of life in rural Shawano County. Aunt Lydia also played the organ a St. Martins Lutheran Church in nearby Belle Plane, a congregation founded by her grandfather, Rev. P.H. Dicke.
            The latter part of our 1944 Wisconsin adventure was spent in Bonduel, at the Runge/Froehlich home, a large two story house near the center of town, with many rooms, an enclosed front porch and a large kitchen in the back. Great Uncle John (Johann) Runge, our grandfather's brother, and his wife Hanna (Johanna) moved here when he retired from the family farm. When their daughter Lydchen (Lydia) married Dad's brother John, the families combined. Uncle John Froelich, who owned the Pontine garage in Bonduel, and Lydchen had two children, Lorenz and Lois.
            Lorenz, 5-1/2 years older than me was a bit of a loose cannon, hell-raiser, teller of tales (some true, some probably enhanced), a Bonduel legend already as a teenager. Uncle John was mayor of Bonduel for many years and as such received many mail-in offers for equipment demonstrations and product discounts (this was before the war). In one of his more notable exploits, Lorenz and some of his friends returned mail-in cards from several companies. There was much consternation when a school bus and some road maintenance equipment arrived in Bonduel with expectations dashed. A large quantity or red paint was delivered to the freight depot; Great Uncle John, thinking it had been ordered for the garage, paid the bill. Much of the garage - doors, window frames and columns - received a fresh coat of red paint. Lorenz created another uproar when he painted the shoes of one of the garage mechanics. I didn't see much of Lorenz during our stay as he was usually at the garage during the day and in evening he would go fishing at Shawano Lake with his cousin, Robert Runge. One warm afternoon he did take me to the town ice house, a large barn-like structure, where one could brush aside the straw and sawdust covering and enjoy the cool darkness. I spent most of my time lounging on the front porch with Lorenz's huge collection of comic books. Lois, four years older than me, seemed to spend most of her time, under her mother's direction, cleaning the house. She was very blond, and two years later she married Lyle Wieck, who, although a full-blooded German Lutheran, had brown eyes and dark hair, and for this reason Grandmother Hanna did not approve ("Er guckt wie ein Indianer"). Aunt Lydchen said I was a nice boy but somewhat "stupid;" Mother later explained that in her Wisconsin German accent Lydchen was saying "stooped;" I tried to improve my posture. On our last weekend there was a big Runge/Froehlich family reunion at the house; there were Dickes, Salzwedels and Brodhagens also at the party I'm sure. I remember a beer keg set up in the side yard, free for anyone young or old to imbibe.
            One day during our stay we went to Merrill, about a 75 miles drive northwest of Shawano; I think Uncle Will (Wilhelm) Dicke, Grandmother's brother, was a driver. Merril was the home of Grandmother's sister Tante Hermine Daib and her two unmarried daughters Eleanor and Margaret. Tante Hermine's late husband had been pastor of the large Lutheran church in Merril. There were three sons, Herbert, Kurt and Walter, all of whom became Lutheran pastors. (Early in his career, Mother's brother Hans taught in the Merril Lutheran school; my cousin Carl was born here). We went to a lake where the Daib's had a cottage; they had a rowboat with a large chair in the bow where Tante Hermine could ride like a queen. Margaret had been quite attractive when younger but Mother said she could never find a man who met her standards.
            We also visited Grandmother's youngest sister, Tante Clara Peterman, in Advance, a ten mile drive northeast of Bonduel. Advance, in spite of the name, and its potential at the intersection of several roads, was never more than Uncle Emil Peterman's general store, Tante Clare's milinery shop, an auto service garage and a beer tavern (Every Wisconsin hamlet, regardless of size, had a beer tavern). There were three daughters, one of whom, Cornelia, became one of the nation's first airline stewardesses.
            While Dad was in Bonduel we drove up to the old family farm, near Cecil, north of Bonduel. Dad's younger brother, Adolph had inherited the farm. Uncle Adolph and Aunt Ester had two children, Delores, my age and Keith, a year younger than Ken. We walked through the large woods that still covered much of the farm. Keith proudly showed us molded sugar maple candies which he made (and was selling).
            During this time Dad, Ken and I also went out to the Moesch (Mösch) farm, not far from Advance. Dad spent much of his childhood here; his cousin Adolph was Dad's age and they were like brothers. The farm was overgrown, the large one time grand house was rundown and unkempt. Adolph Moesch had become a full time beekkeeper; there were dozens of hives scattered about the yard and fields; he lived alone, never married. It was a warm day, so he offered us Kool-Aid, made from cool spring water (no ice).
            We also had a visit from Dad's Uncle Will (Wilhelm) Froehlich; he had an aged but still functioning car; the car's flat roof was coated with heavy tar to keep out the rain. Mother and I walked to visit her Hanover friend, Tillie (Rabe) Mueller, where we had to pass through Charlie Mueller's beer tavern to get to the quiet enclosed backyard. On another day we went to Slab City, just south of Bonduel, where Mother's cousin Walter Runge, had a beer tavern. (Walter, Grandfather's nephew, sold the Runge Family Farm and bought a beer tavern.)
            On the return trip to Sioux City we stopped to see Dad's two younger sisters. Emily lived in Milwaukee with her husband Norbert Thayer. They had a very new house, probably built shortly before the war and probably in the suburbs. Uncle Norbert owned a trucking company. One afternoon he took Dad, Ken and I to a museum in Milwaukee, probably a natural history museum; Ken and I had to see it all; Uncle Norbert was exhausted. During an evening drive we stopped for a treat, something new called "frozen custard;" served in a cone, it was soft and creamy, precursor of the Diary Queen deluge. Next we drove to Racine to see Amanda, the youngest member of Dad's family. She lived alone in a small house as her husband was off to war. Aunt Amanda mentioned that there was a new prison camp for German soldiers not far from Racine. I had to see it. The word was out so the camp had become a local attraction; on a back road west of Racine, there were dozens of cars and a crowd of people, separated from the camp only by the roadside ditch, staring fixedly as if at a zoo exhibit. On the other side, leaning along a low fence, were several hundred prisoners, staring back, still wearing their Afrika Korps uniforms (the German Army in North Africa had collapsed in 1943). There were occasional conversations shouted back and forth. I saw a few American guards, whose primary function seemed to be keeping locals away from the fence. For these German soldiers the war was definitely over.
            The Daib sisters, Mother's cousins Margaret and Eleanor, came to Sioux City for a visit when I was about 10 years old. At the time we had a mother cat and several kittens. Mother warned me that Margaret had an uncontrolled fear of cats; she would get "hysterics," even jumping up onto furniture. The cats were put into the basement; I was told to absolutely not open the basement door. This was an opportunity not to be missed; I opened the basement door. The mother cat and kittens raced through the house. Cousin Margaret did indeed have her "hysterics." I was probably punished, but Mother didn't seem to be particularly displeased.
            Grandmother had a younger brother, John (Johann) Dicke, who had left Wisconsin when he was a young man, spending most of his life as a rancher in remote parts of the Dakotas. At some point, probably about 1943, he decided it was time to go back home, stopping on the way to see his sisters in Iowa (Tante Juilie was his twin). He had an old battered pickup truck and a mason jar which he used as a spittoon. Grandmother didn't recognize him; after years of living with Anglophones he could no longer speak German; he was a stranger. He spent his last years living with Tante Clara in Advance.
            Grandfather Franklin Froehlich visited Sioux City only once when I was about seven years old. He came by train, which is the way many people traveled in that long ago time. Every Christmas Grandfather Froehlich would send me a dollar, which then was a lot of money, but it came with a major drawback; Mother made me write a letter of thanks, which caused weeks of stress and agony. He died in 1943 in a barn at the Wisconsin family farm.
            Because the Grandparents lived with us there was a constant stream of visitors, sometimes old friends from Hanover Church, but mostly various relatives; Aunt Esther, Bill, and Dick, until they left Sioux City, were here often, the Alta and Denison Runges came on many weekends, and there were frequent visits by the Fienes from Charter Oak, the Schaus and Rothes from Hanover, and the Ireton Kriegers. On warm days there were gatherings in our backyard, and several times, summer picnics at South Ravine Park. There was a major family reunion in the summer of 1946, about 40 aunts, uncles and cousins of all sorts, including all seven of the Runge siblings; we met for a picnic at Latham Park in Morningside.

Family-Shot

Redeemer Lutheran Church (and Christmas)

            Redeemer Church, on the north edge of Peters Park, was a young congregation; St. Paul's, near downtown, was the mother church (St. Paul's Lutheran Church, originally the Evangelischen Lutherische St. Paulus Kirche, was the first church Grandfather served when he finished Seminary in 1882). Rev. Henry Otten was the founding pastor of Redeemer, shepherding the congregation until he took another call in 1948. As it was only a few blocks from where we lived, Redeemer became the church of my parents and grandparents, and it was my "home church" until I moved permanently to Minneapolis/St. Paul. The church building was small and very utilitarian, with a foot powered reed organ and no stained glass or statuary, except for a figure of Jesus above the altar.
            From my earliest memories Sunday mornings were for church (no exceptions), something so routine that I have no recollection of anything special, except the Christmas season. It was a time of high excitement, anticipation and the seemingly endless weeks of rehearsal and preparation for the Christmas Eve service. The church was decorated shortly before Christmas. About the time that Dad finally got our tree - he waited until trees could be bought at near giveaway prices. For Dad, the major pre-Christmas ordeal was getting the lights on the tree. In that long ago time, Christmas lights were strings of small colored incandescent bulbs which tended to frequently "burn out;" if one bulb went bad the whole string would go dark; each bulb had to be individually tested. There were ancient tree ornaments, some very fragile, probably from Hanover. A manger scene, with ceramic figurines hand-painted by Mother, was carefully unpacked and placed under the tree. Once the tree decorating was complete the room was closed and a sheet hung over the glazed door from the grandparents sitting room (the "front room" was unheated in any case for most of the winter). Grandfather had little use for the Santa Claus business (certainly not Biblical), but one cold morning before Christmas, when everything was covered with freshly fallen snow, he said that there appeared to be something on the bushes around the house; through the frosted glass I could see strings of red and green candied beads. I quickly bundled up and dashed out; there were no visible tracks in the snow; undoubtedly the work of Santa, or one of his elves; I was probably four or five years old. Being a true believer, I tried very hard to behave in the weeks before Christmas, including tormenting little brother Ken, except where such activities could not be viewed from the outside by judgmental eyes. With the coming of cold weather in late November, the long-awaited Christmas catalogs from Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Ward finally arrived; by the age of eight or nine I had become obsessed with electric model trains and hours were spent studying each page. During the Christmas season a downtown department store, Martins, had a Lionel train display, with a long circular track; magnificent six and eight drive wheel engines would glide by pulling lines of freight and passenger cars; I was transfixed but knew in my heart that these beauties would never make it to 4016 4th Avenue. By Christmas Eve, when all was ready, we had our traditional North German "Weihnachtsaben" meal of "Pell Kartofflen" and pickled herring," then off to church. The church was always full for the children's service (second only to the crowd at Easter), always started late, and always seemed to drag on forever, especially for those of us whose families opened gifts on Christmas Eve.
            At the end of the service each child received a paper bag containing an apple, an orange, a popcorn ball, a candy cane and a small bag of traditional Christmas candies. I probably was not impressed (anxious to get home for the gift opening), but Dad always reminded me that when he was a boy an orange was a rare treat. Finally at home, the doors to the front room would be thrown open, the tree lighted, and Santa's bounty displayed; it was a glorious sight. I didn't appreciate then how difficult it must have been for Dad and Mother to make it all possible, in terms of both time and cost. One Christmas Ken and I both received wind-up trains; mine was larger and Dad had somehow fitted a flashlight battery and bulb into the engine so that it had a headlight just like an electric train; Ken was not at all pleased with the discrepancy; he flew into an inconsolable rage and refused to play with his train.
            When I was 12 or 13, I did get an electric train, not with 6 or 8 drive wheels but an electric train nevertheless, and it was a Lionel (and it was wartime). At the time many boys received a Gilbert Chemistry Set for Christmas; it would have dozens of small wood jars of dry chemicals and an instruction book of experiments; I mostly made things that exploded or smelled bad. In the days following Christmas, especially in the early years, there were visits from the family, always the Schilkes and usually the Alta and Denison folks, so there was another session of gift-giving and unwrapping, much noise and happy chatter. The best memories of Christmas are usually these of childhood.
            I probably never missed a Sunday School class; Dad was a teacher and later became the Sunday school superintendent (he always wanted to be a teacher, but had to leave college because of the cost - no government backed student loans in 1920). Except for Margaret Knoernschild, a pretty fair-haired girl in my grade, there were no kids from Washington School of my age at Redeemer, so I acquired a whole new set of friends: Philip Otten, a half-year older than me, was the youngest of Pastor Otten's five children; Gordon Ruby, also a half year older, had an older brother Wilferd and younger sister Ruth Ann, his mother, Ruth, from a Norwegian family, was Mother's "best friend" in Sioux City, his father, Carl Ruby from a Slovak Lutheran background was a telephone company troubleshooter and they lived in a small two story house on Paxton in Cecelia Park; Karl Scheld, an only child, whose parents came from Germany in the 1920's, living in a very small house in Greenville, a neighborhood on the Floyd River bottoms; (all through high school Karl worked weekends, evenings and summers at a hamburger/malt shop place on a busy highway in Greenville). Duane Pansegrau, the oldest of three boys, his parents, German immigrants, had a farm east of Sioux City; Dick Beardsly, the middle son of three boys, lived several blocks west on 4th Avenue, Dick, a high-strung fidgety type, was constantly chewing his nails, Ralph Beardsly, the Father, legally blind, operated a candy/cigarette stand in the lobby of the downtown post office, Meta, the mother, had an office job; the Hansen twins, about two years older than me, definitely were not identical, James always smiling and polite always wearing a suit and tie, John rarely smiling and generally a bit scruffy. The Hansens, a large family, lived on the east side of Morningside; Gertrude Blankenhagen, a tall blond beauty who I didn't appreciate until I was a teenager, lived with a younger brother and parents, German immigrants, on the east side; Donny Schietzelt, a year younger than me, with a much older brother and sister, lived in a very fine house just down the hill from the church. His father, Ernie Schietzelt, owned an apartment building on St. Aubin in Peters Park with a meat market which he operated at the street level. When I was about six, Donny was hit by a car. He was at home but with a cast from his chest to his knees. Mother made toy figures from hollowed egg shells, pipe cleaners and down feathers which Donny arranged on his cast. He fully recovered. There are many other names but I had limited association with most of these kids and memories have faded.
            Gordon Ruby's hobby was photography; already in his early teens he had built a darkroom in their basement and eventually he grew it into a business; many of our family portraits and Christmas cards from this period were produced by Gordon. Carl Ruby's hobby was woodworking; he had an extensive shop in the basement. He was also a practical joker, with some new trick each time we went there for dinner (I remember a "dribble glass" - water would trickle down one's chin when drinking, absolutely delighting Mr. Ruby). One Saturday there was a citywide Boy Scout camping event at Stone Park (a large city park overlooking the Big Sioux); Gordon's mother had prepared an elaborate cookout feast - pancake batter, bacon, etc. - I deserted my troop to join Gordon for this repast, but unfortunately, as it was a cold wet day, we could not get a good campfire going - went hungry for the remainder of the day. On an evening picnic, with our families at a Dakota oxbow lake, Gordon and I decided to swim across the lake and back (before eating) - not a good idea as we were hardly experienced swimmers; fortunately about a third of the way across we realized that this was folly and turned back; when my feet finally touched bottom at the shore I was close to my physical limit.
            For many years Dad was the church janitor; all the work - sweeping floors, cleaning toilets, etc. - had to be done on Saturday afternoons; he was paid a pittance, but in these years every penny was a necessity; I was recruited (probably about age 12) to be his helper; my job was to properly arrange the hymnals in the pew racks, dust the pews, organ and altar furniture and take out the trash; the dusting I'm sure was haphazard; I think my pay was 25 cents.
            Mother was the assistant organist, playing for special services and the choir, for a grand annual salary of 25 dollars (her salary was doubled in later years); Mother always said the regular organist, Art Wolf, was an automaton, playing without feeling or understanding of the music. After the war the church bought an electronic organ, which sort of sounded like a pipe organ (it even had foot pedals); Mother took lessons downtown from the organ dealer, so that she could master the instrument (One time when Uncle Hans was visiting from St. Louis, Mother persuaded him to play a Sunday service - then it really did sound like a pipe organ).
            At some point in the early years, Mother decided that the church interior was too plain. She cut stencil patterns and painted a border around the altar arch. She took me along as a helper, and probably for company (a quiet empty church can be a bit spooky); I can remember her on a high ladder, holding a stencil and painting.
            When I was very young and Grandfather was still driving his car, we would visit Mr. and Mrs. Seemann who lived on the east side of Morningside. They were elderly, both very tall and spoke German, but for me, what was memorable was the large backyard - there were many trees, flowers, footpaths, a stream with a bridge and little waterfall, ponds and best of all, real goldfish. Sometimes their tall daughter would visit and we would see her in church, but when their very tall son, in his naval officers uniform, appeared in church it caused a sensation.
            Mutter Richter: Who could forget Mutter Richter? She was a widow, in her late 60's whose late husband had been a pastor of a church in the Hannover, area so our grandparents knew her. She was a domineering woman who ruled firmly over her children, Martha, Selma and Arnold, and who were not much younger than Mother. About 1940, much to everyone's surprise, Martha married Alex Asmussen, a rough hewn middle aged fellow from a rural Dakota background. He was always good natured and friendly, but if ever a case could be made that the Neanderthal genome had entered the north European bloodline, Alex was living proof. He was the maintenance man at a home for unwed mothers at the far north end of Wall Street (north central part of the city). It was a large facility, and except for Arnold, the whole family moved into an apartment at one end of the building. We, including grandparents, would go for visits quite often. I remember the conversations, mostly in German, dominated by Mutter Richter. Arnold, tall, quiet and totally unassuming, for years would bring a lady friend to church. He and Selma never married. Martha and Alex had 2 boys, Norman, a bit slow but very stable, and David, brilliant, but a bit unstable.
            The major event of the Redeemer Church calendar, except for Christmas and Easter, was the annual Sunday School picnic, a Sunday afternoon, usually in July or August, always at Lewis Park. Long tables were set up, laden with "pot luck" picnic food. A refreshment stand was set up selling ice cream, pop and candy (each child received several tickets which could be redeemed at the stand) and there organized games and contests. The men played horseshoes and always a softball game with out-of-shape middle-aged man red-face and sweating. At least once every year, on a summer evening, there would be an "ice cream social" with lights strung over the lawn between the church and parsonage, chairs and tables set up, homemade cakes brought in by the church ladies, ice cream and coffee served. Fond memories of a bygone era.
            In winter months the church basement was the activity center. Several times during the year there were "pot luck" dinners where the ladies would bring in their favorite hot dish recipes and desserts (there were always several types of jello salad). There was much noisy conversation and banter, usually followed by singing or amateur entertainment. Someone had found a large "Schnitzelbank" postor so there was often a song session of "Ist das nicht ein Schnitzelbank, ja das ist ein Schnitzelbank, etc." One evening Gordon Ruby and I were recruited to do a "chalk talk." Gordon, deemed more articulate, did a comedy routine which I illustrated on an easel as he talked. We rigged up a device for the grand finale in which I would sketch a beer keg, plunge a tap through the paper, turn the spigot and draw a mug of root beer - unfortunately the root beer solidified at the release valve (we should have used water) - there was much laughter nevertheless (those folks were easily entertained). Gordon and I were 15 or 16 at the time.
            For 2 years, 6th through 8th grade, three times a week after school, there was a confirmation class in the church basement, taught by Pastor Otten, usually about a dozen in the group. First there were individual recitations before Pastor Otten of memorized Bible verses and hymns, follwoed by catechism instructions. The year I started new catechisms had been purchased with each page faced by a blank page for the purpose of taking notes. I immediately saw this as an opportunity for drawing and sketching - the pages were soon covered with battle scenes, monsters (Frankenstine was in vogue) and cartoon variations of the material being discussed (the Holy Ghost was a particularly abundant subject). Somehow Pastor Otton discovered this artwork, seized the offending book and presented it to the chruch elders. The affair was a huge embarrassment for my parents. My punishment, as directed by the elders, was to fully erase all of this creativity from each page. Before being accepted into membership the confirmands had to be examined before the full congregation; I can remember sitting alone on the front porch for days, studying and memorizing (from the now cleansed catechism). Pastor Otten, while a strict and no nonsense German (he came to America as a young man, shortly before WWI), had a generous and human side. He told the story, during a confirmation class, of how during the depths of the Depression, he had no money and there was no food for his large family, standing despondent outside a grocery store, a man approached, gave him 20 dollars, then walked away without a word. Pastor Otten said it must have been an angel - perhaps it was. I was confirmed May 1945.
            After confirmation, our class became members of the youth group, which then was called the Walther League (C.F.W. Walther was the founder of the Missouri Synod). That summer Mother decided I should spend a week at the Walther League Camp, about a 110 miles northeast of Sioux City, on Lake Okoboji, near the Minnesota line. It was my first time away from home alone although there were several other kids from Redeemer. This was exciting; with bunk beds in cabins, eating in a dining hall with hundreds of other kids, all sorts of activities, chapel in the morning and evening. Mother's cousin, Kurt Daib, was the chaplain (and the softball umpire). The last evening, Bob Beardsly, Dick's older brother, said he knew where there was a rowboat we could take out on the lake. It was a dumb idea, but as Bob was older we thought he knew what he was doing (he didn't). There were probably five of us, and no life vests. Once Bob had rowed out into the lake it was totally dark. All landmarks disappeared into the inky blackness and a wind with rain was coming up. We spent an anxious time finding our way back to the dock. Mother never knew of this frightening incident.
            Tom Wolff was the oldest of the Wolff kids (the youngest I remember was called "Pee Wee"); they lived in a rough-and-tumble house on a large piece of land at the very south end of Patterson; Tom's father, Al, was a foreman at Cudahy Packing and his uncle was the church organist. When Tom went off to war, he left a large book with Mother which was about grand opera, with colored illustrations and the story (libretto) of about 30 operas. I devoured that book for until then I didn't know what an opera was.
            First Date: When I was about 15, it was decided that the youth group should have a fundraiser in which the girls would prepare a box lunch, and then there would be an auction with the girl's date expected to place the winning bid (this event had a name which I cannot recall). Alice Yockey, an attractive young woman (blonde of course), but about three years older than me, announced that I was to be her date. The Yockeys lived two blocks south on Royce. Alice's father, Alton, a big muscular guy, was a cattle stunner at Swift & Co. Packing. I was a bit nonplussed and procrastinated. I was supposed to pick her up and escort her to church, but was in a delaying mode. That didn't stop Alice. She arrived at our door, box lunch in hand, and we were off to church. I dutifully submitted the high bid for her box lunch which was abundant and first rate. Alice, however, was not pleased with my overall performance.
            The war was over but young men were still being drafted so Gordon Ruby's older brother, Wilferd, joined the navy. When he came home on his first leave, wearing his uniform, his parents could barely conceal their pride. Wilferd, however, had contracted pneumonia and after a few days he died suddenly at the Lutheran Hospital. The Ruby family, after this bitter tragedy, was never quite the same.
            When I was 15 and 16, there was a memorable teacher for our Bible Class, Naomi Wallman, a young woman originally from the Hanover Schumway family. She was married to Charles Wallman of the Redeemer Wallman Family (Charles had a great tenor voice but had a less outstanding work history - at that time he was driving a bread truck - Park Market was on his route - always complaining about his share of shelf space). Naomi was knowledgeable, interesting, and could communicate with teenagers - no small achievement. She had a successful business career.
            The summer when we were 17 years old, Philip Otten and I decided we should learn to play tennis. For years, I had watched tennis players at the beautiful clay courts in Lewis Park, lighted at night, well maintained and always busy. Philip and I bought rackets, balls and a book of instructions. There was a small tennis court behind Washington School and for many weeks we went there on Sunday afternoons (the only time we had free from summer jobs), spending most of our time chasing wild lobs. When things seemed more or less under control we thought we were ready for the big time. I called Pat Pentony and challenged her to a game of doubles at Lewis Park (I had seen her on the clay courts). She said she would bring Nancy Hubbard. It was a summer night, under the lights. While Nancy was a so-so player (she had great legs), Pat had a powerful serve and a devastating return. Philip and I were annihilated. I walked Pat home and she said we should play again, but summer was coming to an end (I could feel it in the air). I never again played on those beautiful hard clay courts at Lewis Park. But with future lessons at the University I did become a reasonable tennis player.
            Over the years Redeemer Church continued to grow, eventually with two Sunday morning services. Dad and I sang in the choir (second service only). In 1948, it was decided to rebuild and enlarge the church building. Ed Olsen, a church member and house builder was hired to do the work (Ken worked for Olsen several summers, building houses throughout Morningside, and even in the Missouri Ozarks one year). Temporary services were held at the Esquire theater in Peters Park. The Olsens had 3 gorgeous daughters. The youngest, Shirley was about 3 years older than me, and the oldest, Elaine, married Bob Gebhardt, a lanky ex-fighter pilot; the Gebhardts became adult leaders of our youth group. I was elected president of the Walther League; it was a difficult time as we were between pastors and the church building was unusable.
            In 1949, the rebuilt church was dedicated, having much more the character of a traditional church: Gordon Ruby's father had produced detailed wood chandeliers in his basement workshop. The new pastor, Rev. Rueben Beisel had also arrived. By this time, however, Philip Otten and Dick Beardsly were in the Milwaukee pre-seminary (they both became Lutheran pastors), Duane Pansegrau was off to pre-med school (he became a doctor), Gordon Ruby was a freshman at Iowa State (he became an engineer), Margaret Knoerschild had long since moved to another city, Gertrude Blankenhagen's parents had bought a farm in central Iowa, Bill Kruse and Don Schietzelt were starting at Valparaiso University, and Karl Scheld and I would soon be off to the University of Iowa. My fellows and I were moving on and away.





A Working Life

            At home there were always the usual domestic "chores" (grass cutting, hedge trimming, trash duties, etc.), but when I was about 10 or 11 I got my first regular paying job. Mother absolutely hated cleaning the bathroom, so after a few basic instructions and a fantastic 25 cent salary, I joined the ranks of the employed. It was about a 2-hour task, usually Saturday afternoon (Saturday night was bath night).
            When I was 12 or 13, I started helping Dad at his garage on summer days. He was renting a 2-car space in the Parkway Garage, downtown on Douglas across from the old post office. The garage was a 1920's structure, 3 stories, brick exterior walls with a wood post-and-beam interior. It had been built as a parking garage, with steep ramps to the upper floors. There was an oil-change/grease job/ car-wash service and office at the street level. The upper floors were poorly heated, unventilated (except for windows) and generally covered in the grime accumulated from the day it was built. Dad enclosed his space with heavy paper and a fabric curtain over the entry, and furnished it with a workbench, some tool cabinets, a kerosene heater, and an old overstuffed chair -that was it. I cleaned oil pans, first scraping off the heavy dirt and grease, then polishing the bare metal with gasoline soaked rags. I cleaned and polished engine heads with metal scrapers and steel wool (I had no auto-mechanic skills), but much of time I sat in a window watching the traffic on busy Douglas Street (the old post office was stone and had a magnificent tower modeled after the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence and in the late 40's it was renovated as the city hall). My pay was a malt which I consumed with a peanut butter sandwich from home. Dad always ate at his favorite downtown lunch counter.
            In the summer of 1944, I heard that there was work at the Mayhew truck farm on the south edge of Morningside, but one had to be there very early (even then I was not a morning person). When roused out of bed it was still dark, and I remember biking down Lakeport Road in the cool morning air with the sun just starting to show over the horizon. The morning hours were certainly best for the work we did, on our hands and knees (except for an older boy who had the privileged job of pushing the hand tiller) straddling rows of carrots, radishes and beets, picking out the offending weeds. Most of us, boys and girls, were in the 12 to 14 age group, except for Mr. Mayhew, who worked along with us, establishing the pace and maintaining discipline. Unlike the vineyard owner in Matthew 20, Mr. Mayhew paid us by the hour (probably about 20 cents) keeping a strict account of the time. One day Mr. Mayhew announced that we need not bring our sack lunches on the following morning as Mrs. Mayhew was treating us for the noon meal. There were great platters of boiled potatoes and chicken (no salads).
            Later that summer, and probably into the fall, I delivered the "Morningside Shopper," a free publication which carried ads and weekend specials. Each week on a Thursday afternoon, large bundles of "Shoppers" were dumped at a Morningside Avenue corner, a separate bundle for each route. The papers had to be properly folded and preferably slipped into the outer front door (never the mailbox). Somehow I was blessed with one of the largest routes: I could hardly lift the full load, so I hired Mickey Sjoblom as a helper. It was exhausting work, not worth the few dollars it paid.
            The following summer, after a few odd jobs here and there, I found full time work at Roe Dairy, a business further east on Morningside Avenue. It was a small but full service dairy, producing and delivering milk, cream, cottage cheese and ice cream. Part of the time I worked at the front counter with Patsy Sjoblom and Gordon Ruby, serving cones, sundaes and malts, and part time back in the dairy. One long day Gordon and I had to work in the freezer, cutting quart sized blocks of ice cream into serving-sized portions. It was a special order, for a wedding, and Mr. Roe was quite proud of the colored image he had cast into the vanilla ice cream. Before I could be hired at the dairy I had to have a Social Security Number, which I got at the Federal Building downtown. I proudly showed mother my new card. She was quite upset as it said "Jerry William Froehlich." I had forgotten that my name was "Gerald." It was years before I found the time to make a correction.
            The summer of 1946 was slow going, with only a few jobs including cutting weeds along corn rows for Bill Day's grandfather (Bill was a classmate) who bought and sold farms and he could get a better price if the corn was weed free. In August, I got a lucky break. Philip Otten was working that summer at Park Market and was leaving soon to go back to school in Milwaukee. Philip said I should talk to Mike Sjoblom, who until recently, had been our next-door neighbor. I got the job. (The Sjobloms had moved to the west side of Morningside, a better neighborhood). Mike had bought the place a few years before from Ernie Schiezelt and renamed it "Park Market." Ernie, a 1940's Libertarian, wanted nothing to do with the Federal Government's imposition of wartime rationing regulations and put his meat market business up for sale. I knew nothing about the workings of a grocery store, but I had a mentor without equal. His name was Ralph Weaver, then a high school senior. He had an incomparable dedication and work ethic, was unflappable and respectfully corrected my many mistakes. I'm uncertain about his ethnicity (he was not a blue-eyed blond), but when I joked about my Prussian ancestry, he said Haile Selassie was in his lineage. Mike probably didn't know what a gem he had, but when Ralph graduated from high school, he left for college, and as far as I know, never set foot in the place again. Over time I moved up from stocking shelves, bagging and "carry out" boy (carrying bags of groceries to cars or nearby homes) to more responsible duties. After school, I worked from 4:00 until the 6:30 closing and on Saturday from 8:30 am until the 8:00 pm closing. The store was closed on Sunday (as were most places in those days). Summers, I worked every day except for a mid-week day off. After about a year, Mike did a major renovation of the place including an addition in the back, and shortly after that he sold Park Market to the Haugen brothers, "Cub" and Clarence. Mike Sjoblom and his family moved to California. The Haugens were members of the Norwegian church. Cub ran the meat department, Clarence the groceries, and their wives worked part time during busy hours. I enjoyed working under the Haugen regime, but my pay hadn't hanged from the day I started (I was probably earning 25 dollars for a full week), so one Saturday, at closing time, I felt emboldened enough to ask Clarence for a raise. He said that a raise wasn't possible. I left to go to a late movie downtown with Gordon Henry. Later that evening Cub and Clarence stopped by our house and told Dad that I would be getting a substantial raise. After a little more than a year, the Haugen brothers (or more likely their wives) apparently had enough of the stress and long hours so they sold the place to a partnership of Bob Banard and Clyde and Mary Buehre. Bob and the Buehres had operated a small grocery elsewhere in the city and decided to move up into something larger. At first they were a bit overwhelmed, but they persevered and Park Market was theirs for many years. Clyde and Mary were a young couple from rural Nebraska and had a Lutheran background. After a few visits from Pastor Beisel they became members of Redeemer Church. During my time at the Park Market there was quite an assortment of fellow employees - some grossly incompetent, some incredibly lazy, and one a serious mental case (his father, a professor at Morningside College, would come by every day to check if he were still on the premises). One young man, studying for the priesthood, would show up in the morning with a major hangover after a night of carousing - had to "sow his wild oats" he said, before taking the final vows. I'm not certain where the owners found these characters - not a Ralph Weaver among them. There was a longtime employee in the meat department; named Don, a quiet steady worker in his late 30's, who lived in a very small house on Patterson at the bottom of the 4th Avenue hill, with his wife and young son. A first-rate meat cutter but lived from pay-check to pay-check I'm sure. I've often wondered what became of Don in later life.
            Park Market at the time seemed "state of the art" (as we had a freezer case and a "deli"). The Haugen wives made tubs of potato salad sold from a meat case in the summer. It was a primitive and miniature version of a modern superstore. There was no air conditioning, just a fan over the front entrance and an awning lowered over the west-facing windows to keep out of the sun. Oranges came in heavy wooden crates and potatoes in 100 pound "gunnysacks" which we separated into 10-pound paper bags. Shelf items were individually priced and marked with a grease pencil and at the checkout counter each item was tallied by numbered keys on a cash register (no electronic scanners). In season, fruits and vegetables came directly from the local trunk farms. Eggs came from local egg farmers, in large crates, which we then cleaned, candled and set by the dozen into the grid of light cardboard cartons. Except for a few small neighborhood markets or rural general stores, this type of grocer's trade has virtually disappeared. The hours are long, returns minimal and competition with supermarkets impossible.
            By the spring of 1949 it became apparent to me that my rate of saving was not going to support my college plans. The pay at the meat packing plants was triple that of my current income. A young woman from the Wallman family at Redeemer was working in the accounting department of Swift & Co., so I applied there. I was offered a job, said my final goodbyes to the folks at Park Market and reported for work on a Monday morning. The meat packing plants in Sioux City (Armour, Cudahy and Swift & Co.) were under the purview of the United Packinghouse Workers of North America, C.I.O. (closed shop) so I immediately had to become a member of the union. By the 1960's these plants had closed, replaced by independent non-union operations. I was also required to purchase heavy boots, gloves and a heavy long coat. Swift & Co. supplied a safety helmet, knives and metal knife scabbard. Hired as a summer replacement I was moved to whichever department was shorthanded due to summer vacations. My first assignment was in the slaughterhouse on the top floor, hot, wet and incredibly noisy, at a position on the disassembly line of freshly killed cattle. Next I worked in the beef cutting cooler where sides of beef were divided into "cuts" and wrapped in pink butcher paper. I was a wrapper (Ernie Schietzelt worked as a beef cutter here and there always seemed to be some sort of altercation or turmoil at his cutting table). For several weeks, I worked in the beef coolers, where sides of beef would come down by elevator from the slaughter house, hanging from overhead tracks. My job was to roll the beef sides from the elevator into the various coolers. The beef sides were covered (on the outside face) with a thin white cloth and as the beef cooled down, "Chief" would carefully and skillfully smooth the cloth over the beef fat. At this time I should note that the majority of packing plant employees were working class white males from various ethnic groups. There were also a few blacks, and a small group of Winnebago Indians (there is a Winnebago reservation across the Missouri in Nebraska). The man who worked as cloth smoother in the coolers was a stocky middle-aged Indian who everyone called "Chief." He didn't seem to mind, spoke little, but I never knew his name and certainly never addressed him as "Chief." One day the elevator cable snapped, the car loaded with beef sides came hurtling down, with hundreds of pounds of beef crashing through the gate at the bottom. Fortunately, I was standing to one side when this happened and the line was shut down for many hours. My final assignment was in the smoked tongue department, a very interesting experience. Beef tongues were kept for several days in vats of very cold brine and my job was to retrieve the tongues with a metal hook, fold them into the proper shape and position them at the "stuffing" machine. This machine then "stuffed" the tongues into a semi-transparent casing, which we then placed into a netting and hung onto racks and the racks were then rolled into a smokehouse. (Apparently smoked tongue was considered a delicacy by certain folks). The department was rather small, with a foreman, assistant foreman and four or five others. One of the workers, "Charlie," was friendly, talkative, a good worker, but a bit slow mentally. Periodically during a break, one of the guys would ask Charlie to tell his "joke;" Charlie happily obliged although he knew only one of the "priest, rabbi and minister" stories. Charlie never got it quite right and never got to the punch line but the guys would collapse in hysterical laughter. Charlie was delighted. When summer ended I was off to the University and Swift & Co. was a thing of the past. I had many other work experiences during my college years, but that is another story.





Teenager

            East Junior High School on Morningside Avenue, was a large three story red brick building, probably built around 1910, likely serving originally as the full secondary school for Morningside and eventually becoming the transition from the many elementary schools to East High School. (The building was demolished around 1980 when the junior high program moved to the vacated high school). At first it was bit intimidating (I was 12 years old in January 1943) with many strange kid, and many different teachers and classrooms. The incoming junior 7th graders were designated "F's" and the senior 9th graders were "A's." There were lockers for winter coats and boots (one had to buy a padlock) and there was a large lunchroom where one could buy hot meals from a serving line (no free lunch program although I usually brought my lunch, buying only a small bottle of milk, probably for 5 cents). There was a gym with a boy's locker/shower room across the hall (one had to buy a gym outfit - shorts, shirt, gym shoes and socks - a financial burden for some I'm sure), and an 8x10 shower room with several shower heads controlled by the coach where we all had to crowd in for a communal shower. There was a large auditorium where once a month there would be an all-school "Sing," led by Miss Pearson, an enormous woman who always wore the same brown dress, always leading us in the same series of songs. For the boys, there was a metal shop (I made a tin box), a wood shop (I made an end shelf which I still have) and a print shop where one learned to set lead type in a method that probably hadn't changed much since Ben Franklin's time. Mr. Mahany, the print shop teacher, had been a British soldier in WWI and let it be known that he hated Germans (the war in Europe was still raging at this time) so for some of us this was a challenge and an opportunity. At the end of a day, Mr. Mahany usually patrolled the corridor at the entry to his shop. Karl Scheld, Richard Koelling and I would position ourselves some distance down the corridor, then throw Mr. Mahany a Nazi salute. T the race was then on, with Mr. Mahany in red-faced anger moving as fast as his stubby little legs could propel him. If we made it out of the buildings we were safe, but if not we could expect a severe pounding. Surprisingly, Mr. Mahany would seem to have forgotten the incident by the next day. The school had no elevator and definitely was not handicapped accessible. Bill Marx, a fellow student, badly crippled by polio, could not do stairs, so some of the larger, stronger boys were assigned to carry Bill, piggyback, up and down the stairs. At that time, many of the girls were as tall or even taller than the boys (puberty struck the girls much sooner than the boys) and I remember sitting behind a girl in class and being startled on seeing hair on her arms (she was a dark-haired girl). The only negative memory I have of junior high is that I had to acknowledge that unless I sat near the front, I could not read the blackboard. I had to get glasses, which I hated.
            By 7th grade it was determined that our wild gang had sufficiently matured to become Boy Scouts so defunct Troop 41 was reformed at Washington School. Somehow a young man who lived with his wife across from the school on Martha Street was persuaded to be the scoutmaster. The assistant scoutmaster was an older man who had been a scoutmaster many years before. We met every Friday night, at Washington School in the auditorium during cold weather, and with hikes and cookouts on warmer evenings. We did the usual Boy Scout things - knots, snake bite remedies, Morse code, starting campfires, etc. but when Scout obligations were over it was game time: consisting of tug-of-war, wrestling matches, or our favorite "German-in-the-dark," where we were divided into two teams, a boundary established, lights turned off and when the lights were again turned on, whichever team had dragged most of their opponents over the boundary was the winner. A similar outdoor game was "Capture the Flag," in which there were two teams, each team with a "flag" on a pole, hidden in the woods and guarded, the object being to find and capture the opponents' flag, involving much hand-to-hand combat. One evening in late summer, the Scoutmaster announced that we were going to steal watermelons from a patch in the bottomlands below the South Ravine bluffs (he had arranged the whole affair with the watermelon grower). As we were creeping through the patch, the grower suddenly appeared, firing a shotgun into the air. With much laughter, the scoutmaster and the grower revealed the hoax and we had a watermelon feast. Unfortunately, some of the Troop, hearing the gunfire, had vanished into the night.
            On a winter night, probably 1943, the city decided to have an air raid drill and blackout. Boy scouts were assigned to each team of air raid wardens, to act as message bearers in case communications were disrupted by the bombing. The wardens had helmets and armbands, but we scouts got only armbands. As we made our rounds through the neighborhood, checking that everything was dark, we came upon a fully lighted house. It was old Mrs. Wallman from Redeemer Church and she told the wardens that the whole thing was nonsense and that they should get off her property, which they complied to. Fortunately, the Luftwaffe was not over Sioux City that night.
            The Sioux City Boy Scout Headquarters was on the top floor of the Woodbury County Courthouse, which is undoubtedly the most architecturally significant building in the city. It was built in 1914-1913, designed by a Sioux City architect, William Steel, in a modified prairie style, and is nationally and internationally known. Fortunately, the building has never been altered or "modernized." The Boy Scout Headquarters, usually attended only by an older lady, sold a variety of Scout uniforms and paraphernalia, but the primary reason for our visits (usually Gordon Henry and me, sometimes Ken or other kids) is that it allowed free and unlimited access to the open balconies at the top. The building was only ten stories in height but still one of the highest in the city. I could look down at Dad's garage on Douglas or across downtown all the way to the river, making it a bit scary but exciting. I worked my way up through the Scout ranks - Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, Star - but by the time I was 16, the after-school job and other interests began to intrude and the goal of an Eagle badge faded into the past.
            During this period Gordon Henry and I engaged in an intense stamp collecting rivalry, a constant race to amass the largest number of stamps. I made a booklet to record each country and the number of stamps from that country, and the grand total of stamps. If nothing else I learned a bit about geography, currencies and a smattering of foreign words. Interest in this hobby, like the Boy Scouts, faded away after a time. I still have the stamp book.
            On summer days, Gordon Henry and I, sometimes accompanied by Ken and Sjoblom kids, started taking hikes to the town of Sergeant Bluff and the nearby airbase, about a 6-mile trek south of the city. It was an all-day affair so we took a lunch and mason jars of water (our canteens), walking between old US Highway 75 and the railroad track and if a train happened by the engineer would give us a friendly blast of steam. We could watch close-up the bombers taking off and landing, and hear the chatter of fixed gun turrets firing practice rounds into the high river bluffs. In 1944 the B-17 bombers were replaced by B-29's, huge, silver and beautiful as they roared overhead. I probably engaged in the usual teen mischief - soaping windows at Halloween, pulling streetcar trolleys, frightening old ladies, etc. Richard Koelling had somehow obtained a few very large firecrackers and one night he, Gordon Henry and I decided to wake the whole city with a thunderous blast. We went down to the city stadium, lit the firecrackers, pitched them over the stadium wall, and prepared to run from the expected arrival of the police. There was nothing but a muffled sound - we did not understand the acoustical physics of sound dissipating into open sky.
            After the war, Ken and I dug out and enlarged part of the basement on the west side. Dad hired a mason to build a new block wall, an electric powered coal stoker was installed and the cistern/compression tank/hand pump system was replaced with a water softener using city water. We had entered the modern era.
            In the summer of 1946, we (Dad, Mother, Ken and I) took our first ever vacation trip (other than visiting relatives), an entire week, to the far north. Our first stop was at a cabin on Lake Okoboji and we then headed into the unknown, 125 miles further north, Green Lake, Minnesota. I envisioned a sub-arctic forest, but in reality, we were in the farming country of west-central Minnesota. Green Lake is a round mid-sized lake which actually did have a greenish cast. We rented a cabin for several days and Ken caught a small fish which caused some major excitement. Later in the week we drove to St. Paul, where at a pavilion overlooking a small lake, Lake Como, in a large city park; Ken and I took a paddleboat out into the lake while Mother watched anxiously from above. Little did I realize that in 18 years I would be standing in that same pavilion watching anxiously as my own children were in a paddleboat on Lake Como. On the homeward journey, we stopped in Mankato, Minnesota, at Bethany College, where in 1922-23, Mother and her sister, Esther, had been students. Bethany, then a Lutheran College for women, in 1946 was a Norwegian Lutheran Seminary.
            Life was better after the war in the 1940's. Dad had more work at his auto service business (he actually bought a "modern" car, a 1936 Oldsmobile), and in a major move up the social ladder, we got a telephone - Ken was on the phone constantly, usually talking to Larry Sjoblom next door. Mother started working as a "fitter" at Davidsons, a large downtown department store. A fitter (I'm not sure this profession still exists) in a women's clothing department, measures, adjusts, marks and pins an article of clothing on the wearer, which is then sent to the alteration room where a seamstress does the final sewing. Mother enjoyed the work and for the first time in years, she could buy things for herself and the house. Davidsons later became Younker-Davidsons (Younkers was a major Des Moines department store) and finally just Younkers. The other major downtown department store was Martins, a bit more upscale. Martins had an open mezzanine and balcony all around with an elegant lady's tearoom on one side overlooking the store. Throughout this period, Mother never gave up her oil painting, setting up her easel wherever there was space or light, usually making copies of paintings she liked. I have several of her paintings. These paintings and her photo albums are nearly all that she left behind.
            About this time, we acquired a dog, still a puppy, some sort of shepherd breed, who we named "Jumbo" (after a dog from Mother's childhood). We also had a female cat and sniffing about as dogs do, Jumbo approached the cat and she boxed him on the nose. Jumbo kept his distance thereafter. Unfortunately, as Jumbo became an adult dog we could not control his barking at anyone who came near the house or yard, even the mailman who came twice a day, so we had to send him away to a farmer who Dad knew. The cat had kittens, one of which we kept, a male, mostly white with a few dark patches. His name was "Katermann" (German for tomcat), and he was with us for many years. Because he was a male cat, he would sometimes disappear for weeks at a time, always returning looking a bit bedraggled. On summer evenings, he would park himself on the back-porch roof, surveying his domain, with birds swooping down chattering and shrieking, totally ignored by Katermann.
            In the summer of 1948, we made the ultimate vacation trip - a drive to California. It was months in planning, and because it was thought to be a hazardous undertaking, we formed a two-car convoy with the Alta Runges, Uncle Barney and Aunt Edna. Cousins Margaret and Phyllis were also in the party, as was Ben Copeland, Margaret's fiancé. Ben was from Chicago, but he wisely kept his Chicago chutzpah in check among the laid-back Iowa Runges. I'm not sure how they all fit into Uncle Barney's car, as all of them (except Aunt Edna) were tall, and Ben was really tall, well over six feet. We set out from Sioux City, first stop the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, then to the Black Hills and Deadwood (there was a tremendous hailstorm here), a long drive to Yellowstone Park, then Jackson Hole, down to Salt Lake City, across miles of hot desert (cars were not air-conditioned and in that long-ago time, wet canvas bags were placed over the radiators to keep the engines cool), and finally into Los Angeles. When we drove over mountain roads, Mother was a bundle of nerves. By then I had a driver's license, so when the way was straight and level Dad let me drive, which for Mother was worse than a narrow mountain road experience. We stayed with the Schilkes, and the Alta folks with Aunt Edna's sister (her husband owned apartment buildings so was doing quite well). We did the usual tourist things and visited relatives (Mother had several cousins in the L.A. area). This was in the era before freeways, so there were endless drives from one part of the city to another. Bill and Dick had a Saturday job washing delivery trucks which had to be cleaned from top to tires - Ken and I joined in the fun. Near the end of our stay, we went for an all-day swim at Long Beach, after which I was red with a painful sunburn. The journey home was more direct and uneventful, but I do remember that we stayed in Law Vegas, then a small dusty town with only a few gambling houses. Much of what we saw is gone - paved over, built upon or buried under urban sprawl.





High School

            East High School, Sioux City, was not one of the highlights of my life's journey, but something that had to be endured on the path to better things. The building was beautiful and still relatively new in the 1940's, but I have little memory of time in the classroom. The chemistry classes taught by Mr. Schubert provided some entertainment; Mr. Schubert had very poor eyesight, so there was an occasional mishap at the demonstration table. Mr. Schubert wore thick glasses and was unaware of happenings beyond the first two or three rows. Art classes could be fun and some of my drawings and paintings were entered in local and state shows. I took journalism classes thinking I might be a writer someday. I was on the staff of the school paper "The Tomahawk," and was sent to a two-day high school journalism workshop at Iowa State in Ames (little realizing that one day I would be a student in the Iowa State architectural school). There was some sort of city-wide career event involving an essay contest and I picked "Civil Engineering" (had no idea what an architect was). A kid from Central High and I got to interview an actual civil engineer, on the radio, which was an uncomfortable experience, as there were just the three of us and a microphone in a small studio. I don't remember which station, although there were only two radio stations in town, KSCJ (Sioux City Journal) and KTRI (Sioux City Tribune). I took all the math classes available, which was always aggravation caused by some students, mostly the girls, doing the homework and turning it in on time. I survived with test scores that had to be nearly perfect (surprisingly, by 12th grade, there were no girls in the advanced math and physics classes, a phenomenon of that period). I took typing (mostly girls in those classes) assuming it would be a useful skill in college. There was a typewriter shop downtown where I bought a Royal portable typewriter for an enormous cost (80 dollars I think) which served me well for many years. Because of my Park Market job, I had no time for the afterschool athletic programs (I was totally inept in sports in any case), but loyally attended the Friday night football and basketball games. There were Friday night teen dances, sometimes at the school, sometimes downtown at the "Y." I was a terrible dancer.
            Some things are difficult to put into writing, but this is a memoir not a novel. I had a longtime friend, going back to grade school days, Rodney Adolphson, from a good Norwegian family (his older brother was named Ronald Ole). He had a cousin, Ruthie Hoeven, a slight dark haired girl with a pretty face. She was older than me, quiet and somewhat shy. We probably met when I would be at Rodney's house, but I didn't know her that well and shared no classes (I was on an academic track, she was not). One day in the corridor, probably in May (I was in Jr. 12th grade), she asked me if I would take her to her Senior Prom. I was a bit puzzled, non-committal and evasive (in addition to being totally awkward socially and having little understanding of the female psyche - a lifelong problem). Somehow I managed to avoid her the following weeks, a truly unkind and regretful behavior. I've often wondered if someone did take her to the Prom, or if she sat home alone that night. After Ruthie graduated, I never saw her again. At my 50th High School reunion, there was a list of those who had died and Rodney Adolphson's name was on the list. I wanted to ask him about his cousin and send a written apology but time had closed that door.
            Near the end of 12th grade, we did the obligatory Senior Class Play. The drama teacher selected "The Importance of Being Ernest," an Oscar Wilde play where the humor probably escaped most of the Morningside audience. In one of the dressing rooms, high on the wall, I wrote "Jerry Froehlich slept here." I was made to wash it off.
            At the end of that senior year, January 1949, I had to face the grim prospect of my "Senior Prom." There was a girl, Charlotte Stultz, a year younger than me, blond (of course), not very tall, a popular girl and very pretty. Her family, literally, lived on the "other side of the tracks," east on Correctionville Road, beyond the railroad overpass, in a ramshackle house. I knew her because she often came to Redeemer Church with Marilyn Blenner, a girl in my confirmation class. We had dated a few times so I asked her to the Prom. Before the big night, I was helping with decorations in the school gym, where I overheard some of my female classmates exclaim: "Charlotte Stultz is coming to our prom - who is taking her?" (Another social faux pas as I didn't realize that we were expected to escort the girls from our class). In any case, it didn't matter for I wasn't interested in that lot, my classmates, and besides, I was with the prettiest girl at the Prom. I remember a snowy night, late that winter, walking Charlotte home, telling her that I was happy to be out of high school and eager to leave Sioux City for a new life. I don't think she understood as high school was still an important part of her life. We went our separate ways and after leaving for the University, I don't recall that I ever saw her again.
            Many of my longtime friends from grade school, junior high and beyond were not in the graduating class. Some had "dropped out" in 10th or 11th grade - "Buster" Redden joined the Navy, as did "Dumpy" Wilcox, and Dick Graham I think joined the Air Force. Others, like Bob Fiala, were simply gone, disappeared, vanished from that small world.





COLLEGE DAYS

            Going off to college was something I had long awaited. Leaving home was not particularly momentous or traumatic (Mother felt otherwise). Sioux City and home, I felt, would always be there when I returned, unchanged, familiar, with the same family, friends and places I had known from my earliest memory.

The State University of Iowa (SUI)
            On a morning in early September, 1949, I left Sioux City. Mother and Dad saw me off at the depot. Except for a large suitcase and my portable typewriter, I was traveling alone. I wanted to work until the last possible day, so my classsmates had left the day before for Freshman Orientation events. The train made a stop in Marion, from there a short cab ride to Cedar Rapids, then the last 25 miles by a light rail system, a glorified electric streetcar, the CRANDIC (Cedar Rapids and Iowa City). I still remember the excitement I felt walking from the train station, through the campus, across the Iowa River bridge and up to my dorm. Throughout my college years, each September, I felt that same excitement. Even in later years, into middle age, at the end of summer when there was a chill in the air and leaves turned color, I would dream that I was going back to campus. Perhaps I should have gone to graduate school, but it was time to move on.
            I should mention that I would not be completely among strangers at the University, as five of my East High classmates enrolled that fall. In that group was Karl Scheld, who went on to get a PhD in economics and to a career with the Federal Reserve, Jerry Stone, who graduated with a degree in geology, Richard Koelling, dropped out after a year but later returned for a degree, Jack Wolf, a violin virtuoso, dropped out after a year, opened a music shop in Morningside, and played with the Sioux City Symphony, and finally Harold "Corky" Reister, an all-around athlete, with a football scholarship. Corky's future wife, Joan Brannen, East High June 49 class, was also in the Fall 1949 group. My good friend Gordon Henry went off to Iowa State Teachers College (now Northern Iowa University) in Cedar Falls.
            My dormitory, Hillcrest, high above the Iowa River, was a brick three or four story (no elevator), actually quite new, built shortly before the war. Most of the rooms were 2-man or 4-man. My room was on the top floor, a 4-man room, with a great view across the river east to the main campus and old State Capitol. Each room had a lavatory, telephone and walk-in closet, and for each occupant a bunk bed, desk and chair. Toilets and gang showers were down the hall. The dormitory fee, about 70 dollars per month, paid for housekeeping, fresh linens and towels, and all meals (except Sunday evening) for the full school year.
            Laundry Case: For many students, probably a majority of the younger ones, dirty laundry was sent home via a "laundry case", a 12 by 24 by 6-inch container (mine was aluminum) secured with straps. U.S. Mail (3rd Class) was incredibly cheap (probably about 25 cents), so about every 2 weeks I received a box of clean laundry, sorted and folded, and usually with cookies or other home baked goods. Mother faithfully performed this duty for all my college years.
            Shortly after I arrived my new roomates settled in. They were Tom Burke, a third year pre-med from Missouri Valley, Harold, whose last name I've forgotten, a commerce major junior, and Bill Larson, a liberal arts freshman from Marshalltown. Tom Burke was a serious student, Irish to the core (as such, he hated anything English and admired everything German) loved to discuss history, current affairs and religion (he was Irish Catholic) and we immediately got along famously. Harold studied as required for his business courses, which generally wasn't that much. Bill had no interest in studies of any kind, slept in many mornings, went home every weekend to be with his girlfriend, and dropped out after one semester. Because the room was large and centrally located, and probably because of the outgoing personalities of Tom and Harold, our place soon became a communal gathering place - gemutlich but not conducive to studying. Tom and I spent many late nights bent over our desks.
            Incoming Freshman were required to take placement exams, one of which was in speech making. I had not taken any speech classes in high school, and had never in my life given a speech so I was placed in a remedial English speech class. Next stop was the "Student Counselor" whose function was to assign freshmen to classes appropriate to the chosen major. As I had not selected a major, but was interested in art, science, writing and various other subjects, the somewhat bewildered counselor decided I should be an art major with a math minor. The normal class load was 16 credit hours, although with special permission, one could take 18 credit hours. In his confusion, the counselor signed me up for 22 credit hours. I was not aware of this until receiving my grade report at the end of the semester (I realized then why I seemed to be in class all day and studying all night). The University informed me that this class load was not acceptable, but I was allowed to take 20 credit hours the following semester. For the remainder of my college career I rarely took less than 20 credit hours, which was probably a bargain as the tuition was always the same. The art school at that time was still greatly under the spell of Grant Wood ("American Gothic") who had died in Iowa City only a few years before, but post-impressionism/abstract expressionism were making inroads. The instruction in the basics of composition, still life and life drawing in various media was excellent. The art building was a beautiful low 1930's structure on the west bank of the river, sadly destroyed by the flood of 2008.
            All freshman and sophomore students were required to take physical education (two classes per week) and all male students were required to take two years of ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps) as SUI was a Federal Land Grant school. The initial phys-ed classes were exclusively swimming (all students at Iowa colleges and universities were required to pass a swimming test prior to graduation). The male students, stark naked and probably 100 per class, were herded into a large indoor pool (the female students probably wore some sort of swimming gear), given instructions, then herded back to a long row of gang showers. After several weeks, a test was given and those who could swim the length of the pool and back within a certain time were allowed to move into other areas of the phys-ed program. I chose tennis, and stayed with the sport while at SUI (unlike the Olympians of old we did not play stark naked). For ROTC, liberal arts freshman had a choice of Army Infantry or Air Force Cadets. It was peacetime so infantry ("Queen of Battle") seemed the more exciting choice. We were issued full uniforms (even shoes) which were required at ROTC classes and for drill in the cavernous University armory. Wehrmacht soldiers had full automatic rifles ("burp guns") by war's end, but the U.S. Army was still using the standard issue M1 rifle. We marched and drilled with the M1, breaking it down, reassembling, cleaning and eventually learning to fire that trusty old weapon.
            On an October weekend, Mother made a visit to SUI; she had to see the place and her firstborn who had been away from home for more than a month. It was the weekend of the Northwestern Game, so Mother arrived with Uncle Barney, Aunt Edna and cousin Phyllis (their daughter) who was a freshman at Northwestern. I'm not sure of the logistics of this operation but somehow they all got back to Sioux City, Alta and Evanston. That weekend was "open house" at the dormitories so we put our room in order, and Mother met my roommates, who, for that moment, behaved appropriately.
            Karl Scheld and I, walking through the campus on a fall afternoon, encountered three guys and got to chatting with them. One of them, a personable Junior from a suburb just north of New York City, was to become a close friend. His name was Al Divine. They said they were members of a fraternity, Delta Tau Delta, and invited us to a dinner on the following Monday. We were picked up by car at the dorm (it was a long walk from Hillcrest to Fraternity Row), and taken to the Delt House (Omicron Chapter, Delta Tau Delta), 724 North Dubuque, rising steeply on the east side of the road, high above Iowa River, a three-story brick colonial, probably built in the 1920's. Karl and I were treated royally, introduced to all the "brothers" and shown about the place. We were invited back several times and then asked to join. Karl and I accepted. It was the beginning of a whole new life experience, and one which I never regretted. Mother, of course, was horrified when I wrote that I had joined a fraternity. Whereas dorm life was somewhat isolated (almost monastic), fraternity life was a whirl of activity. Participation in campus activities was encouraged; attendance at social events, such as Friday evening "exchanges" with sororities was required; failure to attend the various Delt parties and dances was considered poor behavior (if one didn't have date for one of those events, this was easily arranged - the Delts were known for their parties). In late October, Miss Joan came from Chciago for a Delt party, but that's another story.
            Most Delt "pledges" (those invited to become full members but not yet initiated) lived in the house, but latecomers like Karl and me (we were obligated to live in Hillcrest for the school year) were required to attend Monday evening meals, followed by "pledge duties" (housekeeping, trash removal, changing bed sheets, etc). Dress for dinners (except Saturday night) was always coat and tie, and one stood until the Housemother, escorted by the house president, had been seated. Meals were served family style (usually about 40 seated in tables of 8). After the meal, there were announcements and then a song-fest (no bawdy songs as the Housemother was present). These songs were strange to my ear, something from the past it seemed (a song about the Titanic, "It was sad when the great ship went down," and another favorite about Sam Houston) - old ballads that had been sung for decades and became part of the fraternity repertoire. Occasionally there was another curious ritual, in which one of the guys "pinned" a girl (a sort of pre-engagement custom in which a fraternity pin was "pinned" over a girl's heart, thereby ensuring, usually at the behest of the girl, a steady date) and he was then obligated to pass out cigars and the dining hall was soon dense with cigar smoke. Later, on a pre-arranged evening, we would go to the girl's sorority for a serenade (all very romantic). A bit of entertainment was sometimes provided by Jordan "Felix" Kern, a slight, somewhat reclusive perpetual student from Maryland, who had an uncanny ability to reproduce the sound of a chirping cricket. He could be persuaded on rare occasions, to stand behind a door and perform. There was another celebrity of sorts, Bill Zoeckler, a tall blond kid, whose father, a doctor, had been head of the German-American Bund in Iowa before the war.
            Thanksgiving and Christmas: SUI was closed for a long weekend at Thanksgiving and for 12 days over the Christmas/New Years holiday. For Thanksgiving break, I remember catching a ride with Ed Lindusky, a Sioux City student I met at church and his old car reluctantly made the trip. I took a night train back to SUI, which was packed with returning students, including Jerry Stone, Corky Reister and the daughter of a Sioux City rabbi (a very pretty dark eyed girl) as traveling companions. I met a student from South Dakota who was on his way back to Harvard and although he seemed to be an intelligent fellow, I couldn't comprehend why he chose to go all the way to the East Coast for college. At the time my knowledge of Ivy League schools was limited to a few outrageous songs ("Papa, I want to be a Yale man" and one about Cornell). Back in Sioux City for Christmas break (Katermann always greeted me at the door) I connected with a few old friends. Karl and I went to an East High basketball game, but we felt like strangers and left at half-time. Sioux City was the same, but it wasn't the same - it never again would be. I was anxious to get back to school. For Christmas, I got a 45 speed record player (the latest in audio technology) and a chess set.
            January 1950, just before final week, the Delts had their winter formal. I had to buy black leather shoes, socks, shirt and bow tie, suspenders, rent a tux, and get a corsage, all with my very limited funds. I can't really remember the affair, but there is a photo in the SUI yearbook and apparently, my date was Sharon Brown, an Alpha X: Delta pledge. The long awaited "Hell Week" finally arrived in March, late on a Friday night. We suspected something was afoot as there was a hayride and big party that evening. All pledges had to move into the house, including we outsiders from the dorms. We had to get short crew cuts (I kept my short hair until the 1960's in Cincinnati) and our only attire (at the house) was a burlap bag ("gunny sack") with cutouts for arms. We were awakened at 6:00 a.m. by means of a cold-water hose shower. Several work projects were scheduled, extending late into the night, one of which was refinishing the grand piano (old finish stripped and sanded down to bare wood, cleaning and applying the then popular "blond" finish). Because I had a bad head cold at the time, Al Divine persuaded the pledge master (equivalent to a boot camp drill sergeant) that my duties should be limited to preparing a number of engineering drawings (required, of course, for one of Al's classes). In addition to this exhausting routine, we were expected to attend all classes and, supposedly, complete all homework. Karl and I did slip over to Hillcrest every day for a bit of sleep. At the end of this grueling rite of passage, we were congratulated and initiated into full membership. The initiation ceremony had all the traditional ritual, which the guys at Omicron chapter didn't take seriously. The '49-50' school year was near the end of the G.I. Bill era and these "old guys" in their mid-twenties loved to party but had no use for secret passwords, handshakes, etc. The Delt spring formal dance was in May (tux required) and on the following evening I had been invited to some sort of formal sorority affair (tux required). Since I had previously acquired all the supplemental formal paraphernalia my expenses were limited to a tux "two for" rental and one corsage (at the sorority formal the girls had to provide their own corsages). I can't recall either the girls or the sororities for these events as I was fully engaged in final week studies and concerns about finding a good paying job for the summer (I had written Swift & Co. but they had no openings).
            Meanwhile, back a Hillcrest dorm, Bill Larsen had been replaced by a new roommate, Ken Block, a commerce major junior. Harold and Ken usually played cards in the evening while Tom and I studied, although there was a new distraction: chess. Tom and I had decided to become chess masters, so we set up a board on Harold's desk (he never used it) and whenever we had a bit of free time we played a few moves. By the end of the school year I thought I was an absolute chess genius, until I was totally humbled in a game with my Uncle Martin, who checkmated me in a dozen moves (I still don't know how he did it). Our dorm room continued to be a center of activity. A friend of Tom's, John Bancroft, a commerce junior from Clarion, outgoing and bon vivant, was a frequent visitor and Vernon "Urine" Urich, a pre-med sophomore was a regular. Karl Scheld didn't care for his roommate so our room became a place of refuge for him (Karl and I created a fictitious demon "Black Parkinson", a cross between Dracula and Batman, who with sinister threats we thought might frighten the poor follow into relocating to another dorm, but it didn't work). A Jewish kid down the hall quit school and joined the Israeli army.
            By Easter break Jack Wolf had acquired a car, so Karl and I made a deal in which we would buy the gas if Jack drove us to Sioux City and back. My brother Ken was confirmed the previous week (Palm Sunday) so I missed it.
            At the end of my freshman year, I was very tired, happy with my final grades, and completely out of money.
            Al Wolff was a foreman at the Cudahy Meat Packing Company and a member of Redeemer Church (his brother Art was the church organist). Dad asked him if there were any summer job openings and when I came home in early June I had a job. It was an ideal summer job with good pay, not too strenuous, a night shift from late afternoon until midnight (out just in time to catch the last bus from the packinghouse district to Morningside), a "women's job" during the day shift, operating a "bacon press." This machine pressed irregular and twisted slabs of bacon as they came out of the smokehouse into neat rectangular cubes, suitable for feeding into the bacon slicing machine. After only a short time on this job disaster struck when a young guy who was working in the same area said "Watch this." He had pilfered some frankfurters, placed them in a bucket and was blasting them with a steam hose. A night watchman happened by, saw what was happening, and fired both of us on the spot. Al Wolff said there was nothing he could do as the night watchmen had absolute authority. (That fall Al Wolff quit his job and brought a farm, which always was his dream. In preparation for the move he was doing some work under his car, when the jack slipped and he was killed instantly. The family never moved to the farm.).
            I was on another job hunt, and the economy that summer was down. The best I could do was as a door-to-door salesman for the Realsilk Hosiery Company. It was a national company, with a downtown office and a good quality product line of women's lingerie and hose, men's socks and underwear, plus other clothing items, but sold only door-to-door. The head salesman, a thickset balding guy in his 50's, worked small towns in the Sioux City area and the city was parceled out to 3 college students, a guy from SUI, a rather nervous young girl and me. The old salesman, wanting to show me how it was done, took me to a beer tavern in Sergeant Bluff, a small town near the Sioux City airport. In a short time, he had a large order of socks and underwear from the local farmers. Unfortunately, my clientele in the city would prove to be mostly middle-aged housewives. We "pounded the pavement" carrying heavy cases filled with catalogs, order pads, and many samples, including lingerie and hosiery. A few older ladies actually ordered silk stockings. The days were long and hot, the economic return poor, and I definitely was not destined to be a salesman. Realsilk, however, did offer substantial discounts to employees, so I acquired several pairs of socks and a dark blue "sport coat" which I kept for many years.
            On June 25, 1950, North Korean launched a surprise invasion of the South. The small American continent in Korea was immediately embroiled in this conflict so once again we were at war. With memories of WWII still fresh, orders for nylon hose quickly went up, but Realsilk imposed a limit, squelching a potential sales bonanza.
            Other than the job stress, I can't recall anything unusual about that summer. It was probably the year that the city began changing from streetcars to buses which at the time seemed like progress. Miss Joan made the usual summer visit but that's part of my Chicago story. I bought a slide rule (a pre-computer device used in complex mathematical computations) and taught myself to use it, thinking it might be of some future use.
            In mid-July Dad came through again when he found a summer job for me at Roberts Dairy, a large operation just west of downtown, which specialized in milk products, fresh, canned, and dried. I was put to work in a variety of tasks, mostly clean up and warehouse duties. I was particularly fascinated by the "taster." As milk cans were off-loaded from dairy farm trucks unto a conveyer, the cans were tagged, the lids popped open, and as the cans went by an older guy with a long-handled ladle would take a dip of milk, taste it, spit it out and rinse his mouth. This is how the freshness of milk was determined. After about a week it was decided that I should learn the art of making cottage cheese as the regular maker would be taking a long vacation in August. A large rectangular stainless steel tank, open at the top, about 6x12x3 feet deep, was filled with skim milk each evening; a rich mixture of cream and a carefully measured amount of catalyst (culture) was added, stainless steel covers put in place, and the tank warmed to a specific temperature. In the morning (if all went well) a coagulated layer about a foot thick had formed. Using wire screens, we cut this into large or small curd sizes as required, excess moisture was drained off and a rinse of cold water applied. The finished product was then divided into unsalted, dietary and regular (salt and cream added) types, and immediately packaged (by machine) into various sized containers. When the regular maker returned, he and the company management were relieved that there had been no major disasters.
            I worked at Roberts Dairy the last full week possible and left for school the next day, by bus this time, suitcase, typewriter and laundry case in hand. Cleaning and painting operations at the Delt house were well underway when I arrived, so I narrowly escaped a fine for being late. Everything had to be put in good order for the upcoming "rush week." I was assigned a room on the top (3rd) floor, which suited me fine as these rooms had bunk beds whereas the second-floor rooms were study rooms only with bunks in one of two common (dormitory) rooms. In addition to work in the general areas and the exterior, I had to clean and paint my room so I picked a medium blue (too dark). During rush week, we had to be well-dressed and on our best behavior, entertaining a constant stream of potential pledges, some confident, some very nervous, all hoping for an invitation from several fraternities. I remember bowls of cigarettes being set out (smoking at that time was considered quite sophisticated) so many of those poor devils lit up for the first time thinking to impress their hosts. After several days of this mutual appraisal we made lists of possible candidates. Those with mediocre high school grades were not considered. Sports and other activities were a plus. A reasonably good appearance was important. Legacies (father or brother a Delt) were nearly always accepted. On the last night, we reviewed the top ranked candidates and then issued invitations assuming an acceptance rate of about 75 percent. We recruited a pledge class of 16, close to our target number. I was assigned a pledge as a roommate, Robert ("Bobo") Overholtzer, a freshman from Ida Grove, who had bright red hair (John Lenaghan immediately dubbed him "The orange haired one"). Don Brown, from Sioux City, was also in this pledge class.
            The first few weeks of that year are among the best in my memory. A storybook collegiate life with crisp fall air, football games, parties and girls. Classes had hardly begun and the war was all but forgotten (MacArthur had landed at Inchon and the trapped North Korean Army was retreating in disarray). All of this, of course, was to come to an end.
            I was still uncertain about a career path, much to the anxiety of Mother and Dad, but I did decide to switch to a math/physics major and an art minor. The University again permitted me to sign up for 20 or 21 credit hours which allowed me to take the full math/physics curriculum plus studio class in art. My physics teacher was a lady in her forties who had escaped from Shanghai only the year before. Her English was good and she knew her physics. I became friends with a tall Jewish kid, Rodney Shkolnick, a brilliant math student (we were taking some sort of special math class) and I remember walking with him after class on cold evenings. The art classes continued to be first-rate, with the younger instructors increasingly influenced by Picasso, Braque, Mondrian, Miro and the like. We were encouraged to go about the surrounding city and environment to make sketches. I found one of these sketches, the interior of a beer tavern/student hangout, more than 50 years later and made it into an oil painting.
            The University required students to take certain "core courses" to ensure a broad educational experience so I chose a course in European history. There were twice a week lectures in a large hall, given by two professors, one a Berlin Jew ("I am a Prussian") who had barely escaped to America, and the other a lanky, precise Englishman who was very British. The lectures were followed by small group discussions taught by grad students. After the first test, a few of us were selected (2 groups of about 8 each) to have our post-lecture discussions directly with one of the professors. The Englishmen elected to have his group meet in the evenings at his home; his wife served tea (with or without milk), which was all very pleasant.
            There was a study routine at the Delt house, enforced quiet time (no talking in the hallways, no telephone calls) from after dinner until 10 PM, Monday through Thursday and the scholarship chairman could impose fines on violators. There was an intense rivalry among the fraternities for the highest grade point averages, and were expected always to be much above the men's dorm grades. After 10pm there was a period of pandemonium and telephoning (the phones were in the hallways), gradually quieting as the guys drifted off to bed. I had maintained my late-night study habits, and as Bobo was usually ready for bed by 11, I generally spent this time in John Lenaghan's room. Lengahan, from Clinton where his father was a doctor, was a classics major, studying Greek and Latin late into the night, refusing to take early morning classes (his motto: "A Christian gentleman never rises before the sun"). Lenaghan also enjoyed a bit of wine while studying, throwing his empty bottles out the window onto the lawn. The housemother was certain that neighboring fraternities were responsible for this mischief.
            To keep expenses down I worked part time in the Delt kitchen/dining room, where the policy for the workers was 2 weeks on, then 2 weeks off, which was a good system as it kept us engaged in the activities and camaraderie of the dining room. There were 4 to a shift, 2 in the kitchen, 2 serving the tables, rotating our duties. Karl Scheld and I always worked together, along with Norm "Wadie" Waite. Wadie was one of the remnant G.I.'s, sometimes coming home late on Saturday night, mean drunk, banging his fists on the walls. The meal routine was similar to the dorms, with three meals a day except juice, milk and pastries on weekend mornings and a large dinner Sunday noon (bag lunches on football Saturdays).
            On one evening, every week we had song practice, which everyone was required to participate (except those deemed totally tone-deaf) in preparation for the all campus "sing". Jim Grotenhuis was our very enthusiastic director and I think we placed second or third that year. There was a "game room," a small glazed wing on the north side, where guys would sit for hours playing cards; I sometimes played chess with Don Rosche - he was a serious player, hated to lose. On some Friday nights, there would be a "beer bust" (usually guys only), an event out in the countryside involving a large bonfire, raucous singing, a beer keg and coffee cans (our drinking vessels). On one occasion a coffee can was filled with gasoline to start the fire, some poor devil mistaking it for his beer took a large swig. He became violently ill and had to be taken to the University hospital. Other Delt memories: Felix brought home a large barracuda from his biology lab, parked it on the fire escape just outside the housemother's bedroom window, knowing that she opened the blinds first thing in the morning and as expected, she screamed. Bob Sweet would sometimes bring his girl for an overnight. The second-floor shower stall (not screened) was at the entry into the toilet room so a call would go out "girl in shower," so the toilet room was temporarily off limits. Lenaghan was taking a required "core" course in science, but he hated it and rarely went to class so he paid me 25 dollars to take his final exam (the devil made me do it). It was a really stupid thing to do and we both would have been expelled if I had been caught. I will always remember Al Divine sitting quietly in his room, playing the guitar (Al died in 2015).
            Tom Burke, my old roommate from Hillcrest Dorm would call periodically if there were a good foreign film in town (the postwar European film industry was just starting to revive) and afterwards we would have a beer and talk. Tom retained his dislike of all things British and an admiration of anything German. At times, Tom, John Bancroft and their friend Maurice Kirland would get together with me and John Lenaghan (Lenaghan never passed an opportunity for a drink) for an evening at one of the beer tavern/student hangouts (Lenaghan was indifferent to things British and his interest in Germans was limited to the writings of Tacitus). One time Tom called saying he had found two actual Germans, war veterans who were at SUI on some sort of German equivalent to the G.I. Bill. We had to get together for a few beers of course. Both had been drafted late in the war, where one was trained as a Fallschrimtrupper (German for paratrooper) but never made a combat jump and the other was a fighter pilot, who flew a rocket plane which streaked into bomber formations firing air-to-air missiles. He never would say if he brought down an Allied bomber.
            My cousin Martina Runge (of the Denison Runge's) transferred that year from Iowa State (there was always a steady stream of transfers fleeing the horrors of Iowa State). She was a member of Chi Omega, I would see her at church and I think we had a few "coke dates." A member of my confirmation class at Redeemer, Duane Pansegrau, also transferred in as a pre-med, but I rarely saw him at church (as a farm boy he went to early service - not my cup-of-tea). There was a guy from the East High June '49 class, Charles "Chuck" Cutler, a Phi Delt, who had a car, so Karl and I were able to hitch rides with him back to Sioux City.
            In late November, everything changed. The Chinese Army crossed the Yalu and there were major military disasters at Chosin Reservoir and Unsan. The situation was desperate and a call went out for volunteers. The University initiated a program in which they would credit a full semester of course work for those who did volunteer. Several hundred guys did enlist, but mostly into the Air Force or Navy, not the Army or Marines. Those of us in the ROTC program were temporarily exempt from the draft, but that exemption ended at the close of the sophomore year, unless one were excepted into the Senior ROTC program. Upon graduation one would be commissioned as a second lieutenant in the US Army, serving on active duty for at least 2 years. As I wanted graduate, there seemed to be no option but to sign up for the Senior ROTC program (infantry lieutenants had a low survival rate in combat). I had to pass a physical exam, have good grades in the military classes and a satisfactory performance in drill. The ROTC training became more intense. Our rifle targets (from WWII) were profiles of German soldiers, but we were told to visualize them as Chinese. As I was basically right handed but wrote and drew with my left hand, the firing range instructors had a difficult time deciding whether I was a right or left-handed shooter (they finally decided that I did best as a right hander). A P-51 fighter plane was brought into the armory, probably to impress the ROTC Air Cadets. This powerful prop plane, by then obsolete, had swept the Luftwaffe from the skies of Europe. Carved on the nose of the plane was my brother's name "KENNY FROELICH."
            There was a girl, Sally Irish, a willowy blond (of course) beauty, Kappa Alpha Theta, from Decorah, where her father was a doctor. Boynton Woodburn III ("Woodie") a sophomore Delt whose father was an architect in Des Moines, had a car. Woodie was also dating a Theta so this made double dating very convenient. Sally and I went to the winter formal (another tux event) and several parties, but by spring we seemed to have drifted apart. I really liked that girl, but probably took her for granted, so it was just a well as we came from different worlds and I would soon be leaving for another school. I also went to Chicago a few times at the invitation of Miss Joan.
            I received a bit of bad news from Sioux City. There was a gas explosion at the Swift & Co. packing plant, directly below the smoke tongue department where I worked. Most of the men in that area were killed.
            By the second semester I had essentially decided on architecture as a career and Iowa State College in Ames had the only architectural school in Iowa. Math and physics were fun and challenging but too confining and my fellow art students seemed to spend most of their time at the Student Union (directly across the river by foot bridge from the Fine Arts Building) discussing "art" (in their paint splotched smocks) rather than actually doing art. There was a lot of paper work involved in making the transfer, especially the senior ROTC business. In June 1951, I bade farewell to SUI and 724 North Dubuque, promising to return for visits.





IOWA STATE COLLEGE

            The summer of 1951 in Sioux City was uneventful, (except for the usual summer visit by Miss Joan). My focus was on making as much money as possible, putting the money in a bank, and staying out of trouble. Because of the war jobs were more plentiful so I put in another stint at Roberts Diary. Gordon Henry, Don Brown and I went to an occasional movie, but mostly just hung out somewhere bantering with girls. When I left for Iowa State in September I was truly alone and on my own.
            Iowa State College (name changed to Iowa State University in the 1960's) in Ames had a reputation as a very tough school. They considered SUI as not much more than a glorified high school so I had trouble from the start. At first they would not accept any math or physics credits from SUI and wanted me to start essentially as a freshman. After much arguing they allowed me to enter the architectural program as a sophomore but I had to take a year of freshman chemistry (inorganic) in addition to the full architectural curriculum. They also wanted me to take a non-credit course in the use of the slide rule (known as the "rat race"), which I ignored. I was allowed to enter the Senior ROTC program (thus continuing my draft exemption), but in the Engineering Branch, not Artillery which was my preference. Many years later, in Cincinnati, I met a process engineer, Doug Beers, who had been at Iowa State before WWI and he said that in these days the artillery pieces and caissons were still horse drawn. Now that would have been exciting. Considered a sophomore, I had to endure another year of Phys Ed, so took a quarter each of tennis, bowling and archery.
            As I was not certain about how I would be received by the Iowa State Delts, or whether I wanted to be part of that group, I signed up for fall quarter at a dorm, and was assigned to Hughes Hall. This dorm was an older building, probably built in the 1920's, a four-story brick, mostly two-man rooms, most of which were equipped with bunk beds, desks, chairs, chests of drawers and free-standing wardrobes. Toilets, showers and a telephone closet were down the hall. My room was on the top floor, and my roommate was Frank McNutt, from Madison, Wisconsin, where his father, I believe, was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin. McNutt was a quiet, unassuming fellow, a freshman in architecture, but actually older than me as he had a degree in psychology (a degree with as much value then as it probably has today), so he decided to try his hand as an architect. The guys across the hall were absolute barbarians, causing much physical damage, and because of McNutt's introverted studious nature, they subjected him to constant harassment and torment. These wild men, together with others on our floor, discovered a way to enter the steam tunnels which served buildings throughout the campus and they would return from their nighttime expeditions with large cans of fruit from the central commissary, or tales of peeking through grilles into the laundry rooms of the women's dorms (girls in pajamas, or less). In one incident, they trapped me in the telephone closet by wedging the door against the opposite wall with a mop handle and as I forced the door open the mop handle broke through the wall into the back of a wardrobe in an adjacent room. The occupant, a serious student, was suddenly startled as his wardrobe began tipping over him at his desk. This stunt delighted the inmates of that madhouse.
            After a few weeks, I ventured to the Delt house a short distance west on Lincoln Way at Hyland Avenue (Delta Tau Delta, Gamma Pi Chapter, 101 Hyland Avenue). They were expecting me and asked me to join so I accepted the invitation. The Delt house was one of the oldest fraternities on campus (money was being raised for a new house), built in 1912, a large 3-story wood structure, living room, dining room and housemother quarters on the first floor, study rooms on the second and more study rooms and sleeping dorms on the third, party room and meeting room in the basement. The Iowa State Delts, about 50 in number, were a bit more subdued than the boisterous group at SUI, but Delts nevertheless (Years later, in Cincinnati, George Nielson, a fellow architect, told me that he was a paper boy in Ames during the 50's, where he hated going to the Delt house to collect, as he was subjected to teasing, derision and torment before being paid). I began going to Monday evening dinners at the house and participating in social events. In early November, I got a call from the SUI Delts saying that the Iowa State pledges were coming for an "escape weekend" (a tradition for Iowa State pledge classes) and that I should come along. I called the pledge class president (this was all very secret) and he agreed that I could join in and gave me the Friday afternoon time and rendezvous location. Some of the pledges hadn't been informed of this arrangement and scattered when I appeared so it took some effort to get the party together again and on the road. It was great connecting with all my old friends in Iowa City, but I didn't know at the time that it was the last I would ever see many of them.
            Nearly all my classes were on the engineering (west) side of the campus, and nearly all of my classmates were male. The architecture building was a large old brick structure behind Marston Hall, the main engineering building. The whole of the ceramic engineering department occupied the first floor, the architectural offices, classrooms and library were on the second, and architectural design studios on the largely open top floor (no elevator of course, and rumor had it that originally there were horse stalls on the first floor). Frank McNutt's freshman class had about 100 (3 females), my sophomore class had about 50 survivors (8 of us finished with a degree in architecture). The art and architectural studio work was demanding, the structural courses brutal, and the chemistry interesting but time consuming. For Senior ROTC, we were given new, personally fitted officer uniforms and a monthly stipend of 25 dollars (this money saved me from beggary many times). As it was wartime the military training was a serious business so we studied the art of building bridges, erecting campsites and digging latrines, as well as drilling the ROTC Juniors. The huge old armory building with its packed earth floor was in the far northwest corner of the campus. The campus center was marked by a high campanile tower with bells that tolled out the hours and with a carillon (played by an actual keyboard) which sounded out melodies at noon. There was a wide lawn (windblown in winter) separating the west campus from the east.
            In early or mid-November, there was a disruption in my "best laid plans". It started with a rash on the bridge of my nose - a bright red rash which caused a lot of joking comments from guys about the female company I must have been keeping. The doctors at the College Hospital gave me various salves and lotions to apply but these had no affect. I was also feeling a bit more tired, but this I blamed on the heavy course load (I was unaware that I was running a constant low fever). The doctors finally decided I should see a dermatologist in Des Moines. It was the end of fall quarter, so I finished my design projects, took the final exams, made my move to the Delt house, then took a bus to Des Moines (only a one hour drive south of Ames). The dermatologist took one look at me and proclaimed "Lupus erythematosus" (Lupus, Latin for wolf, because the red facial rash resembled a wolf bite). He called the College Hospital and told me to go there immediately and check in. I spent several uncomfortable days in the hospital, which was nearly deserted because quarter had ended and they began a treatment of ACTH shots. After nearly 2 weeks I seemed to be much improved, so I was released (21 Dec. 1951). A Delt who lived in Ames gave me a ride to a nearby small town, Madrid, where there was a train stop, probably on a line from Des Moines to Sioux City. Except for the stationmaster, the station was empty, and there was a bit of a wait, so I decided to splurge and look for some food. It was a scene that will live forever in my memory: A dark night, with a light snow falling, the small downtown deserted except for the lights shining from one storefront. It was a restaurant, empty except for the counterman. I sat on a stool and ordered a bowl of chili. "Chili! Chili! You think I'm a Greek?" I made a major blunder as it was an Italian restaurant, and the owner was definitely Italian. He served me a full spaghetti dinner, all for the price of a bowl of chili.
            I was back in school for the winter quarter, with orders to take lighter course load and to wear a wide-brimmed hat (exposure to sun light apparently triggered a Lupus episode) and of course I ignored these requests. About twice a month I had to go to the hospital for a cortisone shot which was a painful experience as the drug was mixed into a beeswax solution, allowing a gradual absorption and requiring a large needle, shot into the hip. My roommate at the Delt house was Ron Narmi, a Junior from Council Bluffs, a brilliant student majoring in aeronautical engineering. He studied late into the night, a positive attribute and he played a western music radio station, loud, late into the night, a negative attribute. Narmi was also in the Naval ROTC program, an elite group (Narmi became a career naval officer, eventually rising to the rank of admiral, commanding the North Atlantic Fleet). I read in a Fraternity publication (probably about 2012) that Narmi had written a book about his grandfather's life in Council Bluffs. By late in the spring quarter the cortisone was starting to lose its effectiveness, and my joints, particularly in my hands, were beginning to stiffen. I was able to take all of my final exams, except chemistry, and after an "all nighter" turned in a model of an elementary school as a completed design project, then walked from the Architecture Building to the College Hospital and checked myself in. I was there for about 2 weeks.
            There was a girl, Pat Samuelson, from a Norwegian farm family in southern Minnesota, a sophomore, Kappa Delta. Her brother, Bob "Sam" Samuelson was a Delt, a senior. Apparently, we had met at a sorority exchange but I didn't remember her. I was assured that she was good looking and that I was to call her. She was attractive I suppose, medium blonde, with a serious bust line as one would expect from a Minnesota farm girl. I remember going to parties and a formal dance (tux required) at the KD house, and she came to visit me at the hospital during my final stay so we were considered a "couple." I was never really attracted to her and during my "lupus year" she was soon forgotten. The story, however, does have a happy ending, as during my absent year, another Delt, Lynn Twedt, an Ag senior from South Dakota, came back from two years in the Army and started dating Pat, fell in love and they were married.
            As I was released from the hospital, with instruction to report to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Dad, Mother and Ken came to Ames to take me back to Sioux City. We stopped at the Delt house, nearly empty except for a few summer students, to pick up my things. One of the guys, Dick Wicklund, a perpetual student from Minneapolis, was a likeable devil-may-care type. Wicklund was doing photography on the side, and as a "going away present" he plastered the area around my desk with blown up photos of his lady friends, naked. I was embarrassed and told Dad that it was none of my doing, but I'm not sure he believed me. On the way back we stopped to visit the Denison Runge's. Martina was there with her new fiance, Bob Lewis, a fellow student from SUI and they were married later that year. Bob Lewis became a pilot in the Marine Corps, and in March 1954, vanished while on a mission over the Sea of Japan.





THE YEAR OF THE WOLF

            In June, 1952, Dad and Mother took me ot the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota for several days of tests and interviews. The prognosis was not good - I definitely had Lupus Erythomatosis, a chronic auto-immune disease, affecting primarily young women of European ancestry, the cause unknown. Dr. O'Leary, the head of Mayo's Dermatology Department, took a personal interest in my case. He told Dad and Mother that the disease was progressive and that there was no known cure, but he wanted to try an experimental treatment - atabrin. Atabrin was developed during WWII as a substitute for quinine in controlling malaria (the Japanese had occupied all the areas of Southeast Asia which produced quinine). This small yellow pill was to become my only hope. Dr. O'Learly prescribed an immediate start of atabrin, a gradual withdrawal from cortisone, total bed-rest and no exposure to sunlight.
            Back in Sioux City, a second-floor bedroom with a single north-facing window was my total world for the next five months. Mother left her job as a fitter at the department store, prepared and brought my meals on a tray, three times a day. It must have been very hard for her, especially in her knowledge of the tenuous outcome. I had a radio, the Sioux City newspaper and library books. It was an election year and the war in Korea was continuing, so there was something of the outside world to hold my interest. In addition, Mother, Dad, Ken and the grandparents kept me company, and faithful Katermann was a daily companion. Good Dr. Henkin stopped in occasionally (yes, in those days doctors did make house calls). Dr. Henkin was also instrumental in getting my military draft status changed from 1A to 4F, and obtaining a medical discharge from the Army ROTC (I did keep the uniform). There is a mixed pleasant/unpleasant memory as my old friend Alice Yockey, now a nurse, married, but still living at home down on Royce Street, was recruited by Mother to give me the gradually-reduced dosage shots of cortisone. The little yellow atabrin pills had one serious side effect - my skin color turned to a pronounced yellow.
            In July, my fever had spiked because of the cortisone withdrawal, and then gradually subsided so that by mid-August I was back to normal. Some Delts from Iowa State came by as they were heading back to school, saying they hoped to see me fall quarter of '53 (They got lost finding our house, mistaking 4th Street downtown for 4th Avenue in Morningside). Best of all, my good friend Tom Burke came to visit in late August. He had just returned from several weeks in Germany and had many tales to tell of his adventures there. He was starting med school at SUI that fall and we kept in touch by mail but sadly that faded with time. The summer of '52 in Sioux City was the last time I saw Tom. Irma Fione from Charter Oak came by several times with books to read. By November I had recovered to the point where I went out to vote (the Peters Park Fire Station). Grandfather was with us and they discovered he wasn't really eligible to vote (he had been born in Germany and somehow the voting registration process had never been completed), but as he had been voting for 60 years they decided to let it pass. The atabrin dosage was also being reduced so I was a bit less self-conscious about my yellow coloration.
            By December I felt well enough to start taking correspondence courses, which were American and European literature from SUI, with much reading and papers to submit. I set up a card table in the living room and worked late at night, with Katermann dozing on the table. Sometimes he would suddenly sit up and stare at something, usually behind me, which was very disconcerting (I wish he could have told me what he saw). I usually had the radio on and late one night in March it was announced that Joe Stalin had died. By July the Korean War had essentially came to an end. The outside world was changing. In the summer of '53 there was a major "flash" flood, starting as a sunny day in Sioux City, but with heavy rains to the north, the Floyd River rose very quickly and without warning water was suddenly several feet deep in the river bottoms. Many people died. Karl Scheld's mother barely escaped with water up to her neck.
            New houses had been built on the vacant land across the street (Ed Olsen from Redeemer Church probably did the work; Ken was working for him part time and that summer and went to the Ozarks where Olson had a contract to build cabins). Mother was back at work as a fitter at Younker-Davidsons. Gordon Henry and Don Brown (Don was then an Omicron Delt, originally from Keokuk, lived in eastern Morningside, his Father was a courtroom recorder) were back from school for the summer, so we were cruising again in the evenings. Miss Joan came for a visit from Chicago. It was a time for me to get back to work.
            Still not physically strong, I had to find work that wasn't too strenuous (Doctor Henkin's orders), and an ideal situation arose. The Continental Baking Company was starting a new promotion: "WonderBread Builds Strong Bodies 8 Ways". They were sending out teams to distribute samples and promote this message throughout the area. I signed on. We would meet at the bakery early in the morning and assemble several hundred sample packets which contained one slice of white and one slice of whole wheat and load up a van. Our team consisted of a middle-aged lady who drove the van and three young guys (I think I was the oldest), who wore white shirts with ties and little WonderBread caps. Our territory was the southeast corner of South Dakota, with many small dusty towns, some hardly towns at all. There were Indian Reservations (Sioux) not far to the west, and if the town had a beer tavern, Indians might be seen lolling about, some lying passed out in the street which was a sad empty life. We went door to door passing out our samples along with pamphlets extolling the benefits of this new enriched bread. Often at the end of a day, we would drive into a poorer neighborhood and give out a dozen samples at each house. We couldn't return to Sioux City unless all the samples were gone. I remember one wretched hovel where a young girl of about 16 answered the door wearing only a very tattered shirt.
            The summer was over, my lupus seemed to have disappeared (this was truly a miracle, which at the time I didn't appreciate or fully understand), and it was time to get back to school.





Iowa State Final Years

            September 1953, Dad, Mother and Ken drove me to Ames and dropped me off at the Delt house on Hyland. It was the last year for th old place as a new house was under construction on this other side of the campus. Still considered a semi-invalid I was put on light duty during the annual clean-up/fix-up period in preparation for rush week. At Iowa State, rush week was much the same as at SUI, except at the Gamma Pi chapter I was exposed to strange and archaic pledge selection practice - the "black ball". After a general discussion of a pledge candidate, each member was given 2 marble sized balls, one white, one black. A box with a small opening was passed around and then the lid opened. If there was more than one black ball the candidate was automatically rejected. If there was only one black ball, the party responsible was invited to stand and explain his decision. If no one rose to speak, the box was passed again (without the black ball party's participation) and if no more black balls appeared the candidate was accepted. Despite this primitive process, we acquired a fine group of 22 pledges. I was assigned a pledge, C. Gary Gately, a freshman from Jefferson where his father owned a department store. Gary was a walking encyclopedia of sports related events, statistics, personalities, etc. Gary was living in a dorm and moved into the house winter quarter, but after two years he realized that he was not suited for the relentless grind of Iowa State and joined the flight to Iowa City where he eventually entered law school. During my absent year, an architectural student (there weren't that many of us) became a Delt, whose name was John Dahl from Indianola where his father was on the faculty of Simpson College.
            As I had missed a year, McNutt's architectural class had caught up with me and there were about 30 survivors in the group, one of whom was female (50 years later nearly half the students in architectural schools were female). It was a critical year as only those with sufficiently high grades were selected to enter the 5-year architectural degree program. Most of the others went into the 4-year architectural or structural engineering program, or some simply fled to SUI. I can remember Lawton Patton, a New Englander who taught art and architectural history, and Barney Slaighter and Donaled "Mumbles" Mckeown who were instructors in the design studios. There were critiques in which students presented and explained their design projects, often greeted with derision and howls of laughter from the faculty. As I was free of phys-ed and ROTC obligations, and as high grades were required overall not only in the architectural courses, I saw an opportunity to take classes in subjcts such as psychology, philosophy and economics which required little study (or even class attendance) to help lift the grade level. There was one class, meeting in the evening, in which we read and discussed plays which was enjoyable and meaningful. The only downside to these courses was that they met on the east side of the campus, a long cold walk in the winter.
            At the Delt house, as a "semi-invalid" I was generally free from pressure to particpate in campus activities. The monthly formal chapter meetings were held in a basement room, painted black, entered through an anteroom with secret passwords and other ritual requirements. Having come from a more laissez faire environment at Omicron Chapter, and with the aid of many other "progressive" colleagues, I persuaded the guys that this space would make a great party room; for the winter quarter "hell week" project we had the pledges cut a new door opening (through solid concrete) leading from the rec room and it was indeed a great party room. I don't recall that we ever had another formal chapter meeting.
            Dick Wicklund and Dick Palmer had moved out of the house into an apartment just a few blocks to the north. They had equipped the place with a fully stocked bar, so it became the "pre-party" designation for house parties and dances. At one of those pre-parties, I had a date with a Theta sophomore, whose name I've forgotten, a slight dark haired girl, probably a bit naïve. I probably had a beer, but Wicklund and Palmer mixed up something for the girl, who drank it down and asked for another. By the time we were at the dance, she was becoming a bit incoherent and unsteady on her feet so it was time to get her home. Apparently, she became quite ill and was out of sorts for several days. Their stern-faced housemother decreed that I was never again to set foot in the Kappa Alpha Theta house. I'm not certain that I followed this directive, but in any case there was a backup of 10 other sororities.
            An Iowa State homecoming tradition was for each fraternity and sorority to put up a display in the front of their respective houses. The displays were judged and prizes awarded. In an act of sheer madness, the Delts decided to build a toboggan slide, from the top of the porch down to the street. It was supposed to be an Alpine forest so I was in charge of making the trees. The track was supported on a somewhat shaky trestle-like structure. John Bredeneck, a short stocky pledge from the Chicago area was designated as the "toboggan" rider. Unfortunately, there was no braking mechanism so it was surely a miracle that Bredenbeck survived with nothing more than a few bruises.
            My cousin Margaret and her husband Ben Copeland (and 16-month-old Pam) lived in Cedar Rapids. At Thanksgiving and Christmas that year they drove to the Runge home in Alta; Ames was on the way so they took me to a point on Highway 20, about 60 miles east of Sioux City, where they then turned north to Alta. Dad picked me up here for the last leg of the trip.
            In March the Delts held their annual (and notorious) French themed "Lucky Pierre" party so the new party room was put to use for the first time. Some of us said a prayer and raised a toast to the French army trapped and under siege at the Dien Bien Phu. About this time, I started assigning identifying names to young females, which was a joke at first, then something expected. I was dating two Gamma Phi's, alternating somehow, both with dark hair and brown eyes so one, Ellen Eames, became "Black El," the other, Sally Bartels, became "Dark Bart'. There were others but I've forgotten the names, or the "names" are best left buried in time.
            Each spring Iowa State College holds a huge event called VEISHEA, involving a parade, dances, musical and drama events, decorations, animal shows, canoe races, crowning of a "queen," etc. John Dahl and I decided to submit a design for the parade reviewing sand, known as the "pylon". It was definitely not a sophisticated design effort, which is probably why the VEISHEA committee liked it so we got the job. This meant making a scaled\ working drawing, selecting and buying materials, assembling a work crew, erecting the thing to meet a deadline, and then tearing it all down again. All this without pay. My future "hard to get" friend Joan Murray was seated on a stand as one of the queen's attendants.
            Henry Wallace came to the Delt house that spring, for dinner and to give a talk. Mr. Wallace was a 1910 Gamma Pi Delt and became U.S. Vice President under Franklin Roosevelt. Wallce was considered by many too far to the left, so in 1944 Roosevelt picked Harry Truman as his next running mate. I've often wondered if Henry Wallace would have come by to see us if he had continued as Vice President into the next term. In late spring, I received a wedding invitation. My red-haired pledge roommate from Omicron, Bob Overholtzer, was getting married to a girl from Ames (she was a student at SUI). The wedding was at the Methodist Church on Lincoln Way. She was a pretty girl so Bobo did O.K. (I still pictured him as a wide-eyed freshman, just out of high school). A few old friends from Omicron were at the wedding.
            By June my days of leisure were over as I agreed to serve on the campus homecoming committee for the 1954 fall quarter, and to become art editor of the "Iowa Engineer," a monthly publication of the Iowa State Engineering Division. I had made the cut, however, into the five-year architectural degree program, so was going home for the summer happy and relieved.
            Sioux City, Summer of 1954: My summer buddies were gone by mid-summer as Gordon Henry had graduated and was drafted into the Navy and Don Brown had graduated and was working somewhere in another state so there was nothing for me to do but work, which was probably a good thing. Morningside was losing its familiarity. The folks sold our old piano and bought a television set. Ken joined the Iowa Air Guard, thereby escaping the draft. Miss Joan came for a summer visit. I was able to find a job in short order, at Fairmont Creamery, a large dairy on the west side of downtown. Although a full diary operation, Fairmont specialized in ice cream so there were large double walled stainless steel vessels in which milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks and flavors were mixed at low temperatures. There was a test value at the bottom where one could, surreptitiously, fill a container for a very rich cold drink. The workers spoke in awe about how, a few years before, Paul Otten ran a whole hand truck full of ice cream containers, not yet frozen, off the end of a dock (Paul, awkward and somewhat mentally challenged, was an older brother of my friend Phillip but I did not admit to knowing the Ottens). There was a guy, medium build, dark hair and eyes, in his early 40's, who started at Fairmont about the same time as I did. He spoke only a little English so had difficulty in following directions. He did speak German, however, so with my smattering of German I found out that he was Romanian, a graduate of the Romanian Military Academy and after several grueling years on the Russian front the Romanian Army in the fall of 1944, collapsed and bargained for peace. He and his fellow officers were then arrested by the Germans and sent to a labor camp and after the war he made his way to America. This was another incredible WWII experience. Later that summer, probably on a Saturday as I was painting trim in the downstairs hallway, Grandmother fell on the stairway, breaking her hip. She was hospitalized for a week then brought home, but she never walked again. We put a bed for her in the downstairs sitting room, and Mother once again left he job at Younkers to provide full time care. (Grandmother died February 23, 1955, nearly 95 years of age).
            Back to the grind at Iowa State 1954: The new Delt house at 2121 Sunset Drive was ready to move in but definitely not finished. To save construction costs the yard was rough graded only (no grass or plantings), the outside deck was unpaved, only the major rooms and hallways were painted and there were no draperies or curtains. Dick Wicklund had spent a good part of the summer assembling and finishing new dining room tables and two-man desks for each room but much of this had yet to be done. We had one week to complete the job. Bunk beds, mattresses and salvageable furniture were moved from the old house. We rented grading equipment and brought a truck load of sod, and also some landscape plantings. We ordered a mixer load of concrete and rented a concrete finishing machine for the rear dock (Bredenbeck worked late into the night on that project), and interior painting went on day and night at a furious pace. Several mothers of members sowed and hung drapes and curtains. By the start of rush week most of the major work was done and we were ready for the next item on the agenda (Rush Week).
            Although I had a good income form the previous summer's job, I knew it wouldn't be enough to carry me through the year, so I asked for a kitchen/serving position at the Delt house, which paid for my meals. It was a full-time position unlike the two weeks on/two weeks off situation at SUI. The kitchen was all new and had an automatic dishwasher which made for a speedier operation.
            I was also elected house scholarship chairman which was not a good choice as I was away many evenings at the design studio. The scholarship chairman was to enforce quiet time during the evening study period, maintain the study files (copies of previous exams, reports, etc.) and see that all members, especially the pledges, were diligent in their study habits and class attendance, and above all, that grade points (final grade averages for courses taken that quarter) did not slip. There was a constant rivalry among fraternities (dorms weren't even the running) over who would have the highest grade point. Steve Funk, a journalism major from the Chicago area, would often come in later in the evening as he was on the staff of the student daily newspaper and he would announce his arrival in the quiet hallways with a loud, mountain gorilla volume, belch. After one of those incidents I sent my pledge down to inform Funk that he would be fined 10 dollars for breaking the study period silence rule. Funk sent his pledge back with a message that: A. He did not make the belching sound and there was no evidence to the contrary and B. Even if he did make the sound, a belch was a natural bodily event, no different than a sneeze or a hiccup, which could not be controlled. I sent a note back telling Funk I would take his arguments under advisement and temporarily withheld the fine. There were no more belching incidents.
            The pledge assigned to me as a roommate (the rooms were study rooms only as all the bunk beds were in the sleeping "dorms") was Hugh Jarvis, a legacy from the Chicago area. His wealthy father was a Gamma Pi Delt who had given money for the new house, but Hugh did not inherit his father's acumen and he had absolutely no interest in his studies or anything else, for that matter. Despite many reminders from senior members that I was responsible for Hugh's academic well-being. I had neither the time nor the inclination to be a babysitter. This was particularly painful because, as scholarship chairman, I had to interview each pledge at the end of the fall quarter, reviewing their grades, and warning them that poor grades were anathema. Sadly, I don't think Hugh Jarvis made it through the school year.
            Meanwhile, back at the study of architecture, (the whole purpose of my being at Iowa State,) we chosen few were assembled under the guidance of John Meyers, our primary design studio instructor. There were 8 of us: Frank McNutt, of course, Rolland 'Willie' Williamson, from Madison, Wisconsin, formerly a pre-med student, married to Lillian. Frank Aukerman, from Rapid City, South Dakota, Army service in Japan and Korea, married to Helen; Jim Schlueter, from Dubuque, married to Pat; Jerry Mundt, from Waterloo, married the next summer to Diane Lozier, a Tri-Delt; Al Miller, from Webb, and finally Dempsey Currie, from Ames. We eight would be together day, night and weekends for the next 2 years. John Meyers was from an east coast school and an excellent teacher of design. We made ourselves a "den" at one end of our studio (with the help of the wives) which had easy chairs, a couch and a hot water maker (useful for "all nighters", of which we had many). I remember one design project in particular, a hog slaughtering/processing plant. Mr. Meyers sent us on a field trip to a neighboring town to observe an actual hog plant; I had previously worked in a beef slaughterhouse so was not as taken aback as some of the guys. For the next several weeks our studio was filled with sounds of grunts, snorts and squeals. Mr. Meyers tolerated this in bemused silence as he was interested in the results of our designs.
            At this point we were free to sign up for elective courses as long as this didn't conflict with the architectural curriculum. As there was no added cost for taking on these courses, I signed up for as many as seemed reasonable. There was a course in accounting, not intellectually challenging but requiring at lot of "busy work" and class time, so I dropped it. Another course in advanced structures did have the possibility of a financial reward (100 dollars) as a first prize for an innovative structural design so I designed a pre-stressed pre-cast concrete beam of some sort which garnered only the second prize (50 dollars), still a welcome sum. I signed up for a year of German, thinking it would be an easy "A" but no such luck. The professor, Frederick Schwartz, was an actual German and he expected class to be attended and homework turned in. The first quarter was indeed largely a breeze, but then irregular verbs, gender issues and the maze of German grammar made their dreadful intrusion. At the end of the term there was a two-hour final exam and I went over to our architectural "den" to study, fall asleep, then dashed over to the classroom one hour late and I told the Herr Professor that I had the time mixed up thinking he might give me the full two hours, but he granted no quarter so I had to rush through the two hour exam in one hour.
            Homecoming 1954: I had signed on as decorations chairman for this event so that became another distraction. A committee had to be put together, type and extent of decorations determined and a work crew assembled. I remember large cut-out letters "Welcome Alums" set up on one side of the stadium field, colored patterns on the end zone grass (had a battle with the stadium groundskeeper on that), an arch over Lincoln Way (had to get the City of Ames involved with that) and some sort of decorative element at the Student Union. Getting it all down and cleaned up was more work than putting it together so I had to organize a beer and cookout party as an enticement. There was a fringe benefit to all this effort, however, as I met a pretty girl, who's name was Jean Murray, a Pi Phi junior, from Ames, where her father was on the College faculty. Competition was tough however (at that time only 1 in 5 students at Iowa State were female, and of these only about 1 in 5 were reasonably attractive). She agreed to a date but only if I first took one of her sorority sisters to a formal dance at some sort of campus event. I hated formal dances but a deal was a deal. I finally got my date with Jean, which was a costume party at the Delt house where I went as Simon Legree. When I picked her up, Jean's father eyed me suspiciously. Simon Legree, he said, was not a nice man.
            Bill Weidenbacher, a civil engineering senior from Dubuque had been elected president of the Gamma Pi Delts. Weidenbacher ran a "tight ship", insisting that all the house rules be followed. He was also a Missouri Synod Lutheran, so felt that all MS Lutherans should attend church each Sunday. There were six of us: Ken Ruck, Clark Butts and Ken Issel from the Chicago area, John Dahl, me and, of course, Weidenbacker. He would shake us awake on Sunday mornings, make certain we were properly dressed, then march us off to church (Memorial Lutheran on Lincoln Way). In March 1955, when Grandmother died. I probably caught a ride home with Uncle Al and Aunt Florence who lived in Des Moines. The funerals were at both Redeemer Church in Sioux City and St. Paul's, Hanover, which was the last time I attended a church service in Hanover.
            It was winter I remember, but I'm not sure how I met Sally Mahedy, a journalism sophomore, Alpha Gamma Delta, from an Irish Catholic family in Des Moines. Sally was tall and slender with medium blond hair and a Mona Lisa smile. She was intelligent, definitely a non-conformist and would entertain me with wild and improbable stories of her behavior in high school. I dubbed her "Heater" which she loved and it became her "name". There was an architectural gathering at the Aukerman house where she totally enthralled Willie who remarked "Where did you find that girl?" About this time Narmi and Dahl moved out of the house to a basement apartment in town, thereby escaping the strictures of the Weidenbacher regime (Weidenbacher was actually a very nice guy), and this place soon became party central. We had our annual "Lucky Pierre" French themed party (I had to paint the photo backdrop), and I thought I had a very clever costume coming as the Archbishop of Paris but my date (not Heater - don't remember the girl or the sorority) was Catholic, however, and said she couldn't possibly go to a party with an archbishop. I had to relent, divest my costume of all religious symbols and go as a French hermit.
            Social Probation: This memorable event probably occurred late in winter or early spring quarter. There was a room in the Delt house basement, originally intended as a study area, but because of a need for more space, was converted into a two-man room, complete with desks and beds. At a Delt dance, a group of us, together with the guys who lived in that room, decided this would be a great place for a secondary party so cases of beer were brought in (secretly of course). During the evening, Heater and I went down to join the group, but after a while they all left to go back to the dance or elsewhere. Hearing that something untoward was happening in the basement, Weidenbacher came down to investigate. Picture the scene: a dimly lit room, Heater and I lounging on a bed, empty beer cans strewn everywhere. Weidenbacher was speechless. Somehow word of this incident reached the Iowa State College upper echelons (Weidenbacher denied responsibility). The Dean put me on "Social Probation" (no participation in campus or fraternity social events, no dating of female students) for the alleged offenses which were as follows:
            *Drinking
            *Drinking in a Fraternity House
            *Drinking in a Fraternity House with an Underage Female
Mr. Meyers was outraged as he thought the punishment was excessive and unfair so he was going to personally confront the Dean. I told him it would be best to let sleeping dogs lie and besides, I needed a respite to concentrate on the current design project. The Delt house was also given a severe reprimand. Heater thought the whole thing was hilarious.
            To further compound this busy time, Dahl and I were selected by the house to be in charge of the Delt VEISHEA parade float. I remember making a large papier-mâché head of Rip Van Winkle. At least the work crew was readily available, and we did win first prize in the fraternity division. Another nagging distraction throughout the year was my position as art editor of the monthly Engineering Division magazine (Iowa Engineer) which for nearly every issue I had to do either the cover or some inside art work. There must have been at least one Chicago trip to see Miss Joan.
            The year ended with a major design projects and many sleepless nights; Mr. Meyers gave us a program for a Lutheran Chruch. Willie, who was becoming a first-rate architectural designer, put a shrine in his churchyard; I explained to him that Lutherans didn't build shrines next to the churches; Willie said that, au contraire, his Lutherans has just recently left the True Church and thus kept some of the old traditions.
            Sioux City, Summer of 1955: This was my last summer in Sioux City, but it was also when I had my first experience in an architectural office. For an architectural student, it was an ideal summer job. Robert D. Hecker, Architect, had a one-man practice on the second floor of a downtown office building, overlooking 4th Street. Except for a young girl who did typing and answered the phone, Mr. Hecker was it. Fortunately for me, he was busy and needed drafting help. I had no experience in doing architectural drawings but he was patient, helpful and a good teacher, and he paid me. I can remember one non-architectural project which was making patent drawings of a cookie making machine for the Johnson Biscuit Company (the machine cranked out inexpensive but tasteless cookies). A young lawyer, Richard Reinhart, was a Delt alum and organized a monthly luncheon downtown for Delta Tau Delta alums and it was here that I discovered that my old employer, Mr. Roe of Roe's Diary, was a Gamma Pi Delt. Generally, I rode downtown and back with Dad and one evening we stopped for a beer at a place on the way home (probably south of downtown as Morningside had no beer taverns). It was the first and probably only time I had a one-on-one beer with my Dad. All my old Morningside friends were gone, so it could have been a lonely summer, but fortunately, Doug Stock, a Gamma Pi Delt from Early, had a job in Sioux City for the summer, so I had someone to hang out with (Doug had a steady girl in Sioux City and another on a farm somewhere east of the city). The girl in Hecker's office was from the Hanover Church, so Mother knew the family, but I can't remember the name. She was pretty, with strawberry blond hair and we dated a few times, but she was definitely an Iowa farm girl, just out of high school, and with no interest in college. It was the last time I would be living in what had been my home for more than 20 years, but by September I was eager once again to get back to school.
            The final year at Iowa State: Almost immediately and with unrelenting intensity, we eight compatriots began our fifth and final year at the architectural degree program. Our design studio instructor was Richard McConnel, steady, competent and always with a pipe in his mouth. In addition to the regular stream of design projects, we had to fulfill the requirements of a five-year architectural degree thesis which entailed selecting a project, writing a program, submitting a preliminary design, preparing a cost estimate, submitting a final design, building a model, and finally submitting some measure of construction documents. The various steps had to be submitted for approval throughout the year, leaving little time for elective courses. I should mention that in all five years of the architectural program, the course work could not be fit into a five-day week so there were always Saturday classes. During that last year, there was a class in the architectural profession and ethics taught by Mr. Leonard Wolf, the head of the Architectural Department but it was an early morning class and because of kitchen duties I was often late. The class was small, in a small room, so slipping in unobserved was difficult and Professor Wolf was not pleased. There were two notable visiting architects who gave us design critiques: Buckminster Fuller and Sybil Moholy-Nagy (wife of Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, from the original Bauhaus group).
            Fall quarter at the Delt house followed the typical routine which meant a clean-up/fix-up week followed by rush week. I moved to a different room, but being rarely there I cannot recall the name of my roommate. Doug Stock was elected president. I remember that we had three sets of brothers: Bill, who was John Dahl's younger brother (John graduated in '55 with an architectural engineering degree and was working in Kansas City), the Dittus brothers from a small town in Illinois and finally Johan and Harm DeBoer from Rock Rapids, a Dutch community in Northwest Iowa. Early in the year several of the guys decided to do the "sorority challenge" which entailed dating a girl from a different sorority each week, running through the list of all eleven sororities but they gave it up after a few weeks as it was more a logistical problem than anything else. Sometime during the fall quarter, we had a "four-poster" party (I remember painting the photo backdrop) where my date was Mary Lou Fiala, Tri-Delt, a tall dark haired girl from Norfolk Virginia where her father was a naval officer (can't remember how we met but her last name intrigued me as it was the same as my grade school friend, but no relation). Everyone was expected to come to the party in pajamas, which everyone did, except Mary Lou, who wore a pajama top only so with long shapely legs one would not have expected otherwise.
            For my last year of food service duty, I decided that working at the Delta Zeta sorority across the street would be less time consuming. The meal schedule was essentially the same as at the Delt house, but there were only 30 girls living in the DZ house. Their housemother, Mrs. Cudy, a short fussy lady, was a stickler in matters of etiquette and protocol. When serving the evening and Sunday meals in the dinning room we wore white shirts with black bow ties and white jackets. The tables and silverware had to be set in a precise manner and rude comments (or any comments for that matter) from the serve staff were not allowed. Mrs. Cudy did provide a lasting bit of advice on proper dishwashing which was to thoroughly pre-rinse then wash with hot, clean, soapy dishwater (the dishwater to be as clean at the end as it was at the start - why wash a dish in dirty water?), and finally rinse with very hot water. There were other Delts on the DZ kitchen crew so I can remember Bob Willcut from Storm Lake and Jerry Millspaugh from Keokuk, a pre-med who the following year transferred to med school at SUI. Some of the girls, even then, were weight conscious so if they turned their dessert fork upside down it meant no dessert please, which in turn meant more desserts for the kitchen crew. We found that standing at the foot of the stairs after a meal, making observations on female girth as the girls ascended, usually resulted in extra desserts on the following days.
            The old Delt house on Hyland stood empty but some of the guys had keys, however, and the place soon became a secondary (and unofficial) party location. I should mention that because of the anti-fraternity movement in the early 1900's, when many houses where seized by the colleges and universities, all fraternity houses became the property of separate independent corporations within the fraternity and thus were protected from seizure. The House Corporation, made up of Gamma Pi alums, put the old house up for sale and hired a realtor. A real estate agent brought a potential buyer to the place but he was appalled as there were empty beer cans, bottles, mattresses and other party debris scattered everywhere. The next week, at a special meeting, the head of the House Corporation, Dr. Schancke, "read the riot act." The old house was cleaned, put in order and the locks changed in short order.
            Near death experience: During my last two years at Iowa State, if I couldn't find a ride, I would hitchhike home to Sioux City. Mother was uneasy about this, but it was free transportation and generally not a problem. At Thanksgiving or Christmas break, I caught a ride from one of the guys north to Highway 20 where from there it was straight west to Sioux City. A carload of teenage girls stopped to pick me up and I should have known better, but a ride is a ride. They took off like a rocket, at high speed, the girls shrieking and laughing (this was before the days of interstate divided highways and seat belts). After about twenty miles they let me out, badly shaken and much relieved. I thanked them for the ride; they turned and roared back down the highway.
            On a fall quarter weekend, some of the guys decided to visit the Omicron house in Iowa City so I went along. It was great seeing C. Gary Gately again as he had joined the Omicron group when he transferred to SUI, but most of my old classmates were gone, graduated, working, in grad school somewhere, or in the military. Tom Burke was doing his medical intern year at a hospital somewhere. There was a Saturday night party at a roadhouse in a nearby town which brought back memories. The next day before we left I walked over to the campus and saw that not much had changed, but it wasn't the same. Some years later the Omicron Delts moved from 724 North Dubuque to a house near the campus and many years later I saw in an alumni publication that the National Fraternity had taken away the Omicron charter, and that the University had banished the Delts from the campus (apparently for "chronic misbehavior"). I was saddened, but also a bit pleased that these guys had never lost their unrelenting spunk. Many years later (20 I think) Omicron was reinstated with a properly subdued and conforming group (now that was really sad).
            Every year, during winter quarter, the architectural department threw a party, the Beaux Arts Ball, the only semi-raucous campus event tolerated by the staid Iowa State administration. It was a costume party and we indomitable eight decided to come together as a chain gang (actually only seven as we couldn't find a date for Al Miller). The four wives spent many hours getting measurements and sowing fourteen prison uniforms (somehow they found inexpensive striped material). My date was an attractive blond (of course) Kappa, whose name I think was Sharon Briggs (not certain as I probably didn't get around to giving her a "name"). Heater and I started dating again that winter.
            A major event of the academic year, the Senior Architectural Trip, came near the end of winter quarter. This was a one week travel experience intended to enlighten and expose we back country types to the sophisticated greater world. We travelled by bus with the eight five-year architectural degree group and about a dozen four-year architectural engineering seniors. Our first destination was the Detroit area (Detroit as it was in March 1956, a dynamic city, filled with optimism for the future). We toured the newly completed Ford Auditorium on the Riverfront (now demolished), met with the City Planning Commission (where they presented their hopes and dreams), visited the newly opened suburban Northland Shopping Center by Victor Gruen (the first of its kind, harbinger of the demise of downtown shopping), climbed through the still under construction Ford Headquarters Building in Dearborn and finally to Bloomfield Hills, the piece de resistance, Eliel Saaringen's buildings at Cranbrook. The Chicago part of our trip is in my Chicago story.
            John Dahl graduated in 1955 and together with John Faulkner, a Delt who graduated in 1953, had an apartment in Kansas City, Missouri, in a group of large apartment buildings just south of, and overlooking, Country Club Plaza, about a mile south of downtown. The apartment buildings were jammed with young, single professionals, so on weekends it was party time. At the invitation of Dahl and Faulkner a group of us started making regular trips to Kansas City on weekends, a 200-mile trip south of Ames (a six-hour drive before the advent of interstate highways). There seemed to be an abundance of young females and one had an unforgettable name, Penelope Hoover (I can't remember the face) who lived in a big house in a posh area of KC, Kansas, and who spent a lot of time traveling in Europe which I found intriguing. There was another girl, Ann Ramsey, a slender dishwater blonde (went to confession and mass every Saturday morning as she said "to clear the deck"), invited me over for a steak dinner which was my first ever steak dinner. By early spring all of this came to an end as Dahl was drafted becoming a jet pilot, and Faulkner took a job in Texas. All was not lost, however as the Delts at Beta Eta chapter, U. of Minnesota, invited us up for a party (Minneapolis was 200 miles in the opposite direction, north). For some of us this became another weekend destination and Dick Wicklund was the driver on one trip where we stopped at his home, a large ranch type in suburban Minneapolis. There was a downside to all these travels as I had to find a substitute for my DZ job, and pay him. Mrs. Cudy was not pleased with my frequent absences.
            Meanwhile, back at the Iowa State campus, I had continued my work as art editor of the Iowa Engineer, so there was a deadline every month but I did manage to escape any further Gamma Pi duties. I then received notice from the College reminding me that I had not taken the Chemistry final exam in 1952 (because of the lupus episode). I argued that they couldn't possibly expect me to take the final for a course after four years had passed but they were adamant, so I had to take the time to prepare for and take this exam (otherwise, no degree). Not much time for sleep as I was fully immersed in completing my architectural thesis. I was elected to an architectural honor society, Tau Sigma Delta but I am not certainly sure how that happened.
            Sometime during the spring quarter, I must have had some dates with Sally Bartles ("Dark Bart") as she invited me to the Gamma Phi Beta spring formal (tux event). Sally was a pretty girl despite the dark hair and eyes (Homecoming Queen finalist in '54). She was in charge of decorations for the Gamma Phi dance and called me Saturday morning asking if I could give her some help. Sally, I and a team of Gamma Phis worked frantically to complete her somewhat ambitious scheme so we finished in the nick of time but she was exhausted. There is a sad end to this story. About ten years later I saw in an alumni publication that Sally had died of leukemia, still a young woman, married and with children. Requiescat in pace Dark Bart.
            That spring Wicklund finally became engaged to his long-time love, Martha Judge, an attractive young woman from a prominent Ames family whose younger brother, Joe, became Gamma Pi Delt in '54. One Saturday Doug Stock talked me into going with him to Iowa State Teachers College where he had a girl friend where he said we would have a great time (the student body was 80 percent female) but unfortunately it was their spring break and except for Doug's friend the place was nearly deserted. Another weekend I caught a ride with some of the Chicago guys for Miss Joan's formal graduation party, but that's another story.
            A major endeavor of spring quarter was finding a permanent post-graduation job. Because of familiarity and other considerations, I picked Kansas City and Minneapolis/St. Paul (Sioux City I felt was too parochial and lacking in opportunity) so I arranged two interviews in Kansas City, one in Minneapolis and one in St. Paul. The KC firms seemed a bit conservative and the pay scale disappointing but the Twin Cities firms were quite progressive and the salary offer of the St. Paul firm, Haarstick Lundgren, was beyond my expectations ($400 per month). I stayed at the Delt house in Minneapolis and had a date with an acquaintance, a student at the University, blond (of course), had a Norwegian name which I've forgotten and lived in a middle-class neighborhood in northeast Minneapolis ("Nordeast" in the local vernacular). She invited me to her sorority spring formal, but by that time I had had my fill of formal dances and I had a very good excuse for declining the invitation as it was during the start of finals week at Iowa State. I wrote Haarstick Lundren accepting their job offer (McNutt had previously accepted a job offer from the same firm) and made arrangements to stay at the Delt house for the coming summer.
            The last few weeks at Iowa State were hectic, with many long hours in the design studio completing the thesis work and by late spring the third floor of the architectural building was hot and airless. At the Delt house there was a traditional last dinner for the graduating seniors in which each senior had to give a short speech and sing a song. I remember that I sang Schubert's "Guten Abend, Gute Nacht." Another tradition at the final house meeting was to name "Delt Senior of the Year". Ken Ruck and I were tied in the vote so we were sent out of the room so our merits could be discussed. What do two reticent German Lutheran males say to each other while sitting and waiting: not much. Ruck didn't get that prize, but he got something better as he won the hand of an attractive, popular girl he had been pursuing for more than year and they were married later that summer. Because of many spring quarter expenses, I had to borrow $100 from Grandfather, $120 from a student loan fund and $20 from Jim Kaska, a Delt senior from Fairfield, but I had this huge debt was paid off by August. Miss Sally Mahedy and I said our goodbyes.
            Graduation, June 9, 1956: The long struggle had ended. Commencement was held in the Armory Building (then and perhaps still the largest space on campus under roof); John Foster Dulles, Secretary of State under Eisenhower, was the speaker (Mr. Dulles died of cancer a few years later). Mother and Dad came for the ceremony and I'm certain that after nearly seven years they were relived that the burden and worry were finally over. Uncle Al Runge and Aunt Florence came up from Des Moines but it was the last time that I would see either of them. I was back in Sioux City for only a few days. Grandfather gave me some money as a graduation gift which I used to buy a summer shirt at a downtown men's store (I wore this shirt for many years and wish I still had it). On a fine June morning, I caught a train to Minneapolis to begin the next phase of my life.





Graduation Postscript: Diaspora of the 1956 Architectural Degree Class:
Frank McNutt: After an eight-month stint at HaarstickLundgren, McNutt returned to his hometown, Madison, Wisconsin, taking a job with a Madison architectural firm.

Rolland Williamson: Willie went to work for an architectural firm in Madison, Wisconsin.

James Schlueter: Jim took a job with a firm in Green Bay, Wisconsin, eventually becoming a partner in that firm.

Frank Aukerman: Aukerman moved back to his hometown, Rapid City, South Dakota, where he formed a partnership in an architectural-engineering firm.

Gerald Mundt: Jerry moved to Minneapolis, Minnesota, working first for an architectural firm, then in a partnership and finally as sole proprietor of his own firm.

Dempsey Currie: Dempsey (or "Currie Demps" as Professor Wolf once addressed him) went west, working in the Denver area as far as I know.

Alfred Miller: Al went on to get a graduate degree and returned to Iowa State where he was on the architectural school faculty for many years.





MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL
Free At Last: June 1956

            The Beta Eta house of Delta Tau Delta was in Minneapolis at 1717 University Avenue SE, directly across from the University of Minnesota. During the summer months' rooms were rented, a double room with bunk bed for only 20 dollars a month, single rooms somewhat more. Wisely, the good downstairs furniture was put in storage and the carpets rolled up. The kitchen was available for individual use, and the flat roof, accessible by ladder and hatch, was great for sunbathing. There were about 20 guys where for the summer, including several Beta Eta Delts that I had met on previous Minnesota trips - the summer "house manager" who was responsible for maintaining some semblance of order and collecting the rent (I've forgotten his name), Milt (I've forgotten his last name but more about him later), "Broker" Johnson who made a fair amount of money over the summer selling dish sets to young working girls, and two wild and crazy characters, law students, Tom Ohlman and Joe Campbell. Frank McNutt, my classmate from Iowa State, also starting his work career at Haarstick Lundgren, was looking for a place to stay so I told him we would find a place in September, but for the summer, he would have to tolerate living with we barbarians (Frank took one of the single rooms). This was the world I entered after leaving the confines of Iowa State and the comforts of home in Sioux City, and I loved every minute of it.
            Arbeiter/Lehre: McNutt had a Volkswagen Beetle, Ohlman and Campbell had a vehicle of some sort and we all had jobs in downtown St. Paul (Ohlman and Campbell at the legal department of a railroad company), so we came up with a car pool arrangement. It was a long drive in busy morning traffic the full-length University Avenue, ending with a descent into downtown St. Paul. The Haarstick Lundgren office was on the second floor of a two-story addition to the First National Bank Building (many floors of the main bank building were occupied by the Ellerbe Company, the largest architectural-engineering firm in Minnesota). McNutt and I were greeted personally by Donald Haarstick and Louis Lundgren, and then introduced to the architectural staff (about 20 in the 50-person firm). Among those that I remember were Frank Mikutowski, who did beautiful pen and ink drawings some of which appeared in architectural publications, the Rafferty brothers, Dick and George, architectural designers; Lonnie Adkins, one of the very few African-American architects (he was not registered) that I encountered in my long career, Al Voza, from New Jersey and still carrying a "Joisy" accent, Bob King, did mostly kitchen specifications and layouts, Bob Jackels, who took great pride in a recently completed junior high school which had a garishly colored exterior metal curtain wall, and Olexa Bulavsky, who did beautiful gouache architectural renderings (perspective drawings of proposed buildings) a Ukrainian, he hated Russians. The workspace was open, without partitions, ideal for teamwork and intercommunication. I was put to work immediately on a "board" (in pre-computer days, drawings were done on linen or Mylar sheets, taped to drawing boards, using drafting pencils, guided by T-squares or parallel rules and triangles, and measured with architectural scales - all of which now rooms quite primitive), and it very quickly became apparent that five years of architectural school did little to prepare one for the complexities of building design and construction. But I had a job, was being paid to learn and for the first time in my life I had money to spend - money to spend freely.
            Summer Idyll: Life couldn't be better than those summer evenings and weekends at the Delt house with tennis courts at the University, swimming at the many Minneapolis lakes, a campus directly across the street teeming with female summer school students and no homework. "Dinkytown," a collection of student-focused shops and restaurants was nearby. University Lutheran Chapel, with Pastor Rueben Beisel recently arrived from Redeemer in Sioux City, was just a few blocks down University Avenue. Downtown Minneapolis was an exciting and busy place with the skyline dominated by one high-rise building, the Foshay Tower, an obelisk shaped oddity. Hennepin Avenue was lively with shops, restaurants and bars and there was a large department store, Daytons, where everyone in the region came to shop. In a few years, all this began to change. The nation's first fully enclosed suburban mall, Southdale, designed by architect Victor Gruen, was under construction south of the city, and the city-emptying interstate highway system was in the final stages of design.
            One evening I heard peals of laughter coming from a room down the hall. It was Ohlman and Campbell who would call out a name then burst into hysterical derisive laughter so I asked what all this meant. They were calling out the names of guys who had recently married. Ohlman and Campbell were Catholic, but as far as a I know never set foot in a church, except occasionally at noon they would go up to the St. Paul Cathedral during 12:30 mass to check out the girls. Being good Catholic boys they did have one cardinal rule: never seduce a Catholic girl during Lent. As I didn't have a car early in the summer, I had to find friends who had "wheels". There was a guy, one of the summer transients, whose name was Frank Ramesh who had recently graduated from an east coast school, found a job in Minneapolis, and he had a car, a convertible. Frank was engaged to a beautiful German girl, tall and blond (she was from Dachau, a suburb of Munich where as just a young girl during the war, she knew only that there was some sort of prison camp on the outskirts of town) and she also had recently moved to Minneapolis. This created an ideal double dating opportunity; I had met a girl, I don't recall how, but her name I'm quite certain was Carolyn Davis, slight, with dark hair and a pretty face, a university student but lived at home in a middle-class area on the west side of Minneapolis (at that time it seemed that most of Minneapolis was a city of middle class and upper middle class neighborhoods), so there were double dates with Frank and his fiancé. Carolyn was intelligent and well-read, a serious girl but perhaps too serious as I remember that she stated several times that she would never leave her Episcopalian faith, which seemed to have no relevance to the situation at hand. There was an Iowa State Delt from Sioux City, Ken Gibson (not one of the summer Beta Eta transients) who had graduated in '52 and was working for an engineering firm in Minneapolis. He would drive to Sioux City periodically and called asking if I would like to ride along as he hated driving alone on the long (6-hour) dark nights. I accepted his invitation, probably two or three times, as an opportunity to see the folks and what was still my "heimat." (Katermann still always greeted me at the door).
            A defining moment: One evening in late July (not a Friday or Saturday) Milt came through the house asking if there was anyone who would go with him on a double date. He had a potential date with a very blond girl (he was obsessed with blondes). Her name was Helen Sieverson and she agreed to go out with Milt only if it were as a double date with her best friend Marie Jacobson. They were both students at the University. Milt had met Marie and assured me that she was a beauty, so I agreed to become part of the foursome. Milt had a car. First we picked up Helen who lived with her parents (Norwegian stock) and brother on the second floor of an upscale duplex in west central Minneapolis and we then went for a short distance to get Marie in what was a very different part of the city, a working-class neighborhood that had seen better days. Marie lived with her mother and older brother, in a small two story wood house on West 26th, a busy west bound one-way street. Marie was waiting for us in the front room. She was strikingly attractive, medium height, with very blue eyes and medium blond hair (that image is forever burned into my mind). She didn't say much but studied me intently. So, what does one do on a weeknight short date? Have drink at a bar. Helen and Marie were both only 20 years old but Marie said she knew of a place where they would be served. Marie told me later that Helen said she definitely would not be going out with Milt again, but if she (Marie) were not interested in me to let her (Helen) know. Marie said sorry, she had dibs. Apparently for Marie, it was "love at first sight" and I don't think she ever again dated another. I wasn't sure what to make of this young fair-haired beauty who had come into my life as it wasn't according to plan.
            By end of summer, I was feeling financially secure so McNutt drove me to a used car lot where I bought my first car ($1100, a small fortune). It was a 1953 Pontiac Catalina, light green with a cream-colored top, leather seats, radio, and a "don't make 'em like this anymore" straight six Detroit made engine. As I promised McNutt, we went looking for a furnished apartment in St. Paul. We found a place, 616 Lincoln Avenue, not far from where Summit Avenue drops into the downtown, a short drive to work. It was a quiet residential area with many small apartment buildings, such as ours, a three story brick probably built in the 1920's. The apartment was on the first floor, northwest corner, a living room, eat-in kitchen, bath and bedroom with two single beds where we signed a six-month lease (starting October 1, 1956) for a rent I believe of $85 per month, a huge jump in my expenses, even when paying only half. As I now had a semi-permanent address I transferred by church membership from Redeemer in Sioux City to University Lutheran in Minneapolis. Work at Haarstick Lundgren was becoming more interesting as both McNutt and I were assigned to a new Catholic high school for girls where I designed open interior stairs in precast concrete which would not comply with present-day building codes. It was an election year so Eisenhower came to St. Paul, so we all went up to Rice Park, in front of City Hall, to hear "Ike" speak. In late September Dave Swanson called (a Gamma Pi Delt, originally from Omaha, graduated in '55). He was working in Minneapolis, had tickets to an Iowa State football game in Ames, and asked me to join him. He was a good friend so I was happy to make the trip and also see the old place again.
            On September 30 (1956) Dad called to say that Grandfather had died and the funeral would be on the following Wednesday so I told Dad I would drive down Tuesday night in my newly acquired car. I made arrangements to take time off from work, but on Tuesday the car started making ominous choking sounds so I called Dad (still operating his auto repair shop) and he said it sounded like the water pump was going bed and I should not drive the car to Sioux City. I offered to take a bus, but Dad said no as Grandfather wouldn't know whether or not I was at his funeral. Grandfather lived to be nearly 97 years old. He was born on December 4, 1859, in a small village north of Berlin, in Pommern, a province of the Kingdom of Prussia (at that time the German nation had not yet come into being), slavery still existed in the United States, indoor plumbing was a rarity and the light bulb had not been invented. Grandfather had been part of the family since I was a small child and through him I feel that I have a connection with more than 160 years of history. When I look in the mirror now I see Grandfather's face. After 70 years of pipe smoking he developed a lip cancer, which eventually spread. He became too weak to use the stairs and a bed was set up in the sitting room which he and Grandmother shared for many years. Once again Mother left her job to provide bedside care. Grandfather spent his final days at the Lutheran Hospital where he had served as chaplain for many of his retirement years.
            Sometime during that Fall, John Meyer, our favorite design instructor at Iowa State, now on the faculty of the School of Architecture at the U. of Minnesota (one-armed architect Ralph Rapson was head of the school at that time) invited his former students over for a get together. Jerry and Diane Mundt, McNutt and I were there. Mr. Meyer, in his usual quirky manner, had to show us the basement (a house in a western Minneapolis suburb) where the previous owner had hanged himself. John Meyer's wife refused to go into the basement alone, even in daylight. As the St. Paul neighborhood was becoming more familiar, Minneapolis was becoming a more distant place. I continued going to University Lutheran on Sunday mornings (and their weekly dinners), but my relationship with Carolyn Davis seems to have faded away. At this time, I also decided to finish what I had started many years before which was a bachelor's degree in fine arts so I enrolled in a night class, drawing and painting, at the University School of Art. Also at this time, I regret to say, I was taking advantage of Marie as whenever I felt like going out, I would call her and she was always ready and eager to go. At the beginning of that school year Marie and her friend Helen had joined a sorority, Phi Mu and in addition to her University courses she was working part-time at a dental lab in downtown Minneapolis. There was a St. Paul girl (can't remember how we met), Joan Clements, the only child of an Irish Catholic family, lived not far from the apartment, a pleasant dark haired girl and we dated a few times. One day she called and invited me to dinner with her parents at their home but fortunately I had a preview engagement. Several years later, I ran into her in downtown St. Paul. She was older but still an attractive young woman, said she was doing fine, still single, working at a dental office, but there was a melancholy air about her.
            On a weekend in late fall McNutt decided he wanted to visit some friends in Ames and asked me to come along. I thought it would be fun and asked Marie to join us but she didn't want to be the only female in the party so she persuaded one of her sorority sisters, Audrey Vinck, to make the trip. I found beds for Marie and Audrey in one of the sororities, and a Saturday night date for Audrey, Bill Mortenson, a senior from Council Bluffs, and a bit of a loose cannon (not unusual for a Delt). Audrey liked Mortenson but Marie was disturbed (she heard too many stories about my previous adventures at Iowa State).
            Concordia College, St. Paul (now Concordia University), at that time was essentially a pre-seminary boarding school for high school age boys so when Mother called with news that David Asmussen (from Redeemer Church) was a student at Concordia, and that as I now had a car, on my next trip to Sioux City I should give him a ride. I did pick up David and two of his classmates for the Christmas break, dropping off the classmates in a small town in northwest Iowa. I enjoyed their company on that long ride, though they were very young to be away from home, but that was the system at the time (David dropped out of Concordia after a year or so). Marie sent along a beautifully wrapped present, a portrait from a photo studio. Mother allowed that she was "certainly better looking than most of the others". Somehow this portrait disappeared but fortunately I have copies, made for an engagement announcement in the Sioux City Journal. A young structural engineer at Haarstick-Lundgren, Larry Loomis, and his brother bought a house in St. Paul. They were having a big New Year's party and I was invited so I brought Marie. It was the custom of the time for the guys to kiss all the girls at the stroke of midnight. When the hour came Marie was inundated and so distraught, that she vowed never again to attend a New Year's party. The structural engineer apologized. On this auspicious note, a very eventful year (1956) came to an end.





1957 - More of the Same (and something completely different)

            At Haarstick Lundgren things were humming along nicely and the partners summoned me to their office, said they were pleased with my work and gave me a raise (which was welcome as I realized I was living paycheck to paycheck with rent, tuition, car payments and other expenses). They hired a young guy, Dennis Grebner, who had a master's degree in architecture from Harvard. The head of the architectural group, Bill Berget, an amiable middle-aged fellow, reviewed all drawings and specifications before they were issued. The partners decided that senior staff people should have separate cubicles, and Bill was selected as the pilot for this innovation but people soon started wadding up their scrap paper and pitching it into Bill's cubicle so after about two weeks, the cubicle came down.
            There were two teachers at a St. Paul Lutheran elementary school, young women in theirs 20's, who were doing a Sunday morning T.V. Bible study program for children. Alice Chelmo was one but I've forgotten the name of the other. Pastor Beisel told me they needed help and it seemed that I would be a good candidate so I agreed to a limited involvement, which became a commitment lasting several years. To aid in illustrating the Bible stories they needed cutout figures, usually about 20 or 30 per show, 6 inches high, made of heavy (construction) paper in several colors (black and white T.V. but variations in shading needed) with a stick backing glued to the figures so that they could be mounted in a sand table. For some reason two identical sets of figures were required so it was very time consuming as I had to produce an assembly nearly every month (there were other volunteers). As the years went by it became increasingly difficult to meet the deadlines.
            In January, McNutt decided to do another weekend Ames trip and I agreed to join him, but Marie was not interested. Marie's sorority sister, Audrey Vinck, however, was interested for apparently, she had been communicating with Bill Mortenson at Gamma Pi, so the three of us headed south in Frank's VW. Audrey's rendezvous with Mortenson seemed to have gone badly so she was not a happy girl and on the return drive she decided to go "home" (not Minneapolis) which happened to be a farm in southern Minnesota, fortunately not much out of the way. We dropped her off, had a bite to eat, and went on our way through the snowy night. Also that winter we had an unplanned class reunion as Aukerman and his wife were in the Twin Cities for a visit, and Willie and his wife had come up from Madison. We all got together (including McNutt, Jerry and Diane Mundt and I) at a restaurant and made grand plans for a 10th anniversary class reunion in 1966 in the Twin Cities (unfortunately it never happened). Later that winter McNutt started making frequent trips to Madison (his hometown) as our classmate, Rollin Williamson (Willie), who Frank idolized, was working for a Madison firm, and in late February Frank announced that he was quitting his job in St. Paul and moving back to Madison (he found a job with a Madison firm). As we had a six-month lease, I was alone in the apartment for the month of March, lonely at first but soon remedied with a series of weekend parties. By this time, I had accumulated a number of St. Paul friends, among them a fine-featured strawberry blond (again, I've forgotten her name or how we met) who certainly attracted me because of her grand Victorian house in one of the better west St. Paul neighborhoods. She had a brother, several sisters and her father was the football coach at St. Thomas College, a powerhouse team at that time. Her parents however, were not happy that their daughter was dating an unrepentant Lutheran. Several times I told Marie that I was driving to Sioux City for the weekend (not true) and she trusted me but was upset that I was taking these frequent trips home. It was really an unkind thing that I did.
            Marie was certainly not forgotten in all this activity with several parties at the Beta Eta house, although Marie was a bit ill at ease, having dated a Delt at one time, but she was always happy to see "Milty", feeling that he was responsible for bringing us together. There was one really nutty affair, a "Toga" party which was mostly bed sheets and safety pins. What I remember most about that time was ice-skating with Marie on cold winter nights where in southwest Minneapolis there is a series of interconnected lakes where one could skate for miles. Marie was an excellent skater (I was mediocre at best), and with a brisk wind at our backs we glided along in that frozen starlight. Life was never better.
            At the end of March, I had to leave my spacious quarters so I found a really cheap place, a furnished single room in a boarding house, just up the street at 656 Lincoln Avenue, which I thought would do until I moved back into the Beta Eta house in June. During this quiet period, I was feeling quite professional and joined the American Institute of Architects (AIA), St. Paul Chapter, as an associate member (full membership was limited to registered architects). One night when I came home quite late (probably on a Friday night), turning on the light I was startled to find two guys in my bed. They were Gamma Pi Delts, sophomores, one I think was Tom Swift but I've forgotten the other guy. They found my address, knocked on the door and when the landlady told them I was out, in an act of mischievous cunning they determined which room was mine, pried open the window and climbed in, sleepy after the long drive they turned out the light and climbed into bed. I found them dates for Saturday night and sent them to the Beta Eta house for the rest of the weekend.
            Sometime that spring Dick and Martha Wicklund had a party at their place. The occasion was the celebration of the marriage of Pat O'Mera, a Gamma Pi from Council Bluffs to his longtime Iowa State sweetheart Marlene Lueck, from Stillwater, Minnesota. It was a gathering of Gamma Pi alums who had located to the Twin Cities, including Bill Weidenbacher and his wife, Dave Sawnson and a female friend, Ken Gibson I think, and Me with Marie (Pat and Marlene were not there). We composed an outrageous congratulatory telegram ( a pre e-mail message device). Except for Wicklund, this was probably the last time I saw these longtime friends.
            Marie was overwhelmed that winter and spring, working part-time at the dental lab and taking a full course load at the University. She was taking first-year German (probably because I knew German), which required much of her time and there was a paper due for another course so I offered to write the paper (I have no recollection of the subject, perhaps American or European literature). When the paper came back and it had a grade of only "C", Marie was quite upset that I had pulled down her grade average and I was not asked to write any more papers.
            In late spring, near the end of the school year, the Phi Mu sorority had a formal dance, the ladies in gowns, the men in tuxes with white springtime jackets and I'm certain that this was Marie's first formal dance (I still have a photo of that event). My two free-spirited friends, Tom Ohlman and Joe Campbell, could not understand why I continued to date Marie as her family obviously had no money. Ohlman and Campbell had a certain outlook in dealing with young females which was generally, a "Don Giovanni" mode (pursuit/conquest/move on), or, if the situation warranted, a purely mercenary approach. Ohlman developed a serious relationship with a girl who was a student at a distant college. She said her father owned a bank and this interested Ohlman so he gave her a key to the apartment. On weekends, she would drive into town, let herself in and climb into bed with Ohlman so at this point he thought the situation merited further investigation. He discovered that her father's bank was small, in a small town, and with limited assets. Ohlman felt he had been deceived, took back the key, and sent the girl on her way. I continued taking evening art classes at the University, and was looking forward to the summer break, but things were still not all quiet on the St. Paul front. I was dating a lively dark-haired girl (she chattered incessantly) whose name I definitely remember: Gretchen Froehlich. She was the only child of a middle class west St. Paul Catholic family. Her father, a short (Gretchen was taller than her father) pleasant man, who said his family was from Silesia. Silesia! Not the Brandenburg Prussians of my Froehlich family - but then, nobody is perfect.





Last Summer of Youth (A Summer that I Wish I could Live Once More)

            In June of 1957 I moved back to the Beta Eta house finding that not much had changed from the previous summer with the same cast of characters: Milt, Broker, Ohlman, Campbell, etc, except that Frank with the convertible had married his German fiancé, and McNutt had been replaced by Jim Sandercock, just graduated from Iowa State with an architectural degree and hired by Haarstick-Lundren. I began to realize, however, that at age 26 I was no longer a "college boy" and the "girls" were young women, in graduate school or graduates with careers. I was seeing more of Marie, now a young woman of 21 and we often went to one of the Minneapolis lakes which had a swimming beach (I have some old photos, pre-bikini days unfortunately). Marie had a friend, Arlette, whose parents had a summer cottage on Lake Minnetonka, just west of Minneapolis. I remember swimming parties out there where in the evening one had to stay fully immersed because of mosquitoes (Arlette had some sort of condition which caused a total hair loss so she always wore a turban but her longtime beau, George Moline, loved her anyway). We often went to a theater on Lake Street which featured foreign films, and one evening, probably late summer, Marie had the crazy notion that we should go to a striptease show on Washington Avenue, which at that time was a seedy area of bars, pool halls and strip joints so except for the dancers and a few prostitutes, Marie was the only female in the place. The dancers, clad only in G-strings, did the usual pole dance gyrations, after which Marie's only comment was "Well, I wanted to see what all that was about." During that summer, I had my first paid vacation so Dad, Mother, Ken and I drove to Wisconsin to visit the Froelich's, Runge's, Dicke's and other assorted relatives. They were all still there, except Uncle John, Dad's older brother, who had died in October 1955 (a blood clot after a minor operation) and Aunt Lydchen had to describe in great detail his last hours. Cousin Lorenz was married by then and had two little girls. On another weekend that summer (there were times when I actually did drive to Sioux City), Dad, Mother and I went out to Hanover Church and then to Charter Oak. I did a quick watercolor painting of the church and when Tante Julie saw it she exclaimed "Ach, bist du ein' hexenmeister?". I gave the painting to Mother, she framed it, and I have it now.
            On August 9, my longtime friend from Sioux City, Gordon Henry, married Audrey Roorda in Pella, Iowa and I was asked to be Gordon's Best Man. Pella is (or was) a Dutch community and still the Headquarters of the Pella Window Company. It was a formal wedding at the Dutch Reformed Church so I had to rent a tux. Because of work commitments I missed the rehearsal, but made it on time for the actual wedding (caused some anxiety for Gordon and Audrey I'm sure). Audrey is tall with reddish hair and at the reception I noticed many tall people with reddish hair so I asked the pastor (who was tall but blond) if they were part of Audrey's family. He said some were part of her family, but that in Pella there were simply many tall people with reddish hair. The next morning, before leaving, I walked through the town and noticed a group of old men, sitting in a row on the dock of an empty factory building where they were speaking Dutch. 50 years before, when they were my age, Dutch was the language of their town.





A Tumultuous Autumn

            In September, Sandercock and I rented a furnished apartment at 585 Oakland Avenue, a steep curving road that dropped into downtown St. Paul from the end of Grand Avenue (that area has completely changed because of interstate construction). It was a typical 3 story apartment building, circa 1920's brick. Our unit was on the second floor, with a large kitchen, living room, bath and one bedroom. The living room, however, had an unusual feature - a pair of doors could be opened and a double bed pulled down into place (I think it was called a "Murphy bed"). I took this bed or I was usually up much later than Sandercock. As the unit was on the backside of the building, our windows looked out on a steep hillside, which really didn't matter as we were rarely home during daylight hours. The location was ideal, just minutes from downtown St. Paul. Sandercock busied himself with various hobbies (in addition to seeking out young females) such as taking bowling lessons and going through the motions in our living room with a phantom bowling ball. Another time he bought a kit for a high-tech sound system which could be integrated into a turntable and which included a cylindrical shaped speaker about 5 feet tall with a control unit which required many hours of assembly and soldering of concoctions (primitive when compared with computer chip technology). When the big moment came, a record was placed on the turntable, the control switch turned to "on," there was a earsplitting thunderclap, then silence. I'm not sure if Sandercock ever got the thing in working order. I began studying for the first 3 parts (Architectural history, structures and HVAC/plumbing/electrical) of the 7 part Minnesota architectural registration exam.
            Early autumn/Indian summer is the best part of the Minnesota year as the days are warm and an early frost has vanquished the mosquitoes. There were picnics on a sandy, empty bank of the Mississippi below Lake Street, sometimes just Marie and me. One weekend I took a last trip to Gamma Pi in Ames (I'm not sure of the occasion as most of my old friends were gone). Marie came along and some of the guys started regaling us with old Heater stories but Marie was not amused. Sometime in early fall we drove up to the "farm," where Marie's father lived. It was in Wisconsin, on a country road between Luck and Frederic, about 50 miles northeast of Minneapolis, 40 acres of fields and a wooded hillside, It was no longer an actual farm as her father had set up his broom making operation in the old barn where he showed me how he made the brooms. Marie's mother operated a convenience market in the ground floor of an apartment building a few blocks north of the 26th Street house in Minneapolis. That fall there was some sort of campus festival in which Marie's sorority had teamed up with a fraternity to do one of the shows; it was a "Gay Nineties" theme (this was long before "gay" was appropriated by the male homosexual community). Marie was part of a chorus line doing "Hello my ragtime gal" in a high kick dance (some memories never fade). About this time Marie started promoting the idea of marriage but I was evasive and there were bitter tears. I had nothing against marriage, but it just hadn't occurred to me.
            Another life (another world in many ways) was continuing in St. Paul where Sandercock and I had parties at the apartment and there were other night life happenings. Gretchen suggested that I go with her to church (Catholic of course) but I explained that my ancestors had fought long and hard for their religious freedom but the Thirty Years' War and battle of Lutzen seemed to mean nothing to her. She wanted us to go to her church, not mine so things were not going well with young Miss Froehlich in spite of our common surname.
            In late September and early October things were not going well at Haarstick Lundgren as construction bids for the large high school project came in much over budget and other potential projects failed to materialize. The firm had to go into a survival mode, which meant laying off more than half the staff, including Sandercock and me (and the young star designer Dennis Grebner who, stunned, said "They promised that I would design a whole new city"). I had heard about an up-and-coming new architectural firm, Hammel and Green, noted for high quality design work (they had already won design awards). I called, made an appointment, was interviewed by Dick Hamel and Curt Green, and was hired (at a better salary) starting there immediately, not missing a day of work. Sandercock found a job in downtown Minneapolis (I'm not sure what happened to Dennis). My new work location was on University Avenue, near the western edge of St. Paul not far from the Minneapolis line so our conveniently located apartment was suddenly in the wrong place, but we had a six-month lease. In early October, the Russians launched "Sputnik" which we watched as it streaked across the night sky.
            Hammel and Green was a very different place than Haarstick Lundgren. A smaller firm, about 20, mostly architects, located on the second floor of an older (c. 1920's) two story business building with an open plan (no private offices). High-end contemporary architectural design was a priority (2 of the principal designers, Hugh Peacock and Bruce Abrahamson, were on the faculty of the University School of Architecture), and a high quality of the contract documents were of major importance. In other respects, however it was a free-wheeling, laissez faire sort of operation. Hours were flexible, but because of the workload and deadlines, late nights and weekend work were a common practice. Gil Silverman, a project architect, usually started at noon, worked until midnight. Snowball fights sometimes moved from the back lot into the office; firecrackers sounded on occasion; a very realistic plastic tarantula spider was placed among Peacock's papers, which sent him shrieking through the office. Sometimes at night, Curly Roberts (another project architect) would appear, slightly inebriated. If there were a phone call late at night from a wife, the standard answer was "He just left" (at one time this reply went awry when the wife responded, "Oh, that's odd, he just now walked in the door"). Once a month, on a Friday afternoon, there would be a "Seminar" in the conference room, which was nothing more than a loud, free-floating, booze-laden happy hour. Occasionally, a young new employee would be told to give a presentation at the "Seminar" on an architectural topic and of course he was totally ignored (I managed to avoid this cruel fate). As there were no designated drivers, I have no idea how some of the people made their way home. The one stable entity in the office was Lee Dahlen, the senior specifications writer who also reviewed all final drawings for errors and omissions but even he lost his composure at one time when a thrown cherry bomb exploded against a lamp directly over his head. I was immediately assigned to projects which were much more interesting (architecturally) than what was happening at Haarstick Lundgrens.
            Later that fall, any spare time in the evening or weekends was devoted to preparing for the upcoming architectural registration exams. Marie and I had "study dates" at the apartment, much to the delight of Sandercock as Marie would usually put together some sort of evening meal. The marriage issue would come up frequently (tears welling in those soft blue eyes) and in spite of the warnings of Ohlman and Campbell, I was beginning to weaken (Mother was also expressing concern about not having grandchildren and noting that nearly all of my contemporaries were married). Then, in what seemed to be an inexorable flow, Marie and I were at Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis, buying an engagement ring. Later in November, at a party, Sandercock (who was quite fond of Marie) had to take her around showing everyone the new diamond. The next hurdle, and a difficult one for Marie, was a trip to Sioux City. I had written the Folks that I was bringing Marie to Sioux City for the Thanksgiving holiday. Marie was quite nervous as it was a completely different environment and she had never been this far from home (it was a long 5-hour drive). As soon as we walked in the door Mother saw the engagement ring and she immediately liked Marie, who then was being very quiet and shy. After Thanksgiving, we visited the Sioux City Journal-Tribune, gave them a copy of Marie's 1956 Christmas portrait and the engagement announcement which all appeared in the paper the following week making it official, at least in Sioux City. All in all, we made it through this initial visit with no unfortunate incidents or awkward moments.
            The first phase of architectural registration exams was in December (there were 3 exams, 4 hours each). I thought I did well on the architectural history and structural parts, but was concerned about the HVAC/plumbing/electrical exam though luckily I passed (3 years of office experience were required before the final 4 exams could be taken). The office Christmas party was a wild and raucous affair (of course), with the fire extinguishers (CO2 type) being blasted off (down the backs of unsuspecting victims was the favorite target) and Curt Green wielding (unsteadily) a huge scissors, cutting off everyone's necktie (this being a party tradition, old neckties were worn and unknowingly I wore one of my few good ties). Bonus envelopes were passed out the evening before the holiday break and I was astonished to find a 50-dollar bill in my envelope as I had been at Hammel and Green less than 3 months (the first time I had actually seen a 50 dollar bill). Christmas in Sioux City that year was quiet and restful (I drove down alone). There was a New Year's Eve party somewhere, but Marie and I left before midnight.
            Marie Lovonne Jacobson: I know very little of Marie's life before we met, only bits and pieces that she mentioned but nothing detailed and she never wrote a memoir of any kind. Marie was born on September 19, 1935, in Anoka, Minnesota, in the home of her parents. Her father, Arnold Jacobson, came from a Norwegian family, served in the Army in World War I (He blamed his baldness on a tight helmet worn on the Western Front), and was a broom maker by trade. Her mother, Lucille Lieder, came from a German family. It was a "mixed marriage," and both families, rural folk, were quite upset. Marie was the youngest of four children with a brother, James, who was 2 years older, and two sisters, Evelyn (Seidel) and Marion (Irish) who were at least 10 or 12 years older. As far as I know, Marie never met any of her aunts, uncles or cousins, except for "Uncle Orie," a much younger brother of her father. Her parents were essentially separated from their families. She did tell the story of her grandfather, who in his old age talked of going home to Norway and when he left late one winter night, they found him the next day, frozen to death, a long way from Norway (or perhaps, for him, he did reach Norway). Marie's parents operated a tourist stop on the edge of town, consisting of the main house and tourist cabins. It was quite primitive, even by the 1940's standards as there was electricity but indoor plumbing was limited to a hand pump at the kitchen sink. Marie's only playmate was a girl about 2 years older, from a nearby family, I think she said they were Greek. It must have been a lonely life. When she was about 10 years old she took over her brother's paper route; wearing hand-me-down clothes (people thought she was a boy). Her parents began an on and off separation when Marie was about 12 years old. The tourist court was sold, her father bought the "farm" in Wisconsin, and the rest of the family moved to Excelsior, Minnesota, a small town on the south shore of Lake Minnetonka, about 15 miles west of Minneapolis. I know little of her life in Excelsior (she mentioned that one night the house was hit by lightening and the wall of her bedroom glowed a luminescent blue). After about 2 years the family moved to the house at 313 West 26th Street in Minneapolis (the house where Marie and I met on that memorable summer evening in 1956). With this move her mother acquired the Minneapolis convenience market, which she operated for many years. Marie went to high school in Minneapolis (I know nothing of her high school days) and worked sometimes at her mother's market (she did mention the terrifying experience of a nighttime robbery). Her happiest times as a teenager were summers at the Wisconsin "farm" where Marie's father had moved his broom making operation into the old barn and after he had produced a quantity of brooms, he would load them onto his small truck and peddle them at small town general stores in the west Wisconsin area (they were very well made and durable brooms, the old broom corn type). The small farmhouse had electricity, but no indoor plumbing (outhouse in the back), the fields were rented to a nearby farmer for pasture or hay, and a large garden was planted; between the house and the garden there was a garage and tool shed, with an attached room, and where long ago the "hired hand" had lived. By this time Marie's sisters had married and her mother rarely left her market in Minneapolis; I'm not sure how many of those summers brother James spent at the "farm". As Marie's father was the only member of the family with a vehicle, he must have provided the transportation to and from the city. Marie tended the large garden and helped with the broom making and this place of isolation and solitude was the part of this earth which Marie loved most. She told me that one summer a young Lutheran pastor from a nearby town came out to the "farm" when she was working in the garden and he tried to persuade her to join his youth group but she had only old work clothes and mostly just wanted to be left alone. After high school graduation James enrolled at the University of Minnesota and Marie did likewise. She lived at home, but this was the only support she received from her family so she had the earn the money to pay for tuition, books and transportation. If ever there were photos of Marie as a child or a teenager, I never saw them. This is all I know of Marie before I became a part of her life.





1958 - Starting a Different Life

            The year began with good news as I passed all 3 of the first series of architectural registration exams and was designated an "Architect: in-training" by the State of Minnesota. I set a goal of passing the next 4 (and most difficult) exams by 1960. Things were also going well at Hammel and Green where I was kept busy working mostly on school projects. A new project architect was hired, Dick Babcock, about 5 years older than me, graduated, I believe, from U. of Minn. but he was originally from Western Iowa, so it was great conversing in one's native tongue. Gil Silverman assured me that German and Hebrew were closely related languages as he often heard his grandmother speaking "Hebrew" but I think she was speaking Yiddish. Hugh Peacock, one of the most talented and delightful people I ever worked with, was originally from England where he would go back every year to visit his family and, primarily, to retrieve part of his legacy (at that time the U.K. had strict limitations on the annual amount of money that could be taken out of the country), Hugh could do a great imitation of someone speaking "so British that I can hardly talk". Brian Morgan, also from England (but definitely Welsh, not English), born in India where his father was with the British Railways, 2 or 3 years older than me, was pressed into service as a cadet in the Bengel Rifles when the Japanese invaded Assam, did not care for the "wogs begin at Dover" British type (as a young man in England, at a dance, Brian was pushed away by his partner who said "I don't dance with black people" when he mentioned he was born in India. The office acquired an early version of a Xerox copier and late that afternoon the place was festooned with copies from "Playboy" magazines. That evening Dick Hammel, unaware of the decoration, brought a delegation of nuns (potential clients) to the office.
            With the engagement in November I thought that the marriage business had been put to rest, at least temporarily. Marie, however, was not about to let the matter rest. By this time Marie and I had settled into a routine which was a film or party on Saturday night, church on Sunday morning and a meal at Marie's house Sunday noon (just the two of us as her mother was always at her market and brother James was usually at the University). Any time we met the first words from Marie's mouth would be "When?" (setting a marriage date), first with a big smile, then with tears. I thought summer would be fine but Marie had late January in mind so we compromised on Saturday, March 8, 1958.
            Once the marriage date had been fixed, life took a more serious turn. I told the guys at office that I had become engaged to "a Minneapolis girl" but the date was not set (a short time before one of the young architects married and leading up to the wedding he was subjected to constant ridicule and humiliating jokes) so to avoid this misery I kept the date a secret. I had to tell Sandercock which was good timing as our 6-month lease expired the end of February, and of course I had to let Pastor Beisel know as he would be performing the ceremony (by this time I had become more involved in affairs at the University Lutheran and was elected to the church council). Marie decided not to enroll for the next session at the University and started a full-time job doing drafting work at a public utility company. The major prenuptial project was finding a place to live which it had to be available by March 1st (my move out date from the St. Paul apartment), had to be furnished (Marie and I had no furniture), and had to be cheap (we wanted to accumulate a nest egg as quickly as possible for a house down payment). The search took several weeks and Marie thought it was exciting. We finally found a place, more or less suitable, at 1928 Emerson Ave., So., in Minneapolis just west of Honnopin Ave, about a half mile south of Walker Art Center and less than a mile from Marie's house. It was a 3-story brick apartment building, probably built in the early 1900's, but the original large apartments had been subdivided into smaller units. Our "honeymoon cottage" was on the first-floor front (SE corner) and consisted of a bedroom (originally a closed in front porch), a living room and a small kitchen, and the reason for the rent being only $60 per month, we had to share the bathroom with a small apartment down the hall. Marie was enchanted by the bedroom with its many windows and the winter sunlight. I moved in the first of March and Marie moved her meager belongings in later that week; Sandercock found an apartment in Minneapolis. I spent my final evening as a bachelor completing income tax forms for 1957 (at that time March 15 was the tax filing deadline).
            Marie knew exactly what kind of wedding she wanted. It was to be a small wedding (no music) at University Lutheran Chapel, with her mother and father, and brother James, my mother and father, and brother Ken, and Pastor Beisel and his wife the only attendees. Marie wore a tailored gray dress, a string of pearls and a small light blue hat (the only hat she ever owned) and she walked down the aisle alone, carrying a large white calla lily. I wore a dark suit. It was a simple ceremony although Pastor Beisel of course had to give a sermon, thankfully short. It was a cold, gray winter afternoon. Marie had made an appointment at Pritchard Studio (the same photographer that did her 1956 Christmas portrait) for our wedding portrait, so we had to rush there immediately after the ceremony (I still have that portrait). The only part of the wedding which did not follow Marie's wishes was the post-ceremony dinner. She wanted we two and the six guests to get together at a good restaurant but her mother insisted on preparing a meal at the house. Marie didn't want my parents to see her humble abode, and the dining room table was always cluttered with her mother's natural food paraphernalia (at the time her mother was obsessed with "health" foods such as raw carrot juice, sea salt and honey as sweetener). The place, however, had been thoroughly cleaned and put in order, and the meal and socializing all went well (Mother and Dad had, after all, come from very humble origins). On our wedding night, at the Emerson Avenue apartment, Marie gave me two carefully wrapped gifts - a long wooden shoehorn and a wooden hair brush. I still have the shoehorn, but the natural bristles of the brush have long since disintegrated. In my usual thoughtlessness, I had no gift for Marie.
            On Sunday morning, Marie and I treated ourselves to a brunch at a downtown restaurant (in the coming years a restaurant meal would be a rare event). That afternoon I went to the Beisels to say my goodbyes to Mother, Dad and Ken (Beisels had invited the family to stay at the parsonage), but they had tragic news. There had been a phone call from Sioux City telling them that Dick Beardsly had been killed that morning in a car accident. Dick, who was in my confirmation class, had recently been ordained as a Lutheran Pastor and was serving 2 rural congregations in Missouri. He was rushing from one church to the other but the road was icy and he lost control. His widow was expecting their first child.
            Best laid plans: The wedding dress was carefully folded and together with the hat, was wrapped and put away. I don't think Marie ever wore the dress again; I don't know what became of it. On Monday morning, I took Marie to her new job and I drove on to my office. We had big plans for the future - a honeymoon trip in late summer, Marie going back to school in September, at least part time, me continuing to take classes for the fine arts degree, and buying a house in a year or so, in South Minneapolis, perhaps near Minnehaha Park. That Monday morning at the office I announced that over the weekend I had married "the Minneapolis girl" and general pandemonium ensued. Gil Silverman was certain that we had gone to South Dakota for a "quickie" wedding (apparently, something that Minnesota couples did in those days). On hearing of my new address Hugh Peacock saw this as a commute sharing opportunity as he lived only a few blocks to the south, so we immediately agreed to an arrangement. One week we would pick up Hugh (he and his wife and 2 small children lived in a rented place), drop off Marie at her job and then continue to the office, and the next week I would take Marie to her job, leave my car on Hugh's street and then drive in Hugh's car to the office. Hugh was an engaging traveling companion and although a committed immigrant, he told of his English soul being shaken when his daughter came home from kindergarten one day proudly singing a new song she had learned: "God Bless America."
            Marie wanted to show me her birthplace and where she had spent her childhood, so on an early spring afternoon we drove up to Anoka, about 20 miles north of Minneapolis where her parents had operated a tourist court (individual cabins in those days). The cabins were gone, the house had been converted into a VFW meeting hall, and the garden was overgrown. I have a photo of Marie standing in the underbrush, looking somewhat disconsolate.
            In May, we drove to Sioux City; Mother had put together a large reception, inviting many friends and neighbors so Marie was a bit overwhelmed. My old classmate from high school and Iowa U., Karl Scheld, was there with his wife. I didn't see Karl again until a high school reunion in 1999. We bought a set of plastic dinnerware and inexpensive silverware for everyday use, and in a spirit of optimism bought (from Dayton's downtown) 4 place settings of fine white china and 4 sets of German stainless steel silverware (Laufer, a very contemporary design). Over time we added more pieces, but they were rarely used and I don't know what happened to the good tableware although I still have a few pieces of the plastic. Our social life continued much as before and I remember a party at our place with several of Marie's friends, Sandercock and a date, where Marie had put together all sorts of crazy games. One Saturday night we had a "double date" with Jerry and Diane Mundt. Sometime that spring there was a major change in plans; Marie announced that there was a baby on the way.
            When plans go awry: We immediately decided that the Emerson Ave. apartment would not be suitable for our new situation and began looking for a different place, primarily in St. Paul, closer to my office. We took a series of evening classes, offered by the Red Cross, on pregnancy, birth and parenting. I told the guys at the office that "the girl I married" was going to have a baby and this announcement was greeted with a great deal of mirth. They were all eager to meet "the girl that Jerry married" and this opportunity came that summer when the firm had a boat outing party (wives invited) although there was some anxiety on the part of Marie (she bought a new dress), but all went well, she delighted everyone and we were given a fine carving knife as a wedding gift (I have no idea what became of this item). There was also a trip to Sioux City to make the baby announcement. By this time Mother was back working full time in the alteration department at Younkers, Dad had finally moved his auto repair business from the dismal Parkway Garage location to a newer street level building on 5th Street, and Ken was with the Iowa Air Guard at the Sioux City Air Base. In late summer, we did make our long planned "honeymoon" trip, driving across northern Wisconsin to St. Ignace in Michigan, across the newly built Mackinaw Bridge, to Hamilton, Ontario, then on to Montreal and Quebec City (In Quebec City: we stayed in a small hotel near the center of the upper town, run by a couple from Kansas who's son, about ten, served as porter/valet/gofer, spoke fluent English and French). Walking one evening I saw some old buildings being demolished and asked a Quebecois who was also watching what was happening: "Oh, old buildings are being removed to make a parking lot for tourists - they come to look at the old buildings" and then after a pause he said "Now that doesn't make much sense does it?"). When we were driving through Maine Marie saw a field of wild blueberries growing along the road so we had to stop and this for Marie it was the most memorable part of our trip. It is something I'll always remember - picking blueberries with Marie on a sunny afternoon along a quiet road in Maine. Next we drove down to New England and spent a night in Salem then on to Boston and New York City (to save money we ate picnic lunches along the road, but in the big city we decided to splurge. In New York City Marie saw an ad for a Hungarian restaurant which had live zither music but unfortunately the zither player was off that evening (the waiter did his very best to compensate). Finally, on the last leg of our journey we saw Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and the Gettysburg Battlefield but by this time we were exhausted (especially Marie) so we headed for home with no further sightseeing stops. We took photos throughout the trip but I have no idea what became of them. During this time we did most of our grocery shopping at the convenience market operated by Marie's mother and at 8 o'clock closing time we would drive her home, stopping first at a small park which had the only hand pump natural well still operating in Minneapolis where we filled several large glass jars with water (her mother was still very much under the sway of a "health" practitioner so city water was considered toxic). One evening at the Emerson Ave. apartment Marie and I had our first argument, probably over nothing and late that night I heard the apartment door open and close. Marie was gone. I was certain she had left for her old home, so I quickly dressed and started walking in that direction. Marie was walking slowly, crying, happy and relieved that I had found her and it should have been a moment of love and reconciliation, but sadly I was tired and still angry. The moment passed and we walked back in silence.
            First move (there were many more to follow): We found a place in west central St. Paul, 1847 Laurel Avenue. Except for a stove and refrigerator, it was unfurnished, but at $60 per month it suited our needs (and our budget). It was a 2-story stucco apartment building, built about 1910 with larger apartments that had been subdivided into smaller units. Our apartment in the second-floor front, had one large room, a very small kitchen, a very small bedroom, and best of all, we had our own bathroom. On September 1, 1958, we packed all our belongings into my car and moved to St. Paul. The move from Minneapolis was a bit traumatic for Marie, especially considering the Irish and Swedish ethnicity of St. Paul (one of her expressions, half jokingly, was "The only thing worse than a drunken Irishman is a sober Swede"). The walls and ceiling of the Laurel Avenue apartment were cracked and dingy and the paint was peeling. Our new landlord agreed to buy the paint and patching material if we did the work, so this was an immediate task. We had bought a new bed, but it hadn't been delivered so for several nights we slept on the floor. Through the office I ordered new furniture at a considerable discount as follows: a Herman Miller desk and 2 Herman Miller chest of drawer units, 4 Eames chairs (metal frame / padded seat type) and 2 Nesson lamps. I still have all of these items except for one chest of drawers which the girls took to California (the original Nesson shades are long gone). I designed and had fabricated a 3 by 3 table with a welded metal frame and white plastic laminate top which after many years of hard use is still in good condition. We bought a portable sewing machine, burlap fabric and drapery hardware, so Marie made drapes for the windows of the main room. I cut mats and mounted some of my water color paintings to dress up the bare walls (unfortunately, years later, this art work became water damaged and had to be thrown out). I hadn't given up my dream of a degree in Fine Arts and was still taking evening classes at the University. After a few weeks we had made the place livable (my cousin Lorenz Froehlich even stopped by for dinner as he was doing a lot of job related travel at the time). Our house buying fund, however, was depleted, and Marie was no longer working.
            Happy Birthday: On an evening in late October Marie and I were getting ready to go out for a movie but before we left Marie said it might be time for a trip to the hospital instead. We called her doctor then drove to Doctor's Memorial Hospital, on Loring Park, just west of downtown Minneapolis. We checked Marie in and I left to park the car but by the time I got up to the delivery suite it was all over. Marie was wheeled out of the delivery room with a tiny baby in her arms and a look of absolute joy on her face. I'm certain it was the happiest moment of her life and it was a moment that I will never forget. We had a tentative list of boy names and girl names, so we had to quickly select a name. Conrad Gerald Froehlich was born October 22, 1958. In that long ago time mothers and newborns were kept at the hospital for several days which gave me chance to organize my thoughts about our new way of life. I called Sioux City with the news. At the office, I made the announcement that "the girl I married had a baby" which was greeted with much hoopla, but also with concern and genuine congratulations (I completely forgot about the obligatory passing of cigars). We hadn't yet bought a crib or bedding for a baby, so I found a large grocery carton, cut it down in size, painted it white and lined it with old blankets and this was Conrad's first baby bed. Fortunately, when I picked up Marie and Conrad, the hospital sent along a collection of baby items, including diapers (cloth at that time, not disposable). Mother sent a bundle of baby things from Sioux City. Marie's mother and her sister Evelyn came over with 2 large jars of chicken soup which was the one and only time that her mother paid us a visit. My Iowa friend at the office, Dick Babcock, said he had a crib for us as his youngest daughter had outgrown it and they were not planning any more additions to the family, so after a few weeks Conrad had a real crib, with a mattress. Marie was totally happy with no postpartum depression. It was only a 10-minute drive to the office so I usually came home at noon. We (especially Marie) soon settled into the baby care routine. Dr. Spock's baby book was dutifully purchased and studied, breast feeding at first, but with a gradual transition to the baby bottle and infant formula system, a diaper pail was acquired and there were regular trips to the laundromat. For our first Christmas together, I gave Marie a solid gold pin in the shape of a leaf cluster which was the only piece of jewelry she ever wore, and the only rarely (I don't know what became of it). A Christmas visit to Sioux City was scheduled so we purchased a collapsible baby bed for travel. Conrad was baptized the Sunday before Christmas at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Sioux City with Rev. Hamilton as the pastor. Mother and Ken were the sponsors. We did the traditional Christmas Eve at Redeemer. For Mother and Dad, it was their first Christmas as grandparents so there were many baby presents. A young couple, Dieter and Liesel Hallwas, was invited to join us for Christmas Eve. They were refugees from East Prussia, spoke very little English and had arrived in America with little more than the clothes they wore but somehow they made their way to Sioux City and Redeemer Church. At this time, the house had been renovated by opening the "front room" into what had been the grandparents sitting room creating a single large space. Mother painted a mural on the south wall, a landscape showing a road on a high looss ridge with a view of the distant rolling hills of western Iowa. We were back in St. Paul for New Year's. Marie would always say "Whatever you do on New Year's Eve is what you will do the rest of the year" so she was asleep long before midnight, while I read late into the night. A very eventful year ended very quietly.





1959 and Beyond - More of the Same

            Whirlwind: So many things were happening in 1959 that I have trouble remembering it all. I was working many evenings at Hammel and Green, serving on the church council of University Lutheran and still doing cutout figures for the TV program, when Dick Wicklund approached me about designing a house. He and Martha had purchased a lot in Golden Valley (a suburb on the western edge of Minneapolis). Wicklund had opened sales and repair shops for electric shavers in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, business was good, and by that time he had 2 daughters. I had never designed an actual house, but he offered me $500 for a complete set of drawings (as required for a building permit, to obtain bids and for use as construction documents). Money was very tight (as always) so I accepted his offer and set up a production office in our little apartment. Marie was becoming restless and feeling isolated in the confines of the apartment so always striving for something new, she found a class in pottery making at the St. Paul Art Center, in a large old house at the east end of Summit Avenue so one evening each week I would driver her there and back (with baby Conrad in the car). She made several pieces, kiln fired, but I don't know what became of them (I hope they still exist). There was nothing but a sealed door between Conrad's room and the adjacent apartment so we were often entertained by shouting arguments from the neighbors. The woman had a job and he stayed home with their baby. One day he apparently bought a quantity of magazine subscriptions from a young woman selling door-to-door so a major fight ensued in which he was heard to say "If you kill me I'll come back as a ghost and haunt you". That spring Marie had news - another baby was on the way so a major change in plans was coming (we already had a girl name in the docket but had to come up with a new boy name). Conrad was becoming mobile so we had to get a gate between the kitchen and his room, and on one of our trips to Sioux City Ken made a protective screen to enclose the (very hot) radiator in his room. In August, we went to a Dicke family reunion (it was the first of many that were held annually). Grandmother on Mother's side was a Dicke (Pauline Dicke Runge) and there were many Dicke descendants in Iowa and southern Minnesota (the Wisconsin homeland of the Dicke's was deemed too far for this gathering). The reunion was at the home of Uncle Barney and Aunt Edna in Alta, Iowa so Uncle Martin and Aunt Ella from Dension, Irma Fiene, Uncle Paul and Tante Julie from Charter Oak, Hans and Agnes Schau and the Rothe's from Hanover, plus many cousins, some that I hadn't seen for years, were all there (a total of 46 Dicke's). Somehow I thought I would see them all again and that Uncle Barney would always be in Alta. Marie was somewhat uncomfortable among all these relatives of mine as a family reunion was a totally foreign concept since her "family" was limited to her mother and brother James, and on rare occasions to her father and sisters. About this time Conrad needed a high chair so we bought a folding type with a padded seat and back and with a metal tray which became a clanging sounding board for babies in the years to come. Also, the office was able to order "British Officer" chairs (wood frames with slung canvas seats, backs and arms, which could be easily disassembled) at a cut-rate price, so we acquired 2 of these (our small apartment was getting a bit crowded). When Conrad was about 8 months old, Marie wanted a "baby" portrait of Conrad, so we took him to her Minneapolis photographer (I have a small copy but don't know what became of the framed original portrait). Marie had changed to a St. Paul doctor, and it was time to start getting ready for the arrival of a new baby. We needed a short-term day care place for Conrad and fortunately we found a woman a short distance down our street who provided this service in her home. Early one morning Marie said it was time to go to the hospital so we bundled up Conrad and drove to Midway Hospital on University Avenue in St. Paul. Marie checked in and I quickly took Conrad to his day care place but by the time I got back to the hospital it was once again all over. Caroline Diane Froehlich was born October 13, 1959. This time I remembered to pass out cigars at the office.
            Marie and Caroline were home from the hospital in a few days but we didn't have space for another crib so Conrad's folding travel bed became Caroline's baby bed for our remaining stay at the Laurel Ave. apartment. We celebrated Conrad's first birthday and Marie even made a fancy little cake, with a candle. Mother had to see her first granddaughter, so she, Dad and Ken came up in late October. Marie made a dinner and we had another party for Conrad, with presents from Sioux City. Caroline had big brown eyes (from my side of the family) but almost no hair so Marie called her "fuzzy top" (Caroline was nearly 2 years old before she had a head of her dark brown hair). Conrad had light brown hair even as a small baby, and he had Marie's blue eyes. When I told Pastor Beisel that we had added a baby girl he said "Good - now you're a complete All American Family." For the Christmas holidays, we traveled to Sioux City where Caroline was baptized by Pastor Hamilton at Redeemer Church with Dad and Irma Fiene were her sponsors (for many years Irma faithfully sent a card and note on Caroline's birthday). On Christmas Eve we were joined again by Dieter and Liesel Hallwas. Dieter had a job with a precast concrete company as a design engineer and Mother found a job for Liesel as a seamstress in the Younker's alteration department. Gordon and Audrey Henry, and their daughter Laura, who was Conrad's age, stopped for a visit (they were in Sioux City for Christmas with Gordon's parents). We were back in St. Paul for another quiet New Year's Eve, December 31, 1959.
            At Hammel and Green I was being given more responsibility and was learning the "trade". Shenanigans of course continued without letup. On large projects a hardware consultant was retained to select the proper hardware for each door type in which hardware "sets" were created and this information was incorporated into the specifications and coordinated with a door schedule on the drawing. The hardware consultants drove an MG roadster which he kept in pristine condition and on one occasion a group sneaked out, picked up the MG, carried it down the street and set it on the sidewalk. The consultant was greatly distressed as he thought his precious car had been stolen. George Klein, a senior project architect and a serious mischief maker, utilizing our newly acquired copier, created a fictitious set of nonsensical and absurd instructions, using the manufacture's letterhead, on how to test a piece of equipment, and sent the to one of our fieldmen ("fieldmen" were office employees who were sent to construction sites to verify that work was being done in accordance with drawings and specifications). The poor fellow did his best to follow these instructions. George himself was stymied by an incident when he wrote letter draft and sent it to be typed (in those days typewriters were a standard piece of office equipment). The type letter came back to him for proof reading but there was an error as "fabrication" had been typed as "fornication". The typist was a shy, proper young girl (her father usually drove her to work). George wasn't sure what to do, and didn't want to embarrass her, so he sent the draft to another typist (he saved the type letter, however, had it framed, and presented it to her when she left to return to school). Business at Hammel and Green continued to improve and several new hires were brought on, many of whom became colleagues and good friends. Most were graduates of the U. of Minnesota Architectural school. Among them were Jim Sorensen (the quintessential bachelor), Al Homes, Ron Haase, Wes Sorensen (no relation to Jim), Jim McBurney (originally from Chicago), and Bob Slaight (originally from upstate New York), and some from distant lands such as Ron Hancock (a fair-haired Englishman) and Bill Stewart (and African-American from the Detroit area). These fellows were all about my age, in their prime and at a similar point in their careers, which is the way I want to remember them. I never knew them as "old guys". Bill Stewart was a well read intellectual, very left wing politically, but never seemed to strive ahead in his professional career (he would have fierce political arguments with very conservative political arguments with a very conservative mechanical engineer). Bill belonged to a liberal political organization of some sort and Ron Hancock and I went to one of their meetings. There were several African-Americans visiting from the deep South and Ron wondered which African language they were speaking but Bill assured him that it was English, a dialect that even he could hardly understand. During this period Hammel and Green moved to a new office on University Avenue, just a few blocks from the Minneapolis line. It was a much larger space, a newer building, again on the second floor with an open plan but central air conditioning and windows all around. Because of the newly remodeled and furnished space, it was decided to hold the 1960 office Christmas party in a nearby rented hall and it was a rowdy, wild affair as usual (one of the bartenders was heard to remark "who let those animals in here?). Someone gave Wes Sorenson a toy telephone with a suction cup base, which he promptly stuck to his forehead, taking "calls" but he came in the next day, much chagrined, with a circular dark bruise on his forehead. It took weeks for the blemish to fade.
            On the road, again: By early spring Marie and I knew we had to have a larger place so after a brief search we found a duplex at 2097 Fairmount Avenue, a few blocks west but further south in central St. Paul. It was a 2-story stucco building, built about 1920 where we had the second floor, with a large living / dining area, an eat-in kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bath, a back stair that went down to the basement and an enclosed back porch which we never used. For this we had to pay a painful $100 per month. I rented a trailer, we recruited Marie's brother James to help us make the move, and so we left our little apartment on which we had worked so hard to make into a pleasant home. We immediately bough a child bed for Conrad (low enough so that he could easily climb in) and Caroline inherited the crib because we now had an actual living room we bought a new sofa (white vinyl that could be easily wiped clean) and acquired a kitchen table and chairs from the Salvation Army. There was a clothes dryer and broken down washer in the basement so to avoid ever-increasing laundromat trips we bought a new clothes washer but our meager savings were once again depleted. Shortly after our move Marie woke me late in the night and terrified she said "There's something in our room". In the dim light, I could make out a white form standing near the bed but it was only Conrad, thumb in his mouth and blanket over his head (he could easily climb out of his new bed). Our new neighbors on the first floor were a middle-aged couple from New Jersey. The woman was scatterbrained and a bit unstable (she once confided in Marie that because of severe hot flashes she had had a hysterectomy). We had informed the Post Office and all our correspondents of our new address, but after about 2 weeks our mail suddenly stopped so I went to the local Post Office for an answer where our mail delivery man said that the lady downstairs told him that we had moved and left no forwarding address (apparently, she had us confused with the previous tenants). Mother called quite concerned as a letter had been returned stamped "Return to Sender - No forwarding address" and Ken surmised that perhaps we had been abducted by aliens (a TV program "Twilight Zone" was quite popular at the time). I had to send many form letters out correcting this misinformation.
            About this time Marie announced that there was another baby on the way and she said her doctor told her that she should stop having babies so frequently. Marie agreed.
            A visitor from the past: That summer I got a phone call from John Dahl, my old bon vivant Delt friend from Iowa State and Kansas City. We had kept in touch and he was passing through the Twin Cities with his new wife so they stopped by for a brief visit and after they left Marie said "Well, he didn't have much to say". There wasn't much he could say as we could see in each other eyes that the old times were past and gone. I never saw John Dahl again.
            In early summer, it was time for another "baby" portrait, Caroline this time. We found a low-cost studio in southwest St. Paul (actually in the photographer's house) and we selected the best pose from the proofs, but in the final copies the photographer had airbrushed away Caroline's legs and lower body. Marie was quite dismayed and asked for untouched copies but unfortunately it was the negative that was altered, so the whole process would have to be repeated. We didn't have the time or money for this so baby Caroline has forever floated in a cloud (we never returned to that studio). I finally finished the drawings for Dick Wicklund so he hired a contractor, construction was started, and for the next several months I would make regular visits to Golden Valley to review progress, and aid in selecting materials, fixtures and paint colors.
            Mother called to say that her brother, my Uncle Al, had lung cancer (he was a heavy smoker), and that he would be at the upcoming Dicke Family reunion in August to say his goodbyes. I was determined to be there, but with Caroline less than a year old and another baby on the way Marie opted out so Conrad and I took a bus to Sioux City (I've seen a photo that I took of Conrad inspecting a big wheel of the bus). Dad picked us up at the depot and later we drove to the reunion which was held in a Denison city pack. There were 47 Dicke descendants at this Denison reunion, but by then Uncle Al was too ill to attend. Uncle Hans and Aunt Lottie from St. Louis were there but I didn't know at the time of course, that this would be the last time I would see these dear folks.
            Baby trey: Among the most enjoyable moments that Marie and I had together at this time was the choosing of baby names which was a serious business as we put together lists of potential candidates, gradually narrowing down to a final few. There had to be mutual agreement. We also put together a plan for the big event. There would be no day care scenario but instead, I would take time off from work, we would bundle up Conrad and Caroline and all drive to the hospital where Marie would check in, then I would drive with Conrad and Caroline, to pick up a prearranged baby sitter and after dropping them off at the duplex I would rush back to the hospital. It all worked out according to plan, except that once again I was too late. The doctor criticized my absence. Rosalind Marie Froehlich was born on November 13, 1960 at Midway hospital in St. Paul. She had blue eyes, chubby cheeks, and a full head of red hair. I partially made up for my tardiness by bringing Marie a new gown which was bright with yellow, orange, mustard green and white vertical stripes. She loved it, wore it for many years, called it her "coat of many colors."
            Rosalind was baptized at University Lutheran Chapel in Minneapolis (no journey to Sioux City this time) and as Lorenz Froehlich was our only red haired relative I asked him to be one of the sponsors (in absentia).
            Hammel and Green had a Christmas dinner/dance in mid-December (at the behest of certain wives I'm sure, as a foil to the notorious office party). It was only a month after the birth of Rosalind, but Marie was eager for a night out so we found a baby sitter, Marie was back in form and looking great (several guys asked her for a dance but she declined). Drinks were on the house and Hugh introduced us to Harvey's Bristol Crème, but unfortunately I was the designated driver (we took Bill Stewart and his wife, and I had to transport the baby sitter back to her place). Curt Green was astonished at the amount of the bar bill.
            Christmas that year was at our St. Paul duplex so we set up a tree inside Caroline's baby pen (to protect the tree from being pulled down by little hands). Santa brought Conrad a tricycle which he happily wheeled through our rooms. Mother, Dad and Ken came up in early January (1961) so we had a second Christmas then as they brought a car full of wrapped presents, mostly for the "grandchildren".
            Fairmount Avenue - running in place: We knew that the duplex, even with the added space, would soon be too small for our growing family, so we began an intense effort to save enough for a house down payment. We had to buy an adult (twin size) bed for Conrad, so that Caroline could be moved to the child bed and Rosalind into the crib. One evening, Conrad in his wild dashes from room to room, fell against a corner of projecting woodwork and cut a gash on his eyebrow. Marie was certain that unless it was properly treated Conrad would be maimed for life, so off Conrad and I went to the emergency room at Midway Hospital (in those days emergency rooms were actually intended for medical emergencies). The young doctor on duty decided that the wound should be closed with stitches so a fabric cover with a small opening was placed over Conrad, a nurse and I held him down (who by then was screaming and squirming) but by the time the doctor finished I was feeling faint and had to lie down. When I woke, Conrad was standing, staring at me with a sucker in his mouth.
            A new shopping center had opened in the southwest part of St. Paul which had a department store anchor, probably a Dayton's. We needed some things so Marie went into the store with Conrad while I waited in the car with Caroline and Rosalind; after a time, Marie came rushing out, frantic, calling out that Conrad had vanished. I hadn't seen him leave, so I told Marie he had to be somewhere in the store. A storewide search was undertaken and Conrad was found, hiding under a counter, not far from where Marie had last seen him.
            In May, we all traveled to Sioux City for a wedding; Ken was getting married on May 14, 1961 to Kathy Bornholz at Calvary Lutheran Church in Leeds, an area in the northeast part of Sioux City. Dad's brother, my Uncle Adolph, Aunt Esther, cousin Delores, her husband Alvin Schroedor, and their 2 children came to the wedding from Wisconsin and they would be in Sioux City for several days so Mother had to find lodgings among various friends. It was a formal wedding so Mother offered a pair of white gloves to Marie but for some reason Marie rebelled (although she had worn a pair of white gloves for our wedding) and stayed at the house with Rosalind, then 6 months old. This sadly was the start of an uneasy relationship between Mother and Marie. Uncle Barney and Aunt Edna from Alta and Uncle Martin and Aunt Ella from Denison were at the wedding. Except for Uncle Martin our paths never again crossed and that evening I saw the others for the last time.
            By early June we began searching in earnest for a house. We gave up our dream of Minnehaha Park in Minneapolis (way beyond our means) and began looking in St. Anthony Park, an area in the far northwest corner of St. Paul, between the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis city line. St. Anthony Park was a middle-class neighborhood with mostly single family homes, a commercial center, library, elementary school and large city park. Dick Hammel and several other people from the office lived here. The very first house we visited, 1384 Raymond Avenue, was the place Marie wanted. The selling price was $18,500 so we scraped together every cent we had and made a down payment. It was our home for the rest of our stay in Minnesota. About this time we had Rosalind's "baby" portrait done and it was a definite improvement over Caroline's photo (again all I have is a smaller copy so I hope the original survived somewhere). That winter and spring I was working very long hours, coming home for the evening meal, getting Conrad and Caroline settled in bed, then back to work. Marie would often be waiting for me when I came home so that we could have a few moments of quiet time together. Many time I sterilized baby bottles late into the night.
            American dream: The house at 1384 Raymond was a 2-story stucco, built about 1920. The first floor had a large closed front porch, living room, dining room, kitchen, a small study and a small closed back porch. The living room had a fireplace with built-in glass fronted bookcases and the dining room on the east wall had a projecting bay with a build in buffet, cabinets and small windows above. The second floor had 3 bedrooms, bath, a smaller room with a door that opened to a balcony (over the back porch), and a large center hall with a door and stair leading up to an attic. The basement was finished, with a toilet and shower, and a separate furnace room with a work bench. There was a decent sized backyard with a rose garden and a 2 car garage which opened to an alley. The owners, Dr. Lembke, a dentist, and his wife, were downsizing as their daughter had just married and their son was moving to another city. It immediately became apparent that the backyard would have to be fenced, otherwise the kids would soon be the scourge of St. Anthony Park. We had no money for a contractor installation, so I designed a fencing system that I could build and install. I had a lumberyard cut redwood boards into 1 x 2 strips 12 feet in length, which I fabricated into 4-foot-long panels with pickets about 4 inches on center. I built dozens of these panels, working late at night in the basement of the Fairmont Ave. duplex (my only tools were a hammer and hand saw) and fortunately the Lembke's allowed me to store the panels in the garage. I also had to buy numerous 4 x 4 redwood posts, cut to 6 foot lengths. The Lembke's also allowed me to erect the back portion of the fence before our move, thus keeping the kids from direct access to the alley. The closing costs, and moving expenses (this time we had to hire a local moving company) completely depleted my next paycheck (we also bought a used refrigerator and again fortunately the Lembke's left the kitchen stove). After all the turmoil, we moved into 1384 Raymond Avenue on July 1, 1961 - we had no regrets leaving the Fairmont Avenue duplex. The kids were wild with excitement, racing up and down the stairs and through the rooms. The neighbor lady, seeing 3 little faces pressed against an upstairs window screen, came over concerned that they might come tumbling out.
            A very different way of life: After moving in, completing the fence was the number one priority. Our neighbor to the north was a pleasant, friendly older lady, living alone except for a male student roomer and as she was watering her lawn with a sprinkler the kids, of course, were over there immediately running through the water. Unfortunately, they pulled the sprinkler directly over to the dining room windows which were open and the room was soaked. The lady was very gracious, however, and said it must have been some college boys who were responsible. I worked feverishly to finish that part of the fence, protecting the poor woman from further mischief. Jim Sandercock stopped by with Judy, his new fiancé (a very attractive, tall, dark haired young woman). He was quite amused at the sight of me, digging post holes, covered with dirt, surrounded by wildly running little beings. Our neighbor to the south was an older couple, also very pleasant, friendly people (he was retired, formerly the head of the University Botany Department) but before I could finish that part of the fence the kids got into their yard and somehow overturned a stone birdbath. Marie and I very quickly discovered that we were living paycheck to paycheck. The mortgage payment was only $134 per month, but there were utility bills, insurance, taxes and other expenses which we hadn't considered. I had to buy a lawn mower (a manual push type which I still have but no longer use). Fortunately, the Lembke's left a 16-foot wood ladder (which I also still have), a picnic table and some yard implements. As we had only one car for our spacious 2-car garage we rented half to people who ran the Methodist Student Center across the alley. We definitely needed the extra $20 per month. I started a program of interior painting (the existing walls were generally dark) with upstairs rooms being off-white with brightly colored doors. I did our room first, which is as much as I had time for (I started studying for the Minnesota Architectural Registration exam coming in November). With the coming of cold weather, I had my first experience of taking down screens and putting up storm windows (they were the original wood frame type, stored on racks in the garage). The basement became the main play area in winter, so I reconfigured the radiator barrier from our Laurel Ave. apartment into a door to keep the kids out of the furnace room. We also invested in a portable dishwasher as it was nearly impossible to wash our mounting volume of dishes in the wall hung kitchen sink. We had our first Christmas Eve at the Raymond Ave. house and although the place was a bit bare the kids didn't mind. The Christmas tree was once again protected within a playpen. I made a plywood track layout for a windup train set for Conrad and a toy sink with painted wood base for the girls (I have no idea what became of those artifacts). We were in Sioux City for a second Christmas and New Year's. There were many gifts again for the kids including fancy dresses lovingly handmade by Mother for her 2 granddaughters. One evening we visited Dieter and Liesel Hallwas who were then living in McCook Lake, South Dakota (a suburb of Sioux City). They had 2 small children so Liesel was a stay-at-home mom, but Dieter was moving up in his company, and he had done much of the building work on their house (he was, after all, an East Prussian). We drove back to St. Paul on a snowy early January night.
            A curious incident on a crowded street: I'm not certain exactly when this happened although I still had the Pontiac Catalina. I was driving on a narrow street in downtown Minneapolis and had forgotten that I was really low on gas so the car glided to a complete stop, blocking one lane of traffic. A car approached from the opposite direction, gradually coming to a complete stop next to me so both lanes were now blocked. The driver got out exclaiming, "Damn, I've run out of gas." A police care edged up to the bottleneck but the officer was completely baffled by the situation. We pushed one of cars to the side. The policeman tried to unsnarl the traffic and sent another office to get a gas supply. While we waited, the other guy told me he was an insurance agent and wondered if I would be interested in a life insurance policy.
            The big one: By the early spring of 1961 I had completed my "architect-in-training" requirement and submitted an application to the Minnesota Architectural Registration Board for the final phase of the registration exam. This was the culmination of my many years in architectural school and office experience so it was a "big deal", the "piece de resistance" for which I had been preparing for months. There were 4 parts to the exam: Architectural Profession (Professional Standards, contracts, legal issues, ethics, etc.), and Building Construction (materials, assembly, building codes, etc.), a 6-hour Site Planning exam, and finally Building Design, a grueling 12 hours of anxiety and panic. The Site Planning and Building Design exams were strictly paper, pencil and mind exercises (no reference materials, and in that long ago time, no computer support). I didn't know any of my fellow sufferers, but several of the guys (there were no female participants), especially in the Building Design exam, seemed to know each other from previous attempts. The Building Design exam had an 85 percent failure rate but one was allowed 3 repeats, and if not successful had start all over with the 7-exam series. The Site Planning and Building Design exams were held in one of the Architectural School design studios where Ralph Rapson made an appearance several times and I suspect he was probably one of the judges. To my great relief I passed everything except the Site Planning but this was no surprise, as I know I hadn't come up with a good solution. In the late fall of 1961, the series of exams was repeated (completely different building design and site problems) at which this time I passed the Site Planning exam, and on January 31, 1962, I became a fully registered architect in the State of Minnesota.
            Meanwhile, back at the office: Work at Hammel and Green continued at a steady pace and most of the projects were suburban public schools so there was always a time of prayer (figuratively) before bond issue votes. I was seated among a group of architects about my age, including Bill Steward who usually plodded for weeks on a single drawing by which time it was gray with pencil dust, Ted Butler whose mind never seemed to stray from thoughts of young females (although he had an attractive, but somewhat unstable wife), Jim Sorensen (his father's first name was "Soren"), a good architect who became a very good friend, a bachelor with very fixed habits who for years lived in the same apartment, drove the same car (VW beetle), had the same girl friend, and once a year went to the same shoe store and bought a new pair of the same shoes and as Jim had the time and money to travel so would entertain us with tales of his adventures (he and a friend were driving through Spain and were delayed by a column of German tanks, black crosses on the turrets so the friend remarked "Good Lord, the Krauts are on the move again" but a young German officer overhead this, came over and stated in perfect English "Sir! We are on joint maneuvers with the Spanish Army at the invitation of the Spanish Government"), Dave Bennet, a first-rate architect (although somewhat handicapped by partial color blindness), from New York City, graduate of Cooper Union (his father thought that a Jewish kid from Manhattan should experience the greater world so sent him to work on a North Carolina pig farm for one summer where hog butchering time made a lasting impression). Dave and I once had an argument on whether or not a full glazed panel adjacent to a door should have a visual barrier (now required by code) but Dave said that this was nonsense saying, "Who would be stupid enough to walk into a glass panel?". The very next morning he came in with his arm in a sling and a sheepish look as he had walked into a glass panel at a Minneapolis restaurant. Dave eventually started his own firm with a partner and became quite successful. Rubber band wars were commonplace in the office and one afternoon a young draftsman was found unconscious on the floor. He was attempting to fire off a larger rubber band using his drawing scale but it misfired hitting him in the eye, causing such pain that he passed out. The damage was not permanent but for weeks he wore a patch over his eye. Bruce Abrahamson went on a weekend fishing trip together with some of the other guys from the office and these pranksters (knowing that Bruce's wife was a bit high-strung) bought the largest pair of lady's underpants they could find and slipped them into Bruce's luggage. When his wife unpacked the luggage, Bruce was chased down the street by his wife, screaming and waving the offending lingerie.
            Minnesota in winter: The winters were long and cold with the first frost usually in September and the final snowfall in April. September, after the leaves were down, was also bonfire time when leaves were raked into large piles at the curb or in back alleys and lighted. A gray haze enveloped the city and the pungent scent of burning leaves permeating the fall air (all gone now as leaf burning is prohibited but I still have fond memories of that "end of summer" ritual). The major concern on cold morning was getting the car started. Most car owners, if they had garages with an electric outlet, utilized "head bolt heaters" in which a bolt was removed from the engine head and this device was screwed in and connected to an outlet. During my first years in Minneapolis/St. Paul I had to park on the street and if the car wouldn't start I had to rely on friends for a push (if they had a large car) or I called one of the many gas stations which had "pushers" (trucks with large wooden front bumpers). On one very cold morning the pusher "stripped gears" as it tried to get the Catalina rolling and a larger truck had to be called. Eventually I discovered that if I warmed up the engine at 3 hour intervals through the night it would start even on the coldest of mornings. Finally, at Raymond Avenue, we had a garage so I hung a light bulb in the engine compartment and this worked, even when the temperature went down to 35 degrees below one night. In March of 1962 we had a very heavy snow (over 3 feet, much deeper at drifts) and except for a few major streets nothing was plowed and little traffic was moving so I walked to work and found that there were about 10 hardy souls who made it to the office that day. Later that week Marie said she could hear the sound of dripping water in our bedroom. I couldn't find a leak anywhere, but when I looked out our closet window (a pair of small windows with inner and outer panes) I realized I was looking through water which was my first experience with an "ice dam". The roof over the closet was between a pair of large dormers and ice had formed into a miniature glacier so I climbed onto the porch roof, hacking away with a hatchet, heaving large chunks of ice to the ground, finally releasing a flood of pent up water. I also had to remove several hundred pounds of ice from the deck over our back porch. In late March, we saw a flock of cedar waxwings in our yard, a sign that winter was nearly over.
            The best of times: In early spring of 1962 Marie announced that another baby was on the way. She was not happy (there were tears), and did not want more children (she could hardly handle the 3 lively little ones already underfoot). This baby, however, became her favorite, but he also brought Marie her greatest sorrow (that's another story). Dick Hammel, who lived in St. Anthony Park, said that he had built a playhouse for his kids (now in their early teens), complete except for a roof, and that I could have it so after the snow had melted away I recruited about 5 guys from the office and we carried it (several blocks) to our backyard. The kids loved it but I never did get around to putting on a roof. About this time, we took Conrad for his first visit to a dentist (Marie's longtime dentist in Minneapolis, Dr. Gordon Lester) but kicking and screaming Conrad refused to get into the dental chair. The dentist gave us a pill, with directions to give it to Conrad a few hours before a rescheduled visit. Conrad obediently climbed up into the chair with no protest.
            We celebrated our first Easter at Raymond Avenue. Saturday night Marie boiled eggs in onion skins which created a unique golden brown color and we made up baskets of candy and hid them throughout the house which was fun for us. Next morning the kids had chocolate smeared, happy faces. The folks came for a visit in June, their first time at our new place. The Lembke's had left a double bed, complete with springs and mattress, in a finished basement alcove, so they were able to stay with us rather than in the usual motel. Marie had a great idea in that we would all have lunch on the folk's last day (it was Sunday after church) at a Bohemian restaurant in New Prague, southwest of Minneapolis, on the way back to Sioux City. The kids had never been in a restaurant so it was quite an adventure. Marie and I visited Ken and Kathy at their little house in Sergeant Bluff, a suburb near the Sioux City Airport and Iowa Guard Airbase where Ken worked (also near the busy railroad tracks along which Ken and I often hiked many years before).
            That fall it was once again baby name time and although we had a boy name on tap, we had to come up with another girl name. We made arrangements with a baby-sitting service and this time the timing was right. The lady arrived before Marie and I left for the hospital and for the first time I was actually at the hospital when the baby arrived. Rollin Thomas Froehlich was born November 24, 1962 at Midway Hospital, St. Paul, Minnesota, blue eyed and very blond. After a few days, we all went to he hospital to pick up Marie and Rollin but Rosalind hid under a chair in the lobby and would not look at the new baby. As we now seemed to have a permanent address, we transferred our church membership to Jehovah Lutheran Church, a large congregation just north of University Avenue in the center of St. Paul. Ernest Drews was the pastor and Rollin was baptized at Jehovah on December 2. For Christmas that year Marie decided the girls should get new dolls and doll beds. She found a plan somewhere on how to build a doll bed and then made little mattresses, pillows and blankets. My job was to build the beds which were solid wood, quite substantial (they probably still exist somewhere), sanded smooth, painted red for Caroline and yellow for Rosalind. There was a work bench in the furnace room so I did the carpentry work late at night, listening to German Christmas music on an old record player, snow spitting against the basement window. It was a very good Christmas (I have fond memories of that time).
            The long winter was nearly over the spring of 1963 arrived suddenly with longer days and budding trees, much to the relief of Marie as the kids could be sent outside without first being encased in layers of clothing. I was working long hours as usual at Hammel and Green (which was keeping us out of poverty, barely) but I always came home at noon and didn't go back in the evening until the kids were in bed. Coming home, as soon as I walked in the door, the kids would grab my legs, laughing and squealing (happy memories of a fleeting moment). The kids had names for each other (probably carried over from when they were just learning to talk although Marie and I never used these names. Caroline was "Guy", Rosalind was "Rahrah", and Conrad for some reason was "The Lil' Boy" (a frequently heard wail from Rosalind, "Mama, the Lil' Boy hit me"). We were quickly growing into our first house where Caroline and Rosalind shared a bedroom on the southeast corner (Rosalind had graduated to a full-sized twin bed), Conrad had his own room on the northwest corner, and Rollin was moved with the baby crib into the small northeast corner room (which also had the door to the balcony, and which was originally planned as Marie's sewing room). Caroline had a pink blanket from the time when she was a baby, always carried it with her, wouldn't part with it, but it was becoming tattered and falling apart. Marie sewed a new cover, with a small opening so that Caroline could see that her beloved "blanky" was still there. Palm Sunday weekend we drove to Sioux City where Mother had sewn Easter outfits and Spring coats for the girls. Easter Sunday, we were back in St. Paul. By March of that year (1963) my brother Ken and his wife Kathy had moved to Rapid City, South Dakota. Gordon Henry's father had died the year before and his mother died in July so the Sioux City connections were gradually fading.
            On cool or rainy days, the closed front porch became a play area and one afternoon Marie made a frantic call to the office saying that I needed to get Caroline to the doctor immediately because of cut on her face. It seems that Caroline and Rosalind were in the living room making faces through the window at Conrad who was on the porch so Conrad decided to deliver a punch but unfortunately, the window was shut. I asked Marie where Conrad was but she didn't know, saying that he had run off. We found him hiding under his bed with a bad cut on his arm so I took two kids to the doctor for a patch job, and I had a broken window to repair. One noon when I came home shrieks of laughter and sounds of splashing water could be heard from upstairs; the tub was full of water, there was water everywhere in the bathroom and in the hallway, the kids were stark naked and Marie was lying on our bed weeping. She had started to give the kids a bath but somehow things got out of hand (the 3 often operated as a mischief making entity, virtually impossible to maintain control, at least for one person). We had a subscription to "National Geographic". The kids loved it, pouring over the photographs and we often used it for bedtime story time so one evening when Conrad, Caroline and I were at a supermarket, Caroline rushed over and exclaimed in a stage whisper, "Daddy, there's an Africa man in the store" (at that time black people were a rare sight in that part of St. Paul). Another incident with another frantic call to the office. The kids were running on the front porch, which had a hard, concrete floor and Rosalind fell, breaking her arm (not a serious fracture), but Rosalind did get a cast, which she wore proudly for several weeks. Somehow, in all this turmoil, we managed to get Rollin to a photographer for his official baby portrait. Also, that spring at Jehovah Church, Pastor Drews, a no-nonsense and somewhat domineering type, persuaded Marie that she needed to be confirmed into the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church so Marie enrolled in his adult instruction class and was confirmed together with a large group. I became part of the Jehovah money counting team and every other week our group of 6 men would gather and count the collection from the previous Sundays, bills tallied and sorted by denomination, coins placed into paper rolls, and everything recorded (it usually took 2 or 3 hours), with everything then bagged and taken to a night deposit box.
            As the weather warmed Marie decided that the kids needed a sandbox and she found plans somewhere. I bought the lumber and built the thing which had 2x8 sides and seats, a water-resistant particle board bottom, and was painted red. To fill the box, we remembered the beautiful white sand on the banks of the Mississippi from our carefree days of picnics, only a few years past. The faithful Catalina started having mechanical problems and it was becoming a bit crowded with our growing brood. It was a sad parting as it was my very first car and for Marie, many happy memories, but we traded it in for a new 1963 VW bus (once again depleting our savings). We went to Sioux City for a test drive and the bus got great mileage, especially with a tailwind but with a headwind it was a struggle. Feeling more independent, Marie wanted to learn to drive (except for her father's truck at the Wisconsin "farm", no one in her family had ever had a car). The Minnesota State Fairgrounds, only a short distance from our house, offered ample space for practice driving, so on summer evenings we loaded the 4 kids into the VW bus (no car seats in these days) and headed out for driving lessons. As Marie was carefully driving along one of the empty roadways, we were passed by a car going very fast, driven by a very determined looking middle-aged lady, her husband seated next to her. A short time later we saw a cloud of smoke emanating from beneath the car which was stopped over a flattened tree (the roadway was lined with small trees). With the oil pan apparently torn loose, the woman was still behind the wheel, loudly berating her husband who, with a forlorn look, stood surveying the damage. We thought it best to move on. Marie passed the driving test on her first try (it took me two times back in Sioux City when I turned 16).
            We had never taken a family vacation and Marie thought it was time to remedy this situation. She did some research and determined that an inexpensive lake cottage was something we could afford so we made reservation for a week in August at Bradley's Resort on Farm Island Lake, just north of Mille Lacs, about a hundred-mile drive from the Twin Cities. As advertised the cabin did indeed have 2 bedrooms, a screened porch, kitchen, toilet and shower, but it was a bit ramshackle, not much more than a fishing camp. There was a dock with a boat, a minimal swimming beach and a badminton net but there were a few other cabins and I think we were the only "guests". Marie put life jackets on the 3 older kids and took them out rowing where Conrad promptly fell in and there a few moments of panic until he could be retrieved, bobbing in the water. The Bradley's, an older couple, tried to be accommodating (brought us fresh fish one evening), but recreation was limited to rowing out to the island (Farm Island) and back, so we started exploring the neighboring area. One day we drove up to a large open pit mine in the iron range (nearly the size of the Grand Canyon). We passed through many sad little settlements, virtual ghost towns, remnants of the lumbering boom. On our way back home, the car came to a complete stop (engine failure), fortunately in a small town where at the gas station they said there was a VW shop in the next town. I hitchhiked to the place and drove back with the mechanic who quickly diagnosed the problem (electrical), called in part order to a VW parts distributor in a larger town, drove over and back with the part, did the repair, and we were on our way. This mechanic was a Minnesota good Samaritan. While waiting, we had a picnic in the town park which was the best part of our "family vacation." Marie hadn't given up on getting a degree from the University of Minnesota and was taking a correspondence course so she wrote a semi-fictionalized version of our family vacation (changed the name "Bradley" to "Brinkley"). The instructor loved it and gave her a high grade.
            Bedtime for the kids was always story reading time, usually in the girls' room. "Goodnight Moon," various Dr. Seuss and "Babar" stories were required reading and as soon as storytime was over, Conrad went right to bed but it usually took a while for Caroline and Rosalind to settle down (Rollin became part of this ritual when he was about 18 months old). We had a ready supply of books from the neighborhood public library and in one story a bobcat was the villain and the kids became obsessed about a "bad bobcat". They were afraid to go upstairs alone in the evening. Late summer was Minnesota State Fair time and as it was not far and admission was free for small children it was an inexpensive outing. The Natural History Building had an exhibit of Minnesota wildlife, which included a caged bobcat. The kids stood staring at this sleeping animal not much larger than a housecat) for a long time and there was never again any concern about a "bad bobcat."
            On Labor Day weekend Mother and Dad drove up from Sioux City; there were now dresses again for the girls (I've often wondered whatever became of these beautifully made little dresses). Then it was "erste schultag" (German for "first school day") for Conrad which was very different from my first day of school nearly 29 years before in Sioux City (St. Paul had no midyear system, so Conrad was 7 weeks shy of being 5 years old, and thus one of the youngest in his class). St. Anthony Park School was only a few blocks from our house so Conrad and I did several practice-walks over and back. When the big day came, all went according to plan as most kids were walked to school by a parent (generally the mothers) or an older sibling so at noon (it was a half day kindergarten) I met Conrad and we walked home. The second day was another matter, however, as Conrad did not want to go back and when we took him into the classroom he immediately ran out following me. There was much crying, screaming and kicking which went on for several days until he realized that resistance was futile. He became a good student, seemed to enjoy school, and rarely missed a day.
            On a warm night in late September, while reading at the kitchen table, I became aware of a shadow passing the kitchen light periodically; I finally looked up and saw that it was a bat. I quickly ran upstairs, closed all the bedroom doors, then opened the front door and after a time there was no sign of the bat, so I assumed that it made its way out. Unfortunately, there were more bat episodes to follow.
            October and November were birthday celebration times so there were presents and Marie made a fancy little cake for each occasion (four). I can't remember that Marie and I ever had the time or energy to celebrate our own birthdays (Marie always expected at least a card). That fall I finally got to the "study" (first floor, northwest corner) in which wallpaper had to be stripped, numerous holes and cracks patched, and the walls and ceiling painted. We found an old single bed which became the "sofa" (Marie made a cover) and we bought our first TV, a used black and white. A few days later President Kennedy was assassinated (Nov. 22, 1963), so television programming was totally focused on that event but it was the first exposure to television for the kids. Marie was not comfortable with the large congregation at Jehovah Church (or with Pastor Drews) so we transferred our membership to a new group which was just forming at a newly built Lutheran high school on the north edge of St. Paul. The new congregation was named King of Kings, the members were mostly young families, and the young pastor's name was Franzmeyer (the kids liked him, called him "The Franzmeyer").
            Happiest Holidays: For Thanksgiving Marie made her first ever turkey dinner which was magnificent and we all gathered around the food laden kitchen table (the "dining room" was essentially a play area), Rollin in the well-used high chair, Rosalind in an elevated chair, Conrad and Caroline in "big people" chairs. Hammel and Green continued to have their annual Christmas dinner/dance. We rarely went out for an evening (no money and Marie increasingly resisted getting a babysitter), but we made an appearance at this event. Marie had kept her young figure, she dressed for the occasion and was looking great (at the party one of the wives said to Marie "you have four children, the oldest just turned five - I can't believe it!"). The Christmas tree that year was freed from a protective cage but well secured with wires to adjacent window hardware. Christmas eve was a swirl of scampering and crawling little bodies, toys and gift wrappings. It was another very good Christmas. For several years at Christmas, Marie's brother James gave us a subscription to a British children's magazine the name of which I think the name was "Robin". It was a favorite bedtime read and we went through each issue many times. There was a series about adventures at an English boy's school and another series called "The Wind in the Willows" with a delightful cast of animals (all speaking proper English). New Year's Eve was quiet as usual as I sat reading, listening to the bells and midnight celebrations, looking forward to 1964.
            Office Happenings: Hammel and Green became Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (HGA in later years) as Bruce was made a full partner. As a result of this new name, the office received an unsolicited invitation to meet with the building committee of a major synagogue (they were looking for an architect for a new building) but they were stunned, of course, when at the meeting it was discovered that Dick Hammel was of German descent with no particular religious affiliation, that Curt was a Swede and Bruce a Norwegian, both Lutherans. We did not get the synagogue project (even though Gil Silverman was brought along to the meeting as a token Jew). Most of the projects that were given to me were in the Twin Cities area, although there was a naval air station project in Chicago (this is covered in my "Chicago" story). As the firm continued to grow we did a major renovation and addition for radio/TV station KSTP across University Avenue and right on the Minneapolis/St. Paul line. This project included a large new office space for Hammel, Green and Abrahamsen and since we were on the top (third) floor, a new elevator was available. Increasingly, I was involved in work at the University of Minnesota, particularly research and laboratory facilities; there was a project which the University was doing for NASA, studying the effect of space travel on human day/night (circadian) rhythms. The director was Dr. Franz Halberg, who had worked with Wernher von Braun on the V2 rocket program at Peenemunde so whenever he felt that the project was not moving fast enough he would call his friend "Wernher" (during one delay he remarked that "If we had moved this slow in '44 we never would have gotten a rocket off the ground"). Dr. Halberg had a colleague, Dr. Walter Runge, also German so when I mentioned that my mother had a cousin, Walter Runge, who had a beer tavern in Wisconsin, Dr. Runge seemed somewhat disconcerted (apparently, he felt that this was not the sort of thing that a Runge should be doing). I was also project architect for the addition to and renovation of a building on the St. Paul campus (very convenient as it was only a few blocks from home) for the School of Veterinary Medicine which included a very large law temperature room (for monitoring the endurance of cows exposed to Minnesota winters) and rooms housing small animals, in cages (mice, rats, and guinea pigs). It was my first experience with this type of facility. The original building, built in the late 1940s, was only 2 stories, but because of a sloping site, the back windows were very high above ground so to facilitate window washing a type of window was installed that could be rotated to the interior. Observing a window washing crew on long, somewhat unstable, extension ladders, I asked why they didn't work from the interior by simply rotating the windows. They were astonished as no one had ever mentioned this feature. Hugh Peacock finally accumulated enough money (after several trips to England) enabling him to buy a large carriage house, part of a once magnificent estate overlooking an area just southwest of downtown Minneapolis (near and above the Walker Art Center). Hugh did a splendid job in creating a grand 2-story home and the whole office (including wives) was invited for a housewarming party. There was an office picnic each summer (wives included) which would continue late into the night and on one occasion an electrical engineer couldn't find his wife (he was concerned that she might be sleeping under one of the cars) so we did a flashlight search but never did find that woman. I was always amazed that everyone made it home without a DUI arrest. Bob Slaight, who could never seem to find the right woman, would go home each summer, which was in the Appalachian part of upstate New York. He said it was like a journey into a "dogpatch" cartoon with rusting cars and appliances scattered in the yard, the old folks sitting in rockers on a rickety wood porch, vines growing through windows into the house. Bob and I became very good friends. One Christmas party at the office Jim McBurney brought in a WWI German helmet (Stahlholm) for me to wear but unfortunately it was missing the liner and chin strap so it sat low and wobbly. Dave Bennet said I looked ridiculous and that no Warsaw Jew would have been intimidated. Christmas was always a bit of a trying time for Dave, so for relief he and I created some Jewish Christmas carols such as: "Away with the manager", "Oh come now ye faithful", "Silent Night, Silent Night", and Dave's favorite "Goddamn ye merry gentlemen."
            The good times ("are gone and fading fast away"): I wasn't aware of it then, but these were indeed "the good times", certainly the happiest days of Marie's life, with her four small children. Rollin especially, growing from a baby into a little boy (Rollin felt he was now a "big boy" so he got the child bed and moved into the room with Conrad. The baby crib was permanently retired and Marie had her sewing room once more. She made hooded winter coats for Caroline and Rosalind. I cleaned out the ash dump in the fireplace (it was filled to the top, never cleaned I'm certain as there were burned fragments of 1920s Norwegian newspapers at the basement clean out opening) so we could enjoy wood fires on cold winter evenings. Bob Slaight, from the office, had 2 season tickets for Minneapolis Symphony concerts (at that time they performed in the University auditorium) and knowing that we loved classical music, but that symphony tickets were beyond our means, he offered us his tickets for a concert and said he would babysit for the evening. The kids loved Bob, piled all over him, but actually did get to bed at the schedule time. There was a stair from the second-floor central hall up to the attic, which had a floor and windows but was otherwise unfinished and one afternoon I heard a loud commotion coming from the attic. Marie and the girls were standing, fixated, and screaming as they had seen a bat. I couldn't find the bat which was probably frightened and hiding because of all the noise. Marie, always enterprising and full of ideas, decided that the main room of the basement needed to become more of a winter play area (it had wood paneled walls, asphalt tile floors and a ceiling but nothing else). She found plans on how to build a climbing apparatus and slide so she bought the lumber and proceeded single-handedly to build the thing (except I had to get a brace and bit to drill holes for the wood cross bars of the climber). I still have the one slide, making it into a basement work table. Marie had met Bob Beerstecher at an office party (Bob was an architect, born in the Dutch East Indies, the family fled to Australia in 1942 to escape the Japanese invasion, and moved to South Africa after the war and finally Bob got his architectural degree in Canada then came to Minnesota). Marie had met Alice Chelmo as I was still doing art work for the Sunday morning TV show. Marie decided that Bob and Alice would make a good couple, that she would be the matchmaker, and so started campaigning for me to invite Bob for dinner (I felt like the narrator in "Glass Menagerie" whose mother pressed him relentlessly to bring a "gentleman caller" for dinner"). I was certain that Bob would have no interest in Alice Chelmo, but I finally succumbed and extended an invitation to poor Bob. Marie immediately invited Alice and started planning the dinner. The kids were fed and sent upstairs. Marie prepared a splendid feast (dinner was served in the actual dining room) and it all transpired as scripted but the matchmaking, as I expected, came to naught (Bob later moved back to Canada and married a Canadian girl). That spring, Marie, always restless for something new and different, (I was usually fully engrossed in office projects, working many nights and weekends) saw a notice that St. Paul was closing an old school and selling the furnishings. She decided that we could create our own "school" and so we acquired 4 old school desks (with ink wells, book spaces, folding seats and cast iron frames for which I think we only paid a dollar each). I mounted the desks by pairs on 2x4 runners and our dining room became a school room (we still have 2 of these desks, often refinished, and sitting on the front porch in Cincinnati).
            Fourth of July weekend the folks came up from Sioux City for a visit (more new dresses for Caroline and Rosalind). They had bought a retirement home (for a planned 1966 retirement) in Rapid City, South Dakota where Ken, Kathy and their kids would live in the place until then. By August it was vacation time and Marie had a new inspiration - Camping. State and Federal campgrounds were inexpensive, no reservations required, and we would be free to go when and where we planned. First stop was Sears on University Avenue where we bought the basics, consisting of a large tent (3 compartment, blue water-resistant canvas), sleeping bags, cook stove (folding metal, propane fueled), ice chest and Coleman lantern (this camping gear would serve us for many years). St. Croix State Park, on the Wisconsin line about 70 miles north of St. Paul, was our first camping destination. The kids were wild with excitement, running in and out, as I started putting up the tent, trying to sort out the intricacies of the aluminum frame, Marie watching it all with gemütlich pleasure. The kids had one end of the tent, Marie and I the other, and the center room, full stand-up height, was a common space. A young couple camped next to us, no tent, slept in their small convertible, tried to cover themselves with blankets but were eaten alive by mosquitoes (our tent had screened windows and a screened door); the kids were attacked by deer flies at the swimming beach; Rosalind got sunburned (a chronic problem with redheads), the ground was hard (we hadn't thought about air mattresses), but we never had a better vacation.
            There was a fierce hail storm (summer 1964) and a few days later an insurance man paid us a visit. After inspecting the roof, he said that the damage was such that we were entitled to a new roof. We saw this as good fortune and soon had now dark gray shingles to replace the original blue. This also seemed an opportune time to have the exterior wood trim painted (the old blue paint was in poor shape), also in a dark gray, and to replace the old wood storm/screen windows with aluminum combination windows (changing the windows in spring and fall was a major task). By late summer we had a very different looking house).
            The new congregation at the Lutheran High School, made up mostly of motivated young couples, was putting together the program of fall activities and we were pressed to become more involved. Marie, it seemed, was becoming somewhat reclusive and wanted no part of it so we transferred our membership, once again, to Peace Lutheran Church, an older staider congregation in a suburb just north of St. Anthony Park. After Labor Day, it was time for Caroline's first day of kindergarten so I escorted her to school and back and she obediently followed the schedule without a fuss (Conrad, who by then had his own friends, was not about to be seen with a little sister). Soon, Caroline would walk home at noon with a neighbor girl, Joleen Johnson, who was in first grade (Joleen's father was a St. Paul policeman) but one noon Caroline and Joleen did not arrive home at the expected time. Marie was frantic. Joleen's mother called Mr. Johnson and soon the neighborhood was swarming with patrol cars. I set out on foot tracing the girls' route and after some time I found them, walking along the sidewalk, Caroline crying. Joleen had persuaded Caroline that they should explore an old shed but unfortunately the door had closed behind them and it took Joleen nearly an hour to figure out how to get the door open again.
At this time, the canvas seats and arms of our British officer chairs had become warm and tattered; the office had another fabulous buying opportunity, this time an upgrade to black leather rather than canvas. We acquired two new chairs (those chairs survived more than 45 years, finally disintegrating in Cincinnati - I still have the wood components for both sets of chairs).
            Haircuts: I bought an electric hair clipper which had various attachments for different hair styles abd about one a month the boys got a haircut, generally shorter on top and generally tapered on the sides and back. Marie was much more of a perfectionist, so the girls haircuts were long and tempestuous sessions, resulting in sort of a modified page boy, neatly done with a hand clipper and comb.
            In early October Rollin suddenly became quite ill. His usually happy face was quite pale and he could barely offer a smile. Marie took him to our doctor and they did some tests. A few days later Marie called me at the office. She was crying. The test results had come in; "Please come home - Rollin has leukemia."
            The darkening: In 1964, there was no cure for childhood leukemia. Our doctor had us take Rollin to St. Paul Children's Hospital. He was given blood transfusions which brought back his color but he was still a very sick little boy. They said there was little else that they could do, but that University Hospital in Minneapolis had an experimental treatment program for childhood leukemia so we took Rollin to University Hospital and enrolled him their program. The doctors at University were very professional and kind, but also quite honest. They had an experimental drug, which could bring about a temporary remission, perhaps as much as a year, but it was not a permanent cure. They had organized a parent support group which would meet periodically with the doctors and everything that was known about the disease was explained. The cause at that time was completely unknown. We were quizzed about anything unusual or different that might have happened in later summer or early fall. I had sprayed some pine trees in our sideyard for a scale insect infestation and we had adopted a kitten (Marie immediately sent the poor little fellow back to the shelter) but these happening, as we know now, had no connection with the onset of Rollin's leukemia. The only positive suggestion that the doctors could offer to the group was that they should consider having another child. Marie said there would be no more children as Rollin was going to fully recover.
            For many weeks, we visited Rollin every night at the hospital. Conrad, Caroline and Rosalind came along but were not allowed into the ward. As Rollin gradually began to improve, we brought him out to the corridor (a bare, windowless space) where we walked back and forth (carrying him), so that he would not forget his brother and 2 sisters. Rollin lost much of his hair and the drug gave him a very round face, but by December he was deemed to be in remission and we brought him home. Mother and Dad came up from Sioux City for Christmas, the car loaded with presents. After church on Christmas Eve Dad was able to distract the kids outside at the front of the house (he said that he might have caught a glimpse of Santa), which enabled me to quickly move all the presents from the basement furnace room the living room. The kids eagerly tore into Santa's largess in which Rollin got a fire truck that he could sit in and pedal. Conrad got an electric train (I couldn't wait until he was ten years old); Caroline and Rosalind got dolls, doll furniture and more fancy dresses. Marie and I were exhausted.





MINNESOTA 1965 - FINAL ACT

            Moving on: Rollin's condition gradually improved (again the doctors advised us that this would only be temporary) as his blond hair grew out again and the puffiness of his face largely disappeared. There was a young woman (I've forgotten her name), a student at the St. Paul Campus, who was staying just down the street on Raymond and she went to our church so on Sunday morning we would pick her up. One Sunday, after she got in the car, I did my usual quick U-turn, and then noticed that she looked a bit disheveled. Caroline shouted "Daddy! Don't do that again. She almost fell out of the car!" (apparently, I swung around before she had a chance to close the door).
            On a late spring evening our fledermaus friend paid us another visit. I managed to guide him into the boy's bedroom, closed the door and opened the front window. Conrad watched in wonder as the bat circled and looped around the room but Rollin cried in fear. The bat finally made his way out the window (I had asked the painter the year before to look for a bat opening but he had no luck - bats can squeeze through very small gaps). Mother and Dad came up in June and we drove out to the new Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen just west of Minneapolis. On the 4th of July, the 4 kids and I went to the St. Anthony Park parade. Marie had let her hair grow long (a first) which I thought it looked great but she said she hated it and it was soon cut short again. There was more work on the house including a new front door with just a narrow lite and a new door from the "sewing room" to the balcony, which had full glass with a screen insert, giving us a great view east to the university campus.
            In late July, we took another camping vacation which the last time there would be six of us. First stop was St. Croix State Park (this time we had air mattresses), then up to Pattison State Park in Wisconsin, just south of Superior. One Saturday afternoon I went to the office to work on a drawing so I took Conrad and Rollin and we all sat each at our own boards, Conrad and Rollin busily drawing just like their Dad.
            Last call at 4016 4th Avenue: Labor Day weekend we drove down to Sioux City; we also drove out to Charter Oak to visit the Fiene's, Uncle Paul, Tante Julie and Irma; I wasn't aware at the time, of course, that it would be my last stay at the old Sioux City house (by the next year we would be in Cincinnati and the folks would have sold the place, after 31 years, and moved to Rapid City). Rollin's health was starting to decline.
            After Labor Day, another first day of school, this time for Rosalind, all dressed up in one of Mother's outfits and as I had done for her 2 older siblings I took Rosalind to her first kindergarten class. After that Caroline dutifully escorted her little sister (those first walks seemed like a bother then, but how I wish I could relive each of those events). Another furniture opportunity at the office: some of the guys came up with an idea of how to make a dining table. Steel logs with an integral top bar could be secured to a solid core door, and if ordered in large quantity form an iron works would be available at a very good price. Our kitchen table was in bad shape so I joined table leg club, bought a solid core hardwood door (cut down to a 5-foot length), added veneer strips to top and bottom edges, applied stain and urethane finish, attached the steel leg components, and voila, we had a new table. This table traveled with us to Cincinnati, and after more than 50 years serves well as a dining room table. In October, my cousin Lorenz Forehlich paid us a visit, together with his fiancée, Mary Hoffman. Lorenz's first wife had died in 1964 and he and Mary were married in 1966.
            Change of Venue: That fall Marie started talking about leaving Minneapolis/St. Paul, saying that the winters were too cold and too long, and that she wanted to get away from her family (although, except for her brother James, we never saw them). Perhaps it had something to do with Rollin. As the weeks went by she became more anxious about wanting to leave. As my career seemed to be stagnating at HGA I wasn't totally opposed to a move. I mentioned this to Jim Sorenson (a good and trusted friend). He had heard from Al Holmes, who had left HGA the year before and was working for the University of Wisconsin in Madison, that the University was looking for an architect. I talked to Al and he arranged an interview so I took an early morning train to Madison. Al graciously picked me up at the depot, drove me around the city, to the interview and finally to the airport for an evening flight home. The interview went well but I was not offered a job but while I was disappointed at first, I realize now what a blessing it was, to be largely confined to Madison (although a very lovely city) in a less than exciting (although probably very secure) routine. Marie continued checking the newspaper want ads and found something that looked interesting in which an unnamed out-of-town firm would be conducting interviews in Minneapolis. I sent a resume to the Post Office box number and received an immediate reply. The firm was A.M. Kinney Inc. from Cincinnati, Ohio, and they would be conducting interviews at a downtown Minneapolis hotel on a certain date so I arranged an interview time (I knew that Cincinnati was in Ohio, but had its location confused with Cleveland). I met with none other than Russel Bandomer, President of A.M. Kinney, took an extensive test, and asked for what I considered an outrageous salary of $1000 per month. Mr. Bandomer asked me to come to Cincinnati (at their expense) for a final interview. I asked Jim Sorenson his opinion and he said "Go!". I took a few days of vacation time and booked a morning flight to Cincinnati. Marie and the kids saw me off at the airport and as the plane pulled away from the gate I said a prayer, asking that they would all be safe until my return.
            At the airport (the Cincinnati airport had moved to northern Kentucky in the late 1950s) I rented a car and had my first view of Cincinnati from the Kentucky hills as they descend into the Ohio River valley - a spectacular and memorable sight as the city spreads out. AMK had reserved a room at the Vernon Manor, a larger, then elegant hotel a short distance from the office (in an area known as Avondale, about 2 miles north of downtown). The AMK office, 2900 Vernon Place, was a fairly new 4 story curtain wall type building, typical of 1960's architecture. A large handsome home immediately to the north (on the corner of Vernon Place and University Avenue) housed the AMK structural/civil department; a large home immediately to the south housed the small AMK interiors group (which went by the somewhat pretentious name "Design Art Corporation") and a photo studio. The firm had about 400 employees of whom 40 were in architectural group, which went by the name of "A.M. Kinney Associates" (under Ohio law, at that time, architectural firms had to be individual practitioners or partnerships, not corporations). In the morning, I met with Mr. Bandomer, had a brief meeting with none other than Mr. A.M. Kinney Sr. founder and C.O.E. of AMK, who related how he had started the company in 1929 and with hard work and by the grace of God had survived the Depression and World War II, and I was then given a tour of the place. I was introduced to Robert Hartner Snyder, chief partner and head of the architectural group, who until recently had been director of the Cranbrook Academy in Detroit (which I had visited during my student days). Mr. Snyder's predecessor, Charles Burchard, had taken the position as head of the architectural school at the University of North Carolina. Mr. Bandomer then laid out the terms of my employment: AMK agreed to my salary request. Overtime pay would be added under a "time bank" system, there would be 2 weeks of paid vacation initially, increased to 4 weeks over a designated time period, a subsidized medical plan, a parking space as soon as one became available and payment of all moving expenses. AMK wanted me to start in early December and as a professional architect I would be expected to obtain my Ohio registration without delay. I was impressed with the quality of the architectural staff, and their seeming determination to produce a high quality contemporary design and the monetary package was also a consideration. I accepted the offer and would soon be an employee of A.M. Kinney Associates. On the late-night flight home, there were only a few passengers in the large dark plane (this was before deregulation so flights were at scheduled times regardless of bookings). We passed high above the lights of Chicago, which I would do many times in the coming years. I took a cab back to Raymond Avenue.
            Marie was delighted and excited. She would be away from the long cold winters, away from her family (except closer to brother James who was now in Washington D.C.), away from Sioux City and my family, and away from the unending financial stress (those were her dreams and expectations). Although we were hardly aware, Minneapolis and St. Paul had been changing as the cities were now encircled by freeways, their tentacles extending inward. People were moving to the suburbs, the downtowns were becoming collections of cold office towers and many old neighborhoods we knew were dying, dismembered by new highways. We had started shopping at "Applebaums" a local supermarket chain when we noticed a very large new store on University Avenue - "Krogers", which we soon discovered was an uber supermarket chain based in Cincinnati. Dayton's (the downtown department store), looking to the future, started a discount chain "Target" (on a summer afternoon, Conrad and I were at a Target store in a northern suburb and while walking back to the car I noticed that sunlight streaming through the leaves was creating crescent shaped patterns of light on the pavement caused by a partial solar eclipse). Finding a new job, I found, was the easy part and now came the difficult tasks. It all had to happen very quickly, which was probably a good thing.
            Painful memories: I sat down with Dick Hammel and Curt Green, the architectural partners who had interviewed me more than 7 years before and I told them I was leaving for a faraway city and a different life. They didn't say much and wished me well. I had to pass my work load on to others, clean up various loose ends and empty my desk. There was a farewell event at the office, uncharacteristically quiet and subdued and I was given a book of contemporary architectural design. Looking back at the comradery, professionalism and learning opportunities at Hammel and Green, I realize now it was among the best of times in my architectural career. Lee Dahlen called me in Cincinnati after a time, asking how I was doing and saying I would be welcomed back anytime. For a few years, I exchanged letters with Bob Slaight. I never again saw any of these long-time colleagues, not a single one.
            Real Estate: Selling our house was by far the most stressful part of the departure episode. We had to sell the house quickly and we also decided, to save the realtors fee, that we could sell the house ourselves. Because the housing market was a bit soft at the time, and because we wanted a quick sale (except for a new roof which was paid by insurance, new combination windows, 2 new doors, and a few rooms painted, we had neither the time nor money for major home improvements), so we set the asking price at only $21,000. I arranged for a lawyer I knew from Jehovah Church, Douglas Seltz, to do the legal paperwork and we ran ads in both the St. Paul and Minneapolis papers but it was mid November and time was running short. There were many responses and several offers, which we thought were too low. Finally, a couple, after a lengthy inspection of the house, offered us $20,500, which we agreed was acceptable. They did not want to give us "earnest money", however, until they had first talked to their banker (it was a Saturday afternoon), so the matter was not fully settled. The very next day, a Mr. John Rutford and his wife appeared and they said it was exactly the sort of house in exactly the type of neighborhood that they had been looking for so they offered $20,500, and immediately offered a $500 "earnest money" check which I was a bit hesitant about because of the previous offer, but Marie reasoned, probably correctly, that we had no assurance that we would ever see the first buyer again so we accepted Mr. Rutford's offer and took his "earnest money" check. A few days later the first buyer called saying that everything had been cleared at his bank and he was ready to give us an "earnest money" check. When I told him the house had been sold, he was very angry and upset. The next evening, I got a call from a lawyer who said that we had agreed to sell the house to his client, that they had been making plans, that the wife was in constant tears, and that we would be sued if the house wasn't sold to his client. I spent a sleepless night and decided I needed some legal advice so I made an appointment to see Douglas Seltz at his office. It was a Saturday morning, and Mr. Seltz was involved with another client so he sent me to speak to his partner, a short, gruff man with an Italian name (which I've forgotten). I told him the story and that I had a moral dilemma as I had actually agreed to sell the house to the first buyer. "Bah!" he said "Business is business and church is church!". He explained that legally the buyer is the one who first presented "earnest money". Mr. Seltz apparently talked to the other lawyer and there were no more threatening phone calls. As I had to leave in early December for Cincinnati, Marie had to deal with the final paperwork and legal details. She was a hard bargainer, and told Mr. Rutford that if he really wanted to have the house he would have to pay the legal costs, which he agreed to do. When I came back to St. Paul shortly before Christmas, the paperwork for the deed transfer was ready for our signatures. The final selling price was $20,700.
            AMK agreed to pay our moving expenses, but we had to make arrangements with a long distance moving company. The planned move would take place the week between Christmas and New Years, but at that time we did not have a specific Cincinnati destination. We decided that Marie would keep the VW Bus in St. Paul, but that I would need a car for the initial drive to Cincinnati and for transportation at the new location so I bought a used car, a 1962 VW Beetle, hoping that it get me to Cincinnati plus a few more years of service.
            In the midst of all this turmoil, our Rollin was gradually losing his battle with leukemia. His beautiful blond hair was thinning again but he was a brave little boy, always smiling, shedding tears only when he knew we were taking him to the hospital for another test. Rollin's medical records were sent to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, which the doctors assured us was one of the best in the country (they were right), but they also reminded us that neither they nor the doctors in Cincinnati could do anything to arrest Rollin's decline, an inevitability which Marie put out of her mind. At this time, there was no cure for childhood leukemia but by the 80s some degree of success was achieved with a combination and controlled dosage of medicines providing a lasting remission.
            On Saturday, December 5, 1965, I loaded the VW Beetle, said my goodbyes and began the long drive to Cincinnati, with the intent of spending a night somewhere in the Chicago area. As I neared Madison, Wisconsin, a warning light came on telling me that the car was no longer generating electricity so I had to stop in Madison. I found a phone and called my old classmate/roommate Frank McNutt who was still working in Madison (he left St. Paul in 1957) and he immediately came to my rescue. We dropped off my car at a VW garage (they were closed as it was late Saturday afternoon) and found a nearby motel. Frank said he had talked to "Willie" (Rollin Williamson), another old classmate, also working in Madison, and that they would pick me up later in the evening for a dinner get-together. Willie brought his wife, Lillian, and the 4 of us spent several hours recalling school days at Iowa State, and updating the current state of our lives. Willie was the most talented designer in our class, but I don't' recall ever seeing published work from that firm in Madison. It was the last time I saw Willie. I had to "cool my heels" at the motel on Sunday and went to the VW garage on Monday morning as soon as they opened. They graciously gave me priority service, replaced the generator and I was soon on my way, driving non-stop as fast as the old VW would go. I arrived at the A.M. Kinney office late on Monday afternoon. The personnel lady was upset that I hadn't called to inform them that I would be late.
            AMK had rented space in a large old house on Vernon Place, a short distance south of the office, to provide temporary housing for incoming employees. This would be my home for the next 3 weeks. It was essentially a rooming house (gone now, replaced by an apartment building) and I was put in a small suite with 2 bedrooms, a sitting room and bath. My "roommate" was Art Auburn, recently brought on as a senior project architect. Art was about 50 years old, congenial, a heavy smoker, but clearly out of his element (he knew less about architectural planning, design, and detailing than even the junior architects at HGA. At the front sidewalk of this place I had my first encounter with the fruit of a female ginkgo tree.
            The first day of 34 years: The employee entrance was at the ground level (basement) adjacent to the packing area. On the elevator with a group of complete strangers (the architects were on the fourth floor) I was startled when one of the guys turned to a short middle-aged man next to me and said "Hi Fink" ("fink" at that time was a very derogatory term) but the man smiled and said nothing. I was soon to learn that he was a fellow project architect and that his name was Hy Fink (Fink is also German for finch). I was assigned a desk, drafting table, telephone and employee number and I was introduced to the other project architects, most of whom were middle-aged or older and who had been with AMK for many years. In addition to Hy, Larry Pruisner, Erich Zwertschok, Bill Cordes and Bill Fetzer are a few names that I remember. I also met Walter Connelly, the recently hired architectural specifications writer, Cris Kontanickas, the young head of the architectural design group, George Brabander, a young draftsman who had started at AMK just out of high school as a mail boy, and Mary Johnson, a tall, gangly woman in her late thirties, who had an architectural degree but never progressed beyond drafting work, but who, I was to learn, was "rumor control" for the architectural department (she had contacts in accounting and all the other departments and there was a constant stream of visitors at her desk). At that time, there was something of a pall hanging over the group because, they told me, a senior project architect had been killed only 2 weeks before in a plane crash at the Cincinnati airport when a commercial jet came in too low to clear a Kentucky hill. Later that afternoon a light snow began falling (not much more than a "dusting" in a Minnesota sense) but people gathered anxiously at the windows and soon the speaker announced that the office was closing because of the weather. I was astonished but this was my introduction to the hysteria generated in Cincinnati by a snowfall that typical even to this day.
            My primary task during this initial stay in Cincinnati was to find a place for the family to live. Marie and I had decided that we would not buy a house until we were more familiar with the area, so that meant finding rental property (we also decided that we wanted to avoid the suburbs if at all possible). I searched throughout Hyde Park, Mt. Lookout and Clifton where there were many houses for sale but almost nothing for rent. Finally, at the far northern end of the city, in a neighborhood called Roselawn, I found a single house for rent in a relatively new subdivision. The previous renter had just moved out (possibly evicted). It was a single story 3-bedroom house with 2 baths, living room, dining room, and kitchen, with a partial basement and garage below. I had to sign a 2-year lease but was assured that we could break the lease at any time as long as we found another renter to move in. The address was 7927 Greenland Place and it would be our home for the next 6 months. I called the Cincinnati and St. Paul school boards as soon as we had a firm address so that they could start the process of transferring records from St. Paul to Roselawn Elementary School.
            As the rooming house had no cooking facilities, we temporary residents had to "eat out", usually at a Frische's (a Cincinnati restaurant chain) on the corner of Reading Road and University (now long gone), or a few times downtown at the Cricket (a long-time Cincinnati establishment, now gone) and once at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Newport (destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1977). Christmas was approaching so I went to find something for Marie (she was doing the gifts for the kids). Downtown Cincinnati in the evenings before Christmas was a bustling place with crowds of people buying gifts at the 4 department stores: McAlpin's (gone), Mobley and Carew (gone), Pogue's (gone), and Shilito's (which became Lazarus, which became Macy's, still downtown but in a new location). The store windows were lighted with Christmas displays and there were strolling musicians. I fell in love with the city. On Sundays, I went to Concordia Church downtown (Over-the-Rhine, an old German neighborhood), a large congregation (still had German service once a month), with a pastor, Arthur Scheidt, and an assistant pastor, Herb Schulze, who sang the liturgy in a magnificent tenor voice. On December 20, 1965 AMK had a Christmas party at the Kenwood Country Club which was carefully planned with precision and great detail and all employees, together with their spouses, were expected to attend (the personnel director tried to get me to fly Marie down for the event, at their expense). There were over 700 guests so each employee was given an arrival time and an assigned seat, the higher the rank the closer to the head table. The food was excellent, but there were absolutely no alcoholic beverages (this was a far cry from Hammel and Green Christmas parties). Mr. Kinney, Sr. was a "born again" Christian so the speaker for the evening was some sort of evangelical radio preacher (it was definitely not a Lutheran Christmas message) so Mr. Kinney gave the speaker a generous check for his ministry and we were then dismissed (by table). Bonus checks were passed out the employees as they left (as a 2-week employee I did not expect, nor did I receive, a bonus) but there was an undercurrent of discontent among the employees as they compared the size of their bonuses with the donation given to the speaker.
            The letter: The rooming house had only a single phone in the center hall (not much privacy), so I called St. Paul from my office phone. I would always ask Marie how Rollin was doing and she would say he was happy and doing fine. I'm sure that Marie never wrote a personal letter, certainly not to me, perhaps to her brother James in Washington. One day, shortly before my return to St. Paul, a letter arrived at the office. It was from Marie. She wrote of our love, that she very much missed me and dreamt of me at night. I read that letter many times. I wish I had kept it, but at the time it seemed too intimate.
            The war in Vietnam was starting to intensify and Art Auburn's only son was in the Marines and he was quite concerned that he might be sent into battle. Late in December Art received notice that his son had been killed in a vehicle accident at his training base.
            A few days before Christmas I flew back to St. Paul (the flight paid for AMK as part of my moving expenses but the VW Beetle stayed in Cincinnati). Things at Raymond Avenue were the same, but not the same. Marie had everything organized and scheduled. She had dealt with the lawyer, bank and now owner so that all was ready for the final closing and title transfer and now that we had a Cincinnati address, she set up pickup and delivery dates with the moving company (she had the movers deliver cardboard cartons and had begun the packing) plus she did the Christmas shopping for the kids keeping everything hidden (toy purchases had to be at a minimum because the limited space in our VW bus), and put up a Christmas tree. Marie was no longer the shy 20-year-old that I remember from that summer evening many years before. She was an independent, strong-willed young woman of 30, mother of four children, with a determination to leave Minneapolis/St. Paul behind with no regrets or looking back. I didn't have that certainty. HGA became a very larger and successful architectural firm so I often wondered what my role would have been if I had not left. Rollin's health had noticeably declined during my absence. Marie and I were together again but it was a hectic and exhausting few days.
            We tried to make Christmas as exciting and memorable as possible for the kids since it would be their last in St. Paul. Marie decided that we should get a photo of the four of them with Santa (something we had never done before) so we went to Dayton's in downtown Minneapolis, looked at the Christmas windows, always a masterful display, and then went to see Santa. Conrad, Caroline, and Rosalind were suitably awe-struck, but Rollin, probably not feeling well, cried through the whole event. Marie also decided that in lieu of a mass of toys, the kids should get a puppy. Somewhere she found a very small purebred miniature French poodle who was generally brown, had a formal kennel name (and pedigree papers) but we called him "Poochie". On Christmas Eve, the kids were somewhat puzzled as they did get toys, but they certainly hadn't asked Santa for a puppy. Poochie, after being confined to the basement furnace room, was wild with excitement, running about with uncontrolled energy.
            A few days after Christmas the movers came. As planned, we and the movers would leave on the same day, and meet 2 days later at the house in Cincinnati. We packed the VW Bus with as much as we could cram in, leaving space for Marie and me, 4 kids and Poochie. I walked through the now empty house one more time, locked the doors, took a last look at 1384 Raymond Avenue, and we were on our way. (Many years later I drove by the house - it looked very much the same but I don't think Marie or the kids ever saw the place again). It was nearly 10 years before that I had arrived in the Twin Cities, carefree, optimistic and certain that this is where my future lay but now, leaving, I was certainly no longer carefree and very much unsure of the future.
            We arrived in Cincinnati Wednesday afternoon, December 30, 1965. We drove into the city on Harrison Avenue (the I-74 Interstate had not yet entered from the west) where Marie was amazed at the large old brick houses. We went directly to the house on 7927 Greenland but there was a notice from the moving company stating that our load was in the front of the van (immediately behind the truck cab), that furniture for 2 other households would have to be delivered first, that the New Year's holiday and weekend would intervene, and, therefore, our furniture could not be delivered until Monday or Tuesday of the following week. We had to find a place to stay. I remembered that I had seen a large motel on Reading Road, not far from our house in Roselawn so I called the office and they said they would cover the cost of a temporary stay (one room) as part of my moving expenses. The Carousel on Reading Road at that time was one of the premier motels in the Cincinnati area, havingseveral 2-story units with guest rooms and a main building with a lobby, restaurant and shops (over the years the place began to fall into disrepair and eventually was torn down). Our room had 2 double beds, with Marie and the girls in one bed, Conrad and Rollin in the other. (Poochie, with his water dish, food dish and doggie bed, was the sole occupant of the house.) I had to go back to the rooming house on Vernon Place for a bed. Marie entertained the kids with a few games and toys we had brought in the car, and the room had a TV. Fortunately, there were a few eating places not too far along Reading Road (the Carousel restaurant was a bit pricey). One day Herb Schulze brought over several games and toys (left over from a Concordia Christmas gifting event) which was a lifesaver as the kids were getting very bored and restless. I remember holding Rollin in my lap one evening as we played some sort of numbers game. On New Year's Eve Marie and I watched the ball drop in Time Square, the kids were sound asleep, this being our introduction to life in Cincinnati. The movers finally delivered our furniture to 7927 Greenland Place and our move to Cincinnati was complete. Minneapolis/St. Paul was far away and soon (for the most part) forgotten.





CINCINNATI - ANOTHER ROAD TAKEN
New Beginnings

            The first weeks in Cincinnati, January 1966, were gray and overcast, much like Minnesota in late March. The kids loved the rented house as it had no stairs and they had their very own bathroom (the master bedroom had a separate bathroom). School, however, was another matter. Our neighborhood, Roselawn, was then largely Jewish and the Roselawn Elementary School was one of the top schools in the city. There were only a few other highly rated public elementary schools in Cincinnati (Clifton, Hyde Park, Kilgour) so these neighborhoods were sought after in the real estate market (all this changed with the 1970's Federal interventions). Caroline and Rosalind were not happy at their new school and one day as I was driving past (the school was only a few blocks from our house) I saw them standing alone at the fence, looking very sad and forlorn so I stopped to give them a few words of encouragement. Conrad didn't seem to have a problem mixing in. There was, however, more bad news from the school: St. Anthony Park was one of the better public elementary schools in St. Paul, but did not meet the standards of the Roselawn school so Conrad and Caroline were required to take extra work to bring them up to grade level. (For Rosalind, still in kindergarten, this apparently was not a concern). For several weeks, in the evenings at least twice a week, I took Conrad and Caroline to a private tutor.





Erlkönig

            In spite of Marie's optimism, Rollin's health continued to decline. I took Rollin to Cincinnati Children's Hospital for scheduled tests (Rollin's complete medical history had been sent from Minneapolis). At that time the hospital was housed primarily in a large 1930s era brick building, now demolished or engulfed in the massive complex that is now Cincinnati Children's, one of the nation's premier children's hospitals. Rollin cried bitterly when he realized that this was another hospital. As the day passed Rollin became weaker and could no longer hold down food so we had to admit him into Children's Hospital. I would visit him at noon (the hospital was not far from the AMK office) and Marie and I would come in the evening. Rollin was dying and there was nothing more that could be done. Marie finally faced this reality. Early one morning we got a call from the hospital - Rollin had died that morning, January 13, 1966. As we dressed Marie wept and called out Rollin's name. We fed and dressed the kids, dropped them off at school and then went on to Children's Hospital. The hospital people were very kind (I'm sure they had been through this many times) and allowed us to sit alone in Rollin's room for some time. Rollin lay quiet and at peace, his suffering finally over, "and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."
            We had transferred our church membership from Peace Lutheran in Minnesota to Concordia Lutheran in Over-the-Rhine. As we were newcomers to the city, they immediately came to our assistance. A funeral service and date were arranged and an older member, Otto Filter, said his son-in-law was a partner in a funeral home where they would make all the preparations including finding a grave site, at a minimal cost. We wanted no embalming, and Marie insisted that she would dress Rollin one last time in his best clothes. At the funeral home Marie came out of the preparation room after a while, crying, saying she couldn't do it alone and wanted me to help. Poor Rollin, lay there, his wasted body was covered with needle marks and bruises, evidence of his painful last days. There was a small quiet funeral at Concordia Church where Pastor Schulze conducted the service. Surprisingly there were a number of Concordia people at the service, most of whom we hardly knew. The day was cold and cloudy at the brief graveside service. After Pastor Schulze said a final prayer and Rollin's casket was lowered, Marie asked him to recite the verse from Ecclesiastes 3:20, "All go into one place; all are of dust, and all turn to dust again." We drove home in silence, not certain that the kids really understood that Rollin was gone, but after a while a little voice (Rosalind's) peeped up "What will happen to all of Rollin's toys?"
            The sadness of Rollin's death, I'm sure, never left Marie. She wanted a grave marker placed (the children's section of Arlington Memorial Gardens in Mount Healthy) with the following inscription:

            A Child of God
            ROLLIN THOMAS FROEHLICH
            Nov. 24, 1962 Jan. 13, 1966





Into the Breach

            After several months at A.M. Kinney Associates, it was decided that I was ready for the big time, and was assigned as project architect for a major building at Ohio State University, the Graduate Research Center for Biological Sciences. By this time Robert Hartner Snyder had been replaced by a Mr. Rathbun. The young head of the architectural design group, Chris Kontanikas, had left and was replaced by Jim Lund, talented and unassuming, about my age (but completely bald). Jim and I immediately began the task of creating a preliminary design. The site was limited but parking spaces were required, so we located parking under the building, a half-level below grade, followed by nine floors of animal facilities, laboratories, classrooms and offices, and capped by a top floor for the mechanical/electrical equipment. There were many meetings with the University people, always in Columbus, at first attended by A.M. Kinney Sr., who insisted that we fly in his new toy "Faith Wind." This plane was a twin engined turboprop with a pilot, copilot and seats for 7 passengers but the engine noise was deafening, changes in altitude were ear-popping, and because we had to fly through rather than over the weather, the flights could be very rough. On one flight, bucking a strong headwind, I noticed that we were moving no faster than cars on the highway below. Carl Wickman, the chief pilot, would try to calm his nervous passengers with phrases such as "Any landing you can walk away from is a good landing" although some landings were indeed quite hard, especially in high winds or on dark, foggy nights. After a time, it became apparent that driving to Columbus was much more convenient (and much cheaper). As final drawings were about to begin, Art Auburn, then deputy director of Architecture, vanished from the scene and Hugo Roeman appeared in his place. Hugo, then in his late forties, had been a high school student in Tallinn, Estonia, when the Russians invaded in 1939. Because Hugo's father owned a small shop he was considered "an enemy of the people". He was arrested (Hugo never saw him again) and Hugo was expelled from school. He and some friends then took a small boat and escaped across the gulf to Finland (the Estonians and Finns are ethnically closely related). A short time later the Russians attacked Finland so Hugo and his friends were given a choice, to either join the Finnish army as part of an "Estonian Brigade" or cut timber in the northern forests. The army seemed a better choice. In spite of a gallant flight, the Finns were forced to surrender, but in June, 1941, when the Germans invaded Russia, the Finns rejoined the fray on the German side. Near the end of the war when the Estonians were assembling for a retreat, a Russian shell landed in their midst. Hugo was wounded in the leg and in the ensuing chaos he did not receive proper medical treatment so by the time he was evacuated to a German hospital ship the leg had to be amputated. After the war, in Germany, Hugo met and married Raja, also an Estonian, and he began his architectural studies. They emigrated to America where he obtained a Masters Degree in Architecture at Princeton. One of Hugo's proudest moments was conversation with Albert Einstein which took place one morning on a Princeton Campus path he encountered Einstein. Hugo said "Guten Morgen" and Albert replied "Guten Morgen."
            Earlier that year I had submitted paperwork for registration with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and was accepted in September 1966, so I was on my way for registration in the state of Ohio. The Biological Sciences project was on a tight schedule so working late at night and Saturdays became routine. Bids for the mechanical systems came in much higher than the estimate so there was a frantic period of redesign and negotiation to get the cost down to an acceptable level. A.M. Kinney Sr. even granted a special dispensation allowing us to work over the Christmas/New Year's holidays. The redesigned mechanical systems, which never worked properly, was rebid and came in at amuch lower cost so construction on the project began in the Spring of 1967. In August of 1967 I received my certificate of architectural registration from the State of Ohio. I was now an Ohio architect.
            The Biological Sciences building had a huge emergency generator on the top floor and a rather complex emergency power distribution system. After construction was completed and the owner took occupancy, we were required to observe and certify a test of the emergency system. The test was scheduled to start on a Sunday morning (early fall of 1968) so that a power shutdown would not disrupt regular operations, and was to last only 2 or 3 hours allowing our team to then return to Cincinnati Sunday evening. When the electric power was cut, the emergency generator did indeed automatically start as planned, but for the most part things began to go quickly awry. Certain fans were to come on line in a timed sequence, designated electrical circuits were to be activated, and one of the four elevators was to remain in service. The designated fans either did not start or started at an incorrect sequence and the designated elevator, rather than parking itself at the ground floor, traveled up and down endlessly, hour after hour. The AMK team worked through the night trying to correct the problems. On Monday morning, the HVAC designer, Joe Sabatini and I decided it was primarily an electrical and control design problem so we headed back to Cincinnati. Joe kept falling asleep at the wheel so I drove most of the way back, fighting to stay awake. Another unfortunate incident at Biological Sciences: The plumbing line for a laboratory water fixture passed through a composition wood panel and a slight leak developed which caused the panel to swell, which in turn broke the fixture completely free. This happened on a Saturday evening and was not discovered until the following Monday morning and as the laboratory was on an upper floor, the damage was extensive and there were many lawsuits. Laboratory panels penetrated by water lines were henceforth specified to be composition stone.
            In June 1967, the mostly black (African-American) area of Avondale exploded with violence and the neighborhood business district, mostly small shops and "mom and pop" businesses were looted and burned, never to recover. As the AMK office was on the edge of the trouble area, Mr. Kinney asked for armed volunteers to watch over the buildings at night and repel firebombers or breakins but fortunately the National Guard quickly established a protective barrier immediately to the north. Clarence Carlson, an engineer who came from Minnesota at the same time that I was recruited, was totally confused by this "burn baby burn" event. He was from a rural area and lamented "I didn't see a black face until I was 16 years old and now I'm to blame for all this". (Clarence packed up his family and fled back to Minnesota.) Another short time architectural employee worthy of mention: Bill McDonald, tall and lanky, in his 30s, a teller of wild stories, his mother, he said, was a prostitute, his father a mobster, he grew up on the streets, was left for dead for several hours after a horrific car accident, narrowly escaped from an exploding tanker plane on a runway in Korea, etc. Nobody believed these tales, but Mary Johnson (rumor control) said she had heard from sources that there was an element of truth in these stories. Bill drove a restored Model A Ford (how he acquired that was another story) and one weekend he was bow hunting bullfrogs with his 10 year old daughter somewhere north of Dayton but the old car broke down so he called his wife from a gas station for a ride home in their other car. Interstate 75 was under construction through Dayton at that time so there were may confusing detours and after driving for some time Bill's wife realized she was back in Cincinnati. Wondering what to do next, she called Bill, he said "nevermind" and hitchhiked back home with his daughter, bow and a bucket of frog's legs. Bill was never happy at AMK saying that the senior architects were "pathetic old men" so he left after about a year.
            Martin Luther King was assassinated April 1968 and once again the city exploded with racial violence. The police and National Guard lost control of several areas, some of which were very close to the AMK offices. Businesses which were not flying a flag at half-mast were being firebombed but unfortunately the AMK office building had no flagpole. A.M. Kinney Jr. (Sr. had retired by this time) ordered a flagpole and at great expense had it immediately installed, flying a flag at half-mast. We were not firebombed. The travel route between the office and Fairview Heights (where we lived after leaving Roselawn) was generally safe, but our neighborhood high school, Hughes High, a magnificent structure built in the early 1900s, and which was about one-third white (mostly Appalachian) overnight became an all black school after some violent incidents (the white kids went to live with relatives in Norwood and the West Side, went to live with grandparents in Kentucky and Tennessee, or simply dropped out of school).
            As the Ohio State Project was nearing completion I was assigned as lead architect for a very large project for General Foods, a Birds Eye Facility in Lafayette, Indiana. The greater part of this plant was dedicated to a new frozen pizza roll product and a smaller part to Cool Whip. The kickoff meeting (early fall of 1968) was at the General Foods headquarters in White Plains, NY. Duane Brumagin, the AMK project manager, Hugo Rooman and I flew into New York City (the first time I had been to the city since the honeymoon trip with Marie 10 years before) and took a cab up to White Plains where the following day, we and several General Foods people, took the General Foods company plane to Dover, Delaware, to inspect a new plant near that city. The return flight (the plane was an older twin engine turboprop, unpressurized) through storms and heavy rain was one of the roughest and most harrowing of my flying experiences. The project was "fast track," which meant that as each portion of the design was completed it was sent out for bids and construction (separate packages were issued for various components, such as site rough grading, footings, and foundations, structural steel, etc). Again, this required many long nights and Saturdays at the office. I was sent to Des Moines to expedite fabrication drawings and production of the precast concrete exterior walls. To speed production of final drawings, Mr. Kinney decided to send part of the work to the newly opened AMK office in Denver. This was an unfortunate decision as coordination became a major problem and much of their work had to be redone, plus the Denver people loaded the project with billable time which caused problems with my budget. Uppermost in the minds of the General Foods and AMK project managers was keeping the project on schedule so cost control became secondary. When the final bids came in, plus the cost of very expensive custom built stainless steel equipment from Germany, General Foods realized that the final cost was way over budget. This was a major crisis, and heads rolled, both at General Foods and AMK. As a final ignominy, when the project was essentially completed in late 1969, the General Foods marketing division determined that the frozen pizza product would not sell according to their previous projections so except for the Cool Whip area, the plant sat empty for many years (eventually it was converted to produce pet food). For me, it was an interesting experience.





Acclimating

            In late January 1966, there was a rare heavy snowfall in Cincinnati; the kids, bundled in winter clothes, built a snowman (it was like back home in Minnesota). Later that winter Pastor Schulze invited us over for dinner where he and his wife Brigitta lived in a duplex at 385 Howell in Clifton, not far from our present Terrace Avenue home. They had 2 girls about the ages of Conrad and Caroline. Marie began exploring our new surroundings and discovered the Roselawn Jewish Center had an indoor swimming pool so she signed up as a member, together with the kids, and they became regulars at the pool. Marie said that they were the only blue eyed fair haired swimmers (except for Caroline, who, with her brown eyes and dark hair, fit right in). Marie began taking a Yoga class but I'm not sure where. We also became aware of a local custom which seemed quite curious to us Northerners in which cleaning ladies, usually middle-aged black women, came by once a week to all the little houses on Greenland Place (the women of these places were not working wives). There was a large hill immediately behind our house, and on the top an open field, empty except for the remains of an old barn. In late march Conrad and I went up to do some kite flying where we saw an older man in bib overalls walking about. He watched us for a while then came over for a chat. "This," he said, "was my farm" (the hill is mostly gone now, cut away for a highway interchange).
            Concordia Church was in Over-the-Rhine, once a bustling German neighborhood, but in 1966 occupied mostly by Appalachians and blacks with many buildings empty and run-down. Conrad regularly watched a TV series "Combat" about a group of American soldiers in WWII France and Germany. One Sunday morning as we were driving in to Over-the-Rhine, I mentioned that it had once been a German area. Conrad, viewing some of the dilapidated buildings, said, "Wow, the German Army must have put up quite a fight." We heard the term "Appalachian" frequently in Cincinnati but it was something completely foreign to the Minnesota vocabulary so our curiosity was piqued. Marie saw a notice about an "Appalachian Festival" in Ripley, West Virginia (there would be local food available and a free campground) so on a June weekend we were on our first camping trip in this new land. It was our first exposure to true mountain music, corn fritters, and sassafras tea. In the campground, we heard gospel singing (much of it spontaneous) and old-time fiddlers. We loved it. From the back of an old truck an older man brought out a rather rough cut and battered board on which he had fastened a number of strings on nails. He produced two bent brass rods and proceeded to bang out a remarkable rendition of "Sweet Georgia Brown". The instrument was a homemade hammered dulcimer and the man was a celebrated musician in those parts, Russel Fluharty. We may have witnessed the last generation of these mountain musicians. In July, in a more daring adventure, we took a camping trip to Cumberland Gap National Park, on the Tennessee/Virginia line. One evening we drove down to the small town of Harrogate, Tennessee where we found a small park and nearby a tiny ice cream stand, in which two little old ladies were selling homemade vanilla ice cream. We had never tasted better ice cream, so the next evening we drove down again but the stand was closed so I walked across the park to a gas station and asked the man what the hours were for the ice cream stand. "Well," he said, "sometimes they's open, and sometimes they ain't" which was probably a very truthful and accurate statement. We also took a trip to Chattanooga, saw the battlefields and did Lookout Mountain. Sometime that summer (1966) Conrad got his first bike but there was little traffic at the far north end of Greenland Place (a no outlet street) so we weren't concerned about safety (at least related to cars).
            By August we started doing some serious house hunting, primarily in the Clifton area. We looked at a very large old house on the northern end of Clifton Avenue (still standing), wood, probably built in the late 1800s which had a large center hall with a grand stair and balcony all around. There was a large dining room served by a butler's pantry and dumbwaiter from the main kitchen below and there was a button under the dining room carpet which sounded a buzzer in the pantry and the kitchen so the kids loved this feature. On an upper floor, there was a stereo room which still hold old steamer trunks with labels of European "Grand Tours", Paris, Berlin, St. Petersburg, cities which I would visit one day. The last residents were an old lady and her maid and after many years alone the lady had died, so her family took a large chandelier from the front hall and some of the furnishings but everything else was left behind. The backyard was huge with a carriage house at the far end. The place was fascinating but Marie and I realized that the cost of maintenance and heating would be beyond our means. Chris Kontanikas, the head architectural designer at AMK, heard that I was looking for a house. He lived in a large house in Fairview Heights, a neighborhood south of and not far from Clifton, and he knew that his neighbor next door was planning to sell. There were three houses, virtually identical in plan, that were built in 1913 on Fairview Avenue by the Alexander Family. An older couple lived in the east house (they were the last of the Alexanders). Chris owned the west house. The center house, 2449 Fairview Avenue belonged to Lou and Icie Towels, a couple in their 60's but Mr. Towels had a serious illness and Mrs. Towels (Icie Towels) wanted to downsize to a smaller place. The 3 houses were huge, solid brick with slate roofs and large front porches with concrete floors and steps. At each house the front door, sidelights, and transom were beveled and leaded German cut glass and the entry foyer had a tile floor and a closet with a full mirrored door. There was a large stair hall, a living room and a very large dining room with a bay window (the upper lites of these windows were stained glass). The kitchen had a small hallway with a stair leading up to the main stair and there was a pantry between the kitchen and dining room, with a bathroom off the dining room (originally a glazed plant conservatory) and a small back porch. The second floor had 3 bedrooms, a large tiled bath with a towel storage cabinet, a tiled toilet room and a hall linen storage cabinet. The third floor had 2 bedrooms, a large cedar lined closet and 2 long narrow storage rooms. The basement, with high plastered ceilings, had a large central space, a root cellar, laundry/hot water heater room, work shop, and a small toilet room (the heating system was hot water radiators). There was a long driveway which led to a two-car garage, a deep lot which dropped into a wood below and an incredible view to the north from Fairview Heights. As originally built, each house had a paneled wainscot in the dining room, a wood colonnade separating the foyer from the front hall, and gas fireplaces at both the living room and a bedroom above. Mrs. Towels explained that her former neighbor to the west was an "interior decorator" who had modernized her house by removing the wood wainscoting, entry colonnade, both fireplaces and changed the large stained glass window at the stair landing to glass block. Mrs. Towels had followed her neighbor's lead but apologized that she hadn't yet removed the living room fireplace or the "old stained glass" in the stair hall (that window was magnificent). Fortunately, no other irreparable damage has been done. We paid $20,000 for this house and the move in date was Sept. 1, 1966. Because we had a lease on the Greenland Place house we had to find a replacement renter without delay (or pay both rent and a house mortgage). We cleaned the place thoroughly and I patched holes and repainted several of the rooms. Luckily we found a renter after only a few days (decent rental property was a rarity in Cincinnati). We moved nearly everything ourselves but had to hire a mover for the large items (refrigerator, beds, sofa, etc). The Fairview kitchen didn't have a stove, so we found a used one and I can't believe that Marie and I carried that heavy stove up the back steps into the house. The only real defect of the Fairview house was that the first-floor bathroom opened directly off the dining room, but this something I thought I could correct. A curious turn of events occurred that fall when Chris Kontanikas took a job in another city and put his house up for sale. The former owners of our house, Mr. And Mrs. Trowels, decided they didn't like living in their smaller place so bought the house from Chris and Icie Towels was happily back in a big house, virtually identical to her former house (2449 Fairview) but even more fully "modernized' by her interior decorator neighbor.





Schultage

            We had to find a new school for the kids almost immediately. Concordia Church operated a parochial school on Central Parkway in Clifton, so that seemed to be a good option. The problem with this choice was that the small fleet of Concordia minibuses did not serve Fairview Heights. Marie was recruited to drive (in the VW bus) our 3 kids plus 2 other kids from the east side of Clifton, to the school and back each day. This was not an easy task especially with the morning traffic and in all sorts of weather and Marie did not enjoy this duty. A few times when she was not feeling well I had to fill in as substitute driver so I could understand why she was not happy. Because of the small class sizes, first and second grades were combined, so Caroline and Rosalind were in the same class, and remained in the same grade for the remainder of their school careers (Rosalind essentially skipped a grade). The kids, however, seemed much happier here than at Roselawn School.
            In the fall and spring, we also volunteered our VW bus to transport inner city kids to parks for Sunday afternoon outings which was a program of Concordia Church called MOULD (Mission of United Love Downtown). It was at one of these outings that we met Ted and Sue Sippel (just college students then, not yet married) who became lifelong friends. Some of Conrad's school friends told him that there was no Santa Claus so Conrad decided to get to the truth of this matter. At this time, (Christmas 1966) we were opening our presents in the morning rather than on Christmas Eve, so per his wish, we made a bed for Conrad in the living room next to the tree, so that he couldn't possibly miss Santa. Conrad was soon fast asleep so Marie and I quietly put the presents around the tree.





Sioux City Farewell

            After 32 years at 4016 4th Avenue (more than 36 years in Sioux City) my folks sold their home and moved to Rapid City, South Dakota in October 1966. They had bought a house in Rapid City more than a year before, so it was not a sudden decision and Ken, Kathy and their kids were temporary occupants of the new place. They had a "garage sale" to get rid of everything that couldn't be moved to Rapid City and Dad thoroughly enjoyed bargaining with potential buyers (I've often wondered what Sioux City memories were sold or left behind). A significant (to me) piece of furniture was saved: A small chest of drawers which served as a hall desk for many years in Sioux City, and which I eventually "inherited" now stands in the front hall of our Terrace Avenue house.





Dog Days

            By spring of 1967 our miniature poodle "Poochie", from our last Christmas in St. Paul, had become an irascible problem as he barked at, chased or attempted to attack anything that approached our house including other dogs, cats, even the mailman. During the day, we kept him in the backyard tethered to a long leash, which in turn had a sliding connection to a clothes line so this gave him considerable freedom of movement, but didn't hinder his furious barking. By then the kids had little interest in Poochie and Marie considered him a nuisance, so he became my responsibility. When I came home from work, often late at night, Poochie knew the sound of my car and would be waiting for me at the door. We would then take long walks on those cold winter nights to the end of Fairview Avenue (many years later I would walk another dog on this same street for this dog's owners, friends of ours who lived in Fairview Heights, were out of town for several weeks).
            Marie finally decided that Poochie would have to go so she put an ad in the paper and in a few days, we had a buyer, a family from Northern Kentucky. Poochie was gone, dog dish, pedigree papers and all. A few days later the new owner called saying that Poochie had run into a wooded area behind their house and wouldn't come out. I drove down to the place and when Poochie heard the sound of my engine he raced out to the car, jumped in, furiously licking my face. I took him into the house and chatted for a time with the people. Poochie listened and watched us intently. I said a final goodbye to Poochie and he seemed to understand. The new owner never called again.





Family Visit

            In May of 1967 Mother and Dad made a post-retirement journey to Sioux City and western Iowa to visit old friends and relatives. They also included a long drive to Cincinnati (the folks had never been this far "east") as they had to see their grandchildren and our new house. I had just finished painting the living room but the dining room was still a "work in progress" so conditions in the house were a bit chaotic. Mother was particularly thrilled when we all drove across the Ohio River for a picnic at Bone Lick Park in Northern Kentucky where she felt that we were in the "deep south." (We also had a picnic in Ault Park, Mt. Lookout, and I took the folks for lunch to the Mecklenburg, Corryville (a German beer garden from the 1800's, and still a German beer garden to this day). This should have been a happy occasion, but by this time Marie was becoming increasingly reclusive (I'm not sure that she ever spoke to our neighbors) and had developed a resentment toward my friends and colleagues, and especially my family. Sadly, it was the last time that the kids would see their grandparents.





Settling In

            One of my colleagues at AMK, Ott, an amiable "good old boy" (whose last name I've forgotten) had been hired as a draftsman about a year earlier but because the work load was declining (this was before we landed the large General Foods project) he was concerned that he might be laid off (a common occupational hazard for architectural draftsmen). Ott had purchased a package for the Montreal World's Fair, "Expo 67" which included a camping site and unlimited entry to the Fair for the whole family. Ott felt that if he were soon to be unemployed he could not justify the expense of this Fair package, so he was looking for a buyer (at a discounted price). It seemed like a bargain, although I think I did pay Ott the full price for the package. In July, we packed up our camping gear and we were on our way to Montreal, with a stop for a few days at the Adirondacks in upstate New York. Somewhere along the way we met a young Quebocois couple who advised use to stay in the public campground near the Fair rather than the private campground included in our package (they were right). The public campground was clean, well maintained and had good facilities. We had a great experience at the Fair in spite of the crowds and for the first time heard a steel drum band (Trinidad) and saw a tensile fabric structure (Germany). General de Gaulle paid a visit while we were there which caused quite a stir, but for me, the highlight of the Fair was seeing the housing development "Habitat" by Moshe Safdie, a young and then unknown architect (a lasting memory: a photo at "Habitat" of the kids with Marie, looking beautiful as always). On the way home, we visited Fort Ticonderoga, Valley Forge and the Hershey factory in Pennsylvania. Later that summer we camped at Land Between the Lakes Park in far western Kentucky (mosquitoes were intense), then down to the Civil War battlefields at Fort Donelson ("Unconditional Surrender" Grant) and Shiloh, Tennessee ("Bloody Shiloh", where Southerners found that Iowa farm boys could stand and fight).
            It was a typical hot summer in Cincinnati so we bought a wading pool for the kids but Marie was quite upset that on some mornings there were bits of garbage floating in the water and she was certain that some neighbor kids were responsible for this mischief. One early morning I happened to look out and saw several raccoons busily washing food they had collected during the night. We bought a pool cover. With the end of summer, we had to face the issue of a school for the kids. Marie wanted no more of the bus driving duty for Concordia School. There is a beautiful and imposing building from the late 1800s which eventually became a "magnet school," the Fairview German Language School, and in 2010, moved to a new building in Clifton and the old building became a charter school. When our kids were at Fairview the pupils were mostly Appalachian and it seemed to be a good school but we were a bit naïve. Most of the kids on our street went to Catholic or private schools. On Conrad's birthday that fall we went hiking at Fort Ancient, a fascinating mound structure north of Cincinnati, built many centuries ago by a long vanished culture. For the Christmas of 1967 we had two trees, a large one in the living room and a small tree in the front hall decorated by the kids. One of Conrad's gifts, unfortunately, was a carpentry set with which we included several blocks of wood and instructions that he was to use the basement work shop and there was a lack of supervision, however - with his little hammer Conrad left a few impressions on a door frame at the front entry for the puzzlement of future generations.
            March 8, 1968: It had been 10 years since Marie and I were married on a cold gray day in Minneapolis. We were now in a very different time and place.





Feast and Famine

            The fall of 1968 began as a very busy time with several major projects pouring into the office. Management was getting desperate to find a senior architectural partner to head the architectural group (under Ohio law at that time, architectural practice was limited to individuals or partnerships). A person had been selected for this senior position but had backed out at the last minute. William J. Rabon had recently been hired by the AMK Chicago office, so he was the next choice. Bill Rabon, in his 40s and with significant architectural degrees, drove a hard bargain because he demanded inclusion in the company name. The architectural group became "A.M. Kinney Associates, William J. Rabon". The younger project architects thought this might be a welcome improvement but the older project architects, having operated more or less independently, were resentful. Rabon immediately had the "manager" type furniture removed from his office and installed custom built cabinets and drawing surfaces to create a "design studio" environment. Later, custom built partitions were erected for the project architects and the designers were separated from the drafting area. Several new architects were hired at this time. Some of the names I remember are Jim Cruthis, Steve Rechsteiner, Jerry Zellers and George Nielsen (George, who became a longtime friend and colleague, and his wife Karen, were from Ames, Iowa where George was the paper boy for the Delt house when I lived there). He had an architectural degree from Iowa State and a masters from M.I.T. and his father, from Denmark, was head of the Dairy Industry Department at Iowa State. George Brabender, another longtime friend, had risen from mail boy to draftsman to project architect (under Ohio law at that time a person with several years of experience as an architectural draftsman could take the state examinations and became a registered architect).
            There was an older draftsman (whose name I don't recall) who spoke of only two things, his golf game and his retirement. I tried to get him to take some initiative in developing simple details but his reaction, "No, I can't do that. I'm a draftsman." Apparently at one time "draftsman" was a significant and honorable profession. At this busy time a large number of people were hired to do drafting work. There was one new hire who we called "the world's slowest draftsman" because in the morning he slowly removed the cover from his drawing board, then had a leisurely morning coffee, followed by a very long phone conversation with his wife, and then perhaps drew a few lines. By then it was time for a coffee break, and so the day went. This infuriated Steve Rechsteiner, a hyperactive project architect, as this fellow was assigned to Steve's project and was burning away budget hours. Late one night Steve removed the drawing from this draftsman's board and took it home where Steve and his wife spent a good part of the night finishing the drawing and early the next morning he taped the drawing back in place. "The world's slowest draftsman" went through his usual morning routine, apparently totally unaware that the drawing had been completed. Steve watched in disbelief and in an absolute fury. Another new hire "The world's shakiest draftsman" was an entertaining but rather sad case. He was in his late 60's, perhaps older, and worked diligently, very fast and rarely took a break (wanted to impress I'm sure), but he had a very unsteady hand. The quality of his work was so poor that he had to be let go as it was determined that much of his work would have to be erased and redrawn. Only then was it discovered that he had drawn with a ballpoint pen which was impossible to erase. The drawing had to be discarded and completely redrawn.
            One of the major projects that came into the office at this time as the "Great Oaks Vocational School District." The central school, "Scarlet Oaks", was over 300,000 square feet in area compared to the east and west schools, "Live Oaks" and "Diamond Oaks" which were 180,000 square feet each. A project architect was assigned to each school and I was made senior architect for all 3 schools, responsible for coordination and for standardizing materials and details. Bill Rabon and Jim Lund did the basic architectural design. The design of these schools incorporated the very latest educational philosophy which was open planning and flexibility, with a vast array of vocational programs including everything from automobile maintenance and cosmetology to animal husbandry and appliance repair, plus the mandated academic requirements (computer science was an unknown in that ancient time). This project was to occupy most of my days and nights for the next 2 years.
            Walter Connelly, an older gentleman originally from Canada, was the chief architectural specifications writer at the time. Walter fancied himself an artist and was obsessed with oil painting. He was a member of the Cincinnati Art Club and also took evening painting classes, which he constantly badgered me to join. In a pioneering effort, at least in the Cincinnati area, AMK management decided to "computerize" the specifications. This was a monumental task, requiring many months of work. Senior management somehow had the notion that this would allow elimination of the specifications writing group which was a badly mistaken belief as by "computerizing" the specifications, procedures, methods and installations were standardized, acceptable materials listed, errors, duplications and redundancies eliminated, but each specification still had to be tailored to each individual project. Poor Walter spent much of his time improving the new "master specifications" and justifying his own existence. The architectural group had grown to more than 40 so it was decided that we needed our very own full-time "secretary". Susan Wickman, wife of our chief pilot, was hired for this position. Susan proved to be quite capable and soon became the architectural department "enforcer" which entailed getting the time cards submitted on time, seeing that memos were promptly written and distributed, scheduling meeting times and places, keeping track of employees who were out of the office, etc. (Hugo was too busy or too easy going to bother with these tasks).
            As the Great Oaks project was winding down I was assigned as project architect for a new manufacturing plant and offices for McCauley Aircraft at the Dayton Airport (the existing plant was near downtown Dayton). McCaulay, a division of Cessna Aircraft in Kansas City, made various airplane components, and the president of Cessna wanted to land his plane and taxi directly to the plant (a small hanger was included in the plant layout). George Nielsen was project manager for the McCauley job and after one very late afternoon meeting he took the AMK design team to dinner at "The Golden Lamb", a historic (built 1803) inn and restaurant in Lebanon, Ohio. I found this fascinating as one of my ancestors, in Eschenbach, Württemberg, had an inn "Zum Goldenen Lamm."
            At this point I should mention a very interesting colleague, Erich Zwertschek. A long time (since 1951) AMK project architect, Erich was born in Vienna in 1919, and in 1939 was drafted into the German Army, assigned to the 9th Panzer Division (made up mostly of young men from Vienna), saw action in Belgium and Northern France (he recalled seeing large numbers of British prisoners, astonished that some of the officers were carrying tennis rackets), then transferred to Greece where the Division was once again fighting the British. By this time Erich was a motorcycle dispatch rider (a fine BMW machine) and as they were moving down a mountain road, the British blew up a bridge, trapping a small contingent on the far side. The German commandment was furious, ordered Erich to take him (the motorcycle had a sidecar) upstream where they could cross over to the trapped unit so that he (the Commandment) could "take care of the matter" but in midstream Erich got stuck, so the officer had to get out and help push, getting his boots muddy, at which point he was really furious. Much to Erich's relief the British had left when they finally reached the battle site. In Romania, as the Division was preparing to move into Russia, Erich had a flat tire in front of the home of a pretty, blond young woman (Donauschwaben, Miss Romania of 1940). The young woman, Melinda, always said that her mother threw tacks on the road when she saw Erich coming on his motorcycle (they were married later during the war). In Russia, the Panzer Division was usually far ahead of the main army body, so Erich, as a dispatch rider, was constantly moving back and forth during which he would encounter groups of Russian soldiers, who sometimes wanted to surrender, or at other times would shoot at him and as there were few roads he was often totally lost. Somewhere in the Eastern Ukraine he contracted hepatitis, was discharged and sent back to Vienna where spent most of the rest of the war working in a frequently bombed locomotive factory. In 1945 as the Russian Army approached, Erich, Melinda and their baby caught one of the last trains out of the city, to Bohemia, where he had an uncle who was a forester. His uncle warned them that there were Czech partisans in the area so they set out on foot through the forest toward the German border and after a time they came upon a horse and wagon, driven by a Romanian man with his family, fleeing to the West (the man, an ethnic Romanian, was actually an American citizen who had gone back to Romania to get married but was trapped there with the start of the war). Erich and his family had a wagon ride to Bavaria where for a time they lived in a primitive camp until Erich heard a rumor that the American Army was opening a DP (displaced persons) camp in a nearby town. Having nowhere else to go, Erich and family arrived at the camp just as it was being opened. The American officer in charge had no idea how to run a camp and he spoke only English. Erich spoke German, English, and French while Melinda spoke German, Romanian and Hungarian so the American officer immediately appointed Erich as camp director. Erich organized the housing, food storage and meal preparation, established a set of camp rules, started a camp newspaper and made a group of Turkmen the camp police force (the Turkmen had fought on the German side, but were allowed to keep their short swords). When the chance came for emigration to America, Erich, Melinda and their baby boy were on their way (a second boy was born in America). A young architect, Ed Riley, once asked "Erich, were you ever a Nazi?" and Erich, completely unperturbed, replied "Well, in those days everyone was a Nazi".
            The Vietnam war was becoming quite intense and Ed Riley was drafted into the Army. After basic training Ed expected to be sent into battle, but instead, probably because he was tall, handsome and well-educated, he was sent to Washington D.C. to be part of the Army "Old Guard" (breeches, bright blue coats with brass buttons, powdered wigs and Revolutionary War muskets). Ed felt he was quite lucky, except that in the fall in 1969, thousands of anti-war demonstrators descended on Washington so he and his fellow make-believe soldiers were put into standard uniforms, given rifles (no ammunition) and told to guard various strategic locations. Ed said it was the most terrifying experience of his life and except for being cursed, shoved and spat upon he was unhurt and after his discharge, Ed was back at AMK and to his huge collection of classical music records.
            AMK had been doing projects for Mead Johnson in Evansville and Mount Vernon, Indiana, for several years (Mead Johnson specialized in various pharmaceutical products and infant formula), and I became involved in some of this work. For meetings in Evansville we flew the company plane. Hugo was usually the project manager, and on one flight, after landing in Evansville, the pilots were unable to open the cabin door (latch malfunction) so we had to use the small emergency exit over the wing. This was a major problem for Hugo with his wooden leg. During this busy and prosperous time space was being rented in nearby buildings to accommodate the growing staff and A.M. Kinney Jr. ("Junior" in the office vernacular) decided to add a south wing to the main buildings so he old house was demolished and in its place a 4-story addition with a basement and private penthouse suite for Mr. Kinney was built, designed by Bill Rabon. On a dare, one of the guys decided to test the new dumbwaiter but unfortunately his weight exceeded the unit's capacity so he was stuck in the shaft and had to be extracted by the service company.
            In early 1970 a new architect, Joe Power, was hired. Joe, unmarried, in his late 20s but prematurely bald, was talented and hard working and he became a lifelong friend. Joe was of a liberal political persuasion which led him to buy a house, as an "urban pioneer" in Corryville, a deteriorating mostly black neighborhood immediately west of the office. It was a small house, well built, but needed major rehabilitation. Joe moved in and worked on the place evenings and weekends but on one weekday the house was broken into and most of the tools were stolen. Joe replaced the tools, locking them in the trunk of his car, which he drove to work each day. The house was broken into again and this time most of his clothes were stolen, even his underwear. Undaunted, Joe finished the rehab work and a few years later sold the house at a handsome profit and because of its proximity to the University and several large hospitals (and more "urban pioneers") the neighborhood was changing.
            In 1972 AMK management decided to create a new department, designated the "Design Review Department" which was in response to a continuing problem with poor or incomplete designs, lack of coordination between disciplines, drawing errors, code violations and above all, unhappy clients. All projects had to undergo a rigorous "design review" before being issued for bids. Don Reeder, an engineer from the University of Nebraska, was appointed head of this new department (Don later became president of AMK) and I was designated as the architectural reviewer. I was not particularly happy with this new assignment being quite busy with other projects, and I also thought an initial review should be done earlier in the design process rather than at the point when work was essentially complete, but nevertheless I was given a second desk (which I generally occupied only in the evenings) in the new department area. The electrical reviewer, Herb Tecklenburg, was a longtime AMK employee, in his late 60s, quiet, diligent and very knowledgeable, always with a pipe in his mouth. He was a New Englander (still had the accent) and related the story of how, as a teenager, he had built a primitive shortwave radio, which were called "crystal sets". When America entered WWI, federal agents came, and confiscated the crystal set, certain that Herb, with his German name, was sending messages out to U-boats in the Atlantic. The structural reviewer, Ralph Hyre, was an unreconstructed southern sympathizer from West Virginia ("my Grandaddy had slaves"). During WWII, he ferried B-17 heavy bombers from North Africa to Italy and in spite of its size the B-17 was quite an agile craft which Ralph and some of his fellow pilots, out of boredom, did simulated aerial dogfights over the Mediterranean with these big planes but those antics became known so Ralph and the other pilots were severely reprimanded. In spite of his easygoing manner and "awshucks" mountain drawl, Ralph was a first-rate structural engineer as he would quickly find design flaws and errors and if there were a better way, he knew how to do it. A mechanical engineering reviewer, Carl Holliman, who was from Northern Kentucky, had an interesting tornado experience while driving down a country road with his family when the car suddenly became enveloped in a storm of high winds, rain, dirt and debris, it became totally dark, and the car began shaking violently. When it was suddenly over, the car was badly dented and scarred, and was in a farm field a hundred feet from the road.
            In May of 1973, Larry Keller, a talented and ambitious architectural designer was hired. Larry was originally from Montana and had a Masters in Architecture from Columbia. By late summer of that year there was a sudden decline in the work load as work was being completed on most projects and several expected large projects were delayed or cancelled. Employees were asked to use accumulated vacation time or take a leave of absence, and eventually there were major reductions in staff. A senior project architect/project manager, Larry Prusiner, originally from Sioux City and an Iowa State graduate (he never lost his Western Iowa accent), a high-ranking officer in the Naval reserve, who always with a chewed unlit cigar in his mouth, was among these laid off and he was quite angry, but as he was in his late 60's it seemed to me (then in my early 40's) that retirement at that very old age would not be such a bad option. Larry Prusiner moved to California where his sons lived and in 1997, his son Stanley Prusiner, a neurosurgeon, received the Nobel Prize in medicine (Stanley graduated from Walnut Hills High School in Cincinnati). By late fall, besides Hugo and Bill Rabon, there were only 8 of us left in the architectural group. I was the architect for one of the remaining active projects, a fire station for the City of Cincinnati (Camp Washington, Larry Keller did the preliminary design) for which I had to do all the drafting work as there were no draftsman left.

A Few Good Years in Fairview Heights

            Summer of 1968: We started doing some serious camping which we did nearly every weekend, mostly to Hueston Woods, a large State Park 25 miles north of Cincinnati, which had a swimming lake, hiking trails, nature center and programs for kids. We had acquired more camping gear (air mattresses finally, with a foot pump, and cooking utensils), and Marie found a kit for a self-assembly camping cabinet which she put together and had the kids decorate the exterior. Although we were tent campers (no facilities, but the lowest rate) we usually found a place within walking distance to toilet facilities and showers (which were reserved for the more civilized trailer campers), and if were raining we could go to nearby Oxford for burgers and shakes. One weekend we went to Cumberland Falls State Park in southern Kentucky and as we were swimming at the foot of a rapids, lumps of coal worn smooth and round, came floating and bounding down in the rushing water from coal seems high in the hills. In August, we made a major camping trip, to Great Smokey Mountains National Park, the largest National Park in the eastern part of the country. At the park entry station the Rangers warned us about bears: the park bears are not afraid of people, but they are wild animals so don't go near them, don't feed them, and above all, keep food securely locked inside your vehicle (one Ranger told us of tourists, incredibly, who would ask their children to stand next to a bear for a photo). We found a somewhat remote spot in a tent camping area (by this time we had learned to avoid trailer campsites with their electric hookups and TV's blaring into the night), and here we had our first bear experience. Marie decided to fry bacon for the evening meal, a serious mistake, and soon there were several bears lurking about. We quickly ate our meal, cleaned the table, locked all food in the bus and retreated into our tent. The bears now made their move, checked the picnic area, sniffed about our tent, then ambled off, disappointed I'm sure about the bacon. One evening we went to a campfire program conducted by the Park Rangers and as we were driving back to our campsite (when the sun goes down the park becomes totally dark), we met a young couple running down the road, hysterical, "Take us to the Ranger station!". It seems that, despite repeated warnings, they had put food in their tent and as they were sleeping, bears ripped open a side of the tent and walked in and after we had calmed them down, we drove to their campsite, which the bears had essentially demolished. They picked up a few belongings, got in their car and left. One morning we went on a hike led by a Park Ranger who had lived in the area before it became a National Park. We walked among the remnants of what was once a great chestnut forest, the huge trunks scattered about, all killed by a European blight in the 1920's (the wood trim in our Fairview Avenue house was chestnut) but as the wood is very decay resistant, new trees would spring up from the old roots, reach a certain height, then die and the Ranger told us of the first settlers who came to these remote valleys in the late 1700's, keeping the folkways, music and dialects of rural England, mostly isolated from the outside world for more than 150 years - the people are the Appalachians. He explained that while urbanites will generally plant trees around their homes and along their streets, mountain folk will cut away all the trees around their cabins, creating forest clearings and meadows, ideal habitat for birds and wild flowers. One day we drove to Cades Cove, a preserved and very isolated settlement in an interior valley - when the area was made into a park the old folks could stay and live out their days, but unfortunately the place was swarming with tourists. In the evenings, however, it was beautifully peaceful as in days gone by. I had a small battery powered radio which allowed me to keep in touch with world events so one night, when everyone was sleeping, I listened to the turmoil of the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago, a faraway happening that meant little in our mountain retreat.
            At summer's end, it was back to the real world of Cincinnati. The kids had started another school year and we decided that piano lessons should be next on their agenda (I had a few piano lessons long ago in Sioux City and Marie had a brief encounter with the violin) although neither of us had a strong musical inclination but it just seemed that piano lessons were something that children needed to do. The Baldwin Piano Company, a venerable Cincinnati institution, still had a sales room and teaching center at the old Baldwin Building on Gilbert Avenue in East Walnut Hills, although their piano manufacturing had moved south to a more labor friendly environment (many years later I took a job with KZF, an architectural firm which had offices on the top floors of the Baldwin Building). We bought a Baldwin spinet, a good little piano, and piano lessons for the kids were included as part of the package. Discordant sounds soon filled the house, but Marie and I were not very diligent in enforcing practice times and after about 8 months the piano fell silent (and remained so for many years, until in 1983, when it was discovered by a talented young pianist, Laura Goodell. The piano is still at our home on Terrace Avenue).
            In early fall, when it was still warm, we took a final weekend camping trip to Rocky Fork State Park in Southeast Ohio which was on a lake and loons woke us early in the mornings with their haunting cries. There was car trouble so we went to the VW garage in nearby Chillicote for a quick fix and while there we visited the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park where, unfortunately, half of the mounds on this site were destroyed during WWI for an armament works. Near our campsite we made a long climb to the top of Fort Hill (never a fort, but some sort of ceremonial site built many centuries ago by the Hopewell people). The State had put up a plaque explaining the history of the site but Mormons had put up a banner stating that the State plaque was all lies and the fort had actually been built by the lost tribes of Israel. On the way home, we visited the Serpent Mound, another fascinating earthwork of the Hopewell culture.
            Marie wasn't happy with my Cincinnati dentists, so she flew back to Minneapolis to have some work done by her old dentist, Dr. Lester. We were a long way from the swimming pool at the Jewish Center in Roselawn, so Marie found that the downtown YWCA had a family swim night once a week so this became a regular activity. To keep the kids occupied on Saturday (and away from Saturday morning TV) we enrolled Conrad in an all-day program at the downtown YMCA, and the girls at a Saturday activity program (which included ballet dancing) at the Fairview Community Center (a former, police station on the corner of McMillan and Ravine, built in the late 1800s, with terracotta bas-relief panels depicting horse patrols of bygone days). Christmas was uneventful, although we did take the kids downtown for a final Santa photo.
            Our Minnesota VW bus was starting to show its age with a lot of serious rusting, so feeling flush with much overtime pay at AMK, we bought a new VW bus in January (1969) which had a large sliding side door, a better seating layout, and best of all, a more powerful engine. That spring the Community Center put on a program for parents at the Hughes High School auditorium. There were about 50 kids involved, mostly Appalachian, some blacks and a few middle-class kids from our street, all very excited about the upcoming evening. Except for Marie and me, there were less than a dozen other parents in the audience which was very disappointing, especially for the kids (but probably typical of parent involvement in that neighborhood). By this time Pastor Herb Schulze had taken a call to Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Rapid City, which happened to be where my parents and brother Ken and his family had become members. Someone had given Herb an old dining room table but he didn't want to move it to Rapid City, so he offered it to me. The table was round, all hardwood, with a top that could be split to insert additional sections so I thought this table, with some modification, would be perfect for our large dining room. The table's center support had four massive lion's claw feet which I stripped, sanded and refinished, and ordered a 4-foot diameter top with a plastic laminate finish, plus some other components which allowed the new top to be bolted to the old base. This project took me more than a year to complete but unfortunately the table was never used for dining as we usually ate in the kitchen and never had guests, and, sadly, I sold the table (with the original top) when we moved to the smaller house in Wyoming (I still have the "new" top, stored in our basement). Early in 1969 the expected split came to Concordia Church and the majority of members voted to leave Over-the-Rhine and build a new church next to the school in Clifton (a move which had been contemplated for years, the new church together with a gymnasium and a greatly enlarged school were sold and Concordia congregation dissolved in 2012 due to an overwhelming debt) but a few of us decided to stay with the old church on Race Street and form a new congregation which became an "inner city" mission, supported substantially by the Ohio District and we named this new mission Prince of Peace of Lutheran Church. The initial membership consisted of long time Concordia folks who didn't want to leave the old building such as Irv and Ann Rumph, Gertrudo and Clara Moellering, Erv and Marie Ohlmansiek, Otto and Frieda Huber (a delightful older couple and Otto, of small stature, had been a wagon driver for the German Army in WWI and during WWII they would got to Cincinnati Union Terminal inviting soldiers to their home for dinner), Irene Kinkead, Tonu Lohmusar (Tonu and his mother fled Estonia in 1944 barely escaping the advancing Russian Army), the Kuhlmans, and a few others, plus a number of "Young Turks", including Jack Towe, Ted and Sue Sippel, Chuck and Chyrl Brandt, and me. By this time Marie was graducally distancing herself from anything related to the church.
            With the coming of summer, it was back to camping, generally Hueston Woods, which was near and had weeklong programs for the kids, driving with both cars (usually on a Sunday afternoon when people were leaving), set up our tent, and I would drive back to Cincinnati, coming back at least 2 evenings depending on the AMK workload. Marie thought this was great, unless it rained, which then was mud and misery. We had visitors that summer, including my longtime friend from Sioux City days, Gordon Henry, wrote that he and Audrey and their two kids would be passing through the Cincinnati area (their daughter Laura is Conrad's age) so I invited them to stay the night. Unfortunately, at this time, Marie's social withdrawal was becoming more acute, particularly when it involved my friends, colleagues or family. Marie barely tolerated Gordon and his family, did not want them to use the upper floor bedrooms (they had to use their sleeping bags on our dining room floor) and hardly spoke to them. It was an uncomfortable situation. Our house had a gorgeous large front porch, but we never used it as Marie preferred the privacy of our backyard. In midsummer, as a trial run for the new VW bus, we once again went to Great Smokey Mountains National Park, but this time to a "primitive" tent camping site in the north (Cosby entrance), away from the crowded central camp guards with their trailers and electric hookups and after a few days we went on to North Carolina, the Highlands area, which was the ultimate and our favorite camping experience because of the cool, clear weather, not many people, and best of all, no mosquitoes.
            Stormy Weather: In August, I fitted the front of the bus with a rack that could carry all three of the kid's bikes and we started on a totally different camping adventure, to Florida and the gulf coast. There is a Florida State Park, Henderson Beach, in the Florida panhandle, directly on the Gulf so we thought that this park would be less crowded than some of the other beach sites. We checked in at the entry gate, there was no line of cars (there was a girl at the check in desk, high school age, pretty, but with very rotten teeth, an indication that we were in the deep South) and when we drove into the camping area it was nearly deserted. The Park Ranger informed us that most people had left as there was a hurricane coming. We Midwesterners knew or cared little about hurricanes, so we found a great place near the beach and set up our tent. The kids went bike riding but said it was a bit spooky as the park was nearly empty. The weather was beautiful, cloudless blue skies, but the mosquitoes were fierce so we spent most of our time at the beach where there was a constant breeze. Hurricane Camille, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, made landfall at Gulfport, Mississippi, August 16, 1969, about 150 miles west of where we were camping.
            That summer there was a peculiar incident at the Wisconsin "farm". Marie's oldest sister, Evelyn, lived in Milwaukee at this time with her husband, Hubert Seidel who loved to fish and often went up to the "farm" near Frederic as there were several good fishing lakes in the area. Evelyn and Hubert (they had no children) had purchased a new 1969 Oldsmobile Cutlass but on a fishing trip Hubert was involved in a minor car accident near Frederic (some damage to a fender and door) so a major row ensued. Hubert had the car keys, but Evelyn kept the title and the car sat unused and abandoned in a field at the "farm." Marie's other sister, Marian Irish, lived in Minneapolis where her husband worked for the Postal Service and I believe they had 3 children, who were the only first cousins of our kids on Marie's side of the family.
            That summer Caroline got her first pair of glasses which apparently, she really needed as she never went without this visual aid. While it was still warm, I performed my first major outdoor task of painting the garage. The house was brick, but the garage was wood and the paint was peeling and I used the wood ladder acquired at the St. Paul house (I still have this old ladder here at Terrace Avenue). In early fall, there was a city policeman from the neighborhood who single handedly started a Webelos Scout group, with the help of a few neighborhood men, including me (the Webelos program was for boys too old for Cub Scouts, but not ready to be full Boy Scouts). Also that fall, Hugo Rooman and his wife decided to have a small dinner party, inviting Carl Wickamn (the pilot), his wife Susan Wickman (the architectural secretary), Marie and I. Marie would not make a commitment (she had never met any of these people) and finally, a few days before the event, Marie said no, she would not go. I had to make some sort of excuse to Hugo and he was quite upset.
            Boy Scouting: Conrad had finished his Webelos Scout career and was ready for the big time. In the spring of 1970 a new Boy Scout troop was being formed for our neighborhood, meeting at a Methodist Church on the corner of McMillan and Rohs (later a Korean Church, now a nondenominational Christian group, and the parish hall is now a coffee house). Two young men, married but with no children, had taken on the daunting task of joint scout masters. I took Conrad to the first meeting and was immediately drafted as an assistant scout master (these 2 guys were desperate) and it was the start of a 1-1/2 year commitment (by the time we moved to Wyoming we were in a very different place, both literally and figuratively, and Conrad had lost interest in scouting). Other than a few middle-class kids from our street, most of those new scouts were Appalachian, from poor families, and except for possible visits to grandparents in West Virginia or Eastern Tennessee, they likely had never been out of the city. The regional Boy Scout organization provided funds for tents, sleeping bags and a few other basics (the 2 scoutmasters bought a number of items with their own money). It was decided that this new troop would go camping one weekend every month, rain or shine, sleet or snow. The weekly meetings were spent in basic scout training such as rope tying, tenting, map and compass reading (no GPS in that distant past), first aid, etc. It was fascinating to watch these tough, streetwise kids become very quiet, uneasy, and even fearful when we entered a "wilderness", even though we were usually only a few miles from the city. For most of these kids, it was their first outdoor experience so we taught them campfire building, outdoor cooking, hiking with a full pack, fishing and even rifle marksmanship. Several times each year there would be a regional "meet", a gathering of several other troops, with competitions in sporting events, rope tying, tug of wars and bridge building and there was an award for the best campsite. Our scoutmasters would often win this prize, laying out the camp with military precision. Surprisingly, there were few serious injuries, the worst incident happening when one of our boys, running, stepped into a gopher hole, badly spraining his ankle. One cold weekend, some of the boys, in the dark, set up their tents in a low spot and during the night there was a heavy rain. Next morning, one of the smaller kids came up to me dragging his sleeping bag, which must have soaked up 50 pounds of water, "Mr. Froehlich, I think my sleeping bag is wet" so we built a huge fire and spent a good part of the day drying sleeping bags and relocating tents.
            With warmer weather in spring (1970) we bought a redwood picnic table and benches for the backyard (I still have these items, now badly deteriorated, at the Terrace Avenue house). Some middle-class mothers organized a Girl Scout Troop at the Fairview Community Center - Caroline and Rosalind soon had Girl Scout uniforms. The big event for Conrad that summer was a 2 week YMCA summer camp, which, located in Northern Kentucky upstream in the Ohio River plain, was not that far from the city, and definitely not a primitive camp in the woods. There were cabins with bunk beds, a main dining hall and even a swimming pool and all sorts of sporting events and activities, including horseback riding. It was here that Conrad developed an interest in archery, so later that summer we got an archery set, I put up bales of straw against the back of the garage, with a target, and presto, we had an archery range (I had done a bit of archery at Iowa State so there was some reliving of younger days). Marie would not let the girls out of the house when the arrows were flying and despite the straw barricade there were many stray shots which left permanent dents for future occupants to ponder. We did the usual weekend camping at Hueston Woods and also a longer camping trip to Central Kentucky where we visited Mammoth Cave National Park. The cave is truly a natural wonder and on our first day we took the "Historic Tour" starting at the original cave entrance and into large chambers, blackened by decades of burning torches, where in the 1800s a TB sanitarium was established (it was believed that the constant temperature and dry air would be beneficial). The next day we signed on for the all-day cave walk, a guided tour, but obese persons and those with physical limitations were advised not to participate (with good reason) and we were taken by bus to a remote cave entrance and began the underground walk. It was a fantastic experience, with many large chambers, incredible rock formations, underground rivers and some very tight passages and at the midpoint there was a dining hall where we were served box lunches. One evening we took a boat tour on the nearby Green River. Homeward bound we stopped at Abe Lincoln's birthplace, a replica of what the original log cabin might have looked like, on what might have been the original cabin site (Abe himself never returned to the old place, as how many of us, after many years, have gone back to the place of our birth?). It was a good summer and on clear evenings I would sit on a bench at the edge of our hill, looking many miles far into the north as dusk came and distant lights began to appear. Life, it seemed then, couldn't be better.
            Buying Spree: AMK in September was busy so I was working overtime, making good money. Marie and I had seen Knoll furniture many years before on display at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis (an impossible wish then, but not forgotten) and we bought (at a substantial discount through Design Art, the AMK interior design group) the following: a Betoria High Back chair, with Ottoman (black fabric), two Betoria Diamond chairs (blue fabric), five wire frame chairs with vinyl seat and back pads (mustard yellow) and a walnut bench with metal frame, all by Knoll. The high back became Marie's favorite chair and she rarely sat anywhere else (we still have this furniture at our Terrace Avenue house, with the fabric and padding replaced, burgundy rather than blue for the Diamond chairs, and the vinyl pads long gone from the wire mesh chairs). We also invested in new custom made drapes for the living room. It was all very elegant. At this time, we also bought a ping-pong table (there was plenty of room in our spacious basement) which provided perfect entertainment on rainy days and winter nights.
            Church Happenings: By late 1969 the new congregation, Prince of Peace, had organized to the point where we could call a pastor so in December Robert Hullinger was installed as our first pastor. "Pastor Bob" was intelligent, caring, and very devoted to inner city mission work, but totally inept in administering the many programs we were undertaking. We desperately needed a parish administrator and found that there was a young Deaconess (which is essentially a Lutheran nun), Dean of female students at Concordia College in Milwaukee, who was looking for an inner-city opportunity, by the name of Margaret Heine. Jack Towe was sent to interview her where he promptly fell in love, decided to marry her, and of course, recommended that she be hired. They were married the following year. In August of 1970 we installed Joel Hempel, a recent seminary graduate, as Community Minister and to help support his ministry financially, Joel started a new program, ICCPE (Inner City Clinical Pastoral Education) which brought in students from throughout the region to experience inner city mission work. About this time, Irv Rumph, an Elder, asked me to help the congregational treasurer, originally just to record income and expenses but Marie would not allow any Prince of Peace material into the house, which suited me as I could use an electric calculator at night in the office to do this work.

All Good Things

            Mother and Dad, in August of 1970, made a return visit of Sioux City, Charter Oak, Hanover Church and for the last time, to the old Rothe Farm. Mother's cousin, Theodor "Ted" was selling the place as his five daughters and only son were not interesting in the hard life of farming the loess hills of Western Iowa. The farm, not far from Hanover Church, was the home place of Onkel Gustav and Tante Anna (my grandmother's sister), by then Onkel "Gus's" first wife was long gone, and where Mother had spent many happy childhood and teen years with her cousin Agnes. Ted and his wife, Irene, moved to the nearby town of Onowa, where he lived out his days as a house painter.
            Later that year things started to become a bit unsettled at 2449 Fairview as I was working long hours at the office, including several hours each week with financial records for Prince of Peace, but hadn't given up my dream of some sort of fine arts degree, so I signed up for an evening art class at the University. It was taught by Reggie Grooms, a legend in the Cincinnati art community (Reggie could often be found at Suder's Art Store in Over-the-Rhine, seated in his favorite chair, chewing on an unlit cigar - a gemütlich setting) and the class introduced me to oil painting whereas before I had worked only in watercolor and tempra. I was also fully involved as Assistant Scout Master at Conrad's troop and was hearing many horror stories about the public junior high school that many of the older boys had started to attend. The city had built a new school in Corryville, not far from the AMK office but the school staff was never able to gain control of the unruly student body (chaos reigned, teaching was virtually nonexistent) the school was eventually closed (the building is now used as a teacher training facility and administrative center).
            Doppleganger: A dark and sinister entity from German folklore, who became a grim reality in my life. There was another Jerry Froehlich in Cincinnati (I met him several years later, who was actually a very pleasant fellow, about my age, height and appearance) and at that time he was a teacher in a public vocational school where most of his students were young females and he had an unlisted phone number. Many times in the evening (it always seemed to happen when I was at the office or in class), there would be a call from a young woman asking to speak to "Mr. Froehlich" and Marie would answer the phone, tell the caller that I was not in, then confront me when I came home later that night but I was never able to explain those calls. Some of Marie's friends (upper middle class Westside women, probably from Marie's yoga class) had her convinced that I was having an affair. Marie began calling me at night to verify that I was really at the office, but she was never truly free of doubt.
            Animal Farm: In our dining room we had the obligatory aquarium that needed frequent changing and dead goldfish periodically replaced and the girls briefly had a small kitten which sadly met its demise when Marie accidentally stepped on the poor creature. We had a gerbil cage with two gerbils (initially, but soon there were many more) who ran endlessly on their exercise wheel and chewed newsprint into bits of confetti to create nests. The kids acquired a pet white rabbit, even built a ramshackle cage in the backyard and were generally diligent in keeping the poor fellow fed and watered. Marie, however, was weary of the gerbil business and released the ever-growing horde into the backyard where they scampered down to the woods. The neighborhood cats, I'm sure, thought it was manna from heaven.
            Game Plan: Conrad seemed to have little interest in school work, especially reading. For Christmas that year (1970), in a stroke of genius, Marie got him a "War Game." These were board games, with the board divided into hundreds of hexagonal shapes, usually overlaying a map, in this case, of Italy. This game was called "Anzio," and was based on the 1943-1945 WWII Italian campaign. There were hundreds of game pieces depicting the actual German, Italian, American, British and French units involved and movement of each unit was determined by its designated mobility, terrain, roads and position of enemy units. The intent of these games was to be historically accurate and to test the player's ability to plan, strategize and anticipate the opponents moves. The rules were quite complex, which forced Conrad to do some serious reading. Conrad and I played this game many times.
            Another family visit (the last for quite some time): In late spring my cousin Lorenz and his new wife, Mary, came through Cincinnati and stopped for a visit. Marie would not let them into the house, but through a partly opened door, told them to come back when I was home from work and the kids were home from school (I hadn't seen them since St. Paul and it would be many years before I saw them again). It was great hearing Lorenz's boisterous voice and Wisconsin accent, and the kids and I went with Lorenz and Mary to Lenhardt's, an Austro-Hungarian restaurant not far on McMillan (Erich Zwertchek's wife was the hostess and unfortunately the place was torn down in 2014). It was quite an experience for the kids as we rarely went out to eat but there were no more visits from my family.
            Academic matters: Marie and I were becoming increasingly concerned about the quality of education at Fairview School. Caroline and Rosalind would come home from school and for fun start speaking in the Appalachian dialect which would infuriate Marie as she was certain that this would become a permanent speech pattern. In late spring (1970) we got the bad news, not totally unexpected, that Conrad did not make the cut into Walnut Hills Junior/Senior High School, which at that time was the only actual functioning public high school in the city (virtually no kids from Fairview School made it into Walnut Hills). A tough choice had to be made: private school for Conrad, and probably also for Caroline and Rosalind (very expensive), or moving out of the city. We loved our beautiful house on Fairview Avenue, but moving seemed to be the only logical choice so once again we were house hunting and also started the process of selling a house. We decided to sell the house ourselves, keeping in mind the potential legal pitfalls from our experience in St. Paul. The house sold rather quickly, for several thousand dollars more than we paid, which surprised us, considering the tenuous condition of the neighborhood and the deteriorating public schools. The buyers were a young couple (without children) who were renting a house just down the street.





Flight to Suburbia

            We knew that Wyoming, an older suburb immediately north of Cincinnati, had an excellent school system, so we concentrated our house hunting there (another lesson learned was that the quality of the local public school system is primary in urban demographics, at least for middle-class families with children). We found the area very attractive but were astonished at the cost of real estate, and there were very few homes on the market. We had set an upper limit as we wanted the mortgage fully paid by the time the kids started college. After weeks of searching we finally found a place, much smaller than we wanted and at a price higher than we expected (we paid the princely sum of $27,900), but it was within walking distance of the new important schools. The house, at 53 Forest Avenue, a long dead-end street, was built about 1950 in the "new" section of Wyoming, basically 1-1/2 stories, brick exterior at the main level, wood siding above, with a good-sized living room (the front door opened directly into this room), a medium sized dining room, small kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bath on the main floor. The upper level had a large bedroom, bath with shower and a hallway/study space and there was a full basement, much of which was taken by a single car garage opening to the rear of the house. The windows were a steel casement type (no storm windows - no concern about heat loss in these days) but there was central air conditioning and there was a modest backyard that had a small creek running through, with a wooden foot bridge crossing the crook. Most of the Forest Avenue homes were of the same era and similar in size. Our neighbors to the east were a middle-aged couple, Mr. and Mrs. Ramsey, whose 2 children were grown and no longer living at home, and to the west an older lady lived alone. Before we left Fairview, Conrad did a final stint at the YWCA camp but as Conrad and I drifted away from the scout troop our ties with the Fairview Heights neighborhood faded away.
            In August of 1971 we moved to 53 Forest Avenue, cramming everything possible for several trips in the VW bus and hiring a moving company for the big items. Caroline and Rosalind were put into the upper level bedroom, Conrad into a main floor bedroom and the rabbit hutch to the backyard (apparently, the trauma of the move was too much for Mr. Rabbit and he didn't survive long in the new location). For me, the move and that period were all very depressing because I had great plans for that magnificent house in Fairview Heights but now I was living in a bland little suburban house, and I was not advancing as I thought I should at work, so at age 40 the future was looking rather gray, not bright.
            Earlier that summer we had made Girl Scout Camp arrangements for Caroline and Rosalind so by August (after we had made our move to Wyoming) they were eager to go. The camp was somewhere north of the city with separate dining and recreation/craft buildings but the girls slept in tents on elevated platforms, probably 6 girls to a tent plus an older girl "leader". It was a 2-week camp and at some point Caroline fell off a horse injuring her arm so the camp people called asking if we wanted to bring Caroline home, but she wanted to stay. On the last day, when we came to bring the girls home, I chatted with the tent "leader"," a pleasant, attractive girl probably 17 or 18 years old but as we walked back to the car, Caroline, looking back disapprovingly said "Daddy, I think you should know, she has a furry bottom". I believe I tried to explain to Caroline that this was not a physical defect, but that girls, as they got older, would very likely develop "furry bottoms."
            Bear Scare: The first week of September, before the start of school, we were able to get away to our favorite camping area in western North Carolina, this time at Cullsaja in a National Forest and it was here that I played a prank that had unintended consequences. One evening, as it was getting dark and everyone was safely in the tent, I said I was going up to the shower building but instead I circled around to the back of the tent and made some snuffling grunting bear sounds. I expected the kids would come out laughing at my poor attempt at imitating a bear but instead there was complete silence so I circled back and as I came down the trail the girls ran out, terrified, "Daddy! Daddy! There was a bear behind the tent!" I confessed that I was responsible for this mischief, but they wouldn't believe me and Marie said that of course it was a real bear.
            When summer was over we had to face the hard reality of a new school experience and after testing the Wyoming school people told us that our kids were 2 years behind where they should be according to their school standards so special remedial work was required. Surprisingly it didn't take them long to catch up, although with Conrad it took an extra push but when they threatened to put him on a vocational school track if he didn't show more improvement, Conrad got the message. Bad news that fall for Caroline, and our budget as too many teeth for too little jaw meant many trips to an orthodontist and the long ordeal of a mouth brace. Thankfully Conrad and Rosalind did not have this problem.
            Foreseeing Unseen: With the move to Wyoming, Sunday morning church was no longer just down the hill but I kept my membership, however, and my financial responsibilities. Prince of Peace started a preschool in the spring of 1971 and early that Fall, on a Sunday morning, the first teacher (and in reality the founder), a young woman, slender and fair, stood before the congregation and announced that the preschool had received a large grant from a Lutheran woman's organization. The young women's name was Laura Goodell. Many years later Laura and I would be married in that very place.
            Trying to make the best of a dismal situation I decided to repaint the exterior wood portion of the house (a mustard yellow, which after a time I grew to dislike) and also all the interior rooms. I rented a floor sander, sanding and refinishing the hardwood floors in the dining room, adjacent hallway and part of the living room (operating a floor sander was a new and nerve-racking experience and I would never attempt this again). We had a new countertop and sink put in and I built a small storage cabinet above the outside side door to compensate for the loss of the large built-in pantry cabinet at Fairview we bought a low boy cabinet, well built in a beautiful contemporary design, dark walnut, (again at a substantial discount through AMK Design Art) for the dining room (this cabinet is now at the Terrace Avenue house) and a good quality wool carpet, looped pile, dark olive green, which covered most of the living room floor (bought at a discount of course, as it was a precut remnant and this carpet is now in a Terrace Avenue bedroom). Marie made drapes for the living room. We now had a livable and reasonably attractive home which would have to do for the time being. The ping-pong table was set up in the basement, but the space was too cramped and the ceiling too low for effective play.
            For years, kids who lived along Fleming Road (the street one block south of Forest Avenue) had used our backyard, footbridge and driveway as a shortcut over to the main road (Springfield Pike), but for Marie this stream of strange kids was intolerable and she put up a fence barrier in the back corner (most of the back property line was impassable in any case due to a heavy growth of bushes and shrubbery). This resulted in a lasting enmity toward Marie from the Fleming Road kids. We placed our picnic table in the backyard but I don't recall that we ever used it for a "picnic" in all our years on Forest Avenue as Marie thought it lacked privacy and as far as I knew she never spoke to any of our neighbors. The old lady next door, in a common occurrence with "senior" drivers, pushed the accelerator rather than the brake and lurched down into the creek but she was not injured and managed to climb out. The incident caused quite a bit of excitement in our otherwise staid neighborhood and the car sat for several days in the creek before being lifted out by a tow truck.
            It was a long drive from the north edge of Wyoming to the AMK office (Springfield Pike/Vine Street to Paddock Road to Reading Road became the daily routine) so there were no more lunches at our kitchen table and I became a full-time brown-bagger. There was another unsettling change as Marie wanted no more mail from my friends, family or church coming to the house, so I got a P.O. Box at the Corryville Post Office, only a minor inconvenience as it was a pleasant (and beneficial) noontime walk from the office (I had to create some reason to explain this change). Marie did prepare a full Thanksgiving dinner at our new location. Christmas, however, was a bit subdued although we put up a small Christmas tree and Conrad got another war game. Late one winter night I was driving home from the office on Reading Road when the old VW Beetle stopped dead with no lights, no starter function, nothing so I walked back to the office (through Avondale, a very unsafe area, but because of the cold no one was about). I called Marie, she came to pick me up and as we came to my defunct car I thought I would give it another try and lo and behold, it started. I dropped the car off at Dave Wither's shop (an independent VW garage on Vine Street in Carthage) where I had been taking our cars for routine maintenance where Dave said it was a minor electrical problem and replaced a component but a few days later the same problem. Exasperated, Dave said "No Volkswagen has ever defeated me!" so he replaced every electrical component in that little car, and that seemed to fix the problem. Dave never charged me for any of that extra work.
            In the summer of '52 I was confined by lupus to a small bedroom in Sioux City, Iowa and twenty years later I was in a small house nearly 700 miles to the east which was a change in geography at least. That spring our neighbors across the street sent us an invitation to a party which was sort of a welcome party for new people in the neighborhood. I thought it was a gracious thing to do and accepted the invitation but Marie refused to go as she did not want to be involved with any of the neighbors in any way. I went to the party to make a token appearance so Marie was furious. On the brighter side, the kids made it through their first year at the Wyoming schools without a problem. Our front lawn was a disaster, full of weeds and bare spots so I put the kids to work digging dandelions (had to pay them, piecework rate) and planted new grass. Everyone on the street had power mowers and Conrad refused to be seen using our old manual push mower (from St. Paul) so I bought a power mower, a Jacobsen, made in the USA (in that long-ago time such things as power mowers were actually manufactured in this country) but after 40 years this faithful mower finally made its last cutting and I purchased a self-propelled mower in 2011. Conrad had a continuing interest in war gaming so later that summer I drove him and his friend, Kent Eisle, to the Patton Museum of Armour in Ft. Knox, Kentucky where in addition to several American types, there was a British WWI tank (amazing that it survived), a German Panzer Mk V "Panther" and a Russian T34 captured in the Korean War. There was also an operating WWII British tank which was driven around a track (much rumbling and clanking) and a few rounds (blanks) fired from the turret gun (much more noise), a clear indication that the sounds of a tank battle must have been deafening. We did the usual camping at Hueston Woods and in August decided to take a more extended camping trip. We usually did not have a particular destination in mind, telling the kids to bring both swim suits and cold weather gear. This time we found ourselves in Florida again, and probably because we heard that Disney World had recently opened, we drove down to Orlando and as the area was still relatively free of commercial development so we were able to find a small low-cost motel. We spent the next day at Disney World, still new and fresh and the kids loved it. We then drove over to see old St. Augustine, and camped at Ft. Clinch State Park at the far northeast corner of Florida where we had our first swim in the Atlantic Ocean. As the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia was only a short distance from Ft. Clinch we made this our next step and we drove to a State Park in the heart of the Swamp and I set up the tent. By late afternoon, however, Marie became absolutely convinced that somehow a snake would make its way into our tent, so we had to break camp and drive to a private (and very crowded) campground at the edge of Okefenokee. Next morning, we took a private boat tour into the swamp where the guide told us improbable tales of alligators and such. We ended this trip at a State Park in the far north edge of Georgia, a mountain area not far from North Carolina where the Park Ranger roundly scolded us for leaving the camp in Okefenokee (which said was one of the best in the state) and for begin taken in by the nonsense of the private tour guides.
            My old VW beetle was beginning to rust badly (I fastened a piece of sheet metal to the floor so as not to drag my feet on the pavement), so in early December we started looking for a replacement. The local Volvo dealer, Stillpass, was clearing their lot of '72 models, so we got a good price on a bright yellow four-door Volvo sedan and Marie absolutely loved that car, so it became her car and the VW bus became my mode of transportation (Marie said the bus gave her a bad image as hippies drove VW buses). By this time Conrad wanted no more of YMCA programs, but Marie succeeded in enrolling the girls in a swimming and ballet class at a YWCA in a northern suburb so I drove them over and back very Saturday. Marie's west side friends invited us to a New Year's Eve party (Dec. 31, 1972) and she reluctantly agreed to accept, but said we would have to leave before midnight, which we did (apparently, she hadn't forgotten the New Years Eve of many years before in St. Paul).

A Checkered Year (1973)

            Capital: Marie's brother, James, had taken a job in Washington D.C., with the U.S. Department of Interior. He had majored in math, worked as a statistician, saying his job was counting trees and he had an apartment in Georgetown on Wisconsin Avenue, an easy walk to downtown and the Mall. James invited us to visit (bring sleeping bags he warned, as he had virtually no furniture) so when school was out we were on the way (in our new "nonhippie" Volvo). We did all the tourist things including the White House, Capital Building, Mall, Smithsonian, Lincoln Memorial, Arlington, Washington Cathedral and even a trip to the Zoo to see the panda (Nixon and Kissinger had made their historic visit to China the year before). James had become involved in a health food group and one evening Marie and I drove him (he didn't have a car) out to the suburban home of a health practitioner to buy a quantity of various health food (apparently at this time these preparations were not available commercially). Tt was an ominous foreshadowing of things to come.
            Up North: One of the guys at the office, Al Cipa, an architectural specifications writer, was originally from the Detroit area and for many years Al and his brother (who still lived in the Detroit area) had been building a cabin on a lake in northern Michigan (years later I was to learn that people in the Detroit area went "up north" for their vacations), and during that spring they had finished the plumbing and electrical work. The place had a toilet, shower, kitchen, sink, refrigerator and lights (but few interior partitions, just curtain dividers) there was also a boat, with life jackets and other lake paraphernalia. To recoup expenses, Al and his brother were renting on a weekly basis. The rent was a bargain, so we decided to go for it, for the first time an adventure to a lake in northern Michigan. Al warned me that the dock was a bit uneven, and quite slippery when wet and as soon as we arrived the kids ran out onto the dock, Caroline slipped, fell, and her glasses dropped into the lake. For much of the week I used a sort of long handled grappling fork, hanging over the side of the dock trying to retrieve Caroline's glasses, pulling up every sort of debris and lake bottom rubbish imaginable. Marie was upset because of the cost of replacing the glasses and Caroline was upset because she couldn't see. As we were about to leave (bus packed and loaded), I thought I would give it one more try and unbelievably I pulled up Caroline's glasses, covered with muck but undamaged. We celebrated with a stop for ice cream on the way home.
            Heimat (but not really, this time): By fall, with a major decline in work at AMK, the remaining employees were asked to use accumulated vacation time (use it or loose it). I had more than a week available, but November was not possible for a family vacation so Marie suggested that I go to Rapid City over Thanksgiving. I leapt at the chance as I hadn't seen Mother and Dad since their visit in '67 and hadn't seen my brother Ken in more than 10 years. There was a regional airline, North Central (the Flying Goose) which flew into Rapid City, via Detroit and Minneapolis. The last leg of which was by a two-engine turboprop serving several small South Dakota cities (Watertown, Aberdeen and Pierre, names that I remembered from my Sioux City days). Pierre, the state capital, impressed me as I saw (from the air) that the north face of the capital building looked out onto the open Dakota prairie. Because of the short hops we flew quite low and my seatmate pointed out the snow tracks of various animals. My luggage, unfortunately, was sent to Devil's Lake, North Dakota, and as that place had no air service until after the Thanksgiving holiday, the luggage was being sent to Rapid City by bus (it did not arrive until the day I left for Cincinnati although North Central did pay for the purchase of toiletries, socks and underwear). Mother prepared a major Thanksgiving feast. Ken and his family were there, as were Pastor Schulze and his wife (Bethlehem Church in Rapid City was a long way from Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati). Marie called, wondering where the camera was as she wanted to take a picture of the Cincinnati Thanksgiving but I said I didn't have the camera as it was in Devil's Lake. Marie said that name suited the occasion. We took a tour of the flood devastation from the year before (June 1972). There had been a flashflood with little warning and many people died. Ken, then with the Rapid City Fire Department, was involved in many daring rescues. I also connected with an Iowa State classmate, Frank Aukerman, who had established an architectural practice in Rapid City (his hometown). One evening, while looking through Mother's photo albums I saw an old photo labeled "Moellering, Cincinnati" and it was then that we discovered that Gertrude and Clara Moellering were Mother's second cousins (their mother and my grandmother were first cousins). Mother and Dad loved Rapid City and their new home, there were many Sioux City friends and relatives who visited, their health was good and they were happy. They told me about their neighbors, the McGuires and how shortly after they had moved in, McGuire came over, introducing himself "Name's McGuire - Irish, Catholic, Democrat". Dad responded "Name's Froehlich - German, Lutheran, Republican". With these preliminaries out of the way, they became best of friends. For me, it was a very good visit (except for Devil's Lake and the camera).
            Cardboard Christmas: I still had a few days of vacation left so Marie decided that we should spend Christmas at Disney World. Marie had it in her mind that central Florida would be a tropical paradise, and the kids had a really good time when we were at Disney World the year before. We made reservations at a camping area within the park which was called Fort Wilderness and the camping fee was something we could afford. There were indeed palm trees and tropical plants in the park, but that December in Orlando was unusually cold. We spent our evenings around a campfire, huddled in blankets. At an adjacent campsite, a guy from Ontario was up early every morning, in shorts and bare-chested, cooking breakfast so perhaps for him it was a "tropical paradise". At Disney World, there were Christmas trees, lights, a big parade with Santa and his elves, crowds of people and Bing (over the loudspeaker) singing "White Christmas", but it all seemed to be make-believe, rather sad actually. After a few days of wind and penetrating cold we had had enough, and by New Year's we were back in Cincinnati.

Resurrection

            Early in 1974 the work load at the office very suddenly increased as several large projects became active, the people on a "leave of absence" were called back, and many new people were hired so it was as if we had a completely new office (fluctuations in architectural work, unfortunately, were quite common in those times). I was assigned to several projects including a production facility for Mead Johnson in Evansville, Indiana. We had flown down for a meeting in Evansville (a new pilot and copilot as trusted Carl Wickman was gone with the plane largely inactive during the slow period), and during the day an ice storm developed. The pilot, who had flown a fighter-bomber in Vietnam, said that weather reports indicated a layer of warm air at a higher altitude, and that if we made it to that altitude ice would not be a problem. The plane was towed into the hanger facing the runway and thoroughly deiced, we all climbed aboard, the engines were revved-up to full power, we shot out of the hanger, down the runway and lifted off. I could see ice forming on the wings but after a short time it began to melt away and as the pilot predicted we made it to the layer of warmer air. Some of the guys felt that this episode was a bit risky.
            During the 1974 surge at AMK, another architect from Minnesota was hired - Marlin Huisinga, in his late twenties, a graduate of University of Minnesota. Marlin, his wife and 2 young daughters lived in an apartment not far from the office and were members of Concordia Church in Clifton with the intention of designing and building a house, and settling in Cincinnati. His wife, however, was homesick for Minnesota so after about 2 years they were back in Minneapolis but not for long as Marlin saw an opportunity in Seattle where he successfully started his own architectural practice. We have kept in touch through the years and he always sends a wonderful cutout card at Christmas which can be opened into a three-dimensional form.
            The expert: In late 1975 AMK received a very large commission for design and contract drawings of a research laboratory, an office addition, and production facilities for Armour Pharmaceutical in Kankakee, Illinois. The client was told that I was the AMK "expert" in pharmaceutical design which was news to me. Fortunately, there were several months of development, programming and preliminary design work, including a tour of several large pharmaceutical plants on the east coast with a team of designers assembled by Armour. I was surprised at how open and helpful the people were at these other plants, supposedly competitors of Armour. I learned much about the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requirements, GMP'S (Good Manufacturing Practices of the pharmaceutical industry), clean room design, sterile production, filtration, fluid bed dryers, packaging, etc. Bob Preslar, and industrial engineer from North Carolina, who lived in the old "village" part of Wyoming with his wife, 2 daughters and several cats, joined the AMK team. Bob and I became lifelong friends, working together on several AMK projects (Bob and I worked together at KZF in 2010). There were many meeting is Kankakee; often I traveled alone, other times with members of the AMK team, flying into O'Hare, then a wild ride to Kankakee in the Armour shuttle van. During this time that I began to understand the complex and tedious process for the pharmaceutical industry in going from basic research to a marketable product. As we were watching a tablet press punching out hundreds of pills each hour, an Armour engineer remarked "it costs us about 50 cents to make each pill, except for the first pill - that one costs us about 15 million dollars". There is a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Kankakee, which had been converted to an upscale restaurant and one evening the Armour people treated us to dinner. In a few months, we began the preliminary design (Joe Power was back at AMK and worked on the office unit design), proceeded into working drawings (much overtime) and by early 1978 the work was nearly complete. Then a double disaster struck. Much of the existing plant (our work included some additions and upgrades) was dedicated to manufacturing insulin from hog pancreas glands, shipped from Armour plants in Chicago (which is how Armour became involved in the pharmaceutical business) but an artificial insulin had been developed, and it was much less costly. Although the major part of our work did not involve insulin, the scope of the project was greatly changed. About the same time Armour Pharmaceutical was acquired by a new owner - Revlon. I'm not sure why this happened, but in any case, Revlon had their own favorite architect and he was in, AMK was out. The Armour people in Kankakee were not happy with this change, particularly their project manager, Ed Yaeger. Many at AMK, however, considered this event as a blessing as we were paid in full for a nearly complete set of contract documents, and we avoided the misery that usually accompanied the actual construction. Bob and I were immediately assigned to other projects.
            Change of Venue: There was an interesting project in St. Louis, Survival Technology, a small company who manufactured individual injectable cartridges for the Army which carried an antidote to protect soldiers from airborne biological attacks. Unfortunately, the site was in the floodway of a small river, so following U.S. Corps of Engineering requirements, I developed 2 alternate designs, one placing the new plant on stilts above the flood level, the other configured the plant like a boat with watertight doors and openings. A meeting ended early one afternoon and as we had several hours before our return flight, Bob and I decided to visit the Saarinen Arch on the St. Louis riverfront where from the top one can look straight down several hundred feet, and as there was a breeze, one could sense the swaying of the arch. Bob said he was feeling a bit queasy and wanted to go back down so, puzzled, I said we had flown many times much higher than this. "Yes", he said "but this thing doesn't have wings." About this time Russia and the U.S. signed a treaty banning the use of biological weapons so the Survival Technology project was cancelled. Bob and I also worked on a preliminary design for Syntex Agribusiness in Des Moines where they were developing a vaccine for feline leukemia, but after a few months a rival company developed a vaccine using a much simpler and less costly process so this project was also canceled.
            Gotham Adventurers: In the summer of 1978 I was sent to New York City for 2 weeks. AMK had an office in Midtown Manhattan, Penn Plaza, near the site of the former Penn Station (this magnificent landmark was demolished in 1963 when sadly, many irreplaceable historic buildings were destroyed in the name of progress during the 60's and 70's which also happened in Cincinnati and even in Sioux City). The New York office needed help with preliminary designs on several projects and they lacked experienced architects. At that time, there were no hotel rooms available anywhere in Manhattan and the only thing they could find was a full apartment (living room, dining room, kitchen, bath and 2 bedrooms) at a building near the East River, probably about 35th Street, a little more than a mile from the office. I felt uneasy being alone in that large space (from the bedroom window I could look up to the Empire State Building), so I spent a lot of time walking the city, although the streets were teaming with panhandles and prostitutes, Bryant Park was derelict and drug central, and the subway cars were covered with graffiti, even the windows (this was before the Giuliani regime). One evening the head of the architectural group (I've forgotten his name, remembering only that he had worked with Gordon Bunshaft at the SOM New York Office) took me to his club which was just west of 5th Avenue, a few blocks north of St. Patricks where the doorman knew his name, and we had dinner in an elegant dining room (white tablecloths and an array of silverware) and after the meal he took me on a tour, including the library with high stacks of leather bound books and a large (pre-WWI) globe, the ticker tape room (no longer used, an obsolete technology) and the main lounge with overstuffed leather chairs (my host said "You've seen New Yorker cartoons of fat bald men smoking cigars, sitting in overstuffed chairs - well, this is the place"). Dave Reddert, the head estimator from the AMK Cincinnati office, came in for a few days to put cost numbers on our designs. I made other trips to the New York office, usually just for a day or two. Mr. Kinney (A.M. Kinney Jr.) had a small suite in the Waldorf-Astoria, as Mrs. Kinney liked to come to New York for shows and shopping. This suite was sometimes made available. Bob Wife, head of the AMK mechanical department, and I flew to New York on a sales mission so we were allowed to stay in the Waldorf suite where Bob took a Coke and some peanuts from the kitchenette. Mr. Kinney's secretary made him pay for this indulgence when we returned.
            Upstate: Early in 1979 I worked on a project for 3M in Rochester, NY, which I vividly recall as it involved upgrading a facility manufacturing light-sensitive photographic emulsion so the people worked in nearly total darkness. There was also a project in Syracuse where there much snow on the ground. That summer I worked on a pharmaceutical project in Norwich, NY and during a lunch break one day I asked some of the plant people how often they traveled to New York City (about 150 miles from Norwich) but they said they had never been to New York City and could see no reason why anyone would ever want to go there.
            I worked on many projects with a structural engineer, Jim Henry, a longtime AMK employee. Jim was an avid sailor who went out in his boat nearly every weekend. One summer he and some friends rented a large boat to sail the Caribbean and during a heavy storm, the dinghy they were towing broke loose and went flying overhead (they never saw it again). During the war Jim was in the Merchant Marine, serving on convoys to Russia in the North Sea where their greatest fear was a fast German battlecruiser, the "Prinz Eugen". The gunners of the "Prinz Eugen", according to Jim, never missed a target. Jim lived in Wyoming where he and his wife had a large wooden house in the old "village" which he was forever painting. He did one side each summer and after the fourth year he was back painting the side where he started.

Fleeting Years

            During spring break; April 1974, we decided to give Disney World another try so we reserved a room in the Polynesian, one of the resort hotels with a room overlooking one of the artificial lakes and this time the weather was warm and sunny. Later that week we drove down to the Everglades in southern Florida and then over to Sanibel Island on the Gulf Coast where we stayed in a small motel (Sanibel is now completely built up with a large resort hotels and condos) and early in the morning, after the tide went out, Marie and girls went out looking for exotic shells on the beach.
            In May of that year Marie became involved in a truly bizarre incident when her brother James convinced her that they absolutely had to see a health practitioners in Newark, who was a noted guru in the health community. Appointments had to be made weeks in advance and his "office hours" were in the middle of the night. Marie flew into Trenton and took a cab to the Amtrak station where she would connect with James on the Washington D.C. / New York City Metro (with a stop in Newark). Marie reported that the Trenton Amtrak station at night seemed to be primarily a shelter for the flotsam and jetsam of society and where the police would appear periodically, driving homosexuals out of the men's room. James and Marie did indeed see the health practitioner sometime late that night, and although Marie seemed quite amused by the whole affair, she did start buying products from the local health food shops, a practice that would have deadly consequences.
            We took a camping trip in July (1974) to a park in west central Ohio, along the remnants of the old Ohio-Erie Canal. After 9 years, from Minnesota and Montreal to Florida and North Carolina, this was our last camping trip. Conrad was nearly 16 years old and the kids were no longer interested in the adventures of tent camping. The tent was folded, packed away and never used again.
            Later that summer, Larry Keller, from the office, and his wife, bought a beautiful large house on Madison Avenue in Walnut Hills (because of racial disturbances in the area, these properties were being sold at bargain prices and the house is still there). Larry invited Marie and me over for a steak dinner and Marie, of course, wanted no part in this, but after much persuasion (Larry was a very good friend who would be greatly offended, there definitely would be no other guests, and Marie's curiosity about the Walnut Hills house), Marie finally relented and we accepted the invitation. The dinner was great (steaks prepared expertly by Larry himself) and we had a tour of the house. As I recall this was the last "social" even that Marie and I ever attended together. The following year, Larry, feeling that his talents were not being fully utilized at AMK, took a job in Oklahoma City, with a large design-build company specializing in medical facilities.
            I hadn't given up my art endeavors completely during this period, so without too much objection from Marie, and much prodding from Walter Connelly at the office, I enrolled in a painting class, taught by Paul Chidlaw, who had taught at the Art Academy for many years. The class was in the old Rookwood Pottery building in Mt. Adams with Walter and Jim Lund from the office also taking the class. This was in the fall of 1974.
            Animal Farm II: There were usually one or two goldfish in our dining room aquariums but this mini menagerie was soon expanded. First, there was a guinea pig - the kids named it "Tribbel" after a character in a "Star Trek" episode. Tribbel lived in a wood box, about 3 feet square with sides about 6 inches high, and seemed to be quite content mostly eating and sleeping. Marie wanted something a bit more exciting and she read that one could purchase, at a very reasonable price, imperfect chinchillas (their coats were defective and thus not suitable for fur coats) from a local chinchilla farm. We soon had a chinchilla, which to me looked like a large mouse with a very expensive coat who was named "Fleder" (from "fledermaus," German for bat - i.e. flying mouse). I had to build a large cage for Fleder, but the kids would often let him out so he ran loose throughout the house, sometimes jumping into Tribbel's box and the normally silent guinea pig would let out a shriek. Chinchillas, it seems, are not highly intelligent animals and if Fleder sat absolutely still he thought he could not be seen so one could walk by casually, then quickly reach out and grab him. We had another animal guest for about a week when Caroline and Rosalind were in a high school play "Tea House of the August Moon," a popular comedy then, taking place in postwar Okinawa (the young drama teacher, Edith Bolton, became involved in teacher unionizing and Democratic party politics, ran several times, unsuccessfully, for various political offices and after more than 30 years, was elected to the City of Cincinnati School Board). The script called for a live goat, and Ms. Bolton located the required animal at the Live Oaks Vocational School which had an animal husbandry program (I was an architect for this school many years before) so it fell to me to transport and house the goat for the duration of final rehearsals and performances of the play. The goat was actually quite friendly and responsive to directions. One afternoon, when I came home from work, Marie reported that there was bird flying around in the basement which seemed improbable as all the openings were closed for winter, but indeed there was a bird in the basement, frantically at the windows trying to escape. I opened the garage door and managed to shoo the bird out, but could not fathom how something that large could get into a sealed house until engineers at the office explained the mystery. Gas furnaces of that period had a mixing chamber with an opening into the bottom of the chimney and another opening into the basement to bring in combustion air and birds would perch at the chimney top for warmth but sometimes faint because of the fumes, fall to the bottom of the chimney and reviving, go through the mixing chamber into the basement. I fashioned a cover of heavy wire mesh and fitted it over the chimney pot (I hated climbing up that steep roof, which I had to do periodically to paint flashings or seal the skylight).
            Learning Curve: The Wyoming Public Schools always required homework but Conrad rarely brought work home saying that he did all the extra assignments during the one hour study period each day, and he had time for the school chess club, including tournaments as a member of the Wyoming High School chess team. With the girls it was a different matter as they usually came home loaded down with books and seemingly impossible nighttime tasks so there were many tearful evenings at the dining room table as we worked on decoding "new math" assignments (new math was then very much in vogue with the educational establishment). Conrad graduated from Wyoming High School in June of 1977 but for Caroline and Rosalind it was a much different story.
            Gaming: During our early years at Forest Avenue Conrad was seriously involved in playing board games, usually based on WWII scenarios, but there were also games based on geopolitics, Wall Street trading and even one on the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention. Conrad and I often went to a board game shop on Mt. Lookout Square, and once to a gaming meet in the basement of a bank in Clifton, where the gamers (all male, many adults) had set up elaborate game layouts, some with scale model towns and armoured vehicles. By high school Conrad had progressed to the world created by J.R. Tolkien ("Hobbit" and "Lord of the Rings"). He and several of his friends became fully engrossed in playing "Dungeons and Dragons," a game derived from the "middle earth" tales of Tolkien.
            Marie's father died at some point in the early 70's, his old truck and his broom making equipment were gone, and the farmhouse stood empty. We were no longer taking camping trips, so in the late summer of 1974, having reconciled with her mother, Marie decided that she and the kids would spend a few weeks at the Wisconsin "farm." They cleared away brush, did a major cleaning of the house and put in flower beds. I'm not sure that the kids were enthusiastic about this venture, but Marie loved it.
            Field Trip: On one of our Wyoming summers, probably '76, the high school was promoting student exchanges to Europe and one of the destinations was Norway, so Marie (her grandfather had come from Norway) immediately put Caroline on the list who was accepted, and was to go to a Norwegian family near Oslo. Caroline was excited but this quickly turned to tears as it seems that there was a typo error in which Caroline's name was entered as "Carl", who was to share a room with the family's teenaged son but when the error was discovered, the family graciously changed the arrangement allowing Caroline to share a room with the teenaged daughter. The family apparently was well-to-do, the father was a prominent judge in Oslo, the mother was American, so the lingua franca was English, and they had a large house east of the city, not far from the border with Sweden. Caroline reported that although the family had little good to say about the Swedes, they often drove over the border for shopping (lower prices and better selections).
            Summer Idyll: Marie had made plans for the summer of 1975 in which she and the kids would once again go up to the Wisconsin farm, but this time I was to go with them as there was heavy work to be done. As an inducement, after I had completed my tasks, she would drive me to Minneapolis where I could catch a flight to Rapid City. After nearly a year of vacancy the place had a forlorn look, the grass was more than a foot all, and the flower beds and garden overgrown with weeds. While Marie and the kids went to Minneapolis to get her mother, I sharpened the sickle, got the mower started and set to work and after a few hours the place at least appeared to be inhabited. There was a small bunkhouse attached to the machine shed, where, in the old days, a "hired hand" had lived and where a brick chimney (the stove was gone) was supported on a wood ledge, which was starting to fail. A major project was to remove this chimney and patch the opening in the roof and I also opened the house windows, repaired and installed the screens. One evening Marie took me down to the field below the house (it had been rented out to a neighboring farmer for pasture) and near one edge of the field there was a patch of brush, higher than my head. Marie parted the growth, and there it was - the 1969 Cutlass, exactly where Norbert had parked it many years before. I made a sketch of the old barn, intending some day to make a painting, but the sketch was lost to mildew in the basement of 346 Terrace. This was our last vacation together as a family which I did not realize at the time so with Marie, her mother, and the kids busily engaged in putting in a garden, I made my escape to Rapid City (Marie, as promised, did drive me to the airport). In Rapid City, I had several days to relax before returning to Cincinnati. Pastor Schulze was no longer at Bethlehem Church (apparently, among other things, he was spending much time working with an inner-city mission in Denver and ignoring congregational duties in Rapid City). Ken was building a concrete block retaining wall on one side of his property, and relocating the entrance to his garage, because of a washout and flooding from a heavy rain and Aukerman showed me the new Rapid City Public Library which his firm had designed. Mother and Dad were getting older, but still keeping active.
            Other happenings at 53 Forest: Circa 1975 the old lady next door sold her house to a younger couple, Alex and Luca Tass who had a daughter, 3 or 4 years younger than Rosalind, who tended to wander the neighborhood so her father was often out in the evenings calling her name (Ann, I think). Marie had a favorite plant, a potted palm, which she would put out on the front stoop in the summer. One evening while we were in the dining room we heard a noise at the front door so thinking it was some of Marie's "enemies" (neighborhood kids) with their usual stunt of stuffing trash into the mail slot, I flicked on the outside light, checked the mail slot, then looked out where I saw there was a pair of sandals, apparently abandoned in a panic, on the front walk, but no potted palm. I called the Wyoming Police and told them to look for a barefoot person running down the street carrying a potted palm (the potted palm was never found). Marie was never interested in politics until 1979/1980 so with the burden of college expenses we were sometimes reduced to a diet of rice, beans and macaroni so Marie would come home from shopping, furious that people with food stamps had their carts loaded with expensive cuts of meat and fresh baked goods so she changed from a Hubert Humphrey Democrat to a Ronald Reagan Republican. During the 1970's we had little money for entertainment - an occasional movie, usually at the theater in Clifton where I can remember a few (which are now classics) such as "Five Easy Pieces," "A Clockwork Orange," "The Last Picture Show," "Chinatown" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Hugo once gave us tickets for a May Festival production of Gounod's "Faust", our first time at Music Hall. Marie bought a record of Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana" which she listened to often and for her, I think, the music was a release.
            On the Road: In the fall of 1976 I again faced the dilemma of having accumulated a number of vacation days which had to be used by the end of the year. A family vacation at that time was not feasible, so Marie again suggested a trip to Rapid City, but because money was tight (we were saving for upcoming college years), I should take a bus rather than fly which would not only save money but would consume much of the surplus vacation time. I decided to go for it so Marie took me to the Greyhound Depot (northeast of downtown Cincinnati, 35 year later still in the same place) and I was on my way. The first leg of the journey, unfortunately, was a local, with steps at Indianapolis, Lafayette, and many small Indiana towns before reaching Chicago. A group of scruffy looking men got on in Cincinnati and went to the back of the bus where they drank, smoked and played cards. I thought I was fortunate having a double seat to myself, but after a time I was joined by one of the "Back of the bus" guys who said the heavy smoke was starting to bother him. He was a wiry little man, probably in his fifties, a bit unkempt and carried a small flask of whiskey which he sipped periodically. He said his name was Charlie, and that he was a tool and die maker, a commonly professed trade for these wayfarers and later he told me he was an ironworker - worked on the steel framing of high-rise buildings in Chicago, also fiction I'm sure. After a time, he said "Well, by now you must recognize who I really am" and he showed me his profile, then couldn't' believe that I hadn't seen him on "Grand Ole Opry", a country/western TV show from Nashville where he said he had a bit part on one of the shows but was pulled off the stage by a vaudeville hook so if it really happened it apparently was the highlight of his sad life. Before we reached Chicago, Charlie was sound asleep and at the bus depot everyone got off, including Charlie's "friends," leaving him alone, curled in the seat (I was not able to rouse him). The next leg of the journey was by Greyhound Express, with stops only in Davenport, Des Moines and Omaha and it was the middle of the night so I tried to get some sleep. There were two young French women on board who were taking a bus tour to see America but I don't think they saw much of Iowa in the darkness. Early in the morning, at the Omaha depot, I transferred to another bus company, "Jack Rabbit Bus Line," with steps in Sioux City and Sioux Falls. The Sioux City depot was the same bus depot where Dad had met Conrad and me, many years before (1960) when we came down to a family reunion from St. Paul. At Sioux Falls, for the final leg, I transferred to another Jack rabbit bus, which was an old bus, very much a "local" with spots in every town across the state of South Dakota. There was no chance of rest on that long, jolting ride, but it was an experience seeing the country folk, too poor to own a car, who traveled from town to town for family visits or shopping, often with a large basket of food as if it were a long journey, speaking in their rural dialect about family or crops and livestock along the road. It was a way of life that was fading away. There were also many Indians, usually women, traveling alone, riding in silence. After 27 hours on the road I finally arrived in Rapid City where Dad was waiting at the bus depot and as it was evening = Mother had prepared a large dinner, but I was exhausted and mostly just wanted a good night's sleep. Ken and Kathy had me over to their place for my 46th birthday and as it had been quite a few years since anyone had celebrated my birthday it was a pleasant surprise (Ken had worked hard to get their house ready for my visit. With the 4 kids, Karl, Kurt, Kristin and Keith, and Ken's fire department salary, it was not an easy life). By this time Dad was bored with retirement, and after setting up a furniture repair and refinishing business in their garage, he was working part time at a furniture shop, run by a man from North Dakota named Kuntz, doing furniture refinishing. Dad and Mother were also involved with activities at Bethlehem Church and they worked as volunteer "docents" at the Stavkirke (an authentic replication of the medieval wooden church in Norway) in a wooded park just west of Rapid City. Mother was doing some oil painting and she did a painting of the "ranch" of her best friend, Trudy Carstens (formerly Gertrude Rabe from Hanover Church in Iowa). Trudy was a widow, living with her son Bus at their 1000-acre homestead on the outskirts of Rapid City. Dad and Mother had gone to Yuma, Arizona (flying for the first time) to visit Helmut and Esther Schilke (also visits to Paula and Don Hassler in Phoenix and Phyllis and Glen Nicholson in Tucson), they took trips to Iowa, and St. Louis, and also went out West with Trudy and Bus. They were living busy lives, with no major health problems. As I was leaving Dad said to me, in Low German (translated into English) "If we don't meet again on earth, I'll see you in heaven" but I assured him that I would be back again. The trip back to Cincinnati was uneventful, although there was an enlightening conversation on the bus in western Iowa with a professor from Grinnell College who said that Cincinnati sounded like a very interesting place.
            Academic Scramble: By the summer of 1977, I thought that college plans had been firmly established in which Conrad would start college in the fall, Caroline and Rosalind would graduate from high school and start college in the fall of 1978. In late July, however, Marie came up with a new plan that the girls had only one required course remaining for high school graduation and this course, in government/civics, could be completed by correspondence and a final test, so why waste another year in high school. The decision was made that Caroline and Rosalind would start college that fall. But getting someone enrolled in college, late in the summer, without a high school diploma, proved to be a challenge. Because Rosalind had taken (through Wyoming High School) courses from the University of Cincinnati, we were able to get her enrolled as a freshman at U.C. Caroline was a more difficult case, but Thomas Moore, a small private college in Northern Kentucky, was looking to fill their enrollment quota so Caroline was accepted as a freshman at Thomas Moore. The girls were commuters and Marie did most of the driving. Commuting was not in the original plan for Conrad, but because of a very late decision to enroll in Miami University (Oxford, Ohio, about a 30-mile drive from our house in Wyoming), there were no dorm rooms available and he would have to commute, but we did not have car for him. Marie's mother came to the rescue with the abandoned pasture care as somehow she was able to get the title papers from Evelyn and the keys from Norbert and then she had the car towed to Frederic, and with a new set of tires, hoses, wiring, and battery replaced, door and fender damage repaired, it was like new (actually the car had been driven only a few miles and also, a family of mice had moved into the car so some of the upholstery was a bit ragged). Marie and Conrad drove to Frederic and brought the car back to Cincinnati (Conrad kept the car for many years, through college and after even taking it to Chanote, KS, when he moved there), and Conrad received a permit from the University allowing him to have a car on campus (a privilege limited to freshman commuters as only upper classmen were allowed to have cars). Shortly after classes began, the University informed us that there was space in one of their buildings which had apartments, probably for married student housing, so Conrad not only had a room in an apartment rather than in a crowded dorm, he also had a car permit.
            On the first day of freshman orientation at Miami University, Conrad asked me to accompany him. At the University Bookstore, while Conrad was picking up books and other material, I thought about how I had taken him to his first day of school many years before at St. Anthony Park School in St. Paul. I also remembered my first day at Iowa University, and, reaching far back, my first day of kindergarten at Washington School in Sioux City, with my grandfather.
            White-out: The winter of 1977-1978 was the snowiest winter on record in Cincinnati. Marie had gone up to Miami to bring Conrad home for Christmas break and after New Year's, as we were driving back to Oxford, heavy snow started falling so several miles before reaching Oxford traffic slowed to a crawl. By the time we finally reached Conrad's apartment the road was nearly impassable and we thought we were entering a new ice age (the Ohio River did freeze over in Cincinnati).
            Geboren 1900-Gesterben 1978: My brother Ken called on the first day of June 1978 telling me that Dad developed an aneurysm on a major artery near his heart, he was rushed to the hospital in Rapid City for an emergency operation, and was in critical condition. I flew to Rapid City the next day. We visited Dad that afternoon where he was in much pain and barely conscious. Mother told him that I was there - he said "What for?". Ken, Mother and I went out for something to eat and when we returned to the hospital that evening Dad was sleeping peacefully as he had been given a medication to soothe his pain. Dad never woke from his sleep and died on June 3, 1978. The operation, apparently, had been a success, but the shock of the aneurysm and the surgery had caused his kidneys to fail completely. He had a hard and stressful life, from a Wisconsin farm (on land still being drained of marshes and cleared of forests), through the Great Depression in Sioux City, and taking in (and for the most part supporting) Mother's parents. He was always busy, at his auto repair business or around the house, doing what had to be done and never complaining. Dad was deeply involved in church activities, including superintendent of Sunday School in Sioux City and he had wanted to be a parochial school teacher, but had to drop out of college because there was no money. On one of my last visits to Rapid City he told me that with his Social Security income he had more money than he had ever had in his life. The last years in Rapid City truly were his "golden years." Ken and I made the funeral home arrangements for the funeral was at Bethlehem Church where there was a large crowd as Dad apparently had many friends. Mother and Dad had purchased a lot in a Rapid City cemetery where there was a final graveside service. Mother, of course, was quite distressed by all of this as she had never lived alone, did not drive, and Dad had handled all the financial matters. Fortunately Ken and Kathy lived nearby. Dad had a medical insurance policy (Medicare, in effect for several years, did not cover everything), but Mother had nothing; before I left, Ken and I got her enrolled in a medical insurance program. I told Mother I would be back as soon as possible (I was back the following summer). She said if Dad had lived another year they would have celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
            When school was over in the summer of 1978, Marie decided that she and the kids would go up to the Wisconsin farm for a few weeks which had to be scheduled around a required summer program for Conrad's anthropology major including an archaeological dig at an ancient mound or another site. Someone had convinced Marie that her mother, who was now spending much time at the farm, should have a dog, both for security and as a companion. Marie picked up a dog at the SCPA, a large shepherd/collie mix but she decided this dog was not suitable, took him back, and came home with a smaller beagle type dog. When it was time to leave for Wisconsin, Marie decided that this dog, also, was not suitable for farm life, and left it for me to get him back to the shelter. Both dogs had been taken to the shelter by their original owners who no longer wanted them since they were older dogs, docile and quite anxious. The beagle especially had very sad eyes and when I took him back to the shelter the SCPA lady scolded me. Picking up and bringing back these poor dogs, she said, was unkind. I agreed with her and assured her that it would not happen again. Later that summer, when Marie and the kids returned, she announced that "We are not going back again! The people up there are starting to talk funny!" I thought she was joking but she was not. I always enjoyed listening to the German/Scandinavian brogue from that area which was much more lively than the flat speech of western Iowa.
            Caroline and Rosalind, now that they were legitimate college students, transferred to Miami University at Oxford, sharing a dorm room. We were now burdened with room, board, and tuition costs for 3 students. Fortunately, I was busy at the office and accumulating overtime pay, but this was not enough to cover the bill due every month from the University, so Marie started working part time, first a temporary services job, then later for the IRS at their large center in Covington, Kentucky. She did this for two year (78-79 and 79-80), December through April, working nights and some weekends, reviewing tax returns. For the first time since the Emerson Avenue apartment in Minneapolis, Marie and I were once again alone together, but it was not the same in many ways. Much had happened in that 20 years. Also, I was working a lot of overtime and traveling, and Marie was working nights, so we saw each other only briefly on weekends, and we certainly did not have time or money for a "night out." There were many back and forth trips to Miami Univeristy so Highway 27 became a routine drive. Out to Colerain Avenue and across the Great Miami to Ross, on to Millville (a delightful village then), up a long hill, past the McGonigle crossroad and finally into Oxford (we had taken this same drive on our many camping trips to Hueston Woods).
            Paint Out: In the summer of 1979 there was no family vacation trip (Conrad had a summer job at a local motel) but in late summer I was off to Rapid City to do some serious work as the house there was badly in need of a paint job (exterior wood siding, door and window frames). In the week that I was in Rapid City my job was to do all the prep work which included scraping off the loose paint, wire brushing and washing the surfaces, and priming any bare wood. Fortunately, McGuire (the next-door neighbor) had trimmed away the overgrown bushes crowding against the house. The last few days, Ken and family came over to help with the final painting so Mother was quite pleased with the result (she paid for the paint and my airfare). She seemed to be adapting to living alone, although her failing eyesight was a concern, and her best friend, Trudy, apparently was slipping into dementia, accusing Mother of stealing things that had been misplaced (or perhaps which never actually existed). During the painting sojourn, Mother was visited one evening by Hans and Agnes Schau, and their son Howard and his wife, who were traveling through the Black Hills. Mother was absolutely delighted as Agnes (Rothe) was her favorite cousin (they had grown up together at Hanover in Iowa). Mother prepared a large dinner and she didn't want the evening to end; Ken and Kathy were also part of this happy gathering.
            Distant Learning: Miami University had a satellite campus in Europe, in Luxemburg City, with courses in European history, literature and language. Caroline, then in her junior year, and studying French, was certain that a semester there would be beneficial. Although the added expense would burden our already stretched finances, we decided that this would be a good experience for Caroline. After she had enrolled she discovered that although French is the official language of Luxemburg, the native language is Letz, a German dialect, and that the language of instruction was English. As Caroline wanted a total immersion in the French language, the University allowed her to enroll at a college in France. Although it was difficult at first, Caroline had her total immersion in the French language and culture.
            In late 1978 AMK received a commission from Cincinnati General Hospital (now University Hospital) to design a new building to house all their laboratory services. The project was designated the "Consolidated Central Laboratory." Because it was a major project, Bill Rabon personally was charged with the architectural design, Gene Moenck was the project manager, and I was the project architect. The site was quite limited, inserted between existing buildings on 3 sides, so a multistory solution was required. Rabon probably considered the design one of his tours de force but unfortunately a few years later the hospital decided to put a medical helicopter landing pad on top of the building so the subsequent addition was an architectural monstrosity. On one of my frequent visits to the construction, as the project was nearing completion, a young woman, wearing only an open backed hospital gown, accidentally walked into the construction area but realizing her mistake, she made a second mistake which was doing an about face and walking way. The workmen were transfixed.
            Erich Zwertschek had been elevated to deputy director of the architectural group (Hugo Rooman was now a V.P. and moved to a first-floor office) so to celebrate this event Erich had a party at his house (summer of 1978) inviting everyone in the architectural group, and their spouses. Marie actually agreed to attend, knowing that I would go regardless, and she was probably curious about all the people from the office that I would mention. It was a great party with pina colada served from a large punch bowl.
            Early in 1979 Michael Moose was hired as an architectural designer. Michael was from Mississippi, and had a Masters in Architecture from Yale, was talented but inexperienced and had his baptism of fire working with Bill Rabon (after a few years he left AMK and became the lead designer at one of Cincinnati's better architectural design firms). Another architect from Mississippi started at AMK about the same time whose name was Paul (can't remember the last name), ethnic Chinese, obsessed with General George Patton of WWII - a film "Patton" had been made a few years before in which actor George C. Scott gave one of Patton's Firey speeches. Paul had a tape of this speech, which he would play loudly and repeatedly at the office on Saturdays. In March of 1979 AMK had a party to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the firm's founding and in an act of unexpected generosity, A.M. Kinney Jr. gave each employee (there were about 400 then) a new 50-dollar bill, whether they had been with the firm 30 years or 30 days which was a pleasant surprise although some longtime employees grumbled about a lack of recognition for years of service. There was also a huge cake in the shape of the new completed building (the north wing had been recently added).
            One of the longtime employees was Curt Wilhelm, a structural engineer. It was a custom in the architectural group for someone to bring in doughnuts for birthdays or other special occasions. Curt had an uncanny sense of those pastry events so he would causally stroll over the from the structural department, snatch a doughnut, and with what became known as the "Curt Curl", quickly depart with the doughnut semi-concealed in his curled hand. Curt was from Grundy Center, Iowa, where he and his brother still owned the large and apparently very prosperous family farm; he was a graduate of Iowa State and told of his father driving him to Ames on his first day of school in a Model A Ford which was in the 1930s (I think of the Norman Rockwell painting).
            Bill Wilson, a tall, gangly architect, originally from New Jersey, had started at AMK as a co-op student from U.C. in 1975. Bill was hard working and driven, but also had a devilish sense of humor and for some reason, George Brabender was often the victim of his pranks. In one of his classic tricks he used heavy packaging tape to seal shut the drawers of Brabender's desk (the taping was fully concealed). Brabender was always good humored but a bit exasperated with these stunts. On late night work session, Wilson would often appear at one or two in the morning with a sack of White Castle burgers ("Gut bombs" as he called them, also known as "sliders"). By 1980 he was a project architect. At one of the many pharmaceutical projects that I was involved with during this period, I was explaining to a group of client people how we would incorporate a particular pharmaceutical process into our building layout and one of the meeting attendees began addressing me as "Dr. Froehlich". Wayne Wheeler, the AMK project manager, thought this was hilarious - he related the incident back at the office so from that time to this day Bill Wilson addresses me as "Dr. Froehlich" or simply "Doc."
            Name Game: George Brabender was not above a bit of mischief himself. At the time about 40 or 50 people were working overtime and had to sign out in the evening when leaving (there was no time clock). George, in an act of creative trickery, would leave with a group, sign the name "Phineas Pratt" and then several lines later sign his own name. George was careful to disguise the handwriting and also made certain that he and "Phineas" did not always work on the same evenings. There was an old guy (I'm not sure what his position was at AMK) who would check the sign out sheets against hours recorded on the individual time cards. After weeks of reviewing employee rolls and lists of outside contractors he determined that "Phineas Pratt" did not exist. After many more weeks of cross checking and analysis he determined that "Phineas" and George were one in the same. The old guy was quite pleased with his achievement but George was reprimanded and "Phineas Pratt" was no more.
            In early 1980, Bill Hutz joined AMK as an architect, originally from Pennsylvania, was in his thirties, a Vietnam War veteran, recently divorced but with a plethora of female friends. Bill was a dedicated and knowledgeable architect, with a neatly trimmed beard, a pipe in his mouth and always properly dressed in vest and necktie. Hutz said he really never understood why he volunteered as a medic in Vietnam as the sight of blood made him faint and on his first mission with a medivac helicopter shortly after landing to evacuate wounded, they came under fire. He jumped into a trench but the man next to him was shot in the head. One morning Hutz came into the office looking a bit distressed saying he had nightmares - didn't get much sleep. "Vietnam?" I said. "Good Lord no!" he said, "I was dreaming of my ex-wife."
            In the fall of 1980 AMK received a major commission from Abbot Laboratories, a large new pharmaceutical plant in Austin, Texas, the "HPD Austin Flex Plant," primarily for the production of sterile intravenous solutions in flexible plastic containers and I was assigned as project architect, in charge of a team of about a dozen from the architectural group. Bill Hutz was assigned as deputy project architect, and Gary Gentzler, who had a PhD in Industrial Engineering from Penn State, was the project manager with George Brabender as his assistant. It was another "fast track" project, so overtime became the standard mode. The initial meetings were at Abbot headquarters in North Chicago, but later a team of Abbot designers, headed by Abbot's chief architect Richard Brunjas, would make frequent trips to Cincinnati. It was during this intense period that Bill Wilson (who was not part of Abbot team) performed his piece de resistance. Gentzler and Brabender had a corner office with identical desks face-to-face so late one night Wilson recorded and carefully removed everything from the desk tops, changed the position of the desks (the desks were heavy so several co-conspirators were involved) then returned everything to the desk tops exactly as it had been. When Gentzler and Brabender came in the next morning there was a period of confusion and puzzlement before they realized what had happened. Wilson was delighted but Gentzler and Brabender decided that the easiest solution was to simply change positions. Brunjas and I went to Dallas for a meeting with building code officials, driving by the Kennedy assassination site in Dallas.

AMK

Marie - A Memory

            Foreshadows: About this time (1979-1980) I became aware that Marie was buying and using large quantities of products from health food stores. While these tablets, pills and potions, promoted as health aids, are generally not harmful (although such things as ingesting large amounts of carrot juice were found to cause liver damage and carbo, promoted as a healthy substitute for chocolate, was found to be a carcinogen) they are sold (informally and without prescription) as cures for various medical conditions. The FDA can be circumvented as these products are considered "nutritional supplements" rather than medications. The unfortunate consequence of all this is that many of the adherents ignore or even have a disdain for established medical practice.
            Suddenly: For some time, I could sense that Marie was troubled as her mood would change from great affection to anger and withdrawal. Marie and I had known each other for more than 24 years which somehow had all rushed by, and truthfully I had never really been as understanding or caring as I should have been, always focused on the current project at work. The kids were in their last year at Miami and after the Christmas/New Year's break Marie said she was not going back to work at the IRS. She opened her shirt and said "This is why!". I was stunned that one side of her neck was badly swollen. I said we had to get to a doctor immediately and at first she refused, but becoming fearful and concerned she finally relented. The doctor at the Wyoming Clinic took one look and said she had to see a specialist without delay so he made an appointment for the next day. Again, after much persuasion, she agreed to see this specialist, an oncologist who immediately sent her to Bethesda Hospital (then on Reading Road near the AMK office) for further tests. The diagnosis, as I feared, was breast cancer which had spread to lymph glands in her neck the cancer he said, had not yet affected her liver or other major organs and was still treatable. I went to see her that evening and I could see that she had been crying. She said the hospital food was bad, but I knew better.
            A tragic delay: Sadly, Marie continued to rely on her brother James (who was in Washington D.C.) as a mentor for health issues. She was in constant contact with him from the hospital and he said he knew of a health clinic in Mexico which was known for a successful treatment of cancer. James made all the arrangements, and in spite of my objections, and of course very strong objections from the Bethesda doctors, Marie flew to San Diego, and from there was taken across the border to the clinic in northern Mexico. The place was operated by a group who appeared to be from Eastern Europe and the treatment consisted of a diet of organic cabbage broth and various nutritional supplements. Marie was no fool as she could see that patients who actually had cancer were in rapid decline, and that the clinic "doctors" had no understanding of the disease. The problem, however, was extricating herself from the place and they tried to prevent her from leaving (each patient was a financial bonanza). Marie was quite forceful and after 2 weeks, with a promise to return and the purchase of a large quantity of expensive nutritional supplements, she was allowed to leave. She had to get herself back to San Diego and make flight arrangements back to Cincinnati. I met her at the airport and she was relieved and happy to be back home. The nutritional supplements went into the garbage.
            Twilight: For a few days Marie said she was feeling much better. In the evening when I came home from work we would sit and talk, just the two of us, something we hadn't done in a long time. All our married life the lack of money had been a constant burden but now the kids were nearly finished with college and we could think about doing things and going places so Marie clipped articles about Caribbean cruises and tropical resorts. But Marie was growing steadily weaker, she could not eat solid foods, only liquids but again she resisted my entreaties to enter a hospital. Finally, when she could no longer stand without help I called the Wyoming Life Squad and had her taken to University Hospital, then, and still, among the finest hospitals in the city. After a few days in intensive care her chemical imbalance was restored, she could eat normally and even began to walk again. I would visit her everyday at noon and again in the evening. Caroline and Rosalind came down from school, and Marie's sister, Marian, who she hadn't seen for 15 years visited from Minneapolis. Marie seemed cheerful and at ease and the doctors told here that although the cancer was in a late stage, and it was still treatable with a regimen of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Brother James however once again intervened, urging Marie to go to a laetrile clinic near Chicago (laetrile, vigorously promoted by health practitioners at that time, was a monstrous fraud, but with a powerful lobby in Washington, laetrile clinics were allowed to operate openly with the cancer "cure" based on an extract from apricot pits which after a few years the laetrile treatment was shown to be worthless and disappeared into the annals of medical infamy). As I found out later, the doctors told Marie that if she went to the laetrile clinic she would be dead in 10 days. I am certain that Marie knew that laetrile was a fraud but she made the choice and said she was going to Chicago.
            Farewell: Marie came home to pack a few things and she said not to worry, she would be back soon. Conrad came down from school to see his mother off and after he left Marie said "you know, he is really a nice boy." As we were leaving the house, she commented on the crocus flowers along our front walk, blooming now to announce the coming of spring. I helped her on to the plane, she fussed with the sea belt, I kissed her lightly (I would be seeing her in a week or so), and as I was leaving the plane I turned and she smiled and waved. Marie knew that she would never return. After about a week I received a call from the laetrile clinic saying that they were transferring her "temporarily" to a hospital. This was disturbing news and Rosalind went to Chicago. A few days later, when I came home from work, Conrad and Caroline were sitting in the dining room. Caroline said "Momma died." I was in shocked disbelief thinking how was this possible? There was so much yet that I wanted to say to Marie. It had been 10 days since she left University Hospital.
            Eulogy: Marie died on March 28, 1981 at Victory Memorial Hospital in Waukegan, Illinois (just north of Chicago). She was 45 years old. Marie's body was cremated and her ashes scattered over her beloved farm in Wisconsin and Mother had a tree planted at her church in Rapid City as a memorial. Marie left little behind with no letters, diary or memoir as far as I know, the clothes she made for the kids had long since gone to Goodwill, Caroline and Rosalind have the few ceramic pieces she made in St. Paul, and there are photos. There are no grandchildren. Conrad, Caroline and Rosalind will remember their mother. I remember a very pretty girl, on a late summer's evening in Minneapolis, many years ago.

SOLO

            Verloren: In the spring of 1981 I continued working long hours, and at night, not wanting to sit alone in a dark empty house, I would take long walks through the Wyoming neighborhoods. Occasionally I would encounter another solitary late night walker, who was usually startled by meeting someone on the quiet dimly lit streets. The years with Marie had gone by so quickly. She was happy with the children, especially in St. Paul when they were small, but I'm not sure that I brought her much happiness, or in the rush of our life, that I ever really knew her. I tried to sort out what had happened, or what would have happened, or what I should have done. I made a few phone calls and sent out some notices about Marie but the world seemed to be moving on, leaving hardly a trace of her life. Marie's "enemies" gave the house an egg treatment one night. I asked the neighbor lady to call the people on Fleming Road telling them that Marie had died so there were no more incidents. I cancelled the post office box and had all my mail delivered to 53 Forest.
            Revival: With the coming of summer a bit of life returned to the empty house as Caroline and Rosalind were back home (Caroline found an office job with "City of Hope", a non-profit downtown. Conrad decided to stay on at Miami to get a masters degree in anthropology but he came home quite often on weekends. After years of persuasion, Walter Connolly (the AMK spec writer) finally got me to the Cincinnati Art Club, becoming an associate member and attending the sketch group on Thursday nights. This became a lifelong commitment and I soon had many new friends: John Crane (a superb watercolor artist), Floyd Berg (a professional pastel portraitist), Gene Hinkley, Paul and Barb Zentrgaf, Cloe Royal, and many others, most of them talented artists and I owe much working with these people. Having accumulated a large number of vacation days, I decided to visit the family in Rapid City and as the old VW bus was in serious decline I traveled by air, taking the usual route through Minneapolis. Ken's oldest son, Karl, had graduated from high school and taken a job in Wyoming for a company providing fire protection in the oil fields. He and some other young workers had bought a mobile home and moved it to a small town in Wyoming and I was recruited to help move the entry section for this mobile home from Rapid City to the new site. There was a long drive through a bleak treeless landscape and into a forlorn settlement of low nondescript buildings which was not the sort of place to attract or hold a younger generation, and Karl did indeed soon move on. At Bethlehem Church Mother showed me Marie's memorial tree. Mother decided that she wanted to see Iowa again, so I rented a car and we made the daylong drive across South Dakota to Sioux City. Mother did not want to impose on any of her friends so we found a motel in Sergeant Bluff on the south edge of the city (there were no motels in Morningside). I hadn't seen my hometown in 16 years (other than the bus depot in 1976). It was much the same, but not the same as I remembered for there were no familiar faces and I seemed to be a stranger so it was like a troubling dream. Redeemer Church had built a large new building on Lakeport Road, the beautiful old stone library was gone and Peters Park was no longer bustling with activity, the streets I knew so well now seemed narrow and the houses so small (did my friends really live in these little wood houses?). We drove past the house at 4016 4th Avenue and I felt a deep unease with memories of childhood and teen years. That evening we went for dinner at the Normandy (one of the few "fine dining" restaurants in Sioux City) with the Keltings and the Hirsches and after dinner Larry Kelting had to drive us over the new Interstate bridge which connected Morningside to South Sioux City, Nebraska. The next day we visited Martha (Richter) Asmussen, now a widow (Alex and "Mutter" Richter were long gone), and her two sons, Norman (slow-witted but very stable) and David (brilliant but a bit unstable) remembering that many years before I had given rides to David from Concordia College in St. Paul to Sioux City. The Hirsches (Harold and Fae) had a party at their house that evening for a gathering of Mother's old friends where I remember Larry and Isabelle Kelting, Floyd and Marion Kruse, Betty Kleinfelder and Rose Smith (two of Mother's very best friends, although Meta Beardsley and Ruth Ruby, both now widowed, were no longer living in Sioux City). The next morning we were off the Charter Oak/Hanover/Denison where we visited Irma Fiene (Mother's cousin) and "Tante" Julia (who was 106 year old) in Charter Oak, went out to St. Paul's Hanover where Mother showed me the 70 year old graffiti in an upstairs storage room and the crack in a pew caused by her dog "Jumbo" who was coaxed to leap from the balcony (the parsonage was locked and closed as the pastor had another congregation in a nearby town where he also lived), and finally to a motel in Denison, where we visited Uncle Martin Runge, Mother's only surviving brother, living alone in the same big old house (Aunt Ella had died a few years before). The next day, Mother, Uncle Martin and I were back in Charter Oak where Agnes and Hans Schau put on a major feast and Irma Fiene was also there. The Schaus had retired from the farm and were living in "Tante" Anna's old house, directly across the street from the Fiene house. During the meal, Irma, of course, dominated the conversation which Uncle Martin said gave him a headache.
            On the way back to Rapid City, we stopped in North Sioux City, South Dakota, at a small "fast food" chicken restaurant (not KFC) run by Mother's old friends, Dieter and Liesel Hallwas. Liesel, with only one helper did most of the work as Dieter still had a full-time job but by late afternoon, at the time Dieter arrived, the place because frantic with activity and we said our goodbyes (it would be our final goodbyes).
            That fall I had a visit from Mother's cousin, Walter Daib as he was passing through Cincinnati and wanted to see his second cousins, Gertrude and Clara Moellering. We drove out to the Moellering house on the West Side, a duplex which they shared with the wife of their late brother and the Moellerings were delighted to see Walter, told family stories, and brought out an old photo album which was richly bound and beautiful but none of the photos were labeled or dated. Walter, who was then living in New York City and the archivist for the Missouri Synod Atlantic District, urged the Moellerings to label the photos but the sisters saw no need for that as they knew exactly who was in all the photos. Walter Daib, a retired army chaplain, was stationed in Alsace during and after the war, and learned to speak and understand the Alsatian dialect so he related a story about a distraught Alsatian lady meeting her pastor after the French army had returned to the area: (I will not attempt the Alsatian dialect). "Ach Herr Pastor! Aller namen mein kinder beginnen nun mit 'sha.' Johann ist nun 'Jean,' Karl ist nun 'Charles' und Georg ist nun 'Georges.' Aber nicht Susanna. Sie ist noch Susanna."
            At Christmas, I put up a tree (the first time in many years).
            By spring the old VW bus was on its last legs so I bought a new 1982 Jetta at the VW dealer in Northern Kentucky and we had agreed to a price including the trade-in value of the bus. When we went out to look at the old bus the salesman groaned in despair "Good Lord! We can't put that on our lot!" The price, however, had been set. The faithful old bus, which had served us for many years, many miles and many camping trips, was sent to a junkyard.
            In April, I renewed my membership in the A.I.A. (American Institute of Architects). And as Bill Hutz was the program chairman, he persuaded me to design many of the covers for the monthly program notices. It was at one of the A.I.A. meetings that I met my "Doppelganger," Jerry Froehlich who was a pleasant and agreeable fellow so I didn't mention the turmoil he had created some 10 years before (the meeting was held to inaugurate a new architectural drafting program at a technical high school where he was one of the instructors).
            The Wisconsin Dickie's were planning a large family reunion for the summer of 1982, largely promoted and organized by Walter Daib. Mother very much wanted to see her Wisconsin relatives again so made plans to attend but then Walter Daib suddenly died (he was a heavy smoker), and several other Dickie cousins, who were in their 70s and 80s, died or became seriously ill and the reunion enterprise collapsed. Mother decided to go to Wisconsin nevertheless, and I agreed to take her. In early July, I set out in the new Jetta and my first step was Denison, Iowa, where I called Uncle Martin Runge from my motel, but got no answer. I called again in the morning and Uncle Martin then explained that it was the 4th of July and he and a friend had driven out into the country with the friend's dog because the town fireworks were very frightening for the dog. I had breakfast with Uncle Martin and his cronies at their customary "bacon-and-eggs" place. In driving through rural Iowa, I noticed huge new tractors with enclosed cabins proudly displayed next to the little wooden farm houses and realized the times were changing. In Rapid City things were also changing. Ken and my mother had combined their assets and bought a newer, larger house on Lodgepole Place, a subdivision on the south edge of town. Mother had sold her house and moved into the new place but Ken and Kathy (together with Kurt, Kristin, and Keith) were only partially moved. I spent several days helping Ken with painting and dry wall work as he wanted to upgrade their old house before putting it on the market and Keith and I moved many loads of household goods in an old pickup truck which had a tape player and Keith, who was about 14, played a song over and over, loudly, about a fiddling contest between a guy and the Devil. Ken had been Fire Marshall of Rapid City for several years and as such had to review building plans for fire safety and code compliance so he became quite versed in the Uniform Building Code (UBC) and as many of the states where AMK did work used this code, I too had to know the UBC so after many years Ken and I found ourselves on parallel tracks. As things were settling down a bit, Mother and I made a break for Wisconsin where on the way we stopped in Blue Earth, Minnesota, to visit Esther Martin. Esther had been a fellow student with Mother, 1922/1923, at Bethany College in Mankato then a farm girl, now lived in town (Blue Earth is only about 30 miles from Mankato), never married but Mother had kept in touch with her all these years and it was their first meeting since Bethany. We arrived at the Nicolaus farm, which was "home base" during our stay in Wisconsin, and after 25 years it was much the same as I remembered. Aunt Lydia and Roland greeted us warmly (Lydia was then 90 years old - Uncle Reinhard and "Mutter" Nicolaus were long gone) but as usual there was a large bowl of homemade doughnuts in the kitchen, Wisconsin cheese and beer in the refrigerator. The yard and garden, however, were overgrown with weeds. As luck, would have it, Aunt Lydia's daughter (my cousin) Gerda and her husband Paul Heyse arrived at the same time as they had come for the 50th reunion of their class at Shawano High School they now lived in New Jersey. Paul and I immediately busied ourselves cutting grass and clearing brush around the house. Roland was running the farm by himself (just dairy cows now, no hogs or chickens) and had no time for domestic chores. There was an abandoned smokehouse in the rear yard in which Paul said that years ago they would smoke large freshly caught fish from the farm lakes. On a Friday night, Paul, Gerda and I went to a traditional Shawano "fish fry" (Aunt Lydia said the "young ones" should go out for a good time although Paul was nearly 70 years old). Paul and Gerda saw a few old friends but I could sense that for them it was not like the festive events of the past.
            Paul Heyse was born in Germany to a Catholic family. Apparently, times then were hard for this family, but if they had their child baptized in the German State Church (Protestant) they would receive a cash grant and a few years later the family emigrated to the U.S., but being good Germans, because they had received this grant, Paul was raised in the Lutheran Church. During our time in Wisconsin, Paul would rise early in the morning and walk alone in the Nicolaus woods, listening to Bach on his earphones (it was a quiet deep woods with many large trees, some perhaps even virgin timber). Paul had been a successful business man, but had a bad heart and died a few years later.
            About a half-mile down the road there was a one room schoolhouse which had been renovated into a residence. The property originally was part of the Nicolaus farm and it was given to the public-school district with the stipulation that if the land was no longer used for a school, it was to be returned to the Nicolaus farm but when the school was closed the school district sold the property, with the building, to a private owner. Uncle Reinhard never made a fuss saying that the place wasn't suitable for pasture in any case but I thought the old school was interesting and did an oil painting, which I gave to Aunt Lydia but I have no idea of what became of this painting.
            Aunt Lydia told many family stories and recollections of her life in Wisconsin. For many years, she was the organist at St. Martin's Lutheran Church. There on a springtime Sunday morning there was a special service for the parochial school in which the pastor and acolytes processed into the church followed by the elders and the teacher and school children were to follow but did not appear so Aunt Lydia continued to play the processional hymn, repeating it several times the congregation was becoming restless. Finally, the teacher (a young woman) looking quite flustered, marched in with the children for it seems that she had misplaced her hat and in those days, an adult female would not enter a church without a hat. One afternoon Mother and I went to Merrill, in north central Wisconsin, to visit Mother's cousins Margaret and Eleanor Daib and Aunt Lydia was quite concerned that I planned to drive through the Menominee Indian Reservation although it was the most direct route. The Daib sisters were still grieving the loss of their brother Walter and the planned Dicke reunion, they said, was one year too late. Margaret and Eleanor never married (Mother said that Margaret was quite attractive and intelligent but never found anyone who she thought to be her equal) and they never left Merrill, where their father, Hermann Daib was pastor of the large church, their mother was Hermine Dicke, a sister of my grandmother, and where they lived out their days. My Uncle John Runge ("Hans") taught at the parochial school in Merrill before locating to St. Louis and my cousin Carl Runge was born in Merrill. Bonduel and environs were next on our travel agenda. Again, after 25 years, it seemed to have changed little. Aunt Lydia (Runge) Froehlich ("Lydchen") was still living in the same large house, alone now but the glassed in front porch and the small colored glass window on the stair landing were as I remembered. The Froehlich Pontiac Garage was no more but Lorenz and Mary were living in an apartment above the garage and Lorenz was working long hours at his new business (auto and school bus upholstering and refitting). His two daughters were grown and married. One afternoon, Mother and I together with Lorenz and Mary, drove out to the Reimer Farm. Marilyn Reimer was one of the 3 sisters who were first cousins of both Mother and Dad (father Carl Dicke, Mother's uncle, and mother Wilhelmine Froehlich (Minnie, Dad's aunt). It was a beautiful farm but they were selling the place and moving to Bonduel as Marilyn's husband had ALS (he died several months later). We also drove out to the old Schilke farmhouse, soon to be torn down to make way for a new pickle factory. Lydchen regaled us with many family stories (I wish I could recorded them) as she was a superstitious country woman and told of the time, at twilight in an upstairs room, she thought she saw the ghost of the late first wife of Lorenz saying "June, is that you?", "No grandma, it's me" replied Connie, one of Lorenz's daughters who had come by. On the final leg of our trip we stopped in Green Bay to see Elfrieda Wiskow, another of the "double cousin" sisters where her husband had recently died (I've often wondered how these 3 ladies would be designated in a family relationship chart). We then drove down to the Milwaukee airport where Mother took a plane back to Rapid City and I drove home to Cincinnati.
            On August 10, 1982, Tante Julia Fiene, my grandmother's sister, died at the age of 107. She left her childhood home in Wisconsin coming to Western Iowa, the small town of Charter Oak, as a young bride, where she lived the rest of her long life and somehow, it seemed the Tante Julia would always be there in Charter Oak, playing a reed organ in the front parlor of that old house, and that that part of the world would never change or pass away.
            Stewardship: At a congregational meeting at Prince of Peace Church I was elected (probably unopposed) the Church Treasurer. I assumed the position in October 1982 and carried this burden for 12 years as it was a grueling and time consuming task. At that time Prince of Peace was at its peak of inner city mission activity and outreach with the congregation then about 1/3 the original German Lutherans mostly from Concordia, 1/3 Appalachian and 1/3 African American. I was responsible for issuing payroll checks (some twice a month, some weekly to the following:
            Robert Hullinger, pastor
            Joel Hempel, community pastor and director of the ICCPE (Inner City Clinical Pastoral Education) program
            Carol Lakin, secretary/receptionist
            Polly Bishop, clerical
            Mary Ann Sullivan, janitor
            Laura Goodell, preschool director
            Anita Reed, preschool assisant
            In addition, stipends were paid to the Sunday musician, Wednesday evening musicians, editor of monthly newsletter, Sunday school director and director of the Thrift Store. Some of these individuals were paid based on a fixed salary, others were paid at an hourly rate based on the number of hours worked. There were also regular monthly bills - utilities, telephone, office supplies, exterminator, janitor supplies, Thrift Shop rent, etc., and quarterly payments of Federal, State, and City taxes, also special "designated" funds, such as the "Emergency Assistance Fund" (created to provide emergency loans for food or rent which the loans were rarely repaid) or the "Pastor's Discretionary Fund". All of this was complicated by the Church, Preschool and ICCPE Program each being treated as a separate financial entity. It was nearly a full-time job so I set up an office in the 53 Forest living room where I spent a good part of every weekend (tracing long distance phone calls was particularly frustrating as people would sneak into an empty office and make calls all over the country such as one individual who was making frequent calls to a 900 "sex talk" number). Fortunately, there was a Financial Secretary who collected, recorded and deposited incoming funds.
            Back to the Front: These were the glory days at AMK as projects of all sorts and sizes came pouring into the office. Design and document work for the Austin HPD project was essentially complete by late 1981 so Bill Hutz took over during the construction phase and I was assigned to various other projects. One of these was for the National Cancer Institute in Frederick, Maryland at a facility that was originally used for the development and production of biological warfare weapons (this program had ended when the "war on cancer" had been declared). The buildings were being completely rebuilt into research laboratories. There was a large cylindrical chamber with portholes where moneys and Seventh-Day Adventist volunteers (conscientious objectors) would inhale various biological creations for effectiveness (this structure was demolished). During this busy period many new faces appeared in the architectural group - among them: Steve Alberico, Jerry Noran, Jim Pandzik, Jason Popelka (became an assistant specifications writer), Dave Stoll, Max Worthington (became the chief architectural designer, had a Masters from Virginia Polytech, taught at UC School of Architecture), Peter Refuse (originally from Vermont, he and his wife bought a large, historic house in Covington, the "Carneal House," restoration and maintenance of which consumed most of his time and money), Rob Pipes (returned to AMK after an absence to get a Masters at Cornell). Sadly, some good friends left, never to been seen again: Ed Riley, who went to Oklahoma City, joining Larry Keller (Ed, a passionate lover of classical music, never missed a symphony concert, where he met a beautiful woman, also a lover of classical music, but 15 or 20 years older than Ed but they married nevertheless and she joined him in his move), and Ramesh Patel, who went back to India (I bought a cabinet and chair from him before he left which we still have, somewhere in the house).
            Following the Frederick, Maryland project, I was assigned as project architect for a large addition and renovation for Dorsey Laboratories in Lincoln, Nebraska where Bill Rabon did the concept design, Wayne Wheeler was the AMK project manager and Rob Pipes was also on the architectural team. Wheeler and I did most of the on-site work so we usually flew into Omaha and drove to Lincoln in a rental car (one time we flew into Kansas City, then by small plane to Lincoln and on the return, we had to circle the Kansas City airport for a very long time as it was too windy for our small plane to land). The area in that part of Nebraska is very flat and as the Dorsey project manager said, from Lincoln "you can stand on a beer can and see Omaha". We usually stayed in the "Cornhusker", a large new hotel in downtown Lincoln and one evening at dinner Wayne said "watch this", and hoping to astonish the server in this small backwater city, paid his tab with a one-hundred-dollar bill but unperturbed, the server returned with the change (Wayne was crushed for in those days a one-hundred-dollar bill was a rarely seen treasure). Wayne Wheeler was a delightful traveling companion as he was an avid hunter and marvelous story teller. One of the most memorable was his account of an elk hunting trip to Montana when he and a group of his hunting buddies decided that shooting deer in Ohio farm country was not very exciting so big game hunting (elk) in Montana beckoned and they planned and trained for months, arriving at a hunting lodge in late fall (the Montana winter was closing in) where the next day they were driven out into open country and dropped off at intervals of a few hundred yards. The guide told them to move at a steady pace in a certain direction, and that after a few hours they would be picked up but if they felt they were lost they were to stop and hold their position. After a time, Wayne became disoriented and it was getting dark so he fired his rifle as a signal but got no response (the sound of a rifle shot quickly dissipates into the open sky) but he saw a light which seemed only a short walk away, not realizing that in that open country the light was miles in the distance and after several hours he reached a ranch house where the rancher was amazed that Wayne had walked such a long distance and drove him back to the lodge. The hunting party and guides were all out looking for Wayne so when they returned late that night exhausted and discouraged, one looked up, saw Wayne standing at a window, drinking a cup of hot coffee, and exclaimed in disbelief, "There he is!' One of the guides was heard to say that they had enough of "Ohio rabbit hunters," and Wayne said they never did see any elk.
            After Dorsey, one of the most satisfying projects of my architectural career was for N.I.H. in Bethesda, Maryland, satisfying not because of its architectural significance but because of the client people I worked with and by then, with my experience in designing research facilities, I was able to meet their needs. Because it was a major project, Hugo Roomann was assigned as project manager, I was the project architect, and the design and construction schedule went from late 1983 into 1985. The original structure was a large multi-story 1930s building being completely reconstructed into a modern facility for biological research and I interviewed each of the scientists to determine their research objectives, equipment needs and space requirements. There was one scientist, a theoretician, Hungarian but fluent in several languages (to his colleagues he was "Attila the Hun"), whose primary function was to conceptualize potential research projects (a fascinating individual, he required only desk space and many bookshelves). We usually flew into Washington National and took a subway up to Bethesda but on one occasion we had a rental car and with some free time took a tour of the Mall where the Vietnam Memorial (designed by Maya Lin) had been dedicated only the year before, impressive and moving but marred by the unfortunate addition of statuary at the memorial entrance (certainly not in the original design) and we also went through the National Gallery East Building designed by I.M. Pei.
            In August of 1983 I was sent to Connecticut to appraise a recently completed AMK projectand since it was a Friday I decided to go to nearby Boston for the weekend which I hadn't seen since Marie and I were there on our honeymoon some 24 years before. I did the usual tourist things, climbed to top of Bunker Hill Monument, toured the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") where I learned why the latrine is at the front (head) of a ship (think of which way the wind blows on a sailing ship), visited H.H. Richardson's Trinity Church and the new Pei/Cobb John Hancock tower adjacent to the Church, and at the insistence of George Neilson, had "broiled scrod" at a historic downtown restaurant (can't remember the name of the place but people sat in groups at long tables covered with checkered oilcloth).
            In the spring of 1984 AMK received a commission to do a quick study, preliminary design and cost estimate for upgrades at the Fisher Cheese Company in Wapakoneta, Ohio, about a 2-hour drive north of Cincinnati (Wapakoneta is the birthplace of Neil Armstrong of moon walk fame). Fisher Cheese was part of a large food product conglomerate, and as such produced mainly American processed cheese, sliced, individually wrapped and orange in color and although the product was primarily skim milk, it did contain some actual cheese which the Fisher production manager showed me a warehouse stacked high with imported cheese, mostly from Germany and New Zealand as local cheese, he explained, because of a Federal price support system, was too expensive (that cheese went into various Federal surplus food programs). After a time, the Fisher parent company asked us to do a similar study in nearby Van Wert, Ohio where there had been a huge cheese factory (it had been the town's main employer and there was a forlorn statue of a Dutch cheese girl in the town square) but because a long and bitter strike in the 1970's, the plant had been completely shut down. The Fisher parent company had acquired the empty building and also acquired the "mother" culture for Liederkranz, an expensive, labor intensive American soft cheese, similar to Limburger (the "mother" culture was closely guarded) so a small part of the Van Wert plant had been reopened to produce the Lieerkranz, with the proviso that none of those who had been part of the strike would be hired. I was asked to do the architectural portion of these studies although I was still quite busy with the Bethesda project.
            Like a thief in the night: In early March 1983, Ken called saying that Mother's health had suddenly deteriorated, and that she was in the Rapid City Hospital so I flew out to Rapid City the next day. Mother was happy to see me, she was cheerful and optimistic about the future, expected to spend a few days in the hospital, then for a time in a rehab center and eventually back home again as her parents, after all, had lived into their 90's, and she was not yet 80. After a few days, however, she realized that this was not going to happen as she was rapidly becoming weaker (all her life she had a "heart murmur" due to a defective heart valve and after many years this valve was beginning to fail). Mother's doctor said that the only hope was open heart surgery at a hospital in Denver which would be a risky procedure with only a small chance of success so he did not recommend it. A number of friends, mostly ladies from Mother's church, came to say tearful last goodbyes and her pastor came to give her Holy Communion so at the end of the day Mother was exhausted and then she asked me to call her sister Lydia in Wisconsin, which I did. When Ken and I returned in the morning (Kathy spent the night at the hospital), Mother was no longer conscious and she died later that night, March 8, 1983. The funeral was at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and she was buried next to Dad at Mt. View Cemetery in Rapid City. Mother was an educated and talented women who produced many oil paintings, played the organ at church, sewed with perfection and was a first rate cook. She had ambitions as a young woman which I'm certain she felt were never realized. I have the photo albums which she carefully assembled over the years and a few of her paintings and she diligently kept in touch with her many friends and family members, although they were gradually dying away and her past was fading. I wish she had written a memoir.
            I have few memories of 1983 at 53 Forest Avenue but I do recall one evening in late winter or early spring when Caroline called the house (fortunately I happened to be home) saying that she and Rosalind had been downtown with the Volvo, and on the way home, a tire went flat. They were in an old industrial/warehouse area west of downtown, it was dark and deserted and Caroline was quite uneasy so I drove down and changed the tire. Another Volvo incident: That summer, Conrad had gone to see an ancient mound builder site near Hueston Woods and somehow locked the keys in the car truck so he called (again, fortunately I was home as it was a weekend) and I drove up with a spare key after which Conrad and I hiked out to the mound site, overgrown with trees and not much to see. Caroline had decided to pursue a career in film (motion picture) making and the University of Southern California in Los Angeles was one of the few places to offer a degree program in this field. Caroline was accepted into the program on short notice and in January 1984 Caroline and Rosalind quickly hired a moving van, packed everything in their room (including one of the Herman Miller chests), and left for Los Angeles, driving the Volvo, but happily, Conrad was back home so I was not alone in the house.
            By December 1983 Conrad had graduated from Miami University with a Masters Degree in anthropology and moved back to 53 Forest. Early that December, Jim Sandercock, with whom I shared an apartment, 1958/1959, in St. Paul, called when I was at work (it was early evening) but Conrad took a message. Jim and his wife Judy were in Mason (a suburb north of Cincinnati) for some football event involving their son, and had a motel room so when I came home, quite late, I called - "Sandercock! Are you awake?", a sleepy reply "I am now". We had a nice chat but were not able to get together.
            In January, 1984, Dad's younger sister, my aunt Emily Thayer died, the last Froehlich of that generation.
            Extracurricular: A short distance from the AMK office there is a small park, "Sooty Acres", once part of a large estate, now a quiet place of wooded paths and flower gardens. I had always brought a lunch from home and when the weather warmed in the spring of 1982 I began spending my noon hours at "Sooty Acres" where occasionally I would meet someone else from the office, walking or just sitting on a bench enjoying the green space. On free evenings, I began going to musical events at CCM (University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music) where there was a baroque ensemble led by E.J. Hashamoto, a world renowned harpsichordist, and faculty recitals (I remember Kurt Sassmannshaus) as these events were usually free. I also went to chamber music concerts at the Taft Museum and Memorial Hall (also usually free). For some time, Bill Hutz had been urging me to join him on Friday evenings after work at the Pavilion, a bar/restaurant in Mount Adams which had a large outdoor deck overlooking the city. Hutz had a number architect friends from around the city and they would meet every Friday at the Pavilion to drink, talk "architecture" and generally unwind so Hutzh thought I should be part of the group. It was here that I met Dave Wagner, Rich Mellot, Tex Zimmel, Dave Collins, John Senhauser and several other architects, some my age, but mostly a bit younger, and mostly unmarried. On warm evenings, the Pavilion deck was "yuppie" paradise, crowded with young professionals celebrating the end of the week; the architects generally grouped together, and as is prone with this profession, talked mostly about architecture and related matters. The place swarmed with women in their 20s and 30s (mostly from downtown offices), but Hutz cautioned me about these eager young females as they could be, he said, quite dangerous. The "Pavilion" architects were a mischievous bunch and delighted in ridicule as when Dave Wagner introduced them to his new wife as "Linda Wagner" but she corrected him saying that her name was "Linda (her maiden name) dash Wagner" so thereafter she was tormented with the designation "Linda Dash" (the marriage did not last). Dave Wagner had a small design/build business "Environ", and he also started a construction company which he named "Rand Construction" after author Ayn Rand ("Fountainhead", "Atlas Shrugged", etc.) because of his very right-wing political persuasion. The "Pavilion" group also had an Oktoberfest tradition (Oktoberfest in Cincinnati is a major beer, German food and music festival, early fall, usually about 500,000 "Volksmenge") where they would volunteer to operate one of the many beer stands on Sunday forenoon (when things were slow), usually about 4 hours but enough time to consume great quantities of beer and to trade beer for food from the various food stands and for many years I was part of this Oktoberfest tradition. Another tradition of the "Pavilion group" was an annual rafting trip on the New River in West Virginia and in early August 1983 I joined this expedition, which by then had a standard pattern of activities. This particular trip was organized by Tom Gill who worked at the main office of the Cincinnati Fire Department. First, on a Saturday morning, there was a drive to a West Virginia Campsite where tents were set up, then there was a drive over a narrow mountain road to a backwoods settlement, Thurmond, West Virginia and as the road (from our approach side) did not go into the town, we parked our cars and walked across a high railroad trestle so the "main street" was actually a pair of tracks over which loaded coal trains would periodically rumble past. The town had a single bar/restaurant where there were steak dinners, singing and schnapps toasts well into the night, interrupted only when the building was shaken by a passing coal train. Two young women, Louise Schlatter, an architectural co-op from AMK and Julia from Tom Gill's office, were the designated divers for the return trip (a terrifying experience for both passengers and drivers). Partying continued at the campsite where there was a bonfire, more singing and a bottle of brandy produced by Tom Gill until eventually everyone collapsed into tents. With an early morning wake-up call, the tents were struck and everything packed into cars for a drive to the rafting company base camp where we had a quick breakfast of doughnuts and juice. We were issued life jackets and paddles and sent to the rafts which were inflated rubber affairs with a capacity of 10, including a "guide" who's primary function was to keep the raft under control as we plunged through the rapids. The rafting company flotilla consisted of 3 rafts plus 2 kayaks (the kayaks were to pick up any poor souls who might be thrown overboard in rough water) and the "Pavilion group" was dispersed among the 3 rafts with Hutz, Wagner, Louise, Julia and I were together in one raft along with four guys who appeared to be a bit uneasy about the upcoming adventure but the weather was warm and at midsummer the river was not running high so at some of the smaller rapids we were allowed to jump overboard, floating freely down through the crevices and narrows. On hillsides, through the trees, one could see abandoned coal mines, tipples and tracks and midway we pulled into a wooded cove for a lunch break (men's toilet in the trees upstream, ladies' downstream) and at one point with high walls of rock on both sides we passed under the "high bridge" which was used for parachute jump events. At the end of the trip we were bused back to the base camp and from there we drove to a motel in Beckly, where at a bar/restaurant there was another raucous night. One day at the office Hutz asked me to join him for lunch as he wanted me to meet a new female acquaintance whose name was Cindy Custer, a very pretty blond, a nursing student, intelligent but somewhat reserved. Hutz wanted my opinion and I said I thought she was a "winner". Cindy and Hutz became engaged (but not before Hutz had to sever relations with several other female friends which was no easy task). One weekend Hutz recruited me and several of the "Pavilion gang" to help Cindy move into a newly renovated apartment building on McMillan in Mount Auburn as there was some heavy lifting required because of several large pieces of furniture, but then, unfortunately, the guys discovered a box with Cindy's shoes, and then, even worse, discovered the bureau with Cindy's underwear so at this point all sense of decorum vanished and Cindy was in tears. St. James Avenue, near Eden Park in East Walnut Hills, once an elegant neighborhood of large homes, had deteriorated due to the 1950's/1960's "white flight" but Rich Mellot and his brother-in-law (Rich's wife, Joyce, and her brother were originally from Germany) bought (at a very good price) a large dilapidated house on St. James and set about converting it into a modern duplex. They worked on weekends and evenings but soon had a problem with break-ins (tools and materials were stolen) so they hired a security firm who brought in a pair of Doberman Pinschers whenever the place was empty (there were no more break-ins) and for many years this house was the site of "Pavilion gang" Christmas brunches. Bill Hutz and Cindy were married in the spring of 1984 at St. Johns Unitarian Church in Clifton. Hutz wanted some sort of pre-service music so I suggested Lin Greiser and her harp (she was a friend through Prince of Peace) and everything went on schedule except that the minister failed to show (she was at the Unitarian Church in South Avondale waiting for the wedding party to appear) until she was finally located and directed to the Clifton church for this was in pre-cellphone days. I'm sure this was the longest pre-service gig of Lin's career; the "Pavilion gang" helped Cindy and Hutz move to a renovated apartment building on the Gilbert Avenue hill in East Walnut Hills - this time Cindy and her sister, Gretchen, moved Cindy's personal effects. There was an attractive dark haired woman (no connection with AMK or the "Pavilion gang") who I found interesting but she seemed much too young - during a conversation I mentioned that she was probably about twenty-five to which she said "Twenty-five! I'm nearly thirty-five". She invited me to her place for "steamed milk" and sometime later she asked me over for dinner "unless I was involved with someone else". By that time I was very much involved with someone else, Laura Goodell, my future wife, so I told her that there would have to be a parting. There were no more calls to the office, but she did write a long letter saying it was just as well that we hadn't married as she had cold feet at night. I heard from mutual friends that she had moved to another city, married and had a child so I hope she found happiness but I never saw her again.

ANOTHER LIFE
Laura Goodell

            Laura was born September 14, 1946 at the General Hospital in Pontiac, Michigan, to Kenneth E. Goodell and Irene Bowmaster Goodell. Her parents had been neighbors in Pontiac, married in September 1935, but in 1946 were living on what had been a small farm, 15 miles west of Pontiac, in White Lake Township, on Cedar Island Road, then a mostly rural area. Laura's father, who was born in 1907, came from a farming family in the "thumb" area of east central Michigan and her mother, born in 1909 was from Grand Rapids, Michigan, where her father worked as a carpenter. Both families relocated to Pontiac for work opportunities in that booming industrial city. Laura's father, who was the oldest child, had 3 sisters, Louise (married to Ewing Tate), Clara (married to Luther Pearsall) and Cora (married to Gene Holstein) and also a younger brother Carl, who died of pneumonia when only 18 or 19 years old. Her mother had 3 older sisters, Edna (married to "Rob" Robinson), Betty (who never married) and Dorothy (married to Arthur Kaphengst), and an older brother, Carl (Carl's first wife died and in his later years he married a widow, Marge). Her mother had a younger sister, Kate (married to Harvey Faber), a younger brother, Harold, and the youngest, a sister Laurabelle, who also never married. All of Laura's cousins were boys, mostly older than Laura, except for Karen Holstein, who was Laura's age and who became her lifelong best friend. Karen graduated from nursing school and when she married John Murdock, Laura was the bridesmaid. By the time of our marriage in 1984, all of Laura's uncles had died (except for Harold who lived in California) as had her aunts Cora and Edna, so the family of her parent's generation consisted mostly of widowed and maiden aunts (Aunt Dorothy, in her old age, moved to Arizona and did remarry). That generation, now all gone, shaped by the Great Depression and the industrial revolution, went from a rural way of life to factory jobs in towns and cities (many in my parent's generation were part of this same passage). At family gatherings Laura remembers that the main topics of conversation were cars and retirement (nearly all the menfolk, and some of the women, worked in the auto plants).
            Although Laura's father had a job at a General Motors factory in Pontiac, he decided that buying a small farm would provide a level of backup security in the troubled economy of the 1930s (he was with General Motors until he retired, never operating the place as a farm, although released some of the land to neighboring farmers). We have a photo, winter in late afternoon, probably about 1940, with Laura's father driving a horse and sleigh through deep snow along Cedar Island Road, and riding along is Lizzie Dicke, an elderly widow from a nearby farm. By the time Laura was born, the old farmhouse (built in the late 1800s) had been modernized, with a deep well, indoor plumbing and electricity, a kitchen wing had been added and hardwood floors installed in the first-floor rooms (from trees harvested by Laura's father), and a white picket fence had been added to keep Laura safely in the yard (Cedar Island Road, then a country dirt road, is gravel now but still not paved, the picket fence is gone). Laura's brother, David, was born in 1950. In those years, life was filled not only with visits from the many aunts and uncles, but also many friends and neighbors drawn by Laura's gregarious father. One group of friends, who named themselves the "Horse Traders" would often get together and two couples of this group, Pat and Earl Smith, and Jess and Hilda Weaver, were still close friends of the family when Laura and I married (Earl Smith (the family name originally was "Schmidt") was a test driver at the GM proving Grounds).
            Laura's father built a new barn and raised horses (Laura always had a riding horse) and David was made to raise cows. Laura's mother was very much involved with activities at Cedar Crest Lutheran Church (in a village a few miles to the east) where Laura went to Sunday School and was confirmed, and her mother also became involved in the local 4-H (probably mostly for Laura's benefit). Laura remembers (not fondly) having to bake many practice cherry pies to enter a 4-H pie baking contest. Laura's mother also drove her to the nearby town of Milford for flute lessons (she played flute in the Milford High School marching band) and to a nearby subdivision for piano lessons and her rendition of a Chopin polonaise (Le Militaire) was her father's favorite. Junior and senior high school also meant a daily bus ride to Milford and after graduating from Milford High School, Laura enrolled as an education major (options for young women were limited then) at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo where she also continued her piano studies. During summer breaks Laura worked at her Aunt Betty's office in Cleveland (and lived with Aunt Betty) who by then had an important position at a Cleveland company. In her senior year (fall of 1967) Laura had an opportunity to enroll in a study program in the U.K., mostly in Wales. When the program ended, and before returning home, she and a friend decided to see more of Europe, hitchhiking through France, Spain, Italy, Austria and Germany which was quite a daring enterprise for 2 young women at the time (or anytime for that matter) and her parents were never told of this adventure.
            On graduation Laura had no specific agenda so for the summer she took a job as youth counselor at a camp on the East Coast. Here she acquired the nom de plume "Pete R. Rabbit" and met a group of fellow counselors who spoke in a strange dialect and who were obsessed with a baseball team called the "Reds." At summer's end these Cincinnati folks suggested that Laura come to their city as the school board was looking for teachers. By the fall of 1968 Laura was teaching at a near West Side elementary school and living with a West Side Catholic family. Concordia Lutheran Church in Over-the-Rhine was the "mother" Missouri Synod congregation in Cincinnati and Laura became a member. When Concordia moved to a new location in Clifton (1969), Laura became a founding member of the new congregation, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. She became committed to working with the inner-city ministries of Prince of Peace, and by early 1972, now living in Over-the-Rhine, she became founder/director of the Prince of Peace preschool, a position which she held, as "Pete R. Rabbit" for 15 years. Laura was also active in the community as a member of the Urban Appalachian Council and a president of the Over-the-Rhine Community Council. For several years, she also took in a foster child, a young girl from Over-the-Rhine. To complement her busy life, Laura began work on a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education at Xavier University, riding her bike from Over-the-Rhine to the Xavier campus in Avondale and she also restarted her passion for piano, taking and giving piano lessons.
            During this time things were changing at her home place with the "white flight" from Detroit the farms, fields and woodlands were vanishing under the encroachment of interstate highway, shopping malls and subdivisions, and summer cottages at the many lakes were being replaced by large permanent homes. Laura's father advanced at General Motors, eventually becoming "Fire Chief" in charge of plant production at the Pontiac factories and when he retired in 1973, the folks went to Florida for a part of each winter at a mobile home park in Zephyr Hills (Laura's Aunt Kate and Uncle Harvey had retired and permanently relocated to Zephyr Hills and their friends Jess and Hilda Weaver were also spending the winter months in Zephyr Hills). Lizzie Dicke's farm was purchased by Jim Reid (a farmer) but by 1980 he had divided the land into lots for a subdivision. Earl Smith had retired so he and Pat purchased land on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean and they spent winters there building a new home (Pat was originally from Australia where Earl was stationed during the war and Pat became a "war bride"). Laura's Aunt Betty and Aunt Laurabelle had moved to Las Vegas and after retirement moved to Arizona. Laura's brother married Susan Chall in 1972 and he converted the barn into a fine two-story house. By then there were no more farms or riding horses on Cedar Island Road.

Courtship

            Laura and I were members of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church from the very beginning of the congregation, and although we were certainly aware of each other, we were not really acquainted and I can't recall that we ever spoke. Laura remembers that I usually arrived late for church service and after the closing hymn left with hardly a word. All that changed in October 1982 when I took on the job as church treasurer which included responsibility for the staff payroll. Laura, as director of the preschool, was paid twice a month at a fixed salary, but her assistant, Anita Reed, was paid weekly at an hourly rate, and the number of hours varied week to week, so there was usually a review with Laura of Anita's time sheets plus other preschool bills (the preschool had a separate budget). At the time, Laura was living a few blocks down the street, a first-floor apartment at the 12th and Race, across from Washington Park which she shared with Marietta Barman, a former nun, in her 40s, originally from Sun Prairie, Wisconsin (artist Georgie O'Keefe was born in Sun Prairie). Laura was often at the church office in the evenings either because of programs at the church or prep work for the preschool and one cold night, probably in early February, I offered to drive her home which she accepted. Somehow this evolved into a dinner date, probably for the following Sunday, which happened to be the 1983 Sampler Weekend of the "Fine Arts Fund" (The "Fine Arts Fund," now known as "Artswave", is an organization which raises millions of dollars each year to support the Symphony, Chamber Orchestra, Ballet, various museums and other fine arts groups). The fund drive has many art-related activities at several locations and at some point, we found ourselves at the Contemporary Arts Center, which then was in the Formica Building on 5th Street. This, I think, was our very first actual "date." Over time we discovered that we shared common interests in music and art.
            After I came back from Rapid City in March 1983 (Mother's final illness, death, and funeral), we began to see each other more often, attending concerts at CCM and Music Hall and visiting art museums. Regularly, on Sunday afternoons at 53 Forest, I would be immersed in Prince of Peace financial work while Laura was busy at the piano. In addition to being director of the pre-school, Laura was taking piano lessons and doing work at Xavier University for professional certification (she had finished the Masters Degree program). June 10, at 1204 Race Street, Laura gave a piano recital for a few friends where she played several pieces, but one has stayed with me called "The Girl with Flaxen Hair" by Debussy.
            In late summer Laura persuaded me to drive up to Michigan with her to visit the old home place (and to meet her family) along a road taken, over the years and of this writing, probably a hundred times, going north the full length of western Ohio on Interstate I-75 to Toledo, then up to Ann Arbor, exiting at Goddess Road, over to South Lyon, through picture-perfect Milford and finally on graveled back roads to the "farm" on Cedar Island Road (300 miles from Cincinnati). I was put in a small bedroom on the second floor of the old Michigan farmhouse and Laura was in an adjacent bedroom, her room since childhood. The screened back porch, which looked out to a large garden and fields to the north, was the summer dining room. There was no better place, on a summer's twilight, than this porch, quiet except for distant sounds and for me, memories of other screened porches, summers in Sioux City, Charter Oak, Alta. I met Laura's parents, her brother Dave, Sue his wife, and their two young boys, and also the Smiths (Pat and Earl), the Weavers (Jess and Hilda), and probably several others. Laura and I walked down the road to the public park at Teeple Lake, her childhood swimming beach. One evening we went with Dave and Sue to an outdoor concert and we walked through the fields to the woods on the north end of the property. I'm sure there was some uncertainty about me as I was, after all, quite a bit older than Laura (and drove a German car). Earl Smith, however, pronounced me as a "keeper," so I seemed to have passed muster.
            For her birthday that year I gave Laura an electric typewriter as she had to submit much material to Xavier for her certification (typewriters, even electric ones, were to become obsolete in a few years). That fall (I don't remember the date) Laura and I became engaged. On Sunday, November 20, 1983, at the end of the service, I sent the following note up to Pastor Hullinger: "The treasurer of the church wishes to announce his engagement to a young female rabbit. The wedding, of course, will take place during the rabbit mating season, which is in late spring or early summer." Pastor Hullinger read the note to the congregation and pandemonium ensued.

Prelude

Engagement is certainly a major "rite of passage," but the main event was months away, and there was much work coming into the office so it seemed that there would be plenty of time to get things in order. Any thought of a time of peace and quiet, however, was soon dispelled. First, an engagement ring had to be selected, then a trip to Michigan for the official "family" announcement. It was Thanksgiving so after dinner Dave gave a toast and made a brief speech (Laura's parents left for Florida immediately after Thanksgiving). Conrad finished his Master's Degree work at Miami University in December and moved back to the Forest Avenue house. For Christmas, Laura came to 53 Forest and we had a Christmas dinner with Conrad, Caroline, Laura and me (Rosalind would have no part of it), our last Christmas (1983) in Wyoming as Caroline and Rosalind left for California in January. The second floor at Forest Avenue was a shamble, so I did major cleaning and repainting, and had a plumber come in for repairs in the second floor bathroom.
            The wedding, we decided, would be at Prince of Peace Church, but that it would not be a suitable place for the reception and as the wedding would be in June, an outdoor site seemed logical. I remember that many years before, Marie, the kids and I would go to a large, very scenic city park on the north edge of the city, French Park and after a quick visit Laura and I decided that this would be ideal for the reception but we had to reserve the French Park pavilion immediately. Next on the agenda, we had to form the wedding party. My brother Ken agreed to be best man, Ken's wife, Kathy, Laura's sister-in-law, Sue, and Laura's cousin Karen would be the bridesmaids. Another trip to Michigan in February and then in March, we drove up to Cleveland for a visit with Karen and John Murdock, and their 3 children, William, Michelle and Michael (Michael, then about 3 years old, was quite disappointed that Laura was not actually a rabbit), and one evening, John William (then a very talkative 9-year-old) and I went to a NHL hockey game.
            House hunting: Laura said that living in Wyoming was out of the question (Wyoming was a long way from Over-the-Rhine, both in distance and in character), so in late winter/early spring we began our search - every weekend - first in Over-the-Rhine (everything habitable was out of our price range, even in 1984), then in Mount Auburn, Clifton Heights, Fairview and Clifton (Clifton was as far out as Laura would consider- we visited a house at 346 Terrace Avenue which we liked but the realtor was asking a price that was much out of our price range). More wedding preparations. This included a printer for invitations, bridal registries (Pogues, which no longer exists in Cincinnati, and Hudsons which also no longer exists in Detroit), finding a caterer for the park reception (Laura's parents agree to pay for the food of this event but everything else was on ours) and a bakery for the wedding cake. I called Schoenling Brewery (now Sam Adams) to reserve beer for the reception where the guy said "Reserve? This is a brewery. You want 10 barrels, 20 barrels, 50 barrels?" so I said that enough beer for 50 or 60 drinkers on a warm summer afternoon would be sufficient and he suggested 4 quarter kegs, untapped kegs could be returned. I selected "Christian Moerlein," their premium brew. Then there were "bridal showers" including one given by Laura's friends in Over-the-Rhine, and two on one weekend in Michigan (one by friends and neighbors, the other by the family where I met dozens of new people, the names of some I've long since forgotten). I think all this happened in May (in early June friends from my office had a lunch time "shower" for Laura and me). On one of our house hunting drives, in what had to be a moment of absolute serendipity, we went past 346 Terrace and noticed that the realtor's sign had been replaced by a for sale by owner sign so we looked at the place again and saw that the asking price had been substantially reduced. I called Bill Burger (the owner) that evening and we negotiated over the phone and the agreed upon price was $73,000 (something we thought we could afford). With this commitment, I immediately had to start the process of selling 53 Forest Avenue so in May I hired "Homeowner Consultants", a low cost realtor (I had to do the advertising and selling, they did the legal work) and set about getting the place ready to sell. I repainted the exterior (fortunately the lower floor of the house is brick), cleaned up the year, and did some cleaning and repainting on the interior.
            Honeymoon: We decided that we had neither the time her money for an extensive trip so we made reservations for a few days in a cabin at Cumberland Falls State Park in southern Kentucky and because we had to be in Cincinnati the day after the wedding, we also made wedding night reservations at the downtown Netherland Plaza Hotel. The bridesmaids coordinated their wedding attire with the same dress pattern (sewn by these ladies) but in different colors. I invited cousin Lorenz Froehlich and his wife Mary to the wedding and he would be my the only relative, other than Ken and sadly other than my parents, I had kept only a minimal connection with most of my family (Marie would become very upset at the mere mention of my family).
            Music and more: although by 1984, Prince of Peace was no longer using the upstairs (the main church sanctuary) because of heating costs, the pipe organ was still functioning but Laura found that the wife of her piano teacher (Sonya Chwastek) had some experience in playing an organ, and she recruited Lin Grieser and her harp for preservice music, some young fellows from the congregation for a brass fanfare, and a small choir from the congregation. Jack Towe got a group of Lutheran students from the University to paint the lower walls of the sanctuary, which had become quite shabby. Laura used her amazing organizational skills to keep this venture on track as she sent out invitations, organized the children from her school for a "children's procession", recruited the ushers, put together the order of the wedding service, coordinated with the 3 pastors (Hullinger, Hempel and Grieser), and wrote a Prince of Peace history for the wedding service bulletin (the cover of the bulletin was designed by Kathleen Henson, a very talented but unfulfilled artist), and except for the beer and food for the French Park picnic (my responsibility) she did nearly everything else (I did pass out invitations at the office and the Art Club). Fortunately, Ken and Kathy came the day before so we were able to do some final cleanup in the sanctuary and hang banners over some of the deteriorated areas high on the front wall (the old place looked better than it had in years). For an evening dinner before the wedding I reserved a room at David's Buffet (which no longer exists), a restaurant on the north edge of the city (many of the Michigan folks were at motels in this area). Laura's parents, the wedding party (including the kids), Conrad, Lorenz and Mary, Laura and I were all at this feast during which Lorenz regaled us with Froehlich/Runge family stories and Mary astonished Laura's parents with her Green Bay factory vocabulary. All was ready for the big day which would be nothing like the quiet affair in Minneapolis on a cold winter afternoon many years before.

Hochzeit

            Saturday, June 9, 1984, dawn of a beautiful late spring day where Ken, Corad, Dave Goodell, John Murdock and I were at the French Park pavilion, putting up decorations and setting out tables. Wayne Wheeler from my office, had a small pickup truck so he and I went down to Schoenling Brewery in the West End to pick up the beer kegs, also ice and an assortment of soft drinks (not everyone was a beer drinker). I had purchased several large plastic garbage containers to keep the beverages iced and the mail boy from office was hired to watch over the place during the wedding ceremony. Laura, meanwhile, was getting things organized at the church.
            As the zero hour (three o'clock approached, Conrad, Ken, Kathy and I, properly attired for the occasion, drove down to Over-the-Rhine from Wyoming. Laura was all nerves, concerned that somehow I wouldn't appear. Laura's mother and Marietta helped her into her wedding regalia (a simple long white dress which she had purchased sometime earlier for a wedding that had not come about). Ken and I waited in a small office behind the chancel while the guests filled in while Conrad, as chief usher, escorted the family members to their designated seats. There was a large contingent of Laura's family from Michigan but my family was limited to Lorenz and Mary, and the Moellering sisters. The Prince of Peace congregation were in full attendance as an event like this couldn't be missed. A number of Laura's friends and colleagues, plus classmates from Xavier and Western Michigan came, I'm sure, to see if this strong-willed, independent young woman was really getting married. Parents of the pre-school kids were there, friends of the family from Michigan, a large group from my office (some quite nervous about venturing into Over-the-Rhine) and a few from the "Pavilion gang" so all in all, enough to fill the center nave of the huge old church. Incredibly, the whole operation came together as planned (except for 2-year-old Danny Goodell who had to run up to the altar, during the ceremony, to be with his mother), with Pastor Robert Hullinger making the final pronouncement. After receiving line and photo duties, it was off to the park, the best part of this event.
            The weather was perfect (unusual for Cincinnati in June), with plenty of green space for games (kids and adults alike) so a good time was had by all. In addition to most folks who came up from the church, a group from the Art Club and some Wyoming neighbors made it to the park, so the caterer had to scrape bottom (no leftovers) and the wedding cake (it was magnificent) also had to be stretched. There was plenty of beer, however, and as dusk set in, with the last guests leaving, and the caterer doing final cleaning, Bill Hutz and I drank the last dregs of beer from a tapped keg (good beer is not to be wasted) and loaded the remaining untapped keg into my car (which I dropped off, fully iced, at 53 Forest). At the picnic, Kathleen Henson, Margaret Towe and Rhoda Schuler somehow coaxed Conrad into revealing that we would be spending our wedding night at the Netherland Plaza so the 3 conspirators then sent a bottle of champagne to the hotel addressed to "The Froehlichs" but unbeknowest to them, Cousin Lorenz Froehlich and Mary were also staying at the Netherland. When the champagne was delivered to the Lorenz Froehlich room, Lorenz, already in bed, bellowed "I didn't order no champagne!". Mary, however, figured it out and had the bottle sent to our room with a note so I called them in the morning and we arranged to meet for breakfast. Thus, ended a very long and exhausting wedding day.

Wedding

Off and Running

            Sunday morning, June 10, 1984: After an ample breakfast with Lorenz and Mary in the magnificent and newly restored Palm Court of the Netherland we were off to Prince of Peace where Jeff Brandt was being confirmed and as Laura was his godmother, she wanted to be there. Then it was off to a graduation party for Cindy Hutz (with a stop first at 53 Forest to pick up the keg of wedding beer, properly iced) so it was late afternoon when we finally left for our "honeymoon" destination of Cumberland Falls State Park. We had rented a cabin and took our meals at the park lodge and one night, under a full moon, we hiked down to the falls to see a "moon bow". It was a restful week after the turmoil of the wedding, but too soon it was back into the fray as we had to take care of the paperwork/financial process for the purchase of 346 Terrace.
            Thursday, June 21, 1984, at the offices of Cheviot Building & Loan, Laura and I signed the papers for the closing on 346 Terrace Avenue. The selling price was $73,000 and the sellers were William and Sandra Berger. Laura and I took on a mortgage of $55,000. The Bergers had purchased a larger house in Clifton, so were anxious to sell and they, together with a daughter (about 15), a son (about 10 or 12) and Sandra's mother, had already moved to their new place (they wanted a larger house, and Sandra, especially, wanted to get away from the apartment building next door, which they owned). Bill Berger worked for an agency, funded by United Way, whose mission was to enforce the Fair Housing Law and in particular they would go after realtors/apartment owners who would not sell/rent to mixed race couples. Sandra was from Brazil. A few years later, we heard, the Bergers had divorced.
            The house: 346 Terrace Avenue is a typical Cincinnati "four-square" (opposite hand and slightly smaller than 2949 Fairview), built in 1910, solid brick exterior walls, slate roof, stone foundation, on a small city lot (the lot is too narrow for a driveway), with the main floor elevated about 7 feet above the street. The main floor is divided into a hallway and living room at the front, and a dining room and kitchen at the rear. The main stairway leads up from the front hall with a secondary stair going up from a center hall (a source of endless delight for small children, dogs and cats, who can race up one stair and down the other) and the pantry, a small room between the kitchen and dining room, which had been converted into a bathroom and the door to the kitchen closed by a previous owner. The large dining room has a bay window and there are large openings with sliding doors between the living room/dining room and between the living room/front hall. There is a coat closet off the center hall, a fireplace (gas) in the living room and hardwood floors throughout (except the kitchen), but what really attracted us to the place are the beautiful leaded German beveled glass panels at the front door, sidelights and transom, and a large handsome stained glass window at the stair landing (there is a also a stained glass transom above the main living room window). There is a large front porch (railings but not screened) and a smaller back porch. The second floor has a large bedroom (with fireplace) and a small bedroom at the front, a large bedroom (with bay window extended from dining room below) and a small toilet room/large bathroom (separate rooms with mosaic tile floors) at the rear and there is a large walk-in closet off the center hall and each bedroom has a closet. The third floor has a center hall and bedrooms at the front and rear (the rooms are fully carpeted but the rear bedroom is unheated), at the very top there is a small attic, and there is an access hatch to the roof in the rear bedroom. Access to the basement is by stair from the kitchen. The front basement space has a gas forced-air furnace (the original coal furnace replaced long ago) and the rear basement space has a toilet stall, a laundry area and a stair leading to the backyard and also a small separate room below the main floor pantry. This is a very large house.
            The neighborhood: Terrace Avenue is a quiet residential street, 2 blocks south of Ludlow, the Clifton business district, and 2 blocks north of Good Samaritan, a very large hospital. 346 Terrace is a little more than a block west of Clifton Avenue, the main north/south artery and a city bus route, and Burnett Woods, a large city park and the University of Cincinnati is about half mile south on Clifton Avenue. The Berger apartment building is on the east side, 2 stories of brick and a top floor of wood, fronting on Ormand Avenue, probably built about 1920 and on the west side (250 Terrace) there is another Cincinnati "four square," somewhat smaller than 346, and in 1984 owned by Arthur and Bernice Abrams (Bernice is originally from Duluth, Minnesota), who had lived there 25 years where an adult son, "Butchy", was still at home, but an adult daughter, Mary Ann, had moved out. Mr. Abrams was not well (throat cancer I believe) and died the next year. Directly across the street there are 3 Cincinnati "four square" houses, identical in floor plan, but differentiated by exterior trim, again somewhat smaller than 346, and in 1984 the center house (351 Terrace) was occupied by the Luis sisters, Ruth and El, never married, who had lived there 40 years and the east house was converted into a duplex shortly after we arrived (this practice is no longer allowed in Clifton). All the surrounding houses are of about the same age as 346.
            Moving day: Until we actually took possession of 346 Terrace, we lived at 53 Forest and on Wednesday evening, June 27, with a promise of beer and pizza, I recruited several able-bodied fellows from my office (I specifically remember Bill Wilson as one of those stalwarts) and others from Prince of Peace, and rented a U-Haul truck and we moved Laura from 1204 Race Street to 346 Terrace (everything except for a few items Laura had previously given away), leaving poor Marietta with only a bed and a few chairs (she soon moved to another place). As the night was still young, we decided to drive the truck up to Wyoming and pick up the piano (Laura's old piano stayed in Over-the Rhine), the dining room lowboy and a few other large and heavy items from the basement and garage (couldn't strip the place bare as Conrad was still living there and I didn't want to sell an empty house). In July, I discovered a roach in the house (a resident or hitchhiker from Over-the-Rhine we didn't know), so taking no chances we decided to have the place fumigated. Laura spent the day in my office and we had another night at 53 Forest.
            Goodbye Wyoming: In July, I found a buyer for 53 Forest but in order for the loan to be approved the AC unit had to be checked and minor repairs done to the driveway and sidewalk. I rented a U-Haul truck on October 30, and Conrad and I moved all the remaining furniture, carpets, mattresses, etc. to 346 Terrace (all of Conrad's things had to be hauled up to the back bedroom on the third floor). The closing was on November 1, 1984, purchased by Justin and Suzanne Hird, for a price of $69,000. I left 53 Forest Avenue with no regrets and few fond memories.

October Surprise

            Early in October, 1984, I got a long-distance call from Bill (William E.) Schilke, my first cousin, oldest son of Uncle Helmut and Aunt Esther (Runge), by then both deceased. Bill and his wife Dagmar lived in Brownsburg, Indiana, just west of Indianapolis, and only about a 2-1/2 hour drive from Cincinnati (the youngest of their 4 children, Joann, was still living at home). I hadn't seen Bill since our family trip to California in 1948. Bill said that he had a call from our cousin, Paula (Runge) Hassler saying that she, together with Marina (Lewis) and Dick (Richard) were having a surprise 90th birthday party for Denison for their father, Uncle Martin Runge, the weekend of October 13-15. They were inviting all the cousins and I said we would be there.
            Cincinnati, Ohio to Denison, Iowa, is about a 12-hour drive, not a great distance, I thought, but to Laura it seemed interminable. Friday night, as we were checking in at our Denison motel, we saw 3 people in "Fast Freddy" motorcycle jackets unloading beer from their car trunk (a rough looking bunch Laura thought) but I was delighted to see that it was my cousins Clem Runge and Eleanor from St. Louis, and Eleanor's husband, Norm Holle. We went over to Uncle Martin's house for a pre-party get together and although I had seen Uncle Martin when Mother and I made our Iowa visit in 1981, I hadn't seen Paula, Martina or Dick, or Dick's wife, Brownie (Miriam), since a Denison family reunion in 1960, or Clem and Eleanor probably not since the 1940s in Sioux City. I had never met Bill Schilke's wife Dagmar, or Norm Holle. I had been in another country.
            The big party was on Saturday - in addition to all the "cousins," Uncle Martin's cousins (from the Dickie side), Julia Fiene, Agnes and Hans Schau, and Ted and Irene Rothe were there, as well as several folks from Aunt Ella's family and friends from Denison. Dagmar was astonished that everyone called Bill "Bill" (this is his name); she had known him only as "Wes"; Bill went into great length, explaining how, when in army, since his initials are W.E.S., it somehow became more convenient for him to be known as "Wes." It was overwhelming to be among a family that I thought I would never see again. Laura and I also drove out (only a few miles distant) to the root of the Iowa Runges, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Hanover Township, the beautiful white country church where it all began; we also visited Irma Fiene in nearby Charter Oak.

End of a Memorable Year

            1984 was a year of remarkable change (nothing like "Nineteen Eighty-Four" envisioned by George Orwell) with a marriage, a different abode and a new outlook on the world. In August, after we had more or less moved into 346 Terrace (and taken down the old dark curtains from the downstairs windows), we had an "open house" party with mostly people from Prince of Peace and Laura's friend from Over-the-Rhine. I had to make one of my work-related trips out of town but Laura was terrified of being alone in the big old house, so we got Jeff Brandt (then 14 years old) to stay over for nighttime "protection". Conrad had a girlfriend whose name was Jan, a quiet pretty girl (the relationship probably more serious on her part) and one afternoon she and Conrad came over with her parents to meet Laura and me but apparently nothing ever came of it. Thanksgiving we made the traditional drive to Michigan and Laura's parents would soon be on their way to Florida. In early December, Jim and Judy Sandercock came to town again (Mason) for some high school football event involving their son so Laura and I had dinner with them one evening (although we've kept in touch through the years, mainly Christmas card letters, that was the last time I saw my old roommate from St. Paul where the days of our youth we thought would go on forever. Jim started an architectural practice in Burlington, Iowa, and to fend off starvation, he also worked for a time for the State of Florida).
            First Christmas at 346 Terrace: We put up a Christmas tree in the front window (which we've done every year since then) and started a many year Christmas Eve tradition, having a few friends over for hot cider, snacks and fellowship after the service at Prince of Peace. Through it all the relentless demands of church treasurer continued unabated, as did the work of my chosen profession, which was architecture.

A CHANGING SCENE

            346 Terrace Avenue was only a 5-minute drive from the AMK office and a 10 minute drive from Prince of Peace in Over-the-Rhine, so I would take Laura to her preschool in the morning (Monday through Thursday, no school on Friday) and generally drive home for lunch. By 1985 the NIH project in Bethesda was nearing completion of final drawings and specifications, so a group from NIH came to Cincinnati to sign off on the finished documents allowing them to be released for bidding so I took them for lunch to a restaurant on Ludlow in Clifton and on the way back, drove past 346 Terrace by which they were astonished and amazed (these were senior research scientists at NIH). A house like that, they said, would cost a fortune in D.C., and they wondered aloud about how much I was being paid and how much of a fee they were paying AMK but I tried to correct their understanding of the D.C. and Cincinnati housing markets (the AIDS epidemic was beginning to emerge at this time and victims were raging against the government for failure to address the problem. There were animal rights protestors at the NIH entrance, our scientists told them that they were working on a cure for AIDS, which, I suppose, was indirectly true and the animal rights protestors were seen no more). About this time a new architect Bob Buemer, arrived at AMK. Bob was an experienced architect, partner in a firm which had recently gone under. He sat directly across from me and had the annoying habit of constantly cleaning his pipe, filling it with fresh tobacco, lighting it, and after a short time, banging it on his ashtray, then starting the procedure over again. I didn't realize that pipe smoking involved such an intense effort. Another major project nearing completion at this time was headquarters buildings for the Saudi Arabian Navy, one building serving a Red Sea fleet, and one for the Arabian Gulf fleet (we know this body of water as the "Persian Gulf" as the Saudis had utter disdain for anything Persian (Iranian). Our contract was with the U.S. Corps of Engineers, but the Saudis were the actual clients and as they had little experience in naval warfare, for them it was a major learning experience (they were purchasing ships for their navy from the French, as a number of small, fast patrol boats). The project was also a learning experience for AMK as everything was done in metric (rather than the old "inch, foot, pound" system), and the site and building plans were oriented towards Mecca rather than towards true north and there were, of course, no facilities for women. The backs of the toilet stalls absolutely could not face Mecca (the Saudis were obsessed with toilet room behavior and privacy as the sides and doors of toilet stalls had to be within 2 inches of the floor rather than 12 inches in standard in the US so the casual behavior of North Europeans must have been appalling for the Saudis) and the office of the headquarter's commander, on the second level, had to be placed so that the entrance to the building would be below his office. The buildings were designed to withstand bomb and missile attacks from the Israelis or Iranians with the command and control centers far underground (special saltwater resistant waterproofing had to be devised) and although similar in layout, each building had a unique exterior design so it was Bill Rabon's crowning achievement. I was not assigned directly to this project but spent many hours in an advisory capacity and Bill Wilson and Jim Pandzik were the project architects and on the final week before the due date, Bill and Jim came in on Monday morning with their toothbrushes and several sets of clean underwear, and worked straight through, with little sleep, until the drawings were ready for printing on the following Saturday (I worked on many "all-nighters" during my architectural career, but never a full week).
            Starting in 1984, we had a project for a major client, Eli Lilly who were renovating one of their buildings on Kentucky Avenue, Indianapolis, into a clinical testing facility for a new drug. It was a good learning experience as I was project architect, worked with Eli Lilly scientists and production people, although the Eli Lilly facilities engineers were largely fixated on the "Colts," a football team that had just then sneaked out of Baltimore to a new home in Indianapolis.
            Early in 1985 a new project came into the office, the Institute of Environmental Health (IEH) for the University of Cincinnati Medical School. Hugo Rooman was the project manager, Max Worthington and Jerry Noran worked on the concept design (I didn't get involved, as project architect, until later in the year) and Bill McGowan was the University project manager. Bill had a stooped posture and shuffling gate and in early development meetings he was usually accompanied by the director of laboratory animal facilities, so Jerry Noran, who had a mischievous sense of humor, referred to the pair as "Igor and the monkey man."
            Computer Aided Design (CAD): We knew it was coming but did not realized how quickly CAD would have a lasting effect on the profession and the old established profession of architectural draftsman, once a fixture in any architectural office, would soon disappear (at AMK the few remaining draftsmen were at retirement age). A double screen CAD machine (crude and cumbersome by today's standards) was installed in the design area and a young architect, Bob Zielaske, on his own initiative and mostly late at night, set up a system for adopting CAD to the production of architectural drawings so the Saudi Navy and IEH projects were the last major working drawing packages to be done using the new long gone pencil/parallel rule/triangle method of production. About a year later, Zielaske left AMK to become director of CAD operations at another firm.
            Although the architectural group was quite busy at this time, AMK as a whole was in decline, particularly the process design and power plant divisions so in the late summer of 1985 it was decided to abandon the two top floors of the building and the architects were moved to the south end of the second floor. About this same time, Bill Hutz left to work for Frito-Lay in Houston, Texas (probably for much better pay, but it was sad to lose a good friend) and Steve Alberico soon followed Bill (another good man lost). Tom Lindsay joined the firm as a project architect, but in December there came another blow when Bill Wilson left for KZF, a growing firm then located in a northern suburb. Mary Johnson soon followed Bill (Bill Wilson had become a mainstay and "social director" of the architectural group, as well as a close personal friend). Sometime during this period, Bill Rabon quietly and with little fanfare, left AMK but because of his detached and somewhat abrasive manner, he had few friends and there was little dismay at his departure. He moved to Atlanta and was associated with a hotel developer.
            Starting in 1986 and for much of the next 3 years, I was busy as project architect for IEH where Hugo Rooman continued as the project manager and during the early years, Max Worthington worked on the design development, particularly the exterior configuration. IEH was probably the most contentious and difficult project of my career as it was a very large building squeezed tightly on a limited site, attached to an existing building, immediately east of a VA hospital and looming over Shields Street to the north. There were several meetings and negotiations with the Cincinnati Zoning Commission because of the building height and setback requirements at the street. It was a multistory building, the lower level primarily mechanical/electrical space with a massive diesel powered emergency generator and a truck deck, the second level was primarily the laboratory animal facility (mostly rats and mice), and the top 4 floors primarily research laboratories and offices and the roof was loaded with exhaust fans. Under the original design there was a large open court between the new and existing buildings, but because the scientists were concerned that this space would become a roosting haven for disease carrying pigeons, we had to cover the space with translucent roof panels, creating a 4-story high atrium (and make adjustments to cover the additional cost of this work). Bill McGowan (the University project manager) was a hard taskmaster, fussing over every detail and lighting the atrium was a particular challenge (the pendulum effect of suspended lights had to be overcome). The roof top equipment was concealed by a vertical blade screen designed to allow good air flow and a colored smoke test was made of the exhaust system but McGowan determined (incorrectly I believe) that the screen was interfering with operation of the exhaust fans so the screen was removed (fortunately, we had arranged the fans in an orderly fashion). It was with great relief that the completed project was finally transferred to the University.
            We had a project, mid-80's, in a Baltimore suburb for a condiment manufacturer, McCormick Foods, who wanted to enlarge and improve the efficiency of their operation. Carl Bieser, director of the Process Research Division, a young industrial engineer (whose name I've forgotten) and I went to Baltimore to observe their operation and write a report (the mustard manufacturing was fascinating) but Carl, who recently had surgery for an internal organ cancer and was taking a drip therapy, was exhausted at the end of the day and went to his room. I wanted to see the newly developed Inner Harbor area so the engineer and I drove into Baltimore, much to my regret, this young engineer who was a member of some sort of Pentecostal church on Taft Road not far from the office, almost immediately, and for the remainder of the evening (and throughout our meal) spoke of his spiritual awakening with religious fervor and his proselytizing and preaching became intense and unrelenting. I tried to interest him in the Inner Harbor development or explain my Lutheran faith, but he would have none of it and even back at the motel I had a problem breaking free. When we were back at the office, Carl asked me about my experience with this engineer for it seems his behavior was becoming a serious disruption and he was fired soon thereafter. Carl Bieser never fully recovered and died a few months later.
            By 1986 the "Pavilion gang" was fading away as a major player, Bill Hutz, had moved to Texas and Dave Wagner, Tex Zimmel and I had married. Hutz did come back in September to help work the 1986 Oktoberfest beer stand and for his 40th birthday party (Cindy's family lived in Cincinnati) and I was part of all this, but things were not the same. Time had moved on, circumstances had changed and we were not the same carefree group from only a few years before. Friday evenings at the Pavilion had became a thing of the past.

Life Anew

            The temperature in January 21, 1985, was a record low in Cincinnati, minus 21-degree F. My Jetta did not start but Conrad's old Cutlass came to life so we decided to do a jump start and our neighbor Bernice's brother, who visiting from Massachusetts, came out to make certain that the jump cables were properly installed (he too was originally from Duluth, Minnesota). My car started but after running for a short time there was an explosion and a cloud of steam, Bernice's brother came running out, certain that we had incorrectly connected the cables, destroying the battery. The problem, however, was a frozen radiator. Hoses had burst and the radiator was ruined so I had the car towed to the VW garage in Covington where they insisted that they always used a coolant designed for low temperatures (apparently not true).
            Laura's father had a hip replacement in Michigan, but it was not healing properly; February, in Florida, he was hospitalized so we decided to go to Florida for a surprise visit with Laura's brother, Dave, coming down from Michigan to join us. We had symphony tickets for the evening before leaving but Dave said he would prefer to rest rather than join us at the "sympathy". The doctors in Florida said the Michigan hip replacement was not done properly so they did corrective surgery and cleared the infection. During this time, Laura and I took the opportunity to visit Epcot at Disney World (Orlando is not far from the trailer park in Zephyr Hills) and in our many trips to Florida this would be our only visit to Disney World. In May, Laura's parents, with Laura's Aunt Kate traveling along, stopped by on their return to Michigan.
            We invited Bill and Dagmar Schilke to Cincinnati for a May Festival performance at Music Hall, the first of many Cincinnati/Indianapolis event exchanges through the years.
            In June, for the one year anniversary of our wedding (1985), we met at Put-in-Bay with Dave and Sue Goodell, John and Karen Mudock, and all the kids, probably ranging in age from 3 to 11. Put-in-Bay is a small island in Lake Erie, accessible by ferry and site of the Perry Victory memorial, a tall column (in September, 1813, near the island, an American fleet, commanded by Oliver Hazard Perry, defeated a British fleet, "We have met the enemy and they are ours"). There was some sort of sailboat event taking place so the lakefront swarmed with boaters. We toured the island on foot and the ladies then went shopping, with instructions for us men to look after the kids so as Dave, John, and I sat on a veranda drinking beer, we had no idea where the kids were, which seemed to upset the ladies when they returned (the kids were safely collected).
            On the road: Except for the excursion to Denison for Uncle Martin's birthday, Laura had never been west of Ohio but this was about the change. We left in early July, with the first stop to visit the St. Louis Runge cousins where we stayed with Eleanor and Norm Halle in Dellwood (a suburb north of St. Louis), and Clem lived in nearby Ferguson (for many years in the same house, his wife died in 1981). When Eleanor retired from work she also retired from meal preparation so she, Norm, Clem and several of their friends met every morning (except Sunday) for breakfast at a nearby eatery in Ferguson, a long-standing tradition and Clem spent much of his time at Fast Freddy's, a local pub. The Holle house was a single story with a walkout basement overlooking a terraced backyard (it was their retirement home) and one evening Clem and Carl came over where they reminisced about past good times at the basement bar, pool table and backyard cookouts. We visited the St. Louis Art Museum and the Zoo (for many years Clem had driven the Zoo amusement train and he was miffed that he had to retire at age 70), visited the "Fortress" (the teacher's house at St. Stephen's Lutheran Church) where Uncle Hans Runge and Aunt Lotte had lived for many years, and Concordia Seminary. We also stopped by to see Mark and Rhoda Schuler where Mark was finishing at the Seminary and Rhoda was working at a mission church in Kinloch (another St. Louis suburb). After St. Louis we headed west, with a quick visit to Harry Truman's home in Independence, Missouri, and then turned north to western Iowa where we stopped in Denison, had breakfast with Uncle Martin and his friends at their customary time and place, but when I wanted to pay for our share, Uncle Martin said "not in Denison you don't" (it was the last time I saw him, he died in 1986) and after a quick visit with Irma Fiene in Charter Oak we were on our way to the promised land (Sioux City).
            I showed Laura where I had lived in Morningside, Stone Avenue, Garretson and finally 4016 4th Avenue; we drove out to Washington Elementary School (even following the back alleys where I had walked) and down to South Ravine Park, where we hiked up to a high bluff, looking west over the Missouri River to the Nebraska plains beyond (a view forever embedded in my memory). Washington School still looked very much as it had in the 1930's, but the way to South Ravine, however, once a dirt road with fields on either side, was now a paved street through a subdivision. We drove out to the West Side, to the old Schilke house, still much the same, except that the high "clay banks" where Bill, Dick, and I had played, were gone, cut down for a housing development and we visited my last relative in Sioux City, Lois Krieger, retired from teaching and living in a small house on the West Side. I wanted show Laura Sioux City's "crowning glory," the Orpheum Theater, a downtown movie palace from the 1920's although the doors were locked (it was a midweek afternoon ) but we could look in and I was stunned seeing that the magnificent arched lobby ceilings were gone, replaced by a low ceiling of cheap acoustic panels, the elegant décor concealed behind flat gypsum panels, as the place had been "modernized" which was a very sad and depressing sight (many years later the Orpheum was restored to its former glory and is now home to the Sioux City Symphony). We had dinner downtown at the Martin Hotel (now gone) and there I saw a copy of the Sioux City Journal with a headline "Orpheum Chandelier Found" saying that when the Orpheum was "modernized," the magnificent center chandelier from the main auditorium was removed and stored in the basement of the old Central High School but after a few years it was discovered that the chandelier had disappeared. A Sioux City resident, vacationing in Florida, saw the chandelier hanging in an upscale restaurant and the restaurant owners said they purchased the chandelier from an East Coast salvage firm, named "The Forty Thieves."
            After Sioux City, we headed west, with a stop in Mitchell, South Dakota, to see the Corn Palace. Driving across South Dakota can be long and dreary and near the midpoint Interstate 90 crosses the Missouri where shortly thereafter the time zone changes from Central to Mountain and the land changes from prairie farms to semi-desert ranch country. There was an obligatory stop at Wall Drug and at a rest stop a dusty wind put an end to Laura wearing her contact lenses for the remainder of the trip. In Rapid City, we stayed with Ken (my brother) and Kathy, where they had sold the large house on Lodgepole Place and moved to a smaller house (with Mother gone and their kids leaving, they needed to downsize) and we did the usual tourist things, including a visit to Mt. Rushmore. My old classmate Frank Aukerman stopped by who said he was retiring soon and closing his firm which startled me, for although he was about 10 years older than me, I felt I was just reaching my prime (it was the last time I saw Frank). On leaving Rapid City and heading back east we took a detour through the Badlands, a place of stark beauty but aptly named.
            Minneapolis/St. Paul: except for the airport, I hadn't seen the cities since December 1965 but I remembered 1950s evenings in downtown Minneapolis on Hennepin as a lively scene with many restaurants and bars. Laura and I arrived on a weekday, late afternoon and I hardly recognized the place as there were many new buildings, elevated/enclosed walkways and well planned open spaces, clean and orderly, but quiet and empty. We found a restaurant that was open, with only a few patrons, and I was anxious to leave this strange, unfamiliar and unpeopled place so we drove out to see my old classmate Jerry Mundt and his wife Diane, to the house that Jerry designed, empty now except for Jerry and Diane (their kids were grown and gone), and Jerry took me to his architectural firm, which he and a partner had founded several years before, specializing in outdoor recreational facilities. I wanted to connect with my old architectural firm, Hammel, Green and Abrahamson (now moved to downtown Minneapolis and known as HGA Inc.), to hear the voices of my former colleagues and when a young operator took my call, but she knew none of the names I asked for, except finally there was one who was still with the firm, but he was out of the office that day, which was depressing as that world, that time and place where I had spent so much of my early career had vanished. We went to the University of Minnesota, where I had taken evening art classes, and saw the Delt house on University Avenue, where in the summers of '56 and '57, the "days of wine and roses" had seemed to go on forever but I avoided South/Central Minneapolis (too many memories of a lovely young woman who I took for granted). We did drive out to 1384 Raymond in St. Paul which looked much the same, but again I had thoughts of the summer of 1964 when all seemed well with the world.
            Wisconsin: I wanted Laura to see the Froehlich/Runge homeland and meet my remaining family there where we stayed with cousin Lorenz Froehlich and Mary at their newly acquired Bonduel house, went out to see the fine brick house at the old Schilke farm (soon to be torn down for a new factory), went down the street to the old cemetery at St. Paul's Lutheran Church where my Uncle John's grave had two headstones - one spelled "Froelich," placed by Aunt Lydia (Lydchen), the other spelled "Froehlich", placed by the Federal Government (he was a veteran of WWI), and we went to the center of Bonduel to visit Lydchen, who was still living in the old Froelich/Runge house. We also drove out to the old Nicolaus farm to visit my Aunt Lydia and Cousin Roland where nothing changed (a place where "time stood still", or so it seemed) - Aunt Lydia said that Cousin Clem from St. Louis still came for visits, always following the same pattern which was into the kitchen to cut a large slice of cheese, then to the piano to play the same piece (always out of tune). On our return, we stopped to visit Bill and Dagmar Schilke in Brownsburg.
            That spring and summer (1985) I was busy stripping wall paper from the living and dining rooms and the downstairs and second floor hallways (fortunately, there was only one layer of wallpaper, and each room had the signature of the original paperhanger, "Papered by Clifford Hall, April, 1911" and we discovered that the walls had never been painted). We had new gypsum board ceilings installed in the dining and living rooms (the old ceilings were cracked and sagging so I had the gypsum board screwed directly into the wood joists, through the original plaster) and other cracks were patched and sanded smooth which was a dusty mess. After this I scrubbed the woodwork clean and painted all the walls and ceilings and we also had blinds installed in many of the windows (all drapery and curtains removed) so the place was starting to look presentable.
            We had a Labor Day picnic in our backyard (mostly friends from Prince of Peace) and later in September we were back in Michigan for a major celebration - the 50th wedding anniversary of Laura's parents. Dave rented a large tent for the yard behind their house, tables and chairs were borrowed from Sue's church (Faith Lutheran on M59), and everything had to be neat, orderly and spruced up so I was put to work painting the white picket fence which ran along the road (put up many years ago to keep Laura safely in the yard). There was a large gathering of friends and family, including nearly all the Bowmaster cousins. There is a group photo in which Laura is the only female cousin in the photo (and the only female Bowmaster cousin in actuality).
            Except for a 1976 birthday party in Rapid City, I probably had no birthday event since leaving Sioux City for college so November 10 was just another day. Laura decided that in 1985 we should throw a party at 346 Terrace and it was a grand affair (30 or more people) including folks from the office and Prince of Peace, Bill and Dagmar Schilke, Conrad and miscellaneous other friends. I was the reluctant guest of honor.
            We went to Michigan for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Dave and Sue's. Dave had put up a new barn (he needed a place to store all the hay he was no cutting from the "back 40") but I regretted the loss of the unobstructed view from the back porch (of the folk's house) to the open fields beyond. At Christmas, we continued the tradition of having a party on Christmas Eve after the service at Prince of Peace, and Laura and I baked a batch of Christmas cookies for the occasion, and we served hot toddies. The Towes had a "Kings Day" party every year after Christmas for which Margaret baked a cake in which she embedded a silver coin, usually a quarter, and the person who got the slice with the coin would have a lucky year but in an act of mischief Chuck Brandt and Joel Hempel somehow inserted a second coin into the cake. Margaret was puzzled, certain that she had added only one coin. Joel said it was probably some sort of miraculous sign.
            Thus ended our first full year of marriage - a very busy year, but there was much more to come.

As Time Goes By

            The winter of 1986 was another cold one with heavy snow in Michigan, where in February Laura and I went cross-country skiing which was my first experience with this activity. Dave and Sue come down to Cincinnati in March (for them, the deep South) to escape the cold. By this time we were doing regular visit exchanges with Bill and Dagmar Schilke, usually for a music event, and after a Cincinnati Orchestra performance Bill declared that they were "no schlock outfit". Bill had an enormous collection of classical music CDs, which he had meticulously cataloged by composer, type/period and/or orchestra/performer. In Brownsburg, we went to Indianapolis Symphony performances at the Circle Theater (a former movie palace on Monument Circle in the heart of Indianapolis) where we met good friends of the Schilkes, members of the Symphony, Charles (contrabasson) and Rosemary (viola) Rader. At the time Bill was designing tank transmissions for the Army at Allison in Indianapolis (a division of General Motors), Dagmar was working on a degree at U. of Indiana/Purdue U. in Indianapolis (UIPUI), and their 4 children were no longer at home with son David the only one still in the Indianapolis area.
            These were the glory days at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Over-the-Rhine, with 50-60 at Sunday morning services, 80-90 at Wednesday evening meal/programs, Preschool (Nursery School), ICCPE program, pastoral counseling, Thrift Store (selling donated clothing at a very low price), Food Pantry, and several community outreach programs. Bob Hullinger continued as Pastor, Joel Hempel as Community Pastor and director ICCPE and Laura as director of the Preschool, although Pastor Hullinger left in October for a church in Northern Kentucky (replaced by a Vacancy Pastor, Donald Johnson but his major responsibility was a Northern Kentucky mission so he spent little time at Prince of Peace). Jane Jansak, a member of First Lutheran, south on Race Street (Hugo Roomann's church), did a lot of community work for Prince of Peace and she and her husband Paul Jansak owned a farm in Clermont County which was used for weekend retreats (Paul sang in the May Festival Chorus). Sister Barbara Johnson, a Catholic nun, did counseling (pro bono) for ICCPE although there was some controversy about whether a nun should be taking Lutheran Communion (Joel seems to have resolved this issue). I continued as church treasurer, trying to keep track of the separate finances for all this activity. Joel and Marcia Hempel bought a house on Sycamore Street in Over-the-Rhine, as did our friends Chuck and Chryl Brandt, who bought a house on Broadway (Chuck taught chemistry at Forest Park High School in a northern suburb) and Jack and Margaret Towe, who bought a house on Orchard Street (Jack was founder and director of Sign of the Cross housing, whose mission was to rehab derelict old buildings into livable low-cost housing units).
            Back at 346 Terrace (1986) I stripped wallpaper and painted the kitchen, and we replaced the deteriorating wood front steps with concrete. In May Laura's parents stopped by on their return trip to Michigan from Florida and at the same time Cousin Lorenz and Mary came through on a trip so they were all here for several days (not sure where we put them as Conrad was still living in the north room of the third floor). Laura's father and Lorenz got along famously, regaling each other with endless stories. I baked 2 rhubarb pies for the occasion.
            In June Conrad became engaged to Becky (Rebecca Johnson), who was the adopted daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Phillips Butler Johnson of Versailles, Indiana. Becky had gone to DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, and was taking courses at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The Johnsons had adopted another girl who became Becky's "little sister". Mr. Johnson, a large, genial man, was a lawyer in Versaille. Mrs. Johnson a quiet, somewhat frail lady, whereas Becky was active and open, not at all shy. Also in June, we had a visit from Gordon and Audrey Henry (their daughter Laura had a job in Cincinnati). The Henry's were living in Newberry, South Carolina where Gordon had a position at Newberry College and I hadn't seen them since the ill-fated visit of 1969. We reminisced about Sioux City.
            Laura and I took a weekend trip to Southeast Ohio including Chillocothe and the Serpent Mound, then up to Michigan for the 180th birthday celebration of Laura's Aunt Louise. On visits to the Schilkes that summer we went out to "Connor Prairie", a fascinating replica of an 1840's Indiana settlement, and to a wooded acreage that the Schilkes had acquired many years before. The site was remote, accessible only by a nearly impassable dirt road where they had put in a concrete slab and a roof, but no plumbing or electricity and it was to be their "cabin-in-woods" getaway, but with the children were grown and gone, the unfinished place had lost its appeal.
            We seemed to have spent a good part of August in Michigan. Each summer Sue's family had a "family camp" at a lake somewhere in Northern Michigan (in the Detroit area, when people had a vacation they went "up north" and rarely traveled out of Michigan) so we joined the group, sleeping in a camping trailer, where one evening Dave made a concoction of peach liqueur and orange juice called a "fuzzy navel," on which Laura overdosed. Another weekend we visited Philip Otten and his wife, Joyce, in Battle Creek. Phillip was a close childhood friend, we hadn't seen each other since Sioux City in 1948 (his father, Pastor Henry Otten had taken a call to a congregation in Minnesota). Philip was pastor of a Lutheran Church in Battle Creek, their children grown and gone (a son had been killed in an auto accident). We also went to the Mellon Festival in Howell, Michigan, (there really are "Howell Mellons") a delightful small city where Sue's mother worked in a downtown shop.
            In late summer I had 4 tickets to the final Symphony summer concert at Riverbend Music Center (Riverbend, then still quite new (architect Michael Graves) is the summer home of the Cincinnati Symphony/Cincinnati Pops, located on the Ohio River at Coney Island Park) so we invited Jack and Margaret Towe to join us but when we stopped to pick them up, Margaret was in tears as Jack was in the midst of a toilet room renovation at one of his "Sign of the Cross" projects, so we took their young daughter Nancy in Jack's place. During the concert, it was announced that a new conductor, Jesus Lopez-Cabos, had been selected and that there would be a party and a reception after the concert for the Maestro at the Coney Island "Moonlight Gardens" dance pavilion (it was a Sunday night so apparently no scheduled dance). We really were not that interested, but Nancy insisted that we could not pass this opportunity, so we (at the end of a very long line) shook hands with Lopes-Cobos and his wife.
            Doomsday: Time moved on, there was no turning back. September 14, 1986, was Laura's 40th birthday and we had a cookout/picnic in our backyard nevertheless with many folks from Prince of Peace and other friends including the Schilkes who came from Brownsburg. There was a banner reading 'Lordy, Lordy, Laura's Forty." In addition to the preschool duties, Laura was taking piano lessons at CCM (teacher Marek Chwastek, a young man from Poland - whose wife was the organist at our wedding) and she was giving piano lessons to about 5 or 6 young children.
            Uncle Martin Runge died August, 1986, and except for Aunt Lydia in Wisconsin, the last of my mother's family so if there were more visits to Denison, it wouldn't be to see Uncle Martin.
            For Halloween that year I started the tradition of painting a face on a pumpkin which I've done this every year since (some faces very good, others complete duds) Laura started a Halloween pumpkin photo book (a carved jack-o-lantern pumpkin usually deteriorates after a few days whereas a painted pumpkin will last for weeks).
            We were in Michigan for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Dave and Sue's, which that year included a trip to Holly, Michigan, a small town that bursts forth once a year as a major Christmas attraction with all sorts of festivities and holiday shops (Dave's critique of shops in general: "Places where women go to buy things to hang on the walls").
            We had our usual after church Christmas Eve party, then a few days later to the Towes for "Kings Day," but the highlight of the season was always the New Year's Eve party given by Joel and Marcia Hempel. A large fun-loving group, couples from Prince of Peace and other friends of the Hempels came streaming in. Joel would concoct an elaborate game involving a series of riddles which led to tiny numbered tabs hidden throughout their house (it must have taken hours to put this game together) and then there were mounds of pork, sauerkraut, desserts and other foods brought in by the partygoers (pickled herring was always on the menu). No evening could be as warm and gemutlich and a great way to end the year. Sadly, this tradition ended when the Hempels left Cincinnati.
            After a slow start, 1987 became another busy and eventful year. In February we again headed for Florida to visit Laura's parents, but this time in a roundabout way with the first stop was Asheville, North Carolina, where we took in an evening play by a local amateur group (a Noel Coward comedy), next day we toured the "Biltmore" at the Vanderbilt estate (gardens were not yet open), then on to Newberry, South Carolina, where we stayed at the home of Gordon and Audrey Henry, next stop Charleston, South Carolina where the old city is a treasure of 1700s architecture, mostly homes, still occupied, and many churches, all being carefully preserved and protected to prevent modern development, then finally, the drive down to Zephyr Hills in Florida where Laura's folks lived in a cramped trailer. Laura's Aunt Kate lived year-round in an adjacent mobile home park, "Sleepy Hollow". Laura's cousin, Larry Faber (Kate's son) was staying with his mother but had parked his trailer at the folk's park so this is where we spent our nights which though was cluttered, cold and reeked of tobacco smoke, but was free. At this time, Jess and Hilda Weaver, friends of Laura's folks from Michigan, had decided to spend their winters in Florida so we visited them at a trailer park just north of Zephyr Hills. On the return trip, we stopped at Civil War battlefields Chickamauga (northern Georgia) and Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga. Laura barely tolerated these battlefield excursions, but I couldn't pass the opportunity.
            In March my cousin, Martina Lewis, came to Louisville, Kentucky from California for a conference so Bill and Dagmar Schilke, Laura and I decided to meet her there. We toured the downtown area (much new development on the riverfront) and had dinner with Martina. Prince of Peace had their first weekend retreat in April at St. Anne Convent in Northern Kentucky. Built in 1919, the Convent still housed a few nuns, was well maintained and had a magnificent chapel and although used as a retreat center, it was still a convent, so men and women had to sleep on separate floors. I retreated late into the night working on church books and our income tax (due in a few days). About this time, we went to a wedding reception for the daughter of good friends from the Art Club, Paul and Barb Zentgraf and in April we finally had our hardwood floors sanded and refinished (first floor rooms) which was a mess but well worth it.
            Laura gave a piano recital at 346 in early May. Bill and Dagmar were there, as well as Chuck and Chyrl Brandt, other friends from Prince of Peace, and Jose and Tammy Quishpe (Joese and Tammy lived in Laura's apartment building on Race Street, and their daughters, Carmen and Amanda, attended Laura's preschool; Tammy was an Over-the-Rhine girl but Jose immigrated from Ecuador (he was very short, probably of full-blooded Andean descent). Jose worked as a machinist, was very intelligent and inquisitive, and was involved in the Hispanic community, even hosting a Spanish language radio news program. Carmen and Amanda looked very "Hispanic" but did not know a bit of Spanish, for as Jose said "in our house we speak only English."
            In early June (1987), the 17 year cicadas emerged which is unique to central and western Cincinnati (a separate 17 year broad emerges in eastern Cincinnati on a different cycle) and these large ugly insects come out of the ground by the millions, climb the nearest tree or bush, shed their underground skin, and unfold large transparent wings. They are pale green in color with red eyes, have no mouth parts or stingers, are clumsy fliers, and die within a few weeks. The males congregate by the thousands in certain trees, making a loud singing sound to attract females so the sound is deafening and standing under one of these trees is an incredible experience. For birds and cats, it was "manna from heaven" and they soon became engorged, but these flying swarms sent young girls shrieking in terror.
            About this time, Clara Moellering died rather unexpectedly (cancer) and Gertrude was quite upset as she was in decline and expected that her younger sister would be her caregiver. At the cemetery for Clara's burial service there were still many cicadas flying about but also mounds of the dead insects, like snowdrifts, Laura had enough of the cicada phenomenon so we made an escape to Michigan.
            Another June Wedding: On Saturday, June 27, 1987, Conrad and Rebecca Johnson were married at a riverfront park in Aurora, Indiana where it was a large wedding, mostly friends of Conrad and Becky. I recruited Erich Zwertschek to play his accordion for the reception. Bill and Dagmar Schilke were there and Caroline came from California but it was the last time I saw my oldest daughter. There was a professional photographer so Laura and I had our photo taken. Conrad and Beck moved to an apartment near Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine so Laura and I were alone in the big old house at 346 Terrace.
            Dave, Sue, and the boys came down to Cincinnati for the 4th of July where Jamie and Danny played in the riverfront fountain and Dave's assessment of the fireworks, "Not bad for a small city". Next day we went to "The Beach" waterpark where we floated, splashed and were propelled down water slide (and were sunburned). Another wedding: On July 13, Gordon Henry's daughter, Laura, married John Drury in Cincinnati and Laura and I were at the reception. Several guests from Pella, Iowa, were there (Audrey's family) so we reminisced about the vanishing Dutch culture in that part of Iowa.
            On July 15, Glenn Lucas was installed as the Associate Pastor of Prince-of-Peace Lutheran Church. Glenn, a recent graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, was originally from Chicago, his father was black, his mother white (the white members of the church considered him African-American, the black members considered him bi-racial). Pastor Lucas was married to a white woman, Donna, and they had an adopted son and soon had a son of their own. Pastor Lucas was young and inexperienced, but a quick learner and in a short time made a favorable impression.
            End of July I had an interesting medical experience which began with several yellow jacket stings, June in Michigan and several more stings early July in Cincinnati. Yellow jackets are fierce little insects, somewhat resembling bees (often mistakenly called "sweat bees" in the Appalachian dialect) but actually are a type of hornet. My immune system seems to have developed a defense against yellow jacket stings, so when taking out garbage one evening in late July, I was stung several times, felt a tingling sensation in my hands and feet, tottered back into the house and nearly fainted away. Laura called 911 and they instructed her to immediately remove the stingers (yellow jackets can sting repeatedly, but unlike bees, leave no stingers) and the emergency vehicle arrived shortly (I was semiconscious, but remember one of the men saying "Hey, this guy has got no pulse") and I was loaded onto a stretcher and rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital, only a short distance from 346. My body was soon covered with a rash, except where I had been stung and here the skin was perfectly clear so my immune system had done its job, but it had nearly killed me. I was given a shot of some sort, kept overnight at the hospital and discharged the next day with no ill effect and after a series of tests it was determined that I had developed a severe reaction to stings from yellow jackets and white faced hornets; I was given an injector which I was to carry at all times (soon misplaced and lost) and for several years had to go to a clinic every six weeks for a shot.
            In early August (1981) Laura's parents and their friends Pat and Earl Smith came down to Cincinnati for a few days so we took a riverboat cruise down the Ohio to Rising Sun, Indiana, a very old sleepy rivertown which is also the county seat of Ohio County, the smallest (and then the poorest country in Indiana. At this point the Ohio River runs north/south so the town faces east across the river, hence the name. The boat docked at a riverfront park and we explored the town, a quiet place of small wood houses and a nearly deserted downtown (all of this changed years later with the arrival of a gambling casino, the "Grand Victoria"). The county courthouse consisted of a single courtroom on an upper level (approached by broad stops, no handicap access here) with the county offices on a lower level, below the courtroom, and there was a small jail behind the courthouse. Later in the day the boat crossed to Rabbit Hash, Kentucky, which then, a probably still now, consisted of a general store (the general store was destroyed by fire in 2016 and totally rebuilt) and a few houses (Earl always remembered Rabbit Hash because the mayor was a dog but the mayor was not allowed into the general store because it sold groceries). It was a very hot day but Laura's father, Earl and I enjoyed the river breeze and view from the open top deck but the ladies preferred the air conditioned enclosed lower deck. That evening Earl and I went to a band concert in Burnett Woods, a short walk from 346.
            In mid-August, we decided to take a vacation trip to Wisconsin and Michigan. The first stop was Madison where I wanted to see my Iowa State classmates, Frank McNutt and Rollin Williamson ("Willie") who I hadn't seen since my drive to Cincinnati in December, 1965. Willie moved to Madison immediately on graduation, and as it was often his sojourn from St. Paul, Frank returned to Madison (his hometown) where they both were with the architectural firm Flad Associates and where Frank bought and renovated an old farmhouse on the outskirts of the city. I called ahead to reserve a motel room in Madison, but everything was booked (some sort of convention taking place) but Frank graciously invited us to stay at the "farm", where Frank's nephew was also living at the time. That evening we had a small dinner party (Frank did the cooking) and he invited Willie and Lillian (Willie's wife), but Willie was semi-retired (which surprised me) and he was off fishing somewhere. Lillian was there and we talked about old times at Iowa State (Lillian was a heavy smoker and died a few years later). The next morning Frank guided us to Frank Lloyd Wright's Unitarian Church (1947) in Madison.
            More Wisconsin: Next stop was Sun Prairie, where we visited Marietta's mother at the Barman farm (Sun Prairie is also the birthplace of Georgia O'Keefe, one of Laura's favorite artists), then it was up to the Wisconsin Dells and an excursion boat tour and after this we headed north to Frohlich/Runge heartland, Bonduel, where we stayed with Cousin Lorenz Froelich and Mary. One afternoon we visited Aunt Lydchen, sitting on the front porch of the familiar Froelich/Runge house, listening to Lydchen's many tales and her daughter (my cousin Lois) was there. I remembered Lois as a beautiful young woman, but she had suffered a brain tumor and several other medical problems so now she was a severely disabled old woman, incoherent, and seemed hardly aware of life around her. We went out to the Nicolaus farm to see Aunt Lydia and Cousin Roland but Lydia was nearly blind and the place was becoming shabby. Roland still had his cows, and for something that I always admired, he rescheduled the cows so that rather than being milked early in the morning and again in late afternoon, milking was done at noon and in the late evening as Roland was not an early riser and he liked listening to late night talk radio in the barn. That was my last visit to the Nicolaus farm.
            Lorenz had retired from his auto /school bus reupholstery business and was focused on drawing and painting although he had no formal art training (a true "primitive" artist), doing pen-and-ink drawings and then finishing the with watercolor paint. He remembered and drew with accuracy and detail the cars of the 1930's period (many of these models no longer exist such as Nash, Hudson, Packard, LaSalle, etc.) and he showed me a drawing he did of a Jewish funeral in St. Louis, again in great detail, from memory when he visited his Runge cousins in St. Louis many years ago. He signed his drawings "Fiedelbaum," saying that he didn't want his real name appearing on this crude work. He gave me one of his drawings (a railroad station, gas station, and several cars, in a small 1930's town, probably none of which still exist) and we had the drawing matted and framed. Soon thereafter a friend persuaded Lorenz to enter one of his drawings in a show and he won first prize, which was to show his work in a Green Bay gallery. Lorenz became a recognized primitive artist. Mary continued with her supervisory job at a Green Bay paper products plant.
            Leaving Bonduel, we drove north and east, over the top of Lake Michigan to St. Ignace, at the tip of Michigan's Upper Peninsula and from there we took a ferry to Mackinac Island (no cars allowed on that island) where we spent the day walking the island and visiting the usual tourist sites (included Fort Mackinac where America suffered an embarrassing defeat in the War of 1812) and where there was a military re-enactment by soldiers wearing early 19th century uniforms). We then drove south to the old home place on Cedar Island Road where in the evenings after dinner Laura and I washed the dishes, Laura's Dad watched a Tiger's game on TV, and nothing could be finer than sitting on the back porch at dusk watching the summer night set in.
            Back in Cincinnati Laura resumed teaching piano to young students but her own piano teacher joined the Air Force (probably a sure path to citizenship) saying "I do not drop bombs, I play in Air Force orchestra", so Laura had to find another teacher. Carl Payne was recommended, and he became Laura's longtime teacher. Carl's childhood home was just up the street on Terrace, and he gave lessons at his mother's house a few blocks west on Howell. In October Laura gave a piano recital here at 346. We also went up to Michigan again for the 80th birthday of Laura's father. During the summer and fall we had several back-and-forth visits with Bill and Dagmar Schilke, including concerts at Riverbend Music Center.
            Every Thursday evening, I continued going to the Art Club sketch group and that August, John Crane (then in charge of the sketch group) called, saying that the scheduled portrait model for that evening had cancelled so could Laura be a substitute? Laura dutifully posed, wearing a large straw hat, and she discovered that sitting as an artist model is no easy task. The painting I started did not merit further work, but Floyd Berg did a masterful pastel portrait, which he signed and gave to us (Floyd, then in his late 70's, was a professional artist, specializing in pastel portraits). We had the portrait framed and it hung for many years in the northwest corner of the living room (Laura finally took it down, saying "I don't look like that anymore").
            There was another painted pumpkin for Halloween and the customary trip to Michigan for Thanksgiving. I believe that this was the year that I started the fruitcake baking tradition, usually about a month before Christmas (a memory here of Irma Fiene, Agnes Schau and Aunt Edna who for many years would get together in Charter Oak before Christmas for a day of baking stollen). I always enjoyed fruitcake, in spite of the many fruitcake jokes and the terrible (generally) quality of store-bought fruitcake, so I started baking my own and the recipe I use has generous amount of amaretto liqueur.
            Marietta Barman came for a visit in late November. She had moved to Milwaukee, and although Laura kept in touch by letters/Christmas cards, we never saw her again (Marietta died in 2009). Prince of Peace had another retreat at St. Anne Covent and one morning after a light snow had fallen, I walked alone up a hill to the Convent cemetery where the nuns were buried together (stone markers with no names) in an ever-growing series of circles around a common center, truly a "Friedhof". I had a deadline for a cost estimating project at the office, so I worked one night through, spreading my work out on tables in the dining room and I was still there when the nuns came down to start breakfast (they thought I was an early riser).
            The start of another tradition: Rich and Joyce Mellot decided to have a yearly Christmas brunch at their home on St. James (Sunday noon in mid-December) and many of the Paviliion "gang" would be there (even Bill Hutz and Cindy came up from Texas a few times). There were familiar faces and voices, but we had gone our separate ways and this was usually the only time we would see each other.
            The year (1987) ended with our pleasant and quiet get together on Christmas Eve after church, and the equally pleasant, but boisterous New Year's Eve party at the Hempels.
            Out West: In our part of the Midwest, when we think of travel, vacations or relocation it is usually to New York, Chicago or Florida (or for Michigan, "Up North") but the Far West is another country. Many of our kin, however, had settled in that remote and faraway place so in late February/early March of 1988, Laura and I decided to pay these folks a visit and see that part of the world. We flew out of Indianapolis (much cheaper than the Cincinnati airport) to Phoenix, rented a car and started our visit at the home of my cousin Paula and her husband Don Haslsler who at that time were living an apartment complex in Phoenix. Paula was writing for a local publication and Don had an electronics business with a partner near downtown Phoenix (the personal computer industry was starting to take off and Don was quite busy doing consulting/troubleshooting). Paula and Dan gave us a tour of downtown Phoenix where there was a large Victorian house from the 1890's, standing alone in a plaza, preserved as a remnant of "Old Phoenix", which seemed rather odd as Cincinnati had hundred of such houses (although really only a few from the early 1800's), to Arizona State University in Tempe where we saw the Frank Lloyd Wright designed auditorium (built in 1964 after Wright's death), and ending the day at a great Mexican restaurant.
            Next, we drove out to Mesa where Laura's Aunt Betty and Aunt Laurabelle lived for many years in a mobile home park (these two ladies had traveled the world together, the Americas, Europe and Asia, sending souvenir dolls to their only niece, Laura). Aunt Betty was then bedridden with terminal cancer and had moved to a nursing home where we visited her and she was delighted to see Laura (she died a short time later). That evening we had dinner at the mobile home with Laurabelle and Laura's Aunt Dorothy, who was widowed, moved to Arizona and remarried. Next day Aunt Laurabelle gave us a wild ride over narrow roads into the Superstition Mountains where we saw the old Theodore Roosevelt Dam (the very first Federal Dam project, 1914), cliff dweller ruins (Anasazi) and then down through the desert to the ancient Pueblo ruin "Casa Grande."
            With our rental car, we then drove north to Flagstaff and the Grand Canyon. It was definitely not high tourist season (cold weather and a light snow), so we were able to get a room at the Grand Canyon Park Lodge (a historic hotel built on the rim of the canyon), and able to move freely throughout the Park with no crowds and little traffic. At this time, the Japanese economy was booming, so there were busloads of Japanese tourists (mostly young businessmen wearing suits) touring the Park and we did see one young Japanese tourist proudly attired in full cowboy regalia, probably purchased at the hotel souvenir shop. In a sign of the times: information signs in the hotel were printed in English, Japanese and German as at this time, the German economy was also booming. The Grand Canyon is spectacular and I walked along the rim one night in the bright moonlight, looking down into the dark where one could see dim campfires many miles below. On the drive back to Phoenix, we stopped for several hours of shopping in Sedona.
            The most exciting part of this trip (for me) was the finale. Paula and Don had a large RV (they did a lot of traveling in the West), which the four of us took to Yuma (Don did all the driving). My cousin Dick Schilke and his wife Diane lived in Yuma, where they had a small jewelry store/watch repair business. I hadn't seen Dick (my childhood companion from Sioux City days) in more than 40 years so it was intensely exciting, greeting him as he stood outside his shop, with that same Dick Schilke smile and there was more excitement to come. Cousin Matina (Paula's sister) had flown in from California, and Cousin Margaret (Copeland) and her sister Phyllis (Nicholson) would be arriving from Tucson (Margaret, from Texas, was visiting the Nicholsons in Tucson). I hadn't seen Margaret since she and Ben would pick me up at Iowa State for the drive to western Iowa, and I probably hadn't seen Phyillis since the Margaret/Ben wedding in Alta. It was a joyful time with six cousins who hadn't all been together since a 1940's family reunion in Sioux City. Dick and Diane had a home in Yuma on a quiet residential street and a pleasant back yard lush with flowering plants and we spent happy hours talking, reminiscing and looking at old photo albums. It was collectively decided that there should be regular Runge Cousin's reunions, and the first of these reunions should be in Cincinnati in 1989. As Yuma is virtually on the borders of Mexico and California, we spent part of one day in Al Godones, Mexico, and so that Laura could say that she had been to California, we drove to the state line. We went back to Phoenix with Martina as an added passenger, and more opportunity to talk about the old days in Iowa. Next day Laura and I were back from the semi-tropics to the Midwest winter.
            A recently hired cost estimator at AMK, Ralph Friedman, had come from California and he and his wife were renovating a house and were living temporarily with his wife's parents, but unfortunately the mother-in-law was allergic to cats so Ralph asked if we would "adopt" a cat for a few weeks. She was a young calico, named "Pita" (Ralph said this was an acronym for "pain in the ass"), bright, lively and loved to play "fetch" with plastic rings from milk cartons. We took Pita for visits to Gertrude Moellering at the nursing home (at this time, Gertrude could no longer take care of herself and was essentially bedridden so Laura and I would visit her every Wednesday evening). Ralph was an experienced estimator but a bit naïve in the matter of plants and gardens so when I mentioned that our backyard garden lacked sunlight, he recommended potatoes as they, after all, he reasoned, grew underground.
            In late 1987 I had designed and made a drawing for the renovation of the stage area at Prince of Peace (at this time, we were using a lower level multi-purpose room for worship and did not need a large stage) in which storerooms were added on either side, creating a narrow altar recess with an arched head emulating the existing window heads. This work was finally done in the spring of 1988. Also at this time, we had installed an alarm system at the doors of the church and parish house and one Saturday I had gone into the parish house office to do some treasurer work, assuming that the alarm system had been disarmed as there were people in the church but after a very short time a police officer appeared, summoned by the alarm system. After I had convinced him that I was the church treasurer and not an intruder, he wanted to see the rest of the place, especially the sanctuary and he was impressed, but as he was leaving he said (speaking of the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood) "This is no place for Lutherans."
            On one of our many trips to Brownsburg, we met a couple, friends of Bill and Dagmar (I can't remember the name). The lady reserved stray cats and she convinced us that we needed a cat (by this time Pita had left) so in August the Schilke's arrived with 2 male kittens, complete with litter boxes, kitty litter and cat food. One was totally black - we called him "Spook", his brother was also black but had a small patch of white on his belly, we called him "Spot". They were lively, inquisitive and soon had the run of the house and the backyard. Laura wasn't really sure how to deal with kittens (at home in Michigan cats were not allowed in the house) and early one morning as she came into the kitchen and saw two little black faces peering down from high on a cabinet and she let out a shriek, thinking they were bats. Another time she called me at work saying the kittens were high in a tree, meowing pitifully so what should we do? Call the fire department? but then she said "nevermind" as the kittens were at the back door, wanting in.
            Carol Lakin, a long-time secretary at Prince of Peace, died suddenly in September. Spot died in October, although the kittens had been vaccinated for feline leukemia (an always fatal condition in cats) when they were first rescued from the wild in Brownsburg, it was too late as they may have contracted the disease from their mother. Spook was quite distressed, calling out and looking for his brother.
            Laura was still teaching piano and also continued taking piano lessons from Carl Payne, who then was teaching from and living at his mother's home in Clifton, on the far west end of Howell Avenue. Carl's mother, Dorothy Stolzenbach Payne, was a noted Cincinnati pianist and teacher, her husband (deceased) had been a member of the Cincinnati Symphony and the couple had been very active in the local and international music community (composer Percy Granger was a close friend). In 1935 Mrs. Payne, together with several of her friends and students, started an organization of professional and amateur pianists, teachers and serious students (all ladies initially) who would meet monthly at member's homes to play and listen to piano music and it was called "The Keyboard Club". In the 1980's this organization was still quite active (Mrs. Payne and several of the founding members were still performing and one longtime member, Jim Graff, and Mrs. Payne occasionally would do a 4-hand piece). The club had grown, meeting monthly, one group on Thursday mornings, another group on Sunday afternoons and as Laura was Carl's student, she was inherently invited into membership in The Keyboard Club. I tagged along, as we would go regularly on Sunday afternoons where Laura played and I listened. We decided it was time for a piano upgrade, so in October (1988) we purchased a mid-size grand, a "Howard" (a Baldwin subsidiary, sound board and keyboard from Korea, piano body made in Arkansas as Baldwin was no longer manufacturing pianos in Cincinnati) so with the new instrument we were now able to host Keyboard meetings at 346. We kept the Baldwin upright, so two piano pieces could be performed.
            The Prince of Peace retreat venue, St. Anne Convent in Northern Kentucky, received national exposure in 1988 when part of the movie "Rainman" (Dustan Hoffman/Tom Cruise) was filmed there and several other Cincinnati locations were used in the filming, including the University campus. Laura and I were walking through the campus one afternoon when we noticed a lot of activity near the stadium (a scene was being filmed involving the UC marching band and a crowd of football fans) at first we were just curious onlookers but soon we were recruited to be part of the crowd. I don't know that this scene ever made the final cut.
            Teachers and principals of Ohio Lutheran Schools had their annual convention in Cincinnati this year and for entertainment one evening there was a dinner cruise on the Ohio River (spouses were invited). As we were on the upper deck admiring the city lights, a speedboat raced by and a young woman on the boat flashed us with bare breasts. As the convention convened the following morning, the chairman announced that "There was no way that they had the money to provide that kind of entertainment".
            Although the "Pavilion Gang" no longer met at the Pavilion on Friday evenings, we did not give up our beloved Oktoberfest beer booth so in September our raucous group still got together for that occasion, including Bill and Cindy Hutz from Texas.
            That fall (October, 1988) Prince of Peace had raised enough money for a major renovation of the church kitchen and because the work involved plumbing and venting for a new stove, a building permit was required, so I had to make drawings, write specifications and deal with the Cincinnati Building Department.
            By the fall and winter of 1988 several traditions had become established including pumpkin painting for Halloween, Thanksgiving in Michigan, fruitcake baking in late November, Christmas brunch at the Mellott's, Christmas Eve party at 346 (we had started a new tradition - a major cookie bake in late December, for Christmas Eve and for gift packs to friends and neighbors, and there was always a cookie exchange with Bernice Abrams next door), and finally, the not-to-be-missed New Year's Eve party at the Hempels.
            The Christmas tree fascinated Spook. He would sit for a long time studying an ornament, then in a sudden acrobatic leap he would reach out and whack down the selected target so by Christmas Eve he had cleared all ornaments from the lower third of the tree.
            On a Christmas card that year, cousin Lorenz wrote that his artwork was doing well at various shows, but that he was being treated for cancer.





A Year to Remember

            The year 1989 began quietly but soon Laura and I had to think about the Runge Cousin's Reunion in June, and coincidentally, the fifth anniversary of our wedding. On one of their visits to Cincinnati, Bill and Dagmar Schilke helped us find a suitable motel for the "Reunion Headquarters" (346 is a big house, but we couldn't provide sleeping accommodations for the whole group) so we chose a motel on Central Parkway (Day's Inn), not far from our house. Laura decided that the backyard needed a major makeover and somehow she persuaded Chuck Brandt (who had a pickup truck) to haul over a load of creosoted railroad ties, which we used to create new planting beds in the brick patio just north of the house and along the east edge of the yard. The garden area at the north part of the yard (which was mostly in the shade) was covered with a bed of pine bark nuggets creating an outdoor seating area and we bought a set of four chairs and a table, made of a heavy steel mesh (still in use 27 years later, due largely, I sure, to being taken to the basement each fall). I bought several 4-foot by 8-foot wood lattice panels and 4x4 treated wood posts to build a privacy screen along the east side of the yard so we were ready for the reunion.
            Not unexpectedly, Spook died of the same feline leukemia that had claimed spot a few months earlier.
            A big change for Laura: After 17 years as director of the Prince of Peace preschool, Laura decided it was time for a change and in March she began working for 4C (Comprehensive Community Child Care) a division of Cincinnati United Way (Community Chest) on Reading Road in South Avondale. The preschool was taken over by Audrey Turner-Berry. The 4C office was not far from AMK which made it very convenient for me to drop off Laura in the morning and pick her up at the end of the day (unless I was out of town, or as often happened, I was delayed in the evenings) but I continued as church treasurer, which kept me very busy.
            May: A big event in Brownsburg/Indianapolis. Dagmar Schilke graduated from college (UIPUI) so Laura and I were there for the celebration with a graduation ceremony at a downtown arena, Dagmar in cap and gown, their children were all there (Kathy, David, Kaaren and Joann) as well as Dagmar's brother. I'm not sure what her field of study was, or that she ever utilized her degree.
            June: The weather was perfect and the folks begin arriving for the "Second Runge Cousins Reunion". Bill and Dagmar Schilke from Indiana (their son David dropped in for one afternoon), Dick and Diane Schilke from Yuma, Paula Hassler from Phoenix, Martina Lewis from California, Dick and "Brownie" Runge from Iowa City, Clem and Carl Runge and Eleanor and Norm Holle from St. Louis (this group, driving together, somehow got lost and saw much of eastern Cincinnati), Conrad and Becky, and my brother Ken from Rapid City (Ken came early, stayed with us at 346 so he, Conrad and I took in a pre-reunion Reds game at Riverfront Stadium). When we picked up Dick and Diane at the airport, Diane remarked that "it was interesting that your airport is surrounded by golf courses which was puzzling until we realized that in Yuma the only large green areas are golf courses, so as the plane was landing she saw all that "green'. We had a cookout in the backyard, Bill Schilke gave a wine making demonstration, Clem Runge played (more or less) the new piano, and we did a tour of the City (Carl Runge was fascinated by the old City Workhouse, a huge landmark built in the 1860's (then no longer in use, but sadly torn down a few years later to make way for a new workhouse/jail, which actually was never built). We had schneken one morning for breakfast (a rich German pastry from the Virginia Bakery in Clifton, which no longer exists) and took a riverboat cruise on the Ohio. The main activity, however, was talking, backyard, front porch or wherever we happened to be. In the midst of the reunion festivities, Laura and I had our fifth wedding anniversary celebration. A good time was had by all and it is a wonderful memory.
            A sad note: After Ken returned to Rapid City, he called to say that he and Kathy had broken-up - not his wish, but Kathy wanted out of the marriage and they were divorced soon after.
            Later in June I had cataract surgery in my left eye as I had noticed that I was losing visual clarity in that eye. There was much improvement with a new lens implant performed as an outpatient surgery at the Cincinnati Eye Institute (Dr. William Faulkner).
            Another sad note: In July, Mary called to tell us that my cousin, Lorenz Froelich had died saying that he was wasted away by the cancer that he mentioned in his Christmas letter. Lorenz was buried in the cemetery at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bonduel, the Wisconsin town where he was born and lived the whole of his life.
            August: We had visitors from Michigan - Laura's folks and her Aunt Laurabelle, and Pat and Earl Smith (Earl thought that Laura's father, Ken Goodell, should not be driving, especially long distances, so the Smiths became additional guests and Earl did the driving). We did backyard cookouts, front porch sitting, and a Barleycorn Riverboat dinner cruise. Somehow we got them all housed as by this time we had a sofa bed so that Laura's folks could sleep downstairs (her father could no longer do stairs).
            September: Another busy month - Art Club evening riverboat/ice cream cruise, birthday party in Michigan for Laura's mother (many family members and friends). Keyboard meeting at Toedtman School of Music with Over-the-Rhine Steel Drum Band (many players from Prince of Peace) providing some of the music (Toedtman, where Carl Payne was a part-time teacher, is housed in a huge old house, built by a Cincinnati beer baron as a summer home in the country, now a lone oddity surrounded by the industrial wasteland of Sharonville), final Oktoberfest beer booth by the "Pavilion Gang" (only a few of us left with Bill Hutz absent for the first time), major work at Prince of Peace (removal of flanking leaded paint from exterior of church and parish house, required by City Health Development), sealing of exposed brick (also at church and parish house) and addition of clear plastic panels at church to protect the stained glass window, and finally, the really big event - Conrad moving to Chanute, Kansas. (Sept., 1989)
            The Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute, Kansas, is a small private museum housing much of the Johnson collection and dedicated to their memory, and is concentrated on their pioneering film making in the 1920s and 1930's, doing much of their work in the Solomon Islands, Borneo and East Africa. Much of what they filmed no longer exists. Martin and Osa were both from Kansas, where Osa (Leighty) was born in Chanute (Martin Johnson was a crew member on the "Snark, Jack London's boat which sailed to the South Pacific before WWI and they passed through the Solomon Islands when it was still a German territory). Martin Johnson died in a 1937 plane crash and Osa died in 1955, Osa's mother, Belle Leighty, still lived in Chanute and much of the Johnson material came into her possession and in the early 1960s when the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum was organized by a group of local volunteers, Belle Leighty donated her Johnson material and this became the foundation of the museum collection. Chanute at one time was a major Santa Fe Railroad shipping and maintenance center and the railroad donated an unused freight building to house this start-up venture.
            From the time Conrad finished his master's degree work at Miami University he had been looking for something in the anthropology field. He had several temporary jobs, including working in a pizza restaurant so being hired as the director of the Chanute museum was a perfect fit.
            October Travels: At this time, Laura's parents decided to leave for Florida before Thanksgiving (and before the cold Michigan weather) but Laura's father was no longer driving long distances and her mother certainly wasn't going to drive all the way to Florida, so we volunteered to do chauffeur duty. We drove my little VW Jetta to Michigan and formed a two-car convoy (with their large Chevy sedan) for the long trip. We stopped for an overnight at 346 in Cincinnati, another stop in Tennessee, and then did the final leg to Zephyr Hills. My long drive with Laura's father (in the little Jetta) was uncomfortable at times for he had little interest in my classical music or "Lake Wobegon" tapes, and conversation was difficult. On the return trip Laura and I detoured for several days to Savannah, Georgia, staying at a bed-and-breakfast (East Bay Inn) in a historic part of town and we enjoyed our walks around Oglethorpe's well planned city.
            Another Passing: In November, Gertrude Moellering died at her nursing home, very old and alone as all her family had gone before. She, her sister Clara, parents and brother had come to Cincinnati from Hampton, Nebraska in 1911, as her father, Rev. Theodore Moellering had taken a call to be pastor of Concordia (then Trinity) Lutheran Church in Over-the-Rhine and after America entered the War in 1917, Gertrude worked in the German affairs section of the Swiss Embassy in Washington, D.C., and for many years whe was an executive secretary at the Gruen Watch Company in Walnut Hills (this company no longer exists). We enjoyed her many tales of growing up in the early 1900s on the Nebraska prairie with the summer lightning storms and winter blizzards, but my fondest memory is the "piano story", which is as follows: her mother (my grandmother's first cousin) ordered a piano, it was shipped by rail from Chicago, and brought to the house in Hampton by horse and wagon, which in itself was a major event, but the peak of excitement was the arrival (from Lincoln) of the piano tuner as he was driving to Hampton in an automobile and no one in that settlement had ever seen an automobile so the whole town gathered for the sight, and even the parochial school was dismissed for the occasion. After Gertrude died her nephew came from St. Louis to collect some photo albums, old books and a few other possessions from the Westwood house that she and her sister Clara had lived in for many years. One time they showed us a grey wool "traveling dress," beautifully handmade by their mother, and I've often wondered what became of that dress.
            In late fall, we decided we needed another cat so we adopted a female calico kitten from the Cincinnati SPCA. Laura named her "Sweet Memory" in remembrance of Gertrude Moellering but I simply called her "kitty cat". She was a pretty cat, never very large, loved to play games, immediately became my "best friend", tolerated Laura, ignored or rejected nearly all others, had a hysterical reaction to any cat which entered our yard (she was strictly an indoor cat) and had an unbelievable fear of any service or maintenance man who approached the house (even the sight of a service truck parked on our street would send her in panicked flight to hide under a bed on an upper floor).
            By Thanksgiving and the Christmas season of 1989 we had established certain routines and this year was no exception. The New Year's Eve party at the Hempels, however, was the last hurrah as we didn't now (nor did the Hempel's know) that they would leave Cincinnati the following year. Carmen and Amanda Quishpe came over after Christmas for an "overnight", and we went to the "Festival of Lights" event at the Zoo where there was a special pavilion for the kids, in which there were two polar bear heads (fake) mounted on a wall who would talk to the kids. Amanda (then about six years old) spoke to one head but got no reply so she walked away in disgust, but then the head said "Hello Amanda". Amanda was startled, but then returned and berated the head for not speaking to her before, whereupon the head simply said "I didn't feel like talking then".
            Mary Froelich, Lorenz's widow from Bonduel, wrote that she and Don Mueller were married in December. Don was a boyhood companion of Lorenz and sort of a Runge relative as his mother, Tillie, was a Rabe girl from St. Paul's, Hanover, in Iowa, and his Aunt Frieda, another Rabe girl from St. Paul's, Hanover, was married to Walter Runge, my Aunt Lydchen's brother; I know very few persons as pleasant and caring as Don Mueller.
            The 1980s, outside of my architectural career, passed by quickly in what seemed like a series of inevitable happenings, a dream that I watched from afar with one life ending and the beginning of a very different life. This is true in many ways, I suppose, for everyone.





JOURNEYMAN ARCHITECT

            Passing into the later 1980s, the A.M. Kinney organization continued a slow decline, brought about mainly by the loss of process design work, highway and power plant construction and other large civil engineering projects which had been a staple for the company financially. There was also a period of poor management, wasteful spending and financially disastrous projects, largely brought about by the New York office. The architectural group, however, continued to be quite busy and productive.
            I was involved in many projects, large and small, throughout the Midwest and East Coast, most of which I hardly remember. There was an interesting project in Newark, Ohio (Newark, east of Columbus was a county seat and its late 1800's courthouse was beautifully restored. There was an Air Force base in Newark, and as it was no longer needed as a military airfield, a new use had to be found to keep the facility open and provide employment. President Reagan had promoted a new ICMB program and Newark was chosen as the site to calibrate the guidance systems of the missiles (the missiles, when launched high into the stratosphere, would seek out the north star for orientation and the programmed target). A large building was extensively renovated, with a raised floor system because of numerous underfloor cables, a large window on the northwall and a concrete pedestal whose footing extended down to bedrock. After the initial meeting for this project I rode back to Cincinnati with Don Reeder, then president of AMK - somewhere south of Columbus he ran out of gas. Fortunately, we were near an exit so I had to hitchhike to a nearby town for a container of gas. A friend, Dennis Dellinger, had started an architectural practice in Blue Ash (a suburb northeast of Cincinnati) and he needed help, so I spent several Saturdays in late 1987 and early 1988 at his small office, writing specifications.
            Much of 1988 and 1989 I was the project architect for a large commission from Eli Lilly. The company management decided that their main computer center at the headquarter complex just south of downtown Indianapolis was vulnerable to tornado damage so we were asked to design a new computer center (tornado proof) at their manufacturing campus southwest of the city. It was a 2-story building, with the computer center on the upper level, personnel offices, employee lounge, kitchen and dining room on the lower level and there were enclosed passageways connecting to other buildings (paperwork and materials were delivered by bicycle couriers). During this time, I also worked on a project for Frito-Lay in Frankfort, Indiana, where we did upgrades to an existing potato chip plant and it was fascinating to watch the fully automated operation, from raw potato to packaged and palleted end product, and memorable because Bill Hutz was the Frito-Lay project architect so we worked together again, but this time on a client/consultant basis. There was also a laboratory project in Western Pennsylvania, memorable because of one particular flight on the company plane where we would fly into a small regional airport in that mountainous area, and on one flight because of low clouds and overcast conditions the pilots could not find the airport. Fortunately, the airport had a central tower, who said they hear us but not see us as the pilots asked them to flash the runway lights and we found the airport. This was an interesting experience.
            Other changes, as always, happened at AMK: A good friend, Bob Preslar, left to work for GE and they sent him to Australia (Bob and I worked and traveled together on many projects) and Mary Johnson died probably in her late 50's (our former "rumor control" when we were on the 4th floor). Mary never adapted to the fast-paced CAD environment at KZF (she followed Bill Wilson there in 1986) and she was one of the few women at that time to have an architectural degree, but she never followed through with the examinations required to become a registered architect, lived her whole life at the family home in Bond Hill (Mary was a heavy smoker). Walter Connelly died. Walter, who brought me into the Art Club, retired in 1985 (originally from Canada, where as a young man he ran the high hurdles in track), designed and had built his dream house on a lake in Northern Kentucky ('85-'86), but didn't live very long to enjoy it (the best laid plans--). Hugo Rooman retired in August, 1989. Rob Pipes, after finally getting married, and designing his own house, left to join a start-up firm. Don Reeder died (heart attack, my age but a heavy smoker). Dan grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, was quiet and unassuming, saying he never understood how he became president of A.M. Kinney.
            In October, 1990, Jason Popelka and I went to a 3-day roofing conference in Denver (Jason was then the architectural specifications writer) and the event was useful, but the best part was a drive up to Rocky Mountain National Park one afternoon when we had some free time (Jason left next year for a job with HOK in St. Louis). I continued to work on several projects for Mead Johnson (acquired by Bristol-Myers) in Evansville, and a project for Fisher Scientific in Warsaw, Indiana (my first experience working with robots). Fisher manufactured medical devices and the plant manager was delighted with the robots, saying that they worked 24 hours, 7 days a week, never complained and never went on strike). There was also a new office/laboratory building for Witco in Houston, Texas, and a testing laboratory for the U.S. Navy in Norfolk, Virginia (large ships, aircraft carriers and cruisers, were visible in the harbor, but except for guards at the gate, we rarely saw a person in uniform as our clients were all civilian employees). There was an interesting project in Cairo, Egypt for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A new building was needed for reconditioning and chrome plating of gun barrels for Egyptian Army tanks (this had to be done periodically to maintain firing accuracy) and the Egyptians approved of my design except that the window pattern had to be changed as when viewed in a certain way it resembled a cross which was not acceptable in Moslem eyes;
            We had a project in Duluth, Minnesota, consisting of renovations to several buildings at an EPA facility. The AMK project manager was Charles Winkler, he was from southcentral Texas and did not like snow (we had to visit the site several times in the winter, usually flying commercial to Minneapolis, and from there a smaller jet to Duluth). On one return, there was a heavy snowfall in Duluth and as we waited in the terminal, watching plows clearing the runway, Charlie became increasingly nervous so he finally went to the boarding desk and asked about the weather in Minneapolis whereupon the girl checked her screen and said "Sleet, freezing rain and somewhat overcast, not bad", "not bad!" Charlie cried out "What's bad?". In a somewhat better environment (spring time), we did a steam generating plant in Maryland for National Starch where the client insisted that they would work with the local building department but this was not done, so there was a building permit issue when the job was completed. We did a major renovation of offices and laboratories at an existing building for the dental school at Ohio State University in Columbus in which a new ventilation system was installed in every tight space so there was a noise problem when the system was put into operation so we had to hire an acoustic consultant, who recommend a large sheet metal diversion chamber on the roof, and it worked. There was a very large project for Lexmark in Lexington, Kentucky, involving the production of computer chips in a totally clean atmosphere which became a very challenging design problem. Peter Refuse (another AMK architect) and I drove to Lexington many times and on one return trip we decided to go backroads instead of the interstate, and where we were held up in one rural area by a mule standing in the road. Another Ohio Project was for Dap Chemical in Tipp City, a few miles north of Dayton where the client wanted to expand the production of sealants manufacturing. There was much controversy over whether or not the facility would be considered a hazardous occupancy because of the storage and use of solvents. Al Hallum, the AMK project manager, modified an aerial photo of the site showing a mushroom cloud resulting from a huge explosion, but the client people were not amused.
            Finally, a local project, St. Mary's Seminary in Norwood, built in 1918-1920, abandoned in 1970's, stripped of nearly all furnishings, including the chapel, much of the plumbing and electrical infrastructure and the main boilers. The building was sold by the diocese for one dollar to an extreme conservative Roman Catholic group who wanted to create a retreat center (this group would meet at the site yearly to await an appearance by the Virgin Mary). The building was huge, 4 stories with hundreds of small bedrooms for the seminarians, apartments for the faculty, a large chapel, dining hall, infirmary, library, gymnasium, indoor swimming pool, bowling alley, recreation center (for card playing and billiards), 2 large interior courts, and strangely, only 4 classrooms. The north wing was divided by a masonry wall, basement to roof, which, on the north side of this wall, were the nun's quarters, their bedrooms, the main kitchen, laundry, sewing/linens workspaces, and a tunnel leading to a screened area in the chapel. The only penetration in this wall was at the infirmary, and I often wondered if there was a high rate of illness among the seminarians. AMK was commissioned to make drawings of areas to be renovated, bring these areas into code compliance and obtain building permits - I spent many hours, alone, going through long abandoned and empty spaces, in late afternoons especially (there were no lights), quiet, except for the sounds of an old building. I had a feeling of unease.
            Another local project, for the City of Cincinnati - a new roof for the main city bus (Metro) storage and repair facility. It was a huge roof, but had to be totally replaced as there were many leaks, the insulation did not meet current standards, and the original built-up roofing used coal tar, a wonderful material for waterproofing if the roof surface is flat, but if there is a slope, even a small slope, hot sun in the summer melts the coal tar into an oozing, slippery liquid which then flows into (and clogs) the roof drains, and causes the whole roof surface to slide downward, breaking loose flashings and roof curbs. The existing roofing and insulation were removed down to the metal deck, new insulation, roofing, flashing and drain lines were installed - a major and costly undertaking - the construction manager for the City, John Deatrick my years later was the construction manager for the largest project ever completed in the region - new football and baseball stadiums and redevelopment of the riverfront (and many more years later, 2015, was construction manager for the Cincinnati streetcar project), and he showed me his house in Mount Auburn, one of the oldest houses in the city, which he was restoring to its original appearance. There was a project for Alcoa in Lafayette, Indiana - cylindrical castings were made from pure molten aluminum for shipment to manufactures of aluminum products and the existing facility was being enlarged. Another lost opportunity came as we were commissioned by Cintas (a growing company) to do a uniform cleaning and distribution center, including offices for management and marketing, to become a prototype for many similar facilities throughout the country (I learned about regional practices for "right-hand" and "left-hand" coat hanger systems), but unfortunately there was a fierce debate between the client and our remaining architectural designer, Max Worthington, over the cost of construction so we did no more projects for Cintas. At this time, I also did a "pro bono" kitchen and dining room for a soup kitchen in Over-the-Rhine (getting a building permit from the City was probably the major effort).
            The A.M. Kinney organization continued its decline. Art Pfirrmann retired in June, 1992. Art was not an architect, but was the steadfast project manager for nearly all Mead Johnson/Bristol Myers work for many years, so I worked with him on many of these projects, and always appreciated his patience and forbearance with my "just in time" completions on scheduled dates (Art Pfirrmann died May, 2011). Max Worthington and Bob Buemer left for greener pastures, Erich Zwertschek retired, and Tom Lindsey, a promising young architect, left to join a local architectural firm. A young woman was hired who had a master's degree and taught a course in architectural design at the University, but she proved to be completely inexperienced in her understanding of architectural construction. I helped her design a stair (she had no idea how this was done) and so became her "friend". She did learn, however, how to alter the "title block" of drawings so that she could list herself as the "designer". She lived in Clifton, an old apartment building just north of Ludlow, and she told me of wild late night rides through the city on the back of her boyfriend's motorcycle, and of an incident (which I thought amusing), when after work she would shower then walk about in her apartment sans clothing and somehow guys from across the street got her phone number, called and said they enjoyed the show, "a bunch of perverts" she said, angry at being spied on. She often left her work unfinished or behind schedule, and began leaving the office to run personal errands or to go shopping, but when disciplined she threatened to sue for "sex discrimination". AMK management was perplexed as to how to deal with this situation but fortunately she left for a job in another city (followed a boyfriend who also relocated).
            A.M. Kinney Jr. (the owner of the company and generally known as "Junior") died while visiting his "dream home" under construction on the Carolina coast, and he was succeeded by A.M. Kinney III, (generally known as "Trip") who, while well meaning, was totally unprepared for management of a multi-disciplined consulting firm. Robert Thrun, the nominal head of the architectural group, left for a marketing job in Northern Kentucky and the remnant of the company moved to the first floor and basement of the building, abandoning the 3 upper floors (it was rather unnerving to walk through those empty spaces, cluttered with drafting tables and piles of old drawings, which once bustled with activity). The architectural group was reduced to myself, George Neilsen, Poter Refuse, Dave Stoll and a few CAD draftsmen (the stalwart Dave Stoll was totally engrossed in restoring an 1814 farmhouse in Southeast Indiana where he lived alone). There was plenty of unused space, so I was given my own office. My final years at AMK continued to be busy with productive architectural work.
            One of the most enjoyable projects of my career was for Sotheby's in New York City. We had done some building code studies for Sotheby's in '96, so when they decided that they needed a full-time architectural consultant, AMK was selected, and they wanted someone from our office at all time sat their main building (Upper East Side, York and 72nd), as they were constantly renovating or needing studies for this building (their primary art auction center), or 2 other Manhattan locations. 3 AMK architects, George Neilsen, Peter Refuse and myself formed a "tag team," one flying in on a Sunday night, leaving on a Wednesday night, the next member flying in on Wednesday morning and leaving on a Saturday morning, so there was always a half-day overlap midweek, and this went on for several months, until there was a pullback at Sotheby's because of a price-fixing scandal involving Christie's in London and Federal investigations (the Sotheby's C.O.E., "Dee Dee" Brooks was indicted). Peter found a great little hotel, "Broadway Inn", a 3-story walk-up, near Times Square (46th and 8th Avenue) so I usually flew into Newark, and as the main Manhattan bus terminal was in Midtown I could easily walk to the hotel. George did not like staying on Manhattan so always rented a car and stayed at "Red Roof Inn" in Jersey City (on one occasion George and I were at Sotheby's for several days so I also had a room at this "red Roof Inn". George always had the same room, adjacent to a balcony overlooking the Newark Bay tidal flats, and on a warm summer evening, as we were looking out on this desolate landscape, George, with martini in hand, said "Ah- this is the life". From the "Broadway Inn" I usually took a bus up to Central Park West and then a crosstown on 65th, which turned back only a block from Sotheby's, which was much more interesting than taking a cab (I always found New Yorkers to be friendly and talkative - an easy way to start a conversation was to complain, usually about the weather or the bus service). Working at Sotheby's was a fascinating experience, and once, when I was taking measurements in the jewelry appraisal area, a woman, probably in her late 30's, came in excited because she had just spoken to Caroline Kennedy in one of the galleries - "It was better than sex, she said, but then after a pause "well, maybe not better than sex". This area had windows overlooking the main auction floor so she wanted to know, "Those men down there," (the ones holding up numbered paddles to make bids) "do they have money?" I said that perhaps some of them had money, but others might just be buyers for other clients. "Well," she said, "I'm coming back tomorrow, dressed to kill, and I'll meet some of those men with money." The young man in charge of Sotheby's renovations was from England (his first name was Conrad) and when I mentioned that I had a son named Conrad, he said that his mother's friends were very much opposed to this name, saying "Conrad! That's no name for a baby".
            A large Methodist Church in Northern Kentucky, built in 1930's, was Anglican style with raised chancel, pulpit, altar and railing but the current building committee decided that this was not liturgically "Methodist" so the altar, pulpit and railing were removed and the chancel converted into a choir area. For many months, I worked on a project for Aldrich Chemical who produced fine chemicals (used mostly in the pharmaceutical industry) and were relocating production from an old building near downtown Milwaukee to a new facility in a rural area northwest of the city (it was sad to see good Wisconsin farmland obliterated forever by a "big box" development). At this time, the work at AMK was becoming more of a drudgery - many small projects with demanding schedules and tight budgets. There was a project for Pillsbury in Wellston, Ohio (upgrading an existing facility) but was fascinating to watch a fully automated frozen pancake operation where ten arms with spatulas flipping ten identical pancakes on a heated conveyer, also a building code/feasibility study at a former guitar manufacturing plant in Kalamazoo, Michigan and a project to replace old elevators at several Cincinnati high schools. I did a complete architectural design for an office, laboratory and employee support building in North Bend, Ohio, unique because the exterior doors and other openings had to have airtight seals, and there was an alarm system and emergency air supply as the site had several large liquid nitrogen tanks, which, if there were a major leak, all living things in the vicinity would be suffocated. It was pleasing work, however, as I had complete control over the architectural design.
            One of my last projects at AMK was the Tom Geiger House in the Walnut Hills are of Cincinnati which was a new building with apartments for battered women and their children, and included a recreation area and a complete childcare center. There were complex zoning issues as the site was the playground of a former Catholic parochial school (for the now closed Assumption Parish on Gilbert Avenue), and building code issues because of windows that had to be operable, but not to the extent that women could allow male friends into their bedrooms. The project was funded mostly by private donations and grants, but also by a small amount of city money, and for this reason the city insisted that the construction contract had to be given to a minority contractor, and that union labor rates had to be paid, so there was only one bidder, a small enterprise owned by a family originally from southern India (the darker skinned people of southern India were considered "minority"), but they had virtually no experience as general contractors, resulting in a continuing series of crises (and at a cost which exceeded our estimates).
            "Trip" Kinney was desperate to either lease a good part of our building, or even to sell it outright. Children's Hospital was looking for space and I did a number of studies in which the lower floors of our building would be converted into a day care center (eventually Children's Hospital bought the entire property, converting the building to office space, and constructing a separate day care center behind the building). AMK had downsized from over 400 employees in Cincinnati (all the satellite offices had been closed, the Chicago office was the last to go), to about 40, and was relocated to a leased space on the 7th floor of the Federal Reserve Bank Building, 4th and Main, downtown. During all this turmoil, I received a call from KZF (an A-E firm with about 100 employees) saying that they were looking for a senior architect and I was offered a substantial increase in pay and a generous vacation package so I accepted. In September, 1999, after more than 33 years, I left A.M. Kinney Associates.





PERPETUAL MOTION

            The 1980's were years of changes and the 1990's were years of continuing happenings, which for the most part, I was merely a spectator, watching events as they streamed by.
            In march of 1990 Laura decided to do the 10K Heartwalk, a Heart Association fund raiser, walking from downtown, out along Columbia Parkway above the river for 5K then back again, involving many thousands of walkers, water, music and food (sometimes) along the way but always food at the end - the weather (typical for Cincinnati) sometime warm and sunny, sometimes cold and rainy - I don't think I did the walk that year, but have done so every year since (another of our traditions, I walked for the last time in 2013). Easter dinner was at the Hempel's, but sadly, Joel took a call to St. Louis, leaving in June, which again was the end of an era, and the ICCPE program at Prince of Peace faded away except for a volunteer counseling service by Jane Jansak and Sister Barbara. April, in Westerville, Ohio, where Karen and John Murdock had moved from Cleveland, we had a surprise 40th birthday party for Dave Goodell (Laura's brother). He was his usual curmudgeonly self, but enjoyed every moment of the celebration. 1990 marked the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Cincinnati Art Club and there were many festivities, including a formal dinner (which Laura and I attended). A good friend, Oren Miller, was president of the club then and did much of the work putting the celebration together, but sadly, Oren died a few months later (congestive heart failure, he was only in his 50's). A group of us from the Art Club, after the memorial service, held an "Irish wake".
            August, 1990, the big event of the year: The Third Runge Cousin's Reunion, Table Rock Lake in the Ozark region of Southwest Missouri, which came to be the grandest of all the cousins' reunions with most of the cousins (thirteen were there except for Roland Nicolaus who never left his cows in Wisconsin) and Gerda Heyse and Kathy Tax, who lived on the East Coast and many of the next generation, including Conrad and Becky, also making an appearance. Laura and I had purchased a new car in July (a white Chevrolet Lumina) so in early August we were ready for the long drive to the reunion. First stop was New Harmony, Indiana (in a far southwest corner of the state) where we stayed in the Red Geranium, a very modern hotel and conference center. New Harmony was created by a German Pietist group from Pennsylvania in 1814 who bought several thousand acres of wilderness and built a complete, functioning city, however, their leader, George Rapp, said they were directed by God to return to Pennsylvania, so the whole enterprise was sold in 1825 to Robert Owen, an English idealist who wanted to create a perfect community of intellectuals, writers and scientists, and this project continued for several years but ultimately failed financially. Many of the Harmonie and Owen buildings still stand, and there is an open-air chapel, designed by Philip Johnson, dedicated to the original Harmonie settlers (a fascinating place to visit.) The Reunion headquarters was at the Kimberling Arms Motel, which is on the lake and had a great dock facility, but did not have a suitable picnic area for our large group (about 40 of us) so Bill Schilke and I decided to scout out the area for a better site. We found, and reserved, a pavilion at Table Rock State Park, nearby and also on the lake. Clem Runge brought ample cheese from a recent Wisconsin visit, Bill Schilke brought several samples of his homemade wine, and there was plenty of food, beer, and wonderful conversations far into the night. One afternoon Laura and I drove into Branson (a tourist mecca) and took a land/lake cruise on a "duck" (WWII amphibious vehicle).
            After the reunion, we headed north, stopping at the Wilson's Creek Battlefield, near Springfield, Mo., Civil War, August 1861, (I wanted to see it - Laura wasn't much interested) significant because it kept Missouri in the Union. A small force of Federal regulars, supplemented by Iowa Militia (who wore grey uniforms) and German-American regiments from St. Louis, made a surprise attack on a much larger Confederate force, and all went well until the Germans mistook a Confederate counterattack for the Iowa Militia, and there was a language problem as German was not the lingua franca in southwest Missouri. We then drove north to Lamar, Mo. to see the birthplace of Harry Truman, and then further north into Iowa, where the first stop was in Charter Oak to visit Irma Fiene, Hans and Agnes Schau, then a quick look at Hanover Church, and finally a stop in Glidden, Iowa (in the heart of Iowa hog and corn country). Mark Schuler had been ordained from the Seminary in St. Louis and was on an academic track, but first had to serve time in a parish so he was pastor of Peace Lutheran Church in Glidden and Rhoda was continuing her advanced degree work, mostly by correspondence. They were living in the parsonage, shocked the local folk by removing wall-to-wall carpeting and refinishing the beautiful hardwood floors. Last stop was in Iowa City to visit cousin Dick Runge and Brownie (Miriam) where Dick was a professor in the University of Iowa German Department and Brownie was working at the University library. We drove around the old part of the campus and out to the old Delt house on North Dubuque where not much changed it seemed (fading memories from 40 years before).
            Early September we went to the wedding of Laura's close friend, Caroline Davidson to Charles Fehr at the Lutheran Church in Fairview/Clifton Heights (not far from my old house on Fairview Avenue, the Lutherans moved out a few years later). Caroline and Charlie were one generation removed from the old German Lutheran community in Over-the-Rhine, now scattered to Westwood and the suburbs, and they both worked in the City Finance Department. Caroline lived in an apartment building at the base of Clifton Avenue, overlooking Over-the-Rhine (her parents were no longer living) and Charlie (who never drove a car because of an eyesight problem) lived with his mother in Westwood so Caroline moved into the Westwood house. Laura's 4C office moved from Reading Road to a building on East McMillan in Walnut Hills.
            Another life changing event, but first, some background: (a) 346 Terrace is about 5 blocks from the University of Cincinnati, unfortunately mostly uphill; (b) two venerable Cincinnati institutions from the 1800s; the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music and the College of Music of Cincinnati, merged in 1955, and then in 1967 moved to the University of the Cincinnati, becoming the core of the music school, the College Conservatory of Music (CCM); (c) Laura continued her piano lessons with Carl Payne and we continued our membership in the Keyboard Club. In September, Atarah Jablonsky, an active member of the Keyboard Club, called Laura saying she had a problem as they were hosting an Israeli girl, 16 years old, who had a cello scholarship at CCM, but unfortunately, the Jablonsky's lived in Wyoming and a long distance from the city bus stop (Mr. Jablonsky was trained as a dentist but lost a hand in the war so he had some sort of sales job - for him a bitter experience). The girl, her name was Timora Rosler, was supposed to take a city bus then walk the remaining distance but this was a long and tedious journey, especially toting a cello so Timora started hitchhiking. Atarah thought that this was unacceptable. Atarah knew that we had a large house and lived not far from the University so she asked Laura if we would consider taking in the girl. Laura was somewhat taken aback, checked with me, and told her "perhaps". Atarah said, "We'll be there in 30 minutes" and when Atarah arrived with Timora, a very pretty, slender, dark-eyed girl, we gave them a tour of the house. Timora said "I like" and she moved in the next day. We put Timora in the small bedroom on the southwest corner of the second floor, and although Kittycat would have nothing to do with Timora, she was curious about this new person's room so Timora immediately kept the door shut, fearful that the cat would damage her cello. One night, shortly after she moved in, we had a very loud thunderstorm and Timora was quite frightened, certain that it was an Arab rocket attack. Although Timora's English was reasonably good, the University required her to take a remedial English class, where her classmates were "bayzballplayers" she said, "very stupid" (very likely they were football and basketball players on athletic scholarship, and probably barely literate). In one of her classes everyone was asked to give their name and tell where they were from - a student ahead of Timora said they were from "Palestine" and this frightened her, so she said "Timora Rosler, New York". She was sponsored by a Cincinnati Jewish organization, so in late September Atarah called Timora and told her that she and some other Jewish ladies were taking her (Timora) to a synagogue for a Rosh Hashana service. "What, exactly" Timora asked me "is Rosh Hashana?" She came from a very secular family and knew only that Rosh Hashana was some sort of holiday (as most Americans know nothing of the religious roots of Halloween or Mardi Gras) and after returning from the synagogue service, she said, it was "very boring". Daily life soon became very routine in the morning as Timora would walk to the bus stop with her cello (there was a dispute with one bus driver, which Laura had to resolve, about whether or not Timora would be allowed to board the bus with her cello) and I would pick her up at CCM after work. One Saturday afternoon when I came home I heard a lot of activity in the basement, and Timora came up, saying "the kitty is so poor", for it seems that Kittycat got into a pan of grease on the stove, knocking the pan to the floor and covering herself with grease and Laura was degreasing Kittycat with detergent in the basement laundry tub, saying 'Oh, the poor kitty". October, we went to Indianapolis for a Symphony concert, taking Timora along and staying with the Schilke's - after the concert we had a party at a Greek restaurant (lustily singing Greek songs) joined by Charles and Rosemary Rader, who were in the orchestra. November, we went to the Brandt's (at their house in Over-the-Rhine) for Jeff's birthday where Jeff put on a spirited show. Timora was not impressed.
            We had our usual Christmas Eve party after church (Laura would make a large pot of hot mull cider), always a pleasant event, and although we missed the Hempels, there were some new faces, Melanie Lieuwen, a young woman who was very active in working with our inner city youth (her parents, Francis and Trina Lieuwen were from the Netherlands - he from Holland, she from Freisland - they were not members of Prince of Peace, but very supportive of our work in Over-the-Rhine), and Else Tasseron, a woman in her 50s, also from the Netherlands (her ancestors were Huguenots, refugees from persecutions in France). Else, who was fluent in many languages, loved to tell the story of how, as a young woman, working for the International Council of Churches in Geneva, and not familiar with English idioms, shocked her fellows at dinner by announcing that she had just heard that the Archbishop of Canterbury had "kicked the bucket".
            After Christmas, we had a visit from Gordon and Audrey Henry, who were in Cincinnati to see their daughter Laura and we also had Carmen and Amanda Quishpe here for an overnight where Amanda spent a good part of the time chasing Kittycat.
            A good part of 1991 was occupied by our new "ward", Timora Rosler, for she was a talented cellist and soon was in demand for recitals and performances, both at CCM and elsewhere; there was a fellow Israeli at CCM, Yehonatan (Jonathan) Berick, a handsome fellow in his early twenties and a superb violinist (Timora's family was politically very liberal, Yehonatan definetly conservative). Yehonatan and Timora gave recitals together for their sponsors in the Jewish community (Yehonatan was living with a wealthy Jewish family in North Avondale) so we met several classical music devotees from that group (I knew one of the ladies from the Art Club) and also many students and faculty from CCM, including Henry Meyer and Peter Kamnitzer of the renowned LaSalle Quartet (Henry, 2nd violin, Peter, viola); the Lasalle was the quartet in residence at CCM for many years, formed by 4 young musicians in New York City, refugees from post war Europe (Henry said they were trying to decide on a name for their new group, looked up and saw a street sign, "LaSalle"). Timora by this time, had fallen in love with a fellow student at CCM, Christian von Bohries (Chris), a flutist, studying conducting, in his mid-twenties, fluent in several languages, intelligent and sophisticated, from Berlin, where his parents were archaeologists. "He is soooo German," gushed Timora ("of course" she said "Germans can be very dangerous" - words of wisdom from a young Israeli girl). In February Timora gave a recital at our house - Brandt's and Towe's were there, and Chris of course, as well as other musically inclined friends, including Curt and Ginny Wilhelm. Curt had retired from AMK but we would see them at every Symphony concert (Laura gave a piano recital at the Wilhelm house in Hyde Park where Curt was taking piano lessons but he never really got the hang of it).
            Bill and Dagmar Schilke came for a short stay, along with cousin Tina Lewis. Tina loved cats but Kittycat would have nothing to do with her and as they were leaving, Tina turned to Kittycat and said, "Goodbye you little creep."
            Late in April we, along with several others from Prince of Peace, went to St. Louis (Webster Groves) for Nathan Hempel's confirmation and where Joel had taken a position as chaplain of a large Lutheran senior center/nursing home (formerly a Catholic convent and retreat center) and Marcia also worked for the organization. We stayed with cousin Eleanor and Norm Holle, and Friday night we went to a fish fry (and bier fest) at cousin Clem Runge's Luthean church in nearby Ferguson.
            In May, Dave Goodell (Laura's brother) flew to Florida to drive Laura's parents back to Michigan for the summer, so they stopped in Cincinnati for a few days. Laura's mother said she was allergic to cats, so Kittycat was exiled to the third floor.
            Later in May Laura and I drove to Madison, Indiana, a historic town on the Ohio River where much of the early 1800s downtown has been preserved. We also toured the magnificent 1850s Lanier Mansion with its great lawn extending down to the Ohio (son/only Lanier child drowned in the river shortly after the mansion was finished).
            Early June we were off to Westerville, Ohio for William Murdock's high school graduation (Will was the oldest son of Karen and John). The ceremony was held at the high school stadium and to my astonishment everyone stood with the playing of "Deutschland Uber Alles", finding out later that this tune, the German and Austrian) national hymn was used for the Westerville High School Song, for apparently the high school music director (who composed the song) had immigrated from Germany. Afterwards, there was a party at the Murdock house.
            Timora meanwhile was very busy with her cello activities, performances and recitals, locally and in other parts of the country. Traveling by air was always a problem as she would never consider checking her cello as baggage and airlines generally required the cello (which in its case was huge) to have a separate ticket as it occupied a full seat. One time she asked me to help her practice crying as someone had told her that if she cried big tears, the airline would allow her to board without a separate ticket for the cello, and another time, at the airport, she asked me to stand at the boarding entrance with the cello and as she walked into the boarding ramp I was to pass the cello to her but it didn't work, with the result that an airline official took us aside and scolded Timora, but he finally relented, saying she could board without a separate ticket (this one time) as there were empty seats. Timora was very protective of her cello, and a seer had predicted a repeat of the great New Madrid earthquake of 1811, so she wrapped the cello in blankets and pillows but of course the earthquake never happened. Because of constant practice she was having arm and shoulder pains so an orthopedic specialist was recommended, which is how she met Dr. Uri Remea. Uri and his wife Yael who were originally from Israel, and soon became very close friends to all of us.
            In June,we decided it was time for a trip to Michigan, so off we went, with Timora and the cello (Timora did not like staying alone in our big old house). The best part of the long weekend was the canoe episode in which one could rent canoes at a small lake in Milford and paddle up a quiet river, with Timora, Danny and I in one canoe, Laura, Sue and Jamie in the other. I was no expert in canoeing but knew enough not to stand once we had cast off but this did not deter Timora, so we capsized several times as we were getting under way. Fortunately, the lake was only about 4 feet deep and Timora was having so much fun with this rural adventure that the cello sat silent the whole time.
            That summer (1991) we started thinking about renovating the first-floor bathroom which originally was a pantry, with a door to the kitchen, a swinging door to the dining room (which we called the "family room") and a large built in pantry cabinet with drawers, doors, a counter and large sliding glass doors. A previous owner had walled off the door to the kitchen, changed the swinging door to regular door, added a toilet and metal shower stall and bricked up the lower part of the window for a lavatory, but the space had no heat or ventilation. I drew plans which divided the space into 2 separate rooms, one a small hallway with the pantry cabinet, the other a bathroom with tiled floor and walls, toilet, lavatory and shower stall, plus the window was restored to its original height, with a double casement window (the new wall met the casement vertical mullion so there was an operable window at each room), a new door connected the rooms, and ducted heat and a ventilation fan were added to the bathroom. I acted as general contractor, getting bids for the labor and buying the materials (bathroom fixtures, window, tile, shower door, etc) and I did all the painting and also completely stripped and refinished the pantry cabinet and other wood frames and trim, all of which this kept me busy for several months.
            Kathleen Henson had a show of her work at a downtown restaurant, and we bought a beautiful framed and matted black-and-white print of Over-the-Rhine, which we often have hanging in the living room. Kathleen and her husband divorced later in the year and she reverted to her original name "Kathleen Prudence."
            In July, we went up the Ravinia Music Festival (Bill and Dagmar Schilke were with us) as both Timora and Yehonathan were invited participants (we also met with Uri and Yael Remea while we were there).
            Timora gave a recital at Uri and Yael Remea's house - Yael's father was an artist and his paintings were hung throughout the house, including a magnificent large painting of Jerusalem in the living room.
            On one of her performance trips, Timora was heard by a renowned Brazilian cellist who was also at Yale University so he invited Timora to play for him at his summer home in Western Maryland. On August 17, 1991, we were off to Maryland, but this part of Maryland is in the Appalachian foothills, more like West Virginia than the east shore. We had a room at the Wisp (a ski resort in the winter) near McHenry so while Timora was having her cello audience, Laura and I decided to drive to the Antietam Battlefield in central Maryland (Civil War, September, 1862). Antietam was the bloodiest one-day battle in American history (23,000 killed and wounded) where Robert E. Lee decided to cross the Potomac and "liberate" Maryland (a border State which was still part of the Union). The Confederates were surprised when the locals met them with indifference or outright hostility and the Union Army had an opportunity for a major victory (they had found a copy of Lee's battleplan) but the Union commander, McClellan, hesitated (didn't want to commit his "beautiful army" to battle, and thought, incorrectly, that he was greatly outnumbered by Lee) so the result was a bloody draw. Lee, however, was forced to retreat to Virginia, and thus the carnage was considered a Union "victory". We toured the battlefield and visited the Union cemetery (great circles of headstones, arranged by State, many with names unknown). I thought of the circles of graves at St. Anne Convent in Northern Kentucky.
            Timora was offered a very generous full scholarship at Yale, plus a dormitory room and food allowance and she accepted, but the head of the CCM cello department was furious at losing his prized pupil. August 24th, we were off again, but this time to New Haven, Connecticut, and Yale University, together with Timora, the cello and all her possessions. We found a motel near downtown and got Timora into her dorm, and she had to go through some sort of new student orientation which gave us a chance to explore the campus, which, as Yale is a private school, much of the campus is intermingled with the surrounding city (no eminent domain). With my gray hair and wearing a jacket and tie, I was stopped several times by incoming new students, asking a "professor" for directions. I did have a chance to look into the new architectural design studies which I think were updated from the Paul Rudolph days and the rare books library addition from the early 1980s designed by Gordon Bunstiaft (SOM). We had a free day before classes started so the 3 of us drove up to the hinterlands (there are, or were then, rural areas and quiet small towns in Connecticut), and then down the coast where we had a fresh seafood dinner in Guilford. End of August, we said our farewells, not certain that we would ever see Timora again (in truth, she became a dear friend and we were together many times through the years).
            At Prince of Peace, the preschool continued to survive, but it was becoming a struggle financially, and Susan Cacini took over as director in September. For some time, I noticed that the sight in my right eye was becoming clouded so in October I had cataract surgery in this eye resulting in a miraculous outcome, nearly perfect vision, but I still had to wear glasses when driving. Early November we went to a wedding in Indianapolis (Bill and Dagmar's son, David) which proved to be a short-lived marriage.
            From late summer until Mid-November I had been working on the final painting and refinishing for the new bathroom/hallway project, so when it was done, we decided to have a celebration. On Saturday evening, November 23, 1991, we had a "Bathroom Party", which was probably the largest gathering ever at 346 Terrace. There were friends from AMK, 4C, and Prince of Peace, Bill and Dagmar Schilke from Brownsburg, and Bernice Abrams, our next-door neighbor. Folks came with various bathroom related gifts - Bill Schilke made a miniature but very authentic, outhouse (eventually mounted above the door to the basement toilet room), and Rob Pipes brought a small scale, but functional plunger (which we actually used for many years). I created a game in which outrageous prizes were awarded based on numbers (sometimes rigged) drawn from a hat. It was a grand affair, but sadly, there would never be another quite like it.
            The next year (1992) was one of many travels - some planned, some spur of the moment, which started in late January with a trip to Grand Cayman to visit Pat and Earl Smith. The Cayman Islands are south of Cuba, west of Jamaica, remote and semi-arid, and a British possession (by the late 17th century Spain had lost control of the Caribbean except for Cuba, Puerto Rico and the eastern half of Hispaniola - Britain, France, Netherlands and Denmark divided up the rest). The largest island, Grand Cayman is only 22 miles long, with the highest elevation only 50 feet above sea level and until the island was "discovered" by tourists (and European bankers) in the 1970s, the place was a little-known backwater. The inhabitants were descended from a collection of shipwrecked sailors, pirates and runaway slaves who eked out a living fishing, raising goats on scrubby patches of land (which they called "plantations"), and salvaging shipwrecks. They spoke an English patois, and whether pink skinned or quite dark, considered themselves "Scotch-Irish" and they did not mix with Jamaican immigrants who worked in banks and tourist hotels in Georgetown, the only city on the island. On a vacation visit in the early 1980s the Smith decided that this would be an ideal winter getaway, so they bought several acres of land, part of it on the shore, in the very remote (at that time) east end of the island. At that time, there was no place on the island to buy construction materials; plumbing supplies or hardware, so everything had to be shipped from the U.S. or brought in as luggage, but year by year Earl built a comfortable home with modern plumbing and electricity. He built a workshop in which he made "worry boards" and other items fashioned from driftwood which were then sold at tourist shops in Georgetown. The island is surrounded by shipwrecks - a fleet of English warships ran aground in the 1700s near the Smith's place, so Earl decided to salvage two of the cannon, rigging a floatation device and bringing them ashore (the cannon were French, probably captured by the English during the Seven Years War, we know it as the French and Indian War). Earl constructed a large concrete tank to immerse the cannon in a constant flow of freshwater to leech out the sea salt (the metal would disintegrate if this were not done) and after about a 2-year bath, the cannons were cleaned and painted, then mounted in the front yard, on either side of a flag pole, which flew the Caymanian flag in the center with a U.S. and Australian flag in each side (Pat was originally from Australia). Earl also fabricated a beautiful dining table from the deck of a sunken yacht and on a wall, he mounted a large brass propeller salvaged from another wreck. Grand Cayman is surrounded by shipwrecks and Earl took us to the far east shore where there were still the remains of large sailing ship which went aground in the 1940s, and as the ship was loaded with lumber and most of the houses in that part of the island, Earl said, were built with lumber salvaged from that wreck.
            On the north side of the island there is a bay, which in earlier times, in late afternoons, fisherman would clean their catch, throwing the offal into the bay which attracted rays who came in from the sea and after time it became a habitual feeding time for the rays. By the 1980s this event had become a tourist attraction, and for a fee one could be boated from Georgetown to the bay, fitted with snorkel gear and given buckets of cut up octopus so Laura and I decided to give this adventure a try and we paid a fee, made reservations and were startled to find that we were the only passengers on a large sailing catamaran (there were 2 young crewmen, one an American, the other an Englishman from Kenya). At the bay, it was feeding time and the rays were waiting which was an amazing experience for me (Laura would not go into the water) as the rays would swoop in, carefully taking a handheld morsel. They were of all sizes, rough on their backs but very smooth on the underside but we were warned not to touch their tails.
            By far, the most memorable event was seeing the Milky Way as that part of the island had few lights and the night sky was clear. I hadn't seen the Milky Way in years, probably not since childhood in Sioux City (in cities now there is too much background light and air pollution, recently I mentioned this to a Cincinnatian who replied, "Milky Way? What's that?") so it was truly an incredible sight. The island natives, although evangelical Christian, were a very superstitious lot and they feared "duppies", spirit entities who roamed the island at night, so if a strange noise came from outside in the dark it was likely a duppy. Before there were roads (in the not too distant past) folks traveled along the shore on bike trails (cemeteries were on the seashore - inland was valued for "plantations") so if one were biking alone at night and it seemed that suddenly there was an added weight on the back of the bike, the advice was "keep pedalling and don't look back," and usually the added load would be gone as one passed a cemetery. If, at twilight, one were down by the shore and saw an old woman in the distant bush, beckoning, the advice was "don't go". I decided I had to find a duppy, so late one night I went down to the shore (Earl warned me not to go near a settlement for if I were mistaken for a duppy I might get shot). It was totally dark, no light except for the moon and stars, no sound except for waves lapping against the rocks but there were no duppies about that night, at least none that I could see.
            Laura was taking some sort of aerobics class at the University, and the ladies of Laura's class now saw a chance for a truly momentous occasion as the class leader had a slight connection to Richard Simmons (Richard Simmons was a nationally televised exercise guru although I never heard of him) and he was coming to Cincinnati for some sort of health event, and the aerobic group was to participate on stage, with Richard Simons, in an exercise routine. There was much excitement and anticipation with the vent taking place downtown at the Convention Center, and I was positioned, festooned with cameras and surrounded by eager females, at the edge of the stage, with instructions to record this event. Richard Simons appeared and after some preliminary banter, he proceeded to pull the few hapless males in the audience, including myself, up to the stage for some chitchat and an exercise routine but the aerobics class, ready and waiting in the wings, was totally ignored. There was intense disbelief and disappointment. I was puzzled by the whole affair.
            That spring (1992) Timora was back, and she gave a cello recital at 346 so we invited a group of friends and music lovers - the Schilkes were here, as well as Uri and Yael Remea, Yehonatan and Henry Meyer (we knew Henry Meyer through Timora, although the LaSalle Quartet had recently disbanded, he was still active at CCM). Henry Meyer was a Holocaust survivor, born in Dresden, a child prodigy violinist, he played with a chamber orchestra in Berlin, and I mentioned to him that a colleague had once had a brief encounter with Albert Einstein at Princeton, and asked Henry if he had ever met Einstein. "Einstein?", he said, "Of course I knew Einstein. He was a terrible violinist.", and he told of an incident in Berlin during a rehearsal of the chamber group, of which Einstein was a member, where he lost his place and one of the other players remarked "Albert! Can't you count?". During Timora's visit we also went to Uri and Yael's home for an "Israeli" dinner.
            April: My cousin Margaret (Runge) Copeland died, the oldest daughter of Uncle Barney. I saw her last at the Ozark Cousins Reunion and remembered the winter evenings, 1950s, when Margaret and Ben, driving from Cedar Rapids to Alta, would pick me up in Ames, driving me nearly all the way to Sioux City. Dad would meet us and take me the few miles more to home.
            In May, we visited Karen and John Murdock in Westerville, and from there we went to Columbus to see "Ameriflora" (this was a National event, commemorating the 500th anniversary of the Christopher Columbus discovery, and one of the city parks was converted into a large floral garden which was beautiful and impressive, but a financial flop). At the Ameriflora exhibit there was a "Mechanical Man' performer who he tricked Laura into giving him a kiss. That evening we had dinner at the "German Village", a former German working class neighborhood south of downtown Columbus, which had become a restaurant/entertainment destination.
            Henry Meyer invited us for lunch on Ludlow in Clifton, and after his usual outrageous stories and jokes, he poured out a sad story. A very talented young Russian violinist, Anna Vaiman, had been offered a full artists diploma scholarship at CCM, but unfortunately, there were no funds to cover her room and board. "Okay, Henry," we said, "we get the message, we'll take her in". He said that would be wonderful, and she would be arriving in September.
            At AMK, after 25 years, employees were given an all-expense paid one week trip to Paris, and although they were one year late (it was actually my 26th year), I was allotted this benefit, probably one of the very last as the company was having financial problems. We decided that September would work best with our schedule and elected to extend the trip to 3 weeks - a week in Paris, plus a week each in Germany and England (AMK paid the roundtrip airfare for 2, plus the equivalent cost of a first-class hotel), so to stretch our dollars, we booked a room in a small hotel, "Hotel Grandes Ecoles" on the Left Bank (a good choice as it is one of the most highly rated small hotels in Paris). I spent a good part of the summer researching travel books and making phone calls for reservations at various hotels in Europe.
            There was another Runge Cousins Reunion, this one in Rapid City, South Dakota with my brother Ken was the host. I wanted to drive, but Laura couldn't get away from work so I left early on Thursday morning, July 16, 1992, and drove the whole distance to Sioux City, and then the next day to Rapid City, arriving at the designated motel reunion headquarters late Friday afternoon (Laura flew out on Saturday morning). It was a long drive but I occupied myself listening to German language tapes (preparation for the upcoming Europe trip). It was another enjoyable reunion, but much smaller than the grand affair at the 1990 Ozarks Reunion. Ken's large family was there (at this time Ken and his wife Kathy had separated), as were Bill an Dagmar Schilke, Dick an Diane Schilke, Paula Hasler, and Conrad (Conrad flew in from Kansas City so I picked him up and dropped him off at the Rapid City airport). One day a group of us drove north into a remote area of the Black Hills where Ken and a lady friend had brought property (Ken built the house, she paid for most of the materials, but by the time Ken finished the work the whole arrangement had collapsed), and then on to Deadwood, visiting a gambling casino where Kris (Ken's daughter) had recently worked. All of us did manage to get together on the last day for a picnic in a Rapid City park.
            On our return drive, we took a detour through the Badlands, then on to Sioux City where we visited Harold and Fae Hirsch, who still lived in same house on Lakeport Road, the last of my parents' close friends from Redeemer Church as all the rest had either died or had moved away. As we traveled east across Iowa we stopped in Charter Oak to see Irma Fiene and Agnes Schau, then on to Glidden for an overnight visit with Mark and Rhoda Schuler. Next it was on to Iowa City for a short stay with cousin Dick Runge and Brownie, and during that stay we drove out to the nearby Amana Colonies (founded in the 1840s by a German communal group) where we toured one of the last of their woolen mills and I saw a chance to practice my German with one of the older ladies who told me (in German) that sadly, few of the younger generation spoke German, although the high school had started teaching modern High German. For the last leg of our trip we drove straight east, around Chicago and up to Laura's home place in Michigan. It was a relaxing time; the huge garden was in full bloom and blueberries were in season (this was probably one of the last times we went picking at our favorite blueberry patch as shortly it succumbed to a housing development).
            We spent a good part of August getting ready for the European trip, so when Anna arrived in early September we had only a few days to get acquainted before we sent her to a temporary shelter, the home of Wayne and Toni Meyer, who had a large house on Senator Place, not far from 346, with a piano and 2 teenage daughters (Wayne was a former colleague at AMK and now had his own consulting business). In their younger married days, Wayne and Toni had driven through the Baltic States and Russia in what was then the "forbidding" Soviet Union. Early in the morning, September 7th, 1992, Laura and I left Cincinnati, bound for Orly Airport in Paris.
            In Paris, we did all the usual tourist things (we had six days) - climbed the Notre-Dame tower steps, walked the Champs-Elyées, viewed the city from Sacre-Coeur, etc. - what a marvelous and beautiful city, walkable by day or night, and with an amazing subway system. One day we took a train out to Versailles (I had to see if the station, Gare Saint-Lazare, had changed much from the Monet painting - it hadn't) and at the Versailles Chateau Park, which is vast, we saw a delightful little girl chasing a squirrel, holding out a morsel and calling "bon appétit". One evening we had a dinner/river boat cruise on the "Bateaux-Mouches", and on a Sunday morning went to a Lutheran Church (there were several in Paris) but to Laura's dismay the service at this church was in German, not French. Although we had lunch one day at "Les Deux Magots," we learned very quickly to eat at small neighborhood cafes and brasseries rather restaurants at popular tourist areas, and we also learned that at French laundromats the machines take tokens, not coins. On our first evening in Paris we walked up our street, Rue Cardinal Lemoine, to a memorable small square, Place de la Contrescarpe, lovingly described by Hemingway in one of his short stories (The Snows of Kiliminjaro). It is my favorite place in the city, and I go there, with Laura or alone, whenever we are in Paris.
            After a week we rented a small Italian made car and headed east on a main highway, stopping for lunch at Reims (where the Gothic cathedral is still undergoing repairs from WWI), and as we drove into Alsace I wanted to avoid going into Strasbourg to cross the Rhine, so I turned off the main highway with the intent of taking backroads to the bridge at Achern, north of Strasborug which was bad mistake as I discovered that on minor roads, the road signs listed the next village or town, and we had a small map which listed only larger towns or cities. I was lost, so we stopped at an Alsatian hamlet, Niederschaflosheim, where I saw an older couple working in their farmyard and asked directions "zu die Brucke nach Achern" but because of my limited German and their Alsatian dialect I had a problem understanding what they were telling me. Fortunately, their son just then arrived, and as he spoke English, told us we would have to go back to Haagunau and from there pick up the road to the bridge. It was getting dark and starting to rain, and once again I was lost, and as I was standing, looking at a sign post and holding our map, a car came by and stopped. I said "Brucke nach Achern", the driver gestured to follow and he led us directly to the bridge approach, and soon we were in Achern (never had a chance to thank this good Samaritan).
            Achern was just a few miles south of Bühl, our bed-and-breakfast, "Die Grüne Bettlad," a 17th- century inn, for which we had reservations (the place was beautifully furnished, but because of our late arrival we really didn't have a chance to enjoy it). We did discover that a German hotel breakfast ("Frühstück"), unlike the croissant, butter and jam typical in France, consisted of various breads, cheeses, sliced meats, jams, butter and boiled eggs, all in generous portions. After a too short stay we drove north, skirting Stuttgart, and a few miles east to Goppingen/Fauerndau/Eschenbach where my great-grandmother, Kathrina (Bezler) Dicke was born in 1834 (she wrote a memoir when she was 92 years old, describing the town in great detail) and we drove up to the church (Württemberg is the only Lutheran state in southern Germany) where there were 2 bronze plaques at the church entry - one, dated "1914-1918" had about a dozen names, the other, dated "1940-1945" had about 40 names. At the church cemetery (Friedhof) there was a man, probably in his 80's, and a younger woman (possibly his daughter) who spoke no English, although the woman knew a little. I asked them about the Bezler family, "Oh yes," the old man said, pointing with his cane at a newer grave "the last of the family, Bertha Bezler, was buried at that grave," (we found out later, that in most German cemeteries, after 50 years or so, old grave sites are recycled to make way for new graves), a very practical (and German) use of limited land space. I asked about "Zum Goldenen Lamm," the inn operated by Kathrina's grandfather and they said the old place had been torn down, replaced by a new apartment building, (the old man had to laugh at my German grammar, but the woman said "Well his German is better than your English"). I mentioned that part of the town, as Kathrina wrote in her memoir, was known as the "Tirol," possibly because of the nearby Schwabishce Alps - the woman said she never heard of that name, but the old man said, again pointing with his cane, "Oh yes, I remember, many years ago, that part of town was called the Tirol.".
            Once again we had to dash off, this time north to Bad Hersfeld, in Hesse (during the Revolutionary War, most of the British mercenary soldiers were Hessians, and many stayed in America after the war), where we had reservations in a 500-year-old inn, "Hotel Zum Stern" but again, after a quick breakfast, we had to be on the road, this time traveling east. We came to the border of what until recently had been "East Germany", and saw there was a huge complex of abandoned sheds where all vehicles traveling into the East were meticulously searched and delayed for hours, sometimes for days. The contrast from West to East was unbelievable. In West Germany, the houses were white with bright red tile roofs and carefully manicured yards, everything neat and orderly, but in East Germany, everything, the houses, walls and roofs were a dismal gray, forlorn and bleak villages with unkempt and overgrown yards. Occasionally we did see a small shop with a crude sign "Blumen" or "Backerei", the first indication that the old way of life was coming back.
            First stop was in Eisenach where we drove up a steep road, past tour buses and through crowds of tourists, to the Wartburg Castle, where in his 1521 exile, Martin Lutheran translated the complete Bible from Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek into German (creating the foundation for the modern High German language), then down into the town of Eisenach where we toured the small house where Johann Sebastian Bach lived as a boy. Back on the Autobahn (by this time most of these express highways had been restored by the West Germans) we drove further east, then north to Wittenburg where we tried to find the "Schlosskirche" and Martin Luther's door, but we didn't have a map and time was running short so we then drove north on a pleasant two-lane road to Berlin.
            Berlin is a huge, sprawling city with many districts, ring roads and incredible traffic (my first impression was that in Berlin there must be a million cars but only 900,000 parking places, so there is an endless stream of cars looking for a place to park). Late in the afternoon we found our hotel, a small walk-up hotel (Hotel-Pension Nürnberger Eck), on the second floor of an old building which somehow survived the war (nearly all of Berlin was destroyed by bombing raids and end of war street fighting so most of the city is either restorations or completely rebuilt). This hotel was recommended by Chris von Bohries because of its location and low price, and it was on Nürnburger Str., just a short walk to the Kurfürstendamm (Ku-Damm), the main up-scale shopping street in Berlin, the Tiergarten (zoo and park), the Gedächtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, only the tower of this huge church remains, the steeple sheared off by a bombing raid in 1943), and the Kaufhaus Des Westens (KaDeWe), supposedly the largest department store in Europe. One day we walked out to Charlottenburg to see the palace (the Prussian version of Versailles) and to the Ägyptisches (Egyptian) Museum to see the bust of Nefertiti (this museum has now been moved to a restored building on the Museum Island).
            Berlin has an extensive public transportation network, buses, light rail (S-Bahn) and subways (U-Bahn), and at the stations there are no gates (strictly an honor system where one buys a ticket from a machine and gets on for a good Prussian wouldn't think of getting on without a ticket. Street parking is also by an honor system (during the day there is a two-hour limit) so one places a card ("Ankunftszeit Karte") in the car window with the arrival time indicated, and before the time limit has expired one was expected to leave the parking space (I asked the lady at the hotel desk if one couldn't change the indicated arrival time and stay longer, but she was shocked, saying "Oh! One would never do that"). After a few days, our Pension reservation ended so I had to find a different place which was at the "Hotelpension Schöneberg" in the Schöneberg district, a new hotel about a mile south of the Mitte District (city center). We went up to the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) where rows of tables were set up, selling East German paraphernalia of all sorts (uniforms, communist medals, etc.), to the "death strip" (most of one "Wall" had been removed in 1990) which then was a barren stretch of no man's land, and to the Reichstag, which was partially restored and occupied mostly by a history museum as the German parliament (Bundestag) had not yet moved permanently to Berlin from Bonn. We also went into East Berlin, saw the great cathedral (Berliner Dom, heavily damaged during war, restoration nearly complete), Nikolaikirche (oldest church in Berlin, 13th century, badly damaged but largely rebuilt), and the Museum Island (five museums, severe damage from bombing raids) where we went to the mostly restored Pergamon Museum to see the Pergamon Altar (170 B.C. Greek, now Western Turkey) and other Roman, Greek and Near-Eastern antiquities. We experienced a Berlin laundromat which was a large space with many washers and dryers, uniformed attendants, and a wall of lighted panels, one for each machine, where one would preselect water temperature, type of soap, bleach, etc., before loading the (correctly numbered) machine so it was like the control room of a space ship, quite a contrast from Paris. Eating in Berlin was another interesting experience as we always had a substantial breakfast at our hotel but had to find places to eat later in the day. There are American steak houses, numerous French and Italian restaurants, many East European establishments (we ate at a Croatian restaurant one evening) so I asked someone if there were any German restaurants and was told that there probably were in East Berlin, but was advised not to go there for a meal. At one Berlin place, I asked, in my very best German, for a beer, whereupon the waiter said (in English) "You want Miller or Miller Lite?".
            One day we decided to drive up to Selz in Vorpomern (the larger eastern part of Pomerania went to Poland in 1945) where my grandfather, Carl Runge, was born. Selz is about 80 miles north of Berlin, just off Highway 96, only 30 miles from the Ostsee (Baltic). In an industrial suburb, Oranienburg, on the north edge of Berlin, the highway was being completley rebuilt so there was a detour and once again I was lost. I pulled over to the side of road and as I was studying a map, a Trabi pulled up behind us (the Trabant, or "Trabi", was a miserable little East German car whose production ended with reunification) and a young woman came over and asked if we were lost. She was blond, pretty, but with bad teeth (east German dentistry) and spoke almost no English so I explained that we were looking for Highway 96 going north and she proceeded to give directions as follows: go to the first "Ampel," turn right, go to the next "Ampel," turn left, etc. but when I told her I wasn't certain what she meant by "Ampel", she said, in English, "Ampel, red, yellow, green" (a traffic light) so said yes I understand, and once again she repeated the detailed direction, but she sensed that I was still confused. Finally, she said in German to follow her, she would take us around the city to the highway and as I thanked her and said something positive about her city (the outskirts were certainly more pleasant than the inner city), she said "Nein, es ist hasslich" (its ugly).
            As we drove north the land changed with rolling hills, lakes and pine forests, much like the part of Wisconsin where the Runge's settled in the 1860's. We stopped first in Burow, the village where my great-grandmother, Friedrika (Bietz) Runge was born, and a local said he knew of no one with the name "Bietz", and that there was no church in Burow, but there was a church in Selz, a few miles to the west (he spoke no English as no one in this entire region spoke English for in school the children were forced to learn the hated Russian language, of which not one word was ever uttered). We drove on back roads to Selz (small North German towns were very different from those in South Germany with wider streets, low houses) where the church in Selz is on the west edge of the village. There were 3 men in black suits standing at the gate of the church yard and they looked at us in a very unfriendly manner, but when I said we were Americans and that we were visiting because my grandfather had been born in Selz, they immediately broke into smiles and shook hands (we found out later that East Germans who had fled to the West were coming back to claim their property, so our car with its French plates certainly appeared to be that of an emigré) - the large older man said he was an undertaker, and the other men were his assistants, that a girl had died and the funeral would be arriving shortly from town and that the funeral would be at the adjacent graveyard, but we certainly could go into the church. The church was dark and unkempt, obvious water damage and lighting by candles only, but definitely Lutheran with an altar in the front center, flanked by a pulpit on one side, a lectern on the other, an organ in a loft above the entry. When we came out, the funeral procession had arrived and it was like something from the 17th century with men in black hats and suits, women in long black dresses, the pastor (from a larger nearby town), robed, with a traditional split clerical collar and cap. Prayers were said at the open grave and then each person would pass by, dropping, flower petals from a basket into the grave. The undertaker must have mentioned that there were "Americans" in the church, as during the ceremony we were given many over-the-shoulder glances, and immediately after a group (mostly older women) rushed over to speak to us, saying no there was no longer anyone with the name of Runge or Bietz in the area, but one old women said, pointing to a newer grave, that she remembered that many years ago there was a Runge buried in that place. The undertaker told us that a tree had fallen on the church roof many years ago and the damage never repaired, and that "before Hitler's time" there was a Runge family who had a horse farm west of Selz. We drove a few miles west to Kriesow, just over the border into Mecklenburg, where my great-grandfather, Friederich Rugne was born and at a small, newly opened shop, the lady said there were no more Runge's in Mecklenburg towns to the north but by that time it was late in the afternoon, so we had to leave for the drive back to Berlin (we made no attempt to trace the Froehlich family roots as my father's family were from east of the Oder River, a part of Germany which no longer exists).
            We left Berlin early in the morning, driving west on the Autobahn (by this time I had become an experienced Autobahn driver so if one were in the left lane and saw, in the rear-view mirror, a car coming in the distance and flashing its lights, immediately get over to the right lane, as a BMW or Mercedes would soon come roaring by at a very high speed). A few hours west of Berlin the traffic came to a complete stop, apparently, some sort of accident as we could see helicopters coming and going in the distance ahead, so we sat for more than two hours (people got out of their cars to have roadside picnics or to play cards) when suddenly the traffic moved again but there was no trace of an accident (the Germans were very efficient in cleaning a site). We drove into Westfalen (a large state on the west edge of Germany) where I wanted to see the small town of Werther, the birthplace (1822) of my great-grandfather Peter Heinrich Dicke, but it was getting very late because of the long traffic delay, so we had to push on to our night's lodging, Schlosshotel Lembeck. This castle, converted to an inn, is in a 17th century, moated castle (it really was surrounded by a water filled moat), with large antique filled rooms and beautiful grounds. This part of Germany is in the lower Rhine bottom lands, totally flat, not far from the Dutch border. The next day we spent as much time as possible exploring Lembeck Castle and its surroundings, but had to move on to our next destination (by this time my German had improved to extent that I was comfortable using it). We crossed the Rhine, wide and meandering here, a few miles more to the Netherlands, crossing the border and leaving the "Fatherland."
            We drove across a short part of the Netherlands and through northern Belgium to Brugge. Brugge (Bruges in French) is in the Flemish speaking part of Belgium near the coast, a thriving commercial center in the 18th and 17th centuries until the harbor silted in where much of the city was abandoned, but some of the population, most of the old buildings and a thriving lacemaking industry remained so the city has a network of canals and many bridges (Brugge in Flemish means bridges, Brucke in German) and has become a major tourist destination. We had a room in a small hotel near the city center, explored the old town, took a canal boat ride, then rushed off to Calais (we were once again in France). In Calais, we first had to find the car rental return office, then got ourselves (and our luggage) to the boat deck and by late afternoon we said goodbye to the Continent and were on our way across the channel to Dover.
            We ferried across the channel, from Calais to Dover, by hydrofoil, a fast and smooth ride, where at Dover we had to go through customs (the U.K. was not part of the European Community) but with our American passports we had no problem. There was quite a commotion, however, involving a crowd of East Europeans, most of whom seemed to have some sort of temporary visas which were being closely inspected (after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Western Europe was flooded by East Europeans). We took a train to Victoria Station, near the center of London, we had reservations at the Jenkins Hotel, but it was late in the day and were in unfamiliar territory (although Laura had spent some time in London many years before) so we took one of the ubiquitous London taxis to our destination. The Jenkins was an older, very British, 4-story walk-up (no elevator and we were on the top floor) on the north edge of Bloomsbury, and where the breakfast was also very British - fried eggs, toast and jam. We did all the usual tourist things - Tower of London and the Crown Jewels, changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, St. Paul's Cathedral (we were in the crypt where I was admiring Christopher Wren's architectural model but it was late afternoon and it was announced that visiting hours had ended as Evensong was about to begin so having never experienced Anglican high church vespers we decided to stay and because there were only a few congregants we were seated in the choir, directly across the from the Cathedral boys' choir, and adjacent to the High Altar), and the British Museum (Elgin Marbles and Rosetta Stone where I was astonished that this priceless artifact was openly displayed with no protective barrier). One evening we took the Underground (London Subway system) to St. Martin-in-the-Fields on Trafalgar Square to hear a German chamber orchestra (the conductor, whose English was limited, when explaining a flute passage, meant to say "songbirds" - he said "chickens"). We experienced a London laundromat: not high tech like Berlin but more modern than Paris, probably similar to its American cousins. At the airport ticket counter, we presented our tickets which had us going to Atlanta, with a layover, then changing planes for the final leg to Cincinnati, but the man at the ticket counter said he could put us on a flight directly to Cincinnati and that it would be boarding shortly, so this considerate gentleman saved us many hours of travel time, and by the afternoon of September 28, 1992, we were back home. The Brandts picked us up at the airport, and Kittycat was overjoyed to see us again (Bernice, our neighbor had come over every few days to give her food, water, and companionship), even acknowledging the presence of Laura.
            We next had to bring Anna back to her permanent "home". Wayne Meyer was a gracious temporary host, even took her to the giant Labor Day fireworks event on the Riverfront (this puzzled Anna as she asked "Is Labor Day like the 4th of July?", actually, I do not understand why Cincinnati has this firework display on Labor Day, apparently, a local tradition). Anna's violin: Anna brought with her a priceless Italian violin, same period as the Stradivarius instruments; Anna's father, Mikial Vaiman, who died when Anna was only 8 years old, was a world renowned violinist (he played in Carnegie Hall, accompanied by Anna's mother, Alla Jacova) and during one of his concerts in St. Petersburg (then Leningrad) he was approached by an old lady who had been from an aristocratic family in czarist times, saying that she had kept (secretly) a violin which had been in her family and asked him if he would want to play it. It was a beautiful instrument and he played it from then on and after a few years, when the lady was very old, he asked her what would become of this violin - "you keep it" she answered. Anna was able to get the violin into the U.S. passing it as a student violin of no particular value (it would have been considered a national treasure by the Soviet Government). Anna settled in nicely (Timora's room on the second floor) and was doing quite well at CCM.
            Starting another tradition: In October Laura began singing in the Martin Luther King Coalition Choral, a volunteer singing group which would perform every year in Music Hall on Martin Luther King Day. I would drive Laura to rehearsals, sitting in the back, reading until it was over, and one evening, the director, Kathy Roma, came back and asked me if I had ever sung in a choir, so when I said yes, baritone, many years ago in a church choir, she said they needed more baritones and she expected me to be at the next rehearsal.
            We did a trip to Michigan in October (Laura's parents hadn't left for Florida yet) but because Anna was now with us we decided to have a big Thanksgiving meal at 346 (Anna's first Thanksgiving in America), so the Brandt's were here (Chuck did the turkey carving), as well as Else Tasseron and a friend of Anna's from CCM, Natalie Mamleew. Natalie, a serious violin student, was from Germany, a pretty young woman, a bit eccentric at times, she spoke English with a very British accent (having lived in London for a time) and also knew French, but she was not German, saying "The Germans will never accept me, as I do not look like a real German". Natalie did have a fascinating family history, as her grandmother (on her father's side) was a Ukranian living in Leningrad, who attracted the eye of a Red Army hero, a Tatar, who, because of his status, when he demanded her as a wife, she had to comply and they had a son (Natalie's father) and during the German invasion (1941-1944) her grandmother worked for the Germans as an interpreter, so when the German army retreated from Russia, Natalie's grandmother left also, taking her son, who then grew up in Germany where he met and married Natalie's mother, Dagmar, who was of Austrian and Croatian descent. Natalie had an older sister, an aspiring opera singer (who was very eccentric). Because she was Anna's "best friend," Natalie was often at our house.
            Anna returned to Russia for the Christmas break at CCM. We had the usual Christmas Eve gathering at 346, mostly friends from Prince of Peace and I continued as Church Treasurer, but it was not as hectic as when Joel Hempel had the ICCPE program. Susan Cacini kept the preschool going until June, when, after more than 20 years, it was decided to end that program. The Church janitor, Harvey Smith, was a problem as I had to do the paperwork to garnish part of his salary to the County for child support (several women and many children eventually appeared, so Harvey had virtually no income - which was probably appropriate as Harvey did almost no work). That summer Pastor Glenn Lucas took a number of young people to New Orleans for a Lutheran Youth Gathering. Because the number of older, longtime members was fading away and because we knew the Ohio District subsidy would not go on forever, Prince of Peace decided to hire a full-time fundraiser, whose her name was Rene Scar, and seemed to be an ideal choice, African American, apparently experienced in fundraising, and married to an inactive (white) Lutheran pastor. She started in December, but very soon became a problem, as she was domineering and demanding, greatly vexed Jan Michelson, the Church secretary, and stressed Pastor Lucas, and most disappointing, seemed to make no effort in writing grant proposals or performing other fund raising activities, so after 3 months she was fired, and she immediately sued the Church for racial discrimination, which resulted in a long and costly legal battle.
            After Christmas, Carmen and Amanda were here for an "overnight" during which we went to the Cincinnati Zoo Festival of Lights, including some time at the ice skating rink, and this proved to be quite an experience as neither of the girls had ever been on ice skates.
            1993 was probably not as rushed as the previous year but it certainly was eventful (another series of happenings over which I seemed to have little control). Anna returned from Christmas break with the announcement that she had married, saying his name was Gleb Drosdov, who had some sort of musical background, and was studying violin making at this time. Natalie went back to Germany over Christmas and took a vacation trip into the Austrian Alps with her mother. Laura and sang for the first time in Music Hall (the first of many times) with the Martin Luther King Coalition Choral on Martin Luther King Day (January 18), which was quite exciting to be on the stage of this great hall.
            On March 4, 1993, we left for the 5th Runge Cousins Reunion in Yuma, Arizona (the first "unofficial" reunion took place in Yuma in 1988). We flew first to Phoenix then traveled to Yuma with Paula and Don Hasslerin their motor home, where the reunion headquarters was at the home of Dick and Diane Schilke. There was a large group (6 cousins, everyone from the Ozarks reunion except my brother Ken, the St. Louis folks and Margaret) plus Conrad came all the way from Chanute, Bill Schilke's youngest daughter, JoAnn, flew in from L.A. with her fiance, Ken Lehmer, and Phyl and Glen Nicholson (from Tucson) brought Ben Copeland who was visiting from Texas. There was much time for conversation and generous quantities of food thanks to Dick and Diane, and several of Diane's friends. We took a tour of the old Territorial Prison and to an overlook to see a rare event - water in the Colorado River (there had been heavy rains, also rare, in central Arizona). A group of us went to nearby Algodones, Mexico, where, at a quiet outdoor café, Ben told us about Margaret's final days and after the reunion, we drove back to Phoenix in the motor home, this time with Cousin Tina along (more time for recollections of old days in Iowa).
            Back in Cincinnati we had the monthly Keyboard Club meeting at our house, Anna had several "gigs" and recitals around the city, including at the wedding Pam Melton's daughter (Pam, a longtime friend of Laura's from 4C), and in May we were in Michigan for Jamie's confirmation at Faith Lutheran Church; in mid-July, we went to Chicago (Ravinia) with Bill and Dagmar Schilke to connect with Timora (see my Chicago memoir) and Anna returned to St. Petersburg for the summer. At this time, Conrad was supervising the renovation of the old Chanute passenger station into a new space for his museum. (Conrad and Becky had separated as Becky had chosen a career path which did not include Chanute, Kansas).
            In June, the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum opened in the renovated Santa Fe passenger station. The original (long abandoned) station was a large building, with more space than needed by the museum, so half the building (and probably half the renovation cost) became the Chanute Public Library. The new museum had professionally designed exhibits, a small theater, a library (for an extensive book collection) an art gallery, a gift shop, and staff offices. It was truly a magnificent small museum and Conrad did a fine job in putting it all together. Caroline continued working for Warner Brothers in L.A.
            Later in July Laura was spending more time in Michigan as her father's health was failing (a second hip replacement was not successful with chronic infection so and his one functioning kidney was beginning to fail). On a Friday evening after work I drove alone to Michigan (Laura had been there that week) but shortly before I arrived a major storm came through and with fallen trees blocked roads and power lines down, I had to take several detours. It was very late when I finally made it to the house on Cedar Island Road - power was out in the whole area, but volunteer fireman had set up an emergency generator which had just enough power for the refrigerator and freezer, and an air conditioning unit, and had to be replenished with fuel every few hours so that became my job (Dave and Sue, who lived in an adjacent home, were gone, for the weekend). It was a harrowing time, and so exhausted Laura's mother that she had to be hospitalized for several days.
            Laura's father, Kenneth E. Goodell, died on July 23, 1993, at home, in his bedroom of more than 50 years, which looked out over his garden and fields. We were Michigan again for the funeral.
            Our friends, Chuck and Chyrl Brand, had taken up river rafting and in August decided to try the New River in West Virginia and they invited us to join them. I had gone rafting on the New River some 10 years before with the "Pavilion gang" but Laura had never been rafting and was a reluctant participant and there are a few things that I remember from this rafting adventure: there is virtually no level ground in Charleston, WV, we stayed in a motel near Beckley (no tent camping) and were bused to the raft launching site, the New River Gorge was as beautiful and spectacular as I remembered, and there were 3 rafts in our group plus a kayak at the rear to pick up seafarers who went overboard. Our raft guide was an earnest young fellow, but one of the other guides was a wild man, whose name was "Bobo" and he wore a Nazi helmet (the guides had a contest to see who would be thrown the highest at a major bump in one of the rapids and Bobo was the winner, but unfortunately by the time he came down the raft had shot ahead). The day ended with an outdoor cookout washed down with ample beer; on the trip back to Cincinnati, we spent a few hours in Point Pleasant, WV, a small city on the Ohio River, site of a 1774 battle between Indians and white settlers who were swarming into the area (the Indians, led by Chief Cornstalk, were defeated).
            Anna had gone back to St. Petersburg for the summer, leaving her violin but I was concerned as this violin was much more valuable than our house, with the exception a window unit in our bedroom, the house was not air-conditioned (Cincinnati summers can be hot and humid), and also, we would be out of town several times during the summer. There was a violin shop near Music Hall, the Bass Viol Shop, which had a climate controlled storage vault so I took the violin there and asked the owner if he would store it over the summer but he took one look at this violin and said there was no way that he wanted to be responsible for such a valuable instrument. He reluctantly agreed after I signed a waiver taking full responsibility. Irony: a few weeks after I picked up the violin in September (much to the relief of the shop owner), there was a fire at the shop and many violins stored there were damaged or destroyed.
            September 20, Anna was back in Cincinnati with new husband, Gleb, in tow and an announcement that she was expecting early in 1994; we put them up in the front bedroom on the 3rd floor (it is larger and had twin beds). Anna was immediately back at CCM and Gleb set up a violin shop in the basement. After 11 years, I was finally able to pass on my job as treasurer of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church.
            Timora's parents, Yorum and Rina Rosler, invited us to visit them in Jerusalem, an opportunity we couldn't pass up and at that time Delta had a direct from Cincinnati to Zurich, Switzerland (Zurich is the financial capital of Switzerland). We left on the evening of September 24, but had a long layover in Zurich because September 25 was Yom Kippur and the Tel Aviv (Lod) airport was closed until after sunset. The layover in Zurich was an interesting experience, for as we were changing from Delta to El Al, we were bused to a far edge of the airport where there was a small El Al terminal surrounded by Swiss soldiers with automatic rifles and where we were interviewed extensively and our luggage carefully inspected before we could board. Yorum picked us up at the Tel Aviv airport and drove us up on a winding road to Jerusalem where the Roslers lived in an apartment building on a quiet street in West Jerusalem and where Timora's younger brother, Nimrod, was still living at home. They were gracious hosts, taking us throughout the Old City and beyond and as the Old City was an easy bus ride from West Jerusalem, on our first days we saw the Western Wall (Wailing Wall), Dome of the Rock (with its golden dome, the dominant symbol of Jerusalem, built over the bare rock which might have been the site of Solomon's temple, and which the Muslims believe was where Muhammad, after his night ride on his magic horse, sprang into heaven to meet Abraham, Moses and Jesus, who proclaimed him the true prophet of God - a hoof print of Mohammad's horse is supposedly visible), El-Asqsa Mosque (Yuram was not allowed to enter as he was carrying a Bible, and also, Orthodox Jews do not go up to the Temple Mount for fear they might set foot on the Holy-of-Holies), the "Upper Room" (a Crusader structure), the great Armenian Cathedral (Armenia was the very first Christian nation), the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with its many chapels for rival Christian sects (a small bit of bare rock, supposedly the original Golgotha, and "Christ's Tomb", a rebuilt structure over the site of the original tomb which was totally destroyed by Muslims in the 9th century. Yuram took us to a far perimeter of the Church where there were a few rock cut tombs still remaining after early Christians had removed most of the hill so that the designated "Tomb of Christ" would be above ground and this particular tomb was chosen by Helena, mother of Emperor Constantine).
            The Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, which is nearly adjacent to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (this church, which has the highest tower in the Old City, was built by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1898) so Laura and I decided to climb to the top of this tower for the view (we had to climb past the church bells to the platform above the bells) and the view was indeed magnificent, but as we lingered we failed to notice that everyone else had departed and that it was noon, with the floor begining to creak and then vibrated as the bells began their thunderous noon peal. The sound was deafening - we were trapped until the final chime had sounded. Jaffa Gate, the only entrance through the Old City wall large enough for a bus, was cut into the wall to allow the Kaiser to ride in on horseback, followed by the Kaiserin in her carriage. Just east of the Old City wall we visited the Garden of Gethsemane and the Mount of Olives (slope of the Mount which faces Jerusalem is covered with a Jewish cemetery, as those buried here will see Jerusalem on the day of resurrection). The Roslers took us to New (West) Jerusalem where we visited the Knesset (Irsael Parliament, tapestries by Chagall), the Israel Museum (which included the "Shrine of the Book", a circular structure which houses the Dead Sea Scrolls) and Yad Vashem (Holocaust museums and monuments, including the Oskar Schindler plaque). They even drove us west to Ein Kerem, traditional birthplace of John the Baptist and Virgin Mary's visit to Elizabeth (Church of the Visitation). On our own, Laura and I took a bus tour east of the city down to Masada and the Dead Sea (fascinating to see the ramp and camps from the 73 A.D. Roman siege of Masada, still intact, preserved in the waterless desert), which included a drive-by of the Qumram caves (Dead Sea Scrolls) and a dip in the Dead Sea at Ein Gedi (water wings not required).
            Yorum very much wanted us to see the kibbutz where he lived in his younger days which was in the far north of Israel, and to avoid the West Bank, we drove along the coast to Akko (Acre) and inland from there. Acre was the last Crusader stronghold in the Holy Land, falling to Muslims in 1291, and we explored Crusader ruins and the old city walls, and ate at a seaside fish restaurant, Abu Christie, operated by a Christian Arab family (Yorum insisted on selecting the fish, from the Sea of Galilee). As we drove inland we stopped at a high point from where one could see both the Mediterranean and the Sea of Galilee. At the Kibbutz Yorum greeted several friends (now middle-aged or older and he was startled that one female friend from commune days had become religious), we stayed overnight at the guest house and ate in a common dining hall, but much of the old kibbutz had changed. There was still some agricultural activity but the primary business was a factory, most of whose workers were local Arab women. The husband of Yorum's friend worked as an auto mechanic in a nearby town and these changes distressed Yorum.
            We drove up to the Golan Heights and down to the Sea of Galilee and this is where things got interesting as Yorum's car (a small French car) started having a serious mechanical problem (something to do with the hydraulic system). Yorum found a garage where the mechanic did a temporary repair with a warning that the car could not be driven a long distance so Yorum was certain that the circuitous route around the West Bank would be too risky. He asked me if I would mind if we drove directly back to Jerusalem through the West Bank and since my response wasn't negative, in the late afternoon we crossed the Green Line into the West Bank (soldiers guarding the checkpoint expressed concern). After a few miles Yoram came to a sudden halt- there was a young Israeli soldier hitchhiking - "When driving in this area", Yoram said, "it's always good to have a soldier in the car". The soldier, probably about 18 years old and with a large automatic rifle, climbed into the backseat next to Laura - "In this car, "Yorum said, "we speak only English" whereupon the soldier said he couldn't speak English. Yorum was outraged, "This dummy can't speak English," and he went into a tirade about the quality of education in Israeli school as we sped through the night on a narrow, winding road. In Jericho Yorum took a wrong turn (I noted that the road sign pointed to Ramallah) and in a panic, he made a hasty U-turn so when we reached the Jerusalem checkpoint the young soldier exited the car, much relieved I'm sure.
            We spent a few more days in Jerusalem where it was during the time of the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) so many homes had temporary canopies under which people celebrated late into the night. We walked more of the Old City, including the Via Dolorusa, the traditional path of Christ from the Pontius Pilate trial to Calvary (most of which is actually a Roman road that did not exist at the time of Christ). Yorum wanted to show us his old neighborhood, forgetting that it was Saturday, and driving into the area we were turned back by groups of angry Jews shouting "Shabat! Shabat!", whereupon Yorum said the neighborhood had been taken over by Orthodox Jews who were opposed to driving on the Sabbath. On our last Sunday, we decided to go to the Lutheran church in the Old City, to what we thought was the scheduled English language service and we were running late but as we approached the church we could hear the traditional Lutheran liturgy being sung and as we entered and sat in a pew, we discovered that it was an Arabic service. In what I thought could be at truly momentous experience, we decided to take Holy Communion, which would be in Jerusalem and in Arabic, a language related to the Aramaic spoken at the time of Christ but when he came to us, however, the pastor switched to English (how did he know that we were Americans?). At the end of the service Germans came pouring in so we never figure out what happened to the English language service. We left Israel on Monday, October 4th, with a stopover in Paris, which we extended to 5 days (one does not make a short stopover in Paris).
            Because we did not make Paris reservations weeks in advance, we had to find a hotel on short notice, which happened to be a fortunate choice, as it was the Hotel Sorbonne, a small hotel immediately across from the Sorbonne and just around the corner from the square facing the University, the Place de la Sorbonne. We were on the top floor (5th, no elevator) but could look directly down into the Sorbonne classrooms and across rooftops to the dome of the Pantheon. The hotel had a small lobby, usually occupied by the owner's mother and her small dog and she warmly greeted all who came in, the location was ideal - in the heart of the Latin Quarter, a short walk to the Luxembourg Gardens, the Pantheon and my favorite little square Place de la Contrescarpe. On one of my evening strolls, probably returning from some grocery shopping, I was stopped by a young couple who asked me, in terrible French, if the nearby Pantheon was Notre Dame (the Pantheon, a domed classical building was built as a church in the late 1700s by Louis XVI, - the unlucky King who lost his head in the Revolution) but these people were actually from Denmark and spoke very good English so I was able to point them in the right direction. Paris is a walkable city, day and night, and one evening we went to a concert in Sainte-Chapelle, a magnificent stained glass chapel built by Louis IX (St. Louis) to house the Crown of Thorns and pieces of the True Cross, which he purchased from the Emperor of Constantinople, at a cost much greater than the cost of the chapel (the relics were destroyed in the Revolution). The most memorable part of this stay, for me, was the long subway ride to Saint-Denis, at the far northern edge of Paris, where the ancient basilica houses the tombs of French kings and queens going all the way back to Clovis (Hludowig) the first Frankish king. During the Revolution, the tombs were smashed open, bones scattered about the grounds and ancient crown jewels melted down for the gold and later the bones were collected and heaped into large crypts under the church (Laura thought it was all very spooky). Of interest were some of the 16th century tombs with lower effigies in royal attire, effigies above completely naked (Catherine de Medici in the buff). One day we went up to the huge Pompidou Center, where, at a lunch counter, Laura was dismayed that she couldn't remember the French word for juice and overhearing this, the counterman leaned out and said "jus".
            Back in the land of English speakers (or the Cincinnati version of English), we returned to our jobs and the usual routines. Kittycat was delighted to see us, although Anna had taken very good care of her. Anna worked unceasingly with her violin at CCM but her shoulder began to bother her and she went University Hospital for rehab which Henry Meyer thought was nonsense as "In my day," he said "we played through the pain". That fall he invited Anna, Gleb, Laura and I to his place, one of the elegant old houses on historic Riverside Drive, on the Ohio River, in Covington. That fall Laura and I also resumed rehearsals with the Martin Luther King Chorale. Anna played a violin concerto in November with the Northern Kentucky Symphony (now the Kentucky Symphony) with the the Schilkes and Natalie joined us in the audience. On a Sunday afternoon in early December the Keyboard Club met at our house where Laura played in a two-piano piece.
            Christmas 1993: Pre-Christmas brunch at the Mellots, fruitcake and cookie baking, many cards to be written and sent, and the traditional Christmas Eve gathering at 346 with the Brandts, Towes, Else Tasseron, Anna and Gleb, although the group getting smaller as the years passed. Dinner after Christmas at Else Tasseron's apartment where Laura and I were there along with Trish and Dave Rahner and much of Else's fine needlework was on display.
            On December 11, 1993, Aunt Lydia Runge Nicolaus died in Wisconsin. She was 101 years old, the last of my mother's siblings, and the last of that generation of the Runge family.
            Winter of 1994 was unusually cold in Cincinnati (24 degrees below zero on January 19), and more snow than usual; Laura and I sang again with the Chorale at Music Hall on MLK day (Anna and Gleb sat through the program, probably just to see what it was all about) and afterwards we drove home through the snow up the long Ravine Streethill. On January 19, in the evening, Mary Lynn Bukey (Laura's friend from 4C) had a baby shower at her home for Anna with many ladies at the party, including Else Tasseron, Chryl Brandt, Becky Pittenger (from Keyboard) and Natalie. (Gleb and I were the lone males.) On January 30, the big event happened when Michael (Misha) was born at Good Samaritan Hospital a few blocks from our house, and in a few days Anna and baby Misha were home at 346.
            My old friend from Sioux city, Philip Otten, and his new wife Joanne, came for a visit in February (his first wife, Joyce, had died). Philip had retired and was then living in Grand Rapids, Michigan but it was the last time I saw Philip as he died some years later, 1999, I think so another link to the Sioux City past faded away. In March, the husband of my cousin Eleanor, Norm Holle died (cancer) unexpectedly for he wasn't that old. Norm was a country boy from Illinois who came to the city to make his fortune and the Holle home in Dellwood became the social center of the St. Louis Runge clan. I went to St. Louris with Bill and Dagmar Schilke for the funeral. Late in March we did our annual 10K Heartwalk and I took Anna and Gleb to Chicago for an immigration status upgrade (see Chicago stories). My longtime dentist, Dr. Barton Fogel, had injured his hand, so he took on a temporary partner, Dr. Frederic Arnold, to help him during this period. Anna and Gleb were complaining about dental problems so I asked Dr. Arnold if he had ever had a Russian patient, whereupon he threw up his hands "Oh my God! Not more Russians! Russian dental work is a disaster!", but he said O.K., bring them in (In Russia, dental work was free, and worth every cent). The corrective work for Anna was not complex, but for Gleb it was another matter and after a preliminary exam and X-rays, Gleb and I were sitting in the waiting room when Drs. Fogel and Arnold peeked around the corner, and beckoning, said C'mere Gleb" and I didn't see Gleb for quite sometime as he had a badly abscessed tooth (it had to be pulled) and an infected gum, which if not treated immediately, could have been fatal. Dr. Arnold never charged for this work.
            New York City: I had been to New York many times (all work related), but except for a brief "honeymoon" stay with Marie, had never been there as a tourist. Timora had several cello activities scheduled in New York and wanted us to meet her there but hotel rooms are costly on Manhattan so Laura and I found a bed-and-breakfast in a residential area on West 55th, in a place that was the small apartment of a young woman (her name was Gail Gondek) who needed to supplement her meager income as a dressmaker. We did all the New York City things that we could squeeze into a few days (April 29-May 2) - Central Park, Rockefeller Center, Radio City, Bryant Park, a concert at Lincoln Center, and the Metropolitan Museum but Timora wanted to see the Museum of Modern Art (ticket prices were not so outrageous then). She had a rehearsal on the Upper West Side (we had lunch at Au Petit Beurre, Broadway and 105th), and on the Upper East side, Timora had an evening recital at the Hotel Wales where we had a past concert celebration, (Christian was there with us) at Busby's, Madison and 92nd.
            Early in June we were in Michigan at the 50th wedding anniversary party for Pat and Earl Smith (Pat was an Australian "war bride", Earl was in the Army Air Corps, stationed in Australia) and on June 9 Laura and I celebrated our 10th anniversary in Cincinnati. The following weekend we were back in Westerville, Ohio, for another high school graduation party, this time for Michelle Murdock. Conrad was in Cincinnati the next week and we had a picnic at the Zoo with Anna, Gleb, baby Misha, Natalie and Conrad.
            On June 24, we were off to St. Louis for another Runge Cousin's Reunion, this one thoroughly planned and organized by Richard Runge, Clem's oldest son; the St. Louis Runge's were well represented including cousins Clem, Eleanor and Carl, as well as many descendants from the next two generations. My brother Ken was there with his new wife Ann, cousins Bill Schilke and wife Dagmar, Dick Schilke and wife Diane, Paula Hassler and husband Don, and Conrad. Carl's daughter Carla was there which brought back a memory that I hadn't seen her since she was a little girl, on a visit to Sioux City many years ago. Friday night were treated to an outdoor barbecue, prepared by Dave Runge, (a professional chef) Clem's youngest son and on Saturday we helped inaugurate the new St. Louis light rail system with trips to the Arch (beer pause with cousin Clem), renovated Union Station (photo-op with the whole reunion group) and various museums. We went to an outdoor theater performance Saturday night (Muny in Forest Park) and did more sightseeing on Sunday. It was a very busy weekend.
            After the reunion, we drove west to Chanute (a very long drive from St. Louis to Southeast Kansas), with a stop at Ft. Scott, Kansas, an 1800s cavalry outpost, built to protect the then western frontier, now a historic site, with the buildings carefully restored (the only casualty in the Fort's long history was a cavalry officer who accidentally shot himself when dismounting from his horse). In Chanute, we visited the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in its new location (the old Santa Fe railroad depot) with professionally designed galleries and displays, a theater, library, gift shop and even a private office for Conrad which was all quite new, having been dedicated in September of 1983. My brother Ken, and Ann, stopped by on their return drive to Rapid City. We stayed at the Tioga Hotel, only a block south of the Museum (at six stories, Tioga is the tallest building in Chanute, once busy with travelers when Chanute was a bustling railroad center, now mostly for long term elderly residents). On this trip to Chanute we met Miss Judy Powers for the first time where she was working as a clerk at the Neoshe County District Court in Chanute (the County Seat is actually in nearby Erie, but Chanute is a much larger, and more active center).
            After Chanute, we headed north for the long drive to Western Iowa, with a quick visit to Irma Fiene in Charter Oak, a stop at Hanover Church, then on to Glidden to see Rhoda and Mark Schuler, and finally (by then it was July 1) to Iowa City for a visit with cousin Richard Runge and Brownie (Miriam). We took a nostalgia drive around the Iowa University campus, I saw a new research building designed by Frank Gehry.
            Back in Cincinnati it was the start of a very busy summer when on July 13, Yorum Rosler, Timora's father, arrived by bus from New York. Yorum, intense, inquisitive and restless, wanted to see Cincinnati and also had a meeting arrangement about possible employment. During a layover at the Columbus, Ohio bus depot he encountered a group of Amish people - "They looked like Hasidim," (the men had beards)" they dressed like Hasidim," (women in long dresses and covered heads, men in dark suits and broad-brimmed black hats) "they talked like Haredim," (the Schwab dialect of the Amish is a cousin of Yiddish, an old German dialect spoken by the Jews in Central Europe, the Hardin refuse to speak Hebrew) "but they weren't Jews! Who were those people?". I explained to Yorum that the Amish were a pietist sect from Alsace and the Upper Rhine who had come to America in the early 1880's. On that same day, All Jochova, Anna's mother, arrived by air from St. Petersburg, so the house was fully occupied. As Yorum's employment possibility did not materialize, I took him around the city and we visited various museums, and on his last day he said he would really like to see more of "those people" (the Amish), so we drove east to Brown County where there are several Amish settlements and at an Amish store (baked goods, jam and wooden furniture) we were given a map showing various Amish Farms, but were told that everyone would be at a particular farm where a new barn was being built so Yorum, of course, said that is where he wanted to go. At the designated farm, we arrived just at the end of the mid-day meal and all the men (probably 30 or 40) were sitting on a fence along the road so Yorum immediately wanted to stop a take photos. I said absolutely no, as the Amish do not want to be photographed, but I could see that up the road, under the shade of trees, the horses and buggies were parked (the Amish travel only by horse-and-buggy) so I told Yorum if we drove up there, same Amish men were certain to make an appearance, and indeed, after a short time, and older man and two younger man, speaking their German dialect, came up the road to see what we were about. I told the older man that we had come to admire the horses (they were beautiful animals) and that my friend, Yorum, was visiting from Jerusalem, whereupon the old man answered solemnly "We are all from Jerusalem", at which Yorum exclaimed "You're from Jerusalem?", but after a moment he said "Oh, I think I understand". Yorum and the old man (who spoke very good English) then had a long discussion on philosophy and Amish religious beliefs.
            I'm not sure what Alla thought of her 3 week stay in Cincinnati as she lived in St. Petersburg, a world-class city, and had traveled in Europe (as a pianist she had accompanied her late husband, Mikial Vaiman, when he played at Carnegie Hall), but we gave her tour of the city, saw an opera at Music Hall and a performance at the Playhouse, Yorum entertained her during his stay and Conrad and Judy stopped in for a time, but her focus, of course, was to see Misha, her new grandson. Among the more memorable events of Alla's stay had to be the "Night of the Possum" (there is a wooded area down the hill to the south of 346 and a large wooded park, Burnett Woods, not far to the east, so we often had nocturnal visits from opossum who would lurch through our yard). One evening, as Anna and Alla were sitting in our backyard picnic chairs, they saw (and were frightened by) a gray very ugly animal, the size of a small dog, moving slowly by but I assured them that it was probably an opossum, a harmless scavenger, feeding mostly on food scraps, worms and insects, and quite shy of humans and the following night, another encounter, only this time the possum shuffled directly over to the chair where Alla was sitting and put his front paws (possum have long claws for digging) on the arm of the chair. Anna and Alla came screaming into the house.
            In September, there was a major change for Laura as she left 4C, began working for the University of Cincinnati, the Arlett Center for Early Childhood Education and Laura was at Arlett for 5 years (she kept in touch with her good friends from 4C). We made our usual trips to Michigan over the summer and fall, and Anna was back at CCM, studying directly under Kurt Sassmannshaus, the head of the violin department, and with Henry Meyer always keeping watch. Natalie, a lesser violin luminary at CCM, was a frequent presence at 346. I finally decided that something had to be done with the front door so I stripped the many layers of old paint, taking care not to disturb the leaded cut glass, refinished the wood and replaced the very inappropriate aluminum outer door with a new fully lighted wood storm/screen door.
            Laura and I were both working full time, Gleb was working at a violin shop in a northern suburb, and Anna was at CCM most days, so someone had to be at the house with Misha. Gleb's mother, Bella, came to the rescue. Bella was a high school English teacher in Russia, so language was not a problem and she spent much of the fall and early winter taking Misha on long rides throughout Clifton in a baby stroller. One evening Gleb said "I think I go to store" wherupon his mother, whose English was very correct said "No! you should say 'I think I shall go to the store'".
            Many of our fall and early winter activities by now had become routine including rehearsals with the Martin Luther King Chorale, pumpkin painting for Halloween, Keyboard Club at our house, getting fresh apples in Michigan, the Christmas brunch with the "Pavillion Gang" at the Mellott's, and our Christmas Eve party (the Prince of Peace group diminishing in number, but Anna and Gleb filled in). We had a quiet New Year's Eve dinner ending a very busy 1994.
            1995 was the start of another adventurous year, or at least because it was much different than the year before, it seemed adventurous. The first two weeks of January I was in Chicago (a project for AMK) and after that it was generally normal activity. We sang with the chorus on Martin Luther King Day in Music Hall, had a big birthday party for Misha (1 year old), and this was the year that we started going to Cincinnati Symphony concerts on a regular basis as AMK had good balcony seats (the office had 2 tickets for the entire season, which could be purchased, at a discount, by employees), and we discovered that Curt Wilhelm (recently retired AMK structural engineer) and his wife Ginny were concert regulars, with full season tickets, so we would meet with them and a number of their friends during intermission.
            We had regular Sunday dinners with Anna, Gleb and Misha, and usually Natalie (Natalie had a room in an old house on the upper end of Ravine Street) and I got Natalie to model, with her violin, at a Thursday night Art Club session. In March Laura flew to Florida for several days to visit her mother, and at the end of the month we did our usual 10K Heartwalk. Easter dinner at 346 included "honeybaked ham", with Chuck and Chyrl here, along with Anna, Gleb and Misha and, of course, Natalie (Anna and Gleb still lived on the third floor; Gleb found a job at a violin shop in a northern suburb and he bought a very cheap used car - he came home late one afternoon reporting that a wheel came off his car on the Norwood lateral (a freeway extension connecting I75 and I71) - he abandoned the car and walked home - I drove him immediately to the accident scene but the car was gone - it had been towed to the police impounding lot - we went down to the lot the next day, paid the fine and left the car to be junked - Gleb had to commute by city bus; Anna finished her Artist Diploma work at CCM, but was not able to find permanent employment because of her student visa limitations - she was offered a job with the Marinsky Orchestra in St. Petersburg, and so in June, she and Misha left Cincinnati, to be followed by Gleb in July.
            At the invitation of Anna's mother, Alla Jachova, we had been planning a trip to St. Petersburg for several months (getting clearance and visas for travel to Russia had taken several months). We left Cincinnati on June 17, flying Delta to Frankfurt, and then on to St. Petersburg via Lufthansa, arriving on June 18, at the St. Petersburg airport, where international flights arrived and departed from a small, crowded building, far from the main terminal and there were long lines to customs, but surprisingly, we were waved through after only a cursory inspection of our papers. Alla was waiting for us at the gate and she drove us to the city in her small Lada (a Russian made car), first through countryside, then past a large monument marking the German siege line of WWII, through suburbs with dreary blocks of postwar housing and finally into the old city, which actually looked very European (most of the buildings, 3 or 4 stories in height, built in the 1800s, were designed by French, German and Italian architects). The weather was quite warm, very unusual, Alla explained, for St. Petersburg in June. Alla lived in a house, her very own house, which in America would not be unusual, but in Russia, at this time, it was incredible. Near the center of the old city there is a large gold domed church, St. Nicholas, built in the late 1700's, which the Soviet government allowed to remain as a church (foreign visitors were shown this church as an example of religious tolerance in the Soviet Union) so the church grounds became a large public park in the 1970's the city government decided to tear down an old czarist era structure on a large corner site directly across from this park, building a luxury (by Soviet standards) apartment building, 3 stories in height and two individual houses (very rare at that time) one facing the park, the other facing a side street around the corner; the apartments were reserved for highly favored Soviet citizens and the houses reserved for citizens of the highest rank.
            Anna's father, the internationally acclaimed violinist, Mikial Vaiman, was deemed worthy of receiving one of the houses so he selected the one facing the park and the sister of Anna's mother, Emma, was also married to a noted violinist so they received a unit on the top floor of the apartment building. At this point a crisis developed as an American defector, apparently with much highly secret intelligence information, appeared on the scene and as a price for his defection he demanded a young Russian wife who could play piano (a request easily fulfilled by the Soviet authorities) and a house which happened to be the new house being built which faced the St. Nicholas park. Anna's father would not give up the house promised to him, so the American had to be satisfied with the house facing the side street. Anna's father died when she was 8 years, but Alla was allowed to stay at the house, and when the Soviet Union collapsed, she was allowed to buy the house (the land, however, remained in the hands of the city).
            When we arrived in St. Petersburg Anna and Misha had preceded us by several days and were settled in at Alla's house, but Alla's sister, Emma, had moved to Germany so Laura and I were given her apartment for our visit (Emma's husband also had died and her son, Anna's cousin, was studying violin in Germany). The apartment was large and completely furnished, including a library with a grand piano); the first night in St. Petersburg was unforgettable as Alla prepared a grand dinner, served in the dining area of her house, and we then went for a walk in that part of the city, along the canals and through the park at St. Nicholaus Church (it is truly a beautiful city and at that time of year it is still twilight at midnight). The changes in recent years were many and profound with the name change of course (Leningrad during the Soviet era), statues of Lenin and other Soviet notables were gone, churches were reopened (one evening when strolling along the Griboedova Canal, we came upon a large old church where Anna said, "Look! It's a church!" and I said yes, obviously, it's a church, but Anna said "No, you don't understand, before it was potato warehouse."). There was a major restoration of many old buildings, the State stores were gone (private shops and American type supermarkets were beginning to appear, during Soviet times there were separate stores for meat, dairy products, bread, etc. and separate lines to order, to pay and to pick up so shopping was a long and tedious process), and American apparel was sought after (a woman selling souvenirs on St. Isaac's Square was wearing a Cincinnati Reds sweatshirt and we saw a street musician with a cap reading "Paul's Pest Service").
            Alla made certain that we had an English speaker with us when we went to major sites, including Natasha, a young woman who taught English at a public school who walked us through the Hermitage (wanting to take a photo afterward at Palace Square, I said "you guys stand there", whereupon Natasha said "Oh, in America women also are 'guys'"), and Yuri Predtechensky, a retired physicist who had worked on a guided missile projects, was our guide at the Peter and Paul Fortress, but for the most part Alla, Anna, or both were our escorts. On June 21, the highlight of "White Nights," Anna took us to the River Neva where there were all night celebrations and the 3 large bridges were raised at midnight and we walked the city until dawn (it never really got dark). One afternoon Anna showed us the "architect's House", which had housed the architect's society during the Tsarist period as she said there were magnificent murals in the lobby so we went in (she had to stay outside with Misha and the stroller). There were two older women sitting at the entrance, saying something in Russian, but looking at the artwork, we ignored them but finally, one of them said in a loud voice "was tun sie hier?", so I had to make a quick explanation in German (we found out later that at most public buildings, older lady pensioners were posted at entry doors as "guards"). As music was central to the life of Alla and Anna (Alla taught piano at the prestigious St. Petersburg Conservatory) we attended orchestra and ballet performances at the Marinsky Theater (Kirov during the Soviet era so the ballet company, when touring in the U.S., continued to be known as the "Kirov Ballet"). The Conservatory and Theater were only a short walk from Alla's house.
            We walked Nevsky Prospekt (the "main street" of St. Petersburg) many times and visited the huge Lutheran Church there (the church had been converted to an indoor swimming pool during the Soviet era and was undergoing restoration so Anna was astonished that it had ever been a church), and appropriately, there was now a German beer garden in the church courtyard. One day Alla took us to the Tsarist palace complex at Tsarskoe Selo, about 10 miles south of St. Petersburg, heavily damaged during the German occupation and still undergoing restoration, accompanied by Tamara Predtechensy, wife of Yuri, as Russians paid only a fraction of the admission fee charged to foreign visitors, it was always a good idea to be accompanied by Russian speakers (many Russian emigres would return to St. Petersburg for visits and in a restroom I heard a young boy say "Grandpa, can we speak English now?"). One day we went to Peterhof, another Tsarist palace complex on the Gulf of Finland, about 10 miles west of St. Petersburg, damaged and neglected during the German occupation but largely restored and our "guide" this time was Vladmir Predtechensky, the younger son of Yuri and Tamara (his older brother, Boris, was an aspiring architect/artist in New York City). We traveled by hydrofoil boat to Peterhof and returned by bus and rail with a stop at Vladimir's technical college (he had to pick up some materials), a cheerless complex, concrete and masonry, from the Soviet era, the grounds overgrown and neglected. Nearly all our evening meals were at Alla's house, always starting with a soup course, always delicious and with a fresh vegetable salad. Alla's backyard abutted the backyard of "the American" where he and his Russian wife raised flowers but he never really learned to speak Russian (we exchanged only a brief hello), he longed to returned to America, which was not possible so he was a man without a country and probably lived out his days in St. Petersburg. Early in the morning of July 2, Alla took us to the airport, we said our goodbyes', and after much pushing and shoving we were able to get to our boarding gate (there was a stopover in Helsinki where that sleek and modern airport was quite a contrast to the international terminal in St. Petersburg) and by the night of July 2, Laura and I were back in Cincinnati, exhausted but delighted with our Russian adventure.
            Later that week I took Gleb, heavily laden with suitcases, to O'hare in Chicago and we never saw him again. After returning to Russia he soon left for Germany to seek his fortune - he and Anna separated.
            Although since early summer I had been stripping old paint from the front porch railing (the paint was so thick that the original shape of the posts was nearly lost under the years of layers) we decided it was finally time to rid the house of its conspicuous yellow trim so we hired a painting crew who started on July 7 and they finished after 10 days of scraping, sanding, priming and painting (I furnished the paint and picked colors that were compatible with the brick color) and also, I told them not to do the wood trim at the front door and windows as I wanted strip, expose and clear the intricate patterns and carving.
            Late summer of 1995 came with some unexpected changes: Friends of ours, the Rahners (Dave Rahner, M.D., was one of the founders of the Crossroads Medical Clinic in Over-the-Rhine), said they had a friend who had taken a position on the faculty at U.C., and could we take him in for a few weeks while he sold his house in Syracuse, NY and moved his family to Cincinnati. We thought, why not as we had an empty bedroom on the second floor. The name of our temporary guest was Ed Daly and the "few weeks" became more than a year.
            Another Guest: Dagmar Schilke had a niece, just returned from Germany where she had studied museum conservation and had a temporary job in Indianapolis whose name was Liisa Merz (pronounced "Murts"), a delightful and serious young woman in her mid-twenties (we had met her on one of our trips to Indianapolis). Liisa was offered a one year fellowship in the conservation department at the Cincinnati Art Museum and needed a place to stay. She arrived in early September with all her belongings, and some furniture so we put her in the front bedroom on the third floor (I patched and painted this room after Anna and Gleb left).
            Also in late summer, I picked up Natalie at the airport (returning from Europe to finish her Artist Diploma at CCM) and she complained about the difficulty of getting through customs and back into the U.S. (she had dual German/Austrian citizenship and some sort of temporary student visa) so I suggested that it would be much easier if she married an American. "I," she said in her British accent" will never marry an American!" (Natalie learned English when her family lived in London). In less than a year Natalie was married to an American.
            September happenings: My old VW Jetta (purchased in 1982) was beginning to fail so I traded it in for a new 1995 Jetta (Northland Motors in Norwood), which would be the last new car that I would buy for my own use. From far distant Kansas Conrad sent word that he and Judy had married (eloped) on September 18, and as Judy had a house in Chanute, Conrad's address became 20 S. Tennessee Avenue. On September 29 Natalie finally gave her Artist Diploma recital at CCM (violin) and after the recital (it was in the evening) Laura and I took her out to celebrate, together with Kirt Hutchinson who made it a foursome. Kirt lived in the same house as Natalie and absolutely adored her (Natalie seemed to accept his devotion).
            In October, we took a river cruise with Chuck and Chyrl Brandt during the "tall Stacks" meet in Cincinnati where there were riverboats from all along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, mostly pleasure boats (the summer boating season was over), of all sizes and shapes, 30 or 40 in number, but only a few true steamboats with operating paddlewheels. The October Keyboard meeting was at 346. I probably hadn't had a birthday celebration since Sioux City days (except for the 1976 event in Rapid City) but November 10, 1995, was my 65th, some sort of milestone apparently, so Laura, had a dinner party, for which Natalie actually baked a cake, our "in house" guests, Lisa Merz and Ed Daly were here of course, as well as Conrad, who was in town, and Kirt Hutchinson, who was becoming a regular. In late November Laura went to a NAEYC National Convention in Washington, D.C. where coincidentally there was a rare and very special art exhibit at the National Gallery, a collection of paintings by the 17th century Dutch artist, Johannes Vermeer ("Girl with a Pearl Earring") so Laura did not miss this once in a lifetime opportunity. Henry Meyer heard our stories of the wonders of St. Petersburg and so decided that this was something he had to see, although it was late fall, the leaves were gone and ice was forming on the canals (Alla was his host), but he thought it was magnificent. We have a book of his photos.
            In December, Laura's mother decided to go to Arizona for Christmas to visit her sisters Dorothy and Laurabelle so we decided it would also be a good time for family visits (my family and Laura's.) We drove to the Indianapolis airport (much cheaper than flying out of Cincinnati) landed in Phoenix December 18, rented a car and drove out to Apache Junction where Laura's Aunt Laurabelle had a double wide unit in a mobile home park. We took a day trip upt to eh Superstition Mountains (Laura and I, Laura's mother and Aunt Laurabelle) but this time I did the driving. Another time the 4 of us went out to see Aunt Dorothy for dinner and a traditional Bowmaster card game (Laura's cousin Ralph was there, retired and living in the Phoenix area). My cousin Paula Hassler, invited us over for Christmas where Don and Paula were there, of course, as well as Paula's children, Bill and Nori Muster, and after dinner and drinks presents were opened, which was a bit awkward as Laura and I had not planned to be at this Christmas event and certainly hadn't brought anything from Cincinnati (Paula had quickly got and wrapped presents for us) but it was a very strange Christmas (totally secular). We also drove down to Tucson to visit my cousin, Phyllis Nicholson where her husband, Glen, had died unexpectedly the year before, shortly after they had moved into a new home, so she was living alone (except for a dog). I drove (without Laura) to Yuma to visit my cousin Dick Schilke and his wife Diane and I spent a morning at Dick's watch and jewelry shop where it was fascinating to see Dick expertly and quickly replace the watch batteries for walk in customers. Dick suggested that I take a different route back to Phoenix, a road straight north of Yuma through the desert. A few miles from Yuma I came upon an unforgettable sight - an encampment of hundreds of motor homes, trailers and RV's, parked in this barren, desolate area (it cost little to camp there and cheap medical/dental care was only a few miles away in Mexico) which for me it was a sad thing to see and I hoped that I would never have to live that way. By December 28, we were back in Cincinnati and looking forward to a quiet New Year's Eve.
            1996 - The number has a pleasant sound - my 65th year on this earth - retirement age for many and time for a slowdown (no foreign travel for Laura and me this year). The week after New Year's we were at a King's Day party at the Towe's and in February there was a birthday party for Amanda Quishpe at a Chinese restaurant. Liisa was seriously involved in an Asia martial art sport, Tae Kwon Do, both in Cincinnati and Indianapolis club and, in making a banner for them, somehow got gold leaf and glue tangled in her hair. In March Laura and I did the annual 10K Heartwalk. By this time Kittycat had figured out that Ed Daly was the first one up in the morning, so she no longer woke Laura at first light and poor Ed had to take care of her breakfast demands. Life and work became routine as I went to AMK, Laura and Ed to UC and Lisa to the Art museum so except for Kittycat, the house was empty during the day (weekends were not routine).
            After much persuasion, Kirt Hutchinson won over Natalie, and after a short engagement they were married (civil ceremony on April 12). Kirt had an engineering degree from UC, worked at a chemical plant in Cincinnati (they made powdered dyes, colorful, but stifling work. He was originally from Dayton, Ohio, but his parents were divorced and, except for his father, he seemed to have little connection to his family. We had a post-wedding dinner at the revolving restaurant on top of the Riverview Hotel in Covington where there were only five of us, Kirt and Natalie, Laura and I, and the bridesmaid (a friend of Natalie from UC).
            In early May, we went to Michigan for Dan Goodell's confirmation, and a few days later we met Conrad and Judy, briefly, at the Cincinnati Airport, a layover on their way back to Kansas (they had been to an American Institute of Museums convention where Conrad had received a "Professional Excellence" award). A major event occurred in May as we made the final mortgage payment on the house so 346 was ours, free and clear. Another late spring happening: Liisa was in a Tae Known Do meet at a northern suburb when she called, saying she had been kicked in the lower back, couldn't drive, and could hardly walk so we brought her home, set up a temporary "sick room" on the first floor (she couldn't do stairs). Lisa didn't want her mother (Dagmar's sister to know, but the word got out and her mother called and suggested that Lisa take up ballroom dancing rather than Tae Kwon Do. On a Sunday afternoon in early June, Laura gave a piano recital at the home of Curt and Ginny Wilhelm in Hyde Park (an unusual architect designed house, probably from the 1920's where the Wilhelms had lived for many years and as they were rock-ribbed Republicans, had a large collection of elephant figurines.
            Concert Grand: Sometime in June a friend from the Keyboard Club told us about the annual World Piano Competition and said they needed host families (with pianos) to house the out-of-town competitors. We thought this would put our grand (mid-sized) piano to good use, so in early July we were at the airport to pick up Igor Resnianski. Igor was Russian, but studying in Texas, he was an excellent pianist, spoke good English and had an absolutely delightful personality. A friend of his from Russia, Anton Mordasov, who had just won a competition in Montreal, decided to enter this competition also, and when Igor discovered this, he called his friend, and speaking in English said, "Anton! Why you come to Cincinnati? Why not let someone else win?". The competition was held downtown at the Aronoff Center and Anton did win the top prize (gold medal, $10,000 and a concert performance at Lincoln Center in NYC), but Igor won the silver medal (second place), which obligated him to return to Cincinnati for a master class/fundraising recital. It was such a great experience that we decided to sign up for the next year.
            Back to the Big City: Anna Vaiman called from St. Petersburg, saying that the Martinsky Orchestra and Opera would be at Tanglewood and Lincoln Center in late July. Not an opportunity to be missed, so Laura and I flew into Albany and rented a car but there was some confusion about the schedule and we missed the Tanglewood performance. Undeterred we drove to NYC, found a motel in Paramus, NJ (across from the Upper West Side) and went over the George Washington Bridge into Manhattan where we met Anna at the hotel (north of Lincoln Center, rooms rented by the Marinsky), did a driving tour of the City (driving in Manhattan is a bit harrowing but finding a parking space is impossible), met Boris Predtechensky (see our 1995 trip to St. Petersburg) and visited the shop where Anna kept "the" violin. Anna got us tickets for the Marinsky Opera performance at Lincoln Center, and afterwards, walked back to the hotel along Broadway with Anna and Denis (Marinsky double bass), stopping at a sidewalk café which made it an unforgettable evening.
            Road Trip: John and Karen Murdock had left Ohio for Charlotte, North Caroline (John a taken a job with a bank in that growing city), and newlyweds Kirt and Natalie Hutchinson had moved to Wilmington on the coast (Kirt had taken a job with Corning Glass in Wilmington), so in late August Laura and I were on the road again. First stop was Charlotte where John and Karen had a house in a new subdivision, bordering a golf course and Michael, their youngest was in a public high school (William was at Ohio State, Michelle at U. of Dayton). We did a tour of the city, and one day went up to Mocksville, NC, to visit an old Sioux City friend, Gordon Ruby ("Gordie") who I hadn't seen in nearly 40 years. He graduated with an engineering degree from Iowa State, but we kept in touch (Christmas letters) but I was astonished when we met as the lean and wiry kid I knew was now an exact copy of his stocky father (Carl Ruby). We reminisced about Sioux City days and our families (after his father retired, his parents went back to Lake Mills, Iowa, a Norwegian community, where his widowed mother died in a house fire and that his younger sister, Ruth Ann, was in poor health). He asked for advice about an expansion plans for the local Lutheran Church (not many Lutherans in that part of North Carolina). Gordon died the next year (I still have memories of the house on Paxton St. at Ceclia Park, Gordon's basement photo dark room, his mother's Norwegian Christmas pasteries, Carl Ruby and my Dad in gemütlich conversation after dinner). Kirt and Natalie had little money and almost no furniture so they rented a run-down small "furnished" house on the edge of Willimington where Kirt did a lot of work on the house and yard to make the place livable and we brought a rocking chair from Cincinnati. Wilmington is an interesting old city, trying to make a comeback as a tourist destination where we visited the WWII battleship North Carolina, now a permanently docked museum, and had dinner at a riverfront restaurant.
            Party Time: September 14, 1996, Laura's 50th birthday. Some might want this occasion to be downplayed but Laura wanted a celebration, and a celebration it was, probably the largest group we've ever hosted at 346 including Ed Daly and Liisa Merz of course (by this time Liisa was becoming seriously involved with Hung Le from the Indianapolis Tae Kwon Do club, so he was here), Laura's mother, Dave, Sue, Jamie and Dan from Michigan, William and Michelle Murdock from their Columbus and Dayton schools, the Schuberts and Rahners with all the kids, Jose and Tammy Quishpe with Carmen and Amanda, Caroline and Charlie Fehr, our neighbor Bernice Abrams, Laura's 4C friends - Annette Rehn and Pam Melton (with Bob Melton), and numerous friends from Prince of Peace - the Brandt's, Towes, Ohlmansicks, Sippels, Pastor Johnson and his boys, Smithy Calhoun, Deborah Leavel, Melanie LIeuwin, and probably a few others I can't remember. The weather was perfect so folks were spilled out into the yard and front porch. From Dave and Sue, Laura received a cap which read "Still perfect after all those years" (Dave knew how to nail his sister). Jamie, Dan, William and Michelle disappeared for a time but when they returned Laura discovered that her car was filled with black balloons. It was a grand affair but sadly, we saw all our friends many times through the years, but never again all together in a group like this.
            Liisa left from Indianapolis in September and we missed her vigor, wit and always inquisitive mind. Kittycat, who tolerated Laura and Ed because they fed her in the morning, would have nothing to do with Liisa so Liisa, in turn, dubbed her "Miss Hissyface". Before she left, Liisa helped organize, and got me involved, in the reincarnation of "The Art League". Some historical background: In the early 1900s an organization was formed to enhance visual art at the Cincinnati Public Schools which was called The Art League and pennies were collected from children and the money used to buy paintings, sculpture, murals, tiles and Rookwood drinking fountains. The Art League program became defunct by the 1930s and over the years many of the paintings ended up in store rooms (a janitor's closet in one case), or simply just disappeared. As revised, The Art League sought to collect, preserve catalogue and properly store those paintings and Liisa was responsible for much of the effort to save a mural at the old Condon School, a building which was being demolished.
            The rest of 1996 was more or less routine - we started rehearsals for the Martin Luther King Choral, pumpkin painting for Halloween, and fruit cake baking (had to be done a month before Christmas). Laura gave a presentation at a NAEYC conference (Ohio Chapter) at Bowling Green State U., after which we went up to Michigan. November 20, Igor arrived for his obligatory piano recital/master class with the recital a formal dinner affair at the Queen City Club (I had to borrow a Tux from Carl Payne), an elegant old establishment with large portraits of Generals Grant and Sherman in the dining room. December Keyboard meeting was at our house, Rich and Joyce Mellot had their annual Christmas brunch (a chance to reconnect with the old Pavillion gang) and we had our annual Christmas gathering here at 346 (the group was getting smaller). The Daly's finally sold their house in Syracuse (Ed had gone there for Christmas) so we picked up the whole family (Ed, Anne and the 4 kids, Madelein, Chloe, Alexander and Berenice) at the airport and they stayed with us until they could move into temporary housing provided by the University. The kids ranged in age from about 3 to 9 and were completely bilingual (Anne was French) having spent part of each summer at the family vacation place in Brittany. The eight of us had a great New Year's Eve party.
            1997 - Another very different year (actually it seems that every year was very different than the one before as life was certainly not repetitious. We did the usual M.L. King day choral sing at Music Hall (at this time, I was going to NYC nearly every week for AMK work at Sotheby's), and in February we went to dinner at Ed and Anne Daly's as they finally had a (semi-permanent) home, a rental unit in a Mariemont row house. The big events of the year began on March 15 when we left for another sojourn to Europe.
            Timora was studying/working in Amsterdam and invited us to come for a visit but at that time there were no direct flights from Cincinnati to Amsterdam so we flew into Paris, went to Gare du Nord and took a highspeed train (Thalys) to Amsterdam. Gare du Nord is the main transit center in the north of Paris, serving subways, city buses, light rail, national and high speed trains (in Paris, trains go to stations on the periphery, trains do not go through Paris). After a few hours (at top speed, the landscape of northern France and southern Belgium is a blur) we arrived at Amsterdam Central Station, which is the main transit center for that city, on the north edge of the old city center, serving street cars, city buses, local and international trains. Our hotel, Hotel Piet Hein, on the south edge of the old city center, an old establishment, but renovated, modern, very neat and clean, and an easy walk to most of what we wanted to see. We connected with Timora (her school was not far from our hotel) and she rode throughout the city on her "junk bike" (better bikes had a tendency to get stolen), and then we set out to explore the city. We took a canal cruise for general orientation (the old city grew along a series of canals) and went to the oldest church in Amsterdam, the Oude Kork (1300s) which had a magnificent pipe organ (someone playing Bach), but most of the windows were white frosted glass with only a few broken remnants of what must have been beautiful stained glass. I asked the girl at the reception desk about the windows and she said it happened on a German bombing raid, but this didn't sound right as I was certain the Germans never bombed Amsterdam so I did some research finding that the original stained glass windows were smashed in a 1500's Protestant uprising. When we exited at the rear of the church we were astonished to find we were in the center of the "red-light" district with women on display in their underwear at large windows along the street, mostly Asia and West Indian, not very attractive I thought. I mentioned this to Timora, who said the better-looking girls come out at night, and to prove her point, one evening she took us down a very narrow, crowded street where she would say "Now look at this one," pointing to one of the ladies on display "she isn't too bad". We toured many historic buildings, Rembrant's house, the Anne Frank House, the Rijksmusem (Rembrant's "Night Watch"), the Van Gogh Museum (200 of his paintings), other museums and a diamond cutting center. There is a large National Monument at the Dam, a memorial to WWII which it seemed rather innocuous, and when I mentioned this to our hotel clerk, he said that while most people were reluctant to think about it, "more Dutchmen died fighting for Hitler than against him. One evening Timora took us to the Concertgebouw for an orchestra concert (she had just won a cello competition), and another evening we went out for a traditional Indonesian feast. Timora had a new boyfriend, Allen Kamp who had a checkered past, as he was born in New Jersey (still an American citizen), moved with his parents to Israel, then to South America, and finally to Amsterdam where his father had a business (most of his family and his grandparents lived in the US). Allen worked in marketing for a chocolate factory and one night the 4 of us went to the factory (closed for the night) to pick up several pounds of "rejects", very fancy and delicious chocolates nevertheless. On our last day in Amsterdam we shopped for Dutch cheese (we also bought a sugar dispenser, which we still use, every day) and on March 21, we took the high-speed train back to Paris.
            Paris: Back to our favorite hotel, the Hotel dela Sorbonne, top floor again so we could look over rooftops to the Pantheon (and down into the classrooms of the Sorbonne), and a chance to explore parts of Paris we hadn't seen before. It was early spring but the weather was clear and warm (the first flowers were beginning to bloom). We headed for the Marais, a 17th century part of the city, just northeast of the center with many elegant homes from that period, did a quick tour of the Picasso Museum, and walked the Place des Vosges, probably the stateliest of all Parisian parks (also did a quick tour of Victor Hugo's apartment, which overlooks the Vosges) and on the way back we stopped to see "the oldest tree in Paris" (1601), which, frankly, appeared to be clinging to life. The next day we were off to Versailles (by train, from Gare St. Lazare) at the invitation of Anne Daly's grandparents, Claude and Jacqueline Barbazanges, who, much to our relief, both spoke excellent English. M'sieur Claude had a particularly fascinating life, drafted into the French army at the beginning of WWII, captured by the Germans, paroled, and after the war, spent several years in America working and traveling as an expertise in metallurgy and alloys. "The first American I saw," he said, "was a dead one" (paratrooper, Normandy, 1944). Mdme said "I read only English novels". The Barbazanges lived in a magnificent second floor apartment which was once part of the 18th Century home of a noble family in the city of Versailles, where after an excellent meal (in the Barbazanges dining room Claude arranged for an English-speaking tour of the Palace (we didn't mention that we had seen much of this on a previous visit to Versailles). The following day we did a quick walking tour of our "neighborhood" - Pantehon, Cluny (Musee National Du Moyen Age, Roman baths, tapestries), Place de la Contrescarpe (not to be missed), and finally down Boulevard Saint Germaine to the church (Saint-Gemain-des-Pres, one of the oldest in Paris, partially destroyed in French Revolution, early spring flowers blooming in churchyard) and Les Deux Magots (this Bohemian café is now a tourist favorite). The last full day on this Parisian trip we took a train (from Gare de Montaprnasse) to Chartes as I always wanted to see the great cathedral (Notre-Dame-de-Chartes) and its incredible 12th and 13th century stained glass windows, many destroyed in French Revolution but with the remnant preserved and being restored (we managed to slip into a tour conducted by a very knowledgeable Englishman). Last morning in Paris we said goodbye to the "hotel lady" and her dogs at the lobby of Hotel de la Sorbonne.
            Back in Cincinnati it was springtime, best season of the year, where we did the usual 10K Heartwalk, had a visit from Else Tasseron, then Conrad and Judy, Bill and Dagmar Schilke for a May Festival Performance, and finally, Rhoda Schuler from St. Paul (Rhoda wanted to see Margaret Towe who was undergoing chemotherapy/cancer treatment, perhaps a last goodbye). Early June we went to Michigan for a graduation party, Jamie Goodell, Laura's nephew.
            June 10, we were off on another European trip, to St. Petersburg, Russia and this time in Alla's house (she put us in her piano studio, second floor, facing the street and St. Nicholas park, a great space except for streetcars which loudly rounded a curve below our windows). Misha, who was 3 years old, had a room across the hall, and though he was going to an American preschool, would not speak to us (he understood us perfectly when we spoke English), but entertained us with a solo on his very small violin and showed us his collection of toys (including our gift of a wood truck made by Bill Schilke). Laura and I walked much of the city (18th and 19th century St. Petersburg is a place of stunning beauty with many rivers and canals, classical buildings designed by Italian and French architects, grand palaces, magnificent bridges and imposing public spaces) and Misha accompanied us on many of these walks. Browsing through the Hermitage we came upon an inconspicuous room (unmarked in the museum guidebooks) with a small sign that this was art acquired during the Great Patriotic War (Russian designation for WWII) but the room was crowded with people, viewing the paintings, mostly French Impressionist and I saw a large painting by Degas which fascinated me, "Vicomte Lepec Crossing the Place de la Concorde With His Two Daughters" (I wanted to know more about this painting, so back in Cincinnati at the Art Museum library I found a Degas book with a copy of this painting, stating that it had been in a private collection in Berlin, disappeared during the 1945 battle, presumed no longer in existence). With Alla and Misha spent a full day at Petehof and as it was White Nights time in St. Petersburg (never totally dark) we walked the city one night with Anna; large Lutheran Church on Nevsky Prospekt closed for major restoration (a new floor had to be installed over what was a swimming pool. Anna was playing with the Marinsky Orchestra so we went to a concert and afterwards met Valery Gerguiev, a rising star in the conducting world.
            On our return flight, there was a layover of several hours in Frankfurt, so Laura and I went by light rail for a quick look at the city. Frankfurt, almost totally destroyed by WWII bombing raids, has been rebuilt and is now the banking center of Europe with many new office towers rising above restored older buildings (birthplace of Goethe, many restored churches and the great cathedral significant in German and Lutheran history).
            Back in Cincinnati for a busy summer where we hosted a pianist again for the World Piano Competition. The pianist arrived in early July from Poland, Rafal Luszczewski, spoke excellent English (American English as he lived in Florida for a time). We had a backyard cookout with Rafal, Ed and Anne Daly and the kids. Rafal was a superb pianist and we were surprised that he didn't make the final cut and on the evening that the finalists were announced, I was on the sidewalk outside the Aronoff Center with Rafal and another Polish pianist (a young woman). Rafal was very angry, saying "It's those Russian judges, They don't like Poles". The other pianist tried to calm him down saying that the selected finalists were really quite good and when a panhandler approached, the young women said she would give him something as soon as the argument was over but Rafal's rant continued with the other pianist saying she thought the judgment was fair, so the panhandler waited patiently, but finally left. Later in July Paula and Don Hassler arrived in their RV as they were making a grand tour from Phoenix to the East Coast (unbelievable that Don maneuvered that unwieldy vehicle through downtown Manhattan) and were on their way back home so we gave them a tour of the city and Laura and Don made music (piano and bassoon). Early August Laura's cousin Fred Pearsall, his wife and friends were passing through town so we met for dinner at a Northern Kentucky restaurant. In late August Laura's came from Florida (we picked her up at the airport) for a week's stay and then in early September we all went to Michigan for Dave and Sue's 25th wedding anniversary celebration where the main event was at Sue's church (Faith Lutheran), so we spent a good part of the day setting up tables in the church basement, sorting plates and dinnerware (everything had to be properly matched), and I was recruited to give the presentation speech and toast (non-alcoholic) and happily there was a large crowd of friends, neighbors and relatives. In late September, we went apple picking at an orchard in Northern Kentucky with Ed, Anne, the kids and Anne's brother, Martin, who was visiting from France so we all busily picked apples, except Martin, who wandered off to a nearby meadow and picked wildflowers. About this time Margaret Towe died (cancer). Margaret was a founding member and pillar of Prince of Peace Church, dedicated and active in the Church and Over-the-Rhine, there was no one who could take her place. In mid-October, we started rehearsals (Tuesday nights) with Martin Lutheran King Choral which by this time it had become a fall routine. The son of an AMK colleague (Larry Prusiner, retired and moved to California), Dr. Stanely Prusiner, a neurologist, won the 1997 Nobel Prize in medicine).
            A wedding in Indianapolis: October 19, Liisa Merz (one of our "girls") married Hung Le at a Lutheran church in Indianapolis, followed by a dinner and reception at an event center where it was a warm autumn day, the grounds were spacious and rich with fall flowers. Liisa was a beautiful bride and we met her parents (Dagmar Schilke is her mother's sister) who traveled from the East Coast and Hung's family, who came down from Chicago (the family had originally escaped from Vietnam).
            Travels West: In mid-November Laura went to a conference in Anaheim, California with not much time for sightseeing but she did make it to the Crystal Cathedral, at the time, one of the wonders of Southern California, a mighty mega church with thousands of devotees (Rev. Dr. Shuler/"House of Power"), a dozen years later a financial ruin, the magnificent glass edifice sold in bankruptcy.
            The usual Christmas activities with dinner at Ed and Anne Daly's (they were renting a row house in Mariemont) - helped the kids decorate the Christmas tree, Christmas party at Rich and Joyce Mellot's (the once-a-year gathering of the old Pavillion gang) and our Christmas Eve party after service at Prince of Peace. After 2 years, I gave up my position as Financial Secretary of Prince of Peace where all I did really is collect, record and deposit the weekly income as Chyrl Brandt had taken over as Treasurer. One of the few exterior walls of the house without a window or door is the north wall of the large second floor bedroom (the bedroom which Laura and I used) so in December we hired a contractor, "Handyman Connection," to insulate that wall (2 inches of closed cell foam board with a gypsum board face) and the effect was dramatic with no more freezing wall behind our heads on cold winter nights. I also stripped the wallpaper, patched and painted the walls and ceiling of this room and also this year (late summer) I finally finished sanding and painting (urethane) the wood front porch deck. In fall we also replaced the sink and countertop in the upstairs bathroom which because of a continuing moisture problem (hot showers, cold walls) this room needs a partial patch and painting makeover every 2 or 3 years.
            1998: Another busy year, perhaps not as hectic as 1997. We started with a New Year's Day dinner at our house with Ed and Anne Daly and the kids, then the following Saturday Jeff Brandt had an open house party at his newly acquired and partially renovated building on a hillside overlooking Over-the-Rhine, and finally on Sunday, a party at Chuck and Chryl Brandts. We had the ususal intense rehearsals with the Martin Luther King Choral for the performance in Music Hall on MLK Day, and then brought January to a close with a Super Bowl party at Pastor Chris Johnson's apartment in Northern Kentucky, but winter wasn't through with Cincinnati as on February 4, we had 11.8 inches of snow, an all-time record.
            Planned and unplanned: On Feburary 8 we hosted the monthly Keyboard Club meeting, a scheduled event, but then we had an unscheduled event. The World Piano Competition office called, saying that one of the 1997 winners (see the Rafal piano story) was coming to perform at a fundraising dinner, but that his original host family was out of town, and would we take him in? Except for Kittycat we had an empty house, so we thought, why not. His name was Armen Babakhanian (we called him "Armen the Armenian"), a short man, but with powerful arms and hands, he played with great intensity. Laura came home one afternoon and was surprised that he was practicing on the Baldwin upright rather than the grand, for seems that his enthusiastic pounding had broken one of the hammers. Nevertheless, we went to Armen's concert at the Queen City Club and had the piano repaired the next week.
            Phoenix Reunion: In early April, we were off to Phoenix again, flying directly out of Cincinnati this time but before the official start of the reunion we drove out to Apache Junction to see Laura's Aunt Laurabelle, still living in the same mobile home park but by this time Laurabelle was becoming impaired by arthritis, was no longer driving and had a live-in couple who did a lot of homecare (the lady was in some sort of clown organization which entertained at nursing homes). Friday evening (March 6) we were back in Tempe, at Paula and Don Hassler's home, the reunion headquarters (the house, spacious and with a backyard pool, actually belonged to Nori Muster, Paula's daughter, who was living in California at the time). Bill Schilke brought in a collection of his handiwork, a wooden Civil War era railroad engine, trucks and various other vehicles, all beautifully made by Bill, which he and Dagmar were transporting to a grandson in California. Saturday morning, we picked up Conrad and Judy at the airport, did a quick tour of the Arizona Capital grounds, then joined the reunion group for a very chilly baseball exhibition game (Don said it wasn't supposed to be that cold in Phoenix). That evening Don had arranged for group dinner at the Pinnacle Peak Steakhouse which by this time we were joined by my cousin Phyllis from Tucson and some of her family, cousin Dick Schilke and Diane from Yuma, and Dick's children, Rick and Linda, and Ben Copeland and his new wife Loretta (Ben's first wife, my cousin Margaret, died in 1992) and Diana and Richard Runge from St. Louis who had also braved the baseball game that afternoon. Sunday morning, we had a wild brunch at Ed Debevic's Theme Restaurant and Sunday afternoon Laura and Don gave us a piano/bassoon concert in the Hassler "music room". Somewhere in all this activity, Laura, I, Conrad and Judy, found time to visit the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.
            In 1997 my cousin Dick Schilke had a severe stroke which left him partially paralyzed (he was overweight and a heavy smoker) so we got together at the motel Sunday morning before he and Diane left for Yuma. As we said our goodbyes', Dick and I, boyhood friends from long ago in Sioux City, knew that we would never see each other again, at least not on this earth. On Monday Laura and I were back in Cincinnati.
            Late winter and early spring we did the usual (other than work), dinners with the Brandts and Dalys, the 10K Heartwalk, Ballet and Sympony concerts, and the MLK Choral had a special concert, so there were rehearsals for that. April 17 Laura took a 4-day trip to Florida to visit her mother.
            Anna phoned from St. Petersburg saying she would be in New York City with her orchestra (Marinsky) and that Allas and Misha would come also, so the first week of May Laura and I had to be there and we found a Bed and Breakfast on the West Side not far north of Lincoln Center. By this time Misha was a very active 4-year-old and had developed a relationship with the doorman at their hotel. We had only a few days so had to confine our sightseeing mostly to Midtown and the playground at Central Park is only a short walk from Alla's hotel but Misha refused to get on the carousel until Anna went with him, and then he didn't want to stop his whiling adventure. We had a late lunch at the Carnigie Deli, a quintessential New York corned beef on rye followed by an enormous portion of cheesecake. The next day subway up to the Children's Museum (diminutive compared to the Indianapolis Children's Museum, but Misha loved it) then a subway down to Lower Manhattan and the World Trade Center where we spent a lot of time on the top observation deck with daylight fading to dusk, we could see far miles, the city lights breaking gradually below (World Trade Center no longer exists, "9-11", 2001). One evening we went to a concert at Lincoln Center where there is a memorable photo of Alla, Misha and I at the fountain.
            End of May we were in Frankenmouth, Michigan, for a get-together with Dave and Sue Goodell, and Karen and John Murdock, then early June another trip to North Carolina, this time Charollete, for Michael Murdock's high school graduation, then down to Willmington to visit Kirt and Natalie where the Hutchinsons had moved up in the world since our last visit as they now had a new house in a new subdivision (the house had a screened side porch with the screens soon ripped out by a large stray dog, "Toby," which Natalie adopted). Natalie was giving violin lessons, playing in the local symphony orchestra (pro bono), and had learned how to drive, which made us all quite nervous when she was at the wheel. One day we went to the beach at nearby Fort Fisher and, as Willmington was the last deep water port in Southern hands (Civil War), in January, 1865, the Union launched a massive bombardment and amphibious assault on Fort Fisher which completely overwhelmed the Confederate garrison. Natalie had no concept of the Civil War, so in her mind the Union was the "enemy" who had invaded her adopted homeland. Kirt quietly tolerated Natalie's quirks.
            Summer in Cincinnati is hot and humid so we finally had a central air conditioning system installed (a blessed relief for the first 2 floors, but we still needed a window unit for the third floor), and to complete the "modernization" we had a new toilet installed in the basement. We also signed up for the full summer opera series, agreed to house another competitor for the World Piano Competition, and had a busy summer with cookouts/dinners with the Brandt's, Daly's, Jose and Tammy Quishpe, Kurt and Ginny Wilhelm.
            Dmitri Teterin arrived from Russia on June 29 for 2 weeks of intense keyboard activity. He was tall, cool, self-assured and spoke excellent English (as a teenager he was Mikhail Gorbachev personal pianist during a state visit to Canada) and after the first round he announced that he would win the gold medal. Our mid-sized grand, he decided, was not suitable, so he made arrangements to practice on a full-sized concert grand at CCM and on the day before the final round, he asked Laura and I to listen as he played his piece de resistance, a full concerto movement. We sat in a small CCM practice room, the space mostly taken by a concert grand but the mask of self-assurance was gone and he was concerned and nervous. Dmitri did win the gold, so there was another post-concert dinner.
            Lucy Girl: In June, we were approached by an organization that brought foreign high school students to America for a year of study and cultural experience and they were looking for housing so we agreed, although somewhat reluctantly. Lucy Scherer arrived August 8. Lucy was from a small town in Bavaria, north of Regensburg, where her parents operated a restaurant, and was enrolled in a dance program at SCPA (School for Creative and Performing Arts, a Cincinnati Public School which specialized in the arts, hence the school name). We were surprised when she got off the plane in crutches as she twisted her knee at a rough game during an orientation week at Yale. A spunky girl, she said "No problem, I can sing" so she entered the vocal arts program at SCPA. Lucy was a very pretty girl, 16 years old, and spoke excellent "American" English and she made friends with another exchange student, a tall red haired German girl, Paula, who sometimes stayed with us. One evening we came home to find Lucy and Paula sitting on the front steps as Lucy had accidently locked herself out and they were waiting anxiously, saying "Paula needs to go to bathroom real bad". Although she was supposedly in Cincinnati for some serious study, it soon became apparent that Lucy's (and Paula's) main interest was boys (I recall that at a host family meeting, an older man, who had been with the exchange program for some time, advised me "Never try to understand the mind of a teenage girl").
            Peter the Cat: Natalie's mother, Dagmar Mamleew, enrolled in some sort of homeopathic study course in Tuscon, Arizona (probably not the sort of thing allowed in Germany) - she had an old and not very healthy cat, Peter. Because of Peter's fragil condition, no kennel in Germany would take him so Natalie and her mother devised the following: Dagmar and Peter would fly from Frankfurt to Cincinnati, Natalie and Kirt would fly from North Carolina to Cincinnati, Natalie would exchange a large suitcase, which she had packed with things for her mother, for Peter, Dagmar would fly from Cincinnati to Tuscon, Natalie and Kirt would return to North Carolina with Peter and after her stay in Tuscon, Dagmar would pick up Peter in North Carolina and return to Germany. Because of an overnight layover, we would meet Natalie and Kirt at the airport, help with the exchange, and take them back to our place for the night. All went as planned, except when Natalie and Krit went to the baggage carousel, Dagmar's large suitcase was there, but no Dagmar, no Peter. We spent the next hour (Kirt burdened with 2 heavy suitcases), trudging from terminal to terminal, looking for Dagmar (and Peter). Natalie was getting desperate so we decided the only possibility of making a connection would be to go to the Tucson boarding gate but Dagmar wasn't there. They were about to close the gate when a very large airport security guard appeared, leading a dazed older woman with a cat carrier and there was time for only a few words and the exchange of Peter for the suitcases. Back in Cincinnati, Natalie and Lucy had a delightful conversation in German/English and I called my cousin Phyllis in Tucson, told her to meet a very confused older woman, with a serious case of jet lag, arriving on a flight from Cincinnati. Natalie's mother later said she was astonished when a woman was waiting at the airport with a sign reading "DAGMAR MAMLEEW" (Dagmar was fluent in English, German, French and Russian, lived in Paris and London, but somehow had neglected to arrange accommodations in Tucson). Phyllis found Dagmar a place to stay but the stress of travel and new surroundings were too much for Peter the Cat so in spite of Natalie's loving care, Peter died in North Carolina, never to return to Germany.
            Midwestern Adventures: On August 23, Laura, Lucy and I left for a weeklong journey with the first top, St. Louis. We had a room at a motel and some of my Runge cousins met us there, where we would continue on to a Runge mini-reunion at a St. Louis restaurant, but Lucy had disappeared. Cousin Eleanor said there was a nearby mall where we would undoubtedly find Lucy (Eleanor was right). The mini-reunion was great as it included first cousins Clem, Eleanor and Carl, as well as Clem's 3 sons, Richard, Don and Jeff (and wives) and Carl's son, Mark (and wife). Our next stop was St. Charles, where we walked the historic old downtown (now very touristy) and then had dinner with a German classmate of Lucy and her host family. Next morning, we drove west on I-70 with a stop in Fulton where in 1946 Winston Churchill made his famous "Iron Curtain" speech, and where we saw a statue of Churchill, a relocated and restored 12th century London church, and part of Berlin Wall. After many hours of driving, crossed from Missouri into Kansas and down to Chanute (many Europeans have no concept of the vastness of the Western Plains so Lucy was getting carsick). In Chanute, we stayed with Conrad and Judy where one day we went to the farm (Judy's homestead) still operated by Judy's brother and saw the enormous towering machine with a glass enclosed control cabin at the top, used to harvest the many acres of corn, and back in Chanute visited the Safari Museum (much of the credit for the success of this small private museum in Southeast Kansas belongs to Conrad, his hard work and insight). Early one morning we headed north (a 2 car convey as Conrad and Judy came along for this part of the journey) through Kansas City, visited the Pony Express Museum in St. Joseph, crossed the river into Nebraska, had dinner at a Persian restaurant in old downtown Omaha, then across the Missouri River again, into Western Iowa with winding roads, hills, fields of corn, "God's Country". In Charter Oak, we stopped to see Agnes and Hans Schau (Agnes, one of the few remaining of my mother's cousins, and looked at old family photos), had hoped to see Irma Fiene one more time (another of Mother's cousins) but she had died recently at a rest home in nearby Mapleton.
            Hanover church (St. Paul's): A few miles northeast of Charter Oak, Grandfather's church, the large adjacent parsonage where Mother lived until her marriage, the church on "Hanover Hill," white and with a high single steeple which could be seen for miles against the empty sky and all around were the rolling clay hills and distant ridges of Western Iowa, treeless, faraway and beyond, memories of festivals on the church lawn, ladies in aprons, platters of food, rows of tables, tablecloths, farmers with red sunburned faces and white foreheads. Lucy read epitaphs on old graveyard stones, saying "People don't speak like that anymore". Perhaps not in Bavaria, but these were North Germans (Lucy and I did have our arguments over word pronunciations, "I may be from Bavaria, but I can also speak proper German"). We went into the church where Laura played a few old hymns on the pipe organ, and in a small storage room off the balcony, there is graffiti in large letters, dated 1906, "A. Runge" and "E. Runge". We spent the night in Denison (county seat of Crawford County), saw Uncle Martin's old house, at this point Conrad and Judy left us for return to Chanute (many memories of Charter Oak, Hanover and Denison, perhaps seeing it all for the last time).
            Iowa City, a very different part of Iowa where we stayed in the same motel as Dick Runge and Brownie (their house, badly damaged by a falling tree in a storm, was undergoing major remodeling), German food and browsing at the nearby Amana Colonies, dinner that evening in Iowa City (joined by daughter Christina Runge with Lucy sent off to a teen party). Brownsburg, Indiana, final stop on this epic journey where we visited Bill and Dagmar Schilke and their son David, and finally back on the road to Cincinnati.
            Lucy was enrolled in SCPA, the vocal arts program, but not a serious student (she and Paula were often at the Ludlow business district, where the college boys hung out). She developed an interest in a fellow student, but he lived in a distant part of town where a nearby family there was also involved in the same foreign student program and they had space for another student, so Lucy asked to be moved (told the program supervisor that she was not happy living with us). Early October Lucy was gone (her grandmother wrote from Germany apologizing for Lucy's behavior) and Laura said "No more German girls," (Lucy did give us tickets to a November SCPA performance of "Music Man" in which she had a singing part).
            With the Lucy episode past, we were back to our fall routine, including rehearsals with the MLK choral, trips to Michigan and Chicago, dinner with the Schilke's in Brownsburg and with Ed and Anne in Mariemont, and symphony concerts. Dimitri was back for his required World Piano Competition performance and in November Laura went to Toronto for several days for an early childhood education conference. We went to a Thanksgiving party at Jeff Brandt's house on an Over-the-Rhine hillside, where the remodeling and restoration of the upper floors was nearly complete.
            December: the usual pre-Christmas activities, brunch at Mellot's, party at Schuberts and Christmas Eve at our house. Christmas dinner with the Brandt's at our house and then we were off to Florida. We stopped in Macon, Georgia on the way (I remember walking an old neighborhood on a cool late December evening), toured an antebellum mansion the next morning, saw the "Cannonball House" (a cannonball embedded in an outside well, a salute from General Sherman's army as they passed by in 1864 on their march to the sea). In Florida we stayed with Laura's mother in Zephyr Hills, took a trip to Florida Southern College (Lakeland) to see the Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, up to Dade City one evening with Laura's mother and her Aunt Kate to see the Christmas lights (at the Sleepy Hollow mobile home park, many folks remove their decorations the day after Christmas), and spent a quiet New Year's Eve at Sleepy Hollow (a few sounds of distant revelry) where midnight is past bedtime for most of these folks.
            1999: Last year of the 20th century. When I was younger (much younger) I have little thought of that faraway time but now, someone born, say in 2010, will give little thought to another faraway time, the previous century, especially the last year of that ancient past. Now it's January 1st of a new year, where we were in Zephyrhills, Florida and Laura's mother made a New Year's dinner, Aunt Kate was here and we played a game of Scrabble. Thus, began the last year of the 20th century.
            Back in Cincinnati, beginning the mid-winter routine including rehearsals with the Martin Luther King Choral and a concert at Music Hall, Symphony concerts at Music Hall and Keyboard Club Sundays. We did go to Ed and Anne Daly's in Mariemont for dinner and Pastor Johnson had a Super Bowl party at his place in Northern Kentucky. In February, we bought new covers for the Knoll "Betoria" chairs (the old covers were starting to disintegrate) and in March we did the 10K Heartwalk.
            April: Another trip to Florida, not to be missed, it was for the 80th birthday of Laura's mother (at the time, 80 seemed to be really old). On the way down, we stopped at Andersonville Prison National Historic Site, a notorious Civil War prisoner of war camp where some 13,000 Union captives died of disease, privation and starvation. The stockade has been partially rebuilt, enclosing what was once just bare ground with no shelters of any kind, and we visited the cemetery where soldiers were buried by State, where, surprisingly, the largest number, by far, were from Tennessee, a reminder that east Tennessee, for the most part, remained loyal to the union. We had a grand birthday party at the Sleepy Hollow mobile home park in Zephyrhills. Dave and Sue, with Jamie and Dan, were there from Michigan. Aunt Kate from just across the road, Kate's granddaughter, Karin Lloyd (Laura's second cousin) who lived in Zephyrhills, Jess and Hilda Weaver (old friends from Michigan who had a winter home in Zephyrhills), plus several older ladies from the park. We also went out for a birthday dinner at a restaurant in Lakeland. On the way home, we stopped for gas in southern Georgia where we noticed a lot of people gathered at a TV in the gas station (it was April 20, 1999, the day of the Columbine High School massacre) and also on the way back we took a side trip to Rome, Georgia as Laura wanted to see the Martha Berry Museum, her home and the College gardens (Martha Berry began teaching children in a one-room log cabin in the late 1800s and the school eventually developed into Berry College).
            May: The warm weather season begins and we went to Michigan for Jamie Goodell's high school graduation, Bill Schilke and Dagmar were here for a May Festival weekend, next weekend Tex Zimmel's wedding (probably last time to see many of the old Pavilion gang) and then the first weekend in June Laura and I had an open house party to celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary. There were many guests from the 1984 event (Bob and Charlotte Hullinger - he was the pastor who married us, Conrad and Judy - Conrad was an usher, George and Karen Nielsen, Rob and Jan Pipes, Erich and Melinda Zwertschek, Larry and Sarah Pockrass, Bill and Teri Wilson) plus many new friends which made it a truly great anniversary celebration. Conrad and Judy were here the next weekend so we went to the ballpark for a Red's game, and the following Saturday Laura and I went to one of our favorite operas, Mozart's Don Giovanni. At this time, there was also an unfortunate happening as after an internal dispute, Laura was no longer employed at the university of Cincinnati Arlitt Center. At the end of June, we were at the Ravinia Festival Chicago to see Timora which I wrote about this in my Chicago memoir.
            July: World Piano Competition time: Kensi Yamaguchi arrived on July 8 and although he considered himself Japanese, he had studied in Berlin for many years. The following Saturday we had a backyard picnic with Ed and Anne Daly, their kids and Kensi where I told Kensi I had trouble distinguishing between people who were Japanese, Chinese and Korean whereas Kensi scoffed "Of course I can tell the difference". Later, as we were driving past the campus, we saw a female Asian student, dressed in typical American coed fashion and I asked Kensi "Is she Japanese, Chinese or Korean?". Kensi paused, then thoughtfully answered "With young girls it's hard to tell.". One of the judges for the young competitors group was Japanese, Keiko Alexander (she was married to an American) so she invited us, Kensi, and a Japanese man who was a judge for the primary competition, to her home for a traditional Japanese dinner - the Japanese gentleman was very formal (we noticed that he and Keiko never made eye contact) - the meal was delicious, with many courses of Japanese food (the Japanese judge, noticing that Keiko's piano was piled with music scores, said that this was not a proper way to treat a musical instrument). Kensi said that the judge spoke a very strange Japanese and we found out later that he had been working in Berlin for many years and that all his competition notes were written in German. After dinner, we all went to a concert at Riverbend where it was a hot, humid night but the Japanese judge kept his dark wool suit on the whole time.
            The next morning, we dashed up to Columbus for the wedding of Michelle Murdock and Randy Clark (they met while students at the University of Dayton). Michelle is a tiny girl and Randy is a big guy, so they made an interesting couple. The reception was at a downtown hotel, and all the Murdocks were there (parents John and Karen, plus William and Michael), Dave and Sue Goodell, Jamie and Dan from Michigan, so it was sort of a family reunion (Laura and I were seated at a table with Carl Karen's brother, and Sharon Holstein, as remote as possible from Karen as Karen and Carl were not on speaking terms). We had to be back in Cincinnati on Monday to see Kensi Yamaguchi off. Kensi had won a small prize so wanted to go to California as he heard there were many "real" Japanese speakers there but I told him he didn't have enough money for a round trip to the West Coast, so he opted for a quick weekend in Chicago (while we were in Columbus). Unfortunately he encountered no Japanese speakers (the clerk at one shop, Kensi chagrined "I know he was Japanese, but he would speak to me only in English.") so a disappointed Mr. Yamaguchi returned to Berlin. End of July Jose and Tammy Quishpe had a high school graduation party for daughter Amanda and she had a University of Dayton scholarship.
            August: A big event for me (Laura was a quiet observer), as it was the 50th reunion of the Sioux City East High School Class of 1949, which was actually a double reunion, the midyear class who graduated in January (my class) and the much larger June class. Because Laura had a job interview Friday morning August 6, a stop in Iowa City to visit Dick Runge and Brownie, and a monumental rainstorm in Western Iowa (the highway was shut down for more than an hour), we did not arrive in Sioux City until long after midnight (too late for the initial welcoming party). The affair was at the Hamilton Inn, a motel near downtown and first thing on the agenda Saturday morning was a visit to the alma mater, East High School in Morningside, an interesting and architecturally significant 1920's building (which, unfortunately, was torn down a few years later - asbestos problem). I began encountering old classmates and most of the guys I recognized, but the "girls" were middle aged ladies, who, I was certain, that I had never seen before (as Laura said "Jerry didn't recognize them, but they all knew Jerry"). Peters Park was starting to look a bit dilapidated and deserted but fortunately, my brother Ken and his new wife, Ann, were in town so they, Laura and I, together with Gordon and Audrey Henry (Gordon was in '49 June Class) went to lunch at a restaurant north of downtown. Ken and I visited the old house at 4016 4th Avenue which looked much the same and boyhood memories returned. I connected with several people I hadn't seen in 50 years who were mostly retired, some divorced and remarried, not many still in Sioux City, as Texas, Colorado and the West Coast seemed to be the choice for either career or retirement (I was the only person from "back east" in my class). A few of my classmates that went with me to the University of Iowa in '49 were there including Richard Koelling, Jerry Stone (still working part time as a geologist) and Karl Scheld (we joined a fraternity together our freshman year). I jokingly said the Karl that I was still working "as I hadn't yet accumulated a million dollars in my investment portfolio" and then Karl, who was with the Federal Reserve for many years, and then in academia, gave me a look as if to say why wouldn't one have a million dollars in investments? There was a banquet that evening with Bob Eidsmoe as the MC (Bob, '49 June Class, was one of the few who remained in Sioux City, becoming a successful lawyer). I had a conversation with Pat Pentony as it seems she and I were at Iowa State at the same time, she in married student housing, I at the fraternity (very different lives) and I also met briefly with Mary Lou Head remembering that we were in kindergarten class together at Washington School. The next morning it was all over as the East High School Class of 1949 had vanished with one lone soul, Jim Wanned ('49 June Class), still wandering the empty corridors.
            Laura and I toured the nearby Riverboat Museum and had lunch with Ken and Ann at a restaurant on lower 4th St (lower 4th was now a 'historic district' and the once grand vista of 4th Street, as it ran west from the Floyd River, through downtown, to where it turned at the base of Prospect Hill, was gone, interrupted by a 1980's hotel/shopping mall "urban renewal" project). That afternoon we went to the Sioux City Art Center, a new building near the river, an impressive cultural center for a small city and hat evening we had dinner at the Green Gables restaurant (a Sioux City establishment going back many years) with Ken, Ann, and Ann's parents, Roy and Helen Jorgensen from Vermillion, South Dakota (about 30 miles west of Sioux City), and then we all went to Grandview Park (another Sioux City icon) hoping there would be a concert at the Bandshell (not that Sunday evening).
            Next morning, Monday, August 9th, we began another epic journey, driving northeast to Minneapolis/St. Paul. I had driven this way many, many times over the years (1956-1966) so I knew every bend, crossroads and bridge, every town and hamlet in that part of northwest Iowa and southern Minnesota. Those were happy times (I'm not sure Marie enjoyed the long drive), for a while it seemed each year we went with a new baby.
            In Minnesota Laura and I took Interstates from Worthington to the Twin Cities (these Interstate highways didn't exist when I last made the journey) where we spent the night in St. Paul with Mark and Rhoda Schuler and as they bought a house on Marshall Avenue directly across from the Concordia University campus, Rhoda took us on a tour of the campus (Mark was on the faculty) showing us many new buildings which was quite a change from when Concordia was an all-male pre-seminary college. Next day we did a quick tour of the Twin Cities including the Delt House at 1717 University Avenue (where I spent two idyllic summers, '56 and '57), the University Weisman Art Museum (architect Frank Gehry), Como Park flower gardens, house a 1384 Raymond Avenue (memories, bright and dark). Last day in St. Paul we had lunch with Jerry Mundt (my old classmate from Iowa State) and his wife Diane, and then we were off to Wisconsin, where we stayed at the home of Mary and Don Mueller in Bonduel. One evening the Muellers hosted a mini Froehlich (Froelich/Frohlich) family reunion - my cousin Dolores and her husband Alvin Schroeder, her brother Keith Froelich and his wife Jeanette, and Lorenz Froelich's daughter, Connie Holewinski, so together with Laura and I, it was the largest gathering of this family in some time. On August 13, we began the next leg of our journey which was to Michigan but rather than taking the long drive around the Upper Peninsula we decided to take a car ferry from Manitowoc, Wisconsin, across Lake Michigan, to Ludington, Michigan. On the way, we stopped in Green Bay where I called another old classmate from Iowa State, Jim Schlueter (Jim was in the process of closing his office, soon to retire and he told me that Willy's wife, Lillian, had recently died, all depressing news, for had so many years gone by?). The day was sunny and the lake was calm when we loaded our car onto the ferry (S.S. Badger) at Manitowoc, but a short distance into the lake a storm began to brew and not just a passing storm, but a fierce gale, with torrents of rain, high winds and towering waves (even the regular lake commuters were uneasy) and Laura and I chose to stay on the top deck rather than venture into the crowded, seasick misery of the lower decks. The captain turned northeast, heading into the storm so as to lessen the roll and pitch of the ship, but unfortunately that put us far to the north of our destination, so as we neared the shore there was an abrupt turn to the south, the yaw of which was so great we thought the ship was about to capsize. When the ship reached Ludington in late afternoon the sun was out and the storm had passed.
            From Ludington, we drove about 130 miles northeast to Dave and Sue's cabin (in Michigan, folks go "up north" for vacations, weekends and holidays) where Laura's mother was there for the week. Dave had made several improvements, so the place was quite livable, and together with a large piece of land and woods, it was very isolated (which Dave and Sue loved) but I noticed that evenings when we sat in the yard, the distant sound of an approaching car would put an end to this solitude until the gravel road clatter faded away (and this was a frequent occurrence). One day we drove to nearby Lovells, Michigan, a hamlet where Sue's mother, Jean Chall, bought a log building which housed a shop selling an amazing array of lures and other fishing gear, and a collection of quality clothing, moccasins and jewelry (for the wives of the fisherman), and where she lived in an attached apartment. After a few days, we began the long trek south, the end of our multistate adventure, and by August 16 we were back in Cincinnati. A photo arrived by mail showing the East High School reunion group, but for the most part these people were strangers, unless it was someone who I saw occasionally, if I did have a memory, it was as that person was 50 years ago in Sioux City. I then realized, sadly, that all the young girls that attracted me through the years were now middle-aged women (some perhaps no longer living) for as the saying goes, "time is cruel and relentless."
            September: A month of change. After more than 33 years at A.M. Kinney I started a new job at KZF (more details in my work memoir), and Laura began as director of a Montesorri preschool/kindergarten in Kennedy Heights (a racially, culturally and economically mixed neighborhood in northern Cincinnati. George Nielsen arranged a dinner get-together with Hugo Rooman, Erich Zwertschek and myself at Nicolas, an up-scale Italian restaurant in Over-the-Rhine. We were longtime AMK compatriots (Hugo and Erich had retired, I had moved to KZF) but it was the last time the four of us would see each other together. Laura and I also did a quick weekend trip to Michigan to bring summer to close.
            Autumn was the start of another season and the usual activities including Keyboard, MLK chorale rehearsals, symphony concerts, etc., but a sad note - the Daly's (Ed, Anne and kids) were gone as Ed had taken a position at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. There were parties at Wayne Meyer's house in Clifton, Hans Liebenau's birthday at Grace Lutheran in Westwood, and another at Jeff Brandt's house high above Over-the-Rhine. An Israeli clarinet player, Adi Zekcher, came to Cincinnati to audition for an open position at the Symphony and he stayed with us for several days but the sound of clarinet practicing can be grating after awhile. Adi did not make it into the Symphony Competition for this orchestra can be fierce with 80 clarinet players vying for this position). Chuck and Chyrl Brandt were here for Thanksgiving dinner.
            Christmas season: We did the usual tree and decorations in front room even though we would be away for much of the season. Christmas dinner at the West Side home of Charlie and Caroline Fehr, with Charlie's Aunt, sister of his late mother. Charlie and his mother had lived in this house for many years, so most of the furnishings, the artificial tree, the Christmas decorations were all from that time which was a bit stifling somehow. On Monday, December 27, we began our final journey of the 20th Century, first to Charlotte, NC, to see John and Karen Murdock, then down to Wilmington, NC, to visit Kirt and Natalie Hutchinson (Natalie was obsessed with their dog "Toby"), and where Kirt had bought a large oil painting (probably painted in the early 1900s), a strange and somewhat disturbing depiction of a Middle Eastern caravan. On the evening of December 29, Laura and I arrived at the Sleepy Hollow mobile home park in Zephyrhills where nothing much changed and as it was a few days after Christmas, many of the Christmas decorations (plastic and foam Santas, reindeer, artificial trees with artificial snow, garish lights) had already been taken down, as that seemed to be the custom for many of these "snowbirds" (the decorations would go up immediately after Thanksgiving), but it was pleasant to be back in the familiar surroundings of Laura's mother's place. There was much anxiety (promoted especially on TV news programs) about what might happen with the change from the 20th to the 21st century because of all the computer and electronic systems so there were warnings not to be on elevators, airplanes, or public transportation at the stroke of midnight. Michael Murdock stopped by with a friend who was on his way to New Year's celebrations in Miami, and wanted to be certain that he would be on a flight at midnight (he was sure that there would be some sort of special happening). Laura's mother had a New Year's Eve party, only a small group consisting of Aunt Kate, Jess and Hilda Weaver. It was just another quiet New Year's Eve in Zephyrhills, the end of the 20th century (no catastrophes on land, sea or air).

LAST HURRAH

            I started working at KZF Design (originally Kral, Zepf and Freitag) on September 7, 1999, where their offices were on the top floors of the Baldwin Building on Gilbert Avenue just west of Eden park (at one time, before it was remodeled into an office building, the Baldwin Building was the manufacturing home for Baldwin Pianos, premier keyboard instruments, now virtually extinct). The view looking south was spectacular (overlooking the downtown to the distant hills of Kentucky) and I had the good fortune of getting a desk near the south facing windows. In addition to Bill Wilson, who was primarily responsible for my move to KZF, there were other former colleagues from AMK including Wayne Wheeler, Bob Schmitz, Steve Campbell and Chester Lewis. There were about 25 in the architectural group and one of the architects, Dan Groene (also a fellow Lutheran) had a young son just enrolled in the Kennedy Heights Montessori Center, where Laura had taken a job as the new director.
            After a brief orientation period, I was asked to work at the Northern Kentucky office. KZF had opened a new office in Covington (just across the river and near Mainstrasse, a 20 minute drive from Clifton) politically required to get a large Federal prison project in Eastern Kentucky (the"Big Sandy" prison) where they desperately needed help with architectural detailing, specifications, hardware schedules and various other mundane tasks. The project was under construction and every few weeks another phase of the work had to be issued for bidding, and one week, on an overcast winter day, I followed Duane Singleton, the KZF construction supervisor, on a wild drive to Big Sandy prison for an inspection of the work. Generally, I was at the Kentucky office 4 days each week and back at the Cincinnati office on Fridays (late afternoons in winter I remember great flocks of ravens coming into the warmth of the city from the countryside, roosting in the trees of Eden Park, an unforgettable sight). The culture at KZF was much more informal than at AMK, a bit raucous at times, much like the early days at Hammel and Green in St. Paul. Laura and I went to the KZF Christmas party and at that time the "social chairman" was a lady obsessed with gambling so she hired a firm who set up a complete gambling hall with a roulette wheel, black jack tables, etc. (fake money but real prizes). It was quite an experience.
            I became friends with George Kral when I found out he was originally from central Nebraska, actually not far from Sioux City. George was in his 80's but still came to the office very day (Zepf was dead, Bill Freitag had been ousted in some sort of internal power struggle although I knew Freitag through the AIA). I asked George how he happened to be in Cincinnati which is a long way from the Nebraska prairie and he told me his story. His parents were Czech immigrants with a struggling farm and little money (this was during the 1930's Great Depression) and the small high school George attended had a scholarship to the University of Nebraska, awarded to the top student of each senior class. George was a good student, but there was one boy who ranked higher and thus received the scholarship so George was certain that he would have no chance of going on to college. The school principal, a kindly man, knew how disappointed George was, called him into his office, and told him there was a college that had a co-op program where one could work part-time, earning enough money for part-time classes, tuition, and expenses. That college was in Cincinnati, Ohio.
            By the summer of 2000, I was back in the Cincinnati office (Baldwin Building) working on various projects including major renovations at the Cincinnati Art Museum, new dormitories at the University, a major project at the University campus consisting of a student recreation center with basketball/volleyball courts, running track, swimming pools and exercise rooms, plus classrooms, a dormitory, cafeteria and a new seating section at the north end of the football stadium, and a major renovation of the Covington Basilica( a controversial project because of the altar relocation) where I was involved during most of 2000 through 2001. The Covington Basilica is a huge structure, modelled after the Reims Cathedral (except the towers were never built to full height), with 3 pipe organs and the largest stained glass window in North America (north transept), built in the early 1900's by a newly appointed Irish archbishop who could not abide the existing cathedral, Mutter Gotteskirche, built in German Baroque style, late 1800's, by the largely German Catholic population of Covington (my great-grandmother, Kathrina Bezler, worked as a housemaid for a short time in Covington, but left as there were so few German Lutherans); exterior stone work was cleaned and repainted, flashings replaced, roof repaired, stained glass windows cleaned and repaired (exterior and interior), elaborate wood screen (probably from 1920's) removed from chancel, wood confessionals removed, toilet rooms enlarged to accommodate the crowds of tourists, and a large baptismal pool added at the entrance.
            A retirement party was held for Wayne Wheeler in April, 2000 (another old friend fading away). A group of us would take noontime walks through Eden Park and Mount Adams (mostly from the architectural and civil/structural group as the mechanical and electrical types preferred staying in the office to play video games). We also formed a "dive club" in which on Wednesday noon we would go out to a "dive' (of which there were many in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky) for lunch. Mike Smith (architectural spec writer) had a classic description of a "dive": A group goes into a small restaurant, sitting at a table and when the server comes to take orders, one of group asks if he could have his water in a clean glass so the server returns with a tray of glasses and says "O.K., which one of you guys asked for a clean glass?". "That," Mike said "is a dive". There were 6 or 3 of us in the "dive club" (the females had soon dropped out, saying that the women's restrooms in most dives were "gross").
            KZF had another large Federal prison project in Hazelton, West Virginia (Robert Byrd, a powerful member of the Senate from West Virginia, steered many Federal projects to his home state). Hazelton was a small settlement in a far northeast corner of West Virginia, only a few miles from the Maryland border and the top of a mountain had to be removed to create a site for the prison. Duane Singleton was the designated construction supervisor, but because he was still involved in completing the Big Sandy prison, and because I had worked on the Big Sandy project (which was very similar to Hazelton), I was asked to temporarily take over as construction supervisor at Hazelton. This was in January of 2002. I soon had established a routine, leaving very early on a Monday morning, driving up I-71 to south of Columbus, picking up I-70 east across Ohio through Wheeling, West Virginia into Pennsylvania, south on I-79 to Morgantown, West Virginia, then east on I-68, arriving at the site shortly after noon and retracing the same route, I would leave Thursday afternoon, and be back in Cincinnati that night so as to be in the office on Fridays. The first few weeks I stayed in a motel in Morgantown until Duane found an apartment in Morgantown (tiny Hazelton had no motels). A construction management firm from Pittsburg was in overall charge of construction and they pushed a rigorous schedule, keeping me very busy. I usually brought in something for a quick lunch but occasionally I would join the group for a noon meal at the only restaurant in the area, a noisy little place serving mostly construction workers and truckers but the menu was limited, usually an open-faced sandwich, consisting of 2 slices of white bread, topped with pork or beef, a mound of mashed potatoes, all covered with a generous ladling of hot gravy (light color for the pork, dark for the beef). It was fast, cheap and filling. The construction managers had erected a village of temporary buildings, housing offices for the various contractors, consultants and supervisors (my office was in one of those buildings) and it was a twisting, bumpy ride further up the mountain to the construction site (4-whieel drive vehicles required). The prison itself was huge with a dining hall, food storage and prep areas, gymnasium, chapel, workshops, library, common rooms, hundreds of individual cells, and a separate high security wing for dangerous inmates. A few things I learned about Federal prison practices, such as guards in direct contact with inmates are never armed, and every few months, guards are moved to other areas of the prison (or to other prisons) as the guards, who generally are not mental giants, would soon be manipulated by some of the cleverer inmates. By the end of April, I was back full-time in Cincinnati, working on various projects and doing building code compliance reviews for other projects, one of them being the Taft Museum for which KZF did the new parking garage and all the structural, mechanical and electrical work for the new addition and renovation (Ann Beha, Boston was the design architect) and for which I did the code and building permit work. Another project was the Contemporary Art Center with Zaha Hadid as the building designer, KZF was the architect of recordand for which I was involved in drawing prep, code and permit work. 2 architects from Zaha's London office (both Americans) came to Cincinnati as part of the shared work agreement (they dressed completely in black per the dress code of the London office) and every few weeks a senior architect would come from London to oversee progress. He was Iranian (dressed in black of course) and always after arrival spent the first hour on the phone, speaking in rapid German (in a loud high-pitched voice) which I thought was rather odd as Zaha's office was in London. One of his colleagues explained that he was speaking to his mother in Berlin. Another project was the Lawrenceburg, Indiana fire station, which, with the advent of casino gambling in this small city, money started flowing in, the city fathers decided to spend some of it on a new fire station and as designed by KZF, the new station had a second level which had only mechanical equipment spaces and an exercise room for use by the firefighters. This level was accessible by stair but also had a fire pole down to the engine bay. All building permits in the State of Indiana must be approved and issued by the State Building Department in Indianapolis and they ruled that fire poles not only were not in compliance with the building code but that fire poles were inherently dangerous. I presented our design to the State Fire Marshall who stated that all fire stations must have a fire pole, regardless of whether or not they had a practical function and on December 3, 2002, I had to appear before the Building Department in Indianapolis to request a variance (exemption) to the language of the code. The variance was approved and we got the permit.
            By early 2003 the work load at KZF was in steep decline but I kept busy writing a new code manual for the office and going out with Jon Bennett (head of the KZF design/build outreach) to give code seminars at various contractor and developer offices until finally, in March, I was "farmed out" to Jacobs Engineering in Forest Park. Jacobs had a large pharmaceutical project for Abbot in Puerto Rico and a very tight schedule so they desperately needed someone to adapt the Abbot drawing and spec standards to this project and to write new spec sections for which there were no Abbot standards. Some background: In the 1980s a group from AMK (John Hermann, Gary Gentzler, Roy McGuire, Vera Schnabel, and others) broke away to found a new A-E firm which they named Camargo. This firm was very successful, and in the late 1990's Camargo was purchased by Jacobs, a large, national A-E firm (none of the original Camargo founders were still at Jacobs) and a number of AMK people had moved to Camargo/Jacobs over the years, among them George Brabender, now a project manager, and recently returned from Ireland. I ran into him one day, noticed he was much older, graying hair, but still with the same mischievous grin. "George," I said jokingly, "I thought you were dead" whereupon he replied "Somethings are worse than death" (he said he was thinking of retiring soon). Also, working temporarily at Jacobs, there was Peter Refuse, never robust, now a gaunt figure, often standing alone outside, smoking (smoking was not allowed in the building). At the end of June, I had finished my work at Jacobs and was back at KZF where work was still very slow, there was major downsizing and I had little to do. July 18, 2003, I retired and this was my last day at KZF.
            Sue Shinkle, who worked mostly with architectural specifications at KZF, and a victim of the downsizing, decided to start a restaurant in Georgetown, Ohio, where her mother lived (Georgetown, the county seat of Brown County, is nearly 20 miles from downtown Cincinnati). Sue, a very ambitious young woman, bought an old building in the center of town and started doing much of the renovation work by herself, but she needed a building permit, and with that, a set of drawings. In September 2003, I helped her put together the required drawings, including a site plan and constructions details, and we met with the Brown County Building Commissioner to get the necessary permits. Sue had no money to pay me for my work, but promised a full dinner, with drinks and dessert, for Laura and me, at her new restaurant, which she named "The Alley Cat Café". We never made it to Georgetown, and sadly, that small city apparently wasn't ready for an upscale restaurant and bar, so Sue had to close the place in 2008, sell the building and auction off all the furnishings and equipment.
            Dick Hird, formerly the structural spec writer at AMK and who now had his own consulting business, called several times to persuade me to join an AMK alumni group which would meet for breakfast the first Monday of every month at the Bob Evans restaurant on Montgomery Road in Kenwood so finally, on December 1, 2003, I went to my first gathering of this group which I called "the Old Guys Breakfast", (originally there were 15 or 16 regular attendees). Chris Shekro would call me without fail on the Saturday before each meeting as a reminder (Chris had been an electrical engineer at AMK and after retiring had set up an office in his basement, complete with drafting board, catalogues and electrical manuals and during the breakfasts his conversation inevitably turned to past electrical engineering projects). Chris grew up in Over-the-Rhine in the 1930s when it was a white, working class neighborhood and where his parents were Macedonian Slav emigrants who hated and feared Muslims. The language of his parents was virtually unknown in Cincinnati so Chris was astonished when he heard two girls at the Coney Island swimming pool conversing in Macedonian Slav (one of these girls became his wife). Several of the "old guys" were veterans of WWII and one of the most interesting was Doug Beers, a process engineer at AMK, who grew up in Maine/New Hampshire, where his widowed mother remarried and Doug's stepfather sent Doug to Iowa State in Ames, Iowa, as that was his stepfather's college (quite a change for someone who had never left New England). This was in the late 1930s and the compulsory ROTC artillery unit still had horse drawn French 75's of WWI vintage, one horse team pulling the gun, another the caisson with each team having 2 riders and Doug was one of these riders. During WWII Doug was in an armored engineering unit ("we cleared mine fields, blew up obstacles and repaired bridges, sometimes under fire"). After the war in Europe he was stationed in a small German city on the River Main, preparing for landings on Kyushu, which thanks to Hiroshima/Nagasaki never happened. After the war Doug married a Midwestern woman from a prominent family who were major donors for the carillon bells at the Iowa State campanile and each summer the family would gather for a meeting at the campanile. Joe Matthews, a retired accountant, was a regular, usually the first one there (I was usually one of the last ones to arrive), lived downtown so as to never miss a game of his beloved Reds. Glen Caldwell, a retired mechanical engineer, was a good old farm boy from Kansas and by tradition always told a joke at the end of each meeting. Bob Wier who even after the onset of dementia never tired of telling about his days as head of the mechanical department at AMK (he died March, 2010). I would pick up Erich Zwertschek at his retirement home (Scarlet Oaks in Clifton, Erich died January 2010, "Ich hatte ein kamerad"). Sam Fang, process engineer, never missed a meeting until he got very old was born in China but family was Christian so had to flee in '49 with the communist takeover (Sam died in 2013). George Brabender and Gary Gentzler were frequent attendees. Dick Hird's eyesight was failing so he could no longer drive and Chris Shekro called me in 2013 saying he was having a problem walking and likely would no longer be coming. The group gradually dwindled until there were usually only 5 or 6. Finally in May of 2014, Doug Beers and I were the only ones present and then in June and July I was alone (Barbara, who had been our waitress for many years, said "Where are all your guys?"). I was not going to be the last man of a "last man club", so July 2014 was the end of the "old guy" breakfasts for me.
            In early October 2006, I was putting in storm windows on the west side of the house when Dave Stoll, who was still at AMK, came walking up, asking if I was interested in doing some consulting work. AMK had a joint project with Process Plus, a firm in Forest Park, to do a pharmaceutical production plan for a building being renovated and they needed someone with pharmaceutical experience to do a preliminary design and cost estimate. I thought, why not, so I spent most of October at the office of Process Plus where not surprisingly I encountered several former AMK people.
            Early 2009, I got a call from Jim Bartley, managing director of AMK, saying they had a major project with the Veteran's Administration for reroofing several buildings at their hospital/rehab facility in Dayton, Ohio. It was an immense project and AMK desperately needed someone with roofing experience for design and detailing work and specifications. On February 12, 2009, I signed an agreement to work with AMK as an independent contractor so it was "old home week" when I returned to AMK with George Nielsen as head of the architectural group (but spent most of his time in Lexington on a construction management project), Dave Stoll, ever loyal and now a senior project architect (Dave lived alone, restoring an 1813 farmhouse in rural Southeast Indiana), Larry Humpert, architect/project manager, had left AMK to start his own firm in Northern Kentucky, now back at AMK, John Schickner, now head of the small mechanical department (John and I had worked together on many, many projects), John Gravelle, an unflappable cost estimator, also responsible for organizing specifications (Laura and I took care of his cat "Pita" many years ago), and a most pleasant surprise, Bob Preslar, recently retired from G.E., back in the U.S. and hired by AMK as project manager for the V.A. project (Bob and I worked and traveled together many times over the years). I began work immediately, many trips up to Dayton to familiarize myself with the project. Some buildings were very large, others quite small, some only 10 years old, others 70 or 80 years old, some with flat built-up roofs over concrete, others with shingles over steeply pitched wooden structures. Some roofs were covered with mechanical equipment (which could not be moved or shut down) and there were sky lights, vents and chimneys. All roofing and insulation had to be removed and replaced, flat roofs properly sloped, roof drains added, relocated or removed, nearly all flashings replaced, and roof drainage brought into compliance with modern codes so this work kept me busy for many months. One Monday morning when I came in there was a somber air about the place and several of the women were in tears as it had just been announced that John Gravelle had died of a heart attack that weekend (he was only in his 50's). By late 2009, most of the roofing project was finished and I thought I was finished, but not yet as something completely new and different came up. AMK was selected for another project for the V.A. in Dayton, consisting of interior renovations for several areas of their main hospital building so once again I was attending client meetings, developing details and writing specifications, but it was much more enjoyable work (no more trudging through snow and freezing rain), selecting carpets, laminated and wall coverings, plus coordinating colors and materials. This work went on for several months, until early spring this project also came to an end so April 13, 2010 was my final day at AMK.
            It had been nearly 54 years from my Iowa State graduation with an architectural degree. 54 years of uninterrupted work in the profession (except for vacations and a few sick days) so it was probably a good run. I should mention that at first I missed going to work as it was just a short city bus ride from Clifton to downtown, and working downtown (I started my career in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota) is what I really missed, especially long walks on the city sidewalks during lunch breaks. That last day I packed my briefcase and took a city bus up the hill to Clifton which was the final goodbye to a long career.
            Postscript: Hammel, Green and Abrahamson moved to downtown Minneapolis, changed the name to HGA, and became a national architectural sensation, KZF in 2011 moved from the Baldwin Building to a well-designed building renovation in downtown Cincinnati and managed to survive the devastating 2010-2013 downturn in architectural work. AMK continued to decline and by 2014, the firm's architectural group ceased to exist.

TWENTY FIRST CENTURY

            Originally, I intended to end this memoir December 31, 1999, but as I thought about it, much happened in the following years (although earlier I wrote about my architectural career and, separately, Chicago happenings which extended well into the 21st century). I've also taken quite a hiatus in memoir writing (it is now the Spring of 2015) so getting back to the year 2000 is a challenge.
            Laura and I have lived in this big old house for nearly 31 years (we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary last summer with an open house party) but now the days are getting longer so must begin readying house and yard for summer. Crocus along our front walk bloomed last week, so there were memories of the last time Marie and I were together at crocus time many years ago. Often, suddenly, find myself thinking about events and friends from long ago, such as college days, Minneapolis/St. Paul and especially boyhood days in Sioux City where I have a vivid memory of the Ruby house on Paxton in Cecelia Park (north edge of Morningside), Gordon Ruby, "Gordie" a close friend from church, his parents Carl and Ruth, sister Ruth Ann, Carl's practical jokes and soft mischievous laughter, and his basement carpentry shop, Gordie's photography hobby and darkroom, his mother's Norwegian pastries, and gemütlich dinner evenings. They are all gone now, and I'm probably the only one who remembers that house on Paxton (my brother Ken, was too young). So, enough nostalgia and back to year 2000.
            New Year's dinner with Laura's mother and Aunt Kate in Zephyr Hills. None of the horrific millennium events predicted by the doomsayers happened (planes falling from the sky, elevators speeding out of control, etc.). By January 4th we were back in Cincinnati, immersed in usual mid-winter activities including MLK Chorale rehearsals, Chorale performance at Music Hall on Martin Luther King Day, Keyboard Club, Symphony, and Pastor Johnson's Super Bowl party at his place in Northern Kentucky. Laura left her job at the Kennedy Heights/Montessori Center but was soon working at Cincilingua, a private school downtown specializing in teaching/improving spoken English for adult foreign students and immigrants. February 18, we were in Brownsburg for a busy weekend which meant dinner with Liisa and Hung on Friday, Indianapolis Symphony Saturday night, an after concert get together with Bill and Daagmar, Charles and Rosemary Rader, Sunday baptism at Messiah Lutheran Church for Jonathan, (Liisa and Hung's firstborn), followed by a luncheon at their home in Avon (we stayed with the Schilke's, Avon is just south of Brownsburg).
            Winter had ended so Laura and I decided it was time for another Paris trip. After the annual 10K Heartwalk (downtown Cincinnati) we were on our way, arriving in Paris March 29. Delta was still flying into Orly but by then we knew the bus lines to our Left Bank destination. Unfortunately, the familiar Hotel Sorbonne was booked for that period, but we found a room in a nearby area, Hotel de Bresil, top floor, no elevator (Sigmund Freud stayed here in 1885). A few days strolling and savoring this part of Paris (Boulevard Saint-Germain, St. Sulpice, Arc de Triumphe, Musee d'Orsay, Place de la Concorde, and, of course, Place de la Constrescapre). One day we decided to go out to Fountain bleau (southeast of Paris) to see the Chateau which meant a subway to Gare de Lyon, a train to the outskirts of Flontainbleau, and finally a bus through town and out to the Chateau. At some point a group of teenagers got on the bus (probably ages 14 or 15) who had a radio and were loudly acting up. We were not certain where to get off, saw a street sign that read "Chateau Boulevard" and got up to leave, when one of the teenagers, a boy, stood before us and announced in very correct English "This not the stop for the Chateau. The Chateau stop is much further". The Chateau stop was indeed much further so that young gentleman saved us a very long walk. The Chateau, originally a 12th century hunting lodge, was enlarged and rebuilt many times over the next centuries, with a magnificent gallery and ballroom, a favorite of Napoleon and Empress Josephine. Napoleon said a final farewell to his army (after Waterloo) from the entrance stairs (Cour des Adieux).
            Back in Paris that evening we went to a concert at Salle Pleyel (a major concert hall) - Music Hall in Cincinnati is a much more elegant space, I thought, and the Cincinnati Symphony was much superior to the Orchestre de Paris. Saturday, we were off to see our friends in Versailles, Claude and Jacqueline Barbazanges (subway to Gare St.-Lazare, train to Versailles, Gare St. Lazare not much changed from the Monet painting) for a wonderful visit and dinner in the beautiful Barbazanges apartment and Saturday evening a pipe organ concert at St. Eustache. Early Sunday morning I listened to Bach on a pipe organ coming from a nearly empty church near the Pantheon and later Laura and I strolled the Luxembourg Gardens which were in full bloom with spring flowers. Sunday afternoon we did a quick tour of the Louvre and finally spent a quiet evening on Ile de la Cite where Notre Dame sat in stately silence without the crowds of tourists, and the bird market was closing. Monday morning, we were off to the airport for a flight to Cincinnati.
            A curious happening at d'Orsay: An aside of our Paris trip occurred at the d'Orsay Museum which has a fine collection of paintings that Laura and I rarely missed. On this visit, we went to the restrooms at a lower level on the south end and the French, not being fastidious about such things, had no doors at these restrooms so one could easily look inside where the women's room, as usual, was crowded and with a long line. As I waited in the hall for Laura, an attractive young woman came down the stair, looked at the long line at the women's room, then walked into the men's room, standing just inside but with eyes averted as there were men at the urinals (the urinals were just out of sight, the stalls were further inside). I heard the men exclaim loudly (in English, possibly an Israeli accent) "Excuse me! This is a men's restroom! This is a restroom for men!" There was no response from the young woman and when our 3 heroes emerged from the restroom, she walked back to the stalls. As the men went up the stair I heard one of them say "Perhaps she was really a man who looked like a woman" so I've often wondered who these guys were and why they spoke English in that unusual accent.
            Spring and summer of 2000 were very busy with trips to Michigan, Laura to Columbus for a conference, met the French ambassador at a reception (he was in Cincinnati to promote additional Delta flights to Paris). Bill and Dagmar were here for May Festivals andas this was the summer of the "Big Pig Gig", there were hundreds of fiberglass pigs, decorated and reconfigured, throughout the downtown and environs beyond ("Swine Lake", a group of dancing pigs at the ballet theatre, "Andy Warhog" at the Art Museum, etc.). Laura put together a photo album of this porcine event (because of its hog industry history, Cincinnati at one time was known as "Porkopolis").
            Runge Cousins Reunion: Now scheduled biennially and in the year 2000 it was the Schilke's turn, in Brownsburg, Indiana, starting on a Friday night, June 2 at the Schilke home. Bill Schilke had built a new deck, complete with benches and tables, all in wood with a high gloss natural finish and Hung, Liisa's husband, had prepared a feast of traditional Vietnamese dishes (Liisa, while not technically a Runge, was Dagmar's niece and having lived with us in Cincinnati, was considered "family"). Saturday noon there was a picnic and Saturday night a barbecue, all on the Schilke deck and backyard where it was a bit chilly that night as it was early June. The Schilke clan was well represented including daughters Kaarin (New York) and JoAnn (California) with husbands, and son David (Indianapolis). There was a large contingent from St. Louis and Uncle Martini's 3 (Paula, Tina, and Dick) so I really must mention Nori Muster (Paula's daughter) who years ago worked in Cincinnati on the riverboat "Delta Queen", and Don Hassler (Paula's husband) always a warm and agreeable friend, interested in the lives of other folks. Conrad and Judy travelled all the way from Chanute and were at our house in Cincinnati the next week.
            Next weekend we were in Michigan for Dan Goodell's high school graduation party (combined with graduation party for Jason, Sue's nephew, son of Dennis, although Dave and Sue did most of the work). Dave rented a large tent and when the rock band "entertainment" ended we had a very pleasant afternoon and evening with many friends and relatives including William and Michael Murdock, Michelle and Randy, Laura's cousins Dick Bowmaster and Carl Holstein, and even her aunt Clara Pearsall.
            Visitors from France: In the summer of 2000 Cincinnati was hosting some sort of international textile event and at this time Laura was studying French at Alliance Francois, who had a school in Cincinnati. One of Laura's teachers, who knew that we had a large house, asked if we could house 3 people from France who very much wanted to attend and we agreed. Our guests arrived on June 21, a direct flight from Paris, a man and 2 ladies, Yvan Walford, Helen Ladoux, and Jacqueline Velard, all very much interested in weaving, but speaking almost no English (except Helene, who was somewhat conversant). We picked them up at a downtown hotel and generally transported them to various events mostly at the Convention Center downtown. There was an evening session but they assured me that they would return by taxi, which they did, arriving very late, laughing and excitedly telling me of their adventures, which I didn't completely understand but Laura (with her French comprehension) did get the full story the next morning. It seems our 3 visitors found a French speaking cab driver, but unfortunately he was a recent immigrant from French Africa, had just started driving a taxi, and was not at all familiar with Cincinnati and as there are many streets in the Cincinnati area which incorporate the word "Terrace," they had an interesting tour of the metropolitan area, until the poor fellow finally found his way to our Terrace Avenue (he did not charge them for these may late-night miles). One evening we took them to a restaurant in Mt. Adams and on an after dinner stroll we came upon a stretch limousine, which for our French friends this was a phenomenon never before seen. They were amazed, chatting with excitement and taking photos and the limousine driver (waiting for nearby clients) was gracious, fully opening the side doors allowing us to peer inside at the garish décor, couches and minibar. Laura's cousin, Fred Pearsall, came by for an overnight visit at this time.
            Early in July we had 3 people from Venezuela over for a cookout (Laura was working with them at her Cincilingua job) and because it was close to July 4th there were fireworks sounds all around, which puzzled our guests. I asked them how they celebrated independence in Venezuela? "Miliary parade" they replied, Mardi Gras? "Military parade", new year? "Military parade," other holidays? "Military parade". Needless to say, they were not fans of the then dictator Hugo Chavez.
            Busy time the rest of July: World Piano Competition pianist arrived July 11, whose name was Melanie Hadley, from St. Louis, the only American we've ever hosted which was her very first competition and she didn't make it beyond the opening round. Bill and Dagmar Schilke were here that weekend for an opera. Dagmar had become quite an opera aficionado, driving to New York often for the Met (staying with daughter Kaarin) so whenever Dagmar did a New York trip, Bill would compensate by buying a new tool for his wood shop. End of July we drove to Chicago where Laura went to some sort of early childhood education conference (see Chicago Memoir).
            Going West: Early August we had 2 wedding invitations, one in Seattle and the following week, one in St. Paul. We decided to do both so we flew into Seattle on August 11, rented a car and found a motel. Jack Towe's daughter, Karis (Nancy), was getting married to Jonathan (Ton, pronounced "Tahn") Cadey (Nancy/Karis and Ton both had jobs in Seattle) and as Nancy grew up in Cincinnati there was a definite Cincinnati connection. Nancy's siblings, David and Christie were there, as well as Chuck and Julie Schubert and their boys, Chad, Travis, and Ryan (and Jack of course). The wedding was at Calvary Lutheran Church and Ton's family were there from Minnesota. We spent some time exploring Seattle, mostly the old downtown (Pioneer Square, underground tour and the early high-rise towers), Puget Sound beach and the Aurora Bridge Troll. On an overcast morning, we decided to drive out to Mt. Rainier, taking a chance that the weather would clear (the Schuberts had driven out the week before, disheartened to find the mountain shrouded in clouds) and as we neared the mountain the skies suddenly cleared and we beheld a majestic sight. At Mt. Rainier, we hiked through fields of wild flowers up to the snow line where we encountered a group that looked familiar, and discovered that they were Minnesota people from the wedding. Other Seattle happenings: we met with Jim Kaska and Tom Swift, old friends from Gamma Pi/Delta Tau Delta, Iowa State (spoke by phone with Ted Marston, another good friend from Gamma Pi), toured the Pike Place Market (mounds of fish) and met with Marlin Huisinga, a colleague from years ago at AMK in Cincinnati, who gave us a tour in his BMW (Marlin had his own architectural practice, doing quite well specializing in retirement communities). On our last day, we decided to go up to Victoria, B.C. (by seas, on a high speed catamaran). It was a beautiful day, and we explored the historic old areas, lush gardens and downtown Victoria.
            August 17, flew from Seattle to Minneapolis/St. Paul, rented a car and found a motel. Liv, the middle daughter of Kathleen Prudence (Henson) and Mike Henson (another Cincinnati connection) was getting married to Aaron Arendt (Liv had a job in the Twin Cities, Aaron was from there). We had a pre-wedding brunch at home of Mark and Rhoda Schuler in St. Paul, directly across from Concordia University where Mark was on the faculty (remembering the happy times we spent with Rhoda and Mark when they were in Glidden, Iowa), then to Sculpture Garden in downtown Minneapolis. We went to an outdoor wedding that evening at the backyard of a home in St. Paul overlooking the river (a bit awkward as Kathleen and Mike were divorced and Mike's new wife was at wedding), followed by a reception at a nightclub in Minneapolis. Saturday morning did a quick tour of downtown St. Paul, then over to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts where we saw a wonderful tangle of glass (orange) from Venice by Chihuly hanging in the lobby (in a few years Cincinnati Art Museum would have a twin, blue, in their lobby). The Twin Cities and suburbs were a maze of freeways, hardly recognizable from my days there in the 1950's, so sadly for me the character of cities had changed. Saturday evening held a final get together with Rhoda and Margaret (Margie) McDonaugh (another Cincinnati wedding guest) at an ice cream parlor on Grand Avenue in St. Paul and Sunday morning a flight back to Cincinnati.
            Late summer: Time for a bit relaxation and "porch sitt'n", a KZF picnic at Coney Island and another trip to Michigan. September 10 our "daughter" Anna Vaiman returned to Cincinnati (this time for good we hoped). She arrived with her new husband, Leonid (Leony) Sirotkin (Gleb was long out of the picture). They had been in the Mariinsky Orchestra (St. Petersburg) for some time but the schedule was exhausting, pay was low and there seemed to be little future. Leony's brother (who was director of Metropolitan Opera Chorus in New York) persuaded him to apply for a PhD program (English horn) at CCM (College Conservatory of Music, University of Cincinnati) which Leony did, and he was accepted and Anna was able to enter the U.S. under Leony's visa. They arrived with little more than their luggage and moved into our third-floor bedroom. Anna promptly started at CCM as an adjunct teaching violin and once again the house was no longer empty. It was a warm and pleasant time.
            Fall 2000: The large sugar maple in our front yard turned a beautiful golden yellow, but sadly, had to get the yard ready for cold weather. As usual the busy season, however, was underway with Symphony concerts, Keyboard Club, MLK Chorale rehearsals, Halloween (pumpkin painting/trick or treat night) and another trip to Michigan. The big event was November 10, my 70th birthday (was I really getting that old?) and Laura wanted to have party (an event that happens only once in a lifetime, I suppose). There were many old friends, Chuck and Chyrl Brandt, Bill and Dagmar Shcilke, Erich and Melinda Zwertschek, Curt and Ginny Wilhelm, Jack Towe, and much food, with Anna and Laura providing violin/piano entertainment. Thanksgiving dinner was at our house with Chuck, Chryl and Jeff Brandt, Anna and Leony.
            December 2000: Winter is here! We went to the Indianaolis Symphony concert in downtown Indianapolis, Dagmar displayed her basket collection (she was into basket weaving at this time) and a stop to see Liisa and Hung before our return to Cincinnati and then to the KZF Christmas party at the Westin, Christmas brunch with the old Pavillion gang at Rich and Joyce Mellot's home and pre-Christmas dinner at our house for the Venezuelans (Laura's students from Cincilingua). Anna and Leony went back to St. Petersburg for 2 weeks and came back with Misha. Christmas day we went to Caroline and Charley's for dinner and on December 27 we all went downtown to show Misha the train display at the CG&E buildign and Christmas decorations in the Carew Arcade (these venues no longer exist) and then had a delayed Christmas Eve, opening presents with Anna, Leony, and Misha. On December 28, we left for Florida, to the Sleepy Hollow, the mobile home park in Zephyr Hills where Laura's mother always had dinner waiting for us when we arrived. We took a walk in the cool evening air to view the Christmas decorations (plastic snowmen, animated reindeer, etc.) and as we learned from previous visits, most would be gone the day after New Year's. We had a quiet New Year's Eve and Laura's Aunt Kate came over for a glass of wine.
            Year 2000 was busy with many activities and happy times but there was one sad happening as my dear cousin, Dick Schilke, died in November, not unexpectedly. I remember him not so much as the big jolly fellow in Yuma, or in a wheelchair at the 1998 Phoenix reunion, but back in boyhood days when we were covered with yellow dust from the claybank on West Fourth in Sioux City, or hiking to the War Eagle monument high above the river, or to Riverside Park (a fun house and roller coaster). This is the Dick Schilke I remember.
            Year 2001: The restful New Year's holiday was soon over and we left for the long drive home. There is a small town, Millville, north of Cincinnati on the road to Oxford (the road east goes into Hamilton, west into Indiana) and I went through this pleasant village many time when Marie and the kids were camping in Hueston Woods or later when Conrad and the girls were students at Miami University in Oxford and there was a sign as one entered the town, proudly proclaiming that Millville was the "Birthplace of Kennesaw Mountain Landis, first commissioner of major league baseball". The reference to "Kennesaw Mountain" puzzled me (I knew it was a major Civil War battle) so the father of Landis must have been in that battle. On our drive back to Cincinnati, I had to see the Kennesaw Mountain battlefield park in NW Georgia (Laura was not enthusiastic about this excursion) where in 1864 General Sherman's army was repulsed in a bloody assault on dug in Confederates at this mountain, but Sherman, with his battle - hardened Midwesterners, marched around the mountain and continually outflanked the Confederates, finally reaching Atlanta.
            Back in Cincinnati we were immediately busy with final rehearsals with the MLK choral (concert on MLK day in Music Hall). Laura started as director of the Pearslee preschool in Over-the-Rhine, Alla, Anna's mother, arrived from St. Petersburg on January 12, and we had another delayed Christmas dinner and gift exchange (I can't remember where we put Alla, but once again we had a houseful. We had a birthday party for Misha at "Chuck E Cheese's" (7 years old) and Misha started classes at Mercy Montessori (a small private school, as Anna had visited Cincinnati Public Schools and determined that this was not a place for serious learning). Alla and Anna give a piano/violin concert at the February Keyboard Club meeting, February 17 and on March 2, Laura was in Florida to visit her mother (flew out of Dayton, much lower cost than Cincinnati airport and rented a car at Tampa airport). We took a weekend trip to Michigan and end of March did the annual 10K Heartwalk.
            Laura was trying to bring some order to the chaos and haphazard environment at her new job at Peaslee. The building, relatively new, was once a Cincinnati Public School system elementary school, but it no longer had any connection with the Cincinnati Public Schools so the program was funded by various donations, and mothers of enrolled children paid nothing. The children ranged in age from infants to preschool and the staff, mostly neighborhood ladies and friends of the previous director, had little training in dealing with young children and little inclination to that end (their main interest was in socializing during an extended breakfast). Generally, Laura could not replace these women, but she did succeed in hiring a few people who actually had an interest in working with children (among then, Sunita, a lady from India and she and her husband became good friends over the years). The new hires caused considerable resentment (among the original staff) so it was a very trying environment for Laura.
            We took another trip to Michigan in early April, followed by Easter Sunday dinner at our house with Anna, Leony and Misha (Misha decorated Easter eggs for the occasion). We all went to the Zoo, Sunday at 6, and then Laura and I went to Michigan for Mother's Day as Laura's mother was back from Florida. The major event on May 14 was Leony's recital (English horn) at CCM accompanied by two of his Russian friends, Eugene Kaminsky and Eva Ostrovsky, and post recital reception at our house with the Russians, various CCM types and Henry Meyer. Bill and Dagmar Schilke were here the following weekend for a May Festival performance and on Memorial Day we went to a cookout at Brandts.
            Friday, June 1, 2001 we left for St. Louis with Chuck and Chryl Brandt (they did the driving) for the wedding of Nathan Hempel. The affair started with a Friday evening outdoor party and dinner at Aaron Hempel's (Nathan's brother) and the wedding was Saturday at Laclede Chapel (Laclede is a Lutheran retirement community, formerly a Roman Catholic convent, and Joel Hempel was the chaplain and Marsha had an administrative position, with facilities that ranged from independent living to total care, "God's waiting room" as designated by Joel). The chapel was magnificent, but the stained-glass windows all depicted important Roman Catholic church fathers and prelates from the St. Louis area. "Not very Lutheran" I noted to Joel so he led me to a side aisle in the back where there was a stained-glass window of Jesus Christ: "This", Joel said "makes it Lutheran". Joel officiated at the ceremony (the bride's name is Amy and she and Nathan had a baby daughter but the marriage was not long-lived). We had brunch on Sunday at Joel and Marsha's home in Webster Grove and another trip to Michigan in mid-June.
            World Piano Competition: Cuong Van arrived on July 2. Cuong Van was from Vietnam but currently studying piano at Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), and was accompanied by a female friend Dobbie Mun (Korean I think), also a pianist but not in the Competition so the house was filled with piano music, morning, noon and night. Cuong Van was a master pianist and he won Gold (first place) at the Competition, after which there was a dinner and ceremony on July 10 for the winners at the Westin Hotel which Laura and I attended this as well as several preliminaries at the Aronoff. Summer Opera series, several trips to Michigan and a KZF picnic rounded out the summer.
            In September Laura and I decided to take a brief vacation trip. First, we had a hearty lunch at Golden Lamb (built 1803) in Lebanon, Ohio, then to a bed-and-breakfast in historic Waynesville (now mostly souvenir and antique shops, Wanesville is known for its annual Sauerkraut Festival in the Fall). At first we thought that we were the only guests at our bed-and-breakfast, Hammel House (built in the early 1800s), but in late afternoon two ladies arrived on bicycles (they had biked all day from the Cincinnati area) and after dinner they were ready to party and invited us to a late-night card game, but after a busy day in the Waynesville shops we were bushed and so declined the invitation (besides, it was way past Laura's bedtime). Next morning (after breakfast) we were off to Ceasar Creek State Park (just east of Waynesville) and Pioneer Village (historic log buildings from early 1800's). September 11, 2001 ("9/11"), a date that forever changed much of our lives, I was at KZF, all of us watching in disbelief the TV coverage from New York City. That same month there was incident in Over-the-Rhine involving the police shooting of a young black man so there were boycotts, marches and finally, riots with the police essentially abandoned OTR and sadly, the burgeoning Hispanic population vanished overnight, as did most of the relatively stable families. OTR was largely depopulated, which in turn created the conditions for the gentrification which occurred a decade later.
            Other September happenings: Alla visiting again from St. Petersburg, birthday party for Laura (September 14), Oktoberfest in downtown Cincinnati, start of Symphony reason and final trip to Michigan to see Laura's mother before her return to Florida. (At some time late September or early October, after a rainstorm, Alla was trapped on the front porch by a very wet, angry raccoon and I'm sure, back in Russia, Alla had stories to tell about the wild animals in America).
            October: Rehearsals start for the MLK choral, we went to an open house party at the new home of Wayne and Toni Meyer in Northern Kentucky, and to a birthday party for Jose Quishpe at a Greek restaurant here in Clifton, and finally pumpkin painting and trick-or-treat Halloween.
            Cooler weather has arrived with Laura and I in Michigan the first week in November, walking around Teeple Lake (not far from Laura's girlhood home on Cedar Island Road), where there was a cold breeze blowing off the water (not yet frozen, but definitely past the boating season). November 10th Laura left (flying out of Dayton) for a quick visit to her mother in Florida and later we went to the Brandt's (together with Anna, Leony and Misha) at their home in Over-the-Rhine, for Thanksgiving dinner. The next day Kirt and Natalie (and dog Toby) were here for a visit so we had dinner at our house, entertainment provided by Misha playing his child-sized violin. The end of November Anna (violin) and Leony (English horn) gave a recital at CCM.
            The big event on December 9th was the "Starling Kids" Orchestra at CCM Watson Hall where Misha plays a violin duet. We did have a bit of excitement in early December, when after a heavy rain, the basement was flooded with storm water so Anna and I formed a "bucket brigade" to scoop water out the basement door. I called Roto-Rooter and after checking, they said tree roots were causing the blockage. We went to the KZF Christmas party at the Phoenix downtown (no Christmas brunch at the Mellot's this year) and Leony and I put up the Christmas tree (in the traditional place, the front window). We had a Christmas Eve party after church with a few friends from Prince of Peace, then Christmas present opening time with Anna, Leony and Misha. Then we were off to Florida on the 28th for a quiet New Year's Eve in Zephyr Hills, ending a quiet and generally (for us) uneventful year.
            Year 2002: Another New Year's dinner at the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park, and then we are on the road again, back in Cincinnati, as on January 5 Chuck and Chyrl Brandt were here for dinner and a post Christmas gift exchange, then the sad yearly chore of taking down the tree whose needles are dry and starting to fall, ornaments are removed and packed into the appropriate boxes, light strings unwound, an finally the bare, forlorn once admired "Tannenbaum" is dragged through the front door and out to the yard. We did the usual intense MLK choral rehearsals and the annual performance at Music Hall. End of January there was a birthday party for Misha (8 years old) with presents, games and several kids (mostly from Misha's school). After more problems with basement flooding we had Roto-rooter do a total correction so first day of February they removed part of the basement floor, cut away the offending tree roots and installed a new drain line tap. Misha was fascinated by the whole operation, especially the concrete floor patching. Our February activities included dinner with Caroline and Charlie Fehr, a Super Bowl party at Schuberts, Ballet, Keyboard, etc.
            On February 17, we left for a major Florida trip, where we had a pleasant time with Laura's mother and Aunt Kate, also Laura's second cousin Karen Lloyd and Kate's great grandson Christopher. We enjoyed walking to the old downtown of Zephyrhills where there was an ice cream shop and a small park. We also went a few miles north to Dade City, the county seat, in the heart of the orange grove country, a quiet town, still mostly untouched by the spreading Disneyworld/tourist culture. On our return trip we stopped to see the Dade battlefield (Bushnell, Florida) a silent, empty trail through the trees, and a few monuments, where on December 28, 1835, a party of soldiers, led by Major Francis Dade, on horseback, were ambushed by Seminole Indians and there were few survivors (It was a Pyrrhic victory for the Seminoles as a vengeful U.S. Government sent an army, driving the Seminoles out of central Florida, either to exile in Oklahoma or to the Everglade swaps in southern Florida). We then went on to Milledgeville in central Georgia (at the time of the Civil War, Milledgeville was the state capital, not Atlanta). Milledgeville is now a quintessential southern town with a traditional county courthouse, well-manicured grounds of a school for the education of young southern ladies (Women's College of Georgia) and stately antebellum mansions. The old state capital, an incredibly ugly building in Gothic style, is now a military academy, graced with a large Confederate war memorial. We stayed in a large old mansion near the downtown, now a bed and breakfast. Milledgeville had the misfortune of being in the path of Sherman's March to the Sea - not much damage, but the Yankees did hold a mock session in the Capital and blew up a Confederate arsenal (the explosion blowing off the roof of a nearby Methodist Church, an incident which the townspeople have not forgotten.
            March: Back in Cincinnati, Laura flew to Phoenix for the funeral of her Aunt Laura Belle, Mesa, Arizona. Quong Van was here again, as a gold medal winner in the 2001 World Piano Competition, he is obligated to teach a master class and play a recital at the Queen City Club which we attended, of course, I wearing a borrowed tux. We visited the Schilkes in Brownsburg and did the annual 10K Heartwalk.
            April: The usual Symphony concerts, Xavier piano series, Keyboard (Laura was one of the judges for young pianists) and Laura was in Columbus for an early childhood seminar, but big event was the wedding of Michael John Murdock, April 27, Brecksville, Ohio. There was a reception and dinner at the Hilton Garden Inn in Twinsburg, a happy gathering of friends and relatives with John and Karen Murdock, of course, plus William and Michelle, Sue and Dave Goodell, plus Jamie and Dan. The marriage, unfortunately, lasted for only a little more than a year.
            First week in May: We took a trip to New York City, one of our favorite places. We hadn't been there in a while; flew into LaGuardia, stayed at an inexpensive hotel (Riverside Tower) on 80th Street, Upper West Side, but spend most of our time in Midtown, Lower Manhattan and Central Park with quick tours of Greenwich Village and Washington Square, Times Square at night, viewed the art at the Metropolitan roof garden, the incredible collection at the Frick, lunch at the now closed Tavern on the Green in Central Park, and a stop at the forever under construction Cathedral of St. John the Divine (ran into a Russian friend selling sketches at the south end of Central Park) saw enough for one trip. Back in Cincinnati we started rehearsals with a massed choir for the upcoming groundbreaking of the Freedom Center on the riverfront. Conrad and Judy were here for a visit in mid-May. The downtown was decorated with large vases of flowers ("Cincinnati Blooms") and we also took in a May Festival concert.
            June: Summer was definitely here and Alla arrives from St. Petersburg, Misha gave a violin recital at CCM and rehearsals with the Freedom Center choir became more intense. Later in June we went to the biennial Runge Cousins Reunion, this time in St. Louis (actually St. Charles on the northern edge of greater St. Louis). The opening event, June 14 was in the backyard of Rich (Clem's son) and Diana's home in Lake St. Charles with a good-sized crowd. Saturday afternoon we did a tour of Missouri River wine country (Missouri valley, just west of St. Louis, is actually the oldest wine district in the U.S.). Saturday evening there was a cookout and food fest in the backyard of Mark (Carl's son) and Patricia Runge in St. Peters (probably one of the last times that Clem, Eleanor and Carl were together as they were scattered in different parts of greater St. Louis). Laura and I brought a collection of old Runge/Dicke photo albums which thoroughly engrossed the gathering - Laura had put the old, somewhat disintegrating pages (originally assembled by my mother) into new protective covers and into new albums. Sunday there was an outdoor farewell brunch at the St. Charles Wine Garden. All in all a great reunion.
            Immediately after our return to Cincinnati, there was a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Freedom Center and a massed choir marched across a bridge from Northern Kentucky (to symbolize, I suppose, the escape from slavery to freedom in Ohio). Laura Bush was one of the celebrities in attendance (the site, on the Cincinnati riverfront, is a prime location and a competition could have been held to select a renowned international architectural designer but instead an architect was selected for political reasons, resulting in a very mediocre design). The Freedom Center, in spite of a huge infusion of federal, local and private grants, has not been a financial success.
            July, World Piano Competition: We hosted another pianist, Eun Joo Chung, originally from China, but like most of the other competitors, studying in the U.S. Another gold medal winner! This time we went to the awards ceremony, July 7, at the Westin Hotel (once again I had to borrow a Tux). We did another trip to Michigan to see Laura's family and some old friends (Pat and Earl Smith, and we walk down the road to visit Jesse and Hilda Weaver). July 20, there was a retirement party for Chuck Brandt (after decades of teaching high school chemistry). Joel and Marcia Hempel, son Aaron came from St. Louis for the occasion.
            August: Typical hot summer in Cincinnati, ice cream social at Taft Museum, Tennis Masters Tournament in Mason, numerous cookouts, and getting ready for the big event, a major trip to Europe (I spent much time researching and calling for reservations along our planned itinerary).
            We left for Amsterdam August 24, flying Continental through New York. I remember an anxious start to our trip as our scheduled flight out of Cincinnati was cancelled, but the Continental desk assured us that the next flight would get us to New York in time to catch the Amsterdam flight which meant we had to race the full length of the New York terminal getting to our gate in the nick of time. Timora met us at the Amsterdam airport (Schipol) and whisked us immediately to a home (David and Louisa Kamp, originally from New Jersey) for a dinner reception where we met friends and family. Next to our temporary housing, Timora had found a place not far from the apartment where she and Allan lived, south of the old center, near the stadium which had been built for the 1928 Olympic Games. I remember going up very steep stairs to a top floor sleeping space which had a great view of that part of the city. Our hosts, a gracious couple, were friends of Timora, he was Dutch, she was French, but both spoke perfect English. After moving in we walked over to Timora and Allan's place for an evening get together which was crowded as Timora's family had moved in for the occasion, Rina Rosler, her mother, and Nimrod, her brother and Nimrod's wife (Yoram, Timora's father, was staying in Rotterdam where he was doing research on Erasmus, a 16th century Dutch philosopher and theologian). There was plenty of food (Allan is an excellent cook) and Nimrod entertained us by speaking English with an Indian accent (he and his wife just returned from a trip to India).
            Saturday morning, August 25, was the big event, Timora's and Allans wedding. The wedding hall was in the old city, on the Prinsengracht canal (in the Amsterdam center, everything is on a canal). The hall was filled with magnificent floral displays, which Rina had somehow arranged to be brought from Israel through a florist she knew in Amsterdam. As Laura and I entered we were given programs (printed in Dutch) and the men were given yarmulkes but as we knew little Dutch and certainly were not Jewish we elected to sit in the back, as far back as we could. Timora started the program with a cello / piano duet, and then, much to our surprise, the ceremony proceeded totally in English (except for a Hebrew chant by a cantor) although the rabbi briefly chided Allan for seeing him rarely, if ever, at the synagogue, a glass was broken, and then it was all over (use of English actually made sense as Timora's family knew no Dutch and Allan's family travelled mostly from New Jersey or England). Following the wedding it was immediately back to the Olympic neighborhood to catch a glass enclosed boat for an afternoon river cruise throughout the city with food, drinks and socializing with friends, old and new, from the wedding party. Saturday evening there was another big event as the wedding hall had been transformed into a banquet and party venue where there were mountains of catered dishes, all carefully selected by Timora. After the Feast (at sit-down tables) the floor was cleared and the party began, and the MC (who was not Dutch) declared that at night "The Dutch go wild", but as the evening wore on, the Dutch, engorged with food and drowsy after many drinks, began to drift off so by midnight the hall was nearly empty. So much for the Dutch going wild.
            Next day Laura and I walked the old city - visiting familiar places and seeking out the new - Laura went shopping and I had an Amstel at an outdoor cafe on the Prinsengracht. It was a beautiful sunny day, but sadly it had to end. Next morning Timora drove us (no more "junk bike") to Centraal Station where we caught the high-speed train to Gare du Nord in Paris, and from there the RER to the Luxembourg station only a short walk from our favorite lodging, Hotel de la Sorbonne where from our upper floor room we could see across the rooftops to the southeast, the dome of the Pantheon glowing in the setting sun. It was August 27.
            First day, back in Paris again, we walked, explored and marveled (no natural beauty here but the beauty of a city, man-made over years). We looked into the opulent foyer of the Opera Garnier but didn't want to pay the fee to see the interior. That evening we met Hélene and Herve Ladoux for an organ concert at Notre Dame. Hélene (who spoke little English) had stayed at our house in the summer of 2000 but she and Laura kept in touch through letters and it was our first meeting with Herve (Hélene's husband) who, much to my relief, did speak some English. We agreed to meet again during our Paris visit.
            Next morning took RER all the way to de Gauelle airport (end of the line) north of Paris, to meet Chuck and Chyrl Brandt. It was their first visit to France (Chuck had told us "I'm not getting off the plane until I hear English voices") but their flight was early and it was a long walk from the RER station to the Delta gate. We saw Chyrl immediately, but Chuck, overcoming his apprehension, was outside looking for us. After retrieving the luggage (two enormous wheeled travel cases as Chyrl had packed every possible need for their trip) we trudged back to the RER station for the long ride back to our Luxembourg stop (no escalators at the secondary stations so we had to lug the cases up stairs to the street level). We had reserved a room for the Brandts at our hotel (fortunately at a lower level as there was no elevator in Hotel de la Sorbonne) so while Laura was helping Chyrl settle in, Chuck and I sat at an outdoor café in the Sorbonne plaza, having a beer and admiring the young female students passing by. Next day, after a long night's sleep to allow the Brandts to recover from jet lag, we did a quick tourist overview of Paris (top deck of Arc de Triomphe Pantheon, Place de la Concorde, Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, and Montmarte with the view of the city from Sacré-Cover and the many wannabe artists at Place de Tertre).
            Evenings, while others had turned in, I would wander the city, usually to get a few snacks from a small grocery near the Pantheon run by an Algerian. One evening I was approached by a couple who asked me, in very bad French, if the Pantheon was Notre Dame, so after establishing that they spoke English (they were from Denmark and spoke very good English) I informed them that they were off by six centuries and in the wrong part of Paris. Another time, when taking an early morning stroll along the Seine I was approached by 3 men, who in terrible French, asked me if there were an ATM machine nearby (they were Australian), so in American English (which they seemed to understand) I told them to try the commercial strip on Boulevard Saint Michel. The highlight of my evening walks was on August 30 when I heard the sound of sirens, music and shouting from Boulevard Saint Germain and went down to investigate and I saw hundreds of people on rollerblades, some in groups, some in costumes, all having a great time, racing along. Cross streets were blocked by police and the route was lined with spectators. Next morning in the lobby of our hotel I asked Herve what this was all about (we had arranged for Herve and Hélene to meet us that morning for a Paris excursion) and he said somewhat disdainfully, that it was some sort of ridiculous official event which occurred every few weeks in the evening along certain streets of Paris.
            First we had morning coffee, then Herve and Hélene gave the four of us a tour of the Marais section of Paris and for lunch an "authentic" French restaurant; that afternoon we did the obligatory visit to the Louvre Museum where we entered at I.M Pei's glass pyramid, viewed the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, etc. and finally at the lowest level, the original medieval base of the fortress (for me, the most interesting part of the Louvre). Next morning, we met with Herve and Hélene again, walked the old city southeast of the Pantheon, Place de la Contrescarpe of course, and from there down narrow Rue Mouffetard (the original Roman road to Lyon) to buy cheeses, cold cuts and bread for a picnic at the Luxembourg Gardens. Sunday afternoon we spent getting ready for next phase of our journey, including a visit to a laundromat (one of the mornings at our hotel, Laura and Chyrl were having the standard French breakfast, croissants, butter, jam and coffee where the elderly serving lady referred to them as "coquettes" eating alone without the men and Chyrl never forgot the "coquettes" incident). Monday morning, September 2, we took a subway to Gare de Lyon, and we were on our way by main-line train to Lyon and slow but scenic local train to Chamonix in the French Alps.
            Chamonix: A small city in the mountains is in a part of France that we had never seen. The hotel I chose (Hotel de l'Arve) was on the edge of town, at the base of the mountains and next to a small, clear rushing river, the Arve which was idyllic, except that it was a long way from the station, so we had to drag our luggage the whole bumpy distance (travel would be much more enjoyable with no luggage). Next morning, we did Mont Blanc which at 4807 meters is the highest peak in Europe. We took a lift to 3842 meters, cold, ice and fog at that level, although a few hardy climbers going a bit higher. We had an evening respite at a fondue restaurant (Chamonix is very proud of their local fondue). Next morning, we were on the road again, this time to the bus station for a ride through the recently finished Mt. Blanc tunnel (the longest tunnel in Europe) passing under the mountain and emerging at a small town in Northern Italy.
            While Laura and Chyrl watched over the luggage, Chuck and I walked over to the railroad station as I had selected a train route to Turin (Torino) and from there a direct main-line train to Venice. It was a small station and the single station master said simply "no train!" (the only English he knew) so we checked the schedule and arrival time but again the man said "no train!". Puzzled, we went back to the bus station, where fortunately we met an American girl who said "Of course there is no train - the tracks were washed out and there probably will be no train for days, perhaps weeks". She recommended that we take a bus to Milan (Milano), and from the bus depot a subway to the train station. Again, while Laura and Chyrl watched the luggage, Chuck and I set out to find the nearest subway station whereupon Chuck, who was our designated Italian speakers, asked a cab driver where the subway was and the cab driver pointed down (which was quite correct as the subway was indeed down there somewhere). I remembered that tobacco shops sold subway tickets and there was a nearby shop, we bought tickets and they directed us to the subway stop, just down the street. We made it to the Milan train station, again hauling our luggage up to the correct platform, and on Wednesday afternoons, September 4 we finally arrived at the Venice railroad station.
            Venice (Venezia): The station is not in Venice so we had to cross a causeway to get into the city then trundling our luggage along a canal until we finally reached the hotel I Found near the city center, Hotel Falie. In Venice, there was water everywhere, stunningly beautiful, once a maritime power throughout the eastern Mediterranean, now reduced to a historic artifact, supported mainly by the tourist industry (of which we were part). We began with a water taxi tour of the city (much less expensive, and more comprehensive than hiring a private gondola), floated along the Grand Canal, saw the historic Rialto Bridge, encountered hordes of tourists and pigeons at St. Marks (Piazza San Marco). Returning to our hotel one afternoon we were startled to find a young American in the lobby; probably no more than 15 years old, who had got himself a prostitute and was trying to rent a room for only one hour (the hotel clerk sent them away). For a souvenir Laura bought a beautiful paper-maché Venetian mask. When we left the hotel, Chuck decided that we had enough of hauling luggage and hired a small boat (he went along to keep an eye on our luggage). On Friday noon, September 6, we left the Venice railroad station for our next destination, Florence.
            Florence (Firenze): The commercial and military power of Renaissance north central Italy, is now mostly a cultural center, and supported mainly by tourists. I had found a hotel near the city center, Albergo Fienze, but again, a long way from the railroad station, so once more the daunting task of hauling our luggage through the streets (at least there were no hills). We set about being tourists and there was much to see - Ponte Vecchio across the Arno (bridge is lined both sides with jewelry shops), Michaelangelo's David, we saw the original and the full sized copy at the Pallazzo Vecchio, the "Old Palace", built 1298, at city center (the old central post office in Sioux City, built late 1800's, has a tower modelled on the Pallazzo), Uffizi art museum (the major art museum of Italy, swarming with tourists), bronze doors of the Cathedral baptistery, and the highlight of our tour, Brunelleschi's dome at the Cathedral (built in early 1400's, largest dome in Europe at the time). At a small church across from our hotel we heard a Bach pipe organ concert on Saturday afternoon. Early Sunday morning, September 8, back to station for a high-speed train to Rome.
            Rome (Roma): Another tedious trek with our luggage in tow from the train station to the hotel I had found near the city center, Hotel Parlamento, except when we got to the listed address, I found no trace of a hotel. I asked at a nearby gelato shop where they said they knew of no hotel by that name, and I asked a policeman but received the same response. I was ready to give up in despair when Chyrl saw a small plaque on a building (directly across the street from the gelato shop) which said "Hotel Parlamento". The hotel was not at street level so first we had to walk through some sort of auto service area, then up a long flight of stairs, until we found an elevator which took us up to the hotel lobby. Hotel Parlamento (near the Italian Parliament Building) was actually quite a find as the upper deck had a great view of the city and the man at the lobby desk was friendly and spoke good English (Chuck labeled the fellow "Luigi").
            After a night's rest from the exhausting events of the previous day we set out to do Rome - Colosseum, Forum, Pantheon, Trajans Column, various triumphal arches, surviving temples on the Tiber, St. Peters and Sistine Chapel at the Vatican (Chuck had his Swiss Army knife temporarily confiscated at the museum entry), Hadrian's Tomb, traditional coin toss at Trevi Fountain (Chuck used a Sacajawea dollar, which the Italians don't consider real money and for that matter, most Americans don't either), late lunch at a restaurant in the old Jewish quarter, where Laura made the serious mistake of ordering a cappuccino, which the waiter disdainfully announced is served only in the morning. Rome's streets are awash in motor scooters, incessant noise early morning until late at night, seems to be main method of city travel, although there are buses and a subway (graffiti covered). It was not unusual to see a young woman, business suit and briefcase, skirt hiked up, roaring down busy streets on a motor scooter, and Laura and Chyrl were nearly run down (by a motorscooter) at a crosswalk, but Chuck, not remembering a good Italian expletive, shouted "Formica". One day decided to go out to Ostia Antica, the ancient seaport of Rome. "Luigi" warned us about "gypsy" girls at the railroad station and on the way, we stopped to see the remnant of Diocletian's Bath, a portion of which was converted to a church so Chyrl wasn't allowed to enter as she was wearing shorts. The bath remnant was immense soaring space, with remaining Roman columns extending upward 7 stories. While Laura and I were inside, Chuck was mobbed by a group of "gypsy" girls who skillfully pickpocketed him, even his billfold and passport from a "deep pocket, but unbelievably, a young girl returned everything to Chuck, with an apology. "Luigi" said this (the return of stolen items) could happen only if this incident were observed by police. We spent much of the day at Ostia Antica, a remarkable well preserved Roman site. On our last evening in Rome found an actual (no tourists) Italian restaurant hidden away in a second floor, not far from our hotel (wine bottles arrayed high on walls all around, waiters had long poles to retrieve). Next morning, a cab to the airport and direct flights back to Cincinnati, Friday evening, September 13.
            Don and Mary Mueller, from Bonduel, Wisconsin, stopped by for a visit, and next day, Saturday, September 21, William Murdock and several friends were here from Columbus to see the Cincinnati U / Ohio State football game and they were expecting an easy win for Ohio State, but were astonished and horrified was their team was nearly upset. Getting into the Fall routine - Symphony concerts, MLK choir rehearsal, a trip to Michigan, pumpkin painting for Halloween (this year's face was based on the mask we brought back from Venice). Leony's parents, Anatoly and Ella Sirotkin, were here for dinner on November 10 (which also happened to be my birthday).
            Another trip to New York City, November 21 through 24 as Laura wanted to go to the NAEYC national convention. We stayed at the small walk-up hotel, Broadway Inn on 46th at 8th Avenue, where I spent many nights when working at Southebys. Not much time, but Laura was free late afternoon and evenings, so we made the most of it - Times Square, Bryant Park, shopping at Macy's, Laura ice skating at Rockefeller Plaza (Laura was greatly amused when the young girl at the skate rental gave her the "Senior Rate").
            Thanksgiving: We had dinner at the Brandt's house on Broadway in Over-the-Rhine where Jeff Brandt and Angela were also there. Our 1990 Chevy Lumina was starting to show its age, so on December 1, we bought a 2003 Chevy Impala (using the discount available through Dave Goodell, a longtime GM employee). Misha gave a violin recital at CCM on December 15. We had a gorgeous Christmas tree (in the front window as usual) and Christmas Eve present opening with Anna, Leony and Misha (the traditional Christmas Eve gathering of folks from Prince of Peace had dwindled away). On Christmas day, we left for Florida (we spent the night in Calhoun, GA, where we found that not many restaurants are open on December 25, but we finally found an all-night pancake house, and they were busy). We had a restful time at the winter home of Laura's mother after a very busy year.
            Year 2003: With a dinner and toasts, we brought in the new year in Zepherhills, just the 2 of us, together with Laura's mother and her Aunt Kate. Next day we were on our way back to Cincinnati for the usual winter activities - Laura still a director at Peaslee, I was still with KZF, and rehersal with the MLK choir. We did take quick trip to Brownsburg, Indiana, January 11, for 50th wedding anniversary of Bill and Dagmar Schilke where there was celebration at a Brownsburg restaurant then an "after party " at home of Liisa and Hung Lê. We sang again at Music Hall for Martin Luther King Day and the weekend of February 15-16, Laura and I went to several "Find Arts Sampler" events as it was the 20th anniversary of our "first date" at a Sampler weekend in 1983.
            Big dress-up event, March 11, at the Queen City Club downtown: Eun Joo Chung, who we hosted for the 2002 World Piano Competition, was back to play a fundraising recital required for Gold Medal winners so once again I had to borrow a tux from Karl Payne (this time he said to keep it as it no longer fit him anyway). End of March we did our annual 10K Heartwalk.
            April 12, we are on the road again to Florida, where at this time I should note that at a very small town, St. Elizabeth, just north of Dade City, with large Baptist church next to the highway, and they had a sign in front "St. Elizabeth Baptist Church" which was geographically correct but denominationally utterly incongruous (I was bemused whenever we passed that sign). We were in Zephyrhills for the birthday of Laura's mother (her 94th), so we celebrated (with Aunt Kate) at John's Steakhouse just down the street (one of the few restaurants that Laura's mother considered acceptable). We then went down (with Laura's mother) to Lakeland for a day to see some of Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings at Florida Southern College and colorfully decorated fiberglass "swans" throughout the city of Lakeland. I had the time to do some yard cleanup, washed and waxed the car, and we looked in at Christopher Lloyd's school (Aunt Kate's great grandson), and another birthday get together with Aunt Kate and Jess and Hilda Weaver from Michigan (the Weavers had a house near Zephyrhills where they spent the winters).
            On the way back to Cincinnati I wanted see, once more, the Chickamauga battlefield in far northern Georgia, in particular the place where the corp's commanded by General Thomas, "The Rock of Chickamauga", held off the Confederates (Sept. 1863) allowing the defeated Union army to escape to Chattanooga (General Thomas, a Virginian and West Point grad, but unlike Robert E. Lee, remained faithful to the Union and earned his fame with the destruction of the Confederate "Army of Tennessee," Nashville, Dec. 1865). After Chickamauga Grant and Sherman took command and the Union Army would then move south relentlessly.
            Laura and I celebrated our 19th wedding anniversary with the Brandts, June 7, at the Palomino, a newly opened (then) restaurant, downtown, overlooking Fountain Square. Next day Misha played with the Starling Orchestra at CCM (Alla was here from St. Petersburg), an outdoor cookout at Jeff Brandt's house on Mulberry Street in Over-the-Rhine, a trip to Michigan where we meet Dan Goodell's fiancée, Emily, and that ended our early summer.
            World Piano Competition time again: We host Yunjio Chor from China but he didn't make it to the final round and leaves on July 4. On that same day, we go the Brandt's "new" house for a cookout. This the house, built in the early 1900's, is on 425 McDowell, Columbia-Tusculum, an old neighborhood on east side of Cincinnati, a small 2 story frame, but with a driveway and garage, so Chuck no longer has to park his BMW on the street (the house actually belongs to Angela, Jeff Brandt's new wife, and they moved into Chuck and Chryl's Broadway house in Over-the-Rhine). I retired from full-time work at KZF on July 18 (I cover this event in another part of my memoir). Kittycat is still with us but not as lively, getting older as we all do.
            On July 19, Laura and I leave for another trip "out west". First stop is St. Charles, Missouri where we meet Conrad and Judy and visit the Runge cousins (my first cousins) now scattered in St. Louis area, Clem, living in the Missouri Veterans Home, Carl, living in a somewhat disheveled place in a St. Peters mobile home park with his dog Nestlé (Carl, nearly blind, spends his time on talk radio and composing "city name" riddles, such as "Some young fellows watched Miss Lupino working in her garden" and because I was of a certain age, I knew immediately that the answer was "Boise, Idaho"), and Eleanor Holle, in a retirement community apartment. We had dinner that evening with Richard Runge (Clem's oldest son), his wife Diana, Conrad and Judy, at a restaurant in St. Charles. We left next day, with Conrad and Judy, making some wine buying stops in Missouri Wine Country (Mt. Pleasant Winery, Montelle Winery), then on to Chanute (another stop on the way, "Precious Moments" center in Carthage, Missouri as Judy was a collector).
            Several days in and around Chanute, where we stayed at the home of Conrad and Judy (always enjoyed relaxing in a lounge chair in their living room, looking out a window at the quiet street), and we also went to some surrounding areas, including Gas, Kansas (I had to take a photo of a sign "Bank of Gas"). I had to see the Mine Creek Battlefield, the site of the only significant battle of the Civil War in Kansas (Confederate General Sterling Price put together a ragtag army, many from the pro-slavery area of northwest Missouri and fell upon lightly defended towns in east-central Kansas then moving slowly back south, wagons loaded with plunder - caught by Union Army regulars, including Iowa cavalry with repeating rifles, October, 1864 - disaster for the Confederates); back to Cincinnati via a stop in Iowa City at home of Dick and Brownie (Miriam) Runge, July 27.
            Cuong Van, winner of 2001 World Piano Competition (we hosted him then and again in March 2002 when he was in Cincinnati for his follow up recital), invited Laura and I to Cleveland for his final recital at CIM, August 20, and we went to an after-concert celebration at a Cleveland Heights restaurant. Conrad