9:30 - Sitting here talking to Byron Arnett. Byron is a lifelong resident of the township etc. Lived away for awhile Oakland, Chicago, Berkely.... Is now on the Township Planning Bd. We have never met before, but he is a regular follower of the Blog, he tells me.
He is a '63 Bryan HS grade - last class to graduate from the old building. His family attended the Presby church, but he worshiped at the church of the golf-ball, he says.
Talking about pre-Tom's market (pre Luttrell's, pre Weaver's), when Weiss's was the market in the same place, but occupying three old wood frame buildings. They had a fire in 1954 that burned down most of that side of the block. He remembers standing there in the night, watching the fire in his pajamas. He talks of other fires - most notably the ones on the Antioch campus, which I heard about recently at the re-dedication of South Hall.
9:40 - We're here talking YSHS basketball legends. We talk baseball... Gene Woodling was a relative. Tommy Heinrich's wife was from YS, he said. We both like the Yanks. Lament on how pro teams have moved at will.
Byron is talking about how different YS was in the early 60's and even earlier as a pioneer in race relations and anti war sentiment. We talk about Buckley Rude recruiting African Americans for the Presby Church. Every day at noon in the early fifties there was a guy who used to march up and down in front of the Post Office with a "Ban the Bomb" sign, he tells me.
9:50 -Susan Bothwell arrives. It was her family that owned Weiss's. We talk about her mother Mary Dykstra and her aunt Mabel Weiss - longtime members of the Presby Church.
When I was working for the News, my first story involved the renovation of the Dykstra house on Limestone, which is now owned by the Heermans. Susan Bothwell grew up in that house. I think it's the cutest house in town, I tell her. We talk about the graffiti that was uncovered when workmen peeled off the wallpaper in the kitchen. The building was originally a schoolhouse, she says.
I tell her about an interview I did with Mabel Weiss. [Link to interview] Mabel was a wealth of historical anecdotes. Susan leaves.
Byron and I are talking about the difference between NY & Chicago. He leaves, promising to stay in touch and submit some reminisces for the Blog.
In comes Walter Rhodes, chief cartoonist for the Blog. He has five new cartoons. I peruse them - We settle up and he leaves. Walter is not feeling too well. He didn't sleep last night due to late night activities in his house involving his son, who has moved back home. Enough said...
10:10 - The Emporium is crowded and loud. I am here alone, now. A good chance to clean up the above.
Note: Regular contributor Susan Gartner was too shy to subject herself to an interview this morning. Rhodes a/k/a Reed is too ill to stick around. Regular collaborators Roger and Macy Reynolds have promised to stop by after their shift at Winter Farmers Market, but they too are no-shows.
Roger is trying to figure out a way for the Blog to do a live Blogcast from the Methodist Church basement for Winter Farmers Market sometime in the next few weeks.
Cathy Phillips is working - says she doesn't want to be quoted. So I won't tell you what she told me...
I'm done here. I say hello to Rick and Mary Donohoe on the way out.