Saturday, May 31, 2008

Winter On Kyle Road

Looking Down Kyle Road
Originally uploaded by kristinafh
You are looking at the top of Kyle Road.

I know you can't tell from this particular shot, but there's a nice downward slope on this road.

And going up this with your bike is a bitch. It's more than a workout for a ten year old. It's like training for some marathon. Which is why we usually didn't take this route on our bikes. We tended to head the other direction where the road was smoother and flatter.

It was a different story in winter time.

Especially when crusty ole Lester Grile would call off school. School would only be called off in the winter time for one of two reasons. First, blizzard conditions. Second, icy conditions.

As kids, we loved both. The ice though, had its bonus points.

You see, didn't matter what the temperature was. A day off of school, with a fresh sheet of ice - just waiting for us - well - that was almost better than the ice cream truck dropping off free bomb pops.

So, this is how it went down.

We'd tell the parents that we were hangin' at Brian Rice's house (it's on the left - but you can't see it because the trees hide it.

If we had enough kids, we'd break into three groups.

One group would stay towards the bottom - looking for any stupid cars that might try to come out of Cedar Crest OR which might try to make its way up Kyle (up the slope).

Side note: Most drivers avoided this area when it was icy because it was a guaranteed wipe-out.

One group would park themselves at the top of Kyle, watching out for the silly drivers who might approach from Tielker Road.

The other group would grab their plastic, toboggan sleds (mine was red - got it at Mr. Wiggs I think) and ride them down the slope, holding on for dear life.

Things to look out for:

* Other sledders
* Mailboxes
* Utility poles

Otherwise, the name of the game was, see how far and fast you could go without injuring a body part.

And everybody would rotate.

And keep on slidin' down that slope - until it was time to go home for supper.

And that's how we spent our icy winters. Slidin' down the slope with our plastic, toboggan sleds.

Final note: if you've never rode down a slope on a plastic toboggan sled - you haven't experienced life. There's nothing like a thin piece of plastic between you and a sheet of ice and the wind ripping your face off as you hold on for the ride of your life. Guaranteed to erase all of your worries of the day.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Super Markets & Shopping Centers

Source: Twentieth Century History of Fort Wayne (1975) - John Ankenbruck

Better view of this can be found on my flickr account

This is from John's book - a drawing of where you could find the super markets and shopping centers in and around Fort Wayne. I'm guessing it is from the late 60's - early 70's.

Not much is left from almost 40 years ago.

Super Markets
A & P
Pio's Market
Eavey's Market

Shopping Malls
Pine Valley Mall
Washington Square
Riveria Plaza
Market Place of Canterbury
Village Market
Maplewood Plaza
North Anthony Center
Gateway Plaza
Hazlewood Plaza
White Swan Plaza
Glenbrook Center
Southtown Mall
Coliseum Place
East State Center
Statewood Center
West State Plaza
Homewood Shopping Center
Colony Center
Casselwood Center
Anthony Center
Southgate Plaza
Quimby Village
Rudisill Center
Oakbrook Center
Anthony Wayne Village
Diplomat Plaza
Taylor Center
Georgetown Square
Time Corners

Shopper's Choice

I'm surprised that some of the downtown places like Murphy's isn't listed here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance. Aka - I'm Confused. It Just Doesn't Seem To Fit...

East State Village
Originally uploaded by Fetchy
I like East State Street. There, you'll find things like El Azteca (best Mexican - period), the Acme Bar (best fried appetizer's) and the Rib Room (mmmm....lots of red meat) along with some really neat houses (in fact there is one that I've ALWAYS wanted to own - ever since I saw it when I was nine years old).

As I was driving through the neighborhood this past weekend, I came across this sign.

I meant to take a photo of this but it was the middle of the day when I was in the area so I wasn't sure how I would maneuver a nice shot in the middle of weekend traffic.

Thank gawd someone else (thanks Fetchy!) had found the right time and right spot :).

Anyway - I mentioned on Sunday, that there were a couple of things that I was confused about. This is at the top of my list.

This East State Village sign.

I don't get it. It's bright and flashy and the font (okay - what's a better word for the lettering style) just seems a mismatch for the neighborhood - at least the neighborhood that I'm used to.

If someone has some insight into this - let me know. I'm definitely interested in knowing the history of it - what led up to it - how the design was chosen - and if the citizens of the area like it. Maybe they do - I'll accept that I'm the sore thumb (sticking out) in this scenario.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Wells and Third Street - Then & Before Then

PTC Bus Stop

Corner of Wells Street and Third Street
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46808

My Grandparents (my mother's parents) lived in Fort Wayne almost their entire life (with the exception of a few years where they lived in Jackson, Michigan).

My Grandpa was born and raised in Fort Wayne. He always lived in the downtown area - Main Street, Clay Street, DeWald, Union Street.

The last house that my Grandparents lived in (before Grandpa died) was on Third Street. They picked it because it was a duplex, it had a huge yard, and it was within walking distance of everything that they cared about.

I've mentioned before that my Grandparents didn't drive. Ever. They always got around on foot or - sometimes - we took the bus. When they lived on Third Street, this is the bus stop we used to stand next to in order to catch the PTC bus.

As you can see from this picture, it almost looks "park" like. It has two nice benches and beautiful shade trees. I remember when those shade trees weren't tall enough to shade anything. And one day, while waiting on the bus to pick us up, I mentioned to Grandpa that they should have planted bigger trees so we had some shade during the hot weather.

That's when he told me about why these trees were so brand new.

It turns out, that just a few years before, a Firehouse - specifically Firehouse #6 - used to occupy the space that we were standing on.

A Firehouse?! Neat!

Me: But what happened to the firehouse? Did it not have enough fires to put out?

Grandpa: The city needed to put that firehouse out on Coliseum Boulevard. People moved out of the inner parts of our city to the suburbs and in case there are fires out in the new parts of the city, they've got a fire house close by.

Me: How come there can't be both (fire stations)?

Grandpa: Sometimes, when you only have one pot of money to pull from, you have to make a decision - one or the other.

He told me that it was built in the late 1800's and that before there were shiny trucks - there were horses which used to take the firemen and their equipment to whatever establishment needed them.

Me: Wow! Horses used to walk on these streets?!

You can tell, I was easily fascinated as a child :).

As I drove by this spot this weekend, I stopped and took the picture you see at the beginning of this blog entry. I sat on one of the bench's and I thought about the time that I spent in this area as a child. You never think - in the moment - how much time you spend "waiting" for something (and back then - it was a bus) and how those moments are great pockets of opportunities that should never go to waste.

In my case, I was such an inquisitive child and I often wonder - if handheld games and other modern things were around then - would I have turned them off and had these types of conversations with my Grandparents (especially as we walked downtown or waited for the bus)?

Sadly - probaby not. So I guess I'm thankful that my Grandparents didn't drive. I'm thankful that the PTC bus program operated during that time, and I'm thankful that my parents let me spend oodles of time with my mom's parents.

1401 Wells Street - Firehouse No. 6 - 1920

1401 Wells Street - Firehouse No. 6 - 1975

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Reflections On My Trip Home - Why I Still Have BIG Love for Fort Wayne

Why I Still Have BIG Love For Fort Wayne

* Not in any particular order and certainly - not an exhaustive list.

  • It still doesn't take very long to go from one side of town to another - get on Clinton, Lafayette, Jefferson, State Street, Coliseum - and boom - you're there in no time at all. Let me tell you - living in Central Indiana - it is a major effort to get from one side of town to another, regardless of the route you take.
  • I never once felt unsafe regardless of the neighborhood I stopped to take photos in.
  • Every single person I ran into (stranger and otherwise) - NICE. SMILED. Didn't think I was a complete freak. And you know, that's something (for me) which has usually been the case (80/20) rule. Fort Wayne is a friendly (without being creepy friendly) city.

  • Families are alive and well and do things that make me smile - bike ride, go to the parks, eat together, etc...

  • While I was at Indian Village, the fifth grade convocation was going on. It was absolutely beautiful watching the parents - watching their children. Great love. Great pride. Now, if the school board could just have the same attitude...

  • I was pleasantly surprised by small things (and new things to me) I had never seen. Example - sparkly squared lights downtown around the Hilton (the sidewalk lights).
  • I was pleasantly surprised by BIG things (and new to me things) I had never seen. Example - the Wells Street bridge (that entire area - which has been completely overhauled since I lived in this area). This was a major (foot) route for me and my grandparents. I remember how fragile the wood was - walking across. We had to stay in the middle because the walkways on the side of the bridge were way too dangerous. Approaching the bridge, it used to be quite overgrown with weeds. But now - look at this. It is beautiful and gorgeous but in a very subtle way.
  • Which is why this is its own bullet point - for the most part - Fort Wayne does a great job of making things personal and subtle and not gaudy and not flashy.

  • Every single retail, food, service related establishment that I frequented - people were nice. Genuinely nice.

I wish I could have taken a picture of every positive moment - however - it just wasn't possible.

Throughout the two days I was here - I took over five hundred shots.

Aside from the photos - I have much more to say about my trip this weekend to the Fort. Some things - I'm disappointed with. Some things - I'm curious about. But more on those later. Right now, I'm goin' back to Indy to enjoy the rest of the weekend with my husband and son.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

You Can Go Home Again

This Way To Beth's House
Originally uploaded by kristinafh

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm in the Fort - visiting relatives - and taking "tourist-ie" type photos. So please - if you are expecting something earth shattering - the kind of stuff that my fellow artsy bloggers produce - y'all just take a time out for a reality check.

You see, although I am artsy type myself, I'm also impulsive. I bought this new camera and per my usual style, did not read the directions - so I'm just snappin' crap by the seat of my pants.

Ew. That almost didn't sound right to type.

ANYWAY - when I find time to upload and label them, they'll be on my Flickr account. Feel free to leave comments on them - especially if I've stated that something is "x" and it is "z" - and also - if you have memories about the place (that means you Chris - that means you Carl).

General comment of the moment - Gee...let me tell's a sad day when I drive by every building and I go - okay, that used to be 'x' and that used to be 'y' and hey - where did 'abc' go?

Admittedly, there are a couple of buildings that I see where I go - okay...on the tip of my tongue....that was....that was....and then I can't remember. So hopefully, all of you knowledgeable individuals will be able to help me out when the time is right.

Special note: I had the privilege of meeting Evert and Susan Mol yesterday. To say that they are lovely people would be a dramatic understatement. Fort Wayne is lucky to have these two as a part of their community.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Quiz Time

I'm in the mood to validate - well - the fact that me and my memory aren't CRAZY or HALLUCINATING. Please - jump in here if you know the answer.

* What was the name of the carwash that was located towards the entrance of either Southtown Mall and/or KMart on the South side (1970's)? And nope - not a Mike's carwash either.

* What was the name of the community pool that was located in the Indian Village area?

* What was the name of the drive-in (and I keep on thinking - root beer stand) that was located near downtown (I keep on thinking Spy Run because it was a one way going downtown - I always thought of the road as a racetrack when I was a kid).

* What was the name of some place - maybe a recycling place? that seemed to be near downtown where we would sometimes go to hunt for steel beer cans (as opposed to the "aluminium" ones? I almost thought it was a junkyard of sorts...but who knows (except that I do remember pulling out some awesome beer cans for my collection).

* What were the names of the camps that we used to go to as Girl Scouts? Camp McMillen? Where was that located? Camp Logan? Where was that located?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

June 1992 - "Two Roads Diverged In A Yellow Wood..."

June 1992.

Commencement was over. I had my bachelor's degree. I finished my stint at IPFW as Student Body President. I had a plan for the future. That future was not going to be in Fort Wayne - at least - temporarily.

You see, in 1992, the State of Indiana believed that if you wanted a Master's Degree in just about anything (aside from Elementary/Secondary Education), that meant that you had to either forego your education OR you needed to uproot yourself and your family and move to either West Lafayette or Bloomington.

But more on that later. (And much more - I might add.)

A few weeks prior to graduation, I.U. Board of Trustee member, John Walda (a Fort Wayne citizen, lawyer, and all-around - decent human being), had invited me to speak before the board in Richmond, Indiana (Indiana University East).

I had absolutely no clue what I would say. I mean really. I was a chick - from Fort Wayne - who wasn't a traditional student, who had no inclination to suck up to anyone (regardless of who they were), and most importantly - I was a chick who no longer had the official podium as a voice of the student body of IPFW.

Not one to do a lot of preparing (I like to fly by the seat of my pants), I waited until about 2 in the morning (the day of) to pull together my "speech". Thank gawd even Richmond, Indiana had a 24 hour store open. I had to have some props to accompany my last hurrah.


Indiana University East
JUNE 13, 1992

Trustees Present: President Richard B. Stoner, Vice President Harry L. Gonso, Dr. Joseph M. Black, Frederick F. Eichhorn, Milton "Josh" Fineberg, Robert H. McKinney, Ann W. Swedeen, John D. Walda, and Eric A. Todd.

University Representatives: President Thomas Ehrlich; Vice President and Chancellor: Gerald L. Bepko Vice Presidents: J. Terry Clapacs, Judith G. Palmer, George A. Walker, and Douglas M. Wilson; Steven A. Miller, Treasurer, Secretary of the Board, J. Susan Parrish; Chancellors: Gerald Bepko, H. Daniel Cohen, Peggy Elliott, Emita B. Hill, Joanne Lantz, Charlie Nelms, Leon Rand, Lloyd Rowe.

Attendees: Larry Baker, Ray Bonhomme, Ray Casati, Phyllis Clapacs, John F. Dalphin, Walter Daly, Bette Davenport, Tiffany Edwards, Kristina Frazier-Henry, Richard Fredland, Juliet Frey, David Fulton, James L. Green, Charles O. Hardy, Nancy Hardy, Ben Hunter, Margaret Mitchell, Jeanetta Nelms, Norman Overly, Jim Perin, Richard Peterson, Virginia Stoner, James Swedeen, Cliff K. Travis, Tambrey Williamson, Larry Willis; also, Melissa Tarrant, Recorder; and the staff of the University News Bureau. Also present were representatives of the news media.


Remarks from Kristina Frazier-Henry, Past President, Student Association, Fort Wayne

Trustee Walda introduced Ms. Kristina Frazier-Henry, the past president of the Student Association at Fort Wayne. Ms. Frazier-Henry commented that though she has attended Trustee meetings for three years, this was her first opportunity to formally address the Board.

She reported that attending Board meetings had afforded her a clearer understanding of University operations.

In reflecting on the past three years, Ms. Frazier-Henry selected three items she urged the Trustees to consider.

First, she commended the Trustees for holding meetings on the regional campuses biennially, but recommended that one meeting be held on each campus annually.

Second, she stated that being a student at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne is like being the child of two parents who share custody because of the IU-Purdue management agreement. When both universities agree, the students certainly reap the benefits. However, it is very difficult when they do not agree. She stated that IPFW students need Indiana University as an advocate in matters that are not related to fiscal operations. She expressed her hope that the next review of the management agreement would bring better terms for IU's share of management. She recognized that it would be unrealistic to change the fiscal management of IPFW, but stated that she would like to see IU carry more weight in matters relating directly to students' rights.

Third, she addressed the issue of sexual orientation. She reported that all IU campuses except Fort Wayne include sexual orientation as a protected class in their student code of conduct. She stated that she understood that Purdue's legal counsel believes that this class is unacceptable. She pointed out that this class was deleted from the clause on protected classes a year ago, and since then, the IU Board of Trustees has not formally addressed the issue. She expressed disappointment on behalf of the student body at IPFW at the lack of attention to this item. She assured the Trustees that this issue will continue to come up until it is resolved, and she hoped it would be resolved soon.

Ms. Frazier-Henry expressed her gratitude to Trustee Walda for the positive impression he has made on her and other students. She praised his eagerness to discuss the students' ideas and criticisms, and his keen interest in the happenings of the individual campuses. She noted that he has always responded positively to her, even if they did not always agree. She stated that he has allowed the Student Affairs Committee to be a forum for some very important issues, and because of his leadership some of those issues have been resolved. She stated that the incoming student body presidents will bombard him with issues and concerns, she expressed concern because she knows he has many important tasks to accomplish. To assist him at the meetings next year, she presented him with a small troll figure holding a sign stating "Please, I can only do 12 things at once," and she urged him to put it in front of him at the committee meetings.

Ms. Frazier-Henry thanked Trustee Todd for his efforts on behalf of students in the past year. She noted that he had been the unanimous first choice to fill the position of Student Trustee, and that as Trustee, he has far exceeded her expectations. She conveyed her hope that his second year on the Board will be as successful as his first.

She thanked him for addressing the health insurance issue. She presented Trustee Todd with a toy medical kit which he could take to the campuses with him to help out if needed.

She stated that in addition to serving on the Student Affairs committee, Trustee Gonso is in charge of the compensation and benefits committee.

Although Purdue is IPFW's fiscal agent, the campus does have an IU affiliation, so she provided Trustee Gonso with $5 million in play money to give to IU faculty.

She addressed President Ehrlich, noting that he was indirectly responsible for her initial involvement in student government.

She cited a situation four years ago at the IPFW campus involving difficulty between a former chancellor and Dr. Patrick Ashton of the Sociology department. Ms. Frazier-Henry and Mr. James Craig sent a petition containing 3,500 signatures to President Ehrlich.

That fall, Dr. Ashton received tenure and that chancellor left Indiana. She stated that this situation convinced her that change could occur.

To help President Ehrlich deal with frustration, she presented him with a Supersoaker Water Gun, with the assurance that it has a range of thirty feet, and urged him to use it wisely.

In closing, she reported that she is not leaving IU, only changing campuses as she moves to Bloomington to pursue a master's degree in college student personnel administration. She thanked all the Trustees for the knowledge they have shared with her, especially concerning higher education.


Trustee Walda stated that it has been a great pleasure working with Ms. Frazier-Henry over the last few years on multiple issues in Fort Wayne as well as University-wide issues.


Walk On The Ocean - Toad the Wet Sprocket
We spotted the ocean at the head of the trail
Where are we going, so far away
And somebody told me that this is the place
Where everything's better, everything's safe

Walk on the ocean
Step on the stones
Flesh becomes water
Wood becomes bone

And half and hour later we packed up our things
We said we'd send letters and all those little things
And they knew we were lying but they smiled just the same
It seemed they'd already forgotten we'd came

Now we're back at the homestead
Where the air makes you choke
And people don't know you
And trust is a joke
We don't even have pictures
Just memories to hold
That grow sweeter each season
As we slowly grow old

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Captain Kangaroo - Good Morning Captain!

When: Weekday Mornings - 7 or 8 a.m. (changed with the seasons)
What: Captain Kangaroo
Where: CBS (WANE TV, Channel 15)

I have never been a morning person. One show I wouldn't mind waking up for though, was Captain Kangaroo.

I loved Mr. Green Jeans...I love when Mr. Moose would tell a knock knock joke and the punch line would lead to ping pong balls falling on top of the captain. I loved my dancing bear, I loved the town clown.


I loved this opening which ran in the late 60's and early 70's (it never failed to amuse me).

When they 'sexied' up the intro song, I was even okay with that.

Mr. Moose & a knock knock joke

This is a clip with Mr. Green Jeans - from 1978 - but hey - what would a posting about Captain Kangaroo be without a glimpse of Mr. Green Jeans?

The Dancing Bear!!!

Remember the Town Clown?

Monday, May 12, 2008

All That You Can't Leave Behind - Stinson's Day Nursery


I like to start out one of these entries - at the very least - on a happy note because when I think about my time growing up in Fort Wayne, there's lots of happy stuff to chat about.

I have been wanting to blog about Stinson's Day Nursery for three months. I lacked pictures, mementos - anything - and even though I could have just wrote about it, I really REALLY wanted to share with you what made it such a magical period of time in my life.

Thanks to Phil Marx (aka man about town - and owner of MyHudHouse) and the absolutely frickin' best realtor that ever walked the state of Indiana (aka Lynda King), I was able to get some info. Unfortunately, their information was hard for me to see and read. And so writing about Stinson's Day Nursery will be both a happy and sad thing for me.

End Preamble

When I write about a particular spot in Fort Wayne, I almost always start my blog entry with a picture of "the place".

I just can't. It's too depressing.

Instead. Your first picture is of me and my sister Patty - or PJ - as she was called back then. I believe that this is both of us walking up to Stinson's Day Nursery.

SO there you go. We're only 11 months apart, but you definitely wouldn't know it from this picture. Yes, I've always been tall.


When I was three years old, my mom worked at KMart as a cashier. I think she worked at some KMart close to Southtown Mall/Southgate. All I remember is the turquoise smock, subs with stringy lettuce & paper thin tomatoes, and blue light specials. But more on KMart in another blog entry....

In the late 60's there weren't many nursery schools in Fort Wayne. Perusing the phone book, there were perhaps a handful and Mrs. Paul Stinson's Day Nursery was one of the best in town.

The school felt like a home. Part of that was because of the "building" It looked like two large houses had been merged together with the help of a built on addition that bridged the two. The other part was that the people who owned it and ran it - they treated us like their own children. I know I felt very secure and loved by these caretakers and since we were there many hours - this was a good thing.

My mom worked a lot. My dad was in the army. Let's just say - there wasn't a lot of stability. Stinson's Day Nursery provided lots of stability and gosh - but I learned! Not book learning - but Kristina learning. Somehow, I learned how to be myself. Sounds kind of strange, doesn't it? I don't know of any other way to describe it. I just know that this place gave me the tools to trust my gut and this gut thing has served me well throughout my life (thus far).

Side note: Photos are courtesy of Phil Marx. They were just taken in April 2008. More on this later. It pains me to look at these photos it goes....

I have two very distinctive memories about my time at Stinson's.

First, no one cooked macaroni and cheese better than the woman who cooked it at Stinson's. I don't know what her name was - but I can still picture her. We would all be sitting at these cute, little tables and after everyone had their share, if there were left overs, she would come out of the kitchen with this HUGE silvery cooking pot and a giant wooden spoon.

Who would like more?


My sister and I both loved the stuff.

Oh yes - mac and cheese day was something to look forward to.

My second distinct memory was the day that I, Kristina Michele Frazier, fell in with a bad crowd. Yes, I know, difficult to believe, but true. I don't remember all of the girls involved but let me tell you, if I ever find them, they better stay away :).

We were outside playing - lots of kids of course - but in particular, me and my sister Patty hung out with three other girls. We were talking about pets. We wanted a dog. Somebody else wanted a cat. This one girl said she wanted a rabbit. While debating the idea of - was a rabbit really a pet - I grew bored and wanted to find something else to do.

I went off somewhere, but then came back.

These girls + my sister - had disappeared to the side of the school and right before my eyes - what did I see? A drawing of a rabbit.

Seriously. If I remember correctly, "somebody" found one of those pieces of rock - you know - the kind that when you press it, remarkably resembles chalk? Well somebody drew a rabbit on the side of the nursery school and before I could ask who did it (because please - isn't it obvious - it was the chick obsessed with having the rabbit for a pet), we were BUSTED....BUSTED I tell you.

I can't remember his name - but I'm assuming it was one of Mae's sons - either Wayne or Rex (this I only knew after doing some extensive research on the family names).

Let's assume it was Rex.

Rex took us all aside and asked, "who did this". Lots of NOT ME's rang through the air. So then, he broke us up and one by one he paddled each one of us.

That paddling took place in this silver thing - building. Yes, this is how it looks today. There were even bathrooms (aka toilets) in here.

I don't remember crying.

I do remember that I was going to seek revenge on that rabbit-loving artist though.

SO, that's all of the pictures I can stomach showing you tonight.

When I first saw Phil's pictures, a huge pit of sadness filled my tummy (see, I'm talking like I'm five now).

I became obsessed.

How did a place like this - which was in business for at least 25 years - how did it get to this point? What happened? Where was Mrs. Paul Stinson? Her family? Where was the maker of that wonderful mac and cheese?

I spent hours surfing the net.

I found lots of bad news. Mrs. Paul Stinson - deceased - 1987. Mr. Paul Stinson - deceased - 1997. Wayne Stinson - deceased - 2004. I searched through thousands of places looking for any reference to the nursery school and I found only ONE reference. It was in an obituary for Lorraine Kappel. She died in 2007 and worked at Stinson's for 20 years (until she retired in 1983). She was born in England - and just as I read that - BOOM - it hit me. She was the maker of the mac and cheese. I remember the accent...

But only ONE reference to an establishment that had been a part of Fort Wayne for over 20 years?! I don't understand. Seriously. I lack all understanding on this.

When Phil came back with these pictures, he told me that the place was up for sale and right away, I reached out to Lynda King to see if she could find out anything for me. Even though the place looked horrid on the inside, I really REALLY wanted to take one last look around on the inside. Must track down realtor...must convince s/he to let me take pictures.


My oh my you gave me quite a mystery to uncover. I found out lots of info about the Stinson Daycare property by tracking the owner of record through the Allen County Treasurer's Office. The property is owned by the Mount Calvary Housing Development Corporation (aka CDC), which I called and spoke to a gal by the name of xxxxxx. She said that Reverend Mike Nicholson is president of the CDC but he is unavailable for the next 3 weeks, due to having surgery. She doesn't believe you will be able to get into the property due to fact that the city ordered it to be boarded and will probably be demolishing it. You can call Rev. Nicholson or Pat at (xxx) xxx-xxxx for further information.

I hope this helps you, although, it's not quite what you wanted to hear.


I was stunned. Surprised? Okay. I admit. Just a little.

Part of me was hoping that someone with a big heart and close ties to the Fort, would swoop in and rescue this place. This place of love and warmth - a place that really had a great deal to do with the foundation of my being. (See, I told you...drama queen comes out every time - but really - that's how I feel.)

I'm traveling to Fort Wayne later this week. I may get shot, robbed, and my CRV stolen - but by golly, I'm driving by the place. I need to have one last cry and close this chapter.

Beautiful Day

The heart is a bloom - shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room - no space to rent in this town
You're out of luck, and the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck, and you're not moving anywhere
You thought you'd found a friend to take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand in return for grace

It's a beautiful day - the sky falls
You feel like it's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away

You're on the road, but you've got no destination
You're in the mud - in the maze of her imagination
You love this town, even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over, and it's been all over you

It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

Touch me - take me to that other place
Teach me - I know I'm not a hopeless case

See the world in green and blue
See China right in front of you
See the canyons broken by cloud
See the tuna fleets clearing the sea out
See the Bedouin fires at night
See the oil fields at first light
See the bird with a leaf in her mouth
After the flood all the colours came out

It was a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
Beautiful day

Touch me - take me to that other place
Reach me - I know I'm not a hopeless case
What you don't have you don't need it now
What you don't know you can feel somehow
What you don't have you don't need it now
Don't need it now
It was a beautiful day

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This Is Where It All Began...

* Note: All lyrics from the song, Dare You To Move, by Switchfoot

Welcome to the planet
Welcome to existence
Everyone's here...
Everyone's here...
Everybody's watching you now...
Everybody waits for you now...
What happens next?
What happens next?

When I start to tell the story of how I came into existence, I have to put in lots of qualifiers to situations. Why? Because naturally, my parents weren’t typical (or maybe they were?). They were only statistics because they chose to be. And they chose to be because they were in love.

I was born on October 12, 1966 at 7:48 p.m. in Parkview Memorial Hospital. Those of you who were born in the late 60’s early 70’s probably know that it was called the “baby barn” because it seemed like the only place where babies were surfacing in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

1960's Postcard View

Parkview Memorial Hospital
2200 Randalia Drive
Fort Wayne, Indiana

My mother met my father when she was sixteen and he was nineteen.

He had moved up to Fort Wayne from Straight Creek, Kentucky and he lived in a tiny apartment somewhere close to where my mother and her parents lived.

They met at a laundromat. I believe it was not too far (maybe across the street) from the apartment building that my grandparents managed on Clay Street – but what the name of it was (and I know it no longer exists) – who knows. Side note: I did some research and this one I have plotted in the map to the right - may be the spot where the love connection happened.

The laundromat was owned by someone named Clyde Briggs and Clyde (who I have no memory of), was someone who my grandparents used to help out a lot.

This laundromat had both a jukebox and a pinball machine. It also had one of those cool vending machines with candy and a pop machine that dispensed bottles. (Trying to create the awesome scene – is it working?!)

That’s how my parents met – at a laundromat.

My mother was quite a rebel. It’s something in her I’ve always admired. And have been frustrated by. She hated rules. She hated catholic school. She hated her parents. She was a typical teenager.

She fell in love with my dad. Why? I don’t know, she’s never told me. But the result was that she moved into his apartment and kept quitting school (and my grandparents kept re-enrolling her).

My mom and dad wanted to get married. My grandparents said NO. They were keen on my mother finishing high school (she was only a sophomore) and let’s be “frank”, they really didn’t want their daughter marrying a hillbilly from Kentucky. There were plenty of nice boys who were raised right there in the good ole fort.

Welcome to the fallout
Welcome to resistance
The tension is here
The tension is here
Between who you are and who you could be
Between how it is and how it should be

So my parents decided to send a “screw you” message to my grandparents – they got pregnant on purpose.

This, of course, infuriated my grandparents. And I’ve been told that if abortion would have been legal back then, they would have forced my mother to take that route. Thank gawd for small things like abortion not being legal then.

Defeated, they agreed to let my parents get married and on May 17, 1966, they were married by a Justice of the Peace. I was due on September 4, 1966 which made my mother about four-five months pregnant.

My mother’s doctor, who took care of her while she was pregnant, was someone named Dr. Meyer. I don’t know much about him (I did a pretty thorough search and found a Dr. Herman A. Meyer who might have been the dr. she went to) however, in true fashion, my mother never listened to him either.

Obituary for Dr. Herman A. Meyer

The week I was due, my parents took off for my dad’s hometown (Straight Creek) which sent my grandparents into a tizzy. I have no idea why she did this but I assume that she just wanted to get away from the pressures of life as she knew it in Fort Wayne.

They eventually came back – especially when her due date had passed. By this time, she was gi-normous. Apparently, I just wasn’t ready to come out and greet the world. And back then, I guess, they didn’t freak out if you were over your due date like they do now.

On October 12 (it was a Wednesday), my mother was feeling some discomfort. She went to see Dr. Meyer who said, “You’re in labor – make your way to the hospital”.

Which meant, do the opposite.

She went home. She was craving some beans so she soaked them, cooked them, and ate them. By this time, the doctor, wondering where my mother was, called back to the apartment building and my Aunt Carolyn (her older sister) had to drag her on over to Parkview. I guess she wasn’t convinced that it was time to give birth.

What happened after that – well – I do know – she was taken to the hospital, she was put under, and I was born. I was a whooping 9 pounds – absolutely humongous back in 1966. With today’s knowledge and technology, I shouldn’t have been taken much closer to my original due date.

This is the spot where I would insert a picture of me as newborn however, I don't have one and frankly, I'm not sure if one exists. Side note: I wonder if Parkview keeps archived files of these things???

So, here's one of me, my Grandpa Roy, his mom Grandma Kline, and my mom...outside of Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. If I was a betting woman, I would guess that I am almost a year old. I'm not sure who took the photo. Maybe my Grandma Roy? Definitely not my dad.

I don’t know where my father was when I was born. Maybe he was there, maybe he wasn’t. My mom doesn’t talk much at all about this time in her life. Or really, any time in her life. Anything I have been able to find out has been because of my grandma, and my two aunts.

Maybe redemption has stories to tell
Maybe forgiveness is right where you fell
Where can you run to escape from yourself?
Where you gonna go?
Where you gonna go?
Salvation is here

Addendum: Good Ole Aunt Barb sent me some other pictures that I didn't have. The first is another high school picture of my mom. The second and third are pics of me less than a year old.

Patricia S. RoyBaby in the Pool Kristina Michele Frazier 1966

Sunday, May 4, 2008

One....Two....Three.....GO!!!!!!!!!!!!! Or How I Learned About Physics In Real Life

Gosh, but I loved my Evil Knievel.

Surprised, aren't 'cha?

The girl who wanted to grow up and be Miss America - well - she also wanted to be a daredevil too.

Watch the video....and remember.

Of course what they don't show you is that frickin' plastic piece that had grooves on it and you would have to pull it out of the back of the contraption where you wound him up and then he went.

Constructing an incline was close to rocket science. You see, although you may have wanted to stack and tilt anything you could get your hands on, in reality, there was only so much that the Evil K man could over come.

We had to play around with the degrees of tilt and height. Uh-huh. Physics at nine years old. Go figure.

Important things that were pondered during my ninth year of life.

How far would he go before he wiped out?

How come I could never get my Evil K man to stand up like the commercial?

What kind of crap would he ziiiiing over - but you know - still keep on going? Because if he stopped, all of the fun was over.

* Side note: things that made Evil K man stopped dead in his tracks included large amounts of clothing (which meant - I had to throw my dirty clothes off to the side so I had some space); text books (wipe out city); and shoes (too steep of a mountain to get over without some serious lift-off ahead of time).

In case you're wondering, I also had the Evil Knievel space ship and that had lots of power but it wasn't nearly as agile as the stunt bike.

Oh - and yes - I did undress him because when he became the husband of one of my Dawn dolls - well - he had to change clothing for the wedding and stuff.