Monday, June 30, 2008

Third Grade - Miss McDougall - Indian Village

Time for another class photo!

If you click on the photo, you'll be taken to where it's hosted (on Flickr) and the image is MUCH larger and easier to see.

So here are the usual (and usual) suspects. If you go back and look at my first and fourth grade photos - you'll see a lot of the same kids (i.e. usual suspects). Mind you, this is all from memory (or lack thereof). If I've mislabeled someone - I expect to be told!!! And for gosh sakes if you know the last names, let me know. I seemed to be having major issues with the names from the third grade.

Row 1: Errol Stech, ?
Row 2: Dean ?, Karen Brezette, Doug White, Billy ?, ?
Row 3: Kelly Miller, Eddie Hyde, Eric Busenberik, Zetta ?, Joyce Lloyd, Eugene ? (my cubbie hottie from Kindergarden!!!)
Row 4: Melanie Davis, Danny Gould, Marla Magditch, Steve Saylor, Adam ?, Glen McCourt
Row 5: Tom Stinson, ?, Chrissy Boner, Lori Schmidt,?
Row 6: Kristina Frazier, ?, Stuart Williams, Ralph Barva
Row 7: Beth Fruechtenicht, ?

P.S. And speaking of class photos - I have ZIP ZERO from my second grade. In 1974-75, Mrs. Judith Edwards taught a split 2nd-3rd grade class. If you know of anyone that has this class photo, please let me know. I was out sick that day (I think I had the measles or chicken pox).

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Broadway Cemetery and McCulloch Park - Final Resting Place for Samuel Bigger

Randomly, I decided to follow up on something that has been gnawing at me since my trip to Fort Wayne last month. Hang with me while I tell you the back story.

You see, on my way out of town, I decided to stop at McCulloch Park. It's across the street from General Electric (on Broadway) - a place where several family members and friends of family members worked for years.

I'll get around sometime to posting the pictures of the park like stuff - like the gazebo, and the merry go round, and the slide...but today's post is about the almost forgotten public servant of Indiana - his name is Samuel Bigger.

Now what's Samuel Bigger doing in one of my memories about growing up in Fort Wayne?

Good question. One time, while walking down Broadway with my grandma and grandpa, his name came up in conversation.

Now mind you - he only came up as a side conversation. The original conversation was about the early days of McCulloch Park. My grandpa said that it used to be a cemetery. My grandma said that if it was a cemetery, than others aside from Samuel Bigger would have been buried there.

And as they were "discussing" this - I asked, "Who is Samuel Bigger"?

This is where I learned the following:

* He was from Ohio (something my Ohio-born grandmother was quite proud of)

* He was from the Whig party (huh - what's a whig party?)

* He was Governor of Indiana

* He was a State Representative

* He was a Judge

* He was a Lawyer

* He died really young (although at the time - I didn't think that 43 was young - I've since reconsidered).

So when I was in Fort Wayne last month, on a whim, I stopped by McCulloch Park - at like 7am - and decided to take a look around. I had totally forgotten about the Samuel Bigger grave or even the conversation with my grandparents. I started out focusing on the pavilion/band stand (it was being renovated) and then I moved over to the slide and merry go round. Lots of fond memories of playing in this park.

As I walked towards Broadway (to see if the GE Club was still around), I practically ran into Samuel Bigger's grave site.


That's not what it looked like the last time I saw it (see black and white photo to your right - THAT'S what it looked like when I last saw it).

And that's when my grandparents conversation popped into my head. You know (I thought), we never did solve the mystery of - was this a cemetery before McCulloch Park or not.


Side note: Upon further inspection, I saw that the employees of GE had donated the really nice memorial to Governor Bigger in 1994.


I was bugged tremendously. Went through all of my Fort Wayne books. Surfed the web. Finally came to the conclusion that yes - my grandpa was right - McCulloch Park had been a cemetery. It was called Broadway Cemetery. Now interestingly enough, there were other people buried here, but for some reason, they were all moved to the new Lindenwood Cemetery (Lindenwood was the brain child of 12 business men who thought that Fort Wayne needed a larger, nonsectarian, and nonprofit cemetery).

According to one of my many Fort Wayne books, none of Samuel Bigger's living relatives had any interest in moving him to Lindenwood, so he just stayed put. And unfortunately, he stayed put in a grave site that was unmarked (just covered with a concrete slab). It's kind of weird to think that a man who gave so much to this state, would be practically forgotten (and abandoned) in a cemetery/turned park area.

In 1908, it seems that the City Council of Fort Wayne was bothered by this and below, I've included the resolution that they passed calling for a memorial to be erected.

The following resolution, passed by the City Council of Fort Wayne early in February, 1908, largely through the initiative and influence of Mr. J. M. Henry, will be of general interest:

"In what was formerly known as the Broadway Cemetery, now known as the McCulloch Park, in the city of Fort Wayne, there lie the remains of Samuel Bigger, ex-Governor of the State of Indiana who served in that official capacity from 1840 to 1843 with credit to himself and honor to the State, after having served for many years as the sole representative of the State of Indiana in the House of Representatives of the United States, from which once he resigned to accept that of Governor of the State.

It may truly be said that he saved the honor of the State in his refusal to consent to the repudiation of the then State debt, and it is no less true that to his refusal was probably due a subsequent payment by the State of the debt, which at that time others thought should have been repudiated. Never since that time has the State been on the verge of repudiating its debt. It is certainly an honor to the city of Fort Wayne that it can claim the residence, in part, of a governor of such immense value to the State of Indiana, and the resting place of his body. This city never had the honor of claiming the residence or burial place of any other governor of the State.

Some years ago the exact spot where lie the remains of Governor Bigger was discovered by the finding of an unmarked slab, which was known at that time to be the spot where Governor Bigger had been interred. The slab, which had been previous to that time neglected by the lack of any decoration or distinguishing mark to show, on the part of the city, its appreciation of the honor of having this city the residence and burial place of such a distinguished governor, was removed. The memorable spot can still be located by those who know its location, and it would be a sad loss to the city of Fort Wayne if, from the failure of the city to appropriately mark the spot, future generations would be unable to locate the same. The spot which has so far been thus neglected should be by the city befittingly marked by the erection of a suitable monument or other designation of respect and honor; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, by the Common Council of the city of Fort Wayne, That it is the desire of the council that a suitable monument be erected on the grave of Governor Samuel Bigger, that his name be perpetuated for future ages.”

Not much of a "memorial" was erected (as you can see from the black and white), but at least his name was etched on a metal plate on his grave and a iron thingie was put up to keep people from walking on top of it.

I'm glad that the GE employees saw fit to build the proper memorial. It's nice and makes the grave not stick out like a sore thumb (like it had in the past).

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Hong Kong Phooey

Who is this super hero?

Sarge? No.

Rosemary the telephone operator? No.

Henry the mild mannered janitor? Could be.

Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.

Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye.

He's got style, a groovy smile, and a car that just won't stop.

When the going gets tough, he's super tough, with a Hong Kong Phooey chop (Hi-Ya!)

Hong Kong Phooey, number one super guy.

Hong Kong Phooey, quicker than the human eye.

chicky chong chicky chom chicky dongdiddly dong diddly dong dong bow wow wow

Hong Kong Phooey, fan-riffic (gong!)

Enough with the singing. And apologies to anyone who actually knows the lyrics to the opening of Hong Kong Phooey. These may or may not represent the actual lyrics, but it is what I used to sing when it came on Channel 21 (ABC) at 8 a.m. on Saturday mornings (Spring 1976).

When the show first debut in 1974, ABC had it on at 9 a.m. hour. You had to know it was getting the kiss of death when they moved it to 8 a.m.

I liked this show because of its jingle-jammin' opening, its quirky slapstick comedy, and the plain arrogance of the dog - who just thought he was all that! And also, I always wondered about the sidekick cat - I forget his name. He always looked like the Alice in Wonderland cat.

From my favority community source - Wikipedia:

Hong Kong Phooey is a 16-episode Hanna Barbera animated series that first aired on ABC Saturday morning from September 7, 1974 to September 4, 1976. The star, Hong Kong Phooey, is the secret alter ego of Penrod Pooch, or Penry (sometimes mispronounced "Henry"), a "mild-mannered" police station janitor. Although Penry/Phooey appears to be the only anthropomorphic dog in the entire city where the series is set, no one ever connects his two identities.

Hong Kong Phooey is supposedly a master of kung fu and other martial arts. The stories begin at the police headquarters, where Hong Kong Phooey's alter ego, Penry, works as a mild-mannered janitor. He works with Sergeant Flint (Sarge) and Rosemary, the telephone operator, who has a major crush on Hong Kong Phooey. After Rosemary gets a call and explains the criminals' crime Penry would run into a filing cabinet to transform himself into Hong Kong Phooey. In each episode, he ends up needing help from his loyal (somewhat less anthropomorphic) striped cat and sidekick, Spot, to get him out. Hong Kong never quite notices Spot's help, but instead is always proud of himself because he thinks he is the one who does everything.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor - How It Feels To Have A Stroke

I always like to pass along videos that have an impact.

From Jill's website:

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor is a Harvard-trained and published neuroanatomist who is afilliated with the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indiananapolis, Indiana. As the National Spokesperson for the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center (Harvard Brain Bank), she travels the country as the Singin' Scientist (listen to the Brain Bank Jingle). She is the Consulting Neuroanatomist for the Midwest Proton Radiotherapy Institute. Since 1993, she has been an active member of NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and is currently the president of the NAMI Greater Bloomington Area affiliate.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Best Friend's Wedding

Dearest David Alan,

I don't know why it didn't dawn on me - the laws of California had changed - you'd been with your man for several years - and I know how you like to be first at everything you do. Oh yes, I forgot this other part - you know - about being the center of attention (and no less - on local television).

Still, the thought of you getting married and without me - well - it makes me kinda sad. I had these visions of us, staying up all night, doing stupid stuff...gossiping about celebrities, Busco'ites, family...watching movies...criticising actors, directors, movie studios...bitchin' and moanin' about our age, George Bush (both), and how we both should have run for public office because we're the only hard-working, honest people left in the world ;).

You know - the typical woulda coulda shouldas.

I would even have brought my Nintendo Wii and we could have played the old arcade games too. I would have kicked your ass in Donkey Kong but maybe, I would have let you win in Centipede. Maybe.

I wanted to wear a bitchin' bridesmaid dress damnit. I've never been a bridesmaid. You were my last hope!

Okay, now in all seriousness, I'm really happy for you. Everytime I re-play this, I giggle, I mist up (sometimes cry), and I roll my eyes at you for your "David-like" comments that you make throughout your ceremony.

Oh - and also - I miss you. I love you. I adore you. Thank you for letting me take a peek at your really special moment.


P.S. Coincidence or something else?

Dionne Warwick song - Do You Know The Way To San Jose?

1) You get married there
2) It's on the soundtrack for My Best Friend's Wedding (the movie)
3) It came out in 1968 (the year you were born)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

"No amount of thought can ever reveal what comes unexpectedly..."

After we walked out of the library, we turned right, making our way down to my old Kindergarten classroom.

The last time I had seen this beautiful room was - gosh - at least 20 years ago.

Me: I have so many fond memories of my Kindergarten teacher Miss Crouse.

Mrs. Ross: My daughter had her too, but after she had married...

Me: I remember that - then she became Mrs. Ludwig.

Mrs. Ross: Yes, that's right.

Me: I loved my Kindergarden room. It was so well-designed. Big. Airy. Homey. I loved the fireplace/mantle area. At least I think that's what it was. I know it had a lot of brick and Miss Crouse used to sit there with Mr. Peabody. Did you know about Mr. Peabody?

Mrs. Ross: The fireplace area - wow - yes. That was a long time ago. I'm not sure who Mr. Peabody was.

Me: Oh. He was the hand puppet that Miss Crouse used to tell us stories.

As soon as I finished that last sentence - I went to catch my breath and instead - I gasped.


This is the area where it used to be. Now, it was an entrance for the food service personnel.

Me: What?! Where's Room 1? Where's my Kindergarten class at???!!!!

Mrs. Ross: Well, it's not there anymore.

Me: I can see that. Wondering if I was going to hyperventilate...

Before she could go on, a teacher (who was well on her way to giving birth anyday), approached us.

Pregnant Teacher: You remember the Kindergarten class?

Me: Yes! You too? Side note: Who would ever think that I would be so emotional over my Kindergarten class.

Pregnant Teacher: I remember it. The door was over here (she pointed to a specific area). It all went away when we remodeled the building and added on the wing.

Me: Oh. (My mouth was turned upside down in a frown - fer real).

Mrs. Ross: Remember how you used to eat your lunch in the gym?

Me: Oh yeah. We used to have to unload those ungodly tables and then fold them back up again. Ugh.

Mrs. Ross: Now, we have a cafeteria and this area backs up to it.

Me: Okay. (breathing. thinking.) So that place behind the library - the new area established in memory of that little boy...that's where my Kindergarten playground was, wasn't it?

Mrs. Ross: Why yes!

Me: Oh man! I remember the sliding doors in the classroom which led out to that playground. I can't believe it's gone - it's all gone.

As we walked away from the place that used to be, I continued telling her about what I remembered about Room 1.

Me: Miss Crouse assigned us all to a group and each group had their own table. I was at table number 6 (the last one of the bunch). In the middle of the table was a center piece with a white number six pushed into a green styrofoam-like mound, with six bumble bees sticking out, all around. Like they were flying. And there were cubbies. Wooden cubbies where we would store our gym shoes. They were stacked, two on top of each other, like a file cabinet. My cubbie mate was Eugene. I was so in love with Eugene (sigh).

I paused. Boy, I was a raving lunatic.

Me: I'm sorry to just be rambling. That filter I usually have in place - you know the one - where there's at least a six second delay between what I'm thinking and what my mouth says?'s just not there today. It's the smell of this school. It has this affect of waking up every single memory I ever had of the place.

She smiled.

Mrs. Ross: Oh, I don't mind. It's nice to hear that you have such fond memories of this place. I've worked here for thirty some years and it means a lot to me too.

I smiled. That Mrs. Ross. She was like so many of the wonderful teachers that I had at Indian Village. sigh.

The tour wasn't over. Oh no. We continued down the hall. We were on our way to Miss McDougall's room.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Shazam!

It was Spring 1975. I was 8 1/2 years old. Boy crazy already (as my friends would tell you). One of the guys who set the bar for many of my future crushes - that was Michael Gray.

Michael Gray played the character of Billy Batson on Shazam! - which was on Channel 15 (CBS), at 10:30 a.m. every Saturday morning.

It was his dark, unkept hair that made me think he was totally cute.

Oh yes - I was totally excited by the motorcycle too.

A couple of thoughts....

1) I would have really enjoyed seeing Michael Gray in tights - not these really old, middle-aged men who were generic-looking.

2) My gay-dar really comes out strong when I watch re-runs of this.

Spring 1975 Saturday Morning Cartoon Line-Up

From Wikipedia:

Shazam! was a half-hour live-action television program produced by Filmation (the animation studio's first such program), based upon DC Comics' superhero Captain Marvel. The show ran from 1974 to 1977 on CBS. Actor Michael Gray starred as young Billy Batson, while Captain Marvel was played first by Jackson Bostwick, and later by John Davey.

The television version of Shazam! was notably different from its source material. The wizard Shazam did not appear in the series; teenage Billy spoke directly to the elders that empowered him (all of whom were animated characters rather than actors): Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. Instead of remaining in his hometown, Billy and his guardian "Mentor" (a doppelganger of sorts for the comics' Uncle Marvel, and played by Les Tremayne) were nomads, traveling around the country in a recreational vehicle. (Media promotion of the time explained that Batson had taken a leave of absence from his radio announcer's job, a circumstance that was also obliquely referenced in bits of dialogue from the series.)

The most fundamental element of the Shazam! mythos remained the same: when he spoke the magic word "Shazam!", Billy would be struck by a magic lightning bolt (via animation) and transformed into the World's Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

"I only see clearly what I remember"

Kristina Michele Frazier

Kindergarten Picture

Taken at Indian Village Elementary School
Afternoon Kindergarten Group

Teacher: Miss Crouse
Principal: Dr. Schroeder

Quote Courtesy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau

As soon as I stepped through the next set of doors, the smell of the school re-awakened decades of stored memories.

To the right, there is a door. That used to be where the nurse's office was. Not anymore - something else was there. To the left, there used to be a school administration directory. That's where you'd see that Miss Crouse was Room 1 and Mrs. Lawson was Room 19. It was a black, felt, square punctuated with white letters and framed with a glass case.

As I walked forward, to the right was the "Principal's" Office. Before I entered, I noticed that to the left was the school gymnasium and straight ahead - HEY WAIT! It was gone. Yes, straight ahead, there used to be two restrooms - one for girls and one for boys. It wasn't there anymore!

In the office, I introduced myself to the woman in charge. No - not the "new" Principal (well - new to me - but Ms. Stephany Bourne has been there for awhile). The real heart and soul of this school - Mrs. Ross. You see, I don't specifically remember Mrs. Ross, but she's been at Indian Village almost since the beginning of time. Her wildly successful daughter - was just two years behind me - so she was the perfect person to give me a tour of the facilities.

I should mention that I picked the absolute worse day to do this. It was the afternoon of the fifth grade convocation. There were tons of kids and parents everywhere (never a bad thing generally) however, I wasn't able to get all of the pictures that I wanted to get because I had to be careful, making sure that no kids ended up in my shots.

Alright - let's start the tour.

Mrs. Ross and I stood in the middle of the office area. We acknowledged that not much had changed (in this area) since the place was built. The long, light oak counter where I would stand in line to purchase my bus pass ($1.50 per week I think) or the place I would stand to turn something in to the school secretary - it was still there.

Oh my! This was the spot where my mom and Dr. Schroeder had a throw down over the buses.

Mom: I don't understand why we have to pay for our kids to be transported back and forth to school.

Dr. Schroeder: The way the rule is set up, if it's under a mile, then we have to charge you.

Mom: It's more than a mile!

Dr. Schroeder: Not as a crow flies.

Mom: Pardon?

Dr. Schroeder: The rule is, mileage is based upon the flight of a crow. He points to a map. From here to here is just under a mile.

Mom: Points to the map too. My children have two legs and no wings therefore, you should be measuring based upon the route that they would have to walk she points to Kyle Road, Sandhill Drive, Tielker, Engle Road. THAT is over a mile.

Dr. Schroeder: I'm sorry Mrs. Frazier. I can only go by the rules set forth by the school board.

When I told this story to Mrs. Ross - she immediately knew where I lived. It was a humorous moment :).

When we walked out of the office, I pointed out things (the school directory, the restrooms) to Mrs. Ross - mostly - out of a need for some validation i.e. was I crazy?! She was pretty amazed at my memory and she acknowledged that yes, I was right. And throughout our tour, she was a fantastic validator for me.

I asked her about Dr. Schroeder. Apparently, he had retired a few years back and during a celebration for the school (fifty years), there was a big to-do thrown for him and his lovely wife in honor of the school and his retirement. How sad that I had missed this (but of course - I didn't know about it).

As we started to walk down the hall - I saw a door on the right - right before the first hallway. Hey - that used to be the teacher's lounge - where they all went to smoke.


And what happened to the restrooms? They weren't there anymore. Instead, the library had been built out from this area.

Mrs. Ross: When the school added on the wing (2001), we also did some rearranging. That included changing the set-up of the library.

And stepping into the library, it was a beautiful site to see. Well maintained. Lots of books. And now, a great view to the outside - to this grassy, gazebo-like, special place that was just established in the name of a student who had died a few years back (I'm sorry that I cannot recall the name of the student). On that particular day, they were planning on holding a dedication ceremony.

When we stepped outside and looked at the area, I was having some major cognitive dissonance. It looked familiar. But this was new. I didn't spend a lot of time in that girls restroom (that used to exist in this place). And surely, there was no window to look outside to this area. Hmmmm.....I said nothing - I was going crazy.

Or was I?!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

"The space within becomes the reality of the building"

Indian Village Elementary School
3835 Wenonah Lane
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46809

Photo of Dedication Plaque, located in the first set of entrance doors.

Taken by Kristina Frazier-Henry
May 23, 2008

Quote courtesy of Frank Lloyd Wright

The space within becomes the reality of the building.

When I went home last month, I was lucky enough to be treated to a tour of my grade school, Indian Village Elementary (thank you Carl!).

From the outside, a couple of things have changed. First, they've added on a new wing. Where there was once grass, there was a new arm of the building, complete with a parking lot. Second, there was this overhead awning with a red canopy at the front entrance of the school. Looked out of place to me - but what do I know? I'm just a kid who liked the plain and simple entrance to my grade school.

And then there were the things that looked the same.

The circular drive-way/drive-in/angular parking was still the same. The outside structure - i.e. the color of the stone - and the basic foundational elements of the school - looked the same.

As I walked up the stairs to the entrance - to those "doors" - memories came flooding back of the times when our buses would drop us off in the morning or pick us up in the afternoon. The teachers - and usually Dr. Schroeder - would always be there to greet us.

When I opened up the outer doors, I looked to the left and saw this plaque (pictured above).

Interesting plaque. I've seen it thousands of times. After all, it was there, from the very first day in 1972 that I started to attend this school. I remember reading it too but I never thought about the significance of what it said.

There's history on this plaque.

History that goes beyond a gold and black sheet of metal, fastened to a wall of brick and stone.

B.F. Geyer

Do you know who B.F. Geyer was? Benjamin Franklin Geyer.

He was pretty significant to the Fort Wayne Community - and for many, many years.

Photo Courtesy of the Allen County Public Library.

Sometime during the 20's, he was President of The East State Bank (located at 1201 Maumee Avenue).

After the depression, he was President of Wayne Pump.

He was a driving force in raising funds for the construction of the Chamber of Commerce Building (by the way - that's where my wedding reception was held).

Mr. Geyer was part of a group (as a board member) who put together the overall Parkview Hospital infrastructure which included the School of Nursing (by the way, I was born in that hospital).

He helped shape the early years of Fort Wayne's school system - both as board member and president - for over 20 years (by the way, I was a proud alumni of said school system).

If Geyer's name sounds a little familiar - maybe you recognize the school that was named after him - Ben Geyer Junior High. It was renamed to Geyer Middle School.

I went to go look up information about it - and sadly, I came across an article from the Indiana Policy Review (June 6, 2006). After four years on the No Child Left Behind failing school list, the Fort Wayne middle school closed for good on June 1.

One of the articles I read said that the school was overhauled and reopened under another name. Mr. Geyer's service to the Fort Wayne community was dismissed - or should I say - reassigned - to some grass (a football field for 1st through 8th graders) in the back of the currently renamed school.

Dear Mr. Geyer: I'm sorry that your successors and their Superintendent failed you and the community you helped to build up. R.I.P. And maybe one day the community will respect you and you will be formally re-recognize for your contributions through something more dignified then a grassy knoll.

Aaron T. Lindley

Mr. Lindley was our superintendent at the time Indian Village Elementary was built. He served in this position for about ten years and then (as reported by a 1961 news article), he resigned his position and accepted an offer at Purdue University for 1/3 of his salary. There was quite a ruckus. School board member Willard Shambaugh knew of his plans to resign and to add salt to the wound, the school board voted to give Mr. Lindley a $10,000 grant as "Terminal Compensation". This infuriated the Mayor of Fort Wayne (Paul Burns) and after some public pressure, the board pulled back their $10,000 offer.

Things that make you go hmmmmm.....

But never you mind. Both Shambaugh and Lindley still have schools named after them.

Side note: This could change soon I guess as both schools made this list.

P.S. Willard Shambaugh went on to become the President of Lincoln Bank (1962) after the sudden death of Charles H. Buesching.

Mox Pohlmeyer and Associates
They architected Indian Village Elementary!

From the City of Fort Wayne website:
Pohlmeyer & Pohlmeyer: Fort Wayne natives Fred W. Pohlmeyer (1885-1953) and Martin W. "Mox" Pohlmeyer (1896-1981) were sons of a local building contractor. Fred W. obtained his architectural training working in the offices of both Chicago and local architects. Younger brother Mox was a graduate of Carnegie Tech, and gained experience working with noted eastern architects. The firm designed homes, schools, and commercial buildings such as the Robert Hattersley House (17156), the Coony Bayer House (17188), the Coca Cola Bottling Works (39017), and John S. Irwin School (48002).

Wow. Thank you Mox. You architected a really kick-ass building for us.

Wermuth Inc.

I couldn't find much on this general contracting company with the exception of scads of pictures of their work.

International Harvester Tower - Charles R. Wermuth & Son (General Contractors).

Photo Courtesy of the Allen County Public Library.

Shambaugh & Sons

A familiar name - has been around Fort Wayne forever. And no - this wasn't Willard Shambaugh's business, this was Roscoe and Max Shambaugh's (who coincidentally, served on the County Council). The company is still around today - bigger and better than ever and headed up by the next generation of Shambaugh's - Mark.

SO - all of this - just from one averaged-sized, gold and black sheet of metal, fastened to a wall of brick and stone.

And the tour was only beginning...

Sunday, June 15, 2008

One Day, You Will Be Gone

Hey Dad,

I would ask, how have you been...but that seems sort of fake and superficial, so I won't. Besides, Patty keeps me up to date on you (although I know you two don't talk more than a handful of times a year).

It's Father's Day which I'm sure you know. And typically, daughters spend the day with their fathers, but that's something you and I haven't done for about 16 years now. Maybe longer. Maybe shorter. Honestly, I've lost track of time.

A long time ago, I let go of the anger. Sometimes though, sadness and 'what-if' kind of thoughts, make their way to my consciousness. Like today. You know - Father's Day.

It's been really tough growing up without my father in my life - or at least the one I deserved to have in my life. I wouldn't wish my father (the one I grew up with) on anyone yet in some strange, bizarre way, I have a lot to thank you for.

I found someone who is the complete opposite of you. I'm never afraid of him. I know that he'll always love me. And the best thing in the world - he's possibly the best father that's ever walked the face of the earth.

I'm professionally successful. People respect me - my work ethic - my business decisions.

I'm educated. I have a master's degree. I almost went the distance on my doctorate but then realized that I was only going there to prove something to the people who left a hole in my heart.

I'm self-sufficient. I've never been on welfare, homeless, or out of work for any major length of period. I've always landed on my feet - regardless of what has been thrown my way.

I'm lucky. I have my sister Patty who is awesome and even though we are nothing alike, she understands me and does not judge me - no matter what. That kind of unconditional love is hard to come by in what remains of - this family - what was - your family.

Dad, one day, you will be gone. There won't be any more time left. There won't be tomorrows or next weeks or birthdays or holidays in which you can reconsider your relationship with us. It's all up to you dad. Ball is in your court.

Only Time - Enya

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Archie's Funhouse (1970)

I must have been really desperate to watch this show!

Archie's Funhouse (in 1970) was on Channel 15 (CBS) at 11 a.m. Now in all honesty, this wasn't something I watched regularly. By this time, I was usually outside, playing with my friends. On rainy Saturdays or Saturdays when I was sick and stuck inside, this is one of the shows I would turn to.

From my favorite wikipedia:

Archie's Funhouse (1970) (expanded version of the previous season's "Funhouse" format, now featuring an audience of live-action kids and the "Giant Jukebox" a music-heavy incarnation of the series, originally padded to one hour with repeats of The Archie Show segments)

From a fan:

Archie's Funhouse featuring the Giant Jukebox was the third version of Archie to appear on CBS. Blending seamlessly animation with live-action, Archie was the host of the hour long show filmed with a live children's audience. The audience children were often shown reacting to the jokes and gags.

According to Animation by Filmation authors Darryl Swannigan and McNeil, the skits were modeled on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, and Filmation even hired Laugh-In writers for the segments.

There were mini segements such as Big Ethel's How to Catch a Man, Thunderbolt Theatre, The Giant Jukebox, Betty's Diary, and Sideshow.

Here's what I remember.

* I was in awe! How could I be a kid in the audience?! They looked like they were having SO MUCH fun!

* How could they see the cartoon archies? must be magic!

* That Betty - she is SOOOOOO stupid...(used this against my sister - who was blonde - all of the time).

Looking back now...

* All sorts of "groups" would be all over this show for its reinforcement of stereotypes (dumb blonde, stupid jock, unattractive nerd).

* This is the first time I remember seeing a bunch of characters de-aged into the child versions of themselves. I wonder if they were the originals for this concept?

* It was a pretty fast-paced, mish-mash of segments which undoubtedly, contributed to much ADHD in this country ;).

* It must have held my attention because of all of the music. I was certainly too young to get many of the jokes.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

19 & Addicted to Return of the Jedi

The year was 1986.

I was attending IPFW.
I was studying (and I use this term lightly) music.
I was young.
I was restless.
But I did not watch soap operas.

Instead, a fellow music major by the name of Andy Simmons - well he and I became friends.

And because he was ADHD challenged (like myself), we would often find excuses to skip out of our classes (me: Dr. Ator's) (him: still a mystery to me today).

Where would we go?

Glenbrook Mall of course.

What would we do?

We'd hit the arcade.

Although I was well-versed in the "usual" games (thanks to Gary and David), the stuff at Glenbrook - the recent batch they got in - was a little more intimidating to me.

Have no fear - Andy (or Squiggy as I called him) taught me the finer points of playing some of these new-fangled games. And one of those games was Return of the Jedi.

Confession: I've never seen Star Wars. Ever. Any of it. I've seen some movie stills. Maybe I've passed a poster. That's it.

Note: This is a sore point between my husband and I as in his view, I have not yet experienced true movie-going if I haven't seen Star Wars. People have often wondered if Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, and other such media nonsense would end up driving us to divorce court. I'm happy to report - not yet.

So back to the game - Return of the Jedi. I used to stand to the side and watch Andy play it. I was charmed by the hoo-cha's! (that's so cute!) and yub-yub.

Other adorable phrases
Wonderful, we are now a part of the (?)
I have a really bad feeling about this....
We've got to give him more time!
Oh man oh buddy don't let me down!
The shield is down
muffled talk
Here goes nothing!
It should be the power generator
Go for the power regulator on the north tower!

Here was the action going on
Look out for the trees! Ridin' a motorcycle is tricky.
Cool! A robot shooting at the logs and stones randomnly falling past you.
Don't run into the iron walls.
The fire is chasing me!

Let's face it. This game was Tron on steroids and buddy - I loved it.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The State of the State in Central and Southern Indiana

Photo by Jim Rice (Seymour, Indiana)

Some of you have written to me, asking if my family and home are both safe and sound from the horrid storms and flood waters which have overrun central and southern Indiana.

Indeed, we are all fine.

I won't mislead you.

It has been a rough couple of days. The rain started late last week and it seemed to never stop. The intensity though, was what surprised me. The wind whipped our trees violently, from side to side, and I was concerned that we were definitely going to have a tree thrown into the side of the house :). Luckily, this did not happen.

So, if my family and home were both safe - why do I have a picture of a flooded area at the top of this blog entry?

Because folks, Columbus, Indiana - the place I work - is in the middle of one of their biggest natural disasters in almost 100 years. And yes - it is a "drive" for me.

It's been a surreal past couple of days for these folks.

It rained steady and hard - just like it did for those of us up north. Then - what seemed like out of no where - the waters rose in a matter of hours and the entire area was under water.

One moment - streets fine to drive on. Next moment...whoosh!

It truly was with little warning to folks.


Here's Highway 31 - a road I drive on to get to Columbus.
(Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana)


Most of this area isn't considered to be in a flood zone and therefore, several homeowners are fretting about being able to put their lives back together. Their houses have been ruined by the waters and many have lost every single material possession. (Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana)


Some, even lost their loved ones.

At Cummins, we had an employee, Steve Gates, who died while driving home from work on Saturday. "The swollen creek’s strong current pulled Gates under at about 1:30 p.m. Saturday after he tried to walk back to dry land from his vehicle. (The Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana)"

Anytime a member of the Cummins Engine family is lost - it is a tremendous tragedy and I know that several of us are praying for him and his family.


The local hospital - Columbus Regional Hospital - was completely evacuated on Saturday. (Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana).

No one was hurt. All of the patients were appropriately and swiftly moved to facilities in surrounding counties.

Just about everything is destroyed (luckily - they have a good electronic records system in place which is backed up daily).

It will be weeks - perhaps longer - before employees can return there to work and patients can begin to receive their services there.


Here's a picture of the gymnasium of the one of the high school's - Columbus East. Not a pretty site. (Photo from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana).

Some Cummins facilities were flooded. These two pictures are from our Cummins Engine Plant in Columbus (one of the parking lot and the other of the main entrance). (Photos from the Republic Newspaper, Columbus, Indiana).

I end today's blog with asking you to keep the folks of central and southern Indiana in your thoughts as they go about picking up the pieces of their lives. We could use some good luck and good weather down here.

Monday, June 9, 2008

"Yep, This Used To Be The Place..."

Before I got distracted with Speed Buggy and ABC Wide World of Sports, I was writing about my trip to Fort Wayne and specifically - my foot excursion to the shoppes by the old Wells Street Bridge.

I showed you Richard's Bakery (both north and south approaches) and then, I also posted the south approaching side (or is that north???) of the shoppes that used to be the home of The Mouse House.

Today's picture is the front (angled) view of this strip of shoppes.

I was bummed that these people were working on the building because I wanted a really cool, clean shot of the place.

But being who I am, I decided to take advantage of the situation. I walked up to them and just started talking...

Me: Excuse me.

Guy: Yes?

Me: I used to live in this neighborhood several years ago. I haven't been back here for at least a decade. Am I crazy - did a business known as The Mouse House - used to be among these shoppes?

Guy: Yep. In fact it was right there (he pointed to the shoppe on the end - the one that now served coffee).

Me: Wow. I thought so. I peaked into the front windows. It looks a bit different - but much of the same structure is still there.

Guy: Yep. The last tenant that was here, after The Mouse House, was a bar. They made some changes, but not a whole lot.

Me: Wow! I had no idea - a bar!

Guy: Yep.

Me: Any idea why The Mouse House people left?

Guy: Nope. I just know that this used to be the place where it was.

I thanked him for his time and then I stepped back a ways, and I just took it all in. I wasn't sad. I thought about the impact that a tiny little, locally owned shoppe had on my life.

Its presence was a catalyst - it brought together my natural/naive curiosity with the patience/wisdom/history/story-telling of my grandparents.

What a great gift this place was to me. But you know what? It wasn't the only place in Fort Wayne. There were others. Some still exist. Others do not.

Me: Well grandpa, we're only in a hurry because there's so many things we have to do!

Grandpa: When you get older, you might see things differently...

And I'm older and now I get it.

We're so busy "doing things". We go through life on fast forward instead of taking the time to have moments like these. Part of that is how we - as a society - and as families - have taken advantage of modern conveniences. Part of it is, we've lost touch (I've lost touch) with simplicity and meaning.

I think for the past 20 years of my life, I have been preoccupied with things that are complicated and in the end, just don't matter much.

Maybe that's what inspires me to write this blog.

I'm reminding myself what made me most happiest - at a time when I had literally nothing (from a material perspective).

I did have though - grandparents, cousins, aunts, friends, teachers, neighbors - who cared about me.

And not because I was smart or had money or knew someone who could do something for them.

They just liked/loved/appreciated me for me.

Kind of a cool concept, isn't it?!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Jim McKay and ABC Wide World of Sports

When I was a kid, I absolutely loved sports like gymnastics, basketball, hockey, skiing, ice skating, and swimming.

Almost all of this - I attribute to ABC's Wide World of Sports program and its main commentator - Jim McKay.

Side note: As you probably heard, he passed yesterday at the age of 86. I have seen him in a handful of interviews over the years and he seems to be a man who was grateful for all that he was allowed to experience during his long life.

The first time that I ever came across him was during the 1972 Munich Olympics. He wasn't the main host of the televised events (I think that Chris Schenkel was). He was however, brought on during the hostage crisis. I was almost 6 years old when this happened. I have so many memories of this time (1972 Munich Olympics) but will leave that for another blog entry as it covers a whole range of "firsts" for me.


There's nothing like the 70's opening of WWoS. WWoS would come on after cartoons on Saturday and then again on Sundays. The opening still gives me goosebumps and watching the guy wipeout on his skis and the chick balance her neck and head on the balance beam - well - hey - it made me uncomfortable to watch - but I watched it each and every time! I think that the drama-filled music attracted me to marching band in my later years. Who could not love this music??!!!

Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sports
The thrill of victory
And the agony of defeat
The human drama of athletic competition
This is ABC's Wide World of Sports

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Saturday Morning Cartoons - Speed Buggy (1973)

It's Saturday Morning. The one morning of the week which defied all kid logic. You wanted to get up as early as possible.

How come?

There were cartoons to watch! And as we all know - with only three real television stations (ABC=21, CBS=15, NBC=33) - we only had about four hours of real cartoon-watchin' time!

In honor of Saturday mornings, I pledge to feature here weekly - on Child of the Fort - one of those cartoons that we all used to watch back in the day.

First up - Speed Buggy. Note: Information from wikipedia

Speed Buggy was a Saturday morning cartoon produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions from September 8, 1973 to August 30, 1975 on CBS.

Similar in style to Hanna-Barbera's successful Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, Speed Buggy followed the adventures of an anthropomorphic, fiberglass Dune Buggy, Speed Buggy (voiced by Mel Blanc), his driver Tinker (voiced by Phil Luther, Jr.), and Tinker's friends, Mark (voiced by Michael Bell) and Debbie (voiced by Arlene Golonka). The three young adults and their car traveled from race to race, often encountering spy capers and mysteries along the way. Speed Buggy's trademark quotes were always "Roger-Dodger!" and "Vroom-a-zoom-zoom!"

Though Speed Buggy (nicknamed Speedy by his friends) had a mind of his own (which was based on Disney's Herbie the Love Bug), he was vulnerable to commands given through a communicator/remote control device made by Tinker when he first built Speed Buggy. Speedy's friends rarely used the device to control his actions, using it mainly for its communication function, but criminals and other ne'er-do-wells would sometimes steal or duplicate the device and manipulate Speedy for their own purposes.

Sixteen 30-minute installments of Speed Buggy were produced in 1973. The show was a such a huge success that it aired on all three major networks (CBS, NBC and ABC) until 1979, then was picked up for syndication until 1983.

Most likely due to the shows inspiration, Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!, the character Tinker shares many visual likenesses to Scooby's beatnik best friend, Norville "Shaggy" Rogers. Also, there are some similar character traits between Mark and Fred Jones, and Debbie appears to be very similar to Daphne in multiple ways.

Kristina's thoughts: Well duh!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Cheese and Doughnuts

While I was in Fort Wayne two weekends ago, I retraced the very path that my grandparents and I used to take for cheese and doughnuts.

After crossing Third Street over to Wells Street, we would walk down the sidewalk - past 2nd Street, past 1st Street - and we would come across Richard's Bakery.

How to describe the baking smell coming from Richard's Bakery? I'm not eloquent enough - that's for sure. Let's just say - this place was in competition for best smell ever (with the bread people).

We would walk past the building (no, let's stop!) because grandpa said that glazed twisties would ruin our cheese sampling abilities.

We would round the corner and there would be the building that housed The Mouse House.

The Mouse House was the very last shop on this strip. The very last shop before you'd get ready to cross the old Wells Street Bridge.

We would walk in, and my grandparents would always be greeted by their names.

Wayne. Irene. How are you this fine spring morning?

I wasn't sure how they knew the folks who ran The Mouse House. I just know that every time we went in there, we were greeted like old friends. After sampling various cheese, we would walk out with at least one round of colby and a slab of another, unknown (to me) cheese.

We would walk back to Richard's Bakery and again - I would be greeted with that heavenly - please never leave me smell.

Again, my grandparents would be greeted by their first names. While I would stick my nose against the see through glass display mmmmm - doughnuts...mmmmm - pastries..... they would chit chat about everything and anything.

My grandpa would get his cake doughnut. I always got the glazed twisties. My grandma would get something with a filling in it.

The walk home always seemed longer than the walk there. Just cause I wanted to eat my doughnut - right there!

To distract myself, I chatted. (Chatting = forgetting the glaze part of the twistie - but only momentarily).

Me: How come we always walk down to the bakery and the cheese shop to get doughnuts and cheese? It's easier if we just pick up this stuff when we shop at the grocery store.

Grandma: Well because Krissie. These are honest folks, trying to make a living for themselves and their families. They put their heart into what they sell and I know that they wouldn't sell us anything that they wouldn't want their own families to have.

Me: So the grocery store sells rotten food?

Grandpa: Not exactly. I think what your grandma is trying to say is that we think it is important to patronize local establishments - family owned businesses. Many years ago, before you were born, that used to be the way of life. Bakeries, and cheese shops, and drug stores, and shoe stores...they all used to be owned and run by the families who lived in the community. Back then, everybody knew everybody and that's the way it was. When we moved to this neighborhood and we saw that there were some of these places close by, we made sure to visit them and give them our business.

Me: How come not more of these places exist?

Grandpa: Everybody is in a hurry these days. They want everything now, without waiting. These shopping centers popped up with national chains and people drive out to get what they want. Most family businesses don't stock up what you'd find in K-Mart and Murphy's.

Me: Well grandpa, we're only in a hurry because there's so many things we have to do!

Grandpa: When you get older, you might see things differently...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Myth: Colby Cheese Makes You Fart

Picture: Me and my cousin Wendy, at the house on 615 W. Third Street (1986).

We're doing dishes and my mom is pestering us to turn around for a picture.


There was once a time when I didn't like cheese. Now mind you, I liked macaroni and cheese (as in Kraft), and I liked cheese as a garnish. But a hunka chunka cheese by itself?

Yeahhh - not so much.

Until I started spending time with my grandpa.

At his house on Third Street, there would always be a hunk of cheese. Sometimes a half moon, sometimes an entire round wheel. That was his snack. He'd go into the kitchen, unwrap it, cut off of a slab, and sit down in his overstuffed chair, watching the news.

Me: Grandpa. Isn't that gross?

Grandpa: Nope. Best colby cheese in the world.

Me: Don't you need to have some macaroni or a hamburger with that?

Grandpa: Nope. All of that stuff would ruin the taste.

Me: Doesn't it make you have the farts? Grandma says cheese makes you fart.

Grandpa: Your Grandma doesn't know what she's talking about. She thinks everything produces gas.

One day, as he was cuttin' himself off a slab, he cut me one too.

Me: What am I supposed to do with this?

Grandpa: I thought you were the smart one in this family.

So I ate it.

Colby cheese. It had a slightly sourish, but creamy taste to it (remember - my cheese experience to this point had been KRAFT). Interesting. Not a total turnoff. But I didn't say that to him. Nope. It would have been like he was right and I was wrong. I'm not admittin' that.

A couple more times, he would bring me slabs. I ate. Said nothing. Ditto for him.

Then somehow, I was the one fetching the slabs for both of us.

Grandma: Krissie, don't eat too much of that. It'll give you horrendous gas like your Grandpa.

Grandpa: Irene... don't be tellin' the girl that. You're just makin' up stories. In a whisper to me Your Grandma just doesn't have appreciation for cheese. She was born in Ohio - what does she know?!

Me: Giggle. Roll my eyes.

Next up - it was time for him to introduce me to the place where he purchased his cheese - The Mouse House.

And that's when me, him, and Grandma, would take our walk "down to the bridge" to get some cheese and doughnuts.

This is a birds-eye view of the area.

Walking "down to the bridge" was about walking to the shops that were located close to the Old Wells Street Bridge.

We wouldn't have to walk across it for this particular trip - but that's how they referred to our walking excursion to Richard's Bakery and The Mouse House.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

"Let's Take A Walk to The Bridge"

<-This is a picture of my Grandma, standing on the porch of 615 W. Third Street.

My grandpa was a security guard at St. Joe Hospital and his work week wasn't the typical 8 to 5, Monday thru Friday.

In the beginning, he worked second shift and his schedule was like four days on and three days off and then five days on and two days off. Never the same days either!

I never kept up with his schedule. I just knew that when I woke up, if he was sitting in his big, overstuffed chair, that meant it was his work day (he watched his television in that chair).

If he was wandering the house and the yard, it was a day off.

On his days off, he and Grandma used to like to walk together to various places around the neighborhood.

Usually, they'd come find me and say, "Let's Take a Walk to the Bridge".

I knew what bridge they were talking about and I knew what the trip was about. We were going to walk down Wells Street, and pick up some things from The Mouse House and Richard's Bakery.

As you can see from the map, it was a bit of a walk, but I never minded it.

There were sidewalks which were very walkable and crossing over from Third Street to Wells Street was never a big deal.

Monday, June 2, 2008

18 Years, 1 Son, 5 Guinea Pigs, and 2 Goldfish Later....

18 years ago today, I woke up at my apartment (Shoaff Park Villas), underwent major hair construction (my hair was half-way down my back - it was all twisted and pinned up - thanks to Bobbi, my stylist), threw on a bitchin' pink wedding dress, and went to Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception to meet up with the man I would marry (Mr. Michael Todd Henry).

Okay, the dress - I waited to put on until I got there.

In a roomful of hundreds of people, with Monsignor Lester officiating , I promised to stick it out with this other human being for as long as we both so lived.

And so far - so good.

That picture up there was from our reception - held at the one and only Fort Wayne Chamber of Commerce.

I'm pretty sure our freak friend - Daron (and best man)- stood in front of us with a camera and insisted we suck face for a picture or he wouldn't go away (thus - this picture you see).

P.S. We only have three guinea pigs now. The other two died over time. The gold fish also met their maker. The dog is new - and lives (or should I say - runs our household). My son Ethan is 13 and I'm positive that he re-defines what parenthood is all about :).

One of these things...

You know what? Who knew that a frickin' song from Sesame Street would be useful in summing up SO many things in our adult lives....

I loved watching Sesame Street when I was a kid. Cookie Monster. Grover (the coolest geek in the frickin' puppet world), Bert, Ernie, - I loved them all. Big Bird was inspirational. I was SO tall as a kid - I stuck out like a sore thumb - just like Big Bird did. He didn't care. Me neither - so THERE!.

And I didn't even need freakish toy replicas either - to love these characters.

Ahhhhh the simple days of my youth....

Sunday, June 1, 2008

To Ride or To Walk? That was the Question.

My grandparents lived at 615 W. Third Street a good chunk of my junior high and all of my high school years.

I spent many summers and my entire senior year (and first year of college), living with them at this house.

By the way, that's me over there, to the left. I was visiting my grandparents and someone snapped a picture of me in a "pep band" uniform (white pants - ewww). This was the alley next to their house (and btw - the alley doesn't exist anymore). The house is to the left of this picture.

Their particular mode of transportation was by foot or by bus.

The rule of thumb (on whether you took a bus or whether you walked) was based upon this map I've put together.

There weren't boundaries given to me/us (spoken out loud) - I just remember, based upon where we'd need to go, the typical comments that I would get from either grandparent.

Grandma: We better take the bus. Those crazy driver's come off of the highway and still treat Goshen Road like it's their own personal raceway.

Grandpa: If you and Krissie are going to Murphy's, take the bus. There's too many streets for you to cross at this time of day.