Community Columnists

Holiday stirs fond memories of dad

Father’s Day will be this Sunday. Here are some of my earliest memories of my dad. Maybe this little note will stir up some fond early memories you may have of your dad. Who was this man called Dad? He wasn’t a bit like Mom. Mom was there all the time. It was 1938, and I was 3 years old. ...

Tucker created little more than memories

It was dawn on Labor Day 1947, my last day of freedom before beginning classes in the seventh grade at East Junior High. Dad and I climbed into our 1947 Chevy and drove to Rocky Santo’s place to pick him up for the ride to Cleveland. (Some of you, dear readers, will recognize Rocky as my hero ...

Trip to museum in the ’Burg

I live on the west side of Warren. My little street leads west down to the Mahoning River. I could toss a stone across the river, and it would land in Leavittsburg. In fact, the first three digits of my phone number are the same as residents of Leavittsburg. Maybe that makes me a pseudo native ...

We always counted on mom

Things didn’t vary much on Sunday mornings when I was a kid. We were always late for Sunday school. Mom and Dad loved to play cards with friends very late on Saturday nights, so Mom would invariably shut off the alarm on Sunday morning and fall back to sleep for a few too many extra winks. As ...

Easter experience tipped balance

By Don Mumford Special Easters come to mind that have been quietly locked away in memory for many years. One very special Easter was back in 1964. I was part of a young singles group at a tiny little rundown church in Hollywood, California. It was my rock during my stay in California. The ...

100 years of business in Warren

When I was a little kid in the early 40s, I often walked past a little business known back then as Thumm’s Tire Shop on my way home from Sunday school each week. I called it “Thumb’s,” but Dad corrected me and told me it was pronounced “Toom’s.” Thumm’s, located on the curve of ...

Rescue of little cabin cruiser

This is the second part of a story about four stalwart sea adventurers from Warren who became stranded in the Indian River Bay in Delaware when their little cabin cruiser wouldn’t start. The only light we could see in that pitch darkness was coming from the drawbridge in the distance that ...

Stranded on a cabin cruiser

I was 12 years old. It was August of 1948. We were on vacation in Delaware. I didn’t like crab cakes. I was awakened after a cold, fitful night of sleep on one of the two bunks in the bow of the little cabin cruiser. There were no blankets. I had heard footsteps on the decking overhead. It ...

Picturesque trek cause for envy

It was mid-May 1947, and I was finishing up the sixth grade at Garfield Elementary. I overheard Dad talking to Mom about a proposed “business” trip that he was planning. It turned out that he and his boss, Mac, were planning to take Mac’s newly re-fitted cabin cruiser from its small ...

Pretty g-i-r-l-s sure are perplexing

I’ll not use real names in some parts of this little epistle to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent. It was late spring of 1951. I was a sophomore at Harding High. I noticed this very pretty freckle-faced blonde girl named Jill in my study hall. I found out her last name. I was too ...

Frederick Douglass’ amazing job

“When in doubt, quote Frederick Douglass,” observed a historian at a professional meeting several years ago. Through multiple autobiographies, speeches and editorials, Douglass’ words remain inspirational well into the 21st century. As the most prominent civil rights activist of the ...

Good memories of old friends

I’ve lost track of my old grade school and junior high buddy, John Strommer. He and his family moved to Youngstown in 1950 after he finished ninth grade. I made a few attempts to contact him after that, but I heard nothing. I first met John when he was a newcomer in the fourth grade at ...

Lip reading inspired wonder

It was about 10 p.m. on a windy spring Saturday in 1946. I was 10 years old and home alone. I was in bed and had just turned off my radio and the light on my night stand. What was that? I heard something in the attic! There it was again! It was a loud click or two and then a creaking sound. ...

Homesick? Or just miss Snowball?

It seems that dogs and their tragic demise marked the passage of time when I was a kid. When we lived on York Avenue here in Warren, Snowball, a beautiful white Eskimo spitz, was our family dog. I spent many hours as a 3 and 4 year old crawling around on the floor and napping with him under the ...

Valley living comes with perks

As I write this column on the eighth night of our nine days back in the Valley for the holidays, I want to remind people this Youngstown-Warren metro is one of the best places to live in the U.S. The reason is simple ä the people. An example is my new friend, Hitch, that I met this week. ...

State’s insurance fund for injured workers reflects on 2016

At its core, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation is about people. We’re about the 750,000 injured workers with a claim in our system, and we’re about the 243,000 private and public employers we cover through the state insurance fund. And in 2016, we accomplished a number of ...

Here’s the secret story of a boat that never sailed

This is a story that starts off with a stuffed fish — a northern pike to be exact. But, it’s not a fish story. It is the story of the S.S. Blub — a boat that never sailed. Dad had caught a 3-foot-long northern pike in Canada in August of 1942. He was so proud of it that he sent it ...

Youth offenders continue to harm victims when given second chance

As the juvenile judge responsible for the decision to try T.J. Lane as an adult for shooting six students at Chardon High School in 2012, I was well aware of the shifting views of the U.S. Supreme Court with respect to the sentencing of juvenile offenders as adults for committing serious crimes ...

Clear voice, leadership critical

Since the election, passions and tensions are running high on university campuses and in the general public. Part of this, of course, is that there were two candidates, both unpopular, and in theory, the more disliked candidate won. But here we are, a new president-elect, a Republican Party ...

No Reindeer games for me in 1941

Our Christmas of 1941 actually began with a series of unusual events that started in late August. Our family had joined up with the Rodkey family for a brief vacation near Geneva on the Lake. I was 5 going on 6. Joann, 10, and I were playing along a road near our cottage. I spied a toy pistol ...