Community Columnists

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 ...

All I want for Christmas is … haircut?

It was a few days after Thanksgiving, 1939. Mom, Dad, my five-years-older sister and I were at Higbee’s department store in Cleveland. Santa Claus was there, and it was my first clear recollection of him. There was a short line of kids, and I was soon on Santa’s lap. He seemed friendly ...

Enjoyed your feast? Thank a farmer

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! If you’re reading this, you either got lost while looking for the ad section, or you want to know what is going on in with agriculture in Trumbull County. If you’re here for the latter, I’ll let you know that most farmers wrapped up their harvest before the ...

Use winter to relax

Here it is, right in the middle of November in good old Warren. Most of the reason we call fall “fall” is behind us, because most of what falls has already fallen. Many of us have finished our raking and mulching. We’ve stuffed many sturdy brown paper leaf bags with the last remnants ...

It’s time to play the knee replacement law of averages

George was having lunch by himself at the Mocha House a while ago. Beside his chair was his folded up walker. He was recovering from knee replacement surgery from just the week before, and was progressing very well. He had just come from physical therapy and could drive his own car. A friend ...

Let me tell you about ‘Beggars’ Night’

Trick or Treat? I get the treat part, but I can’t quite grasp the trick part. After all, Trick or Treat is kind of a new term. At least, it is around here. It is that afternoon and evening before Halloween when kids, often accompanied be their parents, go out — usually in broad daylight ...

The thrill of piloting over Warren

I logged my first flight instruction on May 15, 1946. My dad and his friend had partnered to purchase a tired old high time1940 Luscombe 8B. It was a silver two-place high-winged aircraft with fabric-covered wings and an aluminum fuselage. It had a little 65 horsepower Lycoming engine which ...

What do you tell national media?

It's great being a Valley native in New York City in the last few weeks.That's because all my colleagues and friends keep coming up to me and saying: "Hey, your hometown was on TV again."Ah, you just have to love presidential elections when every candidate and reporter around the globe focus on ...