Tag Archives: Lima

The Kewpee, Lima, Ohio

Kewpee, original location, downtown Lima, Ohio.

Kewpee, original location, downtown Lima, Ohio.

City Planners

If you could clone one element from another city you’ve visited — a building, a cultural institution, a common street food, etc. — and bring it back to your own hometown, what would it be?

My current hometown is Boise, Idaho. It is a good town, a fair city, a city with many things and if those things don’t exist in that city they are not worth having. There is, though, this one exception. It is something all other cities lack, but one – Lima, Ohio, my former hometown.  It has a place that if it has to be explained you would not understand it.

Inside the Kewpee, downtown, Lima. I look at this and almost come to tears: from the onions on my hamburger of course.

Inside the Kewpee, downtown, Lima. I look at this and almost come to tears: from the onions on my hamburger of course.

It has the Kewpee. It’s a hamburger restaurant (joint). It creates the best hamburger ever.  I know ya’ll have some greasy spatula hole-in-the-wall joint tucked away between the old movie theater that is now the Foursquare Gospel Revival Church and Jasper’s Second Hand Furniture, Appliances, and Tarot Card Reading Shop. And ya swear there’s nothing better. Well that’s okay. We all have a place like that.

The Kewpee in Lima has been a part of Lima all my life. It had only one location when I was a kid. It was a treat to go there. I went there when I started roaming the streets as a kid. It’s full of incredible memories. The guy who pressed out the burgers on the grill when I was a kid was doing the same thing when I brought my kids in for a burger.

Anyway I’d like to clone that place and move it about a block from my house.

Here’s a link to another post I made about the Kewpee and one about my Kewpee coffee cup.

Here is the link to my short story for the day, Family Pub, it is in episode 3.

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Filed under Daily Prompt

I Could Be King And Drive a ‘49 Packard

Fit for a king.

Fit for a king.

Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen

Do you belong in this day and age? Do you feel comfortable being a citizen of the 21st-century? If you do, explain why — and if you don’t, when in human history would you rather be?

Actually we have little to say in the matter. If we did it is likely we would all bounce around from era to era like a dead-beat tenant who skips out when the rent is due.

Yesterday I stopped at a used car lot that specialized in vintage automobiles. First I looked at a ’49 Packard, then a ’65 Vette, then a ’63 Thunderbird, then a ’55 two door Chevy wagon, and finally a ’61 Chrysler Imperial. Wow! I think in just those cars alone there was enough metal to build a battleship.

I kept going back to that ‘49 Packard. Memories began to stir in my mind as a little boy. The carpet in the back seat area was rough like sand and the seats weren’t that much softer. I looked at how basic and uncomplicated the dashboard was. There was only AM radio. Everything was built to be aesthetically pleasing but also the look of strength of durability.

In those days there was no new-car smell. They all smelled like an old damp sofa left on the front porch for a month.

It was easy for me to place myself behind the steering wheel and operate the clutch with the “three on the tree” gear shift. Indeed, I drove similar cars as a teenager.

For a moment I did that very thing. I was behind the wheel driving down North Main Street in Lima, Ohio on a warm Saturday afternoon. All my windows were rolled down (we actually had to crank them down) because there was no air-conditioning. I saw young boys in rolled up blue jeans and Davy Crockett coonskin caps. Little girls in pastel dresses and plastic purses holding the hand of their smartly dressed mothers wearing pillbox hats. Men walked briskly in grey suits and fedoras. The odor of a local hamburger shop wafted through the cranked-down windows of the car. The radio was playing Nat King Cole. I hear a horn from another car; not a beep beep, but a HONK! A breeze catches the courthouse flag and whisk dust and a page from yesterday’s down the sidewalk.

With what I know now I could be king back then.

Suddenly someone runs a light. There car is squarely in front of me. A collision is inevitable. I look at the steering wheel without an air bag. I look at the solid metal dash that my head might strike. I look over the hood of my ’49 Packard. It’s solid. It won’t absorb impact. I’m going to bounce around the interior of my ‘49 Packard like a pin ball.

That’s about the time I click my ruby slippers and say, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

In other words, “As soon as the rent is due I’m ready to move on.”

Past and future bloggers:

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen – show us MODERN. | masadiso79’s Blog
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  3. 21st Century Citizen | Geek Ergo Sum
  4. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen « Mama Bear Musings
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  12. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | brent’s iPhone 4S & japan
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  15. 1984… | thoughtsofrkh
  16. What is Modern to You May Not Be Modern to Me [Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen] | unknowinglee
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  27. Modern Moonlight | clarior e tenebris
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  32. Life: Past, Present, Future | meanderedwanderings
  33. 21st Century Citizen | Strings of Life
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  35. How My Phone Is Changing Me | Self-Help for Creatively Deprived
  36. This is my age | Vivir, que no es poco
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  38. Comfort in the 20th or 21st? That is the question | tornin2’s Blog
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  45. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | Stormie Kent’s Musings
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  47. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen|Austen | Discovering Myself
  48. Embracing the 21st Century | mobibrad
  49. Daily Prompt | 21st Century | A woman of my time | thechymeeradiaries
  50. Another era | Spunky Wayfarer
  51. Daily Prompt: Time is the Answer | One Starving Activist
  52. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | Diary of Dennis
  53. Daily Prompt: A Modern View San Francisco | Slam on the Brakes, Pull Over, Take the Picture
  54. 21st Century Me? | Mind My Mind But…
  55. Daily Prompt: Life Confused–Technology Geek Longing For A More Simple Time | Reclaiming My Narnia
  56. Party with the Gatsby | Thriving Pessimist…
  57. just beacuse im bored | vision’s from my life
  58. USB Cigarette | Zemo’s Blog
  59. In Past. | ayimas
  60. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen: I Love on the Internet | Inside the Mind of a Crazy Cat Lady
  61. DRUNKEN SPIRITS | hastywords
  62. Daily Prompt; 21st Century Citizen | terry1954
  63. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | Vagabond
  64. To Wish Impossible Things | a former clarity
  65. 21st Century Soul | Compass & Quill
  66. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | The corner of my imagination
  67. Am I a 21st Century Human? | Untitled Entity
  68. Am I a 21st century citizen? | 365 wings of hope
  69. Thoroughly Modern | A Day in the Life
  70. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | The Life of Kevin Li
  71. Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | So Says Matt
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  73. 25|6 Daily Prompt: 21st Century Citizen | family photos food & craft
  74. Oops, Wrong Century… Or Not | tuckedintoacorner

14 Comments

Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

A Communist Pig Gets A Helping Hand From Capitalist Bully

imagesCAUKK0NADaily Prompt: Helping Hand

Tell us about the most surprising helping hand you’ve ever received.

The word McCarthyism means little to people anymore.

I was ten years old and had a newspaper route for The Lima News.

Their employees went on strike a year earlier. The newspaper hired ‘scab’ employees. That made me a scab. The striking employees formed a new paper named The Lima Citizen.

To give some sort of context, today if you are called bully, homophobic, or racist it matters little what or who you really are, it sticks with you. It’s like a stain that can’t be removed. The more you proclaim you are not, the more convinced people become you are. To deny it is to own it.

In the 50s being called a communist was something you could not disprove. Once you were called a communist you immediately came under suspicion of being one. The Lima News, everyone one who worked for it, advertised in it, and everyone who subscribed to it were labeled communists.

The newspaper bag even had “Lima News” in bright “red” letters. If that’s not proof I don’t know what is?

We lived in the working/union side of town. I recall being chased by paperboys from The Lima Citizen. They were older and bigger. To me they looked fearsome and mean.

Upon seeing a paperboy from The Lima Citizen I hid. I was in absolute fear of them.

One Sunday morning I had a full load of papers. The Sunday papers were heavy. Frankly, the load was too heavy for me. I struggled to balance my bike heading to the route. The bag that wrapped around my handlebars and over the front fender continually shifted its weight.

My bike and I finally tipped over. The Sunday papers were strewn about. I gathered them and stuffed them back inside the bag. Every time I sat the bike up the load shifted again and the bike fell over again.

From the distance I saw riding toward me the meanest and biggest Lima Citizen paperboy on the east end of Lima. I was vulnerable. I could not move. I was going to get the beating of my life. I thought ’should I cry now or wait until he beats me?’

He scowled as he rode his bike up to me. He thrust down his kickstand with a mighty shove of his foot. He walked over to me. He stood in front of me sneering as if to say ’you little communist weakling I’m going to pummel you.’

“Let me give you a hand,” he said. “Keep your bag balanced. You’re new. You’ll catch on.”

Bloggers who needed a helping hand:

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

    1. Take my hand | thoughtsofrkh

    1. Daily Prompt: Helping Hand « Mama Bear Musings

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    1. Daily Prompt: Helping Hand | The Blogging Path

    1. A Communist Pig Gets A Helping Hand From Capitalist Bully | The Jittery Goat

    1. Overcoming Psychological Issues of Being A Novelist | Ramisa the Authoress

    1. Daily Prompt: Helping Hand | suzie81’s Blog

    1. Daily Prompt: Hands | بيسان

    1. The Helping Hand of a Special Needs Child | Adventure of Yasin

    1. Daily Post: The Gift | One Starving Activist

    1. A Hand | Tony’s Texts

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    1. Sherri, Nathaniel, and Baba Ghanoush | The Life Nomadik

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    1. Daily Prompt: Helping Hand | writinglikeastoner

    1. Helping Hands… | Haiku By Ku

    1. Lending a hand… | Hope* the happy hugger

    1. A helping hand | Geek Ergo Sum

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    1. Response to Daily Prompt: Helping Hand | bullyingdontstandbystepup

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    1. Daily Prompt: Helping Hand | Let There be Peace on Earth

    1. Hands Across the East Coast | Sam’s Online Journal

    1. My Ma’s Hand | fingerprintwriting

    1. Daily Prompt: Special Helping Hands | My Daily Prompt Blog

    1. Daily Prompt: Hands | Postcards from

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    1. Daily Post: The Gifted Brownie | A Sign Of Life

    1. Helping Hands | Misifusa’s Blog

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    1. Kind of Helpful | Kind of a Bum

    1. His Hands | Sometimes I write…

    1. Daily Prompt: Helping Hand | Overcoming Bloglessness

    1. helping hands (over and over again) | sat n’ all that

    1. Helping Hand – Grasshopper | Khana’s Web

    1. The helping hand helped me. | Lily Mugford

  1. “Touch has a memory” John Keats | Life through a Lens

15 Comments

Filed under Daily Prompt, Essays

I’m As Unique As The Next Guy

Daily Prompt: Far From Normal

Many of us think of our lives as boringly normal, while others live the high life. Take a step back, and take a look at your life as an outsider might. Now, tell us at least six unique, exciting, or just plain odd things about yourself.

Not many bloggers can say they know what these are or how they are made. If you ever drove a big rig and your drive-shaft failed you probably didn't have one made by Dana. I made a lot of these in my thirty years at Dana in Lima, Ohio.

Not many bloggers can say they know what these are or how they are made. If you ever drove a big rig and your drive-shaft failed you probably didn’t have one made by Dana. I made a lot of these in my thirty years at Dana in Lima, Ohio.

Shortly after birth I was operated on because of pyloric stenosis. I’ve never met anyone else who had it. That is why I think it is a perpetuated myth even kept alive by the internet.

I read the entire World Book Encyclopedia before turning 17. Don’t think of that as being an amazing accomplishment; their wasn’t as much to learn back then so the World Book was about the size of a comic book. I’ve read the Bible many times. A friend said, “What are you looking for a loophole?” Catholics and Mormons aren’t impressed because I’ve never read the Apocrypha or Book of Mormon.

I have a good memory of the past; either that or a vivid imagination. I remember events when I was two. I recall the names of people and many details about them from a very early age. Until recent I recalled all the names of my classmates in the first grade. Normally people don’t remember things like that. Sometimes it’s really cool to invent really great stuff about them and allow ones to walk away with an inflated feeling of self-worth – just kidding.

I’ve bailed hay, plowed fields, picked corn, harvested (wheat, oats, and soy beans), cut lawns, delivered papers, worked at a miniature golf course, worked at Sears, sold shoes, spent four years in the Army, sold vacuum cleaners door to door, worked at McDonalds, managed a carry out restaurant, sold insurance, worked at a mental institution, worked at a party shop, drove high-lift, and became a machinists. There are a couple of other little things I could add but I don’t want anybody calling me and asking for a diagnosis nor the CIA knocking at my door.

Kenton Lewis is a pseudonym for Byron Lehman.

I can’t spell pssedonym, cinamon, suenonen, posidum, psnynomin, suenymonin, without a spell-check.

Now that I’ve done all this what’s my prize? Because it sounds to me like one of those crazy blogging awards you get for being a blogger willing to reveal how wonderfully unique or uncommonly common you are.

 

Other bloggers far from normal:

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Filed under Essays

Dad Gets Cancer

This was pretty much Dad's favorite recreation and hobby.

This was pretty much Dad’s favorite recreation and hobby.

Dad lived from one beer and one cigarette to the other. It was just a matter of time before it would all catch up with him. He couldn’t laugh without breaking into a wet cough.

Dad’s addiction to cigarettes was unbelievable. I recall a time when the family went to Chicago to visit friends we got caught in at snow storm on North Shore drive. The traffic was bottled up. No one was moving. Dad ran out of cigarettes. I recall him pounding the dash of the car and cursing the traffic. “I need some god d*mn cigarettes.”

There are not too many photos of Dad without a beer beside him or a cigarette in his fingers.

I was fifteen and watching TV one Spring evening. Mom came into the living room and told me Dad was in the kitchen. She said, “Your Dad wants to talk to you.”

I was hoping it was not ‘the talk.’ Dad was crude in his expressions and likely such a conversation would have left me scared for life.

Dad sat at the kitchen table with his right elbow resting on the table. He told me to sit. I pulled out a chair and sat. I knew it wasn’t ‘the talk.’ Dad had no hint of being uncomfortable. I’d never seen wear a more heartfelt and serious expression.

“Last week they did a biopsy of a lump in my throat and I have cancer.”

That’s all it took for me to fall in my Dad’s arms. We stood and sobbed and held on to each other. I knew what he said, but all I heard is that ‘Dad was going to die.’

We talked for an hour or so. Dad assured me that he was not going to give up. He told me that he and Mom made an appointment to see a cancer specialist is Columbus. Dad was confident and that gave me confidence.

That night in bed I prayed. I cried a lot and didn’t sleep. I heard Dad get up at little past five and Mom drove him to work. I was waiting for her when she came home. I asked her if I could stay home from school. She insisted that I go, because there would be days to come when I would not attend school.

That day I recall walking the hallways and forcing smiles and making comments with friends on subjects not even in discussion. I could not talk to anyone.

Dad, Mom and I went to Columbus to see the cancer specialists. I sat in the car and waited. After an hour Dad and Mom came out to the car. They were hopeful. The doctor assured them of success. The cancer was local (only in the throat). Some of Dad’s jaw bone along with tissue would be removed.

The operation was scheduled for the later part of May.

Mom, my sister Char, her husband Chuck, and I were at University Hospital in Columbus the day of the surgery. I don’t remember seeing Dad before hand, but I recall the wait. After a couple of hours Dad’s surgeon visited with us and said the operation was a complete success.

It was a couple of hours before Dad was back in his room and a couple of hours after that before I was able to see him.

I walked into his room. He lifted his head. It was distorted and the whole side his neck and face was heavily packed with gauze and surgical tape. Blood had already seeped through the dressing.

I went to Dad’s side. “You okay, Dad?”

Dad had the most sorrowful and helpless look I’d ever seen on a man’s face. My knees buckled and I lost balance.

“Somebody better take him out,” Mom said.

Chuck put his arm around me and walked me from the room. We walked a ways down the hallway and looked out the window. We sat on a bench.

“Are you okay?’ Chuck said.

“I didn’t think he’d look that bad,” I said. “He looks lost and lonely.”

“He’ll do fine,” Chuck said.

(Continued next week.)

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Filed under Dad

My First Christmas Memory

An electric train encircling a tree is a pleasent bucolic Chistmas memeory fo many, but mine is so much more.

An electric train encircling a tree is a pleasant bucolic Christmas memory for many, but mine is so much more.

Christmas for Dad was an excuse to get loaded – for religious reasons of course.

This brings me to my fist Christmas memory.

I’m not sure of my exact age. It may have been as early as two or it may have been three.

Dad bought gifts for me that were beyond my age . When I was nine he bought a bike that didn’t fit until I was twelve. He bought me a first baseman’s mitt that took two years to grow into. Maybe Dad was planning for the future or didn’t want to buy the item again when I grew out of it.

It was Christmas Eve of ’49 or ’50. We lived in a cozy upstairs apartment on East Euclid Street in Lima.

In one sense those were good days for me. Although Mom and Dad seemed to be busy working and socializing, my sisters, Becky and Charlene, and I were left pretty much to ourselves. I always felt the full force of their attention and love. I loved their company so much and felt secure and safe when I was with them.

We went to bed that night with Becky and Charlene assuring me of Santa Clause’s visit during the night.

Christmas morning I awakened Becky and Charlene. We walked into the living room to see what was beneath the tree. Curled beneath it in restful repose was Dad sound asleep. Also encircling the tree was an electric train. Placed near Dad’s head was an empty bottle of beer.

It seems that Dad staggered home sometime during the night and was certain he had enough sobriety remaining in him to assemble an electric train. Dad always stated, regarding that particular evening, to perpetuate the Christmas myth alive in my mind; “Santa and I got to drinkin’ and talkin’ and believe it or not that ole S O B out drank me. He drank me under the tree and was still sober enough to put the train together. Who knows how many more houses he visited? The man has to be admired; that’s a lot of beer.”

Alcohol helps put a positive spin on an otherwise embarrassing episode in one’s life.

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A Night With Dad At The Avenue Café

Dad’s nemesis looked like actor Lee Van Cleef; mysterious, evil, and quiet.

(Continued from last week.)

At the Avenue Café was a man who did not like my Dad. His name was Vic. He was a little less than six feet tall and well built. He had a Lee Van Cleef evil-like appearance. His hair was a thick shiny black and combed back. His face was pitted. He always dressed well and wore heavy cologne. He was quiet and had a certain arrogance about him. He was popular, but I suspect it was out of fear.

My Dad was loud and bragged a lot. That’s what bars are for, especially the Avenue Café. There was another bar a block away called Arnold’s Place. It was quieter there. If you wanted quiet, that was the place to go.

The man tried to quiet Dad with sharp remarks meant to embarrass him. Dad never backed down.

Regulars at the Avenue played pranks on one another. Sometimes somebody would come behind my Dad and jab him with their fingers in his ribs. Dad’s arms flew in the air and he would yell out. Everybody laughed.

One night I came to the bar to get Dad so we could walk home together.

As soon as you walked into the Avenue the bar was immediately to the right. It was laid out like the letter L.

Dad sat in the first stool at the bottom of the L where it meats with the vertical part. His stool was also directly in front of the door. The building sat close to the street. From the building there was two steps down to the side walk and next to the sidewalk was Bellefontaine Avenue.

I sat next to Dad. Vic walked in with a date. Dad was quiet. He started to taunt Dad with some remarks from a few stools away. I watched him nudge his date and hurl a few more insults at Dad. Dad was uncommonly non combative and relatively quiet. In my mind I thought Dad was not going to allow himself to be goaded into anything, because Vic was obviously trying to get under Dad’s skin to show-off in front of the woman.

“Let’s go home Dad,” I said.

“I’m going to have one more,” Dad said.

“I don’t like that guy,” I whispered.

Dad ordered another beer. The verbal assault continued.

The man whispered to the woman and eased slowly from his stool. He sauntered to the cigarette machine and bought a pack of cigarettes. He moved slowly toward Dad.

Dad was looking forward, but I could tell Dad’s attention was on the man moving in behind him.

“Dad,” I leaned toward him and whispered. “He’s coming closer.”

“Shhh,” Dad said quietly.

The man jabbed Dad in the ribs. Dad turned quickly. It was a blur. Dad hit Vic with all his might in the face.

Let me regress for a moment. Dad was powerful. He was 6’ 2” but his reach was 80 inches. His hands were large and his fists were big. Dad was very fast with his hands. He always told me he was never fast enough to run from a fight so he had to learn to fight.

The punch that Dad landed sounded like a solid line drive from the crack of a bat. I’ve never heard anything like it since. I had no idea a punch could sound that loud.

Vic flew backward out the door, down the steps, and landed on his back in Bellefontaine Avenue. The bar went absolutely quiet. Dad looked out the door to see if Vic was in any kind of shape to continue. He crawled to the curb, got his feet, and stumbled toward the parking lot.

Dad sat down at the bar and took a swig from his beer.

I was shaking.

Dad looked over at the woman and said calmly, “I think he’s ready to go now.”

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Filed under Essays