Monday, June 27, 2011


I wish I had a picture of John Rogers....I wish I'd told him how important he was to me. However, we work with what we've got.

John Rogers taught General Science at Hawthorne Junior High in Lorain; he'd been there so long, my mother and aunts had had him for 7th Grade GenSci. I first met him when I was nine, when Ma took us to his house for Trick-or-Treat that year, a short, stocky man with greying hair, twinkling eyes, and a walrus mustashe, the first real one I'd ever seen. He and his wife handed out candy, and he told me he'd be looking for me in three years.

That first day of class, we watched as he walked into the room, and ensconced himself behind the desk, next to the big aquarium. He picked up the textbook from atop the desk, and said, "This is the textbook for General Science, 7th Grade".

Then, he opened one of the drawers, dropped the book into it, and said,

"We may refer to it from time to time."

He began to speak....of the pyramids, and the engineering that went into them, winding up forty-five minutes later with the Apollo space program, all of it connected, and interspersed with questions directed at random into the class, about what was just said, what was in the news, and what we thought of it all, what did it mean in relation to the last topic?

This is how he taught....except, he didn't teach so much as show us how to learn. Every day in his class was an adventure, and I'd walk out of there with my head buzzing.

Years after I left Hawthorne, I'd drop by that house on 7th Street, and visit with this local treasure, just to feel my head buzz again.

Are there still teachers like Mr. John Rogers? I pray so.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


My colleague, Dan Brady, has a blog entry about that late, lamented toy, Jarts. As I mentioned in his Comments section, Ma wasn't studyin' us having such dangerous things, so we had to get our ya-yas out some other way....without her knowledge.

I remember when, at seven, I discovered that my Ohio Art dart pistol would fire ten penny nails in addition to the rubber-tipped darts that came with the gun; I was thrilled, much more so than Ma was.

I dunno how many bow and arrow sets I had, but they all ended with the rubber tips coming off the arrows, the arrows getting sharpened on the sidewalk, and me getting a whipping. I never shot them at anyone, but Ma wasn't taking chances.

When I was eleven, we discovered cracker balls. These nifty little explosives could be dropped, stomped on, thrown, or fired from a slingshot, and they made the best BOOM! I packed some once in a snowball, and they still detonated. Sadly, some kids (allegedly) tried eating them, and they were taken off the market.

Speaking of slingshots, I had several of the creme de la creme....the Wrist Rocket. Loaded with a rock, a taconite pellet, BBs, or ball bearings, these were really cool, although I nearly got popped for shooting out a streetlight when I was fifteen.

Looking back, I recognize how dangerous these things could be, but I had no intention of harming anyone....I just wanted to make a little noise, is all.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


I was diddling around this website one day, when I noticed some of the other buttons on it, particularly one marked, "STATS". Curious soul that I am, I decided to see just what "stats" that POINTING THE CANNON might have.

I was amazed; there are actually people out there other than Dan Brady reading this thing! According to the map, there's folks all over the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia who've clicked onto my maunderings. Now, I'm not fool enough to think that there's some babe out in Christchurch, NZ just FAUNCHING for my latest offering....more likely, someone Googles, say, "legalizing pot", and one of the items they get is my blog on the subject; indeed, it's the most popular one.

Even so, it's kinda cool to think that somebody's reading about the Lorain-in-my-head, and perhaps relating to the nostalgia, or at least wondering, "Who IS this yutz?"

If there is someone from far away that reads this, drop me a line, just for giggles. I'm at:

Yeh, I know that's slightly different than the one listed, but it's the one I'm using.

Tell me what you think.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


Back in '74, the Fabulous Techniques had a gig at the old Moose Lodge building in downtown Lorain. We got down to the lodge, and moved all the band equipment up in the elevator, except for Mark Leach's organ, which wouldn't fit. After some conferring, it was decided that Mark, Mike,

Nate, and I would tote the organ up the fire escape to the third floor. The janitor had left the third floor fire escape door open; this opened onto the auditorium where the dance was to take place. So, we started hauling the organ up the fire escape.

This organ weighed in the neighborhood of eight hundred pounds, minus the amp, which had gone up with everything else. The four of us had manhandled the bloody thing about halfway up the fire escape when we heard a loud screeching noise, and felt a shifting beneath our feet-the stairs were unbolting themselves from the outside wall!

We four looked at each other, took fresher grips, and RAN up the fire escape, never stopping until the organ, and we, were safely ensconced in the auditorium.

Ah, youth!

(FTR: that's a picture of Mark, not me.)