Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I've told this story many times over the years....actually, I thought I'd posted it here at PTC, but I haven't-so, here 'tis.

December, 1968, a week before Christmas, and Christmas for my Ma, my two brothers and me isn't looking too bright. Practically no money, barely enough for essentials, much less for the holiday.

Wednesday morning, we were awakened by my mother in the kitchen, yelling our names. We scrambled downstairs, to find her standing by the stove, pointing indignantly at the linoleum. There, seemingly smeared on the floor in greasy soot, was a cross, about a foot wide by eighteen inches long. Ma thought one of us had gotten up and done this, which we all denied, so she had me get the mop and bucket to clean it up.

Try as I might, the cross wouldn't erase, not a speck of it. Ma took the mop, and tried it herself, to no avail. Finally, she told us to eat breakfast, and get ready for school.

I got home first that afternoon, and I found Ma in the kitchen, sitting at the table, crying; in her hand was an envelope. I thought perhaps we were getting kicked out of our apartment, but when she showed me the envelope, there was fifty dollars inside-Ma said a man from the corner bar had come by, and given it to her .

The next day, there were boxes of food, and toys, courtesey of the Salvation Army. the day after that, presents of clothing.

Every day, until Christmas Day, someone, total strangers, came to our apartment, and left something to make our Christmas brighter.

The day after Christmas, when we got up....the cross was gone.

Friday, December 9, 2011


I was Google-walking down Broadway a few minutes ago-masochist that I am-and I was saddened, as usual, by the number of places closed, gone forever.

Saddest of all are the missing places that sold good things to eat, many of them gone before I ever left Lorain.

SCOTTS- Right near our house, with a soda fountain, and a humungous candy counter, with bins, scales, and the scent of chocolate permeating all.

MISTER S-Fast food to die for, better than most places around today.

KRESGEES / JUPITER- Another great soda fountain, and ice-cream sandwiches made with waffles.

THE NUT HUT- Very small, but worth it.

CORINTHIAN GRILL- I bought my first steak there, at fifteen, rare, with fries, more fries, and Coke; I think I spent less than $5.

SUTTERS- According to Google, it's now in Newbury; I loved their milkshakes, phosphates (especially chocolate) and the little jukeboxes in the booths.

PICCOLO'S PIZZA- One of the things that kept me sane during the 70' and subs to die for, and it stayed open until 4 am.

FAROH'S CANDY- More flavors of ice cream than a kid could count, and chocolate out the ever-lovin' wazoo. I once ate a whole half-pound of white chocolate chunks from there; I was sick as a dog, but content.

THE FLAME- I 0nly went there a couple of times, but I loved the food.

HEILMAN'S RANCH HOUSE- I mentioned them before, but they were worth another mention; there should be a plaque downtown.

BROADWAY LANES- In the basement of the Broadway Building-tastiest, greasiest hotdogs in town.

I'm sure I missed a few, but I miss them all.