Travailing to Iowa

Rabbit Ears Pass. The summit has the shape of rabbit ears, which displays two large columns of basalt rock formations from the second volcanic episode. 

… With an elevation of just over 9,400 feet, Rabbit Ears Pass is lower than many other mountain passes in the area, but it is still inundated with heavy snowstorms during the winter, making avalanches, icy roads, and low visibility all too common.

Auto Bound Therapy

The week before Thanksgiving until the first business day in January was my emotional demilitarized zone. Since 2008, first in Mainland China and the last four years in Antalya. Turkey, I had avoided crossing the Happy Holidays DMZ.

The Karmic gods finally caught up with me when Jane Marie and I were reunited with her ex and their oldest daughter, with the mission of driving the daughter-father gifted car from Santa Rosa California to Iowa City, Iowa.

To add spice to the journey there was to be a stopover in Salt Lake City to break bread with the ex’s son from an previous marriage.

The Siri GPS experience worked well all the way to Salt Lake and back on our I-80 East route to our next stop Sidney, Nebraska, except when Siri suggested an alternate route via Baggs, WY. A turn left at Howard Street led to a road closed November-May blockage and asking the Baggs-lady what do we do now?

Best Baggs advice: go straight to Craig, take Hwy 40 to Steamboat Springs then over the Rabbit Ears Pass to rejoin our I 80 East route at Laramie..

Jane “The Caretaker” doged the deer to Craig, turned north to Steamboat in time to catch the night skiers and then passed the Siri baton to Willie “The Loner” for the Rabbit Ears Pass Challenge. As the recently gifted owner of the car – a 7th of August Leo SIX of Diamonds, the Card of “Financial Responsibility” and the only even numbered card of our auto bound therapy threesome, Willie “The Loner” got the call.

Even numbers do better in the mundane world, odd numbers weigh-in matters of the spiritual realm. Jane and I, both JACKS (the eleventh card), as well as definitely odd, prayed for Willie.

The Christie Peak Express high-speed chairlift whisks you to top of Christie Peak (8000′) to embark on your night adventure across 5 trails.

Willie proceeded with caution but ever upward – Steamboat Springs at 6,732′ already had enough snow to ski but neither Siri nor the locals knew what lie ahead. Not too worry, Willie took care of the ‘NOW’ and within an hour we were over the top and our way to Walden.

Rabbit Ears Pass in the daylight I’m sure would be beautiful but even a half moon night scape was a slow yet scary trip.

Willie, energized by passing the pass with flying colors, was eager to continue on to Ft. Collins for a hookup with I- 80 but for the grace of Walden, we were destined to spend the night..

The Town of Walden is a Statutory Town that is the county seat of, and the only incorporated municipality in Jackson CountyColorado, United States.[7] It is situated in the center of a large open valley called North Park. People from Walden and the surrounding area refer to themselves as “North Parkers”. 

There were four options on Main Street in downtown Walden. Jane Marie turned down the first three b/c of the $75 room charge. I, “The Avoider” got the 4th and last chance to get off the road. The clerk was not in a negation mood b/c the motels close down from Thanksgiving until May and he was leaving in the morning for Florida.

The Walden population was 734 at the 2000 census and reduced to 608 at the[8]2010 census. The town sits at an elevation of 8099 feet (2469 meters) and is the only still incorporated town in the county. It was established in 1889 and was incorporated 2 December 1890.[3] Mark A. Walden, an early postmaster, gave the community his name

My Corps logo USAA credit card got me a 20% discount as the Millennial ‘Jarhead’ showed me this triple triangle tattoo representing the 37 brothers he lost in his tour of Afghanistan and participation in the documentary Combat Obscura.

Just out of high school, at the age of 18, Miles Lagoze enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Afghanistan where he served as Combat Camera — his unit’s official videographer, tasked with shooting and editing footage for the Corps’ recruiting purposes and historical initiatives. But upon discharging, Lagoze took all the footage he and his fellow cameramen shot, and he assembled quite simply the very documentary the Corps does not want you to see. COMBAT OBSCURA is a groundbreaking look at the daily life of Marines in a war zone as told by the soldiers themselves. More than a mere compilation of violence, the edit ingeniously repurposes the original footage to reveal the intensity and paradoxes of an ambiguous war from an unvarnished perspective.
The Bad news: “The Caretaker” and “The Loner” didn’t think the Walden accommodations merited even one star. The Good news: once back on I-80 East at Laramie, they almost forgave me.

Contango or Backwardation

Contango sounds a lot better than Backwardation and when it comes to MONEY it is!

The threat of permanent gold backwardation is one that, in my view, casts a dark shadow on the future of our civilization much the same way as the disappearance of gold from commerce cast one in 476 A.D., the year when the Western half of the Roman Empire collapsed, world trade succumbed to barter, law and order broke down, and centuries of Dark Age descended upon Western Europe.

“MY CRUSADE TO FEND OFF PERMANENT GOLD BACKWARDATION” by Professor Antal Fekete:

The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) (or “the Merc“)

Contango and backwardation are terms used to define the structure of the forward curve. When a market is in contango, the forward price of a futures contract is higher than the spot price. Conversely, when a market is in backwardation, the forward price of the futures contract is lower than the spot price.

The July farmer expects to harvest 100 bushels of wheat in October, the current or spot price is $5 but the future October price is $7 – that’s Contango. There is a drought, the expected supply shrinks, the spot price is now $8 while November December futures are back to $6 or $5 – that’s Backwardation, the demand for the existing supply let’s the farmer take the $8 and tear up his contract (hedge) for the $7.

All physical commodities work this way you either have the pigs or you don’t: OCT 19 Hogs are at $66.525, up $3.000, DEC 19 Hogs are at $66.225, up $2.850 FEB 19 Hogs are at $74.175, up $2.750 — provided by Brugler Marketing & Management

Gold futures trading has only a brief history of about forty years. It was totally unknown under the gold standard. It started in the early 1970’s at the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange in Canada, when the ban on Americans to own and trade monetary gold was still in force. In 1975 the ban was lifted and trading gold futures shifted to COMEX in New York.

One ounce of gold in 1920 cost $260. Running that through the CPI calculator says it should be $3,456 for that same ounce. I got married in 1973 and the gold bands cost $90/oz for a CPI adjusted value of $512 compared to today’s spot price of $1,544. The last time gold was in the 500’s was 2006, ipso facto the CPI only keeps score, on the low side at that, for the USD, not real money.

When De Gaulle called up Tricky Dick in 1971 and asked for his gold to pay for all that French wine that LBJ & Nixon had purchased to celebrate the ‘Great Society’ and evacuation of ‘Nam,’ Dick stiffed the frogs. Closing the gold window opened the door of the Winnipeg Commodity Exchange and the FOREX casino.

At the tender age of 65 I taught ESL in Zhengzhou, Mainland China for $25/hr paid monthly in Yuan or Chinese Renminbi. Here Wikipedia sucks-up to the PBOC: ” The renminbi is the official currency of the People’s Republic of China, and one of the world’s major reserve currencies.

When we were on the gold standard there wasn’t a whole lot of trading going on but the COMEX and FOREX brought Las Vegas to Wall Street with a version of Keno called trading pairs : EUR/USD, USD/JPY, GBP/USD, AUD/USD, USD/CHF, NZD/USD and USD/CAD. The CNY renminbi is not there because it is a blocked currency or as Trump claims ‘manipulated.’

The big comeuppance in the threat of permanent gold backwardation is the money printing majors and the manipulators are never going to dance the Contango again. The USD and the Federal Reserve have lost their reason for being. Yes, the dollar is still the best of the fiat ‘monopoly‘ money but it takes more and more Federal Reserve notes to buy the same amount of real money, Gold.

The haves, have gold, real estate and no debt; the have-not’s, have no gold, no paid-off real estate, lots of debt and hardly even any ‘monopoly’ money.

Cash Crops = Individual Sovereignty

We got our alfalfa to feed our dairy goats from a farmer in Wharton. He also raised corn, soy and sometimes cotton but alfalfa was his favorite crop. Why? “It’s a cash crop, no government meddling. People pay me the market price in cash.”

“The only time the American farmer made money was from the end of the Civil War to WWI.”

“If we went back on the gold standard and we adhered to the actual structure of the gold standard as it existed prior to 1913, we’d be fine.  Remember that the period 1870 to 1913 was one of the most aggressive periods economically that we’ve had in the United States, and that was a golden period of the gold standard.  Between 1870 and 1912, a period of forty-two years, industrial production in the United States rose by 682%.

The United States actually did not return to a gold standard until 1879. However, by 1870, most of the rubble of the Civil War, including the floating “greenback” dollar, had been cleared up. However, the American farmer no longer had to compete with slavery and started receiving ‘hard currency’ for his production.

Cash Crops Mean Farmer Sovereignty

Those delicious alfalfa squares now go for $10-14. According to the CPI calculator they should cost $7.60 each. Gold in 2000 cost $302/oz and $1,522 today. My favorite economic calculator Goats: in 2000 we struggled to get $0.80/lb, when I departed in 2007 it was $1.25. Today at the New Holland, PA. auction $2.44

100 square bales: Here was the thought, on 50 acres you would get 100 square bales per acre, which is a conservative number. If we do the math, that works out to be. 100 bales x 50 acres = 5000 bales of hay for 50 acres of land.

How many large bales of hay can you get per acre? In general, you can get as much as 5 large rounded hays that have weigh 1000 lbs. each, per acre on average. Some farmers also give a rough estimate of 100 small bales of hay per acre. We paid $5/bale x 100 = $500/acre gross.

How much is an acre of hay worth? Equation: Estimated 4 tons per acre yield of 16% moisture hay at $200 per ton = $800 per acre value for all three cuttings; minus buyer’s cost of harvest and weather risk at $324 per acre assuming three cuttings (Table 1); equals the buyer’s maximum pay price: $476 per acre for three cuttings ($800 – $324 = $476). Jun 22, 2014
Europe prohibits GMO crops, cash crops are not GMO crops. This chart shows that Agriculture in all its nefarious forms accounts for 57% of US GDP. US Corn & Soy goes for animal feed while 40% of the Corn goes in the gas tank.

How much is a ton of hay cost? Keep in mind that grass hay bales are usually lighter than alfalfa. The Internet Hay Exchange lists average prices of $121 a ton for grass hay and $165 for alfalfa. Save money by buying in bulk, as in a semi-truckload, or buying bales still in the field. Dec 11, 2016

After the 1937 Dust Bowl FDR irrigated the prairie by sucking all the water out of the Ogallala Aquifer. FDR devalued Alan Greenspan’s 1870-1912 Gold by 40% ($400 to $675) to pay for it.

How Does the Farmer Regain Sovereignty?

How does the Farmer and Everyone else regain Individual Sovereignty?

I asked Iowa bred and raised Jane, what was a cash crop? “Corn and Soy.” No Hay. “OK I get it Tobacco, Marijuana, Avocados and Pineapple.” That’s it why Colorado is going great with Cannabis and Kentucky thrived until the US stopped smoking. That’s why Imperial Valley California is still Imperial, they grow stuff that People Eat.

How do we turn the Prairie States into an Organic California?

Plant Prairie Grass $500/acre subsidy

Raise 100% Grass Fed Beef

Raw Dairy Make Legal in all 50 States

Circle Urban Areas with Organic Truck Farms

Give Inhabitants Passport Equivalent Identity Cards

A May-September Romance

Akkaya Gardens

A sign along the road told us the villas nestling in the hill below were part of the Secret Valley complex and we’re presuming the area is called Akkaya. Beautiful river and mountain views – and you can’t help but wonder how long this place is going to be ‘secret’. We got back in the car and continued to follow the signs, down the hill towards the river and the restaurant.
We were greeted by lush greenery, ponds, streams, the sound of waterfall and the breeze rushing through the dense treetops. A friendly waiter greeted us and pointed us to the different seating areas.
A family from Samsun has been operating the Tree House Restaurant since 2012 from May to September.
A steep climb up the steps and we were soon in our very own stork nest, sat amongst the treetops, loving the seclusion. We couldn’t see or hear the other families enjoying their  Turkish Breakfast.
Friday nights are Turkish cuisine with entertainment.
This is the development at the top of hill.
118 meter two bed rooms, two baths, two balconies and therapeutic views.
East view with fire observatory on top and a one cylinder Mosque down below.

Egirdir Lake

Eğirdir is the name of a lake and of the town situated on the shore of that lake in Turkey. The lake lies in the Turkish Lakes Region and is 186 kilometers north of Antalya. With an area of 482 square kilometers it is the fourth largest lake in Turkey.

Jane Marie & Mehmet Pasha Do Lunch at the Vanilla

Mehmet (Pasha) Ates represents a five generational Silk Road enterprise in Antalya’s Old Town.
Mehmet Pasha, for those who don’t know, is the man to know in Antalya’s Old Town. Jane Marie and I met Mehmet shortly after we got off the boat back in 2015 at his carpet shop.
Every visitor friend soon ends up spending time getting a mini-seminar on kilim rugs.
The Vanilla restaurant is ‘the’ dining experience in Kaleiçi (Castle Gate) or Old Town in expat speak.
Jane Marie gave the curry-vegetable dish 5+ stars..
Vehbi Koç was a Turkish entrepreneur and philanthropist. He founded the Koç Group, one of Turkey’s largest groups of companies. During his lifetime he came to be one of Turkey’s wealthiest citizens.

Jane Marie got a sneak peek at the hotel that the Vehbi Koç family is building in Old Town. The glass floor entry covers the ruins of the previous city center when Alexander the Great came ashore in 333 BC.

Political Decentralization as a Road to Anarcho-Capitalism

We are all self-employed. We all migrate in search of a better life. We all used to move usually south, in the United States to open shop, no income tax states like Texas and Florida, then we got old and our social security check was not enough to live on in America. Off to Mexico, China to teach ESL or Vietnam – anywhere the cost of living was half of that in the US.
Now that 90% of the working age population has very limited prospects for financial, let alone meaningful employment, we are all decentralized entrepreneurs – looking for ways to make money on our own.

BOTH ENDS OF THE SILKROAD

Rule of Law, Accountability, Property Rights & Strong Government

Empires of the Silk Road, by Christopher I. Beckwith separates the history of civilization into trade by land over the Silk Road from the Bronze Age until Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. After the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and English colonized the entire world. everything went by sea, and the Ottoman Empire ceased to be.

Xi’an Begins the Beguine

We spent 2008 to 2013 in Zhengzhou midway between Beijing and Xi’an (now famous for the terra cotta warriors) and Xi’an the Beguine was as far as we got. However, this video professionally tells the story.

Urumqi it must be

Urumqi is the air exit to Baku and beyond. The Turks get on the plane in Istanbul when we get off to go visit their families in Urumqi. We never got out of the airport concourse in China but we never wanted to leave the Baku one.

Cruise the Med before your dead

Jane Marie gave up on an African safari and sleeping on the ground for a 12 day cruise around the Eastern Mediterranean in style at half the price.

The Vatican

The Holland America cruise started in Rome so Jane Marie added a four day prequel and a must tour of the Vatican
We needed to join a tour to weave our way through the tourist season crowd.
Janette our Vatican guide, clustered our flock under a shady spot to show pics of Michelangelo’s paintings that we were about to see. She began her presentation in Toastmasters 101 with a rhetorical question. Who is the guardian of our soul? I responded with my first and best smart-ass remark of the tour – “Oprah!”

Then Janette got to this pic of St. Bartholomew from the Last Judgment (1536-41) and I listened-up b/c I had been doing Bible study in Armenia.

It was in the figure of St. Bartholomew, the martyr who was flayed alive, that Michelangelo chose to create a tragic and anguished self-portrait. He depicted his own face in the empty envelope of skin that hangs grotesquely from the saint’s hand, a metaphor for the artist’s tortured soul.
St. Bartholomew is listed among the Twelve Apostles of Jesus in the gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke. Old Bart was on the scene of the Ascension and the Armenian Apostolic Church honors Bart along with Saint Thaddeus as its patron saints. At least that’s what Father Vatcheh at the Geghard Monastery and Wikipedia told me.

The Pantheon

Since my history of architecture class was 8 to 11 Saturday mornings I vaguely remembered what the Pantheon looked like.

The Tiber

The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometers through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, where it is joined by the river Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino. It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 square kilometres. The Tiber is the third-longest river in Italy, rising in the Apennine Mountains in Emilia-Romagna and flowing 406 kilometers through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio, where it is joined by the river Aniene, to the Tyrrhenian Sea, between Ostia and Fiumicino. It drains a basin estimated at 17,375 square kilometers.

Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona is a square in Rome, Italy. It is built on the site of the Stadium of Domitian, built in the 1st century AD, and follows the form of the open space of the stadium. The ancient Romans went there to watch the agones, and hence it was known as “Circus Agonalis”.

The KONINGSDAM

“Painters, Painters, Man Your Brushes” – the good news: we had a starboard balcony cabin on the 4th level, the bad: you had to stand up to see over the life boat.
Holland America Line – Koningsdam 12 – Day Ancient Empires 7 July, 2019 – 19 July, 2019
Jane Marie puts the Koningsdam’s 3,000 guests and 2,000 crew into perspective.
When’s Lunch? Anytime you want sit down dining, room service, buffet, coffee, tea and lemonade all free. My AA card saved me from the 8 Euro drinks and I lost three kilos with a strict keto diet of pork, lamb & beef.
Ever so happy Jane Marie let me come along. with that “Gracious Ease” smile we never had to sit in the corner by ourselves.

Athens

Although there are many other acropolis’s in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as The Acropolis. I swear it had a roof in my 1963 history of architecture class.
Are you ready to climb the steps to the Acropolis?

Mykonos

IMAR Gallery Mykonos – Georganta: oil painting on aluminum
Mykonos is an island in the Cyclades group in the Aegean Sea. It’s popularly known for its summer party atmosphere. Beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise have bars that blare thumping music. Massive dance clubs attract world-renowned DJs and typically stay open well past dawn. Iconic landmarks include a row of 16th-century windmills, which sit on a hill above Mykonos town.
The island of Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands and it belongs to the Cyclades islands group. Mykonos island, the Ibiza of Greece as it is called, is particularly famous for the picturesque town and the fantastic beaches. It is also famous as a gay friendly destination.
It does have that “Let us entertain you attitude.”
Jane Marie the collage artist discovered collage aplenty on the walkways of Mykonos
Catch that real rope hanging over the side of the boat. How much do you think they want for this beauty?
I’m eyeballing these statuettes 6 to 24 inches tall 50 to 100 Euros each. Didn’t bother asking about the boat rope.
Two thumbs up for Mykonos: artsy-crafty and a doable two to three hour shop around.

Kusadasi

As five-year expat residents of Antalya, Turkey, we were proud that Kusadasi, the port for Ephesus, was the cleanest, most presentable of any on the cruise.
Turkish Pilot coming to guide the Komingsdam to dock at Kusadasi.
Jean Pierre & Nelly debriefing us on their visit to Ephesus at a city center cafe in Kusadasi.

During the 2nd century BC, Ephesus was the fourth largest city in the eastern Roman Empire, famous for, the Library of Celsus – The library was “one of the most impressive buildings in the Roman Empire” and built to store 12,000 scrolls and to serve as a mausoleum for the Roman Senator: Tiberius Julius Celsus Polemaeanus, who is buried in a crypt beneath the library in a decorated marble sarcophagus. The Library of Celsus was the “third-largest library in the ancient world” behind only Alexandria and Pergamum.
Jane Marie took a pass this time on revisiting the Library but recommended to everybody on the cruise that Ephesus was at the top of her must see Turkey destinations.

RHODES

Rodos looked the same save for five jillion more tourists than when we visited in out-of-season November. The arch entrance has been there since the Knights of St. John but the bougainvillea?
It’s somewhat challenging to rent a car and drive around the island in time to get back to the ship by four o’clock.
Seven Springs is about midway down the coast and up the bicyclist’s hill.
A must walk-around of the Knights of Saint John fortress which finally fell to Suleiman the Magnificent’s invasion force of 400 ships and army of 100,000 men in 1522. The sultan allowed the Knights to relocate to Malta so they could create future tourist attractions closer to mainstream Europe.

Santorini

We call this Nelly’s table and submit her photo as the Best in Show for the Komingsdam’s Santorini port of call.

Crete

Nelly, a ‘Walloon’ 36-year resident of Palm Desert, California, owner of Democracy@democracypd, with the maiden name Koningsdam graces the oldest mosque on Crete with her charming aura.

Straits of Messina

Jane Marie touched off the Mt.Etna & Stromboli Island volcanoes on our return to Rome.
This photo of Stromboli spilling over was taken by Nelly’s husband Jean Pierre, who was voted ‘Most Popular’ passenger on the cruise.

Thank God My Father Moved Us to Cincinnati

When I was at least 12, Marion and Esther, my G.I. generation parents took me to Coney Island. I was still too scared to ride the roller-coasters but the ‘Dogems’ appealed to my passive-aggressive nature. Once back home Marion asked me if I noticed the black kid I had banged into several times? “No, why?”

Well, for more than 65 years, Coney Island and its Sunlite Pool had been a riverside playground for most of the people of Cincinnati; it boasted cleanliness, thrilling rides, a place to swim and dance, a whisper of bygone days.  But it was closed to blacks. The pool, even longer.  That a place of public accommodation would remain a pocket of segregation as long as it did — especially in a Northern, industrial city — surprises many, astounds others.  After all, the Supreme Court had ordered schools desegregated in 1954.  The park finally opened its gates to blacks in 1955, and by the time the pool was integrated — May 29, 1961 — the civil-rights struggle was well under way, punctuated by sit-ins and demonstrations around the country.

I was a Baby Boomer enjoying my childhood midway through Act I (1943-1964) of Neil Howe’s 4th Turning a four-generation live action, socio-political-psycho-economic histo-drama, I call, “Apocalypse Soon, Armageddon Later.” Starring fellow Boomers; George ‘W’ 1946, Hillary 1947, Bill Clinton 1946, Trump 1946, Xi Jinping 1953 and Putin 1952.

On my street, Mooney Avenue, we had 70 kids in an approximate 60-40 split between Protestants and Catholics. As children of a fervent Christian Scientist mother, my sister and I tried to hide under the Protestant umbrella. The Catholic kids went to Saint Mary’s and the rest of us attended Hyde Park elementary. So, in my 1955 life experience, no black kids here, no black kids there and no black kids anywhere except for that kid on the ‘Dogems.’

Marion always bought ugly used cars like this ’53 Nash Ambassador – ‘Greg’ as Esther called him, drove us to Sunday school at the 1st Church of Christ Scientist Norwood then came back an hour later to pick us up. Norwood was a future Trump country neighborhood where everybody was white and wore blue collars to work at the GM Fischer Body plant.

Two Sundays a month, after Marion got paid, we went to Frisch’s Big Boy on Duck Creek and ate in the car. Whether it was a payday Sunday or a fried chicken at home Sunday, I’d come back with a headache from my hour-long lesson in Mind Over Matter and the evils of materia-medica. My physical remedy for this meta-physical problem, was holding a cold wash cloth to my left temporal.

Headaches: Invalidating the self. Self-criticism. Fear.

   “I love and approve of myself. I see myself and what I do with eyes of love. I am safe.”

My second wife gifted me with Louise Hay’s book Heal Your Body A-Z to teach me what I failed to learn in Sunday School.

RELIGION was my number one childhood complaint – “can’t we all just be normal kids like everybody else on the block” – number two was Marion shaming us with the only non-GM or Ford vehicle in Hyde Park, and used at that.

RACE RELIGION POLITICS SEX & MONEY

However, after Labor Day 1955, Marion drove me half way across town – to the east/west dividing line – to my first day at Walnut Hills High School. The school was smack dab in the middle of EVANSTON and from outward appearances an all-black community. I read recently that Cincinnati was the 8th most segregated city in the USA. Just looking out the window I couldn’t tell if they were Protestant or Catholic but they were the same color as that kid I bumped into at Coney Island.

But, oh Lordy, Lordy the halls of the 2,000+ 7-12th grade students at Walnut Hills High School were populated with black kids and white kids, but half of the white kids were Jews. Marion had warned me that, “if I didn’t learn anything from the Jews, I would never learn anything.” The first thing I noticed was that all the Jewish girls had breasts.

Secondly, while the Coney Island pool wouldn’t be integrated until the year I graduated, at WHHS all the boys swam naked. In my swim class everyone had more pubic hair, than I had hair on my head. Walnut Hills was an academic melting pot, my class of 305, had kids from every neighborhood in the city – places I had never heard of, let alone visited. What WHHS didn’t have was greasers or hoods.Well, we did have Marty until he dropped out in the tenth grade. Marty wore ducktails and tried to act tough-cool but the only status symbol at WHHS was your grade point average.

My favorite WHHS grad was Miller Huggins, Class of 1897 pictured with Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Miller’s father was a Methodist and prohibited his son from playing semi-pro ball on Sundays. Huggins graduated from law school and his professor, none other than William Howard Taft advised him that he’d make more money playing baseball.

Huggins set an MLB record on June 1, 1910 with six plate appearances but no at bats, with four walks and two sacrifice flies. Huggins, was short but WHHS smart and managed the Yankees from 1921-29. The Yankees swept the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1927 World Series. This team became known as Murderers’ Row, and is considered the one of the greatest teams in baseball history.

My favorite famous WHHS grad was Jerry Rubin who went off to Berkley to found the ‘Yippies’ and protest the Vietnam War.

I passed the reading/math test to gain admittance to WHHS but Latin, Trig, Physics and Chemistry left me intellectually challenged in a very competitive environment. That, plus suffering from a severe case of homework avoidance syndrome, left me at the back of the pack on graduation day in 1961.

Of the 305 graduates, the top 100 went off to Harvard, Princeton, Yale and beyond. The middle third headed for Prairie League universities especially the hometown favorite the University of Cincinnati. My application to UC’s school of Architecture was rejected because I had not graduated in the top 10% of my high school class.

Tom Thacker along with Tony Yates were our most famous classmates in the ’61-’62 year.

I was happy to just be a poly-sci guy at Miami or Antioch but Marion, the hard knocks engineer, wasn’t about to pay for any of that monkey business. So, Howard, Eddie and I entered UC’s Ding-Dong, two-year, associate’s degree program. I did so well relearning 7th grade Algebra, English and History that I was granted admission to the 1962 class of Architecture.

Cincinnati was 85% German Catholic, home to Hebrew Union College and Rabbi Silver founder of Reformed Judaism. Thus, Cincinnati was blessed with a pragmatic German education culture. This meant that even though I missed out on Harvard I was going to be a University of Cincinnati Co-Op student and go to work for a living from my Freshman year on.

The University of Cincinnati was the first university in the world to offer cooperative education. A bust of UC co-op founder Herman Schneider stands outside Baldwin Hall.

Herman Schneider (1872–1939), engineer, architect, and educator, concluded that the traditional learning space or classroom was insufficient for technical students. Schneider observed that several of the more successful Lehigh graduates had worked to earn money before graduation. Gathering data through interviews of employers and graduates, he devised the framework for cooperative education (1901). However, in 1903 the University of Cincinnati appointed Schneider to their faculty. In 1905 the UC Board of Trustees allowed Schneider to “try this cooperative idea of education for one year only, for the failure of which they would not be held responsible.” The cooperative education program was launched in 1906, and became an immediate success.

RACE RELIGION POLITICS MONEY & SEX

My Coop Job ’61 to ’67 was as an architectural “Apprentice” above the Colony theater on Shaker Square

I spent Spring and Fall quarters 1961-1967 working as an architectural co-op student in the offices of Outcalt, Guenther, Rode, Toguchi and Bonebrake, the biggest architectural firm in Cleveland. Thanks to Marion’s big sister, who got me the job after high school and Herman Schneider, I was able to pay my way through seven years of university and learn firsthand that architects don’t make any money.

Walnut Hills, the Harvard of Cincinnati’s Public Education System

Withrow High School named Ohio’s most beautiful by Architectural Digest. Designed along with Walnut Hills High School by the grandfather of one of my alphabetically speaking best friends, Sted Garber.

Marion, was hell bent on sending me to the best high school in Cincinnati, but he wanted me to make the decision. My options were Withrow, three blocks away, Indian Hills or Country Day, private schools in an aristoi neighborhood a few miles further east. The fourth consideration was Walnut Hills, where I had received an invitation because I had passed the entrance test. At Hyde Park elementary I sat behind Steve Hussey and in front of Bob Yeager, my future classmates. I didn’t copy Hussey’s answers and I’m sure Yeager, our de facto class leader, would never look my way.

What to do? When Esther asked me, now that I was twelve, did I want to join the church? I gave a near instant response, NO, I want to be a Presbyterian! But, three doors down Bob Shirley, older brother of Kathy Shirley, my Drexall drug store cherry coke first date, gave me his Walnut Hills sales pitch.

Tom, the homework’s not that bad. It’s easy to get there, you catch the 69 Madisonville at the end of the street, transfer at Peebles Corner to the 31 Vine Woodburn, walk 3 blocks in the rain, sleet or snow and you’re there.

Jimmy Fallon jokes about how 17 students from the same high school got perfect ACT scores. Our class of ’61 had 31 SAT scholarship recipients.

In 1935 the Board of Education confirmed the status of the school as “an institution specialized for college preparation.” Again in 1972, the Board of Education reaffirmed the position of Walnut Hills High School as a six-year, college preparatory school. As early as 1926 a systematic method of pupil selection was adopted. Today all students enter the school after passing a special college preparatory examination.

The Recipe for Saving Public Education

Municipal (free) Six Year (get ’em when they’re young) College Preparatory High School (everybody’s going to college) open to all (swim with every fish in the sea) qualified elementary students city wide.

ALL I KNEW WAS WHAT I READ IN MY ‘WEEKLY READER’

The Bad Guys in 1950’s according to my Weekly Reader in Hyde Park Elementary school, Cincinnati, Ohio.
My 1955 6th Grade map in the Weekly Reader had the world from east of Italy to Hong Kong colored in Red, ‘Big Bad Red.’

On Mooney Avenue, Andre my fellow classmate and across the street neighbor, along with 3rd grader Greg didn’t know squat or could care less about Russia or the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics but China that was different. I mean everybody knew that China had a Great Wall and if you dug a hole deep enough you would come out on the other side somewhere in China. We managed a whopping three feet, when Mrs LeClair, doctor LeClaire’s wife, Andre’s mother or “Dorthy” to politically incorrect – at an early age – me, came out to save us. Not for digging our way to China, just messing up the yard.

Andre and I along with 303 others graduated from Walnut Hills, Cincinnati’s municipal college preparatory high school, in May 1961

Andre went to a good school Earlham, while Howie, Eddie and I shuffled off to the University of Cincinnati’s ‘Ding-Dong” two- year associate program for scholastic remediation because we were in the lower third of our class in high school. We all mastered 7th grade algebra, 8th grade English, and a subject I had never heard of PSYCH 101. History, my favorite subject at Walnut Hills, was dispensed in a 500 seat lecture hall where the professor was worried about the ‘Commies’ dropping the ‘Big One.’

“When it comes, I’m going sit on the lawn in Mt. Adams with a case of Schoeling Little Kings and watch the show.”

Little Kings and its distinctive 7-ounce green bottle were invented in the ’50s when patrons of Montgomery Inn didn’t want to purchase full-sized beers to pair with shots of whiskey. Rumor is that the draft system at the restaurant was broken and no one wanted to buy a big 12-ounce bottle of beer when they just wanted a chaser, so the Schoenling’s started packaging their cream ale in smaller bottles.  

Drafted twice, I watched Alan Shepard land on the Moon on my BOQ TV at Ft. Sill. A year later I was on board the USS Okinawa as it pulled into Hong Kong harbor for a ten-day ‘liberty-call.’

Be Careful What You Dig For

‘My Weekly Reader‘ map was still colored red but now the ‘Bad Boys’ were trying, according to the CIA Military-Industrial complex, to paint Vietnam red from top to bottom. I spent my entire October ’69 to October ’70 tour observing the shoreline of both Mainland China and Vietnam.

My first marital partner and I visited Hong Kong in 1981 on our way to Singapore. The Star Ferry was still chugging away, Victoria Peak had a ‘Wendy’s’ at the top but the US Navy was no longer welcome.

An Architect and his Money are soon Parted

On 8 January 2008 I closed on a home that cost three times my monthly income.

867 Tyler, Eugene, OR

“Well Mr. Gregory how did you expect to pay for it?”

I didn’t have a clue, Physics, Chemistry and for sure Trigonometry were not my best subjects at Walnut Hills High School. The only way I made it through Calculus in DAAP (Design, Art, Architecture & Planning) was copying Tom Sezniak’s paper.

Then I had what they call in Eugene, an epiphany. I was thinking back on the cosmic reason Andre and I were digging that hole in his back yard.

Teach ESL in China

Teaching ESL freshman English majors using the Toastmasters format at Henan Agricultural University in Zhengzhou, Mainland China 2009.

Healing from the Ground Up