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.