Whe I was a kid and as a young man my folks belonged to the Dehli Fishing Club which had a clubhouse at the old
Ford Country Club on the little Miami River a few miles from Newtown. There were about 15 members and their
families who all spoke German (Schwabish-Banat dialect). There were ten rooms at the club house used by the families.
Over the years we all had a great time there and everyone pitched in cooking, cleaning groundskeeping etc. All
the women used to play a Hungarian card game called "Fuxen" Nearby at Old Fort there was always a big 4th
of July show with bands, dancing, fireworks etc. We would dance with the girls who came from Shademore camp and other
nearby areas. One of those girls (Betty) eventually became my wife! Also at the fishing club the men played
cards, fished and sang German songs.
Another memory as a young man was to go over to Kentucky at Daytona Beach to swim etc. Those Kentucky girls were
great company! My good friend Ray Kibert had a canoe and we would paddle in the wake and high rollers (waves) created
by the steamboat "Island Queen. It took some hard muscle to to propel the canoe in the high rollers but once there,
the vacume would just take us right alongbehind the boat for several miles without rowing. One day Bob Gau and I decided
to play hooky from school and went swimming in the river. He jumped in and the water was so cold he yelled "Wow" and
his false teeth flew into the river. We searched and searched. Needless to say he was in BIG trouble when he got
home because the teeth were so expensive and he should have been in school. He was grounded for a month and we all felt
his misery. Without his teeth he had a different face!
In the mid 1930's I was privlidged to spend my summers as a waiter, bus boy and dishwasher at a lodge and YMCA camp on
Big Beausoleil Island in Georgian bay, Ontario. I had a great time fishing and boating there. I also
enjoyed taking overnight excursions on weekends with Indian guides. They knew all the best places to fish and hunt.
I also became familiar wit Estelle, the daughter of the resort owner. She was sort of a Tomboy and we enjoyed fishing,
sailing and swimming.
One summer, in 1937 I think, after leaving the camp I hitchhiked from Toronto to the New York Worlds fair.
I made numerous long hitch hiking trips when I was a young man, but of course doing something like that would be too dangerous
now in the US. I remember on one trip returning from Washington DC I had no place to sleep so I went to the jail in
Wheeling West Virginia and they let me sleep overnight there. This I did in the company of hoards of bugs and cockroaches.
I hitched a ride with a truckload of mules. There were already three guys in the front seat so I rode in back with
the mules. For 40 miles I was bumped, bounces and stepped on by the mules. I was glad to get off that truck. No
more mules for me. The next day i couldn't get a ride so I went to the rail yards at Athens, Ohio and tried to
jump on a moving freight train. I ran along and grabbed the ladder rung and it slammed me against the side and tossed
me by the side of the track into the gravel. I laid there stunned for ten minutes. my right shoulder was bruised
and i thought it was broken. I had enough strength to go about 200 feet to the highway where I weakly hitched a ride
with two Ohio University students. Seeing my condition and after i told them what happened they took me to their frat
house and took care of me for two days and I am indeed grateful. They even gave me a dollar when I left. I only remember
they were from Cleveland.
In 1934 I had to quit my High School and go to work to help the family. I worked during the day and finished
high school at night later that year. For the next four years I worked as a meatcutter. Full-time permanent
jobs were hard to come by. This was depression time in America and the next few years were fairly uneventful.
During this time I still cut meat but Dad's barburing was suffering as people wern't getting many haircuts. Although
he did get me an apprentacship at Barburing in a mans shop so i could get my Barbur certificate. The manager of this
shop was in a love affair, got the lady pregnant and refused to marry her. She came to the shop one day and sat in a barbur
chair and constantly swore at him. With each burst of swear words she would pump up the barbur chair then release it
so it came down with a loud thump! All this commotion caused the customers to exit and stay away, so he closed up shop
for three days!