I found this pair of bricks in Newport along the bank of the Ohio between Hooter's and the I-471 bridge while walking with Cicero. They seem to fit together, the only ones I've found with this name. The last post of 2010, dedicated to my best friend, also from West Virginia.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Olga Massey puts on lipstick under the watchful eye of Irina Hawkins. It was Irina's 49th birthday. They have been friends and hooligans since they met in grade school in Moscow.
Usually I have great trouble learning new Russian words, but a couple years ago when the beautiful Ira taught me how to say lipstick- 'gybnaya pomada' : well, that one stuck with me.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Former WWll P.O.W. Johnny 'TV" Peluso holding
a brick collected by another former WWll P.O.W., Adam Wood. One of 15 children Johnny moved to Newport when he was 3 months old. In the 1970's when I came to town he was the well-known mayor of Newport. He also ran a TV repair shop. In World War ll Johnny was at Normandy at D-Day. Later he was at the Battle of the Bulge where he was captured by the Germans.
Johnny is almost 90 years old. He has been married for 69 years. His wife is in the hospital right now. Last month he ran for Newport City Comissioner. He got my vote. He is also in the landlord business. If that gal upstairs didn't pay her rent by Monday, he was evicting her and all her biker boyfriends. (Sadly, I just found out that Johnny's wife, Margaret, passed away yesterday.)
When I first came to Newport, I slept on the sofa of Vic Stadtmiller. We were deckhands together on the Delta Queen. Vic was a huge fan of the Big Red Machine, especially Pete Rose. He bought a giant TV from Johnny just to watch the Reds. One day I was laying on the sofa when there was a knock on the door. It was Johnny's henchmen there to reposess the TV. Vic hadn't been making the payments.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
I met my good buddy Jeff one Thursday evening at Sis's Family restaurant when I was dining all alone. He is a life long resident of Newport, scoring high on the mugometer. He helped me nail down a roof this week. Too bad he didn't show up Wednesday , Thursday or Friday. Lots of good Jeff stories: one evening he just didn't feel like going to jail so when the cops started chasing him across the 12th street bridge he climbed underneath it and hid on a steel beam. They thought he had jumped into the Licking River and after the rescue boats couldn't find him, declared him dead. In the meantime he had snuck off to his sister's.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I got this stone and its mate over in Camp Washington on Colerain Ave. near the site of the old Workhouse. It took five of us to load it onto the pickup truck. We used a comealong, a plywood ramp and PVC pipes as rollers. It is heavy that it crushed a furnuture moving dolly that I have had for 25 years.
Since Becky helped me, I'll throw her a bone. Here we have her getting ready for the Halloween party that evening. She is the queen of the the Disco. By the way, Grandma Jo bought this vanity on layaway as a teenager at the beginning of World War Two.
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
When I called Karen Adams up in Chicago, she refused to sell me bricks. Instead she insisted on giving them to me. You see, Karen is member No. 213 of the International Brick Collectors Association and that is the way we do it. I am sure I will meet Karen someday to personally thank her for the bricks.
Becky and I spent the
long weekend in Chicago. High on my list was to meet Stacy's new students. Josh is a playwright and producer and Svetlana is a writer/waitress/ graduate student so we had to meet at a way hip coffee house in Wicker Park. Too bad I hadn't brought my own attempts at Russian fiction: Strahk (Fear) or Dvehadtsat Minyt (12 Minutes).
After Jim got downsized in the tech world he took up English as a Second Language and moved to Russia for several years. but he never had time to learn Russian - until now. That just could be the reflection of the Green Mill Jazz Club in the window. It helps to have an in the know daughter like Sarah to pick out spots like this.
Becky met Pam 30 years ago in downtown Cincinnati. Pam is a free spirit who has lived in Athens,Ohio, New Orleans, Pickens, South Carolina and now Chicago. It was at her daughter Niva's wedding that Barb Ernst told me about the International Brick Collectors. There are plenty of Pam stories much too wild for this blog.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Becky really surprised me on my birthday. She approached Newport city comissioner Frank Peluso at a recent meeting and got him to part with one the bricks from his fire pit. They came from the Pink Pussy Cat, a Newport strip joint back in the 60's run by our old friend and neighbor Callie Blaine Eisner whose husband Sammy got gunned down at the club. According to Frank the brick has paint on it from the sign proclaiming the most beautiful girls in town are inside.
Grahn, Kentucky is a company town named for Old Man Grahn, the founder of Louisville Fire Bricks. He owned every one of the 200 houses that comprised the town. Everyone made bricks. Now there are only a few workers making speciality bricks the old way.
I asked the forklift operator how come he got to watch the others do all the work. He replied he had to work there for 40 years before he got to get on the fork lift. That was three years ago.