Reminiscence Series

This is the first of a series of a walk down memory lane or a jaunt into the past.
Lakeside Redux

The ducks noiselessly skim across
....the placid surface of Lake Erie, occasional caw rising
....above the songbirds’ dulcet serenade.
I relax on a bench
....peering out into the early morning light,
....South Bass Island at 11 o’clock
....and Kelly’s at 2.
I have returned to Lakeside,
....the Methodist resort,
....that has decorated the Northcoast
....for a century and more.

Memories from decades ago flood my mind,
....when a boy and his family vacationed here.
He was 12 or 13 at the time.
His friend Dave and he
....played hours of tennis,
....explored on their bikes from gate to gate;
....and learned the strategies
....of laid-back shuffleboard.
Each evening, the reluctant lad
....and perpetual tease,
....was dragged to convocations
....while his sisters played in the cabin.

I again walk the long pier
....and savor the awe I felt, as that young boy,
....when seeing those islands for the first time.
Years later, I sailed and explored them
....many times over,
....often remembering the magical mystery
....I felt on first sight.
A smile crosses my face,
....even the beginning of a blush,
....seeing my dad approaching
....our grown-up table.
“Bob, go talk to them,” referring to
....the giggling lasses
....we had met during tennis that morning.
“Dad, quit it!” I screamed in hushed tones, face, beet red.
Bobbie was her name,
....dark auburn hair,
....a perfect vision of youthful beauty.
We never took those few steps,
....though she lives unchanged within my mind.

Some say, “You can never return.”
But as the 7 a.m. church bells
....announce the new hour,
....I return to the young boy
....and reminisce about youthful innocence
....and dreams of what I might be
....when I grow up.

Comments: I was recently invited to stay overnight at a colleague's cabin which he owns at Lakeside, Ohio, a seasonal Methodist resort and community located on the southern shore of Lake Erie. I had not returned there for an overnight since the time I was the young boy in the poem. The visit was like a walk down memory lane. At 6 a.m. the next morning, I was a few feet from the water doing Tai Chi and later sitting on a bench entering thoughts into my journal. Since the main tourist season had not arrived, I had the view to myself except for the ducks, the birds, a few Mayflies, and an occasional fisherman heading across the vista to a favorite fishing ground. The draft of the above poem was written at that time. (For further comments, please read my vignette below.)

Just before sunrise, Kelly's Is. in the distance
Homes along the walking path
A place to write, South Bass Is. in the distance
Another place to write
Andy's Cottage where we stayed the night
All the above scenes were taken at
Lakeside, Ohio

A Fall Buggy Ride

A crisp October night brings a chill to the skin.
The fog of breath predicts that winter will soon
......make an early visit.
The moon, twice its normal size,
......casts shadows on jack-o-lantern faces
......that adorn many porches.
The village, proud of its heritage,
......adds romantic ambiance to the evening.

The sounds of clip, clop, clip, clop
......announce the approaching white, ornate carriage,
......its lanterns adding muted light to the darkening night.
The sight is an invitation –
......a buggy ride, a retreat back into time – offer not be refused.

One step up,
......under the blankets,
......the chill gone.
Down the side streets,
......clip, clop
......away from the traffic,
......the transformation
......into the past complete.

Comments: The evening, following the wedding of my son
Craig to Nicole, Janice, my mother, two sisters – Joy and Pat,
a grand niece – Brooke, and brother-in-law – Harve, headed to
nearby, picturesque Granville. Following a delightful meal at the
elegant Granville Inn, I headed to the car to bring it around for
my mother who cannot walk long distances. That process set into
motion the events leading to the poem. I must admit I have taken
a bit of poetic license in my description of the event. Actually, I
had the carriage driver, Diana, take me to the restaurant entrance
where my mother, Pat, and Brooke joined me for the fifteen-minute
ride. But, many of the thoughts described in the poem occurred
during those leisurely moments. If you are ever in Granville, Ohio,
I encourage to enjoy a similar experience. Diana Jones of Granville
Carriage Company will provide you with your own moments of
time travel.


The young lad waits in anticipation,
.....his dad beside him.
Off in the distance
.....a whistle blows
.....growing louder with each passing second.
The huge, black steam engine chugs by
.....and grinds to a halt.
The accordion steps of adventure
.....invite them to climb aboard.
They’re headed to see the Indians play,
.....ninety minutes by rail,
.....while father and son cement
.....their bond.

Comments: As a young boy my dad would sometimes offer a special treat and take me to Cleveland to see the Cleveland Indians baseball team play.  The decade was the 50's when trains still transported passengers from small towns to the big city.  We would arrive around noon, eat at White Castle (the first fast-food hamburger joint in Ohio), and then to the game.  Following the game, we would eat at Mill's Cafeteria and arrive back in Galion (my hometown) around 8 P.M.  Some of my fondest memories occurred during those train excursions!

The Modern Phone

Not too long ago
....a phone was a phone.
A caller picked up the receiver
....and dialed a number.
A human answered
....on the other end.
With time a marvelous innovation happened, pushed the numbers
....and again an individual answered
....usually within six rings.

Today, the phone serves many functions,, camcorder, text messenger,
....GPS, game board, apps collector name a few.
On the rare occasion wishes to speak to someone
....simply touchpad the number
....and wait to hear the recorded voice
....on the other end.

Comments: None necessary.

Nova Scotia Interlude

The road winds and winds.
The sweet agony of the climbs
......and the rush of the downhills
......are faithful companions.
The fog layers,
......mere yards above our heads,
......blanket the Scotland-like glens.
We pedal onward,
......Peggy’s Cove, our destination.
As the road meanders westward,
......glimpses of the Bay of Fundy
......catch my eye.
The huge tides
......leave the sand barren.
A brief stop a roadside lobster shack
......provides a much needed lunch-break.
Seated alongside of the road, pliers crack the shell
......revealing the succulent white meat,
......never tasting so sweet.
Does life get any better?

Comments: Years ago, another teacher, Art, and I led two sixth graders and one sophomore on a summer bike trip from Newfoundland to Ohio. One of the most beautiful sections of the trip was Nova Scotia. One day, while riding the area local bike trail, I flashed back to that four-week ride. This poem is the result.

Life (Peace) Historical And more Graduate Observation Reminiscence