Monday, December 24, 2007

The Goose, the egg, and the rowboat

The Holidays are never easy, and this year it seems will be harder than usual. I thought about posting a Christmas gone by memory of Ron, but then decided instead to tell you about one summer on the Island, a goose egg, and a rowboat.

The Island, as we called it, was a small, wooded piece of land bordered on all sides by water with two roads in. One with a beautiful covered bridge (pictured) and one just a wood-lined road with a rather ordinary bridge. It was located in Xenia, Ohio, and was owned by our dad's best friend, Jack. It was a place of rivers and creeks, cabins and woods, and mischief for bored kids.

I can't really remember a time when we were kids that we didn't visit the Island. Winter found us sitting in Jack's lodge house, roasting marshmallows over the fire or stomping around in the snow and falling on our butts as we tried ice-skating on the river. Summer visits were filled with memories of playing "Shot in the Dark" or catching fireflies or just simply being lulled to sleep by the repetitive chirp of crickets and the deep, earthy croak of bullfrogs.

One summer, Ron and I were allowed to take the rowboat out on the river alone, no parental supervision. Wow! We had stern instructions to stay up near the lodge house or even farther up river, but not to go past the bridge, and to steer clear of the dam. "Sure, no problem," we said, all smiles and sweetness. And we meant it!

So, away we go, Ron rowing, because he said he knew how, which he really barely did, and me facing him, riding along. I envisioned a calm, leisurely ride, just a nice way to pass the afternoon.

We slowly worked our way against the current, taking in the way the old tree branches hung low on the bank, how fish gathered near the branches that had dipped beneath the water, and even admired the ducks and geese floating near our boat. Oh, so very picturesque.

Then, things changed. Geese and ducks aren't always friendly, and pleasant afternoon boat trips have a way of turning on you. One goose kept swimming near the side of the boat and honking at us. If that wasn't odd enough, at about the same time, we both noticed a small white ball floating in the water near the goose. We shooed the goose away and upon closer inspection, we decided it wasn't a ball, but neither of us could figure out exactly what it was.

I, ever the cautious one, said we should maybe just leave it alone. Ron, always the opposite, reached down and fished it out of the water. He held it up and smiled. It was a goose egg. And before I could say, "Okay, great, now you know, and hey how about we put it back," the water-soaked thing burst into a mess of yucky, slimy egg yolk and stink. Oh my, did it stink.

We had rotten goose egg innards all over the boat, all over Ron, everywhere, plus a very angry goose in the water next to us. And we were nowhere near the dock.

Ron started rowing, trying to outrun the smell – as if – and the goose! Then, because we were just a bit preoccupied by the smell and the goose, almost too late we realized we were heading toward the dam.

Screams rang out and operation "rowboat reverse" went into effect. I'm paddling by hand, Ron's rowing like a madman, the smell isn't going away, and neither is the angry goose. The other geese and ducks were looking at us like we were crazy, and if things weren't bad enough, there stood our dad yelling at us from the shore. He didn't look happy. Who knows what he was saying, we couldn't hear him through the noise of our laughter and the honking goose! I mean, what else was there to do but laugh? The whole situation was absurd!

Finally, we made shore, docked the boat, and just fell out on the grass and continued laughing until we had tears in our eyes. My dad rolled out a hose and, you guessed it, hosed us down. The laughter turned to shrieks as the spray hit us. Then, still dripping, we hosed out the rowboat while that crazy goose floated nearby, still honking, almost like it was scolding us. I rather believe it was.

So ended the adventure of the goose, the egg, and the rowboat.

I know it's one of those stories that you had to be there to appreciate the silliness, but things like that always seemed to happen to us. Just another day in the life of the Noe children.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The GTO/MHS/Franklin and anything else

I didn't know Ron very well, he was my older brother Jeff's age, but I did know him casually because my brother would sometimes hang out with some of the same guys Ron did. I recall one time that me, Ron, my brother Jeff, Greg West and a couple of other guys were having a few beers and Ron was installing a new intake manifold/carb setup on Greg's stupidly fast red 440 six pack Plymouth ' spite of the beer, Ron got Greg's car up and running. This is also how I remembered Ron's pale green GTO.

I wanted to also share another incident that I remember Ron from, in those days, I drove a blue Mach 1 Mustang which was also no slouch in the acceleration department. Anyway, sometimes I would pull up alongside Ron in his GTO at a stoplight or vice versa and we would do what any red-blooded American kids with fast cars would do, which is of course engage in "just for laughs" stoplight to stoplight races. One time, I pulled up next to Ron on Poyntz Ave., heading into town at the bottom of the hill where the MHS was. I did the obligatory engine rev to get Ron's attention.

Ron responded by doing a VERY smoky "burnout," in which you hold the car stationary with the brake and use the engine's power to spin the rear tires which produces a dramatic cloud of tire smoke if you have a car with a strong engine and hold it back with the brakes long enough. This was funny enough, but what made it downright hilarious (maybe a little mean also) was the fact that there was this poor little old man with a cane crossing the street behind us at exactly the same time Ron did the burnout in the GTO.

This poor old guy was literally engulfed in tire smoke, all you could see was his arm coming out of the cloud of tire smoke, shaking his fist and yelling at Ron. We both took off quickly after that, but I could see Ron was laughing just as hard as I was, neither of us saw the little old guy until it was too late, LOL.

Sheri, I hope you get a chuckle out of this. It's funny, all these years later, you can still vividly recall specific incidents from those days, you didn't even have to know the person very well to still retain the memories of the "good times" in those care free high school days.

Take care and God Bless,

Stu Sendelbach

Sheri Comments:

Oh, I can just see it!

When Ron went off to join the navy, we were supposed to take care of the GTO, drive it from time to time, etc. Mom would never ever allow me to drive it, said it would send me to Topeka with just one punch to the pedal! LOL I did eventually drive it, and it did have a lot more get up and go than my Duster

Thanks so much for sharing. Reminds me, too, of a Mr. Franklin story and Ron. Unfortunately, I was involved by association .

That man would chase you all over town to catch you skipping class. When I was in Jr. High, Ron in High School, he had the '72 Duster at that time, my mom wrote him a note to leave school and come take me to the dentist. Sounds all fine and dandy, I had a pass, he had a pass, only thing is, he didn't let Mr. Franklin know he had a pass!

So, Ron barely stops at the curb by Johnny's Store and yells at me, "Get in!"

I hardly had time to shut the car door when the chase was on! And he enjoyed it as much as I think Mr. Franklin did.

We didn't make it to the dentist until after we had raced all over town with the poor guy chasing us and I was dang near late for my appointment.

Ron pulled into the stall at the Dentist's office and rolled down his window as Mr. Franklin pulled in, got out and came along the driver's side door. And just before the guy opens his mouth, Ron flashes his pass and smiles sweetly with that silver tooth twinkling. I swear! So, by the time I got to MHS, Mr. Franklin wasn't too cool on me either LOL

During Ron's senior year, the man had broken his leg, so wasn't quite the chaser. I ran into him years later at a company Christmas party and he said, "Boy, do I remember you two!"

Funny now, not so funny, I'm sure, to him.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Dwight L. Barnes Jr. High

Terry said...

I still have a junior high ID card of Ron's that he gave me when we were in JR. High (Manhattan). I'm not sure why he gave it to me, but I have kept it all these years. I will miss seeing him even if it was every five years. Terry (Yeager) Keller

We moved to Manhattan in 1971. The above ID was from Dayton, Ohio, and I think this was Ron's 9th grade ID from when we attended Dwight L. Barnes Junior High. Terry, thanks for sharing this with me. I had forgotten we had ID's at that school LOL

I've often wondered what happened to some of the kids Ron ran with from Dayton: Joe, Keith, Lee, and so many others whose names escape me now. Lee and Keith were in a band with Ron. Again, practice was at our house. Lee and Keith actually where kids from Page Manor area of Dayton, but continued to hang around with Ron after we moved to South Blvd. in Kettering. I've lots of memories about Page Manor and the "band," but I'll save that for another day.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ron in his later years, possibly 2003

This is a photo of Ron taken, I think in 2003, maybe 2004. I'll post more after I get them scanned.


Ron in his 20s photo

Nancy, this is Ron in his early 20s, I'll do another of him when older in a new thread...I do have photos of him with the GTO but I'll have to scan them to my computer. I'll try to get to that later for you. BTW, if anyone has photos they want to share and can't figure out how to post them, (I am not sure either how others do this), then go ahead and email them to me with your comments and I'll create a thread and post the photos.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Ron's First Band

My brother Ron was a person who loved music, listening and playing. From a very young age, he drummed. I mean he drummed on the coffee tables, the windows of the car, across my back, the walls, any place that would produce a beat, he found it.

He was given his first real set of drums when he was in grade school. We lived in Arizona at the time, and he was so excited to receive that sparkling red metallic kit. (Santa brought me a Kazoo. Most likely because he knew it was something I could handle.) And within a few weeks, Ron was playing in a real garage band with kids who were in high school. Of course, practice was always at OUR house.

Songs like Little Black Egg With the Little White Specks and Eve of Destruction, boomed from our living room. I'm sure the neighbors where quite pleased. After he played his first gig for a teenage girl's Sweet Sixteen birthday party, he was hooked. From that time on, no matter where we lived, he managed to find a band in need of a drummer. And I never stopped requesting, at least in those early years, my favorite drumming song Wipe Out. He would always groan, but he never failed to play it.

When you think of Ron, bands and his drums, the band Crosswind immediately comes to mind, at least around here, but I recall his very first band. No, not the one in AZ, but the one formed in Dayton, Ohio so many years ago.

The band consisted of two people: Ron who was 9; and me, I was 6. We had just returned from a family night out at the Ice Capades. My mom and dad, as well as my Aunt Alpha and Uncle Herman were gathered in the living room, a true captive audience, while Ron and I played our own rendition of the song HANG ON SLOOPY.

Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on

Pencils served as microphones as well as Ron's drumsticks, and the bottom of a small mental trashcan provided the beat. Each of us had donned our cherished Beatle wigs and we bopped and jumped and twisted, our wigs sliding first forward, and then backwards as we played and sang our little hearts out.

Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on
(yeah) (yeah) (yeah) (yeah)
Hang on sloopy, sloopy hang on

We had practiced for weeks for that small fifteen minutes of fame and the applause from our adoring fans was well worth it LOL

It's a very fond memory, and one I will always cherish.

A few facts about HANG ON SLOOPY:

"We never truly fade away as long as we are remembered."