April 23, 2014

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Wife OK; best of friends, talking about trains
Written by Bill Baird   
Monday, December 31, 2012 8:33 PM

Last week I reported my wife was taken to the hospital with an unknown illness. After a two-day rest in the hospital they could find nothing wrong with my perfect wife.

My sincere thanks to the Whitewater Township squad, West-Jad members and the folks at Mercy Hospital West.

On Wednesday, Dec. 19, after watching my granddaughter Lexis bowl on her school team, she chose we go to Cracker Barrel to eat. Six p.m. is a very busy time but we got the best in service thanks to pretty Hoosier Brittany.

It has been over 50 years since we moved to our present location and have been neighbors with Esther and Bernie Bowman.

A short time later, we met Pauline and Ray Armstrong of Miamitown. During all of these years, we have never had a problem or discouraging word with these folks because they are the greatest.

We sincerely thank them for their recent Christmas gifts, especially since both of us aren’t feeling too well.

The Bowman’s gave us a Kuchen Meister Christstollen cake made in Germany. The Armstrong’s gift was a beautiful platter of Christmas cookies and a Jello-pineapple ring made in Miamitown by Pauline.

All of these gifts were absolutely delicious. Our gift to the Bowman’s and Armstrong’s is our undying friendship and love. Now you know why we love our community and hope to remain here until our deaths.

Unlike the great family get-togethers of past years no one came on Christmas Eve, some of the family came on Christmas Day, some comes after and some don’t come at all.

While reminiscing about the good old days, I remembered back 71 years when Santa (my older brother) brought me my first Lionel train.

It cost $8.50 at Smith’s Hardware in LaFollette, Tenn. I was looking at the 1668 locomotive, which is the only original piece that is left.

The 1689 tender, 1630 blue and silver passenger car and 1631 matching observation car have been replaced. The locomotive still runs great, but is beginning to show its age, like me.

I remembered that it has been 30 years ago this Christmas that my mom from Tennessee visited over the holidays, which would be her last visit. She passed away at 81 a month before Christmas in 1985.

A few years back, it seem like my number two all-time favorite film and number one all-time favorite Christmas film “It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)” was on TV continually during the Christmas season, then all of a sudden it was shown only once during the season.

WLWT featured this great film on Christmas Eve. Although I have seen it a zillion times and have several copies, I never tire from seeing it, but I did nap a few times during commercials.

This film was produced and directed by my favorite director Frank Capra (1897-1991), and stars my favorite war hero James Stewart (1908-1997) and Donna Reed (1921-1986).

You all know the story about if you never had been born. Of the 114 cast members, only eight are alive if my research is correct.

Virginia Patton (1926), who played Ruth Dakin Bailey; Carol Coombs (1935) as Janie Bailey; Karolyn Grimes (1940) as Zuzu Bailey; Jimmy Hawkins (1941) as Tommy Bailey; Michael Chapin (1936) as young George’s friend; Ronnie Ralph (1933) as little Sam; Jeanine Ann Roose (1937) as little Violet in her only film role, and Jean Gale (no data found) as little Mary in her first of three roles.

I hope that the low-income community of New Miami had a un-merry Christmas and have a unhappy New Year for stealing money from those who need it worse than they do with their speed trap cameras.

I suggest you boycott their business places by bypassing their dismal burg. I am also boycott watching WXIX Fox 19 until they bring back pretty news anchor Tricia Macke, who is the best and the reason I watch their newscast.

They suspended her for a remark she made about a person on a crappy cable channel.

After retiring from CG&E 20 years ago the first of November, for several years I was invited to pass out cookies at the B&O train layout in the CG&E/Duke lobby.

I usually did this with grandson Ethan ,and enjoyed it very much. We would stop at an Arby’s in Delhi on the way home.

Now Duke gave the layout to the Cincinnati Union Terminal. Ethan and I are members of the Cincinnati Railroad Club. We also enjoyed hosting the club’s room at the Cincinnati Union Terminal. With Ethan being busy and me feeling bad, nothing lasts forever!

Bill Baird is a Whitewater Township resident who writes a weekly column about old movies and Hollywood trivia.