April 19, 2014

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When it comes to snow, I got tales to tell
Written by Bill Baird   
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:56 PM

The recent snowy weather jogged my memory back to the gentle and kinder decade of the 1970’s.
When it comes to snow, I remember working my CG&E job on the midnight shift during the blizzard and snows of 1977-78.

Up to my knees
I waded through snow up to my knees to check that the Buckwheat 4,000 volt substation wasn’t overloaded.
I had emergency outdoor switching at the Cedarville substation with frozen locks to restore 33,000 volt circuits when the temperature was 25 degrees below zero without the wind chill factor.
This was before cable TV, and rabbit ears or outside antenna were required to receive TV.
Since I lived on a hill I could receive all Cincinnati and Dayton channels, plus sometimes Indianapolis and Louisville with the rabbit ear antenna on the TV set.
The quality of these programs were higher than they are now with no filth.
The local stations signed off the air around midnight until the next morning.
The sign-off would always be accompanied with a religious program and/or prayer.
My favorite of these was The Christophers program founded by Catholic priest Father James Keller (1900-1977), which usually featured a famous guest.
The program’s motto was, “It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness.”
The Christophers was on when I was making folks mad with this column in both Harrison newspapers at the time.

They know me
It was during this era that I ran into my CG&E co-worker Estal Lozier in Krogers when it was on New Haven Road.
He lived in Bright at the time. Employees and customers, mostly female, were waving to me and calling me by name.
Estal asked how I knew all of these people. I replied, ”I don’t know these people, they know me.”
That was a pretty good feeling. Also, about this time, my modest wife told me that my fame was going to my head. Prize winning writer Bob Considine (1906-1975) was a guest on The Christophers.
When asked what the reward of writing was he replied that when someone tells him they have read what he has written it was good for his ego.
I told my wife about this reply to explain my own ego.
Another guest on The Christophers was Danish born author and illustrator N. M. Bodecker (1922-1988).
He authored and illustrated books of nonsense poetry with titles like, Let’s Marry Said the Cherry and Other Nonsense Poems,(1974) and Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear and Other Nonsense Poems.(1976).

Hurry, hurry
Although Bodecker’s books were written for children, the illustrations and verse were so uniquely different and enjoyable I had Walden Book Store order me, Hurry, Hurry, Mary Dear, which I later gave to my granddaughter Lexis.
The recent snow made me think about one of the stories in this book, When All The World Is Full Of Snow.
There is a line, “I never know just where to go when all the world is full of snow.” 
I will give copies of my my tribute to Ham Rolfes, who I respected and liked very much, and a short article about the sporting events of my Harrison grandkids Lexis and Tanner, to those who wanting one.
Call me about 8 p.m. at 353-2919 to receive a free copy.

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

Last Updated on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 9:57 PM