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Thursday, January 31, 2013

New dress



Wednesday, January 30, 2013

20 YEARS OF GROWTH AND I GET FIRED

I joined Chicago-based Vance publishing in the summer of 1959, selling advertising space for a hairdressing magazine, now titled "Modern Salon".I was based in New York, and eventually managed the firm's eastern operations,  I climbed the corporate ladder to become a publishing director/vice president. In the 20 years with Vance, my sales territory grew every year. When I became a publisher, I turned around a recently acquired weekly magazine, Paper Trade Journal, losing $600,000 a year into a magazine with a million dollar bottom line. My accomplishments were all positive.  But in 1979 the president, Jack O'Neil, a  good friend, and I had a major disagreement concerning another acquisition and a proposed start-up. I vigorously opposed both and he fired me. (In the next three years, the two project cost the company $8 million). When presidents of other business publishers would ask Jack why I was fired, he'd reply, "It was him or me." It was the first time I had been canned for questioning management decisions, and it would not be the last.

To be honest, l loved the salon and beauty business because it was marketing oriented, but  paper making was a technical industry, requiring advanced degrees in chemistry. It was a commodity business that operated on supply and demand, and little on marketing expertise (My experiences in both of those industries will come in later blogs.) Realizing it was time for a change. I put together a presentation with charts and graphs of my accomplishments over the years, along with some of the weekly columns I had written for the paper industry. It also included letters  of recommendations from chairmen and CEO's of major companies, with whom I had dealt over that period. There were even two letters from presidents of printing companies that produced our publications. One from Dale Hughes of Hughes Printing in East Stroudsburg, PA cited me as the best and toughest negotiator of printing contracts he had ever met.

The presentation was sent to 24 firms  in the Metro New York area. I had at least three interviews a week, and was offered a number of positions, but none of them felt right. About midway through my search, I received a phone call from Jack Abely, the president of Technical Publishing, one of the leading companies producing industry magazines. Talk about a small world. Jack had been a salesman at Reuben H. Donnelley, and I had worked with him 20 years ago. Dun & Bradstreet had acquired RHD's magazine division and had merged it with Technical, a company in Barrington IL.The firm had about 400 people in each of its locations. While waiting to see him, I thumbed through its stable 25 magazines on dsiplay. Many were engineering publications, in which I had no interest. There were only three that appealed to me. One was Graphic Arts Monthly (GAM), edited for the printing industry. It had a healthy page rate and 100,000 circulation.

It was like old home week, and we reminisced about our escapades in the late 1950's, a period that was captured by AMC's "Mad Men" television show. He told me he was promoting the GAM publisher to the head up the Medical Group, which included four magazines edited for doctors practicing in various specialties. I was ready to jump for joy, but he said it would take several weeks to make the decision. At the time Michael, my son, was at Johns Hopkins and Leslie, may daughter was scheduled to enter Tulane. I didn't have much time to wait. I had to find a position by September at the latest.

As a backup I'd mailed six presentations to out of town publishers. One was in Philadelphia, North American Publishing Company (NAPCO). Its owner was Irvin Borowsky. I knew Irv from the publishing associations annual meetings and had occasionally joined he and his wife for dinners. He called, I visited, he interviewed me, and eventually sent me  to take a psychological test at a company in NYC. One of their magazines was a tabloid, Printing Impression. It seemed like a coincidence at the time. A week later he called to ask me to come back  to Philly the following Tuesday. I talked to a couple of people who had worked for NAPCO, and was not impressed by their comments. But, I thought, a job is a job, and we scheduled a meeting.

The next Monday, Jack Abely phoned. "I want you to come in tomorrow," he said authoritatively. When I showed up at his office at 666 Fifth Avenue at 11:00 a.m, we shook hands and he said, "When can you start,?" We hadn't discussed compensation, and I pointed out that fact. "What's fair?' he tossed back quickly. I threw out a figure, and before it left my mouth, he countered "done". I was kicking myself for setting too low a value on my services. He softened the blow by adding, "You'll travel first class, you can join a club, and we'll arrange the lease on a new car." I had none of those perks at Vance. I left his office with one statement, "I want to make sure my compensation grows at the same rate as the bottom line." He nodded yes. I was feeling great when I remembered the date I had made with Irv Borowsky for the next day. I called him to tell him had I  had accepted another offer  and apologized for having to cancel. ."But you  haven't  heard my offer," he said. When I told him I had  made up my mind, he gracefully wished me the best of luck. When I told him I would be the new publisher of Graphic Art Monthly, he shot back, "That's our major competitor!" Perhaps he was kicking himself for not acting more quickly.( I make my first appearance at the Graphic Arts Monthly office in Friday's blog.)




Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My top 5 bass lures of 2012

The weather in North Wales has been awful recently with 30-50mph winds, heavy rain and freezing temperatures. Add to that the fact I've just started a 50 hour a week job and it's easy to see why I've not done much fishing.

So to keep the blog posts going I thought I'd post a list of my top 5 favourite bass lures. I'd love to see some comments added with your favourite lures too.

Bass

When it comes to bass, I have always been a little bit of a lure tart and own more lures than I could ever possibly use. There are a few though that I would never leave the house without. Here they are!

1) IMA Komomo II (Asanago and Joker flashing plate)
IMA Komomo Joker FP

 

IMA Komomo Asanago FP
These shallow running lures have done the business for me since I've started using them last year. During daylight hours, the asanago FP is second to none but the Joker FP comes into its own after dark. There best use for me has been over shallow reefy and bouldery ground where its irrisitable action proves deadly for bass of all sizes.



2) Daiwa Shore Line Shiner R50+ SSR F (Anchovy)


Daiwa SLS (Anchovy)
DSLS caught bass of 5lb+
Probably my favourite and most productive hard lure in my box at the moment. In the Menai Straits where I fish regularly, this lure just slays fish, my three best fish last year all falling to this fantastic lure (all of which were over 5lb). Just as with the Komomo II's, the DSLS is a shallow running lure, diving to around 1ft in depth but I have also had some good results fishing this lure over clear, deep water.




3. IMA Salt Skimmer 110 F

I've done my fair share of surface lure fishing over the last year and without doubt the Salt Skimmer has been my favourite topwater hard lure. Not only is it well priced in comparison to the other leading surface lures, but it is also one of the easiest to work, especially when fishing in wind. It's brilliant walk the dog-action and subtle profile has risen fish in even the toughest conditions for me and for that reason it is permanently placed in my box. I haven't really got a colour preference for this lure, as each of the three I have are all just as productive as each other.







4) Savage Gear Sandeel (All colours and sizes)

Ask most anglers what their favourite soft plastic lure is for bass and I guarantee the majority of them will say the SG Eel, myself included. Ranging in size from 12.5 to 20cm and weighing between 23-150g they are absolutely brilliant off deep water shore marks or from a boat, but can be just as deadly fished just under the surface with a fast retrieve on shallow marks. The SG eels are definitely one of my go to lures when fishing new areas and another lure I'd never leave the house without. My particular favourite size and colours are the blue version in 12.5 and 16cm variety.






5) Megabass Zonk Gataride 120 (Katakuchi)


Zonk caught bass of 4lb+
I've had my very shallow divers, my surface lure and my SP, so here is my all-time favourite mid depth lure. Diving to around 3-4ft, the Zonk is always my lure of choice when fishing in depths of 6-12ft. Off the rocks of Anglesey is where I've had most of my success on this lure, in particular with the Katakuchi colour. I think I'm now on my third one due to fish completely destroying my previous two lol. To date this lure has also been my younger brothers favourite and the exact lure he lost a monster on a few years back, which we had estimated to be pushing double figures, ouch :s No doubt this lure will continue to give me plenty of action for the foreseeable future.

Thanks for taking the time to look,
Tight Lines,
Ross






Open your eyes like I open mine


Monday, January 28, 2013

We Heart It




Follow me on we ♥ it

TRANSITIONING FROM EDITORIAL TO AD SALES

Less than a month after settling into my new position at Reuben H. Donnelley, Carol's father, Milton, approached me for a private chat. Milton was a successful accountant with a client roster that included several major Wall Street brokerage companies. He resembled Robert Montgomery, the movie star of the 1930's and 1940's. He began our talk with a question, "What are your intentions?" I hesitated, and he elaborated. I guess he was worried his 19-year-old daughter would become an old maid. He was looking for a commitment. In early February, I cashed in the rest of my War Bonds and my Bar Mitzvah money, and her father took me shopping for a ring. I guess he wanted her out of his hair as quickly as possible. We were  engaged on Valentine's Day in a romantic French restaurant with checkered table cloths in New York City,  and set our wedding date for October 26th.

The  wedding celebration, after the ceremony, was a lavish event, well orchestrated and held at the Ambassador Hotel at 52nd and Park. It was a strictly formal affair, tails and all. I had ten ushers, including uncles, college roommates and friends from New York. My relatives,  who made the trip from Cleveland, were in awe when my four-year-old sister, the flower girl, dropped  rose petals in advance of the bride's entrance. The wedding was filmed, later converted to tape and is now on  CD. We honeymooned in Puerto Rico and The Virgin Islands for ten days, the very first time each of us had been out of the country.

Carol and I returned to work at Vogue and Reuben H. Donnelley. We had rented an apartment in Brooklyn, several blocks from her parent. We had a total income of $150 a week, our rent was $116 a month.    Without a car, we took the subway to get into the city. In January of 1958 I received a $10 a week raise and Carol was hired by Franklin Simon as a retail copywriter at $75. We were now solidly middle class.In April,  , one of those detours in the map of life unexpectedly came along. Bill Crompton, the  ad sales director for Sports Age Magazine, came into my cubicle with a proposition. "Our annual directory is coming up in June, and I need someone to help sell unit ads," he explained. The magazine, I had learned, had sales reps who worked on a 20% commission and wouldn't be bothered with selling insignificant advertising. I hadn't sold ad space since I was editor of my high school newspaper, but when I was told I'd receive  20% on anything I sold, I jumped at the chance.

For two weeks I stayed on the phone calling  manufacturers listed in the directory One inch was $30, two inches, $60, and a three inch ad was discounted at $80. The more phone calls I made, the more proficient I became. I used empathy as a tool. "We're nearing a record response, and we need two more inches to  set a new record," I'd tell each  person I called. It worked. The directory had its biggest issue ever, and I sold more inches that the entire rep team. The total was $32, 000 and my commission check was a  whopping $640, more than six weeks pay. I was pretty proud of myself. The next week, with management's blessing, Crompton asked if I would like to sell full time. I was torn, having planned on a writing career.Then a fellow
fellow editor said the magic words, "That's where the money is."

The next thing I knew, I was studying the rate card, and was surprised by how low the rates were. In investigating the competition,  there was no question that we were a distant fourth on the list of  publications serving that market. I had to move to a bigger magazine, one with higher page rates, larger circulation, and number one in its industry. Come September, an ad in the  New York Times caught my eye. I called the phone number and made an appointment for an interview. I met Ken Grogan for the first time. The starting salary was $7500 a year. During  three interviews, I also met John Ryan and Jack  O'Neil. I didn't get the job because I hadn't attended Notre Dame. Instead the hired Jack Keirnan, another guy who rooted for "The Fighting Irish." He was also ten years older with more experience, I was told.  So I plodded on  and two months later Grogan called me in the evening. He asked "Are you still interested in working here?" (In Wednesday's blog, I begin to write about my 30 years in the printing industry.)

Crush Crush Crush



If you want to play it like a game
Well, come on, come on, let's play
'Cause I'd rather waste my life pretending
Than have to forget you for one whole minute

Sunday, January 27, 2013

no title

I have so hard days with myself lately... and I've considering the option to share my thoughts with you. I don't care to be exposed. I really don't. I think it's one of the reasons blogging is for. To share your life. Not only the good days, but the bad ones too.
I just broke up with my boyfriend, Edo. Maybe some of you that read my blog know how much I've loved him and how big part he took in my life. And he still does. At least I want him to... But I know that in order to move on we need to keep our distance, because it is the only way to get over each other. But I honestly can't imagine life without him. He is my happiness, my thoughts, my memories, my balance, my laughter, my smile, he was my all life for the past year. I was literally blind by my love to him. But I was the one to end it. And I am not sure if it was the right decision - because that way I will lose him completely. I am afraid to take the chance and move on. I don't have other life. I don't know how it feels not to be loved by him...

Friday, January 25, 2013

lately on Instagram



My user name is ofriaraziblog. Follow me (:

WITH AGE COMES EXPERIENCE AND PERSPECTIVE

Arriving in New York with neither experience or perspective, I was a kid from Cleveland, who needed a job. Sure, I had handled an ice cream scoop at the dairy with the deftness of a surgeon using a scalpel. I could deliver mail like a veteran. But could I find a job quickly? I had $200 in cash and was extremely frugal.  Carol invited me to stay with her parents, Pauline and Milton Lennard, and we welcomed 1957 over the long New Year's weekend.. The Lennards had recently moved to a newly decorated apartmen in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn, and for five days I slept on a brand new red damask couch. In less than a week, Pauline decided that it was time for me to have a place of my own. She found a Brooklyn College rooming house on 19th street off of Avenue J, a couple of subway stops away. When I wan't at their home, I was hanging out at Cookie's a local diner.

Over the next couple of weeks I pounded the pavement. We were in the middle of a minor recession, and it wasn't looking promising. I had one offer with Doyle, Dane & Bernback in the mail room at $50 per week. There was no way I could survive in NYC on that paltry sum. Another from The Daily New,s as a copy boy paid was $45.  About the middle of the month, I discovered an association, The American Business Press. A phone call gave me a lead for a job that had just been received minutes earlier. Talk about timing. The company was  Reuben H. Donnelley, the firm that published The Yellow Page phone books back in the day. I called Fern Virdo, the personnel manager, immediately and made an appointment for the next day. I knew, at 22, I was wet behind the ears, so I made myself a year older on the employment application. Fern introduced me to Jack Martin, who explained that RHD published six industry magazines and was looking for an associate editor. He then took me into the office of the division's general manager, Ned Wintersteen. They asked me some very curious questions, which I answered while trying to determine motivation for them. "Do you have a girl fiend?" Yes was the answer." What's her name ?" Were they trying to determine whether or not I was Jewish, I wondered.  The answer comes later in this piece.

I was hired and started on Monday, January 21, It was a cold, blustery day, and the Lennards rehearsed me for the subway stops until we arrived at Grand Central. What they didn't tell me was that once every hour a train went to Wall Street. You guessed it. I boarded that train. When I noticed that we were not stopping at the stations we had rehearsed, and. too embarased to ask someone, I jumped off at the next stop, ran up the stairs and grabbed a cab. It was a $3 ride uptown and I arrived at the office one half hour late. My bosses accepted my story, but for weeks I was the butt of jokes. I worked on three publications, Starchroom Laundry Journal, National Cleaner and Dyer, and the one I most identified with, Sports Age, read by retailers of sporting goods. The people in the office of about 80 people were congenial, and I quickly made some friends. I traveled the northeast, lugging around my 30 lb. case with a speed graphic and all of the paraphernalia  necessary to take photos of the subjects of my articles. Every trip was planned with stops for all three publications. I usually came back with nine stories on each of my jaunts.

Six months after I was hired, the big boss called me into his office. I thought I might be getting a raise. I was wrong. He introduced me to Arthur Radwin, and asked me to.interview him because he said he had studied journalism at Ohio State. I had never screened a potential employee in my life. I brought him into my cubicle and asked the only question that popped into my mind. "Why do you want this job?" He told me he had a wife and a newly born daughter, adding "and $80 a week isn't bad". I was furious, jumped up, literally running into Wintersteen's office. "I quit, I've been here six moths and earning $65 a week.". To make long story short, he gave me a $25 a week raise. Do the math. It was almost a 40% jump. It was the first time I realized that company executives often do stupid things. (More about that in my next blog.)

In September I told one of my editors that I would be out Thursday and Friday. He asked "Why?" I responded, "It's the Jewish New Year." His retort was an incredulous, "Your're Jewish?" I told him I was, and he said I'd have to use vacation days. I had been there nine months and had not realized I was the only one of the 80 employees who was a Jew. I had always had a melting pot of friends, but this was the first time I had experience a form of antisemitism. The punch line. In January, 1958, RHD's publishing unit acquired Case, Sheppard & Mann, a book publisher with 42 people. All but three were Jewish.  Guess what? That fall Donnelley changed it corporate and we were given the three days off, two for Rosh Hashana and one for Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. Maybe the company's was atoning for its previous sin..

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Pancakes for dinner



I think I going to eat it every Wednesday's evening from now on (:

My date with the lady of the stream

The winter saltwater fishing has been brilliant so far this year, but every so often I am drawn towards a session away from the coast. Usually this urge would be satisfied by a day on the canal targeting pike and perch, however as a result of the recent weather my favourite marks are all under an inch of ice taking that option out of the equation. After some serious thinking there was one stand-out option, fish the rivers for grayling!

As a complete novice to river fishing and having only caught one grayling previously, this idea got me very excited and lead to an evening browsing the web for any tips and tricks that would aid me, watching plenty of youtube videos in the process. With a good idea of the best tactics to use, I set about finding my old coarse fishing gear at home. The only thing left to do was get some maggots, a tub of hemp and some brown crumb groundbait from the local tackle shop and then it was go time.

My chosen venue was the River Goyt which rises on the moors of Axe Edge in Derbyshire and eventually joins with the River Tame in Stockport to form the Mersey. Spoilt for choice with stretches to fish, I settled on an area in the lower reaches renowned for large chub, trout and my target species, the grayling. On arrival riverside, I first threw in a large helping of brown crumb and hemp mix to get some bait down, hoping to draw the fish up from downstream, before getting my gear ready. The set up I used was a 12ft quivertip rod, 2000 size reel loaded with 4lb mono and a rig consisting of a semi-fixed swimfeeder and a hooklength of around 30cm to a size 16 eyed barbless hook.

With everything ready, the swimfeeder was filled with the groundbait mix and the hook loaded with double red maggot, before casting slightly downstream of where the original bait had gone in. Leaving it in the water for around 10 minutes at a time, I soon found myself starting to get bites and eventually got the hook up I was after, landing my first grayling of the year, happy chappy!



Soon after I was in again, another grayling but this time a little larger at probably a little over 1lb in weight.
I was getting into a nice rhythm and soon had number 3 on the bank but having already had a few I didn't photo this one, opting instead to release it whilst it still had plenty of energy. I had been fishing for around 2 hours before I decided to change tactics, still using the swimfeeder rig, but instead of live red maggots, I decided to trim down a piece of red power isome to form an imitation maggot. Half an hour passed with no bites and I started to think the isome plan was going to fail, but as usual that one last cast saw the rod arch over and I was into grayling number 4, the isome had worked, great news. I have been informed that power isome may not have been used in this way ever before making it even more special :)
 


After a further hour, I decided enough was enough, a great day had and yet another target species caught at the first time of asking, can't go wrong this year.

Thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,
Ross

GOODBYE WOODY, HELLO NEW YORK CITY

After the summer quarter was completed, I took a train back to Cleveland to visit my parents and siblings. Bruce, 17, told me he planned to attend The Wharton School at Penn. I wondered how he could afford the tuition, and years later, found that an aunt had underwritten his education. My youngest brother, Bill, was six and my sister, Marcy, was only two. I couldn't believed how they had grown in the time I was gone. I told my parents that, after graduation in December, I would relocate to New York City. They were not  happy, but  I'd made up my mind. It was a bit tense, and  I couldn't wait for the trip back Columbus in September, anxious to evaluate the 1956 Ohio State Football team

In 1955, except for the Duke game, to which I invited my father  my uncle Sam, the dentist, and a cousin, Leonard Task, as my press box guests, I was able to sell  my four tickets on  the 50-yard line for the other five home games. We lost to Duke 20-14, and the reason was Duke's quarterback, Sonny Jurgensen, who later played for the Eagles and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. After the game, we went to Woody"s press conference.  I warned my guests to stand back. After each game,  the coach would munch on a cheese sandwich and an apple, spewing food as he talked. Veteran reporters always formed a cone shaped group to avoid any unexpected shower  they might experience. We then visited the Duke press conference which was much more boisterous. Jergensen was the star and I introduced him to my guests. Leonard Task never forgot that moment.A big sports fan, Leonard,  until the day he died, told me meeting Sonny was the biggest thrill of his life, though I found that hard to believe. I missed the Stanford game that year in California. It was the Buckeyes second loss, 6-0, , but we finished the season with a five game winning streak, we snared the Big Ten title. OSU sent me to Madison for the  Wisconsin game. Head cheerleader Bill Costello shared the long train, and arrived at the hotel during the team's "breakfast". Bill and I agreed we had never seen so much food eaten at one sitting.

Now for some football history. Most team rosters were smaller in those days, usually dressing less than 40 players. That fact was a result of a  1954 ruling banning the two platoon system. Teams could  only substitute one player after each play. It was repealed after the 1964, but when I was covering the Buckeyes, most of the athletes played both offense and defense.There were no special teams. And there were only a handful of black players at northern schools. Southern schools didn't recruit African Americans in those years. Alabama, for one, didn't recruit blacks until 1971. In 1955 The Big Ten was called the Western Conference, the oldest in the United States. It consisted of nine stare schools and a private one, Northwestern  In  July, 2014  The Big Ten will actually have 14 members. Penn State and Nebraska, the newest in the conference, will be joined by Maryland and Rutgers. Everything changes as time goes by.

In retrospect the 1955 season was the end of an era. Hoppy, the team's MVP for two years running had graduated. So had co-captains, Fran "Moose" Machinsky and Ken Vargo. Don Vicic, Galen Cisco and  Jim Parker '56's MVP, were back. New names were Dick LeBeau and Hubie Bobo,   Though Woodrow "Woody" Hayes had turned the program around, 1956 was looked at as a rebuilding year, but the team was still highly ranked until the dismal shutouts to end the season, one to Iowa and the other to Michigan at home. Woody was the most quotable person I've ever interviewed. His idol was General George Patton and he consistently used military metaphors to make his point.

 Woody had been appointed head coach in 1951, a year in which the Buckeye's record was 4-3-2-1, a numerically so-so performance. Two  6-3 records followed, and then 1954's undefeated National Championship season. The team won again in 1957, and under his aegis,l Woody's teams won five national  titles and 13 Big Ten  championships. Until his blow-up in the Gator Bowl game versus Clemson in 1978, he was as revered as any other college coach. Woody was soft spoken and only became upset when someone missed a block or tackle in practice. If you've ever watched NCIS on CBS you have seen Mark Harmon's character, Leroy Jethro Gibbs give his team members an open handed cuff to the back of the head. It's a gesture of affection that he might have learned from Woody, who would often slap  the back of a player's helmet if he screwed up. (Michael Weatherly's character on the that show, Tony DiNozzo, supposedly played basketball at OSU)  Before the Michigan (Woody called them "the team up north") game in 1956, Woody showed his  paranoia. He was sure Michigan had spies watching the Buckeyes practice, so  he told reporters that only three us could serve as a pool and report to the others. Kay Kessler of The Citizen, Paul Hornung of The Dispatch and yours truly were the trio allowed in  at practice sessions.. To confirm our identities, Woody made us each wear as scarlet jersey. It didn't help. OSU  lost to Michigan 19-0.

During my tenure as sports editor, I had the chance of meeting some great coaches, including Mike Peppe, who lead the OSU swimming and diving teams to 12 Big Ten titles, and  coached several who appeared in the Olympics. I never missed a wrestling match, swimming meet,  basketball or baseball game, and attempted to  cover all of the minor sports as well. But, at Ohio State, football was king.

About seven years ago, Carol and I had dinner with Paul Beck, who was visiting NYC. He was then the Dean of the Arts and Science program at Ohio State,   He handed me a silver folder with a block "O" on the cover. It contained articles and columns I had written for The Lantern in the middle 1950's. I had not kept any of that material. Rereading stuff I had written more than 50 years ago was priceless. One more small world story. The next year we were in Florida for the winter months. We were at a restaurant with two other couples and I began a conversation with a couple at the adjoining table. He was looking for a basketball score on a hand held computer. He told me he was a sportswriter. "So was I," I told him. He asked where and when and I told him. His name is Jeff Snook and he had also been sports editor of The Lantern, 25 years after I held that title.

Before graduation, I said my goodbyes to the new faces at the Lantern office and the  print shop crew, including Otto who operated the Linotype machine, and Walter, who locked up each page and ran the sheet-fed press located in the building's basement.  Carol came to the graduation ceremonies and we flew back to New York City, where my next job would be to find one.

Monday, January 21, 2013

SUMMERTIME AND THE LIVING IS NOT SO EASY

Covering the 1955 Buckeye football season afforded me the opportunity of meeting the two sports editors of the Columbus dailies, Kay Kessler of the Citizen and Paul Hornung of the Dispatch. Hornung was not the same guy who later starred at Notre Dame and for the Green Bay Packers. The three of us attended all of Woody Hayes' post game press conferences. We were there for a briefing that announced Howard "Hoppy" Cassady had won the Heisman Trophy. Hoppy, of course, was elated, but Woody was probably more excited. He strutted around the room like a proud papa, whose son had just had his first grandson. The  column I wrote of that occasion was a favorite. Another was an interview of a black waiter at a White House cocktail party in 1975. He had been serving Presidents since FDR's first term. The copies I kept of both pieces have yellowed and crumbled over years as newsprint usually does.We also attended the "Football Appreciation Banquet" on November 21, 1955, celebrating Ohio State University, Champions Western Conference (The Big Ten in those days). I still have the glass with that inscription as a memento of the  happy occasion, which took five straight wins at the end of the season to accomplish that feat..

Having taken the required photography courses as part of the journalism program, I was very expert in handling a Speed Graphic. (For those of you born in the digital age, it was the large camera the press used in the movies of the thirties, forties and the fifties.) It was a heavy camera with a focal plane shutter. You had to load the 4" x 5'' film into holders, which held two pieces of film. During the 1956 baseball season, from my dugout seat, I took some great shots of players sliding into home. Kay Kessler liked them so much he ran several in the Citizen, and I was paid $20 a pop. It cemented our relationship and kept me financially solvent for the next month or so..

The summer quarter in 1956 was a breeze. I had one five credit course in psychology (friends had told me I needed psychological help), and a three credit course in philosophy (Je pense donc je suis, or in English, I think, therefore I am). But thinking about cash to get me through the summer was't quite the answer. I was now running on fumes financially. I had to find a job, and I did. A classified ad in the Dispatch, run by a public relations firm seemed to be the answer. Mr. B (I wasn't there long enough to learn his full name) told me he was looking for someone with a typewriter to work at Hilliard Raceway, a standard bred track for trotters and pacers. All I had to do was record the winners and their payoffs and deliver them to each of the newspapers in Columbus. He asked, "Do you have a car?" I told a white lie, and said, "Yes." The job would pay $75 for five nights at the track. Actually I had t several friends with cars and thought I might be able to manipulate available transportation.

In the meantime I had to find a place to bunk. The fraternity house had about a dozen people staying there, but until I started working I didn't want to pay rent. One of the guys in the same financial shape came up with an idea. His suggested, "They have electricity in the house. What if we buy some extension cords and string them to the Annex next door? We'd have power and could stay there." Five of us joined in the plan. It worked for about a month until my best friend, Jerry Millman, the Master (president) unexpectedly showed up in Columbus for a quick visit. He couldn't miss our jerry rigged (no pun intended) wiring and billed us $90 for the summer.

But back to my transportation dilemma. I had two other friends residing in Columbus that summer. One was Gene Weiss and the other Jim Parker, the all-american gridiron star. Both were on the wrestling team, though Woody Hayes wasn't thrilled with Jim's participation in the heavyweight division. Both were married. I told them I could get them into  the press box and we could possibly get tips from the experienced touts. For two weeks Gene and Jim took me to Hilliard. Then their wives called a halt to their shenanigans. For three night I was able to borrow others'  car. Then I ran out of options. I called Mr. B. and told him I  had lost my rides to the  track. He paid me $195 for the days worked. He also said, "If you can work five days during the Ohio State Fair, I''ll pay you $100." I  quickly said yes, not asking  even what I'd be doing. For the next month or so I spent afternoons at The Citizen as an intern, thanks to Kay Kessler.

The Fair grounds were a long walk from campus, but on opening day I made the trek, and arrived at noon, wearing a sports jacket and tie. Mr. B. gave me my assignment "You'll be working with the horses. When they come out on the track, you'll put their numbers over the saddles. When they've finished the race, you'll take off the numbers." It sounded simple, and I wondered why he'd pay me $100 for such an inane job. When the  horses finished the first race of the day, I knew why. The  horses were sweaty and the numbers were caked with mud. At the end of the day, I took the jacket to the dry cleaners and threw away the tie. The next day I showed up in an old t-shirt and jeans. "You're a fast learner," Mr. B. observed. I couldn't wait for the football season to start in late September and get back to doing something that din't require a whole bar of soap  to get clean..

Friday, January 18, 2013

DECIDING TO GRADUATE EARLY

While I delivered the mail during the summer of 1955, Carol worked as a counselor at Camp With The Wind in Pennsylvania. We'd talk once a week  I'd called at a prearranged time the number she had given me of a pay phone .She was always waiting for the Monday night call, and we'd discuss the week's events. On one of those calls, she advised me that she was moving out of the River Road dorm to Mrs. Coleman's, a boarding house on 17th street, around the corner from the AEPi house. When we weren't in classes, we'd spend alone time in the basement of the rooming house until the 10 p.m. weekday curfew, and then, we'd spend an hour or so  talking on the phone. Neither of us can remember what we talked about, but we sure had a lot to say. Carol was a Fine Arts major with a great fashion sense, which she still has. A typical question she'd asked me is, "You're going to wear that shirt with those pants?"

Working at The Lantern had sucked big chunks of time out of my schedule, so we anxiously awaited the weekend, when we'd go to the movies or out drinking at Larry's, our favorite pub. One of my roommates, Jack  Kerxton, who resembled Fred Astaire, was our resident lyricist for Greek Week skits. One year he wrote the following lyrics to "It's Good Old Reliable Nathans" from "Guys and Dolls": " For it's good old reliable Larry's,  Larry's Larry's, the spot, where  the beer is 3.2, and your thoughts become clear, you can learn a lot over a bottle of beer." (Ohio's drinking age in those days was 21 for beer with 7% alcohol content. 18-year-old's could only drink 3,2%.) Jack became one of the leading architects in Washington D.C.. He and his bride-to-be, Cookie Chernock,  were friendly with seven other couples who met at OSU and married after graduation. A number have passed away, but there was not one divorce in the bunch, at least up to now There must have been something  in the Columbus water that kept us all together..
.
After the football season, I gave Carol my fraternity pin. In those days, "getting pinned" was a pre-engagement ritual. Realizing that she had nabbed the "guy of her dream", she made the decision to leave OSU and finish up in New York City at the Tobe Coburn School for Fashion Careers. The school made women out of girls and required them to wear hats and gloves to school. She later worked at Vogue Magazine, then wrote copy for Franklin Simon, a NYC department store. Several years later, when I was publishing  in the beauty salon industry, I got her a gig writing copy for Foote,  Cone & Belding, the ad agency that handled the Clairol salon advertising account.

Knowing that she was leaving, I made a decision to graduate a quarter early. With  the heavy  schedule in my first quarter and proficiency credits in math, I needed eight credits in the summer and just 15  credits in the fall quarter of 1956 I remained sports editor for the football season for the income, which averaged $200 a week.  After I graduated, my first job paid on $65 per week  My next post will cover my relationship with Woody Hayes and the '56 football season. . In the meantime, Jack Kerxton and I collaborated on writing the spring Greek Week skit, a spoof of the off Broadway show, "The Boy Friend", which was itself a spoof. of the 1920;s. That show was the debut of Julie Andrews.

No remembrance of my time at Ohio State would be complete without recounting the pranks we pulled on Mrs. G, our housemother, who I mentioned a couple of days ago. Esther Goldsmith was a retired school teacher. She was a bright woman, who we estimated to be about 60 years old. She loved bridge, but most of us rued playing with her as a partner. One day in the middle of a game, she got a phone call from Aunt Fran, the housemother of the AEPhi  sorority. Herb Herling, a huge guy about 6'4", suggested we set up the cards and give her the best hand possible, with every ace, king and queen. I was her partner, and she picked her cards, her hands trembling more than they usually did. She always counted the points in her hand, moving her lips as she did. Her partner always knew how strong a hand she had. When she finally counted to 37, she jumped up and shouted, "Seven no trump...it's a lay down." She was so excited, she left the table to call Aunt Fran and report the unbelievably unlikely hand.  As she exited, we all were laughing hysterically. It wasn't that we were being mean. We were just college kids amusing ourselves..

Mrs. G also had a habit of digging in the house's sofas for loose change that came out of our pockets. Because we all knew she was prospecting for coins, each day we hide a roll of pennies behind the cushions. She never caught on, but we could all hear the pennies jingling in the apron she wore. Another prank involved The Columbus Citizen, which had a daily anagram. Three copies of the paper were delivered at 4 p.m. Mrs. G,   Herb, and I competed every day to find the solution, and she always won."How can we beat her?", we asked  each other. One day we figured it out. We bought a copy of the paper at 1 p.m. at the newsstand and one of us would decode the puzzle and pass along the answer. We began completing the puzzle before she did, and she couldn't understand why the tide had turned so dramatically.Then Herb made a fatal mistake. He was taking a speech course and used our pranks as fodder for his talk. He was rewarded with peals of laughter from his audience and earned an "A" on his presentation. He had a record of the speech, and one day a group of us gathered in the den to listen to him recount each prank. We were all hysterically laughing and didn't notice Mrs. G come in to the room. She ignored us for nearly a month but she did have a sense of humor. Eventually, she told us, "Okay, you got me".

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

STRIKING IT RICH AS SPORTS EDITOR

Winter quarter of 1955 flew by as we all basked in the glory of the Buckeyes' 10-0 season on the gridiron. Except for the dozens of half-mile walks to and from the Journalism building, much closer to the stadium than it was to my fraternity house, the period was bearable.. Spring quarter was a different story. I had been reporting on some minor sports for The Lantern, when Sports Editor Bill Schecter gave me the assignment of covering The Ohio State baseball team As  back-up catcher on the team, he couldn't play and cover the game, so he  handed me a plum  job.  I was a rabid baseball fan, and, I attended several games in 1954. OSU lost the Big Ten title in the final day, but in 1955 we won the championship. One particular game still stands out in my memory. I was sitting in the dugout between Marty Karow, the baseball coach and Woody Hayes, the legendary football head coach. It was the last game of the season and we beat Michigan 5-1. We had the game in hand, but in the top of the ninth inning, Michigan put a couple of runners on base. The  next batter hit a long drive to center field. Howard "Hoppy" Cassady, who would win the Heisman Trophy later that year, was in center. He raced back, leaped, caught the ball and hit the wooden fence, crashing to  the outfield grass. Woody, with his hefty build, and Marty, who I estimated to be in his late 50's, bolted from  the dugout to tend to their star player.Woody won the race by twenty yards. He always called me "young fellow", probably because he didn't know my name, and I always teased him about winning the race to the outfield. We got a lot closer during the football season.

Two weeks before  the end of the quarter, The Lantern's front page headline blared, "VINOCUR NAMED LANTERN SPORTS EDITOR." What an exciting day that was. Carols's 18th birthday was near and I bought her a gold locket. Her parent arrived to take her home and I met them for the first time. Her mother was still leery about me, but her Dad and I hit it off immediately. They took us to an upscale Columbus restaurant and for the first time I did not look at the prices before ordering. They presented Carol with two gifts, a diamond and sapphire ring made from a grandfather's stick pin and a cashmere sweater. I had to admit I only knew girls who wore Orlon. The next day they started on the drive home, and I traveled to Cleveland to slave once again at the USPS In August I received a phone call from Ron Bailey, the newly appointed Lantern editor asking if I could return to Columbus a couple of days before the quarter started. No problem, I told him.

Two women joined our editorial board, Sharon Moloney, the managing editor, and Fran Lottridge, the women's editor.After our meeting I went to my desk and began to attack a stack of mail  and found some unexpected surprises came with my new job. All four of us would receive small stipends for our work, which I later learned, was three to four hours after dinner to edit and make-up the next day's edition. We'd be off Friday and Saturday, but worked Sunday evenings for Monday's paper. I also found an offer from The Chicago Tribune to work as a stringer during the football season at $25 a game.Another proposition  came
from CBS. The network had a Saturday program called Football Roundup.  The pay was $35 per game.For the Trib, I'd write a recap of each quarter and send it via teletype. CBS was easier. I had a direct-line telephone to the New York studios. After each score I'd pick of the phone to report the details. Another call was made at the end of each quarter.And with each of those assignments, I received two passes to  the relatively new press box on the 50-yard line. With two  passes from the Lantern, I had a total of four.

My entrepreneurial  instincts came into play. Back in those days, students purchased a season pass for $10. It was punched each time the owner attended a game. The press box offered warmth, not to mention free food and drinks, I approached fraternity brothers with an offer they couldn't refuse. I would then go to the stadium an hour before each game, sell  our seats, and tell the buyer that I needed their driver's license for security. If they were staying at a hotel, I'd arrange to meet them at 7:30 p.m. so I could attend both locker rooms' press conferences. OSU played nine games back then, and six of them were at Ohio Stadium. My biggest take came at the last home game versus Iowa. The negotiations took 20 minutes, but I pocketed $250 for the four tickets that were sold to two couples from Iowa.

The final game of the season was against Michigan, our arch rival. I traveled when the team was on the road and Carol went with me. It was a blustery, snowy and freezing November 19, three days after my 21st birthday. Before the game I told some of my player friends , Ken Vargo, Moose Machinsky, Jim Parker and Hoppy I expected a win as a present, and the came through with a 17-0 victory . enabling OSU to finish the season with a seven wins and two losses.  Later, I  told, it was so cold, the spectators sat on the feet of the people behind them. Back in the day, Michigan had a wooden press box, offering no significant  barrier to the wind or the cold. I sat next to Mel Allen, the famous Yankee announcer (and on the 1936 USA Olympic team with Jesse Owens of OSU). Mel was calling the game on radio. As in the past, his brother, Larry, would do all the pregame interviews and was Mel's gofer. At the beginning of each quarter, Larry would bring Mel a pint of Rye whiskey, which Mel willing shared with me. After the game was over I was so inebriated Larry had to drive me  across campus to the AEPhi sorority house where Carol was waiting for me. Stumbling across six inches of snow, I went to kiss her hello. She looked at my glassy eyes and demanded, "Have you been drinking?" I sheepishly answered, "Is it that obvious?" At that point she shoved me into a snowbank and went back inside.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Second go at the rays produces a nice surprise

Went out again tonight (15/01/2013) to have another go at the rays. The ray fishing was a massive fail, with not a single one between myself and mate Steve. However, the night was made a lot better with this lovely early season huss of 10lb 4oz, not a bad by-catch :)


Thanks for looking,
Tight Lines,
Ross

Finally I found a sun in my life




Photos from a sunny Saturday (:

The rays are back!

1st Thorny of the year
Having had a few days of settled weather last week and with low water falling just after dark, I couldn't resist getting out for my first go at the rays. Joined by my friend Mike we set off to the west coast of Anglesey with high hopes. On arrival, we were greeted by ideal conditions, a small swell and a nice dark night; as an extra bonus, the preferred ledge was free :). Fishing with long homemade pulley rigs with size 4/0 Sakuma hooks and sandeel/squid wraps for bait, I wasn't waiting too long for my first bite. After a few very doggie like knocks, I gave it a good strike and felt a good resistance, this would turn out to be a lovely but very spiky thorny of a couple of pounds. Re-baited and back out in the water, we both then started getting a few small rattles. After realising they'd hooked themselves, we both reeled in to find whiting clinging onto our lovely ray baits, it wasn't all bad though as these would be frozen down for future ray/huss/conger baits.

My rod was next to go again with a lovely pull round from another thornback. Whilst, I was playing my fish, Mike's rod suddenly had a huge slack liner. Thinking I'd caught his line he thought nothing of it, until we both realised I was well clear of him. He wound down to the fish as fast as he could and after a good 10 seconds of reeling, Mike was also into a ray, this one would turn out to be a small-eyed though, the first one I had seen caught off this mark and Mike's first of the species!

Two at a time.... That's how we roll ;)
Mike with his 1st Small Eyed



















1st Small Eyed of 2013
With the tide now starting to creep over the ledge we were fishing from, we had to retreat a little further up the rocks. Usually, this is the point at which  I leave, but we both had that feeling that there were still a few fish to be caught so the rods were cast out one last time. It was well worth it as well! My left hand rod soon had a quick knock followed by a slack liner. Just as with Mike's earlier fish, I found myself reeling quite fast to catch up with it, making me think maybe this could be another small eyed, this would be confirmed a few moments later. That rod was then packed up along with everything else bar my one remaining rod. In the mean time Mike had reeled in one of his rods as well after getting a few knocks, finding out he had our first doggie of the night attached. Mike had soon brought his second rod in too, but just as I was about to start reeling in mine, I had a small tap. After letting it develop, from nowhere my rod suddenly arched over and I was into a much better fish. 
New PB thorny of 9lb 10oz

Taking my time to get the fish in, I was hoping it wasn't one of those wing hooked rays that always feel huge on the retrieve. When I finally saw it though, I realised it could have been the double I've been after and got very excited. Safely landed and unhooked, the weighing was done and it dropped the scales to 9lb 10oz, a new PB by just under 1lb, what a lovely fish. This has really spurred me on to keep at it for the next few months though, fingers crossed that seemingly elusive double eventually shows itself for me.

Thanks for reading and until next time,
Tight Lines,
Ross



Monday, January 14, 2013

A weekend of cold, early morning perch and pike fishing

With a nice pile of clothes ready for washing, it was time for the customary trip home to Cheshire for the weekend to visit my mum. As it happens, my younger brother Sam, also a keen angler, was also back home for a few days and I'd managed to convince him to get up early and join me in the hunt for some stripeys. Before I left for home on the Saturday afternoon though, I first arranged to fish locally with mate Terry for some Pike. We met bright and early and shortly after wetting a line, we were soon rewarded with a fish a piece for our efforts. Terry's fish being taken on the humble silver toby, whilst mine took a fancy to the Ecogear para-max. The only other action we had was when a large pike ripped my lure in two right in front of me, somehow avoiding the hook. It was a good fish, easily over 10lb and I was a bit gutted to say the least, but that'll spur me on to return and get my revenge next time!

After driving home on the Saturday, the Sunday morning came round very quickly. I'd told Sam to set his alarm for 7am in the hope of catching first light at our chosen venue. As we got there, we realised we'd probably left it half an hour to late, but to our great surprise we both had takes almost instantly. Mine turned out to be this micro-perch whilst Sam's fish revealed itself to be a small jack pike. Then it seemed to go dead, neither of us could buy a take, so we walked half a mile or so to another likely looking spot shaded by some overhanging tress. I was soon into a fish, this time a much better Perch, but as it surfaced it gave a few angry head-shakes sending the lure flying from it's mouth, once again leaving me to watch it swim off from under my nose. Soon after the sun made an appearance, killing the fishing completely, this time we called it a day and headed home. Despite the lack of fish, Sam had really enjoyed himself and was keen along with me to have one last go at it on the Monday morning before we'd both go back to our Uni digs.

Learning from our mistakes, alarms were set for 6.30am this time round and we arrived at our venue just as things were starting to become visible. We started at the spot where we'd had some success the previous day and it was soon apparent that the fish were feeding much more actively, myself getting a dropped take and Sam getting two hits in quick succession resulting in a Perch of around 1lb. We soon decided on a move though and found ourselves back at the spot I'd lost my Perch the previous day. Sam again decided to show me how it was done, this time landing a jack pike of around 4lb on his ondex spinner. The cold was beginning to get to us a bit and it had now started snowing again, so we decided we'd start walking back to the car, having a few chucks here and there en-route.
This would prove to be a brilliant decision as at our first stop, a cast down the side of a barge with an Ecogear VX-35 vibe-bait resulted in my best perch on a lure for a good few years. At 1lb 11oz it's a lovely fish, but even better, I had avoided the dreaded blank, get in! More than content now with our catches, we continued to walk back to the car, lure chucking as we went. Having no more luck on the VX-35, I switched lure to a tidy little mepps spinner I had in my box and second cast with it found myself into another spirited Perch. Not as big as my other fish, but in my opinion a much nicer looking fish, with nice clear and unfaded markings. This one went 1lb 3oz on the scales and would turn out to be the last fish of the day. With hands now feeling frost-bitten, it took me a
good 20 minutes and a McDonalds breakfast to regain warmth but it was more than worth it. So, on the whole, it was a brilliant few days fishing and to be honest, I can't wait until my next home visit so I can have another bash at the Perch and Pike.

Until then though, thanks for reading,
Tight Lines,
Ross








OSU IS NUMBER ONE, ROSE BOWL HERE WE COME

I worked my butt off  in the Post Office the summer of 1954. I sorted, delivered and relieved vacationing mailmen, taking as much overtime as I could. By summer's end, I had accumulated more than $600, enough to get through the next two quarters without having to strain myself. I couldn't wait to get back to school and hitched a ride back to Columbus, saving the train fare. I had adjusted quite nicely to both campus and fraternity life. When the movie, "Animal House", was released in 1978, it was based on a 1962 fraternity at Dartmouth, and I realized I missed the opportunity to capture what I had experienced in the mid 1950's. The AEPI  brothers were an eclectic group geographically. Though they were primarily Jewish (we had a couple of Italians) about one third were from Cleveland, a like number from the New York area, a group from Washington, D.C. and Maryland, as well as some from nearby Midwestern states. I had finally moved into the fraternity house and had three roommates, one from Mount Vernon, NY, another from Washington D.C., and the third from Troy, NY. The fraternity boasted several athletes, the president of the student body and the manager of the Buckeye football team. I  found two other journalism majors, Jordan Fogel and Bill Schecter. Bill preceded me as the sports editor of The Lantern, and was also the second string catcher on the baseball team that include Frank Howard, who  would become a major league player and manager, Howard "Hopalong" Cassady, who would,win  the Heisman Trophy in 1955, and Galen Cisco who pitched in the Majors.

The AEPi house was located at 1943 Waldeck, at the corner of 17th Street. It was a large white structure with a mamouth old fashioned porch. There was a large den, featuring a bridge table (always occupied), two  large couches and a record player that continually played Frank Sinatra's "Swing Easy" album and then in April, 1955 was replaced by the "Wee Small Hours" album. We had a large living room and an enormous dining room. the bedrooms were located on the second and third floors, with additional rooms in the annex next door. Alcoholic beverages were banned, and we had a house mother, Esther Goldsmith, who spent 10 hours a day making sure we didn't stray. We constantly pranked her, but that's another story. There was a television set in the living room, but the only time it was turned on was for a major sports event. The 1954 World Series was one of those events. The highly favored Cleveland Indians met the New York Giants.  Most of the brothers jammed the living room with every seat taken, and dozens of us sitting on the floor. Half the house was rooting for the Indians, the other half favored the Giants. Sports fans will remember "The Catch" by Willy Mays of a line drive off the bat of Vic Wertz in game one, turning the tide. After his back-to-the-infield grab, the Giants won four straight games to sweep the series.

On the football field, we had plenty to cheer about. The Buckeye eleven had an undefeated season, sharing
the National Championship with UCLA. It would have made for a great Rose Bowl game, but in those days, there was a no repeat rule and UCLA was not allowed to go. As a result. OSU was to face USC. During that season, Carol and I continued to date, and our friends began to identify us as a couple. Carol's mother wasn't that excited about  her 17-year-old daughter having a relationship with a poor kid from  Cleveland, and though she had not  yet met me, arranged for Carol to  spend the holiday season in Florida. Maybe shel would meet a more suitable guy. The news was upsetting, but the disappointment was erased when I learned the school had organized the Ohio State Rose Bowl Express to travel to Pasadena. The cost of the trip was $163 (including meal tickets) and despite my parents'objections I cashed in several War Bonds I had accumulated as a kid and joined more than 500 other students who boarded trains labeled, "Scarlet", "Gray" and "Buckeye", all singing "California, Here We Come." We left on December 26th. It was the first time I had traveled  to the west coast.The train featured one car with a Vista Dome. When we weren't partying, we were watching America pass by.

Ohio State won the game 20-7, but it was a miserable day. As we lined up for the Rose Parade, it began to rain. People around us called it "California dew", but by game time, it was pouring. The  biggest selling item at the event was a hooded poncho to protect us from the inclement weather. I vividly remember  the players uniforms caked with mud, and a photo of Bill Costello, the head cheerleader, squeezing the water from a rain drenched rose into his megaphone. We made a number of stops on the trip, including Las Vegas, and arrived back in Columbus on January 4th. The trip was  the greatest adventure of my young life. (In Wednesday's post I meet Carol's parents.)


Saturday, January 12, 2013

The shadows killed my light



I need my lost happiness. Please make my pain go away and give me more sun to light my way.

Friday, January 11, 2013

THE SCHOLARSHIP KID

After my last post, my sister, Marcy, who turned 60 the other day, called. She h ,"No. it taught me a great lesson in achieving goals." In fact, not only was she in the same predicament as I was (my father had passed away the year she entered OSU), but she, too, needed scholarships,had to  take on odd jobs, and exercise frugality while in school. And as a divorced mom, she quit retailing to earn a master's degree in education to support her family. Today she is a special ed teacher in my old high school, and I give her a great deal of credit. Her situation wasn't predictable, but mine was.

I knew,  as a high school junior, I needed some kind of aid, so I applied for journalism scholarships at both Northwestern's Medill School and Ohio State. Columbia and Missouri also had top ranked J-schools, but I couldn't afford the travel costs. Both applications were declined, and  I moved to "Plan B", which was to apply for  Dairy Technology scholarships at Michigan and OSU. I celebrated when I received notification from Columbus that I had been awarded a two-year tuition-only scholarship. At that time, as a state school, the tuition for in-state students was $53 a quarter. If you do the math, it totaled $318, but it was enough for me to begin my journey. No one ever noticed, but I never took a dairy tech course in my first two years, as I concentrated on liberal art studies.

 In retrospect, I now know that I was totally ill-prepared for the trip south. A  friend's father drove us and  our meager belongings to Columbus. None of us were sure if we could hack it in college. For the most part, we were lower middle class kids. Jerry Millman, a friend from middle and high school used to joke, I was so poor, my luggage were two shopping bags from Junta's., the local supermarket.at home." Jerry passed away two years ago, but I'll never forget that line.None of us had arranged housing and our first task was to find rooms I  remember closing out my bank account, totaling $220,earned in summers at the Post Office. and after graduating high school. I thought that was enough to get me through the Spring quarter of 1953. It wasn't I had a budge,t and estimated that I'd have to earn $25 a week to make it to the end of the quarter.

None of us anticipated the fraternity rush week barrage during our orientation period. There were five major Jewish frats. I didn't know how, but they had identified our group immediately, and we were enticed with "booze and food" at no charge."It's  great to be wanted," we'd tell each other. One of our group had a  brother at Tau Epsilon Pi, and some us us stayed there the first two nights.  Jerry Millman had a brother-in-law to be at Alpha Epsilon Pi and he and I  decided to pledge. The primary reason for me was simple. They owned an annex next to the fraternity house, with  affordable rent and the lowest we could find. I confided in a couple of my new friends about my financial situation, and a senior found me a job in the kitchen of a sorority house washing pots and pans for meals. I also umpired intramural baseball games for $5 a shot.  And then I discovered the mother load. The  Psych Department paid students $10 to take psychological tests. Of course I had to plan them around my course schedule, but the money was like cold.

One of the biggest mistakes I made the first quarter was scheduling 21 credits. I, later, found out that 16 or 17 course credits was the norm. With work and studies, I had little spare time and my grades were not up to my usual standard. I went through Hell Week, became an "active member" of the fraternity. In the fall quarter I was elected Steward, the guy who runs the kitchen and prepares the  menus with the cook and her assistant. The major perk of that job was that I didn't have to pay for meals. My grades rose to a 3.5 average, and I enjoyed my first season of Buckeye football.

I worked summers and continued to ref intramural football and basketball games. I can't estimate the number of psych tests I took, and I never saw any of the results. My guess is that it was a subliminal way of distributing cash to needy students. Thanks Mr. Obama. In the fall of 1954, I met the love of my life, Carol Lennard, in Charberts, a local hamburger hangout. The following fall Joann Turoff, Jerry's high school sweetheart  came to school,  He and I were still financially challenged, so when the four of us would go out to  dinner, the girls would slip their share of the tab under the table. We never paid them back, but once we got married, Joann and Carol got it all back. I declared journalism my major and surprised not a soul. I began writing on  the sports desk for The Lantern, the campus almost daily...published Monday through Friday...and  in the fall quarter of 1955 was named sports editor, a job that answered all of my financial needs for the remainder of my time at Ohio State. (To be continued in Monday's blog.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Forever 21 Wish list




Don't you want it all? I know I doooooooo!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Striking gold on the Lleyn

For a few weeks now, myself and mate Lee Goddard have been contemplating meeting up for a days fishing. After dismissing pike fishing due to unfavourable conditions, the suggestion was made to go hunting big Pollack at one of my more successful marks on the Lleyn. Meeting Lee in Pwllheli for 7.30ish we were soon on our way to the mark with some high hopes of a productive session. The weather was spot on, couldn't have asked for a nicer day, a huge contrast to the last time we'd fished together, in which I avoided a blank by resorting to catching sand-gobies, desperate times lol. Anyway, as we finally stepped onto the mark it was time to get the ball rolling, or not as it seemed, for after 40 minutes of chucking the lures around, neither of us had managed a touch. The Pollack can be very finicky at this mark and often feed at random intervals throughout the tide, so I decided to have a small break and watch as Lee kept going. As fortune would have it, it was as soon as I opened my mouth and blurted the words 'maybe they're just not on yet,' that Lee's rod suddenly bent over and the first Pollack of the day was landed.

Not wanting to miss out in case this just happened to be happy hour, I jumped up and got my lure in the water quick time. That cast, bang, that's my blank avoided and my first Pollack of the year. A couple of casts later, another one, only a tiddler but always welcome. After landing half a dozen or so, we both decided to have a change of tactic. If there was any bigger ones down there, we were gonna search them out with some much more manly and heftier lures. Wasn't to be though, didn't matter what was thrown on, the fish had lost interest, maybe another lull in their feeding. Reverting back to my previously successful deep spinning rig, I was soon banging them out again like no-ones business, even managing to get another short video done. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiDLaYZrMg0&feature=youtu.be One after the other, they seemed to just throw themselves on the hook, whilst Lee watched on in slight disbelief.

Lee instead opted to continue with the larger lures for a while before eventually deciding enough was enough and changing method. This time he had an ace up his sleeve and started using a Jika rig to see if there was any willing customers lurking on the bottom. Not long after starting with the method, he soon found himself into a powerful fish, well at least for 5 seconds as it unfortunately chucked the hook a moment after the hook-up. This would kick start an hour of misery for Lee, as rig after rig kept getting snagged up with no gear coming back, it was getting expensive for him. As his frustration grew, I just couldn't resist adding fuel to the fire by giving him a rolling commentary on my tally, it's funny when he gets angry lol. He soon cheered up though, when after a gargantuan effort, he finally hooked another fish on the Jika and this one wasn't coming off. Not exactly sure what it was, the thought's leaned towards ballan and this was confirmed as it hit the surface, quite possibly the first lure caught wrasse in North Wales this year, a top result. This one had a lovely tiger like pattern with vivid green spots on both its dorsal and caudal fins, a real stunning fish.

Now tired of Pollack, I spent my last half hour chasing blennies round a rockpool, catching 3 of them in the process, before I snagged a rock out of my reach and lost the lure, this was a sign to pack up. So session over, I could gladly say it was a far better outcome than the previous time we'd fished together, my finishing tally being 26 Pollack and 3 blennies. Lee had struggled with the Pollack landing just 3, but did manage a well earned ballan wrasse that he will say was worth 20 Pollack, so we both left more than happy.

Hope you enjoyed reading and until next time,
Tight Lines All,
Ross

Todayyy

I can't remember the last time it was soooo freezing outside in Israel! Really just a perfect day to stay in bed with hot chocolate while watching TV. But I spent the day at the mall doing shopping with my friends and then sat down for hot drinks to warm up a bit. Will show tomorrow what I bought (:


HELLO COLUMBUS...WITH THANKS TO PHILIP ROTH

My paternal grandfather, Isaac Vinocur, escaped a small Russian village, much like "Fiddler on the Roof"'s Anatevka, to avoid the pogroms and conscription. He brought his first born daughter, Emma, with him, leaving my grandmother, Anna, and  son, Joe, in the Ukraine. As a devout orthodox Jew, he made his way to Cleveland, Ohio to start a new life in the early 1900's. After accumulating some cash, two years later he urged his wife and his son to join him. Over the next seven years my grandmother had six more children, including a set of twins. Isaac was a firm believer in higher education, and sent his oldest daughter to college, when few women enjoyed that privilege. The five brothers were given the same opportunity. Joe became a doctor, Sam, a dentist, and Harry and Morry, the twins, studied Pharmacy. Of the five boys, only my father, Lou,  failed to graduate. At Ohio State, in  his senior year, he fell in love with a pretty young Columbus girl, Edith Solomon. They were married in January, 1934, and I was born in 11 months later. My father, needing to support his new family, dropped out with only one quarter needed to graduate. He sold shoes. My grandfather was so pissed, he disowned us, even though my father was struggling to make ends meet.

As a result when I was two, we moved back to Cleveland, and you guessed it, my grandfather, on seeing his first born grandchild, embraced us. (The next year, my Aunt Lee entered a photo of me in The Cleveland Press's beautiful baby contest. My blonde curls propelled me to a second place finish.) My grandfather had borrowed $5000 from relatives to buy a third of a struggling dairy with a large retail store,It was a bottling plant with a large retail store that sold milk and cream. It also featured a large soda fountain. and forty tables. Tapor Dairy served as a hangout for high school kids (we had a huge juke box), as well as families looking for sundaes and sodas at night. We even made our own ice cream. My father managed the retail operation and worked 10 hours a day, seven days a week. I don't think my parents ever took a vacation  together.

In 1938, my brother, Bruce was born. Every Sunday, after his daily nap, my father would drop the three of us at my grandparents' house to visit them and all of my aunts and uncles. We'd usually read,eat, and as I vividly remember, listen to the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra on  the radio. One Sunday, that  program was interrupted by an IMPORTANT NEWS FLASH! The Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. It was three weeks after my seventh birthday, and  in retrospect, I realize that World War II changed my life. It made me a news junkie. In 1942 I bought two scrapbooks, one for the European Theater and the other for the Pacific.  Every day I would devour the three dailies, clipping headlines  and maps of the U.S. advances in the war. All four of my father's brothers served, with ranks ranging from Colonel to First Lieutenant. Only my father, because he had two kids and worked in an essential industry, did not serve.

 1948 was a monumental year in the life of this 14-year-old. As an avid Indian fan, I attended a number of games. I met  centerfielder Larry Doby, whose number was also 14.We sat on the third base side, thanks to my Aunt Lee's boss who had season tickets and I became Kenny Keltner's friend. (He was the guy that stopped Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak in 1941.) We saw The Indians beat the Red Sox in a playoff game and beat the Braves in the World Series. I was on hand to watch Steve Gromek pitch a masterful 2-1 Saturday victory. The Browns were also winning, and I knew then that I would become a sports writer. The year wasn't all roses. Babe Ruth died, and so did my grandfather. The next year my mother gave birth to another son and four years later, the daughter she always wanted, escalating my father's financial woes

Despite of the advice given to me by the city's sports editors I made up my mind to major in journalism at Ohio State The question, to be answered in Friday's post, was "How am I going to finance the four years in Columbus, Ohio's capitol, and my birthplace.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunny day at the beach





A few pictures from last Friday's photoshoot with my amazing friends Inbar and Tal. To be continue (: