The news reported recently that the Trump family was the first to occupy the White House and not own a dog. While I think that is a win-win for dogs I do have a story about presidential dogs. This was originally published on an earlier version of my website but I think it’s time to bring it back for a second reading.
“Feller, a beautiful blond Cocker Spaniel, was an unsolicited 1947 Christmas gift to President Truman. The Trumans elected to give the puppy to the White House physician, Brigadier General Wallace Graham. Dog lovers around the country attacked the President as being anti-canine. Dr. Graham, soon tiring of the press and publicity, decided to get rid of the dog. He had Truman’s Naval Aide, Adm. James K. Foskett, take Feller to Shangri-La (Camp David). As the camp was not open to the press this seemed to end the Feller story, until now. The Admiral left Feller with the chief-in-charge, Quartermaster Chief George A. Poplin. When Poplin was transferred, Charles G. Ross, President Truman’s secretary, came to camp and told Poplin to leave the dog there. Poplin was relieved as chief-in-charge by Damage Control Chief Ralph O. Loften, who in turn was relieved by Chief Boatswain Robert W. Lyle. In 1953, while Chief Lyle was being transferred to Italy, he sought permission from Naval Aide Admiral Robert L. Dennison to take Feller. Permission was granted, provided that no mention be made that the dog once belonged to Truman. Robert gave Feller to his father, Archie Otis Lyle, who owned a farm just outside Greenfield, Ohio. There Feller lived for many happy years until he died of old age.
As a note of interest, when it became known by the camp crew that a member of the Truman family was to visit Shangri-La, Feller would be taken to a pet groomer in Thurmont just to be looking good in case the Trumans wanted to see him. They never did ask about the dog.”
If you read either of the stories I republished yesterday about Greenfield’s USS Arizona survivor, Jim Wise, you’ll understand the significance of this story from Stars and Stripes. It’s the story of two brothers who served on board the Arizona and on December 7, 1941, one lived and the other lost his life.
On its own the story is plenty interesting. But add in one of the brothers mentioning having saved the life of a man from Greenfield, Ohio, it takes on a whole deeper dimension. I don’t know if Jim Wise or his family ever knew who pulled him out of the Arizona but now, 75 years later, they do.
FOOTNOTE: Jim Wise is not mentioned by name but he was our only person on the Arizona so it has to be him. Also, as of yesterday there were only five remaining survivors of the attack on the USS Arizona.
Originally published on December 7, 2011. Republished here in honor of the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
70 years ago today a young man from Greenfield, OH survived and suffered from a tragedy that would forever mark his life and end the lives of so many of his friends ans shipmates. James Louis Wise, Seaman First Class, of Greenfield, was serving aboard the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii when the air forces of the Japanese Empire began their early Sunday morning bomb runs on the just arising soldiers and sailors of America’s military establishment in the Pacific. It would mark the beginning of America’s entry into the Second World War and a personal war Wise would deal with the rest of his life.
No one of my generation doesn’t know the significance of December 7, 1941. I hope such is true of today’s generation. Have a discussion with your kids today.
Originally published on December 9, 2011. Republished here in honor of the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor.
I saw your article on the USS Arizona and seaman James Wise and thought you might like some additional information from what was handed down to me. I’m his son, James L. Wise Jr., and grew up in Greenfield.
I always stop and reflect on December 7th about what all the men and women went through that horrible day. He was 19-years old and thought the US Navy was invincible, as they all did.
Usually at 12:55 pm our time, 7:55 am Hawaiian time, I try to stop what I’m doing and remember that solemn hour the attack started. By 1:10 pm our time, 8:10 am their time, it was all over for the USS Arizona. The battle only lasted 15-minutes for them.
Eddie Montgomery is always asking me whatever became of the stories I put together about Greenfield’s hot rod history? The answer is, they still exists but they’re just harder to find.
Digging around in various former websites I finally came across the link to the collection. Some of these I wrote but the majority were submitted by other locals with an interest in street rods and cars in general.
I don’t know how much is still valid but if you got any age on you you’ll probably get a memory scratched with these stories and photos.
To members of the Greenfield School Board and Community,
Our names are Madison Foltz, Rachel Onusko, Ryan Kline, and Makenzie Olaker, and we are proud alumni of McClain High School. Currently, we attend Ohio University as Cutler Scholars thanks to the overwhelming generosity of Will and Ann Lee Konneker and the continuous support of the Greenfield community.
With recent events that have happened in our beloved hometown, we feel that not sharing this letter would do an injustice to the values instilled in us by the town of Greenfield. These values include integrity, community, grit, and growth. While it would be much easier to stay silent, we have learned that staying silent also means staying apathetic. If we are apathetic and do not share our voices, then the investment that Will Konneker and the Greenfield Community has made in us becomes worthless and wasteful.
Since it’s been a long time since I knew for sure what was being taught by McClain’s Social Studies Department so I made some enquiries. To my pleasure I discovered that both US History (10th grade) and US Government (11th grade) are still being taught on a two-semester basis. World History is also being taught at the 9th grade level for two-semesters. Two electives, Psychology and Ancient History, are offered for a full year during the 11th and 12th years.
My hometown made the national news and in a way that doesn’t reflect well on it. Our cross-country sports rival is known as the Indians and this past Friday evening we played our annual “county championship” football game against them. Our cheerleaders, not realizing the historical significance of the infamous “Trail of Tears” painted a large banner warning the Indians they were about to face Trail of Tears #2.
This caught the attention of a local student who took a photo of the banner and posted the event online. The story was picked up by area news outlets and from there it went national. It’s no surprise the matter has become the subject of local discussion and our school board has scheduled a meeting to investigate what happened and hopefully use it as a teachable moment and not a lynching of those involved. I know many of the people involved and I know for positive that their purpose was not to make light of one of the most horrible incidents in America’s long and nasty history with Native Americans.
Just spoke with Karnes Orchard today and it won’t be long before their new crop of apples will be ready for market. The first day of sales will be on Friday, September 2 and continue into December.
Check out their website for mail orders and wholesale purchases. Below is a chart showing when various varieties will become available. Karnes is located at 8200 Worley Mill Rd., Hillsboro, OH.
I’d suggest you make your day special by picking up some freshly squeezed Karnes apple cider and then driving a mile over to Liz’s Bake Shop at 7960 Overman Rd. for a few freshly baked glazed yeast doughnuts. What says fall more than cider and doughnuts?
The New York Times released a collection of videos it had shot during the past year at Trump rallies. Watching it was both sickening and frightening. It was like watching a British football game where most of the people in the stands were just enjoying the game and rooting their team to victory. Then there was the hooligan section where, bleachers were being ripped from the floor, people where threatening death and destruction to the opposition, and the filthiest and most hateful and degrading language was being spewed forth.
The authors of the US Constitution created a representative democracy, a republic. There wasn’t much thought given to political parties and many of the framers hoped political parties wouldn’t raise their ugly heads in the new republic. But they did, they evolved, and they grew into the two major party system we’ve had since before the Civil War.
We are not the United Kingdom or any of the many nations that have a parliamentary, multi party systems in which governments are often created by a coalition of two or more smaller parties. Smaller parties focusing on their similarities while ignoring their differences in order to gain power.
The most important foreign policies of the United States since the end of World War II has included the containment and ultimate elimination of the strangle hold the Soviet Union held on Eastern Europe. You may know it as the Cold War. It has been a policy supported by each political party, the majority of elected officials, the entire military establishment, every sitting president of the modern era, and the vast majority of the American citizenry.
Treaty organizations such as NATO and SEATO played a major part in reversing the tide of communist expansion and freeing nations like Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania.
A second major component of American foreign policy has been international involvement and not isolationism. Considering the comments Donald Trump expressed in the attached article (see below) it is obvious that he is not aware of such, nor the potential consequences of what he is suggesting. Putin’s Russia is itching to regain what it lost when the Soviet Empire folded and Trump appears ready to let Putin have his way.
At the same time Trumps suggested ideas are exactly what the right wing has hammered president Obama and Hillary Clinton about, a weak or lackadaisical approach towards America’s foreign obligations. On the one hand Trump is saying America first (withdrawn) while criticizing his opposition as being too withdrawn. I am certainly not prepared to deal with the rigors of the presidency but there is little in this man to suggest he is any more prepared than I.
Ultimately Trump is suggesting a return to the same conservative policy of isolationism; which is simply putting America first. Doesn’t matter that both world wars resulted in part from such policies or that we have so far managed to avoid a third world war by staying involved in world affairs.
Lots has been said by Trump about walling off America. My conspiracy theory is that a Trump shell company has been secretly buying up border property while a second Trump shell company will be given construction contracts by the Trump Administration to build those walls. Don’t forget, he’s told us many times that such is just good business skills.
NOTE: The basis of this blog comes from a New York Times article. Click HEREfor the entire article.
The village of Highland will be marking its bicentennial in September of this year. Since many of us have connections to there it’s important that we share with them in their celebration. Here’s a flyer with all the details. I’m sure more will be made known as the date nears.
Several months ago a number of area residents chipped in to help purchase a grave marker to honor the life of Mr. Wert Ash. I received word from Jay Hardy of Hardy Memorials in Greenfield, OH that the marker was installed on Wednesday, November 11, 2015. There has been speculation that possibly Mr. Ash was a veteran of the Spanish-American War. If so this was a great date to honor both his life and his service to America.
Thought is being given to hold a small memorial service in the spring of next year.
NOTE: Some time ago I wrote a story about Mr. Wert Ash. Click HEREto read and obtain some background.
Just in from CGS’s senior downtown correspondent, Phoenix Hartsworth, Parker’s Pizza will soon close its doors and a few weeks later reopen under new management and with a new name. The restaurant will be known as 4545 Bistro and Pizzeria.