Columnist’s Note: Mrs. Natalie Wheeler, who was the longtime writer of this column, decided to retire from writing at the end of May 1991. Mrs. Wheeler had taken over writing the column in 1974 after her husband, Tom Wheeler, who started the column in 1965, had died. Mrs. Wheeler carried on until she retired from writing in 1991. She was very gracious to me in my early attempt at picking up the column and was pleased to see it continue. In honor of her steadfast work and retirement 25 years ago and in her memory (she passed away in 2009), I would like to reprint portions of her column she did for this week in 1990 (She did not write one for 1991). The 1991 entries are mine from this week.
25 Years Ago: June 5-11, 1991
• Troy – James and Doris Blackmore decided it was time to move, but they also determined to do it a little differently than most people. On Wednesday morning (June 5th), they not only moved to a new address in Troy, but they also moved their whole house with them. Their home, formerly at 787 Kraus Drive in Troy, was delicately loaded onto a large flatbed trailer and taken down State Route 718 to State Route 55, then across the bridge over the Interstate to Barnhart Road and placed in its new location at 820 S. Barnhart Road. The family has lived in the house for many years and could not quite bring themselves to moving out of it. The house was being relocated to make way for the new Kroger store being constructed. (Columnist’s Note: The Kroger store being constructed at that time was the one which was recently razed after the new Kroger Market Place opened.)
• West Milton – Bob Schul, West Milton’s Olympic champion, has been elected to enter the National Track and Field Hall of Fame. Schul, who now lives in Oakwood and owns an athletic footwear & sporting goods store in Troy, won the 5,000 Meter race in the 1964 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. Formal induction into the Hall of Fame will be held December 6th in New Orleans.
51 Years Ago: June 5-11, 1965
• Miami County – “Residents honored America’s war dead Sunday and Monday with parades and solemn services. Pleasant Hill’s festivities were Sunday and began with a parade of nearly 20 units. At the cemetery American Legion members displayed the colors and Prosecutor William Kessler spoke. A gun salute was followed by Taps, played by Connie Shiverdecker and Sam Schultz. At Troy’s service Monday, a 37-unit parade marched. Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Carl Kessler delivered the address. The group then honored the war dead in Riverside Cemetery and proceeded to the Adams Street Bridge, where flowers were strewn by a Gold Star mother.”
• North Vietnam – “North Vietnamese anti-aircraft guns shot down two more U.S. Navy planes today, killing all five crewmen in the heaviest single air loss since raids began on the north. In ground fighting U.S. military headquarters disclosed another major setback. The loss brought to 403 the number of Americans killed in action in Vietnam since massive U.S. aid began in 1961.”
76 Years Ago: June 5-11, 1940
• Troy – “The Troy Recreation Association has announced that as part of the summer playground program ‘knot hole’ clubs will be formed here for boys between the ages of 9 and 16. Boys joining the club will be entitled to one free trip to Cincinnati to see the Redlegs play.” (Columnist’s Note: For a number of years during the Cold War the Cincinnati Reds were called the ‘Redlegs’ in order to stay away from any confusion, misconstrued ideas or misunderstood references to communism.)
• Oxford – “H.V. Kaltenborn, radio commentator and war correspondent, will address Miami University’s largest graduating class at the 101st commencement on June 10th. The following Trojans will receive degrees from the school of education: Delmer L. Biser, James P. Kessler, and Ralph L. Williams.”
• London, England – “Prime Minister Winston Churchill told the House of Commons today that a ‘colossal military disaster’ has been suffered in Flanders, but that 335,000 Allied troops had been miraculously rescued and that ‘we shall not be content with a defensive war’ against Adolph Hitler. “ (Columnist’s Note: The miraculous rescue to which Churchill referred was the rescue of close to 338,000 trapped Allied troops at the beaches of Dunkirk, from May 27- June 4, 1940. Surrounded by the German forces, the troops had no place to go, but a call for help was sent out and numerous small military craft, as well as countless small boats from common British citizens helped to rescue and evacuate the troops before they were killed or captured. The message sent out included the words, “But if not … “, a reference to the Biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were commanded to bow down and worship an idol or die, if they refused. The three young men in Israel’s history stated that God was able to rescue them, but also knew he was not obligated to do so. They said, “But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” The British instantly understood the reference that those men on the beaches of Dunkirk, if not rescued, would not surrender or bow to the Germans.
Patrick D. Kennedy is archivist at the Troy-Miami County Public Library’s Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy. He may be contacted by calling (937) 335-4082 or sending an email to [email protected]