Monday, September 28, 2009

As one season ends......

Hey Gang,
Ahhh yes.... the unmistakeable joy of being a Cleveland sports fan. While one highly successful season ends - another one is under way, in case you haven't guessed I am being facetious.
Wednesday Walt had extra tickets to see the Indians play. Wonder why he had extra's? He won them at the Painesville Speedway raffle. I asked you sure it wasn't a booby prize? To make matters worse, he won two sets of tickets. Well I couldn't let Walt sit alone watching the pathetic tribe so I went along.
Gosh was the place empty. We guesstimated ohhhhh maybe 8,000, MAYBE. It was funny, everyone we asked didn't pay for their tickets. This couple behind us said their place of employment had 100 tickets for the employees but they still were left with 75.
The fans who did not attend missed out because the Indians didn't disappoint, they put on another stellar performance losing the game only by a few runs, 11 to 3. Very close.
If you aren't from Cleveland you don't understand the game plan. Its called the 5 year plan. Every 5 years they trade all their good players and rebuild. And then they tell us BOY just wait in 5 years this teem will be good and then they trade all the good players away and on and on it goes.
I still think its a debt Cleveland owes to organized crime. OK we let you win in '48 and let you get close in the 90's but you still owe us your good players - Capeesh?
I mean it was weird, who were these new guys? I saw only one name I recognized, Hafner, now why didn't they ship him out? Simple, he fits in with the scheme of things, non productive.
If that wasn't bad enough watching this horrible rendition of the movie Major league as we were leaving they gave me a schedule for next year. I asked the guy you mean they are coming back, how insulting?
And so it goes but lets not lose heart, we still have the Browns, and if all goes well, we may win a game.
As that old over used saying goes, Go Tribe and take the Browns with you but please do it soon we could use that stadium for a good flea market.

Gotta GoGo!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mansfield Reformatory - Church

Hey Gang,
This segment is about religion and the churches in the reformatory, yes churches, it had two.
The reformatory was grandly and elegantly built in the belief it would help sway the incarcerated back to the straight and narrow. In the early years it was mostly Protestant so it had only one church. As the years went by and the beliefs of the incoming inmates changed another church was added, a Catholic church.
The Protestant church is ONE HUGE ROOM! In fact, it could stand alone as church. It has a HIGH ceiling and at one time had a balcony. If I heard correctly for the choir. Time as taken its toll on it. Very little is left. A few pews and a few panels of stained glass windows showing the way of the cross. It must of been a sight to see in the early years. Later on it was converted for other purposes, one was a game room. Its amazing how religion played a part in trying to reform the prisoners and then years later as the prisoners became more hardened church was abandoned in favor of games.
The Catholic church is much smaller and not much remains of when it was a church so its hard to tell what it was like.
A Chaplain was also always on duty for counseling, not sure though if this continued up until the prison's closing.
Even though church and religion was not as promoted as in the beginning you can still find in many of the cells religious reading material, bibles, booklets and books that were left behind.
The other thing you find a lot of in the cells is cigarette packs.
And if you put them together you know what you get, don't you? Well you get a Holy Smoke!
Enjoy the photos.

Gotta GoGo!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Mansfield Scene Two

Hey Gang,
So everyone is wanting to know if we seen any ghosts. Should I jump ahead and tell you? I guess I should. Nope. OK I know its kind of anti-climatic now but the rest still makes good reading. Well you know what? In a way we did see a ghostly figure.
Our tour guide gave us a very brief tour of the house just enough for us to understand the lay out. In the rooms she did take us she would give a short talk of what the room was used for and what went on in it.
We went to the shower room where the guide insists a ghost that she named Mr. Anderson appears and answers questions. She was giving a demonstration of how to use divining rods to locate ghosts and spirits. Not sure how it's exactly done as I watched intently her fingers and did not see her roll them to move the rod. My friend Emerson in Southern Ohio insists he can locate water using a diving rod.
Anyway she asked Mr. Anderson are you in the room? The one rod swung to her left. She asked him a few questions and he didn't answer. Then she said if you hold them over most people's heads the rods will move. So she held it over Jeff's head and the rods crossed. Well right when she did it a lady snapped a photo. Its in this photo over Jeff's head you can see a figure. I asked the lady please email it to me, unfortunately she hasn't yet. BUT we all seen it. Wonder how this makes Jeff feel?
Now about those showers. This is gross. The men were allowed one shower every Saturday and only had one minute to take it. Thats punishment enough. Then I asked what did they use for toilets in the early years? Each cell had a pot and the last man in the cell at night had to empty it in the morning. Can you imagine 1,300 prisoners in a place with no air, very very cramped cells and a 60 second shower once a week?
Then can you imagine each cell with a full pot? Do you know what the place must of smelled like? OH MY!!!!
If there is a ghost from the early years lurking around his name would have to be

Gotta GoGo!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mansfield Opening Scene

Hey Gang,
After a wonderful stroll through the grounds of Kingwood enjoying Gods beauty and then a delightful supper in Block House park reminiscing we made our way to the Mansfield Reformatory. We got directions that were a bit wrong so asked someone else. I also asked this other person is there a store before the prison. He said look for Longview Ave.. We continued on our way and BAM! there was the reformatory. It was just an awesome eery sight. It sits alone and is so HUGE and GOTHIC looking it sent chills up us. We couldn't believe that we were going to tour it and in the dark. What made it even spookier is that it's right next to the new prison. I didn't know this at the time but I took a photo of the new penitentiary. Later on our guide told us it is a state law you CAN NOT TAKE ANY PHOTOS OF THE NEW PRISON, they will fine you and confiscate your camera - WHOOPS to late!
We got to the reformatory a bit to early so continued our search for Longview Ave and a store. We drove a few miles and realized this was heading us way out of Mansfield so turned around. We ended up back where we asked for directions and the name of that short street was - Longview Ave.. That screwball toyed with us. We eventually found a store. On the way back we were running late so asked for directions instead of possibly getting lost. This lady we asked was so polite and helpful she said follow me and took us right to the Mansfield Reformatory drive and then gave us directions how to head home. Thanks again lady whoever you are.
The crowd for this event was about 45. Some were giggling as we were anticipating what lys beyond the huge doors. Others had all kinds of equipment. Some in black, some dressed in military boots and pants. We had to sign a waiver. I took my turn and of course being as serious as I am read CONDITIONS: I wrote, warm and slightly humid, SELF CONDITIONS: I wrote again warm and slightly humid. The lady looked at me as if I was whacked. Well she didn't explain what they meant by conditions.
Now this is the honest truth, I don't fabricate things or lie plus there was my sister, Jeff and the crowd to verify this.
We lined up for the presentation given by Sherry the Ghost Hunter and just as she said OK everyone gather around, a bat flew out of the entrance to the place and disappeared! YES! My sister kept asking I want to know where the bat went? I'm telling you a better opening script couldn't of been written. WHERE DID THAT BAT GO????
To be continued....
Gotta GoGo!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

How was the Mansfield trip?

Hey Gang,
How was the Mansfield trip? Thanks, glad you asked.
I thought the mysterious ailment of the GoGo Bus was an omen of things to come, but it wasn't. We were suppose to take it but the charging system went haywire. The last time I drove the Bus about 3 weeks ago it ran like new. I noticed the interior lights wouldn't come on, I thought I left the radio playing. To make a long story short, both batteries were completely drained and the alternator is shot. This will be the third time the alternator has been fixed in about 4 months. Somewhere there is a gremlin in the system. BUT how does all 3 go bad sitting???
Besides the last minute switcharoo of which car to take everything went perfectly well. Mansfield is only about 95 miles from my place. I missed the exit so took the second one a few miles down but it actually helped because it put us on the correct route for Kingwood Gardens. We stopped at a little coffee shop/burger joint once in town for coffee and directions. I asked for ice in my cup and the lady said you want rice in your coffee? OK had to add that as it made us and the patrons in the place laugh. My inner compass worked again as we were on the right road and less then 4 miles from the gardens. Who needs GPS?
My memory did not serve me as well though as Kingwood was much different then the scant memories I had. About the only thing I remember is the greenhouse and all the flowers. Dad would of been disappointed. Dad told me when he first brought us there it was meticulously manicured, not a blade of grass out of place. Then a few years later we went again and it wasn't as cared for. Don't get me wrong, the gardens are far from shabby or neglected, just not at the high level of maintenance my Dad recalls.
But taking into consideration that the gardens and mansion is still free and all the work done on the grounds is all volunteer paid for by donations and membership, its amazing. If you get the chance you need to see it now because they are already having to cut certain things and it might not be long before an admittance fee is charged.
Kingwood Center is a 47 acre display garden and the mansion is 22,000 sq. ft.. They only have the first and second floor open but its worth a visit. Mr. King was President and Chairman of the Board for Ohio Brass Co..
After the garden tour we found the park Dad took us to. My memory failed again as I remember the park being out in the middle of no where, a forest like park. Nope, its right in the city, its called the Block House Park. The condition of it is very run down, sad! Todays generation takes little pride and use of parks is just not as popular. The monument honoring Johnny Appleseed is still there but like the rest of the park its worn.
The block house is also a little different then what I remember. I thought it was more log cabin like. On one family outing Grandpa came along and read the bible to us sitting on a picnic table in the shade of the house. It was neat to go back and see it.
Most of Mansfield seemed blighted. Factory, after building, after house is shut down, for sale or boarded. Its like this all over America. SAD! At one time Mansfield must of had a lot of money. The architect of the buildings and the homes are incredible. A lot of them are Victorian style with spires. I like to go back and take more photos.
OH you wanted to know about the prison stay! Sorry, next email.

Gotta GoGo!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

What are you doing this Labor Da

Hey Gang,
This Saturday my sister Cindi, Jeff M. and I will be in Mansfield, Ohio touring the Mansfield Reformatory. If I heard correctly we will be locked in from 7 pm to 5 am.
It should be a thrill. Besides the historical significance and the obvious spookiness of being in a old run down prison the place is supposedly very haunted. We're allowed to bring any device we want, tape and video recorders and ghost hunting
apparatuses of any kind.
The best part is:
You will be given a rules and regulations speech, followed by 1 ½ hour guided tour. After the tour, the lights will be turned off and your will be on your own until 5am.
OH MY!! This should be a real hoot!!!!
You may of seen this prison as many films were made here. The most famous movies were "Air Force One" and "The Shawshank Redemption". It also made the Travel Channel's "101 Things to Do Before You Die" & "Scariest Places on Earth"!
A few years back if you remember I spent a night in a haunted factory in Canton, Ohio. I had a chillingly fun time. I only knew one person on the tour so I did my own thing and wandered off alone. And yes I did pick up orbs and a weird image of a mans face in one photo and in another a skull on a brick wall. This was in a factory so who knows what tales or tails I will bring back this time in an old musty dudgeon like prison where brutality was common.
Click on this link to learn more:

We are leaving early for Mansfield to check out the area before our prison stay. I want to visit Kingswood Gardens. When I was a kid the folks took us on a day trip to Mansfield to see the place. I thought since we will be there why not for memories sake see it again. I was surprised to find Kingswood is still open and the self guided tours are still free!! BUT check out their home page for a real sign of the times:
This recession, mini depression is no joke? Its affecting everyone and everything. Hopefully it will survive.

Another place in Mansfield the parents brought us was a park that supposedly Johnny Appleseed visited. He lived in the area at one time and planting his famous apple seeds. I couldn't find anything on line about this park so it will be interesting to see if I can find it.
Sunday if we are back in time I will join my other sister and the family at her cookout. And then on Monday will end the long weekend at the Great Geauga Fair. It is the oldest fair in Ohio.
Here is the link for that:

In all it should be a fun and exciting weekend, from flowers, apple seeds and prison. Sounds very patriotic don't it?

Gotta GoGo!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Chupacabra Caught?

What should be an exciting story is actually quite sad. The use of poisons to kill rodents
instead kills an unknown and possibly close to extinction animal.
Thats why I use live traps.
A companion story to this is while in Texas I bought The Eagle, a Forth Worth newspaper.
In it is an article about the Lake Worth Monster which was supposedly seen by quite a
few people. It was described as goat-man like. Google it if you don't believe me.
I know I have seen my share of the weird and bizzare so anything is possible.

Gotta GoGo!!