It’s a beautiful Saturday morning in Bucyrus on this mid September day, albeit a cool one for this time of year. Every day starts off with coffee and once again we skip the free breakfast at the Holiday Inn and decide to go to another coffee shop in Bucyrus. In asking Yelp for help, we find such things as Speedway, McDonalds, Tim Hortens, etc but little in the way of local shops. Down the list is a mention of Flour & Whisk Bakery and we decide on that one. We head on in and it has no seating but the owner is there and what a pleasant person. He is very friendly and we strike up a long conversation while drinking our coffee and we discover that he has a strong local following as his regulars come in and he greets them by name. It is a small shop that has a strong local following.
With coffee in hand, we visit some places that held memories for me. Our first stop is where we first lived when I was in 2nd and 3rd grade at 201 Songer Street. My father was a minister for the Wesleyan Methodist church and this address was the parsonage we lived in. It contains some mixed memories for me but I had to see it. The church no longer exists and a business has taken over the building. From there we drive down the roads that I once walked to Lincoln Elementary School. The school is now closed but serves as an administrative building for Bucyrus Public Schools. The factories that bordered the school have all been boarded up and that was a shock to the system as they were going full bore back in the 60’s and 70’s.
No visit to Bucyrus is complete without a stop at Carle’s Bratwurst. It is the home of real bratwurst and has a huge following. When we arrive, it is packed but we get some brats to go with some other items for a picnic at Aumiller Park. I spent many hours at Aumiller and the park is as charming as it was 45 years ago. There is a baseball tournament going on and it is very busy. We eat our great brats and take a walk through the park and along the Sandusky River.
Carolyn wants to walk around the downtown area where Bucyrus has some great murals in the town square area. The town square has been turned into something special. Great place to visit and just hang out.
From the town square, I take Carolyn down Stetzer Road to view the local reservoirs. Many memories for me at the reservoirs including Riley Reservoir. We get out and hike the Outhwaite Reservoir loop and it really is a different type of pretty. We can see the farm country and it so peaceful being out by ourselves. Our time has come to get around for the Colonel Crawford Class of 1975 Reunion.
The reunion theme is the 70’s and Carolyn and I have prepared ourselves with some vintage finds. I’m throwing on some flares with a vintage Bob Seger Concert tee and jacket from his “Stranger in Town” tour. I thought it most appropriate since I am now feeling like a stranger in town. Carolyn has got the bells and vintage look with the AZ touch of some turquoise and no matter what she wears she looks great. Dressed and ready, we head out to Cranberry Hills for dinner and drinks and my anxiety is peaking. I have not seen most of my classmates since 1975 and I’m nervous.
All that anxiety is for naught. Greeted by old neighborhood friend Jeff Dummitt, who leads me straight to the bar. What a grand evening. Carolyn and I had a ball. It was so much fun reconnecting with those who ventured out as Covid 19 definitely kept the numbers down and of course that was disappointing. By my count there was 16 of us and the evening was filled with memories. The following were in attendance: Jim Davis, Andy Dotson, Jeff Dummitt, Jeff Foreman, Carol Fortney Shumate, me, Jeanne Gerhart Thompson, Reed Hiltner, Dave Lauthers, Patti Long Garrett, Mike Kocher, Karen Markley Schmidt, Dave Parker, Gary Trash, Cheryl Yaussy Wagner, and Brant Zucker.
These type of events take lots of work so a big thank you to Jeff D., Jeanne, Reed, Karen, and Dave L. Great stuff. Dave, our class president did a fantastic job emceeing telling many stories and adding some great humor. Brant and I were able to spend some time as he and I were friends from Whetstone Elementary. Getting to visit with the others was fun but to reconnect with Jeff Dummitt was extra special. I’d have to write an entire blog about his story. I think Jeff and I can stay connected moving forward. It was very emotional for me to reconnect with Jeff as we were neighbors and friends from 4th grade through high school. I’ve really missed that connection. Now to get him to Arizona. I’ll be working on that.
The evening winds down for all of us old folks and I was so glad we made this trip. Carolyn was made to feel welcomed and she had a grand time meeting those who helped shape my high school years. Reconnecting was great and as we headed back to Bucyrus, we had some sadness knowing we were headed out in the morning to Columbus.
Is it the scenery or my selective memory
Or just a simple fact that I gotta realize
My friends have gone and their lives have moved on
And I guess that’s just the way it is
If this town has grown beyond my home
I guess it all comes down to this (by Blues Traveler)