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Oakwood Manor 'Grand Dame'
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Dateline:  New York City

Saturday was ‘Ground Hog’s Day’.  He sure couldn’t see his ‘shadow’ that day…and according to the ‘NYX’s weather report…he didn’t see his ‘shadow’ Sunday either.  But who cares?  Everyone walks everywhere. Half of the pedestrians wear rain-gear, most others have umbrellas, and there are ‘umbrella salesmen’ standing on most every corner. Doormen meet every taxi with a huge umbrella.  

Street-traffic moves, albeit slowly. There’s no horn blowing – because there are large signs everywhere reading:  ‘NO HONKING - $350 FINE’. Yesterday morning a large semi jack-knifed on the Queensborough Bridge – and traffic on the East Side stood still for several hours as bridge exits were locked-up-tight.  But, pedestrians got through!  In the local beauty shop, at 50th and First, Onieda, the owner-beautician kept calling her customers saying:  “I’m on the bridge…it’ll be an hour…I hope.”  But nobody seemed to think anything about the delay. It was afternoon before traffic was moving on First and Second Aves.  Today the Metro section of the NYT’s didn’t even mention the ‘snarl’.  Wasn’t newsworthy enough.

There is lots of ‘ink’ about all vehicular traffic having to pay a fee of $8.00 for entering Manhattan Island from 60th Street to the southern tip.  Sounds great but how fees could be collected without blocking-up traffic hasn’t been solved by Mayor Bloomberg and the Gov. – yet.  

The Annual Meeting of The Masters of Foxhounds Meeting in NYC was last weekend.  One hundred and sixty five Hunts from the USA and Canada met in NYC. At the Master’s dinner the ‘Longest-serving Master in the organization’ was asked to stand.  It was Oakwood resident, Phyllis F. Heck, MFH since ’59. Actually, Ben Hardaway of Columbus, GA. has her beat by two years – but he wasn’t in attendance.    

At the Master’s Ball on Friday evening at the Pierre, a MFH  from New Jersey approached two from Ohio, and began:  “We were  at a wedding in Lima, Ohio several weeks ago and met a terrific couple from Dayton.  They knew you both and told me all about Round Town.  It was Judy and Bill McCormick.  I told ‘em I’d see you in NYC and would be sure to say ‘Hello’.”

And another Daytonian was mentioned at the NYC ball.  A young man (and new MFH) approached and said:  “You won’t remember me, but you ‘judged’ me in a horse show at Wilson College in Gettysburg, Pa…like years ago.”  It took a minute, but finally…”I do remember that show …because at a dinner party at Dayton Country Club the next night  Peg Wilson (Dr. Joe’s) wife asked:  “Where have you been?” And when she heard Gettysburg, Pa. She said:     “My Mother, my Grandmother, and I all graduated from Wilson College!”  

And here’s another NYC-Oakwood connection.  In December the NYT’s ran a piece about a new exhibition at the Nippon Club entitled:  “Looking East – William Howard Taft and the 1905 Mission to Asia.” It described a collection of amateur photographs recently made public. The photographer was  Cincinnatian Harry Fowler Woods who accompanied Taft and his delegation which included Alice Roosevelt, and her future husband Nicholas Longworth (Cincinnatian) and many members of Congress. At Tracy & Irv Bieser’s New Years Day Brunch Hope Taft said she’d heard of this collection  -  knew the Woods family and hoped to hear more…

A trip to the ‘Japanese Mission to the U.N.’ on E. 47th directed the Oakwoodites to the ‘Nippon Club’ on W. 57th – across from Carnegie Hall. The gallery was off the elegant lobby and a charming, very young Japanese girl gave the traditional ‘obeisance’ and offered post cards and fliers, and asked to hang-up coats. Reproductions of the original ‘snaps’ lined the walls. Two early Kodak cameras were on display along with pages of the original photo-albums, and two leather-bound reproductions of the original ones could be perused. The ‘explanatory notes’ carried many familiar Dayton-Cincinnati names: William Chatfield, Sr.  (grandson is married to Anne Chatfield, Betsy & Lee Whitney’s daughter), Carl Lindner (Dayton’s Steele High School grad & a supporter of exhibition), William Anderson (former CEO of NCR  - also a guarantor) … a ‘Wm. H. Taft postcard’ has been sent to the new Dayton-Tafts.


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February 5, 2008
Volume 17, No. 6

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