“Our Home On The Hill” is a video history of Oakwood at its centennial year. Residents received invitations to ‘see-the-show’ on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of last week – six showings in all – in the high school auditorium. Tickets were free and could be picked up at City Hall, Oakwood Community Center, and the Wright Library.
There was a good crowd late Saturday afternoon. Paula Schaeffer, Helen Hageman, BeBe Deuser, Sara Lytle, and Kim Oliver were lucky enough to find a parking place on the south side of the building. As ‘viewers’ found their seats a film was running depicting ‘neighborhoods and their houses’ – to the accompaniment of Nate Thompson on stage playing a delightful piano medley. The audience was an interesting mix of ‘old timers’, and new Oakwoodites. Irv Harlamert, former Oakwood Judge, was there. Ethel Kiefaber was spotted. ‘Round Town wishes they knew the names of all the new residents.
Mayor Judy Cook introduced the film which began promptly at five. “National Cash Register” was thanked for their sponsorship. A most attractive info piece had been given out at the door. It thanked Avery Architectural Library of Columbia University, Dorothy Lane Market, and NCR Archive for the loan of their archives. Also the Oakwood City Schools, the Oakwood Historical Society, the Oakwood Register, Miami University, Wright Library, and Wright State University. The film committee included Harrison Gowdy, Harry Ebeling, Mackensie Wittmer, Pam Houk, Jeanne Palermo, and Dick Robinson. The private collectors were mentioned and thanked: Irv Bieser, Ruth Deddens, Harry Ebeling, Pam & George Houk, Steve Kelch, Lisa Reeder, the Sherk family, and Joan Thiele.
The film included personal interviews with Harry Ebeling, George & Pam Houk, Dr. Patrick Palermo, Jane Brennan, Dr. Mary Jo Scalzo, Norbert Klopsch, & Mayor Cook.
The film is fabulous! The early etchings, old newspaper articles, the first trolley cars that came ‘…up the hill’, horse drawn vehicles… There was only one oft-repeated comment made by viewers at the ‘lemonade and cookies’ reception following the movie.
“When I was young I always heard that the ‘1913 Flood’ was the biggest impetus in Oakwood’s growth. People who’d been flooded-out wanted to move up the hill to high ground.” Five or six ‘old timers’ asked the same question…including several who’d been interviewed in the movie.
But, The Flood was never mentioned.
The Thirty-Niners annual picnic was at Bill & Susan Whalen’s Locust Wood Farm near Bellbrook last Friday evening. (Locust Wood was Herb & Ginny Whalen’s and the original site of the Miami Valley Hunt’s Kennels and Club House.) This picnic is one of two “wives are included” events per year! When president, Jim Deuser, took the mike after dinner he said this was the seventieth such picnic since the 39’ers began in 1939. Some early picnics were at Jack Reeder’s place on Tait Road (the old Stroop estate), at Harmon Darrow’s farm near Xenia, at Ginny and Herb’s home on Ridgeway Road… One old timer said Harmon always served lobster…how come we just get steak or chicken here? “If you want seafood, we could probably afford cat fish!” answered Jim.
“There are two ‘original members’ left,” continued Jim. “Warner Kiefaber and Rodney Boren. Unfortunately Warner and Annie couldn’t make it – but we’ve got Rodney. Most of you probably didn’t recognize him – behind that beard! Walter Bayley brought a large photograph of a bunch of men – most in tux – “I’d like help in identifying some of ‘em…it’s a group at the Bicycle Club…most are fathers of our original members.” Another photo taken at Whalens home had at least fifty faces…Laurie Keller spent the cocktail hour getting ‘idents’ for everyone.
The annual ‘golf tournament’ was held. Dr. Alan Baker won the Men’s trophy, and Tami Whalen won the Ladies’,,,Lois Baker was second. The traditional “Joke Telling Contest’ was won, hands down, by Paula Schaeffer! Jim Deuser, Libby Hornbeck, and Jack Heck share a common birthday (very common)…they’ve ‘got plans’ for October. There were lots-of-Whalens…Hugh Whalen was home from Florida visiting Mother. Of course, hosts, Bill & Susan Whalen, and Tom & Kathy Whalen Kavanaugh, and cousins Jim & Tami Whalen - that made eight Whalens.
Elly, Bill, Jr. and Cynthia Butt, Alan & Beth Schaeffer, Rick & Ellen Boyer, Blitz & Mary Creager, Chris & Tara Crowl, Tom & Nancy Gillaugh - Earl Reeder was asked about the ‘huge’ house he designed that’s being built off Ridgeway Road. (Earl lives in that gem of a house on Blossom Heath Road that was Mrs. Wifenbaugh’s – (Ginny Kettering’s mother). Wise Glossinger, Bill & Sally Lincoln, Midge & Jim Harlan, Jean & Jack O’Connell, Mary Lou & Jim Van Tassel, and Sara Lytle – all adds up to more than 39!