“Why’s Houk Stream running muddy down here by ‘The Rotary Bridge’… must be something going on up-stream toward Ridgeway!” The roar of huge machinery confirmed that idea. Two massive earth/boulder moving tractors, two gigantic boulder-carrying trucks were parked on Oakwood Ave., plus two crew members and a foreman were at work at the old dam built on the stream by the Houk family – in the 1920’s.
“Where did all these ‘Mini-Cooper’ sized boulders come from?” someone asked the Foreman. “We’ve had these in our yards for years – specially this largest slab that we’ll use for the ‘bridge’.” The boulders were being ‘artfully’ placed to shore-up the old failing concrete dam. Large stone blocks were being placed as steps up to the most unique ‘bridge’ across the stream. Large stepping stones were arranged flush in the ground heading to a second smaller ‘stone bridge’ leading toward the old Gardner/Van Der Hoeven’ tennis courts – now part of the Centennial Park on the West side of the stream.
Fellow dog-walker Cindy Garner happened along late Friday afternoon. “Have you seen what’s been built up by the dam? The City certainly did a fabulous job!” “That wasn’t the City – it was Siebenthaler’s! They’ve been waiting for their design experts to be available.”
It only took a minute to get fellow-Fairview High School friend, Bob Siebenthaler on the phone. “That Houk Stream project of yours is fabulous! Every bit of it is natural – not one piece of steel or concrete. It enhances the scene – unlike the man-made-composite bridge down-stream. Thanx, thanx, thanx.”
“Well, you’ve got to thank Glen Welingbrack, who’s a landscape architect and our Supervisor of Design. And Kevin Wood who’s the Foreman. They are a terrific team … we’ve done so many projects together.
With that, Bob and the ‘Houk Stream resident’ launched into: ‘How’s your cousin Jack Siebenthaler? (Jack’s the one who was hired by Disney forty some years ago to landscape and supervise Disney World, and their subsequent parks in Florida.) “Jack married my classmate Annie Kurtz…how’s your sister Nancy? Do you still have that Labrador who occasionally ‘fell’ into your swimming pool? Say hello to Joan – (that’s Bob’s wife.) It’s amazing where curiosity and a phone call can lead.
Alan Schaeffer was asked for an up-date on his daughter Jessica’s musical career. ‘She’s no longer free-lancing in California…she’s in Boston working on her masters degree.
Jessica’s senior recital at Oakwood High School is still a vivid memory. She’s an accomplished harpist and was playing for weddings when still in school. Her recital was ‘conventional’ – until her last ‘number’ when she came on stage on a motorcycle wearing full ‘Easy Rider’ gear.
The Rev. Joseph Goetz is home from Maine where they visited with Macy Janney, and then went on to Connie Breen’s ‘Crazy Winds’ where Connie’s sister Ann and a friend joined the ‘Maine-iacs’. “We all had our usual wonderful time…but we did miss the old Oakwood Avenue-Ridgeway Road gang.”