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Looking back on my birthday

By DON HOHLER • Aug 28, 2019 at 7:30 PM

An important month (August) and an important day (25th) for this writer. It was the arrival of myself and my twin brother, David, to Lawrence and Ada Hohler. Besides that event, the following is only a fraction of what happened in the month of August back in 1938.

Aug. 2, 1938, Keller News still No. 1

The local Keller News, better known as the “Newsies,” may have been been beaten a few times but it is only because of the caliber of competition they played. The Norwalk Reflector-Herald on this date had them scheduled for a rematch with the Freedom Oilers out of Cleveland.

The Newsies lost the first meeting at Merchants Field, 1-0, even though George Carter fanned 16. The problem was seven errors and stranding nine. In defense of the home team, they were playing without two key starters.

Meanwhile, at the fairgrounds, midget car races were on hand for a show.

Hard to believe, but as many as 10,000 people circled the track watching these 75-mph mini-roadsters circle the track. The track record for the half-mile was 26.9 seconds.

Aug. 3, 1938, firemen ask for raise

Following the lead of the police department, the city firemen have asked council for a pay raise. They want to bump up to $150 a month from $130 if they do not take a vacation week and $145 with a vacation week.

The request was made by veteran firemen Glenn Cronk, Burt Probst, Emery Miller and Fred Iesle.

Also, at the council meeting, James Wood stepped to the podium and asked the city fathers to check into the fact that sewage is backing up into his basement in the Main to Prospect block. It is said he is not happy. He said he has already called on members of the sewer committee.

Aug. 3, 1938, new radio waves

Yes, it is true. The radio can now be tuned from a different room, one other than where the remote control box is located. It is called the Philco Mystery Control. The ad explains that the radio can now be heard from as far away as the apple tree in the back yard.

The control not only tunes into the sound but controls the volume and also shuts it off, all with the flick of the switch. It is a revolution in radio listening...and all without wires….AMAZING.

Aug. 3, 1938, elm tree blight recognized

It is a blight that can be seen to this day, the one that hit the elm trees in this part of the midwest. It was recognized as a problem for the first time in 1938.

Two venerable trees next to the public library were being attacked by insects. It is said they were planted long before the Civil War.

The blight has also attacked the trees in front of city hall, the ones planted in the name of the mayor, Dr. A.C. Smith, and the server, W.P. Leighton. It was noted that this morning, hundreds of small green worms have been spotted heading up the trunk of the trees.

The only chance that the blight can be stopped is if garden clubs join the city in the battle against these little worms

Aug. 5, 1938, Owens to run exhibition

Olympic champion Jesse Owens will make a stop in Wakeman and run an exhibition hurdle event and a 100-yard dash. He will face off against Mansfield sprinter Rex Billiards.

The exhibition will take place prior to the Wakeman Red Caps game.

The Red Caps team is having internal problems, however. Manager Clarence Bailey is said to be thinking about cleaning house if some of his players do not start giving it 100 percent. He has already secured three infielders from an Akron franchise.

The Red Caps continued to skid, however, losing to the Ethiopian Clowns, 6-4, one week later.

Also, on the sports page that afternoon was the story that the Newsies bested a Cleveland team, 14-8, as Henry Edwards had another big game at the plate with three hits. His batting average is a lusty .531.

Aug. 9, 1938, Feller gets no special treatment

Bob Feller may have been just 19-years old but he got no special treatment because of his age. The reason was his 11-walk performance against the Yankees which had manager Oscar Vitt believing he was no flash-in-the-pan out of Van Meter, Iowa.

Vitt also called for a change in catchers for the fast-baller. Rollie Hemsley caught him against the Yankees and that didn’t work. Frankie Pytlak will be behind the plate when he pitches the first game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Aug. 10, 1938, school bond issue defeated

High hopes were dashed last night when the final votes for the school bond issue were counted. It went down by 10 votes, dashing the $148,000 issue. It is hoped a recount will save the day.

As it turned out, the count was correct. However, an emergency meeting of the school board was called by President Orebaugh and it was decided that a special election will be held to again try to get that $148,000 for the new building. The election would be held in less than a month.

Among the other winners on election day was Dudley White Sr. for U.S. Congress. The White’s owned several newspapers in the area including the Reflector-Herald.

Aug. 25, 1938, my birthday

Ever wonder what happened the day you were born.

Through the miracle of micro-film, this is what happened on mine:

• Billy Burke won the Ohio Open golf title but more important news at the local level, Norwalk’s Andy Mocsary finished 26 strokes back, tying him for 10th place at the Youngstown event.

• Adolph Hitler paraded 61,000 troops in front of the Hungarian people as a show of strength.

• The Newsies made in 10 in a row, hammering out 20 hits in a 13-4 win over a Fostoria team.

• Paul Runyan, one of the golf’s shortest hitters, beat Sam Snead, 8&7 to win the PGA title.

• And say it isn’t so: Women, not ladies as the cutlines of the picture reads, paraded around in public in short shorts.

Don Hohler is a longtime Reflector sportswriter.

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