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Remembrances > The Bishop Gift - (My Father's Business - Part 6)
The Bishop Gift - (My Father's Business - Part 6)
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Riverdale Ghost
408 posts
Dec 01, 2013
2:13 PM
The bishop changed the course of life in a thousand ways….

That rested in a typewriter.

The bishop came into our lives on Kammer avenue. The family lived in a house about three doors from the store there. It wasn’t a long association then and there. They were gone before the second world war, probably to Catalpa drive where they eventually resided. As is recalled now, before that store was sold, which would have been about 1942, the bishop’s house was sold to a family friend who subsequently rented a room to an aunt. …But, that’s a different story that doesn’t belong here. The bishop’s family included two daughters — seems like their names were Wanda and Lois. One was married (Wanda). She and her husband reportedly then lived in a house about cater-cornered from the elementary school grounds attended.

Perhaps the bishop and his wife, Mae, came around to visit that daughter and stopped in at the store a few times after they moved, but there wouldn’t have been many of those visits, maybe now and then for a year or so. But, years later as there was no store ownership from roughly 1942 to 1947, the bishop found the last store on North Main street and started coming regularly, even though Catalpa drive was somewhat across town. One year, too, the Christmas greetings started arriving. The bishop was around for many years. Once in a great while, if the subject came up, he explained in a sentence or two some element of his Mormon faith. There are quite a few Mormons in Ohio, even a temple in Columbus. It was enough to know they were good people.

Continued below.
Riverdale Ghost
413 posts
Dec 01, 2013
2:36 PM
The typewriter aspect of the matter actually came into play about in 1950. The eighth grade class was out on the playground one nice day, and one of the girls proudly announced that her father had told her that if she graduated from high school, he would buy her a car. A car is somewhat down the road for a fourteen-year-old especially if she has to wait until she’s eighteen, never mind that it was readily a neighborhood where few parents could be promising to buy their kids cars. …But, in those days a measurable number of youngsters honorably didn’t finish high school.

A personal car and a debate about “finishing” school was never uppermost in family minds. The announcement was mentioned in passing at home one day soon after it, not as a ranking point of interest but more as a matter of just saying something. After all, eighth grade graduation had not yet taken place, never mind high school. The parents perked up in alarm. Poppa was not to be outdone. Should there be a high school graduation in the household, there was a car in that future, which was so far ahead it wasn’t worth mentioning….

Continued below.
Riverdale Ghost
414 posts
Dec 01, 2013
2:40 PM
Time passed, just about four years to be more exact. In that time life was re-routed a couple times. The parting of the ways came for the students as they went to at least three different high schools. The rented housing was shed for the beloved house owned outright. A couple of little part time after school jobs crept into the picture. Somewhere around two years after the eighth grade, during a discussion about a piano, a typewriter strangely passed into the discussion via an aunt; and, soon enough a wreck of an old typewriter that didn’t exactly work appeared on the scene even though no one knew how type (she did, but she lived in Indiana). Finally, shortly before high school graduation, on walking into the store one afternoon, there was a small presentation of a genuine Royal portable typewriter — the presumed elite of typewriters — along with the explanation that it was the high school graduation present.

Truthfully, the car business had been long forgotten except by one or maybe both parents. As a present was not really expected at all, at least not at that point, there was a bit of confused consideration of the matter, which led to an explanation that a car was promised but such cost too much and could not be afforded in those particular days. Royal portables weren’t dirt cheap. It was just a lesser gift. And, it was obtained at discount. It seemed the bishop’s son-in-law (Wanda’s husband) was in the business of selling such things. It came into the family at about cost, or it might not have come into the family at all.

Continued below.
Riverdale Ghost
415 posts
Dec 01, 2013
2:42 PM
As time passed, the little typewriter wrote a number of term papers, some truly serious business complaints, some substantial union grievances and surely several dozen letters to the editor, filled out a number of income tax forms, produced three newsletters and several little stories and more. Twenty-five years after it came on the scene, in the newspaper obituaries one day what appeared was the obituary for the elementary school classmate who was to get the car. One thought that almost immediately came to mind was that the car was surely long gone by then, but the typewriter was still right there and still working. A day or so later the gizmo that held the typewriter carriage in place broke. The immediate thought was to get it fixed. An incredulous poppa was amazed at the notion, but the typewriter was dutifully hauled to the sales office, where it was indeed fixed to work a few more years.

One day the bishop’s beloved wife died and we went to the funeral home to pay our respects. By then the family business was out of the picture for about ten years. The bishop was quite upset and at a terrible loss rather wondering how he could go on, but at least he knew they were still appreciated and not forgotten. And, one day maybe another decade later, in some totally unknown way the seeds from a variation of a catalpa tree landed by the back steps of the house and sprouted into a tree….

End of tale.

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