I have written this because I wish that my grandparents and great grandparents had done so. I would have loved to read how life was in their day. I am appreciative that my Dad did write his life story at the age of 70.
Special thanks to Joey Hannig, my grandson, who was my pen pal for a number of years. During this correspondence period, I would add a paragraph called, “When I was a girl” in every letter. These stories were the basis of these memoirs. I have put more effort into stories of my youth because my children and grandchildren have their own memories of me. I hope some of them will write down their memories and continue this tradition that my Dad started!
It is impossible to recapture every memorable thing that I have experienced but I hope to pass down helpful family information and stories. These stories are the way I remember them, not necessarily the way things really were. Other sources of information about my life can be found in photo albums, video tapes, DVDs, and boxes of mementoes.
My dad, J. ‘Tuck’ Buening, was their 3rd and youngest child. I was born on 4/2/1941 and was the first girl born into the family since my Grandma Gertie on 6/6/1887. Here are a few recollections of my grandparents:
I do not think
they ever owned their own home. I just remember their apartments. They lived on
Ø I remember staying overnight at their apartment. I would hide from my grandpa when he would come home from the dairy where he worked and jump out at him to try to scare him. I remember walking with him to the store to buy quarts of beer.
Ø They never owned a car during my lifetime. Therefore, whenever they were invited to our home in New Richmond, my dad would have to drive to Walnut Hills to pick them up. Often they would spend the night.
Ø I remember my grandma’s mother, Grandma Myers, who died in 1951. She would sit in a chair in the dining room by the window. She was born one year after the Civil War ended. I also remember grandpa’s mother, Grandma Buening, who also died in 1951 but she was born in 1859 before the start of the Civil War.
Ø My grandpa Herb was a favorite relative of mine. He was funny and fun to be with. My grandma was always hollering at him but he pretty much ignored it. He bought my brother Tom a BB gun for Christmas one year and truly, all we ever heard from my grandma was, “He’s going to shoot his eye out!”
Ø My grandma Gertie moved to SEM Manor after my grandpa died. After looking at their pictures while making their album, I can only assume they had a fun life!
Ø Their three sons were:
My mom, Mildred Marcella (Sis) Shore was their 2nd child. Here are a few recollections of my grandparents:
They lived at
They moved to
Ø They both had many friends, belonged to organizations, loved playing cards, and taking vacations. They were very independent and fun to be with. Grandpa worked for the post office downtown.
Ø They had Christmas Eve at their home until they got too old to entertain. It was always fun because we had lots of cousins. Nanny would have tons of small gifts, each one wrapped up, and then she would call our names and give them to us. They included ZagNut candy bars, candy cigarettes (real ones when we were older), Life Savers, etc. My Mom told me that when she was young, they would wake up on Christmas morning and the tree, gifts, and homemade cookies would be there. Evidently they stayed up most of the night doing everything!
Her passion was
playing cards. She and her friends would even travel to our home in New
Richmond in the late 40’s and 50’s just to play cards with my Mom. It was a
pretty long drive from Pleasant Ridge (later
Nanny and Grandpa
got along great even though, to me, they were complete opposites. Nanny was
tons of fun and jolly and Grandpa was pretty staid. He dressed very neatly and
Nanny never wore a bra and preferred being barefoot. However, after my cousin
Ø Their five children and spouses were:
I talk about my parents throughout these memoirs but I’ll add some thoughts here. First, their ‘wonderful’ children:
Ø Thomas Jay married Nancy Bennett and they had three children: Sherry (married to Jim Palinkas), Amy, (married to Jim Pucillo and had Jimmy and Jennifer; then married Rick Tiller and had Aly, and is now married to Bart Ciofani) and Brad (married to Michelle Kettler) and had Bradley (now married to Valerie), Amanda, and Brian.
Ø Me, of course, married to Hank Hannig and mother of Brent (married to Kindra Miller and parents of Wesley and Daniel), Jill (married to Mike Kijinski and parents of Zak and Katie), and Scott (married to Tammy Quinn and parents of Joe, William, and Julia).
Ø Susan Kay married Scott Levison.
Ø Chris (no middle name) married Diane Gerhardstein and had Stacy and Jamie, then married Michelle Pãre and had Alex, and is now married to Coni who is the mother of Randy Hamby (married to Sara and father of Casey) and Amanda Meeker who, with Ernie Sizemore, is the mother of Allyse.
I do believe that my favorite story about my parents is their tale of their first date. Briefly, my Mom was told by a teacher in grade school that her skin was too dark for her to ever get into heaven. When my Dad came to pick her up for their blind date (her sister Dot had fixed her up with my Dad who was a friend of her boyfriend Red Murphy), he saw her in her white dress and told her that she looked like an angel!
Hank’s family consisted of his Dad Henry, his Mom Adella, his sisters Mary and Barb, and his brother Tom.
Ø Mary was married to Larry Daughtery and had two
daughters, Kelly and Tracy. They divorced and then Larry died (of a heart
attack in the emergency room while visiting Kelly who had just had an
automobile accident). Mary later married Bill Branscum. Kelly married Chris
Harris and they had a daughter named Kaitland.
Ø Barb married Bill Clary and they had five children: Denise (married Jay Elliott and had two children, Emily & Jake), Bill (married Lynn Brown and had two children, Will & Elizabeth), Nicole (married Rich Jetter, now divorced, and had three children, Jordan, Trey & Quinn), Brad (married and divorced from Virginã) and now with Bethany Hamilton, and Kerry (married Amber and have Henry and a baby due in 2007). Barb and Bill got divorced and she married John Henry. They got divorced and she married Ron Rose.
Tom married Pam
and had one daughter:
FM radio stations
McDonald's and other fast food restaurants
Blackjack, Clove and Teaberry chewing gum
Door to door salesmen
Free glasses or dish towels inside laundry detergent boxes
Hi-Fi's (record players)
Home milk delivery in glass bottles with cardboard stoppers
Movie theaters that showed two movies, newsreels, previews, cartoons, and movie shorts
Reel-To-Reel tape recorders
Restaurants with tableside jukeboxes
Soda pop machines that dispensed glass bottles
Victolas (wind-up record players)
Wax Coke-shaped bottles with colored sugar water inside
My earliest recollections include living on Woodsfield in the early 40’s. The house was a two-family house and we lived on the first floor. It had a kitchen, living room, one bathroom and only one bedroom. It also had a basement whose entry was from the outside. My brother Tom & I had twin beds that were on one side of our parents’ bedroom. We played in our side yard as you can see by the pictures in my album.
I went to Kindergarten at
I remember roller-skating on our sidewalks and I was only 4 or 5 years old. But our skates weren’t like the ones today. They were just metal platforms with wheels that you put on the bottom of your shoes. To tighten them so they would stay on, you had to use a ‘skate key.’ So that we didn’t lose it, we wore it on a string around our necks.
We would go to the doctors for our checkups but if we were sick, the doctor would come to our house! Sometimes they would come twice a day. Can you imagine that happening today?
We had a dog named ‘Whiskers’ but I don’t remember much about him other than when my dad would take off his belt to change pants, the dog would hide under the stove. Apparently my dad once hit the dog with his belt after the dog jumped up on our kitchen table and ate our hamburgers! For the rest of my Dad’s life, he mistakenly called all dogs Whiskers!
Since I was born eight months before the start of World War II, and was only four years old when it ended, I do not remember much about the war, only perhaps, how it influenced our standard of living. I never felt poor or underprivileged or deprived of anything. I’m sure life was pretty tough for the adults, though. If families were lucky enough to have a car, they had only one. Most of the Dads rode a streetcar to their jobs. Our cars had running boards on them. Those were on both sides of the car by the doors. You could stand on them!
The mailman used to deliver mail two times a day (instead of one). He would come in the morning and again late in the afternoon. He would be walking, of course. Then, President Harry Truman decided that the government would save a whole lot of money if they only delivered mail once a day. At first, people were mad but then they realized that he did a great thing.
During the summer of 1946, we
moved in with our grandparents (
During that year on
My parents bought their first house in 1948. It was a summer home on
There was no bathroom, of course, only an outhouse! I don’t remember it smelling but I think that was for two reasons. One, it was a wooden outhouse (not plastic like the Port-a-Potties) and two, we would put a chemical called lime down the holes (yes, we had a two-seater) and that would take away the smell. Now, this will probably gross you out but I’m going to tell you anyway so that you can understand what my life was like as a little girl. The first winter we lived in our house, my Dad decided it was too cold for us to go to the outhouse, especially at night. It was a pretty long walk. So someone (I don’t know who) took a wooden chair, cut a hole in the seat, put two pieces of wood underneath the seat, and slid a potty under the hole in the seat. This was our ‘indoor potty’ and my brother Tom and I had to take turns taking out this potty and dumping it into the outhouse every morning!!! That was GROSS!
The very first night we moved
in, we saw a most gorgeous site—there were thousands and thousands of
lightening bugs lighting up the scenery! Our view from up on the hill was the
road below followed by the hills across the road. We could not see any neighbors. Our ‘next door’ neighbors
were the Dittmars who my Mom had met in the hospital when she and Martha
Dittmar were in labor. Martha must have told her about the house for sale. Martha
had a daughter named Diane but my Mom got sent home with false labor. But Diane
and Sue became good friends and still are to this day. They had two older
daughters named Marsha & Susie. Next
to them lived our other neighbors, the Schaffers. They had five children:
Sonny, Marilyn, Margie, Shirley,
Our house was heated by a coal-oil furnace in the living room. The oil was delivered to a large tank in our side yard. We would fill up big oil cans and pour the oil into the furnace. I was always afraid I would spill it and set the house on fire.
My brother Tom and I had to bring in water (from a well at the bottom of the hill) in buckets. My Mom had to heat the buckets on the stove then pour them into a big tub on the kitchen floor and that’s where we would take our baths! Eventually we had a pump house built and got running water and a bathroom. However, once you closed the door, it got quite cold, so bath time was quick!
My Mom’s cousin, Jerry Fenker, was a carpenter and he and his wife, Edith, would come out every weekend to transform the summer house into a home. He enclosed the screen-in porch to make another large room that was used for bedrooms. He probably built the indoor potty chair, too!
Our back yard was only about 12 feet deep and then there was a barbed-wire fence and woods. The owner of the land behind us had cows so they were often right out our back door. One day, my brother Tom and I built a corral on his property and rounded up some cows! Yes, I was once a cattle rustler!
We played in the woods a lot. It was beautiful, especially in the spring with all the wildflowers. In the summer, we would go up the hills and pick blackberries and I think we used to sell them on the road. Mom would make blackberry jelly too. She also preserved tomatoes, green beans, bread & butter pickles, and probably many other items.
For many years after we moved
to New Richmond, we would have company
every Sunday! I guess it was a big adventure for people to travel from the
I was about 9 years old when we got our first television. Before that, we used to listen to the radio. It took five minutes for the TV warm up and you had to turn the dial to find a station. The radio was just like television but without a picture! In other words, they had stories, comedy shows, mysteries, sports, news, and variety shows. The great thing about listening to the radio was that you used your imagination when listening just like when someone reads you a story. But when television started, we were one of the first families to get one. There were only three stations at first. And shows were only on in the evening and later from morning to maybe midnight. Shows were in black and white, not color. But we finally got to see radio stars on television and most times, it was disappointing because we had pictured them differently! Some of the earlier TV shows included Howdy Doody and the Peanut Gallery, the Lone Ranger, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans (their horses were named Trigger and Buttermilk), and Hopalong Cassidy.
We did not have an automatic washer or drier. We did have a washing machine but you had to run a hose into it and fill it with hot water. Then you filled two laundry tubs with cold water. You put your white clothes into the washing machine first (followed by light and then dark clothes last) and turned it on. When it was finished, you reached in and pulled out each piece of clothing. You put the clothing through a wringer. A wringer is two round rubber tubes that drain the water out of the clothes. You wrung them into the first rinse laundry tub and let them sit. Then you added the next load of laundry into the washer again. Then you moved the wringer between the two laundry tubs and wrung the clothes into the last laundry tub. Then you moved the wringer again and wrung the clothes into a laundry basket. In case you’re counting, that’s three wrings per item. Then you would take the basket outside and hang each piece of clothing on clotheslines with clothespins. You kept doing this until all your laundry was done. If it started to rain, you had to either hope it didn’t rain much or take down all the clothes! Things sure have gotten easier when it comes to laundry!
After we took the clothes down from the clothesline, we would take them into the house and usually use the kitchen table for this next task. We would lay each piece of clothing on the table, sprinkle water on it, roll it up, and pile it onto a towel. When all pieces of clothing were sprinkled, we would roll the towel up real tight so they wouldn’t dry out before we ironed them. And we ironed dishtowels, sheets, underwear, and even handkerchiefs!
For many years, Mom belonged to a Friday night bowling league in Pleasant Ridge. We would come home from school, Dad would come home from work, she would feed us supper, and off she would go. Sometimes Tom and/or I would go with her. What a long trip that was and I cannot envision myself making that weekly trip today, even with today’s good highways.
When I was about 13, there was a neighbor who lived ‘across the creek.’ His family had horses. He used to ride his horse over to our house. We lived on top of a hill and had a gravel driveway. The horse didn’t have a saddle, but my brother Tom and I took turns riding the horse up and down the driveway VERY FAST! I think we thought we were cowboys and cowgirls! We had great fun!
Christmases were always fun! We chopped down our own trees (those ugly ones that grow wild). I remember that my Mom smoked and cigarette companies would send her ‘samples’ of about 4 smokes per pack. My brother Tom & I would take them out of her vanity drawer, wrap them up and give them to her for Christmas! Mom and Dad always made sure we had memorable Christmases!
Later on, my Dad finished the attic and turned it into a bedroom for Sue and me. It was hot in the summer (only two small windows at each end) and cold in the winter. But Sue and I got to pick out the colors and we chose pink and grey.
Our property consisted of a few acres but was split in two. The house was atop a slanted hill and they made a driveway of gravel starting from the right bottom curving up to the top left. The entire left side of the property consisted of ‘steps’ which I assume was created when they first built the house. On one level, we had a horseshoe pit. The grass steps had to be cut with a scythe and the rest of the grass had to be cut with a huge lawn mower.
Across the road was the rest of the property. It was level and the part closest to the road was just a field that we kept mowed. One summer, we buried empty tuna fish cans and turned it into our own golf course. The next track of land was used for farming. We planted corn, potatoes, tomatoes and not sure what else. Beyond that was 12 Mile Creek! In the summer, we would cool off there floating in our inner tubes. The water couldn’t have been more than one to two feet deep and there were snakes, fish, crawdads, and other creatures but we didn’t mind.
The dogs we had in New Richmond were Water Spaniels. (We once had a Doberman but he had to be put to sleep because he was eating the neighbor’s chickens). One female was named Satan and she had a litter of puppies one day. We were allowed to keep one of her puppies and we named her Scrappy. Well, a few year’s later, Satan had a litter of 10 puppies (in the empty trunk of a dead tree) and Scrappy had 5! So for a while, we had 17 dogs! Thank goodness they were outside dogs!
When we lived in New
Richmond, our telephone number was only four numbers (6174).
We had a party line with three other families. What that meant was that any of
the other families could pick up their phone and listen in on our conversation!
We all had our own special ring. Ours was two short rings. Telephone numbers in
We didn’t have big supermarkets like we do now. We had very small neighborhood grocery stores. We would go in and tell the grocer what we wanted, he would go get it off the shelves, write down the prices, add them up, tell us what we owed, and bag the groceries. There were not very many different products like there are now. One product we used to buy was margarine but not in sticks like you get it now. It was in a plastic bag and it was a real pale yellow color. Inside the bag with the margarine was a small, dark yellow-orange ball. You had to squeeze the ball to break it and then keep squeezing the bag of margarine to spread the color all through the margarine. We always fought to see who would get to do it because it was lots of fun! We did have milk delivery for many, many years.
There were no such things as
malls! If we needed to buy clothes, items for the house, toys, etc., we either
had to go to a few small stores on
The stores also had elevators that had elevator operators running them. You would get on and tell them what floor you wanted. The operator would announce each floor and tell what was on that floor. For instance, he would say, “Sixth floor, lady’s hats, coats, and shoes!”
When we would go to the shoe store for new shoes, we would put both the new shoes on and then climb up some steps and put our feet in an X-Ray machine. We could see all our foot bones! It would let us see where our toes were in the shoe to see if we have enough room to grow. They finally outlawed them because I guess they were dangerous if you used them too often! And every summer, my Mom would measure our bare feet by having us stand on plain white paper and outlining each foot. Then my Dad would take them downtown with him when he went to work and on his lunchtime, go to the shoe store and buy us each a pair of Keds for the summer. I remember we would put them on and then run and jump as high as we could!
I started the second grade at St. Peter’s School in New Richmond. The school had only two classrooms! The one we called the “little room” had the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades. Of course the “big room” had the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th. Each classroom had only one teacher, and they were nuns. They had a big job trying to teach four different grades at once. Anyway, I guess I had learned a lot in the first grade at Nativity and probably listened as the nun taught the other grades. So they let me take the 3rd and 4th grade in one year. Recess, of course, was my favorite part of school. We played the normal games, such as hopscotch, jump rope, hide & seek, and Red Rover. One game the ‘girls’ like to play was Movie Stars. You would think of a movie star and give the initials, say if it was male or female, and give clues if they needed them. In those days, they would show the movie stars and their names as the movies began so it was easy to know their names.
During my elementary years, we did not have ballpoint or flair pens. We had fountain pens. We had to dip them in bottles of ink and suck up the ink. We used ink blotters. But we always ended up with ink on our clothes!
The car we had when we first moved to New Richmond, I believe, was a black Ford with running boards. It was always a thrill when we got a ‘new’ car but for many years, they were used cars. At some point in time, my parents decided to order new cars from the Ford dealer in New Richmond. Before turn signals, we used hand signals: left arm hanging down (slow or stop); straight out (left turn); pointed upward (right turn). Which meant you drove a lot with your window down! My Mom wanted a convertible probably all of her life! She finally got one in the 50’s, a red Ford convertible. After realizing how hot the seats were in the summer and how cold they were in the winter, it was the last time she ever wanted a convertible!
At the gas station, you got your windshield cleaned, oil checked, and gas pumped, without asking, all for free, every time. And you didn't pay for air. My earliest recollection of the price of gas was 25¢ a gallon. Cigarettes were also 25¢ a pack and I am ashamed to say that I took up the habit at age 13. I used to smoke while I burned our garbage (side yard, down the hill). Here is how I got caught smoking: Tom (who was allowed to smoke) was trying to teach my Mom how to French inhale (you will take a drag of the cigarette, open your mouth, and inhale the smoke through your nose). She wasn’t catching on so I blurted out, “I’ll show you how to do it!” I didn’t get into too much trouble but after discussing the issue with my Dad, they said I could only smoke two cigarettes a day. Right! I did continue to smoke until 2001.
My Mom & Dad had annual weenie roasts that
evidently were lots of fun (we were too young to attend). But when we were in
high school, they let us have one too! I still can’t believe that those kids
made that long trip out to New Richmond from the
We had two pet chickens, Bill & Coo! Finally, one day my Mom had our friend, Nicky Wolf, cut off their heads and got them ready to be fried. There was the platter piled high with chicken parts. I picked up a leg and said, “I wonder if this is Bill or Coo.” That ended the meal. I guess they died in vain!
My childhood days in New Richmond were wonderful. I was carefree and happy. I was allowed to ride my bike to town and visit friends there. It was at least two miles away. I always stopped on the way home to pick wild flowers for my Mom. I remember playing board games at the kitchen table in the winter. You can see by the picture of our house that we could sled ride in our own front yard!
My 8th grade graduating class in 1954 had six
kids, four girls and two guys. Besides me, there was Mary Jo Wehman, Marilyn
Schaffer, Phyllis Wolf, Louie Cook and Robert Moak! And my first kiss was with
Albert Knight. He was my age but a grade lower. It happened on the playground
As a child, we used to spend
time at our Grandparent’s homes during the summer. One time during a stay with Nanny
and Grandpa in
In 1954, I started attending
How my Mom ever pulled this
trick off I’ll never know but she decided that my brother Tom and I should take
dancing lessons at Arthur Murray’s in downtown
I was lucky enough to be a teenager when rock and roll was born! Rock Around the Clock by Bill Haley and the Comets started it all. I liked pop music before this happened but I LOVED it after it happened. The jitterbug lessons came in handy. In 1956 (I think), I heard Elvis Presley for the first time singing Heartbreak Hotel. He had the sound of rhythm and blues and many people, including me, thought that he was a Negro (the proper term in those days). As you no doubt have heard, when he first appeared on television, they would not show him from the waist down, as his dancing was considered vulgar. But the teens loved him!
My parents became very good friends with George and Pauline Wehman. George was the choir master at St. Peter’s Church and his two daughters, Anita (Tom’s age) and Mary Jo (my age) both sang in the choir as did I. The four adults cooked up vacation plans and each vacation was unique and terribly fun! It was even fun listening to them plan the trips. Here is my best recollection when we went, where we went, and the highlights:
was also allowed to go on vacation one summer while I was in high school with
my friend’s family (Jeannie Enters). We went to
Chris was born on December 13, 1956. I used to tease my Mom by saying that they raised their babysitters first and then started on their family!
In my senior year, I was captain
of our volleyball team. For some
reason, the nuns arranged for the volleyball team to travel to
I had a few dates during my freshman year and then
started to date a boy named Charlie Yautz in the spring. We dated for three
years until he dumped me for another girl! By this time, I was friends with
Mary Hannig. Her family had moved to
One night, Hank & I were babysitting Chris. We were busy making out when all of a sudden Chris was tugging at Hank’s shirt. He was choking on hard candy! Hank saved him and it has been a running joke ever since.
I had graduated in May, 1958, and had just turned 17. I spent most of
that summer swimming at
Tom and Nancy Bennett got married on May 16, 1959. They had an apartment in Oakley and when we got married, we moved into the same apartment building.
Hank and I had a wonderful courtship and engagement. It is difficult to remember specifics but we enjoyed swimming, movies, dances, etc. One week before we moved from New Richmond to 710 Clough Pike, Hank came over with a box of candy. He never gave it to me. Just put it down and said it was for his friend’s mother. I figured he was just kidding so I opened it up. There, on top of a piece of chocolate candy, was an engagement ring! I put it on and gave him a huge kiss! While we were doing this, Chris, age 3, started eating the candy. Hank really never asked me to marry him! He was a man of few words. He actually was rather quiet and shy, believe it or not.
We moved to 710 Clough Pike in November, 1959. Poor Hank! He moved Tom and Nancy (who got married in May, 1959, from Oakley to our house in New Richmond. Then he moved all our furniture from New Richmond to Clough. I loved the house. It was beautiful and I had my own bedroom, at least for almost a year. My time at this home was spent planning our wedding!
Hank and I got married on Saturday, September 3, 1960!
We got married at St. Veronica’s Church in
Other than the flowers being
delivered late, everything went well at the wedding and reception. Chris
decided to swipe some icing off of the wedding cake. Off we went to the Pocono Mountains for our honeymoon and made it as far as
One of Hank’s favorite memories occurred on our way home on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Since there were no seat belts in those days, I was sitting backwards in the passenger seat chatting with my new husband. Hank saw that he was fast approaching a bird that he could not avoid hitting but he thought it would be funny not to tell me. WHAM! I thought I was dead but he was laughing so hard I knew I wasn’t.
We moved into a four-family apartment on Allendale in Oakley which happened to be the same building as Tom & Nancy had lived it. It was on the second floor and had a living room, kitchen, eat-in area, and one bedroom.
Our first year was busy with work and settling in together. Hank attended UC Evening College and most of the week didn’t come home until 10:00 PM. We enjoyed playing cards with our neighbors (and owners of the apartment, Lou & Pat Pappas.)
One Saturday night, we had another couple (John and Vicky Robb) over to play cards. Well we all got quite tipsy so we insisted that they spend the night. We flipped a coin and they got the mattress (which we moved to the living room) and we slept on the box springs in the bedroom. Hank had been drinking Bloody Marys the night before and had tossed his cookies in bed. I moved to the bottom of the bed. When he woke up, he saw the red stuff and thought he had killed me! Still didn’t stop him from drinking, though.
For many, many years, we would have Saturday night poker games at my parents or our house and sometimes other friends or relatives. We always played a limit (such as $5.00) and once your money was gone, you could play ‘on velvet’ which meant you could win a pot but you couldn’t bet or raise. In future years, we would stop playing if a good TV show was on. I especially remember in the 70’s watching Archie Bunker in All in the Family.
Hank had been working at Al Naish Mayflower in Oakley ever since I started to date him. He worked on the truck but then took a job in the office processing claims. Eventually he became a salesman and stayed with Naish until 1989, when he joined Brendamour Mayflower. Ironically, he started at Brendamour on January 29th, the same date that I started at Beech Acres in 1979 so we celebrated our work anniversaries on the same date!
In those days, you had to wait until you about two months pregnant before going to the doctor’s. When I found out I was pregnant, we visited both sets of parents on the pretense of returning Easter baskets. I whispered the news to Chris and also to Tom Hannig so they could announce the big news! I did have morning sickness for quite some time with this pregnancy.
It was during my early pregnancy that I decided that I did not want to be wearing maternity clothes and glasses so I got my first pair of contact lenses. One lens was replaced early after I broke it but that first pair lasted over 22 years. I think I got my money’s worth!
And then the most wonderful thing happened!
Brent Michael Hannig was born on November 3, 1961!
My obstetrician, Dr. Richard Bryant, happened to be the same doctor who delivered me! And he worked long enough to deliver all three of our children. Then he retired. In those days, they put you to sleep with ether and you stayed in the hospital for five days. When I was born, my Mom stayed for ten days.
What a wonderful thing, being a parent! The worst thing about it at that point was the night feedings. In March, 1962, Jack Paar had his last show as the Tonight Show host. I stayed up to watch it and Brent didn’t wake up during that time. I went to bed at 1:00 and Brent slept through the night. Hallelujah!
And then I found out I was pregnant for a second time, due (again) in November! We were already crowded in the one bedroom apartment so we found a wonderful two-family duplex at 598 Clough Pike and moved there in the summer of 1962.
Our newest home was a duplex and had a nice sized living
room, big eat-in kitchen, and two bedrooms. It was right up the road from my
parents. The lady on the other side of the duplex was Grandma Fisher. She was
the mother of Mr. Fisher who lived next door (we went to school with one of
their 12 children, Tina). Her grandson was Henry Fisher of Fisher homes. Since
we only owned one car and Hank went to evening college at the
Jill Christine Hannig was born on November 12, 1962!
Since I had been late delivering Brent, I thought I would be late this time, too. So I was very surprised when I started labor two weeks ahead of time. Thinking it was false, I waited and waited. We did have Brent picked up by Grandma Dell and Grandpa Henry. Around 11:00 pm, I tossed my cookies! Then I said to Hank, “I remember now that I threw up with Brent while I was in the delivery room!” Away we went! Jill was born just one hour after we arrived! Brent and Jill were born one year and nine days apart.
On July 15, 1963, Grandpa Herb died. It was the first close relative of mine that died but he was 78 years old and had lived a great life. I remember someone commenting at his funeral that although the circumstances were sad, it was the happiest funeral they had ever been to.
So I was busy with two babies for quite some time. We had two cribs, two high chairs, and two diaper pails, but twice the fun! Since Hank attended UC on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, he would not see the kids from Sunday night until Thursday night. As Brent and Jill got a little bigger, I remember playing school with them at their table and chairs. They learned their colors, shapes, letters and numbers. When Brent was 2 and Jill was 1, I was trying to teach Brent to talk. I would hold his face, look him square in the eye, and say, for instance, ‘truck.’ He would just look at me but Jill would say ‘truck.’ She hasn’t stopped talking since!
The assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, was the most depressing time I had experienced. I remember wondering how people who may have lost loved ones at the same time could possible stand it. At the grocery store that weekend, no one was even talking. And when Jack Ruby murdered Lee Harvey Oswald, the world seemed to have gone mad. When would the sadness end?
Before Valentine’s Day in
1964, Hank asked me what I wanted. I told him that I wanted an album by a new
group but I didn’t remember their name. The only thing I remembered was that it
was the greatest new sound I had heard in years and that one of the songs was
She Loves Me! Yes, it was the Beatles!
They were such a phenomenon. They even made the encyclopedia. When they made
their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show on a Sunday night in March,
1964, there were no crimes reported in
In September, 1964, we took
our first trip to
In early 1965, I discovered once again that I was pregnant. Time for a three-bedroom place! We decided it was time to buy our first home. We were lucky enough to find a brand new house in Summit Estates.
Our first home was new and had a living room, large kitchen-dining room combination, three bedrooms, and a one car garage. No basement. We eventually did convert most of the garage to a bedroom for Brent.
The first thing I remember about living in our new home was that the builders had laid sod in the front yard but only one strip by the house in the back yard. The rest was total mud! Before we finally had a lawn, Brent & Jill got pretty muddy! We moved into our new home in April and then:
Scott David Hannig was born August 10, 1965!
Although I was in labor, I did not go to the hospital until Jeopardy was over. And on our way there, we passed Mary and Seldon Reed, our neighbors, who were just coming home from the same hospital with their new daughter, Lisa. The day we brought Scott home from the hospital, he raised his head up in the bassinet.
Hank actually built a split-rail fence by chopping down trees from the woods across the street. It was an awesome fence. Neighborhood kids would sit on it waiting to be invited into our above-ground pool. We had that pool for quite a few years. I developed a plan with the neighbors—if I was going to be in the backyard swimming with the kids and they wanted company, I would turn our front porch light on. That meant, come on over! The mothers had to come too because I was not going to be the neighborhood babysitter. When the pool got crowded, I would call for an adult swim. It was great fun in those days!
When Brent was about five or six, he lost a tooth and put it under his pillow. The next morning, after he had retrieved the money that the tooth fairy had left him, he came running out shouting, “I saw the tooth fairy!” We asked what he looked like. Brent replied, “He had red hair, freckles, and glasses. I want to be a tooth fairy when I grow up!” Jill replied, “You can’t. You have to be born in a fairy family!”
We lived here for 12 years. Those 12 years were filled with all the fun of raising three wonderful children: first days of school, scouting, baseball teams, soccer, holidays, and everything else! We belonged to Summit Swim Club for quite a few years. We all swam and played tennis.
The men of Linderwood started playing on a softball team. They had a few sponsors including Bill Clary Signs and Ditch Witch, Mr. Gooch’s company. Hank was the manager and charged the players 10¢ for each time they got out. At the end of each year, they chipped in more money and we had a steak and potatoes cookout! We would make gag gifts for each player which was always the highlight of the night!
We bowled at King Pin Lanes on Beechmont for many seasons. We never
improved but we had fun. After couples’ bowling ended, Hank bowled with the
boys. He started a wonderful tradition. He suggested to his bowling buddies
that they use their bowling prize money to take the wives out to dinner. We did
that for a couple of years. Then he suggested we extend it to an overnight stay
at a local motel. We did that for a couple of years. It finally evolved into
our wonderful Memorial golf weekends. We went to state parks in
started kindergarten in 1967 but he
had to go to
On Valentines Day in 1968,
The kids always wanted a dog so bad that they even put it on my grocery list! So on the last day of school in 1972, Hank & I went to the dog pound to get a puppy. There was a litter of unknown origin mutts and we picked one. We so wanted to surprise them as they all came home from school together. That wasn’t the case! We got a phone call from the nurse to say that Scott was sick and needed to go home. He was in the 1st grade. I picked him up and he was happy with the puppy but I was afraid he would tell Brent and Jill before they even got in the house. But we pulled it off! The puppy was so active that the kids named her Frisky (later nicknamed The Foosk or The Fooz). My sister Sue came to see her that evening and Frisky was so worn out that she wouldn’t even raise her head up! She was one terrific dog and family pet. We had her until she was 16 years old. The story of her demise is later in my story.
Sue visited (and babysat) a lot and we played games. Trouble & Scrabble took up much of our time. When Hank would play, he would get to a certain place in the game and if he figured out that he couldn’t win, he would hit the board with his fist to send the tiles flying. Our win! We also used to play ping-pong on our kitchen table.
One of my life’s greatest thrills occurred on July 20, 1969. Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon. To me, the landing was much more exciting than the walk. Nothing like hearing those words, “The Eagle has landed!” What a relief.
In the early 70’s, I ended up in the hospital for two weeks with pneumonia. During my stay in the hospital, Grandma Gertie had a massive heart attack. Two days after I got home, Brent got his arm broken (really bad) by a kid who threw him down. We were a sorry pair but thanks to everyone’s help, we recovered nicely. Grandma Gertie stayed at a nursing home for a while and then returned to SEM Manor.
In August, 1973, we got
invited to appear in the TV Show, The
Partridge Family! Aunt Dot (Murphy) was the Treasurer and a Vice President
of Taft Broadcasting (WKRC) and made this offer to us. We had our choice of
spending two days at
It was during the early 70’s that I began doing needlework! I learned how to do counted-cross stitch, crocheting, macramé, and my favorite, needlepoint. There is an album of my handiwork but here are some of the items I made:
Ø Counted-cross stitch: Family members, especially the parents.
Ø Crocheting: I made one large afghan (mostly orange and brown).
Ø Macramé: A large wall hanging with the name Hannig in it, a window covering for our back door made of thin, orange fiber and seasonal wall hangings where you could change the flower and ribbon.
Ø Needlepoint: A tennis racket cover that said, “Have
Balls, Will Travel,” a toss pillow, and for each of our children, I needle
pointed the church where they were married and their first homes. I made one of
my Mom & Dad’s house on Clough Pike and our house on
We took a four-day vacation to the Smoky Mountains in June of 1968. While there, I purchased a wooden bowl and wooden fruit. It was the most extravagant purchase I had ever made but I sure did love the way they looked on my dining room table!
In June of 1970, we took the
kids on their first visit to
I’m not sure when this
tradition started, but it sure was fun! My Mom & Dad would provide breakfast in the park! We started out
On June 27, 1975, Nanny died. On November 2 of that same year, Grandma Gertie died. They both had been widows and for all those years. My parents, we, and others would pick them up to bring them to our homes for holidays and celebrations. Grandpa Herb and Grandma Gertie had celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 1959. Nanny and Grandpa didn’t have a celebration on their 50th in 1965 because my Mom told me they had to get married so they just never celebrated. Sorry, but I thought it was pretty funny that my grandparents had to get married!
In the mid-70’s, we went to
In 1976, we had a
In the winter of 1976, Frisky met the Laube’s dog, Whiffles, and became a mother to two females and four males. She delivered her litter of puppies at the end of our hallway. They were adorable. We sold them for $5.00 each and some of our friends and neighbors bought them.
Our two-story house on Citadel was beautiful! It had four bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, living room, dining room, family room, kitchen, basement, two-car garage and a deck. We were in heaven. This house was only a block and a half away from Linderwood. I wanted to stay in Summit Estates because the kids could walk to the swim club, the school playground, the mall, and to many of their friends’ houses.
At some point in the late 70’s or early 80’s, I took up golf. Hank was kind and patient enough to teach me. I have been in love with the game ever since. I always play ‘loose’ since I never play for money and only played in a league twice. The men played golf once a month but every few months, we played as couples that would include my Mom and Dad, the Gooches, Joneses, the Schneiders and the Frietags. One Sunday, Hank called the golf course to cancel a foursome for the men’s group and I said, “Don’t cancel it; the wives will fill the spot.” I thought they could use us to fill in so they wouldn’t have to pay for those who didn’t show up. To make a long story short, Hank made the decision to always let the girls play in the men’s league. The three other couples we have been playing with for many years now are the Gooches, the Jones, and the Myricks. We start off meeting for breakfast at Frisch’s and end the day having dinner at a local restaurant. I hope I can play until I’m too old to move!
One Tuesday morning in
January, 1979, I woke up and wondered what I was going to do all day. The day
before I had cleaned the house and did the laundry so I was at a loss as to how
to spend my day. Up until this day, I had always kept myself very busy,
especially with the three kids. But they were in high school and middle school
and when they would come home from school, they would change their clothes, be
out the door until dinner time, be busy in the evening, and then off to bed.
So, I asked Hank if he thought it would be okay for me to work part time (to me
that meant maybe Tuesdays and Thursdays since I could keep busy the other
days). I put my application in at some banks thinking that I could work close
by. I did not want to work downtown again. I saw an ad in the Forest Hills
Journal for a position at a social service agency. I called the number. It
happened to be the General Protestant Orphan Home (later the name Beech Acres was added) at
Jill met Mike Kijinski at St. Bernadette’s baseball field where he and his friend Dave Williams were playing. Jill went with her friend Jenny who was dating Dave. Jill had dated Denny Easter (whose family also lived on Citadel) for three years. Historical note: On December 3, 1979, Jill and Denny attended the tragic Who Concert. They were not hurt but 11 people died that night.
We were all very pleased with
Jill’s new beau! On May 22, 1982, Jill
and Mike got married at St. Bernadette’s in Amelia! More traditions were
born. The first one was that I bought a blank book. Each of us wrote our
thoughts and memories and even added pictures for Jill. The second tradition
was breakfast for the immediate family at a restaurant and this book was
presented to the child getting married at breakfast. I hope that these
traditions continue. Their reception was at the VFW on
In February, 1983, Brent,
Scott, Hank & I went to
In early January, 1984, I was facing three surgeries in a span of one year. I had a hysterectomy the first week in January and was off work for six weeks. In June, I had a subcutaneous mastectomy and in January, 1985, I had breast implants. I put this information in here for family medical history. I did not have cancer but had pre-cancer cells and 7 out of the 10 warning signs of cancer. I had previously had three surgeries to remove lumps so it made sense to just remove the insides! Sue had already had a hysterectomy and mastectomy due to cancer. We used to tease my Mom that she had four sons! I will list Hank’s medical history later.
I had just gotten home from the hospital a few days before January 15, 1984. We got a phone call Sunday morning with the news that Grandpa Henry (Hank’s Dad) had been taken to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. He died that day. The saddest part for me was that I was unable to attend the layout or the funeral due to my recent surgery. We did have everyone over to our home after the burial but I believe the grieving process is helped by attending funerals.
Hank and I took a trip in
August, 1984 to
Our 25th anniversary (1985) was in September and we went to
Scott started to date Tammy Quinn in February, 1986. He was at Airhart’s Bar where he had worked. According to Tammy, he was hitting on her sister, Julie. When she told him she was getting married in May, he turned around and started talking to Tammy. She later told me she liked him because he was a gentleman. Scott? Gentleman? Just kidding! He is indeed!
That June, Scott moved up to
Zak Kijinski was born on July 10, 1986!
On July 9th, Jill
went to the obstetrician for a checkup. She said she would call when she got
home. On that very same day, Scott was flying down from
Here are two stories that I remember about Zak when he was 2. He fell in his kitchen and started crying. Jill asked what was wrong. He cried, “I dropped myself!” (I do think that he actually had fallen on his knees on purpose but got hurt in the process). The second story is his description of those plastic Nativity scenes. He called them ‘glowing God sets!’ There is one more story from that age (which is actually my favorite) that will have to be handed down orally. It involves the conversation between Zak and his Mom, Jill that took place in their bathroom.
After Scott went to
They did have something fun
happen while they lived in
We again went to
In August, 1987, my parents
were celebrating their 50th
wedding anniversary. Their festivities happened on Friday, August 28th.
They renewed their wedding vows at
The week before the picnic was eventful! One morning, Brent came downstairs and said, “You need to do something about Frisky. She wet my bed last night.” Knowing that our dog was 16 years old, had a very bad skin condition (she had scratched or bitten off any fur within her reach), and didn’t seem to be very comfortable, we made the decision to have her put to sleep. I scheduled the appointment for that afternoon. Brent did not want to go with us but he wanted to dig the hole in the backyard so we could bury her there. Hank and I took her to the vet’s. Hank did not want to be in the room when they put her to sleep but I did. I held her while they injected her because I wanted her to be comfortable and not afraid. Once the drugs took effect and she went limp, I could not hold her and Hank came in and took her. We went home and buried her in our backyard. It was a very sad occasion. However, the next morning brought a new twist. Brent came downstairs and announced, “Frisky didn’t wet my bed, my waterbed had a leak!” Before Hank and Brent got too upset, I told them that right before we took Frisky to the vet’s the day before, I had taken her outside to play in the backyard. I followed her as she moseyed out to the front and then she walked right into the street! So the time was right even though the reason may have been wrong. When I tell people this story, they express sadness before I tell them the rest of the story!
In the late 80’s, Hank started a nice tradition with Zak, and eventually with all of our four other grandsons. He took the boys to Terry Owens to get their haircuts and we even have all their first haircuts on tape. They usually ended up buying Slushies and bubble gum. It has been a wonderful male-bonding tradition. Terry has cut hair at quite a few different locations and Hank has followed him for 26 years. Wes even got his first haircut at Terry’s home.
In September, 1988, we took
our first of many trips to
Mom & Dad
Jones, Gooches, Gerhardsteins
Jones, Gooches, Gerhardsteins + Myricks
Can’t remember name
Jones, Gooches, Myricks
Jones, Gooches, Myricks
Jones & Gooches
Katie Nicole was born on August 4, 1989!
Jill allowed me to be in the delivery room when Katie was born. What an experience! Katie was adorable! She shared her birthday with Brian Buening (born a few hours earlier) and his Dad, Brad. Katie changed her name to Stephanie when she was about 3. (This was during the same time we videotaped her saying to Zak, “I’ll chop your head off!”) I did not find out until she was a teenager that Stephanie was the character on Full House, one of her favorite TV Shows.
In September, 1989, we
We have had two Christmases for a very long time.
Usually the Saturday before Christmas the gang from
We have had many, many outings at our home over the years. We host the adult kids’ birthday dinners, Super Bowl Sundays, Mother’s Day/Hank’s birthday picnics, the Buening golf outing dinner, Thanksgiving, and two Christmases. In the warmer weather, the best pastime for most of the family is playing whiffle ball! It’s incredibly competitive. And our Trivial Pursuit games are legendary, thanks to Scott!
In the early 90’s, Hank’s sister Barb was getting divorced from her second husband, John Henry. We invited her and Kerry, who was 16 at the time, to move in with us. Kerry eventually moved in with his Dad, Bill, and Barb moved out two years later after she had met Ron Rose. Poor Hank didn’t stand a chance with two women in the house! One of my favorite memories was sharing Skyline Chili Dip with Barb as an evening snack!
In 1990, Brent met Kindra Miller. They both worked for
DuBois Chemical and had joined a co-ed softball team. Brent was playing second
base and Kindra was heading out to left field when Brent said, “Cover my ass!”
And she’s been doing it ever since! They were married on May 4, 1991. Their wedding was in
Joseph Patrick Hannig was born on September 27, 1992!
When Joey was born, he got his collarbone broken during delivery. He stayed in intensive care for a while and then had visiting nurses. He had the biggest blue eyes! My Mom was in the delivery room with Tammy and felt honored.
Before Joey turned 3, he could name all the presidents and could hit a whiffle ball a mile! One of my favorite videos is of Joey singing “That’s why the lady is a tramp” along with Frank Sinatra.
Wesley Michael Hannig was born on January 16, 1993!
There were about a dozen
In October, 1994, we enjoyed
a trip to
Daniel Jack Hannig was born on October 22, 1994!
We headed straight from Destin to the hospital instead of going home that day. I felt sad that his was the only birth we missed. Daniel is one strong kid! He loves sports and has played baseball, soccer and hockey. He has a great sense of humor and enjoys practical jokes.
William Henry Hannig was born on July 25, 1996!
Hank took me up to the
On September 30, 1996, I
checked our PowerBall Lottery ticket
and discovered that we had five of the numbers but not the PowerBall number. I
thought it would be worth about $1,000.00 because that is what the Ohio Lottery
paid. I told Hank what we had and he said, “That’s worth $100,000.00! We went to breakfast at Perkins to celebrate after
calling all the kids. The next day (Monday), I went to work as did Hank. He was
going to stop where he bought the ticket and get the paperwork to cash in the
ticket. He called me at work to tell me that we had to go to
Sometime in the late 90’s,
On Sunday, March 15, 1998,
Scott and Tammy organized an ice skating party for the whole family. Even my
parents were there. I put on skates and discovered that the ice seemed very wet
and slippery instead of extra cold and dry. I held onto the wall and worked my
way around about one fourth of the rink. I got brave and left go and that was my
big mistake! My feet flew out in front of me and I fell backwards and hit my
head. My right leg flew over my left leg and therein was the problem! I thought
I had broken my ankle. Everyone told
me to just stay there and it ended up that I lay on that ice for about 45
minutes. An ambulance finally came and took me to a hospital. Evidently one
bone broke through the skin at the ankle and another bone just broke. They took
me by ambulance to Jewish Hospital in
In 1999, we had our first
My Mom got ill in December, 2000, and spent time in
In July, 2001, I got the
opportunity of a lifetime from Jill. She and five of her co-workers had planned
a trip to
At the end of July, 2001, Hank and I both quit smoking cigarettes. Finally!
During Spring break in 2002, we went with Jill, Mike, Zak & Katie to Disney World. There is an album with story and pictures and it was one of the best vacations I have ever had.
It was quite wonderful having another granddaughter and even Katie thought so. Tammy’s Mom was in the delivery room with her. Her Dad and I (plus Joe and Will) were at the hospital when Julia was born. Scott drove Joe, Will, and I home so I could keep them for a few days.
at his home after Mom died. However, he fell twice within a two-day period so
it was time to find an alternative place for him to live. He naturally didn’t
want to leave his home. His friend, Don Foster, lived at Eastgate Retirement Village and Dad always said he liked that place
because it didn’t have an odor. Chris and I checked it out and luckily, there
was a vacant apartment right next door to his friend Don. He reluctantly moved
in September, 2003. When he asked about his van being brought over so he could
drive, we told him that they provided transportation and we would take him
anywhere he needed to go. He sold his van to Scott and Tammy. Dad finally
admitted that although it wasn’t his home, he was very comfortable there. He
only lived there until April, 2004 because he got ill and went to the hospital.
From there he went to
In 2004, we invited the kids
and grandkids to go to
In September, 2004, my neighbor, Gloria Ann Castleman, and I got to see President George Bush in person because Zak had been working with Congressman Rob Portman. What an awesome experience!
I worked at Beech Acres until I retired in January, 2005. After being in the secretarial pool and fundraising department for two years, I moved over to the foster care department with Rick Sorg as my supervisor. I worked in that capacity for about 15 years. While I was still in that department, I began doing IT (Information Technology) work, first as a team member designed to start our first network in the early 90’s, and then as a department of one! I ended my tenure at Beech Acres doing ‘computer work’ as I liked to call it. My favorite part of the job was computer training. I loved seeing people’s eyes light up when they learned something new. I worked hard to learn about Microsoft Office programs and took their tests to receive my MOUS (Microsoft Office User Specialist) certificates in Word (word processing), Excel (spreadsheets), and Outlook (e-mail). I answered Help Desk questions, kept our internal web site up-to-date, set up new computers, and was the IT office manager. I contracted with an online computer training company as another way for staff to be trained. Beech Acres was the greatest place to work. The environment was friendly, the benefits were awesome, the people were great, and I truly could not have found a nicer place to work.
Retirement! January 15, 2005! They had a nice party for me on my last day. In attendance were the current staff and my family members. I received a beautiful watch (that I had picked out) plus many gifts, flowers, cards, and well-wishes. We carried on the party at our house and had invited our friends and neighbors. My kids gave me a membership to Coney Island Sunlite Pool! It was hard to believe that I didn’t have to get up at 5:30 on Monday morning but I managed. I had so many projects and tasks to do that time just flew by. When spring and summer came, I started to cut the lawn myself (Zak used to do it) and cancelled our lawn service. I spread my own fertilizer! I laid by the pool at Coney! I played golf every Monday evening! I did what I wanted to do!
On July 4, 2005, I flew to
In the fall of 2005, Zak taught me how to create a website. I named it BuHaLe (BUening-HAnnig-LEvison), the children of Sis and Tuck Buening. I, in turn, taught Joe and Wes how to create websites and they now both have their own.
Hank’s list of medical issues included being a diabetic, having his gall bladder removed in 1988, having one kidney removed in 2002 due to cancer, having bladder cancer, face cancer, cataract eye surgery, sleep apnea, and other normal illnesses.
Hank retired on 8/31/06 and we had his retirement celebration on September 2, 2006 with family and friends. I think he adapted quickly to retirement! We now are just enjoying each other’s company, doing what we want to do when we want to do it!
We plan to take a long trip out west in the spring of 2007 and
To be continued…