Remembering my father on this Father’s Day, 2017.
Lorain, Ohio is my hometown, and I lived there until 1981 when I moved about 40 miles to the East. I still visit Lorain, but now most of the time it is to visit Elmwood Cemetery and Calvary Cemetery which sit across the street from each other. That is because so many of my family members from both my father’s and mother’s side are buried in these cemeteries.
I was fortunate to have lived my childhood on Lorain’s East Side. We were only about a block away from the grand bascule bridge that spans the Black River. It opened in 1940, which was a “bit before my time.” I have walked over it several times in my life to go downtown or to Lorain High School. On the western end of the bascule bridge, which is the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge , is the “Broadway Building.” It is sadly, however, a deteriorating building now and its fate is in jeopardy. But it is still standing and is considered to be the anchor building on Lorain’s downtown street.
Lorain has several unique landmarks: the Palace Theater, Lakeview Park, and the harbor’s “Jewel of the Port”, the historic Lorain Lighthouse which will turn 100 years old on June 30th, 2017; and remains one of Lorain’s most recognizable landmarks.
I want to take this opportunity to personally thank all of the individuals and organizations that have volunteered and worked to help keep the Lorain Lighthouse in good repair. Thanks to them it still stands straight and tall on the end of the long jagged rock pier that for so long has supported it.
I hold dear my early connections with Lorain’s Lighthouse both through sight and sound. I feel now is an appropriate time to share my memories with others.
Back in July of 1965, when I was a 17 year old teenager, I gathered up my courage to send a letter to the Lorain Journal when I learned that the beloved Lorain Lighthouse might be demolished.
My parents, Harry and Virginia (Zagorsky) Limes, had also encouraged me to write how I felt about the long time landmark Lorain Lighthouse that was part of our lives in a special way. You see it was a constant companion for us while out Perch fishing in our small outboard motor boat on Lake Erie, anchored just outside the harbor and in front of this beautiful beacon of light — which also had I swear had the world’s loudest foghorn that chased us away when the fog rolled in! We could even hear that foghorn from our house on Arizona and East Erie Avenues.
So, I wrote out all of my hopes and fears for the Lorain Lighthouse and sent in my letter with a quiet prayer that Lord willing it would be good enough to print.
So, as you can imagine I was quite pleased on July 20th when I opened up and read the Lorain Journal newspaper and saw that, indeed, my letter to the editor was published! I remember well my agonizing over every word I chose or re-wrote but now I realize that I made an error; so I must admit to it! When I composed my letter the age of the Lorain Lighthouse was 48 years and not 56 years like I had thought. I cannot remember now, but I’m sure there must have been a good reason why I thought the lighthouse was built earlier than it actually was. So, I hope I can be forgiven for my mistake. It was my overriding hope that my letter would add a strong show of support from my parents and me for fighting to save the lighthouse; and I feel it accomplished that. Fortunately, many folks stepped up in those early years and later others carried on with their efforts that continue today.
Now, I can hardly believe it has been 52 since I wrote what was my first letter to a newspaper, but I’ve always been glad that I did. The experience gave me enough confidence to keep writing.
Happy Birthday Lorain Lighthouse! If my parents were here they would extend their birthday day wishes for you to stand another 100 years; or longer.
Lorain Lighthouse photographs and artifacts from my collection:
It has been an interesting experience to have some of my early childhood photographs colorized. Afterward, adding a frame around each one with a description to identify the important information about the photograph is another step in this process I’ve learned.
I has been heartwarming to have a new version of my childhood photographs that I am growing to like more than I thought I would — after viewing only the original black and white versions for so many years.
Scanning original photographs to save & share, and even improve them brings to us a renewed sense of their importance in preserving the history of our lives and the changing times we relive through them.