News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Opinion

June 13, 2014

RONN MOTT: Looking back on yet another birthday

TERRE HAUTE — I have a birthday this week. And, I suppose that like some of you, I tend to look back over the lifespan to reflect on how it has been going.

I actually have a pretty good memory of those pre-school years and things that occurred to me, happened to me, and the elements of my home and where I lived.

The year I was born, Time Magazine named Adolph Hitler its Man of the Year. After all, he had turned Germany’s economy around, the people were prospering and the well-clad members of his paramilitary organizations, the SA and the SS, were marching in the streets of Berlin proclaiming future greatness. It would be later that any of us heard about the death camps and the treatments of the Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the deeply religious.

I guess I was a happy child. We had a Beagle hound called “Queenie.” Queenie had puppies in the middle of winter, and my dad carried bottles of hot water to the barn and covered the young dogs in straw and warm bottles. I was too young to help, but I remember the incident very well.

Later that year, another boy from the Newport neighborhood and I decided to give the puppies a bath. We were about three-and-a-half years old and did not know what we were doing. We wiped out about half of the litter. I guess the terribly young age of the two of us kept us from being severely punished.

When I learned I had been responsible for killing the little dogs, I cried for about a week.

There were always some animals around, a milk cow and a couple of young goats my dad had promised to keep for someone. One of them didn’t like me grabbing his young horns and pushed me up against a fence and began to pummel me. When I was asked about the incident, I said, “Damned old goat butt me.” The gravity of profanity and the wisdom of an almost 4-year-old who, curiously, knew how to make people laugh, kept the questions coming.

I never asked why, but the two goats ended up at my grandparents’ farm. I didn’t miss them, but I was asked about the incident many times after that, and I never did learn, or understand, people were asking about it to hear my mild profanity and explanation.

My father, like many Americans, knew war was going to happen, and he decided to leave his hometown of Newport and move my mother and me to Clinton. My mother had many sisters living there and Dad’s thinking was that if he had to go to war, it would be a good place for me, my mother and the child she was expecting sometime late in the summer of 1941. (That was my brother, Gary, who arrived on schedule.)

Up the street from my house in Clinton were two or three very large empty lots, and that area was an automatic playground for little kids. The Shannon family — father, mother and three boys — lived in the block north of me. One of the boys was my age, and we became fast friends. His name is Larry Shannon, and it was really fun to have someone my own age to play cowboys with but, later, war would become our favorite game. I’m happy to report Larry and I are still friends.

Those blocks of South Eighth, South Seventh, and South Sixth streets were full of children. In the empty lot behind the house across the street from where I lived was a makeshift baseball diamond, and since the automobile traffic was extremely slight, the street at adjacent places was almost always a playground. My dad was hitting flies and grounders to the wood-be baseball players, and other activity was going on as well. My mother took time to count the amount of kids in the street, yard and adjacent lot. She counted 28. There was no television, of course, but we had very little opportunity to be bored and to find ourselves with nothing to do.

So, this week of another birthday, I remember those youthful enterprises and fun times with fond memories, and I didn’t measure my friends by those who wrote to me on Facebook or some other device. Our counting was done by people who lived near to us and participated in the activities we conjured up. Happy Birthday to all of those who had a part in my growing up in the south end of Clinton.

 Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Readers’ Forum: July 25, 2014

    July 24, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: The Czar of Russia

    If you are expecting Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Republic, to react to the crisis in the Ukraine as an ordinary elected official, think again. Even though Putin is the President of the Russian Republic, this is not the job he wants. Putin also doesn’t want to be the chairman of a newly resurrected Communist Party in Russia. No, what he wants is to be the czar of a greater Russia.

    July 24, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: July 24, 2014

    • Clinic will expand basic health access
    • Misunderstanding truth about Islam

    July 23, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Work program needs industry buy-in

    Good help is hard to find. That’s essentially what Indiana companies have insisted for several years. The state struggles with a “skills gap,” the firms explain. They need employees, but can’t find enough — or in some cases, any — qualified Hoosiers. Businesses say too few applicants possess the “soft skills,” such as showing up for work on time or being able to effectively communicate with co-workers.

    July 22, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: July 23, 2014

    July 22, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Dragonfly

    The other morning I was moving the canister that holds our recycling material out to the curb when I saw a strange sight. What I saw was a dragonfly fighting with a bee.

    July 22, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: News about reality, not affirmation

    The public’s trust in the news media keeps dwindling. At the same time, Americans’ political polarization keeps increasing.

    July 21, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Chickens as pets always turned out same way

    I suppose many of us who grew up on farms or in small towns adopted unusual pets. I had a fondness for chickens. My folks always kept a few chickens, not only to fry or roast, but also for the eggs.

    July 21, 2014

  • Readers’ forum: July 22, 2014

    • Supt. Ritz has right to govern
    • A tribute to a teacher
    • Rep. Pelosi shows ‘bungling idiocy’

    July 21, 2014

  • Readers’ forum: July 21, 2014

    • Theater brings the joy of music
    • Drawing closer to the spirit
    • Give some space to heterosexuals

    July 20, 2014

  • LovellEdwards.JPG MARK BENNETT: Former Terre Hautean Jim Lovell stood ready as Neil Armstrong’s backup on Apollo 11

    The words “Apollo 11” stir optimism in me.
    I was an elementary school kid growing up in Vigo County when Neil Armstrong put the first footprint on the moon on July 20, 1969. So much seemed possible

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo 4 Stories

  • EDITORIAL: Vigo Jail study essential to determine strategy

    It comes as encouraging news that the Vigo County Council might include in its 2015 budget significant funding for an expert and neutral study of what can be done to replace or enhance the existing county jail.

    July 20, 2014

  • Readers’ forum: July 20, 2014

    • ‘Hotel Indiana’ has a sour tune

    • Kind words about the newspaper

    • Some questions about RTL video

    • No mercy for cop killers

    • Crack down on gun violence

    • Anti-Dem tirades mask GOP failures

    • Important day for participants

    • Appreciation for support

    July 20, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Solve our border crisis

    More than 60,000 unaccompanied alien children — mostly from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador — have been apprehended on America’s southern border during this fiscal year.

    July 20, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: World Cup over, but it was fun

    After many weeks and many games, the World Cup is over. While the world calls it “futbol,” only we in North America play another brand of football. It is very simple to understand why this is the world’s favorite game … all it takes is an empty lot, a round soccer ball, and you can get a futbol game together.

    July 18, 2014

  • FLASHPOINT: Living in peaceful communities requires collaboration

    Hoosiers have the right to live in peace. Yet, too many of our friends and neighbors are currently living in fear.

    July 18, 2014

  • Flashpoint: Will Gov. Pence be true to his word?

    This is written in response to recent remarks made by State Board of Education members.

    July 17, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: July 18, 2014

    July 17, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Presidential Ambush

    No wild-west ambush, either real or fiction, has been as successful as the ambush on President Barack Obama.

    July 17, 2014

  • READERS’ FORUM: July 17, 2014

    • Civil rights and burning cities

    • Quality service from Baesler’s

    July 16, 2014

  • FLAHSPOINT: Supt. Glenda Ritz ‘creating conflict’

    It has been my pleasure for the past year to serve as the newest member of the Indiana State Board of Education. I bring a fresh perspective to the board as an attorney and business executive who served as Director of Economic Development under former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson and President of the Indy Partnership, a regional economic development organization charged with recruiting new companies to our state.

    July 16, 2014

  • tstribunestar Editorial: Continuing the standard

    U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett has raised the profile of his federally appointed position more than any individual to hold the job in decades. From the start, he was a man on a mission, and often that mission was focused on rooting out corruption, maintaining integrity in government and pursuing those who violated the public trust.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Readers’ Forum: July 16, 2014

    • The truth about property taxes

    July 15, 2014

  • Letter from BOE member: Superintendent Ritz ‘creating conflict’

    It has been my pleasure for the past year to serve as the newest member of the Indiana State Board of Education. I bring a fresh perspective to the board as an attorney and business executive who served as Director of Economic Development under former Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson and President of the Indy Partnership, a regional economic development organization charged with recruiting new companies to our state.

    July 15, 2014

  • RONN MOTT: Collett Park

    Saturday at the Park, Collett Park, another beautiful wedding was held. They looked so nice in the warm weather with the Gazebo acting as church sanctuary, I would almost be tempted myself to do it again, and do it outdoors at the Park. No, no, no, not again, even as pretty as it is in the Park on a nice July Saturday.

    July 15, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: July 15, 2014

    • Are Fed policies hurting America?

    • Staying true to code of respect

    July 14, 2014

  • LIZ CIANCONE: Lots we did not have in those good ol’ days

    In my thankful moments, I’m glad I was not my grandmother’s daughter. I would miss the modern conveniences.

    July 14, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Legal marriages should be honored

    An eager and probably nervous couple stands before a minister or a judge or a county clerk and exchanges vows, accepting the legal, moral and ethical obligations of a marriage.

    July 13, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum: July 14, 2014

    • Where did the 61 cents go?

    July 13, 2014

  • wefight.jpg MARK BENNETT: Filmmaker captures late uncle’s walk through illness and into ‘whatever is next’

    Paul Fleschner sensed a remarkable strength as he filmed his beloved uncle one final time.

    July 12, 2014 2 Photos

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine Today in History for July 25th 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee
NDN Video
What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot Samsung Pre-Trolls The IPhone 6 With New Ad
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity