Wednesday, June 21, 2000

Lunch with Cliff

Family from all over makes Cincinnati adopted hometown

        The Moore family always wanted to find a place they could call home.

        They've lived all over the world.

        They finally found what they were looking for in Cincinnati, their adopted hometown.

        In the Queen City, the Moores get together for the little things in life, things lifelong Cincinnatians sometimes take for granted, things that bring families together and keep them close.

(Gary Landers photo)
| ZOOM |
        Brothers Kevin and Royal III can decide on the spur of the moment to take their dad, Royal Jr., to a Reds game. The brothers, their dad and mom, Pat, helped sister Karen move into her new house in Maineville. Their families gather for birthdays. And they go out once a week to sightsee and eat lunch.

        Lunch is where I come in. I joined the Moores during a recent midday meal for a “Lunch with Cliff.” That's where I treat people to food at noontime in exchange for hearing what's on their minds.

        The Moores spent much of their weekly lunch hour reinforcing what I already know — but never tire of hearing. Cincinnati is a nice, comfortable place to live, easy on families and rich in history.

        Before lunch, they visited Fountain Square and City Hall after viewing Cincinnati from the Carew Tower's observation deck.

        For lunch, they chose Mecklenburg Gardens, the Corryville restaurant upholding Cincinnati's German heritage by lovingly maintaining the city's oldest beer garden.

        Under a sunbeam-dappled canopy of grapevines, family members took turns telling me how they have become wrapped up in Cincinnati. Like the vines overhead, the city has reached out and wound its tendrils around their hearts.

        “You feel it when you are northbound on the interstate and rounding the bend,” said Karen, a compensation manager for LensCrafters. “There's something about the skyline that just says home.

        “The people here know how to be neighbors,” she added. “They are honest, friendly and helpful. They're not consumed by their careers. Families come first.”

        Her family unanimously seconded her notions. This came as a surprise considering the group's combined former mailing addresses.

        Royal Jr. is a retired Marine general. Throughout his years in the service, new assignments kept him and his family on the move, from Pasadena and Honolulu to North Carolina, Kansas and Washington, D.C. War took him to Vietnam and the Persian Gulf. Now, he and Pat divide their time between an island off Washington state and Union, Ky.

        The training consultant careers of Royal III and his wife, Beth, took them to Seoul, Moscow and Tokyo before they settled in Loveland.

        Karen has worked in Virginia. Kevin — also a Union, Ky., resident and training consultant — picked up paychecks in Florida, the Caribbean and South America.

        “I went to a Lee Greenwood concert once,” Royal III recalled. “He asked where everyone was from. Everyone shouted out their hometowns.”

        Everyone, that is, except Royal III. “I didn't have a place I felt was my hometown.”

        Until now.

        To him, Cincinnati is that place. Adjusting a Reds cap as he spoke, Royal III told about leaving Moscow to work in the Queen City in 1995. He said he “loves the town, the Reds and the people.” He loves the area so much, he persuaded his family to move here.

        After traveling around the world, Royal III is “here to stay.” No reason to move when you are surrounded by the people you love in the place you call home.

        Columnist Cliff Radel can be reached at 768-8379; fax 768-8340.


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