Monday, August 27, 2001

Strong feelings for heroes

        Be careful when you open your voice mail. Fans boo loudly when someone messes with their heroes.

        “Mistreat heroes and you mistreat history.” — Dan James, West Chester.

        “Cincinnati always talks about honoring its heroes. But never does. Talk is cheap. So's this city!” — Jimmy Williams, Walnut Hills.

        “The Chicago Symphony has archives with items in display cases and thick files on orchestra members. People can come in and use them. We need something like that in Cincinnati. Let me add: Good juxtaposition of Rijo and Schippers.” — Craig Hartje, Anderson Township.

        These readers called with comments on my column about missed opportunities with local heroes, pitcher Jose Rijo and conductor Thomas Schippers.

        The Reds could have done more to capitalize on Jose Rijo's amazing comeback after six years on the sidelines.

        For decades, the musical treasures of Thomas Schippers were not properly cared for or displayed. Now, some valuable items belonging to the late Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra maestro are beyond repair.

        “When Jose Rijo came back, he should have been welcomed with fireworks and a fanfare.” — Al Bennett, Price Hill.

        “To let irreplaceable items that belonged to a star like Thomas Schippers turn into crumbling bits of paper is a sin.” — S.J. Carr, Delhi Township.

        “The way the Reds "welcomed' Jose Rijo back,” noted Covington's Hal Chase, “was like making dinner guests sneak in your back door.”

Pause that refreshes

        Coca-Cola memorabilia take all shapes and sizes. Just ask Ed Kleier. Coke-related items numbering in the thousands are in the collection of the retired employee of Cincinnati's Coca-Cola Bottling Company. His Northern Kentucky home and outbuildings are jammed with rare artifacts.

        Ed starred in my column about the “World of Coca-Cola on Tour” exhibit at the Cincinnati Museum Center in Union Terminal.

        Readers called to talk about their prized Coke collectibles.

        “A big Coca-Cola wall clock hangs in my house from the Gun Club of Harrison, Ohio. Must be 40-50 years old.” — Mildred Hettel, Covedale.

        “I found a red Coca-Cola picnic basket in my attic. It's in perfect shape. And very neat. But it can't hold much. It's made out of cardboard.” — Lois Roddy, Madeira.

        Yvonne Williams' late husband, Wesley, served as the personnel director at Cincinnati's Coke plant. Calling from her Mount Washington home, she mentioned “a red radio in the shape of a miniature Coca-Cola cooler. My husband received that and kept it on his desk at the plant. He left it there when he retired. He felt it belonged to the office. People thought that way when the Mashburn family owned the company. Back then, everyone at the plant was treated like a member of the family.”

Boycott blues

        Calls continue to come in about a column I wrote in late July detailing my plans to boycott the proposed boycott of Cincinnati.

        Of 106 responses received, the following are the best:

        “Your idea to boycott the boycott was the greatest column ever written in The Enquirer.” — Al Davis, Westwood.

        “That piece was the dumbest column The Enquirer ever published. — T.J. Everett, Price Hill.

        Past columns at


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- RADEL: Strong feelings for heroes
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