Saturday, January 12, 2002

Happy times in Hamilton

        Two nice things happened in Hamilton this week: President Bush visited, and Reds broadcaster Joe Nuxhall finally received the key to the city that reveres him. Both events were long overdue.

        The last time a president was in Hamilton was in 1952. And, beginning in 1944, when he made baseball history by pitching for the Reds as a 15-year-old from Hamilton High, Mr. Nuxhall has done so much for the community I grew up in and continue to call home.

        Although the former Hamilton resident has lived in Fairfield for years, Hamilton still claims him as a native son and perpetuates the Nuxhall mythology. Wisely, he does nothing to dispel the idea that he's the original “Hamilton Joe.”

        The city's love affair with Joe will never end. He even has his own street, Nuxhall Boulevard, on the north side of town.

        For many years I've placed him — or, his voice in a little transistor radio — under my pillow on summer nights, trying to hide the noise from my sleeping wife.

        All goes well until a ball flies deep and Joe breaks out in a loud chorus: “Get out of here! Get out of here!”

        Then my wide-awake wife says, “What time is it? Is Joe under your pillow again?”

        City Councilman Richard Holzberger must understand. He came up with the idea to honor Mr. Nuxhall with the key to the city and a proclamation. Fellow Councilman George McNally helped arrange it.

        “I thought it was time, and it hadn't been done before,” Mr. Holzberger said. “Joe has battled prostate cancer and recently a heart attack, and, thankfully, has recovered from both.

        “He brings great credit to the community, and that's why he is honored. He's certainly a goodwill ambassador for our city and he's good with the kids, helping them with scholarships and things.

        “More important, from a baseball perspective, he's one who will never charge for his autograph, and that's refreshing today.”


        COLERAIN TWP. — Looking for some good books at reasonable prices? Check out the used book sales sponsored by the Friends of the Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County.

        They will be at Northgate Mall, 9501 Colerain Ave., March 8-10 and at the Harrison Branch Library, 10398 New Haven Road, April 26-28.

        For times, donation information and other sale locations, call the library at 369-6035.

        LEBANON — The Warren County Historical Society's annual antiques show will be held Jan. 19-20 at Lebanon High School, at Ohio 48 and Miller Road.

        Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. The $6 admission price is good for both days.

        About 80 dealers from 15 states will display items including formal furniture, brass, folk art and copper.

        BATAVIA — Dog licenses will be on sale through Jan. 31 in Clermont County.

        The cost is $10 if purchased at the county auditor's office and $10.75 if obtained through another vendor.

        Information: 732-7150.

        Randy McNutt's column appears on Saturday. Contact him at the Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Dr., West Chester,OH 45069. Telephone: 755-4158. Fax: 755-4150. E-mail:


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