American Cranberry Bushes

Hard to believe this is my front yard, it looks more like some fancy garden.

I was walking Stewart and looked at some landscaping and my mind went back to the home I grew up in in Parma, Ohio and the American Cranberry bushes in the way back. The mind is an odd thing. My mom had at least three of them on the east side of her property. They were relatively old, thick bushes that we kept about six feet high and four feet wide. I remember how dense they would be and how I used to hide in the middle, able to squeeze inside and see out. It was a lot of fun when we were playing hide and seek.

I remember playing with my neighbor from down the street, Tom Lewicki. He was a really smart guy, good with machines and engines, and looking as though he were headed into a trade. He and I graduated from the same high school class at Valley Forge High School in 1969. I lost touch with him, but from what I can see, he now lives in Mansfield, Ohio. He and I did all sorts of crazy things from going to the local reservoir and messing around in the creek, finding crayfish and stuff to just going to the playground at Renwood Elementary School on the next street. I remember taking old bicycle horns that used batteries, taking the wires and separating the two parallel lines so that we could put one on one side of the inside of the closed end of a spring-operated wooden clothespin and the other on the other. That may make no sense, but we put a string with a non-conductive material on the end and closed the clothespin around it. The two wires didn’t make contact until the string was pulled out. We used to take kite string and put it in an area where we knew someone might pass by. When the person did, they inadvertently pulled out the string and the horn started blowing!

We did tin can telephones by taking an ice pick and poking a hole in the end of the can, ran kite string to the inside and tied it on a button. When the two sides of the kite string would be pulled taut, the vibrations caused by talking would allow the telephone to actually transfer sound.

Enough of this for today. Thanks, Stewart, for causing me to have this memory.

About Richard Koerner

Sixty something, father, papi, educator, organizer, Francophile, traveler, amateur photographer, gardener, cyclist, kayaker, calligrapher, cinephile, reader, and overall renaissance type human being.
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