Carrie’s friends Dan and Fred (Mark’s fraternity brothers) stopped by Thanksgiving and shared a beautiful story. Years ago Dan had assured his mother that upon his folks’ ultimate demise the remains would be kept together. As such, when each died in recent years their ashes were secured and mixed as one. The beauty of the story, however, is what transpired next. Four siblings then went on a “field trip”, crossing state lines, and distributed the ashes at some seventeen spots between the east coast and Ohio —places of import to their cherished parents.

Hard not to well up when I heard the story. Difficult too not to wonder what seventeen places I’d like to hit. (Ed. Note: Not to worry, kids. I’m getting planted. Looking hard at Chagrin & Richmond, ‘though Arlington National would really make a better story).

Here then, in no particular order, are the seventeen places I would have gone:

Mt. Sinai Hospital, East 105 & Ansel Rd., Cleveland. Birthplace of Michael, Jamie, and Stacy. The three best moments in time.

4249 Bayard Road, South Euclid. (The first bedroom on the left, where H and I played sock basketball).

Brainard Field, Lyndhurst (Hitless in the regular season, like all roster members, I was still mandated to play two innings in the field and bat once in the World Series. Starting in the opener, (common practice: they got the weak guys on and off the field early, God forbid the game went to extra innings and they’d be stuck with us) … I popped my bunt over the third baseman’s head — a bases loaded double! (Perhaps he’d underestimated my power.) ‘Twas perfect ending to 1960, witnessed by my father’s best friend Max Mitchell.

The Arlyne Manor, Warrensville & Shelburne Rds., Shaker Heights. Apartment building named for Aunt Etty, it housed Grandma Cele and Grandpa Irv and Mr. and Mrs. Adelman (Uncle Bob’s inlaws) — and many memories.

The Riviera Swim Club. Solon & Richmond Roads (SE corner). No, our parents couldn’t afford the luxury. It was owned, however, by a card-playing buddy of our Dad’s, so summer afternoons we were always on “Sunny Riviera Time”.

Madison Field, Ohio. Michael won his first softball title!

Home plate, the softball field behind Morrill and Lincoln Towers, Columbus. Where Wieder appealed the runner with the broken leg. Forget the ’64 Championship game, the ’63 and ’82 MLB All Star Games, the Cleveland Opens, and even the Purdue and Michigan football games of ’68— this instant was the greatest single sporting event I witnessed in six-plus decades of fandom. (Ed. Note 2: Doubters may call me collect. Or Walt. Or Snyder).

3158 N. High Street, Columbus. Former home to Pacemont Marathon, (patronized by our father because it was first to extend credit to this man on the rebound)… the sight of Stuart’s funniest failure. Fenton’s brainstorm— load 5,000 Highlights For Children to the back of a U-Haul annexed to Al Bogart’s station wagon — ended abruptly when they all spilled on High Street. If you weren’t there with Stu, H and me…if you didn’t spend that next half hour reloading magazines from street to car … then your life’s been cheated. Ask Stuart.

Kirtland Field, Cleveland. Sol’s Boys’ upset of Angelo’s Pizza vaults our crew into the PD’s Sweet Sixteen. (Don’t ask what happened the next game).

20 East 14, Columbus. (College days’ home for H, B, Dad, Dick. Where Marilyn made latkes as we boys met Harriet … and where the infamous Supremes tri-fold hung).

King Solomon Memorial Park, Clifton, NJ. I loved them like parents— Ben and Lil. They’re forever held dear.

St. Francis Of Assisi Church, Gates Mills. Sight, in ’97, of my first Twelve Step meeting. Memorable? Maybe. Seminal? Yes. I haven’t looked back.

Clairmount Diner, Princeton, New Jersey. When Hal and I met Steve Fromin for breakfast… as far as we were concerned … we had made life’s map. To this day people ask us about it!

Highland Park Golf Course, Cleveland, Ohio. Wied and I would hitch down Green to putt for free on the practice green. Oh so much better it was than…let’s say… biking up Mayfield to pay at Lyndhurst Golf Course.

San Antonio Zoo. Spring ’72, and as my heart bled from a broken engagement, an equally hurt Al Bogart flew to meet me at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. In an afternoon midst animals and sun he put his arm around me, made me smile again, and showed me yet again, what fathers do.

House Of Wills Funeral Home, 14711 Harvard, Cleveland. Honored I was to give the eulogy for family friend Horace Holly.

Cain Park, Cleveland Heights. My world changed forever that first night of August, 2012. Was it a “date” that night? She and I disagree. What it was most definitely however, was a date with destiny.

So there it is: the stops my ashes won’t make. No, I’ll stay here when it’s done. Safe at home.

(The way I lived).


  1. Alan Wieder says:

    wonderful post

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