On Neff Road: Like any other day


Nov. 9. Just another day. Day after election, but nothing significant about it. Just another day. Yet…….

On this day in 1972, the Great Boston Fire took place. It began in a dry-goods warehouse. I remember my mom and Aunt Welma referring to a dry-goods store. (Called dry goods because they carried nothing that needed refrigeration. Oh, wait! There was no refrigeration. But I stray.) It was a windy day when the fire started and destroyed nearly 800 buildings. Not a good day in Boston on that Nov. 9.

In 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II abdicated as WWI came to an end. He fled then to Holland. He retired a country gentleman, although he was not in his country.

This night in 1938 was one of the most horrid nights in the history of the world. A night we need to remember, so we do not let it happen again. It was Kristallnacht (the night of broken glass). The German Nazi mobs burned synagogues, vandalizing Jewish shops. Homes were invaded. A night of sheer terror, of shattering glass. A night a ex-boss of mine remembered well. He was one of the Jewish children who was evacuated from Germany to England away from his parents, hoping to return in a few months. His aunt was the only survivor of his family who were interred in the camps.

At 5:16 p.m. in 1965 (the year I graduated from Franklin Monroe), the Great Blackout hit the Northeast. A tripped circuit breaker at a power plant on the Niagara River caused power surges, affecting interconnected power companies along the East Coast. Over 30 million people were affected by the blackout. It is said that the birthrate rose dramatically nine months later.

It was a memorable day in 1989 when the Berlin Wall was opened after 28 years. The wall was constructed when I was in high school in 1961 and came down a year before my daughter graduated from high school. So many lives were disrupted and families torn apart in that time. A war. A cold war.

Meanwhile back a lane on Neff Road, we were probably eating leftover Election Day donuts made by the church women. Those sugary delights were deep-fried and covered with sugar. Oh, be still my cholesterol level. I loved eating those donuts freshly made at the church and adored the women who made them.

This Nov. 9, I will be spending time with my grand twins as their parents fly off to New Zealand. We just might have a donut, and just perhaps we will set up our own Nov. 9 traditions. Seems to me that every day we have in this life of ours that is spent doing good and being with those we love is a red letter day. So to you, my friends, Happy Nov. 9!


By Pamela Loxley Drake

On Neff Road

Pamela Loxley Drake is a former resident of Darke County and is the author of Neff Road and A Grandparent Voice blog. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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