Monday, January 28, 2013

Chardon, Ohio Snows--January 2013

Last week, Cleveland had about an inch of snow. Hambden Township, just east of Chardon, had about 2 feet of snow. As the bird flies it's only about 35 miles from Cleveland Hopkins Airport, where official measurements are made, and Chardon. But it feels like two very different climate zones, two different worlds. In Hambden we average about 110 inches of snow a year. Chardon might be in the Snowbelt. But Hambden is the Buckle of the Snowbelt. We think of Clevelanders and even Chardonites as wimps!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Fitzpatrick Family First Communion 1949

Fenton Fitzpatrick's First Communion. E. 146th Street, Collinwood neighborhood, Cleveland, Ohio. 1949. Mom (Margaret Ann) near the center holding me (1 year old). Dad (Robert P.) is top right.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Coughlin Brothers and Sister (Except for Denny)

Coughlin's on January 19, 2012--Tratoria Restaurant, Little Italy neighborhood of Cleveland. Bob, Kevin, Mary Ellen, Jim. It was Jim's birthday. Denny was stuck in San Diego, poor boy.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Happy Birthday to Jimmy Fenton Coughlin!

My brother Jim chose to be born in the absolute depths of winter 54 years ago today. I can't locate the weather data for that day--but it probably was brutally cold. Cleveland's record cold temperature was on Jim's birthday in 1994, -20 degrees (the high was -3!). When Jim was days over 4 years old, January 24, 1963, Denny and I took him and his 7-year-old brother Kevin for a long long walk, down East 272nd in Euclid, then over the I-90-Rt. 2 Wickliffe spur (which was still under construction), to Fairway Discount Depatrment Store--a cheap-ass department store on Lakeland Boulevard in Euclid. At that point we got scared that we were going to kill Jimmy (and Kevin too!) if we walked them back home. So we begged a dime and called my Dad and asked him to pick us up. That day 50 years ago, the low temperature was -19 and the high was 1. In 1985 on January 20th, the high was -5 and the low was -18.

To sum up, Jim's birthday is usually the darkest  snowiest, most miserable day of the year. And Jim always brings his great humor, kindness, and goodness to light up and warm up the day!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Message to Manti Te'o--A Poem

Made-up Notre Dame Girlfriends: Message to Manti Te’o

Listen, Manti, this is nothing new!
Back in ’66 all Notre Dame boys,
All 7000 of them, had pretend girlfriends!

     (Bob Coughlin)

Sr. Franzita Kane's 104th Birthday

Sunday is the 104th anniversary of the birth of my friend and mentor, Sr. Franzita Kane CSC. She was a professor of mine 1968-70 at St. Mary's College when I was a student at the University of Notre Dame. I (and many others!) thank God for Sr. Franzita's life!

This obit was published in the Deseret News on December 19. 1993.

Distinguished Educator, Sister M. Franzita (Dorothy Honore) Kane, C.S.C., died December 1, 1993 of natural causes at St. Mary's Convent in Notre Dame, Indiana. Sister Franzita Kane was born on January 20, 1909 in Idaho, daughter of Thomas Francis Kane (b. Pueblo, Colorado) and Elizabeth (Olsen) Kane (b. Mink Creek, Idaho). She attended Catholic schools in Park City, Utah and Salt Lake City, Utah and graduated from St. Mary's of the Wasatch (high school) in 1926. She entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross in 1927 and took her final vows August 15, 1930. She received her Bachelors of Arts in 1942 from Immaculate Heart College, her Masters of Arts in 1952 from Catholic University, and her PhD in 1958 from the University of Notre Dame.

She taught English in Catholic secondary schools from 1930 through 1950, served as principal at St. Mary's of the Wasatch from 1947 through 1950. She was an instructor, Department of English, at Dunbarton College in Washington, D.C. in 1953. She began teaching as a professor, Department of English at St. Mary's College in Notre Dame, Indiana in 1960 and served as chairman of the department. She retired from full-time teaching in 1975. She was much beloved by her students for her wit and for demanding the best from her pupils. Her academic career included founding the Sister Madeleva Poetry Association, writing and publishing poetry, as well as editing numerous publications, participating in professional and educational organizations. She traveled extensively to Europe for research and continuing educational studies. She is listed in "Who's Who in American Education.”

Sr. Franzita is survived by six nieces and one nephews, many grand nieces and nephews.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Place In Glacier National Park

Webcam image of Apgar Lookout, Glacier NP, 17 Jan 2013.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Poem about Growing Up Catholic in the late 1950s

Sr. Muriel’s Boys’ ChoirSt. William’s Church, Euclid, Ohio, 1959

Solemn High Midnight Mass, near the end of an era
(one that would end in gunfire from a grassy knoll in Dallas,
In a hellfire of napalm and Agent Orange in Vietnam,
And a medieval Church toppled by patriarchy and pederasty) . . .

There in that modest church on East 260th Street,
In a working-class suburb of a city in its death rattle,

Right there, 28 boys led by an Irish nun of the Ursuline order,
Sang so beautifully it would make the angels weep.

In the hushed darkness of midnight, as Monsignor John Fleming
Processed into the church, with Fr. Walsh as deacon, and Fr. Praznik as subdeacon,
Behind a cross raised high and candles lit against the darkness,

The boys sang “Gesu Bambino,” in English:

When blossoms flowered 'mid the snows
Upon a winter night,
Was born the Child, the Christmas Rose,
The King of Love and Light.

The organist played softly as the boys’ voices soared:

The angels sang, the shepherds sang,
The grateful earth rejoiced;
And at His blessed birth the stars
Their exultation voiced.

And then the chorus, “Venite adoremus”:
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
O come let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.
As Monsignor Fleming mounted the steps to the altar,
The church lights came on, and for the last time in the season, we sang “Adeste Fidelis.”
We sang it in perfect church Latin diction, following Sr. Muriel’s instructions for each syllable.

Fr. Fleming began the mass, “In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti . . . .”
Then, “Introibo ad altare Dei.”

Two eighth grade boys, in surplices and cassocks, responded,
“Ad Deum qui laetificat juventutum meum.”
The response was quick and natural—and not fully understood by the boys
Or the hundreds of people in the pews. In three or four years
This Latin would be obsolete, not to be heard again.
The medieval period, which stretched across hundreds of years,
Was ending. And yes, good riddance! Yet—

There was great beauty and pageantry there,
And to this little choir boy,

Mystery and power in the Latin,
The incense, the sincere prayers of so many of these people,
My friends and neighbors (so many of them now gone).

When it was over, about 1:30 a.m.,
I walked out of the church into the brisk, snowy night,
And walked, my 11-year-old self, the mile home,
Down East 262, to Forestview, to East 266, then home.

All was silence, that night so long ago, as I entered the dark house,
Past the darkened Christmas tree, the unopened presents,
Up the stairs to where Denny and I shared a room.

And I fell asleep, the last Christmas of the Medieval,
With “Gesu Bambino” dancing in my brain,

And hoping one of the presents under the tree was a pair of baseball spikes.

[Bob Coughlin. Chardon, Ohio. January 6, 2013]

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

World's Greatest Grandchild Sings "Jingle Bells"

My grandson, Colin Jude Kleppel, sings his version of "Jingle Bell"s on Christmas Eve.