Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dayton Ohio

Donna again. Remember back when I made the comment that the best things seemed to come to us as a result of things not going according to plan? It's still happening!
First thing this morning we met with the Dayton Chief of Police Richard Biehl. Chief Biehl took over his position this year. We asked what his favorite part of the job was and he said it was building the relationships between the people. When comparing the difference between his job and the job of a police chief in 1910, he described how times were much more complex now. People, crimes, weapons, issues, etc. Pretty much the same things that would limit the possibility of 6 and 10 year old boys of traveling across the country alone on horseback, don't you think? We told the story of Bud and Temple. Chief Biehl was more than happy to have us fingerprinted. It was a surprise to me when no ink pad was put in front of us. It was all done on the computer. How is that for showing differences in the change of technology! Detective Hudson (great guy with super sense of humor!) took the time to explain everything as we were printed. He even showed us how quickly people could be brought up on the database. He said we were doing the prints for fun, but Melody and I have no doubt he and Sargeant Wilhite ran our prints when they got the chance!
We took the back way to the parking lot on the way out. Don't know why we didn't head straight to the coroner's office, another chance to compare technology from 100 years ago. This is one of those times where original plans were replaced by a chance event. We were behind the police station and saw a Ch. 7 news van. When we went to check it out, we found they were there to interview a sargeant about recent homicides. We got to witness the interview first-hand. It was Jill, the Ch. 7 reporter, who said she would offer our story at the station when she returned. We didn't have much luck at the Dayton newspaper as they were too busy and had no reporters to spare. That's o.k. because that makes us famous like the Wright brothers. In 1903 the Dayton newspaper declined a story about the flight, pretty much because the flight had been measured by minutes instead of hours. The woman who worked at the front desk was very friendly and helpful in guiding us to the library where we could, hopefully, find records of articles of the boys when they were in Dayton.
We found our way to the Wright Brothers Museum, as well as their bicycle shop across the street. There were a few interactive exhibits (you know how I like to push buttons and such. Much more fun than reading "Do not touch" signs!) We were told about how the houses in the area were either being fixed up, if they were from the time. If not, they were asked to make sure the style fit with the time of the Wright Brothers. The Wright brothers' home was bought by Henry Ford and moved to Greenfield, Michigan. There is a replica front porch on the lot where the original house stood. Across the street is a house that had been made to look exactly like the house the Wright brothers grew up in. We rang the doorbell and waited. When nobody appeared, we started taking pictures. That's when Ernie walked into our lives.
We told Ernie why we were there. He was very welcoming, rather than booting us off his property. Ernie is a self-appointed Wright brothers ambassador. He and his wife Karen have basically dedicated their home to the memory of the Wright brothers. You should see the incredible art they have in their home which has been done by local artists. Ernie volunteered to try and help us get into the Delphi plant, which is where the original Wright factory is. They wouldn't even hear of it, not even let us take any pictures, even from a distance! I didn't take it personal. I figured if Ernie couldn't get us in, nobody was getting in! After inviting us into their home, Ernie took us to meet the mayor of Dayton, Rhine McLin. He just popped in on her, just like she was his next-door neighbor. I've made the comment, "Where is Teddy Roosevelt when you need him?" I think Teddy would have appreciated Mayor McLin's willingness to be available to talk to people. Throughout our conversation, it became obvious that she really cares about the City of Dayton and the people that live here. There's a definite soft spot for the children. If you ever visit Dayton, there's some terrific people to meet, as well as great art. Check out the trash cans beautified by children participating in the Parks and Rec programs. Also, the statues placed about town. They remind me of Norman Rockwell's paintings. They'll make you do a doubletake.
We found one person in Dayton that deserves the "Mr. Wolf award". But, meeting Chief Biehl, Sargeant Wilhite, Detective Hudson, Ernie, Karen and Mayor McLin far outweighed the impact of "Mr. Wolf".

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Hate that your tech guy is out of the very curious about what everything looks like where you've traveled thus far! I think that it is very interesting that the Wright Brothers too were denied an interview with the local press! lol!