128 Second St. NW, Barberton, OH 44203

Our ride to the Ohio Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial Park in Clinton, Ohio

by Ruth Kaser for Cycling Articles

I thought of Great Uncle Karl as we rode this morning to Memorial Park. Karl was killed in World War I. Growing up my Grandmother, one of Karls’ sisters, shared her favorite stories of his youth. She described the young Karl as a bit of a scamp-famous for getting into or starting mischief. My favorite story was Uncle Karl and the meatballs. Picture a large, unattended, bowl of a mixture that was to become meatballs. The bowl is discovered by a young boy and his apparent subsequent delight in the satisfying smacking sound raw meat makes when it makes contact with a kitchen wall, or ceiling, or counter…I do not remember who cleaned up the kitchen if it was my Great Grandmother or Uncle Karl. The other story often told was the sad one-of the family on the porch watching the returning soldiers and the sisters waiting for Karl, but he did not return. The family received the telegram much later with the news. The thing is the Armistice had been signed but the news did not get out in time to all of the battlefields. The wall in Memorial Park includes a description of the background of the wars, the number of Ohioans who served and those who did not return home. Today I got to enjoy riding with my husband and brother and I remember my Great Uncle Karl, his sister who told me about him in story, and her daughter-my Mom.

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