I can still vividly remember the first time I read a play by Edward Albee.
I was sitting in Pat Ganz’ second period speech class reading “The Zoo Story” instead of listening to the student speeches. I remember being entranced by the monologue about “Jerry and the Dog,” swept away by the rhythms and the way the story told more about the character than the character would have admitted. It forever changed the way I thought about writing and what makes writing engaging and meaningful.
In 1993, Albee came to Cincinnati to direct a production of “Fragments,” and I nervously asked for an interview, which was granted. I sat in the lobby of the Ensemble Theatre and spoke with him for nearly an hour while Greg Lynch sat across the room and inobtrusively took photos (I still have a framed copy of one of those somewhere, a prized possession).
This story is actually second interview with Albee, five years later. He was in Houston teaching an unavailable to come to Cincinnati for the production of “Three Tall Women,” so I inquired about a phone interview.
One evening, it was getting pretty late, around 8 p.m., and I was lingering in the office getting ready to go home when the phone rang. It was a long distance number that I didn’t recognize, and I almost let it go to voicemail, but decided to pick it up.
“Newsroom. Richard Jones.”
“Hello. This is Edward.”
“Yes, from Houston. [Someone] said I should call you?”
“Oh. Okay. What about?”
“My play in Cincinnati.”
“This is Edward Albee,” he said. “I have a play opening in Cincinnati.”
“Ohhhhhhhhh! Well, thanks for calling me....”
And without any preparation other than my own love for the work of the man, we chatted....
My second interview with Edward Albee.
Read it here...
All the King’s clones
From June 7, 1998: Coverage of the Images of Elvis competition, during which 28 Elvis impersonators descended on Hamilton.... Good times... Photo by the late, great Jim Denney... Read on, if you dare ...
Wesley Wulzen's WWI Adventure
The Butler County Historical Society’s treasure trove includes a tattered black scrapbook from World War I, compiled by Hamilton resident Lawrence B. Fritsch. The label says that Fritsch was a field artillery Sgt. Major, and the yellowed newspaper clippings that tell the stories of fellow Hamilton soldiers and their heroic actions overseas, including a first-person account of a six-day battle in France near the little town of Avacourt, published by the Hamilton Evening Journal on Nov. 8, 1918. Capt. Wesley G. Wulzen was in charge of Co. F, 148th Infantry, known as “the Cleveland Grays.”
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Stalag III B
George Altman, 95, has lived his entire life in Hamilton, except for the four years he spent in the U.S. Army, and for two and a half of those he lived in German prisoner of war camps. Read more ...
Graduating from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts is an accomplishment for any young man. But for Tyler Leak, his troop and his family, it will be a double-win when he makes the transition next month. Tyler has autism ... Continue ...
John E. Dolibois and Nazi War Criminals
In 1981, John E. Dolibois, a former vice president of Miami University, was called by President Ronald Reagan to become U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg, and after World War II, he served as an interrogator in preparation for the famed Nuremberg Trials, interviewing high-level Nazis such as Hermann Goering, who was personally tapped by Hitler to be his replacement, and Albert Speer, the “Nazi architect.”Continued ...
Photo by Greg Lynch
Jane and Monty Jacobs...
... are adopting a street. Last summer, Jane — who said her passion is garden design and likes to help people get their gardens in order whether they ask her to or not — was working in her friend Polly Fairbanks’ garden on Franklin Street, and couldn’t help but notice the house across the way at the corner of Franklin and Hueston. Continue ...
Photo by Greg Lynch
Hebe, Nymph of Streams and Brooks
Hamilton’s first public fountain — and a familiar sculpture in the city before there was a City of Sculpture — has recently been relocated to a new pocket park at the corner of Martin Luther King Boulevard and High Street, a classical counterpoint to the modern “Hamilton Gateway” across the way.
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Bess-Arlene Camacho has toured the world as an opera singer and has been integral in creating and encouraging the next generation of singers and performers coming from Hamilton. Read more ...
Tina Osso feeds the world
Every once in a while, I’m afforded the opportunity to do something above and beyond the normal day-to-day features. A couple of years ago, I had the opportunity to write a long, in-depth profile of one of my heroes in the community. Tina Osso is an amazing person. I’ve never met anyone with more heart and soul. She’s an admitted hippie from way back, but she has done amazing work in Butler County and the surrounding areas by single-handedly taking on hunger and corporate waste. This is without a doubt one of the favorite things I’ve written in my long, long tenure at the Hamilton JournalNews.
Spirits abound at the Bennighofen House
It's what spooky stories are made from, except that the spirits at the Benninghofen House are all gentle and oh-so-polite, even if a bit mischievous or oblique. According to "spiritual beacon" Lynne Bell and her divining rods, the home is a good place to find spirits. Built in 1861, it was occupied by one of Hamilton's most prominent families of the post-Civil War industrial boom, and since becoming a museum has attracted important artifacts from all over Butler County. I was invited to tag along when the Tri-State Ohio Paranormal Society spent a weekend to investigate. Join us...
The Pie Judge
The editor giving me the assignment started reading the schedule aloud to find something for me to cover. I told him it would be just fine to just let me go to the Butler County Fair without an agenda and let the story find me. I was barely 10 minutes there when I struck gold. A crowd gathered in the Activities Building where all the food stuff was displayed. I edged in to hear Diane Spillman putting on a pie show, then elbowed my way to the front. Read it...