Wednesday, June 8, 2011

C.O.E. in Cleveland

My grandfather, Carl O. Ericke, worked in the steel business right after graduating from Lane Technical High School in Chicago. He then enlisted in the National Guard, served in World War I, and eventually returned to the steel business in Chicago. In his oral history he talked about business trips that he made to Cleveland, but the story line quickly morphed into talking about his best friend and soon-to-be wife. My grandfather kept this brochure detailing Quad Hall, where he spent his many weeks as a single man while on business in Cleveland. I believe my grandparents were married in 1930, and my mother was born in Cleveland in 1931, so at some point Carl and Sally Ericke made Cleveland home for awhile before settling in Detroit.  I'll have to do a little more research on that!

 Staying in hotel was very tiresome, so I heard about a very nice man’s house called Quad Hall on Euclid Ave., restaurant on the first floor, just for men only. College students or graduates. They had a double room with only one man in it and someone asked would I like to meet him as a roommate. He seemed like a nice fellow. We asked each other a lot of questions; he was a Harvard graduate, which impressed me a bit, pleasant smile, very nice attitude about everything. It was a good acquaintance for me, and he later became my best man at my wedding. His name was Dutch Snyder. 

We double-dated a few times. Dutch introduced me to a few nice woman, and on my birthday he gave me a thesaurus, and explained the use of it. I use it to this day. I almost felt like I’d been college. He went with me to Pittsburgh, met my girlfriend, and future wife, and she liked him very much. From that time on, I used to drive to Pittsburgh at least every week and when I couldn’t get there, I would telephone her and sometimes these phone calls went as far as a half hour. Nothing was too good for my girl! She seemed to enjoy it. And later we were married and Dutch was my best man.

I was an usher in Dutch's wedding and there’s a picture of all the male members of the wedding party and you can pick me out pretty easily because I’m the only one who isn’t wear spats. That was a little thoughtless of me as I knew about them and even had some but I had never worn them so that made me feel a little guilty. But it’s all of those things, you know, where you can’t know everything. 

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