I have written about my home town of Celina, Ohio several times on this BLOG so you know where I spent my youth from ages 9 to 15 years. I left Celina in September 1949 which will be 60 years ago this September. My last visit there was in 1952 just before I left for California to begin my college days at Pasadena Nazarene College in Pasadena.
I have planned, with my wife Ann, to make the trip back there so many times but things just didn’t go right for us to visit my home area. She wanted to see where I grew up and I wanted desperately to show her. We planned trips by car and during my working years, vacations were used up quickly for other family needs. So I never got the chance to go back. Now it is difficult for her to travel.
My daughter, Brenda, wrote me an email and said -- Dad - it’s time for you to take that long awaited trip to your roots - your home town of Celina. She said we could go on Friday June 12th and return home Monday June 15th. She had American Airline miles that could be used and both of us would pay a small fee for the trip.
My first thought was about Ann who is handicapped and needs someone here with her and provide a lunch out daily. Our son, Rick, will help there along with our son-in-law Scott. A granddaughter will come and stay with Nana so the home front is taken care of by family.
I am required by my pulmonologist to take an oxygen compressor for the “in flight” use only. Do you have any idea what a hassle this has been to get that approved by the airlines? I think we finally have it worked out.
We will fly from Santa Ana to Chicago and change planes for Indianapolis arriving there about 5:30 p.m. Indiana time. A car rental is waiting and we will drive to Muncie, Indiana to see my younger brother who I haven’t seen since 1984 at our mother’s funeral. He is arranging dinner plans for us and we will stay the night there with Bob. In the morning we will leave for Troy, Ohio to visit a cemetery that has my dad (died in 1940) and my grandparents. I want Brenda to “meet” them.
Then it’s off to Celina, Ohio where I spent my youth. We have reservations at a lakeside hotel. A friend from my school days there married a friend of mine named Helen Howell. She was my brother, Ben’s, girlfriend when we lived there. I knew Karl Allmandinger from my time in Celina schools. He was a year ahead of me. We will be with Karl who will “show” us the sights around Celina. I expect to take a lot of pictures.
On Sunday morning Brenda and I will visit the Celina Church of the Nazarene where I used to attend -- new building and a different location. Grandpa was the pastor of this church for a number of years. You can read about my last visit to this church in 1952 by clicking here. The afternoon will be spent seeing the sights and locating any people that I might know. At 2:00 p.m. Celina time (11:00 a.m. California time) Brenda and I will be standing in front of the Mercer County Court House talking to Ann on the phone while she sees us wave on the Web Cam the city has set up. You can read about the web cam and how to access that by clicking here.
Monday morning I hope to be able to visit The Daily Standard office where I used to work as a paper boy and janitor. Then it is off to Indianapolis for our return trip home. A hurried trip but will be worth the effort.
Thanks, Brenda, for making this trip possible. Something that was on my “Bucket List” can now be scratched off!
We will have the story and pictures on our return.