The Back Page Of The Sunday Comics

The other day Kish and I were wandering through a thrift store. On a shelf stuffed with old Saturday Evening Posts and long forgotten board games, I saw this Dondi puzzle.

Dondi? I haven’t thought of Dondi in years. For those of you who never encountered the little guy, he was a “goody two shoes” type who appeared on the back pages of the Akron Beacon Journal Sunday comics section. Dondi was one of those darkly colored, continuing story comic strips that had a more serious bent — like the severe-looking, judgmental Mary Worth, who always seemed to be meddling in other people’s lives, or Brenda Starr, Reporter, the glamorous, starry-eyed journalist who never seemed to actually sit down at a typewriter.

I never actually read any Dondi comics, because it was one of those back pages strips. I read the front page, with Peanuts and Dagwood and Blondie and Beetle Bailey, and would read back past Andy Capp and The Lockhorns and Cappy Dick, but Gasoline Alley was as far back as I would go. The last pages of the Sunday comics were forbidding territory, with strange adult themes. If Dondi was placed back there, with all of that drama and angst, that told you all you needed to know.

What kid would want to read that stuff? It would be like telling your Mom on a fine summer day that instead of playing outside with your friends you wanted to sit down with her and watch The Days Of Our Lives or As the World Turns.

The Obit Writer (II)

Here’s the latest work of the Webner family obit writer:  Mom’s obituary, which was published today in the Columbus Dispatch and in the Akron Beacon Journal, Mom’s old hometown newspaperMom hasn’t lived in Akron for 40 years, but we know she still has good friends there who would want to know about her passing.

IMG_5049The on-line versions of the obits appear on, which must be a kind of national clearinghouse for obituaries.  The website versions of Mom’s obit also include links to an on-line “guest book” where people can give their condolences and share their memories, and directions to the funeral home where we will be having calling hours later this week.

The website also offers a link to and information about how many Webners were recorded in the 1920 census and fought on the Union side in the Civil War.  Other links provide information on funeral etiquette, such as helpful advice that you shouldn’t wear flip flops or glittery clothing to a memorial service.  It all shows how news websites are far more flexible — and provide far more advertising opportunities — than print newspapers.  People die, but the wheels of internet commerce roll ever onward.

Our family would like to thank everyone who has shared words of encouragement and support and kind thoughts about Mom.  They are all much appreciated.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013 (VI)

After I finished my holiday baking, I received a fresh set of recipes from the Akron Samaritan.  It’s the Akron Beacon Journal Christmas cookie guide for 2013, featuring recipes from local chefs.  I was touched by the gesture and wish I had received the guide a few days earlier — but, there’s always next year!  This recipe, from chef Roger Thomas, looked particularly interesting:

Abracci Cookies

Ingredients:  For light dough:  4 ounces butter; 1/2 cup sugar; 3 tablespoons heavy cream; 1 tablespoon honey; 1 3/4 cup flour; 1 teaspoon baking powder; pinch of salt

For dark dough:  4 ounces butter; 1/2 cup plus two tablespoons sugar; 1 egg; 1 3/4 cups flour; 4 tablespoons cocoa; 1 teaspoon baking powder; pinch of salt

For the light dough, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, add cream and honey and mix well.  Separately mix dry ingredients together, then mix into butter to make a smooth, firm dough.  For the dark dough, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, then add egg and mix well.  Separately mix dry ingredients together, then mix into butter to make a smooth, firm dough.

Wrap light dough and dark dough separately with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Reshape each dough into balls the size of a large grape, then roll each ball into a log about 2 1/2 inches long.  Press the ends of the different dough logs together in the form of a circle, with the light dough on top of the dark dough on one side and the dark on top of the light on the other.  Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing the cookies 3 inches apart.  Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, until the cookies are just beginning to brown around the edges.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes before storing in a container with sheets of parchment or wax paper between layers.

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013 (II)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013 (III)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013 (IV)

Calling For Christmas Cookie Recipes — 2013 (V)

Andrew Reaches Out

I’m happy to report that our nephew Andrew Kishman and his church, the Miller Avenue United Church of Christ, have made the news — and in a good way, too.

Andrew is all about community outreach, and his passion and approach to his ministry were featured in the pages of the Akron Beacon Journal.  I hope Andrew’s zeal help to reenergize his church and help its neighbors.

Way to go, Andrew!

Jim Tressel Is A Good Man

I wasn’t going to write about this, because I viewed it as a wonderful personal gesture made out of friendship and decency, not something done for any kind of publicity. However, Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal has written about it, so I thought I’d add my two cents’ worth.

On Saturday, we had a celebration service for Aunt Bebe. To our surprise and delight, former Ohio State football coach Jim Tressel was there. He had established a correspondents’ relationship with Aunt Bebe, as Ridenour describes, and he also visited Aunt Bebe in her final days. He wanted to pay his respects and share some thoughts about her.

What’s more, Coach Tressel was there even though he was squeezing his visit between an important morning meeting for the University of Akron, where he currently works, and an equally significant impending family obligation. Many people — even those who aren’t famous — would have begged off without a second thought. Not Coach Tressel!

It was a kind and classy gesture by a kind and classy man. We in Aunt Bebe’s family appreciated it, not only because it help to celebrate a loved one’s life but also because it showed there are still good people in the world. It helps to be reminded of that from time to time.

Jim Tressel is one of those good people. Thank you, Coach Tressel, for your thoughtfulness and kind gesture!