“Getting a taste of a good old hot dog”

As a little light relief from all the heavy stuff I seem to write about, here is a little ditty from my past. Hope you enjoy it:

Few men have ever had to wait 24 years for a birthday present, but Robert Honaker of 612 Cottage Street did, and the reward was well worth the wait.

On August 5, Robert’s birthday, his 24 year old daughter, Pauline of Worcester England came to Ashland to meet her father for the first time.  Honaker was married in England during the war but his wife refused to return to the United States with him. He left England in March 1945 and Pauline was born in June. Although the two have written and talked on the telephone through the years, Honaker had never before met the daughter he supported for 16 years.

There were tears in his eyes as he described their first meeting at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport. “I’ve never experienced anything like it”. She came off the plane and I knew her right away, I said “Pauline” and she turned around and said “Dad” and I didn’t think either one of us could stay standing up. I’ve never been so shaken.”

Pauline, who has lived in Worcester all her life, works as a medical secretary in Worcester. “When you have got a father living somewhere, you’ve got to find him” she said.

Since her arrival, Pauline has been meeting relatives and seeing Ashland. “I have a whole family here I never knew about” she said. “I have the greatest stepmother in the world”. Although Honaker divorced his first wife and is remarried, Pauline is his only child.

Pauline said that although Worcester is bigger than Ashland with a population of 60,000, the shopping centers here are bigger. “I never thought I’d enjoy a shopping trip” Honaker remarked “but taking Pauline shopping was just like turning a kitten loose with a bunch of new toys”. Besides the difference in the shopping facilities, Pauline noticed a difference in the eating habits of the American people. “You people eat all the time, of course, we haven’t the variety of foods, and we haven’t the richness” she said. “I’ve gained almost ten pounds since I have been here”.

She had never seen a water melon before her visit to Ashland, but she finds them “quite refreshing”. Another difference Pauline noticed in the American way of life is the emphasis on sports scholarships, which are not given in England. Honaker took his daughter to the Faultless-Erie game Sunday night. It was her first experience with baseball. “I didn’t understand a thing. Your games are so rough, cricket is a much more leisurely game,” she commented.

She found it strange to see girls wearing Bermuda shorts, All the girls in Worcester wear short shorts, she said.

Driving on the right side of the road is the least of Pauline’s problems in getting used to driving here. “The cars are so much bigger here, it’s a bit of a problem” she said. The cars in England are all much smaller and all except the very expensive ones have standard transmission, she explained.

Pauline will return to Worcester on the 25th August. “She’ll be back” Honaker said. “She’s a wonderful girl”.

by Becky Schafer Tuesday August 19, 1969. Ashland Ohio USA

Sadly my stepmother died in October 1969 and my father on Boxing Day 1969. I only ever got to see them once.

Pauline Read …..Hope you enjoyed taking a trip back to 1969 with me.

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