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Chapter 2 : Dick’s Early Childhood

Chapter 2

Dick’s Early Childhood

Dick came into the world at 1:25 AM August 11, 1935 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Dick with ball

For his first years his family lived in Ludlow, Kentucky, except for those few weeks in early 1937 when the Great Flood crested at 80 feet in late January forcing them to take refuge from the rising water.

Painting of Mount Adams

Baby Dick and his family stayed in Mount Adams for those few weeks.

Photo of parents, Dick and Buddy

Grace, Dick, Joe, Buddy

By 1939 they had moved to a house on Glengate Avenue in the Pleasant Ridge area of Cincinnati. Dick’s first dog was Buddy who remained a companion for his first few years.

Dick’s sister Mary was born in 1936.

Photo of Dick and Mary laughing

In those early years the kids played in what was then a wooded area (now gone, the victim of developers). Dick and Mary would play with their friends – among them Tom Glenn, Willie Frank, Kenny Meier – in these woods.

The woods included their own eccentric resident, who may or may not have been a derelict, but at least lived in a shack in the woods. The kids became friends with him and he gave them cookies and seemed a good person.

Once in the woods Dick did his Tarzan trick of swinging from vines once too often and fell crashing on his back. His sister Mary was the only witness and Dick swore her to secrecy and never told anyone, although he had managed to hurt himself in his fall.

He also had a penchant for wrapping a big towel (aka, Superman) around body and head and, after sneaking out of his parent’s bedroom window, would leap from the front porch roof – an 8 or 10 foot drop to the ground. He somehow managed to do this without injury. His sister Mary was also the only witness to this dare-devilish trick – and reports she told him she thought he was crazy.

Dick in front of the Glengate porch roof

Dick in front of the Glengate porch roof

When not swinging from trees or leaping from roofs, Dick and his friends spent their time playing ball in the street.

In spite of all this activity, Dick managed to fit in a few years of school at Nativity Elementary where he received his mandatory first 8 years of education under the often merciless tutelage of the teaching nuns (colloquially called ‘nunzies’).

Dick in white sports outfit

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