The Golden Lamb

Compton, Fred. The Golden Lamb: Tales from the Innside. Wilmington, Ohio; Orange Frazer Press, 2009.

Located in Lebanon, the Golden Lamb is known as Ohio’s oldest continuously operating (and oldest) hotel.  Because it was a one day pre-car journey from Cincinnati for those heading East (via the National Road), it has a rich history of famous travelers.  It also is well-known for its restaurant, as it is an inn in the old sense.  The Golden Lamb by Fred Compton is a history/working memoir of the inn, as the author worked at the Gold Lamb full-time (he had worked summers as a kid/student) from the early 1970s through 2001.

There was a line in the introduction where a former innkeeper referred to the Golden Lamb as one of “the last surviving County Seat hotels.”  While the physical structure is there for an old-time (but long closed) hotel along most main streets in Ohio, the Golden Lamb has passed over 200 years operating in this functionality.   I am hard pressed to identify another old hotel operating in a downtown in small town Ohio.  (Not a motor-centric motel of later generations).   Let me know if I am mistaken (which is very likely). Continue reading

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The Curse of Rocky Colavito

Pluto, Terry.  The Curse of Rocky Colavito: A Loving Look at a Thirty Year Slump. Gray & Company; Cleveland, 1994.

In my mind, The Curse of Rocky Colavito is the definitive Cleveland Indians tale.  The team had some success in the late 1940s and early 1950s and recent playoff runs, but these were more aberrations than the soul of the team’s history.  Pluto’s recounting of the seasons between 1960 and 1993 tells the legend of how we see Cleveland sports today – right or wrong.  There were several really bad seasons, but mostly the teams were run-of-the-mill, non-contending and forgettable.  This book captures the feeling perfectly.

What is nice about The Curse of Rocky Colavito is its joyful defeatism.  There is an underlining nostalgia for bad memories.  For the most part, the Cleveland organization was not a group of lovable losers.   There are many unpleasant characters in the team’s management and roster outlined in Pluto’s stories.  Do check out the stories about GM Frank Lane, who got the wheels moving on the curse in the late 1950s.
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