Note: This was the final edition of the Blue Room Belch. Within the next six months, the "boys" in both the European and Pacific Theaters would return home to the welcoming arms of the "gang" at the Blue Room of Pharo's Cafe.This has been a labor of love recognizing the great people of the East End Community in Cincinnati, Ohio. I'm proud to know that over four generations of my Jones family planted their roots in this community.
This transcription would not have been possible without Mary Pharo Meldon and her nephew, Mark Pharo. Mary's family ran Pharo's Cafe. She preserved the issues of this newspaper that I had the privilege of transcribing. Mark Pharo, a recent acquaintance, was the liaison between his aunt and me and provided me with many of the pictures. Many were from the collection of Mary Pharo Meldon. Mary graciously invited me to lunch with Mark and agreed to loan me the fragile papers.
Lou Guntzelman, pictured at the right, was the editor of the Blue Room Belch. As I've transcribed the articles, I've come to appreciate his sense of humor and world view. He was truly a man of his community who provided a great resource for "the gang" serving in World War II. I can imagine the smiles of the men and women, often serving in very difficult situations, receiving a copy of the Blue Room Belch. Even the title has to bring a smile to your face.
Those familiar with the East End know that the neighborhood has undergone a lot of change over the years. The ever-present threat of floods has made governmental agencies interested in buying up and tearing down many of the homes that existed during this period. Contrast that with the current "gentrification" of the neighborhood, with homes and stores being replaced with condos up and down Eastern Ave. They often sell for more than half a million dollars. Even the name of the street was "gentrified" changing from Eastern Ave. to Riverside Dr. Thanks, Lou, for bringing the neighborhood to life.
I must also acknowledge the contributions of Bryan Phillips who has a facebook page on the East End, Columbia Tusculum and Linwood Communities. Click on "Photos" and you'll have the chance to endlessly explore pictures of the old neighborhood.
It has been my pleasure to bring a snapshot of this time and place to the children and grandchildren of "The Greatest Generation."