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April 24, 1980

Readers of this column may have read the book "Cold is The Sea," by Ned Beach, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. The story also appeared in condensed form in a Reader's Digest book.

For those who haven't read it, it is a thrilling novel built around the Navy's Polaris sub, the Cushing, sent to the Arctic during World War II to determine if that area was really neutral, only to discover that alien forces were there, building a base for operations. Thereby develops the struggle between the Cushing and an enemy sub, with another U.S. sub arriving to assist in the combat.

At one place in the story there is a description of an enemy sub being des- troyed and sinking to the Fletcher Abyssal Plain, 12,000 feet down. Since Admiral Fletcher Good, a native Fostorian written up in a Potluck column, dated Jan. 11, 1979, was at one period in his career commanding officer of several U.S. submarines, it occurred to me that perhaps the Abyssal Plain was named in his honor.

A letter to Ned Beach, the author, brought a reply, which is excerpted:

Dear Mr. Krupp:

Thank you for your letter. I'm naturally delighted that you enjoyed "Cold Is The Sea." In answer to your question about the Fletcher Abyssal Plain, I've never heard its name related to Roscoe Fletcher Good, and doubt there is a connection...although I don't pretend to any authority.

I knew Admiral Good while he was still on active duty. For a time we were in the Pentagon together.

Best wishes to you, and thanks again for your kind comment.

Best wishes for 1980...Sincerely,

Edward L. Beach.

Beach was a World War II submariner, decorated seven times for gallantry. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1939, he spent four years in the Pacific during World War II, participating in the Battle of Midway and more than a dozen war patrols. When the Japanese surrendered in 1945, the submarine Piper, of which he was skipper, was the last to return home.

Aside from his active duty assignments, Beach was always writing patrol re- ports, magazine articles, and books. One of those was "Around the World Sub- merged," a story of how the Triton, then the largest nuclear sub ever built, circumnavigated the globe in 1960, under Beach's command.

I thought I would share the accompany photo of the Beach family, sent with his letter.

Kaubisch Library has "Cold Is The Sea" and other books by Beach, according to Dan McGinnis.


"Five railroads ran through Fostoria back then. The Nickle Plate which went to Cleveland ran an excursion train every Sunday in the dollar roundtrip per person. It was an event I looked forward to, as the family would all go. Dad would come back home on the evening train and Mother, Ruth and I would stay at Uncle Noah's and Aunt Lizzie's house a whole week. Aunt Lizzie would plan something for each day...a picnic at Wade park, another day at Brookside where the zoo was, another at Euclid Beach where the bathing, amusements and rides were. Transportation was by streetcars. One day we would see the Indians play baseball.

"Another excursion on Sundays was on the LE&W to Sandusky where we would take a boat for a half-hour ride across the bay to Cedar Point. In the days before pollution, Cedar Point was considered one of the finest beaches on the Great Lakes. It had a famous hotel called The Breakers; also all the amusements that were known at that time. The cost of this excursion was one dollar round trip including the boat ride.

"One of the first signs of spring when I was a boy was when the kids brought out their marbles and started to play the many games with them. The cherished marbles were the glassies and agates. The work horses of the games were the commies. Commies were made of baked clay, painted bright colors. One of the basic games were "pegging," in which a player laid a valuable glassy or agate on the ground. The other player stood back an agreed distance and pitched commies at it, one at a time, until he hit it. He lost all the commies he pitched, but won the aggie when he hit it. Mother scolded me for playing for "keeps"...said it was gambling.

Your Potluck editor remembers very vividly, as will all of my older readers, all of the summertime fun Sprout wrote about. The Cedar Point excursion with Wilbur Sheely, my closest friend, was one of the highpoints of my boyhood. And, I still have a sack of marbles from my playing days...some commies and lots of agates and glassies.


"In the summer we had the meat man, the bread man, the tea man, the ice man, milk man and fish man...all making their rounds in horsdrawn delivery wagons. We also had the ice cream man who pushed a cart, rang a bell, and sold ice cream cones about a third the size of present ones, for one cent.

"The meat man carried fresh cut meat in a box in the rear of the wagon, behind his seat, with a double folding lid over it with ice in the bottom.

"Mother would stand behind his wagon, he would turn in his seat and lift the lids and she would make her selection. A scale hung from the roof on which he would weigh her "buy." A pound of round steak was 15 cents. Us kids would be on hand because if mother bought anything he would usually give us a weiner.

"The ice man always attracted kids because when he cut a piece of ice from the 100 pound block there would usually be some small chips for us to re- trieve."

Sprout forgot to mention the vegetable man. I remember Mr. Duffey, the father of Alton, who some readers will recall. He always had a large selection of fresh vegetables, at reasonable prices.


Elzea Angles asked me why, in my recent article about Bertha Wickerd, I didn't mention Otis Wickerd. I asked him what he could tell me about him. He reply, "I remember him back during the time when I drove the Express Wagon, and the music store was on East North. He was a tall, heavy-set man, but I never knew much about him."

One reader told me Otis was the son of Bertha. That's all I knew about him. Maybe some other reader can tell me more.


A recent letter from Scot Evenbeck, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Evenbeck, West Fremont St., was very welcome: "Mom and Dad have sent me quite a few of the articles you have had in the RT, concerning the history of Fostoria, and I have greatly enjoyed them. I hope you will have a compilation of all of them. I used to spend happy hours reading old city directories and other local his- tory books at the public library."

I have had many requests to compile a history of Fostoria into a hardcover book. I hope to do it one of these days.

Scott is dean of the School of Science, Purdue University, and has consented to be a profile subject in a future issue.

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