From Ellen: These stories are taken from a series of emails that have been exchanged between George Elias and me since the fall of 2006. George was a student at Upper Arlington High School, 13 years my father's junior, who became friends with my dad (Bud) and who looked up to him as a father figure. I am so grateful for his correspondence, as his stories have given me a wonderful insight into the kind of man my father was. I hope you enjoy them too!
October 29, 2006

Dear Ellen, Received you reply and was so happy to view the pictures-your Father and your family- and was glad to see you look much like Bud. How tall are you (as he was 6'2")?

You never will know how happy I was to talk with you yesterday as I had debated over many years whether or not to contact you, thinking you would pronounce me a kook or some other wierdoo (God knows the world is full of them anymore!)...
Which was not the case in the "greenhouse" environment of the Upper Arlington
I was raised in (Thank God), but I suppose even Arlington has had to endure
the massive changes of the past 5 decades plus since I left there.

No, don't concern yourself about my health as of at least this letter writing I'm okay... It's just as you grow older you become reminiscent at times about the past, and I first noticed this phenomenon in my fifties, but to a lesser degree than now! My father died when I was a small child. He was an author and lecturer, taken from this world at a time when he was beginning to achieve much beyond his wildest dreams, and at that time we were living in Oberlin. Mother married a "traveling salesman" (who never traveled) because at that time big companies had factory reps who could "armchair sale" without driving 'round the country-side! Step-dad Jim was doing well financially, so ventured to move to Arlington where we first lived on Coventry, then Collingswood, but, alas, my sister and I proved too much to bear for his aging disposition, so mom and him parted, with us kids and her moving to apartments at Northwest Blvd. & North Starr Rd. This was the juncture when I first met your Father through a school friend of mine named Carl Richards, who has gone on to become not only a dentist(probably retired) but also a famous author and fisherman of significant renown(at least among anglers).

Walter T. Isaly became a father-image to me from about age 12 to age 17 (such formative years for a boy) and much of what I became in later life I owe to his guidance, kindness, and outdoor partnership-he was my inspiration to become a man.

.I am going to close this e-mail at this point because thoughts of those years emotionalizes me too much-in fact, since I have been able to contact you, and you being so warm to my message, I think it best if you could give me your home
address and let me take a breather until I can try later on to create an image for you of some of the miriad of experiences I had with Bud-most of all I am elated to find someone of his own flesh and blood to share over time the numerous adventurous experiences we had together-especially in the outdoors FOR HE LOVED THE OUTDOORS.

November 1, 2006

Hi Ellen and Family, I enjoyed immensely your lengthy letter-yes, Bud did whirl you around and toss you (gently) in the air which didn't please Granma Isaly, but he was careful with you and I remember seeing him do that! Betty Williams Isaly was always nice to me and I remember her so well. She liked to wear ankle socks (white) and slacks.

I liked the picture of Walter with Earl; yeah Earl was very fair whereas Bud, I thought resembled his mother. I told him that one time and he agreed, but then again some of the Isalys were brunettes.

The first car Bud had was a hump backed 1947 or 1948 black Ford which he traded for a black 1949 Ford that had the trunk hinges on the outside (changed in 1950 model) and had the first modern design post-War. Don't ask me why I mention that it just came to mind because he was driving the older hump-backed model when I first started visiting him at the South Mallway store (looks like the store in your picture).

Your letters are beautiful and make me feel so good to read

November 8, 2006

Did you know that Bud moved to Houston, Texas a year or two before his passing? He stayed there quite a few months. I think maybe the Isaly family had a connection or relative in that area. Anyway, your Dad really would have liked to start some enterprise on his own, because after he closed the little store near the old high school, he went to work for one of his Uncles. That Uncle was downtown in the old Central Market district.

The problem was there was a man in the cheese stand down there named Ernie who had put many years in working for this Uncle of Bud and felt the Uncle should or would leave the business to him. But when your Dad went to work in the cheese store some real uncertainties developed over who would or wouldn't take over the enterprise eventually. I heard that Uncle later committed suicide. (Note from Ellen: this must have been Uncle Carl, who did commit suicide.) In lieu of all this indefinite outcome, Walter planned to develop some kind of cheese merchandising effort in south Texas, selling or distributing, I don't know. We exchanged letters several times and I kept those letters for years, but don't have them anymore.

Your Dad still managed to do some fishing and squirrel hunting down Texas way along with attempting to break into the Houston market! Well, alas, he told me that - and you've got to remember this was the early 1950's- the business people down thataway treated him like an outsider, you know, a Yankee from the North! Therefore he didn't establish anything worth staying involved with, and
returned to Columbus.

There's other anecdotes from the past. I'll promise not to inundate you with them, but Walter was such an outdoors type that I know he would have liked to live in the West. He used to tell me when I was in high school to take a college degree in forestry and head out to the good fishing and hunting country like Montana, Wyoming.

November 10, 2006

Hi Ellen and Family, Well I don't recall if his name was Uncle Carl or not, but he was a tall dignified man who always had a medicinal smell, being that I had heard, he had a phobia about getting sick and some strong tendency toward hypochondriasis - well whatever, let it be said he was very formal and dignified and seldom came to the cheese stand. Everyone said he was quite wealthy, whether he was married or not I don't know, but he always was a meticulous dresser, reserved of countenance, and wearing expensive clothes, and, in that era it included a fine dress hat.

Ernie and Oscar were the other two fellas working the stand, Oscar much younger, and Ernie fairly old, a guy who truly felt the stand ought to eventually be turned over to him, and apparently that paticular Uncle, though not committing himself on paper, had over the years lead Ernie to believe such a concept. Ernie was not a roustabout, but did some drinking, especially in the Market District, thus knowing everyone over the years, many of whom were customers at the Stand. I sensed that although Ernie and Bud were hospitable on the surface and enough to get along working together, that underneath it all Ernie felt Bud would end up with the cheese business, because, after all, blood is thicker than water! This caused him consternation.

November 18, 2006

Dear Ellen and Family, When Bud had the Isaly Dairy Store on South Mallway he asked Harry (the part owner and butcher in the IGA Grocery Store next door-the other owner being Jim) if there was some way he could increase his profit on the hamburgers we sold at noon, as we had a hellaciously large crowd of kids from the High School, and Harry told him he could add 40% ground liver to the ground beef in each burger and save some dough! I told your Dad this wouldn't work because the hamburgers would taste like liver, but surprisingly THEY DIDN'T! Ha Ha Ha! The oinly thing was when you grilled them they fried kind of soapy like liver does! Oh, well.

Here's another yarn about teeth, of all things. Well, your Pop had a strong set of teeth, straight and few fillings...I used to gripe to him about having to go to Dr. Larrimer to get my teeth filled (this was before fluoride, by the way!)-most everyone had plenty of
cavities and fillings in those days... Bud didn't have this problem. In the 50's potatoes came in burlap bags and Walter could bend forward and bite into the burlap of a hundred pound sack of potatoes and stand erect with the bag in his mouth-not an easy task, by the way!

We used to go on fishing trips and in the car he kept his favorite candy, hard marble-size round balls of cherry, lime, lemon and other rock candy flavors. Your Dad could chew them like gum as I can still hear him crunching this candy that most people just suck on!

For the finale, there was a dentist that had an office above the store and he always lunched at the Isaly Store. Incessantly, he urged Bud to come upstairs and have his teeth cleaned...Bud told me, "You know, George, I don't believe in having your teeth cleaned." I asked him why and he said, " It disrupts your gums and makes them sore for days afterwards!" Anyway, alas, with the constant hounding of this dentist, Bud finally succumbed and went upstairs for a cleaning. I saw him the next day, thinking with all that hard candy chewin' like peanuts, the dentist had filled at least ten teeth, but your Dad said, "See, George, I told ya' my gums are sore and itching!"

"Well, Bud," I asked, "how were your teeth?" "Perfect!", was his reply...The dentist came in for lunch later and said, " You know, I would've sworn Bud needed a buncha' fillin's since he hadn't been to a dentist in years, BUT HE DIDN'T!" This kind of crazy story sticks in my memory, seems silly, doesn't it, to remember such a thing!

November 24, 2006

Hi Ellen and Family, I never told you about Bud's last car which was a Nash American small size station wagon in which he always kept some fishing and hunting gear. Your Dad really gave this vehicle a work-out, he used it in the cheese business and on outdoor trips. Behind the front seats he kept a high powered 22 Swift Rifle with only iron sites - your Dad didn't need a telescope for shooting!

When we would go on fishing trips he'd be scanning the country-side while talking to me simultaneously and driving! In the Spring, pheasant roosters are out in the fields looking for girlfriends (hens); Walter had the keenest eyesight of anyone I have ever met. We would be driving and talking and suddenly he'd say to me "George, do you see that cock pheasant over there?", pointing his finger out the driver's window. Bud would stop the car on the shoulder of the road and I would look, look, look, and say "Where at?". "Out there about 100 yards!", he'd reply with urgency...Sure enough, a pheasant rooster would be out there, motionless, and so difficult to see by anyone.

Well, your Dad would reach behind the front seats and pull out that Swift high-powered 22 and aim it out the window and "pow!" His saying always was, "George, a gun is useless unless it's loaded and ready for action!" If you think about it, he was right, God Bless him!

December 2, 2006

Now that I am an oldster, Ellen, I can but reflect the eternal belief I have about your faher: He was a 19th or earlier centured man- not that he was not adept at performing the social and economical demands of a 20th Century man, but that he possessed the instincts and desires to have lived and dwelt in the back-country of some far less than modern society as he possessed the true instincts of someone who was endowed with the wants and interests of a creation who truly loved the out-of-doors as I have seen him lie on the ground without blanket or comforter and sleep so peacefully using the crux of his arm as a pillow.

Of all the remembrances I hold dear to my soul was the time in some March early in the 1950's when he somehow learned that there was a place in Ohio where you could catch some trout and at that time this was practically an impossibility! There is a little town in the extreme north of the state called Venice and by that town runs a small stream of water that empties from the exclusive Castalia Trout Club. In fact, the origin of the initial cold water surge is the famous Blue Hole which is so memorialized in Ohio history as being an exquisite source of pristine cold, clear, untampered water(at least in the early 1950's!)... Scuttlebutt had it that some yocals from Columbus had drifted up thataway and landed in some bar in Venice and while talking to the indigents therein, had learned that the trout club had not procured the last two to three hundred yards of stream water before it entered the Lake Erie bay.

Well, the Columbus nimrods went down to the creek and tried their luck at fishing to no avail-BECAUSE THE PRIVATE TROUT CLUB HAD PLACED A METAL SEINE TO PREVENT FISH FROM THE EXCLUSIVE CLUB TO ENTER THESE LOWER WATERS! What the millionairre's club hadn't realized was that they had at one time purchased a bunch of steelhead trout and placed them in the Club's portion of the river, and after these fish had attain a certain size, well, they simply disappeared! And, additionally, they saw no reason to purchase the last 200-300 yards of the Castalia stream for fishing(they have since bought that property). What do you think happened to those steelhead trout?

Operating under the good Lord's genetical scheme, they had all migrated to the Lake where they developed into gigantic fish! Peculiar to their species, these Steelheads, every Spring, migrate into rivers to breed, which is atypical behaviour to their relative, the Rainbow trout.

Your Daddy Bud mounted an expedition to Venice, Ohio in March 1950?/1951? with a buddy of his who was a carpenter and when they got to Venice it was SNOWING TO BEAT THE BAND, the wind blowing like a cyclone, Bud and his friend stopped in the local cafe there for coffee and talked to the locals about fishing in the small creek behind the cafe; the town folks practically laughed them outta the place. Walter was not one to place a lotta confidence on the words of others. Him and his compadre drifted down to the relatively small stream in a gail of wind and snow. Whatta blessing, those Steelheads were just coming in off Lake Erie to spawn-not one of them weighing less than 2 pounds!

Bud's cooler down on South Mallway was bursting at the seams with fresh winter-caught Steelhead Trout-ha ha ha! Whatta laugh on the exclusive trout club and those dopes in Venice that hadn't realized that year-after-year such monstrous fish came up that stream to spawn while the snow and wind were blowing! Your Papa had a knack at figuring things out!!!

December 4, 2006

Hi Ellen and Family! Onto Northern Michigan and the Thunder Bay River, which at the time your Daddy and Grandpa Isaly ( accompanied by Uncle Earl?...unsure) embarked to this northern torrent, was a pristine body of charging water, icy cold, roaring over undammed virtual wilderness, emptying its cargo of frothy water at Alpena.

Bud was always trying to coax his Father into a fishing or hunting trip, and, alas, he acceded to this wilderness outting, much to Walter's delight...So in the mid-summer of 1951, all hands polished up Grandfather's sleek black Packard limousine (straight eight with lacquer finish (upon the hood of which, even with engine running, a quarter would not slide!), and elaborate preparations made-to include your Father and I going down to below Grigg's Dam, wading in the water at night with net and carbide lanterns to collect HELLGRAMMITES, that vicious elongated nymph-critter, black, pincered, known to etymplogists as the Dobson Fly larval form.

Your Dad said,"George, those small-mouth bass up in northen Michigan probably have never seen such an ugly bait before-should drive them crazy!" On arrival to the then remote River, the local anglers informed the trio that fishin' was in a 'slump', " 'N the bass ain't bitin' on 'nuthin' !" "Well, do you old boys use hellgrammites on 'em?" , queried your Dad, and the local fishers, not knowing what they even were, gazed down into the huge box of wet Spanish moss filled with the ugly wiggly nymphs-"Holy Moley, whatcha' got there...never saw any bait-critters like those!"

Well, neither had the small-mouth up there, and, again, your Pop, Grand-Daddy, and Earl cleaned up on the bass that July, so long ago! After a few days of fishing, they had their load, and by the time the Isaly Clan were pulling out of Long Rapids and Mackinaw State Forest, the word was out about the mysterious 'ugly bait', so enticing and delectable to their otherwise fickle fish! Ha Ha Ha !