I’m doing a bit of updating concerning a few articles published this last month. Back in mid-August, I spotted a week’s worth of daily comic strips featuring a gentleman named Ed Crankshaft, a school bus driver. I have enjoyed that comic strip for a very long time.
The six daily strips that I am referring to concerned Ed Crankshaft completing a visit to his dermatologist and the various parts of that visit. It was like reading something that I might have written because everything seemed to really connect.
Ed and I are both school bus drivers. We both visit a lady dermatologist. We both have encountered that coldness while freezing bad places on our bodies. Among several other things. It was almost like Ed and I were driving down the very same streets.
I saved those newspapers and trimmed out those six Crankshaft comic strips. I taped them onto a cardboard backing and then when The Southsider Voice came available that had my column in it, I delivered a few copies of the newspaper and the Crankshaft strips to Dr. Emily Keller’s office.
I walked into the office and stepped up to the reception desk. The three young ladies on duty thought I was there for an appointment. I quickly explained that I had something for Dr. Keller and placed the cardboard with the comic strips in front of them.
As they were checking out the strips, I also explained that I was a school bus driver. They were laughing and reading those comic strips I believe each of them recognized the connection. I then showed them the article in The Southsider Voice, and they were laughing again.
I was very pleased that I arrived when they had a couple of minutes for me to explain my presents and deliver those newspapers and comic strips. I doubted that it would be possible to see Dr. Keller, so I wanted to explain what I was doing to some of the staff, and I was very pleased.
The very next morning at about 7:15, I answered a phone call, and it was Dr. Keller. After talking with her, I’m under the understanding that she was not in the office the day before. I remember her saying to me on that call, “I arrived at the office this morning and the entire staff surrounded me laughing and showing me the newspaper and the Crankshaft comic strips.” I was very surprised and honored to receive her call.
The two gentlemen that produced the Crankshaft comic strip are Dan Davis and Tom Batiuk. A friend of mine did some research and provided me with a phone number. I called the number and left a message. I explained my connection with Ed Crankshaft and also our connection with our dermatologists. A few days later, I received a return call and I spoke with Tom Batiuk. I explained how that week’s strip totally connected with me.
I told him about my weekly article, and he asked if I could send him a copy. I agreed and also sent him a couple of other school bus articles from the past few years.
Last week, I had an appointment with my optometrist, Dr. Colin Christie. I took a few newspapers in with me. In a discussion after my exam, I was told that the oldest Southport Alumnae was celebrating her 104th birthday. Her name is Eleanor Ramsey. Her photo is on the front page of last weeks edition. Also, in the photo are five of her children. Daughter, Bonnie Summitt is in the photo and her daughter showed me her photo while I was talking with her in the Optometrist’s office. Eleanor was born on August 31, 1919. She also has 12 grandchildren, 14 great grandchildren and 14 great-great grandchildren.
I also spotted Linda Gammon in the photo. She is also a daughter of Eleanor Ramsey. Linda’s husband was a member of my Southport High School Class of 1960. Jimmy Gammon and I were classmates for all twelve years at Edgewood Grade School and Southport High School. We lost Jimmy a few years ago. He will be remembered at the weekend’s class reunion.
Shonk is a 1960 graduate of Southport High School, a ’63 grad of Indiana Central College (now the University of Indianapolis) and a retired bus driver from Beech Grove Schools. He can be reached through email at email@example.com.