Wednesday, October 14, 2015

“Speaking Of” Columns by Harry Van Stack

From 1945 to 1963, Harry Van Stack wrote a column for the Sandusky Register entitled “Speaking Of.” He penned dozens of articles about local history, politics, and social issues. Mr. Van Stack, the son of missionaries, grew up in South Africa. During the 1920s to the 1940s, he lectured aboard the prison ship Success. In this column from the January 28, 1950 issue of the Sandusky Register, Mr. Van Stack discussed the 1869 Sandusky City Directory, and its information about the city of Sandusky and its banks and railroads.

In his column from June 21, 1958, he praised the floral designs in Washington Park. He pointed out that approximately 100,000 hand-set plants and floral units were included in the many displays in the park that summer, including a cupid, which was appropriate for the area’s many June weddings.

On October 19, 1963, Harry Van Stack died unexpectedly. After his death, his wife, the former Louise Beaulieu, donated several items to the Sandusky Library, including five notebooks containing copies of the “Speaking Of” columns from 1945 to 1963. Visit the Sandusky Library to view these interesting articles which may have been read by your grandparents or great grandparents.

This picture of Mr. and Mrs. Van Stack is located in the back of Notebook Five, taken in October 1956 at the Mound Studio in Sandusky, Ohio.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. and Mrs. Van Stack lived in my neighborhood on Reese Street. Mr. Stack as we called him, was a wonderful man. I don't know if they had ever had children of their own, but he was very kind to the neighborhood kids. Whenever he met a new child he would honor their meeting by naming one of the beautiful plants in his garden after them, and when any of us passed by while he was outside, he'd make a point of showing us how well our special plant was doing, therefore instilling a love of nature and beauty in us children. I lived just a couple of houses down and enjoyed a close friendship with them. His study in the front of the house, was a wonder. Full of books galore and all manner of wild African art items, from animal hide rugs to statues and brightly painted masks. He taught me to play chess, and we would while away the afternoon in this wonderfully exotic room. I remember their red Chow Chow, Jack. He was the terror of the neighborhood, protective of his home, he's run out to meet anyone walking by and if you didn't know him you'd surely be terrified. But he was really gentle and sweet and my special friend. When I was a teenager I had gotten a French Canadian pen pal who wrote to me only in French, not knowing any French myself, I would rush over as soon as supper was done and Mrs. Stack would translate the letters for me. In 1981 she gifted me with one of her beloved husbands novels."Flames of Darkness" she said it was no longer in print, but a treasured copy of her own. She wrote a lovely sentiment inside, ending with "Thobela" a traditional African greeting she said Harry signed all of his books with. They were lovely people, and just some of the unique people who were a part of our town.