Ralph Horner
Ralph Horner

Stories by: Ralph Horner

Ralph Horner grew up in the 1950s and 1960s on Whittier Avenue in the Central and Hough neighborhoods. In the 1960s and 1970s, at the age of 19, he managed a French Shriner shoe store on Euclid Avenue, where he got to know many of the people who hung out on Short Vincent.  A self-proclaimed juvenile delinquent living in the inner city, Horner observed the characters who were regulars in the neighborhoods he lived and worked in. Now in his 70s, Horner shares the stories of some of his more memorable experiences on Short Vincent with the FreshWater series, Rascals and Rogues I Have Known.
How I became a St. James altar boy: New heights with Father Pete
Ralph Horner writes about growing up near St. James Church in Goodrich-Kirtland Park, how he met Father Pete and became an altar boy and “a high Anglo Catholic, but not under the Pope Pius XII,” and the first time he saw the mansions of Cleveland Heights and Shaker Heights.
How I became a St. James altar boy: God save the king!
Ralph Horner writes about growing up near St. James Church in Goodrich-Kirtland Park, how he met Father Pete and became an altar boy and “a high Anglo Catholic, but not under the Pope Pius XII,” and how his little sister humiliated him one day during mass.
How I became a St. James altar boy: The boat boy and the exploding censer
Ralph Horner writes about growing up near St. James Church in Goodrich-Kirtland Park, how he met Father Pete and became an altar boy and “a high Anglo Catholic, but not under the Pope Pius XII,” and incident during one Mass where the accidentally spilled the incense.
How I became a St. James altar boy: The first High Mass
Ralph Horner writes about growing up near St. James Church in Goodrich-Kirtland Park and how he met Father Pete and became an altar boy and “a high Anglo Catholic, but not under the Pope Pius XII.”
How I became a Saint James altar boy: Meeting Father Pete, finding religion, and getting a job offer
Ralph Horner writes about growing up next to St. James Church in Goodrich-Kirtland Park and how he met Father Pete and became an altar boy and “a high Anglo Catholic, but not under the Pope Pius XII.”
How I became a St. James altar boy: Observing Sunday rituals
In Ralph Horner’s newest series, “How I became a St. James altar boy,” Horner writes about growing up in the 1950s next to St. James Church in Goodrich-Kirtland Park and how he got drawn into being an altar boy and, eventually, “a high Anglo Catholic, but not under the Pope Pius XII.”
The birth of Rock & Roll: From 1950s doo-wop, a new sound in 1970s California rock emerges
After discovering his love for rhythm & blues in the early 50s, Ralph Horner reflects on the transition into doo-wop later in a the decade, and eventually into the Rock & Roll sounds emerging out of California in the 1960s and 70s.
The birth of Rock & Roll: Teenage music gods of the 1950s that nobody ever heard of
Ralph Horner recalls an up close and personal encounter with Big Jay McNeely's saxophone when McNeely played an Ohio City bar in the 1950s, as well as other rock legends of the era who simply faded into memories.
The birth of Rock & Roll: Heckling Frankie Avalon at a dance
While hanging around at a church dance in Euclid one night, Ralph Horner recalls the unsavory reaction he and his friends displayed toward icon Frankie Avalon when the star stopped in.
The birth of Rock & Roll: DJ Bill Randle and Elvis’ CLE debut
Ralph Horner recalls listening to Walkin’ and Talkin’ Bill Hawkins on WJMO radio, discovering his love of Elvis Presley, and the Rock & Roll music scene in Cleveland in the 1950s.
The Birth of Rock & Roll: Discovering Bill Haley & His Comets
In this first installment of Ralph Horner's newest column, Birth of Rock & Roll (and those who brought it into the world), Horner waxes nostalgic on his discovery of Bill Haley and His Comets when he was a teenagers in he 1950s.
The Cardalians: Not bragging, just saying, Cleveland is home
In the conclusion of his series "The Cardalians," Ralph Horner reflects on his experiences with his friends from Cardale, Pennsylvania who settled in Glenville and Collinwood in the 1950s. Horner then wraps the series up with a personal note.
The Cardalians: The characters and mischief in Otto’s Bar
Ralph Horner recalls his time as a young man in the 1950s, spending time with Glenville residents from Cardale, Pennsylvania at Otto's Bar and the Bowl-a-Rama in Collinwood.
The Cardalians: Antics at Otto’s Bar and the Bowl-a-Rama
Ralph Horner recalls his time as a young man in the 1950s, spending time with Glenville residents from Cardale, Pennsylvania at Otto's Bar and the Bowl-a-Rama in Collinwood.
The Cardalians: The Pennsylvania migration
"The Cardalians" is Ralph Horner’s third series of essays, recalling his days in the 1950s as a young man near Cleveland’s Glenville and Collinwood neighborhoods, and the large population of residents who came to Cleveland from Cardale, Pennsylvania.
The Golden Age on E. 49th: The cultural melting pot
Ralph Horner recalls the ethnic mix of the residents living in the Goodrich-Kirtland Park neighborhood in the 1950s, reaching racial harmony, and his discovery of photos of his old neighborhood at the Cleveland Public Library.
The Golden Age on E. 49th: Close friends coming of age together, then traveling separate paths
Ralph Horner reflects on coming of age in the old neighborhood, and how culture and experiences influenced the different paths he and his friends chose in life.
The Golden Age on E. 49th: Staying out of trouble at the Rainey Institute
Ralph Horner recalls the melting pot of friends he grew up with on East 49th Street in the 1950s—a group who regularly met to play basketball and try to stay out of trouble at the Rainey Institute on East 55th Street.
The Golden Age on E. 49th: The rules of the game on the playground
In Ralph Horner's newest Golden Age installment, he recounts the odd rules in softball games between the factories surrounding the Superior-Luther Playground and a game of one-on-one basketball with this "old-school" father.
Golden Age on E. 49th Street: Bulking up, neighbor relations, and joyriding in the neighborhood
In Ralph Horner's newest column series, "The Golden Age on East 49th Street," he writes about his childhood and life lessons learned in Goodrich-Kirtland Park in the 1950s.