Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

December 16, 2012

Commentary: News editor recalls Johnson Controls

For the better part of my childhood, Johnson Controls was my neighbor. I grew up on east Reynolds Street just south of 16th Street. My bedroom window faced north, and between my neighbors’ houses I could see the hulking factory building lurking just across Egbert Avenue.

ON WARM SUMMER NIGHTS when my window was open, I would often be awoken early by the sound of revving engines, shutting car doors and pre-dawn small talk as employees walked to their work stations.

Later on those days, my good friend Mark and I would set up a lemonade stand in his yard at the corner of 16th and Egbert. We could make a buck or two during break times, usually enough to buy a new Wiffleball at G.L. Perry.

We would spend the rest of the afternoon playing Wiffleball until the Johnson Controls whistle blew around 3:30 p.m. and employees poured out of the plant, some in a full sprint. We’d wait about 20 minutes for the traffic to clear and then resume our game.

One summer there was a strike and some of the Johnson Controls workers stood on a picket line at the south entryway. We would talk to them and they would say things like “Stay in school,” and “Enjoy being young while you can.” I remember they were nice to us.

WE WERE IN THE business of making up games in those days. One game we invented was Tennis Baseball. We would stand at 16th and Reynolds with a tennis racket and hit tennis balls toward the factory. If the ball made it to the roof, if was a home run. We must have hit three dozen tennis balls up on that roof that we never got back. Needless to say, Tennis Baseball was slightly flawed.

As we got a little older we found that the parking lot, speed bumps and curbs at Johnson Controls were great for skateboarding. A pack of us would set up a ramp when the lot was empty on Saturdays or Sundays. We’d have a great time until the security guard would shoo us away.

We got to know a couple of those security guards over the years, giving them a little wave as we walked past their station as we cut across the campus on our way to the fairgrounds.

Text Only
Opinion
  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: A sign of things to come? When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 21, 2014

  • NWS GN0406 guns in school image 04 OUR VIEW: Little reason to fear new firearms law A change in state law has proven to be controversial. This newspaper respects the opinions of the objectors -- they have concerns about public safety, a worthy focus of worry. Still, The Goshen News sees little reason to fear. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140417 percussion champs 01 OUR VIEW: Drums, honors and radio shows Every so often we like to tip our caps in this space to the outstanding efforts and accomplishments of our community members. There has certainly been much to celebrate and appreciate in our area the past few days. We'll start with the Goshen High S

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Chicken-keeping ordinance not the best, but it's a start The first ever Goshen chicken-keeping ordinance is restrictive and limited, but it is a start. After weeks of discussions, debate and resurrection, the chicken-keeping ordinance was approved Tuesday on a 4-3 vote by the City Council. As written, the

    April 17, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: The truth behind Indiana’s economic condition is often unwelcome Jim Feelwright greeted me warmly as I entered the room: "Well, here he is, Mr. Negative." Since it was a friendly meeting, I borrowed a famous line from the movies: "You can't handle the truth." "You," he said, "just don't want to see what's rea

    April 16, 2014

  • Only you can prevent grass and field fires Maybe you can feel it in the air, too. We at The Goshen News are cheered by the much-awaited, and welcome, return of spring. The greenery makes us glad. Seeing runners and bicyclists -- many in shorts, no less -- reminds us that we need to kick our e

    April 13, 2014

  • Church ministry reaches out to local renters One of the highest hurdles a low-income family has to overcome is finding a decent place to rent -- and the good news is there is more help available for Goshen families struggling with that issue. Working in partnership with the Goshen Housing Autho

    April 10, 2014

  • GN140404 goshen college OUR VIEW: Goshen College is no waste in our book Last week the website www.policymic.com published an article titled, "These 10 Colleges Are the Biggest Waste of Tuition Money in the U.S." Their source of data for the post was from www.payscale.com, which used self-reported salary information from

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • GN140401 Goshen City Hall OUR VIEW: Chicken keeping in Goshen shouldn't be so complex Aproposed ordinance that would allow Goshen residents to keep hens on their property is back. City council members voted down the measure at their March 18 meeting, but at their session this past Tuesday approved a motion to reconsider an amended ver

    April 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • MORTON MARCUS: Indiana Statehouse likely would have thrown water on Noah’s ark The new movie about Noah and his ark, combined with the antics of the Indiana General Assembly, led me to setting the fabled story here in the Hoosier state. We would need an acceptable name for Noah's wife. Naamah is her name in the movie, but schol

    April 2, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
U.S. Paratroopers in Poland, Amid Ukraine Crisis US Reviews Clemency for Certain Inmates Raw: Violence Erupts in Rio Near Olympic Venue Raw: Deadly Bombing in Egypt Raw: What's Inside a Commercial Jet Wheel Well Raw: Obama Arrives in Japan for State Visit Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Motels Near Disney Fighting Homeless Problem Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye' Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers
Poll

There has been discussion at West Goshen Elementary School to require mandatory student uniforms in the future. How do you feel about the prospect of mandatory student uniforms in a public school environment?

I think it’s an excellent idea that is way overdue
I think it’s a bad idea and would be restrictive for students and parents.
     View Results