The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio


January 26, 2014

A Don McCormack column: A letter of just the right type

One of the AC/DC aspects of this job are the many forms of correspondence I receive, pretty much on a daily basis.

The AC/DC part is while some of the emails, voicemails, etc. are positive or inquisitive in nature, most are of the opposite variety, negative in nature, if you will.

And then, a few are electrifying in that they are typed or hand-written and come from the heart.

Every time I see regular white  envelope with my name and title type-written on it waiting for me on my desk when I arrive at the office, I get a charge out of it.

Because I know it’s from Bill Corbitt.

Bill, a 1941 Ashtabula High School graduate, is in his ninth decade on this planet and his letters, perfectly type-written — much like his contributions to these pages through the years — are always welcomed.

After graduation from Ashtabula, he Bill immediately took over as sports editor of the Conneaut News-Herald.

Which brings us to the reason behind his most recent correspondence, sent from his Columbus residence and dated Jan. 17, 2014.

He wrote:


I enjoyed reading your recent feature on Bob Best, the Amboy Rifle Club and Conneaut’s weather in the old days.

But let me add a little to the tale ...

Perhaps the Amboy Rifle Club was reorganized in 1954, but was not founded in that year as the article stated.

My late grandfather-in-law, Robert Parker (a Nickel Plate engineer and purportedly a running back fro the old Canton Bulldogs), spent many hours at the rifle club in the heart of Amboy in the 1930s. He not only was a shooter but also a collector of antique guns.

In the 1941-42 during my stint as a teenage sports editor of the Conneaut News-Herald, like you, I had the job of collecting the weekly reports of the club’s various rifle meets. Unlike you, who takes the calls via telephone from Bob Best, mine arrived via the newspaper’s mail slot, dropped off late at night by any one of a number of volunteers, then recorded in the next day’s sports page.

A number of the many club members whose names come to mind would have to include Bob Goldsmith. He was a marksman who more often than not had the highest score in the weekly team competition.

Another member with high marks backs in the 1940s was Bob McLaughlin, retired Conneaut businessman (jeweler) — a good source of information on the Amboy Rifle Club, both before and after 1954.

Just having fun at almost 91!

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  • Spartans knock around Dragons

    After being cooped up in gymnasiums for the better part of the season so far, the Conneaut and Lakeside softball teams were just happy to get onto a diamond. Playing for the first time in nearly a week, the Spartans toppled the Dragons, 11-2, Thursday afternoon at Lakeside.

    April 18, 2014

  • PV can’t get past Mathews

    Thursday afternoon at Pymatuning Valley, the visiting Mathews Mustangs were able to do what every coach hopes for — execute. They played a clean game from start to finish in every facet of the game, and that carried the Mustangs to an 8-2 Northeastern Athletic Conference victory.

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Statistics:

    Matthews 8, PV 2
    at PV

    April 18, 2014

  • Scholastic Schedule:


    Geneva at Edgewood (11)
    Niles McKinley at Edgewood (5)
    Conneaut at Lakeside (4:30)
    Madison at Euclid (4:30)
    Madison at Edgewood (4:30)
    Geneva at Mentor (10, DH)
    Conneaut at Madison (4)

    April 18, 2014

  • Justin Butler Justin time

    It was just four short years ago that Justin Butler was spending his fall on a soccer field.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: ‘Kids’ stuff’ spurs great responses

    I’m often caught more than a bit off-guard by what stories, features or columns generate responses from you, Loyal Readers, much more so than those who do not.
    For example, the column that appeared in this space a couple of days ago regarding things yours truly and my buddies did as kids prompted more than a few responses.
    A sampling, many of which were posted on my Facebook page:

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • kyle GANG GREEN

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Scholastic Schedule:

    Grand Valley at Maplewood (4:30)
    St. John at Lawrence (4:30)
    Mathews at PV (4:30)
    Fairport at Perry (7:30)
    West Geauga at Madison (4:30)
    Harvey at Riverside (4:30)
    Jefferson at Harding (5)

    April 16, 2014

  • Olivia In transition

    Pymatuning Valley graduate Olivia Holt had a distinct reason she chose to play basketball for Mount Union.
    “They do have tradition,” Holt, the daughter of Gus and Michelle Holt, said. “I’m from PV. We had a tradition of winning and working hard there. I wanted to go somewhere that tradition mattered. I knew I was going to get better by coming here.”

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Don A Don McCormack column: Spring has sprung one big leak

    Paying a Wednesday morning visit to the variety store...

    Think spring?
    If this, um, err, uh... spring... feels a bit unusual for high school baseball and softball teams in Northeast Ohio, it is, to a point.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Sports Week in Review April 7-12
Spring Sports Practice in Ashtabula County
2014 AP BB Tourney Top 25
2014 AP BB Tourney Scoreboard
2014 AP BB Tourney News
2014 AP BB Tourney Photos
Star Beacon-Ed Batanian Senior Classic
Girls Regional Basketball Action
Week of Champions
Sports Week in Review February 21, 22
Grand Valley at Edgewood Boys Basketball
Sports Week in Review Feb. 3 to 8
Sports Week in Review January 30 to Feb. 1
Sports Week in Review January 13-18
Sports Week in Review January 10 and 11
Sports Video Archive
House Ads
AP Video