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1 year after

July 15, 2023
Today at the grocery, I ran into a caregiver of Dad’s , Rebecca from touching hearts. I haven’t seen her since months before he died. She was the one I called to tell the company of his passing. We reminisced about Dad.
tonight Roberta and i will go eat Chinese food in his honor! Here’s to you Dad! We love you!!

The Robert Finley I came to know...

March 2, 2023
I have known Robert since I was a child. His father, Dr. Kent Finley, and my grandmother, Ethel Finley Landaker, were siblings. In my early days I visited "the farm" many times, occasionally getting to fish in the pond there, sometimes with his son Rob. In the early days I didn't know what to make of Robert--quiet and cerebral. Over the years I came to know him as one of the most humble, polite and kind men I have ever known. On my visits there he was always interested in learning about my world. He was especially kind and patient with my brother whenever he visited. Robert's cheery disposition easily put one at ease and I am grateful for the visits we had. Patients who had him were lucky. I am a better person for having known him and in life, I endeavor to treat people in the very manner he exemplified.


March 1, 2023
Thanks Dr. Finley for letting me get to know you. I’d like to think I’m a better person for that. You made time for me and made me feel welcome. You left a legacy with your children and I see them continuing in your footsteps. You are missed but will never be forgotten. Thank you again for your contributions.

From The Dayton Daily News - July 20, 1941

July 26, 2022
Newspaper Photo
"Many Attractions Keep Dayton Touring Students Busy on Coast"

Los Angeles, Cal., July 19 -- During the past week our mode of living has completely changed and we find a roof over our heads for every meal and every night's slumber. Home cooked meals were a most welcome change to us and we really are becoming so spoiled out here that it will be difficult to delve into the cans once more.

Thursday morning found us still trying to recuperate from the "blitz" across the desert [sic]. It was not until Thursday noon that we started our sightseeing in Southern California. As Forest Lawn cemetery was nearby it initiated our inspection of Los Angeles. After spending several thoroughly interesting hours upon the beautiful grounds of the cemetery and in the mausoleums, we made our next stop at the Columbia Broadcasting Studio building. Here, accompanied by our guide and 10 women, we toured the different departments of CBS. After recording our voices and then hearing the transcription, we were taken to the sound effects department. Although it was interesting to learn how the sounds were produced, it was somewhat disillusioning. Dick Powell was the guest artist on "Spebsqua," a program for the preservation of barber shop quartets, for which we were lucky enough to obtain tickets. 

Thursday evening we bowled in the Sunset Bowling Center, the largest establishment of this kind in the world. The alleys are housed in the old Warner Brothers studios. There are 52 lanes on one floor. Our only criticism of this recreational center was that it did not help our scores which were made public by flashing them on a screen where everyone might see. 

Friday we were able to get on the inside of a large packing house in Azusa, Cal. We thoroughly enjoyed seeing the way in which our oranges are packed for shipment to Dayton and all points east. The women in these plants need never fear losing their jobs because of machines taking over as they are able to wrap and pack about 40 crates of oranges per day. We also saw the famous Rainbow Angling club near Azusa where all you have to do is throw in your line and pull out a mountain trout. Friday evening some friends took us to the famous Olvera st. in Los Angeles. It is the Mexican section of town. We enjoyed looking in some of the night clubs and shopping at the Mexican booths. Saturday we took in a countless number of places in an all day drive in Los Angeles and vicinity. The new Lockheed airplane factory was the first among these stops of interest. Here we saw an excellent example of our "all out" aid to Britain plan as there were hundreds of planes on the fields ready for shipment. We were greatly impressed with the Rose Bowl, where the annual New Year's Day football game is held but we were surprised to find that it wasn't as large as our expectations had led us to believe. After visiting this, we journeyed across town to Los Angeles' other famous Bowl, Hollywood Bowl. Its seating capacity is 20,000 and the "band shell" itself has marvelous acoustics. The bowl is in the height of the concert series at this time of the year. Having always wished to eat in one of the famous Brown Derbys, we climaxed our tour with a late lunch. In fact we were 10 minutes too late to see Dorothy Lamour. A rather strange coincidence occurred when our waiter overheard some conversation about Dayton and remarked that he also was a native Daytonian and had come from there three weeks ago.

Saturday night we had our first night life experience in California. The Coconut Grove at the Ambassador hotel was our first rendezvous. Freddie Martin was playing at the Grove. We had a long talk with the Grove's cameraman who, when he learned we had an article in The News, wanted our picture as well as Dorothy Lamour's. Cocoanut Grove is one of the favorite dining and dancing spots of the movie stars, but other than Miss Lamour, we were unfortunate in not recognizing others. 

Sunday morning we heard Aimee McPherson at the regular Sunday morning services in her Angelus Temple. 

Sunday evening our travels carried us to the Griffith Park observatory, where we inspected the museum there and looked through the telescope. It was a most thrilling experience to see the bright lights of our country's fifth largest city. 

Carthay Circle, theater in which most of the movie premieres are held, was our next stopping point in our sightseeing of Southern California.

Walt Disney's [sic] latest and most spectacular picture, Fantasia, has a 24-week showing at the Carthay, and this theater is considered the best in the country for the Disney spectacle because of its perfect wiring for musical transcription.

Earl Carroll's theater afforded us our second taste of night life. Considered as Carroll's best production yet, his show was bubbling over with beautiful girls. Our evening was not without its bitter moments for the waiters continually made comments (in the background) about our not ordering enough to keep them busy. 

Tuesday afternoon we visited the famous Huntington library and in the evening we heard a symphonic concert at the Hollywood Bowl. Lionel Barrymore was the guest soloist of the evening. As we had to go very early in order to obtain good seats we all took our writing kits to dash off a few notes home. Just before the symphony began everyone took a stretching spell and John Herbert was very embarrassed when he found that he had caught the hair of the woman in front of him in the zipper of his writing kit--unintentionally."

From The Dayton Daily News - July 13, 1941

July 26, 2022
"Boulder Dam Impresses Three Touring Students

Boulder City -- (By Mail) -- Our last letter found us on the brink of the Grand Canyon ready to descend by mule into the lower depths of the canyon to the raging Colorado river. Dick Hochwalt and Jim Chenoweth accompanied us on this trip, enabling Dayton to be represented by 50 per cent of the party. Rather doubtful as to the outcome of this seemingly dangerous venture, we bid farewell to the "rim-lubbers" and started on our eight-hour, 15-mile "rough ride." After several steep switchbacks we realized that the mules were no more anxious to fall than we were. Hence, we began to enjoy and appreciate the true size of the Grand Canyon. After completing a delicious meal in 110-degree weather on the banks of the Colorado river and upon our return to the Canyon rim, we debated as to which one of us had the most stubborn mule, but we had to concede the doubtful honor to Dick Christian, who lingered behind the group despite his persistent lashing.

Having been told of the distinctive view from the north rim, we journeyed most of Thursday and arrived at that side in the late afternoon. In the evening we got our first direct word from home, when John Herbert phoned his parents from the palatial Bright Angel lodge. Although we had to drive nearly 220 miles to be only 10 miles from our former campsite, we did not regret a single mile, for each illustrated more plainly to us the truth in the statement -- made by a ranger -- that six types of vegetation and animal life are present today in the Canyon.

On the south rim we noticed that the climate and vegetation was much like that of Ohio. To reach the north rim, we drove through arid desert country similar to Mexico and at the north rim, the life simulated that of Canada. 

Friday, the fourth, was merely another day on our tour of the west, and consequently we had very little of the customary Independence Day celebration. If we missed the banging of firecrackers, we consoled ourselves by gazing at the most colorful natural sight in the west, Bryce Canyon. We pulled in at Bryce Park around noon, and spent the afternoon in the exploration and viewing of the canyon. Although the canyon is much smaller than Grand Canyon, it far surpasses it in the way of color and unusual rock formations.

Rising at 4:30 a.m., we were able to make Salt Lake City by noon on Saturday. We spent about an hour in the renowned Temple Square. After hearing about the construction of the famous Mormon buildings located there, we drove to the world-famous Saltair Beach for a float in the Great Salt Lake. It certainly was an unusual sensation to be able to sit on top of the water. As far as enjoyable bathing, the salt water is very poor, for it gets in your eyes and causes "untold suffering." Before dinner, we were permitted to go through the beautiful capitol at Salt Lake. Although we did not have the opportunity to primp much here, we once more spent what we termed a citified evening -- buying dinner and taking in a movie at one of the theaters. The Mormon church program at the Mormon tabernacle was highly impressive, and we left Salt Lake with a fine idea of the Mormon people, and their man-made oasis -- Salt Lake City. 

At Zion National park one gets another idea of the western canyons for the activity here is not on the rims but rather at the depths of the gigantic gully. In the evening, after dogging the postmaster all day for mail, we were finally rewarded with a few letters which were the first received in several days. Relaxing and preparing to spend a few quiet moments with our news from home, we were astonished when the power unit failed and the lights went out forcing us to continue our reading by the headlights on our car. Because of a steady rain and the fact that we were just too lazy to pitch our tent, we decided to evacuate our camping grounds at Zion and continue to the spectacular city of Las Vegas, Nev. 

Although our car boiled and reached the melting point several times, we arrived safely in Las Vegas. We immediately looked up Dick Christian's uncle, the sheriff, who provided our night's lodging and lots of entertainment. We made several feeble attempts at entering the city's famous gambling halls, but being considered minors, we were given polite commands to depart, however we had the consolation of knowing that tomorrow evening we would enter with the sheriff himself.

Awakened by the blazing desert sun at an early hour, we made a 80 mile side trip to Boulder City and Boulder Dam. Here we took the regularly conducted tour through the dam. So immense, as beyond our expectations, it appeared to us as though the dam was some mammoth structure by a modern "Superman." Following our visit to the dam, we went to the boat docks where we had a short conversation with Fred B. Patterson, former Daytonian, who is in charge of boat cruisers up the Grand Canyon and to the base of the dam."

From The Dayton Daily News - July 11, 1941

July 26, 2022
"Touring Youths Meet 2 Pals from Home in West

By The Touring Three

El Paso -- Our last correspondence found us in the wilds of Colorado at Mesa Verde National park. Since then our itinerary has taken us into quaint cities of the southwest. Leaving Mesa Verde early Wednesday morning we stopped first at Gallup, N. M., the Indian capital of the world, where the national inter-tribal Indian ceremonies are held each year in August. Throughout the prairies of the southwest, we were quite interested in the living conditions of the Indians and their homes, which are known as "hogans," made of small logs, clay bricks and mud roofs.

At 4 in the afternoon we arrived at Santa Fe, the oldest seat of government in the United States. Here we decided to become quite "citified," so after driving around the ancient streets of the city, we registered at a tourist cabin where we bathed, shaved and primped for some time. Feeling like real western dudes, we made up our minds to go to one of the better restaurants in town and to have quite a spree, for us. The first place that we saw that had class (as we put it) was the La Fonda hotel. Deciding that the prices couldn't be too terrific, we entered -- and were shown to the main dining room where the melodious strains of a Spanish orchestra filled the atmosphere. All was perfect until we looked at the menu. We ordered, but as we ate the first course a single thought lingered in our minds -- that it had taken nine car washes to pay for the meal. 

However, when the pretty Mexican dancing girls had performed and we had completed the Mexican meal, this thought was forgotten and the evening was considered a highlight of the trip thus far. Our only regret of the evening was that we were the most poorly dressed group in the dining room, despite vain primping. 

Before leaving Santa Fe the following morning, we visited the governor's palace, which is the oldest governmental building in the United States, the New Mexico Art institute where there is a fine collection of pictures portraying the life of the Indians and the San Miguel church, claimed to be the oldest church in the country.

Thursday evening we camped at Bottomless Lakes state park, New Mexico, where we were entertained by an evening of conversation with two real western characters. They were most interested in relating to us the adventures of Billy the Kid, a notorious outlaw of these parts who had killed 21 men at the age of 21. 

Our next point of interest took us to the Carlsbad Caverns in lower New Mexico. Arriving in time for the 10:30 tour, we found much to the dismay of Dick Christian, who counted on a private party of three along with several rangers, that we were entering the caverns along with 531 other interested sightseers, 10 of whom were from Ohio. By 1 o'clock we had hiked through three and one-half miles of the massive alabaster beauty of the stalagmites and stalactites and we now found ourselves in a huge [sic] subterranean cafeteria. After lunch we had a few words with Jim White, the cowboy discoverer of the caverns. Our next stop in the caverns and the most impressive was at the Rock of Ages, where we realized what darkness really was when they turned out every light within the caves. Adding to the impressiveness of the ceremony, there came from out of the utter blackness a beautiful interpretation of the hymn, "The Rock of Ages."

Because we had heard so much about the evening flight of more than three million bats from the caverns each night at dusk, we delayed our journey for several hours in order to witness this amazing spectacle. Because "the rains came" and the bats didn't, we only saw 37 of the three million. Battling our way through the dust and rain storm, we decided to go to El Paso. Approaching El Paso, we suddenly discovered that we had become bottlenecked by temporarily disrupting a night maneuver of Fort Bliss, the largest cavalry post in the United States. 

In El Paso we were unable to find a camping ground and finally were forced to throw our sleeping bags along the road. Towards morning John Herbert, feeling something crawling down his arm, brushed the wriggling creature from his biceps and, reaching for his trusty peashooter with the same motion, arose from his bed. A 10-inch lizard was the antagonist. 

Although we merely crossed a river to enter Juarez, Mexico, it seemed as though we were in another world. For the customs and the way of life are so different from ours. As we strolled down the Main Street of Juarez, which is bordered by numerous sidewalk stands where Mexican women pat pancake-like tortillas, we wondered at the constant babble of the Spanish tongue. The "Mexes" not only attempt to lure you into their shops by lingo, but often by bodily force. After being "stung" once or twice, we finally caught on to their method of bargaining. Most of the day was spent in the city market, where Bob finally spent nearly a half hour arguing over a nickel -- and lost. Although we had planned to stay in Juarez over night, we found that our stomachs weren't strong enough, so we returned to El Paso for the night.

Sunday afternoon we reached the Petrified Forest, where we enjoyed a private lecture by the park ranger and a comfortable night under the desert sky. Monday, being Herbert's birthday, we let him sleep until 4:35 before heading for the Painted Desert en route to the Grand Canyon. 

Upon arriving at Grand Canyon we enjoyed a banquet in honor of Herbert's birthday. The principal speaker of the evening, Bob Finley, was introduced by Toastmaster Dick Christian, whose witty remarks intermingled with the colorful Finley oration to make the occasion a most happy one. To our added enjoyment, we had a home baked cake from Dayton and ice cream. 

Tuesday morning was spent in doing a two-weeks' washing, which was the cause of many a blister and a bad case of "housemaid's knee." We'll have to admit, even though our scrubbing was done very industriously, that our clothes give evidence of tattle-tale gray.

We joined a car caravan in the afternoon for a tour to the places of most scenic beauty in the canyon. It was not until the ranger had told us how distant a few of the points were that we appreciated the overwhelming size of the canyon. An interesting evening was had at the nightly camp fire lecture where we learned something of the geology of the canyon.

A highlight in our canyon stay was the arrival of two of our Dayton friends, James Chenoweth and Dick Hochwalt, who are also taking a western tour. Being the first friends from home, they were forced to listen to our constant babbling of many experiences."

From the Dayton Daily News - June 15, 1941

July 26, 2022
"Oakwood Students Use Funds from Odd Jobs to Pay for Motor Tour"

"Before the close of the school year in 1940, three Oakwood high school students hit upon the plan of spending a full vacation period in seeing America. Parental consent was obtained, provided, of course, they could raise a sufficient amount of money to pay for all expenses.

Thus spurred on, the trio worked throughout the past summer and during the winter and spring months of this year at all manner of odd jobs in Oakwood, pooling their funds thus obtained toward the day when they could actually start on their trip.

That day is at hand and starting Monday morning, the three youths, John Herbert, 312 Aberdeen av.; Richard Christian, 331 Northview av., and Robert Finley, 103 E. Dixon av., will begin their tour, which they plan will take them to the west coast, a short stay in Mexico and to the Jasper National park in Canada.

"The Herbert-Christian-Finley-Service Bureau," with which many Oakwood residents became quite familiar when any odd jobs were to be done around the respective households, proved quite a profitable venture, judging by the boys' own statements and tabulation of accounts. These show that a sufficient amount of money was raised to purchase a second-hand auto in good condition in which the trip will be made with a sufficient amount of funds left over to pay for all expenses of the trip, which will last for nine weeks or just before time to return to Oakwood high school in the fall, where the trio will begin their senior year in the same class. 

The boys plan to head first for Rocky Mountain National park and from there will proceed to Los Angeles and across the Mexican border for a brief visit in that country, thence north along the west coast to San Francisco and to Jasper National park.

They plan to camp out along the route, will prepare their own meals, and will travel in a leisurely manner."


July 22, 2022
July 20, 2022

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