Big Dig

Dodds and friends working on the pool at Hawley Drive in Webster, New York. Photo by Leo Dodd

I went looking through a box of clippings and old letters and stuff hoping to find an article from the local paper that was written in 1990 about my father during the Can of Worms reconstruction. My dad had taken an early retirement buyout from Kodak and he would go over to the construction site everyday and sketch the proceedings. Three of the paintings he did from these drawings will be in the October RoCo show and it would be nice to find this article for the display case. I did’t have any luck but my brothers and sisters are on the hunt.

I found this photo in the box and it reminded me how much fun we had hanging around our backyard. When my family moved out of the city in the sixties Webster was still a small town surrounded by farms. Although this place was pretty close to the four corners, our subdivision, referred to as the “Schantz track” by locals, was a muddy old corn field.

My dad decided to put a pool in the backyard and the idea was to dig it ourselves. You can see in this picture how much help we were. My dad did most of the work. My brothers did a lot more work than I did but I remember swinging a pick ax to break away chunks of hard packed clay. If you click on the photo for the enlargement you can see my dad borrowed a rototiller to break up the clay.

With seven kids in the family we would sometimes all have our friends over at the same time. There could be thirty kids in the backyard. And when it all got to be too much my mom would pop the back door open and order everyone to go to their own homes.

In this photo, from left:

Norm Ladd – Norm was a couple of years behind me in school but when I was a freshman, living in the dorm at Indiana University, his mom called and said, “Norm has run away and he’s coming out to stay with you.” As I remember it Norm’s future wife, an Indiana native, came to Rochester with some other friends to visit me. She met Norm here and they settled in Bloomington.

Paul Dodd – I’m shown in dress shoes with no socks talking to Norm. Norm also lived in the Shantz track.

Billy Mahoney and David Hill – These kids lived across the street. I used to babysit for them and I just talked to David at my mom’s funeral.

Frank Palozolo – Down in the hole, Frank, moved here from another town in our junior year but he quickly became school president.

Dave Mahoney – In his own world here, Dave came out to Bloomington after he quit MCC and we lived together for a few years. He was a fantastic drummer and he moved to San Francisco with his band, MX-80 Sound. He died rather suddenly. I think that’s the Mahoney’s car, last one in our driveway, a Chevy Impala or something.

Fran Dodd – That has to be my youngest brother, Fran, behind Mark in the group where Brad is holding court. Fran does high-end masonry for Rochester’s finest home builders.

Mark Dodd – Mark is in front of Fran. We shared a bedroom in this house. When our family lived in the city all five boys were in the same bedroom. Mark and I did everything together and shared a lot of the same friends.

Brad Fox – Brad was good friends with everyone in our family. In fact he lived with our family for a while during high school when his parent’s threw him out. He came out to Indiana too and stayed until he moved to San Francisco.

Tim Dodd and John Dodd – I love Tim’s t-shirt. I’m quite sure it was one of mine, handed down. Tim is an art director at Xerox and John designs and handcrafts exquisite furniture.

Joe Barrett – Joe says he doesn’t think this is him but that is his family car in the driveway, the Corvair, the same one he, Dave and I drove to Woodstock and somehow managed to find when we left. Peggi and I are working our way through the Twilight Zones on Netflix and I think of Joe almost every episode. I saw so many of them for the first time in his basement. He needs to pull his pants up.

My two sisters were understandably missing from this manly gathering. My dad took this photo.

One Response to “Big Dig”

  1. Martin Edic Says:

    This is great. I’ve heard these stories over the years but to have them encapsulated in a photo…

Leave a Reply

Martin Edic