Lathrop Cooley Day

Lathrop Cooley Memorial Day

Back in 1970, my friend Bonne and I invented and celebrated our own holiday, Lathrop Cooley Memorial Day.  It’s celebrated on November 7th.

Lathrop Cooley (Oct. 25, 1821 – Jan. 2, 1910)

Lathrop Cooley, an active minister in Disciples of Christ churches, was also a successful businessman, philanthropist, real estate investor, and a benefactor and trustee of Hiram College. He was buried in Woodland Cemetery in Cleveland.

Neither of us knew that at the time. (and Bonne probably won’t until she reads this.)

We invented the holiday because we were in Medina, OH that Saturday. I may be confusing this with another trip, but I think we were in Medina because Bonne needed to buy a bra. (I know we did make a trip to the department store in Medina so Bonne could buy a bra, it just might not have been this particular trip.) While in beautiful downtown Medina, we went to a little fruit and vegetable place and got some food. (I have a vague memory of Bonne stealing an apple on our way out, but that could be totally fiction.)

After we ate, we walked over to the Lathrop Cooley Memorial Water Fountain for a drink. The fountain was turned off for the season, so I recall going to a story and buying two cans of “Hillbilly Joos”, a soda very much like Mountain Dew that is no longer on the market for some obscure reason.

Emblazoned on Lathrop’s water fountain are the words, “An honest drink of water n’er lead a man to mire.”

Those inspired word convinced us to celebrate November 7th as a holiday.

I seem to remember celebrating it twice with Bonne, but the dates don’t work out. Bonne would have been in Slippery Rock PA in November of 71. My friend Michael and I did celebrate it once or twice.

Anyway, on November 7th, remember Lathrop Cooley. And if you find yourself in Medina, Ohio, try to get a drink of water.

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