New Leaf: Cincinnati
October 5 - 14, 1999

October 5
Took a walk through Walnut Hills Cemetery during my lunch break. Planted Leaf #1 in the ivy behind a gravestone dated 1894.

Drove out to Georgia’s to give her a Leaf to take to Panama City. Decided not to step over the garter snake hogging her front walk and went to the back door. Suffered polite forms of disdain for being chicken, but noted when the mistress of the house went out to view said serpent for herself, SHE did not step over it either. Left Georgia’s and planted Leaf #2 at the base of a tree, up Purcell Street between Bassett and Phillip.

Gave thanks angelic dog, Beez, stayed in the car, having no desire to discover what dark side might be revealed through confrontation with a prone garter. Gave patient pooch substitute treat of a walk in Mount Echo Park. Planted Leaf #2 at the base of a tree in the middle of a grassy field begging for leash law violations. I and my law abiding dog returned to the car. For the first time it occurred to me that placing Leafs at the base of trees in canine friendly environments might not be intelligent. Aborted this train of thought before it could go too far.

Headed up towards Western Hills. Pulled over for a fire truck at 3514 Warsaw. Planted Leaf #4 on the window ledge of a vacant storefront.

Continued north. Noticed Montgomery Cyclery was still open and remembered gift certificate from the Talbert House Golf Outing. Turned off on Ferguson and parked. Stood Leaf #5 against the side wall of Club Attractions at Ferguson and Glenway. Discovered I had left my purse on Georgia’s kitchen counter and was devoid of liquid assets. Went into Montgomery Cyclery to peruse the merchandise and ask complicated questions of the sales clerks anyway. Contemplated leaving purse at Georgia’s but her pending Florida trip forced me to adopt a better attitude about retrieving it now.

October 6

Hustled out of the office to catch a salad at Sugar ‘n’ Spice before a 1:00 meeting. Left Leaf #6 under the railroad trestle over Reading Road on my way there. Noticed on my way back that it was still there. Will keep my eyes peeled for next few days to see how long it takes for it to disappear.

Left work at 5:30, after a hectic day of meetings. decided to run by Ann’s on the way home because I haven’t seen her since before my Grandmother’s funeral. Thought it would be very nice to talk to a friend after the stresses of the day. Ann was not home. Though she might be late coming back from day care. Took a walk in the neighborhood and planted Leaf #7 on a ledge at the Shiloh Seven Day Adventist Preparatory School on Washington. Returned to Ann’s, No Ann. Write a note on a napkin and tuck it in the screen door.

Take the long way home. Slow to a crawl on Vine Street, some guy is waving people through the remains of a wreck, waiting for the police. Grateful I did not arrive earlier at this spot. Am thinking my walk saved me from possible smashed Volkswagen. Swing onto Grey on the way home. Decide to make an ironic statement by planting my fake flora Leaf #8 along the road across from Funke’s Greenhouse, which is full of live flora.

Am too tired after the day’s events to think about long Leaf planting treks. Take my much neglected pooch for a neighborhood Leaf planting expedition instead. Said pooch is deliriously happy. Have decided this particular New Leaf endeavor might save my relationship with my dog. Said Pooch extends the walk to twice as long as anticipated by insisting on flirting with all of his old neighborhood girlfriends, as well as a few new ones. It is a lovely evening, so every dog in Northside is out with their owners. Place Leaf #9 on the steps of Saint Boniface Church on Chase Avenue.

Head up Kirby to Kirby School. Run into more dogs and owners. Beez has a lovely romp with a neighbor’s recent canine acquisition. Have to be very sneaky to get Leaf #10 up on a ledge at the school without being seen by any of the dog people. In view of the proliferation of dogs, I make sure the Leaf is placed very high.

October 7, 1999

Head north for lunch since I have to make a trip to the Roselawn post office. Turn in at Swifton Commons, remembering something I read recently about a Swifton Commons revival. Decide to add a little New Leaf energy to the cause. Have a very peaceful stroll among the trees in courtyard, marvel that I never knew they were there. I sit down on a bench. Leaf #11 remains behind when I move on.

Ship out several New Leafs destined for various exotic destinations, including one which will eventually end up at the South Pole. Leaf #12 goes on the side of the building in honor of all the Leafs that have passed this way. Go across the street to Song Long’s for lunch. My fortune cookie promises that happiness will soon be mine.

Leave work that afternoon knowing I have to plant at least 3 more Leafs an not having any idea where I want to do this. Norwood lateral is totally backed up , so I pull off at Paddock and decide to head north. Am soon in parts of Cincinnati beyond the scope of my experience. Am entranced by funky signage, etc. in Carthage, just past where Paddock runs into Vine. Think the 50’ Indian is a great place for a leaf but there’s no place to pull over. Spy a turn off on the left and am now on a little road heading down a hill with lots of vegetation. Discover lots of trucks and big mounds of sand or rocks or whatever. Since this is about as unlikely an off the beaten track kind of place as I am going to find in Cincy, I plant Leaf #13 by the fire hydrant.

Pull back out to Vine and see the Hamilton County Fairgrounds right across the road. Pull in over there. See lots of cars in the lot and figure maybe it is no big deal to wander around here. The deep olive tones of Leaf #14 look very fetching against the side of the biggest barn in the world, which is also green. I am driving back through the lot and hear shouting behind me. Decide maybe it wasn’t okay to wander around there. Since I am almost out of the lot and have no reasonable explanation for being there, I am a very bad person and pretend not to hear.

Continue north on vine and find myself on newly paved Springfield Pike in Wyoming. Notice all the beautifully tended houses and wonder if after I die, will they let me live here? Leaf #15 goes in a small tree on the side of Mount Pleasant Avenue near Charles.

Have one more leaf in the car. Turn right on Compton road, thinking of a psychic named Sis who lives in Mount Healthy and that there are cute little shops at Compton and Hamilton where I can park the car and wander around without worrying about potential trespassing charges. Take the woodsy, meandering drive through Finneytown. Spot a bronze plaque at the border of Mount Healthy commemorating something to do with cholera. There is a big sign for parking to a haunted house at Seward. I figure lots of folks will be passing this way. I pull over and prop Leaf #16 against a canna lily.

October 8, 1999

Am running late on the way to the Executive office this morning and thinking I will not be able to stop in Clifton this morning like i told Jim Knippenberg yesterday. Spot vast empty parking space on the side of Ludlow, going up the hill towards the shopping district and pull over next to some young trees. One has a very large gash where the bark is gone, exposing the wood. the edges of the wound are pulled away, just enough to hold one small Leaf. Hurriedly joining Leaf #17 to the bosom of a surrogate mother, I complete my mission and arrive in time to experience several minutes of friendly harassment from Mike before our group departs for the Talbert House annual luncheon.

Our group arrives at the Phoenix early to set up for the luncheon. After an hour of clipping pens to annual reports, setting out reports and programs, placing roses in bud vases on tables along with table cards, setting out 300 name badges in alphabetical order, etc; we are done. One of our group has a hypoglycemic crash and I go with her in search of quick protein. We stop in at the Garfield Cafe. Lorrie munches on her scoop of tuna salad while I indulge in a spinach croissant. The green formica of the counter is very Leaf-friendly. Leaf #18 stays behind, next to the napkin holder.

I head down to the street to look for our ride once the luncheon is over and everything is packed up. Mike is waiting, and according to him, he has been waiting since well before he dropped us off this morning. I make a quick dash down to Garfield Park while my compatriots are bringing the cart down. I plant Leaf #19 in the ivy behind a bench.

Head up Ashland on the way to my office, only instead of turning on Victory Parkway, I go straight ahead. I meander around this pocket of Walnut Hills until I spy a lovely blue painted lady at the corner of Chapel and Aims. Leaf #20 is placed on a ledge next to a dryer vent behind the steps.

The antics of a petulant copier machine keep me in the office until 7:30. Abdul rescues me by discovering a paper jam in the sorter where I never knew you could even get paper jams. I then discover a bad batch of paper is partly responsible for my woes. This mollifies me somewhat since I had caused the original mishap through a reckless and never to be repeated stunt of attempting to add already printed documents to the sorter from the outside at the exact moment when the copier was spitting them out from the inside. Decide a very long an hectic work week entitles me to the rare treat of cheese coneys and cheese fries from Gold Star at Reading and Tennessee. Justify the fat content by pretending I am going to give one to Beez. Open the door of my car while waiting in line at the drive through and place Leaf #21 in the mulch.

October 9

Get a late start on my day. Keep hoping the rain will slow down, but it is relentless. Beez and I head out for a Crystal Circle open house, then errands and maybe a nice walk if the rain lets up. Look for dry Leaf spots on the way out to Indian Hill but have little luck. Pull over at the UDF at Madison and Red Bank and prop Leaf #22 against the wall under the gutter where there is maybe 1/2 inch of dry pavement.

Leave the Heckscher’s around 3:30 only to enter into a deluge of biblical proportions which discourages Beez from doing more than absolutely necessary when I give him a car break. Am thinking that I will need to confine planting to shopping malls. Have a dim memory that Cincinnati Computers closes at 3 pm on Saturdays and realize that I will not be able to deal with my aged and broken StyleWriter today. While pushing through the rain towards I-71 I start having visions of 10 car pile-ups on I-275, caused by the rain. When my car winds up in the lane that takes me south onto 71 instead of north, I decide discretion is the better part of valor and head for home. Respond to the call of hunger and pull up in front of Boca’s on Hamilton Avenue. Place Leaf #23 in the shelter of a storefront and cross the street for a late lunch at Taste of the World.

Have every intention of staying in the rest of the evening. Anna calls and wants Indian food on Ludlow. In this instance I am not discrete and choose to have me special “medium” which turns out the be “hot”. They of course told me it would be hot, but coming from Oklahoma, I never believe anyone in Cincinnati when they say something is going to be hot. I plant Leaf #24 while window shopping at Norka’s after dinner. Leaf #25 is placed on the ledge outside New World Bookstore.

Fail to persuade Anna to come to Semantics to see David’s pocket art show. Go alone. Plant Leaf #26 at the front door of the old post office in Brighton.

David is very excited that Roxanne Qualls came to see the show and that lots of the work is already sold, including a piece for the Schiffler collection. I tell David the area has been “Leafed” in honor of his show. After thoroughly admiring the offerings, I head home via Spring Grove. Pull over by a railway overpass and search in vain for a dry spot. Lean Leaf #27 against a concrete pillar. Get a major case of creeps walking back to the car. Decide not to make anymore nocturnal Leaf drops, even if the rain did put me behind schedule.

October 10

Spend most of the day fighting with my computer. Go over to Anna’s mid afternoon to fight with her computer instead. Two hours later, I decide to accomplish with scissors and a copier what two people couldn’t accomplish with computer technology. As I am leaving, I place Leaf #28 in the crook of a tree on Ruther. Drive off muttering to myself about technological conspiracies designed to bring about the downfall of Western civilization.

Mission accomplished in less than 20 minutes at Kinko’s. Place Leaf #29 against a concrete pillar in the parking garage next door. This leaves an estimated 15 minutes to get paperwork over to David’s before he leaves for rehearsal of Kim Humphries' Ham Opera.

No answer at David’s, having apparently missed by mere seconds. Walk around the corner and plant Leaf #30 against some steps on Volkert Place.

Drive down ravine. Spot the exit for Fairview Park. Decide to take Beez for a walk in the park and plant a Leaf. On our way back up the hill I notice I am struck by the view of the steps at the top of City View. Lean Leaf #31 against the rim of an unidentified concrete cylinder under the steps. Walk back down to Ravine street and turn around to admire how you can see the gold of the Leaf against the concrete from 50 feet away.

Walk Beez back to the car for another Leaf. Continue on up the hill to the park, to the overlook. Plant Leaf #32 against the base of one of the concrete tables by the overlook. Turn around and notice a young man sitting cross legged in mediation. He has been so still I did not know he was there. I wonder if he saw me as I angled the Leaf for the best artistic presentation.

After brief debate, turn down McMicken towards Over the Rhine. Pull off on Dunlop Street, then turn on Stark. Plant Leaf #33 against the lovely olive-painted brick of an electrical company there.

Get back on McMicken. Turn south on Race Street. Pull over at Findlay Market. Place Leaf #34 against a steel post supporting one of the aluminum shelters.

Drive over to Union Terminal, thinking to drive up to the steps and place a Leaf against the front of the building, or by the fountain. The front is lit up with light projections for “Boo Fest” and the lot is full of cars. I turn around halfway down the drive and lean Leaf #35 against the pole of one of the street lights.

Drive up to the Post Office on Gest. Place Leaf #36 against a window in the lobby.

Decide this is not fair to all the folks who drive through the post office and wedge Leaf #37 between the branches of a low tree in the parking lot.

Continue north. Turn onto Gerrard. Spot a perfect leaf ledge under an exhaust fan. Plant Leaf #38 there.

Plant Leaf #39 against the door of my old studio on Beekman Street, near the silos. An overgrowth of weeds suggests that no one has entered this door for a long time. Empty quart bottles tell me someone has been drinking beer here. Wonder what happened to my old drawings that reportedly left the building when it went to pot. I never went back to check this out. Tonight I have a brief fantasy that they are still there, five years later, waiting for me in pristine condition. I still have a key at home somewhere and while I doubt that anyone bothered to change the lock, I suspect it would take more than a key to open this door.

Drive up Beekman, making one last stop at Fey’s to plant Leaf #40 against the wall facing the street. Say goodbye to Cumminsville and head home.

October 11

Call Jim Knippenberg up and tell him I am extending the project until Sunday to make up for last weekend’s monsoon. That afternoon I “hit the wall”. Intend to go out leaf planting but wind up watching back to back videos until midnight for a total veg-out experience. Spend a few brief moments wondering how it is that Sean Connery is born in 1,000 BC Egypt when Highlander 2 clearly states he was banished to Earth as an adult during the 16th Century. Also wonder how the decide at what age all the immortals stop aging in Highlander 1, and why they don’t have and diaper-swaddled immortals swinging claymores. Declare this official New Leaf Vacation Day.

October 12

Finally connect with David to conclude last weekend’s business. Puppy dog and I get to hear him and Sarah dish about upcoming Gillombardo’s Hams - Kim Humphries’ art opera which they are performing in this weekend. Sarah is a whipped cream angel. Run paperwork to post office and notice that Sunday’s leaf is still in the tree. Also notice I am almost out of gas. Go to the Shell station at the Hopple Street exit and fill up. Stand Leaf #41 up on top of my pump before I go for my free car wash.

Head north to Colerain. Stop at Taco Bell north of Mt Airy Forest and get dinner. Beez is in dog heaven because I got him a beef meximelt. Plant Leaf #42 in the parking lot.

Continue north while munching on Tacos. Decide to plant a Leaf at the Penny’s Outlet parking lot. Place Leaf #43 against one of the light poles in the parking lot.

Head back to the Colerain Animal Hospital, my true destination. Beez does not know it yet, but it is time for his shot. I lay Leaf #44 in a planter outside.

October 13

Am supposed ot meet my boss and others at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand at 7:00 to ride up for a conference in Columbus. Am delayed by a wreck on I-75 and a breakdown on the Norwood Lateral. Arive at 7:20, see parked cars but no passengers. Did not expect them to wait this late anyway. Head on up to Coumbus. and manage to find the Convention Center and my boss. Discover that I had been a Johnny Rocket’s, not Dick Clark’s and was only a around the corner from them. They in fact did not leave until 7:30, having also been delayed. Skies open up for a major deluge, complete with lightning and tornado watch, just as I am leaving this afternoon. Am soaked to the skin when I get to my car. discover at that time that the brightly colored red folder given to me at the conference has bled all over my favorite blazer and trousers. I have red splotches on my pants down to my knees. I doubt they will ever recover. Decide to drive barefoot figuring at least my feet will dry out. Wrestle with unfamilliar Columbus rush hour traffic. Fortunately the skies are clear once I get south of town, though the winds are tossing my poor Golf like a bean bag. Cannot stop to drop leafs because by this time poor pooch has been locked in the house for 12 hours. When I arrive home I decide it is not safe to go out. Declare this official New Leaf Run For Your Life and Save Your Dog’s Bladder Day.

October 14

Head over to Norwood for lunch. Stop on the way to plant Leaf #45 against the wall of the Fun Factory on Sherman.

Pull into the Jeanie Drive through at 5/3rd Bank on Sherman to deposit checks. Lean Leaf #46 againstthe base of the automated teller. See a couple of walk-up folks looking at in in the rear view as I drive off. Do not stick around to see if they take it.

Go to Main Moon Chinese Buffet at Surry Square for Lunch. After lunch, place Leaf #47 at the base of a Newspaper machine down the mall in front of Skyline.

Drive out to K Mart on ridge to pick up a few things for the program. Plant Leaf #48 on top of the Paper machine by the entrance. It is still there when I leave.

October 15

Drive over to Debbie’s after work so we can go to the Ham opera. she wants to see a performance at the CAC first. She parks on Main. I am drawn to the window of Orchids Gifts and Accessories. Tell Debbie to pretend we are window shopping while i covertly place Leaf #49 against the wall.

Performance is in full swing at the CAC. There is a guy with a fishing pole on a platform making commentary about a video projected behind him. video is about Cincinnati ghost stories, as told by natives. I don't get what the guy is doing with the pole. I wander around the galleries and plant Leaf #50 on the opposite side of the wall behind the performance.

Debbie and I leave for Findlay street. I place Leaf #51 on a bench at the bus stop at Government Square.

We get back to the car. The Orchids Leaf is already gone. I have a yen to plant a Leaf at P & G. I hop out of the car while Debbie cruises around the block. I step over the chains which are supposed t suggest to people to stay out of their courtyard at night. Leaf #52 is positioned against a pillar. Debbie pulls up just as I return to the street.

We drive up Sycamore to Liberty. Since I am not driving, I am free to spot all kinds of Leaf opportunities. I ask Debbie to pull over at the Minimart. Leaf #53 is installed at the defunct gas pumps.

We get to Findlay and have to drive around the block, there are so many cars. We spot a parking space but we would then have to walk through a crowd of strange men hanging out on the street. We drive past. Park on the other side of the intersection. I insert Leaf #54 on a ledge in the masonry of a red brick building at Findlay and Central. We find Kim’s Ham Opera to be quite the thing and stay for reception afterwards. The sordid storyline evokes confessions of grocery store misdemeanors. This time when we return to the car, the leaf is still there.

October 16

Head out with Beez for a long day of errand-running and Leaf-planting. Stop first at Perkins on Colerain for breakfast. They have a 10 minute wait. I plant Leaf #55 on an outside ledge next to the door and drive 2 doors down to Frische’s.
Plant Leaf #56 on the base of one of the parking lot lights and grab a quick breakfast. Bring Beez some sausage.

Continue north to Staples to pick up more Leaf labels. Prop Leaf #57 against the outside wall.

Take Ronald Reagan Highway East, get off at Galbraith. Place Leaf #58 against the wall near the flag at the Metropolitan Sewer District at Deering and Hamilton.

Take Vine Street north. Pull over at the Wyoming Civic Center, plant Leaf #59 against a concrete wall, near a navy blue sweatshirt that someone has left behind.

Pull over at the Dairy Mart at Springfield Pike and North. Pretend to make a phone call to confuse the person hanging around outside and slip Leaf #60 on top of the phone. The roof of the phone cubby is too low for the leaf to stand up straight, so I do something I have never done before. I lay it sideways. I buy a couple of bottles of water and get Beez’s dish out of the back. Put the dish on the back seat and fill it just enough that it won’t spill on the seat even though it is tilted.

Still driving north. Install Leaf #61 at the Firstar drive through at Springfield Pike and Glendale-Milford Road.

Stop at the Goodwill where Princeton Pike branches off Springfield. There is a big plywood sign near the entrance. I place Leaf #62 against the back side of the sign.

Turn right on Northland Blvd. and proceed to Cincinnati Computer. Station Leaf #63 by entrance. Inside, I am told that my busted StyleWriter will cost more to fix than it cost new, and that there are no substitute printers that will work on my old Mac Classic. I would happily ditch my old Classic if I could only find a way to run certain software that has never been updated and will only work on system 7.1 or less. I am treated like an enemy of progress when I suggest that it is a bad thing to create new systems that can’t accommodate the old systems in some way. He mentions the 1500’s as an example of a time that we can no longer understand, and don’t want to. I leave with my StyleWriter, calculating what it would take to bribe John into fixing it, and if it would be okay to ship it to Knoxville. Only after I am gone do I think to tell the guy at the computer store that Will Shakespeare’s plays are being turned into hit movies over 400 years later, with no change in dialogue, and that Helena Bonham Carter makes herself perfectly understood without difficulty.

Carry a Leaf inside Tri-County Mall. while looking for a suitable spot, I get the sudden urge to purchase a pair of low boots to end the annoyance of my current sock-eating loafers. The sales girl at Easy Spirit has never hear of sock-eating shoes. I explain that these are shoes that suck your socks down into them while you are walking so that you have to stop all the time to yank your sock up. Unbecoming behavior at say, a business conference. I am looking for low boots figuring that the high tops will keep everyone form noticing the status of my socks. They are out of size 12 half-boots. I settle on a nice black oxford cut just under the ankle and figure it will suffice for my purposes. I wonder if I can get away with wearing them with a short skirt and pretending that I am Gen-X. I then see a display for Natural Wonders and forget all about Leaf-planting. Fall in love with an 18” tall Amethyst cathedral priced slightly less than a recent windfall. I am unprepared to carry a 40 pound rock to the car so the nice sales manager assures me that that is what Ross is here to do, and Ross carries my boxed treasure down to the car for me. At this point I am at a loss regarding planting. I now have a witness and must curtail covert activities. Once my cathedral is safely ensconced in the back of my Golf, I drive around to the of end of the south parking lot. Pull into a space next to a high bank, opposite of Sears. I lay Leaf #64 in the mulch at eye-level.

Head east on Kemper. Stop at the Nationwide Mattress and Furniture Warehouse. Do not go in. Prop Leaf #65 against the wall and continue east.

Turn south and head into that confusing Reading Road muddle in the middle of the Sharonville shopping district. Pull into the Provident Bank across from Andy’s Carry-out. Lean Leaf #66 against a steel pole in the drive through.

Take Beez for a very much deserved walk at Sharon Woods. I want to take him through the Heritage village but they have a wedding going on. I watch as the wedding party pull up in a horse drawn bus of sorts, and then the bride in an open carriage with a tiny little flower girl. Beez and I are standing by the fence with other spectators. Beez is trying to lunge through. I stood down, supposedly to encourage obedient behavior on the part of my dog but really am slipping Leaf #67 against a fence post, facing the wedding. I wonder if anyone in the party will see it. Beez and i turn away and we stop to chat with dreamy eyed young lady on a bench who has also been watching the wedding. She asks if I think they are renewing vows. I tell her that while I have not seen the bride up close, the bridesmaids are very young and it is likely to be the wedding, not the renewal.

Denied a walk in the village, Beez and I proceed further into he park and stop at the first trail head. We have a conversation with a couple on the little overlook above the creek. We talk about dogs and the 2 Labs he used to have and his mother’s dog with the broken shoulder. I tell him about Beez’s broken leg and how I was rushing him to the hospital, afraid he was going to bleed to death before I got there, and he acted like we were just going for a joy ride. Further on up the trail branches off to a creek access trail. Beez happily wallows in the shallow pools while a little terrier paddles beside him. Beez wader sup stream about 100 feet and finds a perfect wallowing pool and settles in for some dog-ecstacy. There is a middle-aged couple examining the bank, presumably for fossils. When I call Beez back, he has to waltz his wet dog-body within a foot of the unwary couple. He decides to save his dog-body shake to share with his new little terrier friend and her parents. I place Leaf #68 against a tree on the way back to the main trail.

We continue up the trail. There is a tree on the left which has been partly cut way slightly above eye-level to form a perfect Leaf-planting shelf. Align Leaf #69 carefully to face the trail. Beez and I head back to the car. out of the corner of my eye, I see the fossil-hunting couple has picked up the Leaf on the creek access trail. I do not linger to see if they keep it.

Head south on Reading Road, then east on Cornell. Pull into the Office Plex parking lot. Settle Leaf #70 at the base of one of the mailboxes.

Stop at White Oak Park, still on Cornell. Arrange Leaf #71 against the wall. Beez decide the grass is to upscale to pass up and rolls over on his back for a good wiggle. He refuses to get up. I go back for him and notice my Leaf is crooked. I level out the mulch and we leave.

Turn south at Montgomery. Notice I am almost out of gas. Swing into the Shell station at I-275. Purchase a cherry cream soda for me and a big bottle of water for Beez. Replenish his water dish. Position Leaf #72 on top of the gas pump.

Arrive at Montgomery Cyclery at 5:05. Discover that they closed 5 minutes earlier. Look wistfully through the window at all the lovely bike gear and philosophically decide that I am meant to save my gift certificate for some future special occasion. Park Leaf #73 between the mums.

Turn onto Remington and head out the the Beech Road crossing of the Loveland Bike Trail. Beez and I walk up the trail a ways to the bridge over Beech Run. Situate Leaf #74 against the bridge.

Retrace my route to the UDF at Remington and Loveland-Madeira Road. Lean Leaf #75 against the fence.

Proceed to Montgomery Road. Turn south. Detour behind Pier One to the Shell Office Park on Hosbrook. Fix Leaf #76 in the bottom corner of a side window at 8050.

Stop in at Show of Hands at Kenwood Mall. Turn all the Doug Crane hour glasses over while I wait for the salesgirl to retrieve a brass stand for my rock collection. See the lovely peach marble benches just outside the door. Sit on the beck and attempt to act nonchalont amid the crowd while I sneak Leaf #77 beside me onto the bench.

Return tot he car and place Leaf #78 in the mulch across form McDonald’s.

Cruise on down Montgomery to the Bach Center at Silverton. On the side of A Plus Printing there is an odd lateral drainpipe arrangement. I establish Leaf #79 on top of the drain pipe.

Pull over at Kincaid. Plant Leaf #80 at the bus stop.

Arrive at Tyim’s. Deliver the autographed copy of “Ballads” from Charlie Vess which he kindly gave me for Tyim during the Good Goddess festival an embarrassing 7 months ago. Tyim shows me about 100 photographs form his 60 mile back tracking trip in Yosemite this summer immediately prior to his near-drowning incident while rafting in West Virginia. I am so tired form Leafing all day that I don't want to budge. Beez is firmly installed behind the couch. I take pity on Trim and depart so he can get back to revising his web page. Wander Next door to the Shell Station and purchase foot-and-a-half long summer sausage for me and the pooch to split. Put Leaf #81 at the base of the car vacuum.

continue down Montgomery Road while tearing off bites of the summer sausage, one for Beez, one for me. Pick up the Norwood lateral and take I-75 South to Mitchell. Go to the big Kroger’s on Kenard. Install Leaf #82 on the concrete ledge which runs along the front of the building. Shop for groceries, including replacing the milk and cereal I raided from Rudy’s kitchen while he was out of town.

Back at the car, I hear someone making much over the awesome Beez-meister. I let Beez out and walk around to the far side of my car to discover 2 hearing impaired young men with a young lady who interprets while they sign and talk. He asks many questions about Beez and talks about a dog he used to have. He vigorously demonstrates the overly, annoyingly, frisky actions of the young lady’s puppy. Next door at Block Buster I pick up “Forces of Nature”. I tell myself I will have time to watch it tonight even though it is now 9:00 and I have to add positions of almost 30 Leafs to the web page. The parking lot is jumping out front. Drive around to the south side of the building where the lot is almost deserted. Post Leaf #83 at the back of the parking lot. Head home.

October 17

Beez and I depart for Kinko’s to photocopy more Leaf labels. Sit in the car across Vine Street and stick newly made labels to waiting Leafs while Beez watches. I get him a cheese coney at Gold Star, to make up for the one he never got last week. Position Leaf #84 at the base of one of those modern lighted arches they put up over Short Vine several years back. This one is in front of Bogart's.

Drive up the street to Krogers. On the west side of the parking lot the concrete retaining wall has several vertical slits that look to be exactly Leaf-width. I slide Leaf #85 into one of these recesses.

Drive east on Hopple, which morphs into Madison. Detour onto Keys Crescent. There are steps at Keys Crescent Lane which lead up to a soccer field. I settle Leaf #86 into the mulch in the recess under the steps, upright against the wall.

Pull into the parking lot for Right Touch. Situate Leaf #87 against the rear wall of the parking lot on O’Bryon and Madison.

Make another detour onto Bedford. Lean Leaf #88 against a big rock marking the drive just before the Cincinnati Country Club no trespassing signs.

Meander around Hyde Park Square. Buy a croissant at the cappuccino place and sit down on a bench in the little park in the middle of the street. Park Leaf #89 against the WWII memorial.

Feeling guilty for leaving Beez in the car when he could be walking with me. Debate going back to the car to get him and decide instead to make a quick trip around the corner to the Firstar on Edwards. Stand Leaf #90 upright in the ATM cubby.

Proceed out Madison to Oakley. Get a cappuccino at Big Sky. Prop Leaf #91 against the side steps to Dewey’s pizza. On my way back to the car I see a much better place. I retrieve the Leaf and lay it down in the leaves in front of the Witt, Good and Ketsch Funeral Home.

Stop at the Fifth/Third bank at Madison and Taylor to pick up some cash at the ATM. Plan to install Leaf #92 against one of the brick pillars. Notice a couple waling up behind me as I finish my business. Abort the Leaf drop. Circle around and park. The lady walks up to my car. She returns the receipt that I left behind. I am thinking, ‘boy, would I make a lousy criminal.’ A white van has now pulled up to the ATM I pull in behind it. A red truck pulls in behind me. I again abort my mission to avoid detection. I am thinking that I am just not meant to plant a Leaf here. Then I decide to heck with it and pull back around. This time all is clear, and Leaf planted, I continue east.

Pass by Oakley Drive In. Decide this is a nice planting spot and go back. Arrange Leaf #93 in the front window of one of the ticket offices while Beez sniffs around and spies for squirrels.

Park across from the Madison Civic Center. Place Leaf #94 in the entry way of a vacant storefront.

Park behind the square at Mariemont. This time I take Beez out for a stroll. I look into the window LaRosa’s. I haven’t been here since Tom sold it. I notice the frieze of leaves I did for him is gone. I am hoping he took it with him. Settle Leaf #95 into the leaves by the door.

Continue out Wooster Pike. Turn onto Walton Creek. Adorn the steps of the theater at Walton Creek and Muchmore with Leaf #96.

Head back in toward town. Turn off on Simpson. Beez and I take a walk down the street in the misting rain. Lean Leaf #97 against the base of a tree at the corner of Hawthorne.

Take the Eastern exit off Columbia Parkway. Take Beez for a stroll around the Linwood Public School. We admire the fading mural of mount Rushmore while seeking the perfect Leaf setting. on the western edge of school property, there are steps from Eastern to the top of the hill. They come out on a small asphalt lot marked for games of some sort. I wedge Leaf #98 into the crotch of a tree facing the top of the steps, hoping some child will find it.

Further up Eastern, the Coumbia Methodist Episcopal Church (built in 1893) sits at the corner of Stites. it has been reborn as the Columbia Cultural Center, and is now a fetching rose color. I set Leaf #99 on the thin ledge of a boarded up window.

Decide to place my final leaf at Eden Park, thinking of the amphitheater. Pass the overlook near Krohn conservatory and have deja-vu-ish memories of having planted Leafs here, and am confused because I know it never happened. Turn around and go back, sorting out the memory and realize that while Beez and I have explored here before while talking to a gentleman about a possible commission, this was pre-Leaf. Chat with a woman who is at the overlook with her grand-kids. They are huddled up in afgans and are watching Tall Stacks. From here you can see all the boats like little toys on the river. And no crowds. Beez and I proceed to spy forpossible worthy locations of this final leaf. Decide to fix Leaf #100 into the hollow at the base of a tree near Twin Lakes Bridge. Walk by it several times to make sure the arrangement is aesthetically pleasing while physically restraining Beez from making squirrel stew. The squirrels seem to have more faith in the leash than is warranted and take perverse delight in loitering for the purpose of tormenting my poor dog.

Decide to celebrate completion of project by visiting the Cincinnati Art Museum. I head back to the parking lot after paying respects to my favorite pieces. There is an extra leaf in my hip pack. Place it under a bush on my way to the car. I go home.