Kennedy Heights board member and Communications Committee Chair, Christine Schumacher has been collecting stories from long time neighborhood residents who tell of their experience of living in our wonderful neighborhood. Here is another in these series of stories:
Barb Hoffman and her mother, Bobbi Hoffman Barb's Girl Scout sweatshirt from senior troop 141
Barb Hoffmann

Barb Hoffman called KH her home when she was in the 3rd grade, in 1953. Her family came to live with her maternal grandparents, Harry and Jesse Rader. Her mother, Bobbi Hoffman, was present for this interview. Bobbi’s husband, Dick, died in 2014.

Barb and Bobbi spoke of the neighborhood when they moved here. The homes from Aikenside/Wyatt to Red Bank, Skyline (between Aikenside and Congreve) were built by Lang Homes, a quality builder. They mentioned that, in the ‘50’s, Branch Rickey, who signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, lived at 3726 Aikenside.

Barb has fond memories of her large and extremely active Girl Scout troop. She has a red sweat shirt from the troop which displayed a tent / flag on the first line and an airplane / sailboat on the second line, each signifying a mini troop

Around 1959, Senior Troop 141, consisted of 50 14-18 y/o girls. It was the oldest troop west of the Allegheny Mountains. Many trips were taken, some with the purpose of camping, others for sailing. A trailer and several rental cars, each with a capacity of 9 people, were part of the entourage. Numerous parents accompanied these trips. The troop was based at Kennedy Heights Presbyterian Church and often met in French Park for summer day camp.

Barb remembers:

  • the bookmobile coming around the neighborhood and the fun of choosing a book,
  • playing hopscotch at Kennedy school,
  • going to the Kennedy swimming pool in junior high,
  • being involved in intramural sports at Shroder high school,
  • being part of the teen groups and the choir at KH Presbyterian Church.
  • Her dad became active in the KH Presbyterian Church as book keeper and manager of all things mechanical.
  • Barb has been active in the wider Cincinnati community, one year she was chair of
  • A Day in Eden.

When the community began changing with blacks moving in, Bobbi remembers thinking “What will happen with our property values?” They soon realized nothing negative was going to happen. They were not averse to having black neighbors; it had not been part of their experience. Their first black neighbor still lives across the street from them, maintaining a long held friendship. And, many other friendships have been formed over the years.

Although Barb does not live in the neighborhood now, she regularly comes to be with her mother. She believes that people are talking more with each other and is glad to see that Kennedy Park is getting used more by families and groups.

Interviewed by Christine Schumacher, June 25, 2014

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