A Reflection on All Decades of My Life Ending in Four, by Sarah Hawley

To honor the New Year of 2014, we thought a trip down memory lane from one of our employees might be fun. Take a trip with Sarah, our production manager and daughter of Marcy Hawley, the publisher, as she recalls all decades of her life ending in the number four. 2004 was the year for sports books. Orange Frazer published Joe Rounding Third and Heading for Home and Bengals Legends; the Men, the Deeds, the Consequences. I was still a starry-eyed publicist. Back then, speaking to well-known Cincinnatians like Joe Nuxhall, Greg Hoard, Isaac Curtis, Louis Breeden, and Dave Lapham made me feel that I was a little moon in their sporty solar system, mistakenly thinking that I, too, was a star and that I should have played a professional sport. (Like what? I’m only good at cleaning, saying “No” to change, and worrying.) Needless to say, that year brought a lot people into my life; some who are still my friends today, while others were meant to be a part of my tidy and neurotic universe only as supernovas.

In 1994, I was graduating from college, moving into a house in Hyde Park, Ohio, with friends, and suffering from a vicious case of mono. I think “College Grad with Mono” is a story worth telling that is really not worth telling.

Me, circa 1994

Orange Frazer was still a dream in 1984. Marcy, the publisher, was writing for Ohio Magazine and under the tutelage of then Ohio Magazine editor, John Baskin. Marcy was now making enough money from writing that she could afford more things for the family and add to my father’s income. In one summer (My sister Margaret and I refer to it as “The Super Summer of 1984”) my mother purchased mauve wall-to-wall carpeting for the TV room, ordered HBO, purchased a microwave oven and new kitchen countertops. My sister and I thought, “Our parents have been lying to us. We are the descendants of Austrian Royalty and our inheritance just kicked in.” We watched everything on HBO even if it was rated R, staying up late into the hours previously reserved for nightmares or sickness. We microwaved marshmallows, sandwiches, SpaghettiOs, eggs, candy, and probably our brain cells as we watched the food boil and swell and cook magically by the aid of electromagnetic radiation. Our beds were now our sleeping bags and pillows spread all over the carpet. We absorbed its mauve color, sponginess, and new smell through all of our senses. Margaret and I slept downstairs the entire summer, ensuring maximum enjoyment and usage of these purchases. The kitchen and the living room became our magic kingdom. Who needed Mickey Mouse? (We thought he was creepy, anyway.) Our dad let us watch Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Porky’s.

In 1974, I was two and only remember falling down my grandmother’s basement steps along with a wicker baby-doll carriage full of Fisher-Price people. The cement floor at the bottom was my first conscious experience that life can be hard, painful, and cold. My mother, clad in white cut off jean shorts and a blue tee-shirt, picked me up and cradled a painful situation away. Falling down those stairs could explain why I don’t like basements or the cold, but maybe it is really from a college experience, once again, not worth mentioning.