With the release of several stock music items this past week, I have nothing new in the music pipeline for the first time in a while. But I never know when I’ll be awakened at an ungodly hour by a musical idea that insists on making itself known to the world.
My featured stock music item this week is Happy Go Lucky (Full Version). It’s a bouncy fun little tune for kids, family or other light-hearted content.
Meanwhile, back in the 20th century . . .
I’m continuing my research on the Dayton Triangles book project and spent some time this week focusing my attention on a couple of unsung heroes of the club and the city of Dayton.
The first of these was Harry Solimano. Solimano made his mark as the first notable basketball star of the Saint Mary’s Institute (later University of Dayton) varsity squad in the 1905-07 period. After graduating, he worked on establishing a law career in Dayton.
A champion of youth
Father William O’Maley, then varsity basketball coach and an administrator at the Institute, decided in 1908 to create a basketball team from some of the in-town students who were having trouble fitting in. Solimano volunteered to coach them. That team was the Saint Mary’s Cadets, which eventually became one of the elite basketball clubs in the world at the time.
Solimano stepped up again after Father O’Maley received a transfer to Montana. The boys, who by 1909 were also playing football, likely feared losing support from the Institute administration and wanted to form their own independent athletic club. Solimano wrote the constitution and by-laws and acted as chairman of the meeting at which the Saint Mary’s Cadet Athletic Association formed and elected its first officers on September 15, 1910.
Harry Solimano also fought for troubled boys in the region. As an unpaid clerk for the Montgomery County Juvenile Court, he took it on himself to help rehabilitate youngsters who had gotten in trouble with the law. In at least one documented case, Solimano convinced the judge to let him act as probation officer for a boy rather than sending the boy to a juvenile detention facility. He gave food, clothing and even shelter to boys, mad sure they went to school and helped them turn their lives around. Solimano supported local youth and sports throughout his long life, which lasted to the age of 83.
The Triangles’ biggest booster
Another unsung hero who emerged in my research was Forrest Burleigh (F. B.) MacNab. He was a patent attorney by training who came to the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco) in 1910. MacNab was employee number 14 at the Delco, and as the company grew he became a champion for employee welfare.
MacNab worked hard for the creation of Triangle Park as a resource for employees and the entire city. As chairman of the executive committee that oversaw the Park in its early years, he was also a big booster of the Triangles, and supported the team despite the fact that it lost thousands of dollars each season. The Park association dropped its support of the team around the time of MacNab’s untimely death in 1922, and Carl Storck became owner in the final, sad years of its existence in Dayton.
Talk about an unsung hero: I wouldn’t have run across MacNab at all if I hadn’t found a newspaper article reporting on the 25th anniversary reunion of the original Triangles. They acknowledged his role in their history, but very little else I found in the press of the day talked about him. MacNab seems to have been a man with little or not ego, a behind-the-scenes saint.
This week I’ll be planning my next phase of research, and maybe a melody will kidnap me and hold me for ransom until I put it out in the wild. Take care.