Dr. Know: Cincinnati’s Mouseketeer, a Hidden Cemetery, and Ohio’s Weed Rules

The good doctor answers questions about Jimmie Dodd’s hometown, the United American Cemetery, and managing medical marijuana.

I’m not a native, so I wonder if local kids in the 1950s knew that Jimmie Dodd, host of the original Mickey Mouse Club, was from Cincinnati. I found this out only recently. I loved that show passionately back then and am curious if Cincinnati kids were aware of Jimmie’s background. —HERE’S YER EARS

Illustration by Lars Leetaru

Dear Ears:
Assuming we can allow the complex methodology of scientific polling known as “Asking Around,” the answer to your question is yes. Our tragically small survey of native Baby Boomers suggests only their mild awareness that Jimmie Dodd, the Mickey Mouse Club’s master of overenthusiasm, hailed from Cincinnati. The kids knew, but as hometown pride had not yet been hammered into their tender psyches, Jimmie’s provenance was secondary. Almost no respondents knew that he had composed the eternally annoying M-I-C-K-E-Y song.

Your passion, however, was shared by millions. In fact, back when the Doctor was a child genius, he decided one evening to program a reminder on his bedroom clock radio for each day’s episode. Setting the alarm for 4:55, he turned the radio volume to maximum, guaranteeing he’d hear it anywhere in the house every day. Sadly, this was the era when clock radios had just 12-hour cycles, meaning that the family (and the neighbors) were made aware of the Doctor’s budding intelligence early the next morning.

After commuting for years along Duck Creek Road in Madisonville, I only recently noticed an unidentified gravel driveway. It led to a large cemetery, and I drove in. The graves are randomly scattered at odd angles—some very old, but others more recent. What is this place? —GRAVE DISCOVERY

Dear Grave:
Please allow the Doctor to assume that you are white. That’s not to say that no white people in Cincinnati are aware of this historic cemetery, but let’s pretend we’re watching a TV show called Whiteish and proceed.…

You drove into the United American Cemetery, formerly the Colored American Cemetery, founded in 1844. A proper burial was far from a sure thing for African Americans in 19th century Cincinnati, so this provided a rare dignified resting place. Originally in Avondale, it was relocated to Duck Creek Road in the 1880s—“relocated” being a perfumed euphemism for “evicted.” Gentrification back then could push you out even after you were dead.

Many notable local African Americans are buried here. It is now owned by the Union Baptist Church, which also oversees Cincinnati’s other historic black cemetery on Cleves-Warsaw Pike. Over the decades, both places have faced difficult challenges with upkeep and vandalism, but activities are underway right now for a major cleanup and restoration. Your discovery is perfectly timed. If you’d like to drive by a better place, call (513) 279-2931 and offer your help.

Is there any source with reliable information about Ohio’s medical marijuana rules? They keep changing. Even when I’m not (legally) partaking, I can’t follow the byzantine requirements for obtaining a consistent supply. Worse, the state’s website often doesn’t work. I’m trying to do this right. —IN THE WEEDS

Dear Weeds:
The Doctor sympathizes with your frustration and your need for relief. Ohio’s ever-changing procedures for medical marijuana could certainly cause confusion, and even bewilderment. As we go to press, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy is considering changes to its controversial “90-day supply” restriction that’s left some patients empty-handed, and the Board could be announcing their revisions before this issue lands in your mailbox. Somewhere else in Cincinnati Magazine is some kind of update on how the state is doing so far.

The Ohio Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee welcomes public comments, but the official website, we can confirm, can be especially hard to navigate, as is our TV remote. Ohio’s ever-changing procedures for medical marijuana could certainly cause confusion. Bewilderment, even. The original Star Trek episodes look really dated now. Plan ahead! When supplies run low, you can’t snack on all that toilet paper.

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