Dr. Know: ESPN No Go’s, Disappearing Homes, and the Legacy of Mr. Hop

Dr. Know examines the apparent disappearance of a tiny home, where those Bearcats scores went, and the memory of David Stull, beloved by former Cincinnati youngsters as TV’s ”Mr. Hop.”

Illustration by Lars Leetaru

Does ESPN have something against the UC Bearcats? Several times during last football season, their web page listing the week’s college games didn’t list UC. I bookmark ESPN’s site because it shows game times and TV info for every type of sport. Why do they overlook the Bearcats? —NO GO CATS

You enjoy watching sports. Therefore, the Doctor assumes you have seen the insurance commercial where that nice, patient man helps keep young people “from becoming their parents.” You may want to consider, um, applying for the course.

ESPN’s college football scoreboard webpage lists more than scores: It shows future dates, times, video channels, and more. That’s probably why you bookmark it. But note that there’s a drop-down menu near the top that says “Top 25.” Some weeks, UC’s win/loss stats and those of its opposing team combine to get the game bumped (please direct all anger toward ESPN, not UC). Last season the Bearcats got Top 25-listed only during weeks 1, 6, 8, 9, and 13. Other weeks, you should have clicked on that menu and flipped to the AAC conference page. UC games always appear there.

We trust this helpful information will keep you from becoming your parents. By the way, make sure you get comfortable using that drop-down menu, especially where it shows “Big 12.” You’ll find out why soon.

A super tiny house, about the size of a one-car garage, has been on Loveland- Madeira Road in Symmes Township since forever. I’ve always wondered about it. A few months ago it disappeared, so now I really wonder about it. How old was it, and what happened to it? —THIS VERY OLD HOUSE

The former structure at 9561 Loveland-Madeira Road was, indeed, very small— just a front door with a small window on either side. It was also very old, but finding its date of birth at the Hamilton County Recorder’s office is above the Doctor’s pay grade. We’ll just share the owner’s guess that it could go as far back as the Civil War. Nearby Camp Dennison was in its prime back then, and the railroad tracks that still run along Loveland-Madeira Road were just a few feet away.

The cottage’s last steady occupant seems to have been in the 1990s: a tiny business called the Pottery Corner, which was far from any corner. Perhaps that explains its short run. The building’s recent buyer, who owns an adjacent property and purchased the long-neglected site at a bargain, tried and failed to justify saving the sad little structure. It came down in March 2022. Now, as you travel that stretch of Loveland-Madeira Road, you’ll just have to chuckle at the fact that you’re in neither Loveland nor Madeira.

I somehow missed hearing of the recent death of David Stull, known on local TV as David Manning and “Mr. Hop.” Actually, I worry that Cincinnati media overlooked the life and loss of this wonderful man who gave so much to our city. Am I wrong? —OUT MEMORIAM

Mr. Stull—a.k.a. Mr. Manning, a.k.a. Mr. Hop—had several vastly different careers, all worth noticing. Then again, all those careers were identical: engaging the youth of Cincinnati in entertaining ways while working a secondary agenda to help kids prepare for the real world.

His early 1960s TV show in a rabbit suit on WLWT, Mr. Hop, has been called Cincinnati’s best children’s show ever. His ’70s gig as host of the quiz show It’s Academic made heroes out of teens who did their homework. And his pivot to teaching stayed perfectly in character. Stull was among the founders of the School for Creative and Performing Arts, giving thousands of kids the skills and inspirations to live their dreams. Even after retirement he continued to mentor and teach.

The sad news of his passing did get an online homage from WVXU media critic John Kiesewetter, and the “I Worked for WLWT” Facebook group also quickly posted a tribute. SCPA undoubtedly sang his praises. But the Doctor agrees that a few more trumpets should have blown in his honor. Maybe by trumpeters in rabbit suits.

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