I am not writing this to brag even though I know that most of you are probably going to be quite jealous when you read the next sentence. During a recent trip, I had the rare opportunity to meet and talk with … get ready … SIR PAUL!!!!
See, I knew that you were going to be awestruck and that is why I had to break it to you slowly and with some advanced preparedness.
Now that you have picked yourself up off the floor, I have to tell you that while I did meet and talk to Sir Paul for a considerable amount of time, it was not THAT Sir Paul. I don’t remember the last name of the Sir Paul I met exactly, but I think it was something like Sir Paul Madoff or Sir Paul Bullcrapartist or something like that.
You see, I met him at an honest to goodness castle that is located in … Cincinnati, Ohio, of course. And I am not talking about one of the 6 million White Castle hamburger joints that litter the landscape that is Cincinnati. I mean a true to life-knight protected-Rapunzel could have slept here-dragon fearing-ghost haunting, castle.
Okay. Okay. Picky. Picky. Picky. Technically it’s not in Cincinnati. It’s in Loveland, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, but, it’s still a CASTLE, in OHIO! The Historic Loveland Castle & Museum, Chateau Laroche, sits on the banks of the peaceful Little Miami River, which may, I believe, be stocked with sharks and alligators and used as a moat, if necessary, to protect against an attack by Kentucky or Illinois or, somewhat of a long shot, Canada. Just to be safe, the knights stand guard at the castle every day and, they will be proud that I am pointing out to you, there have been no attacks upon the castle by Kentucky, Illinois or even Canada, in the past 90 years!! (Although an attack from Canada is becoming more and more a possibility with Trump in office. Stay tuned.)
“Who in their right mind would build a castle in Loveland, Ohio?” you might (and probably should) ask. That’s somewhat of a trick inquiry because the reason seems to change depending on which “knight” you speak to.
We received a lot of our information from Sir Paul. I knew that Sir Paul was the right knight to provide us with all the information we desired about the castle as soon as we entered the front door. Sir Paul looked at us and said, without hesitation:
“That will be $10.00 each. Cash is preferred.”
Sir Paul is one of the duly dubbed knights who purports to protect the castle when he is not busy with his other job which, I believe, is being a mad scientist. These Knights of Cincinnati should, in no way, be confused with The Knights of Columbus!
The castle was the life’s work of Sir Harry Andrews. The ”Sir” before Harry’s name was simply a title he bestowed upon himself, not unlike Batman’s nemesis anointing himself “The Joker.”
According to Sir Paul and several other Knights that seem to loiter around the castle all day, and a “fact” they are proud to tell and re-tell visitors at least 50 times during the visitor’s tour of the castle, Sir Harry claimed to have an IQ of 189. This would give him an IQ 29 points higher than Stephen Hawking’s IQ of 160. Apparently, when Sir Harry and Hawking would get together for drinks, Sir Harry would refer to Hawking as “The Moron.”
Knight lore holds that in the early 1920’s one of Harry Andrews’ pet projects was his Sunday school / Boy Scout troop of approximately a dozen or so young boys with whom he would meet on Sundays. Harry’s troop of Boy Scouts took the name Knights of the Golden Trail. While history provides no interesting story as to how that name came to be, it is my belief that it stems from the color of the trail that was left by Harry’s Boy Scouts each Sunday inasmuch as the Port-a-Potty was not invented until many years later. [It is also interesting to note that on the castle’s website, the Knights specifically boast that there are now two portable “restrooms” on site (one of which I availed myself while we were there).]
Being boy scouts, it was not unusual for Harry and his young knights to spend time in the woods, camping. Most of the camping was done on two adjoining tracts of land that had been won by the parents of two of his little cavaliers in a contest promoted by the local newspaper and donated to Harry. If you paid for a one year subscription to the Cincinnati Enquirer, in full, in advance, the paper gave you a plot of land on the banks of the Little Miami River. That was in the days of real news so apparently it was worth more than today’s fake news is worth.
Harry decided that his Knights needed a castle and thereafter, for over fifty years, single handedly worked on his castle project. He pulled stones from the nearby Little Miami River, and when that supply was exhausted, he molded bricks with cement and quart milk cartons. This was great for the castle but played havoc with the campers’ morning breakfast of cold cereal and milk.
Harry died at the age of 91 after he caught fire while burning trash on the roof of the castle. Some historians claim this is a lot of rubbish.
Since Harry’s death, the castle has been under the care of The Knights of the Golden Trail boy scout troop to whom the castle was bequeathed in Harry’s will. Now, quite frankly, I saw some of these Knights and none of them appeared to be members of any boy scout troop. Motorcycle gangs? Perhaps. Living tattoo art canvas? Most assuredly. Members of a missing multiple body parts group? Most of them. Participants in a “How Long Can You Go Without Showering” contest? Positively. But, Boy Scouts? Not so much.
They did remind me of “The Knights Who Say Ni” from “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.” The next time I go to Loveland I will be sure to bring the “knights” a shrubbery. But I will spend more time at a White Castle than at Loveland Castle. Better fries.
I didn’t see anyone representing the Knights of the Golden Trail boy scout troop, under the age of 60 at the castle and I’m fairly certain that you “age out” of Boy Scouts somewhere before your 50th birthday. I have no idea what is going on at this castle or who these “Knights” are, but I’m pretty sure Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have anything to do with it, even with his pathetic 160 IQ.