Mother Mohawk and Father Time : a story about Sandwiches, Fat Guys and Turtles

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

German Village's Old Mohawk is deservedly famous for this Mother Mohawk sandwich. No doubt created by someone with substance-fueled munchies, it combines the unlikely partners of the 'Hawks wonderfully thick & meaty, barely mayo-ed chicken salad with grilled deli roast beast. The result is crave-tastic.

I recently visited the always-fun, packed-and-ain't-fakin'-it real neighborhoody 'Hawk on a reconnaissance mission for the Mac-n-Cheese roundup that came out today in Alive. The Mohawk's "baked" version didn't make my list because when I got it, it was very greasy and showed no signs of being baked. Still, the place was so inviting--and scored so high on so many other things--that I decided to write about it for this week's Menu.

Anyway, while I was annihilating one of the 'Hawk's great sandwiches, an older gentleman walked up to me and pointed to an old black and white photo on the brick wall about 6" from my buzz-sawing maw. "That's my Uncle Myles, he used to own this place" said the gentleman. The pic--which I'd earlier seen and discounted as a "stunt" photo--depicted a guy with a circus fat's man girth sitting placidly, if quite bulgingly. The older gentleman (OG) said that Myles, who once lived in this building, was the man famous for (among other things) raising turtles in his basement and making soup out of them (that picture of Myles led me to believe he'd consider eating anything in his unlucky path). In case you don't know it, the Mohawk's still famous for their turtle soup (read about it here).

Anyway again, OG told me when Myles died upstairs, he was too fat to carry down the stairwell, so they had to "remove" him through a window.

"Man, you've got some stories" I said as OG's knowing wife came over to corral him. "Oh, does he have stories!" she chuckled, and from her fond expression, I could tell she'd used those words many, many times before.

"I'll never forget the time--I was just a scared kid--when Myles and I sat on the stoop right outside this building. It was during WWII, at night, and we were going through a scary blackout, so you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. All I remember was I could hear a bunch of old Germans from the old neighbothood murmuring. Suddenly, we saw the pitch blackness broken by an amazing stream of US bomber planes heading overseas. We just stared up in awe...I'll never forget that."

With that, OG & wife bade farewell and walked out of the Mohawk, a building which apparently was thick with memories of very different times for OG. After I payed my bill, I went out to the spot where I thought OG had pointed to earlier. Sure enough, I saw a little stoop jutting out from the front of the Mohawk. When I looked down at it, I noticed one side of the concrete had a smooth dip worn into it--just as it might have had a circus fat man sat there, time after time, staring up with awe into the German Village night.