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LAF/SOMe, the Garrettsville Area Seniors Group is pleased to announce the following upcoming trips.  Reservations are required and should be made by calling The Villager at 330-527-5761. Trips are open to anyone over the age of 21 who wants to enjoy life!


Friday, February 10, 2012,  The Great Big Home and Garden Expo and the Cleveland IX Center.  Includes  event entrance ticket, transportation and gratuity.  Bus Leaves at 10 a.m. and will return to Garrettsville at approximately 6 p.m.  Cost $23 per person.  SEATING IS LIMITED.  Reservation required no later than February 3rd.


Wednesday, February 29, 2012.  Gaming at Presque Isle Casino and Dinner at the Ferrante Winery.

Enjoy the day with games of chance at the Presque Isle Casino in Erie PA., then on to an early dinner at the Ferrante Winery and Restorante in Geneva, OH.  Enjoy exquisite Italian cuisine while overlooking 65 acres of manicured vineyards in the Grand River Valley.  And of course, while we are there, if you choose, you may also enjoy a wine tasting of Ferrante’s award winning vino.  Bus will leave Garrettsville at 8 a.m. and return approximately 7 p.m.  Cost for this trip is $59 per person and includes transportation, bus gratuity, dinner and wine tasting at Ferrante and a casino bonus.  Reservation required, payment due no later than February 15th.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012, Lunch and a Show!

J.B. Productions presents “A Tribute Show” Direct from Las Vegas

and Branson, MO.  This very special tribute show will bring back to mind many of your favorite performers. With Frank Pisani as master of ceremonies, these exceptional look-a-like and sound-a-like entertainers will bring to the stage such greats as: Rod Stewart, Aretha Franklin, Jimmy Durante, George Burns, Cher plus others (subject to change). You’ll be absolutely amazed. Relive the special moments these stars represent.

Cost for this trip is $49 per person and includes transportation, lunch and the show.  Bus will leave Garrettsville at 10 a.m. and return approximately 5 p.m.  Reservation required, SEATING IS VERY LIMITED.  Payment required no later than March 2, 2012.

Windham Dirt Daubers, a 40 year old garden club, has decided to hang up their garden tools at the first of the year, citing declining membership as the primary reason. The club started May 10, 1971 after Susan Kauppila-Happel had envisioned forming a group of ladies to learn more about plants and flowers along with other related issues.   The members listed on the roster when they dissolved were Marilyn John, Diana Martin, Rita Light, Rita Greene, Debbie Davis, Angie Smithburger, Dawn Kahoun, Dona McGuire, and Lynnea St, John. Inactive members were Karen Hoskins, Pat Clayton and original member Pat Burns.

Over the years the group had been very busy in the community. They had planted flowering crab trees around the circle of the township Green, they landscaped the court yard at Katherine Thomas (K.T.) Elementary School, planted the garden in front of the community center, built, maintained and planted flowers at the welcome signs one sees as they enter the town. They also landscaped the school sign at the high school and held fundraisers for vinyl picnic tables for the high school and junior high.

More recently, the garden club has maintained and planted flowers at the gazebo, war monuments and post office along with the welcome signs.  The group not only planted the flowers, they watered them, weeded them and kept them looking great all season long. During the holiday season the group had always decorated the gazebo and served cookies for the community lighting ceremony, which they hope someone else will pick up where they left off.

Besides garden activities, the Dirt Daubers could be seen out supporting community causes as well. The group had worked with “Toys for Tots”, Salvation Army, the Athletic Boosters and had even purchased clothing for the children at K. T. Elementary Schools. They were committed to their community.

Along with working in their community, the group has had many guest speakers at their meetings speaking on a variety of topics that expanded their knowledge of gardening and other related topics. They even had a beekeeper come in to expand their knowledge of bees and how they relate to gardening. The club also had toured gardens over the years and most recently toured the Draime Estate Gardens in Howland which is owned by Kent State Horticulture. They were an active club that served their community diligently and will be sorely missed.

It was at the December township trustee meeting where Marilyn John, president of the club announced it was with great regret the garden club would disband on the first of January 2012. She cited declining membership and the age of current members was making it difficult to continue as the reasons behind the decision. John said she hoped the village and the township would continue to decorate for Christmas and has donated the decorations for the gazebo to the township.  The announcement at the meeting brought a statement from Chairman Dann Timmons, who said he was sorry to see them disband after being such an icon in the community for 40 years but he guessed it was a sign of the times, where as folks were just are not interested in garden clubs anymore.  Timmons,  along with the other two trustees, has vowed to see that the gazebo is decorated each year for the holidays.

The garden club will be sorely missed.


Tired but triumphant after their successful Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction, the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club moved on to business-as-usual at their 11/14/11 meeting.


The Twentieth Century Club met at the home of Mary Furillo  on November 17th.  Members answered roll call by answering “Do you believe in angels?”

The program for the evening was presented by Maxine Nimtz on The Bishop’s Wife, a novel by Robert Nathan that was made into a movie in 1947.  She focused on the character of Julia Brougham in the novel.

During the meeting a motion was passed to donate to the People Tree and members decided on a gift exchange for the Christmas party.

Following the meeting, members socialized while being served pumpkin roll and beverages provided by the hostess and her co-hostess Shirley Miller.

The next meeting will be the Christmas party held at the home of Jan Boehm on December 15th.  Leah Schultz will serve as co-hostess.


Members of 20th Century Club of Garrettsville met October 20 at the home of Joan Kropp.  Jan Chalker was her co-hostess.  Women answered roll call by naming a piece of world art that they admired.  The program featured Garrettsville’s own world-famous Joe Leonard and his wood carvings.  Joe brought with him his portfolio of carvings and a small griffin sculpture. He explained how he taught himself to carve by reading books on the subject,and how he created seventeen carrousel horses for the Disney project in France and two more afterwards for admiring customers.  His flying pegasus and a griffin are presently touring the world with fellow mythical characters from around the world.  The tour began in the US in New York City and will be on display in the Spring back in the US at the Natural History Museum in Cleveland. Another flying pegasus will be on display at an upcoming art show at the IX Center.

Besides his profession, Leonard is also known in the community for his role as Nelson Trustee and as the owner and driver of a vintage fire engine that can be seen at  local community and  charity events.  He also teaches carving workshops.

Following the program, pumpkin pie was served.  The next meeting will be held on November 17th at the home of Mary Furillo with Shirly Miller serving as co-hostess and Maxine Nimtz presenting the program.


Garrettsville – In October the Garrettsville Eagles Club, F. O. E. 2705 sponsored the second annual golf outing to benefit the National Diabetic Research Center. The event was co-chaired by Matt Eisenman and Brian Mullins and generated $2,000 for the Center. In spite of the inclement weather, eleven teams participated in the scramble.

The Fraternal Order of the Eagles Grand Aerie, in partnership with the University of Iowa, established the Research Center at the University. The University is responsible for the facility while the Grand Aerie pledged the funds for the research.

When everyone  finished, a tie existed  between Team Mowren consisting of Wes Mowen, Mike Lawrence, Doug Berg and Eric Berg.  Team Walls members were Glenn Walls, Daryl Guyette and two players who came in late and their names are unavailable.

The individual winners were Doug Berg for Long Drive on Hole #7; Eric Berg on Hole #15, while Daryl Guyette and Brian Mullins scored closest to the pin on Holes #5 and #10 respectively.

After the event, the golfers returned to the Eagles Club for a steak dinner to receive their prizes for individual achievements and numerous door prizes.

Needless to say, the event’s success depended on the work of the large number of volunteers that worked the course and contacted local merchants for their donations.

The Club wishes to thank the local merchants and organizations for their generous support of this event. Gold Sponsors were Kelly and Ferraro Att-at-Law, Eaton Corp and The Garrettsville Eagles Club. Hole Sponsors were Morco Construction, Penney Auto Body, Carlton Harley Davidson, Wingate Alloy Inc., Ellerhorst Insurance, 3-D Electric, and Davey Tree.

Mark your calendars for Saturday, September 8, 2012 for next year’s event.


Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians are out and about again, with their annual–well, mostly–roadside clean-up on St. Rte 82 between Garrettsville and Hiram.  You know the line,”the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”?  Well, it sort of applied  in this instance.  Those that were able to show up–they definitely showed in fluorescent vests–(several auxiliary possibilities were unable to make it) did yeoman service by removing several bags of the usual detritus–bottles, cans, paper, UTAOs (Unidentified Thrown-Away Objects) and some items best left unidentified too precisely.

This followed the meeting on October 3 when plans for the approaching Reverse Raffle and Silent Auction were put in train for the big event coming up on November 10 at SugarBush Golf. Sponsorships are available  for those wishing to make a contribution.  Tickets also can be obtained from any member.  A top prize of $ 1000 is mighty tempting and the auction items look good too.

The club maintained its community-minded chops once again by making a donation to the JAG MVP campus surveillance fund being mounted by a group hoping to place security cameras and equipment on school facilities to reduce threats to public safety and property security.  The possibility of securing a matching grant from Rotary District 6630 was also brought up; it will be investigated.

Steve Zabor, district-governor-in-waiting and member of the Mantua-Shalersville Rotary Club, is slated to attend the October 10 meeting.

Bob Jackson, secretary-treasurer par excellence, is sorely missed but recovering.  He will, no doubt, return better than ever, though that would be hard to do.

Mantua – 4C’s is raffling off a quilt called “Fruit of the Spirit, Fruit of the Orchard V” in the “Hunter’s Star” pattern. The drawing will be held on November 12 at the 4 C’s Craft Fair held in the Shalersville Township Hall from 9:00-3:00. The quilt maker is Ellie Monroe and tickets are available from her at $1.00 each or 6 for $5. The quilt will be on display at Monroe’s Orchard, 6313 Pioneer Trail from October 13 through November 11. All proceeds from the quilt raffle will go to support the food shelf. Ellie has been donating a quilt to benefit the 4 C’s, for several years and this year it is more important than ever because of the rising cost of food and the increase in numbers of people using the food shelf. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Ellie for her dedication.

Garrettsville –  Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce holds a $750 cash raffle with proceeds from the raffle going to scholarships for J. A. Garfield and Hiram College students. This year’s grand prize is $750 along with an added second prize food basket from local merchants and a third prize fun basket from local merchants. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from most Garrettsville merchants and eateries, as well as the Weekly Villager, Skylanes Bowling Alley, Huntington and Middlefield Banks. The ticket prices are 6 tickets for $5 or $1 each. The drawing will be held October 20, 2011 at the close of Business Showcase located at J. A. Garfield High School Gym. The showcase opens at 5pm and closes at 8pm. Winners need not be present for the drawing.


The  Literary Musical Club held their meeting on Sept. 14th at The Community Center in Nelson.We were pleased to have such a nice turn out. It is always nice to see all the members  come for our day out.
We celebrated everyone’s birthday all at one time. We had a birthday party for everyone. The tables were  birthday- decorated and we had birthday cake with all the trimmings. Each  member brought a birthday present. These presents were to be useful items that can be used to keep house. The items were gathered up and donated to the new home in Ravenna for the homeless women veterans. This home is supported by the Veterans of America. It is for women and they need your help.
Last month we gathered and went to lunch. Some husbands were there also. Always nice to share our good time with our partners.
Our next goal is to collect some handmade items to be used in a Santa Shop for the children in the Windham School. This is a place for the children to be able to come and buy a gift for their mother or father. We need some help in getting handcrafts for this program. All you members who are crafty please try to help us.
For the members who do not come to the meetings on a regular basis we need your help also.
The next meeting will be October 12. This will be a musical experience. Come and tap your toes and sing along. See you there.


The September meeting of Heart of Doll Country was on September 6th, 2011. and all but one member were present.  After the reading of the minutes, and the treasurer’s report, the group discussed first the upcoming trip to the Kent Museum of Fashion to see the exhibit, “On the Homefront”, a Civil War display.  The date of October 8th was picked for this trip, with lunch at the Pufferbelly Restaurant to follow.

Next up was a discussion on the Christmas trees we decorate for the Geauga County Library.  We decided to do this at our next meeting, October 4th and members were asked to bring ornaments to help decorate the trees.  These are table top trees which are donated to the library, and distributed to patrons to decorate.  They are put on display at the various branches, and people bid on them to raise money for the library.

The next Luncheon was brought up, and we may not be able to hold it when we first discussed, due to doll people attending the UFDC convention those weekends.  Pat Dutchman will report back on this.

Our Christmas party will be held at the home of Carolyn Englert, on November 1rst.  It will be a potluck, and members are asked to bring an unwrapped, new toy to be given to charity.

At Share and Tell, member Sue Lehota talked about the travel dolls exchanged by her daughter and a lady in New Zealand on behalf of their respective children.  The dolls are sent with travel journals, and the two women exchange photos of where the dolls were taken and purchase accessories to be sent back.
Carolyn Englert gave a program on provenance in doll collecting, and shared a picture of her grandmother with the doll Carolyn inherited from her.  Provenance is the history of the doll, or any other collectible object, and adds to its value.
The next meeting will be held on October 4th, at the United Methodist Church in Garrettsville.  If you are interested in coming, or would like more information on the club, call Carolyn at 330-527-4888


Newton Township – For months now, members of the Newton Township Cemetery Association have volunteered their time and energy to bringing new life to a piece of local history – several pieces, in fact.
Multiple headstones, monuments, and other grave markers – many as old as the early 1800s – have fallen into disrepair due to age, the elements, and the misfortune of vandalism, and literally lie in pieces throughout the cemeteries in and around Newton Falls. The Cemetery Association has been working long hours to mend, patch, and restore these markers as close to their original condition as possible and bring dignity back to the final resting places of so many former residents of the small town. Always a continual process, the workers have been doing as much as they can before the snow falls, while contending with the challenge of a humid Ohio summer, beating the heat by spending precious cooler morning hours among the quiet granite and marble, Association members have made significant progress in the restoration plan.
Last Thursday morning, members from the local American Legion Post 236 stopped by the cemetery down the street from the fire station to present a check to the Association volunteers. Opened in 1813 and considered the first hallowed ground in Newton Falls, this is just one of the seven cemeteries under the care of the Township. The funds will be used for construction materials to repair headstones and landscaping elements in an effort to further beautify and honor the sacred spaces.
If anyone is interested in helping out and could spare a few hours with the project, the Cemetery Association meetings are the third Thursday of each month at the Township Administration Building. Also, they plan to have an informational table at the Firefighters Auxiliary’s Chili Cook-Off on Saturday, October 1st. They would love to share with you how you could be a part of this historical undertaking.


Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society held their pot-luck picnic for the summer at the home of Iva Walker on August 15.  The food, as usual, was the highlight of the evening but plans for the approaching Antiques Appraisal Fair came in a close second.  A meeting held around a fire pit, with desserts on plates, can get plenty lively.  Stories are called for and recited, ideas drift in with the smoke.  Interest in all things historical…or hysterical…can take new and fascinating paths.  Volunteers (and the semi-coerced) were signed up for the fair and plans were laid for more activities throughout the year.  The uninvited mosquitoes and lightning bugs were in evidence as the gathering broke up.

Regular meetings of the JAGHS are held in the organization’s headquarters at the Mott Building on Garrettsville’s Main Street at 7:30 on every third Monday of the month.  All are invited.


For all of you out there who’ve been just waiting to join the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club but got hung up on the meeting night, here’s your chance.  The group is moving back to its Monday night time slot and will be convening at the Kennedy Center in Hiram at 5:30.  The food and the service at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company were outstanding , greatly appreciated and may be utilized at a later date for special occasions but Mondays are the “dark night” at “the Mill” so the change requires a new venue.  Many thanks to the accommodating chef, staff and the Kepiches for their hospitality.

On August 23 and 30 the G-H club will be meeting for special programs with the Mantua-Shalersville club.  Regular programming begins after the Labor Day holiday, on September 12.  Everyone is invited.


Windham – Last month seven members toured the Draime Estate Gardens in Howland, along with some guests and members of the Grass Roots garden club.  It is a private facility providing educational opportunities and hands on experiences to students of horticulture, art and science.  It is run by Kent State.  The 12 acre tour was magnificent.

The Dirt Daubers took part in the Windham Bicentennial parade July 30th, celebrating our 40 years as a club.

This month our guest speaker was Fred Youngem, a bee keeper.  He put on a wonderful program and even brought some of his bees, in a glass case, for us to see how busy, busy they are.
Next month we will meet at the home of Angie Smithburger on Sept. 12, at 7:00 with the program yet to be determined.


Garrettsville – The August meeting of The Heart of Doll Country was held at Garrettsville’s United Methodist Church on August 2nd.  After the minutes and Treasurer’s report were read, members discussed some upcoming proposed trips.  A visit to the Museum in Erie, Pennsylvania to see a display of life-sized needle sculpted dolls, the Strongsville Doll and Bear Show, and Kent State Museum of Fashion were all proposed.  We will check to see what the current display is at Kent, and decide if we will be going.  A lively discussion about next year’s luncheon was held, and a Christmas in July theme was decided upon.  We also talked about where we will hold the Christmas party this year, since we are not going to be meeting over the winter months.  At Share and Tell, member Barbara Dupay showed a carved wooden doll she had purchased from The Toy Shoppe, as well as passing out some catalogs from there.  Carolyn Englert had her Bleuette-type doll that had belonged to her mother.  Pat Dutchman provided refreshments as well as a program on Travel Dolls.  Jean Lawrence won the door prize, a lovely tote bag.  Sue Lehota held an extra drawing, which Carolyn won, a beautiful Japanese American Girl small doll.  The Heart of Doll Country meets on the first Tuesday of the month, at the Methodist Church, anyone who loves or makes dolls is welcome.  For more information, email carenglert67@gmail.com.


The Antique Tractor Club of Trumbull County has had a busy summer.  They’ve participated in many parades, open houses, block parties, and sold gallons & gallons of bean soup for the Ashtabula Tractor’s clubs summer show.  We donated time & tractors plowing a field for the Grace Fellowship Church’s new property on Kings Graves Rd. in Vienna and so many other things I don’t have the space to mention.
We’ve been planning & having meetings to promote and prepare for our Annual Summer Show to be held at 1653 Ridge Road, Vienna Ohio.  This years show will be three days — Friday, Saturday, Sunday the 19th, 20th & 21st.We have 3 classes of tractor pulls (kiddie pedal tractors, bring your own or use one of ours) they are very competitive and a lot of fun to watch, garden tractors and the larger tractors everyone likes to compete between tractor brands.  What’s it going to be this year, Red, Green, yellow, gray or blue.  Come watch your favorite.  This year we’re promoting Fords.  Come and see how well you can drive a tractor or ride in our special made wagon (with nice cushy seats) on a trip through the fields and woods.  We have free homemade ice cream for all kids 12 & under.  Come watch Nick make ice cream right on the spot and a dish you’ll never forget  There is something for everyone including a flea market.  If you need more information, you can call: Joe Toth @330-240-6407 or Terry Taylor @330-637-8946.


Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary went into its international mode recently, entertaining Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars Yeonmin Kim of the Republic of South Korea and Sayuri Minakuchi from Japan at their August 10 meeting at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company.  These well-spoken and personable individuals are both studying at Kent State University and made interesting presentations concerning certain cultural aspects of their homelands and their own educational paths.

Sayuri Minakuchi is a second-generation Ambassadorial Scholar; her mother had been designated as such during her scholastic career.  Sayuri spoke of the Japanese language, both spoken and written.  Japanese script is, basically, a simplified form of a system borrowed from the writing of China, employing seventeen sound elements–some English sounds are not among them.  Some  English/American words have appeared in modern Japanese usage without translation, especially in areas such as sports (baseball) or entertainment or food (pasta).  Students in Japan begin learning English as a second language from about the fifth grade level on.  Many international students–who have probably begun learning English in their respective countries at about the same time–come to the United States to study at least partly to improve their language skills, particularly in the area of idiomatic speech.  As is the case in most countries of the modern, industrialized world, some aspects of traditional culture are found side-by-side with western culture and can be confusing to the outside observer.
Yeonmin Kim spoke of  some social and political facets of  the Republic of South Korea,  where his Rotary District was #3670.  He is studying for a Ph.D. in Literature, with a focus on Irish literature, as he feels that there are certain similarities between South Korea and Ireland (Eire), particularly as regards the partition of the countries and their similar historical paths.  Political sensitivities and economics and hopes for unification play into the situations in both places.  The young father and former South Korean Marine also touched upon some topics that Americans actually did have a concept of, namely, tae kwan do and kimchi–a form of martial arts, and a signature Korean-style relish of sorts, that can do about as much damage as the fighting

Once again Rotary displays its bona fides  as a bridge between nations.

Addendum : the discussion continues for local Rotary groups–“sink or swim”…what stroke?  If you’d like to get into the conversation, visit your local club, they’ll love to have you and your suggestions.


Ya got yer debt crisis.  Ya got yer deficit crisis.  Ya got yer health/obesity crisis.  Ya got yer apes takin’ over the planet.  What else can go wrong?

OMG!  It’s Rotary!

Well, actually, it’s sort of systemic thing.  Communal and fraternal organizations (not to mention churches) everywhere are facing declining membership and participation.  Where once-upon-a-time every little town had its own Odd Fellows, Masons, Kiwanians, Lions, Rotarians, and so on, meeting in their own halls or church basements or meeting rooms on a regular basis, nowadays groups have gone out of existence or consolidated with others still breathing, numbers are down at scheduled gatherings and cherished projects and activities for the good of the community are in danger of elimination and/or reduction.  Where have all the members gone?

Well, it’s at least partly societal…partly economic, for sure.  There didn’t used to be so many things for kids to be involved in–sports, arts, you know all that–and for their parents to be following (driving to).  There used to be more business owners who lived in town, not answering to a franchise headquarters.  There used to be fewer women working outside the home (They always worked inside the home). There used to be a slower pace about a lot of things.  That was then; this is now.  What to do?

Local Rotarians (Garrettsville-Hiram, Mantua-Shalersville…do you see the consolidation?) would like to seek some community input…maybe some new members with great ideas…in their quest to address this situation.  Each club has a history of contribution and meaningful activity (Think Talent Shows, Family Weeks, Santa Claus deliveries, group excursions, Christmas Walks, exchange students, roadside clean-ups, Power of the Pen, many more) which they are loathe to abandon.  Plans may be undertaken to more co-operative ventures but these are LOCAL groups within an INTERNATIONAL framework (Check out the Rotary International float entry in the Rose Bowl Parade) and they like to focus on the people that they see every day.

So…have you any contribution to make?  Are you an individual who would like to “give back” to the community?  Would you like to know more people in your community, to make a difference?  Would you like to meet with like-minded individuals to try to put some of your hopes and dreams into action/reality?  Got some great ideas? Could you put a group on Facebook or Twitter?  Willing to actually WORK–on your own and with others– to get those ideas on the map?  Have they got a deal for you!!!
Come to a meeting (If that’s a problem, try to get to at least one and explain the difficulty, none of them are written in stone).

Garrettsville-Hiram meets at 5:30 on Wednesdays at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company; Mantua-Shalersville meets at a place and time to be discovered.  They will be happy to see you.  They will listen to suggestions.  They will quite possibly have a program that you’ll really enjoy and learn from.  Could be something that you’ll really groove on.  Give it a shot.  Expand your world…it IS Rotary International, after all.

Speaking of which…M-S Rotary annual picnic at Camp Hi August 17 (They did an excursion to Porthouse Theatre earlier this month)…G-H Rotary president just received the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Rotary International Foundation and the club recently entertained two Rotary Ambassadorial Scholars.  This is good stuff.  Think about joining…or rejoining, they’ll be glad to have you.

Pictured: Wally Lininger (left) being presented the commemorative plaque by District Governor Dave Gauch. In other Lions news, the celebration of 54 years of service to the Windham community and Lions International was recently marked by the installation of new officers for 2011/2012.

Windham – Wally Lininger was recently honored for his long and dedicated service to The Windham Lions Club and Lions International by being presented the Melvin Jones Fellowship.

Lions International recognizes outstanding individuals by bestowing on them an honor that is named for its founder, Melvin Jones. This fellowship is the highest form of recognition and embodies humanitarian ideas consistent with the nature and purpose of Lionism. The recipient of this honor becomes a model because of the exemplary service to his club and the community for which he serves.

In other Lions news, the celebration of 54 years of service to the Windham community and Lions International was recently marked by the installation of new officers for 2011/2012.


Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society met in the Mott Building headquarters on Main St. to speak of “ many things, of shoes and ships and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings.”  Well, not exactly.
They did accept a   pair of donations from Roslyn Bauman–a green bottle imprinted “L. Caldwell, Garrettsville, and a flax spinning wheel.  Maintenance items came up :  cleaning and sorting and putting away costumes, especially those used in the recent vintage photo activity ($160–a good start for what may become an on-going fund-raiser), the garden fence needs painting, summer potluck picnic will be August 15, thoughts on re-applying for a Hiram Community Trust grant to do digitizing of microfilm files, thoughts on the approaching Business Showcase in the fall and the Windham Bicentennial which is upon us now…and the Antiques Appraisal Fair to be conducted at the Garfield Middle School in conjunction with a flea market/rummage sale benefiting the Garfield Middle School football program.  Coach Mark Apple was present to provide information on the football program plans and to discuss advertising proposals, printing options, concessions…lots of stuff.  Time and tide wait for no man…or woman or historical society.  Plans are rolling!
Tickets are ready.  Posters are on the way.  Newspaper advertising in several marketing areas–Record-Courier, Middlefield Post, Warren Tribune, Chagrin Times, Villager, etc.–is coming as well as a spot on the Garrettsville website and on Facebook.  Everybody know; everybody come!  August 20 from 1:00 to 5:00.

And speaking of the Antiques Appraisal Fair….
Do not confuse this with the popular TV program where amazed folks find out that a professional appraiser has just declared that Aunt Ida’s gilded chamber pot once belonged to Louis XIV and is worth thousand upon thousands.  But it is our very own, small-scale operation wherein four local professionals will give the lucky finders of attic-stashes of monumental proportions the news that most, if not all, of the detritus piled up in out of the way places in the house can safely be given away or disposed of…but that little carved-wood clock with the kookaburra instead of a cuckoo…hmmm…we might want to look at that more closely.   Should your treasures actually call for further investigation, you can, of course, at a later date talk to these folks who have generously donated their time, to pursue any further course of action which you might like to follow.
The chances of your finding a twin to the Koh-i-Noor diamond in Grammy’s jewelry box are slim but you might find out that Uncle Delt was actually a primitive painter of some repute and the bunch of his old scenes in the family home could be worth your while to dust off.  Antiques, at any rate, have fads and fashions like anything else and that big crock with naughty pictures inside might be just the thing this year when five years ago you couldn’t have sold it to Hugh Hefner.   Hang on to it, the wheel could turn yet again.
For a small fee (one item for $5, three for $10), if nothing else, you may get bragging rights about that antimacassar from Aunt Faye’s estate sale that turns out to be a snippet from the Bayeaux Tapestry that  Great , Great Grandma smuggled across the Alps tucked into her knickers as she was fleeing the Huns…or was it the Mongols?  At the very least, someone other than your family can give a little insight as to whether it’s the real McCoy or a really good copy.  And look around to see what kind of junk other people have in their attics.  Maybe you’re not the craziest folks on the block after all.  Maybe you have taste…. Maybe not..

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians confronted a mystery at their recent meeting.  Speaker was Guy Alexander of Park Ave., Garrettsville, and he told of the boat in his house.
Embarking upon an renovation/remodel of his house in 2007, he recalled a chance conversation some years before with Adelle Cline (nee Baird) who had grown up in the residence and lived there after her marriage to Jim Cline and through the subsequent raising of three children.  While engaged in who-knows-what ministrations of the hair care personnel at  the Golden Mirror, she asked him if he had yet found the boat that resided above the dining room ceiling, something shown to the family by her father in the early twentieth century and, to all intents and purposes, likely to be still there–they had not removed it.
As it happened,  the remodeler needed access to the area in question and –lo, and behold–between the rafters and the lath-and-plaster, there rested the skeleton of a boat, two nested halves, a pair of slave collars(!) and some old batteries, along with newspaper clippings from 1898 concerning a popular player of the day, Homer Enos.  An interesting treasure  trove, no mistake!
After considerable investigation–Antique Road Show and a number of other avenues, such as the Smithsonian Institution–Guy found that he was in possession of a “portage boat” or “slave boat”  used during the era of the Underground Railroad (Which, you may recall, was not always underground, nor had it any rails, though the roads were many and  so too the conductors and the passengers).  Only one other specimen is thought to be in existence, and that in Canada.  One appraisal firm in Cleveland put its value at “priceless”–not real helpful, when you get right down to it.  The collars–one had a metal nameplate reading “W. F. Brown” in ornate script–were far more common and a Wm. Brown (pauper) was found  listed at that address in a census search of the decade.
The “portage boat” might be classified as what archivists/historians/archaeologists and their ilk call “ephemera”, things that were not designed to last, in this case they were to be put together quickly, covered with a canvas or leather skin, used to cross a stream or body of water, then dismantled (Under the Fugitive Slave Act, one could be arrested and tried for aiding and/or abetting a runaway slave, so   the evidence was destroyed whenever possible).  How did the bones of the boat get in the ceiling over the dining room?  Nobody knows. The house has  paper trail back to at least 1895, possibly 1860–lots of records were lost in a fire at the old courthouse in Ravenna many years ago.  There apparently a construction project of some sort at this address in 1908.  Was it found or moved around then by the Bairds?  Mystery still.
Then , of course, there are the unexplained shadows and creaks and footsteps…the nearby tunnels to the creek, possibly used by the UGRR–Northeast Ohio was pretty strong Abolitionist territory….  Who knows how much more of the story waits to be uncovered?

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society extended a thank you to the proprietors of Chic-N-Shabby for assistance rendered and put out a call for costumes for the Vintage Photo Fair to be held at the Garrettsville SummerFest.  (A success for both events).  The trip  to the Hudson Library and Historical Society was also adjudged interesting and definitely worthwhile.  Volunteers for the photo op were recruited;  a tentative schedule was outlined. Posters and flyer proposals were checked out, other prep work as well.  A grant application to the Hiram Community Trust has been submitted for acquiring microfilm from the Ohio Historical Society.The building will be open for Cruise Night on July 16, possibly for vintage photos as well.The Appraisal Fair arrangements are on-going; public relations (information and flyers) will be distributed soon.  All attic explorers are urged to come to get a local expert’s best estimation of what some of their newly-uncovered treasures might be worth.  A professional appraisal firm operating out of Delaware, Ohio (Garths) has indicated interest in becoming involved at a future date.  Things are moving forward…or backward, if you count the antiques, for the event to be held at the  James A. Garfield Middle School on August 20.  Trash or Treasure,  that is the question.  Come to find out.  Family pieces and family stories all have their interesting points but remember,      “Nobody really cares what your Grandma had except your Grandpa.”

Literary Musical Club (LMC) held their June meeting with a covered dish picnic. As usual the food was good and plenty of it. Thanks to Alma Jones for being such a nice hostess. It’s a shame only half of our members attend. Our business meeting was short with not much happening. We did decide on a Christmas fund raiser. Our program was put on by Jeanne Pfeiffer.  The art of “quilling”. She gave a nice presentation with lots of samples for show-and-tell. Maybe she’ll come back and give a class. Next meeting will be July 13. Special recognition was given to Margaret Clapp. She is our oldest member and her name has been on the membership since back when she was a teenager a good 75 years ago. She was presented with a music box. She has always been an active member. Thanks, Margaret, for being you. Our visitor was Rosemary Angel from Delaware.

Members of the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary took a field trip to the wilds of the Hiram College Barrow Field Station on Wheeler Rd to be enlightened on the scope and purpose of the operation of the facility.  One of Hiram College’s curricular centers, its focus is on the Study of Nature and Society, and its director is Matt Hils,  professor of biology at the college and the presenter of the program.

Study of Nature and Society encompasses the history of the various views of Nature, either in the Biblical understanding of humans in the world, the Wilderness outlook, the aspect of Conquest, the Romantic perception, the Dawn of Conservation, the Aldo Leopold land ethic or the warnings of Rachel Carson through the New Millennial Environmentalism and business practices with a Sense of Place.

The Field Station itself began with the late Professor James Barrow who arranged for the acquisition of some three hundred eighty-four acres in 1967.  Since that time the majors offered involving the station have grown from simply environmental studies and biology to areas involving education, research, conservation…nearly any course of study that can be linked to interaction of people and their environment.  There are programs offering courses, seminars and public outreach.  There are co-operative ventures involving outside agencies such as the Akron Zoo, the Portage County Park District, the Audubon Society, CWRU in both natural and built environments.  There is research in topics such as endangered waterfowl and forest ecology.  Support has been broad, including the Ohio Prairie Nursery, with special appreciation to the Frohring Foundation over many years.

Continuing areas of interest and study include Exploring Today’s New Standards, Is the Environment a Valid Overhead Expense?, Geothermal Heating & Cooling (currently in use at the center), increasing the protection of the Silver Creek Watershed.  Friends of the Field Station offer frequent programs and activities at the station and in the surrounding community.

The question of  “Nature and Society…Part or Apart” is being asked and answers considered every day at the Hiram College Field Station.


Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were still looking for students from James A. Garfield H.S. or Windham High School to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award camp to be held at Hiram College , June 12-16.  Any interested individuals who will be seniors…or even juniors…in the 2011-2012 school year should contact a Rotarian ASAP.  Best bet might be Delores McCumbers at McCumbers-Brady Realty.  Could be a terrific experience.The local group affirmed its community commitment with a donation to the Hattie Larlham Foundation for a memorial honoring  the late Charles Abraham who had been a long-time supporter of the organization.Good times coming : District picnic on June 18 in Akron;     G-H summer picnic on the third Monday in August, likely at Bonney Castle in Hiram on the college campus; the annual reverse raffle fund-raiser in November (2nd Thursday) is already on the drawing board; plans are afoot to enlist the local Boy Scout troop in the fall roadside clean-up; interest in gaining new members–invitation to Dr. Jessica Bittence.
They keep rolling

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians were treated to a unique look at what for some is Terra Incognita, our great (in more ways than one) northern neighbor, Canada…specifically, Dennis Guenther’s  home province of Alberta (along with Saskatchewan and Manitoba, known as the Prairie Provinces).  Names familiar to travelers, such as Lake Louise and Banff, Medicine Hat and Calgary shared map space with Nanuvut and PEI in sketching Canada as a whole and a quick historical outline pointed out the Native American–Cree, Chippewa, Blackfoot, etc.– background as well as the early French and British settlers and fur traders’ influence on the formation of the nation.  Alberta became an official province as part of that nation in 1905.One Canadian icon with which many in the U.S. are familiar is the RCMP–Royal Canadian Mounted Police–the Mounties, who always get their man; they were established in 1873, originally to deal with whisky and gun issues as pertaining to the Native American peoples, both on and off the reservations.  They still operate as the national police force, still mounted, with a showpiece unit called the “Musical Ride” which appears when pageantry and precision are on display.The 1890’s saw vast numbers of immigrants come to Canada, just as they did to the “lower 48” in the U.S., many Americans, many ethnic, language and religious groups.  Economic changes came with the opening of cattle and grain farms of giant proportions as well as the railroads to take these goods to markets all over the world.  Another economic factor entered with the discovery of oil in 1914; this factor got another boost in the ‘30’s and ‘40’s when additional oil and gas deposits were found.  By 1990, eighty-one per cent of Canada’s oil was being drawn from this area, much of it being exported to the United States.  By 2006 over 1.25 million bbl of oil–much of it from the Athabaska oil sands–was coming from Alberta…and supporting an excellent universal health care system in addition to a list of outstanding universities and colleges.Named for Princess Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, the Province of Alberta has a distinctly conservative political aspect in the capital of Edmonton and a more “frontier-flavored” visage in Calgary–home of ”the Stampede” and many of its tourist attractions.  It’s where many western movies are shot and it’s where the “Chinook” winds can change the temperature more than fifty degrees in a flash…or a breeze.Hi, neighbor!

The Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club was recently privileged to hear from two very able competitors in the Four-Way Test Speech Contest.  Both entrants were from James A. Garfield High School and each gave a presentation worth of recognition.

Travis Gorby, freshman, was first up and got an immediate audience response by intoning, “O-H”…which got “I-O” right back at him.  He went on to reveal a T-shirt with the logo of his favorite soccer team, which hailed from Barcelona.  “The Hook”, as they say, was set.

He went on to disclose his athletic bona fides–as player, referee, teacher, fan–relating to the sport.  His point was that all too often soccer “don’t get no respect” …certainly not as relevant to its growing popularity in the United States, its world-wide participation profile and its increased acceptance in interscholastic competition.

Shelby Handshue, senior, with plans to attend KSU majoring in biology, was up next with a focus on creativity, its many facets, its development, its practical manifestations and its importance to future advances in many areas –economics, education, medicine…even other fields which have not  emerged for consideration yet.

These were certainly among the top competitors for this contest in recent times.  Both were well-prepared and knowledgeable on their topics, staking out their positions an delivering their messages in an animated, confident manner.  It was tough to choose the rankings.

Both received Rotary checks for their efforts.  Travis will go the the district Four-Way Speech Contest to represent the local club.  Shelby will be the alternate.

Spring roadside clean-up is coming.  Sign up, if you’d like to help.


Garrettsville – If  you enjoy Saturday Night Live humor, you’ll enjoy James A. Garfield’s final drama production of the year titled “The Test” by Cliff McClelland. This play chronicles a series of scenes all devoted to the idea that we must face so many tests in our lives here in America.

While many of the scenes poke fun at these tests, some scenes are a bit more dramatic in nature, but all of them work together to create a unique night of entertainment for the whole family. What would you do if you had to take your driving test with a wacko instructor? Or in order to receive your Masters Degree you had to face a karate instructor and defeat him before you could move on to the next level?

Come and find out why Monty Python had so much fun doing their Spanish Inquisition skits, and what Adam and Eve might have thought about testing.

Show dates are May 20, 21 at 7:30PM both nights. Adults- $6.00  Students/Senior citizens $3.00. Pre-sale tickets will be sold a week before the show during lunches. These will enable you to get a better first- come first- served seat either night. Come and have a night of laughs on us! See you there!


Spring has come to Portage County, and gardeners across the county are getting together plans and plants for another year.  The Portage County Master Gardeners are also making preparations for their annual event, Celebrate Spring.  The event, which includes a plant sale, silent auction, and expert gardening advice, will provide valuable information to area gardeners as well as help fund community service events throughout the county.

“We hope that people can come out and join us for a day of plants, great gardening advice, and fun,” said Dee Burdette one of the event coordinators. “This event has become an annual tradition for many area gardeners, and this year promises to be a special treat, with a more casual question and answer format and an expanded plant sale. “

This year’s format will feature three tables staffed by Portage County Master Gardeners with each station addressing specific gardening challenges.  Barbara Murphy and John Gwinn, both certified Ohio Master Gardener Weed Specialists,    will host a “weed” table.  And who would be interested in learning about weeds? National gardening polls consistently rank weeding as the gardening practice that consumes the majority of gardeners’ time.  So we fully expect that gardeners attending this event will find information gained from conversations with our weed specialists immediately useful.  Keith Barton, local insect specialist will also host a table. Weeds are not the only challenge Portage County gardeners face. Insects that feed on plants and insects that transmit disease causing plant pathogens can seriously thwart a gardener’s best efforts. But many garden insects are more helpful than harmful and a little time spent talking with Keith just may help participants better understand the need to distinguish between our gardening friends and foes.  We encourage attendees to bring samples, photos, etc., of weeds or insects they may need help identifying or suppressing. We also think our patrons will appreciate the expert advice they receive from Barb Oare and Lynda Costilla at our edible plant table.  Many Portage County gardeners have attended Barb’s herb workshops and presentations and should be delighted to find that she is able to address tomatoes, apples, etc. with the same level of expertise.  Lynda has also shared her gardening experience during Master Gardener public education workshops in recent years. Lynda is our resident expert on small space gardening techniques.  Even if space isn’t an issue in your garden, many limited space gardening practices are also energy efficient, both in terms of gardener and product (fertilizers, growing media, etc.) input. Our goal in adding the edible plant table is to assist area gardeners in their efforts to increase food production.  And what would an edible plant information table be without recipes and cookbooks?  We encourage you to take a minute to peruse our free recipe selection. Additionally, Master Gardeners at each table as well as those working the plant sale will be eager to assist you by providing advice about selecting the “best plants for their own gardens.”

Our plant sale has been expanded to include a larger variety of herbs and vegetables along with many sun and shade perennials.  Celebrate Spring will also feature some very desirable silent auction items, from essential gardening gear, reference books, some unique finds and unusual plants.  Proceeds from our fundraiser will help support Master Gardener projects throughout the county for the coming year.

These events include planting projects with the Coleman Adult Day Services, Bryn Mawr Glen, our Garden Pot Recycling program, as well as local school gardens and youth environmental education programs.  The Portage County Master Gardeners annually host a number of community education workshops at no cost to participants.   Historically, Master Gardeners have been available from April to October, to assist area residents with questions about their lawns and gardens at the OSU Extension Office in Ravenna. According to Lynn Vogel, former Master Gardener Coordinator for Portage County, “Volunteers have been available to answer literally thousands of questions via our “horticultural hotline” as well as through direct contact with area residents.  Our Master Gardener Volunteers contributed over 2000 hours of community volunteer service last year.”  Recent state and county budget cuts will make it very challenging for Portage County Master Gardeners to continue these services.  Your support of our plant sale silent auction would be greatly appreciated during this difficult time of transition.

Celebrate Spring will be held Saturday, May 14th  at Maplewood Career Center.  The Plant Sale will run from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. Silent auction bidding will begin at 10:00 AM and close at 11:00 am. Our staffed information tables will be available from 10:00 AM to noon.  Our 2011 Celebrate Spring fundraiser is a “no charge” event.


Garrettsville – Anyone fortunate enough to snag a golden ticket to James A. Garfield High School’s musical theatre production of  “Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory” had a simply nutterrific time. The four-day run of the show was virtually sold out before opening night on April 7, and only a few lucky latecomers managed to get a ticket the day of the show.

Playbills, concessions and fresh-cut flowers also ran low as audience members couldn’t get enough of anything Wonka-related. The cast and crew were enormous, and worked together effectively to construct a fast-paced, nearly flawless and entertaining show.

Although the starring leads were obviously Willie Wonka (played by senior David Soukenik) and Charlie Bucket (played by sophomore Shiloh Van Oss), the production also showcased strong and funny supporting roles of Bucket family members, TV reporters, naughty children and their parents played by 18 fellow student actors…and an ensemble of two dozen additional cast members (mostly from the Intermediate School) to play the parts of Oompa-Loompas, village children, cooks, squirrels, a computer technician, a psychiatrist and a patient.

This gave seven graduating seniors the opportunity to enjoy one last shining moment in the JAG spotlight before graduating. In addition to David Soukenik, they included Petra Brown (Veruca Salt), Nick Butto (Mr. Bucket), Brooke Heavner (Mrs. Beauregarde), Sam Roubic (Mr. Salt), Laura Sanicky (Mrs. Bucket,) and Lizzie Van Oss (Violet Beauregarde).

The production also showcased the talents of the JAG crew, which devised and built several creative sets that cleverly allowed for effective special effects  on a tight budget. Children in the audience gasped when the curtain opened on the initial scene of the chocolate factory, where candy could be plucked from the colorful set and eaten by the lucky actors.

Then, when Augustus Gloop falls headlong into the lake of chocolate and gets sucked up through a drain pipe and overtaken by liquid chocolate, it makes for one of the funniest scenes… or was it when Violet turns into a blueberry for chewing the off-limits Everlasting Gobstopper gum?… or maybe it was when Veruca throws a tantrum atop the Good Nut/Bad Nut platform and falls through to the incinerator below?… No, it must have been when Mike Teavee got disembodied into millions of tiny little pieces, only to be reconstituted inside a TV to the size of a Ken Doll and stuffed into his mother’s purse before being stretched back to size in the Taffy Pulling Room. The jury’s still out on that, but all agree the sets and special effects were top notch.

Senior crew members included Curtis Cosner, Matt Curry, Jeremy DeWitt, Adam Gilmer, Jon Hecky, Sam Russell, and David Spencer. Working alongside the crew were artistic director Mrs. Kristine Gilmer and her student artists; head carpenters, Mr. Scott and Mrs. Becky Russell and their student carpenters; hair and make-up artists; costume designers; props coordinator and manager; lighting and sound operators; the pit orchestra directed by Mr. Theo Cebulla; and, of course, director/choreographer Mr. Nathan Peters and producer/technical director Mr. Joe Gaither.

According to Gaither’s closing words after the final show on April 10, the show cost $8,000 to produce. But thanks to combined fundraising efforts headed up by Mrs. Carol Slaughter, show ticket sales, candy bar sales, flower and concession sales, and ticket sales to Breakfast with the Cast at the elementary school all worked together to actually allow the production to make more money than it spent.

After 12 weeks of planning, preparing, rehearsing and producing, the curtain has closed on the 2011 Spring Musical at James A. Garfield High School and its 14 graduating seniors. But a new curtain will rise next year on yet another stage of pure imagination that’s sure to please audiences in 2012.


The QuizMasters/Academic Challenge Team of James A. Garfield High School is again sponsoring this activity in conjunction with the Garrettsville Chamber of Commerce Community-Wide Garage/Yard Sale. Sunday, May 22 from 10:00 to 2:00 in the Garfield Elementary School parking lot there will be wheeled vehicles of all sorts–ambulances and emergency vehicles, fire trucks, jeeps and motorcycles, construction monsters, high-rise buckets, eighteen-wheelers–any or all of them could be there, along with local favorite, the dragster, TIME BANDIT.  Not to mention our National CSX Safe Driving Exhibit finisher, Deral White.

Kids of all ages are welcome.  Whistles, bells and sirens are included.  Admission is $3.00 for kids under 12, $5.00 for kids of more advanced ages.


See you there.


Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society looked ahead  to:  possible future programs, attendance at the Portage County Historical Society local history societies forum on March 26, a committee to  make costume selections for the vintage pix opportunity to be offered at the SummerFest, a backdrop for said photos, checking out available Jaguar yearbooks at Garfield H.S., the purchase of a stereopticon slide on e-Bay, welcoming a new member, Debbie Smith, new donations…and   the PROJECT–Antique Roadshow, Garfield style/Appraisal Fair set for August 20.

Julie Frederickson outlined the status of the paperwork and promotion entailed in the activity, gave names of local experts who will be assisting (More on that later), asked for discussion on pricing for participation–one item, $5, three items, $10–indicated that the  Garfield Middle School facilities were available.  This is sure to be an interesting and entertaining day, as folks far and wide trot out Aunt Elsie’s bone china or Uncle Dorrel’s coin collection, or that funny old picture that was in Grandma’s parlor.  Everyone should start their spring cleaning with this event in mind.

One of their very own antiques, Helen Danku, had developed a crack when she fell and broke her arm.  She is being missed but will, undoubtedly, be up and about sooner rather than later.  Good material, good workmanship…priceless.


Twentieth Century Club has had two meetings in March with the programs switched from one to the other.
Confused?, we were not!.
On March 3rd we were at Mary Furillo’s home (as nice as always) with Margaret Clapp co-hosting.
Does everyone remembers Margaret’s carrot cake from the club cook book? Well she showed us again, how it is done!.
Our roll call for the night was your favorite car & by the sound of it girls like their cars just as much as the boys!.
Jeanette Hall presented the program originally set for later in month, appreciated just the same.
We learned about the Florida Everglades as one of the most unique eco-systems in the world.
For the March 17th meeting we went to Jan Boehm’s home, which is always a treat & makes the girls feel like their old fantasy tea parties, except it is for real!. Her co-hostess was Alma Jones (very gracious).
Roll call, “name a Native American tribe” was one of most interesting for the year.
Program for the night was presented by Betty Clapp on the cliff Dwellers & Betty had some of her own pictures from her trip years ago along with facts & figures.
Our last meeting for the year will be our Spring party at the Mill in Garrettsville on April 7th to come home after a wonderful journey around our country this year. Be there around 6:00 to 6:15p to be seated.
This night we will install the new officers & get ready for another year of adventure with the 20th Century Club.

Windham – The Windham Historical Society continues their busy 2011 schedule on Monday, March 21, at 7 PM in the Brick Chapel on North Main Street in Windham.

The program for this meeting will be presentations by two Windham High School seniors, Jeremy Isler and Jarrod Davis, as the final step in their pursuit of Windham Historical Society scholarships.

These scholarships are underwritten by the Stuart Higley Foundation, administered by descendants of one of Windham’s founding families. The Higley Foundation has been a long-time benefactor of the Historical Society.

Jeremy will be speaking about the history of the Taft farm on Route 82, one of the oldest farms in Windham Township.
Jarrod, who has been an intern with the Historical Society for several years, will talk about the history of the only major industry in Windham, the Harbison-Walker Refractories.

The Brick Chapel opens at 6:30 to all interested visitors for a meet-and-greet and a chance to look at exhibits before the meeting, including the wonderful new Huber King art archives.

The Windham Historical Society is ramping up all of its activities, which will culminate in the Windham Bicentennial Celebration beginning July 28th, a homecoming for thousands of Windhamites around the globe.
The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object with relevance to Windham. Items of special interest include pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy.
For more information on the Society or the Bicentennial plans, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

Garrettsville – The James A. Garfield Historical Society trudges past boring stuff like maintenance and repair concerns and into the future with plans for a festivity on March 17, St. Patrick’s Day, possibly tying in with the local green-tinged activities by offering Irish genealogy searches for any suspected Hibernians in town for corned beef and cabbage or green beer or Irish dancing. Check out the society’s headquarters on the day.

Also moving forward are plans for offering Vintage Photo Fun during this year’s SummerFest Las Vegas-themed activities.  Patrons will be offered the opportunity  to have vintage-style sepia photographs ( no flash powder!) taken while wearing some of the JAGHS antique garments and posed before appropriately historic backdrops.  See how much you look like your grand mother!
Also in the works : Julie Fredrickson is organizing a minor league version of Antiques Roadshow, a sort of Appraisal Project for those dusty items in the attic or basement that you’ve always wanted to know more about.  These have been popular  in the area and this one will feature local dealers, auctioneers, appraisers, etc.  Start cleaning now; Aunt Hazel’s chamber pot must be worth something.

The Portage County Historical Society will be holding a historical forum on March 26 at the headquarters in Ravenna…open to all….make reservations

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

“Sizzlers” star Pastor Rick Hughes.

You’ve still got time to get to some Family Week activities sponsored by the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club.
Friday, February 25 is Friday Night Out.  Take your whole troop to one or more of the local activities-bowling skating, dining, etc.–featured in the Villager pages.  Make an evening of it.  Connect.  Enjoy.
Saturday, February 26 is the Family Fun Festival at the James A. Garfield Elementary School from 11:00am to 2:00pm…food, fun inflatables…games, great doughnut holes…what a good time!  Ask-A-Doc is a new wrinkle and an introduction to Dr. Jessica Bittence, who’ll be the guiding light at the coming Robinson Health Center at Garrettsville.  Come meet the “new kid on the block,” get your blood pressure checked, get information on services and support groups offered by Robinson.  Stay for the awards and prizes.  Bring the family. Make a day of it!
Of course, you missed the 10th Annual Family Music Festival.  It was the kick-off event for the whole week and featured performers from across the spectrum of local talent, from Jill Waters, who opened the proceedings with the National Anthem (accompanied by Rotarian Jim Irwin), through the “Sizzlers” of the Nelson United Methodist Church (You know how the TV people do those “roasts” of celebrities ?  Well, this was a “kinder, gentler”…funnier…version for local consumption.  No major flames but some cute sparks), the Singing Grannies, the choir of the Windham United Methodist Church, the Windham Country Classy Red Hatters, harpist Ellen Eckhouse with a medley of Irish tunes, Tom and Brenda Mesaros and those ever-popular Friends– Roy Pancost, Dale Lacan, and Butch Seiler.  Tina Lemley rounded off the afternoon by leading the audience and performers in singing a family-themed farewell.  Great stuff…and just the beginning!

Windham - The Windham Historical Society has become the repository of many of the artworks of world famous woodcarver Huber King, who spent his entire life in Windham. King received numerous awards in juried competitions, including his American Bicentennial carving, pictured above, which he boldly entered into a British woodcarving show in 1976.The carvings are the donation of his son, Dr Darryl King of West Virginia. They will be on display at the next Historical Society meeting on Monday, February 21, at the Brick Chapel, 9001 North Main Street. Doors will open at 6:30 and the public is welcome to tour the museum.

At 7 PM, longtime area antiquarian Larry Fischer will speak on “Gizmos, Gadgets and Doodads”. There aren’t many artifacts or thingamajigs that Fischer hasn’t encountered in his travels, and he’ll present some of his more entertaining discoveries.

The Historical Society continues to work hand in hand with the Windham Bicentennial Committee in coordinating the 200th Anniversary Days the village will stage in late July, with several days of parades, celebrations, homecomings and general merry-making.

The Society is always interested in obtaining, whether permanently or on loan, any object relevant to Windham. Items of special interest include films, pictures, scrapbooks, ephemera, newspapers, advertising, tokens, school items, sports items, or family genealogy. The society has extensive facilities for copying paper items.
For more information on the Society or the Bicentennial plans, please call President Lynnea St. John at 330-326-6061, or email her at lynnya45@yahoo.com.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary caught a glimpse into an appalling abyss with Roger Cram’s presentation on the hidden world of human trafficking, something that few are aware of and fewer still wish to acknowledge, confront or take adequate measures to end.  While calling the U.S, “the ostrich nation”, he offered statistics on the numbers of  street kids, illegal immigrants, homeless persons in this country as well as the forced labor (enslaved people, young and old) worldwide  involved in the production of many popular products, both agricultural and industrial, and in the sex trade everywhere.
January has been designated National Human Trafficking Month but little recognition of this fact is to be found in the media, or anyplace else.  Unrecognized, as well, is the existence of slavery as the fastest-growing enterprise of organized crime.  The laws applicable in these cases tend to frame the victim as the culprit and fail to recognize the psycho-social, emotional, economic and dependency issues behind the complex situations which contribute to the continued existence of slavery in the modern world.  Slaves are cheap, cheaper now than when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, hidden behind food, electronics, carpets, natural rubber products, diamonds, tennis shoes….
The U.S. Department of Justice has publications on-line containing shocking revelations.  The Alliance Against Human Trafficking, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, is another source. If it is, indeed, true that “there is none so blind as he who will not see”, we must open our eyes and deal with this scourge…once again.

Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary took a flying leap into their activities for 2011, beginning with a focus on the upcoming Family Week.  Updates and amendments, processes and plans were under review, arrangements were delegated, personnel tentatively assigned, sponsors to be solicited…the whole machinery of preparation began to shift into high gear around the tables at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company, with more to come. Anyone wishing to get in on the action should contact a Rotarian or  come to a meeting on Wednesday evening at The Mill(6:00).  Lots of opportunities for everyone.

Treasurer Bob Jackson did not at all resemble a Grinch when he brought up the subject of district and international dues…as well as sponsorship of the Rotary International float at the Rose Bowl Parade–a showstopper.

More to come.  See D.McCumbers at McCumbers-Brady Realty or Amy Crawford at the Business Works–both on Garrettsville’s Main Street–to learn more, volunteer or otherwise get in on the action

Iva Walker & Rellajeanne Cooke with the Piecemaker quilt (photo: Kim Breyley)

Garrettsville - The Village Piecemakers, a Garrettsville area quilt guild raffled a beautiful king size quilt over the Christmas season. The winning ticket was drawn by Iva Walker as the quilt was displayed and tickets were sold in her home during the 2010 Christmas Walk. The winner of this stunning quilt was Ms. Carol Claus of Independence, Ohio. Ms Claus traditionally participates in every Christmas Walk. She sets aside the time and titles it, ‘the sacred weekend’ that she, her sister and neighbor faithfully attend.

Ms Claus contributed a generous donation to the guild after receiving her prize.  Funds received by the guild are used to further club activities and are donated to worthy local non-profit organizations.

This quilt, machine-pieced and quilted by guild members, is comprised  mostly of fabrics purchased from a local quilt and gift shop, “The Shaker Tree” on Main Street in Garrettsville.

The Garrettsville Christmas Walk is sponsored by the Garrettsville Historical Society and this organization graciously allowed the Village Piecemakers the privilege of displaying and selling tickets for their quilt in one of many homes on the Christmas Walk.

Garrettsville – Jacksons’ Snow Palace was the site of the annual Rotary Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange on December 20, having been re-scheduled from the previous Monday because of the Arctic conditions existing throughout the area.  Luckily, no actual pachyderms were in attendance because the venue was overflowing with   community interaction, human warmth and good food.  Resident chef, Darlene Jackson, produced a rib-sticking medley of kielbasa, potato, carrot and who-knows-what-else. Other contributors rallied to the cause with appetizers and desserts.

Business was attended to : new members Dennis Gunther (& wife Cheryl) and Mark Orton (& wife Annette)  were officially welcomed into the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary; Dale Shiffer (the Clockman of Garrettsville) became president by acclamation; preparation for Family Week in February, 2011, was on the horizon.

Then they got down to the meat of the gathering…amid immoderate laughter, cackling and guffaws.  A partial listing of the treasures circulating included a mini poinsettia, a coaster set–hotly-contested, a Coleman cooler, a stuffed, singing snowman, lavender scented stuff,   a teapot, a laser level, one rather rude Santa, packages of cheese, a Lego City Police pen, stationery made from elephant dung (See, they did come after all!) and others items too numerous to mention.  Some of these will, no doubt, appear again next year…which will certainly be a happy one.

Garrettsville – Jacksons’ Snow Palace was the site of the annual Rotary Christmas Party and White Elephant Gift Exchange on December 20, having been re-scheduled from the previous Monday because of the Arctic conditions existing throughout the area.  Luckily, no actual pachyderms were in attendance because the venue was overflowing with   community interaction, human warmth and good food.  Resident chef, Darlene Jackson, produced a rib-sticking medley of kielbasa, potato, carrot and who-knows-what-else. Other contributors rallied to the cause with appetizers and desserts.Business was attended to : new members Dennis Gunther (& wife Cheryl) and Mark Orton (& wife Annette)  were officially welcomed into the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary; Dale Shiffer (the Clockman of Garrettsville) became president by acclamation; preparation for Family Week in February, 2011, was on the horizon.Then they got down to the meat of the gathering…amid immoderate laughter, cackling and guffaws.  A partial listing of the treasures circulating included a mini poinsettia, a coaster set–hotly-contested, a Coleman cooler, a stuffed, singing snowman, lavender scented stuff,   a teapot, a laser level, one rather rude Santa, packages of cheese, a Lego City Police pen, stationery made from elephant dung (See, they did come after all!) and others items too numerous to mention.  Some of these will, no doubt, appear again next year…which will certainly be a happy one.

On  December 8, the Literary Musical Club held their monthly meeting, Betty Hamilton and Sally Kittle were hostesses. The food was good and tasty. Snowmen and shiny red apples decorated the tables.
The only business was the report on the cookie sales. We sold coffee and cookies on the Christmas walk.
Margaret Lappert is a new member for us. We are pleased she has decided to join our membership.
The weather was bad but we had the usual turn-out. Ann Spolarich had homemade nut rolls for everyone. Cathy Spolarich had gifts for the 80-year-olds. We had a fun gift exchange and two birthdays, Billy English and Alma Jones. We had Christmas carols with Pat Amor. We look forward to her music each year.
Everyone left in a holiday mood and looking forward to seeing all the members next year.

Garrettsville – Club members have had two months of single meetings each in November & December.
Joan Kropp hosted our meeting in November with Jan Chalker as her co-hostess. Lucy Galayde had charge of the program for the night and did a wonderful job of taking us back  to Pearl Harbor on one of the most shocking days of our history. Refreshments & time spent with friends were great. Thank you ladies.
Our December host was Iva Walker with Karen Ziarko co-hosting. The newly remodeled home had been showcased at the Christmas walk earlier in November & a treat to revisit.
Maxine Nimtz read the Cratchit’s Christmas beautifully. Roy Pancost and Dale Lucan played Christmas music while members enjoyed refreshments. Truly appreciated by all.
Our next meeting host has been changed to Bonnie Oliver on January 6th.

Girl Scout Troop 632 of Garrettsville took a moment out of their Christmas break to spread some holiday cheer at The Woodlands in Ravenna. The girls brought smiles to the residents by singing some holiday favorites throughout the building. This is the third year that the Troop has gone to The Woodlands to carol. The residents and the staff are very welcoming and enjoy the chance to listen to the girls. This opportunity also helps the girls to understand that something as simple as singing can bring joy to others.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary is in full Santa-delivery mode.  To schedule your visitation and your donation to the People Tree for December 23,  make some quick snow bunny hops over to McCumbers-Brady Realty or The Business Works ASAP.

Family Week planning is gearing up as well.  The big event is set for February but things begin now to fall into place to make it all work.   Sponsors and donations are being sought at this time, as are contest entries–essays, family-of-the-year nominations, longest-married couple nominations, etc.–and volunteers. Contact any Rotarian…better yet, attend a meeting at the Main Street Grille and Brewing Company on a Monday evening at 6:00.  You could be part of the big event.

Garrettsville – Garrettsville-Hiram Rotarians, having received a taste of   the Power of the Pen at their meeting on November 17, affirmed their support for the program, directed at the Garfield Middle   School by Mrs. Jackie Lovelace.  This support took the form of a $600 contribution toward the facilitation of  the district tournament to be held at Garfield in the spring.  The club also briefly considered the possibilities in reaching out to middle school-age students with information about the goals and activities of Rotary at all levels.

Other items on the agenda included: (1) possible follow-up on the Renaissance 490 presentation by Rev. Fred Youngen, acknowledging the helpful community activities involved and the resources required to carry them out, (2) including the center as a future program, (3) recruiting new members, (4) planning for the Santa Delivery Project–truck needed, sign-ups at Business Works and McCumbers-Brady Realty, tradition since the ‘60’s,  (5) beginning plans for Family Week coming up in February–sponsorships and donations will be solicited after the first of the year, contact any Rotarian, (6) ideas for new programs, (7) assembly at the Jackson Estates on December 13 at 6:30… CHRISTMAS  PARTEEE !

Mantua – The Crestwood Lions Club is busy selling holiday gift baskets, scented candles and getting ready for Christmas tree sales. Holiday gift baskets for sale start at $5 per basket. Each basket is different and has a holiday theme. Basket sizes and contents vary. Contact Mary Hannah at 330-883-9297 to see samples or for more information.

Scented candles are also available for $7 each. Several different holiday scents are available and the candles have an approximate burn time of 100 hours. Contact any member of the club or Mary Hannah at 330-883-9297 for more information or sales.

Christmas trees went on sale Saturday, November 27th. Scotch pines, frasier firs and white pines are available this year.

The cost is $40 each. Every tree purchase qualifies for automatic entry for a raffle for one of the following prizes: turkey, ham roast, (compliments of Giant Eagle), two complimentary meal gift certificates to Cracker Barrel or a gift certificate to Giant Eagle. Winners will be notified by phone or mail. A visit with Santa will occur on Saturday, December 4th at the Mantua-Shalersville Fire Department around 1 PM. Look for Santa to arrive on a Fire Truck at that time.

Happy Holidays from the Crestwood Lions Club and thank you to all who have supported the year-round efforts to help us help others. All proceeds go towards Lion’s projects. Anyone may contact Tom Mesaros at 330-527-7025 for more information about the Crestwood Lions Club.

Newton Falls – The brief November meeting of the Newton Falls Chamber of Commerce Association was short and to the point.

Special guest, Mike Timko of Cortland Computer, took the floor first and discussed how his office could offer technological support for local businesses or anyone in need of computer assistance. He presented a pricelist for service plans that would save customers money; for instance, a two hour/month option is listed at $79.95 which is a discount of about $40 by packaging multiple hours. Stressing that this was not a contract, he explained it is intended to allow businesses the flexibility of choosing what best fits their need for “technical issue” support. His services are about $60 an hour otherwise.

In other news, the Home 44444 the Holidays planning is progressing. There are about two dozen table spaces still available, so if you’re interested in selling crafts, etc. now is the time to claim your spot! Volunteers are also needed for Friday night and/or Saturday to help out with setup and running the event itself. Please contact Lara Reibold if you have a few hours to spare. If you can’t be there but would like to contribute, monetary donations are also very much appreciated. For $10 you can be a Patron sponsor and will receive a special button for the occasion. Another opportunity for volunteering can be found by way of the holiday parade on December 4th. Lend your voice for the evening and walk as a caroler in front of a float, accompany Santa Claus and sing around the tree at Four Corners Park as it is lit for the season. You don’t have to be a perfect singer! Anyone interested can contact the association in advance for details or simply meet at Andretti Ford by 5:30pm the day of the parade.

The tree that will be lit after the parade is being donated by Bailey Tree Farm and is on the schedule to be decorated the day after Thanksgiving (otherwise known as Black Friday) possibly at 1pm (exact time is pending). So whether you’re avoiding the crazy shopping rush altogether or already beat the crowds early in the morning and would like to work off all that extra adrenaline, you’re invited to come join the community in decorating the giant Christmas tree.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, a reminder the American Legion in Newton Falls is hosting their annual free Thanksgiving Dinner starting at 11:30am on Thanksgiving Day. Anyone is welcome to come in and share the holiday.

In non-holiday news, suggestions were made for the possibility of directional signs to lead traffic from Route 5 into town, specifically through the business district and to attractions such as the Covered Bridge, and the high school for athletic events. This could help tourism revenue and let people know about this great little town called Newton Falls, a hidden treasure of sorts just off the main interstate.

The City Manager was not in attendance but he forwarded his usual memorandum. Announcements include notes on the Traffic Signal Project moving along with an anticipated date of 2012; the City will be prepared for the aforementioned holiday parade and Christmas tree placement; A. Joseph Fritz has officially assumed the position of City Law Director/Prosecutor; and Make a Difference Day was a success thanks to organizer Catie Karl-Moran and all the volunteers who gave of their time and effort.

Before the end of the meeting, “Santa” Rick expressed gratitude for the community that the school renewal levy passed in the recent election.

One more tidbit of note: for more details about the upcoming Home 44444 the Holidays events, visit the website http://www.home44444theholidays.com or the corresponding Facebook page. The website needs help sprucing up the “Links for Fun” section and is offering a prize of $25 and a t-shirt for the person who submits the most qualifying links to fun sites to visit with Christmas-related games, puzzles, activities, etc. To participate, register online and send in your links by November 27th. Open to all ages!

The Association’s next meeting will be December 14th.