Garrettsville – Last Saturday (May30, 2015) was full of it…and it was all good…except the part that got cancelled because of the threatening thunderstorms…which snapped, crackled and popped all over the area on a very indeterminate schedule–rolling thunder in the distance, sprinkles any ol’ time of day and actual rain following a muggy afternoon.  Whooeee!  Northeast Ohio  in full array!

Started off with the Garrettsville-Hiram Rotary Club’s “Fit and Fun” program at the Village South Street Park.  After a sort of slow start, kids and their parents started coming in to interact with the various participating groups and individuals, such as the Portage County Park District, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (You know, Eagle Creek), the Garrettsville Police Department and more.  The critter skins and the bike safety lessons were great but the big hit was Jack, the new K-9 officer in Garrettsville and his best buddy, Officer Whan.  The pair showed some of the types of training they were doing and explaining some of the situations in which Jack—he’s only a puppy now—might get a call to “Serve and Protect”.  This was the finale for the Rotary program which  gave the kids, and, we hope, their parents, some ideas about the kinds of activities available to them in the community to be enjoyed over the summer and maybe a lifetime. The  Charles Auto Family helped out by providing participants with  handy bags to take on adventures to wherever the fun might take them.  Students who keep their activity journals over the summer will be eligible to win some pretty spiffy prizes when school starts again in the fall.

Just as the Fit-N-Fun-sters were finishing up, they could watch the EMS Parade which started from James A. Garfield High School around noon and proceeded from there up South St., through the intersection at the light (There’s only one) and thence to The Community Ambulance headquarters on Forest St. where hot dogs, chips, Hermann’s famous dill pickles and beverages were just waiting to be consumed(Which they were).  There were sprinkles early, then the clouds gave way to blue sky and it was Party Time!

Leading off was Head Dude Sanchez, followed by a Black & Gold convertible carrying Parade Grand Marshal, Ted Lysiak, superintendent of James A. Garfield Local School District. Boy Scout troop 4262 marched along presenting the flag.  Then it was sirens all the way—units 2926, 2911,1922, 2912 and five more wailing to beat the band.  Windham and Hiram fire departments chipped in two units as the prelude to the GFNFD’s five units of firefighting equipment vehicles, including the original fire truck used by the   Garrettsville volunteer fire department after it was organized in 1864.  Fitting right in with the antiques was Joe Leonard and his 1935 Maxim fire engine.  John Zizka, Freedom Twp trustee and chairman of the EMS board, Jeff Kaiser, Garrettsville rep, Mike Elias, vice chairman and Nelson Twp trustee, and Tracy Brunner, board clerk/secretary all had their own cars, driven by EMTs or paramedics from the service.  AND there was Aaron King, driving the car to be raffled off at this year’s SummerFest  big finish.  Quite a show!

University Hospitals offered health screenings, the Chinese auction was going full swing; ditto for the fifty-fifty.  Bounce houses were popular with the younger set but once again, K-9 Jack was a big hit as he and Officer Whan demonstrated their  expertise and training.  The weather through the afternoon made for a great day  to celebrate the whole enterprise.  Good Job!

Too bad about the cancellation/rescheduling of the season’s first car show.  The weather really was  a bit too threatening for bringing out all of those bright-chrome beauties and antique sweethearts.  The show WILL go on.  Stay tuned for information on when they’ll be back in town.

The folks down at  Automotive Rehab were sorry to see the weather dampen their Open House but they’ve  rescheduled for June 6, 5-8  pm  come hell or high water…and may even enlarge their welcome to the public if the car show do-over takes up another weekend.  This is a neat place; it’s in the midst of restoration and renovation out front and real general repair  out in the work area where “the rubber meets the road”, so to speak.  There are historical photos on the wall—Bishops’ Garage was the first Chrysler dealership in Ohio and only the third in the country, when it opened—there’s a chandelier in the front show area, the desk is in a car that almost looks as if it could   head out for a road trip on county highways…if there were any in 1927.  If you remember what the place was like “back in the day”, stop in, they’d like to hear from you and learn more about the history of the building and the business.  Bring your car too, they also do restoration work.  You, they can’t restore much.