Thursday, June 30, 2011

and lots of vintage airplanes

Visitors mingle with delightful, antique airplanes at a Waco fly-in last weekend in Mt. Vernon.  The cost of older boy's toys is known to be somewhat expensive.  One of the reasons is reflected in the price of gasoline advertised in the small photo.  Please stop by Saturday while Fogeyisms shares enjoyment with a nostalgic peek at this annual event.

Monday, June 27, 2011

at the Mifflin outdoor drama

Persistent rains forced the performance of the Celtic music group Maiden's IV under shelter at the Johnny Appleseed Heritage Center near Mifflin recently.

A Center official said, "We always lived by the rule there would be at least one rain-out during the season for these outdoor performances."

"This year we've had four already."

In the case of the Maiden's performance the young ladies were moved under the cover of the rain shelter which spans the upper-level of the amphitheater and a hundred or so show patrons were squeezed into the makeshift stage area.

We salute theater officials for making the best of a difficult situation but the performance was sharply hindered by the substitute accommodations.

The ladies do a highly energetic show and their style was cramped by the minuscule "stage" area.

And, the patrons were squeezed in wherever chairs could be fit making impossible sight lines for many folks.

The music also suffered from difficult speaker placement...and

...there was zero theatrical lighting.

Regardless, many fans were moved to a standing ovation at shows end...

...and a curtain call; even though no such stage embellishment as a curtain existed.

The eight of us in our party were less than amused when we arrived at the 7:30 p.m.. showtime only to find the performance already was rolling along.

Upon inquiry we learned the show was started at 7 even though, ticketing officials admitted, it had been advertised on the theater's website for a 7:30 start. 

The 1,700 seat Johnny Appleseed Heritage Center Amphitheater (top right) on a rainy summer evening.  The Maiden's IV (below) perform on the make-shift stage area.  The gray tarp behind the ladies was used to keep the misty rain off their instruments and electronic apparatus.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

as seen by the Hubble Space Telescope

The International Space Station has provided some delightful evening viewings recently and that has driven me to my on-line, astronomy references where I found this image.

A nebula is defined as a cloud of gas in space.  The Orion nebula is regarded as a turbulent stellar nursery where more than 3,000 stars are being born.

Unfortunately for us, the Orion constellation is far below our western horizon by the time it is dark enough for us to see stars this time of year.  So, to see this nebula by the naked eye or binoculars it is best viewed in the early evening darkness of our later winter months.

Orion (The Hunter) pretty much dominates the view in our southern skies then and is easily identified by three identical bright stars equally spaced apart forming his sloping belt.  This nebula is in the "sword region" hanging below his belt.
Hubble Gallery/Amazing-Space/NASA

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Your senses of sight and smell are in for a treat when you visit this huge wholesale and retail flower facility in nearby Ashland County.  They have just concluded their early season and retail sales will be closed from June 19th through August 13th when they will reopen for their Fall mum season.

To find them, take State Route 60 south from Ashland.  About a mile or so after crossing I-71, the highway makes a sharp turn to the right.  You simply continue straight southeast where the highway makes that turn.  That is County Road 1775.  The greenhouse facility is down that road about a mile on the left. 

Click here for their web site.

Monday, June 20, 2011


And, it was a dandy.

The celebration began Friday actually with a 20 mile bicycle ride from Mansfield to Bellville with my lady Sue Brooks and granddaughter Mackenna where we rewarded ourselves with some ice cream treats--whopper sized, of course.

Friday night we enjoyed the Miss Ohio show and Saturday evening 16 of us from the Mansfield Johnny Appleseed's, western square danced in Marion, OH.  

Sunday, son Brian and wife Kathy treated Sue and I to an excursion and picnic lunch on Charles Mill Lake with their newly purchased pontoon boat; Captain Kathy quite capably at the helm, by the way.  

There was a car show going on at the lake's beach and that's me riding with Robert Shutt of Mansfield (above) in his hand-made replica of a 1901 Oldsmobile.

Bob is a neighbor of Brian's and, it turns out, I was almost a classmate of Bob's dad in the green shirt, background, at Madison High School more than 50 years ago.

And, Bob showed us a miniature engine he made from scratch.  It would fit in the palm of your hand and it actually runs.  He also shared photos of a .22 caliber Gatling gun he made, also from scratch.  I hope to be paying more attention to this very talented fellow in a future blog article.
Momma mallard duck (right) tends to her nesting chores on the stern of a pontoon boat docked nearly adjacent to Brian's slip at the Charles Mill Marina.  Notice how she lowers her head and hides behind the boat's rail support, making sure she is as unobtrusive as possible as we glide quietly by.
Yup, life is good.
Remember you can click on these photos to see a larger image.  Top photo by son Brian. 

Sunday, June 19, 2011



The stage of Mansfield's Renaissance Theater sizzled with the sights and sounds of a proud US of A during Friday night's final preliminary event of the 2011 Miss Ohio competition.

Veterans and firemen and policemen and all first-responders to the nation's grief were honored throughout the show--often described by many as the most elaborate of productions in these competitions leading to the crowning of Miss America.

Firemen from the Madison Township and Mansfield city fire departments closed the show with a solemn remembrance of the nation's loss on September 11, 2001 (top right) while they shared a piece of steel from the structure of the destroyed World Trade Center in New York.

Fogeyisms enjoyed a warm sense of pride sitting in the ambiance of this marvelous theater that evening while our small-town USA strutted its stuff.

In the big picture of life's events beauty pageants are often but pleasant distractions.  On this evening, this pageant raised the bar.



Saturday, June 18, 2011


and a ghost or two

There is a marvelous sandstone building, built in the late 1800s, sitting in downtown Mansfield on Park Ave. West.  It is one of the city's most unrecognized treasures.

The building was born from legislation after the Civil War.  It was the city's first library and has been a museum off and on since the 1890s--the oldest in Richland County.

I remember poking around in that very building as a pre-teen and being enthralled by countless glass containers way up on the third floor; all containing biological specimens in a scene reminiscent of a medieval horror movie.

The museum had been closed since 1955 and remained closed for 44 years.

Like many things its age, it has a checkered past according to curator Scott Schaut.  Previous boards of directors have been extremely careless of priceless artifacts and squandered many parts of the collection.  A lucrative, legal, fund raising bingo operation died in an investigation of alleged pilfering.

Schaut was hired as only the second curator in the museum's history and launched its rebirth in 1999.

Today, the museum features Elektro, a Westinghouse robot best known for its appearance in the 1939 World's Fair, now a permanent resident of the museum.  The facility also contains a marvelous display of artificats as shown in the lower photo of the facility's second floor.

Events already are in the planning stages for the next four years starting with a display commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War later this year.

The museum also has acquired the marquee of the old Madison Theater and hopes one day to have it reinstalled over the sidewalk where the theater once stood between the museum and what is now known as the Chase Bank building.

And, a ghost used to live in this old museum.

It was believed to be the first, and only other curator in the museum's history, Edward Wilkinson.

It's last appearance involved Schaut when Mr. Wilkinson's apparition tapped Schaut on the shoulder as if offering its appreciation to Schaut for a job well-done.

The ghost disappeared and hasn't been seen since.

Although, if you look carefully at the lead picture above, taken just days ago, you will notice the flags flying in the front of the building are blowing in opposite directions from each other.

Makes me wonder if maybe the ghost of Mr. Wilkinson remains in the vicinity after all.

Current hours to visit the facility are:  Saturday, 10-4 and Sunday, Noon to 4.  Closed Jan-Apr.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


About 1991 the veteran's burial area of the Mansfield Cemetery was reaching capacity.  Local veterans then purchased 800 additional spaces in the southeast corner of the cemetery property and created the burial area that has grown to appear as in the above photo.

Some stones have a veteran's name only.  That usually would be for an unmarried veteran.

When both a veteran and spouse are buried in the single grave site, the second to die is buried on top of the first and a marker with both names is erected.

If a non-veteran spouse dies first, her grave site is marked with a wooden cross painted white and a temporary plaque containing the spouse's name is attached.

The older veteran's burial section in the cemetery is in a pretty swale about midway along the east side of the facility.  It has only surface-level, grave markers but is quite visible with its bronze service affiliation flag holders rising prominently above the markers.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


And, the answer is:  During the space shuttle Endeavour's last trip to the International Space Station recently a supply ship departed the station with astronauts that captured this rare view.

That is the Endeavour hanging vertically on the left side of the space station.  The long, rectangular arms spreading from the space station are the solar panels that capture sun light to power the station.  You can see the curvature of the Earth below, with broken cloud cover over an ocean.

The supply ship was a Russian Soyuz spacecraft which landed in Kazakstan later that day.
Photo courtesy NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day with a tip of our hat to cousin Bill Nolan for bringing this marvelous image to our attention.

Friday, June 10, 2011


Hemlock Falls
Worthington Township
Richland County Ohio

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Tomorrow, my lady Sue Brooks and I take a walk in the woods--a very special woods.  

We hope you will stop by for a peek at our visual presentation.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


It appears a tree grew to quite a large size and enveloped the guy wires of a utility pole in this alley off South Main St., in Mansfield.

The tree either died or became a problem for the utility lines and was cut into pieces.  The log from the stump to the first series of branches is gone from this image as are all the remaining pieces of the tree, leaving this large section of branch joints hanging in mid air.

From the weathering of the woody remains and the rotted condition of the stump it appears this visual novelty has been hanging in this alley quite some time.

This view is West toward S. Main St., and the southbound truck in the background is turning West onto Greenwood Ave., just south of the Culligan Quality Water shop. 

Saturday, June 4, 2011


On our long holiday weekend we ricocheted between our patriotic square dance of the season, to a cemetery salute to the area's founding citizens, to Mansfield's Memorial Day parade and tribute to our nation's war dead, to a traditional cook-out in the exquisite fellowship of good friends.

Local radio personality Rusty Cates (top) portrayed Harold Arlin in a Living History presentation Sunday, May 29th at the Mansfield Cemetery.  That was marvelous casting in that Mr. Arlin was the nation's very first radio announcer and enjoyed an early career with Pittsburgh's station KDKA--the nation's first commercial radio station where in November 1920 from a small shack on the roof of Pittsburgh's Westinghouse factory he broadcast the results of the Harding-Cox presidential election.  Mansfield Senior High School's Arlin Field is named after him.

Margie Cutnaw portrays daughter Helen of  John Simpson (lower photo) for whom my junior high school was named.  That building sits on the site of the city's first high school (part of which still stands) at the corner of Bowman and W. Fourth St.

Forty nine members of the Mansfield Johnny Appleseeds square dance club, most dressed in patriotic attire, hosted area dancers Saturday night in our opening event of the weekend's Memorial Day celebration.

Monday's celebration was highlighted by Mansfield's annual parade, moved downtown this year from the Mansfield cemetery because of a deteriorated amphitheater there.  It launched down Park Ave., West from Bowman St., and concluded the formal celebration in the city square.

I wondered if the young man to my left, seated along the parade route, would practice proper flag etiquette when the color guards passed by.  Much to my amazement he and his entire family did.

Our celebration concluded Monday evening at ladyfriend Sue's home with a cookout in the presence of our dancing friends the Kargers, the Meinzers and the Matzs.

During the evening's robust conversation I was moved to reflect on how folks often find a very personal way to honor the holiday.

Along the parade route, that often occurred with youngsters waving tiny American flags as the veterans passed by.

At our picnic, that occurred when Nancy Meinzer shared her dessert; a pastry done in the form of our Nation's flag.

Nancy's husband Mark is a US Navy veteran.  Thank you both.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Memorial Day slid into history that recent, warm and sunny day and I was proud to be among the thousands of county citizens who paused to salute the horrific sacrifice of our nation's war dead.

We remembered that day, 25,000 colonial warriors died in our revolution; the war that earned our freedom.

We remembered 623,026 brothers and sisters died in our Civil War; where the nation tried to tear itself asunder.

We remembered our country later fought two World Wars whose dreadful and combined death toll exceeded one half million fighting men and women.

Just think of losing a father or brother or daughter or son in war, mostly on foreign soil, yet sometimes in hostilities of questionable merit.

We remembered that has happened to our families more than 12 million times in our mere 235 year history.

We remembered it is still happening.

May God grant peace to our warrior's souls.

And, may God grant us the wisdom to never forget.