Monday, December 8, 2014


Geocaching often takes us to the perimeter of cemeteries where caches rest and cachers tread respectfully.

A fringe benefit is to walk quietly and ponder the headstones and the unknown stories of the lives therein memorialized.

Can you imagine having a conversation with Mr. Stillwill who was born just four years after our Declaration of Independence.

May you rest in peace my imagined friend.

Friday, November 28, 2014



Illegal immigrants to be eligible for Social Security, Medicare

Can you believe the insantity of the crowd currently infesting the White House? 

Friday, November 14, 2014


It was pointed out to me that on election day the Democratic vote started out with a pretty healthy lead - and then the Republicans got off work...

/s/ Kemosabe-Frogdog Enterprises, et al

Tuesday, November 11, 2014


Our geocaching partner Lighthouse Nut finishes logging a cache in Ohio's oldest building; a small fort built in the 1680s just East of what is now known as Coshocton, OH.

We spent last Friday night and Saturday enjoying the Crow Geo-Trail, newly established by the Coshocton County Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

About 20 geocaches were sprinkled around the county, most located at historical or commercial establishments popular for local tourism.

Two, for example, were located within Roscoe Village, arguably the area's prime tourist attraction.

Bill and Diane (Lighthouse Nuts) joined Greg and Leslie (GOC+me) and the Skagways, (Sue and me) for this thoroughly enjoyable assault.

Most cachers treasure being the first to find (FTF) of newly established caches.  At this event which included more than 50 serious cachers, our humble team scored 5 FTFs; nominally 1/4 of the total on the new trail.

Can you see my smile?

The team reconvened Monday in Mansfield for some munching and some card playing and some more geocaching, of course.

We shared the caches Sue and I have established then aimed them at the very challenging hide on Lexington Ave., which boasts a difficulty of 5, the highest in our sport.  Our guests made fairly short work of that one then we were off to the Stoller Trail along the north side of the Clear Fork Reservoir for a mile hike to an elusive cache named "Over the River and Through the Woods".

This rascal was near the site of an old cabin, long gone, with only the masonary and stone chimney (below) still standing sentinel in the woods.

We wound up the day's caching activity at a very enchanting hide named "Gnome Sweet Gnome".  It's nestled in a wooded clearing near a pond and populated by a collection of Gnomes challenging visitors to find the hide among them.

This dandy is the creation of Nancy Meinzer (Frogdog10) who, along with her hubby (Kemosabe48),  are responsible for introducing Sue and me to this marvelous activity.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

My favorite geocache

With over 2,600 found caches to-date this one leaped into first place on my personal favorites list Just a few weeks ago.  That's my partner Skagway071 (Sue Brooks) front left above with GOC+me (Leslie Cornett being the '+me' of that duo) front center and Mrs. Lighthouse Nut (Diane Niehoff) front right.  Back, from left are GOC (Greg Cornett) and yours truly, Skagway330.

Real names are in parentheses and the funny sounding thingys like "Skagway" are the names we are known by in geocaching circles.  Bill Niehoff, the other half of the Lighhouse Nuts, took the picture.

You notice, of course, the absolute blackness surrounding us.  That's because this was taken well after dark, deep in the woods, illuminated only by our personal flashlights at the site of this geocache.  The cache container was an ammo can lurking behind the large, fallen tree trunk we are sitting upon and standing behind.

Here's how I described our experience in my log on this cache site:

"WOW! My first night caching experience and it was a dandy. It is hard to imagine the work it took to create and install this masterpiece. Thanks also to GOC+me and Mr. Lighthouse Nut for lending their experience to our expedition of six. Without them I would not have even considered attempting this hide. Did I say WOW! Two hours and 33 minutes of stumbling through the woods as darkness smothered us, of great relief when that next little reflector revealed itself, of great disappointment when wandering into a very diabolical dead end.

Up hills and down hills and over logs and tip-toeing, amazingly, with dry feet across small streams or wondering if this was doable, the subconscious wondering if we could beat the park closure deadline and the conscious wondering what would happen if we didn't, and finally, WOW, that marvelous, funny, and oh so deeply appreciated smiley on the log. Hallelujah!

As the tingles of victory wore off, now what? Ahhhh, there's the first orange reflector, an essential find to lead us out. And then the second, and third, then--nothing. Flashlights blazed through the woods like spotlights on a Hollywood opening night. We knew there was a problem with disappearing orange reflectors. I stood there silently regarding that as a felony of the first degree. Thankfully, a combination of GOC+me and Lighthouse Nuts' experience, and tracking technology, saved the day. WOW!

I hoped my partner Skagway071 really did sign the log as I sagged against a tree fearing my body might choose at that minute to discover how old it was. Bouquets Kelinore! Bushels of them."

In that final sentence I threw a bouquet to Kelinore, the cache creator.

For our 2 hours and 33 minutes of hiking in the dark over 2 and a half miles of sometimes trail and sometimes not we must sign the container's log and our reward is simply a tiny smiley face in our on-line record of caches found plus, of course, a huge sense of accomplishment. 

The "smiley on the log" which evoked my "Hallelujah" above was, in fact, a human-sized smiley shaped face on the downed log created with the same reflectors which guided us to it's location.  When Greg's powerful flashlight beam struck the "Smiley" in the coal-dark woods, we newbies collectively gasped that prayer of relief.

Greg, Leslie and Bill had experienced this exulted punishment before.  Sue, Diane and I were undergoing that night's initiation.  

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thinking about lunch

Grandson Dane harvested his first whitetail deer ever, a nine point buck, while hunting from a stand in my woods last evening.  He did it with his modern compound bow.  Hunters field dress their deer and leave the offal in the woods much to the delight of these birds.

They come from miles around on such occasions and will leave their wooded dinner plates completely free of any evidence of the harvest.

Years ago I stumbled on a deer carcase in the woods where we then lived.  It evidently was wounded and escaped being located by the hunter, or, it could have been the victim of being hit by a car, or, died of natural causes even.

Just days later there was absolutely no evidence of the deer's remains.  No hide, no bones, nothing!

It's not something city-folks often ponder but the carrion eaters provide a very necessary service indeed.

Dane's deer was immediately on the way to a  processor where it was butchered and packaged for many future meals.   

Tuesday, October 14, 2014



I launched this blog with that word of greeting (Hello) on January 15, 2007.  Today's humble offering is 1,375 pieces later.

But, I was getting tired.
That spans about 400 weeks so 1,375 pieces over that period averages about 3 1/2 stories per week.

The last piece that ran was September 13th and it rolled through production quite effortlessly. 

However, the tank was empty and, after all, I am retired.  I had no stories pending and nothing on the horizon.  In fact, it had gotten to be a struggle to find stories.

So I took a vacation...and waited for the next story or photo to come along.  That did not happen until Sunday, October 12th when I was moved to do the above 1st Frost of the Season photo.

Yes, life was as busy as usual but it was with things I had written about many times earlier.  No new slant to boost a story into production.
Meanwhile, some prostrate cancer showed up.  Nothing that was likely to kill me but it needed attention.  I had radium pellets installed in late July and my stamina has been in the dumpster ever since.  Not fun but certainly better than the alternative.

That's no excuse either.  It just happened to happen.

As a consequence to all of the above--and the brief, restful interlude--I think I have found my blog scheduling niche.  Rather than punishing my way to a story or more each week, I am going to cruise along and see what appears naturally.

I like to think it may be quality rather than quantity.

So, please tolerate a more casual publishing schedule.

I certainly will be grateful for your patience.

Oh.  Almost forgot to explain the top photo.  That's my driveway looking West as the rising sun, behind me, clears the East woods and splashes its autumnal palate through the trees.  The light color stripes to the far left are the limestone tracks of my driveway.  The next one to the right is *Gasp* frost.  That's me, right, being amused by the little sign I found on my lap after snoozing in the recovery room.  Photo by son Craig.

Ironically, it was me hauling Craig home from the ER just a few days ago after he tried to bulldoze a new road through some local woods with his VW bus.  The ER folks patched him up and sent him on his way.  The vehicle coroner may be in the bus's future.  It's looking a little like failed steering could have been the culprit. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Geocaching takes us to some extraordinary places like this one Sue is enjoying near a geocache called Jonathan's Gully at an abandoned quarry on the north end of Kelly's Island.  Of the two major US touristy islands in Lake Erie, Kelley's is by far the most tranquil.  We spent a very enjoyable day there after Labor Day with the crowds gone until next season.

If you are noticing extremely vibrant colors in this photo--your eyes are okay.  Feeling a little whimsical while processing pictures in Photoshop sometimes has this effect on me.  This snappy color is largely the result of pushing saturation far above normal.  I spent a day before our Kelley's Island outing bicycling and geocaching the trail between Norwalk and Monroeville.  For this photo I am standing on an overlook created by the local Kiwanis group.

Sue Corbin, a square dancing friend of ours from Marion, OH, was inquiring about cell phone cameras at a recent wedding we had attended.  Later I was moved to try this hand-held available light photo with my Galaxy S3 phone.  It's hardly photo contest quality but is a fairly remarkable sample of the camera's capability under far less than normal shooting conditions.

Finally, Sue's grand daughter Mackenna Curtis-Collins glides around a hair-pin turn on the Ashland cross-country course while an exuberant grandma (behind her left shoulder) cheers her on.  Mackenna placed second in this recent race behind a teammate, already has helped hoist herself and her team into state rankings--all this and she is early in her sophomore year of high school.

There!  Geocaching, hiking, biking, square dancing, cross country race spectating, a little fussing with photography and the wedding of William and Amy Tenover all wrapped into our schedule of late summer activities.  Mercy!



Saturday, September 6, 2014

Very Disappointing!

Sue had never been to this acclaimed eating establishment so we decided to make that our stop for celebrating her birthday dinner in late August.

We will not make that mistake again.

It's 1850s, historical ambiance is marvelously restored into two modest sized dining rooms with an "L" shaped perimeter deck for outside dining under the not so adequate cover of table umbrellas.

Sue ordered a small salad ($5) with an entree of pasta in an Alfredo sauce and shrimp (about $20).  It was advertised with a bacon garnish which she asked to be withheld.  Our classy waiter assured her that would be done.

Seemingly in keeping with my hypothesis that "Mediocrity is today's standard of excellence,"  her meal with its not so generous (size or quantity of shrimp), arrived with a liberal garnishment of bacon.

Back it went for another try.

Meanwhile my beef filet ($27) was ordered, sans salad, cooked medium.  A warm, pink center, the waiter assured me.  It arrived as a very generous cut of meat but had absolutely no evidence of pink--anywhere.  Ditto for the juice like that of a steak cooked correctly.

It was a tender cut of meat but the flavor went the same place the cook hid the pink.

Naturally, waiting for her corrected meal left us eating in shifts, hardly conducive to our celebratory mood.  I chose not to send my steak back, having already lost any confidence my second steak would arrive any better than the first one.

We passed when the waiter did the obligatory advertisement for their dessert.  We already had touched the stove twice with both her meal and mine and didn't want to make that mistake a third time.


Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Old Junior High School; another Poof!

You are looking at the remains (above) of my old, John Simpson Junior High School.  Demolition debris and the smoke stack from the old powerhouse are all that remain.  This view is looking straight East toward Bowman St., along West 4th St.

Here the view is looking generally Northwest through the 4th and Bowman intersection.  I entered Simpson in 1954 from the W. 5th St., grade school--the old one.  A new W 5th St., grade school was constructed while I attended the old one.  The new one still stands but no longer serves as a grade school.

Let me try to recap this:  I started grade school in the "old" W. 5th St., building in the mid 1940s.  Grade school was 6 years in those days.

They finished construction on the new building right next door when I was about half way done with the old one.  We moved into the new one while I was in the 5th grade and they tore the old one down.

From there it was on to Simpson, one block south for most of my junior high school experience.  My family moved to the Madison area (a suburb of Mansfield) when I was in the 9th grade and I tagged along.

I started in the old Madison high school and finished in that same building shortly after a sparkling new addition was done.

Now that I think about it I haven't the foggiest idea where city kids now go to either grade school or junior high. 

Madison kids tend to wind up now out there on Grace St, finishing up via what is now known as a middle school and a high school, of course.

Trying to figure out their grade school alignment today makes my head hurt.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

My Old Madison High School--POOF!

The building from which I was graduated (1958) sat near the base of the Ashland Road hill (background above) from sometime in the early 1900s.  It served its last years as a middle school and was demolished this past Spring.

My classmates will remember there was a new gymnasium and lots of classrooms added to that building while we were there.  They would have been on the left above.  The old football field remains--out of the above photo on the right.

That's the new middle school below.  It is located just east of the corner of McElroy Rd., and Grace St.  Notice the masonary archway in front of the new building.  That was severed from our old high school entrance and installed here as a nice historical portal for the new schoolhouse.

The current high school, of course, is located on Esley Lane; a view of which is being blocked in the lower photo.

Last winter, the students left our old building for their Christmas break and reported back to school in their new building; a pretty nice Christmas present.

Saturday, August 16, 2014



On a sullen and stormy day a giant track-hoe gnaws at the remains of the once vibrant Tappan Company as seen above looking south from the intersection of Orange and Newman St's., on Mansfield's north side.

Tappan had its modest beginnings in 1881 when W. J. Tappan formed the Ohio Valley Co., in Bellaire, OH, and manufactured cast iron stoves.  From there Tappan often sold his stoves from the back of a wagon while traveling the Ohio countryside.

A fire destroyed that facility and, needing a better market area, Tappan moved his small company to Mansfield and renamed his business the Eclipse Stove Company.  By 1920 the business was growing and selling stoves in surrounding states.

In Illinois Tappan encountered another "Eclipse Stove Company" and renamed his company The Tappan Stove Company.

Throughout the remainder of the 20th Century Tappan became known for its innovative products.  They introduced the first porcelain stove with an insulated oven in the 1930's.

During World War II the company manufactured a stove with wheels so the military could better feed the troops with the mobile unit.

The company enjoyed its greatest growth in the 1950's with the development of the microwave oven.  Tappan's 1955 microwave was just 24 inches wide and retailed for $1,200.

AB Electrolux, a European manufacturing business, purchased Tappan in 1979.  In 1986 they went on to purchase White Consolidated Industries which manufactured Frigidaire, White-Westinghouse, Gibson and Kelvinator products.

Combined with Tappan the new firm became known as WCI Major Appliance Group.

In 1991 they simply became known as the Frigidaire Company which, headquarted in Dublin, OH, continues to manufacture Tappan stoves.

Ref: Ohio History Central  Click!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


Saturday Fogeyisms will introduce a new series that, from time to time, will take a peek at recent or ongoing demolitions around Mansfield that have or are dramatically changing our visual landscape.

We start this series with the ongoing demolition of the Tappan Co., which we encountered recently.

Our next offering in this series most likely will be the old Madison High School building near the bottom of Ashland Road hill.

We hope you domestic as well as foreign expatriates enjoy our offering of this little trip down memory lane.  

Friday, August 8, 2014


This is the very busy channel under the Mackinaw Bridge connecting Michigan's Upper Penninsula (distant) and Lower Penninsula in the top photo.  Sue (below) logs a geocache we found on the North side of the bridge.  The cache container and log were found inside the camouflaged sack in her hand, hidden in the foilage behind her. 

A soggy but busy day at The Whitefish Point, Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum

A picture-postcard view on an overlook along the south side of Whitefish Bay, UP, Michigan (above) and the Point Iriquois Light Station, (below) originally built in 1870 along the same shore line, and Sue (next below) looking toward the distant Whitefish Bay over a vast area with no evidence of civilization visible just west of the Bay Mills Indian Reservation.

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Mackinaw City, Michigan

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Frankenmuth, Michigan

...where Christmas is celebrated every business day throughout the year in a town that has transformed itself into "Little Bavaria" around this celebrated bastion of Yuletide sensations.  It is the World's largest Christmas store featuring more than 50,000 "trims and gifts".

To get some idea of just how big this store is Click here to see the store's directory of 15 sections of glittering goodies that would even amaze Santa.

Click here for a peek at their on-line catalog that is 64 pages stuffed full of Christmas stuff.

That's Sue above on the right at the "Cat:" section.  Yup, every imaginable Christmas ornament for your feline friend.  And, to top that, you can have your selection personalized in the store's section #8 which is chock-full of artists ready to letter or decorate your selection, quickly and free.

She even found a section of Sports ornaments designed to celebrate every athletic event known to mankind.

If you stopped your meandering to investigate every section of this colossal store you would miss your dinner, tomorrow's breakfast and a lunch or two.

It's a floor to two-story ceiling emporium of deck-the-halls glitter and tinsel that would burden even Santa's most energetic team of reindeer trying to haul the goodies of an enthusiastic shopper.

My eyes began to roll in and out of focus as we concluded our visit; Sue checking out and me propped against a nearby pillar, attempting to keep my evident fatigue from creeping into my final composition:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Graveyard of the Great Lakes

Stand at the end of this observation deck, look to the North-northwest and 17 miles out in 535 feet of water you will be looking across the site of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

This Shipwreck Museum at Whitefish Point notes, "Deceivingly beautiful, Lake Superior's unrelenting fury has earned the reputation of being the most treacherous of the Great Lakes".

All 29 crew members of the Fitzgerald lost their lives on that November 10, 1975 in the violence of one of Superior's boiling storms.  They are memorialized here along with the 30,000 other men, women and children lost to shipwreck on the Great Lakes.

The museum grounds also contain the Whitefish Point Light Station, built in 1849 (right).  It has "...illuminated these dangerous waters for mariners continuously since."

Another terrific feature of the museum is the beautifully restored Surfboat House which contains an oar-propelled life-saving boat of its day (below) and a beach wagon containing all the then modern apparatus to rescue folks stranded on a ship stuck in the near, off-shore shallows.

The wagon featured a small, brass cannon which could fire a projectile, with a messenger line attached, across the top of the vessel in distress where able bodied survivors could use the delivered line to pull an even heavier line across the open water and secure it.

A breeches-buoy then could travel back and forth from the ship to shore, hauling one person at a time to safety.  They would be secured in the buoy, dangling from the heavy line with a pulley as the buoy was hauled back and forth--sometimes dipping the survivor into a crashing wave depending on the mood of the surf.

More than 240 shipwrecks are known to have happened in Whitefish Bay and the approach waters of Lake Superior; in that area known as "The Graveyard of the Great Lakes".

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Sault Ste Marie, MI

I never did find out why this eatery had this name but it was a fun reminisce for us as we were reminded of the blogs we did on this fine automobile which, indirectly, had its origins in Ashland, OH.  Click here for a short series of those earlier Studebaker stories.

Meanwhile, it just happened this nice restaurant was merely a chip shot from our dandy motel in a recent visit to the Sault Ste Marie area.

To give you some idea how far North the Soo is, this license plate was displayed on the restaurant's wall.

Saturday, July 19, 2014


The US Coast Guard Cutter Mackinaw as she looked during her 62 year work life (upper) and as she now appears as a nautical museum in her permanent home port, Mackinaw, MI.

She was built in Toledo, OH and launched in March 1944, at the time the most powerful icebreaker in the world.  Her construction was part of the war effort during WW II to help meet the heavy demands for movement of war materials during the winter months. 

She was known as the "Queen of the Great Lakes" during her working life.  Her construction, partially funded by commercial, shipping interests, included a beam (width) of 74 feet, wider than the pre-1959 Welland Canal, thus preventing the coast guard from ever assigning her elsewhere.

Fully loaded she displaced (weighed) 5,252 tons, was 290 feet long and drew over 19 feet of water (measured from the waterline along her hull down to her keel.).

She had six, 10 cylinder engines that produced 12,000 shaft horsepower.

One of her design features was a 12' protected propeller at her bow which could suck water from under the ice ahead, thus weakening the ice and sending water flowing along her hull, reducing friction.  

With thin ice she would simply crush it with her raw power.  As ice thickened she could ride up on it and smash through it with her weight.  She also could quickly roll 112,000 gallons of ballast water from side to side helping her to wiggle out of a jam.

She could break 2 1/2 feet of ice continuously and 11 feet by backing and ramming.

General navigation on the lakes was usually closed to shipping for about 4 1/2 months during winter.  She was able to extend the shipping season 1 1/2 months, critical to the war effort and later helpful to sea going ships in danger of being frozen in Great Lakes ports.

She was retired in June 2006 and on that same day in Cheboygan, MI the "new" Mackinaw WLBB-30 (below) was commissioned.

She's 50 feet shorter and 1,700 tons lighter than the Big Mack.

Hope she is adequate to continue the tradition.

Original Mack photo by BM1 Mark A. Faught, late 1990s

Saturday, July 12, 2014

"The Case for Obama's impeachment:  The Constitution's remedy for a lawless, imperial president"

Click here!

No amount of ignoring these facts will lessen the truth of this recitation of the stunning chain of violations of the Constitution and the laws of this country this current regime in the White House has paraded like a steam-roller in recent years over the apparent unconsciousness of the mainstream media and the checks and balances built into our legal system.

Action must be taken now or the America we have grown to know as the greatest exercise in self-government in history will be destroyed.


This dandy bridge, the fifth longest suspension bridge in the World, spans the Mackinac Strait where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron join between the lower and upper peninsulas (UP) of Michigan.  Sue is looking through a pedestal telescope from the southeast side of the bridge in this view as the sun burned off that morning's fog on our way home.

The village of Mackinaw is on the south end and the city of St. Ignace is on the UP end of this huge span.

The bridge, completed in 1957, has a total length of 5 miles.  The distance between her main towers is 3,800 feet.  She weighs 1,024,500 tons.  Can you imagine the size of scale that determined that?

Ships 155 feet tall can squeeze beneath her center span.

We were returning from a whirl-wind 3-day car journey, geocaching from Mansfield to Whitefish Point which pierces Lake Superior in the eastern UP.  The trip was momentous for us; providing our furthest cache North and numerous caches in Canada around the Soo Locks.

That was our second, international geocaching experience, following the Bahamas in early Spring.

Even though I spent the winter of 1958 in the coast guard at Charlevoix, about 40 miles to the Southwest along the Lake Michigan shore, I had never crossed the bridge, visited the Soo Locks or touched Lake Superior.

I satisfied all three of those shortages in one event!

Also, I had never seen the site of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald, in Lake Superior about 17 miles off shore while approaching Whitefish Bay.  The Fitzgerald sinking has been burned into the public consciousness by Mr. Lightfoot's song.

Sadly, while I was a raw recruit at the time of my posting to Charlevoix the steamer Carl D. Bradley broke in half and sank about 40 miles off-shore from Charlevoix and we were an extremely busy station handling the search and rescue effort.  33 of her 35 man crew perished in that horrible, November storm.

The Bradley's loss of life exceeded the Fitzgerald's by 4.  May all those sailors continue to rest in peace.

Meanwhile, life goes on as a father watches his son pitch a handful of beach pebbles into the strait while a giant cargo ship makes her way downstream under the bridge, likely headed through Lakes Huron, Erie and Ontario then via the St. Lawrence Seaway and out to sea.

Details from the Mackinac Bridge Authority here!


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What the World needs now is a few less flies...
and lots more butterflies.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Wife of JC


Died Jan 4, 1892

Unknown to the author and
with all possible respect...

This tombstone, one of the largest I've seen of its kind, is made of metal.  Those that are considerably smaller (but larger than the infant's marker {foreground}) are fairly common around Ohio.

The contrast between the metal marker's blue hue and that of a traditional granite stone is apparent in the photo right.

These pictures were done on a recent, 55 mile motorcycle caching run that involved finding a geocache in Fredericktown and one in this cemetery adjacent to the Chester Baptist Church, just south of Chesterville, OH.

Cemetery caches nearly always are somewhere on the perimeter of the grounds, or, if elsewhere on the burial grounds, away from tombstones.

Being respectful of the grave sites is always part of the hiding and finding process.

Taking a close peek while meandering through the burial sites often reveals something of interest.  In this case, why, for example, is the lady on top of the tall metal marker holding an anchor in her left hand?

Then there is this above ground crypt in the same cemetery seemingly being watched over by a bit of a ragged cast of stone centurions in the background.

The wording on the decedent's plaque (foreground) says,

"To the memory of the
Born in Tilgrath, South Wales minister of the gospel, He lived justly esteemed for his piety and usefulness, died justly lamented, on the first day of November 1821 in the 61 year of his age."

Wife of the Rev. Henry George, died Augustg 27, 1843 aged 84 years.
Buried in Missouri"

Then, there was this cemetery experience we still chuckle about from very early in our caching career.  On a stone in a cemetery near the Clear Fork Lake dam just west of Lexington, there was mention of a lady who died at the age of 33 years in 1826.

Her gravestone described her as the "Consort" of the headstone's decedent.

We still wonder how lively the definition of that word might have been 188 years ago.

Monday, June 30, 2014


Sparklers were sparkin' and cannons were roaring as the Ashland Symphony Orchestra and Ashland Area Chorus brought the huge audience to its feet in their Independence Day Celebration at the Myers Memorial Band Shell in Brookside Park, Sunday.

Cannon smoke drifted across the audience as Battery D, the 1st Ohio Light Artillery Company, thumped the ground with roaring fusillades accompanying, The 1812 Overture, to close the evening's triumphant performance.

Maestro Arie Lipsky, conducting.



Wednesday, June 25, 2014

...A Terrific Benefit of Geocaching

One definition of being serendipitous is:  "Enjoying the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way."

We headed south one recent day with our friends the Meinzers for a fairly unfocused outing of geocaching.  Nancy had seen some things she liked in the Deleware area and several metroparks in the neighborhood, and there certainly were plenty of caches available for us to find as we meandered into our adventure.

Just finding a small container, sometimes the size of one digit of your pinkie, being guided by electronic signals from space and located somewhere in the middle of 1,000 acres of woodland, remains an amazing enough event to make the effort enjoyable for me.

In geocaching's simplest form we open the container, sign the log as proof of our being there, put it back exactly as found and go merrily on our way.  Serendipity begins to happen when you discover something as delightful as the area's Highbanks Metro Park--a place never visited before and one discovered only because of this marvelous sport.

That's Mark above on a high overlook in the vast park with the Olentangy River flowing far below and between the light green, foreground foliage and the darker blue terrain in the distance.

On the right, just above Mark's cap you can see the slope of an earthworks that formed a big, segmented semi-circle across our trail.

The Cole Culture built this 1,500 foot, horseshoe-shaped earthwork between 800 and 1,200 years ago.

Imagine wandering casually through an earthen structure built about a thousand years before our country was born.  Serendipitous for sure.

The park is an oasis smack in the middle of the Columbus area's northern sprawl.  In fact, the Pool family gravestones below were relocated into the park in 1981 sometime after their actual graves were obliterated in that sprawl.  They were some of the area's earliest settlers and farmed land that is now part of this placidly, quiet park.  No one knows the location of the real burial site.

Mr. Pool died in 1820 at the age of 53.  That means he was born in 1767, nine years before our country declared its independence.  George Washington was 35 at the time

Another dose of serendipity happened for me when we were logging a cache entitled "Sore Buns".  This cache was located in front of the beautifully restored Gooding House and Tavern, in its day a stagecoach stop, built in 1827 on the Columbus and Sandusky Turnpike--where a good day's travel would cover 10 miles.

While we were leaving the parking area I noticed a sign reserving a prime spot for Rex Elsas.  He was a dynamic go-getter during my active political days in the 1980s and went on to build a very successful consulting business--evidently located in this historic tavern.

I haven't seen him since he was just out of high school but am aware of his achievements through other aging friends and ole time GOP political stalwarts, Dave and Dottie Dalton of Mansfield where Dave was a long-time school teacher and city councilman.

Still curious?  Click here for the tavern's historical marker.

I am not aware if they have dedicated an historical marker to Dottie's hugely dynamic political work in her day and it certainly will not be serendipitous for me if she ever reads this conclusion.
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Be sure to tune in next week when I hop on my motorcycle for a 55-mile caching romp through Fredericktown and Chesterville; sometimes known as fly-over towns by the abundant loonies on the right and left coasts of the rest of the good ole US of A.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


A Visual Tour

Thank you for joining us on a recent self-guided tour of what remains of this historic structure, long famous for the murder and mayhem of its incarcerated residents and most recently for its prominent role in the popular movie, Shawshank Redemption.

Sue (right) is contemplating the "Parole Board Room" of the Shawshank movie which in real life was part of the assistant warden's living quarters.

These enactors were sharing the history of the period involving embalming and display of a recently deceased family member as it likely happened in the warden's family living quarters.  The display of flowers served the "very useful" purpose of masking any offensive odors.

This area was for VIP housing.  We were reminded travel took longer in the early days of the prison's history and accommodations for guests were few and far between, hence their inclusion in the building.  The platform was used for entertaining productions.

 The prison chapel.


Sue crouches to ponder all five tiers of the East range of cells, the world's largest indoor steel cell block.

This is the view along the opposite side of the East range.  The device in her left hand allows visitors to listen to explanations of tour features.

An inmate's view; not likely to be a lady however.

The library.

A segment of the solitary confinement range.

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We tip our hat to Becky McKinnell, vice president of the Mansfield Reformatory Preservation Society, for her gracious help in cutline information.  Any errors most assuredly are mine.  Thanks also to Google for the night, file photo of the main entrance which led our presentation.

Click Here  for earlier stories on the OSR in Fogeyisms.
Click Here  for the preservation society's web page.