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.