Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Bonnie Entrance

The entrance to Bonnie’s home gives a warm Christmas welcome.

Christmas trees appear in every room of the home of Bonnie Perkins, whose love for trees began back in childhood. Even though her mother wasn’t into decorating much for Christmas, there was always a tree at her grandmother’s house.

  Bonnie remembers a tree there that was so special it’s still stuck in her mind. Her grandmother decorated the tree with their gifts – handkerchiefs with Disney characters on them. Under the tree were bright oranges, a special treat.

Bonnie Living Room Tree

Bonnie tells about this tree, “The tree in the picture is my most special tree, closest to my heart. It has several decorations my kids made as children, some handmade ornaments from a friend, beautifully beaded balls from my late sister, and lots of memories of my husband when we would choose and buy a few new ornaments at Christmastime. Now in late years, I have things on it from my grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It always has a special spot in my bedroom. I see it the last thing at night and first thing in the morning!!!”

   Once she married Floyd Perkins, they always had a cut tree for Christmas. Now since she has so many trees, they are of the artificial kind.

   Her pet project for the past 15 years has been Wonderland of Trees, her favorite undertaking of everything she has ever done. This charity display and auction attracts area artists with a flair for creativity as they produce trees and holiday decorations that inspire.

Bonnie Awards

Bonnie displays her many awards for Wonderland of Trees. The glass trees in her hands are awards for Best of Show and People’s Choice.

   Not only does Bonnie help with the display of the Christmas paradise in the lobby of Southeastern Medical Center, but she also frequently is awarded several prizes. In past years, she has won People’s Choice and Best of Show Awards several times.

Bonnie Packed Branches

The branches of her trees have so many ornaments you can scarcely see the pine.

   Usually, she gets an idea “sometime during the end of the year and the first of October.” When someone wins awards year after year, you know they have a magical touch. Once the tree is decorated, spotting the pine beneath can be difficult. Any place the pine peeks through, Bonnie places a flower. Now the entire tree blooms in the color of her choice.

Bonnie Bathroom Tree

She calls this her Grinch Tree, which still makes a beautiful reflection.

   Her home is a showcase of holiday spirit. Many years it has been part of the Christmas Tour of Homes with people clamoring to get a look inside this beautiful house. It usually takes her a couple of weeks to decorate, and even though Bonnie is 83 years old, she climbs the ladder with ease

Bonnie Jewelry Tree

One tree people always remember at Bonnie’s is her Jewelry Tree.

   A favorite tree of visitors can be seen in one of her spare bedrooms. One year Bonnie had a bowl of costume jewelry that she wasn’t quite sure how to use. She also had many strands of pearls as that was a time of her life when she wore pearls frequently. It crossed her mind to give them to Goodwill.

   Then one evening she was resting in bed when an idea came to her. She would use the jewelry on a Christmas tree. That year the Jewelry Tree won all three awards at the Festival of Trees. People’s Choice, Best of Show, and Most Creative. But then it was sold at auction.

   Early the next day, Bonnie’s son and daughter arrived at her home with their families. They were carrying the Jewelry Tree as they had purchased it for their mother. This tree is special today for more reasons than awards.

Bonnie Big Tree

The largest tree in her house stands by the window in the living room.

   Her living room contains the largest tree which nearly reaches the 24′ ceiling. Also here is a beautiful fireplace built from two boxcar loads of copper ore sent from Colorado. An ornate chandelier from Spain adds a special touch to this room as well.

Bonnie Fireplace

Copper ore for this fireplace came from Colorado.

   No matter how beautiful everything appears, it’s a house to be lived in and enjoyed. Grandchildren enjoy games of hide and seek behind the furniture, and toys can often be found scattered around the rooms.

Bonnie Family Portrait

This family portrait hangs in her hallway as family is most important to Bonnie.

   Having started life in a poor beginning has made Bonnie appreciate her good fortune, but she assures that it came from hard work. Floyd and Bonnie stayed busy all through their life.

Bonnie Welcome Center

Not all Bonnie’s trees are at home. Every year she decorates a tree for the Guernsey County Visitors and Convention Center. She still climbs ladders!

   Even though Christmas trees are her passion, she also enjoys flower gardening, her fish ponds, grandchildren, and helping others. Something she looks forward to once a month is going with garden club members to make crafts with residents of Cardinal House.

Bonnie Pond

Bonnie's Garden

Here’s just a sampling of her beautiful flower beds.

   The most exciting thing she ever did in her life was to take a cruise around the world with her late husband, Floyd. For 101 days, Bonnie said she lived a life of nothing but luxury while seeing places like the Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China and Pyramids of Egypt.

Bonnie Showing Horses

Bonnie shared this photo of her prizewinning Tennessee Walker, which she rode in competition.

   Even though Bonnie has enjoyed homes in Florida, thoroughbred Tennessee Walking horses, antique cars and lovely surroundings, no one’s life is ever all perfection.

Bonnie's 2018 tree

Bonnie’s 2018 Christmas Tree at the Guernsey County Visitors Bureau.

   This gracious lady always makes people feel special wherever they happen to meet her. Her advice for an enjoyable life would be, “Look for the good things in life. Find something happy about every day.”

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White Pillars - Christmas House

White Pillars Christmas House carries unique decorations.

Take a break from the Christmas rush and surround yourself with the spirit of Christmas. One place to receive that feeling is at White Pillars Christmas House. Visions of beautiful decorations for your home will dance in your head.

White Pillars - Snow Babies

These well-liked Snowbabies are attractively displayed.

   Wanting a business of their own, three high school friends decided to reopen White Pillars Christmas House along Old Route 40 west of New Concord. Why did they decide to open this particular business? Because everyone likes Christmas and they could remember going to White Pillars as children.

White Pillars - Buckeye Tree

Every good OSU fan needs some Buckeye ornaments.

   Having been built in 1882, the home originally belonged to a potato farmer, who had a 300-acre farm there. Upstairs were the servants’ quarters and a separate back staircase they used can still be seen behind the railing in the Sale Room.

White Pillars - Bear Nativity

This bear nativity scene seems perfect for a cabin or lodge.

    When Jane Castor first saw this house, she told her husband, “That house would make a perfect Christmas shop.” In 1981, Don and Jane Castor, owners of Zanesville Pottery, opened the first White Pillars Christmas House at this location. For many years after that, Betty Ward had the house, but then sadly it closed for five years. Everything was sold down to the bare walls.

   Those three high school friends: Trent Cubbison along with Keith Taylor and his wife, Yolanda, had to start over from scratch. The house had stood empty during that five-year span, and many wished it was still open, as they appreciated a place that carried unique items for the holidays.

White Pillars - Marshmallows

These “Toasted” marshmallows hold clever sayings like Inside I’m a real softie.

   The trio decided they would continue that tradition and fill up the house with special Christmas items you couldn’t easily find elsewhere. Each January they close the store and head to a special market where they purchase these unique items.

White Pillars - Snowpinions

Snowpinions have a little sass and a lot of attitude. Have a little fun with your gift!

   These three hard-working owners also work in other areas as well. All graduates of John Glenn High School, Trent is now the principal of the East Muskingum Middle School. Keith serves as pastor of three small Methodist churches in Claysville, Cumberland and Hiramsburg. That gives him a special connection to Christmas.

White Pillars - Grinch Tree

This nasty creature, The Grinch, hated Christmas until a little girl changed his mind.

   Their first year in 2015, only the bottom floor was opened. They didn’t want to go in debt so increased their merchandise as quickly as funds were available. Their plan obviously worked as in 2017 they opened the second floor as well. Now all nine rooms are full of Christmas items you probably won’t find anywhere else locally.

White Pillars - Department 56

This Department 56 Village is all about Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”.

   A popular item is Department 56 Villages from Dickens’ houses to those of Charlie Brown. They believe they are the only store in the state of Ohio that sells them.

White Pillars- Radko Ornaments

Radko ornaments are made of Polish hand-crafted glass.

   Christopher Radko glass holiday treasures are created in Polish artisan factories. Each piece is handcrafted from glass blowing and silvering to delicate painting. These magical heirlooms bring joy and happiness to homes worldwide.

White Pillars - Ornaments

Find the perfect ornaments for your tree from their vast selection.

   While they don’t sell Christmas trees, they do have a wide variety of ornaments, which are their biggest seller. Prices range from $2 – $80 and you’ll have to see for yourself their great variety.

White Pillars - Keith

Co-owner, Keith, stands beside a popular LED Confetti lite display.

   Keith, who has a great sense of humor, enjoys being at the Christmas House because “You can’t come in a Christmas shop in a bad mood.” He also has great fun decorating and arranging the displays.

White Pillars - Room

This room holds many magical decorations for your home.

   It’s a soothing place to shop as soft Christmas music plays in the background all the time. Everyone that stops by is happy they are open again. For the owners, it’s a great chance to meet people from all over the world and hear their Christmas tales.

White Pillars - Santa

Santa greets you at the front door as you enter and as you leave.

   Christmas will be here before you know it, so stop by White Pillars Christmas House at 7405 East Pike (Route 40) Norwich. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm – 4 pm. And they’re open eleven months of the year – January, they shop!

   You’ll be amazed at how much is perfectly displayed inside this two-story Victorian mansion.

White Pillars Christmas House is located on Old Route 40 between New Concord and Norwich on the north side of the road, naturally. Stop and receive a friendly greeting and find some treasured Christmas decorations.

Field of Corn Overview 2

109 ears of concrete corn form this unusual memorial to farmers.

One Field of Corn in Dublin will NOT be harvested this autumn. This field is rather unique as it has ears of corn taller than the stalks we usually find in farmers’ fields. However, they are made of concrete!

Frantz Farm Aerial view

This photo shows the original farm of Sam Frantz on this site.

   Years ago from 1935 to 1963, this was an actual cornfield farmed by Sam Frantz, who worked with Ohio State University on creating several species of hybrid corn. When his farming days were over, he donated this land, now called the Sam and Eulalia Frantz Park.

Frantz Certified Seed Sign

Sam Frantz posted this sign for his Certified Corn Seed at his farm.

     The concrete ears of corn were placed there to honor Frantz and Ohio’s farmers. In 1850 Ohio was the leading producer of corn in the nation. Even today they still remain in the top ten.

Corn Visitors

These young ladies from New Albany and Cleveland wanted to have a unique experience.

   Field of Corn with Osage Oranges was commissioned by the Dublin Arts Council and finished in 1994. There are 109 six-foot white ears of concrete corn sprouting right out of the ground.

Field of Corn Malcolm Cochran

Sculptor Malcolm Cochran, OSU professor, designed this Field of Corn.

   Artist Malcolm Cochran, professor of sculpture at OSU, designed the concrete cornfield. Molds were made from three original sculptures and these were used to cast ears which were rotated to produce a variety of angles. In that way, each ear of corn looks different to the observer.

Field of Corn Malcolm 001

Sculptor Cochran works on one of the prototypes from which the ears were made.

   There’s a deeper meaning to this display than first meets the eye. The field of corn resembles the regimented grave markers of a military cemetery to represent the death and rebirth of individuals and society. Cochran was designing a tribute to a way of life no longer present in this area, which has been taken over by offices and housing developments.

   Casting was then done by Cooke & Ingle, Co, in Dalton, Georgia. Each cob weighed 1500 lb. requiring four trucks to transport the complete load. The foundation for each cob is concrete at a depth of three feet.

Field of Corn Osage Orange Trees

Two rows of Osage Orange trees with benches for viewing form the west boundary.

   A row of old Osage Orange Trees grows along the west side of the field, and a second row was recently planted. Here you will find brass plaques describing the history of corn from the Native American days until the present.

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Clusters of Osage Oranges hung from tree branches.

   Osage Indians used the orange wood from these trees to make bows and tomahawks. Early farmers in Ohio planted it along boundary lines as its thick, thorny branches made a secure border. The fruit of the tree is chartreuse in color and is a natural repellant for pesky insects.

Corn Orsage Orange Fruit

An osage orange fell on this brass plaque, which tells the history of the orange.

   The sculptures look like the Corn Belt Dent variety, but many locals thought it wrong to spend tax dollars to honor food farmers with statues of inedible food.

Field of Corn in Snow

It’s a great place to play Fox and Geese in the snow.

   Today that field of concrete ears is a local icon and locals are using it for many purposes. Weddings are held in the field, office workers play in the snow in the wintertime, children play hide and seek, and families think it’s a great place for pictures.

Field of Corn Family

Families enjoy exploring and taking pictures among the ears of corn.

   Field of Corn has received “Best of Columbus” honors by readers of Columbus Monthly magazine. It’s been voted #1 four times as the best public artwork in central Ohio. 

   If you ever happen to be in the Dublin area, it’s worth a side trip to view this unusual tribute to our farmers. Field of Corn with Osage Oranges is Dublin’s light-hearted way of honoring the community’s past while shaping its future. While there, take some corny pictures!

Find this unusual attraction off I-270 at the Tuttle Crossing Exit. Field of Corn with Osage Oranges is located at 4995 Rings Road at the corner of Frantz Road. 

Amateur Radio Operators

We talk to the world.

Kenwood TS-50 Radio

CARA recently inherited an old Kenwood TS-50 Ham Radio.

Communication modes with amateur radio are numerous. Some still use the International Morse Code, while others prefer voice communication or a digital mode. Using the satellites that are in our skies today, they can bounce radio waves off them, or even off the moon or meteors, to send messages around the world.

   Longtime members of Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, Sonny and Lyn Alfman are quite active in the group and helpful in explaining the joys of amateur operators, called “hams”. Sonny said that word was derived from Old English in London, where their speech made ‘amateur’ sounds like ‘hamateur’. Now you easily see the connection.

HAM Passing Messages via Amateur Radio

“Ham” operators Bruce Homer, Larry Dukes, and Alan Day pass messages.

   These hams have to pass an amateur radio exam in order to obtain a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license. They are only called amateurs because they do not get paid for their services.

   The Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA) is the latest name for a group that was formed in Cambridge way back in 1913. They were the 18th Amateur Radio group formed in the United States. Today there are 5,600 groups.

_Ham Caleb Barton with Everlyn Barton

Evelyn Barton practices her communication skills while Caleb Barton listens and learns.

   This area group has approximately fifty members, meets every month and often takes a field trip to a science museum. But you can be certain they enjoy their radios every day. Ages of operators vary from 10 to 82 and each one of them has their own unique call sign.

   Special Radio Sports encourage competition through challenging contests on the local, state, national and even international levels. Sonny likes being challenged. “If it isn’t hard, it isn’t fun.” Perhaps that ‘s one reason he’s talked to every country in the world at least once. This includes talks with King Hussein of Jordan and Barry Goldwater.

CARA 2

During a contest, Larry Dukes talks to another ham as Nathan Roe lists info on the laptop.

   It’s possible to talk to other amateurs locally, nationally, internationally, and even out of this world via the International Space Station. Actually, ham radio is the official hobby of NASA’s space station where they frequently talk to students as they pass over them.

   It’s said that the ham operators wear a two-sided hat – one side for emergencies and the other for fun.

Ham CARA Alan Day snowstorm (1)

CARA member, Alan Day, assisted on the Muskingum River during the 1978 blizzard.

   One service of CARA is to provide auxiliary communications to agencies during disasters such as floods, windstorms and hurricanes. They work closely with the Guernsey County Emergency Management Association, but special training is required to work with EMA. During that terrible blizzard of 1978, they made communication possible for the Ohio National Guard in this area.

CARA

At a Field Day in Byesville’s Jackson Park, Evelyn Barton talks to another amateur while Jake Johnson listens in.

   Ever wonder how events stay so well organized? Well, these amateur radio operators enjoy being behind the scenes for bicycle events, marathons and parades – especially the Cambridge Christmas Parade since 1979. Now that’s commitment. They align the parade entries and send them out in the correct order of appearance. That’s no easy task.

   These local hams enjoy setting up portable stations at local events so people can better understand how it operates. Recently, they displayed at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival, National Road / Zane Grey Museum, and John & Annie Glenn Historic Site. Just last month their members operated from the three crash sites of the USS Shenandoah in Noble County.

   When Christmas season arrives, their club has an on-air net on Christmas Eve. Children, who are visiting a member, can talk to Santa on the radio!

Ham Century of Radio

The group worked together to write a book, “A Century of Radio”.

   Ham members created a book, “A Century of Radio”. The book was organized by Evelyn Barton and tells the history of the club, which celebrates 105 years this December.

Ham Waller McMunn Museum

Standing outside the future Waller-McMunn Museum are Sonny Alfman, Larry Dukes, Dave Adair, and young helpers on each end.

  A current project involves the building which was used by Roy Waller and his brother-in-law, J. Homer McMunn, as an amateur radio station. Then in 1923, this same building was used as WEBE, the first commercial broadcast radio station in Cambridge. Plans are to restore this building and turn it into the Waller-McMunn Museum.

   Contact is maintained on a monthly basis through the CARA Communicator, a quarterly newsletter created by Lyn. Members participate in numerous events to practice their emergency communication skills. Training classes are held and the local group administers the federal test so new trainees can receive their FCC license.

Sonny and Lyn

Special thanks to Sonny and Lyn for answering all my questions and teaching me about CARA.

   When electric power fails, ham radio becomes even more important as it’s the only foolproof radio in the world. If you would like to become a ham operator, please contact Lyn Alfman at 740-872-3888 or lynalfman@aol.com.

   Ham radio has something for everyone to enjoy! Sonny says, “Amateur Radio is America’s best-kept secret.” It’s the perfect way to leave home while sitting in your favorite chair.

Howard w Baskets

This showroom contains baskets that Howard weaves from the willows.

Willow Baskets and Pottery. Those are the two main features at the Rosehill Farm in Roseville where Howard Peller and Maddy Fraioli ignite their creative flames.

   Howard enjoys working with things of nature. “I value homemade objects created from materials that are closely related to the natural environment from which they are grown.” That’s the main reason he surrounds himself with a willow grove on his farm in Roseville.

Howard Garden

Even the garden has naturally grown willow fences and a beautiful willow archway.

    His goal is to use the willows he grows to make useful and practical products that people can use every day. You’ll be surprised at the things that can be woven from the willow reeds.

   From his willow grove, he wants visitors to see the connection between the willow farmer and the artisan who creates finely crafted baskets as well as live willow structures. He appreciates the value of simple hard work.


Howard Bees

Beehives are important for pollination of his orchard and gardens.

   Howard is no stranger to the creative process as has designed artisan made tabletops, home decor, and personal accessory products.  He co-founded a national ceramic tableware company Fioriware Pottery with his partner, Maddy Fraioli. As Longaberger VP, he founded their Design Center to develop new concepts in weaving.

Howard Beaver Dam

Take a walk around the farm and discover a beaver dam that Howard dug himself.

   During his time in Europe, Howard studied with master weavers and learned how to weave with willows. In Lichtenfels, Germany, he attended a basket school where he developed an appreciation of the natural properties of the traditional willow basket.

   He spent time in Haiti and Jamaica where he could easily walk out of the village and gather bamboo. Eventually, he put all these ideas together and came up with his own techniques.

Howard Willow Workshop

It appears everyone is welcome at Howard’s office door.

 On his 140-acre farm, he has a willow grove of 5000 willow plants in 100 different varieties. He enjoys watching them develop with their beautiful colors, texture, tensile strength, smell and their magical property of intensive growth.

   The amazing willow plant has qualities you wouldn’t expect. It’s a medical source for salicin, which was used before aspirin. Therefore, the bark of the willow can be used to make tea, which is good for headaches, fevers, arthritis, and even a great mouthwash.

Howard Drying Willows

Willow rods are stored in a cooling unit where they can be used for living landscapes.

   Each year the plants are cut at the proper season near their base so they can regenerate. Then the willow reeds are dried for two years downstairs in the barn. Bundles of willows are sent around the world for baskets and furniture. The sturdy willow was even used for building ancient boats.

Howard Willow Fence

Willow rods can be used as a natural living fence or divider.

   Home gardeners will find many uses for the willow reed. This living plant can be erected for backdrops, walkthroughs, around gazebos and even made into furniture. One interesting quality is that it can be trimmed, morphed and enjoyed for multiple seasons.

Howard Shelter 2

Workshops are held in this shelter on the hill.

   Howard gives workshops at the farm or they can be arranged for your organization so you can learn to put these ideas to practical use at your home or business.

Howard Willow Dome

Willow domes have been included in living playscapes that he has created.

  The possibilities for their use seem endless. Howard creates beautiful baskets, handbags, bird feeders, and even room dividers. He has also created natural playgrounds using the willow for tunnels, domes, and walkways.

Howard Tag

Their willow baskets all carry the Willow Farmer Basket Maker tag.

   Styles of the baskets alone are amazing and too numerous to list them all. Some that caught my eye were: large shoulder bags, bread baskets, deep bowl baskets and fruit baskets.

Howard Showroom

Howard and Maddy have many creative outlets.

   His basketmaking creates a relationship between the field crop and the hands of the maker, who transforms the willow reeds into products to be used in the home or to collect and transport objects. Or they might just be used to create beauty and happiness in everyday life.

   Rosehill Farm takes you back to a time when everything was natural. Stroll down their trails to see the beauty of the willows, their gardens and flowers, and enjoy being in touch with nature.

   They will be having an Open House this fall where you can enjoy all this beauty. Check out their website at www.basketfarmer.com for further information.

Howard Maddy

His wife, Maddy, makes beautiful pottery on their farm near Roseville.

   Howard and Maddy bring new possibilities into people’s lives with their willow and pottery creations as they honor the Appalachian history of the region.

The Basket Farmer can be found at 7680 Rose Hill Road, Roseville, Ohio, From I-77, take exit 141. Then there are several turns, so hopefully you have a GPS system to guide you over the back roads to the willow farm. It’s worth the country drive.

Jim Honor Guard 5The bugle sounds as Commander Jim Gibson leads the Honor Guard standing at attention across from the courthouse. They are honoring the veterans of all wars as they give a three-gun rifle salute and Jim plays “Taps”.

   Jim has been watching parades in downtown Cambridge since he was six years old when he went to a Veterans Day Parade with his dad, a Navy veteran. In fifth grade, he began playing the trumpet, an instrument always used during the parade ceremonies. The Navy and trumpet together have played a large role in Jim’s present-day life.

Jim Playing Bugle

Jim’s bugle sounds “Taps” in honor of all Veterans.

   When the National Anthem would play while Jim watched as a youngster, the veterans would all stand and render a salute or place their hand over their heart. Some had tears in their eyes. They all had the same look even though they were different ages and different branches of the service, but Jim didn’t understand why.

   Brought up in a family interested in history, their vacations were to historic spots with stops for fun along the way. They visited places like Gettysburg, Washington D.C. and Williamsburg. Jim developed a love for his country and when he was a senior turned down an opportunity to attend Ohio State to join the Navy. He felt he had to enlist.

Jim Gibson Armed Forces Day 2014

Jim wears his Navy uniform for Armed Services Day.

   A veteran of the United States Navy, Jim served in Vietnam. After electronics training as an Aviation Ordnanceman, Jim served two years with VA42 at Oceana Naval Air Station and then was transferred to VA196 at Whidbey Island, Washington.

Jim Gibson On board USS Enterprise July 1971

USS Enterprise served as Jim’s home for several months in 1971.

   The squadron deployed aboard the Enterprise and sailed to Vietnam. One of the assignments was to prevent the enemy from bringing in needed supplies to South Viet Nam. This was not an easy task as they worked eighteen hours a day loading 500# bombs and other ordnance by hand. One plane could carry 28 bombs, and the squadron launched four aircraft every one and one-half hours.

   Jim wouldn’t change any part of his life. His experiences have led him to do the things he does today. His time now appears to be spent in three different directions: veterans, church, and music.

Jim Gibson Veterans Day Program North Elementary 2015

He frequently presents programs to area schools – here at North Elementary.

   He has been a member of the Veterans Council since 2002 and is a life member of Cambridge VFW Post 2901. Jim serves as commander of the Guernsey County Veterans Council. In addition to the primary purpose of providing Military Funeral Honors for Veterans of Guernsey County, they do programs for schools, communities and organizations throughout the area.

   Through his leadership, two ceremonies occur at home football games in Cambridge. Before the game, there’s always a special flag raising. After the game, a Retreat Ceremony features the senior band members with a trumpet playing “Retreat”. Schools all around take notice of this memorable addition to the game ceremony.

Jim Honor Guard

The honor guard stood at attention during the Memorial Day service at Cambridge Courthouse.

   A special part of his life, now that he is retired from GTE/Verizon, comes through providing Funeral Honors for departed veterans. This began in December 2002, when he was asked to play “Taps” for a military funeral. The day was one of sleet and freezing rain, and Jim began to wonder what he had gotten himself into.

   Then he looked at the veterans of all ages in attendance. They stood at attention with ice forming on their sleeves and rifles, but still had that special look in their eyes. Jim knew then, this was something he wanted to participate in. Now he goes to approximately 100 military funerals a year all over the area.

   Christ United Methodist Church plays an important part in his life. There he serves as trustee, teaches an adult Sunday School class, and plays trumpet in their Praise Band. He also conducts a worship service twice a month at Cardinal Place.

Cambridge H S Jazz Band

Jim directs the Cambridge High School Alumni Jazz Band at many area functions, including the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival.

   Everyone in the community recognizes Jim’s musical talent. Under his direction since 1996, the Cambridge High School Alumni Jazz Band performs annually at the Salt Fork Festival and many other venues.

Jim Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds

Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds performs several times a year in Muskingum University’s Brown Chapel.

   While Jim and his wife, Trudy, have played in many area bands and orchestras, their favorite right now is the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds.

Jim Symphonic Winds

Jim plays trumpet in the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds.

   The Navy has become a family tradition as Jim’s son and daughter-in-law are currently serving, and his two step-sons have served in the Navy. Their grandfathers were also Navy veterans. What a grand tradition!

   This veteran’s advice would be, “Find enjoyment in what you are doing. Cherish every experience.” He encourages young people to enjoy music, something they can enjoy the rest of their life.

   By serving in the Navy, now Jim understands that special look in the eyes of the veterans. “It’s a look of pride and a look of love; pride in knowing that by serving they’ve made a difference, and a look of love for their Country and their fellow man.”

   Please remember to honor the veterans you know for their service to our country to protect our freedoms. Thanks to all of our servicemen.

Coopermill Hoppy and Alan

Alan Cottrill designed the bronze Hopalong Cassidy statue that stands at the Senior Center in Cambridge.

Seeing is believing. A trip to Coopermill Bronze Works explained more clearly how one of Alan Cottrill’s bronze statues becomes a reality. It’s not an easy task!

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Adam’s lifelong friend, Charles Leasure, is his partner at the Coopermill Bronze Works.

    The Bronze Works is located on the farm of Charles Leasure, a life-long friend of Alan, and there’s even a statue in Charlie’s field…a mushroom hunter, in bronze of course. This farm has been in his family for eight generations.

Bronze Mushroom Hunter   Charlie and Alan created Bronze Works back in 1996. Alan needed a handy place to complete his bronze creations so made his own bronze casting foundry. So far they have cast well over 500 of Alan’s statues and hundreds of other sculptor’s works.

Coopermill Bronze Works 2

Coopermill Bronze Works can be found high on a hill along a country road in Zanesville.

   You can tell Alan is a down-to-earth kind of guy in spite of his fantastic talent to sculpt just about anything. His Bronze Works is not a big, fancy building, but one that can do the job required.

   While Alan does the preliminary work of designing the perfect wax statue in the downtown Zanesville studio, the final touches are placed here at Bronze Works by highly skilled Ohio artisans.

Coopermill Gear Shift Knobs

These gear shift knobs were made as gifts for Vietnam veterans.

   You have to understand that the statue is not bronzed as a whole. It is separated into many, many pieces, which are individually prepared before the final assembly happens.

   The whole thing is quite complicated so if my explanation isn’t quite perfect, please excuse me.

Coopermill Josh Leasure details

Josh Leasure uses his magical tools to make certain every detail is perfect.

   Bronze Works is where every fingerprint is erased and every line made crystal clear. Each detail makes a difference in the final product. Some parts are definitely easier than others. The men found it much easier to do a five-foot pant leg rather than a five-inch head.

Coopermill Dana Erichson

Dana Erichsen holds the base for the beginning of a crane family of eight for the Cranes.

   It has to be perfect in its wax state, otherwise, when it is made into a mold, the bronze statue would carry any flaws, no matter how small. When asked how they correct tiny mistakes, Dana answered with a big smile, “I fix it with magic. My magic wand does the work.”

Coopermill Batter Dip

Each waxed part is dipped several times into a ceramic slurry.

   All those smaller pieces are then dipped in what looks like a batter and rolled in fine sand. The workers commented that it was somewhat like dipping a fish in batter and then rolling it in flour.

   They do this dipping several times until dip by dip, a thick ceramic mold is formed all around the wax piece. When this dries, they melt the wax inside and remove it, leaving an empty shell to fill with, you guessed it, bronze. The wax though can be used again and again.

Coopermill Bronze

Bronze ingots are melted at temperatures of 1900-2000 degrees F.

   They receive the bronze in large sticks, which are then melted and poured into the shell. The bronze should then fit down into the perfect lines that were earlier created on the wax figure.

Coopermill Woody Hayes parts

All the parts of the Woody Hayes statue hang waiting for the next steps.

   My purpose in going this particular day was to see the progress that was being made on the statue of Woody Hayes, Ohio State University football coach for many years. The Newcomerstown Historical Society has funded this project since Woody grew up in Newcomerstown while his dad was Superintendent of Schools there. Woody also coached in Mingo Junction and New Philadelphia before going to OSU.

Coopermill Woody Hayes Head

The wax head of Woody Hayes is ready to be detailed.

   During this visit, the head of Woody Hayes was hanging in the room, ready to be examined for any tiny imperfections. Then it would be dipped in the solution to make the mold on the outside.

Coopermill Swan and Wax removed

After the bronze has set, the ceramic mold is knocked off to reveal the perfect creation.

   After the mold is filled with bronze, it sets for a while before the cast is knocked off to reveal the actual piece that will be used in the statue. This is the end of a very long process. But now there will be a head, pieces of arms, legs, and body – all will be in bronze.

Coopermill Bronze Pieces to be Welded

All of these bronzed parts will be assembled into the donkey seen below.

   Now comes the assembly. It’s like putting a big puzzle together! Each piece is carefully attached to the place where it belongs with bronze welding rods. The weld has to be sandblasted so the connection is no longer visible.

Coopermill Bronze donkey 2

This bronze donkey was having its recently attached parts smoothed.

   Even then, it’s not finished as there has to be a solution applied to the bronze to make it the correct shade required for that particular statue. Now you can see why it takes months to create a bronze statue from beginning to end.

Bronze Woody Hayes

New bronze status of Woody Hayes at Newcomerstown’s Olde Main Street Museum with Vane Scott, museum director.

   Alan Cottrill has designed statues all over the United States and the world. We’re lucky to have one in Cambridge of Hopalong Cassidy, and now one in Newcomerstown of Woody Hayes.

   Watching the artisans at Coopermill Bronze Works felt quite magical.

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