Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for May, 2016

Music City Trolley Hop Tour

Trolley SignWaiting for the red trolley car to arrive, there was time to visit the Farmer’s Market in Nashville, Tennessee. Downtown parking seemed rather expensive at $20 for the afternoon but it was free to park at the Farmer’s Market and hop on the trolley at that point.

TrolleyThe driver and guide made the trip fun with a great assortment of historical facts, stories of businesses and some downright corny jokes. The Trolley Tour is a hop-on tour so you can get off at seventeen various stops and hop right back on later in the day. Sure saves fighting downtown traffic.

Trolley CapitolGetting on at this point, the first stop is the Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. Not sure if the guide was stretching the truth or not, but he said the fountain of water supported a large granite ball weighing 18,000 pounds!

The view of the capitol building brings out everyone’s cameras. The capitol building is framed by the 50 columns, representing the 50 states in the United States. The 95 bell carillon rings out on the hour and represents the 95 counties in Tennessee.

Trolley Piggly WigglyAttention was given to the local Piggly Wiggly as this chain began in Memphis, Tennessee as the first self-service grocery store back in 1916 by Clarence Saunders. Previous to this time, shoppers gave their orders to the clerk and the clerk then gathered everything from the shelves. Saunders rearranged the stores to make shopping much faster for the customer and the clerk. Today there are 600 Piggly Wigglys in 17 states.

Trolley RCARCA Studio B created Nashville magic for over 35,ooo songs, making it an international recording center  known as one of the cradles of the “Nashville Sound”. Popular artists, such as Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and Eddy Arnold recorded their songs here.

Trolley ColumbiaNearby, the historic site of Columbia Records Studio A displays large guitars indicating the Carter Family and Johnny Cash recorded many of their songs here. Today both of these formerly popular studios are learning centers for Belmont University.

Trolley StationAt Riverfront Train Station, the trolley takes a short break before continuing on the rest of the route. This site was previously the home of another train depot which was build in 1902. The present station was built in 2005 and they have attempted to capture the Old World flavor.

Trolly Honky TonkStraight across the street from the station is Honky Tonk Row. This is where many stars and hopefuls play during the evening hours as entertainment in many local clubs. They provide encouragement,  a stage, and a tip jar for musicians.

Trolley StadiumThe beautiful Cumberland River flows behind the station and gives a grand view of the Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans football team, on the other side. You can actually walk across the river to the stadium on the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge. The Cumberland River is 688 miles long and eventually joins the Ohio River in Kentucky.

Trolley SculptureA beautiful sculpture brightens the waters also. Ghost Ballet East Bank Machineworks received its name because as you look at the sculpture from different angels, it suggests movement, similar to that of a dancer. This gives a little time to watch the river flow by and gain a little peace from the busy day.

Trolley Art CenterOn our way back to Farmers Market, evidence appears that Nashville hosts more than country music. A glimmering bronze statue, The Recording Angel, stands at the corner of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, home of the Nashville Symphony, which provides classical music entertainment. But they are no snobs, as often country music favorites appear accompanied by the orchestra.

This tour will perhaps be taken again someday when there is more time to visit various stops along the way. It is the perfect way to see Nashville…without fighting downtown traffic or trying to find a parking place! Try the Hop-On Tour the next time you visit Nashville.

 

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WILE: The Early Days of Cambridge, Ohio Radio

WILE Beatty Ave

WILE moved into this beautiful old home on Beatty Avenue in 1948.

You’re listening to WILE, 1270 on your radio dial.

Thus a radio station began broadcasting in the hills of southeastern Ohio in Cambridge on April 9, 1948 after playing “Beautiful Ohio” as their sign-on song. Located at 917  Beatty Avenue in the old Orme home, this daytime-only radio station operated on 1000 watts.

Enthusiastic young locals began working at the station in various capacities. Several young ladies were continuity writers, who wrote those much needed commercials, while young men became announcers.  They also had to keep things on schedule. Since everything was live at this time, that often became a difficult task.

WILE Sesqui - Square Studio

WILE placed a temporary station on the courthouse lawn to get people interested in their new venture.

WILE Donahoe - Sesqui Court

Howard Donahoe, founder, managing director, and co-owner, appears at the Sesquicentennial Court facing penalties for not having a beard.

1948 provided big excitement in downtown Cambridge as it celebrated the Sesquicentennial of Guernsey County. In order that area residents could learn more about this new radio station, WILE placed a temporary studio on the courthouse square for broadcasting. This perhaps began their popular remotes.

WILE Musical Farmers

“Dallas Bond and the Musical Farmers” had a regular Saturday program.

Early programs featured locals in everything from music to ministry. Groups came to the station for live performances. A popular musical show, “Dallas Bond and the Musical Farmers”, combined several small groups of local performers in Studio A.

Oak & Ash Hosfelt boys 001

Ray and John Hosfelt, known as Oak and Ash, brightened everyone’s day.

Another of those local groups contained two young men from Indian Camp, Ray and John Hosfelt, better known as Oak & Ash, “The Forest Rangers”. They sang their way into the hearts of many listeners throughout the county.

On Saturday morning, boys and girls gathered around the radio to listen to “Story Time for Children”. In the afternoon, “Junior Talent Time” gave youngsters a chance to shine by singing or playing a musical instrument. A couple friends practiced singing with me “You Are My Sunshine”, in hopes that someday we would get the courage to go to the radio station. But we never did.

WILE Beatty Ave Studio

Announcers had a grand piano for backup in the studio.

Donna Lake Shafer, who started working as a continuity writer at WILE in the summer after she graduated from Cambridge High School in 1948, remembers Election Night being a very important event at the radio station. Election results came over the station’s Teletype machine, which printed messages from news wire services. Only a few local places received up-to-the-minute reports of the Truman – Dewey presidential election.

Even though the radio station was off the air, people crowded inside the Beatty Avenue headquarters to hear results coming in on the Teletype machine. Donna stayed busy that night keeping hot coffee and cookies ready at this big election party, which was attended by owners of the radio station, local officials and curious citizens. Remember, television sets in homes didn’t exist at this time.

These were not high paying jobs, according to Laura Bates, an early employee of WILE. When she started in 1952, her salary was $140 a month. But Laura recalls, “I loved to write and use my imagination. Working at WILE was enjoyable. You felt like you were a family.”

WILE Velvetones B

VelvetonesB  were part of the WILE scene. Edgar Fisher on the right was later one of our city councilmen.

In those early days, the station manager banned certain music from the air. Sometimes it was too loud, or occasionally the lyrics might be offensive. The radio served as the voice of the community.

Many changes have been made over the years. The station is now located on College Hill, where its transmitter  stood years ago. Almost everything is recorded these days and the station airs around the clock. From Land ‘O Lakes Broadcasting Corporation in 1948 to AVC Communications today, their community spirit still gets broadcast over the hills of Southeastern Ohio.

 

Gifted with Many Artistic Talents

Judy Amish painting

Judy painted this picture of an Amish farm using bits and pieces from several farms.

Blessed with talents! Creative abilities seem to pour forth from Judy Howald when she isn’t spending time helping her husband, Jim, at their farm on the outskirts of Birmingham. No matter what she does, her whole heart and energy are focused on her current project. When a new project captures her thoughts, she often spends some sleepless nights thinking about what she should do next.

Over the years, Judy spent most of her time working in a factory on an assembly line. Even there she was always creating signs for the business or developing new ideas for improving quality and design.

Judy's son

It appears her son, Andy, may follow in her creative footsteps. While Judy built this small lighthouse on Lake Erie, Andy built the kayak.

Perhaps her creative talents received their start when Judy followed her dad as he designed plans for homes he was building. The details fascinated her. Today in her woodshop, intricate plans that she has drawn for projects can be seen on the work tables.

Jodi's library 001

One of her early projects was to create this library and entertainment section for an assisted living complex near Kent State University.

When Jim and Judy purchased the farm, it seemed that cutting the timber would help with payments. But lumber prices were low at that time, so Jim would cut the trees, take them to the mill, dry and straight edge them, then return them to the farm where Judy began turning them into furniture. And beautiful furniture she created!

Jodi Giraffe 001

Judy created this scene for her church’s Bible School one summer.

Being very active in the Birmingham United Methodist Church, at Bible School time several years ago, Judy created a scene of animals from Noah’s Ark. She painted a background with an elephant and zebra, then made a giraffe of paper mache.

Judy Ark 2

One of her current projects is building Noah’s Ark.

Maybe that began her thinking about making a small replica of Noah’s Ark, which she is working on today.  This ark is about 42″ long and has small partitions inside for the various animals. The roof is on the shelf above and plans are to build a small house on the top, which might be where Noah and his family stayed.

Judy Puzzle

This is just the beginning of a painting that will be turned into a “Sermon Puzzle” for use during a Sunday morning service.

Another project underway right now for her church is a “Sermon Puzzle”. Her pastor asked if she could create a picture that they could use to tell a story by fitting in various parts of the puzzle – a cornerstone here or a steeple there. Her beginnings are reminiscent of a Thomas Kinkade painting with the light shining through at intricate places.

Jodi's book 001

Her book tells the story of the determination of her husband, Jim, to live his dream.

A tour of their home showcases her talents as every room has the creative touch of this amazing woman. Let’s not forget that Judy is also an author. She has written and published one book – the life of her husband, Jim, from Alaska to Birmingham, Ohio. All the proceeds from her book go to that little home church.

Judy Woodshop

This section of her woodshop is where Judy steams the strips of wood so she can bend them to make the sides of the ark.

Her woodshop is above the garage just outside her back door. It is fully equipped for all of her projects. Here she steams and bends the pieces of wood to make the ark and other artistic pieces. Heat for the woodshop and the house is provided by a wood burner.  They use the tops of the trees, that can’t be turned into beautiful projects, as their fuel.

Judy Guncabinet

This beautiful gun cabinet was made as a gift for her husband, Jim.

While finishing the ark and puzzle keep her occupied right now, you have to wonder what project is next on her mind. Whatever it happens to be, you can be certain it will be something of high quality…and beautiful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cascading Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills State Park

Cedar Falls 1

Welcome sign to Cedar Falls

Should I or shouldn’t I?  That was the question upon approaching the one hundred steps down to Cedar Falls. The naturalist said they were easy steps so with the help of my walking stick, the walk down began.

Cedar Falls steps

Looking back to the top

From the very top, the roar of the falls could be heard distinctly. That brought a smile to my face as several trips to the falls in previous years were made in the summer time when the water was not running with much force.

In Hocking Hills State Park, it was also surprising how many others were looking for that peaceful walk through nature. Step  by step the bottom got closer, but the sound of the falls got farther away. Well-placed benches along the way provided not only a place to rest, but a place to meditate and connect with nature.

Cedar Falls flowers

Tiny white spring blossoms

Since this trip was solo, there was no need to hurry so it was possible to leisurely enjoy the sights and sounds of the forest along the way. Springtime just had its beginnings that day and small flowers were popping up through the ground.

Cedar Falls Ferns

Fern and moss covered rock

Ferns were coming back to life and the trees were budding. A good day to be out for a walk.

Cedar Falls stream

Bridge over the stream

To be in nature is to know peace. At the bottom of the stairs, a path along the stream, called Queer Creek by the early settlers, brought relaxation, because this far from the falls the stream ran quietly. But the nearer the path came to the falls, the stream became a bubbling brook with water rippling over the stones. Seemed like a great place to build a cabin.

Cedar Falls cliffs

Surprisingly high cliffs

This remote area was bound by steep rock walls and grottos. While it may be a wild and lonely place, its beauty made the trip worthwhile.

Cedar Falls

Powerful Cedar Falls

After crossing the gentle bubbling brook, a path led closer to the waterfalls. Around a bend, it could be heard full force. As the stream tumbled over the face of Blackhand Sandstone, the amazing force of the water was displayed. A large rock platform or another small bridge made perfect places to take pictures of the waterfalls and drink in their beauty and power.

Cedar Falls roots

Roots for support

While standing at the largest waterfall, a hawk spread its wings and flew overhead as if to welcome everyone. It served as a reminder to observe the world from a higher perspective. While the forest is predominantly hemlock trees, the early settlers mistook them for cedar trees – thus the name, Cedar Falls.

Although there were many people all along the path and at the waterfalls, it was unbelievably quiet. Folks talked in soft voices…almost whispers, so as not to disturb the intense feeling of Cedar Falls. It’s one of those places you don’t want to leave.

But now for the walk back along the path and up those steps. Thanks to my walking stick, the climb back up wasn’t as difficult as one might think. Ah! What a beautiful day for a walk in the forest.

Cedar Falls is located in Hocking Hills State Park in the south-central section of Ohio. Find your closest route to Logan, Ohio, then follow OH-664 S until you reach Hocking Hills State Park. Watch for signs to guide you to Cedar Falls and other points of interest. A walk in the park is good for the soul.

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