Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for September, 2016

The Many Faces of Dr. Jones

Berk at dentist

Dr. Beryl Jones seems perfectly at home beside his dental chair.

Dr. Beryl K. Jones, local dentist, must have been born with music in his soul. His world revolves around music, and entertaining others as a result.

Growing up in a caring family provided real blessings in his life. His parents had a great influence on his life as his dad played trombone and his mom sang to entertain others. Some think perhaps he received his entertainment antics from her example.

Berk and his dad

A young Berky poses with his dad, Dr. B.K. Jones.

Berky, as he is commonly known in the community, made his  first serious attempt at music in 6th grade when he played drums. But during a concert, he only got a chance to play once as there were too many drummers. So he picked up his dad’s trombone and began trying his hand at it. Many don’t realize that Berky only had three trombone lessons in his life and a couple on the cello. Otherwise, he is self-taught.

Berk on pony

His love of animals began when he was a child.

Throughout high school and his years at Ohio State, Berky continued to enjoy his time playing the trombone in the Ohio State Marching Band even more than schoolwork. Since he loves animals and has from time to time had a mountain lion, bear, jaguar, moose, groundhog and more, being a veterinary crossed his mind. But even more, he wanted to come back to Cambridge and practice dentistry with his dad, Dr. B.K. Jones.

Berk at Senior Center

The Chordial Chorus tried a little audience participation at a Dickens Victorian Village brunch.

Today Berky sings in three barbershop quartets: Popular Demand, Four Flats, and Brothers, where Berky’s tenor voice rings out loud and clear. The Chordial Chorus, Cambridge Chapter of the Harmony Barbershop Society,  gets leadership from Dr. Jones. These talented voices entertain at events throughout the year and their harmony is always outstanding.

Berk Cambridge Band

For 175 years the Cambridge City Band has been delighting audiences.

One of his favorite musical groups is the Cambridge City Band, which is celebrating its 175th Anniversary this year. Berky has a long history with this band, where he started playing his trombone back in 1977. Then, one day the band was looking for a director and he thought maybe he would apply.

His previous experience at directing came from the church choir, and an unusual late night directing practice. Berk went to sleep listening to a Henry Mancini record, and pretending he was directing that band. By the way, Mr. Lucky was his favorite song.

Berk directs band

As a director, he puts his heart and soul into the music.

Berky was indeed lucky to be chosen as the next band director and has enjoyed entertaining ever since. The band and audience are lucky to have someone directing with his dedication and hard work.

Berk leading the Chicken Dance

Berky dressed as a chicken to lead the Chicken Dance.

Today Berky directs The Cambridge City Band creating concerts that are filled with fun and appreciated by many. His goal is to do whatever necessary to entertain the audience. He learned, “It’s not about you. It’s about them.” Audience participation is frequent, and quite often he surprises the audience with one of his many costumes. He really does have a room full of costumes!

Berk in clown costume at Quaker City

He even convinced other band members to join in the Clown Band.

Let’s not forget that Dr. Jones is also a local dentist with a busy practice in Cambridge, and a second office in Caldwell. His laid-back attitude makes it easy for those in his presence to sit back and relax.Since Walt Disney is one of his heroes, a large figure of Mickey Mouse can be found in his office with smaller Disney characters seen throughout.

While he has been to Disney World several times, one place he would like to visit is Alaska. The trip would be even better on Princess Cruise Lines where Cambridge’s Gordon Hough acts as musical director. Gordon even told Berky to bring along his trombone when he decides to make that voyage.

In the summertime, the Cambridge City Band presents a free concert twice a month at the City Park Pavilion, which is packed with fans and overflows onto the banks outside. To close each concert, Berky says, “Good night, John boy. It’s just me. I’ll be seeing you..and keeeeeep smilin’.”

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It’s Snowing in Cambridge, Ohio

dickens-snow

‘Snowing’ the scene is one of the final touches in the warehouse by Cindy and Shana.

Oh the weather outside’s been frightful…frightfully hot that is. But inside Dickens Universal, it’s snowing! The crew at Dickens Victorian Village is busy replacing the layer of snow on 67  scene platforms.

Some think that the scenes are placed on the street in the fall, returned to storage, and then magically appear again the next year. This is not the case, as much hard labor in many areas is necessary to repair the winter damage.

The Creation Team, who make and maintain the mannequins, works all year round so the figures will look excellent when placed on the streets in late October. There’s usually a month off in January to let them dry out from snow and rain. Then the work begins.

Last winter wasn’t a terrible winter, but still freezing and thawing plus the wind caused great damage to heads and clothing alike. “The Travelers” provide a great example of some of the possible problems to be encountered.

lindy-and-tom-replace-a-shirt

Lindy gets help from Tom putting a new shirt on this mannequin..

The lady needed a new skirt this year and it has been discovered that upholstery material is often one of the best choices. Cotton does not hold up well. Donated clothing and material are appreciated and used as often as possible. Making new clothes requires time at home at a sewing machine as well as time in Dickens Universal, where mannequins are stored.

One very time consuming detail happens when each item has to be tacked down, or they would blow away when on the street. For example, a scarf must be stitched meticulously to the jacket. This could take a couple hours to make it secure enough to hold through the strongest wind.

shana-paints-a-face

Touching up the heads seems a never ending job. Just ask volunteer, Shana.

Their heads need some repair each year. Often it is just a touch-up of paint, but sometimes the weather causes the clay used in making the heads to crack, much like our highways. When water gets in that crack, it expands creating bigger problems.Paint cracks and varnish turns yellow, so repairs are necessary if they are to look presentable on the street for the season.

john-and-annie-glenn

Annie and John Glenn take their place on Wheeling Avenue this year. Sharon had to adjust John’s neck to fit just right.

Once in a while the entire side of a face may peel off, causing either cracks to be filled or a new head to be made. Hats in some ways protect the heads, but in others they cause a problem as mildew forms under the hats that tend to hold dampness.

universal-chuck

Making and repairing the frames has received great help this season from Chuck.

Inside each figure is a basic frame of 2 x 4s  and they all set on a raised platform to keep them off the ground and make them more easily seen on Wheeling Avenue. This is going to be the 11th year for Dickens Victorian Village, so some of these must also be replaced.

bob-and-lindy

Even founder, Bob, helps with ‘snowing’ as Lindy passes by with a clean shirt for another figure.

Around the base of each platform, a plastic skirt gives it a finished look. All skirts must be removed each year and thoroughly cleaned. Then snow is placed on the top of the platform in the form of white plastic, which is stapled in place.

sitting-mannequins

For now, those finished Victorian characters sit waiting for the end of October so they can make their annual trip to downtown Cambridge.

You can see that for “The Travelers” to be ready to make their journey in the fall, much time has to be spent for at least nine months of the year. Right now, even though there is no AC in the warehouse and work is frightfully hot, it’s snow time at Dickens Victorian Village.

Let it snow! Let it snow!  Let it snow!

 

 

Victorian Fashion and Civil War Artifacts – An Amazing Combination

Cindy and Tom Nord

Tom and Cindy Nord…Civil War historian and Victorian romance writer.

The perfect pair!  Once in a while you encounter a couple that seem to be the perfect match. That was the case with Victorian romance writer, Cindy Nord, and Civil War historian, Tom Nord. Where did they meet? A Civil War Reenactment!

Cindy Nord

This program was sponsored by Melissa Essex, Crossroads Library with co-sponsor Paulette Forshey, Cambridge Writers.

Their program, “Victorian Fashions and Military Artifacts of the Civil War”, travels the country presenting an interesting and informative program based in the mid 1800s. Their journey has taken them across the United States from Dallas to D.C. and New Orleans to Michigan. This time it took them to Crossroads Library in Cambridge, Ohio.

They travel around the country sharing Tom’s history of the Civil War and Cindy’s information on Victorian fashion, which she includes accurately in her romance novels. They don’t claim to know everything, but as Tom mentioned they want “to share what we know.”

Cindy Nord Civil War

 Original Civil War items on display could be gently touched.

Tom’s knowledge of Civil War Reenactments led to recruitment by filmmakers in Hollywood. He organized all reenactments in “North and South” with Patrick Swayze, “Glory” with Denzel Washington and “Lincoln”, based on the novel by Gore Vidal.

The program began with Tom describing the uniforms worn by North and South. Then shifted gears to the artillery used by both sides. The officers carried pistols, while the infantrymen used rifles. Bayonets were often attached to the ends of rifles for close range battle, while swords had several purposes.

Tom with a Civil War rifle

Tom gave detailed information on the artillery available.

When a cavalryman rode horseback, a shielded sword, rifle, cartridge box and breastplate were part of his gear. That sword could slash its way through an attacking regiment. Afterwards, it might be used to cut branches off a tree or even dig a trench.

Their display contained numerous items from a heavy cannon ball to rifles, pistols, and ammunition. Everything could be touched, which definitely made it more memorable.

Cindy Nord Victorian

This sampling of Victorian items gave a peek into the fashion of that time. Note the book: The American Frugal Housewife, 1833.

Next Cindy told about Victorian dress. She stated, “The women had to take care of everything while the men were playing war.” But when the soldiers came home from battle, they wanted the women to be beautiful from head to toe.

Queen Victoria, queen of England from 1837 – 1901, ruled the fashion world at that time. This young queen brought bright colors into popularity and was responsible for nearly all the fashion and hairstyles of that era.

Nord Tom and Cindy

Cindy and Tom dressed for a reenactment.

Pictures and actual garments exhibited the progression of fashion from 1840 – 1900. Looking good ranked first in importance to the well-heeled lady as her main purpose in life was to find a husband.

Corsets kept the waist small, while skirts lined with crinolines took on a bell shape. Until the Civil War ended, bonnets shielded their faces from the sun and offered potential suitors only a glimpse of the lovely lady.

Nord Tom and Cindy in Williamsburg

Tom and Cindy visited Williamsburg.

During that time “a lady was to be seen and not heard”. Cindy does not fit that description today, as she captivates the audience with her great sense of humor and writes romance novels that capture your attention even if you aren’t a Civil War fan. Every word in her story has importance.

Cindy book signing

Cindy always takes time for book signing and talks with fans wherever they travel.

When Tom and Cindy aren’t talking Victorian Dress and Civil War, they enjoy camping, hiking, and an occasional luxurious cruise. They frequently stop along the way to visit  places like the Mayan Ruins or the Grand Canyon. Of course, stopping at a Civil War battlefield is always high on their list.

True love awaits you in the writings of Cindy Nord. She found hers in Tom…and the rest is romantic history.

Check out her website at: Writings of Cindy Nord.

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