Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for March, 2017

Famous Endings Museum – Largest Funeral Memorabilia Collection in the World

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Toland-Herzig Funeral Home in Dover features Famous Endings Museum.

What better place to have a Famous Endings Museum than a funeral home. In Dover at 803 N. Wooster Avenue, the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home has an outstanding display of funeral memorabilia from people who have made a difference in the world.

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The entrance to Famous Endings gives a glimpse of celebrities.

The staff hopes that their presentation will perhaps bring back memories, or even a smile to your face, as you see some of those people who had a great influence on our lives.

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This cafe setting provides a place for visitors to sit and listen to John’s stories.

Here you will find the largest privately owned collection of funeral memorabilia in the world. Everything from funeral programs, photos, newspaper clippings, and prayer cards can be viewed. Most of the memorabilia is displayed in one large room, but it has spread out to the hallways and other small rooms throughout the funeral home.

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An excellent video by John Herzig helps explain his collection.

This is a rather recent collection started by John Herzig back in 1996. Up to that time, he had an autograph collection, but that was soon to change when he sent a request for the autographed picture of the late Joe Lewis, the boxer.

When he received the package in the mail, there was more than what he asked for. It included not only a picture, but also the program of the funeral ceremony. That was the beginning of his new hobby, which has evolved to over  2,000 pieces of funeral memorabilia on display today.

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NASA exhibit features Ohio astronauts with Judith Resnik highlighted.

Many funerals they actually attended under special circumstances. When John heard of the public funeral of Jack Kevorkian in Michigan, he suggested to his wife, Joyce, that perhaps it would be a nice weekend for a trip to Michigan. The next day after arrival, he told her they were going to the White Chapel Mausoleum for funeral services at 9:30. Her response was, “Have you lost your mind?”

His wife has patiently endured his many attempts to find funeral programs and memorabilia. Learn more about her tolerance as you hear about the 50th birthday trip to New York City that he promised her, or their stop at a celebrity filled cemetery in L.A. on the way back from a cruise. Joyce won’t soon forget these special trips.

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The family attended the funeral of John Glenn and display memorabilia.

The trips to funerals are usually family affairs. Often Joyce accompanies him but recently his son, Troy, went with his dad to a couple memorable memorial services for John Glenn and Muhammad Ali. Their programs are already in place at the museum.

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John and Joyce’s son, Troy, especially enjoys the sports heroes.

John Herzig enjoys hearing stories about people who have changed the world in some way. Those are the kind of people he has honored in his Famous Endings Museum. “Each person has a story to share.”

Among his favorites are people who helped others. They weren’t big Hollywood or TV stars, but people who made a difference… and he has their funeral programs! Millard Fuller,  a self-made millionaire at the age of twenty-nine, is a prime example. Fuller gave all his money away to start Habitat for Humanity.

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This large photo of William Greatbatch, inventor of the pacemaker, is surrounded by memorabilia of other inventors.

The collector placed high importance on William Greatbatch, who made the cardiac pacemaker, and Eugene Polley, inventor of the TV remote control and often labeled “Father of the Couch Potato”. This museum perhaps could be called the Influential Hall of Fame.

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Steve Jobs is showcased in their entrepreneur display.

Famous Endings Museum has special admiration for Frank Inn and his love of animals. He trained popular animals such as Arnold the pig, Lassie and Benji, who he saved from a shelter. Frank’s daughter recalls, “He could train animals to do things that most people didn’t believe.” Some of those favorite animals were cremated and buried with Inn.

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Invented by Eugene Polley, the first remote, Flash-matic Tuning, definitely changed our lives.

Some of visitors’ favorite exhibits are memorabilia from people who made us smile in the past, such as Captain Kangaroo and Mister Rogers. Comedian Leslie Neilson carried his sense of humor to his funeral. The packages of Kleenex he prepared for his funeral are on display there. They carried the inscription: “Stop crying. This is supposed to be a fun night. Love and laughs, Leslie.”

 

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This lantern from Lincoln’s funeral carriage has become one of John’s favorite treasures.

Several times a year, John schedules a “Night at the Museum” where he features a special person or group of people. Visit their Facebook page or website for details. The museum is free and open for visitation Monday – Friday from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. It’s one of those places you have to see to believe and appreciate.

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not featured Herzig’s Famous Endings Museum.

Famous Endings Museum has been featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not, and is a frequent stop for tour coaches…especially Mystery Tours! This museum makes us look at death differently. As Randy Pausch wrote about funerals, “You can either be an Eeyore or a Tigger.” At Famous Endings Museum, they honor the contributions and memories,  as they celebrate the lives of famous people.

Visit Famous Endings Museum in Dover just off I-77 at Exit 83. Take Ohio 211 east/ Tuscarawas Avenue. Turn left on Slingluff Avenue and then right on Wooster Ave. The museum is on the left side of the street.

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Teacher Learns About Polar Bears in Icy Arctic

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Sometimes even polar bears just want to have fun.

Not everyone would consider sleeping in a tent on the ice the perfect vacation, but Bobbie Henderson thought it a great adventure. Over the past few years, she has made not one, but two trips to the far, far north just to get up close and personal with polar bears.

While she’s had a long-time passion for animals, one day while teaching an eighth grade class, they watched a film about polar bears. At the end of the film, it told about possible tours on the tundra where you could see polar bears just outside your window. Bobbie was hooked.

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Three polar bears relax in the setting sun on Hudson Bay.

Her first polar bear expedition headed to Churchill on Hudson Bay in the far north of Manitoba, Canada. Northern style shops lined the streets of this small town. Sirens went off to alert people when a polar bear came to visit. They even had a polar bear jail, where they placed tranquilized bears until they could be taken back to the wilds by helicopter.

At Churchill, a group of 32 boarded Tundra Buggies set high off the ground to take them exploring. Once they reached camp, the group settled in for a week of visiting polar bears.

Headquarters consisted of a stationary area with seven modular sections. Camp here was spartan, but comfortable…with excellent food. Showers were limited to two and a half minutes as all water had to be heated, while outhouses stood on the edge of camp. Overall, a relaxed atmosphere.

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The highlight of the trip for Bobbie was when this polar bear stuck its nose in the tundra buggy window right beside her.

Half the group would go polar bear watching in the morning, while the other half went in the afternoon. On one of these trips, windows were left down to take better pictures. The thrill of the trip for Bobbie was when one polar bear, 10′ tall, actually stuck its nose in the window right where she sat. She could have reached out and touched him…but took a picture instead.

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Forty polar bears were sighted on her first expedition.

One strict rule here states: “Don’t even think about feeding the bears.” Feeding was discouraged as it would make the bears too familiar with humans, perhaps causing both of them problems. If anyone did feed a bear, they were taken from camp in a helicopter at their expense. Bears find their own food and enjoy a steady diet of seals. They can eat a hundred pounds of blubber in a single sitting.

On that first expedition, Bobbie saw 40 polar bears in their natural environment. There’s a reason that Manitoba is called “The Polar Bear Capital of the World”.

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Their yellow tents were the only sign of civilization in this Arctic wilderness.

Her second polar bear adventure began in Nunavut near Pond Inlet on the northern tip of Baffin Island. Now she was 700 K north of the Arctic Circle! This small town said their biggest problems were drugs, family abuse, and alcohol. They did have a couple television sets and computers, which broadcast in their native Inuktitut language.

Snow machines pulled them to camp this time on 18′ komitak sleds…three people to a sled. The ride took eight bumpy hours. Camp consisted of bright yellow tents on the ice with an insulated pad underneath and a very warm sleeping bag. Native Eskimos served as guides and someone stood guard around the clock to make certain no bears invaded the camp.

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Bobbie, their guide Dave and Jenny from Australia listen through hydrophones to the world beneath the ice.

The reflection of the midnight sun off the ice gave members the worst sunburns on their faces that they could imagine. They would reach outside their tents at night to get ice to cool off their burning face.

Perhaps it was due to the weather, but on this trip they only saw four polar bears. They first faced blizzard conditions but by the end of the week, it started to rain, so ice was melting in spots especially along the crevices. Now the komitak sleds had to jump the crevices making for a very rough and wet ride back to town.

Living on the frozen ocean, they explored ancient ruins of the Thule people, followed tracks of polar bears in the snow, built snowmen and created snow angels. Each day provided another unique adventure, which made this magical place a once in a lifetime experience.

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Ms Henderson brought back her experiences and used them in the classroom.

Upon her return, Bobbie shared her Arctic adventures in her Florida classroom. She used the trip to teach spelling, vocabulary, map skills and wildlife conservation. Bringing personal experiences to the classroom always enhances learning. Now she enjoys sharing her experiences as a substitute teacher here in southeastern Ohio.

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Her house is overflowing with polar bear memorabilia.

While Bobbie was glad she did both trips, she wants to return to Churchill again because she saw more bears there, and camping was a little more relaxing. Since she likes cold weather, Greenland, the North Pole, and Arctic regions are places she would enjoy visiting.

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Bobbie volunteers at Dickens Victorian Village, where she dresses as a lovely Victorian lady.

Animals like Bobbie. At her home near Cambridge, she keeps several dogs, cats, and rare macaws. Deer hang out at her back deck. But if you happen to see a polar bear there, it’s just Bobbie in her polar bear costume.

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Sometimes she enjoys dressing as a polar bear.

Good Potato Chips Taste Like Conn’s

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Conn’s transport their chips to warehouses in Newark and Columbus.

Everyone has a favorite food. Mine just happens to be potato chips. A road trip to Conn’s Potato Chip Company in Zanesville brightened my day since Conn’s has always been my favorite chip.

Back in 1935, Mrs. Ida Conn perfected the potato chip. She used the best potatoes, pure vegetable shortening and salt to create this taste treat which has delighted customers for over 80 years.

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The U.S. flag proudly flies at the entrance of Conn’s Potato Chip Company.

Those first potato chips were made in her garage and delivered in a market basket to neighbors by Ida herself. While selling her chips on Putnam Avenue, Ida became acquainted with Dick Downey, who with Dave McGee, purchased the Conn Potato Chip Company from Ida in the 1940s.

Dick became a favorite customer of mine in a local downtown business about twenty years ago. Of course, he knew my love for potato chips and one day asked what my favorites might be.

Sometimes there are those special chips with a bubble in them. Those are my favorites.

A few days later, Dick brought an entire bag of potato chips with bubbles for my enjoyment. What a kind gentleman.

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Mike has been delivering Conn’s locally for ten years.

But Dick was very strict about the way his employees handled bags of chips. He realized that few like crumbled potato chips so he told them to handle a bag of potato chips like you were holding a baby. After all, they were his babies.

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Tammy, our guide, stands before crates of potatoes that will all be used in one day.

When visiting the plant, the first thing you’ll notice is that gentle aroma of potato chips. Tammy, our guide, said her daughter told her, “Mom, you smell like a french fry.” The fragrance hangs in the air.

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Employees enjoy their jobs as they box chips for shipment.

This was a happy workplace and everyone had smiles and waves as we visited the manufacturing facility where all they make is potato chips. It didn’t seem to matter what their job was, these pleasant employees enjoyed it from cutting, sorting, bagging to shrink-wrapping stacks of boxes. Or perhaps they were smiling because of the mandatory hairnets we were wearing.

Here in Zanesville is the only place that Conn’s potato chips are made. They do have warehouses in Newark and Columbus.

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After potatoes are washed and skinned, they head through the potato slicer.

Every week approximately 100,000 pounds of potatoes are brought into the factory to be made into fresh chips. Now these aren’t ordinary potatoes you might buy in the store. They are ‘chipping’ potatoes, a special variety that has less starch and sugar.

First, they are washed with high pressure to remove all dirt. After that the skin is brushed off with many mechanical brushes. Everything is done by machine with employee supervision at each process.

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Layer of sliced potatoes heads to the fryer on a conveyor belt.

The potato cutter then slices the potatoes into potato chip size. Blades are changed once a week to make wavy potato chips, the most popular party chip for dips. Sometimes when the chips fly out of the cutter, it looks like it’s raining potato chips.

They are then sent through the deep fat fryer on a conveyor belt. Recently, some noticed a slight change in the taste, as Conn’s was forced to remove the hydrogenated fat from the soybean oil that is used. This change is due to a recent federal regulation to improve our health.

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Fresh Conn’s Potato Chips leave the fryer to be sprayed with salt.

At the other end, a very find salt is sprayed on, so it’s easily absorbed by the warm chips. Now an inspector watches carefully for chips that are too well done or imperfect and removes them before they fall into buckets that look like seats on a ferris wheel to be sent to the bagging room.

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In the packing room, overhead tumblers mix the flavors before bags are filled below.

Here the chips are directed to various tumblers for packing. This is where the flavors are added. Green Onion, their most popular flavor, BBQ and Salt and Vinegar were being packed while watching. They bag in various sizes from 1 oz. to 1 pound.

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This gentleman brought in his Conn’s Anniversary tin for an economical refill.

If you want an 80th Anniversary Tin filled, they will fill it right off the conveyor belt for $5. That’s quite a savings for two and a half pounds of potato chips. Refills are only $3. If you travel that direction, and you love potato chips, it would pay to buy a tin.

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President Montie works at his desk with a picture above of his newborn grandson already pictured with a Conn’s tin.

Current owners, Montie Hunter and the George brothers – Tom and Jon, invested in Conn’s future by moving to a 100,000 square foot facility on Richards Road in Zanesville. Their new state of the art equipment still provides the same quality chips that have been favorites for generations.

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Co-owner, Jon, enjoyed sharing the Conn’s story, while his brother, Tom, was taste testing.

Montie worked as a route salesman for Dick so was very familiar with Conn’s. They had to make two promises when they purchased the company. 1) The name could not be changed. 2) Keep all the employees.

Tours of the factory are frequent for schools, seniors and even tour buses. Everyone comes away with the chance to have a few hot chips right off the conveyor belt. Good potato chips taste like Conn’s.

Conn’s Potato Chips is located in Kemper Court at the east side of Zanesville. Take Richard Road off Route 40 and about two miles back on the right hand side you will find Kemper Court and Conn’s Potato Chips. Take a tour sometime!

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