Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for May, 2017

St. Michael’s Greek Orthodox Church

St Michaels Orthodox Church

St. Michael’s Orthodox Church served as worship center for many Slavic immigrants.

Orthodox Christians from central and eastern Europe petitioned Archbishop Platon for a priest in Robins back in 1912. In the beginning, worship services were held in the Lodge Hall, which was remodeled and converted into St. Michael’s Greek Orthodox Church.

Baba and Dede 001 (2)

My grandparents, George and Mary Veselenak – Dede and Baba to me, were active at St. Michael’s Orthodox Church. George Veselenak was president of the United Orthodox Brotherhood of America for over thirty years.

The church sat against a bank in Robins, which is today known as Trail Run. During an Easter service there at midnight on Sunday morning many years ago, the church fell into total darkness. Everyone left the church to follow the priest around the church three times to indicate the three days Jesus stayed in the tomb. Then everyone stepped back inside the church to find it brightly lighted with many white candles. The Resurrection had occurred.

St Michaels Parish

Families gathered to have Easter baskets blessed.

Easter baskets were blessed by the priest and a feast was held for those present to break their fast since Friday. Many had not eaten meat for the duration of Lent. It was a pleasant time as their soul had been filled with the Spirit and their bodies with the blessed food.

The interior of the Greek Orthodox Church, later called Russian Orthodox Church, holds many beautiful paintings, statues, and decorations.  The church building is centered around the altar table, The Banquet Table of God. The Book of the Gospels sets on this carved wooden table from which communion is served. Many candles can be found throughout the center of worship.

St Michael's Interior

The altar at St. Michael’s  shows the traditional Orthodox cross.

Icons of Christ and the saints play a large role in describing the reality of God’s presence with us. They can be found on the royal gate, over the doors, around the central gates, on walls and ceilings.

The cross is the central symbol for Christianity. The Orthodox make the Sign of the Cross by placing their first two fingers and thumb together to signify the Triune God. Then cross themselves from head to breast and from shoulder to shoulder. This is done several times during their services.

This ribbon badge has two sides. The red, gold and blue side was worn for all church services, while the black side was used for funerals. This badge belonged to Dede.

Incense is the symbol of the rising of prayers, of spiritual sacrifice and of the sweet-smelling fragrance of the Kingdom of God. The priest frequently swings his censor of incense over the altar area as well as the entire congregation as a blessing.

Robins Prayer cloth 001

Mom framed this prayer cloth that belonged to Baba.

Since services remain much the same from week to week, parishioners know the hymns and prayers easily as their chant is very repetitious. No organ or instruments are used as all words are from scripture or ancient Christian texts. Orthodox people generally stand for the entire service.

1914 First Children's Class at St Michaels

This picture taken in 1914 shows the size of the first children’s class at St. Michael’s.

St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Robins had a large attendance, and children were well behaved. There was no nursery so children learned to stand quietly for the entire service. In its early years, services were conducted in Slovak, however, today English prevails.

Land for the church cemetery, now known as Robins Cemetery or Trail Run Cemetery, was purchased on the hill across the road from the church in 1918. The Bethlehem Cemetery is in Lower Trail Run. About twenty years later, the “R” Club (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America) was established.

Trail Run View with church by tracks

This is an overview of Robins with the Orthodox Church seen on the back right.

The parish home in Robins, burned down on two separate occasions. The first time in 1939 when it was rebuilt with lumber from vacated houses after the mines had closed. After the second fire in 1958, parishioners decided to rebuilt in Byesville, OH and purchased land for a future church building.

Christ the Savior Orthodox Church

Christ the Savior Orthodox Church celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2017.

In December of 1966, the first service was held in the new building in Byesville, where the church was called Christ the Savior Orthodox Church. Today this church is the only Orthodox Church in southeastern Ohio and covers an area from Columbus to the Ohio River and as far north as Canton. They celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.

Their church bulletin states: “May God reward your good deeds and preserve the spirit of devotion to Him every day of the year.”

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Spinners & Weavers in the Ohio Hills

Spinners Logo

A banner with their logo appears at many festivals.

In the hills of southeastern Ohio near Senecaville and Lore City, a group of locals gather to spin their yarn and their tales. Quite often you’ll hear them telling stories of a particular time in history as they spin their yarn for weaving.

Spinners at work

Spinners and weavers demonstrate under a tent at a local festival.

Members of Ohio Hills Spinners & Weavers Guild are a friendly and happy group, eager to share knowledge about their hobby, which many have pursued for over twenty years. The items they create are beautiful as a result of their artistic abilities.

For members, meetings bring total relaxation as it takes their mind off any troubles while they sit and spin or knit. They find it fascinating that they can “make something from nothing”. Imagine starting with a sheep in the field and ending up with a sweater.

Spinners yarn

Sally spins wool that she sheared from sheep at their farm.

Most of the wool comes from the sheep on the farm of Sally Mehler. Sometimes they use alpaca wool from a neighboring farm as well. This local wool then progresses through the steps of washing, picking, and carding, before it’s spun into yarn. Then often it’s dyed.

Spinners pot holders

Jo Ann finds it more relaxing for her hands to use an electric spinning machine.

Everyone has their own touch when it comes to spinning and weaving. Some prefer a traditional spinning wheel, while others try a more modern touch. A few of the members have an electronic spinner, Hansen miniSpinner, which eases the tension on their hands and most likely produces a more even yarn.

Spinners making cloth

Mary demonstrates how to use the drop spindle.

It’s a great feeling to take the wool and spin it into yarn so it can either be woven or knit into something special. It’s not difficult. Take a section of wool and start spinning from one end on a spinning wheel. Pull little snippets of the wool roving back as the twists of fiber start around the bobbin’s original yarn. The bobbin fills up with the newly formed yarn.

Members carefully choose the type of wool used especially in garments. Merino wool claims to be the softest wool in the world. The merino sheep raised in Australia and New Zealand give us most of the wool used in the United States. If wool makes you itch, you’ve got the wrong kind of wool. “That kind should have been a rug on the floor.”

Spinners yarn samples

These are just a few of the beautiful balls of yarn created by the spinners.

These spinners insist that the more you do, the smoother the yarn. But it’s done from the heart, as one spinner commented, “You don’t get enough in sales to pay for the spinning.” That doesn’t count for all the time spent afterwards creating beautiful items. But it’s still worth-while as people enjoy what they make, while they’re relaxing.

Spinning Mittens

One winter meeting, their project created some practical mittens.

Newcomers will be first taught to spin and then encouraged to move forward with using that yarn to create something they can use. The first thing they learn to knit is usually a basic dish cloth. As they progress, more difficult patterns are introduced.

Shortly, they’re spinning the yarn, then knitting gloves, hats, socks, sweaters and even rugs. This creative process makes people want to return again and again. The woolen items they make will keep a person warm even during wet weather.

Spinners rug

Bill prepares the pieces for twined rug weaving.

Others enjoy rug twining. Three layers of fabric are braided together to form a sturdy rug for use inside or out. It takes a couple of weeks to complete a rug and then they’re usually given away. One rug maker doesn’t even have one of his own…and people are waiting for the next one to be finished.

Spinning grape kool aid

This scarf, created by Sue Sherby, is being made by yarn dyed with grape Kool-Aid.

This group meets the second Thursday of every month at St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Lore City. They can also be found displaying their methods and products at many area events during the year. One week they might make mittens or perhaps use Kool-Aid for dying. There’s always an interesting project happening.

Homespun yarn won’t be perfect, but one of the spinners remarked with a smile, ” If you wanted perfect, you would go buy your yarn at the fabric shop!”

Radio Enthusiast Enjoys Broadcasting

Boyer Logo 001

This WBPS 101.9 FM logo provides easy public recognition of their station.

Turn the radio on  and listen to WBPS 101.9 FM, where you can hear Good Time Oldies and Great American Standards, all day and all night.

Many remember sitting on the floor by the radio listening to those old classics. However, “watching” the radio fascinated Boyer Simcox when he was a child. While listening he saw the shows in his mind, but when TV came around the shows didn’t match his imagination. Radio always remained his preference.

WBPS Studio

The radio equipment in this one room provides entertainment throughout the Cambridge area.

Just out of high school, Boyer volunteered at a radio station in Wheeling, where he did a half hour talk show called “Firing Line”. Here he interviewed many interesting guests including John Glenn and Howard Metzenbaum. One special show happened at the time of the Kent State shootings and so many questions came in that the producer told him to keep going as long as listeners were interested.

Over the years, Boyer has held many intriquing positions where he was helping someone. One thing can be certain, he has always done what he wanted to do. He’s worked as Director of Social Services, Director of Area Agency on Aging, and even owned a couple restaurants, but always wanted his own radio station.

WBPS Mixing Board

Their mixing board gives Boyer opportunity to make instant changes, or set up programming ahead of time.

Back in 1984, he called the FCC to see if a frequency was obtainable. None were available at that time, so he waited. Then in 2013, the FCC released several frequencies for non-profit or community stations. Boyer applied.

One morning in 2013, while watching the Today Show with his wife Judy, Boyer happened to check the FCC site on his tablet. He was listed on their approval list! Immediately, he handed the tablet to Judy to prove he wasn’t dreaming.

WBPS Judy

Judy frequently helps by giving public service announcements.

Paperwork began. Deadline for being on the air was 18 months. He decided to purchase a package with everything he needed except the antenna. When he received it, Boyer wondered, “What have I done?” There were many unanswered questions as the package had no instructions.  Boyer used the internet for information and several small radio stations formed a forum to answer questions and share information.

Work progressed slowly until he had everything assembled and all the wires connected. But when he turned it on, nothing happened. Time was getting short for his deadline, then one night at 3:00 in the morning in November, 2014, Boyer rested in bed thinking about those wires.

WBPS CDs

A handy supply of CDs provides variety to the programmed music.

It came across his mind that two wires needed to be switched. Changing those two little wires brought his station to life. Excitedly Boyer hopped in his car and drove all over town to see how far WBPS could be heard. When he stopped on Wheeling Avenue, he looked down and discovered that he still had on his robe and slippers. However, he discovered that the station could be heard all over Cambridge.

WBPS Boyer at controls

Boyer spends many hours at the controls of WBPS, and enjoys every minute.

Now into his third year of broadcasting, he has country-wide contacts, who share their shows with him. Bluegrass from West Virginia, polkas from Minnesota, and movie tunes from New Philadelphia are a few of those connections. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir has a featured show as well as Bill Gaither, who agreed to share his program after just one phone call.

WBPS airs around the clock these days. People listen to it all night long and also use it in the workplace because it’s happy, up-beat music.

There’s no need for local news or sports here as AVC radio stations do an excellent job of covering those items. However, Don Keating, local amateur meteorologist, does an outstanding job of broadcasting up-to-date local weather.

WBPS Boyer and Judy

Boyer and Judy feel this is a great hobby that adds enjoyment to the listening area. Their cat, Mr. Lucky, sometimes tries a little programming himself.

Boyer and Judy Simcox feel WBPS is their gift to the community. They both participate in radio operation on and off the air. Everyplace they go, people stop and thank them for the familiar music. It made Boyer smile when a listener told him he wouldn’t get out of the car until a song was finished. That makes it all worthwhile.

Listeners tune in for the Pennyroyal live on Friday, the Wheeling Jamboree on Saturday and  then a day of spiritual songs – Our Sunday Best.

In the future, Boyer would like to feature more local groups on the air. If groups have a CD they would like to share, contact him at wbpsradio@yahoo.com . If anyone has an interest in volunteering or has ideas for the station, Boyer’s always ready to listen and is eager for more local participation.

WBPS Digital Alert System

The Emergency Digital Alert System is handy for national emergencies.

If non-profit groups would like to have announcements made on WBPS, send him an email as there is no cost. He even shares them with his network of radio friends.That’s what Community Radio is all about.

When asked what he does for fun, Boyer answered quickly, “I’m having it.” His advice to everyone would be, “Don’t be afraid to try something new.” It never occurred to him that he couldn’t do it.

Music comforts the soul, especially those songs you have known most of your life. That’s why WBPS is becoming a favorite station for seniors in the area. Twenty-four hours a day,  it plays those songs that make you smile.

Listen to WBPS 101.9 FM and you’ll find yourself singing along with those old-time favorites. You just can’t help it.

Evidence of Bigfoot in Southeastern Ohio

Bigfoot Newcomerstown

This large Bigfoot outside The Feed Barn keeps an eye on customers.

Bigfoot captures the attention and following of many residents of Southeastern Ohio. Frequent meetings are held all year with devotees telling of their latest sightings and experiences with the illusive Bigfoot.

Recently an employee of Salt Fork State Park saw something large stand up along the road as she was driving past Hosak’s Cave in the park. This Bigfoot ran into the woods, but left behind a large footprint, which the Bigfoot investigators made into a plaster cast.

Bigfoot Crossing

It’s no surprise that in the Salt Fork Lake area you might find a Bigfoot Crossing.

Each spring, Salt Fork State Park holds Ohio Bigfoot Conference, which draws hundreds to listen to the latest information about Sasquatch, another name for Bigfoot. This year those dates are May 19 and 20. Cliff Barackman from Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” will be the Master of Ceremonies.

Bigfoot Orrs

Vicky Veselenak shares a passion for Bigfoot with her dad, Marvin Orr.  You can have lunch with Bigfoot at Orr’s Drive-in.

Several area businesses use Bigfoot as a drawing card. In Byesville, Marvin Orr at Orr’s Drive-In placed a statue of Bigfoot beside their picnic tables. Marvin and his daughters frequently attend Bigfoot meetings and conferences. After hearing all the stories told by ordinary people, it makes them believe there’s ‘something’ out there.

Daughter Vicky used the Bigfoot theme in her classroom in Rolling Hills for years. Her bulletin boards were alive with his image, wooden Bigfoots made great hall passes and she designed her own six foot tall Bigfoot with a jigsaw. Stop by Orr’s and have lunch with Bigfoot.

BF The Feed Barn

Three Bigfoot statues draw attention to The Feed Barn in Newcomerstown. Doyle Donathan, manager, enjoys sharing stories about this mysterious creature.

The Feed Barn in Newcomerstown displays and sells Bigfoot statues and tee shirts because of all the sightings in the area. Recently, a young boy was crossing the railroad tracks down by the Tuscarawas River and checked both ways to make sure no train was coming. No train in sight, but he did see a Bigfoot step across the track easily with one long stride.

Bigfoot Caldwell

Denny Crock keeps customers watching as he frequently dresses Bigfoot as a snowboarder, fisherman, or even ready for Jamboree in the Hills. It’s difficult to find his shirt size – 7X.

In Noble County at the Caldwell Food Center Emporium, you will be greeted by Bigfoot at the entrance to the parking lot. Denny Crock, owner, knew people talked about Bigfoot frequently so wanted a concrete statue at his store. This 6’2”, 2400 pound creature attracts much attention.

Bigfoot Salt Fork

This carved, restrained, wooden statue hangs out in Wildlife Lounge at Salt Fork Lodge.

Out at Salt Fork Lodge, Ohio Bigfoot Conference donated a carved wooden statue since their meeting provides Salt Fork Lodge its largest conference of the year. Rooms and cabins are filled to capacity this weekend and the Lodge Gift Shop has record sales with their wide range of memorabilia.

Bigfoot Gift Shop

The hottest items at the Salt Fork Lodge Gift Shop are tee shirts. But they also have              “Bigfoot I Believe” wine,  action figures, games and much, much more.

Nothing But Chocolate will give you a sweet taste of Bigfoot as she has his footprints for sale – in chocolate of course. Amanda makes these delicious footprints for the Bigfoot Conference and for State Park Conventions held at Salt Fork.

Local investigations began with Don Keating in 1980. He wrote an article about a sighting in the Newcomerstown area. Since then Don had organized the Ohio Bigfoot Conferences at Salt Fork State Park until he recently stepped back to devote more time to another interest – meteorology.

Bigfoot Doug

Doug Waller, local Bigfoot investigator and enthusiast, has written two books about the group’s experiences.

Doug Waller speaks frequently around the area about the legendary Bigfoot. The founder of Southeastern Ohio Society for Bigfoot Investigation, Doug and his team tell about the activities and sightings of this mysterious creature.

Ideas range from an ape-like animal to an extraterrestrial being. The Native Americans saw Bigfoot as a spiritual being, including it on their totem poles.  The Delaware Indians cautioned residents here long ago to put out food offerings for “the wild ones in the woods”.

Bigfoot sign

This clever sign always brings a smile to the face of Bigfoot fans.

Each person is free to explore the ideas he finds probable. But when you hear a scratch on the wall, smell something terrible outside your door, or see an eight-foot tall creature lumber off into the woods, you just might become a believer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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