Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for August, 2018

Battle Horse Knives Guaranteed for Life

BHK LogoFamily owned businesses fill an important role in the community. They create trust and satisfaction because they aim to fulfill customer needs.

Since 2007, Battle Horse Knives has been making custom designed knives in Cambridge, Ohio. They have knives for every need from pocket and hunting knives to bushcraft or tactical. No matter what kind of knife you desire, Battle Horse Knives will create it for you.

Frontier Folder knife

This popular Frontier Folding knife has a striking fiberglass handle.

It all began with one man Dan ‘the Man’ Coppins, who couldn’t find a good hunting knife. His daughter, Alicia and her husband John McQuain, now own the business. This is a family oriented business with the Coppins and McQuains filling most positions. However, those they bring on board may not have the same last name, but they still consider them family.

John seemed the perfect person to take over the business as he has been a machinist for many years. His father also is a machinist so John grew up practicing the trade. He excels with his high-tech ability to design the computer programs needed to cut the perfect product.

Adam Lemon mills the desired shape with the help of the computer.

Adam Lemon mills the desired knife shape with the help of a computer program.

It’s surprising how many steps the knife making process entails. It all begins with a sheet of steel from which the blades are cut. Then after getting the blade configured to their high standards, it is sent to Peters’ Heat Treating, as the heat treatment is a crucial factor in a long-lasting, strong knife.

Jason Barnett handles

Jason Barnett attaches knife handles, from plain to fancy.

When it comes back, the handle’s attached, blade sharpened and tested before sending it to the customer. These guys want their customers to have the best knife possible.

Matt McQuain stamps each knife with BHK logo.

Brother Matt McQuain stamps each knife with their BHK logo.

They believe in their product and give a Life of the Knife guarantee on every knife they sell. That means if you ever need a repair or replacement, Battle Horse Knives will honor your request. There’s no limit on how far these honest folks will go to satisfy their customers’ knife needs.

BHK Alicia

Owner, Alicia McQuain, welcomes people to their downtown store.

A couple of years ago they decided to open the Battle Horse Knives Retail Shop at 624 Wheeling Avenue in Cambridge. There is a wide variety of items available here including a wide selection of educational books and Military Tech manuals, which discuss tactics from survival to firearms.

Their most popular knife is a “Small Workhorse”, which was designed to skin a white-tail deer. For a sturdier knife, “Bushcrafter” will tackle many outdoor needs, making it more a tool than a knife.

BHK Leather

Leather bracelets, keychains and knife covers are made at their downtown location.

If you’re going to have a knife, most people want a pouch to carry it. For that reason, BHK designs their own leather pouches, which include great designs. They have drawers of sheaves ready to go in their downtown store.

John McQuain and Waterjet

John McQuain, owner, works with the Waterjet, which cuts designs and lettering in metal.

Right now they are developing techniques to use a waterjet to cut out designs on metal, stone, glass or ceramics. Computer operated, the waterjet can cut designs or lettering into material that will last a long time.

It’s important to take good care of your knife. As John tells customers, “A dull knife blade is about as useful as a hole in a bucket.” So if your knife gets rusty or dull, bring it in for what they call a “spa treatment”.

BHK Famous People

Pictures of many celebrities, who use BHK knives, are displayed in the store.

Many celebrities, who use BHK knives include Zach Brown, Ted Nugent, and Dave Canterbury, who killed a gator with his BHK knife. Even Uncle Si from Duck Dynasty and nearly all the people on Survivor Show carry a BHK knife with them. Folks who use their knives say they’re the best they’ve ever owned.

This business hasn’t stayed local. John and Alicia travel all over the United States to outdoor shows to spread the word about their high-quality knives. They will be visiting Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and Alabama in the near future. Worldwide, they have sold to over thirty countries.

NRA Knife

This El Dorado was chosen Knife of the Year for Ohio Friends of  NRA.

NRA shows are popular places to display their wares. Last year their “El Dorado” was named “Knife of the Year” for Ohio Friends of NRA.

BHK Tom Casterline with Ted Nugent guitar

Tom Casterline, store manager, displays the guitar Ted Nugent traded for a BHK knife.

The staff here are all outdoorsmen. When they are not working, you might find them camping, hunting, or shooting. Every year they get all their families together for a weekend campout at AEP campground down near Cumberland.

Their goal is to create a knife that is not necessarily pretty, but useful and of heirloom quality. Costs of these handcrafted USA knives by BHK range from $60 to $250 and beyond.

When people leave home these days, they want to be certain they have their keys and cell phone. But Adam remarked, “A knife is a critical thing to have in my pocket.”

Battle Horse Knives Retail Shop is located at 624 Wheeling Avenue in downtown Cambridge, Ohio. If you have a special knife you would like made, come talk to the friendly owners. You may also visit their website at Battle Horse Knives .

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Climb Aboard Hocking Valley Scenic Railway

Hocking Valley Welcome

This railroad car welcomes you to the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway.

Take to the rails on Hocking Valley Scenic Railway, which boards at Nelsonville and heads toward Logan. After purchasing your ticket in the depot, there’s a small museum inside of train memorabilia. Almost everyone in the depot and on the train is a volunteer. They enjoy meeting and telling stories to all the passengers.

Hocking Depot

All train rides depart from the 1982 Nelsonville Depot based on a prototype once in Rising Sun.

   First, you will have to decide which type of car you want for your adventure today. There are actually three choices that can accommodate approximately 300 passengers. The three steps to the cars are steep, but there is a wheelchair lift available.

   One car is air-conditioned with soft seats and a quieter ride. Or you might select a car with windows that can be opened so you can see and hear the sights a little better. Some prefer the open cars with wooden benches and a roof overhead in case of rain.

Hocking Valley Train

Baldwin 4005 Switch Engine running on diesel and electric was previously used by the US Air Force.

   Riding in the car with open windows seemed a good choice as wanted to take some pictures along the way as well as hear the sound of the train more clearly. The powerful steam whistle blows and the wheels start to turn as the train begins its journey.

Hocking kiln

The train passed remains of an 1880 kiln used by Nelsonville Brick Co., who won first prize for bricks at the 1904 World’s Fair.

   During the comfortable, swaying ride through the countryside, a narrative over the loudspeaker gave information regarding the formation of the railway. In 1869, the Columbus and Hocking Railroad began as a fast, inexpensive way to deliver coal to the market. At one time there were forty coal mines being serviced by the railroad.

Hocking Baseball

Passed by the Crabtree Baseball Field, named for local hero Estel Crabtree, a former Cincinnati Reds outfielder. Seats for the stadium are made of stone from the old Hocking Canal.

   The railroad had numerous mergers over the years and finally merged into the Chesapeake & Ohio system. When they began selling off lines south of Columbus, the Hocking Scenic Railway purchased track in 1972 and began a renewal of the railroad. They have been operating the Scenic Railway since 1985.

Hocking River

Part of the route followed the Hocking River, which flows into the Ohio River.

Hocking Engine House

The Hocking Engine House is located near the Hocking College Campus.

   This two-hour journey takes a break during the return trip on the campus of Hocking College at Robbins Crossing, a pioneer log cabin village, organized and run by students of the college as well as community volunteers.

Robbins Crossing

The Pioneer Village at Robbins Crossing comes to life with costumed interpreters.

   Robbins Crossing is a collection of original log cabins built by settlers of the Valley in 1850. They were dismantled and carefully moved to the campus location where they were reassembled in a village format. The insides of the cabins are filled with authentic artifacts from the period.

Hocking Pioneer Artist

A pioneer artist relaxes while painting on the porch after a morning in the kitchen.

   Visit a blacksmith shop, general store, one-room school and more. Everyone is dressed in period costume to make the visit more authentic. This is a great chance to see how life was lived in Southeastern Ohio in the 1850s.

Hocking Feeding Chickens

Children enjoyed feeding the chickens at Robbins Crossing.

   This trip through the green woods of the Hocking Hill included sights of deer, geese, flowers and streams. Actually, part of the way we drove along the Hocking River.

Pioneer Village Cooking

This pioneer was preparing dinner on an old coal stove.

   During the ride, several families had brought along a picnic lunch to enjoy on the train. Children seemed fascinated to be taking a train ride and even when it was over, they wanted to get back on board.

Hocking Brick Homes

Many houses and buildings along the way were built of those famous Nelsonville bricks.

   The train runs its normal schedule every Saturday and Sunday from Memorial Day weekend until the last weekend in October. But their extra events sound like fun!

Hocking Cross

Overlooking Nelsonville is a cross that a church member had placed in memory of his wife, Betty.

   Special themed “family friendly” events are held throughout the year in conjunction with the train ride. Check their schedule at http://www.hvsry.com to find out when you might take a ride on the Robbery Train, Fall Foliage Train, Santa Train, or New Year’s Eve when you can have your choice of pizza and pop or wine and cheese.

   Experience the feeling of riding a train across the country in those early days. Sit back and relax to the clickety-clack of the train wheels on the Hocking Scenic Railway.

This adventure brought back wonderful memories of the Byesville Scenic Railway and their capable storytellers who made the journey so interesting.

The Hocking Valley Scenic Depot is located in Nelsonville, Ohio at 33 W. Canal Street, along US Route 33 in Athens county in Southeastern Ohio. Depending on your location, there are many ways to arrive at the depot.

The Voice of Enthusiasm at Salt Fork Festival

carol-jones Muskingum UniversityEnthusiasm spreads from Carol Wilcox-Jones to everyone she meets. It’s contagious! Carol is the spark that gets things going, whether at her summer music camps or at the Salt Fork Festival. She does it all with a song in her heart.

   Growing up in Kansas, the Wilcox family sang even while doing housework. “I can’t remember a time when I didn’t sing,” Carol recalls with a sparkle in her eyes. Her dad played guitar at square dances and sang on the radio, while her mom did the Charleston and even clogged. Family always ranked high in importance to Carol.

Carol - Dad 001

At age five, she sang “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” with her dad at a square dance.

   Even though Carol sang with her dad on stage at the age of five, it was in high school that the singing bug really bit her. She sang the leading role of Laurie in Oklahoma, followed by many more leading roles. By the time she was a senior, she was invited to enter the Miss Kansas City pageant, which she won singing “Love Is Where You Find It” and “Clap Your Hands”.

   While studying at the University of Kansas she performed leading roles such as Maria in West Side Story, and Marion in The Music Man. She heard her first opera there when the Metropolitan Opera Touring Company came to perform. Carol smiled, “I fell in love with their thrilling singing.” Shortly thereafter, she had a chance to perform as the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro, still her favorite Mozart opera.

Carol Captain Jinks

Carol performed as Aurelia in the opera, Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines.

   During college summers, Carol apprenticed herself at Central City, Co. and Santa Fe Opera companies. Upon graduation, she decided she would try a career in the opera and where better to do that than The Big Apple. While working toward her master’s degree at the Manhattan School of Music, she was invited to audition for the Metropolitan Opera. She was offered an artist contract and was soon busy learning new operatic roles.

Carol Barber of Seville

In the comic opera, Barber of Seville, Carol appeared as Rosina.

   Her list of performances is quite extensive and can’t possibly be listed here. In addition to her roles with the Metropolitan Opera in NYC, she has sung leading roles throughout the US and Canada, including the Washington Opera at Kennedy Center, Philadelphia, Miami, Houston Grand Opera, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, and many others.

Carol Opera 001

Carol sang in Perichole at the Kansas City Lyric Opera.

   She has performed and enjoyed music theatre roles with St. Louis MUNY Theatre, KC Starlight, Blossom Festival, Caramoor Festival, and others. Carol has appeared on Broadway, sung over 100 recitals, and recorded for RCA and CRI, and has been a featured soloist with many symphonies.

   “It’s not just the beautiful voice, but her overall performance that projects feelings and words,” explained a conductor at the Lyric Opera. “I’ve never known Miss Wilcox to give a bad performance.”

Carol - dalmations

Carol and her family’s dalmatians appeared on the cover of Star in 1975 when she appeared at the Lyric Opera in Kansas City.

   One summer, when Carol was performing at the Lyric Opera Co. in Kansas City, there was also a young man, Robert Jones, under contract. Robert spotted the lovely lady with the beautiful voice and became her biggest fan. A year later, they were married.

Carol and Robert 001

Robert Owen Jones and Carol Wilcox-Jones perform here in  “Die Fledermaus”, an operetta by Johann Strass II.

   Robert was that old-fashioned guy she admired, and family had always been important to her. After their marriage and the birth of their son, Chris, they moved to New Concord where Robert taught music as Director of Vocal Activities at Muskingum College. The couple also happily welcomed their second child, Jennie, to their family.

Carol's Family

Carol, Bob, Jennie and Chris enjoy singing together as The Jones Family.

   Carol was soon invited to join the music faculty at Muskingum as Artist-in-Residence and taught voice, as well as helped develop the Music Theatre minor now offered at Muskingum University. Carol also holds a Master of Arts in Vocal Pedagogy Degree from the Ohio State University and continues to Direct of the Summer High School Music Theatre CAMP, a program she created in 2006. Her reason for being involved is simply: “I support young people and through music, I open as many windows as I can for them.”

Carol Summer Music Camp

The High School Summer Music Theatre CAMP at Muskingum University has been directed by Carol since 2006.

   Carol’s musical background contains many degrees, extensive performing and teaching experience, but it’s her application of all this knowledge that makes Carol such a valuable asset to the groups she works with.

   Robert and Carol had been fans of the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival for years. When Robert retired, he volunteered to schedule the musical portion of the Festival, and it followed that Carol assisted him before she became also involved with fundraising.

   Last year, Carol became Director of the Festival. Even though she didn’t feel experienced, the festival turned out to be wonderful and was indeed a happy place to spend the weekend for both artists and visitors.

Carol-Wilcox-Jones-Chamber Award 2

Carol received the Distinguished Service Award for her role in reviving the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival.

   Her role in reviving the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival earned her the Distinguished Public Service Award. Her time and energy devoted to this project have been phenomenal. Connections with various groups and businesses in the community have made it possible to continue financing this popular three-day event.

Carol and Robert BASH

Robert and Carol entertained at the Salt Fork BASH, accompanied by Preservation Dixieland All-Star Band.

   One special event, the Festival BASH, became their signature fundraiser. The support of the community has been outstanding, seen through the participation and success of the BASH, which is an evening filled with visiting friends, delicious food, outstanding music, and many prizes and silent auctions.

   Carol does not take credit for all this herself. She has a very active board of trustees who also head up Festival Committees and work tirelessly to produce the Festival with the help of many volunteers. “I’m very proud of all those who have made it possible. The Festival leaders have kept this Festival going for nearly 50 years! That’s pretty incredible!”

50th Anniversary

Carol works with a great group of volunteers as they prepare for the 50th Anniversary.

   The next big project is working with a 50th Anniversary Blue Ribbon Committee for the 2019 festival. There are plans to begin building an enhanced entranceway to the park at Edgeworth Street that will be a permanent feature and reminder of the festival for future generations.

   Now, she’s looking forward to the 49th Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival, August 10-12, 2018. Summing up her Festival feelings, she enthusiastically remarked, “The Festival experience – the creative arts, demonstrations, concerts, and activities- are offered free to the public. It’s an uplifting, community-building celebration with a great combination of quality visual and performing arts and delicious foods offered in the beautiful outdoor setting at Cambridge City Park. What’s not to love?”

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