Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for June, 2021

Julia Swan’s Quilts Tell a Story

Traditional would not be a word that describes Julia Swan or her quilts. Julia has been a community minded lady all her life and helped introduce many new ideas in the area. It wasn’t until after the children had all left home that Julia seriously worked on quilting. She tried a few of the traditional patterns but found that she enjoyed making her own creative designs instead.

Angels of God quilt used mother’s handkerchief collection.

Most of her quilts have a story behind them. The Angels of God quilt began with dying the fabric to look like Marc Chagalla’s sky. Louis Palmer, art professor at Muskingum College, helped her arrange the background of angels, which were made from folded handkerchiefs that her mother collected.

When they walked around the fabric, Palmer noticed a godlike figure had appeared in the fabric so Julia used it as the focal point and highlighted it with quilting. The halos for the angels were lace doilies. Their faces were originally to be white until Julia accidentally dropped them in her coffee cup then they had many different skin shades.

The Exhibition quilt contained pictures drawn by her grandchildren.

The Exhibition, more a wall hanging than a quilt, is a collection of three drawings done by her grandchildren when they were three or four years old. These looked like modern art to her eyes! When Julia’s children were young, they had bunny fur jackets so she used some of that fur for the coat of the lady in this wall hanging.

The Many Faces of Liberty represented Ohio in a national quilt competition.

During a Statue of Liberty contest, each state had a quilt chosen to be displayed in New York City. Julia’s quilt, The Many Faces of Liberty, was chosen from Ohio. The face on each Liberty figure was created to represent the people of many nations who have immigrated to the United States. To personalize the quilt, one face has red hair since nearly all members of the Swan family have red hair.

Ohio Barn quilt appeared in Ohio University’s quilt show during Ohio’s Bicentennial celebration.

Pride in family continues as Julia and her granddaughter Anna have combined efforts to make a book of her quilts, Julia’s Quilts “Through the Eye of a Needle,” so the family will always remember their meaning. Her granddaughter is a Delta pilot but not doing much flying these days.

Tom and Julia enjoyed family fun with their four children.

Julie met Tom Swan, the love of her life, at Muskingum College and they settled in Cambridge where Tom had his medical practice and Julia was busy raising four children. At that time Julia was busy giving Red Cross swimming lessons, which were free to all children in the area and volunteered at Hill ‘n Dale Girl Scout Camp.

During this time, Julia enjoyed knitting and made sweaters, mittens, and scarves for everyone in the family. She made needlepoint pillows for almost every chair in the house. That artistic side of her just couldn’t stay hidden. The family enjoyed performing together, hiking, and camping.

Broad Stripes and Bright Stars has been marching in area parades for 45 years!

In 1975, Julia was instrumental in developing what some called a Marching Flag but what the ladies of their bridge club called Broad Stripes and Bright Stars. That first parade was the Bi-Centennial Celebration in downtown Cambridge when the ladies donned their flag sections and marched with the tallest on the side toward the stars going down to the shortest on the other end.

Julia recalled that no mechanical transportation was permitted in that parade so everything was drawn by horses. That made for some careful stepping with the white pants and white shoes of the flag ladies.

This group still marches today in most Veterans Day and Memorial Day parades. There are still two of the original in the group and two daughters of original members have continued the tradition.

This picture was taken at their first parade in 1975.

A special project that involved quilting took place when the Hospital Wing she was a member of decided to hold the Daffodil Luncheon. Al Shore from New York City brought clothes down for modeling during the early years. For about thirty years, the wing members all did a square of a daffodil quilt, which raised money for the hospital through chances sold.

The Swan family supported the Salt Fork Ats & Crafts Festival from its beginning and provided, among other things, a puppet show that children loved and still remember to this day.

Julia uses her picture at a Dickens scene for her Christmas card each year.

Julia enjoys going downtown and visiting with the Victorian scenes on Wheeling Avenue during Dickens Victorian Village. Each year she has her picture taken with one of the scenes. One year she was wiping the coal dust from the face of one of the coalminers with her white handkerchief.

Granddaughter Anna and Julia get creative with ceramics.

Writing letters to friends is also something she has always enjoyed but today she writes wearing a glove to help protect her fingers. Her letters are still filled with positive thoughts and humorous stories in spite of the difficulty with writing. She encourages friends with her motto for living, “Life’s much more fun when you enjoy reading, art, and music. Learn to enjoy each day.”

Playing golf has been one of her favorite pastimes for years.

She even creates cards for her family. On Valentine’s Day, her card included a picture of one of her quilts and this verse:

Come to the gallery along with me

Such pleasures there are yet to be

Admiring these quilts of mine

Together with my Valentine.

Julia still stayed very busy up until the recent pandemic. She has a strong faith in God and enjoys Bible study and sings in the choir at her church. Being a volunteer at the John & Annie Glenn Museum also has given her great pleasure over the years. She is currently part of the planning committee for the 100th John Glenn Celebration scheduled for this summer in Cambridge and New Concord.

Family fun in the great outdoors make for a pleasant day.

Every day is a special adventure for Julia Swan. She doesn’t feel that all the wonderful things in her life have been merely coincidences but part of a bigger plan. She tells family and friends, “Be open to God’s surprises.”

Boss Bison Ranch Features Native American Pow Wow

Karen and the late John Sticht helped sponsor Ride ‘n Roll Motorcycle Dice Run.

Dreams of retirement in the country brought John and Karen Sticht from Euclid to Cadiz, where they wanted to build a log home on a couple of acres and have two bison to manicure their lawn. John definitely did not want to have to mow the yard! That dream has expanded into a family business at Boss Bison Ranch.

This beautiful log home was built for retirement purposes.

Now the ranch has more grass than they know what to do with on 180 acres. The number of shaggy bison has also increased to 46 and slowly growing. These are sturdy animals as their wool covering keeps them cozy down to 60 below.

Karen displays the soft warm items made from bison wool.

Shedding of wool occurs in the springtime with full coats grown back by November. That wool is soft to the touch and has been made into hats, socks, and gloves that are exceptionally warm. It is usually mixed with sheep’s wool to keep it from being too warm!

Tours of the farm get you up close to the bison in the field.

Reminiscent of the days of the old west, thundering hooves of bison can be heard at Boss Bison Ranch when the herd takes a notion to run. Their grandson, Duncan, enjoys taking you on a farm tour in a pick-up or four-wheeler so you can get close to the huge buffalo. Children especially enjoy feeding them bread and petting their soft wooly coats.

The herd enjoys shade on a hot spring day.

Boss Bison Ranch is proud to honor the history of the buffalo as they feel that it once roamed this section of Ohio. The Native Americans used every part of the buffalo with nothing being wasted. Meat was important but so was the hide, which was tanned for clothes, blankets, and teepees. Even their bones were put to use for everything from needles and buttons to dishes and hoes.

A bison mom watches over her new calf.

Springtime is a special time to see the newborn calves as they follow their mothers over the hills and interact with other new calves. It’s a peaceful time to sit and watch these large animals gently moving through the plentiful grass. Most of the calves are born from late April to early June, but there have been surprises at Thanksgiving!

Pick up bison and elk meat from their freezer in the store.

A three-year-old buffalo will dress out at 400 pounds of fresh meat. You are sure to be told the health value of eating bison meat. It has less fat, calories, and cholesterol. Bison actually contains higher amounts of protein, iron, and Vitamin-B than beef, chicken, or pork. Members of the National Bison Association make certain their animals graze on grass and are not fed in feedlots with added chemicals or hormones.

Their food wagon serves bisonburgers and bison chili cheese dogs.

The Stichts’ family has a retail and butcher shop that is open to the public. You might want to take some of this lean meat home with you! They have a food wagon that travels the area for festivals and pow wows. Recently they have been at a Salt Fork Pow Wow and the Hopedale Motorcycle Memorial.

These drummers performed at a previous festival.

The 7th Annual Baby Bison Days Pow Wow, a special event open to the public, is being held at the ranch on June 19-20, Father’s Day weekend. Prepare to enjoy an indigenous Native American Pow Wow that honors Veterans and First Responders!

Host drum at the pow wow this year will be Red Bird Singers.

There will be Native American dancing, Native crafts, over 20 Native vendors, and demonstrations. All drums are welcome with Red Bird Singers being the host drum and TBA co-host. There is a $5 admission fee for the day along with a non-perishable food item. All donations go to Haractus Food Pantry.

The bison will be close to the festivities that day so you can get a good view of these magnificent animals and their calves. You’ll want to stop at their lunch wagon for a buffaloburger. Buffaloburgers are 95% lean meat so you really get a quarter-pounder when you order one. Items served at the wagon include buffaloburgers, hot dogs, french fries, buffalo chili, and beverages. Popular items are a mushroom swiss buffaloburger and buffalo chili cheese dogs.

Perhaps you will get a chance to touch the soft fur of a baby bison.

Make sure to plan a visit to Boss Bison Ranch at 45701 Unionvale Road, Cadiz Mon-Sat 10-6 to see those magnificent bison that once roamed freely in our country. Now these amazing animals can be seen, fed, and touched for free at the ranch.

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