Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Cambridge’ Category

Cambridge Amateur Radio Association Serves the Community

Amateur Radio Operators

We talk to the world.

Kenwood TS-50 Radio

CARA recently inherited an old Kenwood TS-50 Ham Radio.

Communication modes with amateur radio are numerous. Some still use the International Morse Code, while others prefer voice communication or a digital mode. Using the satellites that are in our skies today, they can bounce radio waves off them, or even off the moon or meteors, to send messages around the world.

   Longtime members of Cambridge Amateur Radio Association, Sonny and Lyn Alfman are quite active in the group and helpful in explaining the joys of amateur operators, called “hams”. Sonny said that word was derived from Old English in London, where their speech made ‘amateur’ sounds like ‘hamateur’. Now you easily see the connection.

HAM Passing Messages via Amateur Radio

“Ham” operators Bruce Homer, Larry Dukes, and Alan Day pass messages.

   These hams have to pass an amateur radio exam in order to obtain a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license. They are only called amateurs because they do not get paid for their services.

   The Cambridge Amateur Radio Association (CARA) is the latest name for a group that was formed in Cambridge way back in 1913. They were the 18th Amateur Radio group formed in the United States. Today there are 5,600 groups.

_Ham Caleb Barton with Everlyn Barton

Evelyn Barton practices her communication skills while Caleb Barton listens and learns.

   This area group has approximately fifty members, meets every month and often takes a field trip to a science museum. But you can be certain they enjoy their radios every day. Ages of operators vary from 10 to 82 and each one of them has their own unique call sign.

   Special Radio Sports encourage competition through challenging contests on the local, state, national and even international levels. Sonny likes being challenged. “If it isn’t hard, it isn’t fun.” Perhaps that ‘s one reason he’s talked to every country in the world at least once. This includes talks with King Hussein of Jordan and Barry Goldwater.

CARA 2

During a contest, Larry Dukes talks to another ham as Nathan Roe lists info on the laptop.

   It’s possible to talk to other amateurs locally, nationally, internationally, and even out of this world via the International Space Station. Actually, ham radio is the official hobby of NASA’s space station where they frequently talk to students as they pass over them.

   It’s said that the ham operators wear a two-sided hat – one side for emergencies and the other for fun.

Ham CARA Alan Day snowstorm (1)

CARA member, Alan Day, assisted on the Muskingum River during the 1978 blizzard.

   One service of CARA is to provide auxiliary communications to agencies during disasters such as floods, windstorms and hurricanes. They work closely with the Guernsey County Emergency Management Association, but special training is required to work with EMA. During that terrible blizzard of 1978, they made communication possible for the Ohio National Guard in this area.

CARA

At a Field Day in Byesville’s Jackson Park, Evelyn Barton talks to another amateur while Jake Johnson listens in.

   Ever wonder how events stay so well organized? Well, these amateur radio operators enjoy being behind the scenes for bicycle events, marathons and parades – especially the Cambridge Christmas Parade since 1979. Now that’s commitment. They align the parade entries and send them out in the correct order of appearance. That’s no easy task.

   These local hams enjoy setting up portable stations at local events so people can better understand how it operates. Recently, they displayed at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival, National Road / Zane Grey Museum, and John & Annie Glenn Historic Site. Just last month their members operated from the three crash sites of the USS Shenandoah in Noble County.

   When Christmas season arrives, their club has an on-air net on Christmas Eve. Children, who are visiting a member, can talk to Santa on the radio!

Ham Century of Radio

The group worked together to write a book, “A Century of Radio”.

   Ham members created a book, “A Century of Radio”. The book was organized by Evelyn Barton and tells the history of the club, which celebrates 105 years this December.

Ham Waller McMunn Museum

Standing outside the future Waller-McMunn Museum are Sonny Alfman, Larry Dukes, Dave Adair, and young helpers on each end.

  A current project involves the building which was used by Roy Waller and his brother-in-law, J. Homer McMunn, as an amateur radio station. Then in 1923, this same building was used as WEBE, the first commercial broadcast radio station in Cambridge. Plans are to restore this building and turn it into the Waller-McMunn Museum.

   Contact is maintained on a monthly basis through the CARA Communicator, a quarterly newsletter created by Lyn. Members participate in numerous events to practice their emergency communication skills. Training classes are held and the local group administers the federal test so new trainees can receive their FCC license.

Sonny and Lyn

Special thanks to Sonny and Lyn for answering all my questions and teaching me about CARA.

   When electric power fails, ham radio becomes even more important as it’s the only foolproof radio in the world. If you would like to become a ham operator, please contact Lyn Alfman at 740-872-3888 or lynalfman@aol.com.

   Ham radio has something for everyone to enjoy! Sonny says, “Amateur Radio is America’s best-kept secret.” It’s the perfect way to leave home while sitting in your favorite chair.

Advertisements

Commander Jim Gibson Inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame

Jim Honor Guard 5The bugle sounds as Commander Jim Gibson leads the Honor Guard standing at attention across from the courthouse. They are honoring the veterans of all wars as they give a three-gun rifle salute and Jim plays “Taps”.

   Jim has been watching parades in downtown Cambridge since he was six years old when he went to a Veterans Day Parade with his dad, a Navy veteran. In fifth grade, he began playing the trumpet, an instrument always used during the parade ceremonies. The Navy and trumpet together have played a large role in Jim’s present-day life.

Jim Playing Bugle

Jim’s bugle sounds “Taps” in honor of all Veterans.

   When the National Anthem would play while Jim watched as a youngster, the veterans would all stand and render a salute or place their hand over their heart. Some had tears in their eyes. They all had the same look even though they were different ages and different branches of the service, but Jim didn’t understand why.

   Brought up in a family interested in history, their vacations were to historic spots with stops for fun along the way. They visited places like Gettysburg, Washington D.C. and Williamsburg. Jim developed a love for his country and when he was a senior turned down an opportunity to attend Ohio State to join the Navy. He felt he had to enlist.

Jim Gibson Armed Forces Day 2014

Jim wears his Navy uniform for Armed Services Day.

   A veteran of the United States Navy, Jim served in Vietnam. After electronics training as an Aviation Ordnanceman, Jim served two years with VA42 at Oceana Naval Air Station and then was transferred to VA196 at Whidbey Island, Washington.

Jim Gibson On board USS Enterprise July 1971

USS Enterprise served as Jim’s home for several months in 1971.

   The squadron deployed aboard the Enterprise and sailed to Vietnam. One of the assignments was to prevent the enemy from bringing in needed supplies to South Viet Nam. This was not an easy task as they worked eighteen hours a day loading 500# bombs and other ordnance by hand. One plane could carry 28 bombs, and the squadron launched four aircraft every one and one-half hours.

   Jim wouldn’t change any part of his life. His experiences have led him to do the things he does today. His time now appears to be spent in three different directions: veterans, church, and music.

Jim Gibson Veterans Day Program North Elementary 2015

He frequently presents programs to area schools – here at North Elementary.

   He has been a member of the Veterans Council since 2002 and is a life member of Cambridge VFW Post 2901. Jim serves as commander of the Guernsey County Veterans Council. In addition to the primary purpose of providing Military Funeral Honors for Veterans of Guernsey County, they do programs for schools, communities and organizations throughout the area.

   Through his leadership, two ceremonies occur at home football games in Cambridge. Before the game, there’s always a special flag raising. After the game, a Retreat Ceremony features the senior band members with a trumpet playing “Retreat”. Schools all around take notice of this memorable addition to the game ceremony.

Jim Honor Guard

The honor guard stood at attention during the Memorial Day service at Cambridge Courthouse.

   A special part of his life, now that he is retired from GTE/Verizon, comes through providing Funeral Honors for departed veterans. This began in December 2002, when he was asked to play “Taps” for a military funeral. The day was one of sleet and freezing rain, and Jim began to wonder what he had gotten himself into.

   Then he looked at the veterans of all ages in attendance. They stood at attention with ice forming on their sleeves and rifles, but still had that special look in their eyes. Jim knew then, this was something he wanted to participate in. Now he goes to approximately 100 military funerals a year all over the area.

   Christ United Methodist Church plays an important part in his life. There he serves as trustee, teaches an adult Sunday School class, and plays trumpet in their Praise Band. He also conducts a worship service twice a month at Cardinal Place.

Cambridge H S Jazz Band

Jim directs the Cambridge High School Alumni Jazz Band at many area functions, including the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival.

   Everyone in the community recognizes Jim’s musical talent. Under his direction since 1996, the Cambridge High School Alumni Jazz Band performs annually at the Salt Fork Festival and many other venues.

Jim Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds

Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds performs several times a year in Muskingum University’s Brown Chapel.

   While Jim and his wife, Trudy, have played in many area bands and orchestras, their favorite right now is the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds.

Jim Symphonic Winds

Jim plays trumpet in the Muskingum Valley Symphonic Winds.

   The Navy has become a family tradition as Jim’s son and daughter-in-law are currently serving, and his two step-sons have served in the Navy. Their grandfathers were also Navy veterans. What a grand tradition!

   This veteran’s advice would be, “Find enjoyment in what you are doing. Cherish every experience.” He encourages young people to enjoy music, something they can enjoy the rest of their life.

   By serving in the Navy, now Jim understands that special look in the eyes of the veterans. “It’s a look of pride and a look of love; pride in knowing that by serving they’ve made a difference, and a look of love for their Country and their fellow man.”

   Please remember to honor the veterans you know for their service to our country to protect our freedoms. Thanks to all of our servicemen.

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 .

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?”

Summer Fun at Salt Fork State Park

Salt Fork Picnic by boat ramp

Salt Fork Lake is a great place for a picnic along the water’s edge.

When summer rolls around, everyone has thoughts of outdoor activities. Whether you want to spend the day or a week, Salt Fork State Park, the largest state park in Ohio, holds a wide variety of activities that are sure to please the entire family.

Salt Fork Picnic Shelters

     Many people in the area over the age of fifty will remember when this was farmland with Salt Fork Creek and many small streams running through it. In 1967, the earthen dam was completed and filling of the lake began.

Salt Fork Bicycling

Bicycling is popular at the lake on trails or even on the roads as speed limit keeps traffic moving slowly.

     There are many choices for staying at the 3,000-acre lake for a few days. You can camp, rent a cabin, or stay at the beautiful Salt Fork Lodge. No matter what your choice, you will be surrounded by rolling hills and views of the lake.

Salt Fork Cabin

Cabins along the lake make for a relaxing get-away.

     The campground sites all have electrical hook-ups with a heated shower house close by. A few sites even have water and sewer hook-up as well. However, if you would prefer a cabin along the lake, all are completely furnished with a screened-in porch, and even have kitchen utensils.

Salt Fork Lodge

Salt Fork Lodge provides a great place for meetings or to spend the weekend.

     Some prefer the comfort and convenience of the exquisite, stone Salt Fork Lodge, which is perfect for meetings or vacations. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools provide entertainment no matter the weather. Outside you’ll find a fantastic playground for the youngsters as well as tennis, volleyball, basketball and shuffleboard courts.

Special activities are scheduled throughout the summer months to keep youngsters busy with nature lessons, face painting, crafts, archery and guided hikes. There’s no reason to be bored here!

Salt Fork Golf Course

Golfers enjoy the beautiful 18th hole in the rolling hills of Salt Fork Golf Course.

     Just a half mile down the road from the Lodge is the entrance to their 18 hole championship golf course, which is a challenge in these southeastern Ohio hills. A golf cart is highly recommended! Deer frequent the course and have little fear of golfers playing their game. Rates are very reasonable.

Salt Fork Beach

Their expansive beach has a concession stand, putt-putt golf and Nature Center.

     No lake would be complete without a beach. Here the 2500 foot beach is one of the longest inland beaches in Ohio. When you want to take a break from swimming or playing in the water, take time to head to the concession stand, play miniature golf, or visit their Nature Center in the main bathhouse building.

Salt Fork Sugartree Marina 2

Sugartree Marina is one of two marinas where boats can be left for the season.

     Two marinas, Salt Fork and Sugartree, provide a place to dock your boat for the season. If you prefer to bring your boat with you, there are ten easy access boat ramps. At Sugartree Marina, you can rent kayaks, canoes, wave runners or pontoons. There are so many ways to enjoy a day on the lake.

Salt Fork Fishing

Fishing can be a wonderful time for families to relax together.

     Fishing is a popular item at Salt Fork Lake. It’s a place you see families with their children as they teach them to enjoy being out in nature. Sitting on the bank or going out on a boat both give fishing enjoyment. Fresh fish over a campfire always become a great memory and a tasty meal.


Salt Fork Hosak's Cave

Walk carefully when exploring Hosak’s Cave. Bigfoot has been spotted here.

     Many people enjoy hiking one of their fourteen hiking trails from easy to moderate. One popular trail leads to Hosak’s Cave complete with waterfalls and wildflowers. Bigfoot is said to have been spotted in this area.

Salt Fork Horse Trailer

Many bring their horses to the park to ride the peaceful trails.

     Others actually bring their horses to the park and camp for the weekend so they can ride twenty miles of horse trails. It’s a quiet place to ride through the woods on well-marked trails. Many ride bicycles and motorcycles through the paved roads of the park. It’s quite safe with a maximum speed limit of 35 mph in most places.

Salt Fork Kennedy Stone House - Root Cellar

Explore the historic Kennedy Stone House and root cellar while at the State Park.

     Another longer trail leads to Kennedy Stone House built in 1837. Stones used were quarried from the hills nearby and crafted in a manner that has stood the test of time. Original cost of the home at that time was $600. Recently, a road has been constructed to the house so you can hike, drive, or even arrive by boat.

My Inspiration Point

This overlook near the dam is my Inspiration Point, where many stories are written.

     The view from the dam in Morning Glory Area provides a great place to relax also. This is my Inspiration Point as often stories nearly write themselves while watching the waves hit the shore and seeing the boats bounce over the water.

Salt Fork Sand Castles

Building sand castles at the beach entertains youngsters between swims.

     Salt Fork State Park provides a great place for family vacations as there are so many varied activities to keep all ages busy and happy. If you are lucky enough to live in the area, enjoy a day at the beach or a ride on the lake anytime. Pack a picnic and use one of their many shelters or picnic tables, or spread your blanket on the ground.

     It’s also the perfect place to relax and do absolutely nothing. Visit Salt Fork State Park to enjoy being surrounded by the beauties of nature.

Salt Fork State Park is located about five miles north of Cambridge off US-22. The main entrance is on the left-hand side. Wooden signs throughout will guide you to the place you want to explore.

Pat Graven Stays Close to Nature

 

Pat Graven 001

These wave petunias bloomed during the week of Christmas.

Look deep into nature and then you will understand everything better.

~Albert Einstein

Take time to smell the roses. Pat Graven takes time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the countryside and wants her garden to blend in. The area around her home flourishes with plants that are natural to the area. It’s her place to relax as she works with her plants, and leaves the cares of the world behind for a little while at least.

     But Pat didn’t always live in the country. In fact, she was a city girl from the Cleveland area. There, her grandmothers influenced her life at an early age. One grandmother had a passion for roses and would gather rose petals in the morning to make a facial. The other grandmother would only eat things that were grown on the farm. You can see how Pat came to love nature.

Pat played the shopkeeper

This talented lady even played the shopkeeper in “The Magical World of Dickens”.

     Before coming to this area, Pat worked with the police department in Cleveland as a dispatcher. But once she saw the hills and streams of Guernsey and Muskingum counties, she was hooked.

Pat lime tree 001

Her lime tree needs a lot of sunlight.

     Here she quickly learned to enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Her love for animals makes living here extra special as her yard is filled with deer, wild turkeys, rabbits, squirrels and many, many birds.

     She seems to have a special attraction for birds as when she finds a dead bird along the road, she’ll stop and carefully pick it up with plastic gloves. Then she buries the bird with a plant, to let it continue to have value.

Pat Sphere Collection

Springtime daffodils are surrounded by a few samples of her special sphere collection.

     Over the years, Pat has picked up spheres of various metals and glass, making an outstanding collection..many from around the world. A special one she picked up on one of her trips to Ireland, a land she enjoyed “just because it feels good there”. She also has treasures from her trips to Mexico and Hawaii. But now, she is content to enjoy her home and surroundings.

Pat Paintings

Galway Bay in Ireland on a moonlit night inspired Pat to paint the picture she is holding.

     This very unique lady also has a talent for painting. Pat didn’t even realize she had this ability until she went to a class taught by Sue Dodd, who was an inspiration. Pat said, “I never would have painted if it weren’t for Sue.” Pat also works with Dickens Victorian Village to create heads for their mannequins.

Pat flower garden 001

Flower gardens such as this can be seen all over the hilltop where Pat lives.

     When Pat decided to begin planting flowers around her home, her first thought was to find plants that would attract hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees. When Pat does decide to take a short trip these days, Baker’s Acres – a favorite greenhouse – is her destination.

Pat aloe

Throughout the year, Pat enjoys her rose geranium, citronella and aloe plants.

     In 2006, Pat decided to join the OSU Extension Master Gardener program in Guernsey County. This group of gardeners gives many volunteer hours to the community to make it a more beautiful place to live.

Pat favorite orchid

When Pat grew orchids, this one was her favorite.

     Pat’s goal in joining was “to learn to manage the land properly” since she lives on a farm. Her yard is like none other. In Pat’s eye, “A flower is no more than a weed in disguise.” She loves weeds and has created an unusual and interesting setting by using native plants in a most eye-catching way.

Monarch Butterfly

Pat’s grandson, Joseph, captured this Monarch butterfly having a nectar taste treat.

     Most of what she has learned has been by trial and error. Every year she experiments with a few new plants just to see how they will thrive in our local climate. But you’ll still find many traditional coneflowers, salvia, primrose and lilies surrounding her many artistic garden statues and yard art.

Pat Bathroom Greenhouse

This large bathroom greenhouse is a great place for her jasmine and other plants to thrive.

     Her eyes light up and her face breaks into a smile as she tells you about her latest projects. Just recently her jasmine plant has blossomed for the second time this year. According to Pat, “My whole house smells heavenly.”

Pat Master Gardener

In 2017, Pat was named Master Gardener of the Year.

     In 2017, Pat was named the Guernsey County Master Gardener of the Year. Working with the elementary school children and young ag students to teach gardening skills gives her real pleasure. Often she even has gardening classes at her home on the hill.

Pat and Garden Club friends sharing their straw bale garden.

Kathleen, Vi and Pat, all Master Gardeners, share information about using straw bales as containers for plants.

     Her easy going manner and cheerful smile open the door to many conversations with friends and even strangers. If Pat happens to be stuck in a long line at the store, she doesn’t complain. Her first thought is, “Who can I strike up a conversation with?” Her words of advice to everyone would be, “Happiness is in your destiny. You need not be in a hurry.”

Pat's flowers 001     Would she consider going back to Cleveland and leave this peaceful countryside? “People are so nice down here, why would I ever go back to the city.” The community certainly hopes she will continue to spread her joy of volunteering in so many ways for many years to come.

Leonard Thomas – Born to Perform

Len Salt Fork Bash 2

When a piano’s not available, a keyboard will do.

When Leonard Thomas enters a room with a piano, you want to pull out the piano bench and have him tickle the ivories as he bursts into song.

While Len was born in Cambridge in 1927 and now lives there, he has traveled extensively using his musical talents not only at the piano or with his vibrant voice, but also in composing and directing. This man overflows with musical talent.

Len Note from Fred Waring

Fred Waring showed his appreciation to Len in this keepsake note.

He credits his success to the wonderful upbringing he received from his parents and siblings. Their support and encouragement make him feel lucky to have such a special family. He learned the importance of hard work from being a paperboy and soda jerk to conductor and performer.

The first time he sang in public happened at the First Christian Church when he was twenty-four months old. He entertained the crowd downstairs by singing “Bow Wow Blues” to the amazement of all. Len still calls this church home.

Len going places

Even as a youngster, Lenny had plans for going places.

When Lenny was only three years old, he went to visit with the family. A niece was just starting to take piano lessons and he asked her to show him what she was learning. She first  played the notes with her right hand, and Lenny played them back by ear. Next she played the left hand. Again Lenny played them back by ear. He asked her how you put them together and she said she had never done that yet. So Lenny said, “Do it like this.” and played them both.

By the time he was four, his parents thought he should have piano lessons, but they couldn’t afford it. Lenny went to see a lady across the street who gave piano lessons and told her he would like to take lessons but didn’t have any money to pay her.

She asked him if he would mow her yard for fifty cents a week. Lenny asked her how much the lessons would be. “Fifty cents a week.” It worked perfectly.

Len Fred, Ann and Len

Fred Waring and Len’s one-room school teacher, Anna Priaulx, visit with Len after a concert.

Lenny attended Rock Hill School, a one-room school near Center.  This provided a great learning atmosphere for him as he learned from all the classes. Everything fascinated him under the guidance of a very special teacher, Anna Priaulx.

By the age of ten, this young boy could play nearly all the classicals from great composers from memory.  He didn’t however forget the songs that were popular during that era.

Len Trio (2)

At Cambridge High School in 1947, Len played for this trio of  Carol, Barbara and Donna, who he said could harmonize as well as the Andrew Sisters.

At Cambridge High School, his musical talent has never been forgotten. His choice of a band instrument became a sousaphone, but he also sang in many groups as well as served as accompanist. No wonder he was voted the boy most likely to succeed as well as the most talented.

Len Muskingum Sr

Len graduated from Muskingum College and after retirement came back to assist with their music program.

Leonard graduated from Muskingum College with a B.S. in Music Education, but he never intended to use it. He wanted a career in performing so headed to Boston University, where he studied with great success.

But when he got home from Boston, his mother told him there was a letter waiting for him. It was his draft call from the Army. Len got lucky again as he was assigned to a base with a band. Now he could use his sousaphone experience from high school to participate in the Army band.

With this band, he headed to Germany, where they spent their time performing, participating in parades and singing at the chapel and in a barbershop quartet. Why he even had his own apartment and gave piano lessons.

Upon his return home, the hand of God guided him to the minister of the Central Presbyterian Church in Zanesville. There he had his first real job as choral director for five choirs among other assignment.

Along came someone from the court system and suggested that Len become a probation officer since he worked so well with young people. Now he had two jobs, so decided to buy his first car – a black ’57 Sunliner convertible.

Len with Steinbach

He still plays the piano he purchased in New York City in 1964, when he lived in a townhouse on the 19th floor.

Three years later, Len again decided to further his education and headed back to Boston to pursue his doctorate. Since all the schools were closed for the summer, he contacted an Army buddy in New York City and moved there for a while to a Central Park Townhouse.

Enjoying city life, Len began looking for a teaching job in the area.  He found one in Brooklyn at McKinley Jr. High School. Here he directed their choirs and led them in performing outstanding concerts. For eleven and a half years, this was his life.

Len Pennsylvanians

An attractive program design highlights Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians.

Well, except for summers!  Those last six summers he attended Fred Waring’s Workshops, where he learned more about performing. One of the students asked Len to play for their audition. It was Len that landed the job to play with the Pennsylvanians with his keyboard talent.

Len Young Pennsylvanians

Teaching young people is something he has always enjoyed. Here he is conductor for the Young Pennsylvanians.

For many years, Leonard performed with Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians. During the 40s and early 50s, Waring produced a string of hits, selling millions of records. Breezin’ Along with the Breeze was his signature tune. Waring’s often called The Man Who Taught America to Sing. Len Thomas was one of those he helped along the way.

Len and Fred at last performance

Pennsylvanians perform for the final time with Len and Fred Waring, only twelve days before Waring’ passed away.

When Fred Waring died in 1984, Len was asked to work as editor and arranger for Shawnee Press, which was founded by Fred Waring. Shawnee Press has been instrumental in providing quality musical arrangements to high schools, colleges, and orchestras.

Len Shawnee Press Business card

Len’s business card with Shawnee Press carried Waring’s logo at the top.

After working for Shawnee Press for seventeen years, it was sold and moved to another state. At the same time, Len had an offer to purchase his beautiful home in Pennsylvania. His heart and mind said it was time to return home.

Len Distinguished Service Award at Muskingum

Len received the Distinguished Service Award at Muskingum University.

When he returned, Muskingum College requested that he direct their concert choir. Frequently, he gave piano lessons, where he explained to students that playing the piano isn’t just done with the fingers, but with the wrists, arms and elbows. Your entire body feels the music.

Len at Salt Fork Festival Chorus

He still loves to perform and assists with many community musical events, such as the Salt Fork Festival Chorus.

The community feels lucky to have him return to the Cambridge area. Now he plays in the Muskingum Jazz Group, for numerous groups including the Cambridge Singers, and provides background music for many banquets, parties, funerals and weddings.  Let’s face it, Len loves to perform.

Preservation Dixieland All Stars

Preservation Dixieland All Stars will be performing at the Salt Fork Festival BASH. Members include: Jerry Weaver, Len Thomas, Don Kason, and Dave Jacobs.

Today at the age of 86, he has no problem remembering all those songs from years gone by. No matter what song is requested, Len’s fingers respond perfect. “The Lord’s been good to me,” smiled Len, as he’s fulfilled all his dreams.

His twilight years have been both enjoyable and fulfilling. Now it the time when he can give back to the community where he grew up. “When you spend time helping others, you find the happiness you seek.”

 

Tag Cloud