Places to go and things to see by Gypsy Bev

Archive for the ‘Festivals’ Category

Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival – Coming Back Strong in ’21

Another year arrives when folks from far and wide gather in Cambridge City Park for the annual Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival weekend from August 13-15. 2021 will be the 51st year for the festival to be held. Over the years, it has changed with the times but still keeps the juried art as its basis.

Visitors are sure to find something special as the festival includes artists, entertainers, concessions, crafts, student art, heritage tent, marketplace, and some surprises. This weekend event will bring a smile to your face as you see friends and neighbors throughout the park. Here are some highlights of the weekend.

Artists

Artists Russ Shaffer and Virginia Price have been with the festival for many years.

All the work that is seen at this festival is made by the artists themselves. Many will be demonstrating their craft as you watch them make rugs, pottery, musical instruments, and more. It’s a fun time to perhaps find a hobby you might enjoy during the rest of the year.

Maggie and Gene Jorgensen together create beautiful jewelry. Gene also does unique forged iron shapes.

Many of the artists have been in attendance for many years. One artist has actually been at the festival since its beginning. Virginia Price, 101 years old, will again be displaying her watercolors. She still paints even today so is a precious part of the festivities. New artists like Ken Vaughan will showcase their leather goods made from deerskin. Variety can be found around every bend.

Entertainers

The Loves Gospel Quartet, comprised of a father and his three sons, is always a crowd favorite.

Throughout the weekend, the Performing Arts Tent or the Big Pavilion provides a place to rest while listening to talented artists sing, dance, or play their musical instruments. You won’t be disappointed in the variety of music being presented.

These Ladies of Longford give a lively performance of Itish music.

The Loves Gospel Quartet is a popular local group that is always a crowd-pleaser as well as the Cambridge City Band and Muskingum Symphonic Winds. A Celtic group, The Ladies of Longford, delight the crowd with their lively Irish music, and for those who enjoy bluegrass, join Kevin Prater Band, another favorite.

Concessions

Buckeye Concessions is a favorite place for kettle korn and lemonade.

Everyone likes to take a break from walking the grounds and have a treat, or lunch at one of the many concession stands. You’ll be able to get everything from homemade ice cream or kettle corn to a cool Fresh-Squeezed Lemonade.

You might have to wait in line to get some of Russo’s Wood Fired Pizza.

Then head down to the big pavilion to sit down with friends and have lunch. Get some delicious Zeke’s BBQ, Rosso’s wood-fired pizza, or stop by J.C. Concessions for a sandwich or meal that will give you strength to carry on with your festival enjoyment.

Crafts

Crafts for children are a favorite part of the festival. Adults can join in as well.

Each year local ladies interested in the arts create many ideas to be used by children and adults in a special pavilion. For children, they range from masks and crowns to picture frames. Adults might create a design on a tote bag or jar.

Craft classes are held daily in one of the small pavilions with patient ladies guiding children and adults in creating some artistic items they are sure to want to display at home. Cost for these classes is $3 and under.

Student Art

These artistic students were award winners at the 2019 show. They are pictured with sponsors and organizers.

A popular exhibit has become the student art display by youngsters from K-12. Several area art teachers have projects with their class for display and other students submit something they have done at home. Prizes are awarded in different age groups to encourage children to continue practicing their artistic talents.

Artwork from area students of all ages can be found in the Student Art Tent.

High school seniors have a special category as each year a senior or two are awarded scholarships to continue their love of art. Last year a scholarship to continue their education was also given to a college student who had artistic creations on display.

Heritage Arts Tent

Chuck and Shana Fair demonstrate pottery making and decorating in the Heritage Arts Tent.

Showing their Appalachian heritage, many local craftsmen and groups display their talents in this large tent. Here you might find someone making pottery, quilts, or weaving wool.

Carl Wickham has his hand carved Civil War items on display. They are made to scale…just perfect!

Local organizations and individuals display their Appalachian connection through displays of the Guernsey County Historical Society, CARA, and Zane Grey Museum. It’s a great place to learn more about our area’s history throughout the years.

Marketplace

Popular Candy’s Gourmet Fudge is back with delicious baked goods as well.

For many years, Ohio-made products have been featured. Most are tasty treats from the area such as honey, jellies, homemade baked goods, and candy.

Lisa Bell of Farmstead Bakery makes the most delicious gluten-free products you have ever tasted.

Bell Farmstead Bakery will be back with their tasty, gluten-free items. While there you can also pick up a bouquet of flowers to brighten your day or the day of a friend. All of these are from Ohio individuals or companies.

Salt Fork Festival Chorus entertains on Sunday afternoon with voices of local people who love to sing.

For 50 years, the festival has given many an opportunity to display their works of art as well as their musical talents. Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival weekend is a great chance for free entertainment as you walk through over a hundred different artists’ displays.

Put the weekend of August 13-15 on your calendar as a time to explore the arts at the Salt Fork Arts & Crafts Festival at the Cambridge City Park. Take your family or friends along for a fun-filled artistic day with great entertainment and food that satisfies.

See you at the festival!

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.

“For the Birds” Creates Solid Birdseed Feeders

Retirement often leads to finding a hobby that makes life more fulfilling. When Marsha Stroud and Lee Marlatt retired, they found a recipe to make birdseed feeders and decided to try it. Now in their fourth year, they create the most unique birdfeeders imaginable for every season of the year. When they started this venture, they had no idea it would become so popular.

Marsha and Lee enjoy talking to customers at Rise and Shine Farmers’ Market.

They named their business simply “For the Birds” since that’s the purpose of everything they make. Their handmade solid birdseed feeders are a popular item at craft shows, farmers’ markets, schools, and Facebook. There’s a great variety to choose from. These birdseed art pieces must of course be non-toxic to birds.

Choose from a selection of owls in all colors.

The feeders begin with a cake or cupcake mold in various shapes and sizes. Roy, Marsha’s husband, cuts away a narrow section of the mold so a wire or hemp can be used as a hanger. Then a wild birdseed mix or sunflower seeds that have been combined with gelatin, water, flour, and light corn syrup gets poured into the mold. After being dried, Marsha colors the pieces with a food coloring paste.

Flowers and butterflies are the most popular birdfeeders for summertime.

Some of the more popular shapes in the summer are flowers such as zinnias, daisies, or roses. During the winter, snowmen and snowflakes become popular. Hearts appear for Valentine’s Day and bunnies for Easter. Their original ideas give customers something different to look forward to each year.

A heart-shaped birdfeeder is welcome anytime of the year.

Designing the birdseed feeders requires hours of experimentation, often causing frustration and even sometimes failure. But in the end, they put their heart and soul into each creation making it unique. They hope that it will end up being a special moment in someone’s life, or in some bird’s life!

Birdwatchers will enjoy having a couple of these feeders outside their window. A large variety of birds will soon appear in your backyard with the addition of these solid birdseed feeders. Keep your bird book handy for easy identification.

Many place their feeders outside a window for easy birdwatching.

Give one as a great gift for someone in a nursing home. If a tree isn’t handy, get a shepherd’s hook and place it outside their window where you can hang one of these unique birdseed feeders. Often the birds hang off the birdfeeder while they get a good snack.

Marsha and Lee like to customize the feeders according to requests. A man asked them to design a birdfeeder in the shape and color of the OU paw for his mother’s 90th birthday as she was a big OU fan.

Snowflakes and snowmen are the best sellers during the winter months.

Another lady requested a wreath of sunflower seeds with cranberry accents as a special Christmas treat…for her chickens!

As you might imagine, they are always on the lookout for molds of various shapes for their creations. One mold that has escaped their grasp is that of a turtle, not a Ninja turtle, just a regular box turtle.

The ladies prepare for the next farmers’ market with new birdfeeders.

Marsha and Lee, with help from Roy, usually work in the Stroud’s basement three days a week. They use approximately 100 pounds of birdseed each week to make between 80-90 birdfeeders. Their largest mold takes ten cups of birdseed.

This shows a small section of their craft show display.

The local Rise & Shine Farmers’ Market in Cambridge is one of their favorites as all products there are either locally grown or handmade. It usually runs from May – September so add them to your calendar now.

The River City Market in Marietta is held every Saturday for special homemade treats.

In February, Marsha and Lee plan to be back at the “Handmade, Homemade, Homegrown” River City Market in Marietta. While this is an outdoor market, it is held throughout the year. Here, For the Birds has an enclosed tent with a heater for some extra warmth. They are there on Saturdays from 8-noon.

This OSU birdfeeder is a big hit with Buckeye fans.

While many feeders are purchased at craft shows, they can also be found on Facebook and have been shipped to North Carolina, Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania to name a few states. They will be carefully packed and shipped for your personal use or as a gift for someone else.

Rufus Bernard joins For the Birds in saying Happy New Year.

Marsha does take breaks from this hobby. One of her favorite escapes is to Florida where she enjoys spending time on the beach. A few years ago, a St. Bernard ended up on their doorstep and they adopted him. Now Rufus, a rather large but friendly dog, keeps them busy and entertained.

Feeding the birds in the winter months is especially important as there isn’t much natural food for them to maintain their body fat reserves for those cold winter nights. Once they discover you have food for them, they’ll return again and again.

Visit “For the Birds” on Facebook where you can find many pictures of their work. For the Birds is just a phone call away at 740-584-0691. They have gift certificates available and do accept credit cards. There’s a feeder for every season so choices are unlimited.

Feed the birds. Not all birds fly south!

Visit For the Birds at one of their farmers’ market sites or find them on Facebook where you can order direct. Call them at 740-584-0691.

Robb Gable Features Dickens Victorian Village in “Christmastime in My Hometown”

Personal experiences become the basis of many songs that Robb Gable writes. A popular song at this time of year is one he wrote specifically about Dickens Victorian Village called “Christmastime in My Hometown.”

Robb entertained with his Christmas song at a Victorian tea.

Ever since the Courthouse Light Show began fourteen years ago, Robb and his wife, Robin, have attended every Opening Night. The whole family loves Christmas with its music, lights and manger scene. Excitement fills the air in downtown Cambridge during the Dickens Victorian Village season.

This scene provided the inspiration for “Christmastime in My Hometown.”

One evening while watching the Hallmark channel on television, Robb realized that his hometown was very much like a Hallmark movie. As he sat on the couch watching television, he wrote the words to “Christmastime in My Hometown” in ten minutes. The words just flowed as he remembered what happens downtown Cambridge in November and December.

Christmastime is here again.

And our little town is busier than it’s ever been.

And that old courthouse shines so bright

Music fills the air upon a cold December night.

Christmas Eve service has become a tradition at Southern Hills Baptist Fellowship.

Christmas has always been special with his family and every year on Christmas Eve the family gathers at Southern Hills Baptist Fellowship for a musical service that packs the building. Robb, his two sons, and his brother, Pastor Kirk look forward to this family tradition.

Saturday nights with his sons are special musical evenings.

Robb’s love of music drifted over to his two sons, Cole and Eli. Cole has varied talents which include producing classical to heavy metal sounds as well as being an author. Eli has drifted down to Nashville where he writes songs and performs on the drums and guitar.

There’s more to Robb’s musical ability than just Christmastime. He’s a singer, songwriter, and producer of musical entertainment and especially enjoys Christian country music. During the recent pandemic, Robb shared a series of YouTubes, “Alive from the Couch.”

Robb began playing piano and guitar at an early age.

You can find out a lot about Robb just by listening to the words of the songs that he has written, as most of them are from events that have happened in his life. He grew up on a little dirt road on College Hill just a few miles out of town. This led to him writing a song “Dirt Road.”

Many can relate to Robb’s life experiences easily when he puts them to music. Take his “Trailer” song that tells about a few years when he and his family lived in a trailer. It was the first place his family could afford to call their home. His songs all have meaning that touches on real life.

His older brother, Kirk, actually gave Robb the desire to be a musician as Kirk always played music around the house. At the age of seven, Robb began taking piano lessons and when he was eleven, began playing guitar.

This Gable Brothers album cover features the two brothers, Kirk and Robb.

Kirk and Robb performed as the Gable Brothers for several years beginning in 2000. Their songs were heard world-wide and several of their songs charted in Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland.

Their dog, Scout, likes to hang out in Scout Dog Studio.

Today, Scout Dog Studio is where Robb’s music all begins and where he spends most of his time. The studio is named for their dog, Scout, who seems to enjoy hanging out in the studio as well. Robb has two studio rooms. One is devoted to drums, which he feels are the foundation of music. He loves drums and also plays keyboard along with the guitar.

Robb’s collection of Fender Telecasters keeps growing as each one has a different voice.

Robb has quite a collection of guitars but he says that each one has its own voice and purpose. Fender Telecasters have become a favorite and his collection of them has expanded to over 30, according to his wife. She knows Robb well as they’ve been married for 27 years.

A guitar kit was the perfect birthday present for Robb.

Robb loves anything about music. He especially enjoys the process of production. Usually he writes the words first and they come quickly. His songs begin with a recording of the drum, which often is done by his son, Eli. Then Robb adds the rest himself piece by piece…a guitar or guitars, keyboard, and last of all the vocals.

The last song he wrote was for Robin on their anniversary. He took a little more time to write that song – fifteen minutes since it was special! No matter what happens around him, he is happy when he sees her smile.

Recently, he has gone back to his renovation business as he likes working on his own schedule. Gable Renovation specializes in interior remodeling as Robb is a carpenter by trade. He offers trustworthy service, fair pricing, and quality results. He wants to exceed your expectations.

Robb leads the band at Trinity Baptist Church in Cambridge.

In his spare time, he is very active in his church and leads the band at Trinity Baptist. Spreading the Christian message through song gives him great pleasure.

Cole, Robin, Scout, Robin, and Eli enjoy a Gable family vacation.

The Gable family has enjoyed many wonderful family vacations over the years. Sometimes they take their guitars along and they always stop at a music store. Robin recalls one year when they didn’t take a guitar with them. About a week into the vacation, they bought a guitar at a local music store and passed it around like candy that evening. The Gable boys all love their music.

Join Robb and Robin downtown at the Courthouse Light Show.

Catch that hometown Christmas spirit at Dickens Victorian Village in downtown Cambridge during November and December. You’ll understand why it inspired Robb to write “Christmastime in My Hometown.”

And people come from all around

To see the sights and hear the sounds

Of Christmastime! Christmastime in my hometown.

Marbles Made in America at Marble King

Marlbe King bag of marbles    Many will remember going to school with your bag of marbles so you could join a game at recess. Someone drew a large circle on the playground, participants knuckled down, and the game began. Each player had their own special shooter marble which was usually their largest marble. Mine had a light blue swirl.

   The goal was to shoot a marble outside the circle. You then kept that marble for the rest of the game. Then students either played “for fair” in which marbles were all returned to their owner or “for keeps” – no explanation needed.

Marble King Berry

“Marble King” Berry Pink began selling marbles in the 1930s.

   Someone had to make those special marbles and this is their story. It all began in the 1930s when Berry Pink was selling marbles manufactured by Peltier Glass. By the 1940s, Pink was selling more marbles than Sellers Peltier could produce so they decided to combine their talents of manufacturing and salesmanship in a new company.

   Berry Pink gave away marbles as he traveled around the country hosting marble tournaments. He became known as the “The Marble King” to the children along the way. When the company was founded in 1949, Marble King seemed a fitting name for this new organization.

Marble King Building

The marble factory is located in Paden City, West Virginia.

   At that time the company was located in St. Mary’s, West Virginia. But in 1958, a fire destroyed the factory and the manager, Roger Howdyshell moved the plant to Paden City where it remains today.

Marble King Dad

When he was manager, Roger Howdyshell purchased Marble King in 1963 and his family still owns it today.

   Howdyshell left his mark on the marble industry in several ways. He led Marble King to the top of marble manufactures when he designed the first American made Cat’s Eye marbles. In 1983, Roger Howdyshell purchased Marble King and dedicated his life to making it a success. While Roger died in 1991, the Howdyshell family still operates Marble King and carries on that fine tradition set by Roger.

Marble Rollers

Hot glass is cut into small pieces and rolled into marbles.

   Today, Beri Fox presides over Marble King, the only factory in the United States that manufactures marbles. She was named for Berry Pink and worked at Marble King with her mom and dad all of her life. On summer vacations from college, Beri worked in the family business.

   At that time, most marbles were used in games and toys for companies like Mattel and Ideal. But when video games became popular, Marble King had to make the transition to other uses for their beautiful glass gems. Now, marbles are being used in floral designs, jewelry, architecture, and industrial applications.

Marble King Walt filling the furnace

Wal Lancaster fills the furnace with recycled glass.

   Beri explained, “You can be a broken piece of glass and we can transition you into something new again.” 90% of their marbles are made from cullet glass, which is scrap glass melted down for reuse from several area glass companies. They can make a million marbles a day when in full production.

Marble King Champions

National Marble King champions visit with Beri at the factory.

   This is a frequent stop for tour buses and school groups as they come to learn the history of marbles and have fun along the way. The gift shop includes a 12-foot ring like the one that is used at the National Marbles Tournament in Wildwood, New Jersey. Marble King has been a proud tournament sponsor since 1968. Winners are presented with a $2,000 scholarship for post-secondary education. This year, a virtual tournament was held due to the coronavirus; next year, Marble King will sponsor the West Virginia Marble Festival in Paden City.

Marble King Beri with children

Beri enjoys visiting with children as they play with marble games in the gift shop.

   Kids have a chance to play Ringer in the gift shop. This is one of the traditional marble games where 13 marbles are placed in an X inside a circle. The challenge is to see who can be the first one to knock out seven marbles. “The opportunity to work in an industry that involves kids is what is truly important,” stated Beri. She always enjoys a chance to play Ringer with the kids when they stop by.

Marble King demonstration

   Most people think of marbles being used in toys and games. However, there are many other uses for marbles. Some are used as decorations for weddings, jewelry, fish tanks, and infiltration systems. When you shake a can of spray paint, that rattle you hear is an industrial use of a marble. Special marbles are even used in making wine and beer. They have even been used by NASA for testing in their space balloons. The list of uses is amazing.

Marble King Marble Tower

Towers filled with Marble King marbles create a great conversation piece.

   Their marbles have even made the movies! “Goonies”, “Hook”, and “Home Alone” have featured Marble King marbles as props. Robin Williams used Marble King marbles when he recaptured his youth as Peter Pan.

Marble King marbles

   Marble King marbles are made using recycled glass in the U.S.A. seven days a week, three hundred sixty-five days a year. Marbles have been shipped all over the world to over 17 countries, including Australia, Germany, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. In 2000, Marble King won the Governor’s Award for Excellent in Exporting.

Marble King at Grave Creek Mound

Grave Creek Mound Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia, uses Marble King marbles to create their logo in a large mural.

   In Moundsville, West Virginia at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex an entire wall displays their beauty in a fantastic, colorful design. Here 47,523 marbles replicate the logo of Marble King.

Marble King Altard States

Altar’d State uses Marble King marbles with a lighted background in every store.

   Altar’d State stores use a clear glass panel filled with Marble King marbles as the backdrop in each store. Lighted from behind, this creates a very beautiful and glowing welcome.

Marble King Marbles 2    Visit their interactive museum and gift shop in Paden City to discover why Marble King is known for quality, tradition, and history all over the world. It’s extra special because today they are the only marble company still producing Made in America marbles.

Made in America parade

Marble King was recognized as an American Made Hero and served, along with others, as the Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Boston.

   After 70 years in business, Marble King marbles have earned the right to be called the world’s best-known, and best-loved marbles.

    Marble King is located in Paden City, WV. From Marietta take US-2 North and from Wheeling take US -2 South.  Turn on Park Street and then 1st Avenue. The Gift Shop will be at 401 S 1st Avenue.

Barefoot McCoy Captures Real Life in His Songs

 

Surrounded by music since childhood, Jake “Barefoot” McCoy of Newark, Ohio now provides musical entertainment all over Ohio and across the United States. His popular folk music developed step by step throughout his life.


Barefoot as a child

Even as a child, Jake attempted to play his dad’s musical instruments.

   His family was homeschooled and piano instruction was part of the curriculum. At the age of five, he began classical piano lessons from a teacher who came to their house every week. A half-hour of practice was required daily.

   Jake feels lucky to have started his musical training at an early age. Music filled his heart and soul so by the time he was eight, he played as much by ear as by reading the music. It wasn’t until age 13 that Jake wrote his first songs using piano and guitar as accompaniment.

Barefoot at Apoxee Trail Florida

The Apoxee Trail in Florida is a great place to go hiking with your guitar.

   When attending Newark High School, Jake also participated in cross country and track. Running and being in nature got in his blood too, and he still gets pleasure from hiking today or taking long walks in the woods.

   Jake attended Asbury College in Kentucky for four years where he earned a degree in music and performance, with minors in accounting and agriculture. In that small town of Wilmore, locals met on the porches or in local clubs and enjoyed sharing music. That’s where he developed as a banjo player.

The same teddy bear is available in multiple, playful settings.

Historic Roscoe Village featured Jake at their grand piano for a Christmas concert.

   It was while enjoying music on those hot summer evenings along the Kentucky River that Jake began playing without wearing shoes. A couple of his friends, Rainwater, a Cherokee, and Gail Roe gave him the Indian name of “Barefoot” at that time and this unique name distinguishes him easily from other performers.

   While in Kentucky, he performed with many local bands from 2010 to 2014 and immersed himself in Appalachian culture, including readings of Thoreau and Wordsworth. If you listen closely, you can hear traces of his beliefs and values in the songs he writes.

Barefoot at South Florida Fair - West Palm Beach

Fairs are a popular venue. Here he performs at the South Florida State Fair in West Palm Beach.

   2015 created a memorable year for Barefoot as he went to California to visit a relative. He stayed the year playing every day as a street performer on the Santa Monica Pier. In the evenings he would play at local clubs and bars. While surrounded by all that music, he wrote over 100 songs that year.

   He began performing solo in 2015 and has since delighted crowds at over 1200 shows in Ohio, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Florida, Indiana, New Mexico, and California. His most recent festival took place in March at Dawsonville, Georgia.

Barefoot April

Jake Barefoot McCoy writes meaningful lyrics for his folk songs.

   A special relative that influenced his music tremendously was Doc Watson. His folk guitar playing inspired much of Barefoot’s technique today. During the American folk music revival in the 1960s, the award-winning Doc played acoustic guitar and banjo with a special picking style.

   A multi-talented young man, Barefoot is a singer, songwriter, and musician. A specialty he has mastered is putting poetic lyrics together that tell stories of yesterday and tomorrow. Barefoot is a truly great lyricist able to capture beauty, happiness, frustrations, and pure fun.

Barefoot at Keyboard

The keyboard is a central part of his performances.

   He varies his performances by playing guitar, banjo, harmonica, and piano. No matter what instrument he picks up, his skill and feelings come pouring through. Those bare feet keep him in close touch with his foot percussion, which is often his guitar case.

Barefoot at Cherokee, NC

Cherokee Nation in North Carolina has a festival that he thoroughly enjoys.

   While playing around on the piano at home, he often just happens across his next song. He loves telling a story through his music and usually is working on several new songs. Sometimes he might work on a song idea for years, but often it happens in just one day, maybe even ten minutes.

Barefoot Latest Album

His album “Back to Virginia” takes you on a musical adventure from valleys to mountaintops.

   His albums are Bye Bye Bluebird, Ballyhoo, American Lady, and Back to Virginia. At concerts, Take Me Away and Cali top the list of requests. Summer in My Soul is his latest hit.

I will not grow old

While my heart is full

The world outside is so cold

But it’s Summer in My Soul.

Tourism Barefoot McCoy

He was a featured entertainer at Ohio Tourism Day on the Ohio Statehouse steps.

   Some of his favorite concerts have occurred at the Cherokee Festival in Cherokee Nation, the Paul Bunyan Festival at Old Washington, and Apple Butter Festival in Coshocton. My first concert of Barefoot’s occurred on the Ohio State House Lawn at a State Tourism Show and later listened when he performed at the Guernsey County Senior Center Picnic.

Barefoot at Senior Diner

Guernsey County Senior Center asked him to play for their Senior Picnic in the park.

   Like all young men, he has his dreams. One of those would be to go on an international tour. He’d also enjoy playing with Tommy Emmanuel, who he admires for his complex fingerstyle technique on the guitar. The talented Jake “Barefoot” McCoy certainly has a wonderful chance to fulfill his dreams.

Barefoot Tee

This Barefoot tee shirt could be a fun gift.

   Visit his website at www.barefootmccoy.com to hear some of his music. It’s an easy place to order an entertaining CD. Bluegrass fans might like to pick up a Barefoot Raglan Tee Shirt or Hoodie for themselves or a friend.

   Watch his schedule and plan to listen to his delightful musical creations sometime soon. Barefoot McCoy is a pure American Folk Music treasure.

Heartland Travel Showcase Promotes Tour Group Travel

Heartland Bus (2)

Area travel attractions and tour groups enjoyed a peaceful ride to Heartland Travel Showcase.

    Every February, tour group leaders and attractions from the eastern United States meet at Heartland Travel Showcase to share ideas in various locations of the eastern United States. They have recently been in Pigeon Forge, Detroit, and Chicago with plans to have their showcase in Cleveland for 2021.

Radisson Hotel Home

Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol was our home for a few days.

     This gypsy has been fortunate to be able to attend the Showcase for several years as the tour group coordinator for Dickens Victorian Village.  We were fortunate to have a great bus driver for our trip to Lansing. When we arrived, we unloaded our suitcases at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Lansing, which was just across the river from the Lansing Center where the Showcase was to take place.

     Heartland Travel Showcase is produced by the Ohio Travel Association in various cities in the eastern part of the United States. Travel is an important industry accounting for nearly $44 billion dollars a year in the state of Ohio. These shows are an important place to make connections and let others know about your particular event.

Lansing River Walk

An enclosed pedway led us from the hotel over this Grand River to the Lansing Center where the Showcase was held.

     This weekend event sets up booths early Friday morning, followed by what is called a Four Minute Meet. Here the tour groups are set up in a large conference room in alphabetical order and attractions have four minutes to tell them about why they might like to arrange a tour to their particular area and attraction.

Heartland Set up

Tour attractions just finished setting up their booths in preparation for the next two days of appointments with tour operators.

     The evening always has entertainment and a delicious buffet of foods provided by the city hosting the event. In Pigeon Forge, we visited The Island at Pigeon Forge as well as the Titanic Museum and a buffet at a country/dinner theater. Detroit treated us to a historic museum while Chicago opened the doors to their Impression 5 Science Center.

Lite Brite at Science Museum

Freedom to play with a giant Lite-Brite screen has Heartland visitors at the science center designing the mega-screen with a huge heart.

Heartland Slime

Several enjoyed the challenge of making their personal bag of “slime” for the kid in them.

     These places not only show other groups the highlights of their area but gives a chance to become familiar with other attractions and tour groups on a more personal level.

2020 Heartland (2)

Dixie Lacy from the Visitors and Convention Bureau and Beverly Kerr, group tour director for Dickens Victorian Village met with many potential visitors.

     Saturday and Sunday are spent at appointments that are scheduled with various attractions. This gives tour operators a chance to learn more about the attractions and see if they would like to schedule a visit.

    All events throughout the weekend are spent in networking with other tour groups and tour operators. There were also seminars on ways to learn about trends in the travel industry and how we might use them in our event.

Heartland Muskingum

On one side were friends from Muskingum County. Brenton Baker from the nearly opened  Dresden & Co. shared the booth with Kelly Ashby, Zanesville’s Chamber Vice President.

     We were pleased to be surrounded by other area attractions making it easy to discuss combined tours for a possible several day tour. These connections are an important part of the travel industry so we have friends who can help answer questions.

Heartland Marietta

Across the aisle, another special friend,  Deana Clark from the nearby Marietta/Washington County CVB  provides possibilities of many interesting tours.

Great Ohio Lodges - Salt Fork

On the other side representing Great Ohio Lodges were Joan Arrowsmith and Kathlene Williams. Our local Salt Fork Lodge is part of that group and the perfect place for lodging.

     By the time Sunday afternoon rolls around, ideas are flowing in everyone’s minds about tourism in 2021-22. It’s been a great place to build relationships and plan tours.

Heartland Capitol Building Lansing

Our last evening there, we took a walk to a nearby restaurant and had this view of the Lansing Capitol right down the street.

The bus ride home has everyone talking about possibilities for the future.

If anyone is interested in a tour to Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge, Ohio during November and December each year, please contact me at DickensGroupTours@gmail.com and we’ll design a plan for your specific group.

“Chihuly: Celebrating Nature” at Franklin Park Conservatory

Chihuly Annie's Pond

“Anemones and Niijima Floats” can be found at Annie’s Koi Pond. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

I want my work to appear like it came from nature. So that if someone found it on a beach or in the forest, they might think it belonged there.

~Dale Chihuly

Stunning glass artwork by Dale Chihuly is being featured at Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Columbus. The vibrant colors make this exhibition glow from within.

     Select pieces of Chihuly have been exhibited at Franklin Park since 2003 when they were honored to be the second botanical garden in the world to host an exhibition by Dale Chihuly. This time they are excited to be able to exhibit their full collection and several pieces on loan, the largest Chihuly collection in a botanical garden.

Chihuly Sunset Tower

“Sunset Chandelier” can be seen suspended in the Pacific Island Biome. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     These breathtaking pieces can be found in the Conservatory’s botanical gardens and courtyards. Most of his pieces are inspired and named for objects in nature. In the Pacific Island Water Garden, you can find that awesome Sunset Chandelier.

     Chihuly has been interested in glass since childhood walks on the beaches of Puget Sound where he found little pieces of broken bottles and Japanese floats. However, it wasn’t until he was a student at The University of Washington that he decided to weave some small pieces of glass into his tapestries.

Chihuly Lavender Reeds

“Neodymium Reeds & Green Grass” contain a rare lavender hue. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     A few years later, he melted some glass in an oven and blew his first glass bubble. At that moment, this artist decided to be a glassblower. Over the years he has experimented with many old and new techniques to create artistic creations beyond the normal bounds of function and beauty.

Chihuly Ceiling

“Persian Ceiling” contains hundreds of layered blown glass forms. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     This creator of unusual glass artwork still makes his home in Seattle where he and his wife, Leslie, take art to places that might not normally see it. They have formed the Leslie and Dale Chihuly Foundation which works with veterans, teenagers, and seniors. The foundation also gives grants each year to two Washington state innovative artists.

Chihuly Macchia

“Macchia” series is aglow with an unbelievable combination of colors. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Glass is the most magical of all materials and is one of the few materials that light can pass through easily. Chihuly was attracted by the way even a small glass opening creates a beautiful object. Color doesn’t seem to matter as he said, “I’ve never met a color I didn’t like.”

     Since an auto accident in 1976 where he lost his left eye, Chihuly has not blown glass himself but oversees a team of skilled glassblowers. He likens himself to the director of a movie or an architect overseeing the project these days. But his mark is still left behind on the productions. Traditional glass factories create perfectly formed vessels while Chihuly lets the glass take its own shape, and irregularity is prevalent.

Chihuly Paintbrushes (2)

“Paintbrushes” is named for the Indian Paintbrush flower.  Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Because of interest in glasshouses, his exhibitions have found their way into many botanical garden settings around the world. This outstanding blown glass has been seen from Venice to Jerusalem and Montreal.

     From 1994 to 1996, the artist worked with glassblowers in Finland, Ireland, Mexico, and Italy to create “Chihuly Over Venice” – a series of fifteen Chandeliers which he hung over canals and in piazzas of Venice, one of his favorite cities.

Chihuly Venetian

“Venetian Vase” is overwhelmed by sprouting flowers. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     Four years later, his largest public exhibition, “Chihuly in the Light of Jerusalem, 2000” was viewed by over a million visitors at the Tower of David Museum. His creations can be found in over two hundred museums around the world.

     Like many artists, when asked about plans for the future, his response is, “If I knew what was to be created next, I would already have done it.”

Chihuly Blue Garden Fiori

“Blue Garden Fiori” was inspired by his mother’s flower garden. Artwork © Chihuly Studio. All Rights Reserved.

     He does encourage young artists to surround themselves with artists and see as much art as possible. “Create something that nobody has ever seen before.” That’s something that Chihuly has become an expert at doing.

     The full Chihuly: Celebrating Nature will be at Franklin Park Conservatory until March 29. Don’t miss this chance to see beautiful and unique glass creations that are sure to please and surprise you.

     “I want people to be overwhelmed with light and color in some way that they’ve never experienced.” ~Chihuly

Franklin Park Conservatory is in Columbus, Ohio at 1777 E. Broad Street. They have exciting things happening all year long. Pictures in this post were taken by Gypsy Bev and were then approved for publication by Dale Chihuly.

John Glenn Grad, Chris Jones, Living His Dream

Chris Jones behind camera

Chris Jones worked behind the camera filming “I See You” with Helen Hunt.

When dreams come true, a person’s life becomes more meaningful. Each day has a purpose. Chris Jones never wanted to do anything other than make movies. He wasn’t sure what his role might be in those early years, but he loved movies. His journey from New Concord to Hollywood has been a great adventure.

Chris child

Movies and their stories caught his eye even as a child.

   About the age of nine, Chris saw “Jaws”, which stirred his imagination. A little later, “A Nightmare on Elm Street” made him wonder, “The things are not real, but look real. How did that work? How can make-believe be so real?”

   It wasn’t long before Chris had his dad’s camera on his shoulder and began filming. He and a friend might use gasoline to have a model car explode on their driveway. Fog was created using a humidifier and of course, blood was really ketchup. But Chris liked being in control of the action of the film. At one point in his early years, he had three cameras he could use.

Dad, Chris and Mom

Visited Bob, Chris, and Carol in a casual setting one Sunday afternoon.

   He credits a lot of the reason for his success to his parents, Robert and Carol Jones. “They never for a second steered me away from the process of filming. Thanks to Mom and Dad for all their help.”

Chris High School play

He played an active role in high school in movies and performances.

   Another person that always encouraged him was a high school teacher, Mary Ann DeVolld. “She was super supportive and willing to let me do things that fueled my passion for movies.” Chris made a movie instead of giving his book report, even though he said he received a B for not following directions.

   Mrs. DeVolld remembers Chris in her Media class, where he filmed and edited a video about the senior class. It allowed Chris to do what he loved as he was always talking about making films with his friends. In Mrs. DeVolld’s opinion, “I really believed that if Chris could make the right connections, he could become a serious filmmaker.”

Jones Family

The Jones Family often sang at Muskingum Alumni Weekend.

   After high school, Chris attended Muskingum College for a couple of years but then headed to a film school at North Carolina School of Arts, one of the tops in the world for film making. Here he was able to make practical application of techniques learned instead of just studying about them. Chris wanted the freedom to do his own thing.

   Even the simplest scene takes a lot of craftsmanship and design by the writers. It takes so much work and control to make each scene come alive.

Chris at film festival

Chris was chosen to represent his film school at the Tribeca Film Festival.

   While at film school, Chris wrote and did the cinematography for his own film, “Roadside Convenience”, which was selected to represent the school at the Tribeca Film Festival. Putting a film together in Chris’s eyes is pure magic, “It’s an artistic miracle.”

Jones Cowboys

Chris, Grayson, and Bob donned their cowboy hats at a Salt Fork Festival performance.

   When asked what he does in his spare time, Chris smiled, “Watch movies!” But once in a while he also takes to the ski slopes, does a little white water rafting and has begun working on the engines of motorcycles. Even the things he does for relaxation seem exciting.

I See You

   Recently he was in Cleveland shooting a thriller, “I See You”, which stars Helen Hunt. This film was released on December 6 in a streaming platform. His role this time was the first assistant cameraman, where he had to make certain he captured just the right feeling for the scene.

   It’s especially exciting for Chris to be working just up the road from where he grew up. He’s been working on other films in Ohio, such as “10 Minutes Gone” with Bruce Willis in Cincinnati for prime video and “All the Bright Places” with Elle Fanning in Cleveland to be released on Netflix.

Grey's Anatomy

   He feels so lucky to be working in an industry that he had dreams of working in as a child. Currently, Chris is working as a cinematographer/1st Assistant Camera on Grey’s Anatomy and his first episode has already been televised. Even though he spends many twelve-hour days, he loves the process. Plain and simple, Chris glows when he says, “I love movies.”

Opening 2018 Chris

Chris, with his son Grayson, sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” to open the Salt Fork Festival.

   He’s definitely living his childhood dream. His hope for the future would be in the role of producer. Wouldn’t he be a great asset to a film with all his background knowledge? “Being on set is very exciting. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I never want to do anything else.”

   Keep living your dream, Chris!

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