A loving heart is the truest wisdom.
The spirit of Christmas at Dickens Victorian Village leads to many interesting adventures. One of those involves a couple who just happened to meet at Sheetz in New Philadelphia when Shannon was having car trouble and Curtis appeared to help. They sensed a connection that first evening.
After that, they talked on the phone several times and agreed to meet again at Sheetz before going to dinner in New Philadelphia on November 22, 2014. Curtis discovered through the phone calls that Shannon had a real passion for Christmas. After dinner at Pro’s Table, he suggested they go to Dickens Victorian Village in Cambridge.
Shannon had never been there before but loved Dickens Victorian Village at first sight. They walked from 6th Street to 11th Street and enjoyed all the Victorian scenes. They laughed, talked, and had a great time.
Shannon loves the Christmas season because it’s a time when everyone is happy and thoughtful. Families gather around the Christmas tree to exchange gifts and share their love. To her, the season is filled with happiness.
In December, even though Curtis has a passion for heavy metal music, he arranged to take Shannon to hear the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in Pittsburgh. While there, he took her a ride on the Incline in a car reserved just for them. On the way down, he presented her with a promise ring – with a promise that he would never hurt her. Charles Dickens expressed that same vow for all of us when he wrote, “Have a heart that never hardens, and a temper that never tires, and a touch that never hurts.”
A year later, on November 22, 2015, Curtis and Shannon were married at the Courthouse during the Dickens Victorian Village season. They loved the Christmas spirit that they felt there. It started out a fairly warm day; however, just during the wedding ceremony, snow fell creating a magical snowball effect.
Shannon told Curtis he could wear whatever he wanted to the wedding as she knew he didn’t like dressing up in a suit. Curtis chose his leather Harley jacket, hat, and boots. Then Shannon decided to wear Harley boots under her traditional wedding gown. They wrote their own special vows. Their reception was held at the Senecaville Fire Department, where Curtis is a volunteer. Then they headed to Carlisle Inn for their honeymoon. Their fun never stops!
Their Christmas Trees are a source of real pleasure. Shannon collects Hallmark ornaments for one of their trees while Curtis has a Harley Christmas tree. Christmas is an important celebration at the Broners’ home.
Curtis is a gas and welding specialist at Matheson..the gas professionals in Senecaville, while Shannon works as a medical secretary at Akron Children’s Hospital. Even though both of them have full-time jobs, Curtis always had a dream of having a hot dog cart. As a youngster of seven years old, he went to work with his dad who was a policeman. Outside the office, there was a hot dog cart where Curtis enjoyed getting his lunch and began dreaming.
In 2016, they went to Connecticut where a church had advertised a brand new cart for sale. The church didn’t realize all the work involved and was willing to sell it for a fair price. One of the first places they used that cart was at Seneca Lake when they were rebuilding the concession stand. That summer, the hot dog cart was at the lake every weekend.
The only time they have ever sold on a street corner was for Dickens Victorian Village. They set up on the US Bank steps right beside the courthouse, their magical place. Broner hot dogs are all beef and none of their additions are from a can. Would you believe that a macaroni and cheese dog with bacon is their most popular seller? Other popular ones are their Carolina slaw dog and of course, a chili dog.
They don’t skimp on anything so you get a meal in a bun. Usually, their hot dog cart can now be found at festivals and Harley events. The Hot Dog Cart logo incorporates the firefighter with the traditional dalmatian dog and the helmet shows Curtis’ volunteer #23. Their slogan, “Putting out the fire in your belly,” goes with that firefighter logo. Slogan, logo, and name are all registered and can not be duplicated…much like the great taste of their hot dogs!
When asked what they might enjoy doing in the future, Shannon would like to go on a cruise to someplace warm. Curtis wants to ride his Harley across country on Route 66. Life for them will always be an adventure.
In the meantime, they enjoy returning to Dickens Victorian Village every November 22 to relive their first date with a walk downtown and a chance to see the beautiful Holiday Light Show. Dickens will always hold a special place in their hearts. Perhaps it will find a special spot in your heart too.
Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasure of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home!