Saturday, September 25, 2021

Taking it for Granted Podcast Interviews Author Mark M. Dean

 


Listen in!

Taking it for Granted with Mark M. Dean

Taking it for Granted the Podcast with Grant Smith 

Happiness...What is it and how do you find it? How can you find happiness through the tougher times in your life? Grant Smith talks to people from all walks of life on their happiness, and where it comes from.

Connect with Mark M. Dean


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Art Critic vs. the Cob Spider by Sandra Russell



   About the Author: Sandra Russell was born in rural Athens County, at mid-century modern time in a pre-Civil War farmhouse near Hebardsville, Ohio.  Sandra's interests include art history, studio arts, animals both wild and domestic, and baking. She can sometimes be found on the stage performing in local community theater productions, or behind the scenes creating props or designing sets. Sandy's recent DNA results have increased her interest in learning more about Scotland.  



 


Monday, September 20, 2021

Milliron Monday: Pontiac


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

Only important items graced the Milliron Clinic walls. One of Jody's favorites was Pontiac, The Pride of Cutler, O. Jody saw a photo and read an article about Pontiac in the local equine news. She loved the photo so much, she hung the print at the clinic. First, the publication printed the above photo of Pontiac as a "Mystery Horse." The editor had no clue about the beautiful horse in the photo. Then the editor asked readers to help solve the mystery. In a following edition, they ran this story...

Mystery Solved
Unusual horse identified

In last week's special "Horse Lover's" edition of the Washington County News we published an old photograph of an unusual horse, dubbed "Pontiac." It was noted that we didn't have much information to go with the photograph, and asked for reader input - which, thank you, we received. The most information came from Kathy Parker of Belpre, who even supplied us with an old Parkersburg News article about Pontiac, and Betty Hendrickson who interviewed Margaret Goddard Place of Cutler. Hester McGraw of Beverly also supplied us with a good deal of information. Here's what we learned from these helpful people:

The horse, which received quite a bit of fame as a result of its phenomenal mane and tail, was born on the Horace Greeley Underwood farm in Wesley Township (Cutler, Ohio), in 1889.

Pontiac was of predominantly Percheron stock from an imported sire. It is not known why the unusually fine and more silken hair of Pontiac's mane and tail grew to such great lengths. The mane was measured at over eleven feet and the tail, which more than reached the ground, was at least nine feet long. The owners always contended that no artificial means were used to induce growth.

Mr. Underwood was somewhat of an entrepreneur and with his amazing horse and one of the first Edison gramophones in Washington County charged the public ten cents admission at local fairs and shows.

In an article written by the Parkersburg News (exact date unknown) by reporter Helen M. White, the horse was described this way by a blacksmith who serviced the animal: "Pontiac was gentle, playful, and somewhat spoiled as he had been raised a great pet of the family, but nonetheless, he could be ridden or would work hard on the farm like any ordinary horse." Typical of Percheron's, Pontiac was a large horse, weighing 1300 pounds and standing sixteen hands high (about 5'4"). "Pont" as he was nicknamed, was eventually sold to New York owners for about $1600. For a while the horse was exhibited in New York and other large eastern cities. He was later sold a second time, but survived only a couple of years with his third owner. When he died, Pontiac was stuffed and mounted and continued to be exhibited.

According to White's article, the Underwoods "never forgave themselves for selling Pontiac feeling that if they had kept him down on the Ohio farm he would have lived to a ripe old age."


Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Radium Girls by Sandra Russell

ABC Players presents "Radium Girls"

Thursday, Oct 7th, 2021 - Saturday, Oct 9th, 2021 | 7:30 pm
Stuart’s Opera House, Nelsonville, Ohio

Radium Girls
by Sandra Russell

I am presently one of nine actors in rehearsal for Radium Girls.   The action of the play occurs over seven years, with an epilogue occurring twelve years later. Interestingly according to biologist Jonas Frisen, the cells of the human body replace themselves over a period of 7- 10 years. I see this as a possible metaphor for a broader theme often referenced in the play- "humanitarian". What does 'humanitarian' mean when applied not with a broad brush,  to a global vague 'humanity',  but with a small brush, pointed to an individual; to a portrait? Questions brought to focus by the various characters in the play cause us to consider, what is trivial? When is "better than nothing" acceptable;  and when is "enough" really enough? I am challenged by this play and honored to be working with so many talented and generous production members. I asked that any who wished to express a thought about their experience with this show, or about ABC Players theatre group, to please share a bit of themselves with you here.

From James Colgan:  "This is my first production with ABC. We just moved to Athens last May and I was delighted to find a theatre company of such quality nearby. I'm enjoying the cast and the rehearsals and the theatre is just wonderful. I like the play Radium Girls a great deal, I think it's very timely and echoes the corporate misdeeds of the past, like Johns Manville's asbestos insulation, the Ford Pinto, and of course, the opioid epidemic (which I've written a play about) just to name a few. I have five different roles, something new in my twenty-five years of being onstage (most before was two), and which presents me with the challenge of several quick costume changes backstage. Let's hope I get the hats right."

From Sam Pelham:  "Being a part of Radium Girls has been such a moving experience, not only because it is one of the first in-person shows that has occurred in the area since the beginning of the pandemic, but also because of the story we're telling. This story is based on true events and to put ourselves in the position of these women who suffered terribly even just through acting for a few hours, really provides a new perspective. It is an honor to bring a voice to these women and tell their story - a common theme throughout the play - and to be able to do so with such a talented, kind-hearted cast."

From Jeroch Carlson:  “I love working with ABC players, and it is an honor to work with Stuart’s Opera House, which has such a distinguished history here in South Eastern Ohio.  Everyone is always a joy to create with.” 

From Charlotte Crawford:  "Being in the Radium Girls cast has been such a great experience. It’s been my first play with ABC and it has been amazing. Auditions were obviously nerve wracking, especially since it was my first out of school one. But when I got the call saying I got my part, I was ecstatic. The rehearsals have been so much fun. The rest of the cast and crew is so understanding and kind. They are genuinely great people and it has been an amazing opportunity for me. I’m very grateful that I get to be a part of this play. The topic is very serious but we have so much fun with it."

From Susan Gilfert:   "I've been asked to do props for the play. The props are generally anything the actors hold in their hands. This play is a bit challenging as the props not only include things like paintbrushes, letters, reports, newspapers, and notebook pads, but also food and drink. The actors are in each other's 'homes,' and of course there will be coffee, tea and edibles consumed. I will need to have edibles backstage, and wash dishes as part of my clean-up after every rehearsal and performance."

From Joe Balding:  "Radium Girls has been a great experience so far. I hope we get large audiences." 

From the director, Celeste Parsons "Rehearsing a play is a balancing act for both director and actors.  The director needs to balance the use of the stage,  making sure that each actor can be seen when the attention of the audience should be on him or her, and that actors move around the stage in a way that is appropriate for the words they are speaking without getting in each other's way.  Actors need to maintain an emotional balance for their characters so that the play doesn't reach its high point too soon.  In an ensemble cast such as that for Radium Girls, actors also have to balance several different characters, sometimes literally exiting as one character and a few seconds later entering as another.  Having all of these balancing acts come together during rehearsals and create the finished performance makes the 'theater magic' that we all love."

   About the Author: Sandra Russell was born in rural Athens County, at mid-century modern time in a pre-Civil War farmhouse near Hebardsville, Ohio.  Sandra's interests include art history, studio arts, animals both wild and domestic, and baking. She can sometimes be found on the stage performing in local community theater productions, or behind the scenes creating props or designing sets. Sandy's recent DNA results have increased her interest in learning more about Scotland.  

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Burr Oak by Sandra Russell

Original art by (c) Sandra Russell

Burr Oak
by Sandra Russell

It’s Autumn here in Athens County Ohio. At the first chill breeze, many of us become nostalgic, sentimental, and optimistic for change. Even the very young (who may not remember ‘the first day of school’) remember “take your sweater” and the line of buses like a row of marigolds holding onto summer. Maybe the scent of cookies will change the house? We will have soup instead of salad, hot chocolate instead of ice cream pops. We gather closer for warmth in all its meaning; it’s a social time of year that anticipates holiday celebrations to come.

But fall is all about the trees. We look for their colors and wonder at the blankets of purple on the high hills, the dark pines making lines, and at the beauty of a single flaming red one standing alone on a lawn, not mowed any longer. Oh! And fruit trees are dropping pears, and apples. Visits to the orchards and cider houses may be a trip on the weekend?  The edible nuts will soon fall as well, hickory, black walnut, and the bushes on the stream might hold hazelnuts? Deer, opossum, raccoons and other wildlife enjoy the acorns from the many oaks in our area. Some of these old giants not noticed in summer; but now strong black limbs against golden fans of leaves, remind us these are the trees of our ancestors. One particular to our area as a namesake for a lake a road and a park is the Burr Oak. Some call it the Mossy Cup Oak due to its shaggy top that engulfs the top half of the acorn. These ironically are said to not grow in S.E. Ohio, but some defy that statement and have endured many winters and summers in urban settings. In fact I visited a pair of them in town just the other day. The nuts will not drop quite yet, but are huge, green, more the size of elongated golf balls rather than the round brown ones commonly known from the many White Oaks surrounding us. We can’t forget another celebrity in town the  Buckeye. The glossy inner seed (thought to look like the eye of a deer)…makes a nice material for crafting table decorations or door wreaths, but is poisonous to eat. I was told that the name of  a nearby town “Moxahala”, is a native American word that means ‘Elks Eye’, and I wonder if they also meant “Buckeye” as well?  I include a watercolor sketch done of a Buckeye leaf and immature acorns.  I hope to record a few more trees and some particulars about their uses and beauty such as the Sassafras; whose brewed root bark, makes a wonderful tea…tastes a bit like hot root beer…now I’m feeling like a cup of that in front of a fireplace. 

 About the Author: Sandra Russell was born in rural Athens County, at mid-century modern time in a pre-Civil War farmhouse near Hebardsville, Ohio.  Sandra's interests include art history, studio arts, animals both wild and domestic, and baking. She can sometimes be found on the stage performing in local community theater productions, or behind the scenes creating props or designing sets. Sandy's recent DNA results have increased her interest in learning more about Scotland.  

Monday, September 13, 2021

Milliron Monday: Bugs


Abbott "Pete" Smith D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010
Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017), including his wife Jody (1938-2021). 

Among Jody's treasures is a bug collection. She created the collection for a Girl Scout project. Jody, always an outdoors girl, collected, identified and neatly placed dozens of specimens in a special coffee table, the kind of table that has a shadow box with a latch. The table has traveled from Ohio to Colorado and back to Ohio. Still in good shape, the table remains a family conversation piece.




Have a great week ahead.

Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

 

Taking it for Granted Podcast Interviews Author Mark M. Dean

  Listen in! Taking it for Granted with Mark M. Dean Taking it for Granted the Podcast  with Grant Smith  Happiness...What is it and how do ...