Thursday, December 26, 2013

Wrapping It Up

For decades, since I first read them, I had an idea. That idea was to share The Awakening Land trilogy with my family; and to develop a family history library of literature that was reminiscent of our family experience. The Luckett family is a fictional composite but their experiences, culture, and life represent our many families who moved into Ohio in the early days, shortly after the Northwest Territory was divided.
For Christmas of 2012 the family library idea kicked off, not with the early 19th century, but with Elizabeth Chadwick’s two historical novels: The Greatest Knight and The Scarlet Lion. Unlike Conrad Richter’s Ohio trilogy these weren’t fictional characters but fictionalized accounts of real people on our family tree – Sir William Marshall and his Lady Isabel deClare who lived in the 12th and early 13th centuries.  These five books, plus the two genealogies I’ve put together make a seven volume start to that family history library for my children and grandchildren.
The 2013 experience also included blog posts that documented my Internet journey into Ohio. This is how the blog post started back on

June 1, 2013:

. . . and so it begins. Our pioneers in Ohio.


Here we are the day after Christmas. That is 54 blog posts and close to 40 books into the mail to the family – including my own self-published workbook.
As in any huge project, there were changes from the initial idea. I realized that sending all four books at Christmas would be overwhelming to readers busily involved with the holidays and the toys they’d just unwrapped. They needed more time to read and digest the books. The trilogy, individually published as The Trees, The Fields, and The Town, to my dismay had slipped out of publication and pulled from library shelves. It seems I was just in the nick of time. Our libraries are less and less repositories for literature of the ages and more and more shelf space for current best sellers. I had to scour the country via Amazon, Abebooks, and other sources to find all the copies I needed – each part of the story becoming more and more expensive. In fact, I’m sure my searching for so many of these hard to find books pushed up the price in the used book market.

By October I had all the copies of The Trees I needed. It was the easiest to find as it, at one time, was read in mid-western schools as part of the curriculum. Since they were early Christmas presents, they were wrapped in pretty paper and tied up with ribbon and off they went to their various homes. The Fields, more scarce in the marketplace, was wrapped and ready to send before Thanksgiving. The Town, for which Richter received the Pulitzer Prize, was the most costly. It is available in more recent publication but expensive and difficult to find in its original version. I’d heard that the story was compromised somewhat by being edited for a modern audience. I didn’t read multiple versions to test this out, but bought the older versions if I could come up with the asking price.

With The Town wrapped and ready to go in December that meant I had the daunting task of finishing, editing, printing, and packaging my Ohio book. After doing the Ohio and 18 county histories and designing and setting up the framework for the actual genealogy I realized it was humanly impossible to include all of the family information. The best I could do was add the information I’d gathered on the Cullins family – that pioneering group I was working when I started the Ohio project. So, the book morphed from a complete and bound book to a workbook-in-progress placed in a ring-binder.

Family Reunion - the workbooks together and ready to send.
Finishing up that huge project was one of the most intense, difficult, and rewarding I’ve attempted. I was happy with the result and hope that it will be, at least eventually, loved and appreciated by each family that received it. In the end it was exactly as it should be – a work in progress.  Over the months of 2014 I will be adding the pioneer families to each of the counties and sending them on to be added to their ring-binders.  In short order, the smaller ring-binder will have to be replaced with a larger version. You know those gifts people send – the wine of the month, the fruit of the month. This will be the family of the month! 
Group Hug!
During the year, in addition to these books and the blog, I read Helen Hooven Santmyer’s (1895-1986) Ohio Town, her autobiographical memoir of Xenia, Ohio. Although we had no family in Xenia it is representative of the development and growth of Ohio towns and is an amazing read that incorporates the memories of her grandmother, mother, and her generations.
2013 has been my Ohio year.

I hope one day to make it there!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 22, 1963

I perched on edge of the seat pouring over my notes – a left-hander in a right handed desk. I’d done okay in high school speech but this was a class of nearly 100  Sophomore wanna-a-be speech pathology and education majors – and I didn’t ‘wanna be’ there, or a teacher, or a speech therapist. I was a foreigner among homies in Lincoln, Nebraska. Three months earlier I married my Freshman-year sweetheart and gave up my political science major and dreams of Foreign Service. I couldn’t expect my husband to follow me around the world. No, instead I’d follow him into ‘the wild blue yonder’ as an Air Force wife. Crazy, right? I have no excuse except this – it was 1963.
It was November 22 to be precise. The young professor who, on another day, purposely embarrassed me in front of this class for mispronouncing a word (My pioneering Iowa family hadn’t picked up the fine distinction between ‘jist’ and ‘just.’ ) was looking over her list of speakers for the day. 

A girl wrenched open the door and 100 heads swiveled toward her as she yelled -- “The President’s been shot!”  This was not something that happened in the United States, at least, not in modern times, so the 200 eyes blinked in astonishment and disbelief.
“No, it’s true. This isn’t an Oklahoma joke.” were her exact words. It was football season and our annual rivalry with Oklahoma U was super-charged by the bonfire rally on the night before. Go Huskers!

If it wasn’t an Oklahoma joke then it must be true. President Kennedy was shot!

While heads swiveled back to attention, and we quietly whispered and wondered if he lived or died, it was obvious that Fräulein professor was an irritated-at-the-interruption Republican. Believe it or not President Kennedy was not universally popular, his reelection was not a shoo-in. I was stunned. My folks were citizens of Camelot and I’d met, then Senator, Kennedy in 1960.
We heard the classrooms around us being dismissed and then thundering through the halls and down the steps, leaving us in a building as quiet as a mausoleum. Now we were all on the edge of our seats wanting a radio, a TV, and loved one to hold . . .

“No,” she ordered the class, who as a body was ready to flee, “sit down!” She took a quiet moment to scan her list of speakers . . . I could almost hear the turret of a Nazi tank turn as her finger found a name and her eyes aimed at me . . .

Monday, November 11, 2013

Thoughts on Veterans Day

Considering that we have a large number of Quaker ancestors who, because of their religious conviction, did not practice war (although they were often on the front lines with the Red Cross or participated in other ways), we have a large number of veterans who served well and proudly and made sacrifices so that we could live under this government in this land happily and well. America has been good to all of our families who immigrated here between 1600 and 1850. And, through their sacrifices they have made this our land. I believe we have been represented in every war from the French and Indian to Vietnam. So far our younger generations emulate their Quaker forebears in not joining the military or practicing war in Iraq or Afghanistan. Regardless, we owe a great deal to those who keep us safe.

 A word about those who also serve. My first husband  was an Air Force officer. It follows that I was an Air Force wife. Not only did he serve at various domestic stations – he was in Vietnam. The Vietnam War had a huge impact on my life and, as things flow on down, on the children. My mother’s life was turned upside down by WWII. Consider my grandparent’s worry and anguish when Pearl Harbor was bombed – their son was station there. Consider the worry of my widowed grandmother when her only child’s ship was sunk in a typhoon. The cost of war is also carried by the loved ones of military personnel. Simply put, our lives would have been different if they hadn’t been in the military. Military spouses and other family members also serve and we salute you!

My brother attended West Point and served in the Army. During WWII my father was an Army officer who served in the European theater. Uncle Wayne was a Navy pilot. My mother worked at the Iowa Army Ammunition Plant – a dangerous job building and packing shells. My step-mother was an Army nurse. My step-father was in the Navy floating in a life raft in the Pacific (as well as other war-time duties). My paternal grandfather held the lowly rank of wagoner in WWI (he was a farm boy who could handle a team of horses.) but his job all over bloody France was as a wagoner/corpsman – he had a wagon and therefore he picked up the dead and wounded as well as trying to help those dying of disease.

My mother’s brother Weldon signed up for the Navy at 17 and made a career of it. He survived Pearl Harbor and was on duty during the Korean War. We have ancestors aplenty who served in the Civil War almost exclusively in the Union Army. We had family in the War of 1812, the Spanish American War, and many who participated in the Revolution mostly on the American side. Some of our German ancestors fought for the British but were welcomed to stay here after the war.

With all those and many more I’m sure there are some fascinating or horrifying tales to tell. Of course we have stories – we are the survivors. All those wasted lives . . . all those who died are not telling stories; and since they were mostly young – have no descendants to carry on. The world was forever altered because they left before their time. So, as we salute those who protect and serve let’s all look to the day when, like the Quakers, we can practice war no more. In the meantime, we are thankful for our military forces.

God Bless our Veterans and their families.

Follow this link for more awesome Veterans Day posters:

Credits:   U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day Poster Gallery,

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Autumn Doldrums

It happens every year. I love autumn, I’m going full-speed ahead, sailing before the wind, and then the wind dies and I’m dead in the water. All those things I have to do, all those things I was working busily and happily on are still there. I should be sailing at 30 knots because I gained an hour.

Wait a minute! It feels like I lost two. I’m slightly out of whack and still trying to get all those things on my list done but Daylight Savings Time has disappeared! I don’t know why the spring forward doesn’t bother me; but the change that falls back doesn’t make any sense – can’t we just adopt Daylight time as permanent? It gets dark way too early and my internal clock doesn’t make the shift easily. Of course, Beatrice doesn’t know anything about man tinkering with time so she still on doggie Daylight Savings.  Hopefully I'll adjust and the wind will kick up soon as I have a ton of things to do.

Don’t you? We’re in the holiday season!  I’ve been working on the book but in a scattered way. It is being accomplished a bit at a time. Glitch – I didn’t print, or have pages printed in order so there was no way to machine collate. I have been building the 10 books by hand. I’m looking at it as meditative time in which (and here’s the good part) I’m not sitting in a chair. The pages are spread in piles on a queen-sized bed and I’m moving around and around it.  Maybe it’s not cardio but at least I’m moving.  I’m at the confusing part. Which charts do I want to include and where? Still they are near complete.
The biggest part of the last week or two has been working on to complete all the family information I want to include (and this is just for one county) – the details for each person, such as relationship – “this is your 6th great grandfather.” Or making sure I have all the dates. Are all the children listed with the family? You think you have it all until you go back and. . .  There’s always work to be done and it can be repetitive and a bit tedious. Still, there is a nice feeling when the record is as complete as you can get it. Is it accurate? I did the very best I could with the time and information available.
Overall, the book is shaping up nicely. Here’s the rub. Only a small portion of it will be ‘somewhat’ complete before it is time to send it off.  It is not humanly possible to complete it by Christmas. My book is turning into a workbook – an outline to be filled in over time.  Still, I’m happy with that. Ohio is there in all its glory and the counties set up.  I’m concentrating on one family in Muskingum County and will spend the first several months of 2014 adding the rest of the families. It gives me time to make the record as complete as possible.
Happy Veteran's Day!
It’s the weekend and gloriously beautiful. Time to get out in the San Diego sunshine!

Credits:  Nat King Cole "Autumn Leaves"  - Elyan,
Clipart: ship -
Photo: Price Center UCSD; flag & sun - Sandra Barber

Friday, October 25, 2013

Ellipsis . . .

What’s next . . .? It was August 2012 when I launched this blog with a family history focus. After 20 posts – a mixed-bag of stuff – and one year later in August 2013, with the post “18 or 5 to 2” the blog rolled into a new purpose.  That was my venture into exploring Ohio - the Christmas book project (and by the way a new diet and healthier lifestyle). It was like riding the rails - rolling through a foreign, and yet American, land. I was an Internet hobo tumbling off the train into 19 counties to see what they had to offer that explained themselves currently and historically.
If you go back to look at “18 or 5 to 2” scoot to the bottom and ramp up Chicago singing “25 or 6 to 4”  – music to read by. Having looked at the counties (I’d say fair sampling) in 22 posts it was time to hitch a ride on a small plane
 and take an over-view of Ohio itself. Since I was the visitor it seemed best to let Ohioans speak, and the next 13 posts feature Ohio as shown to us by the creative folks on YouTube who live in and love their state.
I loved the YouTubes so much I wish I could keep going with them . . . but it is off purpose. The 20 pages (19 counties, plus Ohio) have been designed, written, printed and collated for the book and it’s time to move on.
You know what is wonderful about big projects? You don’t have to know it all at the beginning. You have an idea, you get started . . . and what to do is revealed as you go. I’m a late-bloomer. It took me a long time to learn this. I wonder how many great things I’ve not accomplished because when the idea came it seemed too overwhelming. I didn’t have a clue “how to do that.” I’d be stymied or discouraged. The truth is, though, that you don’t need to know how to do it all at once, you only need to take the first step. Embrace that big idea and know you can . . . then start taking baby steps and the way opens up. We’re not alone. God, or the Universe, or the higher power (whatever your view on this) provides and all you need is to be open and receive those nudges, Ah Ha moments and quiet inspirations that move your mountain.
Sometimes you'll have an idea . . . you've given your best . . . and it is not working, in fact, it is wasting your precious time. Be disappointed for a beat, take what you've learned, and change focus. I've given up on a PhD and a career in academia, I couldn't fit it in.  Another truth – our lifetime is finite. We need to choose carefully how to use it. What is really important?

So, what’s next for me is all about family . . . part one of ‘the Christmas project’ has been mailed . . . part two goes out in November . . . and part three in December. As in all genealogy – it won’t be finished, but we’ll reach a new beginning . . .

Credits:  Photo: riding the rails, Library of Congress
                             Biplane, Wikipedia
                Clipart: Bing images

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Amherst - Quintessential Ohio

It’s Saturday. There's a demonstration show this weekend and the next at the Antique Gas and Steam Museum down the road. If I can make good progress on the Ohio genealogy book this coming week maybe I’ll switch blogs and dig out my camera to experience and share those noisy behemoths. I’ve lived here a long time and have never been to this unique museum. The weather is so beautiful – shame on me for sitting at the computer! Time to rev-up my old blog -
I’m wrapping up the third segment of Aquila’s Orchard – or to carry the metaphor -- that’s three acres of trees in the form of blogs posts. That isn’t too far-fetched. Each post in a blog is like a living organism. It acquires edits and comments and photos and songs. It can move people and be read around the world. What an amazing time to be living.

The first ‘acre’ of Aquila’s Orchard demonstrated the purpose of the blog – which is family history. The break-ground posts were a mixed bag but it is obvious that they were steering me toward Ohio.  I have three early posts concerning my Robb family, who lived in Cadiz, Ohio. That first section ended with the random choice of Sir William de Tancarville who lived from 1070-1129. He had a relationship with the Marshall family from my last year's Christmas project. I knew I could be endlessly random and needed a purpose for this Christmas.

That second acre was started  in June with entry “Ohio Pioneers” – I’d found my focus. And, that acre is chock-full of Ohio counties.  Acre number three is nearly filled with the best of Ohio YouTubes – they have been great fun. I’ve saved these two for last as they are up-beat and seem quintessentially Ohio – small towns and gatherings of good, fun loving, artistic, and sometimes reverent people.
Church Street, Amherst, Ohio 1910

Amherst Grindstone
The residents of the small City of Amherst, not far from Lake Erie and Cleveland got together to do what they called a “lip dub video” to promote their lovely town. A good portion of the town's residents skips, dances, and lip-syncs their way through the streets to a couple of oldies but goodies.  The video is a bit long in order to include everyone who wanted to be a part this great community project and well worth the few minutes to watch it. The love, enthusiasm and joy in celebrating their hometown touches me and moves me. I watch the credits, backed up by Elvis, while mopping up tears and blowing my nose. They made me smile and want to visit Amherst – The Sandstone Center of the World.
Amherst Ohio Lib Dub

The second video is one of several that points out the good and bad of Ohio. The side bar on the right includes the depressing "The 10 Worst Cities in Ohio Explained." Say it isn't so Ohio!

Top 10 Facts About Ohio

Top 10 Facts About Ohio, Nick Uhas, YouTube,
Amherst Ohio Lib Dub, Main Street Amherst, YouTube,
Photos:  Wikipedia, prepared sandstone;
"English Carols" by Nikiphoros Lytras (1832–1904), Wikipedia

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lovin' Ohio from the outside in. . .

If you are new to the blog here’s a brief summary – it is a genealogy blog currently focused on our Ohio pioneers. I'm an outsider. Ohio was pretty much a blank slate for me, as I grew up in Iowa and live in California
What an adventure! Ohio is a beautiful land filled with creative, talented Americans who love their  country, their villages and cities, their townships and counties – and most of all their state. When they leave it they pine for it, when they are home they cheer for it. The last eleven posts have featured YouTube videos of Ohioans showing off and singing about their state – with honesty – both the good and the bad.  Not only Ohioans sing about the place.  Here are two Ohio songs that rock from Australia and Texas!

If you haven't heard of Kingswood from Australia you will. They are heading our way. Love the way they rock. That lead singer - whoa! he's fabulous!
Kingswood - "Ohio"

Probably everyone in the world heard this next song before I did. It's great fun.

Ohio (Come Back to Texas) - Bowling for Soup,  with video by Amy Taylor

Ohio by Kingswood, YouTube by Cascket1,
Ohio (Come Back to Texas), YouTube, Bowling For Soup, video by Amy Taylor,
Photo: Ohio Forest Services,

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Murder and Meloncholy on the Ohio. . .

Ohio River, 1832

When I sorted the list of Ohio videos and grouped them into loose categories the first two in this post belonged together – they are a fit. They are both murder songs, both folk songs, both sad and melancholy. Both of them are set on the "Banks of the Ohio.”  Now for their differences. . .
It is doubtful that they would have the same audience. The first is an old folk ballad that has been done by every performer imaginable. It probably appeals to an older more traditional crowd. After seeing a myriad of videos of this song I've decided that Charlie Pride did it best for me.

The second song  will probably appeal to a younger audience with eclectic tastes. It hasn't been recorded by a zillion performers.  It is modern and edgy and echoes the older song, bringing the murder folk ballad up to date, without being a copy. It may be that when ‘Banks’ was first sung it was thought of as shocking, weird, and quirky.

What is it about the Ohio River? Ah, if the river could talk. . .
Banks of the Ohio  by Charlie Pride, 1968

Cursing the Ohio by Matt King, 2009

This last video is one I almost didn't include as the two above make a nice set.  Yet, this one fits in with its melancholy. Like the other two it is very Ohio. It is young and wistful and homesick. The song is dedicated to those who have lost their jobs and had to move away from their beloved state to pursue their dreams. This reminds me so much of the songs my beloved wrote and sang so sweetly with his guitar, and it has a graphic element he would've liked. . .it leaves an ache. . .

Ohio, by Jeff Davidson and Friends, 2013

Banks of the Ohio, Tsukikage726, YouTube, Apr 2011, by Charlie Pride (1968)
River picture: Wikipedia, Aquatint by Karl Bodmer from the book "Maximilian, Prince of Wied’s Travels in the Interior of North America, during the years 1832–1834" by Prince Maximilian of Wied (Publisher: Ackermann & Co., 1839).
Cursing the Ohio, Independent Music Awards, YouTube, Dec 2009, by Matt King. 
Ohio - Original Song, Jeff Davidson, YouTube, May 2013, by Jeff Davidson and Friends.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Snippets of Snow

I grew up in Iowa. And, in Iowa, like Ohio, we know snow, we know deep-drifting snow, we know blowing snow, we know dry powder, and wet snow. In Iowa we know slush and brown, dirty snow, and pristine fields of white. We know sledding and ice skating on a frozen pond, and trees bowed down with icicles. We know snow-ball fights, snow angels and building a snowman. We even know about gliding while cuddled with a loved one in a horse drawn sleigh.

I can say I relate to Ohio snow – except for this – I didn’t hang in the snow after I grew up. Most of my life snow has been up in the mountains to play in while we lived in the sunny valleys of Arizona, on the sun-drenched California coast, or in the wet humid heat of Florida. I haven’t known real snow in a very long time.

Snow can't be left out of an homage to Ohio, right? It is still there every winter for the people who didn’t leave. There are plenty of snow videos on the Internet. Most are amateur and long but they are fun if you watch part of it - a snippet.   I viewed a lot of them and I’m posting a few of the best here.

I definitely recommend watching all of the video by GoBucks812 in the fan tribute to the Ohio State band. I love the finish! The others I’ll put links to so that you can watch snippets of them.  There are a couple by rail fans – huge rumbling trains in snow are cool and I’m sure those die-hard rail fans are downright cold. The last one is snow tubing. The front section of the video shows quite an expensive piece of equipment preparing the snow lanes for tubing. After you take a look at that you may want to scoot forward and watch the actual tubing.  That looks like great fun! Ohioans – the snow will be coming soon and I hope you enjoy the white stuff and make lovely videos without freezing your fingers, toes, and noses off!

Click the back button to come back to this site after a video!   Mr Vernon, Knox – driving in the snow  Railfanning in deep, Ohio snow  Snow Tubing lane prep & tubing

Credit:  Snow clipart,
Video: Fan Script Ohio by gobucks812, YouTube

Monday, October 14, 2013

Kent State Crosby Stills Nash and Young

If you were less than nine years old in 1970, or not yet on planet earth you can’t know the Vietnam era in your gut or reverberating through your body and soul in memory. You can know facts and figures, you can approximate but you cannot come near. The division in this country over the war was palpable and painful – like a broken heart beating out of rhythm in the same body.

 Out of that brokenness, in the heart of America, came a terrible tragedy.  Today’s children raised on violent entertainment and inured by mad killers with guns cannot know this ingenuous time when the unthinkable happened when young people on a college campus protesting the war, as it was being protested all over the land, were fired on by other young people from the Ohio National Guard. The tragedy was on both sides, that sick feeling of horror -- that ‘not in America’ that ‘not in Ohio’ -- and moved us together toward an end of the war.

For those of you that don’t know, the ‘Kent State Shootigns’ took place at Kent State University in Portage County in northeastern Ohio in the small city of Kent. Kent is not far from Akron, and in easy driving distance is Cuyahoga Valley National Forest and West Branch State Park – a lovely college town with much to recommend it and this one tragic event that marks this spot on the map forever and gives us the determination – never again.

Here is a link to Kent State University's Oral History archive of the Kent State massacre.

For the past few days I’ve woken up with this song playing in my head, reminding me that it is time to post Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young’s unforgettable song about this horrible moment in Ohio’s history. 

Here is another great Vietnam era song from Buffalo Springfield in 1967, a prophetic precursor to the song above.

Credit: "Ohio" TheBacmaster, YouTube,, written by Neil Young,
performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
"For What It's Worth" PityYou007, YouTube,, by Buffalo Springfield, 1967.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Beautiful Ohio?

It looks like one week. The idea that you are showing ‘the best’ of anything means that at some point you run out and it’s time to move on to another phase. Will my readers miss the YouTubes when I go back to regular posts? I have many more than seven videos left but they fall roughly into seven groups. Frankly, some of the ‘groups’ aren’t the best but just other - a favorite depends on the taste or preference of the reader.
There is a song, for instance, that has played as Ohio’s anthem for close to 100 years. Everyone has done it, or so it seems. That is “Beautiful Ohio.” It’s an okay song but it has been done to death. Still one can’t ignore the iconic. Is Ohio beautiful? Yes, it is beautiful. Ohio has it’s ugly – in the sense of:                  

There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead;
When she was good, she was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid.*

The ugly is human-made, though.  Without man to muddy it up Ohio is naturally beautiful. And, there are beautiful
man- made places – picture postcard farms, quaint towns with church steeples, barn quilts, city skylines, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Where humans are involved we are back to taste or preference. God’s Ohio is always beautiful.

I’ve sampled several performers singing Beautiful Ohio, music by Mary Earl (aka Robert ‘Bobo’ King), lyrics by Ballard MacDonald.  In 1919 the recording by Henry Burr was a #1 chart topper and I’m posting Henry’s version here. Also, there are links to a few other versions.  Dad may prefer Glenn Miller or Lawrence Welk, my cousin may find Tiny Tim is a hoot, and my daughter may like Kenny Roberts and the Pinetoppers in their 1951 cowboy version. Do people who like country music also like cowboy music? Cowboys are western country I guess. Taste, it’s all about taste. If you click through the links below to sample various styles you can vote for your favorite by leaving a comment on the blog post.  I’d love to know which one is ‘best’ - vote!

Other versions of Beautiful Ohio:
Kenny Roberts and the Pinetoppers -
Tiny Tim -
4 Rose Bowl Parade bound Ohio Bands -
Marty Robbins -

Sammy Rimmington -
Lawrence Welk -

Player Piano -

Credits:  Beautiful Ohio posted on YouTube by CatsPjamas1, sung by Henry Burr, music by Mary EArl, Lyrics by Ballard Macdonald, 1919.
The Little Girl with the Curl -


Friday, October 11, 2013

Ghost Town

Sometimes a little bonus falls into your lap, or onto your computer, as it were.  I couldn’t believe what I found this evening while going over my list of Ohio videos.   I’ve mentioned Ohio ghost towns before but Whoa! This place was mentioned in my Belmont County post back on August 10th   I had no idea there was a video of it on YouTube. Amazing.
I mentioned in my post that after her husband John died, Mary Moore and four of her 13 children moved to Belmont County. In 1825 they walked from Maryland through the forest and down Zane’s Trace, still not much more than an improved Indian path, when Mary stopped and decided she wasn’t going any farther and that this spot on Stillwater Creek near Sewellsville would be her home.

Marker for Crabapple Presbyterian Church
As Spiritseeker01 mentions in the introduction to the video – communities like this were abandoned when the coal mines gave out in this Appalachian area. This is all that’s left of Mary’s Sewellsville.  It must have had nothing when she stopped in 1825 and it is going back to nothing in 2013. Even Mary eventually abandoned Sewellsville to move closer to her son near the Crabapple Presbyterian Church in Wheeling Township. Mary is buried in the Crabapple Cemetery.

Still I can’t help feeling that Mary wants us to remember her as an intrepid pioneer woman.  I’d love to follow her path from Maryland and see where her property was by Stillwater Creek in the woods.

This second video is Beethoven's Ode to Joy and winter scenes from near Athens, Ohio - not far from Crabapple Church and Cemetery.  It has lovely photos and music but it is long; so only watch as much as interests you.

Credits: Spiritseeker01,
Athens Ohio Snow Day, Ben Irwin,
Photo: Crabapple Pres. Church,, FamTreeHunter
Image Credit: Ghost With Sign Clip Art from (by liftarn)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

What's Up Ohio! Ohio Songs

Good grief, we are coming up on the middle of October!  I feel like I’m moving through molasses in trying to get my book together – I’m scattered and its time to rework the list and focus.  Ohio is done (the state history page) except for a few more Ohio videos I’d like to upload to the Aquila’s Orchard blog.  I found some great things for children at the Ohio Statehouse, they have a wonderful website.
Ohioans love their sports teams and like to sing or rap about them. There are a lot of rap or hip hop numbers out there that I can’t or won’t post due to questionable language or content.  However, there is a photo of some coeds mooning the camera that appears in several videos.  Ohioans seem quite taken with it and I’ve given up trying to keep it out altogether. So, if it offends please blink as it goes by. 

My goal was to find the best Ohio videos on YouTube, and one member has gathered several of the best songs making my job easier.  If you are trying to get a feel for Ohio and Ohio fans I’d recommend the first – “What’s Up Ohio” with its tribute to Ohio fans of all kinds, even mooning coeds. The video, as it ends, rolls right into the second which is a parody called “We Live in Ohio” – also worth watching, although there are some inside jokes or comments that may mean little to non-natives.

Party Like a Buckeye, is repetitive rap for diehard OSU football fans and the next two videos are about their rivalry with Michigan. If you keep going down the list you will find Bruce Springsteen’s “Youngstown.”  One of my favorites on the list is “The Low Anthem – To Ohio,” (click on this link!!).  Also on the list is “Banks of the Ohio” a rather depressing folk song that has been done by every artist you can think of from Johnny Cash to Olivia Newton John. Why it is so popular escapes me.
“What’s Up Ohio” was posted by Wellpplrstupid.  The list of Ohio Songs was compiled by Chet Ridenour.  Thanks Chet!  Anyway, I hope you enjoy getting into the Ohio groove.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Best Damn Band In The Land!

Woody Hayes winner of five National Championships as football coach at Ohio State University was so moved by the Buckeye marching band that he rose up from the bench one day and said “That is the best damn band in the land!”  

OSU Marching Band

After seeing these videos few if any could dispute Woody’s
TBDBITL – this all brass and percussion marching band is as close to perfection as it gets. They are simply the best. They float around that field writing a script OHIO and making it look easy. It is not. That kind of perfection takes a tremendous amount of work, practice, patience, and dedication.

Note how they dot the “I” in Ohio. It is an honor to be the dot and sometimes guest celebrities, such as Bob Hope or John Glenn, take their turn at being the most famous dot in the land. The dot is usually a fourth or fifth year sousaphone player.*   In this video, if I’m not mistaken, it is a female dot. It was not until the 1970s that women were allowed to march with the band.

I was going post the Ohio Script ramp entry and performance here by itself. BUT, you have to check out this half-time show at an OSU vs Nebraska game Oct. 6, 2012.  Simply incredible.

My Valley High School Marching Band hat and plume is off for you OSU – the best damn band in all the land.

 A Pregame show. [If the box appears black click on it.]

Half-time homage to video games – amazing!

Credits: The Ohio State University Marching Band Ramp Entry, Script Ohio & Pre-game show. OSU vs Indiana University. 11 5 2011.  by mbandfan2 on YouTube.
OSU Half-Time Show - posted on YouTube by HandMRowGoBucks
*For a detailed description of the band check Wikipedia -
Photo: The Buckeye Battle Cry,

Logo: The Ohio State University Marching and Athletic Bands -

Friday, October 4, 2013

Goodbye to Old Ohio ~ family ties to John Brown

John Brown
In discovering the best of Ohio’s YouTubes I also want to stay close to the purpose of my blog and the way that Ohio relates to our family history; which brings us to a fine performance of a genuine folk song about the abolitionist John Brown and his followers.

Many, if not all, of the counties our families helped settle had a strong and active segment of the population that were lobbying for the end of slavery.  Some of the new Ohioans who came into the Northwest Territory, at the time just prior to or shortly after Ohio became a state, trekked in from Pennsylvania, New York and the New England states.  But many of them moved north from slave-holding states to live on ‘free soil’ and to fight against slavery.  They were in Maryland, Kentucky, and what would become West Virginia poised to move into a free state once the territory was opened.
Barclay Coppock
Edwin Coppock
Our Quaker ancestors came up from the “deep south” state of South Carolina.  Among those was the Coppock family.  We have two related lines of Coppocks who married into our Pemberton, Coate, Jay and Hall families.  These families continued the westward movement from Ohio to Indiana to Iowa. And somewhere in there, not direct-line but 3rd cousins, were the Coppock brothers, who were recruited in Iowa by John Brown and moved on to Kansas to fight beside him.  They were extreme, you might say rabid, abolitionists.  Whether you believe John Brown to be a criminal or hero there is no denying that he was a larger than life personality who had a profound influence on these Quaker boys who were raised in a pacifist culture.  Edwin was hanged with John Brown in Virginia. Barclay escaped to fight another day and died in the Civil War. Their lives were anything but ordinary. Read more about the Coppock brothers at link leads to the introduction of the Debs essay.  The essay must then be downloaded with one of the 3 links on the top left.  There are large gaps in the copy, scroll down for the next portion.)
Harpers Ferry, West Virginia 1865

The hopeful tone of the song and my knowledge of what actually happened gave me goose-bumps. 

Credits:   Goodbye to Old Ohio, Blue House Productions.  Video by Magpie, Terry Leonino & Greg Artzner:  If you look under the comment section on YouTube you will see credits given under the name ‘artzner.’
Photos: John Brown, Barclay and Edwin Coppock, Harpers Ferry - Wikpedia

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Snow Bowl ~ 1950

We’ve all seen some extreme sports but I don’t think it gets more extreme than this – at least in the weather department. I know that sports are important to Ohioans. They have their professional teams and they love and support the college sports programs. Are there any more faithful and fearless fans than those of Ohio State University football?
What I found on YouTube is a game dubbed “The Snow Bowl” between Michigan and Ohio State. This game, played in Columbus, Ohio, was won by Michigan 9-3 but all of the players should have received a trophy for this game – and what about those crazy fans?! Would this game be played today or called due to blizzard conditions

Not surprisingly, this is posted on YouTube by a Michigan fan WolverineHistorian but I’m sure there are many Ohioans who are proud of their boys.  It was posted 7 Sep 2009. The footage is long and you may want to skip through some of it but don’t miss the end. It is hard to believe, but the storm actually gets worse! Sixty-three years ago football was younger, there were fewer rules, and you didn’t postpone a game because of the white stuff!

Andrew Niemann, with article Cold Weather Sports: Recognizing and Preventing Dehydration, Hypothermia and Frostbite
YouTube: posted by WolverineHistorian,