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 - http://sandyhikes.blogspot.com/
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



Credits:
Top 10 Facts About Ohio, Nick Uhas, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QicVbTTz9nI
Amherst Ohio Lib Dub, Main Street Amherst, YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IslkfUQa3Ic
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



Credits:
Ohio by Kingswood, YouTube by Cascket1, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-CXyYyXMQcA
Ohio (Come Back to Texas), YouTube, Bowling For Soup, video by Amy Taylor, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45DFVyriVI0.
Photo: Ohio Forest Services, http://www.ohioforestservices.com/CertifiedForests.html

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



Credits:  
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!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv8AFIEBxWs   Mr Vernon, Knox – driving in the snow


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuVsqwXPM9I  Railfanning in deep, Ohio snow


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqKKrC0HJeE  Snow Tubing lane prep & tubing

Credit:  Snow clipart, www.microsoft.come/clipart
Video: Fan Script Ohio by gobucks812, YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6L-fVwcGBlU

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, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnOoNM0U6oc, written by Neil Young,
performed by Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young.
"For What It's Worth" PityYou007, YouTube,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp5JCrSXkJY, 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 -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DluZQvsuOhQ
Tiny Tim - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vdTe8rkTNF4
4 Rose Bowl Parade bound Ohio Bands - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bv0BCM_N7Rs
Marty Robbins - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzzM1E_lgg8

Sammy Rimmington - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj3tn2IkzZU
Lawrence Welk - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYSIWM2bz6Y

Player Piano - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VocFMWK3TqY

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 - http://www.mothergoose.com/Rhymes/lrhymes.htm


Photos: http://consumer.discoverohio.com/pressroom/freeohioimages.aspx

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
1800-1948
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, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=orKYYLtYGZs
Athens Ohio Snow Day, Ben Irwin, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0bQxLlsnSI&list=PL7FF6AC6FBBCEDE82
Photo: Crabapple Pres. Church, findagrave.com, FamTreeHunter
Image Credit: Ghost With Sign Clip Art from Vector.me (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.

The third one, The OH, is a simple and repetitive rap and shows a strong pride in Ohio. I found countless videos of people trying to do this song and most of them were terrible. This must be the original that's being copied - the visuals are good. The next one, Party Like a Buckeye, is another 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.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WdWolVsKlAI  by mbandfan2 on YouTube.
OSU Half-Time Show -
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAzzbrFgcUw posted on YouTube by HandMRowGoBucks
·
*For a detailed description of the band check Wikipedia - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ohio_State_University_Marching_Band
Photo: The Buckeye Battle Cry, http://www.thebuckeyebattlecry.com/2013/04/changes-coming-for-tbdbitl/

Logo: The Ohio State University Marching and Athletic Bands - http://tbdbitl.osu.edu/

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 settled 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 http://antislavery.eserver.org/legacies/the-coppock-brothers-heroes-of-harpers-ferry(This 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:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCV2_63M08g   Goodbye to Old Ohio, Blue House Productions.  Video by Magpie, Terry Leonino & Greg Artzner: http://www.magpiemusic.com/  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!




Photo:  www.momsteam.com 
Andrew Niemann, with article Cold Weather Sports: Recognizing and Preventing Dehydration, Hypothermia and Frostbite
YouTube: posted by WolverineHistorian, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP1ZfZMbarI

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Steel Valley and the Rust Belt

Youngstown Sheet & Tube and Viaduct

When it came to picking a more serious look at Ohio this video/musical statement about the changes in Youngstown floated up to the top of the list and watching it again hit me in the gut even harder than the first time.  The city has a rich and interesting industrial past but it's had to move on.  It sits on the border of Ohio and Pennsylvania in the Appalachian county of Mahoning.  It is part of what was called Steel Valley and is now part of what is called the Rust Belt.  Mike Eakin’s choices in this video are excellent – from the gritty, haunting music to the fade-ins contrasting old and new scenes in this deindustrialized area – to his final graffiti message – Don’t Forget.

[If this video appears black at first, click on it. For this, and all the videos, know that you can make it full screen by clicking in the bottom right corner, and return to normal to continue the blog with the Esc key.]



This video was posted in March 2010.  Please take the time to visit Mike's page and read his comment on the video.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZvJ1EUlM-o

Source: YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZvJ1EUlM-o 
Youngstown, Ohio, Rise and Fall of Steel Valley, Linkin Park, Mike Eakin
Photo of postcard: Wikipedia commons

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Why Oh Why Ohio?

19 counties – mostly agricultural or Appalachian, with a couple of large metro areas -- Columbus, the capital, and Cincinnati, which some people consider part of Kentucky . . . they are representative and yet they are not.  My journey didn’t touch on the draining away of industrial prosperity – the steel industry – almost any kind of industry that’s left a rust-belt, joblessness, and poverty.  I didn’t look at Youngstown, or Cleveland, or Dayton, or Akron.  I didn’t look at big city slums with large, black, and often angry populations and a black middle class that’s losing ground; and I didn’t explore the white-bread marshmallow small towns dwindling in populations as joblessness increases with a white middle class that’s losing ground.  I haven’t looked at rotting city centers or once bustling farm towns that are now ghost towns. I could give a nod here to other ethnic groups they are there in small numbers but this is not California, or Florida, or Texas – this is Ohio and it is a story mostly told in black and white that was once red all over.

Remember that children’s joke – ‘what is black, white, and red [read] all over?’  The answer was 'the newspaper.'  What an apt parallel.  Newspapers are going the way of Ohio mining and industry.  I haven’t taken a definitive look at Ohio’s colleges and universities, or the sports teams – other than that Kentucky team – the Reds – just kidding, Cincinnati!
 
 
The truth is that Ohio as it stands today is not my family’s story. All those families, probably 25 – 30 of them, began arriving in the late 1700s and by 1850 most of them had moved on. They were farmers and loved the land and the siren call of westward movement and the promise of a fresh start in Indiana and then Iowa.  They settled, they built, and they contributed to Ohio and left.  It is the age old saw – the one thing Ohio can count on is change – but liking what they were makes change inevitably painful.  Ohio is being reinvented – hopefully carrying through all the things that make it wonderful – while adding a trait that will make it great – adaptability. 


I’ve grown to love Ohio -- all of it – the black and white of it – it’s history and it’s potential. I ache for what Native Americans lost in Ohio – it was and is a beautiful and bountiful land that was their home.  For many of them it was an adopted home, as they had already been pushed westward from the east coast. That is not a story unique to the North American continent.  It is the age-old story of the Celts and the Picts, the Angles and Saxons, the Vikings and the French, the Normans and the English, the Romans and everyone else. In one way or another we've all been  conqueror or conquered. And that brings us back to that one thing we can count on - change. And, that thing that will help us to remain great -- adaptability.  That is the story of the human race.

All I know of Ohio was handed- down to me from those long-ago families and what is on the Internet. So . . . I went looking for Ohio on YouTube.  I found a lot of mediocre stuff – like I would find for any area of the country – after all people are trying new wings on YouTube. No one springs up an Emmy-Award-quality video producer without trial and error. After a couple of long sessions of sifting through chaff I found some gems. I’m going to share these in the next few posts.  Some of them are long and you needn’t watch past your point of interest.  Others you will want to watch to the end.  All have an Ohio flavor as seen through the eyes of Ohioans themselves. Let’s start with humor. 




As found on YouTube/melaniepinnay· at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8vAIzilTl-I   Carol Burnett & Jane Lynch on Glee (which, of course, takes place in Ohio!), from the musical Wonderful Town, music by Leonard Berstein, Lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green.
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