Monday, July 30, 2007

“Homegrown UFO: Part Two”

c. 2007 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Note to Readers: What follows here is the second installment about my investigation concerning our famous local extraterrestrial incident. Thanks go out to the staff at the Geauga County Archives, who provided invaluable help in locating the fifty-year-old, original newspaper story.

Anticipation made it difficult to sleep after corresponding with Catlain Katon at the Geauga County Archives. My dreams were restless, and full of wild images. Robots and alien visitors crowded my slumbering mind!
In the morning, my typical routine offered an uneasy calm. I drank coffee all the way to Chardon, and mused over clips from the Phil Hendrie radio show. Yet something felt amiss. The surreal events of an ‘X Files’ episode were unfolding before my eyes. I felt curious, but tingled with disbelief. How could such a story be true?
I arrived just after 9:00 AM. The front door wouldn’t budge, but I saw members of the crew sorting new document boxes in their receiving bay. When I introduced myself, everyone smiled. They were politely amused by the purpose of my visit.
We entered a long room full of shelved containers and bound volumes. Everything was tidy, and carefully organized. I sensed the presence of rare treasures, like those inside a pharaoh’s tomb. Then, the guide introduced herself. She was my contact from the Internet.
“Wait here, and I’ll get the book,” she promised.
I surveyed the rows of historical information. It was a trove of great wealth and importance. Births, marriages, deaths, publications, maps, and photographs… all relating to the area. In a sense, I stood before the shared consciousness of Geauga.
Catlain returned with a long, thick volume of news pages. The story had already been marked by another researcher on the team. She opened the book, dramatically. And my pulse quickened. I felt like a time-traveler as the words lifted from their yellowed parchment, toward my eyes:


Study Whatnik Report:

Huntsburg Man Gives UFO Data to OFFICIALS

CHARDON – Civil Defense officials invaded the sheriff’s office here Friday night to investigate the unidentified flying object reportedly seen Nov. 6 by Olden Moore of Rt. 528, Huntsburg.
Mr. Moore, heretofore unavailable for comment on the incident after his wife reported it to the Sheriff’s Dept. Thursday morning, was on hand for press and television interviews.
Here to question him were Col. Leroy John, head of the 5th Area of the Civil Defense, and Lt. Charles Reineck, his executive assistant.
Enroute to his home the night of Nov. 6, Mr. Moore said, he first spied the object directly in front of him.
“It was small, like a star, but very bright.”
“However,” Mr. Moore continued, “it kept getting brighter and brighter. That was when I pulled off the road and turned off the key.”
Mr. Moore was insistant (sic) on this last point. It was previously reported that the car stalled.
Mr. Moore said, “It was only a matter of seconds from the time I first saw it until it was looming, big like a house in front of me.
“It seemed to split apart then, and one section hovered in the air over a field next to the road. Then it slowly descended to the ground,” he said.
Mr. Moore described the object as “round with a dome in the middle.” It had, he added, “a bluish-green haze around it and seemed to glow like the dial of a luminous watch.”
Getting out of the car, Mr. Moore said he started to cross the field to examine the object. Halfway there, he said, he stopped and thought about getting witnesses and returned to the car.
“No one would believe me if I told them what I saw,” he said. “so I wanted to get someone else there.”
This fear of disbelievers was what made him reluctant to report the incident, Mr. Moore commented. He could find no one on the highway and went home to get his wife and return with her.
“It was gone when we got back,” he said.

(See HUNTSBURG, page 2.)

“The next day, Thursday, the report came in to the sheriff’s office. Lake County CD officials raced to the scene and Kenneth Locke Lake County CD Director, reported some unusual findings.
“There were prints in the field one and one half inches deep at the heel, and hole(s) in the ground like those made from spikes on a golf shoe,” Mr. Locke reported.
He said there were six prints in all “coming from nowhere and going nowhere.” He and Lt. Reineck returned to headquarters to get the Geiger counter.
“When we returned,” Mr. Locke continued, “we got a reading over an area about 50 feet in diameter. The Geiger counter showed a reading of approximately 150 roentgens in the center of the area, tapering of(f) to about 20 to 30 roentgens at the perimeter.”
Roentgens is the unit of measurement of radioactivity.
Waiting a few hours, Mr. Locke and Lt. Reineck then took another reading of the area. “This time the meter showed only 20 to 25 roentgens in the core and we had no reading at all at the perimeter,” Locke said. “We concluded that something must have been here since this indicated the reaction was not caused by minerals in the ground.”
Queried as to what he attributed the cause of the radioactivity, John replied “I can’t say. We investigate these incidents and it’s up to the Air Force to make a conclusion as to what caused them. However, the delay in reporting the incident has hindered us.”

I noted that the county auditor’s stamp said “No. 1810; 1-11-58.”
Catlain offered to copy the front-page section of this incredible story. But its second portion had been placed too close to the binding. So I recorded it by hand, on notebook paper. The entire report was just over six hundred words.
Before leaving, I explained the story of Denny the Corvette Guy. At long last, my colorful friend had been vindicated. His recollection from half-a-century before was accurate in nearly every detail.
While driving to work, I called my wife’s cell phone. She didn’t answer, so I left a hurried voice-mail message. “Liz, you’ve got to see this. It’s absolutely incredible. The Corvette Guy was right. The truth is out there!”
At the office, it was impossible to avoid describing my adventure. Jaws dropped open, and eyes went wide. Even after I settled in for the day, things felt different than before. Sci-fi magic filled the air. It was as if I’d slipped into another dimension.
My spouse finally called, in the afternoon. “So you actually saw it,” she cheered. “The UFO story was real!”
“Yes,” I replied. “Fifty years later, the voice of Olden Moore is still echoing around the county.”
“Did you find out anything about him?” Liz pondered.
I sighed. “Not a whisper. Catlain had already tried that angle before I asked. But there was no further information.”
My wife was in a mood to tease. “So, maybe the UFO came back and he hitched a ride to the stars?”
My face brightened. “Hey, that’s a good theory! I wonder…”
“Stop it, Rodney!” she snorted. “No more listening to Art Bell for you!”


Friday, July 20, 2007



Yes, the truth really is out there. I saw it at the county archives this week.

For a few years, one of my older, hotrodder friends has insisted that there was a UFO incident in the countryside, east of Cleveland. Right in our back yard. One that inspired a report in the local newspaper, and drew attention from law enforcement officers.

Now, I know he was correct.

The report was from November 14, 1957. The incident occurred on November 6th. Civil Defense authorities did an investigation, and radiation was detected at what appeared to be a landing site.

I was able to view an actual copy of the newspaper, in our county archives. Material on the Internet from 'Project 1957' says that the man who viewed the UFO was later interviewed in Washington, D. C. but told to remain silent. He finally admitted the facts to a NICAP representative in 1961.

Truth - as Hunter S. Thompson said, it is a dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism. But now I know. It really is out there.

ONE FAN'S OPINION - It All Starts Here


Gazette Newspapers
Last week I interviewed Grand Valley Head Football Coach
Tom Henson, in Orwell. We discussed the upcoming season, and his group of players.
As I expected, he talked with enthusiasm about the expertise of his staff, and the developing skills of his athletes. But an extra component appeared during our chat. One that inspired lots of reflection after the meeting was over.
Coach Henson reported that everyone in the GV program was on-track academically, as well as physically. “They are good students. I can tell you about everyone’s grades,” he said. “They’ve learned discipline, and had a lot of fun.”
I smiled over the parental concern he showed for each performer as a total person. It said much about his individual character. But there was more.
“Lots of our participants play two or three sports,” he said. “We have to be careful not to burn them out. That is especially hard to do if they go to college. It requires lots of time in the weight room. They need some time to be kids.”
Henson summed up his viewpoint with a meaningful observation. “We’ve all got children of our own,” he said. “When you’ve been around as long as I have, you understand kids.”
Those words were still echoing as I returned to
my truck.
Driving to the newspaper office from Orwell, I pondered Coach Henson’s insight. He spoke with the kind of professonalism that one would want in any team director. But beyond being proficient in the details of coaching, he sounded like someone who honestly cared about his players as individuals. A person who would not accept the flawed philosophy that body and mind are separate quantities.
Still at the wheel, I realized something undeniably true
Seeds produce healthy plants over time, with the right amounts of soil, water, air, and cultivation. In the same way, children grow into professional athletes when they are nurtured by experienced mentors who demonstrate the value of dedication and teamwork. Buckeyes fans, like myself, still talk about the fiery crash of Maurice Clarett. As a human being, he was gifted beyond his peers. The one-time football star rushed for 1,237 yards during a single season at Ohio State, scoring 18 touchdowns. His accomplishment was a freshman record. the performance helped drive OSU to a 14-0 record, and a national championship.
Clarett was named USA Today High School Player of the
Year, and Parade All American. Most publications ranked him in the gridiron top 100, overall.
Yet cracks began to show quickly in his personality. He argued with coaches and school administrators; got preferred treatment from instructors; and took unauthorized gifts. Then, he fought an expensive legal battle with the NFL over eligibility requirements. When the Denver Broncos signed him, he was overweight, uncooperative, and unimpressive. Eventually, his slide ended with a morass of drugs, firearms, and criminal charges. Clarett won a spot in jail rather than gaining more yards as a pro athlete. Considering his downfall, I mused that having someone who cared enough to provide discipline in his life might have made all the difference.
Someone like the Grand Valley coach I had interviewed, perhaps. Or his counterparts from Jefferson, Geneva, Edgewood, Lakeside, Conneaut, Sts. John and Paul, or Pymatuning Valley. The lessons such people provide today, could offer a pathway to greater success, tomorrow.
For this fallen star, there seemed to be an endless parade of hangers-on who filled his ears with hero worship and adulation. It remains doubtful that anyone pointed out the athlete’s recklessness or lack of committment. Criticism and guidance came too late in his youthful life.
it didn’t have to be that way.
The result was a pity for us as fans, but most
of all for the player, himself. Clarett surrendered a potential career worth millions, and years of personal liberty.
In Ashtabula County, our youthful athletes operate in a region away from the spotlight of metropolitan communities. Yet so often, they have proven to be well-prepared for achievement at the next level. They develop toughness and resolve here. Their bodies and hearts grow strong. We have a dependable stewpot of conditions, for creating the right mix of talent and discipline in our kids. Even after completing the high school experience, their work ethic remains. A bit of hometown Ohio stays inside of every son or daughter of the county. It is part of who we are as citizens of a special place.
Clarett could have used some of that in his own life. A person willing to take an unpopular stand. A figure ready to deliver hope and inspire courage. A voice able to speak with conviction and confidence.
Someone interested in winning in at life, more than merely at local high school games.
A person like Tom Henson.


c. 2007 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Note to Readers: As the saying goes, truth is stranger than fiction. After reading about Ezekiel Byler-Gregg, ghosts of late presidents, and Agent X in this column, one might expect the following story to be a fantastic creation. But this tale is undeniably authentic.

Writing for a newspaper inevitably inspires lots of local conversation. It is a pursuit that dependably attracts stories from across the region. Cheerfully, friends offer suggestions for future articles. Their ideas are often creative and diverse. Some develop into useful wordsmithing projects, while others slip into creative oblivion. Yet each provides a reference point that might some day receive illumination.
Recently, I though of such ideas while doing Internet research. One particular tidbit of wild encouragement came from my friend Denny the Corvette Guy. Though I have always thought of him as a lifelong hot rod enthusiast and local character, he has also displayed a reserve of odd anecdotes in his recollections. This familiarity with unusual tales impressed me on every occasion. Especially when he talked about the UFO on Route 528.
Denny professed that a strange object landed near Thompson when he was a youngster. His recollection was that it happened in the late 1950’s. An investigation ensued, checking for radiation and evidence. He read a story about the weird occurrence in the Geauga Times-Leader. It was an incredible story. But my own dedication to the search lapsed. I forgot about the homegrown UFO amid other, more plausible ideas.
Then, my wife and I ran into the Corvette Guy, again. He and Mrs.Vette were at a car show in Mentor when we visited, by chance. After exchanging greetings, my friend revived the story of extraterrestrial visitation. This time, something connected in my cerebrum. It was a fantastic tale… surreal, yet tempting. Something I needed to examine. A bit of Roswell, New Mexico here in Ohio.
Preliminary investigating brought up tantalizing leads. The National UFO Reporting Center offered an event that sounded close to what I was seeking:

Nov. 27, 1956; Painesville/Willoughby/Lake Erie (Ohio)

When I was around 10 years old traveling in my dad's car going west along Lake Erie near Ashtabula/Cleveland, at the Painesville/Willoughby border, probably around 1956, hovering above Lake Erie, there was a huge rectangle about 5 miles long and 3 miles wide. As I raise my right arm now it would be about 2-3 o’clock from the Lake Erie horizon N-It was around 9/10 PM either in November/December. NE from the Painesville/Willoughby line. As I look at it through the L of my thumb and index finger now as an adult, the rectangle void was 5” High, the length of my Index finger and was 9” Long or Wide the projection from my thumb angled out including the length of my thumb from the bottom of my index finger. It was almost like the size of a business envelope resting on the L angle. This triangle was empty looking as though it was a void. The odd thing was that the stars that were surrounding the object were shining as usual in the sky, there were no lights flashing or edging the object but blackness of the void was blacker as though it was a black mirror which was different than the sky with the stars. It looked like a door into another dimension. My parents told me it was just a lack of stars because there was no moonlight and insisted I close the car window… I will never forget seeing this void, this emptiness. Even at that age I felt as though it was Big Brother watching.

The report was interesting, but mentioned no crash or ground investigation. More study uncovered sightings listed in an out-of-print volume by Jacques Vallee called ‘Passport to Magonia - On Ufos, Folklore, and Parallel Worlds.’ They were similar in nature, but from the following year:

Nov. 06, 1957; Lake County (Ohio)
A civilian source reported an object so bright that his eyes could not sustain it. It
appeared to land on a ridge, then took off again. It was round and much larger than a plane, had an "odd color," left no trail and made no noise.

Nov. 10, 1957 Madison (Ohio)
Mrs. Leita Kuhn observed a very large, lighted object 20 m above ground. It was so brilliant that she had to close her eyes. It was over 10 m wide, 3 to 4 m thick, with a dome on top. The witness had to consult a physician several days later because of serious eye and skin irritation.

Then, I struck on something eerily correct in nature. My breath vanished while reading the account of heavenly lights and a fully developed incident on the ground. The story was undoubtedly what my friend remembered:

Nov. 06, 1957; Montville (Ohio)
Olden Moore, 28, a plasterer was driving home when he suddenly saw an object looking like a bright meteor split into two pieces, one of which went straight up. The other got larger while its color changed from bright white to blue-green. It hovered 60 m above a field and came to the ground with a soft whirring sound, 150 m away. After observing it for 15 min, Moore then walked to the object, which he found to be shaped like “a covered dish” 15 m in diameter, 5 m high, with a cone on top about 3 m high, surrounded by haze or fog, pulsating slowly. Holes, footprints and radioactivity were found at the site by Civil Defense Director Kenneth Locke.

Author Jan Aldrich provided more information about the case, with some altered details, through Project 1957:

“(At) about 11:20 p. m. EST, Olden J. Moore… was returning home when he saw a flattened spherical object with a conical projection on top descend toward a field [here there are reports of EME on the car which are wrong]. He watched the object for some time. Then, got out of the car and walked toward it. He heard a humming or ticking sound. He decided to leave the scene and get another witness. When he returned with his wife the object was gone. Above normal radiation levels at the site were found by the local Civil Defense shortly after the sighting. Other people reported sightings that night. Mrs. Moore contacted the sheriff. Moore was later interviewed by the sheriff, the press, Kenneth Locke, the local Civil Defense Director, and LTC (later COL) Friend of Project Blue Book. Plaster casts of the landing marks were made by a NICAP adviser. (NICAP is the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomena.) It later leaked out that Moore had been taken to Washington, D. C. for questioning. Moore would not immediately confirm this story. In 1961 Don Berliner, later a NICAP official, interviewed Moore. Moore said about two weeks after the sighting he had been taken to Youngstown AFB, Ohio, then, to Wright-Patterson AFB and flown to an airbase near Washington, D. C. At Washington D. C., he was interviewed in the basement of what might have been the U. S. Court House. He was given a brief tour of the historic and other sights while in Washington, D. C. His interview was more like asking for corroboration of what was already known. On the third day he was required to sign a statement that he would not tell anyone where he had been. Then, he was returned home. The later released interview of LTC Friend’s questioning sounds much like Moore’s description of his Washington, D. C. experience. Friend goes into a long description of (a) bolide or other common object and asks Moore if that is what he saw.”

Something stranger yet developed when I read a page called ‘On This Day.’ There were sightings around the world in 1954, 1957, 1958, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001, and 2002. All on that same day of the year, November 6th.
Trembling with anticipation, I contacted the Geauga County Archives. Their collection boasted many vintage issues of the erstwhile G T-L. Trying to sound earnest, I asked about the existence of UFO coverage from that distant year. My stomach twisted into a knot while making the request. I imagined that the archive director might think my question was a joke. Or, that I required the help of a psychologist.
Only a day later, their formal reply appeared. It was stunning – the article I sought did indeed exist. It was published on Nov. 14, 1957.
My odyssey in the world of strange facts had only begun…

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

ONE FAN'S OPINION - Monster Trucks


Monster trucks belong in Ashtabula County
Gazette Newspapers
The summer is a time when most people in Ashtabula County busy themselves with picnics, outdoor activities, and vacation time. But for a Pigskin Sports-Dad like myself, this part of the year has another name. We call it ‘The emptiness between football seasons.’
Yes, baseball, golf, soccer, basketball, volleyball and even bocce are fine warm-weather activities. But none of these competitive sports offers the gut-wrenching adrenaline rush of a high school football game. People who know the onset of madness with an appearance of fall weather understand this point. To borrow a bit of logic from Doctor Phil: “You either get it - or you don’t!”
For the true Pigskin Sports-dad, waiting for the next gridiron season to begin can be an endless, lonely chore. We get little sympathy from children, and even less from our wives. Beer and Buffalo Wings may ease our woes for a few weeks, but the effect is not everlasting. Going fishing can divert our minds from the craving, temporarily. Firearms, archery, and home construction projects may mute the pain of nights without football. But we need an equivalent experience to completely calm the shock of football deprivation.
This dilemma has made us PS-Ds crazy for many years - until now. Recently, I was listening to my favorite topical talk radio program on WFUN 970. The host and callers were discussing ways to improve the county, and produce economic growth.
And then, a flash of inspiration brightened my day. It came in two simple words:
Our county is Ohio’s largest, in land area. we are blessed with quaint geography, appealing architecture, and friendly people. Yet we still need a kind of economic stimulus to spur growth in the region. This would be the way.
A Monster Truck park would fit Ashtabula County with perfection, demographically. Try embracing such rowdiness in Lake or Geauga County, and it might be seen as an act of social aggression. But having loud, smoking, big-tired, metal workhorses rolling around our rural acres would be a natural fit - and ever so satisfying for Pigskin Sports-Dads on the mend. The only difficulty in bringing these fuelburning horses to the county might come from deciding where to put the park.
Austinburg immediately comes to mind, because of the presence of Jewels Dance Hall. This secluded, country music haven is legendary across America. It would be the perfect companion for a new herd of mud-slinging pickups. Jefferson might hold sway over potential fans simply because it is the county seat. And, its central location would be an added plus. Trumbull Locker might easily lure the Monster Truck venue to their home township. Having raucous, four-wheeled entertainment next to some of the world’s tastiest smokies, sausages, and jerky could be irresistible. Geneva-on-the-Lake would also be perfect because of its history as a center for summer entertainment and motorcycling. Prowling the strip with a beefed-up F-150 just might be the best way to relieve no-football stress that was ever imagined.
Combining the trucks with our yearly ‘Medieval Faire’ could modernize the appeal of one event, while adding a touch of Old World refinement to the other. Imagine the trackside chatter at such a cross-generational happening:
“I pray thee, behold Bigfoot in all its glory, with cubic inches measured in the hundreds, a skidplate of finest chrome, knobby tires fit for a stout tractor, and King’s-issue four-wheel-drive, to boot!” Andover would be a point on the map already well known to seasonal travelers. Hartsgrove could tie-in the Truck Park with a re-opened Emporium. Pierpont would boast one of the coolest names for a township in Ashtabula County.
Still, my own favorite spot would be Rock Creek, where the Monster Truck Menagerie could be just a thrown connecting rod from Thompson, home of the drag raceway. A connecting strip could be built between the two communities that might actually rival any other attraction in the county. Fans could cruise easily from one attraction, to the other, leaving lots of disposable cash in their wake.
It would be guaranteed to numb the ache of a Pigskin Sports-Dad. At least until fall breathes a first wisp of cold into the air. And then, the process would start all over again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Fuzz for the Holidays 2 - LINER NOTES

FROSTY THE SNOWMAN – Leaping across snowflakes while melodies meet in the white-draped forest. Sax and keyboards ride the sleigh. Frosty holds a conductor’s baton, swinging like a metronome. Elves dance to the beat. King Fuzz gifts the children with electric treats!

JINGLE BELLS – A bit of Yuletide bikerdom played out with winter’s glare off the snowbanks. Spinning tires melt the frost. Kick start prods boost the beasts to life! Off and away into the cold breath of day. A tease of The Wild Angels. Ride on, ye merry gentlemen!

BLUE CHRISTMAS – Malaguena! Strings rattle and hum. Rhythmic bursts prefigure T. Rex with a playful grin of musical mockery. The Earth trembles in 4/4 time. Elvis is laughing in his grave. Fuzz Daddy, make the reindeer dance!

I’LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS – A promise made via satellite. Strutting through the snow. The Beautiful Loser is on his way with Heavenly Blues. Warbling doves sing to the heavens. Prayers offered through a fuzzbox. Sunset transpires at the glacier.

A WINTER SONG – Garage band experimentation. George Harrison whispers into the listener’s ear through a Silvertone amplifier. The tree is trimmed with a gnome’s pipe from Jethro Tull, and holly leaves left from an Everly Brothers romp. Squawk horns, squawk!

O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL – Charge on, merry travelers! Parade and sing. The time for celebration is nigh. Pluck the tones of a breaking day, full with hope. The chorus is pleading for you to play!

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN – A classic sonata, rendered in choppy waves of distortion. Skis slippery with ice. Faces ruddy with cold. The whammy bar steers through skies of frosted hues. A jazz backbeat bait-and-switch. The jolly old elf is riding high on sonic energy and the smiles of faithful children.

JINGLE BELL ROCK - Timeless, ageless, forevermore and again. The right time /is the night time / by the fire / with my electric lyre. In the game, lost in flames, reflected on the snow, all a-glow with the chime of inverted silver goblets echoing sound. Boots on the ground. A fist to the sky! Here’s crystallized mud in your eye.

DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR – Quietly the jesters skip into view. A quizzical verse on their lips. Do you, can you, will you? Flutes and fifes march to the drumbeat of history. Violas play. Pipers pipe. The King is plugged in and ready to wield his amplified sword. Be aware, he is mighty and gifted. His countenance kisses the horizon with cautious affinity. And then, he is gone from the throne.

SANTA ON THE RUN – Beach Boys, Christmas toys, the countdown has begun. Prepare for winter fun. Saint Nicholas has his chopper-trike loaded with presents. On a keyboard highway, Rudolph rides shotgun. Not a single kid shall know disappointment. Today is the moment when everyone will receive gifts and feel the embrace of love.

HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS – An invocation fit for mighty souls and humble folks, alike. Good cheer to you, kind neighbor! May the winter sun reflect peacefully through your windowpane, translucent with slush-drops from the wind. I am with you, again.

SEASONED GREETINGS - Flasks tipped toward the cosmos. A sassy retort to tidings of good cheer, given loosely. Reshaped through a vacuum tube pre-amp, boosted gain and quarter notes in flame. A gearshift kick, heel-and-toe. Punt the snowball into tomorrow. Eggnog with spiced rum and a snifter of old Noel. Highway lanes open through the muck. One notch down, and Santa is around a slow-moving pickup truck. This sled can rock!

Monday, July 09, 2007


There's something about riding after dark. Something about being shrouded in the vastness of night. Something about the glow of dashboard lights and the flicker of illumination provided from surrounding sights and passers-by...

After sunset, the lazy hoofbeats of my Milwaukee Marvel fit the mood perfectly. I roll over forgotten county roads and dream. Cares drift away. Life becomes a minimalist exercise - man and machine.

The pulses of combustion match my own heartbeat. I could never get this relaxed on a modern sport bike. The whirring cackle of multiple cylinders would only spoil the mood. I need a crude connection with the elements. The Heritage Softail is my interface. Wind, fire, sweat, blood - we are one creation on the road.

Once Sol has gone to bed, then I am free. In the empty nothingness, my soul is at liberty to expand, and wander. Rules, and responsibilities fall to dust. I am the 'Midnight Rider' of 60's fame. Davie Allan plucks a soundtrack in fuzznotes that bounce off my windshield. I am drenched... wet with electric, tonal feedback. Drizzle runs off my goggles. The black horizon crackles with energy. Lightning strikes witness the plectrum pulses of a heroic king. And I sing to the wind:

"Midnight Rider/breakin' the law/the life of a rebel/without a cause
Midnight Rider/lost and lonely/born a Hell's Angel/born to be free."

Geneva-on-the-Lake Redux

It was another crazy-hot Sunday at Geneva-on-the-Lake. People everywhere - at Adventure Zone playing miniature golf, on the waterslide, and packed in at The Pavillion for brew and burgers. There were choppers, hot rods, and wide-eyed retirees. Profiling is a must at The Strip. Ride, run, or walk. Everybody is a voyeur or a voyeur's target. See and be seen, that's the object. At Eddie's Grill, or Sportsterz, or The Cove... or The Blue Dragon. G-O-T-L is a show where everybody gets to perform.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Thompson Raceway Park Pre-Independence Day

THOMPSON - It was a perfect way to celebrate our American freedoms.

The Pre-Independence Day Celebration at Thompson Raceway Park provided a bit of everything for fans of burning rubber and vaporized fuel.

Competitors included street-stock models, modified performance cars, full-on dragsters, junior dragsters, funny cars, supercharged monsters, and motorcycles.

Fans even witnessed a Japanese sport motorcycle racing a hopped-up snowmobile owned by Lou Horvath. (The bright-green snowmobile won, with a terminal speed of over 115 miles per hour.)

Fireworks punctuated the show, with a complete demonstration of pyrotechnic prowess. Also present were the UMTR racers, who practice drag racing as it used to be - shifted by hand.

Larry Weisenberg had his red Advance Auto Parts Camaro on display. Carl West thrilled fans with his yellow 'Rogue' funny car.

Thompson Raceway Park is located Southeast of Thompson, on Sidley Road, off of Ohio Route 166.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Jefferson, Ohio

JEFFERSON - The very name of this Ohio village resonates with importance.
It is a place where time seems to stand still. What changes over the years in Jefferson? Very little, indeed. The Gazette office (look for the green roof on Chestnut Street, next to NAPA Auto Parts) is much as it was in the 1970's. Few things have morphed here in the past twenty years. Hardee's still serves it's Thickburgers with courtesy, and pride. The Bi-Lo offers a small-town feel with its groceries. The Golden Dawn presents its foodstuffs with hunting gear and fishing tackle. Nassief Ford projects the one-on-one closeness of a rural dealership. The Jefferson Diner provides quick dishes with a touch of home. MUGS is a place where good food and conversation are paired, every day. Marshall's is where a satisfying fish sandwich can be had, for a pittance.
Call it home, or call it a faraway destination. Jefferson is all this, and more!
A bit of Mayberry, RFD and a bit of 21st Century Ohio.

The Tube Farm Continued

The Tube Farm continues to grow and provide mysterious inspiration for people in Eastern Geauga and Western Ashtabula County. What is it, really? We may never know. The white poles reach upward, toward the sky. Yet they are anonymous, and silent. How can we hear their cry?
Few seem to understand the presence of these ivory shafts.
Yet they remain a potent image for residents in this part of Northeastern Ohio...

Rock Creek Pizza Shoppe

This is it - our current pizzaria of choice. After a long search for the perfect cheese and pepperoni pie, we settled on the RCPS as our favorite.
They don't offer breadsticks, wings, garlic toast, or salad. The shoppe is a minimalist outpost that sells only pizza and nothing else. But the pies are soooooooooooooooo good!
Their prices are very reasonable, as well. And conversation while waiting for your meal is free.
Just east of Ohio Route 45, the Shoppe is located at 3038 Water Street in Rock Creek, right across from the Morgan Township Fire Station. It is open Sunday - Wednesday from 4 PM to 10 PM. Thursday, 4 PM - 11 PM. Friday & Saturday from 4 PM - 12 AM.
Their dough is made fresh daily, on the premises.
Visit the RCPS and enjoy!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Tim's House Chinese Auction June 30, 2007

As Jeff Lynne of ELO once sang: "Hold on tight to your dreams!"
Carole Brazis demonstrated the power of such thoughts at Hambden Town Hall, on Saturday. "I had a dream to build a house for my son Tim Weed, so that he would always have a safe place to go," she said. "But I didn't know that someday, he would be gone by his own hand. Now, I want to build Tim's House in his memory."
Weed was well-known in the Chardon area. He passed away in 2006.
A Chinese Auction to benefit the cause drew many people from the surrounding communities. The event yielded a wide variety of donations, given by local businesses like Cooke's Marathon, Yangtze Chinese Restaurant, Main Street Cafe, and The New York Deli.
Brazis was overwhelmed with the generosity of the volunteers and guests who made the charitable auction a success. "Thank you for your attendance," she said. "And (for) support of Tim's House and the legacy of my beautiful boy."
The next Tim's House event will be a Golf outing on July 29th at Chardon Lakes Golf Course. Call 440.286.HOPE for further information.
The organization has a website with information and resources at: