Sunday, June 26, 2011

“Newspaper Notes”

c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

A few years ago, I was able to purchase a partial copy of the Geauga Republican newspaper through eBay. Dated 1919, this local artifact offered a unique glimpse into yonder days. In particular, an article contained therein about the prohibition of beverage alcohol was fascinating to read.

Recently, while researching newspaper history from our area, I wondered if such a stroke of luck might occur again.

A quick tour of ‘The World’s Online Marketplace’ yielded no tantalizing stash of county journals. But a couple of results appeared from our neighbor to the east, as the Civil War was approaching:


Included was an article reprinted from the Deseret News, March 11th edition:

“Idaho News via Salt Lake City. The vigilance committee in Idaho has stopped the depredations of twenty-eight highwaymen and murderer(s) organized under the flash name of ‘Road Agents’ and the country now breathe freely and travel is secure. It adds: A large number of miners, who have wintered in this city have, with the first indications of returning Spring, set their faces again in that direction, and, from all we hear there will be a large stream of emigrants thitherward this Spring and Summer , from Nevada, Colorado, and from ‘all parts of the earth.’ A large amount of gold from those mines has been transported through this city Eastward, for the purchase of goods, and no doubt, Idaho, before many months are over, will have a large population of the whole human family, and enough to feed and clothe them, without calling upon their neighbors.”

ASHTABULA SENTINEL – November 16, 1864

Included was an article about the national election:

“We are at last through the Presidential Campaign of 1864; and we have won a glorious victory. The manner of receiving election returns makes it impossible to give the precise result even now. But this we know certainly, that Mr. Lincoln is re-elected by such a vote as will silence the copperheads so effectually, that their ‘rebellious brethren’ will scarcely look to them for any further help. Of the 234 electoral votes, it is pretty certain that McClellan has got – three in Delaware, seven in N. Jersey, and eleven in Kentucky, making 21 of these votes, with no prospect of any more. The States of West Virginia, Oregon, California and Nevada, giving sixteen votes, have not been returned; but it is not expected that he will get any votes in either of these. The final result will most likely show 213 for Lincoln and 21 for McClellan! After all the bluster and bragging of supporters of ‘Little Mac’ this is rather a stunner, which we hope will convince them that they are not exactly ‘the people’ of the country.”

Still eager to read a bit of yellowed newsprint from Geauga, I visited a website called ‘Newspaper Abstracts.’ Contained there was the text of an obituary for a local native who had fought in the war:


“George Metcalf, for many years a leading and honored citizen of Council Bluffs, who died March 24, 1896, was born at Chardon, O., in 1842. He was one of ten children, seven boys and three girls, all of whom received a liberal education. Two of the boys, Henry and George, entered the army at the first call of President Lincoln for troops. George enlisted in the Seventh Ohio Volunteer Infantry and Henry in the Twenty-second Indiana. Both were gallant regiments, as shown by their large lists of killed and wounded. The Seventh Ohio, with one exception, sustained the heaviest loss of any regiment sent into the war by that State. Its ranks included men of culture and good social position. The regiment organized early in April, 1861, for the three months’ service, and entered the three years’ service almost to a man when the second call for troops was made. The total enrollment of the regiment was 1,365 men and officers, of which number 682 were killed, or died of wounds. George Metcalf veteraned, and, on the expiration of the term of enlistment of his regiment, was transferred to the Fifth Ohio Infantry, from which regiment he received his final discharge. He was in more than a score of battles, notably Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. Mr. Metcalf was at Atlanta, and from there went with Sherman to the sea. He was a brave and patriotic soldier. Henry Metcalf came to this city in 1867, Thomas Metcalf in 1868, and George in 1869. They engaged in business under the name of Metcalf Brothers, which firm still exists. At the organization of Henry Osborn Post of the G.A.R., Mr. Metcalf was elected commander, which position he held until the post was consolidated with that of Abe Lincoln post. In 1880 he married Miss Helen Rue, who, with their four children, John, James, Margaret and Mildred, survive. He will long be remembered in this community as a true citizen and a generous friend. His life was one of unselfish devotion to his country and his home. His first and last thought were ever of wife and children, and to them is left a rich legacy, indeed, of tender remembrance of the solicitude and affection ever manifested by this most devoted husband and loving father.”

After reading these excerpts, I concluded again that journalism is a profession with lasting rewards. Though body and mind may pass away, our words carry on - for future generations to share.

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Friday, June 17, 2011

“Summer Schedule”

c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

Summer always brings lots of entertaining events to Geauga County and northeastern Ohio. In particular, music can be heard echoing nearly everywhere. Those with a theatrical inclination also find that warm weather helps liberate the soul. It is the season for leisure days and solar rays. What follows here is a brief overview of festive events that promise to make the season special for everyone:


Amateur Musician Nights - Held at Chardon Brew Works & Eatery on Historic Chardon Square and conducted by Geauga Music Center. We provide the equipment and you bring your 3 favorite songs (a 10 minute time limit applies). Come early and enjoy dinner and a microbrew. First and Third Saturday of every month at 8:00 p.m.

Jam Session for Adults Only - Held at Chardon's own music store. Bring your instrument and play with our teachers. Doesn't matter how rusty you are, this is just for fun. No teenagers or other children! (sorry guys you have plenty of stuff, let your folks have one event just for them) Homebaked goodies from Anne Marie always make it worth the visit. Second Friday of every month at 7:30 p.m.

Summer Jam - Sponsored by the Chardon Community Action Team, City of Chardon and Geauga Music Center and held on Historic Chardon Square. We book teen bands, duos and soloists for an all day music festival! There are activities, food and fun - June 25th.

Summer Rock Camp and Summer Rock Camp II - A week and a half long day camp held in June right when school lets out and held again in August right before school goes back in session. We cover Rock History, Music Theory, how to pick songs, how to pick a band name and then do a lot of rehearsing. Summer Rock Camp plays at Summer Jam and Summer Rock Camp II plays on GMC's Summer Recital. Dates for Summer Rock Camp are June 15th-June 17th and June 20th-June 24th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: 440-286-8481 /


Auditions for ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ – June 25 at 11:00 a.m. and June 26th at 2:00 p.m.

Apollo's Fire - Special Preview of the National Tour! Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 4:00 PM
Tickets starting at $15 (Available from

Teen and Elementary Workshops held throughout the summer

Contact: 440-286-2255 / 440-285-7701 /


June 17 - Mary Taylor-Brooks (Country & Rock)
June 24 - Clear Fork (Traditional Blue Grass & Acoustic Country)
July 1 - Great Geauga County Fair Band (Marches, Polkas, Swing, & Light Classical)
July 2 - The Highliters (Dixieland & Variety)
July 8 - Face Value (Classic Rock, Motown – R&B)
July 15 - Reign Forecast, from the Chardon Methodist Church (Contemporary Christian Music)
July 22 - Chardon Polka Band (Polka, Oldies, Bluegrass & Comedy Tunes)
July 29 - Abbey Rodeo (British Invasion, 60’s, Oldies, and Country)
Aug 5 - Hillcrest Concert Band (Full Range of Concert Literature)
Aug 12 – Night School Band (Dance Hits from 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, & 80’s)


June 18: Duct Tape Festival Parade (Avon, OH)
June 24: Legend Lake Country Club 7-11pm (Chardon, OH)
June 26: Brunswick Old Fashioned Days 4-7 (Brunswick, OH)
July 6: Wickliffe Summer Concert Series 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Wickliffe, OH)
July 14: Madison Concert Series 7-9 p.m. (Madison, OH)
July 15: Legend Lake Country Club 7-11 p.m. (Chardon, OH)
July 22: Chardon Summer Concert Series 7-9 p.m. (Chardon, OH)
July 25: Willoughby Library 6:30-8:30 p.m. (Willoughby, OH)
July 28: Willoughby Summer Concert 7-8:30 p.m. (Willoughby, OH)
July 31: St. Mary Oktoberfest 2-5:30 p.m. (Avon, OH)
Aug. 4: Concord Summer Concert Series 7-9 p.m. (Concord, OH)
Aug. 6: Lakewood Art Fest 2-3 p.m. (Cleveland, OH)
Aug. 28: Polish Days (Youngstown, OH)


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“Where’s the (Corned) Beef?”

c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

“Where’s the beef?” – Clara Peller, from a series of Wendy’s commercials in the 1980’s

In this column, I have occasionally talked about being a retail manager in and around Geauga County. As one half of a dual career path, my ‘other’ profession has often produced interesting stories for the newspaper.

Recently, I was reminded of that fact while pondering the unavailability of canned corned beef at the supermarket where I am a manager.

Brief outages with our main warehouse have sometimes occurred as company buyers struggled to anticipate market conditions and customer habits. But the disappearance of this packaged meat lasted longer than usual. First one month, then two. And three. We were assured that fresh product would be on hand by January. Then March or April. Yet the vacancy on my shelf continued.

Amazingly, other food retailers in the area seemed to be experiencing the same interruption in supply. But while news reports typically follow a situation of this magnitude, there was nothing in our local papers, or on radio and television. As I discussed the problem with other managers in the area, it became clear that the cause was a complete mystery to everyone.

Canned corned beef had simply vanished from the market.

I began to think of summer sandwiches of the stuff, made on rye bread with lettuce, onions and tomatoes. Meanwhile, shoppers at my store offered a variety of their own recipes while mourning the meat’s absence.

Eventually, the journalistic side of my career took over. I began to investigate the loss of canned corned beef in greater detail.

In a story posted on the WalletPop website, Linda Doell offered the first explanation of the shortage that I could find:

“More than 200 tons of cooked beef products were recalled in three connected recalls last year by Sampco Inc. The Chicago meat company imported the beef from a Brazilian processor barred from shipping to the United States after high levels of the animal drug Ivermectin was found in its products. Ivermectin is used to treat parasites in animals, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Sampco provided beef for such products as Libby Corned Beef, Brushy Creek Shredded Beef and Kroger Corned Beef. A trade group, food producers and retailers contacted for this story kept their lips as tightly sealed as the cans themselves over the corned beef shortage. Hormel and Con Agra -- the parent company of Libby's -- didn't respond to requests for comment. Neither did Kroger or Wegmans.”

Like most people, I’d never heard of Ivermectin before. But an article on PetPlace by Dr. Dawn Ruben offered more information about the drug:

“Parasitic diseases are common in animals. Parasites can affect the skin, ears, stomach and intestines, and the internal organs including the heart, lungs and liver. Several drugs have been developed to kill or prevent parasites such as fleas, ticks, mites and worms. Ivermectin and related drugs are among the most effective of these. Ivermectin is a parasite control drug. Ivermectin causes neurologic damage to the parasite, resulting in paralysis and death. Ivermectin has been used to prevent parasite infections, as with heartworm prevention, and to treat infections, as with ear mites.”

Eventually, one of my customers said that she had discovered a small store east of Geauga County with canned corned beef for sale. But the price had nearly doubled – from $3.49 to $5.00. This made me wonder about eBay as an alternate source for the packaged meat. A quick search revealed that it was being offered by a seller from Puerto Rico at $7.99 per can.

Strangely, production of corned beef ‘hash’ did not seem to have been affected by the Ivermectin-related import ban. I noted that both brands normally carried at my supermarket were still on the shelf. The availability of fresh corned beef briskets was also unaffected. I reckoned that both must depend on a different supply chain to reach stores in the area.

After several visits, one persistent customer confessed her reason for seeking canned corned beef with such gusto - she used the meat to create a Spanish-style dish for her husband. The woman said that after being combined with spices and other ingredients, the corned beef mixture was placed between orange, tortilla-like discs which were crimped together, and baked. It made me think of a calzone.

I promised myself that once the corned beef supply had been restored, we would try her recipe in the household kitchen.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

“Daylily Detour”

c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

The subject of popular music is a frequent topic for installments of this column.

In past issues, I have written about the efforts of area resident Eric Moore to have legendary guitarist Link Wray inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. But a recent Internet encounter with this energetic fellow uncovered a different side of his personality.

On a fan forum dedicated to another plectrum icon, Davie Allan, Moore mentioned speaking at the public library in Chardon.

Since this online group included members from around the world, I was stunned at the mention of a locale so close to home.

I contacted Moore directly, and asked about his appearance. It seemed likely that he would have visited to discuss Rock music, or some facet of popular culture. But instead, he mentioned a club I’d never heard of before – the Western Reserve Daylily Society.

When I wondered about their activities, he connected me with fellow member Rae Dickens. She cheerfully explained the association in greater detail:

“A group of daylily lovers got together last spring and decided that we wanted to form a new club with members who love the flower and are interested in being involved in their organization. We decided to measure our success on how well we work together rather than the number of members in the club. To accomplish this we are trying something different: an Associate Membership program. Prospective members are invited to attend a meeting, receive a packet of information and have a mentor assigned to them. They join a committee and are invited to try the club out for a year. They are welcome to participate in all activities and events, however, they are restricted on voting on club issues. After a year, they have the opportunity to become a full member. The club is open to anyone who is interested in what we do and can commit to attending the majority of meetings and events. We fund the club by selling plants donated by members to the public rather than counting on members for monetary donations. Members also receive lots of free plants so we all have great looking daylily gardens! We see ourselves as daylily ambassadors and are committed to education. We teach daylily basics, give demonstrations, and provide literature and hands on experience. We are a non-profit 501c3 organization and affiliated with the American Hemerocallis Society, Region 2. I love working on our projects and working along with the others in our group. We never get tired of talking about daylilies! We are involved in building daylily gardens in the community. Our first is at Burton Century Village… club members are donating over 100 hybrid daylilies from their own gardens for the display. We are working on setting up another community garden at the Senior Center in Perry; we travel and visit hybridizers to see their gardens, talk to them and learn how they create and grow beautiful plants, and of course buy lots of plants; we offered classes at the Chardon library (open to the public) on how to use botanical software called Plantstep and how to use Excel and Word to create a garden catalog for your own garden; we have plant sales coming up at the Chardon Square Farmer's Market in June, a sale at the Chesterland Historic Village in August, and one with OSU Master Gardeners in Painesville in September. At plant sales, we raise funds for the club, but most importantly meet the public, provide information, and introduce daylilies to the pubic; we invite guest speakers - our first was Eric. He spoke to us about his hybridizing program. June 3 is our first birthday. Daylily season in our area begins at the end of June, peak bloom is in July.”

The WRDS website is located at

Note: The club will be selling locally grown hybrid daylilies, distributing daylily information, demonstrating how to plant daylilies, and answering daylily questions at the Farmer's Market in Chardon Square on Friday evenings in June from 4-8PM. (June 3, 10, 17, 24). They also have a club sale planned in Chesterland on August 20th. Additionally, they have volunteered to help with a garden restoration project in Burton at Century Village by creating a daylily garden for the community.

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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

“Hamglaze for President”

c. 2011 Rod Ice
All rights reserved

It was a quiet evening at the Get Go in Chardon.

A light rain dribbled over the parking lot. Inside, the crew busied themselves brewing fresh coffee and making sandwiches. Meanwhile, local iconoclast Carrie Hamglaze was holding court from her seat by the front windows.

A small group of people circled her chair. They were spellbound, and listening intently to every word.

“Geauga has the same needs as every other county in the nation,” she proclaimed. “Jobs for its citizens. Safe neighborhoods. Good schools. And leaders who can visualize our future…”

Applause resounded throughout the store.

I scribbled in my reporter’s notebook. “So Carrie, does that mean you are once again running for office?”

Laughter echoed around the table.

“No,” she whispered, bowing her head. “Those days have passed.”

Ezekiel Byler-Gregg, editor of the Burton Daily Bugle, frowned intently.

“I don’t figure you’re ready to be put out to pasture!” he said.

Rhonda Ronk, who was working at the counter, shook her head with disbelief. “I don’t believe it either! You won’t sit still for long, Mrs. Hamglaze.”

I agreed. “It isn’t in your nature, friend.”

Carrie stirred her tea, looking glum. “No, I won’t sit still. There are lots of meetings, luncheons, seminars, and spaghetti dinners to attend. But my call to public service has faded…”

Outside, a black limousine parked next to the building. The driver and a bodyguard exited first, both dressed in long, dark coats. Then, their passenger stepped out, into the night. He smiled upon seeing those huddled by the front windows.

Without a word, the trio walked inside.

Rhonda was dutifully polite as the men passed her workstation. “May I help you?”

“No,” the driver said roughly.

His passenger gestured a greeting. “But… the woman sitting at your table can help us… and help America!”

Our group stopped talking.

“Do I know you gentlemen?” Carrie said with suspicion.

The limousine occupant chuckled softly, while brushing moisture from his coat. “Let me introduce myself. I am Reince Priebus. Chairman of the Republican National Committee.”

Gasps filled the air.

“May I sit with you for a moment?” he inquired.

Rhonda hurried over with an extra chair.

“I’ve heard a lot about you, Mrs. Hamglaze,” the chairman reflected. “Most recently after you were photographed with Governor Kasich at the Rock Hall…”

“Yes,” she replied. “It was a great evening. But how does that bring you here?”

Mr. Priebus folded his hands. “It’s no secret, really. Our field of candidates for the 2012 presidential election is dreadfully thin.”

Ezekiel nearly spilled his coffee. “Hey, ain’t that a poor attitude for a fellow in your position?”

The chairman sighed loudly. “No, it is a realistic attitude. Mitt Romney carries the millstone of his health care reform in Massachusetts. Newt Gingrich was never people-friendly, even in the 90’s. Huckabee and Palin are having too much fun engaging in punditry for Fox News. And most people have never heard of Mitch Daniels or Tim Pawlenty.”

“What about Michele Bachmann?” Carrie wondered out loud.

“Please!” Priebus exploded. “Let’s get serious.”

“What about Ron Paul?” I interjected.

The chairman cleared his throat. “Ahem! A nice fellow, but too Libertarian. He’s our conscience, so to speak. A pure conservative. But someone who will never win a national election.”

“Okay, okay,” Rhonda shouted from her counter. “Then why are you here talking to Mrs. Hamglaze?”

Priebus extended his hand. “I have come to ask that you consider running next year… for the office of president!”

Carrie snorted her tea. “WHAT???”

Ezekiel slapped the table. “Hey, I kinda like that idea!”

My face went red. “Carrie Hamglaze? Versus President Obama in 2012?”

More gasps could be heard throughout the store.

Priebus was insistent. “You have charisma, passion, and experience in the political realm. Plus the kind of realism people expect in the Midwest. We need that in the White House.”

“Not to mention a good dose of Irish charm,” Ezekiel grinned.

Rhonda wiped a tear from her eye. “President… Hamglaze!”

Carrie was almost speechless. “Are you joking?”

The chairman leaned closer. “Not at all. The GOP is in trouble. Even with Tea Party protests, out-of-control spending, high gasoline prices, and a weak economy, President Obama will be a formidable candidate in the next election. Voters perceive both parties as being stale and phony. We need to shake things up… you could do that and win!”

Everyone began to cheer. “Carrie! Carrie! Carrie!”

Priebus stood up, suddenly. “Please don’t mention my presence here to anyone. But I ask that you consider this offer carefully, Mrs. Hamglaze. America is waiting!”

The trio disappeared without another word.

I dropped my notebook. “So, what just happened?”

Ezekiel stroked his beard. “I’m not real sure…”

Rhonda started a fresh pot of tea. “What happened was we just got to see history being made. Congratulations!”

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