Friday, October 31, 2008

Chili Abounds at Brown Town

BY Nicki Yowell

On a brisk, sunny October day, dozens of famished chili fans crammed into the backyard of “Brown Town,” a private residence at 35 Brown Avenue in Athens that plays host to community group the Action Committee. Lining the countertop of the estate's kitchen was an array of bean-laden and hearty concoctions, some 14 individual chili recipes in all. While it may have looked at first like a group of enterprising pals doing nothing more than ladling steamy stew, the “That's What's Up Chili Cook-Off” was in fact a community event whose obscurity was only rivaled by its creativity.

Contrary to Athens mayor Paul Wiehl’s suggested belief, Brown Town was not chosen due to its unique position as a west-Athens "suburb," but because the event was hosted by the Brown Town-based Committee, a group devoted to community involvement and camaraderie through music and other artistic endeavors. Andru Okun, one of the members of the group and a Brown Town dweller, helped organize the event, bringing in Wiehl and local musicians Jesty Beatz and Josh "Pencil" Hatfield as chili judges.

In the end, two chunky, savory recipes were chosen as winners, one selected by the judges, the other selected by the nearly 80 attendants. Pulling in favor from the judges was Justin Cousino's entry, while the throngs of tasters opted for Piper Avalokita's tasty bowl. The event was considered an overwhelming success for the Action Committee, having enabled the group to raise an ample amount of funds through donations during the afternoon. Jesty Beatz even treated the sparse remainder of the audience to an impromptu performance after the judging and sampling was complete.
Judges Josh "Pencil" Hatfield, left, and Jesty Beatz came prepared with their chili bowls.

The "That's What's Up Chili Bowl Cook-Off" crowd at "Brown Town"

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Faces: Magic with a Message

Activism: Home Births

BY Jennifer Edse

Economics may be why some women choose to give birth at home; an out-of-hospital birth usually costs about one third of a hospital birth, says Angelita Nixon, a Certified Nurse Midwife in West Virginia, who also practices in Ohio. However, financial reasons aren’t the only ones motivating women to choose home births...

For the rest of this article, be sure to check out the Winter '09 issue of Southeast Ohio magazine!

Business: Five and Dime

BY Alexandra Pitzing

Berdine's Five and Dime is a place to remember - to remember times past when children spent their precious nickel to buy a handful of sweets, to remember the scent of rosebud salve that surrounded our mothers, and most of all, to remember the unique visit to this heartwarming store. Located in Harrisville, surrounded by the green hills of Ritchie County in West Virginia, Berdine's Five and Dime is a true jewel...

For the rest of this article, be sure to check out the Winter '09 issue of Southeast Ohio magazine!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Recommendations: Glenlaurel Inn

BY Alexandra Pitzing

"The ambiance is very special. You don't have guests coming in and out; everyone is seated at the same time. And it is much more quiet here than in usual restaurants…Glenlaurel has more of a European flair. This is just really a place where guests come in on special occasions and spoil themselves."

For the rest of this article, be sure to check out the Winter '09 issue of Southeast Ohio magazine!

Panorama: Big Bend Cloggers

BY Megan Ruetsch

The Big Bend Cloggers practice in a room that echoes with every step and every word, and with fans that muffle every sound with their overpowering whirr. The concrete floor of the Pomeroy Municipal Building takes a constant beating from the taps of their clogging shoes but exacts its revenge with the stress the hard surface puts on the bodies of the 15 dancers...

For the rest of this article, be sure to check out the Winter '09 issue of Southeast Ohio magazine!

Past & Present: Moonville Tunnel

BY Jessica Gerhardt

Through a deepening haze of colossal trees and lofty streams, a mysterious tunnel lies far within the woods. As the black sky surrounds you, the brick walls seem to be caving in. Suddenly, an enormous, murky and gruesome figure leaps at you, and a bright lantern swings back and forth, piercing the black of the night. Events such as these are just a few of the numerous haunted sightings reported after visiting Moonville Tunnel...

For the rest of this article, be sure to check out the Winter '09 issue of Southeast Ohio magazine!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Ohio's Rich History

BY Jourdan Corbitt

For all of the wives constantly criticized for the countless knick knacks collecting dust in their hallways and for all of the husbands who've compulsively retained every bus ticket and trinket gathered through years of travels and experiences, your day of vindication has arrived. On September 18, in the small office of the Fairfield County Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society in Lancaster, ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ replaced small pockets of chatter as auctioneer Mike LeMay appraised several members' heirlooms, collectibles and so-called trinkets.

With fifteen years of experience and attendance at a bona fide auctioneer school, LeMay examined the table with hands behind his back and eyebrows bent. An associate, George Barnes, who specializes in evaluating glass, joined LeMay in his analyses. The two men encircled the table of cherished history like hawks, seeking telltale marks and sizing up the conditions of the artifacts. Together, they applied historical meaning and monetary value to treasures that had been passed through families for so long that their origins had become the stuff of legends.

One all-star contributor to the night's events was Sally Dupler, who brought several items to the table. The first was a beverage tray with a Native American's face painted on it. Barnes ran his hands around the length of the raised rim, declaring it to be a product of the Iroquois Beverage Corporation, from the 1940s or 50s, with an auction value estimated between $60 and $75.

Next, Dupler learned that a green glass pitcher her husband purchased on a whim at an auction was Victorian hand-blown glass from the turn of the century, hand-painted in the style of Mary Gregory. Barnes valued the piece at $200. Dupler also submitted a colorful glass bird (see picture) with a foot-long single glass feather for a tail. Barnes immediately determined the figure to be Venetian glass, citing the gold-speckled face of the bird as--a style for which the Italians became famous . The value of the item was $75-100; however, he noted that the birds were usually created in pairs, and a set would easily double the value. She also provided a dancing figurine frozen in a classic European-style waltz. The piece originated in Dresden, Germany, according to the appraisers, and was made between 1920 and1930. If the hand-painted porcelain item were mint, it would be valued between $75-100.

Richard Hartle was next to present some personal history and recalled his first memory of the wooden clock he brought to the event. At his birth home in Lansing, Michigan, he recalled being five years old in 1927 and seeing the clock. The appraisers determined it to be an oak kitchen clock from the Ensonia Company. After Richard assured them that the eight day clock still kept perfect time, they determined its' auction value at anywhere from $150-225.

Next, president and librarian of the local chapter Sue Hothem told the story of her stein. While stationed in Stuttgart, her father traveled to Tubingen, Germany in search of a pleasant souvenir for the otherwise ghastly memories of World War II. The glass stein had a metal handle with an eagle as the opening valve and was valued between $50-75.

Perhaps the most outstanding treasure of the evening belonged to Karen Feisel. Her great-great aunt knit a double quilt in the 1880s that remains in perfect condition to this day. With approximately seven stitches per inch, this incredible heirloom is what's known as a sampler quilt: that is, it features several squares, each with different design styles.

One element of antique auctioneering, LeMay explained, is the history behind an item. The more that is known about an item's background, the higher of value it will garner. LeMay estimated that this mint quilt – that had never been washed and only ever touched to be re-folded – would fetch close to $1,000 at auction.

There were several other items of equal importance discussed that evening; the aforementioned is just a sampling that sparked conversation among the attendees. Also among the mix of heirlooms was a gun, a baby plate, a tintype photo, a child's rocking chair and an early-edition printing of “Alice in Wonderland.” Even though it can be exciting to discover how much meaningful trinkets and treasure might fetch on the market, it was obvious that the night at the Genealogical Society was not merely about assigning monetary values to priceless family heirlooms. Instead, Treasures from the Attic allowed attendees to share and listen to memories, experiences and heritage and learn a little more about their fellow community members.

Fall 2008 Staff!

Welcome to a new season of Southeast Ohio Magazine! At our unique regional magazine, with a new season comes a new staff. We’d like to take a moment to introduce the fall staff, and give you--the reader--an inside perspective on what we’ll be working on and how this season’s issue will come together. For the upcoming winter issue, we’re working on some great stories featuring interesting faces, exciting places and innovation in Southeast Ohio and its surrounding counties. This season we’re hoping to include more multimedia, blog-exclusive stories and bonus material for our next issue, so be sure to visit the blog frequently. Check back soon for a glance into the past with Fairfield County’s Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society.

Winter 2009 Southeast Ohio Magazine Staff!

Deanna Kerslake

Managing Editor
Amanda Wilcosky

Photo Editor
Christina Paolucci

Associate Editors
Alexandra Hazlett
Magaret Lavigne
Carrie Schimizzi
Samantha Strahota

Copy Chief
Christine Succop

Copy Staff
Jennifer Edse
Todd Loesch
Ryan Rauch
Megan Ruetsch
Alyssa Weidenhamer

Design Director
Lindsey Burrows

Design Staff
Nicole Batchelor
Jessica Gerhardt
Jessica Patterson

Jourdan Corbitt
Jennifer Edse
Jessica Gerhardt
Kallie Hinton
Gretchen Keen
Todd Loesch
Sam Oches
Ryan Rauch
Megan Ruetsch
Alexandra Pitzing
Nicki Yowell

Web Staff
Jourdan Corbitt
Sam Oches
Jessica Patterson
Nicki Yowell