Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Hebron Crossroads 8-25
by Jeff Gill

(Note to self: as a weekly columnist, don’t print in the column what you think will be in it next week – people remember this stuff!)
OK, so we’re still looking for a final tally of fair results, Hartford and Ohio State-wise, but be of good cheer, the delay is simply so we don’t miss anyone! I’ve heard some delightful second-hand accounts of what our young folk have shown and earned and celebrated, and you all have one more week to get me the good news so it can be proudly announced at the crossroads. . .

Meanwhile, school begins this week, and parents are working out transportation arrangements for their high schoolers, payment plans for extra-curricular activities, and child care around alternating day kindergarten. Did I mention the Lakewood School Board is bringing another levy proposal before the voters in November? Anyhow, remember in the early mornings, as the sun rises later, that the kids are at the bus stops and along the sidewalks again. Drivers, take note!

With the fall comes not only school but many other important civic organizations getting back into the swing of things. We’ll be hearing quite a bit about the Millersport Lions with the Sweet Corn Festival and all (and Art Ours with the Hebron Lions was making the rounds with the community calendar just recently), but many organizations have a quiet summer to rest up for a busy autumn and winter.

One organization with a high profile in Hebron is the Order of the Eastern Star (or OES), an organization sponsored by Freemasonry and whose local chapter meets at the Masonic Lodge on High Street.

Dory Smathers is the current Worthy Matron of Eagon Chapter 123 OES, named for one of the founders of the chapter, which began in 1900 above a store where Hayman’s Dairy Bar now stands.

“We meet twice a month for ritual and fellowship,” Dory explained to me, “along with other activities and events with other chapters in our district as well as Grand Chapter, the state level organization.”

Dory’s mother Jean Wonders has served as Worthy Matron of Eagon, and currently holds a Grand Chapter office. Masonic activities seem to run in Dory’s family, since she has already been a Rainbow Girl, the sponsored girls’ group through the lodge, and joined Eastern Star at 18, which is the earliest one can join. Her husband Chad Smathers is in line to serve as Worshipful Master of Hebron Lodge 116 next year.

“Men are functional members of Eastern Star, too,” Dory reminded me, “which is part of the relationship to Freemasonry, but the main purpose is for wives, daughters, mothers, and other relatives of Masons to work together.” OES is in the US, Canada, Australia, and a number of European countries; they hold a “general Grand Chapter” every three years.

Along with service projects around the state of Ohio for children with learning disabilities and to support women getting training in religious leadership, the local chapters are a place for training and learning as well.

“I believe that learning and doing the OES ritual has helped me with getting my thoughts focused when making public presentations,” says Dory, “which is a good tool for people who may not be comfortable doing public speaking.” As a teacher in the Columbus Public Schools, she has obviously gotten some career as well as personal benefit out of her time in Eastern Star!

The ritual, which is partly private but mostly public (I’ve been to their centennial celebration and to Dory’s installation, of which 80% was open to non-members), focuses on Biblical characters, but is strictly non-denominational. Their five-pointed star symbolizes, among other things, five women of the Bible who embody virtues and principals the members wish to emulate: Adah, Jeptha’s daughter; Ruth; Esther; Martha, the sister of Lazarus; and Electa, of John’s letters. While both Old and New Testament characters are honored, Eastern Star simply asks of prospective members that they believe in a Supreme Being.

“Eastern Star has provided a place to meet and fellowship with other women & men that I might not otherwise cross paths with in my professional and spiritual life,” says Dory appreciatively. “It has given me personally poise and confidence in my ability to lead a meeting and function as a leader.”

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and a big fan of community service; if you have news or information about those serving our community right now, call 928-4066 or e-mail disciple@voyager.net.
Booster East – K&K Salt cover
by Jeff Gill

Sometimes to take a step forward you have to go backwards; in the case of K & K Salt, about 20 feet into a new building!

Karen Mosher, the owner and manager of K & K, “That Salt Place On 79” as the sign out front says, has seen 25 years of steps both forward and backwards with her business.

“My husband and I started with salt delivery on Aug. 7, 1977 with a Volvo and a small trailer,” says Karen, who also worked with Ken out of the home their first six years.

In September of 1983 they moved into the old Powell’s Market near the entrance to the old Heath Drive-In. The building was a seasonal structure originally, and took quite a bit of work to maintain over the years, as Karen remembers “when we were working on the roof and it rained harder inside than out!”

But starting in 1985 Ken & Karen sold over 1 million pounds of salt a year, and the business grew. They continue to sell literally millions of pounds of salt and water softener supplies.

Dreams of a new building paused when Ken Mosher died suddenly of a massive heart attack in June of 1998. Karen credits the support and comfort of many of her customers with getting her through that period, and back to work. Karen noted in a mailing to her regular customer base, "You have cried with me and laughed with me and I feel you are all family. I thank you from the bottom of my heart."

The rebuilding project along Rt. 79 finally forced the issue, and the decision was made to build anew set back from where the wider road will pass. Briefly the new building towered over the old wooden structure, and now it can be seen as a bright new blue steel-frame building, with wide drive-thru doors.

“We’re set up now for people to go behind to the right, and drive back out through the building where they can pick up their salt in any weather,” says Bruce Dollings, a long-time employee with Karen. “It’s convenient for the customers and us.”

A “Grand Opening Celebration” is planned from August 26 - 31. Prizes, including some specials for the first customers on Monday and price breaks for each of the days, will be offered, accompanied by hot dogs on the grill and good will all around. Karen wants people to stop by and register for prizes “and have a hot dog on me” even if you don’t have a purchase to make next week. The grand opening festivities will go on right through the usual operating hours, Mon-Fri 9 to 5 and Saturdays from 9 to 2 pm.

In a reminder of how Karen & Ken got started, K & K is helping get Heartland Salt Delivery off the ground. For anyone wanting home delivery, they can call K & K at 522-2443 and ask for Fred to get prices and delivery dates.

Karen and her son Matt are proud of their family tradition that will continue at 1885 Hebron Road for what looks like a long time to come. “We just try to give people the best salt available for the best price,” says Karen. That will take K & K Salt through at least another quarter-century!