Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Hebron Crossroads 02-23-03
By Jeff Gill

Did you see the blue?
Not in the sky, of course; there’s been precious little of that lately. But from the same source, the blue of the sky and the rainbow and the spectrum of visible light.
With inches upon inches of fresh, light snow, if you looked into a crevice or gap or shovel gash in a snow bank, you saw a crystalline blue glowing out of the shadowed depths. Most of our eighteen to twenty-one inches that fell last weekend across the Hebron/Buckeye Lake area was fluffy enough that the light there was could penetrate the icy structure of the piled snowflakes and scatter, just as the air scatters sunlight so that the main visible hue is sky-blue.
Anyhow, it’s an interesting phenomenon to reflect on while you’re gasping for air after shoveling the same driveway for the fifth time! The landscape is transformed and our cabin fever is reaching fever pitch, especially for those indoors with kids on extra days off from school. . .send ‘em out to shovel and burn off the energy is the only idea I’ve heard that works.
Through this siege of snowfall, a big tip o’ the hat to the Hebron Street Dept. crews (and helpers like Bob Gilbert and others driving plows, I see. . .) who have, in this correspondent’s opinion, done a stellar job of keeping both the main drags and the side streets as clear as can be expected. They’ve put in many round-the-clocks lately, along with Union Township and crews all over, certainly, but I’ve not had to go much further than our immediate area, and they’ve kept me shiny-side-up right through it all.
Can I ask a favor of y’all on behalf of the many snow plow drivers and salt truck pilots all over central Ohio? They are coming in from their shifts shaking and stunned: not from the long hours right through the night, which they cheerily accept as part of the deal, but from the myriad close calls with insane drivers as they try to keep the roads clear. The stories I hear aren’t about teenagers in souped-up cars, either. They’re shaking their heads over mature drivers in sensible sedans passing them on snow-slick hills, spinning out in front of their heavy blade, darting out in front of them as if a fully-loaded maintenance vehicle could stop on a dime in good weather, let alone in the middle of a record setting snowfall.
Folks, let’s use a little common sense, and remember the law of inertia, friction co-efficients, and the kinetic energy of two tons of road salt. Why would you want to pass a snow plow, anyhow?
My little guy, out helping the neighborhood shovel, kept asking “is this a snow party?” He has the right attitude, anyhow, and at four he’s safe from Dad handing him a shovel for a while yet. The Hebron/Union Twp. Fire Dept. rescue squad came down our street verifying access and occasionally shoveling out the fire hydrants (tip o’ hat number two!) giving him a real thrill.
Speaking of cabin fever, the Books & Coffee selection for March is guaranteed to break up the ice jams of your brain, and the author of “Under the Tuscan Sun,” Frances Mayes, is going to be at Ohio Dominican University this week, speaking in the Little Theatre on campus with book signing to follow. Thanks to Anita at Waldenbooks for the heads-up (hat tip three, if you’re counting), and the evening of Feb. 27 I hope to sneak over there and hear more about the house in Tuscany this English professor and her husband renovated and restored. Mayes puts in her book recipes and rhapsodies, travelogues, interior monologues, and meditations on lavender and honeybees, contractors and building codes, and thoughts warmed by sunlight of all angles and intensities.
There is no winter in this book at all, a’tall. Need I say more?
Speaking of reading, whether the Books & Coffee approach is your cup of tea or not (huh?), this is a great time to read, and the Hebron library, along with the Storytime for preschoolers on Tuesdays at 11 am, has some great picks for this time of year. George Washington, whose birthday is Feb. 22, has his story told in biographies by James Flexner and Richard Brookhiser either and both of which are worth reading (would you rather be out shoveling?), and thanks to PBS who seemed to be the only folks on TV who knew that last Monday wasn’t Michael Jackson Day with their feature on Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln.
Did you know it wasn’t President’s Day, though? That’s a fiction of the greeting card and calendar industry; legally, the third Monday in Feb. is “Washington’s Birthday,” and long may George wave!
Hey, a fourth and final tip of the toboggan to Scott (twice!), Nick, and David, who plowed me out four times to match my four shovel-outs. Nothing like having a big red and black Case-IH chugging down your driveway on a snowy day! And we still haven’t gotten to the Ohio Canal, but since most of the Route 79 work came to a halt this week, we won’t be behind by much next week. . .i can hope.
See you Sat. March 1 at OSU-N (see the cover), and call 928-4066 or e-mail disciple@voyager.net if you have a brain storm or blizzard about something we can talk about at the drifted over Hebron Crossroads.

[and if Amy has space to burn this week, here’s a portion of]
Snowbound: A Winter Idyll by John Greenleaf Whittier

We looked upon a world unknown,
On nothing we could call our own.
Around the glistening wonder bent
The blue walls of the firmament,
No cloud above, no earth below, --
A universe of sky and snow!
The old familiar sights of ours
Took marvellous shapes;
strange domes and towers
Rose up where sty or corn-crib stood,
Or garden-wall, or belt of wood;
A smooth white mound the brush-pile showed,
A fenceless drift what once was road;
The bridle-post an old man sat
With loose-flung coat and high cocked hat;
The well-curb had a Chinese roof;
And even the long sweep, high aloof,
In its slant spendor, seemed to tell
Of Pisa's leaning miracle.

For the full (lengthy!) poem:

* * * * * * *

Booster 2-23-03
Cover Story

Ring In Ohio’s Bicentennial
By Jeff Gill

When Thomas Worthington hosted a famous all-night gathering at his mansion named “Adena” some 200 years ago, they saw the sun rise over the hills east of Chillicothe in a view enshrined on the Great Seal of the State of Ohio.
Some say they were writing the first state constitution, others claim it was a poker game, but whatever they were doing, they couldn’t have foreseen what Ohio would look like in 2003.
From back when canal boats were high tech and it took weeks to cross the new state on a horse, to our online 24/7 world where interstates get you from Dayton to Steubenville in hours (weather permitting), much has changed. But some things haven’t, even across two centuries.
Casting a bell still requires pouring liquid metal into a mold that produces a musically functional work of beauty; barns still hold hay for fodder no matter what’s painted across its side in red, white, and blue; and pancakes were a favorite of George Washington’s -- and we don’t make them too differently from how they made them at Mount Vernon or Adena in 1803 for a weary crew greeting the dawn.
Saturday, March 1 is “Statehood Day” for Ohio, and the kickoff for a year and more of bicentennial events around the state. While many dignitaries will wind their way up the hill to the newly refurbished “Adena” mansion in Chillicothe, with a parade of county flags leading the way, here in Licking County we will greet the dawn (or at least 8 am) with a pancake breakfast and much, much more.
The official Licking County bicentennial bell, one of 88 cast in each of Ohio’s counties, will make an appearance at OSU-Newark campus as the first pancakes are served, with local Kiwanis Club members cooking and serving. All around the Hopewell Hall cafeteria area will be over 700 works of art from most Licking County school districts. As you enjoy your pancakes at $4 per person, $2 for children ten and under, you’ll hear musical offerings including handbells from Hebron Christian Church, singing by the Angelic Voices, Par Excellence Choir, Campus Chorale, and Young At Heart, as well as music from the Zerger Hall Band.
“We’ve been working for months to get ready for this day,” says Marcia Phelps, county commissioner and chair of the Licking County Bicentennial Commission. Since the Newark bicentennial celebration last summer, where our bell was cast, she has escorted the bell on its carriage to a variety of community events, and the schedule for the bell is jam-packed through 2003, including a late June/early July wagon train passing through on US 40 that the bicentennial commission is working on. “But this is the central event, and we want to do our part to help the state celebrate. We’ve got plenty of history right here in Licking County.”
The statehood day celebration at OSU-N will be history making in its own right, as the centerpiece of the 8 am to noon pancake breakfast will be a pause in the program at 10:30 am as everyone goes outside for an aerial photo, capturing for years to come an overhead view of a human map of Ohio. All present will be shown to a place on an outline of the state, with local veterans invited to physically map Licking County into the middle of the display.
Copies of the photo can be ordered that day, with J & B Photography taking both the pictures and the orders. The outline of Ohio will be done rain (or snow) or shine, since the 200th Statehood Day comes around only once.
If you have questions about events or arrangements for Statehood Day, call 349-6555; Kim Workman with the County Planning Commission has given invaluable assistance to the Ohio bicentennial effort.
“Please remember that there is effectively no budget for this,” says Commissioner Phelps, who has given hours of her time to help keep the effort moving forward, along with countless hours and personal donations from members of the county bicentennial commission. With the state budget situation, what money was available has been eliminated, and local efforts, work by the Ohio Historical Society, and other activities are operating on a pay-as-you go basis.
There’s something that would appeal to George Washington and Thomas Worthington about paying for our historic commemoration with pancakes. Some things don’t change through the years, and the taste of pancakes early in the morning is one of them.

Statehood Day in Licking County is Sat., March 1, with a Pancake Breakfast and State of Ohio outline aerial photo at the OSU-N campus. The breakfast is in Hopewell Hall from 8 am to Noon, with tickets $4 for adults and $2 for children ten and under, available at the Licking Co. Commissioners’ office and Park National Bank branches, or at the door. Aerial photo is scheduled for 10:30 am rain or shine, with veterans invited to form Licking County within the state outline, and copies of the photo may be ordered that day.