Thursday, October 02, 2003

Licking District Trails for the November SKC Scouter 2003

Lillian is Our Hero!

Before we get into real news, let’s tip our Scout chapeau to a scoutmaster from Dan Beard Council down by Cincinnati. Lillian (last name unknown) made it into the most recent “Survivor” in Panama on the Pacific coast. The schtick this time was that, instead of letting them have their prepared ditty bag with them, they were made to walk the plank with the clothes they chose to wear to what they thought was a “last night” party.

Lillian wore a full dress Scout uniform, with knots, insignia, and legit belt with shorts, all from Scout Service & Supply. Others were in Armani suits and gauzy evening dresses – guess which made it through a leap into the ocean, salt water, beach sand, a long boat ride sitting in bilge water, and weeks unwashed?

Add the regular knot lesson, solo skill at fire starting, and the stray three-fingered salute, and you’ve got a real hardcore troop leader, shown in prime time on network TV without the word “indictment” anywhere in sight.

No doubt she’ll be voted off by the time you read this, since she’s not hip, buff, or stylish, but she’s ours and we’re proud of her!

Apple Butter Days at CFR Nov. 1

Cub packs, Scout troops, and anyone who loves the smell of apples through the grinder simmering in vast iron kettles need to wander up Houdeshell and into Eden Township to visit Apple Butter Days at the Rock. Chris Farmer, CFR director for 2004, is coordinating a great day of activity for all, plus you can buy some top quality locally grown apple butter.

While you’re up there, you can learn more about Sequoia Lodge; which as those who came to the CFR Reunion learned, will be largely made of beautiful white pines that Aby Johnson and others planted some 50 years ago. They have been harvested for use in the new building, which will be on the site of the former structure. A handsome scale model of the building, crafted by Camp Ranger Denny Gray, was on display at the Reunion, the Fall Program Kickoff, and the Cooking Event.

A committee of local Eagles led by John Weaver is conducting a fund raising effort among county Eagles to raise some $70,000 to fund the project. Much of the actual construction will be accomplished by members of the Properties Committee and other volunteers. The new lodge will be known as The Sequoia Eagle Lodge.

For breaking news – See Our District Website: David Francis, Webmaster. Check it out!

Deadlines: Nov. 3 for Silver Beaver applications to the council; Dec. 15 for District Award of Merit, Outstanding Scouter, Rookie Awards.

Cub Scout Leader Basic Training, OSU-N/COTC, November 15, 2003
Licking District Annual Meeting/Awards Dinner, LCJVS, January 11, 2004
For info, call Dr. Joy Stovcik 323-4128
Licking District Klondike, at CFR January 17, 2004
Licking District Webelos Crossover, at CFR, January 24, 2004
2004 Spring Camporee, Emergency Preparedness, Hartford Fairgrounds, April 23-25
Simon Kenton Council Eagle Scout Recognition Dinner, May 11, 2004

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Hebron Crossroads 10-05-03
By Jeff Gill

Crops are coming down, the leaves are withering, and without their baffle effect, the traffic noise from I-70 is clearer every morning.
Colors are not much in evidence on the tree limbs, and some autumnal pundits suggest that fall will be muted after the odd weather cycle we’ve had.
Whether with splashes of orange and gold or in quieter earth tones, the land is changing into pajamas for a long winter’s nap. The terrain is stripping down, and frosts will soothe down the jagged hedgerows and wavy grasses into winter-ready curves.
Frost, as it comes, marks the turn of seasons quite well, and so do pumpkins. James Whitcomb Riley wrote that “when the frost is on the punkin” all manner of changes are due, including the arrival of pumpkin season at some area farms.
Circleville will have their Pumpkin Festival soon, and the Lancaster fairgrounds will swing wide their gates this weekend as well, but two local venues near the Hebron Crossroads offer all manner of pumpkin related fun.
Just the other side of Sunset Hill, west of Hebron, is Devine Farms, home of the famous Barrel Train ride. Those blue barrels are rolling through Ralph and Charla Devine’s cornfields just beyond the barns filled with pumpkin fun.
Their welcome to you and your family starts on the internet, at, and continues with free parking and free admission, with most weekend activities still at $1.00.
Ralph and Charla are themselves one of the new attractions this year; well, they’ve been there a while, but the “American Gothic” portrait is new on the east wall of the bank barn, and on the south side is a 54 foot “Pumpkin Story Mural” by Mark Helser and Brian Scott, who have been the pumpkin air-brush painters and carvers these last few years.
On Saturday October 4 they have free hotdogs from 11 am to 1 pm as a thank you to their customers.
Coming up, Saturday Oct. 18 and Sunday, Oct. 19, are special events in honor of Ohio's Bicentennial. Frontier woman Mary Beth Sills will share pioneer lifeways on Saturday (she’s part of the Licking Park District staff in her day job), and on Sunday you can see frontier animals from Noon to 3 pm presented by Ohio Nature Education.
Saturday October 25 is the closing weekend Pumpkin Egg Hunt for ages 2-10 years at 10 am. The prize for the egg hunt is $100 in total prizes, including 2 gift certificates from Toys ‘R Us. Charla says “Come in a Halloween costume and get a free Barrel Train Ride!”
Through the last Wagon rides in the cornfield on Oct. 26 at 6 pm, they’ll have their “Corn Maze” open, crafts and straw for sale, and. . .right. . .pumpkins!
But another important sales note is that the concession stand in Building 4 is run by our own Lakewood High School Drama Club. All proceeds support the club and their activities.
Ralph and Charla are great supporters of our community and even welcome and use your suggestions to improve their “fall festival,” so drop ‘em a line at, or just drive out US 40 and pull in.
If you head a bit further west on the National Road, ‘til the milestones say you’re 235 miles from Cumberland, Maryland, you’ll see another lavish display of farm living and pumpkin pleasures.
Ralph and Janice Jutte (what is it about Ralphs and farming?) have a wonderland of harvest displays and sale items, which can be previewed at The Jutte’s hosted a lunch stop for the bicentennial wagon train along with the village of Kirkersville, and their bicentennial fervor extends to the month of October with a huge Corn Maze that spells out “Ohio 200” and more! You can walk through the words and become one with history. . .especially if you don’t find your way out.
Pigeon Roost Farm always celebrates our area’s history, and does a very good job telling the story of the now extinct passenger pigeon, a former inhabitant of the swamps now drained around the Lake region.
And if anyone has more old tractor seats on display, I’d like to know about it. If you don’t think a wide variety of tractor seats sounds interesting, then you really need to take a trip out to Pigeon Roost.
Janice was testing out a new hands-free speaker system with the first day of school tours, and the high-tech merged well with the low-tech of everyday farming shown to the kids of Hebron Elementary’s kindergarten classes.
Weldon’s Ice Cream out of Millersport offers refreshments, and the fees for various activities are quite reasonable.

Free is the cost of admission to a Tuesday, Oct. 14 “Meet the Candidates” night sponsored by the Hebron Lions at Hebron Elementary. We’ll gather in the gymnasium at 7:00 pm, and you can submit questions in writing that will be asked by a very congenial moderator from the Hebron Crossroads of those running for Lakewood school board, Hebron village council, and mayor of these here crossroads, along with a chance even for unopposed candidates to speak their piece.
More info on that event next week, after I find and wind my stopwatch to keep them all to their three minute opening statements. If you watched the California recall debate, you saw a good model for how not to manage the dialogue: I promise to do better than Ted Baxter did that night!

And a closing word of no particular interest unless you loved “Singing In The Rain,” but I hope that’s many of our readers.
Donald O’Connor, the actor-singer-dancer, and I shared a birthday, and one brief telephone conversation. He died recently, and I wanted to remember something about him with you.
Thirty years ago, while I was in high school, Mr. O’Connor was passing through my hometown doing musical evenings in dinner theaters.
My parents had determined to go for their anniversary, and as the oldest, babysitting for the four of us was my contribution to the evening. That, and. . .
Just as they left, somehow I got the idea to call the Bridge-Vu Theatre, and ask for “Mr. O’Connor.” I got his manager, and explained that my parents would be in the audience and I just thought it would be nice if he could announce that.
The next voice, deeper and lilting, asked me my name, my age, and said something very kind about what it was I was up to, and then asked, “What would you like me to sing for them?”
Stammering, I admitted I had no idea. The voice on the other end laughed, and said “I’ll come up with something from 1958. It was a good year.”
Later that night, my parents came home quite happy with the evening, and bemused that in the middle of a set, Donald O’Connor had asked “where are the Gills?”
Especially since they assumed there was something wrong, and he was paging them to head home immediately!
Instead, he told the audience about their children (who were in good hands, I might add), and then sang them a song for their anniversary.
“What did he sing for you?” I asked.
Mom looked puzzled. “You know, I can’t recall.”
I guess we’ll never know, but thanks again, Mr. O’Connor. You still “Make ‘Em Laugh.”

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and he enjoyed Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, too, but never talked to them on the phone (or Francis, either). If you have a brush with greatness to share or news we can use, call 928-4066 or e-mail