Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Hebron Crossroads 8-29-04
by Jeff Gill

Across the mown field behind Hebron Elementary a few evenings ago, the air was filled with motion. Insects, caught in the slanting light, swam thicker than dust motes in a haymow, an ocean of life suspended above the ground.

With the end of August, the burden of life weighs heavy across treelines and meadows, an overproduction of vine and stem and blossom that now sways low. Green no longer glows brightly, but the swelling tomatoes grow ever redder, and on curling vines some expectant pumpkins along alleys and in nearby fields fill with orange across the once-sickly white towards the stems.

Harvest time is coming, and a day to rest from our labors before then. Labor Day weekend means this week opens the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival (look for the Hebron Crossroads to relocate into Heritage Village near the bandstand!), the 25 year anniversary of the Lakewood Band Boosters Donut Booth, and Buckeye Lake Youth Association waffle cakes . . . plus many other culinary delights.

Corn may be available, too. And every other entrée and side dish your cardiologist warned you about; just park a really long way aways (like in Hebron?) and walk enough so you can eat a bit of everything!

The Hebron Lions join their Laker Lion colleagues with their fry booth, but without Mr. Potato Head himself, Verne Griffith, who took his last pass down National Trail Raceways in a suspiciously “Goldenrod” hued casket recently.

His passing, and the death of Barbara Pierce last week, leave Hebron and Jacksontown respectively poorer, and this column a bit sadder than I’d originally intended, but both gave a gallant meaning to “passing on,” dying after hard struggles with cancer that did not take away their love and good spirits they each tried to maintain for family and friends who gathered around them through the end.

A salute to the staff and volunteers of Hospice of Licking County, who made it possible for Verne to die at home and Barbara to at least be back closer to home at Licking Memorial.

If you want to add to a fitting memorial for Barbara Pierce, make sure to sign and keep with your driver’s license (or have placed on your next license) an organ donor card. The last five years were all gift for Homer & Eileen thanks to someone who did this, and made it possible for Barbara to enjoy a few more years of life and love.

Or if you’ve already done so, you can come by the Hebron municipal complex and give blood Tuesday from 1 to 6 pm. Transplant surgery often requires many units, and sometimes rare blood types (which you may have!) or O- as the universal donor. These regular blood drives are a great way to give of yourself for others, particularly for those who have given so generously of their hearts, their spirits, and themselves for a richer community ‘round these crossroads.

Jeff Gill is pastor of Hebron Christian Church and soon-to-be ten gallon blood donor (not all at once, though!); if you have news or information about community events, call 928-4066 or e-mail

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Entertaining Yourself at the 2004 Sweet Corn Fest
By Jeff Gill

Entertainment is not the first thing most folks think about when the subject of the Millersport Sweet Corn Festival comes up.
There’s food (like lots of sweet corn), there’s the midway filled with rides and games, and there’s the parade opening the whole shebang on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at 6:00 pm.
But the Main Stage area is at the center of the festival grounds in more ways than one. Even though the Lions’ Building and Heritage Village are important locations for navigating around the hundreds of food booths and dozens of rides and games, the sounds from the Main Stage are a landmark of their own, crossing all boundaries of the festival and of musical tastes as well.
Many already know that noted country music legend Porter Wagoner is the closing act of the whole festival on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 8:30 pm, but did you know that the Teays River Cloggers were performing Wednesday at 7:30 pm at the Hickory Grove bandstand? Were you aware that The Ragtime Strutters were roving the Festival Park grounds on Thursday? Or had you planned to catch Confederate Railroad on Friday at 9 pm at the Main Stage?
In fact, from high school brass bands to Razzamatazz & Jazz Thursday evening, almost every type and genre of music (and dancing!) you can imagine will be part of this 58th Sweet Corn Festival.
Gospel singers, bluegrass, Charles Slater playing his harmonica from a park bench: you name it, and the Millersport Lions have found a place for it (except maybe “Swan Lake,” but someone may be selling roast duck on a stick in the food booths, which is close, isn’t it?).
Most amazingly, all this entertainment is free ($5 for parking in the area); just walk into Festival Park and follow your ears. Neither the food nor the rides can match that for the family on a budget. You don’t have to buy a set of tickets or shell out anything much more than the time it takes to enjoy a concert or performance.
Beyond the musical performances from local groups and marquee acts, there are entertainments of a variety of sorts available through each evening, such as Ohio Nature Education’s display of live wild animals at the Covered Bridge Entertainment Area, the always interesting corn eating contests at Founder’s Commons Stage. The Hickory Grove Bandstand has a series of cloggers, country dancers, and square dancers right through all four days of the festival, and there are the roving entertainers throughout the grounds.
If you like racing, whether it’s a 5K race to cheer on the runners, an antique tractor pull, or even a Hula Hoop contest, something to see and be fascinated by is going on all the time. As to the Rolling Pin Throwing Contest, perhaps we should just say that men may want to find something else to watch on Friday night.
Porter Wagoner does represent a very exciting entertainment option Saturday; a fellow who once had Dolly Parton as a backup singer in his band and then was smart enough to make her his singing partner clearly has made quite a mark in country and pop music.
“The Green, Green Grass of Home” and “Just Someone I Used To Know” represent just a small part of the music he has made popular across America and around the world. The Sweet Corn Festival will close with everyone having a chance to sing along with some old favorites and hear some new music from this country music icon, whose proudest moment he says was to perform at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.
If nothing described here sounds entertaining, there is one more attraction to keep in mind. The Millersport Sweet Corn Festival has offered, since 1947, the very finest in . . . people-watching. You can spend hours and spend not a dime in this compelling, occasionally dramatic activity. Find a good spot to rest, and see the show.
Just remember, someone may be getting a charge out of watching you!

The Millersport Sweet Corn Festival is at Festival Park in Millersport OH at the end of Chautauqua Street west of Main (just follow the lines of cars!). The Millersport Ohio Lions Club has full information on their festival at, or call 740-246-5680. Admission is free, with parking in most areas near the park at $5. The proceeds from this four-day community event are a major source of income for approximately eighty non-profit charitable organizations that participate from eight counties in the Central Ohio area. They operate all of the food & game concessions, whose profits go toward their administration and community projects.

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Hebron Christian Church
(Disciples of Christ)

For the fifth Sunday youth-led worship, Tracy Wildermuth will lead the call to worship, Mattie McCord will offer the invocation, Kalie McCord will share the offering meditation and blessing, and the presiders at the communion table will be Julie McNichols and Amy Brown. The scripture reading from Jeremiah will be from David Scheidegger, Whitney Mason will lead the children’s message, and Josh Halter will give the benediction.

The drama “Unpacking Church Camp” from Pastor Jeff is presented by Crystal Damron, Julie McNichols, Michael Scheidegger, Amy Brown, and Josh Halter, rehearsed by youth advisor Lisa McNichols. Serving through worship are Josh Walters, William Harris, Jessie McNichols, Katie Day, and others in the youth group.

For more info, call 928-4066 or click

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Notes From My Knapsack – Sept. “The Church Window”
Hebron Christian Church

Barbara Pierce was a gift to our church, as well as to her parents Homer and Eileen. She lived out an example of good spirits in the face of challenge and hardship that few of us can ever live up to, but we’d be better off all of us to try.

Eileen remembered over and over during our last few days at the hospice unit in Licking Memorial (and this after many, many weeks in University Hospital) that these last five years have been “a gift,” and indeed they have. The liver transplant, fixing a problem created by one of the many previous surgeries to fix other problems she had throughout her too-short life, made a few of it’s own problems. . .but without it, as Barbara herself would remind me each year on her “second birthday,” she wouldn’t be here.

Just as Shirley Curran asked us to remember her brother on his death by making sure we have advance directives and a living will prepared for the sake of our families, we have a chance here to honor Barbara with a simple act we can do ourselves.
At license bureaus, village hall, the library, or any police or state police office, we can pick up and fill out a donor ID card, to slide behind our driver’s license, affirming that we support organ donation on the occasion of our death. As Christians, we all know that death comes for each of us, even as Jesus experienced death, but that was simply a way-station on the road to eternal life.

So we shouldn’t fear acknowledging that day, and making good use (good stewardship, even?) of what we leave behind physically through our instructions. We can tell those we love what our wishes are, too, so they will know what to decide when we have moved on.

My driver’s license has laminated right into it a logo that indicates my wishes, intentions that now carry the double meaning of also honoring Barbara Pierce’s fortitude and example. I hope yours will, too.

In Grace & Peace,
Pastor Jeff

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Rally Day – Sept. 12
Outdoor Worship 10:30 am
Strawbale seating on the north yard
(bring lawn chairs if you wish)
All-church Picnic at Noon!

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