Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Booster Cover & Notes/Knapsack -- 11 - 28 - 04
Jeff Gill

Traditions Old & New in Licking County

Tradition is where old and new intersect, and traditions can start from scratch or have many years behind them.
Along with the long-standing tradition of Newark Courthouse Square lit for the holidays, a new regular event among many in the local holiday season is “Sights & Sounds of Christmas” organized by the City of Newark and a number of downtown churches.Thursday, December 2, 2004 from 6 to 9 pm is your chance to take a walking tour of many downtown Newark churches with music played at each church stop, along with the chance to see the interiors of each decorated for the season.The cost is $5 per person, and all proceeds benefit the Licking County Food Pantry.Tickets are available at Park National Bank offices and each of the participating Churches. They are: Second Presbyterian Church, Trinity AME Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church, Plymouth Church, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, First United Methodist Church and St. Francis DeSales Church.
Terry Mooney with the City of Newark and a committee of local church leaders have been working since last year to build a strong base for an ongoing tradition in downtown Newark. With buildings that date back to the Civil War in the case of Second Presbyterian, or featuring beautiful art glass windows by the famed Tiffany Studios at Trinity Episcopal, there are many architectural features that the average Licking Countian may not ordinarily have the chance to see.
While musicians in each building will be sharing their Advent and Christmas best with visitors, most churches will have guides available to tell the story of their worship space, whether ancient symbols filling the stained glass at St. Paul’s Lutheran or a new and bold Christ figure at First Methodist.
And even many long-time residents of the area have not seen the renovations and additions at St. Francis de Sales, including the Lamy Center, named for their first priest, who later built a cathedral in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was fictionalized by Willa Cather in “Death Comes For the Archbishop” (look for his statue!).
Stories aplenty have been written about the venerable tradition of the Granville Candlelight Walking Tour. Held on the first Saturday of December each year from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, the day falls in 2004 on Dec. 4.
What makes this year unique is that the candlelight walking tour will be the first “cornerstone event” of seven through Granville’s bicentennial celebration. Founded in 1805, the next year will focus on the settlement and pioneer history of this transplanted New England village.
With a slight head start (to get so much into the year), the 200th anniversary activities launch with the setting sun on Dec. 4, luminaries aglow, churches offering music through the evening, tours in a number of downtown museums and historic homes, and the unveiling of music written for the bicentennial celebrations.
Commemorative items (mugs, t-shirts, and many other objects) will also be open for sale starting with the walking tour.
New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31, will see a special event downtown as well for the dedication of a new signature element of Granville’s history. The Booster will have more coverage of this and other cornerstone events in the bicentennial later this December.
Next year, the walking tour will close (on Dec. 3, 2005 for those planning their social calendar well ahead) with the placement of a time capsule that wraps up the 1805-2005 activities.
May your days be merry and bright, as someone once said in song, and let one of your evenings take you for a walking tour somewhere in Licking County!

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Notes From My Knapsack
By Jeff Gill

Coming back from Gettysburg for Remembrance Day, I got caught up with what went on in the 21st century while I was enjoying the 19th with my dad.
Without beating a deceased equine unnecessarily, can I observe that some NBA players should have seen the images and reality I enjoyed at the stone wall along the Bloody Angle, where Pickett’s Charge on July 3, 1863, was repulsed with some of the most horrible losses on both sides seen anytime in American history.
For those who are part of the re-enactor community (those who wear the uniforms and carry the weapons of the Civil War period) or are involved in the heritage associations (descendants and interested parties from the soldiers of the conflict), there is a single compelling image of the after-war years that sticks.
1888, the 25th anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg, began interest in placing what are now an orchard of granite, marble, and bronze monuments across the fields and hills of central Pennsylvania. With that activity began tourism in earnest, headed by the veterans themselves, and a growing sense of reconciliation and healing among veterans both blue and grey.
Approaching 1913, the 50th anniversary, efforts to build a Peace Memorial were begun (not finished until the 75th in 1938, just in time to see World War II begin in Europe . . . sigh), and somewhere around these years, as the surviving veterans grew older and fewer, something happened one Remembrance Day weekend, which is now re-enacted with as much passion as anything else they do.
A contingent of old soldiers, walking up from the Emmitsburg Road toward the stone wall where the last great charge of the Confederacy met its savage end, were met by a band of veterans of the U.S. Army, members now of the GAR, the “Grand Army of the Republic.”
They eyed each other warily, men who in youthful days had fired Springfield rifles pointblank into their opposing ranks, watching less fortunate friends and brothers fall around them.
And then a great cheer went up from elderly throats, and once again the two groups met at the stone wall, and shook hands. Blessedly, a photographer was positioned to capture the moment that many thought would never come.
And each year, at Remembrance Day with Lincoln’s words echoing in everyone’s ears, the soldiers dressed in Union blue or butternut and grey Confederate garb step to the wall, where not only was a great battle once fought, but also where a remarkable moment of reconciliation was held.
And they shake hands.
The camera crew this year was from Japan; maybe ESPN should come and get some video next time.
(possible addenda follows)

Less seriously, Rolling Stone magazine just put out their results from a poll of “top Rock-and-roll songs of all time” (or at least the last 50 years); their top 20 are:

Like a Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan
(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, The Rolling Stones
Imagine, John Lennon
What's Going On, Marvin Gaye
Respect, Aretha Franklin
Good Vibrations, The Beach Boys
Johnny B Goode, Chuck Berry
Hey Jude, The Beatles
Smells Like Teen Spirit, Nirvana
What'd I Say, Ray Charles
My Generation, The Who
A Change is Gonna Come, Sam Cooke
Yesterday, The Beatles
Blowin’ in the Wind, Bob Dylan
London Calling, The Clash
I Want to Hold Your Hand, The Beatles
Purple Haze, The Jimi Hendrix Experience
Maybellene, Chuck Berry
Hound Dog, Elvis Presley
Let It Be, The Beatles

Some suggest that the high placement of “Imagine” may well be a reaction to world and national events (9-11, War on Terror/Iraq theater, Bush-Kerry election tension); “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is kind of an odd fit on this list if you ask me (but I’m tellin’ ya anyhowse).
If you discount the Nirvana song (and I do), nuttin’ in a quarter century? Does this say more about the state of RockNation, or of the dwindling and aging subscriber base of Rolling Stone?

I’m tempted to the latter, not having felt compelled to read it in years, but perhaps there’s something to the idea that pop music has had little to offer in the way of vitality and inspiration for decades now. “Classic Rock” and “adult contemporary” niches fill commercial radio that’s not teen pop while folks play mp3s of their old favorites off their computers. The only actual sales growth in the music business is contemporary Christian niche, while most other genres are shrinking everywhere that’s measurable.

Satellite radio, where both Bob Edwards once of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and Howard Stern are heading, may offer new microniches that could paradoxically grow faster than certain musical approaches do in a mass market. As they used to say in old fashioned analog broadcast radio, “Stay tuned!”

Jeff Gill is a writer, storyteller, and occasional preacher around central Ohio and Licking County. If you have news or notes to share for the knapsack, e-mail him at disciple@voyager.net.