December 2023

Carillon Historical Park in Dayton gets decked out for “A Carillon Christmas,” which harkens back to Yuletide seasons of yesteryear and transforms its signature bell tower into Ohio’s largest musical Christmas tree (photo by Damaine Vonada).

This time of year, you can find dozens of events that feature chestnuts roasting on open fires and Yuletide carols being sung by choirs, but there’s only one holiday celebration that features Ohio’s grandest musical Christmas tree.  

Located on 65 acres bordering the Great Miami River, Carillon Historical Park is an open-air museum founded in the 1940s by industrialist Edward Deeds and his wife, Edith. Because his passion was history and hers was music, they made Deeds Carillon the focal point of a collection of buildings and artifacts that highlight both Dayton’s heritage and its many contributions to industry and transportation.

Ohio’s electric cooperatives maintain healthy reserves of generating capacity, but we are only a small part of the larger regional grid.

Winter poses a particular set of challenges to your electric cooperative’s commitment to provide members with an uninterrupted supply of power every hour of every day of the year. Winter storms in particular can wreak havoc on electric lines, and often result in longer outage times because icy roads and fallen trees and limbs make it even more difficult to mobilize people and equipment to the areas that are hardest hit. Access to downed lines is slow and tedious, and working conditions that lineworkers face when they arrive to make repairs are often difficult and even dangerous.

The Troll Hole

What happens when you receive a troll doll at the impressionable young age of 5? If you’re Sherry Grooms, you end up with a museum. 

One room has the Troll Bowl, a dollhouse version of a football stadium, where trolls are dressed as football players and fans sport NFL attire. There’s also the Rock ’n’ Troll Hall of Fame featuring troll versions of Rod Stewart, Justin Timberlake, KISS, and more. 

Troll collecting has made Grooms an expert on troll doll history. The original is from Denmark, where Thomas Dam carved wooden dolls for his daughter, inspired by trolls of Scandinavian folklore. Dam’s designs became mass-produced in the U.S. in the 1960s. 

Olivia Velasquez says her experience on Youth Tour helped set her apart as she applied to college.

Every June, electric cooperatives from around Ohio and across the nation sponsor high school sophomores and juniors on a trip to Washington, D.C., where the students learn about the cooperative business model, visit Capitol Hill to meet with legislative leaders, and explore the rich history of th


The Youth Tour was a pivotal experience during my transition from high school to college. Growing up in a tiny Ohio village, attending even tinier Pandora-Gilboa High School, I attended Youth Tour in 2013. After high school, I pursued my education at Harvard University, and I am currently studying at the University of Vermont Larner College of Medicine.

Bob Lawson, a member of the Cincinnati chapter of the National Model Railroad Association, built this large HO-scale model of the Southern Railway, which traveled from Cincinnati to Chattanooga, in his Cincinnati-area home (photo courtesy of John Burchnall).

Jody Davis got his first electric train for Christmas when he was 8 years old. But his love affair with trains started even earlier. 

Davis joined Associated Model Railroad Engineers of Coshocton when he was 14, and currently, at 55, serves as president. 

An early start

It’s a familiar story with model railroaders: A childhood fascination with trains leads to a Christmas or birthday gift of a model train set. Retired music educator Bruce Knapp, 81, of North Bend, is still an active participant and member of the National Model Railroad Association’s Cincinnati chapter.

For years, Robert Bush Sr. has been using trail cameras set up near downed logs spanning small streams in Pennsylvania to capture photos of wildlife crossing the logs.

For years, hunters have been using trail cameras to scout for game, which, in the Buckeye State, usually means white-tailed deer. But, interestingly, a growing segment of the trail-camera market now has nonhunters purchasing the relatively inexpensive cameras to capture wildlife images 24/7.

Trail cameras take both still photos and video clips of wildlife and provide endlessly entertaining images. If there’s someone on your Christmas list who would like to try this fun and fascinating outdoor hobby — or if you’d like to try it yourself — here are a few suggestions to help get you started, based on my own experience: