This past Christmas brought a blast of cold winter weather like we haven’t seen in several years. As we’ve come to expect when that kind of weather hits, people worked tirelessly across much of the country to keep the lights on and to restore power where and when it was lost.
An Ohio map reads like an autobiography.
Four Mile Creek, for example, rises in the uplands along the Indiana-Ohio state line, picking up the waters of small rills and runs and seeps. It bumps into glacial moraines and purls through pastoral farmsteads on its downhill destiny with the Great Miami River — by which time it has become a substantial stream. Its placid form and lyrical name belie the fact it was born from warfare.
During an unprecedented crisis in NASA’s Apollo program, Ohio native and Apollo 13’s flight director, Gene Kranz, looked out across his mission control room and said: “OK, let’s everybody keep cool. Let’s solve the problem, but let’s not make it any worse by guessing.”
When young Gary Stretar wasn’t playing sports, he was busy drawing something. He didn’t grow up to become an athlete, but two childhood influences cemented that second pastime into a rewarding career.
The first was his teacher in both fifth and sixth grades, Miss Paul. Stretar says he didn’t learn much more in college art classes than what Miss Paul had already taught him. “Teachers don’t always challenge kids to learn more, but she did,” he says. “She wasn’t afraid to teach us [advanced art techniques of] perspective, line, color values. A lot of us in her classes went on to art careers.”
When he was 12, John Buchenroth received a Christmas gift of $10, which was a considerable sum in 1962. It turned out to be a life-changing gift for the Bellefontaine youngster.
Mad River has been owned by Vail Resorts since 2019, when the Colorado-based company purchased all 17 properties previously owned by Peak Resorts, Inc., including three other Ohio resorts. Mad River isn’t the oldest resort in Ohio — Snow Trails in Mansfield opened a year earlier — but it lays claim to being the largest in the Buckeye State, covering 144 acres, with a peak elevation of 1,460 feet above sea level.
A faded sign inside this Darke County institution proudly proclaims the store motto: “A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.” Sweetness certainly comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors at Birt’s Store in the village of New Weston.
Birt’s grandfather, Harry Birt Sr., unwittingly started a family tradition in the 1920s when he added five cases of white peppermint lozenges, orange slices, and chocolate drops to his general store shelves. The candy arrived via caboose at a nearby train depot, but it was evident that crew members had sampled plenty along the way.
There has likely never been a more ironic name for a prison ship than Success.
A group of promoters purchased the ship, planning to sail her around the world for the public to board and tour — for a price, of course. But before her debut, they believed Success needed a bit of refurbishing.
They brought aboard some unusual equipment: handcuffs, leg irons, branding irons, metal straightjackets, a triangle-shaped whipping post, even a medieval torture device known as an iron maiden.
And they painted on the sides of the hull, in large black letters, the words “Convict Ship.”