Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Backyard Flock: Henrietta and the Presbyterians (a children's story)

[This is a story I wrote a few years ago for the children of the First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs. It was inspired by an incident reported in The First 100 Years: A Record of Events of the First Presbyterian Church of Yellow Springs, Ohio, by Lila Reed Jones and a true story about a chicken that came to live with relatives of mine in Westford, Mass.]

Henrietta was a funny bird. We never knew where she’d come from before she came to live with us. She must have wandered onto our porch one autumn evening and decided to stay. In the morning, my brother and I found her roosting on top of Papa’s old shoes by the front door as we were leaving for school.

“Ma, there’s a chicken on the porch!” Willie called through the screen door, careful to keep his distance from the hen, which was cooing contentedly.

My mother came to the door and looked out at the bird on my father’s shoes. “That’s funny; she must have traveled quite a way. No one in Yellow Springs raises chickens. Not right in town. Just leave her! She’ll probably be gone by the time you get home from school.”

“Can’t we keep her?” I begged.

“She’s not ours, Penny. It wouldn’t be right,” Mama said.

“Who wants a dumb chicken anyway?” Willie grumbled. “Pop’s gonna be mad when he sees what she’s done to his shoes.” Willie was older and always contrary. If I said the sky was blue, he would find a way to paint it gray.

“She hasn’t soiled Papa’s shoes at all,” I replied.

“How do you know? She’s hunkered down so, you can’t tell,” he said.

“Off to school now, there’s the bell!” Mama warned.

“Let’s call her Henrietta,” I told Willie as we walked.

“Humph,” Willie snorted. “She won’t be there when we get home.”

But Henrietta was there in the front yard when we returned, clucking and pecking about in the grass and gravel.

‘Scoot, bird!” Willie shouted and stomped his foot.

“Cluck!” said Henrietta, then she looked at me and cooed. She followed us onto the porch and sat on Papa’s shoes.

“Ma, Penny still wants to keep the chicken!” Willie yelled, letting the screen door slam behind him.

“Is that bird still here?” Mama said. “I suppose if she stays outdoors... After all, we didn’t kidnap her. It’s more like she chose us. She’s free to leave any time she wants. If she stays out in the open where her true owner can find her, I don’t see any reason to shoo her off.”

“Nice chickie,” I said and patted her on the head.

“Coo,” said Henrietta.

Henrietta was a wonderful pet. She never wandered off. If she wasn’t in the front yard, she’d be out back in the barn with Hank, my father’s carriage horse, or on the porch, nestled on top of Papa’s shoes. When we were inside the house, especially after dark, Henrietta would choose a window sill to roost on, so she could watch us. If we moved, so did she, changing windows, so as not to be left out.

“Can’t we let her inside?” I begged my mother one night when the weather started to get colder.

“That’s out of the question,” Papa said as he stoked the fire in the pot-belly stove.

“She can sleep with Hank,” Mama said. “The heat from his body will keep her warm.”

Sure enough, that’s where we would find her on snowy mornings, out in the barn, perched on Hank’s back. Hank didn’t seem to mind. I’ve heard that horses like company. So do chickens!

Henrietta did a lot of funny things, but the most curious thing she did was follow us to church. Our house was directly across the road from the First Presbyterian Church. Every Sunday, when the bell rang for Sunday School, Willie and I would cross the road, enter the church through the back door and join the other children in the basement. It wouldn’t be long before there would be a pecking at one of the high windows and the other kids would start to laugh and point at Henrietta, her beak pressed against the glass.

When the snow came, Henrietta stayed out in the barn with Hank. I would go out back and feed her in the morning and again when I came home from school. I could tell she missed us, because whenever the snow would thaw, she would come right back to the porch and the windows from where she could watch us. When Spring came, she waited for us in the yard while we were in school and followed us onto the porch when we came home.

But one day, when school let out, Henrietta was not in the yard. She wasn’t in the barn. She wasn’t on the porch on Papa’s shoes. She wasn’t roosting in any of the windows. I looked everywhere. Then I cried.

In the kitchen, I asked my mother, “Did anyone come to take Henrietta, today?” But she hadn’t seen any strangers in the yard.

“Did you see any strange dogs in the yard?” Willie teased, making me cry some more.

Every day after school, I would run home, in hopes of finding my lost Henrietta. But every day, the yard would be empty. Hank would be alone in the barn. The porch would be vacant. In the afternoons I wandered the streets of Yellow Springs, searching for her, calling her name, “Henrietta! Henrietta!” looking for chicken scratches along the paths, for a white feather blowing in the wind.. Every night I prayed for Henrietta’s safe return.

Weeks went by until one Sunday, just as we were leaving Sunday school through the back door of the church, I heard something that sounded like a cluck, followed by a peep, then another peep and a few more peep, peep, peeps. The sound was coming from around the side of the church where an old shed that was used to store gardening tools leaned up against the stone building. Willie and I went over to see what it was. By now church was letting out and the whole curious congregation joined us. The racket was coming from inside the shed.

“Henrietta?” I called.

Then out through a crack in the shed door came Henrietta, proud as could be, followed by a parade of six peeping chicks.

“I knew she wouldn’t leave me,’ I shouted to Willie, clapping my hands with joy.

“Well, aren’t they quite the little Presbyterians!” Papa exclaimed. And we all went home to Sunday dinner.

The End

Illustrations by the Blog's Chief cartoonist, Walter Rhodes, aka Reed. Copies of the original pamphlet edition are available in the office of the Presbyterian Church. Tell Mary Kay they're in the bottom draw of the desk by the window.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gartner takes silver as YS News rakes in awards

Frequent Blog collaborator and former Yellow Springs News reporter Susan Gartner received a second place award in the Osman C. Hooper 2010 Newspaper Contest which was held at the annual Ohio Newspaper Association convention in Columbus on February 11 for her story “Tidings of Joy, Babe Born in a Stable Van.” The contest recognizes the best weekly newspapers in Ohio.

Others on the YS News staff also received awards in the contest including first place for design and advertising. The awards:

---Second Place, In-Depth Reporting – “Recession in the Village” a series of articles by Diane Chiddister, Lauren Heaton, and Brooke Bryan

Recession in the Village’ was a systematic consideration of the effects of the recession on a small community still reeling from the loss of Antioch College. The thoughtful series gathered data and did the analysis, but also offered the personal stories of the impact of the recession. A sobering project, well done.

---Second Place, Local Features – “Tidings of Joy, Babe Born in a Stable Van” by Susan Gartner

Both funny and suspenseful. This story of a baby born in the back of a minivan parked in the driveway of her parents’ friends is a delight. Colorful details about the circumstances and scene (soon after the baby was born, tea was served!) make the reader feel like he was there. Ultimately this was a story about the bonds of friendship, entertainingly told through the unexpected events of one December night.

---Fourth Place, Editorial Writing – by Diane Chiddister

These three samples showed the unique spirit of Yellow Springs, a mixture of the good, the possible and the inspiration. The lively prose made them easy to read and the content made them worth reading.

---First Place, Design – by production/layout staff and graphic designers Matt Minde and Vanessa Query

Perfect example that color does not make good design. This paper has very nice column widths, nice gutter space. Very clean and simple design and creative and nice use of photos. Very organized and clear hierarchy on each page.

---First Place, Advertising – by advertising manager Robert Hasek and display advertising associate Kathryn Hitchcock; layout by Matt Minde and Vanessa Query

Nice layout, obvious hierarchy, clean and simple.

---Fifth Place, Headline Writing – by YS News staff

Excellent feature headlines – engaging, clever and appropriate.

The News competes in Division D: Total circulation from 1,126 to 3,299. Other newspapers in the category include:

Archbold Buckeye
Bluffton News
The Courier, Conneaut
The Clyde Enterprise
Granville Sentinel
The Holmes County Journal
The News Democrat, Georgetown
The News Leader, Minerva
North Ridgeville Press
Pataskala Standard
The Press-News, Waynesburg
Pymatuning Area News
Sunday Record Herald
Vandalia Drummer News
Vermilion Photojournal

Click here to see all the contestants and awards.

Some of the award winning pieces can be located in the archives section of the News Website.

Farmers market is open today!


Just a quick note from the WFM Committee to let the public know that the Winter Farmer's Market at the Methodist Church is open this morning as of 9:00 a.m.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Boys basketball tournament canceled for tonight

Don't drive up to Troy for the tournament tonight. It has been canceled.

More information in the Springfield News-Sun.

Teetering on the brink

The town I thought I was moving to ten years ago was mostly gone before I got here. But, I was still enamored of what was left of it. When I was asked on the first day of the Leadership Yellow Springs program I participated in a few years back what I wanted for the village, my response was, "To stay the same, mostly." That qualification at the end had to do with the squabbling that we are famous for. Well, the squabbling goes on and the town has remained mostly the same, but a little bit less so every year. We continue to take hits. Now I realize that when I said, "Stay the same," I meant "be the town that was mostly gone by the time I got here."

And now the situation has gotten critical. Businesses have left town and continue to do so. The college closed for a couple years and, although a lot of people are putting forth a great effort to revive it, in these economic times it is still at best a gamble. Our tiny school system is constantly threatened by a variety of challenges. We are teetering on the brink. And yet, some folks in town are in denial.

Recently the Director of Home, Inc. wrote a letter to the newspaper about how absolute transparency in an "economic liaison" is not possible and that it should not be a bar to a collaboration with Community Resources. At a recent Chamber of Commerce meeting, she spoke up again about exactly what I am writing about here, how we can no longer ignore the need for economic development. Without trying to speak for her, I think her point was that we have to start to pull together and find an acceptable balance between preserving our way of life and developing a local economy.

She and I have had some differences of opinion in the past, but on this we absolutely agree. If we do not attract and retain businesses that will employ our residents and bolster our tax base, people will not be able to afford to live here. In fact, for some people, it has already come to that. The irony in all this is that the folks who decry our diminishing diversity are often the same people who are digging in their heels when it comes to economic development. This irony even extends to the title of our new Economic Sustainability Coordinator. Is "economic development" really such a dirty word that our local politicians are afraid to utter it?

Yes, we probably all agree that we don't want a strip mall on the edge of the village. And yes, we want to maintain a vibrant downtown area. But should that stop us from having a small business park on the western edge of town at a corner where we once had The Antioch Company and Vernay Laboratories? The former is currently a mostly vacant building and the latter is now a vacant lot, and there is yet another vacant lot near the southern entrance to the village where Wright State Community Physicians once stood. Don't these ghosts of our once vibrant past have any symbolic meaning for us at all?

Perhaps the fear is that the cost of housing will go up if the village attains a certain level of economic vitality. That view is short-sighted. The cost of living here is going up precisely because we do no have any businesses to help us pay for village services and to attract families here to populate our schools.

My sister and her husband were visiting from out of town over the holidays. As I drove them around town, my brother-in-law asked me, "How does such a small town pay for all the services you have?" He was talking about our police department, our local dispatchers, and our village crew. I was hard pressed to come up with an answer. The answer, of course, is personal income tax. I almost choked on the words.

Picture this town without Vernay, The Antioch Company, Community Physicians, Antioch College and the Yellow Springs Exempted Village Schools. Well, we are already more than halfway there.

The Arts Council and the Chamber are doing a terrific job in collaborating in an ongoing effort to promote Yellow Springs as a tourist destination. But, we all know that tourism alone is not enough to sustain this village. And, if this place were to become a ghost-town, the tourists would stop coming, too.

Even with everyone pulling together to foster economic development, the task is a daunting one. There are many external factors that are beyond our control. The last thing we need is internal resistance. We are teetering on the brink and we need to catch our balance.

Fun times in Funky Town this weekend


7:00 p.m.
- Wine Tasting at the Emporium with live music by Dawn Cooksey and 68 South

7:00 p.m. - Open mic at Brother Bear's

10:00 p.m. - Live music at Peach's - Black Owls


9:00 a.m. - Winter Farmers Market at the United Methodist Church

1:00 p.m. - Short film festival at the Little Art - See related post

7:00 p.m. - Jeanne Ulrich at Brother Bear's

7:30 p.m. - Full moon hike at Glen Helen parking lot off SR 343

8:00 p.m. - Reiko Aizawa piano concert at the Presbyterian Church

8:00 p.m. - Super-Fly dance party and break dance competition

10:00 p.m. - Live music at Peach's - Romeo Champagne


4:00 p.m. - Special "community interaction meeting" on the Schools Superintendent Search at MLS - See related post

7:00 p.m.
- Film 'Where the Green Ants Dream' at Nonstop - See related post

7:30 p.m. - CMYS concert: The Amelia Piano Trio at the Presbyterian Church

An evening of gastronomy performances at Nonstop

Fri March 5
7 PM
Nonstop Institute
305 N. Walnut St, Yellow Springs

an evening of live performances (via skype) curated by LAURA MCGOUGH

NEIL COLETTA, Food Studies scholar, will be present following the performances to talk about intersections of food, media, art, and social justice issues.

Anarchy in the Kitchen, an evening of gastronomy performances (via skype from Baltimore) exploring digestibility, consumption, good taste, domesticity, hunger, and accessibility, is curated by Laura McGough for the 2010 Umami International Festival of Food and Art.

Following the performances Neil Coletta, Food Studies scholar and Antioch College alum, will be present to talk about intersections of food, art and media, including reflections on former Antioch College Music Professor John Ronsheim's prescient vision for this now-emerging field.

The Umami Festival of Food and Art brings together artists and food professionals who use food as a medium to present multi-sensory experiences in the theatre, gallery, or dining room.. The event will consist of a series of seven performances, punctuated by brief dramatic readings, sonic projects and videos designed to refresh the audiences' palate. Over the course of the evening, edible books will be read and consumed, kitchen aids will be used to generate a musical score, newspaper will be transformed into soup, and lemons will be used as a battery source to whip merengue. Anarchy in the Kitchen is co-sponsored by The Department of Visual Arts of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC).

Participating artists in the evening Anarchy in the Kitchen include Graham Coreil-Allen, Steve Bradley, "bunny and chick" (Tim Nohe and Marian April Glebes), Bradley Chriss, Adam Good, Carolina Mayorga, Lisa Moren, Rebecca Nagle, Natalia Panfile, Casey Smith, and Shannon Young.


Curator and Commentator:

Laura McGough is a curator, media artist, and food activist. Over the past 20 years, she has organized exhibitions, screenings, and performances for organizations in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. Her writings on the visual arts, technology, and performance have appeared in such publications as Sculpture, NewArts Examiner, Experimental and Digital Creativity. She has served on the editorial boards of Performance Research, FUSE Magazine and The Journal of Agriculture and Food Systems Development and from 2000 to 2003 was employed as the Multidisciplinary Specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts. She is currently completing an interdisciplinary M.A. degree in Food Studies and Performance Studies at New York University.

Neil Coletta is Assistant Director, Programs in Food, Wine & the Arts at Boston University and a 2001 Antioch College alum.

Artists & Performances:

Pistols and Apple Pie by "bunny and chick" (Tim Nohe and Marian April Glebes)
"bunny and chick' is a sound art duo that creates sonic events using domestic routines as "scores". The duo uses "real" instruments, toys, consumer goods, and kitchen aids to generate sound. For Anarchy in the Kitchen, "bunny and chick" will create and perform a music/cooking/consumption score about pistols and apple pie.

New Public Sites - Video Tour - Tinges Commons by Graham Coreil-Allen
Coreil-Allen will take viewers on a tour the intersection of Frisby and 33rd Streets, in Waverly, Baltimore, which was re-aligned during the construction of a huge, suburban style Giant grocery store. The leftover space, formerly Frisby Street, was left unpaved into a grassy lot accented by a few struggling trees. That lot is now a community garden and public art space. During the guided tour, Coreil-Allen will poetically describe the contradictions between the suburban supermarket behemoth and its urban context, and how its reverberations within the street grid beget a temporary autonomous zone of gardening and art.

Meat Poem #6 (man becoming machine chews to the future) by Bradley Chriss
For his performance, Chriss will merge his identity with that of a sausage grinding and machine, performing a "meat poem" that will find him stuffing natural casings with ground beef and spices that are pushed through his mouth. The sausages will be cooked and served to the audience later in the Webcast.

Newspaper Soup by Carolina Mayorga
Newspaper Soup is a performance art piece in which the artist/promoter introduces a revolutionary pre-packed product to the audience ? "Newspaper Soup". A sample of the soup will be prepared on site and the audience will have the opportunity to taste it.

15 Minute Performance by Rebecca Nagle
15 Minute Performance is an on-going, interactive web-based performance in which Nagle asks viewers to choose an activity for her to perform for fifteen minutes. Prior to the Anarchy in the Kitchen, Nagle will fast for several days. Prior to the Webcast, individuals will be invited send email and text message Nagle suggestions of different food items for her to eat during her performance. Using her starving body as a site for enactment, Nagle will feast upon the suggested food items.

EATING WORDS by Casey Smith
EATING WORDS is a performance piece by poet Casey Smith that explores the taste and texture of language in literal fashion. When we speak we emit words from the mouth, and when we listen we take in words through the ears. But what happens when we take back our words, when we eat them? This performance contextualizes simple notions of human communication as a bodily event, and in so doing demonstrates the materiality of language in everyday life.

Portable Salad (A Harvest performance) by Shannon Young
For Anarchy in the Kitchen, Young will grow a portable salad garden in a shopping cart which she will then "harvest" during the Webcast and use to prepare a salad for the UMBC audience.


Culinary Remixes by Adam Good
Poet Adam Good will perform brief remixes of various culinary texts from the Joy of Cooking to MFK Fischer's Serve It Forth.

Sonic Interludes by Steve Bradley
Bradley will perform transitional scores between performances that link each performer's piece to the next. Instruments for these 2-5 minute sound art works include different cooking utensils and bowls, selected foods, heat, oil, and water.

Lemons Making Their Own Merengue Pie by Lisa Moran
Moren documents a cadre of "performing lemons" that are used as batteries to power kitchen gadgets and whip-up a merengue pie.

Happy Birthday by Natalia Panfile
In this video performance, Panfile sings "Happy Birthday" in Romanian while birthday cake is being hurled at her.

For further information contact: Chris Hill, 767-2327 ( or see our website:

Chamber Seminar

Success Seminar
Thursday, March 18, 9-10 am
Bryan Center A&B

Sky High Customer Service
Presented by Ted Janusz
Clark State Community College, Contract Training
& professional speaker, author and marketing consultant

In this entertaining, fast-paced, interactive session, we'll take a look at "Sky High Customer Service" by examining two highly successful customer-centric enterprises.

1) Southwest Airlines - One of the world's most profitable airlines, posting a profit for the 37th consecutive year in January 2010.

2) Pike Place Fish Market - Home of the "Flying Fish" - Nearing bankruptcy in 1986, the store is now a popular tourist destination in Seattle, attracting up to 10,000 daily visitors.

During this session, we'll answer two key questions:
1. How did they become profitable and maintained profitability?
2. How can we apply these lessons to our own businesses?

Free for Yellow Springs Chamber members; $15 for non-members.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

'Cutting Loose' Film Test Screening March 19

In early 2002 Joanne Caputo entered the maximum security Graterford Correctional Facility with a video camera, her Vietnamese sister-in-law, and 75-year-old mother. The women passed nervously through the high-security check point in order to enter the visiting room behind bars, but they were most anxious to see inmate John Caputo, their nephew, son, and grandson. More relaxing was Graterford’s art exhibit at the Philadelphia Inquirer, 30 miles away, where John’s wooden miniature prison cell — created from scavenged wood, tongue depressors, pencils and toothpicks — had just won 2nd Place. After more than a decade behind bars — beginning with a teenage auto theft charge — John had become not only a violent prison “scrapper,” but an artist.

The visit kicked off Cutting Loose, a film project that Joanne Caputo would follow for the next seven years, observing art’s ability to rehabilitate her Asian American nephew. A free test screening of the documentary will be held on Friday, March 19, at 5:00 p.m. at the Little Art Theater in Yellow Springs, where a 40-minute version will be shown, plus a brief feedback session with the audience.

Cutting Loose follows Caputo’s 'On A Roll: Family, Disability and The American Dream,' winner of the 2005 PBS Independent Lens Audience Award and recommended by The New York Times; and 'Ballerina, Ballerina' children's video, recommended by Sesame St. Magazine.

Nonstop Salon: Herzog's 'Where the Green Ants Dream' - Sunday

Dan Reyes Hosts Herzog's 'Where the Green Ants Dream'
Sunday, February 28
7:00 PM
Nonstop Sunday Evening Salon
305 N. Walnut St.

Dan Reyes, Cultural Studies eduator, will host a screening of Werner Herzog's "Where the Green Ants Dream" (1984), a film representing a land conflict between native Aborigines and a uranium mining company. Accompanying remarks and discussion will address questions concerning Western humanism as framed by the film.

About the Host – Dan Reyes is a Nonstop Working Member, interdisciplinary scholar and architect. Together with Iveta Jusova he convenes a bi-weekly Nonstop reading group in Education & Public Intellectual Practice. Reyes produces art works as mixed media sculpture, graphic arts and architectural constructions, and his primary scholarly interests include the social and philosophical foundations of education, literary theory, cultural studies and visual cultural studies.

Nonstop’s Salons take place every other Sunday at 7pm. Salons encourage discussion, the sharing of cultural and academic works/research-in-progress, exposure to local resources, and diverse investigations. Each salon begins with a potluck meal; all are welcome; pass the hat admission.

For further information contact Chris Hill (767-2327,

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Alumni Band Concert Tonight

Don't forget about the big band concert tonight at 7:00 in the YSHS gym.

Related post: Community Band, YSHS, McKinney, Alumni Band Concert - Wednesday

And the winner is...

Joann Jozwiak of Dayton is the winner of the Yellow Springs Street Fair T-shirt Design Contest! Other submissions can be found on our the YS Chamber of Commerce Facebook page.

Bench to Nowhere: Searching


This is the 9th in a series of 30 second videos shot by Joanne Caputo for the Website that will be posted here over the next few weeks. (Music by Cooper Fleishman.)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Losing Our Schools

More than the loss of Vernay Labratories, The Antioch Company and Antioch College combined; not having our own school system would surely change the nature of this village. We would become the bedroom community that many of us fear, or worse. Not possible, you say? Think again!

Our school board is acutely aware of the problems that would go with losing our own schools and has been fighting declining enrollment for decades. It is widely acknowledged that open enrollment is critically important to sustaining our schools. As it is, we are graduating less than 60 students per year. But open enrollment, assuming it is not done away with by legislation, may not be enough to save us.

Now, two think tanks, the Brookings Institution and the Greater Ohio Policy Center, are recommending to the state's leaders that school districts consolidate to reduce their numbers state-wide from 611 to around 400. Districts with less than 2500 students would be in jeopardy. Yellow Springs’ enrollment is around 700.

One of the criticisms leveled against the current system in Ohio is the disproportionate amount of spending on administration versus per-pupil spending. This recommendation comes at a time when our school board is in the process of replacing all four of its top administrators.

For more on this, listen to this report by Bill Cohen of the Statehouse News Bureau that was aired on WYSO this morning: Report suggests leaders teach Ohioans the benefit of trimming number of school districts by a third.

Superintendent Search Design - Community Interaction

One of the first stages of the Superintendent Search Design is the “community interaction” meeting. This is an opportunity for the board to present the superintendent search design and then solicit community member feedback, which we will integrate into the overall design. We hope you will join us for the presentation and discussion this Sunday, February 28, 4pm, in the Mills Lawn Elementary School music room.

Thank you in advance for your participation in this important step in the search process, and for your ongoing support of public education in Yellow Springs!

Sean Creighton
School Board President

Community Band, YSHS, McKinney, Alumni Band Concert - Wednesday

Come hear your friends and neighbors (and their kids) make beautiful music at the joint Community Band/YSHS-McKinney/Alumni Band Concert in the YSHS Gym tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7:00 p.m. High School band director Dennis Farmer will conduct the really big band.

The program:
  • Sousa Sounds - Medley
  • Scenes From An Ocean Voyage - Balmages
  • Carry On My Wayward Son - Livgren
  • Lincolnshire Posy - Grainger
  • The Red Baron - Morales
  • Reverberations - Balmages
  • The Great Locomotive Chase - Smith
The concert is free, but donations will be accepted.

WYSO Spring Fund Drive

WYSO's Spring Fund Drive begins in less than 2 weeks!!!!

Saturday, March 6th thru Sunday, March 14th

So, we want to hear from you! You can call in, go online & pledge on our website or stop in.

And, if you pledge before midnight, Friday March 5th, you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to win a 32gb iPod Touch from MacDepot

We Need you...To Volunteer!

We need volunteers to answer the phones and take pledges. Its a great way to support WYSO, make some new friends, eat food that is donated by some of the areas best restaurants and have some fun.

Shifts are filling up fast, so don't wait!

Contact Jacki at
or call 937-769-1388

Monday through Friday, shifts begin at 7 AM
Saturday shifts begin at 8 AM
Sunday shifts begin at 7 AM.

Shifts typically last for 3 hours. So, get your friends, family, business or organization involved. We need 4 people per shift & they fill up fast, so don't delay!

Snow & Ice

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bench to Nowhere: Zoning Out

A Cool Town Toon

Special meetings of Village Council

Village council will hold two special meetings this week:

Monday February 22
– Joint Council/Township presentation on the Visioning Process from ACP and the Steering Committee.

Tuesday February 23 - 2nd Council budget session on the Enterprise Funds, otherwise known as the utility funds.

Both meetings are at 7 pm in Council Chambers on the 2nd Floor of the Bryan Center .

Spam Part II

Salami Kabore stopped writing to me after my Blog post of February 2. Either he was annoyed by what I said about him, or he has given up on trying to get my attention. In any event, as promised in that post, I let the messages in my Yahoo spam file for my account build up for three weeks. During that time, it accumulated 125 messages. There follows a list of those that caught my attention:
  • Andrew Mensah - business proposal
  • David Hunt - Claim As Next Of Kin
  • stanley - Dear Friend,
  • ©Web Unit - Irish 2010 Grant Winner
  • garuba usman - WITH DUE RESPECT
  • Mr Usman Kamal - Compliments of the season,
  • Salam Sudu - Confidential Respond,
  • Miss Charity - Dearest,
  • mark kabore - I am expecting your urgent response
  • Obillo Uche - this money can be shared in the ratio of 60/40
  • Alice Idrissa - MY Dear,This From Mrs.Alice Idrissa Toyo,
  • Hellena Helder Proenca - Hello Dear
  • Zenab Justin - Beloved,
  • amina kipkalya - PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP.
  • Mr.Song Lile - Buisness Proposal
  • Dr.Malik Ali - HOW CAN I TRUST YOU?
  • Mr Mitchell Lemon – HOPE YOU ARE FINE?
  • Augustine Daran - A BENEFITING MESSAGE
Among the subject lines that got my heart rate up and made me feel the need to reply immediately were: TREAT THIS TRANSACTION CONFIDENTIAL; TOP STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL; VERY SECRET AND CONFIDENTIAL; Confidential Respond, YOUR URGENT REPLY IS NEEDED, GOD BLESS; FINAL NOTIFICATION; and TREAT VERY CONFIDENTIAL & URGENT RESPONSE. Much like that junk (snail) mail I get in brown envelopes that look like they’re from the IRS, anything that is official sounding just begs to be opened, such as the one “FROM MR RICHARD AGESE CHAMBERS.” But for the grammar, I might have opened that one.

I suppose grammar isn’t all that important in subject lines, but these made me chuckle, anyway: Confidential Respond ; A BENEFITING MESSAGE; PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP; TREAT VERY CONFIDENTIAL & URGENT RESPONSE; and HOPE YOU ARE FINE?

At least two writers weren’t sure how they felt about me: HOPE YOU ARE FINE? and HOW CAN I TRUST YOU? But one writer claimed me as his “next of kin, and many of them thought I was a “winner” and a “dear friend.” And I heard from both Mr. and Mrs. Mr Idrissa. That’s weird. I hope Mr. Idrissa doesn’t find out, because his other half seemed to be cozying up to me with "MY Dear."

And then there are the business proposals, either straight forward or thinly veiled: Business Proposal (2); this money can be shared in the ratio of 60/40; CONTACT MY SECRETARY NOW; and I NEED A RESPOSIBLE MANAGER.

As I mentioned at the top, these were deposited by Yahoo into the spam folder of my Gunch Press account. After 30 days, they are erased. That’s the way Yahoo handles spam. I feel I have to go through all the spam in order to catch the odd message that ends up in there by mistake. It happens.

My other account with Yahoo,, gets a very different class of spam – no messages from Salami Kabore or the Idrissas. During the same month, it accumulated only 25 messages, mostly for Viagara and a variety of other medications related to aging. It makes me wonder how this spam stuff works. Could it be that AARP sold them my email address? I wouldn’t be surprised.

Related post: Spam

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Short Film Festival today at the Little Art

The Little Art Theatre will host the Yellow Springs Short Film Festival this afternoon, Sunday, February 21, 2010 (program to be repeated on Saturday, February 27, 2010).

The festival will include short films that showcase the best of local film-making talent, from students to professionals to everyone in between.

The event will begin with a test screening of a work-in-progress at 1:00 o'clock this afternoon. The filmmakers will request the audience’s feedback in helping them to craft the final project.

Then, the short films will be screened, at 2:00 p.m. A reception will follow the event, and there will be audience choice awards for the most popular films on the final Sunday.

The festival will feature short films by local and regional filmmakers Paul Anthem, Adam Brixey, Mitch Centers, Patti Dallas, Susan Gartner, Kate Hagenbuch, Brad Heikes, Michael King, Alex Mangen, Lillian Mauser-Carter, Andy Nall, Greg Nichols, Rae Niehaus, Vanessa Query, Tiffany Shaw-Diaz, John Woodruff, and Nadav Zohar.

Admission to the festival is $10 and includes both the festival program and the test screening. Proceeds will benefit the new nonprofit Little Art Theatre Association.

For more information about the festival, go to You can also join the festival’s Facebook page for updates:

Photo by Tom Osborne is of Susan Gartner, one of the entrants

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Backyard Flock: Nothing beats a dirt bath to cure the winter doldrums

This past week, I posted a short video on the Blog of a half-dozen of my gals whooping it up with a good ole dirt bath. How was this possible with all the cold temperatures and snow that we have been enduring steadily for the past three weeks or so? It took a couple of big hearts and a lot of work. One of my neighbors wrote on my Facebook page, “Virgil, you have got the most lucky chickens in the world.” Yes, they are lucky, but they owe the dirt bath to the other half of this chicken loving duo. It was Amy who engineered the whole process. All winter long she has been staring out the back door at the snowed-in coops and murmuring, “Those poor things.”

It was last Sunday, Valentine’s Day. The sun was out in all its glory and the temperatures had soared almost to the freezing point. Our house faces southward and the front captures the heat from the sun and holds it remarkably well. This is a tremendous energy savings to us in the winter time and, as it turns out, a windfall for the chickens. The snow had melted away from the house and the front walk was clear and dry.

“Why don’t you let the chickens play out front?” Amy asked.

This is something we do a lot in summer. We open the side gate from the backyard and either carry a few of them out front to scratch in the flower garden or let them follow us out there. But this winter, the gate has been stuck shut in a couple feet of snow and ice.

“The only way to do it,” I told her, “is to carry them through the house.” I was sure this would be a deal-breaker.

“Okay, you wait in the house. I’ll bring them to you.”

So, one-by-one, she passed six of our twelve chickens to me and I carried them through the house and out to the front stoop. It was fun to watch them looking around at our digs as I brought them through the kitchen and the living room and out the front door.

Once outside again, it didn’t take long for them to find the bare stretch of dry, dusty earth next to the foundation that had been exposed by the beating sun. First they scratched around for bugs and ate the leaves off the bushes, and then they formed a big pile of writhing fowl covering themselves with dirt. After an hour or two we reversed the process and put them back in the coops.

How did we select the lucky vacationers? It was simply a matter of who volunteered. If a bird jumped up onto the bottom half of the Dutch door at the back of their coop when I opened it, she got to go. They made the decision for us. Half of them were brave enough to venture out. The other half were chicken.

Yesterday, with temperatures a few degrees above freezing, I decided to seize the moment and clean their coops. Since it is impossible to work in tight quarters with a bunch of chickens jumping around, I would have to let them out. So I enlisted my stepson for a reprise of the Valentine’s Day dirt bath. Only this time, the cast was slightly different. But, the results were the same – sheer joy!

After a good coop cleaning, they were returned to sanitary quarters and a bedding of fresh straw. This is something they never fully appreciate, however, because they love to get down and dirty.

Related post: A Valentine's Day Dirt Bath

Getting to snow your neighbors

President Street

The last couple of weeks brought a host of weather-related problems. As is often the case, when the going gets tough, people pitch in to help their friends and neighbors, as well as strangers who just happen to cross their path.

Roaming around the Village the past few days, I was encouraged by the random acts of kindness and consideration. Just to give you a few examples:

-helping neighbors shovel snow

-delivering food to shut-ins

-clearing a long path for dog walkers

-pushing cars out of snow drifts

-courtesy on the roads

-offering coffee to the snow removal crews

-offering rides to stores and churches

-cleaning the walks in front of downtown shops

-clearing the snow away from fireplugs

-helping someone who slipped on the ice

Hopefully, you have your own experiences from the last couple of weeks that could be added to the list of people “caught” doing good things. Individually these are not big things - just little things that needed to be done. Collectively, I think it says something about the spirit of the Village and the sense that we share a responsibility to do what we can, when we can.

Even with the snow, it was a nice time to be in the Village.

A. Reader

Friday, February 19, 2010

Winter Farmers Market

Submitted photos

Setting up for the Saturday Farmers Market
Methodist Church Basement
9AM-Noon (runs through April)

Rocky & Pee Wee: Color us clever!

Thanks to Mek Logan who sent in this link to an article in Science Daily: Chickens 'One-Up' Humans in Ability to See Color

Editor's note: To answer Mek's question about whether I have observed any odd chicken behavior related to color: I have noticed that manufacturers of the smaller chicken feeders and drinkers are prone to using the color red for the base. I always presumed that this made it easier for them to spot it from far off and recognize it for what it is. The thing that has struck me about their ability to identify colors is how they know exactly when a tomato is ripe and manage to snatch it before we get to it. Now I know their secret.

Balmy times in the old home town this weekend


5:00 p.m. - Poetry Marathon at the Senior Center - reading "Paradise Lost" to benefit early music - See related post

7:00 p.m.
- Wine Tasting at the Emporium with live music by Argo Lynn

7:00 p.m. - Open mic at Brother Bear's

7:00 p.m. - Morgan Fellows symposium at the Herdon Gallery on the Antioch campus - See related post

10:00 p.m. - Live music at Peach's with Bootleg Rider


9:00 a.m. - Winter Farmers Market at the United Methodist Church

9:00 a.m. - Birding at Grinnell Mill

3:00 p.m. - Special Screening of "Under Our Skin" at the Little Art

7:00 p.m. - Bearfoot Boogie at the Bryan Center

10:00 p.m. - Live music at Peach's - Seefari


1:00 p.m. - Short Film Festival at the Little Art - See related post

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Drop Slot Reviews

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Published in 2009

It’s not much of a risk to recommend a book that’s #1 on the NYT best sellers list, but it’s still worth a mention just so you don’t miss this one. The book follows several Southern women with very diverse views on living in Mississippi and offers a glimpse of life in the south during the civil rights movement. It’s a good book for Black History Month and sure to spark some memories of where you were during the early 60s. The plot keeps the reader involved and has a few unexpected twists. You’ll quickly get attached to the main characters and soon be anxiously looking for more reading time to see what’s happening in the next chapter.

It looks like the Library has a long waiting list for this one, but it was recently selling for less than $10 on Amazon and you might check the books stores in town before ordering on-line.

Macy & Roger Reynolds

Editor's note: Reader reviews of materials available at or through the Yellow Springs Library are encouraged and appreciated.

It's Icicle Time

The mother of all YS icicles at Anthrotech on Xenia Avenue.

Looking from Jane Baker's living room onto her deck.

If you think the icicles around town were great yesterday, just wait until this afternoon!

Pat Olds, Early Music and 'Paradise Lost'

Villager Pat Olds has organized a marathon poetry reading at the Senior Center for tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 19, the Dayton Daily News reported yesterday. The Early Music Center will be reading excerpts of ‘Paradise Lost' as a fundraiser, the article said.

Dayton Daily News
: Musician with MS organizes poem marathon

I talked to Pat Olds this morning. The reading starts at 5:00 p.m. The expected donation is $2.00 for readers and $3.00 for listeners.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bench to Nowhere: YSHS Principal Search

A Cool Town Toon

Corry Street

This is the 8th in a series of 30 second videos shot by Joanne Caputo for the Website that will be posted here over the next few weeks. (Music by Cooper Fleishman.)

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

YS Schools - 2 hour delay Wednesday

The Yellow Springs Schools and the Greene County Career Center will be opening on a two hour delay tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 17.

Group meets to deal with life-changing illnesses

Hello, I would like to let your readers know about a helpful and friendly group that meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at the Senior Center. We are people of all ages dealing with life-changing illnesses and we are also caregivers.

We meet from 7pm-8:30pm.
We have cookies and tea.
We listen carefully to each other as we share our difficulties and our triumphs.
Our meetings are open to everyone.

Moya Shea

For more information, email Moya or call her at 767-7732.

Birds in Winter

White Breasted Nuthatch

Hairy Woodpecker

A reminder to feed the birds!

And a recipe for the suet cakes that woodpeckers, nuthatches, and chickadees love to eat

2 # melted lard
1 C crunchy peanut butter
1 C yellow corn meal
Bird seed – enough to thicken

Pour into 9”x13” pan and cool to harden
Cut into 6 suet-feeder-sized cakes

Photos were taken at feeders near the Glen by Richard Simons

Louise Simons, Yellow Springs

See more of Richard Simons photos here

Springers have roles in Dayton play

Dayton area actresses Marva Williams, Christina Fern, Adrienne Chesire, Rani Deighe Crowe (director) and Annie Branning laugh at "The Vagina Workshop" monologue performed by Yellow Springs resident Corrine Bayraktaroglu.

Corrine Bayraktaroglu performs as director and YS Telephone Booth Spoon River Saga creator Rani Deighe Crowe looks on.

Former YS resident Adrienne Chesire performs while Rani Deighe Crowe and Annie Branning wait their turn at the mic.

A local production of "The Vagina Monologues" was staged Sunday, February 14, by V-Day Dayton 2010 at Therapy Cafe, located at 452 E. 3rd Street in Dayton. The event is a global movement to end violence against women and girls and raise funds and awareness through benefit productions of playwright/founder Eve Ensler's award-winning play. The event raised over $1400, 10% of which will go to V-Day 2010 Spotlight cause which is preventing violence against women in the Congo, and the rest will go to Artemis Center, the domestic violence resource agency in Dayton.

Note: Wright State University has rescheduled their V-Day performances which were cancelled due to inclimate weather. On Sunday, February 21, "The Vagina Monologues" will be performed at the Student Union Apollo Room at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. and will feature Yellow Springer Amanda Turner. At 4:30 p.m., Eve Ensler's second ground-breaking collection of monologues entitled "A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer" will be performed. Tickets on sale at the Student Union Box Office: $5 in advance for students; $7 in advance for non-students; $10 at the door. Visit for more information. Proceeds will go to the Wright State University Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Fund.

Photos by Susan Gartner

See more photos here

Monday, February 15, 2010

YS Schools Closed Tuesday

The Yellow Springs Schools and Greene County Career Center will be closed tomorrow, Tuesday, Feb. 16 due to the inclement weather.

Community Band rehearsal canceled

Tonight's Community Band rehearsal has been canceled due to the weather. There will be a rehearsal next Monday night at 7:30 p.m. The Alumni Concert is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Click here to check for other closings.

Bench to Nowhere: On the Road

A Cool Town Toon

Saturday Night Sock Hop

A Valentine's Hop took place on Saturday night, February 13, at the Bryan Center gym. The event was a benefit for The Antioch School and music was provided by The Hoppers, a local 50's and 60's rock 'n roll band.

Lauren Heaton and Kirk Weigand dress the part.

Joel Smith, Diane Chiddister, Vanessa Query, and Juliet Hansen

Photos by Susan Gartner

See more Sock Hop photos here.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Valentine's Day Dirt Bath

Happy Valentine's Day!

We decided to take half the flock, one-by-one, out to the front of the house, this afternoon, to let them have a little fresh air, sunshine and a nice dirt bath. They loved it!

Free water testing workshop in YS

The Miami Conservancy District and the Greene Environmental Coalition are offering a free workshop for volunteers interested in learning how to sample the quality of water in rivers and streams. It will be held on Saturday, Feb. 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the GEC Office in the Union School House Building in Yellow Springs. Volunteers that attend the workshop can be certified as a Level 1 Qualified Data Collector after learning how to read the signs of good water quality through sampling methods, insect identification and basic waterway biology. No prior experience or knowledge is necessary. The workshop is intended to be a casual morning of learning and fun.

"Miami Valley Stream Team is an education program that focuses on local river and stream stewardship. The workshop will 'train the trainer,' teaching local teachers and other leaders how to educate students and friends on how to monitor the quality of our water resources," says Sarah Hippensteel, Program Development Specialist with The Miami Conservancy District.

People in the Miami Valley interested in the environment, especially local educators, are encouraged to attend the workshop. The Stream Team program easily fits into elementary, middle school or high school science curricula. The workshop combines informal classroom instruction with hands-on practice.

Please call Sarah Hippensteel at (937) 223-1271 or Vickie Hennessy at (937) 767-3901 for reservations and directions. The workshop will be limited to no more than 25 participants.

Rocky & Pee Wee: Happy New Year!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Backyard Flock: The Hazards of Winter

Last winter, the cherry netting we stretched over our chicken run to keep the hawks out survived several snowfalls without any damage, because the flakes were light enough to filter through without any appreciable build up. The almost 24 hours of heavy, wet snow we had one day this winter, however, finally exposed the weakness in our system. It built up to a weight that snapped the net’s central support and tore the entire span in half (see photo). It could have been worse. When we were finally able to get out there and inspect the damage, we found that it will be fairly easy to repair. We are just going to have to wait until the snow is gone.

Winter is not a fun time for chickens and those who care for them. I feel guilty every time I foil one of their attempts to escape the coop while I’m filling their feeders and changing their water.

Chickens have hot bodies. They will warm the coop with their body heat and breath. On all but the coldest mornings when I go out to bring them food and water, the water in their drinker is either not frozen at all, or just has a skim of surface ice. There are times, however, when I find the drinker frozen solid. It is extremely important to check the water at least twice a day, especially when it is below 20 degrees outdoors.

We currently have 12 chickens divided between two coops that were designed for six chickens each. They decided on their own that eight would stay in one and four in the other. That was okay for the short term. But, once it became apparent that they were going to be cooped up for weeks, I decided to relocate two of them to make for an even balance. I moved the two that seemed to want out the most. Boy, were they surprised when I took them out of the coop, only to put them into another. They thought they were getting to go out. But, they are better off with more room. And the four that were already in there probably appreciate the extra body heat.

Another thing to look out for in winter is frozen eggs. Eggs that are left in the coop overnight are particularly susceptible to freezing. We check for eggs whenever we check the water. Recently, when I went out to bring them water in the morning, I found an egg that must have been left over night. It was a green egg, frozen solid with a big crack in one side. If it had not been cracked, I would have defrosted it in a bowl of lukewarm water. Since it was likely to leak egg white, I decided to try frying it after just a few minutes of defrosting at room temperature. This worked out surprisingly well.

We have never had a chicken get frostbite, as we are careful to not have any metal objects around for them to roost on in winter. If we notice one that seems to be favoring one foot, we keep an extra eye on it, not that I am sure we would know what to do about it. We would probably bring her in the house. That is always our answer to a sick or injured chicken, although, it has not worked out too well in the past.

Fortunately for now, cabin fever seems to be our girls' biggest problem. Whenever one of us starts feeling bad for them, we remind ourselves about those chickens in the commercial egg laying operations. But, try telling them that!

Gung Hey Fat Choy!

Today is Chinese New Year's Eve.
Tomorrow marks the start of the Year of the Tiger.

Happy Chinese New Year!

Read about the Lunar New Year

Icicles and Wind Chimes

Lasagna Dinner raises funds for Haiti releif

Submitted photos

The Lasagna Dinner held at the Methodist Church Friday evening was a tremendous success. According to organizers, the event raised over $2200. They want to thank everyone who came to help, noting that this was another great community event for a good cause.

Reaching Out For Spring

Photo by Roger Reynolds

Winter Oxymoron

Photo by Susan Gartner

Friday, February 12, 2010

Winter Farmers Market Saturday, 9:00 a.m.


There will be more vendors than on previous Saturdays.

WFM Committee

Hot things to do in Cool Town this weekend


5:00 p.m. - Lasagna Dinner at the Methodist Church - this is a Haiti benefit

7:00 p.m.
- Wine Tasting at the Emporium with live music by Revolving Door

7:00 p.m. - Open mic at Brother Bear's

10:00 p.m. - Live music at Peach's with the Rumpke Mountain Boys


9:00 a.m. - Winter Farmers Market at the United Methodist Church

11:00 a.m. - Reptile feeding at the Glen Helen Trailside Museum

12:00 p.m. - Haiti tie-dye sock fundraiser at First Presbyterian Church

1:00 p.m. - Really Free Market at the Emporium

7:00 p.m. - Valentine's Hop at the Bryan Center - live music by the Hoppers

7:00 p.m. - Swing Shift at Brother Bear's

10:00 p.m. - Live music at Peach's - the Crazy Joe Show with Rob Heiliger

WYSO's Spring Membership Drive

Spring is just around the corner & so is WYSO's Spring Membership Drive.

Saturday, March 6th thru Sunday March 14th

We ask you to financially support the news, information and music you hear on WYSO.

So, we want to hear from you! You can call in, go online & pledge on our website or stop in.

Interesting in Volunteering?

We need volunteers to answer the phones and take pledges. Its a great way to support WYSO, make some new friends, eat food that is donated by some of the areas best restaurants and have some fun.

Contact Jacki at
or call 937-769-1388

Monday through Friday, shifts begin at 7 AM
Saturday shifts begin at 8 AM
Sunday shifts begin at 7 AM.

Shifts typically last for 3 hours. So, get your friends, family, business or organization involved. We need 4 people per shift & they fill up fast, so don't delay!

HeARTful Tuesdays

Photo by Susan Gartner

HeARTful Tuesdays-

a series of fun art projects every other Tuesday, 1:30-3:30 with Ann Bain and Nancy Mellon.

February 23rd- Create Artist Trading Cards(ATC)- Get ready for the July ATC Show at Village Artisans.

March 9th-Design in eye popping color Felt Pins.

March 23rd- Create Artist Trading Cards (Just like potato chips you can't stop at one! We're building our collections for the big July show and trade.)

Call Nancy at (937) 767-1366 to sign up for individual Heartful Tuesday classes.

Click here to see more Artist Trading Cards.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Valentine's Weekend in the Springs

Valentine's Weekend
Treat your valentine to a weekend in the Springs

Music & Wine Tasting at The Emporium
February 12

Yellow Springs own The Revolving Door - country/rock/blues/folk covers

YSKP: Building a Character with Kay Boss
February 13

A true actor uses many tricks to bring a character to life on stage. Explore the techniques and trade of character development to improve your acting skills for your spring musical and other roles. Don't imitate-Create!


Valentine's Hop

February 13
Time: 7-10pm
Where: The Bryan Center, 100 Dayton St., Yellow Springs

Sponsored by and benefiting The Antioch School
Music by The Hoppers: 50's & 60's Rock & Roll
Family, Child and Adult friendly

Punch & snacks provided
Wine, Beer, gourmet treats & desserts available for a donation.
Craft activities for children.

Suggested admission donation $5 for adults and $2 for students & children.
For more information: 937-767-7642


Sista Iria and AACW present:
One Love Reggae Dance and Caribbean Feast

February 13th
Brother Bear's Coffeehouse

Come support the AACW and raise awareness for the 1st Annual Y.S. Reggae Fest!

Brother Bear's Coffee will close at 5pm on Saturday Feb. 13th for a AACW fundraiser


Weekend Entertainment

Live Music at Peach's Grill
February 12-
Rumpke Mountain Boys, 10p
February 13-
The Crazy Joe Show, 10p

Home Brewing Class and Demo at The Main Squeeze
January 19- 7:30p

The Little Art Theatre
Starts February 12,
Up in the Air

Open Mic at Brother Bear's
February 12, 7p

All Winter Long

Winter Farmers Market
January-March, Saturdays 9a-12p

See many of the regulars from the local farmers market

Location: United Methodist Church, 202 S Winter St.

Urn follow-up

I bought this urn quite awhile ago on sale at a store called Home Place in Beavercreek. It was located where Bed, Bath and Beyond (Why do I always want to call it Bed, Bath and Breakfast?) is now. I guess I got such a good deal on it that I drove the store out of business.

It was my plan to keep jelly beans in it until it was needed for its intended use, but then I gave up jelly beans. So, now it sits empty on a shelf in my closet while we debate who is going to look after it once I have taken occupancy. When that stir occurred about Cedarville polluting Massie Creek with overflow from their sewage treatment plant, the debate took a nasty turn. Now, whenever I do something to irk my other half, she threatens to sprinkle my ashes in that foul stream.

Related post: Ashes to Ashes

Update on the Street Fair T-Shirt Contest

Thanks to the Yellow Springs Arts Council, the winner of the Yellow Springs Street Fair T-shirt design contest will be awarded $100. For submission requirements go to

Krystal Luketic
Marketing & Events Coordinator
Yellow Springs Chamber of Commerce

Related post: Street Fair T-Shirt Contest

Ashes to Ashes

I read an article in the Wall St. Journal last week about a woman who had her husband cremated and, for the last 5 years, has been spreading his ashes in various places around the world. Sounds like an excuse to have a vacation. There are probably days when my other half would like to do that too.

As cremation becomes more popular, the funeral industry is worried about a frenzy of “wildcat scattering” – unauthorized ash distribution. As an old hand at this, my mother’s last request, I have to admit there is something spiritual and personal about scattering ashes. It just feels better – free to fly instead of trapped underground. My mother did allow that half of her remains be buried with my father – I still haven’t sorted that one out. Maybe there are just some things the kids are never supposed to know.

For several hundred dollars, depending on the circumstances, you can hire people to handle the disposition of the ashes, including the legal stuff and making a video for the family to share – maybe on You Tube. I guess that’s what happens when you’re too busy to say goodbye in person.

The article got me thinking about where I want my ashes to go. Lots of things come to mind. Maybe a hot air balloon ride over the Village or around the backyard or perhaps a favorite spot in Glen Helen. Please talk to the folks at the Glen before starting down that path and don’t put the remains in a water source – Clean Water Act.

I’ve often toyed with the idea of making lockets containing a few ashes for my friends so they could always have me with them. So far, no one seems to be interested unless the lockets are 24kt gold – I don’t think people are taking this seriously.

Unless something better comes up, I want my ashes put in an open basket on the back of my wife’s bicycle and just let me disappear over time while she’s riding various places around town. I wonder if the bike committee will have to put up new signs for that.

A. Reader

Edtor's note: Readers are cautioned to check local ordinances and obtain landowner permission before scattering ashes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

YS Schools - 2 hour delay Thursday

The Yellow Springs Schools will be operating on a two-hour delay tomorrow, Thursday 2/11.

Glen Helen Association Art Exhibition: Ann Gayek's Landscapes and Flowers

Ann Gayek - Evening Light #2, oil, 8x10”

The Glen Helen Association is hosting an art exhibition titled Landscapes and Flowers from March 2 to March 30, 2010.

This one-person show features paintings of landscapes and gardens in Ohio, California and Colorado. Show hours are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays in the Glen Helen Building located at 405 Corry Street in Yellow Springs. Admission is free. The public is invited to meet the artist at the opening reception on Sunday, March 7 from 2 pm to 4 pm.

Yellow Springs resident Ann Gayek enjoys using painting as a way to express her spiritual bond with nature. Gayek comments, “Working outdoors is magical. I love gardens and flowers as much as I love wilderness. I hope that visitors can experience their own connection with these places when viewing these paintings.”

The exhibition includes a number of small pastel plein air studies as well as larger studio pieces. Gayek has been painting in pastel since 2005. She began painting in oil in the spring of 2009 with Dayton area artist Jean Koeller. “Oil is a new medium for me,” she says, “and I am delighted to include in this show a number of my first oil landscapes and flower paintings from this past summer and fall.”

The show is part of Glen Helen Association’s Atrium Gallery program – an ongoing series of monthly contemporary art exhibitions, which highlights the talents of emerging local and regional visual artists. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of any art goes to the Glen Helen Association, a non-profit organization whose mission is to support preservation and programs at Glen Helen and its 1,000-acre nature preserve.

For more information call the Glen Helen Ecology Institute at (937) 769-1902 or visit