Saturday, July 31, 2010

"Springs," a wealth of art and information

I was driving by the "Springs" sign a couple days ago when something caught my eye. It was a new addition to the rear of Beth Holyoke's public art installation in Bill Duncan Park at the corner of Limestone and Dayton.

Beth has been working on the back side of the sign for a few weeks now and every few days there is something new. When I stopped, yesterday, to get a shot of the new piece in the bottom right corner, she happened to be there, working.

The rear of the sign is a history lesson about Bill Duncan and the park, and a glimpse at life in Yellow Springs for African Americans during his time, while at the same time being a fascinating collage of found art and ceramic chips. Every time I look at it, I find something new.

So I took a dozen shots and will post them here from time to time. And, as the work is not yet finished for Beth, I will be revisiting the sign for more photos.

Related posts:

Springs sign gets reverse treatment

Springs sculpture unveiled

This one's for visitors

A Yellow Springs Weekend
by A. Reader

Kings Yard shops

A few years back we moved to Yellow Springs, Ohio. Since that time we regularly hear from friends, relatives and sometimes complete strangers asking, “Is there anything to do there?” I thought about creating one of those “36 Hours…” pieces they do in the Sunday New York Times. I gave that up because you can’t do Yellow Springs in 36 hours. How the NYT folks do Paris, Berlin, Chicago…in 36 hours is beyond me.

The best I can do is “43 Hours in Yellow Springs”. So here are some suggestions for how to make the most of your weekend visit. Start with for places to stay, maps and things to do.

FRIDAY - arrive Yellow Springs at 5PM.

-Check-in at one of several B&Bs around town. Arthur Morgan House is ideally located and they do a nice breakfast. Not many overnight accommodations in town so the key is to book ahead.

-Stroll around town to see what’s happening - lots of outdoor art. Galleries occasionally stay open late, but usually close by 6PM.

-Stop at the Emporium for wine tasting and music.

-Dinner at the Sunrise Café – nice menu, local foods and vegan friendly.

-After dinner, dessert at the Corner Cone.

-Peaches (22 beers on tap), the Emporium and usually a few others places have live music.

SATURDAY – early morning visit to the two Farmer’s Market locations – local produce, baked goods, cheeses, flowers, lots of talk and much more.

-Allow time for coffee and the morning newspaper – 3 coffee shops in town – Brother Bear does their own roasting.

-Walk or ride the bike path and visit the Women’s Park. Bike rentals are available at the Corner Cone. You could also visit the Yoga Studio or schedule time with one of the many massage therapists in the town.

-Several lunch options. Try Current Cuisine for great deli sandwiches or William’s Eatery for a taste of Peru.

-Plan for a leisure afternoon of shopping. Best of the local art shops include “would you, could you” In A Frame, Village Artisans, Yellow Springs Pottery and Bonadies Glass Studio. Three bookstores in town – Dark Star for used book deals.

-Dinner at the Wind’s Café – great wine selection. Reservations recommended.

-Take in a movie (7PM & 9PM) at the Little Art Theatre – noted for indie and foreign films. Plus, you can’t beat their popcorn.

-Visit the late night Tapas and Martini Lounge at the Sunrise Café.

SUNDAY – good choices for breakfast would be the breakfast burrito at the Emporium or an omelet at the Sunrise Café. If you decide to sleep in, the Wind’s has an excellent brunch menu starting at 10AM.

-Visit Glen Helen - 1000 acre nature preserve with 20 miles of hiking trails. Don’t miss the Raptor Center.

-Noon – grab a sandwich in town and maybe a stop at Young’s Dairy for a Cow Shake before heading home.

Of course, the whole routine gets changed if something special is happening – plays, music, art openings, lectures, guided tours, etc. The real highlight is that once you park your car in town, you can walk to everything mentioned in this article.

Always check in with this blog to get the latest information on weekend events.

Enjoy your visit.

Fire Safety Inspection Program

For Business & Property Owners

Miami Township Fire-Rescue is launching a fire safety inspection pro-gram in Miami Township and the Village of Yellow Springs.

The Ohio Fire Code authorizes MTFR to inspect all properties except 1 & 2 family dwellings. One of MTFR's core responsibilities is fire prevention. A method used to reduce the number of fires and enhance life safety is to enforce fire code regulations; this is accomplished through a fire safety inspection program.

The goal of this program is to reduce the potential for fire, loss of life, and property damage. Our staff of state-certified fire safety inspectors will work cooperatively with business and property owners to identify hazards and work to repair them. By working together, we can assist you in making your business a safe place for your customers, employees, and you.

Fire safety inspections are conducted during an appointment set with the property or business owner or their representative. Unlike many communities, MTFR does not charge a fee for these inspections.

For more information regarding this program, contact Fire Inspector Chris Kitts or Chief Colin Altman at 767-7842.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Rocky & Pee Wee: Blanket indictment

Day Tripping: Cruising the Ohio

"BB RIVERBOATS Welcomes Carol Allin Party of 3----Captain's Lunch Cruise" is what is printed right there on the ticket stub. For about two years this notion of taking some family and making the jaunt down to the Newport Landing has been hovering like a plump summer bumblebee, vanishing in the winter, but returning with the change of season. This summer in particular it felt important to set aside some specific time with our second born, Toby. He'll be graduating from O.U. in another year and is already making plans to be anywhere other than Yellow Springs once he has matriculated.

With my husband Bruce's complicity we schemed to ambush Toby into spending several hours with us by announcing we wanted to take him to lunch at 'a special restaurant' in the Cincinnati area. Toby graciously checked his busy social calendar and was able to fit us in this past Tuesday, July 27. When I first broached the subject with Bruce, privately, he gave me one of his startled eye-widenings that was (per usual) accompanied by no comment what-so-ever. Having learned, over the years, to provide both sides of the conversation to this fairly typical response, I just went ahead and gave him our marching orders: Leave 9:30am in order to arrive by the 11:00am check-in time, cruise embarks at noon, and returns to dock by 2pm. And so the reservation was made.

It is possible to also book the 2-hour cruise without partaking of the buffet-style luncheon, but eating on board the riverboat while travelling the 3 miles upriver was most definitely a large part of the appeal. There are also night-time dinner cruises available, and they will book parties for special events, but the lunch cruise was perfect for an informal and low-key good time. The food was middle-of-the-road decent, American-style cuisine. Since we all skipped breakfast and decided to have a couple drinks prior to eating, the cruise got off to a jolly start. I was very grateful that the BB Riverboats were equipped with air-conditioned comfort in which to dine and escape the typical muggy weather, as well as the option to go out into the fresh air on the upper decks without being enclosed. Once we had eaten we were all eager to pop outside and lean on the railings and watch the watery sights go by.

In addition to the scenery of the Cincinnati skyline rolling past, there are many beautiful parks and natural areas on both sides of the river. One of the charming features of the day was our banjo-strumming narrator of the cruise, combining interesting tidbits of riverboating trivia, old-timey tunes, and a minimum of bad jokes. Perhaps it was the two glasses of wine on an empty stomach influencing my perceptions, but I thought he did a very nice job steering us along through the oral history. In fact, I can say with all honesty that the three of us did learn some new and interesting facts about our region's lore.

The final 10 or 15 minutes of the cruise offered passengers the option of coming back inside to play Bingo for prizes, if you liked. Bruce and I played, neither of us won, but it was fun watching a couple of the kids who did win get excited about stepping up to the prize basket to make their selections. Toby seemed to have had enough boat ride with Mom and Dad by then, especially when our tunester encouraged us all to whistle the theme from The Andy Griffith Show along with him. But hey, I'm a good whistler and by gar! I whistled. Just two hours on the Ohio River, and you'll be saying things like 'by gar!' in true river rat fashion too. Nautical attire not required.

By Carol Allin

Editor's note: There are some really cool things to do just short drives from our town. The Blog is interested in publishing pieces like this about day trips from YS, whether about upcoming events or your experiences on your visits. Please feel free to submit them by email. They will appear under the category "Day tripping" and will be tagged, so they can easily be recovered.

Destination YS


July 28-August 1

Oceans of Notions
Time: 7:00p
Where: Young's Dairy, Under the Big Top
An original youth theatre performance
from YS Kid's Playhouse.
Wednesday - Sunday

Friday, July 30

Hot Off The Grill
When: 10a-7p (continues Saturday)
Where:Current Cuisine
Grilled Fish, Marinated Chicken, Sausages, Flank Steak, Corn on the Cob, Grilled Summer Vegetables & more

Family Folk Dance/Joy of Dancing
When: 7-9p
Where:Bryan Center

Open Mic
When: 7-9:30p
Where: Bother Bear's Coffee
Saturday, July 31
King's Yard Farmer's Market
Time: 7a-noon
Where: King's Yard parking lot behind Ye Olde Trail Tavern Corner Cone parking lot at the corner of Dayton & Walnut St.

Simply Women 5K Run/Walk
Time: 9 am
Where: Yellow Springs High School, 420 E. Enon Rd.
Support female athletics and fitness by joining in this fun event. Come with friends, sisters, mothers and daughters; make new friends.
5K (3.1 miles) loop course through the tree-lined streets of Yellow Springs.
One mid-race water station and post-race snacks, awards & prizes.
Chip timing.
$15/entry. Registration same day but t-shirt is not guaranteed. Register online.

Peace & Reconciliation: A Spiritual Approach
Time: 11a-noon
Where: The Little Art Theatre
A Free Public Talk by
Ryder Stevens, CS, a retired US Army Chaplain addresses correcting violence and terrorism from a Christian Science perspective and from his years of active duty experiences.
To reserve a seat call , leave your name, phone and number attending. O
pen seating may be available.

Village Artisans "Size Does Matter"
Time: 1-3 pm
Where: Village Artisans, 100 Corry St.
Trading of cards by creators; Exhibit in lobby

Friends Music Camp Benefit Concert
Time: 7:30p
Where: Mills Lawn Elementary, 200 S. Walnut St.
Gifted musicians age 8-18 from the Friends Music Camp are holding their 5th annual benefit concert for the Glen Helen Association. Come for a memorable evening of music!
Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and under.

Sunday, August 1

Glen Helen Wildflower Hike
Time: 1:00 pm
Where: Departs from the Trailside Museum, 405 Corry St.
Join volunteer Daniel Pearson on this two hour, moderately intense hike to glimpse stunning wildflowers.

Glen Helen Atrium Gallery Reception
"The Earth Responds" Oil Paintings by Jennifer Haack
Time: 2-4p
Where: The Glen Helen Atrium Gallery
Meet the artist at the Opening Reception.
Show hours are 9:30 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday and 10 am to 4 pm on Saturdays and Sundays until August 28. Admission is free. Artwork will be available for purchase.

Community Band Concert
Time: 4:00 pm
Where: on the lawn at Mills Lawn
(in the gym if rain)
Hear the final concert of the summer.

Entertainment July 3o Weekend

Friday - 10p
Reggie Stone with
New Vega
Saturday - 10p
Jahman Brahman

Little Art Theatre
Fri, & Sat. 7 & 9:00
Sun. 1:00 & 7:30
Solitary Man

Upcoming Events

August 7
Vintage Truck Show
Chicken BBQ

August 14
Art on the Lawn

August 20
3rd Friday Fling

August 21
Yellow Springs Book Fair
A Wild Women Getaway

September 10-11
AACW Blues Fest

October 9
Yellow Springs Street Fair

October 15
3rd Friday Fling Art Stroll

October 16-17
Artist Studio Tour

Keep up to date on the 10-minute plays

Please join us...

Click on image to enlarge.

For up-to-date details visit:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New bus route to include Yellow Springs

A bus route from Xenia to Cedarville to Yellow Springs to Springfield will be starting on Tuesday, August 3rd. This route will run on Tuesdays only. There is a fifty cent charge on the Greene CATS side and no fare to ride the Petticrew vehicle (from Springfield Regional Medical Center)to Springfield .

The bus will leave Xenia at 9:40 a.m and stop at Frinds Care at 10:21, Bryan Center at 10:30 and Friends Care again at 10:39 a.m. It will arrive back at Xenia at 10:57 a.m. The Bryan Center will be the transfer point for the Springfield bus which arrives at the Springfield Business Center at 10:55 connecting with a bus to the Springfield Regional Medical Center. There will be similar schedule in the afternoon, starting with a bus that departs from Xenia at 2:03.

Brochures with a complete schedule will be available at the YS Chamber of Commerce by the end of this week.

For more information, contact Emily K. Demeter, Mobility Manager for Agencies in Greene County at 937.562.6461 or via email at

YS artists in the news: The egg in Kettering

Yellow Springs artists Kaethi Seidl and Beth Holyoke have been working with people of all ages in Kettering to create a 2500 pound piece of public art for one of its parks. Well, according to an article in yesterday's Dayton Daily News, the egg has finally been laid.

Dayton Daily News: Kettering workers install community art project

Signs of the Times

Face-lifts on Corry Street

Julia Etta's Trunk

Williams Eatery

Reader submitted photos

Looking for male actors

Casting Notice

by Sophocles

The Faux-Real Theatre Company, a New York based ensemble is seeking six male actors for their August, Yellow Springs production of Sophocles’ OEDIPUS REX (translation by Robert Fagles).

Seeking six male actors of all ages, types and experience levels. These six actors will be working alongside of actors from Faux-Real’s New York cast. The Faux-Real actors will be playing the more text heavy roles as there will be only limited rehearsal time.

Rehearsals will be from Friday, August 13th – Thursday August 19th. Most of the rehearsals will be in the evening although there may be one or two daytime rehearsals. The performances will be on August 20th, 21st and 22nd, 6:00 PM at the Antioch College Amphitheater.

If you are interested in being in the show, please contact Mark Greenfield at or at 917.687.4998. If possible, please email a photo of yourself along with either a resume or a short list of any theatrical experience you may have had. No payment or fees involved.

Artists to deal

Artist Trading Card Party

Saturday, August 31, 1-3 pm

Village Artisans - 100 Corry Street - Yellow Springs

The "Size Does Matter 2" show will be coming down and it's time to Trade!

The artist will be trading with each other and anyone who brings an ATC to trade with them. ATC's are miniature works of art done in a 2 1/ 2 x 3 1/2 trading card size, using all mediums.

Come party and trade!

Save the Date - Tuesday, Oct. 5

On Tuesday, Oct. 5 at 6:30 p.m., local blogger and writer Virgil Hervey will give a talk at the Yellow Springs Library on "Blogging for Writers." While some of the nuts-and-bolts aspects of blogging are likely to come up, especially during the question and answer period that will follow his talk, the focus will be less on "how to" and more on ways blogging can be relevant to the writing life.

Hervey is a past Assistant Director of the Antioch Writers' Workshop where he gave a similar talk this year. His stories, poems and articles have been published in over 40 small press publications, newspapers and online magazines. His short story "The Overall Picture" was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2002. He has been a staff reporter for the Yellow Springs News, edited chapbooks and several literary magazines, and currently edits and writes for A Yellow Springs Blog, publishing news, gossip, opinion and humor. “Parking Spaces,” his first play will be produced on Aug. 14 as a part of the Corner Cone 10-Minute Play Festival.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Starts tonight

July 28-August 7
Young's Jersey Dairy
Under the Big Top!
Rain or Shine

All tickets are just $7!
Best Deal: Two Tickets for $10 on Thursdays,
only at the gate.
Advance purchase tickets available on-line
and held at the box office.

Reservations, 767-7800.

Click Here to Purchase Tickets Now!

This Persian style play follows the adventures of Darya and her inventor father Babak. When Babak's ideas all dry up, they must travel to the Oceans of Notions, the source of all ideas. Filled with fun word play, talking rocks, a school of carp, and Peggy Flea, this new play by Louise Smith embraces the magical and a touch of the mystical. Directed by Lenard Petit, and co-directed by John Fleming and Jill Becker. Costumes by Ayn Wood, original music by Gary Arnold.

Forest Garden Design Immersion Course

Offered locally Aug. 9-15

Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens , will be offering a seven-day Forest Garden Design Immersion Course at Jenny Haack and Rob Content’s land, just north of Yellow Springs, Ohio from Monday, August 9 through Sunday, August 15, 2010. The course is being sponsored by OEFFA (Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association) and will allow participants to dive deeply into the vision, theory, design, and practice of creating edible ecosystems using temperate deciduous forest ecosystems as models.

As a part of the Immersion Course, Jacke will present two lectures at the Glen Helen Building that are free and open to the public. The first, an introductory lecture on Edible Forest Gardening, will be Monday, August 9 at 7:30 pm. The second lecture on Soil Fertility will be on Wednesday, August 11 at 7:30 pm.

For more information about the Forest Garden Design Course, and to register, please contact Laura Wies at 614.421.2022 or For more information about the public lectures, visit or call Liz Schneiders at 769-1902 x103.

WYSO Summer Concert volunteers needed

WYSO Summer Concert


Rev Cool's Arkestra
& Dance Ensemble
C. Wright's Parlour Tricks

at Carrilon Park
1000 Carillon Blvd., Dayton, OH 45409

Sunday August 29, 5-8 PM

Food by Bellyfire Catering

Help us make this year's summer concert a scorchin' success!

WYSO's annual summer concert is just weeks away - and we need your help.

We're looking for a few volunteers to be at our booth and help us manage parking. Spend some time kicking back with WYSO staffers and enjoy the show!

This year's concert will feature WYSO's own Rev. Cool, host of "Around the Fringe" on Friday nights.

If you can help, get in touch with WYSO Volunteer Coordinator Sarah Buckingham at 769-1334 or

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Simply Women 5K this Saturday

Video by Susan Gartner

Saturday, July 31, 2010
Yellow Springs High School
Race starts at 9 a.m.
Check-in and on-site registration at 7:45 –8:30 a.m.

Race info:
  • 5k (3.1 miles) through tree-lined streets of Yellow Springs
  • Start and Finish at Yellow Springs High School
  • One mid-race water station
  • Race starts at 9 a.m.
  • Chip timing
  • Post-race snacks, awards & prizes
  • $15 per entry
  • Same-day registration: 7:45 a.m.-8:30 a.m. (not guaranteed a t-shirt)
  • Prize awarded to top finisher in each age group (must be present at closing ceremony): 6; 7-10; 11-14; 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64; 65-69; 70+
  • Drawing for all participants after the race/walk. Must be present to receive prizes.
Make $15 checks payable to: YS Girls Running
Mail to: Karen Crist, 1219 Livermore Street, Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Questions: or call 767-7607

Gudge in the news

Reminiscences of John Gudgel's track career while at YSHS in the Springfield News Sun. "No one knows more about what it takes and what it means to win state track championships than Yellow Springs High School’s John Gudgel," the paper reported.

Springfield News Sun: Title Tales: 1975 championship a great memory for Gudgel

New YSKP show to start this Wednesday

Oceans of Notions (Lakes of Mistakes)

by Louise Smith, Directed by Lenard Petit, Choreography by Jill Becker, Ayn Wood, Costumes.

Performance Dates: Wednesday -Saturday July 28-August 7th No matinees! 7pm under the big top at Young’s Jersey Dairy

Rocky & Pee Wee: The Golden Egg

Last Community Band Concert of Season

The Yellow Springs Community Band will play on the lawn in front of Mills Lawn School on Sunday, August 1. It had been previously reported in error on this blog that the concert was to be at Kings Yard. This will be the last concert of the band's outdoor season. The eclectic program will be heavy on show tunes and movie music. The concert starts at 4 p.m. If it rains, the band will move indoors at the school.

The Program:

Also Sprach Zarathustra - Strauss
Main Theme from Star Wars - Williams
Just a Closer Walk with Thee - Arr. Gillis
Hoagy Carmichael in Concert - Arr. Barker
Jump, Jive An' Wail - Prima
Highlights from Hello Dolly - Herman
The Typewriter - Anderson
Shenandoah - Ticheli
Highlights From Aladdin - Arr. Sweeney
1812 Overture - Tchaikovsky

Nonstop Revolutionary Film Series - Aug. 2

Gillo Pontecorvo's film The Battle of Algiers (1966)
(followed by discussion with Bob Devine)

Monday, August 2
7:00 PM
Nonstop Institute
305 N. Walnut Street
free admission

The Battle of Algiers by Gillo Pontecorvo, Franco Solinas, and Saadi Yacef (Italy/Algeria, 1966) is a narrative re-creation, shot in a documentary newsreel style, of a major battle in the casbah of Algiers in the Algerian war for independence from France (1954-62). While awarded the grand prize at the Venice Film Festival, nominated for 3 Academy Awards, and critically praised for not romanticizing either the Algerian or French combatants, it was banned in France for 5 years. The cast of mostly non-professional actors includes Saadi Yacef, who authored the book Souvenirs de la Bataille d'Algier while in a French prison and plays a fictionalized version of his own real life role as a leader of the FLN (National Liberation Front). Pontecorvo enlisted one professional actor, Jean Martin, who had been fired from the Theatre National Populaire for signing a manifesto against the Algerian War. Evocative sound includes an orchestral score by Ennio Morricone and Algerian drumming. The film focuses less on the violence than on the fundamental characteristics of urban guerilla warfare and organization. Director and co-writer Pontecorvo was inspired as a filmmaker by postwar Italian neorealist films, and had himself fought as an anti-Fascist partisan in the Milan Resistance in 1943. The Battle of Algiers was co-written by Franco Solinas, who would later write Costa-Gavras' State of Siege.

This is the third film screened in Bob Devine's 6-part Workshop on Revolutionary Film. Over the next 4 weeks film scholar Devine will present revolutionary international narrative films produced from 1925 to 1996 as part of this workshop series. The public is invited to attend the individual films or to engage these important historical films as an integrated series that runs every Monday through August 23 (cost of each screening is pay as you are able). For this series Devine has programmed narrative films that are radical or oppositional in terms of (a) production circumstance, (b) form, (c) content, or (d) circumstance of reception. All films will be followed by discussions of their respective historical and cultural contexts, in order to discern patterns across cultures that might be considered revolutionary. Selected films in the series are from Russia, the U.S., Algeria, Cuba, Senegal and Zimbabwe. For more information on the workshop series see

Bob Devine is a film scholar, filmmaker, educator, and internationally respected public access media consultant.

For further information:
Contact Chris Hill (, 767-2327

Monday, July 26, 2010

Drop Slot Reviews: This female detective turned me off

Promises in Death - J.D. Robb (Nora Roberts) (Putnam's Sons, 2009)

At the risk of sounding sexist, as a male I have a hard time relating to female novelists. In the past few years, there have been a couple notable exceptions, Ann Patchett's Belle Canto and Myla Goldberg's Bee Season. Both were suspenseful and moved the plot right along. Patchett was particularly adept at hooking the reader from the very first paragraph.

This week, I downloaded a J.D. Robb detective thriller in e-pub format from the Greene County Library Website to read on my Sony Reader. J.D. Robb is a pseudonym for best selling author Nora Roberts. I was not familiar with the writer, but I could tell that this was just one in a series of many detective novels under the pseudonym whose titles all ended with the phrase "in death." This one was titled Promises in Death.

I never considered the sex of the writer until I started reading. The name was not a giveaway. (I read two wonderful S.E. Hinton novels, Rumble Fish and The Outsiders, before I knew that it was a teenage girl who had written them.) The fact that the protagonist is a female detective was not necessarily the tip-off either, because I am aware that male writers have explored that realm. It was the kissy-face stuff and long digressions into man-watching and girlie parties. The writer seems obsessed with trying to prove that her heroine is a tough broad while still having an emotionally feminine side. Okay, I get it. But the plot, what little there is of it, suffers from the diversions.

Suspense writers especially and most other novelists know each sentence should make the reader want to read the next sentence; each paragraph should make the reader want to read the next paragraph and so on. I found myself skipping whole sections of 6-8 pages, because they were doing nothing to advance the plot. (This from a compulsive reader who likes to read every word of every book he starts.) It was as if the author realized she had a thin novel and had to fill it out somehow. I suppose that can happen when you have written over 170 novels.

I recently read the detective thriller Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein, someone I knew personally 30 years ago when I first started practicing criminal law and she first started out in the sex crimes unit of the Manhattan DA's Office. She also has a long series of female detective novels. Killer Heat was written in the first person and featured the head of the sex crimes bureau in the Manhattan DA's Office. With all the first person kissy-face by someone who has clearly projected herself into the role of heroine, on top of the fact of the writer being someone I happen to know personally, I found it quite annoying. However, Ms. Fairstein did not let the plot suffer for it. Each page made me want to read the next; each chapter pushed me on to the next.

Robb's novel is set 50 years in the future. The plot involving the investigation of the murder of a police officer is not entirely predictable, but her detective comes to damning conclusions through guesswork that is totally unsupported by any evidence. Then she repeats them over and over again to any other character who will listen, as if getting their concurrence will give them more credibility, meanwhile boring the reader into nodding off. (I dropped my reader several times.)

If you are tempted to read this one, I suggest you read the first chapter and then skip right to the last. Or, better yet, pick yourself up an Elmore Leonard and start turning pages.

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

Bench to Nowhere: Letters. We got letters.

A Cool Town Toon

Day tripping: China Imperial Palace, Sharonville

Necessity is the mother of invention. Out of adversity comes... You fill in the rest. A couple weeks ago, we were making our usual southern loop to the northern environs of Cincinnati when we hit a snag. Usually we stop in Uncle Yip's in Evandale for dim sum then hit CAM the big Asian market on Evandale Road before our final stop at that Mecca for foodies, Jungle Jim's.

As soon as we turned into the parking lot of the strip mall on Reading Road where Uncle Yip's is located, we knew something was wrong. There were no cars! Impossible!

"They must be closed," I told Amy.

Sure enough, there was a sign on the door telling the customers they would be on vacation for the next two weeks.

Ever since Pacific Moon in Montgomery closed a few years ago, we have considered Uncle Yip's to be our only Chinese food option on our monthly Jungle Jim's trip. Blue Gibbon off Paddock Road in Cinti and another place we like, Sichuan Bistro in Mason, are just a little bit out of the way. Amy suggested that we do our shopping in CAM and check the bulletin board for restaurant fliers.

"Do you know how to get here?" she asked, pointing to an ad for China Imperial Palace Seafood Restaurant when we were done shopping. There was an address and a little map.

"Sure. It's just up Reading from Uncle Yip's," I said. "Let's go! We'll never know if it's any good unless we try it."

Located just north of Sharonville Road on Reading, this little restaurant probably suffers from it's location. At that point, Reading splits into two one-way roads and the Imperial Palace is located on the southbound fork. However, on this day, even though by the time we got there it was after 2:30 p.m., the place was jammed because there was a large party that took up two big round tables. The service was a little stressed.

We ordered our usual dim sum items for comparison purposes, shiu mai, har kow, chicken feet, xia long bao; and a main course of pan-fried noodles. The food was a little different from what we are used to, but good. We agreed that it deserved a second look as a possible alternative to Uncle Yip's, which can get backed up because they are not good at keeping up with cleaning the tables.

Even though Uncle Yip's had reopened, we went back to our new find, yesterday. Again, it was around 2:30 p.m. But this time, the place was not crowded and the service was excellent. We ordered our benchmark dim sum items again with some variations and this time, for a main course, we had pepper steak chow fun. The food was excellent. With tea, the tab came to only $19.00.

If there is a lesson in this, it is for the folks at Uncle Yip's: Don't go on vacation!

Related post: Jungle Jim's & Uncle Yips

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Scenes from around here

Wishful thinking at the corner of Corry & Allen

Reader submitted

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Heat advisory in effect

Miami Township Fire-Rescue: Heat advisory in effect for today...heat index near 100! Stay inside and in air conditioning if possible, avoid physical outdoor activity, and drink plenty of cool, non-alcoholic beverages.

Black-eyed Daisies

We find a use for our wood stove even when it's in the 90's.

'Riders on the Storm' by Susan Streeter Carpenter

Review by Ed Davis

Tet. Chicago. Martin. Bobby. Che. Mao. Daley. Stokes. SDS. Weathermen. Many of us will receive a mild jolt if not electric shock at those names. They’re not neutral for anyone who lived through the 1960s, experiencing the upheaval over everything from Vietnam to capitalism’s worst excesses. This is the social-emotional territory of Susan Carpenter’s fine new novel, Riders on the Storm. While relating the tumultuous events of 1968, Carpenter’s near-documentarian style as well as absolutely believable characters makes the book a deeply rewarding experience.

She nails down the convergence of historical events, both national and international, that produced the Movement, fed it, and then finally splintered it into rival competing groups. Countless books and movies have mined this vein, but the magic—and power—of doing it through fiction is to make the political achingly personal, allowing us to suffer (and rejoice!) right along with people we can fully relate to, even love. Her point of view characters include increasingly revolutionary Ivy Barcelona, who, before the book’s over, winds up with a bomb in her hand; her would-be-pacifist boyfriend Chuck Leggit; and Jane Revard, friend and ally to welfare mothers, whose radical politics turn her toward feminism. Several others round out this group of young radicals. Bert Augustin is a sexy Che Guevara, whose violent militarism sets him apart from the others. Marvin Kaminsky is the father figure of this loose family which comes together in an attempt to change their world.

They never become stereotypes. Although Jane increasingly relates to women who love other women, she’s neither a lesbian nor a man-hater. Ivy, though naïve, is both sexy and sexual and must learn to push away from love when it stifles. Jane, who would be Plain Jane in the hands of a lesser writer, is a creation of great complexity in Carpenter’s: daughter of formerly radical parents who allowed their political activism to be crushed by the Rosenbergs’ execution, she turns her back on their passivity in order to choose her own hard path.

With this family, the author takes us on a journey through the past, where we’ll live—or re-live—the Columbia strike, the March on Washington and a lesser-known eruption that occurred in Cleveland’s Glenville neighborhood. During a shootout between police and a militant black radical group, Chuck, Bert, Jane and Ivy wind up caught in the crossfire, raising the specter of violence that will haunt the Movement and these characters’ lives during the next few months. But the immediate effect is to motivate these budding radicals to put everything on hold for their beliefs.

Although we all know the eventual outcome of the Movement, the author creates a great deal of suspense concerning what will happen next to our “family.” The one national event Carpenter develops fully (and terrifyingly) is the demonstration at the Chicago Democratic convention, which matures the Movement at lightning speed. With “the whole world watching,” our heroes take us directly into the heart of chaos, where heads are bashed and horrors await any female unlucky enough to be jailed. However, we also experience transcendent solidarity with Ivy and her fellow activists inside Grant Park at the end of an historic day.

While Carpenter makes us care deeply about the country’s agonizing struggle that Vietnam so symbolized (to overcome the military-industrial complex, racism, poverty, inequality and entitlement), I cared even more about these characters growing their identities in such fraught, unprecedented circumstances. They portray the daily schizophrenia of participating in demonstrations that could land them in jail or the emergency room by day, and composing absurd academic exercises by night, as Ivy does, on “teeth as harbingers of death” in Thomas Mann’s fiction. Chuck is perhaps the most torn of all, working in a bank by day and drafting poignant letters to the draft board during his hours at Movement headquarters.

By book’s end we see the serious consequences of their choices and sacrifices; and while the Movement eventually gave way to the excesses of the Reagan ‘80s, most of these characters survive to become . . . us. Readers who lived through these times will be tempted to assess what and who they became in the wake of such cataclysmic events; younger people who have been exposed to the countless I-was-there accounts of their elders can experience for themselves what these courageous (confused, overly-idealistic and very human) twenty-somethings went through—and why. Ultimately, the value of the Movement, Carpenter suggests, might’ve been to produce more an inner than outer revolution. “Resistance is now vast and huge,” Carpenter writes in the introduction to Part Five. “We are still here.” Indeed, many of us helped elect Barack Obama.

This book is no fabrication but a fictional recreation by one who was there, who doubtless has some Ivy Barcelona as well as Jane Revard inside her. Riders on the Storm can be purchased for $18 locally at Dark Star Books or ordered directly from Bottom Dog Press (P.O. Box 425, Huron, OH 44839).

Photo by Wendy Hart Beckman

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Backyard Flock: Catching Rays

I’ve been putting off leaving the house all morning. Now it’s afternoon. My last excuse is to catch the weather on the 12 o’clock news on TV. It’s over and I’m moving around like I’m almost outta here when I look out the window onto Chickenland. It’s 93 degrees in the shade and God only knows how hot in the sun, and there’s a chicken laying on her back with her wings spread!

Is she dead, I wonder. I wait for signs of movement. Another chicken emerges from one of the coops and disturbs her reverie. She gets up and does the chicken walk around back into the shade.

Cooling their heels under the sun during a heat wave; taking dirt baths, eating broken glass... Have you ever seen the movie “Little Big Man” with Dustin Hoffman? Remember the Indian they called a contrary? Yes, my flock is a contrary bunch, indeed.

I was pleased to learn, yesterday, that mine is not the only flock to whip up into an occasional frenzy of cackling and screeching. I was beginning to think there was something wrong with them. We were rehearsing my play out on Elaine Brown’s farm, yesterday morning, when I heard another flock doing their version of the Anvil Chorus from across the horse pasture. Suddenly, I felt right at home.

Okay, I'm out of excuses. Into the heat!

Free Shakspeare - Tonight!

July 23 - 7:00 p.m.
Antioch Ampitheatre

Additional performances over the weekend: The brooding Dane can be seen again on Saturday July 24 at 7 p.m. and Sunday July 25 at 3p.m.

Performed by Free Shakespeare!, a traveling group of actors and musicians dedicated to enriching the community through theater.

Come 90 minutes prior to showtime to enjoy art vendors and live music.

A wrenching work

On Dayton Street: More public art from Beth Holyoke.

Photos by Virgil Hervey

Save the Date - August 14

Click on image to enlarge.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mitzi Manny Memorial Donations

Much loved villager Mitzi Manny died of cancer at the age of 91 on June 24. An account for memorial donations has been set up at the US Bank branch in Yellow Springs. Those willing to donate should specify that they would like to deposit their donation in the Mitzi Manny Memorial Fund (account no. 130112649313). The fund will be used for scholarships for art and music students.

This Sunday (July 25) there will be a memorial service at the Glen Helen Building from 2-4 p.m.

Her children Bruce and Jody are giving away her belongings to any villagers who would like to have them as a memory of her. Just stop by her home at 5 Aspen Court. On Monday, anything that is left will be removed by Home-to-Home.

Bench to Nowhere: Who's cooking for you?

A Cool Town Toon

The Antioch Review chosen for Magazine Adoption Program

The Antioch Review was recently selected by the Council for Literary Magazines and Presses to participate in the new Lit Mag Adoption Program for Creative Writing Courses.

“It is an exciting opportunity for The Antioch Review and other magazines to reach a young audience,” said Robert S. Fogarty, editor of The Antioch Review.

The Lit Mag Adoption Program for Creative Writing Students allows undergraduate and graduate creative writing professors to include literary magazines in their courses. Students receive discounted, 1-year subscriptions for selected literary magazines (professors receive a free “desk-copy” subscription). Each participating class will receive at least two issues of the magazine during the semester.

In addition, classes will have direct interaction with the magazine publishers and/or editors through a virtual (or in-person where local) chat session. During this meeting, the editor may discuss the history of the magazine, the current literary landscape, the curatorial process, etc., allowing students to better understand the publishing community in which they’re most likely to be published.

The ultimate goal of the program is to expose students to the variety of magazines out there and promote an active, engaged reading culture among young writers.

Visit the CLMP Lit Mag Adoption Program website to review the online catalogue and resources ( You can order magazines now for Fall 2010 course adoptions. After you adopt a magazine, you will receive log-in information for your students to order their discounted subscriptions through the CLMP website.

The Antioch Review, founded in 1941 at Antioch College, is one of the oldest, continuously publishing literary magazines in America. It publishes fiction, essays, and poetry from both emerging as well as established authors. Authors published in its pages are consistently included in Best American anthologies and Pushcart prizes. The Review continues to serve our readers and our authors and to encourage others to publish the “best words in the best order.”

Pelotonia 2010 - Biking for a cause

An email from Melissa Heston:

As you may know one month from today, I will participate in another great experience this summer, Pelotonia 2010. It will involve cycling for a great cause, and I'm writing to you because I need your help.

My teammate, Kristine Hofstra and I rode 100 miles from Columbus to Athens in just under 8 hours in Pelotonia 2009. We raised over $4,000 between the two of us to help the James Cancer Research Hospital fight cancer. It was such an incredible experience that we have decided to do it again. This year, we will double our effort and do the full two-day 180 mile ride: Columbus to Athens & back. We will be joined on the first day by a new teammate, Amy Sues, who is a first-time rider, as well as 2 volunteers from Yellow Springs who will be working at the rest stops.

Pelotonia 2010 is a grass roots cycling tour with one goal: to end cancer. It is a cycling experience that will take place August 20th-22nd. I am writing to ask you to help me reach my fundraising goal of $2,000. 100% of every donation will fund essential research at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Since Kristine and I are doubling our efforts, I am looking for donors to double their efforts too. I am looking for a minimum of 10 people to give $2/mile for my double century ride of 180 miles or perhaps $200 dollars. I know I can count on you to help.

We all know someone who been affected by cancer, some who have unfortunately passed away just this year, and some who have undergone successful treatments, preventative biopsies or other measures. We also know several in our own community who have benefited in significant ways by treatment at The James. By supporting Pelotonia and me, you will help continue to improve lives through innovations in research with the ultimate goal of winning against cancer. I would love to have your support this year.

When you follow the link below, you will find my personal rider profile and a simple and secure way to make any size donation you wish - small or large, they all count. Many have taken advantage of the sponsor listing where you can make a donation in honor or memory of someone you love or admire.

Think of this as a donation not to me, or Pelotonia, but directly to The James. Please consider supporting my effort and this great cause. Here is the link to my rider profile:, Melissa Heston

Or, Peloton Team 360°

Thanks Again.

Sincerely, Melissa Heston

The James - As the Midwest's first and Ohio's only freestanding cancer hospital and research institute, The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center-James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute is one of only 40 centers in the United States designated by the National Cancer Institute as a Comprehensive Cancer Center. The James is a national leader in creating and testing new therapies based on scientific research, many of which are offered nowhere else in the world.

Melissa Heston, cPT
360 Private Training Studio
213 Xenia Ave/ or 155 Fairfield Pike (personal)
Yellow Springs, OH 45387

Scenes from around here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Antioch College to receive $1.5 million bequest

The gift from the estate of alumnus Bernard A. West will be held in trust until the college enrolls students in the fall of 2011.

A $1.5 million bequest from an Antioch College alumnus will be transferred to a trust and held for the newly independent College, the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands ruled recently.

Given the Antioch College Corporation holds substantially all of the tangible and intangible properties associated with the historic campus in Yellow Springs, and its mission to revive school operations, the Corporation is the proper recipient of the gifts Bernard W. West made to the institution in his 1986 will, Magistrate Miguel A. Camacho said.

“We are privileged to be able to honor the wishes of our alumnus Bernard West and we look forward to welcoming students from the Virgin Islands to Antioch College,” Interim President Matthew A. Derr said.

West left one-half of his residuary estate to Antioch College. Half of that share is to be used for research in general semantics, group dynamics and/or psychodrama and the other half will establish a scholarship fund for students who are residents of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

A student at Antioch College from 1932-33, West was an associate director in the film department at a Cleveland-based company. By 1960, he was president of a communications consulting firm. Later, he worked as a real estate speculator in the Virgin Islands. He died on December 18, 1997.

The court was asked to declare West’s gift to Antioch College lapsed after operations were suspended, but instead ordered the executor of West’s estate to submit a trust instrument that will hold the funds until the college reopens to students.

Rocky & Pee Wee: Dining Alternatives

Click on image to enlarge.

Methodist Church Chicken Bar-B-Que

AFS looking for YS hosts for exchange students

Each year, AFS Intercultural Programs welcomes more than 2,500 international high school students to the U.S. These are outstanding young people who were selected in their home countries to study in U.S. high schools and are eager to experience what it's like to live in America. Sharing daily life with a teenager from another country and culture is a rich and rewarding experience and is a wonderful way for you and your family to bring more understanding into the world.

AFS is now looking for host families for students arriving in the Yellow Springs area in mid-August for the 2010-2011 school year.

Host an AFS Exchange Student and build bridges of intercultural understanding. It's a gift you'll give and receive. Most families have no idea how much they'll gain until they say yes! Fill out a hosting interest form at to start the process, or call local volunteer Marla Gamble at 937-233-6190.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bench to Nowhere: BP caps gusher in Gulf

A Cool Town Toon

Soft Serve Playhouse 10 Minute Play Festival

At the Corner Cone, starting at noon on August 14

I've got a horse in this race...

Click on image to enlarge.

Last Community Band Concert of Season

Update: The concert will be on the lawn at Mills Lawn School and move inside if it rains.

The Yellow Springs Community Band will play in Kings Yard on Sunday, August 1. This will be the last concert of the band's outdoor season. The eclectic program will be heavy on show tunes and movie music. The concert starts at 4 p.m.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Springs sign gets reverse treatment

Beth Holyoke was working on the back side of her public art installation, the "Springs" sign, on the corner of Limestone and Dayton today, using donated pieces of ceramics that were left over from the front side. She pointed out that there is a definite chicken theme to the new work she is doing.

Photos by Virgil Hervey

Scenes from around here: King Street

Photos by Virgil Hervey

Young's rates with the best

Yesterday, National Ice Cream Day, Smarter Travel online magazine rated Young's Jersey Dairy as one of America's best ice cream shops.

Smarter Travel: America's Best Ice Cream Shops

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back Story: Walking the dog

May and her fiancée got a dog. They live over in Fairborn in the Osborne Historic District. One day they were shopping for cat supplies in one of the big chain pet stores in Beavercreek. They happened to go on a Saturday when the store was sponsoring animal adoptions and fell in love with a puppy they found there. If you saw him, you would understand. They now have two cats and one dog. They call the dog Reese’s.

In our household we have a policy against pets. We think of it as a strict policy, although others might view it as somewhat flexible, since we have 12 chickens, a parrotlet and a lovebird. At one time, our son had tropical fish and, when May was still living with us, she had hamsters and gerbils. Maybe the policy reads “no dogs or cats.” It’s Amy’s policy. I’ll have to check the fine print.

I forgot to mention that we also have a groundhog, Allen Street Al, who lives under our deck; although, he hardly qualifies as a pet. What he is is a nuisance, tunneling into the chicken run to steal their food and leaving behind a convenient escape route for some of the more adventurous birds. But that’s another story.

Shortly after May and Chris adopted the dog, I got a bright idea. “Let’s borrow your daughter’s dog sometimes and let him loose in the backyard,” I told Amy. “Maybe we can trick Al into thinking we have a dog and he will move away.” The only reason she agreed was because she had fallen in love with Reese’s the first time she laid eyes on him. I had been counting on that. Surprisingly, May also agreed.

The dog likes it here. He likes to make runs at the fence to Chickenland to scatter the chickens. He has been over a couple times. Whenever Reese’s is here, Al is nowhere to be seen. Whenever the dog is here, no matter what issue is weighing heavily on Amy’s shoulders at the time, she is suddenly euphoric.

Yesterday, May and Chris were going to be out all day. She called to see if we wanted to take the dog. We were happy to do it. She dropped Reese’s at our house while we were out shopping. Normally, a shopping trip with Amy is as endless as a Lewis and Clark expedition. But on this day, she was clearly in a hurry to get back home to play with the dog.

“Maybe we can take him out for a walk, tonight,” she said in the car. “We could use the exercise.”

I knew where this was coming from. One day, May and Chris had brought the dog to Yellow Springs and walked him around town. From that one excursion, a half-dozen different people have told us what a special dog our daughter has. Amy wanted to show him off again.

So, once it cooled down a bit, we took him for a walk. We walked the three quarters of a mile down Xenia Avenue from our place at the south end of town to a bench by the Sunrise Café where we stopped to take a rest. Along the way, Reese’s sniffed tree stumps, bushes, animal trails, dog poop and actual dogs. His tail wagged so hard, I thought it was going to fly off.

While we were sitting on the bench at the Sunrise several people stopped to comment on how cute our dog was. Eventually, a couple emerged from the restaurant and looked at Reese’s. “What a pretty face your dog has,” the woman said. “I believe that’s the prettiest face I have ever seen on a dog.” Amy beamed.

We took Livermore Street on the way back home. Along the way people would look at the dog and smile. A man we encountered stopped to tell us we had a good looking dog. Everyone who knows us knows we don’t have a dog. So, whenever we ran into people we knew we explained to them that this was May’s dog.

Just before we got back to the house, we saw Rodney Bean turning onto Allen Street from Spillan. His window was rolled down and he stopped to say hello. Once again, I felt compelled to explain that this was not our dog.

“You could call this dog sitting,” I told him, “or you could call it pet therapy.”