Memory Tree

I was raised in a family that did not put their tree up until the week before Christmas and took it down on New Year’s Day. Last year I put my little Charlie Brown tree up the week before, per my preference. However, this year I might get all my decorating done by this coming weekend instead. I just feel like doing it this week.

Last year my little Charlie Brown tree (I’m a big Charlie Brown/Snoopy fan) was decorated with all the handmade ornaments my aunt made and gave me over the years. I’m just not a big tree person any more. I took pictures of my little tree and sent them to her, along with her gift, over the holidays. I don’t know exactly what made me decide to use all her ornament items on the tree, but I later learned why I might have subconsciously done that.

On New Year’s Day this year I learned that my aunt was in the hospital critically ill and Continue reading Memory Tree

Shoe’s Deep Cuts

For you youngun’s out there, a deep cut refers to a song that was buried deeply on an album, probably somewhere toward the end of side two. The song probably wasn’t expected to be a hit, hence the song placement. Wait. Does anyone under 40-years old even know what an album is? Does LP ring a bell? Nothing? Sigh. Let us continue . . .

We all have personal favorites of a particular artist or band, songs that may have never been a hit or played on the radio. Songs that weren’t critically acclaimed but just struck a chord with you. Struck a chord, get it? Musical reference. That, my friends, is writing. Wannabe scribes take note. Anyway, it’s something that can’t be explained, that chord, that something that can bring tears to your eyes or make you want to listen to the song over and over. Sometimes the song can be something you’re afraid to admit you like. Full disclosure: “If Since U Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson comes on the radio, I always sing along. That’s Kelly up top. Killer pipes, lemme tell ya. Continue reading Shoe’s Deep Cuts

For 60 Years, a Simple String of Bulbs

Click pix to enlarge.

Drive down I-71, or any major highway, and you’ll pass by large modern automobile dealerships with massive lighting systems to show off their offerings. Drive by Smitty’s Car Lot in Greenfield, Ohio and you’ll see a simple string of white light bulbs somewhat illuminating Tom Smith’s front row autos.

When I was a kid growing up in Greenfield Tom’s father, Eddie, ran the lot and the lighting was the same simple string of white lights. It’s probably not the same string of wire and sockets but the look is the same.

I find this continuum to be comforting. It’s nice to see something that Continue reading For 60 Years, a Simple String of Bulbs

Lighting up the Christmas Season

We took our annual Christmas decorations road trip this evening and the hits of the evening were the synchronized sound and light shows staged by Pokey Post on Hillcrest Drive and the Field’s family in the 800 block of Lafayette Street, both in Greenfield.

At each place there are several musical numbers/displays presented and the audio portion is broadcast over a FM radio signal at a frequency displayed in front of each home. So, if  you’re planning to walk I’d recommend taking a lawn chair and a portable FM radio.

Here are a couple of brief videos I shot, one of each place. I highly recommend you pack the kids and/or grand kids into the mini-van and let them experience these Continue reading Lighting up the Christmas Season

Dave Miley’s Greenfield

Dave Miley

A former Greenfield resident, Terri Bergen Robledo, recently began a group page on Facebook called Greenfield Ohio Friends Forever (GOFF). It has become very popular and much of the discussion focuses on remembrances of days gone by in our version of small-town America.

Several years ago long-time Greenfield resident, Dave Miley, penned a series of stories about his days growing up in our fair village. They were originally published on the now deactivated site where they remained archived.

With the interest shown by the GOFF group in reminiscing about the past I thought this might be a good time to reprise Miley’s stories. Hopefully they will bring a smile to anyone’s lips who ever grew up in a small, close, community.

Click HERE to read Dave’s stories.

New Package But Still Taste Great!

I know that blogger Ron Coffey had some issues with his website, Coffeyweb.Com, crashing and has since gone to a different software program and design format. I love the mix that Ron has always striven for and regardless of the format, he continues providing things of interest for those with interest. Looks good Ron!

Johnson Controls to Add Second Line

According to an article to be published in tomorrow’s Times-Gazette, Greenfield’s Johnson Controls plant will be adding a second production line and hiring an additional 96 employees by June of 2012. Currently the company employs 117 workers after having closed its plant in 2009 and reopening earlier this year. In my humble opinion this is further proof that President Obama’s policy regarding American automobile manufacturers has been a success. Greenfield lost well over 200 jobs when the economy tanked in 2008, most were related to the automobile parts industry. By June the community will have gotten back a substantial number of those jobs lost.

First Annual CGS Christmas Decoration Awards

Last week we drove through Newtown near Cincinnati and on the front porch of a small home there were about three Made in China ornaments and a “3rd Place” sign in the front yard. One obvious question was, “If this was all it took to win 3rd place how many entrants were there?”

This past evening we had to go to Bainbridge and everywhere we looked there were colorful displays of Christmas lighting. So, I decided that maybe Chapman’s General Store should also do a little judging. For this first annual Rainsboro to Bainbridge US Route 50 Christmas Lighting Contest I have established three categories, most colorful and gaudy, most tasteful and elegant, and third, most appropriate to the season. Continue reading First Annual CGS Christmas Decoration Awards

Lynchburg a Tough Gig for the Pickers!

Dave Shaffer with pickers Mike & Frank

Many of you watched our Highland County neighbor, Lynchburg, be featured on last week’s episode of American Pickers. The pickers toured Lynchburg resident, David Shaffer’s, collection of all-things dusty but failed to pry Dave’s fingers from any of his prized possessions. One item in Shaffer’s collection is a Vincent motorcycle from the 1940s. He was offered $30k but decided it couldn’t be replaced and apparently didn’t need the cash. If you’ve ever been in Lynchburg, Dave’s store, more of a warehouse, is a downtown storefront with large glass windows. It is a kick just to press your nose against the glass and relive your transportation past. I’ve done it a couple of times and Continue reading Lynchburg a Tough Gig for the Pickers!

What is a McRib & Why Does it Keep Coming Back?

In recent days I’ve authored a couple of short list about what I love and hate about McDonald’s. In response I’ve received a couple of  emails from readers hinting at what may be in some of McDonald’s offerings. The first reported how the cult followed McRib sandwich is manufactured; yes, manufactured, not grown. A second email informed me, much to my wide-eyed glee, that McDonald’s was the world’s largest purchaser of cow eyeballs.

Recalling how there was once an unfounded claim that McDonald’s beef contained earthworms I decided I should check things out before I go worrying or writing about things. It turns out, though, what was reported about the origins and content of the McRib was pretty much on target. The McRib is a classic example of a food category called, restructured meat. Continue reading What is a McRib & Why Does it Keep Coming Back?

Faith Healer Travel Advisory

Based on a report from the French Press Agency the government of Saudi Arabia has beheaded a woman who claimed she could treat people’s illnesses using sorcery. Given that sorcery (witchcraft) is seen as a religion in many of the world’s nations and therefore akin to faith healing in the United States, the CGS Department of State has issued a travel advisory suggesting all practicing ministers of Christian denominations whose doctrines condone faith healing steer clear of Arabia during this year’s visit to the Holy Land.

Christmas Music, 2011

There are two kinds of people in the world: those, like myself, who can’t get “enough” of Christmas music, and the others, like Les and Gerald, who get so tired of Christmas music that they threaten to blow up the stereo! To keep harmony (PUN INTENDED) in the family, I compromised several years ago and agreed to have no Christmas music in the house until the day after Thanksgiving. Gerald got in my car today and Barbra was singing “Silent Night”. He said, “I thought…..” Before he was able to complete his sentence, I interrupted and said, “I only agreed about IN the house; the car is my domain!”

My brother Bode and I loved to sing Christmas carols and it was usually to the embarrassment of everybody else! One of my favorite stories: we were visiting Continue reading Christmas Music, 2011

Christmas and the Wintry Mix

Christmas songs. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, you just can’t avoid ‘em this time of the year. Like most of you I have my own collection, the only difference being that mine is far superior to yours. It makes no difference if you like the classics or the contemporary, the Shoe Archives has them for you. With that in mind, let’s take a stroll down to my basement bar, The Black Hole, and have a look in The Archives to see what’s filed under “Christmas.” Hey, get out from behind the bar, that’s my territory . . .

O.K., first let’s take a look at some of my personal all-time favorites, the old rock standbys if you will.

Happy X-Mas (War is Over) – John Lennon: John singing of Christmas, peace, love, and the end of war. What more could you ask for?

Father Christmas – The Kinks: A traditional Christmas song that tells the story of a department store Santa Claus who is beaten up by a gang of poor kids who tell him to give them money instead of toys. Touching. Continue reading Christmas and the Wintry Mix

Purveyor of Fact, Fiction, Opinion and Rumor. Not responsible for lost children, pets, or souls. Read at your own risk!

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