Flat Luci went with Uncle John today to Martin’s Violin in North Canton, where UJ gave a violin lesson to Julie Kennedy, who kindly allowed herself to be photographed. Julie studied scales, arpeggios, and Scottish fiddling.
Flat Luci met Uncle John’s animals on Thursday, Oct. 12. Eutzly is a Nigerian Dwarf goat and is 14 years old, and he liked Luci a lot! Chesapeake is an orange and white short-hair cat with yellow eyes, and he had the typical cat attitude of “I don’t really care …”
Flat Luci went with Uncle John to WellSpring Bible Church where UJ gave a music lesson. First they stopped at Oasis Books and Music across from the church; both are in Carnation City Mall in Alliance. The mall is on West State Street, and just west of there State Street dips down into the Beech Creek valley. Beech Creek rises in Washington Township south of Alliance and enters the Mahoning River near Alliance. The Mahoning flows east to Pennsylvania, where it joins the Shenango River to form the Beaver, which flows south to the Ohio River at Beaver Falls, Pa. Adriane’s great-great-great-grandpa Frederick Brandt settled near Beaver Falls with his parents in 1843 after emigrating from Germany. He served in the Civil War, bought a farm, built a house that still stands, and quarried rock. After he gave the music lesson, UJ went to Home Coffee, also in the mall.
I went to Alliance later today, Oct. 12, to renew my car registration and my operator’s license because my birthday is this month. I got coffee afterward at Panera, where I posted this post.
My niece Adriane asked me to help her with her Flat Luci project for school, so I am including Luci’s photos and travelogue on my blog. Today Luci accompanied me when I played music for Lydia Circle, the ladies’ sewing circle at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, to which my mother belonged. I played music that I have performed during church services mostly in the last two years, and my last tune was one of my own composition that I played for my father’s funeral in 2002. FUMC is at 300 Ninth St. N.W. in North Canton and is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year. Adriane’s father Stu, our brother Rob, our parents, and I began attending when it was Faith Methodist Church, before the MC merged with United Brethren, after we moved to North Canton in August 1964. The church website is http://www.faithumchurch.org.
My favorite movie in high school was “American Graffiti.” The film, directed by George Lucas four years before “Star Wars” made him a household name, told the story of a group of California friends in 1962 as summer and the cruising culture of the ’50s were drawing to a close, forcing them to make hard decisions about the directions of their lives. It meant a great deal to me because I experienced similar doubts at the end of my senior year. As Curt — played by Richard Dreyfuss in a star-making role — said, why should I give up a perfectly good life for one that is unknown.
The film ended with convincingly realistic synopses of the main characters’ lives after the events of the movie, each person’s short bio accompanied by a head shot. No music played, and the only sound was the airplane’s engine taking Curt to college and a new life. Then the Beach Boys’ “All Summer Long” burst onto the film while the credits scrolled by, and the song’s story of a summer romance coming to an end perfectly fit the movie’s farewell to Curt and company. Continue reading
Nearly 14 years ago I bought a bag full of heavy, hardcover reference books at the late Borders Books on The Strip. I had started at The Alliance Review a few weeks earlier and found in my new job as a neophyte reporter a nice excuse to buy books. That began an intense interest of reference books that parallels my time at The Review.
I’ve always loved dictionaries and thesauruses. Thorndike-Barnhart dictionaries conjure happy memories of elementary school, and I still own the Hammond world atlas, a paperback French-English dictionary, a paperback thesaurus and a paperback American Heritage Dictionary from my high school years. I mentioned these ideas last August in a column about Brewer’s, but for a reason yet to be named I want to again discuss one of my great passions. Continue reading