Lake Erie's Put-'n-Bay, South Bass Island, Ohio
Perry's Monument – historic symbol for the island
Downtown Frosty's – great pizza
Busy boating and party area
The ship bow now a house along the cliffs

A Cool August Day

The day was cool for August
The sun and clouds – a photographer’s dream.
The perfect day to heed the Sirens’ call to Put ‘n Bay.
Others had also heard the call the ferries delivered their hundreds every half hour.
At town center the ubiquitous golf carts darted and there
.....much like the traffic of mid-day Times Square.
Eventually, trying to escape,
.....I meandered along Toledo Avenue,
.....a metro name for a small village street.
A unique shop
.....filled with Bonsais and other intriguing mysteries
.....caught my eye.
And there she sat – a breath of fresh air –
.....raven haired, beautiful, and slim,
.....with a voice friendly and welcoming.
As we spoke of Bonsais,
.....I sensed wisdom beyond her years
.....but an uncertainty in her eyes,
.....and hesitation in her voice
.....when touching upon her island life.
The conversation quickly turned to safer topics she boxed my mementos.
I departed the little shop
.....somehow glad for that brief meeting,
.....that day-brightener,
.....on the island town of Put ‘n Bay.

Comments: Put-in-Bay is not only beautiful but is known as a summer party town. These pictures belie the busyness of this little island community during the summer months. Daily, thousands, mostly day trippers, arrive to this vacation land that shrinks to a few hundred local residents during the winter. One August day, I was one of those day trippers. Several years had passed since my last visit. (I use to sail there regularly a number of years ago so I have many fond memories.) The crowds were even bigger than I remembered. Trying to escape, I wandered along one of the quieter streets when I came upon my poetical inspiration for the day. Later, I found out that the owner of the shop mentioned in the poem is named Christie. I also discovered that she is a budding poet and writer. To read her guest poem click here.
The Village that Cares

The seventeenth state, Ohio, named by the Iroquois the land of “the good river”
......was four years young a constant stream of settlers
......arrived to seek fortune and new life.
One such person, John Kerr, a miller by trade,
......traveled north to an unbroken wilderness
......gifted to him practice his trade along the Kokosing River.
From his efforts, in 1807, a village was born.
It was to be called Fredericktown
......namesake of faraway Frederick, Maryland

The mill prospered as the village grew.
The arrival of the iron horse in the 1850’s
......brought more prosperity this thriving commercial center northwest Knox County.
Fertile lands abounded to raise crops
......that were transported to a hungry nation.

With passing years,
......the village received its challenges
......including two devastating fires
......that nearly destroyed the downtown.
With a spirit that would define this community over time,
......the stores were rebuilt, some still standing.

If Mr. Kerr was to look down today
......upon the seeds he had sown,
......a broad smile would cross his face,
......amazed at what he sees.
His eyes would behold
......families, churches, businesses, and schools –
......all part of a proud community
......that honors its history while looking toward the future.

Rich farmlands and businesses share their products
......with not only the nation but the world.
Freddie Pride cheers on the teams,
......whether winning or losing.
The FFA jacket and an actor by the name of Perry
......are examples of two
......that found their beginnings this small village by the Kokosing.

As with its founders,
......when the community dreams,
......citizens respond.
A public library,
......symbolizing the spirit of community,
......rose from one such dream.
No task is too big for this small village
......with a huge heart,
The Village that Cares,

Comments: The poem was well-received and was even printed in the local newspaper. (FYI - FFA stands for Future Farmers of America and Perry refers to the movie-television star, Luke Perry.) While Fredericktown is a small community of about 2500 people, her spirit is big. A few years ago, the townspeople came together and built a million+ dollar public library – all financed through donations and volunteer help. The community is following a similar path to build a new state of the art community center. If anyone is looking to relocate to this part of Ohio, you should definitely add Fredericktown to your location consideration.

Click here to see the Quicktime movie shown at the conclusion of the reading of the poem at the bicentenial program. (You will need Quicktime 7.0 – a free download)

Click here to see another link to Ohio (Lake Erie & Kingwood Gardens).

Fredericktown countryside.
Downtown Gazebo
The town's pride and joy, the library
Award winning high school band
The librarian "drill" team – part of the annual
Tomato Show parade
Life (Peace) Historical And more Graduate Observation Reminiscence