Lancaster, Ohio – September 2018 – Frontier Spirit Festival

The city of Lancaster is one of the older towns in Ohio. The initial settlers came here in the late 1700’s, with the town itself being officially founded on November 10,1800.

Each year the Frontier Spirit Festival takes place. This festival has numerous actors who represent people who were instrumental in the settlement of the area in 1799.

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Pre dating Ohio becoming a state, the area was wilderness for the first settlers. The festival does an excellent job describing, and demonstrating what it took for these settlers.

The festival takes place in a large park at the south end of Lancaster. After an introduction, you are lead on a mile long hike with stops along the way for more detailed interpretations from the actors.

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The first large group of settlers came from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, thus the name. So many of those who came were of German descent that one of the first newspapers was a German language newspaper, Der Ohio Adler.

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All of the actors are volunteers. Their period clothing and other items, such as their guns add to the presentation.

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They spoke of the challenges in settling in the wilderness. There are more than 150 players in the group.

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Lancaster was founded by Ebenezer Zane, who was a famous merchant, trail blazer, pioneer and soldier. Zane was instrumental in treaties with the Native American’s (much debate about how equitable those treaties were, but that is another story).

Zane was given a contract by the United States government to open a road from Wheeling, West Virginia (then Virginia) to Maysville, Kentucky. In payment for this road he was given 3 square mile tracts of land at the crossing of the 3 major rivers – the Muskingum, the Hockhocking and the Scioto Rivers.

To make money he needed settlers to come buy some of this land, so he offer bounties to people to lead groups of settlers through the wilderness to each of the towns that developed. These leaders often were wanted by the law back east, so they were more than happy to move to the wilderness and earn some money.

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Anyone settling in the wilderness then had to fend for themselves, being hunters, building their cabins, becoming farmers, and generally having no dependency on anyone else.

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The promise of a better life in Ohio in 1799 was often not what they were lead to believe. This actress portrayed a frontier wife who wanted nothing more than to go back to Philadelphia and civilization.

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The husband and daughter wanted to make a life here. As with today, many marriages were strained by the stress of the move.

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This actress portrayed a young woman who was moving to the frontier to be married. She carried with her a dowry, a bag of salt.

The theme of this years presentation was about salt, and how important it was to the pioneers. They needed salt to cure their meat so it would last for long periods of time, as well as many other uses.

Salt was so rare, and in so much demand that in the Ohio frontier of 1799 it was worth more per ounce than gold.

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Along the way we met Johnny Appleseed, whose real name was John Chapman. All American school children know the story of Johnny Appleseed, who went from place to place scattering apple seeds for trees to grow,

Only that wasn’t quite how it was. John Chapman did indeed travel around to encourage the planting of fruit trees, but they were much more structured in orchards. He would plant the orchards then work with a local farmer to tend to the orchard, and share in the profits.

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There were numerous Native tribes in the area when it was being settled. Obviously not happy about losing their land with nothing in return, the local tribes tended to push back against the settlers.

Some tribes, such as the Wyandotte, had made deals with the US Government prior to 1799, thus allowing the development to continue faster.

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Our leaders into the wilderness.

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Once our tour down the trail was over, we visited the camp that was set up where they had a number of demonstrations.

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A band was playing.

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One tent had candle making – a very important item in pioneer life.

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Another musician with a zither.

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The Frontier Festival in Lancaster was far better than expected, with the actors and musicians all passionate about their presentation. It made for an entertaining and educational afternoon.

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Columbus – September 2018 – Fall at the Botanical Garden

With an annual membership at the Franklin Park Conservatory we now stop by for the various seasonal exhibits they present. The current one is for fall.

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The topiary’s are still being displayed, this time with ornamental brassica (aka – cabbage and kale). Who knew cabbage and kale were used as landscaping?

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A 10′ high ‘Pumpkin House’ is featured in the Children’s Garden.

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They have mixed in pumpkins throughout.

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Lots of pumpkins….

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Good thing some gourds have handles to hang them by.

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In addition to the traditional orange pumpkin, they have white ones.

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There are literally thousands of gourds on display.

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Small ones in hanging baskets.

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Alien gourds.

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Pumpkins with bumps, pumpkins of different colors…

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They seem to have cornered the market in pumpkins, but they add a nice touch and different coloring for the fall display. Soon the leaves will change adding even more colorĀ  before winter sets in and turns everything brown.

Enjoy it while we can.

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Columbus – September 2018 – Water Lantern Festival

The Scioto River in downtown Columbus was the scene of a ‘Water Lantern Festival’. This festival’s goal is to celebrate life and inspire the human spirit (in a non religious way)

We arrived as the sunset was just beginning to set, which was a treat in and of itself.

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There were lots of people sitting in the promenade writing personal messages on their lanterns.

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People from all walks of life were participating.

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Each had purchased a lantern and a kit to decorate them, along with the candle.

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Some were kind enough to share their messages with me.

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We crossed the river as is continued to get dark for a view with the buildings as the background.

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The Town Street Bridge with it’s subtle lighting.

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The view of the crowd and buildings was magnificent, but we quickly realized the city lights reflecting in the river made it impossible to really pick out the lanterns as the first ones were launched.

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So we returned back across the river and watch the participants bring their lanterns to the shore.

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It was also apparent that most were being pushed along the wall.

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We made our way to the river’s edge where they were being launched.

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It was a beautiful scene,

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Some families sent theirs out in groups.

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Many had message dedicated to people who had passed away, but some were just wishing others, and the world, good will.

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The view from the river level was really cool.

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A large crowd gathered on the Broad Street Bridge to watch.

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The event was to take place a few weeks ago, but that entire weekend it poured rain. This evening was perfect weather.

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From above the wall you can see the candles in each lantern.

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The view from the Town Street Bridge (and with a good zoom) showed the line down the hill, and the previously launched ones.

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The lanterns with lights from a nearby building reflecting in the water.

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It was a peaceful scene, with the music and people enjoying their lanterns with messages of hope or tribute.

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A great ending to a busy Saturday.

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Macedonia, Ohio – September 2018 – Wizard of OzFest

The small Cleveland suburb of Macedonia held a ‘Wizard of Oz Fest’ in the town park. Being in the area we decided to stop by.

Generally the festival was a bust, with just a few vendors peddling Wizard of Oz related trinkets. There were however some people from the local community theater dressed as characters from the movie.

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The people from the theater embraced their parts, doing a good job of staying in character.

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In addition there were a couple of other people who came dressed for the occasion, but very few. Perhaps we timed it wrong as earlier in the day they had a ‘Dorothy 5k’, but I am unsure if many came in costume.

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One of the Wicked Witches guards was on hand.

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One guy put on a one person show where he did the entire movie in 20 minutes, changing his hats/hair/etc and doing a brief piece from the movie.

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The community theater Dorothy.

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The witch.

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The twenty minute Oz wishes everyone a good day. While not the best festival we have ever been to, those in character earn points for effort.

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Cleveland – September 2018 – IngenuityFest

Each September IngenuityFest occurs in Cleveland. It is tough to explain exactly what IngenuityFest is, but their website describes it as ‘sparking creativity among artists, entrepreneurs and innovators of all types, through job and collaboration, in service to civic progress.

What that means is you will find music, lots of music….

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Interesting art….

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Unique performances like a belly dancer will lit candles on her head….

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A lampshade that looks like a cloud….

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A lamp made out of an old drill….

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Really cool art….

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More music….

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A room that you stand in front of a projector and it turns you into a stick person that moves as you move….(a selfie)

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More music….

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The musicians we heard were all quite good.

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The octopus that ate the Terminal Tower.

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These guys were demonstrating their robot that can paint lines on roads, but for this they were making a large painting on the parking lot.

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Held in a hundred year old former factory (where Fuel Cleveland was held a few months ago), even the venue was re-purposed.

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IngenuityFest is one unique event.

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Cleveland – September 2018 – US Sailing Championships

A late September sunny, cool & breezy Saturday was the perfect setting for the US Sailing Championships in Cleveland. Held near Edgewater Beach, the event features teams of 6 competing together in 3 boats.

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The headquarters for the event was the Old Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River.

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We had visited this location before, but never had the chance to go inside. The boathouse was fantastic, and on this day actually being used as a boathouse.

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The action took place inside the breakwater.

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As they would sail around the harbor, the boats would tip steeply, forcing the crew to quickly jump to the other side to balance them out.

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There were a variety of great backgrounds to shoot. From this view the Edgewater Marina sailboat masts framed the small crafts.

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A freighter was offloading coal nearby.

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The apartment buildings along the Gold Coast in Lakewood is directly across the lake from the Coast Guard Station vantage point.

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While we watched the Nautica Queen passed by.

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At times it appeared to be more like roller derby than sailing.

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Their routes around the harbor took them near one of the lighthouses at the mouth of the river.

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Clearly having the boats pitched side to side was the fastest way around the course.

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They race identical boats provided by a local sailing group known as the Foundry. Most had sails with a giant Cleveland logo on them.

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The Chamber of Commerce moment number 1 – Sailboats with Cleveland sails going past the art deco Coast Guard building.

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Most of the teams were male/female, which is apparently how you get to the ideal maximum weight of 290 pounds for the crew.

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The Chamber of Commerce moment number 2 – Sailboat with a Cleveland sail going past the lighthouse.

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The racing was continuous with numerous heats constantly coming and going.

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More close action. Amazingly nobody went into the water, but these are some of the best sailors in the country, as the teams came from all over for this event.

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This event was one of the best photography moments I have had in some time.

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Columbus – September 2018 – Flying Into Town

On my return from New York I was on a very empty airplane, and happened to have the SLR camera with me. Once we can out of the clouds on the approach to Columbus I was able to get some photos.

About 50 miles east of the airport is Zanesville, Ohio. While very tough to see they have a famous ‘Y’ Bridge. This bridge has a Y intersection in the middle of it (and the river).

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Buckeye Lake – The surrounding countryside would normally be as green as the trees but since it is late September the corn and soybeans have all turned brown, hence the interesting contrast.

As a city kid I always thought that meant they were dead, it really means it is time to pick them.

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Note the 5 large white buildings. A few of them are Amazon fulfillment centers along I-70.

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When you see the airport you are headed towards at this altitude you know you aren’t quite ready to land – which was good this day.

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Northwest Columbus and Ohio State University.

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A bit closer view of Ohio State, along with the Ohio 315 Freeway winding it’s way along the west side of campus.

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A hard right turn gave us a great view of the old suburb of Grandview Heights.

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Looking east back towards the airport (upper right) and downtown Columbus. Of note is the different of the main thoroughfares from the early days and now. Broad Street goes the entire distance top to bottom on the right side of the photo in essentially a straight line.

I-679 on the left side winds its way basically parallel to Broad Street, only with numerous curves since they were going through already developed neighborhoods (destroying many in it’s path).

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Downtown Columbus. After a week in New York City it looks very sparse.

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Continue the hard right turn we looked straight down on the Lane Avenue Bridge and a portion of Ohio Stadium.

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The final view is of Ohio Stadium. There was something about the double windows of the airplane and the SLR wanting to focus that makes this photo almost look ‘fake’.

A few minutes later and we were on the ground.

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