You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2012.

I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a year as much as I have enjoyed this one.  Despite too many funerals of loved ones this fall, 2012 was filled with many new, wonderful, exciting journeys.  I am ready to repeat this journey in 2013, only double the wonderful, exciting journeys!

The new year will start off with judging a show choir invitational, watching students perform with The Muse Machine, and within the first month, I will be an uncle, for the fourth time, to Destin and Stacia’s newest addition.

Wishing our family and friends, near far, a beautiful, healthy, exciting, and prosperous new year.

553662_10152229895070074_1692637254_nAround this time, two years ago, my son walked into my study and said, “Dad, watch this.”

He gave Flyer the command to sit, and then said, “Catch,” to the dog who would do back flips in mid-air to catch a snow ball.  My son tossed a treat gently toward Flyer.  The treat bounced off her nose.  She immediately went into sniff-mode around the floor to find the treat.

I took a treat from my son and repeated the process.  The second treat also bounced off her nose.

For several weeks I had noticed Flyer was bumping into things, and losing her balance.  Being deaf in one ear, I know how difficult maintaining balance is.  I knew Flyer was not losing her hearing as she could be sound asleep and could hear the quietest noise from the kitchen.

It took me several weeks to accept the fact that my beloved little pal was blind.  The previous August, 2010, was when Flyer almost died from severe pancreatitis.  The afternoon we brought her home from the veterinarian’s office, preparing for our vet-friend to come over the next morning to put her down, I began researching her condition.  This research led to her recovery.  However, I also learned that her sight would be compromised due to the extremely out-of-control, undetected, diabetes.  The next morning, Flyer was up, and walking around, and showing distinct signs of getting stronger.

The fury little trooper survived, and returned to her old self.

Several months later, I was researching how to accommodate a blind dog.  These past two years, Flyer has done a superb job adjusting to her new world.  This makes one love this dog all the more.  She is, undoubtedly, one of the most adorable, intelligent, and loving dogs I’ve ever had (Logan, my cat of 17.5 years equaled Flyer in intelligence!).

This week, I removed all the furniture from my bedroom, thoroughly cleaned the carpets, and rearranged the layout.  As with any other changes in the house, or yards, I take Flyer on a walk-thru.  She sniffs, and followed my verbal, or finger-snap commands, exploring the new setting.  Once, I had traded the wooden floor mat in the bathroom with a rug, placing the wooden mat before the kitchen sink.  Flyer stepped on the wooden mat,  felt around it and sniffed, walked into the bathroom, felt around it and sniffed, and returned to the kitchen with her tail wagging and her body shaking with excitement.

DSC04737For two years, Flyer has not been comfortable sleeping in bed with me, or laying on any furniture.  Last night, however, she discovered the chair Quintin and I brought up from the basement.  Flyer was a puppy when I brought this chair home, and it was one of her favorite comfy-zones in my study while I worked at my desk, or taught lessons.  At 3:30am, after Quintin and I finished watching AUGUST RUSH, Flyer seemed excited to rediscover her favorite chair.

And she hopped up into the chair and slept the remaining few hours until 7:30am struck, and all three dogs were ready to start their day.  All I could think of was a line from the play/movie, THE MIRACLE WORKER, when Mrs. Keller exclaims, about Helen’s newest achievement, “She folded her napkin!”  Flyer’s hopping into the chair was one of those napkin-folding moments for me.

After breakfasting, Flyer came back into my bed-sitting room and hopped back into her chair.  It really is nice having her resting in the center of the room, and not curled up in the corner, out of the way.


By 8:00am, the festivities had begun with the stockings being emptied.  A short while later, the symphony of ripping and wadding paper began, accompanied by squeals of delight.

A delicious brunch was consumed, followed by family time – mostly watching the little peeps with their new presents.

Will begin the return to The Miami Valley shortly.

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Christmas Eve morning, Quintin, Flyer, Navi, Chief and I loaded into the car and pulled out of our driveway at 8:55am.  After two stops of pottying and food, we safely, and rather quickly, arrived in Fowler, at 12:58pm – three hours.

We drove around taking some photos, and then settled in at Destin and Stacia’s to enjoy some family time before picking up Mother for our traditional Chinese supper on Christmas Eve.

We finished dinner in Lafayette, and returned to Fowler for Christmas Eve service at Fowler United Methodist Church.

A beautiful day, and evening!

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I had never seen THE NUTCRACKER until this afternoon.  Quintin, to his knowledge, had never seen a ballet.  So, today was a rare treat for us, both.

This production was a brilliant collaboration between The Dayton Ballet and The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.  It was beautifully executed in every way!  What was so exciting, for me, was to see my seventeen year old son leaning forward in his seat to watch the orchestra, and staging.

I don’t know how I have missed making THE NUTCRACKER a part of my holiday tradition, but I can guarantee it will not happen again.  And despite inserting it within last minute Christmas preparations was a brilliant decision on my part.  Today’s presentation at The Schuster Center seemed to wrap up this Christmas with a beautiful, musical bow.

I must be honest… as the Snow Queen and Snow King danced during the finale to Act One, my eyes were moist with emotion from the sheer beauty, and artistry I was witnessing.  I love these moments when my own field of the performing arts can still move me.

At intermission, Quintin and I sat out on the upper balcony’s balcony watching the folks that passed by.  Quinny said that we’ve really seen some great things the past few weeks, right in our own backyard:

The Human Race Theatre Company’s production, OLIVER!

The Muse Machine’s understudy performance of their January production, CRAZY FOR YOU

The Dayton Balley & Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s, THE NUTCRACKER

Three weekends with a brilliant musical offering for each.

Mastro Neal Gittleman never ceases to amaze me with his energy, and the exciting quality he manages to capture with his musicians.  For one thing, unlike so many professional conductors, you can actually follow his conducting – he is fun to watch!  And, there were several movements from THE NUTCRACKER I had never heard before, or at least did not recognize them as a movement from the score.  There were also incredible musical lines I had never noticed in recordings – Tchaikovsky is one of my favorite  composers.

The real treat was the question/answer session following the production.  Featured dancer, Case Bodamer, and two of his lovely colleagues, fielded questions from gathered audience members, and truly added an additional dimension to this total experience.   Knowing the familiar post-performance fatigue that often sets in, I so appreciated this trio taking the time to share their experiences, and their passion, with those of us gathered.

So, Miami Valley folks: you must go see Dayton Ballet’s 2013 production of THE NUTCRACKER.  My son and I will be there as part of our family’s new tradition.


Today would have been the 115th birthday of my great-grandmother, Mary Belle Jones-Clary.

December 20, 1897 – January 28, 1969

Belle was the daughter of Joel Monroe Jones & Anna Greenlee, and the older sister of Alpha, Henry & Harry.

Belle married John William Garrett Clary on September 30, 1920, and they had three children, Ronald Monroe Jones (1921-1936), Donna Mae Clary-Barmes (1924-1992), and Joyce Ann Clary-Riser (1933).

Belle & Garrett Clary with their daughters, Donna & Joyce

Belle & Garrett Clary with their daughters, Donna & Joyce

CLARY - Donna, Belle, Garrett, Joyce

Garrett & Belle Clary, 1964

Garrett & Belle Clary, 1964

Belle with her great-grandson, Darin  1965

Belle with her great-grandson, Darin 1965

Belle's mother, Anna Greenlee Jones

Belle’s mother, Anna Greenlee Jones

Belle & Henry Jones

Belle & Henry Jones

Belle & Alpha Jones

Belle & Alpha Jones

4 generations, 1964: Belle, Diana, Darin, Donna

4 generations, 1964: Belle, Diana, Darin, Donna

Two years ago, today, my 15 year old son, Quintin, arrived in Dayton from Albuquerque, New Mexico, to join our family.

At our home, surrounded by family and friends, his case worker who accompanied him on the flight, led us in a Navajo candle-lighting ceremony to celebrate his birth family, those who assisted him on his adoption and foster journey, and his new adoptive family.

Quintin with his new grandma

Quintin with his new grandma

Adoption photolisting

Adoption photolisting

Adoption photolisting

Adoption photolisting

The 1st photo I saw of Quintin

The 1st photo I saw of Quintin

Our traditional 1st meal @ Wendy's

Our traditional 1st meal @ Wendy’s

Quintin's wonderful foster family

Quintin’s wonderful foster family

Ella Joan, Quin's New Mexico attorney

Ella Joan, Quin’s New Mexico attorney

Quin & Valerie Gonzales  Dec 2010

Quin & Valerie Gonzales Dec 2010

Quin & Dr. Thomas  Dec 2010

Quin & Dr. Thomas Dec 2010

The candle lighting ceremony  Dec 20, 2010

The candle lighting ceremony Dec 20, 2010

Support Groups for Adoptive Parents
Adoptive parents need so much support during their adoption journey. Adoption can be a long and often frustrating process, and without support and proper guidance families may feel lost, overwhelmed, and confused. Joining a support group is the best way for a family to find the help they need on their journey. It is a way for adoptive families to connect with other adoptive families who have been through the process. These veteran adoptive families can offer valuable support, encouragement and guidance. Through these support groups families can get their questions answered, their frustrations validated, and learn the ins and outs of the foster care and adoption systems.

If you are currently seeking to adopt a child from foster care, I encourage you to look through the national support groups listed below, and to talk with your adoption worker about finding local support groups. If you have friends and family who have adopted before, reach out to them as well. And don’t forget to mention your support group in your family biography and home study-caseworkers want to see that you are resourceful not only when it comes to the needs of the child you’re seeking to adopt, but also your needs. You have to remember that as an adoptive parent, you will need other people to lean on when times are tough, and you will need to be surrounded by people physically or virtually that will be able to help you and provide guidance and answers.

If you have adopted a child before, I encourage you to join a support group as well, and offer your thoughts and suggestions to other adoptive families. I know that you have your own stories to share and have a lot of great advice to give to families.

Common Post-Adoption Issues
  The following is a list of common issues and challenges that adoptive parents face post-adoption. It may be beneficial for you to seek out education, support, therapy or other resources to learn more about these challenges, and how to overcome them as a family:

  • Loss and grief. Both adoptive children and adoptive parents experience loss and grief. Children may be mourning the loss of a parent, sibling, family member, or even a foster parent. This loss may be due to death, but more likely it is due to separation. Despite what a child’s parent may put them through, they may still feel an attachment with them, and will be upset when they are taken away from their parent. They may also feel anger towards their birth parent, or may even worry about their parent’s circumstances. Feelings of loss and grief may change over time, and appear during different stages in a child’s life. These feelings may come out as hostility towards their adoptive parents. It is important that you seek out whatever services your child needs to help them overcome their loss and grief. Research different types of therapies and find a local therapist that can work with your child and your family on this issue. As an adoptive parent, you may be feeling sadness over not being able to conceive a child, or stress from the entire adoption process. It is important for you to also seek out any services you may need, and to find a supportive group of people to help you.
  • Understanding adoption. Children’s understanding of adoption will change as they get older, and so will their comprehension of it social and emotional complexities. As a parent you need to be able to explain adoption and what it means to a child as they come to you with questions. A preschooler will have very different questions than an adolescent, so do some research on what common questions are and how to answer them. Keep in mind that you never want to lie to a child. Telling them the truth will help them process and understand the information better.
  • Trust and attachment. Children who have been placed up for adoption in the foster care system have experienced a break in attachment-first when they were removed from their birth parent’s home, and again every time they are moved around to multiple foster homes. As a result, it may be difficult for a child to establish an attachment, because disrupted attachments are all they have ever known. You need to convey to your child through words and actions that you will be there for them forever, and that you will love them no matter what. They may also have a difficult  time learning to trust adults, so keeping consistent with your words and actions will allow them to heal and learn to trust again. These children need help coming to terms with what transpired and learn how to move forward.
  • School problems. Children in foster care often bounce around from school to school during their many placements. As a result of these frequent changes,they may be facing social and academic challenges. As a parent, it is important for you to seek out services that will help your child succeed in school. Most foster children have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) in place to help them in the classroom. It is important that you make sure that their IEP will transfer to their new school, or you will have the ability to set one up for them. In addition, find out who your child’s teacher(s) will be, and talk to them one-on-one about your child’s needs. Subjects like genetics may bring up some negative feelings, so it is important to address these issues right away. Socially, foster children may have a difficult time making friends due to their learned behaviors, their status as a foster or adopted child, the fact that they are behind academically than their peers, and because they may have attended multiple schools. Seeking out a school psychologist or educational consultant may prove helpful to ensure that a child receives the services they need. Parents may find support groups helpful as well to point them in the right direction of other educational resources.
  • Identity formation. Adolescents and teenagers who are adopted may experience some challenges when it comes to their identity. They may struggle with what their values are, who they are, and how they are different from the rest of the family and their peers. They may also have questions that relate to their birth parents that are unanswerable, contributing to their confusion. In addition, children of a different race or culture may also experience identity formation issues. Seeking out services and answers to help your child transition into your family will be very beneficial.
  • Birth relative contact. This is a tricky subject for most families. Children may want to have some form of contact with their parents or relatives, which can be hard to understand for an adoptive parent, especially in cases of abuse or neglect. Adopted children will need to maintain some level of contact with their biological relatives, especially if they were separated from their siblings. They may also want to remain in contact with a former foster family if they were especially close. As an adoptive parent it is important that you understand this need and desire, and set up a plan that will ensure safe communication. There are many forms of contact- visits, phone calls, letters, to name a few-so you need to work together as a family to decide what the best course of action is. Some families choose to allow contact with birth parents or biological relatives once the child turns 18, or they may allow contact if it is safe and in the best interest of the child. Your agency may be able to provide information about birth family contact information or be able to mediate.
  • Medical concerns. Children in foster care may not receive the medical attention they need, especially if they are in multiple placements. The child’s caseworker may not have complete medical records for the child either, or any records at all for their biological parents. It is important that you seek out a physician to give your child the medical attention they need, and provide as accurate as an assessment as they can about their medical history.
  • Racial concerns. If you are seeking to adopt a child of another race, keep in mind the challenges they will face trying to blend into your family and also their new community. Talk to family members and friends and make sure they are on board with you adopting a child of another race, and make sure to address any issues before adoption. Seek out groups or activities in your area that a child could be part of that would make them feel comfortable. It can be as simple as finding a friend or mentor of the same race that your child could look up to, or locating a specialized service or group like a hair styling place that specializes in African-American hair, or a festival that celebrates Native American heritage. Seek out support groups, friends and family members that have experience in trans-racial adoption to best prepare yourself for the questions and challenges you and your child will face.
Types of Parent Support Groups
There are many different types of support groups available to adoptive parents. The following is a list compiled by Child Welfare Information Gateway that families have identified as the most helpful:

  • Adoptive Parent Support Groups. In this type of group, adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents come together to ask questions, give advice, and provide support. These types of groups range from small intimate groups, to larger groups that may have hundreds of members. These groups may restrict their focus to families who have adopted children with certain characteristics, or they may include all adoptive families. National groups may be organized into local chapters. Programs and services offered by these groups often include:
    • Telephone warm lines
    • Buddy families
  • Respite care
  • Lending library
  • Workshops/conferences
  • Pre-adoption support
  • Social activities
  • Children’s support groups
  • Ethnic heritage activities
  • Newsletter
  • Information and referral
  • Online Support Groups. These groups are available 24 hours a day to families, and provide a level of convenience. There are thousands of online support groups that families may join, and like other support groups, they may find the answers they are looking for from people who have gone through the same experiences. It is important to exercise caution when using online support groups just like any other website, and not give out personal or identifying information.
  • Therapy. There are many different types of therapy available. Families may seek out counseling as problems or concerns arise. Some families will seek therapy for a long period of time, or use it to check in for help as they need it.
  • Respite care. Respite care is available to families who need a break and a chance to relax and get away. This service gives parents a break from their parenting duties, and is meant for families who have children with needs that exceed the skills and training of a regular babysitter. Respite care can take place in the families home, or out of the home, with the parents bringing their child(ren) to a designated place. Respite care may be available on a crisis-based need, or on a regular schedule. Families may find more information on respite care through their local adoption agency or an adoption support group.
  • Seminars and conferences. Many support groups and adoption agencies offer seminars and conferences that families may attend. These conferences offer adoption issues education, and may last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. At adoption conferences, parents may have their questions about specific adoption issues answered by experts in the field, get to know other adoptive families, and purchase additional adoption resources. You can locate a conference near you by going to this site.
  • Books and magazines. There are many books and magazines available for adoptive parents to read and subscribe to. A Family for Every Child has established a large list of reading materials here. Books are an excellent resource for families to learn about different techniques to handle various adoption challenges or kids questions. They may also be used to explain adoption to young children. Magazines are another excellent resource, offering up-to-date research on current adoption issues and challenges. Families may subscribe for magazines in the mail or online.
  • Camps, recreational opportunities, and heritage camps. Families may attend overnight camps or retreats to help them connect with themselves and other family members. These camps offer adoption and ethnic heritage education, combined with other camp activities. Ethnic heritage camps serve children of different ethnicities. At these camps, children may connect with older youth and teens, who serve as role models. These camps are a great way for children to connect with other children and youth, and form lifelong connections and support.

    Finding Post-adoption Services
    Families may find post-adoption services at any of the following locations:

    • Public and private adoption agencies
    • Specialized post-adoption services organizations
    • Adoptive parent support groups
    • State and county adoption offices and post-adoption specialists
    • State post-adoption resource centers
    • Public and private mental health service providers
    • Community health organizations


    Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2005). Postadoption Services: A Factsheet for Families. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    All these years of living in Centerville/Kettering, and I had never been to Polen Farm.  I had driven past the Bigger Road location countless times, but had no reason for stopping.  In fact, honestly do not ever remember noticing the imposing house – which is hard to believe.  When I saw it in someone’s Facebook album this past week, I had to ask where the home was located.

    So, today, Quintin and I ventured over to Polen Farm to take photos.  We had a blast!

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    Tonight, I joined the Emery family, David, Maria and Raquel, in the Muse Machine’s rehearsal hall to watch the understudies for the January production, CRAZY FOR YOU, perform.  My student, David Emery, did a super job, as did the other fantastic younger performers.  Many great moments from these young talents, and the best staging I have seen in a Muse Machine production in many years!  Director Joe Deer, along with choreographer, Lula Elzy, seem to be a dynamic creative team, and I was thrilled to see such a fresh, crisp look in the musical staging!  I am looking forward to the full production in mid-January, but am so thrilled I was able to see the understudies, and a foretaste of the musical feast to come!

    Producer Doug Merk

    Producer Doug Merk

    Director, Joe Deer

    Director, Joe Deer

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    The Emery Family

    The Emery Family

    The Emery Family

    The Emery Family

    Last night, and Tuesday, the Fairmont High School Music Department presented their variety of ensembles in another exciting Christmas concert.  Over 300 young musicians joined forces to end the program with a suite of John Williams’ HOME ALONE.  Excellent!

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    Tonight, we attended, for the second year in a row, the Christmas concert presented by Beavercreek’s Church of the Nazarene.  The church’s choir was joined by Beavercreek High School’s A Capella Choir and the Friend’s Show Choir, all under the direction of Sharon Busch.  The evening’s lineup included John Rutter’s GLORIA, which is one of my absolute favorites!

    An enjoyable evening!

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    One of my young students, Katie Kress, was the lead in Epiphany Lutheran Church’s children’s musical.  It was a good production, and I am proud of Miss Kate!  She chewed up the carpets!

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    This morning we left for Dayton’s 2nd Street Market to look around and grab some lunch.  The last time I had been there was when Jeff Carter and Jim Helton came over from Ball State University to see the Princess Diana Wedding Gown Exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute.  The boys and I ate lunch, traveled around downtown Dayton to take photos.  The train exhibit was closed due to the bank’s hours, but we could still see it through the window.  We saw the Rike’s window displays again, and then traveled to Calvary Cemetery where we could see so many of the beautiful sculptures during the daylight hours.

    Some really great events planned these next two weekends!


    Third new restaurant to open in downtown Dayton
    In This Issue












    WYSO Weekly 2 Minute Column
    DAYTON CITY PAPER, page 29
    (A weekly column)
    You Are Here
    You Are Here Dayton Ohio!
    IGID Logo
    Click on the logo and sign up!
    December 4, 2012
    Hi Darin, lots of things going on around here.
    Made-up Twitter characters find way into a novel

    THURSDAY, DECEMBER 6, 6:00 – 7:30 PM at the DAI. Meet author Molly Campbell and illustrator Randy Palmer. Book signing, readings, and raffles. General Motors Entrance Rotunda (Book available for purchase in the brand new DAI Museum Store). Characters In Search Of A Novel

    FIRST PRIZE: Would you like to name a character? One character name will be chosen, and author Molly D. Campbell will write a story about that “Character in Search of a Novel,” to be illustrated by Randy Palmer. Story and artwork will be matted and framed. Just think-your own story-to hang over the sofa in your rumpus room!
    SECOND PRIZE: Your own portrait, done by Randy Palmer, in “Character in Search of a Novel” style!

    THIRD PRIZE: Signed book, tucked inside a Loretta Squirrels tote bag, along with a “Characters in Search of a Novel” T-shirt.

    Third new restaurant to open in downtown Dayton


    Agnes All Natural Grill

    Two other restaurants info

    W. Second

    23 St Clair

    23 St. Clair Street


    Clothes Go Round, 1209 East Stroop in Kettering is having its Blow Out Going Out of Business Sales. Their lease ends Dec. 31. Maybe you want new racks and a mannequin for your walk in closet. They want to clear out 3800 square feet of stuff.


    The Dayton Development Coalition (DDC) is in the midst of its annual Priority Development and Advocacy Committee (PDAC) process whereby it prioritizes the many worthwhile community projects contemplated throughout the Dayton Region. This process benefits the community by specifying what its top priorities are for funding – principally federal and state funding. Information about each project can be viewed by clicking on the project name. All public input will be provided to the review panels when they meet to discuss the categorization of the projects. Comments must be received by December 7, 2012.


    First Friday

    Downtown’s next free First Friday art hop will be held from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, throughout the center city. Activated Spaces will host a tour of newly installed window clings featuring the work of local artists. The tour begins at American Pi, 37 S. St. Clair St. at 5:45 p.m. The tour will last about 30 minutes, and a reception at American Pi will continue afterward. The installation of the window clings is the final phase of the Activated Spaces Street Team art initiative, which placed works of art in vacant storefront windows throughout downtown. The installation theme, Colorful Dayton, aims to show the vibrancy of the Dayton community. The 10 clings have been placed in several locations throughout the core of downtown, featuring work by eight local artists, the City of Dayton and the Miami Conservancy District.



    Spend First Friday, December 7, 5-8pm at the Dayton Society of Painters and Sculptors at the 48 High Street Gallery. This is the opening reception for Decembers exhibit. Gallery Hours are Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 2-5pm



    Stivers Celebrates

    Combine holiday shopping and a fabulous show!

    Come early and get unique gifts for everyone on your list. The Arts Gift Shop will open at 5:30pm. They make beautiful Christmas cards or a thoughtful gift. Performance begins at 7:00pm.


    11th Annual Women’s Recovery Center Santa 5K Run/Walk in Xenia: Saturday, December 8th, 2012 at 9:30.
    The annual event helps fund programs at the independent Women’s Recovery Center, a residential treatment facility for women recovering from addictions and behavioral health issues. WRC is one of the few “gender specific” treatment centers in SW Ohio where women can also bring their children into treatment. Many Dayton area women have sought help at this facility. Register at keysports


    Saturdays At Noon Free for kids

    The Saturdays at Noon in December will mark the return of the Family Holiday Film Series – sponsored by The Dayton Holiday Festival, DP&L, Channel 99.9 and THE NEON. Here is this year’s line-up:

    DEC. 8 at Noon – IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE

    DEC. 15 at Noon – ARTHUR CHRISTMAS

    These films are free for children 12 & under and only $2 for everyone else.


    Dayton International Peace Museum

    The 4th Annual Nobel Peace Prize Luncheon Honoring 2012 Nobel Peace Prize Winner, The European Union, Saturday, December 8th, 11:45 a.m., Dayton Women’s Club. 224 N. Ludlow St. Speaker, Ms. Silvia Kofler; Spokesperson, Head of Press and Public Diplomacy, Delegation of the European Union to the United States.

    And recognition of 2012 Dayton Peace Heroes. Dr. Charles Chatfield, internationally renowned Wittenberg University history professor emeritus, author, and activist, developed many courses in peace and played a significant role in the understanding that peace rests on justice. He has donated many of his peace books to the Museum’s Peace Library.

    Ms. Margaret E. Peters, a teacher in the Dayton Public Schools for many years, is also an historian and author. By creating and administering the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. K-12 Art, Poetry & Essay Contest, she has brought Dr. King’s life and ideals to thousands of school children for more than 25 years. Her signature history book is Dayton’s African American Heritage.



    The annual Santa Pub Crawl will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at various Oregon Arts District taverns. This is a VERY FUN event that benefits Toys for Tots. It is Quite the Spectacle as well. 400 Santas walking down 5th Street in the Oregon district is a sight to see! The U.S. Marines come and collect all the toys that people bring Cost of admission is a $10 unwrapped toy (or a $10 monetary donation). The toys/money can be dropped off at the Dublin Pub or the Trolley Stop at the start of the pub crawl. Those in holiday costumes won’t pay a cover at any of the taverns. A costume contest also will be held, and winners will be announced at Blind Bob’s.

    The schedule is:

    Dublin Pub: 5:30 to 7 p.m.
    Trolley Stop: 7 to 8 p.m.
    Tumbleweed: 8 to 9 p.m.
    Blind Bob’s: 9 to 10 p.m.
    Oregon Express: 10-11 p.m.
    Ned Pepper’s: 11 p.m. to midnight
    Pulse: midnight to closing


    The Lincoln Society of Dayton invites you to a festive White House Christmas Tea on Sunday afternoon, December 9 at 2:00. The tea is open to the public without charge and will be hosted by Mary Todd Lincoln and Barbara Lynch. This will be the final program held at Patterson Homestead, 1815 Brown Street, since the LSoD is moving to the Kettering Family Center at Carillon Park. Programs will continue to be free, at 2:00 on the First Sunday of each month and now will be co-sponsored with Dayton History. Mrs.Lynch will share the history of tea and how it often made history! This is not a stuffy ladies tea but a fun time for everyone…tea drinker or not!


    A Tuna Christmas
    through Dec 9, 2012. It’s Christmas time and local radio personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie tell us all about the annual Christmas lawn display contest that Viola Carp keeps winning (14 times), the troubled local production of A Christmas Carol and along the way introduce us to a host of colorful characters, each one funnier than the last, in this little mythical Texas town.



    Consider yourself at home with this beloved Tony Award-winning musical based on Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist. Orphaned at birth, sold from a

    workhouse and led into an unseemly career as a pickpocket, young Oliver’s fate may yet lie in a simple turn of fate. The Human Race takes the tale of the boy who dared to ask for more and reimagines it
    for the perfect intimacy of The Loft Theatre. Filled with timeless songs, delightful dancing and memorable characters, it’s a wonderful holiday treat for the family.
    Mark Wood, an original member of the multiplatinum selling Trans-Siberian Orchestra is bringing his groundbreaking music education program Electrify Your Strings! to The Northmont Orchestra students in Clayton, Ohio. The Fire’n Ice 2011-2012 “Turbow Tour” will dazzle the audience with a full – fledged rock concert on December 5th at 7:30pm in the Northmont High School Auditorium. Northmont orchestra students will perform in a live concert alongside Mark Wood. The music will be a mix of his original material, as well as his exciting arrangements of music by Led Zeppelin, Journey, The Beatles, and more. The show is open to the public with all profits going to the schools music programs.


    Hometown Holidays

    On Friday, December 7, and Saturday, December 8, at 8 p.m. Patrick Reynolds, the DPO, top entertainers, choirs, and choruses from the region will gather together to celebrate the Christmas holidays. Hometown Holiday features guest artists the Carillon Brass, the Kettering Children’s Choir, Harps of Grace, soprano Andrea Chenoweth-Wells, the Sinclair Community College Concert Handbell Choir and the Holiday Pops Community Choir.

    Neal Gittleman

    On Sunday, December 9 at 6:30 pm in Westminster Presbyterian Church, 125 North Wilkinson Street, Dayton, Music Director Neal Gittleman, the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra Chamber Choir, Hank Dahlman Director, will present Handel’s Messiah.

    The greatest oratorio of all time was written in England by a German-born composer for a German-born monarch and debuted in Dublin, Ireland! Handel’s Messiah, based on the birth, passion, and resurrection of Christ, eventually became one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music. Now, for many, the holiday just doesn’t seem complete without hearing this uplifting sacred work in the deep, rich surroundings of a traditional cathedral.

    Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC),

    118 N. Jefferson Street. This annual exhibition and sale of giftable art includes work created by more than 75 area artists in a wide variety of media, including paintings, prints, fiber art, ceramics, glass sculpture, woodwoork, ornaments, cards and more.


    Art Box Holiday Gift Gallery, CADC, 45 S. St. Clair St.; Wed.-Fri., 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
    This holiday gift gallery features artwork perfect for gift-giving, including pottery, jewelry, wood-turned bowls and clocks, photography, small paintings, and small-scale sculptures.

    Happy Hour @ the GALLERY

    every Wednesday till Dec. 19th 5-7pm


    Little Exchange

    The Little Exchange Holiday Hours

    Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday 10:00 – 5:00. Thursday, 10:00 – 7:00

    Personalized baby blankets!



    The Fine Art Center at Town & Country

    300 E Stroop Rd.

    Kettering, OH 45429


    Handmade Holiday Dayton (700 E. Fourth St.) The Yellow Cab Building will host this annual holiday event, which features more than 30 local artisans selling gift items, ranging from soaps to hand-crafted jewelry. Prizes from local merchants will be raffled and shoppers will receive a swag bag with any purchase. Handmade Holiday Dayton is a free event held from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.


    Kettering Centerville Christmas Kiwanis tree sale is on right now. The money is used to provide scholarships for local graduating high school students. It is located on Rt 725 and Paragon Rd in Centerville next to the Oak Creek South Park. They offer fresh cut trees, wreaths, table-tops and roping.


    University of Dayton Libraries, At the Manger Open House. At the Manger exhibits are on display now through Sunday, Jan. 27, 2013.


    Dayton Visual Arts Center (DVAC)
    proudly presents a juried members’ exhibition of monumental scale at the Dayton Convention Center. As 2013 is the 100th anniversary of the flood that famously wreaked havoc on downtown Dayton, DVAC thought that its artists would find the theme, “Disaster” ripe for interpretation.
    Exhibition can be viewed at the Dayton Convention Center: Monday through Sunday, 7:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m.



    Now to Jan. 1. Wintergarden Wonderland Windows Dayton Holiday Festival; 9am – 7pm. Come see the magical Rike’s department store holiday window displays! Experience the wonder of the animated elves, woodland animals, violinists and skaters right at the corner of Second and Main streets in downtown Dayton, where these displays delighted people beginning more than 70 years ago.

    rikes windows


    Nov. 24-Dec. 8 . It’s Instrumental
    PNC 2nd Street Market,
    600 E. Second St.; 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
    The Dayton Philharmonic Volunteer Association is sponsoring an instrument donation drive. Bring your used musical instruments to the Market to donate them to this worthy cause. Instruments will be
    repaired, if needed, and used in the music education programs of the Dayton Public Schools. No registration required. 228-2088.

    Hannah’s Treasure Chest, 124 Westpark Rd, Centerville, supplies clothing, toys, books and baby equipment to children in four counties of the Miami Valley. They are filling the final orders of the year before they close on Dec 7. However, they are so low on clothing that they can’t fully fill orders for kids. One day they were only able to send 4 items of clothing to a 6 year old along with toys and books – no shirts, pants, socks or jacket were available.


    The National Aviation Heritage Area includes Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Warren, Champaign, Shelby and Auglaize counties in southwestern Ohio. The National Aviation Heritage Alliance is a not-for-profit corporation designated by Congress as the management entity of the heritage area. Its vision is to make the Dayton region the recognized global center of aviation heritage and premier
    destination for aviation heritage tourism, sustaining the legacy of the Wright brothers.


    Retired drivers multiply, challenges loom
    Baby boomers started driving at a young age and became more mobile than any generation before or since. They practically invented the two-car family and escalated traffic congestion when women began commuting to work. Now, 8,000 of them are turning 65 every day, and those retirements could once again reshape the nation’s transportation.


    Holiday shopping can be a real stress! Why not do it online? If you have readers on your list this year, they might like some of the books listed in this holiday shopping guide. I think there is at least ONE on it that I would like everyone to buy for someone on their list!

    Skimbaco Lifestyle

    Gotta go….
    Charlie, husband of an author, Campbell
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    It’s Great In Dayton!!! | 625 Oakwood Avenue | Dayton | OH | 45419


    About ten years ago I saw my first production of OLIVER!, and it was less than mediocre.  I was not too keen on seeing The Human Race Theatre Company’s (HRTC) current production of OLIVER!, due to my initial experience with the show, but was intrigued by the director’s concept, and use of ten actors.

    I have never been disappointed in a HRTC production, but I was not expecting to be absolutely blown away this evening. This production’s concept was conceived, and directed by Alan Souza, and choreographed by Spencer Liff (SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE).  I wish I could say I was speechless, but at intermission I was chattering away about the incredibly innovative, crisp, creative and exhausting staging and choreography.  Thrilling!

    With so many theatre companies, you show up expecting to see the company’s typical production.  Since seeing my first HRTC production, ROMANCE, ROMANCE, twenty years ago, I’ve never been disappointed.  I always return home, excited and refreshed.

    There were remarkable performances from this troupe of ten actors, and not one was lacking.  However, three performers ‘wow’d’ me this evening: music director and performer, Helen Gregory; Kettering’s own, Chris Shea; and a HRTC founder and regular, Scott Stoney.

    Helen… Helen… Helen… the piano was actually blocked into the staging, and brilliantly executed!  Helen only gave up the ivories once, and that was so she could sing and dance while Scott Stoney took over (and well done, Scott!).  I have never seen acrobatics at the piano, but Helen made her multi-layered role amusing and impressive.  This performance alone was worth the entire evening for me!

    Chris Shea has grown tremendously as an actor through the years, and tonight, he was hitting the mark each moment, and with each character change throughout the production.  He is a delight to watch, and I am confident he will continue to grow, even more, as an actor.  Kudos!

    From Shakespeare to Schwartz, and everything in between, and beyond, Scott Stoney just made my night! In this production of OLIVER!, Scott plays Mr. Bumble and several other characters.  I’ve always loved what Scott brings to lead roles, but tonight, as Mr. Bumble, he completely won me over.  Scott was hilarious, adorable, and so much fun.  This man can do it all – lead roles and character roles and make them more 3-dimensional than anyone else I know.

    One more performer needs to be mentioned… Sara Shepherd, as Nancy (and others), gave a moving, gut-wrenching delivery of “As Long As He Needs Me.”  I seldom get chills, but her choices were fantastic!  I did not hear the song – I felt it!  Superb! Superb!

    The musical numbers were unbelievably staged, and I am still rocking from the thrill of seeing them tonight.  Within ten minutes, I had forgotten I was not fond of the show, forgotten my headache/sinus infection, and had stopped worrying about bringing my teenage son out on a chilly night just as he is recovering from the creeping crud.

    I know this is an incredibly busy time of the year, but this is one production you do not want to miss.

    Thank you, Human Race Theatre Company!  This was a damned fine treat for my holiday season!

    What do others think of OLIVER! at The Human Race Theatre Company?

    Russell Florence’s Review in the Dayton Metro Paper

    Jim Bucher’s Beat on WDTN


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    December 2012
    M T W T F S S
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