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True leadership…
Like many folks I know, I have elected to identify my self with one political party; however, I am not a party person, I am a people-person: I am for the candidate.
Yesterday, in the Centerville Americana Parade, there were two individuals waving to the crowds, and letting us know they care. And, I’ve many personal documentation on these two individuals, and am quite confident they do care for the people: Ohio State Representative, Jim Butler, and Ohio State Attorney General, Mike DeWine.
These two officials, and their staffs, have personally proven to me, and the many watching, just what our elected representatives are meant to do: represent, and help their constituents. We’re surrounded by the negatives, but when it comes to flying the kite of true men of the people, Jim and Mike have done just that, and continue to do it.

Jim Butler

Ohio State Representive, Jim Butler, and his brilliant staff, came to our rescue, several times in 2016 with different adoption issues where state adoption workers in both Ohio and Texas were not doing their jobs assigned to them.  We were down to the wire, TWICE, on my fifth son being returned to Texas due to adoption workers not doing their jobs, and Jim’s office swung into action like Super Heroes, and saved the day.

Jim Butler has achieved sainthood status in my book.
Ohio State Attorney General Mike DeWine, and his staff, are proving to be quite helpful as we clear up post-adoption issues with social security, Medicaid, a lady who did not pay her promised state subsidies (lied she had not received them, only to be proven several weeks ago she HAD received the monies, and I have copy of the endorsed checks) and now investigating several agencies that aren’t going by the books.  Yes, I am already kind of liking the thought of saying, “Governor DeWine.”
Over the years, I’ve received personal assistance from:
:: Indiana US Senator Richard Lugar
:: Indiana Congressman Elwood Hillis
:: Ohio US Senator Mike Turner (the IRS refused to believe my 4th son was adopted, and no longer living on the Navajo Reservation)
Although this was not personal assistance, First Lady Hillary Clinton supported, and helped push through 1997 initiatives for adoption and foster care that made a world of difference for countless families… mine, included!
Thank you to the elected officials who truly are in the game for the right, and noble reasons!  I appreciate each of you!


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

    DSC04074 DSC04076 DSC04097 DSC04102 DSC04106 DSC04126 DSC04137 DSC04144 DSC04148 DSC04156 DSC04190 DSC04195 DSC04205 DSC04214 DSC04234 DSC04242 DSC04261 DSC04266 DSC04267 DSC04271 DSC04272 DSC04276 DSC04277 DSC04301 DSC04311 DSC04318 DSC04323

    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


    This has been my lucky week of tripping on to events at the last minute, and making it in time!  Last night we visited Dayton’s Calvary Cemetery for the second annual “Angel Night” to glimpse all the beautifully sculpted angels illuminated.  Tonight, someone posted something on Facebook about the Kettering Tree Lighting at Lincoln Park, a block away from our home.  I discovered we had 15 minutes to get there – which was easy to do.

    We ran into several student families, and Pati and Ema Rogers.

    It was such a nice event!  Tons and tons of people strolling through the park to look at the lights strung on trees, poles, etc., by our Kettering Parks & Recreation workers!  Beautiful job!

    Another fun evening for the Haasienda History Book!


    DAUGHERY - Raymond & Betty, 1986At 48 years, I feel terribly blessed to have known my great-great uncle, Raymond Daugherty, 91, for this many years.  Many friends, my age, do not have uncles and aunts living.  As of this writing, I still have one great-great uncle, and two great-great aunts, surviving, and eight great uncles and aunts living.

    This, indeed, is a blessing!

    Uncle Raymond was a younger brother to my great-grandmother, Thelma Daugherty Barmes, who was the mother of my maternal grandfather, Leroy Barmes.  Uncle Raymond was born July 25, 1921, only a few months before my grandfather.

    Betty & Donna

    Betty & Donna

    The uncle and nephew grew up together, and during the difficult times of The Great Depression, my great-grandmother would take her children back to her parents’ farm.  It was on the Daugherty farm near Frankton, Indiana, that my grandfather and his uncle grew up, and spent many summers together.  As they neared their late teens, the two young men met two best friends, Betty Church and Donna Clary, who lived in Boone Township, not too far from Summitville, Indiana.  Eventually, Raymond and Betty were engaged, as were Leroy and Donna.

    Their families remained close through the years.  Uncle Raymond and Aunt Betty were two of the first visitors when my mother was born, and in 1964, along with their son, Steve, were the first to visit me.  When I adopted my first son, we drove to Houston, Texas, where Uncle Raymond and Aunt Betty were living with their son, Steve, so they would be the first to meet my new son.  Raymond and Betty were the first to greet three generations of our family.

    My mother often babysat for Raymond and Betty’s only son, Steve.  Steve went on to Ball State University, majoring in telecommunications with David Letterman and Joyce DeWitt, with whom he was engaged for a short time.  Steve’s career was colorful, and exciting.

    January, 2010, Steve passed away following a hideous battle with pancreatic cancer.  I’ve terribly missed his emails, his jokes, his telephone calls with the deeply, and dramatically announced, “Cousin Darin!”  I so miss hearing about all the colorful celebrities and events from Steve’s life.

    December 2011, Aunt Betty passed away just before Christmas.  Uncle Raymond, lost in the shadows of dementia, was moved back to a facility in Alexandria, Indiana, where his younger brother and sister-in-law, Dick & Anita, could watch after him.

    Today, one of the last folks from my grandparents’ youth has left us.  Though it is a sad morning to see this chapter in my family’s history close, I feel greatly blessed for having Uncle Raymond, Aunt Betty, and Steve in my life.  They were an incredible trio.

    May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest, Uncle Raymond… please give Aunt Betty, Steve, Grandma Donna, and Grandpa Leroy a hug from me…

    Betty & Raymond 1940

    Betty & Raymond 1940

    Betty, Darin, Raymond 1983

    Betty, Darin, Raymond 1983

    Betty & Donna

    Betty & Donna

    Steve Daugherty

    Steve Daugherty

    Dayton History at Carillon Park hosted its second annual “Angel Night” at Calvary Cemetery of Dayton.  Calvary Cemetery is located directly South of Carillon Park on one of the most imposing hills in the Miami Valley.  At the top, you can see all around the Miami Valley, and tonight, it was even more beautiful with all the lights of the surrounding valley.

    Quintin and I hurried to the cemetery, meeting up with family friends, and my Ball State music pals, Dave & Linda Samworth Lewis, and their teenage son, Chet.  It was a fun night, and a great tour of all the beautifully carved, and illuminated angels throughout the cemetery.  I learned just enough tonight to want to learn more about Calvary Cemetery that is steeped in rich history.

    Lot’s of neat things happening in downtown Dayton this holiday season….

    Dayton Holiday Festival - All December Long

    This message was sent to

    To contact us, reply to this message or call (937) 224-1518.
    Our office is located at 10 W. Second Street, Suite 611, Dayton, Ohio 45402.


    An evening of song and celebration!
    Angel Night at Calvary & Carillon

    Illuminated Angels | Holiday Music

    Cookie Decorating | Carriage Rides
    Local Artisans | Hot Chocolate & More!

    Park and shop at Carillon Historical Park, take the shuttle

    to Calvary Cemetery and enjoy holiday music,

    illuminated angel statues, cookie decorating, & much more!

    At Carillon Historical Park:
    Museum Store Open House featuring local artisans

    $1 carousel rides

    Tour the Heritage Center of Dayton Manufacturing
    and Entrepreneurship

    At Calvary Cemetery:
    Tour the illuminated angel statues

    Horse and carriage rides

    Cookie decorating

    Food and beverages available

    ADMISSION: FREE to the public!

    PARKING: $5.00 per car at Carillon Park

    (parking is not available at Calvary Cemetery)

    Carillon Historical Park’s Museum Store

    Open House featuring these local artisans:

    Curt Dalton – Local author of many books on Dayton History

    Esther Price – Sampling hot chocolate

    Shelly Burden – Local pottery maker

    Kathy Gross – Pen and ink artist

    Nathan Musser – Local painter

    Corrine Whitesell – Historical weaver

    Rita Hughes – Painter with her series of note cards with angels

    Lori Young – Fashion jewelry designer who uses recycled pop tops

    Carolyn Wimer – Hand hooked rugs & wool purses

    Teresa Wimer – Hand-stamped cards

    Dottie Cummings – Oriental rug pillows

    A Morning
    with Santa

    December 15, 2012
    at Carillon Park

    9:00am Seating
    10:00am Seating


    Members Only Event!

    $12 per person
    (Kids under 2 are FREE!)

    One FREE Carousel Ride


    Bring your Camera for Pictures with Santa

    Listen to Holiday Music

    Warm Breakfast Buffet
    at Culp’s Café

    To make reservations:

    (937) 293-2841 ext. 106

    Culp’s Café
    Open for breakfast
    & Lunch
    New Hours

    Open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
    breakfast & lunch
    7:30am – 3:00pm

    Open Tuesday – Friday
    11:00am – 3:00pm

    Follow us

    Keep up to date with everything that is
    happening at

    Dayton History by
    following us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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    Join Our Mailing List
    Carillon Historical Park | 1000 Carillon Blvd. | Dayton, OH 45409 | 937-293-2841 |

    Bright and early, Saturday morning, Quintin, Flyer and I were in the car heading toward Fowler, Indiana to celebrate Freddie’s, my nephew/godson, 5th birthday.  We arrived at 11:00am, and enjoyed some chat time with the family before the other guests began arriving.  Parker, 7, and Freddie had just moved their bedroom from downstairs to upstairs, and they were eager to show it off.  Carolyne is now in the boys’ old room, ready to make way for the new arrival this January.

    We concluded our Indiana visit with a stop at Shapiro’s Deli for supper, and a stroll around downtown Indy.  Flyer was in heaven getting to walk with us.  It was like old times with her.

    A long day, but a fun one!

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    When you look through the slideshow, you will see the faces of adoption:

    The Children…

    The Parents…

    and the Angels that make adoption happen.

    Another wonderful party hosted by the angels of ACTION Adoption Services.

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    Today, Quintin and I spent our Thanksgiving with Brian & Joanie Pollock, their two college sons, Tyler, a senior at Butler University, and Zach, my former student, now a freshman at Miami University.  Joanie’s parents, Dick & Susan, were with us from Springfield, Illinois.

    Before dinner, I learned to play Rummy and Nertz.  I never play cards, but I have to admit – I was getting addicted to Nertz!  Such fun!

    Brian prepared the best meal, and we all sat down to dinner with various hats.  Lots of great food, and tons of laughter.

    Post-dinner was my first time to watch A CHRISTMAS STORY.  Hilarious!

    While Joanie and Sue planned their Black Friday shopping strategy, the rest of us enjoyed pumpkin pie and the traditional pink stuff dessert (pineapple, cherry pie filling, Cool Whip, evaporated milk all mixed together).

    Before leaving all the men took on the two women in a game called, Battle of the Sexes!  Even more fun!

    This was just a great day, and we had the best time!

    Thank you, so much, Brian, Joanie, Tyler, Zach, Sue & Dick!

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    A Tribute To Our Wonderful Furry Family Members

    Last night I was wide awake, energized by having seen Centerville High School’s production, AVENUE Q (see previous post).  By 2:00am, I was finally feeling sleep come over me, and at some point, I was out.  At 3:15am, Navi barked when she heard Quintin come downstairs to use the bathroom.  The last numbers I remember seeing on the clock were 403 (4:03am).

    At 8:15am, I finally gave in to the siege of the three dogs surrounding me with their anxious stare-down.  Chief was on my pillow with his nose pressed against mine; Navi was laying on top of Chief smacking me with her tail; and Flyer remained on the floor, staring up at me, and sighing about 2-3 times each minute.

    It was a lazy morning of watching the news programs, and enjoyed a wonderful documentary, NOVA: Pocahontas Revealed.  It had more to do with the Jamestown Rediscovery and the incredible archaeological work discovering new things about Jamestown life in 1607, and the nearby Indian capitol governed by Powhatan.  An excellent Netflix documentary.


    Quintin and I gathered up all the pots that once held beautiful Impatiens throughout the summer, and early fall, and brought them to the back deck.  In a short while we will head out for groceries, returning in time for me to teach a few lessons for students prepping for jazz band auditions this week at Centerville High School.  I suspect we will settle in for a Netflix movie this evening after supper.

    But for right now, I am eating lunch and half-watching THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW.

    Quintin’s newest voice is not Asian, but rather, Trekkie Monster from AVENUE Q.  It is quite hilarious to hear him speaking in the Oscar The Grouch-esque voice, as heard in this video another production:  Trekkie Monster singing “Monster School” – AVENUE Q.

    I am all prepared for a short week of teaching, and time spent with family and friends!

    Photos of my brother and his family…


    Did you know?  Even Oscar Hammerstein II struggled with the creative process.

    In 1946 he told The New York Times, “Writing comes darned hard to me. I do most of it on our farm in Doylestown. There I have a room with one of those tall old-fashioned desks you used to see in shipping offices. It takes me a long time to get started, and even then the words come slowly. I keep walking up and down the room and when I get what I want I go over to the desk and write in longhand with a soft pencil. I often wonder how many miles an act I walk.”

    This looks great!

    **Angel Night is Back at Calvary Cemetery, Even Bigger and Better!**

    Last year’s Evening of Song and Celebration is back by popular demand, this time in partnership with Carillon Park, and bigger and better than ever!

    Thursday, November 29 from 5:30 to 9:00 PM, you’ll have the opportunity to view 15 illuminated Victorian era angels on a tour by horse drawn carriages and Wright Flyer Trolleys.

    Listen to holiday music from local groups including the CJ High School Choir and Glee Club, Dr. Ritter Werner and others in historic St Henry’s Memorial Chapel.

    Frost Christmas cookies, enjoy hot chocolate and other goodies, and bask in the atmosphere of the beautifully decorated
    cemetery and Carillon Park.

    Definitely family friendly!

    Carillon Park will feature local artists with plenty of hand crafted gifts to buy, as well as the Museum Shop full of Dayton History books, toys, games, tee shirts and more.

    The event is free to the public, parking, which is exclusively at the Carillon this year, is $5 per car.

    For more information, call Rick Meade at 293-1221.

    Last night, Quintin and I had front row seats for Beavercreek High School’s CABARET, a delightful production featuring all the high school choirs, the two middle school show choirs, and the high school’s show choir, Friends.

    Great performance, and I am so proud of all my students.  It was great to see so many former students and their parents, last night!

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    This morning, Quintin and I headed Southeast of Dayton to Caesar’s Creek where we first stopped at Miami Cemetery.  Beautiful.

    We traipsed on over to Caesar’s Creek State Park.  I had only been to the beach area, and discovered some other areas today that were gorgeous.  It was also my first time to Caesar’s Creek Pioneer Village – it was OK.

    After grabbing some pulled pork sandwiches at this little mini-mart between the pioneer village and the dam, we headed into Waynesville to walk around and take more photos.

    It was such a great day of laughter, time together, and beautiful weather in November!

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    Today would have been the 91st birthday of my grandfather, Leroy ‘Red’ Barmes.

    He was the third generation of our Bavarian family born in the United States, and the eldest child born to Virgil Brewer Barmes, and Thelma Estelle Daugherty Barmes, in Elwood, Indiana.  Leroy’s younger siblings: Evelyn, Norma and Danny.

    In 1943, Leroy married Donna Mae Clary, and they had three children: Diana, Ron, and Tom.

    Grandpa died June 3, 2004.

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    Personally, speaking, I think this was one of the best fall band concerts at Fairmont High School – and they always give great concerts.  All the concert bands – AM Concert Band, PM Concert Band, Symphony Band and Wind Ensemble were outstanding with each of their two pieces presented.  The musical line-up was entertaining, and a nice mix.

    The tradition that caps off the concert is the marching band’s entrance into Trent Arena (however, they did not march in this year) to perform some of pre-game, and then, the last run through of their fall competition show.  I always find this a bit sad because this moment truly is the end of the season, and one of the first marked beginnings of the end for the seniors.

    After the concert, the Haas family hurried to Friendly’s for our traditional post-concert ice cream (which has become our post-concert supper).  Joining us this year: The Rogers Family – Pati, Mike, Nick, Ema; The Blunt Family – Steve, Dee, Casey, Dawson, Grandma Delores; and The Halls – Ron, Stephanie, Jillian, and Grandma Judy.  Lot’s of fun, and laughter.

    Here’s to the end of a great marching band season!

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    I have officially voted in my 8th general election.  My first election to vote was in 1984.

    I am always excited to get my I VOTED sticker.  There is something powerful in that little badge of admission that reminds me of my responsibility as a citizen of the United States of America.  My little badge does not discriminate by defining me into a political party. It does, however, broadcast I participate in the life of my country.

    I pulled into the parking garage at the Montgomery County Building on West Third at 12:55pm.  I was a bit daunted by the long line that wound around the main floor hall.  In fact, I compared it to lines at Kings Island – long, winding, and filled with a wild assortment of individuals and personalities.  Despite the line’s length, I only stood in it for less than 10 minutes.

    Next to me in line, and throughout the process was a really neat couple, Don & Jane Russell, from Miami Township.  They are friends with several families I know and love, The DeVores and The Kopecs!  In fact, they attended my production of The Sound of Music in 1999!

    From the first staging area of seating, we were moved downstairs in a group of approximately 150.  In the first basement, I received #371.  After a ten minute wait in the next area of seating, we were moved downstairs to the auditorium where we filled out our ballot envelope and form.

    After a short wait, we were moved into a corral of folks to enter our information into the computer.  I was assisted by a lady who happened to be the manager, and she was a delight.  In fact, all of the board of election personnel were absolutely kind, and very helpful.  Their sense of humor added to the enjoyment of the process.

    Within a minute, my ballot was ready and I was aimed to a series of rooms where folks were voting.  I finally found a place way in the back, and settled down at the table to fill in my ballot.

    I proudly voted for neighbor, Ashley Webb, first.  Ashley is running for Montgomery County Commissioner.

    I had never voted with pen and paper – always the little punch cards, or electronic voting machines.  This felt incredible to actually fill in my own ballot.

    When I had completed my ballot, I walked it to the reception area to have it sealed.  It was handed back to me so I could place it in the ballot box.

    That was so exciting!

    As I returned to the one lower level, I saw a prospective voter holding a card with #974!  Upstairs, the lines were ever longer, and I followed the line clear out to the parking garage!  Incredible!  I suspect there were at least 1500 waiting in line on two of the three floors.

    All in all, this was a positive experience, and one for which I am proud to have participated.  I got to meet some really nice folks (the Russells), and experience the voting process in a completely different manner. It felt good to see tons of people taking the time to vote. Simply impressive!

    I VOTED!

    One hundred seventy years ago, Mary Todd married Abraham Lincoln, November 4, 1842.

    Mary Todd weds Abraham Lincoln

    Thus, Abraham Lincoln and Mary Todd were married at the Edwards’ home on Friday evening, November 4, 1842. About 30 relatives and friends, all hastily invited, attended the ceremony which was conducted by Reverend Dresser who was wearing canonical robes. Mary wore a lovely white muslin dress. She wore neither a veil nor flowers in her hair.

    Mary’s bridesmaids were Julia M. Jayne (in 1843 she married Lyman Trumbull who later became a U.S. Senator), Anna Caesaria Rodney, and Miss Elizabeth Todd. Abraham’s best man was James Harvey Matheny, 24, who was a close friend and worked at the circuit court office in Springfield. Matheny was asked by Lincoln to be best man on the day of the wedding!

    Reverend Dresser used “The Form of Solemnization of Matrimony” from a book entitled The Book of Common Prayer According to the Use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States(Philadelphia, Carey & Hart, 1836). Standing behind Abraham during the ceremony was heavyset Judge Thomas C. Browne of the Illinois Supreme Court. Browne was a blunt man not accustomed to weddings. As Abraham was putting the wedding ring on Mary’s hand and repeating the words, “With this ring I thee endow with all my goods, chattels, lands, and tenements,” Browne impatiently blurted out, “God Almighty, Lincoln, the statute fixes all that.” After a brief delay following Browne’s interruption, the ceremony was completed as rain poured outside. Judge Browne was once impeached for feeblemindedness after a hearing in the Springfield courthouse.

    A week after the marriage, on November 11, 1842, Abraham wrote a letter to a friend, Samuel D. Marshall. Most of the letter dealt with legal matters, but Abraham closed the letter with the following sentence: “Nothing new here, except my marrying, which to me, is a matter of profound wonder.”

    The Day Miss Todd became Mrs. Lincoln

    …Love Is Eternal…

    The night of their marriage, Abraham Lincoln slipped on to Mary Todd’s finger an Etruscan gold wedding band.  Inside the ring, the words, Love is eternal, were engraved.

    When historians refer to the wedding ring that Abraham Lincoln gave to Mary on November 4, 1842, they usually claim that the inscription read “Love is eternal.”  However, according to the Chicago Tribune edition of July 18, 1882, there were more than three words engraved.

    Prior to her death, Mary removed her wedding ring from her finger.  On July 16, 1882, in her sister Elizabeth Edwards’ house, the same house where she had married Abraham Lincoln forty years before, she passed away.  The following day, some of Elizabeth’s friends found the ring and discovered that the inscription read, “A.L. to Mary, Nov. 4, 1842. Love is Eternal.”  The ring was subsequently placed on Mary’s finger, where it had been for forty years, and was buried with her remains in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois.

    Happy GOTCHA Day to Flyer!

    I went to a farm just South of Xenia, Ohio, and watched four adorable 10 week old puppies scamper about the back. I noticed the black and white runt was the leader for the larger three who were brown and white.

    The daddy, Caesar, was a black and white Springer Spaniel, and the mommy, Portia, was a black lab and husky – looked exactly like a slender black lab but had bright blue eyes.

    The mother tried to kill the runt by hiding her in the foot rest of a recliner in the woodshed, but the young girls at the farm would rescue her. The family kept the runt alive, and she took over the lead of her 8 siblings (one had died at birth).

    Wilbur Wright with Flyer, 1908

    I paid $25 – one of the most inexpensive, best $25 I’ve ever paid.

    We got into the car, and the puppy sat down and looked around. As I drove away she looked bored, already. She was too small to look out the windows, so she walked over to me, laid down, and laid her head on my thigh.

    I decided she would be named, Flyer, in honor of the Wright Brothers. En route to Centerville, we stopped at Woodland Cemetery. Flyer hopped out of the car and hopped among the tomb stones. She stopped at the Wright family estate, sniffed, walked over to Wilbur’s stone, and laid down.

    It was not until three years later I learned Wilbur Wright, while demonstrating his flying machine in France, 1908, acquired a dog which he named, Flyer! Wilbur’s Flyer is commemorated on the nifty carousel at Dayton History at Carillon Park.

    Flyer knows her commands in English, German, snapping fingers, and when she could see, sign language.

    August 2010, Flyer suffered from acute pancreatitis, and nearly died.  She rallied, and resumed good health, but within a few months, she began losing her sight.  Flyer’s blindness does not prevent her from moving around with ease, nor having a great time with the family.

    She’s been a great pal for eleven years.

    At Wilbur Wright’s grave through the years…










    Wilbur Wright’s Flyer & the Carillon Park carousel’s Flyer…

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    Tonight, Fairmont’s Marching Firebirds took the performance field for the final time this season.  We placed fourth in a line-up of excellent bands.

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    Watch the photos in the video:

    The Marching Firebirds Final Competition, 2012


    Watch the video:

    Quintin’s 2nd year with The Marching Firebirds

    My personal favorite photos of this marching season:


    Quintin and I attended Dia de Los Muertos this evening, and spent a few minutes wandering down the street to take in some of the beautiful homes of St. Anne’s Hill, and the Dayton sky-line.

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    This was my first time to participate in the Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) parade and festivities.  The parade began in the Oregon District, traveled East along 5th Street to the St. Anne Hill neighborhood.  It was a neat event, and Quintin and I both enjoyed ourselves.

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    I only covered a few blocks, but what an incredible few blocks they are!

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    At the end of the day I was a little bit colder!

    The morning was quite beautiful, and Flyer and I took a few hours away from the Haasienda to our selves.

    Back at home I washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen, steam-cleaned the kitchen carpet, and relaxed to a Netflix documentary on West Point Military Academy.

    At 5:00pm, I walked over to the school to watch the band do a parent-run-thru, and gave Quintin his supper.  I returned home to shower and head to Centerville High School for their marching band invitational.

    Bellbrook High School was outstanding, and I strongly believed their scores should have been a bit higher than the ones presented by the judges.  I was disappointed in the scoring for this particular band, as this was, undoubtedly, the best show on the competition field tonight.

    In our class, Miamisburg walked away with three caption awards, and Fairmont nabbed two.  I was holding my breath for the placements, but Fairmont squeaked by to first place by one point.

    Centerville High School was the highlight of the evening.  It was a much different show than what I saw in September, and was full of energy, and excitement.

    This was a fantastic day!

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    Flyer appears physically healthy, but her mind seems clouded with confusion, and a lack of recognition.  At times, she does not appear to recognize me.  If this condition worsens, I will probably be forced to make a decision.

    This morning, we got into the car and took a little jaunt to some of our favorite haunts: Orville Wright’s Oakwood home, Hawthorn Hill; Woodland Cemetery to the Wright Family Grave Site; and the memorial site where the Wright Family home once stood on Hawthorn Street.

    Though blind, and confused, when we arrived at the Wright family graves, Flyer sniffed her way to Wilbur’s grave, and stood guard, as she as done since her first visit when I brought the 10 week old puppy home.  Several folks were visiting the gravesite, and were amazed, and impressed with Flyer’s seeming dedication to Wilbur Wright.

    I presume this will be the final trip to these sites.  Flyer has bounced back from death once before, however, her mind just seems to be fading fast.

    How I do love this little pal who has welcomed every son into the home, offering them added comfort, security, and healing.  Flyer has been a blessed companion.

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    I was so proud of the Beavercreek High School Marching Band who performed their 2012 show during the Fairmont vs Beavercreek game’s half-time.  These troopers plowed through the pouring rain and miserable conditions, giving a super performance.

    Thank you, Beavercreek Marching Band!

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    I am glad the seniors got their moment; however, it was raining pretty steady during this final time on the football field.

    Congratulations to all the 2012 Fairmont Marching Band seniors, and to their families!

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    The rain has been fairly steady since 10:30am.  The grey, cloudy skies have captured the 44-degree temperature in a bubble that encapsulates the Miami Valley.  The weather channel indicates the rain cell will linger for quite some time.

    As I drove by the high school, the marching band, garbed in the warm, long raincoats, was assembled for its last step-off of the season.  Normally, it is not this dark at 6:45pm, but night has fully settled in.

    I am hoping the rain will stop shortly.  This is senior night for Fairmont students.  This is the night when senior members of the marching band, football team and cheerleaders are recognized for their contributions, hard work, and dedication.  I am not a fan of football, itself, but am hoping these find young folks will not be robbed of this big moment which, in many ways, is the first of many ‘goodbyes’ to come.

    All summer long, we prayed for rain that abandoned most of the country.  The past month we’ve been blessed with much rain on Friday evenings, postponing numerous football games.

    Fingers are crossed for tonight!


    This morning I drove out to Harshman Road past the Museum of the United States Air Force (and I did not stop!) to walk through one of the many Five Rivers Metro Parks: Eastwood Park.

    There were some lovely areas, but the color changes were not nearly as dramatic as last week’s natural canvas.  Plus, the park just did not seem well-tended.  There seemed to be a seediness with cars parking and folks meeting up.

    A MetroPark police office drove a few feet in front of me, and stopped.  As he looked back over his shoulder across one of the bridges toward three young adults walking, I caught a whiff of pot.  I looked at officer and said, “I think I smell what you smell.”  He smiled and nodded.  The trio walked past the officer, and eventually he pulled them over, handcuffing the two young men.

    Other than that, it felt like an uneventful morning.

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    One of the neatest areas of Dayton is The Oregon District located on the Southeast corner of downtown.  It is much like being in The Village of New York City with some of its eateries and unique shops.  Behind the main pass-thru is a section of beautiful old homes.  It is much like stepping back in time, except for the cars parked along the street.

    I did not take photographs of the homes as I felt that would be invasive; but I captured a few items that stand out on some of the homes – even a woodpecker making a hole on one of the homes.

    This is a bit of Oregon District’s history and archives.

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    I had driven through Carriage Hill Farm Park once, but had never stopped.  This morning, after leaving Charleston Falls, I headed a few minutes over to this park.  A beautifully maintained farm from the 1800’s.

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    This morning I left the house a little after 9:00am, and drove about 15 miles to Charleston Falls, just north of Dayton and Huber Heights off highway 202.

    Very nice scenery, but the falls was barely a trickle.

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    I love this quaint little neighborhood across the river from downtown Dayton.  It is where the Wright family lived, and worked.  Although their two story clapboard house no longer stands in its original location at 9 Hawthorn Street (it was removed to Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village), there is an amazing replica on the corner.

    The neighborhood’s transformation has been spectacular, and continues to improve.

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    Bishop Milton Wright

    United Theological Seminary is a United Methodist seminary in Trotwood, Ohio just outside of Dayton in the Dayton metropolitan area. Founded in 1871 by Milton Wright (the father of Orville and Wilbur Wright), it was originally sponsored by the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. In 1946 members of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ started a new denomination, the Evangelical United Brethren Church, with which the seminary then became affiliated. When that denomination merged with The Methodist Church in 1968, United Theological Seminary became one of the thirteen official seminaries of the new United Methodist Church. Though the seminary is affiliated with the United Methodist denomination, students come from many denominations and are ordained by a wide range of denominations upon graduation. The seminary houses a Presbyterian, Baptist, and United Church of Christ House of Studies. The seminary also has strong ties to the African-American church tradition, with a number of United graduates or former faculty members being major figures in the American Civil Rights Movement. In recent years, the seminary has become a leading center for discussion of church renewal.

    In 1869, the General Conference of the Church of the United Brethren in Christ voted to create and fund a seminary. The motion was suggested by Milton Wright, who later joined the seminary as the chairman of its first executive committee and named the seminary. The denomination’s publishing house was already located in Dayton, making the city an ideal location for its seminary. The school opened as Union Biblical Seminary in Dayton in 1871, operating with two full-time professors. In 1873 the seminary began admitting women. The first graduating class completed their studies in 1874, while the first woman graduated in 1883. An important early supporter of the school was the prominent Rike family, who founded and operated Rike Kumler Co. The school changed its name to Bonebrake Seminary in 1909 to honor Mary and John Bonebrake, who gave the seminary 3,840 acres of land in Kansas in an effort to raise revenue for the school. After the land was sold this amounted to a gift of nearly $100,000. Due to the seminary’s growing popularity and increasing enrollment, school officials had already been looking to expand the school’s campus. In 1911 the seminary, which had previously consisted of only one building, was able to buy a new 274 acre tract of land which was located a mile and a half away from the seminary’s previous plot of land. However, the school did not break ground to build any new facilities until 1920. Eventually the school constructed three buildings on the land, with the new campus being designed by the internationally-acclaimed Olmsted Brothers, who also helped design dozens of other national parks, university campuses, and landmarks around the world, including Biltmore EstateThe Jefferson Memorial, and Yosemite National Park and whose father, Frederick Law Olmsted, designed Central Park. The school was able to hire the Olmsted Brothers due to a sizable contribution from John Henry Patterson, the founder of the National Cash Register Company. The three buildings were all completed in 1923, at which time the seminary sold the building it had previously been occupying. The building was bought by the Evangelical School of Theology, which had formerly been located in Reading, Pennsylvania.

    In 1943 the United States government established a top-secret testing site at the Bonebrake Theological Seminary for the Manhattan Project, where research was conducted on the creation of an atomic bomb and polonium was produced that would eventually be used in the atomic bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, on August 9, 1945. In 1946, after a long period of division within the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, some members of the denomination decided to merge with the Evangelical Church, forming a new denomination which would be called the Evangelical United Brethren Church, with which the seminary then became affiliated. In 1954 United Theological Seminary was formed when the existing Bonebrake Seminary merged with The Evangelical School of Theology, which had previously bought the building the seminary had first occupied before moving to their new campus. Four of the faculty members from the Evangelical School of Theology moved to United to remain at the new seminary. A new library was constructed in 1952 and a new dormitory completed in 1957, while 1961 saw the completion of a new worship center. In 1968 the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church denominations merged. The United Methodist Church was formed by the merger, and the school became one of thirteen seminaries affiliated with the new denomination.

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    This morning I ventured out to the Dayton VA & Military Cemetery on West Third Street & Gettysburg.  The campus is gorgeous, and the resting place of thousands of servicemen and women is tranquil, and lovely.

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    Upcoming Programs

    at President Lincoln’s Cottage

    Lincoln and the Dakota
    A Weekend of Reflection and Remembrance
    Join us on October 20th and 21st for a weekend of activities as we honor the 150th anniversary of the 1862 U.S. – Dakota War. Programs include a film screening followed by a guided conversation on Saturday evening and the Dakota Legacy of Survival Round Dance on Sunday afternoon on the South Lawn of the Cottage.

    Film and conversation: sold out.

    Round Dance: 10/21, 12:00 – 5:00 pm. Free.

    Speaker John Borman will give a presentation, “Walk With Me,” during the Round Dance.

    For more information, click here.

    *This program is presented in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, with support from the Santee Sioux Tribe of Nebraska, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, the Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Tribe, the D.C. Native Community Round Dance Planning Committee, and the National Endowment for Humanities.

    Cottage Conversations

    Want to know more about Lincoln’s cabinet? Join us on Thursday October 25 for the premier lecture in the 2012-2013 Cottage Conversations series. Walter Stahr will speak about his new book, Seward: Lincoln’s Indispensable Man.

    Reception: 6:00pm / $10

    Lecture: 6:30pm / $10

    Reservations: SMiraminy

    President Lincoln’s Cottage
    Randolph Street at Rock Creek Church Road, NW

    Washington, District of Columbia 20011

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    President Lincoln’s Cottage | Upshur Street at Rock Creek Church Road, NW | Washington | DC | 20011


    I spent a good hour walking through Dayton Metro Parks Cox Arboretum.  The new tree tower is delightful, and provides a panoramic view of the Miami Valley.

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