Thursday, October 23, 2014

Holmes County, Ohio, Rolling Countryside

Holmes County is hillier than Miami.  It is also home to many of Ohio's Amish residents.  People come from all over Ohio as well as from states further away to see the countryside in the fall when the foliage is bright.  They come all year round to buy quilts, and furniture and other Amish crafts.  They also like to eat the traditional foods found in the many restaurants...noodles, fried chicken, pickled beets and eggs, homemade pies...

Tom took the photo above and the one below from the parking lot of one of those restaurants.

Another way we can tell we are in an Amish area is by the work horses in the fields.  Although there are electric lines along this road, many of the Amish do not rely on electricity from these lines.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fulton Farms, Miami County, Ohio

Fulton Farms is part of our life in spring, summer, and fall.  Nothing tastes better than freshly picked fruits and vegetables.  

The fall crops are pumpkins and squash.  When our children were young, they came here to pick their pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns.  So did our grandchildren.  Groups of local kindergarten students come with their classes to choose pumpkins.  

There are other attractions, too.  See the wooden train between the pumpkins and the farmhouse.  Parents bring toddlers to climb on it.

Another attraction are hay rides.  I think they are actually "straw bale" rides.  Old-timers enjoy inspecting the old White tractor which pulls them.

As we headed toward Fulton's a few days ago to buy acorn and butternut squashes, Tom spotted a sign at the intersection..."Sweet corn".  He said, "That's hard to believe.  The season is past."

But ...

There was a table a bit larger than a card table with corn on it.  The check-out lady said it was the last of the season.  Appropriately, the corn was a bi-color called "Obsession".  It was a corn for those who hate to see the season end. 

We also bought the squash we had come for.

A few weeks ago, my artist friend, Marsha, and I sat with our backs toward the farmhouse and painted.  She found three still-fresh morning glories on a trellis for her painting and I painted this scene.  The structure on the left is part of the train caboose.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

The Troy Civic Theatre Presents Moon Over Buffalo

I'm more likely to smile than I am to laugh aloud when I am amused but the actors and actresses kept me laughing almost from the beginning of the first act.  Often first acts are a little slow but this one was not.  The zaniness never let up in the second act but rose to a wild crescendo at the end.

Dave Nickel stars as George Hay, the elderly actor who thinks he can still play a swashbuckling young man so well that the audience will find him believable in the part.  He really shouldn't drink, not even coffee.

Jessica Suba as Charlotte has her own theatrical aspirations. (This is the role that Carole Burnett played on Broadway.)  Jessica gives her whole heart to the performance and the audience responds to her with enthusiasm.  If only George would listen...

Ethel, Charlotte's mother, played by Terressa Knoch, must have arthritis as well as bad hearing.  She plods about at a slow, stiff, never changing pace, picking up after the cast, mending their costumes, and shaking her head at the crazy things going on around her.  The audience is amused just to watch her walk wearily from place to place.  When she doesn't hear exactly what others say to her because she either doesn't wear her hearing aids or turns them off, the audience is already primed to laugh at the results.  

Both George and Charlotte are delighted when their daughter, Rosalind, (Tina Hayes) pays them a visit though both are disappointed she has rejected a show business career.  She never does get around to telling them exactly why she is visiting.  It's a good thing she comes.  Before the play is over, her parents and the rest of their troupe need her.

Sometimes it seems, only Howard (Andrew Shamblin) knows his true identity.

Who will help poor teary-eyed Eileen, played by Bonnie Littlejohn, out of  her difficult situation?  Is there a solution that will save her?

Derek Dunavent, as Paul, really wants to help the troupe but nothing he does goes as it should.  

Steve Dietrich, as Richard, is the bearer of bad news, but  he has a plan to rescue Charlotte. 

The director, Jennifer Kaufman, saw Carol Burnett in Moon Over Broadway in New York City.  In her note in the playbill she said she thoroughly enjoyed Carol's performance then and she hopes the Troy audience will enjoy this show as well.  Niccole SueAnn Wallace is her Stage Manager

If you would like an evening of laughter and nonsense come to the Troy Civic Theatre's production of Moon Over Buffalo this coming weekend.  There are two evening performances, October 10 and October 11. The plays begin at 8 PM.  

Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Gown, a Different Kind of Art

Many years ago, in one of my other lifetimes, I chose to major in sewing at Harriet Whitney Vocational High School because that was the closest option to art which was my true love.

I haven't sewn for many years but my daughter called me a couple weeks ago.  The Troy Civic Theatre's seamstress had some health issues and ended up in the hospital.  She was in the midst of making costumes for the next play.  Sonja told her she would find some seamstresses to help her.  I agreed to make one of the dresses.

When Jerri  came home from the hospital, she brought me this slip and the fabric for the dress to be attached to the slip so the actress could do a quick change.

She had chosen the fabrics and even figured out how to use the scalloped edge of the dress fabric as the hemline.  I had the dress to cut out and stitch together.

The gown was to be a 1920s dress so Jerri had decided that there could be a mock lowered waist.  I had to think a bit, but,  after laying the fabric against the actress dressed in the slip, and doing some measuring with my old, old tape measure I decided on the proper length for the over blouse.  Jerri assured me two or three times she had bought plenty of material.  She had.  There was plenty left over for the skirt.

You can see the over blouse hem just below the actress's hands.  The bottom hem which is basted in is a bit lost in the shadows but it looks like the picture above this one.

The actress came to the theater with wet hair since this was the first full dress rehearsal and the hairdresser was to work on her hairdo for the play.  I promised her I wouldn't post a head shot.  I was happy the director let me get this picture before she started the rehearsal.  I went home, put in the hem and brought the dress back in a couple hours.  The cast was in the midst of rehearsal and expected to be rehearsing for several more hours.

The more I learn about community theater the more I appreciate those whose avocation is to bring live theater to our area.