The Curtain Falls…

Yellow Springs and the greater entertainment world has lost a special talent with the death of James P. Rose (see obituary here).

Pepito, the marionette who made regular enchanting appearances at Street Fair, was perhaps his best known creation locally.

Perhaps his most stunning achievement was the marionette program he created based on the plays of Shakespeare.

Larger versions of some of these thumbnails can be found in an earlier blog post about this program.

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Familiar Discomfort

A letter (who might the author “F.” be?) to the Xenia Sentinel of January 12, 1864 might have been written about Yellow Springs last week:

Letter from Yellow Springs

Yellow Springs, January 6, 1864.


This interesting village stands, at present writing, enveloped in a circumambient atmosphere of most frigid intensity. Cold, cold, bitter cold. Nature seems congealed into insensibility. The habitations of man are frosted with the breath of the inexorable monster of the North, who, gazing through the windows, envious of the warmth and happiness within, and yearning to scatter to the winds the shelter which the skill of man has thrown around himself, breathed his icy breath upon the panes into fantastic shapes and forms of the Northern pole. People, as they draw closer around them their wintry garments, and hurry through the streets, seem to have changed from what they were but in a few months ago. They have suddenly become intensely selfish. Their blood and sensibilities seem to have retreated to the inner sanctum of their own individuality. With unconsciouable impudence they tell you as they hurry along that it is cold weather, as if, forsooth, they were not themselves unmistakable pictures of frigidity, and it were necessary that “:cold weather” should be put into the mouths of these walking statuaries in order to declare themselves. On they hurry, their manly steps degenerated to a dog-trot, possessed of but one idea, and having but one blissful goal in their imaginations, some hot place where they may become permeated with caloric, and thawed with stupidity, and from whence they many not soon depart.

Mr. Editor, I do not like winter. I could never fall in love with this dread spirit of the North—this Scandinavian god—this Thor with his huge hammer—this sweeping, unconquerable demon of the Arctic regions. What impudence in daring to make an onset into these happy and temperate climes! No warning or intuitive of his approach. The cool and moderate air, which, like an advance picket force, had been toying and coquetting with the breath of the South, was suddenly withdrawn, and we were surprised by the instant appearance of the spirit itself, in all its intensity and power. Would that he would soon depart to its icebergs. It is too cold to write. My pen is frozen. When it is thawd, I will write again.


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From the Antioch Bookplate Archives — 2000s Part 9

Several licensed properties for the children’s market and more bookplates with plenty of space for memorial information for the Christian market. Note the experiments with special die-cut shapes.

3617-X — Harry Potter die-cut

3619-6 — by Martha Lever, with Psalms 51:10

3620-X — die-cut

3621-8 — with Psalms 128:5

3622-6 — Winnie the Pooh, licensed from Disney

3628-5 — Tinkerbell, licensed from Disney



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Yet Another Mystery “Then”

Once again there’s a photo from the Kahoe glass negative plate collection labelled “House”. The bay window of the upper story is certainly distinctive, but are there other architectural details that might point to an identification?

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The Times, They Are A-Changin’…

One more selection from the January 1937 issue of The Hooey CCC Camp newsletter, startling in its ferocity. Officials from this time would undoubtedly lose their minds at the current pace of decriminalization.

One wonders how available marijuana would have been to the CCC Camp in 1937,. but the inclusion of this article in the newsletter indicate that the powers-that-be felt a warning to be necessary.



Shame and death are the evil blossoms of a sinister growth that threatens to ruin the health and minds of thousands of America’s youth. Striking in the darkness, this stealthy public enemy can be fought only by the clear daylight of publicity. Only in this way can we secure the drastic legislation to cope with a new and deadly menace. But, just what is this gloomy monster of destruction?

Marijuana is a too-easily procurable narcotic which goes under the scientific name of cannibis Americana. Of its other names, probably the most familiar is marijuana, orginating in Mexico, where the drug has long been a source of poverty, madness, and crime. Others are “greefa”, also of Mexican origin, “MaryWarner”, “reefer”, “miggles”, “”mooter”, “moota”, and “joy-smoke”.

But regardless of its name, the investigators found, it is regarded everywhere in the United States today as a major menace to society and particularly to that very important fact in society the Nation’s youth.

Scarcely known outside the medical profession a few years ago, this insidious narcotic is now so widely used throughout the United States that every metropolitan police officer and welfare worker knows it by taste, sight, and smell. The taste is like stale coffee flavored by licorice.

\They know its pernicious effects, too, not only on the young and inexperienced, but upon the weak and criminally inclined of all ages.

Yet the fight against it has been so handicapped thus far by inadequate laws and public apathy or ignorance that it is continuing to extend its hold over a constantly widening area and an ever-increasing number of people.

According to H. J. Anslinger, United States Narcotic Commissioner, “While the use of other narcotics is decreasing, marijuiana smoking is increasing. It is being taken up, worst of all, by young boys and girls, mostly between the ages of eighteen and twenty=two. Driven by the craving for this vicious and destructive drug, many of these youthful addicts are turning to petty crime.

Irrespective of whether the addicts are boys, girls, or adults, continued use of the drug almost invariably leads to mental collapse, and, quite frequently, to complete insanity, on this, the government report just transmitted to the League of Nations says that, taken in sufficient quantity, produces marijuana an “almost immediate lust, complete irresponsibility and a tendency toward willful violence. Those who are habitually accustomed to the use of cannibis frequently develop a delirious rage after its administration, during which they are temporarily, at least, irresponsible and liable to commit violent crimes. The prolonged use of this narcotic is said to produce mental deterioration and eventual insanity.” A man under the influence of marijuana might actually commit murder or other violent crimes.

For years, neither marijuana nor its Asiatic bad brother, hashish, which goes under the scientific name of cannibis Indica, (which no self-respecting Chinaman would even use) was classed in the pharmacopeia as a narcotic.

However, the Federal Narcotic Bureau classes it very emphatically as a narcotic, and medical observers of its effects on delinquent youths are beginning to think it may be the most dangerous of all.

(From the article by Lionel Calhoun Moise in the February issue of Phyiscal Culture)

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CCC Camp Life January 1937

Cover image – The Hooey January 1937)


Steeple-Jack & Circus Freak Included with ROOKIES

Asst. Leader Louis Quedeweit, who often demonstrates his prowess at biting pieces out of glasses and the tops off of bottles, has finally met his match among the group of talented rookies who arrived at camp on January 12. One of the men, Earl Bartley, has had a season of professional experience at eating glass, old razor blades (better watch your good ones when he’s hungry), and nuts and bolts. At our amateur night program on this last Thursday he publicly demonstrated his prowess by eating the glass from a broken electric light bulb and then running nails in his head for several inches. Lieut. Bruick is now wondering how he will explain to the Captain the loss of one light bulb! The Captain seemed to doubt his story that one of the men ate it.

Among the talents indicated by various rookies at the recent interviews are: 4 years shoe repair, 2 years steeple-jack, 6 years operating electric factory truck, 4 mos. cemetery caretaker, (this completes our service since we already have an experienced undertaker), 7 mos. operating merry-go-round, 4 years milk man, 3 years gas man, 5 mos. electric welding, 5 mos. making pies, 12 years cooking. Previous employment as farmhand was in the majority, newsboy next, and messenger boy next in numbers.


This title might seem kind of screwy to you, but I think that it will fit practically any of us. For the past few weeks, mostly after the quarantine, it seems that we can’t get back down to earth and I think that it is about time that something was done about it.

It seems that we don'[t have as many as we used to have in our school classes and that those that do come can’t learn a thing, and those that were coming forget that we ever had a school.; I think that it is about time to think of coming back to John Bryan Junior College and get to learning just what we don’t know. If you think that you don’t need any schooling come up and get a look at the school building itself. Some of the fellows have n ever been in the place and then go around saying that we have nothing up here that would interest them.

‘It seems that the men do not behave as they should and that there are a few getting a little extra duty and a few other things and think that they are done wrong, Well, I think that if some of these fellows do not get back down to earth that they m may not even be here the next time that they wish to enroll. The way that some of these fellows go to town and raise h— and talk about other people is going to be stopped, and I think that it will be stopped pretty soon, and I hope that the fellow that is punished gets all that he had coming to him. There are a few fellows that are getting off pretty easy with things around here and are going around bragging abut it. They had better look out because they won’t get away with it very long.

Don'[t forget to come to our school because, as the old saying goes, “We are never too old to learn”, and I think there are a lot of theses men that learn less the older they get.

Martin Klaric

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A Pioneer for Yellow Springs Seniors

Sometime in the spring a memorial plaque in honor of Dr. Wesley S. Matthews, fully funded by donors on Giving Tuesday and others, will be installed at the Yellow Springs Senior Center.

What follows is the short biography from the original YSSC website.

Rev. Wesley S. Matthews

The lifetime contributions of Rev. Matthews are proof that one person can be instrumental in defining and refining the quality of life in a community.

Born in 1912 in Carterville, Georgia, he was awarded the Distinguished Cup by an Atlanta newspaper for “best all-around student” the year of his graduation from Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta.

Upon graduation from Wilberforce University, the direction of his eventual career took shape with his work at the Linden Community Center in Dayton, where he began forming the ideas about the importance of recreational programs for seniors.

He returned to Wilberforce to study at Payne Theological Seminary, from which the African Methodist Episcopal Church sent him to Central Chapel in Yellow Springs in 1941, where he created a community playground in a vacant lot next to the church, established an enrichment program for boys in the parsonage, set up a series of volunteer-run recreational classes and led a sit-in to integrate Yellow Springs’ only motion picture theatre. What was eventually known as the High Street Community Center was noted as an interracial program designed around the specific needs of the neighborhood.

After a stint in Cincinnati he was assigned to Chillicothe, where he organized the Carver Community Center and in 1945 was voted the Jaycees’ “Man of the Year” for outstanding civic service.

Assignment to Trinity A. M. E. Church in Springfield brought him back in contact with Yellow Springs, where he became part-time director for the newly-organized Yellow Springs Senior Center and continued in the directorship for the next fifteen years. During this time the center was recognized at a national level as a model for small communities in programs of services for seniors.

Simultaneously, he was part-time pastor for St. Paul’s A. M. E. Church in Urbana, where he organized Champaign County’s first Head Start program and the Prophets of St. Paul’s A. M. E. Church choral group.

Eventually, he shifted his attention to helping to organize and subsequently ro direct the Greene County Commission on Aging.

Along the way he was awarded an honorary law doctorate for community services from Monrovia College in Liberia and married his partner in life and work, Ruth M. (Pat) Fields of Oberlin, Ohio, with whom he raised a family of five.

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Literary Women of Yellow Springs

The next women’s group to be profiled in Women of Greene County got together from a love of reading.

By the way, one of the premier literary women of Yellow Springs, Virginia Hamilton, will be the subject of a Zoom program on February 11, sponsored by the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center as part of their celebration of Black History Month.

Beryl Schicker

Readers Voracious (RV’s)
Yellow Springs

Readers Voracious grew out of a December Women, Inc. meeting at Jean Hudson’s where Beryl Schicker was giving an overview of contemporary women’s fiction. As she spoke, a yellow pad with pen made the rounds, gathering signatures requesting a reading group be started, with Beryl as facilitator.

The first meeting was held Thursday, 1987, at Esther Hetzler’s with sixteen women present. Our first novel was Tirra Lirra By The River by Jessica Anderson, an Australian. Since then we have read some sixty-six books from women writers from the United States, Canada, England, Africa, and elsewhere. Genres have included novels, short stories, and speculative fiction. The number of women attending has varied from eight to fifteen, depending on work schedules and other priorities. Some forty-five women, mostly from Yellow Springs, but not all, have been in, out, and back in the group. There have been spirited discussions, with differing interpretations, as we dealt with issues of race and class and other personal issues affecting women. This has been a wonderful way to get to know literature, oneself, other women, and women’s personal and political concerns around the world.

Novels which have aroused the most response or raised the consciousness of the members have included those by Buchi Emecheta of Nigeria; Gloria Naylor’s Women of Brewster Place and Mama Day; Paula Marshall’s wonderful Praisesong for the Widow; Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon. In addition to these African-American writers, we enjoyed and learned from Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God’s Wife. Rosellen Brown’s portrayal of controversies in the Civil Rights Movement in her Civil Wars was very evocative for many. Women’s search for sanity and harmony in a patriarchal world was strongly portrayed in speculative fiction works, like Marge Piercy’s Women on the Edge of Time, Inez Gillmore’s Angel Island, and Gate to Women’s County by Sheri Tepper.

RV’s meet from September through May on the first Thursday evening of the month. We have met at several women’s homes, but of late mostly at the facilitator’s. Charter members still attending include Suisan Stiles, Marianne Newman, Betty Kline, Marilyn Van Eaton, Fran LaSalle, with Jean Hudson and Faith Magee deceased. Other members have included Phyllis Duckwall, Joy Bartenstein, Esther Hetzler, Ruth Pratt, Sue Burgess, Karen Johnson, Helen Westneat, Hellen O”Neil McCray, Colleen Hanna, Gertrude Chasens, Patience Paradox, Mitzi Manny, Donna Denman, Martha Kline, Pam Coburn, Beth McDonald, Kari Tulecke, Judy Williams, Nada Such,.Gretchen Beers, Debbie Henderson, and Jane Jordan.

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Exhibit at Library

As many may be aware, the Yellow Springs Community Library has a window area in the vestibule of the Xenia Street entrance for the purpose of monthly exhibits which various groups and individuals from the community (and library staff) provide.

Yellow Springs Historical Society board member Chris Zurbuchen has arranged to provide exhibits for both February and March.

In honor of Black History Month, February’s exhibit, just mounted, is devoted to the Wheeling Gaunt Sculpture Project, as well as the books Blacks in Yellow Springs: A Community Encyclopedia by The 365 Project and the newly-published Legacy of Grace: Musings on the Life and Times of Wheeling Gaunt by Brenda Jean Hubbard.

The subject of March’s exhibit will be the history of the Weston-Fess house, currently the location of New World Expeditions.

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Mishap in 1898

This article from the New Year’s Day issue of the Xenia Daily Gazette is a reminder that such mishaps are not relegated to the past. Be careful in the kind of weather we’ve had this week.

Yellow Springs Review: — Mrs. Lucinda H. Lewis met with a serious mishap last Friday, Dec. 24. About dusk, as she was walking in the direction of her home, she slipped and fell, just as she was passing the building once known as “The Ark,” and broke her right arm near the shoulder. Prof. Carl Buch first rendered her some assistance in getting up. Then she walked into the residence of Mr. Wm. Drake, the new and beautiful house erected on the spot where “Once the Ark rested.”In a short time she rallied and Mr. Drake took her home. Under the skillful care of Dr. Harris the bones were set. With such nursing as her devoted daughter can give, she is doing remarkably well. Mrs. Lewis has always been so kind and helpful to others in their afflictions, that it would not be possible for her to lack friends who will sympathize with and aid her in the day of her trial.

The former boarding house known as “The Ark” is thought to be the site of the current Yellow Springs Dharma Center.

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