December 20, 2014

Elyria
Cloudy
29°F
test

Off the beat: Oct. 6, 2007


Lisa’s comic strip story strikes a nerve

The response to a feature about Tom Batiuk’s newly published book “Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe” was immediate and varied.
Several people called The Chronicle asking where they could buy the book locally. One caller spoke of how deeply she was touched by Lisa Moore, the “Funky Winkerbean” character who died Thursday after struggling with cancer for several years in the daily comic strip.

Unable to go to an Akron pizza parlor for Batiuk’s book-signing party this weekend, she said really wanted a copy of the book.Like Lisa, the caller said she is not expected to survive her own cancer.

As it turns out, a signed copy of the book will be made available to the caller, who contacted publisher Kent State University Press. Jeff White, a longtime area coach, sports referee and the former director of youth football leagues in Elyria and Lorain, recalled sitting in Batiuk’s art classes at Eastern Heights Junior High School in 1970 and 1971 as he began to create the characters that would soon populate the syndicated comic strip.

“He didn’t look anything like that picture in the paper (accompanying this week’s feature),” White said with a laugh. “Tom had hair halfway down his back and a big mustache … a real hippie look.”White was always grateful for the art lessons taught by Batiuk, which he would put to good use in promotional literature for recreational and sports facilities in Oberlin. “It’s been 35 years but he really made an impact on me. He was a great teacher.”“Lisa’s Story: The Other Shoe” may be purchased online at Amazon.com.

It should also be on shelves at various area bookstores. Call your favorite bookseller to check availability.

— Steve Fogarty

Strawberry satellite

Joe Grgic, 66, of North Ridgeville, couldn’t find anyone to take away an old satellite dish that had been knocked down in his yard during a thunderstorm, so he decided to make the best of the situation and plant a batch of strawberries in it. 

Next year, he intends to attach a sprinkler to the dish’s transmitter head.

— Stephen Szucs

Lorain mayor enjoys his conveniences

The mayor of any city is afforded a few privileges. But none is more appealing than the one behind an unassuming door inside the Lorain mayor’s office.

The door that looks as though it leads into a small utility closet actually opens up into a tiny bathroom right across from the mayor’s desk.

Sure, there’s a locked bathroom down the hall from the mayor’s office on the second floor of City Hall for use by the mayor’s staff and the Law Department, but with a schedule as taxing as the mayor’s, who has time?

“I love it,” said Mayor John Romoser, who’s been on the job for about a month now. “It’s very convenient.”
— Adam Wright

Hannah Montana StubHub.com

Too busy to constantly check StubHub.com for cheap seats for the upcoming Hannah Montana “Best of Both Worlds” concert at Quickens Loan Arena?

Well, I’m not. I’ve been keeping an eye on them.

And, I’m here to inform parents that snagging the tickets will be the equivalent of forking over a mortgage payment.

Tickets for the Jan. 3 concert are still going for about $250 to $2,644 through the online ticket broker.

That’s still a little too rich for my blood. But I’ll keep checking.
— Lisa Roberson

The best place around to work

Want to work where your boss provides a gym? Where a staff nurse will help you lose weight? Where everyone pitches in to raise money for the United Way?

That’s what put Elyria’s Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems on the Employers Resource Council’s list of top employers for the fourth year in a row, said the company’s communications director, Barbara Gould. At an awards banquet Sept. 19, the council once again named Bendix one of the region’s 99 best places to work.

It’s also why the average employee has been at Bendix for 17 years, Gould said.

“We find ways to make work fun and educational and interesting,” she said. “That makes our employees very loyal, very talented and very productive.”

The Cleveland Street business makes air brakes and other safety equipment for Volvo, Mack, Detroit Diesel, Caterpillar, Peterbilt and Kenworth.

— Jason Hawk

The deer whistler

An Oberlin reader had a great suggestion for avoiding deer/vehicle crashes now that deer rutting season has begun.

Use deer whistles which can be attached to vehicles and create a warning sound when you travel 35 mph or greater.

“I have them on my motorcycles,” the reader said.

Last year, deer caused 505 crashes in Lorain County, tying with Franklin County for eighth place in the state. A crash last year killed 44-year-old Shawn Pope, of Wellington, whose Harley-Davidson motorcycle hit a deer on Cemetery Road. Pope died nine days later, according to Lt. Glenn Peterson, commander of the Elyria Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Peterson had his own brush with a buck June 15 when a deer ran into the side of his cruiser in Erie County, and then ran off. The impact caused $838 in damage.

Meanwhile, bow season for deer hunters began Saturday and runs through Feb. 3. Gun season is Nov. 26 through Dec. 2.
There is an extra weekend for deer gun hunting Dec. 15 and 16, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
— Cindy Leise

Oberlin’s excellent jazz alumni

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music has been producing successful jazz musicians long before the school began planning the $22 million Phyllis Litoff Building, which is scheduled to open in 2009.

If you’ve seen Steely Dan in concert, you’ve probably heard keyboardist Ted Baker, who has played with the rock, jazz-fusion group.
Baker also performed on Broadway on “The Who’s Tommy” and “The Lion King.”

Other famous jazz studies graduates from Oberlin include Composer James McBride, who has written songs for Anita Baker, Grover Washington Jr. and others.

Trumpeter, trombonist and composer Michael Mossman also is an Oberlin jazz studies grad.

Other well-known jazz studies students from Oberlin College:
• Pianist and composer Stanley Cowell.
• Bassist, composer and arranger Leon Lee Dorsey.
• Pianist, arranger and producer Allen Farnham.
• Bassist Ben Jaffe.
• Composer and pianist Jon Jang.
— Cindy Leise