Notes from the Pond

Deck the Halls and Light Up the Bands

The Gahanna Holiday Lights Parade Is Tops

The Gahanna Lights Parade is back by popular demand after a year’s hiatus. The parade route was packed with excited people of all ages and eager faces were brightly lit by the passing holiday lights. Every participant in the parade—band member, horse, dog, float, or fire truck—was was illuminated by Christmas lights of all colors.

Becky Stinchcomb, Gahanna’s mayor, said it was one of her hardest decisions last year to cancel the favored parade. “However, it was difficult to justify with so many other pressing needs in this tight economy,” she added. Many of Gahanna’s businesses donated time, effort, and funding to rescue the event. The people of Gahanna send a big thank you to the mayor and city council for bringing it back. It all came together under the able direction of Bev Metcalf, of Metcalf Printing, who chaired the event.

The holidays are now officially upon us. The king of all parades, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, began the season with the elaborate introduction of Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus at the end of its traditional procession. I have been receiving gift catalogs in the mail for nearly a month; holiday music is playing across the universe; official city, state, and national trees are lit with all the proper ceremonies; and it is time to drag out all the decorations.

Ready or not the holidays are here. Don you favorite gaudy holiday sweater, spike the eggnog, and wrap all the packages. It won’t be long until St. Nick makes his famous ride.

NOTE:  Included in the photos below are pictures of Brutus Buckeye and Mayor Stinchcomb with John Dobbie.


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America’s first governing document, the Mayflower Compact

Long before the Declaration of Independence or the U.S. Constitution there was another document that sought to establish a governing arm and purpose for the colony known as Plymouth Plantation. The Mayflower Compact was this country’s first governing document.

Everyone knows the story of the Pilgrims and the first Thanksgiving celebration; therefore, in the wake of today’s political wrangling I felt the need to review the first document that made all others possible. It is short on rhetoric but was sufficient in providing a platform for establishing a government in this new land.

When the Mayflower ship landed farther north of its intended target of Virginia territory, the colonists realized they were outside of the governing powers of the land granted in a patent from the Crown to the London Virginia Company. The ship carried not only those we know as the Pilgrims who made the crossing for religious freedom but it also had many “strangers” (colonists who were not members of the congregation of religious dissenters leading the expedition). The strangers knew they did not have to answer to any laws and therefore announced they “would use their own liberty; for none had power to command them….” To prevent chaos the colonists decided to establish a government and allegiance to the king. (This, of course, is during a time the king was seen as a benevolent figure and way before unrests that led to the Revolution.)

The Mayflower Compact was drafted and the Pilgrims required all men to sign it before leaving the ship. Historians feel it was more of a social contract than an actual legal document in which the settlers consented to follow the compact’s rules and regulations for the sake of survival. It was signed on November 11, 1620 by 41 of the ship’s 101 passengers. The compact bound all signers to accept whatever form of government was established after landing. The compact created a “Civil Body Politic” to enact “just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices. The compact remained in effect until Plymouth was incorporated into the Dominion of New England in 1686 and then the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.

As they disembarked the Mayflower no one could predict the tremendous hardships facing them. Only half of the original 101 passengers would be alive by the next spring. The first winter was brutal and most of the colonists remained on board ship until they had sufficient housing built to accommodate them. They suffered exposure, scurvy, and contagious diseases in addition to surviving harsh winter storms.

As every school child knows the new venture was successful. In the fall of the following year the Pilgrims held a time of celebration for the fall harvest and invited the local Native Americans to share in their good fortunes and to repay them for their kindness and guidance.

The Mayflower Compact is a testament to the Pilgrims’ dedication to their cause and a willingness to work together to achieve their shared dreams. They saw the importance in putting aside individual wants and needs to join together in a civil body politic; for better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the common goals. They were willing to compromise in order to establish a workable government to ensure the success of their great venture.

Modern version of the Mayflower Compact

In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the loyal subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord King James, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, etc.

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.

In witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the 11th of November, in the year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord King James, of England, France, and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth, 1620.[12]


NOTE:  for a more historical look at the first Thanksgiving please see “Thanksgiving Thoughts: from five kernels of corn to gobble till you wobble”, Nov. 24, 2010


I was sabotaged! Thank you very much

The morning before Election Day I eagerly go to my computer to post my newest and last blog regarding the fight against SB 5. Computer is working fine, I do some last-minute polishing of a piece I have been working on for several days and then press the button to post it to my blog—NOTHING!

I access my internet home page and the Columbus Dispatch but then it slows to a crawl and then a stop. I cannot access my blog and then I suddenly have no internet connection. Strangely, when I check my modem connection it shows 5 green bars but then there is an orange circle over it. I call my internet provider and am told they can’t send a technician for 3 days. Curiously, I find I can get back on the internet an hour before the polls close on Election Day.

Did someone deliberately block my internet connection? The internet technician came out today, three days after the event, and tested all necessary items. Bright green bars flashed across the screen. He tells me there is no problem with my internet or modem. In fact, very strong signals are coming my way. I ask him about the possibility of sabotage and he politely repeats that there is nothing wrong with my internet connections. He explains that many things can be done to create interference—even someone from China could have created the problem. Somehow I doubt that anyone in China could give a rat’s ass about Ohio politics, my writings and my blog.

Am I frustrated? Yes! Am I angry? No. I am not angry and in fact I have many things to be thankful for. So, I am taking this time to extend my thanks to the malicious culprit who tried to silence me:

  • ·         Thank you for giving me the opportunity to run several scans on my computer. Everything checked out OK with no viruses so I guess my firewall is working.
  • ·         Thank you for giving me the opportunity to reboot my computer and internet several times. I needed the extra exercise of crawling under my desk. I also found a few extra pens while I was down there.
  • ·         Thank you for the opportunity to talk with the lovely tech support people in India. I enjoy the challenge of interpreting their dialect mixed in with the background noise of a hundred other tech support people.
  • ·         Thank you for the extra glass of wine at the end of that day.
  • ·         Thank you for freeing up my time and allowing me to take advantage of a beautiful Indian Summer day and go for an impromptu drive through the back roads with my husband. It was a lovely day.
  • ·         Thank you for confirming that people are reading my blog. The events are too coincidental for make me to think it was anything else but objections to my blog. In addition, there is also the time you or your friends reported my blog to the Facebook people as being “abusive”. I must have made my points well.
  • ·         Thank you for including me in the list of those who were censored. That list includes: George Orwell’s 1984; Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer;  Adolph Huxley’s Brave New World; Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales; Joseph Heller’s Catch 22; J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye; Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass; John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men; Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Scarlet Letter; and many, many more. That is a pretty impressive list and I feel honored to join it.
  • ·         Thank you for showing your true, sadistic colors.

Although this was done anonymously, I know who you are. Your politics are different from mine so you are leaning to the right of the scale. You are obviously a fan of Gov. Kasich and feel he can do no wrong or you would not have found my words so offensive. You are a bully and a control freak; otherwise you would not stoop so low. You would, instead, wait until my blog is posted and then engage in debate under the comments section.

Unlike many other blogs found on the web, I have tried to maintain a sense of decorum and professionalism. I have not resorted to profanity or name calling which is found in many others. There is nothing “abusive” in my content other than a different point of view than your own. True followers of Notes from the Pond know that I encourage healthy debates and discussions. That has been one of my points during the SB 5 campaign—people deserve the right to come together to discuss the problems and work them out together. It is only through open minds and honest discussions can we find the answers to the many problems our state and nation are facing.

We need to be able to come together as one family around the table to look at our many needs and then find a workable solution that benefits everybody. This will never happen as long as there are some people so interested in their own self-serving needs that they feel they must stoop so low as to change the words of a grandmother as in Grandma Quinn or to try to silence a lowly blogger.

Finally, thank you, my friend, for opening my eyes.

Ohio Voters Reject Issue 2, Collective Bargaining Law | Ohio Votes 2011

Ohio Voters Reject Issue 2, Collective Bargaining Law | Ohio Votes 2011.

Autumn in Ohio

Fall is here and the farmers are busy bringing in the harvest before winter grabs us in his icy hands. Mother Nature has taken out her paint box and transformed the green leaves of summer into an autumn rainbow of golds, reds, and oranges.

The cold, penetrating rains of fall have hit the Midwest and robbed the trees of most of their leaves. Like O. Henry’s The Last Leaf, I have often been tempted at this time of year to paint a single leaf on the wall opposite my window to give me hope during the long winter ahead. The warm days are quickly disappearing and the cold nights are lingering on way too long. Soon the world will be plunged into more darkness than daylight.

The world is now full of pumpkins and apples and crisp fall days accompanied by the background music of swishing through the fallen leaves. The time is short so while we can let us pause and enjoy nature’s last encore.


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NOTE—for those not familiar with O. Henry’s The Last Leaf you can read it online at