Tuesday, October 18, 2011

‘Chillicothe in Story and Song’ exhibit displayed in Stevenson Center

Collection by William ‘Tom’ Thomas captures
town’s reference in several venues




William “Tom” Thomas’ ongoing quest to record the instances that Chillicothe has been mentioned in literature and in film is the subject of an exhibit at Ohio University-Chillicothe. “Chillicothe in Story and Song,” currently on display in the Stevenson Center near the Quinn Library entrance, includes the fruits of Thomas’ labors to track the mention of Chillicothe’s name in various forms.

With a heavy reliance on word of mouth and tips from others, Thomas has uncovered nearly 100 instances of Chillicothe being mentioned in films, books, movies, cartoons and even a Broadway play. This display, which contains approximately 60 examples of Chillicothe being referenced in various forms and venues, was recently moved from its previous home at the Chillicothe & Ross County Public Library.

“With its use by individuals on campus and throughout the community, the Quinn Library seems an appropriate location,” said Thomas, an adjunct faculty member at OU-C. “Plus, this offers an opportunity for a new group of individuals to see the exhibit and, hopefully, provide some new leads for further references.”

Thomas ties Chillicothe’s allure partly to its unusual name and Main Street appeal.

“I think much of its appeal is probably due to its distinctive name and presumed Midwestern innocence and integrity. As many entries in this collection suggest, Chillicothe can be seen as a special Everytown USA,” he said. “Further, it is the type of name that people remember once they have heard it.”

Among more unusual references are the town’s name being included in the third stanza of that Tinseltown musical standard “Hooray for Hollywood” and the finish line in the 18th episode of the Hanna-Barbera animated cartoon series “Wacky Races,” which featured such notables as Dick Dasterly and Penelope Pitstop during its two-year run on TV that ended in 1970.

Also, the scripts for some of Elvis’ movies led not to Graceland, but to the Ross County seat. In both “Blue Hawaii” and “Viva Las Vegas,” the name of Chillicothe appears.

As word of Thomas’ efforts has become more widespread, what was once a one-man effort has picked up steam, and has included tips and insights from individuals across the nation.

“I have received suggestions on where to find mentions of Chillicothe from a broad network of people who have sent leads,” Thomas said. “Many are OU-C faculty members and former students who learned of my project.”

Thomas’ interest began in the mid-1980s when he noticed a cartoon in Look magazine in which a man, after traveling to a mountaintop for sage advice but being disappointed in the response, said, “I travel all the way from Chillicothe, Ohio, and your only advice is’ Keep your options open?’”

Thomas tucked away the cartoon in an envelope as he did with other mentions of Chillicothe. Around Thanksgiving time in 2008, he took out the envelope, and his pastime was transformed into a project.

“It takes a lot of time and can be very frustrating, but what keeps me going is the thrill of the chase and when I find something, particularly a reference I did not expect,” Thomas said. “At that moment, it’s all worthwhile.”

It is a grassroots effort and very labor-intensive. It has also been a labor of enjoyment for Thomas.

“The fun is in tracking down the information. There are no real shortcuts. It’s all about getting leads, acting on them and following through,” Thomas explained.

Many of the references in film are just in passing, requiring Thomas to not only locate the video but also scan it until uncovering the moment of truth with the mention of his city of residence.

Thomas graduated from Chillicothe High School in 1956. After living in other parts of the country, he returned from Oak Ridge, Tenn., to his hometown 10 years ago.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and his law degree from the University of Tennessee. Thomas teaches classes in business law and philosophy at OU-C.

Those who have nuggets of Chillicothe-related information to share with Thomas can contact him at 257 Independence Drive, Chillicothe, Ohio 45601 or lawscience@roadrunner.com.

A document detailing the project is available online at http://www.chillicothe.ohiou.edu/pages/today/Docs/ChillicotheinStorySong.pdf

Information session is scheduled for possible bachelor’s program in social work

Ohio University-Chillicothe is anticipating offering a bachelor’s degree in social work beginning in the fall of 2012, with admission beginning winter quarter 2012. Interested individuals, both current and prospective students, are encouraged to attend an information session at 5 p.m. on Nov. 10 in Bennett Hall room 206.

OU-C Dean Martin Tuck, Associate Dean Jim McKean and Warren Galbreath, Chair of the university’s Social Work program, will be available to answer questions.

Those unable to attend can contact Student Services at (740) 774-7240.

“We are happy that Chillicothe Campus students may soon be able to earn a bachelor’s degree in social work without leaving campus,” Tuck said. “OU-C students have expressed much interest in pursuing this degree, and the offering of a bachelor’s degree in social work would underscore the campus’ commitment to providing academic programs that align both with students’ interest and emerging career fields. For example, this degree offers a pathway for students in our popular Human Services Technology associate degree program, as well as other students seeking a profession that allows them to make a career of helping others. Further, the availability of skilled social work professionals will add to the quality of life for this region.”

OU-C to host ORC volleyball tourney

Ohio University-Chillicothe will host the Ohio Regional Campus State Volleyball Tournament in the Shoemaker Center this weekend. Games will begin at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Saturday’s matches will begin at 11 a.m. with the final match scheduled for 5 p.m., and Sunday’s finals matches will begin at noon and conclude after the 4 p.m. match.

OU-C’s first match will be at 7:30 p.m. Friday vs. OU-Zanesville. If the Hiltoppers win, they will face Miami-Middletown at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Besides OU-Chillicothe, other campus teams that will compete in the tournament include: OU-Lancaster, OSU-Newark, Miami-Middletown, Miami-Hamilton, OSU/Rhodes, OU-Zanesville, OSU-Mansfield, Wright State Lake and Wayne College.

Upcoming OU-C salon discussion event focuses on art of storytelling

Campus and community residents are encouraged to spin a proverbial yarn or two during the upcoming salon discussion series event from 4:30 p.m.to 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 27 in the Stevenson Center Quinn Library at Ohio University-Chillicothe.

The event is free and open to the public. Snacks will be provided.

The session, titled “EERIE APPALACHIA,” will focus on the art of storytelling and the area region. Adam Booth, a professional storyteller and three-time winner of the West Virginia Liar’s Contest, will be the featured speaker. Attendees are also encouraged to wear a costume, if they please.

The ongoing salon discussion series allows campus and community residents to become engaged in conversations focused on topics of particular interest.

“Our mission at the library is to serve as the steward of the intellectual life of our community. Our community is both inside and outside the walls of the university, and our salons bring the two together,” Head Librarian Allan Pollchik said. “Because they are not being graded, students often find it easier to

Trick or Treat Extravaganza offers family-friendly atmosphere

A Trick or Treat Extravaganza will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Oct. 28 in the Shoemaker Center at Ohio University-Chillicothe. The event is designed to offer a safe place for area children and will include a costume parade, face-painting, bounce houses, arts and crafts and food.

Tickets are $2 or a donation of a gently used or new coat, or four cans of food. Tickets are available at the OU-C Bennett Hall Information Desk during regular business hours and at the door the evening of the event.

The event is sponsored by the OU-C Human Services Association and the Ross County YMCA.

The extravaganza offers a safe, fun and family-friendly environment for area youth.

Area businesses and persons interested in sponsoring a treat table or donating candy/food items may contact OU-C faculty members Barbara Mahaffey at mahaffey@ohio.edu or (740) 774-7287; or Mary Jane Preece, preecem@ohio.edu, or Jody Wilson, aw118107@ohio.edu.

Bruce Blackburn named baseball coach at Ohio University-Chillicothe

Bruce Blackburn has been named head baseball coach at Ohio University-Chillicothe. Blackburn is currently an assistant coach with the Athens-based Southern Ohio Copperheads in the Great Lakes League, a summer league for college players. The Copperheads won a division championship and set a franchise record for victories in 2011.

He has also served as an assistant coach at Piketon High School and as an assistant coach and head coach of the Waverly American Legion Post 142. He has coached several players who have earned high school and college all-star recognition.

Following his high school playing career at Triad High School in North Lewisburg, Ohio, Blackburn was a minor-league catcher in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization.

He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in sports administration at Shawnee State University.

OU-C has a robust athletics program and fields women’s teams in volleyball, basketball, softball and tennis; and men’s teams in basketball, golf, baseball and tennis. The Hilltoppers compete against similar campuses in the Ohio Regional Campus Conference.

At the Chillicothe Campus, the athletic program is part of the overall effort to offer students a well-rounded college experience. Athletics provide an outlet for students and are designed to be a positive part of the students’ college experience.

Dennis Deane exhibiting work at Rio Grande

OU-C Professor of Art Dennis Deane is exhibiting Fallen Babylon: A Nightmare of Strange Proportions at the Greer Museum Gallery, University of Rio Grande, through Nov. 4. The one-person show includes paintings, digital images, photographs, ceramics and installations. Gallery hours are 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Bookstore offers unique course material formats for faculty members to utilize

Faculty members are reminded that they need to place their textbook and other material adoptions for winter quarter with the OU-C bookstore by Oct. 24.

Further, as faculty members consider winter quarter materials, they are encouraged to be mindful of the unique course material formats available. The bookstore again expects textbook rental to be popular with students, and there has also been an increased interest in CafeScribe, the digital textbook solution.

A free webinar about CafeScribe, including insights on developing and implementing a digital course material strategy, will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 25 and Oct. 27. To register, visit http://www.connectyourthoughts.com/.

For more information about CafeScribe or ordering winter quarter material, contact Bookstore Manager Andrea Carroll at 1023mgr@fheg.follett.com or (740) 774-7780.

Bookstore to close early on Oct. 19

The OU-C bookstore will close at 4 p.m. on Oct. 19 for textbook inventory.

Ohio University hosting forum regarding access and persons with disabilities

Education = future, a forum addressing access to education and employment for persons with disabilities at Ohio University, will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 25 in the Baker University Center Ballroom A at Ohio University. The event is sponsored by the Presidential Advisory Council on Disability and Accessibility Planning.

Wellness Committee sponsors cancer awareness fund-raisers

Because October is “Breast Cancer Awareness” month, the Health, Wellness & Safety Committee is selling “Breast Cancer Awareness” bracelets for $1 each as a fund-raiser. The committee is also raffling a bag filled with Ohio University memorabilia. Bracelets can be purchased at the Bennett Hall Info Desk, the Advising Center, the Library circulation desk, and the Health & Wellness Center. Raffle tickets can be purchased at the Bennett Hall Information Desk and are on sale for $1 each, $5 for 6, or $10 for 15.

The fund-raiser will continue through the end of the month, and the drawing for the OU memorabilia will be done the first week of November. All proceeds go to benefit the Southern Ohio Survivors.