Category Archives: Ashtabula County, Ohio
I’ve always had a passion for learning. My house sags under the weight of books and I own many more bookcases than chairs or tables. From electronics to history, from Christian history to Appalachian history, and from silent movies to the latest DSLRs that shoot video, I am constantly acquiring new information.
I wish I retained one-third of the knowledge I acquire, but the old brain has a hard time remembering my new street address, let alone the name of the W.Va. town that sounded interesting and I intended to put on my “to visit” list. But brain experts tell us the important thing is to keep excercising our gray matter, as well as our bodies, as we age.
I’ve always believed that there are many adults in Northeast Ohio who also enjoy learning, especially when there is no test at the end of the lecture. This fall, I have the opportunity to test that theory. As part of my job with the Ashtabula County Board of Commissioners, I am working with the Lodge and Conference Center at Geneva-on-the-Lake to to bring a Lifelong Learning program to not just adults of Ashtabula County, but also the many guests who visit the Lodge during the fall, winter and spring seasons.
The programs will be free for the guests; local learners pay just $10 each and will receive coffee, tea and a snack during the four-hours of instruction, discussion and occasional field trip.
The long-term goal is to create a miniature Chautauqua experience at the Lodge once a week. Eventually, we’d like those afternoon sessions to evolve into Road Scholar programs. But first we need to learn to crawl.
I have found many willing partners to be involved in this venture. John Smolen and Ashtabula County Bridge Engineer Leroy McNeilly, for example, will be presenters at our Oct. 9 program on covered bridges. I’ll present a Power Point program based upon a chapter from my new book, “The Covered Bridges of Ashtabula County.” The presentation will focus on the lost bridges — there were 37 of them that once stood in the county.
Later on in October, we’ll learn about tea and bourbon, both locally produced, and travel to a distillery where folks can sample rye whiskey and bourbon (shuttle provided). On Halloween day, we’ll see how real life can be much scarier than anything that happens on Halloween as we explore the great disasters of Ashtabula County. We’ll give special attention to the granddaddy of them all, the Ashtabula Train Disaster.
Registration is appreciated; call me at 576-3768 to register in advance so the chef knows how many cookies to bake! And speaking of dessert, The Lodge’s chef will, for our Oct. 2 program on Autumn in Ashtabula County, serve up one of his favorite autumn desserts.