Author Archives: Carl

Writer, photographer, video producer and film collector, Carl E. Feather has a passion for Appalachia and its people and landscape.

Ashtabula Harbor, a history

Nine months ago I embarked upon the most ambitious writing project of my life, crafting a history of Ashtabula Harbor, Ohio. Why? For more than two decades, The Harbor was the greatest iron ore receiving port in the world. More iron ore flowed through this port and to the mills of Youngstown, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, […]

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A sun sets, we beg for understanding

Complain we must about the rain, the clouds, the odd weather that tinkers with our plans for a picnic, wedding, campfire and fishing. The fact remains that the clouds are good for sunsets, and sunsets are good for the heart. A sunset well executed can stop you in your tracks, make you want to pull over […]

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On being INFJ

All my life I have felt weird, out of place. Like a dust bunny in an operating suite. A vegetarian at a Texas barbeque. A lifetime WCTU member at a distiller’s convention. The rest of the world was having fun, I observing, thinking about what was going on; feeling the sound waves, but never hearing […]

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My friend of many years, Betty Layport Feher, recently dug out some memorabilia from Shady Beach Hotel, one of the many relatively elegant hotels that once operated at Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio’s oldest summer resort. Shady Beach dates back to 1897 and stood where the village’s recreation park is today. It operated until the early 1970s, when […]

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Elmer Backlund

I met him about 15 months ago, when I interviewed Elmer Backlund and two other A&B Dock employees for an Ashtabula Wave story. Elmer brought a surprise to that meeting at Norman Millberg’s house: The log he had kept while machine foreman on the dock, 1975-1982. Elmer recorded the arrival and departure times of every […]

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What two divorces taught me about marriage

In a nutshell: Marriage is the most selfless act a person can take on, aside from dying on a cross. And divorce is the most selfish. And the line between the two is as thin as a divorce decree. That is what I have learned from two marriages and two divorces. OK, they were dissolutions. […]

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Joe College, you were so cool

My brother-in-law from my first marriage died early this morning. Robert N. College. Most people just called him “Joe College.” Joe came into the family shortly after I and Barb married. Her older sister had met him while working in the Beltway. He was quite a bit older than Jane, I’m guessing something like 20 […]

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The past three months I have been involved in a documentary film project about the immigration of Finnish workers and their families to Ashtabula Harbor. It’s been a grueling task, particularly the past two weeks as I’ve edited hours of interviews and B roll down to one hour. Being a one-man production, I’ve had to […]

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Illegal pursuits

  What I did was illegal, but the misty river was sublime. And so on the morning of October 14, 2016, I pulled off the side of Route 340 in Virginia, attached my Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 lens to my D800, and took a hike along the insanely busy highway. I’d just crossed the Shenandoah River […]

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The day we harvested sorghum it did not matter if the sorghum grew on red or blue land. The cane was green, the community a rainbow of calloused hands and smiles. The sky voted for life, the sun for abundance, the sap for a sweet finish, its excess cooking off over the wood fire, late into the […]

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