Superman to The Fonz: Vintage lunchbox collection on sale
By DAN SEWELL
Friday, September 28
CINCINNATI (AP) — Look, up on the shelf! It’s Superman. There’s the king of the wild frontier himself, Davy Crockett. And over in that case is Davy Crockett again, except this time he’s Daniel Boone (we’ll explain later). And aaaaay! It’s The Fonz and the whole “Happy Days” family!
A veteran auctioneer has on display a baby boomer delight: hundreds of vintage lunchboxes featuring the heroes of their childhood comic books, TV shows, cartoon strips, movies and more.
“I’ve never had anything like this,” said J. Louis Karp, whose family-run business has been part of Cincinnati since the first years after the Civil War. “This is quite different.”
Sure, you can go to any number of websites to buy old metal lunchboxes from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. But to see 250 of them in the same place, to be able to pick them up, and then spot one just like mom packed for you with a peanut butter-and-jelly sandwich in the first grade. …
But back to the auction.
Karp regularly sells large estates loaded with rare artwork, antique furniture and collectibles. He has sold vintage lunchboxes before, but never so many. The private collection’s proceeds will benefit younger generations of the owner’s family.
Weldon Adams, a collectibles expert for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, viewed the lunchboxes online and said such a large, eclectic sale is a rarity.
“We’ve seen some sizable collections,” said Adams. “Having all of them show up at one time is truly an impressive thing.”
Younger people who like kitsch are among lunchbox buyers, Adams said, but they are particularly attractive to those who carried them as children because they are a powerful link “back to our identities of who we were as a child.”
Karp has 250 for an auction ending Sept. 30. There are another 200 he’s planning to auction before the Christmas holidays.
There are lunchboxes with the late actor Fess Parker, who played Crockett and Boone in separate TV series. There is “The Brady Bunch” and “The Partridge Family.” ”The Addams Family” and “The Munsters.” ”Nancy Drew” and “The Hardy Boys.” The Bee Gees and Bobby Sherman.
There are lesser-known ones: “Korg 70,000 B.C.” ”The Guns of Will Sonnett.” ”Goober and the Ghost Chasers.”
Adams said a “wonderfully obscure” one he noticed was from “Here Come The Double Deckers,” a British children’s TV show. Another is from “Fireball XL5,” an early 1960s children’s science fiction show with a fan cult.
“I’m stunned at the breadth of it,” Adams said of the collection.
Bids start at $20 each. Karp shouted upstairs to son Justin, who with his brother Jonas marks the fifth generation of Karps in the auction business, to ask how much different lunchboxes have sold for online.
“Lost In Space” TV series and “The Flintstones” animated series? $225 each.
“How about Popeye?”
“Who’s with Popeye?”
“Olive Oyl, Brutus …”
“Are they in a boat?”
Unfortunately, Karp said, many of the lunchboxes lack the Thermos beverage bottles that originally came with them. Those without could draw lower bids.
Karp, 71, reluctantly allowed his sons to bring his auctions into the internet age, and the business takes bids online from anywhere, and by email and phone. But he still enjoys his showroom-floor auctions, seeing the competitors watching one another, and the winners who finally emerge after rounds of tense bidding.
And this Sunday, he might just see some with tears in their eyes.
Cincinnati correspondent Dan Sewell’s first lunchbox was “Wagon Train,” but his favorite was “Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.” Follow him at http://www.twitter.com/dansewell
HEMISPHERE COFFEE ROASTERS RELOCATES TO EXPANDED NEW FACILITY
Creators of Great-Tasting Hunter’s Blend Coffee Moves Production to House Growing Business Needs
Hemisphere Coffee Roasters, premier coffee roasters and the avid outdoorsmen behind Hunter’s Blend Coffee, is pleased to announce the opening of its expanded new facility in Mechanicsburg, Ohio. The move comes as the demand for responsibly made, great-tasting coffee continues to grow which means the need for more usable space to accommodate efficient and increased warehousing, roasting, bagging, grinding and shipping.
“Hemisphere Coffee Roasters has grown exponentially over the past few years with 25-30 percent growth each year. A much larger facility was long overdue,” said Paul Kurtz, Owner of Hemisphere Coffee Roasters. “With more than 5,000 square feet of space on an 11 acre tract of land to accommodate even more warehousing as needed, we’re excited to have this new space that will allow for increased efficiency and keep up with our growing production needs,” he added.
Hemisphere Coffee roasts and ships about 3,000 to 3,500 pounds of coffee each week, much of which consists of the company’s newest blend created by hunters for hunters — Hunter’s Blend. “Hunter’s Blend is our newest specialty-grade brand designed to wake you up and get you out in the woods. We’re all avid outdoorsmen here at Hemisphere Coffee, and we’re proud to offer the hunting community great-tasting coffee that values and supports conservation and the hunting lifestyle,” added Kurtz.
Hunter’s Blend is perfectly roasted coffee harvested directly from Central America and East Asia. It’s available in a 12oz. Whole Bean bag, for those who prefer to ground their own coffee, and a 12oz. Ground bag ready for drip brewers ($12.95 MSRP each). Whichever blend they choose, hunters can feel great knowing they are purchasing more than just a quality bag of roasted coffee, they are helping to directly support growers around the world as well as their hunting community.
The new roasting facility (located at 275 E. Sandusky St, Mechanicsburg, OH 43044) also incorporates a tasting room and retail storefront, which are open Thursdays and Fridays 10am-5pm and Saturdays 9am-2pm. Tours are available upon request.
Hunter’s Blend is sourced and roasted by Hemisphere Coffee Roasters who’s passion about creating good coffee and doing some good in the process of creating it is at the forefront of its mission. This is why the company operates a direct-trade business model, which means it only works directly with growers from the best producing locations in the world like Kenya, Indonesia, Peru and Nicaragua, where every bean is hand picked by the hard-working people of its community. In fact, twenty-five million families derive their major living from the production of coffee and Hemisphere’s Coffee Roasters is dedicated to helping as many as possible. This dedication has thrived for more than 15 years, and because of the company’s impactful business model, they have witnessed hundreds of jobs created and people lifted out of poverty.
For more information about Hunter’s Blend Coffee, created by hunters for hunters, visit: huntersblendcoffee.com. To find out more about Hemisphere Coffee Roasters, visit: hemispherecoffeeroasters.com.
Corn dogs and cows: Woman visits all 88 county fairs in Ohio
By JEANNIE WILEY WOLF
The (Findlay) Courier
Saturday, September 29
FINDLAY, Ohio (AP) — Lexa Kessler is making an 88-county dent in her bucket list.
The 24-year-old Hancock County woman knocked off a major task in early September with a trip to the Geauga County Fair. Over the past four summers, she has visited all 88 county fairs in Ohio, as well as the Ohio State Fair.
“I didn’t think I’d ever get it done. I thought years from now I’d be like, ‘Oh, I should have finished that’, so I’m glad I did,” she said.
The idea to join the fair circuit came up in 2014, sparked by a trip to the Paulding County Fair with her parents, grandparents and now fiancé, Grant Loveridge.
“When we were there, my grandpa and I were joking because it’s a very small fair and it’s free to get in. So every year I joke, ‘I’ll pay for them all to go,’” she recalled.
Her grandfather, Jerry Stauffer, wondered if there were other similarly sized fairs in the state and asked her to find out and report back.
“So then I was just onto it,” said Kessler.
As it turned out, it wasn’t such a far-fetched idea, said Kessler, a former member of the Barnstormers 4-H Club who showed pigs at the Hancock County Fair.
Lexa Kessler’s final fair visit — Geauga County — was ticked off in early September.
Growing up, she added, fair week was always her favorite time of the year.
“We always joke with our family that the fair is a holiday if you ask us,” said Kessler. “The more I’m talking to people about this adventure of going to all the fairs, there’s some people that are absolutely like, ‘That’s awesome, I’m jealous. I wish I’d thought of that.’ And then there’s others that are, ‘I hate the fair.’ I’m like, ‘No! That’s not possible!’”
Kessler graduated from Riverdale High School in 2012. She earned a degree in early childhood education at the University of Findlay in 2016 and is now back at Riverdale as the elementary computer teacher. Since she has summers off, she has had time to devote to traveling to the different fairs, most of which are held in June, July and August.
“There’s, like, nine fairs at once going on in Ohio, so it took a long time to get everywhere, let alone if I would have went to all of them in one year. I’m like, ‘People, I would be broke,’” she laughed.
With a passion for photography, Kessler photo documented each trip and has compiled a giant, detailed scrapbook.
“I have stats for them because I’m super weird,” she giggled. “I get geeky when it comes to that.”
According to the data, the Paulding County Fair was followed by 17 more in 2014. The next year, she attended just five fairs. “I have no idea what I was doing in 2015, obviously slacking.”
Kessler more than made up for it the next year by traveling to 40 county fairs. And she finished the list by attending 16 fairs this summer. “I saw big fairs, little fairs. Some fairs had no animals,” she said. “I was shocked because they’re at such random times throughout the summer, some of them, really, their main focus was, say, photography or sewing or this and that.”
Kessler kept an outlined map of Ohio tucked away in her backpack. As she ticked off another fair, she colored in that county with an orange marker.
She traveled the farthest — about four hours — to the Lawrence County Fair, with her cousin who was visiting from Florida.
“When we got there nobody was there,” she said. “The joke of it was, she literally made the farthest trip with me and she didn’t even get to see a fair.”
Kessler’s records reveal that her mother, Candy Kessler, and her sister, Lace, each accompanied her to 28 fairs, while her fiancé visited 17 fairs.
A couple of times Kessler visited two fairs in one day. Another time, she hit up three fairs with her sister-in-law.
Kessler usually left it up to her traveling companions to determine the day’s activities.
“If I would go with my brother, he would not miss a barn. We would walk through every single one and we would be there, like, a couple hours,” she said. “But say I go with one of my friends who are in it for the food. We would go there, make a lap and head out.”
“I was just happy that they were going with me.”
Kessler’s own preferences include watching the livestock shows and horse pulls.
“A couple of fairs had rodeos I was really impressed with,” she said. “My favorite thing, though, is to sit with food and people-watch. And I always go to a corn dog. A corn dog, caramel apple and a lemon shakeup, you can find them at every fair.”
Kessler has other friends who also used to show animals, and when they attend fairs together, they talk shows and animals.
“Then I have other friends who didn’t grow up around animals,” she said, explaining one friend heard a cow moo for the first time while attending a fair with her.
“She could not believe it was coming from a cow. And we laugh to this day that she’s like, ‘That’s coming from that thing?’”
Kessler’s father grew up in Darke County, and it was the biggest fair in the nation when she was a kid, because they used to set up actual houses people could walk through. It has gotten smaller through the years, but remains one of her favorites because of the memories.
“But I also say I will stand by Hancock (County) forever, just because of the fact hometown has the greatest trigger in your mind,” said Kessler. “I just can always picture the anticipation before you’re about to go into the ring. I can smell — literally if I close my eyes — what it smells like on show day with the dust kicked up and all the food and everything. People were probably so grossed out, but I was like, ‘I love that.’”
Kessler and Loveridge even had their engagement photos taken at the Ohio State Fair this summer.
The final fair visit was made Sept. 2 and included Kessler’s parents, Randy and Candy Kessler, and her future in-laws, Ryan and Christa Loveridge.
“The last one was super hot. Everyone was sweaty,” she said. “But I had a big group go and it was just a good time.”
All in all, Kessler said her fair odyssey was a great experience.
“I joked that my next thing I’m doing on my bucket list is marrying my best friend, so I’ll be getting married next fall. We’re getting married near Labor Day weekend so I told him, ‘Forever we can celebrate our anniversary at the fair.’ He’s like, ‘Of course,’” she laughed.
Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, partners work to develop next generation agriculturalists
COLUMBUS, Ohio (OFBF) – Two projects to attract middle and high school students to careers in agriculture have been announced by the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation. One project entails Central State University agriculture students introducing ag careers to middle schoolers. In the second, the Ohio FFA Foundation will develop curriculum to recruit high schoolers into ag-related careers.
The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation awarded $85,000 in grants for the two projects. They are part of the foundation’s new Youth Pathways to Careers in Agriculture program, funded by foundation’s Fisher Fund for Lifelong Learning. The Fisher Fund is named after former Ohio Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Jack Fisher.
Farm Bureaus in Clinton, Fayette, Greene and Warren counties will partner with Central State University to pilot the “Agricultural Career Exploration” project, in which CSU students will visit middle schools and give hands-on lessons that explore agricultural career options. A task force composed of secondary teachers, guidance counselors, curriculum coordinators, university faculty, Ohio Farm Bureau members and ag-related employers will design the curriculum. The pilot project will be in at least 15 school districts and reach at least 1,000 students. The goal is to further expand the program across the state.
The Ohio FFA Foundation and the Ohio Department of Education are partners on the second project, “Ohio FFA’s Career Pathways for Gen Z.” The program’s goal is for Ohio FFA Foundation to recruit students from Gen Z (those born between 1995 and 2010) for careers in food, agriculture and environmental sciences. The project will have two components. One is the development of high-quality, engaging curriculum to be used for workshops with Gen Z students statewide. The second will have students create their own project with the help of an educator. Once fully developed, the curriculum will be available on a website for educators and students to access.
The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation is dedicated to solving the challenges facing Ohio by preparing the next generation of leaders, funding innovation in our communities and ensuring a healthy environment. To learn more about the foundation, visit ofbf.org/foundation.