Archive for October, 2005
Trick or treat. Perhaps a little bit from column A and a little bit from column B. Since we won’t be treated to a full moon this beggars’ night, I thought I’d whip one up for you. Take one shot of an old graveyard and sprinkle it with a touch of fog and mist. Drop in an extra large moon and garnish with some cloud cover.
Technical information: 1. moon: 1/500/sec., ISO 100, f/5.6 and 200mm; 2. cemetery 1/60 sec., ISO 1600, f/32 and 70mm; 3. fog 1/1000 sec., ISO 400, f/ 2.8 and 200mm; all with a Canon EOS 20D.
DM Stanfield is Toledo Free Press photo editor. He may be
contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Christmas is not the only holiday with a deep catalog of music. As the Halloween season embraces all things macabre, there are hundreds of records that can provide a bloody background to your costume party.
Here are my top 10 tracks about monsters, mayhem and murder.
1. ”Please, Mr. Gravedigger” by David Bowie: No mainstream artist has ever recorded a more disturbing record. This mainly spoken, sing-song narrative comes from a child murderer who confronts the title character for stealing a locket from the dead body of one of the killer’s victims. By the end of the record, Bowie is digging a grave for the gravedigger with the man’s own shovel. Guaranteed to haunt you for days.
2. ”I Want My Baby Back” by Jimmy Cross: This one is sick. A man sings about losing his girlfriend in a car accident. At the scene, he describes the carnage, then wails about her death. Driven to dementia, the last verse finds Jimmy digging up her coffin, opening the lid, climbing inside, then hysterically singing, ”I got my baby back!” from inside the coffin. Yikes.
3. ”Psycho” by Elvis Costello: In a coolly controlled performance, Elvis sings to his mama about a series of murders he has just committed, including his ex-wife and their baby. He spills the details of the killings as he makes his mom fry fish for dinner. By the end of the song, mama is no longer moving, and our boy Elvis is singing to her corpse. Could serve as the prequel to the Norman Bates story.
4. ”Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” by The Beatles: This light piano ditty is sung by Paul McCartney with such good cheer, it is easy to overlook the song’s story. Maxwell Edison, majoring in medicine, hammers several people to death, including a date, a teacher and a judge. Macca sings as if he can barely keep himself from laughing, but maybe that’s not controlled humor; maybe that’s unleashed insanity. For more hand-tool mayhem, check out Roky Erickson’s ”Bloody Hammer.”
5. ”Imagine the Thriller” by Vincent Price and John Lennon: This mash-up takes the soft, hopeful piano notes from Lennon’s ”Imagine” and mixes it with an extended Vincent Price rap from the Michael Jackson record. The juxtaposition of the peace anthem with Price’s descriptions of ”corpses terrorizing ya’ll’s neighborhood” is jarring and eerie.
6. ”No One Lives Forever” by Oingo Boingo: This Denny Elfman song served as the opening for ”Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2,” a scene in which Leatherface shears off assorted limbs and heads. This driving, relentless track is all the more spooky because it fiercely celebrates the non-negotiable fact of death. By the end, as the band chants ”no one, no one, no one” over and over, you’ll want to call everyone you know and tell them you love them. Served as the template for ”Remains of the Day,” Elfman’s song for Tim Burton’s ”Corpse Bride” flick.
7. ”Friends” by The Police: This B-side about cannibalism, written and sung by guitarist Andy Summers, is creepy, creepy, creepy. ”I likes to eat my friends, make no bones about it,” he sings, and then spends four minutes rationalizing slaying and cooking people. The Police often dabbled in such nastiness. Listen to ”Murder by Numbers,” in which Sting describes an escalating penchant for killing, and ”Once Upon a Daydream,” in which Sting’s pregnant girlfriend is pushed down the stairs by her father, with tragic results. The song ends after Sting murders the father and contemplates his choice between prison and suicide. Not for the faint of heart.
8. ”The Legend of Woolly Swamp” by Charlie Daniels Band: Daniels sings of Lucius Clay, an old miser who buries his fortune in Mason jars around his swampy shack. Three young men beat Lucius, toss him in the swamp and steal the money. As they try to get away, they sink in quicksand, with Lucius’ beyond-the-grave laughter the last sound they ever hear. This is the only song on this list that managed to chart in the Top 40.
9. ”The Raven” as read by Christopher Walken: Poe is the undisputed Godfather of Halloween, and Walken, even at his nicest, is spooky, so this is a dream track. For seven minutes, Walken flawlessly reads the classic poem of the lost Lenore, with sound effects including wind, cawing, scratching guitars and unearthly moans. Tops even the James Earl Jones version from ”The Simpsons.”
10. ”Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs: It’s doubtful this song could be recorded and released today. Sam (of ”Wooly Bully” fame) sings as a stalking Big Bad Wolf, toying with Red as he licks his bloodthirsty chops. It was probably all in good fun back in 1966, but modern awareness of pedophelia and child molestation gives this song a dimension of creepiness that’s impossible to ignore.
Dishonorable Mention: ”Halloween on Military Street” by Insane Clown Posse: Nasty, foul, disgusting, terrible and hilarious. The boys chronicle a wild trick-or-treat adventure that includes a brush with every offensive topic imaginable. Parental advisory.
For a list of nearly 200 Halloween songs, e-mail Michael S. Miller at email@example.com.
Mance Thompson has traveled the world promoting the works of late Japanese artist Masayuki Miyata. This week, Thompson returned to his former home, Toledo, as part of The World of Masayuki Miyata exhibit at Paula Brown Gallery.
Thompson stood among guests Oct. 20 at the gallery’s opening reception of its new location -— the first international art gallery to open on the ”Avenue of the Arts” in Downtown Toledo. He provided background information on nearly 40 pieces of Miyata’s unique Japanese art and shared his personal experiences dealing with the art from all corners of the globe.
He points to a majestic tiger — a serigraph print made from a Miyata Kiri-e original.
”Every piece has its own story, its own meaning,” he said. ”The tiger stands for five qualities we should all strive to have: fortitude, courage, selflessness, ability to protect others and to fight for what is right. That tiger, even though he is laying down, is ready to pounce.”
Thompson describes the intricate details of the print; the tiger is made of brushed platinum and gold.
”This piece brings out the strength in you,” he said. ”It is good for leaders to have it in their office, and it builds morale.”
Thompson said he studied Asian culture and moved to Japan six years ago. Living in Tokyo, he serves as International Division Manager and assistant to Miyata’s wife, Shulei Ryu, who has served as president of Miyata’s company and promoted his work for 38 years. He travels with more than 300 pieces to hundreds of galleries each year.
Miyata, who is famous for his woodblocks, serigraphs and most notably for his hand-cut Kiri-e art, died 9 years ago. His works, such as ”Mt. Fuji, Wind Through Pines” and ”Red Mt. Fuji” hang in destinations such as the Chinese State guesthouse and the United Nations.
”Even though the artist is Japanese, the Chinese accept it,” Thompson said. ”Art is more than something to be looked at, and if you look at his work, there is so much depth and meaning to everything.”
The timing of The World of Masayuki Miyata exhibit at Paula Brown Gallery was pure luck, said gallery owner Peter Brown, as it just happened to coincide with the opening of the gallery’s new location at 912 Monroe St. The gallery was formerly at
135 N. Michigan St.
”We wanted to have the business, the gallery and the shop, all together in one location,” Brown said. ”We wanted to stay Downtown because we want to help Toledo bring the Downtown
Brown said Paula Brown Gallery, named after his wife, is
designed to bring international art into Toledo.
For nearly five years, the gallery has featured unique artists from around the world.
”We work with galleries in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco,” he said. ”We do not try to compete with galleries that feature local artists.”
The World of Masayuki Miyata will be on display at Paula Brown Gallery through Dec. 22.
A rich harvest of fall theater awaits in Toledo.
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner explores one woman’s fascination with Afghani history, culture and politics in ”Homebody/Kabul,” part of the UT Theatre Department’s season of ”Conflict, Courage & Compassion: Our World on Stage and Film.”
The play opens in London in 1998. In a 45-minute monologue, the character called ”Homebody” (played by Sue Ott-Rowlands, interim dean of arts and sciences) talks about Afghanistan, her life and marriage, and buying hats for a party. Finally, she decides to leave for Kabul. The rest of the play is about how her husband and daughter investigate the mystery of what happened to her there.
Director Elysa Marden, Artistic Director of the WorkShop Theater Company in New York, worked with Ott-Rowlands in Italy. This is her first Toledo production. One challenge is the characters speak in a Babel of seven languages, including Dari and Pashto.
”We’ve had experts in to help with the languages,” Marden said. ”Even if you don’t understand the words, you know exactly what’s going on.”
The play blends drama and comedy.
”I think the best drama is drama in which you get to laugh,” Marden said. ”An old Afghan saying is, ‘joy and sorrow are sisters.’”
”Homebody/Kabul” runs Nov. 4-20 at UT’s Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $9-13;(419) 530-2375.
”The Odd Couple”
Neil Simon’s 1965 classic comedy ”The Odd Couple” had a long run on Broadway, followed by a successful 1968 film and an ABC TV series. It opens November 4 at the Toledo Rep.
It’s the story of roommates Oscar (a slob) and Felix (a neat-nik), their poker buddies, and the British ”Pigeon Sisters” upstairs.
Director John F. Hopkins, who recently directed and performed in ”My Way” for the Rep, said the two men take on the characteristics of a married couple. When their living arrangement finally breaks up, they talk about getting a ”divorce.”
The actors who play the two lead characters, Jeff Albright and John DuVall, have been friends for more than 20 years. Hopkins says the chemistry between the actors is huge.
The cast also includes Charles Crocket, Eric Collier, Zach Lahey, Brad Riker, Maribeth Hill and Cindy Bilby.
”There are some scenes that no matter how many times I’ve read or seen them, I still laugh,” Hopkins said. ”I’ve never snorted before this; now I snort.”
”The Odd Couple” runs Nov. 4-20. Tickets are $16-18;(419) 243-9277.
”Atomic Fission Tour”
”Return to the Forbidden Planet” is a rock-and-roll sci-fi musical loosely based on Shakespeare’s ”The Tempest”: the Starship ”Albatross” encounters a storm of asteroids (to the tune of ”Great Balls of Fire”), the science officer flees with the only shuttle craft and the ship is pulled toward a mysterious planet where Doctor Prospero lives with his daughter Miranda and his robot Ariel.
It’s a bit of a departure for Shenandoah Shakespeare’s Blackfriars Stage Company, a touring troupe from Virginia that will present ”Forbidden Planet” along with ”Much Ado about Nothing” and ”Richard III” at Owens Community College.
Shenandoah specializes in presenting plays as they were performed in Shakespeare’s own time. Audience and actors share the same ambient lighting, music is performed on-stage with acoustic instruments (including a cheese grater in the case of ”Forbidden Planet”), there are no elaborate sets or props, and actors routinely shatter the ”fourth wall” to interact with the audience.
Artistic Director Jim Warren, who is also the co-founder of the company, said performing this way gives the audience a sense of community.
”They become the citizens of Messina, the soldiers in the army. There’s a more immediate connection: we’re all in this together. That’s what makes live theater so exciting, and it’s why it should still be thriving in an era of CGI dinosaurs — it’s a lot more fun. Shakespeare wrote the effects and the sets into the scripts.”
The stripped-down productions also allow the Blackfriars actors to survive a grueling schedule of shows in 60 cities a year. The 11 performers (three of whom are veterans of previous tours) all sing and play at least two musical instruments.
Christopher Seiler of Sandusky plays Dogberry and Antonio in ”Much Ado,” Bosun in ”Forbidden Planet,” and Stanley and Ensemble in ”Richard.”
Warren said some actors decide after a year of touring that ”I never need to do that again.”
”But others go back to New York and waiting tables and decide that a year-long acting job isn’t so bad,” he said.
”Much Ado About Nothing” will be performed Nov. 10, ”Richard III” on Nov. 11, and ”Return to the Forbidden Planet” on Nov. 12. All shows are at
7:30 p.m. Tickets are $8-15; (567) 661-2787.
The Toledo Storm is offering cutting-edge live visual broadband coverage of the club’s 2005-06 home and away games.
The organization recently announced a one-season 72-game deal with B2 Networks, a company that describes itself as a provider of international television and video broadcasting, pay-per-view and billing services. B2 has developed a large Internet broadcasting network providing live online video and audio coverage with numerous hockey and baseball minor league associations. 22 teams in the ECHL are affiliated with B2.
Fans will be able to access the coverage through the team’s Web homepage, www.toledostorm.com, and for $6 can watch Storm hockey battle if they have high-speed broadband access and at least Windows Media Player 9.
”You’ll still be able to listen to the audio of every game for free through toledostorm.com,” said Media Relations and Broadcasting director Mike Miller.
Miller said a particularly inviting draw for fans will be the unique ability to watch Storm road games taking place as far away as Las Vegas, Alaska, Florida, Georgia and California in the geographically expansive ECHL.
”The best aspect of the B2 coverage is that you can watch games on the road, and all the road games will be covered every place we go this year,” he said.
Miller said 1,500 season tickets seats have been sold for the 15th anniversary year.
Assuming the Storm draws a number of sellouts to the 5,200-seat arena, B2 video coverage could weigh in heavily as an alternative viewing source for home games.
In addition to the implementation of B2 Internet coverage, Miller said the organization is offering other new amenities and promotions as a way to thank the area for making the team a lasting fixture in the city.
”We’re going to do live entertainment in and during games with local bands and DJs going on in the exhibition hall [adjacent to the rink],” Miller said.
He said there will be another Storm alumni exhibition game in March 2006.
President Barry Soskin lowered parking per game from $5 to $4 with the parking stub good for a dollar off concessions or team merchandise.
The team will also offer $6 standing-room-only tickets when the arena is sold out.
Central Michigan quarterback and Toledo native Kent Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in business management in one hand and a pigskin in the other. Recently graduated, he can focus on football, leading his team in a run for the MAC West title.
At 3-1 in the conference, the Chippewas have an opportunity to grab a share of first place. But to do so, the Start High School alumnus and his cohorts have to play the inhospitable hosts to the Rockets at 1 p.m. Oct. 29.
While his UT counterpart, Bruce Gradkowski, has received kudos in most every category, Smith has ”flown under the radar” since stepping up his play last year, according to second-year Chippewa Head Coach Brian Kelly. He said the two-time MAC Player of the Week has dramatically developed his skills since the 2004 game against UT, when Central Michigan lost 27-22.
Though Smith was a junior at the time, Kelly respectfully viewed him as an underclassman still reaching his stride.
”The one thing you would think about a senior is, he’s reached his level of efficiency. [Smith] hasn’t even come close to it,” he said. ”He’s really just a sophomore in my eyes, obviously only being a starter now a year and a half.”
Smith’s production is reaching a very high level. NFL scouts have tagged him for monitoring since he ran a 4.5 40-yard dash on Junior Day, Kelly said, and his 6-foot-5 frame helps keep Smith’s high profile in sight. The transformation parallels a rags-to-riches tale.
”When I got here, he had not played; he was really on the scrap heap,” Kelly said. ”He was
really not fired up about his football career and kind of resurrected himself.”
Smith attributed his own recent accomplishments to opportunity. A new coach and revamped offensive formation enabled him to find his groove, and settle in and ride it out for the duration of his collegiate career. The next four games in large part could determine his value as a potential NFL draftee.
”We’re still focused, but in these last four games we control our own destiny. That’s a big encouragement, and it kind of gives us that momentum into these last four games down the stretch,” Smith said.
A lesser goal would be a big W on the record against Tom Amstutz and his T-town boys.
”I definitely mark this game on the calendar every year. To get a chance to play against my hometown, that’s what I like,” Smith said. ”I look forward to this game each and every year and hope I can end my career with a victory against those guys.”
As many MAC foes have learned, chalking one up in the win column against UT can be a mighty task.
”Before you’re going to be considered a successful program, you’ve got to go through Toledo,” Kelly said.
Toledo’s history from its earliest times to present day is rich, varied and certainly worthy of celebration. Toledo is one of the few cities in Ohio lacking a historical museum, and its creation is an idea long overdue.
Five men met last week to discuss the concept. Attending were Michael Drew Shaw, director of the Skyway Visitors Center project; Fred Folger, retired teacher for Washington Local Schools; Rolf Scheidel, attorney; Dr. Ernest Weaver, UT professor emeritus and board member of the Maumee Valley Historical Society; and this writer.
Teamwork is vital to the creation of such a project, and partnership an essential ingredient. Mr. Shaw is joining me in the creation of the museum. Our collaboration has the goal of placing the museum within the Skyway Center complex and aggressively promoting it regionally in a variety of ways and globally on www.skyway.com, Skyway Center’s new Web site, which will launch early in 2006. Discussions are preliminary pending further meetings, consultations with interested parties, and many other concerns.
Early in 2005, I began contributing columns to
Toledo Free Press focusing on Downtown revitalization from the perspective of a native Toledoan, and the need for retail development driven by a growing population base. Months of interviewing civic leaders, executive directors, and local investors have provided ample opportunity to learn what exists Downtown and future possibilities. One theme became apparent: Toledoans want change, but fight change at every step.
Collaboration between Skyway Center and the Toledo Historical Museum in the Marina District can represent two signature pieces in the overall picture of a destination place for Toledoans, visitors throughout the nation, and the world.
The Museum can be envisioned as a non-profit organization with a three-fold goal:
To present exhibits and re-enactments that are historically accurate.
To provide for the educational enrichment of visitors young and old.
To promote activities that are factual, informative and entertaining.
The mission statement draft reads: ”Our continuing goal is to present and preserve the history of the City of Toledo, Ohio, from the past, to the present, and for posterity. The display of artifacts, archival documents and exhibits, with the addition of historical re-enactments, are designed to provide the public with expressions of Toledo’s rich and varied history.”
We, the citizens of Toledo, can be proud of our history and build cooperatively for the future, if we so choose.
A ship bearing a Dutch name comes to rest along Toledo’s docks after 12 days sailing across the Atlantic. Lumber is stacked high in its hold, waiting for transport to major cities for sale in home improvement stores. Also aboard are the captain and his crew, hailing from many parts of the globe.
Members of Toledo’s Port management company, Midwest Terminals of Toledo, greet the crew, shaking hands and offering smiles that have been shared before. Courtesy gifts are exchanged and the offer to toast a stiff drink repeats itself often, but the Americans politely decline, offering promises to meet up after-hours.
It is a side of commerce Toledo citizens rarely get to see. Every day, ships ride the waves of the Atlantic and pass up many ports to come into the heart of America — a vein of transportation for worldwide goods that proves beneficial for Toledo.
”Toledo is interesting for the lumber — you have a very big yard where you can store the lumber outside, and Toledo is seen as a very good logistical distribution center for this area,” said Hans Kroon, chartering manager with Wagenborg Shipping North America, a company based in the Netherlands. ”Cleveland and Detroit could be options, but they don’t have these big facilities.”
”The working relationship we have is very good,” Kroon said, noting Toledo Port officials have visited with his company many times to extend goodwill and earn his trust for their business.
”We travel to see if we can start to grow their business even more, because they do have the best fleet on the Great Lakes. We pay particular attention to customer service and how we can do things better,” said Matt Duty, director of marketing for Midwest Terminals of Toledo. Midwest Terminals operates the port under the direction of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority. Duty said international relationships often must be built on different terms than American business, but it has its rewards.
”To grow the business is going over and seeing people in Europe as well. It’s not just to let them come to you. That expectation is really frowned upon but they really appreciate it when you go over to see them, to see how they do business,” Duty said. ”In America, it’s always about the bottom line, but in Europe, it’s about relationships and trust.”
”We know the shippers in Germany and he knows the shippers in the U.S.,” Kroon said of the cooperation that has come from their relationship. ”Bring those together, it works out very well.”
Renaissance of growth
According to Jim Hartung, president and CEO of the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority, commerce coming into Toledo through the mouth of the Maumee River is a vital part of the City’s economic success.
”The seaport is involved in what I would call a renaissance of growth,” Hartung said. ”Midwest Terminals is a very aggressive operator that is committed to marketing and improving the facility.” For nearly 12 years, Hartung has served as president and CEO of the Port Authority. He said he has plans to help Toledo succeed, and feels strongly about its self-image.
”We need to believe in Toledo,” he said. ”We need to become energized by its potential. We have to be allowed to believe in ourselves.”
Hartung said his ultimate goal is ”to see Toledo recognized as a transportation center; not just where modes converge, but a center of innovation for transportation technology.”
The native of Chicago points to Toledo’s growing successes, such as the increasing commerce being seen at all points of Toledo’s transportation hub: the airport, turnpike, rails and waterways.
”I take exception to people saying Toledo isn’t getting any better,” he said. ”None of us are satisfied with the rate at which we are improving, but it is improving.”
Hartung said 20 years ago, this area was called the ”rust belt.”
”It was literally deteriorating, with an exodus of industry and business. We are now in the process of restoration,” he said.
November’s mayoral winner will have a major responsibility in setting the tone and the direction for Toledo, Hartung said.
”Our job will be to play to the mayor’s lead,” Hartung said. ”There’s value to Toledo as a loading center and distribution point.”
The ultimate goals of marketing the benefits of Toledo’s region: money and jobs.
”Jobs are the goal of everything we do,” Hartung said. ”By doing our job well, growth, jobs and investments will come naturally.”
Visit us Online at www.toledoseaport.org
When Bowling Green State University decided the time had arrived to raise funds for a new athletic center, it got a little boost from an alumnus and former athlete. Bob Sebo, a co-founder of Paychex Inc., and his wife, Karen, donated
$3.5 million over five years to support the $8.7 million project.
The Sebo Athletic Center in the north end zone of Doyt E. Perry Stadium will provide state-of-the-art training facilities for more than 420 student athletes in all BGSU sports, according to Sebo. He said the center will feature a 440-yard sprint track, film-viewing rooms, multi-purpose classrooms and, most notably, a strength-training room.
Though retired, Sebo has stayed abreast of the athletic community.
”In today’s game of football, strength training is imperative or you’re just not going to compete,” he said. ”And that strength training is going to expand to all of the athletics within the university beyond the football program.”
Dick Waring, major gift officer for intercollegiate athletics, has helped guide the campaign, assisting in forming a steering committee and gathering estimates for potential contractors to complete the facility. The project should require 15 months and, although delayed by changes to the design, Waring said the university hopes to begin groundwork in November.
The 42,000-square-foot center will have ”the benefit of what we’re hoping is the best available teaching and learning environment,” he said. It also will provide students air conditioning, a luxury not afforded currently for summer training workouts.
To accomplish the goal, potential donors have been asked to perform above and beyond just like the Falcon athletes in 18 varsity men’s and women’s sports.
”We always ask our kids for 110 percent in terms of their performance,” Waring said. ”What we’re doing then is going out asking former Falcon athletes and alums and friends of the university to step up in terms of private financial support.”
The Sebo Center falls within the scope of a greater $120 million effort, Building Dreams: The Centennial Campaign for Bowling Green State University. More than $82 million has been committed so far to increase scholarships, enhance faculty and leadership and strengthen programs.
The campaign runs through 2008.