Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dash Between: Avery H. Wilcox Sr., 83, Christmas tree farmer

Avery Wilcox and his second wife, Betty, gathered pine branches for making pine roping and wreathes to sell in the gift shop of their Christmas tree farm in LaGrange Township, Ohio. (Photo courtesy of the family.)
Avery H. Wilcox Sr. had the intelligence, resources and passion to pursue any number of careers.

The lifelong LaGrange Township resident's brother became a NASA engineer. His sister was a dietitian. His grandparents also were college-educated and held "professional" positions in Cleveland at the end of the 19th century before returning to the family homestead in 1909.

But Avery followed the same career path as his father. He loved farming.

When asked what Avery did for fun, his son, Avery II, who carries on the family tradition, said, "He farmed for fun."

The elder Avery had raised sheep and chickens, but his chief crop since the early 1960s was Christmas trees.

Click here to read about "The Dash Between" March 5, 1927, when Avery Sr. was born on the family farm, and Jan. 22, 2011, when he died at age 83. The story appears in the Feb. 27, 2011, edition of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.

Avery Wilcox Sr., the fellow with the rock-a-billy hair at the far right, his son, Avery II (back left) and daughter-in-law, Donna (left, wife of his son, Greg), watch Avery's first wife, Stella, beam as she holds grandbaby, Melissa, in 1976. Stella died in 1980. (Photo courtesy of the family.)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dash Between: Pat Ziroli, 64, Italian-born English teacher, honored soccer coach

Pasquale Ziroli and his sister, Bice, in Italy.

Pat Ziroli learned to speak English after coming to America at age 12. As an adult, he spoke the language without an accent and taught English at high schools in Lorain, Ohio.

He also coached high school soccer and was named Erie Shore Conference Boys Soccer Coach of the Year for 1992, '93 and '94.

Elizabeth and Pat Ziroli visit Rome.

Click here to read Ziroli's "Dash Between" in the Feb. 13, 2011, edition of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Dash Between: John I. Ascherl, stained glass artist, Hinckley Township Citizen of 2007

John I. Ascherl
John I. Ascherl, whose German-immigrant father started manufacturing and installing stained glass windows in Northeast Ohio in the mid-1920s, set up his own shop in Hinckley Township, Ohio, in 1967 because of its strategic location, midway between Cleveland and Akron.

And because he and his wife, Mary Lou, fell in love with the rural community.

The couple were among the first to greet the retuning buzzards to Buzzards Roost each year on March 15, "Buzzard's Day," which is celebrated as the first sign of spring.

Ascherl served as president of the Hinckley Chamber of Commerce and Hinckley Arts and Crafts. He volunteered at just about every community-wide event.

Click here to read about the Dash Between Dec. 12, 1921, when Ascherl was born in Cleveland, and Dec. 27, 2010, when the father of four died at age 89. The story was published in the Medina County Gazette on Feb. 7, 2011.