Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Patrick Carney busy on drums
Carney’s son to make 3rd 'SNL' appearance

The Black Keys, the band that includes BJ reporter Jim Carney’s son, Patrick Carney, will make its third “Saturday Night Live” appearance on the NBC show May 10. 

Charlize Theron, who won an Oscar for 2003's "Monster," will host.

Patrick Carney and Dan Auerbach, former Firestone High classmates, have a roomful of Grammy Awards. Patrick lives in New York City with wife Amy Ward.

The Black Keys were on “Saturday Night Live” Jan. 8, 2011 and Dec. 3, 2011.  

Patrick’s first marriage was to Cleveland Scene and former BJ reporter Denise Grollmus. 

Giffels’ new book: ‘The Hard Way’

Former BJ writer David Giffels, author of “The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches From the Rust Belt,” says, "I have spent my whole life watching people leave."

The former rubber capital of the world, Akron had Goodyear, Firestone and Goodrich and  thousands of high-paying jobs until the 1970s. The work migrated to places with cheaper labor.

National Public Radio article on David: “A native who never knew the good times, yet never abandoned his hometown of Akron, Giffels plumbs the touchstones and idiosyncrasies of a region where industry has fallen, bowling is a legitimate profession, bizarre weather is the norm, rock ’n’ roll is desperate, thrift store culture thrives, and sports is heartbreak.

“Giffels’s linked essays are about coming of age in the Midwest and about the stubborn, optimistic, and resourceful people who prevail there.”

Giffels is an assistant professor of English at the University of Akron.

To read the NPR article, click on

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Kathleen, our BJ lass in Ireland

Kathy Fraze on the burren in Ireland
Kathy Fraze, who retired from the BJ in 2012 after 39 years working in Old Blue, is enjoying a vacation in Ireland. The photo shows Kathy on the burren, an amazing Irish landscape.

Kathy’s grandmother, Ruth Kane, was a long-time Massillon Independent City Hall and police reporter. Her parents were a steelworker and a maternity ward nurse in Massillon.

The Bowling Green journalism graduate was on the State Desk run by the late Pat Englehart in the 1970s.

Kathy married fellow Bowling Green graduate and Canton native Bruce Larrick, a BJ reporter who died in 2007 after 20 years on the Philadelphia Inquirer national desk. They have a son, Bryan, who lives in New York City and illustrated Kathy’s books about police detective Jo Ferris which have “Final” in all their titles.

Kathy’s other books are based on “letters” from her dog to “Pops” -- Mike Needs, a former BJ assistant managing editor who is out West with the U.S. Forestry Service.

As for the Burren (Irish: Boireann, meaning "great rock"), it is a karst-landscape region or alvar in northwest County Clare in Ireland. It is one of the largest karst landscapes in Europe,  about 150 square miles and is surrounded by the villages Ballyvaughan, Kinvara, Tubber, Corofin, Kilfenora and Lisdoonvarna. It is bounded by the Atlantic and Galway Bay on the west and north.

Three quarters of Ireland's species of flowers are in the Burren.

The rolling hills of Burren are composed of limestone pavements with criss-crossing cracks known as "grikes", leaving isolated rocks called "clints". The region supports arctic,  Mediterranean and alpine plants side-by-side. 

The limestones formed as sediments in a tropical sea approximately 350 million years ago.

The Burren is one of the finest examples of a glacio-karst landscape in the world. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dick Latshaw spent Easter with family and friends in Ohio, particularly on Portage Lakes where his sister lives. And his mother, who is closing in on the age of 97!

Dick Latshaw is a retired printer who lives on Pawleys Island, South Carolina (for 15 years now), with wife Pat.

He lives two blocks from BJ business department retiree Harold McElroy’s widow, Linda. Retired printer Sid Sprague, who also lived near them on Pawleys Island, moved to Loveland, Colorado with his new bride after his first wife died.
Debbie Van Tassel has eye surgery

Debbie Van Tassel, before & after cataract surgery
Debbie Van Tassel, who went from the BJ to the PD to the Arizona Republic, is among three million Americans who have cataract surgery each year, at an average cost of $3,279 per eye.

Debbie’s titles at the PD ranged from business editor to assistant managing editor. Before Akron, she worked at Seattle and Philadelphia newspapers.

Husband Stuart Warner, who also went from the BJ to the PD to Arizona, was a Case Western Reserve University journalism instructor after his 2008 buyout from the Plain Dealer, where he was writing coach and projects director.

Their daughter, Columbia University graduate Denise, is an editor at Denise was a sports standout at Western Reserve Academy in Hudson.

Another daughter, Mandy, married Caleb Poynter,  moved to Pasadena, California and made Stu a grandfather a decade ago.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tople finalist in blimp naming

Long-time BJ photographer Paul Tople is among the 10 finalists in the contest to name the new Goodyear blimp. He came up with Pride of Goodyear.

Paul’s Facebook post:
I have been chosen as a finalist in the name the Goodyear Blimp contest. I have suggested that the name "Pride of Goodyear" be used reflecting Goodyear's proud achievements in technology. If you would like to help, please vote at the following link. Fans can vote on their favorite name by going to  today through May 9.
“Thank You!
“Paul Tople”
Goodyear narrowed the list from 15,000 submitted. 
If Pride of Goodyear is chosen, Paul will get access to the blimp for a day. If his name isn’t voted first, he’ll get a set of Goodyear tires. The contest ends May 9.
Other names submitted for the new blimp:

Wingfoot One.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Cleveland GM Bill Applegate retiring

Channels 19/43 General Manager Bill Applegate
General manager Bill Applegate, who put the “action” in Action News at WOIO-Channel 19 and WUAB-Channel 43, will retire Friday, April 25.

Applegate took over the Raycom Media-owned Cleveland stations in January 2001. Happy talk was replaced by in-your-face news presentations.

Applegate cut his teeth in newsrooms, both on newspapers and in TV stations. He wasn’t the usual general manager promoted from the sales department.

His career took him from Eugene, Ore., Buffalo, N.Y.; Boston; San Francisco; Chicago; and New York City.

Applegate joined Raycom in 1996, eventually winding up in  Cleveland. He and his wife, Katherine, have four children and live in Lakewood.

To read PD TV critic and former BJ TV critic Mark Dawidziak’s article on Applegate’s retirement, click on
Nobel author Gabo dead at 87
Gabriel García Márquez, Nobel Prize-winning author of "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and "Love in the Time of Cholera," is dead. He was 87.

Gabrial Garcia Marquez
He was the most significant Spanish-language author since Miguel de Cervantes, the 16th-century writer of my role model, "Don Quixote." Paula accuses me of “tilting at windmills” when I take on businesses (often successfully) for reimbursements. When we were in Spain, I made a point of giving a thank-you pat to Rocinante, the horse Don Quixote was riding in the sculpture.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos declared three days of national mourning, ordering flags at half-staff.

Known by his nickname "Gabo" in Latin America, Marquez was one of 11 children of a telegraph operator and was born in the northern Colombian town of Aracataca, which became the inspiration for Macondo, the town at the center of "Solitude," his 1967 masterpiece.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Almost one-third of America's paid journalists left in 6 years 
America has lost 30% of its paid media workers in six years. Blame the Internet age and media owners who failed to get in front of and benefit from the technology revolution.
The Pew Research Journalism Project reports that print publications laid off 17,000 reporters and editors from 2006 to 2012 -- 55,000 slashed to 38,000.
Commentators lament the loss of so many “watchdogs” of investigative journalism.

Warns Alberto Ibarguen, president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: It’s an ideal time to be a crook because fewer and fewer media reporters are watching what they do.

Politicians and businesses are having a field day with so few left to keep them honest.

To read the article, click on  

Terry Oblander was a fabulous storyteller, in his reporting for the Beacon Journal or regaling fellow BJ retirees at a Papa Joe’s monthly lunch.

He laughed when he told his tales, and the mirth scurried from his belly and cascaded out his mouth as a devilishly joyful sound.

Terry died Nov. 13, 2011 but the memories of his raucous humor will live as long as those who heard them are not brain-dead.

Terry had a zest for life.

So does Ott Gangl, retired BJ photographer, who sees a “Sinday” of nude models as an artistic adventure.

The two combined their talents in a North Canton barn when Ott photographed models for 72 straight hours and Terry observed and wrote about the event in his unique way.

This is the story that Terry wrote, but was never published. Until now.

72 Hours of Models for $29.65


Terry Oblander

      More than 100 women volunteered to pose for him free. The only pay they
 expected was six free prints.
      It was a photograph of one of the “free” models that received an international award for the photographer, Ott Gangl of Akron, Ohio.

     Besides the cost of film and processing, the bill for the 72-hour session was
$29.65, the cost of shaved ham and beer. Any photographer with a little moxie and talent can do the same thing.

      Most of the women responded to a poster, which Gangl and a young protégé placed in grocery stores, mod clothing shops and area universities. The poster invited “any girl with an interesting face and a good figure.”

      For the best part of 72 hours, a small community of professionals, --photographers, fashion experts, hair stylists and makeup artists—contributed their time free, turning models into goddesses for Gangl’s camera.

     For 72 hours, they cried together, they laughed together, they go tired


     The scene of the photographic marathon was the basement of a 90-year-old barn in North Canton, a small city not far from the Canton, Ohio Football Hall of Fame. The ground floor of the barn housed a mod clothing store called the Quonset Hut. The basement, where cows and horses once slept, had served as storage area. It took hours to turn the basement into a photo studio.

     In exchange for use of the basement and the store’s vast clothing supply, Gangl gave store owners prints of their shop, which they could use for advertising.

     One old horse stall became the work area for the hair stylists and makeup artists.     One unexpected occupant of that stall was a barn mouse who occasionally would stick its head out of a hole in the barn foundation to see what was going on.

     Another stall became a dressing room, or an undressing room as the case may be. Near the center of the barn basement was the nerve center—the shaved ham and beer and a stereo that pumped out rock music for much of the 72 hours.
     It was 72 hours of fun and artistry, but it wasn’t always easy.

           *                           *                             *

             A 17-year-old girl stood beneath the hot lights and tried to strike sexy, professionals poses. She wasn’t sexy or professional.

     She was one of many students at a Canton modeling school who volunteered for the marathon. Most of them were taking a course of modeling for the still camera and saw the marathon as an easy way to get free prints for their portfolios.

     “We have a bunch of girls who came here not wanting to give. They just want to take,” Gangl yelled at the girl. His European voice was fast and angry.

     “I am used to real emotions when I point my camera at someone. What do they teach you to be at that school? Plastic statues? I don’t like plastic casts. I like to smash them,” Gangl continued.

     She began to cry. The tears and the hot light melted her makeup. Gangl’s voice also melted. He reached out and gently touched her cheek. Another battle had ended.
   *                              *                                    *
             The artists were a strange lot.

      Gangl was the spiritual leader of the three-day community. When he is not conducting 72-hour photographic marathons, he works as a news photographer for the Beacon Journal, Akron’s only daily newspaper. “I make love to every one of my models with my camera,” he says. Most of his models admit a shooting session with Gangl was a real affair.

 “I am 41 years old and I only have another 60 or 70 years left. I don’t have time to play games,” the redheaded photographer told one dallying model.

Tom Metz, 20, was an aspiring young painter until he met Gangl and his photography. For two years Metz had clung closely to Gangl, gleaning everything he could from the senior photographer. Gangl shot more than 5,000 frames during the marathon, about 100 times as many as Metz. The marathon served as an invaluable training for Metz.

     Hairdresser David Cline worked without stopping, it seemed. The dingy basement sparkled with hairdos and the rafter echoed with his laughter. “If that mouse jumped on the chair, you’d probably run over there and start setting its hair,” Gangl teased Cline.

The 26-year-old Cline began his hairdressing career at 14 when he was the only boy to enter a Texas radio station contest. His 25-word essay won him a scholarship to cosmetology school. Allergic to hairspray, the professional hairdresser spends $30 a month for allergy shots.

     Judy Peterek, a dark haired education major, applied the makeup talents she had learned in theater courses at the University of Akron. Girls with plain faces became photographic Mona Lisas in her hands. Other models watched, sometime in dismay, as Judy transformed them into colorful mosaics.

     On the second night some of us managed to get about three hours of sleep despite the noise that accompanied an all-night remodeling project upstairs. We awoke as Judy screamed out, “Who was that fat bastard who pounded on the floor and slammed doors all night?” The man who had been working all night was just a few feet away when she yelled that. Obviously embarrassed, he left without saying a word. The day began with a roar of laughter.

     Tom Gillis, 23, volunteered to work at the marathon to “see if I had it in me.” Tom works as a salesman in a local clothing store. Selling clothes is far different than clothing models. Young ladies found themselves wearing everything, from all-leather outfits to bikinis and motorcycle helmets. At first the combinations seemed awkward. On film they were rhythmic and poetic.

     I was the marathon’s writer. I arrived two hours after the session began and was greeted with the sight of a long-legged blonde stretched out on a black felt background. I gawked at first.  After all, writers never get models to pose for their articles.

     Gangl ran up to me. “Terry, talk to her while I fix the lights and load my cameras.”
“What should I say to her?” I was nervous.
“Just be yourself,” he said, scurrying away.

There she sat, cross-legged and nude. I squatted next to her, fully clothed. Never once did to I let my eyes wander lower than her chin. We talked about anything—anything except her beautiful naked body. Five minutes passed. It seemed like an hour.

“I know this girl,” I thought. As a Beacon Journal cub reporter, I had photographed and written about this girl four years earlier when she was a camera-shy high school girl. She had become a photographer’s dream—polished and uninhibited.

I balked when Gangl told me he was going to photograph her long legs in black and white, her mid section in sepia tone and her head and breasts in color.

That composite, which Gangl called “Penny-3”, was the photograph which won Gangl the KTF Bronze medal in color photography from the Art Institute of Krakow, Poland. One thousand photographers from all over the world had entered the Institute’s “Venus ‘74” competition. Gangl’s photograph had competed with 791 other color entries. Winning photographs are published in the Venus annual and are featured in an exhibit that tours Europe’s major cities.

     The marathon produced an award-winning photograph. That was important.

     But even more important was the natural “high” that needed no alcohol or drugs.

     Models and artists, many of whom had never seen each other before, came for their own selfish reasons. But they left 72 hours later. Each had changed just a little.

     They may never see each other again. But they won’t forget.


Postscript:  (by Ott Gangl)

 When the idea came to me for the 72-hour shoot-in I was pressed by the deadline in entering an international contest and thought that a shotgun approach of having 36 female models (and several male models), shooting one every two hours, could result in shot or two I could enter.

     Though I never closed an eye for the whole 72 hours, being super awake after about 50 hours, to my surprise I functioned very well. A few points I want to make clear:

It was a closed set, only persons working as models or artists were allowed in order to avoid controversies.

Everyone needed a signed model release (parents permission in case of minors under 18)

Models, who were asked to spend six hours for makeup, clothing and shooting could linger or return to take part in the intense atmosphere.       

I did not hear of a single dissatisfied person who partook in this marathon. It was an adventure for all.

For the most part pictures were barely better than average but a few models were superb. Models could sign up for portrait, fashion or nudes. Minors were not present when nudes were photographed.

     Though intended for possible publication with a story by Terry Oblander, it never came about. My fault.

     I want to thank my wife Ann for her help and support in this endeavor.     

     Ott Gangl, photographer.

John Olesky here:

Being around Terry was like plunging into a vat of vibrant Irish whiskey. He was proud to call himself a “socialist” because he cared about those others discarded to the fringes of society. He was an ardent Guild supporter and negotiator. He seemed to have the DNA of Mother Jones and John L. Lewis in him. All with a splash of humor and a tad of loveable blarney.

Terry, we miss you. That’s not thunder we hear, but you regaling St. Peter with laughter.

To see some of the photos that Ott took during those 72 hours, click on