Thursday, May 25, 2017

Ott and Ann Gangl, who put the Energizer Bunny to shame, are celebrating their 62nd wedding anniversary.

Retired BJ photographer Ott is equally at ease at a raucous Oktoberfest Festival, in a roomful of models during a photo shoot or going naked while photographing a nudist colony.

Ott wrote:
60 years ago this weekend Ann and I were married at St. Bernard Church in Akron by Father Wolf, who did it in German. Not that we couldn't speak English; he just wanted to practice.

“It's been a blast being married to that girl.”
“A blast” is an accurate depiction of their lives.
How Ott wound up with Ann is as fascinating as other stories that Ol’ Blue Walls escapees have of the effervescent German. Let Ott explain it, as only he can:

“John, I came over on the same converted Liberty Boat from Germany as her cousin on April 20, 1952. So while visiting I was introduced to the family with three young and beautiful daughters.
"I dated the older one for a while and then went to the middle one, Ann, to whom I got enamored while sitting in their living room waiting for Mary to fiddle with her makeup.
"After Mary dumped me I didn't miss a beat to date Ann. We got engaged in 1954 and a year later we got married.”
Moss never had a chance to grow on the rocking and rolling Ott family. Not with perpetual activities like skiing all over the world. When Ott broke a leg skiing, he just got back up on the mountain and resumed his carving, ollies and schussing.
All the while his medication rarely consisted of more than an aspirin.
After surviving ethnic cleansing in Yugoslavia as the child of German parents in World War II, everything else paled by comparison for Ott.
In 2011 Ott photographed more than 100 models in a 90-year-old North Canton barn for 72 straight hours. The women flocked to have Ott take their pictures because he’s an area legend for models’ shoots.
The late BJ and PD reporter Terry Oblander chronicled the event, but his article was never published till Ott did it decades later online.
Years ago when there was threatening weather predicted for the Soap Box Derby, Ott was assigned to take a photo of “a pretty woman separating the clouds.” Ott saw a line of women, picked out the late BJ Features columnist/editor Connie Bloom and her long Garfield High majorette legs, and told her to hop in his car.
They went to Derby Downs, and Ott told Connie to “separate” the clouds. She made the appropriate motion and Ott had his leggy photo of the clouds-separator for the BJ, where Ott dazzled everyone for 25 years. Photography chief Julius Greenfield hired Ott.
Three score and two years ago, and Ott and Ann haven’t switched from the accelerator to the brakes yet.

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