Shop for the Earth
September 2010 Issue
Customers of Park + Vine in Cincinnati will confirm that green living is much more than a fad, and a green lifestyle is easier with the eco-friendly items they find at the 3-year-old store.
“We look for products that are completely free of animal byproducts and have minimal impact on one’s person and the environment,” Park + Vine owner Dan Korman says. “This means that we carry goods that rely on renewable matter, which comes down to recycled, compostable and biodegradable materials that are already in our economy.”
The store carries everything from apparel and footwear to natural baby and parenting products, cleaning supplies, paints, housewares, personal-care items and a growing stock of food and beverages.
“This is a place place, versus an online source, where people can touch and purchase items that improve their lives,” Korman says.
The store also hosts seminars on topics ranging from preparing healthy food and saving energy to composting, cloth diapering, rainwater harvesting and eco-safe cleaning.
The emporium is named for its original location at Central Parkway and Vine Street. But this fall, Park + Vine moves to bigger digs on Main Street in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, just two blocks away. The new location provides space for a full vegan grocery, food bar and indoor and outdoor seating.
“We’re more than doubling our space, which allows us to carry many of the goods that we’re unable to fit in our current location,” Korman says.
For more information about Park + Vine and its upcoming relocation, visit parkandvine.com
. — Kim Brown
Sticking to his Guns
Imagine being 5 years old and meeting an admired film star, then many years later, becoming one of the nation’s most prominent collectors of items with that celebrity’s name. That’s exactly what happened to 78-year-old Bob Bailey of Kenton.
Bailey met Gene Autry in 1938 when the cowboy singer and actor visited northwest Ohio to confer with officials of Kenton Hardware Company about adding his name to the company’s toy guns. As the son of a Kenton policeman, Bailey was invited to meet the movie idol.
Kenton Hardware had been manufacturing toy cap guns since 1904, but struggled to sell them until it developed a new version and added Autry’s name to it.
“The cap guns weren’t selling because of tough economic times,” Bailey says. “Of course, they wanted a cowboy associated with [them].” By coincidence, Autry had asked his agent to look for a product that would feature his name, and the agent found Kenton Hardware.
Over the years, Bailey has acquired 230 Kenton Hardware cap guns, 31 of which are Autry models. He continues to meet new collectors at cap gun shows across the nation. Bailey says the best of the toy guns range in price from $200 to $1,000; those same guns could be purchased for 50 cents when he was a child.
The Hardin County Historical Museum displays more than 100 of Bailey’s toy guns, including some half-dozen Autry models.
The museum is located at 223 N. Main St., Kenton 43326. Hours are Mon.–Fri. and Sun. 1–4 p.m. Call 419/673-7147 or visit hardinmuseums.org
for more information. — KB
Up, Up and Away
When John Harman joined the Air Force in 1950, he was living his childhood dream: to take flight. After his tour of duty, Harman spent several years learning to become a skywriter and barnstormer.
“It’s a lot of twisting and turning,” he says. “It’s not something you learn overnight.”
Harman’s pride and joy is an orange 1969 Citabria, which is specially designed to perform all kinds of loops, weaves and dives. In his hometown of New Lexington, he houses his plane in a small hangar at the Perry County Municipal Airport, which is also home to 10 other local pilots. In fair weather, the 78-year-old still likes to take the Citabria out for a spin once or twice a week.
Harman has flown all over the country in his tiny, two-seater aircraft. His farthest flight was to Alaska and back, when he went to visit his son. “It took me three days each way,” he recalls. “I had a lot of time to talk to myself.”
Over the years, skywriting marriage proposals has been one of Harman’s favorite gigs. He has also done skywriting at several weddings and a slew of festivals. “Once in a while, I’ll spell something wrong,” he chuckles. “But I really can’t get an eraser big enough for that.”
Harman has taught four people to skywrite, and enjoys taking curious riders up in his plane. He hopes that flying can bring as much joy to others as it has to him.
“Really though, you have to be half crazy to do what I do,” Harman adds. — Rachel Nebozuk