Thursday, November 30, 2006

Time to lighten up

I had started to write a post about global warming being called off, but I deleted it in fear of offending someone.

Now I want to just post some humor I had heard on a podcast coming home from work tonight.

I hope the buck would stop here, I could use a few.

I've wondered, if all is not lost, where is it?

My prayer is that God would grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into those that I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference.

I understand why it's so hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere?

I believe if God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.

Have a good day everyone. All the one liners were gleaned from the Zig Ziglar Podcast

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thoughts about an interview

This morning while I was working, I was listening to WCRF. About 7:35, Mark Zimmerman had Terry Pluto on during a segment. They talked about sports this morning, the Browns, and the Cavaliers.

The last part of the segment, Terry talked about Casey Coleman. Much has been discussed about his recovery from alcoholism and Terry wrote a column about that yesterday. Today the talk was about when they were new Christians and how they had to overcome some language problems. Accountability was also discussed. (Sometimes it's good to know that I'm not the only one that needs to watch myself.) It was a very good segment.

After looking at most of the local websites in the past couple of days, I started to wonder why, in every instance, the sites would have a picture of Casey taken in the past year. Then it occured to me; he picked up alot of fans during this time in the way he handled his condition. I noticed that in all these photos there was a sincere smile on his face. From all the stories which I heard, I'm convinced that Casey accepted what was dealt to him.

Reminds me of another story I heard about 11 years ago, when Mickey Mantle had passed on. The Mick had been as intense a drinker as he was a baseball player. Drinking had probably robbed him of several years of his baseball career. Later in life, Mickey had hit rock bottom with his drinking. He had said that he was not a role model. I believe that was out of a broken spirit, whereas Charles Barkley's quote was out of arrogance(my opinion).

Mickey had received treatment for alcoholism but later needed a liver transplant. He died months later from cancer. In his last days, his Yankee teamate, Bobby Richardson, now an evangelist, had come to visit and to witness. Mickey had professed to Bobby that he had made it right with the Lord.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Notes and such

For those of you who might be wondering, my father-in-law is doing better, and is about two weeks away from being able to drive again.

Rumor has it someone in Rittman is interested in the now defunct IGA's chicken fryer equipment. Hopefully we will see something up and running in the near future. Until then Hometown Market's chicken is a very tasty alternative. The most recurring rumor is that Save a Lot is going in that location, but I hope not, I would like to see a store with a full service deli and bakery.

Rittman Band winter concert will be December 19, and I intend to be there as the WIXY's Gone Bananas correspondent and hope to give a full report of the concert.

Hope you are having a great week.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Condolences to Coleman family

Please pray for the family of Casey Coleman. The longtime Cleveland sportscaster passed away early this morning after more than a yearlong battle to cancer. Casey is now in a better place, but his wife and daughters now must face the holiday season with this loss. Pray for them.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Back to work tidbits

First, Ohio Media Watch has a fine article today about our friends at the Sunday Oldies Jukebox.
Click here as it's worth the read.

Rittman readers, check your edition of The Post. In it is an insert for Hometown Market, with a coupon for a free loaf of Schewbels bread with a fifteen dollar purchase.

Remember that this time of year as there are those not as fortunate as the rest of us. If you can, give food, or toys, or clothing or a monetary gift to the charity of your choice, as we are celebrating the gift of God's son this season.

Finally, those of us who frequent the broadcast message boards will be interested that today's column in the Plain Dealer by Roger Brown was his last for the paper. I'm sure that one with his talent will pop up elsewhere. Say what you want, but his columns got reactions and got people to either read the paper or check it out at

Have a good productive week everybody.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Rittman Post items

I got an early copy of the Rittman edition of The Post newspaper and an article and a letter to the editor caught my eye.

First The Treasure Chest is featured on the front page. Bruce F. Griffin wrote an excellent article about the thrift shop. This should be online either Tuesday or Wednesday. Just go to , click on Rittman Edition and the article should be near the top. Some things that I failed to mention in my earlier post is the owners names which are Terri Porter and Joni Robinson. And the TRreasure Chest is located at 171 South Main Street in Rittman. It's in the old H&R materials store.

Next there was a letter to the editor concerning a friend of the community. Dan Hoover, who has been a Rittman bus driver for the past 28 years and his family was involved in a automobile accident on November 7th that caused major injuries to his family(further details are unknown). The letter, written by other Rittman bus drivers, specified that a Hoover Trust has been set up at all FirstMerit banks. I will go on to say that Dan Hoover has been a personal friend to me and my family over the years as well as a great supporter of the Rittman band as he's had two daughters participate and has driven the bus to many games and shows. If you can please help this family.

From the Mailbag

I was going through one of my e-mail accounts that I hardly use anymore, and I got a greeting from someone who shares the same name as myself(no, not 74WIXYgrad). This Cliff Feightner was brought to my attention and I was brought to his when I was a salesman at Fretter from 1988-1992. People would ask me if I had a relative who was a supervisor at Goodyear. I would tell them not to my knowledge. Then one day during December, 1990 the "other Cliff" come into the store for the express reason to meet me. At the time he was living in Cuyahoga Falls.

We later determined that we were distant relatives. Two of our common ancestors, Henry and John Feitner(the surname was later Anglicized) came to the colonies to work for George Washington as a stone mason.

We later were at the same family reunion together. His wife made a chocolate cake, which was very delicious. He later was transferred to Germany, where he spent three years, and retired to Florida.

Well, the "other Cliff" was surfing the web and found this humble blog and decided to drop me a very nice cyber note, bringing me up to date on his life.

Everybody keep the great comments coming. You can either post a comment in the comment section of this blog or if it's more of a personal note contact me at

Have a super day.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Rittman Treasure Chest, You can always find a treasure here.

I have just got back home from a little journey into town. When I say I went into town, I mean Rittman, as opposed to the big city, which is Wadsworth. My sister wanted to do some shopping. One of my mottos during the holiday shopping season is "Peace on Earth, Goodwill for values."

Anyway my travels led me to this new thrift shop called "Rittman Treasure Chest". I was told that it was called this because everybody can find a treasure here. This store is operated by members of the Rittman All Sports Boosters, from this point known as the Worlds Greatest All Sports Boosters or WGASB(tm).

The donations sold here are comparable, and in alot of cases lower, than the Goodwill across town. Proceeds go to help those who are less fortunate than others. Also the goal of the WGASB(tm), is to make it possible for anyone who wants, to be able to participate in the school sport of their choice.

Back to the Treasure Chest name. I was told while I was shopping there that someone bought a set of cups, I believe, for a dollar and resold them for over three hundred dollars on eBay.

The Treasure Chest is open Monday thru Saturday, from 9am to 6pm, closed on Sunday. It's located on S. Main St. Next to the VFW hall.

Attention Shoppers: Black Friday is here!!

Ahh. The day after Thanksgiving, and I'm on a four day weekend. And guess where I'm not today? That's right, K-Mart, Walmart, Target, or any other shopping venue.

I am a former retail worker, and I'd rather be on the side of the register where the money comes. I don't need the 50 dollar portable dvd player, or any other cheap Chinese made piece of junk that went on sale at 5:00am. What I needed at that time, and very badly, was sleep.

But right now, as a public service, WIXY's Gone Bananas will bring you these tips for an enjoyable holiday shopping season for all:

First, the image on your left designates handicapped parking. This is close to home, seeing that I had my knee replaced almost six years ago(I'm fine now). Also, I have a brother who is wheelchair bound whom my wife and I take shopping often.

The space designated with that sign is not a cart return. Just because you can't park there doesn't mean you have to prevent others from parking there. And the lined spaces next to the handicapped spots are there because some folks need a little extra space to exit their vehicles.

And while we're on the subject of parking, there were times when my children were young that we would be those all too infrequent trips to the mall. It would be a rainy day and we would be patiently waiting for someone to exit their spot, when all of a sudden someone turns the corner, all by themself, in a small car, and very able bodied and could handle walking an extra fifty feet. Well, they take the spot. Over the years that has happened to me at least a couple of times. Once I feel that I was vindicated when we walked past the car that took our spot, and I noticed that he left his lights on. Confession time. I didn't have it announced either.

Now on the subject of advertised items not being there when you get there. That is not the associates fault in the department, so remember that when you think of verbal abuse. To the associate receiving verbal abuse during the next several weeks: Remember that these folks are frustrated and they are yelling at the top name on your badge(store name) and not the bottom name(yours).

Happy shopping everyone.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving everybody

This morning as I was reading my Akron Beacon Journal, I came across this article by my favorite sports/religion columnist, Terry Pluto. He was thanking all his readers, whether they bought the paper or read it online. I enjoy Terry's columns. As a man of faith, I am convinced that he is the real deal, as I've seen him in action at personal appearances, getting chairs for folks to sit in, and paying attention to those others would not give the time of day to.

Terry Pluto also goes to the Summit County Jail to minister to the inmates on a weekly basis. One of those who helps Terry minister is a young lady named Gloria Williams. Gloria ministers in song. She also works at Sam's Club in Fairlawn, passing out samples. You only have to be talking to Gloria for a few seconds to tell that she really loves the Lord. She also remembers everybody she meets and will ask about your particular situation.

We can all be thankful for people like that.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What a stupid place to put a mall

I had heard recently that Rolling Acres Mall wasn't originally supposed to be on Romig Road, that it was supposed to be in Barberton, on SR619. After much opposition, developers then decided to build on the present location.

If you have spent much time in that neighborhood, as I had, had to start thinking that it was kind of a stupid place to put any major shopping complex.

The first time I thought of this was when I was a part time employee at Montgomery Ward. The Store had announced their closing and that Higbees was taking over their lease. With Higbees as one anchor, and O'Neils as another, it was announced that Rolling Acres would become a higher scale, regional mall. That got myself, along with others to start thinking "huh?" This mall was between one of the poorer neighborhoods in Akron, and Barberton, a depressed community, partial thanks to Rolling Acres. there was only one major access road, Romig Rd., far enough away from two freeways, I-77, and I-76, to have different street names at their respective exits. Upon exiting I-77 you had to follow Wooster Rd., now V. Odom Blvd. to Romig Road. When you exited I-76, you turned left on State St., which became Romig Rd. after about a third of a mile.

The only other road to get to the mall was a little residential road, called Harlem, two lanes, very narrow, very crooked. What were the planners thinking?

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Supermarket Sweep

Hometown Market: Corner of State St. & Rt. 94. On the south side of Wadsworth.
First, a review: Yesterday, as promised, I went to Wadsworth Hometown Market to get some chicken to take to my in-laws. As there were 8 people there, I got the 21 piece package. For $19.99, you get 21 pieces of very tender, very juicy, very delicious fried chicken.

In comparison, Wal-Mart chicken is good if you haven't eaten in days. Wal-Mart chicken is very dry, and mass produced, as they get their chicken already breaded from a central warehouse. Hometown Market has the best chicken without having to go into Barberton. If you want cheap chicken, go to Wal-Mart. If you you want good chicken, go to Hometown Market. I receive no compensation for this endorsement.

To your upper right is a scan of the flyer placed in the Rittman edition of The Post. Comes with a coupon for a free pound of bacon with a $15.00 purchase. Also the Hometown Market circular is part of the inserts now placed in the Rittman paper. Obviously, they want the business that the IGA left behind when they gave up on Rittman.

If you are in Rittman or Wadsworth or other points close by, give the good folks at the Hometown Market a visit. The store has a deli and a bakery, and they run some pretty good specials. If you haven't yet gotten your turkey for the coming holiday, stop on by and check out their special on Honeysuckle White turkeys.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Finally, a Saturday to do some yardwork

Good news is my father-in-law is home from the hospital. He can't drive for now, so it will be up to my wife to get them around to therapy and shopping. They are blessed that their church has several concerned members. My in-laws have served the Lord and others for years, so now it's time for them to be served. I will be there later this afternoon with some Hometown Market chicken. And yes, I will review the chicken in the next couple of days. To the upper right is a picture of my in-laws, Eddie and Ella Jean Bowyer. (If you visited before this update I originally said to your left. I am enough of a man to admit when I was wrong. Furthermore there is nothing wrong with your computer, just the one I was born with.)

As I said in the title it's time to do some yardwork. Leaf pickup in Rittman is this coming Tuesday, and it's a great day to do this. And besides, I need the exercise in the worst way. Gotta get all this done. I hear there is some college football game being played today.

One final note before I pick up my rake again. I get some views from personalities on the Sunday Oldies Jukebox. Tomorrow when you are watching the Browns-Steelers game or the Nextel Cup race from Homestead, turn down the sound, click on this link and enjoy the streaming oldies from my friends in Streetsboro. There will be a permanent link in the near future. Update 10:08pm: Link is now added to list to your right.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Friday Comments

Playstation 3: This morning's Medina Gazette had an article about the long lines of people waiting at Medina stores for a chance to purchase the Playstation 3 game system. Some even paid up to 500 dollars to get a place in line. Most people weren't getting the system to play they were getting the system as an investment. I just heard on the news that systems were going on eBay for 10,000 dollars. All this for something that will be considered obsolete in a short period of time.

I had mentioned earlier this week about what may fill the now vacant space in the Rittman Shopping Center, which up until yesterday was occupied by the IGA. This morning's Wooster Daily Record had an article about the closing. One thing that was mentioned is that the same person who owns the Rittman Shopping Center, also owns the Center in Orrville where the Save-A-Lot is located. Maybe he might have an in with that particular corporation. They are looking for a grocery store to fill that location, but do not see one there before February.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Some loose ends and observations

First: My father-in-law is recovering very nicely from his stroke. Thanks for all your prayers. He will have to have some speech therapy, as he has some difficulty converting all his thoughts into words. He also couldn't remember his phone number, but then how often do we call ourselves?
Lord willing, they will be able to go to Florida in about four weeks. Keep my in-laws in your prayers, and I will continue to love on them until they're ready to go. One basic rule when it comes to care of your parents: Honor thy father and thy mother. Believe me, when they are gone(both my parents are deceased) there will be times when you will wish they were still around.

Some things never cease to amaze me. I've been watching on the news where some have been waiting for days to get a shot at buying the new Playstation 3 game system. WHY?? When I was growing up, we either made up our own games, had board games or (horrors) we went outside. Every year before school ended, my father would remove a tube from the television so we would have to go outside for entertainment. If had asked my dad for a 500 dollar game system when I was growing up, he'd would still be laughing at me from beyond. Of course 75 dollars then would probably be inflation adjusted to 500 today, but you get the point.

More on Christian radio: Ohio Media Watch reported earlier this week about Wooster's new radio station
WVMC/102.7 is a Christian Rock station, and heard mainly in Wooster proper, even though there are billboards advertising the station northeast of Smithville on SR585 and north of Orrville on SR57. Both of those locations I could get the signal scratchy at best. Of course in Rittman, those that enjoy that particular format(aimed at demo younger than me) can benefit from a K-Love repeater station in Wadsworth, located at 91.7 on your dial.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Last Day Announced for IGA

I had to go into town tonight for a loaf of bread, so I went to Family Dollar. As I passed the IGA, I noticed some new signs in the window. A closer look said that tomorrow, November 16, would be their last day of business. Good luck to all the soon to be former employees.

Going into Family Dollar, I talked to the cashier, Doris, who also worked at Conley's, which at one time occupied a portion of the space where the Family dollar sits. Doris is in her seventies, and she said that she didn't shop at IGA because they were too expensive, so she went either into Wadsworth or Norton. Doris did say that she felt sorry for the seniors that couldn't get out of town, and lost their grocery store.

The current rumors about town have said that the space would be occupied either by Aldi or Save-A-Lot. Two problems with those theories. First is every time you see a new Aldi, they've put up their own building. Second their is already a Save-A-Lot in nearby Orrville.

I know I have a few readers who live in Rittman. I also have a faithful reader, Tim Lones from Canton who is a grocery worker. Feel free to use the comment section to express your theories and opinions.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A mixed pot

I'm writing this after I spent an hour and a half with my Father-in law at Akron General this evening. He seems to be making a pretty good recovery, as he is able to walk, and use his hands with no difficulty. He is having problems getting some of his thoughts into words. My in-laws were supposed to be leaving for Florida this weekend, but may have to postpone or cancel this year. they did remind me however that they are still expecting me to bring over fried chicken in the next couple of weeks. They even told me that I now can get the chicken at the Hometown Market in Wadsworth. I'm just hoping it's as good as the IGA. We'll see.

I was thinking today as I was walking through Tops Friendly Market in Fairlawn, how funny life can be. Let me explain. In the early eighties, Cleveland grocers were found guilty of price fixing, and had to send all homes so much in coupons as restitution to the public. The area grocers were as follows: Fazios, Stop-N-Shop, Pick-N-Pay, A&P, and Kroger. Kroger and A&P left the area, as I posted before, Kroger left as the result of a labor dispute. Fazios had financial problems, and were bought out by Stop-N-Shop. Pick-N-Pay later became Finast, and after the chain was sold, it became Tops.

And it came to pass that Giant eagle came into the area, and opened their own stores, many of which were in abandoned Kroger stores. Several years later Giant Eagle bought out the Stop-N-Shop chain.

After Tops announced that they were looking for buyers for their Northeast Ohio stores, Giant Eagle announced their intentions of buying 18 of the Tops locations. So when you think of it, the carcases of Stop-N-Shop, Fazios, and Pick-N-Pay were all devoured by the buzzard now called Giant Eagle.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Jesus, take the wheel

What I'm about to relate is a testimony of God's grace. It's also an urgent prayer request. My in-laws were coming home from their after church dinner this afternoon. My father-in-law was driving down Reimer Rd, between Bonita Rd. and Rt. 57 when he seemingly was losing control of his car. After weaving on the road and narrowly missing a mailbox, the car had come to rest in someones yard. My mother-in-law was able to flag a passing motorist down, who helped her call 9-1-1. He was taken to Akron General Hospital, where he is resting in the picu unit. It is feared that he has had a stroke.

My son-in-law went with me to get his car and take it to his house. We were amazed at the fact that the car had no damage, and the yard thet the car ended up in had not been torn up, and the car was neatly parked next to the driveway.

Next time I hear the song "Jesus Take the Wheel" it will have a new meaning to me.

Remember my in-laws, my wife and her two sisters in your prayers.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Back home with a road report.

As you can imagine, Interstate 71 was, well, wet today. As I was by myself in the WIXYmobile , I was able to listen to my mp3 player. I have podcasts that I like, but bore other people . The main one that I was listening to was Dan Miller's "I Love My Work", which is now being called "The 48 Days to the Work You Love Radio Show"A very frustrated quality inspector, such as myself, can get some ideas on how to suppliment the income, or use some of his talents to someday go in another direction, hopefully not as far from home.

I was listening to the October 1st show, which had me on as a caller in the third hour. And as an idiot, I started some nervous laughing.

Back to the trip. Mission accomplished. Adam has his new cell phone, and hopefully he won't take this one canoeing. We ate at a Chinese buffet this afternoon, and I ate too much. When you have a three hour drive ahead of you, you don't want to do that.

I saw a couple of interesting license plates on my trip home. First one ST8 WRKR. Being the radio buff, er geek, that I am, I thought that WRKR was a radio, or television station in the area, then common sense hit me. At the time, I was around Columbus, and they have plenty of State Workers. Sometimes, it's good to be by yourself, as you are less likely to make a fool of your self. Second plate was WE SK8. My question is roller or ice?

One radio note: Every time we're in the Columbus area, we like to listen to a classic country station at 95.5. Call letters are WHOK. If you like some of the older country music, give it a listen. We can get it just south of Mansfield, and it still comes in strong in Nelsonville.
The station is currently owned by CBS, so if you are reading this OMW, give me some insight of the status, as we are well aware that CBS is selling alot of their radio properties.

Busy Saturday

Hi folks,

Don't figure there will be alot of traffic here today. I have a busy day planned. First, I work the country breakfast at my church-South Main Street Church of God, 261 S. Main St. in Rittman. Breakfast served from 6:30 to 11:00.

Then I hop in the WIXYmobile and visit WIXYjr. at college. A quick over and back. Have to replace his cell phone. He took his canoeing.

Have a great day, and may God richly bless.

Cliff aka 74WIXYgrad

Friday, November 10, 2006

Some Motivation

With everything to write about this past week, I forgot to wish a happy birthday to one of the greatest motivational speakers of all time. This past Monday, November 9, Zig Ziglar turned 80 years young. He wrote a book in 1974 called "See You at the Top", one of my favorite motivational books of all time. Zig has been described as one who would go after Moby Dick in a rowboat- and take the tartar sauce with him.

My favorite Zig quote is "You can get anything you want if you help enough other people get what they want."

Zig also has a weekly podcast available at iTunes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A (somewhat) safe haven in the blogosphere.

I have been surfing around blogger today, reading several spins on the election, and you know what? I hope you've come here to escape that. I will make one comment and move on.

The comment: I agree with the statement made in the comments section on my last post. I hope that all the people who turned out to vote yesterday also turn out to vote in local elections, and for tax levys. You can't change things at the top if you're not willing to change at the bottom.

Media comment: Even though alot of my inspiration and influence comes from Ohio Media Watch, I try not to speak too much on radio and television, except on discussion boards. This comes from a comment I made on the listening party board at I was using the copier in the office next to mine yesterday, and the radio on in that office was tuned to WXRK/92.5. Rover's Morning Glory was on. For informational purposes, just in case you don't know what a Rover is, to your right is an illustration, and no, he's not from Rootstown. Anyway I heard him use the Lord's name in vain, not once but twice in a ten second period. I posted on the board that "even though I know the FCC allows language like this, it offends me and I wish he wouldn't use it" I went on to post that "the potty mouth is not needed." Well I was pretty much accused of "wanting to stomp a little more on the Bill of Rights."

I guess the only thing you can't say on the air anymore is that Jesus loves you.

Decent people needed: No, Rittman isn't Mayberry, but you have to have pride in a town that has laws against children under 18 smoking. You have to be glad that the high school principal went to Catholic schools, and shows it in his style of discipline, who lays down the law at freshman orientation and tells the parents if any students square off to fight they will be suspended, and if they draw blood, they will leave the school in handcuffs. We have many decent people in Rittman, and we can always use more.
One friend of this blog was talking to me this past weekend about XM and Sirius. She and her husband had just bought a car, and wanted satellite radio, due to some of the traveling they do. They didn't want Sirius, simply because they didn't want to be subjected to Howard Stern.
You don't need to be filthy to be funny. I don't think the framers of the constitution was thinking of people making off color statements in public when they wrote the first amendment.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Recent Election Day Memory

Two years ago I was standing outside my polling place, which was the Rittman Library. It was chilly and damp outside, and I was waiting in a line that was long for Rittman standards. A few places in front of me was one of my neighbors. I had made mention that it would be nice if we had that kind of turnout for a school levy ballot. My neighbor then stated that this was an important election. I then said they all are.

I vote all the time so I can have the right to complain.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Hometown Sad: We need dreamers

Hometown Sad; Part one

Part two; Some History of Rittman IGA

Part three; Where will we go now?

Several years ago I was being interviewed by Rittman City council, as I expressed interest in filling a vacated councilman position. I didn't get it, but then I don't think that I'm the political type. During this interview I was asked what I felt that Rittman needed to attract new businesses. I didn't know then, but now I feel that Rittman, as many towns, need people with dreams.

We have dreamers. For example, I go to church at the South Main Street Church of God. Somewhere around 1970, Wesley Ball saw a building at 261 S. Main Street that previously been used as a gas station and an electrical shop, and visioned a place of worship. His son, Pastor Jeff Ball saw the need for a new building at that site, and the congregation started worshipping there this past June.

Another dreamer is Bruce Trogdon. He and his then future wife started The Chippewa Valley Messenger, the weekly paper that would become The Post, a community paper that has 10 local editions.

Jerry Corp is still another dreamer. He is the general manager of Premier Pontiac. Premier Pontiac moved into their new building on Eastern road last year.

Look around town, you will see hundreds of results of dreams. We need fresh dreams. We need one, or several to come into town and share their dream.

Maybe someone's dream will fill the void that was created when PCA left town.

Perhaps one will see the need for a market in town to serve those who can't leave town. One that will take care of their customers, as IGA tried. One that makes excellent fried chicken(I know, selfish dream). One that makes customers return. One that utilizes the good people of Rittman. Maybe someone who looks at this blog can hope with me that perhaps some company, like F.W. Albrecht Grocery Co., can come in and make a go with an Acme Fresh Market. But then, maybe I'm the one who is dreaming.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hometown Sad Part 3: Where will we go now?

Part one.
Part two.

In the past few years the Rittman IGA was relegated to being a glorified convenience store. You went there to get the bread or milk that you forgot when shopping in Wadsworth, Orrville, or Wooster. You would go there with ad in hand from The Post and get the sale items, and possibly some of those were loss leaders.

The meat prices were competitive and some good cuts were available there. And they had the best fried chicken in town, always a favorite for a quick take home dinner or covered dish for a church event. And the jo-jo's were the best.

Some groceries are available at several other stores in town. You can get milk, bread, prepackagd lunch meat, and other pantry items at several stores in town. Family Dollar, Dollar General, Rite Aid and Stop and Go are all in the general area of the shopping center. But you pay a price for convenience.

What are the seniors in town going to do? What will happen during the next crippling snowstorm when you can only get out so far and you need supplies for a couple of days?

Over the years, the IGA employed many Rittman High students, most of which have been good people. Others worked there to supplement the family income. One more business closes, and that much less money goes into Rittman's economy.

Next:Dreamers needed.

Hometown Sad Part 2: Some History of Rittman IGA

Part one of this series can be viewed by clicking here.
I moved to Rittman in the summer of 1983 with my wife, two year old daughter, and one child on the way. There were two grocery stores in town, Wilging's Mainway Market, and Ryan's Rittman Foodliner(IGA). Times were good for the consumer in Rittman because with two grocery stores we had competition, and competition brought lower prices. That my friends, is part of what free enterprize is about.

The building that housed the IGA was also at one time a Kroger store, but alas they built a bigger store in nearby Wadsworth, so they vacated this building and the IGA came to town to serve the Rittman community. Ryans changed suppliers for a spell and for more than a year the store was a Sparkle Market, but reverted back to IGA.

Mainway Market, who also had locations in Seville and Doylestown, closed their Rittman store in 1992, leaving the IGA as the only grocery store in Rittman. Ryans sold out to Bill Alfords and Bill LeCount, and became known as Rittman IGA.

There has always been other places to shop in nearby towns. Giant Eagle took over the Kroger location in Wadsworth(Kroger left the area due to a labor dispute). Family owned Buehler's Markets has locations in Wadsworth, Orrville, and Wooster. IGA seemed to coexist well with these stores.

Enter Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart opened their Wooster store in 1992. At the time they were only competition for places like K-Mart, Sears, Woolworths etc. In 1998 the store expanded to a supercenter, now offering groceries at a tremendous discount, due to their buying power. In 2004 WalMart opened s supercenter in Wadsworth.

How can an independent survive against the world's largest employer?

Part 3; Where will we go now?

Part 4; Dreamers needed.

Tale of two cities

This has nothing to do with the Charles Dickens classic.

Yesterday was a somewhat busy day with the WIXY's Gone Bananas staff and family.

After participating in a clothing exchange at the church, it's off to Medina for the annual pre holiday get together and leaf raking party at my in-laws. They're putting the finishing touches on getting ready for their now annual migration to Florida. We also had the opportunity to help their neighbor take care of his yard.

We needed some diet pop to drink, so Adam and I went to the Super K to get some. We went into town on 57, and saw this house engulfed in flames. A closer look showed firefighter training in progress.

I'm not in Medina that often, so I sometimes like to look at the changes in town, and seeing that I lived in Medina when my wife and I first got married 27+ years ago, I've seen tons of changes. My inlaws live on Sharon Copley Rd. We have seen a very large open field become a very ritzy housing development.

I also remember not having that many places to go to eat in Medina. We are driving back to my in-laws going down rt. 3, noticing a new McDonalds bein built. Now someone has got to tell Medina how to stop building restaurants.

Well now after helping get rid of leaves, and getting more than a belly full of really good food, it's back to Rittman. Yesterday was tag day for the band. I stopped by the Family Dollar to give my contribution. I noticed that the band members were doing things like opening doors for customers going into stores. They netted over 1300 dollars for their efforts. This money goes into uniform needs.

Party time again, as it's off to the FOP lodge for the band party. Brenda and LuAnn from the WGBB(tm) did food preparation, and already being full had a can of Diet Coke, and a world renown Big Chief hot dog. Had a good time talking to Brenda, LuAnn and, Ed Sims. Ed told me that he found an occasion that Hallmark didn't make a card for-Record Day(huh?) He and his wife had been married for 33-1/3 years. Happy Record Day Mrs. Sims.

The student musicians looked like they had a really good time at their party. A reward for a job very well done this season.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Hometown Sad

As I went past the Rittman Shopping Center this afternoon, I saw some green fluorescent posterboard in the windows of the IGA. I did my business at the credit union and returned to see what was on the signs. It was, as we have all been sort of expecting, but hoping wouldn't happen, a notice that the IGA was closing, and store hours as of this coming Sunday would be 9:00am to 6:00pm.

This store had been in trouble for quite a while, as have been many independents. Two years ago this past June a good part of Rittman was under several inches of flood water. All stores in the shopping center had to close for several days to dry out. The IGA was hurt the worst, as they lost most of their inventory, either from water damage or spoilage when the power was off.
They came back from that, but not totally. The end of October that year saw the Wadsworth Wal-Mart Supercenter grand opening, which some people saw as the beginning of the end for the Rittman IGA.

The Rittman edition of The Trading Post, as the paper was known as then, ran a series of articles about Seville and Doylestown losing their independent grocery stores, hoping that the people of Rittman would get behind their independent. There were even yard signs distributed that people put on their treelawns that said "Support your local IGA" The City government got behind the business, but I feared that it was too little too late.

More to come...

Part 2; Some History of Rittman IGA

Part 3; Where will we go now?

Part 4; We Need Dreamers

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Better than I deserve

From Financial Peace Plaza, It's the Dave Ramsey Show, where debt is dumb, cash is king and the paid off home mortgage has replaced the BMW, as the status symbol of chioce.

Like many folks, I miss listening to Dave Ramsey live on the radio. I have listened to his show a couple of times on the live stream, but since I get home from work about 4:30 at the earliest, that is not an option. When I heard that he was leaving the airwaves at the local Salem station, WHKW, I downloaded itunes onto my home computer and the Dave Ramsey show was the first free podcast I subscribed to.

I wasn't the only one to subscribe to this podcast, as this show is the most popular download under the business catagory. I have burned several cd's of this program and it's played alot in three offices at the shop. Now with my new mp3 player, I 've been able to carry the show in my pocket. I've once heard that you have to read something six times to get the full educational value out of it, and with modern technology, you can hear his show all you want, be it once, or dozens of times.

Dave is very entertaining. I enjoy hearing him giving people his sage advice on how to get out of debt. I would love to call him some day and scream, "I'm debt free!" I think people need to hear his very simple advice.

As everybody that reads this blog is well aware, I live in Rittman, population 6300. The sad statistic about this town is that we have four payday loan places. Whats wrong with that picture? What we need here(put the name of your town here) is people to" live like nobody else, so later you can live like nobody else." We need several places to host Financial Peace University, Dave's 13 week course, teaching you to be responsible with your money.

I also need more people to recognize when I say that " I'm better that I deserve" that I ripped that off from the Dave Ramsey show.

For any information on the Dave Ramsey Show or Financial Peace University, click here.