Articles by David Dupont

Middle school musicians in BGSU Honors Band

Submitted by KAREN PENDLETON Seventeen Bowling Green Middle School students were selected to participate in the Bowling Green State University Honors Band Clinic held at BGSU on November 10th. The BGMS students had the privilege of performing under guest conductors Damien Crutcher, Chief Executive Officer of Crescendo Detroit: and Joseph Dobos, Conductor of Wayne State University Concert Band. The students selected to participate were Dyllan Atkin, Matthew Bowlus, Lucy Busselle, Samantha Codding Colin Crawford, Brynn Depinet, Sarah Elder, Culley Foos, Gianna Hemming, Kelsey Kerr, Heather Knowlton, Cyrus Koogan, Simon Metzger, Nolan Miller, Joe Porter, Jordan Schuman and Eli Smith. Congratulations on their great performances! Bobcat Middle School band performs their Holiday Concert on Dec. 6 at the Performance Arts Center and Bowling Green High School at 7 p.m.


“Living With Earl” finds its voice in reading by author & new audio edition

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Some people were surprised when Tom Lambert wrote a book. Some people even took umbrage at what they saw his literary pretensions. After all, didn’t he flunk English? And Lambert, a cabinet maker by trade, admits he didn’t spend much time in the library either, though he did tend bar at Howard’s Club H when it was located where the Wood County Library now sits. Yet talking to Lambert, it’s clear the man loves a story, and he put the effort into writing some of them down. The result was the book “Living With Earl” which he self-published a year ago. It’s available at Grounds for Thought and Finders downtown as well as online from Amazon or at his website livingwithearl.com. The book recounts Lambert’s interactions with a mysterious visitor, Earl, who claims to be Mark Twain. Though he’s a spectral presence, he still has mortal needs like food, coffee and getting his laundry done. Lambert will revisit the site of his old haunts, when he reads from “Living With Earl” Saturday, Dec. 10, at 1 p.m. in the atrium of the Wood County Library. The reading comes in conjunction with the completion of an audio version of the book, which will be available on Amazon.  Professional actor Brian Schell, who Lambert said has a voice similar to Motel 6 pitchman Tom Bodett’s, gives voice to Lambert’s adventures with his quirky visitor. Lambert, 70, said the book grew out of daily Facebook posts in which he attributed sundry witticisms to Earl, a name he pulled out of thin air. “On this date, according to Earl, the first Dalmatian was spotted” was a typical one.  Lambert would put the posts together in the 40 minutes he had in the morning before heading off to work. The posts garnered the stray like or two.  Disappointed by the seeming lack of reaction, Lambert announced, that he would cease posting the Earl jokes. He was flooded with protests, and the suggestion he pull some of these stories together into a book. Along the way Earl had decided he was Mark Twain. The book is a series of vignettes that have Lambert and the strong-willed Earl, talking, disputing, eating, shooting pool, visiting various area locales. Some of the stories about Lambert are true, others about Earl are made up, and much of the material lies in the netherworld between fact and fancy. Lambert caps off each one with a quotation from Twain that may or may not relate to the story. Lambert sold nearly 800 copies, both in a hard copies and on Kindle. Thanks to a benefactor, there’s one in every Veterans Administration hospital in the country. One of the stories in the book tells how Earl, who had absconded with a Mark Twain impersonator’s speaking fees, assisted…


Everyone gets into the act at Arts X

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News At Arts X a surprise awaits the visitor around every corner. An actress in a shimmering gown and dramatic blond wig, steps forward to sing “Let It Go.” One of the Living Statues in the lobby of the Wolfe Center, she’s been waiting her turn as other characters have stepped forward to offer a song or monologue. Look up and there’s a pair of eyes projected overhead. Big Sister is watching. As the audience settles for a performance in the Donnell Theatre, someone says she has just posed for a Vogue cover. Two comedians come careening down the hall on the second floor of the Wolfe Center, making a harried entrance into the Heskett dance studio. Do you know there’s an art exhibit, they exclaim. It’s part of the act; we’re all part of the act. There’s always something to see and hear and do at Arts X, and that means there’s always something to miss. There’s always someone new to meet, or an old friend to greet. With the end of the semester looming, and finals and holiday festivities just ahead, artists, performers, writers and their fans took time out to celebrate. Arts X drew hundreds to the Bowling Green State University School of Art and the Wolfe Center Saturday night. The annual event is part art fair, part music and theater festival, part holiday party. Arts X organizers have been tweaking its presentation since the start. This year the Bowling Green Philharmonia offered a prelude of holiday music in the Donnell before the hubbub officially ensued. The theme “Volanti: Seeking Unknown Heights” tied in with the featured guest artists Violet and Fortuna, storytelling acrobats. They performed two shows in the Donnell, sections from their work-in-progress, “Laces.” The piece combined a disembodied voice emerging from the dark to set the scene, a house in Toledo’s Old West End. The scenes introduced the audience to the home’s inhabitants. There was a very tall man, the original owner. There were stuffed toys left behind in a trunk. There was a lesbian couple who made the property bloom with plants and company. These stories were played out with circus arts – aerial work, acrobatics, clowning, tightrope walking. In the most dramatic instances the duo of Erin Garber-Pearson and Kathleen Livingston hung high above the Donnell stage, muscles taut, twisting in light and shadow. Auxwerks, a dance company from Ann Arbor, swept through – literally in one scene – offering impressionistic transitions between the scenes. Pop Culture Professor Montana Miller added a few high flying stories of her own about her girlhood when she felt miscast as a human. She wanted to fly, and she pursued that, always falling just shy of realizing her dream. She took to the air in the Donnell using aerial acrobatics to…


BG Area Community Band has plenty to celebrate

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Bowling Green Area Community Band has an added reason to be in a celebratory mood this holiday season. The band is marking its 10th year. It was about 10 years ago that several area musicians, including then Bowling Green High band director Thom Headley and Nick Ezzone, a retired educator and conductor of the North Coast Concert Band, started meeting to discuss the formation of a community band. The ensemble was launched early the next year. So the theme Rejoice! is doubly appropriate for the band’s upcoming concert. The Bowling Green Area Community Band and the BiG Band will perform a free concert Sunday, Dec.11, at 4 p.m. in the Bowling Green Performing Arts Center. The concert will be conducted by Catherine Lewis, the band’s assistant director. She joined five years ago, recruited by Headley, who now directs the band. The program took shape when she found an arrangement of the 16th century hymn “Gaudete,” which means rejoice. In selecting repertoire, she said, “I’m always trying to find something that pushes everyone in the group.” On this concert it is “The Eighth Candle,” a fantasy on Hanukkah themes by Steve Reisteter. After what Lewis called “a very prayerful” opening for the woodwinds, the piece shifts into a vigorous rhythmic section that has the band negotiating through different musical meters. Headley, who was conducting a recent rehearsal, was intent on making sure the band brought out all the harmonic and rhythmic subtleties of the piece. Lewis said that’s important. Playing challenging music makes the band experience more fun for the members and lifts the musicianship of the entire band.  And that translates into deeper playing on everything the band plays. Also on the program will be arrangements of traditional fare including “Carol of the Bells,” “Greensleeves,” “Ding! Dong! Merrily on High” featuring hand bells and popular Christmas songs from the 1950s. The band will play music from the movie “The Polar Express” and conclude with Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival.” The membership of the band has a range of skills. The ensemble has more than a dozen current or former band directors in its ranks. That includes Lewis who said she was glad to get a chance to pick up her bassoon again when she joined five years ago. Others are avocational musicians, many who hadn’t played their instruments much or at all since they were students. Diane Rausch Huffman, a lawyer by day and flutist with the community band, said between the time she was first chair flutist in the Napoleon High School Band, and when she joined the community band about eight years ago, the only time she’d get her flute out was around Christmas to play with family members. “The first year was pretty much work in progress,” she said. “You…


Black Swamp Arts Festival voted best in the state in magazine poll

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Black Swamp Arts Festival received an early gift as preparations get underway  for the 25th festival next September. The readers of Ohio Magazine have voted the Bowling Green festival as Best Art/Fair Festival in the state of Ohio. The results of the readers poll appear in the January issue of the magazine. “It’s great that it’s a reader appreciation award, a community-based reaction, to what we’ve done,” said Todd Ahrens, who chairs the committee that works year-round to stage the festival. “It’s good for the committee to have validation that the work we do as volunteers has meaning to the community. Bringing arts and the community together – that’s what the festival has been about since the beginning.” The 2017 festival will be staged in downtown Bowling Green Friday, Sept. 8 through Sunday, Sept.  10. The festival features musicians from around the world, more than 200 exhibitors in three art shows, arts activities for children, and a range of food and beverage offerings. That diversity of offerings is what sets the festival apart, Ahrens said. “We offer visual and performing arts… and then have this youth arts area that blows people away.” The Chalk Walk competition for high school students was started as a way to engage teenagers.  “We continue to find ways to make it something for everybody,” he said. The festival also features a beer garden and a variety of food vendors. “People enjoy the beer garden in particular and being able to enjoy free music with their friends and have a nice community party.” Looking forward to next September, Ahrens said: “I don’t know that there’s this big thing happening for 25th, but there will be a lot of fun things through merchandise and special performances.” Through its future of the festival committee, organizers are looking toward securing the event’s future for the next 25 years. The committee has quietly launched a drive to set up an endowment with a goal of raising $25,000 in its 25th year. The endowment is through the Bowling Green Community Foundation. The endowment campaign builds on its tradition of relying on a broad base of community donors. “Part of what’s great about the festival is it’s all volunteer,” he said. “People really get involved. We have 800 to 1,000 volunteers a year that help put on the festival. It takes a community effort.” This is not the first time the festival has been honored by the magazine. The festival was voted into the top spot in 2014. The juried art show has also been regularly listed as one of the top art shows in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine. This year the juried exhibit ranked 70th on the Top 100 Classic and Contemporary Show. The Black Swamp Arts Festival has grown steadily since it…


Student charged for filing false assault report with campus police

By BG INDEPENDENT NEWS Bowling Green State University police have charged a second student with falsely claiming he was assaulted on campus several weeks ago. Nicholas Davis, 22, had told police on Nov. 15  that he had been assaulted behind the Student Recreation Center, called anti-gay slurs, and had his cell phone stolen. After the initial report, he said his phone had not been stolen and that he found it on the scene. Further investigation by police determined the assault had not occurred. Acting Police Chief Mike Campbell said Davis has been charged and released. He will have a hearing at Bowling Green Municipal Court. Campbell said that his officers spend many times and hours investigating reports and if those reports are false that takes time away from other police operations. Still, he said, a distinction needs to be made between a report that is legitimately a mistake and one that is deliberately false. Campbell said he would never discourage anyone from reporting an incident. “We want them to report those things.” Campbell said that there has been a heightened sense of apprehension on campus since the election, though there has not been an increase in incidents. “It’s just a matter of providing needed support” and helping people in the community and campus understand that BGSU “is a safe and inclusive environment.” Campbell said that Davis had told others that he wanted to bring attention to the problems faced by members of the LBGT community. Bowling Green city police filed charges two weeks ago, against another student who claimed she had been assaulted on Crim Street on Election Night. They determined the report was false. Eleesha Long was charged with falsification and obstructing official business.      


BGSU Lively Arts Calendar through Dec. 9

Dec. 1—The International Film Series concludes with the 1977 film “Neokanchennaia P’esa Dlia Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano),” directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. From Russia’s most well-known contemporary filmmaker, an intriguing story of former lovers who meet at a pre-revolutionary country estate. Casual conversations on social issues and the music of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Donizetti supply background to a Chekhovian treatment of returning past love. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Dec. 1—Creative writing students in the bachelor of fine arts program will present their work. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Dec. 1—World Percussion Night features multiple styles including performances by the Taiko, Afro-Caribbean and Gamelan ensembles. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Dec. 3— BG Philharmonia will perform a Holiday Concert to kick off the 12th annual ArtsX events. The performance will begin at 4 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Dec. 3—The 12th annual ArtsX will take place from 5-9 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts, including the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries, where student and faculty artists and performers show off their talents to the community. The evening includes works from the College of Musical Arts, the School of Art, the Department of Theatre and Film, the Creative Writing Program, the Dance Program, and numerous other organizations, along with holiday shopping. Free Dec. 3—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition opening reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries located in the Fine Arts Center as part of ArtsX events. Free Dec. 4-14—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Dec. 4— The University Choral Society performs Handel’s “Messiah” with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in the Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445 Monroe St. in Toledo. The performance begins at 2 p.m. Call the Toledo Symphony Orchestra box office at 419-246-8000  for ticket information. Dec. 5—BGSU’s Wind Symphony will give a chamber concert at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Dec. 4-14—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries in the Fine Arts Center….


Piasecki seeks at-large seat on city council

Submitted by ROB PIASECKI Rob Piasecki announced that he has pulled petitions to run for Bowling Green City Council At-Large in 2017. Rob has lived in Bowling Green for the past 34 Years. He and his wife of 21 years Suzanne, a BGSU grad, along with their four children : Rachel, Robbie, Samantha and Hope and dog Hawkeye love Bowling Green. Rob is an alumni of Bowling Green High School (1988) and a graduate of Owens Community College (1996). He is employed by the Dr. Pepper/Snapple group. Rob and his family are members of Peace Lutheran Church. Rob has served the community in numerous ways. He has served with the United Way, a Past Master of the Wood County Masonic Lodge, a volunteer coach for Upward Basketball and with BG Parks and Rec leagues, a judge at the Wood County Fair, and has volunteered at for BG City Schools. Rob has also volunteered for many years at the Black Swamp Atrs Festival, having served as the Volunteer Coordinator . Rob is an alum of Bowling Green Chamber of Commerce Leadership BG. Rob has previously served on BG City Council, lived in all four wards of the city, and has the ability to bring people together to get things accomplished. “I loved my previous experience on council. One of my proudest moments was helping to create Ridge Park.” “I want to make city government work for the citizens” Piasecki said. “Bowling Green has wonderful parks, schools and some of the very best local businesses around. I wants to grow and maintain these excellent community resources.”


Mr. Lemoncello author has soft spot for Bowling Green & its library

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Maria Simon first reaction when she found her name in “Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics” was to call out to her husband. The next was to order a cake. Cake after all is the celebratory food of choice at Mr. Lemoncello’s amazing library. “I just about jumped off my chair,” said Simon, children’s librarian at the Wood County Public Library. The author, Chris Grabenstein, didn’t only name the reference librarian at the fictional Alexandriaville Public Library after Simon, he buried another reference to Bowling Green in the book. The GPS coordinates for Blue Jay Extended Stay Motel where the book’s young heroes find a vital clue are those of the Wood County District Public Library. That makes it a stop for those who do geocaching. A few people have already visited the library because of that. Simon said she didn’t realize that connection until after she contacted the author to thank him for using her name. “He enjoys making his books interactive.” Grabenstein has been known to drop references to places he’s been and people he’s met, as well as other books.  One of the challenges the heroes of the book face is a contest to see who can eat pizza and read at the same time, and then pass a comprehension test. The winning team read Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Shlemiel Went to Warsaw and Other Stories.” Another character’s favorite book is “Bud, Not Buddy” by Michigan writer Christopher Paul Curtis. The villains in the Mr. Lemoncello books are those who have precious, overly protective attitude toward libraries and books; the heroes are those who want to share their love of reading widely. Grabenstein is no stranger to Bowling Green. Last year on his way to Michigan on a family visit, he visited to promote his book “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” He gave a presentation at the middle school, where his skills as a standup comedian were on full display, Simon said. He loved the town, Simon said, asking if it was used in any movies. “When I saw the town, it looked just like I imagined my fictional Ohio town of Alexandriaville might look,” the author wrote in a recent email. “So I now use photos of BG for reference when I am writing Mr. Lemoncello stories.” “Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics” is a sequel to “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library.” Simon, he added, has been a fan dating back to his days writing mysteries for adults. Grabenstein has had a varied career, including writing books with James Patterson. “I had a great visit to the Bowling Green library,” Grabenstein wrote.  “I loved the place and all the fun things they had going on for kids – including a duct tape portrait of the ‘Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library’ cover.” Grabenstein’s affection for BG is reciprocated….


BG downtown parking holiday in December

Mayor Richard Edwards has declared that there will be no charge to park within city parking lots during the month of December. All other parking regulations will be in effect. The free parking will not include the on-street meters in front of the Wood County Courthouse on Court Street, between North Summit and North Prospect, or the meters in the County Parking Lot. Although the charge for parking will be removed during December in designated spaces, all other parking restrictions, such as the two-hour parking limit, parking in handicapped spaces, prohibition of on-street parking in the downtown from 3 to 5a.m., and other regulations will continue to apply and will be enforced. The mayor encourages businesses, proprietors, and persons working in the downtown to share rides and park in long-term spaces to allow parking turnover for those shopping and/or dining in the downtown.


Stepping off on a healthy holidays experience at BGSU

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News As campus returned to life after the Thanksgiving holiday, Bowling Green State University encouraged people, staff, students, faculty and community members, to step into the holidays in a healthy frame of mind. Monday at noontime, several dozen people gathered at Perry Field House to walk around the track. For a portion of that time they hit their stride to holiday tunes sung by the student ensemble Ten40 Acappella, who obliged with a version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” with the lyrics reworked to encourage healthy habits during the holidays. “Holidays are very stressful times,” said Mary Huff, dean of the College of Health and Human Services. “These are times when we don’t think about our own health, but when we should think about our own health is when were more stressed. We tend to overeat and tend to exercise less. So this is a great time to think about our own health physical health and emotional health.” Among those participating were a group of residents from Brookdale assisted living facility in Bowling Green. These are folks who are already exercising every day, said Alisha Nenadovich, Brookdale activities director. Walking in the field house was “a nice change of scenery.” “They loved to hear the a cappella group sing. That was definitely a plus,” she said. After the walk Paula Davis, the director of the university’s Optimal Aging Institute, gave a presentation on how to navigate a healthy path through the holidays. The festive spirit may not last long into another year, but the pounds out on while being festive certainly will. She said people shouldn’t absolutely deny themselves what they like to eat, they should just control how many of those sweet and fatty treats they consume. Don’t fast before the party, she said. Have a healthy snack that includes protein, complex carbohydrates such as whole grain and a couple glasses of water before heading out. That will curb the hunger. Bring something that’s healthy and tasty to share so there’s something nutritious to eat. Then at the party take a small serving of what you crave, and then head away from the buffet. Move into another room, if possible. Camping out close to the food, is a recipe for constant nibbling. And alternate between drinking wine and drinking water. Water is the key to health. Often people confuse hunger with thirst, Davis said.  Drinking a couple glasses of water before mealtime can result in consuming 100 fewer calories. “In terms of the holidays,” Davis said, “the thing to keep in mind is to keep moving. … Schedule a little time and focus on your exercise program.” That’s good not just for the body. “Even 10 or 15 minutes can really improve your mood.” Walking a mile and a quarter burns about 100…


Arts X reaching for new heights

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Erin Garber-Pearson has performed several times at Arts X at Bowling Green State University. The former teacher in the School of Art feels right at home at the festival that brings all the arts on campus together. Her own work blends sculpture, video, storytelling and aerial acrobatics. That’s a perfect fit for Arts X with its mélange of art sales, exhibits, musical and theatrical performances, all colored by a certain level of tom foolery. When Garber-Pearson and Kathleen Livingston perform at Arts X as Violet and Fortuna on Saturday, Dec.3, the acrobatic storytellers will take the work to new heights. The work-in-progress “Laces” involves two solo and two duet pieces.  The duets require the performers to fly higher. Working as a solo aerialist is challenging enough but working together requires a heightened sense of communication and trust, Garber-Pearson said.  The duo has been working on the duets for three years. Arts X is “a good time to show” what they’ve been working on. The works fits right in to the theme of Arts X 2016:  “Volanti: Seeking Unknown Heights.” The event runs from 5 to 9 p.m. and is preceded at 4 p.m. by a holiday concert by the Bowling Green Philharmonia in Donnell Theatre in the Wolfe Center. Arts X is a free public event. Violet and Fortuna will perform two 20-minute shows, one at 7 p.m. and another at 8 p.m. in the Donnell Theatre. They will be joined by dancers from Auxwerks in Ann Arbor. Also BGSU faculty member Montana Miller will perform. According to the university, the former circus aerialist “will present a personal narrative of the truth behind the romantic image of flight based on her 25-year career as a professional aerial acrobat, from trapeze artist to high diver and now as a competitive, world record holding skydiver. She also will perform a piece to convey her journey through movement using aerial rings that she used to fly on 20 years ago.” Violet and Fortuna’s “Laces” tells the 100-year-old story of house in Toledo. Given Garber-Pearson’s work can’t fit it into one box, Arts X is ideal venue. “For me, it’s an opportunity to show my work to a diverse audience interested in the arts. I like it that it’s the whole campus… all the arts coming together for one event.” Garber-Pearson’s involvement in circus goes back to her graduate school days. She was introduced to them by her partner. She would create large kinetic sculptures that could be worn and set on fire. Then she learned skills such as fire eating and stilt walking and started performing. She choreographed “a giant sculptural dance and interaction between sculpture and performers” for a Day of the Dead procession. “It was one of the most exciting performances,” she said, because it was…


Dr. Lillian Miller joins Women’s Care of Wood County practice

Submitted by WOOD COUNTY HOSPITAL Dr. Lillian Miller is joining Doctors Abeer Ahmed, Ian Leggat, Megan Porter and CRNP Marcia Amstutz in Women’s Care of Wood County. Dr. Miller is a native of Bowling Green and graduated from the Ohio State University. She completed residency training at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital and most recently came from Sunforest OBGYN Associates where she practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology. She focused primarily on high risk obstetrics, gynecological and breast screenings as well as general genealogical care for women of all ages. Dr. Miller practices faith based medicine and is trained in natural family planning. She is focused on listening to her patients and hearing their concerns and creating a cooperative environment of care between her and her patients. Hours: Mon-Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For an appointment, call 419-352-8427.


Hirzel Canning blends tradition & innovation in products packed with the flavor of Northwest Ohio

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Prohibition knocked Carl Hirzel’s upstate New York brewery out of business, he turned his knowledge of fermentation toward making another product. “He took his technology for making beer and turned it to making sauerkraut,” said his great-grandson Steve Hirzel. By then Carl and his wife, Lena, had joined his brothers in the Toledo area.  “The company literally started in the kitchen,” Hirzel said. Hirzel Canning & Farms continues in operation 93 years later with a fifth generation moving in to keep the firm moving forward. And the company still makes sauerkraut, originally sold under the Deer Lodge brand now as Silver Fleece. Business is good for the tart fermented cabbage, Hirzel, president of Hirzel Canning, told the Bowling Green Exchange Club Tuesday. The company is still looking toward fermentation as a way to develop other products for an increasingly fickle consumer. Hirzel said company’s success is rooted in the Great Black Swamp. “In our backyard we’ve been given a garden to grow our crops. … Half of products we get are within 10 miles of the facility.” Those products now are centered on tomatoes, which the company turns in salsas, pasta and Sloppy Joe sauce and tomatoes in various forms from crushed to whole, in cans and cartons. “Anything you can think of doing with tomatoes we do,” he said, “except paste.” The varieties of tomatoes grown locally are not suited to making paste. They are more like what people would pick from their gardens. They don’t need a lot of processing on their way to the consumer. “We want to heat it up really quickly, sterilize it and put it in the package,” Hirzel said. That’s the difference between the more than 60 products sold under the Dei Fratelli label and its competitors’ products. Working closely with area growers, some who have been associated with the companies for four generations, the company aims to be “picking it when it’s vine ripe, and then putting it in the package right away. You talk about preserving nutrients and color.” Those growers are essential. “They’re family farmers, local,” he said. “We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have this reliable base.” The company still has a farm at its headquarters in Northwood, where they constantly refine seed varieties to produce the best, most consistent. It’s not uncommon for the company to be testing 30-40 varieties for qualities related to production, a thick skin to protect the fruit in shipping, ease of peeling, and yield. The farm also is studying organic growing. The conditions here, Hirzel said, makes growing organic tomatoes difficult. But the company is growing grains in the operation started 30 years ago by Hirzel’s uncle, John Hirzel. The operation contracts with other companies to clean and sort their organic product. Hirzel Canning also…


BGSU Lively Arts through Dec. 5

Nov. 29—Undergraduate and graduate piano students will perform at 7 p.m. at the Wood County District Public Library, 251 N. Main St., Bowling Green. Free Nov. 29—Percussion ensembles will perform at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Nov. 30—The Early Music Ensemble will perform at 8 p.m. in Bryan Recital Hall of the Moore Musical Arts Center. Free Dec. 1—The International Film Series concludes with the 1977 film “Neokanchennaia P’esa Dlia Mekhanicheskogo Pianino (An Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano),” directed by Nikita Mikhalkov. From Russia’s most well-known contemporary filmmaker, an intriguing story of former lovers who meet at a pre-revolutionary country estate. Casual conversations on social issues and the music of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Donizetti supply background to a Chekhovian treatment of returning past love. The screening begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Gish Film Theater located in Hanna Hall. Free Dec. 1—Creative writing students in the bachelor of fine arts program will present their work. The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. in Prout Chapel. Free Dec. 1—World Percussion Night features multiple styles including performances by the Taiko, Afro-Caribbean and Gamelan ensembles. The concert begins at 8 p.m. in Kobacker Hall at the Moore Musical Arts Center. Tickets can be purchased from the BGSU Arts Box Office at 419-372-8171. Advance tickets are $7 for adults and $3 for students and children. All tickets the day of the concert are $10. Dec. 3—Ensembles of the BGSU College of Musical Arts will perform a Holiday Concert as part of the 12th annual ArtsX events. The performance will begin at 4 p.m. in the Thomas B. and Kathleen M. Donnell Theatre located in the Wolfe Center for the Arts. Free Dec. 3—The 12th annual ArtsX will take place from 5-9 p.m. in the Fine Arts Center and the Wolfe Center for the Arts, including the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries, where student and faculty artists and performers show off their talents to the community. The evening includes works from the College of Musical Arts, the School of Art, the Department of Theatre and Film, the Creative Writing Program, the Dance Program, and numerous other organizations, along with holiday shopping. Free Dec. 3—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition opening reception will be held from 5-9 p.m. in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries located in the Fine Arts Center as part of ArtsX events. Free Dec. 4-14—The Annual Faculty and Staff Exhibition will be on display in the Dorothy Uber Bryan and Willard Wankelman galleries in the Fine Arts Center. Gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, 6-9 p.m. Thursdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays. Free Dec. 4— The University Choral Society performs Handel’s “Messiah” with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in the Peristyle at the Toledo Museum of Art, 2445…