Heart and Home
June 2012 Issue
June 2012 Digest
The kitchen cabinets are the first clue that Gina Bishop is no ordinary designer: Vintage spoons and forks have been repurposed to serve as door knobs.
The kitchen in Bishop’s Hudson home was built in 1824. In fact, much of the home is steeped in history: Wide-plank, original wood flooring is still intact, as are the initials of a couple who etched them into a bedroom windowpane during their honeymoon a century ago.
But it’s the barn on Bishop’s property that has become a destination for decor. In 2008 — two years after she and her family moved to Northeast Ohio from Columbus — Bishop opened her barn to sell “treasures.” Her finds come from garage sales, estate sales, flea markets and attics. The decorator also adds work from local artists, as well as anything else that catches her eye. (Think galvanized watering cans and antique mirrors.) Bishop began calling herself the Homegirl, because her abode is her favorite destination, and a brand was born.
As word spread that she was doing amazing things with wooden chairs and vintage medicine cabinets and repurposing other “old things in new ways,” hundreds of customers began flocking to Bishop’s twice-yearly barn sales. (The next one is in October.) She’s been courted by Country Living magazine and taped several appearances for the syndicated “Nate Berkus Show.” Recently, Bishop won the grand prize from the HGTV/AOL Trade Secrets Challenge and worked with Eric Stromer, host of HGTV’s “Over Your Head” show.
Not bad for a woman who rescued a priceless antique Steinway piano with elaborate fretwork that she only had to pay to move. Or who also makes painted fish wall accents from picket fence planks.
“I blend the old and the new,” says Bishop, who explains she inherited her slightly quirky, but highly original design talent from her mother. “I tell people that their house has to reflect them. The house needs to tell a story. And when I help someone design a house, I don’t want it to look like I have ever even been there.” — Jill Sell
To learn more design tricks from the Homegirl and get updates about barn sales, visit home girlshop.com
On the Wings of Memory
“In 1943, we got torpedoed, but the ship didn’t sink,” proudly recalls World War II veteran George Diefenderfer, who served four and half years as a radio technician in the U.S. Navy and took part in the invasion of Italy before being stationed in Naples.
In May 2011, the Kettering resident traveled with 31 other Ohio veterans to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He posed for a photo with former Senator Bob Dole, wore a T-shirt proclaiming his veteran status and spent the day reflecting and being thanked by strangers.
“My wife made an album for me about that day,” he says. “It is a day I’ll never forget.”
Multiply that emotion by 3,000. That’s how many veterans Honor Flight Dayton has flown without charge to visit the World War II Memorial and other monuments sacred to those who have served our country.
Honor Flight Dayton is one of seven regional hubs in Ohio affiliated with the Honor Flight Network, a nonprofit program founded in Springfield in 2004. The first flight included six small planes and a dozen veterans. Nationally, since the end of last year, 81,348 vets have journeyed to Washington, D.C. — to heal, to remember, to cry.
Priority for the trips is given to those in service during World War II, with Korean War veterans following. According to Bill Nicklas, volunteer and vice president of the board of Honor Flight Dayton, only about 10 percent of the 16 million who served are still alive. “It took 60 years for the World War II
Memorial to be built,” says Nicklas, who served in the Army during the Vietnam War. “The Vietnam and Korean veterans memorials were built before the World War II memorial.”
Honor Flight flies veterans to Baltimore, where they board buses to view the memorials in our nation’s capital. Female veterans are also taken to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery.
“Children, people in college, all kinds of people, come up to the veterans and shake their hands and thank them,” says Nicklas. His father, Clyde, served with General George Patton’s Third Army in the charge across Europe.
“You feel a lot better about your country,” he adds, “because you know people do remember and appreciate what you did to save the world.”
The cost to fly one veteran from Ohio to see the memorial: About $300.
“Our funding comes from veterans groups, the business community, fraternal organizations and grateful individuals,” says Nicklas, whose wife Carla also volunteers. “There are all kinds of responses when the vets see the
memorial. Sometimes they’ll open up and talk about things they haven’t talked about, not even to their wives. Others become very quiet and reflective.
“It’s a powerful, powerful program,” Nicklas adds, “and many have said it [gives them] one of the best days of their lives.” — JS
For more information, visit honorflight.org
Some of us never know what we want to be when we grow up. But Danielle Betscher, 17, of Amelia Village in Clermont County, envisioned herself wearing dancing shoes for as long as she can remember.
“When I was 2, I saw the Cincinnati Ballet’s rendition of “The Nutcracker,” says the home-schooled Betscher. “My mother said I just sat on the edge of my seat and didn’t even want to go to the lobby during intermission. It is what really started my love for dance.”
At age 4, Betscher enrolled at Just Off Broadway, a dance studio in Cincinnati, and never left. She considers herself a “tapper,” but also enjoys ballet, jazz and hip-hop.
“I love music,” says Betscher. “And with tap, you can make music with your feet.”
Dance judges must also love that sound. Betscher is the Cincinnati Arts Association’s 2012 Overture Award winner in dance, receiving a $2,500 scholarship.
Betscher was also named Miss Dance Ohio 2012, a regional honor that allows her to compete next month for Miss Dance of America 2013 at the 128th Annual Dance Masters of America National Convention in Anaheim, Calif.
Betscher keeps her eye on what she considers to be the ultimate prize: becoming a member of the famous Radio City Rockettes in New York City. In fact, she’s planning to attend Oklahoma City University, which she considers to be the training ground for Rockettes, “because so many of them graduate from that school.”
To achieve her dream, the teen practices seven days a week and takes eight dance classes.
“I tell younger dancers never to give up,” says Betscher. “Some people are born with the natural ability to dance. Not me. In the past, people said to me that I should try something else. But I say, go for it if it is your passion.” — JS