Saturday, February 1, 2003

Neighborhoods


Music weaves African, German and American Indian roots

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Ginny Frazier knows her roots.

The Northside singer-songwriter's family goes back nine generations in the region. Some ancestors were farmers in Indian Hill in the late 1800s. Others were American Indians.

She has researched her sprawling family tree and turned it into songs, which she cleverly describes as "Native Americana."

The music will flow from 2-3 p.m. Feb. 16 when her band, Circles & Arrows, plays a free public concert called "Soul Food, Succotash & Sauerkraut" at the Cincinnati Waldorf School, 745 Derby Ave., near Spring Grove Arboretum.

The show ties together pieces of Frazier's heritage - German, American Indian and black.

"Our group explores the tri-racial connections between Native Americans, African-Americans and European Americans in the Ohio River Valley," she said.

"We will perform our new song, `Maketewa,' which is what Native Americans called the area between the Great Miami and Little Miami in Ohio. The literal translation means `Black Man.' It's also what Native Americans called the Mill Creek.

"We will be teaching Native American sign language with the song.

"We will also perform a song about one of the lesser known singers from The Midwestern Hayride who was Cherokee and performed on the early Cincinnati country-western television show."

Circles & Arrows features Janice "Sunflower" Trytten on Indian flute, French horn, percussion and harmony vocals; Paul Sass, bass; Mike Ruwe, guitar and vocals; Phil Ruwe on guitar and mandolin; and Randy Brock, percussion.

Frazier, who also conducts history-related workshops, tells some intriguing Buckeye stories, which are particularly relevant during the state's bicentennial.

For example, she says, the first European settler in Ohio married an Ohio American Indian; Indians disguised themselves as Germans while the Amish, Mennonites and Quakers sheltered them during the Indian removal of the 1830s; many Germans came to Ohio as indentured servants and were auctioned to the highest bidder.

She weaves similar historical themes - and her Shawnee ancestry - through her songs, which she also sang for Disney's animated feature Pocahontas.

Information: www.ginnyfrazier.com and www.sunflowertones.net.

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Hamilton's second annual Ice Fest was a big success, despite (or maybe because of) the frigid weather last weekend.

I found it fascinating. With such detail and imagination given to the sculptures, I wondered how they could be cut from blocks of ice.

The event drew 10,000 to 15,000 people, according to Debbie Bridge of the Hamilton Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"It was so cold," she said. "But the streets were constantly crowded and people were coming and going. We still have people coming in to see the sculptures."

One of my favorites was the Statue of Liberty, which sat in the median on High Street to greet drivers.

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Mason city employees have raised more than $1,000 for the Mason Veterans' Memorial and the Mason Historical Society by selling copies of Memories of Mason.

The booklet was published by the city to remember the days when the Municipal Building was at 202 W. Main St. A few months ago, the city moved into a new building at 6000 Mason-Montgomery Road.

The booklet contains residents' memories of Mason when it was another kind of place - rural. Photos include the Dream Theater, where you could buy an ice cream cone for 15 cents.

The booklet sells for $5 at the Mason Municipal Center, the Alverta Green Museum (historical society) and Yost Pharmacy.

Information: 229-8500.

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LifeSpan has opened an office at 407B N. Broadway in Lebanon to offer counseling to children, adolescents and adults for a variety of issues.

They include family problems, problems at school, depression, anxiety, abuse and attention deficit.

Fees are based on the client's income and family size.

Information: 934-1330.

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The UC Calico Theatre will present the play No Show at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. March 21 and 10 a.m. March 22 at Clermont College, Batavia.

Cost: $5 adults, $3 students.Once Upon an Attic, featuring Linda Reiff and Dancers, will be held 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Feb. 14 and 10 a.m. Feb. 15. Cost: $5 adults, $3 children.

The performance on the 15th is free as a part of the school's fine arts program.

Information: 732-5200.

Randy McNutt's community column appears on Saturday. Write: The Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069. Telephone: 755-4158. Fax: 755-4150. E-mail: rmcnutt@enquirer.com.




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