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Archive for the ‘PCD Friends’ Category

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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We want to wish everyone a very, very Happy Valentine’s Day. It’s not too late to stop in the pharmacy and get a gift and a card if you have waited until the last minute! We have lots of nice things for your sweetie.

We also wanted to wish our parents, Bob and Roberta Timmons, a very Happy Anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

Don’t you love how Joe and Greg jumped in and “photobombed” this picture with Mom and Dad? Joe looks pretty happy. Not sure what Mom and Dad are thinking! Greg just looks surprised (a common look for him!).

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Mary Andrews Mitchell Turned 90 on May 15. Please Send Her Lots of Love and Good Wishes.

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Our good friend, Mary Mitchell, turned 90 on May 15.

Mary is currently at Heartland in Marysville. Her family had asked everyone to send a deluge of good wishes for her 90th Birthday.

We’d like to ask that you continue to send Mary cards throughout the month of May! Mary hasn’t been able to get out much and we know it cheers her up to receive messages from old friends. She also loves to hear all the Plain City news.

We really love this photo (see below) of Mary with her parents at a Lions Club event.

Please send cards to Mary at: Heartland of Marysville, 755 South Plum Street, Marysville, Ohio 43040, Room 204

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Good-bye to a “Gentle” Man Who Always Had a Smile on His Face.

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When I am no longer here, I hope that people will remember me the same way Joe and I remember Tony Mouhanna–as someone who always had a smile to greet everyone and who only had kind words to say.

Joe and I knew Tony not only from the pharmacy, but from Saint Joseph’s. Wherever Tony went, he was famous for his ethnic delicacies. Tony loved to cook and he was always bringing food to us at the store. He made a huge effort to always include vegetarian items for me and I found his thoughtfulness so sweet. Joe was a diehard fan of Tony’s baklava.

Tony was from Lebanon. He could actually speak Aramaic and Arabic, as well as English, from his days in seminary school in his native country. A few years ago, Joe and I attended a Maronite Mass with Tony and Sharron Elias. I wrote an article about the experience for The Bulletin at Saint Joseph’s, which you can read below. I was so amazed by the beauty of the language and hearing Tony speak the words so effortlessly.

Besides his family, his faith, and his flavorful cooking, Tony also loved music. I have to say that what moved me to tears at Tony’s viewing and funeral service were the hauntingly beautiful songs that were sung in his native language. Even without understanding the words, the music and the voices of the man and woman who sang, were heartbreaking in their loveliness.

The poetry of Tony’s native language and music is something I will never forget, just as I will never forget Tony’s giant, gentle smile or his kindness to everyone he met.

To read Tony’s obituary, please go HERE. We send our thoughts and prayers to Tony’s wife, Marilyn, and his children, Anna, Kim, and George, and the rest of his lovely family.

In the photo above, Tony is featured with the band he used to perform with. Tony, of course, can be identified in the back center by his infectious smile.

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Hearing the Language of Jesus at a Maronite Mass

I have been to masses that were said in many different languages—Spanish when we were in Colorado; Gaelic in Ireland; and even Latin masses when I was a child. But recently, Joe and I attended a mass spoken in a language unlike any other–the language of Jesus—Aramaic.

During a visit with Sharron Elias, she mentioned that she and Tony and Marilyn Mouhanna attend the Maronite Mission, Our Lady of Lebanon, in Columbus. Sharron was first introduced to the Maronites because of her husband’s Lebanese heritage. The Maronite Church has its roots in Lebanon. Sharron generously invited us to attend a service with her.

As Sharron explained, the Maronite Church is one sect of the Catholic Church in the same way that the Roman Church is.

“Father Pierre says the Roman Church is a more visual church, while the Maronite Church is more oral. The masses are more flowery and poetic. While they follow the same path as a Roman mass, there is a different type of ritual involved,” Sharron said.

According to the web site for Our Lady of Lebanon (www.ourladyoflebanon.info), the masses are said in a combination of English, Arabic, and Aramaic. Aramaic is, of course, the language used in Mel Gibson’s movie, “The Passion of the Christ”. As the movie depicted, Aramaic words would have flowed from Jesus’ mouth.

The web site explains that the Maronite Rite is based upon the teachings of a hermit monk, Maron, who lived in Syria around 400 A. D. These teachings first came to the United States in the early 1900’s when Maronites from Lebanon immigrated to the country to escape persecution and famine.

Sharron told us there are approximately 200 people scattered throughout Central Ohio who are Maronites. While they are a small group of believers, they are not alone in their faith. As the web site states, “Our Mission is one of several missions and 54 parishes of the Eparchy (Diocese) of Our Lady of Lebanon.”

Because they are still so small, Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Mission does not have their own church to accommodate their followers. The Maronite parishioners hope to some day “establish a permanent Maronite Catholic Church in Columbus.” They are actively seeking property or an existing church to purchase.

Without a home to call their own, Our Lady of Lebanon must use another church for their masses. Parishioners of Our Lady of Lebanon meet every other Saturday at 6 p.m. at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church on North Hague Avenue. This is where Joe and I went with Sharron and Tony.

The priest, Father Pierre Bassil, comes from his permanent church, St. Ignatius Maronite in Dayton to minister to the Maronites in the Columbus area.

“Even during the winter,” Sharron said, “Father Pierre drove all the way from Dayton. He only cancelled one mass because of the weather.”

Joe and I met Father Pierre when we attended mass with Sharron and Tony at the end of June. A tall, dark haired man dressed in black priestly garb, Father Pierre made a striking appearance as he talked politics with us in the vestibule of St. Margaret’s.

About a dozen people came for mass. Sharron told us there are usually twice that many at the services, but with summer vacations, she thought attendance was decreased.

Tony joked that for anything involving food at the church, throngs of people show up. If Tony is doing the cooking, we know why. Tony makes some of the best food around and is always bringing samples to us at the pharmacy.

Before mass began, we were given books so we could follow along with the order of the service. On one page of the book, the liturgy was in English, while on the opposite side were the words in Arabic and Aramaic. Tony explained to us that Arabic and Aramaic are read right to left instead of left to right as we read in English.

Because I often point out where we are when we sing at Saint Joe’s to keep Joe on track, I jokingly pointed to the Arabic and Aramaic writing when Father Pierre switched from English and began chanting in the foreign and hauntingly beautiful languages. I wish that, like Tony, I could actually follow along in English, Arabic, and Aramaic. Tony knew the prayers in all three languages and recited the verses along with Father Pierre. Sharron let us in on a secret later—Tony had been in seminary school in Lebanon when he was younger, thus his fluency in the prayers.

The prayers, chanted in Arabic and Aramaic, were breathtaking, sounding like echoes of a long forgotten song, a whispered memory of the voice of Jesus.

Father Pierre did catch me off guard, however. In the middle of the English prayer recitation, he would often stop speaking and only the voices of those of us in the pews could be heard. I felt as if we were being tested by Father Pierre to see if we were participating and following along. I had never been to a service before where the priest didn’t say all the prayers along with the congregation. It made me pay close attention and speak louder so my voice would blend with those around me.

One of the loveliest moments in the service came with the exchange of peace. A lady went up to Father Pierre and put her hands out to his. Father Pierre’s hands were clasped together as if he was holding peace tightly between his palms. The woman put her hands around Father’s hands as if she was actually taking peace from him, as if peace was an object that could be carried and passed around. She then went to every person at the end of a pew and gave peace to them. I put my hands around hers and took peace from her. Then I passed it on to Joe.

The other part of the service that I found very different from the Roman Catholic Church ritual occurred during communion. Father Pierre stood with both the communion wafers and the chalice of wine. He dipped the communion wafer in the wine and placed the wine laden wafer directly on our tongues. There was no cupping of hands to receive communion; no abstaining from the blood of Christ.

I remember watching an older parishioner do this same thing at a Roman Catholic mass some years ago. He received his communion wafer, walked with it over to the wine, and dipped the wafer in. This was not considered acceptable and the following Sunday, we had a lecture from the priest about how wrong it was to dip the communion wafer in the wine. The older gentleman listened to the sermon and when it was time to go up for communion, took his wafer and again dipped it in the chalice.

While communion was slightly different in the Maronite Church, the ending to the service was very similar to that in a Roman Church with one exception: there were proportionately more hugs and kisses exchanged than normally observed.

I have to say, the Maronite mass was one of the most beautiful masses I have ever attended. The foreign words hung in the air like rose petals carried on a breeze, their beauty surrounding everyone.

To learn more abut the Maronite Church and Our Lady of Lebanon, please go to www.ourladyoflebanon.info

To read an article in “The Catholic Times” about Our Lady of Lebanon, go HERE and scroll down to pages 11 and 12.

Please Support Jay and Alice Hostetler on Tuesday, April 5 at Der Dutchman from 5-8 pm.

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As many of you may know, Jay Hostetler was in a semi accident on October 31, 2015. You can see photos of the wrecked semi below. Jay went to The Ohio State University Hospital where he spent several days in the intensive care unit recovering from cardiac arrest, a collapsed lung, a broken back, and a skull fracture.

It is a miracle that Jay is alive and survived this accident.

Jay has not been able to return to work after the accident and he and Alice are trying to figure out how to manage their finances and mounting medical bills. Der Dutchman has kindly set up a fundraiser to help them with their medical expenses.

We think Jay and Alice are wonderful people and we would like to ask everyone to support them in this fundraiser through Der Dutchman Restaurant.

On Tuesday, April 5 from 5-8 pm, 15 percent of your total bill at Der Dutchman, as well as your entire tip, will be donated to the Hostetler family to help with Jay’s medical bills. There will be a limited menu and buffet available for your meal.

Please stop by and help Alice and Jay simply by having an enjoyable meal. We continue to send prayers and much love to Alice and Jay.

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We Have Lost a Wonderful Person and a Wealth of Historical Knowledge with the Passing of Joe Hofbauer.

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On March 29, we lost not only a wonderful person, but a ton of Plain City history with the passing of Joe Hofbauer.

I knew Joe through the Plain City Historical Society where I sometimes helped him file documents and newspaper clippings and also from Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church where he and his family had been members all of his life. Over the course of many years, Joe always had wonderful stories to tell me and I wrote several articles about him.

Joe and his wife, Mary, are also animal lovers and they helped trap many, many kitties on their property to be spayed and neutered.

We send much love to Mary and to Joe’s daughters, Mary Catherine and Julia Ann, and the rest of his family. Joe was a very special person and he will be greatly missed.

To read Joe’s obituary, please go HERE.

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In 2007, I visited Joe at his home and interviewed him for an article (below) that appeared in the Bulletin at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church. Joe not only knew a lot about Plain City history, he had a very unique history of his own.

Snapshot of a Family: The House of Hofbauer

Joseph G. V. (Joe) Hofbauer’s memories of his family and Saint Joseph’s emerge from his thoughts like fully developed snapshots—colorful and detailed; that his memories seem like pictures is not surprising since Joe was a photographer most of his life.

Joe’s life didn’t begin behind a camera however. Rather, he found himself, as a young boy, surrounded by sausages and steaks and racks of lamb.

Joe’s father, Joseph Vincent Hofbauer, owned a meat market in Plain City for almost forty years.

Born in Pfaffenhausen, Bavaria, Germany, the elder Joseph Hofbauer worked as an apprentice butcher in Hammelburg, Germany for over six years, beginning the difficult job when he was only 17 years old.

In 1928, at the age of 23, Joe’s father left Germany for the United States.

“He left because of the turmoil about the war,” Joe said. “Hitler was taking over. He didn’t like that.”

A family from German Village sponsored Joseph and paid his passage to America. Once in Columbus, Joseph worked for the David Davis Meat Packing Company, saving his money to pay back his sponsors and in the hope of one day having his own meat shop.

Things were tough for Joseph, but he kept working and saving and learning all that he could about the new country he was living in.

“My dad didn’t know any English when he came here. He just picked it up from listening to the people around him.”

With a bit of money saved, Joseph returned to Germany for a family visit in 1933. While at home, he befriended Anna Josepha Kress, a girl in his hometown of Pfaffenhausen. Joseph continued to write Anna after returning to Ohio.

In 1934, two major events occurred in Joseph’s life. First, he finally purchased his own shop, Cut-Rate Meat Market, in Plain City. Secondly, he gained his United States citizenship.

The years to come were also filled with life changing events. In 1935, Joseph sent for his darling Anna to come to Ohio from Germany. The couple married in June of 1935 at St. Mary’s (South) Catholic Church in Columbus. Anna then joined her husband, helping with the family business.

“At one time there were four different meat markets in Plain City. My dad was the only one who did his own butchering, so the other meat markets would come to my dad to order meat to sell in their stores.”

Joe’s Dad sold meat to each of his competitor’s.

After Joe was born in 1936, he also spent many days in the family shop.

“When I was little, if the shop got really busy, my mom would take me down to the Fitzgerald’s and they would baby-sit me.”

The Fitzgeralds, who looked after Joe, were Edith and her mother, Ella, who Joe called “Fitzy.” Edith would become Sister Edith of the Dominican Sisters, a wonderful and holy gift from Saint Joseph’s parish to the world of vocations.

Once he was older, Joe worked in the family meat shop. He continued to work in the shop after high school, before deciding he needed a change.

“I decided I didn’t really care for the meat business. I kept getting cut too many times.”

So instead, Joe began a career as a photographer with the Scotts Company, flying across the country to take pictures of beautiful lawns to promote the company’s products.

Leaving Scotts, Joe served as photographer in the Army, touring Korea and Vietnam. Once he was out of the military, he put his photography skills to use as a civilian, as well, working for the Marysville Journal-Tribune Newspaper and later for the Adjutant General’s Department.

Although photography replaced the family meat business for Joe, nothing ever replaced his Catholic heritage. Joe continued to share his family’s love of Saint Joseph’s; a love fostered from childhood.

“Every funeral, every wedding, anything that happened in the church, I was an altar boy.   There were only two altar boys then—me and Tom Lamb.”

Joe also remembers the days when Sunday school wasn’t for the weak of spirit.

“There used to be an altar railing up front. Every Sunday after Mass all the kids had catechism. The priest would come out from the sacristy with a chair. He’d sit down behind the altar railing and all us kids would bring our catechism books up with the book open to the page we’d studied that week. He’d look at our page and ask us questions. The whole congregation was watching.”

And if you didn’t know your catechism?

“He’d hand back the book and say, ‘You study a little bit more and come back next week.’”

While catechism was hard, equally difficult was digging out the church basement. There wasn’t always a basement at Saint Joe’s. It was added around 1960 to provide more space for a growing congregation.

“When we started, the basement had just enough room for a furnace and some coal. That’s all that was down there. We dug the rest out by hand with picks and shovels. We’d take wheelbarrows of dirt over to a farm conveyor belt that went from the basement out to a truck. Once the truck was full, we hauled it out to a farm.   The priest even helped. That dirt had been there over one hundred years and no one had disturbed it until we did. It was hard.”

A slightly easier task for Joe than digging out the church basement was convincing a pretty Columbus girl to go out with him.

On their first date, Joe gave his bride-to-be, Mary, a taste of his sense of humor.

“We went to this rather classy restaurant. They brought out a vegetable tray first and there were hot peppers on it. Mary asked me, ‘Are those pickles?’ I was always kind of ornery, so I said, ‘Yeah, those are pickles.’ She bit into one and her face turned red and her eyes watered. She said, ‘Those aren’t pickles!’”

Luckily Mary forgave Joe for his “tasteless” joke. In 1963, a new member was added to the Hofbauer family when Joe married Mary Kungis at St. James the Less Catholic Church in Columbus.

The Hofbauer family continued to grow when Joe and Mary had two daughters, Mary Catherine and Julia Ann.

Families grow. But over time, they also diminish.

While Joe’s parents, Joseph and Anna, are no longer living, their memory lingers providing images of a church, a town, and a time that exists now only in the photographs Joe Hofbauer so lovingly treasures.

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Joe is pictured here with the late Bob Converse at the Plain City Historical Society.

In 2005, I nominated Joe for a Preservation Hero award from Heritage Ohio. Below is the essay I wrote explaining why Joe deserved this award. You can also read about all of the award winners for 2005 HERE.

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Joe Hofbauer, Plain City’s Preservation Hero

The first meeting for the Plain City Historical Society was in 1982. But even before that time, Joe Hofbauer was actively saving Plain City’s historic treasures. For Plain City’s Sesquicentennial celebration in 1968, Joe and a few other people asked Plain City residents to drop off their old photos so they could be copied. Today, many of the photos Joe is working to preserve are ones that initially came from that Sesquicentennial project, as well as thousands of other originals donated to the Historical Society.

Joe Hofbauer is the founder of the Plain City Historical Society. Joe used to be a professional photographer and had a fishing column in the Marysville Journal Tribune. Many of the photos in the Plain City Historical Society archives are from his personal collection and are photos he actually took. Joe is a walking, talking wealth of information on Plain City lore. But he worries that once he is gone all that information will be lost. So he is working to preserve and chronicle the photos and papers the Historical Society has for future generations.

One of the projects Joe is currently working on is in conjunction with the Plain City Library. The Library already has 27 volumes of copies of Plain City photos in their reference section, which Joe and members of the Historical Society documented, providing dates, stories, and names of people. Some of the photos from those albums have been scanned and included in the Ohio Memory project. The photos in these volumes are copies from the Sesquicentennial celebration. There are also four volumes of Plain City stories in the reference section of the Library. The Historical Society also has thousands of original photos, as well as negatives, that are not included in these volumes.

The Library and Joe are working to scan in all the photos from both the 27 volumes housed in the Library and the originals at the Historical Society. Once they are scanned in, there will be a database of photos that the general public will be able to access.

The Plain City Historical Society is housed in a few rooms next to the Plain City Village offices. Joe and other volunteers have been working to clean the rooms up and organize items so that the public will eventually be able to visit and do research for a few hours a week.

Joe works dauntlessly on archiving for the Historical Society. He clips important articles from the local papers and gathers information on houses that have sold in the area. He also clips obituaries each week from both the local paper and the Columbus Dispatch. He has stacks and stacks of clippings that he files weekly about local people.

Joe also conducts a meeting once a month for the Historical Society, often complete with speakers. These meetings have been continuous since the first one in 1982.

Joe takes requests several times a week from people wanting information about their relatives or other genealogical material. He has gotten requests from as far away as England and Germany. Joe also helps any groups in the community who need historical information on Plain City.

Joe also has tons of historical items stored at his home. From a portion of Reed Bridge (which is no longer in existence) to a fountain/lamp post that used to be in Plain City, Joe has hundreds of very important items that he is safekeeping until the Historical Society can have adequate space to display the articles. Until recently, Joe had also been storing a desk that belonged to Colonel William L. Curry, a famous Plain City resident of the 1800s. The desk has now been moved to the Historical Society rooms for eventual public display.

Joe, by the way, has a signed copy of Colonel Curry’s History of Jerome Township, (on display in the Historical Society) which he found while digging through a box of books at a yard sale—further proof of the lengths Joe will go to in order to find and save historical items.

Without Joe, all of these items would have been lost, most probably, to landfill.

Joe also lives in a historic home and has documented and written a complete history of the house and grounds.

Basically, the only reason Plain City has a Historical Society is because of Joe Hofbauer. He has gathered photos and stories and other documents that would have been lost forever if he had not taken an interest in the history of our village. Joe has been preserving Plain City’s past for most of his life with very little recognition for his efforts. He is a true Preservation Hero.

The photos below show Joe with the albums of photos which are part of the photo preservation project at the Plain City Public Library.

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