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Published: 7/16/2001

Lush art on the landscape

The breathtaking gardens that seem to roll endlessly at Schedel Arboretum and Gardens on the banks of the Portage River in Elmore are even more beautiful now with the 2001 Garden Sculpture Exhibit.

Some folks received a sneak peek June 29 before the exhibit opened to the public July 1. It runs through Sept. 30.

They strolled the grounds oohing and aahing over the way the formal and informal gardens embraced each piece of art by nine area sculptors.

Artists include Joe Ann Cousino of Toledo, Emanuel Enriquez of Bowling Green, James Havens of Woodville, Sally Habbib Rumman of Sylvania, Mike Sohikian of Genoa, Kenneth Thompson of Blissfield, Shawn Phillip Morin of Bowling Green, and Maureen Kirwen Huffman of Elmore, who had opened her gallery in Elmore that day.

Tom Rudd, of Emlenton, Pa., has sculpture in the gardens too.

A grand tour via golf cart gave guests an overall view of the 17-acre oasis in the middle of farmland just past Genoa. The exhibit is expected to draw more than 10,000 visitors before it closes in the fall.

Curator Peggy Grant, an artist in her own right and curator of hundreds of corporate and private exhibits, as well as a docent and Toledo Museum of Art, is the tour guide the second and fourth Saturdays at 2 p.m. and by special arrangement. Mrs. Grant reminds everyone that the art is for sale.

Guests in summer casual dresses and slacks gadded about under a huge white tent as they sipped beverages and nibbled tidbits during brief opening remarks by Director Reginald Noble, who lives amid the splendid gardens. Nuptials as well as business outings and reunions are booked there.

Spotted were Bertha and James Leppert, Dick Ruppert and his daughter Julie Ruppert Schulte, Leslie Adams and Arnie Gottlieb, Wilma Urfer, and Ron and Marian McKinney. Also there were Fred Burgie, Dick and Mary Meyers, Joe and Darlene Minnick, Bob Rice, Elna McMillan, Ashel Bryan, Marcia Latta, Pat and Marilyn McAlear and Blair Miller.

Stan and Joann Kajfasz said they discovered the gardens a few years ago. Steve Serchuk and his wife Nancy Delikat were impressed with the rose garden in the middle of farmland. Ed and Linda Reiter sat on the bench they had donated to the gardens. President of the board Charles Brown was there with his wife, Beth.

The exhibit, scattered amid lush gardens, trees, waterfalls, and streams, coincides with Elmore's Sesquicentennial Celebration.

Butterfly, shade, and children's gardens at the Bedford Library provided tranquil settings for readers to take a stroll June 30th during the Bedford Flower and Garden Club Annual Garden Tour.

Those who needed a reprieve from the heat cooled off inside with lemonade, iced tea, and cookies. Then the strollers toured the five other breathtaking gardens - all at residents homes. Each had its unique features. One had several outbuildings such as a playhouse and a tea room artfully incorporated into the gardens; another garden's highlight was a waterfall; two gardens were pictures of color and variety, and finally, one resident wrapped gardens around a swimming pool, gazebo, and pond. Another feature was the Garden Art and Antique Sale in the Library's courtyard.

Club president is Nancy Pierchorowski.

Ah, the good old days. Chatting over cocktails - more likely, beer - at the Turtle Club in Point Place.

Noted as Toledo's only floating tavern for about 20-plus years, it was a casual and friendly dive that drew a variety of patrons: mainly boaters who came by water, but also landlubbers as well as professionals from the city and suburbs.

The rustic place had a certain charm: Mallards occasionally waddled in as did "tourists.' Occasionally, when the load exceeded its maximum, guests were asked to leave before the barge floor flooded or worse, sank. Yes, it was an easy-going atmosphere. So much so that the owner Russ Kissebeth, a shrewd business man with a kind nature, accepted personal checks.

It all started in 1956 when Mr. Kissebeth, known as "Pappa Turtle,'' started a small concession stand on Turtle Island, followed by a party barge a few years later that traveled back and forth from Point Place to Turtle Island. Finally it was permanently moored off Edgewater Drive, down the road from Webber's restaurant.

Noted by the city as a constant nuisance in 1972, the bar raised its standards and added a restroom. Of course, there were still only factory-made sandwiches on hand in the cozy drinking spot, according to former food editor Mary Alice Powell.

After Mr. Kissebeth's death, his daughter Carol Griffith took over and was surprised that people kept coming back, and as early as 7 a.m. The Toledo Institution finally closed in 1993.

A party was held June 10 at Bayside Lounge in honor of the floating bar founders, the late Russ and June Kissebeth. Guests gathered on the lounge deck and reminisced as they viewed photos and shared stories of the popular floating tavern.



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