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Arts & Culture

Old Case Files: History on Trial

Jul 21, 2017
Members of the cast of Old Case Files
Dayton History

Dayton History’s “Old Case Files” opens this Friday at the Old Montgomery County Courthouse in Downtown Dayton.

The story is ripped from the headlines—but not today’s headlines. The cast will be reenacting a murder trial from 1935, when, on Christmas Eve, a former police officer shot a man five times at the postal telegram office on 3rd Street in Dayton. To at least one passer-by, it seemed pretty cold blooded.  

Janeal Ravndal reads Robert Brimm's poem, "Our Secret"

Conrad Balliet reads Ron Knipfer's poem, "The Last Ride."

Don't you love it when somebody has the good grace to go out at the top of their game? It can be depressing to watch former star performers embarrassing themselves because they didn't know when to quit. We have all seen them, the baseball players who strike out on pitches they used to hit or the lead singer who wrote the lyric "I hope I die before I get old" still out there on stage 50 years later gamely strumming away. Some writers keep plodding along, putting out books long after inspiration has faded.

Lori Gravley reads Rita Coleman's poem, "Wounded Heart"

This book is the debut in a new crime fiction series set in Columbus. Roxane Weary is a private eye with lots of issues. Her dad was a hard drinking cop who died recently while fighting crime. The two of them didn't get along. His sudden death has left his daughter with unresolved "Daddy" issues. He drank a lot. So does she. Her love life is a mess, too. Her father's demise has even served to complicate that aspect of her existence. Business is bad.

Mary Jo White reads her poem, "Advice to the Lovelorn."

Antioch College

In 1968 an eighteen-year-old youth named Bill Newman arrived in Yellow Springs to begin his freshman year at Antioch College. Bill's first Antioch co-op education experience took place in New York City. He was supposed to return to Antioch after three months but the experience he was having in New York was so thrilling and important to him that he ended up staying away for nine months.

Steve Broidy reads his poem, "Patch of Wetlands."

There are quite a few memoirs being published. Every famous rock star from 50 years ago seems to have written one. At least, the ones who are still alive. Many of the memoirs that are coming out were penned by people who never have had a hit on the Top 40. People like you and me. We have stories to tell, too!

This is a time when some of us are feeling desensitized. The 24 hour news cycle churns out the latest shocking and outrageous reports. There's a blurring sensation that takes place. Books can give us a sanctuary, temporary cocoons to shelter us from all of this brouhaha.

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