39 E State St,
Columbus, OH 43215
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
For as long as I can remember, it has been our family tradition to attend Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol, performed by the Nebraska Theatre Caravan, the day after Thanksgiving. I have seen the play at the Ohio Theatre, the Palace Theatre, and the Southern Theatre in the past. In my opinion, the best place to see this play is at the Ohio Theatre, mainly because of the pipe organ sing along.
How long have you been opening for “A Christmas Carol” at the Ohio Theatre?
Around 15 years now.
How did you get the gig? (i.e. did you start off volunteering? Are you part of a club that plays the organ? Did the play seek you out? Did the Ohio Theatre administration recommend you to the play?)
I have been the Ohio Theatre's Resident Organist since 1992, so this is naturally one of the things that I do in addition to the summer films, etc. I was appointed to that post after playing a solo concert on the Morton in 1992. The organ is played only by professional theatre organists for public events.
What type of organ is located at the Ohio Theatre?
A Robert Morton pipe organ. It is one of the largest that company built, and a very fine and prestigious instrument. It is internationally known.
Tell me about your music background? (i.e. did you start off in piano lessons? Do you play other instruments? How did you transition to the type of organ you currently play?)
I started with piano lessons, church organ, the usual band in school, then theatre organ. I was at the farewell Roger Garrett concert at the Ohio Theatre in 1969 and was so taken with the organ that I wanted to play one. I had no idea that it would eventually be almost 100% of what I do - and on that very same organ.
Do you play different types of organs?
Only pipe organs - it doesn't matter what kind.
How is the type of organ you play at the Ohio Theatre different than playing a Hammond B3 organ?
Hammonds are electric instruments. This is a high-pressure theatrical pipe organ. There is little similarity, the pipe organ being by far the grandest, most versatile and colorful of musical instruments. Possessing percussions and traps, as well as pipes that are available in thousands of combinations, these are literally a one-man orchestra. Anything the symphony can do; an organist can reproduce on an organ like the Morton.
What is your favorite type of organ to play and where is it located?
The Ohio's Morton is certainly one! Also, the Kimball organ formerly in Milwaukee's Oriental Theatre, and the Chicago Theatre's Wurlitzer organ.
Do you give lessons? If not, can you give a referral?
I teach at the University of Oklahoma. Theatre organ is a private study for the most part. I know people who regularly teach based on geographical area.
Any advice for a young person to do what you do?
The solo theatre organ field is very limited, but silent picture playing is in full swing. There are only a handful of people who really understand this art form, so there is opening for young people who want to learn and perfect it as their craft. We teach the only silent film/organ scoring courses in the world at the University of Oklahoma in the organ department there.
What is your booking information?
Folks can go to my website (clarkwilson.net) for information and updates.
Sidebar: My favorite song of the sing along is the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.
I love the play. I’ll just share a few of my favorite parts.
At this point in the play Scrooge is like many people, living only for himself, wanting to help no one.
At this point in the play, Scrooge is faced with everyone’s fate, death. Each year, this play reminds the audience the importance of living with the end in mind. We are here for a reason and a purpose and it is our duty to achieve that purpose.
In my opinion, the best performance of this play was several years ago. The man who played Scrooge was retiring after many years. The toy soldier and doll performed moving dances as scene transitions. I enjoyed hearing the Hallelujah Chorus sing along at the beginning of the performance instead of during the intermission. The sing along allows the audience to interact with those who they are seated near. This is a family tradition that we plan to continue. If you are planning to park at the underground at the State House, plan to arrive about a half an hour before the show to make sure you can hear all the songs in the beginning.
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
1251 Bryden Rd.
Columbus, OH 43205
According to the website galleryinthehood.com, a mural painting, music, poetry, vendors, etc. was planned. I arrived at the address and was told the festival was cancelled due to rain. In their defense, rain was in the forecast and it did rain; but, it didn’t rain until after I left which was around 6:45 pm. I didn’t see any rain prior to that. I noticed a young lady sitting in a chair holding an acoustic guitar. When I got a little closer, she started playing and another young lady started singing. Their names are Keisha Soleil and B. Soleil.
Hakim Raquib, artist
I’m an artist originally from Boston Massachusetts. I’m a Master resident artist in the African American Masters Artist in Residence Program at Northeastern University (AAMARP).
What moves you to the type of art that you selected?
Aesthetics and process. Most of the work here is under the realm of digital art. That is the title of the exhibition. It has been digitally created and printed by me by hand, with what you call pigment inks on enhancement paper. My work is about the transformation of imagery. I am curious as to what more can there be in an image. I grew up in analog now I have moved to the digital realm. I think of these works as futuristic within the media. I want to see how far I can go in creating different filters and what comes out of these filters. Most of this work is algorithmically driven in a program called “Deep Dream.” This is the landscape that it creates.
Do you have a favorite piece?
My favorite piece right now is called “Gele”. It’s the second to the last piece I did before I came to Columbus. “Gele” is about texture. This is a deep dreaming image. It’s a crop from a larger portion. I didn’t want to make it huge. I wanted to show the texture of the process. My work tends to be relatively large.
My last piece is a picture that I took a while ago of Aretha Franklin. I wanted to honor her by making it the signature piece for the show. I took that analog image of her in 1980 at the Rose Bowl. She was one of many artists. Other artists included Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. I could capture her because I was working with Stevie Wonder at the time. Aretha Franklin wasn’t the head liner at the time, Stevie Wonder was.
The African American Masters Artist in Residence Program at Northeastern University (AAMARP) was founded by Dana Chandler. He is an art activist who now lives in Gallop, New Mexico. The program is currently under attack. The University wants to take over this 40-year-old program. We need to resist that.
The guy in the picture is an attendee who wanted his picture taken.
I loved the art! It was fascinating hearing about the process of turning digital images into a different work of art. I said different work of art because I believe some digital images can be a work of art without altering them (other than enhancing the image). Regarding the rain and the festival being cancelled…..No comment.
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
Edited by Kyra Dawkins
Although Jerry Page makes his presence known at Thompson Recreation Center, he is an employee of Beatty Recreation Center. If you can train weekday mornings, Beatty might just be the place for you.
You may remember when Jerry Page won a silver medal at the 1983 Pan American Games. Or perhaps you’ll recall when he won the light welterweight gold medal at the 1984 Summer Olympics.
At first glance, I pegged Coach Page as a laid back introvert who only pipes up in conversation when directly addressed or to laugh at others’ comments. As it turns out, that assumption is accurate to a point. But Coach Page is an authoritarian when it comes to the gym. Here is a warning to the females: the gym is not short of boxing “experts” who are all too willing to offer their “expertise” to new people, especially females. If Coach Page is not at the gym when you go to workout, a way to get rid of the “experts” is to ask them about the specifics of their supposed success. Also add that you will be sharing their suggestion(s) with Coach Page. Usually that’s the end of that. They mumble something under their breath and “get ta getting”. Whenever one of the “experts” approached me while Coach Page was there, all he had to do was say “Hey” and the “help” left the gym.
If you work out with Coach Page at Beatty Recreation, you need to bring your own wraps and pair of gloves. I started with the Title Classic gloves. After a couple of weeks they started to tear. I currently train with the 14 ounce Title gel gloves. They seem to add extra cushion and my hands feel more comfortable during the workout. As you train, Coach Page will suggest what you should be doing, but will not insist. He will tell you that, out of his experience working with different coaches, he believes the best way to workout is to do the most difficult part of the workout first and to end with the easiest part. So the order should be general warm up, then box, then work on the heavy bag, then shadow box, and finally jump rope. Coach Page’s training philosophy is there is no point in being at the gym all day wasting time. He will tell you, “If you see the heavy bag is available, get to it!”
A word of caution: just because Coach Page appears to be laid back and small in stature, do not, I repeat, DO NOT challenge him to a few rounds. I made the mistake of calling him out since I wanted to work out and my primary coach was not available. We agreed to compete the best 2 out of 3 matches. When I showed up for the first week, I believed we were only going to spar to the body. Ummm... wrong. Coach Page was hitting my head gear. I rarely get hit in my head gear, so I wasn’t exactly a fan of that. However, Coach Page let me win and all was right in the world. Being the trash talker that I am, I started taunting him. The following week when we competed, he just about knocked me out the ring. As a matter of fact, I stepped out of the ring during the second round and was told to “get back in the ring” because he wasn’t finished….” The third and final week Coach Page “beat me a fool.” I will NEVER, I repeat, NEVER get in the ring with him again.
In my opinion, Beatty Recreation Center is wonderful place to workout . It offers a great workout room and an adequate boxing area. From an adult boxing perspective, the reason to go to Beatty is Jerry Page. But a final warning, don’t challenge him to a fight!
Written and Photographed by Doreen Dawkins
Edited by Kyra Dawkins
After leaving a swim lesson at the Aquatic Center, which shares a parking lot with Thompson Recreation Center, I saw what appeared to be a man and a child boxing. Since I am nosey by nature and I needed subjects for a photography project, I went into the gym . I tried to wait for a break in the action, but it seemed like every few minutes they were starting to box again. I interrupted and said, “Excuse me, but do you think I could take some pictures for a class that I am taking at Columbus State?” Before he could answer. I said, “Hey you look a lot like Buster Douglas.”
He put a big smile on his face and said, “Yep, I should.”
Before I could catch myself, I said, “I remember when you knocked out Mike Tyson. I was at a house party. I think I threw a chicken wing across the room”
He started laughing.
I said, “So, what about the pictures? ” He said, “Sure.”
Then I started asking about the boxing program, “So is this a closed class for young men?”
He said, “No. It’s for everybody. Ages 5 to 90. Matter of fact, what about you.?”
To be honest, I had never considered it. But being the competitor that I am, I inquired , “So what is the cost?”
“$20 a quarter.”
Since I figured it would increase my chances of getting some good shots, I paid the $20.
Then he said, “So, when should I expect you back?”
I was trying to stall. “Ummm... don’t I need to buy some equipment”?
He said, “Nope, just wear some workout clothes and tennis shoes. ”
First Day of Training
Coach Douglas assumes that new trainees are not already in shape, which is good thing for most people. I, on the other hand, thought it was an insult (remember I’m highly competitive) when he put me on the treadmill on level 1 with no incline with instructions to walk for a half and hour if I could. I said, “Ummm... sure, ” and politely bumped it up to incline level 3 and speed 3.5.
Next he told me to jump rope for 3 rounds. Ummm, ladies, can I suggest that this is not the time nor the place for a regular sports bra and especially not any other type of bra. If you plan to jump rope, please do yourself a favor and wear an extra support sports bra. After only jumping rope for the 3 rounds, I thought my heart was going to jump out my chest and they were going to have to pry me off the ground to get me in the ambulance.
After that , Coach wrapped my hands with the community hand wraps. Coach Douglas will tell you that he washes the wraps on a regular basis. From a female who is considered “nice nasty,” I will admit that this was the only time I ever used the community wraps. In my opinion, it is well worth the few dollars to buy your own pair. I caught a sale at the local Title boxing club for $5 a pair. Learning how to properly wrap your own hands not only helps to avoid injury but will also save time in the gym since you will avoid waiting for Coach to stop training someone else to wrap your hands.
I envisioned myself doing the bicycle and floating like a butterfly and sting like a bee, just like Muhammad Ali, after one session. Actually, when Coach Douglas showed me the correct stance and way to throw the different punches, I didn’t last half a round. I stumbled out the ring and I knew I did just enough to bring my camera to take pictures never to return to train again. When I started gathering my stuff Coach asked , “So when should I expect to see you again to train?”
That was almost two years ago.
Other gym regulars who contribute to the family/team atmosphere
The boxing program at Thompson Rec Center has become an integral component of my life. Past the physical benefits (reduced stress, lower blood pressure, feeling better, dropping a few pounds, etc.), the family atmosphere produces a sense of belonging. The other gym regulars who contribute to the family/team atmosphere are:
Bryan, a mentor/father figure, who spends time in the gym and outside activities with the young men.
Ahmed, the encourager, who makes it a point to meet everyone in the gym, give boxing pointers, and will hold the mitts when coach Douglas is not available.
* Darnel, the honest and painfully blunt one, who will tell a boxer to their face that they are sorry, pitiful, and would get beat up by a female. This may not be popular, but in a time where children are given equal playing time and trophies regardless of skill level, I find Darnel refreshing.
* Me, the mature lady trash talker. That is, if I have built up a rapport, if not I will make a face and keep moving.
* The cameo appearances from retired professional boxers (Jerry Page, Bill Douglas, etc.).
In my opinion, many are looking for a place that they can have a workout, have good time and be accepted. The boxing program at Thompson Rec Center is one of those places.
Here’s my mature lady opinion of the boxing experience at Thompson Rec
No matter your fitness/boxing goals, it is the best overall workout experience for any amount of money (let alone $20 per quarter)! I’m telling you Thompson Rec is the place to be!
For booking inquiries (James Douglas) contact John Russell 330-701-3379.