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March 3, 2015


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Iconic view: A modern Christmas story

In the sixth year in the reign of Obama, legislation passed that all U.S. citizens be counted in the county where their ancestors had settled. This unusual census was when Kasich was governor of Ohio and Jordan was fourth district representative.

Jose from Lebanon, Ohio, with his young housekeeper, Maria, who was nine-month’s pregnant with someone else’s child, and who Jose had intended to marry, drove to Bluffton in Jose’s 1996 Mercury Cougar. This was because Jose was a great-great-great-grandson of Swiss immigrant, Jesse Zurflugh, in Richland Township.


When Old Man Bluffton talks, I listen

Old Man Bluffton stopped in for a visit last Saturday. Since he retired to some place south of the Mason-Dixon Line – he won’t tell me where – I never know when to expect him. He looked good, though.

(I think he lives in Bluffton, South Carolina.)

Usually he makes a December trip here to pick up the usual Bluffton-made products for Christmas gifts.

You know, peanut brittle, Bluffton Icon coffee and the latest Bluffton Pirate and Bluffton Beaver sports ware.


Lisa Wenger had two good reasons to attend this year's Bluffton middle school spelling bee

Lisa Wenger had two reasons to attend this year's Bluffton Middle School spelling bee, held earlier this week.


Among the 15 competitors were her grandson, Jonah Blackburn, son of Kelli (Lisa' daughter) and Jake Blackburn. 


Here's a Santa Claus story that will make you chuckle

Bluffton Area Chamber of Commerce member, Richard Gainey of Ada, (aka Santa Claus), has officially been recognized by the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).

The BMV recently picked Gainey’s license plate “ST NIK” as its fifth “What’s on Your Plate?” winner.


Gainey will soon be featured on the BMV’s Web site, Facebook and Twitter pages. He will also receive a decorative license plate with the personalization of his choice.


Rick Ramseyer needs help cleaning his driveway - any volunteers?

This could turn out to be one of our favorite photos of 2014, for several reasons.

First, it's not taken in Bluffton.

Instead, we undertand its expatriate Rick Ramseyer at his home in the state of Maine. The story we understand is that 10 inches of snow plus lots of wind took place earlier this month - in Rick's backyard.

So, here he is attempting to fight a major Nor'Easter. There's lots more to this story, but you must ask Dick or Elfrieda for details.

Merry Christmas, Rick, from all  of us at The Icon!



Meet the patron saint and protector of Bluffton's outdoor Christmas trees

If you need a Christmas tree decorated, call Larry Kinn. The Icon found Larry stringing lights on this tree in Common Grounds on Monday, at  the request of Phil Zimmerly.

Although quite modest, Larry admits to some interesting tree decorating projects in his long career. We don't know truth from falsehood here, but bear with us for a moment.

Once upon a time there stood a Christmas tree atop Salzman Stadium. It was Larry's pet project. Knowing, however, the temptation of college boys when the tree was erected, well, it soon disappeared. 


Check out that Bluffton Icon cap! You can wear one too

Check out dashing Derek Dukes - and is that a Bluffton Icon cap on his head? 

Yes it is. It sports Bluffton High School's red and white with a nice accent of Bluffton University's purple.

Want a Icon cap? All you need to do is ask: info@blufftonicon.com.

We deliver.


Thoughts on blowing out 65 candles

By Fred Steiner
Bear with me as I gobble – care for piece? – a fork full of my birthday cake.

For me, Nov. 9 is the sweetest day on the Roman calendar. And, unlike previous birthdays, this one comes with a nice ring to it.

My Uncle Sam sent me my own Medicare card.

In a birthday wish to appreciate how previous paternal ancestors celebrated their 65th birthdays, please consider the following stories:


A story about my grandmother who voted in Bluffton 99 years ago

By Fred Steiner

Somewhere in a collection of family photos is a 1920 snapshot of my Hahn grandparents, Bertha and Fred, standing in front of their home at 216 W. Elm St., Bluffton.

I know it was 1920 because taped to the window behind them was a Harding for president poster. I never felt the significance of the snapshot until election day 2014. It was then when I recalled a brief notation in my grandmother’s diary. It read: “I went to vote and Margaret and Florence went with me. Margaret is one year old, Nov. 2, 1915.”


Vie geits! Dust off your Swiss language skills on Nov. 4

"Vie geits! Dasz ish zum eina anderes Fogel singen."

Naturally, you all know that I just now said: "How goes it! There once was yet another bird." (This means that either things are changing or bad weather is approaching.)

Whatever its meaning all Icon viewers - of Swiss descent or otherwise are invited to come speak the Swiss dialect at 3 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 4, in the Family Room at Maple Crest, Bluffton.