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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Presidents Gala

This year's Presidents Day Gala outdid itself with more than 200 attendees, many of them in period costume, true to the Lake County Historical Society's Valentine theme "scandal and romance. " The occasion gave lots of folks a good excuse to dress up in garb from other times, including seven members of the local Chicago Black Sox , a 1919 over-55 softball team sponsored by Shannon Fence. BJ and Diana Kresnye were there along with Civil War reenacters Judy and Ken Cudnik of Wickliffe, who will be encamped Memorial Day weekend in Burton. (Here Judy shows us the beribboned snood she wore)
We caught Dee Aufuldish as Anna Harrison laughing it up with her "grandson" Benjamin Harrison (Don Arthur) and his wife Katy Arthur. President William Henry Harrison (county commissioner Bob Aufuldish) is not shown, above, but his character was soon to catch pneumonia and die in office at age 68, Dee explained.
Marilyn Church, attired as the late bag lady heiress Catherine Roddick of Painesville, again devised a devilishly difficult presidential trivia quiz for collaboration by each table. Example: "Which president kept a diary from age 12 to 70 in which the word 'sex' appeared three times and the word 'love' appeared 589 times?"
Church is shown here tapping her foot as she collects the pink quizzes for grading while county commissioner Dan Troy begs extra time to complete answers for his table.
LaMalfa, which also hosted a couple of simultaneous Valentine Day weddings in its Heisley Road party center, outdid itself from elegant hors d'oeuvres with cocktails, wines with dinner and extravagant desserts including a chocolate playground.
All eight Ohio presidents and their wives were on hand and were joined in a parade through the banquet room by others in costume. Lake County Historical Society board vice president, Wickliffe mayor Tom Ruffner made introductions from the podium. He played 25th President William McKinley.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a wonderful night for a wonderful cause!

February 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just finished reading your blog on Saturday's event sponsored by the Historical Society. We have gone every year but had to miss this year because of a wedding. Sorry we did. The wedding wasn't that much fun and the Gala sounded like the place to be. Thanks for the inside peek or we would have missed the whole thing. Love your blog. A N-H Reader

February 17, 2009 at 1:39 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So what is the answer to which president kept a diary from age 12 to 70 in which the word 'sex' appeared three times and the word 'love' appeared 589 times?

Just curious and eager to elongate my grasp on presidential peculiarities --

February 18, 2009 at 7:15 AM 
Blogger News-Herald Blogs said...

It was Ohio's own Rutherford B. Hayes who kept that diary, anonymous. This is from the lips of Marilyn Church herself, who tells me she researched the presidential quiz the old fashioned way, since she is not on-line. Hayes was also the first president to have the now famous Easter egg roll at the White House and the first president to visit the West Coast.

February 18, 2009 at 12:34 PM 
Blogger Diana@DevineDesigns said...

This was our first year attending and we look forward to next year's gala. It was so fun to dress up like the Thomas Jeffersons and see others in period costumes. Nice event and good seeing you!

February 19, 2009 at 1:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just received a call from my friend who told me to check out your blog. Didn't know you blogged the community events, but I always enjoy your travel comments, especially the cook off. My husband and I attended the Gala and the evening was wonderful. It was our first time and we went just to help fill a table, but had a terriffic time. I enjoyed seeing your blog picture of Dan Troy. It was really something seeing two of the commissioners there, especially one of them participating as a president. I always think more of a politician who supports local events.

February 19, 2009 at 3:55 PM 
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