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View Full Version : Mod Block 3. Oh, Oberlin!



Anna Leigh
April 14th, 2017, 03:44 PM
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This past week I received my copy of Mod Block 3, and I was delighted to see that Heather Jones was one of the quilters in it. But what what put me over the moon was the name of her quilt, Oberlin. Now I am not personally an Obie (Oh-bee) however, I do feel that the name of her quilt was a bit discredited. Oberlin may be a small city in Lorain County Ohio but it is so much more than that. Having grown up on the outside of Oberlin I can tell ya that this is one unique town. Especially in our area which is surrounded by farming communities with a lot of folks who are more into their ways and views. Needless to say I often find it is the clash of the titans or Oberlin is the kid who wears the red tennis shoes while everyone else is wearing white tennis shoes to the team photo shoot. It is a city that has always gone against the grain since its existence compared to other cities and towns in Lorain County.

Oberlin is a progressive city. It is a city that is very much eclectic in architecture and people alike. From the outside it looks like an ordinary small Ohio city with buildings that date back to the 1800's or more. But look to the right and modern buildings are mixed right in. Oberlin is known for a lot of things in our area. Usually the College is the first thing that comes to people's minds when they think of Oberlin. I can remember when I was younger and was participating in a sporting event on a national level and there was a father and son who were at the same event and they were from Berkeley. The father asked where I was from and I told him. He was so delighted to know that I grew up around Oberin. Then he asked me if I had planned to attend college there. I said no. And the smile on the father's face faded. The college is a liberal arts school. If you are interested in the arts and nothing but the arts, Oberlin like Juilliard and Berkeley is the school to go to. Needless to say you will not receive a degree in medicine or law from Oberlin College. But if you do dream of becoming a ballerina, welcome to Oberlin. Oberlin was also the first college to allow backs and women to attend and graduate here in the United States.

Other things Oberlin in known for is its underground railroad. Before the civil war ended Oberlin was the town that runaway slaves found as a safe harbor before moving onto Lorain or Cleveland. Also many free born blacks make their homes and livelihoods there because it was a safe city to remain in. The reason bing is because not many non-progressive whites would live within the city limits. Many of the homes in this area and even in my neck of the woods were stations along the way to freedom. I know of a few kids I went to school with that would play hide and seek from their siblings in the hidden walls and what not until they were found or not found by the seeker.

When the 2016 election between Hillary and Trump was at its highest it was no surprise to know that most Obies were for Hillary. Signs were plotted for her everywhere her supporters were. Where on the outside of town large homemade billboard signs for Trump were plastered in random farm fields. Even in my mom's old ladies yoga class (that's what my mom calls it) were for Hillary. My mom being the type to keep her political views to herself could not get into the politics that were going on between the ladies at yoga. So if you really are into politics this is a town to start a political conversation. Speaking of political this is a town that is very much on the Green Movement. Recycling and repurposing is a forefront in this town. You just can not throw away your plastic water bottle in the trash. They go in the green bin. And when it came to their city school district to rethink their mascot, they did. Obies went as far as changing their long time standing high school mascot from being known as the Indians to the Phoenix because they felt it was improper to have a mascot that discriminated against Native Americans. They are also one of the few cities to accept openly gay couples.

Oberlin is also big on keeping small businesses alive. Where there are Walmarts popping up all over the place in the more larger cities in Lorain County, Oberlin fought the mogul giant into keeping their store away from Oberlin's downtown. You will find a Walmart a couple miles to the south of Oberlin incase you ever need one. One of the stores that has been in downtown Oberlin since before my time is a Ben Franklin that still sells fabric. And not just any fabric, they sell the designer brands that we as quilters know and love. The only catch is that the fabrics being sold are not the current lines that you would find in many quilt shops. They are old lines that you can not find any more. But with prices you can not beat.

Does Oberlin let its hair down? In Oberlin's way they do. Every summer there is a sidewalk chalk art show, along with a few other events that the town holds. As far as food goes its kind of atypical but not really. If you are vegan, gluten free, or on a regimented diet that the average person may not consume you will have it made here. As for myself I go to the family owned and run Chinese restaurant on the south end of town. Its one of the few places that has fresh sushi and serves free hot tea with your meal. Oh, and I currently just discovered their Mediterranean restaurant that has kind of been there forever and never tried. Which was really good by the way. Oberlin also has a movie theatre that is inexpensive to go see first run movies at. This is the theatre I come to often with my kiddo. The last movie we saw there was the newer version of Beauty and the Beast with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

I guess you can kind of see why I felt that in Heather's byline in Mod Block 3 name of her quilt was not just named after a small town in Ohio. It is named after a small city that stands out on its own. From keeping slaves free to allowing different races and genders to attend & graduate college, to making the arts be the showcase of its community to not be afraid of voicing its political views to accepting others to love freely, Oberlin will always be the kid wearing those red shoes to the photo shoot.

I also noticed one other thing in Heather's article I guess you can say. From reading it I could get a sense of Ohio pride. I can not blame her. Ohio is the state with the most inventors, innovators, presidents, performers in music and acting, and athletes. I am pretty sure there are more thing that this state can acclaimed to but I really can not think of them at the moment. However yes, there is a lot of pride in this state, and if you do dig and do some research there are a lot of great things that have come out of being from Ohio. Wine, food, Michael Symon, Lebron James, etc.

jjkaiser
April 14th, 2017, 04:25 PM
Wow, have heard of but never been to Oberlin, Ohio. I want to go, you make it sound so cozy and safe and peaceful! It sounds like kind of how I picture the hometown from books set in Mitford (by Jan Karon) to be.

Midge
April 14th, 2017, 09:31 PM
I've ordered my ModBlock but it's still in transit, so I didn't realize that Heather is an Oberlin grad. I'm not an Oberlin grad, nor did I attend the college - but - I am an Oberlin. My favorite grandparent, my great grandmother, the lady who rocked me in the Lincoln rocker that is in my living room today was an Oberlin. My great grandmother was a superb needlewoman and taught me the basics of embroidery and crochet. Sadly, she died before I could learn to tat from her. Do have her shuttles. I use her needlework baskets for my applique gear, and I think of her fondly every day. She was so sweet.

Oberlin College is also noted for being the very first coeducational liberal arts college in the US. It was named for a very prominent German Lutheran pastor, Johann Friedrich (or John Frederick) Oberlin.

Judy, USMC
April 15th, 2017, 01:07 AM
I enjoyed the information ... and have to look it up on the map. With the amount of travelling we do it would be nice to make a side trip there some day. Haven't gotten that copy of Block yet but look forward to seeing that quilt.

Thanks for your entertaining post, Anna Leigh.

Adding: Just checked it out on the map and it's a do-able side trip when I go from Chicago to Pennsylvania. I usually side tripped north to the vineyards around Vermilion. Next time I'll schedule both!

Monique
April 15th, 2017, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the information.

Anna Leigh
April 16th, 2017, 12:40 PM
Its unique for sure. There is a lot of mix artexture for sure. Please do the speed limit. Watch for college students who have no second thoughts about darting out into the streets without looking. Plus they wear dark clothing at night. I've nearly hit this one because I did not see him. However the students are the best to watch movie with. They are so polite and quiet.

Anna Leigh
April 16th, 2017, 12:45 PM
Judy if there are any place you want to see or know about in Northern Ohio don't be afraid to ask. Oh, Vermilion has the best candy and chocolate shop in area called Brummers. Chocolate and wine :D

Anna Leigh
April 16th, 2017, 01:36 PM
I've ordered my ModBlock but it's still in transit, so I didn't realize that Heather is an Oberlin grad. I'm not an Oberlin grad, nor did I attend the college - but - I am an Oberlin. My favorite grandparent, my great grandmother, the lady who rocked me in the Lincoln rocker that is in my living room today was an Oberlin. My great grandmother was a superb needlewoman and taught me the basics of embroidery and crochet. Sadly, she died before I could learn to tat from her. Do have her shuttles. I use her needlework baskets for my applique gear, and I think of her fondly every day. She was so sweet.

Oberlin College is also noted for being the very first coeducational liberal arts college in the US. It was named for a very prominent German Lutheran pastor, Johann Friedrich (or John Frederick) Oberlin.

How exciting! Midge, you could have written this better than I could have! But if I recall right Heather is a graduate of University of Cincinnati not Oberlin. But don't quote me on that. And you are completely right about the college, it is the first co-ed liberal arts college in the United States. I have been noticing a trend here in Ohio. Most of the immigrants that came here to Ohio are German. I have been watching these documentaries on YouTube from the Ohio State University (WOSU) about the Columbus neighborhoods. German Village is one of our favorites and I wanted to know more about it. With that said. I found out that Germans were and are big on education. Matter of fact they had the best schools in Columbus. Founded Capital University, and the tech school there in Columbus, which I think is now COSI. I guess you can say that I am not surprised that a German founded Oberlin College too. I also Wanted to say what a treasure to have of your great grandmother's. Not to mention the memories to go with it.