Peebles Elementary hosts PBIS showcase NAES student starting Christmas Card project Try and tell them that nobody cares Senior Profile: Ethan Thompson 15-point lead vanishes, Hounds fall in season opener Deer Gun Season results down all across Ohio Hometown Christmas in Peebles rings in the holiday season Manchester Elementary receives 2016 Momentum Award Drug bust in West Union Stephen C Foster Donna Rivers WUES students perform as part of Honor Choir Ohio Brush Creek Canoe/Kayak access completed Hall of Fame Christmas in Portsmouth Thyme to trim the Christmas Tree Junior High Lady Hounds get season-opening sweep Lady Devils roll past Paint Valley in season opener Senior Profile: Jessica Johnson Michael E Roberts Sr Evelyn L Jones Thomas M Calvert Ryan, Sowards lead Lady Indians to easy win in season opener, 57-36 over Felicity Senior Profile: Wes Hayslip Justice off to hot start at VSU County boys’ squads on display in annual SHAC Preview Night ‘Operation Christmas Child’ collects 1,707 shoe boxes for needy children Two animal cruelty cases investigated in Adams County DP&L considers closing power-generating plants in county Holiday spirit makes an early appearance in Adams County Chester A Mann Jeffrey A Daley Sr Michael G Tincher DAR sponsors Good Citizen Award Ohio’s young hunters harvest nearly 6,000 deer during Youth Gun Season Senior Profile: Kayle Thomas Helen N Hiestand Rev Walter R Egnor Sr Betty Beam Jamie L Corrill Jeffrey L Heppard Edsel L Massey Jr It is time to stop and take time to give thanks on a special day Another year to be very thankful for Senior Profile: Savannah McCoy McCoy signs to continue golf career at SSU North Adams hosts SHAC Girls Preview DAR commemorates 50th anniversary of Vietnam War Historical Society honors veterans Star Wars routine leads Fancy Free Cloggers to ‘America’s Got Talent’ A Day at the Opera Eagle Creek draws community to Thanksgiving celebration Ward ekes out victory over Worley in county commissioner race Mary A Garman Ronald L Palmer Joseph S McClanahan II Emma O Hayslip Devils slip by Georgetown in Foundation Game Hupp, Hunter, Wolke named OSSCA Second Team All-State Senior Profile: Kain Turner Lady Devils romp in Foundation Game Oh, those aromas coming from Mom’s kitchen What Became My Biggest Project Deer gun season set to begin ‘Trees to Textbooks’ shares revenues with local schools and communities BREAKING NEWS Winchester’s Baxter wins Miss Ohio USA 2017 pageant Genny Elkins Pauline S Stevenson Donald E Lewis Sr Charlotte R Seaman Ruth Prater Bennie Skaggs Gertrude Swayne West Union High School hosts impressive Veterans Day ceremonies Peebles Elementary hosts ceremony to honor local veterans Duke Energy exits Killen and Stuart Plants GE Aviation hosts annual Veterans Day celebration Senior Profile: Logan Gordley Jeffrey A Brown Sr Peebles Library welcomes local author and survivor on Nov. 19 Homer C Eldridge Robert W Schomberg One Commissioner race too close to call in unofficial count Voters approve majority of county levies on Tuesday’s election ballot NAES Sixth Graders practice the democratic process Honoring one who gave the ‘last full measure of devotion’ Overcoming adversity, veteran of Iraq War opens local business Senior Profile: Ben Figgins Senior Profile: Macy Mullenix SHAC Basketball Previews are set for Nov. 18 and 25 Trio of local golfers finish careers with trip to the highest level of high school competition Peebles sophomore Jenny Seas finishes sixth in OHSAA state cross-country meet Upset win sends Trump to the White House ACRMC awarded plaque for 50 years of service Peebles Elementary releases Honor Roll for First Nine Week Grading Period BREAKING ELECTION NEWS! Senior Profile: Jordyn Kell Orlie H Kirker Military homecoming at NAES

Ohio lost a good man

Tom Cross with the late U.S. Senator George Voinovich admiring a nice steelhead the Senator caught in 2005.
Tom Cross with the late U.S. Senator George Voinovich admiring a nice steelhead the Senator caught in 2005.

Remembering George Voinovich –

By Tom Cross –

Ohio lost a good man early Sunday morning. Reports say he died peacefully in his sleep.
George Voinovich was a popular governor, former mayor of Cleveland, and a U.S. Senator. He was also a fishermen, hailing from northeast Ohio, not too far from the banks of Euclid Creek. Under his watch the Ohio outdoors made several leaps forward. While governor, Voinovich gave a shot in the arm to Ohio’s steelhead program when he gave a thumbs up to the purchase of the Castalia Fish Hatchery. He was a tireless advocate for Lake Erie and the entire Great Lakes. During the 1990’s, Governor Voinovich gave the green light to the ODNR to expand deer and turkey hunting opportunities across Ohio and it took off. Because of that Ohio today has become the destination state for deer hunters.
Under Voinovich more preserves were added to the Department of Natural Areas and Preserves than at any time before or since. In his 2004 bid for U.S. Senate he received more votes than any other candidate in Ohio’s recorded history.
I got to know Senator Voinovich as a fisherman over 10 years ago when on a cold March morning when I was invited by my close friend Jeff Frishkorn to go fishing with him on a tributary of the Grand River.
The Senator came dressed accordingly, two winter coats and a “Fish Ohio” sweatshirt, obviously a man who has fished a few days. He drove himself in a modest car, put on a pair of worn neoprene waders, and uncased a four-piece Orvis fly rod. Not the $600 rod, but the more affordable model that said he was a man of practicality. I was already starting to like the guy. He needed some help with his waders, like we all do once we start to lose our limberness to age, but he was an otherwise unusually fit man.
The first thing I told him was that everything was “off the record.” The Senator replied that, “with us nothing was ever off the record.”  I said, “Senator, I don’t do stories like that, today we’re fishing.”
The Senator seemed a bit guarded at first, his fly-casting lacked accuracy and his back cast was weak but he kept it out of the trees. His casting rhythm seemed out of balance but that was probably to be expected from a man who has spent more time in meetings of national security than tending to the idleness of fishing. It could be too that spending time with us media types made him a bit nervous but I prefer to think it was the half-a-dozen big steelhead right in front of him, a sight that makes any man nervous. I was trying to talk the Senator through and pointing out a few fish that didn’t seem the least bit interested in his presentation.
Out of pure respect when I spoke to him it was “Senator” or “Mr. Voinovich”. First names just didn’t seem appropriate, but I did like it when he called me Tom. We made small talk, mostly just to get acquainted, and eventually began more probing questions toward each other. I was curious as to what life was like as a U.S. Senator. I didn’t know too many senators. We were slowly summing each other up.
Jeff called him away briefly to fish a deep hole that was teeming with steelhead and it wasn’t long before the Senator was into a big one. Jeff netted it for him and it turned out to be the Senator’s largest steelhead ever, an honest 30-inches. The Senator seemed finally to be warming up as a big smile crossed his face, as would anybody who had just reeled in that big of a steelhead.
That seemed to melt the ice. I photographed him a few times standing in the middle of a stream fully engaged in the moment trying to catch a steelhead. I said, “Senator come here, this riffle is full of fish.” I pointed out several to the Senator and he gave them an honest effort.
Later the Senator crossed the stream to get a better shot at those fish and I moved on downstream. Showing his independence, the Senator began to move upstream by himself targeting his own fish. From a distance I watched the hypnotic rhythm in his fly-casting. His back cast was straight and level, his forward cast was well-timed, accurate, and seemed to have all the authority of a Senate gavel. But what I mostly saw was the Senator regaining some semblance of normalcy, perhaps forgetting for a moment the weighty business of the U.S. economy, national security, and pressing energy issues, and focusing on the business at hand, which was to catch a steelhead. He seemed totally relaxed, in command, and enjoying it.
A month later I received a letter from the Senator. “ Thanks for sending me the wonderful pictures from our recent steelheading trip. I’ll never forget the great fishing and the fantastic time I had getting to know you. Thanks again and hope to drop a line with you again soon”
Ohio lost a good man.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

2016 People's Defender