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Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce Coffee Contacts; Centuries of Childhood: An American Story


On Wednesday, August 23rd, we first went to an Eastern Lake County Chamber of Commerce "Coffee Contacts" that was this time held at "Madison Coin and Jewelry" and "Rakes Carpet One Floor and Home" which are two adjoining businesses on North Ridge Road in Madison both owned by the Rakes family. 

Mr. Jon Rakes and Mr. Don Rakes told us about the history of their enterprises. We learned that "Rakes Carpet..." has been in this location since 1985 and provides local resident with all types of flooring products while "Madison Coin..." came into being around 2014 and is probably the only store of its kind in Madison, Perry, and Geneva. We got to tour each business and was impressed with the way "Madison Coin..." consisting of 600 square feet has been structured so that its many cabinets take up 400 square feet leaving the balance for the clientele to comfortably navigate their way around.  

While we were at "Coffee Contacts" we met Mr. Nicholas G. Augustine, the new Painesville City Councilperson representing Ward 3 who was just sworn in a few days ago. We also met Mr. Tom Snell, the owner of "NEO PC Solutions" a computer firm which provided good service to a friend of ours when her printer went on the blink. 

During the customary introductions, we urged the membership to come to the Cleveland Cultural Gardens for "One World Day" on August 27th where we will be tabling on behalf of "Margaret W. Wong and Associates". 

It was During sharing time, Ms. Beth Debevec of "Debonne Vineyards" spoke of how she and her husband traveled to Tennessee to watch the eclipse on on Monday the 21st. Ms. Debevec said that the eclipse itself was fascinating and that the entire area where they viewed it from (a choice location) was absolutely packed with people and local merchants were thus doing quite well; in fact, some parking places for cars were cost as much as $40.00. Very sensibly, Ms. Debevec urged us all to get ready for seven years from now when another eclipse is scheduled to take place and Lake County will be a prominent viewing location. 

(Incidentally we watched last Monday's eclipse from the top of a three-story observation tower built on the bluffs near Lake Erie in Perry. By the time we decided to go-very last minute-all of the viewing glasses in the stores had been bought up so we attempted to watch the eclipse from viewers made out of cereal boxes and tin foil which didn't work out so well. Fortunately, the people around us had an extra pair of viewing shades so we managed to safely watch a lot of the historical event and in our opinion our last-minute dash to the observation tower was worthwhile. No doubt about it though, the people at the tower who got the best and most comfortable view were members of a young family whose dad just happened possess an old welder's helmet so everyone took turns laying on his/her back and looking up at the increasing shadow over the sun)

Later on Wednesday, we went to the Maltz Museum on Richmond Road in Beachwood to view the "Centuries of Childhood: An American Story" exhibition before it closes this Sunday, August 27th.

This exhibit was was created by the "Children's Museum of Cleveland" and, as was written on the "Maltz Museum" website, "is an interactive, hands-on, kid-friendly exhibit that charts the histories of five children and their families...the exhibit helps kids connect the stories of these characters to their own experiences."  

The children depicted were:

***Onatah, a seven year-old  Native American girl living with with her family which was part of the Iroquis Confederacy in 1700

***Gregory, a ten year-old boy living in the colony of Pennsylvania in 1747 and in training to be a blacksmith

***Clara, a four year-old girl whose family in traveling westward in 1852 in search of new farm land

***Jacob, a six year-old Jewish boy who immigrated to America with his family in 1904

***Michael, a five year-old African American boy who migrated from the rural South with his family in 1947 in search of new opportunities. 

The exhibition was composed of small structures, like those found in a playground, that were pertinent in the lives of the children. For example, for Onatah there was a canoe; for Gregory there was a riding horse; for Clara there was a covered wagon; for Jacob there was a ship and the Statue of Liberty; and for Michael there was the train where his father worked as a porter.  

Additionally, there was a small desk in the exhibition hall where the young visitors could write about their own families' experiences. Above the small chair was a sign which read, "Your story and the story of your family are part of the history of America. Every family has their own personal history. Talk with your child about your family's history. Share your memories of the people and places of your childhood."


Michael Patterson

Community Liaison,

Margaret W. Wong & Assoc. Co., LLC

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