This and that

Things around the valley

By Jim Bucher

It’s time for semi-regularly ‘This and That’ column on things happening around town. First, a sad yet happy day for the Montgomery County Fairgrounds. An auction of surplus items went on sale and it was a potpourri of stuff.

As you know the new Montgomery County Fairgrounds and Event Center is moving to Arthur O. Fisher Park in Jefferson Township for 2018.

On the auction block included tables, chairs, lawn care equipment, and even a dump truck. Some of the more unusual items, old benches and lockers from the changing room when the University of Dayton played men’s basketball at the old coliseum. Such history.

Next, on a recent visit to Clifton Mill, the gang there is busily stringing lights for the 40th anniversary of the Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill, always turned on the day after Thanksgiving.

Guess you really don’t think about it this early, but better to get everything together before the weather gets nasty. Makes total sense to me. Let me be the first to say Merry Christmas’ just in case I forget.

Speaking of, retailers kill me and won’t mention names, but really, Christmas merchandise on sale already? Are you kidding me? This particular discount store I’m told, had their stuff up since the end of August.


Years ago, most of the big department stores wouldn’t have as much as tinsel out before turkey day. Bah Humbug!

Next … living in Dayton’s 5 Oaks neighborhood all my life, back in time we had at least a dozen grocery stores and neighborhood markets within a couple miles. Now, can’t find one with a search warrant. With all the new resident’s downtown how about it city planners? Surely has to be a chain willing to build it so we can come and spend money in their store.

Frankly, gets a little old driving to Kettering, Clayton, or Centerville to fill up my grocery cart. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the communities around, but maybe I’m a little selfish and wish for something a bit closer.

On to more … remember Halloween in the past, where everyone of your neighbors participated in Trick-or-Treat? We had awesome neighbors handing out big candy bars, caramel apples, homemade gooey popcorn balls, and even money. Now a days you’re lucky to have a few houses on the block with porch lights on welcoming little ghosts and goblins in all their splendor. And a personal pet peeve, don’t show up at my door without a costume and a pillow case. Come on, put a little effort in already.

And since we’re on the subject, recently checked out the Miami Valley’s newest Halloween attraction, the Brimstone Haunt, put on by our friends at the Ohio Renaissance Festival in Harveysburg near Waynesville. I was pleasantly pleased.

They offer two ‘themed’ attractions, one is the Haunted Hayride and the Forgotten Forest which was my favorite. This one caused me to ‘girl scream’ with scary folks jumping out at you and darkened structures. Good time and not too frightening. Check it out yourself. Safety tip. May need to stow away an extra pair of underwear. Just sayin’.

Festival season is winding down and once again, I ate way too much. One of my favs is the Italian Fall Festa in Kettering. This particular weekend there were at least half a dozen different festival options. My philosophy is, if it ain’t broke … so I spent the entire weekend there with my Italian brethren. No offense to the others, but for three days didn’t need to go anywhere else. A personal thank-you to all the organizers who and the good Lord above for perfect weather too.

If you love the musical ‘Hamilton’ you’ll thoroughly enjoy ‘In the Heights.’ No, this isn’t about Huber, but rather Lin-Manuel Miranda’s early work that’s a real crowd pleaser. Runs through Sunday, October 8 at the Schuster Center. This musical won four Tony’s and tells the universal story of a vibrant community in New York’s Washington Heights neighborhood. You know the drill, visit for tickets.

Finally, a big happy 100th birthday to song crooner and popular variety show star Stubenville’s own Dean Martin. Anybody remember Dino? Well, my good friend Bobby DiSalvo brought in a Dean tribute act to his restaurant in Kettering. Felix Deneau aka Dean Martin put on a hell of a show. Forgot about some of the great the Dean tunes and Felix nailed them all. All we were missing was Sammy and Frank, couple more drinks and I almost joined him to do my Sammy impression.

Didn’t want to close his restaurant though.

Until next week my friends remember, everybody loves somebody sometime!



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For over 25 years, Jim Bucher has been a regionally known and loved local television icon. “Buch’s” followers describe him as trustworthy, fun, the guy next door, a friend and role model. You can promote your business with Buch and grab your customer’s attention! Reach DCP freelance writer Jim Bucher at

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