Talk of the Town

by Judy Stringer

Case-Barlow Farm Park was the site of the most recent “Home and Harvest Food Swap.” The “swaps” take place the third Tuesday or Wednesday of each month and have done so since 2013 (with a minor break during COVID). Organizer Carla Owens, who lives in Kent, said the last two swaps have been held in Hudson. Participants pre-register to attend and bring with them handmade items to swap with others.

“Their swaps have to be either homegrown, homemade or home crafted,” Owens said. “Many people bring produce they’ve grown or baked goods they’ve made. Some people bring crafts. Some people bring more practical items, like last time someone brought homemade dryer sheets. It doesn’t have to be consumable, but it needs to be homemade.”

Owens said 18 people showed up at the June swap, including Hudson resident Abbie Chandler, who made bourbon balls and strawberry energy bites and came home with various baked goods, which she said made an incredible breakfast the next morning.  

Countryside Conservancy began the monthly swaps in January 2013, according to Owens, as a way for locals to display what could be made from goods bought at the organization’s Saturday markets. Owens, who attended regularly, took over about four years ago. She said the swaps have drawn as many as 40 participants and have included people from as far away as Toledo. Most participants are from Summit, Portage and Stark counties and the group typically meets in various spots in Summit and Portage. The next swap, however, will be held at a blueberry farm in Chardon. For more information, visit

A great big congrats to the Hudson High School pit orchestra for the high school’s production of “Chicago,” which, under the direction of HHS teacher Roberto Iriarte, won Best Student Orchestra at the Dazzle Awards on May 21. Affiliated with the National High School Musical Theatre Awards, the Dazzle Awards honor excellence in high school musical theater and are considered the equivalent of the Tony Awards for regional productions. HHS’s “Chicago” earned an incredible six nominations, with all nominees and winners being honored and announced at the May 21 ceremony at Playhouse Square’s Connor Palace.

Members of the award-winning HHS “Chicago” orchestra members are: Emily Henderson, violin; Nick Gessford and Jeremy Lavoie, reeds; Ryan Heckroth and Graham Stec, trumpets; Isabel Newby and Sara Landess, trombones; Georgia Arnott, bass/tuba; Sean Custy, banjo; Katie Benson and Lizzie Kim, piano; and Drew Hoschar, drums/percussion. 

City Council President Chris Foster ran a half marathon in Edinburgh, Scotland, with his daughter Heidi Foster Morrissey on May 29. Foster said the half was a first for Heidi, who now lives in Cincinnati with her husband, Brad.  

“We went to Edinburgh four years ago for vacation [and] just happened to arrive on the day of the marathon,” said Foster, who has run “a few” full marathons. “After walking the city, I wanted to run it. My daughter and I have been signed up throughout COVID shutdowns, and this was the first time the event was held in the past couple years.”

He added that he is trying to convince Heidi to run again with him, but this time in London and perhaps take on a full marathon there.

“We shall see how that discussion goes,” Foster said. Best wishes on training!

East Woods Intermediate student Mia Teusan is reaching for the stars. Mia wrote an essay for NASA’s “Power to Explore Student Challenge,” a national K-12 competition, and was selected as one of 45 winners among nearly 1,200 contestants who addressed the unique power of radioisotopes. In her essay, Mia compared the ruggedness of NASA’s radioisotope power system to her own tenacity.

“When I lose at chess, I read chess books, re-strategize and play again. If I don’t understand a math concept, I break it down, study it and try again. I never give up. Just like plutonium-238, I thrive in tough situations,” she wrote in her essay.

Mia’s mom, Rebecca, said the rising fifth-grader loves all things STEM and “dreams of working for NASA.” Congrats to Mia and her family!

Ohio Wesleyan University recognized Chloe Hunt and Henry Tikkanen at the annual Golden Bishop Awards recently. Hunt was honored with the WCSA Best Overall Member Award, given by the Wesleyan Council on Student Affairs, OWU’s student government. Tikkanen was honored with a Member of the Year Leader Award from the Ohio Wesleyan Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Lily Swain, HHS 2021 graduate, was named to the Dean’s List at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., for the fall and spring semesters. Swain pole vaults and hurdles for the indoor and outdoor track and field teams and plans to major in art history and French studies.

Congratulations to all of our other collegians making deans/presidents lists. Among them are: Brian Coleman, Loyola University Maryland; Helen-Ling Wallen, Bob Jones University; Olivia Adkins, Blake Farley, Sophie Greenbaum and Henry Tikkanen,Ohio Wesleyan University; Christopher Myers, Southern New Hampshire University; Anne Sexton, Belmont University; Olivia Nitzsche and Kyle Sweitzer, Grove City College; Jack Bova, Olivet Nazarene University; Kierstin Havens, Lee University; Kathryn Brodbeck, Kaitlyn Dewitt, Madison Horrigan, Ronald Kaminski, Michael Meehan, Aiden Samuel, and Ryan Sarkisian, University of Mount Union; Brenna Beucler, Samford University; Jonathan Gregory, Anna Tomic and Gaelyn Doyle, Cedarville University; Fergus Gomersal, Katarina Palmman, Eveline Ramlow, Mackenzie Wakeling and Francesca Marsicano, The University of Alabama; Nicholas Petrella, Washburn University; Bennett Canzone, Coastal Carolina University; and Kenzie Chessar, Cole Chluda, Sofia Davis, Ellie Davis, Gabrielle Loring, Olivia Turk, Maddie Coates, Mike Piel, Hayden Johnson, Emery Galat, Christina Geiger, Keane Morris, Ally Campanella, Alyssa Rightnour, Kendall Paltani, Elizabeth Mitalski, Chris DeLeon-Mettee, Sean Smith, Julia Stofka, Quinn Rudy, Frankie Cerutti, Jenna Reitenbach, Johnny Susany, Grace Koennecke, Kevin Reiman and Ashleigh Kremer, Ohio University.

Hudson Life has also received notice of many, many proud local graduates. We will try to list them in next month’s issue. In the meantime, share with us your adventurous vacation plans, at-long-last reunions or exciting family news by emailing and mentioning Hudson Life. Happy July!!! ∞