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Off the beat: Oct. 27, 2007


A riderless horse for owner’s passing

There was a solemn — and very touching — moment Monday during the funeral of former Marine Paul L. Livelsberger, 56, who died Oct. 18 after a long battle with cancer.

At the funeral for former Marine Paul L. Livelsberger, his beloved horse, Tango, is seen with its boots reversed in stirrup — an ancient custom dating back to Genghis Khan.

His beloved mare, Tango, was prepared as a caparisoned horse — a riderless horse with boots reversed in the stirrups  — which typically follows the caisson carrying a casket in a funeral procession.

The custom is believed to date back to the days of Mongol ruler Genghis Khan when a horse was sacrificed to follow a fallen warrior into the next world.

Livelsberger fought non-Hodgkins lymphoma after being diagnosed 29 years ago, said Mary Dweese Livelsberger, his mother.

“He had this attitude — enjoy every day to the fullest,” she said.

Until recently, when his health declined, that meant spending time with his beloved horses. In addition to Tango, he kept one of her foals, Independent Way, known as Indie, his mom said.

One of Livelsberger’s friends, Carrie Stempowski, and her son, Caleb, will be caring for Tango and Indie.

Stempowski said Tango was a little confused when she was brought to Brookdale Cemetery for the funeral because she is used to being transported with other horses for the riding excursions they took to places such as Kelleys Island.

However, when she arrived at the cemetery, Tango seemed to realize she was there for a very important reason, Stempowski said.
“She never whinnied again and she was good as gold,” Stempowski said.

— Cindy Leise

Candidate is down with downed signs

Connie L. Finney said her first experience running for office has been marred by the destruction of some of her political signs.


Finney, who is running for the Clearview school board, said she used $286 from friends to purchase 100 signs — the cheapest she could get.

But she’s holding back on putting them all up because some were torn or the wires were bent to the ground.

“It’s probably kids that are walking around and knocking them down,” she said. “Halloween is right around the corner and it will only get worse.”

Finney said she isn’t the only one who has had signs bent or destroyed. She said she also noticed ripped or bent signs belonging to Patricia Echko, a candidate for Sheffield Township fiscal officer; Albert Rector, a candidate for Sheffield Township trustee; and Lorain mayoral candidate Tony Krasienko.

“I’d like people to know it is a crime,” Finney said. “I am running for my first office and money is tight.”

— Cindy Leise

Too cool for school

How does second best feel, Harvard?

The eco-friendly Sierra Magazine just named Oberlin College the “coolest school,” ahead of the likes of Duke, Penn State, Tufts and, that’s right, the almighty Harvard.

But before all you Obies start feeling hip and vogue, you should know that that by coolest, Sierra really means greenest.

Citing car sharing, locally produced foods, and green electricity, Sierra sees Oberlin as the torch bearer for a new generation of environmentally conscious colleges. As a proud Obie alum, I’m glad to see Oberlin gather the environmentally aware attention it deserves.

Oberlin has devoted a great deal of energy (renewable, of course) to becoming so green, and it definitely deserves the accolades.

But the coolest?

Don’t get me wrong, I like the environment as much as the next endangered barn owl, but if using recycled paper and carpooling really were cool, I would have had a lot more friends in high school.

Sierra’s desire to turn environmental awareness into a popularity contest leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. Sure, making Harvard green with envy is nice, and an acknowledgement of Oberlin’s massive efforts is due, but boiling down environmental issues to a “cool list” might be sending the wrong message.

I fear it may minimize the importance of the issue and make it seem more like a fad.

Hopefully, I’m wrong. Maybe this marks the beginning of a change, and the environment has finally vaulted into mass concern. It would be a welcome change. Four years at Oberlin taught me to value the environment and work for its well-being.

I just never thought it would be cool.

— Michael Baker

Playoffs are a hit with kitty

Nori, a Siamese cat, watches the final game of the ALCS between Cleveland and Boston.

Have you heard of a lap cat?

I have a baseball cat.

My Siamese kitten, named Nori after the seaweed covering for sushi, has been glued to the screen during the playoffs.

When players take the stance, she knows the ball is coming and she tries to “catch” it with her paws.

Her favorite player? Well, he was my LEAST favorite player, the surly-looking Boston slugger Kevin Youkilis.

She seems to be less interested in the actual World Series, which is just fine with me.

Maybe she can tell that her owner’s heart just isn’t into watching it since the Tribe isn’t there.

— Cindy Leise

All decked out for Halloween

This house in Wellington gets in the Halloween spirit.

There’s plenty of wonderful Halloween displays this year, but one of the best is on South Main Street in Wellington.

This gorgeous century home has scary figures in the yard, lights strung along an iron fence and a running electronic message that says, “Bates Motel – 100 percent occupied.”

It’s sure to be a hit when little ghosts and goblins hit the streets for trick-or-treat.

— Cindy Leise

Give Sherrod Brown a call

Have a cheer? Have a jeer?

Want to get your Congressman’s attention?

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown announced Friday that a new toll-free phone number is available for Ohio residents to call his offices. Lorain County residents can now call (888) 896-OHIO (6446).

Brown’s offices in Lorain can still be reached at (440) 242-4100.

Useful for more than just complaints or compliments, citizens can also reach Brown’s staff to arrange for tours of the United States Capitol, Library of Congress, U.S. Supreme Court and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Washington, D.C.

Flags that have flown over the Capitol can also be purchased with help from Brown’s office.

— Jason Hawk

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