Wednesday, August 15, 2018

African American Male Wellness Walk/Run 5k

Written/Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Founded in 2004, the African American Male Wellness Initiative was started to help empower men to live longer through preventative measures. 


Waking up early, I targeted covering the event from 7:30 am on.  The run/walk was scheduled to start around 9:30am.  Driving down, the sun was shining and all looked well.   I found my parking spot and started walking to Livingston Park next to Nationwide Children's Hospital when the rain started.

like everyone, we tried to wait out the rain.

And it just never really let up.  I was a little disappointed as I would not get the kind of pictures that I had hoped...but then, I needed to remember that this whole Visual Ohio thing is not just about the pictures.  It's about the story.  The pictures only support the story,and what a great story this is!

I first heard about this event from one of my doctors.   For those that may not know, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes on May 3, 2016.   I was not feeling well and suspected this might be the case.  Diabetes runs in my family, so it was no surprise.  It was however, something that I had hoped to be able to prevent.  I thought I was doing all I could, but that was just not so.

Like many, I started the recommended course of treatment.  Different medicines and lifestyle changes.  I wanted to fight this with everything I had available to me, so I requested that my family physician refer me to an endocrinology specialist.  It was that endocrinology specialist, along with my family doctor that helped me get to where I am today.

I went from taking 4 different medications daily, to taking none at all.  I walk or run between 3-5 miles daily and I watch my sugar and carbohydrate intake carefully.  For a year and a half now I've been controlling my diabetes with diet and exercise.  I might get more into my personal story later...that's really not what this is let's digress to the true story here!  :D

I did not stay long enough to cover the start of the race, but I did walk around the event space.  Found some interesting characters, like this guy!

Prevention is the key and this event really has that.   Once you register, volunteers help direct you to the screenings and vendors that can help you the most.  I did not get pictures of that kind of thing because I want to respect peoples privacy, so please just take my word for it.

The lines were long, but you could get just about any check you could think of.  Cholesterol, glucose, HIV, height, weight....getting those critical numbers so that you can head off any potential issues earlier.

volunteers provide table massages

Education is also a great way to help prevent issues.  There were plenty of vendors and hospital staff there to educate you on things that you may not have known about, or help guide you to a healthy path.

I've been to events like this in the past, but I've never seen one that was so inclusive and expansive on the services and education they provide.  I can see why people are taking notice of this event.  It is really a bright spot in the community...everyone there helping others be the best self they can be.

We often say that Ohio is one of the greatest places to live.  It is one of those great places because it is built on a strong foundation.  Columbus is one of those foundational pillars, doing great things for those that need it most, bring the help to them when they cannot get to it easily themselves.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Ohio History Connection's March Through Time Event

Written/Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Quoted from the Ohio History Connections website:
"Explore Ohio's military history during March Through Time! Learn how the uniforms, weapons and gear of Ohio soldiers have evolved through time. Reenactors will be spread throughout the Village representing the various conflicts involving Ohio and its people."


To be totally honest, I totally didn't remember this event was going on.  We went to the Ohio History Center and Ohio Village to introduce it to a few friends of ours who have never been.  However, like a good photographer and reporter, I always have a camera with me!  I'm glad I did as it would have been a shame to not be able to cover the March Through Time!

Reenactors covered the time period from the German Renaissance through the 1970's.

There was a WW1 station inside the center, where they discussed the uniforms and weaponry from that time.
Browning Automatic Rifles, Springfields on display

Outside at the Ohio Village, WW2 reenactors from the American and German side setup camps and moved about the village.

There were even some from the American Revolutionary War period.  They explained battle tactics of the day, their armaments and fielded any questions the crowd may have had.

The Ohio History Connection is a fabulous and often forgotten about place.  They have events like this all the time!  Just check out their website to see all that is coming up.  Even if there are no events coming soon, there are plenty of exhibits inside to keep you busy and learning for hours!   There are event rotating exhibits, so make sure to check back often for the newest features!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Schnormeier Gardens

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Schnormeier Gardens are located in Know county.  There is a very interesting history which is outlined on the website.  Definitely take the time to check out that link above!

Also note that the property is not usually open to visitors except by large group appointment and an annual open house.  Make sure to plan your visit accordingly.


Even before you step foot onto the property, just looking from the outside know you have found some place special.

Prestine gardens and Asian inspired views are a visual feast.  You can feel the serenity and peace as you stroll through from section to section.

This gazebo sits atop the hill on the property, giving you an overlook of the bridge and rock gardens below.

A Japanese tea house sits along the waterfront of the pond.

From the bridge, you can see large koi fish, enjoy the shade of the trees and peer out over the clear waters.

Nestled on a rock and obscured by some trees, you may find some interesting statues.

I cannot believe that it took us this long to find and visit this magnificent place.  Truly a gem in central Ohio and worth your time to visit here.  Guaranteed that you will be blown away by the beauty!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Community Festival 2018 (COMFEST)

Written By Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


Columbus Community Festival, a.k.a. COMFEST operating principles can be found here:


COMFEST is a staple in Columbus, bringing with it vendors, music and events of all kinds. 
Volunteers are a big part of the festival and they did a fantastic job this year.   Having talked with quite a few, they were all very friendly and helpful no matter what you needed.

There were some scattered showers during the hours we were there on Saturday.  However, that did not stop people from enjoying themselves or us from covering the event.   You could see people scatter under vendor tents, while others grabbed umbrellas or just let the cool rain shower over them.

If food and drink is your thing, thne you won;t be disappointed there either as a good portion of Goodale Ave is blocked off for beer and food.  Inside the park, you'll find additional food trucks.

Attending COMFEST annually, we have seen it grow over the years.  This year we noticed a focus on the more family friendly atmosphere where activities geared more toward the youngsters were abundant.  There were book reading stations, play areas, kids activities scattered all through out the park.

Below you can see volunteers helping make tie dye shirts, body paint artists and painting stations for the kids.

No matter if you agree with the politics, you have to appreciate the effort it takes to put something like this together every year.   When your heart is in the right place, looking for ways to better the community and the human condition, we have to at least come together at the table and hear each other out.

Discourse and compromise are always a better solution than ignorance ad violence.   COMFEST gives you an opportunity to interact with people from all walks of life with all kinds of differing views.

All that aside, you can just go there and ENJOY YOURSELF.  Take in some food, fellowship with others from Columbus.  Enjoy the music, the art from our fellow Ohioans, American and our brothers and sisters.

Monday, July 23, 2018

Polo At Bryn Du Park

Written/Photography by
Andrew Livelsberger


Schedules for Polo at Bryn Du can be found here:

Polo is a team sport played on horse back.  The objective of the game is to strike a white ball with a mallet into the goal.  Rules surrounding the game are to ensure safety during play.

Periods or chukkas are played which are 7 minutes each in duration.  Generally there are 4-8 chukkas per match, and riders change horse between chukkas.  There is also a 10 minute halftime period.

The Polo field is 300 yards long and 160 yards wide.


Upon entering the Bryn Du estate, you cannot but be taken aback by the sheer vastness of it.  From the far end of the field, looking back, you can see the mansion sitting atop the hill.

When the chukka starts, there is a scrum, where the referee throws the ball into the crowd of horses.  Here the riders attempt to to clear the ball from the pack and once done, play moves up and down the field.

The game can be both strategically slow and lightning fast, changing each at the drop of a hat.  

Sitting at the side line, you can get an excellent view of the match as it unfolds.

I cannot imagine the skill it takes to swing a 50+ inch mallet while in full stride on a horse and striking a white ball.   All this and also directing the horses actions make for an exciting watch.

During the halftime, fans and onlookers were invited to walk out onto the field and replace divots.

Competition can be fierce and players block others swings to prevent a goal.

If you've never seen a polo match live, I highly recommend it.   Only a short 30 minute drive from Columbus will get you to a great 2 hours of play.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Martinsville Lavender Festival

Written by Dani and Andrew Livelsberger
Photography by Andrew Livelsberger


1 year after starting the Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm, the first Lavender Festival was help.  10 years strong and 2018 had another successful festival season.


In our attempt to hit all of the Great 88 counties in Ohio, we have our first story from Clinton County.  Out amongst the country roads and farms in Martinsville, lies the Peaceful Acres Lavender Farm.  Annually, there is held a festival with music, activities and...lavender!!

Going into this festival, we had no expectations.   We had never been before and just happened to see it listed out on the internet somewhere.  Braving the hot, Ohio summer we drove from the comfort of our central Ohio home to the farm.

Within the grounds are several hiking paths.  From the parking area, it is a short walk to the main festival area.  Here you will see rows upon rows of different lavender plants.   Thankfully, the rows are marked and there is literature to explain the types, where they originate as well as how to harvest.

For a small fee, you can cut your own bunch of lavender, getting to take as much as you can fit within the confines of a wire pipe cleaner.

There is more too to do and see. Rescue birds shown below are there for you to interact with. There are also vendors, music, lavender themed food and drinks.   Education on the different kinds of lavender as well as workshops to craft items using lavender.

While not "large" by any means it is an interesting place to visit.     So, next June jump in the car and visit the lavender festival!!