Quest for creator leads to special teen

Quest for creator leads to special teen

Published: Grove City News
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
by Liz Thompson

For 10 years, a pretty handmade bowl was one of my favorites. Written on the bottom was “2/5/01, Corinne Haines.”

I had purchased it at a restaurant across from City Hall in Grove
City as part of a project to raise money for the hungry. I knew the
artists were children and I was enamored.

One day I decided to learn who Corinne Haines is and where she is
now. I did a search for Haines’ living in Grove City. When 28 names
appeared, I sighed but started calling. When I reached Kimberly, I hit
gold. She is Corinne’s mom.

When I told her of my quest to learn about the little girl who made this pretty bowl, she chuckled.

“I often wondered who got the bowls she made. I bought one,” Kim said.

I told Kim it made my day when I found her. It made her day as a mom. We
moms have an unseen bond when we share stories about our “children.”

Sheila, of the Grove City Parks and Recreation department, said the bowl was
part of the Empty Bowls project made during the Programmed Aftershool
Recreation for Kids (PARK).

Corinne told me she remembers making the ceramic bowls at Buckeye Woods Elementary School.

“I was so excited to be decorating the bowls because I loved arts and crafts … ,” Corinne said.

“I made three or four bowls that day and I worked very hard trying to make them as unique as possible.”

Time changed Corinne from a little girl to a young woman. At 19, she is a
sophomore at Denison University with double majors in biology and
economics, with a minor in math.

When you read Corinne’s resume,
the highlights are many. Some include avid tennis player, Key Club,
volunteer, baby-sitter, mentor, model, valet, homecoming court, blood
donor, honor society, and she is working two jobs this summer.

One day she might be on a ballot. Corinne was active in high school student council, with a long stint as class vice president.

She received the South-Western City School District Individual Leadership Pride Award and had a better-than 4.0 GPA.

I asked Corrine what makes her tick.

“My goal everyday when I wake up is to be a better person than I was the day before,” she told me.

“To simply better myself and better the lives of other people is my motivation.”

Her mother has always been the driving force in her life. “She is an
amazing woman — so strong, driven, smart and loving. She taught me to
want to be the best person I can be and to help others,” Corrine said.

“Without her, I highly doubt I would be the person I am today.”

Corinne loved growing up in a small town in a family with strong ties to the
community. Her great-grandfather, Walter Luebben opened the Grove City
Hardware in 1945. His wife, Marguerite, and their children Patty
Fleming, Robert and Richard Luebben all worked there.

Kim’s father, Robert, sold the store in 1999. He worked there 44 years and sold it after the rest of his family had passed away.

Corinne is one of many deep rooted, small-town success stories. Look around you
— they abound and they help our bowls overfloweth.

Scar tissue…

Scar tissue dulls pain, not memories
by Liz Thompson

Published:  Saturday, September 10, 2011
Suburban News Publications
Where were you on September 11, 2001?

Ten years has passed yet most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing on that fateful day.

Casey Beacom, 21, of Sunbury remembers where she was when the planes crashed into the Twin Towers. Her memories are as a young girl yet remarkably accurate. Most of us relate to her words easily.

“I remember it like it was yesterday. I was in sixth-grade study hall when I walked into the classroom. The TVs were on which was very unusual,” Casey remembered. “It took me a few minutes to completely understand what had happened and then the second tower was hit. I remember my teachers were freaking out and all of us students were trying to grasp what was happening.”

New York City seemed far from Ohio life. Understanding the impact was especially difficult with this distance and unfamiliarity. It wasn’t happening a few blocks away.

“It was hard to believe it was real, because it wasn’t happening outside our windows — it was happening in another state,” Casey added. “I honestly didn’t know what the significance of the Twin Towers was at the time nor did I know they existed. As I sat in study hall watching the news coverage, I heard them say that the FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) teams had been called and would start to arrive.”

Casey’s dad, Ed Beacom, an Upper Arlington firefighter, was part of the Ohio Task Force One that headed to NYC that same day.

When Casey got home from school, she quickly learned that her dad was on his way to NYC. “I got a sense of pride that my Dad was talented enough that they wanted him to go. Although I don’t know from personal experience, I’m guessing it’s a feeling close to that of a soldier’s family member,” she said.

She vividly remembers being more proud than scared. “I knew the security was being watched a lot more carefully and everyone was on guard and I knew my dad was in good hands,” Casey said.

Time makes a difference. No doubt. An old saying that “time heals all wounds” is often true.

Rose Kennedy, mother of President John F. Kennedy, had a different take. “It has been said, ‘Time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”

This country will never be the same and has its share of wounds. In some ways, it is better. It certainly has changed. I turned 50 on that day 10 years ago.

As I face my 60th birthday, I ponder these changes. In me and this country.

Liz Thompson is a freelance writer and former SNP reporter who lives in Grove City with her husband, Bob. Contact her at


For some reason, with all the fancy and beautiful birds God has created, I love sparrows. Always have.

The photo at the top of my website was taken by my oldest grandson, Jacob. I love its simplicity and the fact that it is a sparrow.

Trying to remember the first time I heard the song “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” I did a search and came up with this YouTube version of the Ethel Waters singing the song. –

Ethel Waters sings Eyes On The Sparrow. Song from the 1952 movie “The Member of the Wedding” With Ethel Waters as Bernice Sadie Brown; Julie Harris as Frankie Addams; and Brandon De Wilde as John Henry.

Since I was born in 1951, I’m sure I saw reruns of this movie at some point in my young life. It may not be a cinematic epic type of movie, but I remember Ethel Waters character comforting the children she sings the song with. Thus, I remember it as a comforting song adding to my love of the simple sparrow.

Bible verses that bring comfort include:

Matthew 10:29 (NIV)

29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.

Luke 12:6 (NIV)

6 Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God.

Luke 12:7 (NIV)

7 Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

We can take great comfort in God’s Word in so many ways. This one just grabs at my heart every time I see a sparrow.
What grabs at your heart? I’d love to hear.

Nothing prepares you…

for the funeral of a parent. This week we said our final goodbye to my 93-year old Dad. He was extremely ill for almost two months and we were able to see and talk to him before he died; that’s if we had anything else to add.

The service was meaningful where the pastor talked about how we live the dash between our birth and death dates. It goes so fast. He would have been 94 in December and he often said, “It went so fast!”

He and my Mom were married 66 years and raised four children. He served in WWII, worked all his adult life, was an avid since childhood and loved a good joke. If he couldn’t think of one, he found some way to make a joke or try to make us laugh. He often missed the mark but at least he tried.

The fact he lost most of his vision to macular degeneration hit him hard. No more driving and he had to listen to his beloved books. But he met the challenge.

My solace during his illness and his funeral was that I know he no longer has those worries. I believe he is in heaven with God and His Son, Jesus. He is walking in heavenly light with visions we can only dream about.

I asked him if he would be waiting for me someday when I would join him in heaven. He nodded and smiled. Of course he will.