Judy Robinson

Judy RobinsonJudy Robinson
Adena Brook Community
Shaklee Independent Distributor

When I told Judy she had been recognized for making Columbus great, she replied, “I am surprised and honored to have been suggested.”  As far as picking a meeting place, she selected Crimson Cup saying, “I love to support local, especially local who give back so much to our community.”

From her nomination to this first interaction, she struck me as a kind soul.  Having met her, I can confirm she’s an uplifting burst of compassion and generosity.

Judy grew up in Clintonville skipping rocks and hiking in the ravines.  In sixth grade, attending Glenmont Elementary School, she met her future husband Bob.  They relocated north near the ravines by the Josephinum where they lived for nearly thirty years.  Finally, in 2001, they bought her mother’s home and returned to Clintonville.  “The house is full of fond memories.”  She smiles, “Now my grandchildren trek along the same paths I canvassed as a child.”

The beloved property did require some attention.  “We had several large ash trees that needed removed.  It was heartbreaking; I couldn’t be there that day they.  Afterwards, we created a privacy wall out of plants native to the area and planted a wonderful garden.  My mom loved to garden, too. I must get it from her.”

Her passion for plants made her a great candidate when her neighbor Susan Barrett rallied a group interested in maintaining the beauty of the ravines.  Together, the group formed the Adena Brook Community in 2002.  “We started cleaning the ravine behind Glenmont School.  There was so much abuse and neglect – wooden pallets, wheel barrows.  We ended up with a huge pile of trash and then had to pay to get it picked up and properly disposed.  We were astonished and thought, what does the rest of the ravine look like?”

The group hosts a monthly clean-up where volunteers gather and help clearing invasive species and trash out the of ravines.  “We’ve cleared out a lot of honeysuckle.  We were so excited when the blue bells were able to return.”  She adds, “And the clean-ups are a really great way to meet your neighbors.”

They also focus on educating the community.  “People see birds eating red berries on the honeysuckle and recognize it as a food source.  However, those berries provide very little nutrition for the bird.  If they don’t get the right nutrition, and enough of it, they may not be able to survive through winter.”

All this must be overwhelming, I think.  She points out, “If everyone took responsibility for a small section that they maintained when it was convenient for them, it would make such a difference and wouldn’t overwhelm any one person.”  She points to “Carter Corner” on Indianola and Cooke.  The Carter family regularly keeps the corner clear of debris.  “They do a fantastic job.”

I ask Judy what would be her top recommendation for people wanting to take a greater role in protecting our ecosystem.  She advises, “Removing toxins from the home is a great start.”

Her personal pursuit of doing just that lead her to become a Shaklee Independent Distributor.  Shaklee creates natural nutrition supplements, weight-management products, beauty products, and household products.  It should be of no surprise Shaklee has a climate neutral certification and completely offsets its CO2 emissions.  It’s also on a mission to plant one million trees.  Sounds like just the right fit for Judy.

Like gardening and a love for plants, Judy’s passion for the Clintonville Woman’s Club also began with her mom.  “In her days, there was a waitlist to get in.  Some people assume with just eat lunch and play cards, but, oh, it’s so much more.”

“We have so many philanthropic projects for the community and beyond.  The Club was formed to promote wholesome community life and welfare work in Clintonville.   We support organizations such as the Community Resource Center, Operation Buckeye, Veteran’s Hospitals, and we’ve formed another group – Women Helping Women – focused on helping homeless women.”

Judy describes the drawstring bags that are hand-made and filled with toiletries.  “We will fill over two hundred bags and take to different facilities.  For many homeless, this bag may be the only permanence they have.  It’s a reminder to them that people care.”

“The Club is amazing because these women become close friends.  We support each other through all phases of life and span such a broad age range.  When my dad passed, the Club was like a second home for my mom.  There were women who had been through the same experience.  Women supporting women is incredibly powerful.  The Clintonville Woman’s Club provides that.”

I ask Judy who she thinks makes Columbus great.  She’s left a bit overwhelmed, “There are so many wonderful people I could name!  Could I think about this?”

Of course.

She picks:

Julie Smiley

“Julie is relentless, constantly working behind the scenes overseeing the health of all of Clintonville’s ravines, protecting them from new invasive construction to cutting of invasive plants to re-planting native trees.  She is a mother of young children for whom she is also an advocate.”

Scott Smith, Weir Arend Funeral Home

“Scott initiated revival and growth of our Fourth of July Festivities from the breakfast (served over 2,000 this year), the whole day events, to the fireworks, safety, clean up and funding.  Now, all the restaurant and food vendors in Clintonville are also marvelous to give of time and gifts, but Scott has brought energy back into the entire day attracting so many young families who have moved into our area and even other from surrounding communities that do not have such.”

Cliff Wiltshire, Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center

“Cliff is a huge advocate and active in the community to support nominations for “The Booster Volunteer of the Year.”  He’s an advocate for our working poor and our senior population needing assistance, who are a very important part of our community and culture.  He does all this very humbly and sincerely.”

Thanks, Judy, for making Columbus great!

Mary McClory Rodgers

Mary McClory Rodgers
Moxie’s Gifts, Candy, and Party Room
Clintonville Historical Society

“Sorry, I got held up at Union Cemetery.  I’m working there now, too,” Mary says as she greets me with an ear-to-ear smile.  “They just had to show me the archival room, and I accepted. There’s a book there from 1806!”

And with this latest endeavor, Mary can support every milestone in a person’s life.

Since 2010, she’s helped plan and hold showers for new parents and beautiful brides at her store Moxie’s Gifts, Candy, and Party Room.

I must also mention she’s the President of the Clintonville Historical Society.

In other words, Mary can help you create memories for all your major life events.  She makes it personal and seamless to you.  The goal is to have a day filled with joy and surrounded by loved ones.

And if she lived forever, she would continue to tell your story – who you were, what you did, why you were special.  We’re shaping history in each moment we exist.  Mary tells the stories of those who lived.

She creates, celebrates, immortalizes.

Asking about her own history, she surprises me by saying she started in accounting.  “I wanted to study history or social sciences but was ‘encouraged’ to study something more practical.”  Over the next twenty-some years, she rose through the corporate ranks doing accounts payable, tax accounting, retiring as a CFO, then working as a strategic office manager.  Finally, she decided, “You know, I still want to have a retail store.”  With her husband and son inspiring and influencing, she opened Moxie’s.

In preparation to meet with Mary, I looked through Moxie’s Facebook page.  Enamored with the creativity, I make a point to ask her where she draws her inspiration.  “I like to ask the host to tell me about the guest of honor.  I’ll sketch as I listen.  We’ll refine and revise until we get to this ‘that feels great’ moment.  Our customer service is what differentiates Moxie’s – we want you to have it how you want it.  And with flexible options and at a reasonable price.”candy jars

Connecting Moxie’s with Mary’s passion for celebrating the past, rows of penny candy jars hold pastime favorites such as Bit-O-Honey, SkyBar, and Charleston Chews.  These originally came out in the 1920’s and 30’s, which still isn’t as old as one of her favorite historical figures of Clintonville.  After giving it some thought, “there are so many” she landed on Gottlieb Schreyer.

“I find people who were pioneers in their time to be enchanting.”  Holding several patents, Gottlieb was an inventor of heating systems in the mid to late 1800’s, for whom Schreyer Road is named.  “They had to make everything then.”

Reflecting on pioneers, she adds, “These people put their entire life on a covered wagon and crossed the Alleghany.  Part of me wants to ask them, ‘What were you thinking?!'”  She laughs.  Courageous souls, certainly.

I ask her if it’s possible to pick her favorite historical building.  “That’s easy.  My favorite is the Clinton Theater, but it was torn down in 2010.”

I think, in so many walks from my rental on Como in 2006 to North Broadway, it makes me wish I had known more about the historical building, to appreciate the life it had.

We talk more about buildings in Clintonville.  I comment on how I love old architecture and, with bias, modern buildings just don’t have the same charm.  She points out that there’s a lot of mid-century modern in Clintonville and how much she appreciates seeing how style changes over time.  “And if there isn’t one I like right away, I remind myself that it could just be an idea before its time – like Frank Lloyd Wright’s creations.”  She commends the Columbus Landmarks Foundation as they’ve “done a fantastic job connecting architecture and having an appreciation for all styles.”

This leads me to ask how, under her guidance, the Clintonville Historical Society has evolved over time.  “We’ve really shifted our mindset from being a resource where people come to us with questions to an organization focused on outreach.  We go out and find the people who want to learn and celebrate our history.”  This includes a pop-up museum that showcases their archive items.  Members are there to answer questions and share their knowledge.   They’ve held workshops on such topics like “How to Research the History of your Home.”  Mary’s even narrated trolley tours during the community’s Holidayville.sunwall moonwall

While she’s passionate about history, she isn’t resistant to change.  “I just believe we should give something back anytime we take.”  She points to an old Indian Mound that existed just south of Cooke Road that was leveled in the 1950’s.  The new Sunwall-Moonwall mural at the railroad underpass on Cooke Road is a way to “remember our past.”  Initiated and created by Danielle Poling, the mural honors the American Indians who lived on this land before us.

I notice as we talk, she often refers to timelines.  “At Moxie’s, for example, we think in terms of these shorter timelines.  Days, months, years.  Studying history reveals the longer, visionary timelines that shape our experiences in ways we often don’t realize.”  She points to OSU’s campus.  “Those buildings, the landscape, the walkways all create an experience for you today.  That carefully crafted moment was, in part, designed by people a century ago.”

All this makes me wonder how the history books will reflect on Columbus in one hundred years from now.  Favorably, I hope.  I am optimistic, especially with people like Mary among us.

I ask Mary who she thinks makes Columbus great, she points to:

Ed Lentz, Columbus Landmarks Foundation

In short, “Ed is a miracle.  A historical legend.”

Melanie Guzzo, Virtue Salon

“She’s a dynamic personality with a clear vision.  She has a pioneer mindset – combining two seemingly separate passions and creating a business that is a complete representation of herself.  There should be more of that in the world.”

Thanks, Mary, for making Columbus great!