Ghost appears at median

Marianne Gillespie
Chillicothe’s newest ghost finds a home at the city median on Walnut Street across from Geiger True Value Hardware store.

Chillicothe’s newest ghost may not be as light as a feather, but his eyes will pierce the darkness.

The Shademakers Beautification Board unveiled an original carving Friday night in the city median across from Geiger True Value Hardware store.

When it was brought to the median Wednesday, the ghost caused a mini-traffic jam as residents looked at it, with some even stopping to take photos, Shademakers Beautification Board Chairwoman Trish Connor said.

She and fellow Shademaker Maria Geiger wanted the blue tarp to be put around the ghost as quickly as possible — not wanting to show off the ghost until 7 p.m. Friday with the Grey Ghosts mascot, IVC cheerleaders and residents on site.

Calling it a “Shademakers grassroots project,” Connor said the project came together as residents donated their time, energy and resources to the cause — with virtually no cost. Troy Childers Jr. spearheaded the project.

“This is something our community does,” said Connor. “We’re just cool like that.”

Shademakers are volunteers who spruce up city areas with landscaping and flowers for the betterment of the city.

In charge of the median area are Childers, Micki Taylor and the Geigers.

Longtime Shademakers Lonnie and Pat Parr kept up the median with vibrant tulips and other flowers until they retired.

The younger Childers enlisted the help of chainsaw artist Tim Gill for the project.

Gill’s handiwork also is featured on the Chillicothe riverfront in the form of an eagle. Additionally, he carved a dolphin for South School.

The ghost took a little time to appear as Gill told the crowd of about 75 people that they were looking for a solid piece of wood, with the right dimensions, since March.

For this project, Gill did something a little unusual — the tree was turned upside down to help create the arms of the ghost.

Resident Ed Heubi donated the Chinese Elm tree, which eventually took the shape of a ghost standing 9 feet tall, 4.5 feet wide and weighing 3,000 pounds.

Tony Miller then removed the tree from Heubi’s property and moved it for Gill to work on at this workshop.

He, in turn, donated a solid week of labor to create the ghost, a familiar apparition for him.

A 1984 graduate of IVC, Gill and his wife, Jennifer, also have three future Grey Ghosts — Quincy, 5; Ivy, 9; and Wyatt, 11.

Geiger True Value Hardware donated the luminescent paint for his eyes, mouth and IVC. Childers and Gill stained the ghost with its signature gray color.

To make sure the ghost does not float away, 1971 IVC graduate Ray Yarger and Sons Construction donated the concrete base.

“Everything was donated. It’s just incredible. Thanks for the volunteerism,” said Connor.

In the future, a solar light will be installed and shine with a black light effect.

Silver miller current is planted in the area, and the Shademakers plan to build up the ground there to add the familiar maroon and gray color scheme.

“We could always use volunteers,” said Connor. “Our next project is putting the lights in the pots downtown.”

The Shademakers will decorate the downtown “pots” with small Christmas trees before the parade Nov. 19. They also are planning to revive the Christmas light contest held years ago.

For now, the ghost stands as a beacon in the area.

“To me, it’s amazing the Chillicothe people can come together to do something to this magnitude,” said the mayor. “No one turned him down,” he added as his son sought the help for the project.

“It’s another anchor for people to come to Chillicothe and look.”

To watch the progression of the ghost taking shape, visit Gill’s website