The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

June 29, 2013

A Don McCormack column: You can judge a book by its cover, after all

Sports Editor

Paying a Sunday morning visit to the variety store...

Book it!

Not surprisingly, the issue of Sports Illustrated that came out two weeks ago with Ashtabula’s own hometown hero, Frank Hall, on the cover has become a hot commodity across the area.

So much so, in fact, issues have become very difficult to come by.

Now, however, Frank Perry, honcho at Perry’s Park News located at 4910 Main Avenue here in Ashtabula, reports his shop across from South Park has been restocked with the in-demand issue of Sports Illustrated.

“We sold out of our first batch of the issue with Frank on the cover almost right away,” Perry said. “Fortunately, however, we were able to get another shipment of them in.

“Now, we have plenty of copies available, so please let everyone know where they can find them.”

Consider the message delivered, Frank.

Sweet lady

There’s nothing more vital to our daily product than readers. ’Tis you, Loyal Readers, who allow me to have this platform to come into your homes as often as I do.

And there’s nothing more appreciated by us ink-stained wretches than a kind-hearted, appreciative reader.

Which is a perfect description of Ima Helton, one of the nicest, most-polite people I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with.

Ima rang my phone here at the Star Beacon office at 5:40 a.m. Friday to report one of our drivers who delivers our product every day had experienced some difficulties with his car while delivering to her home on Middle Road in Ashtabula.

Then, she called back 25 minutes later at 6:15 a.m. to let me know her driver was OK.

“I’m 81 years old and the man who delivers my Star Beacon is such a gentleman,” Ima said. “I just wanted to make sure someone knew about him and what was going on.”

In talking a bit more with Ima, turns out, she is truly a Loyal Reader.

“I’m 81 years old and I love my Star Beacon!” she said through a voice that belied her given age. “Every morning, me and my friends meet at McDonald’s and read our newspapers and talk about the stories that are in there every day.”

While her voice and her spirit certainly don’t agree with the age she gave, perhaps her eye sight may.

“You have such a nice picture and it’s in the newspaper every day!” she said. “Me an my friends love to read your stories.”

Thank you for making my week, Ima.

And finally...

Yes, Loyal Readers, I am aware that several well-known men who grew up or lived in Ashtabula County have played in at least one Major League Baseball game.

However, the men who were literally born within the county lines are the subjects of my series, “From AC to MLB.”

Which means such luminaries as Brian Anderson and Jim French, who have been profiled through the years on these pages — and will certainly again — won’t be part of the series.

Anderson was born April 26, 1972  in Portsmouth, Virginia.

French was born Aug.  13, 1941  in Warren.

McCormack is the sports editor of the Star Beacon. Reach him at