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Published on 05/22/05 in the Fostoria Focus
John Jacobs Day is just a month away

By LEONARD SKONECKI Focus Correspondent

“I think it’s going to be a great day.”

John Jacobs is looking forward to the day planned in his honor. So are many other people.

John has lived in Fostoria his entire life, all 54 years. In that time, he’s made a lot of friends. John doesn’t go anywhere without seeing folks he knows.

All those folks know and like John. That’s why there’s going to be a special day — “John Jacobs Day,” June 25 here in Fostoria.

John Jacobs Day is the doing of Woody Bell, a former Fostoria businessman and softball enthusiast.
Woody made John’s acquaintance at Meadowlark Park back in the 1960s when he sponsored and played on the American Loan & Finance team.

Woody has since moved to Florida where he has made a fine success of Bell Corp., a subrogation company. He still loves softball and the Bell Corp. softball team he sponsors has won national championships.

Meadowlark Park is like a second home to John. He is a regular fan of the softball games there in the summertime.

Back in 1994, John told the Focus, “I go every night to the softball games. My favorite team is Roppe. I have followed them for six years. Baseball is my favorite sport. We have a nice ballpark here.”
John remembers watching Woody’s teams at Meadowlark.

In the summer of 2001, John was a loyal rooter for the Advertiser-Tribune team which had Focus writers John Montgomery and myself on the roster.

We weren’t too good, but John watched us and rooted for us. He called us the “mean, green machine” because of our green jerseys.

We lost every game but two. We weren’t very mean and we weren’t much of a machine. But John was at just about every game, full of encouragement. It was always a pleasure to see him there.

John Jacobs Day activities will include renaming Meadowlark Lane “John Jacobs Drive,” a softball game with Woody Bell’s champion Bell Corp. softball team and a home run exhibition by Woody’s Bell Corp. sluggers. (Folks, these guys are big! Several are 240 pounds plus.)

Bob Frias of WFOB and Pat Sterling of the Focus are helping organize the day. Bob played softball with Woody back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Bob met John back then, too.

“I’ve always liked John and he’s always been friendly to me,” said Bob. “It’s a pleasure to help organize this for him.”

John is a 20-year employee of Seneca Re-Ads out on 23 South. Re-Ads is part of the School of Opportunity. Back in 1997, John was operating a hand stamper, placing the Roppe logo on sample pieces. He told the Focus that he looks forward to each day on the job.

“I like my job. The job I’m on is easy to do,” he said. “In fact, they’re all easy for me to do because I do them to the best of my ability”

And ability John has. In 2002, John received the Seneca County Opportunity Center Board Recognition Award.

His award was given in “recognition of his dependability as an outstanding employee of Seneca Re-Ad Industries who has always been eager to undertake new job assignments and work cooperatively with fellow employees and staff for the past 30 years. Through his participation on the Seneca Re-Ad Industries Board of Directors and as a well-known member of the Fostoria community John has become a positive self-advocate for himself and others. Through these attributes John is an inspiration not only to his peers but to all of us as well.”

But it isn’t just a job. John likes making a contribution.

In 1996, he told the Focus, “It gives me pleasure to help people out and you get to see a lot of your old friends.”

That gets us back to John’s friends. He has a load of them and they’ll be helping him celebrate his “day” on June 25.

Everyone is invited to come out and help make it a great day.


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