Bulldog seniors artwork decorates school parking lot: dates and data from Olmsted

OLMSTED FALLS, Ohio — It was a family affair as a Bulldog senior decorated his parking spot at Olmsted Falls High School.

Bulldog senior Abby Rebraca traced around a cardboard form as her father, Nicholas Hall, began painting the first flower petal light blue. A little later, Abby’s grandfather, Tom Daw, grabbed a paintbrush and brought his artistic hand to the asphalt in the parking lot.

Abby decided to paint a multi-layered flower encompassing most of her space. Why this flower?

“I found it on Pinterest and loved it,” she said.

Why was his father there?

“She asked me,” Nicholas said. “It’s a good bonding experience.”

Elena Strozewski spray paints leaves on her jungle-themed parking spot on the grounds of Olmsted Falls High School. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for cleveland.com)

Her grandfather arrived just as the father-daughter duo had just begun painting the inside of the flower.

“I brought them water and apple fritters. So I decided to help out too,” Tom said.

Abby was one of many seniors who decided to decorate their parking spot on the grounds of Olmsted Falls High School.

Only seniors who purchase a parking pass have this option. They had this weekend to do it. Some were there at 11:59 p.m. Friday, a minute before the midnight start time, waiting for those 60 seconds to expire. No need for flashlights. The large lights in the parking lot illuminated the spotlights abundantly. . . and some were prime territory.

high school taping his parking spot

Senior Bulldog Lily Schwecke saves her parking spot design before painting different colors of sunbeams. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for Cleveland.com)

Lily Schwecke was there at the opening buzzer. She chooses her parking space in the front row. His reasoning for the selection was all about the weather.

“It’s in the front row and near the door,” she said. “It will come in handy when it’s cold and I’m near the school gate.”

She started stretching duct tape over her place at midnight to get a jump on the job and basically to “claim” it.

girl painting flowers in her high school parking lot

Flowers bloom on Hailey Smith’s Olmsted Falls High parking space as she spreads the petals over the weekend, seniors can decorate their place. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for Cleveland.com)

Skylar Beesley was finishing painting a large figure of Stitch, a main character from the movie “Lilo & Stitch”. The character reminded me of a koala, which is actually an alien. He is one of Skylar’s favorite Disney characters.

She planned to paint musical notes around the character and write the quote from the movie: “Ohana means family. Family means no one is left behind or forgotten.

The eldest plays clarinet in the band and plans to study music therapy at university. She liked the action of the school in allowing this activity.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “And I love to paint.”

girl painting a parking space at school

Olmsted Falls High senior Skylar Beesley touches up her ‘Stitch’ portrait that decorates her parking space at Olmsted Falls High School. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for cleveland.com)

Josh Gonzalez had a theme song in his parking spot. He painted a large vinyl record with sprays of blue and gold – the school colors – surrounding it.

The eldest wasn’t sure about painting his spot, but when his dad offered to pay for the materials, he accepted the challenge. Josh is a member of Sanctuary, a sibling worship music ministry.

He’s not too sure about his plans after high school.

girl painting philippiines flag

Sophie Skerritt, 17, puts the finishing touches on the yellow-gold sunburst of the Philippines flag in her parking spot in the Olmsted Falls High School parking lot. The flag represents his heritage. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for cleveland.com)

“I have something bright in my future right now, music,” he said. “But that’s really where life takes me. I don’t want to rush into anything and regret not doing something that I want to do more of.

Sophie Skerritt finished her parking space early Saturday morning. She designed the flag of the Philippines.

“I’m proud of my heritage,” she says. “I plan to go to California after I graduate, where I have family and friends. There’s a big Asian community there.

The eldest said she appreciates that the school gives students this creative opportunity.

“I really liked it. You get to express yourself. It’s important,” she said.

high school senior painting vinyl record in parking lot

Music is an important part of Josh Gonzalez’s life, pictured here as he paints a vinyl record in his parking spot at Olmsted Falls High School. (Joanne Berger DuMound, special for Cleveland.com)

Parking spaces resemble a patchwork quilt with participating students lending their creative hand to the chosen spot.

School starts this week. If you have the opportunity, stop in the school parking lot and check out the drawings. It’s so special to see the parking spaces decorated. . . and maybe try to guess the old people behind this work.

See more photos of student artwork at cleveland.com/olmsted.

greek party: Last weekend, it was kids and schnitzels at a local German Sommer Oktoberfest.

This Saturday (August 27), you’ll sample gyros, baklava, and other Greek dishes at the Olmsted Falls Greek Fest from 2-10 p.m.

Admission to Greek Fest is free. Oh, and don’t forget that music, dancing and refreshments are part of the Saturday festival.

The Nafpaktian Cultural Foundation sponsors this one-day festival at its location, 7890 Brookside Drive in Olmsted Falls. The foundation participates in ethnic Greek parades, dances, parties, and other activities that promote the preservation of Greek heritage, culture, and cuisine.

Fill the truck: Bring your fabric items to the Fill the Truck event this Saturday (August 27) from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Falls Lenox Elementary School parking lot.

This is a partnership between the Olmsted Falls Music Association and Savor’s, which has existed for several years. Donated items are recycled. The association receives compensation for the total pounds of fabric collected.

There are a few requirements for donations. Items accepted include clothing and footwear; accessories such as scarves, belts, handbags, hats, book bags, fabric lunch boxes and linens, curtains, drapes, towels, bedding and fabric . Items that cannot be donated include household items, toys, books, or non-cloth items.

You can bring your items in bags or boxes or bags are available at the truck that day. Donors will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

Downtown vendors: This Sunday (August 28) is the last Vintage Marketplace in the Falls. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. in downtown Olmsted Falls.

Vendors will line up on Mill Street/Williams Way, Columbia Road, Grand Pacific Junction and Orchard Street. They will have clothing, jewelry, food, upcycled products, art, crafts, antiques and much more.

Culinary specialties are also on the daily menu.

Special thanks to Connie Stephens, owner of Second Thyme Around, who runs this annual event during the summer and other business owners who support the Vintage Marketplace.

sunday music: Sunday (August 28) is also the last concert of Music at East River Park. Hip to That will play their music from 6-8pm at the park located on Lewis Road just north of the train tracks.

Bring a chair or blanket and enjoy the music. Be sure to come hungry, too. Clementine’s and Grand Pacific Popcorn & Sweets will also be there.

Information, please: To include news, information, honors or activities in Olmsted Falls and Olmsted Township, contact Joanne DuMound at jdumound@yahoo.com. She is also on Twitter, @JoanneDuMound. The online version of the section on cleveland.com/olmsted has direct links to many news articles.

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