PHOTOS BY RANDY FATH | FOR THE DGKN
Dr. Chris Chow, left, and local photographer Randy Fath, take photos Dec. 19 of a snowy scene in eastern Wayne County. (PHOTO BY CHRISTINA McCUNE | DGKN)
For the past three Christmases, my husband, Robert, who designs the front page of The Dalton Gazette & Kidron News each week, has envisioned a beautiful old-fashioned snowy scene from the Dalton/Kidron area to grace the cover of our holiday edition. Essentially, something special and unique for our loyal readers. In Robert’s mind, the perfect picture included a horse-drawn wagon coming up the snow-lined road.
He also had his heart set on a fresh photo. The front page wouldn’t be as meaningful if it were a stock image or photo from the previous winter, or even a few winters ago.
This photographical feat is easier said than done.
First, the weather has to cooperate. A beautiful old-fashioned snowy scene has to have some of the fluffy white stuff and – you know – we live in Northeast Ohio. So, snow right before Christmas is hit or miss.
Second, eastern Wayne County has numerous lovely landscape opportunities, but we needed the right background to look suitable for a vertical shot for our cover.
Third, we needed a photographer up for an adventure. The Dalton Gazette & Kidron News has been very fortunate to have several talented and generous photographers who continue to contribute to us. Kurt Immler had been telling me about local photographer Randy Fath and his work. I finally had an opportunity to meet him this year – and the wheels began to turn.
After the first snowfall in the beginning of December, I contacted Randy mainly to plant a seed. I asked him if he could keep an eye out on his travels while on assignments for his other work. I told him about the beautiful old-fashioned snowy scene my husband had his heart set on.
Randy got to work. I might’ve planted the seed, but he gave it roots and made it blossom. He did more than we could have imagined.
Thankfully, eastern Wayne County received a second helping of snow. And it stuck.
Last week, Randy began to build an image in his mind. He found the perfect backdrop off of South Mt. Eaton Road outside of Dalton. He arranged for Weaver Wagons owners Emery and Vernon Weaver to take out for a spin one of their sturdy wagons that they manufacture at 5090 S Mt. Eaton Road. Randy was eyeing a shiny red wagon for the photo. A beautiful and sturdy pair of work horses were made available to pull the wagon Saturday morning.
Next, Randy envisioned the wagon full of passengers. He worked to fill it. He recruited his daughter, Miki, a Dalton senior, and friend Molly Soehnlen, a Dalton junior, to go along for the ride. He also elicited help from Vernon Weaver and his sons, Stephen and Elijah, to help fill the wagon. Emery Weaver drove the wagon with his two young sons, Caleb, 3, and Timothy, 4, next to him.
Randy’s friend, Dr. Chris Chow, who is a local doctor who enjoys photography in his free time also came along Saturday morning to take advantage of the photo op.
After many thank yous all around, 45 minutes later I had Randy’s camera card in hand and I was heading home to my laptop to hand the reins – so to speak – over to Robert to work his front-page design magic.
We hope you enjoy the front-page photo and we have placed a few others on this page from the same photo shoot.
We wish you all a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!
— Christina McCune,