Children stared unenthusiastically at the cold porridge that Ebenezer Scrooge’s servants slopped into their bowls on the morning of December 2 in the Selover Library Community Room in Chesterville. While one small boy eagerly dug into this unappetizing offering, the others sat at their newspaper-covered tables and listened as Scrooge railed that he had fed the children as he’d promised and they should be happy. He didn’t want to waste money on feeding children breakfast. Then he fired his unhappy servants and cast gloom over the meal.
It took visits from the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come for Scrooge, played by Chesterville resident Mike Follin, to come to realize he must change and show love. He then rehired his servants, played by Selover Library staff, and called for cloth tablecloths and decorations on the tables, and then for a tastier meal. He promised that he would celebrate the love of Christmas all year long. Marc Follin arrived with her guitar and led the group in Christmas carols.
The breakfast theatre event, a collaboration of Selover Library and Chesterville Arts Series, entertained thirty people. Robin Schuricht of Buckeye Lake was the Spirit of Christmas Past, Grace Matchett of Clintonville was the Spirit of Christmas Present, and Susan Tomlinson of Johnsville was the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come. Along with Mike Follin, they are all former staff and volunteers of the Ohio History Connection.
Selover Library staff acting as Scrooge’s servants were Alan Wall as the butler and Julie Brown, Connie Henthorn, Hope Messmer, and Martha Wall as the mob-capped maids. Selover Library and Chesterville Arts Series thank the Ohio History Connection for the loan of the costumes and Patty Bennet of Arlington and a volunteer for making the aprons for the staff.
Additional thanks go to the owner of the McDonald’s at the I71/SR95 interchange, Brian Mortellaro, for donating hotcakes, syrup, and juice for breakfast and to his staff for preparing the meals. Also thanks to Dollar General in Chesterville for donating coloring books as gifts for the children.
The Breakfast with Scrooge program is a repeat of one held 25 years ago at the Chester Township Town Hall. Mike Follin revisited his role as Scrooge, Henthorn returned as a servant, and Marc Follin switched from Ghost of Christmas Past to musician. While attendees and most of the cast may have changed, the message remained the same: Money is not what is important, but love is the most important thing.