Bexley News

Bexley embracing its time in the spotlight

'Neighborhoods' episode focused on area is scheduled to air in January

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Bexley, its residents and its history are receiving the star treatment.

The city will be the subject of an episode of WOSU-TV 34's Columbus Neighborhoods series that is scheduled to air in January.

A production team from the local PBS affiliate has begun filming interviews with local figures and documenting community events, most recently the city's Fourth of July parade.

WOSU producer George Levert said Bexley's position as a community that is both suburban and close to downtown Columbus made it a perfect fit for the series.

"Bexley is a very nice community, a very clean community, a very safe community," he said. "It's kind of unique that's in the city, it's not on the outskirts."

Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler said the Columbus Neighborhoods episode is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on aspects of the community that those unfamiliar with Bexley may not be aware of.

"I hope that the series will focus on what makes Bexley truly unique," he said. "Whether it's the depth and breadth of our educational institutions, or the fantastic diversity of our religious communities, or being home to the Governor's Mansion and the OSU president's residence, or the history of Jeffrey Mansion and Park, or our dynamic Main Street corridor, or our many famous residents and their accomplishments over time."

Bexley Historical Society President Michael Kilbourne said the series' producers have sought the organization's help in gathering historical items. Kilbourne said he hopes the episode highlights the fact that Bexley is a place with many lifelong residents.

"They grow up in Bexley, they may leave for a while, and in many cases, they return," Kilbourne said. "They stay with the traditions they've known in Bexley."

In his interview for the episode, Clintonville resident Bill Cohen, a journalist and musician who grew up in Bexley, spoke about the bonds that many past and present residents share. A member Bexley High School's class of 1966, Cohen said he enjoys reminiscing when he runs into fellow alumni such as Bexley City Councilman Mark Masser.

"Everybody doesn't know everybody, but everybody knows somebody who's related to somebody they know or used to work at Rubino's Pizza or used to work at the Drexel (Theatre)," Cohen said. "There are so many connections and there's so much fun at reunions. It's always a lot of fun to share memories."

Levert said the Columbus Neighborhoods production team will be conducting research, taping interviews and filming community events through the late fall. He said there are plans to debut the episode at a local landmark such as the Drexel Theatre or another gathering place before airing it on television.

"We try to pick places that are known in the community. It's a time to thank people," he said. "We've gotten a good response from the community. There's a lot of people who know a lot of history."

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