Marion Moening
Marion Moening
VAN WERT – Marion Moening stood under a cool tent on the grounds of the Van Wert County Historical Society on Independence Day surrounded by one of the things she enjoys the most in life – carvings of favorite pictures she was displaying at the society during the July 4th celebration.

“This is my relaxation in life,” said Moening. “I see pictures I like and I try to put them on wood.

“I find photos and I sketch them on wood,” continued Moening. “I use a wood burning tool for burning in the picture. Then I go through it and sketch in the highlights.”

Moening, who lives just southeast of Delphos in a small rural community, has been doing the special sketching for the past four years. Within the past two years she has been bringing her sketches to shows in Van Wert.

“I love this community,” said Moening. “I keep coming here for different shows more all of the time.”

Wednesday was her first appearance on the historical grounds. She said she hopes that the July 4 appearance will become a new tradition for her.

“Last year is when I first started doing shows,” said Moening. “My first ones were in the Dayton area, then I came to the Peony Festival. That is when I decided that I wanted to come to the ‘Holiday at Home’ celebration.”

Moening said that the idea for doing the word carvings goes back to her father, who has a difficult time walking. She managed to get a cane she hoped he would use.

“I started burning things on his cane that represented some of the highlights in his life,” said Moening. “He was a medic in the Navy so I burnt the symbol for that on his cane. He is a Washington Redskin fan so I burnt that on his cane.

“In the end he has refused to use it because he didn’t want to do anything that would damage the cane and ruin my work on it,” commented Moening.

Professionally, Moening is a teacher assistant for children at the “Center for Autism and Dyslexia” in Lima. A friend recommended the job, she applied and was accepted.

“Kids are amazing when you work with them,” said Moening. “You get to see them do something new that might take months to accomplish. It can be slightest thing and it is like a light bulb coming on.”