BELLVILLE — One member of the Bellville village council, not new to the valley, grew up here, went to school, got a job.
That job, for GM, meant for a time he lived outside this area.
Vic Swisher said he “did a lot of work to get back here.”
He’s made that known by service as council member and willingness to make other contributions to the community.
Swisher studied electronic engineering at DeVry University in Columbus, and was in the Air Force. He said he would always “come back to Whitey to get a haircut.”
Whitey is the barber on Main Street.
Swisher is making a name for himself in one more way.
He studied wine making with the operator of Stoney Ridge vineyard in Bryan. He had been transferred by GM to Defiance in 2012.
Swisher said the owner of Stoney Ridge “gave me insight” into producing wines. The ones he and his wife Cassie monitor are sold under the Wishmaker label. The equipment Swisher uses is located in the basement of The Wishmaker House, on Main Street in Bellville.
Swisher works for Gorman Rupp as a project engineer, which means he is responsible for supporting customers with engineering concerns and questions. This sometimes means altering the pumps to fit specific applications.
Swisher said moving back to Bellville “allows me to do other stuff” because he doesn’t have a long commute. For a time while he was working in Defiance Cassie moved back to Bellville and worked with her parents Brad and Karen Smith, who purchased the building that is now The Wishmaker House.
Swisher said Cassie was the “tear out trooper” while the house, a former furniture store, was being refurbished.
The Wishmaker House is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
Swisher said the wines he produces are on the sweeter side, and a moscato under the Wishmaker label was a “double gold” winner in Ohio wine judging.
He said his wine is “crisp, easy to drink” and is a “perfect wine for summertime.”
The moscato sells for $16 and others range from $10 to $18.
The Wishmaker House sells his wines plus other local brews. The Wishmaker House has a weekly dinner special, sometimes pasta or a pork tenderloin. He said there is a “decent contingent” of people who go to The Wishmaker House for a piece of cheesecake, produced by the chef whose background includes doing pastry.
Cassie takes care of giving advice on which wine is suitable with a certain food, Swisher said. She has arranged wine tastings, including one at the Lions Club.
The wine list lists a “Penitentiary Pinot Grigio,” described as a crisp, refreshing dry Pinot Grigo. The Moscato, the double gold winner, is described as a sweet white with a hint of citrus and peach.
Vic and Cassie have a son, Ryder, and another child is on the way.
When Cassie had Ryder in 2014, The Wishmaker House had just opened and their son’s birth was premature. It occurred on the day of Karen Smith’s birthday, April 2. Ryder had to be kept in the neo-intensive care unit.
Children born before 32 weeks can have problems, but that didn’t happen in Ryder’s case.
Their next child, a girl, is due at the end of April.
Swisher has been on council in Bellville for two years. He says he’s motivated because he feels there is an “opportunity to make improvements in Bellville.”
He says he’s the kind of person who believes it is “better to get things done,” not stand there and say “I would do this” or “I would do that.”
He says he thinks it’s important to “keep Bellville what’s Bellville.”
“It’s a nice community and we should do the right thing for everybody,” he said.
Swisher spends a bit of his time pursuing an advanced degree, a master’s of business administration (MBA) at Ashland University. A person who was his boss at Gorman Rupp has left, and that means Swisher has had to assume some of that person’s responsibilities.
He said he thinks getting his MBA will help him pursue more professional engineering goals.