Nancy Holt: The Rock Lady
By: Chris Berger
You would think that if someone collected rocks as a kid, they would outgrow this hobby by adulthood. Fortunately for us, Nancy Holt has not! For those that live or frequent Cheviot, Nancy’s painting talents are behind some of the amazing rocks you’ll find throughout the city.
Nancy began collecting rocks when she was young and has continued doing so well into her adult life. She has collected a rock from almost every place she has visited on vacation.
Danielle Hart started #CheviotOHIORocks! as an initiative of the Cheviot weTHRIVE TEAM. The idea was to increase community health, build community pride, spread positivity and kindness, and engage all facets of Cheviot life in a fun and uplifting activity. Nancy’s mother suggested she get involved, recognizing her
daughter’s artistic talents.
This activity has become increasingly popular due to the pandemic as residents walk the city to briefly escape their homes in a safe manner. Children are especially excited when they find some of Nancy’s rocks. Many families make a day of walking around in hopes of finding new unique rocks to add to their collections.
The frequently visited Facebook page, CheviotOHRocks, has over 700 members and counting. Members share pictures of their artistic finds along with tips to help others get started. Nancy gets a lot of requests for “theme” rocks. “May the 4th be With You” rocks are extremely popular, and you can find these and many other themes throughout Cheviot. She says a lady even ordered some rocks from her to give to her friend’s autistic child as a gift.
Nancy gets her River Stone rocks from Home Depot, but recently there has been a shortage. However, Nancy stated that any place there is running water is a good place for finding the best rocks as the force of the water over the rocks makes them smooth. Miami Whitewater Park and East Miami River Road are some of her favorite places to find exactly the rocks she needs.
Nancy grew up in Western Hills but made Cheviot her home in 1992, near the police station. She raised her two boys here, Cody and Derek, both are in their early 20’s now.
Her family has been very active in St. Martin of Tours their entire lives. Her father was really involved in the Parish Festival. Nancy and a group of people helped run the festival operations after that. “I really miss that,” said Nancy. The festival was changed 3 years ago to a one-day event in November. Pending all unforeseen pandemic setbacks St. Martin's is hopeful the event can still take place this year.
The St. Martins Egg Hunt is another one of her projects. Nancy has been involved in the Easter Egg hunt for almost 20 years. Over the years, the hunt’s popularity has increased so much they are now hiding between 8000-10,000 eggs on the St. Martin school and church property. With the cancellation of these events due to the pandemic, Nancy just couldn’t sit by and do nothing. She wanted to do something for the kids in her community. So, she started collecting and buying eggs and little by little her stockpile amounted. Then, she stuffed the eggs and hid them throughout the city. This gave kids a chance to experience the thrill of an Easter Egg hunt during the pandemic while doing so in a safe manner. Some eggs were painted with something special on them and if a child found that egg Nancy would meet them at the Police Station and they would get a goodie bag filled with fun items. Even now, well after Easter, she continues to hide eggs so be on the lookout.
Nancy does all of this in her free time after working her full-time job as a preschool special education teacher. Nancy has been a teacher for 29 years in the Northwest School District. Please be sure to visit Cheviot,OHRocks Facebook page for pictures of all the amazing rocks that are out there. Thanks to Nancy and all of you who are painting and placing rocks around Cheviot to brighten our days!