The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper


“Crystal-clear” confidence started at a young age for Bowersox

When the Orian family from the Oak Harbor area had the opportunity to use a

When the Orian family scheduled a suite at Fifth Third
Field for the May 14 game, they had no idea they would
be hearing Crystal Bowersox sing “The National Anthem.”
Cathy Bergman, who was among those in the suite, had
taught Crystal at Rocky Ridge Elementary. (Press photo
by Harold Hamilton/

suite at Fifth Third Field May 14, they didn’t hesitate, as they were looking forward to seeing their Hens whip the Indianapolis Indians.

Boy did they get a surprise.

Normally the lopsided loss by the Hens would have been depressing to them, but not Friday night. Little did they realize when they scheduled the suite that they were going to participate in an historic evening for them and all of the Toledo area. For those who somehow missed the news coverage, Friday night was Crystal Bowersox night at Fifth Third Field.


Crystal’s appearance made the evening extra special, not only because they were fans of the American Idol contender, but also because among the family members were George Bergman, Oak Harbor High School wrestling coach and his wife Cathy, who has a special connection to Crystal – Cathy taught reading to Crystal at Rocky Ridge Elementary School.

“We were like a family,” Cathy said. She remembers Crystal as a cute, petite girl who had a very grownup attitude about life. She showed independence, not in a negative way but in a way that said, “I have the confidence to be myself,” Cathy recalled.

The school probably had about 100 or so kids in grades K-5 when Crystal went there – not large by any means. It is not a school for the gifted and talented or a prestigious private school. It’s just a good old-fashioned Midwestern country school where students learn the fundamentals, along with a quality life values like hard work, self-confidence and honesty. Everyone knows everyone.

Crystal’s tough beginnings, with her parents separated when she was 2, being raised by a single parent and then being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes while still in elementary school no doubt added to her maturity and a relaxed confidence that she shows today.

The parents, teachers and the Rocky Ridge community worked together with the children being the priority. It is a place where a little girl got encouragement to pursue her dream while remaining true to herself. These qualities are still evident in Crystal today – she hasn’t changed a bit.

Her talent level is unquestionably above her very good competitors on American Idol so let’s hope Hollywood doesn’t change her, or as some would, say let’s hope she stays “Crystal Clear” after she wins.

Editor’s note: Harold Hamilton is a freelance photographer who covers events for The Press, including Crystal Bowersox’s appearance at Fifth Third Field.




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