LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST A Magazine for the Heart of Westmoreland County
Every Story Begins At Home.
Painting With Fabric
A Look inside the Studio of Latrobe Artist Melanie Kimmel
FALL 2004: Cooking • Gardening • Nostalgia • Shopping • Nutrition • Style • Faith • Children • Art • Fiction
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MOUNTAIN VIEWS Cathi Gerhard Williams
Every Story Begins At Home In 2003, I took a year off from full-time advertising and communications work and taught a three-yearold preschool class at my son’s school in Raleigh, North Carolina. Instead of worrying about budgets, client approvals, graphic formats, layouts and copy writing, I became immersed in circle time, learning projects, making paper crowns, planning cool recess games, putting together a fun newsletter and personally getting to know my classroom kids – all 12 of them. I learned a lot about their families, extended families, hobbies, interests and hometowns (because so many people move to Raleigh from somewhere else – and yes, there were many Steelers fans!). I met more people and heard more interesting stories that year than in 10 years of public relations work. The kids and their parents lit up every time they talked about “home,” which was usually some place like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, or New York. We started a website as a way to keep the kids in touch with Grandma and Grandpa ‘back home.” It was filled with pictures of the kids learning in class, climbing on the playground, and discovering new things on field trips to the pumpkin farm and fire station. The class surveyed children and adults about their favorite things . . . food, colors, stories, pets, vacations and toys. Everything in our community became a fascinating and fun story to tell. While I used my professional skills to create these projects for my preschool class, I was always thinking about my own home in Pennsylvania and how I love to hear about the people I grew up with, the new things being built . . . and especially the things that never change. The Laurel Mountain and the surrounding highlands are always there; and my children know we are “almost home” when it comes into view along Route 30 or the Pennsylvania Turnpike. When my daughter was little, we used to start singing “take
me home, country roads, to the place, where I belong . . . ” (even though we’re not talking about West Virginia). Maybe growing up on a farm in Derry Township makes me a little hokey, but it’s just a celebration of who I am and where I’m from. They say fall is the time when everyone comes home. We get in touch with our friends, visit our relatives, drive by our old high school, eat at our favorite restaurants who serve food you can’t find anywhere else, and sit and talk about what makes our lives here so great. I wanted to tell those stories. Since moving away from home, I kept in touch by reading the online versions of the Greensburg and Pittsburgh papers. But it seemed to take forever to get through the news headlines, police reports and all the sad or tragic stories they find to tell. I was looking for something brighter. I wanted to hear about what real people did every day, and know more than an obituary tells when they’re gone. I wish I knew them yesterday.
Cathi Gerhard Williams, Editor, is a 1987 graduate of Derry Area High School.
So today, in the heart of fall, you are reading a newspaper that is devoted to the people around you . . . the ones you grew up with, the ones who have moved here, and the ones you have yet to meet. While putting together this newspaper, Briana and I have talked to almost everyone we know in the area. We’ve met even more people along the way. If we haven’t yet made it to your door, call us, send an email or write a letter. Help us celebrate the heart of Westmoreland County. Tell us your story so we can share it with the community. Every story is written by a native son or daughter. Every story is about us. And every story begins at home.
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST The Laurel Mountain Post is a quarterly publication of biffBOOcommunication designed to focus on the people, places and events at the heart of Westmoreland County in western Pennsylvania. We print stories about real people and their daily lives; feature local merchants, craftsmen and professionals; present short pieces of art & literature; and never lose sight of what makes this area a great place to call home. P.O. Box 227 | Latrobe, PA 15650 | 724-331-3936 | editor@LaurelMountainPost.com
Briana Dwire Tomack, Marketing Director, is a 1988 graduate of Derry Area High School.
Cathi Gerhard Williams, Editor & Publisher Briana Dwire Tomack, Marketing Director & Business Manager CONTRIBUTORS - FALL 2004 (Volume I, Issue 1) Nicole Bongard, Jim Brewer, Daniel Chicka, Ron Durika, Carol Gerhard, Paula Forte, Ronda Goetz, Sarah Gower, Steve Leach, Susan McBroom, Bob Pazehoski, Ruth Richardson, Jo Rossi, Michelle Schultz, John Secreto, Nicole Smith, Scott Sinemus, Drew Williams Special thanks to our advertisers for supporting this community publication! Cover Art: No. 2 from the Massachusetts Series by Melanie Kimmel
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 3
COVER STORY An Interview WIth Local Artist Melanie Kimmel The Laurel Mountain Post recently visited the studio of Melanie Kimmel, a local artist who creates unique artwork from fabric. The end-result looks like a detailed painting . . . LMP: Where did you grow up?
KIMMEL: I started my fabric business as a quilter, but I wanted to get more detail in my work and found this to be very difficult to do in a quilt . . . I read about a fusible webbing process that allowed me to get the detail I wanted with the medium in which I wanted to work.
LMP: Do your tour schedule and work leave any time for hobbies? KIMMEL: I am a runner, and I love to work in my garden. LMP: Any advice for aspiring artists?
KIMMEL: I was born and raised in Somerset, PA and surrounding area and now reside in Latrobe, PA with my husband, Jim Kasperik. LMP: Where did you go to college? KIMMEL: I earned a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a Concentration in Music from Allegheny College in Meadville, PA. LMP: Did you study art in school? KIMMEL: No, I thought that I was going to be a mathematician. It wasn’t until I graduated from college that I realized my interest in fabric and art . . . so, in 1998 I created a quilting business. Since then my work has made a transition to the 2-dimensional fabric art that I now create. I am a self-taught quilter and artist. LMP: Describe the fabric art form and how you discovered it.
LMP: Tell us a little about what goes into your creative process. KIMMEL: My subject matter for my artwork stems from photographs I have taken of life’s natural beauties . . . flower gardens, trees, furry friends, people . . . whatever catches my eye. My process is similar to painting with a fabriconly palette (no paint is used in my entire process). My artwork is a layered composition of small fabric segments that are cut individually, arranged and web fused to a background fabric. I also create my own frames for my artwork – working the wood from rough-cut to the finished product. My artistic preference is a rustic appearance so any imperfections found in the wood – bark, knots, cracks – become part of the frame design and make each frame unique. I love being able to offer work that is solely my own . . .
KIMMEL: Have a lot of confidence and a great support team . . . the business isn’t easy . . . but the work you get to create as an artist is extremely gratifying . . . and the artists you will meet along the way are truly amazing . . . LMP: We ask everybody this question. What’s your favorite spot in the Laurel Highlands? KIMMEL: My favorite thing about the Laurel Highlands is this time of year . . . in the fall . . . when the leaves are all turning color. I do a lot of traveling along Route 30 and the trees make an amazing display! The Laurel Mountains in the fall are breathtaking and hopefully will inspire Melanie for many seasons to come. Her art is unique and truly a product of “home.” To see her work in person, please check out the schedule to the right. We’re sure that you, too, will be inspired.
LMP: How long does it take you to complete an entire picture? KIMMEL: Weeks go into each piece . . . some months. It really depends on the size and detail. LMP: Your website includes a gallery of your work as well as information regarding the purchase of orginals and something called a “Giclee” print. Can you explain how that print differs from what many people think of as a traditional printmaking process? KIMMEL: I make a limited edition Giclee print of my original fabric art. A giclee print is produced from a high resolution digital scan of the original piece of artwork which is then output by a high quality inkjet printer. I make each giclee print personally using archival inks on archival papers. LMP: Do you have a store or other outlet for selling your prints? Kimmel creates her artwork by assembling tiny fabric pieces that have been backed with a fusable web material, and then ironing them into place on the fabric canvas. 4 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
KIMMEL: I sell my work at art shows traveling most of the summer and fall all over the Eastern United States. This year I am attending 17 shows. My show schedule can always be found on my website.
No. 5 from the Farm Series by Melanie Kimmel.
No. 4 from the Farm Series by Melanie Kimmel.
No. 1 from the Massachesetts Series by Melanie Kimmel.
CONTACT THE ARTIST •
SEE HER WORK ON TOUR •
October 2-3, 9-10 Bedford Fall Foliage – Bedford, PA
October 16, 17 Stockley Gardens Fall Art Festival – Norfolk, VA
November 9 - December 22 Gallery Show, Starkweather Art and Cultural Center Romeo, MI
November 11 - 13 Arts in the Autumn Gallery Show North Hills of Pittsburgh, PA
Melanie Kimmel at home in her Latrobe garden. LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 5
Mum’s The Word by Briana Tomack Fall. It’s my favorite time of year. You can smell it in the crispness of the morning. You can see it in the clear, sunny, brightness of a perfect October afternoon. You can feel it in the cool chill of the evening, so perfect for toasting marshmallows over a bonfire on sticks retrieved from the nearby woods. So, why else do I love fall? I love pumpkins, and scarecrows, and Halloween, and Indian corn. I love sweater weather, and football games, and hot dogs, and hot chocolate. But, most of all, I love the traditional fall flower: The Mum. Chrysanthemum, to be precise. Not that I am a master gardener, or even close. But, I love the versatility, the hardiness of the mum that even I — green-thumbless — can grow. I remember as a kid starting to see mums this time of year, heralding the fall; and time to go back to school. As an adult, I learned to love these flowers for their range of beautiful colors. Mums come in colors from white, to bright yellows and oranges, to pink and purple. I have some of each. They are easy to plant, and usually bloom twice every year, with little maintenance. Left alone, they will bloom from 13 feet tall and wider every year. A big rain will make them droop in all directions. Of course, you can cut them to bring inside for a special table arrangement, or to fill an everyday vase. They can also be divided, to share with a friend or neighbor, or just to increase the size of your own collection. To do this, just dig a hole around and under the base of the plant. Divide the plant at the roots, using large garden shears to cut the roots. Then, plant the divided plants in separate pots or new holes, leaving lots of room for growth. Cover with some fertilized topsoil and water well. Speaking of pots, I am a big fan of container gardening. It is a lot easier than digging holes in the ground (at least in my backyard), and you can use anything that has drainage holes as a pot. You can be as creative as you like. Additionally, plants are easy to re-arrange for a different look, or if things grow taller than expected. This also makes it convenient to bring less hardy souls inside during the winter, so they can grace your garden once again in the spring. Fall is also the time to get your spring bulbs in the ground. If you like bright colors in the spring, bulb planting in the fall will bring you just the pickme-up you need after a long winter of white landscape. I recommend a variety of tulips, daffodils, lilies, crocuses and hyacinths for color variety and long blooming. You will get an early start with some crocuses and have something in bloom all through the early spring until Easter. Your hard work this fall will pay off, and, as is the beauty of planting perennials, you only have to do it once!
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DERRY REMEMBRANCES Ruth Richardson
A Look Back at the Gem Theater As I look at the controversy about movies during the last year (Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 911 come to mind), I long for the days when the controversy rating of any movie was found in the Catholic Accent. While not a Catholic myself, my best friend Kathy Maus was. Every Friday she and I would scan the Latrobe Bulletin for what was playing at Derry’s Gem Theater and Mrs. Maus would scan the Catholic Accent for the movie ratings. My mom always deferred to Mrs. Maus’ judgment in movie choice since the EUB church in West Derry didn’t have a movie ratings system. To the best of my recollection, the Gem never showed a movie in the “Morally Objectionable For All” category, let alone the “CONDEMNED” one. The one scandalous movie my friends and I had heard about was “Blue Denim.” I think someone read about it in Modern Screen magazine. It starred Carol Lynley and Brandon De Wilde who got into some sort of mysterious and horrible trouble. We never really knew what it was, and we would certainly never find out at our local movie house. Fred Piper was very careful about what was shown on his screen and what went on in his theater. And he would personally reprimand you, by name, out loud, during the movie, for acting in an inappropriate fashion.
the theater. This setting was the ‘first date’ destination for many a Derry teen. First loves were discovered here and first kisses, too.
“I long for the simplicity,
I remember descending the steps to the ladies room. Red naugahyde seating and a big mirror greeted you in the ‘powder’ room. The walls were adorned with posters advertising the coming attractions. What I would give for a few of those posters today. Eileen and Nancy, did your dad let you keep any? At the top of the steps, beside the boys room door, was the little white porcelain drinking fountain. This is where I would quench my thirst since I had spent all remaining money on candy. If you remembered ahead of time, you could buy a bottle of Coke or Yoo-hoo from Sophie Vitale’s store, just down the street on First Avenue and sneak it in under your coat. What a lovely sound the bottle would make after you emptied it and rolled it down the slanted concrete floor toward the screen. The bonus was, no one could tell who sent it rolling, so your risk of getting caught was quite small. In addition, the loss of the 2 cent deposit was a small price to pay for the amusement of your peers. We also learned very early on to never touch the bottom of the seats. The amount of gum aging there could have paved South Chestnut Street clear to the tracks.
Saturday afternoon was the best. 25 cents bought you the camaraderie, and the fifty-two cartoons in a row. Since the T.V. cartoons ended I long for the simplicity, the camaraderie, and the simple at noon, and no one I knew was allowed to sit in front of pleasures of a 50’s childhood. Derry was much like the ficsimple pleasures of a 50’s the television all afternoon, anyway, this was the place to tional Mayberry, and all of us who gathered there, in that childhood.” be. When you added in Dots, Junior Mints and Juju wonderful dark old theater, on an autumn Saturday afterBeads, and those warm cardboard boxes of freshly popped noon will smile as we recall those wonderfully innocent days. corn, it was a blissful way to spend a Saturday. If the candy boxes were flattened they made perfect projectiles to spin toward the The Gem Theater, at least the one I remember so fondly, has long since screen, an act that would command the wrath of Mr. Piper and assure that gone the way of most small town theaters, replaced by the multi-plex at the you would be removed from the premises. I can still see him standing at the mall. Although the old yellow brick building still stands, with the GEM back of the theater in a suit, tie, and freshly starched shirt with his arms trademark securely in place on its facade, the projector flickers no more. crossed. He would scan his adolesNo smell of fresh popcorn wafts cent audience for the errant little through the air, and the whispers trouble-makers, flashlight in hand and giggles of my friends echo only in case he didn’t recognize you and in my thoughts. Mr. Piper lives on had to shine it in your face for idenin our memories, along with those tification. And woe the precocious sweet, sweet moments of youth that 12-year-old in the back row I would love to travel back to and who tried to steal a kiss in the dark. experience . . . for just one more That light could forever scar a young afternoon. man who dared to make such a bold move, not to mention the humiliaDo you remember the movies playtion of the rounds of giggles from the ing at the Gem Theater in October small faces staring back over the of 1958? seats as they witnessed his embarRuth (Parrish) Richardson has been a Derry rassment. Friday and Saturday resident her entire life and is a graduate of nights were much more appropriate Derry Area High School. Passionate about for this sort of thing. That was when maintaining the values and traditions of the balcony was open. Once you small town America, she has been an active voice in Derry, including Derry Board of bought your tickets at the box office Recreation (DAPP), and the PAL program you had to go back outside to the The Gem Theater circa 1946. Photo courtesy of Eileen Piper Richards and within Derry school system.Write to Ruth at staircase leading to the balcony, Nancy Piper Gibb, daughters of Gem Theater owner Fred Piper. ruthelaine@LaurelMountainPost.com. since there was no access from inside LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 7
FOCUS ON CHILDREN Nicole V. Smith, M.S.W. 0-6 months • coos, laughs • turns toward sounds/voices • holds rattle • rolls over • blows bubbles 6-12 months • imitates sounds, “babbles” • first words, mama & dada • sits, crawls • waves bye-bye • reaches for objects • transfers objects from hand to hand 12-18 months • points to an object • walks alone • finger feeds • vocabulary of 5-15 words • understands and responds to simple instructions • holds crayons and scribbles 18-24 months • places shapes in a puzzle • turns pages of a book • walks backwards • names pictures, refers to self by name • uses spoon and fork, drinks from cup 24-30 months • runs, throws ball overhand • imitates drawing • follows 2-step directions • walks up and down stairs holding rail • uses “my” or “mine” for posession • combines 2 words, vocubulary of 50 words 30-36 months • understands in, on, under, big, small • asks “what” and “where” questions • pedals a tricycle, kicks a ball forward • tries to button/unbutton large buttons • pretend play, imagination emerges • takes coat off
Looking for Milestones in Children’s Development “Children are our most valuable resource.” –Herbert Hoover As a parent, children bring you profound joy and love. You watch them with awe as they discover and learn about the world and their environment. As they grow, you may also begin to worry about their development. She may appear to fall behind other children or seem to take longer than you might expect to reach a certain developmental milestone. Each child is unique and will develop skills at different rates. For example, one child may focus on motor development – walking, climbing and running, and not have time to concentrate on his speech. Another child may have early language skills, but may walk later than his peers. The list at left is not an extensive chart or exhaustive list, but a sample of milestones that will provide you with a guide for “typical” development. Doctors, teachers, and therapists look at five areas of development: Physical – fine and gross motor skills, Language – receptive (understanding) and expressive (verbal) speech, Cognitive (thinking/learning), Social/ Emotional, and Self-Help. Each skill is given within a range of time, and normal development should occur within those months. Please remember that children develop the skills at their own pace. More developmental information can be obtained through a National Organization called Zero to Three. Their website is zerotothree.org and they may be reached at 202-638-1144. If you have a question about your child’s development or feel there is a delay, discuss your concerns with his pediatrician or medical doctor. You know your child and are his best advocate! Your pediatrician may refer your child for a hearing test or seek an evaluation from a specialist. A free developmental screening/assessment is provided through Early Intervention. In Westmoreland County, this program is available by contacting 724837-1808 (children birth through age three) and 724-836-2460 (children ages 3-5). By identifying a delay early in a child’s life, birth to three years of age are critical in child development, a child may receive the help she needs to reach his or her full potential and may prevent problems later in age. Early Intervention services also provide support and assistance to the parents and families by teaching them activities to enhance their child’s development. If your child is diagnosed with a developmental delay/disorder, the following resources may be helpful: Special Kids Network and Parent to Parent, 1-800-986-4550/parenttoparent.org; Parent Education Network, 1-8005522-5827/parentednet.org; Exceptional Parent Magazine, eparent.com. In the next issue, I will provide activities to encourage a child’s growth. Until then, enjoy your children each day, the years go by so quickly! Give them a hug!!
Nicole Smith and son, Austin.
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Nicole is a 1988 Derry Area High School graduate. She attended the Uiversity of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1992 w/ a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She received her Master of Social Work degree in 1997 from Temple University. She has worked in the following areas: Early Intervention (developmental disabilities), Adolescent Mental Health, Hospice, and Youth Work (England). Currently, Nicole is taking a break from her career as a Licensed Social Worker to be a full-time mom to her two boys, ages 4 and 18 months.
Melanie Kimmel www.melaniesfabricart.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
THE CORNER STORY Drew Williams
“Treat Or Trick” from the forthcoming novel Goodbye, Waverley My mother loved Halloween and took it as a point of pride never to let any store-bought costumes into the house. She hated the kind that came in those boxes with the transparent tops so that the plastic masks appeared in the lids like little, trapped faces. My mother hated the way those costumes were stitched together and smelled like wiffle balls. It also ticked her off that, for all the claims of being flame retardant, if one of those costumes caught on fire, the kid wearing it would be crisp in about 6 seconds. It was common knowledge that my mother was a Halloween purist, and every year she would make my costume by hand. We had a simple routine in our house. She would ask me what I wanted to be, and I would give her some lame suggestion. “A Pirate,” I’d say, or “A Hobo.” She would smile and pat me on the head and completely ignore my suggestions as she promised to make me the best costume ever. And on Halloween day, she would unveil my costume. And to her credit, it never disappointed. One year I went as The Spirit of St. Louis. Not Charles Lindbergh, that would have been too easy. No, my mother turned me into a four and a half foot replica of the plane that made the first transatlantic flight. The last costume she made for me marked the last time I went trick-or-treating. I was about to turn 13, and Halloween didn’t seem as cool to me as it had before. However, I was still young enough to appreciate a pillowcase full of free peanut butter cups and chocolate bars, so despite my adolescent misgivings, I told my mother that I had planned on trick-or-treating and that I needed to go to the store and pick up a costume. “Fat chance,” she had said, grabbing my cheeks and kissing me on the forehead. I think my mother was worried that year that I might have outgrown Halloween. “I’m making your costume, and it’s going to be great.” Of course it was going to be great. Her costumes were always great. After dinner two weeks before Halloween my mother announced that she was going to go down into the basement and “start costuming.” My father and I exchanged knowing glances over our Salisbury steak; for the next week the basement was strictly off limits. When I was in the third grade my father accidently went into the basement the day before Halloween to get a screwdriver and interrupted my mother as she was putting the finishing touches on the four foot replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa that I would be wearing the next evening. I don’t know the exact
specifics of what occurred between them in the basement, but I knew that my old man didn’t get out of the doghouse until Christmas morning when he gave my mother a diamond necklace she had been eyeing for months. Just by good luck, Halloween came on a Saturday night that year which meant I would be allowed to stay out later than my usual nine o’clock curfew. To a boy on the cusp of becoming a teenager, when driver’s licenses and the first broken heart are still beyond the horizon, there’s something magical about being allowed to roam the neighborhood long after the street lights have come on. It was nothing short of an adventure. After dinner on Halloween night I went and sat on the front porch as my mother descended into the basement to put the finishing touches on my costume. It was a perfect autumn evening. Indian summer had ended a few weeks earlier and the trees along the ridge of the Laurel Mountains had already turned their most vibrant shades of red and orange. It was that point of the season when the leaves were at their most colorful, right before they began to fall and the winds became too chilled for front porch sitting. I don’t know how long I sat there staring at the ridge, but I knew, even at the age of twelve, that there weren’t going to be too many views that I was ever going to have that would match this one. Shortly before sundown, my mother fetched me from the porch and told me to go into the living room, the costume was ready. My father was already there, and we could tell by the way she was fidgeting, my mother was especially proud of this creation. As I came to my father’s side, she told me to close my eyes. I did, putting my palm over my face. I heard her giggling and the closet door opening. Then came the sound of my father gasping and my mother saying, “Open your eyes.” It took me a second to comprehend what I was looking at. Then, like my father, I gasped. “It’s a Halloween bag,” my mother said proudly, holding it forward for my inspection. I have to admit, she had certainly outdone herself. The costume stood about three feet wide and slightly taller, framed from coat hangers and balsa wood. An old sheet she had dyed orange was flawlessly stitched across the corners and up and down the sides so that not even the slightest crease was visible. Stapled to the top of the sheet were dozens of empty bags of Hershey miniatures and Snickers bars giving it the effect that
it was overflowing with treats. Covering the sheet were little cut out jack-o-lanterns and witches with the finishing touch being two black handles jutting from the top made from a remains of an old hula hoop she had salvaged. “Wow,” my father said, his voice a mixture of admiration and shock. “Well,” my mother said, looking at me. “What do you think?” I thought it was amazing, a work of art. Except for what was written on the front. “It says ‘Treat or Trick’,” I blurted. I glanced toward my father whose expression told me I was on my own. “Treat or Trick?” “So,” my mother replied. “What’s wrong with that?” I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She was actually asking me what was wrong with Treat or Trick. “It’s supposed to be Trick or Treat,” I nearly shouted. “Everyone knows that.” I poked my finger into the orange sheet. “Trick or Treat, Trick or Treat.” My mother shook her head. “Well, I’ve been thinking about that. Everyone says Trick or Treat, but that really doesn’t make sense, does it?” I wanted to tell her that she was the one not making sense, but my father would have probably stuffed me head first into the Treat or Trick bag if I smart mouthed my mother. “What people should say,” she continued. “Is Treat or Trick, as in, ‘Give me a treat, or I will do a trick on you’.” My mother clapped her hands and smiled. “That makes so much more sense than Trick or Treat. Don’t you think?” Obviously she wasn’t picking up on the look of horror on my face. “I think it’s a winner,” my father said, wrapping his arm around her shoulder and kissing her on the cheek. “Right, Keith?” He gave me a look that conveyed a simple yet important message; your mother worked hard on this costume, so don’t you upset her. I tried to convey an equally powerful message to my father. I’m going to look like an idiot! But in the end I just smiled and nodded. “It’s great,” I managed to say. “Just great.” I walked over to my mother and gave her a hug. “Thanks, mom.” My mother squeezed me, and I could smell the Prell shampoo in her hair. “I’m glad you like it.” As she helped me into the Treat or Trick bag I wondered what kind of excuse I could come up Treat or Trick continued on Page 25 LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 9
THE LIGONIER CHEF Scott Sinemus
The Comfort of Slow-Cooked Beef Stew Once again fall is here… not that we’ve had much of a summer! With the shorter days & chilly nights just around the corner I offer you comfort… comfort food that is! One of the reasons I like fall & winter so much has to be the slow cooked, lovingly prepared meals, that perfumed the house for hours with their aroma, and always seemed to be waiting for us when we came in from sled riding or playing in the snow as kids.
BEEF STEW 2 pounds beef chuck ~ cut into 1 ½” pieces, trim excess fat & sinew ½ pound thick sliced bacon~ cut into ¼” pieces ½ pound lean salt pork, or more bacon ~ also cut into ¼” pieces 2 carrots~ ½” thick slices, cut on bias (slight angle) 2 sweet onions~ cut into 1” squares 1 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded ~ cut into 1”cubes ½ pound mushrooms~ halved (quartered if raw) 1 cup pitted, Nicoise Olives 1 quart beef stock (approx) ~ enough to cover Roasted Garlic oil for sautéing
FOR THE MARINATE: 2 cups hearty red wine 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped Pared zest of 1 orange 2 bay leaves (1 if fresh bay leaves) 3-4 sprigs of rosemary 3-4 sprigs of thyme 3-4 sprigs of parsley 10 peppercorns 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil FOR THE BEURRE MANIER:
I should mention I have a new love in my kitchen as well . . . my new crock-pot! If you’re laughing, you’ve probably forgotten how tedious they used to be, all one unit practically impossible to clean, scorched bottoms and burnt flavors, not to mention the avocado green color with mushroom & vegetable prints on the side, Horrors!! The crock-pots of late have removable, glazed inserts that don’t even look at all out of place on the table to serve from. They’re very inexpensive, heat quickly & evenly and fit nicely in the dishwasher.
GET TING ST ARTED: GETTING STARTED:
Another, and quite possibly the best, perk of all… once you get everything in it to simmer, and clean up your work area, you’re pretty much finished with clean up for dinner. Other than the crumbs from slicing the fresh & crusty baked bread; which seems to lend its self to anything that comes from a crock pot.
Place the ¼” pieces of salt pork in a small saucepan, cover with cool water, bring to a boil, drain and repeat, adding the bacon pieces only during the second boil. This helps to remove some excess salt. If using low sodium bacon, or all bacon and no salt pork this step can be omitted. Cool completely before adding to the marinate.
Or perhaps the truly best part, “planned-overs”! When making stew, fricassee, chili, tomato sauce, soup, etc., don’t be afraid to fill your crock-pot. Packaging up the leftovers in single serving freezer bags or freezer-to-oven proof containers takes so little time.And keeping them on hand for the occasions when you don’t have the time to cook is the ultimate reward. At a fraction of the cost of prepared frozen entrees, it’s great for the budget, and with only the salt or preservatives that you add, considerably healthier as well. So what are you waiting for? Run…to but not in the kitchen and comfort yourself! Scott Sinemus is a Chef with a degree in Culinary Arts from the Pennsylvania Institute for Culinary Arts in Pittsburgh. He’s continued his education with classes from the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone; and has travelled internationally in search of authentic cuisine. For more information on scheduling a private cooking class for yourself or a group, visit his website at www.The LigonierChef.com.
5 Tablespoons of butter melted 5 Tablespoons of all purpose flour ~ mixed with butter
Combine all the marinating ingredients in a nonmetallic bowl, add beef cubes cooled salt pork & bacon, and keep refrigerated for 1 to 2 days, stirring a few times each day.
TO BEGIN COOKING THE STEW STEW:: Strain the liquid from the meat completely reserve liquid. Place a linen kitchen towel on a cookie sheet, dump meat on towel, and use another towel to pat dry. Pick out the parsley, thyme, rosemary & peppercorns, and wrap them with a piece of cheesecloth for adding back to the stew later. Heat cast iron skillet to medium-high heat, add enough roasted garlic oil to lightly coat bottom of skillet. Add only enough beef cubes so that they are not touching one another. DO NOT STIR OR MOVE THE PIECES UNTIL YOU SEE THE SIDES BEGIN TO TURN GREY. Using a spatula, turn pieces over, allowing them to brown on the other side, then stir, cooking just until you see no more red on the outside of the cubes, add to crock pot. If there is an excess of “fond” (the delicious brown stuff stuck to the bottom of the skillet) deglaze the skillet with some of the marinate, scraping the skillet with the spatula, then add that to the crock pot. Continue searing meat until it’s all been browned, deglazing as necessary. If you should run out of marinate, begin using beef stock to deglaze. Then brown the onions, add to crock pot, brown the carrots add to crock pot, and then brown the mushrooms and add them to the crock pot; deglazing between each vegetable. At this time add any left over marinate & beef stock, the tomatoes and the cheesecloth of herbs to the crock pot. Cover with beef stock, and fold all the ingredients together. Bring to simmer, stirring occasionally; cook for 3 ½ - 4½ hrs until beef is tender. Ladle out as much of the liquid as you can into a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan; bring to a low boil on the stove, whisk in the beurre manier, add the pitted olives reduce heat to simmer, stirring often for 5 min, return thickened juice & olives to the crock pot and fold until completely combined. Serve in warmed bowls with home made bread, enjoy!!! This (as are most recipes) is a springboard . . . try adding small new potatoes, other additional vegetables, dried legumes, use ham instead of bacon, etc. The only limit is your imagination!
10 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Safety Tips for Bunk Beds by Kids Korner Furniture are child safe and hand crafted! If a nursery is in your plans, we have the famous 3 in 1 Convertible Cribs that go from a Crib to a Toddler Bed to a Full sized Bed!
When decorating your child‘s bedroom, Kids Korner Furniture offers everything you need to design the room that you and your child want! Bunk Beds, Storage Beds and the ever popular L-shape Loft Beds are just some of the choices we offer in Youth Furniture. And all beds are approved by the U.S. Government standards for safety. We also offer solid wood toy chests that
They are located just off Route 30 East in Greensburg directly across from Honda Village and behind Peaches N‘ Cream Ice Cream stand. Hours are Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11-7, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11-5, and Saturday from 10-8. Please feel free to stop in and look around . . . you‘ll be glad you did!
Route 30 East Latrobe 724-520-1210
Kids Korner Manager John Secreto has made sure that he has the latest styles and trends available and is here to help you with your needs. Kids Korner offers lines such as BarnDoor, Bassett, ChildCraft, Simmons, E.G., P.J. Kids, Lea and many others!
READER RECIPE Pumpkin Tea Bread
1/4 cup OJ concentrate 1 tsp. grated orange rind 2 1/2 cups pumpkin puree 3 1/2 cups flour 1/2 tsp. salt
109 S Market Street in Ligonier 724-238-9611 Children’s Books • Educational Kits & Toys Herbal Teas • Local Honey • Homemade Jams Handcrafted Jewelry • Natural Lotions & Soaps • Many Items from Local Vendors• A Bit of Ligonier Country Market Year Round Stop in and check out “a few of our favorite things”
submitted by Ronda Goetz of Rose Style Shoppe
cup brown sugar 1/2 cups sugar cup vegetable oil eggs
BUY ONE SANDWICH AT REG PRICE, GET SECOND SANDWICH AT HALF OFF (Equal or Lesser Value, One Per Person) Valid Until November 30, 2004
When purchasing mattresses for your bunk bed, be sure not to buy a mattress over 7 to 7.5 inches in thickness. Putting a mattress that is too thick on the top of the bunk bed could defeat the purpose of the guard rails and the child could roll out over the top of the rail. Putting too thick a mattress on the bottom bed of the bunk bed will take away head room and crowd the child for comfort. And always be sure to use bunkie boards under the mattresses when slatrolls are not provided with the bunk bed!
1 1 1 4
THE HOLLOW TAVERN
Tues. 10-3, Wed -Sat. 10-5
2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. nutmeg 1/2 tsp. cloves 1/2 cup raisins
Preheat oven to 350o. Beat together sugars and oil. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add orange juice concentrate, orange rind and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir into pumpkin mixture until blended. Add raisins. Pour batter into 2 well-greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until tests done. This bread freezes well. Yield: 2 loaves.
5556 Route 982 (Across from Derry Middle School)
(724) 694-6200 LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 11
HOW TO EAT Jim Brewer, RD, LDN, CNSD, CNIS
Take Simple Steps to Change Your Eating Habits and Meet Your Weight Loss Goals As a single 22-year-old in college, I became tired of eating hot dogs and macaroni and cheese seven nights a week. Not long after that I discovered when I ate smarter (more veggies, less fatty foods) I could accomplish more of my goals as an athlete. My interest in nutrition definitely came from the realization that when I consciously attempted to eat better, my performance improved dramatically. But that is all water under the bridge. I’m older now and certainly not the athlete I used to be. These days I just want to keep off unnecessary weight and, more importantly, I want to feel good. You might say eating is necessary for life, like breathing, but there is one defining difference. You don’t decide to breath, you just do it. But you do decide when and what it is you put into your mouth. Eating is a habit and, like any habit, it can be a good one or a bad one. A pound of bacon every morning wouldn’t be considered a good habit, but eating 2 slices of bacon only one or two times a week may be considered a good habit. The great thing about habits is they are something we choose to do. It’s easy to choose to keep our habits. A much more difficult choice is to change one. Of course the latter is difficult, almost requiring the strength of the ages to accomplish. And many believe some personal pain and suffering is required as well. I’m here to tell you that changing a habit, especially a habit of eating, is not as difficult as many of those diet books may lead you to believe. Being habitual creatures most of us have about 15 – 20 different meals that we rotate over a two week time period. Many of us even have fish every Friday. This is not a negative thing, but actually a good thing. Why? Because if you already have a set pattern of eating, there are only two main things you may need to change. 1.) You may need to change the method of cooking (i.e broiling or baking rather than frying). 2.) You may need to have this particular meal less often than you currently do. (i.e. once per week rather than three to four times per week). The goal is to have more of those meals that we eat be healthier than those that are not. Basically, if you’re in the habit of eating fried foods four times per week, all you have to do is replace one or two of these fried meals with a healthier choice like grilled, baked or broiled. This may not seem like a diet, because it’s not. It’s eating the way you like, but making small changes over time towards a healthier habit of 12 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
eating. It’s these small changes that will benefit you the most. You may be able to lose weight, improve your cholesterol or meet other goals on a very restrictive diet. But, if it’s uncomfortable or painful to follow, most likely the benefits will be temporary and eventually you’ll be back where you started, or worse. A diet is mostly a drastic change from your usual way of eating. Definitely something that nor-
and activity levels; therefore there are limited ways to tell you exactly how much you should eat, but they are rather inconvenient and possibly expensive. Of course we could estimate, but again we get into numbers and most of us don’t like numbers that much. So, here’s what I suggest (Yes this will take a little effort on your part). You have to figure out how much you eat now in order to establish what you are supposed to be eating. So, get your pen and paper and start writing down everything you eat for at least three days “I’m sure you all know that in a row. Write what it is you ate, person who appears to eat and about how much. Some of us will be a little more “obsessive comanything, and as much as they pulsive” about this than others. If you’re one of those you can also want and never gain weight, and write down about how many calonever have any health problems. ries each of the items you ate are worth, that’s great; but this is not I can’t stand them either.” necessary. The important thing is that you start paying attention to the volume of foods that you take in. You’ll be amazed at how much you actually mal people can only sustain for a short time. So have been eating without realizing it. keeping your normal eating pattern, with just a few small changes over time, can help you lose the We all know that we should be eating more fruits weight, lower that pesky cholesterol, and most imand vegetables, and less fried foods and fatty portantly feel better for the long term. meats. So, as you start looking back at the foods you’ve eaten you’ll be able to see where you need As a nutrition professional I am asked many questo improve. Ideally, you need to decrease the portions about diet and foods. The most popular tions of foods by approximately 25% to lose about questions are usually about some new diet fad or 1 – 2 pounds of weight per week. Ignore the vegdiet book that just came out. By far most quesetables, (eat as many of these as you want and tions are about losing weight. Unfortunately, there focus on the higher calorie foods like fried foods, is no panacea, no “magic pill” to make the probcasseroles, fatty meats like hamburger, and fatty lem go away. There is no perfect way to eat. Face dairy foods like cheese). Decreasing the portions it, we are individuals, and we all react to eating of these foods can guarantee the weight loss you’re in different ways than those around us. I’m sure looking for. Notice I never said to stop eating the you all know that person who appears to eat anyfoods you eat now. So, you’ll never feel you are thing, and as much as they want and never gain being denied anything and the weight will come weight, and never have any health problems. I off without suffering. can’t stand them either. So, without much fanfare I’m going to tell you what you probably already know. It’s not as much what you eat that decides what you will weigh, but how much. Or, it’s not how many calories you eat, but how many calories you burn. The bad news is that it’s a math problem. Eat less than you actually use for energy and guess what, you lose weight. So, you might say “ How much am I supposed to eat to lose weight”? Well, I could do all the calculations and give you a number, but for most people this is about as helpful as fighting a fire with a photograph of water. If you don’t comprehend what it represents, it’s not going to be of much use. So, a better way to explain it is like this. Everyone has different metabolisms
Of course I’ve simplified these weight loss principals greatly for this article. In summary, avoid the fads and the punishing diet regimes. Pay attention to what you put in your mouth. Write it down. If you are serious about losing weight you’ll contact your doctor and request a consult with a Registered Dietitian for a complete weight loss counseling session. Take your food lists with you and get an in-depth analysis and guidance as to what you can do to improve in your diet. Jim is a1983 graduate of Derry Area High School with 10 years experience in nutrition. He has a BS in Clinical Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh and currently practices as a clinical nutritionist. His specialties include physical nutrition assessment, nutrition support and renal nutrition .
Route 30 East Latrobe, PA 15650
724-537-9700 “You’re Going To Like The Way We Do Business”
QUESTION: “I heard you can lose weight just by taking calcium. How much do I need?”
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ANSWER: There are several studies out there that discuss this theory in some detail. They discovered that Calcium is an important component of the energy production process. When adequate calcium is present in cells, the body will preferentially choose to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrate or protein. Basically the claim is that calcium will allow you to burn the fat preferentially from those problem areas, hip and thighs for women and the mid section for men is partially true. The results of these studies seem to show that there is some relationship between amount of calcium rich foods you consume in your diet and an ability to maintain a healthy weight and also an increased loss of weight when calcium foods are combined with a calorie restricted eating pattern. Remember it’s a math problem. You still have to eat less. There were also two studies that attempted to find similar results using Calcium supplements but could not show the same positive results. Therefore it is recommended that when restricting calories for weight loss, include adequate servings of high calcium containing foods, like low calorie dairy products, soy foods, dark green vegetables, salmon, and even sardines to get your calcium. Consult with your doctor prior to taking calcium supplements due to some side effects with medications, and possible complications with certain medical conditions.
2510 Ligonier St, Latrobe PA 15650 • Phone: 724-537-2375 • Fax: 724-532-2623
Have a nutrition question for Jim? Email it to us at: editor@LaurelMountainPost.com or send it to the Laurel Mountain Post at P.O. Box 227, Latrobe, PA 15650.
Read the POST on the web! The complete Fall 2004 edition of the Laurel Mountain Post is available online in both PDF and HTML formats. www.LaurelMountainPost.com LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 13
OCTOBER 2004 COMMUNITY EVENTSCALENDAR
“Relationships Built on Trust” Cheryl Krisfalusi 200 Weldon Street 724.539.2553
Dolan Vogle Route 30 East 724.539.8501
DABLOCK’S BEAUTY SHOP 143 E. 1st Avenue Derry, PA 15627 Phone: (412) 694-8400 Lorie & Dennis Dablock
RR #12 Box 77, Route 30 East Greensburg, PA 15601 Phone: 724-834-7800 3 Levels of Tanning Beds • Open 7 AM
Student Rate: 10 sessions for $25 expires November 15, 2004
RR #12 Box 77, Route 30 East Greensburg, PA 15601 Phone: 724-834-7800 3 Levels of Tanning Beds • Open 7 AM
Student Rate: 1 month unlimited tanning $35 expires November 15, 2004
14 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
Thru Oct 30
Gerry Dinnen Gallery Show Mustard Seed Gallery, Greensburg; 724-834-0900
Autumnfest Seven Springs Resort, Champion; weekends; 814-352-7713; www.7springs.com
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum Greensburg Garden & Civic Theater; 8pm, (2pm on Sunday); 724-836-PLAY
Misery Apple Hill Playhouse, Delmont; 8pm, (2pm on Sunday); 724-468-5050
Oct 8-Nov 10
Autumn Art Show Greensburg Art Club; 724-837-6791
Fort Ligonier Days Ligonier; 724-238-4200; http://www.ligonier.com/fld.html
Englebert Humperdink The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 7pm; 724-836-8000
Oct 10 – Nov 19
Clinging to Humanity: In Search of Hope, Paintings and Poems of the Holocaust Harlan Gallery, Reeves Hall, Seton Hill University; 724-830-1070
Opening Night, by Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 724-837-1850
Dollhouse & Miniature Show Mountain View Inn; 724-837-8199
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 8pm; 724-836-8000
Scarecrow Contest Ligonier Diamond; 724-238-4200
Lisa Ferraro Westmoreland Museum of American Art; 7:30-10pm; 724-837-1500
Bushy Run Haunted Hayride Bushy Run Battlefield, Harrison City; 724-527-5584
Kenny Rogers The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 2pm, 8pm; 724-836-8000
A Classic Evening at Saint Vincent Saint Vincent College Science Center Amphitheatre; 8pm; 724-537-4565
Sing and Ring Cecilian Hall, Seton Hill University; 4pm; 724-838-4280
Halloween Parade Ligonier Middle School; 6:30pm; 724-238-9852
Trick or Treat Ligonier Township; 6-8pm; 724-238-9852
Halloween Parade Greater Latrobe Area; Time TBA; 724-539-8548
Trick or Treat Greater Latrobe Area; Time TBA; 724-539-8548
Halloween Parade Derry Borough; 1:30pm; 724-694-5954
Trick or Treat Derry Borough; 2-5pm; 724-694-5954
Halloween Parade Lynch Field, Greensburg; 5:30pm; 724-834-4880
Trick or Treat City of Greensburg; 6-8 pm; 724-834-4880
To add your community event to this calendar, please call 724-331-3936 or visit our website www.LaurelMountainPost.com
NOVEMBER 2004 COMMUNITY EVENTS CALENDAR Nov 4
Colin Mochrie & Brad Sherwood, Improvisational Comedy The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 8pm; 724-836-8000
Wedding World West Overton Museums, Scottdale; 10am-4pm; 724-887-7910
Commander in Chief The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 8pm; 1-800-292-7222
Choral Concert Seton Hill University; 4pm; 724-838-4280
Thru Nov 19
Clinging to Humanity: In Search of Hope, Paintings and Poems of the Holocaust Harlan Gallery, Reeves Hall, Seton Hill University; 724-830-1070
Seussical The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 8pm (2pm on Sunday); 724-832-7464
Nov 12 – Jan 2
Overly’s Country Christmas Westmoreland County Fairgrounds; 5:30-10pm; 724-423-1400
Concert Westmoreland Museum of American Art; 7:30pm; 724-836-4818
NO. 11 (Blue and White) Reeves Theatre, Seton Hill University; 724-838-4241
Beyond the Castle Walls Cecilian Hall, Seton Hill University; 8pm; 724-838-4280
Charlie Prose, Comedy & Music The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 2pm, 8pm; 724-836-8000
Don Alquio Sr. Plays Cole Porter Westmoreland Museum of American Art; 7:30-10pm; 724-837-1500
Holiday Parade Main Street, Greensburg; noon; 724-834-4880
1st cutting round bales stored inside
A Classic Evening at Saint Vincent Saint Vincent College Science Center Amphitheatre; 8pm; 724-537-4565
From Vienna to Broadway The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 8pm; 724-837-1850
Nov 21 – Jan 31
30th Annual Holiday Toy & Train Exhibition Westmoreland Museum of American Art; 724-837-1500
Student Recital Cecilian Hall, Seton Hill University; 4pm; 724-838-4280
Light Up Night On the Diamond, Ligonier; 5:30pm; 724-238-4200
The Perfect Christmas Gift The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 10am; 724-836-8000
Nov 26 – Dec 11
A Taffetas Christmas Apple Hill Playhouse, Delmont; 8pm (2pm on Sundays); 724-468-5050
Bobby Vinton The Palace Theater, Greensburg; 8pm (2pm Sunday); 724-836-8000
Chamber Ensemble Recital Cecilian Hall, Seton Hill University; 7:30pm; 724-838-4280
Hay for Sale FAIRVIEW FARM
Nov 29 – Dec 10 Senior Exhibits Harlan Gallery, Reeves Hall, Seton Hill University; 724-830-1070
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 15
FACES AROUND TOWN
Bring back some memories! Celebrate a special birthday, graduation or anniversary in the Laurel Mountain Post. Two ad sizes are available at special rates!
What’s your favorite spot in the Laurel Highlands?
Contact our adver tising depar tment advertising department for more info at 724-331-3936. “Linn Run is my favorite place to go because it’s perfect at any time of year with its raw, natural beauty.”
Leverage Your Legacy by Steve Leach
Jason Ament Owner, Equine Chic Ligonier, PA
If you’re like most people you’ve worked hard to accumulate assets to ensure that you are comfortable during retirement. In fact, the overwhelming priority of most people is to make sure they are comfortable during their “golden years,” especially with the uncertainties of life expectancy, health care needs and market returns. However, at some point you’ll begin to think about how to leave these assets you don’t need for retirement income to your children, grandchildren or charities. If this sounds like you then you need to consider the following way to tax-efficiently transfer these excess savings. But first let me give you this scenario of some actual S&T Bank customers, of course we’ve changed their names. With their social security and pension checks providing enough income for ordinary day to day expenses, Bill & Penny Saver have accumulated more than enough assets to meet their retirement income needs. Both are age 65, are in good health and want to make sure they can transfer this “extra” money to their children without a substantial decrease in value due to taxes and other expenses. They heard about a technique that would allow them to deposit some of the money earmarked for inheritance into an account that would provide a guaranteed amount that would be significantly more than the initial deposit.
“I enjoy going to the mall. First of all to go shopping. Secondly, you always see someone you know, and you can stop and talk to them every time.”
Wondering how this could be possible they consulted with an S&T Brokerage Services Financial Advisor to see how they could do the same. The Financial Advisor showed them that if they put $50,000 into a single premium survivorship universal life insurance policy1 they could transfer $182,014 to their children, grandchildren or charity at the second spouse’s death. The death benefit would be guaranteed forever, meaning they would never need to add money to the policy to keep it in force. This money would go to their children 100% income tax free, inheritance tax free (and if properly structured) estate tax free while completely avoiding probate. In addition, they would continue to have tax free access to the account value during either spouse’s lifetime should the need arise. Even though Bill & Penny are fictitious names the results are not. Life insurance is the most tax efficient way to leverage the amount of money transferred to the next generation.
Kayla Davis Student, Derry Middle School Derry, PA
Advertising Deadline for the Holiday Issue of the LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST is November 5, 2004. (Release date: 11/20/04) Call 724-331-3936 to reserve your space!
Now let’s look at how you can get started. First identify assets that you probably won’t need to use for retirement income purposes but still wish to have access to. These could be in the form of bank deposit accounts, government, municipal or corporate bonds, mutual funds, IRAs and 401(k)s or tax deferred annuities. We have also been able to provide significant improvements in either the amount of death benefit or by decreasing the amount of premium payments on existing life insurance policies. Secondly, contact the S&T Brokerage Services Financial Advisor in your area. A free, no obligation consultation to review your existing insurance policies or to identify funding options on how you can Leverage Your Legacy may be arranged by referring to this article at your local S&T Bank branch. Or if you prefer you can call our office directly at 1-800-282-6800 or in Indiana 724-465-1489. Steve Leach is the Branch Manager for S&T Brokerage Services in Indiana, PA. Premium amount and death benefit are based on a specific life insurance contract available through S&T Brokerage Services. Additional policy details are available on request. 1
16 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
STUDENT ARTS SPOTLIGHT Sarah Gower
She Dances in the Sand She dances in the sand Grains rough beneath her feet The wind blows harsh against her face Drying her silent tears She is A picture of sadness Alone on her beach Alone in her private moonlight She dances in the sand Salt trails upon her cheeks Alone, she is always alone Dancing in eternal darkness I see her nightly from my window This wild way-faring child-woman I see her each day—within my own eyes— I wonder why she never smiles For surely she has seen happiness Surely she has found love And yet still she dances in the sand And her tears dry slowly upon my pillow
Sarah Gower, daughter of Norman and Elaine Gower of Derry, PA, is a full-time student at Derry Area High School. At 17, she has been writing since fifth grade. Sarah has won several awards for her writing, such as the Carol Vesco Award for Achievement in Writing. She has been published numerous times, most recently in “A Celebration of Young Poets,” and is involved in National Forensics League, Students Against Driving Drunk, Future Educators of America, and marching band. Upon graduation, she plans to attend a college and major in Secondary English Education. One day, she hopes to publish her own book of poetry. Sarah lives by the quote by Sylvia Plath, “I write because there is a voice within me that will not be still.” The Laurel Mountain Post Student Arts Spotlight is a cooperative program for area high school writers and artists coordinated by Paula Forte, a reading teacher in the Derry Area School District.
Adam & Eve’s
PET & HOBBY 313 Latrobe Thirty Plaza Latrobe PA 15650
724-539-7130 Shop online at www.aehobby.net LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 17
The Changing Color of . . . Diamonds! by JB Rossi Nature does not limit her beautiful colors only to the fall foliage. In fact, she has reserved some of her most delicate hues for one of her strongest minerals,. . . the diamond. From a stunning canary yellow to a beautiful blue to the rare blushing pinks and reds, fancy-color diamonds have now become the newest demand in fashion. Just imagine! Candles are flickering, soft classical music croons in the background, and the champagne flutes are bubbling over. He bends down on one knee in front of her, reaches into his pocket, and pulls out a tiny velvet box. He looks intently into her eyes and pops the traditional question. “What is your favorite color?”
ring Audrey Hepburn and featured the “Bird on the Rock” brooch setting.
connotation associated with these grades in their colorless cousins.
Fancy-color diamonds are graded by the same system as their colorless cousins. In 1953, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) created the International Diamond Grading System which rates diamonds based on color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. This nine-tiered system is respected by jewelers worldwide.
The “princess cut” or the “radiant cut” are the most ideal for fancy-color diamonds because these two facet arrangements intensify the color.
The most important “C” of fancy-color diamonds is obviously “color”. The color in diamonds can be the result of the presence of trace elements. For example, nitrogen produces a yellow color
Okay, maybe that’s not the traditional question, but neither is the top answer for today’s brides. Even though the majority still opts for the traditional “A Diamond is Forever”, forever now comes in a variety of colors. Unlike the traditional colorless diamonds, naturally colored diamonds have never been heavily promoted due to their rarity. Recently however, the trend toward uniqueness and the high demand for exotics have made these diamonds quite popular. With all the sparkle and brilliance of the colorless variety, fancy-color diamonds add a touch more elegance and distinctiveness to each piece.
But Buyer Beware! Technology has advanced to the point that lab-cultured colored diamonds are now being produced that claim to possess all of the qualities of the mined diamonds. These modern techniques have made cultured fancy-color diamonds more affordable.
Royalty and other aristocracy throughout history have worn these unique gemstones. The “Hortensia” is a peach colored stone of 20 carats named after Hortense de Beauharnais, Queen of Holland, who was Josephine’s daughter and the stepdaughter of Napeleon Bonaparte. Part of the French Crown Jewels since Louis XIV bought it, the Hortensia is now on display at the Louvre in Paris.
Today these fancy-color diamonds have become extremely popular among celebrities including Ben Affleck who searched world-wide for his ultimate symbol of love, a precious pink for J-lo. The most famous yellow diamond is the “Tiffany”, a cushion—shaped brilliant with 90 facets and weighing in at 128.51 carats. This canary diamond was prominently featured in the advertisement for the 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffanys” star18 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST
One of the most rare and valuable is the pink diamond. The Argyle Mine, located in Western Australia, produces approximately one quarter of the world’s natural diamonds and is the world’s foremost supplier of the intense pink diamond which is the company’s signature stone. Less than one tenth of one percent of the Argyle Diamonds are classified as pink, making them sought after by aficionados and collectors worldwide. Fancy-color diamonds add that special touch to any occasion. A variety of reds, yellows, and oranges are available to symbolize the beauty of a fall engagement or wedding. A dazzling yellow commemorates a golden anniversary. A pair of champagne earrings or a bangle fitted with a fine cognac specimen expresses excellence in taste.
Only one out of every 10,000 natural diamonds is a fancy color. The rarest shades of natural colored diamonds are the reds, pinks, and greens. Yellow and brown are the most common.
Other famous colored gems include the Hope diamond, a 45.52-carat blue. Once owned by Louis XIV, it was stolen during the French Revolution and turned up in London in 1830. The 41-carat almond-shaped Dresden diamond is a stunning green in color. Both have been displayed together in a side-by-side exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute, which currently owns the Hope Diamond.
The value of a colored diamond is based on its color saturation, distinct hue, and dark tone. And just like the colorless variety, a colored diamond never depreciates.
Before making that special purchase, find out whether you are buying a naturally mined gem or a cultured one. While either can add that burst of color to your collection, cost for the cultured specimen should always be lower than for the natural fancy color diamond. An origin of color report from GIA will indicate whether the color of the diamond is “natural” or the result of laboratory technology. while boron or hydrogen is responsible for the blue hue. Color classifications can range from fancy light to fancy dark, fancy deep, fancy intense, or fancy vivid. Green colored diamonds, however, are the result of its exposure to radiation. Modern laboratory techniques using radiation have created beautiful green diamonds which are extremely similar to natural green stones. Of lesser importance in a fancy-color diamond is “clarity”. Flawlessness in these fancy-color diamonds is even rarer than in the colorless variety. The grading of SI (slightly imperfect) or I (imperfect) is common and does not have the negative
As always, buy from a reputable jeweler. A trusted local dealer of some of the finest fancy-color diamonds is John M. Clark Jewelers in Ligonier. Clark has been designing custom jewelry for nearly 30 years. So if forever is on your agenda, be daring. Color your world! Be dazzling and distinct with a fancycolor diamond! Jo Rossi is married to a wonderful man she adores and has two brilliant, active children. She is a graduate of Seton Hill University with a Masters Degree in Writing Popular Fiction. Her undergraduate degree is from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in Business Marketing and Communications. Jo loves to read, write, play tennis, do charity work, and enjoys her friends. She is a strong advocate for all animals and is currently raising four dogs, eight cats, and three horses.
John M. Clar Clarkk Geor Clarkk Georgge Clar J. Gr eg or Greg egor oryy Clar Clarkk
Dr. James W. Allison, Jr.
• Designers, Master Goldsmiths
310 S. CHESTNUT STREET DERRY, PA 15627
• Fine Jewelry
724- 694 9700
• Expert Jewelry Repair Gazeb o Je welr Gazebo Jew elryy old or sstt erlin erlingg in ggold
Providing quality health care to the Laurel Highlands for 20 years. A provider in the Blue Cross/ Blue Shield network and Medicare. We have affordable plans for anyone without insurance.
Bring this ad for a complimentary examination and x-rays for you and your family during the month of October.
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Health Care for your Entire Family. Turn on your Power of Life thru Chiropractic.
St eel Cit si Cityy De Desi siggns
TAKE IT ON FAITH Ron Durika
Life Can Be Like A Country Song Tim McGraw has a song out that has been a number one hit for more than a month now. The song’s title is “Live Like You Were Dying, ” and it is based on a real life experience of Tim McGraw and his father, Tug McGraw. Tug was a pitcher in professional baseball and known as a “free spirit” both on and off the field. He was diagnosed with a terminal illness early in his life and the song deals with the father’s advice to his son on how to live his life. In the song Tug tells his son that when he was faced with the certainty of death he went sky diving, Rocky Mountain climbing, and rode a bull named Fu Man Chu for 2.7 seconds. All these things were his attempt to still live an active and interesting life, but he added that some other aspects of his life were now different, and he now realized that they were even more important to include in one’s life. When faced with death he found a deeper love, spoke sweeter, and was able to give forgiveness he couldn’t give earlier in his life. He also became
the husband that for most of his life he wasn’t, and became a friend that a friend would like to have. He also added that he finally read the “good
“Life is short . . . use what we have been given wisely . . .” book,” and I would like to think that what was written there was the catalyst for his life changes. The song ends with Tug hoping that someday Tim would get to live like he was about to die. That’s an interesting wish for a father to have for his son, but maybe that’s not a bad way for us to live our lives. None of us know when we will draw our last breath, yet we seem to live like we are going
to live forever and that there will be time to take care of “things” tomorrow. When we live that way we have a tendency to be more self-centered and less aware of those around us and in particular of the God that created us. We should live less for ourselves and more for God and God’s people. We do that by reading the Bible, caring for those around us, practicing forgiveness, fulfilling our obligations in whatever role we have in life, and by worshiping our God. It’s all right to go out and have fun in this life on earth, but it must be done with the realization that it is but a temporary life and that an eternal life awaits us all. Life is short . . . use what we have been given wisely and look forward to the eternal glory that is coming. Ron Durika is the pastor ofTrinity Presbyterian Church in New Florence (corner of Fifth & Chestnut Streets, 724-2352940). Join them for worship every Sunday at 10:30am and Sunday School at 9:15am. Bible Study meets on the first and third Monday of each month at 7pm.
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 19
SUSAN SAYS Susan McBroom
Define Your Personal Style with Fall Fashion If you want to start building a perfect wardrobe, you could not have picked a better season than this fall. Fashion has rekindled a love affair with luxurious versions of the Coco Chanel classics.
Scarves are a wardrobe staple. They unify an unmatched suit, update your clothing and add a splash of color. • • •
The key to fall fashion is “personal style” laced with oldworld elegance and sophistication. It’s not about the clothes alone. If it were, a white shirt, a pair of sunglasses, and a tweed jacket would always look the same no matter who was wearing them. Personal style is about making something your own.
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Hosiery also can enhance or detract from a polished look. They should coordinate with the trouser/skirt and shoes in color and fabric texture. • • • •
Legs strutting the runways this season were shrouded in more shades than hair color. The look is slightly sheer hose. Add style with fishnet and ultra textured prints. Accent with colored toe and heel.
Belts are a colorful fashion statement adding polish and pizzazz to an outfit. They define your waist by pulling together and adding definition to the overall look. • •
Skinny is in. Make the most of your femininity; tie a pretty ribbon around your waist.
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Pick pieces that have Bling! Bling! Necklaces turn bold and gold. Sparkle with sequin-beaded collars. Slip on a right-hand ring . . . the bigger the better. Large-sized watches command attention. Dazzle with an armful of bangles.
It’s time for women to look pretty again; we are more dressedup and pulled together than we’ve been in decades. • • • •
Let’s start with shoes; they are the foundation of the accessory wardrobe. They can be colorful to make a statement or conservative to blend in for a pulled together look.
Try on a round-toe pump. Choose shoes in opulent materials or rich skins and textures. Trim with satin ribbons, bows, and brooches. Go for eye-popping candy colors.
Stunning luxury leather handbags are stealing the show. Edgy is out, femininity is in. Choose a structured bag with eye-catching color. Try needlepoint logo bags with charm handles.
Jewelry adds punctuation to the total look. Bone structure is the yardstick by which to measure what flatters the wearer.
Accessories are responsible for adding personal style to this season’s wardrobe. They are the icing on the cake; they compliment and enhance an outfit. Accessories add “pop” and pull the total image together for a confident look. Shoes, handbags, belts and jewelry transform clothes into a personal style. Quality accessories are a wise investment; they can triple the face value of a modest outfit.
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Pick eye fetching colors to light up the face. Pin with a dazzling brooch. Wear as a belt, headband or tied to a handbag.
Purses and wallets look far more stylish and better organized if moderate in size and should never bulge with anything.
Coco Chanel knew this. Maids’ uniforms, costume jewelry, men’s yachting clothes – all were reinterpreted to suit her taste and sense of fashion. Her clothes were a brilliant orchestration of color and texture, fabric and fit, sensibility and style. She wore these designs like a badge, they did not wear her. Perhaps it was her panache at mixing the unexpected. Coco stuck to certain basics, over and over . . . varying textures, fabrics, and cuts — just different enough to keep things new. Her look was consistent, confident and effortless. The style is unmistakably Chanel.
This season’s hottest footwear is all decked out.
Finish with a luxurious jewel-trim leather belt.
“Fall fashion is exciting because it demands more thought, more rigor, and a decidedly more serious stance. This season has given us the opportunity to define our personal style with clothes that are conceived with a thoughtfulness and sophistication not seen in decades.”
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Ribbons are fall’s fastest and easiest way to update your look. Tie with a bow as a belt or attached to a handbag. Fitted sweaters made from cashmere add a polished look. Timeless classics add charm such as pearls and a tweed suit. Don’t leave home without your “face.” Mascara applied to lashes and a manicured brow will define the eye. Cheek color and lipstick balance the face for a healthy glow. Glamour is back, mix a stole or sable collar with pieces from your wardrobe. When it is bad hair day don’t worry. Hats are back in an array of styles to choose from. Kick up your heels in a pretty knee length cocktail dress. The pump is today’s heel choice. To give a shoe an updated look add a shoe clip. Blinding jewels are essential to finishing the look. Think brooches, baubles and a trinket-laden bracelet.
Fall fashion is exciting because it demands more thought, more rigor, and a decidedly more serious stance. This season has given us the opportunity to define our personal style with clothes that are conceived with a thoughtfulness and sophistication not seen in decades. Some of the designers’ efforts may seem like a reach, but trust them. They know their way around your body . . . and the way toward a confident future. Susan McBroom is an independent image consultant who meets individually with clients to help them enhance and develop their personal image and style. Susan will advise clients on their existing wardrobe, future wardrobe purchases, special occasion dressing, personal style enhancement, wardrobe research and personalized shopping for the clothes and accessories that will meet the individual lifestyle and budget.
Make your arrival memorable with these elegant Must-Have Picks: 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
Start with the tweed suit Remember the knee-length hemlines Colors of the season are bold and rich: cocoa brown, violet fuchsia, cobalt blue, crimson, gold, and get pretty in pink Soften with silk chiffon print dresses Pair a trumpet skirt with a cardigan sweater Look stylish with wide-brim hats Pants are full length with a slim silhouette Leopard-print is the cat’s meow Wrap yourself in fur Accessorize with jeweled brooches, colorful gloves, glamorous shoes and bags Define your figure with a skinny belt Rich fabrics and textures add interest Everyone needs a cashmere sweater twinset Go bold with gem-stone earrings
STYLE QUIZ Match the person to their legendary signature style. Audrey Hepburn Barbara Bush Dorothy Grace Kelly Harry Truman Jackie O James Dean Katharine Hepburn Michael Jackson Twiggy Madonna Marlene Dietrich Nancy Reagan
A. B. C. D. E. F. G. H. I. J. K. L. M.
Menswear-Inspired Clothes Bow Tie Sweater Sets, Kelly Bag, Hermes Scarf Undergarments as Outergarments Fake Lashes, Miniskirt Little Black Dress Single Sequined Glove Pearls Leather Jacket Ruby Slippers Big Sunglasses, Pillbox Hat Tuxedo Red
ANSWERS: 1-F; 2-H; 3-J; 4-C; 5-B; 6-K; 7-I; 8-A; 9-G; 10-E; 11-D; 12-L; 13-M
Rewind to the past to view fall fashion . . . catch fur fever with Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic “The Birds” starring our photo inspiration, Tippi Hedren. Susan McBroom channels the muse above. Luxury leather handbags are also stealing the show this season (below).
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13.
CELEBRATING 95 YEARS MASTROROCCO’S MARKET Founded in 1910 by Sam Mastrorocco, Mastrorocco’s Market has been serving the Derry area at the same location (133 E. First Ave.) with friendly, hometown customer service. Still a family-run business headed by greatgrandson Vince Mastrorocco, they provide a full-service grocery store (including bakery, deli, meat, and produce) and offer a small delivery service to their customers. Stop in today for your grocery needs as well as money orders, faxes, and copies – or to purchase that winning lottery ticket! LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 21
LATROBE GLASS & MIRROR 4915 Route 982, Latrobe, PA 15650
Visit Our New Loc ation 2 miles from Route 30 across from the Vocation al Technical Sc hool and ne xt to Casa Tom as, formerly New York, N ew York
The Latrobe Glass & Mirror Team: Kevin DeNardo, Bob Pazehoski, Randy Ferguson, Jackie Patrick, Jeff Kielar, Wayne Pawlosky
Where Did They Go? by Bob Pazehoski If you’ve placed an order recently with Latrobe Glass and Mirror, you’ve probably asked the question that’s been on everybody’s mind… “Where did they go?” After more than 20 years on Route 30, Latrobe Glass has moved. When Randy Ferguson purchased the building at 4915 Route 982, he intended to use it for storage space. The renovation project was moving along when Latrobe Glass and Mirror came up for sale. The opportunity was there, so the renovation project changed. Randy was to become the new owner, and the Route 982 shop was to become the new home of Latrobe Glass and Mirror. Moving a glass shop is no easy chore, but the crew was up to the task, and in the middle of May LG&M opened for business at the new location. The new construction allows for a more eye-catching showroom, a second workshop, and a renovated office all geared to increase the service and efficiency of this mainstay of Latrobe business.
20% OFF Any Glass Furniture Top With This Coupon Customer Must Provide Pattern (delivery not included) Offer Good November 1 – December 31, 2004
(724) 539-2431 Latrobe Glass And Mirror
We asked Randy if leaving Route 30 has affected business. “Not as much as you might think,” he replied. “People seem to appreciate not having to cross Route 30 just to pick up an order. It’s worth the extra two miles just to avoid the traffic.” With a few phone calls or a little help from other local businesses, customers are finding the new location without any trouble. Jackie Patrick, Office Manager, greatly appreciates the new office facilities. “I think the new shop is much more warm and friendly. With a few new product lines and a beautiful showroom, I think we have a good thing here.” As the first person customers typically speak to, Jackie is also a major part of the fun atmosphere at Latrobe Glass. “The people here are wonderful and we all have so much fun,” she added. In addition to the new facilities, Latrobe Glass and Mirror is undertaking a new replacement window division. This new division will be responsible for the sale and installation of vinyl, wood, and aluminum replacement windows. Kevin DeNardo, a veteran of the glass industry, is very enthusiastic about the new endeavor. “I’m very excited about the new line,” he said, “…what it all comes down to is the people. I love the interaction and I love this business.” With that mentality, the new line is sure to take off in a hurry. Even though the business has undergone significant change, Latrobe Glass and Mirror still strives to provide great products and service at an affordable price. The business is still driven by the everyday products like Mirrors, Insulated Glass Units, Furniture Tops, and Plate Glass. “[Those products] are still the core of LG&M, but you’ve got to look to the future if you hope to make the business grow,” says Ferguson. With new management, a new location, and a general expansion of their business, you can be sure to find Latrobe Glass and Mirror all across town in the weeks to come. Proudly displaying a new logo, the LG&M box truck will surely catch the local consumer eye from Greensburg to Ligonier, from Donegal to New Florence. “We’d like Latrobe Glass and Mirror to be a household name in the area,” says Pazehoski. With the enthusiasm evident at the shop, that goal seems attainable.
20% OFF Any Residential Insulated Unit Purchase With This Coupon (installation not included) Offer Good October 1 – November 30, 2004
(724) 539-2431 Latrobe Glass And Mirror
So where did they go? The new shop is located 2 miles from Route 30 on Route 982 North, across from the Vocational Technical School, heading towards Derry. Just give them a call, they’ll tell you the way. Bob Pazehoski is a 1997 alumni of Norwin High School and a 2001 graduate of Grove City College with a BS in Business Management. He is currently the General Manager at Latrobe Glass & Mirror.
LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 23
Italian • Seafood Homemade Soups Daily Specials Custom Catering Latrobe-Derry Road Bradenville, PA (724) 539-3441
Enjoy the scenery. Place your ad in the Laurel Mountain Post! Call 724-331-3936.
Pick Up A Copy of the Laurel Mountain Post at One of These Community Locations! DERRY AREA AH Creations Allison Chiropractic Center Ameriserv Financial Barkley’s Beer Distributor Camman Industries, Inc. Creative Dreams Crispin State Farm Insurance Curves for Women (New Alex) Dablock’s Beauty Shop Derry Federal Credit Union Derry Florists and Greenhouses Di’s Pizzeria & Restaurant (New Alex) First Commonwealth Bank George J Bush Kitchen Center Gooch’s Johna’s Hair Design (New Alex) Leo’s Roadhouse (New Alex) Mastrorocco IGA Dr. Morgan, DMD Palumbo’s Bar & Restaurant Pit Stop (New Alex) Prakash K. Vin, M.D.P.C Pit Stop Quik Shop, Inc. S&T Bank GREENSBURG AREA American Indian Jewelry Art Tech Supplies Bill & Walt’s Hobby Shop Cook’s Market Derby’s Delicatessan Descendents Children’s Clothing Boutique dV8 Expresso Bar Greensburg Care Center Herbs to Your Health Hyundai of Greensburg Just Miniature Scale Kids Korner Furniture Malloy’s Cameracade Memory Lane Hallmark Mustard Seed Gallery, Inc. On the Avenue Pagnotta Cafe Penelope’s Pizza Hut Sun Parlor Tom Clark Ford Toyota of Greensburg University of Pittsburgh LATROBE AREA Adam & Eve’s Pet & Hobby Shop Adelphoi Village Arnold Palmer Motors Inc Arnold Palmer Regional Airport Bella Pasta Dino’s Sports Lounge First Commonwealth Bank First National Bank - Latrobe 30 Plaza Frank’s Lounge
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Gino’s Pizza of Latrobe In-Sync Rehabilitation Services Jocelyn’s Beauty Salon Kaye’s Tailoring Latrobe 30 Beverage Latrobe Animal Clinic Latrobe Art Center Latrobe Chamber of Commerce Latrobe Hair Company Latrobe Post Office Mosso’s Medical Supply Company Inc Pizza Siena Ray Foot & Ankle Center Rose Style Shoppe Scotty G’s Pizzaria Sharky’s Cafe Sherwin-Williams - Latrobe 30 Plaza Shop-N-Save - Latrobe 30 Plaza Vita-Charge Youngstown Tire LIGONIER AREA Abigail’s Coffeehouse American Indian Jewelry Betsy’s of Ligonier Celtic Culture Compass Inn ComTech The Country Cupboard Crafts Unlimited Equine Chic Essentials The Frame Place The Garret Giant Eagle Hair Parade Holiday Home Store The Hollow Tavern La Rosa’s Barber Shop Laughlintown Post Office Ligonier Outfitters & Newsstand Ligonier Tavern Main Street Deli Pamela’s Golden Touch Salon The Paper House & Baskitry The Pie Shoppe The Sandwich Shoppe Stein’s Jewelers The Treehouse in Ligonier Underneath ON THE MOUNTAIN Betsy’s Collections (Donegal) Collections by Marty (Donegal) Hair Expressions (Seven Springs) Italian Gourmet Deli (Donegal) Kreinbrooks Market (Jones Mills) Living Treasures Animal Park (Donegal) Log Cabin Motel (Donegal) Lost Mountain Campground (Rockwood) Mountain Horse Saddlery (Donegal) Tall Cedars Restaurant (Donegal)
Treat or Trick continued from Page 7 with to explain this glaring Halloween faux pas to my friends. I thought about telling them that she had hit her head and was temporarily insane, but I had used that excuse after my eleventh birthday party when my mother had actually hired a clown to entertain my friends with lame knockknock jokes and balloon tricks. Lucky for me, my mother had decided to get in on the act by dressing like a clown, so to my sixth grade comrades, the idea that she was temporarily unbalanced wasn’t too much of a stretch. They probably wouldn’t buy it a second time. I figured that my best alternative was to take my mother’s position on the issue of the semantics of the phrase Trick or Treat. After all, there was some logic behind my mother’s explanation, at least there was when she explained it. As she finished fluffing the candy bags that rubbed against my neck, the doorbell rang. A quick glance at the wall clock confirmed the time, 6:45. Exactly when my punctual, best friend, Joey Walker, was to come and get me for our evening of Treat or Tricking. “I’ll bet that’s Joey,” my mother said as she adjusted the coat hanger that served as one of the bag handles. “Open the door, honey.” For a second I thought she meant me, but my father, who had avoided eye contact with me since the unveiling of the costume, hurried to the door. “Joey,” he said, opening the door. “How are you doing, buddy?” Standing in the doorway was Captain America. “Wow,” my old man said. “That’s sure some costume.” I glanced at my mother and saw, just for a second, a slight frown crease the corners of her mouth when she saw the straight out-of-the-box nylon costume with matching plastic mask. I could never understand what her problem was with the store-bought costumes. I thought Joey’s Captain America was great. It was red, white, and blue and had flesh-toned muscles stitched into his arms. And to top it off, he had a cardboard shield with a star on it! “Thanks,” Joey said, his voice muffled by his mask that was slightly too big for his head. “I just got it today.” Joey came into the living room and got his first good look at me in my costume. He stopped and lifted the Captain’s mask from his face. “Wow,” he said. “That is awesome.” Knowing my family’s Halloween ritual, he looked toward my mother and smiled. Joey always did have a crush on my mother. “This is your best one yet, Mrs. Waverley.” Never one to slight even the smallest praise, my mother gave Joey an appreciative squeeze of his arm and said, “Why, thank you, Joey. I’m glad you like it.” Joey took another step intent on examining the intricate design of Snickers wrappers and Bazooka Joe comics poking out of the well-crafted seams of my Treat or Trick bag when his smile faltered. He cocked his head slightly to the side as a confused look clouded his face. He looked at me, then my mother, then back at me. “What’s ‘Treat or Trick’?”
“Don’t ask,” I said, grabbing the pillow case that would hold the night’s bounty. “Let’s go.” I stormed to the door with Joey in tow. My mother told us to have a good time and not eat any of the candy we collected until we returned home and not to go to any houses where the porch lights weren’t on and to avoid dark corners and strangers. “I think they know the drill,” my father said as we walked out onto the porch. “Have fun, guys.” I didn’t say anything, but Joey told my parents that we would have a good time. When we were off the porch and my parents behind the front door, Joey grabbed my arm. “Treat or Trick,” he said, laughing. “Geez, Keith. What was your mother smoking?” Still laughing, he pulled his Captain America mask back down over his face and started down the street. This time I was the one who followed, my face flushed red in anger and embarrassment. And I didn’t have a mask to hide it behind. For the next three hours Joey and I stopped at every house that had a porch light on within a half mile radius of my house. When we were finished our pillowcases bulged with treats. They would have been even more stuffed, but despite my mother’s warning, Joey and I gorged ourselves full of candy and chocolate as we went along. And it would have been the perfect Halloween except for one thing. At just about every house we stopped at, I was asked what ‘Treat or Trick’ meant. Most people offered an offhand remark about what a confused young man I was, while some nodded politely as I offered them my mother’s take on the phraseology of treating and tricking. No one
seemed to be moved by the argument, and to a person, I was met by a mix of expressions that ranged from befuddlement to the ill amused. Even Mrs. Cromer, the lady who lived a block and a half away from our house with three dozen cats and a blind cocker spaniel named Horace who suffered from uncontrollable flatulence thought that a ‘Treat or Trick’ bag was odd. After shaking her head through my explanation of the slogan, she threw two Baby Ruths into my bag and patted me on the head. “Bless your heart,” she said, contemplating rewarding me with a third, but decided against diminishing her supply of candy bars for a kid who couldn’t even get Trick or Treat right, and gently pushed me on my way. Maybe if I was a year or two younger, I wouldn’t have noticed the odd looks my neighbors gave me as they spied my costume. But just weeks shy of thirteen, I picked up on every snicker and raised eyebrow. I was certain that I heard some of my neighbors break out in uproarious laughter as soon as they closed the door behind Joey and me. I imagined the telephones ringing up and down the street as word of my costume spread like wild fire. The ‘Treat or Trick’ kid I would be called; either that or just “that idiot Waverley boy.” When the night of sanctioned begging ended, I went home with a bursting sack of junk food and a bad attitude. I was certain that my mother had mangled the phrase on my costume on purpose, that I was being punished for something I had done because there was no way in the world that anyone could screw up Trick or Treat. Heck, Treat or Trick continued on Page 26 LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 25
Treat or Trick continued from Page 25
Do you remember the movies playing at the Gem Theater in October of 1958?
even the crazy old cat lady knew there was something wrong with Treat or Trick. Despite my impressive haul of candy, I was fuming when I pushed open the front door and tossed my sack on the floor. I was hoping that my parents would have already gone to bed, so I could be spared their questions about how my evening went, but I only got half of my wish. My father was in bed, but my mother was sitting on the couch in the living room waiting for my return. “How did it go?” she said when she saw me at the door. “Did you get lots of candy? Did everyone like your costume?” I pointed to the sack on the floor and mumble, “See for yourself.” “Wow,” she said, genuinely impressed with the cache. “I’ve never seen so much candy.” I grunted and proceeded to pull the Treat or Trick bag over my head. I was halfway out of the costume when I heard my mother say: “Boy, I guess that costume really worked for you.” Before I could pull the words back, they erupted from my mouth as I let the orange sheet slip to the floor. “Yeah,” I said. “Worked in making me look like a dork.” My mother’s eyes widened, and she looked as if she had just been slapped. I should have stopped there but my adolescent anger was at a fever pitch. “Everywhere I went, people looked at me like I was an idiot. They kept asking what Treat or Trick meant, and when I told them what you said, they just laughed at me.” “But,” she began but I wouldn’t let her get a word in. “No one thought it was cute, mom,” I said, stomping up the stairs toward my room. “Everyone thought it was stupid.” She called my name but I didn’t turn around. I just left her at the base of the stairs with her Treat or Trick bag at her feet. I went to bed that night embarrassed and angry at my mother, but when I woke, the morning brought a new day and a new attitude. The anger at my mother had faded like the previous night’s dreams, though I still felt tinges of embarrassment remembering the way my neighbors reacted to the Treat or Trick bag. My mother was in the kitchen making coffee when I made my way downstairs. She kissed me on the top of my head like she had done every morning for as long as I could remember, and asked me if I wanted juice with my cereal. I said sure, and as she poured my bowl of Frosted Shredded Wheat, I forgave her for the Treat or Trick bag. After all she was a little eccentric and that’s what made her cool, but sometimes you had to give eccentricity a little slack. I didn’t ask her what she had done with the Treat or Trick bag that day, and she never told me. Not that it would matter. I would be thirteen in a few weeks, and thirteen wasn’t really too old for a kid to still go Trick or Treating with his friends in a costume made by his mother. Next year, I told myself, I’d give trick or treating another try and my mother would come up with another amazing costume like she had always done. But next year didn’t come for my mother. She died of cancer right after labor day. The day after her funeral I found on the shelf where she kept her laundry detergent a legal note pad with a sketch of the idea she had for that year’s costume. I was going to be a parrot. Beneath the detailed rendering of the multicolored bird she had written a note to herself. It said: make sure you don’t embarrass Keith. Around my name she had drawn a heart.
A native of McKeesport, PA, Drew Williams received his PhD from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and teaches creatve writing at North Carolina Central University. His first novel, Night Terrors, was named Sime-Gen’s novel of the year for 2001. Currently, Drew is putting the finishing touches on his second nocel, The Corruptor, and writing a Christmas story. He lives in Fuquay-Varina, NC with his wife, two kids and a finicky cat. Keep up with Drew at his website: www.drewilliams.com or send an email to DrewWilliams@LaurelMountainPost.com.
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Published on Mar 25, 2010