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LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST A Magazine for the Heart of Westmoreland County

Every Story Begins At Home.

Our Favorite Neighbors

The Legacy of Fred Rogers & Family

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2007: Candice Olson • Rekindling The Home Fires • Subscriptions Now Available!


Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce

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Ice artists create masterpieces from blocks of ice located on and within one block of the Diamond area. • Carving starts at 10am on Saturday and Noon on Sunday • Graham Grubb Orchestra Free Concert at 2pm, Town Hall sponsored by Commercial Bank & Trust of PA Sponsored by the Ligonier Valley Chamber of Commerce 120 East Main Street • Ligonier, PA 15658 • 724-238-4200 •

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MOUNTAIN VIEWS Cathi Gerhard Williams

Don’t Go Changing By the end of each January, I have read More than enough Real Simple ideas from those Glamourous Cosmopolitan Good Housekeepers who live In Style in Better Homes & Gardens across the Town & Country. It doesn’t help that ever since the holidays ended this year, I have been sick in bed with a terrible cold, bronchitis or some such misery that always seems to hit midwinter. Thanks to my daughter (Elizabeth, pictured at right), our editor and designer in training, we managed to get this issue out according to schedule. Needless to say, I’ve had a lot of time to read these magazines the past week, because I certainly haven’t been getting much rest in between coughing, sneezing and feeling dizzy every time I try to get out of bed and walk around. The glossy pages are all full of inspiring ways to make yourself better: lose weight, become more organized, save money, cook and serve gourmet meals, put together a fabulous wardrobe, plan adventures, and have great sex. Once you have mastered these “simple” and “economic” techniques, you can retire from a successful career, “downsize” your home, and focus on saving the world while living on your retirement portfolio earned in the hectic world you now shun. It’s not that these ideas aren’t nice, but it makes you feel as if the life you are now leading is some sort of miserable failure. Nothing seems good enough anymore, especially not “ordinary” you. Your home isn’t neat or tastefully decorated; you could stand

to lose 20 pounds; and your job certainly isn’t glamorous. It seems like the world teaches us to loathe ourselves and struggle to reach some utopian myth. The problem with this ideal is that it destroys diversity – the very thing that makes life interesting.

While I applaud those who can make positive and sometimes necessary changes in their life, I believe that far too much emphasis is placed on the definitions, not the person. Instead of trying so hard to change our lives or to conform to an unrealistic ideal, we should start by learning to like ourselves a little more and making the most of the unique gifts and talents that make us who we are. Then try taking a look at the people around you and think about what makes each one of them

LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST The Laurel Mountain Post is a bimonthly 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 | Office Hours by Appointment at 137 East Main Street in Ligonier, Pennsylvania

special. First comes acceptance, followed by appreciation, and then a sincere interest in the lives of others. Everyone is important, and no one is better than anyone else. Mr. Rogers taught me that when I was three years old. My first memory of television was watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood on WQED while my mother made supper. When she didn’t have time for me, he did, my young mind often thought He talked to ME, and told me I was special every day. He also discussed what parents needed and helped me see both sides. Not only did he explain things to me, he understood how I felt and never tried to change me. My feelings and thoughts were important. I didn’t have to become someone else to get his attention or fit in to his neighborhood. My own self-confidence grew from his interest and lessons on perspective; I learned to like myself and developed a desire to seek the best in others. When we first started the Laurel Mountain Post, a lot of people asked me how we could possibly find enough to write about. My reaction was to first be insulted on behalf of western Pennsylvania, and then to quickly explain that there are no boring stories, only boring writers. If you do your job right (whether as an editor or simply a human being), you can find the beauty, brilliance, or charm in anyone . . . just the way they are. Here’s to another year of bringing you our stories about all the wonderful people who live next door, starting with a collective tribute to our favorite neighbor, Mr. Fred Rogers.

Briana Dwire Tomack Elizabeth Srsic

Cathi Gerhard Williams, Editor & Publisher Briana Dwire Tomack, Marketing Director & Business Manager

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2007 (Volume IV, Issue 1) Proud members of the Latrobe, Ligonier, and Strongland Chambers of Commerce, The Pittsburgh Advertising Federation, and The Pennsylvania Newspaper Assocation Special thanks to our advertisers for supporting this community publication! PRINTED IN LATROBE, PENNSYLVANIA



What Do You Do? he named her Lady Elaine Fairchilde because I was LMP: I was a young child in the 1950’s. There was such a “fair child”. I had very blonde hair and blue no Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. However, I did eyes as a youngster…and I was rather feisty. watch “The Children’s Corner” with Josie Carey on our local WQED. (At that time Fred [At this time I was shown an original and Josie were two of only six sketch of Lady Elaine drawn by the people instrumental in promoting artist “Benedetto” (known to most educational programming locally.) Latrobe native Fred McFeely Rogers was a multiof us as the singer Tony Bennett) Fred was a co-creator of the talented individual. His name was, and still is, during the taping of a Mister program and worked as a puppeteer synonymous with stellar children’s programming Rogers program. Benedetto, which as well. In that era, long before the on television. He was the author of numerous books means “Blessed One”, is the family computer age, children considered on subjects of interest for children and families. name of the singer/artist and he puppet shows grand entertainHe was an ordained Presbyterian minister. He was signs his art with this name.] ment. I have always loved puppets. a son, husband, father, and grandfather. He was I used them when I taught music also a brother, brother-in-law, and uncle. His sister, LMP: Are any of the other famous to present a song, and have often Nancy “Laney” Crozier, and her husband, Dan, are Mister Rogers characters based on given them as gifts. I received a members of the church I attend. They met with family members and friends? Would beautiful butterfly puppet from a me in early November to give me their perspective you care to share their true very special six year-old by the Laney and Dan Crozier today. on the Rogers family. identities? name of Chloe several days ago. (Photo by Lifetouch) Laney, did you and your family LMP: Your given name is Nancy after your mother. LC: A lot of them were. For example, present puppet shows in your How is it that you came to be called Laney? there was Edgar Cooke. Edgar was based on the youth? As an accomplished artist yourself, I imagine husband of Dan’s Aunt Cookie, and I believe he was that you and your brother could be quite creative LC: My grandmother gave me this name. My name a chef in King Friday’s Castle. Dr. Bill Platypus was as puppet makers and puppeteers. is Nancy Elaine Rogers Crozier. Nanna McFeely Bill Barker, Fred’s best friend. (The Rev. Dr. Barker said, “Too many Nancys in this family. Let’s call officiated at the public memorial service held at LC: Fred and I did not have puppet shows together her Laney.” This was the story that was passed down Heinz Hall the May after Fred’s death). Of course, that I recall. I do recall that I was given a small all of my growing up years. Queen Sara Saturday was Joanne Rogers, Fred’s puppet stage for Christmas wife. one year. I also was given a LMP: Dan, I am not at all clown marionette, which I knowledgeable about your LMP: For many years I taught with Sue Lawlor, a used any number of times. It background. Are you from resident of Ligonier. Sue’s family owned a Route eventually ended up with this area originally? How did 30 restaurant known as the “Sleepy Hollow Inn” for terrible knots in its red you and Laney meet? many years. I remember her telling me that her strings, at which point I gave family catered Christmas Eve parties at your former up puppeteering. DC: My family was originally home on Weldon Street in Latrobe. They sounded from central Pennsylvania. like magical occasions. Please share some of your LMP: Some time ago I had Later in life my mother moved memories of that holiday at the Rogers home. heard that you were the to Beaver. My Aunt Suzanne prototype for Lady Elaine “Cookie” Cook lived here in LC: Christmas was my Mother’s favorite holiday of Fairchilde. You confirmed this town. She knew Laney’s the year. When she was a small child, her friends for me recently during a phone mother and she introduced came to help her decorate the tree on Christmas conversation. What qualities of us. Afterward Laney came to Eve. When Mother and Dad were married, they yours did Fred “tap into” when Temple University to work simply continued that tradition. Everybody in town he created Lady Elaine? when I was teaching in came to these parties. It was an open house, nearby Bucks County. At the everyone was invited, and no invitations ever LC: Well, that makes me laugh. time I was finishing one went out. The guests just arrived! I suppose this Lady Elaine was originally a Masters Degree in Education is one of the reasons why Christmas remains my character with a witch-like at Temple and starting favorite holiday. exterior. She had fun and another in Anthropology and sweetness underneath that Archaeology. We were LMP: I have been apprised of the fact that you and exterior, but she was devilish. married in 1964. (As a your brother and sister-in-law traveled in Europe As Fred grew his program, Lady research associate with together. What was that trip abroad like for you as Elaine evolved into the keeper Laney Rogers Crozier - a “fair child” to be sure. Temple, Dan was involved in a young girl? of the Museum-Go-Round numerous archeological (“Toot, toot, darling!”). But, she investigations and stabilizations. His digs included LC: I was thirteen. We did what people in those was always a little bit of a troublemaker. Bill Isler days called “The Grand Tour.” We went to Paris the Chancellorsville Inn in Fredericksburg, Virginia (Chief Executive Officer of Family Communications, Inc. and Executive Director of the Fred M. Rogers where we bought a little car, an old Citroen that we and the Revolutionary War Fortifications at West Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at christened “Josephine.” We drove everywhere. We Point, New York.) Saint Vincent College) said that Fred told him that traveled through France to Switzerland. I enjoyed 4 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST I think of Mister Rogers as a “national treasure” – like the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, or the Statue of Liberty. Fred Rogers died on February 27, 2003 at the age of 74. But like the other “national treasures” mentioned here, Mister Rogers will be with us for a very long time to come.

Switzerland with its beautiful, picturesque by the musical trio of Pittsburgher Johnny Costa. I countryside a great deal. Fred always laughed about also read that Fred studied music composition at that, because he said I looked just like the Swiss. Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida. Obviously, From there we went to Munich, Germany where this training enabled him to compose the songs for Joanne, a pianist, played for Radio Free Europe. This his children’s program in later years. was not too long after the Second World War Your oldest son shared a around 1952 or 1953. It musical bond with his really made an Uncle Fred. Dan, Jr. is impression on me that an acclaimed composer so much of the region who is an assistant was not reconstructed. I professor of theory and just couldn’t believe the composition at Rollins. I rubble. We came back was privileged to be in through Switzerland and attendance at the crossed the Dolomites dedicatory organ con(a section of the Alps) cert at the Latrobe into Italy. Since I am Presbyterian Church not a good car rider, I recently. That evening am still kidded about Dan’s haunting piece enduring all the S “Cantilena for Organ” curves up and down was played by Alan those mountains. Morrison, renowned When we were in organist and Rogers northern Italy we were family friend. One of his The Rogers siblings chat in June of 1963. staying at a lakeside symphonic composihotel. One of Fred’s cotions is being perworkers at NBC said, “If you come and swim in Lago formed this week at The Palace Theatre in Maggiore at three o’clock, I’ll have the maestro out on Greensburg. Dan, could you elaborate? the balcony.” At the designated time we were swimming around the lake in circles, and Toscanini DC: In terms of being a composer our son Dan is a came out onto the balcony and waved and waved to us. Neo-Romantic. “Fairy Tale” is the composition being performed at the Palace Theatre. It is the LMP: Being a Derry native and a Latrobe resident third movement of his symphony entitled “Triptych,” for many years, I am acquainted with many of the which has been recorded by the Seattle Symphony. well-known facts of your brother’s life. But, in doing my research for this interview, I found out quite a LMP: Dan, you and Laney have another son, Brooks. few things that I didn’t know. For example, I was I believe he is an assistant professor of biology at unaware that Fred produced a popular Canadian Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia and is also involved Broadcasting Corporation program for children in in environmental consulting. Tell us about his the early 1960’s. In the 1970’s Michael Keaton interesting life. worked on the studio crew of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, and got an acting break portraying DC: Brooks is also a super son. He is an an acrobat. It was fascinating to learn that all the environmental consultant and is involved in songs and music for the show were performed live environmental research as well. He is an excellent One of many memorable Christmas celebrations at the Rogers home.

fisherman and hunter, and just came back from Colorado where he bagged a very large elk. Brooks has a great family – his wife, Jennifer, and their two children, daughter Ellen, 12, and son Jamie, 9. LMP: A recent acquaintance of mine, Judy Schollaert, fondly remembers visiting her uncle, Pat Moran, here at the “The Evergreens”. He was the caretaker of your property back in the day when your parents were alive. Would you provide us with a little background about your home and grounds? LC: When my mother was a girl, my grandmother and grandfather came here from Pittsburgh for the summer. It was always about ten degrees cooler here. Along with my great-grandmother they had a little cottage along the Loyalhanna Creek, which is still standing. E.T. Edwards built Tudor Manor, which was the first house on this property that served as a summer home. It is now the guest house. Subsequently, he built this home. LMP: Not long ago, as I was driving through Latrobe, I noticed the “Welcome to Our Neighborhood” banners that have been hung on the streets. They proudly display photos and emblems of some of Latrobe’s “finest” – the home of the first professional football team, the home of the first banana split, the home of Arnold Palmer, the site of St. Vincent College and the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, and, of course, the birthplace of Mister Rogers. I’ve heard it said that is human nature to be selfreferential. Admiring the banners, I know that I thought of my personal connections to the abovementioned people, places, and area icons. Seeing your brother Fred smiling down on so many Latrobe Streets, what were your thoughts? LC: Barbara, I love it. Now, I don’t think Fred would have liked it. Fred was modest. I think he would have thought that it was a fuss over nothing. You know, I stop at the street lights and there’s Fred smiling down at me. It’s a great picture of him. I just love the whole idea. It kind of cheers me up as I go through town. The title of this article, “What Do You Do?”, is the name of a children’s song composed by Fred. (Several lines of the song’s lyrics were quoted by Fred in his summation when he defended public television in the United States Senate in the late 1960s. If you Google the lyrics, you’ll find that it isn’t surprising that the Senate did not cut the funds that Fred was fighting to keep.) There is an expression “It’s not who you are, it’s what you do that counts.” This columnist feels that what Fred McFeely Rogers did counts for a great deal. He truly mastered the art of living – he shared his gifts with others. Barbara is a 1968 graduate of Derry Area High School. She graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1972, and subsequently earned a Master’s Eq. She taught music in the Ligonier Valley School District for 32 years, and since her retirement in 2004, she has been actively involved in the Women’s Committee of the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and as a volunteer in An American Marketplace at the museum. Barbara and her husband, Kent, live in the Lawson Heights section of Latrobe.


Rekindling The Home Fires by JB Rossi Outside the wind is howling, the snow is piling up, and the temperatures are dropping into the single digits. To me, these next few months of winter wonderland seem more like a stark Siberian exile. But being the optimistic person that I am, I’m determined to find a fabulous way to endure these chilly times. I’ve loaded up on wood, have plenty of hot cocoa, piled up a stack of good reading material, and pulled out the warmest wool blankets. It’s time to light up the fire and snuggle in for the long haul. I try never to go through rough weather without a friend. My thoughts immediately turn towards my best friend and true buddy, my husband. I begin to imagine cuddling up together beside the warm hearth. The fire is roaring, the lights are low, soft music is playing in the background as we enjoy a particulary peaceful and loving moment… The telephone rings. It’s my mother. She wants to remind me that I promised to help her begin spring cleaning. When could I come over? Well, so much for a good daydream. And since it is only 8 o’clock in the morning, I could run over to Mom’s, help her spring clean, (although I don’t know what she wants to clean, her house is always immaculate!) and still have plenty of time to come back and make my dreams a reality. I jog to Mom’s house and begin the task. Mom wants the basement closet reorganized. I thought it was a little too early for spring cleaning, but I guess my mother is right. What better time to do this than when it is cold and blustery outside. When the real spring comes with its bright sun, blooming flowers, and radiant warmth, I won’t want to be inside cleaning. Now is the perfect time. So I begin. The closet is filled to capacity with old books, newspapers, and magazines. My father was a collector. I was fascinated by the variety of media and the dates of the publications. One publication in particular caught my eye. It was called “Housekeeping Monthly”. This particular issue was dated May 13, 1955. In it, I found an article entitled “The Good Wife’s Guide.” What a coincidence, I thought. I wonder if this article could give me any extra romantic tips for the evening I had been daydreaming about earlier. I sat down to read. The article outlined 12 different ways in which a “Good Wife” could show her love and respect for the “Man of the House”. To summarize: A Good Wife Should … #1 Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal ready, on time, for his return. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal (especially a favorite dish) is part of the warm welcome needed. Okay, I thought. This sounds logical. And I can truly say that dinner is always ready when I’m ready to serve it! And I’ve noticed that the hungrier he is, the better my meal tastes. A Good Wife Should… #2 Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you’ll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair, and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Another good idea, I thought. So if a 15 minute rest is good, then a twenty or thirty minute rest is even better, right? What’s next?


A Good Wife Should… #3 Over the cooler months of the year, you should prepare and light a fire for him to unwind by. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. After all, catering for his comfort will provide you with immense personal satisfaction. Okay, now we are getting somewhere. The cooler months are here. It’s time to get things warmed up and all enjoy a haven of rest and order. And I’m always in the mood to light his fire! A Good Wife Should… #4 Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing, and pleasant voice. Be a little more interesting for him. His boring day may need a lift, and one of your duties is to provide it. Duties? I have duties to perform? I just thought that I did these pleasant things for my husband out of love, not “duty.” And why stop with his shoes? He will be even more comfortable if I take off his socks as well, and then his shirt, and then…. Believe me, he’ll get a lift. A Good Wife Should… #5 Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first- remember, his topics of conversation are more important than yours. I had to read that last sentence twice just to make sure I understood what it said. Okay, maybe it is a good idea to let him inside the front door first, but after that, it’s first come, first served. Everyone’s issues are important. A Good Wife Should… #6 Make the evening his. Never complain if he comes home late, or goes out to dinner, or other places of entertainment without you. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, and his very real need to be at home and relax. Now just wait a minute here. HE isn’t the only one under a lot of strain and pressure. And if he cuts down on the outside entertainment, perhaps he wouldn’t be so stressed. My solution is to provide him with such lively and engaging entertainment at home that he won’t want to go anywhere else. A Good Wife Should… #7 Don’t complain if he’s late home for dinner or even if he stays out all night. Count this as minor compared to what he might have gone through that day. My jaw dropped open. There is nothing minor about staying out all night. I can guarantee that he will certainly have something major to deal with when he comes home if he stays out all night. A Good Wife Should… #8 Don’t ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember, he is the master of the house and as such, will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him. I would never question him unless, of course, I had good reason to. I felt tension creeping into my neck and my tummy turning nauseous. Who wrote this anyway? A Good Wife Should…

#9 Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children’s hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair and if necessary, change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. I will mention this to my two “teenagers”, my two “little treasures”. Sometimes, however, I feel like the “Treasury Department”, constantly doling out the funds to subsidize their numerous activities. A Good Wife Should… #10 Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all of the noise of the washer, dryer, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. I wish I didn’t have to hear a washer or dryer, or vacuum cleaner either, but someone has to do it sometime. There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I think I’ll just buy him a pair of those Bose earphones and this “Duty” is done! A Good Wife Should… #11 Greet him with a warm smile and show sincerity in your desire to please him. Don’t greet him with complaints or problems. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him as he walks in the door. I’m always happy to see him and I’m always sincere in my appreciation of him. I love him and all this comes naturally. And I’ll always try to have a drink ready for him and maybe a double for me after reading this guide! A Good Wife Should… #12 A good wife should always know her place. Yes, I know my place. My place is cuddled up in my husband’s arms in front of a blazing fireplace, enjoying each other as equal partners in a loving and long-lasting relationship! No thanks to this silly guide. In Summary, Your Goal: Try to make sure your home is a place of peace, order, and tranquility where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. I totally agree with this goal… However, I want my home to be a safe haven of peace, order, and tranquility for everyone including the little treasures, relatives, family and friends. I turned the page hoping to find the second part of the article entitled “How to be a Good Husband.” Nothing. I flipped through all the pages of this publication. Nothing. I frantically searched through the box where I found this magazine. Nothing. No other issues. Surely there had to be a counter to this story. But I found nothing. Unfortunately, this article didn’t give me the new romantic ideas I was hoping to find. I guess I’ll just have to create my own. I’ll start with the cozy fire and a hot drink and then … Inspired I cleaned up my mess, kissed my mother goodbye, and went directly home to prepare for my husband’s homecoming. And while I waited, I wrote the beginning of “The 2007 Good Partner’s Guide.” Any ideas I should incorporate? I know I will have lots of material for this new article because I have a great husband and partner for life. And I’m sure, as the master of the house, he will exercise all that truth, integrity, and honesty when he gives me his input. I’ve got to go now. It’s almost time for my husband to return home and I’ve got to put a ribbon in my hair! J.B. Rossi wants to thank the staff of the Laurel Mountain Post for allowing her the opportunity to share her stories with the great people of our community. Thank you also to the loyal readers of this fabulous publication. We’re getting bigger and better all the time because of you!


Pro Cuts & Styles Paul Mitchell Focus Salon

Jim Kasperik

Hitting The Slopes . . . Literally! As the dead of winter is upon us and the nights are long and cold, being outside would be the furthest thing from a lot of our minds. But this is the time of year that brings me back to my junior and senior high school days. It sometimes seems so long ago, but those weekly trips to Seven Springs with the ski club bring back so many great memories.

The Derry ski club each year took a weekend trip somewhere far, far away like West Virginia or the Poconos – the whole way in eastern Pennsylvania! This would be an entire weekend of skiing fun, so of course I would make every effort to go. One of the most memorable trips we took was the trip to Camelback Mountain in the Poconos.

Learning to Ski… Or Simply Teaching Myself How To Ski

You might think that the reason it was so memorable was because of the skiing, the traveling and the food. Well in some cases that would be correct, but the real reason it was memorable was because of the sheer carnage on the slopes that was evident from the very moment we got onto the snow. One of my best friends, Dave Albaugh, and I noticed on the first day how many people seemed to be falling on the main slope leading up to the ski lodge. Then at further glance not only were they falling, but people were wrecking terribly. In many cases taking innocent bystanders out as they careened to a certain crash! So logically we kept away from that area…right? Well you were dealing with 17 year-old minds so of course we spent as much time there as we could. Not to help people, but simply to watch people and make fun of them as they fell. To rate them and laugh as they put themselves back together. Dave and I even spent part of the day sitting on the side of the slope watching and enjoying the scenery! This does not say anything about how we have grown up, but at the time it was fun. The point is these trips were fun and all due to learning to ski in the Laurel Highlands!

Ah yes, so it is 1984 and I am in the seventh grade at Derry Junior High School, and I am being talked into my first ski trip on Thursday night with the ski club. A Thursday night with friends in the freezing cold, sliding down a sheet of ice not knowing if or how I was going to stop…Sounds fantastic! So off I went to Seven Springs. For those of you who remember making this type of decision, you may be expecting to read that my next step was a lesson to learn how to snow plow and turn down the slopes. That would of course be assuming that I used my head for something other than holding my ski cap and goggles on at the time. Heck no…there would be no lesson for me! I was athletic (or at least I fancied that I was!) and I would definitely be able to get down those hills…right? Really how difficult could it be? Turns out quite difficult! So as the bus rolled slowly up the hills on Route 711, my friends (I think they were my friends!) convinced me that they could teach me all that I needed to function on the slopes. So after renting the best ski equipment that money could rent, there I was standing up on skis. Not so bad I thought…that was before trying to get on the lift! Just getting to the spot I needed to be on the lift was daunting enough but I made it, and up the slopes I went. What my friends forgot to coach me on was actually getting off the lift! As I panicked and fell getting off the lift, people seemed to ski by me snickering…obviously they had seen this before. But not too long after I was starting down the most intimidating slope at Seven Springs…Fawn Trail. Do not let that name fool you, it is definitely a tough slope. All right, so it was the easiest trail and it was called Fawn, but it was intimidating to me! Getting to the bottom should take a normal person five minutes – and after forty-five minutes of struggle I was there…not bad! Who Wants to Ski for Just One Night? Weekend Ski Trips… So that night was just the beginning of many Thursday night trips on the school bus to Seven Springs. The enjoyment of hanging out with your best friends eating, talking and oh yeah, skiing continues to be a great memory. But the ski experiences did not stop there. What could be better than spending one night skiing with friends? Why of course an entire weekend in the cold!

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The Ski Season…Just Another Great Time in the Laurel Highlands So as the ski season starts again, many good memories come back for me. It also reminds me of the beautiful area in which we reside…no matter the season of the year. The Laurel Highlands has so much to offer to anyone who lives here or visits the area. It reminds me when I look up to the ridges to the East, how lucky we are to be here. I have so many good memories here…memories that include spending time with good friends in the freezing cold skiing. Memories with people like Dave that I am glad I have…ones that the great outdoors of the Laurel Highlands provides on a daily basis! Jim Kasperik was born in Derry and has lived in the Laurel Highlands most of his life. He received his Engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University and his MBA from The Pennsylvania State University. He has worked at Latrobe-based Kennametal, Inc. for over ten years. During his school years Jim played football, baseball, volleyball and basketball, and still enjoys playing hoops whenever he can. His love for the competition that sports provides has kept him continually interested in sports year round

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NEW LAW REQUIRES MOTORISTS TO TURN ON HEADLIGHTS WHEN USING WIPERS HARRISBURG – The Department of Transportation announced in December that a new law, effective January 2007, will require motorists to turn on their headlights anytime their vehicles wipers are in continuous or intermittent use due to weather or other atmospheric conditions such as fog or mist. Motorists who do not comply with the law could face a fine of $25, but with fees and other associated costs, the penalty would approach $100.

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Western Pennsylvania Conservancy Honored by National Trust for Historic Preservation Tuesday-Thursday 11:30am-9:00pm Friday & Saturday until 9:30pm Sunday 4:00pm-9:00pm • Monday Closed 122 N Market St • Ligonier, PA 15658 • (724) 238-7399

C L I N I C O F C H I RO P R AC T I C Dr. Patrick J. Landry, D.C. Dr. Phillip A. Westerbeck, D.C. 1929 Dailey Avenue • Latrobe, PA 15650 • (724) 532-3077

STATE DOG OF PENNSYLVANIA: THE GREAT DANE The Great Dane was a hunting breed that changed to a working breed. Pennsylvania was a hunting Commonwealth that became a leading working community. The Great Dane came from England just as did William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth. The Great Dane is pictured in a painting in the Governor’s reception room by Pennsylvania artist Violet Oakley as the “Best Friend” of William Penn. Naming an official dog would recognize the service and loyalty of all dogs in Pennsylvania


In November 2006, the National Trust for Historic Preservation presented the prestigious National Trust Trustee Emeritus Award for Excellence in Stewardship of Historic Sites to the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy (WPC) for stewardship of Fallingwater. The WPC is one of 21 national award winners honored by the National Trust during its week-long 2006 National Preservation Conference in Pittsburgh, Penn. Founded in 1932, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy has protected more than 212,000 acres of ecologically valuable land and supported scores of community garden projects. But the organization is perhaps best known for its exemplary stewardship of Fallingwater, the masterpiece of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Since acquiring the site in 1963, the Conservancy has won acclaim for its engaging interpretation programs. Equally important, it has demonstrated a firm commitment to maintaining the carefully devised relationship between the house and its setting. A landscape master plan has guided new plantings and improvements to visitor access without compromising the architect’s design. At the house itself, Wright’s technological innovations often make repairs difficult. In everything from furniture conservation to complicated projects such as preventing water damage and maintaining the structural integrity of the cantilevers, the difficulties have been met by Conservancy staff with dedication and professionalism. The end

result is a national landmark that is just as breathtaking and iconic as it was 70 years ago when Wright designed it. “A strong stewardship effort is absolutely vital to the preservation movement,” said Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “Through quality stewardship, the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is preserving America’s story for generations to come. We are pleased to honor the efforts of this champion of historic preservation.” The more than four million people who have visited Fallingwater know that it offers a chance to experience not only a creation of architectural genius, but stewardship at its very best. The National Preservation Awards are bestowed upon distinguished individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies and corporations whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks, companies and craftsmen whose work restores the richness of the past, the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities, and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation.

The Paradiso Group Hosts Private Gathering To Hear Inspirational Words Of William E. Strickland, Jr. (PITTSBURGH) – January 3, 2007, 5-8PM - The Paradiso Group, a unique Pittsburgh advertising and production company, whose clients include UPMC, hosts a private gathering to hear the inspirational words of William E. Strickland, Jr., President and CEO of Manchester Bidwell Corporation. For the past 40 years, Bill Strickland has been in the business of shaping – and changing – lives. The purpose of the event is to expand exposure of the work of Bill Strickland and to increase awareness of the role and mission of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center, Inc. Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild (MCG) was established in 1968 to help combat the economic deprivation experienced by the predominantly African American neighborhood of Manchester. MCG is a multi-discipline, minority directed arts and learning center. MCG Youth, MCG Arts and MCG Jazz are all programs of the Guild. Bidwell Training Center gives students a chance to succeed in the workforce by providing career education created through strong partnerships with leading local companies. Training is geared toward equipping students with the necessary skills for employment in today’s ever-changing marketplace. As it moves into its 39 th year of operation, Manchester Bidwell Corporation has evolved into a national model for empowerment. Manchester Bidwell Corporation is in the process of replicating its arts and technology model nationally and has 4 centers currently operating, one in San Francisco, one in Cincinnati, one in Grand Rapids Michigan and one in New Orleans.

Louis La Rose, Director of Business Affairs and Executive Producer, The Paradiso Group; Edward G. Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania; Leslie Merrill McCombs, Senior Counsultant for UPMC Government Relations; Herbie Pallotta, son of Ms. McCombs; Doug Romoff, President and Creative Director, The Paradiso Group.

Joe Negri, World Class Jazz Guitarist and Educator; and William E Strickland, Jr., President and CEO, Manchester Bidwell Corporation. Photos by Duane Rieder, Rieder Photography

FOR PEOPLE WITH MORE TASTE THAN MONEY Free Design Service Free Delivery Free Removal Free 1-Year Financing



DOWN ON THE FARM Shelly Gerhard

Winter at Fairview Farm I hope everyone has enjoyed a wonderful holiday season. Here we are in the new year, and I am doing the same chore I was doing at the end of last year: hauling cow manure. I am starting to regret that I kept all those extra heifers and steers. It is only 25o today with a light wind, and I must clean the barn anyway. I cannot stand to see dirty cattle.

it is true. In a few more years, small family farms like ours will be priced out of business. There will only be large corporate farms of 1000 or more acres in size.

The cows don’t like standing outside while I clean the barn, and I don’t like hauling load after load of manure all the way to the back end of the farm (but that is where the corn will be planted next spring). The cattle stand outside every day rain or shine and eat hay from the round bale feeders with no problem. But when I shut the door to clean the barn, and they find out they can’t get in, they stand outside the barn and bawl all day. Making all those long trips with the manure spreader gives me a lot of time to think about what I will do in the spring . . . how many acres of corn we will plant, what varieties we will use, how much fertilizer per acre, how many tons of lime pre acre. And will I seed some of my oats with alfalfa or will we leave it all unseeded and plant barley on all of it next fall? Lots of things to ponder while I ride back and forth – besides being cold.

The steers that we are keeping should gain enough weight over winter: I figure 300 pounds per head to pay my spring planting bills. We are very fortunate this year to have feed for those steers. It is time for us to cut some firewood for next winter. Cutting firewood is one of my favorite winter jobs. I like to do it on nice winter days when it is sunny and

HOMESTYLE CATERING 1310 Monastery Drive Latrobe, PA 15650



I also like to spend some time every winter going over and repairing my farm machinery. That is one way I save some money – doing my own repair work. For years I worked upstairs in the barn between the hay mows in the cold. But now I am blessed with a heated repair shop. When the weather is too cold and rough to work outside, I work in the shop. I better get to it, because spring will be here before you know it! Shelly Gerhard is a native of New Derry and lifelong farmer. Together with his wife, Carol, he has owned and operated Fairview Farm in Derry Township since 1964 raising beef cattle, chickens, pigs, horses and a variety of crops including corn, oats, barley, wheat, soy beans and hay. This day-in-the-life account of small town rural farming is based on a composite of his life experiences. He studied Agriculture at Penn State University and, as an avid reader, continues to learn about a variety of subjects every day.

Taste The Good Life

It is lunch time, so I am going into the house to see what the missus has for lunch.

Shown below right at “Taste the Good Life” are host Joey DiSalvo (left) and Mike Langer, President of the Westmoreland Cultural Trust. The well-attended charity event, which benefited the W.C.T., was held at DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant in Latrobe, a nationally registered historic landmark. Manning his pasta station at “Taste the Good Life” is DiSalvo’s Station Restaurant Executive Chef Gaetano DiSalvo (left).

We are all done with the barn, and it really looks nice. Fresh, clean straw everywhere, cows standing knee-deep in it. I should hurry and take a picture ‘cause it will only look that way for about an hour. I’ll spend the rest of the afternoon figuring out what it is going to cost me to plant crops next spring. This is always scary because it costs more every year. Lime and fertilizer are up; seed and chemicals are up; fuel is up. Meanwhile the prices I get for what I sell remain relatively unchanged from year to year. They fluctuate up and down a few cents per year, but the prices I get are mostly the same as my dad got for his stuff 40 or 50 years ago. It is hard to believe, but

there is no wind. If I can talk my wife, Carol, into helping me, then it really is a fun job. My neighbor, Bob, lets us cut wood on his property. I don’t have any woods of my own, but the farm is surrounded by them. I cut a lot of the overhanging limbs for firewood, but whole trees make nicer logs. When my wife comes along, we pack a lunch and stay out till it’s time for the kids to come home from school.

Photos by Barbara M. Neill


Candice Olson: One Designing Woman by Barbara M. Neill Candice Olson is the famed interior designer and the popular host of Divine Design, number one in the ratings in the U.S. on HGTV and in Canada on the W Network. Olson is Norwalk Furniture Corporation’s newest spokesperson. She joined the company in 2005 to introduce a collection of upholstered furniture. Olson is a graduate of the University of Calgary in Canada, a former player for the Canadian National Women’s Volleyball team, and an alumnus of the Ryerson University School of Interior Design. She started her own commercial and residential design practice in 1994.

our talents. On Divine Design we focus on the inside of a box. We’re only doing one room. However, we are shooting season five right now, and we are starting to do a lot more renovation-type projects. LMP: Your style is repeatedly referred to as creative, practical, and timeless. “Candice Olson on Design: Inspiration & Ideas for Your Home” is the title of your

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry (adapted from a line in “To a Mouse” by Robert Burns). The Lazor Furniture family of Latrobe can attest to it. On Thursday, November 30, 2006 the weather outside was frightful – not in Latrobe, but in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Lazors thought Candice Olson was coming to town to present “Candice on Design” at their Route 30 East establishment. Plans for the evening included a meetand-greet reception, the presentation, and a booksigning with autographs. This writer was scheduled to do a live interview with her that evening. As you may know, Candice Olson never made it to Latrobe. She had given her Norwalk presentation in Tulsa the previous day, and was stranded in the heart of the snowstorm that enveloped the Plains and Midwest. That afternoon I took several calls from Olson’s spokesperson updating the situation. After the decision was made to cancel the presentation, Olson requested a phone interview. The Laurel Mountain Post was happy to oblige. Before our interview began Olson and I chatted informally. She explained that since her calendar is completely booked until April 2009, she does not have plans at this time to visit Latrobe in the future. She explained, “Real design takes time. The schedule of the show is so intensive. We shoot or design about ten months of the year.” Olson is also doing design licenses for a number of products. In addition to the Norwalk furniture these include fabric, carpeting, lighting, wallpaper, and bed linens. Add to that a personal life that includes her husband and raising two young children. Weekends are saved for family. LMP: Do you consider yourself to be an interior designer, an interior decorator, a combination of both, or perhaps, the rather newly-coined term an interior architect? CO: For all intents and purposes, I would have to say the term “interior designer” best describes me. I have a four-year degree in interior design and it is my first love; it’s where my heart lies. I don’t consider myself a decorator, only because I do more than that. An interior architect is more of a professional term that is thrown around. I have done complete houses, including all the architectural drawings, right through to the finished product. When I went out on my own I actually wound up marrying one of the builders that I was doing a lot of work with. The joke is that it’s hard to get a good contractor or builder, so when I got one I married him. I don’t recommend it for everybody, but I wanted to keep him around. Originally, my husband, who has an architectural background, and I combined 12 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST

color and finishes, so that it is eclectic, not eccentric. I’m also a huge fan of Phillipe Starck. I like his sense of humor. He has a wonderful tongue-in-cheek way of approaching design and he brings classic designs upto-date with modern materials. LMP: How do you decide on the room projects for the show? CO: When we’re looking at our 26 episodes at the beginning of the year we pick from thousands and thousands of applicants. We break it down into bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchens, and dining rooms. We look at all different kinds of budgets. A little sideline about budgets – I can honestly say that the bigger budget shows are not the most successful transformations. Oddly enough, some of our lower budget shows have had the most impact. We want an interesting room with great makeover potential and a little bit of a story. It needs to be more than just an ugly room that needs to be done over. People are surprised to hear that we shoot in Toronto. But, we really do make an effort to make it look as if the location could be anywhere in North America. LMP: Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of having an unhappy client who asked you to do a makeover of a makeover. CO: In almost 130 episodes we have never had a client not like their makeover. It really is all about the homeowners. I go in and I play my Dr. Phil role, and I find out what their likes and dislikes are. I do my homework well in advance. I custom design the makeover to be about what the homeowner wants. Perhaps, it is not what I would want. It’s not always about me.

book. I am very interested in knowing who your inspiration may be. Since your take is modernistic, I’ll skip to the semi-modern designers. Could it be Sister Parrish, Mark Hampton, Stephen Chase, John Saladino, Dorothy Draper, Billy Baldwin, or even Frank Lloyd Wright of nearby Fallingwater fame? CO: I love the fact that Saladino’s interiors look like a designer hasn’t been there. That is the biggest compliment a client can pay me. My style is really about taking the best of classic traditional design and reinterpreting and modernizing it with contemporary influences. I think Saladino does that as well. You’re not living in the space, the client is. People don’t like to be pigeon-holed. A lot of this job is finding out what their personal style is and marrying the items and experiences that they’ve had in the past with a room setting that can take them forward into the future. They may have some wonderful antique pieces that they inherited or purchased along the way, but yet they love the best of what’s happening with contemporary design. It needs to be something they can grow and evolve with. I link a room together with

LMP: I noticed that your Norwalk pieces are referred to by proper names (i.e. Bette, Tina, Beckett, Oscar). Are these names based on real people? I have to admit I tried to decide which celebrity best matched each piece. Did you name the furniture or did Norwalk? CO: I named everything. With the Norwalk Furniture a lot of the pieces tend to have an attitude or personality. Bette I thought had a curvaceous look – something like Bette Midler. Tina has a flirty skirt and very sexy legs a la Tina Turner. Because I had two kids in three years, I had to come up with baby names. Beckett is one of the chairs in the line. Our son’s name is Beckett. We have a sofa coming out in April that will be named for our daughter, Pyper. Oscar is a sort of an old-fashioned name, but it fits a sofa with clean, sturdy solid lines. LMP: My cousin, Bonnie Kocon, asks – if you have printed wallpaper in a room, how many different upholstery prints do you suggest using in that room? CO: It’s more about the balance of scale. There’s no hard and fast rule that says you can’t have as many patterns as you want in a room. I just wouldn’t want to see a similar scale on the upholstery fabric that’s on

the wallpaper. A lot of what I do is contrast. I contrast scale and color and texture. LMP: Your signature touch includes dressmaker details that accent your furniture. Have you ever designed clothing? If not, is it something you would consider? CO: I would never want to say never. I’d love to design a line of clothing for very tall women. I am six feet tall, and, incidentally, I would like to have a shoe that makes a size 11 foot look elegant. LMP: Do you still enjoy playing volleyball? CO: I have probably not picked up a ball in 20 years. We just had an episode with a volleyball beach player, and I had to play with her a little bit on the beach. I thought, wow, have I ever lost my touch! LMP: You’re a designer, TV host, writer of a syndicated column, and author. This is surely a full professional life for any one person. Something tells me that with your energy level, there is still more you want to accomplish. Can you tell me about any new directions you might take in the future, professionally or otherwise?


Ligonier Theater

Route 66

208 West Main Street 724-238-6514, ext. 2

March 16 & 17 at 8:00 PM March 18 at 2:30 PM All tickets $10.00


I Take This Man February 2, 3, 9, 10 at 8:00 PM February 11 at 2:30 $12.00 Adults $10.00 for Seniors and Students

CO: Barbara, I’d love to have a vacation.


Comfort Food For Any Weather Usually by this time in the season I’ve made gallons of soups & stews. But the lack of snow and cold weather has me uninspired to make any of our favorite winter comfort foods. The smell of roasting bones & vegetables and simmering stock are one of the things that make the house a home during the cold dark days of winter. It just doesn’t seem to be the same experience when it’s in the 50’s or 60’s and brilliantly sunny outside. One comfort food we have regularly throughout the year is macaroni & cheese. Admittedly one of those dishes that every person has a favorite recipe or style for making, more often than not it’s the one they grew up with. I was lucky that both of my grand mothers knew how to make a great Béchamel sauce. The key to any delicious mac & cheese is the sauce and the cheese used. A poorly made sauce or inferior cheese makes for a broken or oily product. Another thing to keep in mind is not to overcook the pasta and remember that the pasta is going to absorb the sauce as it bakes in the oven. There are two clearly divided camps on mac & cheese…those who eat it right off the stove top and those that expect it baked. I’m with the latter. But not so much a purist that I occasionally incorporate


meats & vegetables, change the pasta to something fun, and go the complete meal casserole route. Mis en place and prep work intensive sometimes, but the end product is a one-dish meal that is usually even more satiating the following day. The precise reason I’m in the baked mac & cheese camp: how else would you be able to slice the leftovers and fry them the following day? Béchamel Sauce (Yields 1.5 cups) 1-cup milk 1-cup light cream 2 T. unsalted butter 2T flour (all purpose) 1 bay leaf whole 2 cloves 1/8 t. freshly grated nutmeg 1 small onion cut in half 1 c. grated extra sharp cheddar cheese (some reserved for sprinkling on top) Salt & freshly ground white pepper to taste Attach bay leaf to cut side of onion with cloves. Then combine the milk & cream in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat, remove pan from the heat & cover to keep contents warm. Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly so the butter doesn’t brown. Now add the milk & cream mixture in a steady stream, whisking briskly until the mixture is well blended. Add the remaining ingredients and reduce the heat to low. Allow the sauce to simmer for 10 min. At this point remove the onion, clove and bayleaf, then add the grated cheese a little bit at a time, waiting until what you’ve added is completely incorporated

before adding more. A scum of protein from the flour will rise to the surface as the sauce simmers, skim this off and discard. This is a classic recipe for béchamel sauce. It doesn’t yield enough to do much more than a quick sauce for a small batch of fish really. It’s really much more practical to increase the recipe to a quart of milk and a quart of light cream. Béchamel is a “Mother Sauce” which means that from it many others can be made. And it keeps for a few days in the refrigerator. There are few things lovelier than having mac & cheese one night, and veal with planned-over béchamel using truffle cheese instead of cheddar and some fresh herbs. It does not freeze well, however. Commercial versions of frozen cream sauces usually contain waxy maize, as it is a starch that doesn’t defrost with a grainy texture like most flours and some potatoes for that matter. Hopefully we’ll finally get some snow here in the mountains, and my freezer will soon find itself once again filled with vacuum packed ingots** of stocks, stews & other essentials. Perhaps my most favorite part of any classic comfort food is how easily prepared in volume it can be made & stored for later use. Sometimes not as perfectly pretty as it was on the table the first night you had it; but the flavors will be more melded together, so it’s still a win. ** Quick Tip: to more easily freeze liquids, ladle or pour them into the small aluminum bread pans and quick-freeze overnight. Then individually wrap & freeze the now easily stackable ingots even if you don’t have a vacuum-sealing machine. If you don’t have one, consider getting one. We use ours for everything from storing sterling silver to keep it from tarnishing to keeping Oreo’s fresh in one of the containers sold as accessories with most systems.

I hope your new year is filled with many delicious meals, good friends and great times! Read more about Chef and an archive of his columns online at www.The



The Art of Toys: Holiday Toy and Train Exhibition sponsored by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield

Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, 724-837-1500 Thru Feb 1

Thru Feb 1

Jan 26

Jan 27

Daily, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Pittsburgh, 412-622-3131; Thru March 11

Jan 27

Thru March 18

Jan 27

Thru Sept 1

Jan 27-28 Jan 28

Feb 1

AN AMERICAN MARKETPLACE The Shop at The Westmoreland Winter Clearance Sale Event

6-9PM, Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main Street, Greensburg. 724-837-1500; Jan 12-14

12th Annual Fire and Ice Festival

Feb 2

Feb 2

Jan 18

Jan 20

MCG Jazz Night at the Omni William Penn presents Maureen Budway Quartet

Feb 2-3 Feb 2-4

Feb 2 – Mar 10

Feb 6

Saint Vincent College Concert Series presents pianist Konstantin Soukhovetski

Feb 6-Mar 13

Stage Right Presents “The Full Monty”

Feb 6 – 13

Pittsburgh Expo-Mart, 412-856-8100; 105 Mall Boulevard, Monroeville, Jan 20

Local author Karl Berger signs copies of his book, Clipperton

noon-2:00 PM; Barnes and Noble, Greensburg, 724-832-0622; Jan 20

Ligonier Valley Help Desk discussing Publishing Alternatives: POD and other Options

2:00-4:00 PM, Barnes and Noble, Greensburg, PA; 724-832-0622; Jan 21

Westmoreland Cultural Trust presents Duquesne University Tamburitzans

2 PM, The Palace Theatre, Greensburg, 724-836-8000 Jan 22 - Feb

Northern Italian Wine Dinner with Sean Tuttle of Banville and Jones

7PM, Green Gable Mountain Playhose, Jennerstown, 814-629-9201


Sterling Silver Byzantine Chain Bracelet (NEW!) with Jan Christiansen

2 Tuesday Evenings, 6pm – 9pm, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe, 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee) Feb 8 – Mar 29

Watercolor – Jump In! with Sue Pollins

Thursday Evenings, 6:30pm – 9:30pm, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe, 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee) Feb 8

Thursdays AT THE WESTMORELAND– free program

Printmaking Workshop; Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St, Greensburg; 724-837-1500 ext. 10; Feb 9

Valentine’s Dinner Dance with Johnny Angel & the Halos

7 PM, Mountain View Inn, Greensburg, 724-834-5300; Feb 9-10

Valley Players of Ligonier presents I Take This Man

8PM, Ligonier Theatre, Ligonier; 724-238-6514; Feb 9-11

Stage Right Presents “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” 2 & 7:30 PM, Greensburg Garden and Civic Center, Greensburg, 724-832-7464 or 724-836-8000;

Feb 9-11

Strongland Home Expo

Former JC Penney Building in Lower Burrell; 724-845-5426; FRI: 4-9PM; SAT: 10AM-9PM; SUN: 11AM-5PM. Admission $5, Children 12 and under are FREE.

Monday Evenings, 7pm – 9:30pm, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe, 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee) Jan 25

Afternoons with Doreen – Watercolor/Acrylic

Tuesdays, 1pm – 4pm, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe, 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee)

Student Art Exhibit

Watercolor Splash (NEW!) with Peg Panasiti

Senior Social

2 PM, Country Café & Video Pleasant Unity, 724-537-4331

Harlan Gallery, Seton Hill University, Greensburg; Jan 22 - Feb 12

Go with the Flow! – Watercolor with Mary Hoffmann Fridays, 1pm-4pm, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe; 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee)

Terrace Room, Omni William Penn, Pittsburgh, 412-553-5235;

World’s Greatest Hobby On Tour

Greensburg American Opera presents The Telephone and The Impresaario

Two comic one-act operas. Friday at 8pm , Saturday at 8pm , Sunday at 3pm (Pre-show talk 45 min before opening). Ferguson Theatre at Univ. of Pitt. at Greensburg. $15 adults, $12 seniors, $5 children. For tickets, call 724-972-1031

8:00 PM, Greensburg Garden and Civic Center, Greensburg, 724-832-7464 or 724-836-8000; Jan 19-21

Valley Players of Ligonier present I Take This Man

8PM, Ligonier Theatre, Ligonier, 724-238-6514;

8:00 PM, Carey Performing Arts Center, Latrobe; 724-537-4565 Jan 19-21

International Guitar Night, featuring Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Brian Gore, Andrew York, and Sylvain Luc. Part of the Guitar Society of Fine Art Concert Series Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Pittsburgh, 412-394-3353;

Westmoreland Jazz Society presents Donna Bailey & Her Jazz Ensemble

7:30 PM Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St, Greensburg. 724-837-1500 ext. 27;

First Friday Wine Tastings

6-8PM, Green Gables Restaurant, Jennerstown; 814-629-9201

Streets of Uptown Somerset, Somerset, 814-443-1748; Jan18

Senior Social

2 PM, Valley Dairy, Latrobe; 724-537-4331;

Tuesdays, 9AM-12PM, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe, 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee) Jan11 – Feb 11

State Theatre Center for the Arts presents: Urban Cowboy–The Musical

7PM, State Theatre, Uniontown, 724-439-1360;

Made in Johnstown Exhibit at the Heritage Discovery Center Beginner/Intermediate Watercolor with Lee Klingenberg

Ligonier Ice Fest

On the Diamond in Ligonier; 724-238-4200;

10 am - 5 pm, Heritage Discovery Center, Johnstown; 814-539-1889 Jan 9 – Feb 27

Big Band Dance

7-11 PM Cecilian Hall, Seton Hill University, Greensburg, 724-838-4280

Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race

Daily, The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, 412-237-8300;

Martini Tasting at the Ligonier Tavern with music by Matt Blisten at 8PM

6-9PM, Ligonier Tavern, Ligonier, 724-238-7788;

Forum 58: Jonathan Borofsky Human Structures

Daily, Forum Gallery, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 412-622-3131;

3rd Annual Comedy Night (Pittsburgh Funny Bone Comedians) 6 PM, Huber Hall, Latrobe, (Adults Only Show) 724-537-4331

Rembrandt’s Great Subjects: Prints from the Collection The Face of India: Photographs by Donald M. Robinson

Annual Prayer Breakfast

Four Points Hotel by Sheraton 7:00 - 9:00 AM. $15.00 per person (includes a breakfast buffet) All reservations must be pre-paid; no walk-ins. 724-834-2900

Daily, The Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, 412-622-3131; Thru Feb 25

Winterfest at Mystic Mountain

Nemacolin Woodland Resort, Farmington, 724-329-8555;

Hurricane on the Bayou

Daily, The Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, 412-237-3400 Thru Feb 11

Jan 26-28

Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk

Daily, The Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, 412-237-3400

Indoor/Outdoor Home Show

Pittsburgh Expo-Mart (412) 276-6292; 105 Mall Boulevard, Monroeville

Bugs! A Rainforest Adventure

Daily, The Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, 412-237-3400 Thru Feb 1

Jan. 25 – 28

Feb 10

Ligonier Valley Writers Hot Dog Fest

Giannilli’s II on Route 30 East. Starts at 6 p.m. Singers Cathi and Bill Rhodes will perform. Tickets $25.

Feb 23- Mar 3

“Everyman” by Anonymous

Reeves Theatre, Seton Hill University, Greensburg; 724-838-4241 Feb 24

Ligonier Valley Writers Mystery Saturday

Free at Greensburg Hempfield Library, 2-4PM. Participatory writing workshop by Mary Ann Mogus and Barb Miller. Feb 10

“Murder at the Masquerade” Dinner/ Murder Mystery Show

Feb 25-June 3

6:30 PM, Mountain View Inn, Greensburg; Reservations: 724-516-5446, Feb 10

JazzMagic featuring Master Magician Paul Gertner

230PM, Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Pittsburgh; 412-322-0800 Feb 10

Local author Jim Wexell signs copies of his book, Men of Steel

Picturing What Matters: An Offering of Photographers from the George Eastman House Collection

Daily, Westmoreland Museum of American Art, 221 N. Main St, Greensburg 724-837-1500; Feb 25

Pittsburgh Bridal Showcase

Pittsburgh Expo-Mart 412-856-8100; 105 Mall Blvd, Monroeville;

This latest book chronicles 60 years of Steeler history and tells the rest of the story; 11AM, Barnes and Noble, Greensburg; 724-832-0622; Feb 10

Westmoreland Symphony Orchestra Presents “Classic Valentine” 8 PM, Palace Theatre, Greensburg; 724-837-1850;

Feb 10 – 11

Great Train Expo

Expo Mart, Monroeville; 412-856-8100, Feb 11

Frank Sinatra Jr.

8 PM, The Theatre on 5th, Indiana; 724-357-2315; Feb 11

Valley Players of Ligonier present I Take This Man

230PM, Ligonier Theatre, Ligonier, 724-238-6514; Feb 14

Free Morning Movie & Popcorn

10:30 AM, GLSD Center for Student Creativity, Latrobe; 724-537-4331 Feb 14

Latshaw Productions Presents The Cornell Gunters Coasters & The Platters

8 PM, Palace Theatre, Greensburg; 724-836-8000; Feb 14-18

Allegheny Sport, Travel and Outdoor Show

Pittsburgh Expo-Mart, 412-856-8100; 105 Mall Boulevard Monroeville Feb 15

Starship starring Mickey Thomas

8PM, Convention Hall, Seven Springs Mountain Resort, Champion, 866-703-7625; Feb 15


Barnes & Noble Children’s Story Times

Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:00 AM; Thursdays at 7:00 PM; last Wednesday of the month at 10:00 AM signing storytime with signer from American Sign Lnaguage Association

Greensburg Toastmasters Club

We enable people to improve their communication and leadership skills in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere. Meets Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday; Greensburg Court House; Main Street, Greensburg. For more information CALL Mike at 724-537-7966.

Andy Warhol Museum Good Fridays: 5-10PM, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; 412-237-8300; The Weekend Factory: Every Saturday and Sunday, 12-4PM. Open studio workshop provides opportunities for visitors of all ages to experiment with materials, techniques and themes used by Warhol.

Alzheimers Association Support Group

Meets 3rd Thursdays at St. Mark’s Luthern Chrch in New Stanton, 6:30 PM. 724-337-7581.

The Ligonier Tavern Presents . . .

Live music weekly - check website for schedule at West Main Street in Ligonier; 724-238-7788.

To submit your community event to this calendar, please email complete information to

Westmoreland Jazz Society Presents: Tom DeGregory Band

7:30 PM Westmoreland Museum of American Art, Greensburg, 724-837-1500 ext.27 Feb 15 –18

Manchester Craftmen’s Guild presents Brazilian pianist and vocalist Ivan Lins

Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Pittsburgh; 412-322-0800; Feb 16

Valentine’s Day Big Band Dinner Dance

7 PM, Mountain View Inn, Greensburg; Reservations: 724-834-5300; Feb17

2nd Annual Hollywood Party at the Palace

The Palace Theatre, Greensburg; Featuring lively entertainment, re-enactments of old movie scenes, dancing, and much more. For more information call 724-836-1123 Feb 17

Saint Vincent College Concert Series Presents Timothy Fain, violinist

8:00 PM, Carey Performing Arts Center, Latrobe; 724-537-4565; Feb 19 – April 9

Drawing Realistically (NEW!) with Sommer Toffle

Monday Evenings, 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe, 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee) Feb 20

3rd Annual Mardi Gras Gala

5:30-8:00 PM, YWCA Mansion, Greensburg; 724-834-9390 Feb 21

Manchester Craftmen’s Guild presents Babatune Lea

Manchester Craftsmens Guild, Pittsburgh; 412-322-0800; Feb 22 – Mar 29

Landscape Watercolor with Elmer Knizner

Thursdays, 9am – 12pm, Latrobe Art Center, Latrobe; 724-537-7011 (pre-registration and fee) Feb 22

MCG Jazz Night at the Omni William Penn presents John “Doc” Wilson Septet

Terrace Room, Omni William Penn, Pittsburgh; 412-553-5235; Feb 23

16th Annual WANT Job and Career Expo

9-1 PM, Westmoreland County Community College, Youngwood; 724.836.7182 Feb 23-25

International Gem & Jewelry Show

Pittsburgh Expo-Mart 412-856-8100; 105 Mall Blvd, Monroeville


TAKE IT ON FAITH Pastor Ron Durika

Why Does The Church Exist?

specializing in second hand clothing • furniture • household items

CLOTHING & FURNITURE STORE 360 Charles Houck Rd in Whitney 724-424-6618


NORTHWOOD REALTY SERVICES Brenda Fillmore Perry office: (724) 537-0110 ext. 22 cell: (724) 396-2001




at Latrobe An Emeritus Assisted Living Community

500 Brouwers Drive • Latrobe, PA 15650 724-537-5255 • 16 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST

Ask a member of a church why their church exists, and you will hear a variety of answers. Many would say their church exists as a place for them to worship and to be led in worship. Others would say that their church is present in their community as a place where they and others can go for help when in need. Some look at a church as a place to grow in understanding, or a place where you might go to be understood and accepted. While these are valid reasons, a deeper understanding would show that a church is intended to be a demonstration to the world of what God wants for the world. Churches aren’t located near us to better serve us as much as they are there so we can better serve each other and our God. In this service the greatest gift we can share, and the one that God wishes us to have, is the gift of an eternal life in heaven after this earthly life is done. Too often we either forget this or think that that we are unable to be administrators of God’s grace and mercy with this gift. I think this is where those who are leaders in the church are falling short in their calling when they cannot convey the importance and urgency of leading people to the saving grace of Christ. Most churches do a good job of helping people within their own walls. Some work at reaching out to those around them to share what they have been blessed with. Food pantries, clothing drives, temporary housing, cards, visits to the sick, financial aid, and counseling are but a few of the ways help is extended. We are to care for the sick, the needy, the oppressed and the lost. However it is the lost, those who have not found Christ, where we often place the least emphasis, yet that is the area we are to be most concerned. It’s almost as though we have lost direction and have taken for granted what we who make up the church of Christ are called to do. The primary purpose of Christian ministry is to bring lost sinners to salvation and to edify Christ. Anything short of this – no matter how helpful it may be to our earthly existence – is work done in vain. The work of the church is not to be primarily directed

so we feel comfortable. It is not for honor, or fame that we move, but to save the lost and then give guidance to the saved. A successful church is not to be measured by how smoothly it operates, membership, attendance, the number of programs it has, size of staff, or assets. While all these may indicate the church is fulfilling its role, the one true test is if lost souls are being saved or at least awakened to want to know more. Anything less should not satisfy a Christian or be the direction the church should take. A person may be warmed, his belly filled, and his physical needs met, but if his soul is unsatisfied and troubled, God has not entered his life . . . and true contentment will never be found. Emphasis then should not be directed on the building, the pastor, ceremonies, or programs. Instead all these things and more should always seek to lead one to Christ. If we could look back on the past fifty years at our churches, we would find numerous worship services filled with sermons, sacraments, prayer, and singing. There have been lessons, studies, visits, and lots and lots of meetings in the lives of our churches. Bookkeeping would have recorded births, deaths, baptisms, weddings, attendance and financial transactions. But no record of how many have been saved will be known. To be fair no such record could be accurately kept, for we don’t really know if a person’s heart is truly given over to God. But what use are all those numbers and statistics if we do not as a church have as a priority to save souls? How can we as a church justify our existence if we worry about our own members but allow men and women around us to live and die uncared for, unprayed for, and without the hope we have? How do we justify calling ourselves Christian if we do not try and share the love, the grace, the mercy and forgiveness of God with our neighbors? Ron Durika is the pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in New Florence (corner of Fifth & Chestnut Streets, 724-235-2940). 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.

The Friendliest Neighborhood Around by Paula J. Forte Growing up in Latrobe, we have all been smugly aware that when Mr. Rogers spoke with his “neighbors,” he was actually speaking with us. Many, however, are still unaware of what good neighbors we have in the Rogers Family. James Hillis Rogers and Nancy McFeely Rogers, our Mr. Rogers’ parents, mused that, since Latrobe had always been good to them, they wanted to do something good for the people of Latrobe. Therefore, in December of 1952, the family established the McFeely-Rogers Foundation to support the community of Latrobe. The aim of the foundation was to make Latrobe a special place in which to live, work and recreate. Nancy McFeely Rogers served as the foundation’s first president. In its first year, with limited funds, the foundation authorized grants totaling $250. Local organizations such as the Latrobe Community Chest, Latrobe Hospital, the Chestnut Ridge Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Latrobe Presbyterian Church, the Salvation Army and the Westmoreland Chapter of the Boy Scout Council were supporters in the early years. Following a tragic drowning in the Loyalhanna Creek, the family’s first major initiative was to provide a place for families to swim in the hot summer months. The Rogers-McFeely Memorial Pool was built in Legion Keener Park by the Rogers family and opened in 1959. The foundation provides operating support as well as capital improvement support to Latrobe-Unity Parks and Recreation so that the cost for individuals and families remains affordable. Open seven days a week from 1:00 to 8:00 p.m. with swimming lessons in the mornings, the pool offers summer passes for individuals for $40 and families for $100 per season. The foundation has supported LatrobeUnity Parks and Recreation in other ways as well. The foundation played a major role along with community leaders and Latrobe city management to turn the swampy area of “Frog Town” into the beautiful fifty-two acre Legion Keener Park. Working closely with the Greater Latrobe School District and baseball enthusiasts, the foundation helped to upgrade the Latrobe baseball fields for use by the Latrobe Legion and high school teams. Legion Keener Park’s popular softball fields receive major foundation support due to the overwhelming volunteer efforts by the entire community to assist in their development. The foundation also has assisted in improving the Legion Keener Park’s tennis and volleyball courts. Over the past decade, the City of Latrobe’s neighborhood playgrounds have been upgraded. Fred Rogers, the third president of the foundation, once said, “If we can have good, safe playgrounds, then we can have good safe neighborhoods, and a good safe community.” The school district in Latrobe has also been the recipient of support from the McFeely-Rogers Foundation. The foundation funded the playground area behind the Latrobe Elementary School to provide a convenient safe recreation area for primary-aged students. It also supports the Safe

Route to School Program which is working to improve the safety of our children around our schools. The foundation also helped to build the Center for Student Creativity and the accompanying courtyard which are located within the junior/ senior high school complex. The McFeely-Rogers Foundation, working jointly with the local Parent Teachers Organizations, sponsors cultural enrichment programs in all three of the Latrobe elementary schools. They also sponsor a visiting artists-in-residence project at the junior and senior high schools to promote enjoyment and awareness of the arts among young adults. To promote the reading education of children, the foundation provided funds to create the children’s library on the ground floor of the Adams Memorial Library. The foundation continues to provide funding for the library’s children’s collection. It also funds a bookmobile which supplies children from the surrounding areas—as far away as Donegal—with quality reading materials. To help beautify the outdoor surroundings of Adams Memorial Library, the library courtyard and parking lot were funded and dedicated in honor of Nancy McFeely Rogers, the foundation’s first president. For many years, the Rogers family wintered in Clearwater, Florida. James Hillis Rogers, the foundation’s second president, would often wish

Laney Rogers Crozier and Fred Rogers at Unity Chapel. that Latrobe’s downtown area had a fountain similar to one which he admired in Clearwater. After his death, the foundation trustees commissioned a park adorned with a replica of the Clearwater fountain to be built on a prominent street corner in Latrobe. Today, across the street from the post office, a beautifully landscaped park along with the fountain, still stands, a shady haven for visitors and residents. To this day, the park is maintained by the foundation at no cost to the city. The foundation is also assisting in the Latrobe Community Main Street Project which is aimed at revitalizing the entire city. The Rogers family has long been members of the Latrobe Presbyterian church and has worked to provide for its cultural enrichment by helping to donate a new organ to the church located in

downtown Latrobe. However, the family also had emotional ties to the small Unity Chapel located on the outskirts of Latrobe. In 1953, James Hillis Rogers helped to relaunch a full-scale restoration project started decades earlier by the Mellons. Today, especially in the summer, parishioners are offered a choice of attending services in the beautifully restored chapel or the downtown church, courtesy of the McFeely-Rogers Foundation. The McFeely-Rogers Foundation also works to help seniors through the Laurel Area Partnership on Aging, or LAPA. Because the generations of many families have been separated because of our increasingly shrinking business world, the foundation supports classes for senior citizens on computer skills in order to ensure that the generations stay connected—at least through email. When it became apparent that many seniors were unable to purchase their own computers, LAPA stepped in to help. Outdated but usable, donated computers are being refurbished by volunteers and distributed to graduates of the computer program through the efforts of the foundation and the LAPA volunteers. Even transients in our area can benefit from the generosity of the foundation through their support of the Union Mission of Latrobe. Homeless men are provided with a clean place to sleep, nourishing food to eat, and career counseling at this facility. The Rogers family believes that everyone is special, and the Union Mission is dedicated to nurturing transients to help them feel special about themselves again. Today, Nancy Rogers Crozier, Fred’s sister, is the fourth president of the foundation. An artist, her vision created the Latrobe Art Center located on the corner of Ligonier and Main Streets. The goal of the center is to provide a haven where artists can create and flourish while they hone their crafts. She also supports the Art Trust, headed by Barbara Nakels, which maintains the art gallery housed in Greater Latrobe Senior High School. The McFeely-Rogers Foundation helped to fund the catalog of the paintings and has established an endowment to support their periodic restoration. Anyone who has visited the newly renovated emergency room at the Excela Health Latrobe Hospital can see one of the newest projects supported by the foundation. The foundation had built the Meditation Chapel at the hospital and provides for its upkeep. In short, the McFeely-Rogers Foundation is quietly working to make Latrobe one of the friendliest neighborhoods in the country. James Okonak, the representative of the foundation, said, “It is easy to give money away; however, it is difficult to give it away effectively—and we always try to do it effectively.” Latrobe has benefited greatly by the effective improvements that the foundation has made to its churches, its schools, its hospitals, and its recreational facilities. The next time you watch Fred Rogers sing to us about being good neighbors, please remember that he and his family really are the best! LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 17

EARTH TALK Questions & Answers About Our Environment Why do environmentalists advocate that people “eat locally?” I don’t understand the connection between patronizing local food producers and environmental quality. In our modern age of food preservatives and additives, genetically altered crops and E. coli outbreaks, as with the recent spinach debacle, people are increasingly concerned about the quality and cleanliness of the foods they eat. Given the impossibility of identifying the pesticides used and the route taken to grow and transport, say, a banana from Central America to our local supermarket, foods grown locally make a lot of sense for those who want more control over what they put into their bodies. John Ikerd, a retired agricultural economics professor who writes about the growing “eat local” movement, says that farmers who sell direct to local consumers need not give priority to packing, shipping and shelf life issues and can instead “select, grow and harvest crops to ensure peak qualities of freshness, nutrition and taste.” Eating local also means eating seasonally, he adds, a practice much in tune with Mother Nature. “Local food is often safer, too,” says the Center for a New American Dream (CNAD). “Even when it’s not organic, small farms tend to be less aggressive than large factory farms about dousing their wares with chemicals.” Small farms are also more likely to grow more variety, too, says CNAD, protecting biodiversity and preserving a wider agricultural gene pool, an important factor in long-term food security. Eating locally grown food even helps in the fight against global warming. Rich Pirog of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture reports that the average fresh food item on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there. Buying locally-produced food

eliminates the need for all that fuelguzzling transportation. Another benefit of eating locally is helping the local economy. Farmers on average receive only 20 cents of each food dollar spent, says Ikerd, the rest going for transportation, processing, packaging, refrigeration and marketing. Farmers who sell food to local customers “receive the full retail value, a dollar for each food dollar spent,” he says. Additionally, eating locally encourages the use of local Getty Images farmland for farming, thus keeping development in check while preserving open space. Portland, Oregon’s EcoTrust has launched a campaign, the Eat Local Challenge, to encourage people to eat locally for a week so they can see— and taste—the benefits. The organization provides an “Eat Local Scorecard” to those willing to try. Participants must commit to spending 10 percent of their grocery budget on local foods grown within a 100-mile radius of home. In addition they are asked to try one new fruit or vegetable each day, and to freeze or otherwise preserve some food to enjoy later in the year. EcoTrust also provides consumers with tips on how to eat locally more often. Shopping regularly at local farmers’ markets or farm stands tops the list. Also, locally owned grocery and natural foods stores and coops are much more likely than supermarkets to stock local foods. The Local Harvest website provides a comprehensive national directory of farmers’ markets, farm stands and other locally grown food sources.

CONTACTS:; EcoTrust Eat Local Challenge,; Local Harvest, GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at:, or e-mail: Read past columns at: 18 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST

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A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words by Barbara M. Neill The title of this article “is a familiar proverb that refers to the idea that complex stories can be told with just a single still image, or that an image may be more influential than a substantial amount of text”(Wikipedia, the free online encyclopedia). The photography of Indiana artist Joy Fairbanks is a case in point. A native of Blairsville, Fairbanks earned her B.S. and M.A. degrees in the art department of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. After the completion of these degrees she briefly taught high school art as a substitute. She also filled a substitute position in the Ligonier Valley School District in the midseventies. Her experience at the R.K. Mellon Elementary School played a significant role in her decision to acquire a permanent elementary position, rather than one in secondary. “I loved the enthusiasm of the students, their creative approach, and the uninhibited work they produced.” Subsequently, she became an elementary art teacher in the Blairsville-Saltsburg School District with a career there that spanned 31 years. Fairbanks retired from teaching in 2002. Yet, she is anything but retired in the traditional sense of the word. Fairbanks has worked in many mediums including jewelry, sculpture, pottery, and painting. She has even managed to “dash off” 45 pen and ink drawings for Ligonier author Clark McKowen to include in his 2000 book Ligonier Sightings. However, photography, which she considers an art, seems to be her passion. She likes to photograph everyday things that interest her – items with limited color schemes, interesting shapes, and contrasts of light and dark. She often turns her images into note cards and postcards. Fortune Teller 02, a personal favorite of this writer, features the mechanical Esmeralda who resided at the Arcade in Idlewild Park for half-acentury. (see bottom right photo) Fairbanks enjoys shutter-bugging during her many travels. When she and her husband, Bob, traveled abroad she captured the very essence of Italy and Provence, France in her photos. She journeyed with daughter Bonnie to the Grand Canyon and shot a beautiful February vista. She has done a series entitled The Viewer, which pictures people in various museums. She explains, “If you see the series you will note how the viewer relates to the art – either in color, composition, or attitude. I find this series intriguing and often go back to it.”

But, Fairbanks also feels that close-to-home areas have wonderful subject matter as well. “I think we tend to pay more attention to new things and take the everyday scenes and shots around us for granted,” she contends. Clark Metal Products Company of Blairsville was an unlikely source of

inspiration. The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art in Ligonier purchased one of her Clark Metal photos. Blue Spruce Park in Indiana County provided an early spring scene that has a “painterly” quality. Even her own backyard has given her its share of photo ops. The photo she calls My Ansel Adams is a shot of a snow-laden birch tree on her property reminiscent of that famous photographer’s style. I am the proud owner of a gorgeous sunrise print. The original photo was taken from the front porch of the Fairbanks homestead. (Speaking of the homestead, Joy and Bob have a home worthy of an Architectural Digest spread. Aside from being a glorious structure placed in a scenic locale, a person could spend hours admiring the artwork of Fairbanks and numerous others. Even the choice and arrangement of objects is awe-inspiring.)

combined her photographic talents with those of Maryland sculptress Cynthia Hutnyan in a 2003 show viewed at the Goldhaber-Fend Fine Arts Center Gallery in Westmont (sponsored by the Community Arts Center of Cambria County). More recently, her photo entitled Kamal’s Palette was included in the benefit auction at I.U.P.’s Night on the Nile in late September of 2006. This event was a gala preview reception for a retrospective exhibition of the painting and sculpture of Egyptian-born artist Kamal Youssef. Soda Fountain was chosen for the Juried Biennial at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg which ran from mid-September to mid-October 2006. (see photo at left) Aside from being culturally aware, Fairbanks is a very civic-minded individual. She is a member of various national and regional art associations, because she is a strong believer in supporting organizations and institutions that promote art. She and her husband have been instrumental in promoting the Blairsville Area Underground Railroad Project. This project is overseeing the renovation of the former Second Baptist Church in Blairsville and is creating the Blairsville Underground Railroad and Transportation Museum. She has been the photographer for various websites including that of the Indiana County Tourist Bureau (where she is a member of the Board of Directors). She serves as the President of the Blairsville Century Club, is on the Board of the Historical Society of the Blairsville Area, and is a member of the Design Review Committee for the Blairsville Improvement Group.

Fairbanks has exhibited jewelry, collage, and photography in any number of venues. Examples of her art have been included in the Hoyt MidAtlantic exhibit and Triennial and Biennial exhibits at S.A.M.A. Other galleries showcasing her art include the Harlan Gallery at Seton Hill University, the Wolf-Kuhn Gallery at Mt. Aloysius, the Butler Institute in Salem, Ohio, and the Cork Gallery at Lincoln Center in New York City. Her work has been seen at the New Growth Arts Festival, which is sponsored by the Indiana (PA) Arts Council, where she won “best in show” for the photograph Country Window. Fairbanks LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 19




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“GREAT FOOD, GREAT FRIENDS, GREAT CONCERTS” Coming February 11 Commander Cody Band and April 19 Leon Russell Tickets on Sale January 12 Singer Songwriter Challenge ($1000 prize) starting January 25–call for details

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Creative Children “When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.” Fred Rogers The late Fred Rogers is one of my favorite people. When I was young, I enthusiastically watched his television show for years, every morning with my Mom and Baba. Now, I re-read or reference his book “The World According to Mister Rogers” when I need a little wisdom or some motivation. In addition, I have one of his speeches taped on my refrigerator. It is an excerpt from a commencement address in which he quoted Saint-Exupery’s Little Prince, “for what is essential is invisible to the eye.” His life-long work of educating young children has inspired many people. With his television show and specifically, the Land Of Make-Believe, he encouraged children to use their imaginations. After another Christmas season in which parents and relatives bought children all sorts of technological toys, I would like to remind families that simple objects and oldfashioned toys will foster a child’s creativity. For example, after a shopping trip to Costco, my boys asked to use an empty, large box. They used crayons and stickers to decorate and build their ship. Then, they pretended to be pirates sailing in the sea! They had so much fun using their imaginations to play together (nicely and for an extended period of time!!). Also, one of the best purchases my husband and I made 2 years ago was wooden blocks. It is an assortment of different shapes, large and small, and the four of us spend hours building and creating castles, roadways and garages. Dr. Sandra Russ, educated at the University of Pittsburgh and now on the faculty of the Department of Psychology at Case Western Reserve University, asserts that later in life, creative children develop strong coping and problem-solving skills. She recommends giving a child the time, space and tools to play. To help a child develop their creativity, you can use music, art, literature, crafts, science, and drama. Here are some ideas to try with your child:


play instruments and have a marching band dress-up in costumes and put on a performance use bottles, egg cartons, tubes, etc. to invent something • finger paint or cut-up sponges to make shapes • have a puppet show • use cups and measure water in the sink • use clay or play-doh to make food and serve it at a restaurant! • go outside, explore nature and collect items for a craft • look at a picture book and create a new story

• • •

As a parent, use your imagination if your child needs help getting started. Think of your favorite toys and activities as a child: GI Joe figurines, dolls, Lincoln logs or drawing and coloring. I remember when my oldest child was a toddler, and I hosted a playgroup. One of my friends was concerned because her daughter enjoyed playing alone. I noted that while she did want to encourage play with other children because friendships are important for positive social skills, she should not worry. I explained that playing independently would foster invaluable skills such as creativity!! And, once our children use their imaginations, we need to praise them. Our refrigerator is full of Owen and Austin’s artwork!! Austin is always so happy to show me one of his new books that he wrote and illustrated, and Owen is excited to tell me a story or sing a song he made up. Proudly display your child’s artwork and listen, watch, or participate in your child’s creative endeavors! Winter is a great time to be creative and have fun with your children. And remember what Fred Rogers exclaimed, “Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.” See you in The Land of Make-Believe!! Nicole is a 1988 Derry Area High School graduate. She attended the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1992 with a BA in Social Work. She received her MS 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 6 and 3 years old.

The Children’s Corner by Marge Burke

I could never seem to make it to seventeen and a half nice thoughts in a row. Something always interrupted those thoughts or a nasty thought crept in. If I had made it to seventeen and a half nice thoughts in a row, I was sure I would have ended up at the Children’s Corner, just as Josie Carey had. Josie was the co-host of the show by that name; she was a local Pittsburgher who took us through the Neighborhood of Make Believe, meeting the puppets created and brought to life by the behind-the-scene Fred Rogers, also new to television. And I thought Josie was possibly the luckiest girl alive. For Christmas the year I was six, my parents bought me an album called The Children’s Corner. I was enthralled from the very first spin of the needle. Josie described how she was sitting on her neighbor’s swing, thinking nice thoughts, waiting for her mom to call her for supper. It was a Tuesday, she recalls, as they always had hamburgers on Tuesdays and she could smell the burgers cooking. She was lazily swinging, thinking about the beautiful day, when, all of a sudden, she wasn’t in her neighbor’s yard anymore. Rather, she was standing in front of a sign that said, “Welcome. You’ve found the Children’s Corner.” She looked down to see a set of Trolley tracks, which she followed into the Neighborhood of Make Believe, a place that was “marvelous and sort of magic” – her exact words, my exact sentiments. I was stricken with envy. My most desperate dream was to think myself to The Children’s Corner. “Hi, little girl.” Daniel Striped Tiger stuck his head out of a huge grandmother’s clock and introduced himself. “You’re a tiger, aren’t you?” “Yes, but I’m not wild. I’m tame. In fact, I’m afraid of the wild kind, myself. Go ahead, scratch the stripe over my right ear. New stripes are always itchy.” Josie complied. During the ensuing conversation, Josie discovered that Daniel wore a watch on his tiny paw because – as he explained – if you live in a clock you really should know what time it is every minute of the day. Of course, the clock did not have any works inside. He further explained that it had been a very long time since there had been a visitor at The Children’s Corner. “I don’t even know how I got here,” Josie mused. “The only way you could have gotten here was by thinking seventeen and a half nice thoughts in a row.” “You mean I couldn’t have walked here?” Josie asked, surprised. “Oh, you could have walked. But not without thinking.” Thus began my quest to think seventeen and a half nice thoughts in a row. Josie sang a song to Daniel about a cow named Chrysanthemum who would only eat flowers. Daniel didn’t think he would like eating flowers all day – he preferred hamburgers – any way, any time. I could agree with that. He then pointed out the Great Oak down the tracks, X’s home. “X? Who’s X?” “Oh, haven’t you met X yet? Well, X lived with me in the clock until the Great Oak grew. We planted it from an acorn, you know.” “No,” Josie answered. “I didn’t know.” With a wave, Josie was on her way to the Great Oak. X the Owl popped out of the knot hole in the Great Oak with a cheery, “Hoot there. Daniel called and told me you were coming.” X was a bright blue owl who wrote songs and poetry. He was enrolled in OCS (Owl Correspondence School – X could count to 27) and he measured time by inches. There had been no visitors at the Children’s Corner in two inches, and it took him a fraction of an inch to write a poem for King Friday’s pet wooden bird, Mocking. “Oh, do recite it for me,” Josie begged. “Well, all right.” He cleared his throat and began.

‘Today is a very special day. A very very very special day. A very very very very very very very very very very very special day. Why? Because it’s Mocking’s birthday. Oh, today is a very special day…’ And on it went. That was poetry. X said he wrote mostly for his best friend and neighbor Henrietta Pussycat, whose house was perched on a limb of the Great Oak. Josie knocked on the door and a black pussycat opened the door. She wore a very pretty silk dress and beribboned hat, given to her, she said, by Mr. Rogers. “Who’s Mr. Rogers?” Josie wanted to know. “Meow meow,” replied Henrietta.

“You’re boss?” exclaimed Josie. “What do you do?” A few more meows and it was discovered that Henrietta was governess to seventeen mice, despite the belief that cats and mice were enemies. Before running off to feed her mice – sauerkraut! – she sang for us a song only Josie could interpret. “Meow meow meow meow beautiful. Meow meow telephone. Meow meow meow meow beautiful, oh Mr. Rogers meow.” Josie said goodbye to Henrietta and X and on she went to meet Grandpere, a French tiger who lived in the Eiffel Tower. He taught her the days of the week and how to count to ten in French, and that Bonjour meant good day. “Bon is good. Jour is day. Bonjour. Good day.” By now I was beside myself. I could see the Trolley tracks in my mind. There was Josie, exploring the very place I longed to be with my whole heart. Josie was talking and laughing with my favorite characters, shaking X’s blue feathers, and scratching Daniel’s stripe. I identified strongly with Daniel because I, too, dearly loved hamburgers, although I never tried hamburger upside-down cake, one of Daniel’s favorites. I wanted to write poetry like X the Owl and send it to Mocking for his birthday, and make a hat for Henrietta to wear when she taught her mice their school lessons and fed them sauerkraut. But the best was yet to come. Josie followed the tracks to a huge castle, where she met King Friday XIII of Calendar Land. “Young lady, do you have an appointment?” the king asked. “Well, no, I don’t. Whom do I see to make the appointment?” “You will see me, that’s who you will see. You will see me.” “Your Majesty, may I make an appointment?” Josie asked politely. “You may have an appointment in four and onehalf seconds.” “Thank you, Your Majesty –” “Four and one-half seconds of silence.” One. Two. Three. Four. Then the king asked, “Which day have you lost?”

“Why, I haven’t lost any days.” “I am so glad you haven’t lost a day. We’ve lost two days already this month and it’s very tiresome looking for them.” Before Josie could comment, guests started arriving for Mocking’s birthday, and Josie waved a greeting to all of her new friends. The party began with King Friday singing a birthday song for Mocking, whose real name was Mimus polyglottos, the ornithological name for a mocking bird. King Friday XIII asked Josie to sing the song through the second time with him. “I’d be honored, Your Majesty.” “You haven’t time to be honored. Proceed with the party!” Daniel Stripped Tiger, Henrietta Pussycat, X the Owl, and well, just everyone had a great time singing and visiting and wishing Mocking a grand birthday. X had given his wooden friend a tail cover for when he took his walks in the royal gardens. But Josie was remembering that she was supposed to set the table for supper and should be getting home. “I’d better start thinking my seventeen and a half nice thoughts in a row if I want to get home,” Josie said. “Oh, you don’t have to do that. All you have to do is say the prayer you say at bedtime every night.” Josie actually sang her prayer, and before she had even finished, she felt herself moving, back to her neighbor’s swing, hearing her mother calling her for supper. Josie would think seventeen and a half nice thoughts in a row many, many more times. I watched her on television visiting with her friends and mine in the Neighborhood of Make Believe, The Children’s Corner. I still have that old album; I pull it out and play it every now and then, singing along and remembering how grand it was to visit with Daniel and X and Henrietta, King Friday and Mocking. Other characters were added years later, and I can recall most of them; but the little core group of puppets from the first few seasons captured my heart forever. The Children’s Corner aired on WQED in Pittsburgh from 1954 to 1961, and I am sure I saw every program at least once during those years. Strangely enough, I have found very few people that remember the original show. Most remember that The Children’s Corner morphed into Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood over time, and along the way Mr. Rogers – Fred McFeely Rogers – came out from behind the scenes and walked the Trolley Tracks to speak with his puppets in person. But when it comes to Josie Carey and The Children’s Corner, I will always be six and will always be excited to hear those familiar voices. Every trip to Idlewild Park TM finds me riding the Trolley to visit with my old friends, Daniel Stripped Tiger, Henrietta Pussycat, X the Owl, and King Friday XIII. I like taking that gentle trip back to a neighborhood where a friendly, warm atmosphere full of simple hand puppets can capture the heart of every child, including mine. And someday, I am going to think seventeen and a half nice thoughts… In a row… I’ll let you know. Marge Burke is a Greensburg native, has worked at Smail Automotive since high school (thirty plus years), and is a 2001 graduate of Seton Hill’s Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program. She has two grown children; Kelly (husband Matt and son Peyton) and Nathan (fiancée Lori - Lori’s son Jacob, his daughter Autmn Rose, and their daughter Christina). Marge writes for several local magazines, including the FOCUS First Person Singular (Tribune Review), and is published in a mystery anthology for Ligonier Valley Writers. Her hobbies are historic research, volunteering at Historic Hanna’s Town, and writing. Her spaniel/lab mix, Tazz, keeps her company, her flower gardens keep her busy, but her grandbabies keep her smiling.



Winter Wonders – The 1950s January - the cold blustery days make me tuck my

head lower into my collar and rush from the car to the house. It was not always this way. As a little girl in the fifties I remember kneeling on the couch and pulling my moms starched lace curtains aside to look out the window and up Fourth Avenue toward Solomon’s Store. I knew that it was only a matter of time until the grey skies would reward my patience and send the first snowflakes of the season dancing to the ground. The big ‘Town Talk Bread’ thermometer that hung on our back porch told me the temperature had been dropping all day and I knew storm clouds when I saw them. It always took two or three flakes before I could really believe it had started. As I ran through the kitchen I yelled to my mom, “IT’S SNOWING!” I would hit the old wooden screen door with both hands, stretching its long squeaky spring to the limit and guaranteeing it would slam closed behind me with a loud bang. I ran to the end of the porch, avoiding the three stairs and jumped to the ground. I loved the feel of the stinging cold on my cheeks as I ran, my coat barely hanging onto my shoulders. My footprints trailed behind me in the frozen grass and, with my head tilted back, I would try to catch a flake or two on my tongue. I could hear my mom calling from the back door to button up my coat and come back inside for a hat. I didn’t mind the bracing chill in those days. My frosty breath signaled it was time to get a wad of steel wool from the work bench in the cellar and a bar of Ivory soap...time to work on the Flexible Flier. Summer storage, on a nail in the garage, always guaranteed some rust on the runners and Daddy had taught us that this would drastically slow down our ride. The rust had to be removed and replaced with a fresh coat of soap to insure the fastest decent on the hills of West Derry. When the snowfall had accumulated sufficiently, we would commence the next stage of our quest - getting ready to go outside and enjoy that winter wonderland. Ah yes, sled riding clothes. We didn’t have today’s miracle fibers, we didn’t have goose down, and nothing was light weight. The wetter it got, the heavier it became. The winter dressing extravaganza started with long underwear. It went on over the first pair of sox. Sometimes it came with a top and a bottom, and other times it was all in one piece with a flap in back. This underlayer was followed by my sweater which was either pretty well stretched out or a little too small. Mine never seemed to be a perfect fit. It was knitted from wool and immediately made my neck start to itch. Now I would add the next pair of sox, with the long underwear tucked into them. These socks were also made of wool and were followed by my snow pants. Snow pants were a staple of the fifties and every girl had at least one pair, usually with a coat to match. The pants had little stirrups that wrapped under your feet and suspenders with four metal clasps. I could never get more than three at a time to stay closed. When we wore snow pants to school, our skirts had to be tucked in. It made for a rather wrinkled look, but girls were never allowed to wear 22 - LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST

any kind of long pants to school. Next step - my boots. ‘Arctics’ were what we called them. They were made of black rubber with buckles and your shoes went inside them. It was hard to bend in the middle once the snow pants were on, but bend you must in order to force your shoes into that rigid inflexible rubber. Finally, I was ready for my coat, hat and scarf. Mom would wrap the scarf around my neck several times. Sometimes my scarf matched the hat but usually not. With mittens in hand, out the door I would waddle.

My brother, Keith, and I had always shared an old Flexible Flier, but the previous Christmas, Santa had brought me a brand new one of my own. On my sled, the red eagle trademark was still shiny with no scratches or wear on it’s freshly varnished surface. The Christmas I received it, I learned on the first tryout that brand new wasn’t automatically better. My guiding mechanism was still stiff and new and gave me no room to negotiate down our favorite hill on Ruby Street. Bank Street, on the other side of my house, was even steeper, but it was closer to the highway. If the street was icy at the bottom and you couldn’t get stopped, you would shoot right across West Fourth Avenue, (known as Rt. 217 now) the main highway that took you ‘down-street’ and into Derry The snowfalls back then seemed to last from November until the ‘big melt’ in March. In my memories, our neighborhood stayed a sparkling white all winter long. I don’t know if that was really the case but I remember it that way. Mr. Brant, a grizzled old fellow who lived up on West First Avenue, had a little barn in back of his house where he kept a beautiful horse. After those deep, wonderful snowfalls, he would hook a lovely old sleigh to that horse, (complete with bells on the bridle) and trot through West Derry, stopping sometimes to take

us for a ride. It felt like we were actually living The Jingle Bells song - in our one horse open sleigh. When there was a really big snowfall, we would have a ‘snow-day’ and school would be canceled. Every weekend and on the ‘snow-days’, all of us would gather at our favorite hillside early in the morning. When we arrived at the chosen slope with our sleds, there were usually lots of other kids there. Winter or summer, we were always encouraged to go outside to play. There was no sitting in front of the TV, except on Saturday mornings. The more sled riders, the more packed down the snow was, insuring a splendid fast ride. Getting to the top of the hill in that multi-layered getup was a struggle. There was no traction on the soles of those boots. So if ice had formed on the hill, there would be many ‘slip and fall’ incidents before I arrived at the summit, dragging my sled behind me by a length of rope I had cut from my mom’s clothes line. I rode my sled sitting up for the first several runs, and would marvel at the brave older kids who would pick up their sled, start running, drop the sled at the top of the slope and belly flop onto it. This gave them a super fast start and guaranteed a wonderful ride. I never worked up enough courage to try the bellyflop start, but I did, eventually, learn to ride while lying on my stomach. I have to confess that one day after my sled came to a stop I was lying there contemplating that old winter legend, and finally decided to put it to the test. I touched my tongue to the metal frame just to see what would happen. Much like Ralphie’s friend in “A Christmas Story,” it stuck fast. But unlike Flick, I didn’t scream and wait for help to come. I jerked my head back and in doing so, left a little of my tongue attached to that frozen metal. I never told my mom; she had warned us not to try this, and I knew she would scold me for being so foolish. During those snowy days, we would stay out sledding until late in the afternoon. Sometimes our worst fears for that perfectly groomed slope would be realized when we saw the ash truck turn onto Ruby Street. Five hours of hard work packing that hillside would be rendered useless in one pass from the hated road crew. We didn’t care that no car could have ever made it up that glassy run. We had staked out our territory and the cars should have just used the next street over. Those ashes forced us into other winter adventures. We would build igloos, and snow forts and have snowball battles. There never failed to be one rotten boy around who would sneak up behind you and smash a handful of snow down the back of your neck. It was usually my brother. I remember the beautiful snow angels we would make, and snapping long icicles off the porch roof and eating them like popsicles. I also remember eating the little frozen ice balls that had formed all over my woolen mittens. When the afternoon winter skies turned a deep shade of purple, we would make our way back home, pink cheeked, soaking wet and wishing we could have stayed out longer. There would be a big pile of wet clothes in our warm cozy kitchen as we discarded them. And no matter how careful I was, I

never took my boots off that I didn’t step into a little puddle of melting snow, soaking my socks. If I close my eyes, I can still smell the damp wool of my mittens, drying on the radiator. Mom would always have steaming cups of hot chocolate ready with a big dollop of marshmallow cream melting on top. She also had a dollop of Noxema ready to soothe our chapped cheeks. With sniffling noses, and static hair standing on end from removing our hats, we would sit at the kitchen table and regale our parents with stories of the days’ adventures and beg daddy to call the street department and demand that they NEVER ash Ruby Street again. Soon it was bedtime, and Mom would tuck me in and sit with me until I had said my prayers. After she turned off my light, I would snuggle down under the covers, and listen to the tire chains jingle as late night travelers slowly made their way up West Fourth Avenue. With fingers crossed, I would wish for the next big snowstorm to blanket my neighborhood. Maybe I will try to remember that youthful anticipation the next time I look out the window and, in the words of my Grandma Stewart, ‘see it spitting a little snow.’ Instead of frowning and wishing for spring to hurry and get here, I will try to recapture some of the joy those first snowflakes used to bring me. I’ll close my eyes and try to remember what it felt like to lie in the snow, after my perfect angel was complete and hear the muffled voices and laughter of my friends as they put the finishing touches on a huge snowman. I’ll try to recall the beauty and the wonder that first snowfall of the season used to invoke. Maybe, if I think about it long enough, I’ll be tempted to go out to the garage and look for my old Flexible Flier and a wad of steel wool. Or maybe I’ll just build a nice fire, kick off my shoes, and pour myself a little glass of wine. (This article also appears in the 2006 edition of The Loyalhanna Review)

Ruthie Parrish Richardson is a life-long resident of Derry. Her memories of growing up in such a wonderful small town are one of her greatest treasures.“I feel the lessons we learned back then were a powerful force in shaping the people we are today. Small town America may seem to be gone forever, but if, now and then, we take a moment to remember what those ‘growing-up years’ were like, we can keep the values we learned strong and pass the best of them along to the next generation.” Ruthie and her husband Doug have owned Richardson Construction in Derry since 1970 and have a daughter, Nicole, who lives in San Francisco with her husband, Russell and daughter, Riley. Write to Ruth at

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Tennis Teammates: Smart & Victorious How cool would it be to graduate knowing that you sister Joelle, a freshman in the junior high school, were a state tennis champion? Allie Seranko, stepped into her sister’s shoes to take the team’s Michaela Kissell, and Joelle Kissell all know the first singles slot. rush that one gets from being the best of the best. When Joelle was asked what it felt like to be in Yet, although they are all champions, they are all her big sister’s shadow, Michaela quipped that Joelle also incredibly normal girls who daily fit into the wouldn’t know because Joelle was taller than she crowd at Greater Latrobe High School. was. However, Joelle chimed in that she had some Allie Seranko started playing tennis at age four trouble fitting into her sister’s shoes because against her garage door. The competition got Michaela’s feet were smaller. The girls admitted tougher when she turned thirteen and started that this was a hard year because they had looked winning in such tournaments as the Greensburg forward to playing on the high school team together. Thanksgiving Tournament, the Indiana Open, the This wonderful sense of humor and level-headedness Johnstown Open, and gave Joelle the the Adelphoi Tourncourage to play ament in Latrobe. It against older girls was only natural that and kept Michaela she would join the going in the face of tennis team in high her injury. school. This year, in Michaela said addition to playing that she is mending second singles on a and that she should winning tennis be able to pick up a team, she and her racket again in doubles partner, about two months. Joelle Kissell, won She plans on every set to become playing tennis at the state PIAA the University of Mr. Jonathan Mains, Latrobe tennis coach, surrounded by Michaela doubles champions. Miami in Florida in Kissell (left) and Joelle Kissell. What does it the fall and majoring take to become a in education and champion? Allie says that the hardest part for her communications. Before her accident she was is keeping herself mentally in the game. She said ranked in the top ten in the Middle States and that tennis is 85% mental and 15% physical for her. had been active in the USTA Girls’ National She claims that she had to learn how to stay calm Championships for several years competing in the and not psych herself out before the big games. singles bracket. Although she generally practices two or three times Joelle has been competing in the USTA a week, Allie keeps in shape by being an avid tournaments in the same division as Michaela. outdoors person who enjoys mountain biking, Michaela said that Joelle is her favorite doubles running and skiing. She also teaches tennis at partner. The girls have won two big doubles titles, the the Rolling Rock Club over the summer vacations. 18 and Under National Indoor Championship in Allie is focused academically as well. She plans Cincinnati, Ohio and the Professional Wildcard to go to Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania Tournament in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Joelle plans next fall with a tennis scholarship. She wants to to continue competing on the USTA National Circuit double major in chemistry and business and with and other pro circuits in the summer. When asked a minor in marketing so that she can become an how they can compete both on the pro circuits and as ophthalmologist after college graduation. However, amateurs for the high school team, the girls said that she also has a Plan B if that doesn’t work out. they keep their amateur status by signing off After speaking with Allie, you know that she beforehand and not accepting any money. doesn’t need a Plan B. When asked what advice they would pass on to Michaela Kissell and her sister Joelle started any other young aspiring tennis players, the girls said playing tennis as soon as they started walking. that players must remember that a tennis career is Michaela, a champion in every sense of the word, full of ups and downs. No one should get too excited was the state PIAA singles tennis champion in her when things look great because things have a way of freshman, sophomore, and junior years. This turning around. On the other hand, the girls said summer, an injury during a tournament in Texas that even in the face of adversity, one should never left her with a torn right ACL. Unfortunately, give up. Both girls agreed that they have learned Michaela was unable to defend her title in Hershey that if a person works hard enough, she can achieve this year. However, rather than bemoan her anything. The Kissell sisters’ achievements are a horrible luck, Michaela said that it was fun being testament to that advice. part of the team’s rooting section this year. Her LAUREL MOUNTAIN POST - 23

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Courtyard by Marriott - Altoona ©Laura Petrilla Flower Barn - Johnstown Foggy Mountain - Donegal Italian Gourmet Deli - Donegal Green Gables - Jennerstown Johnstown Flood Museum Living Treasures Animal Park - Donegal Log Cabin Motel - Donegal Loyalhanna Veterinary Clinic - Stahlstown Mountain Horse Saddlery - Donegal Mountain Playhouse - Jennerstown Oakhurst Tea Room - Somerset Sarnelli’s Market - Jones Mills Seven Springs Mtn. Resort - Champion Tall Cedars Restaurant - Donegal UniMart - New Florence


Courtyard by Marriott -Penn Ave Levin Furniture - Monroeville Pat Catan’s - Monroeville Spitzer Toyota - Monroeville



Valentine’s Day Special Steak and Shrimp Dinner Buy one get one 1/2 price

Your next service at our salon

Latrobe-Derry Road in Bradenville, PA


(724) 539-3441

Original Large 1-Topping Pizza


pick-up only or delivery expires 2/28/07 (LMP)

724-532-2242 907 Ligonier Street, Latrobe

ZAPPONE SAUSAGE COMPANY RETAIL STORE Long’s Road in Latrobe, PA 724-539-1430 • Specialty, Gourmet & Italian Foods

FREE 1 pound bag pasta with a $12 dollar order expires 2/15/07

750 South Leechburg Hill Road in Leechburg, PA

The Wagging Tail

Miss Maddie’s Gifts & More

Pet Grooming and Express Pet Wash

FREE Moisturizing Treatment and Teeth Brushing with Full Groom

10% OFF Total Purchase – expires 2/28/07

expires 2/15/07 (LMP)


Enter promo code “saddlebag” during online checkout.

Academy of

815 East Pittsburgh St. Greensburg, PA 15601

10% OFF Online Purchases (January 15-February 15, 2007)

Valentine’s Day ONLY (LMP)

Scotty G’ s Pizzaria G’s

Good until 2/28/07

18 West 2 nd Street Greensburg, PA 15601 (724)834-0358

Buy One Rib Dinner get the second half price. Wednesdays Only Expires 3/28/2007

(724)424-2844 Across from the Westmoreland Fairgrounds

Massage by Kathy

Purchase a Massage for your V alentine Valentine and get $5 off 2nd massage purchase (must be purchased together) 1 Hour Massage $30 Heavenly Hair Route 982, 1/2 mile from Derry Area High School


10% off with $50 purchase FREE Chinese Artisan Tea Blossom with this coupon 724-593-HERB (4372) 191 Main Street Donegal, PA 15628

(1 minute from Exit 91 on the Pa Turnpike)

Buy one cup of coffee at the Gristmill Coffeehouse, get the other for half-price. expires 2/15/07 (LMP)

Beatty Road, Latrobe

Hours: m-f 10-5; sat 10-3 Sunday by chance Quality Vitamins,Herbs, and Nutritional Supplements

Advertising deadline for the March-April issue of the Laurel Mountain Post is February 15.

Call us today at 724-331-3936 to reserve your space in the newspaper everyone in Westmoreland County is talking about!

Are the daily stresses causing pain, headaches or tension? FINALLY, a solution! PERSONALIZED services include: • Various forms of Bodywork including Massage, Soft Tissue Mobilization, Acupressure and Trigger Point Work • Myofascial Release • Craniosacral Therapy • Muscle Energy Techniques • Muscle Kinesiology • Primal Reflex Release TechniquesTM • Laser Therapy • Microcurrent and Color Light Acupuncture • Bowen Therapy

2000 Tower Way, Suite 2039 Greensburg, PA 15601 Phone:(724)834-7400 Fax:(724)834-7402

Jerry D. Felton, P.T. integrating traditional and alternative therapy services




Holiday Open House Held at the Latrobe Art Center Stained glass artisans Rose Kmetz (center) and her granddaughter, Rachel Kmetz (left) talk shop with jeweler Jan Christiansen at the Latrobe Art Center Holiday Open House held on December 2, 2006.

Br. Mark Floreanini demonstrates the sculptural properties of crocheting at the Latrobe Art Center. Brother Mark is an instructor at St. Vincent College.

Watercolor artist Peg Panasiti paints with watercolors using various techniques and subject matter. Photos by Barbara M. Neill

Fill Your Saddlebag Online and Save 10%

Equine Chic On the Diamond in Ligonier

106 E. Main Street • Ligonier, Pennsylvania • 724.238.7003

Enter the promotional code “saddlebag” during checkout to receive your online discount. Valid only on internet purchases at between 1/15/07-02/15/07.

Laurel Mountain Post :: January-February 2007  

Every Story Begins at Home