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E E R F wind

as the

A Fairy Tale House

Inspired by a Children’s Book, Bruno Schickel Built a Finger Lakes Village. He also Married the Celebrity Girl Next Door .

By Mike Cutillo The Dairy Dash Honors Shon Seeley The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Turns 20 Williamsport’s Sunset Ice Cream Churns On

AUGUST 20181

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Volume 13 Issue 8

5 August in The Mountains By Michael Capuzzo

18 A New Creation

A Fairy Tale House

By Don Knaus

By Mike Cutillo Inspired by a children’s book, Bruno Schickel built a Finger Lakes village. He also married the celebrity girl next door.

Keeneyville entrepreneur books Christian performers for local audiences.

22 A New Day at Sunset By Linda Roller

Williamsport’s favorite ice cream keeps on churning.

24 Peter VS. the Wolf By Dave Milano

26 Mother Earth


By Gayle Morrow

Running down a dream.

28 Choreographing Corning

Taylored to Fit

By Nicole Landers

By Beth Williams Wellsboro’s Taylor Acorn puts it in a song for fans at the Tioga County Fair.

Wellsboro dancer Maia Mahosky leads the August Arts Crawl.

34 Dog Days

By Maggie Barnes

You know take your dog to work day? It doesn’t say puppy for a reason...

40 Pianos on Main

By Teresa Banik Capuzzo

42 Gad Zukes!


By Cornelius O’Donnell It’s tomato (and zucchini) time.

46 Riverfest

A Patchwork of Lives

By Maggie Barnes

50 Back of the Mountain

By Elaine Farkas The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild turns 20.

By Curt Sweely Wet ’n’ Wild

Cover photo by Lisa Howeler; cover design by Tucker Worthington; this page from top: courtesy Fausel Imagery; middle, courtesy Taylor Acorn; bottom, courtesy Kate Means.

38 3


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w w w. m o u n ta i n h o m e m ag . co m Editors & Publishers Teresa Banik Capuzzo Michael Capuzzo Associate Publisher George Bochetto, Esq. Managing Editor Gayle Morrow D i r e c t o r o f O pe r a t i o n s Gwen Button S a l e s R ep r e s e n t a t i v e s Robin Ingerick, Linda Roller, Richard Trotta Gallery Manager/ Circulation Director Michael Banik Accounting Amy Packard D e s i g n & P h o t o g r ap h y Tucker Worthington, Cover Design Contributing Writers Maggie Barnes, Melissa Bravo, Mike Cutillo, Elaine Farkas, Alison Fromme, Carrie Hagen, Paul Heimel, Holly Howell, Roger Kingsley, Don Knaus, Nicole Landers, Janet McCue, Cindy Davis Meixel, Dave Milano, Cornelius O’Donnell, Brendan O’Meara, Linda Roller, Ruth Tonachel, Joyce M. Tice, Cheryl Hein Walters, Beth Williams, Dave Wonderlich C o n t r i b u t i n g P h o t o g r ap h e r s Mia Lisa Anderson, Melissa Bravo, Bernadette Chiaramonte, Diane Cobourn, Bill Crowell, Bruce Dart, Chelsea Fausel, Teza Gerow, Lisa Howeler, Michael Johnston, Ann Kamzelski, Jan Keck, Nigel P. Kent, Roger Kingsley, Jonathan Mack, Tim McBride, Heather Mee, Ken Meyer, Jody Shealer, Linda Stager, Curt Sweely, Mary Sweely, Tina Tolins, Sarah Wagaman, Curt Weinhold, Ardath Wolcott D i s t r i b u t i o n T eam Layne Conrad, Grapevine Distribution, Gary Hill, Duane Meixel, Linda Roller T h e B ea g l e Cosmo (1996-2014) • Yogi (2004-2018) ABOUT US: Mountain Home is the award-winning regional magazine of PA and NY with more than 100,000 readers. The magazine has been published monthly, since 2005, by Beagle Media, LLC, 87-1/2 Main Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, 16901, and online at Copyright © 2018 Beagle Media, LLC. All rights reserved. E-mail story ideas to, or call (570) 724-3838. TO ADVERTISE: E-mail, or call us at (570) 7243838. AWARDS: Mountain Home has won over 85 international and statewide journalism awards from the International Regional Magazine Association and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association for excellence in writing, photography, and design. DISTRIBUTION: Mountain Home is available “Free as the Wind” at hundreds of locations in Tioga, Potter, Bradford, Lycoming, Union, and Clinton counties in PA and Steuben, Chemung, Schuyler, Yates, Seneca, Tioga, and Ontario counties in NY. SUBSCRIPTIONS: For a one-year subscription (12 issues), send $24.95, payable to Beagle Media LLC, 87-1/2 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 or visit


Summer and the living is easy: a painting by BJ Maker at the Mountain Home Art Gallery, 871/2 Main Street, Wellsboro.

August in The Mountains By Michael Capuzzo


ugust is the time for our cool mountains and lakes in Pennsylvania and New York. In August Wellsboro’s own George Washington Sears (Nessmuk), the famous woodsman-poet, set out in his legendary canoe, the Sairy Gamp, on an Adirondack Lake, “but the day and the scenery were so delightful, the camp so quiet, so restful, and the air so dry, so redolent of balsam and pine, that I let the hours go by, and the day wane in utter rest and indolence.” August says, why not? “May there not come one glorious day in the weary year when we may cast aside every grief and every separate care,” Nessmuk wrote, “and invite the soul to a day of rest?” In August our emerald hills are thick with locals soul-resting through our warm days and cool nights, and watching the hill magic work on stressed-out visitors from

the cities. In August fireworks color the sky over the Tioga County Fair, and there’s a sauerkraut fair in New York. And August says, why not? In August the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca puts on Ibsen’s A Doll House, which premiered in Denmark in 1879, and the Deane Center in Wellsboro gives us Franklin Roosevelt, The Arsenal for Democracy, played by Neill Hartley. In August the boys of summer play in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, and the incomparable maestro Stephen Gunzenhauser wraps up his Endless Mountain Music Festival from Wellsboro to Corning (July 20-August 4). But August is also family time, and we were happy to get a beautiful letter a few days back from Jennie Simon, “coming home recently, to Troy, Pennsylvania.” “Cousins reunited for sleepovers and day trips,” she wrote. “Swimming, walking,

biking, amusement parks, recreation grounds and lakes…Summers in Bradford, Tioga counties in PA, and Orleans (Lake Ontario) and Schuyler (Seneca Lake), counties in NY, was the only vacation my brothers and I ever wanted. Home for summer 1961-1983, truly happy days…Your magazine brings those days to the forefront of my mind.” We were tickled, too, by a letter the same day from David Clark in Mansfield, with a note ordering “eight one-year subscriptions to Mountain Home mailed to my children,” in Michigan, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Florida, and New Mexico. We hope when Mountain Home lands in those distant mailboxes each month, they’ll agree with Jennie Simon, “Thank you for excellent writing, photography, and heart. Coming home never felt so good!”


Fausel Imagery

An architectural dream: shimmering Seneca Lake views kicked off the ribbon cutting at Bruno Schickel’s La Bourgade.


A Fairy Tale House Inspired by a Children’s Book, Bruno Schickel Built a Finger Lakes Village. He also Married the Celebrity Girl Next Door. By Mike Cutillo


hances are, if you asked Bruno Schickel and Amy Dickinson to describe their life together in a single word, “fairytale” would not be it. Hectic, whirlwind, fulfilling, satisfying, crazy, maybe even jazzy words like discombobulated and madcap would likely be some of the descriptors tossed out. One New York Times article about their union called it “more like a poorly built roller coaster: up and down and unstable, but still fun.” But fairytale? Not so much. However, for Schickel—a renowned builder and designer—one look at his latest pursuit and “fairytale” is exactly the word that dances into your mind. Bruno was ahead of the curve in tying into America’s current “tiny house” craze, and La Bourgade on Seneca, a yearround rental community on the southeast side of Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes, is his latest embodiment of that. The colorful small homes in pastels of yellow, orange, and peach with bright blues and greens for trim, are practical, efficient…and straight out of Hans Christian Andersen. Or in this case, Barbara Cooney, whose children’s picture book Miss Rumphius was an inspiration for another of his small-house projects, Boiceville Cottages in Brooktondale, east of Ithaca, which led, in turn, to La Bourgade. “I had an epiphany reading that book to my daughters,” Bruno says. “Barbara Cooney illustrated it and wrote it, and I said, ‘I’ve got to design something like that.’”

La Bourgade—with its storybook-like houses adorned with flared French-style roofs—is an extension of Boiceville, though modeled more after hillside towns in France, Italy, Germany, and Spain. “I sort of cut my teeth on Boiceville, and the designs evolved over time,” Schickel says. “I had traveled to Europe and seen these little hillside villages and towns and wanted to build a little something that evoked that, and one of the things I have found is that if you can design something and build something where people have an emotional response to it, that is really the key.” Speaking of emotions, that would be Amy’s department. Literally. Followed and adored by legions of fans, she succeeded Ann Landers and writes the advice column “Ask Amy,” which runs in hundreds of newspapers across America. She also has authored three books, the most recent of which, Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Coming Home, came out in 2017. She and Bruno are both from small towns in Tompkins County and knew each other while attending Dryden High School before their lives took them down different paths—her to a career in media and him as a builder and designer, which, as we’ll see, was in his DNA. They reconnected when she was granted permission from her bosses at the Chicago Tribune to file her advice columns from her hometown of Freeville so she could take care of her ailing mother. See Fairytale on page 8 7

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Small houses, big views: fourth generation New York builder Bruno Schickel is a pioneer of the small house movement.

Fairytale continued from page 7

Now, the advice columnist and the prominent builder are, if not the most famous, at least among the most accomplished couple in the Finger Lakes. They spoke about their life together and their projects while relaxing in the Meeting House at La Bourgade on a picture-perfect summer day with sunlight streaming in through the large picture window and Seneca Lake shimmering enchantingly off in the distance. Bruno grew up on a dairy farm just outside of Dryden, a village of about 2,000 people, while Amy hails from Freeville, with its population a shade over 500, both just east of Ithaca. They graduated three years apart from Dryden High but knew each other and their respective families in that small-town way. Bruno, sixty-two, played football and Amy, fifty-eight, was a cheerleader. “Go Purple Lions,” she says, pumping her first. Both are on their second marriages, a fact written about extensively in a pair of in-depth articles in the New York Times. In fact, Bruno jokes that now that they have been married nearly ten years, “It’s probably time for them to do another article.” Amy, for our purposes, gives the abridged version of how they returned to each other’s lives: “I was in Chicago and moved back to Freeville when my mother was near the end of her life. Bruno and I, you know, were in the same sort of hometown circles basically. He’s one of thirteen, and so I’m friends with many of his siblings. I’ve always known Bruno but just hadn’t seen him in a million years. So, I contacted him to do a renovation on this little house I owned in Freeville so I could change it from being a summer house to a year-round residence and that’s really when he walked into my

Fausel Imagery

life, and it was pretty…pretty…” “Wonderful,” Bruno finishes with a twinkle in his eye that matches that glimmering lake. “It was great and spontaneous and really amazing,” Amy continues. “Our families were blown away. I think a lot of people in town were blown away. It was great.” They were married in 2008, blending their families, which included five daughters from their first marriages—Bruno had four and Amy one—and the rest, as they say, has been history; a sad history at times as they have experienced the deaths of both their moms and other family members but one always filled with love and respect. “Living here and coming back to my small-town roots has really connected me with some very real issues that I deal with in my columns,” Amy says. “I think it’s better equipped me to deal with those real-life issues. We’ve done a lot, been through a lot, together and separately, and I feel like there almost isn’t a problem that someone could write in to me that I’m not acquainted with in some way.” She was asked if life ever imitates art in their family and finds her doling out advice to her builder husband. “Hardly ever,” she laughs. “Bruno is pretty high functioning, I would say, so the advice tends to flow more from Bruno to me in that his knowledge base is just more broad and practical than mine. Certainly, anybody who’s built something like this knows how to do things.” She notes that he often deals with hundreds of phone calls in a day while she sits at her laptop writing her columns. “I sit See Fairytale on page 10 9

Fairytale continued from page 9

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there, like thinking my big thoughts, like, ‘Hmmmmm,’ tippity, tappity, type, type, type, while Bruno, in a very visceral way is very deeply involved with the world,” she says. “I’m more of a watcher. I think the only thing I probably weigh in on with any authority at all is some parenting issues because we have five daughters and I’m a girl and I get girls in a way that Bruno doesn’t necessarily. “There are times when I’m like, ‘Back away, big man, I got this.’” Her husband laughs and nods. His connection with the world—and with building and designing—goes back three generations to his great-grandfather, Wilhelm Schickel, who came to America from Germany in 1870 and immediately went about forming the largest architectural firm in New York City in the late 1800s. “He came here when he was twenty years old, already had a degree in architecture from a school in Paris, France, and built the business from scratch,” Bruno says. “He was a prolific and highly successful architect. He built hundreds and hundreds of buildings.” More than sixty of his buildings still stand in Manhattan alone, including probably his most famous, the Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola on the Upper East Side, which is one of three of his buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. He also built a distinguished building in Union Square in NYC that houses the city’s largest Barnes & Noble bookstore, the church in the Mission Hill section of Boston where Ted Kennedy’s funeral Mass was held, and, closer to upstate New York, St. Louis Cathedral in Buffalo. “That sort of created this great core of thinking and designing in the family,” Bruno says of his great-grandfather. Wilhelm’s son, and Bruno’s grandfather, was Norbert Schickel Sr. He was an inventor, a pioneer in American motorcycling, the founder of the Schickel Motor Co., and a 2011 inductee into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He attended Cornell University where he designed and built a number of engines, and later he launched a successful career in real estate development in the Ithaca area. Bruno’s late father, Norbert Jr., was a dive bomber during World War II, piloting the famous Douglas SBD Dauntless Dive Bombers in the Pacific Ocean against Japan. After the war, he served a test pilot for the Navy through the war before returning home and getting into real estate and—what else?— design. In one of his well-known projects, he and his brother William transformed a rundown Italianate villa that once served as a monastery into Geneva on the Lake. It became a three-star resort on the north end of Seneca Lake and is today managed by Bruno’s brother Bill. Bruno actually helped with the physical transformation work at Geneva on the Lake as part of running an in-house construction firm for his father. After that, he branched off and formed his own construction company in 1985, Schickel Construction Co., which he continues to run today out of Dryden. “Basically, building has been in our blood for a long time, many generations,” Bruno says. “Bruno has been lucky to have been mentored by some of the locally legendary bossmen over the years, including his father,” Amy says. “But to start out just as a laborer, pounding nails just out of high school, and then to build this amazing business and adding the designing, is just absolutely incredible to me.” See Fairytale on page 12



“I sort of fell into the design part,” Bruno says, modestly. “You know, when you’re a contractor and you go into people’s homes and somebody wants a kitchen designed, and they don’t really know what it is that they need or want, it’s really more about solving problems.” In 1996, he and his company began constructing Boiceville Cottages, about ten minutes from downtown Ithaca, the precursor to La Bourgade. Today, Boiceville has 140 colorful gingerbread-style cottages that range in size from 850 square feet to 1,050. Most, if not all, of its units usually are rented, and, with its success, Bruno began searching out other spots for another small-house development. “I just love the views on Seneca Lake, so I literally just drove around and saw a For Sale sign on this piece of land,” he says, gesturing to what has become La Bourgade. “I walked down in here, I think it was in the winter, the leaves were off the trees, and I could begin to see exactly what I wanted.” His wife’s vision did not line up with his. “I could not imagine it,” Amy says. “I mean, here’s a guy standing in the middle of bramble and bushes. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ But he could see it. And so to see it develop from that day is really incredible.” Either way, the steep plot of land that grape growers covet for the way the sun hits those rolling hills began to cultivate a village instead of vineyards. La Bourgade—its name is French for “a village of scattered houses”—is on the west side of Route 414, about eight miles north of Watkins Glen. Its nearest neighbors in a burgeoning restaurant, winery, and tourist area are the Grist Iron Brewing Company and J.R. Dill Winery to the north and Damiani Wine Cellars and Finger Lakes Distilling to the south. The land cascades dramatically to the lake, necessary for his development, Bruno says, so that all the houses, from the top on down, have unobstructed views of the water. It’s only sixteen acres, and incredibly, the forty houses that are planned will only take up five of those acres, but it’s exactly that diminutiveness that Bruno thinks will appeal to people, especially young couples just starting out or older folks beginning to scale back. “Bruno’s built a few mega-mansions and he always says to me, ‘It’s so funny because people tend to cocoon in a few 12

The foundation: Bruno Schickel and his wife, celebrity advice columnist Amy Dickinson, in the meeting house at La Bourgade.

favorite rooms,’ and these houses really do evoke that,” Amy says. “They’re beautiful but there’s something about the size and the scale because they’re tall. They all have amazing views, they have tons and tons of light coming in, and they feel cozy but airy.” Similar to Boiceville, the houses at La Bourgade range from about 900 square feet to just over 1,000. They cost from $1,595 to $2,095 per month and are so efficient that utilities are only about $100 a month and heat about $300 a year. They all have a kitchen—complete with IKEA cupboards, granite countertop, and new appliances—an open living room, and usually a bedroom on the first floor, a second-floor loft, and other bedrooms. Each renter also has access to the 900-square-foot, high-ceilinged Meeting House with its big-screen television, full kitchen, exercise room, and outdoor patio. The cottages are built in pods of three at a time and, so far, fifteen have been finished—with Bruno, never shy about heavy lifting, doing a lot of the site and foundation work himself, the “dirt work,” as he calls it. Six more will be complete by the early fall, and the goal is to have all forty done by the end of 2019, meaning the entire “village” will have been constructed in three years. Linda and Tom Craig were among the first couples to move in last October. They lived in California and he worked in the movie industry, but when her mom in Seneca Falls became sick, they came to the area to assist her and ended up staying. “We were looking for a place on the lake, and this popped up,” Tom says. “It’s even better than we thought.”

Lisa Howeler

Fairytale continued from page 10

“We didn’t want a huge place because we’ve lived in huge places,” says Linda. “This is quiet, you have privacy, even though you think you might not, and we’re meeting lots of nice people.” Amy and Mark Murdough moved from Pine City last February. She says they spent most weekends in the Finger Lakes, hiking, kayaking, or paddleboarding, so they decided to move there, downsizing from their previous home of about 1,800 square feet. In addition to enjoying spectacular sunsets with a glass of wine most nights, she says they also are appreciating “having a home but having none of the responsibilities of having a home.” Those words are music to Bruno’s ears. He agrees that he was ahead of the curve on the small-house craze but says, “I’m not just building a little house or a tiny house, I’m building a community. And as this gets completely built out, it’ll become a more vibrant community.” He also likes what he heard recently from a neighbor who went sailing on the lake and took a long gaze up at La Bourgade to soak in the view. “He told me that from the lake looking up, it looks like a castle. With all these little roofs, and a tower, he said it looks like a real-life castle on the hill.” Now that could be straight out of a fairytale. Mike Cutillo has been living his own fairytale life as a journalist covering the Finger Lakes for over thirty-five years.

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Courtesy Taylor Acorn

Taylored to Fit

Wellsboro’s Taylor Acorn Puts It In a Song for Fans at The Tioga County Fair By Beth Williams


hen I was a kid all I ever wanted to do was sing. I sang so much I drove my family crazy, but I didn’t care, I just loved it so much!” So says Taylor Acorn, who is on Billboard’s list of fifteen country artists to watch in 2018, and who will be performing at the Tioga County Fair on Saturday, August 11, at 4 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. The last time she sang at the fair was for the annual talent show when she was in high school. Now, she says, “It’s super exciting for

me to be able to go back and now play on my own!” Taylor was in the Twin Tiers Idol competition in 2011 and was crowned the Twin Tiers Idol that year, which won her an all-expense paid trip to Houston, Texas, and a guaranteed audition on the network show American Idol. Newly residing in Nashville, Tennessee, Taylor’s career, these days, does seem to be falling neatly into place. There have been over 180,000 views of her YouTube video of “Put It in a Song.” She has a recording contract with a respected

Nashville music publisher, she is on the coveted Billboard list of musicians to watch, and she is living in the city of her dreams. Taylor confesses that it wasn’t always easy to have the dream of being a musician when she was growing up in Tioga County. “To want to be an artist in such a small area made it very hard. I got made fun of, a lot. Not many people wanted what I wanted,” she says. But she never let that stop her. Taylor Acorn (Acorn, by the way, is her birth name, not a stage name. “I was See Taylored on page 30


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Book it: Melissa Owlett and New Creation Events bring Unspoken to this year’s Tioga County Fair.

A New Creation

Keeneyville Entrepreneur Books Christian Performers for Local Audiences By Don Knaus


t was with a sense of calm that Keeneyville resident Melissa Owlett started a new business. She had been a fan of Kristyn and Keith Getty, principals in the gospel duo the Gettys. Her pastor asked her if she might handle a local booking for the group. She did, which, in turn, led to a local scheduling. After booking the Christian hymn composers for a concert at Mansfield University’s Straughn Auditorium, she and her husband, Jack, were invited to The Getty Music Workshop Conference–Sing! in Nashville. When she returned home, she was sure of her next venture. She felt led to launch New Creation Events, which would feature booking Christian musicians, speakers, authors, and conference presenters. She was sure that, with God’s guidance, she could make her mission a success. Melissa has a background in the service industry and in business, having worked as a teenager in her parents’ restaurant and ice-cream business, Farmer in the Dell, in


Mansfield. She participated in a work-study program with First Citizens Bank while in high school, and was named the BPW (Business and Professional Women) Girl of the Year. The bank kept her on as a full-time employee after graduation. She then took on planning weddings and catering before opening her first sited business, a party store in Wellsboro. She and her husband also own rental properties and she is in charge. She had been a homeschool mother for a dozen years, but she kept her hand in business with a small Mary Kay operation. She added income as a power seller on eBay, traipsing to auctions on weekends looking for bargains to put on the Internet auction site. Melissa and her family worship with the Wellsboro Bible Church. “It was a good fit for us,” she says. “It is Christ-centered, and we are trying to get out the message that no matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve done, you have a home here.” It is a growing church that filled the pews

for two services and had to rent more space. Now services are in a rented auditorium. The rental option gave her an idea. Maybe she could rent space and book acts. So that’s just what she did. New Creation Events opened in the fall of 2017. Her job is to promote and book speakers, musical artists, lecturers, and other acts. Though Melissa is new herself to the entertainment business, she knows the value of connecting to good mentors for advice and encouragement. “It is very important to reach out to successful folks willing to offer advice,” she says. She was also determined to bring good, clean shows to the area. She says, “I only work with Christian acts, performers who are faith-based, acts that are Biblically sound, and entertainers who are good teachers. I just didn’t want to have to plug my kids’ ears at concerts. I work with good, family-friendly entertainment.” Borrowing the idea of facility rental See Creation on page 20

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Creation continued from page 18

from her church, she rented an auditorium for her first venture. “My pastor asked me to help. I complied and was off and running. I brought in the Gettys for my first event. Then it grew from there. I organize, promote, and facilitate the entire event, from start to finish. I negotiate fees with rental accommodations, contact acts, and then negotiate their contracts. It was an eye-opener and lots of work to satisfy professional contracts. Traveling on the road for weeks at a time, a major concern is that they get quality, nutritious food, not cold pizza and soda pop but well-planned, healthy meals. Contracts also cover such things as rooms, travel, sometimes flights. “I can do the booking through the agent, but often I can contact the performer directly,” she continues. “Then I start the contract negotiations for price, food, rooms, travels—all the details.” Her booking of the Gettys gave her business a jump start. New Creation then worked with Robyn McKelvy, a Christian speaker and writer. McKelvy’s top selling book, Say It Loud, advises, “Love children like God loves children.” She also authored


a tongue in cheek book, SOS: Sick of Sex, that encourages readers to redefine their views on marital intimacy. McKelvy’s local appearance was a part of the women’s ministry at the Wellsboro Bible Church but Melissa was entrusted to do the leg work and organization for the event. New Creation Events presented its first Christian musical performance at Mansfield University in March. Local Gospel artist Lew Brill opened for contemporary Christian singer and song writer Chris August. Sharon Jaynes, noted Christian writer, is scheduled to appear locally on November 3. Sharon is an inspirational speaker and a Bible teacher for women’s conferences and events, and the author of several books, including Becoming the Woman of His Dreams and The Power of a Woman’s Words. She tells women to “silence the lies that steal your confidence.” Recently, New Creation Events sponsored a homeschooling book and curriculum event, giving homeschool parents from around the Twin Tiers a setting to sell gently used books, workbooks, musical instruments, and curricula. New

Creation plans to make this an annual event. Melissa adds that she is “pursuing contracts to book [Penn State’s] Bryce Jordan Center for a two-day conference aimed at pastors, teachers, and worship leaders.” In the meantime, New Creation Events’ biggest coup to date is signing the Christian group Unspoken to perform at the Tioga County Fair on Monday, August 6. Melissa and Jack proposed the concert to the Tioga County Fair Board and received enthusiastic response. Fair officers were, says board member Samantha Wilcox, “very excited for the opportunity to provide new and different entertainment to this year’s fair line-up.” The concert starts at 7:00 p.m., with David Dunn opening for the headliners. For information and tickets, visit or www. Retired teacher, principal, coach, and life-long sportsman Don Knaus is an award-winning outdoor writer and author of Of Woods and Wild Things, a collection of short stories on hunting, fishing, and the outdoors.


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A New Day at Sunset

Williamsport’s Favorite Ice Cream Keeps on Churning By Linda Roller


here was once a “golden age” of independent ice cream shops—the kind where somebody scooped up your favorite flavor, adding to the glory that was summer. It was a time before air conditioning was everywhere—a time of jazz and speakeasies, and continued through the hard times of the Great Depression and the tense, anxious days of World War II. The decline of that golden age started with the development of television (people stayed home more) and refrigerators with nice, big freezers, and by the 1970s there were only a few independent ice cream stores left. In 1977, very few people would


consider trying to start a business that had been taken over by chains like Friendly’s or Baskin-Robbins and had changed so drastically. But John Fritz (above) is not most people. John saw, instead, another market, a hybrid of people buying ice cream to eat at a stand, and people buying ice cream to take home. And so Sunset Ice Cream was born. First, he needed a plant, which he built just north of Williamsport. It’s a small, scrupulously clean plant, with two electric ice cream machines. These machines each make ten gallons of ice cream at a time, and it takes ten minutes for cream, milk, sugar, and flavorings or other ingredients (like chocolate chips) to

become some of our favorite flavors. The milk comes from Leiby’s Dairy in Tamaqua and has since John started. Watching the machines work is like stepping back in time, as the ice cream dispenses out the chute into three-gallon cardboard containers for ice cream shops, and halfgallon containers for retail sale at shops all over Pennsylvania. Sunset still sells a full half gallon, not a quart and a half. With the production part covered, John and his wife Phyllis simply built a shop across the alley from the plant. The name Sunset is from the amusement park that once was near the plant and shop, back in that golden age of ice cream stands. Old

pictures of the park adorned the walls. It was a simple building, with benches, and a player piano that played for a quarter. It was usually high school girls, in the Sunset uniform, that actually dipped ice cream. And the lines could be long, especially after a Little League game, or at the end of a long summer day. But the showstopper in this building was the immense ice cream counter. That counter could hold nearly every flavor that John Fritz made in the plant, and that was fifty—count ’em—fifty flavors. John created the flavor that became the biggest seller for him— Peanut Butter Cup. He was the first to chop peanut butter cups into a chocolate ice cream, forty years ago. He also created Raspberry Breeze and Creamsicle. John Fritz also figured out the formula for a local favorite. “Chocolate Malt was invented in Jersey Shore at the Allegheny Creamery,” he says. “Martin MacLellan wouldn’t give me the formula because he thought he would open another shop and it was his signature flavor. But years later, he told me that I had figured it out.” The flavor still sells particularly well in the Jersey Shore

area, where the Jiffy convenience store downtown sells forty half gallons every two weeks. And John’s favorite flavors? “Black Raspberry or Peanut Butter Ripple,” he confesses. But one ice cream shop cannot support a plant, and John had the plan for that. His four trucks send his ice cream, as half gallons, all over the state. “Some stores sell 200 cartons every two weeks,” he notes. And John Fritz’s ice cream is a welcome stop at fairs and carnivals in Pennsylvania. According to John, the ice cream business is growing. He sells more in the summer, but he sells plenty in other seasons. The plant makes more than 600 gallons a day in the summer, and in slower months makes 400 gallons. The staff is small, and mostly family. “I have a wonderful family,” he says. Phyllis works at the plant, along with Eric, a grandson. A few years ago, the land where the old ice cream parlor sat was sold for new development on Old Lycoming Creek Road. But, around the same time, a new ice cream shop appeared less than one mile north of the plant, at 2062 Lycoming Creek Road, (570) 494-5747. This is the

only Sunset parlor in the Williamsport area, and is owned by Jessica McDermott and Brett Harer. Brett was in the Marines for four years, and Jessica is a cancer survivor. His savings was the seed money to open their shop, and they did all the renovations themselves. The new shop has many of the old favorite flavors, and has added some non-dairy frozen smoothies (developed during chemotherapy). The cancer is in remission, and the shop is doing great, with May 2018 the busiest month yet. Jessica and Brett have close ties to the Fritz family, and her shop has much of the same feel as the old shop. That’s not surprising, as Jessica was once one of those high school girls scooping huge portions of ice cream into cones at the old shop. It’s a fitting tribute to a family that for over forty years has been making and sending the sweet taste of summer throughout the state all year long. Mountain Home contributor Linda Roller is a bookseller, appraiser, and writer in Avis, Pennsylvania.


Courtesy Justin Locke

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ot the same old, same old.” That’s how Endless Mountain Music Festival conductor Maestro Stephen Gunzenhauser describes the upcoming stage production of Peter VS. the Wolf, a theatrical-concert comedy remake of the well-loved children’s classic symphony, Peter and the Wolf, coming to Williamson High School in Tioga, Pennsylvania, on August 2 as part of the 2018 Endless Mountain Music Festival concert series (visit for ticket information). Using the original 1936 score by Sergei Prokofiev, the sortakinda sequel by writer/former Boston Pops bass player Justin Locke, with actors and instruments, takes the audience from the symphony’s original forest glade setting into a modern courtroom where the notorious duck-eating wolf, who has at this point escaped from jail, finally gets a chance to tell his side of the story. The new work brings in a (rather dizzy) judge, a district attorney, and witnesses for the prosecution and defense in a funny, clever, and engaging musical show that reviews and reexamines the original story, tells a new story, and, like the original, provides a classical music education of sorts as each instrument of the orchestra is demonstrated and explained during the production. Peter VS. the Wolf has been performed across the United States, Europe, Australia, and South America to rave reviews, garnering comments like, “absolutely hilarious,” “…a great time,” and “…the liveliest introduction to orchestral instruments I’ve ever heard.” This Northern Tier rendition is the result of a collaboration between the Endless Mountain Music Festival and Hamilton-Gibson Productions, Wellsboro’s own local performing arts organization. EMMF orchestra members take on the music, and HG players take on the acting under the guidance of Thomas Putnam, Hamilton-Gibson Productions artistic director. Both Putnam and Gunzenhauser are excited and enthusiastic about the opportunity to work together, especially on such a unique and imaginative project. With the assembled talents and energies of both organizations, the production promises to be an entertainment triumph—a firstrate partnership delivering, as Putnam says, a “madcap, crazy, corny, clever, fun creation.” ­~ Dave Milano

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Mother Earth

The nature of a legacy: the sixth annual Dairy Dash 5K and 1-Mile Memory Walk honors Shon Seeley and his devotion to sustainable agriculture.

Running Down a Dream By Gayle Morrow

“Yellow with birdfoot-trefoil are the grass glades...Earth in her heart laughs looking at the heavens.” ~ From Love in the Valley by George Meredith (1828-1909)


here are at least twenty-five different kinds of birdsfoot trefoil. Lotus corniculatus is one of those amazingly useful plants, native to Europe but a long-time resident of this country, having most likely been brought here by some of the Colonials as a fodder and forage crop. It fixes nitrogen in the soil, thereby making it available for use by other plants. It has some medicinal value. It adapts well to production on poorly-drained and low-pH soil. It can reseed itself. It serves as a crop for cutting, as livestock forage, and as a cover crop. It doesn’t cause bloat in animals, it is anti-parasitic, and, while it does not yield


as well as alfalfa, it is happy to grow where alfalfa doesn’t. Silly you, who might not yet count it as one of your favorite plants, but Shon Seeley counted it as one of his. That’s one reason Bradford County artist and farmer Sadie Allen, famous for, among other things, her paintings of euphoric, dancing cows, incorporates birdsfoot trefoil into the logo she creates each year for the Dairy Dash 5K and 1-Mile Memory Walk, an event that benefits the Shon Seeley Legacy Fund for Sustainable Farming Education. This year’s race is Saturday, September 1, at Mansfield University’s cross-country course at Lamb’s Creek, just north of Mansfield’s downtown off of Business Route 15. But let’s backtrack a little. Shon grew up on Milky Way Farms (yes, the one where you can get that amazing chocolate milk) in Troy. His dad, Kim, and his mom, Ann, made the decision a couple of decades ago

to change the way they raised cows and produced milk; Milky Way’s subsequent transition to a grass-based farm that focused less on inputs, and more on using what natures provides and supports, was made with help from the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture. “The Seeleys are like the first family of PASA,” says Lauren Smith, PASA’s director of development and the Dairy Dash organizer. “Kim has made a huge investment in PASA over the years.” When it came time for Shon to go to college (Penn State), Kim says he and Ann encouraged their son to get his degree in agronomy. With the support of a mentor, Kim continues, Shon returned to the “home farm” with a renewed focus on sustainable practices that included raising healthy animals on grass, native pasture grass management, livestock genetic preservation, See Dream on page 33


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Kristin Stam

Choreographing Corning

Wellsboro Dancer Maia Mahosky Leads the August Arts Crawl By Nicole Landers


aia Mahosky’s first memories of dance are blurred moving images: older dancers’ pointshoe-clad feet and the hems of tulle dresses twirled around her. She was two years old, a diminutive student of ballet—and was crawling on the stage pretending to be a poodle. Her family remembers her being so taken with the roses being thrown on stage for her dance instructor that she made a move to capture one for herself. And Maia never stopped moving. Now twenty-five, she will lead a troupe of dancers on the evening of August 31 for Corning’s Urban Arts Crawl. Her dancers will perform in Maia’s Spaces Project at simultaneous hour-long performances at four locations throughout the Gaffer District: at the Centennial Sculpture; at the east end of Market Street; at Centerway Square; at the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes’ Evelyn Peeler Peacock Gallery; and


at the Bridge Street green space just past Wegmans. The event is free, and all you have to do to enjoy it is show up at one of the performance locations, where you will be provided with a performance guide/map. Maia, who grew up in Wellsboro, became increasingly serious about her studies, and by age ten added modern dance to her repertoire at 171 Cedar Arts in Corning, and then began coming up with her own dances. But it wasn’t until she attended Goucher College in Baltimore that she fully embraced choreography, which satisfied something lacking for her as a performer: her interest in the process, methodology, and conceptual elements of the dance for the dancer to interpret and convey to the audience. After two and a half years of rigorous training, Maia ventured to Ghana for an intensive independent study. A shift occurred in her mind as she embraced the joyful Ghanaian culture and re-embraced movement, celebrating dance

as a part of socializing with others. Her philosophy has since evolved to be less concerned about what the choreography looks like as a final product and more focused on the process, conveying joy and adding elements of interaction with the audience. Maia works in sales by day and teaches and performs on nights and weekends. Her teaching classes include ballet, modern, and West African at Rhythms Academy of Dance in Mansfield. Shortly after resettling in the Wellsboro area and getting married, this self-described “Type-A personality” initiated an ambitious series of site-specific pieces she calls the Spaces Project. She first pitched her idea to Corning’s Gaffer District’s Executive Director Coleen Fabrizi, and was quickly connected with the organizers of the Urban Arts Crawl, a collaboration begun in 2016 by the Rockwell Museum and the ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes. It has since grown to include 171 Cedar

Nicole Landers is a freelance writer in the Finger Lakes. Her interests include the arts, agriculture, nature, and community involvement.

(3) Kristin Stam

Arts, Exhibit A, West End Gallery, Card Carrying Books and Gifts, and Gustin’s Gallery Goldsmith and Jewelers—all coordinating to host various art happenings at each location on the final Friday of every month. These range from theatrical and musical performances to book signings and readings to art demonstrations. The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes Executive Director Connie Sullivan-Blum explains that they are less interested in numbers of attendees or total sales than they are about providing the community with meaningful interactions with the artists and showcasing what the artists have to offer. Maia shares a similar philosophy—her goal is less about perfecting the movements of her dancers and more about reaching her audience and providing an authentic experience. There couldn’t be a better fit. Spaces Project celebrates life and movement in Corning, the inspiration coming from an article Maia read in Mountain Home magazine while serving as its advertising director. The article featured glassblower Julie Conway, who led a walking tour at GlassFest visiting different locations where she described her pieces. Maia hopes her audiences will see “different uses of the spaces beyond the day-to-day uses” and “people having fun in the space.” The four performances are broken down into two solo acts by Kat Delorme and Beth Hesch, a duet with Maia and Josemar Maracujá Castillo, and a trio of Zoe Black, Julie Krawczyk, and Tamar ReisnerStehman. Much of the music accompanying the dances will be live. Maia commissioned a piece of original music from Cuong Nguyen, a New York Corning spaces: Maia Mahosky City-based composer, dancer, and choreographer— (pictured both and a former Goucher classmate and frequent pages) dancing in collaborator—so she could fuse music to her vision, the Crystal City. “layer[ing] that on top of the dance.” Once the project was underway, Maia quickly realized each space provided unique challenges. “[My] dancers aren’t used to dancing on uneven wood floors, brick, or concrete,” Maia says, “So choreographing these elements became central to each dance’s production. Dancing in a location such as an art gallery provides a unique opportunity to use the movement of the dancers as a further expression of the space’s use.” Some pieces are designed to be interactive,” an unusual surprise for most people who are used to a more traditional experience of watching from afar. The maps will guide the audience to each venue, providing the possibility to experience all the performances. She learned early on that making art happen is not easy. Beyond the years of artist training, there is also the coordination of legal, financial, and logistical details to manage. She refers to herself as “a creative with organization[-al skills.]” Maia attributes her success in making her dream of the Spaces Project a reality to the support of her community partners and funding from the Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes, as well as in-kind donations of custom costumes by Pip’s Boutique and refreshments by Wegmans. You can join Maia and her dancers this month on the 31st from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. A reception and artist meet-and-greet follows from 6:30 to 7:30 at the ARTS Council’s Evelyn Peeler Peacock Gallery at 79 West Market Street. You can get more information at


Taylored continued from page 14

Sing-A-Long & Cruise-In 4:00 PM 1-3:00 PM Hand Jive and Costume Competition, Food, Cars, and Fun

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debating whether or not to get a new stage name, but it just wouldn’t be me,” she says) and her family moved to Tioga County after her father died in 2001 to be nearer to family who lived in the area. She spent her middle school and high school years in Wellsboro, graduating from Wellsboro High School in 2012. After graduation, instead of following her dream of a music career, Taylor made what she called the “realistic choice” and went to Kutztown University to run track and pursue a college education. She says it was at Kutztown that she knew music was really her passion when she would skip classes and sit in her dorm room and play guitar. “I didn’t want to go to track practice. I just wanted to learn new music, or to write new music. It was like my release,” she says. Taylor taught herself to play guitar in a rather unconventional way. “I did teach myself to play on YouTube! I borrowed my best friend’s guitar for a week because at that time I didn’t have my own. I was so determined to learn, so I gave myself that week. So I learned, wasn’t any good for a very, very long time, but I learned!” Taylor says. Yes she did. In 2017, Taylor released her first big hit, “Put It in a Song,” and that song made the country music world stand up and pay attention. “I wrote “Put It in a Song” about a relationship I was in at the time, literally on my couch, and never thought it would be the title track of my first EP [extended play], didn’t realize that from it I would get my publishing deal over at Play It Again [a Nashville based music publishing company], so…it has really changed my life. I got extremely lucky but I thank the man upstairs every day and also everyone who has stood behind me throughout all of this,” says Taylor. She spent several months travelling from her family’s current home in Lynchburg, Virginia, to Nashville, the mecca for country musicians and home of the Country Music Hall of Fame. “I moved to Nashville officially back in the beginning of May, and it has been so incredible! For about seven months or so I had been going back and forth, travelling from Virginia to Nashville, just trying to make it work until I could afford the move, but once I got down there, it made every struggle worthwhile,” she says. Taylor’s advice for anyone who wants to pursue a career in music: “Just never, ever give up. Never give up on yourself, never give up on your music, and truthfully that could go towards anything in life, not just music. If it’s something you love, just do it wholeheartedly and enjoy the process even if it’s hard at the moment. Everything works itself out!” She acknowledges and is grateful for all of the people who have helped her along the way. “Thank you to everyone who has listened to and believed in my music! If it wasn’t for the support of all y’all, I wouldn’t be able to do what I love every day! You don’t even understand how much I appreciate all of you.” Beth Williams lives in the wilds of Steuben County, New York, works in the wonders of the library at Mansfield University, and is perpetually writing a novel.

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Local vendors gather in Riverfront Centennial Park to offer the freshest and finest goods and produce the region has to offer!




July 24, August 7 & 21

Guest readers from around the area bring children’s books to life in Centerway Square. One lucky child in the crowd will win a book to take home, courtesy of program sponsor Southeast Steuben County Library! For a list of the stories and themes, please check




7/26 - The Royal Tease 8/2 - The Fire

607-654-7061 18 W. Market Street Corning, NY 14830



8/16 - Still Kickin’ 8/23 - The Hepcats 9/6 - Leah Brown & Side Hustle

Outdoor concerts in Centerway Square featuring music from local, regional and national performers. Check for the full listing of the Music in the Square concert series.




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Dream continued from page 26

and value-added dairy processing. Then, like his dad, he set about sharing what he was learning and what he believed about farming sustainably. “He was excited about helping other farmers figure this out,” says Kim. “It really made him tick.” In 2012, Shon was twenty-nine years old. He was on his way to the hospital to see his wife, Jess, and their new daughter, the couple’s second child, when he was killed in a car accident. The family—both the immediate and the PASA family—“was beyond grief,” says Lauren. There was no public service or memorial and, anyway, what do you do with that kind of pain? “Life is not predictable, not guaranteed,” Kim concedes, but he and Ann and the rest of Shon’s family wanted to be able to show Shon’s children “how to move forward.” “This life is still a short part of the whole deal, and faith in a strong spirit is the only thing that makes it work,” he asserts. Within a few months of Shon’s death, Lauren says, the Seeleys had developed the idea for the legacy fund. Then an MU graduate who happened to be a runner approached PASA about a 5K as a fundraiser. The inaugural Dairy Dash, in 2013, became Shon’s de-facto memorial, and drew a crowd of about 600. “It was heartwarming to have so many people turn out to launch the Dairy Dash, and to honor Shon and his commitment to agricultural sustainability,” she says. Attendance hasn’t been as high since, but, with a few races under their belt, they’re better prepared these days and are hoping for a big crowd. “It’s really a lovely event,” says Lauren. “The course is so beautiful—it’s MU’s cross country course. We really appreciate the support of the MU athletic department. This year we’d love to top 200 for the Dairy Dash.” “It’s very encouraging to see,” says Kim. “MU has been extremely positive.” He notes, too, that all the sponsors over the years have been “pretty special.” “I go every year,” says Jessica Seeley, noting that she helps as a volunteer and also participates as a runner, as does her oldest child. “My son is seven, and this will be his second year of racing. It is a special way to remember Shon.” So, are you ready to run? For the uninitiated, a 5K is just 3.1 miles and is the shortest of the common running event distances. This race starts at 9 a.m. Water stop and post-race food/ refreshments will be provided—treats include, of course, Milky Way Farms chocolate milk. The course is National Collegiate Athletic Association certified and is the host site for the Atlantic Regional Cross Country Championship. To register, or to get more details about the race, visit PASA at or call (814) 349-9856. Oh, and where else does birdsfoot trefoil fit into all of this? Kim explains that the time of the Dairy Dash is the time when the plant goes to seed (the name, birdsfoot, by the way, is a nod to the way the seedpods resemble a bird’s foot). His plan is to have seeds on hand to give away to the attendees, to have the seeds spread, to maybe help the Earth, in her heart, to laugh, and to believe that Shon is laughing, too.

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Courtesy Maggie Barnes Rex, lounging after a hard day at the office.

Dog Days

You Know Take Your Dog to Work Day? It Doesn’t Say Puppy for a Reason... By Maggie Barnes


re you sure about this?” I asked. “We’ve talked about this for years,” my husband said. “It’s now or never.” “We’re pretty old to be adding a little one to the family.” “All the more reason to do it now, while we still have some energy.” I looked again at the image on the computer screen and felt my heart swell. “He is beautiful,” I conceded. So, four weeks later, after a lot of preparation, a smiling man laid in my arms a squirming twelve-week-old puppy. Rex is a rescue dog, so his lineage is a bit cloudy. We know there is some German shepherd, but Daddy didn’t stick around for a paternity test, the scoundrel. So, we can guess at border collie, retriever of some flavor, or a splash of beagle, but the fact is we don’t know. Nor do we care. Rex is


a bundle of energy, slobbery kisses, and a classic “what’s-that-sound” head tilt that stole our hearts from day one. Having a dog for the first time in our long marriage has presented us with some logistical challenges. Bob’s retirement was a key factor in getting Rex, as we felt strongly that working full time would not give us the kind of time we needed to invest in raising a young dog. That’s worked out fine. Except this one time… Our daughter-in-law had earned her doctorate, a glorious achievement that she managed to pull off while being married to an Air Force officer and giving birth to the world’s cutest grandson. (Stand down the counterclaims; we aren’t opening that can of worms.) Bob and daughter Angie decided to make a whirlwind drive to North Carolina, attend the graduation ceremony, and then blast back up the coast by Sunday night.

That plan left me a solo puppy parent on a workday, so I let my fingers do the clicking and found a certified dog sitter not far from my office. She had good reviews and repeat clients, so I felt certain she could handle one lively shepherd-and-whatever-else-he-is. In the dark hours of Friday morning, I sent my family off on their trip, and, a couple of hours later, loaded Rex into the car with enough cargo to support an entire colony of puppies. Food, treats, six toys, his bed, favorite blanket, medical record, both leashes, a spare collar, and poop bags in a quantity sufficient to embarrass a Great Dane. The sitter’s house was small but neat, and I said lots of reassuring things to Rex as I carried him up the steps. “This will be fun! She even has a dog, so you will make a new friend. You’ll spend all day playing! See Puppy on page 36



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Rex, planning his next move (ment).

Puppy continued from page 34


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This is great!” I rang the doorbell, and the stillness of the morning was subsequently shattered by a cacophony of noise from inside. A crash, barking, some yelling, more barking, another crash, the sound of canine nails digging into woodwork, more barking. Rex’s ears went flat, and when the door was yanked open, revealing a young woman straining to hold back a massive dog, Rex began to tremble in my arms. She coaxed us inside, using both hands on a short leash to restrain her dog. Pretty animal, and his tail thumped wildly, but the way he lunged and pulled at us was starting to panic both Rex and me. We sat on sofas in the tiny living room. The resident dog twisted and jumped and tried every evasive maneuver taught at Top Gun to get away from his owner. “He calms down after awhile!” The young woman smiled as she shouted over the din. I sat there, my four-month-old baby trying to bore a hole in my chest to hide in, and thought about all the “must-dos” on my desk. “Isn’t he used to bigger dogs?” I looked at the dog sitter and fought hard not to say, “Yes, he is. But not Cujo.” In the end, I just could not do it. I knew, if I left Rex in that house, I would be in a state of near panic all day. It was no good. I had no choice. We drove to my office, and then I walked Rex on the grass that frames the parking lot. “Okay, Rex, listen up,” I lectured as we walked. “We have to go into the office for a little while. I’ll get some work off my computer and we will go home. Please be a good boy.” He didn’t like the elevator ride, but the fuss my incredible boss and coworkers made over him put the sparkle back into his face. “We’ll close him up in our section,” my office mate Carol

Courtesy Maggie Barnes

suggested. “He’ll be fine.” That’s what we did, and I was frantically printing, emailing, and piling papers in my office when I looked out the door toward the waiting room. Rex was in the center of the space, head tilted, eyes closed, an expression of pure contentment on his face as he deposited an exact replica of Mount Rainier on the carpet. We’re talking a Dairy Queen double-scoop, swirled perfectly right to the little fold-over at the top. A heartbeat later, the smell exploded in the air. “Carol!” I managed to gasp. “Now, that’s impressive,” she exclaimed. “That’s gotta be half his body weight.” Professional humiliation comes in many forms. Maybe you botched the big sales presentation. Maybe you were introducing your boss at a conference and went blank when you got to his name. Did you write an email to your friend in which you described a coworker as being “dumb as a sack of hair,” and then accidently send it to the sack in question? Those are nothing compared to being on your knees with a bottle of disinfectant, trying to lift a stain the shape of Africa out of the carpet while your coworkers attempt to corral your dog. It took three poop bags, an entire roll of paper towels, and intervention by the professionals in housekeeping to render the office habitable again. Back in the car, Rex put his front paws on the center console and gave me a doggie grin that said, “What a great day! What are we gonna do next, Mom?” I shrugged at him and smiled back. “We’re gonna go home and work on my resume!” Maggie Barnes has won an IRMA and two Keystone Press Awards for her columns in Mountain Home. She lives in Waverly, New York. 37

A Patchwork of Lives

The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild Turns 20 By Elaine Farkas


n alternate years, members of the Wellsboro-based Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild exhibit their works of art at the Gmeiner Art and Cultural Center for one month near summer’s end. This year is special, though, as 2018 marks the twentieth anniversary of the Guild’s formation. The exhibit will run for seven weeks, from August 8 to September 23, with a formal reception at the Gmeiner on August 10 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. This year quilt fanciers can also see small, intricate quilts dotting the widows of local shops and offices for “shop hop” season. These unique creations are like brochures for the event. There are thirty-nine of the little masterpieces. The Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild is a guild in the traditional sense we learned about during our history classes. It is a merchant guild dedicated to the commercial and artistic success of its members, and to giving back to the community. Founded in Wellsboro in 1998, this particular guild started with the friendship between two Tioga county quilters, Mary Jane Ehlich and Madalene Murphy. They and their ambitious and creative friends quickly grew the group to over 100 members in the first year. Today, the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild boasts 123 “amazing women,” according to Kate Means, one of the founding members and a former guild president. “Everyone has struggled,” she explains, and the Guild is a great place to find friends and mentors, and to enrich one’s life through “continuous learning and giving.” “One thing all quilters do is share,” says Kate. She explains that many projects the Guild members create are donated to local organizations, including those that offer hospice care, services for individuals faced with domestic violence, and foster care programs. Quilting is more than just technique, she says, and has been a source of community activism throughout history; Mansfield University even has an entire class on quiltbased activism. The upcoming exhibit in the Gmeiner is no exception to this community-based philosophy, with this year’s proceeds going to Seeds of Hope, an organization dedicated to helping families in crisis. The Guild’s anniversary celebration/opening reception includes live music, refreshments, and the opportunity to win handmade door prizes. For the first time in Guild history, there will be a market, appropriately enough on Labor Day weekend, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. September 1-3. All other weekends of the exhibit will feature technique demonstrations at 1p.m. Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. The Guild meets at the Gmeiner at 7 p.m. on the third Monday every month. For event and other information visit www.mountainlaurelquiltguild. org or call Kate at (570) 404-4541. And if you see a quilt you absolutely must have, the Gmeiner on September 3 is the place and time to make your purchase of a one-of-kind work of art. Elaine Farkas currently resides in Tioga, Pennsylvania, with her husband and a rather large cat named Sasha. She teaches physics and runs the planetarium at Mansfield University.


(7) Courtesy Kate Means Intricate and intriguing: original art from the Mountain Laurel Quilt Guild will be on display in Wellsboro during August and September.


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ou’ll be walking down Main Street in Wellsboro one day this summer with the sun overhead and music in the air. Suddenly a young woman will sit at a piano on the sidewalk in front of a restaurant and start playing Stardust. Or across the street a child will sit at an upright in front of a hotel and play DoRe-Mi, or just bang away with a silly grin. Thomas Putnam, Hamilton-Gibson Productions founder and artistic director, brought the delightful trend of open-air play-asyou-will pianos to Wellsboro’s principal boulevard. “We would do it differently if we had to do it again,” he says, chuckling. “We put an ad in the paper—foolishly—saying that if you had an old piano you weren’t using and wanted to donate, we would be glad to haul it away.” More than a dozen folks happily dumped a ton of old living-room killers on the unsuspecting Hamilton-Gibson volunteers; a good third of them went on the scrap heap. But there were hidden jewels. Local artists—Suzan Richar, Mary Domarew, Maureen Babb, Mary Wise, Kristin Stam, and Anna Wales among them— transformed the old instruments into whimsical canvases. Local piano technician and clarinet player extraordinaire David Driskell brought the pianos back into tune. “All of these pianos come from the era when people had nothing in their houses for entertainment,” he says. “The player piano was the first home entertainment system you could buy—it was like buying a stereo. You would sit down, pump the thing, and the rolls would play and the words would roll by and you could sing along.” Those rolls may be long gone, as “that mechanism would go first, but the rest of the piano is sound—sometimes they are actually better pianos,” adds David. Local businesses donate money to support the pianos’ upkeep in the off-season (they spend the winter back at the Warehouse Theater) and tarp them on rainy summer days. David has documented the history of every one. The Estey in front of the Penn Wells Hotel, which sports a panorama of Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon painted across its case, is David’s favorite. “It plays easily and tunes up nicely,” he notes. In front of Indigo Wireless is an old player piano, a Gulbransen built in 1925 in Chicago, one of the few manufacturers represented on the street that’s still in business, “a kind of clunky 100-year-old that holds its tune pretty well.” Its painted front sports the line, “Play me, I’m yours.” In August, that means you. ~Teresa Banik Capuzzo

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Gad Zukes!

It’s Tomato (And Zucchini) Time By Cornelius O’Donnell


can hear the joyous comments coming from the backyards of vegetable gardeners, farmers market browsers, and shoppers in the produce section of a first-rate market: “The zucchini—or tomatoes—look wonderful!” Finally. It’s that time of year that good cooks have been waiting for. I knew one of these cooks, a very elegant person and the proprietress of a famed San Francisco cooking school. I was


astonished when, spotting the first red, ripe tomato on one of her plants, she demolished the orb in several chomps, core and all, as if it was an apple. On another occasion, she munched down a cooked shrimp, shell and all (don’t try this at home). I remember the year I bought a good starter plant of cherry tomatoes and a bunch of us sat on the deck swilling wine and picking off those ripe little gems,

completely denuding the plant save for the still-green next generation. That’s a truly no-cook hors d’oeuvre, though maybe a dish of salt for each person wouldn’t be out of order. Try adding a drop of white wine or dry vermouth to the salt and stirring in some very finely chopped fresh basil or fresh tarragon. Oh, boy.

Heirloom Tomatoes I thought I’d start this seasonal topic by noting that I am goofy over heirlooms, and heirloom tomatoes as well. More and more farmers and home gardeners are growing these colorful orbs because you can’t beat the flavor. It’s what you dream summer tastes like. And the variety of shapes (some really gnarly-looking), colors (chocolate brown, yellow, green, blotchy pale pink, etc.), and sizes can blow your mind. Via the Internet, I have found that Proven Winners, the growers who help support P. Allen Smith’s PBS TV show, sing the praises of the “smoky-sweet flavor” of a tomato named for (I assume) Paul Robeson, the fabled singer. There is much admiration for the Cherokee Purple and, having lived in Philly, I’m glad to see both the reddish Brandywine and its yellow version lauded for winning countless taste tests. Check out Gurney’s (another grower) Amish variety established in 1885 and touted for the “rich and creamy aftertaste.” They’ve got others I’d love to try, such as Chocolate Cherry and Black Krim. Burpee also has a good assortment of seeds. They sell out, I see, so plan your 2019 garden soon. A platter of sliced heirlooms would make a fabulous party centerpiece. Drizzle with a basil vinaigrette, maybe crumble some blue cheese or feta over it, and add another platter of chicken wings. That’s a dinner I’d pine for. If I had the space I’d love to winter-start some San Marzanos, my favorite for sauces, and Romas, too. For another good source for tomato seeds and plants, visit Connecticut’s White Flower Farm—the online version if you can’t go in person. Zucchini There aren’t as many exotic forms of this vegetable, lovingly described in early cookbooks as Italian squash, which was silly, as the fruit, cooked as a vegetable, is from Mexico and the area around it. The seeds were brought to Europe by all those zany explorers, some of whom thought they were in India, for Pete’s sake. I’d grow zukes for the plant’s flowers. I fell in love with those fragile yellow trumpets stuffed with a savory mix and baked. About stuffing, there is actually a round-shaped zucchini found in France and called Ronde de Nice. It’s nice. Different. And when prepared and baked looks great. Then there’s Black Beauty (a deep green) and Italian Striped, also different, and very heirloom. Names are tricky. Go to France and you’ll have Courgetti. Go under the Chunnel and you might have Baby Marrow. The zucchini invasion in the U.S. started in the ‘20s with Italians arriving and encountering the Irish on the shore, and a generation or two later the blended family made ratatouille—one of my all-time favorites and heavenly with good tomatoes and zucchini dancing together in the pot.

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Zukes continued from page 43

1 fat clove garlic, smashed, peeled, and diced 1 small onion, minced 1 lb. zucchini cut into ½-inch slices 4 oz. can diced mild green chilies, drained 1 large red, ripe tomato seeded and coarsely chopped (in winter I use canned or cherry tomatoes) ¼ tsp. cumin powder ¼ tsp. dried oregano (I used a heaping amount) ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper ¼ c. low-fat sour cream 1 cup grated Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese (try a version with peppers to zing things up)

¼ c. all-purpose flour ½ tsp. dried oregano Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste 2 Tbsp. butter Turn the oven to very low. Place the grated zucchini in a clean tea towel, one that hasn’t been bleached (the remnants may live on and spoil the flavor), or use paper towels. Squeeze excess moisture out of the vegetable. Combine all ingredients, except butter, in a bowl and mix well. Heat the butter in a fry pan and when it sizzles ladle in batter to make silver dollar-size pancakes, larger if you prefer. When nicely browned on one side, flip and brown the other side. Keep cooked pancakes warm on a heat-proof platter. Serve plain, with applesauce, or with marinara. Serves 4 to 6. Chicken Tampico Here’s an old favorite recipe of mine that uses both homegrown zucchini and tomatoes. I’ve made it so often I could probably cook it in my sleep. Matter of fact I came close one time after arriving at home after a long drive. I always recommend serving this with an avocado and grapefruit salad, and tortillas that I’ve enclosed in an oven-proof covered skillet and popped into the warm oven to heat up a bit. Who needs foil, the stuff that fills our landfills? You could also put them in a Pyrex bowl, cover that with a Pyrex pie plate, and zap it for maybe one to two minutes in the microwave, or until the disks are nice and warm.

Place oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium high heat and add chicken. Sauté for about 5 minutes, then add garlic, onion, and zucchini. Cover and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chilies, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper. Stir and cover. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in sour cream and sprinkle with cheese. Cover and return to very low heat for 2 minutes. Do not allow the sour cream to boil. Serve with rice and tortillas. Feeds 4-6 diners, depending on appetites. A seasonal side note—personally, I can’t live without my spiralizer. It makes great “spaghetti” from zucchini, and when you douse it with your favorite (heirloom) tomato sauce and dust the top with some Pecorino Romano, you’ve got low carbs, high flavors, and a quick meal.

2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (I use safflower) ¼ lb. boneless chicken breast or thighs cut into strips 2 inches by ½ inch, approximately)

Chef, teacher, author, and award-winning columnist Cornelius O’Donnell lives in Horseheads, New York.

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s the Susquehanna River twists and turns through the heart of Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier, it has shaped the history of the towns nestled along its banks. Each town has a unique relationship with the river, and Towanda is no exception. For the last thirty years, this small borough has celebrated its river heritage with the annual RiverFest. RiverFest—the dates are August 16-18 for 2018—was started by two town merchants, Anne Sturzen and Kaye Connell, along with Main Street managers Jim Zubler, Jim Stewart, and Steve Lattimer, to celebrate the end of the summer vacation season with end of the season sidewalk sales. These days, thousands gather in Towanda for fun on the banks of the river along Merrill Parkway, and it is one of the most popular venues in the area for family and class reunions. The carnival—now a big part of the festival—began in the mid-90s, according to Jim Haight, co-chair of the RiverFest Committee, when RiverFest got its first Ferris wheel. The party has continued to expand ever since, with the help of local service organizations and dedicated volunteers, and now includes a full carnival and local musical groups for evening entertainment. Headliners like American Idol’s Aaron Kelly and Flipside have also appeared. Be sure to bring your appetite when you visit RiverFest. Barbecued chicken from the local fire company, pulled pork from St. Agnes School, funnel cakes, fresh lemonade, ice cream, cotton candy, and more await you and your fork. If you need to burn off some of those calories, plenty of activities are available for those so inclined. Past events have included kayak and canoe paddles down the river, and a 5K walk or run. There is plenty to keep the younger set busy as well. Kid-centered entertainment has in past years included jugglers, dancers, magicians, and karaoke contests. Hurley’s Fresh Market always provides the castle jump house, and the Little Mr. and Miss River pageant, a service-oriented contest for children, is popular. Saturdays are the pinnacle of RiverFest, and typically begin with an event like 2017’s hot-rod “Cruise-In” sponsored by Hi Caliber Motorsports of Wysox, Pennsylvania. Saturday night is not to be missed as one of the most impressive firework displays in the area sets the night sky ablaze during a thirty-minute finale to this great party. The river, at times, brought great fortune and great heartache to those who live and work along its banks, but it is surely a part of this community to be celebrated and embraced. So be sure to put the thirty-first annual Riverfest on your calendar and remember: admission is free! ~ Maggie Barnes

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Promoting lasting relationships with our customers through quality products, service, and support. “Our relationship with the Carpenter’s Shop has grown tremendously because of their commitment to quality, their influence on helping us satisfy our customers requirements and their recognition of our mutual need for continuous improvement in cycle time, cost, quality, and delivery performance. Because of this, they are a key supply partner to Signature with whom we expect a long-term mutually beneficial relationship.” - Signature Custom Cabinetry, Inc.

2228 SR49 West • Ulysses, PA 16948 814-848-7448

NOW OFFERiNg 3D MAMMOgRAPHY UPMC Susquehanna Soldiers + Sailors in Wellsboro now offers 3D mammography. 3D mammography, also called Tomosynthesis, is an imaging tool that uses low-energy X-rays to create 3D images of the breasts. While conventional mammography takes pictures of the breast from two angles — up and down, and left and right — 3D mammography takes multiple pictures from many angles.

Benefits of 3D mammography includes: ƒ Earlier detection of small breast cancers that may be hidden during digital mammography ƒ Fewer unnecessary and/or additional tests ƒ Greater likelihood of detecting multiple breast tumors ƒ Clearer images of dense breast tissue Mammography screenings should begin annually at the age of 40, or sooner depending on family history. For more information visit or call 570-723-0160.


Mountain Home, August 2018  

"A Fairy Tale House" by Mike Cutillo. Inspired by a children's book, Bruno Schickel built a Finger Lakes village. He also married the celebr...

Mountain Home, August 2018  

"A Fairy Tale House" by Mike Cutillo. Inspired by a children's book, Bruno Schickel built a Finger Lakes village. He also married the celebr...