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King of the Road That’s Mansfield’s Tom Oswald— Bike Shop Owner, Marathon Cyclist By Peter Joffre Nye The Art of Zim in Mark Twain Country Little League Goes Big in Billtown The Tioga Central Turns 25

AUGUST 20191

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Volume 14 Issue 8

5 Back to the Future at

Mountain Home

By Michael Capuzzo

King of the Road

14 Come Along and Ride

By Peter Joffrey Nye That’s Mansfield’s Tom Oswald—bike shop owner, marathon cyclist.

This Train

By Gayle Morrow

Tioga Central celebrates twenty-five years.

18 The Biggest Little Game By Charlie Berch

Little League’s World Series takes the field in Williamsport.

22 Fill ’Er Up


By Don Knaus

In long-gone neighborhoods where you could pray, drink, eat—and get gas.

Kelsey Does the Derby

25 Kids at Rockwell By Maggie Barnes

By Karey Solomon The Mongolian one, that is.

30 The Illustrated Zim By Karey Solomon

The legacy of cartoonist Eugene Zimmerman is on display in Chemung County.

36 Barbarians at the Gate By Maggie Barnes

Our columnist secures her Tupperware... and makes a friend.


42 Back of the Mountain By Roger Kingsley O beautiful...

Cover photo courtesy Tom Oswald; cover design by Tucker Worthington; this page from top: courtesy Tom Oswald, enjoying an early fall ride; middle, Kelsey Eliot prepares for Mongolian derby, courtesy Karey Solomon; bottom, courtesy Science & Discovery Center.

Taking Learning on the Road By Ann Duckett Corning-based Science & Discovery Center brings STEM to students.

28 3









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. D i r e c t o r o f O pe r a t i o n s Gwen Button Managing Editor Gayle Morrow S a l e s R ep r e s e n t a t i v e s Joseph Campbell, Robin Ingerick, 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, Leslie Bresee, Mike Cutillo, Ann E. Duckett, Elaine Farkas, Carrie Hagen, Paul Heimel, Lisa Howeler, Don Knaus, Nicole Landers, Janet McCue, Dave Milano, Cornelius O’Donnell, Brendan O’Meara, Peter Petokas, Peter Joffre Nye, Linda Roller, Jennie Simon, Jan Bridgeford-Smith, Karey Solomon, Beth Williams C o n t r i b u t i n g P h o t o g r ap h e r s Bernadette Chiaramonte, Diane Cobourn, Bill Crowell, Bruce Dart, Katie Finnerty, Roger Kingsley, Emma Mead, Heather Mee, Jody Shealer, Linda Stager, Mary Sweely, Sue Vogler, Sarah Wagaman, Curt Weinhold, Ardath Wolcott, Gillian Tulk-Yartym, Deb Young


D i s t r i b u t i o n T eam Layne Conrad, Grapevine Distribution, Duane Meixel, Linda Roller

Our reputation is

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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, 39 Water Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, 16901, and online at www.mountainhomemag.com. Copyright © 2019 Beagle Media, LLC. All rights reserved. E-mail story ideas to editorial@mountainhomemag. com, or call (570) 724-3838.


TO ADVERTISE: E-mail info@mountainhomemag.com, or call us at (570) 724-3838. AWARDS: Mountain Home has won over 100 international and statewide journalism awards from the International Regional Magazine Association and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association for excellence in writing, photography, and design.

International Regional Magazine Association 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, 39 Water Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 or visit www.mountainhomemag.com.

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Back to the Future at Mountain Home By Michael Capuzzo


ere at Mountain Home offices at 39 Water St., Wellsboro, from the porch over the creek, my wife Teresa Banik Capuzzo and I are very happy to announce that we’re going back to the future—back to our roots. Staring August 1st, Mountain Home will once again be published out of 39 Water St., instead of 87½ Main Street, where we operated the magazine out of a small art gallery for a couple years, but found running a separate business was distracting us from our core purpose. The main objective of the gallery was to promote the wonderful local and regional artists and photographers who help make Mountain Home and life in our towns on the borders of two states so appealing, like Bernadette Chiaramonte, who we featured in our gallery last month (going out with a bang), and many times on our pages and website. We’ll still be doing both like we have since 2005, telling great stories and promoting our photographers and artists like Bernadette. A little history might make it clearer why we’re so excited to be returning to first principles. Every family has a history, and I think all of us in the Mountain Home family, readers, advertisers, staff, and contributors, can be proud of our shared story. What to call it? Strange? Unlikely? A minor miracle? We published the first issue of Mountain Home magazine fourteen years ago this December, right from Water Street, as newcomers to this nineteenth century house with a mysterious past including an alleged Civil War ghost. We hung a shingle out on the porch and as Philadelphians moved to the country, Teresa’s hometown, we adjusted to the cacophony of the neighborhood. The burbling of Kelsey Creek became a spring roar, then the winter silence of ice. O Come, All Ye Faithful sounded from the tower of the First Presbyterian Church that first Christmas, and church bells rang throughout the town. Our neighbors walked by with a friendly wave enroute to the art club, or the library. My

brother-in-law, the tall lawyer, strolled mornings to the courthouse. Main Street a block away, and the hazy green view of the Wynken, Blynken, and Nod statue on the town Green, seemed another world. It seemed such wholesome Americana, but it was a radical thing we were doing, we now realize. As former journalists at The Philadelphia Inquirer, where I was a feature writer, and Philadelphia Magazine, where Teresa was food editor and restaurant critic, we had our share of city biases: newspapers were dying, print was dead, people don’t have time to read. But then the brilliant Wellsboro artist Tucker Worthington, another Philly transplant with his art in museums, started designing our magazine, and lawyers and pastors, waitresses, fishermen, hunters and factory workers, widows and teenagers and centenarians, college professors and liberals and conservatives and libertarians and anarchists, atheists and godfearing Baptists came in the door and wrote and photographed and talked and painted and told their story, our stories, the great human story, something of a song of the Twin Tiers, and showed they were lies, those city truths. But you know the tale if you’re a regular reader. You know that Mountain Home grew almost overnight to 100,000 readers and hundreds of loyal advertisers from the Finger Lakes to central PA. With Teresa at the helm, Mountain Home has been recognized as one of the best magazines in the country by the International Regional Magazine Association and the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association, who together have bestowed 120 awards on Mountain Home for excellence in journalism, a passel of them most every year since we hung our shingle. The challenge of life is to do it a little better every day, and we’re pleased to say we’ll be doing what we’ve done since 2005 with more focus than ever—if we can block out the distractions of church bells, neighbors waving howdy, and the burbling creek.


Courtesy Tom Oswald

From Paris, with love: Tom Oswald waves as he rides in the ParisBrest-Paris race.in 2015.


King of the Road That’s Mansfield’s Tom Oswald—Bike Shop Owner, Marathon Cyclist By Peter Joffre Nye


mall-town bike shops, like independent bookstores and local shoe stores, face fierce competition from online businesses that have been hollowing out rural America. But in Mansfield, a borough of 3,200 folks nestled in the Keystone State’s north-central countryside near the New York border, Oswald Cycle Works on Main Street is doing fine. Its eponymous owner, Tom Oswald, serves the cycling community from a wide regional radius. Jimmy Guignard, a customer for fifteen years, recalls his surprise when he first stepped into the bike shop. He had arrived in Mansfield with a new Ph.D. from the University of Nevada in Reno to teach writing at Mansfield University, near the bike shop. “I wasn’t expecting much in this small town,” says Jimmy, chairman of MU’s English and World Languages Department. “Reno was a big bike town. Tour de France champion Greg LeMond grew up there. I went to Tom’s shop and found it was awesome. He was making mind-blowing great frames. He’s a top-notch mechanic— as good as any I’ve run into in my thirtytwo years as a bike rider.” Jimmy showed his trusty mountain bike to Tom. “Tom said there are a lot of gravel and dirt roads in the area,” he recalls. The terrain can be steep. Tom recommended a cyclo-cross bike, which features a modified frame geometry to accommodate over-sized tires more

resistant to punctures over broken rocky surfaces, mud, and other hazards. “He pointed me to a relatively inexpensive Jamis frame. I rode that for years. We ride together a lot. Any time I want a new bike, I call him and he suggests what I need.” Mike Detweiler, Mansfield’s volunteer mayor and a bartender at the Yorkholo Brewing Company & Eatery a few doors down on Main Street from Oswald Cycle Works, said many customers come from far away to have Tom service their bikes. That personal touch distinguishes this shop from online vendors. “Tom is pretty well known,” Mike says. “He has a lot of general home-spun wisdom. He and one of his hired wrenches, Jim Frank, got me set up on a bike. They’re hands-on people.” Tom, fifty-one, stocks his 1,600-square foot shop with gleaming bikes, indispensable parts and components, and cycling clothing. None of this could have been predicted when he was growing up in the posh metropolis of Naples, Florida. He played the trumpet in his high school band. Even then, he displayed an independent spirit that would shape his life. “I was listening to jazz, all kinds of jazz, when my friends were listening to the radio’s Top 40 hits,” he says. “I wanted to be a music teacher. That’s what I went to college for, at Florida State University in Tallahassee.” Tallahassee offered plenty of sunshine, rolling roads, and moss-draped oak trees.

“I saw lots of people riding bikes,” Tom remembers. “Eventually I got a job in a bike shop. I liked it and continued down that path.” Most bike shops are privately owned. No matter their size, they have a back room where new bicycles are pulled out of cardboard boxes, assembled, and tuned up before they go on display in the showroom. Back rooms smell of light oil, to lubricate chains and weight-bearing parts, and rubber of new tires. Retail industry figures show that about 45 million Americans, about 15 percent of the U.S. population, ride bicycles. Since the 1970s, more bicycles have been sold annually than cars—averaging around 18 million bicycle sales. Gallup polls list cycling among the three most common recreational activities pursued by men and women age eighteen and older—after swimming and fishing, ahead of aerobics, bowling, camping, hiking, basketball, and running. So, instead of teaching the next Miles Davis or Chris Botti, Tom worked after college in bike shops. He learned the retail business and picked up the skill of brandishing a torch to braze steel tubes together into the bicycle’s diamond frame. In 1996 he worked in a Greensboro, North Carolina, bike shop where he met Sheila Kasperek, a brunette four years younger. “Tom was one of the mechanics,” she says. “I had a degree in graphic art from See King on page 8



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Pedaling pair: Tom and his wife, Sheila, after the Liberty Blockhouse Festival Bike race this June. King continued from page 7

Appalachian State in Boone, North Carolina. I found that after college I needed to exercise. So I picked up biking and later met Tom.” They went bike riding on their first date. Three months later, they quit their jobs and drove around the country for a year. During their odyssey, Tom signed a contract to write, Bicycling in Florida: The Cyclist’s Road and Off-Road Guide. The couple traveled around the state to collect information. His book was published in 1999 by Pineapple Press. The two are remarkably compatible. “We’re almost the same size,” she notes. Both stand both five feet seven. “He weighs 128 pounds, and I weigh 125 pounds.” They also live on their own terms. By 2005 they had settled in Mansfield—Sheila had gotten a job there at MU’s library, and Tom operated his shop. They moved into a house constructed in the 1880s for the Presbyterian Church, near the campus. On the first day of spring that same year, the couple eloped and tied the knot on the frozen lake at Hills Creek State Park, near Mansfield. “We used to bike past the park all the time,” Sheila says. “We decided on a Sunday that we should get married. We went to a birthday party and invited people to come 8

Courtesy Tom Oswald

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to our wedding the next day. This was a way to get married and avoid having a traditional wedding.” • Oswald Cycle Works carries Specialized, Fuji, and Giant bicycle brands. Customers seeking a made-to-measure frame they intend to cherish call on Tom. He sizes them up like a tailor— pulling out a tape measures to record the length of arms, legs, and torso. Then he cuts steel tubing to fit. Word spreads about a bike shop with a frame builder. For his wife, Tom built an all-purpose dirt-road bike. “He made it with cyclo-cross tires and road-bike handlebars, with rack-mounts over the wheels so I can pack what I need to go camping,” she says. “During the summer, he mostly works and I don’t, so I take two-week vacations by myself.” Tom makes frames with just hand tools. “I used handcranked drills and a hand-cranked grinding wheel mounted on a workbench. Tubes that I brazed with the torch I smoothed by hand with emery cloth sandpaper. The manual process slows down making a frame a little bit, but frame building isn’t my full-time job. I only make a few frames a year. Hand tools seemed to fit the idea of riding a bike under your own power.” When he exhibited his polished frames, the name Oswald displayed on the downtube, at the North American Handmade Bicycle Show one year in San Jose, a journalist called him the Amish bike builder. “Since I live in Pennsylvania, which has an Amish tradition, it seemed natural to call me the Amish bike builder.” He might also be called the Elvis bike builder. A woman who See King on page 10


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King continued from page 9

is an avid Elvis fan ordered a special frame. He crafted his own lugs—small steel pieces fitted at the joints where the seat tube, top tube, and down tube meet to form the diamond frame’s triangle, called the cockpit for where the handlebars and saddle are fitted. “She really likes pink, and I incorporated her 1950s rock-nroll Elvis fanaticism,” Tom says. He painted the frame hot pink, with black lugs embellished with musical notes. “The seat lug usually has a slot and key hole at the back where the lug pinches the seat post. I carved an eighth-note there to make it look a little different. On the front, below the head tube on the front of the fork crown, I made a stainless-steel badge, brazed on, featuring a double-sixteenth note.” Jimmy Guignard calls the Elvis-themed bike a piece of art. “It’s a gorgeous, super-cool bike.” • Around the time Oswald turned forty in 2008, he recalled reading an earlier Bicycling magazine feature about the 750-mile noncompetitive endurance ride from Boston north to Montreal and back. “I was amazed that people would ride 750 miles in three days,” he says. “I thought that was insane. At the time, I was riding thirty to forty miles a day. Once in a while I would ride a century (100 miles).” He felt inspired, however. “I had learned the limits of how fast I could go. So I started to see how far I could ride.” He discovered Pennsylvania’s annual 385-mile challenge ride: Crush the Commonwealth. Its route alternates one year from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh; the next year from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia. He extended his training rides radiating out of Mansfield to build stamina. “I did Crush the Commonwealth in 2011 and discovered that I’m pretty okay at this long-distance stuff.” Tom pedaled 385 miles in thirty-five hours, stopping once to nap in a motel for three hours. He finished in the top half of thirty participants. In 2013 he went back and completed the ride in twenty-nine hours, without stopping. He was the fastest finisher. In 2016, he set the record from Philly to Pittsburgh: twenty-six hours. His wife supports his long training rides and trips out of town. “I don’t feel left behind in what he is doing,” says Sheila, perhaps because one of her favorite things is reading. She says she reads about 150 books a year—literary fiction, light sci-fi, history. “I like learning. He supports me in my adventures. We do a lot of things that are compatible, like go out separately and have our own adventures at the same time, and come back and share our experiences.” One glorious long ride led Tom to yet another. He pedaled farther, about 500 miles, in the weeklong trek across Iowa, organized by the Des Moines Register and better known as RAGBRAI, for the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. Tom admits that when he’s tired and uncomfortable he has doubts about what he is doing. “I start asking myself: Why am I doing this? But I usually bring myself out of these funks by thinking how lucky I am to do these long rides. I really like challenging myself, seeing what I can do, what I can endure, and have a good story to tell when I get back home.” So, he made plans to fly in August of 2015 to France for the grandest long-distance ride of them all—from Paris west for See King on page 12

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(2) Courtesy Tom Oswald Elvis lives: from its 1950s rock-n-roll accents to embedded music notes, this custom pink bike was perfect for its Elvis-fanatic owner.

King continued from page 10

375 miles to Brest on the Atlantic Coast and back to Paris, a total of 750 miles. “It’s the Boston Marathon of long-distance cycling, the grand-daddy of them all,” he says. Dating to 1891, six years older than the Boston Marathon, Paris-Brest-Paris was created as a bicycle race to boost a Paris newspaper’s circulation. The modern bicycle had only recently been introduced. Pneumatic tires were starting to replace traditional hard-rubber tires, like those on grocery cart wheels. France’s masses took to bicycles, calling them la petite reine, the little queen. P-B-P was considered as outrageous—and uniquely French—as the Eiffel Tower. Training began. In early 2015 Jimmy Guignard joined Tom on winter rides. “It’s our way of shaking our fists at the weather when it’s fifteen degrees,” Jimmy says. “When Tom was getting ready to ride P-B-P, we’d meet at the bike shop and ride for two and a half hours. When I got back, I was cold, hungry, completely done. Tom would grab a Clif Bar, then go back out for another two to three hours. That’s the way he is. He’s a tiny guy, but he’s super tough.” To qualify for P-B-P, Tom had to complete designated Randonneur (French for long-distance) rides, starting at 125 miles and progressing to 375 miles and finishing under a time limit. He did qualifier


rides with the Pennsylvania Randonneurs out of Allentown. “It’s a three-hour drive from Mansfield to Allentown,” he says. “Those rides started at 5 a.m. I had to hop in my car at midnight and drive there, do the ride, and drive back. That was good training to keep my body awake for longer than it wanted.” In Paris for the 2015 P-B-P, he joined more than 12,000 men and women cyclists from dozens of nations around the globe. His wife stayed home. “I was happy to pat him on the back and let him go on this epic ride and then come home and tell me about it,” she says. One of his favorite stories grew out of the final miles. As he approached Paris after more than seventy-two hours in the saddle, he encountered two Frenchmen—one older than himself, the other younger. “They were riding side by side, pedaling smoothly. I could tell they rode bikes all their lives. These guys rode relaxed, nonchalant, hands on the tops of their handlebars, backs perfectly steady. I tried to talk with them but my French is terrible and their English just as bad. They were rolling faster than I was comfortable riding.” They overtook a couple dozen cyclists, who caught their draft on flat terrain until the base of the last big hill cresting into Paris. Everyone pedaling in the protection provided by those at the front blew up on

the hill. Tom and the two Frenchmen left them behind. “By then it was dusk,” he recounts. “We all had headlights as required to ride P-B-P. I had a bigger, brighter headlight. I led them through the roads and tried to keep a good steady pace.” He led them to the finish after seventysix hours. He recovered over a big hot dinner in a cycling track, the Vélodrome de SaintQuentin. “I was sitting by myself at a table, exhausted, with my 1,000-yard stare when the older French guy found me. Everybody around us seemed to know who he was. He tried to say thanks for guiding him in with my headlight. When he clapped me on the back and said, thank you, I understood that. We shook hands and parted ways.” Back in Mansfield, Tom searched the internet. The Frenchman had been a domestic pro in the 1970s. “He still rides for the love of it. It was a compliment that he sought me out for helping him finish.” Peter Joffre Nye has contributed to Humanities Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and other publications. His updated edition of Hearts of Lions: The History of American Bicycle Racing, will be published next spring by the University of Nebraska Press. He lives on Whidbey Island, Washington.

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(4) Courtesy Tioga Central Railroad

I hear the train a comin’: (clockwise from top left), Skip Cavanaugh, train aficionado instrumental in getting the train into the borough and the planning of the greenway; a passenger favorite, the open-air car; an artist’s rendition of the future Patterson Trail Head building—to be part of the planned Charleston Commons; and the current Charleston Street depot.

Come Along and Ride This Train Tioga Central Celebrates Twenty-Five Years By Gayle Morrow “I heard a story that I’d like to share with you; I know a valley that I’d like to take you through; I will show you things that I’m sure you’d like to see; come along and go with me.” ~ from “Come Along and Ride This Train” by Johnny Cash


magine doing a title search for a railroad. The actual road part is different from the rail/ties part, and the train part is different still. Around here, names such as Fall Brook Railroad, Blossburg and Corning Railroad, New York Central, Norfolk and Southern, and, more recently, the Myles Group, RailAmerica, and Genesee and Wyoming are all somewhat familiar, but keeping “track” or who owned what and when they owned it can be complicated. But here is one simple fact: this year the Tioga Central Railroad commemorates its twenty-fifth year of operating excursion rides on the rail line Growth Resources of Wellsboro owns. While changes in the “rolling stock” in just this past quarter


century are numerous, and while staff, volunteers, engineers, and brakemen, have come and gone, what hasn’t changed, really, is the love and enthusiasm those involved, then and now, have for all things railroad. “It has been a collection of people who wanted to see this work,” says Grant “Skip” Cavanaugh, a Stokesdale resident with a “family history of railroad.” Ferlin Patrick, GROW director since 2015, has assumed the Tioga Central’s promotional responsibilities, and notes that since bringing the passenger base of operations “into town,” ridership has increased, and the line has a new engine. “It’s a big deal that it’s here,” concurs Skip, “here” being at the old Charleston Street depot in Wellsboro. “Revenue is up, passenger numbers are up, and it’s great what Chris [Kozuhowski] is doing.” More on that in a minute. First, tracking a bit of that complicated history. Sections of the right-of-way on which the Tioga Central operates today date back

to the 1840s. Everybody was after coal in those days. The Fall Brook Railroad had brought a line to Wellsboro in order to transport coal from Antrim. There were connectors between Blossburg and the Chemung Canal in Corning. There were mergers between lines and operators, leasings and reorganizations, new lines and old lines, freight and passengers, and, sadly, abandonments. In 1988, Conrail, which had been created after a merger between the New York Central and the Pennsylvania Railroads, ceased operation on the line from Jersey Shore to the Wellsboro Junction. The abandonment of that line ultimately led to the creation of the Pine Creek Rail Trail. Then, in 1992, Conrail eliminated service between Wellsboro and Gang Mills. That left a few businesses along that nearly forty-mile stretch in something of a bind. Skip recalls that he helped with a study on the impact of truck traffic if all the freight to and from what was then GTE (AKA See Train on page 16

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Train continued from page 14

Corning Glass Works and, later, OsramSylvania) had to come through the borough by road instead of by rail. It was not a good scenario for residents or the roads. So, GROW purchased the thirty-nine miles of rail line, thereby maintaining rail freight service to GTE, to what was then the Dresser facility in Stokesdale, and to a number of smaller businesses along the route. And in 1994, Tioga Central, which had been based in the Tioga County, New York, city of Owego, began operating scenic rides over the Wellsboro and Corning line. Rich Stoving, a railroad man who had been a volunteer in Owego, and who had moved to Wellsboro in 1991, served as president of the Tioga Central for five years after that move, and was the brakeman on the Tioga Central’s first run to Wellsboro. For years the passenger train and the freight business used the Stokesdale/ Wellsboro Junction depot area as a base. A caboose was repurposed as a gift shop and the place to purchase tickets for the famously scenic round trip ride from the Junction to Hammond Lake/Ives Run. But as serious talk began about extending the


northern point of the trail portion of the rail trail (it currently ends at Route 287 adjacent to Pag Omar Farm Market) into the borough, serious talk also began about bringing the passenger train operations into the borough as well. The trail, or greenway, Skip says, has already been fifteen years in the planning stages, and while he acknowledges “you don’t see anything happening,” there is progress. He estimates it will be another three years before it’s completed. “It is a choreography of dance steps, of things in the three to five year range,” he says. In the interim, Chris Kozuhoski, owner of the Wellsboro House restaurant on Charleston Street, not only caters the Friday and Saturday night dinner trains, but purchased the former Wellsboro Depot across the street. He’s using most of the historic building—it’s 105 this year—as a micro brewery, but a section of it, complete with one of those old-fashioned barred windows the ticket-seller works behind, is now the Tioga Central ticket office (tickets are also available at the Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce). The section of

track from the Junction to Charleston Street has been certified for passenger use, so the former depot is, officially, a depot again. And there’s more. Across the tracks, though certainly not on the wrong side, is a building, owned by Bob and Dianne DeCamp, which had been used as, among other things, offices for Patterson Lumber. A portion of the original building was built in 1872; numerous sections have been added since then. The county, Tioga County, Pennsylvania, that is, is buying the building. It will be torn down and, in its place, a new, multi-purpose building (see architect’s rendition on page 14), to crown what will be known as the Patterson Trail Head, will be constructed. The new building, the repurposed depot, the accompanying parking areas, and who-knows-what-elsethe-future-holds, will be known collectively as the Charleston Commons. “It’s an economic driver,” says Skip of the train and the greenway. “This is our next industry.” For the latest on the Tioga Central, visit tiogacentral.com or call (570) 724-0990.


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The Biggest Little Game

Little League’s World Series Takes the Field in Williamsport By Charlie Berch


ittle League baseball was started in 1939 in Williamsport by local businessesman Carl E. Stotz as a way to get boys outside in the fresh air. It has since grown to over 2.4 million participants (girls included since 1974), from ages four to sixteen, playing in all fifty U.S. states and in eighty countries. The Little League Baseball World Series—which is limited to players in the ten-to-twelve age range— began in 1947 at the “Original Field” on 4th Street, a field still in use today. The series was there until 1959, when it was moved to the current seventy-two-acre site in South Williamsport that includes two stadiums—Lamade and Volunteer—the Little League administration offices, and the


Little League Baseball Museum, which is, by the way, a must-see for fans of the sport. Both stadiums seat nearly 3,000 each, with the hillside past the outfield fence at Lamade easily accommodating 30,000. The competition to get to the series starts in early June as nearly 6,500 teams worldwide play throughout the summer until only sixteen—eight U.S.  and eight international—remain. These, then, are the teams that spend the last two weeks of August in Williamsport, fighting for the right to call themselves “World Champions.” Travel expenses are completely covered; accommodations for players are at The Grove, a private housing complex next to the two stadiums where the players

live and spend nearly all their time with each other. The sixteen teams are split into two brackets and the twenty-seven-game tournament begins. Teams are eliminated from contention after two loses, but consolation games are played to ensure each team plays at least three games. An event that began two years ago has given the series even higher levels of exposure. Major League Baseball knew that it was important to get the younger set to help the sport grow. So, in 2017, came the first Little League Classic—a regular season MLB game played in Williamsport during the Little League World Series. The game See Little League on page 20

welcome to



For Tickets: dcacorps.org


welcome to

CLINTON CO. Little League continued from page 18

is held at Bowman Field, which is the home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, a Class A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The week before the game, a crew comes in and transforms Bowman Field from a Minor League ballpark to a Major League field, complete with bullpens. The game has quickly become the “toughest ticket in baseball” due to the fact that tickets are not for sale. All 3,000 +/- Little League players, coaches, and families in town for the series get complimentary tickets. The other 500 are given away in a local lottery to anyone living in Lycoming County. In 2017, the Pittsburgh Pirates won the inaugural LLC, beating the St. Louis Cardinals 6-3. The New York Mets defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2 last year. This year the third annual LLC will be on Sunday, August 18, with the Pittsburgh Pirates playing the Chicago Cubs. Pre-game, the players from both teams spend the day with the Little Leaguers at the complex, watching them play and offering advice. More than a few future MLB players have come through the ranks via Williamsport and the Little League World Series. Those include Boog Powell (1954 LLBWS) who, along with Jim Barbieri, became the first LLBWS players to play in the MLB World Series; Ed Vosberg (1973 LLBWS), Jason Varitek (1984 LLBWS), and Michael Conforto (2004 LLBWS) became the first three to also play in the college World Series and MLB World Series. In 2015, the Mets’ Todd Frazier (1998 LLBWS) became the first to win the MLB Home Run Derby.  Other Little Leaguers have grown up to be celebrities in various walks of life. One of those is NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Driver and 2018 Daytona 500 Winner Austin Dillon. Austin played second base for Southwest Forsyth County in the 2002 Little League World Series. “I got whooped when I got there,” he recalls. “I spent a lot of time with a team at a young age, at twelve years old, playing baseball. We had two-a-day practices and all kind of stuff, which taught me a lot about teamwork. I still talk to some of the guys from the Little League team. One of my best friends to this day, Robbie Scott, was our shortstop on our team and we’ve been friends ever since. To see those guys, and every now and then, to get them out to a race is fun. I enjoyed that experience. My family has always been pretty big into racing. My grandfather [Richard Childress] is usually really busy with his commitments at the racetrack, but he came to cheer me on at the Little League World Series, which was pretty awesome and meant a lot. “You are out there with the best of the best all over the United States,” he continues. “I was a fan of Harold Reynolds, the announcer, so I got to meet him and be a part of that.” Two out of the last three years the Little League World Series has been won by USA teams. In 2016 it was the team from MaineEndwell, near Binghamton, that beat the Asia-Pacific team 2-1, and in 2018 Honolulu defeated South Korea 3-0.  The 2019 LLBWS begins on Thursday, August 15. Admission to the games is free. For more information visit littleleague.org. See you at the ballpark! Charlie Berch is a freelance reporter/photographer who calls Monterey, New York, home. He is a regular contributor to the Towanda Daily Review and WETM TV 18 Sports. 20

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(4) Courtesy Ernest Fowler

Peek into the past: Peake’s Service Station, on East Avenue near the borough line, was a place to get together with family and friends, get some groceries...and gas.

Fill ’Er Up!

In Long-Gone Neighborhoods Where You Could Pray, Drink, Eat—and Get Gas By Don Knaus


ll things in this world, living and not so much, like to be close to companions like themselves. Did you ever notice how dead people tend to gather in cemeteries, how stones tend to make up quarries? Imagine a couple of grains of sand saying, “Hey, if we could get the guys all together, we could make a desert.” Trillions of drops of water might conspire to form an ocean. Wolves run in packs. Hooved animals herd up. Fish go to school. Most birds fly in flocks. Humans congregate in like groupings, too. New York City collects ethnicities in Little Italy, Chinatown, Harlem, Greenwich Village, and Jewish enclaves. Even small towns have their traditional ethnic divisions. Blossburg had an Irish and Welsh section down on the flat; Polish newcomers were pushed up the hill; the Swedes went to the south of town. Aside from a flourishing Italian community in Williamsport, the city is a great place to join a German Club. Sayre has its own Little Italy but also has an area that caters to Ukrainians. We humans like to be near those who are like us. When we get together in a spot, it’s called a neighborhood.


And neighborhoods have always catered to the residents. In the 1950s, Wellsboro was host to nine neighborhood groceries. Churches and synagogues grew in neighborhoods, too. In Blossburg there were two Catholic Churches, one for the Irish and one for the Polish, on the same street, within several hundred yards of each other. That was in a town whose population never exceeded 2,500. In fact, within a four-mile radius of Blossburg’s center, there were seven Catholic churches at the turn of the century. In Morris Run, the Irish and Polish Catholic churches bracketed the Swedish Lutherans and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians in the middle. Some local towns had Lutheran Churches that were “German” or “Swedish” but Penn Yan had a “Danish” Lutheran Church that served dairy farmers whose ancestors hailed from Denmark. Once the automobile became a common means of travel, neighborhoods quickly began accommodating drivers and car owners. One Wellsboro wag was heard to say, “All this town has are gas stations, churches, and bars.”

Like any neighborhood business, these service stations had regular, reliable, loyal customers, and for good reason. You trusted the guy pumping your gas, because he also checked your oil, cleaned your windshield, polished off your headlights, and checked the air in your tires. Attendants did all this while chatting amiably, and pumping that ten-dollars’-worth to the penny. During this era, gas prices ranged from twenty-two to twenty-eight cents a gallon. One seasoned Wellsboro senior with petroleum running through his veins remembers all those gas stations. There were fourteen fill-up spots in a town of 4,500. Most stations did repair work. Three service stations also sold groceries. Where were these purveyors of octane? Well, to start, use the red light as the center point (Wellsboro had only one red light until the 1960s, and that was at the intersection of East Avenue and Main Street). Within a half-mile radius of that red light there were seven service stations. In that circle there were also five new car dealers, three used car dealers, and ten establishments where legal beverages were

sold. But who’s counting? The closest set of gas pumps to the red light is nearly a tie. Ernie Fowler ran an Esso station in the Putnam Building and operated a tune-up and repair garage where the old Dunham Feed Mill once stood on East Avenue. Ernie was personable, always smiling and willing to help. Hot or cold, his sleeves were up showing Popeyesized forearms that were always ready to turn a wrench or a good turn. In 1965, he would “put a tiger in your tank” as Esso adopted that advertising slogan. By 1972, the Esso tiger had become Exxon. When Ernie decided it was time to hang up his wrenches, Ralph Crawford took over the business. The site of Ernie’s gas station now houses From My Shelf bookstore. About the same distance from the red light on Main Street was Ted’s Esso, and around the corner from Main to Tioga Street, just before Harsch’s Produce, Red Luther also pumped Esso—three Esso stations within a five-minute stroll. Ted Wilcox operated Ted’s Esso. During the war, Ted had been wounded assaulting Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Ted was also Hollywood handsome, and he always grinned while telling the latest jokes. Ted’s Esso was a hangout for teenagers, and he ran it until June of 1967. The site is now the Sherwin-Williams paint store next to the Arcadia Theater. Red Luther’s real first name was Ivan, but locals would not have recognized that at all. Red worked a family business with his bride, Viola. Red and Vi managed a neighborhood grocery store along with their gas business. Luther’s Esso and Grocery concern sat next to Harsch’s Produce “on the curve” heading out of town on Tioga Street. Their store was a handy and friendly stop for folks who worked in town but lived near the Luther’s home in Stokesdale. That site eventually became a brand new building that housed a veterinarian’s practice. Between Ted’s Esso and Luther’s Esso and Grocery, Community service: (from top) Fred Howe’s Keystone Filling Station was on the point where Main Street divides into Tioga and originally located on the site of Arcadia Charleston Streets, Scoop Scranton pumped Mobil Theatre, then moved to Charleston gasoline into neighborhood fuel tanks. Scoop also did Street; Elwood Broughton’s Gulf repair work. Most of his customers were sports fans who station at the corner of Pearl and East enjoyed blocking his pumps while talking about the Avenue; Dartt Auto Co. located on East high school football team. Above the garage and pumps, Avenue, near the corner of Main Street. Scoop’s place had a huge twenty-by ten-foot neon Pegasus, the winged horse that was Mobil’s signature. That red neon flying steed could be seen from a half-mile away. Scoop moved on, following his kids to Florida, but the site still has pumps and a garage. Today it is John’s (Mosso) Service Center and is the only place in town where someone still pumps your gas for you. A fellow named Fred Howe operated a Sinclair gas station at 9 Charleston Street, right around the corner from Scoop’s Mobil. Howe also provided a taxi service and auto detailing for his customers. Drop your car off, or Fred would pick it up, and the business gave your ride “the works.” Wash, scrub, rinse, chamois, wax, vacuum, and more came with the detail. That site would later become Davis Sporting Goods and today houses the local AAA office. Less than 200 yards away, almost across the street from Red Luther’s place, Jerry Day sold Sinclair gasoline and did repair work. Jerry’s kids, like many Baby Boomers, scattered, and the station died with him. His station’s site is home to Al’s Chain Saw Sales and Repair, now under the ownership of Al’s son, Eric. See Fill ’Er Up on page 40 23



Rain or shine. Tailgating encouraged & animal friendly. Bring a chair to sit. STEM program for children 12:30 pm before concert. Children must be preregistered: call 570-787-7800.



169 A P , o r o b d • Wells

yR a w n u R 112



Courtesy The Rockwell Museum

From Gaffer Book

Kids at Rockwell

n most circles, the thought of children in a fine arts museum is enough to make curators cry themselves to sleep. But the iconic Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York, embraces their pint-sized patrons with Kids Rockwell, the new interactive, family-friendly program. Veterans of previous trips with the kids may remember the Gallery Games that encourage museum exploration via “I Spy” and “Art Hunt.” If Mom and Dad need just a few minutes more to quietly contemplate one of the great works, the Gallery also has drawing material, books to occupy a young mind, or a lesson on the constellations. The Rockwell really sets tradition on its head with the “Touch Stations,” places where kids are encouraged to experience the art with their hands. Beadwork, animal pelts, minerals, bronze finishes, and more help to bring artwork to life for tactile learners. New this year is a second location for art fun. The Art Lab is just around the corner at 36 East Market Street, and here in the Cardboard Village kids can make puppets and bring their story to life. They can draw big portraits. They can make a miniature version of the Blanket Story program that artist Ann Watt does to memorialize the warm feelings of a community. The best part? Kids seventeen and under are free to the Art Lab, and the same ticket that got Mom and Dad into the Rockwell will bring them here as well. Willa Vogel, marketing manager for the Rockwell, had one more surprise. “We also have a truly cool family-friendly exhibition called Framed: Step Into Art coming this summer,” she says. This is a series of life-sized renditions of classic paintings—on loan from the Minnesota Children’s Museum and gone after September 8, 2019—that kids can actually enter and participate in. Climb into a tent in John Singer Sargent’s Camp at Lake O’Hara. In Clementine Hunter’s Big Chicken you can drive a giant rooster! There is the one and only Mona Lisa, and a bunch of comic wannabes with a hole for a youngster’s face. All the while that the fun is going on, kids are learning about the world around them and about the value of art. The Rockwell Museum excels at this kind of gentle education. All your family will know is that they had a blast. Find the Rockwell Museum at 111 Cedar Street, at rockwellmuseum.org, or call (607) 937-5586. ~ Maggie Barnes




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Kelsey Does the Derby

Courtesy Karey Solomon

By tiarescott [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://www.flickr.com/photos/tiarescott/33325857)], via flickr

Practice makes perfect: Kelsey Eliot smiles with Bonita, one of the Painted Bar ponies she’s exercising in practice for the Mongolian Derby.

The Mongolian One, That Is By Karey Solomon


elsey Eliot is a petite woman whose dark hair is tightly French-braided to better fit under the helmet currently swinging by its straps from her hand. Wearing riding tights and half-chaps, striding toward a pony she’s just carefully groomed and saddled, she’s the image of energy and determination. She’ll need both when she begins the Mongolian Derby, a legendary horserace across 1,000 km (just over 621 miles) of the Mongolian Steppe, the world’s longest horse race, recreating the route of the horse messenger system created by Genghis Khan in 1224. Forty people from all over the world, who have passed the selection process and raised the more than $14,000 in entry fees, converge in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, on August 4 for three days of pre-race training and practice. Once they begin the race,


August 7, they have ten days to complete the course, riding from station to station to rest and change horses. Throughout the race riders are mounted on over two dozen different Mongolian ponies—all resilient, working animals described as “equine gladiators” for their toughness and adaptation to the taxing conditions of their landscape. They’re joined by a support team of 250 herders, plus host families, veterinarians, medics, and crew. Having heard about the race when another area rider participated last year, “I applied because it sounded cool,” Kelsey says now. “I had no expectation of getting in. I told them [on the application] I wanted to ride something other than a desk. I had a desk job I was unhappy with and I didn’t know what else to do.” Fast forward to late June with another

month to go before she leaves. She’s spending as much time as possible at Painted Bar Stables in Burdett, New York, where owner Erika Eckstrom is training her. “At this point, the goal is to get more distance,” Erika says, suggesting to Kelsey that, “I’ve got a bunch of horses that need five miles today. That’s where we’re going this month. She needs to take on horses that don’t know how to go by themselves—as many different types as possible to test her physically and emotionally. “Basically she’s going to be okay. She’s all heart. My goal is to get you into more of a robot mode,” she adds to Kelsey. “It’s more about living in the moment. Give you more struggles.” “Sometimes I’m afraid I’m thinking too big,” Kelsey admits. “The goal is to chunk her goals into

a lot of little goals,” Erika says. “And we still have hay season coming—good training for your arms!” This past fall and winter were difficult times for training for Kelsey, meaning this spring has been about playing catch-up. When she couldn’t ride, she did a lot of home workouts using a personalized training program of free weights, stretching, even wearing a weighted vest and walking up and down steep steps for twenty minutes at a time. She bought a replica Mongolian saddle and a bad-tempered pony named Cowboy, now stabled at Painted Bar. The more socialized Cowboy gets, “the less he tries to kill Kelsey,” Erika comments. It’s good preparation, as she’ll be riding a variety of horses, many less agreeable than others. Racers have a personal weight limit—the sturdy Mongolian ponies are not meant to carry large people, and lighter riders, like Kelsey at 120 pounds, have an advantage. They have a maximum gear limit of eleven pounds—that’s all her clothing, toiletries, vitamins, medicines, and ten days’ worth of snacks. “Electrolyte tablets?” Erika asks. Many riders suffer digestive upsets from unfamiliar food, germs, and water, which, by the way, they have to carry themselves and is considered part of the rider’s weight. Each day riders might change horses two or three times as they navigate between well-spaced horse stations. The choice of horse is often a gamble—it’s hard to know how cooperative an unknown horse may be. “My strategy is to ask kids which horses they ride,” Kelsey says. Near nightfall, if they’re among the first to arrive at that evening’s stop, they might find a place to sleep inside a nomad family’s yurt or ger. Latecomers sleep outside. Some who are really late might need to camp out en route or stay with a herding family who wasn’t expecting them. “You could go and knock on a door,” Kelsey says uncertainly. “The nomadic families are very friendly and they give us a note in Mongolian explaining who we are.” Videos online about the Mongolian Derby emphasize how difficult it is. Riders may become lost when separated from their fellow riders, or thrown by a rambunctious horse. Some are injured; most are saddle-sore and chafed. Most continue anyway. Simply completing the course is a victory. “Winning [by finishing first] isn’t the thing,” Erika says. “There’s a hundred ways to win.” Kelsey’s husband, a New York State Trooper, has been supportive of her efforts and is traveling to Mongolia with her. Those accompanying Derby entrants have the option of taking a guided tour through Mongolia themselves, including a trip through the Gobi Desert, ending at the finish line to meet their favorite participant, which he plans to do. They leave at the end of July, and will return to upstate New York before the end of August. Those who want to cheer her on can visit her public Facebook page, “Kelsey does the Derby,” to track her progress. Erika sounds confident about Kelsey’s progress and prospects. “I’m excited for her,” she says. “It’s a crazy mission—but anyone can pursue a crazy dream with enough preparation. I’ve been yelling and screaming and brutally honest and Kelsey has become like a little sister. We’ve gotten really close. “We’re all rooting for you,” she adds to Kelsey. “Our goal is to inspire everyone to do their own Derby and get out of the box.” Karey Solomon is a freelance writer and admirer of waterfalls and the natural scenery of the Finger Lakes.

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Courtesy Regional Science & Discovery Center

Taking Learning on the Road

Corning-based Science & Discovery Center Brings STEM to Students By Ann E. Ducket


wenty-seven years ago imagination sparked innovation among a small group of scientists dedicated to community education, fueling a dream to one day open the region’s first science center. This space would engage young minds while reinforcing critical learning skills gained through science, technology, engineering, and math—we know it these days as STEM. That dream launched Corning’s Science & Discovery Center. Imagination met reality in 1994 when those visionaries formed a non-profit organization. SDC opened its doors to the community a year later. The center served as a drop-in site and also offered outreach science programs to area schools. For the next decade it provided enrichment in the form of fun and engaging activities, as well as hands-on science exhibits meant to pique enthusiasm and interest in science careers. These dreamers—scientists Linda Marks, Jacquie Brown, Jerry Fong, and Dr. Dale R. Wexell from Corning’s Sullivan Park Science and Technology Center, Inc.—remained an integral part of the organization, helping define and guide it. Dr. Wexell, a founding member, served as


the first president, remaining at the helm for twelve years. “You have to be passionate about what you’re doing to keep an idea like this moving forward. We’ve focused on STEM academic disciplines since day one; to promote these education initiatives is extremely important,” says Patricia Dann, director of Development and Communications, former SDC executive director, and a founding member. In 2005, growing pains led the organization in a new direction. After reviewing critical data relating to the success of the center and overall programming, the board of directors determined that students were best served in the environment where they gathered, learned, and studied. Going forward, SDC would focus on delivering robust programs through outreach science education only, delivered in the classroom. A stand-alone center was no longer viable. As difficult as it was to close the center, the brilliance behind the decision to “go mobile” created a nimble organization, enabling it to expand its programming reach and radius. Today, SDC is regarded as one of the

top educational non-profit organizations in the region. The team is comprised of an active and diverse board of directors (eighteen business leaders from ten different surrounding towns and cities), Patricia Dann, and four road-worthy professional educators led by Executive Director Lisa Gibson. Together they work to deliver relevant, interesting, and fun experiences in STEM for pre-k, elementary, and middle school students. Through this partnership, schools benefit immensely from another layer of instruction in the classroom. Material is delivered through curriculum-related learning activities, often in the form of hands-on science experiments. These exercises are designed to capture the student’s attention and motivation, leading to a deeper understanding of daily applications. These foundational skills relate to increased confidence and encourage exploration, opening minds—and doors—to future career opportunities. “The importance of career skills in STEM cannot be emphasized enough; they are the building blocks for new See Learning on page 34



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Courtesy Horseheads Historical Society

Courtesy Chemung County Historical Society

The artist at work: Eugene Zimmerman’s cartoons are on exhibit at the Chemung County Historical Society.

after a e office.

The Illustrated Zim

The Legacy of Cartoonist Eugene Zimmerman Is On Display in Chemung County By Karey Solomon


e wasn’t born, as they say, with a silver spoon in his mouth. Swissborn Eugene Zimmerman—a cartoonist and illustrator known to the world as “Zim”—learned early that if he wanted food and survival he had to earn them by his own efforts. That he could do so with his sense of humor intact, bootstrapping his way to national prominence and international renown, and also become a local benefactor, is as amazing as his prolific output. An exhibit highlighting his scope— “From Pencil to Page: Eugene “Zim” Zimmerman’s Creative Process”—is on display at the Chemung County Historical Society, 415 West Water Street, Elmira, through September. Zimmerman’s house at the corner of Pine and Mill Streets in Horseheads, willed by his daughter, Laura, to the Horseheads Historical Society, is

open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday afternoons through most of the year. Born in 1862, Zimmerman was orphaned two years later when his mother died. The toddler was sent to live with an aunt and uncle while his father and older brother set off for America. Five years later, worried about the dangers of the FrancoPrussian war, his uncle put him on a ship for America. The seven-year-old made his way to Paterson, New Jersey, and somehow found the bakery where his father and brother were working. In order to remain, he had to earn his keep. “You might say his childhood was unsettled,” says Chemung County Historical Society curator Erin Doane. Always happiest outdoors, and a lifelong hunter and fisherman, for a time in his early teens he hired out to work for a farmer in upstate New York, where, despite

his diligence, he was not treated well. One story has it that, back in Paterson, the lettering on a cake he was decorating drew the attention of an itinerant sign painter, William Brassington, who offered him an apprenticeship. They traveled to Elmira to work at the Chemung County Fair and apparently liked their surroundings, because they stayed. Zimmerman worked for Brassington until his shop closed, then worked for other sign painters. He got his first break when his uncle showed his sketchbook to someone from Puck magazine, a well-known satirical weekly. Then twenty years old, he was hired to be one of their cartoonists. When the art director there took a job at Judge, a competing news magazine, Zimmerman went along. He signed his drawings “Zim,” later joking he’d freed the “merman” back into the ocean. When he searched for an See Zimmerman on page 32


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Karey Solomon

Sketch local: A poster made by Zimmerman to promote a local Horseheads bank.

Zimmerman continued from page 30

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idea to draw, he was once described as “a whirl of arms and legs, pacing.” Those years on either side of the turn of the twentieth century were a heyday for illustrators. Newspapers and magazines had not yet perfected the translation of a photograph to the printed page, so everything from articles to editorials required the skilled hand of an artist to depict and often interpret the news. They all developed their own styles—Zim may have originated the grotesque caricature, Erin notes. Cartoonists like Zim became superstars of the day, along with others—like R.L. “Believe it or Not” Ripley, and Walt Disney—in an even larger way. Some, like Disney, went into animation. Others drew the political cartoons and the comic strips that were sometimes collectively referred to as “the funnies.” Many augmented their income by teaching art; Zim also created a twenty-booklet correspondence course and took great interest in his students. In 1886 Zimmerman married Mabel Alice Beard and they moved to Brooklyn. In 1888 he suffered a “nervous collapse” and had a prolonged recovery in Florida, one of the few times he left New York State. Two other noteworthy things happened that year—Mabel gave birth to Laura, their only child, and Zimmerman began working with Mabel’s father, a professional carpenter, to construct the home he designed in Horseheads. As soon as the house was habitable, the family moved in. He remained invested in the village for the rest of his life, taking the train to New York City once every fortnight for editorial meetings, then

returning to work in his Horseheads home. Almost eighty-five years after his death, he’s still remembered fondly in the village for his devotion to the fire company and the bandstand he designed and built with his father-in-law in Teal Park, a few blocks from his house. It’s still in use today as a bandstand. As evidenced by the music room in his house, and a musician’s gallery above the living room, Zim adored music, though not blessed with musical talent himself. In fact, many of his neighbors were entirely unaware of his artistic talents or his fame. He’s recalled as a kindly man who reached out to other artists and delighted in sharing his skills and often the money needed to purchase art supplies for gifted children. His work, frequently embodying a slyly humorous view of humanity, endures. Most of us have seen it without knowing who drew it—a cartoon once on a package of Pepperidge Farm Goldfish crackers, an iconic big-footed hobo, a buck-toothed farmboy-turned soldier, a sharp-nosed storekeeper or barber reacting to an eccentric customer. Most of his subjects were men—he explained he found it ungentlemanly to pick on women. His depictions of African-Americans, Jewish people, and other minorities are viewed now as racist, but, in the times he drew them, they fit into prevailing white-American stereotypes. To his credit, when he was made aware that these caricatures were deeply offensive, he promised to re-think his depictions. “To have known him would have been neat,” says Ben Erway, a member of the Horseheads Historical Society. “Everybody liked him. He saw humor in everything.” His home is a testament to his varied interests, from his collection of Indian arrowheads and early American weaponry—the latter acquired to enable him to depict them accurately—to the small, aesthetic details, like the fireplace tiles ordered to match the house’s exterior or the stained glass he designed. There are corners tucked into the house for the pleasure of its inhabitants, like the windowed alcove off the kitchen designed to hold Mabel’s sewing machine, and a breezy upstairs porch under the eaves. The late-Victorian house has a lot of gentle interior curves. “Zim” is inlaid into the parquet entryway. Zimmerman was home when a heart attack claimed him in 1935. He’d met Mark Twain, Thomas Edison (who filmed Zim drawing), Walt Disney, and Enrico Caruso (who repaid Zim’s drawing lesson with a caricature of the artist framed and hung, appropriately enough, in his music room). When he died, an unfinished drawing remained on his easel, but his last published cartoon, a political satire, arrived at the Elmira Telegram on the morning of his death. It’s part of the exhibit at the Chemung County Historical Society museum. Ben describes the house as an amazing time capsule. So, too, is the exhibit at the Chemung County Historical Society. Zim’s humor—so thoroughly appreciated in his time—can be as foreign to us in the twenty-first century as a sumptuous fifteen-cent meal, making them also like a window into our past. His artistry can be appreciated without always knowing what he meant, Erin points out. And maybe our not being able to “get” them today is part of the point. Karey Solomon is a freelance writer and admirer of waterfalls and the natural scenery of the Finger Lakes.

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Famous Brands began in 1983, offering “famous brand” clothing and footwear at below retail prices. Since that humble beginning in a tiny storefront, we have grown to 30,000 sq. ft. covering 3 floors and half a city block, becoming a destination store for millions of visitors and locals alike. 33

Learning continued from page 28

product and process innovation at Corning Incorporated,” says Dr. David Morse, executive vice president and chief technology officer at Corning Incorporated. “The work begins in our local elementary, middle and high schools. Corning is committed to advancing STEM education in the southern tier of New York and the northern tier of Pennsylvania to ensure the flow of STEM talent, and to raise the standard of living for families resulting from productive careers. That commitment includes helping implement STEM curricula in more than twenty-five school districts, offering summer experience programs at Corning’s R&D Center, and sponsoring the formation of organizations like the Science & Discovery Center. STEM-prepared students have a very positive future ahead of them.” Learning continues beyond the classroom, as SDC offers after-school programs at libraries, youth centers, and other community locations. Through the Summer of Innovation programs children can attend a variety of camps offering special interest topics that include field biology, photography, music, and cooking. Camps

are held at partner locations including Corning Community College and local school districts. SDC participates in dozens of special events and has a Mobile Lab—a van that brings the excitement of discovery and exploration directly to the community. Support from educational, civic, business, and charitable organizations remains vital to SDC’s financial health. The first $25,000 gifted in 1994 came from Wegmans in Corning. That partnership continues today. Annually, programs are funded through grants, memberships, school districts, and donations made by trusts and local corporations. Last year, seventeen regional sponsors joined the Corning Foundation to support summer programs; in all fifteen different foundations, companies and individuals came together to under write SDC programs—including the United Way of the Southern Tier and John Ullman and Associates Foundation. When asked about obstacles, Patricia offers, “The general public has no idea how vast a program this is. One of our greatest challenges over the last twenty-five years has been maintaining a presence in

the community as we moved the center from one location to another, and then to an outreach-only program. Still another challenge has been increasing awareness of our programs. We’ve managed to move forward with incredible support from the community despite the changes in school budgets from year to year.” The organization is constantly developing new programs and modules, and experimenting with new ways of bringing STEM topics to students. One of particular interest is Chemistry for Girls, a class designed for middle school female students to explore the world of chemistry, in an all-girl, after-school program led by a female scientist. The Center is planning a number of special events to mark its twenty-fifth anniversary. Find out more at (607) 7347740 or visit sciencediscoverycenter.org. Ann Duckett is a certified cheesemaker and former cheesemonger, who now devotes her time to educating and helping others find their cheese bliss through classes, presentations, special events, and cheese catering.



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Barbarians at the Gate

Our Columnist Secures Her Tupperware...and Makes a Friend By Maggie Barnes


obby? Look!” It was one of those summer Friday afternoons that sends chambers of commerce running for the camera and the inhabitants of cubicles inching toward the door. The sky was sapphire blue and cloudless. The breeze was singing in the trees and my mood was as sweet as the fragrant air. Until I saw the person. Bob raised his eyes from the pair of dress shoes he was polishing and glanced down into our field. From the far corner of the woods strode a figure. Now, I am usually a very friendly person. I’ll strike up a conversation with just about anyone. My mother said I would have made a horrible toll taker (it was a job, children, Google it). Instead of moving traffic along,


I would have chatted up drivers about what souvenirs they bought and admired their photos. Since our move to the hilltop, however, I have developed a protective nature about our little compound. A private road with four houses makes for a predictable traffic pattern and even an unfamiliar car going by raises my defenses. My husband, who is infuriating in his constant state of calm, will say, “It’s a car, Mags. They’ve been around a while now.” “Yes,” I reply, eyes squinted in suspicion, “but up here they’re either lost or looking for trouble.” “Probably casing the joint,” Bob offers as he hits the button on the coffeemaker. “Your collection of antique Tupperware

would bring a handsome price on the black market.” Sometimes I think that man does not take me seriously. But back to that Friday. I’m always up for company, but this person was coming out of the woods, our woods, onto our property, unknown and uninvited. And he was waving a…tennis racquet? Leaning as far over the deck railing as I dared, I could see him—for it was a he—striding across our field like he was sorry he was late, and all the while waving a tennis racket in front of his face. “Bobby, why is he coming here? What does he want? And why in the name of sanity is he waving that racquet around?” See Barbarians on page 38

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WORKING ON THE RAILROAD Sayre and the Lehigh Valley Railroad Now Until September 4, 2019

Engineer Hartly Post’s last trip was commemorated in this photograph from November 20, 1970. From left to right, are: Vic Cole, Nick Ball, Hartly Post, Don Hoey and Jim Dunfee.

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Barbarians continued from page 36

My better half stopped brushing the toe of his wing tips long enough to say, “Those are all excellent questions, my dear. I assume we will get them answered when he gets here.” Then he resumed brushing, as if it were the most natural thing in the world for a stranger to be charging across our field, armed, and with unknown intentions. “But, aren’t you going to do something? We don’t know what he’s going to do!” Bob glanced over the railing again. “Not much with that backhand.” To my rising concern, the stranger had reached the bottom of our tractor road and started up it. A scant 150 yards separated us from whoever he was. Being totally incapable of just standing there and waiting, I took the only action I felt was appropriate. “Hello!” I called down from the deck. “Won’t you have some wine?” My strategy here was two-fold: 1) He was now aware that we were aware of him, a fact that may give him pause if he intends to pummel us to death with said tennis racquet, and 2) If he carries out his murderous plot anyway, he will feel great remorse over killing such a polite lady. Cagey, I know. “Ya got a beer?” Well, what do you know? He doesn’t want to risk a headache from the nitrates messing with his ability to remember an alibi after the police find our bodies. Before I could respond, Bobby was on his feet and heading toward the fridge. “Robert!” I hissed. “Do not get him a beer until we know what he wants! Go out there and talk to him first.” I felt bad for sending the love of my life out to face a potential serial killer, but I do recall those sorts of duties being assigned to him during our wedding vows. It was right after killing snakes and letting me put my ice block feet on his back when I get into bed. Well, the whole thing turned out fine. His name was Mark, and his family were the original settlers of the hill. His son was going to build on the land below ours and Mark thought he’d better come up and apologize in advance for any trouble it caused us. The racquet turned out to be a bug zapper, increasing my relief at not being bludgeoned with it because the constant “Zzzzt!” would have driven me mad while I bled out. We had a lovely chat, and the men worked one of their “deals” where not much gets said, but all that is unspoken is understood and suddenly we had the okay to trim back some trees that weren’t really ours as long as we didn’t get too picky about the boundary pins in the woods. To be honest, I couldn’t really follow how we got to an agreement, but an hour later it was all handshakes and smiles and Mark trooped back down the tractor road and off into the woods, racquet swinging and zapping the whole way. “See?” Bobby moved back to his chair and examined his sparkling dress shoes. “Not all strangers are enemies. You should relax more.” Good advice. I will relax. Just as soon as I count my Tupperware. Maggie Barnes has won several IRMAs and Keystone Press Awards. She lives in Waverly, New York.


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HOME & REAL ESTATE Fill ’Er Up continued from page 23

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Go back to the original red light and head up East Avenue. Right next door to Ernie’s Esso, Woody Bliss pumped Atlantic gasoline for his customers. The station itself was owned by Root Oil and, after Woody, several folks ran the place, the last being Dick Moore. When Dick left to operate his own repair business just out of town, the place was renovated into a pizza and sub shop for a few years. The building is now vacant. Directly across the street from Woody’s Atlantic, the Bache Theater held down the corner of Pearl and East for many years. Age, neglect, and disrepair caused its demise in the mid-1950s. The Finkle family had brought Gulf gas to the Northern Tier, and a Mr. Broughton from Morris seized the opportunity and built a Gulf station on the Bache spot. Tired of the commute, he eventually relocated his business to Morris, and Ron Bowers took over. You could and can talk hunting and fishing in most places in town, but dedicated fly fishermen gathered at Ron’s Gulf. When Ron closed shop, First Citizens Bank bought the place, razed it, and erected a brand new bank branch. Further up East Avenue, near the edge of the borough, Millard Goodwin pumped Sunoco and worked on cars. His buildings are now Safelite Auto Glass. Across the avenue, Elijah Peake, known as Lige to his friends, ran a gas station that dispensed Esso. Yep, yet another Esso gas station, making four within a mile. Glenn “Bill” English worked for Lige Peake, and when Lige passed on the business, Bill English took over. There was a brisk grocery trade there as well. Like most small businesses, it was a family affair. Son Ed English recalls his time at the pumps with a smile. Gas stations had become the 1950s and ’60s version of the old country store. “Everybody who stopped for gas came in and added to the discussion, whatever it was,” Ed recalls. “We didn’t have a cracker barrel or a pot-bellied stove, but it sounded like we ought to have had those things most of the time. Our station was just a place where friends got together and talked.” Eventually, Putnam Oil Company razed the English Esso Station and erected a new corporate office. Several of their Esso stations were closed and those that remained became Acorn Markets. Edging south on Central Avenue one could find Mitchell’s Garage. While the majority of their business was auto and truck repair, they did pump gas. Those headed west could find Louden’s Gas Station and Grocery Store. Larry Louden mostly ran things, but his sons Dave and Oopie as well as nephew Jack helped out. The gals hovered in the grocery sector, operating the cash register. That store was on the corner of West Avenue and Kelsey Street. When Putnam Oil bought the place, it was turned into an Esso-dispensing Acorn Market, and operated as an Acorn for years. Several years ago, Putnam Oil closed the door, tore out the gasoline tanks, and then sold the premises to Kevin and Jenny Connelly, who leased it to The Eye Center, a Williamsport-based optician. Dean Appraisal, a local real estate appraisal business, purchased the building from the Connellys. Louden’s Gas and Grocery now houses an apartment in the rear and Dean Appraisal in the former grocery area. How many gas stations were once in your hometown? This article was suggested by Ernie Fowler, Jr., and written with help from Jerry Crawford, Ed English, and Tom Stager. Special thanks to Danielle, Denise, and Sherry at Dean’s Appraisal, Bonnie English Schmidt, and Pat Bacon Whittle, who contributed information.

Mountain Home



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Hauber ’s Jewelry • Diamonds & Quality Jewelry • Bulova & Seiko Watches and Clocks • Fenton, Charms, Trophies and Engraving “We do watch batteries!”


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Trail Rides Sat & Sun Call for details and to schedule.

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Used, Rare and Out-of-Print Books. Your source for unusual books on any subject. Browse our in-stock selection of over 40,000 hardcover books and paperbacks. Spend the night in a bookshop! See listings on Airbnb.com. HOURS: Thurs & Fri 10-6; Sat 10-3

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WhiteselStainedGlass.com 41


O Beautiful... by Roger Kingsley


think of the lyrics from “America the Beautiful” whenever I look at this picture. I photographed the scene on our farm one beautiful late summer afternoon using a tripod set up in the bed of my truck. Under those spacious skies, that distant ridgeline is the Armenia Mountain range. The amber waves of grain are cereal rye—one of the most commonly planted cover crops. Farmers typically sow this seed into a field right after the fall corn harvest as a soil and water conservation practice. While most rye is generally terminated the following spring, this particular planting was allowed to go to seed and used as a cash crop grain for more cover crop plantings.


Win $5,000! Drop Date – Sept 7, 2019 Approximately – 6 pm

Other Activities and Contest, TBA, will start at 4 pm


Buy a Ball/Ticket for $100 each. 400 golf balls will be dropped from a helicopter. The purchaser of the ball that lands closest to the target Wins $5,000!

Contact Information: Julie VanNess Wellsboro Foundation 114 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901 570-724-1926 juliev@wellsboropa.com

Only 400 Ball/Tickets Available! There is no limit to the number of golf balls you may purchase. You do not need to be present to win.

Proceeds Benefit: Wellsboro Foundation and Tyoga Country Club

Wellsboro Area Chamber of Commerce

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Profile for Mountain Home

Mountain Home, August 2019  

"King of the Road" by Peter Joffre Nye. That's Mansfield's Tom Oswald—Bike Shop Owner, Marathon Cyclist. This issue also includes The Art of...

Mountain Home, August 2019  

"King of the Road" by Peter Joffre Nye. That's Mansfield's Tom Oswald—Bike Shop Owner, Marathon Cyclist. This issue also includes The Art of...