Mountain Home, January 2022

Page 1


HOME The Lady is a Hunter

Pennsylvania & the New York Finger Lakes

Local Realtor Christina VanDergrift Tells How to Succeed in...Almost Anything By Don Knaus

Marc Williams Goldsmith Glimmers in Billtown Giving Grace to Final Hours at Bampa’s House in Corning Savvy Rose Floral Design Sprouts in Wellsboro


Looking for a retreat in the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania? Book now for your 2022 travel plans!

Proudly serving the Northern Tier of PA and Southern Tier of NY



477 Tioga Street • Wellsboro, PA Convenient Onsite Parking




New Main Street Location Coming Soon! We have some of the best kept secrets that will make you wish you had discovered us sooner!

Touch-Free Laser Wash Available!

REAL ESTATE CLOSINGS • REFINANCE CLOSINGS NO CLOSING FEE •QUICK TURNAROUNDS At Six West Settlements, Inc. we are, with excellence and integrity, dedicated to creating exceptional closing experiences for our customers. 477 Tioga Street • Wellsboro, PA



OPEN 24 HOURS Discounts up to 25% Off

when purchasing packages online! Right at 2nd Light then 1/2 Mile (Route 6 - West)


Volume 17 Issue 1


The Sweet Coo of Success By Karey Solomon

Area alpaca breeders raise warm, fleecy friends.

The Lady is a Hunter



By Don Knaus

By David Nowacoski

Lookin� for a good yarn? Is there a farmer in the house?


All That Glitters

By Karey Solomon


Local realtor Christina VanDergrift tells how to succeed in...almost anything.

Williamsport goldsmith Marc Williams crafts jewelry with an artist�s hand.


Living to the Fullest at Bampa’s House

Rings and Roses

By Lilace Mellin Guignard Wellsboro�s newest floral designer creates everlasting memories.

By Karey Solomon

In Corning, making the end of life beautiful.


Back of the Mountain

By Bernadette Chiaramonte Rhapsody in blue and white.

20 The Kids Think It’s About Golf

Cover photo Christina VanDergrift, by Kay Renee & Co Photography. This page (top) Christina VanDergrift; (middle) Corey and Skylar Lewis by Kay Renee & Co Photography; (bottom) courtesy Jon Wilbur, First Tee-Corning.

By Karey Solomon The rules are about how to succeed at life.

26 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 Interim Managing Editor Karey Solomon S a l e s R ep r e s e n t a t i v e s Shelly Moore Circulation Director Michael Banik Accounting Amy Packard Cover Design Gwen Button Contributing Writers Maggie Barnes, Lilace Mellin Guignard, Carrie Hagen, Roger Kingsley, Don Knaus, Dave Milano, David Nowakowski, Brendan O’Meara, Karey Solomon C o n t r i b u t i n g P h o t o g r ap h e r s Helen Barrett, Bernadette Chiaramonte, Diane Cobourn, Michael Johnston, Kay Renee & Co Photography, Christopher Missick, Beate Mumper, Linda Stager, Sherri Stager, Still Blooming Photos, Curt Weinhold

D i s t r i b u t i o n T eam Brian Button, Grapevine Distribution, Linda Roller T h e B ea g l e Nano 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, 39 Water Street, Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, 16901, and online at Copyright © 2022 Beagle Media, LLC. All rights reserved. E-mail story ideas to editorial@mountainhomemag. com, or call (570) 724-3838. TO ADVERTISE: E-mail, 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. 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.


BRADFORD CO. how do you build your walls? welcome to

When you build your walls you should expect to get more out of a building product. Buildings today demand reliable, energy efficient building envelopes that provide superior performance benefits to minimize energy costs, reduce carbon emissions, and maximize property value. NUDURA structures offer greater strength, sound, and fire resistance and are why developers and contractors across the world continue to choose NUDURA’s Integrated Building Technology as a proven alternative to traditional building methods. With NUDURA’s 6-in-1 building step, you can build faster and more efficiently, while offering your clients an eco-friendly structure with substantial benefits that contribute to long-term energy savings.

Change the way you build your walls.


Hoover Hardware 570-297-3445 • 800-251-2156 816 CANTON STREET, TROY, PA MON-SAT 7AM- 5PM 866.468.6299 866.468.6299

Dine, Stay or Just Get Away 35 Rooms Restaurant and Tavern

(Traditional American family style)


Wyalusing Hotel

Great Rates, Great Food, Great Attractions

Visit Us Today!

54 Main Street, Wyalusing, PA



W W W. T R OY V E TC L I N I C . C O M

SERVICES OFFERED: Healthy Wellness Exams Exams for Sick Pets Laser Surgical Procedures Portable Digital Radiology Acupuncture In-House Bovine Pregnancy Testing Customer Pet Portal • Online Store House Calls Available Pet Cremation Services Fully Stocked Pharmacies Pet Suplies: Flea & Tick Medication Food, Toys & Treats 5


Kay Renee & Co Photography

Cunning huntress: while busy with five successful businesses, Christina VanDergrift still finds time to enjoy her family, nature, and trophy hunts.

The Lady is a Hunter

Local Realtor Christina VanDergrift Tells How to Succeed in...Almost Anything By Don Knaus


ang around a place where outdoorsmen gather after a day in the woods and you might hear an old-timer say, “I hunted all day and never saw another hunter. I saw some men carrying guns, but no hunters.” The elder is, of course, referring to an outdoorsman’s unwritten rules. Before someone can be acknowledged as a hunter, they have to know how they handle a gun, note their success in the field, mark their knowledge of the game. A person is deeply scrutinized and evaluated by those who’ve hunted all their lives and, perhaps, depended on their prowess afield to fill the family larder. Before they accept someone as one of them, they have to know that person’s almost as good as they were. Christina VanDergrift would certainly pass muster. She is an amazing whirlwind of activity. Married to husband Jeremy, and the mother of three sons, Lucas, seventeen, Jaxon, nine, and Jefferson, eight, she has found the time to be the owner of five successful businesses. And at the same time, she is likely the most successful female archery hunter in the Keystone State. Since last year she harvested her biggest buck to date in New York, maybe add the Empire State—definitely the Twin Tiers. She has arrowed many trophy bucks. See Hunter on page 8


Hunter continued from page 7

POWERFUL PORTABLE Bank On Your Schedule. Withdraw, deposit and transfer funds when and where you choose with our high-tech tools. From your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, it’s all at your fingertips 24/7.* You & Us. That’s C&N.

*Fees may apply.

Friday, March 4th



Saturday, March 5th

at the Historic Penn Wells Hotel Music of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, & the Barrelhouse Blues — FRIDAY —

Jackie Gillette & Friends

Bram Wijnands

Show Tickets $30 7:30 p.m. Call 570-787-7800

Show Tickets $30 7:30 p.m. Call 570-787-7800

Light Dinner Menu 5:00 - 7:15 p.m.

Dinner Tickets $30 5:00 - 7:15 p.m.

Penn Wells Dining Room Reservations Required Call 570-724-2111

Sponsored by


Penn Wells Dining Room Reservations Required Call 570-724-2111

Lodging packages available! For more information and tickets:

570-787-7800 • Proceeds benefit Endless Mountain Music Festival, a not for profit 501(c) registered in PA & NY

Sponsored by:


Where did her penchant for hunting begin? Born in New Jersey to Will and Vicki Costanzo, she was raised loving the outdoors. “All our family activities involved experiencing nature. But let me tell you, where we lived, the mosquitoes were as big as deer. We grew up watching our parents hunt deer.” Her mom and dad were outdoors folk, so Chris and her sister Liz began enjoying outdoor adventures as toddlers. They were eager to hunt and fish. Chris explains, “Dad owned a boat, and we lived just 400 yards from the Delaware Bay, so we spent most of our outdoors time fishing on the bay and the Maurice River. We would catch and eat flounder, red drum, and stripers. I really liked crabbing. We’d have Sunday crabs and spaghetti. “By the time I was two, I absolutely loved visiting a family friend’s taxidermy shop and hearing the stories about hunting and of course staring at the big bucks. I couldn’t wait to go hunting. My dad was only half-joking when he looked at his two daughters and said, ‘Well, girls, you’re going to be my sons and learn how to hunt.’ Liz and I were dad’s boys, so we grew up chomping at the bit, wanting to go hunting ourselves.” Christina was the first of the two to try hunting. When she was nine, Will bought her a .410 shotgun and she hunted squirrels. Her mother was self-employed as a crafter. One holiday season, after delivering a “Father Christmas” to a client in Pittsburg, the family took the long way home and ended up in Wellsboro at Dickens of a Christmas. Chatting with the friendly folks, they learned about the Laurel Festival. Chris says, “We fell in love with the place and Mom’s crafts gave us an excuse to have a ‘vacation’ in Wellsboro as often as we could. We eventually bought a small farm in Little Marsh. The whole area was quiet, rural, safe, and like going back to a better time. Everyone waved, said hello, and were so friendly. And there were those beautiful mountains and wildlife.” When told the family was going to move, you’d think that two kids, one in eighth grade and the other in elementary school, would be sad about leaving their friends but instead they were excited, even eager for the move. She adds, “It was like a big playground for us!”

welcome to


When Chris was thirteen, the family left New Jersey and moved to the farm. She enjoyed kids’ rural activities like 4-H and Future Farmers of America. Was she a super-achiever? She was an honor student and sang in the chorus. She also sang at weddings and community events as well as working part-time as waitress in a local restaurant. She also excelled in athletics. Chris was the ace pitcher on the softball team and in her senior year, the Cowanesque Valley girls won the District 4 Championship. In 2003, she was named Pennsylvania District 4 Most Valuable Player. In her spare moments, she helped her mom with the crafting. Nashville Recording Artists Meanwhile, she and Liz were developing a parallel career path as country music artists. From those early talent shows they went on to write their own songs. Chris confesses to being a great fan of Shania Twain and Faith Hill and wanting to be just like them. The sisters formed their band, Teal Roses, which eventually became “Roses Wild” after they moved to Nashville—on Chris’s twenty-first birthday. Back in their teens, they’d made connections with record companies and producers in Nashville. Chris, Liz, and their mom traveled south every month for a couple of years to concentrate on artist development, and build a team that included a manager, producer, publicist, and choreographer. In 2006 they recorded their debut album, “Up on This Mountain.” Relocated in Nashville, they continued working on their music and developed their brand with gigs like a radio tour to promote their debut single, “Fastest Healing Broken Heart.” Their song was played on air all over the globe, becoming the number fourteen hit nationwide. If you’ve ever seen the movie, “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” you know what that means. She says, “Our team had us in touch with different musicians and our producer and his wife, Barbie Isham, would play with us sometimes, get us gigs at bars on Music Row, and other events down there. Our producer’s wife was a very well-known songwriter and had number one hits with Leann Womack and other artists. “We still made a few trips home that year to be in the hills of PA and definitely came home for deer season. Although we loved what we were doing and how things were growing, we had this ache in our hearts for home. I had already been selling real estate when we moved to Tennessee and had done really well with it, so I knew I could jump right back into it, if we ever moved back. Liz also had the desire to go to PSU for biology. “When you are in the music scene, they own you. They tell you how to talk—preferably with a southern accent—what to say, how to look, whether you can date or eventually settle down with babies. Liz and I have always been authentic to ourselves, and there was no amount of money that would hinder us from being authentic to ourselves. Late spring of 2007, right before we were going to release our second single, record a music video, and play at the CMA Music Festival, we decided that it was now or never. We would either continue on this journey for the long haul, traveling, tour bus, feeling owned, or we’d create our own path to grow into who we wanted to be. I loved singing and still do it publicly from time to time, but I love the challenge of business and using my brain. In the music industry, especially at that age, I felt like all I had to do was look good, sound good, and do whatever they would like you to do, and that wasn’t challenging enough for me. We learned a lot See Hunter on page 10


Kids Apparel

754 Canton Street, Troy PA • 570-297-7770 HOURS: Monday-Saturday 8am-5pm 9

Hunter continued from page 9

(2) Courtesy Christina VanDergrift

from the entire experience, and I believe that experience played a big role in who I am today.” Already in college and on the dean’s list, her early success in real estate helped her decide her career path. “When I passed the real estate exam and made my first sale, I quit college and never looked back. My sister, Liz, a Penn State biology grad, works for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, so she’s still enjoying the outdoors.” Chris became a real estate agency owner at twenty-nine. She bought the lot across from her Mountain Valley Realty and built a car wash. She then formed her own Six West Settlement Company next door to the car wash and opened a U-Haul franchise. When neighbors who owned a beautiful chalet were moving, she bought the place, did a little work, and had her first vacation rental. She now owns vacation rentals in Florida, and Tennessee, with more to come. And she recently had her first book published, Vacation Rentals: The Ultimate Guide, a “how-to-do-it” tome providing a step-by-step approach to starting a vacation rental business. To top it off, she was just certified as a High Performance Coach. All that, and she’s just thirty-six years old. Priorities

Kay Renee & Co Photography

In her busy life, Chris’s top priorities are family, hunting, and then her various businesses. Chris started deer hunting when she was fourteen, using a .12 gauge shotgun and slugs. She winces, “I hated that shotgun. The first two shots I had at deer, the very old slugs misfired. I finally got my first buck when I was sixteen with that doggone Mossburg. I worked as a waitress and saved my tips. When I turned seventeen, I bought myself a .270 rifle.” Deer hunting was looking up. Chris and Liz also were captured by the allure and challenge of archery hunting. Chris says, “Liz is a great deer hunter with a compound bow. I had torn my shoulder playing softball, and I couldn’t use a compound. When crossbows were allowed, I was in business. I sighted in my crossbow and soon Ahead of the game: connected on a buck. But I wanted bigger bucks. It’s whether it’s a like I tell the people I work with, ‘Good enough is not Nashville recording contract (top left with good enough. If you’re not trying to be better, you’re not sister Liz), a trophy hustling.’” hunt, or becoming She had a goal to hunt bigger bucks growing bigger a published writer, antlers on her own land. She learned about food plots, Christina VanDergrift creating deer habitat, and became an advocate of the Quality hits her targets. Deer Management (QDM) Association, now known as the National Deer Association or NDA. After she and Jeremy moved to their farm outside town, Jeremy went to work plowing and seeding, planting food plots for deer and turkey. “We usually plant crops that run through the summer into fall. We spend hundreds for seeds each year. We trade a hay field to Eric Coolidge to use one of his fields to plant deer crops.” Of course, Chris can always call her friend Kip Adams, NDA Director of Conservation. Though Kip went to the same small high school, Chris and Liz first met him at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg. Roses Wild had a concert gig. The featured act, Chris and Liz performed in camouflage hunting clothes and were quite a hit. Kip listened from the QDM booth. With CV High in common, they bonded quickly and became close friends with Kip and his bride. Chris notes, “His wife hangs her real estate license in my office. The great thing is I can personally consult the expert 10

and get suggestions. “Jeremy built me a tower overlooking our food plot. The trail cams had shown a twelve-point. I told everybody that I’d get an arrow in him and they laughed. I climbed into the tower at dusk, the night before. I had a sleeping bag and food for two days. I knew I was going to spend the night, but I was prepared to stay in that tower until I got the shot. Turns out the big boy walked into range at 9:30 in the morning. And I harvested him just like I said I would.” Chris and hubby own ninety-six acres in Steuben County and have had great success with QDM there, too. “That’s where I harvested my biggest buck. I had pack of goods and planned to spend the day. I hiked to my stand in the dark. He walked out at 9:15 looking for a doe. I love using Buck Bomb to draw them in. I had bragged to folks at the Wellsboro House that I was going to get the buck the next day. And I did!” She muses, “Hunting and being out in the woods is almost a spiritual thing for me. I absolutely love the spontaneous things that happen, the sights you see. You never really know what is going to happen—what thing might walk out in front of you while

hunting. Most memorable were the family of kit bobcats romping in front of my stand. I’ve actually had a deer stalk me.” Whitetail hunting is a year-round thing for the VanDergrift family. They watch for sheds—bucks who have shed their antlers— in late winter and spring to plan their next year’s hunting season. Following QDM advice, they plant food crops and set up trail cameras. They’ll often hike up the hill behind their farmhouse with the boys to see what the summer has brought among the deer herd. Chris loves taking her boys hunting. She notes, “Jaxon, my nine-year-old, has taken three bucks already, with his second being an eight-point. I confess that they have taught me patience. I am competitive by nature, so it is unnatural for me. But I’m learning that it’s more about going out and enjoying the experience. I want them to take hunting seriously and to be successful, but those things pale with just being in the wild and enjoying the experience and each other.” Asked if she hunts other game besides deer, she says enthusiastically, “Turkeys in the spring. Gobbler hunting has so many good things. You’re in the woods before dawn—a plus. You get to watch the sun rise—a plus.

You can hear a tom turkey gobble—a plus. You get to practice your call—a plus. You might get a love-struck gobbler to come to your call—a double plus. Speaking of double pluses, one day, I was the shooter and Jeremy was sitting right behind me. He called and two gobblers walked in. I shot one and the other skittered off a bit and then came back. I just lifted the shotgun over my shoulder and Jeremy shot the other bird. What a day!” Big bucks are still her focus, she quickly adds. Even when it’s not hunting season, Chris can often be found in her non-working time walking her land, looking for tracks, observing the deer, and dreaming about the next big one. Connect with Chris on social media or through her website christina-vandergrift. com. Lifelong sportsman Don Knaus is an awardwinning outdoor writer and author of a collection of short stories on hunting, fishing, and the outdoors. He is also a member of Outdoor Writers of America and past president of Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

Warm Up This Winter with Great Live Entertainment at the Deane Center in 2022


Saturday, Feb. 12


JACOB JOLLIFF BAND Saturday, Feb. 26



Friday, Mar. 11th

OTHER SHOWS... SUGAR MOUNTAIN Saturday, April 16th

SEVEN WONDERS Friday, Apr. 1


TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS Friday, April 22nd ONLY THE LONELY Friday, May 6th


Saturday, May 14th

For Tickets or More Information Call or Visit... 104 Main Street Wellsboro, PA 570-724-6220 See Hunter on page 12


Courtesy Carol Howard Courtesy Cinco C's Alpacas

Cozy champions: Christian and Carol Howard stand with the oldest (5C’s Cereza Negra) and youngest (Enchanted Wave's Allure) black females on their farm. 5C’s Cereza Negra is their very first champion and she is now eighteen years old.

The Sweet Coo of Success Area Alpaca Breeders Raise Warm, Fleecy Friends By Karey Solomon


arm brown eyes, fringed with flirty long eyelashes, regard a visitor with kindly interest. Dense, cuddle-worthy fleece invites touch as the animals coo questioningly. It’s easy to fall in love with an alpaca. When Christian and Carol Howard moved back to their family farm in Port Allegany in 2002, they wanted to continue the farm’s tradition of raising livestock. “But I didn’t want to raise something I’d have to slaughter to make a living,” Carol says. A friend told her about alpacas, an animal she’d barely heard of until she visited that friend’s farm. Soon she and Chris began building a herd of their own and building a business they call Cinco C’s Alpacas ( or (814) 598-1667). Native to South America, alpacas, like llamas, are related to camels. Alpacas are much smaller than llamas, with blunter faces, smaller ears, finer fleece, and often gentler 12

dispositions. “You have to love them,” Carol says. “It’s hard not to.” But for Carol, as for many who raise alpacas, working with their animals is both business and pleasure. In America, unlike their native Peru, alpacas are not usually a food animal. This makes many American alpaca breeders very choosy about the animals they take into their herds. “There can be profit in the fiber if you do it right,” Carol says. “But our main profit is in selling animals and breeding to our herd sires. Some farms are using alpacas in agritourism. It’s a great way to make a profit on the farm because people are curious about them.” Carol doesn’t do that, but she invests a generous amount of time mentoring those who buy their animals and others who want to learn how to raise alpacas right. They’re not inexpensive pets. While it’s possible to purchase an alpaca for as little as $250, an animal with good physical conformation and beautiful fleece is likely

to cost many thousands of dollars more. Many alpaca breeders regularly attend shows, entering their best animals for judging, where points are divided between the soundness of the animal’s structure, and the beauty of their fleece. The impartial recognition of an animal’s excellence means breeders and those seeking a “date” for their females with another breeder’s prizewinning male, will pay more for a champion animal and continually strive to improve their herd’s bloodlines. The gestation period for a cria is eleven-and-a-half to twelve months, meaning planning ahead is essential. “No doubt that in the U.S., breeding is more scientific, studied process,” says Chris Kendall of Kendall Creek Alpaca Farm in Bradford ( or (814) 3624561). “In Peru, it’s jaw-dropping around every corner. There are millions of freeranging alpacas in Peru and the Quechua Indians use the meat, hide, and fiber the way Native Americans used buffalo in the

welcome to old West.” At the same time, Peruvian shepherds are able to trace bloodlines through the features of the animals they care for, and vigorously cull their herds in an informal effort at developing better animals. Chris visited Peru after he and his wife Lori began their alpaca herd in 1997. “Alpacas intrigued us as investment opportunity,” he says. “They’re a docile animal, easy to care for—cattle and horses can be a little dangerous—easily handled, and we could take care of them ourselves. It’s a vertically integrated business model.” Every part of the animal can be useful, from its fiber and fleece, to its manure, treasured by gardeners. Then there are stud fees and animal sales. The animals deemed unsuitable for a breeding program are sold to be enjoyed as pets. Despite his business approach to raising these animals, Chris found himself captured by their intelligence and sweet personalities. “They all have unique quirks and attributes just like humans,” he says. They’re also highly bonded to their biological families. On occasions when an alpaca born on his farm returns for breeding, “One noise from the animal and the mother will recognize her. They’ll stay together until the animal leaves.” Nine years ago, Jean Russell put a lot of time into reading about and studying alpacas. Knowing her husband Jay loves animals, she took him to visit an alpaca farm, “And we came home with five pregnant does,” Jay says. “I didn’t know what an alpaca was when she first mentioned them, but now I wish I’d started this years ago. They’re neat animals, fun to be around, very curious and friendly.” Their experience showing their prizewinning animals is further enhanced by Jay’s experience as a frequent ring steward, assisting the judge. Jean and Jay (, in Burdett, New York) not only bring home ribbons—the experience has cemented amazing friendships. When Jay became ill last summer, several alpaca farmers showed up at chore time to assist, then took some of the animals home to care for them until he could resume farm work. Reach the Russells at (518) 817-1805. They’ve also experienced another way their alpacas can enhance lives when they recently rented out two of their animals to accompany a bride down the aisle for her rural-themed wedding. For fiber enthusiasts, alpaca means the fleece as much as the lovely animals who produce it. The hollow structure of alpaca fiber makes it much warmer than wool; its lack of the lanolin found in sheep’s fleece makes it comfortable for many who find wool itchy against their skin. And for spinners like Linda Voss Plummer of Galeton, Pennsylvania ( the qualities of alpaca fiber make it a serious pleasure to handle. “It has its own character,” Linda notes. “It’s not as crimpy as wool, but finer alpacas are very soft. I like to spin fine and alpaca likes to be spun fine. And has beautiful drape.” After Linda’s grandson helped her prepare four pounds of black alpaca from Cinco C’s, she spun yarn and knitted him a headband. Her son got a handknitted hat from the same fiber for Christmas. “I’m just loving this fiber,” she says. “And it goes a long way.” Non-spinners as well as hand-spinners who want to experience alpaca for themselves can contact these breeders and others who maintain farm stores and offer alpaca products for sale.


Wellsboro’s Iconic Department Store There’s Something about Dunham’s 45 Main Street 570-724-1905 Wellsboro, PA

Canyon Country Fabrics HOURS: Tues, Tues, Wed. & Fri. 9-4; Thurs. 9-7; Sat. Sat. 9-3; CLOSED Sun. & Mon.

664 KELSEY ST., WELLSBORO, PA 16901 • 570-724-4163

• 108” Wide Backing • Batting • Fleece & Flannel • Crafts & Gifts

• Lg. Selection of Cotton • NEW Home Décor NOW IN STOCK!

For All Your Quilting Needs!

Karey Solomon is a freelance writer and needlework designer who teaches internationally. 13

Jim and Tricia Reifer (2) Cameron Clemens


Lookin� for a Good Yarn? Is There a Farmer in the House? By David Nowacoski


here are lots of reasons to support your local farms. Food security, community resilience, role models for work ethic, great food...lots of reasons. Let’s talk about Reason #57: farmers tell the best stories. Sure, fresh yellow tomatoes are the bomb. But you eat them and they are gone. Ah, but a good story—that can be served up at any campfire over and over again. I think it comes naturally to farmers. They are always out doing stuff. In a barn, chasing some animal in a field, pulling something through the mud. That is right where stories are born. And then they get better. See, the farmer also spends a fair amount of time doing something repetitive, like mowing a field or feeding all 5,000 chickens. This gives him time to mull that infant story over until it gracefully ages into a ripe old tale. Don’t believe me. Go ask a farmer if he has any good stories from his years on the farm. Then pull up a chair. I got a proper introduction to this process in a rather personal way. I was


something-teen years old and working at the farm down the road. It was middle of winter, a cold winter, and the silo unloader was froze up. The cows didn’t care about any of this. They just wanted to get fed, and it was my job to do the feeding. I climbed up the silo chute and into the silo. Sure enough, there was a ring of frozen silage about a foot thick all around the concrete of the silo. But the silage in the middle was still fine, and I could shovel it down the chute until I had enough to feed all the animals. Which I did, and finished up chores uneventfully. By the time I walked back home I had started to itch something awful. I just figured that I must have been allergic to something I was standing in. This next part is one of those memories that you can not only visualize, but you can actually feel as you relive it. I was standing at the kitchen sink telling my mom about how itchy my legs were. I bent down to roll up my jeans to see if I had a rash or anything. And a beetle dropped out of my pant leg...almost in slow motion. My brain, which had apparently been

keeping the truth from me in order to stave off panic, finally relented and revealed to me that I was not “itchy.” What I was feeling was actually a whole lot of beetles in my pants. If there was an Olympic event for speed stripping, down to buck naked, in your kitchen, in front of your mum, I would be a sure gold medal winner. I left a trail of clothes and beetles all the way to the shower. Oh, sure, we can all laugh about it today—after a few decades of therapy. See, you can’t get stories like that from just anywhere. Keep stories alive: Support a farmer. David Nowacoski grew up on a farm in East Smithfield and lives just down the road a bit from it still, where he runs WindStone Landing Farms and Delivered Fresh (www. DeliveredFresh.Store ) with his wife (and high school sweetheart) Marla. He made his kids pick rocks from the garden and believes that sometimes a simple life is a more wise way to go.

welcome to WELLSBORO l l s b o ro BUILDING MATERIAL We

LISTED AT $699,000

477 Tioga Street Wellsboro, PA

Office: 570-723-8484 Fax: 570-723-8604 Licensed in PA & NY




ALL in 1 STOP!

Building Supply &

PRIDE OF OWNER-SHIP in this large custom home on 130+/- acres. Features 5 bedrooms, 3 baths, and outstanding large kitchen with two ranges in this custom built home. This is your forever home away from the rest of the world yet easy drive to Wellsboro or NY State. MLS Number: 134436

45 Charleston St. Wellsboro, PA





Atrium Vinyl Windows

Custom Design Printing Custom Invitations, RSVP Cards, Save-the-Dates, and More! Call (607) 329-0329 Building...

• Atrium Windows • blown-in Insulation • Dimensional Lumber • Doors (Interior, Exterior, Barn Rail, & Garage) • Electrical

39 Water Street Wellsboro, PA

• Molding • Plumbing • Roofing Material (Architectural Shingles & Metal) • Siding

• Premium Vinyl Construction • Easy Care Beauty • Energy Efficient Glass • Limited Lifetime warranty on ALL vinyl and working parts and 25 years insulated glass protection.


• Black Oil Sunflower Seeds • Landscaping Supply • Bagged Mulch & Soil • Farm Feeds (Equine, Stock, Chicken)

• Farm Fencing • Taste of the Wild Dog & Cat Food • Purina Pro-Plan Dog Food • Whole Corn • Wild Bird Seed

Hours: M-F 7:30-5:00; Sat. 7:30-5:00; Closed Sunday

Come home to the beauty and warmth of Fireplace Xtrordinair and Lopi Stoves. T R A V I S

864 TV 40K by


Greenfield by Lopi

High Quality Fireplaces and Stoves provided by



The Area’s ONLY NFI-Certified Installers • Free Quotes • Financing Available

(570) 724-6100 15

Wintertime Wait


his is the time we looked forward to last summer. With few outdoor chores, we have quiet time to reflect. January will prickle cold in our toes and fingers, then tease us with a here-and-gone unexpected foretaste of spring. Winter color is supplied by brilliant gentlemen known as cardinals and bluejays. Stand quietly with birdseed in your outstretched palm and a fearless chickadee, light as a moth, might land on your fingers. Hot chocolate and a toasty evening by the fire await inside, for later. The light is still brief in this balance of the year, so we appreciate it all the more.

Bernadette Chiaramonte

Linda Stager 16

Beate Mumper

Christopher Missick

Linda Stager 17

Michael Johnston

Bernadette Chiaramonte


Linda Stager

Sherri Stager

Curt Weinhold


Still Blooming Photos, courtesy Ashley Bowen

Botanic brilliance: Kelci and Brock Reed showcase best friend Ashley Bowen’s floral creativity during their wet wedding day.

Rings and Roses

Wellsboro�s Newest Floral Designer Creates Everlasting Memories By Lilace Mellin Guignard


shley Bowen had a dream when she was growing up in Wellsboro in a house her mother—a master gardener—filled with color and joy. “I saw myself someday having a store and being surrounded by flowers.” Last year Ashley and her husband, Cody, started Savvy Rose Floral Design, named after their three-yearold daughter, Savannah Rose. Cody and his father built Ashley a “she shed” in the backyard. Though it’s not exactly a store, it feels like the realization of her dream. She has a business and a place to create the magic her mother showed flowers can bring. And it’s safe from three-year-old hands. But mothering a toddler while starting her own business isn’t enough to keep Ashley busy after she quit corporate life. Teaching jobs were scarce when she got her degree, so she went into human resources. After more 20

than five years, she left to pursue her creative side. While taking online courses about all things floral, Ashley substitute taught. Then a second grade teacher position opened up in Wellsboro. Now she’s fulfilled her dream of teaching full-time, too. Having summers off, she explains, makes this a perfect mix. When Ashley began Savvy Rose, she wasn’t sure whether to aim for a broad appeal or narrow her niche to what she really loves— eclectic mixes of styles. She decided on the latter, and her focus has paid off. “This is really hot in cities, but there aren’t many places in our region doing what I do,” she says. “I was getting calls from hours away, north and south.” Savvy Rose Floral Designs (begun in 2020), serves the Twin Tiers, as does their sister company Wanderlove & Co. A 2021 project of Cody and Ashley together, Wanderlove

specializes in renting unique decorative pieces with a similarly boho elegance for any event. Photo areas can be staged and, while there is a discount for clients who are using their floral services, the rentals are a separate business. In their first year they did twenty weddings, a lot more than they expected. Though most were 75 to 150 people, Savvy Rose specializes in micro-weddings (twenty to fifty people) and smaller events like bridal and baby showers, anniversaries, and other special occasions. Their Bohemian vibe is trending these days. She designs the feel of their weddings to highlight the personalities of each couple. A fresh-from-the-garden look might be mixed with some more formal romantic elements. Some clients have decided to go full-on Bohemian. She wants to “capture the spirit of your love story.”

Lilace Mellin Guignard raises her kids in Wellsboro where she plays outdoors, gets wild with community theater, and shakes things up at Sunday school. She’s the author of When Everything Beyond the Walls Is Wild: Being a Woman Outdoors in America.

(2) Kay Renee & Co Photography, courtesy Ashley Bowen

The key to her approach is layering pattern, texture, and color in creative and unexpected ways that are personal and relaxed. Ashley calls it “romantically wild style that brings an earthy and vintage elegance to your event.” She works closely with clients, planners, and other vendors to ensure that the flowers look like a natural element of the setting. The look should be timeless and effortless, she says. Dried flower arrangements—what she calls everlastings—have been a popular choice for some couples, and she often combines dried and fresh flowers in her arrangements. Painting flowers—dried or fresh—is another way she gets the color combinations her clients are looking for. Ashley explains, “[What] I excel in is choosing the right flowers and colors to get the vibe clients are looking for.” She can create a bridal arbor on the wedding site, letting the space and environment guide her choices. Of course, the palette of colors and flowers have been chosen already, but Ashley works best when given some creative license. “Pinterest can be a girl’s best friend and worst enemy,” Ashley laughs. You can’t get set on having the exact thing you see because those flowers might not be in season where you are. “If you don’t let your designer be creative, then you’re just replicating.” And Ashley wants to create a space that’s unique to her clients. “Brides usually come to me with ideas, a favorite flower or two, or a color palette.” It’s Ashley’s job to choose the right flowers to achieve the desired look and feel. One of the favorite color palettes she’s worked with is terra cotta, black, and a creamy beige. Muted palettes where no one color dominates are popular now. One of the weddings Ashley did was for a couple with whom she’d gone to school. Callie Brown and Steven Bair tied the knot at Colton Point in a low-key ceremony at an overlook above Pine Creek. The floral arrangements bridged the rustic setting and the couple’s formal attire to create an air of earthy Sylvan style: (from romance, enhanced by patterned rugs layered over top) Avery and Brian Williamson used Ashley's the stone. savvy to elevate their Ashley was also able to do the wedding for her boho/western style; best friend, Kelci Carson Reed. Ashley says, “Seeing owner Ashley Bowen her hold the bouquet I made and getting married at provides the gift of the family barn where we grew up playing was an everlasting memories. amazing feeling. Even if it rained.” Summer Laub, who married Zachary Waltz in August at Raystown Lake, says, “Ashley was so sweet and easy to work with. I changed my design a few weeks before the wedding and she was so accommodating! The flowers on our arch were stunning and the perfect backdrop. Everything she used also dried beautifully, so we were able to use them around the house.” Making these everlasting memories is Ashley’s gift, and she’s glad she finally took the leap into creating the business, even if supply issues make it a challenging time. “I’ve gotten the chance to find out what I’m really good at,” she says. “Some people never find that out.” You can find out more at If interested, clients should fill out the simple online form—just click on “Schedule Consultation!” You can see more photos on Facebook or Instagram.


(2) Courtesy Marc Williams

Refined style: Marc Williams (above) provides the perfect art balance for those looking for knowledge, rather than turnaround.

All That Glitters

Williamsport Goldsmith Marc Williams Crafts Jewelry with an Artist�s Hand By Karey Solomon


hen it comes time to immortalize an enduring love by putting something sparkly on a finger, Marc William, at 430 William Street in Williamsport, encourages those making decisions to begin by choosing a diamond. Twenty times harder than the next hardest gemstones—rubies and sapphires in the corundum family—diamonds, like a good marriage, stand up well to the stresses of daily life. Diamonds are usually presented in relatively predictable shapes—round, oval, cushion (squarish), pear, and marquis— and a range of faceted cuts. But the pear, marquis, and many ovals, “all have an area of non-brilliance,” says goldsmith Marc Williams. “It’s about getting the right angles to get the light to bounce back out of the stone.” His preferred stone and cut is the round modern brilliant. 22

Customers seeking diamonds are urged to consider the four Cs—carats (size/weight of the diamond), cut, clarity, and color. Many, schooled on the internet, tend to divide their evaluation of a stone into equal quarters but Marc thinks that can be a mistake because cut is often the most important. Size matters as well. “Your best value is a larger stone,” he says. And finding an absolutely flawless diamond might be as unrealistic a quest as looking for an absolutely flawless human being as one’s life partner. “SI” or slightly imperfect diamonds, meaning those whose microscopic imperfections are impossible to see with the un-aided eye, often hit the “sweet spot” in a couple’s budget, leaving open the possibility of a unique, handcrafted setting. This is where the art of the goldsmith enters the picture. Unlike jewelers whose

wares are manufactured in multiples, Marc crafts rings and other jewelry using time-honored techniques, drawing on his extensive studies in fine arts and design in tandem with forty-three years’ experience as a goldsmith. “I think to be able to be successful in the art jewelry business, you have to have a good design background,” he says. “It’s about scale and balance and proportion.” But it all begins with talking to the customer and learning what they want. In general, Marc says, his store attracts, “a more discriminating type of client. They’re after knowledge rather than just getting the job done.” Because his business is art jewelry rather than a general jewelry business, the focus is trying to please each customer, though he’s quick to also point out, “We’re not for everybody.” See Gold on page 24


Hillsprings Farm

Sew Much More New & Gently Used Formal Wear

The ideal setting for any type of special event.

BRIDAL • MOTHERS • FLOWER GIRL • PROM • ETC. Janice Darrah ~ Seamstress

The Barn is the perfect “all-in-one” venue that includes catering! Three packages to choose from with a wide-variety menu.

127 N. Main Street • Coudersport, PA

This beautifully restored barn is nestled in the serene hills of ADDISON, NEW YORK two miles north of Elkland, PA


For information or to book your special event contact Amy at (607) 368-5092 or Dorotha at (570) 772-6876.

Tues, Thurs. & Fri. 9am-5pm; Wed. 9am-3pm or by Appointment

Jimmy’s Park Hotel

` Party Rentals for Weddings & Events

127 Troy Street • Canton PA

Catering Available

Linens – 90 Colors Tables & Chairs Bistro Tables, Bars Fill ‘n Chill Tables Dance Floor, More

for Weddings, Showers, Parties and Any Other Special event!

Open Daily for Lunch and

Dinner - Daily Specials Breakfast Served Saturday & Sunday



Simple Elegance Since 1987 607-962-0830

Custom Designed Centerpieces ~

Manicure Spa Pedicure Waxing

Emerge Healing Arts & Spa Whether you’re planning your wedding or searching for the perfect look, our talented team of stylists and makeup artists will help you achieve your vision. 129 Main Street, Wellsboro, PA • (570) 360-8180

Follow Our Journey emerge_spa

73 Main Street • Wellsboro, PA 16901


Hours: Mon-Sat. 9:30am-7:30pm; Sun. 10am-6pm 23

Golden Legacy


©1951 Random House

January 19 – March 30

SUN: 1–5 p.m.

MON – THUR: 2–8 p.m. FRI: 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

This exhibit showcases 65 original illustrations, and is the most extensive public showing of original art from American publishing’s best loved picturebook series, Little Golden Books.

PA cross-country skiing and outdoor adventure at its best! Over 20 miles of trails. Countless possiblities. Come explore! Lodging


Mountain biking

Event space


Hiking 24

Gold continued from page 22

Some may arrive with budgetary constraints, while for others, cost is no object. The first order of business is to listen to the customer, to get a keen appreciation for what they want. “In our particular business, we try to have two people wait on a customer at the same time.” He’s discovered that with two salespeople, both listening closely, one may develop a better understanding than the other of what the customer may want. Marc then sketches a design and discusses it with his client. He mostly uses bezel settings. Custom-made for each stone, these use a thin rim of metal to surround the circumference of a gem, instead of prongs, to hold a stone in place. They require far greater skill than bending prongs over a stone, but the bezel setting is decorative, durable, and protective of the stone it encases. Popular in medieval times, bezel settings offer a timelessly classic appearance. Natalie Hutchinson has worked in the jewelry business for about twenty years, the last three of them for Marc. “Growing up, I always knew if you wanted a good piece of jewelry, you’d go to Marc,” she says. And as it happened, she not only wanted a piece of jewelry Marc had created, she knew it had to be a ring to showcase a stone she particularly likes—a fire agate. “It’s just a beautiful stone. I wanted him to build a ring for me. We picked out the stone, added a cinnamon diamond, and it turned out wonderful!” In the making of Natalie’s ring, and countless times since, she’s watched the process unfold with fascination. Typically, Marc meets with the customer and draws up something, then he’ll start to create the piece. It starts with the thought, then it’s on paper. Then he creates it in wax. People think you can just make something, but it’s a pretty lengthy process. Everything has to balance out. Marc doesn’t produce something that isn’t going to look good. Most customers know his creativity and just let him take the helm.” After the customer approves the wax design, Marc uses the model in the painstaking process of lost wax casting. The finished metalwork is cleaned and polished before the stone or stones are set in place. To Natalie, her ring means more to her than simply a piece of jewelry. And this is true for many customers. Recently, a widow returned to the store with two wedding bands Marc had crafted for herself and her husband thirty years earlier. Each was set with a stone that had meaning for the person who wore it. The woman asked Marc to make a new ring, combining the two bands and their stones. Natalie says she was awed to see the craftsmanship Marc had brought to his work more than thirty years earlier, and, like the customer, has confidence he’ll create an equally exquisite piece for the new ring. While Marc does all the designing, he’s aided by a team of other skilled jewelers who help with some of the many aspects of jewelry production. Additionally, his store features the work of other jewelers, including some notable silversmiths, to round out his offerings. He’s won awards, designed jewelry for celebrities— he declines to name-drop—as well as young people with budget constraints. See more of his work online at, on his Instagram page, on his business Facebook page, or call (570) 322-4248. Karey Solomon is a freelance writer and needlework designer who teaches internationally.

Friday Saturday Saturday Saturday Sunday Monday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Sunday Monday

February 4 February 5 February 5 February 19 February 20 February 21 March 3 March 4 March 5 March 6 March 6 March 21

EVENING ALL DAY 7:30 PM 9:00 AM 4:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 1:00 PM 2:30 PM 7:30 PM

Saturday Sunday

March 26 March 27

7:30 PM 2:30 PM

Saturday Sunday Sunday Thursday Saturday Sunday Monday Thursday Friday Saturday Saturday Sunday Monday

April 2 April 3 April 10 April 21 April 23 April 24 April 25 April 28 April 29 April 30 April 30 May 1 May 2

7:30 PM 2:30 PM 2:00 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 2:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 7:30 PM 2:30 PM 7:30 PM 2:30 PM 7:00 PM

Conducting Symposium/Yamaha HD-300 Clinic Conducting Symposium/Yamaha HD-300 Clinic Conducting Symposium Concert Piano Competition Organ Recital with guest artist, Bob Mollard Dr. Ranney Faculty Voice Recital Hello Dolly at Straughn $ Hello Dolly at Straughn $ Hello Dolly at Straughn $ Saxophone Studio Recital (Room 163) Hello Dolly at Straughn $ Bach Birthday Concert with Organ & Chamber Singers Jazz Band Concert Manhattan Contemporary Chamber Ensemble with Dr. Rose, voice & Dr. Moulton, flute Mansfieldians Reunion Concert Concert Choir Reunion Concert at Straughn Dr. Kwak Faculty Piano Recital Percussion Ensemble Haydn’s Creation with Festival Chorus Haydn’s Creation with Festival Chorus Student Composers Recital Vocal Jazz Festival with Vintage Vocal Quartet Concert Jazz Band Festival Concert Wind Ensemble & Symphonic Band Concert Choir Concert Orchestra Concert Acting for Singers Performance

$ = tickets available for purchase at the box office or by calling 570-662-4710 All events are in STEADMAN THEATER unless otherwise noted. To receive regular emails regarding upcoming music department concerts & events, send a request to


Saturday, January 22 - ALL DAY

Monday, February 21 - ALL DAY

Audition information available at

Like Us!


Courtesy Jon Wilbur, First Tee - Corning

Life coach: Tom Terwilliger (top right) teaches kids about sportsmanship, the game, and it’s not about’s about life!

The Kids Think It�s About Golf The Rules Are About How to Succeed at Life By Karey Solomon


uring the years when Corning, Inc. sponsored an annual stop on the Ladies’ Professional Golf Association (LPGA) tour, community members realized they were bringing a resource into the community with the potential to make a profound difference to youth. Thus First Tee Corning, part of a national organization, came into existence, as a way to introduce young people to golf—and a whole lot more. “It teaches children and youth life skills through the game of golf,” says Dawn Marie Castellana, vice president of the governing board of Corning Classic Charities, sponsor of First Tee. “Golf is a lifetime sport, unlike lacrosse and wrestling. You can play golf into your eighties and nineties.” But First Tee is not simply about


interesting the younger generation in an elegant sport. Program director Jon Wilbur says the program is even more about character education, with “Golf as the vehicle to deliver that to kids.” He lists the nine core values instilled along with the skill of the putt—“Courtesy, honesty, integrity, perseverance, responsibility, judgement, respect, sportsmanship, and confidence.” Pre-covid, young golfers learned that the art of the handshake requires a firm grip while looking the other person in the eye. They’re still also taught essential life skills like resiliency, goal-setting, and conflict resolution. All these are useful in the game and beyond. Jon first became involved through

his work for a local sign company which provided all the signage for the LPGA tournament. Hired to help set up the golf course, he went on to assist with a golf summer camp for kids. Golf as a sport has been offered in public schools through B.O.C.E.S. (Boards of Cooperative Educational Services), as part of the physical education programming during the school year. During the summer, golf camps were organized at local golf courses and visiting LPGA professionals put on a kids’ golf clinic during the week they were in Corning for the event. The LPGA tour no longer brings a tournament to Corning, but First Tee, serving youth in an eight-county area in New York’s Southern Tier and Pennsylvania’s Northern Tier is going strong. Children as

young as five begin learning with child-sized equipment and Velcro targets, progressing to adult clubs and real golf balls as they’re able. And although golf equipment and greens fees can seem costly to people at an economic disadvantage, First Tee’s scholarships ensure no child who wants to learn the game experiences an economic barrier to the sport. This opens opportunities to kids who wouldn’t otherwise have them, including meeting a diverse group of kids of similar age they might not otherwise get to know. “We eliminate all the barriers,” Jon says. Dawn Marie’s daughter Christina, now twenty-five, was a First Tee participant. “I think the program brought to light some soft skills Christina didn’t know she had,” Dawn Marie says now. “Christina says the life skills you learn from First Tee are very important. That’s the basis of how you interact with other people. Some of the other kids had never been taught that.” In fact, at an international First Tee conference, Dawn Marie heard several people comment the biggest thing alums took away from the program was how to present themselves at the meet-and-greet. That handshake—looking the other person in the eye while introducing oneself with the words, “Nice to meet you!”— have helped many along the path to success. Coach Tom Terwilliger, a retired physical education teacher who continues to work with First Tee, decided soon after he began, at least sixteen summers ago, to incorporate some of First Tee’s principles into his classes. “The first day in gym class every year I’d go over my rules and go over the meet and greet. Of course, today we have them tap their golf clubs together with the head toward the ground. And you can tell if someone’s smiling, despite a mask. We always told them to look the other person in the eye—you can see it in their eyes.” Tom himself signed his two sons up for First Tee. “My wife said to the boys, ‘You never know what you’re going to do later in life or who you’re going to meet and what kind of networking you’ll want to do.’ You don’t play golf by yourself. You never know when you’ll be in a situation where someone will say, ‘Hey, let’s play golf!’ And you’ll know what to do when you’re there.” A few years ago, Jon arranged for First Tee to take over the empty Macy’s store in Big Flats. The 20,000-square-foot space was converted to an indoor golf and sports training facility with a lot of community help. Here, students of outdoor sports can practice no matter the weather, and First Tee kids can work with Tom and other coaches to practice their stance, their swing, and other skills. In the winter, First Tee offers sessions after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays as well as Saturdays. Then they’re ready for summer camp at Willow Creek Golf course at Big Flats where, for a few hours each morning, the kids are able to use the driving range, two practice holes, and the putting green. “The golfers there playing are incredibly supportive,” Tom says. “They’ll stand and watch the kids and applaud for them.” That informal lesson on sportsmanship isn’t lost on the kids— or their coaches. “I fully believe in this program,” Tom says with conviction. “It’s not just about golf, it’s about life!” Find more information at or contact them at Karey Solomon is a freelance writer and needlework designer who teaches internationally.


Open daily 7am to 9pm!


2103 S. Main St., Mansfield, PA

We wish you well during this challenging time and hope you are safe and healthy.



1-Year Subscription $24.95 Name: __________________________

Date: ___________________________ Address: ________________________ ________________________________ Email: __________________________ Phone: __________________________ Send Payment Payable to: Beagle Media, LLC, 39 Water Street, Wellsboro, PA 16901. Call 570-724-3838 or online at 1/22


Courtesy Joan Wilson

Foundation of love: this lovingly restored Queen Anne Eastlake-style house on First Street in Corning is a gracious setting for life’s sunset.

Living to the Fullest at Bampa�s House In Corning, Making the End of Life Beautiful By Karey Solomon


ennifer Houghtalen, director of Bampa’s House and a nurse practitioner, works there because her mother told her she should. When her elderly mother lived with Jennifer and her husband in an apartment across the street, she often sat at the window to watch the renovations going forward at 170 East First Street, Corning, then being reborn as a comfort care residence. She told Jennifer, “That’s for people who don’t have what I get. Jenny, when you’re done with me, you go over there and work.” After her mother’s death, Jennifer crossed the street and signed up to volunteer. Instead, she was recruited as the facility’s first director. A comfort care residence like Bampa’s House provides services not only to a person at the close of life but also to their family. Less institutional than a hospice facility, it takes in only one or two people at a time for care in a homelike setting. Named for the late Jim Dugan, known as “Bampa” to his grandkids, it opened its doors in September 2020 after years of 28

planning and fundraising. The goal was to provide the sort of end-of-life care most people, like Jim, wanted but were unable to have. Candidates for residency here are people whose life expectancy is three months or less. There’s no active treatment, only medications to make the person comfortable. “Allergy medications, antidepressants, pain relief, and oxygen,” Jennifer explains. “There’s no rulebook. It’s an algorithm with a lot of heart and soul and conversation.” The beauty of the house and its hominess are a large part of the picture. After several incarnations, including a time it served as Corning Hospital’s personnel office, the building sat vacant for many years. Meanwhile, Bampa’s family spent years fundraising and searching for the ideal space to realize their vision. After looking at more than fifty properties, they found and purchased this one in 2018, says Bampas’ youngest sister, Joan Wilson. “All of 2019 and part of 2020 was dedicated to its restoration,” she says. “This house is about love,” Jennifer says

quietly. “It’s our strongest volunteer and has a character all its own. The residents feel it. It’s non-judgmental and forgiving. It has no resentment about having to be rebuilt. It’s just a passage in its time. And it’s grateful.” She’s quiet because a mother in a nearby bedroom is very close to death, surrounded by her adult children. Jennifer pauses to look in on them, then slips away again. If anyone needs her, she and several other volunteers are only a few steps away. The facility runs by the grace of fundraising and the help of volunteers. Bampa’s House holds several major fundraisers a year; they also receive donations from the community. Residents and their families pay nothing for their stay. “You want to die with respect, with peace, without your family stressed,” Joan says. “You don’t want them worried about financial burdens and your caregiving. We’re trying hard to take that away.” “It’s a time,” says one family member, “when all we have to do is love.” See Bampa's on page 30


(3) Karey Solomon

Bampa's continued from page 28

Jennifer recently trained a group of twenty volunteers from LECOM, a medical school with a new campus in Elmira, “because they want this intimate caregiving experience [to inform their future medical practice],” she says. Volunteers are always needed—it takes thirty of them, in addition to paid staff, to assist one patient every week. Jennifer trains each one; then a new volunteer works alongside a more seasoned one until confident to work on their own. Mary and Patrick Keeler, who have volunteered from the very beginning, originally stepped up, “Because we wanted to see this succeed,” Patrick says. “He didn’t really think he could do it,” Mary adds. But Patrick found he enjoyed listening to residents’ life stories, as Joyful journey: (from well as sitting peacefully with those who no longer top) Jennifer Houghtalen could speak. As of this writing, about twenty residents welcomes residents as have passed through the house. they enter their endWhen Jennifer takes a visitor to the beautifullyof-life passage; part of remodeled kitchen, one point of interest is the freezer, the Bampa’s volunteer well-stocked with ice cream. “You can have ice cream network: (left to right) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, if you want,” she Mary and Patrick Keeler, Charlotte Dugan, Louise says. “It goes down smoothly, it has nutrients, and Wirz, Karen Charnetski, there’s no work involved in eating it.” When one and Michelle Azgivery; the recent resident asked for something different—a newly remodeled kitchen martini—volunteers made sure he got a good one. adds a modern touch to “And sometimes,” Patrick says, “someone might not the Queen Anne Eastlakewant more than one bite, or they’d want to smell style home. the food but not eat it.” That’s okay with everyone, too. When someone is in residence here, it’s their home, and their wishes come first. Moving on to a room being readied for tomorrow’s new resident, Jennifer points out the abundant windows, the deck reached by French doors wide enough so a resident who wants to enjoy fresh air or stargaze can have their bed moved outside. There’s a pretty handmade quilt on the bed. Charlotte Dugan, widow of Jim, made the quilts found on every bed, as well as the table toppers warming the common rooms. Charlotte, who has moved out of the area, often returns to help. And sometimes she looks around for a space that could be enhanced with another work of handcrafted artistry. Upstairs are rooms where family members may nap or remain overnight. What brings volunteers, residents, and families together at Bampa’s House is life. “I tell volunteers this is better than a book club,” Joan says. “It becomes a whole network of incredible people and yes, it really is a happy place.” One of their residents called it that. His family heard him telling this to distant friends on the phone. Joan remembers that he even attended a volunteer party in the house. “He celebrated life until he couldn’t,” she says. That resident, like so many, embodied the spirit of Bampa’s House. If the ideal life begins as a babe welcomed with joy, the part of the journey ending in leave-taking can also be a time of beauty, gratitude, and sometimes even joy. For more information, visit or phone (607) 654-4205. Karey Solomon is a freelance writer and needlework designer who teaches internationally. 30

Fresh-neverfrozen seafood!

Inside or Outside Dining Events • Catering • Merchandise

Hours: Sun-Wed 11-9 Thurs-Sat 11-10

107 11th Street Watkins Glen, NY (607) 210-6080


Open for sales and tasting: Mon-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun Noon-5pm 4024 State Rte. 14, Watkins Glen, NY 14891 607-535-9252

The Mountain Home team is searching

Horseheads Mill Street Market

Calling For

Featuring 3 Floors, over 9,000 sq. feet, 50+ Vendors Antiques, Collectibles, Local Artisans, Country Décor and More

for a dynamic individual to add to our independent outside sales team.


• Enjoy meeting new people and exploring your area? • Want to earn extra income and decide your own schedule?

117 East Mill Street, Horseheads NY 14845 607-739-2531


Mon – Sat 10 – 5 Sunday 10 – 3

Happy New Year !!!

“Like us on Facebook” to view dates of our upcoming sales and events

• Thrive in a fast-paced, self-driven, goal-oriented environment?

If so, we can offer you: • Competitive Commission Plan • Hands-on Training • Additional sales bonuses and perks for high achievement! A reliable means of transportation and a clean driving record are required. Please submit your resume and compensation requirements to: Beagle Media, LLC • 36 Water Street • Wellsboro, PA 16901 31

Don’t Assume Your Best Deal Comes From The Big Home Center...

North Country Woodworking Come see your local cabinet makers!

We are a family business with over 35 years experience manufacturing custom cabinets, doors, moldings, and furniture. We also offer countertops in Laminate, Sold Surface, Zodiaq, and Granite.

~ ~ 570-549-8105 • 570-404-1156 - Cell Call for Appointment! Ask for Pete McLelland or Pete McLelland, Jr.


Mountain Home

Open 7 days a week! 7 Main Street Wellsboro, PA 570-724-4556

Hauber ’s Jewelry


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

North East tradE Co. Muzzleloading & Trapping Supplies

Builder’s Parts • Custom Ramrods Service & Repairs • Old Trapper’s Products

1980 John Brady Drive • Muncy, PA (570) 546-2061 •

You could promote your business here! Call (570)724-3838 today!

BEST EXCAVATING Driveways • Basements Septic Systems • Retaining Walls Patios • Stone • Gravel



You could promote your business here! Give me a call today.

Tying the knot? Create your Gift Registry on our Website! 25 Main St. Wellsboro, PA 570-723-4263

Shelly Moore

Account Executive Mobile (570) 263-2693


Buildings of All Kinds Since 1971

BUILDINGS, INC. Business Route 15, Covington, PA (570) 659-5103 • (800) 839-7438

LARGE... or Small Proud publisher of: Mountain Home • #ExploreCorning Explore Wellsboro Experience Bradford County The Unofficial Route 6 Guide

Dining Room, Bedroom, Sofas and much more!


54 Windsor Lane Morris PA 16938 (570) 353-2735

You could promote your business here! Call (570)724-3838 today!

Liberty book Shop 1 East Park St., Avis, PA 17721 • 570-753-5201

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 HOURS: Thurs & Fri 10-6; Sat 10-3

(or by appointment, feel free to just call)



Rhapsody in Blue and White


By Bernadette Chiaramonte

he sun gleams off newly fallen snow. Not a stir of breeze means the trees are still wearing frosty lace on every branch. Only a few others have ventured the road this chill morning. Did they, too, pause to admire the breathtaking landscape?


Specialty care in north central Pa.

for every stage

of a woman’s life.

UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital in Pittsburgh is devoted to providing expert, renowned care, and bringing that comprehensive, lifelong care into our communities. For women who live in north central Pa., that care is conveniently available at your local UPMC hospitals and ob-gyn and women’s specialty offices. We’re here to support you in every step of your health care journey with comprehensive services that include: • Bone health and DEXA scanning

• Menopause and nutrition counseling

• Breast health and gynecologic oncology

• Pelvic floor therapy

• Gynecology and urogynecology care

• Prenatal, maternity, and postpartum care

Visit to learn more.


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.