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VOICE OF THE BOROUGH  OCTOBER 2015


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Computer Support (clothing optional)

Introducing RemoteWC!

Remote technology support services you can trust. (Anytime, anywhere, in any attire)

Schedule your remote session today at RemoteWC.com Brought to you by West Chester Computer Doctors, located in the middle of the block at 28 South High Street www.computerwc.com  610.431.0400  support@computerwc.com OCTOBER 2015 THEWCPRESS.COM

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The

“It is as much fun to scare as to be scared.” –Vincent Price

Press PUBLISHER Dan Mathers dan@thewcpress.com ADVERTISING MANAGER Nick Vecchio nick@thewcpress.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Julie Ryan jryan@mathersproductions.com Nazarena Luzzi Castro nazluzzidesign.com COPY EDITOR Jon Roth jroth@thewcpress.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jesse Piersol jpiersol@thewcpress.com Kate Chadwick kchadwick@thewcpress.com CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Andrew Hutchins hutch@mathersproductions.com

COLUMNISTS Becca Boyd bboyd@thewcpress.com Diane LeBold dlebold@thewcpress.com Brad Liermann bliermann@thewcpress.com Jennifer Ozgur jozgur@thewcpress.com DJ Romeo romeo@thewcpress.com Published By... Mathers Productions 13 South Church Street West Chester, PA 19382 mathersproductions.com 610-344-3463 The WC Press is a monthly magazine distributed free of charge to more than 250 businesses. For a free digital subscription, visit thewcpress.com. For more information about specific distribution locations, visit thewcpress.com/distribution.

Worth

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Our no-nonsense table of contents

LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Dan Mathers’ monthly ramblings OWNERS OF THE MONTH Talking real estate with Brad Moore and Alison Maguire CITIES OF SILENCE Unearthing West Chester’s sepulchral secrets BARTENDER OF THE MONTH Talking parties with Landmark’s Kerri Wade FAMILY-FRIENDLY FRIGHTS AND FUN Great ideas for celebrating Halloween with the family THE LOOK Stay Chic welcomes the cooler weather GHOST IN THE MACHINE Investigating the Chester County Institute of Paranormal Research LOCAL PERSONALITY Getting to know the man behind the name at Pete’s Produce

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From the

Editor

The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” –H.P. Lovecraft

The list of things that truly, deeply scare me is short . One is drowning — seeing the surface but being unable to reach it, seeing the air but being unable to breathe it. That’s the kind of imagery that wakes me from my sleep in a cold sweat. I think that’s pretty rational. On the other end of the spectrum, I’m also terrified of praying mantises, and while I’m unsure where the fear began, it’s one I have to admit is entirely unfounded and particularly unreasonable. Even so, this sixfoot man will give that six-inch insect a wide, wide berth. Third on that list, and by far most terrifying, is the fear that this life might be all that I get, and then it’s gone. Ours is a fleeting existence, and no matter how many years we’re gifted, they will never seem like enough. Regardless of your faith (or lackthereof), there is a prevailing reverence for life and a fear of what follows its end. Regardless of culture, there are legends of ghosts and the paranormal. Regardless of region, tales of a life beyond the curtain of death invariably evolve. And, as skeptical as I may be of ghost stories, there is an innate fear that creeps up my spine every time I enter a dark room—my body seems to sense a presence beyond my sight. Even now, as I write this, I feel the chill on the back of my neck. No matter how tough a man I may pretend to be, I scamper out of dark basements and crawl spaces as quickly as I can, all the while telling myself, “Don’t be stupid; there’s no such thing as ghosts.” That ingrained emotion is at the heart of Halloween’s genesis. It is thought that the modern holiday dates back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, a time when the doors to the “otherworld” were opened, and the souls of the dead revisited their homes. Historians believe that the costumes and masks worn by Celts during the festival were either a means to ward off roaming ghosts or to honor them. This magazine probes the many facets of the Halloween holiday. It explores the idea that spirits wander this plane of existence in our profile of the Chester County Institute of Paranormal Research. It delves into our persistent reverence for the dead in our exploration of local graveyards and the stories hidden within them. And, it celebrates the fun of the season in our piece that highlights the festivals and activities that take place throughout October. I’ve always been a fan of this holiday. I was raised in a house where intricate, homemade costumes were the norm, and one in which the adults still revel in the opportunity to scare neighborhood children out in search of candy. The fear of these ghosts and ghouls, the fright inspired by hayrides and haunted houses, and the terror induced by sheer surprise has always been something I’ve enjoyed. But if anyone approaches my door, shouting, “Trick or Treat!” while sporting a praying mantis costume, I just might squeal and faint.

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Owners of the

Month

PHOTO Andrew Hutchins

INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Brad Moore and Alison Maguire of Keller Williams make sure buying or selling your home isn’t a scary process. Why’d you decide to become partners? B: We’d both worked at another local real estate company since we started, about six or seven years ago. About a year and half, two years ago we met again at a Keller Williams training done at Penn State in Malvern. Neither of us knew the other person was going to be there. A: It was like, “Oh... you’re here, so am I…” B: ...and we thought to start a team. What interested you in this field? A: I had always been interest in real estate. I went into law school figuring, “If I don’t like this, I can go into real estate.” Then I thought, “Why am I spending money on law school when I can just pursue what I’ve always wanted?” I love architecture and design, I majored in business at West Chester University, and I love the fun of negotiations. The three of those together made real estate perfect for me. That’s a tough answer to follow. Brad, do you have something half that good? B: Well, before I started, I was going to be a doctor… [laughing] No, I got my license because I wanted to pursue real estate as an investment opportunity, but once I got into it I realized I enjoyed helping people find and sell their homes. I found it’s really fulfilling. Plus, my parents owned a hardware store for 24 years, so I grew up in retail and sales, and I’m a business management major from WCU, so I had a good skill set right from the beginning. You both stressed that you’re WCU grads. Is being part of this community a big deal to you? A: We’re both alumns, and we both live in the borough. I can’t imagine living outside of town, given all the awesome stuff it offers—from restaurants, to parks, to businesses and all the events we really like to support and attend. I love being part of this

community and love the opportunity to help other people become a part of it. And you’re a lifelong WC guy, right Brad? B: Absolutely. West Chester is a very strong, vibrant community that’s always growing, and it’s got a great, bustling downtown—shops, restaurants. It’s a destination, but it’s also great for families. Do you feel lucky to be working here? B: I think we’re very fortunate. A: The downturns have been less dramatic here, especially in the borough—there’s been less volatility than in other places. Forgive how corny this question is, but it is the Halloween issue. How can you make real estate a little less scary? B: The first thing we do is meet with clients to go over their wants and needs,

then analyze and discuss their goals from a price-point perspective. We drill down into the process to make sure our clients are as educated as possible, so we’re certain they can make an informed decision. A: Brad and I bring different strengths to the table; we’re a really strong package deal. Depending on who’s the better fit, we tailor the experience to the client. So, what are your strengths? A: I like looking at the numbers and the contracts—it’s something I’m naturally drawn to. Brad is really awesome at creatively finding solutions on tough deals, and he’s really awesome at marketing. He’s got a great eye for it, and he’s very involved in that part of the business. B: Really, we’re great at everything!

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Children in

Tow

Jennifer Ozgur is a mother, wife and teacher who still finds time to get out and about with her family

My earliest memory of Halloween was a plastic Wonder Woman costume. I can still see the orange, black and white box in my mind’s eye and feel the condensation on the inside of the mask. We lived in the country, so we had to go to my cousin’s development for trick-or-treating. My cousin’s mother would give us a plastic jack-o-lantern full of field corn and let us go “ticktacking.” Nothing got our hearts pumping faster than throwing a handful of hard kernels at a cranky old man’s house. I’m sure it was quite a sight to see a gang of three-foot superheroes running for their lives. My daughter goes in more for the gore and fright. Last year she was a “zombie Honey Boo-Boo,” and we’re putting together something for this season involving a hospital gown and a lot of fake blood. Even though we have different ideas of what makes for a good Halloween getup, we both enjoy the thrill of the scare. But now I’m reconsidering that costume. She just turned ten at the end of August and with her birthday came an assortment of new personality traits. I think scrapping our plan for the “ER Disaster” costume in favor of wearing a t-shirt that says, “I’m a 5th Grader,” seems a lot more frightening. Maybe it’s because she’s top dog at her school, or it could be the confidence she’s gained doing competitive gymnastics... though I also harbor suspicions that biology is to blame. Whatever the reason, my daughter is beginning to freak me out. The formerly bubbly little girl is now this swirling pool of emotions. She pouts in the back seat of the car for no apparent reason. She cries if she thinks my smiling at her is actually me teasing her. She’s staring to (gasp!) get embarrassed by my silly antics in public. When did my daughter get replaced by Regan from The Exorcist in a tye-died, peace-sign tank top? It’s scary to watch, but I bet it’s even more frightening to experience first-hand from my daughter’s perspective. To feel like your body is its own freak show must be awful. So, I’m trying to take it all in stride, and I’m also thankful that this Kafka-esque metamorphosis began while my husband and son are away vising relatives. This way, I can field the blows with maternal aplomb and try to gently coax her back into the world of the rational. Just a few weeks ago, I was feeling particularly playful, so I decided to dance and sing down the middle of the street. I could see my daughter was not sharing my joy. I thought it would be cute to draw even more attention to myself, just to see how far I could take it. All at once, tears came; I had officially mortified her in front of “everyone.” I saw the panic in her eyes, so I immediately stopped. I profusely apologized and promised to not do it again. Once she calmed down, I did justify myself by explaining to her that if that’s the worst I do to make her ashamed of me, then I’ll be a happy mom. Still, that look on her face will haunt me. Gory costumes may come and go, but the emotional scars are far scarier than any homemade zombie makeup. jozgur@thewcpress.com

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C itie s of Si lence Unearthing West Chester’s Sepulchral Secrets

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sto ry JE SSE P I ERSOL p h oto s A MY TH EO RI N

GREEN M OUNT CE M ETAR Y 1 1 7 WESTTOWN R D

O

N A DAMP, CHILLY SUNDAY in September, the gray headstones of West Chester’s Oaklands Cemetery stand in soft relief against the sky. The rows of tombstones read like a street map of West Chester: Darlington, Matlack, Sharpless, Nields, and it’s hard not to wonder about their origins. What history lies beneath those collapsing slabs tucked in the woods surrounding Chestnut Grove? What stories are sealed within the stately pink granite mausoleum that graces the hillside of Oaklands? What secrets whisper from Nathan Simms’ grave in Marshallton? The intrigue becomes irresistible, so I persuade my photographer friend Amy to spend a few evenings with me checking out the scene in some of West Chester’s graveyards. To do this right, though, we need an expert. We need, well, a cryptkeeper. Chris Feryo, a funeral director at Founds Funeral Home, kindly indulges my request for an insider’s perspective. Sitting across from me in his pink sweater vest, he certainly doesn’t embody the stereotypical Hollywood undertaker. It’s a deliberate choice. “I dress to be approachable, like part of the family rather than someone to be afraid of,” he says. “Really, that’s the trend overall these days. Funeral directors don’t all walk around in black Armani suits anymore.” Even his backstory is charming, with a youth spent delivering newspapers in a small town in upstate Pennsylvania. “People would wait on their front porch in the afternoon, and I’d go up and hand them the paper,” he recalls. During those 10 years in the job, he’d always stop by the funeral home down the street to say goodbye to neighbors—his customers—who had passed on. “I’d be in my shorts after school. I’d leave my bag out on the porch and sneak in before the viewing to pay my respects. And I always knew that I’d be a funeral director when I grew up.” With our expert on call and a slew of newspaper clippings from the Chester County Historical Society, Amy and I embark on a voyage of discovery.

Le a v in g th e B orough

number of mysterious “reburials” happening under the cover of nightfall.

Jim Jones notes that not all of the dead made it out of the borough during the mass exodus caused by the ordinance either. “There are still four monsignors buried at St. Agnes Church,” he tells me. “Also, a minister at First PresbyteYou may be surprised to learn that for many of those buried in St. Agnes, Oak- rian Church was buried on the grounds. lands, and Chestnut Grove cemeteries, They eventually did move him to this is actually their second final resting Oaklands, but he was there for several years.” place. In 1851, an ordinance was passed that prohibited burials within the borough. “It was passed in July 1851 and went into effect in August 1851,” explains history professor and West Chester resident Jim Jones. “The fine for violations was $20.” The ordinance required that everyone currently buried in any of the borough’s graveyards be relocated somewhere else, generally to the cemeteries north of town: St. Agnes, Oaklands, and Chestnut Grove. Local historian Dan Lindley suggests the move wasn’t particularly popular and resulted in a

As Amy is setting up the first of her many shots for this article, I casually mention that I’d like my friends and family to hand dig my grave when the time comes, so they can work off their

You may be surprised to learn that for many of those buried in St. Agnes, Oaklands, and Chestnut Grove cemeteries, this is actually their second final resting place OCTOBER 2015 THEWCPRESS.COM

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grief with some physical activity. She tries valiantly to make me stop talking about it, but it’s a poignant conversation: there is a certain luxury in fantasizing about the ideal funeral. It’s a luxury never afforded to hundreds of soldiers who perished in September of 1777.

The Battle of the Brandywine On September 11, 1777, General George Washington’s army and the British army of General Sir William Howe clashed in a battle so grisly that sources describe how the blood flowed over two miles to the Brandywine. It was one of the bloodiest battes of the American Revolution, and the number of dead cited in the 1881 History of Chester County by J. Smith Futhey and Gilbert

B RAD FO R D CE M ETAR Y 5 2 1 NO RTH BROOK R D

Copes is staggering. “The loss on the side of the British was one hundred killed and four hundred wounded. The loss on the side of the Americans was nine hundred killed and wounded. As but few Americans were killed or wounded in the retreat, the inequality in the loss sustained has been attributed to the inferiority of their arms, many of their muskets being wholly unfit for service.”

The soldiers were buried where they fell, in a mass grave in what is now Lafayette Cemetery. Although famous

"

...sources describe how the blood flowed over two miles to the Brandywine.

as the final resting place for those soldiers, the cemetery initially served the Birmingham Friends community, and includes among its inhabitants artist and illustrator N.C. Wyeth.

"Ext ras" O AKLAN D S CE M E TA R Y 1 042 P OTTSTOW N P K

The anonymity of a mass grave isn’t the only mystery lurking in West Chester’s graveyards. On June 12, 1878 the Daily Local News reported that the body of a man was discovered in Green Mount Cemetery by a sexton digging a new grave. About three feet down, the sexton struck a coffin. “The newness of the coffin, coupled with the fact of

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there being no surface evidence of a grave at that spot, naturally led him to grave suspicions,” the article states, and further speculates on the discovery. “About two years ago, we learn, this portion of the lot was plowed and may it not be possible as well as probable that this body was placed there at that time, and so skillfully disposed as to leave no evidence of the work of the midnight grave diggers.”

B IR M I NGHAM LAFAYETTE CE M ETER Y 1 2 3 5 S B IR M I NGHAM R D B I RM I N GHA M LA FAYE TTE C E M ETERY Without modern-day forensic tools, the investigation stalled, and a followup article published a few days later concludes, “When found, decomposition had advanced to such a degree that nothing could be discovered by an inquest. The remains were not disturbed and probably never will be.”

"

...decomposition had advanced to such a degree that nothing could be discovered by an inquest. The remains were not disturbed and probably never will be.

One of West Chester’s cemeteries con-

O A KLAN D S C E ME TER Y 104 2 P OT T STOW N P K

tains more than just people: Oaklands houses parts of an airplane. On May 7, 1944, seven Army Air Corps crew members died when their B-25 bomber crashed during a routine training flight, supposedly when it ran out of fuel. Today, a memorial to the servicemen stands in the location, erected by the West Chester Men’s Service Club in May of this year. An etching of a B-25 appears above the names of the crew members, reminding visitors that not all casualties of World War II occurred in battle.

On May 7, 1944, seven Army Air Corps crew members died when their B-25 bomber crashed... OCTOBER 2015 THEWCPRESS.COM

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Unfinished B u s iness

SA I NT AGNES CE M ETER Y 1 0 5 0 P OTTSTOWN PK

Near the back of Oaklands Cemetery, where groves of tall trees dapple the sunlight onto tombstones tucked amongst the ferns, there is a marker for a husband and wife, both born in 1906. Her death date is 1983, but his date is blank. Could he still be walking the earth, 109 years old? Or has this grave somehow been forgotten? Are cemeteries themselves remnants of a bygone era? On the days of our photo shoots, few people, if any, walked the grounds. Chris Feryo weighs in, “It’s not uncommon for me to hear that someone doesn’t know the location of a family member’s gravesite,” he offers. “They’ll say that they’ve never been to it.”

OA K LAN D F RI E N D S C E M ETERY 104 1 P OT T STOW N P K

Physically distancing ourselves from death might be a result of the technology we now employ. “In our modern society, posting ‘I’m sorry for your loss’ on someone’s obituary page seems to remove the need to attend the funeral,” says Chris. It wasn’t always so. Newspaper clippings from West Chester’s early days evoke a romanticism with graveyards that doesn’t exist today. The Village Record from October 1854 cheerfully declares, “A visit to Oaklands at this time is particularly appropriate, when the autumnal breezes are scattering the forest leaves over the earth and around the few graves

Newspaper clippings from West Chester’s early days evoke a romanticism with graveyards that doesn’t exist today. that but yet are found in the cemetery. The scenery of the surrounding country from parts of the cemetery grounds is beautiful and picturesque.” “Oakland Cemetery is now looking its prettiest,” rhapsodizes the October 5, 1887 Daily Local News. “The chapel is covered with ivy and ampelopsis, and they are changing to a brilliant blood-red, which produces a magnificent appearance. It is well worth a ride or drive to

...there is a marker for a husband and wife, both born in 1906. Her death date is 1983, but his date is blank

view the work of nature in this silent but beautiful city of our departed friends.” Back in the present day, Amy and I scramble around the grounds of Oaklands, chasing the golden hour for beautiful light. The Kenney Holtz mausoleum nestles into an east-facing hill, one of the only mausoleums on the property. Its copper doors wear the green patina of age, but a soft glow lights up the frosted windows. Crawling through the brush to the back of the structure, I find a stained glass window. Someone, many many years ago, put a whole lot of thought into a design that would allow the late-afternoon sun to stream across their loved ones for eternity. It’s worthy of a visit sometime.

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Home

Becca Boyd has a passion for good food

Beccanomics

Though the Indian summer lasted abnormally long, there’s no denying that fall has arrived and with it a subtle shift of the mind toward all things healthful and organized. For instance, I’ve been asked more times than I can count on two hands for a nut-free, healthy lunchbox treat for today's more allergyaware, nut-free schools. Happy to help, and you don’t even need to turn on your oven! While you’re at it, keep enjoying the outdoors and don’t cover up your grill just yet. By grilling pears along with your chicken, you transform this early-fall, high-fiber staple to something spectacular. Their pronounced sweetness paired with the punch of bleu cheese? It’s heavenly (and comes together in under twenty minutes). bboyd@thewcpress.com Grilled Pear and Chicken Salad with Bleu Cheese Serves 4 3 chicken breasts Salt and pepper 2 large Bartlett pears, cut into 1/4 inch slices 8 c. fresh baby spinach 2 tbsp. olive oil 1 tbsp. Champagne vinegar 1 tsp. honey 1 tsp. Dijon mustard 1/2 c. crumbled bleu cheese 1. Heat grill to medium and spray grates with nonstick spray. 2. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and grill until cooked through, about five minutes per side. 3. When you flip the chicken, add the pears to the grill. Grill on both sides until grill marks appear. 4. Meanwhile, toss spinach with olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard. Plate. 5. Divide chicken and pears between plates and top with cheese. Serve. No-Bake Oatmeal Cookies (Gluten Free) Makes 2 dozen 2 cups rolled oats 2 cups packed, pitted, dried dates 1/4 cup roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds 1/4 tsp. kosher salt 2 tsp. vanilla extract 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tbsp. water 2 tbsp. Sunbutter 1. Combine oats, salt, dates and sunflower seeds in food processor and pulse (then run for 30 seconds) to combine. 2. Add Sunbutter, vanilla, cinnamon and water and run until uniformly combined. 3. Roll into 1 tbsp. size balls and store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Will keep for up to 1 week.

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Bartender of the

Month

PHOTO Andrew Hutchins

INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Talking parties and drink specials with Landmark Americana's Kerri Wade I’ve gotta come right out with it. When you were nominated for bartender of the month, the name we got was Kerri “Landmark U” Wade. Is that something people actually call you? It’s something people call me on Thursday nights. Landmark U is what we call the party at Landmark when we turn it into college night on Thursdays, and that’s why people call me Kerri “Landmark U.” What makes it special? We have amazing drink specials and a great atmosphere, plus we have giveaways to

customers who come in. The turnout has been huge, and it’s getting better and better every month. Well, amazing drink specials can do that. Yeah. We’ve got $2 U-Call-Its and $2 Fireball shots, plus happy hour parties every Thursday night where whoever hosts gets their first drink free. If they bring 15 people they get a bottle of Champagne at midnight. How did you become the face of the party? Well we decided we wanted a night with great drink specials and music college students like, and I thought it was something cool that I’d enjoy doing. I assume you’re in college? Yes. At West Chester? Yes. I’m a senior, so I have two more semesters. And then what? Hopefully I’ll have a job in marketing or management and most likely still be bartending here—I can’t get away from this place! What brought you to Landmark? My sophomore year of college I was at the career fair, and I had to try Landmark's chips and guac. I was interested in a job, but they didn’t have job applications, so I

was told to come back after class. When I came back, I had an interview with Jason Santora, Landmark’s GM, and the next day I had a job. I’ve loved it ever since. You jumped right into bartending just like that? I started serving, so I did that for a little over a year, but I got into bartending pretty quickly. Before I even turned 21, my manager asked if I’d be interested in bartending. It was something that was always on my mind, but I didn’t think it’d happen that quickly. Still, I was excited, so I took the classes and started bartending. Being that you weren’t old enough to even go to the bar, was it a difficult transition for you? I’ve been in bars and restaurants working since I was 14. Besides learning the drink recipes, it wasn’t difficult it all. I had all the necessary skills and experience from serving. Why do you like it better than serving? I meet a lot more people than I do while serving, and I have time to have conversations. I’ve got my regulars who come in all the time, and every day you meet someone new. You get to feel a connection with the people who sit at your bar.

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F amily-F riendly

Frights & Fun There’s so much more to Halloween in West Chester than Trick-or-Treating. Here’s some other great ideas for some decidedly less-spooky entertainment for the whole family. by Janae Fecondo

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THE

BRANDYWINE SINGERS J O N AT H A N K R E A M E R , A RT I S T I C D I R E C TO R www.thebrandywinesingers.org

MASS:

sacred music of the Romantic Period

OCT 3, 2015

OCT 4, 2015

243 N Lawrence St, Philadelphia

30 W Miner St, West Chester

St. Augustine Church

CARMINA BURANA

First Presbyterian Church

with the Brandywine Ballet

OCT 23-25, 2015 Asplundh Concert Hall

for tickets: www.brandywineballet.org

West Chester University

MAGNIFICAT

by Jonathan Willcocks, Hodie by Randall Stroope

DEC 19, 2015 Christ Church

20 N American St, Philadelphia

DEC 20, 2015 Church of the Good Samaritan

212 W Lancaster Ave, Paoli

TENEBRAE

featuring MASS for 16 Voices, by Carl Fasch

MARCH 12, 2016 Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill

MARCH 13, 2016 location TBD

8855 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia

2015/2016 CONCERT SERIES 32

THE WC PRESS | VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Halloween Parade October 28th, 7pm Looping through the borough West Chester downtown hosts the borough’s annual Halloween parade. Join the festivities on October 28th for an extensive display of entertainment as costumes and characters fill the streets of town for the holiday. Decorated floats from local businesses, families, the Boy (and Girl!) Scouts of America, plus the West Chester University, Rustin and East High School’s marching bands, local cheerleading and dance teams all contribute to the excitement. Plus, sweet treats will be scattered through the parade for the little ones. Keith Kurkowski, Director of Parks and Recreation for West Chester, describes the parade by stating, “The parade is a lot of people and a lot of fun. It’s a huge event, the kids get a chance to parade around town in their costumes in front of 7,000 to 10,000 people.” The parade will begin at 7pm and make its way through town, starting at Market Street between Church and Darlington, then continue down Market and up Gay Street. Groups and floats are welcomed for registration until October 6th. For more information call 610-436-9010 or visit downtownwestchester.com.

Spooky Ceramics Through the month of October at 104 W Market Street Exhibit your inner artist at The Painted Plate this Halloween season. The personalized pottery gallery is a fun spot to create ceramic Halloween keepsakes with your family and friends. Let your imagination soar when decorating the pieces with stencils, unique designs and a colorful glaze. Chet Reber, owner of The Painted Plate, told us, “During the weeks leading up to Halloween we have tons of ceramic pieces perfect for the holiday, like themed candy bowls. It’s a perfect opportunity to make a candy bowl for Halloween night, and we continually get new stuff throughout the month, creating a variety.” Participants can choose from a wide selection of Halloween pottery, including pumpkin-shaped candle holders, ghosts, goblins and more. To find out more about The Painted Plate visit paintedplatepottery.com or call (610) 738-0603.

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Great Food, Great Drinks

& Daily Specials 15 S HIGH ST  610.696.1400 BARNABYSWESTCHESTER.COM

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Scary Studies October 16th & 30th 1256 Thornbury Road, 7 to 9pm Engage in a ghost and spirit class at one of the most haunted farms in the country. Thornbury Farms ghosts date back three hundred years to the American Revolution, home of the Battle of Brandywine. Numerous spirits from the battle have been recorded at this location and the farm has previously been filmed for Syfy Channel’s Ghost Hunters show. On October 16th and 30th, ghost and spirit classes will be offered from 7-9pm for ages 10 and up. During the class guests will learn the difference between ghosts, haunts and spirits, how to contact them, record the findings and assemble evidence. Susan Spackman, Office Manager at Thornbury Farms, says to come prepared for the experience. “They are definitely not in the ‘haunted house, amusement park’ type of experience. They can be serious, but humor is there, too. Students have said the classes were amazing and they learned so much.”

Fall Festivities September 13-November 1, noon to 5pm 1000 Marshallton Thorndale Road. Highland Orchard’s Farm Fall Festival is taking place from September 13th until Halloween weekend. Activities such as haywagon rides, KidKoral featuring a hay bale maze, scarecrow building, a groundhog tunnel and Kow milking will keep the entire family entertained for hours. As described by the Farm’s event coordinator, Art Whitehair, “The kids absolutely love it, we’re crowded all day. The kids love the hay maze and running around through there.”

Classes will be instructed by Deb Estep of the Chester County Paranormal Group. It is $35 for a seat in the class and class sizes are limited. Fresh apple cider and treats will be distributed to the brave souls who last the whole evening. To secure a seat in the spirit and ghost class call (610) 793-2933 or visit Thornburyfarmscsa.com.

The weekend festival will run from 12 to 5pm. Entrance to the Fall Festival is $4 a child, recommended ages 10-12. In addition to the festival, a full harvest is available for picking at the orchards during the fall, providing plenty of delicious apples and pumpkins for carving. To find out more about Highland Orchards Fall Festival visit highlandorchards.net or call (610) 269-3494.

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Look One Olive Sweater Heart & Hips, $20 Pink Dress Be.You.Tiful, $58 Bracelets $7 - $15 Necklace $45 Look Two Spike Sweater Iris, $38 Lace Skirt Iris, $30

Look The

Stay Chic welcomes the cooler weather with layered pieces and great contrasts

Now that autumn is finally here, it brings with it pumpkin-spice everything, gorgeous colors on the trees, and one of our personal favorites: layering! The first look here is an example of how to layer your way into chilly mornings and warm afternoons. We pulled this light olive sweater over what's actually a peach dress (though only the perfectly pleated skirt is showing here). Work in a fun statement necklace and some rustic boots, and you can take this look anywhere, from class to apple picking! (Or pumpkin picking, if you’re into that‌) Our second look was chosen because of the contrasting styles of the pieces. the delicate, feminine lace skirt creates a great dialogue with the edgier, punk-rock overtones of the gray knit top. Whoever said that lace and spikes weren't meant to be worn together? Stop by Stay Chic this week, which is under new ownership, and they'll help you figure out your fall flavor, whether it's adding layers to what you already have or taking off in an entirely different direction. Photos Andrew Hutchins

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Our Family, yOur TOwn, yOur FlOrisT, since 1957

29 S. Church St 610-696-5200 halladayflorist.com 38

THE WC PRESS | VOICE OF THE BOROUGH


Tell Me something

Good

Kate Chadwick takes a moment to spotlight local citizens for doing something swell.

Who he is: John Ponticello What he does: John is a retired chemical engineer and refinery manager who now volunteers with Chester County Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit organization that builds affordable housing for people in need. The CCHFH builds an average of four to six houses annually. Why he’s on this page: When we asked CCHFH Marketing Coordinator Katie Weidner to nominate someone, she said, “I chose John because few people are as involved in their community as he is. It's a privilege to know someone so dedicated to giving back. John's always helped out in as many ways as possible.” Prior to retiring, John worked with his brother-in-law at a Habitat project in Houston. “I really enjoyed it and wanted to do something similar,” he said. “Working with Habitat is fulfilling from many standpoints. We get to meet and work with some of the people who’ll be purchasing the homes—typically good people, who are so thankful for the opportunity to get their own home at a reasonable cost. I’ve also worked with lots of great volunteers who are also fun to work with.” And an unexpected up side to all that hard work? “We learn so much about building homes from the ground up,” John said. “Over the course of several months, we’re involved in all types of things that contribute to complete home construction—with all this newfound knowledge, I’m able to tackle some considerable projects in my own home that I’d never have attempted before.” What we like about him: He spreads his energy around. “When I retired, I heard about Retired and Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP) of Chester County, so I gave them a call,” John said. “I met with Leslie there, talked about my background, and she set me up with CCHFH. She also said I’d be a good fit to work with SCORE, an organization that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. I pursued both. Later I received a Christmas Letter from RSVP, discussing other organizations that needed help, so I started volunteering doing taxes for low income individuals for an organization in Coatesville called "Life Transforming Ministries.” John is now on the advisory council for RSVP. What he likes about West Chester: He and his wife Diane enjoy the proximity to Longwood Gardens and the diverse ethnic restaurants the borough offers. John said they also enjoy walking through the various parks and trails in West Chester. Moral of the story: Don’t just sit there; energy is contagious. As Katie said, “John truly believes in Habitat’s mission, and his unparalleled enthusiasm makes others believe in it, too.” Habitat for Humanity of Chester County is holding a fundraising event at Teca on Thursday, October 22, from 6-9pm. For more information, call 610-384-7993, or visit hfhcc.org. Do you know a WC resident who’s doing good things and deserves a little recognition in Tell Me Something Good? Let us know! Email details to kchadwick@thewcpress.com.

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for Lunch ,D & Sunday inner Brunch

Boxcar Brewpub is the ideal spot for happy hour, a big night out or a relaxing weekend meal with the fam. Award-winning beers and a new homemade menu makes Boxcar the tastiest new place to be: • West Chester-crafted Boxcar brews • Seasonal beer cocktail menu • Local PA wines & ciders • Delicious cuisine sourced local from scratch • 6-packs and growlers to-go Check out our ever-expanding event schedule online including an extensive line-up of live music. Consider us for your next private event in our upstairs lounge.

142 East Market Street, West Chester | www.boxcarbrewingcompany.com | 484.947.2503 BC15-WCPress-Half-Page-Ad-Food-v2.indd 1

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7/30/15 9:11 AM


Ghost

IN THE MACHINE C h e s t e r C o u n t y I n s t i t u t e o f Pa r a n o r m a l Re s e a r ch u s e s r e a l wo r l d t e ch n i q u e s f o r o t h e r- wo r l d l y p u r s u i t s

story Kate Chadwick images courtesy CCIPR Here’s a question: if you had to guess how many cemeteries there are in Chester County, what would your answer be? A few dozen on the low end, maybe a couple hundred if you’re guessing higher? Carol Starr figured the same thing, until she was seated at a paranormal seminar at which the keynote speaker posed the same question. The answer, according to the speaker, was “approximately 10,000.” Throughout the county, according to Carol, developers and builders have covered them up, building right over graveyards rather than pursue the costprohibitive and time-consuming option of disinterring and relocating them. “There was a lot of Revolutionary War activity in this county, and many Lenape Indian burial grounds here as well,” she said. And regardless of how you feel

about the existence of ghosts, reincarnation, heaven, or any and all of the above, you have to admit—that’s a lot of souls who’ve gone before us who may be....well, hanging around. Carol is the co-founder, along with Bobby Meyers, of the Chester County Institute of Paranormal Research—probably one of those organizations that you don’t even know exist unless/until you need it. But if you need it, they’re ready. Modern day ghostbusters, the CCIPR is made up of five members with extensive experience with the paranormal. A cursory glance at their website, ccipr.org, reveals documentation of EVP (electronic voice phenomena), photographic evidence—including videos—of ghostly encounters, and links to television programs in which they and their work have been profiled. Carol started experiencing paranormal phenomena at the age of seven, when she saw her first full-body apparition at an aunt’s house. “I was pretty scared of what I saw, and when I went to my parents and aunt and uncle and told them, they were very matter-of-fact and said ‘Well, you just saw the ghost.’ They sat with me and explained it and were very level-headed about it and about death” Carol said they explained that sometimes spirits return to a place that they liked or used to inhabit in life, or revisit the scenes of traumatic events. “The best thing about it is that it didn’t really instill fear in me—it instilled curiosity in me,” she said.

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LI V I N G

THERE

G AV E H E R A L O T OF EXPOSURE TO SPIRITS

As she grew into adulthood, Carol's curiosity also grew, and she explored the “other side” more actively, even speaking with funeral directors. She says that the Downingtown home she lived in between the ages of 14-24 was also haunted. Living there not only gave her “a lot of exposure to spirits,” it also taught her the value of research. “If you feel like something is happening in your house, you should check with your neighbors. They might have known the previous owners, or something about the history of the house that you don’t. Go to your local historical society. I even used a ouija board on occasion, which people don’t really do as much anymore.” People also didn’t really talk about the paranormal as much when she was in her twenties and thirties as they do today, says Carol, who is 61. Her interest in ethereal phenomena never wavered, and she discovered a now-defunct West Chester-based group around 11 years ago and joined. “That’s where I cut my teeth” Carol said. “I learned about equipment, what questions to ask, how to conduct an investigation— it was like Paranormal 101.” She was particularly pleased with how open the exchange of ideas was, and that she was able to discuss paranormal issues

so freely with likeminded individuals. “That was also around the time the various ghosthunting shows started popping up on television,” she said. “Interest in the field was growing.” When that group relocated to Southern Delaware, Carol, an insurance agency account manager, and Bobby Meyers, a high school teacher, cofounded CCIPR. Bobby’s background and interest in the paranormal, in contrast to Carol’s, sprang from more of a pragmatic, al-

most logical approach to an admittedly ephemeral subject. “I was drawn not by any particular event or experience, but by the numerous anecdotal stories recorded or told by thousands of individuals from all around the world,” he said. “I felt that although some stories may be embellished, they couldn’t all be fakes or false accounts.” Bobby brought his interest in the more technological workings of their pursuits to the table, with a particular focus on EVPs.

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Excite all of your senses

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CCIPR TE AM

“I always try to push the envelope, using both across the board equipment like EMF (electromagnetic field) meters, cameras, and digital audio equipment,” he said. Bobby has taken his interest in the “tools of the trade” a step further. “I also make some of my own prototype equipment,” he said. “I’m trying to make it easier for spirits to show themselves to us, or communicate with us in some way.” A visit to the CCIPR website shows over two dozen pieces of equipment the group currently utilizes in documenting their investigations. “How far we’ve come in just 11 years as far as equipment is concerned is incredible. Who knows where we’ll be 10 years from now?” Carol added. In some cases, unusual situations that appear to be hauntings can turn out to be more mundane issues. For instance, CCIPR received a call from a new homeowner who was feeling very strange and anxious whenever she spent time in her laundry room. As it turned out, it was a manmade electromagnetic field

I’ M

T RY I N G TO M A K E IT EASIER FOR SPIRITS TO SHOW THEMSELVES issue, which was easily remedied by having the room rewired. On the other hand, Carol reports seeing—and feeling—actual encounters with unexplained…well, beings, at least a dozen or so of which stand out in her mind as particularly memorable. One of those took place at Henderson House on Gulph Mills Road, now the site of an apartment complex. It had previously been the office of a major corporation (which she declined to name), that had literally deserted the premises, leaving behind office equipment and personal belongings alike. Carol says she was

setting up a table when she felt and saw the presence of another female arm and hand on her own, and felt a jolt similar to an electric shock. She later discovered that the apparition of a woman had been witnessed frequently by the previous tenants, appearing on a landing of the building and then disappearing into the wall. Another memorable encounter took place in a field in Gettysburg, during which she and a couple of other colleagues witnessed silhouettes of soldiers walking silently in the night. “Not everything I’ve encountered over

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AL L O F U S H AV E T H E A B I L I T Y T O BE AWARE OF THE SPIRIT WORLD the years has been documented, for several reasons, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen.” In fact, Carol has co-authored a book, Haunted Gettysburg, and is currently working on a follow-up to it. The historic battlefield site is widely considered in paranormal circles to be one of the most haunted places in the world. The CCIPR team offer their services at no cost. “We don’t do this for the money, we do this to help people,” Carol said. “We all work full-time jobs, this is just something that we are very passionate about.” In addition to their comprehensive website and social media, the group offers the option of watching an investigation streaming live, as they’ve done from sites such as Gettysburg.

Most of their work, however, takes place in residential settings. “As a group, we’ve had between 100-150 investigations over the past 11 years, and about 80% of those are private homes.” The goal is to help people who have questions, and in some cases “are scared witless,” says Carol. There is an initial phone consultation, which is often where the investigation begins and ends; not every phone call results in an investigation. But despite the fact that they all have “real jobs,” the group’s devotion to their endeavor is strong.“My

time spent on the paranormal varies according to each case,” said Bobby. “I usually spend at least 6-12 hours on an investigation, and anywhere from 10-20 hours of evidence review on each individual case.” One doesn’t necessarily have to be a true believer to experience a ghostly encounter, as Carol has discovered over the years. “Sometimes people start out as skeptics, until something happens to change their minds,” she said. “All of us have the ability to be aware of the spirit world, and it might come and go during your lifetime,” Carol said. “With me, I’ve been so immersed in this that I can walk into a room and feel something almost immediately—good or bad.” She also says that it’s encouraging to the spirits themselves to know when they’re in the presence of someone who, while they may not be a firm believer, will at least have an open mind.” Her colleague agrees. “If I could tell people just one thing about ghosts, it would be not to fear them,” Bobby Meyers said. “Spirits do and can hurt you, but it’s rare in most cases. I always tell folks who are scared of ghosts that they should fear those who are alive more than those who are dead. And finally, to show respect to the uninvited. Most of the time, they’ll relay the same respect back to you.”

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Home

Diane LeBold and the West Chester Food Co-Op examine local food production and bring eaters closer to the source of their food.

Grown

Pop! Goes the Co-op!

On a beautiful Friday afternoon in September, West Chester Borough was treated to a new and different approach to food marketing—the town’s first “Pop-up Co-op,” organized by the West Chester Food Co-op. Town regulars were pretty surprised when the Co-op’s canopies appeared in the parking lot behind the former Rite Aid, next to the Chestnut Street garage. Folks headed home from work or looking forward to an early dinner in one of West Chester’s gazillion restaurants followed their noses to the corner of Gay and Walnut Streets, drawn by the tempting aromas of chef Justin Grilli grilling up “dinner-to-go” using ingredients from local farms. (BTW: the similarity between the chef’s name and what he does is purely coincidental.) Visitors also had a chance to buy USDA certified organic produce from Chester County’s own Two Gander Farm. Chef Grilli is a manager with the international dining service Eurest. His most fragrant (and popular) offering was all-natural Black Angus steak from Katt and Mathy Farms in Cochranville, swathed in a Brazilian-style chimichurri sauce. His panzanella salad and heirloom BLTs featured bread from Baguette Magique in West Chester and vegetables from Two Gander Farm near Downingtown. All offerings were declared delicious. Two Gander Farm is among a handful of Chester County farms that can use the “USDA certified organic” label. At the Pop-up, owner Trey Flemming offered a wide array of beautiful produce, ranging from potatoes and onions to dark green kale, multi-colored sweet peppers, and a delightful salad mix. It seemed that most of the people who stopped by to eat and chat were borough residents who love the idea of an in-town grocery focused on providing locally sourced food. “It would be super convenient to have a co-op in town—and a good thing for my kids to be involved in,” resident Tom McKeown noted. Maggie Lupinacci-Oyler agreed. “I’m here because I’m very excited to have a co-op in town. I love the idea of being able to buy local, organic produce.” Co-op member-owner Roy Smith said he thinks joining the co-op is the right thing to do. “I support local organizations and environmental responsibility,” he said. “We need to have something like this in town,” said resident Alice Hall. “We desperately need a place to buy real food.” Stan Zukin, owner of the Rite Aid property and a memberowner of the co-op, along with this wife, Elsa, said he was happy to put his parking lot to good use. “I take pleasure in helping with anything I think is good for the community,” Stan said. “Elsa and I really want a co-op to happen.” By the time you’re reading this, you may have seen more Popups in town. And there will be others, as the fall harvest season rolls along. So keep your eyes open and your nose tuned in for a Pop-up near you! –dlebold@TheWCPress.com Find out more about the upcoming Food Co-op by checking out their website at www.wcfood.coop

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These two photos may appear to be same, but there are six differences between them. Identify the things that have been changed, then send an email to contests@thewcpress.com listing those changes. You’ll be entered to win a $25 gift card to a local business.

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Local

Personality PHOTO Andrew Hutchins

INTERVIEW Dan Mathers

Out in the fields with Pete Flynn of Pete’s Produce How long have you been farming? I’ve been growing vegetables for 25 years, and I was dairy farming before that. I tell people I’m a recovering dairy farmer. You were a dairy farmer first? I worked as a herdsman six years before I went out on my own starting a farm at where Bayard Rustin is today. I started there with 9 cows. How’d you get into produce? I grew a little sweet corn one year, and I had some extra. I threw the extra in the back of my pickup and sold it along the roadside. People loved it so much that they would chase me home. As a dairy farmer, nobody ever told me how good my milk was, but everyone told me how good my sweet corn was. I kept

doing more every year until I was doing sweet corn and tomatoes enough that I rented my cows to a young guy who wanted to be a dairy farmer. What did the operation look like? At that point I had a little tent, a couple little red sheds and a flat wagon, just selling alongside Shiloh Rd there. What went into building your first permanent location? Well, in April of ’94 my cow barn got struck by lightning and caught fire. All the wood to build the new location was sawed up and sitting in the barn. The local community stepped up, and some local landscape guys started bringing trees over to Guy Bowers saw mill when they cut them down. He got the lumber ready for me, and they just dropped it off and gave it to me. That’s how we built our first location. What prompted you to move to the new location? Well, I had been leasing the land that would become Bayard Rustin High School, so I needed to make a move. In 2000, Westtown School farm had become available. They wanted the land to be used for something other than corn and soybeans, something they can use in their kitchen, but I didn’t have enough money

to finance the whole project. Instead they offered a partnership of sorts, and I paid them back over time. They set the lease relatively inexpensive so I could get my feet on the ground, and they bought everything they could from me. How do you spend most your time today? I primarily work on the farm, planting the corn and tomatoes and maintaining crops. Is that how you want it? Oh yeah. That’s my passion. Although, another thing I’m passionate about is the Chester County Food Bank. I’ve been on the board since its inception and I grow four acres of food for them. I prepare the land and get things planted, and they get volunteers to harvest. We try to help them as much as we can. The benefits of local farming are multifaceted. This is definitely a community affair—people really appreciate fresh produce from a local farm. People appreciate the connection to the farm, but you don’t see this much anymore, and it’s a shame. If it wasn’t for property owners like Westtown School, it wouldn’t be possible because the economics aren’t there the way they used to be... but that’s a whole ’nother story...

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Halloween

Playlist

DJ Romeo curates a spooky playlist of songs you wouldn’t want to be caught ... dead ... without

Halloween is creeping up fast. And this year, this holiday falls on a Saturday night, meaning one thing: it’s time organize your party playlist. Never mind those sugary sweets; Halloween brings some delectable ear candy, too. From classics such as “Ghostbusters” and “Monster Mash” to more recent tunes from artists like Kid Cudi, Halloween tunes abound, but Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” is forever at the top of the list, so be sure to have those zombie dance moves locked in. djromeo@thewcpress.com | www.djromeo.fm

Michael Jackson – “Thriller” Kid Cudi – “No One Believes me” Warren Zevon – “Werewolf in London” Ray Parker – “Ghostbusters” Screamin’ Jay Hawkins – “I Put a Spell on You” (Jeremy Sole’s Zombie Mix) Echo and the Bunnymen – “People are Strange” M.C. Hammer – “Addams Groove” Robert Smith – “Witchcraft” Blue Oyster Cult – “Don’t Fear the Reaper” The Misfits – “Halloween” The Rocky Horror Picture Show – “Time Warp” Danny Elfman – “This is Halloween” Ryan Adams – “Halloweenhead” D–Devils – “6th Gate (Dance with the Devil)” Donovan – “Season of the Witch” Ramones – “Pet Sematary” The Flaming Lips – “Halloween on the Barbadry Coast” Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Bad Moon Rising” Charlie Daniels – “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” Bobby Boris Pickett – “Monster Mash” Alison Krauss – “Ghost in This House” The Edgar Winter Group – “Frankenstein” Sheb Wooley – “Purple People Eater” Oingo Boingo – “Dead Man’s Party” ACDC – “Highway to Hell”

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The WC Press Halloween Issue - October 2015  

Voice of the Borough

The WC Press Halloween Issue - October 2015  

Voice of the Borough