September 15, 2011

Memories of Fayette County, Pennsylvania



     It was a hot and muggy day…and so the weather was on the July day we moved to Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

     My husband Monte always insisted moving himself, using a rented van. When he backed up to the front porch to unload the van, he accidentally ran the tires over the neighbor’s grassy patch between the sidewalk and the street. The irate woman approached him, calming down some when he said he would repair the damage. As time went on, we developed a pretty good friendship.

     Over time our friendships on that block of West Washington Avenue grew strong. Eventually the neighbors across the street joined with us to sponsor a foreign exchange student (we had the space, they had the teenage activities and fixed family meals). There were several years where we had the police barricade our block from traffic so we could enjoy block parties.

     Speaking of police, I must mention the wooden swing set they had on the lawn between their home building and the railroad tracks. My granddaughter loved the trains, and we enjoyed many a picnic breakfast on that swing set, watching for trains.

     However, if Jordan was visiting us at our house and heard the train whistle, she immediately had to have me run with her down the sidewalk to a neighbor’s yard, just adjacent to the tracks. We did many a train-run during Jordan’s young years.

     The old train station building on West Crawford Avenue housed a stained glass shop that also sold glass-blown items. Two of our friends, siblings Russ and Pat, visited us for a few days. Russ was blind.

     He expressed a desire to go into the stained glass shop. I was reluctant, and agreed to take him in only if the clerk agreed. She did.

     I was amazed at the compassion and caring she demonstrated. She unlocked cases and took fragile items out, then handed them to Russ, allowing him to see them with his hands while she described them.

     Living three doors away from the old armory and writing for the newspaper allowed me to develop a positive relationship with the Army staff. I could walk in and chat with them, which I did frequently in search of news. I was invited to accompany them to training in Friedans (Westmoreland County) and West Virginia. I never accepted, however, because freelancers didn’t have the backing of the newspaper.

     Shortly after moving to our community four miles east of Ligonier, the Ligonier and Connellsville armories did a joint program. The director of the Ligonier Armory called me to cover the event after the director of the Connellsville Armory suggested he do so. It was a fun assignment I wrote for the newspaper.

     I also made friends with the members of the now-defunct photographer’s group that met in Uniontown. Two of the members are now involved in the Westmoreland Photographers Society, to which I belong.

     The Carnegie Library four blocks from my house is one of the most impressive libraries I’ve experienced. It’s large, round, desk was a pleasure to work behind. The staff was composed of really nice persons who added pleasure to my stay in Connellsville.

     Finally, the proximity of Connellsville to the Youghiogheny River afforded me many an opportunity to sit on a rock near the shore and relax, cooling off on hot summer days.

      Although I experienced many negative situations in Fayette County, there were also the above positive memories.



David, Our German Exchange Student: Part 1

Fayettenam (Pennsylvania)

Adelphoi Village to Mark Fortieth Anniversary August 18, 2011

Native American Warfare on the Western Frontier

Is Mars Closer Than Freedom? It is in Pennsylvania!

Gold-Flecked Ice Cream, Anyone?


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