For the Record – May 19, 2016

for-the-recordby Barbara Mastriania

You Rock Celebration Committee …

Renovo’s 150th  Celebration a huge success …

Renovo’s reasons for pride are many and this month’s 150th anniversary celebration is the most recent. It was an absolutely impressive community party from start to the final event, the release of 150 red, white and balloons in front of Borough Hall Sunday afternoon.

The success was due to the hard-working committed group of men and women who for nearly a year planned the event and whose dedication to the project was evident this past weekend. And who at the last minute because of rain, snow, sleet, wind and hail were forced make changes. If there were hitches, they were not visible.

In a way, this past weekend was a mini version of Renovo’s 150 years. The planning began with a burst of energy and enthusiasm, the planners worked steadily through the past year to choose the events and plan how to execute them, then came the hard times – a weekend of mostly horrible weather. But rather than give up or call off events, the planners came up with alternatives that resulted in success. Sounds a bit like Renovo’s history. There were the boom years when the railroad shops operated in a full-speed-ahead mode. Those years were followed by slow times, when other industries tried for brief periods of time but failed, leading to the bleak years of the recent past. But, true to their heritage, Renovites as Judge Craig Miller noted, are on the rebound and the town is on the rebound, fixing up, sprucing up, and eyeing a brighter future. Renovo means to renew, and that is what the town is doing today.

Every single comment I’ve heard about the celebration this week has been positive. The sesquicentennial celebration began with the community choir concert at St. Joseph’s Church Sunday afternoon, May 1 and ended with open house, refreshments and the balloon release at the borough hall on Fifth Street and an open house and refreshments at the Heritage Park headquarters  at 530 Erie Avenue and the balloon release.

Rich Wykoff, president of Renovo’s Heritage Park Committee, tells us that Bonnie Hess has a great collection of celebration photos posted on Facebook.  Her images show crews setting up the stage and getting ready at various areas if the event. “There was a real hustle getting three areas ready for the event: the stage, the exhibit and reception in the borough council chamber, and the reception and open house at Heritage Park,” Wykoff wrote.

He also noted the committee and people who worked so hard to put celebration together deserve many, many thanks. Among them are: Western Clinton Sportsman’s Association and Renovo Elementary for the loan of the stage, tent, and PA system and the people listed here and Wykoff.

Had the weather cooperated, he wrote, “it would have been a perfect setting for the event. The people handling the setup were Alice Tarr, Roland Davenport, Vince O’Connor, Rick Davenport, Doug Rowe, and Dave Barrows. They started at 8 a.m. in sleet and rain. Gail Lutz, Alice Tarr, Bree Layton, Noah Davenport, a number of council members and their family members, and Aaron Kelley worked feverishly to decorate the stage as wind and rain came and went.

“The odds were against having the ceremony there but everyone gave it a yeoman’s effort. We can’t thank them enough for trying so hard to have this part of the ceremony ready. It was a very difficult decision to make but the bad weather was just not going to let up. We had to move the whole setup to the fire hall and have it ready in an hour. Which, thanks to the Renovo Fire Company and a lot of very understanding people, we were able to manage with only minutes to spare. That is the spirit of which our dignitaries spoke.”

Behind the scene, Marsha Davis and Beth Whitty provided essential help to bring the entire celebration together. So again, Renovo, you Rock!

There were so many people who participated in the preparation and the events it is difficult to make sure that everyone involved is mentioned.  If you know someone whose name is missing please let us know at The Record or at my email:

Sorry Billy …

While we’re on the subject of missing someone’s name, last week when I mentioned the people included in the Bud & the Dynamic’s band during Renovo’s Centennial Celebration in 1966 I forgot to mention Billy Jones. Jones was one of the original Triads (who preceded Bud & The Dynamics) along with Flip Mills and Bud Hallberg. He played the tenor sax with the trio and with the Dynamics until he left to go to college. He still plays in his own group in the Canton area where he is a retired high school teacher.

Jim Franklin’s drum …

Renovo native and USMC Veteran Jim Franklin of Lock Haven recently attended a Marine Corps Musician’s Association reunion in Quantico, Virginia and returned home with a prized old marching band snare drum.

An auction is a part of the annual MCMA reunion and one item in this year was an old snare drum that was decorated with commemorations of wars the Marines have fought in from the American Revolutionary War to the Korean Conflict.

Jim, a drummer, was bidding on the drum but backed off when it got to $50. A guy behind him said he’d buy the drum for him. The bidding continued to $295. The guy behind Jim made the final bid.  Afterward he called Jim up front and presented the drum to Jim.

It turned out that the buyer was a retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. and that it wasn’t the first time the two had met. The Lt. Colonel was the band officer for the Marine Corps Band when Franklin, who was a member of the Marine Corps Band was stationed in Okinawa. Nor was it the first time the two men were bidding on the same item at auction. The officer told Jim that 25 years ago when the two were bidding on a coffee mug, he out bid Jim and he had always felt bad about it.

Franklin plans to have the vintage drum restored by Jack Lawton’s drum shop in Sunbury. He wants to have it done in time to use at next year’s Corps reunion in New Orleans.

Lindy Sisters …

Rumor has it, not a clue if it’s true, but we’re hearing that the popular Lindy Sisters will be appearing in Renovo again this summer in June. More information will follow in coming weeks.