Archive for May 2010

Small Town; Big Celebration

May 24, 2010

Independence Day is my favorite holiday, by far. I’d easily sacrifice pastel eggs and pumpkins for pride and patriotism. It could be because I was born a few months after the Bicentennial. Or because my father, an Army veteran, is the most patriotic person I know (I swear he bleeds red, white, and blue). But I think it has even more to do with the fact that my hometown has had the best 4th of July celebrations as far back as I can remember…and then some.

My own timeline can be reconstructed based on 4th of July festivities in Pleasant Mount. In my youth, I marched in the parade as a Rebel with the Fife & Drum Corps; pushed my baby sister in a stroller as a pre-teen; twirled a baton during my short stint as a majorette while a teenager; drove numerous floats over the years (the timeline is a little fuzzy on this…some floats were probably driven before I had a license), and more recently I’ve spent time out on the North Road checking in the overwhelming number of tractors that show up to parade through town every year.

These celebrations extend well past my own memories. After all, the David Spencer Steam Tractor made its maiden voyage on July 4, 1889 in the Pleasant Mount Parade.

If you’ve been to Pleasant Mount on the 4th of July, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, you should see what it’s all about. There’s a parade, a patriotic program in Meredith Park, a chicken barbecue, and plenty of other activities in the center of town. The Historical Society museum is open for tours free of charge, we have collectibles and gifts for sale, and antiques for sale on the lawn. I also hear that there will be fireworks this year.

As a long-time Wayne County public official once said, “Pleasant Mount is the place to be on the 4th of July.” So, mark your calendar and join us (this year’s celebration will be held on Saturday, July 3).

Lisa Hall

Pleasant Mount, Rebels Fife and Drum Corps

Do you have any Pleasant Mount 4th of July memories? Add a Comment and share them!

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Another Cleanup

May 18, 2010

Our last cleanup got rained out, so we will be holding another one this Sunday, May 23 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at our museum, Route 371, Pleasant Mount.

Volunteers are needed to help with brush removal, planting, and other outdoor work, as well as organizing rooms inside the museum. 

If interested, please contact Tim Hall at 570-448-2817 or meet us there on Sunday!

The Hills Keep Calling Me

May 8, 2010

It was a beautiful day on September 3, 1933 on the family farm located in Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania. Four kids lived there with their parents Clarence F. and Vera A. Turner along with the latter’s in-laws Oscar and Rebecca Turner. No doubt at least two of the kids had been sent to live with their other grandmother, Nettie Bennett for a few days to keep them out of the way while Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Turner awaited the grand event. That event was my birth weighing in at over nine pounds, probably brought into this world with the only the help of my Grandmother Turner acting as a mid wife. Seventy seven years later that sounds bizarre but in 1933 Grandmother Turner could probably boast of having performed that job several times including the birth of my then four older siblings and then twice more with the two who would follow.

It was there on that hilltop that I learned to tread in the footsteps of my ancestors, the same ancestors who came there in about1815 to carve a homestead out of a forest. Where and how did they live while they toiled to build a home, till and sow, reap the harvest and build those magnificent stone walls that will outlast the finest structures of the ancient Romans? Five generations before me held onto that land before my generation let it go after nearly 200 years of continuous ownership. It was hard to let go! I am reminded of the observation made by the writer Garcia Marquez who wrote “that when a newborn holds the thumb of his father he holds it forever”. And now, in the back nine of life that hilltop still calls my name but I cannot answer.

Give thanks to the Historical Society of Pleasant Mount for their efforts to memorialize the lives of those who have lived in our community.

Clarence J. Turner

The writer is a 1951 graduate of Pleasant Mount High School, the University of Alabama in 1959 and holds a Certificate in Real Estate awarded by UCLA in 1967. He and his wife Janice live in Newport Beach, California