Monday, July 18, 2016

Tour de Fence

I have said this many times, my favorite part of my drive home is coming up Pine Street. Pine Street with all it trees, is a seasonal spectacle of color.  Even in the winter the street is postcard picture perfect.

One day, not long ago something caught my eye on my drive up Pine Street, it was a bicycle, actually it was a few bicycles, in row.  I later learned that this work of art was the brain child of one, Ben Ferenchak who lives at the corner of Fifth and Pine Streets.  Later I found the Tour de Fence Facebook page and I learned why Ben built the bike fence.

Ben road in 5 Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer, including his first 1000 mile ride in 1983.  In 2008 Ben road from Pennsylvania to Florida to raise $10,000.00 for Autism Speaks.  I am sure there are a lot more rides and fundraisers that I don't know about.

Also, let us not forget Ben organized the Mother of All Class Reunions in 2014 - that was the best class reunion ever!

An illness has sidelined Ben from riding in these long bike rides, but it hasn't stopped him from raising money for the American Cancer Society.  You see, this artistic endeavor of Ben's fence is to help raise money for the Pennsylvania Perimeter Ride Against Cancer.

Tour de Fence is a tribute art exhibit made from old bikes that is a memorial to those who have lost their battle to cancer, and also honors those fighting cancer and those who have survived cancer.

I asked Ben how he got the idea, not why but how does one think of using bikes for a fence.  He told me it started with one bike, Joe Galm's.  Joe's wife called Ben and wanted Ben to find a home for Joe's bike.  If you remember Joe, an elementary teacher in the Catasauqua Middle School, he was a tall man, so was his bike, it wasn't easy to find someone who could use the bike, so that's when Ben came up the idea, Joe's bike was the first brick in the de Fence; and what a fence it is.

On this Saturday, July 23, 2016, at 1:00 PM there will be a Dedication of Tour de Fence and Block Party at the corner of Fifth and Pine Streets in Catasauqua. There will be live music supplied by Tavern Tan, food, games, Basket Raffle, & 50/50.  There will be Attic Treasures, a bake sale, prayer booth and more.  I don't know about you - but I plan on being there.

Cancer has probably touched your life, if not personally I am sure you know a family member or friend who either is gone because of it or is fighting it or has had victory over it.  I hope so many people come out this Saturday that is causes a traffic jam.  (I don't care I am in walking distance)

If you can't make it and want to donate - here is the site

Ben's goal is $10,000.00 he is almost half way there, let's make it happen!!!!

You know, times like this, events like this, make me proud to live in Catasauqua.  The Morning Call tomorrow will have an article from Bill White on Tour de Fence.  Tour de Fence has been on WFMZ
and in the Catty Press.  Each time I pass the fence now  I get a little choked up, I lost my grandfather to lung cancer, and friend of mine to breast cancer.  It is time to start celebrating victories instead of mourning loss.

So DONATE, or just COME ON OUT Saturday to TOUR DE FENCE and celebrate and I can promises you it won't be just ......Another day in Catasauqua, it will be special.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

A Patriot-ical Weekend in Catasauqua

 Militia men just hanging

What a weekend in Catasauqua.  The J4 Celebration started Friday night with a free concert in the Park, unfortunately, I did not attend.  It was called "I am too darn tired to get off the sofa night" at my house.   I really wanted to see the Monkee's tribute band, but walking down to the park that night was not in the cards.

On Saturday I did a lot of work on around the house. I cleaned, finished a patio I have been working on and even shaved the cat (let's talk fun). 

And then Sunday the J4 Celebration began, except it all happened on J3, which was confusing to my mind.  Since July 3rd happened to be a Sunday it was a little bit of a bummer because I missed the parade that went pass my house since I was at church. I always love the parade.  It might be tiny but it always gives me a little lump in my throat.  I missed Uncle "Howard Hahn" Sam and I missed all the flag waving.

Speaking of Church that is how I got the word Patriot-ical.  Our Pastor, Pastor Mike, was on vacation this past Sunday so John Lutte filled it.  I asked John if he could do something patriot-ical, if you know me, you know I mix my words up-a lot.  That was a combination of patriotic and historical, and John did deliver just that but with an added dose of spirit. Such interesting facts about the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The reading of the Declaration
Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died.
Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army; another had two sons captured.
Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.
They signed and they pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor. What kind of men were they?
Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists. Eleven were merchants, nine were farmers and large plantation owners; men of means, well educated. But they signed the Declaration of Independence knowing full well that the penalty would be death if they were captured.  Wow.  Something I never even thought about.
We did go to the Catty Park for some lunch.  Had a really good cheese steak and some fries, which I shared with the BF, Parke.  There were not a lot of vendors, which was a bit of a disappointment, but it was a beautiful day so it was still enjoyable.  

Antebellum Marine Band
Sunday night was the FIREWORKS and as always they do not disappoint. They were spectacular.  There was a concert first but I sit with family (Actually it is more my daughter-in-law's family then mine but I feel like I am part of it)  on the grass on the visitors side so we really can't hear it well. But that means we can gab, eat and laugh. As always I had a great time and it is fun to see the grandchildren and their cousins.  (and yes Rami - it is always good to see you)

Summer Kitchen/George
Taylor Mansion
Then Monday, off to JULY 4th at the George Taylor Home.  This is a bit of tradition for BFF Cathy and I.  We go every year (when it is not raining) to hear the reading of the Declaration of Independence and to hear the patriotic music of the Antebellum Marine Band.  This year, however, was even more special with a re-enactment of the reading by the Bachmann Players and the Northampton County Militia.  I loved it - it was so exciting!!!   BFF Cathy got to yell HUZZAH and she was so excited about it.  I mean, really, when else can you yell that?  (Oh now I keep thinking of places I can yell that at, darn)

So, another J4 has passed and I look forward to the next one.  Catty might small but it is rich in history.  I love seeing friends, I love patriotic music and yeah, I love another day in Catasauqua.