Thursday, July 17, 2014

Seeing Things In A Different Light

Have you ever walked past something a million times and didn't take notice to its details, beauty, or the item in general?   Have you ever said something everyday of your life and one day after you say it you realize that it has significant meaning beyond what you use it for?   Well this week has been full of those moment.

On Monday a lovely group of bikers came through from Canada.  They didn't have thick accents so it wasn't obvious where there origin was.   That is until after I gave them a tour of the Opera House and returned to the Mill Shoppe Cafe.   Patty, Alex, and me ( all employees of Rockwood Mill Shoppes as well as locals) were talking to the group of three females and one male from Canada.   The subject of breakfast came up.   I thought the male asked "Do you know what a butter turd is?".  I laughed and responded with a somewhat sassy, "You are kidding me right!?  My father-in-law asks me questions like this all of the time!"   His wife grinned from ear to ear realizing what I assumed he said.   Then the man said "A butter tart."

Oh the embarrassment!  I could have crawled into the nearest hole.    Lucky for me the man's wife laughed and said that she did indeed hear "butter turd" too.   The conversation quickly moved to other words that we Pennsylvanians have made up and use everyday.    Gob - That was our next bakery word.  The Canadian tourist had never heard of it nor seen one.   When Patty held one up and asked if they had seen one or if they had,  what do they call it, the wife replied "TOO MUCH!!!"  We all laughed.   I guess in an American way we all have super sized everything in a ridiculous way.   Probably to the point of unhealthy proportion or wastefulness.   After that our travelers decided that it was time to head over to set up their tents for the evening.   We do hope to see them again.   They were a delightful bunch.

As far as seeing an item over and over and not noticing details, well during one of my Opera House tours just that happened.    I can say with complete sincerity that I give at least 6 tours a week.  One would assume that after 50 some tours I could draw a picture to detail, of the Opera House with my eyes closed.   I know I would assume that I could.

As I was giving a tour one of the tourists points to the beams above me and asked if the beams held wooden pegs.   If I wouldn't have looked up before opening my mouth I would have replied with a NO.   But something in me made me look up.  Good thing because there were wooden pegs.  To you the reader this may not be a big deal unless you are either a history buff or an architec, but to me someone who takes pride in my job, the building that I work in, that employs me, it is a huge deal.   If I had said no I would have misinformed them.   Knowing this and seeing the pegs now brings out more beauty and questions to me.   How long did it take to put up and erect this beautiful building?   Who's hands made that one peg?   How many shows and what shows have that peg seen?

Instead of speeding through life slow down and take it in.   Notice the difference in you and your neighbor.   See everything for what it is.   Not for what you assume it is.   You just may learn something or change your life.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sitting On A Gold Mine

After working here, at Rockwood Mill Shoppes, since April one would think that I have acquainted myself with the building quiet well.   One would think.....  Yesterday, Judy and I had a meeting like we do most weeks.   At this meeting we were asked if we ever thought about actually advertising the antique architure of the building.   Our answer, after stuttering, "No".

So, today once I arrived at work I started to look around the building.  You know the one I have worked in for almost 3 months!  I started to recognize things that I never did before, pocket doors that look amazing, beams that look brand new, wood floors with stories I can only imagine and brick walls that probably have heard more than their fare share of train whistles.    It is a gold mine of history.  

Once I pulled out the pocket doors it hit me, these doors that once separated the lumber showroom from the lumber mill have probably met many of my ancestors and heard stories upon stories of our town.   What, when, who are the scratches from?  Are there pictures of these doors from way back when?   All these answered interest me.   Seriously imagine if you could go back in time when this door was installed?  Life would be so different.

The beams for the ceilings are even interesting.   They look brand new considering they are as old as the building.   I would expect quality wood here, because it was a lumber mill, but in this excellent of shape is a surprise.  Penrose Wolf did keep some of the best lumber for his business and his home.  But seeing the wood work today and knowing it is over 100 years old is unbelievable.  

I took the advice from the consultant at our meeting and started posting pictures online of the building.   You truly wouldn't believe the response that I have gotten to the pictures.   People are interested in everything old including the quarks of the building.  I love the building but to know that someone else shares the interest of secrets the walls keeps, is priceless.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Big announcement of the summer!!!

A couple new announcements to talk about.   First and probably the most exciting to the avid bikers, east of the Mississippi, Amtrak, announced late, last week that by 2015, they are going to have roll on cars for bicycles!  This is huge news for trail towns, trail supporters and of course trail patrons.

 Most people don't realize how much money it cost to ship your bike from wherever you live to your destination and then pick it up.   Some may say "Why don't you just rent a bike for the trip?".  The answer is that for the avid bike rider that does bike trails regularly, their bike is sometimes the only tool and method of survival they have for days at a time.   These "bikes" cost thousands of dollars and aren't something that you buy at your local Walmart.   So, renting one isn't normally in the cards.   Granted, car rental companies may loose a little business but "us" small towns, with Mom and Pop shops are going to hopefully thrive from this and the granting of future platform stops in our towns just may set the stage for the growth we have all been hoping for.

Next on our announcement agenda, Makenna Lape, one of our Mill Shoppe Pizza employees, received her permanent R.N. License.   We are all proud of her!  She has worked here since she was 16 years old, putting herself through nursing school.   She hasn't left us yet, although we all know a bitter sweet ending is coming. A new chapter in her life and the ending of a chapter in her employment here with us.   We all wish her well but will miss her extremely as well as hope for her to visit.

The Greenway Sojourn came through at the end of last week along with Scout Crew 228 from Dublin, Ohio.   It was exhaustingly busy.  We met many people and were provided with a free concert from Crew 228.  These young men were well mannered.  They requested a tour of the Mill Shoppe building.  When the tour reached the Opera House stage they requested to borrow it.   Judy abliged.   We were graced with heavenly hymnals from these young men.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Busy Week

Boy! It has been busy here, at Rockwood Mill Shoppes.   Last Friday, we hosted a Speak Easy.   For those of you that are not familiar with what a Speak Easy is, they were gathers during the 1920's and prohibition, in which people would drink and have a good time at.  Today we would just go out to a local bar.  Not then though because it was illegal.   Not to mention it was illegal to have, make or even consume alcohol so they began to distill moonshine.

Most of the patrons that came for the show donned great Gatsby Era garb, as well as most of us that were working the show.   There was a jazz band and actors to do a skit of a moon shining single mom and a run away bride.    Laurel Arts secured the grant and the funding to make the night possible as well as the alcohol.   Because let's be honest, What is a Speak Easy without alcohol?   EXACTLY!!

Then today we had the Greenway Sojourn come through and stop for lunch.   No big deal really.   I mean, what is 330 bikers stopping into a local Mom and Pop's to eat Lunch and hand dipped ice cream anyway?   IT WAS NUTS!!!   There were 7 of us ladies working and it wasn't a slow trot pace either,   Those bikers had us going at an up hill speed in every gear we had.   Sweat was pouring down our backs and our make up was running.   Pizza after pizza went into the oven keeping the Pizza shoppe girls busy.   A line of at least 9 people at any given moment for an hour straight were out front in the coffee shoppe ordering hand-dipped cone after hand-dipped cone. Plus we can't forget the occasional person bringing our merchandise to purchase up front.    Upstairs, we had a small continuous flow going for the Buffett.    Honestly though, the riders were so courteous that even when we were falling behind they didn't get upset once or try to be pushy.   It was continuous smiles. And we appreciate every rider that comes in.   They are our livelyhood.

Tomorrow, we all get to play catch up with our normal stuff before the scheduled reunion in the Opera House and Rockwood Rotary's 5k and half marathon at the trail heading Saturday, followed by a crazy holiday week I am sure.   I can smell the Bengay now. I have a feeling it will be my friend in about a week or so at this crazy pace. No complaints though.  We here at Rock Mill Shoppes live for the busy times like this.    We get to hear more tales as well as meet more people.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What a show!

 Let me start by saying that I was not expecting such a .....well exciting show!   There were senior citizens stuffing dollar bills down the baby faced, silk shirt of college aged Ricky Howsare.   This young ,Voice Major, can hit the notes of Elvis, while shaken his hips the same.    It drove those women nuts!

I have been to many concerts of all genres.   So my level of "crazy" is a bit high.   After yesterday's brunch concert oh you better believe I have a whole new view of how the senior population can get down with it.    They can give my generation a run for their money.    But don't get me wrong there were all generations.

Not only was Ricky Howsare a singer with a magical voice, but a performer.   He interacted with the crowd the whole show.   In return the crowd was singing back lyrics to him.   If you would have closed your eyes, you could have felt taken back to the 60's to a field concert with lighters flaming, girls wearing cardigans and black and white shoes and the boys wearing button up shirts and slicked back hair.  

All and all it was an amazing show.   If you hear of Ricky Howsare playing at the Opera House again be sure to get your ticket quick.   We sold out this time.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

If these walls could talk!

  I need to first start out with Rockwood Mill Shoppes & Opera house is a renovated old lumber, feed and opera house.   It was built in the 1800's by Penrose Wolfe as a lumber mill with the opera house on top then later sold in the 1900's to the Friedlines for be converted to a feed mill.    Finally in 2000 it became what it is today with a lot of elbow grease and dedication by Judy and Terry Pletcher along with their family.  

  On to if walls could talk.........   Many of the traveling perform that come through today tell us "fishing tales" of ghost stories they claim to see upstairs.    Of noises that they hear.    None of us employees have ever heard or seen anything, just to set the record straight.

  When remodeling upstairs there was a phrase written on the wallpaper that said "remember the San Francisco fire of 1917."   Needless to say that piece of wallpaper was salvaged and framed to be out in our safe.   Can you imagine the shows and the people from all over they carried here?   Oh I can!  

Down stairs in present day we still have famous people come through.  Weather it be a local celebrity or a world renowned one that holds us to secrecy while they are traveling the GAP with a scraggly beard and up recognizable clothing.     Again we are back to if these walls could talk......