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Saltsburg stitcher travels to Nicaragua

Not only do the members of the Loyal Hanna Quilt Guild produce a prodigious number of quilts, they deliver. Recently Dorothy Grubach of the Saltsburg-based quilters circle joined a mission trip to Nicaragua bearing 60 quilts made for handicapped children in that Central American country.

Grubach was to have been accompanied by two other members of the guild, but wound up traveling with Denise Mahr of New Alexandria, who had approached the group in June 2002 with the idea of making the quilts, or even a square for a quilt. "It is really a third world country and the people are very poor," she wrote to the quilters.

Once asked, the guild members plunged into the work, bringing in kid-appeal fabric from home for their weekly meetings, which are held every Tuesday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Saltsburg Community Center (the old high school.) Forty women are now regulars in the guild.

Grubach and Mahr flew to Nicaragua in February; there they were met by Kathie McGlaughlin, a lifelong friend of Mahr and founder of Project Dreams, which tries to improve life in that country, and McGlaughlin's daughter Julie, a Peace Corps volunteer in San Ramon, Nicaragua.

Distributing the quilts took two days, as women carried their children for miles into the village, then back, and had to be home before dark. "They were so grateful. The children were so thankful," Grubach said. "Each gave me hugs and kisses and many 'gracias.' "

The mothers too piled on the thanks. "They wished us a very safe trip home and prayed for God to bless each and every one of us," Grubach said. She called the trip a "once in a lifetime experience," then added, "maybe I'll take another journey to a place where I can make a difference."

Next project for the Loyal Hanna Quilt Guild--the members will have a quilt show June 6-8 in Saltsburg High School's cafeteria as part of the Canal Days festival. A Redwork Irish Chain queen-size quilt is to be raffled off.

Combined Project Cited

Derry Middle School history teacher Tom Tatone is in Philadelphia today receiving an award at the Pennsylvania State Education Association House of Delegates meeting. Tatone won a $1,000 implementation award for his project, "The War for Empire in Poetry and Prose." This was a combined history/English project that used French and Indian War artwork to create a writing project concerning people or events from that time period.

This is how I know I'm getting old--I first wrote about Tom when he was a freshman starter on Derry's wrestling team about 20 years ago.

Flea Market Stuff Needed

Derry Historical Society needs sale-worthy items (no clothing, no junk, please) to take part in New Alexandria's community flea market July 12. Items can be brought to the museum in New Derry Thursday mornings or Saturday afternoons starting in June.

Jesse James Rides Again•

Out in Kansas, a farmer who died in 1935 was dug up Saturday to determine whether he was in fact Jesse James, the legendary outlaw who was, supposedly, killed in 1882, shot in the back of the head by one Bob Ford. DNA samples were taken to get at the truth.

Cable TV's History Channel is behind the exhumation, which is meant to decide if James faked his death. This sounds as dumb as the time Geraldo (remember him?) opened up Al Capone's vault on national live TV and found nothing but cobwebs and an old beer bottle. Dead is dead.

There have been several other attempts to identify Jesse James' real burial site, including an exhumation of the wrong body in 2000, when searchers were hoping to prove that Jesse Frank Dalton of Granbury, Texas was really Jesse James.

A Rule Made To Be Broken•

Personal aside to Blairsville-Saltsburg School Board member Lance Alexander, who was upset about parents ignoring the "no smoking" signs at Blairsville High School, and security guards ignoring the puffing parents: at Saltsburg's football game last fall I saw security guards smoking while they patrolled.

In The Good News Dept.:

Congratulations to Jim and Phyllis Humphreys of Derry, who became great-grandparents this week as their granddaughter Kristin delivered a boy, Lloyd Davis, in Rochester, N.Y. Jim proudly noted that those are two good Welsh names. The baby arrived two months premature and less than three pounds, so keep mom and son in your prayers.

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