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Valley News Dispatch

Tarentum family builds new store around 'all the things we love'

Brian C. Rittmeyer
| Wednesday, July 18, 2018, 9:37 a.m.
From left, Micah Snyder, Wendy Thimons, Brian Snyder and Cana Snyder in the skateboard shop of Dry Bones in Tarentum on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. The family is holding a grand opening for their new business from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 21 at 317 E. Sixth Ave.Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review
From left, Micah Snyder, Wendy Thimons, Brian Snyder and Cana Snyder in the skateboard shop of Dry Bones in Tarentum on Tuesday, July 17, 2018. The family is holding a grand opening for their new business from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, July 21 at 317 E. Sixth Ave.Brian C. Rittmeyer | Tribune-Review

Brian Snyder and Wendy Thimons hope everyone will find something they like among all the things they love at their new Tarentum shop, “Dry Bones.”

It might be one of Snyder’s handmade tie-dyed shirts, a painting class with Thimons, or a skateboard from their sons, Cana, 17, and Micah, 11.

Or maybe a T-shirt featuring a favorite rock band, some vintage leather or homemade soaps.

“We want this to become the place I always kind of wished I could go,” Snyder said.

Dry Bones is located on East Sixth Avenue, where Tarentum Floral once was. The family will celebrate their grand opening with festivities from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday that will include music and food trucks. Koskey’s Korner, located nearby, also will participate.

Tarentum Council approved closing East Sixth Avenue from Dickey Street to the crosswalk in front of Barley Bar & Grill from 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for the event.

Snyder and Thimons, both 46, have lived in Tarentum for about 15 years. They’ve been together for 28 years.

They call themselves high school sweethearts, even though they went to different high schools — she went to Highlands and he went to Butler. They both worked at National Record Mart stores and met at a party the manager of her store had and invited everyone from his store to attend.

Snyder said, once he saw Thimons, she was all he saw that night.

She’s been teaching art for more than 20 years, most recently to senior citizens. He also is an artist, most recently working in recreation therapy, but is now going full-time into Dry Bones.

What is Dry Bones? “It starts with God,” Snyder said. “Our faith is very important to us.”

As Snyder says, it’s also rock ‘n roll, skateboarding, art, Bohemian culture, teaching and sharing.

“This is all the things we love,” Thimons said. “We hope to appeal to a lot of people.”

The shop’s name comes from the Bible; specifically, Ezekial 37, verses one to 14, “The Valley of Dry Bones,” in which the Lord tells Ezekial to prophesy to the bones and bring them back to life.

“We were desperate for a name,” Snyder said. “I was just reading the Bible one day and it jumped out.

“That has significance over what we’re doing,” Snyder said. “Tarentum is on the cusp of a rebirth, a revitalization. People are taking notice of all this town has to offer, how nice and quaint it is.”

They bought the building in October, and have spent many months renovating it.

Thimons said she noticed the building was for sale about a year ago.

“We knew this was the right place,” she said. “It has everything we need. It’s just perfect for us.”

There were some setbacks and doubt, most notably brought about when Thimons was diagnosed with breast cancer about two weeks before they were to close on the building.

Snyder lost his mother to breast cancer. He and his wife thought about backing out.

“We said no, we’d power through this,” Snyder said. “We’re supposed to do this.”

Thimons is cancer-free now. They’re planning to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October with painting parties, using them as a support group.

“Cancer will be behind us. This will be our future,” she said. “I’m hoping we can do some fun things here.”

Their work on the building included removing the cooler once there for flowers, painting, and new dry wall, electric, plumbing, flooring, and ceiling. They’ve decorated the inside with corrugated metal and barn wood, and built a dressing room.

There’s also Snyder’s space, “The Lab,” where he creates his tie-dyed shirts. It’s also where he keeps his abundance of Kiss memorabilia and collectibles.

“I finally have my own room,” he said. “I’m going to put all my toys up.”

Snyder said there’s no place other than Tarentum they could’ve set up shop, or would have wanted to.

“We have so much we can be proud of” in Tarentum, he said. “The more people take notice of that, the more their attitude will change.”

Brian Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, brittmeyer@tribweb.com or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.

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