One of the things I like about working on this website is showing and explaining how the highway system of Pennsylvania has evolved over the years. Now I am taking the show on the road…literally.
So on March 11, I am taking this website and crunching it down to an hour-long presentation entitled Pennsylvania’s Roadways: From the Lincoln to Eisenhower. It will be Sunday, March 11 beginning at 2 PM at the Lincoln Highway Experience, the headquarters for the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor, at 3435 Route 30 East (a.k.a. the Lincoln Highway) in Latrobe. Refreshments will be provided.
Due to limited seating in the auditorium, advanced reservations are required, which can be made through the LHHC’s website or by calling 724-879-4241. Admission is $10/person for non-LHHC members and $7/person for Friends of the Lincoln Highway.
The sections I drive could be classified as horror. However, comedy is the genre of John Putch’s independent movie Route 30. The Chambersburg native filmed the movie along, what else, US 30 last October. Stars include Dana Delany of Desperate Housewives and Curtis Armstrong, best known to audiences as Herbert Viola on the 1980s TV show Moonlighting. Fellow Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor board member Ed Gotwalt, owner of Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum, also has a part.
The movie consists of three difference stories told from three different points of view. First are the frustrations of Civil War tour guide Mandy, played by Nathalie Boltt, who obsesses over Jennie Wade. She is the only civilian killed at the Battle of Gettysburg. At the same time, her friend June, played by Christine Elise McCarthy, struggles to make extra money with an Internet porn scheme.
The second story focuses on a man, played by Kevin Rahm. He finds a Christian Scientist, played by Wil Love, to heal his back pain. He also attempts to explain the Big Foot who chased him down a mountainside.
The last story is of a writer, played by David DeLuise, who purchases a farmhouse in hopes that it will inspire him to write his novel. He ends up sidetracked by his Amish neighbor, played by Dana Delany, who smokes, drinks, swears, and watches his TV.
The premier of the movie Route 30 will be at the Majestic Theatre in Gettysburg on September 27, 2008, at 8 PM. A Q&A session with the cast and crew will follow. Tickets to the screening are $16 per person. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor and Totem Pole Playhouse non-profit organizations. You can purchase tickets at the Totem Pole Playhouse, Mister Ed’s Elephant Museum, Majestic Theatre, or at the movie’s website.
Pennsylvania has been the site of many firsts, such as the first computer (Philadelphia) and first commercial radio station (Pittsburgh). It was also the site of the first road enthusiast meet (Greensburg). So what a better place to hold the first National Road Enthusiast Meet than where it all began.
The first day was a journey back in time with some aspects of the present. I and four attendees traveled the Lincoln Highway from Robinson to Somerset County. Brian Butko, author of several books on the Lincoln Highway and other road-related products, joined us for part of the trip.
We began our trip by taking PA 60 from the US 22/US 30 cloverleaf in Robinson Township into Pittsburgh, then heading south on PA 837 to the Fort Pitt Bridge. Once across the bridge, we exited at the Boulevard of the Allies and followed that back to the Parkway East. Taking the US 30 exit, we followed it to Greensburg where we then traveled on Toll Gate Road to enter the city, as those who traveled then PA 1 did many times. On the eastern side of the city, we followed old segments near Westmoreland Mall, Hyundai of Greensburg, and a long section known locally as Frye Farm Road.
South of Latrobe, we turned onto PA 981 south to access the old alignment. We spotted a rare Lincoln Highway marker located on the front lawn of a home in Youngstown. Shortly after, the caravan passed Latrobe Country Club, whose proprietor is professional golfer Arnold Palmer. Our cruise continue on the old alignment through the borough and to where it joins the current eastbound lanes.
We stopped at the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor office in Ligonier where a few picked up some Lincoln Highway merchandise. Continuing eastward on US 30 we stopped at the Flight 93 Memorial and the site of the Quecreek Mine Accident.
I offered to show everyone the Sipesville Fire Hall, where the families waited for word of their trapped relatives. While we were waiting, a member of the Sipesville VFD stopped and asked us if we wanted to see inside. It was quite a change from when I was an extra back in 2002 in The Pennsylvania Miners’ Story. Afterward we were privileged to be offered a tour of the new hall which was built as a replacement. Plans were to move the original building to the Quecreek site as part of a display. However, the building can not make the journey in one piece, but rather would have to be cut into four sections. Unfortunately, the choice will probably be to demolish the structure instead.
That marked day one of the first National Road Enthusiast Meet.
I have had an interest in roads for as long as I can remember. Having grown up near US 30, and traveling it to visit family, it and the Lincoln Highway are special to me. So when the chance of joining the LHHC Board of Directors was offered, I accepted.
When the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor began in 1996, I was one of the first members. Originally, I was a “Friend.” Later became a “Friend for Life.” I had adopted my first a Lincoln Highway sign in 2001, and three years later became the first to have adopted one in each of the LHHC counties.
In 1998, I put together a video on the Lincoln Highway for a video production class I was taking at the time. I met the Director of the LHHC, Olga Herbert, then and have known her since.
In recent years, the LHHC has expanded into fundraising ventures such as offering ballroom dancing classes. I offered to drive my parents to one, in order to get a free meal afterwards and take pictures during. There was an LHHC representative there that I have known since I was a child. He and my father worked together years ago, and known each other since. When I came to pick up my parents, I ran into him, and we began talking. I mentioned the website and my involvement with the LHHC.
In April, he contacted me about joining the LHHC Board of Directors. I jumped at the chance and said it would be an honor. The offer officially made at a July 13 meeting with him and Olga Herbert. This evening was the first board meeting I attended, which took place in Everett. I hope that this is the start of a beautiful relationship.