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Route 30: The Movie

Banner for the "Route 30" movie.

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 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.

 
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Events News

Planning For the Future

One of the things that we’re not that good about in Pennsylvania is planning for the future.  Tonight myself and others in my area decided to do something about that.  Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County has been holding a public Charrette this week at the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg.

Planning for the future of the US 30 corridor south of Latrobe.
The imagined US 30 corridor south of Latrobe

We were placed in groups and asked to evaluate different plans for the area of US 30 in Unity Township outside Latrobe.  The first plan would create almost another town along 30 from PA 981 to PA 982. No one liked this one because the minimum building height would be six stories.  Obviously this would destroy the views of the Laurel Ridge and trying to keep the area rural.  The second plan would be to keep more of the area in a rural setting but enhance the existing developments along the corridor.  The third plan would be a “Greenway” solution where most of the businesses would be removed and more of the area returned to a natural state.

While most seemed to prefer the latter, I was in favor of the second plan.  The first plan and last plan would eliminate the shopping areas of Latrobe 30 Plaza, Mountain Laurel Plaza, Wildcat Commons, and Unity Plaza. Stores such as Giant Eagle and Wal*Mart would go away.  I highly doubt Wal*Mart will have gone the way of Montgomery Ward by the year 2020.  Although people probably said the same about Wards in 1980 so who knows.

Planning for the future traffic growth, I proposed the idea of completely bypassing current US 30 with an expressway. This would remove the through traffic from the highway and create a as Business US 30 on the current alignment.  Actually not my idea, but the “Route 30 Relocation” proposal from the Pittsburgh Area Transportation Plan devised in the 1960s.  The same thing happened between Sadsburyville and Exton. The current alignment of 30 is an expressway and the original alignment is a business route.  Then a redesign could take place of any area along the corridor without having as contend with as much traffic.  However, my idea did not garner any approval.  Oh well, so much for trying to undo past mistakes.

Route 30 Masterplan – Smart Growth

 
Categories
Events News

National Road Enthusiast Meet (Day 1)

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.  Myself 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.

Flight 93 Memorial was one of the stops on day one of the first National Road Enthusiast Meet.
The flag is located at the point where United Airlines 93 impacted the ground

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.  Afterwards we were privalged 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.

 

 

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