Portraits in Objects and Tales

Portraits in Objects and Tales

arts, community, family history, gallery opening, pennsylvania, storytelling images, Uncategorized, writers
Over the last couple of months, I have had the opportunity to sit down across a table with people I had never met and hear real 
conversations. No technology, no formalities, just real people talking and reminiscing about day's gone by. It took me back to my 
childhood with countless hours around the table with my own Grammy 
and Mother, playing canasta and hearing so many stories from the past, some of them multiple times, but never losing their humor.
I have been collaborating with local writer, PJ Piccirillo on a 
project called,

“Portraits in Objects and Tales: A Show and Tell of Days Gone by in Bennetts Valley.”

Wednesday, November 18th, there will be a debut of the project from 5:30-7 at the Bennets Valley Senior Center. The people who shared their stories and who had their portraits made will be there.The community is welcome and there is no RSVP necessary.

One of the portraits you will see and 2 of people you might meet are:

Rick Crocco and Elda Benigni

The pair are standing in front of the infamous long dark hall of, “The Cave,” where Crocco ran movie reels for his grandfather at a time when movie tickets only cost .14 cents. The same dark hallway led to the dance club for teens that was started by Benigni after the building was no longer a theater.

2Object2(8x12).jpg

To read Piccirillo’s essays and see all of the potraits, come to the show at:

149 Plum Street Weedville, PA 15868  814-787-7888

Penny Brown, Nurse, Midwife, Memorialized

community, family, mandatory sentencing, memorials, murder, penny brown, pennys law, salamanca new york

Recently my family went to New York, into the Allegany State Park for a geocaching event. The ASP is very close to Salamanca, New York. We are from Pennsylvania so really it is almost over the line.

When we came out of the woods for a donut, we saw on our gps there was another geocache to find in town. so we decided to check it out. We dead ended into an Amazingly Beautiful farm property. We first thought thecache was there but realized half way up the gorgeous drive we had gone to far.
Right outside the gate was a walking path and it was so beautiful out after having rained all day the day before. We hadnt walked very far when we started to notice light blue ribbons tied around trees going down the path. I thought maybe they were planning to cut them for timber. Then we came across a large wooden cross.

As fate would have it the light filtering through the leaves and trees in the spot where this cross sits makes the entire scene magical and enchanting. Purple flowers adorn the cross. I had an immediate feeling come over me that this was something more than just a memorial. Part of me really thought it must be there for a child. On closer look I saw that what was glittering from the trees were pennies, there were pennies at the base of the cross, garland made of pennies and then I saw a little marker that said Penny Brown.

Angels holding babies were at the base and a beautiful cement bench.

The family went on to find the geocache and I stayed back to take it all in and make some photographs of the spot. I was so touched by it and had such a feeling come over me that I needed to know who this was for.

Technology today made that easy for me to start gathering information, even though we were technically on a Indian Reservation. The Seneca Nation with beautiful mountains all around, there is also a state of the art casino a black away and CELL PHONE service with WiFi.
Penny Brown, Salamanca I googled and immediately answers came and so did the reason why this memorial brought on so many real emotions.
On Mother’s Day in May of 1999, Penny a nurse and midwife and active citizen of her community was attacked while jogging with her dog and strangled, raped and murdered.
The criminal, 15 year old, Edward Kindt. If his birthday had been 2 months earlier, he would have had at least an additional 16 years to serve before being eligible for parole.

Because her family, friends and community, including elected officials were outraged by the lack of punishment, Penny’s Law was written into legislation. It changes the lives for juvenile offenders from 5-9 years to life to a more justice serving sentence of 15-25 years to life.The people of her hometown have made other changes too, by reclaiming the jogging area where Penny lost her life and making it a beautiful place for people to walk, jog and stay active. Remember Penny Brown’s life, her family and the sad tragedy that led to her death. If you are visiting Salamanca, visit the memorial and leave a PENNY for Penny to let her family know she is not forgotten.