Franklin County Visitors Bureau invites the public to explore South Mountain in Stories of the Mountain Tour on August 24, 9 AM to 4:30 PM. South Mountain holds centuries of history and lore. The mountain forests fed the iron ore industry, sheltered escaping enslaved, saw the strife of Civil War and was reborn through Pennsylvania’s conservation movement. Life on the mountain is the story of small communities across America. Learn the secret, tangled routes of the Underground Railroad, visit a general store museum, hear the eerie story of the silvery lady of Pond Bank., and join the Ghost Pit (Paranormal Investigation Team) for a lunchtime investigation of Penn National Inn.
The tour begins at Franklin County 11/30 Visitors Center, 9 AM, where participants will view “Road to Freedom,” a video about the Underground Railroad of South Mountain, the iron ore industry, and the beginnings of the conservation movement of Pennsylvania. Stops include Caledonia State Park and Thaddeus Steven’s Blacksmith Shop and Preserving Our Heritage Museum, housed in a one-room schoolhouse with a relocated 1930 – 1950 general store. Learn about the South Mountain Restoration Center, where fresh air gave hope to thousands of tuberculosis patients. Discover the South Mountain connection to John Brown and his raiders.
Lunch is at Penn National Golf Course and Community, where the views of the mountain are breathtaking. After lunch, the Ghost PIT will invite tour participants to help investigate the “old inn,” on the Penn National property. Step back to 1812 and visit the Royer farmhouse at Renfrew Park and hear the story of the Renfrew Sisters, Daniel Royer, and the Nicodemus family. Continue up the mountain to Monterey Pass Battlefield where 10,000 Union and Confederate troops fought along the mountain ridge in a blinding thunderstorm during the late hours of July 4 and early hours of July 5, 1863, part of the retreat from Gettysburg.
Single tickets are $30/ person or two tickets for $50. Bring a friend and save! Tour fee includes lunch at Founder’s Grille and all admission fees. Tickets can be purchased online here or by contacting the Franklin County Visitors Bureau at 866.646.8060.
Totem Pole Playhouse, America’s summer theatre, located in Caledonia State Park between Gettysburg and Chambersburg, PA will offer the largest production ever staged at the historic 69 yr. old Playhouse, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, which is being produced by Theatre A Go-Go, Inc. as the fourth offering in the Playhouse’s new summer subscription series.
The show offers a happy-go-lucky view of small-town vice and statewide political side-stepping and recounts the demise of the Chicken Ranch, a brothel that has been operating outside of fictional Gilbert, Texas, for more than a century. It is under the proprietorship of Miss Mona Stangley, who is on good terms with the local sheriff, Ed Earl Dodd. Governors, senators, mayors, and even victorious college football teams frequent Miss Mona’s cozy bordello, that is until crusading television reporter, Melvin P. Thorpe, decides to make the illegal activity an issue causing political ramifications which force the place to be closed down. The 1982 film version starring Dolly Parton and Burt Reynolds was one of the highest-grossing live-action musical films of the 1980s.
Branson, Missouri veteran performer, Miranda Jane stars as ‘Miss Mona’, the proprietress of the legendary “Chicken Ranch.” Kristofer Holtz plays the Sheriff, ‘Ed Earl Dodd’ who watches over Miss Mona and her girls. J.R. Stuart, who played the larger than life Producer in Totem Pole’s 2017 production of The Drowsy Chaperone returns as ‘Melvin P. Thorpe’, the crusading television reporter. Shuga Henry plays, ‘Jewel,’ the housekeeper at the Chicken Ranch and Lee Merriman plays ‘the Governor’ who eventually orders the place shut down. Playing other supporting roles are Taylor Whidden as ‘Doatsy Mae,’ ‘Ed Riggs as Senator Wingwoah,’ Michael Krikorian as ‘Mayor Rufus Poindexter,’ Chris Cook as ‘C.J. Scruggs,’ and Michael Amoroso in the dual roles of ‘Edsel Mackey,’ the town’s newspaper editor and the guitar-playing ‘Bandleader’ who serves as the show’s narrator.
Playing the Aggie football players and various other ensemble roles are: Hank Von Kolnitz, Jeremy Weinstein, Connor McGarry, Taylor Wright, Jake Pedersen, Matthew Dant, Noah Ruebeck, Jack Leboeuf; playing Miss Mona’s girls and various other roles are: Lainee Hunter as ‘Angel,’ Katie Emery as ‘Shy,’ Jennifer Flohr as ‘Linda Lou,’ Caitlin Cremins as ‘Dawn,’ Mara Ranson as ‘Ginger,’ Annie Gagen as ‘Beatrice,’ Maria Albani-Cook as ‘Teddy Jo,’ Jenna Najjar as ‘Ruby Rae,’ Emma VanDeVelde ‘Eloise,’ and Haley Nachlas as ‘Durla.’
The remaining ensemble members who will also be playing a variety of parts are: Logan Cook, Rachel Kern, Bryton Zook, Kristine Neiman, and Andrew Zabetakis.
The production is directed by veteran Totem Pole director, David Caldwell, with choreography by Christine O’Grady, the pair who staged the Playhouse’s box-office record-breaking production of Mamma Mia! last season. Totem Pole’s Musical Director, Darren Server, leads the band and provides the show’s musical direction. Scenery is by Jonathan Dahn Robertson,
Lighting by Jeremy Mayo, Sound by Joseph Parisi and Luke Reed serves as the production’s Stage Manager.
As with each of its productions Totem Pole is offering half-price preview performances the first weekend of the show; Friday, August 2 at 8pm and Saturday, August 3 at 2pm and 8pm with all seats general admission and priced at $25.00. The production opens Sunday, August 4 at 2pm and continues through August 18th.
In addition to the three half-price previews, this summer, Totem Pole instituted a new “Date Night Special” with patrons offered 50% off a second pair of tickets when they purchase one pair at full-price.
Tickets and gift certificates are on sale now by calling the Totem Pole Playhouse Box Office Monday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at (717) 352-2164.
Renfrew Institute’s 28th annual Jazz Festival is scheduled for Sunday, August 26, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. on the lawn behind the Renfrew Museum house in Waynesboro, Pa. The concert features world-renowned musicians and is offered free to the public.
This year’s concert will feature the highly acclaimed Jeff “Tain” Watts Travel Band, featuring Jeff Watts on drums, Paul Bollenback on guitar, Orlando la Fleming on bass, plus special guest Grégoire Maret on harmonica.
“Each of these artists is an internationally renowned jazz musician,” said event organizer, Andrew Sussman. “This concert is an opportunity to hear these stellar jazz artists for free in beautiful Renfrew Park!”
Lead sponsor, FirstEnergy Foundation on behalf of West Penn Power, is returning this year to support the event. “We are proud to help sponsor this marvelous concert that brings extraordinarily talented jazz musicians and vocalists to our backyard for our customers and others to enjoy,” said John Rea, Regional President of West Penn Power.
Jeff “Tain” Watts spent his formative years with Wynton and Branford Marsalis, and his compositional skills now command equal attention, earning Watts a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2017. Watts initially majored in classical percussion at Pittsburgh’s Duquesne University, where he was primarily a timpanist, followed by enrollment at the Berklee School of Music. He joined the Wynton Marsalis Quartet in 1981 and proceeded to win three Grammy Awards with the ensemble: Black Codes From The Underground, J Mood and Marsalis Standard Time.
Watts left Wynton Marsalis in 1988. After working with George Benson, Harry Connick, Jr. and McCoy Tyner, he joined the Branford Marsalis Quartet in 1989, winning Grammys for “I Heard You Twice the First Time” and “Contemporary Jazz.” In the film and television industry Watts has appeared as both a musician on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno and as an actor, Rhythm Jones in Spike Lee’s “Mo Better Blues.” He joined Kenny Garrett’s band after returning to New York in 1995 and continued to record and tour with Branford Marsalis as well as Danilo Perez, Michael Brecker, Betty Carter, Kenny Kirkland, Courtney Pine, Geri Allen, Alice Coltrane, Greg Osby, McCoy Tyner, Steve Coleman, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Harry Connick, Jr., and Ravi Coltrane. http://www.tainish.com/
Grégoire Maret (harmonica) is one of the most sought after harmonica players in the world. Often compared to legends Toots Thielemans and Stevie Wonder, he has been asked to play with an incredible number of famous musicians including Youss N’Dour, Meshell Ndegeocello, Pete Seeger, David Sanborn, George Benson, and Cassandra Wilson, to name a few. In 2003 he was the subject of Swiss filmmaker Frédéric Baillif’s documentary, Sideman, which won several awards. In 2005, Grégoire toured with the Pat Metheny Group, receiving a Grammy for Best Contemporary Jazz Album for their album “The Way Up.” He also won the Jazz Journalists Association ‘Player of the Year Award.’
After his Grammy win, Maret embarked on a two-year tour with the world class bassist Marcus Miller and subsequently joined Herbie Hancock’s band. Following his time with Hancock, he co-led the jazz trio Gaïa with pianist Federico Gonzales Peña and drummer Gene Lake. In 2010, Maret played at The Concert for the Rainforest with Elton John and Sting. In addition to those already mentioned, Maret has played and/or recorded with Prince, Little Jimmy Scott, Diane Reeves, Toots Thielemans, Terri Lynne Carrington, Tito Puente, Kurt Elling, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Mike Stern, Charlie Hunter, Béla Fleck, Kenny Werner, and many others.
Paul Bollenback (guitar) started his music career in 1981, and has performed as a sideman with a wide range of jazz luminaries, including artists as diverse as Stanley Turrentine, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Steve Gadd, Gary Bartz, David “Fathead” Newman, Terri-Lyne Carrington, Joe Locke, Jack McDuff, James Moody, Jim Snidero, Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, Paul Bley, Geoffrey Keezer, Mike LeDonne, Carol Sloane, Chris McNulty, Gary Thomas, Grady Tate, and in the group, East Meets Jazz with the renowned tabla virtuoso Sandip Burman, to name a few. He is known for his versatility, and also for an influential 20-year stint with jazz organist Joey DeFrancesco.
Bollenback performed on over 80 recordings as a sideman, and has released eight CDs as a leader. A busy performance schedule has been augmented since the late ’90s by steady jazz education duties at Columbia University, Queens College, and The New School. Bollenback is also a composer whose pieces have appeared on Joey DeFrancesco’s Reboppin’ and on the Jazz Times Superband CD. His most recent recording, Portraits in Space and Time (Mayimba Music), with his trio, was released in 2014. Bollenback resides in the New York City area.
Orlando le Fleming (bass) is counted among the most proficient and accomplished bassists in the field of contemporary jazz. His facility as an improviser and capacity as a team player were first honed not on the bandstand, nor in the practice room, but on the cricket pitch. Originally from the UK, Orlando seemed destined for an athletic career, and was briefly a professional cricketer, until he was granted a place at London’s Royal Academy of Music, and his lifelong passion for music won out. Le Fleming’s 2003 move to New York City was a timely one. Soon after arriving stateside, Le Fleming joined Jane Monheit’s band, consequently sharing the bass duties on her 2004 release Taking a Chance on Love with Ron Carter and Christian McBride; the year following, he recorded with jazz legend Jimmy Cobb on his Marsalis Music Honors release. Greatly in demand, he has worked with Branford Marsalis, Leslie Odom, Jr., Wayne Krantz, Joey Calderazzo, Bill Charlap, Billy Cobham, Jeff “Tain” Watts, and David Sanchez among others. His latest endeavor as a leader, Romantic Funk, presents a pastiche of classic fusion sounds and ideas, updated by Le Fleming’s signature palette of polyrhythm and abstract exploration.
Support for this event was provided by lead sponsor, FirstEnergy Foundation on behalf of West Penn Power. In addition, Renfrew Institute receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Further sponsors include The Hamilton Family Foundation on behalf of Hamilton Nissan and Hamilton Hyundai, Franklin County Visitors Bureau, Stephen D. Fisher, and Renfrew Institute’s Today’s Horizon Fund contributors: The Nora Roberts Foundation; the John R. Hershey Jr. and Anna L. Hershey Family Foundation; APX Enclosures, Inc.; The Carolyn Terry Eddy Family: Carolyn, with daughters Connie Fleagle & Kim Larkin. Facility support is provided courtesy of Renfrew Museum and Park.
Parking is available behind the visitors center, with additional parking in the lower lot off Welty Road. Those attending are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets, and picnics are welcome. Rain site: Waynesboro Area Middle School auditorium.
For more information call Renfrew Institute at 717-762-0373, or visit www.renfrewinstitute.org.
Play ball! Allison-Antrim Museum is reprising the Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox exhibition for the benefit of Greencastle-Antrim’ returning Old Home Week friends and family members. The exhibition highlights the career of Franklin County’s own Nellie Fox, Major League baseball player. Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox (December 25, 1927 – December 1, 1975) lived in and grew up in St. Thomas, Franklin County, PA. He played for the St. Thomas American Legion baseball team. Nellie did not finish high school because at the age of 16, Connie Mack signed him to play for the Philadelphia Athletics minor league team. Included in the exhibit is the letter that Connie Mack wrote to Nellie’s mother Mae Fox.
Fox played for the Athletics for three years – 1947 through 1949; the Chicago White Sox – 1950 through 1963; and finished his playing career (1964 and 1965) with the Houston Colt .45s, which then changed its name in 1965 to the Houston Astros. Nellie’s Chicago uniform number “2” was retired upon his retirement from baseball.
Nellie’s accomplishments and stats include the following. Three Gold Gloves as second baseman. He led the White Sox to the 1959 World Series and because of his performance that season, he was named the American League’s Most Valuable Player. Fox was the third-most difficult hitter to strike out in Major League Baseball history. In 19 seasons, he only had 216 strikeouts. To date (2019), Fox holds the Chicago White Sox record of playing the most consecutive games, i.e. 798, which at his retirement, is the sixth most in the history of the Major Leagues. Nellie’s spectacular career led him to be selected for 13 All-Star Teams.
In 1975, Nellie Fox was diagnosed with cancer and died December 1, 1975. Jacob Nelson “Nellie” Fox was inducted into the Hall of Fame in August 1997. Joanne Fox, Nellie’s wife, received the award and upon accepting it said, “He played with all his heart, all his passion, and with every ounce of his being — that was the best way he could show his appreciation to all those who helped him learn the game that became his life.”
This exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of a friend of the Museum, Justin Mayhue, Hagerstown, MD. The exhibit includes memorabilia from Chicago and Houston, game-used bats, a game-worn cap, many photographs including Nellie with Yogi Berre and Brooks Robinson, baseball cards, a 1961 Chicago White Sox team-signed ball, a letter from Nellie to Joanne while he was serving during the Korean War, and much more.
There’s no admission charge to the Museum but donations are accepted. The Museum is open regularly Tuesday to Friday, noon to 4 pm and Saturday, 11 am to 1 pm. For more information, please visit: www.greencastlemuseum.org, Facebook, on Twitter @greencastlemuzm, or call 717-597-9010.
Friends and family cheered along McKinley Street as more than 100 runners sprinted through Chambersburg to cross the finish line of the 16th Annual Tim & Susan Cook Memorial OneMile Race course. Trentin Overcash won first in the men’s/boys’ race. Overcash, 18, had a time of 4:39. Camryn Kiser, 14, won the first-place title for the women’s/girls’ race with a time of 5:32. Finishing second for the men’s/boys’ race was Dan Green, 22, and the third-place winner was Andrew Booths, 16.
Finishing second for the women’s/girls’ race was Olivia Rieck, 15 and Madiline Kinton, 16, placed third. All the top placing winners received Cook Race medals, as well as gift cards donated by Appalachian Running Company. The top three finishers in several age categories also received Cook Race medals.
The race is held annually to honor the memories of Tim and Susan Cook, who died well before their time in a tragic car accident in 2002. Proceeds from the Cook Race are donated to the Tim & Susan Cook Memorial Scholarship Fund; more than $12,000 has been raised in the past decade.
Tim and Susan Cook were dedicated to education; Tim taught at Chambersburg Area Senior High School, and Susan worked at Shippensburg University. The scholarships funded by this race are awarded by the Chambersburg Area School District Foundation (CASDF) each May and keep the Cooks’ spirit alive by contributing to the continued education of local high school graduates. The Greater Chambersburg Chamber of Commerce partners with Chambersburg Road Runners Club to present the memorial race each year.
Special thanks to Fast Ink Screen Printing & Embroidery for sponsoring the Cook Race T-shirts and SunnyHill Properties for sponsoring the race. The Cook Race is part of ChambersFest, the weeklong festival that continues throug