Jon Kennedy's 'Postcards from
the real Nanty Glo in My Mind'

Thunder in the Valley

Jon Kennedy    

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Easy answers
What is the main reason for failure? *Exams.*


A man who has no assured and ever present belief in the existence of a personal God or of a future existence with retribution and reward, can have for his rule of life, as far as I can see, only to follow those impulses and instincts which are the strongest or which seem to him the best ones.

Attributed to
Charles Darwin

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Jon Kennedy's recent book, The Everything Guide to C.S. Lewis and Narnia, from Adams Media, F&W Publications, is available for purchase in support of the Liberty Museum in Nanty Glo and can be ordered here. It is also available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in Kindle and Nook ebook editions.

JONAL ENTRY 1237 | JULY 3 2012

I've been fascinated by Thunder in the Valley since it first came to Johnstown in 1998. Though I've driven a motorcycle only once in my 70 years (and then only around the block) and decided when my brother Bob came home from the Air Force on an Indian "motorsackle" when I was eight years old that I would never be a biker, I can still appreciate the romance and myth of biking and the biker mystique. And the fact that such a huge contingent of such colorful people and their trappings had been "taking over" my home city of Johnstown for a few days a year for the past 14 years added to the fascination, so I took advantage of this being my first time "back home" in a timeframe overlapping with "Thunder" to spend an evening taking it in.

A third factor in my wanting to do this is that I love taking pictures of unusual subjects, perhaps revisiting the adrenaline rush I used to get in press photography. So after a full day with the Liberty Cafe when the annual basket party had been the mid-day highlight, I drove alone to see if I could possibly find a parking place in my price range at the height of one of Johnstown's busiest weekends of the year. I found an open parking meter on Somerset a half block in front of the Crown American Building and decided that was close enough to everything in downtown to serve my needs, and as it was after 6 p.m. the price was right.

The sea of cycles seen here on Walnut Street parked in front of the Johnstown Amtrak station was repeated throughout downtown.

I've been so busy since getting to Nanty Glo that it took over a week to get my pictures and video clips processed. The video below is just under 20 minutes.

Click the > on the video to launch. After the video launches, double-click the screen to play it at full-screen. If your browser cannot open the video in this format, you can try it on YouTube, here.

I walked through the downtown and the event grounds for three hours, including a ride to the top of the Inclined Plane, getting back to my borrowed car just before dark. All of the highlights except the Inclined Plane is in this nearly 20-minute video. I hope to use the Incline Plane segment in a later Jonal.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

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