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an occasional newsletter of the Nanty Glo Home Page                           January 29 2001

Contributors to the area's local economy

The topic for the past week has been the ecomomic insecurities of growing up in Cambria County not only just after the Great Depression but even in decades since 1960 when the steel industry underwent a metamorphosis that left greater Johnstown behind, mortally wounding the coal mining industry that supported it. (Coaltricity, however, came in through the aegis of Penelec to replace some of the steel-making coal production. That might be a good topic for input from others who have information about it. There are still some large coal mines in the metropolitan area producing coal mainly for the generation of electicity...and I don't know what use is made of the coal produced by Bethlehem's big mine at Ebensburg...who can tell us?*)

I remember in high school my favorite teacher, Rhea Taylor, the district's music teacher, saying in one of our tutoring sessions that Cambria County was still, as late as 1959 and in terms of unemployment numbers, the most economically depressed area in the United States, behind only the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico by those standards.

I know of two new factors added to the area's economy beginning in the early '60's, that have made major contributions but fail by miles to make up for the loss of Johnstown's steel plants. Others may know of other additions to the economy to propose to the list. The ones I refer to are tourism and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. Both got their big push during my own college years at Johnstown College of Pitt, which became UPJ. I was along for the school field trip from the Moxham campus to the newly donated property that is now the campus in Richland Township, led by president Ted Biddle. The campus has grown to a beautiful and productive center of higher education. in accord with Mr. Biddle's vision and it is likely to remain a stabilizing force on the local economy.

Like the coaltricity development, tourism in the County was launched almost single-handedly by Penelec, under the aegis of the company's PR director, Dan Parks, who was the visionary behind and president of the County Tourist Council for most of its existence (it's my understanding the Council has been succeeded by a more regional rather than county council; I don't know how effective it is).

Under tourist development, many projects have made contributions to creating a new economic base: the Flood museums at the breast of the Conemaugh Dam and downtown Johnstown and the great celebration of its centennial in 1989; continued development of the Johnstown Incline Plane; development of the Portage Railroad National Historic Site; the Ghost Town Trail; continued development of Glendale Lake/Prince Gallitzin State Park, Duman Lake Park, town parks like those in Twin Rocks. Also, other parks and attractions within a 50 mile radius, like Horseshoe Curve, Yellow Creek State Park and Raystown Lake, also contribute. More indirect has been the tourist impact of the Sheetz convenience stores, which employ thousands in the region and which company is both part of and a contributor to the tourist industry. Motels, restaurants (especially Altoona-based Hoss's), car rental businesses, highway development, fisheries and other peripherals all are bouyed by tourism. And as you may have gathered from other pages on the site, I'm excited about the restoration of the Blacklick Creek which is well underway and the resort on it and the trail, at Red Mill as Blacklick Valley's first step toward its own tourist industry. And in this regard, there has been no more important development than the establishment of the Nant-Y-Glo Tri-Area Musuem and Historical Society.

What other positive factors have helped stabilize the area's economy?
*George Warholic sent a very helpful response to this Jonal entry. Though not all responses will be posted in the permanent archive, the correction in this one is very much needed. Please click here to read it.

If the following item of the day is a joke, it will be indicated by happy face icons ; if an inspirational item. by book icons .

Differences between men and women
NICKNAMES If Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose go out for lunch, they will call > each other Laura, Suzanne, Debra and Rose. But if Mike, Charlie, Bob and > John go out for a pint, they will affectionately refer to each other as Fat Boy, Godzilla, Peanut-Head and Useless. EATING OUT When the bill arrives, Mike, Charlie, Bob and John will each throw in $20, even though it's only for $22.50. None of them will have anything smaller, and none will actually admit they want change back. When the girls get their bill, out come the pocket calculators. MONEY A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he wants. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't want. BATHROOMS A man has six items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337. A man would not be able to identify most of these items. ARGUMENTS A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument. CATS Women love cats. Men say they love cats, but when women aren't looking, men kick cats. FUTURE A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife. SUCCESS A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man. MARRIAGE A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't. A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change and she does. DRESSING UP A woman will dress up to go shopping, water the plants, empty the garbage, answer the phone, read a book, get the mail. A man will dress up for weddings, funerals. NATURAL Men wake up as good-looking as they went to bed. Women somehow > deteriorate during the night. OFFSPRING Ah, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and romances, best friends and favorite foods and secret fears and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

Sent by Mike Harrison

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