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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
                 Friday, August 1 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmasterTourism

I mentioned on Wednesday that I enjoy being a tourguide more than a tourist. This was a serendipitous discovery during the years I was editing the Journal. I enjoyed writing about tourist attractions in the area, and the founder of the now-defunct Cambria County Tourist Council, Penelec vice president Dan Parks, called me in to get acquainted and suggest some additional feature leads.

As the Council got its show on the road, it invited the press to come and see what was available at the time. I was most impressed by the Charles Schwab estate at Loretto. From earliest childhood I remembered driving through Loretto frequently en route to visit our favorite relatives, near Fallentimber. I was always fascinated by all the ornate fences left over from Schwab's time in residency. I liked to pretend the unique reservoir on the estate was a European castle, as Schwab himself probably did.

So I was dazzled when I got my first opportunity to go behind the gates and iron fences of the estate to see the actual buildings, fountains, pools, and exotic gardens. And because of my "in" with the Council I was among the first to be aware that the Catholic monasteries that now own the estate permitted the public to walk through the estate and take pictures (for more information click here).

Over the next couple of years, before leaving the Valley to work in New Jersey and study in Philadelphia, I took my parents and a number of visiting relative parties through the estate as the tour guide. It's not the grandest mansion tourists can see, but it's beyond anything else in Cambria County in that respect. As other attractions like the Johnstown Flood Museum and the Inclined Plane were being promoted, I widened my tours to take them in. Later, when I got married and moved to Santa Barbara, I liked taking the parents and others who would stand for it on tours of that gem of the west which still, to me, is the most beautiful city in America.

Ironically, I have now lived in the tourist mecca of the North American continent, greater San Francisco ("everybody's favorite city"), for more than half my life and though many people complain of the constant stream coming to visit them, to get free accommodations and tours, I've had only two opportunities to host tours of this area. Nanty Glo native John Golias and his wife, Teresa, visited a year or so after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake and allowed me to take them around (though not to Stanford, which I consider near the top of local attractions), and my late brother Tom came from Georgia just a year before his passing, primarily to see the sights and experience California at its best. I took a week off work to be able to give that undivided attention, and am sure I enjoyed it at least as much as he did.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy


38. I am having an out of money experience.
39. I plan on living forever.... So far, so good.
40. Practice safe eating; always use condiments.
41. A day without sunshine is like night.

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for today

Speak only that which edifies your neighbor, not a word more. For to this end God gave you a mouth and a tongue, so you can give thanks to Him, and so you can build up your neighbor.

— Saint John Chrysostom
Sent by Fr. Antonious Henein

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