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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
             Tuesday, May 13 2003  

Where are they now? Nanty Glo native James M. "Jim" Martin

"Oh give me a home where the deer and elk roam/and I'll show you a happy man!" That's the tune Nanty Glo native Jim Martin sings from his mountaintop home outside the northern Pennsylvania town of Emporium.

Jim Martin in high school photo,
left, and today

Born August 28, 1940, Jim is one of five children born to James and Sylvia (Grazier) Martin. His parents, along with his brother Walter and his older sister Eleanor, are deceased. Jim's brother Jerry lives in Belsano and youngest sister Judy Long makes her home in Spartensburg, Pa.

Jim and his wife, the former Judy Wood from Ridgway, Pa., tied the matrimonial knot on November 23, 1962. "We kept the wedding celebration low key because of the Kennedy assassination," he says."I took President Kennedy's death very hard," he says. "He was my president." The Martins are the parents of five grown sons who have given them 11 grandchildren. Three of their sons, James "Jimmy," Jody, and Jack live in northern Pennsylvania, Jay prefers the more southerly climate of Birmingham, Alabama, and Jeff lives in Johnstown.

On the night of his 1958 graduation from Nanty Glo-Vintondale High School, Jim was on his way to South Carolina to begin a four-year stint in the U.S. Marine Corps. "A group of my buddies and I just decided to join the Marine Corps and on graduation night, I was on a train to Parris Island," he says. Jim's honorable discharge from the military came on March 19, 1962. "I was lucky," he said, "The day the Vietnam War started was the day of my discharge from the Marine Corps."

Through correspondence courses, Jim earned an associate degree in tool engineering technology from International Correspondence Schools in 1967. His employment as a machinist/tool and dye maker ended with his partial retirement in 2002. He now works part-time doing maintenance at state parks. "I work at what is known as the Bendigo Complex." he says. "The Bendigo Complex is made up of Bendigo, Kinzua Bridge, and Elk State Parks, and these are some very beautiful places." According to his wife Judy, "Jim loves working outdoors after spending 35 years in a machine shop."

On a 1979 camping trip to Kettle Creek, Jim was so impressed with the charm of Emporium and the surrounding area that he decided to settle there. "Emporium is a clean town and the people are close. It reminds me of Nanty Glo," he says. Jim and Judy chose the top of Whittemore Hill, four and a half miles outside Emporium to raise their five sons along with a few head of beef cattle and a goat or two. "The goats were my son Jeff's 4H project," he says."They're a nice animal." According to Jim, living on top of a mountain was an asset when it came to raising his boys; "It kept them out of trouble," he says. "If they wanted to go into town, it was a four and a half mile hike into Emporium, so they kinda stayed close to home." Living in the north woods of Pennsylvania allows Jim to pursue hunting and fishing. His indoor hobbies include whittling and reading. "I used to read a book every two to three days," he says, "But now I've slowed down to one a week...my favorite is historical novels.

"I have so many memories of growing up in Nanty Glo," he says. "It's hard to choose favorites. I was very fortunate to have grown up there. The town itself was a moral place and when I left there and got out into the world it was a bit of a 'culture shock.' My best memories are of being a member of the youth group at the Christian Missionary Alliance Church. We were so close to each other; so much so that we can be separated for years and years, but when we get together, it's as though we were never apart. I'm looking forward to the group's July 19 reunion at Mahaffey Camp." he says. The Martins now attend the Christian Missionary Alliance church in Emporium. "I read my Bible every morning," he says. "And the best thing in my life was the acceptance of Jesus as my Lord and Savior."

Jim has mixed feelings about his hopes for the future of his old home town. "I would like to see Nanty Glo have some economic growth, but I wouldn't want it to lose its small-town atmosphere," he said.

Anyone wishing to send greetings can find Jim at SevenJ@usachoice.net.

If you have a suggestion for a subject for Where Are They Now, please write Judy Rose.

Click here for an index of all Where Are They Now profiles in this series.

Found on church marquees

"Beat the Christmas rush, come to church this Sunday!"
"Don't wait for the hearse to take you to church"
"Life has many choices, Eternity has two. What's yours?"
"Worry is interest paid on trouble before it is due"
"Wal-Mart isn't the only saving place!" "

— Sent by Mary Ann Losiewcz

Thought for the day

1. Do not walk behind me, for I may not lead. Do not walk ahead of me, for I may not follow. Do not walk beside me either. Just pretty much leave me alone.
2. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken timing belt and a leaky tire.
3. It's always darkest before dawn. So if you're going to steal your neighbor's newspaper, that's the time to do it.
4. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
5. Always remember you're unique. Just like everyone else.

— Sent by Carl Essex

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