Monday, November 30, 2015

Holiday 2015 events masterpost

Look, I'm one of those people who chooses not to even think about Christmas until Thanksgiving is over. But I run a Fayette County blog, and the reality is event planning and promotion has to extend beyond just the Christmas seasons. And I don't want people to miss out on something out of some silly, selfish insistence of mine that Christmas shouldn't enter people's heads until December. So I'll spend the next month compiling a list of upcoming Christmas-related events, updating as needed with new stuff--as well as any other holiday events that get on my radar.

New events will be added in bold, and I'll try to strike out any events that have already happened.

So here you go, kids--happy holidays! If you have an event you'd like me to include, please just pass it along and I'll add it.

  • City Chapel in Uniontown will be serving free Thanksgiving dinners on Thanksgiving day from noon until 3 p.m.
  • Uniontown is getting in the game really early with their "Home for the Holidays" parade sponsored by the Titlow on Thursday, Nov. 19. at 5:30 p.m. from the Courthouse to George C. Marshall plaza. Activities will follow on Main Street, such as the acknowledgement of sponsors and the lighting of the city tree, a visit with Santa, the opportunity for children to write a letter to Santa, tree-ornament making, local school and church carolers, the VFW band, free hot chocolate and cookies, and free wagon rides, cookies sold by local nonprofits. Local businesses Vintage Antiques and Pepperberries will also be offering reindeer food and cookies, respectively.
  • Uniontown Hospital's annual Festival of Trees is ongoing. For all available trees and their sponsors, visit the hospital's website. My mom won the Snoopy tree years ago.
  • A "Ringing in the Holidays" vendor and craft show will be held on Saturday, Nov. 21 and at the McClellandtown VFC Social Hall from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
  • The Mozart Club of Connellsville will present its 88th annual festival of choirs, featuring students from Geibel, on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 6 p.m. at Wesley United Methodist Church. I sang in this festival once! All are welcome to attend, regardless of religious affiliation.
  • The Greater Scottdale Area Choral Society will hold a concert, "Coming Home for the Holidays," at the Porter Theater on Monday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but donations benefitting the Choral Society's scholarship fund will be accepted.
  • Share the Spirit will be held on Friday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at the State Theatre. Guests are encouraged to make a donation, which they can designate to one of the events' non-profit partners.
  • The city of Connellsville will host "It's a Connellsville Christmas" on Saturday, Dec. 5. from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Events will include live entertainment, a visit from Santa, a cookie tour, church tours, childrens' activities at the train station, historic tours, a live nativity from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Christmas markets at the library, community center, and Trinity Lutheran church.
  • The 19th Hole in Uniontown will host a Christmas concert and pool tournament on Saturday, Dec. 5. Doors open at 3 p.m., the tournament starts at 4, and the bands play at 5. Admission is $6 or a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots. There will also be a 50/50 and silent auction. Must be 21+ to attend.
  • The annual Magic & Mistletoe event will be held at the Courthouse on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 6 to 9 p.m. The event will feature live entertainment, horse-drawn carriage rides, food, and a visit from Santa. The event is also currently looking for sponsors. Tickets are $15 in advance or $20 at the door for adults, while children ages 6-12 are $10 and children 5 and under are free.
  • Uniontown's VFW band will hold their fourth-annual Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. at the State Theatre. Those attending are asked to bring donations of either non-perishable items for the food bank or new, unwrapped toys for Toys for Tots. Monetary gifts to support the band will also be accepted.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Man's month of living homeless comes to an end

Over the past few weeks, I think we've all noticed posts on social media regarding the Syrian refugee crisis and how we should be focusing on helping our homeless veterans instead. As much as I disagree with the idea that we can only do one or the other and not both, I do agree that taking care of our homeless veterans is important. But I find it incredibly disheartening that the issue of veteran care and veteran homelessness has only been brought up recently in the midst of other issues--I saw people all of a sudden posting about how we need to take care of our veterans who had seemingly never cared before. This isn't a new issue I've noticed. Multiple times now, I've noticed occasions where people only recognize our veterans when it's convenient or when they're using veterans' issues to complain about or outright ignore other important issues. Quite frankly, it disgusts me, and it disgusts me even more when in the midst of all of this, a man in our community was voluntarily living homeless to raise money and awareness for veteran homelessness. He announced the project months ago and had already been living on the streets of Uniontown for a couple weeks when the social-media uproar happened.

I urge you to listen to Brandon Rumbaugh's story and his motivation in his own words, but I also urge you to donate to his cause. While I don't now how much he collected in person, a quick glance at the GoFundMe page indicates only 71 people have donated a total of just over $4,000, far below the campaign's $50,000 goal. With all this talk of how we need to be taking care of our veterans, this is pitiful. Fayette County, we can do better to support Rumbaugh and the homeless veterans he's trying to help. If you were one of those people sharing those posts on social media, this is your chance to actually do something, to be a part of a campaign that can help people, and I urge you to take it.

Put your money where your mouth is, Fayette County. Donate to help homeless veterans today.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Geibel grad joins Ohio Bobcats swim team

One of the latest swimmers added to the Ohio Bobcats is Geibel graduate Emily Zimcosky.
“We are extremely thrilled to have Emily as a Bobcat next year,” [head coach] Komisarz-Baugh said. “Emily is one of the best sprint prospects in the country and we are eager to see her excel in the Bobcat program. She will be an invaluable asset to our team and will be a key player for the future success of our relays.”
Best of luck to Emily!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Farmington among most beautiful small towns in Pennsylvania

It's no secret that my boyfriend and I love the mountains and head up that way any chance we get--when it's warm. If we didn't both work over an hour away and wouldn't have to brave traveling up and down the mountain in the snow to work, we'd probably live up there. In fact, when we accomplish our shared goal of being millionaire writers, maybe we'll move up to the mountain. You know, because then we'll be able to afford one of those really nice houses and we won't actually have to come down if we don't want to.

So I wasn't surprised to hear that Farmington was ranked #7 on a list of the most beautiful small towns in the state with Fort Necessity and Fallingwater cited as nearby tourist attractions.

It is the only Fayette County town on the list, but nearby Ligonier made it on, too, as well as a few other towns outside of Pittsburgh.

If you're looking for another blogger's take on weekend mountain getaways, check out my friend Rachael's recent post about her B&B stay and trip to Ophiopyle. Tell her I sent you.

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Nam on Facebook: Gallatin Avenue Barbie

I honestly don't know what to say about this, in part because I don't actually think it's very funny for various reasons.

I think I'd feel better about it if it didn't have the joke about "baby daddies"...and if a Facebook comment didn't make light of domestic violence--which we all know is a serious problem, and not just in Fayette County--by saying she'd have two black eyes if she didn't listen the first time. Not cool.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Dog found

This guy was technically found in Washington County, but I thought I'd share anyway just in case his family or someone who knows them is in the area and sees this.

He was found at the intersection of 481 and 70. He is not microchipped or neutered.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The newly renovated and reopened Aaron's Building looks gorgeous!

There was a time when I don't think anyone would've believed that Connellsville's Aaron's Building would still be standing, let alone become a beautiful event venue. But thanks to some people who saw potential and wanted to bring about a positive change in the community, the building has come to impress.

They're hosting their first wedding in the building tomorrow, and from the Facebook photos they've shared of some of the decor, they've done a fabulous job. I'm sure they'll have a very happy couple tomorrow, and I'm sure they'll get the attention of many more couples looking for a great wedding venue. Fayettenam couples in the midst of wedding planning, you might want to jump on this now.

I sincerely hope that the work Aaron's has done inspires others to act and change this county for the better. People are doing great, beautiful things, and in the midst of the negativity we have, we shouldn't forget that. And we should never stop striving to make ourselves better, and we should always support the people and businesses that are already trying.

Thanks for your hard work and hope, Aaron's, and of course, best wishes to the couple celebrating their marriage tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

An Open Letter from My Brother to a Man (Probably) Pretending to Be Military

People misrepresenting themselves or lying about who they are or what they have accomplished is unfortunately not new or rare, and people posing as military is no exception. In fact, there are laws against it and entire websites devoting to outing and shaming people who do it. We notably saw someone pose as military last year, when a man traveled to local schools pretending to be military and claiming he wanted to speak to kids--and then got arrested. While many businesses made it a point to honor veterans today, Veterans' Day, with free things or discounts, some people see this as an opportunity to lie about who they are for personal gain. Perhaps they're struggling financially and need the help--I sincerely hope this is the case, as the greedy alternative is far worse--but that doesn't change the fact that this is a crime that disrespects those who have served. While my brother was out and about in Uniontown this morning, he saw a possible case of what's called "stolen valor" and wanted to pen an open letter. He and I both are surrounded by military. We come from a military family, with great-grandgathers, grandfathers, and uncles who have served, not to mention close friends. Our dad was even injured in Iraq, and between the two of us, we probably know someone in every single branch. He recently made the decision to join the National Guard himself and finished his training over the summer, and this combined with our own personal ties makes it unsurprising that he had something to say. As a reminder to everyone else, please don't be afraid to question the way someone is presenting themselves if something seems off, and don't be afraid to ask for proper military I.D. before honoring a discount.

This morning, at the Sheetz along route 51 near Uniontown, I saw what I can only best describe as "possible stolen valor." The individual in question I saw--although it may only been for a few seconds--was wearing an Air Force dress uniform but was clearly out of regulation in two areas. He had no cover (hat), and his hair was longer than regulation allows it (imagine Moe from "The Three Stooges"). And I am fairly certain the Air Force does not authorize blonde highlight. Moreover, what really caught my eye was the enormous amount of "chest candy" (awards and decorations) which adorned his dress uniform, a common trait in cases of stolen valor. That alone made me very suspicious of this individual’s intent and supposed military service. How can I best describe his chest candy? Imagine if someone put superglue on his chest and decided to belly-flop straight into a giant pool of LEGO bricks. Now, he could have been a "Super Soldier" or "Super Airman," but I highly doubt a super cadet would allow him or herself to even be caught dead like that. Not to mention a super soldier would be unlikely to be without his cover and his hair not within standard.

Although an area high school does have an Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFJROTC) program and the individual in question could have been a cadet, I find that unlikely for a few reasons. Even for a cadet in high school, I highly doubt an individual would allow him or herself to wear the uniform in such a manner. The proper wearing of the uniform is probably lesson number one on day number one, and incorrectly wearing the uniform as such still shows a great amount of disrespect. It especially brings a great amount of disrespect to the branch of service the program is affiliated with, as well as the school, the cadre, the program, and anyone enrolled.

To this individual--and in case anyone may not know--The Stolen Valor Act of 2013 reads as such: 
"The law amends the federal criminal code to make it a crime for a person to fraudulently claim having received any of a series of particular military decorations and awards with the intention of obtaining money, property, or other tangible benefit from convincing someone that he or she rightfully did receive that award."
What you may see as a victimless crime or an opportunity to cash in on free items is a crime. You attempted to, and possibly succeed in, obtaining free items for Veterans' Day you did not rightfully deserve. Moreover, what you did was highly and utterly disrespectful to say the least to anyone who has ever worn the uniform of any branch. Millions and millions of individuals have decided to sacrifice so much just to do something good for their country or to be part of something bigger than themselves, and you decided to make a mockery of all of them and cash in on what they have sacrificed. We should never forget those who did not come home and made the ultimate sacrifice. Moreover, an area veteran is doing an honorable deed to help honor veterans. Marine Corps Corporal Brandon Rumbaugh is currently living homeless to help raise awareness for homeless veterans in our country. The fact that you decided to commit stolen valor on this day and to do it while a local veteran, who lost limbs while deployed overseas, is doing something to raise awareness to a national issue makes me even more upset and disgusted. It truly shows how little honor, integrity, and respect you have as an individual.

While I can't be positive, I can, however say I think what I saw was indeed some sort of stolen valor because the individual was so "ate up" (unkempt and poorly dressed). And why else would someone go into Sheetz, in uniform, on Veterans’ Day when they are offering free items to veterans?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pechin's robbery goes awry

So, a guy tried to rob Pechin's and got stuck on the roof.

As someone on Facebook noted, if he'd have tried this at the old Pechin's building, he probably would've just fallen through a hole. Instead, he got stuck trying to break through an air-conditioning vent, and an employee called police when she saw his legs hanging from the vent. She should be glad he's not one Eugene Victor Tooms.

When arrested, the man claimed he'd been up there sleeping. It's a pretty good excuse, but not as good as the guy who said he was "adjusting himself" when he got caught masturbating in the middle of Sheetz.

Saturday, November 7, 2015


Updated 11/7 to include even more activities!

In case you don't already, make sure you like my Facebook page for more frequent and up-to-date posts about local events. But in case you're not on Facebook...

  • The State Theatre is holding a benefit concert featuring Moriah Peters with special guest DJ Sean Nice on Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. Proceeds benefit Lillian's Legacy Fund.
  • Abundant Life Church will be hosting a free creamed turkey and biscuit dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7 from 12:30 to 5:00 at the Uniontown Adult Recreational Building. The meal will also include green beans, mashed potatoes, a cookie, and a drink.
  • A former Cherokee chief will speak at Penn State Fayette on Nov. 9. The event is free and open to the public.
  • Santa will be at the Uniontown Mall on Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6 p.m., because Christmas is a commercialized joke and no one can wait until Thanksgiving is over to do this shit.
  • Not strictly Fayette County, but neighboring Westmoreland that could benefit Fayette Countians, too--First Energy will pay for tuition, books, and lab fees for qualified students who attend WCCC for a two-year degree in Electric Utility Technology. Visit WCCC on Nov. 14 between 10 a.m. and noon to learn more, or call 1-800-829-6801.
  • Also on Saturday, Nov. 14, check out Dean Martin Night at the Perryopolis Sons and Daughters of Italy. Doors open at 6:15, show is from 7 to 9. A DJ will follow. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and also include appetizers and one free bar beverage. For tickets, call 412-760-8518.
  • There will be a fire-prevention class for the deaf and hard-of-hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 18 at the Perry Township Fire Hall. RSVP to Sharon at 412-281-1375 by Nov. 13. The first 40 people to RSVP will receive a free flashing smoke detector, limited to one per family. The event is also open to residents of Westmoreland County, so spread the word!
  • A little more reasonably timed, celebrate Christmas at the Connellsville train station on Dec. 5 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event will feature tons of activities, including snacks, a Chinese auction, and a visit from "Frozen" princesses Ana and Elsa.
Have an event you'd like to spread the word about? Pass it my way!

Oh, by the way, this blog has officially passed 100,000 views.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Nam on Facebook: Pole workers parking

On first glance, one might think that Laurel Highlands Middle School has parking just for strippers--well, that and maybe that this is Photoshopped, but I've had confirmation that it's actually not. It's actually designating where poll workers should park. You know, the people out working yesterday, Election Day, not strippers.

It's not quite as good, but it should definitely go down in the same infamy as the Super Bowel.

I had the great pleasure of seeing this one in person, though I did not take this picture.
Kids, the next time you make fun of that bookworm in school or someone studying English in college, remember that we (usually) don't make these mistakes. And as a bonus? "Workers" needs an apostrophe at the end.

If anyone needs a copyeditor, I'm available. Please, don't all offer me jobs at once.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Nam on Tumblr: View from the top

While I was scrolling through my Tumblr feed, I happened across a really neat picture of Pittsburgh taken from the mountains. Turns out it is by Jon Dawson.

Photo by Jon Dawson

I love this. It's an older shot from December 2008, but with November having just rolled in, this is such a great shot that captures the season and the view from the mountain.

Check out Dawson's Flickr page, including more from around Fayette County.