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Hometown Heroes on display


Dear Friends,

Evelyn Gerhart has the best telephone voice in the world. The other day, the former executive secretary to the Quakertown Community Superintendent (and also the school board) sent a fascinating email to me. She and her husband, Darwin, sponsored one of the banners you see around Quakertown these days.

The project is called Hometown Heroes and the banners show different faces of veterans (living or deceased) with a connection to Quakertown.

I called Ashton Rosenberger at Quakertown Borough Hall for more information. For just $130, you can sponsor a banner. Ashton is the recreation coordinator for Quakertown Borough. For particulars you can Email her at: or call her at 215-536-5001x136.

The Quakertown Borough Hometown Heroes Banner Program is a living tribute created for the community to recognize and honor veterans who are serving or have served our country in the United States Armed Forces. The banners are 24 inches by 48 inches. heavy vinyl, printed the same on both sides and displaying the service person’s photograph, including full name, branch of the military and the era of service world War I, World War II II, Korea, Vietnam, etc.

The banners will be displayed from May through November; removed and stored until the same period in the following year. It’s a great way to remember and honor veterans from the Quakertown area. I hope that other communities will launch similar projects.

“Darwin and I wanted to support the town’s effort and honor a dear friend and relative of ours, so we sponsored one of the banners,” Evelyn wrote. “We saw that banner on Seventh Street. We were so pleased how well it looked and very proud of all our veterans. Everyone who sees them will certainly feel the same pride.”

Thinking about Evelyn Gerhart brought back wonderful memories. Back in November of 2002, I wrote a column about her for the Allentown Morning Call. In it, she told me that she’d been the secretary for six different superintendents and all the school boards. So, she worked for 76 school directors and 623 different teachers in her 34 years of service.

Often, I’d call the superintendent about a controversial subject that was certain to start an argument. As soon as I heard Evelyn’s soothing, charming voice answer the phone, my anger would vanish. She also had a connection to the Quakertown Free Press during her high school days. Each afternoon, Evelyn came to the Free Press to type my father’s columns for the next day’s paper.

Turning to other subjects, Mighty Betsy and I had a blast at the Gay Pride Parade in Lambertville and New Hope on May 18. Thousands turned out for a most happy time. We rode in a truck sporting “Bucks County Herald” signs decorated in the rainbow colors.

Behind us was a truck displaying Gay Pride from an area United Methodist Church. (Methodists are supposed to forbid their clergy from participating in same sex marriage.)

To be sure, there were opponents. I counted three big signs that read: “Homos Go to Hell!”

We also noted that there were two, quite pretty, athletic women in their 20s sitting on the sidewalk, wearing unusual garb. Their chests were painted to resemble Bikini bathing suit tops. It was quite mystifying.

The other day, I attended a Quakertown Rotary Club meeting. Barry Oberholtzer is one of our members who caught up with me after the meeting. Barry was upset with my columns that criticize Donald Trump. Why don’t you tell the readers about the good things Trump has done, he asked?

“Because, I can’t think of anything,” I replied. “Tell me about the positive side of Trump,” I said.

Barry listed: the strong economy, low unemployment, reduced regulations, appointments of conservative jurists, improved relations with North Korea and China. “I’m voting for Trump,” he argued. “Who do you want for president?”

“Anybody other than Trump,” I answered.

Last, during the May primary, I wrote about the value of merit selection of judges rather than the system that Pennsylvania uses – the popular vote. The endorsed candidates of the Bucks County Democratic and Republican Parties were nominated (Democrats: Charissa Liller, Jessica VanderKam and Jordan Yaeger; plus GOP’s Denise Bowman, Grace Deon and Allen Toadvine).

In my opinion, we all should have paid more attention to the Bucks County Bar Association’s recommendations. The bar is the best judge of judicial candidates. In its plebiscite this year, 357 members of the bar gave its “Highly Recommended” status to Deon, Dianne Magee and Yaeger. Unfortunately, Magee did not receive the endorsement from either the Democratic nor Republican parties – and consequently, was not nominated by the voters.

I asked myself, whom do I trust more – the Democratic and Republican parties or the bar association? That’s a no-brainer. I voted for Deon, Magee and Yeager.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith

By the way, the St. John’s UCC of Richlandtown has its Cantata Choir ready for two concerts at 7:30 p.m. June 8, and 3 p.m. June 9. “Cinemagic, the Music of the Silver Screen” is the theme. Larry Benner is the conductor.

Also, the Quakertown Band just released its summer schedule: 5 p.m. June 1 at St. Peter’s Tohickon UCC; 4 p.m. June 2 at Al Reese Park, Silverdale; 6 p.m. June 8, First UCC Quakertown; 2 p.m. June 30, Phoebe Richland Meadow Glen, Richlandtown; 7 p.m. July 4, Quakertown Memorial Park; 7 p.m. July 17, Quakertown High School; 7 p.m. Aug. 14 at Trinity Lutheran, Quakertown; and 6:30 p.m. August 25 at Univest Performance Center, Quakertown.