Stories and song launch Old Home Week official opening

KAREN BITNER, Special to the Echo Pilot
Dave Reeder (left) sings at the official opening ceremony of Greencastle-Antrim Old Home Week Saturday. From left, are: Wayne Warren, chairman of the official opening; Greencastle Mayor Robert Eberly; Kirby Warren, special speaker; and Carol Christophel, who is presiding over the festivities as the president.

Despite lowering skies, Greencastle’s center square was lit by hundreds of sunny smiles on Saturday morning Aug 3, 2013, for the official opening of the 38th triennial Old Home Week.  The gathering opened with prayer from Pastor Stacey Crawford, who thanked God for the heritage of faith, family, and friends that  anchors the community. Dave Reeder, accompanied by Trevor Timmons at the keyboard, performed the National Anthem  and a local Scout led the crowd in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Mayor Robert Eberly and Antrim Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Fred Young took turns welcoming the crowd to the celebration. Young challenged the crowd to enjoy and support the community’s many business options by making sure every dollar they spend for the entire week is spent within Greencastle and Antrim Township. “Call it the ‘Old Home Week challenge,’” he told a receptive audience. “Do it for Greencastle-Antrim.”

After the introduction of OHW board members,  Reeder and Timmons performed the song “Old Friends”  before guest speaker Kirby Warren came to the podium. Warren, now an Ohio resident,  regaled the crowd with tales of growing up in Greencastle as the youngest of 8 children. Telling the audience he had run into committee member Bob Johnston at Mikey’s restaurant  earlier, Warren noted that Johnston had warned him to keep his remarks brief. To laughter from the crowd, Warren promised “It’s gonna be brief, no matter how long it takes.”

Pointing at the town clock above the square, Warren recounted helping his father Dave Warren fix the clock late one evening in 1956. When his father had to go home for some tools, the 11-year-old fell asleep in the clock tower and was awakened when his father returned. Warren said that while others in the audience might know the community well, he doubted that anyone else had that kind of experience. “How many of you have slept in the clock tower?” he asked his listeners.

After Warren’s speech, OHW president Carol Christophel declared the festival officially open, to cheers from the crowd.  Reeder and Timmons led the gathering in a spirited rendition of “God Bless America,” and the 38th Greencastle Antrim Old Home Week began. With celebrations, reunions and concerts planned throughout the week, Old Home Week  highlights of the area’s calendar once every 3 years. In his speech, Warren pinpointed the importance of the celebration. “Old Home Week,” he told the crowd, “is about family.”