Headquarters is central meeting place during OHW

Nick and Betty Walsnovich and Betty and Fred Lehman volunteered in the Old Home Week headquarters, helping the public by performing a myriad of duties.

The official temporary phone number for the 2010 Old Home Week headquarters is disconnected. With the 37th Triennial celebration over, things have returned to normal in Greencastle. The space in the Conn Building was cleared out and returned to its banking purposes. Chairmen Bob and Jeannie Johnston are taking much needed respite after presiding over the information center from July 30 until Aug. 7.

The headquarters was the center of activity during possibly the best attended OHW celebration ever. Bob tallied the number of registrations and badges sold from his location daily, and they outpaced past observances steadily.

The couple had 28 other volunteers to all put in 103 hours selling OHW merchandise, answering questions, accepting donations and entry forms for events, handing out maps and generally providing a place for people to hang out and reminisce.

Alice Houck, a resident at Heritage Hills, sat outside on a bench with her daughter Joanne Everetts and granddaughter Tracy Everetts. Houck enjoyed the outing, seeing some friends, and remembering the time she lived on Baltimore Street. Passersby stopped at the panorama photos hanging in the headquarters windows, looking for themselves or people they knew years ago. A new automated slideshow revealed daily pictures taken by photographers covering every event of the busy week.

Duty calls

At the helm since 2001, the Johnstons had a well-oiled operation in place, according to volunteer Betty Lehman. "They do a terrific job," she said. "Everything runs like clockwork."

"We started in late June," said Bob. "Everyone filled in spots on a blank sheet of paper when they could work three hour shifts. Then every once in a while, there's a birthday party someone forgot about." He teased a woman who missed her time slot to attend her great grandson's party, but he had covered the void with a substitute.

The helpers have been consistent through the years, many returning again and again. Other people see how much fun it is and offer to join the crew. Jeannie said they will be contacted if anyone drops out due to age or unavailability.

Visitors to the center were in a buying mood. The historical prints donated by Dolly Shoemaker and the Martin's Mill Bridge coins donated by Dick Fisher sold out, resulting in over $1,000 for the OHW Association's coffers. People also bought souvenir programs, t-shirts and hats from 2010 and earlier.

The Johnstons got a kick out of some of the phone calls. On Monday someone wanted to know when they were allowed to put out their lawn chairs to watch the Thursday parade. Someone wanted to know who won the window display contest, because they only wanted to look at the winning entries. Another person knew that the fireworks would start at dusk and asked, "What time is dusk?"

From the window

As the crowds ebbed and flowed through town during the week, many people were on Center Square for one activity or another. Sharon Krantz, serving root beer floats for Tower Bank, was participating in her first OHW. "It's truly amazing how this town comes together and embraces their heritage," said the Virginia native. "I like being a part of it."

Lynn Anderson drove from Texas in his motorhome to attend the All 70s Reunion July 31 and decided to stick around. He hadn't been back to Greencastle in 30 years but remembered good times during the week in his younger years. He predicted many people by Monday, Aug. 9, would have a "fun" hangover.

Rex Henry concluded "work interfered with Old Home Week" so he took Thursday and Friday off, particularly to see the Antique Tractor, Farm Machinery and Steam Engine Display. Don and Pat Wagaman, Chambersburg, participated in many events over several days. Retired, they wanted to help everyone celebrate.

Now the celebrating is done and more memories are stored. And when three years passes, headquarters will open again, ready to facilitate another successful community reunion.