To those distinguished guests assembled here this morning, to the members of the Sesquicentennial Committee and especially to you the residents and friends of Blacklick Township, I welcome once again the honor of giving an address, which recognizes the achievements of this community. I say once again because only four years ago I had the pleasure of speaking to many of you, from this same location, presenting remarks on the occasion of the Centennial Anniversary of the Postal Service in Twin Rocks on August 22, 1996.
Being a native of Blacklick Township, it was an honor for me to help prepare for this celebration by designing the postal cancellations and cachet, preparing the postcard set and preparing the souvenir booklet commemorating our Sesquicentennial. In 1947, I was home delivered in Twin Rocks by Doc. Prideaux, and the history of Blacklick Township is something very dear to me.
On August 24, 1898, in a farmhouse near Belsano, Pennsylvania, Malcolm Cowley, another Blacklick Township native son was born. In describing the benefits of his childhood in Blacklick Township, Mr. Cowley once noted, "I was a fortunate child in that I was moderately neglected. It meant that I could run as wild as a weaned colt in an unfenced pasture. I would disappear from the house after breakfast-or sometimes without breakfast-go into the woods, and be gone all day. I came to feel that the countryside belonged to me and that I belonged to the countryside." I think those words pretty well describe my own childhood and that of many others here today.
The Souvenir Booklet doesnt do justice to the history of our township but it does provide a few glimpses of the township over the past 150 years, many of which have come to light only in the past few years. I hope that you enjoy the booklet and I urge you if you have any old histories, photos or records - to preserve them and share them with others. Hopefully we can continue gathering information and fill in the many gaps in the history of Blacklick Township. Hopefully we can generate interest to help preserve our past through organizations such as the Cambria County Historical Society and the recently formed Nanty Glo Tri Area Museum and Historical Society.
I would personally like to thank Des Warzel for his insistence that this celebration be held and persevering in spite of many nay-sayers who said it couldnt be done. The people of Blacklick Township proved it could be done on October 4, 1994 with a fantastic turnout for the dedication ceremony of the Ghost Town Trail. You proved it could be done on August 22, 1996 for the celebration of the Postal Centennial, and Des, the Sesquicentennial Committee and you my friends proved it could be done again today July 29, 2000.
As I look across the audience today, I hope that during this weekend of celebration we will have planted seed in the hearts and minds of others. A seed that will slowly germinate and bear fruit for a similar celebration for the Blacklick Township Bi-Centennial celebration in 2050.
God Bless the people of Blacklick Township and God Bless you all!