Brown, Geoffery #1

Interviewer: Jean McMillen
Place of Interview: Scoville Library
Date of Interview:
File No: 96/108 Cycle:
Summary: Lime Rock Cemetery, Trinity Church

Interview Audio


Interview Transcript

Geoffrey Brown Interview

This is file 96. This is jean McMillen. I am interviewing Geoffrey Brown. He is going to tell me quite a lot about Trinity Church and the Lime Rock cemetery. Today’s date is June 4, 2015. We’ll start with the genealogical information.

JM:What is your name?

GB:Geoffrey Brown, no middle name.

JM:Your birthdate?

GB:I was born July 18, 1941 in Liberty, New York.

JM:Where is Liberty, New York?

GB:Liberty, New York, is in Sullivan County about 100 miles due west of here. Its principal claim to fame I guess is that is that it was one of the three hubs of what subsequently has become known as the “Borscht Circuit”.

JM:I have been in Sullivan County.

GB:The Catskills

JM:Your parents’ names

GB:My father was Edmund Brooke Brown from Washington, Indiana, and my mother was Helen May Cross of Liberty.

JM:Did you have sibling?

GB:No, I was the only one.

JM:Your educational background after high school?

GB:I got my bachelor’s degree in American History at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York. I then went on and got an MBA in Industrial Relations in Human Behavioral Systems at Columbia. Then the army got hold of me and taught me about computers. Somewhere along the line I got a Professional Certificate in Finance from NYU. The last formal experience of an educational nature was after that was after I retired from City Bank and came up here and took a whole bunch of courses at Northwest Community College.

JM:A wonderful educational institution.

GB:Absolutely right, I can’t say enough good about them. I really think it is absolutely first rate.

JM:I know that you came to this area originally as a summer rental person.

GB:Yes, mam2.

JM:You are now a permanent resident.

GB:Yup, many of us do that actually. I was working at City Bank and the fellow with whom I shared an office asked me if I and my then girlfriend would like to take a share in a summer house. I was thinking,”Oh my God thousands and thousands of dollars for something out in the Hamptons on Long Island.” I said, “Well, Peter How much would that be?” “$250” I said, “What’s that for, a weekend?” “No, that is for the whole season.” I said, “How long is the season, a month?” He said, “No, from 2 weeks before Memorial Day to 2 weeks after Labor Day” I said, “Sold!” without even knowing where it was.

JM:It was an adventure.

GB:It certainly was. The first time we saw the place was the night that we got a ride up with another couple and came sitting in the driveway. It was on Twin Lakes.

JM:What year was that?

GB:That was probably 1974 or 75.

JM:When did you buy property here?

GB:We finally bought in 1980.

JM:Did you build a house or…?

GB:No, we bought a house that had been on the market for a long time. No body much cared about Twin Lakes property in those days. It had been hanging out there for years. The price hadn’t moved. It was 3 ½ acres with a separate parcel with 40 feet of lakefront.

JM:It was just waiting for you and your wife.

GB:It was waiting for me. We came in and we said, “This is it! Why not?”

JM:I am going to start with the Lime Rock cemetery. I would like you to tell me what you can about the early part of the cemetery. When did it come into being, if you know? Where it is located? Why it was formed?

GB:The earliest part of the Lime Rock cemetery wasn’t on the site of the current cemetery. As far as I have been able to find out it has been there about as long as people have lived in Lime Rock. You know the Europeans who lived in Lime Rock which probably takes us back to the fairly early 1700’s.

It probably involved people who happened to die there and were buried in Lime Rock Hollow which can be defined as either of 2 distinct locales: either down what is now called Lime Rock Hollow Road or up toward Lamb’s forge


(Salmon Kill Road) I theorize, and this is only theory that it was the latter. That it was up the Salmon Kill. The removal of that cemetery was ultimately placed in the current cemetery.

JM:You are getting ahead of me. To clarify we are talking about is the original Lime Rock cemetery which is around where John Fitch lived at 433 Salmon Kill Road.

GB:Somewhere in that area.

JM:There is a historical sign that talks about Lamb’s Forge in that general area, right by the bridge over the Salmon Kill. This is the area we are talking about.

GB:Yup this is exactly right.

JM:The part of the cemetery that I know is on 112.

GB:That’s right and that is the only part that is left. That was far subsequent to the creation of the early cemetery. When the cemetery on 112 and Dugway was carved out, my understanding is that that was Goodwin family property and the Ensigns and Goodwins are all kind of mixed up in there. I know the Ensigns gave the land for Trinity originally, and my understanding was that the Goodwins owned the other side of the road, but they were definitely intermarried so who knows who actually owned it. I don’t know when that cemetery was actually set up. It was before Trinity was built which started in 1873.

JM:The date that I have is 1858.

GB:That sounds reasonable. The way the current Lime Rock cemetery was set up in that corner of Dugway and 112 clearly reflected the importance of the Barnums and Richardsons at that point in time. With that fine lawn in the corner and then the head row which included Barnum and Richardson and two other families; one of whom was a doctor and who may have been married in some way into the Barnum family. Then there were a few secondary luminaries, next came a large plot for removals from the old Lime Rock cemetery, the original one, which was left blank on the cemetery maps, behind that came ordinary people, then in the very back was a row of very poor people.

JM:A potter’s field. The early part that you mentioned with the Barnums and the Richardsons had lovely big obelisks. That is the part that is being restored right now.


JM:We have 16 stones that are in the process of being restored; and we have chosen the ones which were in the most need. I wanted to point that out. When the removal was done, was it by state mandate or was it just to coordinate everybody into one spot?

GB;I have the feeling that it was done because Barnum & Richardson wanted to raise the level of the millpond. Lime Rock then was pretty much a company town. There was no reason that they


couldn’t do that if they wanted to. I doubt that cemeteries were very regulated by the state or anyone else at that time. They did carve out space for the removals when they laid out the current cemetery. They carved out a good sized chunk of land for the removals which tells me that they anticipated doing this.

JM:Do you have a date for the removals?

GB:I do not, but I do have the best information that I have on that or the closest you can back into a date is that Senator Barnum’s father was presumably buried in the original cemetery because he lived right nearby. His name is now on the back of the main Barnum tombstone; obviously it was not done in the workshop up where the stone was made. It was hand carved which leads me to date the removal after his death. It is hard to say because the Barnum stone was already up by the time the removals took place.

JM:The date that I have is 1882.

GB:That sounds reasonable.

JM:This is all approximate. The other information that I have about the first burial was John Knickerbocker.

GB:Well it is the oldest stone that you can read in the current Lime Rock cemetery.


JM:That was one of the five Dutch families that lived in this area.5.

GB:Yes. And it was spelled Kernickerbacker which I think is fascinating.

JM:The death date was November 10, 1786, and he was aged 76 at that time.

GB:That sounds good and that was pretty clearly a removal.

JM:Yes, that would have been a removal so the early cemetery probably goes back before 1800.

GB:Oh it certainly does; and I would say well before 1800. I just happened to look at the little plaque that the Lime Rock Garden Club put on that gristmill stone in 1938 at the center of the junction of Dugway Road and Route 112: it reads “1734 to the earliest settlers”. That is what they were.

JM:Then you added in 1992 a columbarium.

GB:Yes, in 1992 a columbarium was built and that was a smart thing to do. First of all there was space to do it and secondly burying bodies had become something for old people. It was something that the very old people were very interested in.

JM:It conserves space and it is more environmentally friendly.

GB:Absolutely. It is cheaper and everything else. I can’t remember the last time at Trinity we had a funeral with a body. Interestingly I guess it was about 15 years ago they were apparently having trouble getting people to take spaces in the columbarium, so Jeff Silvernale had an idea. He said, “Geoff you take pictures: I can get Mike Root to bring over one of his bucket truck. You can go up in the bucket and take pictures; it will help people understand what a columbarium is like.”

JM:What a wonderful idea!

GB:Well it was a great idea except I swear I’ll never go up in a bucket again. I took it up as high as I dared go and it swayed. There I am trying to take pictures of the columbarium. Yeah we did it.

JM:I have been over to observe it. How many spaces are there?

GB:I don’t know, but there are a lot of people in there.

JM:About forty, I think.

GB:Probably, it is a wonderful idea and it is a nice setting.

JM:I was at the service for Anne Roller, Jane Tuttle’s daughter.

GB:I nominated Anne, the late Anne regrettably for the United States Pony Club Academy of Achievement, based on her subsequent career in video, sports videos for ESPN. That was a very fine girl.



JM:I didn’t know her very well; I worked with her mother. Jane is fabulous. Is there anything else that you would like to add to the cemetery portion of this interview?

GB:I could add this. I have not been successful in tracking down a list of the removals.

JM:That is going to be pretty difficult.

GB:I have talked to Jeff Silvernale and Ginny Dildine who was for many years the secretary of cemetery board. Neither knew of any list.

JM:Oh yes and she is a fabulous source.

GB:If there is one, the records from the original cemetery were not that hot.

JM:That is entirely possible. The death certificates now do state where somebody is buried but they may hot have done it them. Our records would only go back to 1741. Let me ask the Assistant town clerk if she has any records on the removals.

GB:That would be great. It is something I don’t know. One thing that we do at Trinity occasionally is to have a little procession over to the cemetery and put flowers on graves of people with some association with Lime Rock like Barnum and Richardson. We start at the front and go all the way back and usually by the time we get to the back, we have lost most of the procession. They got tired. We usually have the kids to the flowers; they get a little bit bored after a while.

JM:Now if you put a Tootsie roll behind each gravestone…

GB:Maybe, but even then I think they would get pretty sated, but they do start out with their arms full of flowers.

JM:But that is such a lovely thing to do.

GB:It is fun; I think it is a suitable thing for Memorial Day, or whatever, All Saint’s Day.

JM:I am trying to make sure that all of the veterans are honored with a standard and a flag; it is a little dicey with the columbarium to know exactly where to put the standard and the flag.


JM:We are working on that one.

GB:The last thing I really need to say about the cemetery is it is always interesting to look at it and see it as it was when it was constructed. That is why you see all the rings along the top of the wall for hitching horses. I think at the very front end at the front angle why you have the step which was a combination of mounting block and on foot entrance to the cemetery.



JM:I would automatically assume that everybody knew that, but you are absolutely right to include it.

GB:There were some visitors to Trinity to whom I showed it to who were sort of huh?

JM:No clue

GB:Absolutely no idea. When Senator Barnum was buried the carried it in the front, rather than around the back.

JM:Oh yes, he’d go in the front, absolutely. Now Trinity Church!

GB:OK where do you want to start?

JM:When was it built?

GB:The corner stone was laid in 1873.

JM:What is its style?

GB;Well, the style is a gradation between Gothic Revival and Richardson Romanesque. The Richardson Romanesque is named for an architect in Boston who was named Richardson, not the Lime Rock Richardson. It doesn’t really pass muster as either. It is a composite. It is a transitional style. The architect who did it, and I wrote this down to make sure I got it absolutely right, was Henry Martyn Congdon.

JM:I had Richard Upjohn.

GB:Well, that is absolutely incorrect. The original parish register, parish registers in the old days used to be set up with a section for parish history. The first rector in his own hand recorded the parish history as he understood it. He obviously did not since he was not around here at the time. He never knew Mr. Congdon so he wrote the architect Mr. blank Congdon and went on. I became suspicious originally that it was not an Upjohn church: first of all because it doesn’t look the least bit like an Upjohn church. If you struggle you can say well the hammer beams inside look at little like the inside of St. Mary’s, one of Upjohn’s earliest churches in Burlington, New Jersey. It has burned down since. Really it is flattened more than it would be if it were a Congdon church, the chancel is way too wide for Congdon. He did not do wide chancels; he did only narrow single cell chancels. The buttresses are wrong, the tower is wrong; and the lines are curves where they should be straight. It just doesn’t look like an Upjohn church. It could be as much a Frank Lloyd Wright church as an Upjohn church. I am also able to say where the mistake appeared. There was a period of time in the bad old days of Trinity that happened after Barnum and Richardson failed; Trinity almost did. When they shared a rector with Christ Church, Canaan; they shared the rector and a Ford car for the record to go back and forth between parishes. The rector did go back and forth and it said that he liked the bottle a bit much. He occasionally had a tendency to confuse his two parishes. He recorded in the parish register in North


Canaan event which took place at Trinity and vica versa. Christ church in North Canaan is an Upjohn church. The rector would use the same sermon in both churches and referred to the architect as Upjohn, and since Upjohn had a bit more social cachet than Congdon you can see that people eager to grasp some social cachet might decide that Trinity must be the Upjohn church in question. MY wife went through the Connecticut Western News when the original copies were still in Falls Village; she found a reference to Congdon being the architect. The Upjohn archives, or most of them, are at the New York Public Library, so I did a fast search there for Lime Rock, Lakeville, Trinity, other than Trinity, Wall Street which was an Upjohn church, I came up blank. Barnum was the guy who would have written the check, absolutely blank.

JM:Was Mr. Congdon from New York City?

GB:He was a junior partner of a guy who was as semiole as Upjohn in the gothic Revival style named Priest. He ultimately took over his architectural practice in New York City. It was in the same building as Barnum & Richardson’s New York Headquarters. I also found Congdon’s granddaughter who was a history professor who had decided to reconstruct what Congdon did. She had done an amazing job of it. She said, ”Well, yes, he did Trinity, Lime Rock.” He also did the baptismal font in Sharon which nobody seems to know. It was well documented that Congdon did this church. He did Trinity, Torrington about 10 years later.

JM:I would like to know why Trinity was built; they could go to St. John’s.

GB:The real reason for Trinity was built I think, well, let me back up a bit. Senator Barnum was politically partisan. He was a Democrat in an age when republicans were largely on the ascendancy in the tradition of the republicans were the good guys from the Civil War. The Democrats were very closely tied during that period to the slaves and southerners. There was a good deal of animosity; it was pretty heated. Taking that as a starting point my impression is that most of the vestry at St. John’s church were (ostensibly Barnum was a member) Republicans. That could have created some antagonism. Barnum himself was probably not terribly religious. There was a piece of Congressional biography that said that he had no religion. His name was on the list of incorporators of Trinity, his name virtually disappears. He never served as a warden, or vestryman.

JM:Did he fund it?

GB:Yes, he paid for it. He could because he was the richest man in Connecticut at that time. First if you were an Episcopalian, you really had a choice of two places to go: St. John’s in Salisbury or Christ church in Sharon. Christ church in Sharon being the oldest Episcopal Church in the area. Neither was an easy trek from Lime Rock; you have got a mountain in the way. Apparently the Barnums and Richardsons went to St. John’s in Salisbury. There could have been political animosity; there was the distance, and the oft told story of how Barnum and Richardson both had very fine horses. They used to race them; horse races in those days were not quite as orderly as they are now. Barnum and Richardson


would race back from church; Barnum usually won, but one muddy day he did not and came back covered in mud. He was not happy about it and said, “We need a church of our own.”

JM:That story was told by Judge Warner in his Journal that he wrote in 1926, so it has some merit to it. In his story it wasn’t mud, but dust, and he didn’t like to eat dust!

GB:There are other stories; there is one that Mrs. Barnum was not socially accepted by the ladies at St. John’s. There is a story that Senator Barnum swore in church at St. John’s and that resulted in his ejection which I doubt is true because there is a certain amount of money that you don’t want to lose.

JM:Well, possibly, but there is a story from Henry Chiera who was rector of St. John’s back in the 1930’s. I guess one of the Scoville ladies was insistent on he do thus and so, and the story in the family is that, ”It is my church and I will do it my way.” She left.

GB:Well, the Scovilles had money too.

JM:You never know.

GB:That’s absolutely true. I believe there was a little bit of unpleasantness regardless of how it manifested itself. There was mileage and there was another thing which I think was really important here. That is something that Mrs. Barnum allegedly said and from what I learned of Barnum and family is consistent. She said that the people here seem to be at loose ends religiously and she was probably talking about the Barnum kids and Rishardson kids and the upper echelon. They very likely were slightly at loose ends. Rich kids occasionally to tend to be that ways; kids of the lower echelons were going to the little Methodist church on Barnum’s front lawn or trekked to Lakeville or Falls Village for one of the catholic churches. Something ought to be done. Then we should have a church of our own.

JM;Then it really wasn’t founded for the benefit of the immigrant workers because there weren’t that many English.

GB:No there weren’t. They were mostly…


GB:That is exactly right. Barnum did subsidize both St. Mary’s pretty heavily. I think that the New York Times said that he had contributed something like better that $6,000 which was a lot of money in those days toward a convent at St. Mary’s. He also had partially funded a catholic church in Cornwall Bridge, which is still there. It is that cute little church called St. Bridget’s. Significantly there was of course there was the Barnum & Richardson furnace there. If you think about labor history of that period, the enlightened entrepreneurs were beginning to catch on to the idea that if you took care of your workers and tried to mold their world view, they were better workers. They didn’t get drunk every Saturday night and be worthless for a day or two afterwards. They didn’t raise hell, and churches were



a very good means of social control. Barnum could not be very religious at all, and see great benefit in funding churches.

JM:I think we have three company towns: we had Amesville, Lime Rock, and Furnace Village aka Lakeville. They were all company towns where houses were built for the workers and there was, except for Amesville, there was a church.

GB:There was a mission. The first rector of Trinity walked to Amesville to conduct services.

JM:It had credence.

GB:Very much so, so having a company church was every bit consistent as having a company band or company baseball team.

JM:They had both. R & R had a band and a baseball team. What are some of uses of Trinity church besides the religious ceremonies?

GB:Before my time Trinity got involved in the Lime Rock Artists’ Association of the 1920’s. I don’t think they had anything in the way of gallery space at that point. There were a fair number of people in both the vestry and the arts association at Trinity. That is probably the first real venture in the community other than church-type activities. From there Trinity was the prime mover behind the antique festival and because they were not in Salisbury, they held it in the Town Hall.

JM:That was wonderful.

GB:That basically became the Fall Festival.

JM:Yes, it started about 1958. I did a tidbit on that one; it was an absolutely wonderful event. I came in 1967 and they were still having the antiques in the Town Hall, until it burned in 1985. Then it sort of went downhill.

GB:Trinity by that time had been edged out.

JM:I think at that point they did not have a place for the antiques so they either melded with other locations or went in a different location.

GB:My sense was that Trinity was never a large congregation and if you do not have the right number of ladies willing to do this sort of thing.

JM:We are running out of ladies like that.

GB:One of the things that I liked about Trinity as soon as I got there was the fact that they were thinking outside the building. That continued.

JM:I am trying to get you into Crescendo!


GB:Oh yeah, that was Christine Gevert. (See tape #137A)Did she tell you about how she got hooked up with Trinity?

JM:She did in her interview, but if you would like to refresh my memory?

GB:That was amazing! The organist, who left, left Beth Long who was the rector then without an organist. Trinity has always liked its music ever since the first organ was bought by the women who had church suppers and sold pot pies at $.35, chicken pot pies and thus paid for the first organ.

JM:When did that come in?

GB:Very early on. It shows up in the earliest records; it was probably there before 1880. It was there between 1900 and 1905. They already had it in place; they had a boys’ choir, or a choir of men and boys which you don’t expect to see in a small church.

JM:But they liked music!

GB:It had always been a pretty musical congregation. Beth was without an organist and she happened to be at a lunch at a new wave very edgy guru in Lenox, Mass. She was seated next to Christine and she said something like, “Gee I really am looking for an organist. Does anyone know an organist?” Christine said, “Well, I play the organ.” Christine in that organization had been stuck in the mail room. I think Beth hired her on the spot without hearing her touch a keyboard. No too long after that because I had a truck, I volunteered to up and transport Christine’s harpsichord to Lime Rock.

JM:I do hope you were careful with it!

GB:I was very careful with it; the guru himself came out and was making disapproving sounds as we loaded and drove off. This was only temporary!

JM:At least 10 years later she is still with you.

GB: Crescendo was an early effort to keep her busy. She thought it would be fun to do that.

JM:She had done a marvelous job with it.

GB:She certainly has. I was in Crescendo initially, I sang for several years, at the beginning my voice was making a contribution, but after about 5 years it became evident that instead of benefiting the tenor section, I was a little bit of a drag. At that point I resigned from singing and went on the board.

JM:She came about 2001 and I started taking lessons from her after Denise Restout died. So I was probably taking lessons from her about 2003. It was early on and before Crescendo. Do you remember when Lucy Cooney had the Children’s School?

GB:I remember that; my daughter went to it. Lucy has the Children’s Camp and the Children’s School was there too. She definitely had the camp. I definitely remember my wife being highly


incensed that the children had evidently been instructed one day on how babies were made. I said that is all to the good and my wife did not agree.

JM:That would be Lucy Cooney.

GB:I never met Lucy.

JM:I had her son in my fourth grade.

GB:There was something I wanted to say and it goes back to whether the church was for the whole community or only for the upper echelon. Mrs. Barnum very clearly stated that the church was to be for the whole community. She acted on this. She and Mrs. Richardson were godmothers for any number of children whose mother had been married two months earlier at the rectory when no one else was going to do it.

JM:Did she start a Sunday school?

GB:Well there is a banner from the Trinity Lime Rock Sunday school dated 1887 that still hangs in Walker Hall.

JM:She probably did get it organized.

GB: She was a heavy hitter. I said years ago that the greatest social error you can make at Trinity is to be snotty or to be socially superior. You can’t put on airs. If you do it quietly, you can be viewed as eccentric, if you put on airs loudly, you’ll be actively vilified. Periodically somebody will say something. Oh well we only have a very high form of the service, we must be very high church. Someone will say why?

JM:It is whatever works.

GB:We did very early on take on a refugee family from somewhere behind the Iron Curtain who had fled with his family. They needed a place to live and they were being taken care of by the parish. I remember about 12 years ago and this reflected more or this outward looking attitude. This sort of thing probably helped Trinity more than anything else. I was talking to a 9 year old girl in the parish at coffee hour. She said,” Mr. Brown what are the children supposed to do in the summer when there is no Sunday school?” In my best pedagogical manner said, “Well, Courtney, what do you think?” Courtney said, “We can play soccer?” “Yes, you could!” Beth Long I knew would hate the idea. So I in a huge political roundabout I rounded up all the votes on the vestry to go along with it, and then broached the topic at a vestry meeting. I watched Beth anxiously look around for somebody who was going to agree with her if she vetoed it. Nobody would. The next Sunday we were out there although there were only a handful of us, we were kicking a soccer ball around. It got to the point where we had one Sunday where we had more than 70 kids out there in that field, which was another stroke of genius on the part of Bob Reed. We had a couple of volunteer coaches from Hotchkiss who came down and


helped coach. It was pretty good. The field was a little rough. Since Salisbury didn’t have a representative on what was then the traveling Soccer club- the Northwest United Soccer club, previously called Berkshire United Soccer Club. It was the travel team that played soccer around the state. It was organized youth soccer. I went on the board of that for a couple of years, unofficially. We were considering offering them our field as their own field, but it clearly needed about $10,000 worth of improvement before it was going to be good for that. Then the guy who was pushing it retired from Salisbury School and gradually that whole idea just slipped away. We stopped our financial support of the travel team shortly after that.

JM:Is there anything else before we close that you want to add about the church, Sunday school, the vestry, the choir or have we covered the main points?

GB:Something is happening right now that is really good. Let me do one thing. We have been looking for…It seemed that the soccer thing was successful and various other things we had been sort of doing out in the community were also successful. Then bishop smith came to talk to the vestry; he came for a visit just before he retired, only, 7-8 years ago. We were at that point in pretty healthy shape financially. We had built an addition, paid for the addition, had no debt, and had a decent sized congregation every Sunday with two services. Crescendo was strong. The Art show, only one art show at that point. Now there is something like five. He said you really have to get out of the church; it is not what you do for one hour on Sunday morning. This is what you do all the time in the community. He gave us 5 or 10 Biblical examples of why this had to be the way. We started very actively forming and seeking collaborations with outside organizations. We don’t really care whether they are religious or not for profit. The collaborations that we have right now range from relatively minor things as making a small financial donation to really being quite involved as we are with Salisbury Winter Sports Association.

JM:We will get to that in another interview.

GB:The arts community is something that is pretty good too. Now the art shows are put on by outsiders with one or two Trinity people on the committee.

JM:Are they juried shows?

GB:The new ones all are. Mary Anne Carly, who is from Sharon I think, is basically into juried shows. She has had a number of them; two we partnered with SWSA. We shall continue again this coming year. We have a photographic show coming up that she ways she knows absolutely nothing about and doesn’t want to run it. I know nothing about running art shows. Heidi will be on sabbatical at that point. So it will be entirely run by outsiders in the Trinity space. That is fine. We are perfectly happy with that. Somebody breathed in the ear of one of the kids something about some children in North Canaan going back to school with no school supplies or backpack. Two of the girls grasped the idea of the backpack



project. They really took it and ran with it. They rounded up 20 odd backpacks and the following year got more kids involved. They created a video very imaginatively; I shot it and they scripted it based on Harry Potter theme and running around Trinity, waving magic wands and lights come on and off! The kids really drove that and got a really nice turnout in terms of backpacks. Unfortunately some of the adults decided that they wanted to tell the kids how they could do it better. So of course the kids immediately dropped it. At that point some of the women who were lay preachers at Methodist Campground in Falls Village, Pine Grove, got involved so the drive last year was in collaboration with Pine Grove. We’ll play with anybody!

JM:If you present a good idea, you will go with it!

GB:That’s absolutely right. I would like to think we are as ecumenical as anybody can be. I know an awful lot of Christmas pageants at St. Mary’s go on in Trinity costumes.

JM:I thank you so much for your information and your time.