Saturday at the Sweet Shop

I was a little nervous when I looked out the window and saw a steady rain falling on Saturday morning, but luckily the storms held off for the Summer in Ligonier Arts and Crafts show! I spent a nice afternoon at the Ligonier Sweet Shop where I signed copies of Ligonier Valley Vignettes and was surrounded by delicious-smelling chocolates!

Ligonier Sweet Shop 05

Thank you to Cokie Lindsay, joined by husband Richard, for hosting “Ligonier Valley Vignettes” at the Ligonier Sweet Shop on Saturday afternoon! (Photo by Jennifer Sopko)

Cokie Lindsay has owned the Ligonier Sweet Shop for about three years and the shop has been a wonderful supporter of my book.  Cokie has a close tie to a story included in Ligonier Valley Vignettes: her grandfather, the late Nick Gallo, established Ligonier Beach almost 90 years ago, on July 4, 1925.  Although the beach, dance floor, band shell and famous tilted wooden wheel are all long gone, the enormous pool is still there, filled with ice cold water to cool off patrons during hot summer days.

I really appreciate the Ligonier Sweet Shop for hosting a book signing – it’s been great to be able to interact with the community and promote my book.  Thank you to the wonderful people who stopped by to purchase a copy of Ligonier Valley Vignettes.  It was great to meet new people and chat with some of my friends.  Here’s a few pictures from Saturday:


My First Book Talk!

WCHS Talk 7-18-13

Photo by Jennifer Sopko

Thank you to everyone who came out last night to hear my first book talk at the Westmoreland County Historical Society! It was great to meet those of you I haven’t met before and chat with some of my friends and family.  Thank you to the Westmoreland County Historical Society for hosting last night’s event, which was a really fun ice cream social.  I really appreciate everyone’s support of Ligonier Valley Vignettes.

WCHS Talk 7-18-13

Mmmmm ice cream sundae! Fun fact: Joseph A. Greubel, grandfather of Valley Dairy’s “Ice Cream Joe” and great-grandfather of the current owner Joe E. Greubel, was the first to commercially manufacture ice cream in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jennifer Sopko)

It’s been about ten years since I’ve spoken in public and I was nervous about giving my first official talk about Ligonier Valley Vignettes but I think it went very well.  I wanted to introduce myself to those in the community who weren’t familiar with my work, summarize the history covered in my historical stories and explain how the book came about. Three of the vignettes in my book were originally published in the Westmoreland History Magazine, so I wanted to highlight those.  I also wanted to talk about some of the great experiences I had conducting research for my book by visiting historic sites and talking to some great local history experts and members of the community. I’m relieved to have made it through the experience to be rewarded with a delicious ice cream sundae afterwards, complete with ice cream from Valley Dairy, whose family’s history making ice cream stretches back into the late 19th century.

If you missed my talk, I’ll be giving another talk at the Ligonier Valley Library in late October.  I will be at the Summer in Ligonier Arts and Crafts Show this Saturday, July 20 from 12:00-2:00pm in the Ligonier Sweet Shop if you are out and about.  Check my events page for more details.

Thank you all again for coming out in the heat wave! I hope to see you all again soon! Thank you to everyone who send me good thoughts. And thank you to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for running a great piece on me and the ice cream social in yesterday’s edition.   Here are just a few pictures from last night’s event: