With the fireworks behind us and the Major League All-Star game ahead of us, here we are, halfway through summer.
But before we move forward, I would like to thank Nancy Sherry-Helsel for bringing the Air National Guard Band of the Mid-Atlantic to Indiana last Saturday evening.
Nancy was the driving force in organizing the appearance of this talented group of musicians who performed before an estimated crowd of more than 500 in the Toretti Auditorium at the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex on Wayne Avenue.
This was not your typical marching band.
Sure, they played some of the great old-standard marches such as "National Emblem" and closed with a magnificent rendition of "Stars and Stripes Forever" that brought the crowd to its feet, but there were a few solo performances that merited standing ovations.
One of the band members, an Elvis impersonator, did a hip-shaking, body-bending routine of three Presley numbers that had the crowd roaring and rockin' n'rollin' in the aisles.
Based in Harrisburg, there are seven members of the band who are Indiana University of Pennsylvania grads.
And a special thanks also goes out to Nancy's employers, Kuzneski and Lockard Real Estate, who footed the bill to rent the KCAC, thus making the concert free to everyone.
Nancy has a habit of bringing music to Indiana; she also initiated the Sunday evening "Concerts in the Park" at Memorial Park behind the Armory (now the Indiana County Historical Society) on Sixth Street.
It was an evening of fun and entertainment.
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There was another Indiana connection in the Summer Olympic trials held the past few weeks in Omaha, Neb.
Rachael Zilinskas captured the local headlines, and rightly so, but another performer in the trials was James Turner, a grandson of Max and Chere Shawer, of Indiana.
The Florida native, son of Scott and Lee Ann Turner, competed in both the 50-meter and 100-meter events but his best finish was 10th place in one of the heats.
Max and Chere said they had a chance to visit with Rachael and wish her luck.
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Last week I traveled to Altoona to watch the Curve in action.
I had an opportunity to chat briefly with Indiana's Michael Ryan, who is a coach with the team.
The former Major Leaguer seems content with his position and realizes this could be a springboard to a coaching or managerial career.
If you haven't taken the family for a game in Altoona you don't know what you're missing. The entire experience is geared toward family fun and, naturally, good baseball. After all, you are watching future Major Leaguers. And remember, just a few years ago Andrew McCutcheon was playing in Altoona.
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If you want to say "hello" to the new president at IUP, just show up at the KCAC on July 16 from 4 to 7 p.m. The IUP Council of Trustees and the Indiana County Chamber of Commerce are sponsoring a reception to welcome President Michael Driscoll and his wife, Becky.