What a great tribute to the James Nance family.
Friday evening at the annual Indiana High School homecoming, the team acknowledged one of the greatest athletes ever to wear a red and black jersey, the late James Nance.
Nance wore No. 31 and his brother Drew, a recently retired Indiana chiropractor, wore a replica jersey to the game at Fifth Street Stadium.
Drew was accompanied by his brother Gene, of Murrysville, and their sister, Mae, of Indiana.
Members of the football team wore No. 31 decals on their helmets in honor of Nance.
The occasion for this tribute was the announcement that North Fifth Street, from Philadelphia Street to the borough line, and North Fifth Ave, in White Township, will add the honorary name of James Nance Boulevard. There will be no change of address as this is an honorary designation, similar to Jimmy Stewart Boulevard on Seventh Street.
James Nance Committee members had anticipated that the signs would be erected on those streets in time for the homecoming game but there was an unexpected glitch to the project.
North Fifth from Philadelphia Street to North Fourth Street — behind Valeski’s Fourth Street BiLo — is a state highway and the state’s General Assembly must pass a bill approving the proposal.
Thanks to state Sen. Don White and state Rep. Dave Reed, Senate Bill 1097 and House Bill 1665 have been introduced to designate “that section of State Route 4007 in Indiana Borough as James Nance Memorial Highway.”
This tribute to the Nance family continues following the football season when the Indiana Football Boosters hold their annual banquet in November where Gene Nance will be the featured speaker.
Gene attended Cheney University of Pennsylvania then transferred to Marshall University when he played football as a defensive back and was drafted by the Denver Broncos.
Although he made the team and played through the exhibition season, he was injured just before the regular season started and never did play in an official NFL contest.
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You just don’t realize how fortunate Indiana County is to have a venue such as the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex until a show such as Cirque Musica comes to town.
Where else could you have acts like the world-famous Wallenda highwire mother-daughter team, daredevil cyclists riding at death-defying speeds in a steel ball and performers doing more antics with their bodies than a Silver Sneakers class at the Indiana County YMCA?
And at the same time, a symphony orchestra provided a musical background with the greatest music of all time — from the William Tell Overture to Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Flight of the Bumblebee.” The music was just fantastic.
Lest we forget the “clown of clowns,” David Larible, who had the audience laughing from the time he took center stage until he departed.
He selected members of the audience to join him and they were immediately caught up in his antics, to the amusement of everyone. It was a truly entertaining evening and, sorry to say, there were plenty of vacant seats in the arena.
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Congratulations to Executive Director Penny Perman and her staff on the celebration of their 50th year of the Indiana County Tourist Bureau.
Wednesday evening’s anniversary dinner was attended by more than 250 people and the atmosphere was a true delight as emcee Mark Bertig ushered the crowd through the highlights of the golden anniversary.
The tourist bureau has become a true mainstay in promoting the county, and Perman and her staff are to be commended.