See you in another 65 years?
That would seem to be a fair tradeoff for Douglas Bolasky, according to his comments on Sunday as master of cermonies of the Rededication Ceremony for the refurbished band shell at Macungie Memorial Park.
The band shell was brought to the borough 65 years ago. On Sunday, the borough celebrated a $30,000 refurbishment that pretty much has the facility looking as good as new.
Bolasky opined that it would be a pretty good tradeoff if another group could be holding a similar ceremony in 65 years for a band shell that was looking this good.
But Macungie Historical Society President Dale Eck went one better: He speculated that the band shell looked better today than it did when it was new.
Either way, it was a day to celebrate . . . and they did.
So did a lot of others.
Eck recalled running across the stage soon after the band shell was brought from Fogelsville. Now, he was happy to say, his grandson could do the same.
"We feel lucky to have had this beautiful facility with us these past 65 years," Bolasky told the crowd.
He should know. Until 2009, he served as leader of the Macungie Band for 25 years. Its home venue has been the band shell.
Bolasky said the Rededication Committee wanted to educate or remind those present of the way things used to be. Before television, an afternoon in the park listening to the community band was a prime form of entertainment. The refurbishment would allow concerts to continue in the park.
The project was spearheaded by a committee led by Robert Young. As many projects go, this one began with the belief that it would consist largely of paint and some wood replacement. However, it was pointed out that the rear of the band shell leaned from flooding. Consequently, concrete and beam work had to be added.
Although the effort became bigger than envisioned, Young -- who shies away from taking credit and seems reluctant to acknowlege his own success -- seemed pleased with the result.
"It came out better than what we thought. I'm very pleased," he concluded with a satisfied smile.
He previously had said that refurbishing the band shell was the least that this generation could do compared to the efforts of those responsible for bringing it to Macungie in the first place. As many now know, the band shell and playground equipment belonged to Lehigh Portland Cement Co. When that company razed its "factory town" near Fogelsville instead of providing a sewer system, the company was willing to give the recreational facilities to Macungie. The band shell was moved here in three pieces and re-assembled.
With the finishing touches complete, the borough was ready to celebrate. Activities included hour-long concerts each by the Red Hill and Macungie bands, an old-fashioned cake walk and the Rededication Ceremony.
Officials credited individual donations along with assistance from area service clubs with raising much of the money so far. The clubs included Kiwanis International, Lower Lehigh Lions, Rotary Club of Emmaus, Macungie Women's Club, Macungie Minstrelaires and the Trexler Trust.