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Closing Out the Mall and Webb Family Baseball

Thank you to everyone that came out and made this year’s West Branch Susquehanna Builder’s Home Show a great success.

Over 3,000 folks made the trip to the old Dick’s building at the Lycoming Mall. There was somebody there that could help you with every project imaginable. A Webb Weekly shout-out to Association President Jody Harlan and Executive Director Laura Kriger for the fantastic effort in putting together the event.

I always enjoy the opportunity to meet and greet so many of you at the Home Show. Our Webb Weekly booth was hopping all three days. A heartfelt thank you for all the kind words about our publication and to those of you that shared stories about my Father. I am always humbled by this. I am very blessed to have a great staff that makes up my Webb Weekly family and cares about our community as much as I do.

Congratulations to Mike Deaver for being this year’s winner of our Home Show Grill Package Giveaway. Mike will be receiving a fully assembled Sunbeam Grill and a tank of gas from Elery Nau Hardware. I am always glad the great folks there ensure it’s assembled, so I don’t have to. Did I mention Elery Nau is your old-fashioned hardware and more store where you can find anything you need?

My old friend Mikey Rupert throws in a $50 gift card to get that grill sizzling. Along with his staff at Rupert’s Specialty Meats, they provide the main course and the homemade sides to make your mouth water.

To wash it all down Frosty Beverage provides a $50 gift card to the winner. I was amazed at how many folks knew old Chet Ruth, and his ice-cold beverages seemed to encourage many to register. Although maybe it was just the free, cold beer.

In closing things out about the Home Show, I apologize to those that missed out on our Webb Weekly yardsticks. I will make sure to order more for next year.

During my life, I have watched the Lycoming Mall being built, to now as it has reached its final days. This is hard for me to believe, as I have many memories of the mall. As I travel our state and nation, there are still many malls experiencing success. I understand how online sales have affected the brick-and-mortar malls. I also understand how corporate greed and unwillingness to change have factored into the demise of the Lycoming Mall. Sadly, it’s just another example of a lost venue for people to share time and make memories together. Whether it be shopping with family or friends, getting a picture taken with Santa or the Easter Bunny, or just being a focal destination within the community where people could gather together. The mall will be missed.

Speaking of community and gathering together, it was great to see the large crowd that came out to see last week’s Loyalsock at Hughesville baseball game. The Lancers and Spartans provided the fans with a most exciting game as Hughesville scored in the bottom of the 7th inning to win the game 6-5 in walkoff fashion. My family had a double interest in the game that afternoon, and now I’ll tell you the rest of the story.

As many of you know, my son Jimmy took over the reins as Loyalsock’s head baseball coach this season. Since my boys graduated from Sock, I’ve been attending Spartans games to watch my nephews play. Although Jimmy was in the dugout the last couple of years when his cousin Jed played, this game marked the first time he would be managing the Lancers as Jed was playing for the Spartans. So it should go without saying, I wore my maroon Sock cap, while my brother Brian wore his green ‘Ville hat. The family battle lines had been drawn. Play ball!

In talking with my stepmother, Carol, she had the perfect take on the game. She loves Jimmy and Jed very much, and no matter who won, she would be on the winning side of one grandson while her message to the other would be, go get ‘em next time.

As Webb family fate would have it this day, Jed came in and pitched the last three innings and got the win for the Spartans. Tip of my Sock cap with the LT on the front to my nephew. Love you, kid. Jimmy did a great job scratching out five runs. Your team is improving, Son. Love you.

After the game, a family shook hands, exchanged hugs, and couldn’t wait to get together for Easter Dinner.

Please take a break from all the seriousness going on in the world and get out to a local ballpark. Baseball provides a perfect all-American distraction to bring people together from all walks of life. The best moment of the Sock/Hughesville game was as the players stood hats over hearts, eyes fixed on the stars and stripes, as the National Anthem played. No matter how many ball games I attend, this moment always moves me.

God Bless America.

Jim Webb