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The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.

The back half of our trip to Mercer County was stuffed full of precious memories (and I’m not talking about the figurines!) My Jane and I had a wonderful afternoon visiting the community where “we” began. My Jane grew up in Hickory which is now Hermitage and my family moved to town while I was floating around the Pacific Ocean in the U.S. Navy. (Obviously, I found them anyway! It takes more than a move to lose me!) Gerry, My Jane’s Dad owned an office products store in downtown Sharon Mercer14  before moving the store to State Street in Hickory which is now Hermitage. Mercer19 Gerry and Helen have since sold the store and are retired in Grove City (part I). Mercerfam The family lived in several homes in Hickory which is now Hermitage (have I said that before?) but had settled in to this house Mercer20  where they lived when I met My Jane. One of her favorite memories from childhood is walking to the Dairy Queen at the end of the street to get an ice cream cone for her grandmother, who lived with the family. Mercer18  My Jane remembers there wasn’t much left of the ice cream when the cone was given back to grandma. Of course we stopped at that same Dairy Queen to relive the memory and we met Sindy (correct spelling). Mercer17  I know this doesn’t appear to be possible from the photo but Sindy has been manager of the DQ for thirty years. (That still isn’t long enough for her to remember My Jane buying an ice cream cone for her grandmother.) Sindy didn’t want to pose empty handed for the photo so she made us a complementary ice cream cone. Thank you Sindy for being such a good sport and fun person to hang out with.

At the time My Jane and I met in December of 1973 she was teaching first grade at Fairfax Christian School in Virginia. I was attending Yankton College in South Dakota and was home on Christmas break when I walked in to my folk’s living room (in this house) Mercer12  and there was My Jane (home on Christmas break) and we have been on an amazing, surprising adventure together ever since. We were married July 12, 1974 in St Paul’s United Church of Christ (yes, seven months later!).Mercer13

You might be wondering how a guy like me could be married to a beautiful gal like My Jane. MercerWedMercerWed2  Well, I believe in miracles! Also, I sneaked up on her and got her married to me before she could think about what was happening! Hey, she was living in Virginia and I was in South Dakota. We had to get married because we couldn’t afford to keep flying back and forth and paying those long distance phone bills! We rented the upstairs of this house Mercerhouse  (we shared the kitchen with two other renters and the landlady) until we left for South Dakota in late August. Ah, such wonderful memories.

Thank you for allowing me to share with you Mercer County and the special place it holds in my heart.

See you next time.