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Contractor lights up Shepherdstown, W.Va.

December 22, 1998

(For these 12 days before Christmas, we will be racognizing individuals or groups who make the holidays better for others. This is the tenth in the series.)

Ernie FussBy DAVE McMILLION / Staff Writer, Charles Town

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Some Christmas angels give food away to the needy, or candy and treats to kids.

Ernie Fuss lights up whole towns.

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Organizers of this year's Christmas celebration wanted to outline every building on German Street in white lights.

For assistance, they turned to Fuss, who is always eager to help do things in the Potomac River village.

For a month, Fuss hung from ladders, reached from cherry pickers, and climbed over the tops of buildings in town to string tiny white lights.

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The lights run across the tops and down the sides of the buildings, creating a striking effect at night.

"I kind of got carried away," said Fuss, who is an electrical contractor.

With help from Harry Bender, Fuss was able to use a cherry picker to string lights on buildings on the north side of German Street.

But because of high-voltage power lines on the south side, Fuss had to extend a ladder up the side of every building to tack the lights.

Fuss said he used 300 strands of lights on 48 buildings in town.

Fuss often donates services to town when officials need help with electrical hook-ups for events. He has helped string lights for carnivals in town and has done electrical work for the Shepherdstown Fire Department.

"I don't see how he makes a living, he does so much for the town," said Mayor Vince Parmesano.

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