A photo for the ages at Greencastle's Old Home Week

August 05, 2004|by RICHARD F. BELISLE

GREENCASTLE, Pa. - When James Ivey looked out over the people crowding the perimeter of Greencastle's Center Square, he said he saw America.

"There's generation after generation out there," he said.

Ivey, 45, came to Greencastle for the first time when he was 17 to photograph "the big picture," the wide-angle shot of hundreds of people standing side by side five and six deep to pose for Ivey's rolling camera and to have their shot at immortality.

He said his father took the photo before him. "He showed me the ropes," he said.

The photograph is taken on the Wednesday morning of Old Home Week, the Greencastle area's triennial celebration of itself.

Prints will be available early next week, Ivey said.

They sell for $20 each and can be ordered at Old Home Week headquarters on the square.

Veteran Old Home Week attendees, along with Ivey, said they thought Wednesday's was the largest crowd of posers ever.


Ivey owns Central Photo in Washington, D.C. He specializes in group shots of tourists in front of the U.S. Capital. "I photograph about 2,000 groups a year," he said.

He uses a $15,000 camera for the Greencastle job, he said. "It's not easy, but I've never messed up. If I did I could never show my face here again."

Ivey said he's photographing grandchildren of people he shot when he first came to Waynesboro.

Four generations of the McDowell family of Greencastle were standing on the southeast corner of the square waiting to take their place in the photo lineup.

"This is my third time," said Goldie Kiser, the matriarch of the family.

With her were her daughters, Lucy McDowell and Wanda Pepple; Lucy's son, Joseph McDowell; his brother John Jr.'s wife, Denise McDowell; and her two sons, Cade and Max.

"Max was here two years ago for the first time," Denise McDowell said. "This is Cade's first year for the photograph."

Roy and Ada Leckron can't remember how many times they've posed for the big picture. He's 81, she's 79.

His cap announced that he was a survivor of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. "I was in the Navy," he said.

The couple lives on Broad Street in Waynesboro, but come back for Old Home Week, he said.

Roy Leckron graduated from high school in Greencastle in 1941. His class held its 63rd reunion Wednesday afternoon at the Antrim House Restaurant.

Old Home Week, held every three years since 1902, is a popular time for high school reunions.

Chuck and Jan McClain stood behind the hot dog stand on the northeast corner of the square. It was their first time for the photo.

Their son's Boy Scout troop traditionally runs the booth during Old Home Week. This week, some of the Scouts are away at camp so their parents were selling the hot dogs, McClain said.

Hazel Miller was sitting on a park bench in the shade of a tree on the square as Ivey's camera rolled. "It's too hot to go out there," she said.

Her husband, Robert Miller, was in the crowd with their two great-grandsons waiting to be in the picture, she said.

Carol Christophel stood on a chair to make sure the camera caught her. It was her fourth time for the big picture.

"This is the biggest crowd ever," said Christophel, treasurer of Old Home Week this year. "They'll have to scrunch everyone together to get them all in."

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