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Past and future celebrated at Pa. museum

May 27, 2008|By JENNIFER FITCH

SOUTH MOUNTAIN, Pa. - Sunday's service at the Preserving Our Heritage Archives & Museum dually memorialized the past and celebrated the future, as the community recognized a World War II veteran and broke ground for an expansion of the museum.

The new portion of the museum will be a reconstructed country store less than a mile down the road.

The store will be dismantled and rebuilt "piece by piece" to accommodate displays that are overflowing from the original room designated for them, the Rev. Lee Daywalt said.

"It wasn't long until we realized we had to use the other room, the hallway, the restrooms, the kitchen," Daywalt said.

The latest displays are two memory boxes filled with mementos collected by the family of Jay Karper, who served as a turret gunner and tail gunner in World War II.

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"Jay flew 75 missions for this country for World War II," the Rev C. Roy Daywalt said. "Whenever he was called to duty, he went and did his duty."

The late airman's wife and son, Betty Karper and Cy Karper, pulled American flags off the memory boxes to reveal a piece of a parachute, dog tags and five medals, including a Purple Heart. Lee Daywalt read portions of the pilot's mission notes.

Jay Karper was drafted and flew missions from June 1944 through April 1945. He returned home to Franklin County, Pa., where he lived his entire life.

"We had an orchard where Penn National (Estates) is now," Betty Karper said.

Cy Karper said it was great to see the memory boxes, and he and the rest of the family praised the collection efforts of the airman's granddaughter, Jennifer Smith, and her husband, Harley.

After the remarks about Karper, his family joined others for the groundbreaking of the lot where the Mark and Gladys Carbaugh country store will be rebuilt.

Roy Daywalt said he remembers visiting the store, which was open at its current location from 1938 to 1955.

There, Mark Carbaugh sold everything from milk, bread and soda to shoe polish and household cleaners. Efforts are under way to find more of the wares and bring them back to stock the shelves once the store is rebuilt.

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