Tuesday, October 7, 2008
A calendar that is sexy in its own way
A 2009 calendar to raise money for an historic house in Pennsylvania isn’t going to grab attention for its sex appeal.
“It’s PG rated,” Tripp Kline, chairman of the board of the Bradford House in Washington, Pa., said today when the association's new calendar came out of production.
Kline offered that quote as a mild joke about a 2008 calendar that featured a dozen older women from nearby Monongahela who became a media sensation because they posed for it without wearing much clothing.
The Bradford House fundraiser is about local art and history, things that are helping to hold together this small city in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Rust Belt, Kline said.
David Bradford began to build this stone house in 1786 along the National Road in a style befitting his status as a lawyer and deputy general of Washington County. It has a grand mahogany stairway, along with a secret buried tunnel for escape in an era when the town stood at the end of Western civilization. Bradford, though, became more famous as a coward who skipped town when 13,000 federal troops came to the area after leaders, like him, joined in the Whiskey Rebellion. That uprising resulted from a tax on rye whiskey to pay down the debt from the American Revolutionary War. And for the most part, those whiskey rebels would become erased from American history books.
That aside, the Washington community is proud to have restored this house as a monument to prosperity during America’s westward movement.
This year, the Bradford House Association selected six local photographers to capture images for the calendar that is being sold to help offset expenses not covered by its annual state grant of $8,000 to keep the museum open to the public.
Robin Richards of South Strabane Township put forth a cool manipulated photo of an old stone pavilion in the city park that accompanies the month of March. I took one of the house from the third-floor of a building across the street that appears on its cover. Mark Marietta, a teacher at Trinity High School, photographed an ice and snow covered train station that appears above the month of January. Celeste Van Kirk donated a lovely shot of a downtown flower garden, while Scott Manko submitted one that looks upward at the ornate dome inside the county courthouse. Meanwhile, Jim McNutt contributed a view of a one-room schoolhouse.
The association published 7,500 copies of the calendar that are available for $10 apiece. Send me an e-mail to purchase one, or contact the Bradford House via its Web site. They also are being sold in the main lobby of the Observer-Reporter.