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A piece of local heritage (For Me)

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Remember when Coal was king? When a large percentage of our local population had jobs? When we used to have the International Mining & Manufacturing Festival? (IMMF) aka. The Coal Festival?

I do. I remember the vendors stretching the length of South Main, down two streets, and bleeding off into the fairgrounds ( Before the area was destroyed..)

There were so many vendors, so many activities, not to mention the multitude of stages that had entertainment constantly available to all the festival goers.

Hindsight looking back. That was freaking awesome. When was the last time you been to an event, like the one we used to have?

I bring this up for a number of reasons. Just the other day I was going through boxes of items in the house, and I found a rather size able trophy sticking out of one of them. It was dated 1986. The trophy was for the IMMF Largest Family in Ethnic Costume.

Bam! I remember that, although I was only four years old. Imagine that.  An event like that, as part of festival activities. It really was an event that got people involved, and offered a number of venues of participation, and what all festivals are for, celebration.

The second reason for bringing up these memories and dumping them on you is this.

We no longer have ANY festival that is County based. Not just for a village, or a town.  Granted, the Scio Street Fair continues to grow, and continues year after year, and we still have the County Fair. ( Which would have faded along time ago, if it was not mandated by LAW)

I think, just one module of things we need to do as a community, to get ourselves back up by the boot straps, is to re-invent our celebrations. Nothing pulls a community in at the end of the year, like the IMMF did for us for so many years. Festivals such as these are a way for everyone to get together. Relax in a group setting, and to de-stress, and be thankful, and grateful that we are still here, and still going.

And the third reason for this trip down memory lane is this.

I have recently converted a handful of cassette tape recordings of the Bertolino Family Band, to CD, that were recorded during performances at the IMMF (Coal Fest).

While the quality is not what you find at the store. It is still borderline bearable. Grin.

While the Bertolino Family Band no longer functions as a group, due to losses in our family. The memory remains.
I can hear my father with his distinctive voice, who I lost back in 2006. And in earlier recordings, an Uncle who was also lost.

Every time I listen to one of the tracks, I get taken back to that white stage at the IMMF, the sights and sounds come rushing in, and I see my entire family playing their instruments, and my sisters who were four years older then me, singing at the front of the stage.

Playing at the IMMF was a tradition for our Family.  While our tradition no longer exists. It does not mean that new ones can not be made. Thus, I firmly believe that those moments can be brought back, and shared. Re-Invent what we had, and do it right this time, and give a focal point for our county to gather.

I will post some songs below. Perhaps some of you who were at the IMMF will remember the sound. Perhaps those who are to young will shudder and cringe. Regardless! The memory will be shared. And it just might be enjoyable, or motivate you to get involved in solving the issues in our county.

The Bertolino Family Band:
Dominic Bertolino – Accordian
Louise Bertolino – Drums, Vocals
Larry Bertolino Sr. – Sax, Clarinet, Guitar, Vocals (Deceased)
Mike Bertolino – Trumpet, Vocals
David Bertolino – Trumpet, Vocals (Deceased)
Sharon Bertolino(Bishop) – Sax, Vocals

In Later years, my sisters, Valani, and Vanessa Bertolino at the age of 8 were singing as well.

  1. Bertolino Family Band – Tape 1 – Side B – Roll Out The Barrel
  2. Bertolino Family Band – Tape 1 – Side B – Old Gray Mare
  3. Bertolino Family Band –  – Angeline(Valani &Vanessa Vocals)
  4. Bertolino Family Band – Tape 1 – Side A – Let The Sun Shine In (E-I-E-I-O)
  5. Bertolino Family Band – Tape 1 – Side A – One Night The Moon (Valani & Vanessa Vocals)
  6. Bertolino Family Band – Tape 1 – Side B – Zosia

This is but a sampling.. I was able to re-record at least 50 tracks. And while the band no longer plays, my grandfather, Dominic still pulls out his accordian and takes us back.

  1. Dominic Bertolino – Accordian – My Blue Heaven
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Larry Bertolino

Larry Bertolino

Owner at myLocalPCpro
Larry Bertolino is a 31 year old, U.S Navy Veteran and currently sitting on the board of Directors for the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce, as well as Harrison County Rural Transit.
Larry Bertolino
Larry Bertolino

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Posted by on December 17, 2009, 9:37 am. Filed under ThisIsMyCounty. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry