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Search is on for information from those named on the old brick wall

LANA MUTHLER / THE EXPRESS This red brick wall with names of Town Tavern’s most frequent visitors back in the day is visible since the tavern at 47-51 Bellefonte Ave. in Lock Haven was torn down last year.

LOCK HAVEN — Back in the day, there was a special place in town for young adults to get together to have a good time.

There was fine food, good drink, live bands and lots of dancing to the best of the Rolling Stones, Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Sister Sledge, Al Green and Jimmy Buffett to name just a few.

It was a place where the just-21 and over-21 gathered, talking for hours and enjoying each other’s company.

Many a young couple met in the Town Tavern.

And some, like me, married that guy or gal.

EXPRESS FILE PHOTO The Town Tavern is shown several years ago, after it had been closed for some time and prior to being razed last year.

The Tavern, near the corner at the five-way-lights at Bellefonte Avenue and Church Street closed years ago after providing hundreds of local young people and LHU students some of the best times.

Just last year, after the building had deteriorated and became a safety issue, it was torn down.

But the memories didn’t go away.

As a matter of fact, they have resurfaced as a red brick wall sprung up out of the rubble with the names of many of those who frequented the tavern in the 60’s, 70’s and beyond.

When I saw the wall, a lot of those memories returned.

I can still see Jimmy Bressi behind the bar. He was the bartender and his sister Betty Bressi Forster was the cook and also the brains behind the business.

There was a dining room on one side with tables and chairs for lunches and dinners, wedding receptions, holiday parties and banquets.

The other side had a bar and booths, and an area in the back large enough for a band and dance floor. There were bands playing almost every weekend and also on special occasions, like New Year’s Eve. It seemed everyone enjoyed taking a partner and dancing during those days.

It was the place to be on weekends, and it got pretty crowded most nights. The seats were taken early and it was standing room only as friends filled the establishment.

Jimmy and Betty were the best hosts. They knew everyone who walked through the door by their first name and knew what they liked to drink or eat. The brother-sister team was well respected and ran a pretty tight ship.

Oh, there were lots of laughs, jokes, exaggerated stories and always rides for those who had a few too many.

But most of all there were friends.

There were friendships that lasted a lifetime… just like that old red brick wall with dozens of names printed on the bricks in a variety of colors.

I’d love to know more about that wall and how it came to be and how it has stood the test of time.

I’m told that “Doodie” Rathgeber, one of the regulars back then, did the “artwork.” “Doodie” passed away last year, but I quickly found his name scrawled on one of the bricks, right up at the top.

“Doodie” probably wrote his name on the wall first, and then added the others one by one. I wonder if the color or placement of the names — top or bottom, right or left– had any special meaning.

I recognize many of the names and remember some of the faces as if it were yesterday, visualizing them sitting on a bar stool having a beer of enjoying something to eat in the corner booth.

I wonder where they are now.

I wonder if they even know the wall exists, and that their name is on it.

I wonder if you had to pass some kind of test or visit the tavern so many times to get your name on that wall.

Somebody knows.

And I’m seeking them out.

I’m looking for the people whose names were so neatly printed on those red bricks so long ago.

I wonder if they are like me and have some memories of the time spent in the Town Tavern that they would like to share.

Wouldn’t it be great to gather down by that historic wall and share a few stories… maybe have a photo taken.

Oh, for the memories… the memories of another time when the Town Tavern was a very special place in our lives.

Please help me share those wonderful memories with the community and let them know about the Town Tavern back in the day… a special place where young adults gathered for years for a good time.

I can’t wait to hear from you.

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Contact me at The Express at 570-748-6791 or email me at lmuthler@lockhaven.com If you like, just stop by The Express. I’m on the second floor.

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