Look Up!

FCBank001A few years ago, before my apartment building had a change machine in the laundry room, the closest place to get change after the banks closed was to walk to the car wash by Sheetz on Fourth Street and Philadelphia Street.

One afternoon, I walked down Gompers Avenue to the car wash, got my change, and when I was heading back, I saw Rob Broome coming out of Sheetz.  He was a resident in my building, and he had helped me several times by letting me use his computer for a novelty project that I was working on.  He had gone to Sheetz to get something quick to eat.  So, I joined him for the return trip to our apartment by walking up Philadelphia Street to South 6th Street.

Half way up the street, he asked me if I knew what time it was.  He had left his phone  at his apartment which was very unusual, and I do not wear a watch, but just looking up the street, one can see the clock tower on the First Commonwealth Bank main office building.  It was 6:30, and then Rob said something I could not believe.  “He did not know that the clock was even there.”

Here is the best part of the story.  Our apartment building is just a half a block away at 20 South 6th Street, and Rob had lived in the building for 2 years.  Rob, could always be seen like so many others walking around with their phone in hand.  We did laugh and joke about it that afternoon, but what I was able to do a few weeks later made it even more fun for Rob’s family and me.

A friend, Beth Ann Brothers, worked at First Commonwealth Bank, and when I shared this story, she mentioned that the First Commonwealth Bank actually had a Coin Bank that looked like the Clock Tower.  She found one for me, and then I went to work.

Rob was graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in a week, and his family was coming for the weekend.  I had his family address in Ohio, and wrote a note regarding the GPS data of 333 miles from his home to the actual clock tower in Indiana.  I wrapped the coin bank, included the note, and had his family give it to him when they all got back home in Ohio after the graduation.

The rest is history, but all of this is what gave me a visual idea of having a “Look Up, Indiana” contest.  It would take lots of work, but the concept is that special photographs of unique and unusual details regarding the buildings on Philadelphia Street in Indiana would be presented, and the challenge would be to not only locate the “address” of the “detail”, but to know the “address” where the photo of each “detail” was taken.

The “details” could be Design, Trim, Lights, Windows, or Graffiti.  A very select team of individuals that take the pictures must be honest, and not share the information with anyone.  When it is all said and done, the winner/winners must get all the “locations” correct to win the money.  Another up side is that they get to look up, and see downtown Indiana.

One day, I hope to have the money to make this project a reality for Indiana and beyond!


Author: shutupjohn8

I am John P. Burkhart and reside in Indiana, Pennsylvania. For over 25 years, I worked in Visual Merchandising and Store Design for different companies across America. The cities include: San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Tampa, Honolulu, Boston, and Richmond. In 2000, I went home to help my parents. For the back story, go to Youtube, type: John Burkhart on the search line and see a video that Sean Yoder and James Nestor at the Indiana Gazette did August 15, 2015. Hope you get a laugh or two when see the video and/or read my blog. Enjoy!

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