An Interview With Scott

1. Where were you born?

Spangler, Pennsylvania. The old mining company hospital is no longer standing and the town has sinced changed its name (Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania). I must’ve made a real impact!

2. Parents?

Alfred and Kathryn Rhoades. My Dad worked for Sybert’s Feed Mill before joining the Department of Transportation. He was also a volunteer firefighter. My mom worked in a dress factory and eventually became a teacher in a Christian school.

3. Things you’ll remember about your parents:

My mom has an ornery streak a mile long and it has really messed me up. I remember one night when my mom decided she was going to re-upholster our old upright piano bench (I think I “complained” I couldn’t finish practicing my lessons because the bench was too hard). I was sitting at the kitchen table doing my homework and my mom was on the kitchen floor preparing the foam padding and material to get the desired effect. She had borrowed an electric-powered, industrial stapler (much like the one Macaulay Culkin rigged to the front door of his uncle’s house on Home Alone 2) from my grandpa to secure everything to the bottom of the bench. All of a sudden “whap”, she fired a staple into the wood and then let out a blood-curdling scream and immediately grabbed her hand! I jumped from the table to see what had happened and she just kept grabbing her hand with her head down. I was sure she amputated a few fingers! I started to feel sick and turn colors when she left go of her hand and started laughing. (I was not amused, but often think if we had a video camera back then, we’d be a million dollars happier thanks to America’s Funiest Videos!) On a serious note, I will remember a mom who prays for me every day, without question.

My Dad is a Chrysler man and it wasn’t uncommon for us to go for Saturday drives in the old Coronet, Dart, or Aspen. We’d usually end up at Barosky’s Barber Shop for a haircut, the Gold Crown Supermarket to pick up milk and bread, the old Exxon Station to chat with some of the men in the community (it was like visiting Gomer’s Garage in Mayberry, it was more than a garage – it was an “experience”), or the Firehouse to hang out and enjoy a bottle of Pepsi Cola or Cherokee Red  “Pop” (Yes, that’s what we call it in the North). My dad used to take one of the fire engines to parades in the local area and I’d get to ride along. We brought home quite a few trophies! Most importantly I’ll remember a gentle, caring, compassionate, and quiet man.

4. Things you’ll remember about your grandparents?

My grandma, Elizabeth Rhoades, had the personality of Aunt Bea from the Andy Griffith Show! She walked with a limp due to some complications she suffered after breaking her leg as a child, but I NEVER once heard her complain about it. For a few years, we lived in a mobile home on the hill directly behind their house. I was quite young at the time, but I remember going to the back door, ringing the doorbell, hiding, waiting to hear the door open, and then running to the front door and doing it all over again. She eventually grew wise to my “game” and caught me, but instead of giving me a good scolding, she hugged me with her big, fluffy arms and took me inside for cookies and milk, to play a game of dominos, and to color her a picture. I will remember her stories and poems most of all!

My grandfather, Paul Rhoades, was a gentle man (although he would get a little irritated when I licked the cream out of the cookies and left the cookies.) He’d rub my head and then take the leftover cookies and dunk them in a big glass of milk. He was an electrician and loved to “tinker” in the garage. He loved new technology – radio, television, VCR, satellite dish (he purchased one of the first large dishes – looked like NASA had come to town) and it didn’t intimidate him (I’m sure he’d be surfin’ the net and using an ipad if he were alive today.) He had a telescope and we spent our share of evenings gazing at the moon. He had a reclining chair in the corner of the living room with a big gold spittoon where he would deposit his leftover tobacco. If you were visiting on a Saturday night and Lawrence Welk was on TV, you got to enjoy it too! I still hear the gentle sounds of “Somewhere My Love” playing lightly on the old stereo. (Perhaps it’s why I watch the re-runs and have my very own Welk CD collection – it was their song.)

5. Favorite childhood memory?

Gathering in our backyard and playing pick-up games of wiffle ball, tennis ball, football, hide-and-seek, and kick-the-can with the neighborhood gang. We’d stay outside until the street lights came on, and then beg our parents for just a few more minutes.

6. Who are some of the most famous people you’ve met?

     a. Senator/Astronaut John Glenn and many members of the U.S. Astronaut Corps.

     b. One of the first nurses to work at NASA (we had lunch and I visited in her home).

     c. Songwriters Bill & Gloria Gaither.

     d. Author, Former NASA Engineer and Rocket Boy himself – Homer Hickam.

     e. Former Pittsburgh Steeler Wide-Reciever Lynn Swann.

     f. Montaine Mallet and Daniel Heligoin of The French Connection Airshow.

7. Props or Jets?

That’s a tough one! Nothing beats the sound of an old World War II airplane and nothing beats hearing a jet break the sound barrier. They both have a place in our rich traditions of aviation and we wouldn’t have one without first having the other.

8. Favorite Bible Verse?

1 Samuel 12:16

“Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the Lord will do before your eyes…”

9. Favorite Color?


10. Favorite Food?

Anything Italian!

11. Favorite Restaurants?

     a. Capri’s Pizza, Indiana, Pa.

     b. The Italian Oven, DuBois, Pa.

     c. Ligonier Country Inn, Ligonier, Pa.

     d. New York, New York, Titusville, Fl.

     e. Chili’s

12. Food’s you don’t like?


13. Favorite Movies?

     a. White Christmas.

     b. The Right Stuff.

     c. October Sky.

     d. The Kid.

     e. Midway.

14. Favorite Television Shows?

     a. Newhart.

     b. JAG.

     c. Emergency.

     d. Hogan’s Heroes.

     e. The Wonder Years.

     f. The Little Raschals/Our Gang.

     g. Star Trek.

15. Favorite Books?

     a. The Traveler’s Gift (and all books) by Andy Andrews.

     b. October Sky/Rocket Boys, The Coalwood Way, Sky of Stone, and The Red Helmet by Homer Hickam.

     c. The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch.

     d. Stories from Lake Woebegon, by Garrison Keillor.

16. Favorite Places?

     a. Nanty-Glo, Pa.

     b. Cape Canaveral, Fl.

     c. Mystic, Ct.

     d. Vermont

     e. Washington State

    f. Great Smokie Mountains.

17. Favorite Songs?

     a. The Mercies of God, by Thomas Chisholm.

     b. He Didn’t Throw The Clay Away, by Gene Reasoner. Performed by The Cathedrals.

     c. You’re Still Lord, by Phil Johnson/Lanny Wolfe. Peformed by Janet Paschal.

     d. I’m Gonna Make It, by Cissy Padgett. Performed by Sisters.

     e. I Love You For Sentimental Reasons, by William Best and Deek Watson. Peformed by Linda Ronstadt.

     f. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love), by Charles Jackson and Marvin Yancy. Performed by Natalie Cole.

    g. As Time Goes By, by Herman Hupfeld. Performed by Joe Fagin.

  h. Moon River, by Henry Mancini. Performed by Andy Williams.

   i. Way Up There, by Tena Clark. Performed by Patti LaBelle.

18. Favorite Musicians?

     a. Annie Moses Band.

     b. Celtic Women.

     c. Olivia Newton John.

     d. Janet Paschal.

     e. Larnelle Harris.

19. Favorite Activies?

     a. Hiking/Backpacking/Orienteering.

     b. Music.

     c. Flying.

20. Characteristics I least admire in others?

Laziness and excuses.

21. Characteristic I least admire in myself?


*Favorites are not listed in any order or preference.

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