I would like to start this week with a sincere apology for my absence in last week’s Derry Diary column. The past few weeks have been really rough for me, as I spent nearly three weeks sick with the flu. To make matters worse, during that time, I found out that not only I, but our whole community lost a great person in Bill “Doc” Livingston.

I would like to extend my deepest sympathy to the Livingston family.

In addition, I received a letter this week from former Bulletin Editorial Director Steve Kittey concerning “Doc” that I want to share with you.

I think Steve’s letter hits the nail on the head, and is well-written. Thanks, Steve!

Steve writes:

“’Doc’ was such super person that I wanted to pass along a brief observation about him:

“The Derry School District and particularly Trojan wrestling, lost a valuable person when Bill ‘Doc’ Livingston passed away recently. Many times down through the years Doc reminded me that he and I arrived on the scene at about the same time. And then he would joke that the world hasn’t been the same since!

“I started working at the Bulletin in 1964 as the Ligonier reporter and became sports editor in 1965. The later was the same year Doc initiated the wrestling program at Derry Area. Later I looked back at that timeline and saw some irony in the fact that Creed Westfall, the highly successful mat coach at Greater Latrobe who begin the Wildcat wrestling program in 1951, was just beginning to close out his coaching and teaching career, retiring in 1971.

“Both were amazing men and I was proud to call them my friends. I also saw a lot of similarity in them because both were somewhat laid back and both had unusual senses of humor.

“I can’t begin to tell you how helpful Doc was in keeping the Bulletin informed about the Derry Area wrestling program. If you needed a statistic, he had it. If he didn’t have an answer for you immediately (which was rare), Doc would get it for you as soon as possible. In later years when he retired from coaching, I remember Doc telling me about the ‘yearbooks’ he prepared for every individual wrestler who went through the Trojan mat program. What dedication!

“But dedication was the correct word to explain Doc’s involvement with Derry Area wrestling. He loved the sport, he loved and appreciated the people involved with the program and he loved being a big part of the team’s success down through the years. He was not a braggart. He let his accomplishments speak for themselves.

“There are not enough good words to describe Bill Livingston. I can remember covering Derry Area wrestling matches when he was the team scorer and stat man. He always made room for me at the scorer’s table and at times when I was late for a match (mostly because it started early), Doc was there to help me catch up, providing details of the earlier matches.

“If you knew Doc, you had to love his sense of humor. I admit that there were times when I did not know whether he was joking or not about something he said. It was that dry sense of humor that I began to appreciate down through the years. And he used it with everyone he knew. He was such a good person.

“My sincere condolences to his family and friends.”

* * *

Hillside United Methodist Church is having a sub sale 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, throughout our local area.

The sub sale benefits the Hillside Methodist Church in memory of June Kellerman Ehman. You may purchase the subs at some of the following locations: Ridgeview Heating and Air Conditioning, located along Route 217 in Hillside; Taylor Trucking, located on Torrance Road; Tractor Supply in Blairsville, and AmeriServ Bank in Derry Borough. Subs are supplied by Rinaldi’s Pizza Barn.

* * *

The supervisor of grounds of Coles Cemetery Association will be cleaning the cemetery grounds of all summer flowers, worn military flags, decorations, etc. Please have any items you wish to keep removed from your loved ones grave by Sunday, Oct. 25. Anything left after that date will be discarded.

The association also reminds everyone that no type of border is permitted around graves and will be removed by the groundskeepers. Please review the rules and regulations that are posted on a sign near Coles’ office. It is also noted that the water will be turned off for the season in November as the weather dictates.

* * *

The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Chestnut Ridge Post 444, wrote that it “would like to thank everyone that helped with the flag pole project.

”We truly appreciate you commitment to the Derry Area veterans. The project is on going, and plans are to pave around the base of the pole, and to add a sign. We could not have done this without your help and support. Plans for an official dedication will be conducted 11 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Derry public works grounds. We encourage all area veterans and friends to come out for the dedication.

“The VFW post meets on the second Wednesday of the month at the American Legion.

“We also would like to thank the Latrobe Bulletin and Derry Diary for your help and support.”

* * *

Because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the annual Walk for the Animals has gone virtual. Action For Animals (AFA) has been forced to cancel many fundraisers this year because of the pandemic. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, AFA relies on generous donations to care for 150 animals. It takes $2,000 every day of the year to keep the shelter and medical clinic open.

Please consider joining this fun event to help raise much needed funds for Westmoreland County’s oldest no-kill shelter. You can participate from any location, in any of the following ways:

To register for the walk, sign up as an individual walker or register or join a team with your company, family or friends at https://p2p.onecause.com/afawalk/. The registration fee is $15 per person, which includes a walk T-shirt. If you registered after Oct. 7, you will receive your T-shirt after the event.

You’ll receive your own fundraising page after you register. Share the link of your page with your friends and family, asking for donations to help the homeless animals.

On the day of the walk, Saturday, Oct. 31, take a walk around your yard, through your neighborhood or at a favorite park or trail between 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Go alone, take your pets, stroll with friends or family members or while you’re trick or treating. Walk as little or as much as you want.

Take a photo during your virtual walk and share it on Facebook, Twitter and/or Instagram with hashtag #AFAWalk, so everyone can see your support for AFA and all the fun you’re having.

Additionally, as a bonus prize, one photo will be selected from social media using the hashtag #AFAWalk.

Prizes include: First-place individual walker: $150 Visa gift card, and first-place team: $250 restaurant gift card.

One person who posts a photo on social media with the hashtag #AFAWalk will be selected to win a prize.

If you’d like to become an event sponsor or promote your business as an event sponsor, there are many affordable sponsorship levels available. Visit: https://p2p.onecause.com/afawalk/event/Become-a-sponsor. You may also be a T-shirt sponsor. Feature your business or a dedication on the back of our walk t-shirts. Sign up at https://p2p.onecause.com/afawalk/event/t-shirt-sponsor.

You may join as a virtual vendor. You can make the walk feel more like an actual event while promoting your business or product! Join now at: https://p2p.onecause.com/afawalk/event/virtual-vendor. A list of virtual vendors can be found online: https://p2p.onecause.com/afawalk/page/virtual-vendor.

Don’t forget to donate. Support a walker, team or the event. Every dollar raised helps the animals at our shelter. Donate online at https://p2p.onecause.com/afawalk/search

* * *

Derry Borough Council meetings will hold its work sessions and regular monthly meetings for the remainder of 2020 at 7 p.m. Tuesdays at A.V. Germano Hall, located at 100 W. Second St., Derry Borough.

Work sessions are scheduled for Nov. 20 and Dec. 1. The regular monthly meetings are set for Nov. 17 and Dec. 8.

* * *

Twin Maples Hunt Club will be performing their semi-annual road clean-up beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18. Volunteers will be working the entire roadway from the Derry Borough line to the St. Clair Township line at the other base of the Chestnut Ridge. Anyone wishing to help should meet at the club house shortly before 11 a.m. Bill Glasser said, “please help us keep Chestnut Ridge clean and beautiful.”

* * *

DASD 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) Program Director Debbie Gray would like to share that the after- school program (aft3r@dasd) will be offered virtually throughout the month of October. Elementary students can join in on the fun from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 4 to 5 p.m. Friday. Secondary students are invited to attend 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The program is free to students in the Derry Area School District K-12. STE(A)M activities are planned daily. To register, go to cclc.dasd.us. A follow-up email will be sent upon registration.

Need more information? Email Debbie at dgray@dasd.us Sign up today!

* * *

Have a great weekend, and let’s go Trojans!

* * *

Derry Diary items may be emailed to liberoni@aol.com.

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