136 Participate In Lantern Walk

October 21, 2010 at 11:05 AM


Clockwise from top:  Carolyn Rhoades as Willie Gamble DuBois; Karina Smith as the French governess; Caleb Thompson as young Tom Mix; Todd Shindledecker and Eddie Smith, the Nittany Lion; and Tom Shade as Rev. J. V. Bell.

             It was another successful Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walk with 136 people taking advantage of a beautiful fall evening to learn more about community history at the 3rd annual event. The walk was in one of DuBois’ most historic areas, the Penn State DuBois Campus and its neighborhood. Penn State DuBois, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2010, is located on what was originally the property of City of DuBois patriarch John DuBois.

            While on the walk participants encountered “Spirits” of DuBois history. The met with the Penn State Nittany Lion performed by Eddie Smith, a junior at Penn State DuBois, and a hunter from the wilderness period, Todd Shindledecker, who served as the Lion’s translator; Rev. J. V. Bell, performed by Tom Shade, who delivered part of the eulogy presented at the funeral of John DuBois; John E. DuBois, performed by Tom Rubritz, and Willie Gamble DuBois, performed by Carolyn Rhoades; the DuBois family’s French governess, performed by Karina Smith; DuBois family jobber, Joseph Lines, performed by Greg Weible; young Civilian Conservation Corps member Lou Adams, performed by DuBois High School senior Hunter Pataski; young Tom Mix, performed by Caleb Thompson; and Dr. Edwin Zoller, Penn State DuBois’ first chancellor performed by Tharren Thompson.

            In addition to learning more about DuBois area history, some other more obvious information was gained by the participants.

            Following one of Smith’s presentation as the French Governess, during which she mixed in French with English, the following “really” conversations were overheard:

            “Who was that?” was the question concerning Smith’s real identity.

            “A retired school teacher.”

            “What did she teach?”


            At the pillars at the edge of campus, which mark the entrance to the former DuBois Mansion, Rhoades and Rubritz, performing as John E. and Willie Gamble DuBois had some Penn State DuBois Campus students, who were unaware of the activity, have this conversation.

            Student, “Who are you?”

            Rhoades, never leaving character,“I’m Willie Gamble DuBois.”

            Student, in astonishment, “Really!”

            All of the parts were based on historical people from DuBois’ past. The script and narration was researched and written by:  Gene Aravich, Gretchen Clark, Galen Kilmer, Beecher Klingensmith, Tom Schott, Virginia Schott, and Todd Thompson.

            Leading the walks were:  Todd Thompson, Galen Kilmer, Paul Bojalad, and Tom Schott. Jeanne Hayes, Jerry Watson, Beecher Klingensmith, and Gene Aravich accompanied the tours.

            DuBois Area High School students serving as parking lot guides were:  Alaina Anand, Matthew Campbell, Adrianna Landis, Lauren Nelson, Aimee Shaffer, Andrew Skubisz, Branson Smith, Jon Sones, Sarah Whitaker, and Amber Young.

            Assisting with tickets sales and refreshments were: Evo Facchine, Audrey Lott, Dave Beer, Nellie Beer, Linda Riccadonna, Jean Hayes, Cheri Shannon, and Susie Shaffer.

The planning committee for the Lantern Walk were:  Evo Facchine, Gene Aravich, Gretchen Clark, Jean Hayes, Galen Kilmer, Beecher Klingensmith, Lisa LaBue, Carolyn Rhoades, Tom Rubritz, Tom Schott (chair), Virginia Schott, Todd Shindledecker, and Todd Thompson.

            Penn State DuBois, Scotty’s Donuts, and Stew’s Brew Coffee House were Lantern Walk sponsors.

            “The DuBois Area Historical Society is very pleased with the support this event received from the community,” said Lantern Walk committee chair, Tom Schott. “Over 450 people have attended the first three Spirit of DuBois Lantern Walks. The Society also appreciates the support of Penn State DuBois Chancellor Anita McDonald, public information officer Steve Harmic, and the custodial staff for their cooperation in making this event a success.”