Recently, Eberhardt Motors in Egypt, Whitehall Township observed its 90th anniversary, a milestone for a family-owned and operated business. As a customer for over 50 years, this writer stopped in to speak to current owner, Mr. Eric Eberhardt, and a number of customers, many oldtimers who shared their memories of the past, especially of the trusty Plymouth which is no longer manufactured by the Chrysler Corporation.
Mr. Nelson Hoff was reared in the Bath area, the youngest of 14 children. His father Horace, a 25-year Keystone employee, was a quarry mechanic. He unfortunately passed away when Nelson was 15 years old.
"I worked on a local farm when I was 12 years old," Nelson recalled. He graduated from Nazareth High School in 1969.
"I started my cement career at Keystone in 1979, being hired by plant manager Frank Silfies" he said. "Over my 25 years, I have worked as a quarry mechanic, maintenance man and carpenter/millwright, and currently I am a Class A millwright."
As most of my readers know, I have devoted many years of research and study writing about the history and lore of the Lehigh Valley cement industry and the daily lives of the cement workers. Each year I visit all of our local cement plants – Keystone, LaFarge, Essroc, Lehigh-Heidelburg and Hercules.
A recent visit to the Keystone Cement Company in Bath was both sad and nostalgic, as I learned my longtime friend Mr. Stephen Hayden had announced his retirement after 34 years of service at the landmark company.
In today's column, Mr. Michael Bednar and this writer are visiting the Darktown War Memorial. Darktown is a hamlet along the Lehigh River in Hokendauqua, Whitehall Township. The memorial is not adorned by granite pillars or bronze statues. It is a simple glass-enclosed tablet remembering the men and women who left the blue-collar village to serve in World War II and Korea.
Mr. Dave Reppert was raised in Kreidersville, Allen Township. He graduated from Northampton Area High School in 1974, where he was active in the Konkrete Kid athletic program and student council.
Members of Dave's wife's family have worked for over a century in the cement industry at both the Penn-Dixie and Keystone cement companies.