Public flock to Fun Fest, car show

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

By Shelley Smith
GRANITE QUARRY — Established 105 years ago, Nazareth Children’s Home has grown to become a driving force in the community, and hundreds gathered once again for the home’s annual Fun Fest.
A car show brought more than 100 classics enthusiasts under the trees across the main campus of the school. Everything from a 1937 TK, 1932 Ford truck to a bright yellow 1963 Chevrolet S-10.
And Jim Sloop’s 1944 Ford V-8, “Black Bandit” was definitely a crowd-pleaser.
Sloop said he’s had the car for 28 years, and he and others fully restored the car and added a few extras to it, and he’s been driving it across the country ever since.
He’s been to shows in Vermont, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi, and even drove it to his U.S. Army reunions in Des Moines, Iowa, St. Joseph, Mo. and Oklahoma City.
He’s been coming to the Fun Fest for the past eight years.
“I’ve got friends all over the United States that I’ve made through car shows,” he said, and was a busy man Saturday as folks stopped to talk to him about his car.
Sloop, who lives at High Rock Lake, said “Black Bandit” gets around.
“Everyone in the country out here knows that old car,” he said.
Bob Povalkins, maintenance supervisor for the home, is also a member of the Piedmont Woodturners Club, and invited his fellow woodturners to the home to showcase their work, and raise money by turning blocks of wood into writing pens.
“I knew this was one of our largest fundraisers of the year for the school, so I asked them to come out and turn pens,” Povalkins said.
An alumni of Nazareth Children’s Home, John Rowland, 65, of Faith, stopped by the festival to get a few hot dogs.
He stayed at the school in 1958 and 1959 after his mother died. He said the campus brings back memories, and one particular story he’ll never forget.
“They were coming in for a room inspection, and I ran up the window to get a paper kite down and busted my knee (through the glass),” he said. He still has the scar.
Rowland was at the home with his brother, James, and sisters, Debbie, Carolyn and Betty. After two years, every child was put with a different foster family.
But he comes to the festival almost every year.
“Everyone knows me, but I don’t know them,” he said, joking. “When I was here my nickname was ‘P-Daber.’ It’s just a nickname that we got.”
Josh Regan, development director of the home, said this year’s festival was a hit, with most people coming for the entertainment and the cars.
“We started breakfast at 7 a.m. and ever since people have been coming in,” he said. “It’s been a great day, really.”
Sue Misenheimer, who lived at Nazareth Children’s Home from 1946 until 1952, is now an alumni coordinator, and said this year’s alumni turnout wasn’t as good as years past, but she and others plan to get together and branch out to find more of the students that once lived there.
“I think my favorite thing is everyone getting together because you see all of your friends,” she said. “The good thing about coming back is getting together with everyone.”
Misenheimer and Regan remember coming to the festival years ago and what is now a train ride used to be a game where folks would have to catch a greased pig or climb a greased pole.
“But it was the same purpose, open up Nazareth to the community,” Regan said.