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Shamokin couple create wall tapestry to mark the 40th anniversary of Lincoln Towers


HARRY DEITZ/FOR THE NEWS-ITEM From left, Bill and Carol Grow and Janie Ortono, manager of Lincoln Towers, display the tapestry the Grow’s created for the 40th anniversary of landmark city high rise.

HARRY DEITZ/FOR THE NEWS-ITEM From left, Bill and Carol Grow and Janie Ortono, manager of Lincoln Towers, display the tapestry the Grow’s created for the 40th anniversary of landmark city high rise.

SHAMOKIN — Bill and Carol Grow say they aren’t professional artists, but their love to do things creatively speaks differently of the talents they are exhibiting during their retirement years.

The former Shamokin chief of police and his wife, a longtime emergency medical technician with AREA Services, have added to their long lists of accomplishments a large hanging tapestry that was presented this week to Lincoln Towers High Rise on Market and Mulberry streets. The colorful fabric traces the construction history in photos and description of the towering structure that will mark its 40th anniversary this month as the home for many senior citizens of the area.

“It’s a labor of love,” said the couple in explaining the reason they have created the latest tapestry to honor Lincoln Tower’s four decades of being a community landmark. “It’s a complete history of this monumental building from the groundbreaking and start of construction on April 21,1978, to what it is today.”

The tapestry will hang on the wall of the tower’s community room or lounge area for all to see, according to Janie Ortona, on-site manager of the high rise. She accepted the gift this week with a note of gratitude on behalf of the high rise’s management and its residents.

The Grows have done a number of tapestries since their retirement, one of the latest involves a photo and caption composite of the Philadelphia Eagles championship achievement for a friend from the Philadelphia area.

“I do the designs and transfer photos to fabric and Carol does the promotion and retailing,” Grow said. “The Towers project was easy for us to follow because we were able to take photos of its progress from our home on the opposite corner at 300 S. Coal St.

The couple learned to do tapestry several years ago after attending a quilt show in a museum on an Amish family tourist attraction in the Lancaster area. Since then, they have created wall hangings for a number of organizations and individuals, mostly friends.

Bill is active at Lincoln Towers, serving as president of the board of directors. He has served as board president for three consecutive terms.

A retired law enforcement officer, he served on Shamokin’s police force for 27 years, retiring as chief of police in 1994. Carol was an emergency medical technician on ambulance call with AREA Services for 17 years before her retirement about five years ago.

“It’s something that we enjoy doing mostly for friends we have known for many years,” they said. “There is no better way to enjoy retirement than to do something that is creative as well as constructive.”