Volunteer Spotlight Pat Richey

PRicheyPoetry-enthusiast, Phillies-Phanatic, and busy-bee worker, Pat Richey, is a very busy lady here at Tel Hai and elsewhere. Pat and her Husband, Tom, moved to Tel Hai eleven years ago, and she immediately started giving her time to Tel Hai Re-Sale Shop. She reminds us that the re-sale shop started out as a flea market housed in a tiny little room, the room that is now the linen room, and, she adds, it was only open in May with some books and a few other things, defiantly no furniture, there was no room.The shop was then relocated down to the 800 building, near the sewer plant, and the committee thought that was great! They had their own building with shelves and room for bigger things like furniture! It didn’t last very long in that location, they were moved back up to the Hertzler building and given space to spread their wings and become the successful operation they are today. Pat tells us that the volunteers in the Wood Shop made the current shelving set up to enhance the displays.

Through these past eleven years, Pat worked to price the items for sale. Each time you see a nice little display with clearly marked price labels, think about Pat Richey and her dedicated staff of volunteers; Barb Peel, Shirley Walton, and the late Kay Griffin.  Thank them for the clarity of any purchases you wish to make. She tells us they would arrive every Tuesday morning at 8:30 to begin their work. Sometimes she would have to lock the doors because folks would see the open doors and want to come in to see what she was doing and perhaps make off with a special deal! That was every Tuesday at 8:30 for eleven years. That is a lot of volunteer hours, and for the consistency, dependability, and organized effort, we thank Pat Richey and highlight her in the Volunteer Spotlight. .Pat thanks her neighbor, Bill Emmanuel,for introducing her to the possibilities for giving back with work in the Re-sale shop: he said, “Come on. We need help”. With her Girl Scout spirit, she went to help, and has been busy ever since.

Regardless of where she is or what she is doing, Pat usually has a Philadelphia Phillies game within listening distance if they are playing. She tells us she used to travel in to Philadelphia for many games, but she prefers the comforts of home any more to the less-comfortable stadium seating. She gives her time to make sure the re-sale shop operates smoothly and enjoys a lot of sales.

Pat is a really big poetry enthusiast, and one only need visit her home to see evidence of this love. She especially loves historical motto poems and displays them on her “Motto” wall. Here we can see a Lincoln wall, aUniversity wall,and aWashington wall. Poetry on her wall was, to a large part, written in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. She does have favorites: The Sportsman’s Prayer by BertonBraley and After the Lights Went Out by Leo S. Robinson. These motto poems and their authors are, for the most part,fading from public memory; however, Pat remembers them and their stories and poems live on in the stories Pat shares ever so willingly.With a visit to her cottage, one can clearly see her passion for this precious piece of our cultural history. Her favorite poet is Edgar Guest whose most famous poem was Guest’s most famous poem is the oft-quoted Home.

Pat and Tom brought Kelton to Tel Hai when they moved here. Now, Kelton is a very special member of their family and has been for the past 47 years. He even paraded in the Day in the Country Pet Parade last year. Pat tells us they found Kelton in the road after a storm in 1967 and have enjoyed his companionship ever since.She has a collection of Kelton’s stories in newspaper clippings with stories about his volunteer work here. Kelton does friendly visits on the front porch of Lakeview in the warm summer Months.

Once upon a generation ago, Pat and Tom met at a political rally for Presidential candidate and World War II hero, Dwight David Eisenhower. Pat was at the University Of Pennsylvania Hospital, working as a nurse. As a young Republican, she had been recruited to go to the pep rally and hand out literature.  And the rest…   as they say…  is history. They met, fell in love, were married, had a daughter, Megan, who died in 2005.  Pat is a retired nurse.

Pat Richey is indeed a blessing to Tel Hai through the service and energy she has given to the Re-Sale Shop. She lives by the mottos that she so proudly displays and dearly loves:

The Sportsman’s Prayer
by BertonBraley

Dear Lord, in the battle that goes on through life
I ask but a field that is fair,
A chance that is equal with all in the strife,
A courage to strive and to dare;

And if I should win, let it be by the code
With my faith and my honor held high;Unknown
And if I should lose, let me stand by the road,
And cheer as the winners go by.

And Lord, may my shouts be ungrudging and clear,
A tribute that comes from the heart,
And let me not cherish a snarl or a sneer
Or play any sniveling part;

Let me say, “There they ride, on whom laurel’s bestowed
Since they played the game better than I.”
Let me stand with a smile by the side of the road,
And cheer as the winners go by.

So grant me to conquer, if conquer I can,
By proving my worth in the fray,
But teach me to lose like a regular man,
And not like a craven, I pray;

Let me take off my hat to the warriors who strode
To victory splendid and high,
Yea, teach me to stand by the side of the road
And cheer as the winners go by.

-Berton Braley

For the time, talent, love of poetry and baseball, enthusiasm for life, and volunteerism, we thank Pat Richey and highlight her in the Volunteer Spotlight.


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