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Updated: Oct 28, 2019

Hello dear ones. We are finding it so hard to leave each new place we come to love, yet we've only found warmth and joy at each new place we visit. So we carry on, enjoying each new day we are given.

We arrived in Lancaster on the evening of Tuesday, October 15, after a full day of travel. We took our time, stopping for a walk in Providence, RI, and for lunch and a bit of exploration in New Haven, CT. Our hosts for our first stint in Lancaster were Jim & Glenda Evans, parents of a college friend of Caleb and Joshua's. We thoroughly enjoyed our evenings spent with the Evans, receiving some feedback on our songs and delightful conversation over board games.

We had a couple of dark, cold days to workshop our songs, and work on some of our own original music before our performance at Tellus360, which we were told is the hottest venue in town! On Friday the 18th, we played on the second of three floors containing multiple stages. We felt lucky to have the opportunity to play here, and were thrilled when we were asked to return! After a nice three hour set in the whisky lounge, we headed to meet up with our family in Johnstown.

Our Aunt Ellen (dad's sister) and Uncle Neil hosted not only the members of Girl Named Tom, but also the trio's parents, Chris and Holly, our Grandma Loveda, Josh's girlfriend, Erin, and the family dog, Jazzi. Ellen & Neil's son, Zac, lives just down the road along with his wife, Tina, and son, Jude, and they were also gracious hosts. We had a wonderful time reuniting, especially since the long weekend included Ellen's birthday! On Sunday the 20th, we were handed almost the entirety of the service to play at Stahl Mennonite Church. On Monday, we played at Flood City Cafe in downtown Johnstown, where we were asked to return the following evening while a Halloween parade marched just outside the door (where we got to see Jude and his cub scout troop go by!). On Tuesday morning, we played three chapels for differing age groups at Johnstown Christian School. The music selections ranged from our normal sets for the high schoolers to singing "Jesus in the Boat" with motions to the preschoolers.

On Wednesday, we had the opportunity to visit the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, which was really close to our aunt and uncle's house. It was sobering to learn more of the details of that fateful day in 2001.

We returned to Lancaster Wednesday evening, staying with Jim & Mona Sauder at their lovely Bed and Breakfast. We arose to a beautiful 70 degree sunny day, and sang at Lancaster Mennonite High School this morning (24th), where a fellow Goshen grad, Emily Grimes, teaches. We grew up watching her dominate the stage along with our cousins at Bethany Christian in Goshen, so it was fun officially meeting her. We got to sing a bit extra with the high school students, and even received their help with a promotional video for our single that is coming out on all platforms November 8th!

Tonight we will stay another night with Jim and Mona, Archbold friends who recently relocated to Lancaster. Tomorrow we embark for Washington D.C., where we have more cousins and friends awaiting us!

Thanks again for all of your support; we couldn't do this journey without you!

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Joe Balon
Joe Balon

Also if ever in Johnstown again, let me know if you would like to sing unmiked or miked at the Roxbury Band Shell. You can look it up at Roxbury Band or on Facebook. Sincerely Joe Balon Project Manager R.B.P.A.


Joe Balon
Joe Balon

Had the pleasure of seeing you folks at Carnegie Library last night in Pittsburgh, keep up the beautiful work. On another note are you related to the Liechty’s that owned the card shop in downtown Johnstown, funny story my Mom worked there and delivered her 9-th child right in the shop, as my Father and rest of the family were outside waiting to pick her up the ambulance showed up and all the kids were glued to the car windows wondering what was going on. Randy is affectionately known as the Hallmark baby. Thanks for sharing your beautiful gifts.

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