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Sebak Visits Moundville ... Again

August 28, 2009 - Phyllis Sigal
“He’s shared with the world what we already know — that we live in a wonderful community.”

Those were the words of John Turak when he introduced Rick Sebak to a gathering Thursday to watch “Right Beside the River,” Sebak’s latest series on public television.

Gold, Kourey and Turak hosted the event, which included the presentation of the Pittsburgh History Series documentary as well as a question-and-answer session with Sebak. It was great to hear that unique voice of his in person.

“What really makes our community special is the people,” Turak said, pointing out the people behind The Strand, Fostoria, the Mound, the Cockayne house, and “their passion made this community as special as it is.”

Turak credited Nila Chaddock, chairman of the Cockayne Historic Preservation Committee, with getting Sebak involved.

“He (Sebak) came here and got into Nila’s tow — ‘You gotta see this!’ — and Sebak said, ‘I gotta get back to Pittsburgh! Nila, I can’t do the whole program about Moundsville!’ ... That’s the kind of passion,” Turak said.

The 73-minute show features the Grave Creek Mound, the Cockayne House and the Marx Toy Museum. Several other Pennsylvania river towns also are part of the documentary.

“We had great fun when we came down here,” Sebak said. “We just had a wonderful time.”

Sebak said he was looking for a farm beside the Ohio River for his documentary, and the Cockayne House fit that requirement. The prehistoric mound and the toy museum made for two more interesting stories.

After the Q&A session, some folks presented Sebak with some Moundsville mementoes.

The best gift was from Jason Turner, son of the Marx Toy Museum’s founder, Francis Turner. He presented Sebak with a Flintstone village ... a Marx toy set Sebak had as a child. “Oh my God, it’s the Flintstones!” Sebak exclaimed when he realized what it was. “I had the exact same set.”

While there were no pledge breaks during Thursday’s presentation — as there are during the WQED airings — Gold, Kourey and Turek did present Sebak with a $500 check for WQED.

What can we expect next from Sebak? “Breakfast!” he said. His next documentary will feature breakfasts across the country. (I hope he checks out Sonny Boy Restaurant in Bridgeport!)


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Rick Sebak with his Flintstones set.


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