Abraham Clymer Roots Part 2 Apr 25 2003
Abraham: Product of his Clymer roots Continued from page 1 Stewart, after his death in a plane crash; "The Gamer," an autobiography of all-star catcher Gary Carter; "Coming Clean," a collaboration with • former Medellin drug cartel leader Jorge Valdes; "Don't Bite the Apple 'til You Check for Worms," about relationships and dating; and in 2002, "Racing to Win," with former Washington Redskins coach Joe Gibbs. Back when Abraham discovered his love for writing, his first responsibility was rising early to go with his dad, Howard "Hub," at 5 a.m. to open his bar, Abraham's Hotel in Clymer. The pair would clean and get the place ready for business until 7 a.m., when Hub opened the doors —. primarily to coal miners coming off their overnight shift. "I would go upstairs into the corner and write little stories about the people I saw there," Abraham said. "I read Carl's (Kologie, then Gazette sports editor) stuff all the time, and I made my own newspaper, The Clymer Sun." Abraham said the two people who helped him the most in feeding his'passion for writing and developing his skills were Penns Manor English teachers Lee Stuck, in junior high, and Sandy Christ in high school. "Those two teachers taught me • the nuts and bolts of what I do every day," said Abraham, who graduated from Perms Manor in 1969. He also credits Janet Smith Kochman, a Purchase Line high school English teacher, with encouraging him. "She believed that I could write before I ever wrote anything," Abraham said. "And she was willing to help me see that I could." Even before he was a writer, Abraham excelled as a drummer in the well-known Watchmen Quartet, a Christian gospel band. He and his brothers John and link as well as Loren Greene got their start in Ciymer and traveled and entertained audiences for about 20 years. As a result, "A lot of people's lives were changed for the better, I hope," he said. Abraham, who attended the Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Clymer when he lived there,is also an ordained pastor who served the Greensburg Christian Fellowship Center in Jeannette from 1985 to 1990. In addition to IUR he studied at Asbury College and Asbury Theological Seminary, both in WUmore, Ky. He said he looks forward to coming home for the weekend, especially to see his mother, Minnie, who still lives in Clymer. When his family has more time, they plan to return for a longer stay. His wife, Lisa, is involved with the Nashville-based group Mercy Ministries, which supports girls facing challenges like pregnancy. The . couple have three daughters: Megan, 18; Ashleigh, 14; and Alyssa, 12. "I'm very honored to come back as the speaker for this weekend's events," Abraham said. And the event organizers are honored to have him. "To realize that Ken —' gifted musician, gifted pastor, gifted author — had been elevated into the prestigious circle of best-selling authors ... all pointed to the person who could meet the privilege of addressing Indiana Countians who will be celebrating their religious history," said J.D. Varner, producer of this weekend's worship event, adding that Abraham will "very capably minister, to those in the audience." Incidentally, Varner pointed out, Minnie Abraham will play the piano as part of the event's preiude music. Abraham has some advice for young people with aspirations who are starting out in small towns. "We all have different gifts," he said, "and we all have different •talents. God can use each one of us." He said that growing up, "I quickly found out that I wasn't any good athletically, but there weren't a whole lot of accolades given out at that time for kids who wrote newspapers in the comer." He stuck with it, however, and found success. "We don't have to be from a big city," Abraham said. "If we're willing to work hard and do the things that are right, God will honor that." He is preparing to work with entertainer John Tesh and his wife, Connie Cellecca, on a collaborative book about their faith journey. He's also working on the •next installment of his Prodigal Project books, which can be described as an "action kind of fiction." "It's an interesting culture back in Indiana County," Abraham said. "I look forward some day to coming back and writing a novel in that setting." Tickets for "One County Under God" are available at Bethany Place Personal Care Facility, McGill's Car World, Don Huey Custom Builders, St. Andrew's Village, Indiana Regional Medical Center, Wood Pontiac- Chevrolet in Plumville, the Indiana County Court House, the Indiana County Tourist Bureau in the Indiana Mall and lUP's Hadley Union Building. For bulk tickets, contact Varner at (724) 463-0707.