Focal Point of My Youth

Education & Training with Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate

A recent visit to see Mother in my home town of Oil City, Pennsylvania gave me a sought after opportunity to take this photo of the hillside where I grew up and St. Joseph Church, the focal point of my youth.


St. Joseph ChurchSt. Joseph ChurchOil City, PA

Cradled in the foothills of the Allegheny mountains, Oil City is defined by hills and atop one is St. Joseph Church.  Really this is only halfway up the hill, but time did not allow more picture taking. 

My childhood home, 62 Pearl Avenue, is just down the street from the church and the grade school was around the corner.  At one time I knew everyone who lived on our block, all 50+ kids, most of whom went to the same church and school.  In fact I don't think I knew the name of anyone who did not go to St. Joe's, as it was affectionately called. 

Small town traditions, hard work, faith and family shaped the first eighteen years of our lives.  After graduation I left to attend college as did my siblings and my close friends, but my mother still lives there.  Although the neighborhood has changed over the years due to sickness or death, a few of the old homesteads are still occupied by her contemporaries.

Call it nostalgia, but in recent months I have felt driven to document various aspects of my early history each time I visit my mother.  E-mail & Facebook are great tools to share my treasures with friends & family.


Posted by


Mary Yonkers


      I thought about a Real Estate career for 11 years before I made the decision to get my Pennsylvania Real Estate license in mid-80's.  

      Thirty years later I can say affirmatively that Real Estate has been a fantastic career. 

      Come join me in class soon. Mary Yonkers, Real Estate Instructor


With so many homes for sale in Erie PA, this is the right time to begin your career as a Real Estate salesperson in Erie, PA.

 2018 Alan Kells

Mary Yonkers, Real Estate Instructor


 Mary Yonkers Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in Erie, PA

          Office:  814-835-1200 or Cell:  814-881-7548

Real Estate Classes Alan Kells Schools of Real Estate in Erie, PA  1-412-967-0240 

Real Estate Career in Erie, PA  1-814-835-1200


Comments (7)

Irene Tron
Valparaiso, IN

Mary, what a beautiful picture of your hometown and church.  I have also reconnected with friends that I hadn't heard from for years through Facebook.  I hope you a a nice visit with you mother.

Jan 14, 2010 12:41 PM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Irene--I had one of the best visits with my mother this week.  After all the wintery weather we had I was delighted to have a good travel day and a bright, sunny afternoon to take this shot.  I hope you have the chance to visit your mother soon, too.

Jan 14, 2010 12:54 PM
Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ

Ahhh Mary - I so understand this story.  It's good to look back and recall with fond memories our formative years and all we have to be sooooo grateful for.  I wish I could go back and my Mom would be there to visit.  She passed over in 2002 but she's still a HUGE presence my life - almost every day! I'm glad you can still visit your Mom and I'm VERY sure she's blessed to have a daughter like you!

Jan 14, 2010 02:33 PM
Not a real person
San Diego, CA

I'm glad you're finding time to document various aspects of your early history time you visit your mother. In addition to that, though, remember to document the history of your mother while she's still alive. Those stories that she has to share are priceless.

Jan 14, 2010 04:45 PM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Anna--I am happy to know that your mother's presence even though she is not.  I am taking this time to remember and document via photos.

Russel--Thanks for the suggestion.  I have thought about taping her stories.  Generations to come will be able to enjoy them.  I am glad that you came here. 

Jan 14, 2010 11:00 PM
Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon
Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd - Westminster, CO
Helping people Transition at all ages!

Mary--What a beautiful picture.  It looks like a masters painting.  You certainly grew up surrounded by beauty.  I also think it is so special to have your mother around to visit.

Cosmic Cow

Jan 15, 2010 02:57 AM
Mary Yonkers
Alan Kells School of Real Estate/Howard Hanna Real Estate - Erie, PA
Erie/PA Real Estate Instructor

Carra--thanks. I just snapped a picture between traffic while standing on a snow bank from acroos the river.  Yes, my mother is special and I appreciate the fact that I can visit her once a month.

Jan 15, 2010 03:47 AM