And the Winner Is...Jun 01, 2021 11:50AM ● By Teresa Banik Capuzzo
When I called Wellsboro resident and retired forester Kerry Gyekis to tell him he’d just snagged a first-place Keystone Award from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association, he was motoring north after a visit to the Dry Tortugas, his wife Janet at the wheel of their camper. “I won what?” he asked, confused. Unbeknownst to him, Mountain Home had submitted the three outdoor columns he’d written for us last year in the sports/outdoor column category, and he had taken first place in the contest honoring the best journalism in the state.
“What?? I’ve never won anything in my life!” he exclaimed when he grasped my meaning. I didn’t see The Look he got, but he chuckled and added, “Except for Janet.”
Our managing editor Gayle Morrow took second place in the same category for her Mother Earth column, a whimsically provocative take on the outdoors. Her column about riding a horse in the swamp, “Swamps, a Morning Ride, and the Addams Family,” was one of the winners.
It was also the first year old friend and retired Philadelphia Inquirer journalist David O’Reilly’s byline graced these pages, and his very first appearance won a business/consumer story first prize for his cover story “The Last Reporter,” an exhaustively reported story of the only remaining writer at the Elmira Gazette, the original flagship of the Gannett newspaper chain. David’s tale of local foragers, “Into the Woods,” also took a gold, this one for feature story writing.
Bernadette Chiaramonte won second place in feature photography for her painterly up-close-and-personal portrait of an opossum snacking in a crabapple tree. And that photo’s headline won a Keystone award: “Photo Op(ossum)” was one of three staff headlines that won second place for headline writing. Those clever words were penned by our “I don’t do words” operations director Gwen Button.
Gwen and Gayle together also won a second place in photo story/essay for “Color My World,” which Gayle summed up succinctly: “August offers so many gifts, some so subtle you might overlook them. Color is not one of those.”
My husband and Mountain Home co-founder Mike was busy over the last year with a book project (some of which we printed in last month’s groundbreaking cover story). But he had time to do one important story for us, “Our Man in the Quantum,” a love song to the late Wellsboro artist Tucker Worthington, the mad genius who made our vision his (and vice versa) over the last decade and a half of our publishing history. For that story Mike won second place in the personality profile category.
Speaking of winners, there’s an additional one we can’t leave out: On page 15 is a picture of our niece, Miss Wellsboro Alexis Banik. We are very, very proud of her, too!