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finding something new

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James A. Asbury - Creative Director

Route 6 Radio has opened my eyes to many things.

Taking a new roll in my area, and it’s history has exposed me to new people and places from today. but digging deeper into the history of this area, I found new stories and people I did not know until this project. Sure our Pennsylvania has a rich, deep history. Many famous faces have come from here. Everyone from Ben Franklin to Bret Michels can be found in PA. But our little part of the world has gone some what unknown all these years, over shadowed by the southern part of the Keystone state.

Maybe our people’s stories are not be as famous ast the battle of Gettysburg or the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. But the products they produced, and lives they have lead are just hidden in plain site.

Woolly Willie was a product of the town of Smethport. Not long ago I was on a drive with a friend. As we rode in silence along Route 6, out of the blue my co-pilot asked,
“who is wooly Willie?” I didn’t know. So I called Jeff. Little did I know that Wooly Willie is the world famous magnetic toy. The toy company that produced Willie had made components for bombs the Allies dropped during the second world war.

But when things turned to peace time, toys were once more made by small companies all around the country, including in Smethport.....Wooly Willie wasn’t picked up right away. It was the determination of the inventor to make him a hit. Wooly Willie has been a top 40 toy since 1955. He’s still produced in Smethport PA.

I had a Wooly Willie magnet toy when I was a child. But no one ever told me they were made just down the road.

Sometimes the best mysteries are hidden in plain sight.

James A. Asbury

Creative Director