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Little League Parents of the Year Award Contains Piece of Area History

By Shawna T. Turner
sturner@sungazette.com

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Front row, from left, are Reece Lisle, Reid Lisle, Dieter Miller (Good Sport of the Year), Linda Inge (George and Barbara Bush Parents of the Year), Frank Velasquez (Urban Initiative Volunteer of the Year), Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour (president of Pennsylvania College of Technology and chairwoman-elect of the Little League International board), Stephen D. Keener (president and CEO of Little League Baseball and Softball); back row, from left, Dennis Lewin (chairman of Little League International board), Chrissy Lisle (Mom of the Year), Michael Shutler (Little League Volunteer of the Year), Marilyn Wittstock (Challenger Award Winner), Dwight Inge (Parents of the Year).

When Dwight and Linda Inge were honored with the George and Barbara Bush Little League Parents of the Year Award Thursday, they were pleased with the piece of Little League history they were taking with them. As far as history goes, they only hit the tip of the iceberg.

The Inges also took with them a piece of Williamsport history that dates back to the mid-1800s.

The award, which was constructed at Nippon Panel in South Williamsport, had a change in its construction this year. Generally, the base of the award is made with marble. However, this year the base was made with a piece of the original Susquehanna Boom.

Rick Bolay, shop manager, thought it would be a good idea to incorporate the boom logs into the award.

“We thought it would be neat to put in a little piece of Williamsport history. We think the wood itself is 150 years or more. Being that this is a world renowned award, and we are a part of that history, we thought it would be nice to add to it. This is the first year we incorporated a little piece of our history,” Bolay said.

The Susquehanna Boom was a big part of city history. Lumber played an integral role in the Williamsport story in the 1800s. The Susquehanna Boom was a system of logs in the river designed to gather and hold timber at any one of the 60 sawmills in Williamsport, South Williamsport and DuBoistown.

During the lumber era, Williamsport was one of the most prosperous cities in both the state and the country.

According to shop owner Jim Vanderlin, logs were removed from the river about 15 years ago. The lumber was preserved because it had been in the water.

He estimates the logs were in the water since the 1860s.

As for the Inges, Little League has played an important role in their lives. Their son, Brandon, is the starting third baseman for the Detroit Tigers.

They began in Little League with their children and they are now not only part of the Little League story, but the Williamsport story as well.