Filming ‘Our Town- Montrose’




Tom Follert, right, proprietor of Chocolates by Leopold, gets ready for an interview about what makes Montrose special with WVIA-TV personality Lisa Mazzarella. STAFF PHOTO/ROBERT BAKER



A documentary seeking to capture the flavor of Montrose was filmed Saturday by WVIA-TV.

“Our Town-Montrose” completed 23 of 26 interviews on Saturday in a marathon shooting from 8 a.m. to 8:45 p.m., said Lisa Mazarella, who conducted the interviews at the Rosemont Inn.

The few remaining interviews will be completed on Wednesday, she said.

Mazarella was struck by the optimism of the people of Montrose.

“Mr. Harold Gary, age 92, was the first interview, and he set the tone,” she said.

“Interestingly enough, the last interview was with Sherman and Cindy Wooden of the Center for Anti-Slavery Studies, and Cindy told me that she is the daughter of Mr. Gary.”

Mazarella described Gary as “stick straight, sharp as a tack,” and vigorous for his venerable age.

She said he attributed his alert and healthy demeanor to having worked as a farmer his entire life.

From Gary’s tales of riding to school on a horse, the documentary progresses to walking tours of Montrose, conducted by Betty Smith of the Susquehanna County Historical Society.

Smith has established five walking tours of landmarks in the county seat, and her “encyclopedic knowledge is delivered in a very casual way,” Mazarella said.

When asked for highlights of the documentary, Mazzarella said that honestly, everyone was a highlight.

She said that the Blueberry and Apple Festivals were remarkable for how well all of the service clubs and programs pull together for the common good.

She was impressed by Anna Diandria’s health and nutrition lore at the Self and Wellness Center, which features a calming, inspiring labyrinth tour.

The organization’s building was a gift, and its beautiful scenery, light and air are very special and effective.

Philippa Follert of the Adult School is among those being interviewed Wednesday, as she was not able to do her interview Saturday for health reasons.

Her son Tom Follert was interviewed in a segment on Chocolates by Leopold.

She said that John Puzo was “a real showman, warm and charismatic,” and Mike Ognosky, superintendent of the Montrose Area School District, was gracious and optimistic.

“Not one interview failed to resonate with joy, optimism, and forward momentum,” she said. “Montrose is a small town with a lot of big ideas.”

“Every single town we do ends up with a product very unique to the town,” she said.

“What you will see on Nov. 7, when this premieres (on WVIA-TV), is the ability of many different individuals and groups to band together and work for the common good.”