The best things in life are not always free .. sometimes they are just unexpected.
On Saturday night, my wife and I went with friends to our favorite pizza place in the area - Mario's on 3rd Street in Beaver. Mario's serves great pizza from a wood-fired oven as well as terrific pasta dishes (my favorite is the linguini with clams and mussels). When your stomach is sufficiently expanded, Italian ice cream is available to pop your last buttons.
Although the restaurant is relatively small, it is a cheap (you can bring your own wine, which keeps the price down), friendly and appealing place to have a good meal.
As we were eating our dinner, we noticed some young people frolicking about outside in leotards and body paint, not exactly a sight you expect to see on the main drag in Beaver. It turned out there was an art show going of some sort on up the road. When we finished eating, we went up to have a look.
The painted dancers were doing their thing in a store front window and on the sidewalk. So, for the price of a small donation, we went in to check it out. A band was playing to entertain the throng of visitors young and old (ie., me).
The art work - drawings, paintings, photographs - immediately struck me as exceptionally good. I wondered: What college are these talented kids from?
To my great surprise, they were high school students from the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School in Midland. Clearly, my Pittsburgh-centric prejudices had gotten the better of me. Until this moment, I would never have imagined that Beaver County could be home to such youthful sophistication and talent across the whole range of arts (including the painted dancers).
I was impressed. This school is clearly doing something right. The show was a great way to end the evening (not to take anything away from the ice cream at Mario's).