Friday, December 13, 2013

Creegan Company Amimation Factory Destroyed In Fire

 
A LARGE PART OF MY HISTORY HAS JUST GONE UP IN SMOKE
 
I normally do not use my time here to post things of a personal nature, but today I must make an exception. As many of my friends out there know, I have been around; and done many things...worn many hats in my lifetime. I have always been a woodworker and trade carpenter however.
In the mid eighties I started work for the Creegan Co. For almost the next two decades I honed my skills there, not just as a woodcrafter but as a creative artist. One of my responsibilities there was drafting the patterns and designs that we developed over time. I kept these drafts all on hard copy. Our staff never advanced to a point where these designs could be transferred onto disc or CD.
As our Managing Director Sean Creegan aptly states in the following interview with WTOV 9, there were many creative and talented people that I had the privilege to work with and learn from there. Many of these folks are no longer with us. I will name just a few here as a tribute to them and the vibrant community (at that time) that I was part of.
 


 
George and Joe Ann Creegan CEO
 
Jay Coffman, Carpentry Foreman and my partner / mentor.
We later started our own business designing and building furniture and contracting.
 
Russell "Two Feathers" Cyrus, Mechanical Foreman
 
Tom Feist, Electronics Expert
 
John Palmer, Electrician, and another of my later partners
 
Larry Coffman, Sales Director
 
Last but not least, Linda and Frostine, Art Director and creative force extraordinaire
 
My apologies to those who I may not have included here...

More than 16 hours after a piece of Steubenville, OH history was ravaged by fire, crews remained at the scene trying to control the flames.

The blaze tore through the Creegan Co. building Wednesday just around 7:30 p.m. As of noon Thursday, the building at the intersection of Fifth and Washington streets was still burning, and Washington Street remained closed from 5th to 7th streets.


 
Sean Creegan, the son of the company's founders, spent several hours at the scene Wednesday night watching as flames destroyed 50 years of history.

"(I'm) still a little numb," Creegan said. "It's rough to handle. …Once it's gone it's gone. We had it preserved. Eventually we were going to move everything out of there, but it just didn't happen."

Creegan said the popular puppets and designs were once shipped all over the world. He said many people who had done the design work for his family's business are now deceased.

"Probably 50 years of design work, creativity from some of the most creative people in the valley. That's probably the biggest loss," he said. "The original molds for the characters, the equipment that was used to create that---you can never get it back. You've got 50 years of creativity that was used. It's just gone."

"It was an incredible business to grow up in, so…there was a lot lost there," Creegan said. "You just keep going. If there's anything that can be salvaged, we'll try to do that. That'll probably be the first thing," Creegan said.

Sean, his father George, and mother Jo Ann also taught me about business and personal responsibility. That has helped me much over the years. I began my career there during the Reagan years you remember. George was, and is, a staunch Republican, and that was a different era to be sure.
 
Now this Christmas will be a difficult one for me. You see, this was our busiest time of year, and that vibrant group of people seem more alive to me than ever. They and the times that we were a part of are sadly missed by me and so many others.


Read More and SEE VIDEO if available at WTOV 9


7 comments:

Woodsterman (Odie) said...

That's a crappy state of affairs.

Scott Way said...

Also a "CREEPY" one Odie...We always enjoyed making the creepy stuff!

Marsha Wayt said...

Odie put it plainer than I could. I am at a loss. Just wow, so sorry to hear of this. (Marsha by the way. I think its showing me as unknown. Commenting here is confusing)

Marsha Wayt said...

Hmmm. Apparently I figured it out

Scott Way said...

Thx Marsha...Some others find navigating Blogger to be a pain...I think they design it that way! Have a Merry happy one!

Supi said...

This is so sad and heart breaking to hear it happened.

Scott Way said...

Thx Supi...Those were some of the most cherished moments in my life when I was there.