• warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to ed_classified_link_alter() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/soloneconomist/www/www/includes/common.inc on line 2968.

Sts. Peter & Paul Nativity scene restored

Mt. Vernon couple refurbish Sts. Peter & Paul holiday display
Bill Faoro and Leona Smith of Mount Vernon were selected to clean, repair and repaint the Sts. Peter & Paul nativity scene. (photo courtesy Sts. Peter & Paul)

SOLON– After what many guess is over 100 years of use, it didn’t surprise anyone that the characters in the Sts. Peter and Paul Chapel nativity scene needed repair.
The harder part for Sts. Peter and Paul Historical Foundation president Jean Litts was the project itself and finding the best person for the job. 
Or, in this case, the best two people. Bill Faoro and Leona Smith of Mount Vernon were selected by Litts, and the husband and wife duo assessed the project they were being handed. 
The former Catholic church, located just northeast of Solon, turned 100 earlier this year, and had used this nativity scene as far back as the most elderly of its elders can remember. 
Two things Faoro is fairly certain of are that it’s “gotta be 100 years old”, and “it’s gotta be imported.”
The 14 pieces that make up the nativity were badly in need of refurbishment. For years they had been stored in old newspapers, which was apparent by the black smudges and little letters that covered the characters.
There were chips in the paint and broken pieces, and it needed a deep cleaning and a new paint job. 
“They had to be washed,” Smith said of her first appraisal of the project. 
Smith simply took all of the pieces outside on a bench and “very carefully” washed them in soapy water. Faoro offered assistance.
“The color didn’t come off at all. So they were painted pretty well,” said Smith. 
Faoro countered that despite this quality paint job, after all these years there were “a lot of chips and breaks here and there.”
In addition to a broken horn here and broken nose there, some pieces, said Faora, were completely gone. 
When something was missing entirely, Faoro said, “I had to mold it out of plastic.”
Faoro’s attention to detail included making new leather ears for the cow in the scene.
The pair decided not to take any chances with the finished product. After Faoro repainted the characters, he coated them in polyurethane. And instead of newspapers, the pair wrapped the pieces this time in bubble wrap. 
The nativity will first be unveiled Wednesday, Dec. 6, outside of the church. It will be prominently featured in the Christmas Sing-A-Long hosted there Sunday, Dec. 10, from 5-8 p.m.
Efforts to identify where the nativity scene came from or even when it was donated are ongoing.
Anyone with any information on the nativity is encouraged to call Jean Litts at 319-644-2394.