By Fred Stabbert III
JEFFERSONVILLE January 25, 2005 The show must go on. Battling the worst snowstorm of the year, nearly 95 residents of the Village of Jeffersonville turned out Saturday night for the preview of Town Haul at St. Georges Church hall, overlooking the village.
They came by foot, car, truck and even snowmobile through 6 inches of snow on Saturday night to witness the first official viewing of the show, some travelling more than two hours just to witness a little part of history.
I drove up from the city for this, Kohlertown resident Tom Crutchfield said. Damn if I would miss this.
The preview, sponsored by Time Warner Cable, was well-received by the village faithful, with whispers of Thats me, and words like Did you see Ryan? or Thats my bicycle! echoing throughout the 45-minute video.
There was also plenty laughter, as Kellys Kones owner Kelly Sattler, the star of the first episode, made several funnies.
Lines like, I know you think youre special with your whittle whistle, referring to her 18-year-old daughter, Bridget, who was project manager for Kellys Kones makeover, brought down the house.
I dont laugh that much when Im home, Bill Sattler, Bridgets dad, said.
Without commercials, the show actually took a little less than one hour. Producers had to boil down more than 6,000 hours of taping to just six, one-hour shows in this reality-based makeover of Smalltown, America.
And thats Jeffersonville, New York, population 435, the show begins.
Many volunteers had major roles during the shows production last fall and quite a few were on hand to get a close-up view of the program.
Mayor Ed The Mechanic Justus was on hand to greet everyone, saying When I first started meeting with True Entertainment one of the things I really pointed out was our community spirit. And I want to thank all you guys for everything youve done.
Justus said he fielded 100 call a day during production of the show in October, but now he felt it was well worth it.
Time Warner Director of Public and Government Affairs Brenda Parks and Coordinator of Public Affairs June Hatton braved the snowstorm to set up the video equipment, bring in the refreshments, as well as set up three tables of Town Haul memorabilia, which included many still photographs of the filming.
Invited guests were given the chance to pick up the photos, given engraved mugs and were also thanked by Parks for coming out.
It is great to see a community come together, she said. This is just another step youve all taken together.
From the Tool Shed Confessional to Kellys Center Street home to looks up and down Main Street, Jeffersonville, the village took center stage.
With nearly $5 million in publicity already invested in the launch of this new series, TLC is hoping Town Haul will attract viewers as well as advertisers. Home Depot, Swiffer and GMC were three major advertisers during the first episode, along with local companies like The First National Bank of Jeffersonville, Smells So Good and the Sullivan County Democrat.
The six-part series, which aired at 10 p.m. Saturday on The Learning Channel, will continue for five more weeks.