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Massena man ready to unveil ‘We Are Massena’ photo display

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MASSENA — The “We Are Massena” photo display that was conceived and coordinated by Massena resident Lawrence I. Prashaw will make its debut on Independence Day.

Mr. Prashaw said he’ll unveil the display during a 10 a.m. ceremony at the East Orvis Street park. In case of rain, the ceremony will be held July 5.

“The panel is full. It’s full with an assortment of new and old pictures,” he said.

The photos on the board were submitted by village or town residents, who were asked to provide 5x7 or smaller photos. They could be black and white or color, individual, group or people with their pets.

Some of the photos are more recent, while some are historical, such as one of Hal Smith, who went on to land a role in “The Andy Griffith Show” as Otis, the town drunk.

There also are pictures of the first football and hockey teams, as well as pictures of weddings and family gatherings.

“The Massena Museum was very helpful in digging up some pictures from the past,” Mr. Prashaw said.

It will be a guessing game for those who view the pictures, he said.

“There are no names on them. I have numbers on them. At some point in the future I’ll publish a list. They can go back and say, ‘Oh, I knew who that was,’” Mr. Prashaw said.

He said he originally had hoped for more pictures to fill the board, but in the end he received about 70, leading him to change the design in a more positive way.

“I would have liked to fill the panel,” he said, but in looking at the design he thought that “row upon row upon row was too academic. It just didn’t look right.”

Instead, Mr. Prashaw has added a family-type background of father, mother, son and daughter, and the pictures will go around the figures.

“I made them large enough so they become a part of the background and the pictures go around them,” he said. “It’s a family-oriented project, and it gave me filler space. It actually worked out for the best. Now it’s more of a mural in nature as opposed to rigidity.”

The park will feature not only the display, but also newly built picnic tables with names engraved on the top.

“It really looks like a park,” Mr. Prashaw said.

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