• Grace Pirog, Gracefully Framed
    East Philadelphia Avenue
    Boyertown, PA 19512

(In Process)

  • Bause’s Super Drug Store
    Larry and Jane Mellott
    42 East Philadelphia Ave
    Boyertown, PA 19512
    FAX 610-369-0945

  • Gracefully Framed
    Grace Pirog
    215 East Philadelphia Ave
    Boyertown, PA 19512

  • Durango’s Saloon
    Scott Smith
    Peter Haberle
    120 East Philadelphia Avenue

  • Luicana’s Unique Design Kitchen and Bath
    Donald Luicana
    230 East Philadelphia Avenue
    Boyertown, PA
    FAX 610-367-7922

  • Reinhard’s Sportswear
    Marcia Reinhard
    39 East Philadelphia Avenue

  • Everywear Ink Screen Printing and Design
    John Parish
    3 East Philadelphia Avenue

  • Grill Shop
    Mike Moyer
    35 East Philadelphia Avenue
    Boyertown, PA 19512
  • TK Productions
    Todd Kuszyk
    131 East Philadelphia Avenue
    Boyertown, PA 19512
    FAX 610-369-7149
  • Curves
    Lori Henry and Michelle Deimeyer, owners
    130 East Philadelphia Avenue
    Boyertown, PA 19512
    FAX 610-367-7985

Journal by Elaine Hardenstine

December 31, 2004
When I first met Grace Pirog, I could tell right away how excited she was to be a part of the project. She had so many ideas and pictures in her head. As we discussed the earth tones she was planning on using for her “Dutch bear,” she showed me her inspirations. From magazines, to books, to old pamphlets, Grace had done her research on Dutch culture. I couldn’t wait to see what it looked like. Grace presented the bear to me in her store window, and I laughed. It had a Christmas collar around its neck; it was ready for the holidays. And Mrs. Pirog was ready to start designing.

January 6, 2005
This was one of my favorite visits. I wish I had had my camera! I walked in on Grace sketching designs on her bear. Her palms were smeared with pencil and her eyes were deep in concentration; she looked like the dedicated artist. The first picture was spread out on its back. It was a bird surrounded by flowers, and it was beautiful. I was thrilled when she promised to have some color the following week. I was anxious to come back and see what design she picked next.

January 13, 2005
Blues, greens, reds, and golds! The colors were perfect. Each picture had two coats of color and a black outline. Down the bear’s back, a long vine flowed. It had these brilliant blue flowers- I’ll always remember that blue. She had written Boyertown in the center of the bear’s side, and she talked of her plans to call the mayor for the town’s founding date.

At the time, she was in a lull. She needed more ideas for pictures. To get them, she said, “I just sit and putz around. By looking at the bear, ideas just come to me.” I asked Grace how the public responded to her project. She said when they came in the store to look around (she paints all the wooden houses on sale inside!), they would “ooh and ahh!” Some people would pet it or even talk to it!

January 27, 2005
Grace had lots of designs by now, including a school and a church. All she wanted to do was add a couple birds and hexes. Her husband thought it would be nice to write the Dutch words for school and church under the corresponding picture; I agreed! And, sure enough, Grace had called the mayor. Boyertown’s founding date, 1866, was proudly displayed on the bear’s side.

February 23, 2005
The bear was almost done! All Grace needed was the finishing seal, and it was ready to present. Along with more color, the bear received a face since I had seen it last. She was fluttering her eyelids and smirking, and her ears were filled with flowers. I loved it! Her employee agreed; she kept smiling and chatting about it. Grace had found Dutch words for her bear, like scod, for school. And best of all, the lady bear had been named Bearsnickel. How appropriate! Boyertown’s little Dutch lady was really ready to show off!

About Grace Pirog
“Who’s going to paint it?” East Philadelphia Avenue businesses asked. Grace said she was the only artist, so “it was me.” But, she is honored, and certainly qualified to paint a Bear Fever bear. First an art teacher, then a kindergarten teacher, then a decoration store owner, Grace has always loved art. Her mission for her bear is to spread a little Dutch history, and she is going to do that with research and hard work. There are two kinds of Dutch people, she told me: simple and plain or fancy and
elaborate. Her bear is going to be fancy with intricate
designs and earth tones. She is going to have a
Boyertown Dutch bear.