Busy Gearhartville man makes time for clocks|
Saturday, July 14, 2012
By Annie Lynn Staff Writer
GEARHARTVILLE - James L. Cornman of Gearhartville has worn, and still wears, many hats.
He attended the Philipsburg Ninth Street Elementary School, the Osceola Mills Elementary School and graduated in 1971 from the Philipsburg-Osceola Area High School.
An integral part of Cornman's life is his passion for drawing and painting. He became interested in art around the fifth grade, and he has been drawing and painting ever since. He said that his first drawing was of his grandmother and then he did a portrait of President John F. Kennedy. He noted it is a natural talent and he has had no formal training.
Another hobby he has had success with is clock making. Cornman was laid off from his job in 1992 and was thinking of what he could do. He looked at a clock his mother had given him and the idea formed that he could make clocks. He began to make clocks and the idea has just taken off, he said. Cornman has made clocks for people in many states and as far away as Texas.
He describes the process of creation, explaining that he first draws the picture and then paints it. Next, he attaches it to a form and then lacquers it. Cornman said that he has often been able to add something to or remove something from a picture (referring to a photo) that someone may request he do, such as a person standing beside a car. He said he can see the end results in his mind. He makes both wall and desk clocks. Eventually, he would like to get into the art of airbrush painting because he is fascinated by the process. He proudly proclaims that his daughter, Shayla, is also becoming interested in art.
Following his graduation from high school, Cornman worked for one year at Yarger's Amoco station in Chester Hill. Then he enlisted in the Army in 1972. He said he received his draft notice, but enlisted two weeks before he was to report for the draft. While in the Army, he served as a mechanic and in security. He was deployed to Korea and served there in 1973, and then he went to Fort Lewis, Washington, in 1974 and was there until he received his discharge in 1976. He said his time in the service prepared him for his future employment.
After his discharge, Cornman returned to work at Yarger's Amoco. He then moved on to Lee Industries in Philipsburg until 1977, when he began service as a police officer for the Borough of South Philipsburg, now a part of Rush Township.
In 1980, he left South Philipsburg to work full-time in strip mining for Chews Contracting, T and T Coal and Clay and Central Pennsylvania Coal.
While employed in the coal mining business, he was an oilier on a dragline, a rock truck operator, and he learned how to run a dozer and loader. He also worked as a mechanic on the equipment.
In 1992, Cornman obtained his vehicle inspection license and worked for Tire Town in State College for three years. He keeps the license up to date, he said, just in case he ever needs it.
Also that year, Cornman began working as the elected constable of Decatur Township. He was elected to the position of Decatur Township supervisor in 2011 and he also serves the township as building code official and code enforcement officer, as well as deputy constable.
He said he has experience working with all police officers in the area as constable. He describes that job as serving warrants and summons for District Court.
Although he has worked out of several district courts in the county for Decatur Township, he currently works only out of district court in Kylertown.
He uses his experience in the Army and as a police officer to help him with his current responsibilities. When serving the warrants and summons, he tries to approach people with the idea of helping them.
When Cornman first became constable, there were no requirements for training. However, in 1994, the state enacted a law, the Constable Training Act, requiring training for those serving in that capacity. Cornman began training in 1998 for his certification. In order to maintain his certification, he takes 20 hours every year of training for updates on criminal and civil procedures and 20 hours of firearms training.
As a township supervisor, Cornman is available to assist the road crew if needed. However, he noted, his service is mostly administrative, helping to carry some of the load for the roadmaster and crew. He said it helps that he and roadmaster, Andy Rebar, can bounce ideas back and forth when it comes to how to get projects completed, and they also include the employees in helping provide ideas.
Cornman describes himself as a people person and will do whatever he can to help people.