Patti Price

Patti Price, of Johnstown, makes “memory bears” for participants at The Healing Patch in Ebensburg.

Patti Price has big plans for the next few years.

Price, of Johnstown, who retired in November after a 25-year career as a judicial assistant in the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania and as a clerk in the Clerk’s Office, says she hopes to use her free time to continue long-standing hobbies such as weaving and knitting, and to explore new pastimes such as fishing.

“I have so many things that I want to do,” she said.

Price, who has been a knitter for 45 years and got into weaving about 10 years ago, sells gloves, hats, scarves, shawls and other products on consignment at Studio U in Old Westmont, which bills itself as “a community space for artists, crafters, writers and makers” where local artisans can sell their work.

“My true love is the knitting,” she said, “but then I got into weaving, and that’s a lot of fun, too.” 

Among the items she makes are “memory bears” for participants at The Healing Patch, a local peer support program for children and their families who have experienced the death of a family member.

“I really love doing that,” she said. 

“That’s a charity that’s near and dear to me.”

She also has a booth reserved to sell her work at the next Art Walk at Stackhouse Park, a social distancing-compliant craft show in which vendors set up their booths along a trail in the park. The inaugural event was held last September and attracted about three dozen arts, crafts and food vendors.

Price is a three-year member of the Laurel Highlands On and Off Road Bicycling Association – LHORBA, for short – and plans to continue biking when summer comes back around. She also walks regularly in Roxbury Park and takes water aerobics classes at the YWCA in Johnstown, although those classes have recently been put on hold due to COVID-19 conditions.

Her favorite biking trails in the area are the Ghost Town Trail and the Jim Mayer Riverswalk Trail, she said. 

She participated last year in a couple group bike rides around Westmont with members of Our Mother of Sorrows Catholic Church on Tioga Street. A long-term goal is to complete the 330-mile journey all the way from Pittsburgh through Cumberland, Maryland, to Washington, D.C., on the Great Allegheny Passage and the C&O Canal Towpath.

“I love to bike,” she said. “I’ve made a lot of good friends biking. … We try to go pretty much every Saturday or Sunday. Now that I’m retired, I might be able to go during the week. That’s my plan – to maybe get some biking in during the week.”

One new pastime she’s thinking about taking up is fishing.

“I’ve always wanted to,” she said. 

“My brother is a fly fisher. I don’t think I’ll do the fly fishing, but I just always wanted to try fishing and I never really had the time to do it. I’d like to get into it.”

Mark Pesto is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter at @MarkPesto.

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