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Hilltown Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, December 8, 2011

Irene’s aftermath brings Berne residents to Las Vegas

By Zach Simeone

BERNE — Though the destruction of Tropical Storm Irene caused heavy damage to the old Berne Mill, part of which was left in a sinkhole, the owners have found opportunity in the chaos and will appear on one of their favorite TV shows, American Restoration.

Steven and Susan Lendrum own the Agway in the Berne hamlet, which is housed in the historic Berne Mill. The newer part of the building, with a weaker foundation than the older portion, collapsed into the ground during August floods, and their vintage Coca-Cola machine fell in with it.

“We watch American Restoration every Friday night,” Susan Lendrum told The Enterprise. “So, I wrote to them, and they called a couple months later, and said they’d be glad to restore it. So, we’re taking pictures of everything that happened to it, and heading out to Las Vegas to get filmed with the Coke machine; then, we’ll go back in a couple months and pick it up.”

The History Channel show chronicles the work of Rick Dale and his staff at his antiques restoration business. Dale had appeared on the popular series Pawn Stars as a restoration expert, and his show is a spinoff.

The Coke machine, Lendrum said, was built in the late 1940s. The Agway will be closed from Dec. 9 through Dec. 19 while the Lendrums are out of town; the show will be filmed on Dec. 13. Lendrum said she was told that the repairs would cost about $5,500.

“I was just thrilled,” she said of finding out the Las Vegas-based TV show would be fixing up their Coke machine. “We had been using it up until the time of the flood, and they’re going to restore it back to its original condition. They’ll paint it up and get new parts for it, and it’ll be working and beautiful again.”

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