Tuesday, February 23, 2016

John Rigas returns to Coudersport

Nearly a hundred friends and former employees gathered at the Coudersport courthouse square last night (2/22/16) to welcome former Adelphia CEO John Rigas home to Coudersport. John was looking frail and weak from the long car ride that took more than an hour longer than was estimated, but he couldn't resist getting out on the square and conversing with old friends.

Paul Bradford says it best in his Facebook post on John Rigas' Facebook page

I truly think that July 24th, 2002 when John Rigas was taken out in front of the world in New York, a piece of Coudersport's heart was broken. It's healed some over time, but I really do perceive that tonight, February 22nd, 2016 will be a part of Coudersport history. It's when the healing that 14 years has brought, might finally start closing up those final holes. Witnessing people standing in the cold for an hour, not for the release of a new movie, not for a new tv, but to welcome home one of its own... was inspirational... I gladly join the chant of "GOD BLESS JOHN RIGAS!"

Midge Houghtaling stands with her husband Tim welcoming Mr. Rigas home. Midge, a former Adelphia employee, initiated a letter writing campaign, soliciting Mr. Rigas Compassionate Release. She was able to get assistance from Congressman Glenn Thompson in her efforts to have Mr. Rigas released early. John is suffering from bladder and kidney cancer that has spread to his lungs. Doctors say he has less than 6 month to live.

Lots of smiles and Welcome Home signs met John Rigas at the Courthouse square in Coudersport.

Long time friend, Shirlee Leete, joined the crowd to welcome John home. Photos of John Rigas homecoming shared by Anne Leete Seager.
Information shared courtesy of Solomon's Words for the Wise.