We've all had some curiosity about some things.  In the case of Ruby McCormick and Mark Gorczycki, it was about a musical composition they so badly wanted to hear.

Ruby and Mark owned an antique store in North East called Ruby's Olde Time Antiques & Gifts. It closed in 2019.  There was one thing they just could not part with as they sold off their inventory.  It's an original musical composition written in 1895 by George W. Feldman.  A man dropped it off one day at the store.  The package included the original hand written piece, correspondence from the company in Philadelphia that printed copies of the work, and an example of those copies. 

"It was such a joy to open it up and find this piece of history and all the documentation that came with it.  The letters and what-not,” says Ruby.

Mark was so fascinated by the old piece of music that he researched the composer. He learned that George W. Feldman's father opened a jewelry store in Franklin in 1871.  That business, Feldman's Jewelers, is still in operation today but owned by a different family.  Mark learned that George W. Feldman was a musician, civic leader, and the co-owner of an oil company in Venango County.  Feldman wrote the musical composition, a march called The Onyx, when he was 17 years old.

"In a sense, that's phenomenal in itself,” says Mark.  It just kind of blows your mind."

The Feldman composition is special to music lovers Ruby and Mark.  They just couldn't part with it. Ruby's Great Aunt Esee was a composer. Mark is a musician himself but plays by ear and doesn't read notes. So, even though Ruby and Mark had the composition in their possession for several years and they were very curious about it, neither one of them ever had the opportunity to hear it played.  Well. "The Last Word" can fix that.  We arranged with Dr. Nathan Hess, the chairman of the D' Angelo Department of Music at Mercyhurst University, to play The Onyx in a special performance for Ruby and Mark.  It was an emotional experience.

"I was thinking of my Aunt Esee and my family.  It's more beautiful than I imagined.  Yes. So I think I'll be crying every time I hear it,” said Ruby.

"I just started tearing up right away,” said Mark.  “I thought it was fantastic."

Even though the composition is special to Ruby and Mark, they do not feel right keeping it.  They hope to somehow present it to a member of the Feldman family. If they cannot arrange such a meeting, they will donate the piece to a museum.