Richard De­vaney

The Phoenix - - COMMUNITY - Bette Ban­jack The Ta­ble

If you don’t rec­og­nize the name, he is also known as “Gump”; he is a pop­u­lar icon in Phoenixville.

His child­hood days through the fourth grade were spent in the Corner Stores area (Val­ley Forge and White­house roads) when his fam­ily moved to Zol­lar Drive in East Pike­land.

Af­ter grad­u­at­ing, he first worked for 10 years for Boiler En­gi­neer­ing and Sup­ply Com­pany out on Sec­ond Av­enue, then the Great Val­ley School Sys­tem for 31 years. He re­tired in 2005 to care for the love of his life — his wife, Pat.

She was the one to give him the nick­name of “Gump” af­ter the hit movie “For­rest Gump” was re­leased as he is as much of a gen­tle, kind and lov­ing man as the char­ac­ter. His fa­vorite line from the book, on which the movie is based, is “I may not be a smart man, but I know what love is.”

“Love” well de­scribes his life. Along with Pat, there were three chil­dren — Richard III, Tina and Melissa and five grand­kids.

The De­vaney fam­ily trav­eled yearly to visit Pat’s mother and fam­ily in Ash­boro, NC. Gump re­called all three meals each day were like a ban­quet of food. Talk about south­ern hos­pi­tal­ity and de­li­cious eat­ing!

In 2009 Pat spread her wings, leav­ing this world. A few years later, daugh­ter Melissa went to be with her mother — at the very young age of 44. Gump was at a loss. Re­tired, Pat gone, and a lot of time on his hands, he turned to the world of photography. He is one of Phoenixville’s pop­u­lar pho­tog­ra­phers, and he shares his pic­tures and in­spi­ra­tional writ­ings on Face­book.

Gump took over the ad­min­is­tra­tion of “You Know You’re from Phoenixville When” page, which had ap­prox­i­mately 400 mem­bers. Today, it has ex­panded to more than 11,000 mem­bers. He is a real sup­porter of all of the area events and fundrais­ing events. Richard “Gump” De­vaney

You can find him and fel­low pho­tog­ra­phers comb­ing the streets — snap­ping and shar­ing their finds. Sev­eral years ago he met Nancy McGuigan on a street corner while she was walk­ing her dog. Today, they are best bud­dies — friends, side­kicks, “the tag team gang.” To­gether or sep­a­rately, ei­ther can be found some­where in Phoenixville, and usu­ally with a cam­era.

Gump is a “meat-and­pota­toes guy,” and he loves a good meat­loaf. So here is a meat­loaf and a potato recipe for you to try.


1 ½ lbs. ground beef or combo mix­ture 1 cup­milk 1 egg, lightly beaten ¾ cup bread crumbs 1 medium onion, chopped

3 Tbsp. chopped green pep­per 1 Tbsp. ketchup 1 ½ tsp. salt 1 tsp. pre­pared horse­rad­ish 1 Tbsp. brown su­gar 2 Tbsp. fresh chopped pars­ley

Ad­di­tional ketchup for driz­zling

In a large bowl com­bine all the in­gre­di­ents, ex­cept the meat. Crum­ble the beef over the mix­ture and mix well. Press into an un­greased stan­dard loaf pan. Bake 350-de­gree pre­heat oven for at least one hour. Driz­zle ad­di­tional ketchup on top and bake 15 min­utes longer. Meat ther­mome­ter should have reach 160-de­grees.


6-8 Yukon gold pota­toes, halved length­wise ¼ cup salted but­ter ¾ grated cheese (Parme­san) 1 tsp. black pep­per Melt but­ter in bot­tom of 9 x 13 pan. Sprin­kle cheese gen­er­ously over but­ter. Sprin­kle pep­per. Place pota­toes, cut side down into the but­ter. Pre­heat oven to 400 de­grees and bake for ap­prox­i­mately 45 min­utes. Re­move from oven and al­low to set for a few min­utes be­fore mov­ing from pan. This helps to make them crispier.

Let me hear from you: ban­jack303@ver­i­zon. net. Search YouTube for “Look Who’s Cook­ing with Bette Ban­jack,” as well phoenixvil­lenews. com (search bar: Ban­jack) for this column. Find Bette on Face­book by search­ing “Bette Ban­jack’s Down­town Kitchen.”

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