Local News

Franklin County Woman 'Hooked' On Old Glory

Posted July 17, 2003

— From firefighters to soldiers to school children, we have heard about a lot of heroes since Sept. 11. A local woman is doing her part by taking on the role of Betsy Ross.

"It's really about the only thing I can do on my own," says Gerri Curtin.

Curtin is busy creating the fabric of America from her Franklin County kitchen. For the native New Yorker, crochet is her way of healing from Sept. 11.

"I just felt so useless. There was nothing I could do and I wanted to help these people," she says.

When her family was unable to find a flag after the terrorist attacks, Curtin decided to make one. Then, when her son-in-law took the homemade flag to work, Curtin's handiwork hit a patriotic chord. Everyone who saw it wanted one, too.

The retired nurse started making more flags, despite limited eyesight. Five years ago, Curtin began to go blind as a result of diabetes.

While she listens to Tom Clancy audio books, Curtin uses a double crochet stitch to craft each flag in about a day and a half.

Her list of flag customers keeps growing -- there is currently a four-month wait.

Despite all of the work involved, Curtin says she will not charge more than $10 for the flags. She said that $5 buys her supplies and $5 is donated to the Sept. 11 relief fund.

"If I charge $50, there's going to be people who can't afford to buy one. It's not much, but every little penny can help for them," she says.

As the mother of a Navy Lieutenant, Curtin already overflows with patriotism. This latest labor of love reveals her true colors.

"I don't do much because of my eyes and my legs. But now I have a reason. I can help somebody again and that's what I want to do," says Curtin.

To order one of Curtin's homemade flags, you can call her during the day at (919) 554-0350.

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