The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

June 26, 2013

Former lawmaker to make 50th anniversary horse ride on Saturday

The Daily Item

— LEWISBURG — Fifty years after first riding a horse in the annual Lewisburg Independence Day parade, Karl Purnell, of Mifflinburg, will saddle up and ride his horse, Mercedez, in Saturday’s procession.

In 1963, he wore his U.S. Army shirt with a Civil War hat for the parade, and he will wear them once again along with boots and spurs. At the time of his 1963 ride, Purnell was Union County’s elected representative in the state Legislature and editor of the Union County Journal.

“In those days, I knew just about everyone in Lewisburg, but a lot has obviously changed,” he said. “One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is the thrill of riding a horse, although these days I often just go for a carriage ride in my restored surrey, which was built in Mifflinburg over 100 years ago.”

Purnell, a writer and former international journalist, assists his wife, Chantana, at her new downtown Lewisburg Thai food take-out restaurant, ChantanaThai. He also is a volunteer tennis instructor this summer for the Buffalo Valley Recreation Authority.