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One of my prized possessions is an autographed photo of the cast.



I grew up here in the 60’s. Manufacturing was king, and AM radio was all we listened to. As far as television goes, we had three channels and a giant antenna on the roof of the house to catch the signals.

In 1996, none other than Tom Hanks decided to make a wonderful movie about a fictitious band based right here in Erie called The Wonders, and their big hit was “That Thing You Do.” It was Tom Hank’s first try at directing a movie. It was AWESOME. Great cast, great music and really captured the Erie, PA that I remembered growing up.

As the band’s fame grew, they ended up in a recording studio in Los Angeles, followed by a night out on the town schmoozing record executives over dinner and cards.

There was always a glimmer of hope back then that the premier of the movie might be held at the Warner Theatre here in Erie, but I guess that was probably never going to happen. Too bad, it would have been like the best thing EVER.

I loved every single moment, but this one clip sums up our quirky/confident attitude in Erie. It’s a delightful movie, and if you’re really curious about our blue-collar roots here, this is recommended viewing.

Here’s the actual scene from the movie:

Phil Kerner

Phil Kerner

Phil Kerner is a life-long Erie, Pennsylvania resident. Married to The Queen, father of four sons, grandfather to Gracie Mae.