Rick Sitler: The jazzman of Craley square

John A. Pavoncello
York Dispatch

Travelers passing through Craley's square in Lower Windsor Township may get treated to live music if Rick Sitler is there sharing his passion.

"Music is life," said the 82-year-old retiree.

His home community of Craley has a long history of music, so the one-time chemical engineer parks his car on the corner lot of East Coast Muscle Cars and blows tunes on his trumpet or picks out a favorite song on his custom-made tenor guitar.

"God said, 'I have a ministry for you,'" said Sitler. "Come out here in Craley, in your hometown, play music on the square, and if somebody stops, talk to them." 

A century ago, there was an old store on the square where people would gather to play music, Sitler said.

By the 1970s, there was a furniture store that became a "picking parlor" on Thursday evenings, he  said.

"People came from all over, playing string instruments. I guess I'm trying to carry on an old tradition," he says as he picks up his art deco trumpet to belt out a jazzed up rendition of "Amazing Grace."