By Terry Miller
By George, they said it couldn’t be done.
The blades have been carefully fabricated and molded and now erected atop Denny’s Wednesday morning, to the delight of on-lookers. The official “turn-on” will be Friday, Nov. 30 at 5 p.m. – all thanks to a well-known former Mayor of Arcadia. Although he refuses to accept the limelight, it is because of this man that any of this has taken place.
The famous Van De Camp windmill atop of what is now Denny’s in Arcadia will start running again Friday, weather permitting, thanks to the tireless efforts of one man in particular, George Fasching, who spearheaded the initial campaign two years ago to get the windmill turning again.
After exhaustive efforts and an elaborate event to officially turn on the windmill after so many years of non-operation, Fasching and Denny’s CEO John Miller celebrated the occasion with city officials and the community in June 2017. That celebration lasted until December when the blades came tumbling down one morning in a freak accident possibly caused by metal fatigue in one of the mechanical components holding the blades. One of the blades sliced a hole through the roof of the iconic building. No one was hurt, amazingly enough, but it was a sad day for those involved in getting the historic windmill turning again.
The proverb ‘If at first you don’t succeed: Try, try, try again’ should be – by all rights – attributed to George Fasching rather than Thomas H. Palmer of the British Isles. Our reasoning? Fasching never gives up hope.
Fasching is quick to point out that the real heroes here (again) are Denny’s CEO Miller; Ed Meda, the project manager; the city of Arcadia; and of course the brilliant fabrication and creative design work of Joe Sargis and his company in Arcadia.
Fasching pointed out that Denny’s CEO financed the restoration (again) and no public funds were used on this project. According Arcadia’s city manager, Arcadia waived all the necessary permit fees etc. to help move the project along.
“The Denny’s windmill is an iconic structure in Arcadia. We are happy to partner with Denny’s to ensure that the windmill once again becomes a dramatic entry marker into our historic Downtown. We look forward to seeing those blades spinning for the next 60 years,” Arcadia City Manager Dominic Lazzaretto told Arcadia Weekly last month.