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  Forest Friends: Barbara and Denny Kocher
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Barbara and Denny Kocher, Cook Forest Homestead proprietersKochers Retire Cook Homestead Bed and Breakfast

(Text below republished with permission, The Clarion News)
By Jessica Falkowski, Clarion News Writer, 8/5/08

After being open for 14 years, the Cook Homestead Bed and Breakfast will be closing its doors this fall.

The Cook Homestead Bed and Breakfast, owned by Denny and Barbara Kocher, has been the home of many visitors to the Clarion area.

"The guests that come here as strangers and leave as friends," said Barbara Kocher.

"We've met guests from every facet of life and every kind of occupation," said Denny Kocher. "We've had professional golfers, doctors, lawyers, and even forensic psychologists."

At the bed and breakfast, guests have more of a one-on-one experience with the owners and other guests.

"Our guests here not only become friends with us, but they become friends with other guests that stay here as well," said Mrs. Kocher. "Saturday nights we have a campfire out back and make s'mores and just get to know one another. That's how we become a family."

TLiving Room at Cook Homesteadhe bed and breakfast was once the home of the Cook family that preserved the timber to later become known as Cook Forest.

"We still have many of the antique furniture that was owned by the Cook Family and we display it in our house to keep the history and memories alive," said Mrs. Kocher. "After we leave, those antiques will remain with the home."

But for the Kocher's, what they will miss most is the people that have allowed them to become a part of their lives.

"We now have this large extended family of people that started out as guests and have become a part of us and our lives," said Mrs. Kocher.

"We get phone calls, emails, and pictures from our former guests telling us about their weddings or the birth of their children."

The couple has even filled two scrapbooks of thank you notes, articles, and pictures that the guests have sent long after their stay at the bed and breakfast.

"I just couldn't throw them away," said Mrs. Kocher. "So, I decided to put them in a scrapbook and now I have two of them full of memories."

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