Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Top 10 Ways to Participate in 1st Collingdale History Day

1. Collingdale Historical Society is holding the 1st Annual Collingdale History Day on September 14, 2013 at the Collingdale Community Center.

2. The Collingdale Historical Society is looking for people interested in the planning committee.

3. Patrons

4. Donations

5. Volunteers

6. Participants

7. Artifacts

8. Share a memory

9. Community

10. Learn about the history of where you live or grew up.

Connect information:

Elizabeth MacGuire

Collingdale has a Facebook page check it out. CollingdaleHistoryProject

Collingdale Historical Society webpage.

September is History Month in Delaware County and many events are planned.  If any historical society would like to be featured, "give me 10" highlights about your event or opportunities to get involved in your city or township. Email me at I would love to share the knowledge.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Top 10 Ways To Deal With Stress

Deflection (think of something else, anything else).

Don't Over Analyze (What does that mean?  Ask me, I am accused of it constantly, my take most people don't think enough).

One Step At a Time (could possibly involve one step back).

Walk it OFF (at least you are moving forward).

Approach it from a different angle. (Things can look topsy turvy)

Sleep on it but not too long. (rest to ease the mind) Many times things look different in the morning. The light comes on.

Get a grip on reality.  Worse case that even possible?

Music in my ears, always helps.  Switch the station if it isn't working for you.

Exercise ( I am not a body builder but have found tremendous release from Pilates and Yoga.) You can run solo with this but I find group participation to strengthen my core and knowing I am not alone.

Meditation can take practice and if you can master mind over matter you are way ahead of the game and things that really don't matter.

My Pilates teacher said something very interesting once about visualization.  If you can't do it at least visualize yourself doing it.  She said it can produce the same results. I would say, another form of positive thinking.  Not every one can climb Mt. Everest but who says you can't strive for it. We all have brains but sometimes fail to use our God given talent. 

Try it with me.
 I Think I Can! I Think I Can!

***Disclaimer this information is not from any scientific study just IMO (in my opinion).  I think I am a regular person and any of these procedures can assist anyone.  If one doesn't work, try another.

I am not immune, things can break me or at least try to but I bring out the tool box and attempt a fix.  Some jobs are bigger than others.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Top 10 The Puppet Festival (r)Evolution is Coming to Swarthmore College

 The National Festival of Puppeteers of America will be in Delaware County from August 5th thru August 10th with special performances and workshops open to the public.  Here is a sampling of  the featured adult and child appropriate entertainment (see the ratings). Advanced public tickets are available in limited supply and recommended.

1. ADA/AVA and The Silent Shadow Cinema (they are on a double bill- G/PG) Tuesday 8PM location Pearson Hall Theater.

2. Dreams in the Arms of the Binding Lady (PG) Tuesday and Wednesday at 1:30PM, location Troy Dance Lab. SOLD OUT

3. Lunatic Cunning (R) 1:30PM on Thursday and Friday, Troy Dance Studio. SOLD OUT

4. The Struggle for Justice (R) Thursday and Friday at 1:30PM at Frear Ensemble Theater.

5. Beauty Is Embarrassing (PG13) including live talk with Wayne White and DVD signing,
Wednesday 8PM at Pearson Hall.

6. The Dick Myers Project (G) Friday 8PM Pearson Hall Theater.

7. The Joshua Show (G) Saturday at 9AM, Paulson and Company Carpets.

8. The Magic Soup and Other Stories (G) Saturday 9AM Swarthmore United Methodist Church Fellowship Room.

9. The Adventures of A Boy and His Dog (G) Saturday, Swarthmore Boro Town Center at Noon.

10.Celebration of Flight (G) free, outdoors and includes audience participation) is an award winning creation by Heather Henson the show features puppets, kites, and flags both from independent artists as well as the Jim Henson Creature Shop and Guildworks. Saturday afternoon August 10th, 3- 4 PM at Scott Amphitheater. No ticket needed for this event.

"Celebration of Life" Photo provided by Ibex Puppetry

Additional noteworthy shows

Parade! From Town Center to the Swarthmore College Great Lawn at 2PM on Saturday!!!
Films on the lawn 9-10PM Saturday.

For a complete list of all performances, talks, workshops and puppet films
follow the respective links.

Billy the Liar (G) was also a recommendation but unfortunately it looks like it is sold out. Update please call some tickets may be available.

Please double check each link for accurate information (time and location) and possible venue change and 
enjoy the shows!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Top 10 Upcoming Events This Weekend

July 26 - 28th the XPOnential Music Festival at Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center and Wiggins Park.

July 27th Philadelphia Dance Day check the link for "Free" Daytime Dance Workshops around the city.  The night event has a one time entrance fee.

July 27th Colonial Plantation 40th Anniversary. The Chester County Militia Daytime Muster and a 40th Anniversary Party and Evening with the John Byrne Band.

July 27th Sixers Beach Bash 36th and Ocean, Avalon, N.J. 3-6pm. ( I mistakenly posted this last week as happening on the 21st, I was looking at last years website, my mistake and my apologies). If you went I am sure you still enjoyed a hot time at the beach.

July 27th last chance to see: My Dinner with Dito: A How to be Gay Cabaret at the Wilma Theater
with the Beard Ladies Cabaret.

July 27th Peoples' 4 Peace Festival, Wilmington, Delaware Noon - 10PM at Tubman-Garret Riverfront Park.

July 27th  2nd of the season Summer Concert in Glen Providence Park Rain date Sunday July 28th.

July 27th and 28th Pennsylvania Guild Fine Craft Fair at Chase Center, Wilmington, Delaware.

July 27th Fort Mifflin "World War II, Explore the Eastern Front" 10am - 4pm.

July 28th The Copeland String Quartet Laurel Hill Mansion Summer Concerts by Candle Light.

Disclaimer:  Once again check the website before going to any of these events.  We can all make mistakes.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Top 10 Things You Collect At The Beach

1. Seashells

2. Driftwood

3. Pebbles

4. Sea Glass

5. Sand in your shoes, on your towel or blanket, and in your bathing suit

6. Gossip from other beach blankets

7. Peaceful thoughts

8. Friends

9. Miscellaneous treasures often found inside some prized seashell, you should check first, they can smell later when taken out of their natural habitat.

10. All your gear, blanket, chair(s), towel, sunblock, book, surf board, skim board, kayak, paddle ball set plus balls (all of them not gobbled by the sea), frisbee, buckets, shovels, swimmies, swim fins, sunglasses, Nerf football, cooler, umbrella, flip flops aka sandals and of course all your trash.  Unless you are willing to add to the collection of some one else.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Top 10 Other Royals

1. Royal Crown Cola celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2005.

2. Royal Caribbean Cruise Line was founded in 1968.

3. Royal Blue one of the prettiest shades of blue was said to have been created by a millers in Rode, Somerset for a dress for Queen Charlotte.

4. Royal Gorge is located in Canon City, Colorado, take the train it is gorgeous.  While I was looking it up, I sadly saw an article that a wild fire destroyed part of the famous expansion bridge located here in June of this year. As far as I can tell, you are still able to take the train ride below.

5. Royal Albert Hall is the big deal concert hall in London. All the top names have played there.  Unfortunately, I have never been inside for a show.  That just means I have to go back. You can take a virtual tour. It is a teaser and only makes you want to go more.

6. Royal Pain, there is no need to get specific here,  We all know at least one.

7. Royal Flush is the best possible hand that can be held in a poker game.

8. Royal Guardsmen performed one of my very favorite Christmas songs, Snoopy vs the Red Baron. Merry Christmas, My Friend. You can find it on Youtube,

9. Royal Mews houses the coaches that are often seen on special occasions carrying the Royal Family.  I am sure the new prince will get a spin or two in one of them.

10. Royal Treatment is something we all deserve at least once in life. Can you say "upgrade"? I'll be staying in the castle tonight.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Top 10 Personalities Born on the 22nd of July

1. Alex Trebec (Smartest guy in the world? He does hold all the answers.)

2. Selena Gomez (singer who had a long term relationship with the Beiber)

3. Danny Glover ( gave one of my favorite speeches in a movie "Grand Canyon" ever been to the Grand Canyon? It's pretty but that's not the thing of it.)

4. Don Henley (singer, songwriter plays with the Eagles and has had a solo career, favorites Taking You Home, Heart of the Matter, New York Minute, Last Worthless Evening and so many more, love his lyrics and his delivery.)

5. Louise Fletcher (Nurse Ratched in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) She was just acting right? Yikes!!  Just thinking about her scares me!

6. Rose Kennedy (the matriarch of one of the most famous American families filled with success fame and tragedy, she lived through most of it)

7. Bob Dole (turns 90 this year, he is a retired senator from Kansas. During part of his service he was the Senate Majority Leader and set a record as the longest-serving Republican leader.) He married himself a smart lady too, Elizabeth Dole.

8. S. E. Hinton (author of "The Outsiders" when she was only 16 years old).

9. Dan Rowan (the straight man of the comedy team Rowan and Martin's Laugh - In television show, he was a fighter pilot during World War II and received the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Medal, and the Purple Heart for injuries he sustained..

10. The Prince from the charming couple Her Highness Catherine the Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William weighing in a 8lbs 6oz.  It's A Boy ! Congratulations!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Top 10 Travel Apps

iTranslate  It will talk the talk for you. It is also available for Android phones.

Viber Free calls, free text messages, photo and location sharing ( sounds interesting and worth checking out).

XE Currency is a good idea. Exchange rates vary.  Everybody has a price with a fee.

GasBuddy finds the cheapest gas stations.

Google Sky App I think it is called.  Just saw someone with this. Very Cool!  The Sky is the Limit.

Drive Smart: How To Stay Safe and Save Money available at

Download Walking Tours of the areas you plan on visiting.  There are a lot available in major cities and historic sites. Museum Without Walls is pretty cool in Philadelphia.

Smart Compass is the one I have but I am sure there are others. I like this one because I can always verify what direction I am headed in.

GPS apps.  There are a lot to choose from and some come with your phone. I can't recommend I don't use it.  I like to get lost

That little microphone on your smart phone.  I find this to be an invaluable tool for the co-pilot on a road trip.  I never recommend cell phone use by the driver. IPhones have Siri, Android has, I call him Mike for microphone.  Most times we understand each other. He is a man.

Disclaimer:  I am not trying to sell anything. I am usually a freebert.  I have not used all of these apps. Some are on my list to try. Check them out in your travels.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Top 10 Things We Wait For

Our Turn

Pay Check

 A Decision

Paint to Dry

Test Results

Traffic Light

Wounds to Heal

Sun to Come Out

The Other Shoe to Drop 

Date to arrive (ex. birthday, holiday, anniversary)

What are you waiting for?

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Top 10 Upcoming Things To Do

July 20th The Philadelphia Zoo Summer Ale Festival 6:30 to 10PM. Check out the prices, there is a discount for the designated driver and also a six-pack price. Three cheers for the zoo!

July 20th Linvilla Sweet Corn and Blackberry Festival

July 20th The fireworks are not over see Fireworks and Fountains at Longwood Gardens.  Check the dates and tickets available for a stunning show!

July 21st An Age of Revolution Discover the story behind the politics at Mount Pleasant, Laurel Hill and Woodford, Fairmount Park House tours 1 - 4PM.

July 21st Sixers Beach Bash in Avalon, N. J. Presented by KIA Motors. The Philadelphia Boys and Girls Club will receive a donation from the proceeds.

July 24th Symphonic Sports-tacular and Fireworks with the Philadelphia Orchestra.

July 26 - 28th the XPOnential Music Festival at Camden’s Susquehanna Bank Center and Wiggins Park

July 27th Colonial Plantation 40th Anniversary. The Chester County Militia Daytime Muster and a 40th Anniversary Party and Evening with the John Byrne Band.

July 27th  2nd of the season Summer Concert in Glen Providence Park Raindate Sunday July 28th.

July 28th The Copeland String Quartet Laurel Hill Mansion Summer Concerts by Candle Light.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Top 10 Red Fruits and Vegetables Country of Origin

1. Strawberry  - The United States is the top producer of strawberries in the world.  They are mainly grown in California, Florida and Oregon.

2. Tomato - The United States is the 2nd leading producer of tomatoes. China is the leading producer. California produces 94% of the United States tomatoes.

3. Red Pepper - China is the leading producer of the bell pepper.

4. Apples - China is the top producer of apples, the United States is 2nd.

5. Beets - Russia is the largest producer of sugar beets.  The United States is 3rd behind France.

6. Watermelon - China, Iran, Turkey, Brazil and the United States, in that order are the top producers.

7. Cherry - Turkey is the top cherry producing country.  The United States comes in 2nd for production and Iran is third. Washington State is the largest producing state.

8. Cranberry - The United States is the top producer of cranberries.

9. Raspberry - Russian Federation is the top producer of raspberries.  The United States is fourth behind Poland and Serbia.

10. Red Onion - China, India and the United States are the top producers of onions.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Top 10 Troubling Songs

Trouble Cold Play

Trouble Lindsay Buckingham

Bridge Over Troubled Waters Simon and Garfunkel

Trouble with Dreams The Eels

You've Got Your Troubles I Got Mine The Fortunes

Troubles Pink

Trouble Me Natalie Merchant

I Knew You Were Trouble Taylor Swift

Trouble in Here Howie Day

Ya Got " Trouble" (Right Here in River City) from the Music Man.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Top 10 Summer Foods, You Know You Shouldn't

1. Fudge

2. I'll have fries with that. Pass the vinegar that's healthy!

3. Cotton Candy - child proof right? What's the harm?

4. Cocktails. Do you like Pina Coladas?

5. Hot diggity dogs

6. Funnel cake

7. Caramel Corn

8. Fried

9. Ice Cream
10. Hoagies. cheesesteaks, big burgers, bigger burgers, yes, yes,Yes,Yes!

Top it all with Cheeeeeeeeeeese please.

Calories?  Who is counting?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Top 10 Upcoming July Events

July 12 - 28 Delaware Shakespeare Festival Rockwood Park in Wilmington, Delaware.

July 13th What's Your Sport's Memorabilia Worth? Find out at the Mickey Vernon Sports History Museum located at the Granite Run Mall.. Ron Oser of Legendary Auctions will be on hand from 12 - 2pm to give estimates at no charge as a courtesy to the Mickey Vernon Museum.

July 13th Tie Dye Music Festival Community Art Center, Wallingford, PA 2-7PM.

July 13th Bastille Day at Eastern State Penitentiary with the Bearded Ladies, they are exceptional! If you would like to go back in time you can check out my blog about it from last year.  It was a blast and can only get better. Is there anything better then Tastykakes falling from the sky?

July 13th 2nd Annual Bastille Day in Media. 6-10PM.

July 13 Pirates Splash Day at Colonial Plantation  12-4PM.

July 14th - 7pm Ruthie Country Gospel Music and Cottage Tour Open House at Historic Chester Height Camp Meeting. 5:30 - 6:30PM.

Bryn Mawr Twilight Concerts Saturdays at 7PM thru August 3rd.

Rose Tree Park Summer Festival Wednesday - Sunday through August 18th 7:30PM start 

Upper Merion Concert Under the Stars July 14, 21, 28.

Always verify date and time through the link in the event of cancellation or a weather delay.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Top 10 The New Short Hand Emoticons

Email is a very, very tricky thing and often what we say can be misinterpreted, so we all try and cover with a simple sign to further clarify the meaning. Even that can be misconstrued.

There are so many versions versions of the happy face but we all should know this is as universal as lol.

1. : - ) smiley face, happy, you make me smile, I was kidding, does that sound right?

2.  : - | Straight face, no comment, indecision

3. 0 : ) Angel 

 4. 3: ) Devilish

 5. : - x sealed lips

6. (?_?) Confusion

7. *\ 0 /* Cheerleader or simply \ 0 / Yay

8. / /o-o\ \  John Lennon

9.><> Fish, something fishy

10.: * kiss

There is a whole big list of them at wiki/List_of_emoticons.Look them over if you are seeking clarity in a conversation maybe you could use one of these or perhaps create a new one of your own.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Top 10 Things Rain Is Good For

Rain is good for.........

10. Singing in the Rain

 9. Water table

8.  Dirty Cars

7.  Umbrella

6. Puddles

5. Garden

4. Ground

3. Rapids

2. Gutter

1. Boots

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Top 10 Things That Are Free!

1. Free Parking is always available in the game of monopoly but if you can find it here in this United States consider yourself lucky.  There are locations and certain times like the Fourth of July in Philadelphia but I think there should be a website called "free parking".  Certain areas do have a listing, google it "free parking".  I know someone who will add it to his favorites.

2. You are free to roam where the deer and the antelope play.  Just don't tangle with them.  You are on their turf.

3. Most restaurants offer a free 2nd cup of coffee.  Ask first, if they do not, drink one and find a better place down the street.

4. I am not sure if this is everywhere and every one of the Rita's but the one I go to and will be coming back to offers free samples of water ice.  Just a taste so you can make sure you have made the correct decision, and smile when you get brain freeze.  I am passionate about Georgia Peach right now.  Try a sample but get a quart to take home.  That will cost you but you will not be sorry.

5. Free toiletries when you stay in a hotel or motel.  I often wonder though, could you get a discount if you were to bring your own, including washcloths and towels?  You could let it air dry in the car. I do like the convenience though, especially since you can't board a plane with the big bottles.

6. Kids eat free, I think that is a come on because we all know kids don't eat, and if they do it is very little. Unless there is free ice cream, then the establishment is losing money and then I'm in.  Anybody know of any place giving out free ice cream?

7. A free lunch, I know is something many people are jealous of and complain about all the time.  I say get yourself a date for lunch and just ask ahead of time.  You buying?

8. Weight Watchers even offers "free" points.  Most vegetables and fruits are "free".  Load em up!  Just make sure to check your manual or the website before you indulge, not all vegetables and fruits are created equal.

9. Free to reasonably drink alcohol in a public place, prohibition is over.  However, no one is free to drink to excess and get behind the wheel of a car.  Have a designated driver, all that may cost you is to show a little gratitude.

10. My favorite one of all "free advice".  Now not every one is interested in hearing it BUT you can find someone 24 7 willing to give it out. Every one has had a personal experience that entitles them to be an expert. There is something that can be said for experience but most of us never listen.  We need to become our own personal judge with the freedom to choose and use our free will.

I am sure we can all come with a list of 10 ourselves.  

Feel free to give it a try!

Opinions may seem free but sometimes they can cost you.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Top 10 Events on the Flip Side of Independence Hall July 4th

This event was the big enchilada on the Fourth of July  in my opinion.

All I knew going in was a ringing of the bell, what bell I was not sure.

1. Members of the Orpheus Club of Philadelphia serenaded the crowd as a warm up.  They also performed a strong commanding performance of the National Anthem. The Orpheus Club formed in 1872.  It is the oldest club of its kind.

2. As we sat waiting for the ceremony to begin, still being oblivious to exactly what was going to happen, I heard bagpipes and I turned around behind me and saw a whole procession of people parading down Walnut Street.  Bagpipes?  I did not remember any bagpipes in the parade earlier that day. So I travel back to Walnut street to catch the parade as it was going to pass by.  Only thing, it was not passing by and I had to get out of the way.  They began marching up the steps toward Independence Hall and the Barry statue. Here they come. It was powerful to watch!

Watson Highlander Bagpiper's and Drummer's

First City Troop founded in 1774

Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution
 The website for PSSR this link is, does not appear to be the updated one. If anyone knows of a different one, please email me at so I may correct it.

Color Guard of the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution
Then it came to light that this group was not exactly part of a parade.  They were honor guards for a very special select group of people.  You could tell they were important because they dressed up in distinguishing attire and you could tell they were not your average tourist.  I can not tell you who is who but you will recognize them just by the way they dressed.  It was dignified. The seats were reserved for this group. I still did not know who these people were. You could just tell, they were somebody.

and my favorite couple...I watched them come into the ceremony and leave.  I liked how they held hands.

Another special reflection on the glass pane, that is Independence Hall.

3. Chris May, anchor of CBS Channel 3 news greeted the crowd. He humbly acknowledged being introduced as an award winning journalist, a title he is obviously proud of and it was a nice thing to hear, he commented.

4. James Burke, President of the PSSR, Pennsylvania Society of the Sons of the Revolution also greeted the crowd and solved the mystery.  He asked the Members of the Society of the Sons of the Revolution and the direct descendents of the signers of the Declaration of Independence to stand. Wow, I knew they were somebody special.  Imagine being able to trace your roots back to the Continental Army or an ancestor who signed the Declaration of Independence.  As close as I can come is Benjamin Pyle, a Quaker descendent of mine was kicked out of meeting for financially supporting arms for the American Revolution.  I too am not big on fighting and wars but I have to say, I'm proud to be a member of Ben's family.  Imagine how prestigious these people must feel.

5. Reverend G. Clayton Ames III said the invocation and every one in the crowd bowed their heads.  There were no objections in that crowd.  Everyone had left that ceremony with one thought in mind or at least I did.

God Bless America!

6. Park Superintendent, Cynthia MacLeod spoke and acknowledged what a big year in history this is.  It is the 237th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg and the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, I Had A Dream, speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.  I saw her speak a lot over these celebration days in Philadelphia but she is the boss and she keeps a spotless area, where Philadelphia welcomes all Americans and the World.  It is a place of pride and we have the National Park Service to thank for that preservation.

7. Michael C. Quinn and CEO of the Museum of the American Revolution announced ground breaking for the new American Revolutionary Center will soon take place with an expected completion in 2017 at 3rd and Chestnut.  I like how it appears that Barry is giving his blessing.

9.  While we were waiting for the designated people to assemble and parade around to climb the tower in Independence Hall for the ceremonial tapping of the bell, I think that is where they went.  We were treated to a history lesson by a special guest speaker, Mr. Patrick Henry. His explanation was concise and clear.  He first addressed the adults in the crowd and ask, how many of you have siblings? Okay, how many have ever had a argument with a sibling? Uh-huh, you didn't always like each other did you but when trouble came you had their back correct.  Did they ever rat you out when you took the carriage for a spin?  Probably not most secrets were safe with them.  That is who the Continental Congress was, a family of sorts. Then he wanted to address the children. He asked them to look straight ahead, don't think about your answer but tell the truth. Did you ever think your parents didn't know what they were talking about?  Great Britain was the parent.  These were maybe not his exact words but they were pretty close.  Back in the day, his exact words were, Give me liberty or give me death. Google that guy, it was a treat to listen to him and get a first hand description.

10. The next part of the ceremony involved the escorting the people honorably chosen to tap the bell on top of Independence Hall.  A tradition that takes place across the country at 2pm on the Fourth of July but again there isn't any other place to be for this unbelievably moving experience then in the heart of the City of Brotherly Love.

U.S. Congressional Resolution Number 25, bell ringing ceremony.  I do not know how these individuals are chosen nor do I know who ran the bell the additional 3 times. I know to be select you are part of an elite group.  You are a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence with the exception of the two young men ages 9 and 11 at the bottom.  They became citizens of the United States on the Fourth of July.  They were given a very special honor, one no doubt they will remember for the rest of their lives.

Bell Ringer
Joseph Wister Belman
S. Chase/W. Ellery/O.Wolcott. Sr.
Thomas Chase Belman
S. Chase/W. Ellery/O.Wolcott. Sr.
Elizabeth Hall Burnet
Thomas Heywood, Jr
Lynsey Anne Mccintock
John Witherspoon
Tyler Aidan Mcclintock
John Witherspoon
Thomas Heyward Mcnamara
Thomas Heywood Jr.
William Cochran Mclaurie
Thomas Heywood Jr.
Kayla Nicole Moore
Roger Sherman
Rigel Joacquin Dumagco
New Citizen - Philippnes
Matthew Raphael Dumagco
New Citizen - Philippnes

I hope you enjoyed my coverage of July 4th in Philadelphia.
It was an honor to witness.
It is not something that happens every day.
and it is only in America!

True on any given day you can find your share of characters walking the streets of Philadelphia
but on the 4th of July, they are special indeed.
History come alive!

No need to worry about the guy with the sword, he is part of the original homeland security, the First City Troop of Philadelphia.
Where else can you witness and if you are the right age, participate in a muster roll?

Friday, July 5, 2013

Top 10 Highlights Behind the Scenes Independence Hall 2013

I am starting this blog list with a question.  Is this the front view of Independence Hall or the back view?  I posed the question to the National Park Service via email.  Once I get the correct answer, I will add it at the end of this blog.

1. I am also going to roll back time a bit and start on July 4th eve. I call this the pre-game show. Peter Nero and the Pops performed a magnificent show with the backdrop of Independence Hall.  If you missed it you missed magic, and the very best way to prep for the upcoming holiday.  Mayor Nutter was on hand and did a little conducting himself and announced that it would be Peter Nero's last year.  What a treasure he is and what luck to be in the audience of the maestro.  Peter Nero never mention any such retirement, so you have 363 more days to ready yourself for next year.  He just might be there!

2.Cody Wise alumni of Peapod Charter School in Philadelphia sang the National Anthem.  He is now working with Will I Am in LA! Okay, so I did not know who Cody Wise was, but I happened to be fortunate enough to be standing next to a family from Philadelphia with age appropriate children who did.  He is a very talented singer and from what I understand a BIG up and coming star.

3. Ben Taylor also performed on the 4th of July at Independence Hall.  He also was part of the Jam on the Parkway later in the evening and I am sure that was a thrill, but I can proclaim, I saw him first!.  For you nostalgic folks, he is the son of James Taylor and Caryl Simon.  The combo worked out well, they have a very talented son.

4. The mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, the Honorable William A. Bell, Sr. was on hand to deliver the Declaration of Independence and as an honoring guest to the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and the 50th Anniversary of the Letter From Birmingham Jail and August 28th marks the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. I got a better picture of him in the parade afterward.

5. Unfortunately, I did not get this young ladies name but she received a distinguished honor July 4th and the picture I like the best was afterward when someone must have been showing her a picture of the event.  That is what I am assuming.  She was all smiles. Congratulations to all our women in the military.  Today this woman stood out.

6. Another remarkable site to witness yesterday was the presence of women on the stage.  Here was an interesting moment,  Mrs. Michael Nutter took to the stage, she is President of Philadelphia Academies, Inc. The woman to the right of the picture on stage was also a big deal, she was a signer, relaying the entire ceremony in sign language.  Back in the 1776, you would not see women anywhere near center stage.  Some stages have worked out to our advantage. Also behind the ladies, stood the students of the Red Raider Marching Band from Pulaski, Wisconsin. A fine mix of young men and women standing in front of Independence Hall, and now that business has been worked out, all "men and women" are created equal.

7. Security was tight throughout all of Philadelphia yesterday.  Maybe because all those girls were in town. I think extra help were also on hand. How do I know this?  I asked directions throughout the day and there were many that did not know where certain locations were, a Philly cop would have known. It was also a very surreal experience the evening before at Independence Hall during the Pops concert.  Three Army Soldiers walked through the crowd with their weapons very much in plain sight.  They were attired in gear I have never seen before.  Wrapped across their chest and across their backs were what I believe to be bullet proof vests that had what looked like pouches, several of them attached to the front.  These three young men walked along the pathway in front of us and gazed with what I thought was a threatening stare into each and every face.  They thoroughly scanned the crowd.  It was a little unnerving and scary, especially to be sitting in front of the building that gained us our independence, liberty and freedom.  What has happened to that dream?  The world has not exactly progressed to a better place in that respect. I wanted to take a photograph but I was afraid I would be violating some sort of security breach.  I can show you the police helicopter that hovered overhead.  It was the background noise as Mayor Nutter spoke.Yet another reminder of the additional security measures that need to be taken.  I saw NHS (National Homeland Security) officers, counter terrorism personal along with a heavy Philadelphia Police visibility all on hand on the Fourth. They were not unpleasant or mean just showing they were there.  Did it make me feel more secure?  I guess, but it also made me feel incredibly sad that this is the world we live in now.

8. One of the positive points and proof we are headed in the right direction "sometimes" is slavery was abolished.  It has taken years to decipher just what exactly our forefathers had in mind when they drafted the
Bill of Rights.  I am sure they had no idea all the tangled webs that can be created.  The important decision of that day was, we were "united" States. All 13 of us.

9.Another eye opening moment was looking up into the bell tower at Independence Hall.  We thought, my goodness look at the security even up there.  How fortunate, I was mistaken.  That man had a much more relevant job.  It was his responsibility to ring the bell, another high level request from our forefathers.

Let Freedom Ring. 

We hold these truths to be self evident.

10. The cameraman who was freelancing for ABC yesterday was right in front of me during the entire ceremony and parade and I watched him sweat in that heat.  He was working really hard. I also watched his work later on the newscast.  I knew it was his because I was right there next to him.  The reason I mention him as my American hero is during the parade, the Wawa crew were tossing out small beanie baby sized Wawa birds.  I had met a Wisconsin couple in the crowd so I was able to give the one I caught to the youngest in their family.  I was standing next to an older Asian gentleman and he did not get one and he was trying.  I noticed one of the stuffed toys had fallen within the barred fence where the cameraman was filming.  I motioned to the Asian man that there was a toy lying beyond the fenced in area, where the camera guy was.  The man tried to retrieve it with his leg but it was just six inches shy of foot nabbing length. I was born a problem solver with the exception of my own dilemmas.  I examined the situation and thought once the crowd does disperse, I'll get in there and get it. Then the light bulb went off.  Camera guy!  I waited till there was a lull in the parade and he wasn't terribly busy and asked him to get the little toy.  He secured his camera, it was on ground level but it was also on a long arm of a crane.  He walked a few steps and handed it to me.  I was able in turn to hand it to the older Asian man standing next to me.  I was sure the man could not speak English because I heard him talking to family earlier but he looked me dead in the eye smiled and said. thank you.  Camera man probably has no idea of the exchange he helped take place.  How do I know he was freelancing?  I asked him and what a better place for a free lancer to get the task rectified in front of Independence Hall.  After all, this is where 237 years ago, a bunch of free lancers from the 13 colonies came together and made this country work. He gets my Top 10 Award, I am giving out today. Thanks for being part of the American team.  That is how you get things done.

 Three cheers for the camera guy!

There were many sights and sounds in Philadelphia.  There is no other place in the world to get the feeling of incredible fortune then to be in the City of Brotherly Love on the Fourth of July. 
It is the hub.

Happy Birthday America.

The timing had to be just right to capture this refection of Independence Hall on the building that houses the Liberty Bell.  Everything has a time, place, purpose and a connection.
In the next blog, I hope to present a more spectacular event.
No, I was not at the fireworks!  It was better.