Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Top 10 Reasons to Talk the Walk for a Cause

What is it like to Walk? Bridge Walk 2014 proceeds benefit the Island and Mainland schools of Long Beach Island and Stafford Township. It was also a Centennial Celebration of the Old Causeway built in 1914. If you have ever been to LBI in the last 100 years, you have crossed the causeway.

Registration started at 8:30 a.m. and it takes approximately 2 hours to reach LBI from my house. Up and out the door by 6 a.m.with the sunrise, traveling across the Commodore Barry Bridge was stunning, sorry no pictures, I was driving. I can't even tell you if traffic was heavy.  The caffeine had not kicked in yet.

We arrived at the starting point, The Old Causeway Restaurant on Bay Avenue, in plenty of time about 8:20 a.m. and registration was all set up.  There were about 30 kids. mostly high school age just milling about. We signed up and paid our $5 registration to walk the walk and received a yellow wrist band, an additional $10 for a brown Walk the Old Causeway T-shirt. Yes, I had to have one.  It was for a good cause. I guess it will be us and these milling about kids on the bridge. Those numbers changed dramatically over the next hour and a half, as we waited for the start.

Most participants were dressed appropriately with sneakers, a few had sandals.  There was still a morning chill in the air. so a few sweatshirts bobbed in the crowd but mostly all brown t-shirts and shorts, these were hearty beach people. The brown blended nicely with their tans. Sashaying through the crowd were these two young ladies in fancy prom dresses. I wondered, were they overdressed or I under dressed?  After all, this is the beach and anything goes. It turns out the two Party Princesses had another assignment that day.  They were an intended meet and greet but also served as ambassadors to warm up the crowd and set the mood. They were paid performers, unless of course they donated their time but someone totally stole the show from them.

Hadley Magaziner sang the National Anthem with such strong and powerful force she could rival anyone on "The Voice". This young lady will only get better. The R.O.T.C. from Southern Regional color guard presented the flag.

Harper Peliah Tretola (BW Hero 2014) and her family lead the walk.  Harper's dad, a Shipbottom police officer, read a heart rending description of their families challenge throughout the past year as her mother, Rachel proudly held on to her. Harper has a very rare disease and spent the first 9 months of her 11 months of age at CHOP.  She has been home in Brant Beach for the past two months in part to the wonderful work of the doctors and nurses at Children's Hospital in Philadelphia but also in a large part to a life changing trust in God to see them through. She is a living miracle. She is also an adorable little girl who is quite the fashion statement. Who wouldn't want to follow her over the bridge? Her story, although heartbreaking at times was very uplifting. These are the things in life to celebrate and recognize as great events.

Another story of the day, a local family and supporters of bridge walk lost their newborn daughter/granddaughter this past week. Organizers asked to participate in Baby Charlotte's remembrance. One of the walkers (this young lady on the stage) will be carrying a solitary pink balloon in her memory. When you see the balloon we ask that you show the family support during this difficult time and post pictures of the balloon on social media using #rememberingcharlotte.

The Walk began at the Old Causeway Inn Restaurant in Manahawkin and ended at the Waterfront Park in Ship Bottom..... and we were off. The total mileage was 3.1 miles that is comparable to a 5K. The bridge distance was 2.1 miles. Most walkers finish the walk in 50 minutes, I was among the average. At times, I noticed a bit of a gap between where I was and the walkers ahead but I'm thinking the pacers behind me (and there were quite a few) were grateful for that. At the front of the line, you can see our fearless leader, Harper in her stroller with her mom and dad.

I always travel with a bottle of water but we were promised water along the way. Typestries Sign and Digital sponsored a water stop midpoint-across from Causeway Boat Marina. I was thinking at one point "somebody" doesn't know what mid-point means.  I was later to find out the somebody was "me".  Then I saw a sign "Water Station Ahead", strategically placed no doubt.  Is that another hill? Then the name calling started, "water whiner".  I wasn't panting that much BUT I think I was starting to see a mirage in front of me. Is that water up there, over the horizon? I'm getting closer. It was, rows of small Dixie cups lined the table, sorry no pictures it was a grab and go! Best water I ever had in my lifetime. I drank it slow, I wanted to pace myself, this was mid-point. It was just the boost I needed.

Of course there was entertainment along the way, my one desire was to see some of the fancy places I pass each year, as I drive into the island and back home again.  So the entertainment was both visual and audio.  We were fortunate to have chosen a space in line with a group I called the beepers.  They were youngins and I am proud to say for the most part I could pace them.  They were fun to be around.  They tried tirelessly to get cars and especially trucks to beep their horns as they passed our group going in the opposite direction.  Once in a while, a driver would comply, when this happened they would squeal with laughter and applaud the effort.

Since I have never really been part of  a fundraiser walk before I had no idea what the finish would be like.  There was a bagpiper playing as we entered Ship Bottom Waterfront Park on 9th St. I don't recall the song he was playing but to me it felt like the Rocky theme. What fun it was to be part of this event. Several refreshments tents were set up with giveaways to all those sporting a yellow band. The apples and bananas looked good as well as the cereal bars but my favorite lady at  the end of the race was handing out water. It seemed as if she was waiting there just for me. It was a great community event to attend. As a bonus, there was a car show going on at the end of the race. I hope to share some pictures of those in a future blog.

What is it like to participate in a walk? It is fantastic fun, but don't take my word for it look at all the smiles and legwork that goes into it in the slideshow.

According to a question on the Walking the Causeway Facebook page, last year 10K was raised and will be split between the Stafford, SRHS and LBI schools. It also says, we've been told to charge more..to make more-but it is a community/family first, fundraiser second event. It was a privilege for me to participate.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming Events Week of September 29

September 29 Public Star-gazing at Widener. Share the fun with amateur astronomers in Chester and neighboring communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. During the fall and spring we offer public telescope viewing sessions every Monday at twilight and star-gazing every first Friday evening of the month. Each session is supervised by a Widener University astronomer, assisted by a student Widener Observatory Kirkbride Hall, 17th and Walnut Streets Chester, PA 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. 

September 30  Conscientious Objectors in WWI a talk about passive-resistance. As part of the World War I 100th Anniversary Lecture Series, Furness Library welcomes archivist Anne Yoder from the Peace Collection at Swarthmore College. Ms. Yoder will highlight pieces from the collection, as well as discuss the peace movement during WWI. The library is located at 100 North Providence Road in Wallingford.

September 30 National PrepareAthon Day!  Are you prepared?

October 1 and 29, Twilight Yoga Pop Up Yoga Philly's Twilight Yoga series returns to Franklin Square 7 -8 p.m. Tickets: $10

October 1  Genealogy Research Workshops at Middletown Free Library. Beginner and Intermediate Levels Come in the library to make use of the Ancestry.com Library Edition and get help with your research. Discuss your research, share tips and ideas, and get help breaking through those research brick walls.  Please bring your own laptop if you have one!!If you have any questions please call Laura at 610-566-7828 or email mireference@delcolibraries.org.  10:15 a.m - 11:45 am.

October 2  Light the Night Pink with Yoga - Lankenau Medical Center from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To help kick-off National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please join us as we "Light the Night Pink" outside of the Heart Pavilion at Lankenau Medical Center. After a pink luminary lighting ceremony, Hotbox Yoga in Manyunk will lead a one-hour, outdoor yoga class designed for all skill levels and body types. Participants should bring their own yoga mat. Luminaries and t-shirts will be available for purchase. The event is sponsored by the Lankenau Medical Center Nursing Department. There is no cost for the event, but donations to support Unite for HER wellness programs at Lankenau Medical Center are encouraged. 5:30 p.m. – Registration and refreshments 5:45 p.m. – Lighting ceremony and remarks.

October 2 - 5 A Taste of Greece in Media, St. George Fall Food Festival 30 E. Forge Rd. Eat in- or Take Out.  Click on the link for further details and specific times.
October 3 - 31,  Franklin Square Spooky Mini Golf opens at Franklin Square in Philadelphia (Fri. - Sun.) 6 - 9 p.m.Philly Mini Golf is transformed with spooky fun for the season with fog, lights, music, and spooky surprises! Tickets required.

October 5th The 2nd Annual Walk and 5K Run for Cancer in Chester, PA. Check in time 8 a.m. start time 9 a.m. Starting Point Seaport Drive and Flower Street and ends at 25th and Edgmont, Chester Park.

 Now through October 11, The Widener University Art Gallery will host AFFINITIES Women Artists - Women's Inspiration. The exhibition includes the creative works of five local women artists and is presented by the Regional Center for Women in the Arts. The RCWA will donate 50% of the proceeds from art sales to PathWays PA. The Widener University Art Gallery is free and open to the public. The gallery is open Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming Walk and Run for a Cause This Weekend

September 27 The 17th Annual Walter E. Brandon Sickle Cell Disease 5K Walk/Run,  Memorial Hall Loop, Avenue of the Republic & West Memorial Hall Drive Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, PA 19131.

September 27 Abington, PA Walk for Obesity.

September 27 Haverford Township Day 5K

September 28 Walk for PKD (polycystic kidney disease )  Miles Park Germantown Pike and Joshua Rd. Whitemarsh, PA.

September 28. Four Seasons Parkway Run/Walk to support cancer research at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

September 28 Running for Answers 5k run, walk, and kids' fun run.  This year, the run, walk, and kids' fun run will all start in front of the Please Touch Museum located at 4231 Avenue of the Republic, Philadelphia. 7am - 8am :: Race day registration and packet pick up. By taking part in Running for Answers, the first annual race in support of The Desmoid Tumor Research Foundation, you are truly bringing us one step closer to a cure.

September 28 March of Dimes March for Babies Delaware County Starts at 9Am at Media Elementary School.

September 28 Media Healthy Kids Running Series Rose Tree Park 5:30 p.m. click on website link for more info.

September 28 Springfield Healthy Kids Running Series E.T. Richardson Middle School 20 West Woodland Ave.Springfield, PA 19064 click on website link for more info.
Register for October 12 The Philadelphia Kidney Walk Has a NEW Location!
Registration and pre-walk festivities will take place at the bottom of the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and then we will be walking down West River Drive/Martin Luther King Jr. Dr! 2 ROUTES this year: A 1 mile walk and a 5K (3.1 miles) walk

and down the shore...

September 27 Bridge Walk 2014 "Walk the Causeway"  Manahawkin to Long Beach Island. “Walk the Causeway for a Great Cause - Our Students!” The original bridge was built in 1914.

and don't forget to check out all the other events happening this weekend.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming Weekend Events

September 26 The Trial of Jack the Ripper, at Neumann University , 3 p.m. in the Fred P. Meagher Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

September 27 MYLIFE Youth will host a Free Festival at Rose Tree Park. The fifth annual MY FEST PA event will be held from noon to 5 p.m. at Rose Tree Park. The event will feature live music and a performance by “The Voice” top 5 finalist Audra McLaughlin, games and art activities along with a variety of youth and family-based organizations offering resources and services for young people and their families. The festival is fun, free and open to the community.

September 27 Haverford Township Day 

September 27 National Public Lands Day. Also a Fee Free Day,  parks, refuges and rangelands offer free entry or waive the standard amenity fee for visitors. Locally at Glen Providence Park in Media.

September 27 Colonial Pennsylvania Plantation Fall Flax and Textile Day, 610-566-1725

September 27 Community Arts Center Fine Arts and Crafts Festival on State Street in Media.

September 27 National Take Back Drugs Initiative. Add your zip code and check fora location near you.

Celebrate Delaware County's Birthday

September 26 Hedgerow Theatre and the Delaware Historical Society present The Celebration of Delaware County's 225 years at the Town House Theatre. Tickets $75.

September 27 Join Delaware County Council at the Delaware County Courthouse for a family celebration of the 225th anniversary of Delaware County 11 a.m — 2:00 p.m. String band music, a fife and drum corps and games and crafts for children will be featured. Enjoy the rich history of Delaware County at this birthday celebration. A Town Crier will herald the county’s establishment in 1789. Festivities start at noon with the Philadelphia Fife and Drum Corps playing outside the Courthouse on Front Street.

September 28 September 28 all day – History Day at Rose Tree Park
Native American Heritage Festival Join Master of Ceremonies, Fox 29 Weather Anchor, Sue Serio and Thomas J. McGarrigle, Chairman of Delaware County Council at Rose Tree Park in Media for a fun day of watching, participating and learning about the first inhabitants of Delaware County. Enjoy Native dancing, storytelling, crafts, food, jewelry, and many other aspects of Native Culture. Various food vendors and a Passport to History® Art Contest.  Noon—5:00 PM. Free Parking—No Admission Charge.

and a bonus reminder:

Get Tickets Now for October 4, 2014  “POP, ROCK AND SOUL” CONCERT! at Marple Newtown High School 120 Media Line Road, Newtown Square PA with the legendary Bobby Rydell, The Duprees and the First Ladies of Rock and Soul, #1 Girl Group Revue.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. General Admission $65.You can purchase tickets by phone 610-359-0832 or by mail 991 Palmers Mill Rd.,Media, PA 19063 Checks Payable to: DCHS Credit Card Payments:delcohistory.com (Pay-Pal). The concert benefits the Delaware County Historical Society Museum and the Veterans Education Program.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Top 10 Highlights of Heinz Cradle of Birding

People come to Heinz Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum to Exercise, Walk the Kids, Walk the Dog, Walk and Run the Trails, Bird Watch, Nature Photography, Fishing, Exploring. Spotting the usual suspects, Spotting the rare glimpse and this is on an ordinary day, so if they are offering a special events, you don't want to miss it.

Here is what you missed if you made other plans, book mark it for next year!

1. Before you even enter the visitor's center you can spot a butterfly or two.  The parking lot is specifically lined with plants that attract.

2. The Delco Bird Club were on hand with Macaws and Cockatoos.  I believe all the birds represented were rescue birds, which means abused by their original owners.  I shared the most dialog with Mary and I even got to hold her.  Mary said hi and hello and I was told she often says, what's the problem, so I addressed her with that question, as I was holding her and she was polite enough not to answer but by the look in her eye, I believe she wanted to say, I was the problem.  Mary was much more comfortable in the hands of her owner. The Delaware County Bird Club meets monthly on the 2nd Thursday of Each Month at  Media Community Center, 4th & Monroe Streets, Media, PA 19063 at 7 p.m. They are always looking for new members.

3. Although I am not a big fan of bugs, I was intrigued by the bug people. They certainly had the more creepy looking ones on display but I only captured a photograph of the dragonflies, learned the difference and I was also shown the world's largest moth, which I think rivals any butterfly. It was found in Hamburg, PA. I hope, I don't identify the bug people incorrectly but I am guessing from the list of exhibitors, they were Chris Cook and Family. They allowed me to bug them for about 15 minutes. I was also able through the help pf the son, to finally identify a pet bug I had last summer.  It was a leaf-hopper. Chris I believes showed me the movie on his smart phone of the female moth that can attract a male moth 12 miles away.

4. The Who's Who of the Bear Club were there with perhaps the only noticeable MIA Yogi the Bear.  T. R. Bear naturally made an appearance and not to start any gossip or anything but Smokey the Bear who turned 70 this year was spotted exhibiting a PDA.  Smokey didn't seem to mind who saw him, he looked 70 and proud. Just an additional shout out for T. R. ( Teddy Roosevelt), he granted the opportunity for all Americans to enjoy the wonders of nature and through him made the extraordinary day possible.

5. At Talons Birds of Prey display outside, you could find the raptors! The Harris Falcon, the Saker Hawk and the Eagle Owl all held there own majesty atop their perch. There were all gorgeous birds to admire from afar.  They seemed very docile but I wouldn't want to get in a tangle with any one of these creatures.

6. Normal transportation at the refuge would be a bicycle, a stroller, a wheelchair (most paths are handicapped accessible) you can walk the trails and canoeing is permitted in certain sections but at the Cradle of Birding "Trolley Tours" were available on the hour. It was not just a free ride, it was an educational experience from a trained biologist from the Park Ranger Service. We learned that invasive phragmites australis currently is the biggest threat facing the refuge. Luckily the refuge has organizations such as Weed Warriors and other volunteer organizations that help combat these issues. Also on the traveling educational trip you were given the opportunity to get a snapshot of a familiar view of the Philadelphia skyline often used in promotions.  Every time an insult happens to the environment and the wildlife that is protected here, such as an oil spill, a fine must be paid.  To date, there have been two incidents that have happened that Heinz was a beneficiary of a mishap. The most current one was an award for $3 million.  Plans have been made to use these funds to best serve the wildlife.

7. Every time I visit the Heniz Wildlife Refuge, I seem to find something new.  The adventurer might like this one but it makes me a little more careful when I walk along the water's edge.  Snakes! One swimming in the water was creepy enough but the land lover looked even BIGGER. The turtles and frogs are cute and even the yellow hairy caterpillar some little kid spotted off the bridge was cool but snakes, yuck! They were down by the observation deck on Sunday for all you snake lovers.  I know you are out there.

8. The big hub-bub was the sora.  Did you see the sora? Birders are abundant at the refuge and they always share what's new and different and will readily volunteer at what location a particular bird was last seen. In this case, the sora was last seen at the boardwalk , so onward we trekked. I saw something.  I thought it was a duck and then this woman came by and she saw the sora. I did not and she proceeded to try and explain which blade of reed it was hiding behind. Truth is I wouldn't know the difference I am still in sora training but I think I saw it. I have learned from birding, you gotta be a believer.

9. The usual suspects at the refuge are always there and happy to oblige any photographer that attempts to get that National Geographic shot. They however do not give you much time, you have to be quick or forget it.  They will just as easily turn feather on you. I must have 500 billion shots of the egrets in flight, landing, dancing, but I have never had one come so close.  To date, these are my favorites. Not to say that they are unique, but for me I was pleased. The first picture shows the poise and elegance of this bird.  The second egret shot was the moment for me, I made contact. I might even print that one. The moment in time belongs between the egret and me. Never to be outdone on a landing is the Great Blue Heron.

10. How can one sum up a day at Heinz? I am sure it is a personal experience for every one and we all have our favorites, but I am guessing we all leave with the same temperament, good-natured and reflective.

The Big Sit is coming up on October 12, be a part of citizen science at Heinz.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top 10 Noticeable Changes Summer Clearance, First Full Day of Fall

Dip in temperature means an extra blanket on the bed. Open windows for a cool breeze. Snuggle.

The leaves are changing color and are falling. Raking is a precursor to shoveling.

Garden tomatoes aren't turning red so fast. Time to look up a good green fried tomato recipe, or the ripen in a brown paper bag trick.

Squirrels are collecting nuts,  I can direct them to a few.

Activities are abundant soccer, football, festivals, garage sales, concerts, adult evening classes, hiking, biking, or just a cool evening stroll with man's best friend or significant other, something for every one.

Wardrobe changes, flip flops and a bikini might be a little under dressed. Sweatshirts and sweaters are trending fast.

Floral changes, mums the word and many pumpkins will be decorating the front stoop.

It is getting dark sooner and some of those favorite series are coming back on.  Stock up on the popcorn.

Every season evokes a smell and a craving for certain foods. Apples, cranberry cinnamon? Treat or treat, I smell something sweet. Pumpkin spice creamer is back on the shelves. Hallelujah!

Earthy colors like orange (Let's Go Flyers) and green (Fly Eagles Fly) and lets not forget soccer and basketball season. Wear the colors proudly.  Here is a tip but maybe ask first ,I was in an Acme store on Sunday and they said over the speaker, you get a discount if you are wearing an Eagles jersey. I was not, next week I will see if it works.

No need to panic, Autumn has snuck up on us once again. Enjoy the season for all it  has to offer.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming September Events Week of September 22

September 22, 2014 What Chester MADE, MADE Chester": Her Contribution to the U.S. Shipbuilding Industry will be a program presented by Dr J.Joseph Edgette on Monday  at 7:00 PM at the Hedgerow Theater in Rose Valley, Pa. This illustrated presentation will provide the historical background as to why Chester was the "Shipbuilding Capital of the United States" from 1857 until 1982. Dr. Edgette is Professor Emeritus at Widener University. He is the University's resident folklorist. The Chester Historical Preservation Committee is sponsoring this program that is free and open to the public. Please call 610-872-4497 for further information or questions.

September 23  Historic Sugartown Announces Lecture "The Tools of Book Binding": A Look at the Artisanship and Trade of Samuel Dodd, an Early American Tool Cutter, a lecture by Steve Beare at Historic Sugartown’s Carriage Museum located at 273 Boot Road, Malvern, PA 19355. The program will start at 6 PM. There will be tours of Historic Sugartown’s Book Bindery from 5 – 6 PM. $5 Adults, $4 Seniors or Students with ID. Please pre-register by calling 610- 640-2667 or send an email to info@historicsugartown.org by September 19.

September 23,  “A Tale of 3 Williams "William Wood - Worship and Water, William Whitely - Water and Woodmount, William Claude Duncanfield (AKA W.C. Fields) 7:15 pm a free program at Darby Free Library, 1001 Main Street, Darby PA 19023. Sponsored by Friends of 715 Friends of the Blue Bell and Darby Borough Historical Commission.  For more information call 610.583.0788

Sept 23 The Marple Historical Society and the 1696 Thomas Massey House presents The Freckleton Catastrophe at 10:30 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday 23 August, 1944, two American Liberator heavy bomber aircraft left Warton Airfield on a routine test flight, but as the weather turned they were soon in trouble. A discussion by Jim Hedtke, Ph.D. Professor and author at 7:30 p.m. at Marple Christian Church Lawrence Rd. in Broomall. For Information call 610-353-4967.

September 23 - 28 Dressage in Devon at Devon Horse Show and Country Fairgrounds.

September 24, Twilight Yoga Pop Up Yoga Philly's Twilight Yoga series returns to Franklin Square Tickets: $10 - 7 - 8 p.m.

September 25 Taste of Media Event, at the Community Arts Center in Wallingford. 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.

September 25 Newlin Grist Mill "Talks at the Mill“ Raise Your Glass
Brewing and Distilling Techniques in Colonial America. 7 p.m. Early Americans were known for consuming large quantities of alcoholic beverages. Historian and Newlin Grist Mill Director Tony Shahan will discuss where all of these beverages came from and how they were produced. He will focus on brewing beer, distilling whiskey, and producing rum The presentation will include images taken while working in historic brewing and distilling operations. Following the presentation, attendees will be invited to sample beverages made from the raw ingredients discussed. This event costs $5 for members and $10 for non-members. Registration is required. Email info@newlingristmill.org or

call 610.459.2359 to register.

September 25 Senior Expo at Strath Haven High School 205 S. Providence Road in Wallingford 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. sponsored by State Representative Joe Hackett.

September 25- November 6 only, Ghosts and Toasts come face-to-face with the spirits of Philadelphia's haunted past, as the Tippler's Tour gets spiked with a dose of Halloween flavor on the one-and-only Ghosts and Toasts seasonal tour! Your authentic, costumed colonial guide spins terrifying, yet true, tales as you venture through Old City's darkest corners. Raise a toast by Benjamin Franklin's grave at Christ Church Burial Ground and enjoy drinks and snacks at three spirited local pubs. This seasonal favorite is only around for a limited time and spaces are filling up quickly. Book your Ghosts and Toasts tickets today! BUY TICKETS  Thursdays, 5:30 p.m. Adults: $40, Seniors/Military/Students: $35 (Tastings and gratuity included, must be 21+ with a valid I.D. Tours depart from the Betsy Ross House, 239 Arch Street.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Top 10 Upcoming Weekend Happenings

September 19 Community Arts Center Friday Night Live Concert,  Wallingford in the Duke Gallery Musical Artists: Zydeco A Go-Go, Visual Artist: Jewel Mondros and Rinal Parikh.

Sept. 19 - Marcus Hook Preservation Society Family Night Spaghetti Dinner 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Community Center, 7 Delaware Ave, (fee) and September 20 6th Annual Pirate Festival presented by Marcus Hook Historical Society 11a.m. – 6 p.m. and  Friday, September 19, 2014 FAMILY NIGHT SPAGHETTI DINNER 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Community Center, 7 Delaware Avenue, Marcus Hook, PA Cost: $5 per person (in advance) $8 at the door. All proceeds help with the restoration of the Plank House.  All Donations are Tax Deductible.

September 19 begins Healthy Kids Running Series in Concord Township September 19th, 26th and October 3rd, 10th and 17th 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Smithbridge Park 687 Smithbridge Road, Glen Mills, PA 19342. Race Bag Pick Up Night: Wednesday September 17th 5:00-7:00 PM Philadelphia Runner (Glen Eagle Shopping Center) 571 Glen Eagle Square Glen Mills, PA 19342. 

September 20 The Concord Township Historical Society presents Shrooms and V’rooms at the Society Headquarters 659 Smithbridge Road next to Rachel Kohl Library. Antique and Classic Automobiles, Local History Museum, Mushroom Dishes from Local Restaurants. Learn "How Mushrooms Grow". All proceeds benefit the Concord Township Historical Society 2 p.m. - 5 p.m. Raindate September 21.

September 20 Paoli Battlefield Event 10 a.m - 5 p.m. Admission is by a donation of $8.00 per person, children are $5.00, and a special family rate is $20.00 (up to 5 people).
September 20 The 11th Annual Cradle of Birding Wildlife and Conservation Festival at Heinz Wildlife Refuge 7 - 3 p.m.

September 20 and 21 Arts and Music Festival at Linvilla

 Sept 20 Archaeology Festival Newlin Grist Mill 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Discover the stories of our past buried beneath our feet. Join professional and a vocational archaeologists as they share important discoveries from throughout the region. Assist archaeologists as they explore the buried past of Newlin Grist Mill. Follow the artifacts as they proceed from excavation, through screening, to cleaning and identification. Plenty of things for the family including a “kids dig”.  FREE!

September 21  The Haverford Township Historical Society presents an Open House at historic Nitre Hall located at Karakung Drive between Mill Road and Manoa Road in Haverford 10 a.m - 1 p.m. Nitre Hall, built about 1810, served as the “Home of the Powder Master” and headquarters of the gunpowder manufacturing business located and operating in this Powder Mill Valley until about 1840.

September 21 Ridley Township Annual Fall Festival 10a.m. - 3 p.m. The festival will feature an arts and craft section, bike auction, food court and day long entertainment  on the grounds of the Ridley Township Municipal Building.
(raindate Sept. 28th)

September 21 Colonial Day at the Middletown Presbyterian Church 273 S. Old Middletown Rd in Media 10:30 a.m. colonial style worship and noon - 3 p.m. games, crafts activities, and demonstrations.

Additional events happening in the city.
September 19 - 21 Spruce Street Harbor Fall Festival at Spruce Street Park located at Columbus Blvd. and Spruce street in Philadelphia. September 28 us the last day of the season. If you haven't been go check it out!

September 20 FARE Walk for Food Allergy River Sharks Stadium 401 Delaware Avenue Camden, NJ 08102. Registration/Check-in: 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. Walk Ceremony: 10 a.m.

September 20 PHS Fall Festival Philadelphia Horticultural Society 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. on the Navy Yard grounds.

September 20 PRO-ACT RECOVERY WALKS! 2014 - **NOTE LOCATION CHANGE FOR START** New Walk Start Meeting Place: Walnut Street Bridge Under Balloon Arch in Philadelphia.

September 20 and 21 The Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia 5 K and Half Marathon  Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA.

September 21 Brazilian Day Festival part of the PECO Multicultural Series at Penn's Landing. Free to the public and take place at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing, Columbus Boulevard at Chestnut Street.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Top 10 Features of the Nemours Mansion and Gardens

A. I. du Pont built the Nemours Mansion for his 2nd wife Alicia Bradford, she preferred to spend most of her time in Paris.  A topic for another Top 10, but there is plenty of information on the Internet about that. I prefer to focus on the "place" and look for a good book on the "people".  The du Ponts are a very intriguing family.

1. The Mansion is of course extravagant, elegant, breathtaking and amazing.  You cannot take a bad photograph from any angle. It is modeled after  Le Petit Trianon  of Versailles. Carrère and Hastings designed the home in the style of Louis XVI—Rococo French architecture. Alicia was a frequent visitor to Paris and a fan of the French.  Alfred named Nemours after the French town his great great grandfather represented in France.

2. Turn from the steps of the mansion and you observe the "Vista" or Long Walk.  It is an absolutely breathtaking walk down into the garden area. The path is all green and there were certain areas in the house where you were not permitted on the carpets.  I felt the same way about this perfect carpet of green and I did ask, "Are we allowed to walk on it?".  We were.

Your next step, I can only tease you with, will be inside the mansion.  Photographs are not permitted which is just as well.  Any interior decorator trying to duplicate will only meet with feudal attempts.  Everything inside is original and in many cases exquisite including the chandelier over the staircase in the grand hall.  It once hung in Lafayette's home. Yes, Lafayette the favorite French general of General George Washington that helped the United States win independence.

3. The English Gate  will be your first entrance on to the Nemours Garden and Mansion Tour.  Does it feel like royal treatment? These gates once stood at Wimbledon Manor.  Henry the VIII, once owned Wimbledon, the gates however date back to the 18th century. It is still royal in my opinion.

The Russian Gates once stood at a palace built by Catherine II (Catherine the Great) outside Petersburg in Russia.  The staff affectionately refer to this structure as Kate's gates. The dates listed above the gate refer to her birth 1729 and her death 1796.

4. Fountains are visible throughout the property and I am sure through further exploration I could find they each hold a special significance. I didn't count fountains or man made bodies of water but there was a notable amount to reflect upon. The round building in the background is a water tower that is close to the garage area.  Wait till you see what is parked in there!!!

This fountain flows behind the house.

I would call this the centerpiece, the large lake but the family would have called this the 8000,000 gallon body of water, the "pool".  It was used for swimming and boating

The Four Seasons Statues around the pool area will definitely remind you of  the Versailles palace in France.

5. The newest addition to the A. I. Dupont Hospital is easily visible from the front steps on the Nemours Mansion. The photograph also provides another view of the Wimbledon Gates.

6. The Temple of Love – in classical style, with life-sized statue of Diana the Huntress (1780) by Jean-Antoine Houdon, a a French neoclassical sculptor. It is situated beyond the sunken gardens and across the lake.

Tenderesse is a bronze statue of mother and child by G. Loiseau Bailey. It can be found in the Four Corners Garden.

7. Depending on where you are standing the gardens lead the imagination.  The first aerial shot taken from the second floor balcony leads your imagination.  Is that a clown face? Maybe I am seeing symmetrical snow angels in green. Is that a sun dial in the center. The red flowers remind me of the spinner in the Game of Life.  Does anyone else have a similar imagination than mine? I am going to have to try this at home.

In the center of the maze garden is the crowing jewel "Achievement" covered in 24 kt gold leaf by Henri Crenier.

8. Just when you think you have seen it all and it doesn't get any better than this, you walk through the Colonnade. It is dedicated to Pierre du Pont and E. I. du Pont.  It was designed by Thomas Hasting. Hastings also designed the NewYork Public Library.

9. The Sunken Gardens were designed by the firm of Massena and duPont (Alfred Victor duPont), son of A. I. duPont.  The sculpture on top is by Charles Sarrabezolles.

It must be as long as a football field.

10. The garage holds its own special marvels but the prized possession would be the 1960 Phantom V Rolls Royce. According to http://www.conceptcarz.com/vehicle/z16293/Rolls-Royce-Phantom-V, Queen Elizabeth II had a Phantom V, and her mother owned one as well. the governor of Hong Kong had one for ceremonial purposes. John Lennon purchased a new, white Phantom V. He proceeded to have it covered with psychedelic paintings, turning it into one of pop culture's most vivid and expensive pieces art. Elton John also owned a Pink Phantom V.

My impression of the Nemours House and Gardens?


I feel incomplete if I don't mention the shards of glass cemented into the top of the wall.  It may be tough to see exactly what they are from my photographs but they are actually pretty multicolored pieces of sharp glass sticking out of the top of the wall. For years rumors had it that it was there to keep estranged family members out but our us driver cleared that up for us.  He once had a monk from the town of Nemours on a tour and he verified that is how it is done back at home in France. Either way, it is a secure way to guarantee privacy. Buy a ticket and take the tour, if you have that ticket, they are very friendly and welcoming.  It is a great tour and thus far my favorite duPont estate.  I have not been to Longwood Gardens in a very long time.  I think it is time to go back and compare.

Don't forget it is Community Day, September 20, at A.I. duPont Nemours Hospital and it's free.  The Nemours Mansion and Garden tour is not free and they recommend reservations ahead of time for large groups. Save that trip for another day. It is so worth it.