Thursday, October 30, 2014

UHS BOYS' SOCCER: Undefeated Ches-Mont champs!

A special "Hail Unionville" shout-out to the undefeated UHS varsity boys' soccer team. As Ches-Mont league champs, the Indians are the #1 seed going into the District 1 AAA playoffs. Their first-round match will be at UHS at 1 p.m. Saturday, October 25.
Thank you to all-kinds-of-proud soccer mom Allison Stautberg for emailing me about the team and soccer dad Mark W. Shafer (who was clearly a sportswriter at some point in his life), for sharing this vivid description of the team:
"Led by senior captains Henry Shafer, Brian Cortese, Sam Alfonsi and Andrew Chegia (all of whom have been school teammates since Fall 2009 when they played on Patton Middle School's 7th grade team), the team plays an aggressive yet unselfish, ball-control style of play.
The mid-field is patrolled and dominated by midfielders Logan Carlow, AJ Bernstein, Tim Yarosh, and Jeff Stautberg.
The defense is anchored by Cortese, Dan Beckman, Jack Seilus, and Chegia with Shafer in goal.
Up top, the brunt of the offensive damage is inflicted by Peter Ferraro, Aiden Walsh, Alex "The Great Dane" Andersen and Alfonsi.
In addition to the senior-dominated squad, the roster has some outstanding talent from the UHS Class of 2016 which includes Juniors Mark Ellsworth, Eli Lipsman, Mike Kosuth, Austin Brown, Ryan Humes, Mike Ceribelli and EJ Jankowski."

IN THE MOOD: Borough Christmas tour is coming up Dec. 14

Lynn Sinclair asked me to spread the word that Kennett Square's 14th annual Candlelight Holiday Home Tour is coming up on Dec. 14 from 4 to 7 pm.
"We will not have a snow storm or a day-long drenching downpour," she stated confidently (as you might infer, the tour has had rotten luck weather-wise the past few years).
Tickets are available on the borough historical commission's website,

CANINE PARTNERS: Honoring a departed benefactor

Nancy Biddle Kelly sent me a message after reading my item about Bernie Langer's memorial service at St. Michael Lutheran Church on Oct. 11. Thanks to her, I learned something new and very, very nice about him.
She writes,  "He was a wonderful man (and quite the "character" too) and we all miss him so much. I was sitting in the narthex during the service since we are training a service puppy for Canine Partners for Life. Bernie and Claudette support CPL too, and named a puppy after their son, and that puppy and his puppy handler were at the service too."
I noticed a service dog in the lobby, and of course I knew Bernie loved dogs, but I didn't put two and two together. How wonderful, and how in character!

PENNOCKS: A prominent family in colonial Pennsylvania

Mark Myers's lecture on Wednesday, Nov. 19, entitled "The Cutting Edge of the Frontier: The Pennocks of Primitive Hall," will be of interest to anyone who has even a passing interest in local history. The talk will be at Primitive Hall, the 18th-century ancestral home of the Pennock family, which is located on North Chatham Road (Route 841) between Routes 926 and 842.
Mark, a member of Primitive Hall's Board of Trustees, plans to explore the Pennock family's role in colonial Pennsylvania and will highlight local "buildings and landscapes that they would have known in their daily lives," he wrote.
The lecture is a fundraiser for the Hall and tickets are $35. Signup is required by Nov. 15; email for more information. The talk will start at 7, with a reception at 6.

PUMPKINS: The Great Pumpkin comes to Chadds Ford

An athletic family member of mine is vigilant about eating right, and high on his list of approved foods are pumpkin seeds. Knowing that I grew an excellent crop of pumpkins this summer, he asked if I could save him the seeds.
Sure, I said. But then I thought it through and realized that my kitchen would be full of slimy pumpkin goo, every cookie sheet in the house would be full of drying seeds, and I'd have dozens of rotting empty rinds to dispose of.
A friend and a neighbor came up with a brilliant solution: Take him the seeds in their original packaging.
So for the past three days I have been delivering pumpkins to his house while he's at work. The first day I put them around his mailbox.
The second day I lined his driveway.
The third day and final day I had intended, in a grand gesture, to delineate the first letter of our surname in pumpkins on his turnaround -- but I noticed he'd lined all the vegetables up neatly next to his house, so I just added a dozen more to the crowd.
He texted me, saying that he now believes in the Great Pumpkin with all his heart.

KIDS' PROGRAM AT BVA: What's not to like about books and boots?

We writers are asked frequently, "How did you learn how to write?" For me that's an easy question: I learned how to write by reading ravenously as a kid. My mother took us to the library one night a week after dinner, and I checked out a stack of books every single time.
So I was taken by a press release that crossed my desk from the Brandywine Valley Association/Red Clay Valley Association. Along with Baldwin's Book Barn, they are sponsoring a monthly kids' program called "Books & Boots" that includes not only a story with a nature theme (read by Potter the Otter!) but also an outside adventure (that's the "boots" part).
It starts on Friday, Nov. 21, from 10 to 11:30 a.m., at the Myrick Conservation Center on Route 842 and continues through the spring. It's for kids ages three to five. Each program costs $6 for BVA members, $8 for nonmembers; signup is required by the Wednesday before each program. Contact information is or 610-793-1090.

PREDICTIONS: What will the winter bring?

The woman who does my hair has not been happy about the harrowing forecasts for this coming winter -- that it's going to be just as cold and snowy as last year. She co-owns the salon, and last winter's bad weather translated into chaotic weeks of power outages, canceled appointments, staffing problems and decreased profits.
So after hearing one of these disturbing predictions the other day, she went home and told her partner she was getting worried.
He is a general contractor and hence both a practical man and very conscious of the weather. He pointed out that no-one had predicted last winter's heavy snowfall. Or this year's mild summer. Or the lighter stinkbug invasion this autumn.
She had to admit that this was true, and thanked him for giving her a different perspective.