Saturday, August 11, 2018

OBX: A rental mystery

An entrepreneurial friend bought and fixed up a house on the Outer Banks, and this is the first summer he has rented it out. He and his family finally got to enjoy a week down there, and he was astonished to discover that one of the tenants had reversed several of the bedroom door locks. It was an easy fix, he said, but it creeped him out. And why wouldn't the tenants just put them back the way they were when their vacation week was over?

WEST MARLBOROUGH: Early morning activities

I got what was for me an early start the other day, but others were way ahead of me.
Riders were of course already out; in fact they'd probably already finished several sets by the time they waved and said good morning to me. A painter had set up his easel along Apple Grove Road and was catching the morning light on that beautiful vista.
"Looks good!" I said.
"Oh … I'm working on it," he said with a smile.
Near Doe Run village, a birding enthusiast with binoculars and a camera with a long lens was scanning the fields. He told me he drives 40 minutes to get here because it's the only spot where he can see bobolinks.
"You live out here?" he said. "Wow. You're lucky."

Friday, August 10, 2018

MUSIC: The Joe Hillman Band

On Aug. 9 we caught the next-to-last outdoor concert of the summer series at the Brandywine Red Clay Alliance. Local favorites the Joe Hillman Band ("he can fix your porch AND play the mandolin!") performed a delightful set of traditional tunes, including the classic "Shady Grove," and put a bluegrass spin on songs by the Grateful Dead, Bob Marley ("Wait in Vain") and Bob Dylan ("Touch of Gray"). The trio also comprised Jordan Rast (guitar and fiddle) and Charlie Muench (upright bass).
The final show at BRC (I know, I still call it the BVA, too) is Scott Pemberton, "all the way from Portland, Oregon!" on Thursday, Aug. 16. Although the website says the show starts at 7:30, a regular concertgoer told us the bands have been starting closer to 7. 
Radio Free Honduras played the final show of the summer series at Anson B. Nixon Park on Aug. 8 and may have been my favorite of the season. I even bought their CD.

KENNETT SQUARE: That time of year

On the sidewalk outside Fragale's Barber Shop in downtown Kennett, a proud Mom was snapping a photo of her son's fresh back-to-school haircut. The young man, maybe 12 or 13, was a good sport and didn't seem overly embarrassed. And his Tommy Shelby (from "Peaky Blinders")-style haircut looked very smart on him indeed.
At Staples the notebooks and folders were flying out the door. "Selling many school supplies?" I asked the clerk.
"You could say that," he said dryly.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

KENNETT: Rump Roasters opens

On Sunday evening we made our inaugural visit to Rump Roasters, the newest food vendor at the Market at Liberty Place in downtown Kennett Square. The chef is Carlos Vargas, who also runs Kaboburritos, and if our sandwiches were anything to go by, he should have another success on his hands.
You order and pay via a touchscreen, and you can customize your sandwich or platter in terms of meat (pork, turkey, beef, or mushrooms) and side dishes. Both Dearest Partner and I ordered the Dip, a hoagie-sized roast beef sandwich with caramelized onions, Colby cheese and "au jus." It was packed full and delicious, and the caramelized onions were the best I've had since the old Half-Moon Saloon up the street.
Also on the menu were other sandwiches (the Rump Roaster, the Robby, the Sweet Baby Ray and the Melt), appetizers, platters, bowls, sides and meat by the pound. 
The only drawback was that we were too full to have ice cream at Dylan's Desserts!

HANS HERR: Not New York

At first, the gig was something of a culture shock for New York City musician Andrea Asprelli. Her indie bluegrass band, Cricket Tell the Weather, was playing an outdoor concert at the 1719 Hans Herr House Museum in Lancaster County.
The sky was cloudless. The cornfields stretched off into the distance. Kids toddled around. Cicadas chirped.
It was a far cry from Manhattan. She told the audience that it may have been the most beautiful venue they'd ever played.
"What are those trees?" she asked curiously. (Apple trees; the concert series is known as "Music in the Orchard.")
But soon enough reminders of New York intruded: fire trucks raced by, and somebody's car alarm started sounding in the parking lot.
"Now that makes me feel more at home!" she quipped.
It was the final concert of the summer, but the historic site has a few events coming up this autumn: the Maize and Snitz (corn and apples) colonial festival is coming up on Saturday, Oct. 6.

WEST MARLBOROUGH: Funding emergency services

At the August West Marlborough Township meeting, Supervisor Hugh Lofting reported on the first meeting of the township's new emergency services funding committee, which comprises himself, Clipper LaMotte (who was elected chairperson), Nancy Truitt, Supervisor Jake Chalfin, and Phoebe Fisher.
The committee discussed its primary objectives: to identify the groups that provide emergency services to township residents; to study the costs of the services; and to consider how the township can best support them.
Supervisor Lofting noted that due to the decrease in volunteers, fire and ambulance services that used to rely on volunteers and contributions have had to start charging customers and paying for personnel. "It's a big deal," he said. "The volunteers just aren't here anymore."
He said the committee will next be meeting with Cuyler Walker, who has spearheaded a similar initiative in East Marlborough that also involves Kennett Township, Kennett borough, Pocopson and Newlin.