Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Cheshire Races

I spent Easter Sunday afternoon at the 68th running of Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds Point-to-Point Races at Plantation Field, and despite the drizzle and gusty wind I'd wager that everyone had a fantastic time. I know I did!
The races seemed especially exciting this year: it's amazing watching the horses thundering right past you. The jockeys are magnificent riders and, like the great athletes they are, make it all look so easy.
Early on in the afternoon an acquaintance of ours stopped by and urged us to cheer for Class Classic, a horse owned by her and some foxhunting friends who call themselves "The Pod." Sure enough, Class Classic, with Jody Petty up, won his race! It was fun to see all of them posing for a photo in the winner's circle.
It was great to say hello to so many friends and neighbors, including several I see on Facebook all the time but rarely in person (Andie, Gordon, Amy and Mark, I'm looking at you in particular). Some tanned folks had recently returned from spending the winter down South, and I'm afraid Sunday's weather was something of an unpleasant shock to them.
Heavy jackets, boots, jeans and warm hats were pretty much the uniform of the day. I saw several photographer friends shooting the action, including Jim Graham (who has a photography show opening Friday, April 5, at the Hardcastle Gallery in Centerville, Delaware) and former Kennett Paper editor David Yeats-Thomas, who now edits "Mid-Atlantic Horse" (and already has his onions planted).
What's any equestrian event without food? For our tailgate party one of my pals brought "Walking Tacos," which were a huge hit. What's a walking taco? You take a snack-size bag of tortilla chips (Doritos Nacho Cheese in this case) and, without opening the bag, crunch the chips up. Then open the top of the bag, ladle in chili from a crock pot, and add cheese and sour cream to taste. Then just take a spoon and eat out of the bag. Delicious ("painfully good" was one description I heard), tidy and even ecologically sound (well, except for the fact that we kept the Jeep running so that we could plug that crock pot into the 110V outlet). My hostess says she got the idea from some clever pony club kids at the recent Andrews Bridge Paper Chase in Fair Hill.
Getting our party -- four humans, two dogs, a table, folding chairs, a large cooler, and plenty of food and drink -- packed into the Jeep Liberty was pretty funny; it was like Tetris, or one of those vexing 3-D wooden puzzles that you have to assemble in exactly the right order. On the way to the course the dogs were bouncing off the windows, they were so excited; fortunately, on the way home at about 4 p.m. they were so exhausted they immediately fell asleep.
And I have to say: I went home, dried off and warmed up, cleaned off the mud and took a brief nap myself.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bring in the new

If you notice any glitches in my column this week (any more than usual, that is), it's because I'm between computers. The tech guys at Staples are still configuring my new desktop computer and transfering over the data from the old laptop, so I've been writing on the public computers at the Bayard Taylor Memorial Library and on my father's machine, which works fine after it boots up; unfortunately, that takes easily 20 minutes, which seems like an eternity.
And each keyboard really does have its own different feel. I keep hitting the CAPS LOCK button on this one, for instance.


I had a couple of days between editing projects this week and one of my tasks was cleaning out junk. I was appalled to find that I still had stacks of financial records and receipts dating back to 2001 -- no wonder I can never find enough desk space! So I spent a full afternoon shredding documents, and it was a fascinating look back into what seems like a different era, before Facebook and before stinkbugs.
I used to pay FOUR different phone bills: my landline, my cell phone (and back then it was not a smart phone), my long-distance carrier and a carrier specifically for calls to Delaware. The bills listed each call and its duration.
My credit-card bills from a dozen years ago showed that a tank of gas at Landhope cost less than $30. Most of the merchandise that I purchased was from brick-and-mortar stores, no Amazon or eBay charges.
And my bank statements listed only deposits, checks and ATM withdrawals, no automatic or online payments like we have today. And they used to send back your actual cancelled checks, not a digital image (banks charge for even that service now). I was surprised how many checks I used to write: now I pay most of my bills online.
I jammed the poor shredder several times (it's supposed to take only three sheets of paper at a time) but eventually filled up a large packing box and several tote bags. I'm happy to announce that I now have a lot more shelf space.

A perfect storm

Frequent readers know that I enjoy a tough workout at the gym, but even I was a little worried when, before class,our gym teacher announced that she was not having a good day: her phone died, she had a fight with her boyfriend, her hair wasn't behaving, and her podiatrist had advised her that she needed to replace her expensive running shoes at least every three months. Oh, and she was hungry and had forgotten her gym shorts, so she had to work out in sweats.
I exchanged wary glances with the guy behind me: "The perfect storm," he whispered to me with more than a little trepidation.
Fortunately for us, her mood lightened considerably during class. Exercise tends to do that!

Easter break

Is Good Friday morphing into a secular holiday?
I noticed that Kennett Borough offered free parking for shoppers on Good Friday. A hair salon promised to make their customers "look good on Good Friday." And on Friday morning, Perkins in Avondale was packed; in fact, the cashier told my breakfast pals and me that they brought on extra wait staff because they knew everyone would have the day off and would probably want to enjoy breakfast out.
When I was a kid, I seem to remember Good Friday as being a somber day, with lunchtime church services for the observant, but only especially religious companies gave their employees the day off.
Not complaining, just observing.


A normally even-tempered friend who lives on Newark Road here in West Marlborough texted me the other evening, half-furious, half-frightened. Seems someone had been tailgating her on her road and then blew past her -- passing blindly while going up a hill. And a few days before, she said, there had been a four-car pileup near her driveway.
I'd bet everyone on Newark Road has similar stories, and I actually think it's getting worse. A few weeks back on Street Road, a guy was on my bumper from Newark Road all the way to Lamborntown Road, at which point he gunned his engine and zoomed past me. Seems he wasn't happy that I slowed down to let an opossum cross the road.
I was glad to see a State Trooper parked at London Grove Friends Meeting the other morning watching for people running the stop sign there -- which they do all the time.

Old barns

Fredda Pennock, a member of the Kennett Township Historical Commission, called me the other day to tell me about a lecture her group is sponsoring at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 16, at the township building. Seth Hinshaw, historic preservation planner with Wise Preservation Planning of Chester Springs, will be speaking about old Kennett Township barns. The talk is free and open to the public, with no registration needed.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Deterrent effect

In the Y locker room today, I noticed that the woman next to me wasn't locking up her stuff, and I suggested that she might want to do so.
She explained that she comes to the gym straight from doing barn work, so all her possessions smell strongly of animals and manure.
"I mean, anybody who tried to steal my stuff -- they'd take it and then they'd put it right back!" she said, chuckling at the very idea.

To their credit

This afternoon I made a significant purchase at Staples, but I suppose upgrading my computer every 10 years really isn't extravagant. Maybe a minute later, just as I reached my car in the parking lot, my phone rang. It was an automated call from my credit card company asking if I had authorized the purchase. Yes, I told them.
I'm impressed. I don't know what tipped them off, whether it was the amount or the fact that electronics are a favorite target of scammers, but I like the fact that their algorithms flagged the transaction immediately. Well done!

Lending a hand

A Good Samaritan walked into the Jennersville Starbucks this morning holding up a molded piece of black plastic. "Does anybody drive a gold Jetta?" he asked. A young woman waiting in line for her coffee said, with some trepidation, that she did, and he explained that apparently she'd scraped her bumper on the curb while parking, and this plastic part had come off. He told her he'd try popping it back into place, and if that failed, he'd just leave the piece on her roof. She seemed stunned by his kindness and thanked him over and over.

The World of Wayne

A writer pal of mine was assigned to do a story about the Main Line town of Wayne and was dragging his feet about actually visiting the place, so I packed him, his notebook and his camera into the car on Saturday afternoon we headed northeast.
Charming town! Lots of little coffee shops, a French patisserie called Aux Petits Delices (I had an amazing mocha eclair), a nice used bookstore called The Readers' Forum with guess-the-book opening lines taped on its front window, "Out There Outfitters," a clothing store I'm going to return to when I'm on my own, a couple of do-it-yourself art places like the new one in Kennett, the venerable Anthony Wayne movie theater (where as a teenager I saw "Barry Lyndon" and "2001"), Wayne Jewelers (some adorable French provincial dinnerware in the display window; also some lovely rubies), and a watch shop, Whittle's Watch Works, that specializes in fixing my obscure type of watch (YAY! It has needed a battery for a while now).
The Women's Exchange consignment shop is still there; every single time we drove past as kids, my father would declare he was going to trade my mother in "for a new model."
We had a late lunch at Teresa's: mussels and pommes frites with Chimay white ale; refreshingly, there were no TVs in the place, even though it's March Madness season.
I should add that Wayne also boasts an Anthropologie clothing store, the suburban branch of the White Dog Cafe, Margaret Kuo's restaurant, and a Lululemon Athletica shop.
My only disappointment was that Wayne Toy Town, a fixture of my childhood, is no longer there. They always had a great selection of Troll dolls (and my brother fondly remembers the Corgi toys).

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The more the merrier

An equestrian pal of mine was delighted when her trainer returned from Aiken this past week. She arranged to meet her for lunch at Hood's on Friday for a serious, one-on-one chat about her horse's proposed training program for the spring.
Well! She should have known that wasn't going to happen. First a foxhunting friend of hers showed up. Then I showed up. It became eminently clear to her that this was NOT a particularly good spot for a quiet working lunch.
I even offered to sit at a separate table -- I'd brought a couple of days of the Wall Street Journal, hoping to catch up on my reading -- but my friend, resigned to her fate, invited me to pull up a chair. Of course, the four of us ended up having an entertaining conversation.
As I left, she and her trainer were standing outside scheduling a time when they could talk the next day. On the phone. Without interruptions.

A really silly joke

If you heard someone howling with laughter by the lake at Anson Nixon Park on Saturday afternoon, I'm afraid it was I. A friend who just started taking an antibiotic for his stubborn ear infection told me this joke: Guy goes to his doctor, and the doctor tells him to stop exercising and gives him a prescription for some pills. "I want you to take these three days running, then skip a day," the doc tells him. The patient replies, "But I thought you told me not to exercise!"
I cracked up (I'm easily amused). My friend was astonished that I'd never heard that bit, which he said dates back to vaudeville days.

Township business

Here's my usual reminder that West Marlborough Township officials will be holding their monthly municipal meeting on Tuesday, April 2, at the township office/garage in Doe Run Village. The planning commission starts at 7 p.m., with the Board of Supervisors meeting commencing after they conclude (usually around 7:45 or 8 p.m.). Come join those of us who are fixtures at these meetings!

Speak, Tilda, Speak!

On Thursday morning I was live on WCHE 1520 AM's Morning Magazine talking about "Unionville in the News," and it was a blast! I talked about how the column started and how, much to my surprise, it has developed a significant following of loyal readers (very much appreciated).
My radio hosts were Doug Stirling (pastor of the Kennett Square Bible Methodist Church and a former Kennett borough council member) and Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello, both of whom said all kinds of nice things about the column -- how it celebrates our distinct sense of community and includes something for everyone each week. Thank you, gentlemen!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Buy local

The little, old-fashioned, family-run stores are one of the (many) charms of our part of the world. The supermarket just doesn't compare.
-- Yesterday I picked up milk at Baily's Dairy at Pocopson Meadow and said hi to the quacking ducks and the rabbit as well. As always I also bought a pint of their delicious chocolate milk, and as always I had it completely finished by the time I hit Doe Run Road.
-- Nancy and Barbara, the Bakers at Red Lion, are up and running again after they got their Hobart mixer fixed. The ladies had to make a big white sign to post outside their shop at Folly Hill Road and Route 926 informing customers that the mixer was broken. No baps or bread for Tilda that weekend! (A heads up, though: they will not be baking over Easter weekend, so they can spend the holiday with their family.)
-- The Produce Place next to the Country Butcher on East Cypress Street was offering half-price smoothies for the first day of spring, so of course I stopped in and had a berry smoothie. I also noticed for the first time that they prepare beautiful and healthy party trays: fruits and vegetables, fruit kebabs, salads, wrap sandwiches and chocolate-covered fruit. What a great idea for the upcoming tailgating season!
-- And a few weeks ago I took a friend to visit Swarmbustin' Honey here in West Marlborough when she wanted to get some very local honey. We had an entertaining chat with Walt Broughton's son, an enthusiastic and knowledgeable fellow who told us all about what his three-banded Italian bees were doing.

Thursday, March 21, 2013


Our workout room this evening was so hot and humid that toward the end of class the windows were fogging up (it was a challenging class). The instructor went to open the door so she could let in some fresh air from the outside.
"No," stated one guy, simply but with such emphasis that she immediately changed her mind and walked back to her spot. He works construction and is as tough as a Roman centurion, but after being outside on a windy job site for eight hours in the barely-above-freezing temps, the tropical atmosphere was JUST FINE with him.

Gently used

The Unionville Presbyterian Church is having its annual spring consignment sale of children's clothing from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 13. Donors and consigners should bring their clothes (for newborns to age 10) to the church, 815 Wollaston Road, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 12. Proceeds benefit the church's Children's Ministry.
Speaking of the church, do you remember the item I wrote a few weeks ago about the woman who rocked a glorious red ball gown at the Longwood Rotary party? It turns out she was the church's pastor, Annalie Korengel Lorgus! Thanks to her Mom, Bonnie Korengel of the Kennett accounting firm Umbreit, Korengel & Associates, for helping me put two and two together.

Willowdale Steeplechase

Marketers have to think creatively these days, and the folks at the Willowdale Steeplechase are certainly rising to the challenge this year. They've dreamed up a great deal called "Shop Around Town Saturday": spend $100 or more at various local shops on April 20 and you'll score a free ticket ($25 value) to the 21st running of the Willowdale Races on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12. What perfect timing for someone looking for a smart race-day outfit or hat (or a Mother's Day present for that matter)!
The shops participating in "Shop Around Town Saturday" are these familiar names: 
  • Annie Prue (Glen Mills) 
  • Ashley Austin (Kennett Square)
  • The Enchanted Owl (Greenville, DE) 
  • Houpette (Greenville, DE) 
  • J.McLaughlin (Greenville, DE)
  • Outback Trading (Oxford, PA) 
  • Peter Kate (Greenville, DE) 
  • The Pink Turtle (Greenville, DE) 
  • Terrain at Styers (Glen Mills, PA) 
  • Tish Boutique (West Chester, PA) 
  • Trail Creek Outfitters (Glen Mills, PA) 
  • Two Sisters (Greenville, DE) 
  • Vignette (Kennett Square, PA) 
There's lots more information about the Willowdale Races on their website, Willowdale is a particular favorite of mine as a spectator because you can see so much of the race course.

Martin's Tavern

Pretend you're heading east from Unionville toward West Chester on Route 842 (Unionville-Wawaset Road). Pass the Brandywine Valley Association. On the left is Iron Horse Farm, a big place way up on the hill that underwent major and very visible renovations a few years back. If you've ever wanted to see the inside of it, here's your chance, and for a good cause. The owners are hosting a fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, April 20, to benefit Historic Martin's Tavern on Strasburg Road in Marshallton, with Italian food by David Cox of the Marshallton Inn, Italian music by the Heidi Starr ensemble and a silent auction. Tickets are $75 and the deadline is April 6. For more information: or

Side crow

The amazingly fit Sue Doll, a friend from the Kennett YMCA who is a yoga teacher and a personal trainer (, won an online contest sponsored by the website www.yogaposeweekly. Sue won for her "side crow" position, in which she is balanced on her hands, with her knees resting on one elbow. And she's even smiling! (The beautiful outdoor photo was shot by her neighbor Jordan Mizrahi, Unionville High School class of 2012.) Sue's prize: a book on yoga.

Star of Bethlehem

Keep an eye on the Ornithogalum ("Star of Bethlehem") that's sprouting along both sides of Street Road near New Bolton Center. Right now just the deep-green, grasslike leaves are showing (one slang name is "rubber grass"), but soon the pretty white flowers will be in bloom. I enjoy seeing how this perennial reappears along the road each spring in larger and larger, more widespread patches.

Music and more

On Sunday evening, I went to a lovely celebration at Longwood Gardens honoring Maestra Mary Woodmansee Green on her 25 years heading the Kennett Symphony of Chester County. During the reception in the Conservatory we lucky guests got to mingle, drink Champagne and munch on cheese-and-crackers.
After the cocktail hour there was a splendid 90-minute concert featuring musicians from the Symphony and guest artists performing everything from classical pieces, comic pieces, and show tunes to "Under the Sea," complete with steel drums. This was a surprise to me and to several others, who weren't expecting the pleasure of seeing a full-fledged show!
At the end of the program there were many nice tributes to the Maestra from past Symphony Board presidents and the current president, Paul Merluzzi.
A couple of social notes from the evening:
-- As always, it was great to see my old colleague Ed Fahey, former Kennett Square mayor. He was the Symphony's president from 1997 to 1999.
--  Harpist Janet Witman of Cochranville played in the background during the reception. I talked to Janet's husband Kevin, an amateur astronomer, who told me that TV meteorologist Cecily Tynan ran a photograph that he took of the PANSTARSS comet.
-- Some friends who are on the board of the Unionville Community Fair told me the happy news that the Willowdale Pro Rodeo will be returning for a third year in October.
-- I spotted a fellow guest whose name I completely butchered the last time I ran into him. I knew this was my chance to redeem myself. I discreetly pulled out my cell phone, Googled the municipal board I know he's a member of, confirmed his name and after the concert was able to greet him correctly. Phew! Social embarrassment averted for a change!

Button, button

Always current with my newspaper reading, I just learned that Kennett Square got a mention in the New York Times' "Dining & Wine" section back in January. The food writer, David Tanis, talks about how satisfying "ordinary white button mushrooms" can be and gives a recipe for a delicious-sounding mushroom side dish, Button Mushrooms a la Creme, with creme fraiche, butter and herbs (you can read it online). He writes that in America "most of the mushrooms are cultivated near Kennett Square in Chester County, Pa., where a Quaker farmer in the 1900s, having heard about the possibility of mushroom cultivation, sent for some European spores to try on his own farm. Now the state produces a mind-boggling 350 million pounds of mushrooms a year, roughly 65 percent of the nation's total."
Mr. Tanis also writes that "a modern-thinking Parisian chef I know even makes a very tasty ice cream with them." He needs to visit the La Michoacana ice-cream shop, where modern-thinking Kennett Square chefs have been making mushroom ice cream for years. 

Caveat emptor

I put out the word that a young friend is apartment-hunting, and a pal of mine in the real-estate business warned me about a scam that's rampant on the online listing service Craigslist. Apparently the scammers take real apartment listings and photos and advertise them with a much lower rent. Eager prospective tenants, thinking they've found a deal, share all of their personal and credit information before realizing they've been conned and probably had their identities stolen.
Buyer -- or in this case renter -- beware.

Crossing the bridge

I spent yesterday evening at the American Legion hall in Kennett Square, attending a special ceremony in which Cub Scouts "crossed the bridge" into Boy Scouting (the Young Relative was one of them). Each boy held up one of the wooden planks representing the Scouting ideals (excellent qualities like cheerful, reverent and thrifty), read its description out loud, and then placed it on the bridge frame that they would cross, with their beaming parents looking on. They were welcomed on the other side by Scouts from the Chadds Ford and Unionville troops, who shook their hands and helped them on with their new neckerchiefs. They were also issued Scout penknives and Scout handbooks.
Before the ceremony the boys competed in two contests: erecting and then tearing down a tent (it was obvious that the Boy Scout team had this down to a science), and launching paper airplanes through a hoop mounted atop a ladder (the leaders did no better than the boys). One boy's airplane almost took out an unsuspecting leader; I fear that boy may be facing some latrine duty.
The evening concluded with refreshments. There were two cakes, connected by a bridge, with each cake sporting a photo of the Webelos. One boy I talked to managed to get the piece of cake showing his own face; "it tasted weird," he said.

In case you don't have a Boy Scout in your household, Webelos is an acronym for "We'll Be Loyal Scouts."

Sunday, March 17, 2013

But Mr. Pamuk is still dead

Everyone else watched the "Downton Abbey" finale weeks ago, but in my usual behind-the-times fashion I just watched it last night. Although I knew what was coming (the Facebook chatter was unavoidable), the show is so engrossing that I still was stunned by the ending. As if losing Lady Sybil in childbirth wasn't enough of a tragedy for one season! Just heart-wrenching! (And a needed reminder that times were a LOT harder 100 years ago.)
May I offer my thoughts for Season 4?
1. The scheming O'Brien jumps ship and goes to Bombay to be lady's maid for Shrimpy's wife (played by Phoebe "Cordelia" Nicholls of "Brideshead Revisited" fame, did you notice?).
2. Lady Edith's editor turns out to be lying about his insane wife whom he can't divorce (I don't trust him).
3. Please, no, don't match up Tom Branson and Lady Mary, as tempting and symmetrical as it might be. Fine, their kids can be in pony club together, but that's it.
4. Somehow we find out that Bates actually DID kill the vile Vera.
5. Wedding bells for Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes?

David Culp's Brandywine Cottage

Well-known Chester County gardener David Culp is going to be one of the featured speakers at the Pennsylvania Garden Club Convention in King of Prussia, which will run from April 21 through 23. He'll be speaking about his book, "The Layered Garden: Design Lessons for Year-Round Beauty from Brandywine Cottage," leading a tour of the very same Brandywine Cottage (located near Downingtown), and giving a workshop on hellebores.

Also on the convention's agenda: a tour of "WynEden," the Chadds Ford garden of Wayne and Doris Guymon; a presentation by Kika Shibata, Sogetsu Regional Director of North America, on “Harmony With Fresh and Unconventional Materials;" a luncheon program by Frances Thrash on "The Simple Joys of Flower Arranging”; and additional plant workshops by Dave Guleke (daylilies), Wayne Guymon (spring ephemerals), and Eleanor Tickner (peonies).
For more details and to register (you don't need to belong to a garden club), visit  and click on “2013 GCFP Convention.” Reservations close March 29 -- and you can bet that some of these events will sell out quickly (I noticed that the April 27 trip that Longwood Gardens is running to Culp's garden is already waiting list only). The convention will be held at the Doubletree by Hilton Hotel, 301 West DeKalb Pike, King of Prussia.
Thank you to Laurie Taylor of the Spade & Trowel Garden Club for sharing this news.

Pope Francis I

What was the reaction to the new Pope from local Roman Catholics on the first Sunday of his papacy? I asked a friend who's a member of St. Patrick's in Kennett, and his reply arrived promptly after Mass:
"As appropriate, it happened in threes.
 1. The first mention of Pope Francis I this Sunday was during the "Prayer of the Faithful" when Deacon Madonna asked that we pray for Pope Francis's leadership.
2. Many people may not have noticed that for the last few weeks during the Eucharistic Prayer, the highest point in the mass, a Holy Father's name has not been mentioned. That void has now been filled.
3. Father Sharrett first said that he personally took offense to those that may think the new Pope is "too old", knowing the new Pope has been chosen, not by age, but for his humility and piety. He then shared a story showing the new Pope's sense of humor. During one of the Pope's first dinners with the college of cardinals he exclaimed, "May God forgive you for what you have done."  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Calories burned

I know there are a lot of very active Kennett YMCA members who also read this column, so here's an update on the construction. The renovated weight room is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, March 23, but that same day, the cardio room (with all the treadmills and other machines) and the stretching room next to it will be shut down, and they'll remain closed until Sunday, April 14. The Y suggests that members could temporarily use the cardio machines at another Y branch during the shutdown. (I find the Jennersville Y on Baltimore Pike just as convenient as the Kennett branch, and there's also a Giant and a Starbucks very close to it.)
And according to the Kennett Y's website, the multipurpose room (the one off the lobby) will undergo renovations from March 25 through May 15.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Jam for the Soldiers

My Unionville friend Moira, and lots of other locals, had a great time at the "1st Annual Jam for the Soldiers," a music fest held March 9 at Thorncroft Therapeutic Riding Center in Malvern for the benefit of Project Healing Waters. She was kind enough to write an account of the memorable day:
   "The first band was playing as we walked up to see organizer, and musician, Davey Dickens (himself a veteran and outdoors man) collecting donations and putting on wristbands. After several hugs and hellos to many great friends, all fans of the local music scene, we scouted the best location for our seats.
    As a family-friendly event, there were kids running everywhere! Many little girls pretending to be cantering around the ring on majestic steeds!
     There were veterans of many wars in the audience. Most were there to not only support the cause, but their kids and grand kids on stage too! Some of the musicians were veterans too, encouraging everyone to remember and pay tribute to all those who have made sacrifices for our country.
   The diverse music included classic rock, southern rock, soul, funk, jazz, bluegrass, and original songs. The bands were Gateway Drugs, HellSaddle, Josh Komorowski and The Sons of Thunder, WaveRadio, Mason Porter, Johnny Defrancesco Power Trio, The Rolling Thunder Blues Revue, and The Sermon!
     With a line-up like that, it was nearly 9 hours of fantastic music. On such a gorgeous spring day, the audience was floating in and out of the arena to enjoy the music and the sunshine. A popcorn machine provided snacks and a place to socialize.
     It was a success all around! I can't wait for the 2nd Annual Jam For The Soldiers! And many more after that!"
 (Thank you, Tilda Tally-"Mo," for the terrific write-up!)

Lock your cars

We country folk tend to be a bit casual about security, and unfortunately it seems that bad guys are taking advantage of our trust in our fellow humans. Recently cars have been broken into in people's driveways all over our area, and the thieves are grabbing cash, electronics and whatever property they think they can sell for a quick buck. No part of the countryside seems immune.
The thefts make me angry. And I think it's a real shame that now, when I see a stranger walking along my road, I find myself wondering whether he's up to something evil rather than automatically smiling and waving to him.

Pulling out all the stops

The famous organ at Longwood Gardens is going to be open to the public the morning of April 20 -- and not just to look at, but actually to play! "Sign up for your five minutes of fame on The Longwood Organ by emailing," reads the little blurb in Longwood's new spring catalog. What's more, it's free with garden admission! What an opportunity; I may have to try this. Amateur morning is going to be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 20.

Too many bananas?

Loyal "Unionville in the News" reader Barbara sent me two tasty tips:
1. "If anyone has a little equestrian who will be receiving an Easter Basket, there is a Peanut Butter Pony (which also involves milk chocolate, according to the write-up). This pony is in the Bit o'Britain catalogue (Fall/Winter 2012) on Page 7. Even an older equestrian with a sweet tooth would appreciate finding this tucked between the chocolate bunnies, chicks and jelly beans, I'm sure."
2. "If you have ripening bananas or find a super bargain price for same at the market, there is a way to use them without having to make banana bread. Peel the bananas, line them up like soldiers (not touching) on a cookie sheet and pop them into your freezer. (no need to cover). I wrap them together in foil after they are rock solid. When you are craving chocolate but prefer a nutritious treat, place a banana on a plate, take a large soup spoon and cover the banana, the entire length with a very thick, generous ribbon of Nutella. Delicious."
Thank you, Barbara! 

Nearing the end of winter

How is your yard looking (other than muddy)? My light-purple and dark-purple crocus are in bloom. The assortment of "daffodils for naturalizing" that I put in last autumn seem to be living up to their billing, with buds about ready to pop. The hellebores are doing great in their first spring here. I'm seeing some foliage from the tulips and grape hyacinths and the beginning of the monkshood and allium. It's even exciting to spot the first purple leaves of the anise hyssop, which in four months or so will be conspiring to take over the whole garden like it does every summer.
A house along Route 82 south of Willowdale has a beautiful Longwood-like display of thousands of light-purple crocus carpeting the whole front yard. A lovely, cheerful sight!

Our national bird

My birdwatching guide is correct: Bald Eagles are indeed unmistakable. I just spotted one perched at the top of a tall tree along Route 82 east of Newark Road. It was huge and magnificent and just seemed to be calmly surveying the countryside. It was the first I've seen north of the Conowingo Dam in Maryland.

"Amazing, selfless, inspiring, and uplifting"

My Facebook friend Joan shared with me the happy news that dairy farmer Mary Lou King of King Farms, Cochranville, won $100,000 as first prize in the “Unstoppable Moms” contest sponsored by the "Live Kelly and Michael" TV show! Joan said Mary Lou plans to split the prize money with her daughter Kelly Stoltzfus, who nominated her for the honor, with the rest of the money to be divided between her other three children.
Here is Kelly's VERY sweet letter nominating her Mom:
"My mom is the most amazing woman in the whole entire world! I'm sure everyone claims this title for their mother, but I guarantee you have never met someone as special as my mom. Being 21, and the oldest of 4 kids, my mom has been the one and only role model of my life. My family all grew up on our 300 cow dairy farm in PA. My mom has been milking the cows at 4:00am and 4:00pm every day with my dad ever since they were married back in 88. She never has off weekends, holidays, and VERY rarely goes on vacation, but this doesn't phase her at all. My parents have been married for 24 years and are still head over heels in love. I mean, us kids still catch them making out in the barn! Their constant love and joy for each other has been the best model for me and my new husband of 4 months. I just admire how after 24 years and 4 kids, my parents are still so close. My mom is also a nurse. She went to school and received her degree right after high school, which inspired me to do the same thing, and my 18 year old sister now as well, who is starting nursing school this fall. My mom's nursing degree also helped her when my youngest sister, Kandy, was born mentally handicapped."  

Good eats

A friend who is a mother of three boys, all heavily involved in sports, said they eat so much that she finds herself going to the grocery store on pretty much a daily basis just to replenish the larder (her State Trooper husband probably also eats his share, too). What's more, she discovered that among her sons' peers there's an informal system of ranking the hospitality offered at various houses, and hers has been labeled as one that "always has good food" -- which, of course, means the boys also bring all their hungry friends and teammates over to eat.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Yes, Master

My friend and gardener Nancy Sakaduski alerted me that applications are being taken for the 2013 training class of the Chester County Master Gardeners.
 "Penn State Master Gardeners are volunteers trained by Penn State Cooperative Extension to educate the home gardening public on the latest research-based practices in gardening and environmental stewardship," according to the group's press release.
To be selected, you should display "an interest in horticulture and a commitment to complete the required volunteer and educational hours. A Master Gardener trainee is required to attend 42 hours of classes, pass the exam at the end of classes and perform 50 hours of service to the organization."
You can apply to the program by calling the Penn State Extension office at 610-696-3500 or e-mailing the program coordinator at

"Who's gonna notice?"

A few weeks ago I was driving along Hood Road, east of Mosquito Lane, and spotted a dozen-plus old tires that someone had dumped along the shoulder of the road. I posted a photo on Facebook and alerted our hard-working West Marlborough Township road crew. The next day the tires were gone. Shame on anyone who would pollute our beautiful countryside to save a few bucks in disposal charges.

Frank's happy

Well, at least somebody's happy about West Marlborough Township's new 0.5 percent earned income tax: Frank, my accountant! I've been going to him for probably 15 years, and every year his bill would include a fee for preparing my local tax return. Every year I'd phone him and say no, we don't have a local tax in West Marlborough, and he'd apologize and say he forgot to delete that line item because it was so uncommon for a municipality NOT to have a local tax. (Sometimes he'd blame a co-op student.)
So when I handed him my Keystone local tax forms this year, he chuckled (he's a cheerful guy) and said, "Hey! I'll finally get it right!" He said the only other client he has who doesn't pay a local tax lives in some remote part of Bucks County.
While he was going through my paperwork and we were chatting, he also praised a new employee of his who used to work for the federal government. It seems this guy "thinks" like an IRS official and has scored a series of "no-change audits," always a huge asset for an accounting firm.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Graffiti and croquet

Well, that was quick work! In last week's column I mentioned getting a complaint from a reader about the unsightly graffiti at the abandoned gas station on Baltimore Pike in front of the Wal-mart complex. Within two days it was gone, neatly painted over with white paint. Well done, East Marlborough Township road crew (at least, I'm assuming that's who obliterated it)!
More good news out of East Marlborough: according to a story in last week's Kennett Paper, dessert-loving neighbors packed a township hearing to support an ice-cream parlor that's being proposed for a renovated brick building on Route 82 in the middle of Unionville, next to Kinloch Woodworking and in front of Lou Mandich's Last Chance Garage. During the hearing, the residents learned that in the late 19th century the property "was often the scene of croquet competitions between teams from the towns in the area." What fun Tilda would have had reporting on those! The Doe Run/Blow Horn squad would of course have totally ruled, although the Embreeville and Springdell teams would have been formidable opponents. Do you think they had Fantasy Croquet back then?

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Orchestra and Orchids

Champagne, hors d'oeuvres and music at Longwood Gardens? The Kennett Symphony is speaking my language! The fundraiser starts at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 17, in the Conservatory, with a "musical showcase" at 8 p.m. The event honors Music Director and Conductor Mary Woodmansee Green, who is celebrating her 25th year with the symphony.
Tickets are $75; you can buy them by phone (610-444-6363) or at the symphony's website (


While out walking on this glorious warm Saturday, I came upon a little garter snake, maybe 16 inches long. I gently picked him up and stroked his little head while his red forked tongue fluttered in and out and his body wrapped around my hand. My city-boy walking partner was deeply uncomfortable: he was sure I'd get bitten and he'd have to summon help, but fortunately the little guy yawned and even City Boy could see he didn't have fangs in his pink mouth. I put him back under some dead leaves, and as we speak, the little fellow is probably regaling his snaky friends with his adventure.

Motion carried

Now here's a tennis group I would like to join.
I was waiting for a friend near the courts at Anson Nixon Park on Saturday afternoon, and three ladies were warming up. Their friend was late, and they were talking about what penalties should be imposed for tardiness during the upcoming season. One suggested that the latecomer should have to buy the first round at Happy Hour after the match. The others immediately agreed.
By the way, if you stop by the park, check out the beautiful display of snowdrops. They are all over the place!

Friday, March 8, 2013

High School Musical

"Boo the Nazis! Hiss the Baroness!"
The kids at Octorara Area High School have chosen "The Sound of Music" as their spring play, and in additional to the traditional show they're also performing a sing-along version with audience participation.
The traditional show will be at 7:30 p.m. March 15 and 16, and the sing-along version will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, at the high school auditorium at Route 41 and Highland Road. (And by the way, I'm not sure we should be hissing the Baroness: I thought she bowed out rather gracefully when she saw that the Captain was smitten by that perky governess. Too bad Bertha Rochester wasn't so accommodating.)
I didn't get to see "Guys and Dolls," which was Unionville High School's choice for the spring show, but I warn everyone involved in the production, and I speak from personal experience: every song in that show has already planted itself firmly in your brain. In 30 years, you will STILL remember every word of "Luck Be a Lady" and "Adelaide's Lament" and "Marry the Man Today" and "I've Never Been in Love Before" and "Follow the Fold" and ... I could go on, and on, and on.

Sushi pizza

"Sushi pizza" -- sounds like a disagreement over what to have for dinner in our global society, doesn't it?
But it's one of the recent additions to the menu at Lily Asian Cuisine on State Street in Kennett, and from the description it sounded so intriguing that I decided to go for it. It comes in the shape of a small pizza, cut into wedges, with a crispy sushi rice patty as the crust. On top of the crust is a layer of avocado, which is then covered with pieces of sushi.
It was so delicious I totally failed to keep up my end of the conversation. Not that my dinner partner noticed: he was blissed out himself with the blisteringly hot Tom Yum seafood soup.

Thursday, March 7, 2013


The meteorologists get me every single darn time.
Days in advance they start making ominous predictions about snow. The total snowfall expected increases with each update, and little red icons warning about "SEVERE WEATHER" pop up on my Droid.
And because I love big snowstorms, I get all excited, make sure there's plenty of seed in the bird feeders, check the weather map every hour to see if the blue area is swirling any closer, and open every conversation with an eager "Well, what do you hear?!"
And then: the storm shifts, or things don't play out as dramatically as predicted, and once again it's a total fizzle.
Here in southern Chester County on Wednesday, we were supposed to be on the line between getting 6 to 10 inches of snow and 3 to 5 inches. What we ended up getting was a little bit of rain and some gusty winds. I saw maybe three snowflakes.
But as a result of the inaccurate forecasts, "The Hot Club of Philadelphia," the Gypsy jazz concert scheduled at the Kennett Flash, was postponed "just to be on the safe side." (The organizer said she wasn't happy about having to cancel, but "the history of jazz is full of musicians crashing on their way to and from gigs!")
Sure, meteorology is not an exact science, and I can understand that some storms don't behave as predicted. But just for a change, I'd love to see the weather people acknowledge that fact instead of inevitably predicting the worse-case scenario as a certainty. Wouldn't that be a pleasant novelty?


A reader writes: "Any recommendations for a good tattoo shop in the Kennett area? Looking for a place where I can get a very simple piece of ink, painless, and clean (my top priority!)."
For once I am at a loss to offer advice, because for me "getting ink" means a trip to Staples. But if you have any suggestions for this reader, please send an email my way at Thanks!
Actually, I've been thinking about tattoos a few times in the past few days. At the Kennett Starbucks on Sunday afternoon I overheard a man and a woman whom I suspect were meeting for the first time. Their conversation was polite and stilted at first, but then they started talking about tattoos and quickly warmed up to each other, describing their "ink" and what they wanted to get done next.
And in my new editing project, a book of advice for young mental health professionals, the plain-spoken author strongly advises against getting any tattoos that will show when wearing "business casual" clothing. Not everyone accepts tattoos the way the the younger generation does, she points out, and potential clients may perceive a tattoo-laden therapist as nothing short of a thug. Hardly useful for establishing rapport.

Stimulating the economy

A friend upon whom Fortune, and a wealthy husband, have smiled reports that she is back from West Palm Beach and just replaced her aging Porsche with a silver Mercedes-Benz E350 Cabriolet. "My spouse is awesome!" she says. "Ok, yeah, it's my money too. He's just agreed to let me spend more than the portion I earned. Plus I do have the whole horse thing." 

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Just so they don't frighten the horses

At their March 5 meeting, the West Marlborough Township supervisors heard a request from a West Chester man who wants to cap off his daughter's Sept. 7 wedding reception at the Stone Barn with a 15-minute professional fireworks display.
The board's concern was that the noise might frighten the horses at nearby farms.
"There's some fairly expensive horseflesh of one type or another" near there, said Supervisor Bill Wylie, as he and fellow Supervisor Mike Ledyard listed the prominent farms within earshot of the Stone Barn. "I would hate for a horse to run through a fence."
The father agreed to e-mail the board more information about the proposed display and would give them the contact information for his pyrotechnics expert so that the board could talk to the neighbors, who might want to keep their horses inside for the evening.

Compost coda

Will Russell Jones get his $2,500 conditional-use application fee back?
No, he won't, the West Marlborough Township supervisors decided at their March 5 meeting. They said that even though he withdrew his zoning request, the township still incurred costs related to the case: they had to pay the court stenographer's fees -- Bill Handy showed up for both of the hearings that were scheduled but not held -- as well as for the time of the township engineer and the township solicitor.
"I think we've used his money up," said Supervisors' Chairman Michael Ledyard.
For those of you unfamiliar with this story, Mr. Jones ran into opposition -- from the Brandywine Conservancy, from neighbors, and even from some landowners who aren't neighbors -- when he decided to allow, for a fee, spent mushroom soil to be trucked onto his Hood Road property, piled into mounds and left to decompose into potting soil, which would be removed, bagged and sold. The township pointed out that he needed to apply for conditional use permission, and he did so.
A hearing was set for Jan. 17, but it was postponed because Mr. Jones was in the process of hammering out an agreement with the Conservancy (which has an easement on the property).
Then, just before the second hearing on Feb. 21, Mr. Jones and his attorney reached an agreement with the township in which he promised to remove the compost by Nov. 1. That meant that the need for conditional use permission was moot, and Mr. Jones's attorney withdrew the application. Case closed.
One resident at the meeting suggested that the township put in writing that application fees are nonrefundable if the township does incur costs, just so applicants are aware of the situation upfront.

Eating my words

A visitor the other day took seriously my suggestion that he make himself at home and put a dent in my supply of carrots and walnuts. But when he picked up my last box of Girl Scout cookies, the shortbread variety, I immediately recanted.
"NO!" I cried. "Cookie season's over, I won't be able to get those til next year. Put them down NOW!"
He did so, realizing I meant business, and said it sounded like I was giving orders to a mischievous dog.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Hood's revisited

Hood's has reopened after a week of renovations and the place looks great! The owners took out a couple of walls, and it really opens up the place. The main counter has been shifted ninety degrees to the east, so ordering felt slightly out of kilter at first. The TV screen is now wall-mounted. But still the same are the friendly staff (Dawn was asking everyone what they thought of the new look), the camaraderie among the customers and the yummy comfort food: oh! that meatloaf sandwich on Texas toast with cheese!


The chicks are in at Pocopson Hardware, and the cuteness factor is off the scale. They're housed in big black tubs, warmed by heat lamps and divided by type: Buff Orpingtons, Rhode Island Reds and the like. This cutie is of the Gold Sex-Linked variety. I learned that "sex-linked" means that the chicks have been cross-bred so that they can be sexed by color. All the gold ones are girls.

A break between sets

As part of its ongoing renovations, the free weight and Nautilus rooms at the Kennett Y will be shut down from March 8 through March 22. In its Facebook announcement the Y, looking on the bright side, says the planned improvements to be made during the two-week hiatus will include "a great new look, new free weight equipment and flooring!" Body-builders, you'll still be able to use the adjacent cardio & stretching rooms -- or you could check out the Jennersville or West Chester YMCA branches.

Nice people

A Facebook friend reports that on March 3 -- maybe you'll remember how cold and blustery it was -- she and her daughter set up their Girl Scout cookie table in front of the Bite of Italy restaurant in the Shoppes at Longwood. A man parked in front of the restaurant, took in some supplies, and noticed the two. A few minutes later, he sent two cups of coffee, creamers and sugar out to them. Then a little later he came out ask if it was all good and told them, "You need more coffee or anything, you come in and we will take care of you!"
She said that when it was time for them to leave, her daughter took in a box of cookies to thank him and he asked, "How much?"
"She said no charge but he started to go get money so she left! ... Truly kind people!! What a wonderful example of the great people in our area!"
My reader also complimented the new GNC store in the same shopping center for letting the Scouts set up a cookie table indoors. 
And in another example of great service, three friends of mine stopped in on Tuesday evening, March 5, at La Verona, the Italian place on State Street in Kennett. They took one look at their menus and realized that it was the kind of place that serves a full meal rather than just light fare. The staff, however, were extremely accommodating, offered them the bar menu and made sure they had a great experience. When I talked to my pals the next day, they said the food was excellent and they'd definitely return, this time with bigger appetites!
Speaking of Kennett restaurants: Is Jack McFadden's proposed wine bar and tapas restaurant at the former Kennett Cafe on State Street, next to La Verona, ever going to open? I walked by the place this afternoon, and and it looks like no work has been done in quite some time.  That's too bad.
Mr. McFadden's most recent venture is Jack's Steaks and Shakes, housed in a nineteenth-century building that he completely renovated on Gay Street in downtown West Chester. That restaurant opened in August 2012.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Warm hospitality

Loyal "Unionville in the News" reader Lydia Bartholomew asked me to share this kind invitation to her annual Irish Coffee party: "Irish Coffee, to thank landowners of the Cheshire Hunt Country, Plumsted Farm, 555 W. Street Road (Route 926) in Unionville on Saturday, March 9, at 10:30 a.m. Hounds will depart at 11 a.m. sharp. Family and guests welcome. Weather hotline is 610-347-2308. For info, contact Lydia Bartholomew, 610-692-3075."
Plumsted Farm is on the north side of Route 926, west of the Newark Road intersection.
By the way, it was great to hear the Cheshire Beauties this past Saturday morning! The members of the Hunt met at Doe Run after a long layoff due to the terrible footing.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Here's an idea

Last week, in my item about the Unionville High School's annual used book sale, I said that I no longer go on Friday nights because of the large contingent of book dealers. I used the euphemism "motivated" to describe their behavior.
One of my readers agrees: "The “motivated dealer” problem has gotten worse. I do not cast aspersions on all the dealers, but the sight of one who just tossed all of her “rejects” onto a pile, rendering the neat rows a complete mess, was just sickening. And, as you said, it is difficult to casually browse when great swaths of books are blocked by the dealer, his or her helper, and all of the boxes used to carry the books out. They are intent, on a mission, and could care less about we mere book seekers."
Nonetheless, he and his wife go on Friday anyway because "I guess we are afraid that someone will snatch that one (actually many) volume(s) that just must be added to the library.  In my case books about Jack the Ripper (a fascinating factual recounting), Stonehenge, and nature essays among others."
He asked: "Has any thought been given to giving dealers their own time slot?"
This seems to be to be an excellent idea. The dealers, and any other dedicated collectors like my friend, could be charged a premium to come in early for their own "golden hour." Then they, with their boxes and carts, could be shooed out and we regular, not-in-it-for-a-profit folk could take over. 
Then again, the book sale is always run by pretty smart people; perhaps they've thought of this, discussed it and decided it wouldn't work logistically.

Party time!

I'm trying to describe how much I enjoyed the Longwood Rotary Gala at Longwood Gardens last night, and I think the best way to do it would be to just list some of the features at random while they're still fresh in my memory:
  • Champagne and plenty of it
  • Blackjack ("Wow, you really need to be able to add quickly!" exclaimed a friend, a gambling newbie who almost "stuck" on a 12, to the amusement of the patient croupier)
  • Delicious food: Mini-crab cakes, a terrific assortment of Mexican food, roasted vegetables, tomato cakes and lemon risotto cakes with lobster bisque sauce. And I don't think I even made it to all the food stations! Cannolis, little tarts and chocolate hazelnut creme brulee for dessert.
  • The magical, dimly lit and divinely warm conservatory filled with the marvelous scent of orange jessamine. 
  • I exchanged my uniform of jeans, boots and fleece for a cream-colored, fringed dress that I wore to my high-school prom; talk about vintage! (A few of my friends demanded photographic proof that I was actually not wearing my day-in, day-out fleece.) The ladies were very glamorous -- one woman rocked a red ballgown with a full skirt worthy of Scarlett O'Hara, and there was some big hair going on -- and the gentlemen donned everything from magnificent full Scottish regalia to "creative" black tie.
  • I caught up with friends I hadn't seen for a while and met some fun new ones (including a woman who shares my "real" name -- which as her practical husband pointed out could have posed problems had we gotten our silent-auction bids mixed up!). 
It was a great party and a lovely evening, and the proceeds help support the numerous local charities that the Rotary Club has adopted. Thanks to my hosts for the kind invitation!
Oh, and in the spirit of learning something new every day, I learned that it's really tough to pump gas at Landhope while wrapped in a voluminous full-length evening cloak. Fastening your seat belt isn't real easy, either.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Dance Fever

I've been under the gun work-wise in the past few weeks, but when I got a text inviting me to the annual fifth-grade oldies dance competition at Hillendale Elementary School -- well, really, what choice did I have?
In a delightful district-wide tradition, all the fifth-graders throughout the Unionville-Chadds Ford district have the chance to form their own lip-sync and dance teams, choose an "oldie" (defined as, ahem, anything before 1983), decide on costumes and choreograph a routine. The top three teams from each school are chosen in "American Idol" style, and then they go head-to-head at a district-wide dance-off between Hillendale, Unionville, Pocopson and Chadds Ford on the first Friday in March.
I had a great time watching all the kids. They were just astonishing: funny, athletic, enthusiastic. Rest assured, the theater program at Unionville High School will not lack for outstanding performers in the future. One boy did an amazing break-dancing solo, and some of the girls tossed off cartwheels, flips, splits and other gymnastic feats.
What a neat tradition -- and the money raised goes toward His Mission in Kennett Square, and the American Cancer Society.
(Retired Unionville Elementary School teacher and West Marlborough resident Don Silknitter adds: "The fifth grade dance started in 1985. Ray McKay and I held the first dance as a fund raiser to raise money for the restoration of the Statue of Liberty. The following year Ray added the lip-sync contest to provide entertainment for the dance. A tradition was born.")


The graffiti at the long-empty gas station in front of the Wal-mart complex at Route 1 and Schoolhouse Lane has raised the hackles of one long-time East Marlborough Township resident. In an email to me she notes that, in a discussion of graffiti in a recent Kennett Paper story, Kennett Township Police Chief Albert McCarthy was quoted as saying that "it was important to discourage the people doing it by removing it as soon as it appears" and that "he, the roadmaster, and volunteers made it a point to take graffiti off road signs as soon as it was spotted."
Said the Chief: "We just really have to stay on top of it."
My reader agreed: "March on! Chief McCarthy!" She challenged her township, East Marlborough, to do the same and remove graffiti promptly wherever it appears. She said whenever she is at that intersection she hopes for a green light so she doesn't have to look at the eyesore. 
I just drove by the site and what surprised me was the fact that all the glass on the south side, facing Route 1, is still intact.

Art show

A "Unionville in the News" reader asked me to give some publicity to an art show she will be participating in. It's the fourth annual Radley Art Show at Radley Run Country Club. Hours are 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, March 8, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday March 9. She notes that "30% of the proceeds, and 100% of the proceeds from the Silent Auction, benefit Safe Harbor of West Chester, which provides shelter, meals and guidance to the area’s homeless.  It’s a wonderful show, with a fantastic variety of artwork, in support of a great cause."

Fatal crash

irefighter/EMT Bill Dill
Westwood Fire Co. firefighter/EMT Bill Dill has written an excellent, thorough account of the Feb. 26 fatal propane truck accident on Route 82 at Rokeby Mill at the fire company's website, The crash occurred in East Fallowfield Township, just over the West Marlborough line. Condolences to the victim's family in Maryland, and much praise to those who worked all day at the scene under stressful and potentially calamitous conditions: Modena Fire Company, Modena Ambulance, Po-Mar-Lin Rescue 36 and Rescue 44, Westwood Rescue 44, Westwood Engine 44-5, Westwood Tac 44, Westwood Ambulance 44-1, Medic 93, Chester County Hazmat Team, and the Fire Police Task Force.