Readers, I have been sitting on something. I have debated writing about it for nearly a week, and that is my litmus test on writing about something.
I make no apologies for my opinions. After all, we all have them, it is what makes this country great.
A little over a decade ago I became a community activist in Lower Merion Township. What spurred me towards something I was hardly raised to do was respect and love for my friends the Foos who own a restaurant in Ardmore called Hu Nan.
It all started one night long ago, when my friend Betty, who is one of the most serene and lovely women I know said to me with tears in her eyes “they want to take my building.”
That was it. That was my defining moment that I could no longer just be a casual observer in the place I called home. Eminent domain for private gain just does that to a person.
Over the years I have worked hard on issues important to me and those I care about. I have the respect of many in municipal government and politics, some who scorn me, some who fear me. It is what it is. Of all the amusing things there is even a regional Patch editor who has never met me but who cut my freelance for certain Patches because I was a community activist and blogger. (yes, she has never met me.) I found that very limited in her, but then again, if you are looking for someone to photograph and write about disposable diapers, that is not me anyway, so we’re cool. But I am grateful that I have the respect of many others in the local, regional, and even national media. And ditto for many people in many different communities.
When I heard about the Ludwig’s Corner Horse Show Grounds being threatened by eminent domain for private gain late in the fall of 2011, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut on the topic. I just despise eminent domain for private gain. The Daily Local even published an editorial I wrote on December 13. Main Line Media News picked it up a couple of days later.
But being active in the communities where I live has never been all I have been about. I volunteer not just for community activism purposes but to help out friends who do cool stuff – like my friend Molly who was the driving force behind the establishment of the now very popular Bryn Mawr Farmers Market. I lent her my voice when she needed it and a few photos in the beginning because I believe in what she was doing. And then there is my friend Janet, the brains behind Clover Market in Ardmore. I love vintage and antiques, so when I can take photos for her at one of her markets, it is absolutely my pleasure. And on a monthly basis, save major holidays, you will find me in Ardmore with my dearest pal Sherry, snapping away for First Friday Main Line and so forth.
I have also spent years off and on volunteering for Historic Harriton House in Bryn Mawr, where my first volunteer gig was when I was 12 years old. A memorable adult volunteer experience was getting Willard Scott to wish the house happy 300th birthday a few years ago live on the Today Show.
And when I had breast cancer a year ago, these people were among my supporters to get me through. Paying it forward – it is what it is all about. And these people are fully and completely aware of my activism side when a crazy issue arises, and they respect me for that. And they do not judge me for it.
I just like people, and I like cool community stuff, so when I stumbled upon the East Goshen Farmers Market I was thrilled. So I wrote about it a couple of times up here on this blog and have taken some glorious photos the past few markets.
About ten days ago, one of the market organizers contacted me about this blog and said they would like to link to this blog, chestercountyramblings. I was so happy at that news. But then the link didn’t happen. The woman who had e-mailed me was very apologetic, she had been out-of-town, etc. But to make sure to stop by their table at the market to say hi.
So last Thursday, along with taking more fabulous photos, I did. The ladies were super nice, but the one who had corresponded with me pulled me aside and said she hoped I understood, but everything was so political that they couldn’t link to my blog.
Aha. I knew immediately – it was because I have written about West Vincent Township politics and the supervisors Ken Miller, David Brown, and Clare Quinn. And I like to read Chickenman and say so. Who would have thunk the warped Mayberry of Chester County had a reach into pristine East Goshen? Well they do, because Ken Miller’s farm, Birchrun Hills Farms sells product at the East Goshen Farmers Market. And I have said, and I mean it, that I will NOT purchase products from his farm because of the part he played in an attempted eminent domain land grab of the Ludwigs Corner Horse Show, along with being part and parcel of what ails that beautiful community.
Now trust me, that is very tame for me. If I decide to get my Irish up, it can often be much worse. But because I took that position, the people who created the East Goshen Farmers Market won’t be able to link to my blog and I doubt will ever use my photos. That is their right, they are uncomfortable, that farm I won’t support is one of their vendors. I am sad that they had to go all super political PTA mom on me, especially since I am now a resident of East Goshen, but hey I am different, I get that. Some women can’t handle that. They see what they want to see, and do not take the time to get to know the person. It’s cool, it’s life.
So anyway, I had told some of you that the market people had approached me to link up my blog to them, but since they hadn’t, I wanted to let you know and why it wouldn’t happen.
Life isn’t fair sometimes, but for the record I am not sorry about what I have said about West Vincent because there is a big bag of wrong going on there. With publicly stated opinions come consequences – my blog has been shunned by my local farmers market so to speak. And that is o.k. People have to do what they are comfortable with, and play politics the way they know how.
I will of course continue to support the East Goshen Farmers Market because I think it is simply awesome. I will support my favorite vendors too. And I strongly encourage all of you to do the same.
Have a great day y’all. And if the spirit moved you, remember to nominate this blog for a Blue Ribbon Blogger Award with Country Living Magazine – it is very politically correct to do so :<}