tea and history in tredyffrin!

tea and history

There are still some spots left for this lovely event!

Tea Party with Chester County Women of Historic Distinction this Sunday, May 1, 2-4 PM at Duportail House, Chesterbrook


The tea party will feature presentations from women of the past that either lived or passed through Chester County. The distinguished women of history will be portrayed by members of the Trust and Springton Manor Farm, both nonprofit historic preservation organizations.  The historic characters include Rebecca Lukens, first woman CEO of Lukens Steel, Dr. Ann Preston, first woman dean of the Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia;  Hannah Marsh, who ran an Underground Railroad station and Marion Bartol, one of the last residents of Springton Manor.  Tea party guests will also learn about Sarah Carmichael Blair, Indian Hannah Freeman and Ginevera Harrison Potts as well as the significance Mary Todd Lincoln had to Chester County.


Following the historic presentations, guests will enjoy assorted teas, sweets, fruit and savory sandwiches. And Spread Love is doing the catering, so this will be delicious and informative and fun!


This is a joint effort between the Trust and the Friends of Springton Manor Farm, a Chester County park.  Several of the Springton Manor board members, including their current president Robin Spurlino, are participating as historic characters plus Judy DiFilippo (Trust Board member and former township supervisor) will play Mary Todd Lincoln.


Support historic preservation and do something very civilized this Sunday!



The other day a dear friend’s book was published. Today my copy arrived in the mail.


Author, author!

And I know the author. My high school classmate and friend, cartoonist/artist/inspirational speaker Robb Armstrong.

Fearless: A Cartoonist’s Guide to Life (Reader’s Digest, 2015) is more than a mere cartoonist’s guide to life. It’s my friend’s autobiography, and he had me in tears over parts of this book.  It’s amazing and honest and raw and wow are all of his friends proud of him.  It’s not easy to bare your soul and raw emotion like that.
RA collageAnd parts of the book are also damn funny. It is the story of his life woven with anecdotes and drawing lessons, little inspirational thoughts, and life lessons. And at the end, he gives his readers a list of art supplies.

You will laugh and you will cry and you will love this book.  And you might even learn something.  It’s a beautiful thing, this book. And it is well deserving of all the accolades it is receiving.

Here is what Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Elizabeth Wellington said today in her article:

APRIL 26, 2016  by Elizabeth Wellington, Fashion Columnist @ewellingtonphl

Even if you’re just the occasional reader of Jump Start, West Philadelphia native Robb Armstrong’s 27-year-old award-winning comic strip, you’re likely to assume Armstrong lived quite the charmed life…..Yet the reality is Armstrong’s personal life is nothing at all like the pleasantly Technicolor world of his fictional Cobbs.

Armstrong recounts his somewhat tumultuous coming of age in Fearless: A Cartoonist’s Guide to Life (Reader’s Digest, 2015), part self-help book, part memoir. The self-help is delivered in 20 drawing lessons, one at the start of each chapter. Through sketching self-portraits or outdoor scenes and even practicing their lettering, readers (Armstrong hopes) can get in touch with their inner artist and embrace their mistakes….”If you are stuck in a dark underground labyrinth, you don’t want someone to show up and say, ‘Hey, man, it’s dark,’ ” Armstrong said from his home in Burbank, Calif. “You want someone to show up with a flashlight and help you. I want my book to be that flashlight.”

Read all of Elizabeth Wellington’s article, it really is terrific.

And buy the book.

Thanks for stopping by.

saying good-bye to a brandywine valley legend: frolic weymouth has died

Frolic Weymouth Courtesy of Brandywine Conservancy

Frolic Weymouth Courtesy of Brandywine Conservancy/ Fig®


Today I was asked by VISTA.Today to write another piece. (I had written one about Loch Aerie last week at their request) Today I was asked to write about the great loss to Chester County over the weekend: the death of Frolic Weymouth.

The Way Back

The Way Back

August Frolic Weymouth


Mr. Weymouth is a legend. A giant and pioneer in land conservation and environmental consciousness along with being an amazing artist and mighty fine sportsman. Writing about someone so fine a human being was humbling and daunting at the same time.  What a legacy he leaves.

Friends of mine who knew or met him have been posting photos and memories. I especially love the carriaging photos.

Below is an excerpt of my article. Please visit VISTA.Today and read the entire piece. Frolic Weymouth was amazing. I only wish I had ever had the opportunity to speak with him. Last time I saw him anywhere was May 2012 at the East Goshen Farmers Market. Sporting a beard and wearing a farm shirt with khakis and suspenders, he strolled through the market checking out what was going on.

VISTA.Today: George Alexis “Frolic” Weymouth, Artist and Visionary Conservationist, Dies at 79

George Alexis Weymouth, known as “Frolic” passed away yesterday April 24, 2016.  He would have been 80 years old in June….

Jeffrey M. Nielsen, Vice President of the Board of Trustees of the Brandywine Conservancy described Mr. Weymouth as “an inspirational and visionary leader.”  According to Mr. Nielsen, Mr. Weymouth was known to all as a gentleman with a divine sense of humor and penchant for fun (Mr. Weymouth once served scrapple with chutney on a silver tray). It never mattered who Frolic entertained, he was always himself, said Mr. Nielsen.

From the Queen of England to the man serving French fries at Jimmy John’s, Mr. Weymouth had a genuine love and respect for the people around him and those he met.

To those who knew Frolic Weymouth, that showed his heart: that life should be lived with purpose, but also fun. A family friend described him as a very private yet caring man who was simply magnificent; that the mold has been broken with his passing.

Jeffrey Nielsen also noted how Frolic Weymouth leaves such a rich and layered legacy of art, land stewardship, and environmental passion. Mr. Weymouth’s legacy will live on under the stewardship of the Brandywine Conservancy.


Big Bend Carriage Shed By George Weymouth

More tributes to Frolic Weymouth can be found:

Beloved ‘environmental icon’ is mourned

My favorite thing I have read today about Frolic Weymouth was in Delaware Online. It kind of summed up a lot of what the people I spoke with today for my article told me of his personality and how humble and grateful for his life and those in it he was:

When Weymouth constructed a chapel on his property, he inscribed the following words: “This chapel was built to thank God for a wonderful life filled with fun, humor, work, sport and beauty. A close loving family; loyal and unique friends, and a fabulous son, Mac.” G.A.W. 1995

Each time he talked to his son, he would remind him to “look for something beautiful every day.”

Frolic Wymouth photo courtesy of Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art

Frolic Wymouth photo courtesy of Brandywine Conservancy and Museum of Art

grande dame has hope for future


In a matter of minutes, less than half an hour, Loch Aerie had a new owner.  CZ Patel of New Jersey.  I was standing there when he said in a soft spoken voice that he was interested in converting Loch Aerie to a hotel.

That is welcome news to all who were worried about her facing a wrecking ball.

New Loch Aerie owner CZ Patel speaks with reporters after winning auction

New Loch Aerie owner CZ Patel speaks with reporters after winning auction


The room was packed with residents, bidders, reporters, and even folks from other historic commission members from other Chester County municipalities. I am not sure if anyone from East Whiteland Historical Commission were present, although one member was quoted in Kristin Holme’ follow up article.


Here is the link to Kristin’s Inquire article and my byline courtesy of VISTA.Today. I was really honored the VISTA.Today editor reached out to me.  I have poured my heart and soul into covering Loch Aerie the past few years.

I look forward to when I can cover Loch Aerie in her next life as a hotel.

Updated: APRIL 22, 2016 — 1:08 AM EDT
by Kristin E. Holmes, Staff Writer


Update: The Grande Dame of Lancaster Pike Loch Aerie Has a New Owner

By Carla Zambelli


Here is a LINK to auction photos I took yesterday.

plant nursery from east earl opens in malvern

A new plant nursery has opened in Malvern! And it is a branch of a nursery I am familiar with from East Earl PA.

The name is Sauders Nursery and I stopped in today. They are at the corner of Paoli Pike and Sugartown Road. They are in the old Potters and Woodlawn location.


They are just stocking up they are mostly plants and their plant stock is good-looking and fairly priced. A gentleman named Keith waited on me and he and his boss Loren couldn’t be nicer. 

I’m a big fan as everyone knows of the nurseries up in East Earl so it’s nice to have one open a branch down here and stick to the same prices as up there.

Their phone number is 610 644-4333. They are open six days a week – closed on Sundays.

Go check them out!

in search of a vendor from massive barn market


Yesterday  I bought this necklace at the Massive Barn Market in Chadds Ford.

A lot of crafts people had interesting things done with old silver flatware, but this woman had fashioned necklaces out of the handles of hollowware. And to make it more fun, the handle tops were turned into little bells and put in silver chains.

This vendor was a couple of tables down from where Royal Jelly ended up and they were sort of in the middle of things. At the other end of the row they were in was The Shabby Chic Garden who had all the cool wind chimes made out of old flatware and some other cool stuff including vintage garden statuary.

I found this necklace towards the end of our visit to the mass of barn market and I was tired and people kept grabbing over and around me so I paid the woman and kept moving and I forgot to get a card because I wore the necklace home. I would love to get a couple more for gifts but I don’t know who to contact.

If you know who made these necklaces please leave a comment on this post.

And in spite of the crowds which were beyond anyone’s control, I had a great time at the Massive Barn Market in Chadds Ford! It was a gorgeous day, a beautiful ride through so cool old windy roads and a lot of fun! Thank you Brandywine View Antiques and the Chadds Ford Histroical Society for putting event together.



loch aerie in the 1950s


I found a copy of the 1950s publication by Time Life that featured a picture, a glorious picture of Loch Aerie in the 1950s and bought it.

The photo is taken from the rear one there were still the water features out in the backyard and swans. 

There were even once roses the climbed up the back porch.

Look how stunning!


Praying the right preservation buyer steps up for the auction April 21st.

to cowards who run over dogs and keep driving 


Dear Cowards who hit the dog on W. King Road this afternoon:

Here is the dog you hit.  She’s a pretty little girl isn’t she? She is beloved to her humans and right now she’s at an emergency vet fighting to stay with her people.

Yes, she got out. It was an accident, it happens. But you hit this precious little dog and kept driving! How can anyone with a heart or soul or a conscience do that? How could you have not stopped and pulled over?

What is wrong with you that you did not stop? 

Everyone else around you stopped.

You know you hit this dog and you kept on driving.  

Accidents happen, it’s how you deal with them that makes all the difference.

Please contact East Whiteland Police Department and own up to this. At least to apologize to the family. 

To anyone else who is reading this post:

This little dog was hit on W. King Rd. mid afternoon this afternoon. If you know anything or you have any details on whomever it is that hit this dog please contact East Whiteland Police Department. 

It was an accident, a horrible accident but the kids who went into the road to get the dog could have been hit by traffic if other people hadn’t stopped.

God bless the nice couple who stopped and helped the mom and her children get the dog to an emergency vet.

We are all hoping that St. Francis is watching  over this beloved pet and she continues to hold her own. We asked that any animal lovers out there whisper a little prayer for this sweet little dog.

And to those who travel back-and-forth on W. King Rd. please slow down. No one pays enough attention to the speed limit and it is so easy to fly from the edge of Immaculata’s  campus out past the Little League field. Next time it might be a human being who is hit and we don’t want that.

Now that the weather is nice W. King Rd. is dangerously busy seven days a week, especially when there are activities like all the Little League games. 

People are in too much of a hurry. 

Slow down… please.

And again, if anyone knows who hit this poor little dog please contact East Whiteland Police Department. It’s the right thing to do. We should still live in a world where occasionally people do the right thing.

Thank you.