About carla

Writer, blogger, photographer, breast cancer survivor. I write about whatever strikes my fancy as I meander through life.

no devon horse show for 2021 either….

The Inquirer headline screams the bad news. Devon Horse Show is 86’d for a second year. However, Savvy Main Line broke the news before the articles and blog posts started.

And this is devastating news. The Devon Horse Show isn’t just about a tradition that has survived two World Wars, it’s a beloved player in the equestrian world. (The equestrian world in my opinion is shrinking in this area due to development, but that’s a conversation for another day.)

See the screenshot just above? This is interesting blog post to read. I don’t know the author.

I will note that there is a lot of misinformation going around in local Facebook groups about The Devon Horse Show. And I think it is a horrible disservice to all parties involved to put forward false information. That’s why I haven’t blogged about this personally until today. I’m not a Devon insider so I don’t know why exactly the show was canceled other than I believe it is the Covid19 world in which we live that is the reason at the end of the day. Essentially I wanted to think about this for a few days.

But for some to take the knee jerk reaction and try to blame ongoing zoning and other issues around the horse show for the cancellation is patently false information. That has nothing to do with this decision and the Devon Horse Show in and of itself has not so much to do with the current zoning issues either in my opinion. And that’s not to say that there haven’t been zoning issues about the horse show itself because there have been.

The zoning kerfuffle has always been in part about about the residents who live around the horse show who don’t want everything around the horse show super sized and overly urbanized. They don’t want the horse show to go away they just don’t want development to overrun everything.

👉🏻See www.saveeasttown.org and http://www.preservedevon.org/. 👈🏻

I think that is perfectly reasonable and I have good friends who live within the shadow of the horse show and have for years. It’s a lovely area that is facing extinction because of development. Those people are trying to preserve what makes the area special including the horse show. And just because some of these people also have had issue with the head of the horse show over things like the ongoing BS with boxes, whisper down the lane wants to blame THEM for the horse show being cancelled? (Follow this LINK to an article where Devon was taken to court over the box issue…and LOST.)

Come on! I am not a fan of what some of the Devon Horse Show had evolved into in the past few years complete with the ridiculous women who don’t know one end of the horse from the other showing up in all their tacky glory for Ladies Hat Day which used to be truly lovely, but even I am concerned about Devon.

But even with my concern about Devon because of the past fond memories I actually have, I’m not going to run around and blame the neighbors. That’s crap.

No one could have predicted a global pandemic, but I think plenty could have predicted future problems with Devon Horse under current leadership.

Maybe, just maybe, the keyboard critics could get off their proverbial high horses and take a long hard look at Devon and it’s financial structure and current leadership and maybe decide from there how to save it. Because it’s going to need saving.

When I was growing up Devon to me meant summer was here. And my friends and I would go in our old school Lilly Pulitzer and Vested Gentress dresses and Eskil’s clogs or Pappagallo espadrilles and khakis or jeans and wander the then much smaller vendor area and midway.

We would stop and get Devon fudge to take home, check out the antique dealers booths, the hospital’s thrift shop booth in what seems like an old spring house across from the burgers, ride the Ferris wheel and then go to the stands and watch the horses go round and round from someone’s family box. One of my favorite things were when the carriages would enter the ring and the majestic Clydesdales. It was so exciting.

I used to love Devon Horse Show. I remember things like the person who used to have cool antique prints next door to the woman who would bring her Jack Russells who would hang out in her booth. Or all of the years getting a Devon burger and hanging out at the picnic tables watching the world go by. And Betty Moran there to greet you in that booth next to where you entered the show.

I stopped consistently going to Devon Horse Show in 2012. I actually went to the fall classic show a few times between then and Covid19. I liked that show. It was more chill then the see and be seen that May Devon had morphed into.

A great little history of the show can be found at:

A Look Back at “Old Devon”, An All-American Horse Show by Nina Fedrizzi

One of the Devon related events that I was honored to attend was October, 2015. It was the dedication of the Devon Horse Show historical marker. I still have never understood why the horse show seemingly found it so objectionable, but the sign actually had to be placed across Lancaster Avenue from the horse show. A few of my friends, including the late Michael Morrison, poured their hearts and souls into getting the marker erected. The dedication ceremony was October 2015.

I will note this is not the only time in its history that Devon has not had a horse show. There was no show between 1900 and 1910. In 1918, with the US in World War I the show was supposed to be cancelled, but apparently a much smaller show instead happened. The show that year benefited emergency aid and war relief. According to the Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society it was the following year in which Bryn Mawr Hospital became the recipient charity for the first time. During the Second World War there was no show 1943, 1944, 1945.

The Devon Horse Show is a beloved tradition. If the show’s nouveau patrons and box holders continue to support the show even through these closures, I think the show will survive. But the thing is this: are the people today who pretend to be philanthropic really as philanthropic as those who came before us? Because that’s in my opinion one of the things that is going to have to happen for this show to survive and come back: philanthropy.

I also feel that for the Devon Horse Show to come back and thrive they need to make peace with their neighbors for real. There also needs to be more transparency on the part of the horse show on the financials. Break all of the costs down, and work out future scenarios, maybe go more back to basics? Go a little retro?

Devon can survive. But perhaps the decision to hold off another year will end up giving the horse show folks the gift of reflection? Maybe they need a new Chairman? I realize some people will think I’m being horrible by saying that, but I don’t see how the show has been well …..consistently thriving under his leadership. And I’m entitled to that opinion.

Here’s hoping Devon uses this cancellation to improve, and step forward to an even better future. Get back to the tradition.

Thanks for stopping by.

life pondering

This photo I am opening my post with. My friend Ashley took it. I just edited it and posted it.

This is one of those photos that just speaks to a person. Ashley says this man is always on a particular ramp of I-95 with his dog. The dog is loyal and faithful to this man. No leash, no collar. Wonder what their story is?

And this scene? Powerful. Poignant. Sad. Amazing. Speaks volumes without saying a word.

This past year of COVID19 has taught us all a lot if we take the time to listen, right? A friend of mine admitted to me today that she hasn’t completely minded the last year, even playing teacher to her kids. She made the point that we live in a constantly moving world, it was kind of nice to hit the pause button and have the gift of time with her family. I can’t disagree. This past year took a lot out of all of us, but it also gave us gifts.

This week I was reminded that life is precious and for all of the sad, crappy people we might meet, there are also good people out there. There are always those who would tear us down just because the pain of others makes them feel better. But those small minded angry, often mentally ill and toxic people will always exist. We can’t control their crazy, we can only live our own lives.

Ten years ago this month, I received my breast cancer diagnosis. I still remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. Breast cancer was probably the worst thing to ever happen to me and in a weird way, one of the best things.

Why?

Simple. That diagnosis forced me to look at a lot of things. And breast cancer freed me to learn to become a better me. When you are staring at a potentially deadly thing, the minutia falls to the side and you value the gift life actually is. It’s pretty simple: do you want to live and how do you want life to be? Do you want to be happy and can you give yourself the permission to be happy? And don’t we all deserve to be happy even if sometimes happy seems like a lot of work?

Maybe we should look at the last year and realize how valuable the gift of life actually is? Look at all the people who have lost their lives to a global pandemic. And here we are.

Maybe now in our current world we need to value life more? Try a little harder to deal with the many things that tear our society apart?

Among the things I am pondering is has the last year happened to remind us all what is really important which is NOT the minutia and BS we need to filter out of our lives?

So should we all just pause and take a minute? Take a breath? Are we capable of doing that without crowdsourcing it on social media? I don’t know. There are good days and bad days in everyone’s life, but it’s what you do with them, right?

And I know this is a ramble without a real beginning, middle, or end. Sorry. It just flowed out that way.

A little life pondering is good for the soul.

Have a good evening all.

often imitated, never replicated.

There is someone running around Instagram pretending to be me. Chester County Ramblings has been my intellectual property since 2012. The above screenshot is the account and it’s a faker.

I noticed some people who know me have liked the account or photos they have posted. It’s not me. I have a suspicion but can’t prove anything yet of who did this. And because it’s Instagram it might just sit out there. But I wanted my readers and friends and family to know that account is not me and it is fake.

This Instagram account is trying to capitalize on my hard work and “ramblings” since 2012. I have never felt the need to have an Instagram account for the blog because I’m not a social media influencer, I’m a blogger. And this is someone who is passing themselves off as someone and somethings they are not. My Instagram is personal for friends and family. And private. Always has been.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, and they are very weird about stuff because I know people who have gotten their accounts hacked and then they’ve been locked out of them and other people have taken over the accounts….and Instagram has done nothing.

So I am putting this out there to all. Because I don’t know who these people are yet and I don’t know what they’re capable of but they’re using my blog name. They are not me. That’s all I can say. I have reached out personally to every business they have “featured”.

If you are approached by these people and they subsequently ask to put you on their Instagram, and if they try to charge you down the road for being put on said Instagram, remember one thing that is very important: I am not and never have been a compensated blogger.

They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. I just think it’s someone who’s pretty damn desperate. A dear friend suggested a merit badge for them:

Instagram of course, has been contacted. On my end this account has been blocked because it is fake. Desperate people do desperate things. They will eventually make a mistake and the general public will find them out, suss them out. It always happens.

This morning I am just taking it in stride and notifying businesses I actually patronize and people who already thought it was me.

There are a lot of these fake accounts out there, I am not the first person that this has happened to, and I won’t be the last. And law enforcement and media already follow the real me, and now they know once again there is a fake me. Again. Chances are they didn’t even take their own photos.

What’s really amazing is I just took a work related class on Internet security. And one of the BIG things they spoke about are those who pretend to be others. It was a whole section in this class and we were tested on it. Phishing, cloning, etc and never for good. And if law enforcement catches them, they are actually prosecuted. It’s pretty fascinating.

So to people out there who get any kind of a fake friend request or invitation to like even a real seeming Instagram page, do what I do, which is check things out before you hit the “like” or “friend” button. In this case they can’t say “Chester County Ramblings” because that’s me. So they say “chester_county_ramblings” to make you think it’s me and some have because for example when I do posts on this blog the titles are done all in lowercase letters because that’s my thing and I like the visual effect. And my tag line of “meandering through, writing about whatever strikes my fancy.” Today it’s this.

So happy hump day people. On this glorious Wednesday in spring remind you that I am often imitated but never replicated.

Have a great day out there!

restaurant impossible coming to ship inn, exton!!!

I love watching Restaurant Impossible. And they are coming to Exton PA to right the ship…as in The Ship Inn!!!

So can we all hope this means a beloved local landmark will be getting a second chance courtesy of Chef Robert Irvine? Can we breath a sigh of relief since we all saw that it was for sale? I remember when I saw the Keller Williams Commercial listing. I was sad. The Ship Inn long before I lived in Chester County was a familiar landmark when I was coming out here to see friends. Always a friendly looking and welcoming place on the outside…and inside.

So on April 20 they are welcoming diners for filming. We signed up. Do not know if they will pick us, but sure hope so. For me personally, it will be a signal of life returning to normal post COVID year from hell. And ironically, it was one of the last places we ate out at before COVID-19 hit.

Now a confession: I am one of the people who sent Restaurant Impossible an email about this restaurant. It was before COVID hit. I have no idea whose email got them to nibble, but I am sure I wasn’t the only one. I just always thought someone like Chef Robert Irvine would be good for them. I know it sounds crazy, but every time I have been there, I imagined how the place could look with freshening up and space reconfiguration. Especially with regard to the booths in the “grill room”. I just always found them uncomfortable. But I like the other tables and chairs, so I hope they keep them but maybe refresh the seat coverings.

The Ship Inn is an amazing historic resource along with being a lovely spot to eat. And the kitchen was never bad, but fresh eyes I am sure will help them too. So I am so hopeful that Restaurant Impossible is the shot in the arm that they need!

I signed up and will let you know if we are going! If chosen people have to get a COVID test before going. If fully vaccinated I am unsure how that works.

Fingers crossed!!!!

it’s a simple question really: where is anna maciejewska?

So no one believes Anna Maciejewska Gould is still alive, right? But when I saw my female Polish friends posting about Easter preparation’s and their kids dying eggs I thought of Anna and her son. A son who now probably has zero memory of his mother. He has missed so many Easters now with his mother’s disappearance and probable death/murder. He ailing parents, separated from their grandson because of illness and a year of COVID-19.

What are the Pennsylvania State Police doing? Or the Chester County District Attorney?

I would love to ask current Chester County District Attorney Deb Ryan for an update but don’t know how to do it. I also don’t want to sound like a bitch dogging law enforcement and the district attorney, but lordy people, is there any news?

I know “ongoing investigations” means folks in the know are tight lipped, but I think of Anna’s elderly parents and in the COVID-19 world in which we live and they live many thousands of miles away. When is the last time they saw their beloved grandson? He must be so big now, right? It makes you wonder if he has any memories of his beloved mother and if his father keeps her memory alive? Allen Gould, the perpetual puzzle, right? Anna’s presumed widower at this point and he has never really spoken of her has he?

Anna Maciejewska Gould has been missing FOUR LONG YEARS in just EIGHT days. As you celebrate Easter with your family and your children remember a woman who can’t celebrate any more holidays with her beloved child. I’m sure the authorities would wish we didn’t remember Anna because we do and we wonder what it is they are actually doing at this point, and what I personally suspect is not very much. Very unpleasant opinion but I am entitled to it.

Anna, I never met you. But I haven’t forgotten about you and on Easter Sunday may God have mercy upon your soul. Niech cię Bóg błogosławi.

chesco vs advaite amended-complaint…..

Remember that story? Of the Malvern Company and the COVID tests? An amended complaint has been filed by Chester County:

JANUARY 20, 2021 Philly Voice: Chester County sues East Whiteland company for $11 million over missing COVID-19 antibody tests
The lawsuit claims Advaite failed to deliver the 1 million tests it promised, the lawsuit states

Philadelphia Inquirer: Chester County spent $13 million on coronavirus antibody tests. Then it quietly shelved the program.
Internal emails and interviews show that the newly developed, unapproved tests, sold to the county by neophyte biotech firm Advaite, may have produced wildly inaccurate results.
by Marie McCullough and William Bender
Updated Sep 17, 2020

BUT…..this company as of March, 2021 is advertising a rapid test through Amazon Business anyway?

ADVAITE Now Offers FDA EUA RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Tests Through Amazon Business
Advaite’s “RapCov™” Testing Kit offers convenient and rapid screening solutions for millions of business customers, with expanded access for authorized facilities to purchase via Amazon Business

NEWS PROVIDED BYAdvaite Inc. 

Mar 18, 2021, 09:00 ET

MALVERN, Pa., March 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — ADVAITE’s RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test, one of the first US manufactured FDA EUA authorized point-of-care (PoC) serology tests, is now available via Amazon Business.

The FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Advaite’s rapid response IgG antibody test strengthens America’s public health protections against biological threats by facilitating availability and use of cutting-edge medical countermeasures. ADVAITE is one of the only US manufacturers to receive FDA EUA for a point-of-care serology test to date. All RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test Kits are manufactured and assembled locally start to finish at FDA registered facilities in Southeastern Pennsylvania.

“This is a very important moment for public health in fighting this pandemic,” said Karthik Musunuri, Chief Executive Officer of Advaite. “The ADVAITE RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test offers unique advantages in containing the disease. Advaite’s test is simple to use, provides accurate results from a drop of fingertip blood and can detect IgG antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. Perhaps, most critically, our tests provide results in 15 minutes at the point of care. The inclusion of this test to be made available via Amazon’s online store will allow for expanded accessibility of the test to authorized providers.”

FDA GRANTS ADVAITE EMERGENCY USE AUTHORIZATION FOR RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test
MALVERN, PENNSYLVANIA, USA, January 12, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to one of the first U.S.-manufactured serology tests designed by ADVAITE Inc., an innovative biotech company developing novel point-of-care assays to help with combatting COVID-19.

The federal government’s EUA for ADVAITE’s rapid response IgG antibody test will strengthen America’s public health protections against epidemiological threats by facilitating access to cutting-edge medical countermeasures, such as ADVAITE’S RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test. ADVAITE is one of only a handful of US manufacturers to receive EUA for a point-of-care serology test.

“This is a watershed moment in the fight against this pandemic,” said Karthik Musunuri, Chief Executive Officer of Advaite. “The RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test offers unique advantages in containing the virus. ADVAITE’s test is simple to use, provides accurate results from a drop of fingertip blood and can detect IgG antibodies to the COVID-19 virus. Perhaps most critically, our tests provide results in 15 minutes at the point-of-care.”

“Fifteen-minute testing can mean peace of mind and workforce readiness,” Musunuri said, emphasizing that, “Unlike conventional tests that require offsite blood specimen lab work, the RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test analysis can be done on the spot at the point of care, such as at a physician’s office, making this an ideal solution for screening mass populations.”

From a public health perspective, the RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test will help in seroprevalence surveys for determining the prevalence of infection in communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our test uses fingerstick whole blood in point-of-care settings, thereby offering a practical and scalable approach to estimate prevalence of persons who develop SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in a more general population and over repeated time intervals.” said Dr. Sandeep Jain, ADVAITE’s Chief Scientific Officer.

All RapCov™ Rapid COVID-19 Test Kits are manufactured and assembled start to finish at FDA registered facilities in Southeastern Pennsylvania, and ADVAITE plans to immediately begin supplying the market with its testing kits on a national scale.

So what about whatever they promised to Chester County?

Truly life in the land of COVID will make for several good whodoneits by the time life returns to normal….

Documents disclosed obtained via a Right to Know are kosher to peek at even for us ordinary folks, correct? And a court filing also ok to peek at, correct?

Most of this is waaaay above my pay grade but I thought I would share…..

Chester County…..get out the popcorn….

more junk mail from george beatty and problem property pals.

Yeah Nope. My home doesn’t look like this George.

Apparently George Beatty has a lot of time on his hands to do mass mailings. Now I just wrote about him and the company insipidly called “Problem Property Pals” March 20. Sleazy real estate and kissing cousins to the “we buy houses” signs you find nailed to telephone poles.

Today it’s a 9″ x 12″ enveloper full of crap and fake testimonials. Once again I called to ask that we be REMOVED from solicitation of any kind. Last time I got a live person, the outraged “Alex” who wouldn’t talk to me because I had a blocked line. Time before that I left a message requesting removal from all forms of solicitation. Today the auto attendant lady cheerfully chirped in a recording that it could take several months to be removed from solicitation list.

Oh BULL SHEIT George Beatty. It doesn’t take that long.

So Georgie boy, I will make it simple: BUGGER OFF. I love my home and if I were selling, I know plenty of fabulous realtors who are shall we say, have a little more polish and style. My house is neither run down nor vacant. No houses in my neighborhood are run down or vacant. GO AWAY.

time passages

Time Passages by Al Stewart.

It was late in December, the sky turned to snow
All round the day was going down slow
Night like a river beginning to flow
I felt the beat of my mind go
Drifting into time passages
Years go falling in the fading light
Time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight
Well I’m not the kind to live in the past
The years run too short and the days too fast
The things you lean on are the things that don’t last
Well it’s just now and then my line gets cast into these
Time passages
There’s something back here that you left behind
Oh time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight
Hear the echoes and feel yourself starting to turn
Don’t know why you should feel
That there’s something to learn
It’s just a game that you play
Well the picture is changing
Now you’re part of a crowd
They’re laughing at something
And the music’s loud
A girl comes towards you
You once used to know
You reach out your hand
But you’re all alone, in these
Time passages
I know you’re in there, you’re just out of sight
Time passages
Buy me a ticket on the last train home tonight

Al Stewart. My husband and I both love his music. He is one of my earliest music memories. As in I liked to listen to him. My tastes were somewhat eclectic. I didn’t like the Doobie Brothers (and a friend’s cousin was a roadie in the 70s), and as sacrilegious as it sounds, I never got The Grateful Dead. I think the first time I heard Al Stewart was down at a friends house in Bethesda, Maryland. These two sisters who are still my pals had two older brothers, one of whom used to take us to Kemp Mill Records in Georgetown (Washington, DC). I loved that music store more than any other I was ever in. They always were playing the most fabulous music, and no disco biscuits need apply. Now to those in my peer group who were devotees of Plastic Fantastic and Mads Records, this will come as a surprise, but there was nothing better than Kemp Mill Records in my opinion.

So this morning I had an earworm when I woke up and it was Al Stewart’s Time Passages. Hence the post title. And how does it tie to this post that is most definitely a ramble? It just does.

We all have music that evokes memories. Al Stewart reminds me of first Kemp Mill Records along with The Little River Band. Later on, Al Stewart would remind me of The Point in Bryn Mawr. The Point was where the original Main Point was, and Al played there when I was too young to be allowed to go there. But I made up for lost time when The Point opened up in the same spot as the original Main Point.

The Point ran in Bryn Mawr circa 1998 to 2005. Al Stewart was there often and other musicians I loved like Shawn Mullins and Sophie B Hawkins. The original Main Point began circa 1964, and closed in 1981 the year I graduated high school.

So I have been thinking about time passages. This year is my 40th high school reunion from Shipley, and thanks to COVID-19 no reunion. I remember 1981. Back then, almost 57 just seemed so very far away, yet here we are.

Mini Term, Spring of 1980

I have a nice life. I am blessed and am where I am supposed to be, with the person whom I am supposed to be with. Added bonus? He knew and remembers my younger self. I think that makes me really lucky. And I know I am loved. I can’t say that about everyone I know.

The past year with COVID-19 has taken many of us on mental road trips. My stepfather, who is British by birth, remarked that over the past year he had many memories of his childhood in England, including World War II float to the surface. He said that he found it interesting that these memories are still intact and that we needed the quiet of life imposed upon us by a global pandemic to allow them to float back into our consciousness. It’s kind of true.

Life and time march on no matter how we try to stop it. I see women who look fabulous, but haven’t figured out those really short skirts and impossibly high heels they are still wearing in defiance of the aging process would be better suited to their nieces and daughters. They remind me of this woman I remember from the Main Line when I was in my 20s. She liked frog statues in her garden and had a killer figure….but she would wear pantyhose and hot pants and summer heels and sandals for summer shopping. Especially memorable? Her patriotic July 4th hot pants. It always made me feel a little sad that she wasn’t taking aging well. Now I guess she might have been approaching some point in her 40s back then. But every time I see one of my own contemporaries or slightly younger struggling with the aging process, I think of this woman.

A friend of mine turned 60 the other day. I can’t believe it. I remember when her son used to ride a scooter through our old neighborhood when he was a little guy. Now he’s a grown up, out of college, with his own life.

One of my closest friends oldest child just took his SATs. He totally rocked them. He smiles at me when I tell him I remember when he was hatched. But I do. I remember him so clearly as an infant. And another one of my close friends has her daughter graduating from college. Another kid I love and remember as a little girl. Now she is this beautiful young woman. Even my niece of whom I have these memories of her and her little fashion shows changing her outfits multiple times a day is now a college freshman.

Sometimes I just sit here and think about where time has gone and what it took for us all to get here. And I marvel. Another friend and I were facetiming recently and we were talking about remembering when our parents were the age we are now. And all of the stores we used to love to visit in Bryn Mawr when we were kids like Katy Did and that marvelous book store next to it. And all of the antiques stores and Eskil’s Clog Shop. And of course, wanting to be old enough to go to the Main Point without our parents freaking out.

Volunteering (in costume) at Historic Harriton House in Bryn Mawr 1970s.

The memories of a more innocent time. And a lot of them have resurfaced in the time of COVID-19. And just like my stepfather noted, the memories are still here, we just need quiet to visit them again.

Lots of memories of my late father. He’s been gone since 2005. But I have had all sorts of memories resurface. Like him helping a neighbor plant either azaleas or rhododendrons in a seersucker suit one time when he came home from work. Or running around the day of my sister’s wedding (which was held in my parents’ house) touching up paint because caterers and florists and whomever had marked a couple of walls. Or the little girl memories of going with him on a snowy December night to the rail yards in his red VW bug to get a Christmas tree. Or going shopping on 9th street (Italian Market) with him and visiting all the merchants he had been going to since he was a kid in some cases.

Other things I am remembering of late? Fabulous garden parties in amazing gardens in Philadelphia. I do not remember which non profits benefitted (Philadelphia Parks Alliance, PHS, or a garden club ?) from all of them but I remember how lovely they were. No artifice and beautiful gardens. I think one was at Ernesta Ballard’s house in Chestnut Hill. I remember Thatcher Longstreth’s wife Nancy was there. She was in wheelchair.

Other memories? Shipley Mini Term the spring of 1980. I did an internship in the City Representative’s Office in Philadelphia. My godfather was the late Dick Doran, and at that time he was the City Representative under Mayor Bill Green. Bill Green and Dick Doran knew my father from St. Joe’s Prep. When I was growing up they were around a lot. Dick Doran gave a wedding toast at my parents’ wedding. And I remember when Dick was Chief of Staff to Milton Schapp. I remember that in particular because my father was not a fan of Harrisburg, and I was really little and didn’t know where Harrisburg was.

Perhaps it was that internship while I was a junior in high school that made me interested in observing politics…but never having a desire to run for office. But I remember it was a fascinating time. Ed Rendell was the District Attorney. I remember Thatcher Longstreth taking me to meeting with him in CIty Hall, although he was not a City Councilman again until after I had graduated from high school. He was the nicest man.

That was kind of a golden time in Philadelphia City Hall. Much like the era of Richardson Dilworth, who was not only a beloved Mayor of Philadelphia, but grandfather to one of my oldest childhood friends. However even with the golden time, there was political infighting and even a messenger in City Hall who believed in aliens, and yes had a few tinfoil hats.

Other memories that have floated up to the surface was of all things a plant sale my mother used to work on when I was little. The plant sale at The Hill Physick Keith House. They would stage the plants in the side walled garden that had a gate out to Cypress Street.

The Hill Physick Keith House holds a lot of memories. I remember playing quietly as a very little girl in the curtains in the room with the big desk and beautiful inkwell when my mother was a volunteer there. I actually have a pair of antique drapes that once hung in the house. I do not remember why they were removed, only that when I was little they were going to be thrown out, so my mother adopted them. For a while they hung in our house in Society Hill which had windows of a similar scale to those in the Hill Physick Keith House. Now they live in a blanket chest. I have no reason to keep them, but so many why as to not let them go.

Yes the drapes from the Physick House.

So here we are, It’s 2021. My hair is turning gray and white but is still mostly brown. I gave up the idea of color when I was diagnosed with breast cancer almost 10 years ago. There is a link between hair dyes and breast cancer. So when I heard that I was done with the semi-permanent color I used to use back then. Now when I look in the mirror sometimes I see my father’s mother which kind of freaks me out that I can so clearly see her face in my face at times.

Soon I will be getting my second COVID-19 shot. But I still am keeping it close to home with the COVID-19 of it all. But it also means I can keep on gardening.

I will close with was this where my teenage, childhood, or young adult self though I would be? I am not really sure because after all, within this life we live, we actually live several lives as we go throughout our life. So yes, I definitely can’t answer that. I only know I am home and grateful for my life, and each stage of it.

Thanks for stopping by.

what’s up west whiteland?

Soooooo…do the folks in the upscale Malvern Hunt development know about this proposed Uber Cram Plan next door in West Whiteland?

Because if this development happens combined with the crammerific townhouse development next to East Whiteland‘s Bacton Hill Park, “Malvern Crossing”, it sure is going to impact their lives right? And everyone else around here? Wow, just imagine the traffic alone, right?

Would West Whiteland Township care to let us in on what’s specifically up with historic Pickwick, also known as the John Kent Kane Jr. House? Will that historic house be preserved?

But back to the meeting in September that went by with nary a sound and why? For real 344 houses? Adult in description, so essentially another Hershey’s Mill type project? Really “by right”?

That’s a lot of additional development for Swedesford considering the development already in either direction…..

https://www.westwhiteland.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09152020-848

https://www.westwhiteland.org/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09152020-849

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickwick_(West_Whiteland_Township,_Pennsylvania)

And let’s think about all of the other development happening all over, okay? Lancaster Avenue in East Whiteland, West Whiteland, points west, points east.

For West Whiteland all the development coming to either side of SS Philip and James, either side of Ship Road and development just keeps marching west?

In Chester County east, west, north, or south- development. Think about it, are there any municipalities without development of some kind? I mean I am sure there are, only I can’t think of any.

But back to whatever this is that will replace the rotting ghost houses on Swedesford Road. That’s a LOT. A LOT more stress on infrastructure, first responders, hospitals, schools and so on and so forth.

Just putting it out there. It’s public record. Just pick a municipality. When does it end? When do residents in Chester County stand up and band together and say enough already to development? When do we even just hit a freaking pause ⏸ button?

Thanks for stopping by.

push push push

I make no secret over the fact that I am completely over the push push push of realtors/real estate investors of all forms soliciting business since COVID19 hit.

First you have the slimy ones that send the postcards announcing they’ve been trying to reach you 95 times by postcard but they can’t find your phone number.

Or they are robocalling you via off shore call centers with heavily accented individuals reading from a script. And whether it’s postcard or robocall they all have friendly names like “Dan” or “Steve” or “Brian”.

Next come the regular residential realtor variety from the various and sundry companies you recognize. Like today’s solicitation which came addressed to both our name and “occupant“.

Dear occupant and she wants our business no less?

Of course there were other amusing things about today’s postcard from someone at Compass in Devon. Like for example it says it’s from their “Upper Main Line” office and lists a phone number. I tried to call the phone number on the postcard listed as the main office number because I want to be put on a do not solicit list. Only the number on the postcard isn’t a valid general office number and you get the recording from the phone company that this number doesn’t exist.

Now that’s just sloppy marketing and lack of proofreading, which if I was in the market for a new home or a realtor, this would knock this person out of the running right then and there. Details matter.

Then there’s the house that’s on the front of the postcard that says “just sold“. It’s one of the McMansions crammed in off of 352 on Shirtz Farm Lane…. which once upon a time was an actual farm. I made no secret of how I loathe farm to development conversions.

I guess our comparables are all going up in the area because this woman claims to have sold this house which is on a postage stamp sized lot for over $1 Million. And again…if you saw where it was it’s right there on 352 after the railroad underpass! It’s a marvel, those prices.

This is a development that once it finally got started if you blinked, you missed the houses going up. And it’s still got piles of dirt everywhere, it’s rather unattractive. Million dollar Lickety Splits.

Just so we’re clear, I have quite a few dear friends who are realtors whom I respect immensely. They don’t send out things like this. And they would never refer to someone in a mailer by name and then occupant because that’s just kind of insulting. If you need a realtor I’m happy to refer you to one of the many fine individuals I know. And they are actually truly local to Chester County and live here.

As I have said on other posts I have written about the sleazy real estate investors (house flippers) sending postcards to buy your house for cash, this is one of the byproducts of the COVID-19 global pandemic. As happened the last time there was a pandemic at the turn of the 20th century, it made people want to get out of cities and move into suburbia or less populated areas. Only I think circa 1918 they weren’t bombarding people with post cards.

I appreciate that realtors I’ve never heard of or are not particularly local love our area. I just wish they would stop soliciting me. Obviously I love where we live that’s why we’re here.

Happy weekend!