too much development has negative consequences

This photo came to me from a friend with the following note:

People who are interested in all the new construction  in the Chester Springs area should be made to attempt a morning commute during the week versus cruising through on a Saturday or Sunday. 

I felt like I was in Manhattan this morning – cars well past Montgomery School on Route 113 trying to get through the intersection with Route 401, a couple miles worth of hideous, now everyday traffic.  

God bless those who have to get to work OUTSIDE of Chester Springs. And to think of the nearly 250 homes not yet occupied as part of Byers Station Phase 2 and roughly same number of Pulte homes going up near Ludwigs Corner???? 

This is insanity!!!

Perhaps worth a post. Biggest problem when the the massive amount of developing going on is the market for them- the buyers. They have no idea the poor quality of these homes along with what it is really like to get around these 2 lane roads. Uh!!!

And indeed, so worth a post!

Why this is so good to see come to life isn’t so people can be miserable in traffic, it’s instead so people can know what their future holds every time they see one of these plans proposed wherever it is they live.

When these plans are proposed in your municipalities, they are cute little Lego land box drawings on a big flat piece of paper. The drawings are shown with these buildings with nothing around them, so you can’t visualize the reality of these developments for the most part. You get stuck waiting for the developments to be built and then there’s nothing you can do.

And my favorite is the trick that even a curse out here where they talk about how people aren’t going to be using their cars, they will use special Jetson spaceships and public transportation. Everything is going to be “walkable”. Of course how they can say that with a straight face and parts of Chester County were you still have to drive miles to get to a grocery store cracks me up.

A lot of the  “highways”  out here are glorified country roads. They weren’t meant for this volume of humanity. Then you look at roads like 202 which are a nightmare even with improvements.

So anyway, just more food for thought. Especially if you were thinking about areas like over around Crebilly, and that’s not just because of the Toll Brothers proposed building on that land. It’s quite simply put: just adding all the plans up. 

What do you get if you add up all the developments large and small from one end of Chester county to the other? To me that prospect is frightening and very very sad. 

tempest in an en blanc teapot

28987928280_23f3f673d1_oYears and years ago when I was working in New York, there was a party held every summer in Newport, Rhode Island on Bellevue in one of the old “cottages” (mansions) called Newport Night in White. I want to say it was maybe held at Belcourt Castle at the time, but it has been way too long (we are talking early 90s).

Anyway, it was not the Newport White Party held today which was held this past Saturday on August 27th in Rhode Island. Newport White Party is a different white  event which started in 2011. It also benefits non-profits, which Newport Night in White back in the 90s did too. The event I attended for two or three summers was held in the summer some weekend after the Gatsby Ball (or Gatsby Society Ball, I forget what it was called precisely.).  This was the first white party I ever attended and it was such an amazing event I still remember it. You dressed in all white cocktail attire to black tie.  There was dinner and dancing and it was held in this amazing mansion. And it was FUN.

Then white parties sort of petered out except in certain locations where they will always have white summer event like Provincetown, the Hamptons, and so on, and have had a general renaissance due to people discovering Dîner en Blanc de Paris as it grew from a man’s white picnic in Paris in the late 1980s.  Now of course, it is this huge thing, held world-wide and licensed. The irony is Dîner en Blanc de Paris was going on when Newport Night in White was, but I never heard of it back then. Who knows if the event organizers did back then, I didn’t know them personally, they just threw a heck of a summer party.

When I first heard about Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia (also known as DEBPhl or DEB) I was delighted.  I do like white parties and the idea of white parties even if dressing head to toe in white is hard to wear and hard to pull off. But white makes you think of summer, right?  The first Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia had well over 1000 people. A lot of my friends went.

I did not want to go. Why? Because August in Philadelphia outside is gross in my opinion a lot of the time because it is a major metropolitan city with lots of concrete and density.  Heat and humidity are bad enough without adding a city to it. I also did not want to go because while I loved the idea of white and a theoretical “white picnic”, already at over 1000 the event was too large for me. And you had to schlep furniture. I also do not like being in huge crowds. I do not like stadium sized events, even sports or rock concerts. It’s just not me and never has been. I find crowds of a couple of hundred too much at times. If you know me, you know I have always been this way.

Ok so those are my opinions, right? Nothing earth shattering.  They are not a damnation of Dîner en Blanc, it’s how I feel about events that are HUGE. And since its debut in Philadelphia, that event has grown to over 5000 people. I am not so sorry, but no, getting crammed in with 5000 other people in white like lemmings at an outdoor event in August in a big city is not for me. My opinion. Personal choice. Should be no big deal to express said opinion.

But no. That is criticism of Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia. And critics are not welcome. My goodness the hubbub over Brian Hickey’s article after the most recent event was not to be believed.

Philly Voice AUGUST 19, 2016

Dîner en Blanc Philly is the worst and I hope it never goes away

BY BRIAN HICKEY  PhillyVoice Staff

This is America, and in America, you can spend $45 (or $93 a couple) on anything you want without fear of repercussions, provided it’s legal and all that.
This is America, and in America, you can damn well judge anybody who spends that kind of money for the right to prepare their own dinner, carry their own tables and utensils, don white clothing from head to toe and wave sparklers in the air after usurping a public space in the name of pretentious exclusivity.
Welcome to the morning after the fifth annual Dîner en Blanc Philly, the pop-up dinner picnic in a secret location.

Read the whole article. It is wonderfully written. And captures precisely right or wrong how  a lot of people feel about the event.

But no, drama ensued, serious drama. There was even a rebuttal from a writer attending the event as a journalist:

Philly Voice AUGUST 22, 2016

Dîner en Blanc: Philadelphians coming together, in a sea of positivity


In response to critics of his unfair, and sometimes silly, takedown-attempt of Thursday’s Dîner en Blanc, Brian Hickey suggested that, instead of tweeting at him, the pro-DEB crowd could submit their own commentary to Philly Voice.
It was a taunt: as if none of the event’s 5,000 attendees would be capable of writing 600 coherent words defending it. Well, I had an extra 45 minutes this weekend.
I attended DEB as a journalist (I cover Philadelphia and the rest of the country for a number of publications, including Washington Post, USA TODAY and Travel + Leisure).

Read the whole piece. “Takedown”? Seriously? What is this a mob hit? Seems to me Brian Hickey wrote an opinion piece.

And then there is this, anointed a “must read”  by  @DEBphl

Defending DEB

It’s cool to hate on Diner en Blanc, but is it necessary?

…Part of the cri­ti­cism is that this is elit­ist, pre­ten­tious and ob­nox­ious. Yet, at $45 a seat, it’s a far cheap­er night out than most black tie galas that run every oth­er week­end. And, if you look at the crowd, you’ll see these are far from just so­ci­ety reg­u­lars that pop­u­late those old-money events. This DEB crowd isn’t bring­ing out the an­tique jew­elry, it’s shop­ping on Etsy.

And among the big so­cial events of the city, DEB hap­pens to be the most di­verse. Far from be­ing the white­wash that many of the pop-up beer gar­dens and Fishtown fest­ivals tend to be, DEB ap­pears widely pop­u­lar among black at­tendees and oth­er minor­it­ies. And where else do you see people from vari­ous races and eco­nom­ic back­grounds din­ing el­bow to el­bow, fine china next to dixie cups and Tup­per­ware?

Ok that is the author’s opinion.  I do not quite see the event as a great equalizer, but she loves it and it’s her opinion.

But, you are not allowed apparently to have a negative or even a different opinion even if it is not particularly negative, just honest.

And yo’ Philly, birthplace of America and our freedom, do you remember the First Amendment regarding opinions?

First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Land sakes do you people think this is the first person to write about these events in less than glowing terms??? Or to mock any social event?

(Queue Washington Post)

The Washington Post: Why do people hate Diner en Blanc? The word ‘pretentious’ keeps coming up.

By Maura Judkis August 26 , 2016

It is very, very easy to hate Diner en Blanc. The annual event, which returns to Washington on Saturday night, brings thousands of people to a surprise location, where they arrive dressed in head-to-toe white, eat gourmet picnics and drink champagne in full view of the uninvited masses. Those who are out and about this weekend may see a parade of them on the Metro, toting tables and chairs and china. And depending on your outlook, you’ll either wish you were one of those lucky 3,500 or loathe them with every fiber of your being.

“No event has ever made me want to plan a paintball rampage like this one,” said Tom Bridge, editor emeritus of We Love DC. He’s kidding, kidding, he promises! But he is not alone…..But no foodie trend seems to raise hackles quite like a very public, invitation-only party with a dress code and a $45 admission fee.

“The whole process is so unbelievably pretentious it seems to me to be a complete waste of effort,” Bridge said. “Pretentious” is a word that comes up a lot around Diner en Blanc. Is it the French name? Peut-être!

Again, read the whole article. They event mention the Philadelphia tempest in an en blanc pot.

Now here is another article on the Philadelphia event:

AUGUST 19, 2016

Diner en Blanc diner says event is a wasted opportunity


For better or for worse, I’ve been a participant of Diner en Blanc for the past two years. My special lady friend’s mother enjoys it, therefore my special lady friend enjoys it, so I must enjoy it. Such is the law; I didn’t write it.

Before I ever attended, I found the amount of hatred the general public held for this gala to be entertaining, but didn’t think much about it. As an outsider, it struck me as just another us vs. them debate, in a city that is literally defined by us vs. them debates. Like all such debates, I figured there was some merit to the criticism, but felt pretty sure that it couldn’t be as bad as it was made out to be.

Now that I have two of these events under my belt, I can confidently say that it is…Its indulgence defined, and the true cost isn’t simply $93 per couple (plus the requisite two bottles of Cab Franc per person). It’s the wasted opportunity that comes and goes when 5,000 Philadelphians who have the time and money to do better with both, get together and waste it on taking drunk selfies on a Thursday….An estimated 5,000 people got together, and spent almost a quarter of a million dollars to do it. And no one – not one of us, not one citizen in the city that hosted it, is any better for it.

Let’s do this differently next year. Please. I’d like to be hungover because I helped someone, not (just) because I’m an entitled prick.

Again read the whole article. Of course the response of one of the originators of Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia, was a little Marie-Antoinette-let-them-eat-cake  because they said “all” of “Philly” benefits.

There has been so much breast beating back and forth over this event on social media that it is somewhat crazy. People saying they will “unfriend” other  people for criticizing the event.  Seriously?

OK I get the picture, people love the event. But others don’t . And then there are others like myself that love to look at the event photos but have absolutely no desire to go to the event. My reasons for not wanting to go, my personal choice for choosing not to go also by the standards set by these people makes me a Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia hater. Alrighty then, pretzel logic.

I do like events that benefit charities.  I especially like events that benefit charities that do not take themselves so seriously and don’t (for example) call themselves “balls” when by definition they are not.

I grew up in Society Hill and on the Main Line. I went to a private school. I did the cotillion for the Charity Ball all in white. I did years and years of traditional non-profit events and traditional volunteering like my mother.

I stopped doing most of it after 9/11 by personal choice. I felt that most of those people on those committees and who attended those events would always need people like me more than I would ever need them.  I also felt bigger picture, there was more to life that was more important. Also, let’s get real: these parties are expensive and a new dress for every event adds up.

But I do like white parties and I do appreciate non-profit events that do good for legitimate local charities.  So when a friend suggested Brandywine in White and described it to me, I thought “why not”?

It is an absolutely lovely event.  It has a charming host and slew of people who put it together. While not a non-profit per se, part of the proceeds benefit a local charity. In 2015 it benefitted the Sunday Breakfast Mission in Wilmington, DE.   This year they were donating  to the Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County to help save Barnard’s Orchard.

Also this year held on the same evening of August 27th was the inaugural  WC Summer Soirée . This event had a non- profit formed first and benefitted three local Chester County Charities: St. Agnes Day Room, Chester County Food Bank, and Chester County Family Academy.

We went to WC Summer Soirée this year. Not because we didn’t love Brandywine in White, but because we thought we would be able to do both and both events ended up being on the same evening, and by the time we figured it out, the tickets for WC Summer Soirée were already purchased. (But a small donation did go to Brandywine in White as well.)

Both of these Chester County / Brandywine Valley events are summer white or en blanc parties. But they do not try to be Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia. They are white parties yes, but the feel is different.

These are lovely events that are more laid back. You have fun and it is a few hundred people versus a few thousand. You don’t schlep your furniture you buy tables and service tables or eat at communal tables. You do set up your tablescapes in white and dress in white, but your back drops, the settings are completely different. And yes they choose non-profits as event partners. To me that is more appealing.

And the people whiles mostly strangers to me at these events are so nice. People mingle and table hop and enjoy checking everyone’s tablescapes out.  I love to entertains, cook, and everyone knows I love vintage dishes and linens, so I totally have fun at these Brandywine Valley/ Chester County events.

We had a blast at WC Summer Soirée ! It was held at the American Helicopter Museum and there were even helicopter rides. People had fun! Dress code wise it was slightly more casual than Brandywine in White, but that’s fine as it was never intended to be a clone of Brandywine in White or a  Dîner en Blanc.

While at WC Summer Soirée I noticed people whose business promotes Philadelphia and the Brandywine Valley were at Brandywine in White and they would be tweeting live. How nice I thought for Brandywine in White. Next thing you know they post a selfie with the following “Nice event here at #brandywinwhite but it’s no @DEBphl.”

I thought the damnation by faint praise to be shall we say, ignorant and totally unnecessary. If they thought it was a nice party, why couldn’t they just say that? It is not supposed to be  Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia so why toss that in? White party yes, but DEB, no. And sorry not sorry, but DEB did not originate the concept of white parties or place a patent on them, they have revived an entertaining trend.

I responded to those people that I would rather support good causes in Chester County then to be among the 5000 lemmings dressed in white, in Philadelphia. You know what this is boys and girls ? Opinion and personal choice. I was never kept off a guest list for this thing, I chose not to go for valid reasons already discussed.

So then these people decided to follow me on Twitter .  I decided to back them because if you know social media and you know Twitter you know the next thing is a flat out Twitter war over whose opinion matters more. I didn’t want that, so I chose not to engage.

Next thing you know, the person I am told is the paid publicist for DEB Philadelphia pops up in 140 characters or less. How I am attending an event that almost “entirely copies DEB AND are rude about it. #goodbye #copycat”

Oh snap! I guess he schooled me, right? I also think that technically DEB Philadelphia (license or not) can be considered a copycat of other larger  established DEBs around the world and other white parties, yes? After all DEB Philadelphia did not originate the idea of a white party in general, did they?

I admit I told him to have a hissy fit other than at me and it was bourgeois that he did not realize not everything is trying to be DEB. Sorry not sorry, my opinion. Knowing a Twitter feud would definitely spring from this one, I blocked him. I shouldn’t have engaged in the first place, and chose not to engage further.

So his response to blocking was twofold. First was on Twitter – if I am going to criticize I am supposed to “stand behind my comments. Not block everyone. #coward”

Then he rolls up on my blog’s Facebook page and continues about how I blocked him. (wahhhhhh!) and how his comment was directed at me for being “rude”. And because he wasn’t limited to 140 characters, he goes on to say  that I couldn’t stand up for my comments and hid them from everyone and continues  “…it is clear you lack facts and just want to be hostile. First, that event was started and called Brandywine in White after DEB. And if you had half an education of course our event is based on Paris- who do you think started the idea and licensed it.”

He goes on to call me a troll. C’est la vie, c’est la guerre. He neglects to say he blocked me back which I find hysterical, so what is his very important point about blocking people again, I forget? And I guess he “encouraged” the “official”  @DEBphl  Twitter handle to block me too? ( Totally mature, totally amusing, totally cracks me up and do they think that means I can’t see what they post anyway? All you have to do is not be signed into Twitter to view it if you want to- so not difficult if it is a public versus private Twitter-feed. )

I mean seriously he is a publicist being paid to promote this event?  And part of the job description is being the DEB Philadelphia ankle biter? And my goodness, do the people who run Dîner en Blanc Philadelphia think this is acceptable behavior out of what amounts to someone they employ to positively promote their event? And as a professional publicist this person thinks their version of playing well with others is acceptable behavior?

Right or wrong, if I were hiring a publicist and saw this out of a publicist they would be the last publicist I ever hired. And seeing a publicist doing this even if not directed at me personally would mean if I didn’t want to go to something in the first place, I would never even ever reconsider the event or recommend it to others. And if I did want to go, I would choose another party because who wants to go to something represented by someone like that anyway? I guess this guy thinks that the White Party in Provincetown the past 30 years is also a “copycat” of DEB Philadelphia?

People were criticizing DEB events in 2013 too :

Le Diner en Blanc: The Great Doucheby

POSTED BY ON THU, APR 4, 2013 AT 3:26 PM

Hey New Orleans — here’s a dinner deal for you!

First you pay $35, then you bring your own food, utensils and your own goddam table.

You don’t know where you’re going, but you must wear white from head to toe. Oh, and there’s a three-step process for application and a waiting list (“Best of luck in your registration!”), because, you know, the experience of paying a stranger for the privilege of staging your own dinner party is not just for everyone, darling.

And you can’t cancel. Period…

We don’t need to pay to attend a dinner party and be told to bring “a picnic basket comprised of quality menu items and a china dinner service including proper stemware and flatware.”

Are we really turning into this, New Orleans? I hope not. Because this whole thing makes me feel like putting on an old Saints jersey and licking roast beef po-boy gravy off my forearm while doing the Cupid Shuffle.


And then there is this from Vancouver, Canada:

Side Dishes: The little black event

tomorrow begins the bicentennial of the a.m.e. church in philadelphia, but they still don’t honor their dead in chester county, pa

13533075_900144076760594_3309194531261614814_nRichard Allen (February 14, 1760  to March 26, 1831 was a minister, educator, writer and one of this country’s original, most active, and influential black leaders.  In 1794 he founded the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Philadelphia. This was the first black denomination and independent church in the US.  The first actual church opened in richardallenautobio_halfPhiladelphia in 1794.

Richard Allen was born into slavery on one of the properties of Benjamin Chew as another piece of property because he was a slave.  He bought his freedom around 1780 at the age of 20 from a subsequent master named Stokeley Sturgis.

In 1816 the AME church was founded more formally and Allen was elected the first Bishop. He had bee a minister for years prior to this and Mother Bethel in Philadelphia actually first opened her doors to worship around 1794.  Bishop Allen organized this religious denomination where freed blacks could worship without racial oppression and where slaves could find dignity and a welcoming place. He worked to literally lift up the black community, also organizing  schools to teach literacy arichard allen muralnd promoting national organizations to develop political strategies. Bishop Allen died the year Ebenezer A.M.E. at 97 Bacton Hill Road in Frazer, PA Chester County opened.

Tomorrow July 6, 2016, leaders and members of the A.M.E. Church descend on Philadelphia to celebrate their Bicentennial in the city where it all began.

Festivities over the past few days in advance include the unveiling of a beautiful bronze statue of Richard Allen and a mural too.  Some very kind people thought enough to send me photos.

They are all a twitter (literally) over this magnanimous and festive and historic occasion. They are tweeting, Facebooking and Instagramming. It’s all about the bicentennial. You can sign up to watch it stream, attend galas, pay $5 to have your photo taken in front of a special paparazzi walk banner.  ‪#‎IamAME‬‪#‎a200mecgc2016‬ are their hashtags of choice

They have ALL sorts of money to spruce up Mother Bethel, throw parties, rent a giant big city convention center and yet….wait for it…. those of us who have been contacting the A.M.E. Church nationally and regionally for YEARS still want to know when they will honor their dead on Bacton Hill Road.

The A.M.E. Church elders are veritable slum lords to their dead and I find that disgraceful. 

On June 25th their First District tweeted at me:

June 25

Let’s see how do I say this? Straight out? THEY HAVE DONE NOTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Their history, their dead, our country’s history – it is all in this ruin of a church and a cemetery of folks of a local A.M.E. Church founded only 30 some odd years AFTER the entire religious organization was founded and they opened their doors the year Bishop Richard Allen died.

EBeneWHY DON’T THEY CARE ABOUT THEIR HISTORY? Is it all about the money they make today saying they value their history at their bicentennial? If they can pay for the bicentennial in Philadelphia are you telling me that these religious hypocrites can’t pay to clean up Ebenezer’s ruins on Bacton Hill Road? People from Tredyffrin, Malvern, East Whiteland, West Chester, and West Vincent just to name a few local municipalities (and this doesn’t take into consideration the people from other areas of the east coast and country who probably do not even realize they have ancestors there.

Ebenenezer A.M.E. is so badly overgrown at this point that NO ONE can pay their respects to the dead. There are (again) freed slaves there and black civil war soldiers. Surely their lives mean SOMETHING to the A.M.E. Church? I am appalled that as of tomorrow they will be preaching the word of God and talking about their 200 years of history and an hour outside Philadelphia and about 20 minutes from Valley Forge, they have just blown off their responsibility on a land parcel the NATIONAL A.M.E. Church STILL OWNS!  

The A.M.E. Church elders are veritable slum lords to their dead and I find that disgraceful. 

Someone wrote to me recently:

I am afraid you will get NO cooperation or interest from anyone there. Shame is the only press they understand—maybe  a local news station could bring attention to it.
I feel bad for local families with graves in the cemetery who cannot pay their respects.
Yeah so media, how about it? How about a little field trip? This is what you will see:
ame frazer
If the A.M.E. took care of their history and honored their dead it could look like these photos from a clean up OTHER people did in 2011:
ebenezer 2011 1 ebenezer 2011
You can check the archives of this place, I have written about this for multiple years at this point if you are interested.  Here is the link to the boy scout report of many moons ago – if you look through it you will see names of the dead buried here that people know of:


And yes, there is now also a social media movement to save Ebenezer A.M.E. on Bacton Hill Road:

save ebe

Feel free to LIKE and SHARE.


A.M.E. Church can you hear us now? Do you care about your history and your dead? Or are you just all about the party and bicentennial media hype?

What would Bishop Richard Allen do?  What would Bishop Richard Allen say? I think he would be sorely disappointed in the stewards of the church and religious movement he founded.


The A.M.E. Church elders are veritable slum lords to their dead and I find that disgraceful. 

the case for auld lang syne

Devon Horse Show in years past.

Devon Horse Show in years past. 2009 or 2008 I think. Maybe earlier.

I have not really said a word for days as the tawdriness of Nouveau Devon and the 2016 scandals and incidents have swarmed around local news outlets and social media.  Yes, I have posted links to published media reports based on police reports and interviews with them, but I haven’t said much. Truthfully, I have been somewhat dumbfounded by all of these bizarre incidents.

I used to love Devon.  I stopped loving it a few years ago when things started to change, because the people running the show started to change. That made the vibe start to change. And when the coup happened in December 2014, well that pretty much was enough for me with Devon.

Devon circa 2012

Devon circa 2012

But then these people also kicked up a fuss about a Pennsylvania State Historical Marker honoring the Devon Horse Show. That pretty much made them horses asses. They might own a lot in some cases, but they don’t own local history do they?

I attended the historical marker ceremony across the road from the horse show in October, 2015 and was honored that the local historians and others who had worked so hard to just see that the history was remembered included me on the guest list. That day I felt old Devon again because well, a lot of the people who once made the show special attended that ceremony.

I did not attend Devon this year.  I was asked, but I just couldn’t do it. To me it seems such a mockery of what it once was.  And well, it seems that this year the seams are showing and it is falling apart?

First there was the litigation over the skybox that made the papers.

Judge rules in favor of ousted Devon Horse Show skybox holder

On Thursday a Chester County judge upheld an injuction telling horse show officials to let the woman use her skybox.

Trish Hueber, of Penn Valley, paid $20,000 for the 1B skybox in April 2012. She also paid $1,800 annually in maintenance fees to the horse show. However, this year after she responded to a letter that requested the maintenance fee, her check for the 2016 maintenance fee was returned and show officials told Hueber that she had violated rules and no longer had the use of the box, the suit said. Horse show officials also contended that the $20,000 she paid in 2012 was a charitable donation, rather than for the purchase of the skybox.

After Hueber’s lawyer, Cary McClain, sent a letter regarding the skybox requesting proof that there had not been an agreement or a tax return showing the charitable contribution, show officials removed Hueber from her position as vice president of the Hospitality Committee, a committee that she had served on for 29 years.

Devon circa 2012

Devon circa 2012


devo 1


And then there were all the comments about the uptick in alcohol at the event as a whole, and how is it a horse show needs so much booze? Especially when people are caring for very expensive animals and equipment and people DRIVE home after the show and fair is over each night? Comments like the couple I am posting below and many others including ones where people are describing being at the horse show with their kids watching drunks stumble by? How is that family friendly? And if someone has had too much and falls off say the Ferris Wheel or stumbles into the ring when the Clydesdales are thundering by, then what?

Devon 2012

Devon 2012

And I already discussed “Ladies” Hat Day so no need to rehash that except for all the comments floating around about things like event gate crashers that day? And how is that fair that they elbowed women out of the way who PAID to attend the event, in many cases a tidy premium? And when women approached event organizers they were told that Devon doesn’t like to turn people away? Huh?

drunk 2


devo 7

Comments about the jump in prices like:

devo 5

And this which pretty much summed up how Philadelphia and the Main Line has changed along with the horse show:

devo 4

Also heard a lot of vendors were not happy this year and they are locked in for what? Two years at a time and it’s expensive which is why the retail costs were reportedly so much higher this year in the shops?

And when they kept reporting “record attendance” and the live feed showed empty stands, what about that? People said the whole thing felt different this year and that it was sparsely attended a fair bit of the time so what about that? Is that all made up too?

Ok here is the current board:

corp board 1

corp board 2

Devon 2012

Devon 2012

Look I totally get that things and events have to grow and evolve to stay current and survive, BUT Devon Horse Show did this to themselves and maybe just maybe they all need to stop denying things like bad frat house party behavior and just own that they need to regroup and figure this out….before Devon is lost for good?

Or is that the plan? To let the show degrade to such a point that there really is no show and then what?

Yes, people aren’t going to like this post. They will say I am being unfair and disloyal to Devon. I am not. This stuff has all happened and is all documented and everyone is talking about it.

It’s time to bring back old Devon.  The event that had panache and style. Everyone always cocktailed at Devon but it did not use to be such a reported free-for-all, did it?


pet peeve: what happened to e-mail etiquette?

  Recently,a friend of mine who is running for political office did not check with his staff and they sent  out a giant email to a huge and completely unblinded email list. It was an honest mistake committed in haste. He apologized to all concerned.

It doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it actually is. It was an enormous list of email addresses, and a lot of people like to keep their personal and business email addresses separate and off future lists of people they don’t know. A somewhat futile attempt to personal privacy in the electronic age.

Recently I have received a few non-profit solicitation emails from people I have zero connection to. We don’t live near each other, we don’t socialize, we don’t volunteer together. And they were nonprofit things that did not interest me in the least or would  have interested me. One was for a start up non-profit that I had never even heard of.

I decided to figure out what the commonality was and how they would’ve obtained my personal email address. Well, I discovered the commonality and was somewhat disappointed. The commonality is a person who sold me something close to a decade ago. So they would’ve had my email address for business purposes only. We aren’t friends on a personal level. We never socialized together.

I find that somewhat irritating. I volunteer with things that I find of specific interest to me. But in all the years I have been volunteering I have never added anyone’s name to an email list for funds solicitation or an invitation to buy tickets to an event without asking them if it was OK to add their name and email address.

And I certainly have never used addresses obtained for business purposes in this way. And it used to be that people used email etiquette not only in how they framed and phrased and wrote their emails, but to whom they sent them and when and how.

I really think that we should pay more attention to email etiquette whenever possible. We are in an electronic age and a lot of things go via email. We all get so much junk email even with email spam filters.

And besides, if you’re trying to interest someone in a charitable endeavor personal outreach is always preferred at first. That way you find out if the person you are connecting with is even interested in what you are doing. It is much nicer than selling or giving away your email list.

Just my two cents. And if the person I did business with once a decade ago reads this post, please stop giving out people’s email addresses you obtained for business purposes. It’s just not nice.

Thanks for stopping by.

women to women: a puzzle for the ages

Godey-april-1861As I begin this post it has no real form yet.  A quasi flowing stream of consciousness. I figure by the end of the post the title will find me.

I have written many times before about my transition from being a Main Liner to a Chester County gal. And I am going to do it again. So if you don’t want to hear anymore about this or don’t like a flowing stream of consciousness, turn away from the blog now and visit again tomorrow.

Yesterday my friend Alene wrote about in essence adolescence and David Bowie.  She was part of a group of girls I was and am to this day still friends with.  Our 13 and 14 year old selves were quite different from a lot of our classmates at the time. And wow what we were subjected to from a pack of mean girls before they called them mean girls.

godeycovers-featured-270x290I have written about those girls from back in the day before.  And middle age hasn’t changed or softened a lot of them, and at the end of the day they are still just stuck in the 7th grade hallways with their tight jeans, bad perms and crimping irons…sneaking cigarettes and oh yes stumbling in their Candies.

We  (Alene and I) had a bit of a conversation about what she had written on her blog and in part she said

It’s interesting to me that you got a chance to witness what became of those people, whom I have long since forgotten.” I haven’t forgotten how it felt, though. It is sad. Now people talk openly about bullying behavior in the schools and the psychological effects on kids, but it seems to be universal and timeless.”

I had told her that on some level I felt sorry for these people. I actually do.


These girls affected all of us in different ways but a similarity my friends and I share to this day is those silly girls made us realize what we don’t want in friends. For years after it also affected how I trusted or accepted people, which translated more simply is in a lot of cases I didn’t trust, I didn’t accept.

I worked to change that.  Sometimes I still work at it.

Take my moving to Chester County.  Moving and starting a new life no matter how exciting is very different when you’re an adult and middle-aged woman versus young and single. And this move in particular made me feel once again like that uncertain 12 year old who was thrust into a new and rather large school and area without much in the way of life skills to make the transition easy.

Maybe that sounds silly, but when I first moved to Chester County it is how I felt. Excited to be here yet so uncertain.

I have been lucky with this move that over the first years here I have discovered that many people I was friends with for years and years live not too far from me, and I have met a lot of really nice and genuine an amazing new people.14583203070_afc32dff39_o

But (there is always a but isn’t there?)….some people you take a chance on are just fated to disappoint.  And I have met some disappointing individuals.  Not too many, but a few.

No matter what age you are, you will always meet people who will just be uncomfortable because they can’t fit you into one of their boxes of pre-conceived notions.

But today I was faced with a situation that I not only did not know where to go with but definitely at first hurt then ultimately offended me.  Not disappointed.  Disappointed would have been on the short list of emotions when I was 12 but not now. I was emphatically offended.

Someone I had met over the last year basically told me today we couldn’t be friends because I was…wait for it….a blogger.

Initially I had reached out to her after we met as many of us do today, via social media. Right or wrong it is how we do a lot of our modern connecting. (Maybe we should bring back the calling card?)  But anyway.. I never got anything back. So I wondered if I had said or done something. I wasn’t sure what because this isn’t someone I run into (for example) every time I go to the grocery store. So I sent her a note. And what I got back basically made me just sort of sit back momentarily stunned:


Sorry if I offended you. Not my intention. But when I thought about giving a blogger access to my “personal” life, I got concerned…..I thought we got along well, as a public “voice,” you are in a different category.


O.k. so right now a certain group of equally disappointing “grown ups” some of whom reside in West Vincent are cheering at this post. Why? Because I have never been a human being to them, just a target to attempt to pummel into the ground. (But I digress.)

1206204introI do not think this woman intended to be deliberately hurtful. But there is no accounting for the accidental ignorance in human beings, especially women.  It was hurtful but mostly it was simply outrageously offensive to hear. I had thought I had made an initial friend connection with this person. But apparently I merely (I guess) had a use for a brief period of time?

But to say essentially you can’t be friends with me because I write?  Wow so very Puritan New England. Is being a blogger like wearing a proverbial scarlet letter or being branded a witch?

I have blogged for I would say about 15 years at this point.  When I first started my blogging was 100% based in political activism. That was deliberate. I had discovered I had a few opinions on politics and things like eminent domain for private gain.

So 15 years ago I would have said o.k. I can understand the fear of knowing a blogger because well blogging was new. But today, in 2016? It’s more like who doesn’t have a blog or online journal?  Lordy people there is even a Friendship Blog  – seriously – it is written by a published off the Internet PhD named Irene S. Levine about friendships. The author welcomes you to her site thusly:

Friendships are among the most complex but meaningful relationships in our lives. These unique bonds often run deeper than family ties, and sometimes last longer than our relationships with spouses or lovers. Yet there are few agreed-upon ground rules or roadmaps…..Dramatic changes in the ways women live, work and communicate have made navigating the terrain of female friendships even more daunting. This website aims to help readers navigate the awkward misunderstandings and disappointments—as well as the long silences and distance—that often crops up among friends.

I read this website once in a while because it’s interesting and not sugary sweetly and fakely cloying.

I was surfing the site just now looking for pearls of wisdom about making new friends after a certain age and I found this post on this site by a blogger (shock and horrors) named Cathy Chester who writes on her own site called “An Empowered Spirit” :

First-Person: Friendship lessons after 50

……Friendships have always been an important part of my life. I tend to them like a cat to her kittens, nurturing each one as best as I can….

Over the years I’ve tried to learn the difference between friends and acquaintances. I’ve been bruised a few times because I’m sensitive and sentimental, and always try to see the best in people.

During adolescence everyone experiences disappointment of one kind or another. When you are an adult, does this continue to happen?

The difference between friends and acquaintances is this: Friends stand by you through good times and bad. Acquaintances keep you at an arms length, remaining casually friendly at a safe distance.

In my fifties, I am trying to better understand human nature, to learn more about people and why they act and behave the way they do….We all think friendships get easier during midlife, and in some ways they do. We are more self-assured, and less likely to tolerate bad behavior. Yet in other ways we are striving to find ourselves….

There may be people you meet and there’s an instant connection. You form a close bond, and if you’re lucky it lasts a lifetime. Hold on tight; this is worth nurturing.

Tend to them. It’s worth the effort.

There are those you meet for a time and, when life moves on, so do they….

It’s time to let go and move on.

There are those you meet, and for some unknown reason they never feel a connection to you……The situation will never change.

Move on. It was never meant to be….

I am no authority on friendship. I am not a relationship expert, nor am I perfect in any way. But I know what I know from years of trying to be all things to all people as a child. As an adult, and after many disappointments, I’ve become more protective of my heart. And I’ve become truer to myself.

I love my friends, I’ve let go of past ones, and I thoroughly enjoy my new ones.


O.k. wow. Talk about someone just sort of reaching me where I am feeling today. I am going to pay more attention to An Empowered Spirit and Cathy Chester.

It’s funny but when this crap happens in life, you feel like you are experiencing it all alone.  But thanks to my actual friends and other bloggers in my age group no less I can put this into perspective. And jettison what happened to the invisible list  yet lengthy list of life experience.godey9-1861

But the whole thing about you can’t be friends with a blogger? What is that about? Blogging is something I do, it has never defined who I am. It’s a creative outlet for my voice, my writing, my photography.

And somehow I don’t think that is a bad thing. For the most part, I am happy to walk at the beat of my own drummer.  Now sometimes I doubt all that and wish I could be more like a lot of women my age.  Until I don’t.  Today was one of those times.  I realized the…well limitations of being limited in perspective.

Am I angry? No, but offended, yes.  It will pass and writing about it helps it dissipate in a game of mental catch and release.

In an era when women are corporate leaders and heads of state what does it do to the sisterhood metaphorically when you tell someone you really can’t be friends with them because they are a blogger? Oy vey.   I guess to some blogging is like a communicable disease. That is kind of funny if you think about it. Or sad.

Oh well!

Live and learn and let go. (And my post title just came to me as I predicted it would!)

Thanks for stopping by.


Been down one time
Been down two times
I’m never going back again

You don’t know what it means to win
Come down and see me again

~ Fleetwood Mac


P.S. If you want to read a really funny blog post  check out  What Not to Wear After Age 50: The Final Say by Michelle Combs.




carpe diem west vincent residents

Keep-Calm-and-Vote-Full-sizeWest Vincent residents your township is at a crucial juncture. No other way to put it.

Do I live in West Vincent? No. Would I have considered living in West Vincent ever? The answer is yes, until the failed eminent domain for private gain attempt against the horse show. West Vincent has a lot of beauty to it, but some of the residents provide a lot of ugliness which is indeed a shame.

No municipality is perfect and neither are politicians. But there is a big difference in basic human frailties, and politicians who inspire people to do harm to others. A candidate who so inspires is not whom anyone should want even for trash collector or dog catcher.

Ken Miller has had decades plural as a supervisor. Maybe when he started out he had the township best interests at heart but year after year, that path has muddied to the dead end of …..Ken Miller is for Ken Miller.

He inspires individuals to hurt others. You never hear from HIM, you only hear from THEM.   They go out on their mission and attack anyone and everyone who gets in his and their way.  I know as they have tried it with me (and still are). Unfortunately for them I see them for what they are: mean, petty, angry gossips, and somewhat silly.

Astoundingly it has been reported that a few of them apparently made a trip to the Daily Local to try to place an article about how their candidate is being maligned? Seriously? While they harass people inside West Vincent and outside of  West Vincent, vandalize private property, steal lawn signs like 12 year olds, and try to put people out of business for having the unbelievable (to them) gall of wanting better government representation?

Ken Miller’s minions have spent thousands and thousands of dollars to try to keep him in office. Who has what on whom? We may never know, but they definitely have a stake in the game, wouldn’t you say?

Like attracts like, and people who are mean as spit with slavish devotion to a local politician? Come on now, how much more obvious can you get?

Ken Miller is a great example of why there should be term limits in local government. Fresh faces and reasonable ideals are not a bad thing. West Vincent desperately needs more of that.  If he had only been in office one term, well hey, a second term is reasonable. But now it is more like Tammany Hall than a township, and that is not good.

Then there is the undisputable fact that Mr. Miller is not well, shall we say, fiscally responsible? So much about his finances are on the public record and that isn’t made up is it? And West Vincent pays his benefits, a retirement plan, and a roadmaster’s salary as well, correct?  Wouldn’t you like a supervisor who is just a supervisor and not looking to make a buck constantly off the hardworking backs of the taxpayer?

And no matter what political persuasion you are, don’t you want someone more fiscally responsible? And wouldn’t you like better roads?

Your township gets carved up by development more every year. Maybe, if developers weren’t so comfortable with a long entrenched supervisor, you might stand a chance for a little more balance?


His supporters like to tell you he’s fabulous for the environment and well can it be said  that the only organic thing about him might be the manure his cows produce? They talk about the Sierra Club, but as everyone knows, the Sierra Club endorsements are not so hard to get, are they? Wink wink here’s a donation, endorse my buddy, right? Environmental  non-profits that don’t endorse are the ones who actually do great things for communities.

And that Sierra Club endorsement labels him a Republican candidate seeking re-election. He is in fact the Democratic candidate because he was written in. That was the only way he could stay on the ballot after the spring primary.

I believe in political balance, but registered Democrats in West Vincent? Hello? You aren’t going to get a real Democrat in office who shares your ideals and values if you vote for him. He hasn’t changed his political party affiliation, so basically Miller is simply practicing the politics of opportunism. That doesn’t work so well in Washington, D.C. so why would you want in locally?

vote_3On Election Day I hope all of you will vote for Mike Schneider. He will serve you well if you do.

Change is hard. I get that. And people have gotten beaten down over the years by this current regime. But look at it this way, if our forefathers could cross a great ocean to start a new country and escape political and religious tyranny, you can retire Ken Miller on Election Day.

It’s that simple.

Stop the anger. Stop the tyranny. Stop the politics of opportunism and favoritism. Stop the mean people. Retire Ken Miller.

Carpe diem and God speed.