let me keep it simple: NO MEGA WAREHOUSES ARE GOOD D.A.S.D!

Photo from Uwchlan Community Day
SPSF Group Photo

There are things within a community that happen where people can no longer sit idly by and say oh that’s too bad or I really should say something and say/do nothing. Saving Lionville Station Farm is one of these formative moments. This is a pivotal issue within the community, where they can no longer sit idly by.

I believe in the people trying to stop this mega warehouse monstrosity from coming to pass. For whatever it is worth, I support them. I know some of the people. I also had friends that used to live back there at one time who would be affected if they were still there.

I mean, can you literally imagine sitting in your beautiful backyard that you have worked so hard to earn, and your entire view shed is taken up by walls of giant warehouses as far as the eye can see, so large you can’t even take an adequate photo?

And along with this project, the whole right of homeowners to have an expectation of private enjoyment will go right out the window. 24 hours a day seven days a week truck after truck car after car in and out of this complex if it gets built? There will be no peace.

These are the projects that destroy communities. These are like the data centers. These are like the hydrogen hubs. These are the overly dense projects that developers bring into communities just like all the goddamn apartment buildings built on what was farmland that we really don’t need, but we’re getting anyway.

These are the projects that make you wonder what the hell the Chester County Planning Commission is doing, along with the County Commissioners? It also makes you wonder what the State Representatives and State Senators are doing for us in Harrisburg? Which is really kind of nothing on these issues.

A project like this shows you how woefullly outdated once again the Municipalities Planning Code is. The world has changed a lot since circa 1969 and the State Reps and State Senators are lazy because they have to enact an act of the state constitution to update this and they WON’T. You see it’s not that they CAN’T, they won’t.

This is why all of these bad overly dense development plans including but not limited to this Audubon plan in Uwchlan for mega warehouses on Lionville Station Farm need to be election issues every single election cycle until meaningful changes occur. This is truthfully an election issue on every level and it starts with the Downingtown Area School District School Board.

This is a standalone issue. And many supporters of the school board are trying to conflate this issue with others and that’s wrong. Truthfully this is essentially how everything gets stalled in Congress and the US Senate. Sometimes things can be their own issue and should be.

DASD has the ability during August to unwind the contract. That means they have the ability to stop mega warehouses.

This developer has developed other kinds of projects like Shannondell, which is a wonderful, senior living and life care facility. A project like that, for example, wouldn’t put more kids in the school district. And with an aging population, something like this is actually needed.


READ: https://savelsf.com/blog/f/lets-get-to-work



And while I am not, and never will support extremism and corresponding candidates for school board, but sadly if the DASD doesn’t stop the madness, they are going to lose the support of lots of people going forward. And that includes me.

With all the ugliness in this school district over the past few years, I have done my level best to support the path of right. For that, I have been verbally abused, harassed, harangued, doxxed, etc. This was for supporting the issues against the craziness of things like the anti-maskers/anti-vaxxers, anti-everything, Drag Queens reading to little kids and attending fundraisers, and more. I didn’t help to make myself money or anything like that, I helped because it was the right thing to do. But now I am asking for something in return. I am asking for them to withdraw from the contract with Audubon in August like they are legally able to!

I have gladly supported the issues of these people fighting to save their school district. It’s time for them to support the people in their community on this issue. Giant warehouses, hydrogen hubs, and data centers don’t help any resident anywhere. these are projects which suck up land and ruin communities.

A friend of mine described mega warehouses as being so huge it was like somebody put a tarp over the City of Philadelphia. We were having a conversation about their drive recently down to Washington DC and passing mega warehouses. They had wanted to take photos of the warehouses, but they were so big you couldn’t take like just one photo to even grasp the concept of size and scale. Or how terrifying the tractor trailers coming in and out of these places made the roadways.

I suspect some Downingtown school board directors/members didn’t understand why they were being sent the questionnaire and the pledge from SLSF. The conclusion probably is that they feel it has nothing to do with their job. Actually, it has everything to do with their jobs because they’re elected officials who are also part of a community and as a school board director/member you have an elected responsibility to do what’s best. And if you think giant warehouses are the best thing for your community then you don’t deserve to be in office. It is pretty much that simple to me. And it pains me to say that because some of these folks are just wonderful.

And I’m not accepting the general school board cop-out that their solicitor “doesn’t think it’s a good idea.” I mean for real, do you really think he cares about all of you and your issues? That guy is just all politics of a certain kind isn’t he?

So to the Downingtown school board people that I have supported all along, sadly this is where I have to draw a line in the sand. I want you all to succeed and truly keep your school board seats, but this issue of mega warehouses? You need to stop being pussies and step up and do the right thing. I’m tired of mincing words.

If you do not stop the mega warehouses while you have the opportunity and support the community that pays taxes to you, please don’t expect me to be giving your causes and issues a supportive platform going forward. I’m not saying I won’t be supportive, but what I am saying is I will no longer go out of my way to help. If you can’t help with this issue and stand up and be adults and do the right thing, why do you expect everybody else to support you all of the time?

And DASD, you aren’t the only elected official who is ignoring this. There are two sitting county commissioners running for reelection, and one empty suit, baby kisser running for the Republican minority seat, who also are ignoring this situation and this pledge/questionnaire

So all of you out there know I like the truth. I also learned interesting factual unvarnished truth today while digging in to write.

My research indicates and is validated that the guy named Duanne and the co-opt candidate “Professor” Bressi talk a really good game about SAVING LIONVILLE STATION FARM BUT HAVE NOT RETURNED A COMPLETED CANDIDATE QUESTIONNAIRE OR ACTUALLY SIGNED THE PLEDGE TO SAVE LIONVILLE STATION FARM!

To me that puts them in the category of liar, liar pants on fire. They are only trying to steal a campaign issue of residents of Chester County for their own political gain, which is why quite frankly I would throw their arses out of every social media group they belong to. If they meant what they said, they would sign the pledge and complete the questionnaire. Period. End of story.

If they are really interested in Saving Lionville Station Farm it would’ve been easy peeszy to complete the questionnaire and send it back in with a signed pledge.

BUT they HAVE NOT. So that is a very easy distinction for people to see why they shouldn’t vote for them for school board. These politicians are not doing things for people, only to further their own political gain. However, this is why it also looks really bad when the people who are in office haven’t signed the pledge. And that’s including two county commissioners up for reelection and not just the school board people.

I thought I would just point this out to all of you.

Here are all the politicians/candidates who have not signed the pledge, or completed the questionnaire:

Whether people like it or not stopping, mega warehouses has become a campaign issue for the fall of 2023. And it goes into the same bad category of pipelines, data centers, hydrogen, hubs, and too much goddamned development in general.

Politicians, this isn’t difficult. Working to stop mega warehouses will result in a plurality that will remember this on Election Day this fall. Ignoring the plurality on mega warehouses will most probably result in the demise of some candidates. It’s a simple fact of life sadly.

To the members of the Downingtown Are School District School Board, who are running for reelection and wish to keep their seats, ponder this carefully. This is literally your Waterloo. So y’all get to decide if you want to be Napoleon or The Duke of Wellington.

Rant over.

end of an era in ardmore

Thursday marked an end of an era officially when the Hunan name came off of the facade at 47 East Lancaster Ave. in Ardmore, PA.

At some point after Covid, one of my favorite places in the whole world, Hunan restaurant in Ardmore, closed their doors .

I had been going here since I was 11 or 12 and like everyone else I think the pandemic has just worn them out. It is no fun being a restaurant. First you couldn’t be open. Then you could only be takeout. Then you could re-open but a lot of places found their employees scattered.

The family that owned this restaurant (the Foos) are family friends to me and we had so many celebrations there, My sister and I used to have birthday parties there upstairs when we were younger, and so on. And for many years up until A couple of years before they closed, many of my birthdays were still at Hunan.

I was gladly part of the Save Ardmore Coalition when Ardmore was threatened by eminent domain for private gain, and it was specifically because of Hunan and the Foos I got involved in the first place. I still have a very distinct memory of the Friday evening. I went into Hunan for dinner, and Betty came up to our table and said with tears in her eyes “They want to take our building.” Betty then asked me to get involved with a new group that was forming, and I said yes.

I can tell you that living in Chester County sadly made this restaurant just far enough away for weekly visits, and Ardmore has the worst parking ever thanks to Lower Merion Township.

This family however prevailed through everything. And for 50 years they served us their food, some of the best food imaginable. I used to love when Chris their son and chef would let us order things he was trying out off the menu. This is a place where every time you went in the door it was one of the nicest vibes possible. Everyone was welcomed whether it was the first time or the 500th time they had been in.

From the time I was a kid, there was nothing more fun than introducing new people to Hunan restaurant in Ardmore.

Also, once upon a time, Betty taught cooking classes. My mother and I took one. It was awesome.

Dumplings. The dumplings here, whether they be regular, special like curry or something else were legendary and no one will ever beat Hunan in the dumpling department. And the sweet and sour soup was the best there is. And then all the other things like the dishes with duck, or dishes made with little tiny, fresh sardines, or really spicy, minced pork with peppers that were hot enough to make the roof of your mouth come off.

And something else you always had to have were the Chinese vegetables. It was what was seasonal at the time, and always delicious. In the vegetable department, the spicy string beans, and the hot and sweet cabbage, which was essentially pickled, were amazing.

I remember when we were in the restaurant on my birthday in 2014 when the actress Kate Flannery stopped by. She had worked in Hunan as a waitress when I was in high school or somewhere around that time.

Every time you went into Hunan, no matter where you had been, it was like coming home. And we were treated like family.

There are so many memories for me, associated with Hunan from all different stages of my life. And that is the way it was in this restaurant for so many.

The Foo family also survived a fire after surviving Lower Merion Township’s failed attempt at eminent domain for private gain.

If I back up to the days of eminent domain in Ardmore for a moment, we had most of our meetings on the second floor of Hunan. And Betty and E Ni always fed us. We even introduced Congressman James Sensenbrenner to Hunan once upon a time.

When we were fighting eminent domain for private game against Lower Merion Township, then US Congressman for the sixth district, Jim Gerlach, bought Congressman James Sensenbrenner to town.
Getting national attention on our
“local issue” that is still a national
problem really helped.

After eminent domain, and after the fire, Hunan rebuilt. An architect who was part of Save Ardmore Coalition helped them create an updated look. The updated Hunan was gorgeous and the walls for the most part we’re lined with Dr. Foo’s artwork.

It was July 2010 when they re-opened. And it was packed and beautiful. I still have photos so here I’ll share some:

So the sign coming off the building this is so much the end of an era. And it’s not just for those of us who loved this restaurant, it’s an end of an era in Ardmore as well because this was a business that stuck with this town through thick and thin, quite literally.

I know businesses can’t stay in a place forever. And I actually accept that, but this was a place that was just so special. So thank you to the Foo family for the memories and for feeding us for decades I hope whoever goes in here does well now that the building is sold.

Hunan was one of those places that even if you didn’t live in the area anymore, whenever you were in town, you would come back and go there. I secretly wish that they would create a cookbook. It wouldn’t be the same as eating there, but it would be something so worth having in a cookbook library in your home.

Thanks for stopping by.

in caln, they don’t believe in manners, just facebook bashing?

A few years ago, a friend of mine named Cheryl started a group page on Facebook about Caln. She called it Caln Watch. It was started because basically that township is run like Shady Dell Acres. (Yes I can indeed have that opinion.) Meetings weren’t being recorded regularly back then, etc. Lloyd Farmhouse had been sold to a developer (who is still allowing that historically listed farmhouse rot.) Basically she tried to start a page that did right by her community.

But community on social media is not necessarily the people whom you wish to share a cup of coffee with and face it, people can and are as rude as F. My friend is in her 70s, widowed, and with a huge heart and a moral compass that actually always points to trying to do the right thing. So imagine how sad I was that people have been so terrible to her and rude that she felt she had to post this in her group:

Mark Walsh posted a complaint about this page. I cannot find it, but I am happy to respond. I suppose the key question about what content SHOULD be in Caln Watch depends upon two things, your definition of what Caln IS, and what that looks like here. When I think of Caln and this page, I think of it as essentially a local newspaper. Once upon a time, millions of years ago, I wrote for the Daily Local News. Not long, not important stuff, human interest stuff they sent me out to cover. I like that kind of thing. People liked what I wrote. Also once upon a time in Caln, there used to be FOUR relevant local papers. One in Coatesville, one in Downingtown, one that covered both, including Caln (Thorndale) and the Daily Local News. The only one left is the DLN and it’s pretty much useless. Those papers used to cover all kinds of things in our area. They actually had reporters who attended most of the township meetings and reported on them. ALL the townships locally and most meetings. Can you imagine that? They reported on local kids that won awards and sports teams. They reported on places of interest, restaurants, etc. And yes, they commented politically. I think that the loss of newspapers has affected all of us because, in truth, we know very little about the place we live and our neighbors. We are bombarded all the time in papers, on the TV, on the internet about state and national, and international news and things we can do nothing about. I do not believe that has helped our society and I believe it is the source of our distrust and hatred of each other.
So, why do I post what I do post? Well, I would love to have a nice staff of folks to send out to cover things and post more about our community. Things we don’t know about and we would love to know about. I am just one person. I am retired, so I have more time than most of you to try and figure out what is going on in Caln. I attend most Twp. meetings so I can tell you what YOUR government is up to. I welcome input from local businesses we can go to. I encourage all to post events for the same reason. I post those lost pets AND kids because we ARE a community that can come together to help. I post those lists of pasta, etc. because some of our people love to cook. Lists like those are hard to find. It’s not important stuff, but believe it or not, I get a lot of thanks for them.
So yes, indeed, Caln Watch is both wide and narrow. It is a reflection of my interests or what I can find to post and that may well not jibe with your interest. I get it. And yes, sometimes things get my goat and I post because I am angry or concerned about an issue. Think of it as the Editorial section. Editorials exist to make people think. Pro and Con. If it made you think, then it succeeded.
IF one day I win the lottery, which is highly unlikely since I rarely play, but IF it happened and I was one of those multi.. multi-million winners, one of the first things I would do is start a REAL newspaper for us. Online, but a real FREE newspaper with real reporters assigned to work for us. In the meantime, yes, indeed, this is a poor substitute for that. It’s the best I can do. It is not enough. It is too much. It is too biased. It is not biased enough. It’s good and it is bad.
We have grown to more than 4,000 members with more than 3,500 who regularly stop by to see what might be of interest. I will never be able to satisfy all of you. I cannot and no newspaper can. And I would LOVE to change the name of Caln Watch to something more like a newspaper…maybe The Caln Dispatch. Unfortunately, Facebook will not allow me to do that. So we are stuck with that.
Newspapers are living breathing things….with two sides.
As for me who produces this page….I have lived in Caln Township since July of 1978, coming up on my 45-year anniversary. I have raised 3 children here and 8 grandchildren. I will turn 77 years old in Dec. I have more years invested in Caln than most of you. Caln Watch is in a way, a gift to all of you. If you do not feel that way. If you hate what I write, well, don’t belong. But don’t throw rocks at each other or at me. Just say you don’t agree or don’t like it. I get that. I accept that. What I won’t accept is hatred and meanness. Be kind, even when you disagree. And yes, I could use a dose of that medicine myself sometimes. On the other hand, if you like some of what I post. If I have made you aware of something you didn’t know. If I have made you think, well then, that is all I can ask for.
As for YOU. I would love to see people post more about Caln. I am happy businesses post, but you have families. You have children who have gotten awards, play sports, do things. Post. There are anniversaries. Babies are born. Friends and family die. Post. You have interests, what are they? Post. The more YOU post, the less I will need to and that would be welcomed.
And so, this is my reply. And now there will be comments. And some will be mean no matter what. The world it seems, is too full of mean people.
With regards, Cheryl

~ Cheryl Spaulding 6/28/23 Caln Watch

Oh I get where she’s coming from. I get it. I get obnoxious comments like she experiences and occasionally threats. People seem to think that because they are a member of a group or on a page on Facebook they should be able to be as vile as they choose instead of scrolling past what doesn’t interest them or they don’t agree with. It always seems to escape these fine upstanding keyboard warriors that it isn’t their personal page or group, so they are essentially there because whomever runs it allows them. It is actually a guest relationship. Not a divine right of kings.

I found the comment she referenced. Facebook/Meta does make life difficult at times and even if you haven’t deleted a post as an administrator, sometimes their blasted algorithms make it difficult to find something even if you wrote it yourself.

So this spawned comments because with some it’s like a virtual car wreck and they can’t scroll by they have to verbally vomit:

I only shared a selection. You get the gist. So let’s talk about the other Caln group page. It’s also a closed group that I have no interest in, and here’s it’s premise:

Funny thing is this person seemingly started a group that has as it’s raison d’être to mock my friend Cheryl and call her a Karen, etc., yet guess what? There they are in the original group Caln Watch she started:

Cheryl is much nicer than I am, I would just remove them from everything . Apparently people complain about her administering her group how she feels is the best way is for her – you know because it’s her group page – and they complain and start a SECOND group because they can do it better yet they stay in her group? Alrighty then. Pretzel logic hooray!

(Gosh I bet these people just love NextDoor. But I digress.)

Now this second closed group page has a super fan:

A social media train wreck watching what they feel is a social media train wreck? Gosh. The drama. The spelling. The grammar police need to be phoned immediately!!!

But hey it’s a Facebook group. Misplaced senses of false entitlement with a distinct lack of awareness abound.

Here’s a thought: instead of being rude to a 70 something year old woman who always tries to do right by her community, just don’t belong to the group, don’t follow the group. It’s not your group, it’s hers. Are you all following?

When we are in someone else’s group public or private, it’s not ours, it’s THEIRS. It’s the same with pages. The admins/creators control the content, they add and delete whatever they so choose. We are all just guests. Guess what? Cheryl is my friend and I don’t agree with everything she posts but I don’t take it as a personal affront because it’s HER group page. I can just scroll by.

Why am I commenting about this and writing about it? Because I find it appalling the way people act on Facebook and this is a great example. Pennsyltucky is as Pennsyltucky does.

Cheryl Spaulding should be thanked for all she does for her community and all she and her husband did together. If you don’t like her group, actually leave it. But show some respect. She’s earned it.

Ok over and out for this latest social media manners tour and Facebook behavior mocking.

oh just rambling…about roosters

Apparently ROOSTERS were conducting this morning’s crazy train in Chester County. You know, I probably WASN’T going to talk about ROOSTERS in Willistown AGAIN, until the Rooster Mommy left a comment on this blog this morning identifying herself, and opening the door to further discussion and opinions. I had not identified her previously as a courtesy, even if I kept receiving lovely (yes I am being sarcastic) messages from her friends since I wrote the first post. But she outed herself name and all, so in the effort to be accurate I am going to show you dear readers the clucking (you may have to click on the screenshot in order to read it):

Comment received 2 hours ago which would be approximately 7:20 A.M. today

So this is “Mr. Roo’s” owner. She is a realtor given her email. I don’t know, maybe some clients would like a rooster as a closing gift? (Just asking for a couple of friends on her street.)

Here is what she said when she wrote to the blog this morning in case you can’t see the screenshot. I will note it is copied exactly the way it was written so here you go rooster fans:

Time to start the day with a few facts – and not just ramblings.
1. When Mr ROO was rescued, he was disoriented and unfamiliar with his
territory and crowed early. He has since started around 6:45 – and is a “country alarm clock” for almost all of us that can hear him. He can’t crow non stop- it’s a 2 second crow, and another but not non stop. The rooster has been doing this since the start of the world.
2. When the person was bothered – instead of calling the owner, they called the police – as “anonymous” so the owner thought it was the original complainer from years ago who was trying to get her land to build another Mc Chateau. Then the person being bothered went to social media – who not only didn’t have their facts right about the situation, but they blasted the fine police and people of Willistown. So to answer your question – who needs attention? I may be old school, but what happened to calling someone and discussing ways to make things better?
3. The Rooster is put in his little barn every nite. The owner of MR ROO has done many things to muffle the crow- like stuffing towels in the window cracks, covering the door with a towel and 2 comforters, and is looking into other ideas.
4. You don’t live in Willistown – we do !
For reasons like we can grow our own food and flowers, crack an egg for breakfast and share eggs with people who care about what’s in their food. @ 35% of this area is under some kind of conservation easement, deed restriction, or parkland. You all come here to enjoy our views and walk our trails. And another fact – There are many levels of “residential” neighborhoods. The area where this rooster is on is almost 3 acres, has a 14 acre property, 8+ acre property and 10+ acre property in a stones throw. The rooster is not free ranging and right outside her window. Do you want to know how far away her window is? The only person complaining may be having trouble sleeping because of other problems in their life, and may need to evaluate the real cause of not being able to sleep? As I write this at 7:30 am, I can hear chain saws and leaf blowers, but was awakened by just birds loudly chirping – Long before the rooster crowed to announce the start of a new day.
Could I close my window- sure, but then I would miss the best part of the day – for me- When the phone is not ringing and people don’t need my help ….
A cup of coffee, a rooster crow – starts my day the best way.

Mr. Roo’s Owner
No website

Hmmmm facts…. facts like what happened the LAST time she had a rooster? And isn’t 6:45 AM still too early according to most noise ordinances?

Oh and this:

Facts are important, I agree. So if you call someone on June 9, 2023 and it’s now June 22, 2023 and rooster is still LOUD A.F., is that being a good neighbor?

Since facts are important, I offer up the rooster confessional shared with permission from “person” being woken up:

Facts include the public comment at the most recent Board of Supervisors meeting about Mr. Roo:

So Mr. Roo has his “own little barn?” And regarding like “like stuffing towels in the window cracks, covering the door with a towel and 2 comforters, and is looking into other ideas.” So many mental pictures there, so many.

Ok first there is that visual of towels and blankets. Sorry not sorry but that sounds like the Clampetts thought that up? And I have checked with people who live on LARGER properties who do own roosters. Some have essentially like extra large dog crates for them inside their barns that they cover with a thin breathable cover that blocks the light much like people do with parrots etcetera to tell them it’s time for sleep. And if “Mr. Roo” is crowing THAT loud through “his own little barn” with the Clampett arrangement of comforters (are they Laura Ashley so he at least looks at little flowers?) and what is the thread count on the towel, maybe Mr. Roo is just complaining about the linen choices? Maybe try blackout shades or rehoming the rooster like you indicated you would in your voicemail message?

And in your message (recording above), you reference wanting to be “a good neighbor” or something along those lines, yet you say something this morning that is a little less than nice? This:

The only person complaining may be having trouble sleeping because of other problems in their life, and may need to evaluate the real cause of not being able to sleep?

~Mr. Roo’s Mommy 6/22/23

Wow just wow. That’s really being a good neighbor, huh? Clap, clap for 10 on the Bitch-O-Meter, right?

So if said rooster is being put inside (although no one can actually see that or they would be trespassing) and if Mr. Rooster is still being loud enough to wake your neighbors, your chickens, your goats and your donkeys, what does THAT tell you, Rooster Mommy? That your neighbors must all be horrible people? So because a rooster keeps waking up any neighbors THIS time around, they have problems in their life? Really? Wow. Are you so perfect?

Facts from last time:

I will remind everyone that Rooster Mommy opened this door by identifying herself by leaving a comment. I have not said her name personally, I only identify her as Rooster Mommy.

Roostergate 2 continues yet, I am a bad person for commenting about it? And wait, my favorite next to the bucolic marketing spin about fresh eggs (which of course begs the comment of wow that is some rooster if they can lay an egg), is that I don’t live in Willistown. Well Rooster Mommy thank sweet baby Jesus for that because there is something in the water and y’all didn’t even sell the sewer. You know what draws people’s attention to Willistown? How about how nasty people can be to their neighbors?

And oh yes the condescending talking down to me is so special and I feel so loved:

You all come here to enjoy our views and walk our trails.

~ Rooster Mommy 6/22/23

Oh my gosh can I carry your parasol too? Lady, I come to Willistown to visit my friends. And you would be surprised to know whom I know besides your two neighbors who would prefer your rooster NOT CROW SO DAMN EARLY EVERY SINGLE DAY. They let me into polite society and into Willistown shocking as that might seem to you. I get it I am a peon, a peasant. Whatever. That’s pretty funny actually.

Shared with permission from “person” being woken up

You say:

The area where this rooster is on is almost 3 acres, has a 14 acre property, 8+ acre property and 10+ acre property in a stones throw. The rooster is not free ranging and right outside her window.

~Rooster mommy 6/22/23

But you aren’t on 3 acres are you and what does that have to do with the proverbial price of eggs? How much pasture do all of your animals have? How many animals do you have? I don’t really care and I like goats and chickens, just curious. And while you have larger properties a stone’s throw away (you dropped your apostrophe by the way), you aren’t disturbing them because they have larger properties. That’s the point you seem to be missing.

2. When the person was bothered – instead of calling the owner, they called the police – as “anonymous” so the owner thought it was the original complainer from years ago who was trying to get her land to build another Mc Chateau. Then the person being bothered went to social media – who not only didn’t have their facts right about the situation, but they blasted the fine police and people of Willistown.

~ rooster mommy 6/22/23

After the last time Rooster Mommy had a rooster and the kerfuffle that ensued, can you blame “person” for just calling the police? Sadly since it’s Rooster Groundhog Day over on your street maybe they felt there was no option? And given the tone of this comment towards a woman who yes is a friend well hmmm I don’t know?

Also when you call the police you are not anonymous. They take down your name and address and phone number. When the police come out to address a situation like this they are trying to de-escalate and find a solution, so perhaps they just didn’t feel they had to tell you her name at that juncturet?

Not to put too fine a point on it I was on the Zoom side of the recent Board of Supervisors Meeting and heard public comment. Your neighbor neither blasted the police or people in Willistown. She calmly discussed what she felt were the issues, and even Willistown will tell you this is not the only poultry issue cropping up. AND SHE THANKED THE POLICE.

And I am amused that you view me as all of social media. This is a topic that interests me and and I followed Roostergate 1 but didn’t say much, but well, since it’s Roostergate Groundhog Day and the issues is also in other places of the same township, I am following this. There is no crime in that and again, my opinion is roosters belong on farms.

Well I could go on, but I have things to do, so let’s move along with this next part of your comment (I want to ensure you feel “heard”):

Could I close my window- sure, but then I would miss the best part of the day – for me- When the phone is not ringing and people don’t need my help ….
A cup of coffee, a rooster crow – starts my day the best way.

~ rooster mommy 6/22/23

I get it, I get it, I am a horrible, terrible person in your eyes because I think roosters belong on actual farms. And while you don’t like my opinions, I am entitled to them. Even if I do not live in Willistown.

Your email indicates you are a realtor, and I looked you up but won’t mention your firm, but let’s look at it from a realtor selling a property. If you were selling a house next door to yours how would you make a prospective buyer, purchasing a house in a residential neighborhood, see your property? As a realtor when people want a suburban vibe, does that fit it? And would you tell them about that Air B-n-B that is supposedly there on your street? If you had identified your property as being larger than not quite 3 acres, honestly I wouldn’t have even written about the rooster most likely. But my opinion is you are asking a lot of your neighbors.

I will go further and point out that your personal Waterloo over keeping roosters when you already went through this once is WHY keeping chickens gets a bad rap in many municipalities which I think is a shame because again, I like chickens and find their laying songs both happy and oddly soothing. But this whole thing? It will eventually cause Willistown to stop being an ostrich and enact an ordinance over chickens and such, which may not be to the liking of a lot of people in your township. And maybe you can’t hear your rooster over your phone ringing all of the time with people asking for help, but what about those neighbors you want to be a good neighbor to? Don’t they matter at all?

Lots of people around me have chickens, they are lovely animals. Lots of my friends have chickens, goats, horses, cows. But anyone I have even known that has had a rooster has had them on actual FARMS, and the properties are 5 acres or more….and the roosters are kept inside the barn and do not crow until let out into their runs or whatever in the morning.

Here’s a thought: you could just be a grown up and rehome the latest rooster to an actual farm and visit it. If you really want to be a good neighbor, that is. I mean why put yourself through all of this again? But hey, just my “rambling” thoughts and opinions, right? In the meantime, cluck off sister and have a wonderful day, bless your heart.


my aunt connie was a stepmother too

My Aunt Connie showing the suits at PGW in Philadelphia a new hot water heater circa 1953.

Being a stepmother is not for sissies. I have been one for quite a bunch of years at this point.

Being a stepmother means that you literally step into a role of being the mother figure to a child or children who you did not give birth to. You married their father. You are a parent yet you don’t parent because you aren’t their mother, although you are a parental figure.

It’s a tightrope at times. Wonderful. Rewarding. Sometimes magical. Sometimes frustrating. You have, as a stepmother, a biological disconnect. So there are things that might not be a big deal to a biological parent that will totally get to you.

I realized the other day when my cousin Kevin posted he had seen some of his mom’s family that his mother was the first stepmother I ever knew. His mom was my Aunt Connie. She was my Uncle Jack’s second wife. His first wife Millie died of an aneurysm when two of my cousins were very little.

Aunt Connie was the first stepmother I ever knew except to me she was just my aunt. And she also had a stepmother because I learned through Ancestry research that her birth mother died when she was two from tuberculosis.

After her mother died, Aunt Connie’s father remarried, and she gained a stepmother. Then, a few years after that her father, who was a Polish immigrant and a relatively young man in his early 30s, died of sudden heart failure as per my research. So then her stepmother remarried, and she then had a stepfather. That also meant siblings from every marriage.

That is a lot of crazy change for a kid, during a time when change like that was I imagine, rather hard. My Aunt Connie helped take care of her stepsiblings, because both parents worked. And when she started working on her own until she married my uncle, my cousin said she was expected to hand every paycheck over to her stepmother. She went from that situation to becoming the stepmother of a 9 year old girl and a 19 month old baby boy.

As an adult, now, well into middle-age, having been a stepmother for a bunch of years now I am truthfully in awe, of what my aunt did. I actually can’t imagine doing that. That’s a lot of love to give to be able to do that.

I remember when I was little that, my cousin Suzy had frequent flyer miles on my parents’ sofa. Her relationship with her stepmother, my Aunt Connie, was tempestuous at times. When she married the first time the wedding was at our parish church and reception was at our house.

I do not pretend to know, or to have understood the intricacies of the relationship between my two cousins from my uncle’s first marriage and their stepmother. I don’t really know what it was like for any of them. I do remember that the relationship settled out when my cousin Suzy became an adult and had her own children. Then I remember going to my cousin Suzy‘s house on the weekends and often my aunt and uncle would be there.

But now, as an adult, being a stepmother, I know that it couldn’t have been easy a lot of the time for my Aunt Connie. And my two cousins from my uncle’s first marriage, lost their mom when they were really little due to a tragedy so it was hard for them too. It’s not like today, where there are resources to help create and foster the growth of blended families. And grief counseling.

I remember my mother was crazy about her brother’s first wife. Almost seemed to idolize her. And I never realized until I was doing this Ancestry research that when my uncle and his first wife were married, they lived with my mother and her parents. So they were all really close then, I guess. Of course, what I never remember growing up is ever seeing any of the family of my cousin Suzy’s birth mother Millie. It’s like they kind of disappeared after their daughter died.

Things I remember about my Aunt Connie was her laugh, and she had a great smile. She was also a very talented crafter. She taught me how to make paper flowers out of tissue paper when I was little. And things like paper chains for Christmas trees. I also remember when everybody was making those ceramic Christmas trees with the little lights she made and gave us one. I love those trees. I don’t know whatever happened to ours.

I’ve actually learned more about my Aunt Connie as an adult from my cousin Kevin, and from Ancestry. I didn’t see her a lot as a child. We lived in different areas, so it was holidays mostly. As a child I was also quasi oblivious to the relationships between all of the adults.

But now that I am an adult, I am thinking about what it was like for my aunt to be a stepmother in a time when stepparents weren’t really supported, especially if they were women. You got married, sometimes you worked, sometimes you stayed home, you took care of the kids from the first marriage, and then you may or may not have had your own children in addition . But nobody talked about creating a blended family or what it was like.

Being in a blended family does take work. And it’s not simple. I can tell you there have been moments of incredible self-doubt and panic on my part wondering if I could do it, if I could even be a stepmother. I wonder if my aunt had those moments in a time where she probably wouldn’t have told anyone she was having those thoughts even if she had them.

A big difference between the two of us is I married later in life and was unable to have children. She married my uncle the day after her 29th birthday. The next photo is her wedding photo with my uncle that my cousin Kevin gave me to use. She was a beautiful bride and they looked so happy.

I wonder if she was still alive what she would have said about being a stepmother starting in 1960?

Anyway, just some food for thought and a little grist for the writing mill. And many thanks for my cousin Kevin for letting me pepper him with questions and ask him for photos.

Thanks for stopping by.

beach kid memories

A sandcastle friend and I.

Down the shore, going to the beach. The Philadelphia Inquirer did a story on people’s memories. The article made me smile and think back to the little kid years.

Philadelphia Inquirer:

July 4 celebrations, nine kids in a car, cycling in Cape May. Readers reminisce on their trips down the Shore.

To kick off Memorial Day weekend, our reporters delved into all things Jersey Shore — from favorite beaches to the best spots for food, drinks, and more. But the story of the Shore wouldn’t be complete without the voices of the people who filled their beaches and boardwalks. After we put out the call for readers’ recollections of summers at the Jersey Shore, dozens of tales landed in our inbox. From idyllic childhood scenes to fighting misperceptions of the area, everyone has something that symbolizes this amazing season.

Here’s a sampling of just some of the memories and photos submitted by Inquirer readers. Some have been edited for length and clarity. We plan to publish more this summer.

There are so many memories from the little kid stage. First down in the gardens in Ocean City when my sister and I were really little. Bike parades with patriotic colored streamers in the spokes.

My sister at like 3 making bowls of blueberries for everyone by putting each blueberry one at a time in each bowl. And counting each blueberry.

One of my Ocean City friends.
The red VW bug was my father’s car.

Getting fake yellow patent leather shoes with white daisies on them on the Ocean City boardwalk and then getting the the worst blisters ever. Getting my first pair of moccasins on the boardwalk for learning to speak softly. Being threatened with wearing “dungarees” if I kept messing up clothes or whatever it was that I was doing that was annoying.

Riding the super cool carousel on the Ocean City boardwalk but not really being big enough to grab a brass ring. The Ferris Wheel that gave you a view of everything and the mingled smells of cotton candy, popcorn, and boardwalk pizza.

Making sandcastles on the beach. Constantly skinning my knees. The day my sister decided to wander away on the beach when she was really little and the scary feeling of not knowing where she was and feeling like it was forever until they found her. And she really wandered a fair distance I remember.

Fireworks as big as the sky. Sparklers on July 4th.

Bike riding around the Gardens in
Ocean City with my father.

Then there were the Avalon years, of which there were many. Going with my father to the bakery on Dune Drive that was like down from the Princeton on OTHER side of Dune Drive for cinnamon buns and those puffy cream donuts all dusted in powdered sugar. There is just something about the smell of an old school bakery combined with the smells of the beach in the morning.

Swimming with our father out to sandbars and body surfing to shore.

The annual posing for photos in front of the lifeguard boat in matching swimsuits which I hated more than the matching dresses.

The year my mother put peroxide on our hair before we went in the sun and we were strictly instructed to tell daddy she only used lemon juice.

Going to church and liking the little old church better than the new church and it’s ugly auditorium design. Overall wishing we didn’t have to go to church in the summer.

Being bored to tears being dragged to Hassis so my father could go clothes shopping.

The Paper Peddler for books and the occasional Mad Magazine.

Remembering when one of my father’s single or divorced friends came to visit and they wanted to go to The Rocking Chair. My mother stayed with us and the guys went out.

The old Avalon Library on a rainy day. Cool and damp, it smelled like sand and mildew.

Flying kites on the beach. I loved kites!

Going to buy penny candy at the little general store that was around 7th street with a whole dollar each! A friend of my mom’s friends named Weezie handed us each a dollar with one hand, her cigarette in the other hand, and told us to “go blow our minds.”

Kite flying

I also remember the old movie theatre on the pier in Avalon. When the waves and surf got rough enough, I swear you could feel the building sway, only it didn’t freak you out, it was oddly comforting.

Right where the theatre was, there was also an arcade. The arcade had Skee Ball, which I still love. After you would collect all your tickets from playing, you could buy endless kitschy salt and pepper, shakers and bobble heads. I liked the Bobblehead cats and dogs. And I remember things like salt and pepper shakers that look like lightbulbs. It was so much fun!

Summer community theatre. Someone we knew was in Peter Pan and was flown across the stage on wires.

At night then, Avalon was pretty quiet. Dark skies, the sounds of crickets and kids. Brilliant, marvelous starry skies.

I hated the matching swimsuits and these photos. I remember especially disliking this swimsuit pattern. But it was easier to find us on the beach. My mother wasn’t a go into the ocean and get her hair wet person.

And then I have other memories like visiting family friends who owned Woodrow Wilson’s cabin on 13th St. in Avalon. It had a fireplace and was one of my favorite places even in the winter. In the summer, these friends would have cookouts, and the kids would run around and do stuff, and the parents would sit out back on lawn chairs and beach chairs surrounded by planted clumps of bamboo threatening to take over. When dusk and evening would fall, I remember the times we would all trek to the beach and watch the stars. And also do things like climb the lifeguard stands. All of the adults and all of the kids. It was an adventure!

Other memories like playing in the dunes when they were really high dunes. And I also have a magical kid memory of being somewhere around 8th street or 10th street or wherever and watching little hatched sea turtles swish their way down the sand into the sea. I wonder if any sea turtles nest there anymore because Avalon is so over developed at this point.

Then there are other random memories like watching moon landings on a little tiny black-and-white TV at the beach, and watching Nixon get impeached and leaving Washington DC.

Funny memories like going to a pancake house in Avalon with my mother, my sister, father, and their friends and their kids. I don’t think it was Uncle Bill’s, I remember another pancake place. It was Aunt somebody, Aunt Maggie’s maybe? Anyway, we were seated half banquette seating, half chairs with tables all put together. We were on the banquette side. My mother threw her head back to laugh at something, and her hair caught in the plastic plants in the little divider wall that the banquette seating was up against. When she went to move her head and untangle her hair, it created a chain reaction of plastic plants, being lifted out of their containers on top of the banquette. It was hysterical.

I loved the dunes! This was sound 9th or 10th street in Avalon. I wore that smiley face t-shirt until the decal came off.

When I was little, I loved the beach. But it was a lot different then. We started out in the gardens in Ocean City, but my parents had friends with homes in Avalon and Stone Harbor and there was a lot more space there when we were little, so that’s how we ended up there. As these beach towns have gotten built up, even the spit that Strathmere is, I have stopped wanting to go there. I still love Cape May but that’s basically for the Victorian architecture that so gloriously preserved. I don’t like how built up everything has become.

But when I saw the article in the Inquirer it just made me think. It even made me think of the little kid activities in the evening like catching the little toads that you would see hopping around and putting them in a bucket and then letting them go. And catching fireflies in a jar. Marshmallows on a stick. Hula hoops, flashlight tag. Transistor radios. Being super bummed when we crossed over the Ben Franklin bridge and were back in Philadelphia.

So many fun memories.

Happy Memorial Day weekend.

dear willistown, if someone dumped strange chemicals on my property, can guarantee happiness wouldn’t abound

So does anyone recognize that broad side of a barn or the logo on that tractor thing?

Well, apparently, if it’s something weird that will happen, it will happen in Willistown Township.

A friend has come to me asking if I recognized anything about this tractor like the logo and she knows it’s grainy because it’s from a security camera. Here is the tiny video. The video was taken May 3, 2023 at 9:50 AM. This video was taken on their property on Creek Road. They think that this vehicle came from Wildwood Drive.

The homeowners here were not home. They were out of town. They had not contracted with anyone for any sort of work on the property. And as far as they have been able to ascertain neither have their neighbors.

They went to the Willistown Police Department via phone because they were out of town when the security camera went off. They filed a police report right then, but right or wrong, recounted to me that they didn’t feel taken seriously, or the person taking the report didn’t understand how bad this could actually be.

Not only was their lawn completely turfed, and I have photos to post next, there is this smell emanating from where whoever this was dumped whatever it was and people need to know what the chemicals are! And yes the smell is still there! And it’s now days later!!

Now my friend does appreciate that Willistown sent an officer to check it out, however, this is something that is kind of a big deal potentially. Like many of us they are on a well. Like many of us, they have pets that could be potentially fatally sickened from whatever was tossed on their property. The officer who responded did not seem to get out of their vehicle?

This dumping event is SO not OK. Not only does this person not know what chemicals were dumped, but whoever the company is and employee totally ruined her lawn. She and her husband feel utterly VIOLATED and environmentally conscious Willistown Township needs to get on the stick here.

If you have any information, leave a comment, and or message any other kind of proof to this blog’s Facebook page. I will pass it along to the homeowner. If you saw the truck carrying this weird little tractor thing and Bubba in his big blue suit, also helpful information.

Illegal dumping is actually a crime. And this counts is illegal because they didn’t authorize any work or anything.

If you are media, and you would like to be connected to this person, you can similarly contact me and I will pass your information along to them.

We have enough environmental hazards on a daily basis without some thing that is intentionally bad news like this.

UPDATE – following screenshots sent by a Nancy Drew doing sleuthing- not me FYI:

any fairy godmothers or godfathers out there who can pay it forward for the boys at church farm school so they can go to their very first prom?

Church Farm School is a wonderful institution. And it gives deserving boys a chance at education and opportunity that might not necessarily find them. So it’s not your average silver spoon private school.

Because they are not your average silver spoon private school, they don’t always get the opportunity to do things a lot of high schoolers get to do, like go to prom. Prom is a right of passage and this year for the first time, they have been invited by a sister school to come to prom.

Prom wear is not int he average budget of a lot of these kids so when I saw a message posted on social media I knew I needed to pay it forward, because while there are tons of organizations to help girls get dressed for prom, they don’t exist for boys. Here’s the message:

Hi Malvern! Please delete if this is not permitted.

I work for Church Farm School, which is an all boys’ Boarding School grades 9-12 in Exton, PA. Our boys have pretty much never had a Prom before. This year we are excited to have been invited to our sister school’s Prom. So we have a group of juniors and seniors who are eager for the chance to attend. However, access to formalwear can be difficult for our student body. If anyone has suits or other formalwear that they would consider donating to our Clothes Closet or has coupons to formalwear stores/rentals, we would be so grateful for any assistance.

The prom is April 29th, 2023

Please email development@gocfs.net if you are willing to help out.

So how about it? Can you help? Even if you can sponsor a tux rental? Any formalwear businesses out there which could help last minute?

We want kids to all have these great experiences, so how about a little Cinderella magic here? They promise to get home at a reasonable pumpkin hour.

Do it for the boys.

Thanks for your consideration!

breaking up is hard to do…in willistown: aqua dumped before prom….

Dear Aqua, it’s me, Willistown. I’m sorry, but we’re breaking up. I have another prom date, the residents….

Well it’s over…for now. Willistown Supervisors actually voted unanimously to end the relationship with Aqua.

I have incomplete details, but I am told that there was an exit clause or sunset capability in the contract? The exit date was apparently today, expiring at midnight . The Board of Supervisors said they weren’t going to prom with Willistown just before 8 PM. It was further noted that some Aqua executive said something along the lines of Willistown needs to honor their contract which is confusing because wasn’t Willistown doing just that ?

Post from before the pre-prom break-up

People from New Garden and Norristown came to show solidarity with Willistown residents.

The following graphic is courtesy of New Garden resident, Bill Ferguson (KWA – Keep Water Affordable):

So oh what a night. That’s all I know. Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) is still in litigation against the PUC (Public Utility Commission). So although Willistown’s neighbor East Whiteland sold to Aqua, I am not sure that East Whiteland can use the proceeds until the litigation settles? I could be completely wrong, but I seem to remember something like that and also, it’s important to note that East Whiteland residents did not kick up a fuss about their sewer system selling to Aqua. As a matter of fact, sometimes you wondered if people had a pulse over this issue.

I have to wonder if Aqua will take this to court? The reason I wonder that is because Bucks County was a big kick in the teeth for them already. And just for gossip inquiries, someone also said that Willistown had their solicitor resign? Is that true?

This stopping the sale is quite the accomplishment on the part of the residents from Willistown and other communities.

Anyway, enjoy the following video snippets courtesy of Ginny Kerslake.

Please note that this is a developing story and I will have more video eventually. Stay tuned.

cool main line history: the harcum mile in bryn mawr.

If you love history, you will love the You Tube. It’s called the Harcum Mile. The video is the brain child of a life long friend, Margi Tucker De Temple. She is the wife of current Harcum President Jon Jay De Temple. Now I will tell you I think the reason Harcum still exists is because of Jon. He has worked hard to continue to bring the college through challenging times in education.

Anyway, yes, I know I have a personal connection to this, but it’s also because my family lived east of “The Harcum Mile”, in Haverford. My parents also knew Philip and Esther Klein, and my father was friendly with their son Arthur, who also at one time was head of the board a historic Jewish cemetery in Philadelphia across from Pennsylvania Hospital, Mikveh Israel. I think that is the oldest Jewish cemetery in this country. I have a memory of being a relatively small child and driving with my parents from the city to some kind of dedication at Harcum. I thought at first it was Klein Hall but I’m not sure. As I said to my friend Margi, because I was small I remembered it seemed like such a long car ride from Society Hill to Bryn Mawr.

This compilation of properties along Montgomery Avenue where Harcum is, are fascinating. Not all of the houses still exist today. And one of the reasons I love this little video is the discussion of a couple of my favorite architects of the latter part of the 19th century, Addison Hutton and the Price brothers (William Lightfoot Price and Frank Price, also known for their work in Wayne, PA and Rose Valley.) Addison Hutton of course is also known for Beechwood House in Bryn Mawr and out here in Chester County the architectural jewel, Loch Aerie, which you all know I adore.

I used to love walking my dogs up and down Montgomery Avenue. I would start in Haverford and sometimes I would go East well into Ardmore, but usually I would go west up to around Beechwood House or Ashbridge Park. I love the 19th century houses that you see along the way.

And of course I also went to Shipley, so this is literally where I have spent a lot of years walking around. Which is why I was thrill to find that Margi was doing this project. It started with a lecture that I couldn’t get down to Bryn Mawr for and then she told me she was doing a video. This is that video. Selfishly I think she should do a series of videos because this was so great and it has all the components I love: the history of an area, the history of the homes, the history of the inhabitants. This is a great video!

A special note about how the Main Line got it’s name and where it ends, Paoli. I love that this is in this video, historically accurate.

For more on the history of Harcum College you can visit their website. CLICK HERE.

For more on the history of Bryn Mawr, Bryn Mawr College is a tremendous resource. For one example of this, CLICK HERE.

Enjoy the sun after yesterday! Thanks for stopping by.