who NOT to vote for on great valley school district school board.

“She/It” maybe should be “Jack/Ass“?
Real person behind candidate’s smile?
If he can’t even refrain from vulgarity on his Facebook profile until somebody must’ve told him it was not good for his campaign why should
anyone vote for him?

Sigh…it’s a spring election coming up, but important nonetheless. These screenshots are of the candidates I would NOT be choosing to vote for.

Candidate 1: Alex Enderle just recently cleaned up his Facebook profile:

Cleaned up profile

And here’s his candidate’s flyer:

Read his priorities. Is he saying racism is a lie?

I. Can’t. Even.

I don’t know him I don’t want to know him. After the year we had in politics locally, countywide, statewide, nationwide? Oh hell no.

The other candidate I wouldn’t vote for? Candidate 2: Lauren Dicranian. She’s not out of college, she graduated from high school in 2019. Is she running on the green smoothie in every hand before class platform?

I have no problem with a youthful perspective, but with this candidate it’s also partially a question of life experience. She has none. I mean this is the school board and this is important. This isn’t running for a sorority related Pan-Hellenic council in college. It’s not running for student body president in high school. I mean let’s at least have someone who is out of school and working and gets the realities of living in the real world and not living off of their parents, OK?

Is the Republican Party playing a joke on voters and taxpayers? These two candidates would be better for an episode of Punk’d. (Just for the record? If these two candidates were Democrats I would have the same reaction. )

Thankfully these people are not in my area of Great Valley School District, so I don’t have to vote for them. If they do fall into your zone within the school district, I hope you will think twice.

Thanks for stopping by.

this is us….shipley class of 1981 on our 40th reunion

Forty years. Seems inconceivable. And Shipley 1981 was several lifetimes ago for a lot of us. Yet here we are.

We have lost three members of our class far too young. Alison Sweet Zieff (2010), Amy Beth Rowan (2020), Pam Post (2021). I will admit I felt each loss rather acutely because these were all amazing women. My husband says we are at “that age”, my mother reminded me today that out of her tiny high school class (around 23) there are literally only of a couple of people still here, including her, so we are very fortunate. There were I believe 75 in our class on graduation day.

Some people have evaporated into their own lives and aren’t connected to any of us in the Class of 1981, but our class is still amazingly still connected, and connected to men and women in classes above us and below us.

Our commencement speaker was Vartan Gregorian. Yes, that amazing man was a friend and classmate Raffi’s father. Vartan Gregorian passed away earlier this month. Which made my friend Anthony (who has been my friend since grade school!) sending me a scan of our commencement program even more special and bittersweet.

One of the things we did excerpts from that I had forgotten at commencement was selections from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself”. Damned if I can remember which parts (it’s huge and sprawling as a literary work), so here is a quote:

Song of Myself, 1 [I Celebrate myself]
Walt Whitman – 1819-1892

I Celebrate myself, and sing myself,

And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I loafe and invite my soul,
I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass
.

My tongue, every atom of my blood, form’d from this soil, this air,
Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their parents the same,
I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
Hoping to cease not till death.

Creeds and schools in abeyance,
Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
Nature without check with original energy.

Morning Has Broken was in the program as well, so here is a video:

Again…FORTY years? I still remember us, the way we were. And I have enjoyed every time we have gotten together for reunions. We have always had fun. Our friends in the Class of 1980 lost their reunion to COVID19 last year, and our reunion this year will be virtual. Some can’t make it, some won’t do zoom. But a bunch of us will be together after a fashion, and after the year plus of COVID19, I think this is important.

I am not going to pretend I am connected to our entire class, I never was when we were in high school. Like any other school there were groups and cliques. I kind of floated in between a few, but didn’t truly belong to any one group or clique in particular…mostly because I liked people from many groups. And I have never liked cliques which is kind of amusing as I was in a sorority in college.

This post / article is kind of like a love letter to my classmates and a school I loved very much back then, but not necessarily all throughout my life when I haven’t agreed with directions the school has taken. But that’s life, right?

I am grateful for the years I had there, and for my friends whom I still hold dear to this day. I am sorry we all can’t be together this reunion in person, but we will be together as we are able this time, and in the future we will be together in person once again.

I close with a snippet of this amazing video released by classmate Robb Armstrong (Syndicated Cartoonist of “Jump Start”, author, motivational speaker, all around good guy). Robb’s mother Dorothy Armstrong, was Shipley’s first black trustee. Sadly Robb and his family lost Dorothy to a horrible cancer 5 months after our graduation.

I will close with lyrics to a song that was sung when we were graduating. Not on graduation day, but at another ceremony involving our class:

From “Fame”: I Sing the Body Electric (Songwriters: Dean Pitchford / Michael Gore)

I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet come
I toast to my own reunion
When I become one with the sun
And I’ll look back on Venus
I’ll look back on Mars
And I’ll burn with the fire
Of ten million stars
And in time and in time
We will all be stars
I sing the body electric
I glory in the glow of rebirth
Creating my own tomorrow
When I shall embody the Earth
And I’ll serenade Venus
I’ll serenade Mars
And I’ll burn with the fire
Of ten million stars
And in time and in time
We will all be stars
Yeah (ooh)
Ooh, yeah
Yeah, yeah
We are the emperors now
And we are Czars
And in time and in time
We will all be stars
I sing the body electric
I celebrate the me yet come
I toast to my own reunion
(My own reunion)
When I become one with the sun
And I’ll look back on Venus (back on Venus)
I’ll look back on Mars (back on Mars)
And I’ll burn with the fire (burn with the fire)
Of ten million stars
And in time and in time (and in time)
And in time and in time (and in time)
And in time and in time (and in time)
We will all be stars

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

toxic masculinity or road rager?

Do you know who this driver is? I seriously almost hit 911 on my phone and I don’t talk on my phone, I don’t text on my phone, I don’t do anything on my phone when I’m driving other than listen to music.

I first encountered him when I was at the light on W. King Rd. waiting to turn left on Sproul. There is a left turn arrow, no right turn from across the King and 352/Sproul intersection.

When I approached the light it was red. Then it changed to green with the left turn green arrow. I had my signal on I started to proceed through the intersection. As I am proceeding through the intersection, this guy driving a Volvo wagon decides he’s going to not have a turn signal on, but he’s going to turn right as I’m turning left. So I beeped my horn.

I made it through the intersection and he immediately hopped on my tail so close there couldn’t have been 5 inches between his front bumper and my rear bumper. And he did this all the way down 352/Sproul including when I had to stop for a UPS truck and then there was a mail truck on the other side.

He did this bumper speed up kind of tailgate at me all the way down the road. I have never experienced in my life something to come so close to road rage, and it was kind of scary. (And I was thinking to myself is this what people call toxic masculinity?)

He pulled up alongside me when I was at the light at the bottom of the hill at 3252 facing the Linden Hall townhouses. He rolls down his window and told me “I needed to get a clue.”

I looked at him and I said “I don’t know what you’re talking about you have a no turn on red there and I was going through the intersection legally.” He then proceeded to curse me out and give me the finger so I took his photo. As I was taking his photo he told me “Here’s a photo for you!” and kept giving me the finger. There were some verbal expletives thrown in, and I’m not really sure what or in what order because I was just trying to keep my calm, truthfully.

When I first moved to Chester County, I don’t remember people being this way. It’s sad and scary that this kind of behavior is considered acceptable. This man could have harmed me, and almost did with his vehicle.

If I had gotten his license plate I would have gone straight to the police. As it was, I had to pull into a parking lot to stop shaking. I hope he treats his friends and family better than he treated me.

Be safe out there.

today was covid shot #2 day

Today it was back to West Chester and the Sturtzebecker Health Science Center. Yes, I just had my 2nd COVID shot.

Finally.

I feel like a weight is off of my shoulders. I know that sounds weird, but I was super nervous going to get the second shot. Now I feel relieved.

It was a much bigger area at West Chester than last time. Awesome nurses like last time. The girls signing me in (very young like college age) were kind of cranky. Probably because when they told me I “had” to give them my health insurance card so Chester County could bill my insurance company for some sort of fees, I said no.

I said no because although I have great health insurance, according to the federal government we do NOT have give ANYONE our health insurance card. So no thanks, because we all know whatever they bill health insurance companies for will come back to the insureds in some way. Sorry not sorry I pay enough now. The front desk gals did not like that “no” answer. But I don’t care as they didn’t even look at any of us as we came in. We were just part of the conveyer belt of life.

My nurse however was awesome and so were the rest of the people. These people are our heroes. This is hard work, every day, long hours, until it’s done. Right now my arm hurts and I have a bit of a headache, and achy joints, but other than that, so far so good.

Something I noticed around the Sturtzebecker Health Science Center today? People are just littering their parking lot with used masks. I wish I had had gloves with me as I would’ve picked them up and thrown them away. That bothers me because we are guests on that campus and they are nice enough to let us get our COVID19 shots there. So not cool.

It’s been a long week. A friend is gravely ill. One of the nicest people and getting my head wrapped around the fact I will never see them again is just hard. This is one of those people who is the shirt off of their back kind of people. And friends and family can’t do anything. No it’s not COVID related. It’s just surreal and it sucks.

Another friend lost her mother. Her mother had been ill for a very long time, but she was a lovely woman. And so beloved.

And while nice people like this won’t be with us much longer or have left us, there are nasty people who continue to roam the earth and it just makes you wonder why nice people are taken from us and those who are as mean as rattlesnakes survive?

Life is what we make of it. It always involves beginnings and endings. In the category of beginnings, another friend had a baby today. A beautiful baby girl.

Other friends are going traveling with no COVID shots. I think that’s nuts and I hope they are ok on their trip.

Beginnings and endings. And COVID shots. That’s all I have got today. Thanks for stopping by.

it’s about the mural

I have always been a big believer in mural arts projects because I think they are just so cool. Literally art in unexpected places.

We drove past this on our way home from my COVID shot #2. I think it’s beautiful and I will have to go back at some point with a regular camera to take better photos.

Thank you West Chester. With all the bleak and bleary of the last year, this was literally kind of joyful to see. And as a woman, the subject matter was awesome.

Happy Friday. (And yes, COVID shot #2 is less fun, but it’s done and I am distracting myself with things like this.)

spring has sprung at life’s patina!

One of my favorite things to do in Chester County is attend a Life’s Patina event. Meg Veno and her team of designing women have an amazing eye and flair for putting things together.

When you walk into the big barn, you are always greeted immediately by a lovely tableau in the center. You move from space to space within the barn which is two levels and quite large and your imagination just goes wild!

There is so much to see so many great ideas and every nook and cranny is filled with something you either know you need, you didn’t realize you needed but want, or would make a perfect gift for someone special in your life.

Spring event which started today with the preview my friend Amy and I attended this morning, was just lovely. After a long winter to go through those big barn doors into the magical scenes which unfolded for us every step we took, made even a gray and rainy day sunny!

Life’s Patina does NOT allow walk ins. You must have a reservation. Go to the Life’s Patina website to inquire about a time slot. I will warn you a lot of the slots are already sold out, but I am sure you can email to see if there is a wait list.

no devon horse show for 2021 either….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for stopping by.

life pondering

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why?

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

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

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

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

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

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

A little life pondering is good for the soul.

Have a good evening all.

often imitated, never replicated.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a great day out there!