I have been trying to give these Yuletide at Devon people the benefit of the doubt. Even sent potential sponsor people and others their way. But then on top of the fee just to walk in the gate, I next heard about the parking prices.
Sorry not sorry, my inner Scrooge came out at the parking prices on top of the walk in the gate prices without so much as a complimentary candy cane? Ummm?
And then there was the whole “press preview” because that cracks me up. Influencers, and more benign mommy bloggers were invited. I am laughing because my invitation must have gotten lost, yes? But then again, I don’t ask for or expect freebies, do I? But hey some Russian and India based bot tweeters have it on “X” so I guess that matters?
I have never been an it girl (or needed to be), nor am I an influencer or an overly socially ambitious “therapist” who wants to be an influencer, I just love Christmas and offer an honest opinion.
But my honest opinion after mulling it over is that for $35 just to walk in the door, not including parking or anything else unless you want to ride kiddie rides? I’ve made the decision to skip it. I am not saying don’t go, I am saying for me it’s a shiny Christmas bauble without the necessary luster.
If Yuletide at Devon had decided to offer to donate a portion of proceeds back to a local nonprofit even on just select days, as in doing something that would help people during the holiday season, I probably would have bought a ticket in the end. But what their event is messaging to people in my opinion is Christmas magic at a cost that a lot can’t afford. So sadly, I think for its inaugural year I am giving it a pass. Also the reviews have been quite mixed and everyone has said it’s too expensive.
Christmas should indeed be magical but maybe not another gaping dividing line between haves and have nots. What would Charles Dickens think? I am thinking he might think we need a modern Christmas Carol or something, truthfully.
So what events will I attend that I was delighted to buy tickets to because of a non-profit component? Keep reading….and first two other great giving ideas….
One of my other just giving for good picks this year is Plaid Pajama Project.
See below for 3 amazing event picks. I also have heard of another fun shopping event near Christkindlmarkt in Bethlehem but I don’t know details yet. And I will also tell you that all of my picks for vintage and antique things that I love remain true at Christmas:
Now… here are my three picks for fun holiday events with a shopping component to attend in the area:
Holiday Magic for Good #1:
First up will be the preview for the Holiday Barn Sale at Life’s Patina at Willowbrook Farm. The preview tickets are sold out and I am happy to buy them every holiday season because it’s a spectacularly magical and beautifully curated holiday event that ooozes Christmas and the holidays. And a portion of the sales every time go to a nonprofit.
The sale has three FREE public days and free parking as well.
Friday, December 1st, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Saturday, December 2nd, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Sunday, December 3rd, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
LOCATION: Willowbrook Farm, 1750 N Valley Rd, Malvern, PA 19355
Every year I introduced more people to this event, and every year they thank me for telling them about it because it’s such a wonderful experience!
Holiday Magic for Good #2:
When I first heard about this event in its infancy, a year ago, I was so excited. I can’t wait!!!
I am talking about the Surrey Services for Seniors Holiday House Tour and Shop. It is the first real holiday house tour of its kind in the Main Line area since Christmas in the Country, which was the event that Agnes Irwin did for years as a fundraiser!
The tickets for this event at Surrey sold like hotcakes. So the tour portion is actually sold out but they have this amazing set of Christmas shops over in Eisenhower Hall at Valley Forge Military Academy and College. That is free and open to the public on the same day as the house tour! And the vendors are carefully curated and a lot of local faces, that people love among others.
The Christmas/holiday shops are Friday, December 8 from 11 AM to 6 PM. 1001 Eagle Road in Wayne. And best of all there’s ample free parking! And I know who some of the vendors are for this and people will love it!
Best of all, this entire day, benefits, the fabulous nonprofit known as Surrey Services for Seniors, so what is not to love?
Holiday Magic for Good #3:
I guess you’ve already figured out I like Holiday house tours. Especially when they benefit a good thing.
So number three on my list is a West Chester Borough and area tradition.
The Holiday Home Tour will take place on Saturday, December 2, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and will showcase eight homes in the Northwest and Southwest quadrants of the Borough decked out for the holidays.
Created as a socially distanced replacement for the Holiday Home Tour during the pandemic shutdown of 2020, the family-friendly Holiday Door Tour was so popular the library now offers it in addition to the Home Tour! Running from Saturday, December 2 through Sunday, December 17, this self-guided tour will feature West Chester doors and porches decorated by their owners in holiday finery. It can be enjoyed at any time of day and by a group of your choice.
All proceeds from the Holiday Tours will benefit West Chester Public Library and the community it serves. Holiday Home Tour advance tickets are $40 per person and may be purchased in the library or online through December 1. Tickets may be purchased the day of the Tour, December 2, at the library for $50 each.
The turkey went into the oven and looked like it was wearing its own shroud of Turin.
The table is set. Little snacks are out until dinner is ready. Happy Thanksgiving.
I don’t have too many thoughts for all of you today other than I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
I will say that as this year draws to a close, that it has been a long year. A lot of ups, and a lot of downs in our communities.
It has also been a time of too many people telling me what I should write about, what I should cover, how I should think, and how I should feel. I got a little tired of that, and I find it presumptive of people. I don’t expect to be everyone’s cup of tea, and no one says you have to read a single word I write.
I help where I can because I want to. And if I can’t help, it’s not necessarily because I don’t want to, but it is because sometimes you all in your communities have issues that you need to figure out on your own. I can’t always give everything a voice.
For example, there is something brewing in the far reaches of Chester County at Big Elk Creek in Franklin Township, Chester County. And now, for some reason known only to the butt heads in Harrisburg, they want to turn it into an RV park/camping destination. I don’t know much about this area of the county but I did a little research and I found an article from 2022:
So again, this was an issue that somebody contacted me about that I don’t know anything about except my initial gut check says don’t let the state turn this into Disneyland but when I try to explain this to someone contacting me at 10:30 PM at night they were first worried that they had offended me and they hadn’t but I tried to tell them it’s Thanksgiving week I have a life. and I also said to them that they are their own best advocates.
And it’s true you can be your own advocate. You have to get out in front of issues and contact media and get other people interested and go to public meetings, and hold public meetings.
But sometimes open space needs to just be open space. It needs to be a habitat. And you can’t be a habitat for wild things when you’ve got an RV campground in the middle of it – that doesn’t work.
Big Elk is home to rare owls, wild orchids, bog turtles, migratory birds of all kinds and more.
So on Thanksgiving, I am asking people to look into helping these people in Franklin Township. People were so excited last year, when the land was becoming a state park. But I feel like they’ve been a victim of bait and switch if this goes through. And my biggest problem is the state and DCNR seems really murky about it.
I have to giggle because Lady Dog Whistle is at it again. She is our fearless and full of forsooth Mistress of Downingtown area manners. And egads! Apparently she has a girl crush on the fake professor running for Downingtown school board, so she is here to be his erstwhile champion. (I also secretly think she wishes she could be me, but that’s a topic for another day!)
First of all, what makes this so funny is all these people that love to say I am so anonymous, etc. etc. have nothing to say when Lady Dog Whistle surfaces.
I wrote about her about a year ago and truthfully, don’t follow her because she’s somewhat predictable in her repertoire of passive aggressive slut shaming. She loves to lecture on what she perceives to be the ills of people basically objecting to any politician, or extremism, and politics, that she personally supports.
So Lady Dog Whistle of Downingtown, she’s doing her Lady Whistledown encore, and shockers I am the target. And super duper shockers I am a bad bad person:
Gosh! They wound me to the core! actually, they have provided a great deal of amusement on a Sunday for me. Let’s break it down.
First of all, this was not an inappropriate photo I posted it was a political lampoon/meme. It was directed at a politician, Chris Bressi, running for school board. Bressi as you know is the co-opt king of any local issue, buzz word, or trendy phrase that might get him a vote.
Yes Chris Bressi, we see you. I will leave it to you to decide if it’s the Royal We or just we as in everyone in general.
This was an event that this politician went to two co-op for his own gain. I have nothing to say about the event, or the people who threw the event other than it was their event not Bressi’s event and he rolled up looking like he was ready for a Godfather or Goodfellas revival. I did not cover the other person’s face to mock their heritage or their celebration, I covered his face because it wasn’t this person‘s fault that a subpar slimy sleazeball of a politician rolled up for photo ops. It was a smiley face, not a “derogatory emoji.”
I still think that politician “professore” Bressi is a horse’s ass. And it doesn’t make me a racist and it doesn’t make me a proponent of micro aggression or whatever Trendy, Wendy term Lady Dog Whistle, and the “professor” care to toss at me.
And given my personal Italian heritage, I can mock him all I want since he’s choosing to conveniently play up his now. He’s a joke and he’s an embarrassment to Italian Americans everywhere. Yes, I did say that out loud and I will again I am sure.
Expressing opinions about a subpar politician desperately seeking relevance and attention in order to get on the school board after scrubbing, his original social media profiles is not exhibiting “hate.” It is in fact me using my first amendment rights which are not subjective.
So Bressi wishes to wax poetic about his Italian American heritage? That’s fine if he’s actually telling the truth, because you only have his word for it. So now, in order to gain sympathy, all of a sudden he’s going to say that his family members were targeted by mafioso? Dude, that is so early Sopranos.
But let’s talk about Lady Dog Whistle for a moment. Apparently, she had an interview with a good “professor”? So that means she is one of his contemporaries. People are always tossing about who she might or might not be, and truthfully, I’ve never cared because she doesn’t matter to me. She is a nut bag who surfaces for little hatchet job attempts and then evaporates into her beige, beige world.
Poor Lady Dog Whistle must be really hard up. I think she’s written about me three times now. And every time she does it just brings me more readers and that’s delightful. This is what the second or third election cycle where she’s tried to make me an election issue in Downingtown? It’s kind very amusing that they are so fearful of me that as a non-politician, just one woman with one voice is a threat to their well being. They really need to get out more.
Essentially, if you are a person who believes in book banning, have issues with anyone whose sexual identity doesn’t match your narrow view of the world, extremism in politics, etc. Lady Dog Whistle is your gal. Kind of like Bressi, but I don’t think he’s anyone’s gal and he is just an extremist tarting himself up as the second coming of Christ to get himself elected so he can fill the Downingtown Area School District with fake inspirational posters from Staples.
My last word on this for today is something that is just cracking me up right now. Chris Bressi loves to post when they go low, we go high. So I’m guessing that phrase is also very subjective or he just lets other people do his dirty work for him.
Giddy up Tredyffrin and Radnor residents because it’s always in the dog days of summer or any kind of holiday time when big ol’ important things come to be discussed. More on Dodo Land is back. Plans for Strafford Avenue and Forrest Lane.
Look my opinion hasn’t changed: too much density planned for this area between this and Holloway Land McBox Theme Park. Stormwater management and traffic issues pre-existing to any of these plans and you need to PHYSICALLYBE AT THESE MEETINGS AND BE PRESENT WHEN THEY GET SCHEDULED IN PERSON! SUPPOSEDLY COMING IN JULY. THAT IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.
The Community Development Department received a Conditional Use Application for the Hamilton Estate, properties located at 204 and 228 Strafford Avenue and 18 Forrest Lane. We have not received the digital version yet, once received I will forward it to you.
OK a trash update. I was asked about this yesterday when I spoke to one of the Waste Connections managers and they asked me how I felt about moving to one day of the week trash pick up. AJ Blosenski currently picks up regular trash on Mondays and Thursdays and recycling is only Mondays. So if I’m reading this letter correctly, they are going to one day a week. The day is to be determined starting at a point in July.
To be honest, I am ambivalent about one or two days of trash, because when we had Republic Services it was only one day a week.
However, if we are going to one day a week, there should be an appropriate reduction in everyone’s bill because we were paying before for two days a week for regular trash.
So that’s the update everyone and I know that they are working with East Whiteland Township to clear the backlog of missed pick ups and other than that I have no new trash news to report today has been all about roosters 🤣
So bless her heart, she really thinks she is the Queen of Willistown or something?
Here allow me if the typeface of screen shot is too small:
Wow – so much for privacy when you fill out the form to reply? Guess when it’s your blog, you can do what you want and say what you want ….
after one replies to your blog, my reply form says at the bottom:
Email (required) (Address never made public)
I can’t reply to your rambling rantings- because that’s poking a sleeping tiger I see! And as others have told me – you delete what you don’t like. But isn’t it funny how sometimes when people say things that they aren’t – they really are? “No Offense, but….” All the things you said about yourself are your words – not mine – and are making the situation worse. But guess you think it’s your calling in life to comment on other peoples problems and tell them to “cluck off”. Just who I would want for a neighbor.
The truth can be twisted many ways – adding an “s” to neighbor makes people reading think no one likes ROO but me, when in reality the other neighborS like having a ROO. I’m done with your “anonymous” blog – reply all you want, but know I am trying to figure out a solution – we don’t need your gasoline on the fire. PS – Please try and Get the facts – Roosters crow in the Barn too – it’s the start of the day wherever they roost, and has been that way since the start of the world – they don’t “wait to crow until they’re let out in their runs.”
~rooster mommy 6/22/23
I’m very confused because when you write to a public website (blog, newspaper, magazine, etc), you expect people can do whatever they wish with said comment and data ? It’s like if you comment on a public social media page you’re not private there either.
And yes, if I wish to delete a comment because it is my website I can. There is no law that I have to publish comments and give anyone a platform. Given Rooster Mommy’s run on comment this morning she seemed like she wanted said platform? I showed where the comment came from earlier and now because it is germane to the conversation and they were in essence outing themselves, correct?
Regarding deleting comments, when it comes to what I delete, it’s my choice to delete comments I feel are repetitive or spam or for whatever reason. It’s not an inalienable right to leave a comment on any website, just like with different kinds of social media pages and groups, if it’s not yours, you are a guest. Get over yourselves.
So she is “done” with my blog? Bless her heart that doesn’t mean anything to me and I’m not anonymous. Who is she to my life? Does that mean I will never serve cocktails in a follow car when Radnor Hunt is out doing their thing? I love watching the various hunts go by on occasion depending where I am, but I don’t need to be a follow car.
And I actually have done my research about roosters and she actually doesn’t have a barn she has a configuration of sheds. And the people who told me about how they kept their roosters quiet were rather specific, and they said when it’s dark their roosters feel like they should be quiet. When they see light, they crow. So maybe I am not farmerette in the dell over here about roosters, but that is what I was told. I also wouldn’t have roosters if I did not live on a farm with some acreage around it because I think that would be unfair to my neighbors. And maybe she thinks she has neighbors who love her rooster but maybe they don’t in fact love the rooster, they just don’t want to deal with her?
She doesn’t live on a farm, she lives in a suburban neighborhood, and she is making it more difficult for people who wish to be responsible, chicken owners in suburban neighborhoods because they look at situations like this and then wonder if somebody’s going to get a rooster.
Truly, the misplaced sense of entitlement with some people these days is astounding. Especially when you have the use of the Royal “we.” That just makes you laugh out loud.
Yeah ok we’ll never be besties who go for spa days. I can live with that.
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):
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 histerritory 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
We all know that “UHHH OHHH, OHHHH NOOO” feeling when we see something. Like the real estate sign above. It is one of the two parcels that make up Johnson Matthey. To East Whiteland residents, Johnson Matthey is also a familiar name as one of the successor names to Bishop Tube over in General Warren, but I digress…only not really because things all seem to be related around her, right?
Another bite at the apple above was a post referring to the where’s Waldo as it keeps popping up issue in West Whiteland as to data centers and hydrogen plants etc there. It was a topic for discussion at the West Whiteland Planning Commission this Wednesday (oh and West Whiteland, that person your zoom bouncer didn’t let speak was ummm the chair of East Whiteland Supervisors, and since we all don’t live on islands, maybe learn who is on your calls. A neighboring township being interested should have some sort of professional courtesy, don’t you think?)
So. WHY is this 15.70 acres which is wooded with a cell phone tower of concern? Well Johnson Matthey wants to sell this chunk of their land on West King turning onto Phoenixville Pike is right on border with East Whiteland. Johnson Matthey is TWO parcels totaling 35+ acres.
And this is a real worry as to what kind of developer would snatch it up. Whether industrial or residential the scenario sucks. Because is it someplace they could put an Amazon hub for example? Or try to put a Data center or a hydrogen plant for example ? Or God knows how many townhouses or apartments?
And let us not forget Weston is across W. King Road, correct? And although residential plans have been shopped there it does have the labs and offices thing going on, right? And Johnson Matthey land has industrial going on correct? Is it as simple as 1 + 1 = 2? I hate to be a conspiracy theorist but this area right there in West Whiteland is truly the perfect storm for data centers and hydrogen energy plants, right? Are we wrong worrying about this? Like is the land at Johnson Matthey clean? As in DEP and EPA clean and isn’t that reasonable to ask considering it’s industrial?
The Johnson Matthey land for sale has a sign up and a listing on Loop Net for 15.70 acres. East Whiteland and West Whiteland need to pay close attention. They have to. First of all, how much more stress can W. King Road and that stress of Phoenixville Pike take? People who live on those roads have a hard enough time up and down getting out of their driveways and the ever increasing problematic four way stop sign and intersection of King and Ship is just up from there. It is already a shit show from existing development including West Goshen Township’s development. And next there is the piggy glut of development coming to Ship and 30 (Lancaster Avenue) and the rest of the development on the other side of the traffic light past the old Ship Inn, and east on Lancaster Ave towards the boundary there with East Whiteland.
This could be another bad plan coming our way when this property sells, couldn’t there be?
I also have *heard* via sources the intimation that some of the hierarchy of the Chester County Democrats don’t want to appear business “unfriendly” which is undoubtedly putting pressure on Democrat supervisors locally…like in East Whiteland and West Whiteland, right? But if these honchos are worried about appearing anti-business, are they also worried about appearing anti-resident and anti-environment? I think that could come into play here, sorry not sorry.
I also feel that in West Whiteland there is ONE Supervisor you can count on to do right by residents every time and that is Brian Dunn. Theresa Hogan Santalucia is now an angry lame duck politician, so she won’t care these next few months and Raj Kumbhardare is more pro-development and pro-data centers etc than I am comfortable with. He is not a bad person, however my opinion is at times he just doesn’t get it, and I have watched all of them, and he can dig in his heels and not for the benefit of all. He’s in the data kind of business for example given his career, so he doesn’t see the pitfalls, does he? Or doesn’t want to?
So I find this section of West Whiteland far, far away from not only the West Whiteland Township Building but also where two of the supervisors in West Whiteland live at risk. There are also multiple pipelines running around here including Williams which was mentioned somewhere when the whole data center hydrogen plant came up, right?
While we are on the topic of West Whiteland and data centers, allow me to share an update Ginny Kerslake sent out:
Good news from the data center / power plant zoning ordinance discussion at last night’s Planning Commission meeting in West Whiteland Township!
Over 20 residents attended to listen to the discussion and provide input on the public’s strong, universal opposition to allowing this use near our treasured Exton Park in the Office/Laboratory District. As a result, allowing this use in the O/L District appears to be off the table as far as the WWT Planning Commission is concerned. They are continuing the discussion next month. From there it goes to the Board of Supervisors and a public hearing. It’s important that we stay engaged as this proceeds.
Meanwhile, a proposed southeastern PA “hydrogen hub” called MACH2 would mean the construction of more fossil fuel infrastructure right here in Chester County including power plants, and dangerous, unregulated, CO2 pipelines in existing pipeline easements, including Mariner East and others. And it’s reasonable to assume that the proposed hydrogen power plant near Exton in Park was/is part of MACH2.
The time is now to do what we can to stop MACH2 from being awarded federal and state subsidies which it would require in order to advance.
I hope you can joinme and other community members protecting Exton Park this Sunday, April 23 from 3 to 5 PM at Stolen Sun in Exton for some food and drink (provided) to learn what next step you can take to stop this hydrogen hub …. and also celebrate our community’s recent victory in stopping the hydrogen power plant near Exton Park from progressing! RSVP here
A proposed southeastern PA “hydrogen hub” called MACH2 would mean the construction of more fossil fuel infrastructure, subsidized by taxpayers, including power plants, and dangerous, unregulated, CO2 pipelines in existing pipeline easements. And guess who’s a key player in MACH2 – Energy Transfer (Mariner East)
West Whiteland and East Whiteland residents need to pay attention here. Big time. We are all at risk from things like data centers because of PA’s tax credits for data centers. And certain political factions are pushing for these things so their besties can get contracts and jobs. And no ones really tales into consideration that a lot of the jobs are much like the jobs for Mariner East / Sunoco / Energy Transfer – out of state workers, not local. And yeah, sadly there are certain Democrats in Chester County push push pushing these things when they should be paying attention to their county row jobs, because what happens if audits on their county row job or a right to know is filed on their hours there happen? What will they show? Of course county row jobs in Chester County are a conversation for another day. Suffice it to say more than a couple should actually be spending more time earning their keep along county row and if they think even Democrats, let alone Republicans are not paying attention? Well that equals sadly mistaken, yes? Quit shilling for law firms, solicitors, and your union buddies from OUT of the area. Be present, be local, be for the residents you serve, not higher ambitions.
I am including photos of the streetscape so people have an idea. Why can’t that be bought and just left open space? A trail park?
Well, think about it people, because a buyer will come, and then potentially this is a fair bit of acreage in play if Weston wakes up again, this is oh hell no again, right?
It is never over in Chester County. And a lot of this is due to….wait for it…the Municipalities Planning Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which has not been comprehensively updated since 1969. It requires an act of the state constitution which means State Reps and State Senators and they never seem to want to deal with this, do they? It would be nice if they did. It would be nice if residents were protected better and had more of a say as to the way they want their communities to look like.
The Johnson Matthey Land and Weston land if improperly developed could drastically impact our eco system in that area and the environment. And then let’s look at traffic and infrastructure. And more.