samedi, juin 20, 2009

As you can tell, I was definitely down in the dumps last night.

I did need a change of perspective, and the Exton Mall wasn't cutting it.Riviera, anybody?

A friend's email seemed so full of the voice of my much loved grandmother that I went back to Aunt Jennie's family history to find the chapter she had written about her life.

As I've written in previous posts, Grandma was an amazing human being. She helped equip ships for Spanish Loyalists, chaired a Citizen's Committee for the National Maritime Union, obtained affadavits for refugees from Austria and Germany before World War II and, at the same time, just loved life. It's odd to look back and realize how much this practical but idealistic woman did to take a stance against the world's Darth Vaders. The only thing that surprises me is how many committtes she chaired or did administrative work for, for Grandma never seemed like the secretarial type. Her Mrs Malapropisms were bywords in our household.

But what sent me back to the autobiography this morning was the shipwreck of the SS Mohawk...(tbc).

jeudi, juin 18, 2009


I've got a feeling things are changing around here.

Last year I rented "Pride and Prejudice" for my daughter and a friend -- where are the vampires, they wanted to know. Well, now, of course, you can get zombies with British accents and pretty gowns.

Last night, the DQ and I watched the Jane Austen adaptation with Kiera Knightley, given the full costume drama presentation. Frankly, I am not a Jane Austen fan. Too much talking, not enough action. But my child waded patiently through more than 2 hours of ballroom scenes, walks, dinners, and naked statues, and a few minutes in which something actually occurs.

OK, so late in the movie she asked me if the movie took place in England. Nah, that's Chicago, I told her.

The fact is that she liked it. She's not quite ready for a "Room with a View" one of my favorite novels/movies. But romance is insinuating itself into her soul -- with or without fangs.

mercredi, juin 17, 2009

Shameless plug for GEYA

No, I'm not talking about GAIA, ladies.

As baseball seasons ends, I wanted to personally thank our local sports volunteer organization. That's the Glenmoore Eagle Youth Association. The men who coach these teams are such a blessing in the lives of our sons and daughters. I haven't run into a bad guy yet -- well, I had one stomach churning experience with a soccer coach who was a bit of a cad, but that was over lunch, not on the field. He's probably a paragon of virtue when he coaches -- such men usually present one face to the world and are something else in private.

Thankfully, Mr. C shows no talent for soccer.

Generally, the dads I've met have been wonderful in showing young boys how to be good sports, how to be gracious losers, and how to compete with flair. And yanno, even the parents have been very cool. I haven't seen more than one or two prima donnas -- most of them are fabulous.

I dunno about Mr. C, but Little League baseball is one of the highlights the year -- I can't wait for Fall Ball!!!

mardi, juin 16, 2009

A long shadow

Last night my friend Skip emailed me and told me he and his wife were leaving our township. I had taken my kids for a walk down to the local pizza shop for an ice cream cone, the DQ protesting all the way (except for a few interludes in which she took her brother's bicycle).

More than three years in Glenmoore and I still didn't know Bryan's was closed on Monday.

Why Skip and his wife are leaving is their own business. But the time and love and devotion they have invested in our beautiful community makes this more than a private loss.

I first got to know Skip last year when I was writing a story about local development and looking for someone who could step back and view the local scene with candor and integrity. Like many towns ruled by tiny boards of supervisors, ours is a hotbed on intrigue, class warfare and gossip. Relative objectivity is hard to come by.

He doesn't take sides, said a friend. He's someone you can trust. Truly, Skip is one of those rare people who put the public good above his own, working long hours on our Planning Commission to help each side, or all sides, see the other person's perspective.

Sadly, that is almost a thankless job, in my opinion. But as far as I know, Skip never asked for thanks.

When finally he and his wife came for dinner last fall with some older friends, I was privileged to hear about our township from the perspective of four people who saw the warts and still loved it. I wonder if the generations following have the same passion.

Standing by the tennis courts near the cemetery, I felt bereft. The Saturday before I'd attended the last lunch of a group called the Interlocutors. Founded back in the 1950's or 60's, this group began with one man (then added women) from each profession -- distinguished doctors, lawyers, professors, scientists. By the time I joined, at the invitation of Dr. Digby Baltzell, they were less elite.

Now most of the members wrestle with the ills that befall you in your seventies and eighties. The lunch was both a eulogy and a litany of missing and, sadly, dead members-- as well as some great stories about visitors like Cardinal Bevilacqua. Shocked to hear an old friend with whom we'd lost contact was dying, I sat out in the Wyndham parking lot and called his wife, mourning the passing of an age, of a generation, who seems to me at least, just a little bigger than my own...

Maybe some of us still have room to grow.

dimanche, juin 14, 2009


Sometimes Frank Rich goes over the top. This time, sadly, I fear that he is correct.

One reason I have to admit Rich is right is that a few months ago a libertarian businessman I respect said his colleagues were talking about how they hate Obama. He hangs out in very wealthy, one would think well-educated circles, which is part of what made the conversation so frightening. He said, chillingly, that he'd even heard one of them mention assassination.

Let's not go there. You have to believe that President Obama's security detail is as aware of the danger, and the hate out there, as is Frank Rich. Though I don't think decrying it would make a difference to a "nutjob" I do feel it would make a difference to the souls of those who, by remaining silent, make it seem as though they agree.