A welcome visit by Carol Bostian; otherwise a mostly quiet day with plenty of empty parking spaces along the street . . . Would you believe? This is the 101st entry in this log? Seems like yesterday. Guess I am just a long-winded gossip . . . Lacking other news, it is time for a commercial. This flat-sided cast iron pig doorstop stands about nine inches high and sells for $24. Only have one in stock . . . Send us an e-mail if you want to reserve it.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Car break-in overnight in Oliver Alley behind 246 North Street . . . Visited by Yvonne Brown who brought cookies for JJ and me . . . You will see our first advert in TheBurg this month; it hit the streets today . . . It is official: Victoria Zellers has rented Matt Simmons' house and is moving back into the neighborhood on Thursday. Street will be posted for the moving van, so be careful where you park . . . The promised new shipment of Campbell Pottery arrived today; bought several of his beautiful new Waterfall bowls which sell for $38 each . . . I accidentally spilled his orange juice on JJ's artwork-in-progress this afternoon; he was not pleased and assigned me a "Time Out;" I had to sit in a chair for five minutes and no amount of pleading would reduce my sentence. . . Just learned that numerous restaurants in the area offer some very good bargains for kids--some even free! Go to http://www.kidsmealdeals.com/ and type in your zip code . . .
Monday, September 28, 2009
Welcome visits from Robin Janes and Carl Kepner . . . Waited all day for thundershowers which never materialized . . . Several of us were invited to Madeline and Syd's last Friday night; excellent pasta soup and great hunks of delicious bread. Syd showed off his sculptures but thankfully didn't ask us to help move them into the new apartment . . . Years and years ago (so far back I don't remember the year) our neighborhood and a few others were 'spot assessed' which was clearly unlawful. Property owners banded together and sued. The suit was won and we recouped some of our money (which, incidentally, then led to a countywide re-assessment). BUT we were deprived of the interest on our unfairly collected funds, so negotiations continued on and on and on. Well, I am happy to say that last week we finally received our 'interest' checks. It only took about 20 years. . . Wasn't a protracted court case the subject of Dickens' Bleak House or another of his works? I gotta look that up ! . . .
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Happy birthday to my sister in Everett . . . A mostly gloomy day. Ignored business and did things I enjoy (much to the amusement of my friends). . . Put out a new jigsaw puzzle . . . Learned about chicken farming in Wales. They have an "animal rescue" operation of sorts. When caged layers are no longer productive they are not slaughtered; rather they are given to farmers and villagers where they can happily "free range" for the rest of their lives. Do we have such a program here? . . . then on to Scotland where I learned there are fall-bearing raspberries; that was news to me . . . watched some train videos; the Swiss ones are scenic but I like the British ones best with their visits to quaint villages and English Heritage and National Trust sites. (But it isn't a real train if it doesn't "smoke" according to JJ.) . . . Bob scores a 'ten' for his pumpkin pie . . . the clock offered in yesterday's post has been sold . . . the Steelers lost again!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Cold and rainy; autumn has definitely arrived . . . Special staff party today to mark Dr. Bob Coldren's retirement . . . Nice visit from Mary Quinn and Lennie Whitcomb . . . Understand that birthday greetings are due Kevin Hancock around this time . . . This 13-inch wooden wall clock with an apple motif is the last of a series we offered. Regularly sells for $24. Would like to clear it from inventory. Would someone offer $15? Send us an e-mail. . . Still enamored by Only Men Aloud. Am always playing one of their YouTube videos. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0YzHOIeUv0 will give you Don't Rain on My Parade and lead you to Goldfinger and others. Thanks to Jack Brandt for directing me to the choir's home page http://www.onlymenaloud.com/ . . .
Friday, September 25, 2009
Bob and I got our flu shots . . . Visited by our artist friend Earl Blust this afternoon. He was on his way to Gallery Blu on Third Street with some new works which will be displayed there shortly . . . Your reception of Bill Campbell's new pottery pieces has dictated an immediate order for more; expect delivery late next week. You have got to see his new "Waterfall" bowl . . . New Root tapers in pretty harvest colors are here. Will look great on your Halloween/Thanksgiving table. . . I have been keeping you updated on the renovations to Amy and Doug Hill's house and you have been asking for a photo. Happy to oblige with this one that was taken about noon today . . . it sure ain't dirty white stucco anymore . . .
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A brief visit from Richard Hebbard today. . . Just learned that John Zimmerman's home in the 800 block of Green will also be on the HHA Candlelight House Tour. That is four properties in our immediate area. Yes, the Bare Wall will be selling tickets when the time arrives . . . I wish Webmasters would leave well enough alone. Must sites always be "improved for your convenience?" In the past few weeks Verizon, my bank, and PennLive have all undergone make-overs which have merely added to the clutter; I have had to re-learn them all over again. . . Of course, in the case of PennLive, a little restraint on those leaving comments has long been overdue. I worry that some of these odd-ball commentators might live on my block . . . We should take a cue from our European friends. The Times of London allows just 300 characters in formulating a comment; make your point and don't ramble. Scotland's Daily Record posts one's name but rejects the comment if it is obscene, obnoxious or otherwise inappropriate. And no one complains that his "Freedom of Speech" rights have been curtailed. . .
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The man who aroused my lifelong love of books did not exist; he was a "ghost," Franklin W. Dixon. I first discovered the Hardy Boys when I was ten, and I have been re-reading the originals ever since. . . the books were the brainchild of an author and 'book packager' Edward Stratemeyer who provided other writers with plots and paid $100 more or less to have them written. These were then peddled to publishers with Stratemeyer keeping the profits. . . he used this formula with lots of series--Nancy Drew, the Bobbsey Twins, Tom Swift, etc. It is a fascinating story and I urge you to Google his name for all the details. . . When I joined the State Library staff in 1962 I was appalled to learn that librarians looked down on these adventures; many did not even stock them anymore. How could such treasures be so easily dismissed? . . . The Hardy Boys began in 1927 and were "dumbed down" for today's readers in 1959, shortened by several chapters and adjusted to be "politically correct;" some original plots even disappeared altogether. . . stick with the originals when you can find them; they are quite rewarding reading. . . the same goes for Nancy Drew, which I also absorbed in my childhood. (Bob was a Bobbsey Twins fan back then; I wasn't.) . . . Sixteen of the original Hardy Boy books have been reprinted and there is a Nancy Drew series of reprints as well. . . One question has plagued me all my life: what was The Password to Larkspur Lane that Nancy needed? Thanks to the Internet, I now know the answer . . .
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
A welcome visit from Lynn Clemons today . . . David Hoffman back in town after a book-signing tour . . . The best TV on the net (or the best TV period) comes from Germany. (http://www.dw-world.de/) Scroll down to TV in the left column and click on Video on Demand . . . We have nothing like these half-hour programs. . . EuroMaxx, a daily review of cultural doings on the Continent. Tuesday thru Saturday, with a "highlights" program on Monday. . . Discover Germany, a weekly tourism program . . . Arts.21, a weekly "what's new" in music, art, and literature . . . and Kino, a monthly review of the new Continental movies with an emphasis on the German ones . . . there are several other topics I have not yet explored. . . All are in English. BE ADVISED, however--the Continent is far more sophisticated than the U.S. You may encounter occasional nudity in art, on the beach, in film clips, etc. . . .
Sunday, September 20, 2009
One of those glorious autumn days when you do nothing and then feel guilty about it at nightfall (but a huge slice of Bob's pineapple upside-down cake eased the pain). . . Ignored my usual Sunday morning international radio broadcasts and worked on a jigsaw puzzle. . . Ernie Kepner cut my hair and said they had had a good crowd for Fort Hunter Day. . . Larry Kirkhuff and Jon Carfagno safely home after a week in Puerto Vallarta; lots of sight-seeing this trip . . . Bob Coldren and Jack Barnett back in town after a few weeks at their inn in Provincetown. . . It is rumored that a familiar face plans to return to the neighborhood and rent Matt Simmons' Briggs Street house; too early to reveal the particulars but I will keep you posted . . .
Saturday, September 19, 2009
An overly-friendly baby squirrel menaced our neighborhood today. A gang of macho men and a gaggle of kids were sent scurrying at the approach of this all-too-domesticated rodent who only wanted a little affection (and perhaps a peanut). The animal simply refused to be scared away. Finally our intrepid men in typical tribal fashion caged the intruder and promptly carried him (her?) off to be with more welcoming company in Capitol Park. Quite an adventure! . . . I was sure that this $8 hummingbird dessert plate would fly off the shelves. It didn't! Quel dommage! So I still have six or so to sell. Make me a reasonable offer and get yourself a bargain. (Shown on an easel, which is sold separately for $4.)
Friday, September 18, 2009
Nice chats with Dr. Fetterhoff and Lisa Essman today . . . Angela Lawson and family back from the shore bearing caramel popcorn and fudge for Bob and me. Ange said mom, Rhea Maff, had a wonderful time remembering past visits . . . the Halloween cards and the last of our boxed Christmas cards arrived today; have quite a nice selection this year . . . in preparing a new order I have discovered that our popular mug-and-coaster combo has been discontinued by the manufacturer. We still have seven designs left, and have discounted the remainders; just $10 each. Nice office gift . . .
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Guy Kehler was our only customer on this gray misty day. "November weather," Bob called it . . . However, we were very busy. First came the shipment of cider, tea and coffee. All are nicely packaged for those important office grab-bag, neighbor and hostess gifts you will need during the holiday season. The price is pleasing, too. Something between $7 and $18. . . And we still have a good selection of the English teabag packages that we are discontinuing; only $4.50 for what now sells for $7 and up. . . Next came a big shipment of those greeting cards for the "backroom" racks. Some are very funny--but not for the kids. We always warn parents when the children stray too close to that back area . . . Susan Boyle's appearance on America's Got Talent was a sensation and apparently caused a media stampede in L.A. (The seven minute performance is available on YouTube if you missed it.) Her debut CD will be released here on Nov. 23. The big argument across the pond: is Susan really Scots, or is she Irish? Everyone wants to own or disown her. Sounds a bit like the Obama "is he or isn't he American" debate. . .
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Jacquie Kirby in the neighborhood today showing properties to some prospective buyers . . . JJ decided the store got "dirty" during his absence so he (with Uncle Bob's help) Windex-ed the jewelry cases . . . Sudden renewed interest in our wooden utensils. Have sold several in the past few days. Interesting story here. Stan and Sue Jennings of Thornton, W. Va., were both coal miners out of a job when they married. They opened a woodworking studio in 1990 and coached by knowledgeable relatives began manufacturing wooden utensils for the kitchen. They became so proficient that they have been named among the top 200 traditional craftsmen in the U.S. Spoons, scoops, spreaders, tea tweezers and flippers are just a few of the items on offer. . .
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Great news. Three houses in our neighborhood will be on the Historic Harrisburg Candlelight House tour come December. Kevin Sheets and Kevin Hancock, Bob Coldren and Jack Barnett, and Amy and Doug Hill will open their homes. Should be some good foot traffic for the Bare Wall, if only to get warm . . . Forgot to mention that Mike Weaver was back in town Sunday for the Gallery Walk. Doing less art than he once did, but still a font of knowledge about all the opera divas we never heard of. . . Well, JJ is back and abuzz about his trip to Disney World. The plane ride, his first, was okay. Highlights were many, including the roller coaster, the mill chute, and the rafting. Didn't care much for the "kiddie" rides but loved the adult ones, especially if he got wet riding them. Daddy Eric came away with a queasy stomach, we are told. Saw lots of animals--giraffes, hippos, lions, tigers. Hardly a word about the Wicked Witch; yesterday's news in kidspeak, I guess . . . but Uncle Bob welcomed him home with gummy candy, fresh plums and pumpkin whoopie pies, so "being missed" was well worth it . . .
Monday, September 14, 2009
Was given a nice mention by Dewi Griffiths on his "String of Pearls" program on Welsh radio this week. (See post, Aug. 30th.) Had to share the spotlight with the Susquehanna River! . . . Tomorrow, Sept. 15th, is "Battle of Britain" Day in England; marks the date that Hitler gave up trying to bomb the island into submission . . . JJ had swimming lessons tonight so we still haven't heard of his adventures at Disney World last week. Some others have, and we are told that we will hear a lot about the Wicked Witch and her house . . .
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Glorious day. Many nice people dropped by during Gallery Walk. Gladys and Tucker Hill paid us their annual visit. If you need any gardening tips, Tucker is "the man." . . . Maria reports that the Lingus fig tree produced only one usable fruit, but it was a 'double' one . . . Was devastated to learn that Nick Whitmore collapsed and passed at a party Saturday night. I had known Nick for at least thirty years. A truly nice fellow . . .
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Heavy rains, just one customer. . . Spent the afternoon unpacking a holiday order--new Santas and snowmen. Won't be on the shelves for several weeks, however. Bob has selected a particularly nice sculpture of the Holy Family which I will have to picture when we are closer to the season. We will celebrate Gallery Walk on Sunday by giving customers a 10% discount when they spend $10 or more. . .
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Gray day . . . Frank Pines and Joe Russian are doing some fall house cleaning. You can find their bargains on E-Bay . . . Hope people read today's report on "outlet" stores. Apparently a lot of name brands aren't just offering discontinueds and irregulars; they are stocking goods that are cheaply made and artificially priced to allow for deep discounts and are not "the real thing." . . . we won't be in the "official" program but we will be open Sunday for Gallery Walk and offering a special or two yet to be determined. . . . and if you are decorating for the fall season, how about this tureen and ladle priced at $42.50? Just one to sell (and it is the real thing from CBK). . .
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Kim and Erica back from a great weekend at the shore and armed with a box of fudge for Bob and me; another summer treat that ends after Labor Day . . . Congratulations! It's official! Eric bought Joanne an engagement ring Saturday . . . Amy and Doug Hill opened the parking spaces reserved for their contractors so that Kipona visitors could use them this weekend. Thanks; very thoughtful . . . David Hoffman is in Texas on a book-signing trip; receiving fine media coverage . . . Yvonne Brown informs me that we Susan Boyle fans can celebrate; the pride of Scotland's first CD is due out in November . . . Thanks to Bob The Bare Wall's front window is heralding autumn . . .
Monday, September 7, 2009
In our time it is Labor Day rather than New Year's that marks the end and beginning of things. Can't remember when this started, but it is true nevertheless. So . . . goodbye to picnics and pool parties, flies and mosquitoes, fresh flowers and vegggies, baseball (thankfully), blaring car radios, yard sales, wicked thunderstorms, long lazy evenings, butterflies and lightning bugs, and people who say "There is nothing on TV." . . . hello to mums, cider and apple dumplings, football (thankfully), gingerbread, autumn foliage, flickering candles, ghosts and goblins, Thanksgiving and Christmas, and people who say "There is nothing on TV." . . . hope your holiday weekend was a safe and happy one. . . (JJ conquered the big water slide at Mt. Gretna lake!). . . and thanks to Janet Reed and her gang of volunteers for another nice exhibit of crafts at Kipona.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
My winter hobby is recycling jigsaw puzzles; customers like Lindsay Mills who buys for his sister appreciate my efforts. So when Angela Lawson informed me this morning that there were lots of puzzles at St. Michael's yard sale I dropped my crossword and dashed down to the church. I stacked up my treasures--lots of them--as Susan Wesley waited to take my money. I rejected just a few that were familiar. I was basking in my good fortune when suddenly Lindsay appeared. "My sister donated all of those; don't try to sell them back to me," he said. I was a bit deflated, but some other customers will be happy with the selection. I have already started on the first one. . . my "previously owned" puzzle collection is currently all but sold out. The only one left is the Pretzels & Beer, which was really hard. . .
Friday, September 4, 2009
This is the undated postcard photo that I promised a few days ago. We need an historian like Ken Frew or Linda Ries to analyze it for us. North Street is to the left and Second Street runs more or less diagonally from lower left to center right. The obelisk (now on Division Street near Italian Lake) still sits in the middle of State Street. The cupola on the building bottom center is for the fire bell at Hope Station; it was later removed. The Gannett-Fleming Building next door has not yet made an appearance; (the firm was founded in 1915). The Capitol was dedicated in 1906. IF the brown building on the extreme right where Strawberry Square now stands is the Grand Opera House, we know it was destroyed by fire in 1907. (Somehow I don't think it is.) St. Michael's, St. Pat's and Grace Methodist are easy to spot along State Street. As for the rest, we can still recognize several structures. The city was certainly lush with trees back then. Curious, huh? . . . Tom Leonard reminds me that if I hope to benefit from the discount on school taxes, the bill must be paid by next Wednesday. Don't think I have enough pennies in my piggy, but I will count . . .
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Vehicle/motorcycle accident at Third and Forster this afternoon; no other details . . . What is going on at Boas Street School everyone keeps asking since plans to convert the historic building into short-lease apartments was announced. Contractors have been busy all summer. Well, thanks to Madeline and Angela, we have some news. Check http://www.loftsat909.com/. Agents are promoting the convenient location close to Restaurant Row, but they forgot to mention that The Bare Wall is just a block away. . . The new "Harrisburg" pottery arrived today. A really nice selection. Ronn is under the weather (finally contacted a doctor) so Bob was stuck with the unpacking job. Where was JJ when needed? Oh, yeah, packing for his trip to Disney World. . . just a caution--the $3 sale bars of glycerin soap (a factory promotion) are almost gone; stock up now because this item has been discontinued as far as we know . . .
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Maria came by today with some very welcome goodies and reports that the Lingus fig tree has set fruit, but it is doubtful that any will get ripe enough to use; the summer weather has not been helpful--not tropical enough . . . St. Michael's Church at 118 State Street will hold its annual "yard sale" Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Bargains are assured in all categories: housewares, furniture, antiques, etc. Also baked goods for which the congregation is justly famous . . . Lee Spitalny shares this website: http://zipskinny.com/. It purports to tell you everything about your local zip code. A bit suspect in my mind; shows the student enrollment at Ron Brown School which closed some time ago. But fun nevertheless. . . The cat offered in yesterday's post has been (temporarily at least) spoken for . . . Bob and I began to dig out all the autumn merchandise today. Is summer really over?
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Another glorious fall day. Wish they all could be like this. JJ has energy to spare; he winged his yellow-green tennis ball into our backyards and none of us has been able to spot it. . . People are scurrying to find apartments in our area; many are students for Penn State, Temple, HACC. Get a few inquiries every day. If you have something to offer, please e-mail me or post a notice on our bulletin board . . . The indoor/outdoor cat sculpture stands thirteen inches plus and is supposed to sell for $48.00; no takers at that price--would someone like it for $35? It is the only one, so give us a call if you want to reserve . . .