Mary Ann Furedi and Rick May back from a wedding in Rehoboth Beach . . . Mark Stevens has left Provincetown and will be active in the management of Tuesday Morning in Mechanicsburg . . . Kathy MacNett (on the left in the picture) tonight is hosting one of the Harrisburg Art Association's Summer Soirees. It also gives Kathy the opportunity to show off her new pergola which contractors finished this week . . . CAN neighbors will be meeting at Kathy's next Saturday for their annual picnic get-together . . . (click to enlarge)
Friday, July 30, 2010
Post #400 . . . Copies of TheBurg for August have arrived. Be sure to pick up a copy on your next visit. Mayor Thompson has a message for you . . . Bryan and Jaime MacLeod back from a week in Jamaica . . . Watched my new travel DVD, a train trip through the Central Highlands of Scotland. Sorry to report that it wasn't very good . . .
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Daylight burglary at a first floor apartment in the 700 block of North Second on Monday. Officer Hemmaker responded to a call about 5 p.m. Apparently the apartment dwellers had a large box fan in the open window, and entry was made by pushing this inward. Again we encourage you to be certain that your fans and air conditioners are firmly anchored in the window frame; we had a rash of entries in this same fashion last summer you may recall. Our thanks to Frank at The Brass Monkey for particulars on the story . . . The stolen newspaper delivery van was recovered by the owner who spotted it parked just a block or so away from where it was taken at gunpoint on Tuesday morning. (Strange that there was nothing in the Pat-News about this car-jacking) . . . Joe Theurer expected home from rehab sometime today . . . Nice to see Mike Ennis out and about; he is recovering from some serious surgery . . . Had another ultra-sound scan at Harrisburg Hospital this morning (they are so nicely organized there). Good news/bad news. Good news: They didn't find anything. Bad news: They didn't find anything . . . Big boycott of Target stores is in the works by gays and gay-friendly people. Apparently it has been discovered that the CEO of Target has been contributing heavily to anti-gay political candidates. And I have never been though Bob always thought it was a great store . . . Kim Summerlot has found the site that lists The Bare Wall as one of the 10 top places to see in Harrisburg. I am not sure that two favorable reviews will keep us in the running for long, so maybe someone out there will add another few kind words. The site is: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g52787-Activities-Harrisburg_Pennsylvania.html . . . spotted this colorful floral welcome on Art's stoop in the 1600 block of Green Street and thought it was worth a picture . . .
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Scott Adrian, Bob Deibler and Tad Herrold got together for a chat (and a beer, not shown) yesterday afternoon at The Bare Wall. Scott teaches at Millerburg High and as a new teacher was mentored by Bob his first year. Bob retired in 1991 after 30 years in the English department and serving as director for the high school musicals. Tad was one of Bob's pupils and became an International Teacher; he has taught in Venezuela, Costa Rica and Moscow among other venues and he leaves tomorrow for service in Kathmandu, Nepal . . . Temps back in the 90s today. (Sorry the boys didn't leave a swig or two behind!) . . . As of this morning the stolen car in yesterday's report has not been recovered . . . Have been unpacking some of our fall merchandise with more to come. A couple of cute items for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Got more of those faux pears ($2 each) that look so autumn-ish in a fruit bowl or wicker basket . . . Hard to concentrate in this heat, however . . . Put out a stack of hard-bound books for $2 each and some "cozy mystery" paperbacks for fifty cents . . . Posting early today since Bob is doing a conference telephone call later in the afternoon . . .
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Arose this morning to enjoy coffee and the Pat-News but Bob informed me that no papers had been delivered on our block. Neighbor Rick Miller joined us on the back deck to complain that he hadn't received a paper either. He placed a quick call to the delivery person to learn that her van was stolen from her at gunpoint when she was on Meunch Street. No further details at the moment . . . Bob encountered a major accident at 7:30 this morning at Second and Forster. Police cars, fire truck, ambulance and at least one of the cars had its airbag deployed. He couldn't linger in the single-lane traffic to eyeball the scene further. No additional news about this . . .
Monday, July 26, 2010
Well, the romantic dinner to celebrate our 25th anniversary didn't come off because Ronn had a medical malady. So Ronn had a ham and cheese sandwich and Bob had Salisbury steak leftovers from last week. Made us think of the time we "celebrated" at Wendy's . . . Last week brought customers from San Antonio, Tx., and Quakertown, Pa. Both had found The Bare Wall on an Internet list of the top 10 places to see in Harrisburg. I have searched for this list without success, so if someone should stumble across it I do hope you will pass the site address to us . . . Diane Neiper came up with this song that casts a less than flattering look at Pennsylvania. Only problem is--some of it might be true. Worth a chuckle or two: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7ek7SWauEI . . .
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Bob and Ronn are celebrating their twenty-five years together this weekend . . . We have been side by side through the loss of our parents, Ronn’s emergency gall bladder surgery, Bob’s “near miss” when he was T-boned at Green and Forster by a young woman driver on her cell phone, the theft of the car, a couple of blizzards , a few flood threats and four years with our godson JJ who can bend our wills to his every whim . . . the Oklahoma City bombing, 9/11, numerous political upheavals, ecological disasters, and—perhaps most of all—the huge technological leap in communications. And, just like everybody else, our “retirement fund” isn’t what it used to be . . . But mostly it has been routine—even humdrum. We’ve shared books, crossword puzzles, films. Bob cooks, I eat. We observe the holidays and search for a present for each other which is not easy after twenty-five years. We have collected a lot of special friends through the years and you know who you are and we thank you for your many kindnesses . . . People often ask how two gay men could possibly stay together for twenty-five years when “real” marriages don’t last half that long in a majority of cases. Our answer usually elicits a smile: “We have two houses.” . . . (This picture was snapped years ago by Jack Brandt. If you click and enlarge it, you will see the Capitol dome reflected in the door glass) . . . Our posts will resume on Monday . . .
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Carl Kepner e-mailed from Steelton to say that he faintly remembered Knight's Candy in Highspire but had no other particulars . . . Jack Barnett and Dr. Bob Coldren back home after a few weeks in Provincetown . . . Remember that the Central Pennsylvania Pride Festival is this weekend and that Front Street will be closed Saturday morning for the parade . . . I have finally relented to our customers' requests and am now offering all of the Oscar award-winning films on tape for $6 each. We have only one copy of each film so it is a first come-first served thing . . .
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Happy birthday to Bill Grace . . . PennDot wants to put paid advertising on its electronic road signs. I know we are all trying to hustle a buck in these bad economic times (The Bare Wall has a new pile of used books for $2 each) but this seems like a bad idea to me. Heavy fog ahead; slow to 30 mph; try the new dollar menu at Taco Bell . . . I was all for the elimination of billboards along roadsides back when the government decided to beautify the Interstates, but I must admit that I quickly missed those quirky messages. As children we always looked for them, especially when the trip began to tire . . . Coming from the western part of Pennsylvania we looked for “Only ?? miles to Knight’s Candy in Highspire.” (Does anyone remember Knight's Candy?) There was one every five miles or so, and it was a great way to count down the length of the trip. Lodging places provided the same type of info. Many of us will remember the billboards that said BREEZEWOOD, TOWN OF MOTELS and then gave the distance. There were advertisements for all sorts of tourist attractions en route and we often screamed when dad wouldn’t pull off at a snake farm, a cave or an ice cream dairy . . . As kids we found the Coppertone billboard with its bare-butt little girl quite erotic . . . And then there were those wonderful Burma-Shave jingles: GRANDPA’S BEARD/WAS STIFF AND COARSE/AND THAT’S WHAT CAUSED/HIS FIFTH DIVORCE; DON’T PASS CARS/ON CURVE OR HILL/IF THE COPS/DON’T GET YOU/MORTICIANS WILL . . .
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Spent the morning attacking the bills and listening to my favorite shows on BBC/Wales. Great music on the BBC; so much variety . . . Planning to spent the rest of the day in the shade with a book (and maybe a nap) . . . Trying to adapt to JJ's attitude that life is just one great big colorful bubble . . .
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Another scorcher that kept people inside. More to come, I am afraid . . . After several days Mayor Thompson finally commented on Dan Miller's plan for the city's future. She pooh-poohed all of his ideas but had no wisdom of her own to share. Perhaps I was expecting too much . . .
Friday, July 16, 2010
Another hot and uncomfortable day. The postman brought another handful of overdue bills. I really must take the time to balance my finances and stop reading so much. But the reading is so much more pleasant . . . Another house in our neighborhood has gone up for sale. 219 Briggs Street, asking $199,900. That is the fifth or sixth home close to me that is on the market. I cannot remember a time when even one property near The Bare Wall was available for more than a week or two, and I have lived here since 1963. The economy certainly is in bad shape--or is it the chaos at City Hall that makes the buyers skittish? . . .
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Post #386. Another one of those hot sticky days with the promise of worse to come. I guess this is the time of year when people think of going to the beach. That is not for me, though I am happy that Kim and Erica brought us more fudge from their weekend there . . . I think a quiet shady spot perhaps beside a stream is the ticket. There I could cozy up to a book and some lemonade without blaring radios, squealing tires and horn blasts from irate drivers . . . Just today I found this charming village which would make a perfect getaway for a bit. It is a Dutch settlement called Idaerd (I think). And there is also a video tour to go with the picture. Takes just a few moments and the music is pleasant even though I don't know the language. Those of you who know Dutch or German will probably enjoy it even more . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UvHP_nWCY0 . . .
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
A nice long soaking rain, unfortunately followed by humidity and soaring temperatures. Looks like another hot and steamy period coming up . . . I try not to be political here, but thankfully it looks like a few members of city council are awakening to the lack of leadership in government. The council president needs to get on board with the rest of council . . . But the real leadership is coming from Dan Miller (PennLive commentators are already giving him their mayoralty vote). Today Dan presented one scenario for solving the city's money problems (the current mayor promised a plan that never materialized). I am no financial wizard so I don't know how good his plan is, but at least someone is talking about the dire situation. You can access his document here: http://harrisburgcitycontroller.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/Debt-Plan.pdf . . .
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Had a pleasant chat this morning with retired teacher Evelyn Ben-Ami (she still subs at Susquehanna Township); we were exchanging words about our passion for mystery books and series. She is down to “U” in the Sue Grafton books and has also read most of Janet Evanovich which Bob is currently absorbing. Evelyn is a good friend of Lee Spitalny, another mystery book nut who also subs at Susquehanna . . . Just a rumor? A pizza parlor in the old Zephyr Express location . . . JJ was eager for me to see the movie UP. We watched forty minutes before he had to go and he explained it all to me as we went along. Curious how kids can associate themselves with the characters. It was JJ, not Russell, who was having the adventure . . .
Monday, July 12, 2010
Heads up all CAN area residents. Tuesday night/Wednesday morning the three parking spaces in front of 714 Green Street will be posted for a moving van. Vehicles left there can be towed. This will make parking more difficult since the east side of Green Street will also be off limits Tuesday night for street cleaning . . . JJ is very happy with the family's new Honda Pilot. There is a DVD player and a state-of-the-art set of headphones just for him . . .
Sunday, July 11, 2010
One of those glorious summer Sundays. Coffee on the deck, read some of the paper, worked the crossword puzzle, read some of my mystery while sunning, took a quick nap. Fresh cherries for a snack . . . Thrilled to see Jan Hallacher for the first time in years; she had motored down from Dauphin to visit Mom, Betty Immers, and an aunt visiting from Florida. Jan worked for us many, many Christmases ago and was "Queen of the Throws." It was the year that Goodwin Weavers introduced the woven lap blankets (since copied by just about every manufacturer imaginable) and they were the "hot" item for the season. Jan showed them to every one of our customers and must have sold 50 at least and probably more. Not bad at $35 each . . . Members of the Maff clan have assembled from all over for one of those Italian family weekend get-togethers. I was hoping for some leftovers, but hostess Angela Lawson tells me the men attack the buffet like vultures and it is very slim pickings when the event is all over . . .
Saturday, July 10, 2010
A brief respite from the stifling heat of recent days. Some light rain, overcast and in the 70s for the most part. However, the heat wave returns tomorrow and it will be more of the same for most of the week . . . The antique fire apparatus made their annual appearance today along the river in South Harrisburg in tandem with the yearly Shipoke flea market . . . Joanne and Eric had so much fun on the river that they went out and bought kayaks of their own this week. An expensive hobby; hope the novelty doesn't wear off too early. And I was surprised to learn that even kayaks have to be licensed as watercraft. Guess the state needs the money . . .
Friday, July 9, 2010
A slight break from those 100 degree temperatures and an even greater break promised for tomorrow . . . Felicity Fox preparing to visit relatives in England . . . Another departure at City Hall; so many have left the Thompson administration that we wonder who is left to run the city. I wasn't there, but I am told that the mayor's Fourth of July speech was an admonition to all to ignore the media and the blogs; quite a disservice to the First Amendment that we hold so dear in my opinion . . . this crape myrtle tree is in the 1400 block of Green Street and I look forward to its blooms every year. Sorry I cannot give credit to the owner, but it must get a lot of loving attention. It certainly cheers me up every time I pass it. It is just off Reily Street and worth a drive-by if you are in that vicinity . . .
Thursday, July 8, 2010
My office is not air conditioned and it has to be 100 degrees in here. so no long message today . . . Did get a picture of my favorite tree in Harrisburg which I will share in the next few days . . . The Poetry magazines are spoken for . . . One more day and then some relief, or so it is promised . . .
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
HOT HOT HOT. Everyone is suffering headaches, queasy stomachs and/or inertia. Please be careful and remember to water your plants . . . Our thanks to Eric Webb for cleaning up the festival litter in the 700 block of Green Street. Visitors are so inconsiderate . . . All JJ and I wanted was one lousy powdered mini donut but Daddy Eric first made us eat a big bowl of icky-sticky gruel that even Oliver Twist would have given back. By the time we were finished with that slop neither of us wanted the donut. Think we could make a case for abuse of children and the elderly . . .
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
I have not been to the river but my spies tell me that the heat and weak program are keeping the crowds away. Food vendors are not pleased . . . This event does give me the opportunity to vent about a long-held pet peeve. I simply am not in favor of giving live goldfish as prizes in a game of chance. I wonder how many of those poor devils make it through the next two days. I recall there was a time when pastel colored peeps were all the rage at Eastertide and that practice was soon outlawed as animal cruelty or something such. I don't know why these poor fishys don't deserve the same protection . . . Betty Immers has given us one set of Poetry magazine, December 2008 thru September 2009. If anyone is interested, please e-mail or call. First to respond gets the whole bundle for free . . .
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Congratulations to Angela Lawson; she became a grandmother for the third time in the wee small hours of this morning . . . The neighborhood calm was disturbed for two or so hours beginning near midnight by the continuous pop of firecrackers. Some thought a few of the explosions might have been gunfire . . . In the midst of this a mugging was reported at Green and Briggs about 12:30 a.m. Unconfirmed reports say that the perps were five young men, one armed. No other details at this time . . . A little later police and an ambulance were dispatched to North Second near Sassafras Street. If anyone has knowledge of that incident please let me know; e-mail address is to the left . . . We are to be beset by another week of 90+ degree weather; trying to decide if we shouldn't close early when the temps get that high. No one wants to be out in the heat . . . I remind you again that we will be closed Monday whatever the weather. I'll have my nose in a book I am sure . . .
Friday, July 2, 2010
One of those rare days when not a single shred of gossip came our way . . . All the talk is about the state budget and the mess our (Republican) legislators have made of it . . . Fortunately I have my head buried in another mystery book and I haven't been a part of any of it . . .
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Slow day as everyone gears up for the holiday weekend. Please note that we will be closed on Monday . . . Since Google has been dropping some of the blogs without warning, I am wondering if I shouldn't try to copy mine onto a thumb drive or something such without doing an actual print-out. If there is an easy way to do this I hope some computer wizard will let me know . . . We have 500 VCR tapes left in our collection (down from 5500 or so). Many are foreign language ones and most are selling for around $2.00 . . . Our July copies of TheBurg have arrived . . . Lots of people stop and try peeking through the fence at 711 Green to see what is growing there. Well, Bob and Jack lost their big tree this spring so what was once a shaded area can now be filled with sun-loving florals and, boy, they are blooming their little hearts out . . . (click for the full effect) . . .