Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Warmish but rainy all day--among those occasional days when it feels warmer outside than in no matter how high you set the thermostat. There was no one on the street and who could blame them? But my longtime friend (35+ years) Ed Freed came to save the day . . . but wait, Bryan MacLeod just e-mailed to have some bayberry candles put aside. I wonder, does that mean the Bare Wall is now a participant in all that "cyber shopping" that we hear so much about on TV? . . . The kids stopped by after school today and demolished their stash of treats; I haven't seen them that hungry in a long time. Daddy Eric was home preparing pasta. I do hope they ate a little, at least. Otherwise I am in deep doo-doo . . .
Monday, November 29, 2010
Busy day with visits from several friends: Janet Day, Frank Hummert, locksmith J.C. Peters, Eric & Joanne . . . TheBurg for December has arrived; your copy awaits. We thank them for the nice recommendation they made to holiday shoppers about us . . . I am a bit under the weather and hope the situation improves quickly. I can ill afford to be sick at this time of year . . . Shoppers crowded our downtown streets in the mid-'30s as can be seen in this old photo from the Dauphin County Historical Society website. Woolworth's, Bowman's and Pomeroy's are on the left. It was not unusual even in the early '60s to be forced into the street when battling the holiday crowds. And the animated windows at Pomeroy's was a major attraction. You can see more historical photos weekly. Go to http://www.dauphincountyhistory.org/ and scroll down to the bottom of the page . . .
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Boxed Christmas cards were at the top of shopping lists today and we were happy to accommodate. Still a nice selection to meet your needs . . . A nice chat with Jim Akers whom we had not seen for a while . . . Happy 50th birthday to Bill Gipe tomorrow . . . Mike Billo posted a photo on FaceBook of a daredevil Lonnie Kerr on the roof stringing lights . . . Had a moment this morning to check my web cams and it really is snowing in Scotland, Ireland, and parts of Great Britain. More in Maine and New Brunswick but none in Newfoundland. Go figure . . . Jordan Lawson celebrated his 17th birthday today . . .
Saturday, November 27, 2010
A couple of snow flurries throughout the day. Cold, too. Enough to engender the holiday spirit. Thanks to all who came to shop . . . The HHA Candlelight House Tour tickets have arrived. $18. Homes are concentrated in the Midtown area between Forster and Maclay Streets. This year's event is dedicated to Frank Pines who originated the house tour 38 years ago. Allison Hill residences will be featured next year if all goes as envisioned . . . Today's out-of-town visitors were from Washington, D.C. They had seen us on that TripAdvisor site. They apologized straight away; they were not here to shop. But one of the reviews said this was a good place for info and they were looking for a family restaurant and advice on other tourist attractions. Maybe we have a future after all albeit with a different emphasis. The old Harrisburg Tourist Office in Shipoke (once a gas station) will soon be empty again, by the way; The Greater Harrisburg Arts Council is moving its offices to Cameron Street . . . Godson JJ has begun to decorate Uncle Ronn's Christmas tree; he helps with it every year. Earlier on the tree was "bottom heavy" with ornaments, but this year he is taller so we are looking good in the middle as well. By next year he will be able to do the whole thing by himself . . .
Friday, November 26, 2010
We usually do not see a lot of people on "Black Friday" so we were delighted to see so many of you today. (Saturdays are generally better on this particular weekend.) Even better, you took time to look seriously at all our offerings and the selections you made were diverse. That should bode well for the season . . . My thanks to Andrea McKenna who contributed a jigsaw puzzle to my collection . . . I spent every free minute following the Millersburg/Reading Holy Name football game on PennLive. You could comment as the reporter typed out the plays. A fun way to participate when you couldn't get to the game. The underdog Millersburg team acquitted themselves quite well but fell short in the final minute. Their parents, friends and classmates should applaud their effort with pride . . . The crowd and chaos of the season did not bother Miss Cecilia who found a quiet corner at Barnes & Noble and rose above the rabble. Hard to say what she found so interesting, but it obviously was better than the actions of the crazies swirling about her . . .
Thursday, November 25, 2010
* My Favorite Holiday *
Let me tell you how I usually celebrate Thanksgiving . . . First, I get two feasts. (I do like to eat.) On Wednesday evening I prepare a special ham dinner for Ronn and me. (Ronn does not eat turkey!) . . . Then, on Thursday, I go up river (not over) and through the woods to my brother and sister-in-law’s house where the entire family congregates. I’m loaded down with a cooked ham (a different one), my own frozen corn, and ranch dressing crackers. When I arrive, Jacquie, my sister-in-law, has taken the turkey from the electric roaster and Dave, my brother, is cutting the turkey with his lethal looking electric knife, putting it back into the roaster to keep warm . . . Others arrive loaded down with various foods. After a flurry of last minute preparations, we all sit down at one big table groaning with food—ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, three kinds of stuffing, two vegetables--to name a few. Dave says grace and then we eat and eat . . . We tease Jerry, my niece’s husband, not to mistake the salad dressing for gravy and pour it over his potatoes and stuffing as he did one year . . . Then it is clear the table and load the dishwasher for its first of many loads . . . and on to dessert—pies, cakes, cookies, and usually something gooey and extremely fattening. No one has any room for dessert, but we eat anyway . . . Now it’s football/nap time and tales of hunting—after all, deer season begins Monday—all under the watchful eyes of those deer heads staring down on us . . . By mid-afternoon when I have burped enough to be able to walk, Trish, my niece, and I along with any young kids who want to tag along, go out into Dave’s woods to collect greens for holiday decorating. By the time we get back from our trek people are thinking about eating again . . . There is nothing better than cold sliced stuffing slathered with cranberry sauce and topped with sliced turkey. There is a lot of “I can’t eat another bite,” but we do. Then we help clean up a bit and begin heading home with the admonition to watch out for deer . . . This is MY Thanksgiving . . .
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
People hit the road early for the Thanksgiving holiday. The street was empty most of the day. Bob made us a wonderful ham dinner tonight and topped it off with his own pumpkin pie . . . We certainly give thanks to the mayor for finally stepping forward and addressing the criminal activities that have been taking place for the past several months. She promises action will be taken to make our streets safe; about time we hear from her. She wants parents to convince their family's criminals to change their ways; I am not optimistic that this approach will accomplish much . . .
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Nice turnout today as you made your preparations for Thanksgiving visitors. The gas line crew spent the day drilling and filling little holes up and down the block. Does this mean they will dig or are they satisfied with what they have learned? . . . Received more Campbell Pottery today, the last shipment before the holiday. Some very nice pieces and new designs. These will definitely please the collectors . . . Learned that Officer Chris Butler who has been traveling with Officer Hammaker most of the summer will be on patrol in our area evenings in an attempt to stem the crime wave we have been experiencing lately. There are also some "undercovers" lurking about. 'Tis rumored that there may be some leads in the recent criminal activity. Let us hope so . . . Remember that we are open Sundays from noon until 4 p.m. beginning this weekend. I have entered this fact under our hours on the left . . . Apparently some have been told that we have Candlelight House Tour tickets; we will have but they haven't been delivered yet. Will blog the fact when they arrive . . .
Monday, November 22, 2010
Surprisingly quiet day. Where are you folks? . . . No sleeping in tomorrow. UGI group plans to dig next door. They promise it will all be done in one day. The area is posting NO PARKING, but of course the locals shouldn't be there anyway--it is street cleaning night . . . It snowed again today in Moncton, New Brunswick, which caused a rush-hour traffic jam this afternoon. I forgot to add the webcam address yesterday. Just remember that they are an hour ahead of us, so you won't see much at 11 p.m . . . http://grandpajim.camstreams.com/ . . .
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Lazed in bed for most of the morning but finally lost the battle with a leaf blower somewhere down the block . . . Two cups of coffee didn't provide much inspiration but I did get some checks written and I worked on the inventory. If you have an extra $40,000 you can have just about everything in the store . . . Visited a few of my favorite webcam sites; there had been snow in Moncton, New Brunswick. One wag from Ontario posted the following: According to surveys Canadians walk 900 miles a year. They also drink 22 gallons of beer per annum. On average, then, a fellow gets 41 miles to the gallon . . . Bob spent the afternoon haunting toy counters in the hope of finding JJ an appropriate Christmas gift. Bob returned empty-handed and complaining about all the junk that we are supposed to foist upon the kids . . . Well, it is time to get crackin' on those Christmas greetings. We have a nice supply of boxed cards. I do regret that young folks seem to prefer the convenient but impersonal "tweet or twitter" for their holiday message. Wouldn't they themselves rather receive a nicely illustrated card that could be displayed on buffet or mantel? I deplore the loss of social graces these days, though I myself do not practice them enough. Bob is our "social secretary" and religiously sends birthday cards and thank you notes for the both of us . . .
Saturday, November 20, 2010
JJ and Cecilia got a crow's nest view of today's holiday parade. There appeared to be quite a turnout, so we were disappointed when so few stopped in to see our wares. A father and his two sons from Lewistown did pay a visit and were thrilled with their "find;" they left in an excited state with the perfect gift for mom . . . Santa got up-staged today, however; the talk on everyone's lips was about Thompson. Apparently our mayor has not yet discovered that the city is near bankruptcy; she wants to nearly double her own budget for the coming year just as she is talking layoffs and the closing of a fire station. It seems she has a lot of travel plans on her wish list. I try not to be political, but one man's comment on PennLive did give me a smile. He is all for the travel--if it is a one-way ticket . . .
Friday, November 19, 2010
Okay, folks, it is time to get serious about Thursday's Thanksgiving celebration. We still have pumpkins and pilgrims for your table centerpiece. There are also nine-inch dinner tapers in various shades of orange that burn for more than 13 hours. Each pair is $5.75 . . . Scent the air with a wonderful aroma; our fragrant pumpkin spice candle will do that nicely . . . Did a friend or relative invite you for dinner? We've a nice selection of host/hostess gifts at a variety of price points. A six-pot collection of coffees is $8.75; our box of beautifully decorated mints is $15. And we wrap it for you, of course . . . It is not too late to send a greeting card; we still have a nice selection of those . . . There are just too many options to mention here. Please drop by for a look around. We will be happy to make suggestions . . . (Note that there has been an added comment to Tuesday's post. Did you contact a council person yet?) . . .
Thursday, November 18, 2010
We are rushing along here and hope to have most of the decorating done in time for Harrisburg's holiday parade on Saturday. I do have one unhappy note for all you visitors, however; St. Michael's Lutheran Church on State Street will not be providing free hot dogs to the attendees as they have done in the past. That tradition has been interrupted by a scheduling conflict--the church will be used for a wedding on Saturday. So bring your own coffee and snacks and be sure to visit The Bare Wall when the festivities end . . . While here be sure to pick up your pair of bayberry candles. We generally sell out early and end up disappointing a customer or two on New Year's Eve . . . The Patriot-News has apparently awakened to the fact that there is a crime wave in the city; there was a story of sorts in today's paper (but far from inclusive). Perhaps we will even hear from the mayor--eventually. We are still asking that you e-mail city council with your concerns . . .
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Very windy and slow, business-wise; where is everybody? Another half-empty street all day. All the utilities are drawing their squiggles on the roadway in my block. Are they about to dig AGAIN? They seem always to know when I most need free access to the store and do their best to close the street . . . JJ, like all youngsters, loved his Crocs footwear, but they now will take a back seat to the real thing. Today was a boat ride through the swamp to see dozens of alligators; he even got to hold a wee one. One picture did make me smile--JJ wearing a life jacket in the boat with reptiles all around. Had he fallen overboard I am not sure the Mae West would have been of much help . . . I hope everyone--especially those in Midtown--will take the time to read the comment attached to yesterday's post. Rick and Mary Ann May have e-mailed Councilwoman Kim about the epidemic of crime in our neighborhood. I hope others will do the same--Rick has provided the address, and I will be sending my message as well. We need to make a stink if we hope for any assistance from City Hall . . .
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
A dreary rainy day with nary a soul about. You had your choice of parking spots up and down the street . . . We spent the day decorating. The place is starting to look quite festive . . . People are beginning to refer to Harrisburg as "Detroit City" and with good reason. The weekend brought midtown a home invasion, a kidnapping/car-jacking, a mugging in which a young lady was bound with duct tape and a shooting out on the hill. Truly, this is not a safe place after dark and I am beginning to wonder about the daylight as well. It is time to let the mayor and city council know how we feel; hope our various neighborhood organizations mount a campaign soon. And I was not joking about the National Guard. Whatever it takes . . . "The Kid" is on vacation this week and for some reason I have missed him terribly so last night's telephone call was especially welcome. He rattled on at some length about the plane ride and other things which I didn't always comprehend. "Sure are a lot of coconut trees around here" was one of the items I understood. But the sign-off was heart-warming: "I love you and I will be home on Friday" . . . Bob has made sure that there are Tootsie Rolls awaiting . . .
Monday, November 15, 2010
Overcast but warm. I had expected more customers than we got . . . Bob's plumber, Tom Arndt, came by to repair our outside spigot which sprung a leak last week. Bob "inherited" Tom from Judy Robinson and he came with the highest recommendation. He had done the plumbing work for Judy before Bob bought the house from her . . . We cleared the front window and made a first effort at decorating it for the holiday. Doubtless there will be many changes through the season . . . Tried to clean up the computer files a bit and was surprised to find that JJ's personal folder was created in 2oo7. Heck, the kid was barely one-and-a-half when he started clicking the mouse. He has learned to stick to his own files--so far . . .
Sunday, November 14, 2010
It was unseasonably warm today and the trees were shedding leaves blizzard-like. Quite a sight. I would rather rake than shovel . . . Today was Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom when the country honors its war dead (similar to our Memorial Day). Welsh Radio had an interesting piece that was something of an eye-opener for me; I had never given a thought to the thousands of animal "soldiers" that were sacrificed during the conflicts. Horses, mules, dogs, carrier pigeons. It was mentioned that during the U.S.'s hasty and chaotic withdrawal from Vietnam we had to abandon numerous kennels of "sniffer dogs." I don't recall any news program that mentioned that fact . . . Used much of the day to clean my environment. Why did I ever keep this stuff in the first place? Does it mysteriously multiply when the lights go out? . . . I have already mentioned that Bob bought us a new flat-screen computer monitor and that means we have the big boxy old one to get rid of. It was almost new so if anyone could use it, please come pick it up. No charge . . .
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Well, it has happened again. The Patriot-News did a little squibb about the city arts scene and managed to mention just about every little venue in our neighborhood except for The Bare Wall. We have only been here for 38 years; you'd think they might have heard of us. Who you gotta know on the editorial board to get noticed? . . . Lee Spitalny dropped by to do a bit of shopping and brought me some more puzzles for my collection. I am not hoping for another blizzard like we had last year, but it would give me the time to work on my jigsaws . . . Ronald Hoffman and his A-Team Construction crew from Dillsburg kept their promise of a month ago and made the repairs to my house. Really nice job and it certainly leaves me with one less thing to worry about . . . (But Bob says I'll find something else to worry about--even if it is only Sarah Palin.) . . .
Friday, November 12, 2010
Keep forgetting to thank Jacquie Kirby Hensel publicly for the nice plug she gave The Bare Wall in this month's Re/Max Realty News. Very much appreciated . . . Two black teens in hoodies accosted a young man on North Street in the early evening yesterday. Blows were exchanged but the victim escaped. Two others (?) attacked a woman fifteen minutes later as she left her job at the hospital. There were several similar incidents out on the hill in the past 48 hours. Still no reaction from our mayor. It is time that we request National Guard assistance. I have lived here since 1962 and cannot remember any such crime wave by armed young people . . . Bob put up the store Christmas tree and decorated it this afternoon. Nice . . . Joe Kershner so enjoyed our link to The Four Freshmen singing It's a Blue World that he posted it on his FaceBook page. I notice that since the subject first surfaced there have been more than one hundred additional hits on that site. Think Joe and I can take the credit for at least some of those . . .
Thursday, November 11, 2010
I am in deep doo-doo with a couple of my customers. Just learned that the company has had a little trouble with its cranberry soap and it won't be available for Christmas. Maybe our patrons will settle for the Forest Pine scent instead. ($2 per bar.) At least I can report that the cranberry tea arrived and bags have been tucked away for those of you who called us earlier . . . The new Campbell pottery has also arrived. Some very pretty pieces though we lost a huge urn in the shipping. Bill has promised to replace that as soon as possible . . . Some of you were out and about during your Veterans' Day vacation. Thanks for stopping by . . . My father was in WWII and was seriously injured in the battle for Metz, France. He never complained about the constant pain and serious limp that resulted but he constantly complained that he never got onto German soil. "Just a few miles further and I would have been there" . . . We still have copies of David Hoffman's book of his father's letters home from the Continent during the conflict. $19.95 . . .
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
The conversion from autumn to Christmas continues, but slowly. We will have it all in place by the day after Thanksgiving, I am sure . . . Talked to Fred in Portland, Ore., and will have a fresh display of his glass jewelry in a few weeks . . . The Christmas mints arrived and are still $15. Since I had over-stocked last year I have cut our order drastically, so if you are looking forward to these sweets please give us a call and we will put yours aside. Also have a few boxes of peanut butter fudge. $10 . . . Bob and I are possessed as godparents: we both have been avoiding the candy bowl because there are only a few little Tootsie Rolls left and we don't want to deprive "the kid" when he comes . . . Larry Kirkhuff has sympathized with me for not being a passenger on that stranded ocean liner. All the passengers have for food is SPAM, one of my favorites. Thanks to the trip to the doctor and my cholesterol count I have been deprived of it for almost a year now. My mouth waters just typing this . . .
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Glad news and sad news today . . . Excited to report that Jaime and Bryan MacLeod will be adding to their family about April 15 or so. Jaime will probably finish the school year on maternity leave . . . Longtime residents of the neighborhood will remember "Timmy" Marahoris who lived above the restaurant at North and Susquehanna Streets. He was interred today at Ft. Indiantown Gap National Cemetery having won a bronze star in the Korean Conflict. Tim was 80. His family had owned a chain of movie houses in the Eastern part of the state at one time and Timmy had a huge collection of movie memorabilia that must have been worth thousands. Wonder whatever became of that . . . Eric and Sarah Battisti climbed and climbed stair after stair this morning and were rewarded with a fantastic view of The Mall from the top of our nation's Capitol. So glad they shared it with us. Splendid . . . The shift is on: merchandise is moving from table to table as we prepare for the holiday season. The first wreaths are up over the archways, thanks to Bob . . . a former teacher, Bob has been disturbed by the suicides of a number of teenagers across the nation and especially by the local boy who stepped out onto the highway in front of truck to end his life. Bob was moved to write the following: I don’t get on a soapbox about too many things, but the recent suicide of a young teen from Snyder County has stirred me to comment. Being a teenager is difficult enough, but being a teenager who is gay—or presumed gay—is an almost impossible situation, especially in a rural area of Pennsylvania where anyone who does not conform to the norm is suspect, whether it is by dress, interests or mannerisms. It’s these kids who are labeled queers, faggots, lesbians, etc. . . . The rural teen has nowhere or no one to turn to. He sees himself alone. He is afraid to talk to parents out of fear of rejection; he can’t talk to his minister who thumps the Bible and cites Leviticus, and most school guidance counselors are guide-less. Most kids try to appear to fit the “mold” and pray for the day they can get out of this hell hole; a few see no way out. They are the ones who die . . .
Monday, November 8, 2010
Windy day. Everyone trying to corral leaves for tonight's street cleaning but with little success . . . The English soaps arrived. Smelly and beautifully wrapped. Bergamot tea, Lemon basil, Serenity (the company's most popular). The bath bar size is $9.50 and the two-bar gift package is $17. The packaging is quite elegant . . . Bob made a half-hearted attempt to begin our holiday decorating; we want it to be Thanksgiving and Christmas at the same time. I am still digging through closets for our holiday cheer. Where did all these Santas come from? . . . My neighbors were jogging on the river at dusk and saw (not encountered) a man with a knife. Police were summoned to check it out but nothing further to report at this writing . . . The talk over the weekend was about the location of the Frigate where the Four Freshmen reportedly performed once. We are thinking it might have been in the old Beachcomber building on Walnut near Penbrook. Keep asking the old folks, please. In the meanwhile, enjoy the frosh singing It's a Blue World, their theme song more or less. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iggWvFgp3KE
Sunday, November 7, 2010
I was a theater addict back in the ‘60s. I couldn’t wait to get to New York, Philadelphia, or to our own professional company, the Arena House just off Market Square on Second Street. I have a huge collection of old playbills. Some bring back wonderful memories; a few I don’t even remember. . . One musical that caught my fancy was Riverwind, a little show down in Greenwich Village that ran for over a year. I saw it a couple of times there, and again at Arena House when Helon Blount of the original cast came to Harrisburg to reprise her role . . . I wore out my vinyl cast recording but luckily my techno-savvy friend John Bartolotta was able to transfer it to CD for me. Just last year Playbill campaigned for re-issues of shows on CD that have thus far been ignored and Riverwind was one of them. (Another was Man With a Load of Mischief which I will tell you about at a later date) . . . Riverwind is set in a dilapidated cabins-only motel along the Wabash in Indiana run by a widowed mother (Blount) and her daughter who is adored by the young handyman. Two couples are patrons: a pair “living in sin” for seven years and an older couple whose marriage is failing; they have returned here because this was a stop on their honeymoon. Essentially it is a story of people “finding themselves” and of course it all works out. There are some very good tunes, some innovative for their day . . . As good as the show was, that is not the most memorable thing about the New York production. Here we are in rural Indiana, crickets chirping and frogs croaking. So-o-o-o bucolic! But the venue was a couple of flights down into the depths of the building, and—would you believe—every so often the subway would rumble through right under our feet! Talk about breaking the mood . . . I think one of our local theater companies ought to consider scheduling this. My research suggests that it is inexpensive to license and mount . . . You can hear thirty seconds of each song from the original cast recording here: http://www.mtishows.com/show_detail.asp?showid=000104 . . .
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Clocks go back tonight. That means we will all feel gloomy at four p.m. until we get used to it. I just do not feel comfortable these days once the sun goes down. I remind you again that we will not have evening hours for the holiday except by appointment . . . Caitlin Pennington of Dayton, Ohio, in town to spend several days with grandparents Wes and Yvonne Brown; of course, any visit to Pennsylvania means a shopping trip to The Bare Wall . . . In response to yesterday's post Dr. Bob Coldren e-mailed to say that as a youth he frequented a PennSupreme ice cream parlor. He never finished his "pig dinner" however because he doesn't like bananas so he never got a button to wear . . . We have a nice selection of cards for Thanksgiving Day . . . Cecilia asks: How many pies are you making, Mom? This big enough? . . .
Friday, November 5, 2010
Entered a very optimistic order with Bill Campbell for his pottery today despite the fact that we saw only two customers. (Thanks Charles F. and Jack B.) There will be quite a collection of vases this time around . . . TheBurg reports that the former Ron Brown Charter School buildings along Third Street at Boas have been repurchased by a for-profit education firm which could signal another attempt at a center city charter school. It was hoped that the properties might become storefronts and offices to compliment the growing business district in that area . . . I've been thinking about Sunday's post concerning the closing of dairy stores in Wales and realized that the same thing has already happened here. Remember the soda shoppes and ice cream parlors we once had? In the Bedford-Johnstown area in the '50s they were Dairy Dell with sit-down service and lots of ice cream treats. Dairy Queen and Twin Kiss were springing up to serve the drive-in crowd. When I came to Harrisburg in the early '60s we walked up Sixth Street to Maclay a few evenings a week to partake of sweets at Dairy Maid. They (and other places across the country) served a gigantic banana split in a trough-shaped container; if you ate it all you got a button to wear: I was a pig at -----. We still have BBBs and Dairy Queen of course, but nothing to compare with those other-era venues with vinyl booths and a jukebox . . . Some home decor for the Thanksgiving get-together. The pilgrims are $16.50 the set (we have two sets), the turkey is $20 (also two) and the embroidered dish towel is $5.25 (only a couple left) . . .
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Chilly, rainy, raw. A sad kind of day for Bob to attend a family funeral. It was made sadder when he got a flat tire en route . . . Barbara Allen came to claim her gift certificate and after some soul-searching she bought something for herself. Jean Leonard had come earlier in the week and did the same thing. Good for you, girls . . . Jim Cowden celebrates a birthday tomorrow . . . Copies of the latest Central Voice, the area's gay newspaper, have arrived and are available free at The Bare Wall . . . Had a nice chat with Sue Jennings in West Virginia and ordered some more of her and her husband's wood ware--tea tweezers, cookie shovels, pie servers, etc. Theirs is an interesting story and I quote from something Sue has written . . . "(Stan and I) met while working underground in the coal mines in October 1984, but soon found ourselves out of a job one month later when the mines shut down. We married in 1986 and began our woodworking career in 1990. What started as our hobby easily turned into a full-time profession. Our ancestors, both colonial and shaker in nature, provided a wealth of knowledge and designs that have proven successful in today's kitchens . . . We've been honored with many awards and recognitions for our work over the years, one of which includes a listing in the Early American Homes Directory of the top 200 Traditional Craftsmen in the United States." . . . The shipment should arrive in about two weeks . . .
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Quiet street and slow traffic. Guess everyone had an Election night hangover. As I suspected, my candidates were losers. I feel like singing a Kermit lament: "It's not easy being . . . red." Bob had a friend running for the State House; Bob is sad for him, but glad. The friend lost, but he was running on the Republican ticket . . . My thanks to Susan Wesley for the free jigsaw puzzle; Joe Russian also has been contributing to my stash. Now if I could only find the time to puzzle and to read the stack of books that continues to grow . . . Another home in our neighborhood is now on the market. This house in the 800 block of Second is superb, especially the third floor deck that overlooks the river . . .
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Okay, okay, folks, I got your messages loud and clear so today I placed an order for the cranberry tea and the cranberry soap. Both come from Maine and should be here by the end of next week. I had forgotten that these are holiday stocking stuffer staples. Many mea culpas! (Is that spelled right?) . . . And let me remind everyone that I still have a few copies of Odin Rathnam's CD The Four Seasons. $15. Another good stuffer . . . I also have to apologize to Bob for doubting that he saw a deer roaming his neighborhood earlier this week. He wasn't the only one it seems. Everyone was doubting his own eyesight and looking for confirmation from others on the street . . . Got a solicitation in the mail today asking if The Bare Wall would be interested in some program advertising. We get a lot of those throughout the year but haven't the resources to follow through; this one, however, was really intriguing. It came from the Harrisburg Harp Orchestra which is playing two concerts at the Whittaker Center on Sunday, Nov. 28. According to their promo this is their seventh season and they are one of the largest such organizations in the nation. I had never heard of them I am sorry to say and I do try to keep up with the local arts scene. Just cannot imagine what 48 harps in concert must sound like. Unfortunately the store will be open during those performances so I will not be able to attend but I hope to hear from someone who does. I find the whole idea fascinating. Maybe someone will post some of the performance on YouTube . . . I voted today and was the 181st to do so at our polling place; usually I am 65th or so. I posted this fact on FaceBook and got responses from Joe Kershner in York and Michael Billo in the suburbs who experienced the same thing. So happy to see so many making the effort though I doubt that my candidates will win. I fear this election may create more problems than it solves and that we will have two more years of wrangling . . . And I still do not understand what is wrong with health care for everyone . . . (Please note that yesterday's post now contains a comment from a reader.) . . .
Monday, November 1, 2010
Sorry to hear that our little grocery store at Green and Hamilton was robbed by two armed black men last Friday morning . . . Lindsay Mills e-mailed to remind us that St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 118 State Street, will be selling carry-out soup and baked goods from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. tomorrow. The church is our polling place. Everyone--please vote . . . Suzi Marsico called to say that she does indeed remember the Four Freshmen fondly. They were a favorite group of hers back then. She and her husband, Ed, heard them in the early sixties at the old 210 Club on Walnut Street. For you youngsters, that venue was in the basement of the building now housing The Plum. We are still trying to find out where the Frigate was . . . Today's out-of-towners were two young women from Pittsburgh who discovered us on the Internet. We had a wonderful visit; I recalled some favorite haunts of mine in Steeltown during the sixties. Most of them are now gone, I was told, but La Mont is still feeding the well-heeled up on Mount Washington . . . Miss Cecilia thinks she is ready to strut the runway as a super model. She demonstrated her technique for dad's camera this morning . . . Well, yesterday was Halloween, tomorrow is Election Day. Is the spooky stuff over or is it just beginning? . . .