Happy birthday to Kevin Hancock . . . Got our flu shots today . . . Ended the month a tad short but with all the rain I cannot blame you for staying indoors and away from the shop . . . Went to the soccer game tonight. Air was nippy. Our team got creamed but then, JJ and his buddies haven't had a practice since their last game. Every practice session has been rained out . . . Janet Foreman in the 900 block of Green lost her large doorway welcoming planter to thieves. The police took a report. Apparently this is the time for carting indoors what doesn't actually belong to you. Others take note . . . Got a new shipment of jigsaw puzzles today; those who like giving a little tough one to their friends for the holidays will want to check out the 1500-piece photo of ribbon candies . . . TheBurg for October has arrived. Come get your copy and ignore the flood picture on the cover. Here is a preview of our advertisement . . .
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Weather to be cooler, dryer and sunnier over the next several days. Let us hope so . . . While, as I said in past posts, I am not in favor of painting fire hydrants (which seems to have sprung from the bicentennial celebration thirty-plus years ago) I am happy that our neighbor Pam MacNett and her friend Anna Leal won second place in the Friends of Midtown painting contest. You can see their work at the stairway to the Subway Restaurant on Forester Street. First place went to Vivian Calderon for a hydrant at Third and Calder and third place to Rachael Campbell at Third and Muench . . . Friends of Midtown is sponsoring a neighborhood cleanup Saturday; meet at the First Methodist Church, Susquehanna and Boas, at 10 a.m. The Harrisburg Young Professionals will be weeding and cleaning the Forster Street median at the same time and would appreciate any volunteers who would like to join them . . .
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Heavy rains again today. Our doors to the store are so swollen that I fear one of these mornings we won't be able to get in at all . . . Placed an order for jigsaw puzzles today; they generally ship quickly. Bought a couple of brain-busters for those who like the hard ones . . . It was reported today that if the state takes over the city Miss Linda will be out as mayor more or less and will be reduced to just having a seat on an advisory council. Sounds good to me, if a takeover comes to pass . . . Don't want this blog to be dripping with politics--there are enough of those on the 'net--but I do believe that the four members of council who are against the takeover plan must devise something in its stead. They are beginning to act less like Democrats and more like Tea Party people with a "just say no to anything" philosophy. We deserve something more . . .
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
My 69-year-old baby sister will celebrate her birthday tomorrow. Have a great day, sis . . . Almost every one I know is suffering some kind of sinus headache. I feel the same when I awake in the morning, but fortunately mine seems to clear up by noon. We need several days of sunshine to dry out . . . We will be celebrating the store's 39th anniversary at the end of October. We have used the slogan Just Like Georgetown for that entire period, but recently we began to question ourselves. The phrase was valid back in 1972 when our shop and theirs featured primarily handcrafted items. But none of us--and no one we know--has been in that section of Washington, D.C., for years and years. In short, we haven't a clue as to what Georgetown is like today. If anyone has been there recently, please let us know . . .
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Played some one-on-one soccer with JJ yesterday afternoon. (Oh my aching bones! I had to take a pain pill when I got home.) I never did learn what constituted a “score” but JJ said I lost, 12-2 . . . Sarah Battisti snapped this beautiful picture of a rose at a winery she and husband Eric were visiting near Portland, Oregon, earlier this week. I should have asked them to look up Fred Imhoff who makes our glass earrings and who is opening a new studio just outside of Portland . . . I am putting religion and politics aside and simply saying that The time has come. Anyone who was around in 1948 will remember the photos in Life Magazine and others that showed people being removed from their homes and placed in concentration camps during the establishment of Israel. It must have been much like the Highland Clearances in Scotland or the removal to reservations of the Indians in America. All was to be quickly resolved, but nothing has been. Now Palestine has asked for United Nations action, and I for one believe that steps should be taken and a new state created. Yes, there will be many arguments against such a position and some may be valid, but these people have been in limbo for over sixty years. Enough is enough . . .
Saturday, September 24, 2011
The Friends of Midtown block party in the 1600 block of Susquehanna Street is going full blast as I write . . . The Lingus fig tree produced an abundant crop this season; Mom Lingus brought a batch to share with Bob and we thank her for them . . . I guess we all know that ABC Television is showing a new series, Pan Am, Sunday night at 10 p.m. If this show fails it is not because of a lack of promotion. I feel almost obligated to give it a look; back in the early 1960s when I was trying to learn about investing, the first stock I bought was Pan Am. Happy to report that I escaped with my investment but didn't make any money . . . OH DEAR! I don't know all the particulars, but I just learned that JJ was being bullied this week by a fellow kindergarten student. JJ took matters into his own hands and bloodied the boy's nose. Don't know what the outcome will be, but at least the teacher saw the whole thing . . .
Friday, September 23, 2011
Rain, rain, heavy rain. But--surprise, surprise--a very busy day in the store. Bob sold a little bit of everything--silk scarf, candles, pottery, cards--and entertained a first-time couple from Lykens . . . Mayor Thompson's initial town meeting apparently didn't go very well since only five people showed up, but it was reported that she did impersonations of council members and Dan Miller. Just another night at The Improv, but you youngsters aren't going to understand the reference . . . Some would argue that the mayor has been a stand-up comic ever since she appeared on the political scene . . .
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Muggy day. Still trying to recover from my hospital visit . . . Thanks to Randy for bringing Whoopie Pies for JJ, Cecilia and me . . . If the weatherman is correct, JJ's soccer game will be rained out tomorrow. And I was really looking forward to that . . . Bob and I placed a large order for Root Candles which should arrive here sometime next week. We are doing our best to gear up for the fall season . . . Brief visit with Don Yearsley who told me that his companion, Larry Valerio, is a faithful reader. Sure hope I spelled their names correctly . . .
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
GOOD NEWS. The all-forgiving and wise mayor has rescinded her threat to fine Shipoke residents if their curbside trash is not immediately removed. Perhaps she surveyed other neighborhoods where the same problem exists. Thompson may also have learned that there is a distinct lack of mobilized resources for the carting away this debris . . . NOT SO GOOD NEWS. My surgery this morning didn't go as well as this same procedure some weeks back. Nonetheless the new stent is in place and if all goes well we will not have to worry about it for another six months. But I had to rise at two a.m. to take a pill (Bob woke me, of course) and I couldn't fall back to sleep. We were in registration at seven for a nine o'clock surgery that didn't come off until eleven thirty but I did get a great box lunch out of it. Bob was going to fill the hours with his new book and didn't realize until it was too late that he had brought along the volume he had just finished. It was a long morning for him also. BUT I still want to thank Dr. Jay Goodman and his very wonderful and professional team: Donna, Ann, Brooke, Will and Jack . . . I was pleased that the Pat-News paid tribute to the Mennonites who have been working tirelessly to help home owners who had flood damage. I remember that during Agnes a lot of high-profile charities came to the city to help, but as soon as the cameras stopped rolling they picked up their chariots and left. But the Mennonite groups representing several factions of the sect stayed for months and never sought recognition for their deeds. There are several relief services active now, but if you would like to contribute something to the effort you might send your check to Mennonite Messianic Mission Relief, 40 Woodcorner Road, Ephrata, Pa 17522 . . . We have used these $8 pumpkin plates to enhance our fall decor for several years now, and it is time for them to go. Those that remain are on sale for $5 . . .
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
It appears that Alvaro's at Green and Peffer is back in business after having suffered storm damage. The chairs and tables are back out on the sidewalk, at least . . . Had a nice visit from Jim Akers this afternoon . . . My hospital procedure is scheduled for tomorrow morning at nine ("be here by seven a.m."). If all goes smoothly we should be able to open the store around noon . . . Her Highness Miss Linda has given her Shipoke subjects an ultimatum: Get the flood-damaged trash off your property or face a fine of $1000 or so. God forbid that she should ask the victims of this tragedy just what help the city might give them. But even more curious: there are similar piles of trash in the uptown area along several streets. Will these people also be fined? Someone wrote on PennLive that this is a racist edict and I must admit that it would seem so. Stay tuned . . . This set of nesting boxes with a leaf motif is really quite handsome. Someone will take it home for $23.50 . . .
Monday, September 19, 2011
Yesterday's "mystery" associated with the photograph has been partially solved. Jacquie Kirby Hensel, Lee Spitalny and a few others provided tidbits of info that I was able to put together. It would appear that the building on the left with the Star of David was used by Orthodox Jewish Women for a religious ritual called mikveh, an act of cleansing. I will not attempt to describe it here, but if you Goggle the word you can easily find information on the practice. It can also apply to Jewish men, I believe, if I was reading correctly. This building was abandoned for another further uptown, I was told. Now we still need to know about the edifice with the Byzantine cross . . . Bob and I are definitely getting old and are out of the cultural loop; when we read the names of the Emmy winners in this morning's paper we realized that we had never seen a single program among the winners and only one star's name was familiar. We both could have been great Jeopardy contestants at one time, but now the questions are so often devoted to pop culture ("Who had the top record album in 2002?") that we never could compete . . . And speaking of Bob, I do not think that I give him enough credit here as I should. He has been so supportive during this difficult year--helping in the store but also doing the shopping, the laundry, the cleaning, the cooking--on and on. I am so lucky . . .
Sunday, September 18, 2011
What a glorious day! Gallery Walk may have had to delay a week because of flooding but Mother Nature certainly made up for all her recent fickleness. We enjoyed our annual visit with Tucker and Gladys Hill. They have been stopping by during the Walk for the last five years or so . . . It is obvious to faithful readers that we dote on JJ; we give him every encouragement even when his effort may not rate an A-plus. We want him to know that he is loved. However, I do try to be fair when I make my reports here, so I hope I am not being disloyal when I write that, much as I enjoyed his work on the soccer field, it was evident to me that the girls on his squad were definitely better than the boys . . . I spotted this curiosity on the 200 block of Harris Street some time ago, and I am hopeful that someone out there can enlighten us as to how it came about. You may have to click on the picture and enlarge it to see what I am talking about: the house on the right is decorated with a cross at the top of its facade while the house on the left features a star of David. We wonder why these religious symbols were placed here. Were they religious institutions at one time? Were residents simply announcing their religious preference? Or are these nothing but decoration at the whim of the builder? The two buildings between these have no similar decorations, as you can see. If anyone can shed any light on this, please let me know. E-mail address on the left . . .
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Nippy weather, a bit too chilly to sit on the porch with my morning coffee and the newspaper. A minor warm-up in the afternoon . . . We will be open for Gallery Walk tomorrow although you will not see us on the official program. Please tell your friends; we plan to open around noon . . . Bob enjoyed some nice retail today while I watched football and worked on my puzzle. He especially had a good time with a group of mostly foreign students from Elizabethtown College who were visiting Harrisburg for their first time . . . Thanks to Susan and John Wesley for the jigsaw puzzles they brought me this afternoon . . . Heart-pounding excitement: Godson JJ Battisti out-runs the black-shirted "Philadelphia" players and scores a goal for his "San Francisco" teammates. Can it get any better than this? Not if you are a doting parent, grandparent--or godfather . . .
Friday, September 16, 2011
Happened to pass Cathedral School as the students practiced a fire drill; I was impressed with how quietly they executed this. I remember that as an elementary student we were quite a loud bunch as we got an unexpected classroom break . . . The idea of making English Pennsylvania's official language has reared its head again in our legislature; I suppose mine is an unpopular opinion but I have advocated such a law for fifty years . . . The mayor wants to raise some parking fees; I cannot complain about the raise in residential parking permits (we old men get ours for free) but I do believe that a hike in our already salty meter fees is a mistake . . . Bob and I spent the early evening attending JJ's first soccer game. It certainly was America suburbia at its best and the kid scored a goal. We were very proud of his effort. The air was nippy with a promise of fall on the horizon . . . And another sign of the season is this cute fellow in the front garden of a house in the 200 block of Emerald Street . . .
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Due to some issues with ground water, the Harris Street Methodist Church must postpone its popular fall flea market that was scheduled for this Saturday. This event attracts shoppers from far and wide, so please do what you can to alert you r friends to this delay . . . Owners of convertibles with cloth tops please take note: vandals have attempted entry into these vehicles by slicing the fabric in the 200 block of Herr Street and the 1600 block of Green Street within the last few days. DO NOT leave any valuables in your car, especially ones that can be seen from the outside. Try to park under a street lamp or other well lit place . . . Dee Doud called this afternoon to alert us to a major auto accident at Green and Forster. I do not have any particulars about the event, but I did see at least one other damaged car. This one, as you can see, ended up on the divide at Green . . .
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Judging from the piles of trash outside, Alvaro's Restaurant and Bakery at Green and Peffer was severely water damaged during the storm. The venue remains closed . . . Thanks to Jay Risser who returned from his Delaware vacation with a bucket of caramel popcorn for Bob and me . . . The new glassware from Ron Hinkle arrived today. There are several new items including a beautiful but pricey candy dish . . . My newest hospital procedure has been scheduled for next Wednesday . . . Today's out-of-town visitor did not find us on the Internet. Rather, he was lunching at the Firehouse Restaurant and reading TheBurg when he ran across our advertisement. That should make the newspaper staff--Angela, Peter and Lawrance--very happy. It certainly pleased us . . . Chain stores are opening their holiday boutiques earlier and earlier this year according to newspaper and TV reports. Forgive us, but we don't plan to join in that parade just yet . . . Bob has become a real bear of late since a local TV station canceled the 7:30 p.m. showing of Judge Judy. He was a devoted fan . . .
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
The neighborhood was ready so we were very disappointed when the street sweeper did not make his appointed rounds. It would have been nice to have the storm damage out of the way for Gallery Walk on Sunday. At least the city did not issue parking tickets as far as I could see . . . Finished my 1000-piece rummage sale bargain jigsaw puzzle only to find that four pieces were missing. Tossed the whole thing into the trash. As someone once said: you can't win them all . . .
Annalise MacLeod and her mother fled the city last week to escape the storm and wound up at the beach. We have got to thank Annalise who reminded her mom that Uncles Bob and Ronn would appreciate some more Fisher's caramel popcorn like they brought us the last time. Thanks, Annalise . . .
Monday, September 12, 2011
Megan and Chris Zeigler are back from their Nantucket vacation and are checking the damage to their Shipoke home. It will be quite a while before they are back into their dream home . . . My dizzy spell that lasted most of yesterday may be a virus that is making the rounds. Others have had the same thing . . . Had a telephone consultation with Dr. Dowling and we have decided on another procedure to assist my lagging kidney. Don't have a date for the operation yet, however . . . The cookie cutters came today so it is time to get baking: pumpkin, turkey, bell, Christmas tree, maple leaf and seven others. We trust it was an oversight and not a political statement but the packer forgot to include the elephant cutter. It is on the way . . . And what is the important thing in your life? Talked today to someone whose house survived the flood without any damage but--gadzooks--his golf course was almost destroyed . . .
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
So happy to see the sun today. Hope things will dry out quickly. Now that the river is going down we can all breathe just a bit easier. The stress of the last few days is catching up will all of us, however; we are exhausted and almost depressed. So sorry for all of those who have suffered losses . . . I know this disaster is no laughing matter yet I have had to smile when the men and women on the national news channels struggle with "Susquehanna." It has been badly mangled by some almost beyond recognition . . . If you are looking for a new home it occurs to me that this would be the perfect weekend to go house hunting. No need to ask if the building is on the flood plain, and any basement water or leaky roof should be readily apparent for the next several days . . . We will be open for Gallery Walk again this year, but I remind you that the event which was scheduled for tomorrow has been moved back a week. We will be here to greet you next Sunday . . . Tomorrow is 9-11 and many memorial events are scheduled. Let us hope that the terrorist threats we have been hearing about will not materialize. Dr. Bob Coldren remembered that he had kept a copy of the Pat-News that reported the event and he shared it with Bob and me . . .
Friday, September 9, 2011
Very quiet day citywide as we wait for the Susquehanna to crest. Fortunately that will occur well below original predictions. Our power at the uptown house was turned off late yesterday afternoon; that was a ridiculous measure since nothing in the neighborhood was touched by the water and primarily meant that a lot of food would spoil and be wasted. Power came back late this afternoon. I am sure the mayor made one or two thoughtful decisions, but for the most part this has been an event of total mismanagement by a lot of people in charge . . .
Thursday, September 8, 2011
I am posting early today because of all the nasty rumors flying about. The projected flood levels have people suggesting that the electricity will be shut off as may be the water and gas feeds. Who knows. The mayor wants to evacuate thousands and we could be on her list. This whole thing is not going well, certainly not half as well as it did in 1972 when Harold Swenson was mayor and Ron Drake on WHP Radio keep us totally informed twenty-four hours a day for several days. Being the "old hand" at this, I have spent the day calming a lot of fears but I have not been able to give Bob and peace of mind. He got up in the middle of the night and emptied our uptown basement into the first floor. One of our Christmas trees therefore is already "up" in the living room. This picture is not current but historic. It shows the scene at Second and Verbeke during Agnes at the height of the flood. The Sunken Garden truly was . . . Somewhere in this blog is a picture of the Civic Club at the Front and North Street intersection. Perhaps if you "search" using the Civic Club name it will bring up the photo shot on the same day as this one. Don't know when I will be posting again, so stay safe everyone . . .
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Continual rain. Flooding throughout the city is a sure thing. Bob called our former neighbors who located to Shipoke just a month ago to see how they were handling the situation. They were doing just great and without a care; they are on vacation in Nantucket and missing the whole event . . . Walked down to check on the Susquehanna this evening. The lower walkway is now covered and the current is pretty brisk. Lots of debris headed downstream, some of it of a good size. Had to smile, however. A dead tree of about eighteen feet with branches sticking up all over was on its way to the Chesapeake Bay. It was, in reality, a yachting excursion for several water birds who were enjoying a swift voyage aboard the "craft" . . . Went to Camp Hill tonight to deliver some mail that JJ received at the store today. He and Cecilia were busy baking raisin oatmeal cookies for grandpa. Grandma Diane showed infinite patience as the kids measured the brown and white sugars and broke the eggs into the mixing bowl . . . Remember to clear the street drains at the end of your block so the water doesn't end up in your basement unexpectedly. Also, remember that the non-emergency phone number for the Harrisburg Police Department is 558- 6900 . . . Received our colorful "cold sacks" for preserving chilled wine as you head out to a party or BYOB venue. It goes into the freezer to start and is reusable . . . We have 14 pieces of Reflections in Silver jewelry remaining in our closeout; all are 40% off . . .
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Another soggy day and flooding is expected in Harrisburg and environs on Thursday. The Susquehanna is expected to exceed 20 feet but it could be much more . . . Our shipment of fabrics arrived from the West Coast today. Dish towel sets, sparkling crystals to decorate your formal table, candle holders, etc., a covered pie plate for your pumpkin treat, some Christmas items we won't show just yet. A lot of interesting new things to see . . . I reported here a few days ago that the fire company had responded to a home on North Street. I can now report that it was summoned to 224 North by the security system that detected a leak in a bathroom . . . Just ordered a selection of cookie cutters in holiday shapes that should be here within a week. I had hoped that Bob would do some baking so that we could share the end product with you, but he has already refused . . . The Friends of Midtown have announced the winners in their patio and garden landscaping contest. The winners as determined by two members of area garden clubs are: First Place: Jefferson Rougeau and Steven Creps, 1631 Green Street about which the judges said: "Multiple gardens. Fantastic patio gardens! Nice selection of plants with variety of color and texture staged at varying heights. All in immaculate condition. Nice water area and accessories." Second Place: Denise and Michael Williams, 2030 Green Street: "Multiple gardens, porch, patio, deck. Lush, beautiful potted plants on front porch. 3 very nice container gardens on upper deck." Third Place: Jeanette Townsend, 413 Boas Street: "Backyard garden. Peaceful space." Honorable Mention: Jeremiah Underhill and Annette McKimm, 414 Harris Street: "Variety garden, herbs, fruit trees, flowers." Special Recognition for Miniature Garden: Karilyn Kelly-O'Keefe and Miss Tinkerbell, 1702 1/64 Penn Street: "Appropriately sized plants and accessories." . . .
Monday, September 5, 2011
Soggy weather dampened every one's holiday weekend. Football games were suspended and the NASCAR race was postponed until Tuesday. Crowds were generally smaller than usual at venues celebrating Labor Day . . . Word-of-mouth says there was a roving gang Saturday night on the riverfront that was disruptive and destructive; some vendors were vandalized it was said. Heard that shots rang out and that two people were hit but I cannot confirm that. Supposedly security forces were sparse and scattered until that event occurred . . . Awaiting news reports that support these rumors . . .
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Post #800 . . . Lunched on Schnader's French fries at the river front and had reheated hot dogs for supper . . . Store was open for several hours this afternoon but we didn't have a single visitor . . . Heard the crowds at Kipona were thin and that the mayor again crashed the gate at the ArtFest portion with her entourage . . . Our neighbor Rick is entertaining his parents, Joanne and Richard Miller of Williamsport, and sister, Deb, of York this weekend. It is always pleasant to share our neighboring porches and to exchange the gossip . . .
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Day was warm but generally overcast; this might have inhibited visitors to Kipona since the crowd seemed smaller than usual . . . Snared myself four jigsaw puzzles at St. Michael's rummage sale; playfully complained to Guy Kehler about the prices but he wasn't sympathetic; he knew I would cough it up and the church needs the money . . . Erica Gordon's friend Shannon has been raising butterflies "from scratch" and today two Monarchs burst forth. They decorated the green ash tree next door to The Bare Wall and Erica caught this picture of one . . . If the weather cooperates we will be open for a few hours after noon tomorrow and again on Monday; if the rains should come we will stay at home and watch football--at least Ronn will . . .
Friday, September 2, 2011
I am sorry to report the death of Martha Zook's sister . . . City fire equipment lined North Street in front of the MacNett residence this afternoon. However we could not find out why they had been summoned. After several minutes the men climbed back into their trucks and departed . . . Had a nice visit with Joe Kershner . . . The Indian statue stands twelve inches high and sells for $64. It did not photograph well . . . Bob says I should expect "picnic food" for the remainder of the holiday weekend . . . I am thrilled (Bob is not) that high school and college football kick off this weekend . . .
Thursday, September 1, 2011
For at least the second day in a row the local policeman in our area has parked his car and searched the neighborhood on foot. Something is up, but the officer isn't telling . . . Dan Miller has announced his candidacy for mayor. This is not particularly surprising, but we wish him luck. Anyone following Linda in the job is going to look like a genius . . . Remember Front Street will be closed Friday morning as the city prepares for Kipona . . . There are "no parking" signs on the 200 block of Briggs Street to facilitate Alex and Alyson's move to Camp Hill. We wish them well in their coming nuptials . . . Ate at the Yankee Doodle Diner in Wormleysburg tonight. The French fries were so overcooked that I could have used one to drive nails into plaster. My complaint to both waitress and cashier fell on deaf ears; they were not about to make good on the chef's mistake . . . The Lipizzaner Stallion stands eight and one half inches high and is a real beauty. The cost is $47.50 . . .