Saturday, September 15, 2012


This will be the last post for the TBW Daily Diary. Please click on the comments link below if you wish to share your thoughts and fond memories of Ronn.

Ronn Fink

October 23, 1936 - September 14, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Regardless of what you may have heard, the Bare Wall is open.  If the blog should not appear,it only means that I didn't have time to do it.  Ronn will be coming home to 712 Green Street tomorrow.  He is not well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Today the Bare Wall received a new shipment of salt glazed pottery which is made in Julian, Pennsylvania.  They all are marked with "Harrisburg" on them, and we have a variety of pieces such as salt crocks-which also can double as cassaroles-batter bowls, and spoon rests, which make great host/hostess gifts.  There is no news about Ronn.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Obviously, I'm doing the blog Just came back from seeing Ronn, and it was the best visit in a long time----he still is in and out of napping, but we did talk a bit.  What a glorious day!  I guess all of my worry about the severe storms that were predicted but thankfully didn't materialism was worth it with what we have today.  ENJOY

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Nothing that I want to post on the hospital front.  Ronn will be there throughout the weekend.  The store has received some rather interesting  and attractive fall and Halloween articles at reasonable prices.  Stop in and get ready for the season that's often the best of the entire year--- football, cider,football, colored leaves. football, apples, football, comfortable weather, and did mention FOOTBALL!

Friday, September 7, 2012

I really do not much to tell you tonight.  Everything is much the same here.  I'd get rid of that picture of Bill Campbell, but I don't know how to do it.  (My computer expertise is nil.) 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Nothing to report from the hospital front tonight.  Bill Clinton can still deliver.  He did that last night at the convention.  With him you feel as if he's talking directly to you whether you agree with him or not.  Communication is a gift and he's got it.  This is not a political comment; it is merely an observer's observation.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ronn was more alert and communicative tonight.  They seem to be perhaps on the right track with his various meds-----I hope.  Nothing else to report on that front.  By the way, the Bare Wall is open from 11:00 to at least 4:00.  We're getting some interesting things like iron insects for only $8.00.  (Since I'm subbing for Ronn for awhile, I've got to do a Bare Wall commercial once in awhile.) 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Nothing to tell you about Ronn except his pain is being managed, but at times a bit overmanaged.  Finding the correct dosage so that pain is not an issue without putting the patient into lala land is not easy and varies from day to day.  On the brighter side, I heard some interesting stories about our esteemed mayor over the weekend! 

Monday, September 3, 2012

There is nothing more to report on Ronn.  His pain has been alleviated and hia nausea has appeared to be taken care of(I hope).  Since Ronn has been hospitalized, I've developed a great admiration for those people in the nursing field, and Ronn has had some of the finest treating him.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Well Ronn seemed somewhat better today even after a biopsy of one lymph gland.  He's got a terrific nurse who is getting us through this ordeal.  Do doctors know how difficult they make life for their patients by becoming inaccessible?  Anyway I hope you have a good Labor Day.  It is the only holiday created to give us peons a day off from work.  God bless the labor unions, and to those of you who do not like and even attack them, check out what they have accomplished for the workers.  That was certainly Bob, not Ronn!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day!  Remember when that signaled the beginning of the political campaign season?  Seems now that it is an ongoing thing.  I'd vote for a constitutional amendment that limited campaigning to two months with no negative ads.  I'd like to hear what the candidate stands for instead of all those ads that tell us what the opponent supposedly stands for!  Ronn seems somewhat better today because I got into trouble when he thought I had overstepped my bounds.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Well it's the last os summer holidays.  Where did it all go?  I really have nothing new to tell about Ronn.  He is still hospitalized.  Thanks to everyone for all of your kindnesses.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I really don't have much to post tonight; Ronn remains hospitalized, but they appears to some improvement with his nausea.  He was able to keep some liquids where theybelonged.     For those of you who have experienced the demise of your impatents, today in the local newspaper telling us that there is a blight which came to us from Europe that has attacked them.  At least one of life's solved!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's Bob again tonight.  Ronn remains hospitalized at the Harrisburg Hospital.  He is still having problems with pain management and he is nauseated to the point that nothing stays put.  We met his oncologist today.  He seems able and has ordered some scans for tomorrow.  We both like him and his demeanor because we believe that he will "tell it like it is."  The store remains open, thanks primarily to Mark, so stop in.  We just got in some really nice things today.  Thank you to all who have sent messages of encouragement to both of us.  It is appreciated.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

This is Bob tonight because Ronn is spending the night at Harrisburg Hospital for observation.  He became weaker than usual, nauseated,and dizzy last night and this morning.  His doctor thought the hospital to be where he needed to be; so after several hours in the emergency room, it was decided to keep him at least overnight---an idea that both Ronn and I agreed with.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Too headachey to type tonight but I have several more telephone exchanges that I will share with you tomorrow . . .

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I fail to understand why certain factions object to the government investing in businesses which will provide blue collar jobs for the middle classes paying forty thousand a year but insist the government erect stadiums so that the ten million dollar salary earner will have a nice place in which to play . . . Fred Imhoff has shipped in a really nice collection of glass jewelry, For the first time you can purchase the pendant separately. Earrings $29; necklace $43; set $70 . . . Judy Robinson remembers that one of the old telephone exchanges was WAlnut . . .
My new medicine lulled me to sleep in the middle of the NASCAR race last night and I forgot to make yesterday's post. Sorry . . .

Friday, August 24, 2012

I have spent many many months looking for something nice that can be said about city hall. Today is the day! . . . Bob and I had business at Citizens' Bank on Market Square this morning and as we walked across the plaza we were greeted by beautiful pots of flowers at the entrance to the seat of government. I had never seen such a nice display there before. During the Reed years the containers generally were stuffed with dead vegetation that hadn't been tended for a couple of years at least. When I mentioned this welcome change to friends I was told that it was a project of school students, Bravo for them . . .

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I miss the days when we had telephone exchanges scattered about the city--the ones with the romantic (?) wordy prefixes like Call Northside 777 or Pennsylvania 6-5000. Mine was CEdar 6-8504, supposedly for the little street that runs between Liberty and North to the east of the Grayco Apartments. I don't recall any of the others; maybe some old timers will recall theirs . . . E-mail me . . . the health news is not very encouraging these days so I will wait for a better report . . .

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sad to report the passing of Betty Emmers . . . the chubby owls featured a few days ago have been sold . . .

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Kathy MacNett reports there is a charging station for electric cars at the new building on State and North Second . . . Another vehicle was broken into in the 700 block of Green on Sunday night . . . Betty Holmboe back safely from a family visit in Rhode Island . . . New soap shipment today and it includes French eau de toilette in linden, lavender and sweet almond. $27.50 . . .

Monday, August 20, 2012

Confused my pain pills in the middle of the night and took the wrong one, then suffered in bed  for most of the day. Missed a visit from Claire and Ann, sisters from Ohio, much to my regret. Think I am back on track now, but I probably won't make it through the football game tonight , , , Hospital scan tomorrow so we probably won't open much before noon . . .

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A lazy uneventful day. I could use some more like it . . .

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lots of foot traffic today in the neighbor-hood attracted by a car show on State Street and one of the Art Asso-ciation's soirees at the home of Kevin Sheets and Kevin Hancock . . . Another tree came down in the neighborhood today but I guess it was not a major environmental loss since it was an ash and already dead . . . Have another scan at the hospital on Tuesday just as we are expecting two major shipments . . . Friends of Midtown have been thanking the William Penn Social Association on North Third  Street for its financial contributions toward repairing street lights in the area. The club has given over $1500 . . . I have been remiss in not thanking Janet Foreman for her encouragement and advice while dealing with medical issues. Her concern is most appreciated . . . This cute chubby ceramic owl stands about eight inches high and is $26.00 . . .

Friday, August 17, 2012

Belated birthday wishes to Erica Gordon; I am a day late . . . Our condolences to Dr. Bob Coldren whose mother passed away this afternoon . . . Today's TripAdvisor couple was from Hagerstown, Md. Their major objective was a visit to the Broad Street Market; but it had been closed to the public because of rodent and cockroach issues. I sent them to the West Shore Market instead . . .

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This is a landmark day that should be noted in the annals of the Historic Harrisburg Association; JACQUIE KIRBY HENSEL has retired from the real estate business . . . back in the early seventies our efforts to gentrify the Midtown area under a historic district banner were met with widespread skepticism; Jacquie was our one steadfast friend who worked hard to attract new people into the neighborhood and to encourage the rehabilitation of our old housing stock. Other realtors shied away and so Jacquie's signs were everywhere. I assume it was worth her while, but that is not the point; without her promotion of the area we may not have gotten HHA off the ground as swiftly as we did. We joked at the time that Jacquie had been in every bedroom in Harrisburg, and she took that as a compliment good naturedly . . . So today we offer our congratulations. Jacquie says she is looking forward to being a volunteer for several organizations, perhaps, even, The Bare Wall. We are apt to take her up on that . . .

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Nothing new on the neighborhood streaker . . . Visited the doc who ordered new tests, scan and biopsy . . . Received a new shipment of autumn merchandise. Lots of fun things to see this time around . . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The new medicine I got on Friday was not as effective as we had hoped and I spent a restless weekend with little sleep. Early Monday morning I called the doctor's office to see if I could take it every eight hours rather than every twelve; the nurse said she would get back to me and that they had not yet reviewed the x-rays . . . I decided to bathe and dress. Unfortunate that was when I found the lump that should not have been there. I called the office again and they said get to the emergency ward PRONTO. Bob grabbed the car keys and we raced to the car. The motor made its grinding noise; yes, the battery was dead! Bob rushed up the street to Pastor Ed Zook who quickly got me to the hospital . . . I signed in, happy to note on the call board that there was only a 15 minute wait. False hope. The sign changed to one hour, thirty minutes and later to two hours, thirty minutes. I am there before ten and it is now after twelve. Worse, I am dressed in shorts and freezing in the air conditioning. Finally, I asked the nurse for a blanket (granted) and started a stampede. Everyone in the place wants a blanket! . . . Meanwhile I remember that our friend Ned Hoffer works there so I manage to get in touch with him; his task, kindly undertaken, is to find Bob and let him know where I am and what is happening . . . Bob, of course, is on the hunt for AAA and then a battery to fit our Saturn. That is another funny and prolonged tale altogether . . . Thanks to Ned, Bob and I are reunited about one o'clock, I finally get a room about two, and not having had a single thing to eat, send Bob out to find a pack of cheese crackers . . . We see the doc about four and he quickly contacts the team at Urology of Central Pa. It is determined that while the condition is cause for concern, it is not a true emergency; all in good time. So it took seven hours for a ten-minute consultation . . . The store had been closed all day and not a lick of work got done . . . 8:15 p.m. BULLETIN: who is the naked man streaking the sidewalks and gardens in the 1600 block of Green? The police will find out since he left his clothes and cell phone behind . . .

Monday, August 13, 2012

Except for the pains, an absolutely hilarious Black Comedy Day in which I spend seven hours in the hospital emergency ward. Will detail the adventure in a day or two . . . too exhausted to do so at the moment . . .

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A quiet do-nothing day except for a visit from the kids who were as antimated as usual . . .

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Happy birthday wishes go out to Bob Coldren for tomorrow's celebration . . . Harrisburg must have gone to the beach this weekend. We saw nary a soul all day and the street was empty . . . Nursed my pains but got a lot of work done. Loads of new things on order for the fall . . . Olympics winding down. Reporters tell us it doesn't matter if one wins; it is just a privilege to participate. Then they launch into the medal count and who is the best. Personally, I think that should be done on a percentage basis. Are countries who send 600 representatives really that successful with 60 medals? What about the country that sends one player who wins one gold? Isn't that a greater success? . . .

Friday, August 10, 2012

Just another day of medical emergencies. I am tired of reporting those, and you must be just as tired reading about them . . .

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The big noise these days is about chicken sandwiches but does anyone remember ten or so years ago when Cracker Barrel fired everyone they thought might be gay? . . . UGI has removed its heavy equipment along Green so perhaps our street is now open again . . . This ceramic owl vase is an eye catcher. It stands eight inches and sells for $27.50 . . .

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Catching up with birthday wishes for this week, most belated--Diane Neiper and Robert Murray, Monday; Rick May, Tuesday, and Dan Miller, Friday . . . Our street may be closed off for the next several days as UGI makes major repairs to the Green Street line. We will be open through the lunch hour until one or later. but if the street is shut by heavy equipment we might as well close early as there will be no place to park . . . I am at the age when newspapers can bring sad news all too often and today was another instance. Augusta Duffin has passed away. You may not know the name but she was executive secretary to the state librarian during most if not all my tenure there. What a wonderful classy lady, cheerful and efficient. Her obit states that she and her parents were the first black family to live in Hershey . . .

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Up most of the night in anticipation of the trip to the hospital. Procedure was late but came off okay. Came home and slept for five hours--the best sleep I have had in some time. Too much of a good thing, however; when I  finally crawled out for a bathroom visit I promptly passed out; the medicine warning said that could happen but who ever believes those things? . . . Sorry to miss Night Out. Englton group sharing casseroles at Harris Street Church . . . Well, think it is time for another nap . . .

Monday, August 6, 2012

Delightful visitors and nice sales today. Off to the hospital early tomorrow morning but I have to awaken at two a.m. to take a preparatory pill. Just hope I can fall back to sleep for a few hours . . . Heard there was a daytime break in in our neighborhood but I haven't details at the moment . . .

Sunday, August 5, 2012

I was saddened today to learn of the passing of Dick Vanier, a former president of the Harrisburg Chapter, Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, and an early chairman of the Greater Harrisburg Arts Festival back in the days when the event took place at the State Museum . . . It was Dick and his late wife Phyllis who helped get The Bare Wall off the ground in 1972; it was he with his truck who carted in the display shelves, tables and jewelry cases while Phyllis helped plan the displays . . . Dick was an excellent silversmith who designed wonderful pieces of jewelry; he was among the first group of craftsmen that we represented. (Phyllis was a weaver for her own pleasure but her first love was acting. She had a few lines in the TV movie Playing with Fire that was photographed in part at Ft. Indiantown Gap. But fame came at a price: the Screen Actor's Guild union dues were more than she was paid for the part.) . . . . Phyllis' brother was Tony Arms, society editor of the Pat-News and, after retirement, part time clerk at The Bare Wall . . .

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bob and I were honored to be included in the party celebrating Tom Leonard's  sixtieth  birthday . . . Sorry to say goodbye to our neighbor Matt Hall who is moving to  New Jersey . . .

Friday, August 3, 2012

It appears that there are plans afoot to convert the Barto Building on the southern corner of State and Third into condo units with parking in the South Street garage. While I would like to see the structure being used again, I would prefer it to be a hotel as originally projected. More rooms would enhance the city's chances of attracting more convention business. Harrisburg was known as Convention City when I first came here in 1962. The Penn-Harris, Harrisburgher, Governor and Senate were the major hotels . . . Larry Kirkhuff back safely from a San Francisco trip . . . Things are heating up again so we could be closing an hour or two early if temps are in the nineties . . . Was pleased that a nurse from Mr. Jones' office called to see if the shot I got yesterday had provided any pain relief. Don't usually get that kind of personal attention. Happily I could say that I was 80% better and still improving . . . Received two more big shipments of merchandise this afternoon. Things are looking good . . .

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Off to the doctor this morning to get some relief from a painful arm that kept me awake for the past several nights. As I suspected, it was bursitis and I was given a shot which should provide some comfort . . . Ordred more items for our autumn display. The store is going to look really neat so I hope you will be checking us out later in the month . . .

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

We have received the shipment of old-fashioned peg puzzle games which have fascinated youngsters (and oldsters) for years. These are made by Channel Crafts in Charleroi (Western Penna.)  The company was one of those featured on ABC-TV News last December during its "buy American" campaign. You may have seen these games before because they frequently show up in restaurants as a diversion while you await your order. ($9.50) . . . Since much of our merchandise is handcrafted, we are over half (at least) stocked with Made in America items . . .

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Aches and pains woke me very early this morning so I grabbed a pad and began a few lines for tonight's blog. Big questions now: what was I writing about and where is the pad? Oh, well. Maybe the news will still be good tomorrow or when the pad next emerges . . . Autumn cannot be too far away judging from the new items coming into the shop. Pumpkins, witches, black cats, maple leaves--you get the picture . . .

Monday, July 30, 2012

We all know what BYOB means, don't we? Don't be too sure. While paging through the Upper Dauphin Sentinel this week I ran across a BYOB ad from The Squirrel Farm, which, I assume, is a dairy store in Millersburg. Anyway, if you Bring Your Own Banana they will give you fifty cents off your banana split !!! . . . Something totally unAmerican is afoot in Midtown. A few people are advocating additional property taxes ($60) to hire some off-duty policemen to patrol the streets Maclay to Forster, Front to Sixth for a few late evening hours;  hopefully this will discourage the multitude of muggings which have been taking place there. How two officers at the corner of Sixth and Maclay will prevent muggers at Boas and Front is beyond me. Someone is not thinking logically. And if the neighborhood hires its own officers will Harrisburg police still respond to calls there? But here is the scam part: one must cast a negative vote to defeat this proposal rather than a positive one to approve it. In essence it is already passed and your money is in their pocket!!! If this is such a good idea I think Third Street businesses should pay the tab and not home owners on fixed incomes . . . We have signed up for additional e-mails on this action but have not yet received any from anyone . . .
Bob and his neighbor Betty Holmboe observed their private Christmas tradition today and invited Janet Reed and me to join them. I have reported this before over the years. The two neighbors found that they could not do justice to their friendship during the holiday season since both were busy with other friends so they decided they would celebrate with all the trimmings in July instead. All the trimmings--ham dinner, gifts and Christmas tree; it was quite an event . . . Got caught up in the party and the Olympics and forgot to post this Sunday night; Sorry . . .

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Bob and I are still analyzing Friday night's opening of the Olympics. We have pretty much decided that the "History of Britain" segment just wasn't that good . . . A rain shower chased the CAN picnic inside but there was still plenty of food and fellowship . . .

Friday, July 27, 2012

Joanne and Eric safely home after an amble through New England . . . TheBurg for August has arrived. You will find Bob quoted in one of the stories; I will let you discover which . . . Our friend Joe Kershner in York has sent us a five-page document listing dozens of stores and restaurants offering discounts to senior citizens aged 55 and more. There are many venues in our area from Arby's and Bon-Ton to Wendy's and Big Lots. But, remember, you have got to ASK. The discount is not automatic. It might be fun to take a month or so and see just how much you can save . . .

Thursday, July 26, 2012

You've asked where Bob and I celebrated our anniversary last night. After much consideration Bob decided we would simply stay home and he made me a beef roast, my favorite. And tonight, despite the heat, he is making me beef noodle soup, surely my second favorite . . . Think I mentioned a few weeks ago that the Hodge Podgery had reopened on North Third Street. I have now been told by Larry Binda at TheBurg that it has closed again . . . I am still haunted by the fact that we lost those three big shade trees on our block earlier this week. I have come to realize that my End of Days are oh so much nearer than I thought. Even if something were planted tomorrow I will not live to see it mature . . . Our CAN clan will hold its annual picnic in the MacNett yard on Saturday. Perhaps we should talk about establishing a tree planting committee . . .

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Today's TripAdvisor visitors were a mother and daughters, Carolina natives now living in Carlisle. They are craftsmen in their own right and were scouting other handmade items . . . Our neighbors in the 800 block were the victims of "metal hunters" this week; their iron garden gate was stolen. Apparently this has happened to several other people as well in our area . . . The heat wave is to return tomorrow. If the temps reach the high nineties or beyond I am sure we will close early . . . Dr. Bob Coldren is back in town after a couple of weeks in Provincetown . . . Diane Neiper ran across this MEDICAL WARNING and wants me to share it with all of you:
When you drink vodka over ice, it can give you kidney failure,
when you drink rum over ice, it can give you liver failure,
when you drink whiskey over ice, it can give you heart problems,
when you drink gin over ice, it can give you brain problems........
apparently, ice is really bad for you!! Warn all your friends!!!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Today the 700 block of Green Street became the city's newest hot spot as three large shade-producing trees were removed. The roots reportedly were threatening the building's foundations, but what is left of the street scape can best be described as urban desolation. We will look blighted until we get used to it but I am happy to report that there will be replacement plantings as soon as the sidewalk is rebricked. Let's hope that is soon . . . Today's TripAdvisor visitors were from Stillwater, Minnesota. They were glad to escape the heat and bustle of New York City . . . Still trying to adjust to the new PennLive. Seems like they have nothing to offer but sports news at the moment . . .

Monday, July 23, 2012

Well, it is that time of year again and I have good news and bad news. The good news: you were very very nice to us last December; the bad news: there is not much on hand in the closet for a "Christmas in July" sale. I might find a few boxes of holiday cards and a couple of ornaments to put on the flea market table, but that is all . . . Bob and I will be celebrating our 27th anniversary on the 25th . . . I am about to finish the first round of pills for the pain in my leg/buttock and I don't think they have been very successful . . . Gay pride parade on Front Street Saturday at 11 a.m. . . . Am staying out of the Paterno controversy, but how can one claim that ten years of football games never happened? . . . One of the seven weekend muggings in Harrisburg happened virtually on our Uptown doorstep. "Police are beefing up patrols." Believe it! . . . Pictured are some of the pots we are offering at 20% off . . .

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Bob safely home from his chilly weekend mountain retreat just in time for a warm up here. He enjoyed the camaraderie despite some apprehension--it was the first time I was alone for a few days since my operation sixteen months ago. But not to worry--the neighbors in the 700 and 1600 blocks of Green took good care of me (and I got a lot of tasty goodies) . . . David Hoffman reminds me that in the early days of service station credit cards one could get a discount by paying cash or using the station's own card . . .

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Dreary day despite some late afternoon sun . . . Folks in the 1500 block of Penn are partying in the street tonight . . . What the heck is going on in the money world these days? A new law allows us retailers to charge you a fee for using your credit/debit card instead of cash though few plan to do so immediately. Now comes word that the Pennsylvania turnpike will charge you an additional fee if you pay with cash. Have I inadvertently followed a White Rabbit down a hole? Is that a grinning cat out on a limb? Ah, yeah, now it comes to me--there are a bunch of mad wierdos assembled for a Tea Party . . .

Friday, July 20, 2012

After all the hot days lately today's overcast, rainy and almost chilly weather was most welcome. Bob might have been happy about this, but unfortunately this is his weekend in the mountains where it is always a good ten degrees cooler; he felt somewhat foolish digging out a fall jacket when packing . . .

Thursday, July 19, 2012

A quiet day in every department . . .

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pleasantly surprised by a bit of biz despite the heat. Especially pleased by some showers that brought us relief. Tomorrow might not even reach the eighty degree mark . . . Spent my day ordering some new items which I will be describing in the coming days . . .

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hot again. Bob allowed me to take the afternoon off but he wouldn't join me; he was determined to make a couple of sales. Unfortunately he didn't see a soul. Tomorrow could be a repeat of today weather wise. But please, folks, let's pick up a card or two at least . . . Spent some time trying to find my way through PennLive's new Internet format. I am sure I will get it eventually but right now it seems a bit cluttered when compared with the previous layout . . . Remember part of Front Street, Woodbine to Forster, will be closed tomorrow night for the Harrisburg Mile . . . I have spent the last couple of months complaining about the removal of trees in our neighborhood and now I have to announce that we are hoping to remove and replace the greenery in front of the store; The Bare Wall is practically hidden by the evergreens as it stands and we aren't very visible to cars travelling south on Green . . . Ordered some new glass jewelry from Fred Imhoff in Oregon this afternoon. He is a bit backed up with orders just now so don't rush in. You will now be able to buy the necklaces independent of the earrings . . . I am irritated by: Penn State news, Paterno's statue, political ads, my own health complaints, and almost everything else these days . . .

Monday, July 16, 2012

Another heat wave is on the way so we may be closing early for the next couple of days . . . Muggings continued in the midtown over the weekend. Where are the mayor and the police chief? Having tea? . . . Saw The Kid this afternoon for the first time in almost a month. We played on the computer, worked puzzles and had a good time chawing about his summer activities. Then he went shopping for a little present for Grandma and wrapped it up himself . . . Thanks to our neighbors we had barbecue for supper . . . Heard from Bill Forgy that the flower featured a few days ago was known as a rain lily in his family because it always popped out after a storm (just as this one did) . . .

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Members of the Harrisburg Camera Club were snapping away at Wildwood Park this morning . . . I vegetated most of the day but I did finish my book . . . The humidity became stifling after a late afternoon shower . . . The turnout for the annual State College arts festival was disappointing this year, I am told . . .

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Overcast and humid after an early morning rain . . . Nice chat with Charles Fetterhoff . . . Ruth and Wayne Reed down from Dalmatia for the annual Shipoke flea market and fire apparatus extravaganza . . . today's TripAdvisor couple was from Brooklyn . . . Seem to have stalled out on my Marsh novels. The twelfth, Colour Scheme, set in New Zealand's thermal springs region, just isn't all that compelling in my opinion. But only 80 pages to go . . .

Friday, July 13, 2012

Jane and Jason Hess are celebrating their tenth wedding anniversary today . . . Did Bob get a surprise we wonder? That one-day lily pictured yesterday was still blooming today , , , Enjoyed Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on TCM last night . . . Christine's wire rings arrived this afternoon and there is a wide range of colors in this collection. That is Chris on the left . . .

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Happy to report that the OPEN part of our sign that was blown off during last night's storm lodged itself in the bush directly below; our neighbor spotted it and it is now back in service . . . A new doctor and a new round of pills for my painful buttock and leg. Perhaps not overly serious, but the x-rays did show the beginnings of arthritis in the hip. It is not believed that that is contributing to my current discomfort, however. She (the physician) was very optimistic for this go-round . . . My respect for my neighbor, retired pediatrician Dr. Bob Coldren, just grows and grows. I have been "doctorin'" for nearly two years now and  his name has come into various conversations every now and then. At least three of my doctors and a couple of my nurses recognize his name because they have placed their own children in his care . . . Jaime MacLeod sent me this picture from Bob Deibler's garden. It is a surprise lily and the bloom lasts for just one day . . .

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Relief from the heat wave arrived unexpectedly and violently at rush hour this afternoon. Rain flushed the gutters and a strong wind did its damage--the dead tree on the property next door lost yet another limb and our "OPEN" part of our sign was blown away; hopefully someone will see it, recognize it, and return it . . . as far as we can tell at this writing the fallen limb didn't do any damage. However, I have learned that a couple of healthy trees on the street are to be removed. What a loss, especially since three others along Green have been removed in the past year or two . . . Our neighbor lost his recycling bin during trash pick up this week. We doubt that it was stolen. It was so dilapidated that the hauler probably took one look at it and decided it too was ready for recycling . . . I have a doctor's appointment late tomorrow morning so we probably won't open much before noon. Let's hope I get some relief from the sciatic problem . . . We are always pleased (and perhaps a little vain) to tell you about our TripAdvisor visitors. But I don't believe we have ever mentioned that there is something of a downside to this notoriety. We are not only discovered by tourists but also by itinerant salesmen looking to unload their goods. They figure that if this is such a popular place we surely will welcome whatever it is that they are offering. I hereby give them notice that we have never made any purchases from any of these "just passing through" hucksters . . .

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Managed to establish contact with Christine Keller in Buckhannon, West Virginia. She was displaced by the storms that ravaged that state several days ago and was without power, phone or Internet for a week. Happy to report that she will be sending us a whole new collection of her popular and colorful wire rings by the weekend. They will continue to retail for $13 . . . Had a really pleasant chat with Dan Harvey at Grandville Hollow Pottery in Julian, Pa., a few miles north of State College. He makes our "HARRISBURG" pots and we should have some new items for that collection in a month or so. As I reported a few weeks ago, we are discontinuing the pottery that has not been personalized and those pieces remaining can be had for 20% off. A lot of this personalized stuff is purchased by our TripAdvisor visitors looking for a souvenir of the city . . . Peter O'Toole announced today that he has retired from stage and screen. The heat wave calls to mind his first big breakthrough in Lawrence of Arabia . . . Cecilia is biking her way through summer . . .

Monday, July 9, 2012

Muggings continued in the Midtown district over the weekend. Where is this police protection that has been promised? . . . Slightly lower temperatures but I refuse to use the word cooler . . .

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The lightning strike that brought down some large sandstone blocks on the facade of the Harris Street Church last night also damaged the electrical  system inside. The a/c is not working but fans are . . . People are trekking home from vacations at the shore and dreading another day of heat . . .

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Our thanks to Janet Reed for the batch of homemade cookies . . . Bob opened for a few hours today but saw very few people . . . Have heard good reports about The Speakeasy which replaced Garrason's Tavern . . . Growing weary of escaping the heat by staying inside; even watched some undersea creature destroy the Golden Gate Bridge on TCM this afternoon. Now that is what I call "desperate" . . . BULLETIN: Harris Street Church damaged by a lightning strike about eight o'clock this evening . . .

Friday, July 6, 2012

I have been having trouble with the heat so Bob gave me the day off; read and rested mostly. I want to be closed all day Saturday but Bob insists he is going to open for an hour or so at least. Please call 236-8504 before you venture out . . .

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The heat almost felled me this morning (it was already in the nineties when we opened) so Bob sent me home. He wsa surprisingly busy with numerous visitors; the one from Baltimore found us on TripAdvisor . . . I am sure we will be closing early on Friday, and if predictions continue to be over 100 we probably will not even open on Saturday; call first . . . Hope to feature some of our craftsmen in the column to the left in the coming weeks . . .

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

HAPPY FOURTH !

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Spent a frustrating hour looking for the source of a strange sound somewhere in the house. Turned out to be a smoke detector whose malfunctioning function was not functioning as it should. The resultant noise was peculiar . . . The Patriot-News today printed Lee Spitalny's letter in which she lamented the change of format at WITF . . . My lunchtime BLT did not sit well on my stomach so I begged Bob for an early close. He refused but brought me home so I could nurse myself and take a nap. We had cauliflower soup for supper . . . The MacLeods are safely home after several days at the shore . . .  We will be closed for the Fourth. Please play safely . . .

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bob and I suffered a small tragedy this morning when the vacuum cleaner snagged our beloved Ferris wheel music box and it ended up in twenty pieces or so on the floor. It was over twenty years old and was quite pricey in its day. The kids will also be disappointed. They had developed their own fantasy lives for the various figures in the tableau . . . When he was younger, JJ would have let the thing run all evening if we had allowed it. Once Bob dug into the mechanism and flipped the switch to "off." He told JJ that the music didn't play because it was broken. Not to be outdone, JJ also got into the mechanism, found the switch and then proudly announced to Uncle Bob that he had fixed it . . .

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Still brutally hot but I have found a bit of relief: my latest murder mystery novel concerns a group of people snowbound in a country manor house . . . Bob and I spent a lovely afternoon in the home of Wes and Yvonne Brown . . . Bob treated me to my favorite: an Arby's original roast beef sandwich . . . Lee Spitalny aroused a bit of envy when she sent this e-mail outlining an evening excursion: Harrisburg Symphony had a marvelous program for some of its contributors yesterday. We boarded an Amtrak train at the Hbg. train station, trained to Elizabethtown, where we were given a lovely box supper, then bussed to the Masonic Home, where Stuart Malina and the entire symphony entertained us with a mixture of classical and "Fourth of July" American music. Residents of the Masonic Village were a good part of the audience of 1700 people  We were then bussed back to the train station, given Hershey Bars, and arrived back in Hbg. a little after 10pm. A truly old fashioned kind of evening..........and it was wonderful!!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Friends saw the touring production of Mamma Mia in Hershey and gave it very big "thumbs up" . . . When I was a youngster every kid had a cigar box in which to stash his treasures--a shiny pebble, a foreign coin, a feather. The box was hidden under one's bed and occasionally taken out to admire the contents. With the cut back in smoking I wonder if there are enough boxes to go around these days, or have kids found something else to house their most precious possessions. Maybe they just snap a picture and story that on their Ipads . . . I haven't been but scouts tell me that this weekend on the river is a real dud with nothing in particular to recommend it. Feel sorry for the couple of vendors that did show up . . .

Friday, June 29, 2012

Heat oppressive, so we closed early . . . The pottery personalized with HARRISBURG or CAMP HILL sells well, but the companion pieces which are not personalized have done poorly so we've decided to close out those. What remains will be 20% off . . .

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Concessionaires are moving into the city for a big weekend on the river . . . TheBurg for July has arrived. You will love the cover from historic archives--swimming on city island in 1921 . . . Thought I would help beautify the city by pulling weeds on the Forster Street divide. Bad idea. My bum leg started to pain me almost immediately. This sciatica is unbelieveably agoniizing. Finally gave in and made a doctor's appointment. But the earliest they can see me is July 12 . . .

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A belated happy birthday to Tyler Simmons . . . Today's TripAdvisor visitors were from Frederick, Md . . . Received a nice shipment of Bill Campbell vases in various shapes and sizes which will certainly enhance your summer bouquets . . .

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Nice dinner with Dr. Bob Coldren . . . Today's TripAdvisor visitors were from Connecticut . . . the Patriot-News stuck it to us again today. They had a nice compendium of long-lived attractions (and some not so long-lived) in the Harrisburg area. We would have been among the oldest had they thought to include us, but of course they didn't. How can we get a free mention in their columns, do you think? And don't mention advertising: we were clients for at least twenty and perhaps thirty years . . . I sent an e-mail suggesting a feature on us for our 40th anniversary in October . . . we shall see . . .

Monday, June 25, 2012

I am sorry to report that a little bit of happiness will cost more in the future. I placed an order for our popular bluebirds of happiness today and learned that they now retail for $10.50, a dollar more than previously. However, if you hurry right in you can still get one of the three that remain at the old price . . . Kathy MacNett reports that there have been car break ins in the 200 block of Liberty Street in the last two weeks . . .

Sunday, June 24, 2012

A beautiful evening to linger on the porch and await the arrival of the fireflies . . . Spent most of the day with my nose in a book . . . Bob went shopping to replace my microwave which had popped its last kernel of corn . . .

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Another nice day . . . People have been wondering about my reading as reported here recently so I spent some time in research today. Found out that one pronounces Ngaio Marsh's first name to rhyme with Bio--Nio. Ignore the g and a . . .

Friday, June 22, 2012

Happy birthday to Mark Stevens who celebrates tomorrow and an apology to George Miller of Harrisburg whose birthday we missed last week. The city missed out on the severe storms that formed just east around five p.m. But it was another hot day and we watched Felix, Sabrina and Annalise playing in the water on the city sidewalk . . . nice visits from Lee Spitalny and Diane Neiper . . .

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Really HOT. Took the advice being given to little old men like myself: close early, eat light, take a nap . . .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Today's news probably isn't really news at all. Received a letter from Dun & Bradstreet this morning informing me that The Bare Wall credit score has been reduced. Well, I might have expected that given the state of business the last couple of years. However, said the letter, D&B could show me how to improve my situation if I would just call them. One would assume that there is a fee involved, wouldn't you think? . . . HOT HOT HOT , , , Bob made a nice salad and ham spread sandwiches for supper . . .

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bob prepared us for the coming heat wave by installing the air conditioner today. I finished my eighth Ngaio Marsh mystery and started on the ninth. Intended at the outset to read them all but have since discovered that she wrote 32 of them! . . .

Monday, June 18, 2012

Annalise asked us to report that her daddy, Bryan MacLeod, was celebrating his birthday today . . . Weather damp and cool; street empty and we didn't see a single shopper today . . .

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Did not see any of my pictures or my "memory" in today's Patriot-News recounting stories from Agnes, but here is the piece that was on PennLive yesterday . . . My building on Green Street in downtown Harrisburg did not lose any of its utilities during the crisis. ... Displaced friends and their families who were not so lucky came to take warm baths, cook several meals and watch television in the hope of seeing their own distressed neighborhoods. I spent a great deal of time on the telephone searching upstream for people’s relatives — hopefully to find that they were safe and in shelter. I recall that the volunteers in the Wilkes-Barre area where particularly efficient in keeping records of who was evacuated and to where . . . Mayor Harold Swenson showed commendable leadership, but it was Ron Drake, a WHP radio announcer, who was the hero of the hour. Drake was on the air almost non-stop for days throughout the flooding with emergency bulletins and instructions. We relied on his every word to get us through . . .

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I am really excited by the latest collection of silk scarves from Lucille. So bright and colorful and still only $36. There are a couple of others in purples and lavenders which are not shown here . . . Saw my little squib about the Agnes flood on PennLive today, so I suppose that means it will be in tomorrow's paper. I had to chuckle. There is one line missing from my original text. I mentioned that the opening of The Bare Wall had to be delayed because of the catastrophe. The Patriot has great trouble in mentioning our store. I don't think we got a free plug from them in the last thirty years whereas some of the shops on the North Third Street corridor get a mention at least once a week . . .

Friday, June 15, 2012

I was very distressed to learn of the passing of Barbara Jane Gillette. She was a very classy lady. Her husband was at one time the headmaster of Harrisburg Academy . . .

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My thanks to Eric W. for getting stamps for me at the downtown post office . . . Received an e-mail from John Campbell, executive director of the Historic Harrisburg Association in reference to yesterday's blog. He assure me that HHA is currently negotiating a contract that will greatly improve their street scape. Missing bricks will be replaced and new flower boxes installed. Now if we could just convince all of the other merchants on the street to clean up we might have a viable neighborhood on the horizon . . .

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mike Billo reminds us that the building at Green and Forster was struck by a vehicle back in the days when sisters Ruth and Polly lived there. The vehicle did not break through the wall that time, however . . . Had a nice conversation with Lawrance Binda of TheBurg this afternoon. He is hopeful that the North Third Street corridor will one day become a collection of cute shops offering sophisticated merchandise. I told him I had serious doubts. Merchants who have come (and gone) there simply fail to maintain any kind of decorum. The gutters are littered, the sidewalks filthy and weeds are growing knee high, even at the Historic Harrisburg Association which should know better. I also doubt that this is the best area for the Susquehanna Art Museum. Drive past this area some day and see if it is a place you would like to browse and stroll at . . . However, if you are a merchant looking for an audience, you might look into TheBurg. The rates are reasonable and the coverage probably attracts your kind of customer . . .
EXTRA - EXTRA - EXTRA

The area was rocked by a crash about six a.m. this morning when a car and truck collided at Green and Forster and sent the truck into a house. Far as we know at this point there were no injuries but one family has quite a mess to clean up . . . Our thanks to Bob Coldren for the top photo . . .

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bryan and Jaime MacLeod are returning their white house at 706 Green Street to the market. We wish them luck but would hate to lose Annalise in our neighborhood . . . Saw a cute poster today: Warning: the dates on this calendar are closer than they appear . . . Yesterday's TripAdvisor visitor was from Washington, D.C. . . . The new pills I got yesterday certainly eased the pain but left me sleepy most of the time . . .

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lee Spitalny back from a ten-day cruise to Bermuda with her daughter Jane and son Gary . . . Bob and I watched the entire Tony awards show despite thinking that it was one of the poorest in years . . . got some help with my sciatic pains from Mr. Jones at the Cummings Clinic. He said the condition strikes a lot of pregnant women but I assured him that was not my case. The large lump under my right arm pit which sprung up unnoticed until Sunday is a cyst that we can ignore unless it gets painful. Has nothing to do with the cancer, I was assured . . . June 23 will mark the third anniversary of this blog. Often wonder if I should continue . . . sent Lucille an order for more silk scarves; we are down to four, all purple/lavender. More colorful ones are on the way . . .

Sunday, June 10, 2012

There is a lot of talk today about obesity and diet. "Experts" blame companies like Coke and Wendy's and advocate banning all sorts of "junk" food in schools. I got to thinking--I grew up in the 40s and back then we drank a lot of sodas and stuffed ourselves with burgers (only a quarter or less) and lots of French fries (usually with gravy as was the fashion). I don't remember many--no, make that any--chubby classmates. So what was different? . . . Well, we town kids walked to school, and not just a few blocks, either. We were not delivered to our activities around town; we rode our bikes. We had chores--cutting the grass with a push mower, for instance, and that was nothing when compared with what the farm kids did. We played outside till dark, weather permitting, because there was no TV to entice us indoors. Maybe the exercise was more important than what we ate . . . So I am not feeling one bit guilty when I tell you that Bob and I had Arby's sandwiches for supper . . .

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Bob bought Felix a set of big water pistols for his birthday. Felix and his sister Sabrina thought they were "cool" and they were already planning their first battle. Mom and dad aren't quite so enthusiastic . . . the ghetto radios are blasting from cars, proving that summer is upon us. I thought we had a noise ordinance that included these annoying noisemakers. Hey, mayor, here is another money-making ticket possibility. If you would just enforce the laws on the books we would be out of debt in no time . . . Please remind me that the Tony awards are tomorrow night. I always make a note of the program but then forget to tune in until it is all but over . . .

Friday, June 8, 2012

Felix Hess will celebrate his fifth birthday tomorrow. Jack Brandt, a bit older, will celebrate his on Sunday . . . Jack Barnett's obituary will appear in Sunday's Pat-News . . . Today was street cleaning on the west side of Green Street from uptown to Forster. Apparently our traffic patrols had something to do other than give tickets. When Bob brought me to the store today we saw more than 40 cars that had not been moved. That is $600 or more that a cash-strapped city could have used . . .

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Had my best "health day" in several days and as a result got a lot of necessary paper work accomplished. Looking forward to a great weekend of doing nothing . . .

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It does not appear to me that Jerry Sandusky's jury is as impartial as it should be. Of course, if he is found guilty this group might be a good reason for appeal . . . After yesterday's post I wondered how long a Broadway "angel" continued to receive a part of the profits. Could it go on for years? . . . In the sixties I had a friend who wrote two one-act plays and they were produced in New York under the title Riverside Drive. They were not successful and the production ran for only 15 performances. However, my friend, John Donovan, used to laugh as he opened his mail each month. Ah, enough here to pay the light bill. Some stock group in Sweden did my plays and here are my royalties . . .

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sorry to report the passing of Jack Barnett at 10:10 p.m. last night. Our condolences to his partner, Dr. Bob Coldren . . . The mention of Market Square Radio last week brought Joe Loengard to mind. He was a member of one of Harrisburg's leading families of the time and lived in an apartment at North Second and Boas. I am told that one of his trademarks was two nested grand pianos in his living room where many festive parties occured . . . I knew him only in passing, but several days a month he would putt-putt past the store on his little moped with several LP albums lashed to the carrier; he was a guest programer at the station . . . There were a couple of Loengard stories worth repeating. One was that he was an "Angel" to Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate and every so often would receive a little check resulting from on-going royalties from performances and recordings . . . The other story might be a tale of "the one that got away" and Joe loved to tell it. He was sent a script to consider. Who would want to see a show about an old guy on a horse and his fat little servant from la Mancha? Joe asked. It was dreadful and didn't get a cent of my money . . . He loved to laugh at himself. I believe my friend John Goldsmith was related; will have to ask what he can contribute to the tale . . .

Monday, June 4, 2012

Our congratulations to JJ who graduated kindergarten tonight and is now a first grader . . . and a big HELLO to Janet Reed who will soon be our neighbor--again . . .

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sorry if you checked in to learn the local news. I have spent the whole day with the royals since 10 a.m. when the Queen and I went for a little sail on the Thames. And I am still glued to the BBC in America . . .

Saturday, June 2, 2012

A pretty day but decidedly chilly . . . Yvonne Brown reminds me that we do have an alternative classical music station in our area. WRTI 91.7 originates at Temple in Philadelphia but is retransmitted (or whatever you call it) from Summerdale. Yvonne reports that the selections are superior to those at WITF and the commentary is better . . .

Friday, June 1, 2012

WITF has decided to trash its classical music format and replace it with yakety-yak people who know what is better for us than we know ourselves. This is disgusting because it leaves our region with nothing of local quality on the airwaves. Perhaps we should pool our resources and ask Market Square Presbyterian Church to bring back their radio station from the seventies. It far outclassed  WITF and other stations with its mix of classics, Hollywood and Broadway, easy listening and jazz--sort of what you serious listeners pay Sirius for. It was all volunteer as I recall and quite popular . . .Today's TripAdvisor visitors were two women from Dickinson College in Carlisle. We had a great and lengthy visit . . .

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Many a sweet tooth aches tonight. The popular Dingeldein Bakery in New Cumberland has closed its doors, a victim of the economy . . . Bill Forgy reports that the plant sale to benefit Castaway Critters netted almost $2,000 . . . Hope the plumber can repair the leak in the bathroom tomorrow . . . Bob has planted his caladiums and elephant ears in the courtyard. He says we old men cannot do the 'show' we used to but he promises a satisfactory display . . .

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Dentist Charles Fetterhoff celebrates his birthday on Friday . . . TheBurg for June has arrived . . .

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Angela Lawson whose vehicle was totalled by an inattentive driver at Green and Forster some time ago got her replacement car today. Nice . . . Hot and uncomfortable again this afternoon until rush hour when a downpour set in. It seemed to lift so we headed for home and into an even heavier downpour. We were soaked before getting into the house despite the umbrellas that Bob provided . . .

Monday, May 28, 2012

HOT HOT HOT. Appeared to be a lot fewer people on the street heading for ArtsFest but our sales were much, much better. We need only $1.01 to make our month . . . Annalise came back from the shore with a barrel of caramel popcorn for her two favorite guys (after dad, of course) . . . Bob was at his family picnic for most of the day and then we paid a visited to the Battistis for salad, burgers and hot dogs. JJ helped set the table while Cecilia practiced her soccer kicks . . .

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Had a delightful time at the MacNett garden party this afternoon. Bob and I shared a table with Eileen Young, Janet Day, Tom Leonard, Tom Border, and Janet Foreman. Others came and went during our conversation. And no one could complain that there was not enough to eat. All of it good, too. Thanks, Kathy and Pam . . .

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bob and I slept through the BIG excitement in our uptown neighborhood last night. According to neighbors, the city police spotted and chased a stolen car up North Second Street about one a.m. At some point the chase moved to Green Street going uptown the wrong way. As the thief went through the Hamilton Street intersection he sideswiped another vehicle and then plowed into a SUV or some such vehicle. He jumped from the stolen car and the chase was on. At the height of the incident our block of Green reportedly was clogged with police cars, a fire truck and numerous dogs sniffing around. I assume the fellow wasn't caught but informants weren't sure . . . Hot day grew uncomfortable for a bit and I am told that ArtsFest was busy but not all that crowded . . . Some nice visitors to the store, several of them first-timers . . . My neighbor Matt Hall across the courtyard has a mourning dove who has set up shop on his window sill. We suspect mom has made it her nesting site for egg-laying . . .

Friday, May 25, 2012

A real red letter day for me--the first watermelon of the season. Not as sweet or juicy as they will be in August but welcome nonetheless . . . Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday weekend. We will be open as usual on Saturday and probably a few hours Sunday and Monday afternoon. Please stop by if you are downtown for ArtsFest . . .

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spent the late afternoon watching Funny Lady on Turner Classic Movies. Hard to believe that the wonderful Funny Girl could be followed by such a dud . . . Sent JJ an e-mail this morning since we haven't seen each other for a while. Imagine my surprise when I got to the store and found a message from him on the answering machine . . .

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A house party, a garden party, a family picnic, and ArtsFest. Looks like it is going to be a busy weekend for us, not to mention that we are usually open a few hours Sunday and Monday . . .The economy is taking a toll on all of us so you may not see quite as many artist/craftsmen at the festival this year as you are used to . . . I have lived in my home just a block from the Capitol since 1963. I may be wrong but it seems that the Corbett administration has generated more protests on the steps than any other in memory. And I am told that there are a lot going on in the rotunda as well and of course I do not hear those . . .

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Gray morning but late sun brought out the shoppers . . . Jack Barnett into Harrisburg Hospital for tests . . . Bob made one of our favorite seasonal dishes for supper--sugar peas . . .

Monday, May 21, 2012

Gray and rainy, not much doing business-wise . . . A reminder that the downtown library will hold its annual Memorial Weekend book sale this Saturday from 10 a.m to 2 p.m. at Front and Walnut . . . The Patriot-News is asking for pictures from the Hurricane Agnes flood in 1972 and I submitted a few. I was surprised to see one of my offerings posted with the solicitation story on PennLive today . . . The Pennsylvania company, Dionis, that makes our popular goat milk soaps, lotions and hand creams is restructuring its offerings and is introducing all new packaging (but not a large increase in prices). If you have any popular flavors, please come in now and we will give you special pricing on the old packaging items that we have left . . . Imagine a glorious birthday party with more than 25 kids all dressed up in red caps and false mustaches. JJ was one of the guests and in his element since he loves the Mario Brothers . . .

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Not much news on this glorious day. Refreshing breezes and low humidity. Almost perfect. Sabrina was "cleaning up" at her cookie and lemonade stand in the 1600 block of Green . . .

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Scant store traffic today but no one wanted to linger over all the new items since it was so beautiful outside. Our thanks to neighbor Eric for cleaning the sidewalk between our two buildings . . . Some smart shopper is going to get a really nice bargain--a Christmas tree ornament bearing a hand-painted chickadee motif and packaged in a presentation box. Only $6. Buy several for tree-trimming party or hostess gifts . . .

Friday, May 18, 2012

Our condolences to Bob Fellman on the passing of his mother . . . Summer is a-coming in and Harris Street Church is welcoming the neighbors on Third in the Burg nights for free soda, hamburgers and hot dogs. I am always one of the first in line . . . Our uptown community was amazed by today's lead story in the Patriot-News about a young man who has passed himself off as a marine. He befriended Bob and me last summer on various evenings when he took his kids to the corner store for a treat. He even shopped the Bare Wall a couple of times. He told us he was finishing up a tour of duty at Indiantown Gap and was to muster out in just a few weeks. Each time we asked him about his termination date he always said there had been a snafu and his final papers had not yet arrived. Curious . . .

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spent the day displaying the new items and labelling the shelves. Hope you can check these out soon . . . A really great day. Hard to stay inside and work . . .

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Happy birthday to Jack Barnett, Frank Pines and Dan Beard . . . Facts are sketchy at the moment but apparently a female resident returned to her home on Briggs Street around one o'clock today to find a burglar had broken in a door and was still on the premises. Police response was swift, we are told, but there are no further details just now . . . Received a shipment of varied curious items today, all of them inexpensive . . .

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Off and on sprinkles all day dampened business. Neither Felix nor JJ was happy when his ball game was cancelled this evening . . . Received a nice order from Cape Shore Products in Maine; several of your favorites. Cranberry tea in bags, $6 . . . Bars of lilac-scented or cranberry bath soaps, $2 . . . A new collection of bargain-priced notepapers; nice quality for the price, 8 for $5 . . . Packet of bath grains for the tub, each containing enough for three baths, $3.25 . . .

Monday, May 14, 2012

Heavy rain all day--which translates into a lack of business . . . Went for a long walk Sunday morning in our uptown neighborhood looking for something to photograph for the blog. Time is marching on too quickly this year. All of the roses that I had wanted to show you are already way past their prime . . . I have inherited 4200 mailing labels (Avery 5160) but for a laser printer which I do not have. If you can use these please e-mail us (address on left) or give us a call. First come, first served . . . There is a plant and bake sale set for Saturday, May 19, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. at 3407 North Second Street to benefit the dogs and cats rescued by Castaway Critters. If you have plants to donate to this cause please call us and we will put you in touch with Bill Forgy . . .

Sunday, May 13, 2012

The U.K. is celebrating the 250th anniversary of the sandwich. This invention (?) in 1762 was perfect for a guy like me who would rather eat on the fly than sit down to a formal dinner . . . We are in search of those plastic lawn and patio chairs with a high back like you see on The Bare Wall stoop in the summer. Thus far we have only found those with low backs. Please, if you see the high-backed ones, call us . . . JJ and Cecilia dropped by this evening to play ball with Uncle Bob; he is already regretting the back pains he is going to feel tomorrow . . .

Saturday, May 12, 2012

A beautiful day for the Midtown-wide yard sale and the Young Professionals tour of Shipoke houses; gives one hope that summer is on the way . . . Happy Mother's Day greetings to all . . .

Friday, May 11, 2012

Happy birthday to Matt Simmons . . . I am caught up in yet another Ngaio Marsh murder mystery (Death in Ecstasy) so Bob tended store this afternoon and had a very busy time of it. The brilliant sunshine certainly lifted the spirits of everyone . . . Ordered some little fabric coin purses with Mayan designs that are made somewhere in Central America. We used to sell a ton of these but haven't stocked them for years. Will be interested to see if they are still as popular as they once were . . .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sunny skies late this afternoon; quite pleasant to see . . . the tulip poplar in front of 711 Green Street is loaded with flowers this year . . . If your name is Barbara and you shopped The Bare Wall for lotions and hand creams today we have some good news for you: one of the items you chose was on sale but we didn't factor in the discount. There is $3.50 set aside for your next visit , , ,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Thirteen-month-old Annalise MacLeod has found her balance and is now parading up and down the sidewalk in our neighborhood with just an occasional ker-plop . . . Lee Spitalny e-mailed to say that she and Maurice Sendak were in the same class at Lafayette High School in Brooklyn and graduated together. Vic Damone was in the same school but left to launch his singing  career and didn't graduate . . . Another cloudy day; could we have some sun please? Wayne Reed of Dalmatia is eager to get into his garden. Things were going great until a major hail storm wiped out his plants last week. He will have to start over . . .

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Another rainy day; it certainly is washing out our Mother's Day business . . . The shipment of silver rings (most with a Celtic flavor) has arrived. Happy to say that the price will remain at $17 each. Quite a selection in Size 7 this time around . . . Maurice Sendak, author of Where the Wild Things Are, has died. I saw him at a library convention in Kansas City back in the sixties. We stood in a semi-circle at a discreet distance and looked on in awe. He was there to sign books and chat, but we did not want to impose . . . Some weeks later a friend in Philadelphia wondered how he might contact Sendak to have a book autographed for a nephew. I happened to have Sendak's Greenwich Village home phone and suggested that Randy call him the next time he was in New York. He did so and got a big surprise. Sendak invited him for Sunday brunch at his apartment and also inscribed the book . . . Sendak said he did not like being a celebrity. Everyone stands across the room and points but no one comes up and talks to you. It is very lonely, he said . . .

Monday, May 7, 2012

Rainy and overcast. Unpleasant. Unfortunately today was the annual trek of motorcycles to the State Capitol. Felt sorry for all those fellows and gals . . . Have received two  encouraging votes in my campaign for the presidency which I announced yesterday . . . Glad to learn that David Hoffman is now recuperating at home from his surgery. He could be driving in a week or two . . . Do NOT . . . I repeat, do NOT buy anything from a catalog called The Video Collection. I did and now I have a daily announcement on my e-mail and I cannot get rid of it. I have "unsubscribed" and I have marked these spam, but they will not go away. I have been stuck with this for nearly three months now . . .

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Stayed up last night to see the "Super Moon;" I was not impressed . . . Have decided that when I am president I will have the Marine Corps band do a rousing rendition of our national anthem. I will then decree that this recording is the only one to be used when the anthem is called for. That song is mutilated more than any I can think of and most frequently by the red-necked NASCAR performers. Maybe the time is ripe to push again for America the Beautiful to be the anthem . . .

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Beautiful day with good store traffic including some visitors from France . . .

Friday, May 4, 2012

JJ has been helping me with jigsaw puzzles almost from the time he could sit upright in a chair. We originally started him off with those tray types that contained perhaps twenty pieces; he became a whiz at those which are now being conquered by his sister Cecilia. Just recently he has complained that the "little kid" puzzles are too easy and he wanted a challenge so I invested in some 100-piece ones. Of course he had to show off and let me know that he wasn't dismayed; according to Daddy Eric it took The Kid less that 40 minutes to do this one . . .

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pleasant day and quiet street. Not much more to be said. Ordered 35 new silver rings mostly with a Celtic flavor. They will sell in the $23 range . . .

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Overcast all day and not as warm as predicted . . . My apologies to Tom Leonard who was promoting an event at the Midtown bookstore; after I had the entry all but ready for the blog I realized that the program had been held last month and I was weeks too late . . .

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

In the eighties--a beautiful day . . . French soap arrived today and we now have two-bar boxes of sweet almond, vervain, apricot, lavender, linden and something else that I cannot immediately remember. (That happens when you are 76 sometimes.) These sell for $10.50 and of course we are happy to wrap them as a hostess or Mother's Day gift . . . Got out the camera for this shot of Ron Hinkle vases. The hyacinth blue one is five inches tall and retails at $53. The rose-colored one is somewhat taller and retails at $56 . . . Looking forward to continued warm weather; walk on down and see us . . .

Monday, April 30, 2012

I guess we can say that spring is here and summer not far behind. Today I saw Allan Johnson pedalling his ice cream cart down Green Street. He said he started the season officially on Saturday though the weather didn't exactly cooperate. He is looking forward to the eighty degree temps forecast for later this week . . . Happy birthday to Ray Davis today. Lonnie Kerr celebrates Friday and Mike Billo on Saturday . . . A nice selection of Ron Hinkle glass arrived this afternoon. There are several new items in this batch . . .

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bob provided a nice brunch for our friends Jon and Dan from Fulton County who were on their way home after several days in Philadelphia. It was the highlight of the day; otherwise we lazed around the house . . .

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I have lived in this house since 1963 and have had the store for forty years so a lot of people have passed through my life. And quite frequently I get asked the same old question: do you remember me? Usually and unfortunately I don't always. Today the question came from Tim Hughes of York who once lived in Penbrook next to Pastor Duke Fries. I had to admit that I could not recall his face. He was a bit disappointed, but then admitted that he had last visited the store in 1983 . . .

Friday, April 27, 2012

I believe there are more maple tree whirlygigs spinning in the air this year than ever before. In some places they are almost ankle deep . . . Well, the Ohio wedding was streamed to our computer via the Internet this afternoon. It was quite an experience. It was especially fun when some participants sneaked a wave at the camera intended for us locals back in Harrisburg . . . more French and Swiss soaps are on the way . . .

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A quiet day and I accomplished almost nothing. A few changes to tabletop displays was about the most I could manage . . .

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Placed a new order with Ron Hinkle in Buckhannon, West Virginia, for his blown glassware. Will take a few weeks to fill I am told. Several pieces would be great for Mother's Day . . .

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

What a shame! A whole evening of television and not a single political advertisement! . . . There will be a lot of losers tonight, but do not despair, losers. I am amazed at how many of you end up getting appointed to boards and various unexpected vacancies. No one seems to realize that the electorate has already rejected these candidates . . .

Monday, April 23, 2012

SNOW--but luckily to the west of us. Just rain most of the day here . . . Was leafing through some national magazines and came across an article Forty Under Forty--a list of young people expected to make an impact on the country in the next several years. I was surprised to find John Campbell, Harrisburg city treasurer and director of the Historic Harrisburg Association, among the chosen. Congratulations . . . Please vote tomorrow and I will spare you my tirades tonight. I hope you have a Netflex subscription so you can watch TV in peace; the airwaves are cluttered with political ads right now . . .

Sunday, April 22, 2012

We were extremely honored to join the Brown family this afternoon at son Jack's in Camp Hill to mark the 65th wedding anniversary of Wes and Yvonne Brown. The two met and were married in Antwerp, Belgium, and Lt. Brown brought his new wife to America and a one-room home in Ft. Knox. (Having served at the Fort, I am surprised that she didn't hop the next plane back home.) In the years that followed daughters Claire and Ann and sons Mark, Alan and Jack joined the clan. At one point Wes taught at West Point and can now claim the title of Colonel . . . Received an unusual wedding invitation of sorts today. The ceremony will be held later in the week in Ohio, but we old men don't have to travel that far. The rites will be streamed live on the Internet. The times they are a-changing . . .

Saturday, April 21, 2012

I am so mad that I could spit nails! Apparently Patty Kim does not read this blog because today I got another of her slimy attacks on competitors for the House seat she is seeking. This is just unacceptable and I cannot believe that she has that many supporters out there who would subscribe to these attacks. She is the only one slinging mud. I am thinking of opening a booth at my local polling place asking voters NOT to give her the time of day. There are three other candidates, folks. Select one of them when casting your vote. We do not need any negativity at this time of crisis . . . Sorry to report that in the wee small hours of the morning the big cement planter on a North Street stoop was upended by someone--a Restaurant Row denizen, perhaps? Luckily the planter, obviously expensive, did not break . . . Bob had a very busy afternoon bagging sales. Thanks to all of you who dropped by . . .

Friday, April 20, 2012

David Hoffman is recovering in rehab after back surgery . . . Uptown traffic was almost gridlocked at rush hour this afteroon because of a fire in the 1400 block of North Second Street . . . Goggle has again changed the way we writers post our blogs. This will take some getting used to . . . If we have to hire a COO to do what LT is incapable of doing I think we should be allowed to tap her salary to pay some of the cost . . .

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Several politicians are complaining that their signs are being torn down by the competition.I hope that is not true; however just a few days ago we exited the house and found these signs all over the place. There had been a powerful windstorm overnight . . .

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Got Patty Kim's mailing yesterday, got Roy Christ's today. His was a tad less offensive that hers as he compared their philosophies. (I had forgotten that she was a Republican.) I just think that candidates ought to outline their concerns about government and ignore as much as possible their opponents . . . suffered with a tummy ache most of the day so I am hitting the pillows early tonight . . .

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Doctor Dowling had some good news for me today: my latest scan did not find any recurrence of cancer and I am good to go until my next appointment in October. However, he could not shed any light on the terrible headaches that have been plaguing me; just not his area of expertise but, he said, he has at least one other patient who is suffering similar problems and, apparently, her attacks are even worse than mine . . . I have one request of all doctors and nurses everywhere: if you cannot see me at the appointed hour, please let me mingle with others in the waiting room. Do not relegate me to a windowless cubicle where, as minute after minute elapses, I begin to wonder if I may have been forgotten altogether . . . I reported here a couple of months ago that the Pat-News was in search of a Pulitzer since the Penn State story was all that was being reported. Now that they have their prize perhaps they will share some of the money with we subscribers who were denied decent coverage of other happenings while they were revving up their prize portfolio. Only fair, I think . . . While she was ineffective and a disappointment on city council, Bob and I were entertaining thoughts of voting for Patty Kim to replace Buxton. Those thoughts all came to an end today when we received a mud-slinging mailer aimed at smearing Roy Christ. We just don't appreciate that kind of politics. Obviously there are two considerations here: one, Christ must be doing better in the polls than we thought and, two, there is obviously some big bucks buying Kim's way into the hearts of the voters. Who, do you think? And what do they want from her? Would be happy to hear from you political watchers out there . . . With spring cleaning underway people have been contributing unwanted books to our $2 sale table. Remember to take a look when you next visit . . .

Monday, April 16, 2012

The tax scurry is on and Bob and I got our returns into the mail today . . . Our shipment of English merchandise has arrived. First we have long matches for your fireplace or firepit. Wonderfully decorative box, $5.50 . . . More soaps arrived than expected. The large bath bars are now available in various scents: magnolia, Tuscan pear, lemon basil, hyacinth iris, lavender rosemary, olive grove. There are three others and you will have to let your nose be your guide: beach, lapin and serenity. All are $9.50 . . . Off to see Dr. Dowling tomorrow morning; he will give us the results of our most recent scan. Needless to say I am a bit apprehensive . . .

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Our thanks to the Harrisburg Young Professionals for their annual spring clean up of the divider on Forster Street from Second to Seventh Streets. We certainly appreciate their efforts. I understand that more than forty members turned out to assist in this enterprise . . . I spent the day exploring all the foreign papers that Mark brought back from Ireland. There is an ongoing clamor about David Beckham and his ads for underwear that are appearing around the world. Apparently this protest has been going on from the first publication. It is alleged that his masculine assets are too well defined and the various groups want these ads censored. You can judge for yourself; Google something like David Beckham nude and you will get dozens of sites to explore. Supposedly, however, most if not all of the pictures are fakes. Have we too much time on our hands? . . .

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Mark Stevens back from his trip to Ireland with a ton of pictures and some goodies for Bob and me. I especially appreciate the newspapers; they are loaded with interesting pencil puzzles and give us a different slant on world events . . . I was thinking today that there is nothing so delightfully old fashioned as lilacs. They are in full bloom now and announce themselves with an aroma long before you actually see the bush. My paternal grandmother had a large bush which partially hid the well from which we got our water and once a year she stood by and directed my grandfather as he removed the dead canes so that next year's display would be a spectacular one; it always was . . . Back in my area of Bedford County and in others as well I suspect you often find the ruins of small houses that have long been abandoned. Nothing is left but some rocks that once constituted the foundation. But in almost every case somewhere near there is a lilac bush or two still blooming away after years and years . . . Well, the big news may be that the Senators' season is underway, but in our household it is the t=ball season that takes center stage. And, of course, we have our heroes who hit home runs ! ! ! . . .

Friday, April 13, 2012

Absolutely nothing doing on this Friday the 13th. It looked like street cleaning day all afternoon; you would have had no difficulty finding a place to pull into . . . Over a week to go until voting and we are awash in political literature. "I will repeal Obamacare" certainly marks the bigot who doesn't deserve consideration. I cannot believe the lack of quality of so many candidates in both parties. One would like to think that we honestly have a choice, but this year I am not so sure . . .

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Long time friend Dennis Stefan who has been living in Ireland for the past several years announced today that his application for citizenship has at last been approved and that, come June 14, he will hold dual citizenship in Ireland and the U.S. We congratulate him. Hopefully our friend Mark Stevens, now touring Ireland, will get to meet Dennis in Dublin before his return here . . . A jaw-dropping announcement from our less than esteemed mayor today: she wants everyone to know that her administration at city hall is "a fun family" but that some people--the eleven or so competents that have left--just weren't with the program . . . Well, it appears that JJ has become a "teacher's aide" of sorts. Seems that when the teacher has her hands full with a couple of students she assigns JJ to another group of kids having computer problems and asks him to show them the ropes . . .

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

One of those days that weather buffs must have enjoyed; depending on where you happened to be at a particular time you might have had sun, rain, snow, sleet, wind or sprinkles. As for myself, I was chilly most of the day . . . Annalise MacLeod is one year old tomorrow. She hasn't yet learned to say "hello" but she always waves and says "bye" when you walk away . . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The area around The Bare Wall was jolted by multiple gunshots about 2:42 this morning. I was in touch with four persons who heard them but there was no consensus as to the direction from whence the noise came. Some though north, others south or west and one admitted he had no real idea . . . The city has lost another dedicated public servant thanks to the mismanagement of the current mayor. Ernie Hoch has been escorted from his post as public workers director and has filed harassment charges against Ms T. She is so inept! Ernie is the tenth or eleventh of her administration to walk. But our neighborhood has to say goodbye with a thank you; Ernie got our street lights repaired before he left . . . Realizing that he was about to lose the voting in his own state, Rick Santorum effectively bowed out of the GOP presidential race today. That was one--and the best--way to save face . . .

Monday, April 9, 2012


Got another of JJ's spring sports schedules today; between t-ball and Smurf soccer games and practice I don't think we will be seeing him much before mid-June . . . placed an order for the English bath bars of soap today; a couple of scents are out of stock but we will have a very nice selection in a week or so including your favorite lemon basil. Still $9.50 . . . I am still pretty much under the weather and certainly have to thank Bob for keeping our enterprise afloat . . . This full=bodied cow doorstop has been around for quite a while now. It is time someone comes up with $24 and carries it away . . .

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Our thanks to all of you who have made our spring holiday season so successful. We hope you enjoy the company of family and friends this weekend and may you be especially blessed by the Easter bunny. We recommend that you avoid any semblance of Raisin-ettes for the immediate future, however . . . Bob and Ronn.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Another beautiful day, and with the weekend holiday close on our heels the store was quite busy and Bob made all the sales. Our TripAdvisor visitors today were from Gettysburg . . . Our neighbor Annalise MacLeod slipped into her Easter finery and had her picture taken. She is just a few days short of her first birthday . . .

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finally caught up with local celeb Russ Harr who escorts and ushers the stars backstage at the Oscars. He brought us an official program for which we are most grateful. He had a fistful of photos of himself with celebs, but I am so out of touch with the entertainment world since we stopped renting video that I could not be as appreciative as I might have wanted to be. I stared at one photo for a bit and said that the fellow with Russ looked somewhat familiar. "That's Tom Cruise, you ninny," Russ said . . . Although surrounded by the elite of the motion picture business, Russ this year was most happy to spend some moments with the dog from The Artist (I forget his name, unfortunately). He had his own seat and wore a bow tie (the dog, that is). And he must have been bilingual. Russ pointed a finger at him and said he was about to shoot. Russ no sooner said "bang" than the pooch collapsed in a dead heap . . . While in Hollywood, Harr's partner in a local bar and neighboring Roxy's held an Oscar gala to benefit the Greater Harrisburg Arts Council. They raised $5000 . . . Had the dreaded CAT scan this morning having foregone food for several hours. As many of you know, you imbibe some juice every fifteen minutes for an hour plus and then it takes but moments for the actual scan to be completed. Well, when I entered the DOWN elevator I was confronted by three young women who had just been at the Seven Bridges Restaurant on the top floor and their arms were filled with dinners. The aroma was so wonderful and I was so hungry I almost passed out. They said the food was still as good as it had always been; Bob confirmed this since he had eaten there when I had my surgery . . .

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Another great day with numerous sidewalk conversations. Tulips everywhere--my favorite flower . . . Due at the hospital early tomorrow for a CAT scan. It had been one year since cancer necessitated my operation; now they want to know if it has reappeared and where . . . Harrisburg has opened a police substation in the midtown neighborhood at the HACC campus. It will be manned from seven in the morning until eleven at night. However, it will not be open to the public for conversations with an officer if I understand the mayor correctly . . .

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nice day but without news. Shoppers wanted Easter cards and we were happy to oblige. If all has gone as planned our friend Mark should be in Dublin at this hour . . .

Monday, April 2, 2012


A tenant in the 800 block of Green Street was doing some spring spruce-up in his garden on Sunday when he uncovered a loaded gun without the safety catch engaged. He summoned his landlord who in turn summoned the police. It took them three hours to respond but they acted with efficiency once they appeared. It was determined that the gun was a stolen one and judging by the condition it was probably in the elements for some time . . . the kid wants to remind you that we celebrate Easter this weekend and that we have cards and bunnies and a lot of items that would go nicely into your gift baskets . . .

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spent most of my waking moments reading. Have a huge stash of books that have been awaiting my attention. Had a nice walk with Cecilia and Sarah through the streets of Camp Hill late this afternoon. Had forgotten how much I missed strolling the neighborhoods. Cannot do that in Harrisburg any more; the thugs have been attacking the elderly on our uptown streets. Would be nice if the mayor organized a march on our behalf . . .

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Overcast and damp and not a pleasant day at all. I could not get warm despite heat, extra clothing and an occasional trip to the hot pad. A nice stream of traffic in the store all day, however, so I am not complaining . . . Have decided to explore the mysteries of Ngaio Marsh, a contemporary of Agatha Christie. Her first, A Man Lay Dead, is right up my alley--an isolated manor house with a murdered corpse and a lot of fashionable suspects . . . Just the thing to curl up with on a day like today . . .

Friday, March 30, 2012


A nicer day than predicted and better traffic in the store. Got a neat shipment from Amazon. Some books and a DVD for me, a couple of books for Bob and a game for The Kid; the last was intended for his Easter basket but I doubt that I will be able to wait that long . . . It has now been a year since my radical surgery. I have adjusted pretty well to that, but there is always a new pain on the horizon, it seems . . . We are going to squeak out a "better than last March" month this year but only by a few bucks . . . And here is some more of Steve Day's pottery . . .

Thursday, March 29, 2012



Melissa Herman celebrated her birthday today and not yesterday as I had previously reported . . . Dr. Coldren wants his neighbors to know that he and Jack Barnett have become a one-car family and therefore there is now an extra parking space street-side in the 700 block of Green . . . A welcome visit from Lee Spitalny today . . . Given conditions in the city, it has been suggested that we could increase sales immensely if we just stocked MACE . . . The April issue of TheBurg is now available. Did not know that the Mantis Collective which was once on North Street and had moved uptown has now called it quits . . . Bob and I watched Gypsy on TCM last night. Bob had played the Karl Malden part in a local production several years ago and said the role was greatly enlarged for the movie. I find it surprising that this show has been so beloved over the years. The music is okay, but Momma Rose is one of the most obnoxious characters in modern theater. I don't remember my initial reaction when I saw this many years ago, but last night it seemed to be interminable . . . Made in Pennsylvania, Berks County to be exact. We processed the new shipment of Steve Day pottery this morning and it is now on the shelves. Add a few Hershey kisses or miniatures to these plates and you will have a nice Easter hostess gift . . .

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Got to the hospital for the blood work and wrote a few checks before being felled by a severe headache and nausea. Bob had to come early to my rescue, but this turned out to be the third straight day without a customer. What is going on? However, that did give him the opportunity to unpack Steve Day's new Petrified Forest pottery--21 new pieces, some of which I plan to photograph and post here soon . . . Looking forward to seeing Dr. Coldren's new car; he was not yet back from the dealer when we closed for the day . . . Uptown neighbors are showing an increased concern for their safety since Bob's incident. Several have stopped to inquire about his health and to get a first-hand description of events. Even the dog walkers who once felt themselves safe are voicing worry . . .