Yesterday was the 25th anniversary of the day I married my true love, Ellen. This is my favorite picture from the wedding. We’re still in love, and it sure doesn’t seem like that long ago!
Today Ellen had an appointment in downtown Philadelphia, and I went with her. We made it a short day-trip to celebrate our anniversary, starting with a delicious lunch at this restaurant in the historic district. While the building and interiors look authentically colonial, I learned today by reading the fine print on the cornerstone that it’s a recreation of the original built in the 1970s. No matter, it’s still great fun. The food is excellent, and so is the beer. I had the Porter mentioned in the sign above, delicious!
Afterwards we walked around the historic district enjoying the atmosphere. We considered going in to see the Liberty Bell, but the length of the line discouraged us. I spotted the Curtis Building and had to visit the Parrish/Tiffany mural in the lobby there, which I love. A huge art installation, it was designed by Maxfield Parrish and executed in many thousands of pieces of iridescent favrile glass by the Tiffany Studios. It’s quite amazing, and impossible to get in one photo. Unfortunately, it’s poorly lit, which probably helps preserve it, but makes the colors hard to see and appreciate. I enhanced them some on these photos.
In this closer shot you can see some of the small pieces of glass forming the mosaic picture. I’ve just looked up the details, it’s 15 feet high by 49 feet wide, and made of about 100,000 pieces of glass. If you’re ever in Philadelphia try to stop in and see it.
After that we stopped at a used book store, bought a few things, and headed home before rush hour made traffic too crazy. A nice break for both of us.
It’s been a few years since my friend Tim and his son Gabe were able to visit us in the summer. When they do, we always create some unusual sand sculptures, and that’s what happened this past weekend. Tim had some new sand sculpting tools, WillySpheres, which do but one thing: make large spherical shapes, and we used them for our carvings. Continue reading
Ellen’s family is visiting for a long weekend, and yesterday on the beach we did a group-effort castle. Here are several views. this one feature’s Dave Greene’s design with S.H. for Stone Harbor, where we go to the beach.
This side features bridges by Zach Greene and some decorations by me on the hillside. I also did most of the castle towers at the top.
This side shows more decorations by me as well as some by Anne Greene.
A closer view of the main gate with “Stone Harbor” in stones and shells by Ellen Klein over the doorway (hard to read in this light).
Flanking the main door are dripped Gargoyles by Anne.
Here’s the castle-making crew, also giving a sense of scale. Took us several hours, but they were hours when it was cloudy and raining lightly, so a good way to pass the time. Once the sun came out, we all went swimming.
As the tide came in, the castle first became surrounded by water…
…and then began to succumb to the waves. We didn’t have time to watch the entire castle fall, but such is the way of this ephemeral art.
About fifty years ago, in the 1960s, my brothers and I attended the Bedminster Township School in Bedminster, New Jersey, seen above in the 1950s. Recently I wrote a series of articles about the school on my blog, which begin HERE. During the research and writing process, my long-time friend and Bedminster schoolmate Tim and I were able to contact a few members of our grade-school class, and at some point the idea of a reunion was suggested. Among the group of us that were corresponding regularly now by email or on Facebook, many either still lived in the central New Jersey area, or had family who did. A plan was made, and last Saturday, July 12th, some of us got together.
We gathered at the Clarence Dillon Library’s Local History Room in Bedminster, where Tim and I had done some of our research. Attending were myself, Brent Franklin, Catherine (Cathy) Downey, Pru (Hobbie) Cuper, Tim W, and Curtis Vreeland. Several others had planned to attend but were unable to because of last-minute situations: Roxie Blazure, Bruce DeBacco and Robert (Bob) Schork. But, with my wife Ellen and Brent’s wife Sharon, we made a group of eight, and we had a fine time. We spent an hour and more in the library first, getting to know each other again, looking at old photos, and reviving old school memories. Tim and I have stayed in touch, and the two of us had dinner with Curtis a few months ago, but the rest of the group had not seen each other in decades. I was happy to learn that we all have some good memories of our grade school days and each other. From the library we continued on through an eventful day that had been planned largely by Curtis and myself, with help from the rest. Continue reading
Fine sunny weather today with temperatures in the mid 70s. We considered a traditional beach visit this afternoon, but opted instead for a trip to Springer’s Ice Cream in Stone Harbor, then a walk. Springers is the best ice cream around here, and only open in the summer!
We drove to Stone Harbor Point for a long walk along the beach there. Ellen took off her sandals and waded, I opted to keep my walking shoes on.
There weren’t many birds around other than the usual gulls, but we did enjoy a few pairs of American Oystercatchers, still looking quite sharp in breeding plumage, and nesting somewhere in the protected areas back from the beach.
We made it all the way to the end of the long beach, must be close to two miles, or it sure felt like it! Across the channel is North Wildwood. A nice afternoon out, summer is definitely here!