Last October we were all delighted when Al Webber reached age 100 still in fine fettle.He just returned from his 80th Reunion at Bates College, where he led the parade while carrying a banner for his class of 1928, and he walked the entire route. Not surprisingly, he was the only one from his class there. He also represented the oldest reunion class ever in Bates' 140-year history.
Al flew to the reunion alone and was met by his cousin. The college was so delighted to have him they put him up in a beautiful bed and breakfast run by the wife of one of the professors. He was also assigned a beautiful college junior, who took care of anything he needed. There was always a golf cart, scooter chair or cup of tea if he needed it. She was such a help Al made her an honorary member of the class of 1928 and made her a necklace of garnets, as garnets are the official stone for the area and he is still is an active member of the Tuscarora Lapidary Society.
After all the festivities he remained in Maine and visited the local Masonic Lodge, as his cousin is Grand Master for the State. Al said that leading the parade was one of the highlights of his life. In a brief speech he gave, he praised the education that Bates College gives. He said, "It isn't the information they give you, they teach you to think things over and do what is right."
As a fund-raiser the Kennett Symphony League has done a masterful job in holding its Second Fiddle sales of white elephants to fund the children's programs of the symphony. By now you have probably heard that fine arts organizations are fighting hard to stay afloat in this economy. So the league is holding its Second Fiddle sale as part of the silent auction that is a part of the annual luncheon and fashion show on Wednesday, Nov. 12.
For the auction they need donations of some high-end home furnishings, jewelry, artwork, small furniture pieces and decorative pieces such as glassware, china, brass, silver and pewter items. Anything donated must be of high quality and in excellent condition. Items may be dropped off at the symphony office any time before Nov. 5. You will receive a tax donation form. Call 610-444-6363 if you have any questions.
If you don't have your tickets yet to the Brandywiners' production of "Oklahoma!" tt might be time to call 302-478-3355 to order tickets at $25 each. Or you can write to "Oklahoma!" The Brandywiners, Ltd. P.O. Box 248, Montchanin, DE 19710.
If you have never seen The Brandywiners in their 77-year history of excellent musicals, this might be the year. Performances will be July 24, 25, 26, 31 and Aug. 1, 2.
The highly acclaimed movie "The Squid and The Whale" about the effects of divorce on two young people will be shown on Friday, July 18, at the Back Alley Theatre (behind Newton's). The show is at 8 p.m. with admission $5.
Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" will be in our backyard at the Anson B. Nixon Park on Friday, July 18, at 7 p.m. This production of the battle of the sexes by Commonwealth Classic Theatre Co. is set in the 1950s. The performance is free, but please bring a blanket or a chair for sitting.
Slide, the name of a group, has appeared in internationals festivals all over Europe. With their winning musicians, they will appear at the Anson B. Nixon Park on Wednesday, July 23, at 7 p.m. Admission is free, but blankets and chairs are recommended. Supper will be available from the Kennett square Inn and la Michoacana Ice Cream
A very special premiere craft show of one of a kind crafts will be on sale and on show on July 25, 26 and 27 at the Chase Center on the Riverfront in Wilmington. The crafts are by members of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen Admission is $7.
Upcoming movies at theatre N include
o "A Jihad For Love," on July 18 at 2 p.m., July 19 at 2 and 8 p.m. and July 20 at 5 p.m. This is a prize-winning documentary of stories of gay and lesbian Muslims.
o "Full Grown Men," on July 18 at 8 p.m., July 19 at 5 p.m. and July 20 at 2 p.m. A man returns to his childhood home and seeks out old boyhood acquaintance that he used to bully. They have different memories of their childhoods.
On Thursday, July 24, Isaacs Garcia will lead the original Mariachi Suriano Band, complete with fiddles, trumpets and bass guitar in the traditional sounds of Mexico. The free performance at the Myrick Conservation Center is at 7:30 p.m. It is recommended that audience members bring something to sit on.
The composer of the musical "Wicked" has written another musical called "Working, An American Musical," a story about the hopes, fears and dreams of the American worker. Based on the book by Studs Terkel, the 26 roles are played by six actors, with a rock-and-roll score by James Taylor.
The show is performed Tuesdays through Sundays through July 27 by Theatre Horizon in the Upper Merion Middle School, 450 Keebler Road, King of Prussia. For tickets or information call 610-283-2230.
If you should be thirsty on Sundays in July, just slip by Chaddsford Winery for Sweet Sangria Sundays between 2 and 5 p.m. There will be music, barbecue food by Nick's Chicks and tours and tastings. Admission is $10 per person.
Every year I spend time with friends in Lenox in the western part of Massachusetts. Over the years I kept hearing rumors that the game of baseball began on the rather small village green called Park Square in the nearby town of Pittsfield, settled in 1752 and incorporated in 1761. Pittsfield is one of those small New England towns that has had just enough success to keep it solvent but not so much it became overrun with ugly modern stores.
Four years ago while trying to discover whether or not Pittsfield truly was the cradle of baseball. I went to the town clerk to see if he could help me with the history. He said he could not help, but there was someone in the office who could and he would have him get in touch with me. Well, you know how that goes. No one ever called and several attempts on my part to contact him did not succeed.
Just this week in the Berkshire Eagle, a very outstanding small town newspaper, a recent article gave me all the information I had been seeking. The U.S. Congress has just passed a resolution recognizing Pittsfield as being home to the earliest reference to the term "baseball" in the United States, as well as being the national birthplace of college baseball.
Twenty-six co-sponsors of the resolution included the 10 Massachusetts representatives, as well as representatives from other states who had graduated from Williams and Amherst colleges, both in Massachusetts. There is documentation that the first intercollegiate game between colleges was in Pittsfield in 1869. If you care, the score was Williams, 32, and Amherst, 73, in a game that had 32 innings.
The information about the first use of the term "baseball" is in the minutes of the town meeting in 1791, 40 years after the town was established when they passed a bylaw that prohibited playing baseball within 80 yards of the town's new meetinghouse. The reason stated was to protect the windows of the new meetinghouse. The meetinghouse at 27 East St. was designed by well-known architect Charles Bullfinch in 1789 and finished in 1793. It currently is the home of the Congregational Church.
According to the article, Pittsfield is not trying to replace Cooperstown, N. Y., the site of the Baseball Hall of Fame, in the annuls of baseball. They just want their place in history's time line.
I will be back in Lenox again this week. Who knows what I may stumble upon?
o Caryl E. Huffaker lives in Kennett Township.