WILLOWDALE: Pop-up salon to open
Patrons of the Nicholas Anthony Salon will no doubt be delighted and relieved (not as delighted and relieved as the employees, though!) to learn that the popular Willowdale beauty shop, closed since the Jan. 3 fire that destroyed both it and Sovanna Bistro, will be opening a temporary "pop-up" salon just across the parking lot. They will be in the space occupied until Jan. 25 by Turner & Co. (and before that by the Willowdale Country Store). On Jan. 30 I saw a worker in a bucket truck already taking down the "Turner & Co." sign.
INDOOR TRACK: Fitness has no age limits
Congratulations to Kennett YMCA personal trainer Kareem Laneer and his three teammates (including his twin brother). The foursome set a world and American indoor record in the 4 x 800-meter relay in the 45- to 49-year age group at the 2020 USA Track & Field Masters Indoor Championships in Landover, Md., on Jan. 19. The new record, 9:51.95, is 2 minutes and 5 seconds faster than the previous 12:02.
ASSETS: Management strategies
During a conversation about investment strategies the other morning, I felt pretty much at sea with the expert's financial lingo but tried my darnedest to look intelligent.
At one point the discussion turned to the causes of the 2008 financial disaster, and the expert stated that it partially stemmed from the flawed belief that everyone could afford to be a homeowner. "Some people should be renters," he said.
The man sitting next to me, who owns a historical home in Unionville that is gorgeous but extremely high maintenance, raised his hand.
"I should be a renter," he said ruefully.
UHS: Donations for the book sale
Donations for the annual used book sale at Unionville High School can be dropped off during school hours at all Unionville-Chadds Ford school buildings through Friday, Feb. 14. There's also a drop-off box in the back of UHS for evening and weekend donations. I dropped off my donations there after school the other day and was pleased to see that the storage room is already full of books sorted and boxed up by the super-organized volunteers.
This year's sale will be at the high school from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, with the $10 "bag sale" from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23. There will be no Friday evening hours this year.
AVONDALE: The best ice cream ever?
A Unionville native was reminiscing fondly the other day about the former Pensupreme Dairy, which was located across Route 1 from the Avondale Wawa. She said that the ice cream there was so memorable because it was made from the good, old-fashioned basics. Today's ice cream, she stated, simply doesn't compare.
"What about Woodside Creamery?" suggested another party to the conversation.
"Or Baily's?" said another.
She dismissed our suggestions with prejudice.
The Pensupreme Dairy was before my time but perhaps other readers will recall it.
REAL ID: Deadline is in October
I'm now the proud owner of an upgraded Real ID driver's license complete with a gold star. Although the upgrade is optional, starting Oct. 1 you'll need to have a Real ID, a U.S. passport, or a military ID to board commercial flights and enter secure federal buildings.
On Friday morning I drove up to the Lancaster driver's license center, which is in the East Town shopping center, 2090 Lincoln Highway, right where Routes 30 and 462 split. When I walked in, the receptionist greeted me, asked why I was there, and gave me the correct forms to fill out. He then handed me a numbered ticket, like at an old-fashioned deli.
I found a seat -- there were maybe 30 people waiting in the cavernous, mostly empty hall -- and filled out the forms.
According to my ticket there were 18 people in front of me, so I settled in for some people watching.
To my surprise I was called within about 20 minutes. The clerk checked that I'd brought the correct identification documents and scanned them into the system, then sent me along to the counter to get my photograph taken by a cheerful young man. I barely had time to sit down before my finished document was ready.
The whole process was simple and the employees were all pleasant and efficient.
On my way out I saw a man who looked familiar and asked if he was from Kennett Square.
"Used to be," he said. It turned out to be Ralph Burton, the former police chief of West Whiteland Township. He and his wife lived in Lenape for 43 years and their children graduated from the Unionville schools. Chief Burton said he and his wife moved to Cochranville when he retired and they now live on a quiet road where there are more Amish buggies than cars.
If you have questions about the Real ID process, PennDOT has a useful website. Also, State Rep. Christina Sappey is holding an information session about Real ID on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the West Goshen Township Building at Paoli Pike and North Five Points Road in West Chester.
LOTTERY: Helping the economy
We were at Landhope in Willowdale after dinner on Saturday buying a Powerball ticket when a friend walked in, on the same mission. She was happy to see us because she wasn't sure how to use the lottery machine (so she said). She told us she wanted to try her luck on the $373 million jackpot for a very specific reason: she has had her eye on a historic house that will require some expensive renovations.
She bought her ticket and we had a discussion about whether it would be better to take the lump-sum payout or the annuity. I made her promise that when she won, Tilda would have an exclusive on the story.
I'm still waiting for that call.
PREPPIES: First-world problems
In 1982 "preppies" were trendy. I had a desk diary that included information about the habits of Biff and Muffy, like a list of things that they supposedly worry about. One was "the alarm system." Another was "They'll stop making it (fitted picnic hampers, batiste pajamas, Abercrombie's brogues)."
I didn't understand the latter at the time, but now I certainly do.
My favorite yogurt brand (Plenti) has disappeared off the face of the earth. My favorite fleece leggings aren't even available on eBay. The grocery store has stopped stocking the kale chips and mini-size, low-glycemic-index granola bars I love. LL Bean has redesigned, for the worse, the fleece jackets I live in all winter.
Like the preppy diary warned, as soon as I start liking something, it seems they stop making it.
One friend was worried when I told him about this trend.
"For the love of God," he said, "don't start liking Bluecoat gin!"