EAST MARLBOROUGH: The Fair weekend
Don't forget, this coming weekend (Oct. 4 through 6) is the 95th annual Unionville Community Fair and Farm Show, held at the Landhope Farms property at Routes 82 and 926 in Willowdale. It's a wonderful family event and a community tradition. The full schedule, including the rules for all the competitions, can be found on ucfair.org.
LIBRARY: "Buried treasure"
The Kennett Library will be holding a pirate-themed fundraising dinner at the Stone Barn on Thursday, Oct. 17. In the words of board president Tom Swett, "We need all hands on deck to find the buried treasure so that we can continue to provide the much-needed resources, services and opportunities for education and literacy for every residents in our amazing community." Guest speaker will be Victoria Browning Wyeth. The dress code for the $150-a-plate evening is business attire, "pirate regalia optional." Tickets are available at bidpal.net/KLBenefit2019.
POCOPSON: The train and the bridge
I've written before about the Lenape Bridge closure and the unpredictable train-car shuffling that snarls traffic at the Pocopson railroad crossing. Two readers wrote to me about how those two problems have become greater than the sum of their parts:
"We have always enjoyed the sound of the train whistle from our house, and have on occasion been delayed as it 'backs and forths' a couple of times, I suspect to change cars. It has been as much as 8 to 10 minutes, but we always understand it as it does not impact too much time or our life.
"BUT, with all the extra traffic and due to traffic pattern changes it has become a big deal. And it seems as if there are more -- many more -- times the train comes through and makes its car changes.
"Today we heard it at 8 and 9 a.m. Yesterday my wife was caught for 15 minutes at 10:30. Monday it was 15 minutes at 3 p.m. Some of this was back up, some the fast light at Pocopson letting 926 cars through for extended times.
"My one question is, is there a train schedule? And if so, can it be made public knowledge to help people such as us? I believe the tracks are privately owned, but probably the trains are regulated (i.e., publicly controlled ) so there should be some sort of schedule."
Those are excellent questions, and residents and commuters alike would greatly appreciate some answers from local government.
FASHION: Nothing new under the sun
My junior high life flashed before me as I paged through a catalog of fall fashion and spotted a tight, ribbed turtleneck with narrow, brightly colored horizontal stripes. I could swear I wore the exact top as an adolescent in the 1970s.
"You did," confirmed a Facebook friend. "We all did."
One thing's for sure: it did not cost $99, not even taking inflation into account.
BLUEGRASS: A house concert
Dearest Partner and I headed to downtown Lancaster on Sept. 21 for a house concert by the Canadian bluegrass band the Slocan Ramblers. Music lovers Tim and Karen Lehman host folk concerts monthly at their Chestnut Street home, with all the donations going directly to the band. There's also a potluck dinner before the show (it was excellent), and afterward you get to mingle with the musicians over dessert, in this case a special cake commemorating the fact that it was the Lehmans' 100th house concert.
We've been to a lot of small venues to hear music, but this one was really up-close-and-personal -- and great fun! One of the musicians was taking a nap upstairs until a few minutes before the show (he thought the show started at 7:30 instead of 7. Whoops!). And when the banjo player switched instruments, he realized he'd accidentally left his other banjo sitting on an air-conditioning vent. Never good for a musical instrument!
Wooden seats filled the small living room, and you had to enter the house through the side door off the alley rather than the front door. But although there were more than 30 guests and one affectionate sheepdog, Bella, somehow it seemed just cozy, not crowded.
The other guests were very welcoming to us "first-timers," and we assured them we'd be back.
WEST MARLBOROUGH: A new neighbor
By chance I met a new neighbor the other evening when I spotted a loose dog in the middle of Upland Road. Concerned for the dog's safety -- it's a busy road -- I pulled into the next driveway and asked if their dog was out.
Yes, he was, said the owner, who immediately called to "Boo." Fortunately, he came running.
The woman introduced herself and thanked me over and over. I told her I loved what she was doing with the house, which before she bought it had started to become a tad shabby.
"Oh, it just needed a little love," she said modestly. "It's a work in progress."
STRASBURG: A race through farmland
On Sept. 21 some of my gym friends ran in a 5K in Strasburg, Lancaster County, to raise money for the Clinic for Special Children, which treats families with rare genetic disorders. My friend Eduardo said entire Amish families ran together, the girls and women in dresses and sneakers and the boys and men in straw hats with black trousers and suspenders. The race attracted more than 350 runners and raised $40,000 for the not-for-profit clinic.
ALONG CHATHAM ROAD: A lost hoodie
On Saturday morning I found a clean, brand-new blue hoodie along the roadside. It had the label of a local landscaping firm, so I contacted them and the next day took it back. They were very grateful and said the employee who lost it would be, too, as workers are issued their uniforms for free but have to pay for replacements.
I shared this anecdote with a friend and she was underwhelmed.
"I thought this story was actually going somewhere," she said. "Like you'd found heroin in the pocket or something."
MILESTONE: Fire marshal honored
Chief Fire Marshal John Weer, a Unionville native, was honored last week by the county commissioners for his 25 years of service as a Chester County employee. Before being promoted to his current position in 2015, he worked in HazMat and fire training. Congrats, Jackie!
UNIONVILLE: A group show
Four local artists, working in very different media, will be holding a group show on Friday, Oct. 18 (5 to 8 p.m.) and Saturday, Oct. 19 (10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) at Kinloch Woodworking at 1721 West Doe Run Road in downtown Unionville: Doug Mooberry (woodworking), Pat Mooberry (ceramics), Courtney Peterson (jewelry) and Clayton Bright (sculpture).