Another auto dealership
The former Turf Club on Route 1 in Glen Mills (before that, it was a movie theater) is being turned into a CarSense dealership. They have a big banner up, the website says "opening soon," and they're running newspaper and online ads looking for sales staff and techs.
A long life
Our area has lost a notable resident: on May 2, Margaret "Peg" Barnard Chalfant passed away at the age of 107. She grew up in Pocopson on the Barnard farm. Her great-grandfather, Eusebius Barnard, and her grandfather, Enos Barnard , were active in helping runaway slaves on the Underground Railroad. Margaret was Penn State's May Queen in 1934 and was the first female elder at West Chester's Presbyterian Church. She lived at 102 S. High Street in West Chester for 79 years.
A Barnard relative of hers, Loraine Lucas, sent me this 1918 photo of Margaret when she was six years old in front of Pocopson Schoolhouse (c. 1882). She is standing third from the right. Today the building is Lenape Village Kitchen & Bath at 1414 Lenape Road (Route 52), next to Lenape Pizza.
A robot named Marty
The Kennett and Longwood Giants now have a beeping, 6-foot-tall gray robot gliding down the aisles. I encountered "Marty" on his first day on the job at the Kennett store, and he was the talk of the supermarket. His purpose is to detect spills, obstructions and hazards; when he does so, he doesn't clean it up himself but alerts a janitor. A friend reports that Marty spotted an olive on the floor and called for reinforcements.
Fly Huskies Fly
Some pupils at Hillendale Elementary School recently took a field trip to Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, motivating one sports-fan father to apply immediately for his school clearances so he could go along "as a chaperone." His wife was amused at his sudden eagerness to get his approvals: "He was dragging his feet for four years!" Social media photos showed the Dad in full Eagles regalia soaking up the atmosphere on the field.
Bluegrass at London Grove
Sam Lam and his bluegrass band, the White Clay Creek Tributary, will be performing at London Grove Friends Meeting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Concertgoers are asked to carpool because of the limited parking space at the meetinghouse. There's no set admission fee but donations will be taken at the door.
London Grove Friends Meeting is at the intersection of Newark Road and Route 926.
First past the post
Overshadowed by the Kentucky Derby controversy was the Virginia Gold Cup Timber Stakes win on May 4 by Andi'amu, owned by Ballybristol Farm, ridden by Jack Doyle and trained by Leslie Young. Leslie's barn is here in West Marlborough, so I'm sure I've seen Andi'amu jogging along the road many times without even realizing who he was. Huge congratulations to Team Young!
Spuds for dessert?
So I'm making small talk with a fellow the other night, and he tells me, out of the blue, that he is a certified potato judge for Pennsylvania state agricultural fairs.
Marveling to myself at the unusual hobbies people have, I told him I've been involved with the baking competitions at the Unionville Community Fair for many years. Well! He was off and running. It seems that one of his major goals has been to get "mashed potato candy" approved as an official category in the competitions across the state.
I'd never heard of this treat. He explained that it originated among frugal Lancaster County farmwomen who didn't want to waste leftover mashed potatoes. They'd add powdered sugar and roll the dough into pinwheels.
"Ask your doctor"
Why do doctors have daytime TV playing in their waiting rooms? The programs are innocuous enough but the barrage of "ask your doctor" advertisements for medications is appalling. I sat through two hours of it the other morning; I wasn't even a patient and it was making me queasy! Constipation, heart failure, colon cancer, diabetes: nothing is off limits. And all the ads, by law I suppose, include a laundry list of ominous possible side effects ("Tell your doctor if you experience …").
My fellow waiting-room inmates seemed to be utterly ignoring the blare of the TV, so why have it on at all? Silence would be much preferred and surely more soothing to already jangled nerves.
Ulta is open
Hooray, I can stop rationing my Paul Mitchell shampoo: the new Ulta store is open in the Longwood shopping center. I stopped in on May 5, only two days after they opened, and the place was fully stocked with makeup, perfume, skincare, hair products and all kinds of beauty gadgets. I noticed a prominent display of cosmetics by Kylie Jenner, the makeup maven who, according to Forbes magazine, is at age 21 America's youngest ever billionaire.