Four of us, with our chairs, coolers, and Royal Farms fried chicken, piled into our friends' new Subaru Outback and headed over to the 73rd running of Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Foxhounds Point-to-Point Races at Plantation Field on Sunday. The day started out cold and rainy, then turned cold and windy, but by the seventh race the sun finally came out.
Usually spectators walk around the parking areas to visit with friends, catch up after the winter and enjoy everyone's tailgate offerings. This year, most of the mingling took place in the warm hospitality tent near the finish line, where hot dogs, subs, Guinness stew, drinks and coffee were being served. (The hot coffee was most welcome.)
The redesigned 2.4-mile course allows spectators to view more of the 14 jumps, which are all on the Route 82 side of the course. The finish line has been moved to the top of the hill, near the tower.
The winner of the Cheshire Bowl was Irvin L. Crawford II's Senior Senator, trained by Joseph Davies, with Eric Poretz up. Senior Senator also won that race in 2016 and 2018 (as well as the formidable Maryland Hunt Cup in 2018).
We were relieved that no one (horse or human) got hurt.
A new track season
My brother and I visited Phoenixville Area High School on Saturday to watch the UHS track team participate in a meet called "The Distance Project" (there were no sprints or field events). It was warm and sunny, a glorious spring day to be a spectator. The UHS boys won the 4 x 1600-meter relay, breaking a school record of 14 years' standing by one second.
And there was a sweet moment after the race: one of the runners presented a teammate with a bouquet and asked her to the prom. She said yes!
Lots of questions
On Saturday night Dearest Partner and I took part in a fundraising Trivia Night competition, joining a team called (appropriately) The Elders. Our collective ignorance about popular culture, geography and sports was woefully on display. In fact, the only category we aced was "double entendres." (Google "Dirty Mind Quiz" for some hilarious but blush-inducing examples.)
The final question was about the three most significant discoveries in all of history. The emcee was amused that one team answered, "alcohol."
A traffic headache
A Route 926 commuter states that the traffic light at Pocopson Road needs to be reprogrammed. It lets only a few cars through at a time, he said, causing a backup that extends toward Route 202 for a full half-mile or more during the afternoon rush hour. In comparison, he said, the shuffling of train cars at the same intersection is a trifling and only occasional hassle.
A spoonful of sugar
A gym friend was describing the luscious-sounding dessert she was making for a family get-together over the weekend: a mint chocolate chip mousse with a chocolate crumb crust.
She pointed out that she has a degree in nutrition and works as a dental hygienist.
"You'd think I would know better," she said.
Going back in time
I predict they're going to need a third bus.
Kathleen Hood came to the West Marlborough Township supervisors' April meeting to inform them that on Thursday evening, August 1, there will be a free bus tour of Doe Run and the old King Ranch, led by two former cowboys, Kenny Young and Rocky Dillow. Tourgoers will visit Springdell, Chapel Road, the feed lots, the former ranch office, and the township building in Doe Run, where there will be displays of memorabilia. The tour will last about 50 minutes and the two buses will leave from South Brandywine Middle School starting at 4 p.m. It's part of the Chester County Planning Commission's annual summer series of "town tours and village walks."
As soon as I shared the news on social media, people started asking how they can sign up. Kathleen said that online reservations can be made through EventBrite, but the site is not yet live. She said it should be "up" by the end of April. Kathleen, by the way, is the author of "Echoes in the Glen: St. Malachi's in Doe Run."
Body of knowledge
A reader's email in reference to last week's item about the tight security at a local testing site conjured up a lurid image.
In the item, I mentioned how the only thing a friend was allowed to wear in the testing site was his wedding ring. My reader suggested that I surely must be kidding!
Of course, what I meant by that poorly worded sentence was that the only jewelry permitted was a wedding ring. A policy that required test-takers to strip down would discourage applicants and skew the results -- and would doubtless deserve far greater media attention than just an item in "Unionville in the News"!
Motorists in West Marlborough Township can expect to see a greater police presence in coming weeks. At their April 2 meeting, the township supervisors asked Robert "Clarkie" Clarke to focus his attention on several "hot spots" they have identified. One priority is slowing down traffic on Springdell Road from Route 841 to Chapel Road; on Route 841 from Greenlawn to Wertz Roads; on Route 842 from Newark to Byrd Roads; and along all of Route 82. He was also asked to watch for drivers rolling through the four-way stop signs along Newark Road at the intersections with Routes 926 and 842 and to target illegal parkers in Springdell village. Clarkie is the chief of the East Marlborough Police Department; West Marlborough contracts with that department to provide 12 hours of service each month.
In other business, the supervisors approved a stormwater management plan submitted by the owners of 427 West Street Road, who plan to demolish their current house and build a new one on their one-acre property.
Also, supervisor Hugh Lofting said he is looking into securing a grant to install larger concrete culverts along Tapeworm Road. The funding would be through the state's dirt and gravel road program.
A normally even-tempered West Grove reader was upset to learn that his quarterly trash bill has gone up by 8 percent. It wasn't so much the actual increase that bothered him, but the wording of the letter. Perhaps trying to put a favorable spin on the news, the company described the increase as "small." My reader said calling an 8 percent increase "small" is an insult to customers -- and he promptly fired off a note telling them so.
We can rebuild him
In a few weeks a West Marlborough neighbor is going to have his left shoulder joint replaced -- for the second time. After reviewing all of his scans and studies, the surgeon concluded that he simply "wore out" his current prosthesis. Even today's high-tech devices, it seems, are no match for a retired farmer who doesn't know the meaning of "slowing down."
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