WEST MARLBOROUGH: Truckers beware

Once again, an unfortunate tractor-trailer driver simply following his GPS directions found himself in serious trouble when he tried to make a turn at Newark Road and Street Road (Route 926) the morning of Feb. 28. There wasn't enough room for him to do so, and the 53-foot rig ended up stuck and straddling the road.

Fortunately, Billy Hicks showed up with a tractor from his nearby Meadowview Farm, and he and West Marlborough road crew member Hugh Lofting managed to hook up the truck and tow it off the roadway. The truck driver was last seen being taken away by the state police.

It seems to me that this is happening more and more often on our rural roads: GPS doesn't indicate that some roads are just not suitable for big rigs, and truckers from outside the area are caught unawares.

KENNETT SQUARE: Woodside ice cream

We were enjoying dinner at Carlos Vargas's Kaboburritos in the Market at Liberty Place on March 6 and were excited to see a "coming soon" sign for "Travelers." This newest addition to the Market will offer Woodside Farm Creamery ice cream, "old-fashion" British pies, coffee, bubble tea and other "International Eats and Sweets." Sounds fabulous to me!

PASTTIMES: Games people play

During a lunchtime gym class the other day the teacher had us running around four orange cones, alternately shuffling and sprinting sideways and backwards. My partner for the class was a woman of similar vintage, and between spurts of activity we started reminiscing about the playground games of our childhood. I have not thought about "Chinese jump rope" in years. Two girls (boys never played it) would loop a long elastic band around their ankles and stand facing each while, while a third girl would stand between them and with her feet would create intricate patterns in the band.

The metal slides (which reached leg-scorching temperatures in the sun), the creaky wooden teeter-totters and the shaky jungle gyms of my youth, all anchored in the macadam playground, would never pass muster in these lawsuit-prone days.

One activity my gym friend had never heard of involved two long, thick bamboo poles. Two people (boys or girls) would kneel down facing each other and holding the ends of the sticks. They'd bang them on the ground twice, then click them together. Meanwhile the third person would dance in and out of the poles, trying to avoid getting his or her ankles smashed. Easier said that done when the pole-holders increased the tempo all of a sudden!

(Reader Jack G. informed me that this game is called tinikling: "I and the girls P.E. teacher did this activity with the middle school students during the 70s and 80s at Kennett Middle School.")

WEST MARLBOROUGH: "Wet" Marlborough?

"Do you favor the granting of liquor licenses for the sale of liquor in West Marlborough Township?"

If supporters collect enough signatures on a petition, that question will appear on the ballot at the May 21 primary election in West Marlborough.

Spearheading the effort are the folks at the Thomforde family's Stone Barn on Upland Road, which has been operating for 51 years. The Foxfire Restaurant there is now a BYOB, and alcohol is served at the Stone Barn's banquets and receptions.

If it's successful, the referendum would reverse West Marlborough's decades-long "dry" status. Because of the wording of the statute, the sale of wine and spirits is forbidden in the township, although beer and cider can be sold (as they are at the Whip Tavern in Springdell).

On March 7 I stopped by the Stone Barn to find out more about the petition drive and interrupted general manager Alex Arnold vacuuming the dining room. We sat down together and Alex (her parents are Charlene Thomforde and Kevin Arnold) explained that having a liquor license would allow them to have more control over the liquor that people bring to the facility.

"It's difficult to tell people what to do when, after all, it's their liquor," she said. They also want to be able to serve locally produced cider, beer, wine and spirits, in keeping with their farm-to-table philosophy (say, a mojito made with locally made rum).

Alex told me that the family has held off on trying to overturn the prohibition on liquor sales because her Quaker ancestors are the ones who originally helped to enact it in West Marlborough in 1937 after Prohibition was repealed nationally. Quakerism is historically opposed to drinking, gambling, and smoking.

"It's a little ironic," she admitted. "But I think they'd understand. The township has shifted from the Prohibition-era mindset to come with the times."

At the township meeting on March 5, Chef Franco Alvisi (who is also Alex Arnold's husband) circulated a petition and asked audience members to sign. They need to collect 105 signatures by a March 12 deadline (that number is the result of a complicated formula involving the number of voters who voted for the most important office on the ballot in the previous even-year election in the township).

SADSBURYVILLE: More than weiners

Harry's Hot Dogs in Sadsburyville serves up way more than just hot dogs these days. It's now a real sit-down restaurant, in a restored 19th-century stagecoach inn, and offers a wide menu of appetizers, sandwiches, burgers and entrees.

We were there on a recent Saturday and it turned out to be "prime rib night." Dearest Partner ordered the smallest one on the menu and it was still gigantic -- and delicious. I had the crab cakes, which were very good, and an excellent assortment of steamed vegetables.

And if you're in the mood for gourmet hot dogs with all the trimmings, they're still on the menu -- and we noticed that's what the two gentlemen two tables away were eating.

Harry's is at 2949 Lancaster Ave., between Coatesville and Parkesburg.

PENN: Road work

The much-needed improvement project at the Jennersville intersection has finally gotten underway. So far the lanes of Route 796 to the north of the crossroads have been temporarily shifted slightly to the east. Behind the Red Rose Inn the workers have set up a large staging area, full of large vehicles, drainage pipes of various sizes, a heap of stones, and a Port-a-Potty.

Write to Tilda at uvilleblogger@gmail.com. Thanks!

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