CONCERTS: In and around the lake
The outdoor concert by All Good People on June 26 was terrific. The Yes tribute band attracted a large crowd to Anson B. Nixon Park on a warm evening. I hadn't heard anything by Yes in years, if not decades, but was amazed how well I remembered the music and the fanciful lyrics.
The show started in the traditional Yes fashion, with Stravinsky's "Firebird Suite" on the sound system, and then the band members took the stage and burst into "Siberian Khatru." The band played for about two hours, including favorites like "Close to the Edge," "Long Distance Runaround," and "Roundabout." They closed with "Starship Trooper," and one member of our party said that their version was even better than Yes's at a couple of shows he had attended!
The food provider for the evening was supposed to be a Mexican food truck, but they were a no-show, so the organizers scrambled and ordered up a bunch of Domino's Pizza.
As we were leaving, one friend remarked how lucky we are to have this concert series so close by, in such a beautiful spot -- and free!
In last week's column I wrote a preview of the show and mentioned that I'd seen the real Yes in 1976 at JFK Stadium. A reader emailed me, saying he thought he was the only person in the Kennett Square ZIP code who had been to that show. I replied that it had been a magical evening indeed, and that today, as grown-ups, we would have been worried about the traffic on I-95, the bathroom lines and how late we'd get to bed.
The next Anson B. Nixon show will be on Wednesday, July 3, by Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber, performing the music of David Bowie and Prince, as well as original works.
UNIONVILLE: Under renovation
Friends have decided that instead of moving, they're going to gut their kitchen. Comparing and selecting appliances, flooring, cabinets, faucets, shelving and tiles, and then deciding how to arrange everything, is an arduous process that the husband, only half joking, equated to divorce, combat or mortal illness in its sheer complexity and unpleasantness. They sold their fridge and are currently using the spare "party" fridge in their garage, which means a trip outdoors every time they need something. Most of the renovation is going to be done while they are far away from Unionville on vacation, and they are steeling themselves to the certainty that upon their return, they'll find something unexpected.
CHIQUITA: Now or later?
This evening at the Giant a youth was stocking bananas, and I asked him how he decides which bunches go in the "Perfect Now" section and which in the "Perfect Later" one.
"I never even noticed that!" he said.
"Well, come up with a good explanation for the next person who asks," I suggested. "Be creative."
He was a good sport. He promptly held up a bunch, pointed at it and declared with utter confidence, "These are guaranteed to turn bright yellow tomorrow!"
PENN: Way outside the box
A resident on Route 796, near Baker Road, periodically posts along the road a signboard with an inspirational message on it. The most recent was "Think like there is no box." At least one of my cats is way ahead of him; let's just say that this household goes through a lot of paper towels.
WEST MARLBOROUGH: Nap time
The other afternoon, I spent some quality time rocking in my backyard hammock, but there was no possibility of taking a nap, what with the chittering ruby-throated hummingbirds buzzing back and forth to the nectar feeder and the wren parents feeding their never-sated nestlings in the birdhouse. A squirrel certainly had no problem relaxing, though: rather than his usual racing along the fence, hopping over each post, he was sprawled out along a tree limb, balanced securely by his paws, the breeze ruffling his tail. He looked up briefly when a red-winged blackbird landed nearby, but then went back to slumberland.
No hammock time for the hard-working guys making hay! Over the hill I could hear the rhythmic thump-thump cadence of a baler.
KURC: Underground Railroad tours
The dates for this season's bus tours sponsored by the Kennett Underground Railroad Center are July 21, Aug. 18, Sept. 15, and Oct. 20 (all Sundays). "Visit documented Underground Railroad sites, historic homes, and Quaker meetinghouses while learning about local abolitionists and antislavery activity in the Kennett Square area. The tour also presents the contributions of local African Americans and their faith communities in the quest for freedom from slavery."
The bus tours start at 2:30 p.m. at the Brandywine Valley Tourist Information Center (which used to be the Longwood Progressive Friends Meetinghouse), 300 Greenwood Road, Kennett Square. Reservations are required. You can purchase your ticket online ($20) at the KURC website or call 484-544-5070 or email email@example.com.
AVONDALE: Goodbye to Angel
It's so hard to lose a beloved family pet. I was picking up cat supplies at Pet Supplies Plus in Avondale when a woman came in with some cans of dog food to donate to the CompAnimals rescue. She told me that she was donating the food because her Maltese, Angel, age 11, had died on Mother's Day and was sadly missed. "We spoiled that dog," she said, tearing up a little bit.
LONGWOOD: In the media
Longwood Gardens is featured in the summer issue of "Martha Stewart Living" magazine. The article, "Inside Longwood Gardens: A Dreamscape of Old-World Architecture and Kaleidoscopic Blooms," is by Lise Funderberg, with photos by Claire Takacs that depict familiar sights like the Meadow Garden, the fountain display, the waterlilies, the Flower Walk and the Love Temple.
In addition to describing the history of the Gardens and the plants, trees, and events, Lise also writes about the animal life: recently sighted have been a "yellow-breasted chat, a songbird threatened by habitat decline; and the clay-colored arrow, a Great Plains dweller," as well as some mink paw prints.
CONCORDVILLE: Red and white
We were on an errand run along Route 1 the other day and I spotted a sign for "Polish Lounge." I immediately conjured up a club that served Polish delicacies like pierogies, kielbasa and beer; maybe there would be Polish-language newspapers or Polish-language classes. I was surprised to think that enough folks of Polish descent lived in our area that this could be a going concern, and made a mental note to check the place out online when I got home.
What did I find out? It's a nail salon. Maybe they do French manicures.