Francisco Zambrano

Francisco Zambrano

UNIONVILLE: Life in the Hood

Dearest Partner and I had dinner at Hood's BBQ in Unionville the other night and beaming new grandfather Larry Hood Sr. was delighted to show us a photo of his two-week-old grandson, Larry Hood IV. The handsome little guy has a full head of black hair. Congratulations to the whole Hood family!

WEST MARLBOROUGH: Sale of liquor?

The Thomforde family (owners of the Stone Barn) collected more than the required 105 signatures on their petition by the March 12 deadline, so in the May 21 primary election, West Marlborough voters will be asked: "Do you favor the granting of liquor licenses for the sale of liquor in West Marlborough Township?" The Foxfire Restaurant at the Stone Barn on Upland Road is a BYOB, and alcohol is served at the Stone Barn's banquets and receptions.

If the ballot question is successful, the referendum would reverse West Marlborough's decades-long "dry" status. The Thomfordes believe that having a liquor license would give them more control over the liquor that people bring to the facility and would also allow them to serve locally produced cider, beer, wine and spirits, in keeping with their farm-to-table philosophy.

KENNETT Y: New director

The new Executive Director of the Kennett YMCA will be Francisco Zambrano. As a child he participated in Y programs in his native Peru and went on to serve as the Executive Director of the Pueblo Libre Branch and then Chief Operations Officer for the YMCA Peru. Francisco and his wife, Marisol, have a daughter, Isabella.

Meet-and-greets for the new director will be held in the Y lobby from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday, March 25; 11 a.m. to noon Tuesday, March 26; 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 27; 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, March 28; and 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 29.

Francisco Zambrano

UHS: Don't Feed the Plant!

"Little Shop of Horrors" was an unusual choice for a high-school musical, to say the least. It's chockful of domestic violence and unhealthy relationships, drug abuse and sadism. And -- oh, yeah -- all the main characters die a horrible death in the maw of the carnivorous plant, Audrey II.

But the Unionville High School theater department never shies away from a challenge. The dark play traditionally has a cast of only eight, but director Nicole Norton "opened out" the show so that far more students could participate as singers, dancers, and "dream" characters.

I'm always impressed with the poise of the UHS actors (they do not miss a line) and the energy they bring to their roles. Senior Will Lehmann,who was also the show's student director, was over-the-top amazing as the crazed nitrous oxide-inhaling dentist. And at one point senior Richard Childs (who plans to pursue a career in theater) was maniacally writhing around on the stage searching for blood spots.

I was wondering how the tech folks would handle the mechanics of Audrey II, and they didn't disappoint. Thanks to some special fertilizer (that would be blood), the evil entity ballooned from a normal-sized plant in a normal-sized flower pot to a monster with upper and lower jaws the size of kiddie pools. Audrey II was voiced ("Feed me!") by senior Zack Cannon, and the puppeteer was senior Sid Panchanadam. The two emerged from the plant only at the curtain call wearing T-shirts saying "Puppet" and "Voice."

COUNTRY LIFE: Diggin' that Supreme Blend

Last night around bedtime I heard a banging noise out on the deck, loud enough to startle the cat that was slumbering on my lap. I turned on the back light and saw a plump raccoon perched on the corner of the deck post, banging the bird feeder against the railing so that the seed would fall onto the ground below for easy retrieval. The creature turned around, posed while I snapped its photo and then continued its work.

No wonder the feeder is empty every morning and looking distinctly worse for wear!

I suspect the masked marauder is also responsible for emptying my suet cake holders.

UHS: Male chorus in concert

The male a cappella ensemble Chanticleer is performing at the UHS auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 3. The 12-member group is celebrating its 40th anniversary this season. Tickets: $25 for preferred seating, $35 for premiere seating. Purchase online at www.showtix4u.com.

MISSIONS: Opiates in small towns

Annalie Korengel, pastor of the Unionville Presbyterian Church, was featured in a March 7 article about the epidemic of opiate addiction in small towns. The story is on the Presbyterian Missions website. It starts:

"Annalie Korengel wasn’t just having a bad week. She was having a horrific one. Five funerals in seven days can push any pastor to the brink of physical and spiritual exhaustion. But for the pastor of Unionville Presbyterian Church in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, standing almost daily at the gravesides of young people who had overdosed on opioids pushed her into an indescribable hell.

"When the last funeral had concluded, Korengel and the local funeral director, a good friend of hers, sat down to process what they had witnessed. They couldn’t. Nothing made sense. All they could agree on was that “we didn’t get into this business to bury kids,” Korengel said."

The article, written by Donna Frischknecht Jackson, the editor of "Presbyterians Today," goes on to talk about how churches are responding to the opioid epidemic, like the parent bereavement group that Annalie started at Unionville Presbyterian.

VACUUM GUY: Makes cleaning fun

I had an excellent shopping experience at John's House of Vacuums in downtown Kennett Square (305 West State Street). I explained to John that I like my cordless vacuum but need one that's more consistent about picking up cat hair and pine needles. He knew exactly what I wanted (he has cats AND dogs on his farm), demonstrated two possible models for me and discussed their pros and cons.

I liked his attitude: he said his goal is to make people happy customers rather than just making a sale. He succeeded on both counts for me. The vacuum is nimble and light and, in "turbo" mode, sucks up not only cat hair and pine needles but stray press releases, paper clips and kale chip crumbs. I am no domestic goddess, but my carpets and floors look great.

The House of Vacuums is in the shopping center where El Ranchero Mexican Restaurant is and where the stationery store Papier and Molly's Ice Cream used to be.

KETO: Plenty of broccoli and bacon, though

The other night at dinner Tilda was describing her self-imposed low-carbohydrate diet to her brother and the Young Relative.

Tilda: "No pancakes --"

Brother: "Meh."

T: "-- no desserts, no pasta, no pizza, no rice --"

B: "Pasta? WHAAAT?! No way!"

T: " -- no Wawa soft pretzels --"

B: "I would be dead."

YR: "Yeah, he would. He's not kidding."

Write to Tilda at uvilleblogger@gmail.com. Thank you!

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