Winterthur's Point-to-Point Steeplechase is advertised as "rain or shine" and last Sunday's event really put hem to the test. Around 17,000 tickets had been sold, and they all were not there at ten in the morning when heavy rains persisted. Many people were seen leaving, dragging their coolers behind them as early as 10:30 in the morning. Also leaving were the older ladies with their linen suits and straw hats.Hats were not the fashion statement of the day this year. More attention was paid to those ladies who had some of the bright and colorful garden boots. I saw a lot of sun dresses and high heels - high heels? - but these wearers looked miserable and definitely chilly. The vendors' tents were crowded but I did not see much buying. I did admire a rain hat but at $85 it was too rich for my blood. The Rolls-Royces were beautiful and on display, but did not parade, nor did the antique carriages. The track was just too soggy.

Getting to the parking was not easy. We were driving rear wheel traction and it was a merry circus getting up the muddy track to the parking. The painted pony hobby horses were well done. Painted by different local artists, they were very clever and would make a great addition to anyone's nursery.

Point-to-Point this year was a damp, chilly day, but it cleared in the afternoon, and eventually, a good time was had by all.

Five Volunteers honored by Chadds Ford Historical Society

At the Annual Meeting of the Chadds Ford Historical Society last month five long time volunteers were honored for their continual dedication and work for the society. Two honorees were Charter Members Judy and Dave Murtagh. Their daughter Heidi Brennan explained a few of their gifts, from putting their house on tour at Christmas, decorating the Society's historic houses each Christmas, usually with an imaginative theme. For many years these dedicated volunteers ran the Colonial dinners given at the Banrs-Brinton House. Kathy Wandersee told about the incredible amount of work Susan Houser has done through the years, from handling the Public Relations press releases and publicity with total professionalism, and filling in at the Society where ever needed.

The generosity of Voula and Peter Skiades was told by Paul Cook and Ginger. When the Skiades family bought Hank's 18 years ago they became immediate good neighbors by holding Breakfast at Hank's each year where they present the Society with $1,000.

In the 40 years that the Chadds Ford Historical Society has been founded, they have honored only five other volunteers by making them Life Time Members. These five are Virginia "Pete" Morgan in 1975, Betsy J. Wyeth in 1975, Virginia S. Johnson in 1993, Fred Reiter in 2005 and Virginia B. Disney in 2007. It is quite an honor to be recognized.

Willowdale Steeplechase This Weekend

Sunday, May 10 the traditional Mother's Day Willowdale Steeplechase Races will be held with the gates opening at 10:00 am. Tickets are $20 each, $25 the day of the event so better get down to 101 E. Street Road in Kennett. Pre-Race activities begin at 11:00am.

Kennett Restaurant's Honored

Two restaurants in Kennett Square have been voted among the 50 Best Restaurants in Philadelphia. They may have a strange sense of geography, but that's quite an honor in pretty heady competition.

Talula's Table is listed nine out of fifty with people waiting up to a year for dinner reservation from chefs Bryan Sikora and his wife Aimee Olexy. Sovana Bistro made number eighteen on the list with high praise for reasonable prices for outstanding meals.

Both establishments deserve hearty congratulations.

A Good Weekend at Longwood Art Gallery

As a benefit for Canine Partners For Life the Longwood Art Gallery will have a 'Barkin Good Weekend' May 15, 16 and 17. There will be Puppies, Service Dogs & service Dogs in Training, a Puppy Kissing Booth, a "Chinese" Raffle and lots of canine art. Events will be happening Friday, May 15 from 6-9 pm and May 16 & 17 from 10-5 during the Kennett Square Main Street Festival. For more information call 610-444-0146.

Wednesday Garden Walk at Winterthur

Free Garden walk May 13 among the rhododendrons, Hybrids and Hybridizers at 11:30 am. Free with admission ticket

Oak Tree Comes Down

Last week the crew removed the beautiful oak tree growing through the sidewalk in front of Dr. Barry Kanofsky's office on State Street. All the tree huggers are bound to be sorry about this, but so is Dr. Kanofsky, who asked permission to have the tree removed. If you remember, the good sized tree had only a tiny opening in the sidewalk, and as it grew, it kept breaking up the concrete.

Eight years ago Kanofsky had to repair the sidewalk at a cost of $8,000 (building owners are responsible for keeping up the sidewalk). The tree grew some more and had cracked the sidewalk again, leaving Kanofsky liable should anyone fall on the broken concrete.

He received permission to have it cut down from the Borough Council. He admits he will miss the tree, particularly the shade, but it was just the wrong type of tree to put there. The tree will be replaced, this time with a locust, as dictated by Borough Council. Supposedly this one will be able to adapt to city living better.

Underground Railroad Heritage Tours

The Underground Railroad "trackless trail" that hundreds of slaves used to escape to the north will be given the last Sunday afternoons of May, June, July and August. The dates will be May 31, June 28, July 26 and August 30 at 1:00 and 2:30 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For reservations call 610-347-2237.

The Tours will depart from the Chester County Visitor's center at Longwood Garden's Entrance (the old church). At the center you can see the a replica of the box of Henry Brown, who had himself shipped in a box, the "slave" dress and a life sized figure of a fugitive slave. The display also tells the history of the building, the historic former Longwood Progressive Meeting of friends.

African American Art

Ancestry and Innovation: African American Art from the American Folk Art Museum, a dazzling array of quilts, paintings, and sculptures will be at the Delaware Art Museum May 9 through July 12. These 39 works show the artistic expression of self taught artists from the rural south and the urban north.

Lecture on 'Ancestry and Innovation'

Brooke Davis Anderson, Director and Curator of The Contemporary Center, American Folk Art Museum, will lecture on the exhibit and discuss role memory in leading to a sense of identity on May 9 at 1:00 pm. The lecture is free with museum admission.

Free Movie at Delaware Art Museum

The Quiltmakers of Gee's Bend will be shown on Sunday, May 10 at 1:30 pm.

Kalmar Nyckel Foundation Lecture

The Kalmar Nyckel Foundation is sponsoring a lecture by Dr. Frederick Hocker, Director of Research of the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, Sweden on May 13 from 6:00-8:30 pm. Hocker will speak on the raising of the 1628 intact warship Vasa raised from the Stockholm harbor in 1961. The Vasa was the pride of the Swedish navy, until it sunk on its maiden voyage in front of thousands of spectators in the Stockholm harbor.

There will be a reception for Dr. Hocker at the Chase Center on the Riverfront from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. The lecture will be from 7:00 to 7:45 pm, with q. and a. from 7:45 pm to 8:30 pm. Advanced tickets are $10 for non-members, at the door $15.For tickets call 302-429-7447.

The National Dance Company of Spain 2

The electrifying National Dance Company of Spain 2 will perform works by choreographer Nacho Duato on May 14, May 15 and May 16. at the Annenberg Center. For tickets and information call 215-898-3900.

Wilmington & Western Railroad Trips

If you are looking for something different to do, The Wilmington & Western Railroad has two upcoming trips. On Mother's Day, May 10 the Royal Blue Brunch Trains will run, and on May 17 it is Pufferbelly Day. So for more information call 302-998-1930.

Butterflies on the Brandywine Walk

This Saturday, May 9, rain or shine, the Young Friends of the Brandywine are leading a free Butterfly Walk from 10 to 11 am. The children will learn the butterfly habitat in the Wildflower Gardens, learn which plants attract butterflies and create a butterfly keepsake. To register call Kathy Freney Smith at 610-388-8315.

The Delaware Museum admission prices

Admission prices at the Museum of Natural History have changed. Adults will now be $7, seniors age 60 or older are $6, children 3-7 are $5 and age 2 and younger free.

'The Ten Tenors' at DuPont Theatre

The Ten Tenors from Australia have been delighting the world with their harmony singing everything from opera to "Night and Day" to "Moon River". The will appear at the DuPont Theatre May 15-17. For tickets go online at www.duponttheatre.com or call 302-656-4401.

'Movin' Out' at Academy of Music

The Tony award winning new musical "Movin' Out, based on 24 classic songs by Billy Joel is moving to Philadelphia's Academy of Music May 15-17. Told trough the choreography of Twyla Tharp and two dozen of Joel's songs, it is the story two friends as they go through post World War II idealism, the Vietnam War and its unrest and survival. For tickets call 215-731-3333.

'Altar Boyz' ay Bristol Riverside Theatre

The musical spoof about a small town guy group, with the names Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham, who move to the big city circuit, will be at the Bristol Riverside River Theatre May 12-31. For tickets to this foot stomper call 215-785-0100.

First State Ballet

I was unable to attend the First State Ballet last weekend, the new work "Masterworks", choreography inspired by a new sculpture by Charles Parks. I heard that Ginny Butters, sister of Bill Lee who ran for Delaware Governor was at the show. This was her reaction.

"They've come a long, long way. I just came from the First State Ballet's performance at the Baby Grand and was transported. Be sure and look at the Charles Parks sculpture in the foyer". a unique performance brought to life. "Parks came on stage and was almost speechless with emotion. A special evening. Ginny

Having seen other performances by First State, I am really sorry to have missed this one.

Wildflower and Seed Sale at Brandywine River

Don't forget that this Saturday and Sunday, May 10 & 11, from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm the Brandywine River Museum is holding their annual wildflower, native plant and seed sale.

Martha Stewart to Visit Winterthur

Martha Stewart and her crew will be at Winterthur this Thursday, filming the azaleas. Apparently this week and next are the weeks when the azaleas will be at their height and Martha will be here to talk about them.

Movies at Theatre N

Tokyo Sonata - Winner at the Cannes Festival shows the disintegration of a Japanese family when the father loses his job. - May 8 at 2:00 pm. May 9 at 3:30 pm and May 10 at 3: oo Pm

The Class - Winner of the Palm D'Or at Cannes tells of the discouraging task teachers have trying to keep inspired when teaching in a tough neighborhood. May 8 at 8:00 p.m. ay 9 at 12:00pm and May 10 at 12:00 pm.

Jules and Jim, 1962 masterpiece by director Francois Truffaut, hailed as one of the best films ever made. May 9 at 8:45 pm.

Phish: Walnut Creek - An HD concert will be shown on May 14 at 7:30 pm.

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