‘Tis the Season

Music Through the Decades Pennsbury Prom Float

We tend to think of seasons as changes in the weather and holiday celebrations because those are evergreen and constant.  However  certain stages of life include a season of proms and graduations.

My youngest son, Christian, is a high school senior and will be graduating in a few weeks so I knew that I’d be experiencing his graduation, but was doubtful that this spring would include prom activities outside of taking pictures at the school and the parade.

In Yardley, PA, the Pennsbury Senior Prom is a big deal and a community event.  Last year was the first time I witnessed it.  The day starts with parents staking out their territory in front of the school and creating rows and rows of labeled lawn-chairs along the drive. The school opens at noon to the public and people line up along the length of the building waiting to see this year’s prom decorations.

People in line in front of Pennsbury HS on Prom day

It’s an all ages event, everyone from young children who dream about the day they’ll build a float and attend the prom to couples who graduated more than 50 years ago eagerly anticipate the day.

This year’s theme was “Through the Decades” and it seemed like every square inch of the school had been decorated.  We were greeted by flappers and gangsters from the Roaring Twenties.

Gangster Cutout Pennsbury Prom Decoration 009

The gold rush era was complete with cowboys and a river made of clear blue strips of cellophane, nuggets of fool’s gold, and a miner’s pan.  The cafeteria was transformed from the place that students inhale their lunch between classes to the time of sock hops and ducktails.

I left the 1950’s and entered a trip down memory lane.  The walls were lined with  posters that depicted the T.V. shows I grew up with.  My particular favorites were “I Dream of Jeannie” and “Bewitched.”

I Dream of Jeannie and Bewitched 044

It was fun to hear the parents around me reminiscing about the shows and their memories.  It made me think about how Saturday mornings were the only time you could hang out with your favorite families like the Jetson’s and the Flinstone’s.

Flinstones and Jetsons posters Pennsbury Prom Decorations 050

The florescent lights were covered with pink and green crepe paper and created a psychedelic lighting effect that was perfect for setting for the Beatle’s and the Yellow Submarine.

Flinstones and Jetsons posters Pennsbury Prom Decorations 052

This year the boy’s restroom was command central for NASA and was complete with control panels and a splash down.  (which made me laugh out loud).

Control Panels in Boy's Restroom Pennsbury Prom Decorations

I would have included a picture of the splash down, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to crop out the portions of the facilities that aren’t very attractive. 🙂

I ran out of time and didn’t get to see all of the decorations this year, but I’m certain they were amazing and each decade was represented in style.  By the time I made it out of the 1960’s it was time to pick up a corsage and gather for the traditional pre-prom picture taking extravaganza.

Christian doesn’t care much for dancing and until a few months ago had only a marginal interest in going to prom. A certain lovely young lady brought about a complete change of heart.

classic prom

The parent’s took charge and lined the kids up for the time-honored tradition; too many adults with too many cameras making a group of teenagers temporarily cross-eyed as they try to figure out which camera they should look at.

Prom Group Picture Taking

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The parents and kids head to the school separately.  After  few phone calls I met my friends Paul and Mary at the beginning of the parade.

“What float are you seeing now?” I asked.

“The Winnebago that’s decorated like the Mystery Machine just passed us and two firetrucks are coming up next,” replied Mary.

“Hmmmm, I see a Cinderella horse and carriage and a couple of classic cars.”

Sometimes I’m not sure what we did before cell phones.  The spectators hid under umbrellas and wondered how the kids were going to keep dry under the cold and drippy skies.  Last year I got sunburned, this year I could barely stay dry and warm.

It made my heart smile to see Christian and his friends on their float singing along with the soundtrack he created, music through the decades.

Music Through the Decades Pennsbury Prom Float

Everyone was surprised when the was over and it was only 6:15 pm, normally it lasts until 7 or 8.  My guess is that some of the kids bailed because of the weather and there seemed to be more floats with twenty or more kids this year.  The biggest one was a tribute to the Olympics, complete with bleacher seating for somewhere between 50 and 60.

Olympics Float Pennsbury Prom

I met Paul and Mary at a local eatery for a bite to eat, lots of laughs, and the perfect end to the day.

Next up another prom followed shortly by graduation.  Where did the time go?

I know I’m not alone when I say “It seems like yesterday…”.



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Behind the Scenes of a PSA – Hours of Work for a Few Seconds of Fame

Christian and Chris scoping out the camera angle

I always wondered why it took so long to make a movie and figured it had more to do with the temperament of the stars than the actual process.

Christian’s assignment from his independent film study course was to create a PSA to increase the awareness of parents when it comes to alcohol usage among teens.  The filming started in early October and finished it in a series of one to two hour sessions throughout the month.

Chris and Christian had already put in hours worth of work before they arrived at the house.  They brainstormed the idea, created the story board, and carefully planned each scene.

I was under strict instructions to wear exactly the same thing for each session.  Other than the forgetting to wear my watch once (which caused a re-shoot and a production delay), that part was easy.  The more difficult part was making sure my hair and make up turned out the same each time.

The hair part was especially tough as the closer we got to being finished, the more I needed to get a cut and color.  I told them the next time we do this, I need to have a wardrobe and make up assistant.

It was really amazing to watch the boys map out each scene and figure out how to overcome the minor obstacles associated with filming at our house.  Some of the more challenging ones were lighting and odd reflections, floors that shake the camera when you walk too hard, and a couple of noisy miniature dachshunds.

For about a month, nightstand and floor lamps that could double as a spotlight were scattered throughout the house along with props for the project.  The funniest and my favorite was that pictures of my “fake” son replaced ones of my real kids while we were in production mode.

The grand finale was the scene with the police officer.  I can’t help but wonder what people were thinking when they saw the police car in my driveway for most of the afternoon.  I’m pretty sure they weren’t able to see the boys behind the camera.

Christian and Chris scoping out the camera angle

The teachers and the police officer were awesome, they let the boys run the show but also shared helpful tips and ideas. They made quite the creative team.  It was fun to have multiple cameras and to hear them talk in ‘movie making’ speak.

Police Officer, Boys, and Teachers in front of the Police Car

The officer was particularly helpful in providing insights as to how the scene would unfold and what various reactions might be.  He was an awesome co-star.

Star and Costar - Beth and Police Officer

I can’t say enough about these two young men.  They’re not only talented, they are polite, intelligent, and fun to be around.  I can honestly say I looked forward to every session and I was kind of sad when we were done.

Beth, Christian, and Chris in front of the police car

After we finished filming the final scene, the guys had some fun.  Christian and Chris had a hard time looking tough as they were put under fake arrest and escorted to the back of the squad car.

Christian and Chris trying to look tough - fake arrest

I’m not sure what was going on here, but I think it must have been something about how to fit my 6’4″ son into the car.

the guys problem solving and setting up the scene for the police car

I had to take one last picture for the day, but somehow I don’t think this will be the last picture taken of Christian in front of a media van.

Christian in front of the PHS video van

The video was released on YouTube in November after weeks of editing and tweaking.  I could be biased, but I think it’s brilliant.

A Little Slice of Heaven on Earth

A place to relax outside the Colleen Attara Studio

When I lived in the Midwest, my perception of the East Coast was the same as many others. Based on movies, magazines, and personal travels I imagined it to be all skyscrapers and sidewalks. When I moved here, my friends from Omaha asked me about the traffic and how long it takes to get to work and whether or not I missed the wide open spaces.

I get a kick out of explaining that I live in a town that has a main street with a single stop light and the only type of traffic jam that could cause me to be late for work is a flock of geese crossing the road.

One of my more recent discoveries is the Patterson Farm.  It is one of the few, if not the only pieces of open space left in the area.  It’s the home of the Artist’s of Yardley, the studio of artist Colleen Attara, and the rich land is a source of local produce for the community.  There are two houses and sets of farm buildings; one was owned by the Patterson’s and the other by the Doan’s.

Last Friday I was feeling out of sorts, so I grabbed my camera and drove to the property.  Today I’d like to take you on a tour.

The driveway winds from Mirror Lake road to the Janney House.  This picture isn’t from my most recent set, but I think it’s the best picture I have of the house. I thought it would be neat to include a photo of the house from the first day of my drawing class.  The house was built during the time that Andrew Jackson was president and is the home of the Artist’s of Yardley.The Janney House, Patterson Farm, Yardley PA

I thought the view of these trees and the sun filtered through the leaves was spectacular.  I love the shadows and it made me picture Scarlett O’hara standing with soil clenched in her hand and shouting to the sky, “I’m going to live through this and when it’s all over, I’ll never be hungry again.”Trees alongside the Patterson Farm Driveway

This body of water brought back memories of my grandparents farm outside of Berthold, N.D.  The slough at the end of the road was the signal for the dog to start barking and that the road trip was over and there were welcoming hugs just ahead.Still Water and trees along the Patterson Farm Driveway

The shafts of tall grass swayed in the breeze and they whispered “Summer,” in my ear.Patterson Farm, Whispers of Summer Grass

I met the gentleman who currently farms the property. He grows fresh produce, and his family sells it at a local farmers market.  He often tends to the farm in the evening as a way to wind down and get away from the hectic pace of the day.  It made me sad to learn that the open space property is in jeopardy and commercial development may ensue.  (more to come on this in a separate post)The current Farmer of the Patterson Farm, Yardley PA

There is something very poetic and nostalgic about a tractor at sunset.Farm Equipment at Sunset, Patterson Farm Yardley, PA

The property is well guarded by feral cats.  I don’t think this one was too happy to see me.Feral Cat, Patterson farm, Yardley, PA

I always enjoy taking pictures of things from different angles.  I like this view of the property and the glimpse of the Doan farm on the horizon.Patterson Farm View of the Doan Farm

It was all I could do to not curl up in one of the deck chairs  and watch the sea of summer wave across the land.A place to relax outside the Colleen Attara Studio

I found this to be a fascinating contrast.  The bright color of flowers blooming against the backdrop of a house with a history and life.  It’s as though the flowers are saying, “Don’t give up hope.”Flowers against old house, Patterson Farm, Yardley PA

I found myself wondering about the relationship between the families.  Was there intrigue?  Was there friendship? I like to think there may have been some mystery, I might just make some up for good measure.Doan FARM, also known as Satterthwaite Farm, Yardley PA

Patterson Farm, Yardley PA

One hundred and thirty pictures later I couldn’t think of a good reason to feel out of sorts.  It’s a beautiful place and a slice of heaven on earth.

Pre Prom…Yes Virginia, There is Such a Thing – Part Deux

After seeing the floats in the staging area I couldn’t wait to see them en route to the prom topped off with the finishing touches, the young men and women of the class of 2012.   The parade started at 5:00 pm and as a part of the video crew, Christian needed to be there at 4:45.  Based on the size of the crowd at the Pre Prom tour I wanted to get there early.

“Did you get my text?” I asked.

Christian responded, “Four is way too early, it only takes ten minutes to get there. I think we should leave at 4:30.”

I reached up to straighten his tie, “Let’s compromise on 4:15.  There were a ton of people there earlier and I want to be able to get a parking spot and a good seat.  One lady told me that she and her husband put their chairs out before 9:00 am this morning and they are in the second row.”

At 4:25 pm I pulled into one of the last spots available in the parking lot.

Temporary bleachers, soccer mom chairs, and people were packed under the trees along the side of the parking lot facing the school entrance.  The walkway under the “Noodle” (the wavy awning that stretches from the door to the sidewalk) had been transformed with a red carpet and was guarded by life size super hero cutouts.

Every inch of sidewalk between the school and the caution tape was covered with a variety of outdoor folding chairs. The road between the campuses was lined with people.  I found myself wishing that I had been smart enough to bring a chair or even better that I knew the people under the bright blue pop up canopy. The chair carrier bag I borrowed from one of the girls next to me didn’t offer much of a cushion between me and the parking lot but at least I was able to sit and keep my skirt from getting dirty.

Students pulling wagons weaved their way through the crowd shouting, “Pretzels! One dollar!  Water!  Two bottles for a dollar!”

At 5:00 on the dot the string of cars and floats were ready to go and the gentleman coordinating traffic motioned the first vehicle to proceed. I snapped pictures like crazy trying to capture each and every moment of color and creativity from the convertible decorated with balloons to the fire trucks and floats.

There were police cars and pace cars, golf carts and semis.  The cars vehicles pulling the floats and transporting the seniors were so shiny and clean that you could see the reflections of the crowd as though we were looking at a fun house mirror.  Everyone was into it, many of the floats had ‘live’ props ranging from Willie Wonka and the Oompa Loompas to Tinkerbell casting candy out to the children along the way.  Although if I had to judge enjoyment based on the pouty lips of the small princess on one of the Where the Wild Things Are float, not everyone thought it was a fun idea.

Some of my favorites included the tractor (that reminded me of my Grandparents farm) pulling a space ship from which we got short glimpse of the Prom goers when one of them would open the door for a breath of fresh air.  The Toy Story Float took five frames to capture, I laughed out loud at the “Joker” driving the Batman and Robin truck.  I fell in love with the horse-drawn carriage and my heart melted as Jasmine kissed her prince.

One group of kids got the dance started early with a DJ in the back of the truck and dance moves happening on the float.  There were many smiles and happy waves and only a few bored beauties along the way.

I cheered and clapped when confetti and bubbles were released and danced through the air.  One of the funniest things might have been when the entire crowd, including me, gasped and then laughed when we realized that the sun disappeared because of the blimp and not a UFO.

The drivers of the wooden framed car, modern SUV’s, limos, and boats stopped in front of the noodle and the ladies and gentleman of the night descended from their floats and walked along the Red Carpet under the Noodle to enjoy the prom and a very special night in their life.

Next year expect a report from ‘behind the scenes.’

Pre Prom…Yes Virginia, There is Such a Thing

Before she was seven, Katie picked out her wedding dress from the J.C. Penney catalog, announced that she was going to marry Michael Jordan and buy the house across the street so she could live next to me forever.

I’m fairly certain that if we had lived in the Pennsbury school district of Bucks County PA, instead of Nebraska, her choices would have started with a senior prom dress and theme for her float rather than a wedding dress and a house.

The Senior Prom at Pennsbury High School even has a Wikipedia page dedicated to the extravagant event.  After four years of hearing about it coupled with the fact that Christian was attending the prom as a video technician I thought I might go see what it was all about.

One of the women in my Artists group, whose youngest son is a senior, is very active in the months of preparation for the event.  One morning during our open studio session Melinda showed us pictures of previous years murals and creations.  The deal was cinched, I had to see it first-hand.

My plans for Saturday morning were precise.  I would check out the decorations, head for the gym for a swim and back home in plenty of time to get some chores out of the way before the parade.  I arrived at 1 pm, an hour after the school opened for tours and two hours before it was over. I planned on being there for thirty minutes tops. We waited under the cloudless sky and it occurred to me that I should have applied sunscreen.  I thought it was a little sad that there were more conversations happening on cell phones than among the people in line, but nonetheless it was a festive and friendly atmosphere.

Twenty minutes later I caught a glimpse of the red carpet protected by super heroes while I bought a soft pretzel and some water.  I snuck back in line and stood in front of a floor to ceiling mural of Dorothy’s Ruby Red slippers on the Yellow Brick Road.  I’m a sucker for the Wizard of Oz and even if nothing else resonated with me, it was worth the wait.

Every inch of every wall including the restrooms was decked out in murals, paper mache, animated doo dads, and lights.  The school was transformed into a world where somehow Lord of the Rings made sense across the hall from the Power Rangers.  My personal favorite was the image from the Princess Bride accompanied by one of my all-time favorite movie quotes in beautiful lettering in silver paint.

From the Princess Bride, “That day, she was amazed to discover that when he was saying ‘As you wish,’ what he meant was, ‘I love you.’ And even more amazing was the day she realized she truly loved him back.”

I couldn’t help but notice the pile of pizza boxes forgotten on a shelf under the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; a small but obvious sign of the many people who worked tirelessly to put everything together. I left in a daze and I was determined to get to the gym.  I took a detour past the West Campus and found myself sidetracked by the ship from Peter Pan parked on the street and just ahead of it was the house from UP, complete with balloons.

I would have rear ended the woman in front of me if it hadn’t been for the officer directing traffic.

“Ma’am, she’s backing up,” he said.

Distracted by the Where the Wild things Are float I responded, “Huh?”

“Ma’am, stop your car. Please, and then you can get out and look.”

I regained my senses, parked the car, grabbed my camera, and said, “Thank you!”

The parking lot was a wonderland of creativity; there were tractors and flatbeds,  boats and semis decorated mostly in movie themes and almost all with words about the future and fulfilling dreams, which made me smile.  I imagined the banter and perhaps the squabbles that occurred around the dinner table as the floats were planned and designed.

These floats would deliver the seniors of 2012 to their Senior Prom in a long time tradition which is deserving of another post and a whole new set of pictures.

And for the record, I did make it to the gym.

What’s Your Medium?

For more than twenty five years I have answered the question “What do you do?” with words like Customer Service Supervisor, Software Development Manager, and Marketing Director and I’ve associated the word “medium” with my T-shirt size and my not so secret fascination with the metaphysical world.  I also thought field trips and color pencils were only for kids.

In my quest to take advantage of as many opportunities as possible, I jumped on the invitation to tag along with fellow members of the Artists of Yardley on a trip to the James Michener Art Museum in Doylestown.  I signed up to join the group for lunch but resisted the urge to volunteer to drive (they really have no idea how fortunate that decision was).

We met at the Janney house and I took the opportunity to stay warm and view the amazing work of local artists on display for the final weekend of the Juried Art Show.  I always find myself torn between feeling inspired and discouraged as an artist when I am exposed to such incredible talent.

Sixteen mature adults piled into a handful of cars and I would venture a guess that more than a few conversations among longtime friends and new acquaintances started with the question, “What’s your medium?”

When asked, I stuttered and stumbled and finally said, “Learning?” and decided I needed to come up with a better response.  A serious discussion about art took place in the front seat and a more casual one happened in the back.  I enjoyed myself so much that I have no idea how long we were on the road and I couldn’t describe the landscape if I had to.

One of the things I appreciated the most was that no one seemed to find my desire to take pictures of random things in front of the museum to be the least bit odd.  In fact it turns out that there are other people who can’t resist the urge to capture a digital image of a swirly leaf and its interesting shadow against the curb.  It’s fascinating to think that a single photo might come to life in a drawing, a painting, within a written scene, or printed onto photo paper and framed.

I got a kick out of the fact that there was another field trip taking place at the same time and the leaders of each group had similar challenges in rounding people up and quieting them down, although I think the six-year olds may not have wandered off on their own as much as we did.

Our personal guide, a member of the group and docent, made the museum come to life through explanations about the exhibits, tidbits about the artists and their relationships with each other and the community, and facts about the founder of the museum and famous author, James A. Michener.  He was raised in Doylestown and the people of the town held the threat of going to the Buck’s County Prison over his head if he didn’t ‘change his ways.’ I found it interesting and ironic to learn that he did indeed end up in the prison located in Doylestown when he renovated it into a museum designed to celebrate life and art.

The Painterly Voice was the primary focus of our visit; through the history and highlights about the pieces and the artist shared by our guide along with the impressions, observations, and insights from the group, I experienced art in a way I didn’t know was possible.  I completed my tour with the story of James and Mari, a man from an impoverished background and a woman who spent part of her youth in a Japanese internment camp who, together, left behind a legacy of beauty and hope. Armed with my iPad I slipped into my favorite spot in the museum, the Nakashima Reading Room, to record my thoughts and collect my emotions.

The visit to the museum was followed by lunch at a local pub filled with lively conversation, plenty of laughs, excellent food, and genuine people.  The conversation ranged from pets to piano lessons and from art to food and family.  I can’t wait for the next field trip and the chance to answer the question, “What’s your medium?”

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I Love a Parade

One of my favorite childhood memories is the Fourth of July parade in Berthold, North Dakota, my dad’s home town.  I  remember the thrill of waiting for the parade to begin and the anticipation of scooping up Tootsie Rolls and butterscotch candies as they bounced onto the street at my feet almost like it was yesterday.

Yesterday I went to a parade for the first time in more than ten years.  I haven’t gone to a parade since my kids have gotten ‘too old’ for me to take them.  It strikes me though, maybe parades are like a good animated children’s movie and you shouldn’t miss out on them just because you don’t have a small child to disguise the fact that you’re the one who really wants to see Happy Feet Two.

For the past four years I’ve driven under the banner that spans Main Street from the week before Thanksgiving to the first Saturday in December. And every year I thought to myself “I should go to The Olde Fashion Christmas Parade.”  This year I didn’t just think it, I did it.

At 2:45 pm I hopped on my bike, braved the chilly temps, enjoyed the sunny blue sky, and pedaled my way down the towpath into town.  I felt a small thrill of anticipation run through me as I emerged from the towpath and walked my bike toward the corner of East Afton and Main.  While I’m a bit too old to scoop candy out of the street I still couldn’t wait to hear the marching band, wave to the beauty queen perched in her convertible, and plug my ears at the sounds of sirens and gunfire. I parked my bike and scoped out a good spot to take pictures and watch the activity around me.

I had to laugh as I watched one little girl in particular.  She was completely unable to contain her excitement and in spite of her parents and grandparents best efforts she escaped into the street more times than I can count.  She peered one way and then the other, her blue eyes as wide as saucers, clapping and squealing “I think I hear the drums.  I think they’re coming!”  It was only thirty minutes, but it felt like three hours as we waited for the parade to begin and with each passing moment my feet got colder and her enthusiasm grew rather than diminished and she passed the time by twirling and dancing her way to a better viewing spot.

Parade volunteers passed out goody bags with crayons and a coloring book. The souvenir vendor wheeled his cart of inflated candy canes and super heroes up and down the street and grunted, “Parade Souvenirs! Get ‘em here!”  Kids were everywhere: playing tag, eating giant pretzels, and riding on mom or dad’s shoulders.  There was a mixture of approaches to keeping kids from going too far into the street from doing nothing, to holding on to a hood like a leash, and everyone’s favorite the group of siblings being bossed around by big sis (the latter was by far the most effective). 

Finally the blinking lights of the police car leading the parade were in sight.  The adults around me chatted idly while the children hung onto their hats, threw scarves up in the air and bounced up and down.  The parade had begun and the rat a tat tat of the drum got louder and louder.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the carolers dressed in Dickens’ like garb and I smiled and tapped my foot as the band marched by.  I laughed at Scooby Doo and Dora, was delighted when George Washington waved at me from his boat, and stood in awe as the majestic horses passed by.  But most of all, I relished the air of excitement and the feeling of community.

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A Night at the Tavern

Four miles from where Washington crossed the Delaware, in a building that was part of the Underground Railroad, there once lived a man named Sam.  In 1845 Samuel Slack was the town librarian and earned a whopping $1.00 a year.  Talk about having to know how to stretch a dollar!

Independence Day had a different meaning for Sam. On July 4th, 1860 he received a license to open the “Yardleyville Hotel.”  150 years later,  2 North Main Street is the home of “The ‘New’ Continental Tavern,” a favorite watering hole and restaurant for the residents in and around Yardley, PA.

I’ve been there several times and have sampled many items from the menu’s wide array of choices, ranging from salad and sandwiches to steak and salmon.  My personal favorite is the classic burger topped with your choice of cheese, mine is blue cheese.

I’d never seen blue cheese as an option before eating at the Continental Tavern, but it’s become one of my favorites.  The zesty tang blends well with the robust flavor of the certified Angus beef and delectable bun.  Paired with the dark caramel colored Yuengling and perfectly crisped and salted fries, it’s a meal worth saving  a splurge for.

For those who don’t care for blue cheese, the traditional choices of swiss, provolone, and American are available.  Fries come in three styles: original, Sweet Potato Fries, or the Tavern specialty, fries seasoned with Old Bay.

You’ll find a variety of drinks to choose from, ranging from sodas to beer, including wine and spirits.    If you’re a beer lover, you may have a hard time making up your mind; the assortment ranges from the everyday domestics through Yuengling and Dos Equis. The last one on the list  caught my eye, Rogue Dead Guy, I think I’ll stay away from that one.

The bartender greets the regulars by name, asking about soccer tournaments and little league games. The wait staff is friendly, albeit a bit single threaded, and seemed to handle only one table at a time.  Laughter rings out above the din of friends catching up on the latest events and cheering for the winning home team.

The dining room has family friendly seating and TVs for dad (or mom) to catch the play of the game. Whether you’re a toddler that can sleep through anything while snuggled into daddy’s chest, on a date, or out with the guys there’s a place for you here to enjoy friends and family and appreciate a great meal.

Yardley PA, Continental Tavern MenuContinental Tavern Yardley PA, Yuengling

Continental Tavern, Yardley PA, Bleu Cheese Burger with bun

Continental Tavern, Yardley PA, Bleu Cheese Burger with bun

Funnel Cakes and Moon Walks

I recently attended a Celtic festival in Bristol borough.

The festival took place in a small park located on the Delaware river. I didn’t realize there was a park located behind the wooden awning that shelters the entrance to the river.  I now know that it’s the host for weekly concerts and summertime festivals.

There were dozens of stands with stuff to buy jewelry, t-shirts, paintings and more.  My favorite was Lolli Molly Bows. The display of bright pink, green and purple tutus, bows and butterfly wings brought out the little girl in me and for a moment made me wish my daughter was 2 and not 20.

In addition to trinkets and t-shirts, there were home-made goodies, hand-made crafts, and the chance to enter a raffle for a painting sponsored by the  Bristol Cultural and Historical Foundation, the guardians of local history and tradition.

The atmosphere was lively and warm, laughter and the rise and fall of simultaneous conversations circled around me. I delighted in watching friends unite with hugs and handshakes.

Of course no festival would be complete without the obligatory moon walk, sweet roasted corn, fresh squeezed lemonade, and the perennial favorite, funnel cake. The Tornado Potato was a new one to me, I think next time I’ll have to sample the spiral of fried potato slices on a stick.

A family band played and danced on the pavilion made into a stage the lilting sound of irish ballades filled the air. The grass was speckled with lawn chairs and summer hats.

I stopped for a moment and caught a snippet of conversation.

“Daddy, after the moon walk can we get funnel cake?” a small voice asked.

“Of course we can, let’s get some lemonade too.” was the deep response.

In that instant, I realized I could have been anywhere in the world or at least anywhere in the US.  People are the same wherever you go. The accents or physical appearance may make us seem different from one another, but we’re really not so different after all.

Bristol PA Lions Park

Bristol PA Celtic Festival Lolli Molly BowsCeltic Festival Bristol PA,tornado potato and fresh squeezed lemonade Celtic Festival Bristol PA,Funnel Cake Stand

Celtic Festival Bristol PA,Funnel Cake Stand irish band