July 31, 1999 - Day 51 - Quarryville to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
65 miles - 14.1 mph average - 3521 total miles - 37.7 mph max speed
August 1, 1999 - Rest day in Philadelphia
Me and my Mom
I always like being seen in pictures with someone shorter than me, and in this case the "someone" is the REASON I'm short.
I arrived at Quarryville just after dark last night, slept until about 9:30 today, did my laundry in a real washing machine, and went to chapel service with Mom.
Mom in her apartment
I feel terrible that both of these pictures (actually all the indoor shots today) are so dark. I'm blaming the heat/humidity for my forgetfulness - I forgot to remove the outdoor filters from the camera. (Note from Matt: I did what I could to brighten these pictures digitally before putting them on the site. )
Can you see the resemblance between my mom and her sister Rosalie? (July 29 journal)
Dyrness Residence Hall Dining Room
This is where my mother takes her meals. Isn't this a beautiful facility? My parents came here in 1992 when my Dad was quite ill. I felt so good about them being here.
This facility was the brainchild of Frank Dyrness, who envisioned a place where people who had dedicated their lives to serving Christ could live their retirement years in comfort. With wise investing over the years, they have developed a fantastic facility where many people who had to pinch every penny during ministerial or missionary careers (my parents included) could live in comparative luxury, surrounded by love and many old friends. For instance, the couple who live next door to my mom were members of my Dad's first church in Delaware in the 1930's.
Bob's apartment is just a few doors down from my Mom's. The Nicholas and Graham family friendship goes back to the early 1940's when Bob and my Dad were both pastors of churches in the Los Angeles area, before I was born. I had a severe crush in about 6th grade on one of Bob's lovely daughters, Beth Ann, when both of our families lived in Pennsylvania.
Bob lost his wife, Elsie, a few month's ago.
Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Center
The facility has grown since the 1940's when the first building was built. It now includes three main residence buildings plus a convalescent facility, so there are all degrees of care provided. The place is meticulously managed. I'm grateful that Mom is there.
By the way, note the condition of the corn. It looks like October here. The stalks are yellowed and they make that Halloween sound when the wind blows. This part of Pennsylvania has had 20 days of 90 degree plus weather, and no rain. The farmers are beginning to just cut the corn crop so the cows can graze through it and eat because their regular pasture is dried up. No open burning allowed, no lawn watering.
Now I think this is a really nice coincidence. Betty is the mother of our good friend, Randy (we met Randy back in Colorado at the BaldPate Inn at the end of June, but unfortunately I didn't get a picture with him in it). Betty lives in her own home in the town of Quarryville, not in the retirement center. She and her husband originally moved here to establish a Christian school in the area in the 1970's.
When you talk to Betty, it's easy to see where Randy got his sense of humor from. Betty is also a local history buff, and much of my knowledge of the Amish culture over the past several years has come from her. She's the best kind of teacher - a good storyteller.
Randy, your mom is looking good. She says she thinks her hearing is fading a little bit, but she's not sure she wants to hear everything people are saying anyway.
This is the first time I've seen the stone on Dad's gravesite. The cemetery is located on the hill above the retirement center where I took the picture of QPRC from.
If you want to know more about my dad, read the Dedication page in the index. I've dedicated this journey to him and his memory. Dad would have gotten a big kick out of this trip.
Amish man hiding his face
I used to have reservations about taking pictures of the Amish because of their belief that any picture taken of them is, technically speaking, a "graven image", prohibited by the 2nd Commandment of the Old Testament.
After I took this picture and reviewed it in the viewfinder, I realized the man was holding his hat over his face. I got on the bike and tried to catch him and apologize, but he turned off before I could.
So I rode on, "moral dilemma-izing" to myself about what to do with this picture. It's a good picture. It captures the essence of the Amish culture in a lot of ways, especially their conflict in living amongst "gentiles".
The Amish Cartel
And then I passed this tobacco field (and another carriage) and remembered the statistic that tobacco is the number one cash crop of the Amish. Meaning that these guys are just as guilty (in my mind) of killing our teenagers as the slime that work for RJR. They know exactly what they're doing, and continue to do it because the money is good.
So, yes, Mr. Amish Farmer, you SHOULD hide your face. And I'll use your picture.
The Parkesburg Boys
From left to right, meet Robert Lange, Glen Ailes and Sean Glass. I saw them on the road between Atglen and Parkesburg and they chased me down. I made the mistake of asking them if they were from Atglen. They said nobody likes Atglen. Robert is going into 8th grade and the other two guys are going into 7th grade at Octorara Middle School. Robert says he's the good guy and the other two are troublemakers. Glen and Sean pretty much agreed.
We talked for awhile about the trip and stuff. I saw them later at the Acme in Parkesburg.
I don't know about you, but I'd just change my name.
I arrived in the City of Brotherly Love (that's Philadelphia, for you westerners) just after dark. Saturday evening traffic was light and I picked a good route into the city.
My sister's house in Philly
My sister, Peggy, and her husband, Don (Duff) live just off Germantown Road in the Chestnut Hill section of northwestern Philadelphia. This is the first time I've seen their new home. Peggy teaches middle school in the Philadelphia Public School system (which you could not pay me enough money to do) and they had to move into the city this year to establish residency there.
Their house is the one on the right, the lighter color, and it's half of a duplex that's out of the picture. I tried to show the character of their street. It's really a lovely neighborhood. Germantown Rd., just up at the end of the street there, is lined with small shops and restaurants and sidewalk cafes. When I rode in last night, the place was bustling with activity. Cool neighborhood. Also just a few blocks from Fairmont Park, which runs the length of Wissahickon Creek, in a deep, shaded gorge.
And I'm feeling terrible today because when I got to the house, my nephew Jonathan and his new bride, Karen, were there waiting to greet me (as well as Peg and Don) AND I DIDN'T TAKE THEIR PICTURE!! I'm blaming that on the heat and humidity, too. I was pretty wiped out when I got here last night. The sad thing about this is that these newlyweds are the best-looking relatives I've got and it would tip the family photogenic scale back somewhere toward the center.
As it is, I'll put a picture of Don and Peg on tomorrow when I leave.
I went to church this morning with Don and Peg to Glenside, directly across the street from Westminster Seminary. My father was in the second graduating class of this seminary in 1932. At that time, classes met in a building in downtown. This campus estate was purchased later on.
You'd have to call J. Gresham Machen the 'founding father' of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, although Reformed theologians steer very clear of sounding like they're canonizing any person, living or dead. I think it's a virtual miracle that they named the main building on campus after him. "Building X" would be more in line with the theology. I'm sure there was lengthy debate and soul-searching.
Again, there is a little more about J. Gresham Machen on the Dedication page. He was intensely important in my father's life.
I've left a couple of messages with my Aunt Ginny in Millburn, New Jersey about coming up to see her tomorrow, but so far no response. Ginny (Virginia) is the third and last of the Hall sisters; you've already seen Rosalie (and Hal) and Ruth (my Mom).
I hope I get to see her. Otherwise, I'll just head north to NYC. The Big Apple.
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