Delco Pa Keeps Quiet Its Connections To Greatness

A 5-foot-tall bust or Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. has been finished  by world-renowned sculptor Zenos Frudakis and is scheduled to be unveiled 2 p.m., Thursday, completing Chester, Pa.’s $500,000 Martin Luther King Jr. Park at Sixth and Engle streets.

Good for Chester to highlight its connections to one of the most influential and noble Americans of the 20th century. Rev. King lived in the city for three years  serving Calvary Baptist Church , 1616 W. 2nd St., while studying at the Crozer Theological Seminary.

The park project came about as a result of a request in the late 1990s by members of the city’s clergy to honor Rev. King. Three decades after his death the city had not so much as named a street after him. Mayor Dominic Pileggi, now a state senator, suggested the park thinking that a street-naming might be a bit anticlimactic since at least 40 other cities had already done so.

And while the park was the right call there is nothing wrong with  a street-naming as well. Changing 2nd Street where Rev. King’s old church lies, and  which is State Route  291, into Martin Luther King Jr. Highway should be a no-brainer. Actually, it should be a no-brainer to do it for its entire length through Delaware County.

Always underestimated Delaware County for reasons unknown likes to keep quiet its connections to greatness.

Who, for instance, has heard of Philip Jaisohn ? Old-time county residents might remember him as their family doctor, but Jaisohn is the equivalent of Benjamin Franklin to the South Koreans. His home in Upper Providence was site of a pilgrimage by Korean President and Nobel peace laureate the late Kim Dae Jung.

While there is a memorial to Jaisohn in Rose Tree Park, one would think that there might be a street named for him somewhere as well.

One would think that the county’s tourist bureau would at least be trying to publicize these connections. Of course, when the county insists on calling itself Brandywine Country a serious problem of self-image is evident.


Delco Pa Keeps Quiet Its Connections To Greatness

Delco Pa Keeps Quiet Its Connections To Greatness

The Union, Delco And Lost Chances

Delaware County chipped in $34 million to build a soccer-only stadium in Chester for a privately owned team that couldn’t even work in Chester or Delco into its name.

The Delco Union. Probably not appropriate especially for the point about to be made.

The Pennsylvania Convention Center in Center City is under fire by conventioneers for the union-inspired, loanshark price structure to set up exhibits, even for work that could reasonably be done by the exhibitor himself. To use a laptop for an audiovisual display requires the involvement of a stagehand at $37 per hour. To use it to register visitors to the booth requires an electrician at $46 per hour, To erect the booth requires a carpenter at $107 per hour.

So what if Delaware County were to build or help build a convention center on the Chester waterfront as close to the casino as possible, and let the exhibitor set up sans involvement from the locals? It would be close to I-95, the Blue Route, the airport and a lot of hotels. And, of course, hotels and restaurants would spring up next to it.

It would do a roaring business and be a greater boon to Chester than either a soccer stadium or casino could be.

Cultural Heart Of USA Is Delco

Cultural Heart Of USA Is DelcoCultural Heart Of USA Is Delco — The cultural heart of America in the last century was not New York or LA but little old Delaware County, Pa. which is to Philadelphia almost as Staten Island is to the Bronx.

Feel free to laugh, who after all would call Staten Island a cultural center and the typical resident of Delco is more often perceived as what is described in this link rather than one wearing whatever it isthat happens to be in fashion on Rodeo Drive.

But the facts are what the facts are.

What brings this up is that Forbes Magazine just ranked Swarthmore and Haverford colleges as 7th and 14th best in the nation. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Villanova as the top school for its category. All are in Delaware County.  Granted all of them are vastly overrated and if one should want an education that would be actually useful in the real world, Widener — also in Delaware County — would be a much better choice. Recognition is recognition, though, and for BSing and brown-nosing ones way to power, influence and an easy workload a degree from Swarthmore can’t be beat.

None of which, however, has anything to do with the overwhelming effect Delaware County has had on American society since the end of World War II.

Arguably, the  most influential American book of the second half of the 20th century — not necessarily a good thing —  is Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.  Where does it start? In Delaware County. A fictional location, yes, but a fictional location in Delaware County, nonetheless, since Pencey Prep is based on Valley Forge Military Academy in Radnor Township, the expulsion from which was the inspiration for Salinger.

Arguably, the most influential American artist of the second half of the 20th century  was Andrew Wyeth. His home was Chadds Ford  and much of his paintings were set in the area.

Indisputably, the most influential form of music on the entire world of the second half of the 20th century  is rock and roll. Credit for starting it most often  goes to Bill Haley & His Comets, who were from and worked from Chester.

The county has made a bit of a mark in music, actually. One of the two best female blues singers of the last century, Ethel Waters, was born in Chester. The other, Bessie Smith, is buried in Sharon Hill. Jim Croce and Todd Rundgren both come from Upper Darby, while Tom Keifer, leader of hair band Cinderella, and the late Robert Hazard came from Springfield.

So, Delaware Countians as you sip your Wawa frozen cappuccinos ponder the influence you’ve had on the world at large.

Cultural Heart Of USA Is Delco 

Swarthmore Celeb Author Likes His Quiet In Wasilla

Swarthmore Celeb Author Likes His Quiet In Wasilla — Expose author Joe McGinniss, whose HQ was once for many years Swarthmore, Pa. has moved his base to Wasilla, Alaska right next door to Sarah Palin.

McGinniss was a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin (the original one), then a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer before hitting the big time in 1969 with the Selling Of The President, which described the marketing techniques used in the successful Nixon campaign the year before. He is best known for his true crime books Fatal Vision, Blind Faith and Cruel Doubt, all of which became TV miniseries.

McGinniss generally portrays his subjects rather unflatteringly.

McGinniss, who has written a critical magazine piece on Mrs. Palin, is allegedly writing a book about the former Alaska governor, but perhaps his move to Alaska is really motivated by a desire for peace and privacy. McGinniss has placed “no trespassing” signs all over the rented property and has threatened at least one news crew with arrest after they showed up at his door. The Palins have compassionately erected a 14-foot-high fence between the homes on his behalf.

McGinniss does appear to have a fixation on Mrs. Palin, almost  like something of out a Robert Mitchum movie — think Cape Fear or Night of the Hunter. He bid $60,100 at a Ride 2 Recovery eBay charity auction in order to win a dinner with Mrs. Palin. His bid came in second.

Still, maybe the best way for the Palins to handle this tense situation would be to invite this strange person over for coffee and cookies. The kids don’t have to be there, just Todd, Sarah and the firearms. They could set up videocameras to record the conversation, ask McGinniss a lot of personal questions and make sure he doesn’t get a copy of the tape.

OTOH, the fence works pretty well too.

Here is what Mrs. Palin has to say about it.

Swarthmore Celeb Author Likes His Quiet In Wasilla

Mechanical Failure Reportedly Not Cause Of Osprey Crash

Mechanical Failure Reportedly Not Cause Of Osprey Crash — The April 8 Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey crash in Afghanistan was apparently not due to mechanical failure according the aviation website  FlightGlobal.Com.

The crash occurred as the craft was landing in a wadi around 1 a.m. under brown-out conditions.

Killed were the pilot, a flight engineer, an army Ranger and a civilian.  Others were injured.

The military has ruled out enemy fire.

The Osprey’s fuselage, cockpit,avionics, and flight controls are built at the Boeing Helicopter plant in Ridley Park with the rest of the machine being built by Bell Helicopter in Texas.

Mechanical Failure Reportedly Not Cause Of Osprey Crash


Wally Nunn For Governor

Former Delaware County Council Chairman Wally Nunn had this column in yesterday’s (Feb. 11) Philadelphia Inquirer in which he points out that “downsizing” is a word you never hear in Harrisburg and our elected officials ought to start using it.

He notes that of the of  the 5.6 million people working in Pennsylvania, 753,000 are government workers and that while more than 10 percent of the private workforce has found itself unemployed with the Obama recession virtually none of the government workers have.

Nunn notes that the state employs the equivalent of 160,000 full-time employees making more than $8 billion a year in salaries, and that there are 195,000 employed in teaching elementary and secondary school, making more than $10 billion. 

This is all sans benefits and pensions, of course.

Wally Nunn for governor.


Meanwhile, over in New Jersey, it looks like Gov. Chris Christie gets it.

Wally Nunn For Governor

Wally Nunn For Governor

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion?

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion? — Lower Merion fans at a high school basketball game, Tuesday, said some rather nasty things regarding host Upper Darby which brought a response from the Royals side which eventually escalated into some extraordinary ugly and anti-Semitic statements regarding LM, which has a large Jewish population. These ugly statements included things like “We’ll write you letters when you’re in Auschwitz”.

Now, this is not something that should be ignored but since Tuesday the dinosaur media has been tut-tutting over incident and the officials from both schools have been indulging in public hand-wringing and the Lower Merion parents have been calling for the heads of the perpetrators.

All well and good but I remain amazed at the angst aimed at words chanted by ignorant teenagers at a basketball game, especially since all the groups expressing it — dinosaur journalists, school officials, Jewish parents, Lower Merion Township, Pa. — voted overwhelmingly for President Obama.

And President Obama is someone:

–Whose spiritual adviser blamed all the problems in the Mideast — and 9/11 to boot — on Zionism and whose institution bestowed upon Louis Farrakhan, the Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Trumpeter Award.

–Whose FCC diversity officer called the reign of Hugo Chavez — who appears to be leading a pogrom in Venezuela“really an incredible revolution”

–Who couldn’t bring himself to lend even moral support to opponents of the rabidly anti-Semitic Ahmadinejad regime after they were cheated out of an election. BTW, did you see where Iran just  occupied an Iraqi oil well? What will President Obama do?

You can’t fault people for being fooled which may have been the case last November. By now, however, you would think they would take some of that ire aimed at teenage stupidity and point it at something of consequence.

Why The Outrage In Lower Merion?

Bill Clinton Wins

Bill Clinton Wins — I neglected to note last week that Democrat Bill Clinton held up to the Republican tide and beat Tracy Barusevicius 328 to 228 to hold  his 1st District seat on Upper Providence Council, Delaware County, Pa.

Bill Clinton Wins

Tim Donaghy’s Tell-All Hits Roadblock

Tim Donaghy who grew up in Havertown, was graduated from Cardinal O’Hara and disgraced professional basketball by betting on games and fixing point spreads has had his tell-all book about being a NBA referee hit a roadblock. Tim Donaghy's Tell-All Hits Roadblock

The publication of “Blowing the Whistle: The Culture of Fraud in the NBA” has been canceled by Triumph Books citing libel concerns.

Unfortunately for the NBA that hasn’t stopped excerpts from appearing on the web of which if even 10 percent are true — especially regarding the treatment of Allen Iverson — would drive you to conclude that watching the league is a waste of time.

Tim Donaghy’s Tell-All Hits Roadblock

Brandywine Valley Great Scenic Route

Brandywine Valley Great Scenic Route  — They are the drives of a lifetime says National Geographic Traveler;  the 50 greatest scenic routes in the world. They include the Almalfi Coast in Italy and rugged lonely Cornwall, England.

And of course Route 1 in Delaware County or part of it anyway.

National Geographic Traveler calls it the Brandywine Valley Drive. It starts at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, meanders down Route 52 to The Inn At Montchanin Village in Delaware, then down routes 100 and 141 to the Hagely Museum and Nemours Mansion, then back to Route 52 to Winterthur and then back to Pennsylvania to Route 1 and  Brandywine River Museum, which is in Delaware County,  then back to the Diamond State down Route 141 to the Mount Cuba Center and then to Wilmington, believe it or not. It’s the tax free shopping. Seriously.

So next time you are drumming your fingers at the light at 202 just realize you are about 10 minutes away from one of the 50 greatest scenic routes in the world.

Brandywine Valley Great Scenic Route

Brandywine Valley Great Scenic Route
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