by Sam Loth, Fund Drive Committee Member

Recently, I watched a Dan Rather interview with Crosby, Stills and Nash. Near the end of the program, Rather said that the three musicians were remarkable because the group’s popularity had lasted more than 40 years. He asked why they thought their music had such an enduring quality?

Stephen Stills answered the question. He said that the songs written by them in the 1970s spoke to the simple truths of the time: that love deserved more attention than hate, that maybe we should pay more attention to being our brothers’ keepers, and that what goes around is what comes around.

Graham Nash said that the reason the three of them – and sometimes with Neil Young – the four of them, didn’t choose a band name but instead performed under their own names, was that they all understood from the beginning that they created a unique sound together but that they also had unique things to offer individually as well.

When I returned to Chestnut Hill and West Mt. Airy two years ago after being away on-the-job for 23 years, I was heartened by how much northwest Philly had improved. The physical environment is noticeably better, properties in general are in better condition, and the spirit of good will toward one another, tolerance for difference and a willingness to embrace new ideas and trends had endured.

The ideals expressed in the way people live their lives in northwest Philly are the same as when Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young expressed the ideals of their time: Love the one you’re with, offer a helping hand to your neighbor, give of yourselves in order to reap life’s joy.

Let’s all, each of us, express these enduring ideals by volunteering to help our community. Give of your time or give some of your treasure to your neighbors who keep our parks clean, who plant the flowers, who protect our history, who keep hope alive in our beautiful and grand neighborhood. In their white album, the last lyric on the last side, The Beatles summed it up: “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love … you make.”

To help the Chestnut Hill Community Fund continue to support more than 30+ deserving nonprofits in Northwest Philadelphia, make a donation today to CHCF at 8434 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19118, go online and donate at, or contact Noreen at 215-248-8810. The CHCF thanks you in advance for your support.