Credit where credit is due for caroling

Amidst the bad news and disagreements, 2011 was a wonderful year.  One of the lovely occurrences was the coming together of the Caroling at the Creche’ the Monday before Christmas.

In 2010 Jay Susanin of Palladio restored the stable.  When we took the creche down in January of 2011 Hugh McNamara, a resident and owner of McNamara Restoration, agreed to repaint the figures.  We always assemble the creche the first Monday in December.  Ginger Wilson-Williams of Caffette, Becky and Paul Roller, Antionette Dubiel and I could not believe our eyes when we saw how beautifully restored it was!

In November I had written each of our area churches asking for a modest amount of money.  Each responded as requested or as best they could in this difficult time.  So I thank Our Mother of Consolation, The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Saint Paul’s Episcopal, Chestnut Hill Baptist, St. Martin-in-the Fields and Christ Ascension Lutheran Churches for helping us raise the money needed.  Classic Management and Sovereign Bank both helped us too by donating money, services and space.  So thanks to Vicki O’Conner of CM, tellers Yolanda [who helped raise two of my sons!] and Geoffrey, and management Diane McKain and Herb Smith.

Thanks also to the musicians who brave the weather each year, Pat Kauffman, Steve Hastie, Rob Hubby and Mike and Kitty Albrecht and the cadre of newbies Daniel Kauffman, Mickey Leone, Lizzie Edson and Paraic Keane who gave our music new life!

The Friends of the Library heard rave reviews as they served the carolers hot cider and cookies.  It was one of the best!  Of course a big thank you to all of the carolers who gave a few dollars each that night and sang beautifully.  No more fund-raising for 25 years, I hope.

Jay Susanin summed it up a few days later.  Having forgotten about the caroling, after a day of Christmas retail, he left work, heard the singing and just sat down and listened and was reminded what it was all about.  Thank you everyone.

Janine Dwyer
Chestnut Hill


The curmudgeon speaks out

I know I’m white-haired, bent and old. I’ve made it! Because of my appearance, I am frequently insulted. People don’t mean to insult me; on the contrary, they are solicitous and gracious. I accept that.

Different ethnic groups have difficulty in reading others. I include myself so that when I’m asked, “How did you get here?” I have the ready response – “On my broom.”

When I’m asked my age, I always give an elevated number and wait for the compliment. “You do very well for 105.”

This week, however, I’m unforgiving of a man in my league who insulted me.

On New Year’s Day I drove to the Main Line to a party. Since there was no sidewalk against which to park, I had to find a spot on a curved street. A man was parking his Mercedes in such a way as to allow for only two spaces on the street. I pulled next to him and asked him to move back so that I could park in front of him. We’d be three cars between two driveways.

He did that and instead of proceeding to the party waited to watch me park. As I maneuvered on the curb, he tapped my window to tell me I was about to hit the tree behind. “Not possible – I’m in Drive preparing to straighten out my car,” I said.

When I turned off the motor, he opened my door and reminded me to release my seat belt. It had been released and was sitting limp on my left shoulder.

Satisfied that I did not touch his status-symbol car, he stepped back. I asked him his name – “David,” he said, and I gave him mine and couldn’t resist adding, “I’m glad you’re not my husband.” It was as close as I could come to punching him in the nose.

Maggie Wollman
Mt. Airy