Monthly Archives: March 2019

Pierre du Pont’s Purchase of Longwood Gardens

A reader of this blog asked what Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) paid for Longwood Gardens. The question is answered in the 12-minute video that runs continuously in the library of his home there: $15,500 in 1906. Visitors coming from the … Continue reading

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For the Love Of Books

“The Stack,” by Kathryn Schulz. The New Yorker, 3/25/2019. Schulz, one of my favorite New Yorker authors who I’ve quoted here before, describes how her parents stored books when she was growing up, and I immediately recognized similarities (and differences) … Continue reading

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Vocabulary: Sandbag

(Vocabulary postings are words or phrases I recently came across in reading, did not fully understand, looked it up, and discovered something new.) Sandbag: A slang verb, to hit (or be hit) severely and unexpectedly. Garrison Keillor recently used it, … Continue reading

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The Philadelphia Mural

I had to post this photo of an old Philadelphia mural painted on an underpass wall somewhere near the foot of Arch Street. I think it is hilarious, but when I was there a year or so ago, it was … Continue reading

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Ben Franklin Bridge Piers

“Piers” is probably not the correct name, but I mean those two rectangular structures on either side of the bridge—four all together. The two on the Camden side show nicely on the photo at left. They look like they are … Continue reading

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Up In City Hall Tower

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Tom Lehrer and the Seven Old Ladies

While I was still in high school, my sister, a few years older, was in college. While home on Christmas break, she was captivated with Tom Lehrer, a Harvard mathematics professor who was a singer and songwriter on the side. … Continue reading

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Daylight Saving Time (Boo!)

This year feels different. People are angry, as well they should be, especially as more data rolls in showing that daylight savings time does not save energy. We expect the cumulative wisdom of our government to be greater than our … Continue reading

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An Unwilling Facebook Member

When Twitter first appeared years ago, I joined to see what it was all about. Once I had it, I could not believe anyone would use it, certainly not me. Since I would never use it, I never bothered to … Continue reading

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The Little Brown Church in the Vale

There’s a church in the valley by the wildwood No lovelier spot in the dale No place is so dear to my childhood As the little brown church in the vale (Oh, come, come, come, come) Come to the church … Continue reading

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