Banner photo of Larry Eugene Meredith, Ronald Tipton and Patrick Flynn, 2017.

The good times are memories
In the drinking of elder men...

-- Larry E.
Time II

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Main Street, USA

It isn't the prettiest main street I've ever been on in my life, but somehow it seems a quintessential one. Maybe it connects time between the station of my old age with that of my youth. The road is called The Philadelphia Pike.

When I was a boy I lived along Route 30. That highway had many names- the Lincoln Highway, Lancaster Pike - and it was also called The Philadelphia Pike.

How the ends of our life so often connect.

This is only one small section as it runs straight through town. The brick building with the awnings was an aquarium when we first came here. I bought the kids two salamanders and a frog here when they were little. The frog was named Nixon, because it looked like Tricky Dick throwing his arms up with the V-signs he would make. Nixon had a habit of hopping out of the tank and the cats got him. His fate was worse than his namesake.

They told me at the fish store that salamanders only lived two years, but one lived more than four. When it did die, it dissolved away to a slimy goo when we removed it for burial much like the girl at the end of "Lost Horizons".

Not far down the road from this photo is the Pennsylvania border and beyond it the storage tanks of the Sunoco oil refinery. Across the street just ahead is a branch of the big bank where once I worked until they tossed me out for the sin of growing old, the _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _! (Game time, have fun, fill in the blanks, use your imagination.)

Next to that bank branch is an institution of this place, the steak shop. They redid the frontage a few years ago. I think it use to be pretty much that white surface all the way down, but could be wrong.

The memory isn't what it use to be.

I learned how to cook steak sandwiches properly watching the cooks in this place many years ago.

This is one of those roads with a number of fast food and comfort food eateries. Lot of good stuff to nosh that the food police would lock us up for or take away along with salt, sugar and spice and everything nice. They tell us its healthy and we'll live long. What fools! No sense in living long if you can't savor the delicious things of life. That's what makes those people so mean and nasty, they think they know what is good for everyone, but they really don't know what is good. They should be boiled in their own unsaturated cooking oil, the _ _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _!  (Game time again, have fun, fill in the blanks, use your imagination.)

A little further down this very American main street is this small stone building. On first gaze one might guess it is a church or possibly even an old fire house.

Actually it is a school.

It is build of stone.

It is called the Stone School, duh!

It might look new, but it isn't. It was build around 1805. If me math is right that is 205 years ago. And it doesn't look a day over 100.

This wonderful town,  and it is a wonderful, has a lot of history. It used to be a place for millionaires (when a million dollars was real money) and famous writers. There is a lot of community pride and activity and great people.

Just beyond this school you may notice a white house. This building is the Darley House and has its own history. It was the home of Felix Darley.

The home of world-renowned illustrator Felix O. C. Darley (1822-1888). Built in the late 18th century and enlarged several times during the first half of the 19th century, the house was purchased by Darley in 1863 and renamed “The Wren’s Nest.” During his career, Darley illustrated books for Washington Irving, Edgar Allen Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Charles Dickens, and James Fenimore Cooper. Two of his most notable works were Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle. Charles Dickens visited here for two weeks during his triumphant tour of America in 1867. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

This house reminds me somewhat of a house I lived in as a boy just off that other Philadelphia Pike.

There is much of the past to examine and enjoy in this region, but then there is that old I said was torn down and meant the hope for the future.

Just a bit before we reach the Stone School we can stop and contemplate the future .

What is it we look for on this site?

What indeed.

We'll take a look next time.

1 comment:

Ron Tipton said...


I don't recognize any of this Rt. 30. Did you know we have a Rt. 30 down here too? I traveled on it today to go to La Quetzalteca restaurant, where I had lunch with my friends today. This Rt. 30 is quite a bit different from the one that runs through Downingtown.

Another favorite road of mine is Rt. 340 to Paradise, PA. It's also called King's Highway. It must have another name because almost all of the roads in Pennsylvania have three names. Like Rt. 322, which is also called Horseshoe Pike and Manor Avenue where it runs through Downingtown.

Nice post, good pictures. You'll have to make a coffee table book of your photo essays.