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[14 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on Motoring In To The Mack Museum | ]
Motoring In To The Mack Museum

You’d think that a building big enough to hold a couple dozen Mack trucks would be easy to find. Uh-uh. The Mack Trucks Museum is hidden away on the back side of Allentown’s Queen City Airport, nestled on a hilltop overlooking the scenic Lehigh Parkway.
There’s a reason for the subterfuge that makes finding this gem a little like participating in a road rally where you have to find and follow clues to reach the prize – it used to be the Test Center and Track where Mack developed their new …

Berks and Beyond, Featured »

[7 Jan 2011 | Comments Off on January Is A Capital Time For A Trip To Harrisburg | ]
January Is A Capital Time For A Trip To Harrisburg

Let’s see, we’re wrapping up the first week of January and another snowjob, er, storm is headed for Pennsylvania. That can mean any of three things:
One, the Farm Show is coming up.
Two, the gang in Harrisburg is back from the holiday break and up to its usual mischief.
Three, it’s January and that’s what happens around here this time of year.
Nah, let’s stick with the first two.
There are a lot of new people in our state capital this week as the Commonwealth gets underway with a new Legislature and prepares to inaugurate …

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[11 Nov 2010 | Comments Off on “… The Last Full Measure of Devotion” | ]

The first time I visited the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. was on a misty, chilly night when I was helping to chaperone about 100 of my son’s energetic and occasionally over-dramatic high school classmates. I didn’t really know much about the memorial, so when we approached out of the fog and I saw the 19 larger-than-life statues emerge as if they were trekking through a rice paddy, it was an eerie and evocative moment.
The Korean War memorial is still one of my favorite stops when I’m in …

Bucks-Mont, Featured »

[22 Oct 2010 | One Comment | ]

I’ve always had a soft spot for people who march to a different drummer. I’m not talking about the whackos who pick up Channel 83 while the rest of us are just getting 3, 6 and 10, but the visionaries and dreamers who are not afraid of being thought a bit odd as they pursue goals that elude others.
People like Henry Mercer, for instance.
A turn-of-the-century renaissance man born in Doylestown in 1856, Mercer was a lawyer, archeologist, anthropologist and artisan who became best known for his classic tiles. But he …

Featured, Lehigh Valley, News »

[14 Oct 2010 | Comments Off on Open Gate Farm Tour Offers Family Fun and a Good Reminder | ]

The last time I heard any real numbers, the Lehigh Valley was losing farmland at a rate of about 3 square miles a year. I’m sure the current recession has put a little hitch in that giddyap, but it’s still a concern. One of the attractions of the region is the rural, open nature that has long surrounded the cities of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton and their immediate suburbs.
But take a Sunday drive in the Valley these days and it seems the biggest cash crop over the past two decades …

Featured, Lehigh Valley »

[29 Sep 2010 | Comments Off on New Sigal Museum Brings Northampton County History to Life | ]

For most Americans, it seems that history goes back only about 235 years – to our own Revolutionary War. Sure, we all learned about the Pilgrims and Puritans and William Penn in school, but the real scope of history seems to escape us, as a nation. That’s why I am sure many people will be shocked to learn that Eastern Pennsylvania has been inhabited by humans for more than 12,000 years.
That’s one of the first things you learn when you enter the new Sigal Museum in Easton. A product of …

Featured, Lehigh Valley »

[21 Sep 2010 | 2 Comments | ]

When it comes to fine art, I’m pretty whitebread. OK, boring is more like it. I like portraits and landscapes. I can appreciate Norman Rockwell and Gilbert Stuart. Picasso makes me think someone was hitting the sangria a bit too hard.
That’s why I like the Allentown Art Museum. They offer a good mix of permanent exhibits, including Stuart’s portrait of Ann Penn and a great painting of Niagara Falls. But they mix it up, too. The current exhibit “Peter Grippe – A Personal Vocabulary” mixes Grippe’s modernistic sculpture with the …

Bucks-Mont, Featured »

[10 Sep 2010 | 3 Comments | ]

On a sticky day in late August as the heat wave of 2010 was waging one of its last battles against the thermometer, the Cestere family from Long Island was attending a rock concert at one of Bucks County’s oddest parks.
Actually, they were the concert.
Armed with hammers provided by the owner of the nearby campsite where they were spending the week, Joe Cestere, his wife, Doreen, and teenage daughters Jessica and Brittany spent the afternoon tapping out tunes on the various boulders at Ringing Rocks Park high above the Delaware …

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[26 Aug 2010 | Comments Off on Liberty Bell Shrine Offers Glimpse Into Hidden History | ]

Every day hundreds of people file past the Liberty Bell in its glass home outside of Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Over the past two centuries the bell has become known as a symbol of freedom and democracy across the globe. What isn’t as well known is the fact that if it wasn’t for a committed band of Lehigh Valley farmers, the iconic bell might not have survived the first year of the Revolutionary War.
The Liberty Bell Shrine at Zion UCC Church in Allentown is a tribute to the brave patriots …