Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Since we're going on a day trip with friends on Thursday, the day I usually work in the choir library at Market Square Church, I decided to go there today instead. I also wanted to help the church sexton to move a model of the church that the church administration had offered to the Historical Society of Dauphin County.

I pulled up into the "loading area" by the door from the city garage into the church and searched for the Box's blinker light switch. I found I had no idea where it was! By turning on the headlights, the dashboard lit up like, well, a dashboard, and there was the telltale pyramidal shape, the universal symbol for blinkers. As I went to open the door, I met the sexton on his way out to an appointment.

I was worried about where the model was being stored, so I decided to try to move it myself. Grabbing a cart from the kitchen and bending over like a big ol' Quasimodo, I crawled into the dungeon where it was stored on the floor (in sections) and cautiously moved it out onto the cart and then up the elevator to the car. Then I went back for the second section. I had to leave behind the heavy wooden base and h-u-g-e acrylic box that covers it.

Soon I was rounding the corner of the church, heading west toward Front Street, then south a block or two to the Historical Society, where I met the curator. He and another staff member moved it into the mansion to be held temporarily there. In the course of our conversation, I learned that the society has other models, including one of the Harris-Cameron Mansion  and a house north of the sit-ee.

We made it just in time to avoid a huge downpour. I dashed into the society office to make some copies and speak with the librarian on another matter. When I left, it was still pouring, and everyone in the office was scurrying around completing projects.

On the way uptown, I stopped first at a friend's house to drop off a copy of Pennsylvania Heritage magazine, for which I had written an article this summer. Ernie lives in a lovely brick townhouse (at right) filled with collections of all sorts of things that fascinate and appeal to the eye.

Then at Third Street Used Furniture I stopped to look for a wooden book shelf that could be fitted with wheels and turned into a library cart for use in the choir library. Alas, there was none, but there were plenty of buckets collecting rainwater seeping through the roof. Upon leaving, I spotted an interesting bit of advertising on a white panel truck. You'll see photos below.

I took a circuitous route home since the radio said that I-81 was very slow-moving. Opposite the state Farm Show Building, Maclay Street was already flooded. We had to slosh through standing water right in front of the old International Harvester building where my mom worked when we were kids.

Arriving home, I was greeted cheerfully by Susanne, and we decided to use a "Living Social" coupon I had bought for a 50s-style diner in Hummelstown. We drove there the back way, passing along the now-infamous Swatara Creek, which did an enormous amount of damage during the last tropical storm. Much of the damage was evident, with basements emptied and standing open, and a lot of debris clogging the creek and leaning against bridges.

At the restaurant, we enjoyed our food (eggplant parm and a gyro) and a floor show provided by a bratty little girl screaming in a sort of semi-private room and being in turn screamed at by her parents. I felt sorry for them all, but for the rest of us diners especially. They left just as we finished our meals.

The best part came when we paid the bill, and for the $10 for $20 coupon we had a $21.47 meal. We had to pay the $1.47, of course, and a tip, but all in all, a great deal.

We headed home through the last of the daylight, arriving just in time to endure another downpour. The Box got a nice bath while we watched from our warm and dry house.

 Can you see the large acrylic display case for the model?
It was being stored in the cave-like room to the right.

 Façade of the model.

 The rear of the church interior, showing the organ.

The front of the sanctuary.

Staffers carrying the front half of the model into the mansion.

 Do you think the tagline in quotes is from an earlier incarnation?

Arriving at the Soda Jerk Diner.

Slick 1950s décor.

The wallpaper in the men's room included a border
with 1950s cars and this map of the midwest.

I tried this talking scale, and it told me, 
"Please ask your friend to wait."

My dinner came with a little dish of tapioca.
Who knew?

Total due: $1.47

The Box looking very cool in the reflection of a
highly-polished metal panel on the side of the diner.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome here.