Thursday, September 22, 2011


Today's adventures started off with a stop at the Historical Society of Dauphin County to drop off some event invitations I designed and then had printed. The Board of Directors is going to honor people who volunteer in some capacity in the office, or in the Mansion, or in the gardens. You get the idea. For you younger readers, you'll appreciate the time you have to volunteer when you have retired. At first it's fun to sit all day around sipping martinis (not that I ever did), but at some point you get the urge to get up, get out, and do something for someone. (Of course, you don't have to wait until you retire -- it's just easier!)

Hills building on S. Second Street
A short ride up Second Street led me to the Market Square Garage, where I left the Box while I walked a few blocks to the Downtown Deli on Market Street. I took special notice of two things on the way. One was a small building on the Square, hemmed in on both sides by newer, taller, buildings. It is apparently the oldest building left on the Square. It was designed by the noted architect Stephen Hills (1771-1844), who designed the first Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg. Several of his town houses still remain on Front Street. This building started out as a bank and then housed other businesses. (I found this out from Ken Frew, the living encyclopedia in Harrisburg architecture. See his book here.)  It has been vacant for many years. I wish I had a wad of cash so I could buy it and return it to its original appearance.

The second thing of interest was the state historical marker commemorating a visit by Abraham Lincoln. He spoke to a large crowd from the portico of a hotel on the Square. Except for the church and the little Hills building, there is nothing there today that Lincoln might recognize.

Well, on to the deli. I was meeting my friend David, whom Susanne and I have known since we started teaching in 1968. He now works downtown and invited me to join him for lunch at the Downtown Deli. David is on the boards of tons of organizations and knows everyone in town, so he always has a lot of interesting news about a museum, or an art gallery, or a charity helping people.

For a minute there I thought I was in New York City -- when I saw the number pop up on the cash register! Maybe I am out of it, but something around $13 for a chicken salad sandwich, a small styrofoam bowl of soup (I hate styrofoam, don't you?), and a bottle of water seemed pricey. (You know how cheap I am in the first place.) Nevertheless, the company was excellent, and I enjoyed the outing in downtown Harrisburg.

After taking my leave, I crossed back over Market Square and was buzzed in to Market Square Church, where I did some work in the choir room, putting away some music we had used last Sunday and making sure everything was available for tonight's rehearsal.

Having some extra time, I finally opened the box containing a quilted covering our worship and music committee ordered for the newly enlarged and refinished Communion table. This important piece of liturgical furniture is often moved out of the main worship room to allow for musical performances, and the covering is meant to protect the table from bumps and scrapes as it goes through doorways or is stored against the wall.

Thank heaven the measurements were accurate, and the cover was perfectly made by the manufacturer. Now, one more cover for the new small portable pipe organ, and we've covered all the bases, so to speak!

Driving through the garage on my way out, I noticed a Honda Element with the license plate TAN BOX. How dare they! I have the Box. What an Element is, I don't know. The darned thing wasn't even tan!

Lower in the garage I came across a bright red little buggy with another interesting plate, TOTO RUN. You'll recall that Dorothy Gale advised her little dog to do just that to escape Miss Gulch in the classic film, "The Wizard of Oz."

I decided to drive up Market Street on the way home and stop on what is strangely called "Market Street Road" in Penbrook to check out a company that makes counter and vanity tops.

As I waited for the light at the end of the street to turn green, I admired the little brick cottage on the corner. It's another of those small houses that I find so attractive. You have seen others on this blog. Do you have favorite places that are visually pleasing to you when you pass them?

We're still working on redecorating our en suite bathroom,  and I have heard the counter company does good work. If the samples in their showroom are any indication, I'd say their reputation is merited.

As I left and noticed their name is Crall, I seemed to remember that we had Crall kids as students at Susquehanna Twp. schools. I wondered if they were related. That might mean a discount (fat chance).

This car should be from Kansas.

Here's our little square friend outside
the counter shop.

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