Saturday, March 10, 2012


Thursday, Susanne and I drove downtown to the Historical Society of Dauphin County to help other volunteers to assemble and sort invitations to the Society's 2012 Blast from the Past -- a fundraising dinner serving a seven-course meal as served on RMS Titanic's last night at sea on April 14, 1912. The dinner will be exactly one hundred years later.

On the way, we stopped at City House B&B to pick up a very generous gift of a night at the inn and breakfast the next morning, to be auctioned off during a silent auction preceding the dinner. You've heard about City House in this blog on more than one occasion. It was nice to see Bruce the innkeeper once again and to be able to introduce him to Susanne.

The invitation-assembling process was already under way when we got there, although I must point out that we were on time! The job completed, we decided to cross the mighty Susquehanna and lunch on the deck at Duke's restaurant on the West Shore on the river. Unfortunately, it seems they were understaffed, and we were not prepared (read: too hungry) to wait 15 minutes or more to eat.

So we high-tailed it back across the river to Roxy's Café, opposite the State Museum of Pennsylvania. In fact, we (well, Susanne) had been there earlier when she forced me to find a cup of coffee for her after we left the B&B. The server poured her a cup and said it was on the house because he felt like doing something nice for someone. Unfortunately, he was not our server when we went back for lunch!

Instead, we were cared for by Stacy, a very nice young woman who worked there all the time I worked in the State Museum building and ate often at Roxy's.

We checked out the menu and made our choices. I had my usual Cousin Rachel sandwich, the best in town, and Susanne had the Roundup. While paying, I told the owner that I had had a Rachel at his other restaurant in Camp Hill and preferred Roxy's'. (Check out those apostrophes in Roxy's' -- could that possibly be correct?) You know what he said, "I think they are better here, too. Over there they insist on another kind of cheese. What are ya gonna do?"

After lunch, we drove north on Sixth Street, noticing the tremendous number of empty lots and houses marked for demolition. We did see some bright spots, though, including a large condo building at Sixth and Reily streets, opposite the site of a future Federal Building. All that development is part of a renaissance in the midtown area.

We were headed toward Agate Street, where Susanne was to be fingerprinted for the FBI. Yes, friends, she has lead a secret life of criminal activity, and the Feds have finally caught up to her. Next week she reports to Muncy Women's Prison for 15 to life. Just kidding. She is going to tutor and needs state clearance to work with youth.

We drove up Sixth, turned right on Division, and right again onto Agate street. A row of houses has been torn down and a small strip mall built there. None of the storefronts made any reference to the FBI, so Susanne picked one of the businesses and inquired of them. It turns out that she had to go into the Western Union office to submit to the electronic fingerprinting. It was interesting for me to wait outside in the neighborhood where I had grown up. You've seen pictures of the house I grew up in further south on Agate Street. I wonder if it's still standing.

We then continued up Sixth Street through Susquehanna Township to Linglestown Road and home again. All that fingerprinting had tuckered out Susanne, and she took a nap while I did a little more work on my computer for the Titanic event.

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