Tuesday, March 17, 2015


The Wrightsville-Columbia concrete bridge crosses the foggy Susquehanna.

In March the cold weather began to let up, and ice on the Susquehanna River began to melt, creating fog up and down the valley. We had been invited to meet our son Matt, his wife Marylee, and "the boy," our grandson Ian, at the Turkey Hill Experience, a sort of Chocolate World of the central Pennsylvania ice cream and convenience store business. It's located in Columbia, Lancaster County, about 40 miles south of Harrisburg.

We were excited to spend the day with Ian as he turned seven years old on March 4. It seems like just yesterday that we rushed down to Towson, Md., to see him in the NICU. He's grown up to be a handsome, smart, and active youngster. He's in his first year at St. Joseph School.

We arrived just barely ahead of the Marylanders, and the fun began. Ian is very accustomed to using technology, and many of the exhibits in the ice cream funland included interactive devices. Let's take a look:
Checking out a painted cow, the source of ice cream.

An old dairy truck gleams under the lights.
Oh, look -- there is the driver with his milk bottles.
Exhibits place the dairy business in the context of county heritage.
Farmer Robinson checks on the cattle.
It's milking time, an udderly wonderful experience.
Let's make our own ice cream.
Let's design the packaging.
Ian chooses images for his ice cream carton.
Ian and Marylee create a TV ad for Ian's famous ice cream.
The results are emailed to Ian at home.
Butter Pecan seems to have at least three big nuts in it!
Ian really wants to be a Steeler!
We watched a video in the theatre-in-a-carton (right).
At Red Robin for lunch, Ian liked the Legos set Susanne had chosen.
He also liked the Star Wars blanket that Susanne made just for him.
Finally, a birthday card, just in time for the lunch to arrive.
After we parted company, we headed north on Route 441 toward Middletown and Harrisburg, passing a foggy Three Mile Island, the nuclear reactor where we had taken Matt and some friends on his birthday in 1979. In those days, there was an observation deck and exhibit area opposite the island along Route 441. Ten days after the visit, the plant experienced the worst accident in U.S. commercial nuclear power plant history. I always claimed Matt "broke" the place. If I find anything odd in my Turkey Hill ice cream, I will say the same thing about Ian.

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