Déjà vu

I feel like I’ve done this before – asked for your understanding while I meet an end-of-month grad school deadline. At this very moment, I’m procrastinating on the writing of a 10-page critical paper. I have the feeling that you would, too, if you were trying to find something interesting to say about Nathaniel Hawthorne’s use of veils in The Blithedale Romance and “The Minister’s Black Veil.” The thing is, I picked the topic, so I have no one to blame but myself. 😦

I am happy to report that I did write a new 20-page essay this month. That was a MAJOR accomplishment. Even though I will here reveal a few things that are in it, it is not yet available for a general readership – sorry! Let’s see… it features my backyard in the North End; walking down High Street with my dad (who seems to know everybody); getting booed the first year they let girls play Little League (nice folks!); and jumping off my dad’s shoulders at Laurelwood Pool, feeling like I could fly. It’s mostly about my relationship with my dad, but I’m not even letting him see it yet. 🙂

Holidays kick into high gear in downtown P-Town!

Okay, it’s official: There’s a lot on tap during the month of December, and we here at Positively!Pottstown want to do our part to make your head spin.

Please check out the updated calendar here and check back every few days because I’m sure I haven’t gotten everything in there yet. For one thing, I’m still nailing down the details of my own High Street Holiday Hop, but rest assured, it IS happening this Friday, December 3rd, and it will be loads of fun with lots of free drawings for cool stuff! The idea of the Holiday Hop is to roam the downtown with like-minded, upbeat holiday carousers, see all the decorations, stop in at businesses, make merry, hear talented singers, sit on Santa’s knee, and support the whole crazy notion of Pottstown having a lively commercial center!!

TENTATIVE SCHEDULE FOR POSITIVELY!POTTSTOWN HOLIDAY HOP

5-6 PM Meet-up at The Gallery on High at 254 High St.(NOTE NEW LOCATION) for their Annual Holiday Party & meet legendary Pottstown Firebirds football champs!! Get your free Positively!Pottstown Santa hat! Win a Firebirds t-shirt!

6-6:30 PM Stop in at Grumpy’s Handcarved Sandwiches & decorate an ornament for the Borough tree!

6:30-7:30 PM Still being planned… salon visit and free drawing for manicure… stop at Tri-PAC…

7:45-9 PM Head to Smith Plaza at catch the Pine Forge Academy Choir, hang your ornament on the Borough tree, sit on Santa’s knee, free drawing for 2 carriage rides down High Street! Wind down with warm drinks & dessert at Churchill’s!

**Free Santa hats to the first 20 Holiday Hoppers that rsvp to positivelypottstown@gmail.com**

Something else to do tonight…

I am bummed that I still have not been to James Enders Pop Art Gallery at 217 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA!

Tonight at 7 pm, James Enders Pop Art Gallery presents THE MIAMI VICE ART SHOW: NEW WORKS. This show is the culmination of James’ work for this year. There will be a special appearance by recording artist DAVE ALEXANDER and J-BIZ FROM MAINTAIN RECORDS. There’s a $5 COVER. Must be 21 to drink; 18 to enter.

Looking for something to do tonight?

If you want to dance all that pie and stuffing away AND you’re in the mood for classic rock from the ’70s, give your friends a call and head out to The Colonial Room and Sunnybrook Tavern tonight, Saturday, November 27th at 8pm. Sweat it out to the sounds of “Magoo.” There’s no cover! Sunnybrook is at 50 Sunnybrook Road, Pottstown, PA 19464. See map here. Phone number is 484-624-5186.

Paula’s Pecan Pie

No, it’s not Paula Deen‘s recipe, but my mother-in-law’s. Although she passed away in 1986, Paula’s pecan pie recipe lives on. It may have originally come from a corn syrup bottle or a bag of pecans, but it doesn’t matter to me because it ranks up there with the best pecan pie I’ve ever had! However, since I’ve made five of these pies in the past week for various occasions, I’m not sure I’ll be making any more this holiday season… we’ll see.

For the crust, I usually use a box from Betty Crocker and roll it out myself. In a pinch, I’ll use a frozen crust from — yep — Mrs. Smith. One of these days, I’m going to get my youngest brother to teach me how to make a crust from scratch. The past couple years he’s baked an apple rosemary pie for Thanksgiving that is just melt-in-your-mouth perfection. Thanks to him and his family for hosting another memorable Thanksgiving!

Paula’s Pecan Pie

Place rack below oven center. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs. flour
1 1/4 cup light corn syrup
3 Tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 unbaked 9″ pie shell
1 cup pecans

Mix brown sugar and flour in saucepan.
Add corn syrup, butter and salt. Warm over low heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat.
In separate bowl, beat eggs with vanilla, then whisk quickly into sugar mixture.
Turn into pie shell & sprinkle with nuts.
Cover pie crust with shield or aluminum foil.
Bake for 25 minutes, then remove foil and bake for 15-20 more minutes or until filling is set in center.
Cool before cutting.

One arrest announced. We must go on.

It’s quiet here lately because the recent violence in town has definitely gotten to me. I’m worried about my friends and everyone who’s living in the midst of this. And I’m reminded that if the streets of Pottstown are not safe, our revitalization dreams are pretty much out of reach. It’s a sobering thought – that challenges which are already fairly monumental become flat-out impossible in an environment of violence and fear.

The early morning arrest of the alleged shooter from this past Sunday is welcome news. The report of a stabbing early this morning in the general vicinity of the shooting is not. Still, we must go on.

I recently received an email from Citizens for Pottstown’s Revitalization regarding the need for Block Captains in organizing a strategy for increased civic participation in keeping streets safe. Here is an excerpt below:

“Please reply by Dec. 3rd if you would like to serve as a BLOCK CAPTAIN. (Our first meeting will be organized ASAP to define our roles and strategy)

To help keep us safe the Pottstown PD has generously offered:
Collaborating for Town Watch Patrols
Specialized Witness Training
The Civilian Police Academy

If interested in participating please reply by Dec. 3rd with your selections so the coordinating can begin.”

The email address is vivapottstown@hotmail.com.

Check out this gorgeous renovation on High St.!

The Mercury has a great feature on Brian and Lori Patrick’s renovation of 221 E. High Street. They’re operating Affinity Property Management out of the first floor and are living on the second and third floors. I just met Mr. Patrick this past Friday, but didn’t realize they’d also made the building their home.

Judging from the photos, they have done an outstanding job using many local contractors and local architect, P. Richard Frantz (did I ever tell you that I used to be Mr. Frantz’s “papergirl”? My first job: delivering the daily Philadelphia Bulletin & the Sunday Inquirer.)

I hope this article lets others see & believe the amazing potential offered by Pottstown’s historic buildings!

Urgent: Nutroll for sale at Holy Trinity tomorrow only!

Holy Trinity Roman Catholic Church on South Street had been my mom’s parish before she married my dad and joined him at St. Aloysius more than 50 years ago. Yesterday, she and I stopped by the basement there to pick up something that I can’t mention here because it involves Christmas presents for the rest of my family.

Anyway… members of the Ladies’ Guild were hard at work producing hundreds of nutrolls, poppyseed rolls and apricot rolls. The smell was divine! We were allowed to buy a few in advance of their sale tomorrow. The nutroll is my absolute favorite, and I just can’t imagine it being better anywhere else! At $10 each, any of these rolls is well worth it. Thank you, Bonnie Stankunas and the Ladies’ Guild for keeping this holiday tradition alive! If they ever run a nutroll baking class, I will be sure to let you, dear readers, know all about it.

Nutroll mania!!
Where: Holy Trinity Church, 370 South Street, Pottstown, PA 19464
When: Sunday, Nov. 21, before and after 10 am Mass
Cost: $10 each
What: Nutroll (walnuts), Apricot roll, Poppyseed roll. All can be frozen and brought out for holiday gatherings. YUM!

WOW.

The PDIDA office at 139 E. High Street was packed last night with more than 60 people who might best be described as “hungry for conversation.” The food was barely touched, and there was no need for background music. There were just a couple breaks for announcements and to give away two tickets to the First Annual Costume Ball at the Elks on Dec. 17 (thank you, Leighton Wildrick!) and three $20 gift certificates to Funky Lil’ Kitchen (thank you, Chef Michael Falcone!)

Otherwise, there was non-stop networking & brainstorming & sharing among a cross-section of area residents, business owners, entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, and public officials. Let’s nurture this and keep it going.

Due to the events downtown on Fridays in December, the next Happy Hour is on Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 5-7 pm at the Brickhouse. Thank you to Katy Jackson for donating a Brickhouse Happy Hour gift certificate for that. Appetizers & drinks will be available at reduced rates, and Positively!Pottstown will buy appetizers until the petty cash runs out!

In the meantime, follow up, keep in touch, take the next step.

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