East and West Mt. Airy Neighbors jointly hosted a jolly Christmas tree recycling event this first Sunday after New Year’s at Upsala mansion. Dampness and near freezing temperatures didn’t keep people away. Car after car arrived with trees lashed to their roofs. A large, m ostly youthful contingent helped unload the trees and stage them for the chipper. Alex Aberle, president of WMAN and who lives at the mansion will use the chips in his his garden at the historic site. Recyclers were asked to donate five dollars towards the cost of renting the chipping machine. Any remaining proceeds will be split between the neighborhood groups. For those who didn’t make the January event, the Philly Goat Project at the Awbury Arboretum will welcome the trees for their goats to snack on. And the Streets Department has 13 tree drop-off locations, also. Your Jewish correspondent has a very large potted solstice evergreen he drags inside and then back out again at this time of year and hopes someone might resuscitate the rent-a- Christmas-tree drop off and pick up program initiated by a neighborhood high school science teacher some years ago. Watch video here
Charlie Gangloff of Top of the Hill market and a helper hoist the first Christmas tree of the season onto an upright the Monday before Thanksgiving. They expect to receive 1000 trees this season, all grown in Bloomsburg Pa, 90 miles northwest of the city. This one is a 9.5 foot Frasier Fir weighing from 75 to 100 pounds. At the end of the season, Gangloff says customers can drop off their trees through a program of the CH Business Association which will donate them to nature preserves where they provide shelter for animals. On the day after Thanksgiving, Gangloff and helpers were busily drilling holes in the bottom of the trees using a special drilling contraption that makes sure the tree will stand erect when mounted on a post. Drilling Christmas tree so it stands straight.
Hearing that WAWA convenience stores were giving out free coffee in celebration of International Coffee Day, on Friday morning your correspondent headed over to the Mt Airy store to grab a cup. The scene in the coffee area was crowded, festive- and a touch frenzied. The barista, who was refilling large coffee canisters non-stop, expected the store would serve about 4000 free cups that morning and said WAWA observes NATIONAL Coffee Day each year. He wasn't sure where WAWA coffee is sourced from but assured me all l needed to know was that it is the "best possible quality." It tasted just fine to me but, actually, I did want to know more so a little bit later that morning I visited the High Point Cafe in the Allen Lane train station Their barista wasn't acquainted with the unofficial holiday but quipped that every day is International Coffee day at High Point and comped me a delicious cup. He elaborated that High Point's "ethically sourced - locally roasted" coffee comes from small farms in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Sumatra and elsewhere. Watch customers crowd store for free coffee on National Coffee day and interviews.
Tom Shallow's kids fell in love with "Pocono" at a deer farm in Pennsylvania where deer are bred for their racks and meat and certified as disease free. Saved from the fate of being hunted, Pocono is the family pet and now makes a yearly appearance dressed up as a Santa reindeer for the holiday open house at the American Legion lodge in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania. Watch video here.
PASSERSBY REACT TO BOULDER WRAPPED AS CHRISTMAS PRESENT
Passersby react to seeing a boulder at the corner of Ardeigh and Evergreen in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, gift wrapped in green and red. The boulder appears to have been placed on the sidewalk at the corner intersection to keep motorists from driving up on the sidewalk when they make a turn. Watch video here.
PARKING LOT ATTENDANT SAYS NO ONE'S BEEN TOWED YET FOR PARKING BUT NOT PATRONIZING TOP OF HILL BUSINESSES
The Chestnut Hill parking lot at the top of the Hill off of Bethlehem Pike has an attendant to ward off parkers who are not patronizing Top of the Hill plaza businesses. Other lots in Chestnut Hill are policed by the Philadelphia Parking Authority which monitors kiosk-issued timed parking receipts. There are often a lot of open spaces at the Top of the Hill Lot. Matt, the attendant, says you probably won't get towed if you park just long enough to return at book at the Chestnut Hill library at the northwest side of the lot. Watch video here.
DAD TAKES BABY DAUGHTER FOR HIKE ON FORBIDDEN DRIVE
Lou, a construction manager, is taking a break from work to care for his 4-month-old baby daughter while his wife continues to work. Tired of staying inside so much, they began taking their daughter on hikes. On this day, Lou had hiked a mile with Ilya before a refreshment break and diaper change at the Cedars Café at the northern end of Forbidden Drive. Watch video here.
MANUFACTURER'S REP OUT FOR A JOG
Lou, a construction manager, is taking a break from work to care for his 4-month-old baby daughter while his wife continues to work. Tired of staying inside so much, they began taking their daughter on hikes. On this day, Lou had hiked a mile with Ilya before a refreshment break and diaper change at the Cedars Café at the northern end of Forbidden Drive.
At the Philadelphia Water Tower Recreation Center in Chestnut Hill, a magician named John brought Anna and "Jimmy the Paleontologist" up on the stage as audience volunteers. July 4th Independence Day celebration produced by the Bocce Club.
Evelyn Houck, a blond haired, blue eyed, AAA flatbed truck driver and mechanic whose home base is in Southwest Philadelphia made a call late Christmas Eve afternoon to a customer in Chestnut Hill. Houck jumpstarted the car to the delight of the customer who needed to pick her dog up at the pet store where it had been left, apparently, for a Christmas “do”. Houck expected things would get busy very shortly when some shoppers making last minute purchases at the Cheltenham Mall would return to their cars to sadly discover that they didn’t have their keys or had a flat tire or couldn’t start their car for one reason or another. This is the third consecutive Christmas Eve Houck has worked. She enjoys rescuing stranded drivers. Watch video here.
YOU’RE WORKING CHRISTMAS EVE. Unfortunately, yes I am but you know what? At least I’m out here helping the people get on their way – [pointing to customer] saving your dog… You know everybody’s at the mall doing their Christmas shopping. So probably around 6 o’clock, that’s when the mad rush starts- getting home from the mall to their house – car didn’t start, car keys in the car locket out, flat tire, overheat, you know, all that fun stuff…I’m the only one in my shop now that’s a female doing this job but there are a couple other tow operators that work for different companies that are in this business, too. AND HOW DO YOU GET THE HONOR OF HAVING THE FLAT BED? I love it. It gets the job done. Let me tell ya, this baby gets the job done. Cars with broken axels, ball joints, tie rod ends. Trying to get those babies up there is a hassle but ya know what? I get them up and I get them down. Rollovers, flip-overs, all those, yes, I do everything…. Some people don’t understand when they have a car, some dealerships don’t even show them where the spare tire is and they’re usually underneath the vehicle. You have to pop open the back, get underneath, and you have to see for yourself that there’s a spare. AND YOU HAD ONE TODAY? Yes, I did, and she was very happy that I didn’t have to tow her. WAS SHE SURPRISED? Oh yes, she was very surprised that I jumped out of the truck… The big muscular guy – I get out of my tow truck and he just says one word “Gimme the jack.” It takes him twenty minutes to kindly walk back over and say, “Can you give me a hand?” I gave him a hand, showed him how to do it and now he went on his way. And now he’s probably going to call back triple A and ask for a guy now.”