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New construction will shadow historic Chestnut Hill Baptist Church cemetery


Neighbor of chestnut hill baptist church cemetery

Chestnut hill baptist church and graveyardA man who lives in the house alongside the historic cemetery behind the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church regularly clears the flat and worn gravestones of leaves and other debris.

He gave your correspondent and buddy an impromptu tour. Pointing out different graves, “He was at Gettysburg. The fella over here was at the battle of Little Round Top. You can see it by the 20th Volunteers Main. The 20th Main was the line Chamberlain and his men did that right handed [ ] like a swinging door move to stop the Confederates from getting the hill; it won the day....This gentleman here is a veteran of the War of 1812.” He pointed out headstones for the Sands family which he believes was prominent in the early days of the church.

Some of the graves are partially grown over with grass and there may be others that are totally covered over. See photo album here.

The man says the cemetery is a kind of common ground for the neighborhood. People come through, some walk their dogs, children play. Referring to imminent construction of an apartment complex on the former Sunoco site, adjacent, “They’re going to block it out when they put this building up… I think it’s five stories. It’s a pity, huh? " See article about the new construction here.

More information about the history of the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church can be found on the church’s website here The Chestnut Hill Conservancy’s archives are rich with historical information. According to notes attached to a 1945 photo of J.S Jenks school students, children attending Christian Youth Brigade meetings at the church would play in the graveyard. The Conservancy also houses an 86-page, 1898 book by Robert Milville Hunsicker, “Chestnut Hill Baptist Church 1834-1897 Glimpses of Sixty-three Years” and a 2001 publication “ Tombstone inscriptions at two Chestnut Hill church cemeteries: Chestnut Hill Baptist and Chestnut Hill Methodist” by the Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania listing the churches gravestone inscriptions.  Watch video interview about historic Chestnut Hill Baptist Church cemetery here. A list of those interred follows

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Therapist eases back pain

physical therapist eases back pain

The majority of patients who visit Chestnut Hill Hospital’s physical therapy center at the Top of the Hill come in with spine pain- neck or lower back- according to therapist Bethany Nolan.  Lots of tall windows at the facility behind the Children of America building allow natural light to brighten up the large open multi-station workroom area where a few therapists are busy tending to patients.

Nolan says the cause of back pain, often, is not a traumatic injury but maintaining prolonged positions like being sedentary too long. With a model of the spine, Nolan demonstrates how pressure can build up in the spine’s discs. Imaging like X-rays is not necessary to begin therapy. An initial evaluation is done and a plan of exercises that can be done at home to reverse the pressure buildup is devised. At therapy sessions she demonstrates the exercises, has patients practice and adjust the exercises and notes the patient’s progress.  Exercises may first include just press-ups to ease the pain. Later in the process, core-strengthening exercises like holding the plank position or balancing one’s legs on an exercise ball may be introduced. Nolan stresses the importance of consulting a physician and then working with the therapist to develop a plan of exercises tailored to the patient’s individual needs.

“Back pain doesn’t need to be a reason to stop living your life!” Nolan cheerily declaims.

Watch video here.


Paintings inspired by neurons

kirsten fischler's neural imagery

Kirsten Fischler captures neuronal imagery in her paintings. She has been inspired by her partner, a neuropathologist. Neurons are nerve cells that communicate information electrically/chemically with other cells. In her artist’s conception neurons are the “essence that occurs inside the mind that helps develop the mind” or “the spark that makes the mind happen.” Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, Francisville. Watch video interview here.


Grandpa tattoed on her arm

grandpa tattooed

>> MIKAELA JENSON ROSEMAN (MJR): You want me to tell you the story of my tattoos?  Okay. So my left arm is pretty much a dedication to my grandfather. I have this one up here  which is a line drawing of him. He served in World War II so that’s why I have the Purple Heart in there ‘cause he received one of those awards. He passed away in 2001 and then I got this one to memorialize him which is a biblical passage.

>> CLOSE UP: DO YOU KNOW IT BY HEART?

I know the passage but to be honest with you I don’t know any more the verse.

>> CU: “SEE UPON THE PALMS OF MY HAND, I HAVE CARVED YOUR NAME.” WHAT DO YOU RECALL ABOUT THAT PASSAGE?

I actually first heard about it in a class I was taking at Temple. I was a religion minor. And when I heard it I thought that it  was a very good, a really good quote for a memorial tattoo. And I sort have always moderately considered adding more to my arm, like more pictures of my grandfather. He did a lot of stained glass work when he was still alive and I have a lot of that left. So I wanted to have some of those pictures maybe added.   A lot of my tattoos I’d say aside from these ones are not – not that they have no point but they’re not as personally, I think, angled. And so I’ve sort of decided that since this is my arm obviously closer to my heart that I’ll have that dedicated for him.

WHAT WAS YOUR RLEATIONSHIP WITH HIM THAT YOU’D…

He was wonderful. He was born in 1907. His name was Albert  Furman Jensen and he passed away in 2001.  He had a very lucky, nice passing I think. And I just remember being really close with him growing up.  So I remember being a kid, he had white hair, his nickname was “Whitey.” Even when he was a kid he had white hair. I just remember combing his hair at their house in Upper Darby when I was a little girl. He got Alzheimer’s later in life and he would have lucid moments as well. And so he always knew who I was, even when he was …Alzheimer’s. I remember one day I tried to microwave a  thing of peanut butter And it had the wrapper on it still. It burst into flames in the microwave.  And my 89 year old grandfather at the time sprinted through the house to get to the kitchen to put it out.  So you know I have all these varied distinct memories of him, all really positive ones and even though it’s been a while, I was twelve. Yeah, I was eleven or twelve when he passed away. Now I’m twenty-five but I still think about him all the time.   

Here’s the only picture that I have in my wallet.  And this is the one that I always considered getting a portrait of him

So I have these puzzle pieces that I have on my arm that are meant  to be for me and my best friend who I’ve known since I was four. I have “Love” and “Peace” on my wrist because those are ideals I’d like to live by contrary to how it usually goes. I have a fish on my neck because I was very interested in marine biology. And then on my back which you really won’t be able to see. I have wings on my back and a William Blake quote in between them that says “Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained," which is a quote from his piece, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

>> CU; DO YOU EVER WORRY THAT YOU’LL FALL OUT OF LOVE WITH SOMETHING YOU’VE TATTOOED ON?

 

No. Never. I haven’t so far. You know some of my tattoos, on the back of my neck up here I have this little heart which has no sentimental meaning whatsoever- it was something I got because I was in New York City and I wanted a tattoo in New York City and I picked it off of the wall and I really don’t regret any of them at all. I still like them.  You know for me it’s either that I remember something that happened when I got it or for the ones that  like actually do mean something more personal to me, you know like in ten years I’m not going to decide all of a sudden that I don’t like my grandfather anymore, you know?

Grandpa tattooed on her arm