Tag Archives: West Chester

brandywine roller girls.

with a name like this, how could you NOT support these ladies?! Check 'em out!

I remember growing up in the late sixties, early seventies with 3 network and 3 “local” channels on our Zenith TV with tin foil on the V-shaped rabbit ear antenna to “enhance” our viewing pleasure. One of the weekend attractions on the “boob tube” was Men’s and Women’s Roller Derby. It was a sort of precursor to Wrestlemania type entertainment and it didn’t quite grab an audience like it could have back then, however, while it WAS around… it was fun to watch!

Teams with names like Bay Bombers and Northeast Braves skating around an angled rink crashing into each other with chain reaction and whip moves while flying over the railing and into the audience. It was great entertainment.

Yesterday, while stolling the streets of West Chester, Daryl and I ran into a booth of girls who represent the local Brandywine Roller Girls. They were enthusiastic and full of life! When we find time with our insane schedules, we’re going to support them! Check out their website at www.BrandywineRollerGirls.com.

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a day at Longwood Gardens…

I LOVE Longwood Gardens, just outside West Chester, PA. I decided on a whim that on this amazingly clear warm late summer day that Daryl and I were BOTH off, we should spend some time here. We strolled and sat, strolled some more, then ate a leisurely lunch. Daryl took an extra allergy pill (he truly works at our relationship) and everything was fine until he said at the end of our outing that “Mr. Longwood should be proud!*” I laughed SO hard that I actually cried. I love that silly man.

(the photos are just from my iphone)

SO relaxed while enjoying a spectacular day at Longwood Gardens.

 

Italian Water Gardens

 

Brugmansia (Angels Trumpets)

 

breezed hallway off the Main Conservatory

 

water lily pads

 
 

Chime Tower

 

gazebo outside of the rose garden

 

tea rose... the fragrance was amaaazing!

 

topiary garden

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

within the "Eye of Water" pavillion

  
* Daryl is WELL aware that Longwood Gardens is NOT named after a Mr. Longwood.

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cracked.

Innocence shattered. A broken reputation. A Cub Scout criminal. My initiation into the wrong side of the law was on a hot summer Sunday afternoon in 1968, when I was just a sun-kissed, freckle-faced, blond-haired skinny kid who was barely 11 years old.

My family had just moved into a newly built home in West Goshen Township. It was a small brick and stucco ranch house on a dead end street situated on a level sixth of an acre. I remember thinking upon entering the side kitchen door and then walking through the dining room, the living room and hallway that it seemed like it took hours to get to my own bedroom in THIS castle. Echoed footsteps on hardwood floors shadowed me from where we moved in our small cramped apartment in the country. I no longer had to share a room with my brother and I no longer had to sleep in the bunk beds of youth.

Freedom for sure… but at what price?

This particularly warm Sunday in June about a month after we moved in, my parents had invited some of our relatives over for a house warming party. The back yard was dotted with aqua blue and sunshine yellow folding web-woven lawn chairs. Red, white and blue Budweiser cans littered a plastic table cloth covered picnic table, as a brand new “colonial orange” charcoal briquette-filled grill from Sears Roebuck puffed white smoke. Several of my laughing aunts and uncles tossed colorful lawn darts toward circular targets among weaving toddlers. Sure, the game was dangerous, but my family was all about living on the edge… and on this day, the family tree was swayin’ and making this branch take a lawless twist to the ground.

In the late afternoon, several of my similarly–aged cousins and I had become bored of the back yard festivities and determined (after we checked with our parents, of course) that perhaps we needed to explore this new uncharted neighborhood and some of its adjoining wild territories. We voted to take a short walk nearby to the newly opened West Goshen Shopping Center across Paoli Pike. We were an eager handful of energetic youngsters looking for an adventure of discovery. We clapped and sang our own made up songs as we strolled to the end of this new street.

Once we crossed the highway, the group of us ran down a hill like an invading army and quickly filled the sleepy “Thrift Drug” store. It was the only store in the whole shopping center that was open on Sundays. We located a large freezer toward the front of the store and began to grab at the boxes of cold, colorful selections of flavored “Twin Popsicles.” The popsicles cost a nickel and they were just what we needed to cool down on this steamy day.

The shopping center was full of stores that were closed on Sundays and was anchored by the ACME Supermarket. The center also included a Hallmark card store, a book store, a Woolworths 5 and 10, a corner hardware store, a men’s clothing store called Ward & Ward and other assorted smaller stores that time has fogged from my memory.

As we sucked the frozen juice of the pops, we left the drug store and came out into the warm summer heat. We headed a short distance toward the ACME where there were groups of neatly stacked chrome shopping carts just begging for our attention. They were all lined up in a straight row of glistening metal baskets on wheels.

I’m not sure exactly who decided to pull a cart out from the pack and start pushing it, but soon the older cousins and I had the smaller kids inside the carts as we shoved them over the sidewalks of the shopping center. Their squeals of laughter at riding in these buggies provoked us to push faster as we raced each other in a frenzy of four-wheeled fun. Back and forth we went, occasionally bumping into each other while the sweaty tiny passengers with cherry red Popsicle lips were giggling at the metallic crash that the carts would echo under the awning of our cement sidewalk “street.” We continued smashing into each other creating loud metal on metal crashes.

“Faster!” the kids would scream. “We want to go to the train station over there!” as they pointed their tiny fingers across the lot. They were indicating that the Ward and Ward Men’s store entrance was the station where we would pretend to fuel our carts and load and unload our tiny passengers. Ward and Ward had an indented entrance. Their doorway was off the main sidewalk allowing their floor to ceiling height windows to display more suits, slacks, shirts, neckties and shiny shoes. It was the PERFECT “train station.”

We quickly made it a race to see who could get there first, bumping each other along the short path to the “station.” There was room for two or three of our carts to be in this “station” area at a time. I had two of my little cousins in my cart as we spun around quicker, now in circles in a race in this tiny vestibule of glass. I too, the driver, was getting dizzy as we laughed then choked as we gasped for air. Suddenly, my cart got out of control and SMASHED directly into the front large glass window of the shop.

It was as if slow motion took over as I remember watching my small cousins turn white from the shock of crashing into the window. I remember watching the glass crack from the point of impact then shatter in large pieces as a deafening alarm went off echoing even louder in the cramped area. I watched in open-mouthed amazement as the cart actually continued traveling into the shop itself as my cousins hopped out of the cart onto crunching glass and out of the store as they ran past me.

I froze. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t move. All I heard was the shrieking alarm and my feet were glued to the floor of the sidewalk. As I turned slowly around, I could see all my cousins running toward home, a few of them looking back with frightened faces to see if I was coming. “Come on Eddy!” they mouthed, “We have to get home now!” I was still stuck to the ground as my numbed mind began to awaken and I started to run. My cousins were almost near the highway as I tried to pick up my lagging, dreamlike pace.

Suddenly I heard the loud wails of sirens. Quickly, flashing red and blue lights were everywhere as I panicked and stopped in my tracks. I was immediately surrounded by West Goshen Police cars, with no way out. I watched as my cousins crossed the highway in the distance and were quickly out of sight.

I was an emotional child growing up. I was very shy and would cry at the drop of a hat. I once cried to get out of a school holiday play in the second grade so I wouldn’t have to put on a homemade doctor’s uniform to the girl’s nurses costumes. It was pathetic. And now, with this shattered window fiasco, I began to tear up thinking I was going to jail for a very long time.

I stood there motionless as the two policemen approached me with pads of paper out and looking like they were ready to cart me off to some unknown prison in the bowels of a West Goshen Township Building somewhere. The alarm continued to scream as I imagined a diet of bread and water and a hard iron holed bed with no mattress and I began to sob. This was no way to begin my initiation into this new neighborhood. I cried harder still, as the two policemen looked at each other and shrugged. The taller one put his hand on my shoulder and asked me to take a seat in the back of his still flashing police car. I was devastated. I could see a handful of Sunday shoppers looking at me. I was ashamed. I became a criminal that day.

The store’s alarm finally stopped.

My ears still ringing, I watched in silence as the policemen took notes, observed the scene of the crime, took a few measurements and put up some yellow tape. Was I going to be on the news? Would my name be in the paper? Would I get out of doing my math homework? I was contemplating my ruined future as my Dad rolled up in his black Ford Falcon with red bucket seats. Tears began to pour down my cheeks as he strolled up to the police officers while he glanced my way.

All I could think of was that I JUST got a new bed room and now I wouldn’t get to use it. What would my Mom think? Would my family have to move from their new home in shame? My Dad was making gestures and continued to talk as the tall officer continued to write on his yellow pad. Finally, Dad turned and started to walk toward me. I couldn’t read his face through my red and throbbing eyes. He told me to get out of the car and to hop in his. I stood as he slipped his arm around my shoulder and whispered that I would have to pay for the shattered window.

I never did.

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the gift.

It’s been awhile since I’ve written. Almost too long… but the mind has settled, the heart has slowed, the breathing has grown patterned once again and the fingers want to caress the keys from the soul’s bright spirit today.

I haven’t written lately because Daryl and I have been way too busy enjoying a summer FILLED with garden parties and iced teas, late night dancing ‘til dawn, orgies loaded with lube and Liza and dinners in Paris and cocktails in Amsterdam! Who the fuck am I kidding. I had no words to share. Period.

Many things have happened in the lives of Salt n’ Peppah in the past few months. Many things. We are on a twisted but determined path of continued growth as we look forward to a future filled with trials, tribulations, more challenges and… more lube and much less Liza.

One of the changes that we are looking forward to with great anticipation, is the birth of a grandchild in February 2012 (due date of 2/29 – Leap Year and SO appropriate). Ashley and Quintin told us (and my Mom) of their impending kidlet several weeks ago via a SKYPE conversation from Queenstown, New Zealand. Looking back in retrospect, I believe Daryl and I “like-totally” squealed as if we were two 12 year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert. Like a couple of scientists, we studied a blurry black and white ultrasound that Ashley held up to the monitor while she explained technically that our grandchild currently had a tail. Once our shrieking died down to a couple of very wide grins, the kids assured us that they were holding up well and are planning on heading back home to our area of the world toward Thanksgiving of this year. Sigh.

We were THE FIRST family members that the kids shared their news with (I found out later in the conversation, that we were considered the easy “dry-run.”) and we were told specifically (read: threatened) NOT to post on Face Book or my blog until they had shared their news with other family members and several friends.

We are VERY good at keeping secrets. Daryl and I didn’t tell a SOUL that we knew that had ANY link to Face Book or a computer. We told the mailman. We told one of the Mexican landscapers (who I think believes we were asking him to turn off his weedwacker). We told a lady in the checkout line of the ACME while she was looking at a People magazine with some pregnant model on the cover, and I actually told a design customer of mine who didn’t realize I WAS married to a woman several years ago and that I had three grown children at all, as she eyed me up and down skeptically while blurting, “No effin’ way you homo.”.

Daryl is as ecstatic as a show tune writer on an episode of GLEE. He is looking forward to a grandbaby… A LOT. He has always considered my children like his own. He has followed them with me through many things in the short seven year period that he’s known them. He’s been a very active part in birthdays, graduations, family game nights, holidays, dinners as well as my son’s difficult battle with drug addiction. They find Daryl adorable, caring, comedic and a very welcome member of our ever growing dis-functionally functional family.

It’s been several locked lipped weeks of laptop keyboard silence and I’ve had plenty of time to reflect and ponder on how “I” feel about being a grandparent for the first time. The age thing doesn’t bother me. You know, that thing where we THINK we’re still in high school and we’re not old enough to be a graaaannnnd parent. Fuck off, I like my AARP membership. I was a pretty good parent when the kids were small, so having a young kid around doesn’t intimidate me at all.

This child will have parents that rival Brad and Angelina with regard to spirit, tree-hugginess, intellect, worldliness, culture and love. One recent afternoon as I was driving home from work on a beautiful back road of Chester County during an unusually striking sunset, I began to tear up out of nowhere thinking about this new life, this new child growing inside MY child! I began to get emotional…

WHAT could I even begin to offer a young child at this stage of the game? Here is one half of a hopefully maturing interracial gay couple who basically lives from paycheck to paycheck in a job that pay the bills but is in no means what I aspire to be. I hang out with my guy when our mixed up work schedules allow with NEVER a full day off together unless I call out sick or plan way in advance. I don’t travel the world. My car is not a “Beemer,” and my suits aren’t Armani. So I wondered… what CAN I offer this child…

Then today… I read with much surprise and even more humility, this dedication to me from a fellow “blogster” whom I have known briefly in blog months (we write a lot of emotional stuff, so a month in the blogosphere is like a year or two in the real world). She, like I, continues to struggle with clinical depression on occasion and she has been “pourin’ her cotton pickin’ heart out” on her blog about dealing with the blackness, the loneliness and the strangling grip that this disease can have on people.

I believe she is an incredible writer and has a way of pulling out all the stops when describing the effects that this debilitating disease can have. I commented to her that I wanted to thank her for just being who she is. I told her she is a gift. I believe she IS.

That’s when it hit me about what I can offer this newest member of my growing insanely diverse family. The gift of truth. The gift of practicing non judgement. The gift of a world with less discrimination. I can not only speak about the amazing positive impacts of diversity but I (with the help of Daryl) can actually SHOW this youngster what it means to be honest with one’s self and what it means to be real with others. To not be as concerned with whether its important to wear the right designer dress or play in the dirt with American made trucks, as much as how important is to be a good person first… to care, respect and love whomever you want, whenever you want.

I personally, cannot wait!

(Please take a few moments to read PissyKittysLitterBox blog… she really is quite talented!)

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just trade him in!

As I was driving this afternoon on my day off running errands, I came across this new store a few miles from our condo.

I wondered WHY didn’t someone think of this sooner? I mean, a place where you can actually EXCHANGE men? Brilliant I tell you… absolutely brilliant!

The sign has ALL the attractions to get your man to go with you (to trade him in on a younger, fresher, more um… healthy model). They have tools and tech and sports and gaming! Why that man of yours won’t know what hit him as you leave with your new and improved stud.

Just hang on to those receipts though folks, ’cause in a year or so, you’ll be back!

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its a sign i tell you!

Look… I’m all for advocating healthy sex on a regular basis, but public displays of nightly sexual poking habits are just… well… just blasphemous.

So are glaring typos.

Enjoy your day… or in this case, your night!

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homo backwash and other peeves.

 “That bottle of lube on your nightstand is my-en (mine),” I said to Daryl the other day as I was cleaning off my nightstand in our bedroom. He looked at me with a smirky smirk and asked “Who makes the word mine into a two-syllable word anyway?” as he flipped the slippery bottle in my direction. I missed. “It’s like your family was from the south,” he muttered under his breath. “I HEARD that, Mr. Grammar,” I snorted, ” and my family IS from the south of West Chester, beee-och.” I have a peeve of not liking to be corrected.

Surprisingly, there are other peeves.

We drink lots of bottled water. At any given moment there are approximately fifteen to twenty plastic bottles strewn around the condo in various stages of fullness or emptiness depending upon your outlook on life I suppose. It drives me crazy! They’re on the cocktail table, in the kitchen, by the bathroom sink and on our nightstands with the lube (see above). We apparently lose track of whose water bottle is whose (or is it whoms?).  Anyway, why would that even BE a problem considering the fact that we’ve shared every body part and every bodily fluid that two homosexuals could. We’ll open one bottle, then forget about it, and open another one and before you know it the condo looks like the reject room of the factory at Poland Springs.

We USED to put the partially filled bottles back in the fridge to use in the cat’s water dish, until I got pissed one day when I looked in the fridge and saw approximately 26 bottles with about an inch of water in each. Not to mention, I started feeling a little guilty that the cat was living on the backwash of two homos. So now, my list of growing day off chores actually INCLUDES a task called “dump water from water bottles before recycling them.” It takes nearly a half hour as I dump enough water equivalent to a small tsunami (is it politically correct to use the word tsunami yet?).

More suprisingly, my peeves continue.

I work odd hours. I’m in retail. Enough said. I have an assigned parking space for my condo. I protect it like that space that you dig out of the snow after a blizzard and throw a kitchen chair into so no one reaps the benefits of your labor.

Last Memorial weekend after working three million hours on my feet, I came home to some pretentious gas-guzzling white Escalade with a McCain-Palin bumper sticker in my numbered spot. As if that wasn’t bad enough, I had to park three whole spaces away and began walking the extra distance on throbbing stumps for feet.

Daryl came to my rescue running from the condo with a piece of high quality onion skin paper that he had typed up on the computer and printed. It read: We hope you had a pleasant visit. We just wanted you to know that you are parked in a numbered space which has been assigned to a resident of G____ V____ Condominiums. If you use this space again and cannot locate your vehicle at the end of your visit, contact ______ Towing and Storage. Have a nice day!  I’m thinking he typed it as opposed to handwriting it so it could not be traced back to the two guys who have the patio that looks like Longwood Gardens and fight like girls, as if the paper quality and scripty font wouldn’t give it away. He placed the note gently under the windshield wiper of the offending and offensive automobile.

Daryl is my knight in shining armor. Well… almost.

I’m not sure this qualifies as a peeve really but last night I came home to Daryl cleaning up the remaining shards of glass from one of my favorite Pyrex dishes. I had emptied the dishwasher before I went to work yesterday and I put the few pans, lids and a Pyrex dish on top of the stove instead of putting them away because I was running late. While I was at work last night, Daryl wanted to cook himself a little fish for dinner so he turned on what he THOUGHT was a back burner. Lo and behold while he was in the living room he heard a crack and crash louder than an old episode of Bobby Brown and Whitney. The Pyrex dish had exploded all over the kitchen. It went on the stove, the floor and even in the cat’s bowl of stagnant homosexual backwash. It was a disaster.

In my constant insensitivity to NOT be able to filter my words, I told Daryl that he was stupid for leaving ANYthing on the stove while turning it on. He told me that he hopes the missed shard of glass waiting for MY bare foot doesn’t send me to the ER.

My final peeve for today is the iphone4.

Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE our iphones. They’re great for internet access, music, texting, games and the occasional phone call. As a matter of fact we have them in our hands more often than our own d*cks, but WHY must Daryl insist on trying to beat my score in Bejeweled Blitz on his iphone immediately after sex?

Shee-it.

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