Scott Arboretum’s Volcano Mist blooms every 10 years; now in full beauty at garden entrance

Tucked seamlessly into the Scott Entrance Garden is a blooming Alcantarea imperialis ‘Volcano Mist’. This endangered plant blooms once in ten years and then dies. Drop by the Scott Arboretum this month to experience this rare occurrence.

Beautiful color and detail of the Alcantarea imperialis ‘Volcano Mist’ blooming at the Scott Arboretum. Photo by R. Armstrong

These massive beauties can approach 8 feet in diameter and have up to a 3-foot tall flower stalk.

Alcantarea imperialis is part of a large family of tropical plants called Bromeliaceae, of which approximately one-third are endangered in the wild largely due to habitat loss and overharvesting for the retail market. Fortunately, some nurseries have started producing bromeliads from seeds or pups in an effort to save the family and bring it back from endangerment.

This particular A. imperialis was bought at the 2011 Unusual Tropical and Annual Sale and was later gifted back to the Arboretum after it grew too large for the owners to care for it properly. This past winter, the cup at the center of the plant, which typically holds water, was empty. Within a few days, the beginning of a flower spike was evident. The A. imperialis was planted in the Scott Entrance Garden in the early spring and will hopefully bloom for the rest of the summer.

Unfortunately, after the A. imperialis blooms, it will slowly start to die. The Scott Arboretum has taken steps by collecting pups from the blooming plant to continue this cultivar. In ten years time, there quite possibly will be another flowering bromeliad that was collected from this one, with just as much elegance and magnificence.

The Scott Arboretum is a unique garden of ideas and suggestions encouraging horticulture in its broadest sense through displays on the 350-plus acre campus of Swarthmore College. We offer some of the region’s most intimate, authentic, and accessible horticultural experiences. The Arboretum is frequently ranked among the most beautiful campuses in the world. Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, please call the Arboretum Offices at 610-328-8025 or visit www.scottarboretum.org.

New theatre opens in Bucks County, bringing musicals to Doylestown and beyond

Bucks County Center of the Performing Arts, Inc. was founded by Howard Perloff, a long time resident of Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Howard co-produced Legs Diamond on Broadway starring Peter Allen and was Associate Producer on Harvey Fierstein’s Torch Song Trilogy on Broadway.

Howard created and produced Bernie’s Bar Mitzvah off-Broadway in New York, Star Spangled Rhythm at the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia and has produced Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Atlantic City and for 24 years in Philadelphia.

He plans to bring classic musicals to Bucks County.

“The Irish and How They Got That Way” will be performed through June 4.

Upcoming shows:

“Give My Regards to Broadway”

June 28 – July 9

​The show tells how Broadway developed into a pure American art form and also shows how tap dance developed and became part of the American Broadway Theatre. Through the familiar songs of Cohan, Berlin, Gershwin and many others, the performers will sing and tap dance their hearts out through the beginning of the Twentieth Century.

“My Fair Lady”

August 3 – August 13

Based on George Bernard Shaw’s play Pygmalion, with book, music and lyrics by Lerner and Loewe, this is the tale of a cockney flower girl transformed into an elegant lady.  It features one of musical theatre’s greatest scores including the songs “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “The Rain in Spain,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live,” “Get Me to the Church on Time,” and “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face.” Meredith Beck will play Eliza Doolittle.

The 400-seat theatre is on the Del-Val College campus.

More information: http://www.buckscountycenterfortheperformingarts.org

A Conversation With Dr. Daniel M. Peters, Senior Pastor of Limerick Chapel

By Steven Brodsky

Pastor Peters is a gifted Bible teacher.  People discover that about him at Limerick Chapel and through listening to his teachings on radio and on the Limerick Chapel website.  Pastor Peters is author of the book ‘SIXTEEN COUNSELING SESSIONS with the WONDERFUL COUNSELOR: God’s personal counsel to individuals as recorded in the Bible.’

When did you decide that you wanted to be a pastor?

I didn’t want to be a pastor because I saw what my father went through as a pastor.  Board meetings late at night, visiting old ladies and sick people didn’t interest me as a young man.  Preaching and singing like Billy Graham and Bev Shea looked a lot more interesting.  It was not until I was in college that the Lord showed me the joy of sharing truth through relationships.

What went into that decision?

I taught at a Children’s Bible Club in North Philadelphia for a year and that opened my heart to loving people and teaching them how to know the Lord.  Later, when a small storefront church in Kensington needed a pastor, I accepted and served that congregation and community for three years while living in North Philadelphia.  My wife, Diane, served with me at that church as well.

As a son of a pastor, did you ever go through a rebellious “preacher’s kid” (“PK”) stage?

I never openly rebelled since I had observed my older brother try that and I saw that it didn’t work.  But I had my battles with selfish desires.

How did this get resolved?

I surrendered my life to the Lord at age 16 at a youth rally.

To what extent did growing up in a parsonage give you faith by osmosis? 

My parents were genuine Christians who loved God and loved others.  They loved me and showed me how to live for others.

If you had not become a pastor, what other path might you have taken? 

My selfish desire was to race motorcycles for a living.

What bolsters your faith?

Reading the Bible and learning from the record of God’s miraculous works in the past and observing God’s miraculous work in changing people’s lives today.

If there have been challenges to your faith that you are comfortable talking about, please do so.

The death of our son, Nathan, at age 7 was the hardest thing we have gone through.  He was run over by a bus while riding his bicycle.

Over the course of a generation, many traditional Christian values have become countercultural to a large number of Americans.  Did you see this coming?

Yes, and I thought it would have become much more difficult by now.

How does the shift in their values affect you and Limerick Chapel?

People are more sophisticated in their unbelief and rejection of Christian values.

With regards to Philippians 4:8, what good things do you tend to think about?

I tend to think about how blessed I am to know that God is watching over me and mine and that we are going to Heaven when we die.

Please tell us about your book SIXTEEN COUNSELING SESSIONS with the Wonderful Counselor: God’s personal counsel to individuals as recorded in the Bible.

I wrote the book to encourage people to look to the God of the Bible for answers to perplexing questions.

Where and when can people hear your teachings on the radio? 

WPAZ 1370 AM and WEVW 103.5 FM at 8 AM and 5:30 PM seven days a week. Also on WBYN 107.5 FM at 8:00 PM, Sunday  Friday.

What does Limerick Chapel provide to people?

Godly traditional worship, encouraging Bible teaching and loving family fellowship.

Tell us about the Men’s Motorcyle Ministry and the archery program.

Motorcycle Men ride one Saturday a month for lunch and friendship. Centershot Archery is for parents and children together and is a free outreach program for the  community.

What blessings do you most enjoy in your life? 

I am blessed with a wonderful wife, six loving children and 13 amazing grandchildren.  I enjoy good health and riding my R1200RT BMW motorcycle.

What are two of your favorite hymns?

I love to sing “Blessed Assurance” and “Amazing Grace.”

Limerick Chapel is located in Limerick, PA.  The website is: www.limerickchapel.org.

Delaware County Summer Festival in Rose Tree Park Schedule for 2017

Free concerts in Rose Tree Park’s scenic outdoor amphitheater first began in 1975 as part of a two-year Bicentennial Celebration, and four decades later, The Summer Festival concert series remains a popular local tradition. The series runs from mid-June to mid-August and provides residents many opportunities to take in top-notch entertainment of

Concessions are sold at the concert or you may bring your own tasty provisions. What happens if it rains? There are no rain dates for Summer Festival concerts that are cancelled due to inclement weather. Cancellation decisions are made right up until concert time. At that time, there will be a recorded message on the parks phone (610-891-4455) indicating if the concert is cancelled. Rain in the hours preceding the concert does not mean the concert will be cancelled.

Bring blankets and chairs for seating.

The Rose Tree Park is located at 1671 N. Providence Road, Media, PA 19063. For additional information on the Rose Tree Park Festival visit  http://www.co.delaware.pa.us/depts/parks/summerfestival.html.

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Court Room thriller, ‘Last Resort,’ now available

The Kindle version of “Last Resort”  by James Waltzer, is now available.

When a dynamic young attorney renounces his wealthy family and his father’s lucrative law practice, there has to be an explanation. As there must be when a débutante is found murdered in abject circumstances. The lawyer in question, Evan “Turley” Turlinger, tries to solve both riddles as he defends the accused in a sensational murder trial.

Mr. Waltzer answered the following questions about his latest novel.Last Resort by [Waltzer, James]
What inspired this book? 

Christopher “Chippy” Patterson, a criminal defense lawyer during the first third of the 20th century, was born a Philadelphia blue blood but broke from his family to live in squalor and defend the dregs of society. He is the model for the lead character in Last Resort, though the story is contemporary.

How long did you take to write it?

About a year. 

What do you hope readers will enjoy most about this book?

The clash of characters and the twists in the story. 

Is it available only for online reading or can people order a paperback version?

It has been released solely in e-book format — the norm for this publisher — but it could find its way to paperback someday if sales justify.

A Conversation With Mary Pilon,  Author of ‘The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, And The Scandal Behind The World’s Favorite Board Game’

By Steven Brodsky

Mary Pilon is an award-winning journalist and the author of the New York Times bestseller The Monopolists: Obsession, Fury, And The  Scandal Behind The World’s Favorite Board Game.

What prompted you to write The Monopolists

The whole thing came about by accident. I’ve always loved games and puzzles and in 2009, while on staff at The Wall Street Journal, I was going to mention in passing that the board game Monopoly was invented by a man during the Great Depression because that was the story that had been tucked in my family’s game box, like millions of others. I started to look into it and soon found that it was far more complicated than I had thought. That led to the original article I did for the Journal, which then led to the book proposal. I felt as though the more I learned about the story, the more I was left with questions, hence the need for a book-length treatment.

What personal efforts went into researching the story and getting the book written? 

All told, it took about five years from when I started reporting to when the book came out. The reporting was intense, but the entire time I was also working full time as a staff reporter, so it was a labor of love on nights and weekends. That time frame also included a beat switch (from business to sports), changing jobs, moving apartments several times, then the usual life stuff – weddings, funerals, crises, good moments, bad, all that’s in-between. I traveled to several different states for interviews, libraries, game archives, often not knowing if it would lead to anything and struggled to pull materials from a variety of sources into one single timeline of what the game’s history was and who the main characters were in its evolution. I crashed on many couches along the way, too. (Thanks to those who loaned theirs!)

Did you ever consider giving up on the book?

No. As I sunk deeper and deeper into the research, it became clear to me that if I didn’t tell this story, specifically Lizzie Magie’s tale, no one else was going to. I think journalism, in general, has for better or for worse given me the curse of being bitten by a good story. Once it’s in you, can’t let it go. It becomes, well, a bit obsessive. I’m not saying it makes sense, but you do reach a point of no return, where you’re going to hand in the manuscript, even if you’re bandaged, bruised, and exhausted as you click send to your editor. Bloomsbury was very patient with me.

What kept you going?

Coffee. Lots. Of. Coffee. I also have amazing friends, family members, and mentors who were great sounding boards and cheerleaders along the way, which I know sounds a bit trite, but the importance of that can’t be overstated. For me, knowing other people were holding me accountable mattered immensely. Even if they didn’t entirely understand why I was still going with it, they respected that it was important to me. The whole story is something of an underdog tale, so I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments when I connected with that.

This project also differed from my regular newspaper and magazine work in that many of the key people in it were long dead. The deeper I got into research, and I know this sounds crazy, the more alive to me they became. I knew I had to do right by them. That’s motivating in a library rat kind of way.

I also seriously raised my game in distance running and completed my first marathon while writing this. I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I needed the time to think about the story as I was running and marathoning taught me a new mentality when it came to taking big things and breaking them into smaller, more manageable pieces. I couldn’t think about running 26.2 miles, but I could think about running five miles each morning, then ramping up or down, one mile at a time. I found book writing to be the same. I still can’t think about writing hundreds of pages, but I could handle 1,000 words a day or so. I credit the athletes I write about with (perhaps unintentionally) teaching me a lot about motivation and goals.

Ralph Anspach, one of the central characters in The Monopolists, had tremendous determination to bring to bring to light the history of the development of the game of Monopoly.  Tell us a little bit about Professor Anspach, his Anti-Monopoly Game, and what his defense against a trademark lawsuit revealed. 

Ralph is a fascinating man. He was born in Danzig and fled to the U.S. with his family as a child, a Jewish refugee from Hitler’s persecution. He went on to study economics and created his Anti-Monopoly game in the early 1970s as a more philosophically pleasing alternative to Monopoly, and as a teaching tool to use with his students in the Bay Area and his two sons. He had no idea at the time that his creating Anti-Monopoly was, in a way, bringing the game back to its counterculture origins. It wasn’t long before he heard from lawyers for Parker Brothers who said they thought he was stepping on their trademark toes. That kicked off a decade-long legal battle in which Anspach unraveled the game’s early folk history – Lizzie Magie, the Quakers who played the game, what actually happened with Charles Darrow selling the game to Parker Brothers. It went to the steps of the Supreme Court and played a huge role in Anspach’s life.

The Monopolists informs readers about Lizzie Magie and her Landlord’s Game.  Lizzie Magie’s board game was first patented in 1904.  Lizzie Magie was remarkable and ahead of her time.  Speak to this.

Lizzie Magie was a woman far ahead of her time. She was designing games before women even had the right to vote. Her father, James Magie, was an influential newspaper owner and voice in the Republican Party and had even traveled with Abe Lincoln during the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Lizzie Magie also wrote poetry, short stories, performed in the theater, and was an impassioned follower of Henry George, a popular political economist of her day, and created her Landlord’s Game as a way to try to teach people about how George’s single tax philosophy worked. Like many Georgists, she was also an impassioned women’s rights advocate.

She intended her game to promote the “single tax” concept that  had been advocated by Henry George.  Why was her game popular in Arden, Delaware?

Arden was a haven for single taxers. Some lived there just for a season, others year-round. By all accounts, it was a great place to be, kind of had a hippie vibe to it. I went there for research and had a lovely time. There’s a great museum there, the Arden Craft Museum, that gives a great overview of the town’s quirky history and much of the original architecture from the early monopoly game days has survived. Arden was one of a handful of single tax communities that was backed by wealthy Georgists with the stated mission of trying to live out what George’s single tax ideas were all about. In Arden, you can still see that there’s an emphasis on shared space, as there’s a lovely green that’s shared among community members and a theater. Her Landlord’s Game also brought questions about community land and taxation to the forefront.

How did the Quaker community of Atlantic City modify Lizzie Magie’s board game?

Many of the Quakers in Atlantic City were teachers, so they did some things to make the game more accessible for children. They localized the board, which was common then, to have Atlantic City properties. Because silence is key to the Quaker faith, they downplayed the cacophonous auction elements of the game and put a greater emphasis on having fixed prices on the board. Funny enough, they kept the dice in the game, even though that was taboo in some Quaker circles, as dice were associated with gambling and games of chance.

When did people first refer to a board game as “monopoly”?

It’s hard to nail down, but there are indications that it wasn’t long after Lizzie Magie’s first Landlord’s Game was patented in 1904. She was very interested in monopolies as a concept and that was key to the language around her game. There are indications that folk players called it “the monopoly game” as a sort of shorthand.

Are you a Monopoly player?

I am! Among many other games.

Please share some of your game-related memories with us.

My family always played Monopoly on Christmas Eve, often with clam chowder or soup, too. Today, we still play board games during the holidays a lot, including Monopoly, but also Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Risk, Set, Exploding Kittens, among others. What I loved about games then, and now, is it reveals a completely different side of people you think you know. Playing Monopoly as a child was my first window into learning that my sweet grandmother had a completely fierce competitive streak. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch my cash and property stash super closely whenever we played. As far as Monopoly is concerned, in our family, at least, the idea of trust gets turned upside down.

Tickets for the 42nd Season of Upper Darby Summer Stage go on sale May 22. Shows begin on July 5

Tickets go on sale on May 22 for the forty-second season of Upper Darby Summer Stage, and on July 5 the lights go up on the first of the season’s seven musical theater productions.

The Mainstage production is the highlight of the season as young adult participants, Summer Stage staff and alumni perform in the Philadelphia regional premiere of the new musical “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” The epic musical is based on the classic Victor Hugo novel and the Walt Disney Animation Studio film of the same name.

The family series of summer performances includes seven high-caliber musicals presented in six weeks, showcasing the talents of young performers from throughout the Delaware Valley.

Performances begin on July 5 and end on August 11. The shows take place at Upper Darby Performing Arts Center, 601 North Lansdowne Avenue, Drexel Hill, PA. Tickets for the season go on sale to the public on May 23rd and audiences may visit www.udpac.org or call the box office at 610.822.1189 to purchase tickets.

The Mainstage production – “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” Victor Hugo’s epic tale of hope, love and passion – soars to life in the emotionally charged retelling of the celebrated classic. The season’s Mainstage show is the pinnacle of the Summer Stage season and will be an epic, full-scale production with full orchestra and on-stage adult choir. It will offer top-production value that will appeal to everyone who loves musical theater. The cast includes young people up to the age of 28 years old. Performances are July 28, 29, August 4, 5 at 7:30 pm, with matinees on July 29 and August 5 at 1:30 pm.

In addition to the Mainstage production, Upper Darby Summer Stage presents six, one-hour long children’s theater musicals including “Annie, Jr.,” “Madagascar, A Musical Adventure, Jr.,” “Shrek, Jr.,” “How I Became a Pirate,” “Curious George, The Golden Meatball,” and Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast, Jr.” All Children’s Theater shows are perfect for children age four and up and are approximately sixty minutes long. Performances begin on July 5 until August 11 with performances every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 10:30 am and on Thursday evenings at 7:30 pm.

Since 1976 Upper Darby Summer Stage has set a very high standard for live musicals performed by young people. With an artistic vision that includes creating the best possible performances for family audiences, the young people in the program are empowered by the creativity and commitment of the professional staff. 

Upper Darby Summer Stage is one of the most successful youth theater programs in the country as over 700 young people from the Philadelphia region participate in the program. They perform for over 32,000 ticket-holders who enjoy the shows from throughout the metro area.

In the short span of six weeks Summer Stage presents 34 performances including the Children’s Theater and Mainstage performances, one-act performances, a Dance Troupe performance and a Cabaret production. Summer Stage’s staff of over 100 professional directors, choreographers, costumers, and technicians is committed to providing excellent musical theater training and high-quality performances for families throughout the region.

Summer Stage and Upper Darby Performing Arts Center has been recognized three consecutive years as the “The Best Children’s Theater” by Main Line Parent Magazine. HulaFrog recently recognized Upper Darby Performing Arts Center was as the “Most Loved Place to Go” within the Philadelphia region. Founder and Executive Director, Harry Dietzler received the Barrymore Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts and in June 2016, Mr. Dietzler received an Honorable Mention in the Tony Award’s Excellence in Theater Education Awards, the only theater teacher in the state of Pennsylvania to be recognized out of a field of over 3,000 applicants.

Spaces are now on sale for July 8 Flea Market

Spaces are now available for Parastudy’s Annual Flea Market, which will be held Saturday, July 8, 2017 from 9 AM – 3 PM (Raindate, Sunday, July 9) on the grounds of Parastudy’s Victorian Mansion, 354 Valleybrook Road, Chester Heights, PA.
FREE PARKING at Wilson Auction (next door to Parastudy)

There will be a “Snack Bar” with homemade baked goods, hot dogs and beverages open from 10 am – 3 pm. All proceeds to benefit Parastudy (a non-profit organization).

  • Psychic Readings will be available on first come, first serve basis.
  • Energy Healing Sessions will also be available.
  • Lots of booths with a variety of treasures to find…come out and visit! Open an Akoya oyster and find a PEARL…great activity for the kids.
  • Check out our raffle and participate in our Flea Market 50/50 (have something to donate for our raffle? Please let us know parastudy@parastudy.org Would you like to sell at this year’s Flea Market? 
    Spaces available:
    Early Bird Registration by Friday, June 9, 2017
    • Spaces (10’ x 10’) – $20.00 
    • Spaces with VEHICLE (15’ x 20’) – $30.00Prices increase on June 10, 2017 to:
    • Spaces (10’ x 10’) – $25.00 
    • Spaces with VEHICLE (15’ x 20’) – $35.00

    ** NO Electricity Available at Spaces**
    Sellers are responsible for bringing your own TABLES, TENT, and CHAIRS.

    Set-Up time 7am – 8:30 AM for sellers

    If interested in renting a space, call Robert at (610)203-0021 or vist http://www.parastudy.org/flea-market.html