The Pageant of the Nativity will be presented this Saturday, December 23, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Lang Music Hall on the Swarthmore College campus. The Pageant has been given almost every other year since its beginning in 1938. This is the 17th time Lang Music Hall will be the setting for the Nativity. Its beautiful wooded backdrop adds special warmth to this community custom. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome; however, the performance is most enjoyed with children over the age of five. Traditionally, the 5 p.m. performance fills up quickly and seating is limited. For parking, please enter at the northern end of the campus.
Last Call for Santa!
Christmas Eve and Santa Claus belong to the children! It’s a night when joy rings through the air, a night to give — a night to share. See the smiles and hear the laughter of your children by giving them the special gift of a visit from Santa.
Final preparations are in full swing at the North Pole, but it’s not too late to call to schedule a visit for all boys and girls 10 years of age and under. Parents and grandparents can reach Santa’s elves by telephoning (610) 544-6637; or registering your children on-line at www.Swarthmoresanta.com.
On Christmas Eve, Santa will arrive sometime between the hours of 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. to wish you and your family the very merriest Christmas! Ho! Ho! Ho!
The Swarthmorean office will be closed for the holidays, reopening on Tuesday, January 2. There will be no issue published on Friday, December 29.
Swarthmore Borough Council:
Change, and Continuity
By Chris Reynolds
Outgoing President David Grove asked for Borough Council’s indulgence on Monday to make a few comments at the outset of his last meeting with the board. He noted that the tradition of informal two-term limits for the mayor and council members in Swarthmore brings the borough a steady infusion of new ideas, thoughts and personalities, but that one of the consequences is that there is very little institutional memory. “That places an enormous priority on the quality of those who are hired by the borough to manage its affairs. We are fortunate to have [in Jane Billings] a borough manager who has for more than 25 years provided service for the benefit of the borough and guided a succession of council members in the proper discharge of their duties. We are all indebted to Jane for what she has done and continues to do to help us do our jobs.
“Similarly,” Grove continued, “We are fortunate to have Chief [Brian] Craig, who … in his position for so many years has provided a level of professionalism to the force which it had not formerly had. Likewise we benefit from the service of Sergeants Stufflett and Thomas and the officers who work with them. We benefit from Cuzzy Rowles, who has been in his position with the Public Works Department even longer than Jane has been in hers … and [from the services of] Elise O’Rourke and Nancy Carillo in the office.
“This meeting is the last of my 20 years of elective office — eight on council, 12 on the school board. If you add to that the seven years I spent on the planning commission and 11 years as representative to the Central Delaware County Authority, I have worn out my welcome. It’s a privilege we have to serve, and an honor … to associate with you all has been one of the great pleasures of my life.” Outgoing council member David Murphy …
Bright Future for Digital Filaments
Swarthmore is the right place for Billy Hodges, and for his business. Digital Filaments is one of the borough’s largest employers, with a staff of 16 based at 225 S. Chester Road (in the building at the intersection with Yale that housed Rumsey Chevrolet back in the day). The company provides architectural and commercial LED lighting for regional companies, with a client portfolio ranging from small local offices to national corporations. Digital Filaments could be located anywhere in the area, but Swarthmore is the perfect location, Hodges says, because of the community.
“I am a local guy,” Hodges said in a recent interview with the Swarthmorean. “My parents met on Elm Avenue in the Hazard house. I was born at Chester Crozer Hospital, and then we moved to Seattle for 12 years. I came back here for high school at Strath Haven just after the merger in the early 1980s. I marched in Jack Hontz’s band; did theatre lighting at Strath Haven in John Shankweiler productions; sang and danced in Oklahoma and did other bit parts. That was fun, but I felt more mastery working on the tech crew and learning all the different facets of stage lighting at the time.”
The tech crew experience figured into Hodges’s educational and professional path. “I did architectural engineering at Penn State. The B.S. in AE is a 5-year professional program, with three categories: environmental, HVAC and lighting, construction management, …
Frantic Friday: Last Minute Holiday Deals
Friday, December 22, is the final Friday before Christmas! Several shops in the ‘Ville will offer special sales and promotions for frantic last-minute shoppers or for those who want to pick up a little something extra for anyone on your holiday list. Shop small before hitting the mall!
Blonde Sugar & Honey, 104 Park Avenue. 50% off all holiday decor and $1 tree ornaments! All weekend long!!
Breathe Om Yoga – Wellness at Park, 100 Park Avenue, 2nd Floor. Stop by Breathe Om Yoga at Wellness on Park, 5 to 7 p.m. Gift Certificates will be available, as well as special prices on class cards. Stop by the studio and browse for gifts for your favorite yogi including eye pillows, meditation hearts, aromatherapy bracelets, and more!
The Broad Table Tavern, The Inn at Swarthmore, 10 S. Chester Road. Stop by The Broad Table Tavern during Happy Hour, 4 to 6 p.m. With several new beers on tap, they will offer $3 Brawlers & Lagers, $5 House Red & White Wines, and specials on their top starters such as Whipped Ricotta ($5) and Spiced Hummus ($5). Take a break from your holiday shopping and refuel at The Broad Table Tavern!
Compendium Boutique, 5 Park Avenue. Open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Frantic Friday, Compendium will offer 10% off purchases of $50+ and 15% off purchases of $100+ (excludes gift card purchases) all day long.
HOM, 102 Park Avenue. 25% off all merchandise, including sale items! Houseplant Hospital, 7B S. Chester Road Free plant cutting in a rooting bottle with purchase of $20 gift certificate.
Kandy Kids Toys & Gifts, 5 S. Chester Road. Kandy Kids will be open on December 22 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 20% off all Gund toys, including Sesame Street and Pusheen. 20% off American Girl handmade clothes.
The Pilates Connexion, 15 S. Chester Road. Pilates Connexion is offering a one day only package designed just for Frantic Friday! Stop in to The Pilates Connexion and purchase a Group Class Sampler which includes two Mat & one Reformer Class for $50 (retail $79). The Studio will be opened just for last minute shoppers on December 22, 6 to 8p.m.
Swarthmore Campus & Community Store, 4 S. Chester Road. All 2018 calendars and planners are buy one, get one 50% off.
Library Holiday Hours
Swarthmore Public Library
Saturday, Dec. 23: regular hours, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Sunday, Christmas Eve: Closed.
Monday, Christmas Day: Closed.
Tuesday Boxing Day: Closed.
Saturday, Dec. 30: regular hours 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Sunday, New Year’s Eve: Closed.
Monday, New Year’s Day: Closed.
The Helen Kate Furness Free Library
The Helen Kate Furness Free Library will be closed December 24 and 25 for Christmas, and then December 31 and January 1, 2018 for New Year’s holiday.
Sweet, Sweet Candy on the Menu at RV Museum
The Rose Valley Museum and Historical Society offers another tempting program on Saturday, December 30, at 2 p.m.
Ryan Barley, co-owner of Philadelphia’s Shane Confectionery (itself a piece of history) and a board member of RVMHS, will lead a tremendously appealing workshop on making clear toy candy. Also known as barley …
Yo Delco! Big Daddy Graham at Players Club Now!
Philadelphia comedian and WIP radio personality Big Daddy Graham, who made his bones joking about life in Philly and the burbs, has become a playwright with a keen ability to observe the truth and beauty in family and neighborhood. His latest play is A Row Home Christmas, which will make its Delco debut at the Players Club of Swarthmore on Friday, December 22.
A Row Home Christmas tells the story of Kevin (played by Graham himself), a Philadelphia firefighter who still plays Santa in the parish where he grew up. On Christmas Eve, he returns to a childhood landmark to reflect upon holiday memories from his youth in Philly, and his life changes forever. The show, directed by Anthony SanFilippo of Springfield, features celebrity guest hosts — including Angelo Cataldi, Joe Conklin, Eleanor Kerrigan, Phil Martelli, Ray Didinger, Glen Macnow, Phil Heron, Mike Jerrick, and Rhea Hughes …
Christmas Tree Pickup Schedule
for Swarthmore Borough*
Jan. 9, 2018: North of railroad tracks to Baltimore Pike
Jan. 10, 2018: South of railroad tracks to Yale Avenue
Jan. 11, 2018: South of Yale Avenue to Michigan Avenue
Jan. 16, 2018: North of railroad tracks to Baltimore Pike
Jan. 17, 2018: South of railroad tracks to Yale Avenue
Jan. 18, 2018: South of Yale Avenue to Michigan Avenue
Tree’s must be out by 7 a.m. on collection day. No lights, ornaments or bags should be attached to the tree. *Weather permitting.
Planning Play in Putt-Putt Palooza
This year’s Putt-Putt Palooza miniature golf extravaganza is themed “Putting Zoo at CADES,” challenging volunteer families, students and businesses to create 18 clever, animal-themed holes for a day of public play on January 28, 2018. Two adaptive holes will let participants experience miniature golf from the perspective of a handicapped person. The most creative hole designer will be awarded this year’s Golden Putter.
Construction is under way, and now it’s up to the players to plan their rounds on January 28, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. (longer hours than in 2017) at CADES, 401 Rutgers Avenue. Starting times can be reserved and tickets bought online at CADES.org. The cost is $5 for 9 holes. Food and drink will be available, and prizes awarded to Putt-Putt champs. Play as many rounds as you want; all proceeds support the work of CADES with individuals who …
Dixie Kings Cakewalk into CAC
for Tri-State Jazz Session
Dave Posmontier, one of Philadelphia’s premier keyboardists, brings his Dixie Kings septet to Community Arts Center, on Sunday, January 7, at 2 p.m. for a performance featuring New Orleans-style traditional jazz.
The Tri-State Jazz Society, which is dedicated to the preservation and performance of early jazz, presents the concert at CAC, and invites all music fans to dig this ensemble, which features world-class performers from orchestras in the city and environs, many of whom were members of the Ed Wise Jazz Band. Half-price admission of $10, payable …
Kindergartners at the Swarthmore Presybterian Nursery School continue the 65-year tradition of “learning joy” by painting their self-portraits as holiday gifts for their families. Photo courtesy of interim director Cathy Conahan.
Christmas Eve Traditions Ring Out at SUMC
Swarthmore United Methodist Church invites the community to two services of readings and carols on Christmas Eve. At 10 a.m., a Pageant of the Nativity with narration of the Christmas story and singing of carols will replace the usual morning service, with children and adults portraying angels, shepherds and sheep, wise men, and the Holy Family. Strath Haven sophomore Johnathan Cresson of Swarthmore will narrate the familiar story, while the Snyder family, Drs. Christina Costantino and Gregory and baby Adaline Marie, will represent Mary, Joseph, and Jesus.
The familiar Nine Lessons and Carols service, held at SUMC since 1959, begins at 8 p.m. A Festival of Lessons and Carols, made famous by King’s College, Cambridge, England, tells of the fall of humanity (Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden), the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus, in short Bible readings interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols and hymns.
The service opens in the darkened sanctuary, lighted only by tall aisle candles, with the organ prelude of J.S. Bach’s In dulci jubilo, followed by the choir processing to Once in Royal David’s City. Anne Carruthers, a graduate student in vocal performance who grew up attending SUMC with parents Beth and Don Carruthers, will sing the first verse as well as the offertory, “He Shall Feed His Flock” from Handel’s Messiah. The lessons are read by members of the congregation. Music director Mary Marissen will play the organ and conduct the choir.
Refreshments will be served after each service, and childcare is available. The community is warmly invited to celebrate Christmas Eve at SUMC in readings, music, and the beautifully decorated and candlelit church.
Join Literacy Council to Open Doors
and Change Lives
Are you looking to add meaning and richness to your life in the coming year? Interested in taking on a new challenge? Check into this important and effective work that’s being done by the Delaware County Literacy Council.
“Giving your time and talent to tutor a neighbor in basic literacy or in English can be a critically important step in that person’s journey to a better life,” said Susan Keller, communication specialist for DCLC. Keller notes that volunteers find great satisfaction in volunteering, and in continuing their own development as lifelong learners.
No tutoring, teaching, or foreign language experience is needed. Volunteers will attend 12 hours of training sessions during January; a complete listing of session times and an application are at delcoliteracy.org/volunteer. The training will equip you to work one on one with an adult in English as a Second Language (ESL) or Adult Basic Education …
Rose Valley Storytelling
Let me tell you a story: at 3 Rose Valley Road, about every month, there convenes a group of storytelling fans to hear gifted talkers spin tales of fancy, experience, and truth. The narratives are punctuated by sparkling conversation and beverages, charcuterie and desserts, all in a lovely private home.
On Saturday, January 6, 2018, the Rose Valley Storytelling House will begin the year with a performance of story, poetry and song, all fused together in the words of Tahira, a nationally known figure whose repertoire incorporates original works as well as …
Gardeners and Nature Lover,
Explore Plant Science at SPL
The Swarthmore Public Library invites gardeners and nature lovers to an 8-week video lecture series from the Great Courses entitled “Plant Science — An Introduction to Botany,” Thursdays 10 a.m. to noon, January 4 through February 22. I
n this series, award-winning teacher Professor Catherine Kleier takes the viewer into the fascinating world of plants, learning from and celebrating their secrets. The video lecture course will be held in the Council Room …
Garden Club Hosts Storm Water Talk
The Swarthmore Garden Club will host a lecture by Zachary Popkin on the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s residential storm water management programs, including the Philadelphia Rain Check program.
Mr. Popkin will also share ideas for residents to manage storm water runoff on their properties. The lecture will be held at the Scott Arboretum’s Wister Center on January 8 at 10 a.m. and is open to the public.
Give an Hour, Save a Life
Tis the season … for the American Red Cross to implore blood donors to add one more gift to the holiday list. A donation of blood, and especially of the platelets that are one of its critical components, is especially needed during the holiday period, when busy schedules can sidetrack even the most dedicated donors. Blood is perishable; platelets even more so. Regardless of shortages, the real time need continues for cancer patients, accident victims and others requiring transfusions to live.
There are two donation opportunities in Wallingford in the coming weeks. On Sunday, December 31, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Red Cross will be at St. John Chrysostom Catholic School, 605 S. Providence Road. From 2 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 3, the blood drive will be hosted at the Nether Providence Township Building, 214 Sykes Lane. Donation appointments can be quickly and easily scheduled by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Those who give at these events shall also receive (while supplies last) a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt.