In this week’s issue . . .

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

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.

Following Monday’s final Borough Council meeting for outgoing president David Grove (left) and member David Murphy (right), a third David (vice president Creagan) convened the three for a holiday toast (with sparkling apple juice).

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

Billy Hodges

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!

Big Daddy Graham at the Players Club of Swarthmore.

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

Budding golf course designers are hard at work building the eighteen hole course for the 2018 edition of the Putt-Putt Palooza, January 28 at CADES. The Deppen family built this loop-de-loop for the 2017 event.

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 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

Dan Hanson of Wallingford (left) tutors Byron Butler of Eddystone at the Delaware County Literacy Council (DCLC). Becoming a DCLC volunteer literacy tutor is a worthy resolution for 2018.

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 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 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.

Christmas Services

Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
927 S. Providence Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086

Christmas Eve Services: 7 p.m. and 10:30 p.m.
Christmas Day: 9:30 a.m.

St. John Chrysostom Catholic Church
617 S. Providence Rd, Wallingford, PA 19086

Christmas Eve: 4:30 p.m. (Vigil Mass), 4:40 p.m. (gym), 7 p.m. (ASL interpreter), and 9 p.m. Mass.
Christmas Day: 8 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. Mass.

Swarthmore Presbyterian Church
727 Harvard Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Christmas Eve: Worship & Nativity Pageant, 10:15 a.m. Traditional Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols, 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.

Swarthmore United Methodist Church
129 Park Avenue, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Christmas Eve: 
Worship and Pageant of the Nativity, 10 a.m. Candlelight Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, 8 p.m.
Christmas Day: Worship at 10 a.m.

Unitarian Universalist Church Of Delaware County
145 W. Rose Tree Road, Media, PA 19063

Christmas Eve: Service of Stories and Songs at 5 p.m.; Service of Lessons and Carols with the UUCDC choir at 7:30 p.m.

Our Lady of Peace Parish
200 Milmont Avenue, Milmont Park, PA 19033

Christmas Eve: 4 p.m. Vigil Mass at Notre Dame de Lourdes Church (990 Fairview Road, Swarthmore, PA 19081); 7 p.m. Vigil OLP; 12 a.m. Solemn Midnight Mass at OLP.
Christmas Day: 7:30 a.m Mass at OLP; 10 a.m. Mass at NDDL; and 11:30 a.m. Mass at OLP.

Trinity Episcopal Church
301 N. Chester Road, Swarthmore, PA 19081

Sunday, December 24: Morning Service of Holy Eucharist, Rite II, with choir, 10 a.m.
Christmas Eve: Family Eucharist & Chrismon Tree, 5 p.m. Festival Candlelight Eucharist and Concert, 10:30 p.m.
Christmas Day: Holy Eucharist, Rite II with Carols, 10 a.m.
Sunday, December 31: Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 8 a.m. Lessons and Carols with Eucharist, 10 a.m.

Wedding: M. Zachary Smith & Allison Orrico

Lee and Bernadette C. Smith of Swarthmore happily announce the marriage of their son, M. Zachary Smith of Swarthmore to Allison Orrico, formerly of Cape Cod, Mass., on Saturday, August 26, 2017.

The couple married at the Adamson House, a historic home on the beach in Malibu, Calif. Kate Smith, sister of the groom, officiated the wedding, and Jake Smith, brother of the groom, served as best man.

Zach is a graduate of Strath Haven High School and Middlebury College. Ali graduated from the University of Virginia.

After a honeymoon in Hawaii, the couple returned to their home in Manhattan Beach, Calif., where Zach is a realtor for Douglas Elliman and Ali is a client partner for Facebook.


Cara N. Toland of Swarthmore graduate from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biology, specifically in Cell Biology, Molecular Biology and Genetics.

Corey T. Miller of Swarthmore earned a Master of Science degree in Physical Science with a concentration in Earth Science from Emporia State University.

Letters to the Editor

‘Feeling blessed’

To the Editor:

Oh what a joy it is to grow old. I dribble and drool. My nose runs. I don’t see well. But I don’t have a hearing aid — yet.

My writing is illegible and my printing, in which I once took pride, is not good. I can’t spell anymore. At one time, I was able to do simple math in my head at lightning speed. That’s over. I have a balance problem, so I can’t get on a ladder anymore. I use a cane.

My social life consists of doctors appointments. I haven’t much energy, so I don’t do things around the house and yard like I once did. My favorite pastime is sitting. I like to read, but when I do, I fall asleep after about 15 minutes. Therefore I watch a lot of TV and have learned that when you turn it on, the odds are you will get a commercial on any channel you select. They last forever.

One thing I can still do is drink, although not as much. I don’t need a nap, because after I have my one drink, I nod off for about 15 minutes and wake up just about when the news starts.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Although I am 90 and my wife is 86, we both love life and in spite of our infirmities, we feel blessed. We’re not ready to go yet. Of course, you never know. Even though life is winding down, what fun it’s been.

Larry Drew
Hobe Sound, Fla.

What we cannot do

Crossing the street
at the pedestrian walkway
white stripes
permission granted

Crossing the street
on Rutgers, crossing Yale
as though we have a right to do this
as though we can

Crossing the street
What level of citizen must we be
to cross this freely
who should we know

Bob Small

This week’s issue . . .


Past, Present, and Future
of the ‘Swarthmorean’

“Last minute” gift shopping pitches began about a month ago, it seems. This holiday season is so long it feels as if Christmas has come, gone, and is coming again.

Diane and I already got one gift this season: a speaking engagement at The Gathering Place, the weekly luncheon series convened by the Swarthmore Senior Citizens’ Association (nonmembers are welcome, senior or not). Diane entertained the group with looks at the newspaper and her research on its publishers going back to 1893. I talked about some of the week’s news, and how we go about gathering information and putting it into type on newsprint 50 times a year. We talked – and more important, we heard – about some of the changes, additions, and innovations we want to explore in the future.

And we delivered the cold truth: The Swarthmorean loses money; has for years. We can’t keep doing that.

Since our talk, some of our supporters have come to us with wonderful, imaginative ways to help the Swarthmorean, both the weekly product and the business. We are deeply grateful for this meaningful support – gifts we didn’t ask for, in forms we wouldn’t expect.

If you are reading this, you are showing that you value the newspaper. We thank you for choosing to spend some of your week with the Swarthmorean. We will keep trying to earn the deep devotion that our readers have for their hometown paper.

It’s hard to ask for a gift (although I don’t remember having that problem when I was a kid). What we are asking is not so much contributions – though we will happily accept your (non-deductible) donations – as your support in other ways.

If you are involved in a business, tell our readers about your products or services here. These are faithful Swarthmorean readers, week in and week out, and they have money to spend and an eye for quality. If you have a favorite restaurant, a family dentist, a tradesman in the area you think we can help with advertising, drop us a line.

If you are a subscriber, consider sharing the warmth and personality of the paper with friends and family through a gift subscription. For each you give, we’ll extend your own subscription by two (2) months. We will send the recipient a card announcing your gift.

We’ll take off the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and see you again with the January 5 issue. Till then, we wish you joy, peace, and gratitude for our community.

— Chris Reynolds

Notice to Readers and Advertisers

The Swarthmorean offices will be closed from Friday, December 22, until Tuesday, January 2. There will be no issue on Friday, December 29.

Recently-elected Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board members (left to right) Kelly Wachtman, Kelly Huff, Damon Orsetti, and Dr. David Grande stood for a team picture, then sat for their first meeting on Monday night. Photo by Katie Crawford.

Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board:
Some WES Parents Mystified, Frustrated by Principal’s Ouster
By Katie Crawford

A new president — Dr. Marylin Huff — and three new members — Dr. David Grande, Damon Orsetti, and Kelly Wachtman — joined the Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board at the December 11 meeting. Their arrival came during a time of unexpected turmoil, as Joshua Peterkin, principal of Wallingford Elementary School for the past five years, resigned last Tuesday, following what Superintendent Dr. Lisa Palmer characterized as “inappropriate action.”

Specifics regarding Mr. Peterkin’s departure have been in short supply, and both Superintendent Dr. Palmer and Board President Dr. Huff acknowledged the frustration that the district community must feel in having so little knowledge of the circumstances leading to this decision. The audience at the meeting was unusually large due to a sizable number of WES parents in attendance.

In her report, Dr. Palmer spoke of the “difficult” past week. She praised Joseph Buecheler, former assistant principal at Strath Haven Middle School who is now acting principal at WES, for his work during this sudden transition and for the “great rapport” he shows with both students and parents. Dr. Palmer stressed the district’s commitment to protecting the privacy of its personnel. While acknowledging that parents feel frustrated when …

Swarthmoreans side by side with Mayor Tim Kearney at his PA Senate campaign launch included (left to right) Mary Walk, Borough Council member and Register of Wills-elect, PA State Representative Leanne Krueger-Braneky, and Claudia Cueto, business partner and wife of the candidate.

Mayor Tim Kearney Raises Funds,
Hopes at Senate Campaign Launch

Tim Kearney is listening to his grandmother. “My grandmother used to say: ‘You’ve got to be willing to work for the things that you want,’” Kearney said last Saturday at the kickoff event for his campaign for Pennsylvania Senate, representing the 26th District. He then outlined for about 100 supporters at Swarthmore Borough Hall the work he plans to do in Harrisburg.

Kearney expressed the frustration he shares with prospective constituents over ineffective representation of citizens, and subjugation of their concerns to corporate and ideological interests. Issues he mentioned in remarks to attendees on Saturday included …

The Year of the Pageant

Isaiah and the Acolytes

Rehearsals are underway, and production plans are proceeding for this year’s 41st biennial presentation of the Pageant of the Nativity. This will be the 17th performance given at Lang Music Hall, with its picturesque wooded setting.

If you are new to the area, come join us in this Christmas tradition. Five tableaux, representing The Prophecy, The Annunciation, The Shepherds, The Nativity and The Fulfillment will be accompanied by beautiful musical arrangements for the choir.

Some of the Pageant music is well known, and other pieces are almost unique to the Pageant. Approximately 150 of our residents participate in this wonderful gift to the community, with many traveling home from college or back to Swarthmore for the performance.

The show lasts about one hour and will be performed at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday, December 23. The event is free and open to the public. Ample parking is available on the College campus.

Nick’s House welcomed supporters at Monday’s celebration.

In Nick’s House, Colleluori Family
and Friends Built a Home

By Claire Wolters

On Monday, December 11, the Headstrong Foundation’s “Nick’s House” opened its doors at 200 S. Chester Road in Swarthmore. You can’t miss it: all those doors are painted in the lime green used in the branding and identity of the Headstrong Foundation, and associated with the battle against lymphoma. “That’s the disease that took our son from us,” said Pasquale Colleluori, father of the Headstrong foundation founder Nick, who died in 2006.

Headstrong Foundation President Cheryl Colleluori at Nick’s House in Swarthmore.

At the opening reception Monday, more than 100 supporters heard of the exhilaration, the gratitude, and the continuing sense of loss of the Colleluori family as they dedicated to Nick this guest house for families far from home. Beginning early next year, the house will provide free housing for seven patients — adults and children — and their caregivers as they undergo advanced cancer treatment at Philadelphia hospitals. Nick’s House will serve as many as 125 families during 2018.

“It’s a historic moment for our organization,” said Cheryl Colleluori, president of Headstrong and mother of Nick. She hopes the house will serve not only as an alternative to hotels for patients, but as a place they can call “home,” as well. The home has …

Teens Aged 14-18 Answer the Call
for Swarthmore Fire Co.

By Rich Cresson

The Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association currently has seven teenage members who are trained in firefighting activities. While restricted by state laws governing their activities, these junior members respond to alarms, are involved in fire hydrant hook-ups, fire ground lighting, laddering the building and other support functions.

The Association offers its junior member program for teens aged 14 through 18 — male and female — who want to become firefighters. All those interested can visit the Swarthmore firehouse any Thursday evening at 7:30 p.m. to explore opportunities to protect and serve our community. Interested parties do not need any experience …

Report from the Fire Company

From November 27 to December 10, the Swarthmore Fire & Protective Association responded to the following alarms:

EMS: The ambulance responded to 23 calls for medical assistance. These were to Swarthmore, Rutledge, Morton, Springfield, Media, Ridley Township, and Nether Providence Township. The calls were for a variety of emergencies, including accident with injury, sick person, seizures, fall with trauma, cardiac emergency, head injury, …

Christmas Tree Pickup Schedule*

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.

Delco Reassessment Begins this Month

The countywide reassessment of all properties, a work of several years’ duration, will begin this month.

According to county spokesperson Adrienne Marofsky, County Council has contracted with Tyler Technologies of Texas. Tyler’s fleet of clearly identified white vans will roam county streets, carrying crews and cameras to take photos of properties (but not residents). Tyler’s staff will not enter private property in the project.Properties will be evaluated through review of photographs as well as other property data. The county points out that digital images can also help correct address discrepancies, and provide data for emergency management recovery reports. Reassessment work will be completed in time for the 2021 tax year.

So that explains the white vans. Now what about those black helicopters?

Newcomers and Neighbors Welcome You
to December 20 Luncheon

By Barbara Partridge

If you are interested in forming new friendships in 2018, come join Newcomers and Neighbors of Delaware County. We will be having our Christmas Luncheon on December 20 at Overbrook Country Club, 799 Godfrey Road in Villanova. Hospitality starts at 11:30 a.m., followed by a brief meeting, and then luncheon. For reservations, contact Janet Strogala at 610-459-1334, ASAP. Cost of the luncheon is $26; you can pay at the …

Carrying a tradition into its 12th year, 2nd graders in Sue Gaur’s class recently set up their Milk and Cookie Stand at Wallingford Elementary School. Between November 14 and November 17, the class sold homemade chocolate chip cookies made by the families of WES students, and milk donated by the WES teaching staff to hungry students and faculty members at daily snack time. This 12th annual Milk and Cookie Stand raised $2,057, which will be sent to Puerto Rico to aid in hurricane relief efforts. Hats off to Mrs. Gaur, her class, and 2nd grade instructional assistant Mrs. Mulhern for their hard work to help U.S. citizens far from home. Pictured below from left to right are: (top row) Mrs. Gaur, Jayden D., Skylar H., Zach A., Christian K., Cameron D., Amalia N., Luka N., Ryan S., Issac H., Bianca B., Eli V., and Mrs. Mulhern; (middle row) Livy T., Shira J., Elizabeth W., Margaret H., Ellis W., and Lena G., (bottom row) Maureen A., Holly C., Cooper M., Luca D., and Jonah L.

Celebrate the Winter Solstice On Sunday

Transition Town Media invites all readers to celebrate the winter solstice with high-spirited neighbors this Sunday evening, December 17. The celebration takes place at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County, 145 W. Rose Tree Road, Media, from 7 to 9 p.m. The event has as its theme Ubuntu — the African belief that “I am because we are.” …

Holiday Reading for Nature’s Narratives Members

Get a start on the next book for Nature’s Narratives, the book club of Scott Arboretum. In Mountain of the Heart, naturalist Scott Weidensaul chronicles the natural history of the Appalachian Mountains, which rank high among America’s most beautiful landscapes and complex ecosystems. Read the book first, then register attend the discussion …

Dancers take a break from rehearsals for the Nutcracker at the Academy of International Ballet. Among the 85 performers who will dance in Saturday’s performance at Strath Haven Middle School are local students (left to right, front row) Sophia Gao and Milena Verdi of Swarthmore, Calvin Poulson of Media, Eva Sacks of Media; (middle row) Abigail Grunseich of Wallingford, Sylvia Hoffman of Media, Isabella Lothrop of Wallingford; (back row) Marlena Umland of Media, and Chloe Muller of Swarthmore. Photo by Denis Gronostayskiy.

AIB Ballet Students Dance the ‘Nutcracker’ on SHMS Stage

More than 85 students at the Academy of International Ballet will don 130 handmade costumes this Saturday, December 16, to dance the full length Nutcracker ballet at Strath Haven Middle School’s auditorium in performances at noon and 4 p.m.

For a number of local dancers at the school, performing is the reward for years of training. Eleven-year-old Abigail Grunseich of Wallingford is in her eighth annual Nutcracker. Dancing is so important to her that sports and other activities are on the back burner. “I don’t have time for anything else!” Strath Haven Middle School student Isabella Lothrop is a veteran who danced the role of Clara last year, and this year takes part in five of the dances to Tchaikovsky’s score. Swarthmore-Rutledge School 3rd grader Milena Verdi…

Come Run, Come All to SRA New Year’s Day 5K and Kids Races
By Brandon Lausch

Kick off 2018 in one of the best ways possible: by joining the Swarthmore Recreation Association for its annual New Year’s Day 5K and Kids Races on Monday, January 1.

Race-day registration starts at 9 a.m. at the college’s Lamb-Miller Field House. The 5K starts at 10:30 a.m. and winds through Swarthmore on a flat and fast course that ends with a lap at the college track. Kids’ races, also on the track, start at 11:30 a.m. for children ages 2 through 13.

Registration is $25 in advance and $30 on race day, with 5K registrants receiving long-sleeve tech T-shirts. Post-race refreshments will be served, and unique medals of etched wood are awarded to the top two finishers in each age category.

Kids’ races are FREE, and ribbons will be awarded to youth participants. To register, visit

TGP Welcomes Silvertones on December 20

The Gathering Place hosts Strath Haven High School’s choral group, The Silvertones, who will sing a program of holiday music.

There will be a surprise presentation after the concert; beforehand, lunch will be served for a modest $2 contribution, Or bring your own – beverages and dessert are provided. A program of the Swarthmore Senior Citizens’ Association, The Gathering Place is open to all.

Swarthmore Borough Council Meeting Agenda

Monday, December 18, 7:30 p.m.

• Consideration of 2018 Council Meeting Schedule
• Consideration of 2018 Holiday Schedule
• Consideration of Resolutions:
• Setting Fees, Charges and Fines for 2018
• Setting Salaries and Benefits for 2018
• Consideration of Resolution opposing HB 1620
• Consideration of 2018 Budget
• Consideration of 2018 Tax and Fee Ordinance
• Consideration of Resolutions:
• Authorization to collect the Sanitary Sewer Fee
• Non-Uniformed and Police Contributions to the Pension Funds
• Cost-of-Living Adjustment for Borough Pensioners
• Appointment of the Independent Auditor
• Consideration of Ordinance 1071 regulating soliciting and canvassing in the Borough
• Financial Report
• Manager’s Report

If you are a person with a disability and wish to attend this meeting of Borough Council and require an auxiliary aid or service to participate in the proceedings, please contact Borough Manager Jane Billings at 610-543-4599 to discuss how the Borough may best accommodate your needs.

Letters to the Editor

Christmas is better in ‘Pageant years’

To the Editor:

Each year as Christmas approaches many of us celebrate the arrival of a great Light, the birth of Jesus Christ. In this darkest time in the calendar with its too-short days, we exuberantly light up the night — twinkly white lights and spectrums of color, a bright star glowing at the top of a tree, tidy modern LEDs and bulbous old-time incandescents, each one separately screwed into socket after socket.

The lights are fun and joyful, often playful and sometimes inspiring. They declare that Christmas is coming and that we’re unabashedly happy about it. But for me, Christmas is a different and more profound celebration of that Light in “Pageant years” – the odd-numbered years when the Swarthmore Pageant of the Nativity is held.

The Pageant is a gift to our community. It has been presented anonymously by local citizens every two years since 1937, except for a brief break during World War II. Why are “Pageant years” different for me? Because the Pageant is a contemplative representation of everything that matters to me: faith, hope, love, morality, honor, family and community.

On Pageant day, we set aside time to share a physical space with fellow community members where the room darkens and we all fall silent. Then together we let the Pageant wash over us, delivered with the same music, scripture, costumes and set each year since the 1930s. It is wonderfully constructed to convey meaning and inspire thoughts through words, music and light. Scripture readings speak to the intellect. Music speaks to the soul. And the illuminated tableaux speak to the heart which craves a simple, timeless story of inspiration.

I think Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right when he observed in his essay on Intellect that “God enters by a private door into every individual.” Once every two years, I come away feeling that the Pageant offers a unique opportunity to prop that door open for an hour, just to see what may come in.

This year, the Pageant will be held on Saturday, December 23, with performances at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The venue is Lang Hall on the college campus, which Swarthmore College graciously makes available to the community for this event. Ample free parking is nearby.

Each performance lasts about an hour, and includes five tableaux from the Old and New Testaments, along with scripture narrative and music from a volunteer choir. There is no admission charge. All who come in a spirit of reverence are welcome, although from long-ago personal experience I can say that it is best enjoyed by adults and children over the age of six. It is an hour well spent and perhaps you’ll find, as I do, that Christmas is better in these “Pageant years.”

Christopher Stief

Home for the Holidays. Photo by Andy Shelter

A team effort; a magical day

To the Editor:

The Swarthmore Home for the Holidays celebration took place on Saturday, December 2, all around the ‘Ville of Swarthmore. Hundreds of residents and visitors participated in various activities including a 5K Santa run, the last Farmers Market of the season, carriage rides, games and crafts, scavenger hunts, book signings and goodwill activities, which were hosted by our local merchants. The participants also enjoyed live music, local food and drink and a special performance by Jeannine Osayande & Dunya Performing Arts at the Inn at Swarthmore. Plus, Santa came to town via SEPTA train and then a fire truck and the Dunya drummers led a parade through town. The Swarthmore United Methodist Church conducted a tree lighting and community sing along. Hot chocolate ended the day at the Swarthmore Fire House.

The day was action packed and a good time was had by all. We were able to host more activities than in years past, and we could not have done that without our wonderful volunteers, who traveled from near and far to spend the day with our town, making each activity and event run smoothly, and be truly enjoyable.

On behalf of the Swarthmore Town Center Board, I would like to sincerely thank all our committee members and volunteers for giving their time, energy and talent to make Home for the Holidays a success. Whether you signed up to help on the day of, or worked on details for the last few months, your help was invaluable and greatly appreciated.

For those who would like to get involved in the future, we welcome you with open arms. After I left the corporate world this past winter, what I missed was being on a team. Volunteering for Swarthmore Town Center and the Swarthmore Farmers Market has certainly filled any void I had regarding my desire to be part of a team. Volunteerism connects us with others and provides meaning and purpose in our lives. The people I have met and worked with this year in Swarthmore are some of the most creative, kind, hardworking, and dedicated people I have crossed paths with in my career. I encourage anyone interested in continuing to help make our small town great to get involved in any way you can.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller

Shannon Elliott
Swarthmore Town Center Board Member

Swarthmore CO-OP Equity Campaign lifts off

To the Editor:

By now, you must have noticed the colorful balloons taped to the CO-OP’s windows. Each balloon represents an owner who chose to invest in the CO-OP by raising their equity stake. The large banner at the entrance tracks the total owner investments, currently at about $35,000, against the campaign goal of $150,000.

The $150,000 campaign goal is not arbitrary or a “would be nice”; it is mission-critical funding for the CO-OP’s continuing operations in 2018 while the plan for profitability is being implemented. Our current GM has brought the CO-OP a long way in the 11 months that he’s been on the job, largely by reorganizing and cost cutting. But when the large oven that is used by the prepared foods, catering and deli departments broke, as happened a few weeks ago, it represents a major setback. This was only one on a long list of unanticipated expenses; this is why the CO-OP needs working capital and a cash reserve.

Make no mistake: raising your equity stake in the CO-OP is not a donation or gift – it is an investment in the CO-OP’s future. If you raise your equity by $1,000, you receive an additional 200 shares. There also is no one else to appeal to – no corporate deep pocket, no endowment, no governmental largesse. Like the Swarthmorean you are reading, the CO-OP enriches the community and makes living here such a unique experience. The CO-OP is of the community and for the community, and therefore it is up to us to support it.

Lest we forget the role the CO-OP plays in our lives, here is a fun fact: total online orders for local, farm-fresh Howe Farm turkeys this Thanksgiving exceeded four tons! 8,300 pounds of turkey to be exact. And Mike and his staff stand ready again to accept and prepare your online holiday orders – whether prime beef, oysters, lobster tails or caviar – with care and a smile.

Before the year ends, please take a moment to join if you are not an owner, or to “up your equity” if you are. The process is simple: ask one of the cashiers in the store, make your commitment, and your balloon will be added to the window. Or, email at any time with your support commitment.

Without your support, there won’t be a CO-OP. So, thank you for adding your balloon!

Michael Markowicz
Member, Board of Directors of the Swarthmore CO-OP

The Turkey Trotters photographed by Angus Shieh.

Thanks, Turkey Trotters

To the Editor:

On a beautiful Thanksgiving morning, over 360 Turkey Trotters gathered for the Inaugural Delco Turkey Trot. We would like to thank all of the participants, volunteers and sponsors for making this event such a success.

The money raised will go to the Nether Providence Elementary School Parent-Teacher Organization, which helps to provide additional funds and programs to the school.

Thank you again, WSSD community, for your support. We look forward to seeing you next Thanksgiving!

The Delco Turkey Trot Organizers

In this week’s issue . . .

WES Principal
Peterkin’s Out

On Tuesday, December 5, Wallingford Elementary School families received word that WES Principal Joshua Peterkin had resigned. This followed “an inappropriate action on his part that in no way endangered or involved children,” Dr. Lisa Palmer, Superintendent of the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, wrote. Per the district’s employee privacy policy, no further details were made available.

Strath Haven Middle School Assistant Principal Joseph Buecheler became acting principal beginning Wednesday. He has been with the district for 20 years, and in his current post for the last 5 years. His current duties will be covered temporarily by the other middle school administrators.

Mr. Buecheler’s assistant principal position will be filled in the near future, likely through a rearrangement of staff already at the middle school, said Dr. Palmer, suggesting it will be done in a matter of days rather than months.

The search for a permanent replacement principal at WES will take longer. “The game plan is to have the position filled by July 1,” when the new business year begins, Dr. Palmer said on Wednesday. WES staff and parents will participate with WSSD administrators in the process of reviewing candidates.

“While the news may be unsettling, the school district is confident that the school can move forward in a very positive manner.” Dr. Palmer wrote to WES families.

Swarthmore Borough Council:
A Good Problem to Have
By Katie Crawford

The 2018 budget for Swarthmore Borough was the main focus of the borough council’s discussion at their December 4 meeting. As a result of the revenue generated by the building permits required for the Biology, Engineering, and Psychology building currently under construction on Swarthmore College’s campus, the borough’s fund balance will go from $510,000 to $1,073,000. Even given the anticipated expenses to the borough associated with the inspections necessary for the building, this revenue increase will raise the fund balance to 20% of the borough’s annual expense budget as opposed to the best practices recommendation of 5-10% for a borough of its type.

This is, of course, a good problem to have. Council member Michael Carey suggested that the Finance Committee (which he heads) meet to decide how best to use the sudden, onetime windfall of revenue and then report to council with their ideas. One possibility could be paying down existing debt. In more good news, borough residents …

This December, Marvel
at the Pageant of the Nativity

The Swarthmore Nativity Pageant Committee has already begun preparations for the 41st biennial Pageant of the Nativity.

The Pageant has been a Christmas tradition in Swarthmore since 1938 and has been given almost every other year. It consists of five scenes from the Old and New Testaments, with narration of the Scripture and choral accompaniment by a volunteer choir.

Community is key when discussing the Nativity Pageant. Approximately 150 cast members of the Wallingford-Swarthmore community are involved in its production. Many of the cast members have participated in numerous performances, and in some cases, three generations of a family have played a role.

The Swarthmore Nativity Pageant will again be given at the Lang Music Hall on the Swarthmore College campus on Saturday, December 23, at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public and is most enjoyed with children over the age of five. Ample parking is available on the College campus. Seating is limited.


Gifts of Music

Chris Knob of Wallingford (right) met up this year with Bob Waters, head of the South New Jersey Chapter of Guitars for Vets, to present these three guitars, which are among a dozen Knob has crafted for G4V.

Chris Knob of Wallingford is a gifted — and giving — guitar artist. His musical gifts began to emerge in childhood, and as a classical guitar student he developed considerable proficiency. But it was later in life, and as a different sort of interpreter of the instrument, that he has made an enduring impression through the guitar.

The Guitars for Vets logo adorns the headstock of one of Chris Knob’s custom creations.

“When I was young and my folks were attempting to introduce me to a musical education, I took lessons at the old Swarthmore Music with a music major from the college named Jim Kelly. After several years of diligent playing and practicing, I realized I was not a musician … I was an excellent technician, but I didn’t hear the music the way an artist would. Playing guitar remained part of my life after that, but I didn’t pursue it with a passion.”

Knob is a biologist at Cooper University Hospital, where he runs the research lab for the division of infectious disease, mentors resident fellows, and writes about antimicrobial resistance. He and his wife Tasha live in Wallingford, and Chris has lived in the area for most of his life. A longtime woodworker, Chris built period reproductions and custom furniture before a back injury curtailed his ability to lug lumber. After his workshop lay dormant for a couple of frustrating years, inspiration struck. “I bought a book …

Out, Out, Damned Spot!
By Katie Crawford

Just when you thought your list of worries couldn’t get any longer, it seems a new pest has come to Pennsylvania. While causing no real harm to humans, the Spotted Lanternfly, or Lycorma delicatula, poses a significant threat to agricultural industries in the state and to the outdoor quality of life for private property owners. One Pennsylvania resident with an infestation on her property was quoted as saying, “I can’t enjoy my outdoor life anymore. I can’t go sit on my deck because of these swarming flies!”

A new environmental scourge is coming: the Spotted Lanternfly.

The Spotted Lanternfly was first identified in eastern Berks County in September of 2014. The initial report detailed an “unknown” insect damaging an Ailanthus altissima tree (commonly known as “Tree of Heaven”) on private property. The immediate reaction was hopeful: the Tree of Heaven is an invasive species, and it was thought that this pest could potentially be helpful in its elimination. However, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture quickly came to realize the damage that could also be caused to the state’s combined $18 billion grape, tree fruit, hardwood, nursery, and landscaping industries.

While the pest’s main feeding source is the Tree of Heaven, it also has been found to feed directly on grapes, stone fruit, and hops. The sugary waste it expels onto plants allows for a sooty mold to grow which damages fruit and leaves. In 2017 there was also damage reported on basil, blueberries, cucumbers, and horseradish. 2017 was also the first year that significant damage was seen from heavy feeding on walnut, red oak, maple and hickory trees. On Friday, December 1, John Baker, coordinator of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Spotted Lanternfly Eradication Program, presented …

Friday Film: ‘An Inconvenient Sequel’

This Friday, December 8, at 7 p.m., the Green Party of Delaware County hosts a screening of An Inconvenient Sequel at Swarthmore Borough Hall’s Council Room. Released this year, nearly a decade after An Inconvenient Truth, the film explores the progress …

Swarthmore College Talent on Display

This weekend, Swarthmore College undergraduates showcase their considerable and various talents in four performances, all of which are free and open to the public.

On Friday, December 8, at 8 p.m., senior Andrew Kim conducts a chamber orchestra comprised of fellow students in a lively and diverse program at Lang Concert Hall. In the same location on Saturday, December 9, at 3 p.m., the Swarthmore Chorus undertakes a choral program with its complement of 70 students, faculty and community members. …

‘Casablanca’ on Screen at SPL

Here’s looking at you, kid. And come Tuesday, December 12, here’s looking at Casablanca, one of the most beloved films of all time, in the 75th anniversary year of its release. Bogart and Bergman defined wartime romance in a story that softened …

Widener Chorale’s Holiday Concert Is Sunday

The Widener Chorale will hold a concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sunday, December 10, at 4 p.m. The repertoire will include Haydn’s Kleine Orgelmesse and Josquin’s Ave Verum Corpus, as well as holiday favorites. The event is free and open …

Holiday Spirit Lives in Arts at SUMC

Swarthmore United Methodist Church invites the community to join two holiday programs focusing on the arts for the church’s Faith and Life class.

On Sunday, December 10, members Christine Hutchinson and Sheila Bell will invite participants to study and enjoy works of art that portray the Annunciation and Mother and Child. (Think Botticelli, Picasso, Cassatt.)

And if you would like to sing holiday music that you won’t hear at the mall, join other singers to sing traditional carols and modern holiday songs on Sunday, December 17 …

Colonial Christmas at the Leiper House
By Angela Hewitt

The historic 1785 Thomas Leiper House in Wallingford will host its annual colonial Christmas open house on Sunday, December 17, from 1 to 5 p.m. This event, free and open to the public, features six rooms, each decorated by a different garden club. Participating this year are the Swarthmore Garden Club, Twilight Thyme, Providence Garden Club, Country Gardeners, Springfield Garden Club, and the Rose Tree Gardeners …

The Walking School Bus
By Jeannine Anckaitis

SRS Principal Dr. Angela Tuck and Swarthmore Police Chief Brian Craig lead students through the Princeton Avenue tunnel.

Parents of school-aged children: Does this scenario ring a bell? There’s struggle to get out of bed and sleepily but quickly into weather-appropriate, clean clothing, followed by a scramble to eat breakfast, compile lunch and snack, gather homework and signed permission slips, remember library books and musical instruments, slip into shoes and maybe even a jacket before rushing out the door. School mornings are not exactly quality time – unless all that is followed by a walk to school.

SRS is about a 15-minute stroll from our house, and for the past few years, both my husband and I are fortunate to have had the time to fit a walk into most of our mornings. It truly may be the best 15 minutes of quality time with our kids on any given day. We’ve heard about their nighttime dreams, their expectations for the day, their memories from the previous day. We’ve made up jokes about our neighborhood, we’ve seen zillions of birds simultaneously fly from one tree to the next, we’ve laughed as our son has found a coin on the sidewalk more often than not. Some days we’ve been so early that we wonder where everyone is, while on other days we have arrived just in time to hear the bell and meet their friends on their procession into the building. Our kids originally loved to take the bus. …

‘Believe:’ Valley Forge Chorus at the Players Club

The Valley Forge Chorus comes to Swarthmore for one performance of Believe: A Magical Holiday Adventure, Saturday, December 16, at 7:30 p.m. on the main stage at the Players Club of Swarthmore. The a capella harmonies of this ensemble bring extraordinary beauty to holiday song. The group features PCS favorite Donna Dougherty in its latest visit …

Masterpieces in Green from Master Gardeners

Master Gardeners preparing items for the Greens & Gifts sale include (l. to r.) Nancy Pasquier, Linda Barry, Gerri Eunson, Julia King, and Diana Breen.

This Saturday, December 9, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Delaware County Master Gardeners will make local homes greener and more festive with their annual Greens & Gifts sale of handcrafted, fresh-cut evergreen wreaths and holiday floral creations at Smedley Park in Springfield. Shoppers can choose among scores of gorgeous moss wreaths with assorted evergreens and berries; hanging baskets of greens, beautiful mailbox decorations and bouquets of freshly-cut greens to use in your own floral designs and centerpieces. Also available are table arrangements with and without candles, outdoor …

Chester Children’s Chorus holiday concerts are next Friday and Saturday at Lang Concert Hall.

Children’s’ Chorus Concerts Coming

Advent is the season of anticipation, and local fans of the Chester Children’s Chorus are eagerly awaiting the group’s 2017 holiday concerts at Lang Concert Hall on the Swarthmore College campus.

Now the performances are just around the corner, next Friday and Saturday, December 15 and 16, at 7:30 p.m. Adding excitement to the event, these performances in the acoustically-friendly hall will be recording sessions for the Chorus’s next album.

CCC is made up of more than 130 young singers who live within the Chester-Upland School District. Their holiday program will include selections form Mozart’s Requiem, the Carol of the Bells and the Chorus’s unique arrangement of Angels We Have Heard on High and Joy to the World. In addition to these and other seasonal and secular favorites, Chorus director and founder John Alston promises “lots of great brass playing.”

The concerts are free and open to all from the Swarthmore community and beyond. Doors open at 6:45, and because seating is limited, it is advisable to arrive well before showtime at 7:30 p.m. Donations to support chorus programs are welcomed at the event. Information is at and 610-328-8180.

Listen Out Loud at SPL

A new series warms your weeknights during the burgeoning holiday season at Swarthmore Public Library. Listen Out Loud puts classic holiday stories in the hands and voices of familiar Swarthmore voices, beginning Wednesday, December 13, at 7 p.m. with a reading by Jeannine Osayande of Maya Angelou’s Amazing Peace. On Thursday, December 14, at 2 pm., Julian Yates will read The Mistletoe Murder by P.D. James. The following Tuesday, December 19, at 2 p.m., Rob Borgstrom will read Truman Capote’s classic A Christmas Memory. And each reading will feature a cameo by a librarian! Light refreshments will be served at these free public programs. Please register for one or all at (610) 543-0436 or email

Bring Holiday Memories to TGP

Join your neighbors at The Gathering Place on Wednesday, December 13, at noon to share holiday memories. Come to Swarthmore United Methodist Church at 129 Park Avenue and bring an object, or a smell, or a taste of something that reminds you of your holidays as a child. Bring your lunch or make a small donation and have a cup of hot soup and some bread from Occasionally Yours. Beverages and dessert are provided for all. The program of sharing begins at 12:30 p.m.

‘Parlez’ at SPL

Join other proficient French speakers in conversations about art and culture; politics and current events; history and literature and whatever is on your mind during this friendly salon, which meets Friday, December 15, at 2 p.m. Lucy Saxon facilitates the discussion at the Swarthmore Public Library, 121 Park Avenue, on the 15th and every third Friday.

Writing from the Wound:
Postwar Central American Literature

How have Central American writers made extraordinary literature of a heritage of violence, trauma, and chaos? Nancy Buiza, assistant professor of Spanish at Swarthmore College, speaks to the subject on Tuesday, December 12, 4:15 p.m. at the college’s McCabe Library Atrium. Buiza will pay particular attention to the most recent generation of …

Briefly Noted . . .

Home for the Holidays – Bigger and Better

The first Swarthmore Santa 5K Run/Walk drew 121 runners and walkers to a festive ramble through town to start off Saturday’s Home for the Holidays. The fastest male was Greg Thomas at 17 minutes, 12 seconds. Fastest female finisher was Morgan McErlean in 21:54.

Michelle Radabaugh of Blond Sugar & Honey, her brother, “co-best dressed” Running Elf Kevin Radabaugh and Patrick Francher, Swarthmore Town Center board member. Kevin finished the race second overall in 20:36.

Warming up with Sharon Graham (left) and Mary Gay Scanlon (center), Jodi Dawes (right) ran as a Christmas Tree, sharing “best dressed” honors. Photos by Shannon Dietzmann Elliott.

Proudly displaying their national re-accreditation certificates are Executive Director Cindy Murray and Site Coordinators, Pat DeHaven, Beth Camagna and Linda Healy.

Following an extensive review of best practice standards, TCDN Swarthmore After School Club and Wallingford After School Club programs received national reaccreditation through the Council on Accreditation. The accreditation process consisted of a self-evaluation, feedback from hosts, advisory Board members, families, staff and children, and a three-day site visit from a national Endorser. The Endorser determined that the programs overwhelmingly met national standards in administrative, human resource and programming quality practices. Said Director Murray, “We are very proud of this accreditation, as it indicates a long-term commitment to quality and a genuine dedication to the children and families we serve.” TCDN provides out-of-school time programming in four locations throughout the Wallingford-Swarthmore School District, serving approximately 250-275 Kindergarten through 6th grade school age children, daily.

Jack Brake has been selected as one of 142 Schwarzman Scholars who will study at Tsinghua University in Beijing during the 2018-19 academic year, immersing himself in lectures, travel, and Chinese culture in pursuit of a master’s degree in Global Affairs.

Schwarzmann Scholars are chosen from the U.S., China and elsewhere for their “exemplary leadership qualities and their potential to bridge and understand cultural and political differences,” according to the foundation.

Brake, who will join the third class of Schwarzmann scholars, is a 2014 Strath Haven alumnus who has studied at the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar and an Echols Scholar, completing UVa’s Politics Honors program earlier this year, Phi Beta Kappa and with High Honors. Jack is the son of Susan and Ben Brake of Swarthmore.


Kearney to Launch Campaign: Swarthmore Mayor Tim Kearney welcomes constituents and neighbors to a reception this Saturday, December 9, 4 to 6 p.m. at Swarthmore Borough Hall. The event is a fundraising launch of Kearney’s campaign for Pennsylvania State Senate from the 26th District.


Potters Guild member Bonnie Ann Burnett is one of more than 60 artists participating in Community Arts Center and The Potters Guild Holiday Sale through December 9 at 414 Plush Mill Road in Wallingford. Bonnie creates uniquely local plates using old wood ash from Community Arts Center’s historic fireplace chimney, using a special process to apply it to plates before firing, producing an array of colors and textures.