Letters to the Editor

CCC brings more than music

To the Editor:

I went to the Chester Children’s Chorus concert at Swarthmore College in search of a miracle. I have never felt so discouraged about my country, never more despairing about the world my grandchildren would inherit. I badly needed some reason to feel hope.

Having attended many CCC concerts I had reason to believe I had come to the right place. Within an hour I heard Bach, and was reminded of the timeless sacred. I heard “Precious Lord” and remembered MLK, one of America’s saviors from one of America’s darkest hours. I heard the CCC perform a spoken piece that, without singing a single note, made me marvel at the consummate vocal skill of these young singers. I heard opera. And Duke Ellington. And a South African Folk Song. And a medley of Disney favorites. And an exquisite acapella performance of a difficult piece by Ola Gjielo, a composer unknown to me. And my personal favorite, “I’m not Done” by John Alston, which reminded me that like John, I can work to make hope possible, rather than despair convincing.

I have sung with a dozen choruses and attended performances by some of the world’s most respected choral groups. I don’t believe any of them are capable of better performing that range of music with the musicianship and infectious spirit of the CCC.

But it was more than music that brought the audience to its feet shouting their approval after the concert. For me it was witnessing love and community – as the youngest singers performed their pierces the applause from the older singers at times threatened to overcome the applause from the audience. For me it was the feeling of joy and astonishment at what kids from Chester, and I think all kids, can accomplish when we believe in them and give them the opportunity to blossom.

After the concert I spoke with one of the singers. I thought to myself how different we were – I am male, much older, a product of a good public school system on an alien planet called White Privilege. She reached across that divide to tell me of her years in the CCC, and mentioned that she would attend Penn State in the fall. I wished her well and told her that I am a Penn State graduate. She said “We are,” inviting my “Penn State.” Then she repeated loudly, “We are” and I surprised myself with an equally loud “Penn State.” She felt I could do better, so repeated with a much louder “We are.” We were both surprised that my “Penn State” matched her “We are.” She smiled approval and put up her hand, offering me my first “high-five” in 50 years or so.

This young woman helped me to remember something that I had forgotten was in me. John Alston, Sean Tripline and their supporters help Chester children to discover what they don’t know is in them, and our polarized community to remember our better selves. I am grateful to them. I encourage you to hear and support this community treasure.

Grant Grissom

Outing builds the Foundation

To the Editor:

Golfers Alexandra Detweiler (left) and Hally Stief of Swarthmore paired up for the Foundation tournament.

Golfers Alexandra Detweiler (left) and Hally Stief of Swarthmore paired up for the Foundation tournament.

The Foundation for Wallingford Swarthmore Schools held an Inaugural Golf Outing on Monday, May 15, at the Springhaven Club. The event was sold out with 108 golfers, and there was also a putting contest and luncheon that attracted an additional 35 people. Dr. Lisa Palmer, WSSD Superintendent, and Frannie Reilly, a founder of the Foundation, spoke at the luncheon which followed the tournament.

The Golf Outing was very successful, earning just over $30,000 which will be used to fund a variety of grants to programs and initiatives at our schools. Many local businesses and families supported the event. The Foundation wishes to thank all the many sponsors and donors of our event. Our Gold and Silver level sponsors ($3,000 and $1,000 respectively) are listed below.

Gold Sponsors: Quotations; Detweiler Family; and Wendt Family.

Silver Sponsors: The Sheff Family; The Spangler Family; Joseph Anthony; 1919 Investment Counsel; Radio Communications Service, Inc.; and Kelly Smith/Stella and Dot.

We really appreciate the support of all our sponsors and players.

Janet D’Amico
Golf Outing Committee Chair

Liquor referendum — what’s next?

To the Editor:

Congratulations to the citizens of Swarthmore! You made a definitive statement on the referendum with 80% of voters approving expanded sales of beer, wine and spirits by businesses in our town. You told us you supported it, and you showed it on May 16!

While members of Swarthmore21 are pleased with the result, we also understand there’s still a lot to do to facilitate progress in our town center. Our effort was about removing one obstacle to investment in our town.

Some have asked what’s next with this initiative. In short, it’s now up to the existing businesses and/or new entrepreneurs to determine the feasibility of modifying their operations and/or starting a new venture involving the sale of beer, wine or spirits. This includes, but is not limited to, purchasing a liquor license, and it will probably take some time for anything to change or happen otherwise. Nonetheless, Swarthmoreans made such a consideration genuinely possible.

We’d like to thank everyone who made it happen, including the merchants, financial donors, media, and those who provided marketing and other operational support for the campaign. We especially want to thank the 21 individuals who joined this effort in November and worked tirelessly for 6+ months to help commence what many hope will be an exciting new journey forward for our town. We appreciate your commitment to and passion for Swarthmore and congratulate you on a job very well done.

Here’s to a warm, sunny, and restful summer for all Swarthmoreans and to a bright future for our town center!

Patrick Francher and Vince Barrett

Join in remembering

Fellow citizens:

Many of us have relatives across generations who have joined the military. Some may have sacrificed their lives in doing so. You would have wanted someone besides the family to also remember them, to honor their service and sacrifice. This Memorial Day is a chance to partake in honoring them. This is an invitation (although you really shouldn’t need one) to attend Swarthmore’s simple remembrance service on Monday, May 29, at 10 a.m.

Our gathering at Monument Park (corner of Park and Dartmouth avenues) features patriotic music by the Silver Dollar Band, a simple blessing, placement of flags at the memorial by the attending veterans, tolling of the Swarthmore fire company bell, a guest speaker, and culminates with “Taps.” If you are able, you can march or drive, following the fire engines, down Park Avenue to Eastlawn Cemetery, where graves will be decorated with flags by the Boy Scouts.

Also on Monday evening, Channel 12 (PBS) broadcasts the concert on the mall in Washington, D. C. Patriotic music is woven through a storyline of some military person’s sacrifice in their tour of duty. The program airs at 8 p.m. and is repeated at 9:30 p.m. It is hosted by Gerry Sinise and Joe Mantegna.

We all have something to be thankful for as Americans. Make time to honor those who cared enough to make it possible. Please care. Please come. Please plan to attend a ceremony somewhere.

Joan Watson

Books + Cookies = Success

To the Editor:

The Spring Book and Bake Sale held by the Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library on May 4 through May 6 was a resounding success. Approximately $6,200 was raised from the sale of books, CDs, and DVDs, while nearly $800 was raised at the bake sale, which featured home-made treats from our resident bakers.

A lot of work went into making the sale a success, and we wish to thank all the people who donated items for sale, who baked, who worked the cash registers, who helped organize the books and other items, and who helped in numerous other ways.

There are too many to name, but I would like to single out Bern Rehberg, Bill Lotz, Amber Osborne and her staff (particularly Carol Mackin), Walt Omlor and the Community Service workers, Claudia Carlsson and her four student interns, Jane Billings and her staff, Will Randall from Hobbs, the Swarthmore Fire Department, the Swarthmore United Methodist Church, Chris Reynolds and the Swarthmorean newspaper, Don Kennedy, David Calloway, Lisa Wallace, and the wonderful executive committee of the Friends — Jeannine Anckaitis, Anne Papa and Betty Wallace. Due to the efforts of all these generous and hard-working members of the community, we were able to support our wonderful library in a significant way!

Carol L. Kennedy, President
Friends of the Swarthmore Public Library

The Swarthmore Gentleman’s Club #2

Some of us were worried
hearing that Swarthmore would have its first
Gentleman’s Club
with Liquor and dancing and other activities
very unSwarthmorelike

Soon however, other businesses arose
SWAT TAT (Tattoos), Toys for Older Boyz,
a Cigar Palace, places for various activities
the connotations and denotations of which
need not all be listed

Soon we became the go to go go place
the ecstasy destination
who needs coffee shops, groceries, pharmacies
when we became the place for dreams
that we now knew well
how to sell

— Bob Small

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