On Wednesday, March 3th as Dorothy and I were strolling around Glencairn we saw three women approaching us. They were walking up a slight incline from the parking lot. It appeared that a very elderly lady was being supported and guided by a woman on either side of her. The elderly lady groaned in obvious pain with every step she took.
Later on the parking lot I saw one of the ladies. I asked her how old the elderly lady was and she said that her mother was 98 years old. I said to her that she was a good daughter. Her eyes became teary and I asked how old her father was. She said that he had lived to age 98. Now I wonder if the elderly lady wanted to visit Glencairn because she had done so previously with her husband. All I know is that she had tremendous determination. What strength some women have!
I am reminded of a 64 year old lady from Sicily, who said to me recently, “Men think they are strong, but they are not so strong as women.” She waved her hand in a manner dismissive of men. Yet she smiled playfully at me. I know that she appears to be happily married to a macho husband. She knows his weaknesses yet loves him dearly, I believe, even to the point of bringing a cup of coffee and a roll to him in his bed every morning after he wakes up.
Last March I found a yellow pencil on the road in front of my home. It was a number 2, just like the ones I had when I was in third and fourth grades at Burns Elementary School in Erie, Pa. This pencil which I found had teeth indentations in it. And I could not help but remember how I loved to chew on my pencils long ago. I really loved the sweet taste of the lead which, I believe, lead to memory problems that I have had most of my life. Live and learn.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration was formed in 1958. When it first launched satellites it had primitive tracking devices so it happened, probably in the early 1960s, that it lost track of one of its satellites. The scientists just could not find it. But they did find Ken Rose. Maybe they contacted the astronomers at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia who certainly were aware of the space expert in Bryn Athyn, named Ken Rose. Anyway NASA contacted Ken and explained their problem of a lost satellite. Apparently he asked them about the mathematical calculations that they were using. He suggested other calculations they could try. Soon NASA contacted Ken again and said that with his guidance they had found the lost satellite.
My neighbor, Larken Rose, one of Ken Rose’s sons, told me this history. He said that very long ago he had heard this story and when he asked his dad about it, Ken said that it was true.
In October 1957 the Soviet Union stunned the world and especially the United States by launching an earth orbiting satellite for the first time, ever! The cold war suddenly took a left turn much to the consternation of the American Government and especially the military.
In spite of the political hullabaloo, the event sparked a gleam in the eyes of us; I guess today we would call ourselves “Techno-Freaks.” Science fiction was becoming real!
Ken Rose, true to his inquisitive and inventive nature, designed and implemented a rather simple but ingenious array of small telescopes on the roof of Benade Hall. There were about six or eight scopes all aligned in a row south to north. Each telescope had an inclination (altitude positioning) greater that its neighbor so that a great arc of sky from near the horizon to directly overhead was covered cumulatively by the array. For an observing session, all the telescopes were manned by volunteers at the expected time of a passing overhead of the new satellite. The session was recorded with an audiotape recorder while the time signal from some source (Probably the Naval Observatory in Washington) played from a radio receiver in the background.
The volunteers manning the several small telescopes were instructed to gaze at their assigned sector of the sky and report any shining dot appearing to traverse their field of view and announcing the event by hollering “HO!”
The idea, of course was to pinpoint as accurately as possible the position of the object in the sky AND the time of the occurrence, thus aiding in the calculation of Sputnik’s orbit. So far so good!
One evening, being a mere senior in High School and not having been invited to participate as a volunteer, I nevertheless attended a session on the roof. At the approximate expected time, a shining dot did indeed appear in the sky traveling in about the expected direction. Everyone was hunched over their respective telescopes and a grave-like silence descended so as not to interfere with the audio recording.
As I looked at the thing in the sky, my then much sharper vision noticed a small red light blinking on and off next to the object. I could not help myself! I blurted out loud and clear: “IT’S AN AIRPLANE!”
The next day Mr. Rose passed me in the halls and remarked: “Airplane huh?”
It turns out that at this time I was right, and the whole night’s observations were unsuccessful in finding Sputnik.
Isn’t science wonderful!
April 28, 1955 The new building development, known as Pine Run Park, at the southeast corner of Buck and Byberry Roads was developed as a New Church Community by the West Chelten Corporation.
January 12, 1956 Mr. Jussi Jalas, conductor of the Helsinki Opera and a son-in-law of Sibelius, spent part of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays at the home of Richard Yardumian. Mr. Jalas went caroling with the Nova Hierosolyma carolers….
February 23, 1956 The celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Borough of Bryn Athyn….Dr. Wm. Whitehead as the toastmaster….President Edward C. Bostock spoke on “The Growth of Bryn Athyn.” He gave the history of the founding of Bryn Athyn and listed twenty or more names which had been discussed for a year or more as possible names for the Village that is now Bryn Athyn Borough. Some of the names were Gwynmont, Rothlyn, Hillcrest and Ridgemont.
Let bygones be bygones.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.
Note: I find some fault in the persons who brought a charitable business, which they loved deeply, to the location. But I find fault primarily in those persons at the Academy who apparently fell under the sway of money and personality when they gave permission for our beloved garage to be destroyed. They are guilty of hurting many people in BA, who continue to suffer from this deprivation even until today.