March 1, 2008 |
I'VE BEEN hiding a horrible secret for the past few months. OK, it's been more than a few months. It's been at least a year. What's the secret, you ask? Well, the truth is . . . we've been living with raggedy furniture. Like millions of families with little boys, we've tried desperately to conceal our shame beneath chenille throws and strategically placed pillows. This past week, it finally came to a head. It all began two-and-a- half years ago, when Little Solomon started walking, and testosterone took over.
March 4, 1994 |
When Jim Hart's miniature world of locomotives and Pennsylvania countryside began encroaching on his suburban home a few years ago, he knew what to do. "That's why we moved. I wanted a bigger basement for the trains," said Hart, 56, a family doctor with a practice in Drexel Hill. The train aficionado has been building an elaborate land of railroad tracks, towns and mountains on a five-foot-high platform in his new basement since he settled into his Rose Tree home four years ago. Although he devotes every Thursday to his beloved hobby, he said, he is only half-finished with his project.
October 17, 1991 |
Grace Rosenthal is 3 1/2 years old and is throwing orange foam balls all over the place. Suddenly she stops, races across the room, climbs a slippery slope and jumps. After a few somersaults, several wind sprints and a solitary swing on a bar, she puts on her coat and walks quietly out the door. Her actions aren't the result of one too many bowls of sugary cereal. Grace is exercising at a gym exclusively for children, Kidnastics. Owner-operator Lynn Cantwell says she began Kidnastics not only to let small children exercise, but to let them build their confidence at an age when clicking a television remote control may be considered an aerobic exercise.
January 2, 1997 |
To a bystander, they look like Mummer wannabes, non-musical lackeys who want so desperately to be in a string band that they would carry a 12-foot, 50-pound cuckoo clock 2.5 miles at a snail's pace in frigid weather just to be a part of the action. Sorry, folks, this isn't high school. These are not wannabes. The truth about the Mummers' finely tuned musical machines is that they are driven by these hangers-on, respectfully known as marshals. They build (and carry) the props and set up the lavish scene changes that turn the familiar renditions of "When the Saints Go Marching In" into Vegas-style spectacles.
June 29, 1995 |
To everyone else, he was a cute, happy 6-year-old. To his parents, Lenid Barol was a miracle. His adoption was the fulfillment of a dream for Andrea and Joshua Barol, a couple who couldn't have children and desperately wanted them. They went to Russia in March, nervous and excited when they left and ecstatic when they came back with Lenid. "They were just very happy and looking forward to a wonderful future with him," said Rabbi Ira Stone, who described the couple as "beaming" when they brought Lenid to his synagogue.
July 14, 2008 |
Jim Crater is a man who recycles fishing line. He's got his household trash down to eight pounds. A year . And despite the fact that for two decades he has run what is surely the region's most quixotic and varied recycling enterprise, here's a little secret about the master recycler: He doesn't think it should be happening. "The lesson isn't to recycle more," he says amid his hivelike realm, a two-acre property strewn with the detritus of a consumptive culture.
July 6, 1991
DON'T BE DUPED: POLYSTYRENE HASN'T BECOME GOOD I was quite annoyed by the June 18 business page article "Recyclable foam could bounce back. " The article portrays and hopes for a bright business future for polystyrene foam. However, due mostly to errors of omission, the article portrayed polystyrene as environmentally friendly. Clearly it is not. First and foremost, large amounts of toxic, health-threatening chemicals are used and released during the polystyrene production process.
April 29, 1992 |
Muscian Steve Butcher remembers watching, as a child, an episode of the television show "Medical Center. " Said Butcher: "One of the running things was the doctor kept running into this guy participating in research studies" for pay in the hospital clinic. The TV doctor was concerned, but not Butcher. "The guy seemed real cheerful, and I remember thinking, 'Wow, that seems like a great way to make money.' " A career is born. Now Butcher, who also works in a nightclub, participates in "an average of three studies a year" in Philadelphia as a paid subject for drug tests.
April 2, 1986 |
We have the flu. I don't know if this particular strain has an official name, but if it does, it must be something like "Martian Death Flu. " You may have had it yourself. The main symptom is that you wish you had another setting on your electric blanket, up past HIGH, that said ELECTROCUTION. Another symptom is that you cease brushing your teeth, because (a) your teeth hurt, and (b) you lack the strength. Midway through the brushing process, you'd have to lie in front of the sink to rest for a couple of hours, and rivulets of toothpaste foam would dribble sideways out of your mouth, eventually hardening into crusty little toothpaste stalagmites that would bond your head permanently to the bathroom floor, which is how the police would find you. You know the kind of flu I'm talking about.
January 12, 2013 |
Ever since Charlie Chaplin first recognized their slapstick potential nearly a century ago, Murphy beds have found themselves typecast in the popular imagination as low-end, unwieldy pieces of furniture that can be outright treacherous for the accident-prone. But in recent years, the Murphy bed has undergone a makeover, benefiting from exterior treatments that allow it to blend into a row of bookcases and cabinets or tuck seamlessly behind a wall hung with artwork and finished with crown molding.