March 9, 2015 |
The reenacting season opened with a literal cannon shot over the mud and snow at Fort Mifflin on Saturday afternoon. A diverse array of reenactors portraying German and Allied soldiers slogging through the bloody Battle of Verdun in 1916 looked on, and a group of 21st-century visitors watched in the bright sun, enticed by the fort's First World War reenactment and a break in the frigid weather. Despite the tangled, time-warpish nature of the gathering, it would seem a typical opening for Fort Mifflin, a local and National Historic Landmark by Philadelphia International Airport on the Delaware River.
January 30, 2015 |
When the grass needed cutting and money was running out, he brought in his lawn mower and took care of the grounds himself. When funds were unavailable for salaries, he didn't take a paycheck, so he could pay his small staff. And when the heat failed last winter and leaks sprouted from water pipes, he fought for quick repairs - a frustrating process still underway. Clearly, Jason Allen had his share of challenges as the first African American executive director of the Camden County Historical Society.
November 16, 2014 |
Daan Polders' whiteboard has seen better days. Polders trekked the implement, a staple throughout his coaching career, with him to Villa Maria this season from his previous gig at Colorado Academy in Denver. But it has taken a beating. The board has been stepped on, struck by misfired balls, and tripped over throughout the last three months - in addition to being subject to an occasional funny message or two scribbled by players. Nevertheless, the board is still magnetized. It still erases, despite a bit of water damage.
September 8, 2014 |
When it was launched about 50 years ago, the USS Camden represented a milestone. The combat support ship was the final contract in the 68-year history of New York Shipbuilding Corp. in Camden, and dignitaries turned out for the occasion. They listened to the music of the Woodrow Wilson High School Band, which was dwarfed by the ship's hull as members posed with their instruments and smart uniforms. A black-and-white photograph captured the moment and is a small part of the collection of the Camden County Historical Society, now on loan to the Camden Shipyard and Maritime Museum in the 1900 block of Broadway.
June 16, 2014 |
Hurricane season is starting slowly, and weather forecasters predict that El Niño may help spare us this year. But as Hurricane Sandy reminded our region, you never can predict when you'll be in bad luck's bull's-eye. So it's a good time to consider how to avoid another kind of harm: from a Swiss-cheese insurance policy. Some Sandy victims found, for instance, that if losses were caused by both wind and water, a term with a whale of a name - an "anti-concurrent-causation clause" - could help an insurer sidestep or lowball a claim.
May 23, 2014 |
Behind the upside-down chairs on the bar in Tom Fischer's Tavern, a plaque hangs from the wall. "The First Bar on This Site Was Born in 1938," it reads. Over the decades, the Haddon Township bar, which prides itself on attracting a diverse crowd, has served doctors and construction workers, patrons young and old. But on Wednesday, a fire temporarily put a cork in the memories. Fire crews responded sometime before 4 a.m. Valerie Fischer, owner since 1995, said a smoldering cigarette was suspected as the cause, but arson had been ruled out. The worst damage was in a back area known as the smoking patio, Fischer said.
May 4, 2014 |
Ryan Houck was at work at Tri-Tech Automotive on Jefferson Avenue in Downingtown when he saw the water approaching from down the street Wednesday. Within minutes, the flood was at his feet. "I felt like I was on the Titanic," said Houck, 27. "The water started coming in the doors. " Houck and Tri-Tech owner Lee Captis spent Friday the way many residents did who live and work in flood-prone areas around the region: cleaning mud from the walls and floor. With the water receding and the sun shining - finally - officials and residents were left with assessing the damage from the record-setting rains that swamped the region this week.
April 1, 2014 |
They don't call it Mud Island for nothing. On Sunday, two days of rain and drizzle had left widening pools and fields of shoe-sucking muck in and around Fort Mifflin on the Delaware River. No one at the fort cared, it seemed. Certainly not the more than 40 volunteers who swarmed the place as the British never did. They were intent on cleaning and polishing and ripping out burned and bedraggled building elements, casting all debris into growing piles of soggy timbers and woebegone insulation.
March 22, 2014 |
For many people, a do-it-yourself renovation is merely the cheapest path toward a more beautiful place to live. But for Percy Bright and Tara Mangini, their house makeover became something more: It was a place to learn on the job, a showcase for their design sensibility, and ultimately, the launchpad for a new career. Today, Bright, 29, and Mangini, 30, run the boutique design-build firm Jersey Ice Cream Co. Back in 2009, though, Bright was a graphic designer - and when it came to buying a house, he wasn't even sure what he was looking for. When he came across the South Philadelphia rowhouse, it had "grandma-style" decor - not exactly the stuff of a dynamic interior-design portfolio.
February 22, 2014 |
Eugene Nowakowski and his wife spent the night at a Red Cross shelter following a water-main break Wednesday that flooded the basement of his Port Richmond home and left him without water or heat. As he prepared to spend a second night at the Red Cross House in West Philadelphia, what pained him most was the water damage to his custom-made Ken Smith bass guitar. "You can't buy it anywhere. It was made just for me," an angry Nowakowski said Thursday night. The water-main break Wednesday afternoon flooded the basement of at least a dozen homes in the 3000 block of Livingston Street, where the 55-year-old Nowakowski has lived for two decades.