In the Run

Richard Michie and ThorA happy-go-lucky guy with a lovable dog. If you’re having a bad day, you instantly feel better in his company. If you’re discussing your aches and pains, you feel better after talking to him. He’s better than Aleve!! Our villager for the month of October is jovial Richard Michie.

Richard was born and raised in a row home on North 18th Street in Philadelphia. Among his early recollections were of his dad, an air-raid warden, and the curtains being closed when the air-raid sirens sounded and to this day, remembers ration books. In the back of his house was an alley where many merchants passed through selling fresh ground horseradish, and other merchants sharpened knives. Richard attended Germantown Friends elementary school. While there, he went on a bus trip to pick milkweed for the war effort.

Sadly, at 8 years of age, his mom passed away. His dad decided to send him to Pennington Prep, a boarding school where he started second grade. His dad frequently visited him, and they often shared dinner together. During summer months, Richard lived with his dad at the Manufacturers’ Country Club in Oreland, and part of the summer went to Camp Lenape in the Poconos. He also spent some time in the summer with his aunts, his dad’s sisters, and grandparents in Jenkintown. Richard attended Pennington Prep until the 6th grade. When he was 13, Richard’s dad remarried. He really got to know his birth mom through many conversations with his stepmother, who had gone to school with his mom. Soon they moved to a home in East Falls, Germantown, near Penn Charter School. Richard continued his schooling there, graduating in 1956.

Having enough sense to know that he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in the future, he decided to join the Naval Air Reserve, requesting immediate active duty. He went through Bainbridge Maryland Boot Camp, and was assigned to an S2F Squadron in Quonset Point, Rhode Island, serving as an Aviation Storekeeper. Half of his time he spent on land, and half the year he traveled on the Aircraft Carrier, USS Leyte CVS-32. While on ship he was able to visit England, Lisbon, Portugal, Athens Greece, Rhodes, and Gibraltar. After 2 years of active duty, he went into the Inactive Reserve. He started college, originally known as Philadelphia Textile Institute, which became Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science, then Philadelphia University, and now a part of Jefferson. In 1962, he graduated with a degree in Management and Marketing. Afterwards, Richard went into the family business, textile manufacturing, started by his grandfather. Richard was involved in production and plant maintenance. The company, Andrew Y. Michie and Sons, produced textile interlining for the men’s tailored clothing industry. In 1964, the company began manufacturing a replacement for horsehair cloth. The new division of the company became known as Mitchie Textiles, Inc.

Richard has three wonderful children from his first marriage of ten years. The second time around, he decided he only wanted to raise, as he puts it, “four-legged kids”, and started a hobby raising, and showing, Shetland sheepdogs. At the same time, he developed an interest in Jaguar sports cars. Soon he joined a local Jaguar Club where he raced cars, as well as participated in Car shows.

In February, 2016, Richard moved to Pine Run. He loves to walk, and walks his dog, Thor, even in bad weather. Richard loves to eat, and the food here being better than he expected, he does eat! Consequently, like many of us at Pine Run, he has to watch his weight. Richard looks forward to many more years at Pine Run.

— Elinor Cohen

The Yellowwood Table

Text and photos by W.A. Harris

The Yellowwood TableIn last month’s issue of the Voice, I described how Irv Thompson, assisted by Tom Swartz, was giving a new life to the Yellowwood Tree that was cut down from its years and years standing tall in the Yellowood Cluster. Holding up Irv’s work, was a defective switch operating the table saw. The switch had to be replaced. Well, the necessary part finally arrived and Irv was able to continue fashioning the various pieces that make up the table, such as the table legs and the tabletop as shown below. Then the pieces all had to be put together, sanded and a finish applied.

The handsome table is on display in Villager Services.

The Yellowwood TableThe Yellowwood Table

Quilt HIstory

By Bobby & Walter Harris
Photos by Walter Harris

Quilt by Sharon HollowayQuilt HistoryFor the past 13 or so years, Bobby and I have been members of the Mercer Museum and we try to attend all of their opening receptions. Well, Friday, May 12, was no exception. The exhibit preview reception featured the Mary Schafer Collection: A legacy of Quilt History, and, Small Worlds: The Sharon Holloway Dollhouse and Miniatures Collection. To our pleasant surprise, Pine Run was a major exhibit sponsor. Barbara Chierici, Pine Run Sr. Director Sales and Marketing was there along with Villagers, Bill and Mary Lieser, Carole Scanlon, Carol Ann Thomas, Barbara Molesworth and Marianne Gilmour. An additional treat was that Sharon Holloway (whose miniature collection was featured) will be a Pine Run Villager this June.

Quilt by Sharon HollowayWe all enjoyed the wonderful refreshments catered by Chambers 19 of Doylestown and the fabulous exhibit. I hope you can get to see the exhibit. Shown are some scenes to heighten your interest.

Sharon Holloway will join us this month as a Pine Run Villager. If you can’t get to the Mercer, you can see beautiful quilts created by Sharon in our auditorium.

Gardening with Bob Jack

Gardening with Bob Jack“June is bustin’ out all over…”. This song from Rogers & Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma”, doesn’t take much of your imagination to see how it might pertain to gardening. To assure “bustin’ out” in your beds and borders, get your hands on some organic plant food the first fine day in June and scatter it about your “bustin’ out” perennials and flowering shrubs and stand back and wait for the show!

Here at Pine Run, we are particularly blessed to have some terrific plantings of hydrangea shrubs. These beds with their big “mophead” blooms are enough to take your breath away each summer. Many of the Pine Run plantings of hydrangea tend to be blue flowering, but did you know that it doesn’t take too much effort to convert that blue blast to a pink one? The trick lies in the soil acidity and, of course, I’m sure that you’ve also noticed white flowering hydrangeas. The white flowering beauties happen to be a different species from the blue/pink flowering types and with them we are stuck with white – no way to switch.

Soil ph is generally found to be in a range from 0 to 14 with 7 being neutral. A ph below 7 means an acidic soil and above 7 would be alkaline. Alkaline soils produce pink blooms in hydrangeas and acidic soils produce blue hydrangeas. Changing the ph of your soil is done simply by adding lime to make it more alkaline or aluminum sulphate to make it more acidic. I am advising that if one desires to change the soil ph, it won’t happen overnight, but perhaps a year or two to really affect a difference.

And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth to be in tune
And over it softly her warm ear lays.
—James Russell Lowell

A Sunday in War Time

A Sunday in War TimeI was so proud I had perfected my backflip over the back of our living room couch. It involved getting my mouth fixed just right, gathering momentum, doing a short run, digging my head and hands into the soft couch cushions, then flipping my legs up and over the hard back of the couch and crashing to the floor on the other side, then emerging to the applause of the handsome young men in their Air Force blue uniforms I was trying to impress. My mother was mortified. Here was her seven-year old daughter showing off her waving skinny legs and mended underwear to her young male guests. To me they were a grown-up adult audience to impress. To my father they were the scared, 17 year old boys he had brought home after Sunday evening service to experience a bit of home away from home comfort before he drove them back to the central flying school about 4 miles away. Dad’s car was one of the only six or seven which were allowed to be driven in our 1940s wartime, peaceful English, Cotswold Village.

My father kept a visitor’s book in which he wrote down their names and the date of their visit and beside it was the date of their death. It was the time of the Blitz over London. Boys straight out of school were being trained to fly Spitfires, to shoot down German planes and kill German pilots. It took six weeks to train them. Their life expectancy was three weeks!

Earlier, in the afternoon of that same day, my mother and I walked to our cheerful church hall to serve tea, hand out cigarettes and sing hymns; same tune, different words, with our other guests. They were German pilots, now prisoners of war shot down by our young pilots while on bombing raids over the south of England. Most of them were older men and some had learned to fly in the First World War – the war to end all wars. During the week they were transported in army trucks from the POW camp and dropped off in twos and threes at farms around the countryside. The farmers were glad to have the labor as their sons were off learning to kill Germans. The prisoners were happy, they loved the countryside, they knew that they would love to go home to their families when the war was over. They missed their families and they enjoyed coming to the church because it reminded them of their blonde daughters back home.

I thus learned a lesson at an early age about the irony, tragedy and stupidity but, sometimes, the necessity of war.

— Janet Galloway

Summer Fun in the Clusters!

Neighbors in Redwood and Quince enjoyed a convivial afternoon gathering on Sunday, June 19.

They gathered chairs under the shade of a tree for conversation, sandwiches, iced beverages, baked treats, and creamy ice cream bars that helped keep everyone cool!

Bill Newman and Bob Jack

Mimi Bach and Barbara Remmey
Chocolate chip cookiesGathering around the snack table.

Let’s Go Flyers!

Let's Go Flyers!On March 28, 2016 Pine Run Associates Larry McGlynn, Stephanie Dryden, Joyce Gerstemeier, Let's Go Flyers!Jeanne Redner, Danette Benecke, Tracy Mullarkey, Tim Hayes, Ginger Gruver, along with Villagers Rich Egan and Joan Schumacher, met up with “Broad Street Bully” legends Dave Schultz, Bernie Parent, and Bob Kelly, then cheered the Flyers on to a 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets at The Wells Fargo Center. Claude Giroux scored the final goal at 4:46 in overtime securing a crucial win for playoff positioning. Joan Schumacher scored a goal too – she got her hat signed by Bernie Parent!

Snow! Snow!

Snow!While snow is beautiful there is a limit to our appreciation for even beauty can be overdone. This past weekend is a case in point! As the snow continued to fall throughout the eastern area of the country it became a challenge to maintenance workers everywhere and the Pine Run community workers met the challenge. They kept walkways cleared.

In the meantime, the Quince tree in front of my cottage became a thing of beauty as clumps of snow gathered on it branches sparkling in the sun of a new day. While this will not last it gave me a moment of pleasure.

— Phyllis Cassidy 1.24.16

Parking lots clear!Sidewalks clear!

President’s Column

Villager Board President Dick NeileyOur Board, and its role, was reorganized about two years ago after adopting a Task Force report, which looked at how we were managing ourselves. The major and initial change was opening up Board Meetings to greater Villager participation. Other important changes involved expanding the responsibilities of the six Directors and, more recently, initiating full Board participation with management in informal Leadership and Planning sessions.

To understand why a Village Board exists, it is first necessary to look at the role of management and our staff. We pay our monthly fees and, in turn, they provide the services that are necessary for the Community to function. But just feeding us, maintaining our living spaces and their total package of services doesn’t really fill the active quality of life that we, collectively, would want – living here in a collaborative community. The Board exists to serve and represent the Villagers and to support activities Villagers desire. I see our major functions as:

  • Communication. We act as a voice both to and from management. It is critical to inform Villagers what’s going on and equally important to keep Management in the loop so they can respond to our needs. In addition, through speakers at Board Meetings, bring information of interest and value to Villagers.
  • Coordination. The Board coordinates and supports our 50 committees and budgets funds to run them. That requires that we maintain our own funds and manage committee budgets and collect annual dues.
  • The “all other” category. This is hard to define. Things come up that need doing – discussion, decisions, reports and appearances. Some are known in advance and some just happen. These tend to be spread out as assignments to Board members.

Even after having been a Board member for three years, I find coming up with a nice, clean explanation of what we do is difficult. We clearly are there to represent the interests of all the Villagers and to try to act as both a focal and a doing point to help the Village thrive. We are all here with 100% freedom as to how we manage our lives. We’ve elected to make the change from individual living – as most of us did in our homes – to community living as part of our Village. We also all know that it is a significant adjustment. It can also be seen as an opportunity quite simply to be part of our Village and contribute your part to our totality. Again, I’m having trouble finding the right words but I think that you get it.

So, at the end of the year 2015, I hope you had a good one plus a happy holiday season. My wishes for a healthy and happy New Year.

— Dick Neiley

Who Gives a Hoot?

Horned Owl by Ken KitsonOne year, early in the morning in mid-September, I heard six deep hoots, answered a short distance away by another six or so. This serenade went back and forth for about twenty minutes. The performance was repeated that day about 6PM. This was the Great Horned Owl,
a common resident here and one of our largest owls.

The male selects the territory and then calls to attract a mate. The female then selects her lifetime mate and she will also select the final nest site.* Mated pairs may occupy territories year-round and the territories are established and maintained through the hooting serenades. While they remain in the same territory throughout the year, they only roost together during the mating season.

The Great Horned Owl does not build its nest but will use the nest of others such as the Red-tailed Hawk, crow, or squirrel. They usually have one brood with one to four eggs (usually two). The female does almost all of the incubating and brooding until the young are two weeks old, while the male brings food for her and for the young.
Barn Owl by Ken Kitson
Another owl that may appear familiar is the Barn Owl.
It does not give a hoot but gives a rasping hiss or snore.
It requires open areas and cavities for nesting, tree cavities or man-made such as abandoned buildings or nest boxes.

— Ken Kitson (Illustrations also by Ken Kitson)

* Intriguing Owls: Tekiela