"My best memory is when my dad took me to the Baseball Hall of Fame. I don't remember that much about it, but I did end up getting a Derek Jeter rookie card out of it..."
Him: "I like showing care and loving my baby. It teaches you a lot, really. I mean, before, I was just running around partying and stuff, but now he's shown me to give back and stuff and to have a life. He makes me think wiser, gives me more choices."
Her: "Our relationship is better now."
Him: "It made us closer. We don't argue a lot anymore. We want the baby to have a better life. You see, we didn't have our fathers when we were growing up, and I just want to be a father to him."
Me: "How did you meet?"
Him: "We met in church. She grew up in Freemansburg, and I was from northern New Jersey and I went to Muhlenburg in the '50s, and able-bodied men had to serve in the military. I came out of that and went to Lehigh University for some graduate classes and I went to her church to worship one Sunday and we've been together ever since. We met there and were married there."
"We're the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, and we've been here since time immemorial, but we've come back out now and we have a Culture Center here in Easton. It's to show our heritage and our culture and to teach other people that we're still here."
"What's been your experience growing up and being of the Lenape Nation and Native in general?"
"Okay, well, first of all, I'd like to say that the State of Pennsylvania, the government of Pennsylvania, doesn't recognize any American Indians living within their borders. So that's a problem right there; they believe that we want something that we don't, which is gaming, land issues, anything like that. We've approached them many times on our sovereign rights and our heritage and we've been in a battle with them, and I personally have been working to give recognition for over twenty years now."
For more information, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Lenape-Nation-Of-Pennsylvania-345712745214/
"I'm visiting my niece. I'm from Queens. I figured I never been out here, so let me try it. Queens is extremely different from Easton. You would not believe the difference. From what I seen out here last night, you can't see this in Queens. Trust me, in Queens, you gotta tie everything down. Out here, I see it's peaceful, everybody's pleasant. It's beautiful. It's beautiful. You don't have gates on your windows or your storefronts, you can leave your car garage open. Not in Queens. It's a rough world out there, sir."
Pastor Michael Dowd of the First United Church of Christ, on their program "Cover the Piggies," which collects new and gently used shoes for Easton's children:
"'Cover the Piggies' is an initiative run by a couple of people in our church; Barbara Parisi, who is our administrative assistant, really had the idea. She saw another community that made sure the kids had new shoes before they went back to school for the first day of school. We realize how important that is for a variety of reasons: one is that kids' feet have grown over the summer so you want to make sure they have the right shoe on. Second, it's really important for everybody to fit in--everybody has new shoes, so we make sure the kids have new shoes. Good shoes for kids are remarkably expensive and in six months, they may be going through another pair. So we thought it would be good for us to look at a large segment of our Easton population and say, 'Can we help those kids get new shoes and go to school proud and happy?' A couple years ago, there was a beautiful little girl and she got a new pair of pink shoes and she was so absolutely excited, she ran all over the place with those new sneakers on, and her mom said, 'Now we have to take those new sneakers off because we want to make sure they're good for the first day of school...' and to see her face, her face began to melt because she was so happy with those shoes."
Me: "What was your experience like as a Marine?"
Him: "Very rewarding, pretty much the entire experience. Coming out of boot camp and understanding everything they taught you there was for a reason. That was important and something special. After a week or so in boot camp, you wondered why you were there, and later on you get used to it. I became a track vehicle repairman and I worked on am-tracks for the most part. I had been out to Camp Pendleton and Camp Geiger which is part of Lejeune. I was a brig guard in San Diego for a while. All in all, a very rewarding experience."
Kimberly (left), Jilian (middle), and Kristen (right) of the Swingtime Dolls:
Jillian: "We perform 1940s swing music: a lot of the Andrews Sisters, and we take modern songs like 'Walk Like and Egyptian' or 'I Will Survive,' and we turn them into 1940s style versions. We're brand new, but I grew up with this sort of music and nobody around here has been doing it and it needs to continue, so why not try it and have some fun?"
Harry Greenberger has been a gun maker since 1972. He is self taught:
Me: "What's your opinion on the Second Amendment then versus now?"
Harry: "To me, if you take the Second Amendment and read it, and don't add to or take away from, it'll tell you exactly what you can do. Many people have gone and taken small parts of it to suit what they think it should say. Read the whole thing and then tell me what it says. Don't tell me what a part of it says. I believe in it, it's been in our Constitution, let's keep it there. Let's not make any changes to *any* of the amendments that are in our Constitution; they were put there for a reason. I don't care what your political beliefs are, follow the Constitution."
Greg Geist, singer for The Large Flowerheads:
"We're a '60s tribute band. We enjoy the groove and the whole style of the '60s music. We like to have a lot of fun with what we do, we try to make use of everybody's talents in the band. We switch around and we all kinda play whatever we can play, and we all sing. My favorite song to do would have to be 'Delilah' by Tom Jones. If you don't know why, stick around for the second set."
I stuck around, and it just so happens that during the performance of "Delilah," a parade of women of all ages, shapes, and sized shower him with bras and panties.
Lady T from the Easton-based band, Lucky Seven:
"It's one of the best bands I've been with. There's a lot of energy, we do a lot of old and new songs and just being with the guys in the band we got a lot of energy with the people helping us. My favorite song to sing is 'At Last,' by Etta James."
The sixties bring back a time of my youth. A lot of stuff was happening, like the Viet Nam war and love, peace, and rock 'n' roll. I grew up in South Philadelphia and the biggest memory that comes back to me was seeing a lot of groups coming up. Every Sunday, they had different acts. Santana showed up a few times, the Stones actually showed up one time. We'd go to a place called the Electric Factory, and we saw the Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Mama Cass. The music today cannot compare to the music that was.
"Easton is a very quiet and historic city to me, because there's all sorts of old buildings. This monument here in Centre Square is unique in how it's built and what it represents, you know, the soldiers of yesterday who fought for this country to gain us freedom. It reminds me, when I see it, I think about what this country is going through now and the police things that they're doing in other countries to make those people safe so we can be safe here in the United States. I commend our soldiers for it, what they go through, you know. Some have not come back."
Help us welcome "The Farmer and the Chickpea," new to our Saturday Farmer's Market. Jillian tells us what their philosophy is:
"We are 'The Farmer and the Chickpea' and we're a farmer's market company. We use as local and as real food as possible. Nothing has more than five ingredients in it. We work with local farmers in New Jersey; for example, this kale just came off of the farm yesterday. This spinach was literally super sandy when they delivered it yesterday after picking it. We'll base our recipes on what is available that week. You can come to our store in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey. You can eat there or you can get take-out. But we are farmer's market based, so we always sell things prepared, ready to go."
"About three years ago in May, I lived up in Reading and worked in the mall. There was a huge hail storm that decided to hit. You just heard the thunder kinda come and then all of a sudden the shattered windows, and I walked out of the mall. The top was shredded to pieces and the windshield was shattered and I lost two mirrors. But it runs good and I didn't want to recycle it, so I decided to take a creative spin on it. My dad and I cut a bunch of circles out of black tape and stuck 'em on the car. I get people who stop and try to take pictures all the time."
Crystal (third from left, center row) tell why the group is wearing their orange shirts:
"My husband, Bill Moser, passed away this past October from bladder cancer. He was diagnosed two years ago. He went through surgeries, bit they didn't keep it from spreading. He fought for one year and lost his battle. We're out here today to support and help raise money for bladder cancer, so this is family and friends that have all donated and come out to walk with me for the walk today."
If you'd like to donate, go to bladdercanceradvocacynetwork.org.
"We went to a Steampunk convention. We had *one day* to make costumes and get ourselves ready for a Steampunk convention that we knew about *months* ahead of time and decided last minute that we were going to handmake our costumes. That was the most exciting and intense thing we've done together."
Her: "We met when we were very small children. Our parents were good friends."
Him: "Yup. Two or three years old. She was my first date when I was about four, five, or six, or something like that, and she completely denies it. (She laughs) I really wasn't into girls until high school..."
Her: "He was a late bloomer." (They laugh)
"How long have you been together?"
Him: "Going on 63 years"
"What's your favorite thing about her?"
Him: "We think alike. We even *look* alike..." (They laugh)
Her: "You *do* get to look alike." (More laughing)
"What's your favorite thing about him?"
Her: "That he puts up with me. He's an easy person to get along with."
"When my first son was born, I was off the coast of Hawaii. I was in the navy at the time and we were doing Operation RIMPAC; it's a military exercise that we do where it's my group--I was on the U.S.S. Constellation, a U.S. carrier--against another U.S. carrier, which was the U.S.S. Independence. We had the Canadian Navy, the Australian Navy, the Japanese Navy, and the South Korean Navy, all one big old wargame. During that time, I got my AMCROSS message when my son was born. I didn't get to see him until he was two weeks old. The did offer to give me emergency leave, but the would only give me a week, and my son was here on the East coast, so it wouldn't have been worth it. So, I made a deal with my chief engineer and he told me that if I didn't mess up the watch bill, the moment we hit San Diego, the moment the brow hit the pier, I'd be off the boat with two weeks leave, so I got to spend two weeks with him. That was 21 years ago."
"I found Pepper wandering the West Ward, my ex-girlfriend and I, and she literally ran up and jumped into my ex-girlfriend's arms and we carried her home. We walked around the neighborhood and found the previous owners. She had her brother and a couple of young children and she said, 'I can't handle 'em all. She's had all her shots. If you'll treat her well, please take her.' And that was almost three years ago."
Paul Deery, designer of Waterway, a new installation on the Karl Stirner Arts Trail, explains its origins and execution:
"So, first, what I did when they put out a call to artists for the proposals, they asked for a site specific installation work. I came out here in the late winter last year and I just walked the trail a couple of times. I just started seeing spots where something could go , and I have a couple of different other ideas that I was thinking about, because I have another sculpture here in town. It's called "Chime Tree" and it's a bike rack sculpture that was commissioned by the city a couple years ago, over by Riverside Park. It has these bells that hang from it; it's an interactive sculpture where you can ring the bells. So I thought about doing something like that along the trail. But then when I was walking and I was looking at some of the space and I was looking at all the information plaques, I wanted to have something that was a little *more* interactive in the actual environment. So, I saw this space because of the old Silk Mill across the creek and I just started envisioning something that people could walk through, and how it curves and how the creek curves and everything kind of moves with the creek, it gave me this idea: I wanted to give people that feeling in a short couple of moments of engaging and interacting in that kind of space.
"There's three streams I fish: the Bushkill, the Monocacy, and the Saucon. I like to come down the Bushkill because the water runs down a little deeper here, the trout are a little bigger here, there's some nice holdover Brown Trout in this stream. It's catch-and-release. I get hungry to eat one every once in awhile; maybe once a year I'll keep one or two, but I usually release them. Today I released about fifteen or twenty trout."
"I was part of the rebirth of Easton back in the early 70s. There were three Mohican marketplaces that was an old chain--one was in easton, one was in Bethlehem, one was in Allentown. My intention was to bring new businesses into Easton, so I converted it into six or seven different boutiques including my hairdressing salon, and then opened up a private nightclub disco in the basement. In three months, I had 2200 members. And I opened two weeks before Saturday Night Fever hit the big screen, so I hit a wave. But my intention was to be part of bringing Easton back again. It's getting there. If we could just get more things like the Public Market happening, because a lot of the businesses downtown are friends of mine and I said to them, 'Is this helping you?' And, yeah it is. I've never seen so much traffic as what I'm seeing now. It's a good start."
Local poet Beth Seetch recently had one of her poems painted onto a wall in the tunnel between the Karl Stirner Arts Trail and the Easton Cemetery. She explained to me how it came to be, and began with a recitation of her poem:
"'Turn me into water
from a great
Into a bent-corner
May I overflow.'
The last few years, I've been writing a poem a day in April, and one April we were vacationing in Portland, Oregon, waterfalls everywhere, Native American art--bent-corner boxes, which are not caskets; they're meant to hold water. I was taking notes and firing on all this stuff and this is one of the few poems I've written with very little change in just one or two sittings. And then I really like the Cemetery. I write about the Cemetery sometimes, too. And cutting to the chase, last summer when the Friends of the Karl Stirner Arts Trail and Jim (Toia, of the Lafayette College Arts Program) said 'Let's have a little competition to generate more art to go on the trail.' I had sent the poem to Jim earlier and he said, 'Let's make sure we try that as a wall poem.' So, because he had the means to make that happen, the means of production and the labor, we did it. We finally got it done. So now we're hoping it's going to be the first of several more wall poems in Easton. I was the Guinea pig." (Laughs)
Tod Auman of Dundore and Heister, which carries local and organic pastured meats at the Public Market:
"We're here because there's something special happening in Easton. We're from the Berks County area and this is everything we'd love to have there. The passion, the dedication, the loyalty of this community, the pride that people have: it's just magic happening and we just want to be a part of it. It's an opportunity for us to tell our story about sustainability, about the Pennsylvania Dutch. We say "eat like you live here, celebrate what's great about this area including our farms," and this provides us an opportunity for us to do it and meet all the great citizens of Easton."
Watch out folks; he's got a camera...