Her: "It was tough trying to make it where there are no jobs available and having to make the decision to move your whole family. We transplanted from West Virginia where there really wasn't much available, and we were working two-and-a-half hours apart and having to see each other on the weekends. On to Atlanta, and he's working two separate jobs by himself, and then we moved up here."
"What made you decide on Easton?"
Her: "We'd actually driven through Easton when we were on 22."
Him: "I used to teach in Hackettstown in the summers and I'd drive through Easton to avoid the toll bridge and I always thought it was a really adorable little town…"
Her: "…And he told me he was going to live there some day!"
Him: "Yeah, that's true, and years later I was looking for new jobs because I didn't like Atlanta and I found there was one in Bethlehem, so I applied for it, not realizing anything about the geography of Pennsylvania that Bethlehem and Easton were so close together. Then when I remembered that it was here, I was like, 'That's great!'"
"Find something that you're good at and do the thing; for example, write. I'm a writer and when I go through a difficult time, I write."
"So, how did you know you were a writer? How old were you?"
"I learned very early on, about three years old. My grandmother used to write poetry with me, and that kind of spiraled into me writing and publishing novels, and then it went from there."
"I go to Lafayette College, studying chemical engineering, and for the past two years I've kinda felt like engineering wasn't the best fit for me. I enjoy it, but it's not something I love."
"What made you start in engineering in the first place?"
"I've always enjoyed science and liked working with my hands, and Lafayette has a great engineering program. so that was something I went into, thinking I would love and enjoy it."
"So what happened?"
"It was just something different than what I thought it was going to be. Last year, I kinda switched gears and figured out that engineering wasn't for me, but it was a little too late to switch majors. So I just have to keep going and push through it."
"So where do you see yourself in five years?"
"That's…uh…that's… a great question. But I know I'll figure something out."
"The coolest thing was taking music school when I was four for drums. The next coolest thing, reading at an early age, taking music from four to six, before I was in regular school. The *next* coolest thing, when I stopped taking lessons at six, my music teacher said to me, 'Don't you want to be a star? Don't you want to have all the girls and this-and-that?' So, I said, 'Yeah, but I gotta keep the lessons,' and he said, 'No, you gotta concentrate on your schoolwork.' So I said to him, I said, 'Well…' He said, 'Why don't you write music? You have your notes.' I said, 'Okay, well I can *write* music…' He said, 'Well, use your spelling lists.' And from then, I just excelled.
If you remember the song "Lightning Crashes," then you know the group she's talking about:
"I used to work for a band called 'Live'; they're out of York, Pennsylvania. I used to run their website and their fan club, so I got to go to all their shows and meet lots of people and hang out with rock stars."
"How'd you get involved with that?"
"There was an ad in the paper."
"I play competitive pool. We have a small team but we go from bar to bar playing other private clubs mostly. People take it really serious; I play for the fun of it. There was this one time I was at the bar and there was some call, it wasn't the eight-ball, but it was a game winning shot--after that the eight ball was the next shot and it was an easy one. I was standing at the bar, ordering my drink, and the bartender and the guy from the other team started arguing, and the next thing I know, there's a glass mug getting thrown. It missed my face by about three inches, but actually hit one of the women on the other team. The whole bar started brawling out like that, and that's when I split. I got outta there 'cause that's not really my style. I'm there to play, and I almost saw a glass mug go through my eye."
Her: "We're always making an effort to make sure to bring him around to see family."
Him: "We drove in from Athens, Ohio, and my brother and family live in Slatington, so we just stopped off here because I used to work at Lafayette College, so I knew about the circle here, so we thought we'd come down and feed him."
"The company's been around for 20 years, and I'm really happy to be part of it. We have all the way from new pickles, which is like a cucumber which has been only a few days in brine to spicy pickles to sour pickles, dill pickles, sweet pickles, horseradish pickles, sweet horseradish pickles which is one of our big sellers here."
"What's the most, I don't know, I guess you'd say 'unique' type of pickle you have?"
"We have a chocolate covered pickle; every Sunday we have that in our store in Teaneck, New Jersey, and we brought it here on Valentine's weekend and it's really also a big seller, too. We have spicy pickles covered with chocolate, also sour pickles and the green pickle. It's a mix between salt and sweet and spicy. An interesting flavor, yeah."
"Do you ever get sick of pickles?"
"Actually, no. I still eat pickles, not like before, of course, but I still eat them. I *love* the sweet horseradish."
Her: "I've read since I was a little girl; I escaped through the stories. I like a lot of non-fiction, first-time writers, Southern writers. It's just… I just… (pause) I *love* reading!"
Me: "What was the last book you read that really made you want to bang on the table in awe?"
Her: "'The Great Bridge,' about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, by David McCullough. Great book."
Me: "What's something we don't know about the Brooklyn Bridge that you know now because you read the book?"
Her: "There were fourteen engineers, it took fourteen years to build and they lost only one engineer. They worked together really well."
"I'm really interested in human rights work and hope to use my photography to pursue that and help reach other people. Actually, I have a show right now at the Cosmic Cup. I went to India recently and I'm really into showing people parts of the world they wouldn't see otherwise."
"Somebody bought me tires for my car. Anonymously. Pep Boys called and said somebody had bought me tires and to come pick them up and they wouldn't tell me who it was."
It was cool how they finished each others' sentences...
Her: "We work down the street together at Mesa and that's how we met…"
Him: "…Yeah, that's how we met. She's new; I'm not. Well, I'm fairly new and pretty much we just…well, I'm on break; she's off…"
Her: "…so I came for a walk…"
Him: "…we went for a stroll. It's the first warm day of the year, so just enjoying the sun for a little bit."
"I rely on my parents a lot; they do a lot for me and my family, not even from a financial standpoint, but we have a lot of that whole, 'it takes a village' mentality. You also have to be willing to give someone in need the shirt off your back; it's full circle, and you reap what you sow, you know?
Market Manager Megan McBride of the Easton Farmers' Market recently told us that the anticipated Easton Public Market is going to be opening this fall:
"We're looking at early September at this point, and what we're looking to do is create a market district: So right now we have our Saturday open-air market, Wednesday open-air market, and this is kind of the new 'year 'round' iteration. It'll be a mix of whole foods, produce, old fashioned butcher, fish monger, bakeries, and then also prepared foods, some really exciting ready-to-eat-foods. We're going to have a wood fired oven in here with flatbread pizza. A craft brewery will be coming into here, a noodle bar, and also a demonstration kitchen, so we're going to be holding cooking classes, chef demonstrations, pairings. Come in here and learn how to break down a pig! Come learn how to roll sushi! So, it'll have that great community vibe that we have outside but it will be inside. We're looking to create a synergy between the outside and the inside."
"How long has this been in the works?"
"It's always been kind of the plan that this would be the next level, but it sorta got pushed along a little quicker when development downtown started really springing up, and we have so many residents moving in, and we need a grocery venue that's open multiple days a week. This'll be open five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday. It's really important: people move here but they don't want to drive; you live in a downtown for a reason and they want to be able to walk to their groceries and walk to their entertainment and have everything at their fingertips. So, we're very excited."
"I was a heroin addict, and I have six months clean today."
"So what made you take your first hit of heroin?"
"I became addicted to a drug called Suboxone that I got prescribed by a doctor because I was in pain with my knee, and when they cut me off, I had no way of not being sick. I found out through a friend that it was basically like doing heroin, so that's what led me on to doing that."
"What was your first thought this morning when you woke up and realized that you had six months sober?"
"I was happy that I didn't have to wake up sick."
"I was into my 'Bad Boy' phase for a long time and out of nowhere, at Pearly Baker's, I met my husband, and I really turned a corner."
"How did you end up meeting him there?"
"Actually, a friend of mine had been on a date, and she said, 'Oh my God, I'm dating this guy, but he kind of reminds me of *you*.' And she said it was almost weird. And then we were out at Pearly's for happy hour, and she says, 'There he is!' He came over, and it just happened from there."
Person on right: "I've suffered from depression since sixth grade, when I was bullied and teased a lot, and I actually attempted... It was a long time ago; I'm eighteen and a senior in high school, but it was a tough time, and my family's not very supportive. And this is my best friend who helped me from that kind of pit that I fell into. But I play video games, and I want to get into competitive Pokemon battling 'cause I'm a huge nerd!"
"This is my djembe; I built it in Peru. It's my spirit drum, so I carry it everywhere."
"How did you end up going to Peru?"
"Well, I went down there to volunteer, and a good brother, Andres, woke up out of a dead sleep and asked if I wanted to build a djembe right as I was leaving. I just put my stuff down and said, 'Yup.' And then he introduced me a week or two later to a maestro who builds djembes and didgeridoos out of cactus, and he taught me how."
"So what does your spirit drum do for you?"
"It helps people wake up. And me." (Laughs)
"I got to go through Europe with Northampton Community College. The coolest part, I'd probably say, was Denmark. It's a very liberated country. They're probably the most non-judgmental country around, compared to Paris or Russia."
"I'm a single mother of three kids, ranging from five years to seven months, and I work for minimum wage and still try to provide for them. If it wasn't for my father, my kids would be left out of a lot of things."
"What has your father done for you?"
"My father has helped me with babysitting, diapers, advice. You know, when he was a parent and I was younger, he really didn't know how to, but growing up and learning life lessons and understanding that he missed out on time with his kids, he applies that now with his grandkids."
Brooks Minnick, owner of the new Bank Street Creamery, on what's changed and what's stayed the same:
"The ice cream is largely the same. We've cut down on the number of flavors in the store at any given time from 48 to 24, but we'll be constantly rotating the flavors so people will find their favorites. The real thing that's different in the store is probably the decor; because it was the Purple Cow, there was a lot of purple cow in there. Now it's a little bit more of an adult theme to it, but still very kid-friendly. We're excited to be open."
"What's the toughest thing been so far?"
(Laughs and flexes) "Scooping a quart!"
"I'm actually starting do do things on my own. I'm really consulting myself and giving myself advice instead of my parents giving me advice. Getting older is far from what I thought it was gonna be. I didn't expect it to be as hard as it is."
These are the stories of the people of Easton, PA