"I love acting, but nobody knows that (Laughs). Hopefully I'll become an actress one day; you never know. I want to do a little bit of everything: dramatic, soap operas, everything."
Things to do today: Check out the Deck the Walls fundraiser for Safe Harbor, put together by Stephen Flowers, owner of Suddenly Samantha Salon:
"It's a skateboard art auction that I do every year where I buy twenty to thirty blank skate decks and I hand them out to twenty to thirty different artists and they design them, give them back, and we auction them off. One hundred percent of the proceeds go directly to Safe Harbor, the Easton homeless shelter. It's three locations this year; we kinda outgrew our space form the first two years, so we're gonna have ten decks here at Suddenly Samantha, ten at Brick and Mortar Gallery, and ten at Home Base Skate Shop."
"Who are some of the artists we can expect to see?"
"Chaz Hampton and Tom D'Angelo are two of our best selling artists and their works are kind of mind-blowing this year. They outdo themselves year after year. They're off the hook."
"My mom survived two heart attacks and one stroke. We went to Bear Mountain, hiking, when she was 64 years old and I was in my 20s. Now she's in her 70s and still running around."
"I was a police officer; I'm retired now. I seen the worst of the worst and the best of the best, but all I can say is that if everybody 'loved thy neighbor,' and really paid attention, life would be much better."
"What made you want to become a cop?"
"It was either that or join the military. I always thought of myself as protector. When I was four or five years old, my mother and father used to tell me, but I remember, too, that I'd put on the marching music, put on my little army uniform and my play rifle, and I'd march back and forth in the living room for hours. Maybe it was the time I was born in--1963--you'd see the Viet Nam War on the news all the time and World War II wasn't that far beyond... I always felt a need to protect people."
It's not exactly correct to call Ed Romond a "local poet." Although he lives in the area, his work has been published in college anthologies, read on NPR by Garrison Keillor, and heard at the Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival. He read on Sunday at St. John's Lutheran Church on Ferry Street, where I got a chance to speak with him.
"My writing poetry started with loving to read poetry, and, like anything else I was interested in, which would also include acting and playing the guitar, I tried to do something to try my own hand at it. I was lucky enough to have some early success which proved to be like a motivator to keep going on."
"When did you know poetry was going to be *the* thing for you?"
"I guess when I got the first fellowship, and it seemed like that was sort of a confirming, coming from people who knew what they were doing. That was one of the great boosters for me, that what I was putting out seemed to be of value to some people."
Me: "What's one of the coolest rides you've been on?"
Man in center: "Anything for a good cause."
Man on left: "Anything to do with cancer, the military, police, fallen comrades. Fighting the good fight."
"My father came to me when I needed help; he came to me and it was the greatest thing. I was really sick in the hospital and he was there for me day and night. It was just wonderful. I really realized how much a parent means to you in your life. I mean, even when you're an adult and something like that happens to you, it's like a blessing."
John Rigione is president of the Guardian of the Pink Ribbon Heals, Slate Belt Chapter. You can recognize them from their big, pink fire truck.
"We stand up for the women in our lives, not causes. The truck is pink because that's the color most synonymous with ladies. We raise community awareness. It's all about bringing awareness, hope, and support from the community, and anything that we do stays community related. We're a hundred percent volunteer--nobody's compensated."
"How did you get involved with the group?"
"In 2010, I had received news from my mother that she was afflicted by breast cancer. The national organization happened to be in town for our Labor Day parade. I was drawn to the pink truck, walked up, started asking some questions. The gentleman that was standing there put his arm around me like we'd known each other for years, walked me over to the truck, and assisted me in signing my mother's name to it and writing a message of support. They told me that those messages never come off; in time, they fade on their own. I started asking questions about how to be involved, and they had never had a volunteer firefighter on. Most other guys are career guys giving up their vacation time to travel across the states. The next year, I was put on the tour for eighteen days, and as soon as I came home I asked my wife if we could start the paperwork and put up our first chapter."
Yogi is a toy poodle. Her owner explains how she and her husband went from humongous to tiny in thirty years:
"We started out large with an Irish Wolfhound. He was *very* large, about 120 pounds and we had him, we were very blessed, we had him for eight years. And then, over the course of our lives, we've had several different dogs and one of the special dogs was a standard poodle who was extremely intelligent, and we had a Yorkshire terrier for about fifteen years, and we thought that he would be the last one. And so, on the anniversary of his death, a year later, this doggie was born. It was a sign! My husband wasn't sure it was a sign, but out of all the dogs that we've owned in thirty years, he's the closest to this one."
Bearded Man: "We're the Leatherneck Nation Motorcycle Club. We're here to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday: 240 years of tradition and taking care of business for our great nation!"
Woman on Right: "The coolest thing to ever happen to me is getting my own apartment and moving out of my parents' house, being on my own, and just being a real adult in the real world. At first, I was scared, but I was *so* ready for it, like I was so, so, so tired of living in my parents' house. My parents had gotten divorced and my family split up a little bit. Like, I've always paid my own bills, but this was the first time I had a *lot* more responsibility on my hands, so I was really excited but I was scared."
Orasa (right) and Randy Bentley are the owners of the recently opened Easton Antique Co-op Apsara Gallery.
Randy: "This is our gallery. We moved up from Lambertville, New Jersey. We have this space here and we have an antique rug room in the mezzanine level and we have fourteen dealers here in a co-op. On 20 South Third, we have Easton Antique Emporium with forty dealers, and we just opened that last Saturday. We're trying to make Easton an antique destination."
"I'm a freshman in high school and I just got accepted into LVPA (Lehigh Valley Charter School For The Arts). I'm a vocalist and I want to train to be a better singer than I am now."
"What do you see in your future?"
"I don't know what I want to be when I grow up; I just know that I want to go somewhere. I don't want to be stuck in some place, living something that I don't want to be for the rest of my life. I want to be on top."
"I went to play pool with a friend of mine and this woman just happened to be at the bar while we were playing pool. And we were probably the only two people there who don't drink. I went to get a soda, she would sit at the bar and talk to her friends and drink water all night. And she happened to be a friend of the friend I was playing pool with. We just started talking, sitting at the bar, enjoying all the other people who were drunk, and at the end of the night I had to go to work. So I told her, 'You know, I had a very nice time,' and maybe, if possible, I could come back and see her again. She never thought that I'd come back, but a week later I came back and she was there. We dated for quite a few years and now we've been married for ten."
These are the stories of the people of Easton, PA