JordanCornblog Goes on a Trip

Just back (as of late Friday night) from a trip to Philly that was relatively brief and included such a range of experiences that I know I’ll be mulling it all for a long time.

The visit began with a trek to Citizen’s Bank Park for a Phillies game.  Sadly the wins are fewer and farther between than we’ve grown used to.  But, as everyone repeats like a mantra these days, “It’s early yet.”  And this particular game was a nice win … GO Phillies!

I spent Thursday visiting old haunts I haven’t seen for many years … starting with the Llanerch Diner and then walking the streets of familiar neighborhoods.  A very emotional experience, because the places are so familiar … and so changed … and they are not my places anymore.

Above is the gate we used to go to elementary school – must have gone in and out there a thousand times, full of whatever feelings the day portended, or elicited.  Sunny days, rainy days … days of magnolia blossoms and of snowflakes falling.  Something about the every-day-ness of the moments, as well as their gone-ness, was very moving to me.

I visited the two houses I lived in in Havertown – one in Llanerch and an earlier one, up in Oakmont.  Then I went over to Ardmore and Rosemont to see a couple of places I had lived after college.  The Ardmore House was still there – the Rosemont one (lovely, tree-shaded old place) had been razed.

From there I went back to Havertown … was hoping to get a hoagie at Terry’s Delicatessen but it had been replaced by a Pizza place (not at all the same).  Still, it was time for a hoagie, so I got one and then headed off to Glenwood Memorial Gardens to find my parents’ graves (again, juxtaposing the every-day-ness of a hoagie with the momentous gone-ness of a gravesite).

After quite a lot of searching I found them and spent some quiet time there, then, as it started sprinkling a soft rain, headed back to Swarthmore, where I joined up with some newly arrived traveling companions and we went over to the campus to wander and reminisce.

This was followed by a wonderful dinner out in Radnor with more old friends … and a toast to our friend/mentor/coach Eleanor Kay “Pete” Hess – whose memorial service was the actual impetus for all of this traveling on yours truly’s part.

And so, dinner was followed by the drive back to Springfield, a quick chat/mini-reunion with a later-arriving friend, then sleep.  The next day was a rush of breakfast, check-out, and then back over to the campus for some sunlit wandering and then the service … a melange of remembered faces and wonderful stories about Pete.  It felt good to honor her and the days we all shared.  (And I was especially pleased that I didn’t need to encounter my high school lacrosse coach, whom I’d fully expected to see there, and had spent some time preparing for … unresolved issues, ya know?!)

Goodbyes came next – preceded, of course, by a rush of picture-taking and e-mail-address-exchanging.  And then the long drive home, through Friday-afternoon mid-Atlantic traffic and construction.  The miles flew by, though, carried on wings of conversation and the rich imagery of remembered moments.

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1 Response to JordanCornblog Goes on a Trip

  1. Paying a visit to the past is an unimaginably complex undertaking…one I’m usually not very good at. It sounds like you gave it the respect, thought and care that it deserved, all of which probably eased your way. Thanks for sharing.
    Eleanor (B, not H, that is…)


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