The John Cougar Mellencamp lyrics “Well I was born in a small town…” resonate with me as I grew up in the small town of Audubon, NJ—till I was 10 years old and moved to the big town of Cherry Hill. Every Fourth of July I return to my “small town” to take part in some of the traditions I fondly remember as a kid, starting with the parade down Main Street (Pine Street); then it’s over to the ball fields for breakfast and watching the three-legged races. At noon the town goes to the Fire Hall to enjoy lunch, and the kids love to ride on the fire trucks. In the evening there are fireworks at the high school. The next day planning begins again for the following year. This year’s theme was “Take Me Out to the Ballpark.”
Winners of The Best Theme in the Kids Bike Parade: Maureen and Mathew Nawrocki, Lisa and Joey Fitzgerald, and Lisa Ireland-McKinney and Aiden Mckinney. The Audubon Lions Little League Baseball won Best Overall Float.
There was also a house-decorating contest, in keeping with the theme. This house on Kings Highway came in second, but was my favorite. First place went to a house on Wyoming Street as they had built an entire baseball diamond in their driveway.
John and Casey Wallace with Camden Shaw take a spin on the Audubon fire engine, a tradition that goes back many decades. Up until last year kids were allowed to ride on top of the truck, but the insurance company put an end to that.
As darkness fell Mike and I headed to Wiggins Park in Camden to watch the Two Cities, Two States Fireworks, sponsored by Cooper’s Ferry Development Association, the City of Camden, and Camden County, as well as the City of Philadelphia and the Delaware River Waterfront Corporation. What a backdrop.
On July 4th I picked up my friends Kati and Simon Curtis at 30th Street Station arriving from NYC. (By the way it was Simon who coined my blog’s name PhillyChitChat.com for me three years ago today!!!) Kati is an interior designer and owner of Nirmada. (Locally she designed the Cancer Center at Crozer Chester Hospital.)
In NYC Kati is often mistaken for Alex McCord of NYC Housewives fame. Speaking of McCord, she, Simon and the kids spent the weekend at the Chelsea Hotel in Atlantic City, and enjoyed the Cabana Club, Chelsea Prime and C5 at night. She tells me “the kids walked the boardwalk and had a ball, and because François‘ favorite game is Monopoly he was thrilled to learn that A.C. is where the street names originated!”
First Stop: The Philadelphia Independence Day Parade: Life, Liberty & You, which was spectacular. Moving the parade to Old City/Historic District was right on target as it’s much more intimate and has lots of shade trees. Kicking off the parade were Mayor Michael Nutter and wife Lisa.
Marine Cpl John Folsom (white shirt, red hat) is touring the U.S. and spent the Fourth in Philly trying to break a Guinness World Record of 6,000 High Fives and raise raise support for Wounded Warriors Family, a nonprofit organization that supports military families.
Around 2 p.m. we headed to Party on the Parkway. It was a hot day as you’ll recall, so the fire department brought in a few pumper trucks and sprayed the crowd to cool off. That girl in the pink dress had so much fun running through the water.
Also guests: Jt Christensen, Derek Freres (VP of Schuylkill Park), Mark Focht (Director of Fairmount Parks), Katie Cavuto Boyle and Andy Boyle, Morgan and Brian Adoff, Phyllis Halpern, Dan Reinherz, Isaac Kuznits, Courtney A. Winship, Eleanor Toub, Mike Toub, and Katie and Simon Curtis.
Out and About
Continuing his quest for steak over the weekend (having stopped at Morton’s on Friday night), Tiger Woods had dinner at Sullivan’s in King of Prussia on Saturday night. He enjoyed a dry-aged NY strip and a baked potato, and had no alcohol. He was very low-key, and sat for three hours with a fellow golfer. Any Morton’s or Sullivan’s waitresses have a tip on what he had for dessert?
Bones star David Boreanaz, wife Jaime, and kids Jaden Rayne and Bardot Vita were staying at his parents’ condo complex (former ABC6 weather guru Dave Roberts and wife Patti Boreanaz) on the Main Line. Neighbors have seen the happy family frolicking in the pool, and all have been friendly.
Besides the Alex & Simon McCord family hanging out at the Chelsea’s Cabana Club pool, also seen there Saturday: May 2007 Playboy Playmate Shannon James of Holland, PA. Ryan Cabrera, former boyfriend of Elvis Presley’s granddaughter Riley Keough, played at PJ Whelihan’s in Cherry Hill last Thursday, after eating dinner at the Cherry Hill Chop House.
QFest kicks off tomorrow night (the 8th) with a comedic film set in Philadelphia, written and directed by Jay Arnold, and co-written by Philly’s own Thom Cardwell. Look for Jon Lindstrom of As the World Turns to make an appearance on the red carpet as he’s also in the film, which is called You Can’t Have it All.
At Macy’s noon concert on July 3rd, the organist began to play “The Star-Spangled Banner”. The crowd spontaneously began to sing, and one lady had tears rolling down her cheeks. Maybe this could have happened at any time, or because it was the July 4th weekend, or perhaps because the annual Barbershop Harmony Society’s 72nd International Convention was in town.