Friday, July 25, 2014
As a student at Penn, I left the campus alone, prowled the streets of West Philadelphia, wrote poems upon my return. As a new graduate I took a job as a marketing coordinator for an architecture firm, where I, in part, researched and wrote history-rich installation placards for projects at Penn's Landing and elsewhere.
But it wasn't until I was selected, in the mid-1980s, by the team at Center City District to write a series of "permanent" installations about Philadelphia's history that I felt fully fledged and entrenched as a Philly girl. Those permanent installations, created with the graphic designer Lynda Cloud Weber, hung block by block, east by west on Walnut Street until they were not visible any longer.
The permanent installations had disappeared permanently.
Yesterday, however, while researching a series of new stories for the Philadelphia Inquirer, I discovered one of the long-lost panels—came upon it quite unexpectedly. It was as if a story I'd written had been lost and then returned to me. I waited to be alone with the panel. Read it while no one was watching. Shook my head.
I haven't changed much, all these years later. Not in what I write about, nor in how I write it.
For good and for bad, I am still me.