what is authoritative? scenes from the Laurel Hill Mansion

Monday, November 2, 2015

I don't know what "authoritative" feels like, but I'm sure I'll never get there. There's always something more to learn, something more to see, some question I don't have answers for, someone with a better story. I'm reminded of that every day, and increasingly, as I travel around our city to speak to those who have worked on its behalf.

Yesterday, at Laurel Hill Mansion, I met with the women who have helped ensure that this centuries-old home in Fairmount Park East still thrives. Musicians come to play in the summer there. People arrive and talk. Harry K. gives tours to visitors from Germany, California, and elsewhere. Sylvia, 91-years-young, recalls the work the Women for Greater Philadelphia did to open this house during the Bicentennial.

I took a few photos while I was there. That's Phyllis Kauffman looking out over the Schuylkill River from the Laurel Hill Mansion back porch. Phyllis was once a librarian in Pennsylvania's third largest library. Oh, does she, too, have stories to tell.

With special thanks to the very beautiful Ann of The Spiral Bookcase, a joyful community indie in Manayunk that supports authors and their dreams—and readers, too. Ann graciously joined us yesterday. And you can meet her again this Thursday, at the Ambler theater, where we will be celebrating LOVE as the community's Let's Discuss It title.

(We'll be doing far more than that—celebrating Temple University film students, celebrating the memories of Philadelphians, celebrating libraries and librarians. It's a fest. Details are here.)


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