Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Montour County

Before I get started, I just want to wish my parents a very happy wedding anniversary! Thank you both for all your generosity and support over the years.

I had mentioned it a while back, but when I gave presentations at Zenkaikon back in March, some of them were recorded, and the tech crew is still hard at work getting them uploaded to the convention's YouTube channel. For those of you who didn't see it on Facebook, my presentation about Celtic mythology and its impact on modern media is now available, so if you'd like to watch me babble my way through almost a full hour of the topic, you have the option. You can find it here

Meanwhile, today I'll be making a return to Montour County for the first time this year, to take a look at the county's general history. Once again, hi and thanks to Shane and the rest of the staff at the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau for their kind interest in my work!

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

George Ross, Lancaster, Lancaster County

I very much appreciate the kind interest people are taking in my secondary history blog. It's getting off to a slow start, of course, but I have to remind myself that so did this - and look where we are six years later.

For this week's quest, I'm heading back to one of my favorite cities, Lancaster, to talk about another one of those gentlemen who put their signatures at the bottom of the Declaration of Independence. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2024

A New Quest

Hello, my readers! Yes, I have a post this week, but it's not quite what you might be expecting. I'm here to announce the start of something new. 

Starting today, I have a second history blog. Confessions of a Wandering History Nerd is where I'll be sharing all the stuff I learn when I'm out and about in places that don't have PHMC markers. These will include places outside of Pennsylvania, such as my family vacations, but also places within the commonwealth that are incredibly interesting but just don't have a marker to identify them. Unlike MQ, which I intend to continue on its regular Wednesday update schedule, Confessions is going to be updated somewhat intermittently - when I have that wonderful trifecta of time, energy, and inspiration. The Confessions posts will probably turn out to be even more playful and less homework-like than what you've read on here, because I try to make history accessible to people without sounding like I'm lecturing them.

I do still plan to continue the podcasts of MQ. My voice is finally starting to recover from the chest infection of earlier this month, so as soon as I can sing an entire song without coughing, I'll know I can record podcasts again. I haven't decided yet whether Confessions will also become podcast material, but if there seems to be interest, I'll probably yield to the temptation.

So in lieu of a regular post on this blog (I have one planned for next week though), please join me in reading the inaugural Confessions post. As part of the family vacation last month, we visited the stunningly beautiful island of Sint Maarten, and I got to spend some time exploring the Sint Maarten National Heritage Museum. If you ever have the chance, I hope you'll also visit it - and tell Jean-Marc I sent you. ;) Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

James A. Michener, Doylestown, Bucks County

Sorry I'm late? I didn't intend to be gone for what amounts to four weeks, but upon returning from our fantastic vacation (thank you very much, parents), both my sister and I were struck with some pretty nasty sinus infections. She was much worse than I was, but I was bad enough that it was hard to concentrate on writing. My voice was also affected, so there have been no new podcast episodes because it hurt to talk that much. I'm hoping that the orange boys will help me with a new one in the next few days; we'll see if they feel like cooperating.

To get back into the swing of things, I thought I'd make a return trip to scenic Doylestown and talk about a writer who was way more productive than I'm ever likely to be. James Michener was the author of more than forty books, both fiction and non-fiction, and even if you've never read a single one of them you've probably at least heard a few of their titles.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

See you next month!

I had hoped to have both this week's quest and next week's lined up in advance, as I'm about to head out on vacation. But as usual, life is what happened while I was making other plans, and I just never got to it. I also didn't get to finish season one of the podcast as I'd hoped either. So I'm just washing my hands of the whole idea and calling it quits for the month, because there's only so much of me to go around.

The orange boys will be well tended in my absence, never fear. I'll most likely come home and find that they're more spoiled than ever. Meanwhile, I'm hoping to spend some of my time off catching up on my reading and - maybe - doing a bit more work on the novel I've been neglecting for a long time now. 

When I return, I do have some plans that I'll be unveiling, and the June newsletter will only be going out a day or two late. Until we meet again, good friends, I hope the rest of May treats you well and that you have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day. Thanks as always for joining me on my quests!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Gemeinhaus, Bethlehem, Northampton County

I'm once again starting to run out of my stock of markers! I haven't had the opportunity to do a great deal of marker hunting this spring, though I'm hoping to get out next month and collect a few. My best friend Andrea and my sister Liza are both interested in accompanying me on an excursion to Concrete City up north, and I have a handful of other destinations on my radar, so we'll see how that goes.

For this week's quest, I'm venturing back to Moravian Bethlehem, one of my favorite historical places, and showing you around the beautiful Gemeinhaus. When I last had a visit from my dear friend Rachel, who moved out of state, she requested that we spend a day in Bethlehem, where she had grown up. I was more than happy to oblige, and she took me around several of the places she knew best. That included today's destination, where she used to work as a tour guide.

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Allentown State Hospital, Allentown, Lehigh County

As I mentioned last week, husband Kevin and I attended the marker dedication ceremony for Allentown State Hospital this past Friday. My longtime readers know that I usually do separate posts for the ceremonies and the markers themselves; however, this event was probably the shortest of its kind that I've ever attended, and it just made more sense for me to combine it with the history behind the marker. So as a result, this post may be a little longer than usual.