V o lu me T h i rt y F o ur , N umber 4
Franklin’s visit to rural Ireland advances American Revolution By Richard Peterson from his book, Ike Would Be Proud
There is an interesting vignette in American colonial history that occurred in Ireland. It involved Benjamin Franklin, famous inventor, entrepreneur and statesman, who was appointed special delegate to the British Crown by Massachusetts and other colonies. Franklin was an Anglophile; he loved London and spent 10 of his last years living there. In 1771, he traveled to Ireland for a vacation. He had been given the use of a carriage driver, who escorted him throughout his holiday in Ireland, which at the time was a part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain [England, Scotland, Wales] and Ireland. Following his weeklong stay in and around Dublin, he asked his carriage driver to show him more of Ireland, including the rural country tracks. At first, the driver refused, but Franklin insisted. He wanted to see how the Irish really lived under Britain’s rule. Once on the back country roads, he soon found out, and he was appalled by what he saw: people living in extreme
Summer 2020 poverty and ill health, dwelling in leaking leantos and straw houses with thatched roofs. He had observed that the Irish had lost their energy under British rule. He worried that the American colonies would have the same fate under an autocratic British regime. About this time, the American colonies were near full rebellion. The Boston Tea Party had
OIL PAINTING by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930) is titled Writing the Declaration of Independence, 1776. It depicts Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson.
FRANKLIN continued on page 12
Hamilton, a reminder of how we began, televised on Independence Day weekend By Lynn Ayres It has been 50 years since my last American history class, and all I remember about Alexander Hamilton is that someone named Aaron Burr killed him in a duel. I have long been oblivious to Hamilton’s face on the $10 bill and the Treasury Building on the other side. Seeing Broadway’s Hamilton on Channel 1971 filled those gaps. The performance was different and very much better than I expected. Being billed as a rap musical is technically accurate, but it is so much more. Not a fan of rap, I was initially put off by that description, but by the time Beaumont aired Disney’s film of the
theater performance with the original cast, I was excited. Subtitles were useful because many of the actors sang incredibly fast. But this rap is more than syncopated speech. It is the sound of beautiful voices in rhythmic song. The musical (or is it an opera?) did not take long to mesmerize the theater audience. African-American actors portraying Washington, Jefferson and Burr were initially surprising, but the fast-moving plot and clever dialogue made ethnicity irrelevant, as the audience became immersed in the characters and story. There is joy when Hamilton’s son is born and grief when he is killed in a duel, foreshadowing Hamilton’s own death a few years later. There are chuckles when a flamboyant
HAMILTON continued on page 12
Pandemic spearheads creativity: Beaumont Community’s Tribute Quilt Text and photos by Linda Madara
If you were asked what a Memory/Tribute Quilt was, how would you answer? One of our gifted residents (brilliant working with all fabrics, yarn and wool) would know immediately. As a testament to such praise, Sharon Kelly recently completed a graduation present for her granddaughter, Molly—a Memory Quilt made from beloved old T-shirts. Sorted, washed, stretched, and cut into large squares, every piece spoke for itself as the quilt grew. The final square, sewn in the upper corner, featured a photograph of Molly printed on fabric. What a gift for a graduating senior to take to college. In March 2020, Covid-19 appeared in the area. Face masks were needed by all. Not surprisingly, Sharon invited some friends to help produce masks. And, produce them, they did! Colorful fabric masks popped up all over Beaumont, thanks to the stitching team. Everyone who sews knows that fabric is left over after a project. Masks were no different. Small pieces of unused fabric
began to accumulate. A destination was needed for the orphaned fabric scraps. Sharon envisioned leftover pieces creating a wonderful quilt! She saw the quilt as a living tribute to the Beaumont Community: residents and staff who together worked so hard to cope with the virus and resulting lockdown rules. Wanting everyone to be part of the quilt, Sharon sent a letter to each apartment and villa containing a white square onto which a colorful piece of fabric had been diagonally stitched. Instructions included: sign your name in black pen in the white area. Return the square ASAP! She kept a tally of everyone responding, making follow-up phone calls to those not returning the squares to be sure every name was on the quilt. Those who were unable to write were added. When Sharon physically began sewing, over 350 squares were ready for the challenging chevron design she had envisioned. Not many days later, having endlessly worked, Sharon completed the quilt, adding the border and backing. Measuring 40” x 38”, her work of art is exciting and beautiful! The Beaumont Community Tribute Quilt is proudly displayed in the Beaumont Room. Have you found your name on it yet? It’s there…
Thank you to all of our contributors When the Covid lockdown began, most Beaumont events and activities ceased. The big question for the Beaumont News was “How can we publish when there is nothing to write about?” We were surprised and delighted to receive a number of stories and photos, even though we had made no special effort to persuade people to write. In the March–April issue, there was a nod to the coming of spring, but many of the articles and photos dealt with how we were coping. The May–June issue continued in that vein but also thanked the masked heroes who come to work every day and take care of our needs. Now we want to thank our writers and photographers who contribute so much. Without them there wouldn’t be a Beaumont News.
BEAUMONT NEWS The Beaumont News is published by the residents and staff of the Beaumont Retirement Community, 601 N. Ithan Avenue, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 Executive Editor Lynn Ayres Managing Editor Irene Borgogno Deputy Executive Editor and Production Manager John Hall Graphic Designer TJ Walsh Photo Editor Louise Hughes Contributing Editor Linda Madara Quality Control Jennifer Frankel Index Manager Nancy Harris Consulting Assistant Editors Mary Schnabel, Jean Homeier, Peggy Wolcott, Wistie Miller
In Memoriam Antoinette Starr July 11, 2020
Mollie Drexler July 14, 2020
Members of the Beaumont Community extend deepest sympathy to their families and friends.
Despite Covid lockdown, capital development project moves forward Text and photos by Lynn Ayres When most residents were sheltering in place, administrators and the Capital Development Committee were busy communicating with architects, contractors and financial advisers to finalize plans to replace the building envelope. On July 13, residents watched a video presentation on Channel 1971 with slides and text explaining all that had been accomplished. Most residents were chiefly concerned with two things: what it will look like and how much it will cost. On July 14, President and CEO Joe Peduzzi and Administrative Assistant Jennie Frankel hand-delivered to each residence a personalized
information packet recapping the information in the video. The packet also included the Special Assessment cost for the recipient’s unit, based on square footage and whether the owner chooses to pay the full amount up front or in monthly installments over 10 years. Assessment payments will begin October 15. A display in the Beaumont room contains architectural drawings, as well as samples of the siding materials. The projected start of construction is March 2021. Apartments are scheduled to be completed by August 2022, the Health Center and Commons by December 2022, and the Villas by March 2023.
BUILDING MATERIALS: (Top) cultured fieldstone for first floor apartments, some gable ends and chimneys; (Bottom) Arctic-white batten board siding (vertical “boards”); Navajo-beige lap siding (horizontal “clapboards”); clear cypress garage door.
Outdoor dining is a refreshing change By Irene Borgogno I was lucky; I won the outdoor dining lottery for Tuesday, July 28. Held in the Liseter Garden, the event was limited to 20 participants, five tables of four diners, to accommodate proper social distancing. The day had been hot and steamy, with a threat of rain, but a breeze blew away the heat, the rain held off, and conditions were perfect for an al fresco dinner. My dining companions were Frank Kampas, Lynn Ayres and Sonia Triester. The meal was a preselected and fixed three-course menu, chosen for us from the new Bistro menu. Our dinner consisted of a tomato/mozzarella/arugula salad, a chicken breast with artichokes and crabmeat over orzo, and an apple tart with ice cream. Two glasses of wine were included. Service was prompt, but leisurely, and classically Beaumont friendly. It was a wonderful change from the many weeks of delivered-to-your-door, solo dining. Good weather, good food, good friends.
Photos by Lynn Ayres
Beaumont’s recycling soars as exponentially as the pandemic
Text and photo by Linda Madara
I’m not completely nuts! A bit quirky, but as the offspring of Great Depression parents who endlessly were turning off un-needed lights, saving wrapping paper, not throwing out something if it could be used, like the back side of a piece of paper or a previously mailed envelope, I come by my squirrely habits honestly. In early March husband Ted and I became the first couple to be placed in quarantine. It was a success. No infection. A new-for-us experience was that our meals were delivered. Previously we went upstairs for dinner. No paper, plastic, or Styrofoam products for food transportation had ever darkened our doors. Almost immediately our kitchen was flooded with alien containers that couldn’t be flattened or cut apart like cardboard cereal and cracker boxes. Recycling had a whole new meaning. Each container delivered was washed thoroughly. Not a piece of plastic or foam was dumped into the trash. When dry, the items were piled together in an organized fashion. Organization is where I am in my element, especially with limited apartment space! Stack them! Never in our wildest dreams did we think that the now-picked-up dinners would produce the stacks of service items we were accumulating. Taller and taller the stacks grew. We could have recycled regularly, but curiosity drove us to see how tall a stack could be. There were the foam entrée containers and wonderfully useful small clear plastic squares that held berries, salad, or delish desserts. Soups came in cardboard cups and most always were deposited in the regular trash, but all plastic tops, and small portion cups for gravy, sour cream and salad dressings were dutifully washed before joining their stack.
You know you’re in lockdown
WHAT HATH LOCKDOWN WROUGHT? Daily pick-up and delivery meals generate an unimaginable number of recyclable containers. To make sure a container is recyclable, look on the bottom for a triangle with a number from 1 to 7 inside.
On the 142nd day, something snapped! Enough! The ever-enlarging collection, with a life of its own, was filling the guest bathroom. Now was the recycling hour! Grass doesn’t grow under my feet so tomorrow (day 143) every piece, washed and tied in bundles with an orange ribbon (only color I had), journeys to the recycling area! Period! Now, what do I do now with the white foam containers, salad boxes, and portion cups from tonight’s dinner?
• Have an animated conversation with the morning check-in voice
. . . when you
• Watch the toothpaste level go down with a sense of panic
• Fear an overflow of traffic on Wheeler Woods paths • Secretly admire the hoarder buying 12 packages of toilet paper 12 weeks ago
• Look forward to reading the stuffers in the mailbox • Worry whether your mask will match your outfit
• Agonize over friends not recognizing you with your original hair color
• Are concerned Kat at the front desk will not recognize you
• Believe Amazon used books is more important than Beaumont’s portal
• Contemplate lack of colored pencils to complete the adult coloring project
And the list goes on… Stay safe, well, and at a distance.
• Are sure the battery in your car has gone dead [Editor’s note: mine actually did.]
By Linda Madara, “Queen of Quarantine”
Tradition can be a wonderful thing By Linda Madara June is a month for tradition, and 61 years ago I was basking in graduation traditions. For the 59 members of my senior class, this meant wearing lovely long white dresses and carrying a dozen red roses when receiving our diplomas. But that year, tradition was also steeped in mishap. Assuming the skies were not emptying fiercely, the class would line up in front of the church for a group photograph. Our regular photographer had injured his knee and could not do the job. That was the first mishap. His son, Tony, agreed to sub for him. The morning was sunny and very hot. Tony lined us up as the sun beat down. It had rained the previous evening; that was the second mishap. The grass was wet, resulting in 59 pairs of ruined shoes and 59 pairs of wet feet for the upcoming procession. In our practice for the photo, we had organized by height. Tony decided this was not going to look good. He began to slot girls wherever he wanted them â€œfor artistic results and variety.â€? The repositioning was the third mishap. The month was June. An endless selection of small, winged creatures were happily living in the grass. They began to arise in small clouds,
increasing in number and intensity as high heels passed over and around them. Inhaling or opening the mouth was an invitation to these creatures; a bug or two landed in the nose or behind the front molars. Flower-filled arms waved frantically, trying to dissuade the winged hoard from rising and attacking. The dresses were another battlefront: ballgown length and composed of generous yardage of tulle, each dress was a gracious-living mosquito net surrounding a wet-footed young lady in a seemingly endless infestation. The already stressed graduates were almost hysterical. I was fortunate to have chosen a simple tulle-free gown of clean lines, not reaching the ground. For me, the only issues were breathing in bugs or bugs landing on my bare shoulders. I, like my fellow classmates, was chewing and spitting out tiny black flying creatures, as subtly and graciously as possible. We marched, heads up, scratching and spitting. Somehow we survived the speaker and presentation of diplomas before racing out to take off our buggy dresses. The photograph had taken almost 40 minutes to set up and shoot. There was not a smile on the face of any of the graduates. I only once saw a copy of the photo.
Bird watching has ups and downs Text and photo by Sally Herd Many Beaumont residents are birders. Interest extends beyond the human residents. I recently returned from a shore respite. With me was a nine-year-old male cat, a rescue named Beau. I thought I would make him into a bird watcher, so I hung a feeder on the balcony. He would hunker down behind a plant and watch, watch, watch. Birds fed at the feeder, rested on the railing and strutted about the floor. Two nights ago, I was enjoying the night air. Beau was out on the balcony with me. Suddenly, I heard an unusual scraping sound. I looked around, and there he was, standing on the narrow railing of our third-floor balcony! He walked toward the feeder and me. I ran inside to get my
Photo by Jane Ruffin
CHICKADEE with a beak full of aphids (circular inset gives a closer look).
phone and capture the moment. I knew I was not going to try to grab him. I could make matters worse. He examined the feeder and then, it seems, turned around on the railing! Eventually he jumped off, and my anxiety plummeted. The feeder has been removed.
Wheeler Woods sparks and sustains a friendship By Bette K. Peterson Two friends repose in late morning in our communi- garage, the eggs arrived, and soon there were three guinea hens. ty garden at the proper social distance. Dean “Doc” Snyder When they outgrew the brooder, they were brought to the shed by and George (Brook) Gay have been friends for 13 years here the community gardens. Twice a day, in all kinds of weather, Doc at Beaumont. “Doc” and Marion moved into Beaumont 17 and George had to go down to turn the guinea hens out to eat. years ago, and George and Bambi Gay moved in four years Happily, they love to eat ticks. later. The men met and became good friends, as both enjoy Doc Snyder, our industrious retired veterinarian, is to be the woods. found daily work In ing in the woods. fact, here is He gets up early a vignette of and heads out to their shared see what animals fondness for are about. He nature. Once, also works very George Gay hard clearing and saw a Tudor cutting up fallen house in the tree branches and woods in sawing big limbs Radnor. He that have fallen. told his real Three years ago, estate agent to Doc and George let him know scrubbed and if that house refinished all ever came on of Beaumont’s TIME FOR REPOSE: George Gay (left) and Doc Snyder take a break in Nalle Garden from work the market. wooden benches. in Wheeler Woods. It was Doc worked hard with Beaumont founder Art Wheeler “the house of his dreams.” When he moved to Beaumont for years trying to get the knotweed out of the woods. Sadly, it is and met Doc Snyder, he asked where he had lived. Would back and spreading. George comes to the woods to lend support, you believe it was George’s dream house that Doc had lived but also to make sure that Doc doesn’t do the things he shouldn’t in? be doing—like using a chainsaw without George there. Then George and Doc decided to raise three guinea Even in the hard times of Covid 19, what can be better hens. Doc built a brooder house (incubator) in the Austin than a Beaumont friendship in our Wheeler Woods?
Nalle Garden offers joy during Covid Text and photos by Eta Glassman Age doesn’t matter if you want to plant, remove weeds or water the garden. After all, Doc Snyder is an energetic 92. He has turnips, red beets, carrots and onions in his garden. Dear reader, if you can’t bend down to plant seeds, just use a long-handled weeder and join the fun. There are 24 garden plots. Spring sign-up reserves your spot. Word has it that so many people in the country are planting flowers during the corona virus that suppliers ran out of plants, and people had to plant flowers from seeds. That did not stop Beaumont—we did it. I will tell you a secret. There is a U-PICK area. Feel
GARDENING calms the mind, lifts the spirit and promotes agility. Helen Vinick's steady, controlled gardening crouch is not easy for many of us to emulate.
GARDEN continued on page 7
Forget Covid; a new infection has invaded Beaumont . . . Ruffinitus By Linda Madara I am possessed by a serious case of “Ruffinitus.” Symptoms are passionate desire to take great photographs, identify the subject and graciously share the information. These ideals come through exposure to a gifted, knowledgeable and generous teacher. Most susceptible are camera buffs with visions of grandeur, no self-control, and zero willpower. The dangerously afflicted purchase a new, utterly incomprehensible Sony point-and-shoot camera with a fabulous lens. The disease was named after Beaumont’s master nature photographer, Jane Ruffin. Recently, in Wheeler Woods, she spotted a male ebony jewel-wing damselfly on the bridge by Nalle Gardens. She photographed it and generously shared her shot with me, explaining the wing shape. Dragonflies and damselflies are not the same. Damselflies are slender and delicate; they hold their two pairs of similar wings together and upright. Dragonflies are stocky and appear somewhat formidable. (As children we thought they would sew our mouths shut.) They hold their differently shaped pairs of wings opened out. In our conversation, Jane mentioned that damselflies were often quite amorous about noon. I could easily imagine all sorts of wonderful things to photograph. I had to take my incomprehensible camera to the bridge and try. Lunch completed, Bling!, Ted and I headed for
Photo by Jane Ruffin
MALE ebony jewel-wing damselfly has a metallic green body.
Photo by Linda Madara
FEMALE emerald jewel-wing damselfly awaits a midday suitor.
Jane’s magic spot. The sunlight coming through the trees provided mottled blobs of brightness, too strong in contrast with the dark shadows on the water to get a good photograph. Disappointment. Patience. Jane always tells me to have patience. It is not my strong suit. Dejectedly, I decided there would be another, better day and turned away. Suddenly, below me, I saw a damselfly on a leaf. Light was not directly on it. The pose was less dramatic than Jane’s shot—but it was a damselfly, dead center in my viewfinder. The camera focused: OK to shoot. Click. Back in the apartment, I downloaded onto my computer my first damselfly! I forwarded it to Jane, who replied that I had photographed a female emerald jewel-wing damselfly. I hope Jane’s ebony male and my emerald female got together later that afternoon for more than tea.
GARDEN continued from page 6 free to cut flowers, take them to your home or give them to a neighbor. Flowers were selected to attract pollinators. Daisies, zinnias and poppies grow alongside peppers, tomatoes, lettuce and string beans. Dahlias grown by Louise Carter are the stars of the floral show. Ginny Rivers’ sunflowers add majesty to the garden and are in a contest with Brook Gay for the tallest specimen. A RIOT OF COLOR (top) is tended by Nancy Sharp and Joan Bromley. SIGNS (bottom) designate the only areas where flowers may be picked.
Ferns and hostas join with wild flowers and add to the beauty. Several of our busy gardeners weed, water and harvest the crop, and then last, but not least, they arrange bouquets and deliver them to residents who cannot walk to the garden. Now they are even delivering flowers to the Health Center where residents can make their own bouquets. Why not visit the garden and take a look for yourself ? Just sit on a bench and listen to the sounds. By the way, the Carolina wrens are spending their summer HELLO, up there. Are you a in the wren house where spy camera? Or a shower head? meals are included, along with a birdbath. Yes, the Beaumont spirit is in the garden!
Tools, ladders, aches and pains accompany high-level DIY project Text and photos by Diana DiMeglio, Fitness Coordinator The roof of the detached garage needed repair when Dan and I purchased our home. Every so often, we would walk into the garage, poke at the wood with a broom and guess, “How much longer?” Finally, in late summer of 2019, it was time. You could see the sky through parts of the roof. Fast forward through our vacation, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and all the way into March when Covid-19 forced everyone into quarantine. A heavy rain pushed Dan into ordering the supplies for the roof. Everything was delivered to our driveway in late April. We now had the materials, but we didn’t have the laborers. When I asked him who would be helping him, he just looked at me and smiled. Dan is an intelligent handyman, but he doesn’t like heights and has an aversion to extension ladders. With a heavy sigh, I agreed to be his apprentice. On May 2, with Dan’s feet on solid ground and mine balancing on the peak of the roof, we began the demolition. One of our neighbors, who had done his roof the previous year, saw me up on the roof and yelled that he had some tools that would help. Dan took the shingle remover; he was able to use that from the A-frame ladder. I was stuck using a pry bar, a hammer, and my hands. By the end of the day my hands were tight and my thighs sore from straddling the peak. We had to take a break the following day; neither of us was able to move. Over the next two weeks there was an emotional rollercoaster of feelings of whether or not this was a project that we could complete by ourselves. Determinedly, we decided to power forward. Neighbors watched from their decks, offering encouragement and compliments. By the third weekend we had finished replacing the boards, and Dan had rebuilt the soffits in the front and back. With music blasting and cold beers waiting for us in the cooler at the end of the day, we entered our last weekend of roof work on May 23. I was now less anxious on the roof and moved as if there was no risk of falling. The tarpaper went up, the drip edges and fascia boards were installed, followed by the shingles and then the ridge cap. We were lucky to be able to borrow a nail gun. That made my job much easier. We pushed through the entire weekend, and on May 24, three weeks after starting, our mission was complete.
4. 1. SELFIE: Dan and Diana before the roof project—don't they look happy? 2. EARLY SPRING: The roof can't wait any longer. 3. DEMOLITION begins, and Diana does a balancing act. 4. DAMAGED MATERIALS are removed (but nails still cling to rafters). 5. JOB WELL DONE! New roof promises many years of service.
Lobby’s engine plates recall rise and fall of Baldwin Locomotive
By Birch Clothier
I love trains. Had trains under the tree at Christmas. Rode the Paoli Local to school in the early ’40s. Watched with glee when the long-haul freight and passenger trains rolled by the Villanova station. Had a large layout until the room was needed for offspring. I worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad for three and a half years— pre-bankruptcy. Even today, the sound of a whistle brings a smile. My youngest son followed suit but took the love of trains one step farther: as a business, he buys electric trains at country auctions and resells them on e-Bay to hobbyists. After I moved into Beaumont, I asked him to acquire some Baldwin Locomotive Company engine plates for Beaumont's archives, not realizing that a plate in prime condition is somewhat dear and sells fast. He found the plate that presently adorns Jennie Frankel’s desk from a machine tool subsidiary of Baldwin. The engine plates presently displayed in the front lobby were the less-than-prime ones available at an auction that featured several prime plates that went for several thousand per—beyond my budget. The plates hold much information, well beyond the
engine’s production number and manufacturer. Stamped on the reverse side is a code that provides information about its wheel configuration, the boiler size and production number for that style of locomotive. Using said information, an earlier owner was able to trace ownership of one of the plates (57243) to the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. My rather cursory review of the records available came up empty for the other. The best, but still incomplete, collection of Baldwin’s production information is in the library at Southern Methodist University. In the mid ’70s, I visited Peru’s Machu Picchu. To get there from Cusco, I took a train along the scenic Urubamba River. The engine was diesel powered, but its yard mate was an ancient Baldwin switcher. Baldwin’s products were sold worldwide and were without peer. The reasons for the demise of the company were, basically, two: its engines were built to last (and did) and the company did not produce diesel engines until it was too late. Why the latter? When Baldwin was king, coal was the major product hauled in the mid-Atlantic region, and the mines would not ship with railroads not using their product. Baldwin was left making the best buggy whip.
What’s in a word? Which word? Where? When?
A Google search of “lost words from our childhood” produced an endless number of sites to investigate (about 187,000,000 hits), the first nine of which are all minor variations of the email I had received. (Interestingly, none of them credited the original article, which appears to have been written in February 2016.) The lost words and phrases ran the alphabetic avenue, from “all the tea in China” to “you sound like a broken record,” with many stops along the way at such points as carbon copy, funny papers, jalopy and spats [“spatterguards,” not squabbles]. The loss of a word or phrase seems to be a generational phenomenon, and the disappearance can be puzzling. Of late, do you find yourself thinking, “I have a mind like a sieve?” When was the last time you heard the word sieve? Try saying it aloud to someone under 30 years of age. I still use a sieve for flour when I bake, but younger people use a sifter…
By Irene Borgogno
Language changes. Anyone who has read anything written in the past can attest to that, and the further in the past, the greater the degree of change. But not all change is slow. Some change is very rapid, especially vocabulary—and most especially in the 20th and 21st centuries when television and the Internet carry newly created words into our homes at the speed of light. I recently received an email that contained an article that discussed words and phrases that enjoyed great popularity in the 1950s, all of which have essentially disappeared from usage.
WORDS continued on page 10
A new publication compiles the works of Beaumont resident Eugenio Calabi By Frank Kampas The publishing company, Springer-Verlag, is releasing The Collected Works of Eugenio Calabi, our friend and neighbor. The flyer states that it “Presents for the first time all works of Eugenio Calabi, one of the most influential geometers of the last century.” It goes on to say that it “Includes scholarly comments on Calabi’s work and impact by leading differential geometers.” So what is differential geometry? It has nothing to do with the differential in a car. Wikipedia says that differential geometry uses the techniques of calculus and linear algebra to study problems in geometry. It started out as a study of
curves and surfaces in our familiar three-dimensional space, and then evolved into the study of more abstract higher dimensional spaces. For example, Einstein’s Theory of General Relativity uses the tools of differential geometry. The flyer goes on to say that the book also includes essays on Professor Calabi’s works by several of his “mathematical admirers,” including S.T. Yau, who proved the Calabi Conjecture about the existence of mathematical spaces now known as Calabi-Yau Manifolds. Not surprisingly, a mathematical manifold has nothing to do with the manifold in a car. Wikipedia says that a manifold is an abstract space that locally resembles our familiar Euclidean space. For
Eugenio Calabi, 1984, Berlin
example, the surface of the Earth is a manifold because it locally looks flat, but is not flat globally, despite what the Flat-Earthers say. The flyer concludes by saying, “This book is intended for mathematicians and graduate students around the world. Calabi’s visionary contributions will certainly continue to shape the course of this subject far into the future.”
Rain gardens prove value in stormy weather By Mark Hritz, Grounds Director The Green Committee has supported the installation of five rain gardens; they are reasonably low cost to install, and they control storm water runoff. The first and largest was established in the Greenhouse Courtyard with the support of Ann Louise Strong. There are also two in the Mansion Courtyard, one on the east side of Austin, and one on the lower parking lot parking strip. Installed to capture and filter rain water and improve water quality, rain gardens provide the added bonus of places to plant native plants that will attract pollinators. They also hide unsightly steel storm water inlet grates.
Their effectiveness was demonstrated in the derecho downpour on June 3. The rain garden located near the Austin building worked very well during the 8.5” tropical storm— slowing the water coming off the lawns, releasing it slowly into the underground storm drains and filtering sediment from it. The rainwater was absorbed into soil recharge. Other areas might benefit with rain gardens.
WORDS continued from page 9 and have no idea what a sieve might be. Some words that are still in use have had their meanings changed. “Fulsome praise” is an example. Fulsome means “offensively lavish,” which is not a compliment, but the word sounds positive, not negative, and people have begun using it that way. Ironically, several hundred years ago it simply meant a large size or quantity, as in “a fulsome
harvest.” Sometimes what goes around comes around. Time moves on, and so does language. From the 1950s to now is 70 years. After another 70 years will language lovers be writing about (and wondering what happened to) selfies, memes, and trending? And would anyone understand if I were to say that I wrote this on Star Wars Day (May the Fourth…)?
You Almost Couldn’t See Them
Text and photos by Linda Madara
I’m standing in my garden, studying the fennel plant. It’s noon, bright and sunny. The fennel’s wispy fronds are swaying gently. What’s that? Not another bug eating my plants! My fennel’s neighboring sages have been dinner regularly and sadly sport large holes in their leaves. It’s very small. Tiny. About 1/8 inch. Tube-like. Black with a white middle. I squint. Little bumps all over. There’s another one, and another one. Oh! Wow! Five teeny, tiny caterpillars on the fennel in my garden. Adorable! For eight weeks I had watched my “butterfly plants” without seeing an egg, cocoon or winged creature. I didn’t know what the eggs would look like, any more than the resulting caterpillar clan moving ever so slowly along the fennel leaves. Last winter I decided my garden needed fennel, dill, parsley, milkweed, butterfly weed, and coneflowers, all
NEWLY HATCHED “teeny, tiny” black swallowtail caterpillar.
of which entice butterflies to visit and stay for dinner. The first signs of success were now creeping along, at the world’s slowest pace. I grabbed my camera. Jane Ruffin, our resident butterfly expert, identified the “babies” as infant black swallowtails only a few hours old. Before becoming glorious, graceful butterflies, each caterpillar must molt two more times—perilous days of change. I chose not to bring them inside. Sadly, the next morning there were only three remaining. Mother Nature could not be trusted to care for them. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego easily transferred to a secure plastic tub hotel that I constructed. They will rapidly progress through both molting stages to pupate and finally graduate on Butterfly Departure Day. Jane assures me we are on the path to success as they voraciously dine on fennel blossoms.
CHRYSALIS: The caterpillar attaches itself with a silk “button” to something sturdy and builds a green chrysalis. The Internet photo shows monarch butterflies' development. The chrysalis hardens to protect the pupa inside while it undergoes metamorphosis.
SHADRACH enjoys the fennel flowers in his plastic home. As he outgrows his skin, he will molt and grow a new one, eating his discarded skin for protein.
EMERGENCE: Jane Ruffin’s “chrysalis on a stick” survived winter on her porch, and Linda had a preview of her caterpillars’ futures. When the chrysalis becomes transparent, the butterfly will emerge.
PUMPING OUT ITS WINGS: Free of the chrysalis (lower right), the butterfly pumps fluid into its wings to fully expand and stiffen them for flight.
FRANKLIN continued from page 1 occurred, and the colonial militiamen were arming themselves. King George III, who preferred a compromise with the colonies to an outright rebellion and revolution, conveyed a message to Franklin, asking if he would return to the colonies and use his considerable influence with colonial leaders to accept the Crown’s offer of a compromise to avoid a war. Despite his love of England and with memories of those Irish back roads fresh in his mind, Franklin refused to do so. The Crown’s offer was never conveyed to the colonies, and in 1774 the military revolution began, continuing with the Declaration of Independence of America from Britain in 1776, changing the course of Anglo-American history forever.
Why fireworks on July 4? By Irene Borgogno Fireworks have always been a part of July 4 celebrations. The History Channel website explains. On July 1, 1776, delegates of the Continental Congress were in Philadelphia, debating whether to declare their independence. That night, British ships sailed into New York Harbor, posing a threat to General Washington’s troops. On July 2, delegates voted in favor of independence. On July 4, Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence.
The first organized celebration of Independence Day took place in Philadelphia on July 4, 1777. Ships fired a 13-gun salute. The Pennsylvania Evening Post of July 5 reported “…a grand exhibition of fireworks…the city was beautifully illuminated.” Fireworks would become increasingly important in the years to come, as public safety concerns caused cannon and gunfire to be phased out of celebrations.
HAMILTON continued from page 1 Thomas Jefferson flounces onto the stage singing What Did I Miss? and laughter when deadpan King George sings You’ll Be Back. Alexander Hamilton, an illegitimate orphan from the Caribbean, was intelligent, energetic and ambitious. He went to New York, where he
• attended college, • opposed slavery and formed the New York Manumission Society, • served under Washington in the American Revolution, • wrote most of the Federalist Papers, which ensured ratification of the Constitution, • and became Secretary of the Treasury, where he established the federal economic policy we have today (hence the aforementioned $10 bill). Hamilton had strong principles, which he voiced openly, and his real quarrel with Aaron Burr was that Burr had none, swaying this way and that, never publicly taking a stand. In the presidential election of 1800, Hamilton went so far as to
Photo by Sarah Krulwich, The New York Times
HAMILTON: Lin-Manuel Miranda created and starred in Hamilton on Broadway. A filming of the show was slated for theatrical release in 2021, but instead it streamed on July 4 weekend because of the corona virus pandemic
endorse Thomas Jefferson, a man he considered a hypocritical, self-serving dandy, instead of Aaron Burr. As in all dramatizations, events were added, eliminated and modified to
fit the flow of the action, but the essence was there. Hamilton not only made history enjoyable but also put a new slant on our views of the founding fathers.