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Letter

from the

Editor

Kate Chadwick shares some personal insight into this month’s theme

There are some great quotes on the subject of aging. My favorite is probably, “Do not complain about growing older; it is a privilege denied to many,” often attributed to Mark Twain. Then there’s the late Tom Petty’s pithy-but-painfully-accurate, “If you’re not getting older, you’re dead.” And of course, the bullseye t-shirt wisdom of, “I may be old, but I got to see all the cool bands.” I have one to add, if I may: “I may be old[er], but I loved autumn before it was cool.” [See what I did there?] Before Pumpkin Spice latte was dreamed up by Starbucks executive Peter Dukes and became de rigueur for every VSCO girl’s Instagram post. Before VSCO and Instagram even existed, for that matter. Back before corn husk pumpkins and salted caramel apple-scented candles started lining the shelves at Michaels craft stores—before Michaels craft stores, even. Are you sensing a pattern here? When I was a child, my father tolerated my mother’s affinity for the seashore—where her parents had retired and which we visited year-round—in exchange for a jaunt or two each autumn from our Delco home to the Poconos, where his brother’s family had a vacation house. (We were poor—we took all the free getaway options we could, including frequent Sunday drives through Chester County.) Always a fan of change and changing seasons, I loved fall most from the jump. Yes, we had changing leaves and temperature dips in Delco—hurray for open windows—but the grand-scale glory of fall foliage in the mountains—and on the drive there—knocked my socks off. Still does. The scent and crackle of a fireplace undoes me to this day. And although I was “old” by the time I started using Instagram, I’ll argue with… well, anyone, that fall offers the best light for photos. In this issue, we bring you a love letter to West Chester in the fall, a tribute in photos by our own Erik Weber, of @WestChesterViews fame. To borrow another favorite quote—song lyric, technically— “Every picture tells a story, don’t it?” (Thank you, Rod Stewart). As for words, we’ve got two other feature stories, both by the intrepid Danielle Davies: one about the Helicopter Museum, which you’ll find not only enlightening, but a visit worthy of your family weekend activity calendar. And the other, a look at the annual Historic Preservation Awards, an homage of its own to the beauty of this town and to those who work to capture and preserve it. Both Andrea Mason and Becca Boyd’s columns (Design Dilemmas and Home Beccanomics) jump into fall with both feet—and I plan to tackle that soup recipe in the latter column sooner than later. My aunt and uncle have both passed away, but that Poconos house remains in our family. It’s been almost eight years since I’ve visited. I intend to fix that sooner than later, too. Thanks for reading as we welcome fall to West Chester! —kate@thewcpress.com

The

Press PUBLISHER Dan Mathers dan@thewcpress.com

ADVERTISING MANAGER Nick Vecchio nick@thewcpress.com MANAGING EDITOR Kate Chadwick kchadwick@thewcpress.com GRAPHIC DESIGNER Nazarena Luzzi Castro nazarenaluzzi.com CONTRIBUTING EDITORS Jesse Piersol jpiersol@thewcpress.com Danielle Davies ddavies@thewcpress.com STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Erik Weber @westchesterviews

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” –John Donne COLUMNISTS Becca Boyd bboyd@thewcpress.com Jamie Jones jjones@thewcpress.com Andrea Mason amason@thewcpress.com DJ Romeo romeo@thewcpress.com Kate Chadwick kchadwick@thewcpress.com Published By... Mathers Productions 1271 Phoenixville Pk West Chester, PA 19380 mathersproductions.com 610-299-1100 The WC Press is a monthly magazine mailed to more than 3,000 homes throughout West Chester, as well as being dropped off to about 100 locations in and around the borough. For a free subscription — digital or mailed — visit thewcpress.com.

Worth

Noting

Our no-nonsense table of contents

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#THEWCPRESS Our favorite social media posts from fans are getting printed

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MARKET FORECAST Your planetary predictions with a particularly local twist

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PRESERVING THE PAST Chatting with this year’s Historic Preservation Award nominees

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DESIGN DILEMMAS Our resident interior designer helps you upgrade your space

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AUTUMN IN WEST CHESTER A photo essay by Erik Weber from @WestChesterViews

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HOME BECCANOMICS Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking

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SUSTAINED FLIGHT The American Helicopter Museum celebrates 25 years

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FAR AND WIDE Jamie Jones takes your travel queries

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PHOTO HUNT Spot the five differences and win a Barnaby’s gift card

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@thewcpress #thewcpress Like and follow us on social media, then tag us in your posts for a chance get your work published here. Our favorite image each month () will earn its photographer a gift card to @barnabyswestchester

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Market Forecast

Resident astrologer Kate Chadwick provides your planetary predictions with a particularly local twist Aries (3/21-4/19): Single or paired, October brings romantic issues. Tethered rams will see conflicts over cash, single ones will have decisions to make—should you stay or should you go? Snag a new rake at Market Street Hardware, get out in the yard, and think. Taurus (4/20-5/20): You’re not a fan of change, steadfast bull, but under these aspects, the universe is suggesting a career rethink. Don’t panic! Get your computer in for a checkup at Computer Doctors, then explore your options from the comfort of home. Gemini (5/21-6/20) It can’t all be unicorns and rainbows, twin stars—October looks bumpy all over. Everything gets under your skin: career, love partners, and family. Prospects look good for learning, though! You love that! Peep some courses at WCU. Cancer (6/21-7/22) October looks chock full of blessings for you, crab friends, which is lovely because you deserve a break. Why not put your focus on yourself instead of others for a change of pace, and treat yourself to a spa day at La Difference? Leo (7/23-8/22) When’s the last time you had a checkup, majestic ones? Both your physical and financial health need attention. Putting your social life first will catch up with you if you’re not careful. Start with a wellness session at Goshen Family Chiropractic. Virgo (8/23-9/22) Lots of positive aspects now, steady Virgo: you look good, you feel good, work is good…oh wait, what’s this? Make sure that special someone who caught your eye during happy hour at Social is as available as they say they are. Libra (9/23-10/22) The focus is on family for you right now, lovely Libra, which is good because both career and finances are a little bit shaky. Hunker down with your peeps and skip dining out for a bit. One jaunt to Carlino’s should cover dinners for days. Scorpio (10/23-11/22) Follow your heart this month, Scorpions, and shift your focus away from family discord and collegial conundrums. No sudden movements. Pick up a soft fall throw blanket from Giunta’s and snuggle with your favorite person or pet. Sagittarius (11/23-12/21) The universe is asking if you want to be right, or happy, dear archer. Practice compromise. You want Nick’s Roast Beef; your favorite vegan wants Love Again Local. Alternate. Or skip lunch and do Dia Doce for dessert. Everybody’s happy. Capricorn (12/22-1/19) You’re so work-oriented, goat friends, that you can be a taskmaster where kids in your life are concerned. They’re still adjusting to school, so cut them some slack and plan a trip to the Helicopter Museum. Education + fun = win/win. Aquarius (1/20-2/18) Um. Family conflicts. Professional roadblocks. Bleak finances. You’re kind of catching it from all sides, dear Aquarian. While your instincts may be to go find something (or someone) to punch, perhaps a trip to Prana House is the solution. Pisces (2/19-3/20) You’ve got lots of energy under this aspect but not a lot of cash, fish friends, and the holidays are right around the corner. A workshop at Pine + Quill will be just the ticket. Presto: homemade gifts for your peeps, from both your heart and hands. –kchadwick@thewcpress.com

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story by DANIELLE DAVIES photo by ERIK WEBER

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I

f you’re lucky enough to live in the borough, you’re lucky indeed. “I drive my wife crazy saying, ‘Isn’t this a great place to live?’” says Allen Burke, Chairman of the West Chester Preservation Awards Committee. “The combination of wonderful people and the great architectural gifts that we’ve been given just leads us to enjoy every day.”

addition to a plaque for winners to affix to the front of their building, the event has changed from a quiet morning affair to a full-fledged ceremony with a who’s who of West Chester, along with local and state dignitaries, leading architects, university leaders, and borough residents in attendance. “Everyone has a good time,” says Burke. “It’s a really nice event.”

Burke is hardly alone. And though people can’t always put their finger on the exact reason they love West Chester so much, Burke has some thoughts. “It’s this incredibly special thing that the borough has, and I think a lot of it has to do with the architecture, the historic fabric, the streetscape,” says Burke. “And that’s what we try to do with the awards: we just want to celebrate and learn from these gifts.”

In honor of their 10th anniversary, the Preservation Awards are planning a special evening complete with hors d’oeuvres and a light buffet from Limoncello, plus wine and beer. And though it’s a fun night, with a lively presentation and reasonably priced tickets, it’s more than just an opportunity to dress up—it’s a celebration of the borough itself.

That’s what the Historic Preservation Awards do—celebrate and acknowledge the people and projects that have contributed to the borough’s unique character. Though the mission hasn’t changed, there have been updates to the ceremony since it was first held in 2011. In

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With up to five Brick and Mortar, and Preservation Service, and Preservation Legacy awards distributed as appropriate, the ceremony is leaving a legacy of its own. “One of our key learnings is that people want to hear a little more about the history, any interesting story attached to a building. That’s what we try to do,” says Burke. “It’s not just about how they placed

the brick, but who lived there and what they did. We do a lot of research to determine what history there is to a building.” Nominations come from homeowners and businesses proud of their accomplishments, to architects, fans, and the Preservation Awards Committee itself. The winners are announced at the in-person event, but nominations are accepted annually from February 10 to June 10 and focus primarily on public spaces. “Individuals do submit nominations, and they are justifiably proud of the work that was done on their exterior and the interior. But the interior of a private residence is not a public space. So as much as we love the pictures of the inside, we don’t use any of those unless it is a public building,” says Burke. “If it’s a restaurant or something like that, we allow the main floor of any public building to be considered. But it’s really about the exterior.” While winners of the West Chester Preservation Awards won’t be announced until October 21, we are happy to present readers with four of the nominees for this year’s awards.


Brick and Mortar Nominee:

West Chester Friends Meeting 425 N High St The West Chester Friends Meeting House has been around for a long time. And while it suited the needs of many of its members, there was one concern. “The newer part of our Quaker building is 150 years old. The older part is 50 years older than that. We’ve known for a very long time that getting mobility-challenged people into our building was extremely difficult or impossible, essentially because of one single step, eight inches high,” says Randy Lyons, a member of the building’s maintenance committee. While the issue stemmed from that step, it involved spaces both inside and outside the Meeting House. “People have talked from time to time of building a ramp which would extend into one of our two porches, and we looked at that,” says Lyons. “But to meet ADA standards, the ramp would have to be eight feet long and would require metal railings with handles on each side, which

would be extremely intrusive to this particular space.” Not until an alternative and much more expensive approach was considered did the project at the Meeting House really begin. “This alternative approach was to move all of the bricks across the sidewalk, to elevate the entire base of the sidewalk to eliminate that eight-inch step,” says Lyons. “So, we asked our architect to work it up. I took this back to our Quaker Meeting and said, ‘Here’s what we can do: If we’re not going to build a ramp, this seems to be the only alternative,’ and there was this overwhelming response from the Quaker Meeting which was, ‘We have to do this. And if it costs a lot of money, we still have to do this.” The project was substantial, taking approximately three years to complete. “The essence of the first half of the project was removing all of the bricks, not just by the door but for the entire length so it’s completely smooth,” says Lyons. “This would get someone in a wheelchair from the parking lot into the Quaker Meeting worship room.”

Rather than build a long ramp to make West Chester Friends Meeting more accessible, the entire existing patio was raised to bring it level with the entryway. While the project also included an unobtrusive interior lifting mechanism allowing wheelchairs to get to the restrooms, as well as an interior ramp, the exterior of the building is particularly noteworthy.“Certainly, one of the most rewarding things that we’ve heard from a number of people is that it looks like it’s always been here,” says Lyons. It helps that the original bricks, already lying there as the porch for 150 years, were used.“The bricks on that porch had to be removed. They were kind of wavy, and a bit lumpy and broken,” says Lyons. “The construction people dug down, put down gravel and so forth, a concrete base, and put the bricks back on top, so it’s perfectly level and a much more pleasant place to be.” Adding to the appeal is a new half wall that was installed to separate the different heights on the porch.

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www.carlinosmarket.com

610.649.4046

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Lyons couldn’t be happier about how the project turned out. “An organization in downtown Philadelphia sent a representative out to look at the way the doors move and that the surfaces are smooth enough and that sort of stuff, and he said that one of the things about this that’s so wonderful is that nothing we’ve done to our building is special for mobility-challenged people. Everybody uses the exact same way to get in and out,” says Lyons. “How gratifying is this?” Brick and Mortar Nominee:

Magnolia Manor 327 S Walnut When Beth and Marty Nebel purchased their home in 2018, it was a three-story building, plus a basement, that had been most recently divided into two homes— the main unit, which included the basement, first and second floor; and the third floor, which was a rental unit.

The Nebels learned that the house was built in 1869, and while it was originally intended as a single, grand home, it had long been apartmented. “The home was kind of chopped up and divided into three separate apartments with a fire escape on the outside that accessed the second- and third-floor apartments,” says Beth Nebel. “The previous owner, who was here for 20 years, opened the house a bit, in that they had an apartment and a renter on the third floor only. We took it a step further—removed the fire escape, chopped off the whole back of the house, and opened it up to one single family home.” The original structure, a three-story rectangular Victorian, had been modified at some point to include a kitchen with a shed roof off the back of the house. “We took that kitchen and back shed roof off the house because it was failing,” says Nebel. “(Then) we excavated below what was the kitchen, built

The shed roof off the back of Magnolia Manor was removed and a new, complementary addition, built in its place. a new basement under the new area, built a kitchen above, and built a full master suite on the second floor.” The addition, though not brick, complements the original structure. Designed by architect Jeff Beitel and built by Jamie Reed of Reed’s Woods, the addition utilizes Hardie Board, a cement product. “They painted it kind of a cream and gold, and it’s beautiful,” says Nebel. Other work that preserved the integrity of the original structure included the use of old, rounded gutters, and the inclusion of ice cleats—also called snow brackets—on the roof, part of which is a colonial red metal roof that matches the carriage house, and the rest of which utilizes regular shingles to match the older section of the roof.

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Another big part of the project was the carriage house. “The most difficult thing about the carriage house is that it is historic,” says Nebel. While it isn’t part of the historic district of West Chester, changes to the carriage house had to be approved by the Historical Architectural Review Board. “Jeff (Beitel) helped us a lot because when we did go to the board, they were so impressed with our proposal. Jeff knew exactly what was needed. They said, ‘Absolutely. It’ll be an asset to the neighborhood’,” says Nebel. The carriage house, which had been full of junk when the Nebels purchased the property, consisted of two halves: a stone floor where the horse would be brought in from pasture, and a cement slab where the carriage was kept. “One of the first days we were here with the car in the driveway, the whole door fell on Marty’s car and dented the hood,” says Nebel. “Our goal was to make it a usable garage.” And so, the carriage house was modernized without changing the original footprint or look and feel of the structure. “Three sides of it are brick. It’s only the front side that had a sliding door that changed. We had garage doors put on with openers,” says Nebel. “We are loving it.”

The existing carriage house was so ramshackle that, when the Nebels first moved in, one of the doors fell off and onto one of their cars in the driveway.

Brick and Mortar Nominee:

The Sherlock Home 127 W. Barnard

Lynn Sherlock always coveted the house at 127 W. Barnard. “So, the funny story about this is I’ve always loved this house, and I actually put a letter or two in their mailbox saying, ‘If you ever wanted to sell this property, I would love to buy it,’” says Sherlock. The property was listed for sale in 2019 and Lynn and her husband Kevin jumped on it. That was the easy part. “It was a little dilapidated to say the least,” says Lynn. The truth was, the house was in a tremendous state of disrepair. “We went to see it and you couldn’t even walk in there because it was so dilapidated. The roof had a hole, which poured into the only bathroom, which poured into the living room.” “The basement was basically plastic trash bags floating in a foot of water,” says Kevin.

The Nebels retained the rounded gutters from the building, and also installed ice cleats on the roof, another detail harkening back to the era in which the house was built.

Between the water, five dumpster loads of trash, three or four dumpsters worth of dilapidated building material that had fallen inside—everything from the roof to the brick walls was collapsing—and only one working electrical outlet, another couple may have walked away from the house. “We talked about it. When we were younger, we did a lot of renovations. Kevin knew this was going to be a very difficult situation because we didn’t even have parking. And he ended up saying, ‘Are you sure?’ and I was like ‘Yes!’ because I was already so thrilled that I got this property because I always wanted it.” says Lynn. “But it was a long couple of years.” The house needed an enormous amount of work, both inside and out. That work was exacerbated by one of Lynn’s most passionate projects—the windows. “I kept saying to my friends, 'I'm getting these windows. I don’t care how much work it takes, I want to save these windows,’” says Lynn.

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“We went through three divorces over the windows,” joked Kevin. The crux of Lynn’s argument was that replacement windows wouldn’t look like the original house. It was true but required multiple specialists to make it happen. “Basically, the original windows of the house were Lynn’s thing. She had to save the windows,” says Kevin. “So, we took the windows and had all of them disassembled, sent out, had everything burnt off them down to the wood, any re-puttying or re-epoxying work that had to be done. They had to all be painted and then put back together again and installed so the windows on the house are exactly how they looked almost 200 years ago.” James Breen of R&B Renovations was one of the specialists who worked on the windows. “They worked on it for months,” says Lynn. “It was painstaking to rebuild everything and get it back to an original state,” says Kevin. “They are perfectly operating windows today.”

While the original windows grace the entire portion of the primary structure, the Sherlocks did install modern windows on their addition at the back of the house, which used Hardie Board to complement the brick used on the rest of the property. “Every square inch of the outside of the house was gone over,” says Kevin. In addition to sticking to the original brick—all of which was repointed—and utilizing cedar shake in homage to the original roof, all the hardware from the shutters was used. “We couldn’t salvage the shutters,” says Kevin. “So, we had someone make the exact same shutter, and we used all the hardware that came with the house on them.” The Sherlocks even used whatever brick they could salvage from the 10-footwide walkway next to the home. “I was determined to save the bricks,” says Lynn. “But as they started pulling out the bricks to redo everything—because they had to get into the back with a Bobcat— they started disintegrating. So, we built walls in the back garden and used what brick was left over for the walls.”

The Sherlocks preserved the existing windows and re-paned and finished them, so their modern home retains its 200-year-old windows. Lynn’s passion for the house took her all the way back to 1838 and Benjamin Freeman, a former slave who was part of the Underground Railroad, who was the original builder of the home. “To me,” says Lynn, “it’s just a fascinating house. And a fascinating person who built it.” Service Award Nominee

Malcolm Johnstone Malcolm Johnstone has spent years in the service of West Chester as former Executive Director of the Business Investment District, but it’s the publication of his book, For the Union, that led to his nomination for the Preservation Service Award. The book tells the story of the first published biography of Abraham Lincoln, which appeared on the front page of The Chester County Times on February

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11, 1860. The biography was written and published in what is currently The Lincoln Building and is said to have influenced one million voters, thrusting Lincoln towards his presidential victory. Johnstone proposed a reprint of the biography in the 25th Anniversary Publication of the Chester County Community Foundation, but Karen Simmons, President and CEO of CCCF, suggested that it would be more appropriate as a stand-alone project. “I was already researching the events that directly led up to the biography, and it soon turned into a fascinating story that involved the Quaker culture of abolition, a notorious hanging of a local black woman, a slave rebellion, and a small but dedicated group of anti-slavery activists who were looking for someone like Lincoln to move the country closer to its promise of equality for all,” says Johnstone. Johnstone’s former position at the BID lent itself to the work involved in writing the book. “I’d been hired as the start-up manager for the West Chester BID and held that position for 19 years,” says Johnstone. “Early on, I was quickly introduced to a number of local historians, including Dr. Walter Hipple, A. Roy Smith, Dr. Jim Jones, Tom Walsh, Tom Comitta, Ray Ott, and Bruce Mowday. Each took the time to introduce me to a different part of West Chester history, which helped me understand the depth of our local heritage, dating all the way back to William Penn.”

Calling 127 W Barnard dilapidated is an understatement — it was crumbling. Even so, the Sherlocks preserved the intention and design of the original builder, Benjamin Freeman, a former slave, by repointing all the brick and crafting new shutters to match the original design.

The BID adopted a downtown revitalization strategy created by the National Trust for Historic Preservation known as the Main Street Approach, and West Chester has over 4200 structures listed in the National Register of Historic Places. “Preserving these structures and telling their story is a hallmark of that approach,” says Malcolm. Like the projects of previous winners of the Service Award, For the Union helps to shine a light on West Chester. “The Lincoln Building is considered a local heritage site not only because of its connection to the first Lincoln biography but also as part of the development of the borough. When it was completed in 1833, it was the tallest privately-owned structure and the first to be used entirely for commercial activities with no residential component,” says Johnstone. “Its elegant architecture set the standard for future growth.”

When they first purchased the building, you couldn’t even safely walk inside. After years of work, the building’s entrances are warm and welcoming.

According to Johnstone, the building also is the first structure to extend beyond the original downtown in what has been called the second phase of development for West Chester. “Telling the story of what happened at the building—and more importantly, why it happened—is part of America’s history,” says Johnstone. “It’s also part of the story of the Quaker influence supporting equality, and of black and white abolitionists working together to ensure equal rights for all Americans, including voting rights for women.” Johnstone is delighted to be nominated. “Such an honor is more about the sense of teamwork in the community,” says Johnstone. “I’m both honored and humbled to be considered part of a local community of historians and enthusiasts, although my contribution is small compared to the wealth of knowledge others have contributed to keeping history alive in our community.”

“To me, it’s just a fascinating house. And a fascinating person who built it.” -Lynn Sherlock

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Design Dilemmas Andrea Mason of Andrea Mason Design is a professional interior designer who wants to help you upgrade your space

Fall has arrived! This season is just brimming with so much beauty. The leaves are turning, and that crisp fall smell is in the air. More than that, the colors of autumn are my absolute favorite with their rich reds, deep oranges, and golden browns. Bringing this warm palette from the outside in, along with some playful patterns and decor in your home, will create the cozy comfort that we all enjoy. Decorating for autumn doesn’t have to be a big production. Making some simple switches, such as a few throw pillows here, a soft blanket there, and dressing up your table or console will be all you really need to get into the spirit of the season. Let’s talk about fall decor. I adore autumnal homes with the quintessential pumpkin and gourd accessories. Adorn your table or console with a grouping of these along with some candlesticks to create a warm ambiance. Another simple way to bring the season into your home is with a vase full of dried, faux, or real flowers. Any florals with red, orange, yellow, or brown—like lovely beech leaves, Phalaris, or eucalyptus—will do the trick. Keep things simple and choose just two or three colors to work with. Combining too many colors can intensify the space, and your pattern and color schemes can end up fighting with each other rather than working together for a cohesive palette. A wreath is such a lovely way to decorate your front door or bring the outdoors into your home by hanging it above your fireplace, a console, or on any interior wall. The wreath can be decorated with fall-colored leaves or flowers, faux or real, or you can use dried branches, reeds, or pinecones. You can also embellish your wreath with a colorful or patterned ribbon. Anywhere you have an opportunity to add natural elements from the outdoors, like a woven basket or a vase of flowers, will bring that crisp autumn air feeling inside your home. Fall is also about patterns and textures that bring comfort into your life. For textures, I love soft velvets, chunky knits, and warm flannels. And you can’t think of fall without thinking of plaid. It’s a timeless look that will make you feel like apple picking, pumpkins, cider donuts—all those joys of this season. Leaf or floral patterns are also the perfect prints to decorate with. Find these patterns in vivid harvest season colors and use them in your pillows, throw blankets, linens, and decor. For some instant warmth, light up your fireplace! Dress up your mantel with seasonal decor and flank the fireplace with your tools and wood storage. All these elements—the wood, the flames, and the mantel décor—are layers of accessories that can dramatically alter the mood in the room, creating a serene and intimate setting for these cooler days. Tie in these fall elements and enhance every moment of the season. It’s the time of the year to curl up with a warm blanket, a good book, and a hot cup of cider, and just feel at home. –amason@thewcpress.com

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• Custom Framing • Local Chester County Artists • Antique Maps • Restoration Services • Fine Art Printing

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in West Chester

A Photo Essay by Erik Weber @WESTCHESTERVIEWS Captioned by Dan Mathers

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Few things can make the brick sidewalks of Washington Street more beautiful, but a carpet of golden leaves doesn’t hurt.

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Gay Street glows at the edge of sunset

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The doors downtown offer diversity and beauty, like these complementary entrances along Walnut Street.

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Peeping through the oak leaves past a perfect row of shutter-clad brick homes along S New Street.

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Can you hear the leaves rustling atop the roof of the Everhart Park bridge gazebo?

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Fall’s colors pair perectly with the brick and burgundy crosswalk at Gay and High Streets.


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Home

Becca Boyd shares tips on life and cooking on her blog at homebeccanomics.com

Beccanomics

October might just be my favorite month in West Chester. The sights, sounds, and smells evoke an energy unmatched in the sticky summer months or in the dreary, frozen winter. May, you run a close second, and only because I prefer the abundance of autumnal produce. Below you’ll find two recipes that put to use what’s seasonal now; one in a comforting, healthful way and the other in a friend gathering, party way (I quite enjoy both). –bboyd@thewcpress.com White Bean Soup with Kale and Tahini serves 10 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1 tsp. dried oregano 2 onions, diced 1 tsp. dried rosemary 5 large (or 7 small) carrots, 9 c. chicken or vegetable broth peeled and diced 7 c. kale or baby spinach, well 4-5 large stalks celery, diced chopped 4 cloves garlic, minced or 6 c. cannellini beans, drained pressed (2 c. dried beans or FOUR 15-oz. cans) 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 1/4 c. tahini, well stirred 1/2 tsp. black pepper Juice of 1 lemon 1 tsp. dried thyme

1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic. Saute, stirring occasionally, about five minutes. 2. Add salt, pepper and herbs and stir to combine—let cook until vegetables are tender, 3 or 4 minutes more. 3. Add the broth and, if using kale, add it with broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add the spinach (if using) along with beans and tahini. Stir to combine. 4. Remove pot from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir and taste. 5. Serve with a fresh-grated, dry Italian cheese and fresh parsely (optional). Honeycrisp Bourbon Batched Cocktail serves 16 6 large or 9 medium (2-1/2 lb.) Honeycrisp apples, cored and cut into large chunks Juice of 3 lemons 3/4 c. maple syrup

4 1/2 c. apple cider 1 tsp. cinnamon 3 c. bourbon Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs and a thin apple slice

1. In a food processor or blender, blend apples, lemon, syrup, cider, and cinnamon. (I divided this into three groups so my blender could handle the amount.) Strain through a fine mesh sieve into a pitcher. 2. Add cider and stir. Serve, cold, over ice. 3. Add Bourbon (if desired) and garnish. AUTUMN 2021 THEWCPRESS.COM

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The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center looks to the future as it celebrates 25 years story DANIELLE DAVIES photos ERIK WEBER

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s we roll into fall and the official start of fundraising season, there are several interesting events we’ve got our eyes on. One is the annual gala of the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center on October 16. While the gala is always noteworthy, it’s especially exciting this year, as it marks the 25th anniversary of the museum. “We started these galas probably 12 or 13 years ago to raise funds for the museum,” says Bob Beggs, Co-Founder and Trustee of the organization. “In the beginning, it was easy to raise funds because you’re getting people excited about starting a new museum—but then you have to continue to operate. So, we launched this gala, and in the second year of holding it, we introduced the American Helicopter Museum Achievement Award.” Every year, the museum gives an award that celebrates achievement in helicopter innovation. Past winners have included such prestigious names as AeroVelo for the Atlas Human Powered Helicopter; University of Maryland – School of Medicine, University of Maryland UAS Test Site and Living Legacy Foundation of Maryland for the first successful transplant organ delivery by drone; and Jeff Bezos for Amazon Prime. “It’s about celebrating them and recognizing them. In general, they come, and are feted and celebrated,” says Paul Kahan, Executive Director. “And it brings attention to the museum. I think it’s a reminder of our purpose, which isn’t just to preserve, it’s to educate and inspire. And by celebrating achievement, we do that, because while the helicopter museum’s focus is on the history and science of helicopters, we also want to play a role in recognizing the cutting edge.” This year at the gala, the award will be presented to the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Team, for “Not only the team’s significant technical accomplishment, but its demonstration of the unmatched versatility of rotary wing aircraft which extends beyond our world,” according to Beggs, who also serves as Award Chairman. “Members of the NASA Ingenuity Team will be on hand to accept the award and give a brief speech about the Mars Lander, which is the first powered

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vertical takeoff and landing aircraft on Mars,” says Kahan. “It is a drone, and it allows them to move to different sites.” While award winners are celebrated at the gala, the recognition goes beyond a single night. “If you come to the museum, you can see the past achievement award winners on a special plaque,” says Kahan. “It’s something that is part of our permanent collection and reminds people that the best days of rotary wing aircraft are in the future.” The gala serves as more than an awards ceremony—it’s a celebration of

the helicopter community.“The first purpose (of the gala) is to create a sense of community for the people that are connected to the museum, and I really can’t emphasize that enough,” says Kahan. “The museum exists because of the passion and love of the founders and the passion and enthusiasm of our docent force, all of whom are volunteers. The gala provides one of several opportunities to reinforce that sense of community and connection, by bringing predominantly members, docents, and helicopter enthusiasts together for a night to celebrate.”


aviation,” says David Vanderhoof, Retail Manager at the Center. “It is kind of phenomenal that almost every major event or major manufacturer in the United States involving helicopters has roots in this area.”

The museum exists because of the passion and love of the founders and the passion and enthusiasm of our docent force, all of whom are volunteers. -Paul Kahan It may not have turned out that way if not for Frank J. Dorsey. “In the 1930s, what really gave military use of helicopters their kickstart was the Dorsey Logan Act,” says Kahan. The Dorsey-Logan Act was a congressional appropriation proposed by US Representative Frank J. Dorsey of the Philadelphia region that allowed federal funds to purchase and research the production of rotary wing and other aircraft.“He steered that bill through Congress and ultimately, as a result, the district he represented became one of the hotbeds of rotary wing aircraft production,” says Kahan. And while the history was there, not everyone knew about it. “The museum was the outgrowth of a recognition among industry professionals and leaders that that history was not being accurately told and well preserved,” says Kahan. The celebration of 25 years requires a look back at the museum’s history, and its role in the Delaware Valley, already known for many things. On a national scale, it’s the birthplace of America. Just as exciting but less likely to make it into a history textbook, it’s home to epic cheesesteaks. And as it turns out, it also plays a crucial part in helicopter history. “The Delaware Valley has always played a significant role in the evolution, development, and production of the rotary wing aircraft,” says Kahan. “To this day, we continue to have several key producers of helicopters includ-

ing Boeing, Leonardo, and Sikorski still headquartered or producing helicopters here in the Delaware Valley.”

Bob Beggs, who worked at Boeing for over three decades, was one of those leaders.

In fact, the Delaware Valley has been a birthplace of scientific and technological innovation from the 18th century forward—from the Franklin Institute to the Electronic Numerical Integral Computer [ENIAC], the first general purpose electronic computer at University of Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia area has been a leader. So, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that we’re a hub of helicopter aviation. “We call the Delaware Valley the cradle of rotary wing

In 1993, with the upcoming 50th anniversary of the American Helicopter Society (AHS) on the horizon, the idea of a helicopter museum—along with ideas like installing a rotary wing exhibit at the Philadelphia International Airport; creating a walk of fame of helicopter history and achievements around the Delaware Valley; and filming a public broadcasting feature on the history of rotary-wing—was floated by the Philadelphia Chapter of the AHS.

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Beggs, who was then President of the local chapter of the AHS (now called the VFS, Vertical Flight Society), understood that the enormity of establishing a museum would require more help. “We realized that it was a bit bigger than what our little executive committee of the AHS could do,” says Beggs. “I contacted a number of the industry pioneers and some of the leaders of the helicopter manufacturers in the area and invited them all for lunch at Boeing.” One of the attendees was Peter Wright, founder and then-CEO of Keystone Helicopters. Wright liked the idea and offered to donate several vintage helicopters to the project if everyone chose to pursue it. A journey that lasted from 1993 to 1996 and included dozens of meetings and committee name changes resulted in the grand opening of the American Helicopter Museum and Education Center in October 1996. “During that time, we had to do everything from raising the funding, finding the building, getting some helicopters to put in the building, establishing the exhibits,” says Beggs.

“It was a big undertaking for what was really a group of volunteers.” Though the museum site at the Brandywine Airport in West Chester was originally considered a temporary location with plans to move into historic Philadelphia, the current site proved the best choice. “We were at an airport so we could hold air shows—it ended up being a nice location for us,” says Beggs. “The current site provided exactly what was needed, and the decision was made to stay long term.” The long term has proved fruitful. “Our collection has grown enormously over the preceding decades. We have nearly three dozen aircraft on-site, ranging from some of the earliest forms of rotary wing aircraft to the S-76, which is Sikorsky’s top-of-the-line model that they are either just now stopping production of or winding down production in favor of the S-92,” says Kahan. The museum has been successful from the beginning—attracting guests of all ages and multiple accolades, including earning the distinction of being

a Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks Award Winner. “We have a bunch of fantastic hands-on exhibits,” says Kahan. “It’s one of the only places that I know of where kids and adults can actually get into a helicopter, play with the collective, play with the flight stick, and actually see the ways in which those movements change the pitch of helicopter blades.” But why just helicopters and not all of aviation? “Helicopters have a unique set of functions that grow out of their unique capabilities,” says Kahan. “Unlike traditional fixed wing aircraft, helicopters can take off and land vertically, which makes it possible to access areas that other aircraft like airplanes would not be able to.” “(The museum) has always been interactive and focused on hands-on education, trying to increase the appreciation for probably the most unique form of air transportation that humankind has ever developed,” says Beggs. “The ability to hover.” At first glance, this ability may not seem particularly compelling—until of

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course, one considers an emergency. “If you’re floating in the middle of the ocean and your boat sank, all an airplane can do is fly over and wave,” says Beggs. “A helicopter can stop and pick you up. Helicopters have been credited with saving, since their inception, tens of thousands, if not more, lives. And if you count what they do from a national defense perspective, there’s a lot to celebrate there.” As such, the museum features some historically significant rescue helicopters. “We are just about to bring onto the floor the latest addition to our collection, which is the Gander Express, a Sikorsky HOS-1 helicopter that in 1946 rescued several survivors of an airplane crash in Newfoundland,” says Kahan. “This particular helicopter demonstrated the life saving possibilities of a vertical takeoff and landing helicopter. I think it’s those unique abilities that contribute to the lifesaving mission of helicopters. It’s not that other forms of aircraft don’t have lifesaving missions or don’t have utility, but it’s the unique aspects of the technology that make it particularly good for saving laves.”

These vehicles, in addition to playing a key lifesaving role, are thoroughly wrapped up in the military history of the second half of the 20th century. And that is also a story we tell at the museum. -Paul Kahan While the Gander Express is notable for its role as a lifesaving helicopter, it’s also unique. “We’re finishing restoring the Gander Express, which will be one of only four of the type in the world,” says Vanderhoof. “Currently there are three other ones on display, one in Pensacola (at the National Museum of Naval Aviation), one at the National Museum of Army Aviation, and one at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. And ours will be the only one that’s sil-

ver, and the only one that’s Coast Guard. We’ll be able to say it’s one of a kind.” Other unique displays include the Boeing-Vertol 360, which was an experimental prototype helicopter. The American Helicopter Museum and Education Center was also the first to ever have a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey on display in the world, according to Vanderhoof. Several of the helicopters on site have a military history. “If you look at any of the conflicts of the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s, what you see are rotary wing aircraft,” says Kahan. “These vehicles, in

addition to playing a key lifesaving role, are thoroughly wrapped up in the military history of the second half of the 20th century. And that is also a story we tell at the museum.” From the outset, the mission of the Center has been to preserve, educate, and inspire. “Since the beginning, the education programs at the museum were very important,” says Beggs. “The original founders—myself included— really wanted it to be an interactive museum, not a dry, dusty place where there were just helicopters you couldn’t touch.”

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To that end, the museum is constantly evolving, adding new programming, displays and exhibits. “In 2017, we underwent a massive renovation that led to expansion in the amount of public floor space, which made it possible to expand our exhibits,” says Kahan. “We created a state-of-the-art theater; we updated our restoration facilities and really created an environment that is not only a pleasure to visit but also a really great rental venue.” Additionally, the museum houses a full onsite archive and research library, which allows for sophisticated research into the history of rotary wing aircraft by staff as well as the public. “We’re also conducting oral histories with our docents who have personal relationships with the aircraft that we’d like to integrate into our exhibits in some way, to give people a sense of a lived experience of flying and maintaining these helicopters,” says Kahan. Some of the new additions to the museum include highly detailed 3D scans that offer an in-depth visual of helicopters that visitors can’t climb into,

as well as the museum’s first ever special exhibit—on the Tuskegee Airmen in Philadelphia— scheduled to coincide with the 25th anniversary in October. “The exhibit will run from October 2 through December 5, and it will be included in the cost of admission to the museum,” says Kahan. “It represents a partnership with the Philadelphia Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen and the museum that goes back several years. It led to the 2020 publication of the book Tuskegee in Philadelphia: Rising to the Challenge by Robert Kodosky. This is a companion exhibit designed to acquaint visitors with the history of the Tuskegee Airmen with a particularly local focus.” The special exhibit kicked off on October 2nd with living members of the Tuskegee Airmen and their families on hand to sign autographs and memorabilia, and while it’s the first special exhibit, it’s not the last. “We’re working on a special exhibit for 2022 and 2023,” says Kahan. “We also want to get back to things that we were doing before (COVID), like Science Sat-

urdays, where there might be an experiment related to air flight, physics, or material science for visitors of all ages.” There are a few special events scheduled throughout the year, but in October, plan to get there for Family Fest, based on the museum’s signature June Father’s Day Event but with a new name, and an additional day. The weekend event, which takes place October 23 and 24, will feature a car and motorcycle show on Saturday, and helicopter rides and static aircraft displays on Sunday. Both days will include fun for the whole family with inflatable rides, food trucks, games, exhibits, and a beer garden. “We’re constantly looking to improve the visitor experience and to more thoroughly integrate all of our resources into a package that makes it possible at all levels of interest and knowledge to get something out of the museum,” says Kahan. “My goal is that when people come to visit, they can’t wait to come back because there’s always something new and interesting.” Our perspective? Mission accomplished.

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Far and Wide

Jamie Jones of WhirlAway Travel takes your travel queries and offers the kind of insight only someone who’s been there ( time and again) can provide. “What are the requirements for traveling internationally right now and how can we be best prepared?”-B.S.

Oh B.S., if I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked that question lately, I could retire! We thought it would be helpful to share some truelife stories and lessons from our own recent travels and those of fellow travelers. While we do this every day, restrictions can change in the blink of an eye, and it is imperative to educate yourself on the rules of every country. I’ve found SHERPA the most helpful tool in navigating international travel for my customers this year. There isn’t anything sexy about this topic, but it is crucial to travel today. One of my colleagues, Sara, traveled to Germany last month for a Danube River cruise. She came back with wonderful feedback on her experience and some lessons learned about present-day air travel. Sara was flying to Germany with a transit in the UK. One of the more cumbersome aspects of international travel now is thoroughly understanding the entrance requirements for your destination and transit countries, and if your final destination has restrictions for the transit country. The airline that Sara was flying told her that she could transit through the UK with no problem. The German government COVID restriction site was unclear, so trusting the airline reservation agent she spoke with, Sara headed to the airport ready to board her flight. Enroute to the airport, She received a dreaded email from the airline stating she was not clear to board. As it turns out, transit through the UK to Germany would require a minimum 5-day quarantine and negative COVID test or a 10-day quarantine—not an ideal situation when trying to board a river cruise! Luckily, Sara was able to maneuver quickly and get on another airline that transited through Amsterdam with no problem (except a few gray hairs and a missed connection). Currently the US requires a negative COVID test taken within three days of departure. Armed with her test, Sara headed to the airport for her return home. The airline agent argued that her test was not valid, as it was over 72 hours from time of re-entry to the US. Armed with the CDC requirements, Sara presented her evidence and was permitted to check in and board the flight. Another traveler purchased airline tickets independently to Italy with a less than one-hour connection through London. Even in normal times we don’t recommend less than a two-hour connection at Heathrow—it’s massive and getting from one terminal to another takes considerable time. Regardless, the airline should never have allowed the ticket to be booked. Additionally, travel through the UK would require another quarantine in Italy on arrival. Luckily, we caught this early and were able to help the traveler reroute their trip. Both stories have something in common: the overall travel experiences were phenomenal and far outshined the hassle and headache of getting to the destinations. Being armed with accurate information and the ability to advocate for yourself is vital for travel, now and likely into the future. —jjones@thewcpress.com

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There’s something wonderfully autumnal about Highland Orchards. If you can spot the five differences in this photo pf their pumpkins, email your answers to contests@thewcpress.com and you’ve got a chance to win a Barnaby’s gift certificate.

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Autumn Hits List DJ Romeo curates a list of the tracks you’ll be singing all month long The following is a list of songs that will take over the radio stations in the next few months. You’ll soon know them by heart and play them ‘til they’re tired. And, you can now stream the list in its entirey at: www.thewcpress.com/playlist @DJRomeo24 | www.DJRomeo.fm

Cold Heart - PNAU Remix — Elton John, Dua Lipa, PNAU My Universe — Coldplay, BTS Red Eye — Justin Bieber, TroyBoi OUT OUT — Joel Corry, Jax Jones, Charli XCX, Saweetie Shiver — Ed Sheeran MAMMAMIA — Måneskin Do It To It — ACRAZE, Cherish How Will I Know — Whitney Houston, Clean Bandit Real Love — Dillon Francis, Aleyna Tilki Who’s In Your Head — Jonas Brothers A Second to Midnight — Kylie Minogue, Years & Years Drunk On A Boat — Jake Owen INDUSTRY BABY — Lil Nas X, Jack Harlow Boyz — Jesy Nelson, Nicki Minaj My Heart Goes (La Di Da) — Becky Hill, Topic Notion — The Rare Occasions Don’t Break the Heart — Tom Grennan One Night — Griff Higher Ground — AKA Something Beautiful — Tom Walker, Masked Wolf MONEY — Lisa Venom - Remix — Eminem I Was On a Boat That Day — Old Dominion I must apologise — PinkPantheress Lemonade — Jesse McCartney Get Low, Get High — Willie Jones West Indies — Koffee Life Goes On — Oliver Tree In Da Getto — J Balvin, Skrillex Bad Boy — Justus Bennetts

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