January 15, 2009


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Done at last: Escaping the tyranny with sherry and Raisinets

Hugh guides his muse through the last steps of his novel.

Last Wednesday I finished the novel I’ve been working on for the past year and felt like I had opened a door and stepped through into space. I’d started at 8 a.m., worked hard, and in a strong, final burst, finished my book at three o’clock. Post-partum depression immediately set in. Awful. I’d just staggered out of the world of creativity, which I controlled completely,
and into the passive world of being judged. 

I didn’t know what to do. Without really intending to, I went upstairs and put on a scarf and ski cap and went out walking in the sleet for an hour until I was thoroughly chilled and chapped and soaked. And grumpy.

I lay on the sofa for an hour, using every mental trick in my repertoire to calm down and not get wimpy.

At 6:30, I decided to go to the Met Opera simulcast by myself. Renee Fleming was singing the title role in Thais.

Paperia’s owners cite years of service

Saturday, Jan. 17

Martin Luther King Day at the Franklin Institute, 7 to 9 p.m.

At 7 p.m., listen to a presentation by Temple Professor Dr. Molefi Asante:  “MLK’s Legacy: A Dream Fulfilled?”  A performance by the Drexel Gospel Choir will follow at 8 p.m.  Free Registration Required: Call 215-448-1254.  Go to: or call 215-448-1200 for more info.  The museum is located at:  222 N. 20th St.


Organizers expect record-setting participation for King Day of service

Todd Bernstein has a dream. In it the waking world embraces Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s legacy and commits itself to a life of community service.

Bernstein, founder and director of the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service, hopes that fewer people will defer that dream in the wake of President-elect Barack Obama’s Jan. 20 inauguration and the King day of service that precedes it. 

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas “Tim” Dunleavy of Oreland, PA, announce the engagement of their daughter, Maura Murphy Dunleavy to Spencer Murray Raynor-Smith, son of Mrs. Virginia Raynor-Smith and the late Murray Raynor-Smith of Flourtown. Maura graduated from Bloomsburg University and is a National Sales Promotions Coordinator for Greater Media Radio Philadelphia. Spencer graduated from Lock Haven University and is a Litigation Paralegal for Dechert, LLP in Philadelphia. Both Maura and Spencer are graduates of Springfield Township High School Class of 1997.

Mr. and Mrs. Tom Murphy of Manassas, Va. announce the engagement of their daughter, Anna Marie, to Sean Walsh McMenamin, son of Rich and Rene McMenamin of Chestnut Hill and nephew of Chestnut Hill’s own, Thomas Walsh. Anna is a graduate of James Madison University and currently serves as the Manager of Customer Solutions for Yoh, a division of Day & Zimmermann, in Philadelphia. Sean is a graduate of University of Richmond and Temple University Law School. After practicing bankruptcy law at Archer & Greiner in Haddonfield, NJ, he is now General Counsel and Operations Specialist in McMenamin Family N.J.    ShopRite.  A spring wedding is planned.


Arboretum receives Penn treeplanting grant

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania has been awarded a $440,000 grant from The William Penn Foundation to fund its participation in the Southeastern Pennsylvania TreeVitalize program. Responding to an alarming trend of the loss of trees in Pennsylvania’s metropolitan areas, TreeVitalize is a public/private partnership created to help restore tree cover, educate citizens about planting trees as an act of caring for our environment, and build capacity among local governments to understand, protect and restore their urban trees. Launched in 2004 in Southeastern Pennsylvania, TreeVitalize already has achieved its goal of planting 20,000 trees in the five-county region. In spring 2008, TreeVitalize expanded to the Pittsburgh region, and in the fall of 2008 and throughout 2009 it will be launched in metropolitan areas statewide. With its expansion statewide, TreeVitalize hopes to plant one million trees across the Commonwealth in the next five years.