July 30, 2009


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Working Tirelessly to heal social injustice Palestinian Author brings tales of war to Hill

Paper and ink, poems and my postbox are medicines that heal the wounds of a life without freedom. On some days, I wish I could stay inside my postbox, with a tiny pillow made from a stamp with a flower on it. At the end of my day, I could cover myself up with one pink-enveloped letter and sleep on a futon-like stack of letters from my pen pals.——from Tasting the Sky, A Palestinian Childhood, by Ibtisam Barakat

Hill church offering free music lessons for children

CHORAL CONCERT AT ARBORETUM: The Keystone State Boychoir will treat visitors at Morris Arboretum to a musical repertoire from classical to contemporary on Thursday, July 30, 7:30 p.m. The choir consists of 150 young men between the ages of eight and 18. Due to the Arboretum’s limited parking, all of the summer concerts will be charged on a per car basis instead of an individual admission fee. Car pooling is encouraged. You may bring blankets, lawn chairs and picnics. For more information, visit 

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chestnut Hill has announced plans to launch this fall a new children’s music program designed to encourage young choristers to join its children’s choir by offering free music lessons alongside choral training.

The motivating force behind this project is the parish’s youthful organist and choir director, Zachary Hemenway. Describing his first year succeeding the legendary Richard Alexander as an “exciting hurricane,” the Yale University alumnus displayed no trepidation taking on a project of such potential scope and complexity.

“I’ve been building on the fantastic foundation Rick had laid,” he recently explained over lunch in Chestnut Hill, and noted with pleasure that there has been growth in attendance at both of the church’s principal Sunday services. Looking for ways to attract more young people into more active participation in the parish’s activities to both remain relevant to their lives as well as to build up the church for the future, Hemenway pointed to the initial success of St. Paul’s children’s choir. The ensemble sang with the adult choir once a month this liturgical season; Hemenway is looking forward to its singing twice a month at the main morning service as well as for the choral evensong services, scheduled nearly every month. The current choir numbers 12 boys and girls, and Hemenway is hoping for a major expansion starting this fall as a direct result of the new project.

What to do when you look like the ‘Elephant Man’

Until recently, I had not seen a doctor in decades. The same male gene that keeps me from asking for directions when I’m lost also prevents me from seeing doctors for minor maladies. Not to mention, doctors cost time and money, and they love to poke and prod. You know what I mean, guys; right?

Don’t go riding with Sneezy; you may get the shaft

Penn State in 1964-68 seemed like an evil 4-H Club experiment to me. Girls had to live on-campus, and there was no public transportation. I didn’t have a car or bike, so I could only go as far as I could walk. I grew up in Germantown, where I took SEPTA (then known as PTC) wherever I wanted to go, and I keenly missed the bus in Happy Valley.