Blogging Along the Brandywine

So why, you may ask, is my tag line “A series of disjointed ramblings by Sally Jane Denk”. Those who know me realize why people think I drink six cups of coffee every morning, when in truth it’s only one. In addition, I can adeptly change topics in the middle of a sentence if something else catches my fancy. My old elementary school report cards show teachers making comments like “does not pay attention,” “does not listen,” or “is off in dream land.” But somehow I managed to earn a Masters Degree cum Laude.

I make my boss crazy when he e-mails me from our headquarters with a one- line question and I answer with a tome that would challenge “War and Peace.” Or if he has the misfortune to be in the same office, I’ll start rattling off rhyme and reason and he’ll stop me with, “Sal, please…yes or no.”          
I was a correspondent for a daily newspaper for 10 years. But when you cover school boards, townships and other local issues you have to keep your big crayons inside the lines. I’ve never been very good at that.

So I guess it was no wonder that I was asked to write this blog each week. “We need something chatty,” I was told. Ouch!
I’ve lived in Chadds Ford for 30 years. In fact in 1996, the powers that be changed our township from Birmingham Township, Delaware County, to Chadds Ford Township. It made some of us feel very superior.
The a-fore-mentioned boss lives in Chadds Ford, too -- except he doesn’t live in my Chadds Ford. He lives nine miles away, south of Kennett Square in one of those new chateaus all the way down near the Delaware line just off Burnt Mill Road. And yet his address is Chadds Ford -- just like mine. Is that fair?
I’m wondering if he even knows when the Battle of the Brandywine was fought and its significance, or who Howard Pyle was and why he spent his summers in Turner’s Mill.
And here’s another question: How can the same house be in Chadds Ford and Mendenhall at the same time?
A man I see lives in the center of Mendenhall but has a Chadds Ford address for the mailbox at the end of his drive. But here’s the kicker, he shares the house with his brother (It’s complicated -- they both inherited the house.) His brother’s address is a PO Box at the Mendenhall Post Office, a three-minute walk across the street.
According to Postmaster Kristin Shearer, the Chadds Ford Post Office has 10 trucks and 10 routes and delivers mail to Bethel, Concord, Birmingham, Chadds Ford, Pennsbury and Kennett townships. A far cry from the days not even 100 years ago when Chadds Ford consisted of the intersection of two unpaved country roads. Shearer said one route delivers to a customer whose home is in Pennsylvania, but whose driveway and mailbox ends in Delaware.
Thirty years ago virtually no one had a PC or was connected to the Internet -- and a blog was unknown.   Oh the times they are a changin’. Welcome to the future Chadds Ford.

About Sally Denk Hoey

Sally Denk Hoey, is a Gemini - one part music and one part history. She holds a masters degree cum laude from the School of Music at West Chester University. She taught 14 years in both public and private school. Her CD "Bard of the Brandywine" was critically received during her almost 30 years as a folk singer. She currently cantors masses at St Agnes Church in West Chester where she also performs with the select Motet Choir. A recognized historian, Sally serves as a judge-captain for the south-east Pennsylvania regionals of the National History Day Competition. She has served as president of the Brandywine Battlefield Park Associates as well as the Sanderson Museum in Chadds Ford where she now curates the violin collection. Sally re-enacted with the 43rd Regiment of Foot and the 2nd Pennsylvania Regiment for 19 years where she interpreted the role of a campfollower at encampments in Valley Forge, Williamsburg, Va., Monmouth, N.J. and Lexington and Concord, Mass. Sally is married to her college classmate, Thomas Hoey, otherwise known as "Mr. Sousa.”



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One Response to “Blogging Along the Brandywine”

  1. The Fox says:

    22 years ago when I moved to Chadds Ford I thought I was moving to Fairville. Blink and you will miss it. So we too got a Chadds Ford address. Not that we minded that much. It’s all the Brandywine Valley, just some parts are better than others.

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