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My Guest DJ Adventure at WDVR

On Sunday, I was able to spend almost 90 minutes as a guest DJ on my favorite “oldies” radio show – Tin Pan Alley – on WDVR 89.7 FM. The appearance was a gift from my wife; the station allows guest DJs with a donation as part of its fundraising efforts.

WDVR is a special station because it is non-commercial and a non-profit, and it plays a lot of music you won’t hear on other stations. More than 50 volunteers run the station  – you can check out the station and the shows at https://www.pennjerseyradio.org/.

Barb Zentner’s Tin Pan Alley is three hours of “Sunday afternoons of hot jazz & swing, vaudeville & novelty songs, and your favorite tea while listening to British dance bands & music hall artists. ” Barb has great taste and a wide knowledge of all kinds of music. It was an honor to be on her show and talk about the type of 78 rpm records I love and collect.

Here is a link to the first 10 minutes of the show:

Here is the entire broadcast, with news and promos deleted:

Here is the track list:

  1. Somebody Loves Me – Adrian Rollini & His Orchestra (2:29)
  2. Sugar – Alberta Hunter and Thomas “Fats” Waller (3:14)
  3. Louise  – Ben Pollack & His Park Central Orchestra (3:24)
  4. Blue Moon – Benny Goodman & His Orchestra (3:14)
  5. Wild About Horns On Automobiles – Billy Hays & His Orchestra (3:18)
  6. Try A Little Tenderness  – Bing Crosby (3:12)
  7. Everybody Loves My Baby – The Boswell Sisters (2:22)
  8. An Operatic Nightmare -Frank Banta (3:13)
  9. Tip Toe Through The Tulips – Fred Rich & His Orchestra (3:06)
  10. I Like Pie, I Like Cake  – Goofus Five (3:15)
  11. Three Little Words – Quintet of the Hot Club of France (2:52)
  12. Just The Same – Roger Wolfe Kahn & His Orchestra (3:00)
  13. Gems from “Oh, Kay”– The Revelers (4:25)
  14. Gershwin Memorial Concert Medley – Nat Shilkret and the Victor Salon Orchestra (7:58)
  15. Never Swat A Fly – McKinney’s Cotton Pickers (3:02)
  16. Stardust – Louis Armstrong and His Orchestra (3:30)
  17. Heigh Ho – Bunny Berigan and His Orchestra (2:45)

Modern Covered Bridge Preservation Efforts in Bucks County (Part 4)

Before 1958, there were few efforts to save Bucks County’s covered bridges. But after the South Perkasie covered bridge’s rescue in August 1958 by the town’s citizens, state and county officials adopted policies to preserve local covered bridges when feasible. Today, those policies have left 12 covered bridges in place in Bucks County.

knechts-06102018

Knecht’s Bridge in Springfield is a textbook example of a covered bridge still in road service. Image: Linn Lisher.

An update on the South Perkasie Covered Bridge

Friends – I hope to be introducing the start of the process of rehabilitating our Perkasie’s Covered Bridge in Lenape Park at the next Perkasie Borough Council meeting on Monday. This process will involve a grant application to pay for at least 50 percent of the renovation costs for the bridge.

Some of you know the Bridge’s story.  In 1957, Bucks County decided it wanted to demolish the bridge, even though it is the third-oldest example of an Ithiel Town Lattice Bridge in the United States. (The Town Lattice design made covered bridges affordable for thousands of towns.) The County built the bridge in 1832 and it one of the oldest structures in Perkasie. It was just part of Rockhill Township in 1832 – there wasn’t a South Perkasie, Bridgetown, or Perkasie.

The Bridge After Its Move

The Bridge After Its Move

The concerned citizens of Perkasie talked the county out of its “death sentence” for their bridge, as the local newspapers called it in 1957. The bridge was moved in 1958 by our Historical Society, using private funds, to Lenape Park and in August 1959, it was rededicated at a public ceremony.

Why Perkasie’s Electric Company Makes Financial Sense

For the past two months, I’ve been researching several questions a lot of us ask in Perkasie:  Am I paying too much for borough-provided electric and shouldn’t I be able to buy electric from other companies? Here’s what I found out – which isn’t exactly what I expected.

I started doing my research on Election Day 2017, when I asked voters at my polling place at St. Andrew’s Lutheran in South Perkasie how they felt about our electric company and electric rates. There were two answers. Most people thought electric rates were high but they valued the department’s service more – and they mentioned Hurricane Sandy. A few people said the electric rates were too high and didn’t mention the hurricane. Then, I did a poll on the Perkasie Facebook group page about which issue people wanted addressed by local government; of course, electric rates were the top response in this unscientific sample.

perkelectric1929

Perkasie’s Electric Department in 1929

After looking at a ton of documents, including the official PPL and PECO filings, here are the answers to those questions.

  1. Perkasie residential electric rates are usually higher but competitive. A common way to look at electric rates is for an average monthly bill for 1,000 kWh of usage. My family uses 500 kWh; a bigger family can use 2,000 kWh.

There are three parts of your electric bill if you have PECO or PPL:

  • The supply rate is what you pay for electric that is generated somewhere else and sent to your town over high-voltage wires.
  • The distribution rate is the cost to convert that electric to low voltage locally and deliver it to your house.
  • The third cost is a connect charge to pay for metering and administrative expenses.  PECO and PPL charge the same rate per kWh no matter how much you use.

Perkasie’s greatest day in baseball history

The sport of baseball has always played a role in the culture of Perkasie, from its early history of club teams to its role as the center of baseball making in the sport’s golden era. But a decade before the Hubbert family starting producing balls here for the major leagues in the 1920s, Perkasie had its biggest baseball day.

1911 Philadelphia Athletics

Baseball stars Coombs, Morgan, Bender and Oldring in the lost 1911 film, The Baseball Bug

On October 7, 1909, Perkasie’s town baseball team challenged the greatest team in Philadelphia sports history, Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics, to a game across from Menlo Park. The outcome was as predicted, but it is still an incredible story.

It’s hard for use to imagine how important baseball was in 1909 in America’s culture. Earlier in the year, the Athletics opened the first steel-and-concrete baseball stadium, the ultra-modern Shibe Park, in Philadelphia. Perkasie had a town baseball team in the 1880s and the Central News in 1887 had its own team, led by Charles Baum.

Perkasie took part in a strong regional baseball group, the North Penn League, and was coming off a good season. The Central News (and Borough residents) were outraged that three bad decisions by “Umpire Griffith” cost the team the pennant in an away game at Ambler. Its star player, South Perkasie’s Joe Eldridge, was the league’s best pitcher. For insurance, the team added the league’s best home run hitter, Jimmy Cressman, who played for Souderton’s club, for the Athletics game. Cressman was the only North Penn League player to hit a home run off a major league pitcher.

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