Third class!

By | August 3, 2011

Reaching out and reaching in

Janet, Sandra, Kemar, and Brendan writing

Last Wednesday marked the third class of eight for Our Best Day So Far. It was such a unique class, because not only were there the regular mix of teens and seniors, there were other age groups represented as well! We had Amy’s grandson, Caleb, the youngest of the bunch, two teens, two twenty-somethings, and of course, the seniors!

I am going to share with you a hefty amount of stories today, one from each of the aforementioned groups.

Caleb Henson


When I Went to Camp

About four or five weeks ago I went to camp. It was called Camp Speers-Elgibar.  I went to Camp Elgibar because you had to be a teen to go to Speers.  When I got there I was in cabin number 6A.  The counselors in our cabin were called Brea, Keith and someone else.  I made lots of friends.  I also got interviewed for the newspaper!  On Friday there was a dance and Brea dressed up as a Princess.  It was fun!  I even went with a friend.  At one point we went to Speers.  While we were dancing two of the counselors got up on the table and danced.  While I was leaving me and my grandma stopped at the office and got a hat and three shirts.  Then I went home.

Kemar Nembhard



Money is a way of life in this economy. You can say without any amount of money in your bank account or your pocket, you really couldn’t get far in life. Because everything in the world costs some type of money, if it is to get something to eat or just to play video games. Or even to get to or from work. You need money to get or go to those places. Without money, you really couldn’t do much in this day and age.  For example, if you wanted to just sit and relax in the house and watch a little TV, you have to pay for the electricity for using the TV at the end of the month. Another example is that you would not be able to get a proper education without money because college costs a substantial amount of money. In conclusion, whatever you do in life you have to pay for it no matter what it is.


Emilie Krause



At the eastern edge of Philadelphia, among the cobblestones, the old trees and the horse-drawn-carriages, there is a man called Paul. Paul is the kind of person who doesn’t quite fit the surroundings. While the rest if the neighborhood is populated with old money and young families, with upscale restaurants and expensive cups of coffee, Paul is stubbornly humble. He wears a pair of old basketball shorts and a stained white t-shirt on a daily basis, as evidenced both by their rumpled appearance and the stale smoky manner of speech is distinctly Philadelphian, filled with the wide vowels and slightly nasal quality associated with the southern Italian neighborhoods in the city. What pedestrians don’t know is that Paul is as much a part of this neighborhood as the red brink-shambles he so enjoys sitting under.

Because Paul is filled with history.

I work at a coffee shop along headhouse square. Our clientele are ideal: they are both wealthy, and kind. As a result anyone who appears otherwise tends to stand out amongst the football players wives and corporate lawyers. So when Paul, elderly, odorous and slightly deaf came into the store, I noticed him. Like many men his age who are accustomed to ordering from Dunkin Donuts he asked me to stir in his cream and sugar.

…. To be continued.

Janet W. Brown


Random Thoughts on Ten Days

Our first day of the ten days is preordained. We continue the procession of our heritage without choice or option, we learn quickly the concept of time with an inner clock placing ourselves on a schedule. Our date and place of birth is a continuing part of out history. Group leaders sort us by the month of our birth looking for some common factor among us. This is the joy and the baggage of our lives.

December 6, 1934 is my day. It is also the day of celebration for St. Nicholas, who was “admired beyond the power of words” and he the hero of several legends involving children. The saint is often depicted with three bags of gold used to rescue children. Lucky me to celebrate with words and gold!

The joy of celebration brings a community to common grounds. History celebrated is a common theme in our culture. The Quaker community taught me the importance of space. Everyone is entitled to their arm’s length and honoring that space for every individual brings out the best in us. Yes, we call that celebration.

The children in my life taught me that ”reaching out and reaching in” could best describe the best ten days of any part of my life. I am comfortable in the silence or in the crowded streets working with others to plan a special event has the repeated theme of my life.

Celebrating a person or an institution is always the best day so far. I celebrate the teachers, teens and members of this class for showing up to celebrate new learning. I celebrate the professional storyteller bringing awareness and joy each time they step into a space. I celebrate my history with this beloved city and all those that continue to keep it a vibrant and a welcoming place with radical hospitality. I remember the night the Liberty Bell was moved in Philadelphia. Mayor Rizzo planned that special event.

My heritage is thick during the month of May. Back to the 1600’s with new beginning again and again informed by education, life changing events and repeating dates throughout my family history. So, dig deep if you are young but stay on level ground. Offer a space to your brother, sister or someone in the way of your life. Stay alert to the signals on the path and continue your journey with peace.

And, remember, life is better if you are member of the Carry On Club.

It was a really cool class because of the generational diversity of those who were there!

Look out for a blog post later this week on tomorrow’s class!

Comments are closed.