By | August 24, 2011


"Kisses for Long Life"

Adeola and new member Dolores

Mary and Amy

New member Laura, Brendan, and Kwame

Last class most of the participants wrote about a city many of us call home: Philadelphia. Although the stories were mixed–some proclaiming love for the city of brotherly love, others much more negative–there was no shortage of words to describe this town. It’s the city where I was born and spent my toddler-hood. Although recently there has been a lot of craziness, (the flash mobs! the earthquake!) it’s a city I will never stop calling home.

Here is one of our newest class member’s stories about growing up in Philly.

Dolores Frank

Growing up in Phila


While growing up in a tight-knit neighborhood, the children were friends and the adults all participated in the rearing of the children. The children would play energetic games outdoors most of the day in the summer. In the winter, they felt welcome to spend some indoor game time or TV watching with their best friends. The adults took the responsibility of checking on the children. When the children grew into adolescence, the dynamics really changed. Stickball and checkers were no longer interesting. The amount of chores and errands increased, so there was frequent planning for “free time.” Luckily, a playground with a pool was only a block away and an indoor skating rink just around the corner was a weekly treat. A group of Catholic sisters provided recreation and dance groups in a building within walking distance for high school kids.

All of these activities were so much fun and influenced our lives deeply. I regret that the current generation in Philadelphia does not usually have enough of the fun experiences.

[Check back later for a story by one of our teens, Kwame, about life in Philadelphia for our generation]

Adeola, as you may know from previous posts, has been a core member of our group from day one. She is one of Philadelphia’s more recent residents.

Adeloa James

The City of Philadelphia


My familiarity with Philadelphia is better to the seven churches in the Bank of Revelation. I never thought I would live there. But one of my daughters got a job at the University of Pennsylvania after her residency in Pittsburg in 2001. That began my relationship with Philadelphia. As life will have it, before the end of that year, another daughter who was living in New York decided to move to Philadelphia. Her first visit convinced her that this is the place for her and her three-year-old daughter, away from the madness of New York!

We all find Philadelphia a beautiful place, which offers a lot of facilities for learning, entertainment, and growing. As the girls first lived in Center City, I enjoyed walking around, shortly after our arrival I came across the Free Library—that name still fascinates me—what does it really mean? Is it a library you can use free of charge? Or is it a place where you can find freedom? Or does it simply mean everyone is welcome? Perhaps it has something of all of these, for since I have become a member of the Free Library, it has become one of my best sources of joy, happiness, and fulfillment. It is the Free Library that has given me the opportunity to be part of this writing class, and I do love it. It is opening up my life to a bigger world, I have met many interesting people, all of us on a journey and willing to stay alive in our time, and pass on a legacy of wisdom and power.

The city of Philadelphia is great (though I do get lost sometimes!)



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