Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day, A Message

Ironic, it is pleasantly ironic that today is Earth Day ( April 22, 2015 ) throughout the states, possibly throughout the World. My wife Connie is at work down at the Pughtown Garden Center preparing plants and flowers for the public to enjoy at home. Her's is a job close to the goodness of the Earth. There is another aspect to the significance of this day.

Back in 1964 on this date Connie and I were packed to go to the World's Fair in New York City, although we had something very important to do on this warm, sunny Wednesday evening in April, before we would leave.

We got married that Wednesday evening at Grace Lutheran Church on Charlotte St. at 7PM. Marriage, you see, is the ultimate manifestation of all that's human in the animal we call Man. Earth Day is man's way of enshrining our Earth in a reverence as close as marriage is to two people vowing to live their lives together. Of ultimate importance is : that all humans are married to this Earth until death does us part. We all have a responsibility to leave this sphere better than we found it : this should be a sacred oath even stronger than the ties of marriage. Blessed Be !

Ronald C. Downie

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Spring Message

I've had a Spring meltdown as I substituted admiring flowering bulbs and unfolding of cherry and magnolia blossoms for writing catchy phrases( catchy to me at least)and posting these utterances for the public to handle. The brisk wind whipping through the Star Magnolia out front makes the air seem filled with left over winter snow flakes though they really are just peddles from the abundant flowers adorning the Magnolia. Flowers win out at this stage of my life since they are to a garden as words are to a poem or a story; each has purpose, but flowers also have color and aroma to enhance their stature.

Ronald C. Downie

Monday, April 6, 2015

Highland Ardor :
To Stephen Trevor Upon His Birthday!

Plaid is : as a ladder to the Highlands
By a way of colored lateral stripe,
Its angles create the pattern right
Which though seen, also, is inward felt.

Highlands are made of thrust up hills, 
Creeks and rivulets cutting rocks deep,
Fit for red Scottish deer and agile sheep.
An Imperial Man finds his pleasures here.

Kilt clad Chieftains stir to sounds of pipes, 
To the reverence of drums and tap of toes,
Highlands claim their Bagpipe country woes. 
That eire shrill pulsates through hill and dale.

In you, your music transfixes time and place,
It can take you to the Scottish Highland or the 
City of your choice or to the open waters of the 
Seas. May rhythm entwine your living soul

And sprout new generations that list your way.
Running deeply within you is ancestral blood 
Colored red, blended greens, blues, river mud.
Highland plaids, similar of color, wrap your tunes.

Ronald C. Downie

Happy Birthday, young fellow, keep the tunes flowing !
Love, Nanny&PopPop

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Evan Brandt, Digital Notebook Response

Realizing you're not from Massachusetts, birthplace of America's most admired legislator- The Honorable Senator, Edward M. Kennedy- you certainly may not be amenable to governing by the art of compromise as he was noted to do. I imagine even dipping down deep and awakening the Devil to seal a deal was not outside Ted's ambition. I doubt that anyone of the Cuomo dynasty would dip so low. A New York pedigree is to be beyond the temptation of compromise, everything black or white, up and up, truth without consequences. It's a shame we're not all New Yorkers like me, born in Elmsford, NY., 1935. I came to Pottstown because I would grow an Achilles Heal making me more like Teddy than Andrew. But, Evan, keep on the sunny side of the road and the law will set you free.

Ronald C. Downie

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Evan Brandt,

I bet all of us who have run for an election or have been appointed to an authority were not also candidates for the Mensa Society. Rather, we were ordinary citizens willing to put ourselves under the glair of public scrutiny. Surely our intent was that of acting to a higher standard as should be a mandate of all public servants. We have roll models galore  throughout each state Capitol and in Washington DC. who reap enormous yearly salaries along with some undocumented rewards. Our locals are able to get along on $1200.00 a year for their efforts and I doubt, if any, qualify for some undocumented sums which seems only to attach to the purist of the pure among us. 

Naturally, you would think that if these local do gooders had any brains they would have left town long ago before property taxes sky rocketed. But, like me, many eased into retirement still locked into a mortgage with the only escape from the town and taxes - death. 

Getting that off my chest, allow me to comment on one problem facing the Water and Sewer Authority. In order to get beyond the issue of the Philly Fire Company being charged for sewer and water use. I would instruct the fire company's bookkeeper to itemize borough events that were not fire related and that the fire company provided both men and equipment at for public service. Then to these events the bookkeeper would ascribe a reasonable cost and issue the borough a bill. These funds would develop a system of barter between the the fire company and the borough. Messy at best, it would seem to me, but to get beyond "he said, she said" it could be a start in the right direction. 

Ronald C. Downie

Friday, March 27, 2015

Donald P. Paolucci

We lost another over the weekend, our longtime neighbor, Donald Paolucci, who left us Saturday at the age of 89, nine years my senior. Those of us, seniors of retirement age, knew Donald as an icon in our town's tapestry. His final photograph pictured him handsome to the end. I always admired Donald's composure, his self awareness, how he carried himself, and, especially, his clean and neat natty attire. 

Sunday evening was Donald's and wife, Daisy's, tribute to their children and their grandchildren. They gathered Sundays each week around 6PM to break bread together in an old fashion family gathering long forgotten. In these days of hustle and bustle a family gathering is a tribute to the past when the Family was the centerpiece of community life. Hats off to the Paolucci Family. 

My first recollection of Donald goes way back into the late 1940s or early 1950's when I watched him jog around the island at Manatawny Park. Our family lived at 220 Manatawny Street directly across from the island and, I believe, he lived on York Street. Sometimes joined by others, I surmised they were getting in shape for local football games the social clubs engaged in. I too was engaged in football but at the high school level. I never spoke to them because I was a teenager and they were men who had served in WW 2 - they were members of The Greatest Generation.

I have lived for 41 years at N. Evans St. most of these years as Paolucci's neighbor. Donald and I spent many afternoons on my front porch talking about Pottstown and, most often, sports. If he spotted me while coming or going ( Donald always seemed to be on the move), he would come over and sit a spell. Since both of us were afflicted with similar medical problems we had plenty of notes to compare. When this topic got too heavy Philly sports took a beating. 

I'll miss Donald but in Daisy, the energizer bunny of former writings, their homestead will continue to be the blossom of the neighborhood. We'll always think of the Paolucci's as the consummate Family's Family, a good neighbor, indeed.

Connie&Ron Downie

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


Accepting time as precious, all life dangles perilously as the object of a bank account bent on ever increasing its final bloated numbers.  

Leaving future in the hands of dividers who base their opinions on deniers, guttural chastisers, guns, and flags is a damned fools errand.

Even knowing that we're all going to die, many vocals ignore that inevitability by plowing more deeply their 
furrows expressly for pleasure.

Ronald C. Downie