Philadelphia, Pennsylvania conjurs up thoughts of the Declaration of Independence, the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, Benjamin Franklin, Betsy Ross, the Founding Fathers, and even the movie “National Treasure.” My first trip to Philadelphia was in about 1965 when I was about four years old. Not only were we going to visit some of the places I mentioned but also to visit my dad’s sister, Marie. On the way from Dayton to Phlly, we stopped in Hershey and toured the chocolate-maker’s manufacturing plant (this was before OSHA and other laws prevented a tour right by the gigantic vats of milk chocolate!). As a young chid, I was fascinated with the street lights shaped like Hersey Kisses candy! We left with oodles of chocolate and other candy.
We stayed at my Aunt Marie’s for at least two nights and also enjoyed the sights of Philadelphia.
My Aunt Marie
From Pennsylvania, we went to Manhattan and while my dad had business meetings, Mom and I saw the Rockettes, Rockefeller Center, and shopped at department stores. One of my mom’s class mates (and sister to my uncle’s wife) lived on Long Island, so we spent a day visiting them and taking a ferry boat ride out by the Statue of Liberty. Either going East or returning home, we stopped at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
Many years later, as a high school student the summer before my Junior year, I went with my church’s Youth Fellowship back to Philadelphia. We stopped on the way in Johnstown and spent the night at a church and then on to Lancaster and spent two days sight-seeing and enjoying the hospitality of a family who opened their home for 22 of us kids and many adult sponsors plus our Christian Education director and the minister and his family. Then on to Philly to walk the cobblestone streets, visit Christ Church, get a close up view of the Liberty Bell, and tour Independence Hall. We saw the home of Betsy Ross and the U.S. Mint. Outside of town we took mine cars deep into the coal and iron ore mine.
Now, I would like to visit again, but this time with the knowledge that some of my ancestors lived near to Philadelphia before the Founding Fathers set quill to parchment with their signatures on the Declaration of Independence.
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