Tuesday, December 10, 2013

A Pottstown Snow Day

Oh, so THAT's why Jeff Sparagana is calling me...
So it's like 5:30 in the morning and the phone rings.

I pick it up and it's Jeff Sparagana and I think to myself "what the heck does the Pottstown Schools Superintendent want with me, at home, at 5:30 in the morning?"

Then I look out the window and what he's saying registers on my sleep-addled brain -- snow day.

My high schooler is awoken to be told he doesn't have to wake up .... yeah, we're mean that way.

But he takes it in stride, if you can take things in stride while rolled up in your covers, and he simply smiles and says groggily, "am I dreaming?"


Of course, for younger children, the joy of snow is a little more visceral, as Mercury Reporter Caroline Sweeney found out in Memorial Park.

So while driving in the snow doesn't particularly bother me, other people's driving in the snow does.

I decide, as I often do, that rather than pay higher insurance rates when some SUV plows into one my car, I'll hoof it to work.

A lot of folks are able to stay home and work, like Julian Francis, who posted these awesome views of Pottstown in the snow from his home office:

If I have my bearings right, that is the top of First Baptist Church off in the middle distance.

The second photo I'm borrowing (with his permission of course) is significant in my mind not because of the view, there isn't one really, but because it shows how many architectural gems there are in this town if only we would just look up...

But alas, work beckons and you can't cover Pottstown from your dining room, despite my most fervent wish.

Still, its nice to be out in the snow too, and now is one of those times when it's nice to live just a few blocks from work.

So, it's boots on, coffee hot, Pottstown Trojans scarf tight and we're off.

The first thing I find is my good friend Bob, whose handy tractor and plow make our alley and sidewalks, easy to navigate.

Thanks again Bob.

As you can tell from this video, when you walk in the snow, particularly in a town, sound really stands out.

I think it's because the snow muffles sound, so when it finally hits you, it's more startling.

Anyway, the rest of the time its pretty quiet, with the occasional far-off sound of someone's snow blower.

You also begin to notice the sound of the snow crunching under your feet, particularly if it is a fluffy snow and the temperature is warm enough to make it heavy and wet once it hits the ground.

And then there is the unmistakable sound of the borough snow plow...

North Hanover Street is already one of the prettiest in Pottstown, particularly if you like heritage architecture.

But the image I saw as I trudged up the hill on Beech Street between York and Hanover was truly remarkable.

From a certain perspective (OK, it's standing in the middle of Beech Street, but hey, there was no traffic) St. Al's and Heart of God churches can seem to blend together and be two towers of the same castle.

I felt like I should be able to see the of King Hamlet ghost prowling the parapets of a Danish castle as his perpetually undecided son agonizes within the walls.

Of course, the tell-tale Mercury box and street light post dispel the illusions if you let them, but it was snowy, so I let the flakes get stuck in my eyelashes and blur the image a little ... at least until the light changed.

Once at the top of the hill on my little walk to work, one of the prettiest streets in Pottstown, North Hanover Street, unfolds in the snowfall.

I have been inside a few of these houses during previous Holiday House tours (couldn't go this year) and they are as remarkable inside as they are outside; examples of true craftsmanship.

And you know, nothing says Christmas in Pennsylvania quite like red brick, green wreaths and snow .... and of course, the sign for your dentist's office....

So take a moment to look around folks, before the snow gets slushy and dirty.

It's a snow day.

The photo of Smith Family Plaza, below, was taken Monday night before the snow, but it's pretty anyway.


  1. Thanks for showing us a lot of good reasons to say Proud to be from Pottstown

  2. Simply awesome Mr. Brandt!! I agree with Mr. Armato...good reasons to say Proud to be from Pottstown!!

  3. Thank you for showing what I see every snow day!

  4. What a beautiful Pottstown you shared with everyone! Thanks so much! Made me proud to be from Pottstown!

  5. Great photos and account of the day :)