Splendor in the Grass

“…nothing can bring back the hour/Of splendour in the grass…”

This quote from the Wordsworth poem that inspired the title of the 1961 movie also fueled my life-long pursuit (some might say mild obsession) of collecting significant lines. The imagery in the verse caused me to reflect on the meager 16 years of memories I had acquired. My grandmother had a simpler way of saying this; she used the term “the good old days”. Some of us still see them as good. Others, through time and circumstance have less than splendorous recollections. Either way, these memories have shaped who we are today. And whether they create longing or loathing, they will forever remain a part of us.

After gaining perspective and experience oh-so-many years later, I’ve found that the memories, no matter how small, are significant. Each one conjures a sense of my changing self and the community in which I’ve lived my whole life. Some of the things that I miss most:

  • Being able to make all the lights on the Parkway from 20th street to the entrance of the West River Drive in under three minutes when they were timed.
  • Playing softball for the Adams Mark Hotel at 9:30 Sunday morning at the Belmont Plateau. Those double headers built up a big appetite so after the games I’d head over to a stand at the Manayunk Farmers Market. On Sunday’s the owner slow roasted Bison for his amazing Buffalo Steak sandwiches, the meat melted in your mouth. (The owner of that stand is now selling flowers in the Ardmore Farmers Market. Props to Richie Freeman!)
  • Catching a show at the Wynnewood Movie Theater, which is now an Italian eatery.
  • Wolfgang’s, a cute little spot in Ardmore on Cricket Terrace. You can still see his sign from the back of the building on Athens Ave. He served a great ham sandwich on a crusty baguette that included a hard boiled egg and the best spaetzle around.
  • And the All Natural health store on Lancaster Ave—the one that served daily lunch specials.

I invite you to send me five memories from your own good old days, keeping the splendor alive and the grass green.

This blog post originally appeared in the Ardmore-Merion-Wynnewood Patch….