All this talk about turkey this week has reminded me of something. A memory long buried, (or should I say frozen?) – and perhaps best left so, but alas, here follows the story!
Mrs. Working Stiff is visiting her parents in the Detroit are for this Thanksgiving weekend. I was with my own family in Cape May for a few days but returned home for the bulk of the weekend and am trying to make the most of my time. (See prior blog entry re: Operation Fireside.)
After breakfast this morning I drove out to the historic town of Phoenixville, PA, about 20 miles away and roughly to the west, just a few miles from Valley Forge National Park. Phoenixville has a charming downtown area with lots of shops and restaurants to check out and sample. The area where I parked and strolled around, the eastern part of Bridge Street, was somewhat bohemian and seemed to be favored by a young-ish crowd who enjoyed the Steel City Coffee house and the incense-burning gift shops. It looked like a great place to have a meal, a stroll, and some holiday shopping. I have personally made a mental note to take the wife there for an evening of seasonal merry-making next month!
While not yet something that I have invested much time, money, or energy in, I do very much enjoy being able to track down or visit a movie location. The diner where so and so met with the double agent in this film, or the field where the spaceship landed in that film. The stretch of road where Cary Grant ran from the crop duster – that sort of thing. Phoenixville lays claim to a very famous movie scene location of its own. The Colonial Theater pictured at the start of this blog entry is the theater used in the 1958 film “The Blob”, which starred a young Steve McQueen in his first leading role. Actually that movie used several other locations in or around Phoenixville, but the theater is the most famous one. Near the end of the movie a mass of people runs towards the theater exits to escape from the alien blob. Soon after, the Steve McQueen character is instrumental in determining that The Blob doesn’t like cold, which ultimately leads to the military flying it north to drop in the arctic and freeze it solid, hopefully forever.
My brother and sister and I had our own encounter with The Blob when we were young kids growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey. I may have repressed some of the more startling memories of our own Blob Battle, but at the time I figure we must have thought that the actual Blob had somehow managed to thaw itself out and return from the frozen arctic to once again threaten humanity!
As it turned out though, what we originally thought was the terrible Blob from the low-budget thriller, freed at last from the iron grasp of the polar ice, was in fact one of those frozen meals prepared by my overworked mother, no doubt with the best of intentions. In this case, the grey and ghastly mass that confronted us, threatening untold evils from our dinner plates, was a serving of turkey croquettes! Swanson perhaps, that detail is lost to history, but certainly and obviously the fiendish creation of some sinister organization! Turkey croquettes! Fortunately for my readers I have no photo to share. I am myself grateful that the visual aspect of that evening has faded greatly. What sort of evil mind would create such things as frozen turkey croquettes! The mind boggles.
Our mother was upset with us for not eating our dinner until she tried one of the offending grey-gravy drenched monoliths herself. I don’t recall that we summoned the Air Force to fly them up to the arctic, but I’m sure we threw them out pretty much intact! Mom was then a good sport about the required decades of “turkey croquette ribbing” that naturally followed. As to the possibility of further encounters with turkey croquettes, or croquettes of any kind, we must all remain vigilant. Watch the skies!
Back in Phoenixville, I explored a shop that was one of the coolest I have perused in some time. I broke the ice on my Christmas shopping there, buying my first gift. I must take the wife there and I think she will enjoy it. In one of the window displays, I discovered a very plush grey cat reclining comfortably there on a faux-fur throw rug (see pictures), though the cat itself was not faux. While grey and mostly round, the cat did not look much like a turkey croquette. Here is the website for the Diving Cat Studio Gallery.
I enjoyed a coffee and a fresh pastry at the local Steel City Coffee Shop, which serves fresh hand-made food and regularly hosts musical acts of all varieties. It looked like a warm local place that makes people comfortable. I’ll be back.
Go see Phoenixville!
The Working Stiff