Monday, September 21, 2009

Delaware Children's Museum Groundbreaking

Emily & I were honored to be invited to the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Delaware Children's Museum on Monday in front of the old Kahunaville on the Delaware waterfront. Over the past year, we've met lots of people from the Delaware Children's Museum - from the opening of the new Laura Novak studio to the Point-to-Point races and the Best of Delaware party. We've met with Paige, Juli-Anne, Traci and Julie. We love what they're doing to get a world-class children's museum to Delaware and Monday marked a huge step towards that becoming a reality.

The event was well-attended by politicians, press and donators. Delaware's entire Congressional delegation was on hand (Senators Carper & Kaufmann, Congressman Castle) as well as Governor Markell, Lt. Governor Denn, Mayor Baker & New Castle County Executive Chris Coons. (That's Governor Markell, Chris Coons & Senator Carper in the pic)

It was a brilliant day and we were thrilled to be a part of it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Joe the Barber stops in

If you have to ask who Joe the barber is, you're not from around here, are you?

Joe's Barber Shop is a fixture on Concord Pike. It's been there for as long as I remember.

Joe and Marge Gioffre stopped in today, doing some shopping for a great-grandson. Joe himself worked there for 60 years, having retired only recently. Joe said to mention that "they love the store!"

Joe's is a guy place. The waiting room always seems to me to be filled with boys & men waiting for a haircut. And no matter how many people were waiting, Joe or George would swear it would only be a few minutes. Woe to the fellow who left the shop due to the number of people waiting. Someone always follows that person out, swearing to them that it wouldn't be that long, to come back. And the conversation in the room runs the gamut from business to politics to sports and religion. It is a real old fashioned barber shop. Everyone who's anyone got their hair cut at Joe's. CEO's of all the major companies - duPont, Hercules, etc. I told Joe he should write a book, I know I'd buy it. Heck, we'd sell it!

My first haircut was at Joe's. I was a squirmy kid, and when my squirming finally got too much, the poor barber accidentally nicked my ear - which sent me into a tizzy. I only know this story because of the numerous times I've been told that story - first by my mom and later by my father. It took me years to get back into Joe's - after college - in that brief window of time that I actually had enough hair to have cut, but I loved the atmosphere in Joe's.

I tried to stop into Joe's one day on my way to an interview. I was headed up to Philly to interview for the Philly Phanatic job (yes, the Phanatic - a whole different story I'll post someday) and thought I could cram in a Joe's haircut. I only had a couple minutes to spare, so when I walked in and saw a crammed waiting room, I immediately turned around and headed to my car - waiting for the inevitable cry that "it won't be that long." Seconds later, Joe popped out and tried to persuade me to come back. Since I was running late, I excused myself and headed to the interview.

Perhaps if I'd left enough time to get the haircut, I might have impressed my interviewers with my Joe's Barber Shop haircut and I could have been the Phanatic.

Thanks for stopping in, Marge & Joe, and thanks for the wonderful memories.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Talk Like a Pirate Day is Saturday

Ahoy, International Talk Like a Pirate Bay be Saturday, September 19th and, seein' as we have a pirate ship in our store, we'll be celebratin' it with free pirate phrase cheat sheets t' use throughout the day. Gar.

Pick up yer cheet sheet t'day or watch this instructional video made by the Pirate Guys.

Banner day at Yo-Yo Club

We started our Yo-Yo Club in January. It was an immediate hit, with dozens of kids showing up on the first day. Since then, 130 people have started on our "Yo-Yo Club Advancement Chart" - a list of 25 yo-yo tricks of advancing difficulty. If the yoyoer has the tenacity to finish our chart, they get inducted into the Yo-Yo Joe's "Wall of Fame" - their picture is posted on the wall above where Yo-Yo Club meets.

Of those 130, only one had completed the list. Only one until Saturday - when three, count 'em, three kids finished the list. David Yoncha - who was at our first Yo-Yo Club meeting, Mark White - who started about a week after David, and Jesse Miller - who starting coming this spring - all finished the chart on Saturday. The three joined Jared Verratti - who finished the list several months ago.

This brings our 'Wall of Fame' membership to 20 - we grandfathered the 11 people who were in the Mitchell's Yo-Yo Club 'Wall of Fame' and it includes five professional yo-yoers who stopped in at YoYo Joe's and reeled off the tricks to join the wall. All in all, our Wall includes former Mid-Atlantic Regional, US National & World Champions!