Monday, September 14, 2009


Tara and I had an errand to run today in the Plymouth Meeting area, when we were through with our business, as I do many times, I decided we would got for a drive. I am generally familiar with the area of Plymouth Meeting/Conshohocken/Gulph Mills and King of Prussia, but I would never be able to give some one directions.

As we were driving, I realized we were headed into Conshohocken. This was the place that when I was growing up, my grandmother owned a business on Hector St. I always loved going there to visit with my mom during the summer or school holidays. I still remember my grandmother sitting in her office, she was a business woman when it was not the norm. She always wore very smart suits and drove big Buicks!

Before turning onto Fayette Street, I noticed this beautiful red door of a church.

Then another large church that always meant we were almost there!

The area where the office used to be has changed a great deal, and I was not able to find Hector St., although I knew where it used to be!
We continued across the bridge and I decided to go check out the Balligomingo Inn on Balligomingo Rd. This little bar/club was an old hang out, that at one time had awesome jazz on the weekends. I remember the jars of pickled eggs behind the bar. Isn't it funny the things we remember. Sadly, like so many things I remember from "back in the day", it too is boarded up! This road is narrow and windy, with little shoulder, so I did not stop to take any photos. It is however a beautifully wooded area through which the river runs!

We continued our journey, and I decided to take Tara to visit some family members she had never met.

This memorial garden is the final resting place of my maternal grandfather & grandmother, my father and my brother.

Fortunately I was able to locate them without having to go to the office. There is a tree that I always remember from my brother's funeral. While it has grown over the years there is something still familiar.

I don't believe anyone has visited recently, as there was a little grass growing over the edges. My family have never been frequent visitors. I worked in the area several times during my career, and would stop by occasionally.

My mother will tell you she does not need to go there to miss and remember her loved ones. I will have to go back again soon with clippers and something to clean the plaques a bit.
I don't remember my Pop Buehler. I was not quite three when he passed at that age of 64. He was a WWI vet.

I have written about my brother Robin in the past. He was killed in the Viet Nam "conflict" at the very young age of 19. I had just turned 11.

My Nana Buehler was an amazing woman. Once my grandfather passed, she ran the business he has started, until what I guess was Alzheimer's took her from us long before her body failed. I don't think they used that term back in the 70s when she first started getting lost coming home from the office she had driven to for years, when she would forget to turn a burner off in the kitchen. I was very close to my Nana, I have such found memories of spending the night at her house on many an occasion.

23 years ago, way too soon, we lost my dad. I was just 27. My father and I had a very unique relationship. I am the "baby" and I spent a great deal of time with him. I loved going on weekend errands to the hardware store, the barber, to his office, etc. I wish he were still with us to see the two granddaughters and five great grandsons born after he passed. He was a WWII vet.

I love that people use the memorial park to bike, walk and run! The geese love it there as well. All though it is the final resting place of so many, it still has quite a bit of life!

On the way home we passed some other locations that brought back memories. The bar in which I met my ex husband (Tara's father), which too has since closed, First Presbyterian Church in Norristown, and my late Great Aunt Bertha's house.

To end the day, I stopped at Pudge's and got us cheese steaks for dinner. There are none better!!

I asked Tara if she was bored with my trip down (and around) memory lane. She said no, but a little confused!


Matty said...

What a nice post. Going down memory lane, and sharing it was your daughter, is a great bonding experience......even if she doesn't quite realize it yet.

Rebecca said...

Wow! Great post. Sounds like a good day.

Intense Guy said...

Your day of driving "as the spirits" moved you may well have been just that.

I really like that red door picture. And Conshohocken has really changed in the past 3-4 years, especially around Hector Street. I often walk on the bike path from Norristown to Spring Mill or Miquon and through the area (and take the train back).

Gosh, I've not been in West Conshohocken or down the Balligomingo Rd in years and years!

Your time at the Valley Forge Memorial Gardens seems very contemplative. I think its a special thing to do, to remember your roots - now and then.

I can understand Tara's confusion. The roads "over there" are a bunch of meandering cow paths and dead ends. :)

Lucy the Cat said...

You have a lot of really nice family memories, some a little bittersweet I'm sure.

I love the church door and the other church pictures. The trees at the cemetary are pretty, esecially against the very blue sky.

Mary K Brennan said...

I think these trips are a great way for your daughter to get to know you better.
My Mom has done it with us. She showed us what use to be her home close to Scranton. It was destroyed in the flood in 71.
I'm hoping to do the same trips with my children one day.
There are so many memories to share. I find we often lose people before we get to ask them these questions. Treasure these trips.