The way we were
Easy Does It
Last Saturday was the perfect day to hang up my new offiFH VLJn, D JLIW IrRP Princeton reader Lucile Silvester. Harvest Day in Yardley was the reason for hanging Lucile’s hand-lettered notice.
Even if the only appointment I had was a visit from my cat Aleck, Yardley’s special day was a must date to keep. Sorry, Aleck, gone to town.
In dark green letters against a lighter green background, Lucile’s sign reads: “I am lost. I’ve gone to look for myself. If I should return before I get back, please ask me to wait.”
I looked for myself at Yardley’s Harvest Day, and sure enough, there I was, as if 43 years had slipped silently past since that YHry firVW VWrRll DPRnJ WhH hDSSy FrRwG Rn tree-lined borough sidewalks, as if I had stepped back in time to the way it might hDYH EHHn Rn WhDW firVW HDrYHVW DDy Ln 1969.
Last Saturday was a callback to the beginning, if you don’t mind me throwing in a little nostalgia, as we hoofed it on Canal Street again, then a left on East CRllHJH AYHnuH WR finG PRrH food, vendors, artists, fruits, pies, and yummies, all the things that are good for you and good for Harvest Day on one brilliantly call September day of meeting friends and neighbors and even strangers that became all of the above: The same reasons the borough has drawn crowds to this hometown get-together for all those years.
The change has been gradual, you understand, almost unnoticeable. Not that long ago, the food court was in the parking area between Canal Street and behind WaWa and The sault before it was the PNB Bank and more recently Bank of America. The only change this past Saturday was the attractions were nestled along Canal Street, blending into more eye candy on East College Avenue where even more vendor tables attracted a parade of foot WrDIfiF FRnWLnuLnJ Dll WhH wDy WR DnG HnGLnJ at River Road.
Memories have always worked overtime when it comes to Harvest Day. Does any- one remember the year there was a small cerris wheel that made gentle circles to the squeals and excitement of the children, all in plain sight of the crowds browsing along seeking more treasures on Canal Street?
And there was that year in the 1980’s when Batman, sans Robin, made an appearance, waving to admirers young and old from the passenger seat of the sleek streamlined black Batmobile used in the old Ts series and parked just off Canal Street. Anybody remember the bees that attacked the cotton candy machine and scattered Harvest Day visitors in the early 90’s?
Last year Harvest Day was moved to Afton Avenue with vendors setting up their booths along Lake Afton, and continuing through Buttonwood Park. Last Saturday was the retreat back to its original site because of a street development project and ongoing construction. I’m sure Harvest Day will return to the new site once construction has been completed and earth moving machinery has moved on to another assignment.
Even the Yardley ducks and geese that populated the lake area surrendered to the workmen and retreated to a quieter, more serene place.
And like our feathered friends, we also picked up our tables and retreated. But wasn’t it fun being in the middle of town DJDLn, lLNH D rHWurn WR WhRVH firVW HDrYHVW Days?
Susan Taylor thought this year’s crowd was even larger than other Harvest Days. Pointing from her table on East College Avenue to the sea of people strolling and browsing and passing by on their way up from the river, she ventured an explanation: “We have such nice weather!”
Some of the strollers who were scheduled to work last Saturday told me they picked their days off early in the year so they wouldn’t miss Harvest Day. That’s what Laura, a bank teller, did, and then she passed a booth on Canal Street with her bank’s name on it.
A man with a big welcoming smile handed me a Rotary Club card and welcomed me to an upcoming function. That’s just the way it is and how it should be on Harvest Day.
Aimless wandering is fun. Try it. You’ll like it.