Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We knew Lititz was cool . . .

     . . . now it's official. We beat out 923 other towns in the contest sponsored by Budget Travel. So what is it about Lititz that makes it so cool?

Wilbur Chocolate – Wilbur Buds are the very best chocolate candy available.

Sturgis Pretzels – Hand-made pretzels. Think it's easy to twist a pretzel? Stop by the factory and give it a try.

Unique shops – Within a five block area over 70 shops, with products ranging from antiques to unique foods, display not only their wares, but also a “Miracle On 34th Street” attitude. If one doesn't have what you want, the proprietor will suggest a competitor who just might be able to satisfy your request.

Outdoor Farmers' Market – From spring through fall over 20 booths display the finest local produce. You can be sure that everything is fresh.

4th of July Celebration – 2012 marked the 195th consecutive celebration of our nation's birth with a parade, daylong performances in beautiful Lititz Springs Park, and a fireworks display.

Fire and Ice – With over 40 ice sculptures lining the streets, February 15 through 18 marked the annual Fire and Ice celebration. Seventeen local chefs competed for votes from the 1,200 people who attended the chili cookoff. Every vote was a one dollar contribution to the favorite charity of the competing organization. The winner of the cookoff received a trophy and bragging rights for the next year.

Second Friday – On the second Friday evening of each month the local shops and restaurants hand out samples while musicians, magicians and other entertainers perform along the streets. It's an evening of camaraderie for everyone.

Restaurants – Ranging from small tea rooms and sandwich shops to pubs and fine dining facilities, Lititz restaurants can satisfy any taste.

History – Lititz was founded by the Moravian Church in 1740, and the present church building dates to 1787. Lititz is also home to the nation's oldest girls' boarding and day school, Linden Hall, which was founded in 1746.
     But in my humble opinion, the most important factor in Lititz's coolness is the determination of its residents to maintain a swinging, vibrant small town atmosphere.

     And it works.

  My books, “There Are Only Seven Jokes” and “The Spirit Runs Through It” are available in paperback or Kindle at Amazon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A Gruesome Story

An unusual story has appeared in the local newspaper during the last couple of weeks. While not unprecedented, it is unusual, and although it's not fumy, it is difficult to avoid making some macabre jokes. But I'll try.

It all started with a Sunday News story on January 27. The family of a man who died the previous month was having a hard time getting his death certificate and ashes from the mortuary. His obit had not appeared, so his mother had it printed at her own expense. The certificate and ashes finally turned up three weeks later.

Other similar stories turned up – loss of ashes, obits not printed, Social Security not notified, etc. In one case a family ordered one large urn and four small ones for their loved one's ashes. Finally the large urn arrived, but the small ones remained on backorder. When the family went to pick up the large urn, the funeral director waved a baggy with the remaining ashes at them, and asked if they wanted him to keep them until the other urns arrived! As the family member said, “Who wants to see their loved one in a baggie!"

But the real story appeared on February 1. Based on the complaint of a customer who was unable to obtain the ashes of his mother, police searched the funeral home and found four decomposing bodies in the basement – remains that were supposed to have been cremated, but never were. Only one body was stored in a cooling unit, two were lying on a table, and another was in a cardboard box in the basement!

Subsequent investigations into the operations of the mortuary have uncovered multiple problems. Prepaid funeral arrangement monies were not turned over to the insurance company, irregularities in paperwork to the county coroner have surfaced, numerous suppliers have filed for unpaid bills, and today the coup de grace, a bank sued on default of a business loan to the tune of $388,000.

Sounds like the director has dug himself into a hole.

Damn! I promised I wouldn't do that.
My books, "There Are Only Seven Jokes" and "The Spirit Runs Through It" are available in 

paperback of Kindle at Amazon.