Regal Noye talked in gibberish and ran around in circles for years.
Today, he’s a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Radnor High School just starting his freshman year at the University of Tulsa where he’ll study environmental policy.
On a scholarship.
You read that right.
Regal’s journey – from challenged and challenging child on the autism spectrum to standout Radnor student – was so improbable, his mother just wrote a book about it: Hello Autism: How to Love, Like and Learn from Your Special Needs Child.
Regal was diagnosed with autism at age 3. “Initially, I didn’t enjoy Regal, I didn’t enjoy life with him. It wasn’t what I signed up for. I was really disappointed,” recalls Theresa Noye, a personal transformation coach and director of the Goode Scholars Program and Multicultural Student Initiatives at Eastern University.
But everything changed when the Noyes discovered Son-Rise, an innovative program that teaches families to meet children with autism where they are – literally. So, when Regal, at age 3, 4 and 5 ran in endless circles, his mother did, too. If Regal rocked repetitively, so did Theresa. If he stared intently at a blade of grass, Theresa stared right along with him.
“It sounds bizarre,” she says. “But it communicates deep acceptance.”
Instead of being uncomfortable with their son’s strange behaviors and trying to stop them, the Noyes learned to embrace them, to enter into Regal’s world, then guide him lovingly into theirs.
Intensive parent-led therapy – some 50 hours a week – eventually bore fruit.
Regal started making eye contact.
Sounds became words that became sentences that made sense.
He saw his younger sister, Nia, head off to school and began begging to join her.
After two years of intense training in social skills, like sitting at a desk, raising your hand and taking turns – Regal was ready. His parents enrolled him in the fourth grade at Wayne Elementary.
From the start, he felt loved and supported in school, Theresa says.
Regal worked hard, and, to his mom’s amazement, classmates started inviting him to birthday parties. “Every parent would say, ‘Thank you for bringing Regal to school. Thank you for bringing him into our community.’ It was so wonderful,” Theresa recalls.
In eighth grade, Regal ran for student council and won.
By high school, his singular focus on academics led to stellar grades, selection to the National Honor Society, nomination to the Homecoming Court, and admission to ten colleges, many with scholarships.
“He’s hardworking, wise, funny and insightful, and a real rule follower,” his mother says. Fired up by issues like climate change and racial injustice, “he sees himself as a world changer.”
His Twitter profile reads: “Doing everything people say I can’t do with autism.”
And that singular name? It comes from a line in the Eddie Murphy movie, Coming to America. ‘Regal’ just fits him, his mom says.
Although Regal is well-liked, Theresa says he has no friends.
“I don’t have time for friends,” Regal would tell his mom. “They would distract me from my goals.”
Despite his many accomplishments, Regal’s autism remains obvious. According to his mom, he talks “a little loud,” makes jerking movements when he’s excited, still does “air writing,” and sometimes talks to himself.
But his high school classmates never bullied or belittled him, Theresa says. Not even once.
His race, too, has never been an issue and his parents are taking steps to keep it that way.
When he became a tall teenager, the Noyes took Regal to the police station. “We wanted to introduce him as a Black man but also as a kid on the spectrum,” his mother says.
She taught her son not to approach cars too closely to look at their license plates, one of his many fascinations.
“We also told him he can only talk to himself at home – not walking around Wayne. We said, ‘You’re tall, you’re Black, and some people will be uncomfortable with that.’”
At the University of Tulsa, his mother says Regal will carry a card that identifies him as a person with autism. “He doesn’t drive – I’m thankful for that – and we’re training him not to leave campus with people he doesn’t know and to watch for things.”
A few weeks ago, 31 cars joined Regal’s drive-by graduation party.
“When I first met Regal, he didn’t speak,” recalled one well-wisher, Char Nolan. “Today, he was acting as though he was running for office. Filled my heart with tears.”
Nolan befriended the Noyes when Regal was a toddler in a shopping cart at Whole Foods Devon, Nolan’s former employer and one of the few places Theresa could take Regal because of his sensory issues. Theresa would roll Regal up and down the aisles for hours.
Last Sunday, just days after his personal story hit Amazon and Walmart, Regal moved to Tulsa. The toddler afraid to leave his house flew 1,278 miles to begin his college adventure.
At the virtual release party for his mom’s book, he vowed to work hard in college – on his social life as well as on academics. “I’m ready to go the distance,” Regal declared.
Theresa Noye has gone the distance, too.
It wasn’t easy and it took years, but she’s learned to let go of her expectations, embarrassment and disappointment and “appreciate Regal as a gift with talents that just needed to be drawn out.”
Her book, she hopes, will inspire other moms of special-needs kids to feel the same.
“Hello Autism”: How to Love, Like and Learn from Your Special Needs Child by Theresa Noye (10-10-10 Publishing) is sold on Amazon, Walmart and Barnes and Noble and available on Kindle.
Nova freshmen make national news… and not in a good way
Well, that didn’t take long. On the night of their second campus move-in day, up to 200 Villanova freshmen were caught on video socializing on the campus lawn, some without masks and not social distancing, in direct violation of the school’s “Community First” reopening rules.
According to school officials, the impromptu get-together – around a tent erected on South Campus – wasn’t a part of orientation or a planned party. Seems it was simply hordes of teens doing what teens do when they leave home for the first time.
Public safety officers dispersed the crowd but the group had reportedly been socializing two hours. (The good news: students were tested before coming to campus.)
University President, the Rev. Peter Donahue, was none too pleased, firing off an email the next day that warned students “WILL BE SENT HOME” if they flout the rules. Administrators reinforced the message at orientation sessions and RAs are reportedly writing down names of students failing to wear masks and social distance. Repeat offenders will be sent home.
Meanwhile on Facebook, Radnor Ward 7 Commissioner Sean Farhy has called on Father Peter to resign “for his inability to manage the campus that he oversees in a manner that safely protects the health and welfare of the surrounding community as well as the student body.” The University has “never been a good neighbor to Radnor’s Ward 7,” the commissioner wrote.
Speaking out in support of Villanova and Father Peter is First Ward Commissioner and BOC President Jack Larkin, a Nova law school grad himself who heard from 100 constituents about the incident. In his newsletter, Larkin mentioned Nova’s meticulous COVID planning including cancelling homecoming and parents’ weekends, supplying students with reusable masks, wipes, sanitizers and thermometers, and creating a smartphone app that helps students self-monitor and access COVID resources. He notes that the University is requiring students to wear masks at all times on campus, even outside – even though PA only mandates masks outside when a 6-ft. distance can’t be kept. “Its students shop in our stores and volunteer in our community, and its schools employ our residents,” Larkin wrote. Nova’s town-gown relations have “soured because of criticism from loud voices on the Board of Commissioners,” he said, adding that Farhy was not speaking for the township when he demanded Father Peter’s resignation.
The incident begs broader questions: If older teens flout safety rules, can we reasonably expect younger students to follow them when schools resume next month? How do schools effectively “police” their students and enforce the rules? Oy.
Is Someone Up There mad at us?
Downgraded to a tropical storm – was that why Isaias was so miffed – The Storm Formerly Known As Hurricane Isaias pummeled the Main Line August 4, deluging us with 6 to 8 inches (equal to more than 7 ft. of snow), downing trees and power lines, and forcing water rescues everywhere.
There were 110 “water incidents” in Tredyffrin alone, including a rescue from fast-moving floodwaters at Glenhardie and Richards Rd. pictured above. The car’s two occupants had to climb on the roof and strap on life jackets before Berwyn Fire Company moved them to safety.
The quiet Tredyffrin neighborhood, Summerhill, had an especially hellish time, losing power and water (and flushing toilets) in the same week. In this summer of our discontent, storms are flooding our basements, ravaging our yards and spoiling our food. Even newer subdivisions with underground wires are no longer immune to the nasty whims of Mother Nature.
In Lower Merion, rescue crews from Gladwyne and Merion fire companies saved a woman trapped in her car in a low-lying area of Penn Rd. near Wynnewood Rd.
And in Radnor, activist Gale Morrison is circulating a petition urging township officials to “take a new approach on stormwater flooding.”
By Morrison’s count, August 4 marked Radnor’s eighth “dangerous and damaging flood event in 10 years to trap people in their homes and cars, cut off vehicle access to whole neighborhoods and prompt dozens of 911 calls.”
Live in Radnor/Delco and need help with Isaias cleanup (e.g. clearing fallen trees, removing drywall, floor appliances, tarping roofs, mitigating mold)? Call this toll-free hotline for free help from volunteers: 1-844-965-1386.
After bicycling death of beloved Paoli man, police urge vigilance
No word yet on whether charges will be filed against the driver, reportedly young, whose car hit and killed Michael Hackman from behind as he bicycled on Providence Road near Radnor Hunt last month. Willistown detectives will huddle with the Chesco DA once “all the physical evidence, interviews, and contributory factors are gathered and consolidated,” Willistown Police Chief Bob Klinger tells SAVVY.
In the meantime, Klinger urges drivers and cyclists to be extra careful. Rural roads like Providence Road “have limited site distances due to environmental effects – curves, hills, shadows, weather, time of day – which may impact the visibility of pedacycles to approaching motor vehicles from behind, from cross streets and from driveways,” he said. Drivers and cyclists “need to eliminate distractions and concentrate on driving safely,” Klinger says. Hackman, 64, was struck around 7:45 p.m. and died from massive head trauma at Paoli Hospital.
A recreational cyclist who played competitive soccer into his 50s, Hackman was a community leader in Chester County’s fight against homelessness and was director of education at the Uncommon Individual Foundation based in Devon. Earlier in his career, he worked for the Philadelphia Prison Society and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Greater Philadelphia.
Yang Ming replacement Jin Ding off to a mostly promising start in Bryn Mawr
Assuming they can get the food out faster, Jin Ding should be a solid hit in Bryn Mawr.
The successor to Yangming opened last week.
Team SAVVY’s Aly McBride ordered a mix of dim sum, General Tso Chicken and Lo Mein. “It was all great” and “more authentic” and “less fancy” than Yangming. Think chicken feet instead of crabcakes.
The family’s favorites: the Chive Dumplings and the General Tso’s, which had less batter and coating than Yangming’s. “I thought it was better,” McBride says.
The biggest hiccup: service.
When Chris McBride arrived to pick up food ordered online, the kitchen hadn’t even started making it. Whoops.
Jin Ding, 1051 Conestoga Rd., Bryn Mawr, is open daily, noon to 9.
Sorry, Pat’s. The King of Steaks now reigns in Berwyn, not South Philly.
Philly Cheesesteaks opened last week next to Frankie’s Fellini Café. And ding, ding, ding – we have a winner.
First, ingredients are a cut above. Tender ribeye steak is sliced in house. Chicken is freshly sliced from all-natural, no antibiotic chicken breast. Cheeses are real – no “processed cheese food” except for the obligatory Whiz on the “Eagle” steak. A secret South Philly source supplies rolls that miraculously hold mounds of meat and don’t get soggy. And burgers are hand-formed 100% Black Angus patties served on brioche buns.
“Pat’s and Geno’s are overrated,” says Philly Cheesesteaks owner Alex Zaglol (below), who was born in Cairo, Egypt and moved to the U.S. to become a commercial airline pilot. Zaglol started working in restaurants 20 years ago, ditched plans to fly for Egypt Air, and eventually opened Philly Cheesesteaks in Collegeville in 2002 (it closed when the building was sold) and in Royersford in 2010. He and his wife and two children have lived in Phoenixville for 15 years.
“The Main Line has been a fascination for me,” Zaglol says. “It’s an honor to come here.”
He signed the lease in the teeth of the COVID shutdown on April 20. Instead of scaring him, the pandemic gave him “more motivation to do this while everything was so negative… I believe I can make something positive out of this. I can always say I opened during the hardest time possible.”
Steaks and hoagies are all served on 12-inch rolls and run $8.99 to $10.99. We tried the Eagle Cheesesteak (grilled onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and Whiz) and ordered our chicken steak with provolone, mushrooms, grilled onions and hot peppers. So good. A side tossed salad ($7.99) was fresh and big enough to share. The menu also includes assorted fries, sides, wings, salads, hoagies and wraps.
Philly Cheesesteaks, 676 Lancaster Ave., Berwyn (next to Fellini’s). Order online, in person or call 610-722-9464. All-day delivery within a roughly four-mile radius.
Popular Paoli restaurant is off-line … and NOT because of the pandemic.
Hong Garden, a 26-year mainstay at Chestnut Village Shoppes, will be closed for the foreseeable future following a massive fire in late July. Firefighters from six area companies joined Paoli Fire Co., taming the blaze in thirty minutes.
No word yet on what sparked the fire. An astute neighbor saw sparks and called for help.
A GoFundMe launched by the owner’s adult children, Jon and Gloria Yu, has raised nearly $37,000, more than double its $15K target. The family says it’s used the money to pay staff and “start the cleanup process.”
Suddenly chic: above-ground pools, Corona campouts
With pools requiring reservations and masks, savvy families are beating the heat in their own backyards.
Take the Johnsons, who ordered a 12-ft. by 24-ft. pool from Walmart for their Valley Forge yard back in April. Did they ever think they’d put an above-ground pool in their million-dollar neighborhood?
“Never,” says Amy Johnson. “We love it. Basketball is the most popular game. Water aerobics in the a.m., napping in late afternoons.”
In Bryn Mawr, Ted and Misty Domers bought a 15-ft. X 15-ft. blow-up pool that takes up their entire backyard. The photo below shows their kids, Isaac and Hannah, splashing around but their parents use the pool plenty. “It’s a great way to stay outside and socially distance with neighbors,” says Ted Domers.
Above-ground pools are such hot commodities, sellers can’t keep them in stock.
But buyer beware. Scammers are luring folks with prices too good to be true for pools that never arrive or show up different from the one you ordered.
Meanwhile, even in the high-rent district of Gladwyne, folks are getting back to basics – like this multi-family campout in the yard of plastic surgeon Jason Bloom.
Love in the time of coronavirus – when tying the knot has never been so trying.
With brides from Bala to Malvern scrambling for Plan Bs, venues – like The Bercy, Radnor Hotel and the Wayne Bed & Breakfast Inn – are pushing small-wedding packages.
New nouns describe retooled nuptials: minimonies, microweddings, I do redo’s, sequel weddings.
We asked three local couples set to marry in May or June how they re-imagined their big days.
A micro merger of medical minds in Malvern
Daisy Carter and Andrew Berta’s big blowout wedding was all set: A big Catholic ceremony on May 9 at their home parish in Fairmount, followed by a reception at the Kimmel Center for more than 200.
Instead, they were married July 25 in Daisy’s childhood church, St. Patrick’s in Malvern (below), and celebrated two miles away in her parents’ backyard. Total guest count: 50 – half family and half very close friends.
A week before her wedding, Daisy told us she was pumped. “We’re super excited for the smaller wedding and the intimacy that comes with it. It feels like this was meant to be – a happy celebration smack dab in the middle of such an uncertain time.”
It’s a time the happy couple – both in medicine – know intimately. Both have cared for critically ill COVID patients – Daisy as an ICU nurse at CHOP, Andrew as a family physician in Chestnut Hill.
Their backyard bash included timely touches like custom masks (below left), individual hand sanitizers, individually wrapped hors d’oeuvres and an oversized tent with backyard games allowing guests to safely spread out.
With PA courts closed, the two wrangled an emergency marriage license. They qualified because both work in healthcare with COVID patients.
Like their cozy celebration, most everything was hyperlocal: Catering by Aneu in Paoli and Flowers by Priscilla of Paoli (yes, there were daisies everywhere). Janice Martin in Ardmore tailored Daisy’s gown and Newtown Square/Manayunk’s Beke Beau was her makeup artist.
The honeymoon was local, too. Instead of a romantic excursion to Switzerland and Italy, Daisy and Andrew enjoyed a “family honeymoon” with both their families at Daisy’s parents’ home in Avalon. Yup, even honeymoons can become family affairs during a pandemic.
A not-so big, not-so fat, semi-Greek wedding
As a former PA Republican Party executive and now Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations at Villanova U, Laura Wagoner has planned umpteen events for politicos and business leaders.
Good thing, too.
Because she had to draw on all that experience – and then some – after her perfectly laid plans for her own wedding went haywire.
“For something that is supposed to be so exciting, this has been a pretty terrible experience,” Laura laments.
Former high school sweethearts Laura Wagoner (Agnes Irwin ’09) and Alex Manion (Conestoga ’08) had their hearts set on a traditional Greek American – Irish Catholic merger on May 16: eight bridesmaids, eight groomsmen, 180 family and friends at St. Patrick’s Church and The Desmond Hotel in Malvern.
After a 14-year courtship and an 18-month engagement, the couple couldn’t wait to seal the deal.
COVID, of course, had other plans.
After ten days of hell, tears and no sleep with Laura watching virus-tracking news for hours on end, they made their decision. They’d move the wedding to October 31, Halloween, a day after Laura’s 30th birthday. Same time. Same place. Double the cause for celebration.
A few hours before the PA shutdown order took effect, Kramer Drive in Berwyn printed “I Do Re-Do” cards, notifying guests of the date change.
But in late April, the couple had another thought: What if we got married – legally, at least – on our original date?
The pieces slid into place.
Jeff Kellmer had their wedding bands ready on five days’ notice. A Zoom call with the Chester County Register of Wills secured the license. Cousin Theodora, an ordained minister, was thrilled to officiate. And the venue – Alex’s mom’s backyard at his boyhood home in Malvern – happened to be free that day.
And so, on May 16, Laura and Alex were wed.
Sporting a “Dog of Honor” bandana, their Great Dane, Freddie (above left), replaced Laura’s best friend and Maid of Honor, who was battling COVID. Total number of guests: 15.
Laura’s mom cut flowers from her garden.
Rose petals from Produce Junction lined the aisle.
A stranger dropped off a free helium tank and white balloons after seeing Laura’s plea on a community forum. Hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, masks and gloves were procured.
Laura wore a dress she’d bought for her honeymoon and picked up “something blue” en route to the ceremony: earrings from her neighbor, jewelry designer Lisi Lerch. “Something borrowed” was the crown Laura’s mother wore for her own wedding. Friends helped with makeup, hair and photography.
The couple read their own vows, and after short speeches and a champagne toast, headed home to Conshohocken where they sat outside with friends, enjoying their favorite beers and Pietro’s pizza cut in heart shapes.
On Halloween, they’ll do it again in church and at The Desmond with a slimmed-down guest list of 120 – or fewer if things really go south in Chester County. Printed notes graciously informing guests they’ve been disinvited are ready to go.
Laura’s shower will take place in shifts. Guests will sign up for 45-minute time slots at Avola Kitchen & Bar in Malvern.
If the pandemic forces a postponement of her 2nd wedding, Laura’s not sure what she’ll do.
Try to find an open date in 2021? (With so many postponements, dates are hard to come by. Laura knows brides getting married on Sundays, Monday and Wednesdays next year.)
Find an open field somewhere?
Canceling twice would be a nightmare, says Laura, who’s been shamed by brides’ groups on social media. “If you’ve kept your wedding date for 2020 …you became public enemy #1.” She has since relied on a more friendly group: “2020 Brides Not Changing Their Dates.”
Her big day at the Desmond won’t be quite what she imagined. Instead of the ballroom, festivities will take place on the tented deck. “We understand that masks will be worn and we’re OK with that,” Laura says. “We’re not sure we’ll be able to have a dance floor or if people will even want to dance, which is usually the best part of a wedding.”
Because of travel restrictions, their honeymoon won’t happen until 2021 – although they did sneak away for a “minimoon” in Annapolis a few weeks ago, a state that didn’t require people from PA to quarantine.
Amid the heartache and headaches, Laura remains resolute.
“We just want to have our family and friends with us to celebrate a love that’s been 14 years in the making. I want to wear my gorgeous wedding dress. I want to hear my Maid of Honor’s and Alex’s Best Man’s speech. I want to have a first dance with my dad and my husband.”
If she gets married at The Desmond or in an open field, one thing’s for sure, Laura says: “It’s going to be a great story for our children some day.”
A ‘sequel wedding:’ Double the fun
Like other engaged couples, Caitin Kunda and Greg Carver spent a lot of time following the news in March and April. Questions swirled: “Do we move the wedding date or not?” “Maybe it will all be better by June 6 [their wedding date]?” “What about the shower?”
Finally, just days before the wedding invites were due to print, Caitlin, a nurse practitioner at HUP, and Greg, a consultant with Lincoln Financial, made the call: they’d postpone until August 21.
The church, St. Katharine of Siena in Wayne, was available that day. So was their venue, Pomme in Radnor. All of their wedding vendors were free. A shower at Life’s Patina in Malvern could easily be switched to July.
August was meant to be, right?
Not with the Philly burbs lingering in the yellow phase into June. How could they possibly keep 175 guests, seven bridesmaids, seven groomsmen, two flower girls and a ring bearer – all wearing masks – six feet apart on the dance floor?
For Caitlin and Greg, having as many friends and family around as possible was the whole point of a big wedding.
And so, they pivoted again.
They went ahead with the July shower under a tent at Life’s Patina. Instead of a traditional buffet, tables were set with plates which guests carried to caterer Brian Bowman, B & T Catering, who filled them with their choices from the buffet.
They kept the August date, this Friday night, when they’ll marry in a “classic, romantic little ceremony” with immediate family at St. Katharine’s.
And On June 4, 2021, two days shy of what would have been their one-year anniversary, they’ll renew their vows at a full Catholic Mass at the same Wayne church and celebrate with 175 people at Pomme.
As for her dress, Caitlin says she’s keeping it under wraps until 2021. “I’ve decided to wait to wear it until everyone is there to see me walking down the aisle in it – every little girl’s dream.”
With his catering biz mostly kaput, Berwyn caterer George McLoughlin has turned his Leopard Rd. facility into a specialty store. He put up a new awning, seal-coated the lot, added a few bistro tables and umbrellas, and converted a 1,500 sq. ft. interior staging area into a marketplace. Voilà.
Tasty Table Market offers a rotating menu of elevated entrees, handcrafted sandwiches, soups and desserts with most items priced under $10. There’s also a selection of hard-to-find imported French and Italian gourmet goodies.
Order online for curbside pickup or walk in with your mask on. Home delivery available, too.
Tasty Table Catering & Market, 10 Leopard Rd., Berwyn is open weekdays 9 to 5 and Saturdays, 9 to 4. 610-251-0265. $5 sandwiches six days and BOGO entrees on Tuesdays.
The Philadelphia Print Shop, esteemed purveyor of antique maps, prints and rare books in Chestnut Hill for 38 years, is coming to the Main Line.
Local map maven David Mackey bought the business from collector Donald Cresswell and will open in the former Wayne state store space at 209 W. Lancaster Ave.
Mackey could have run the business online (as he does with Malvern Maps) but opted for a physical store so folks could browse before they buy. He chose Wayne because it’s the center of the Main Line, which he calls “steeped in rich local history” and “populated by those who value how local history shapes our future … A large part of the joy of this hobby comes from the interpersonal exchanges with individuals, students and collectors.”
Inventory includes 16th– to 20th-century woodcuts, engravings, etchings and lithographs priced $50 to $25,000 in such categories as sports, Americana, “Philadelphiana,” art, architecture, religious, mythical and European history.
A moving sale in Chestnut Hill is set for Aug. 19 – 22. The Wayne store opens in early fall.
Radnor Hotel retools and re-opens; Wayne Hotel to open next
Closed since March 23, the Radnor Hotel is back in business with enhanced health and safety features, freshly renovated guest rooms and new event packages and protocols.
The ballroom, redecorated with “light, calm, modern neutrals” should be ready by month’s end, reports sales director David Brennan. The Glenmorgan Grill remains closed but guests can chill out in the formal gardens.
Main Line Hotels will now focus on getting its sister location, the Wayne Hotel, back up and running, Brennan says. A new Italian restaurant, Rosalie, is slated to debut at the Wayne Hotel in late August.
Main Line-born songs ‘Mainline Chick’ and ‘Change the Tide’ making waves this summer
With nothin’ but time and nowhere to go, student bands are graduating from their parents’ basements this summer.
The MacBros released its first album June 26 and their single, “Mainline Chick,” (one-word spelling intentional) is getting airplay on Q102 and thousands of downloads.
If you can get past the stereotypes (and translate the jargon), it’s pretty darn clever.
She a Mainline chick
And her daddy really rich
Got a nanny in the crib
A 5% tint on the whip
The MacBros are actually cousins: Will McElwee (St. Joe’s Prep ’20, Clemson ’24), Johnny McElwee (EA ’19, Clemson ’23), and Joey McElwee (Malvern Prep ’20, High Point U. ’24).
Will is producer/singer on all the songs, which the three wrote together and recorded in his Berwyn basement studio.
Influences range from Metallica and Michael Jackson to John Mayer and Kool and the Gang, says Will’s mom Fran McElwee. “There are moments of old-time R & B that really grab you. The songs are incredibly catchy, especially “Mainline Chick,” she says.
With everything shut down, the MacBros haven’t performed anywhere yet. But give ‘em time.
Over in Lower Merion, Without a Map hopes to get on the rock map one day soon.
Started by then LM High School sophomores Benji Elkins, Ben Marder and Jack Nicoletti, Without a Map released a classic rock album in March and is due to drop another one any day.
Worth a listen, their new single, “Change the Tide,” is the band’s first stab at heavily synthesized indie rock.
Without A Map debuted at the “Made on the Main Line” festival in the Narberth Park gazebo and has since played The Rusty Nail and the Palombaro Club, both in Ardmore.
With COVID keeping the trio close to home, the college freshmen plan to make music into the fall.
After 26 years, it was high time we showed the front door of our Tredyffrin home, well, the door.
A new wreath, evergreen planters and a fresh entry mat can only distract so much. Our steel slab door was dented, its weather stripping degraded, its hardware pocked and tarnished. It no longer closed securely and was drafty and inefficient.
Doors, like people, aren’t meant to hang around forever. Sad to say, newer models simply work better.
Overdue for an upgrade, we called on Dr. Door of the Main Line, Radnor’s Austin Hepburn, who came out for a look-see.
Hepburn said we couldn’t replace our steel door with a Pella fiberglass door, a popular choice, even though the “technology had improved dramatically,” because it couldn’t be properly mounted into our existing frame. (We weren’t prepared to pay to replace the sidelight windows, too.) “Each situation is different,” Hepburn explained.
His solution? A custom-crafted solid-wood door made of sapele mahogany. Looks and performs like its pricier “genuine mahogany” counterpart, but it’s warmer, harder and more sustainable because it’s not over-harvested.
Hepburn took meticulous measurements, and with help from Mullen Interiors, we chose a rich wood stain and clean-lined hardware at Wolfe’s Baldwin Brass in Malvern: matte black outside, shiny brass inside.
Keeping the project 100-percent local, we had Michael J. Kelly & Son in Wayne handle the painting and staining.
After Hepburn, a perfectionist in a good way, finished installing it, Michael Kelly himself came out for the final touch-up. He was just as exacting and friendly as Hepburn, with whom he often collaborates.
Today, our home has a fresh first impression. It was an investment but we’re convinced it will pay off when we sell someday.
“You can spend $50,000 or $5,000 on a new door” (about what ours cost), Hepburn says. “This door gives you the most impact for dollar spent.”
Works for us.
Austin Hepburn Installs Windows & Doors is a leading Pella Certified Contractor and award-winning replacement and installation company proudly serving the Main Line. Call 610-585-7583. Michael J. Kelly & Son is a locally owned paint, paper and carpentry contractor in Wayne.
“Be the first. Be the best. Be different.” That’s the cool credo at the new Cryo Sculpt Revive, a wellness oasis that just re-opened in parched Paoli.
Most everything here is cutting-edge but the touch is nice ’n soft. Amid the eco-sleek décor and warm smiles, an all-pro lineup means business.
In one room is parked the BMW of infrared sauna technologies, the Cocoon Fitness Pod. Lay in it to recharge, control weight, improve sleep and fight inflammation. A 30-minute mini-vacay for your brain and bod under one shiny, white hood.
Not far from the cocoon, skin maestro Luda Yankelavich offers medical aesthetics and customized skin care including hydrafacials, oxygen facials, microdermabrasion and medical-grade peels.
Another room houses a second Main Line first: Cryoskin, a non-invasive magic wand that freezes away fat, cellulite and inches, boosts metabolism and collagen, and rejuvenates the face.
Down the hall, veteran aesthetic nurse Melissa Lees and physician Pat Riley handle the needles: Botox, injectable facial fillers, microneedling with the SkinPen, and soon, IV drips. Clients will choose from a menu of “IV cocktails” to boost immunity, fight inflammatory/auto-immune diseases, aid sports recovery, and, yes, ease hangovers. In the meantime, clients can purchase the high-dose oral supplement IVtoGo.
Sports and therapeutic massage are another house specialty. Feel-good rubdowns have their place but therapists at Cryo Sculpt Revive bring the house: cupping, GuaSha, fascia blasting, essential oils and assisted stretching.
“We can accommodate girlfriends or a few parents seeking a short, relaxing reprieve from all the Covid stress,” says co-owner Amie Hamell.
A western offshoot of Strafford Chiropractic & Healing Center, Cryo Sculpt Revive occupies the second floor of the old Van Cleve bridal salon. New health & safety measures include a NASA-level air purifier, hospital-grade cleaners and vinyl table coverings. Masks required for all services except facials.
Fashion mainstay Linda Golden closing in Haverford
For 28 years, Linda Golden – the woman and the shop – epitomized Main Line elegance and French savoir faire.
In a few weeks, both will be moving out of Haverford Square forever.
“COVID and slow traffic in the center have made me decide … to take a break and move on to the next phase of my life,” Golden tells SAVVY. (Yours truly profiled this local fashion icon ten years ago.)
An everything-must-go sale is now in progress.
Golden isn’t leaving fashion completely. She hopes to do something with accessories “but not a brick-and-mortar store.”
Sadly, three fashion boutiques have exited Haverford Square in recent years: Menagerie, Ella’s Grove and now, Linda Golden.
Linda Golden, 379 Lancaster Ave., Haverford Square, 610-658-0992, is liquidating merchandise, fixtures and artwork.
Entertainment, 2020 Style: Drive ins, tailgates and quaranpod hangouts
Like Summer of ’20 thunderstorms, outdoor entertainment is booming. Among the area’s plentiful popups:
- Socially distant alfresco concerts/shows at the Willows, at a private Ardmore home hosted by The Living Room, at 30 Main in Berwyn and at Autograph Brasserie in Strafford, among other spots.
- Tailgate/takeout series at 118 North in Wayne with late-night shows across the street at the Wayne Picnic Grove tent.
- Soul Joey’s new comedy amphitheater in Royersford.
- Field to Fork dinners at Hill Girt Farm in Chadds Ford.
- Drive-In concerts at People’s Light in Malvern.
- Drive-in movies in the parking lot of the Greater Phila. Expo Center in Oaks and on Aug. 28, dinner-and-a-movie (“Pretty Woman”) under the tent at Autograph.
Meanwhile, “drive-to” movies are making a comeback.
Regals in King of Prussia, Oaks and Plymouth Meeting reopen this Friday, Aug. 21, and the curtain rises at the AMC Plymouth Meeting on August 20.
Of course, it remains to be seen if folks actually show up – despite the theaters’ new safety measures.
The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville has been mighty quiet since it reopened July 3. To boost sales, the Colonial is now offering private screening for parties up to 12. Bryn Mawr Film Institute continues to sell digital tickets to new-release films for home streaming.
Who else is salivating at all the virtual classes Main Line School Night’s cooked up for fall?
The MLSN team had hoped to assemble 300 online classes. Turns out we can gorge on 427. Talk about overachievers.
Among the nonprofit’s hot and timely new offerings:
- “Fearless” cooking/cocktailing classes livestreamed from Autograph Brasserie in Strafford, White Dog Café in Glen Mills and soon-to-open Rosalie in Wayne.
- “The Main Line in Black and White” with Berwyn racial justice advocate Anita Friday.
- “Cultivating Common Ground; Gardening during a Pandemic” with Chanticleer horticulturalist Chris Fehlhaber.
- “Breaking the Glass Ceiling” with five extraordinary local women.
- “Why Election Night is Going to Look Different This Year” with Dr. John Lapinski, director of the elections unit at NBC News, MSNBC, CNBC and Telemundo.
- A visit with “Get Smart” Agent 99 Barbara Feldman, actress and author of “Living Alone & Loving It.”
- “Main Line Brothers Discuss Writing Books in Different Genre” (David and Frank Langfitt) moderated by SAVVY Main Line Editor Caroline O’Halloran.
See what we mean? Visit MainLineSchoolNight.org to view the 88-page catalog and register for classes.
This and That
COVID closure alert. After filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, Lord & Taylor will stay put in King of Prussia but won’t reopen in Bala Cywwyd. Also out in KOP: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Lane Bryant. Other notable closures: Philadelphia Sports Club in Radnor, Main Line Adult Day Care at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, Skirt’s Center City boutique and Wells Fargo Bank’s Chesterbrook Branch (in October). Count on more next month. Ugh.
Hope you didn’t get too used to the free pandemic parking in Ardmore and Bryn Mawr. Lower Merion is now enforcing all meters, kiosks and permit parking. As always, parking after 6 on Saturdays and all day Sundays is free.
Speeding has surged during the pandemic and local police are on it. Main Line townships announced a crackdown on aggressive and distracted driving through Sunday, August 23.
The Radnor High School Raider – the name and mascot and native American imagery associated with it – is ruffling feathers in Radnor. At a special school board meeting, folks spoke for and against the Raider for four hours. The board will reconvene to decide the Raider’s fate.
Proudly calling all women. Wear white at Radnor’s Willows Park next Wednesday, Aug. 26 at 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. and join your suffragette sisters for a “Night in White” in celebration of the 19th Amendment and your PRECIOUS right to vote, ratified 100 years ago to the day. Bring a picnic (no booze), enjoy Handel’s ice cream truck, and march down the driveway with non-partisan signs commemorating a “century of issues.” The socially distanced festivities are being staged by the Radnor Township League of Women Voters which will be there to share timely voting resources. The League asks attendees to register in advance so you’ll be notified in case of postponement due to weather or COVID issues.
Chesterbrook residents are crowing. According to Niche media, Chesterbrook is, get this, the best suburb to live in America, in large part due to it’s A+ schools, low crime and high quality of life. Niche says the next best place in PA is Penn Wynne, then Ardmore.
A mea culpa at the Haverford School. John Nagl, the private school’s ninth head of school, took incoming and just beat a hasty retreat. Nagl recently co-authored a letter to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, basically trashing the Trump Administration. The letter said that the President has engaged in a systemic disinformation campaign to undermine public confidence in our elections.” The letter mentions Trump’s “private army” and a looming constitutional crisis. Nagl just sent a letter of apology to the Haverford community regretting his overtly political letter. “I must remember that I represent all members of our great community,” Nagl wrote.
Alleged millionaire fraudster from Lower Merion is staying behind bars. The FBI arrested Joseph LaForte, 49, at his $2.4 million Haverford manse after they found $2.5 million in cash, four handguns, two shotguns, and an AR-15 rifle under his bed – jail-worthy firearms violations for a previously convicted felon like LaForte.
Along with his wife, Lisa McElhone, 41, LaForte founded Philly-based Par Funding, which the feds say is really a $500 million mob-style loan-sharking operation. The FBI’s been on his trail and loose-lipped LaForte reportedly bragged to undercover agents about his plan to flee the U.S. in his private plane, buy citizenship on the Caribbean island of Nevis, and hide millions in untouchable offshore accounts. You know what they say about loose lips.
Can we get a meow? Black Cat Café in Devon is now an ice cream parlor, too. The Café still serves breakfast and lunch Wed. to Sun. with indoor and outdoor seating. After 2 p.m. every day, it’s open for floats, sundaes, splits, waffles, water ice, regular and vegan ice cream and shakes, burgers, gourmet hot dogs, vegan BLTs, salads and freshly made to-go dinners. As always, proceeds benefit animals at P.A.L.S. Pet Adoption and Lifecare Society.
New help for parents poised to juggle virtual school days with their own jobs this fall. The Upper Main Line in Berwyn will operate small-group “learning centers” to help kids in grades K to 6 finish schoolwork, stay fit and be social. The centers operate weekdays, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. with optional aftercare. Financial help is available. Contact [email protected] or call 610-643-9622, x2190.
Drug overdose deaths continue to trend downward in Chester County. Victims of accidental ODs remain 82% male but ages are ticking up. Almost half of those who died were over age 45.
Well, whadayaknow?!? New retail is headed to King of Prussia Mall: Aesop personal care products, Aritzia women’s fashions, Hive & Colony menswear, Moose Knuckles outerwear, Wacoal intimates and lingerie, Sally’s Beauty and Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar. Will be interesting to see if our mega mall is as “bulletproof” as many have claimed.
Round Two. Wayne Food Pantry is hoping for another blockbuster turnout for its upcoming drive-thru, drop-off food drive Sept. 19, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Two drop-off spots this time: the pantry’s parking lot on S. Wayne Ave. and St. Matthew’s Church on Walker Rd. near Gateway. Topping the pantry’s wish list: PB and J, canned tuna, chicken, veggies, soup and spaghetti sauce.
Also helping the hungry among us: Great Valley Food Cupboard in Devon, hosted by The Baptist Church in the Great Valley. If you’d like to help organize a drive or volunteer, call the church office at 610-688-5445.
And finally… This is Main Street
The abridged version:
- SAVVY’s ad revenue has taken a hit. We ran all ads at no charge for two months to give our advertisers a breather.
- In this time of relative isolation, we believe our mission – to keep folks connected to our community – is more vital than ever.
- We appreciate each and every reader, advertiser and sponsor. (Any and all support gratefully accepted.) We need each other now more than ever.
Thank you, thank you, thank you…