NOTES FROM TOUR:
When I asked our host of last Tuesday’s Workshop, Betsy Chapman, what to expect in Boyertown, PA – and a little bit about Marianne, the owner of the beautiful Inn we’d be staying in, Betsy sent me this email. While I was there, I took these photos.
Marianne Deery is the Mayor of Boyertown, the town I live in.
Here in Boyertown we have Bear Fever – our mascot, the Boyertown Bear can be found all around town in various guises – a Doctor Bear in front of the medical center, a laywer Bear in front of Borough Hall, a dentist bear – you get the idea. These Bears were all created by a coalition of businesses, students, and townspeople to bring collaborative public art to our town.
Boyertown is “A Special Kind of Place” – a town of 4,000 residents that boasts its own Farmer’s Market, has a Museum of Historic Vehicles that is recognized for it’s excellent collection by the Smithsonian, a fabulous 1912 restored theater for movies and live performances, Studio B, a non-profit art gallery, and a main street of locally owned businesses that make it hard to want to shop anywhere else!
We have an important place in the history of theater as well – in 1908 a fire in the Rhoades Opera House killed 171 people, and wiped out whole families. That fire caused many of the fire-safety laws to be written that are still in effect.
Note that all doors in theater open out, remain unlocked during performances, and have panic bars. Many exits are required, not just one door. Curtains must be fire-resistent. Exit signs are clearly marked and lighted. Fire extinguishers are in prominent places, etc.,etc., etc. All thanks to a fire in our little town.
As for Mayor Marianne? Besides being renowned for her baking, it is an open secret that her favorite duties as mayor are tapping the first keg of beer at our annual Oktoberfest, and performing wedding ceremonies. Not necessarily in that order!
So … you like bears? Get thee to Boyertown!