A summer Sunday in Lambertville, New Jersey. A break from this summer’s humid weather, and a welcome change of scenery.
Walking along the streets of town, browsing through art galleries along the calm, peaceful Delaware River. Stopping for iced cappuccino coffees to sip along the way.
In one of the galleries we stepped into, a knowledgeable salesman was speaking to a couple about an artist whose work was featured. We were both impressed with his comments, certain that he had a meaningful education and background in art history.
Then the couple asked him to recommend a restaurant in town. He immediately said, “The Hamilton house. I’m a waiter there. Just tell the Maitre ‘d that you’re happiest when Pete serves you. Today is my day off.”
“How interesting,” we thought, “that a person has such varied skills: waiting tables and selling oil paintings.”
Next stop was a walk across the bridge over the Delaware River leading from Lambertville, New Jersey to New Hope, Pennsylvania. Hobensack and Keller, a shop that collects and sells garden pieces from old estates, has a yard filled with fancy wrought iron gates, pewter troughs and cement planters. Inside are antique serving pieces and all kinds of odds and ends. You never know what you will find, and it’s always fun to drop in.
As we approached the shop, we saw a wedding party posing for pictures in the garden. Inside was a man I had not seen before. I asked him if Larry was there. I had dealt with Larry before, and enjoyed hearing his stories about histories of the pieces he found at the last estate sales.
“No, Larry isn’t here today. He’s working at his other job. Larry is the Mayor of New Hope, and he’s officiating at that wedding outside. He often allows wedding parties to meet for photographs.”
I was starting to feel like a character in a sit com, where the same man wears different hats and performs all kinds of different services.
Complain of the number of mosquitoes this summer, and he will put on his exterminator hat and offer to spray your property. Mention the nasty fall you took on your front step and he’ll put on his construction hat, offering to reset the stairs. Discuss a book you’re enjoying and he’ll put on his bookstore hat and rave about the new novels that just arrived in Tuesday’s shipment.
But, I realized this was no sit com. This was an interesting element in this true slice of American life in a small town.
Comments on: "Doing the Delaware Thing" (24)
I’ve never been to Delaware and you painted a great picture of this small American town. Great article!
Thanks, Grace. Have you seen that pattern in your Czek neighborhood?
Yes, there are some similarities. 🙂
We have always lived in small towns, my husband and I – and these kinds of characters fill our lives with endless amusement. Glad you wrote about your adventures!
It seemed a little strange to me, because I’ve never encountered that before.
good story Ronnie. I know the Mayor of Lambertville, he is in constant motion at the Mayor’s Conference also.
He is quite the charmer! I sent him a copy of this story at his request.
LOL about Larry. Too funny. I enjoyed your post. Sounds like you had a good time soaking up some local color.
Yes, it was a terrific day!
Great work Ronnie ,Thanks for sharing 🙂
Thanks for commenting, Jake.
I bet he would make a wonderful guide too! the mayor! maybe even the waiter.. brilliant.. c
We could have a party with a guided tour. What a great idea!
Did you discover any great buys? Years ago, I met an excellent artist at an art festival and later bought one of her paintings. Every time I see it, I smile.
It sounds like you had a wonderful, relaxing day.
As a matter of fact I found a real gem. A spelter figure from France, quite old. It can be used as a cache pot or fruit bowl and is a wonderful centerpiece.
Great post, Ronnie! Lambertville is so charming. I love to drive down there go for a long walk on the tow path between the river and canal then wander around in town. Didn’t know about the great antique store you described in New Hope. I’ll have to mosey across the bridge next time and check it out.
Please tell me about it after you go. And tell Larry you heard about his shop from me; he told me that Joan Hamberg used to mention him on her radio show and sent him lots of new clients. He has a copy of this blog.
Will do, Ronnie 🙂
Charming post, Ronnie! You should sent it to Larry. He might enjoy reading it when he’s done directing traffic, putting out the fire, landscaping the gardens . . .
Great suggestion, Lisa. I did call him to tell him about this post, and he said he’d like to see it. So I sent him a copy.
Thanks so much!
I would be the one complaining about the mosquitoes.
You are too funny!