Philly to Connecticut!

Connecticut / Nov. 18, 2012 / by Gelb
Philly to Connecticut!

The weather's getting cold, there's a frost in the air, and you can tell it's almost Thanksgiving with all of the Butterball turkeys on display. We've had a busy week on the bus. We started our week just outside of Philly and end it in Connecticut. 

Sunday was mostly a work day. Amy Chin, however, was struggling a bit in the technology department. She managed to damage both her laptop and phone over a 10 minute period - so she headed off to the Apple store to see what could be done. The rest of us just stayed and worked, including Chris and I working on a pop song for his Album:America project (yes, you heard right, I'm singing a pop song).

On Monday, we headed down to Wilmington, DE - a far shorter trip than I was anticipating. We were, in fact actually camping closer to Wilmington than  Philly - who knew?

We were there to do a story on Stockings for Soldiers - our Christmas piece. This is going to be a great one. Basically, its a huge group of volunteers who sew stockings, knit, collect goodies and necessities, and then pack them all up to send to troops. They all have 'Santa's Elves' badges and are an absolute hoot. Judy, their founder (her name badge reads 'Head Elf') is absolutely hilarious - she has boundless energy. She obviously takes so much pride in what they all do, it's a wonderful thing to watch, Add to the fact that she happens to be Jewish, and the whole story just gets that much more hilarious, and sweet.

After spending the day with the wonderful people at Stockings for Soldiers, we headed back to our campground and got ready for the big move the following day. The Elves sent us away with a lovely care package of goodies and a stocking with 'Stanley' glittered on. 

We headed out of our campground around 10 the following morning. The place we were staying was the Timberlane Campground in Clarksboro, NJ. It was great - after Halloween, most campgrounds shut due to the cold weather, It's very hard to find campgrounds that are open that have full hook-ups. The folks at Timberlane were fantastic.

Much of Tuesday was spent driving up to Connecticut where we will be based for quite a while. On the way to our campground, we stopped off just outside of New Haven for Amy Wallace to meet up with an old friend of her dad's. He talked to us about his cross country trip when he was younger - 17,000 miles in three months! He also brought pictures - times have changed, but surprisingly, a lot has stayed the same (aside from fashion).

We got into our campground that evening. We had another long drive ahead of us in the morning to go and do the first half of our story on the American Mural Project. The drive took us through Connecticut back-roads, through lots of forests and hills - it was a great drive. 

We met up with Ellen and the board of the American Mural Project. AMP is sometimes difficult to explain, but essentially, it's a massive mural (more than 120 feet wide by 55 feet tall) made up of hundreds of pieces of artwork made with kids from each of the 50 states. There are paintings, sculptures, and lots of other things that are hard to describe. The purpose is to pay tribute to the American Worker - to celebrate America. We toured Ellen's studio in Sharon, CT and then headed off to a little town called Winstead where this massive mural will be installed in an old Mill. It's going to look really impressive when it's all said and done. Ellen has been working on it for 14 years, and anticipates it will take here about 8 more. I think you're going to love this piece.

We headed out on Thursday to Fairfield to meet up with one of the teachers taking part in the AMP with Ellen and watched her class of 5th graders work on their artwork - in this case, painting on massive paper pulp snake-like links (that's the best I can do to describe them, I'm afraid). It was really great to see all of the kids really get into the project, knowing one day that their work would be on display as part of the mural. Kathy, their teacher was fantastic, and they even organized an amazing lunch for us!

We the made our way back to the campground and collapsed. It had been a long couple of weeks and we were all very tired. On Friday, we had some folks come by from CTNow, the local Fox affiliate. They spent quite a while with us - much more than other crews have. They were great. After they headed out, we all hopped into the van and head to Providence, RI to take Chris to the airport and meet up with Amy's and My friends Gordon and Danielle. Chris was heading off to a friend's concert in Chicago just before the Thanksgiving break. 

Saturday was spent packing the van and cleaning out the bus. Because it was so clean, we took some photos and video for our up-coming listing to sell old Stanley (know anyone who might be interested??), and got an early night.

This next week, we will be off for Thanksgiving break. Fear not, stories will continue to flow! we will get back together next Saturday.