The adventure below is the latest in a series sharing my quest to explore Pennsylvania by visiting each of the sixty-seven county seats and eating a hot dog while in town.
We continue our quest in Adams County (created in January 22, 1800 and named after John Adams our second President) in the community of East Berlin. The town was created as Berlin (we had the discussion earlier about the three Berlins in Pennsylvania) in 1764 by John Frankenberger who came to Pennslylvania from the town of the same name in Germany.
From Gettysburg to East Berlin on U.S. Route 30 (Lincoln Highway) is one of My Jane’s favorite roadways. Yes, these fourteen or so miles are stuffed with antique shops.
I only stopped to photograph two of the shops My Jane knows well. Along this stretch of highway it seems that Johnny Antiqueseed dropped antique seeds every foot and a half along the way. This is antique hunters paradise.
East Berlin is home for My Jane and Me.
Of course, Hickory which is now Hermitage is My Jane’s home and Berlin, where I attended High School, is my home but East Berlin is our home. As I have stated previously we had two births of significance while we lived here.
Before we talk about the births there was a re-birth of Zwingli United Church of Christ while we were part of that congregation. The Zwingli faithful understood three important essentials necessary for a vibrant faith community. First, the people believed the church belonged to something much greater than anything they or their pastor might comprehend. Second, they knew the Pastor was called by God and the church to be the leader they engaged with in mission. Finally the faithful recognized their call in mission to reach into the community. The congregation blossomed from 25 worshipers on a Sunday to 180 each week who engaged in various missions mostly focused on the children in the church and community. My Jane and I were blessed to be part of this caring active forward looking collection of faithful people.
The church’s ministry to children led to the first birth of significance involving My Jane and Me. Almost similtanously the church built an addition and My Jane led a group of dedicated folks to start Zwingli Christian School. The school My Jane founded is still in operation today while the congregation is engaged in a remodeling and expansion of the addition we built during our stay over twenty-five years ago.
My Jane has loved and taught children since I have known her. She was teaching first grade when we met, she taught preschool when we lived in California, kindergarten in an International School in Norway and was director of State College Presbyterian Preschool in Centre County. But her ‘baby’ is still Zwingli Christian School which holds the sweet spot in her educator heart. You may find the school by googling Zwingli Christian School. (If you do go to the site that’s me sitting on the top of the trusses in the construction photo.) We continue to hold many great memories of the school and the church community in our hearts.
The second birth of significance tops everything else that has happened to us in our journey together. While we lived in East Berlin we took a trip to Kennedy International Airport following a nine month adoption processes which included three different agencies in two different countries. We returned home from New York with a most precious little bundle. Sarah Kim (her Korean family name) completed our little family in a most wondrous manner. Her Korean given name was Hy Mee which means ‘Bright and Shinning’ and she is all of that.
(I was the Town Cryer for East Berlin’s Colonial Day. You also may google this event which is in its 41st year.) The congregation received Sarah with open arms and we had more baby sitters then we could use. I often share with Sarah that she is my favorite daughter to which she always replies, “Well, I better be! I’m your only one.” Sarah is about to become a mother for the second time and we look forward to a trip to Florida to share in the birth of our second grandson. Our journey together as a couple has been filled with a whole bunch of really amazing experiences but our time in East Berlin remains Number One!
I just realized how many years ago some of this great stuff happened! It’s time for a nap!
See you next time.