Naming Names

I owe a debt of gratitude to quite a few people who made this expedition not only feasible, but enjoyable. As I had noted in my previous post, I am especially grateful to my wife Susan, Les Baird, and Laura Baird. Lunches, clean clothes, transportation, online promotion, weather monitoring, banners, buttons, patches, gps updates, guerilla theatrics, and moral support were all, incredibly, done by them. Historian Paul W. Schopp tutored me on the history of these rivers: his encyclopedic knowledge brought them to life for me–and hopefully, to you. He was a true gent, not only sending me off in poetic fashion in Mt Holly, but at Riverton as well. My good friend, fellow bushwhacker and historian Bill Bolger provided the inspiration that began this trip: the story of Arthur Steitz, who did the same trip back in 1930 and who I now must visit to give my report. Bill also gave me much historical information, as well as his kayak! My beloved, gentle archaeologist nephew Brian Manser was also there at Mill Dam Park to send me off; love ya, lad. Andrew White, Deb Lengyel, Chris Halt, and Kathy Simon kindly extended their hospitality to me and gave me vittles, shelter, and a place to wash and sleep. Michael Sparks and his friend Martin heroically paddled down to the mouth of the Schuylkill in their kayaks to rendezvous with me for my final approach to Bartram’s Garden, which they did, generously leaving with me a bottle of their hearty homebrew. My friend Mark Brodzik flattered me with his interest in my trip, loaning me a video camera for the journey and filming my landings along the way. I look forward to seeing his final edited piece. I only hope that I gave him decent material to work with. Ben Warfield hustled down to Penn Treaty to meet me as I landed, providing us with delicious sparkling wine at Johnny Brenda’s and a living room in which to keep our kayak for the night. David Kessler and my old pal David Reis also showed up at Penn Treaty to show their support, for which I am thankful. My old friends Jackie Neale Chadwick and Josh Minor contacted me via phone before the trip, leaving me touched by their concern for my safety and wishes of good luck. Kim Massare of Bartram’s Garden was kind enough to take up my cause, promoting me as an official Bartram’s Garden event, even though I was essentially gate crashing. My friend and curator of Bartram’s Garden Joel Fry cheerfully greeted us at the dock, allowing us to picnic by the barn after official hours. Dan Abraham and Laura of Art in the Age kindly promoted my trip, and were there at the dock when I arrived, with an advance bottle of Rhuby in hand. Very generous of them. My friends Meg Baird and Emily Dolan showed up at the picnic to congratulate us, and of course to make the triumphant afternoon that much more sweet with their lovely presence. I’d also like to thank those Bartram’s Garden members who showed up to share in the fun, as well as to give some great reading recommendations. Please inform and forgive me if I have made any mortifying omissions. I thank you all.

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