Friday, February 19, 1988

1988 Hershey, PA (2/17-19/1988)

Wednesday, February 17, 1988
Left at 7:20 to drive to Pennsylvania to visit Sue H. Took RI-10 to I-95 and a half hour later was in Connecticut. I stopped at a rest stop just past New Haven and saw Patrick F's father in the parking lot. We shook hands and although he recognized me, he couldn’t place me at first.
Into New York to take I-287 to the Tappan Zee Bridge, then the Palisades Interstate Parkway to NY-59 to get gas. Back on the PIP to I-80 in NJ. An easy drive for me, but on the other side of the highway an eighteen-wheeler was on its side across three of the four lanes. Back to I-287 to get to I-78, passing through construction in Allentown, PA. Joined I-80 to Exit 743 for Hershey at 13:00. Took US-322 to the Hershey Medical Center and parked in the Ambulatory Care Patient lot, picking up a ticket to be validated later by Sue. So far today I have used cash only to pay a 15-cent toll for a bridge between NJ and PA!
Went to the designated waiting area and met with Sue at 14:00. I followed her in the car to a grocery store, then her condo in Palmyra. Very nice and spacious. Most of her wooden knick-knacks and furniture were made by her father! Amazing work!
Took a walk around the area that was surrounded by farms. We then looked through Sue’s photos of her trip to Poland. We had dinner of homemade pasta primavera with a white sauce with broccoli, and a salad. Sue went to her tap dancing class at 19:00, and I showered and called Kent. When she came home, we watched my slides on her great viewer, which showed a 12” x 12” picture. Watched the Olympics and then to bed.

Thursday, February 18, 1988
Sue was able to take today off from work. Had a breakfast of bagels and fruit before setting out to explore. Rock Ledge, the condominium development where Sue lives, is next to the Milton S Hershey School property, mostly farmland but including extensive housing of neat brick buildings for the children aged 4-16. We went to Founders Hall south of the town atop a hill with a view all around. The hall is a tribute to Milton S and his wife, Catherine, who founded the Milton S Hershey School, originally called a Vocational Institute, but now it has a much expanded curriculum. It is for financially needy students, but with limiting requirements (such as no unusual physical handicap) for admission. We entered a back door and went through halls with offices and doors to meeting rooms, ballrooms, etc., all with a carpeted floor and chandeliers like that of elegant hotels. A large chandeliered lobby had several sitting areas with different sets of furniture
Off this lobby we followed signs to a replica of Hershey’s apartment. He had a 22-room mansion built in 1908, and lived in it with his wife until she died in 1915. He then donated the mansion to the Hershey Country Club, but maintained a well-appointed apartment on the second floor of the mansion for the rest of his life.
We saw a small exhibit about the school, whereupon entering the door, a voice of a house parent welcomed you. We discovered if we stepped on the right spots on the floor, we activated audio background noise appropriate to the subject presented (choir singing for extracurricular activities, cheering for sports, etc.). Not all the audios seemed to work, though. There were no world famous alumni from the school, but many became successful and there is a strong alumni association. We walked through an immense chandeliered, marble-floored rotunda; very impressive. A guy was cleaning and polishing the already spotless floor. We entered the theater with seating for probably a couple thousand people. Sue said it is acoustically very good and the backstage is immense allowing for much creativity in production (like Las Vegas elephants and waterfalls!). However, to perform there, you cannot charge a fee. It is also used as a chapel. The Air Force band was to play tonight.
We went to a twin lobby on the other side of the rotunda, with a diorama map of the school, with the town of Hershey in the center. We saw videos of kids and their families talking about the program, which provides room and board, and clothing; everything the child would need. There was also a cafeteria/banquet hall.
Out front there was a fountain with flying fish, Art Deco-like lights hanging from above, and a pond full of geese. We drove around past some of the residences, very nice and well-kept brick homes. We continued into town past the mansions to Chocolate Avenue. Suddenly, a big brightly-feathered pheasant crossed the street. Awesome!
We headed towards the Country Club and turned up the drive to the Hershey mansion that is now the corporate headquarters for Hershey Foods.
Hershey Mansion (1908)
We even took the driveway through the arched entrance at the front door! Back behind the mansion was a restored one-room schoolhouse that Milton had attended as a child. We learned his wife is from Jamestown, NY!
Schoolhouse (c. 1925) from Derry, PA
Schoolhouse bell tower
Milton Hershey had two failed ventures by the age of 26, but met with success in Hershey. He first dealt in cough drops and caramels, but at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, he was impressed by German chocolate-making machinery. He began to make chocolate candy.
We drove through the golf course and behind the factory to find a glass-enclosed building next to a church, which housed the very small Pastor’s Study and Academy, erected in 1732.
Pastor's Study and Academy  (1732) in a protective structure
provided by Milton Hershey in 1929
Derry Church Cemetery
It was Milton who had the historic building protected for preservation. Our way was blocked by a freight train that was shuffling back and forth, so Sue had to find another way to get to US-322 towards Harrisburg. We passed the Medical Center and Hershey Foods Research.
In Harrisburg we drove past the State Capitol and the Governor’s Mansion to get to the PolyClinic, a hospital where we were to pick up Sue’s friend, Bev, and her 4-day old daughter, Rebecca. After we parked and found the correct building, Sue helped with the discharge papers, and we gathered everything to pack in the car and load our precious passengers. We took I-80 back to Hershey to drop off mom and the baby to the greetings of two sisters and grandmother.
Sue and I went back to town, passing Chocolate World that was closed due to an electric power failure. We followed tram routes to reach the Hershey Museum of American Life, where Sue’s membership got us free admission. Many examples of Americana with a Pennsylvania Dutch house, antiques and crafts, American Indian artifacts, Conestoga wagons, antique fire engines, Stiegel glass, pewter, ceramics, rifles, etc. There was a children’s area, and Sue and I stepped over a rope to see the displays in the Eskimo section. We were just in time to see the Apostolic Clock chime the quarter of the hour, where after hearing the chimes, the apostles circled out of a side door in front of Christ who came out of a middle door. All the apostles turned to face Christ except one who turned away. A cock crowed, a guy holding weight scales moved his arm, and the devil popped out from several places including following the apostles, but quickly popped back in when Christ turned to face him. There were other clocks on display.
There was a big exhibit on Milton S Hershey and chocolate. At the gift shop we were admiring some etched eggshells and a voice said they were done with a dentist’s drill. We laughed because it seemed the clerk had read Sue’s mind! We also learned the power failure at Chocolate World was because of a train derailment. We hurried back to Sue’s house for tuna sandwiches and fruit for lunch.
Across from the condo complex is a hog farm, and the pigs were out today. The barn had recently burned down. The house in front was a typical big brick home with an open front porch.
We drove to Grantville to a therapeutic horseback riding school, where Sue was volunteering to give technical assistance as a PT to Candy, a former patient. Now Candy is 10-years old and after two years she can ride alone and guide the very patient horse, Holly, around cones. But first Candy was given an hour of NDT-like exercises while on the horse’s back, as the horse walked or trotted. It took a person to lead the horse, two people on each side to spot and support, and Sue trailing around giving pointers. Today this was all being videotaped, so the session lasted longer than usual, from 14:00 to 15:30.
After a stop at K-Mart for Sue to buy some gag gifts for a co-worker, we drove to the Senior Hall of the Hershey School, located on a hill to the north to get a great view on the town and valley. There, too, we went up every driveway trying to find the way to the viewing site!
View of Hershey
Farther on we came to the Hotel Hershey, a well-maintained Mediterranean palazzo-type place (1931-1933 by D Paul Witmer), with a few cottages in the woods, an outdoor pool, a golf pro shop, a golf course, and riding stables. Quite a little resort!
Back at Sue’s house we started dinner of orangĂ©ed chicken, rice, and peas, and later a fruit salad while watching the Olympics. Sue built a nice warm fire, using fire starters her dad makes in cupcake papers from wax and wood shavings. Started the fire right up!

Friday, February 19, 1988
Sue left for work, and I left by 8:00 on a cloudy day where there was frost on the windows. Went into the town of Hershey to photograph the shrubs spelling “Hershey Cocoa,”
Hershey Cocoa shrubs
and drove between the closed Hershey Amusement Park and the Zoo to take PA-743 to I-81. Took that into the mountains to I-80. In NJ I got on the Palisades Interstate Parkway to head into NY. Lots of traffic in CT. The trip was 306 miles and took 6-1/2 hours. Home by 14:30.