Archive: September, 2010
A column is the right size for gnawing on the leg of something, and today it's the collapse of Germantown Settlement, the 126-year-old social services agency that was founded to raise the lives of those who lived in the venerable community and over the last several years has strip-mined the dreams of its constituents.
I write about one of its employees, Francine Hailey-Ferrell, who was also one of its tenants, who found herself without a job and facing eviction because the organization's set-up protects it from righteous people like her.
This is just one woman's story.
Thursday's metro column began with a tribute to Ernest "Smashy" DiStephani really because when I went upstairs to the newspaper morgue to look into the clippings about this infamous Philly wreck chaser, I got transfixed by his mug.
We have a half dozen photos of Smashy, taken different times, different places. But they're all the same. Smashy sits over breakfast at a diner or the old Horn and Hardart. Before him sits a plate of poached eggs, either waiting to be devoured or already devoured. He's in a trademark t-shirt - reporters described how he wore red for everyday, black for special occasions. His look said, 'Whaddya want of me?" And his hair was perfect.
A reader was similarly moved.