Security lesson: Granola bars OK, but not apples

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Maria Saldana, 50, drove all night from Pittsville, Mass. Eats her apple quickly. (Sue Snyder/Staff)

The hundreds lined along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway erupted into cheers, waving in all directions - or whichever direction they thought the pope was coming - as his motorcade arrived at the Cathedral Basilica of Ss. Peter and Paul.

Alexia Cripps, 67, a nurse from Little Falls, Minn., who takes care of retired nuns, stood on top of a stack of water bottles and shrieked with the rest of the crowd.

"I stood up there and screamed," she said. "My kids helped me so that if I fainted I would still be standing up here."

A woman near Cripps yelled, "We love you" toward the jumbo-tron, and another with a child sitting on her shoulders began singing.

Security to get onto the Parkway generally took about 10 minutes in the half hour before Francis' arrival.

Lines were long but mostly orderly. Most people didn't seem to mind the bag searches, magnetometers and heavy presence of police and other authorities.

"They have to be prominent," said Buddy Sobotka, 58, of Philadelphia, after passing through security on Broad Street. He added: "You don't know who's going to be disgruntled, who's not going to be disgruntled."

Pam Swierczewski, 45, from Pittsburgh - whose apples were taken away by security, though she got to keep her granola bars - agreed with the tight procedures.

"I think it's required," she said.

Swierczewski wasn't the only person unaware of the no-apple rule. Among other lessons some pilgrims learned at security checkpoints: