Bucks County Herald

Charles Meredith:

Cars and a history of government

Dear Friends,

Good morning. Have you ever been scammed? I was last week. I should add that a villain tried to scam me. Fortunately, he was unsuccessful.

The phone rang and a young male voice told me that he was in jail and needed $3,000 to post bail. Was this a hoax or the real deal? I wrote down the telephone numbers he provided and hung up. I immediately called our grandson and learned the truth. It was a hoax.

The Quakertown Police gave excellent advice to me and I am passing it along to you. Pay no attention to calls like this, they advised. The moral is obvious: if it swims like a duck ... it probably is a duck.

And now to business. Last week, Maurice “Mory” De Angeli gave a wonderful talk at the New Goschenhoppen Church near Pennsburg. He was the guest speaker at an organization called “Life-long learning.” Approaching his 90th year, Mory is very spry, bright and able. Last week, I wrote about his mother, Marguerite De Angeli, who wrote books for children in the 1950s.

A remarkable craftsman, Mory used to restore antique cars like Jaguars and Rolls Royces. I’ve seen some of them; they look brand new. Anyway, Mory talked about Nicola Bulgari’s collection of antique American cars in Allentown. Bulgari is the leader of Bulgari’s, the famous Italian company which specializes in jewelry, perfumes and leather goods.

Bulgari learned about Mory through mechanics in Allentown. He purchased the former Boulevard (movie) Drive In, situated on 27 acres on the border between Bethlehem and Allentown. A museum filled with 155 autos, mostly Buicks, takes your breath away. One of the Buicks belonged to Bette Davis, the legendary Hollywood actress.

There’s a life-sized replica of a coyote on the grounds named America on Wheels Museum. The coyote’s mission is to frighten Canada Geese from spending much time there. If I get a chance, I’ll pay the museum a visit.

Meanwhile, 10 days ago, I attended a work session for an interesting Bucks County project. My friend, attorney J. Lawrence “Larry” Grim, asked several of us to meet at the Bucks County Bar Association headquarters in Doylestown to organize a history of the Bucks County government, from 1681 to the present.

Back in 1982, the bar association published the history of the bar. Larry felt it was time to organize a similar work but focusing on Bucks County’s government.

Here’s the list of people Larry encouraged to participate: Lynn Bush (former chief clerk for the Bucks County Commissioners and executive director of the Planning Commission. She was also instrumental in the preparation of the history of the Bucks County Bar); Charles Martin, longest serving Bucks County Commissioner; Charles Baum, District Justice (Perkasie), former newspaper publisher, writer and community activist; Douglas Praul, former Bucks County Court administrator; Cory Amsler, chief of the Bucks County Historical Society; attorney Gregory Grim, technical assistance; original 1982 Bar Association Committee “survivors” J. Lawrence Grim, attorney Frank Gallagher, honorary judges Donald Van Artsdalen and Edward (Pete) Biester Jr., Jean Keeler (CEO of Grandview Hospital), Judge Advisors Honoraries William Hart Rufe, John Rufe, Cynthia Rufe, Rae Boylan and Honorary Jeffrey Trauger (past president of the Bar Association); plus Bar Association officials Grace Deon, President David Truelove, Stacey Mulholland and me.

Ten of us actually made it to lunch. Larry Grim sent an email to all of us, which encouraged us to start writing our memories of the county government ... its successes and shortcomings. In addition to publishing the history, he plans to make it available to everyone via the internet.

Larry had a very busy week. Just days ago, the Baum School of Art honored his trusted advisor, Kathleen O’Dea, and him at a gala in Allentown. More than 30 of Larry’s family attended and were pictured at the black-tie event.

Larry is the maternal grandson of Walter Emerson Baum.

It was quite an affair.

Sincerely, Charles Meredith



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