Hole in the Clouds

Tag: Lily

The Hanukah Bear

Dec 22, 2011

As Debby and her daughter Lily lit the candles for the first night of Hanukah, Lily's Hanukah bear sat on the kitchen counter just beyond the right edge of this picture. Use your imagination: the Hanukah bear is a stuffed polar bear wearing a yarmulke, with a battery-powered voice. Push the button, and the Hanukah bear sings and sings about a dreidel made of clay.

After the candles were lit and the bear had sung, there were dreidels made of plastic and gelt made of chocolate, plus presents for Lily and latkes for all.

children   Philadelphia   Kater Street   holiday   Debby Sklaver   candles   Hanukah   Lily   (Image credit: Hank Stein)  

What the Girls Have Been Up To

Apr 3, 2012

Last week, in Portland, Maine, in the combined first- and second-grade class at Longfellow School, Emily Wiggin and her classmates made a mosaic table for a silent auction fundraiser. The winning bid on Saturday night was $200, and somehow, on Sunday morning, there was the table in the Wiggin living room.

Meanwhile, back in Philadelphia, kindergartner Lily Sklaver spent the week learning to ride her bike without training wheels or pedals; by last night, when she had that balancing thing under control, the pedals went back on and she took off flying down the street.

Emily   Maine   children   art   streetscape   Philadelphia   Lily   mosaic  

The Dollholder

Aug 13, 2013

There are little chrome hooks affixed to the walls of the restroom stalls at New York City's American Girl Doll Store, and their specific purpose is to support the dolls by their little plastic armpits while real-life American girls use the facilities.

This doll is Saige, a 2013 American Girl doll of the year, who has been proudly claimed by Lily, an American girl here on Kater Street who's turning seven today. Lily now has a dress that matches Saige's, and Saige now has her own hairbrush, outfits, and dog.

Saige comes with a backstory, as detailed in a hundred-page biography–what the kids would call a chapter book. We can read about her life among the ponies and desert landscapes of the American Southwest during World War II. Yet truth be told, at least some of the issues Paige is dealing with are not so far-fetched in twenty-first-century Philadelphia; for example, her school is having budget problems and faces losing its art teacher. Will Saige be able to pull off her fund-raising project and save the day? We know a seven-year-old we can ask.

bathroom   Lily   toy   doll   retail   blue dress   (Image credit: Deb Sklaver)  

Lily Lemon

Nov 6, 2013

Lily wraps one of her custom-created alliterative labels around a naked crayon at Crayola's play park in Easton, PA. Among her names for crayon colors: Lily Lemon, Lily Lollipop, Marvelous Mom, and Naughty Norman.

In the huge Crayola factory just outside of Easton, where all 64 colors are melted and molded and labeled and boxed and shipped out to the world, the wrapping of labels is of course done by machine. But until the wrapping machines came on line in the late 1930s, that part of the process was farmed out to families in the Easton area, who would work at their kitchen tables wrapping labels around each crayon individually for a piecework wage. Each family worked on a single color, and the delivery routes were organized by color: e.g., turn left at the Green house and go up the hill to the Blue place.

Modern crayons first showed up at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, where Crayola exhibited them as "dustless chalk," a healthful innovation for the classroom. The company that made them, Binney & Smith, was getting a little out of its comfort zone, since its main facility in Easton was a slate quarry, which provided slates for schoolrooms utilizing the non-dustless kind of chalk.

Today, Crayola's theme park and factory undergird the economy of Easton, which was once home as well to the headquarters of another corporation manufacturing the stuff American childhood used to be made of: Dixie Cups.

Pennsylvania   children   work   Lily   Easton   theme park   (Image credit: Little Fuji)