A damask tablecloth embossed in a warm white pattern was merely the canvas for a British tea prepared by Jenne Harlin for a few lucky friends on a beautiful Sunday afternoon in June.
The New Tripoli resident gathered her prettiest china pieces, layering cucumber tea and ham sandwiches and croissants stuffed with chicken salad.
Large triangular scones clustered together on another platter, tempting the teetotalers with their golden fragrance.
The coronavirus has had an impact on people of all ages and economic status and the Class of 2020 has felt its effects in a profound way.
Like many of us, Northwestern’s recent graduates experienced a range of emotions fueled by the pandemic in their final year of public education.
“I was never a huge school person,” Carly Fogal said. “I enjoyed it more for the social aspects but all I wanted to do was go back to learning in a real classroom setting.”
Classmate Sydney Sevrain felt similarly.
They do the work, often invisible to the general public, they do what is necessary through good times and bad.
They take pride for work well done. Even in tough times. Even during a pandemic.
For the last 24 years, New Tripoli resident Flo Davis has worked as a support counselor at a nonprofit residential facility.
Though the pandemic continues its threat, the counselors have not abandoned their duty to residents.
The work of democracy continued at the polls June 2 as voters did their civic duty casting their ballots in the Pennsylvania primary.
The polling place at the New Tripoli Fire Company was well staffed and ready to welcome voters, even in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tape on the floor indicated 6 feet of safe distancing between voters.
Just about 218 votes were cast by 3:45 p.m. but many more voters were expected to visit the polling place into the evening.
As always, graduation is a time to remember the past.
These are the memories that will remain long after the final bell rings and the graduation caps are thrown into the air.
Some of the memories belong to teachers who have developed relationships with their students over the years, and many of them are linked to sporting events.
Parents, school and community drew together for the graduation of the Northwestern Lehigh Class of 2020 and to acknowledge their achievements in a unique and celebratory way.
The largely outdoor event began at the high school where seniors could grab their diplomas before going to Ontelaunee Park, where a gold and black balloon arch festooned the entrance and placards recognizing each graduate lined the walkway.
Many people are sewing and donating face masks in the fight against COVID-19, but for those who may not have those skills, Northwestern Lehigh science teacher Steve Weiss is offering alternatives.
“I knew folks were making masks by sewing but this single guy doesn’t have that skill set,” he said, “So, I literally went around my home to find no-sew alternatives.
“The more I looked, the more I found, from clothing to vacuum bags and even Swiffer Sweeper mop pads.
“I then decided to make my first YouTube DIY video.”
Kristin Stuby of New Tripoli has earned the Da Vinci Science Center’s Teacher Excellence Award.
The award, which includes a free Da Vinci Science Center field trip or traveling science program valued up to $1,000, is given annually to educators in kindergarten through grade 12 who “inspire enthusiasm for science with innovative approaches.”
Stuby teaches engineering courses at Liberty High School, Bethlehem.
Memorial Day weekend is typically a festive one for Northwestern’s graduating class but as with many other celebrations, prom had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prom was scheduled for May 24 at Blue Mountain Ski Resort.
The threat to prom hovered early on in the minds of class officers but it soon became a reality.
“Everything was very much up in the air but a few weeks later, Mr. [Jason] Zimmerman sent out an email to the whole school with the disappointing news,” Class of 2020 President Harrison Bernhard said, two weeks after school closed.
When a young Fred Rogers was frightened by what he saw in the news, his mother would advise him to “look for the helpers.”
Those words which brought Mr. Rogers comfort during difficult times, still have meaning as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to grip this nation and the world.
Rob and Sally Sayre of New Tripoli, however, took Mr. Rogers’ story to heart by just parking their RV in the driveway of a local physician.