July 15, 2018

   

The Long Way - Around Conshohocken

The Long Way – Around Conshohocken

by Brian Coll

 

I keep hearing this song on the country radio station and I love it. It’s called The Long Way. Each time I hear it I keep thinking about the Long Way around Conshohocken. For me, I have different time periods in my mind when I take the “Long Way” In my early years I remembering taking the “Long Way” to school, walking on the wall at Leeland Mansion, in the old days there was a wall by the old Fellowship House by the old basketball courts. Sometimes we would wander through Mary Wood Park on the way to school. There always seemed to be an alley on the east side of Conshohocken that we would wander down. Of course closer to home on the west side we had Sutcliffe Park, the Silt Basin and countless alleys. My alley, the one closest to my house holds so many of my early memories, my first kiss, first stolen shared beer, a few fights, building snow forts and so on. If I was driving someone around “the long way” I would be sure to point out that alley. I’d probably drive up Forrest Street to a little patch of nothing behind Town Valet Cleaners, next to Plymouth Garden apartments. This little patch of nothing, was something to me and my friends, it was away from the eyes of our parents. Not that we ever did anything too bad as kids…. maybe we set off a few fire crackers in this location, talked about girls and rode our bikes into the apartment complex or as I got older this was my cut through to get to Archbishop Kennedy. I was a walker and played sports almost year round so my walk home was alone a lot of the time.

 

As you get to your early 20’s of course Conshy and the surrounding towns or boroughs looked a little different through a car window as we were now driving to other places. My group of friends found ourselves at the New Valley Tavern, Toad’s Tavern, Tillie’s place late at night. Brownie’s seemed to have the best cover bands in the area and you could get in early on a Friday night and stay long enough to see the bands. As a young man, I never imagined just about every place I just mentioned would be long closed. Some of the things I did as a young man I still do, I still get together on Thanksgiving morning and play football in West Conshy with a great group of guys. Summer Sundays are still a time to get together with friends. This “long way” around would be a long drive, I hope whoever I’m showing this too doesn’t get too bored!

 

One thing that has been constant in my life is family and friends. I have been lucky to have met most of my best friends at a young age and got to share a bunch of these things with. I could drive to each of their houses, at least the house they grew up in. In a few cases I could knock on the door and still say hello to their parents. If I wanted to have a little fun I could pick up the phone and dial some 828 or 825 number I know by heart and talk to one of my friends mom or dads who kept the landline all these years later. Funny thing is, I can’t tell you anyone’s phone number now, they are all programed into the cell phone. If I was still showing someone “the long way” I’d be sure to drive past a few places along the river where my dad would take me fishing as a kid. My dad always seemed to have room for one or two more on these fishing trips. I don’t know if I can tell you any fish I caught, but the memories of sitting by the river, talking with my dad and friends will never go away.

 

You know the Conshy Beer Garden that takes place by the river in the spring and summer? I was at a meeting when it was being discussed at council a few years ago, and people in the room were talking about being able to drink a beer by the river, and most of them thought it would be neat and a good idea, I stood up and spoke, that in fact a beer by the river is a great thing on a summer day….. kids in Conshy knew that a long time ago.

 

I’ve been talking about this song, let me share the lyrics with you, and I’d love to hear about how you would take “The Long Way” around here…..

 

The Long Way
Brett Eldredge

Don’t think I’ve ever seen your kind of pretty
Wondering ’round this midnight mad house city
You got a look that says you got it all together
So if you don’t, mind I’d like to know you better
Take me the long way around your town
Were you the queen with the silver crown?
I want the secrets you keep, the shine underneath
Of the diamond I think I just found
Take me the long way around
I’d love to see just where your daddy met your momma
Your hand-me-down ’99 Impala
Show me the field you danced in Clover
The harvest in October
When the leaves fall from the sky just like a Sunday drive
Take me the long way around your town
Were you the queen with the silver crown?
I want the secrets you keep, the shine underneath
Of the diamond I think I just found
Take me the long way around
I didn’t think tonight when I walked in
I’d be falling for somewhere I’ve never been
Take me the long way around your town
Were you the queen with the silver crown?
I want your red blushing stories
Your faults and your glories
That made you who you are right now
Take me the long way around
Take me the long way around

 

 

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