Letters presents readers' comments and reactions to specific articles in Pennsylvania Heritage, the initiatives of PHMC, and other developments in the historical, cultural and museum communities of Pennsylvania.

Dreams Do Come True

I enjoyed the update about The Dream Garden, the Maxfield Parrish mural installed at the Curtis Building in Philadelphia [see “Executive Director’s Message,” Fall 2001]. We can only hope that it will be saved for Philadelphians. I had heard that Parrish created another mural for the employee cafeteria, which was, I believe, located near the top of the building. Perhaps readers in the Philadelphia area would know about this. Your magazine is a marvel of things, Pennsylvania and otherwise, that I have enjoyed discovering during the past year. Thank you for a fine product.

Jane Rosenberger
Beaver, Pa.

Perilously close to becoming just another larger-than-life decoration for a glitzy Las Vegas casino in the late 1990s, the ten-ton Dream Garden, the Maxfield Parrish work transformed into a shimmering mural of one million pieces of glass shards by Louis Com­fort Tiffany, will stay in Philadelphia. The Pew Charitable Trust, a player in many cul­tural endeavors, came to the (gaming) table with three and n half million dollars for the mural’s purchase by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. It will remain in the lobby of the Curtis Building for all to enjoy.


Dignified Reminders

The “Executive Director’s Message” and the young woman’s recollections of her father, a volunteer firefighter [see “Pennsylvania Memories” by Susan Peifer Mar­cus], in the Winter 2002 issue are subtle and dignified reminders, especially in light of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on our country, that each and every one of us affects – and is affected by – daily events that, ultimately, become part of the rich mosaic that is our collective history. The connections you make between the present and the past make me realize that we are not spectators, but participants, in history on the local, state, even national levels. Thank you for this thoughtful issue of Pennsylvania Heritage, which is an elegant tribute to not only those who lost their lives last September, but to those who – much like the volunteer fireman remembered – also serve their neighbors and communities quietly but efficaciously. I am touched.

Anne B. Lafferty
Bala-Cynwyd, Pa.

In regards to the “Executive Director’s Message” in the Winter 2002 edition and the possible United Airlines Flight 93 memorial near Shanksville, Somerset County, if such comes about, I hope it contains the immortal words, “Okay­ – let’s roll!” I think Todd Beamer’s courageous phrase has inspired a change in the way airplane passengers will deal with those who wish to kill them. The simple statement had to be the empowering force behind the passengers’ actions during the December 22, 2001, attempted terrorist bombing of American Airlines Flight 63 from Paris to Miami.

Tom Carten
Wilkes-Barre, Pa.


Our Part of the State

Thanks for covering our part of the state in the Winter 2002 issue of Pennsylvania Heritage with “Circles and Cycles – Work­ing the Monongahela River Towboats: A Personal Portrait” by Dave Biles. It was an eloquent essay! The review of Big Steel: The First Century of the United States Steel Corporation, 1901-2001, in “Book­shelf” complemented this story beautifully. Too often people forget that Pittsburgh is part of Pennsylvania’s history and that Pittsburghers over the past two hundred and fifty years have played an important role in it. Pennsylvania is more than Philadelphia, and I appreciate your fair and balanced coverage of the entire state.

Joanna Meyer
Pittsburgh, Pa.



The editorial staff regrets incorrectly attributing authorship of A History of the Lewis and Clark Journals (University of Oklahoma Press, 1976) to Stephen E. Ambrose in books suggested for further reading which accompanied “Firm Foundations in Philadelphia: The Lewis and Clark Expedition’s Ties to Pennsylvania” by Frank Muhly in the Summer 2001 issue. Lewis and Clark expert Paul R. Cutright wrote the book. He also authored the important 1982 Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail Foundation (LCHTF) publication referred to in the article, “Contributions of Philadelphia to Lewis and Clark History.” It had been originally suggested but was dropped because it was not readily available to readers. Thus, the horizontal ditto line preceding A History of the Lewis and Clark Journals was set for a second title by Paul R. Cutright, and the editors failed to replace it with his full name when the LCHTF’s “Contributions” publication was deleted. Fortunately, the publication has been recently reprinted and is available for purchase by writing: Philadelphia Chapter, LCHTF, 6010 Cannon Hill Rd., Fort Washington, PA 19034-1802.