Features appear in each issue of Pennsylvania Heritage showcasing a variety of subjects from various periods and geographic locations in Pennsylvania.

The Lamb Tavern, built in 1805 in Devon, Chester County, was restored in the early twentieth century by R. Brognard Okie (1875-1945), the historical architect responsible for the re-creation of Pennsbury Manor at Morrisville, Bucks County (see “Okie Speaks for Pennsbury,” Part I: Fall 1982 and Part II: Winter 1983). Entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the com­modious, twenty-eight-room tavern was later named Rough­wood. Fittingly, it is currently the residence and workspace of William Woys Weaver, whose ambition was to become an architect. But rather than blueprints and architectural renderings of buildings on his dining room table, there are numerous packets of sorted seeds and an array of various vegetables, fresh from the garden. His garden, in the style of the 1830s, is one-and-a-half acres, with more than three thousand varieties of heirloom vegetables and herbs. Weaver is today world-renowned for his pioneering work in food studies and kitchen gardening.

Born in West Chester, Chester County, Weaver descends from Swiss Anabaptists, including seventeenth-century martyr Georg Weber. His Quaker grandmother, Grace, was his mentor in the kitchen, and his grandfather, Ralph, taught him about seeds. Ten years after his grandfather passed away, Weaver discovered rare heirloom seeds in his freezer, leading him to an obsession that would later develop into his specialty.

Although he earned a master’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia in the 1970s, he strayed from the field and began writing articles and books on food history and culture. Much of his work broke new ground, especially in its concentration on regional cuisines. His early writings focus on Pennsylvania food culture and include recipes that he uncovered in his explorations of historical archives and the kitchens of those who have carried out food traditions from their forebears (see “From Fraise to Fricassee – ­Seventeenth-Century Cooking in Commonwealth Kitchens,” Spring 1984).

Weaver’s first two publications feature nineteenth-century cookbooks as their centerpieces. A Quaker Woman’s Cookbook (1982) includes a reprint of the 1851 edition of Elizabeth Ellicott Lea’s (1797—1858) popular Domestic Cookery, which represents the unique cuisine of the Mid-Atlantic region of the time, mingling the cookeries of the Tidewater South and southeastern Pennsylvania. With Sauerkraut Yankees (1983), Weaver focused on the descendants of eighteenth-century German speaking immigrants — the Pennsylvania Dutch. In the book, Weaver literally deconstructed the 1848 edition of Die Geschickte Hausfrau (“The Handy Housewife”), a cookbook compiled anonymously by Gustav Sigismund Peters (1793—1847). Weaver transformed the work by placing his own research and commentary alongside each recipe, editing out redundant or extraneous examples, and adding notable dishes absent in the original work.

Because of the popularity of these books in museum circles, Weaver was tapped to serve as curator for an ambitious exhibition celebrating three centuries of Philadelphia’s culinary history, “The Larder Invaded,” jointly sponsored by the Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The venture led to Weaver’s book, 35 Receipts from “The Larder Invaded” (1986). Weaver’s next book, America Eats (1989), was created as a companion volume to an exhibition of food­-related artifacts and objects at the Museum of American Folk Art, New York, for which he served as guest curator.

After a colorful tribute to traditional foodways of the American Christmas celebration in The Christmas Cook (1991), Weaver embarked on his most ambitious project to date. Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking (1993) is a full­-color paean to the cookery of southeastern Pennsylvania and the culmination of his work on that region that began with Sauerkraut Yankees. The winner in 1994 of the Jane Grigson Award (Julia Child Cookbook Awards), the volume is regarded as one of his finest achievements. The book investigates the distinctive Pennsylvania Dutch food culture emphasizing the present as much as the past, with recipes and insights from present-day butchers, bakers, kitchen gardeners, and country cooks.

Heirloom Vegetable Gardening (1997) established Weaver as the foremost authority on the subject. Each heirloom plant has a unique history, and this is the core of Weaver’s elegant descriptions, along with his practical advice on planting, growing, and properly saving seeds. With this work Weaver once again filled an enormous gap for those interested in recapturing lost food heritage. The book won two Julia Child Cookbook Awards in 1998 — the Food Reference and the Jane Grigson Awards.

In recent years, Weaver’s direction has become more international. With Food and Drink in Medieval Poland (1999), he reworked a translation of Maria Dembins­ka’s classic book Konswnpcja Zywno sciowa w Polsce Sred­niowiecznej, a project that took more than two decades to complete because of Dernbinska’s inaccessibility behind the Iron Curtain. 100 Vegetables and Where They Came From (2000) is a compendium of profiles on selected heirloom vegetables from around the planet. The Encyclopedia of Food and Culture (2003), for which Weaver contributed twenty-nine entries and served as associate editor and art editor, is a monumental reference work that encompasses all aspects of food studies. Today, Weaver is a contributing editor for Gourmet magazine, and is working on several projects on the cuisine of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

Even his most recent work, Country Scrapple (2003), traces the origin of the dish to ancient Europe and focuses on its spread beyond Pennsylvania to Ohio, Appalachia, and the south. This year, Weaver contributed the foreword to the Pennsylvania Trail of History® Cookbook, to be released by Stackpole Books and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission in October 2004. His enthusiasm for Pennsylvania’s culinary heritage is evident.

“It is really thrilling to be able to eat one’s way across a state, especially one as long across and historically rich as Pennsylvania. I cannot think of another place in America where we can taste the seventeenth-century flavors of a Swedish log cabin, the baroque delights of grand country houses, the steaming simplicity of coal miners’ kitchens, the fare of oil fields, cloisters, or such politically important sites as Washington’s Crossing on the Delaware, or Bushy Run Battlefield. It is a delight to see how the inventive personnel in each of the twenty-six historically important sites represented in this cookbook have brought their own particular stories into line with period interpretations and site context. Many visitors to our Pennsylvania museum sites are welcomed by the aromas of living history when they walk into the kitchens of these wonderful old buildings; now they can take those memories home with them and enjoy the food firsthand.”

The author conducted this interview with William Ways Weaver in spring 2004 at Roughwood.

How did you first become interested in historic cooking and foodways?

The process was gradual evolution. I was working on my master’s in architectural history and became interested in the hearths and the kitchens and the food preparation parts of the houses. I bought a copy of Die Geschickte Hausfrau, an old cookbook printed in German in Harrisburg and I suddenly realized, here’s a text that nobody has talked about. I started to tinker with it, translate it, turn it into a book, which eventually became Sauerkraut Yankees. So I moved from architecture into food – at a time when not many people were involved in food history. When you do a book, suddenly you become the presumed expert.

How long have you been actively researching?

Thirty-two years. I grew up in a family where my grandmother was very much old Chester County and she knew old foodways and cooking and she had all the equipment. So there was a context for this.

And then you were curator for food exhibitions, such as “The Larder Invaded” and “America Eats”?

“America Eats” was supposed to be a Christmas exhibition, but then the reality struck us that if we do all this work to create an exhibition [for the Museum of American Folk Art] on Christmas and folk cooking, it will only be up for about a month or two, so why not do something that will be up for a while. They dropped the Christmas idea and we did the general folk cooking idea. Then I had to come up with a book very quickly . . . so in essentially five days I wrote America Eats without going to bed. There are people who can vouch for that [laughs]. I never want to do a book like that again. I collapsed as I typed the last word [laughs].

How do you begin your research? Are there certain works you consult or people you interview?

Usually, it’s an ongoing learning process and an ongoing gathering of information. I have huge files that I’ve collected. And as I find things that I didn’t know, I put them on file cards. I started this file-card system back in the seventies, and now I’m stuck with it [laughs]. It’s going to take somebody else, and a lot of time, to transcribe all that material into disks or some computerized system. I don’t have the time to do it myself. I cross-index it so I can find things very easily. I’m the only one who can find things, but that’s okay.

Let me give you an example. I’m researching an heirloom tomato and I know it came out in a certain year. I’ll go to the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society of the Academy of Natural Sciences . . . and I’ll start digging in there to see what is in print about it . . . and what happens is while I’m looking that up, I’ll say, oh, look at this, there is that broccoli I read about twenty years ago, and I didn’t know where it came from, and here’s the whole history. Or very often I’ll run across a recipe, because they’re buried in these old journal books, so I copy that recipe down for cabbage pie, or whatever, because it’s different. So it just builds that way.

Do you test all the recipes that you use in your books?

The answer is yes and no. It depends on what the book is for. Sauerkraut Yankees was essentially a historical text. I didn’t test any of those recipes because I didn’t expect that was what people would want from that book. I didn’t do the recipes either in A Quaker Woman’s Cookbook because that was basically a research book. On the other hand, when those two books came out, I was often asked to give a talk and was told “we’ll serve a dish from the book.” Of course, “we’ll serve a dish” means I have to make something to bring with me.

I ended up cooking a lot of the recipes in those old texts and then keeping notes. On the average, I was testing four and five recipes a day for a while, and now I’m very grateful I did that. It’s work. It’s very much like weeding in the garden. It’s tedious and you do the same thing over and over because you want to get it right. But now I can just go to my eighteenth-century Philadelphia file and pull out a basic outline of a recipe that’s been done. I think today people want to make those dishes, and if they are interested in the food history, they really want authors to be able to make the dishes.

Do you test with the period implements?

It depends on the audience. Most recipes are quite easy to translate into stovetop technology. But when it’s something like the corn cake from America Eats, the thing that makes this so special is the fact that it’s done in a spider, a three-legged skillet. Maybe I’d better do it that way and see what it’s like first, and then knowing what it’s suppose to be like, what can I do to make it work on a stove or in an oven. So there’s some testing like that. The only people who are really interested in doing recipes in the old equipment are the people who are in open air or living history museums – they do historical recreations and they have a professional reason for wanting that information.

How do you convert eighteenth- and nineteenth-century recipes for the modern kitchen?

One thing that I do in my books is publish measurements, so you can convert them into modern language. What’s a gill? A handful? Many old recipes are simply outlines for a dish concept, and if you know what that is and you’re accustomed to cooking, you can go pretty quickly to the final product. They go by weight. I cook metric, not the American style by cups, but by grams. They’re going by pounds and ounces, so that’s very easy to convert. The only really difficult part is in the spicing and the flavoring of the dish: How much lemon? How much clove? How much sugar? If the sugar isn’t given, they just say a little sugar to sweeten it. Well, how much is that?

Generally, the baking recipes are pretty specific, so they’re not too hard to follow. They’re structural, and they work only a certain way, regardless of whether it’s 1805 or 2005. But there’s something we forget, and that is the recipes are simply there in the old cookbooks as ideas. There’s no absolute correct way to interpret an old recipe. And it gets even hazier as you get back into the older and older ones. I love the seventeenth-century stuff, because it’s so much different than what we’re accustomed to. Putting sugar on fish and making food blue and then gilding it – that kind of thing. l think it’s wild.

And you have reconstructed formal seventeenth-century dinners, correct?

Caterers only know how to serve food the way we do it today. They plate the food and bring it out. In the old days, the food was brought out on big platters. Somebody had to carve it, and they had to know how to carve it. So, when you are doing that kind of re-creation, you make all kinds of compromises.

In 1982, we did a meal in Independence Hall for three governors. It was for the three hundredth anniversary of the founding of Pennsylvania by William Penn. We had New Jersey [Thomas Kean], Delaware [Pierre Samuel du Pont IV], and Pennsylvania [Dick Thornburgh] governors, and the mayor of Philadelphia [William J. Green III], and I was asked to develop the menu. That was actually my baptism of fire. There was a caterer from Conshohocken who did the cooking, and I didn’t recognize one single dish [laughter]. It was a “William Penn—style” luncheon. They didn’t eat lunch in William Penn’s day, so this was a time warp to begin with! I walked out of there in total shock. I’ve got to throw myself into the Delaware River, I thought, because this is the end of my career. Then I got thank-you notes from the governors. They loved the food. That’s when I learned the first thing in doing these meals is to make the people happy.

Whatever else happens, let go of it because it’s never going to be accurate. I did, in fact, eventually get my way with a meal because I was asked to do a dinner at Woodlands, an eighteenth-century house in the middle of a graveyard down behind the University of Pennsylvania. It was one of the finest houses in the United States in its heyday with a fabulous garden [see “Into the Woodlands” by Kate Withiam, Summer 2003]. We did a meal reconstructing a dinner given for the Marquis de Lafayette in 1824. Fritz Blank of Deux Cheminees in Philadelphia helped me with this, and we had Shackamaxon Cater­ing – and they were very gung-ho to do it right. I even made the punch and served it in an eighteenth-century silver punch bowl . The food was incredible and everybody keeps talking about it and wanting me to do another one like it. Well, I had to go to bed for two days afterward, because I was thoroughly exhausted. It was just a lot of work. It is a very expensive proposition to do these reconstructed meals . . . because you have to get certain kinds of things that you can’t just go to the [supermarket] and buy.

Who had the greatest influence on your work?

There is a long list of people who have influenced my thinking. Overall, the person who has influenced me rather subtly is an Austrian named Anni Gamerith [1906-1990]. I met Anni in Wales in 1977 at a food conference. She was an ethnographer who really approached lifestyles and cooking and gardening holistically, and that is how I do it. She is basically the person who came up with a theoretical model for how food evolves in hearth cookery and how there is an interrelationship between the kitchen garden and the hearth and the type of equipment used. There was no theoretical model for that beforehand.

Which of your works are you most proud to have written?

I think my work on the Encyclopedia of Food and Culture that just recently came out is something of longstanding value. The encyclopedia is a three-volume set that says food has arrived as a serious study. It belongs on the shelf with physics and history and all the other areas of serious study. I like Sauer’s Herbal Cures, because I finally have gotten Christopher Sauer and his herbals in front of the world.

The book I really love is Food and Drink in Medieval Poland. I wanted Maria Dembinska’s book published in English in the United States and the only way to do it was to midwife it myself. It’s a model for looking at food in the Middle Ages. It’s also a book that has influenced the way I am going to be looking at the foods in Cyprus and other places. I also like my book Country Scrapple. I think it’s kind of a model for taking one regional food; taking every little detail you can find about it; really getting to understand its origins; how it has evolved; all the places it has gone; and the way people view it.

What is the most interesting thing that you have found out about scrapple?

When I began that project, I really thought that scrapple was this Philadelphia thing, that it was a short story, not a long one. As I started to do the research, I realized this is a huge story. This food is all over the United States. It has different names in different parts of the country. It has sister recipes that are similar to it, but made with slightly different ingredients, and it is part of a process that evolved out of an agricultural context. I think the most amazing thing about scrapple is that it survived this long, starting as it did as an old gruel, served during butchering. It is very adaptable to different social contexts. So it has a survivability that many other foods probably won’t have. I think it will be here as long as we have pigs.

What has been the most startling discovery you have made regarding the way people cook and eat in the Keystone State?

The one thing that really strikes me is that Pennsylvania has five very identifiable culinary regions. Take Louisiana as an example – it’s one culinary region. Pennsylvania has five, and that to me is an interesting thing to study. It needs to be studied more. What amazes me most about those five is that they evolved so quickly within one hundred years of settlement – and they are still with us today.

Can you talk a little more about the individual areas?

Well, we’ve got the obvious one that everybody thinks of immediately, that heartland which is the Pennsylvania Dutch Country. That is quite distinct. Then there’s Philadelphia, of course, with its old Caribbean connections. The one that is probably disappearing the quickest is in southeastern Pennsylvania, a little bit of an English Quaker area – Bucks, Delaware, and Chester Counties — because it’s being rapidly suburbanized. But the food is still there. The local people are still making it. Whereas seventy or eighty years ago you could go into Chester County and you could really see dairy farms – the milk that actually made the ice cream for Sealtest or Breyers, that connectedness was there.

You have an Appalachian area in southwestern Pennsylvania – Scotch-Irish cooking that is in the mountains. That is a very interesting region, and one that very few people have even looked at for their foods. We tend to think of Appalachia as Kentucky and Tennessee, but we have our own with very different kinds of foods.

The area of Pennsylvania that I know the least about is that area up around Erie ­- this is a big state. There are wineries out there — I think it’s high time I learn more about them [see “The Northwest’s Vintners” by Sabina Shields Freeman, Spring 1988]. J keep finding late-nineteenth-century cookbooks from that area and they are different from the cookbooks from other areas. I suppose that part of the Commonwealth is also influenced by New York and Ohio. There were large Catholic communities out there that also had an impact on the local choice of foods and recipes.

Are there customs or foods from our culinary heritage that could be considered statewide?

There are different foods, but the easiest answer to that is pretzels [laughter]. Let’s face it, it’s pretzels. Pretzelvania! Welcome to Pretzelvania!

Pretzels came here in the eighteenth century. They could have been here earlier than that. They could have been here in the early 1600s. The first baker in Philadelphia was a Dutchman — from Holland — so he probably knew how to make pretzels, but we don’t know that for sure. In any event, the pretzel has become kind of the state symbol. We even put those little pretzel sticks into ice cream. Nobody else does that, and they think we’re weird because we do.

In which of the regions do you find the most continuity in terms of traditional food ways?

In terms of sheer numbers of dishes, I think it’s the Pennsylvania Dutch area. There is a reason for that. It’s driven by tourism. People come here and they expect to find shoofly pie, and of course they are going to find shoofly pie. So there’s kind of an economic impetus behind that.

Would you extend that beyond Pennsylvania’s boundaries to the entire country, that the Pennsylvania Dutch exhibit the strongest continuity?

That’s a very good question. I would say that the Pennsylvania Dutch and probably the Cajun in Louisiana are the two regions that have preserved their regional food identities the most. The Cajun cuisine is the one that has been commercialized, whereas Pennsylvania Dutch is not commercialized outside of Pennsylvania very much.

Take the hoagie – there’s a Pennsylvania thing from Philadelphia – it has gone national. You can find it at fast food joints all over the United States. So it will lose its Pennsylvania or Philadelphia identity after awhile. Candy corn was developed in Pennsylvania in the 1880s, and for a while it was a local thing. But then it became attached to Halloween and it has lost its local identity. Food is not caught in amber. It is always moving. Moving around on the map and moving up and down in time frames. Moving across ethnic boundaries.

Are you able to track changes for these groups over time, such as changes in diets from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries?

The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it requires a lot of research. You can look at the America Eats materials [from the Work Project’s Administration] from the 1930s. That is material gathered from people who had a food experience going back into the nineteenth century. There are a lot of shifts in mainstream diets, and all you need to do is look at the charitable cookbooks . . . printed by local churches or fire companies as fundraisers. You can look at the kinds of recipes that people submit, and you’ll see a real range of stuff if you start in 1900 and finish in 2000. You can trace a lot of changes. Spaghetti starts to appear, and then you’ve got casserole dishes and the tuna fish-and-macaroni baked thing that my mother used to make, and then that disappears. Then you can see what people consider nostalgic foods.

In southeastern Pennsylvania you find Schnitz un Gnepp recipes [“apples and buttons” – dried apples, ham, and dumplings] and people make that once a year or maybe on Sunday, not something that they eat every day. I love menus because they actually tell you what people are really eating. Although, the problem with menus is that you are getting kind of the cook’s poetry, because he is giving the dish a fancy name to sell it. But you can get a general idea. For example, if scrapple suddenly disappears from the menus in 1950, then you know that people have stopped eating it. And there are also more recent food columns in newspapers. You can also go to the food magazines.

What are some of the reasons for the changes?

Homogenization. Advertising and television have had a huge impact. So has the Internet. And now war.

War is one of the major forces that make people change their eating habits. During war there is shortage, things you can’t get. So you have these make-do recipes. War is really one of the reasons behind Americans shifting to eating a lot of things from cans or prepackaged foods. Let’s just take an example from the Vietnam War. One of the outcomes was that we ended up with a huge emigration of people from Vietnam. They came here and they were totally fish out of water in a strange country with a climate very much the opposite of what they knew. And yet they have affected our food. The Vietnamese restaurants, the Vietnamese green grocers — they kind of pushed the Italians out of that whole part of the grocery business — but also this idea of fusion cuisine. I think one of the first places in the country was the Frog, in Philadelphia, which in the seventies was a restaurant revival. It was a hybrid of Southeast Asian foods and French cooking, and it was very successful. Not only was it a hybrid in its menu, the interior of the restaurant was decorated in a way that was a cross pollinization of these two very different cultures. That’s the kind of change that really ultimately affects the way we eat, and then we start defining our traditional foods or mainstream foods in terms of these new ideas.

If you were to select a recipe that epitomizes the culinary heritage of Pennsylvania, what would it be?

Apple schnitz pie.

It’s something that is still made, and it’s something that has an old history in Pennsylvania. We can find references to it in the early eighteenth century. It is made in a lot of different ways in those five different regions that I have mentioned, so it has a very distinct Pennsylvania character. One of the images that sticks in my mind is from the Sanitary Fair in Philadelphia in 1864, where they had a Pennsylvania kitchen, and they had all these women dressed up in colonial clothes making food, and the photograph of this room — which is in the collections of the Library Compa­ny in Philadelphia — has a huge sign across the top with all the letters made out of apple schnitz, which reads “Grant is up to schnitz.” It was Ulysses S. Grant they were referring to.

What is your personal favorite Pennsylvania recipe?

It’s like my heirloom vegetable garden. I don’t have any favorites. I like them all for different reasons. I’m very broad in that respect. One of my problems with my book Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking is that I had to leave so much out because every recipe in that book is a favorite and I could do three more of those books with the recipes l never published. Oh, chicken corn soup. That one is easy, but l like it. Hey, they’re all good.

 

 

Pennsylvania Trail of History Cookbook

Presenting a delectable fare of time-honored recipes from the Keystone State’s diverse historic sites and museums, the Pennsylvania Trail of History Cookbook is the result of a rich collaboration between Stackpole Books, Mechanics­burg, and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC). Stackpole Books and the PHMC first teamed up in 2000 to launch the Pennsylvania Trail of History Guides, a popular series of handbooks describing the attractions – among them colonial forts, industrial museums, battlefields, historic houses, and villages – administered for the Commonwealth by the PHMC. The cooperative venture concludes in Fall 2005 with the final guidebook in the series. As the project began nearing completion, it seemed natural to develop a cookbook to not only compile the heirloom recipes from the twenty-six stops along the Pennsylvania Trail of History, but also to document the unique foodways of many ethnic, religious, and occupational groups that have made Pennsylvania their home.

The savory sampler features recipes for foods of Native Americans on the edge of the frontier, guests of the Penn family at Pennsbury Manor, soldiers in the Revolutionary War, sailors aboard the U.S. Brig Niagara, miners in the anthracite region, and travelers speeding across the country on the country on the trains of the twentieth century. Each recipe includes easy-to-follow directions and identifies the historic site museum with which it is associated. All recipes have been adapted for the modern kitchen and tested.

The Pennsylvania Trail of History Cookbook is now available. The 144-page softcover edition, lavishly illustrated with color and vintage images, is available for $19.95 at local bookstores.

 

For Further Reading

Grover, Kathryn, ed. Dining in America, 1850-1900. Amherst, Mass., and Rochester, N. Y.: University of Massachusetts Press and the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum, 1987.

Katz, Solomon H., and William Woys Weaver, eds. Encyclopedia of Food and Culture. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 2003.

Null, Hester M., ed. The Landis Valley Cookbook: Pennsylvania German Foods and Traditions. Lancaster: Landis Valley Associates

Weaver, William. Ways. America Eats: Forms of Edible Folk Art. New York: Harper and Row, 1989.

____. Country Scrapple: An American Tradition. Mechanicsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2003.

____. Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener’s Guide to Planting, Seed Saving, and Cultural History. New York: Holt, 1997.

____. Pennsylvania Dutch Country Cooking. New York: Abbeville Press, 1993.

____. A Quaker Woman’s Cookbook: The Domestic Cookery of Elizabeth Elli­cott Lea. Mechanicsburg Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2004

____. Sauer­kraut Yankees: Pennsylvania Dutch Food & Foodways. Mechan­icsburg, Pa.: Stackpole Books, 2002.

____. 35 Receipts from “The Larder Invaded.” Philadelphia: Library Company of Philadelphia and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 1986.

Williams, Susan. Savory Suppers and Fashionable Feasts: Dining in Victoria America. Rochester, N. Y.: Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum, 1985.

 

Kyle R. Weaver received his master’s degree in American studies from the Pennsylvania State University. He lives in York County, and is the acquisitions editor for Pennsylvania and regional titles at Stackpole Books, headquartered in Mechanicsburg.