Chit-Chat: Couple sprouting surprises for neighbors!

By: Merle Citron
   Good neighbors strike again, and they do it with flowers!
   "It’s all the work of my neighbors, Nick and Jen Brady," Barbara Fordyce told me.
   Barbara lives on South Union Street with her husband, Bob Dahl, and their two sons, Ben and Julian.
   Barbara explained, "Last week I noticed something rather strange happening in my backyard. To my amazement, dozens of bulbs that I never planted were coming up in my yard. I assume the same thing is happening in other yards. What a joy! In a few weeks, it will be Keukenhoff on South Main Street."
   Barbara said last fall Nick and Jen bought more than 1,000 tulip bulbs, and then they went around the neighborhood and planted them.
   "You know, I think it’s ironic," Barbara added. "Nick works for the Navy, and I smile every time I see him in his military fatigues out planting flowers."
   Nick and Jen have lived on South Union Street for eight years, and Jen explained, "Nick’s the gardener, not me. I helped in the beginning, but he planted most of the bulbs himself. He surprised neighbors that he knew would love the flowers and asked permission of other neighbors before he planted the bulbs."
   Bravo to Nick and Jen for random acts of kindness and beauty!
   I saw Diane Pullen the other day.
   She and her husband, Woody, live on Coryell Street. When I saw Diane she was busy working behind the deli counter at Clemens supermarket in New Hope.
   "I want you to know that this is a great place to work," she told me. "I really mean that. Everybody here is very friendly. We’re like a family."
   How lucky for Diane she enjoys her job, and she works close to home. As a matter of fact, so does Woody. You can find him down his block working at Finkle’s.
   Andy Giannelli owns Coda, a home design store.
   Andy brings his personal sense of style to Coda, which, of course, is what makes this store so aesthetically attractive. Coda recently moved from the Lambertville House into the old Beacon building on Bridge Street. Andy carries home accessories, furniture and fine George Evans antiques.
   Andy lives on York Street with his wife, Lisa. The Giannellis have three sons. Aiden teaches music in Phillipsburg at Voorhees High School, and he just bought his own home. Christian and Kieran are artists, and both of them have studios in Trenton.
   Gil Abrams is the manager of the New Hope Radio Shack store.
   He has lived in Doylestown all of his life. Gil told me he likes working for Radio Shack.
   "I love computers. I enjoy problem solving and helping people. So what could be a better job than what I do," he said.
   Gil is knowledgeable and does take the time to talk to his customers. When he is not at work, Gil can be found taking care of his son, a 9 year-old lab/shepherd mix named Isaac.
   "He’s my baby," Gil said.
   Louise Gulmantovicz, owner of Rooster’s Coop on Route 29, is selling her business to Jeff Skinner.
   Jeff told me seven years ago, he walked into the Rooster’s Coop and asked Louise for a job. She gave him one, and during that time, she taught him everything about lamps and lamp repair.
   "Louise has had this business for 31 years, and she plans to retire to Florida," Jeff said.
   He also noted he’s very pleased to have his own business.
   "Actually, I feel like I come to work and play all day," he said.
   Jeff fixes all types of lighting. He said during his seven years at the Rooster’s Coop, he’s only had one lamp that he couldn’t fix, and that was because the parts were not available.
   Working with Jeff at the Rooster’s Coop is Raphael Santana, who aspires to become a future Olympic swimming champion.
   "I just started swimming again after a five-year hiatus," Raphael said.
   He began training a few weeks ago with his training partner, Joseph Rillamas. They’re looking for a swimming coach.
   Raphael keeps to a rigorous schedule. He arises at 4:30 a.m., swims from 5:30 to 8:30, and then goes to work at the Rooster’s Coop from 9 to 5 p.m. Needless to say, he’s asleep by 8 p.m.
   He’s handsome and single, but unless you’re a swimmer, he’s really unavailable.
   Raphael lives on York Street and has been in the area for five years.
   Last, but not least, is Barbara Ellis.
   Barbara lives in Hopewell and has been working with Jeff and Raphael for a month.
   "Jeff takes in all the strays," Barbara said. "Right now I’m in training."
   Barbara told me she used to be a cross-country trucker, a waitress, and she was also a regional court groundskeeper for 27 years. Then last year she suffered a very bad fall.
   "One day I limped into the Rooster’s Coop as a shopper, and Louise offered me a job," she said. "Working here is fun, exciting, challenging, and I’m thrilled."
   Laurie Winyard and her three cats live near the end of Delaware Avenue close to the towpath.
   When we met, Laurie was inspecting what was left of the gardens in the front of her house. Last year, Laurie and her neighbors created beautiful gardens. They built raised flower beds next to the curb and filled them with various plants and shrubs. Then came the drainage project, and, in no time, all their hard work went for naught.
   "Now the construction project is replanting everything!" Laurie gleefully told me. "They are putting in new trees, shrubs and flowers. I’m confident that it’s going to look great."
   It does. Marcia Taylor, Laurie’s next-door neighbor, proudly showed me the new curbs and the five beautiful trees that have just been planted.
   "We’re on our way and it’s going to look fantastic," she added.
   It already does.
   FYI: Jack Rosen of New Hope is a nationally recognized photographer.
   Last year, PBS aired a documentary about him and his work. For those who are interested in seeing Jack Rosen’s photographs or in buying them, check Jack out on the Internet at
   Jack was a photojournalist at the New Hope Gazette from 1970-1976.
   Just like does every year for Easter, Leslie Holzman, who lives along the towpath, gathers goose eggs, cooks them, paints them a sparkling gold, and then she festoons the canal embankment with them.
   They are a joy to behold, and I guess you could say Leslie is a true believer in the story about the goose who laid the golden egg.
   And there you have it folks, a little chit and a little chat.