Thursday, May 5, 2011

Summer Job


I'm between my sophomore and junior years in high school and I get to work in center city ~ down town Phili!

{Two important things to know about what was going on in Philadelphia that summer}

ONE: The city was celebrating it's 200th anniversary! It was a huge deal, Phili being the birthplace of liberty and all! The streets were painted, flags were raised and tourists were expected. In anticipation of the throngs of visitors the Liberty Bell was moved from it's home in Independence Hall, to a newfangled glass pavilion across the lawn from Independence know, so all those tourists could see it more easily.

At home in Independence Hall.
This is where I saw the Liberty Bell for the first time
when I was in elementary school.

Her new home ~ At least she has a view of
her old digs from where she's living now...

TWO: The first Rocky movie was released in 1976. And we all remember the scene where he runs up the Philadelphia Art Museum stairs and pumps his arms in victory when he reaches the top!

It might also help to remember that my name is Adrienne. When the movie came out my name became "Yo, Adrienne" ... and was often followed by, "it's me, Rocky"... I didn't love that!
That summer I worked for a theatre company that was doing free Shakespeare every night in the City Hall courtyard. The city was happy to give the theatre company a tourist information booth for free. So, there I sat, in the booth, with my free tickets and a name tag and greeted thousands of tourists from all over the world. Very few wanted free Shakespeare tickets. And almost no one asked me where the Liberty Bell was located. But practically everyone, almost without exception, wanted to know where the steps were that Rocky climbed! And if they happened to notice my name tag, I was treated to their best Rocky imitation.

I loved the theatre company I worked for and the Shakespeare I got to watch that summer. And I always enjoyed the history connected with my home city ~ I was raised on it! So, when all the hoopla became about Rocky, I was kind of shocked. I mean, I liked the movie...but I though it was a shame that this pop hero was overshadowing centuries of history and culture. This was eye opening for me. Having been a bit shielded from pop culture growing up, it didn't make sense to me why people would be more interested in something that was weeks old, when history and art were right in front of them. But their enthusiasm for those stairs was contagious! It's as if they were saying..."Yo, Adrienne. Join in the fun! Jump on the bandwagon! Let's go pretend we're in a movie!"


  1. You'll be happy to know that I don't think I ever watched that movie all the way through...but working for a Shakespearean theatre co certainly got my attention!

  2. Sounds like fun to be able to meet people from all over the world. The Rocky steps would be cool to see although I've never seen the movies. I have however, read Shakespeare.