I love Manayunk – the people, the places, even where it sits on our planet. I am happy that my children can say with pride that they have roots in this community that go back well over a century and more than seven generations. The branches of our family continue to expand and the feelings for Manayunk do not change.
The pin attached is from 1984 and it celebrates 160 years of progress that made Manayunk in 1984 a clean, quiet and safe place to live, a place where, like the sit-com Cheers, most everybody knew your name, and you knew theirs as well. The pin was a souvenir of the Manayunk Canal Day celebration of 1984 when Main Street was closed for much of the day for the Canal Day parade. The days and weeks preceding it were filled with plans for the parade, including invitations to local dignitaries and contests for Miss Manayunk and Miss Junior Manayunk. On the day of the event, locals and visitors lined Main Street and it was a day of fun, love and laughter. Folks who no longer lived in the area came back to see old and current friends, neighbors and relatives known and new, and to reminisce with all.
Many of the people who call Manayunk home now are younger and more transient, but the atmosphere is still one where the people are friendly, very tolerant and as always generous in spirit. It would be wonderful if those who now live in Manayunk and those who come to visit had more of a sense of its history. That was one of the purposes of Canal Day. 2024 will be the 200th anniversary of Manayunk, and perhaps we could resurrect Canal Day for that occasion. May I suggest the theme could be Manayunk, the Manchester of America? That was a name given to it by The National Geographic Society due to the number of factories and mills lining the canal and producing just about anything needed by consumers and government, especially textiles. The people who worked in those mills were the people who set the standards for Manayunk and worked hard to keep it the safe, stable place it has always been, and the source of the foundation of the neighborhood it is today. It would be wonderful to applaud the heritage, and the Yunkers who made it possible.