Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Really Weird PA

Written by Rich Copeland - Producer, WITF's Smart Talk | Mar 23, 2017 8:00 PM
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The Pagoda - Reading, Berks County

Pennsylvania boasts many examples of the state's rich historical legacy and cultural pride; think Valley Forge, Independence Hall, Gettysburg.  And nothing reflects the Commonwealth like the gritty determination of Rocky running through South Philly, the rustic charm of an Amish farmer's market or a cold Iron City and Primanti sandwich at a Buccos game.

Then there is weird Pennsylvania.  The quirky, out-of-the-box parts of the state that tend to slip below the cultural radar.  A museum dedicated to the Big Mac.  A giant Chinese Pagoda gracing the side of a Berks County mountain.  A tribute to the intellectual largess of The Three Stooges.  Medical oddities.

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Slides of Albert Einstein's brain - The Mutter Museum, Philadelphia PA

VisitPA.com, the official tourism website for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, has ranked the 15 "Weird and Wacky PA Attractions" and they provide an excellent collation of oddities and attractions unique to the state.

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Ringing Rocks Park, Bucks County

Smart Talk will explore these more obscure corners of "Pennsylvaniana" with Carrie Lepore, Deputy Secretary of Marketing, Tourism and Film for the Department of Community and Economic Development and Michael Chapaloney, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Tourism Office

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Carrie Lepore, Deputy Secretary of Marketing, Tourism and Film for the Department of Community and Economic Development and Michael Chapaloney, Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Tourism Office.

We'll also visit with two museums - one dedicated to medical oddities and anomalies and one immortalizing the legacy of Larry, Moe and Curly.  And Shemp.

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The Stoogeum - Ambler, PA

EMAILS

- www.atlasobscura.com        - Rick, Harrisburg

 - More well-known now is the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia and then nearby the Eastern State Penitentiary where Al Capone and Willie Sutton spent time.  The  Mutter is like a Ripley's but without the fakery. All real medical oddities.    - Dave

 - More than 60 years after the war's end, that action-oriented, can-do spirit abides in Eldred, where a community museum honors the women who made weapons as well as the men who carried them. Many of the mementos in the exhibits were donated by locals, nearby residents and veterans                     - Dave

- Jim Delagatti of uniontown invented the first Big Mac in 1947. It was tested in the Pittsburgh McDonald's before it went national.                  - Tony

- Roadside America and the PA Dutch Museum on route 78 in Berks(?) County. Roadside America is a miniature village and model train museum.  Located next door is the PA Dutch Museum which is dedicated to the regional and cultural history of early PA Dutch.  Really enjoying this show.  Lots of great ideas of places to visit with my family this summer.                          - Shealyn

- To follow up on the ringing rocks park I want to promote the serpentine barrens in southeastern PA.  The best place I know to hike through them is in Nottingham Park in Chester County: http://www.chesco.org/1744/Nottingham-Park

Serpentine is a metamorphic rock and due to the chemical composition of the rock and soil in the area, there is a landscape unlike any other in PA.  It's described as a savannah.  In fact there are a few species of plants ONLY found in that park and no where else in the world.

Rocks are the best and PA has the best rocks!                      - Craig

- Blobfest is an annual three-day event held at The Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. The festival, which commemorates The Blob, offers screenings of this 1958 classic along with other horror films. Sci-fi and horror-focused street fair vendors are on hand, and there's also music, contests and live entertainment throughout the weekend.                                                              https://thecolonialtheatre.com/programs-categories/blobfest/     -Rick

- This might be on your list, but in case, let me mention the American Treasure Tour.

90 minute guided tram tour of a museum like collection of Americana including: Nickelodeons, band organs, classic autos, motorcycles, model airplanes,

Advertising, stained glass, music boxes, doll houses, animated store displays, on and on.

Located next to Valley Forge Park, off PA TPK 326, follow signs for 422 W, Oaks, PA  19456  PO Box 616    610-666-0363

It is wonderful, you can never see all of the things!                      - Linda

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