The Delaware Liberty Bell replica

April 26, 1988: I’m in a sophomore math class at Father Judge, an all-boys Catholic High School in Northeast Philadelphia. I sit sideways at my desk, doodling in my notebook and not comprehending algebra. I’m talking to Jon Shookowsky, one of my twin best friends. Together, we’re the rhythm section of Attix, a hard-rock, mostly-cover…

It tolls for thee — the Hawaiian Liberty Bell

“Mom, honk the horn!” a 10-year old boy calls out excitedly from the back of the station wagon. His mother ignores him. “Honk the horn, mom!!” the boy repeats, now more animated. His mother continues to ignore him. “Honk the horn, mom!!!,” all three kids, who rarely agree on anything, now chant in unison. It’s the…

Gone to Carolina

 On baby turtles, floaty pens and the nature of monuments Oversold We’ve all been there. Your flight is about to board. The gate attendant seems just now to notice it’s oversold. They get on the loudspeaker, and the auction begins. Someone is not getting on this plane—who’s it gonna be? The bidding starts at $200….

Reverend Joseph B. Head, the Liberty Bell Minister

“You have never met a character like me.” Part showmanship, part satisfaction guarantee; this is how the Reverend Joseph B. Head, the Liberty Bell minister, introduces himself. Between 1975 and 1985, Head’s roadshow would bring 4 different full-size Liberty Bell replicas to over a million children at more than 900 schools in 36 states. It’s…

The Texas Liberty Bell Replica: College Station

Lyle Lovett’s That’s right (you’re not from Texas) plays as we cross the Brazos River in our rented Nissan. Dawn drifts in and out of sleep while I drive. We’re now squarely in Texas A&M University territory. Aggie country. We’re here to visit a unique, little-known piece of state history — the Texas Liberty Bell…

Lincoln, Nebraska Liberty Bell replica – 1.2.17

40,000 Nebraskans converged at 9th and Q in downtown Lincoln to greet the guest of honor on this hot July afternoon. Parents lifted small children over railings just to catch a glimpse. Pickpockets preyed on the distracted throngs. Faces in the crowd were brick red from the heat. Some fainted and had to be carted off…

Tacoma, WA — 3.24.17

The Washington state Liberty Bell replica is hidden away right in the center of town. Most visitors likely pass over it without noticing. It sits in a lush outdoor plaza on the back side of the beautiful 1911 Union Station building which served as the western terminus of Northern Pacific’s transcontinental railroad. The building now hosts the US…

Providence, RI — 11.17.15

We wrapped up our New England bell tour in Providence, visiting Liberty Bell replica number 37 — our 7th and final bell of the tour. Our first stop in Providence was the 111th Annual Little Picture Show at the Providence Art Club.

Boston, MA – 11.13.15

We left Augusta in the morning, spent a couple hours wandering Portland and arrived in Boston around 3:00. Dawn was here a year ago to see a client and I was here about 25 years ago, but we’ve never been together. This is the first city on our bell tour where we’ll stay more than…

Augusta, ME – 11.12.15

Leaving Montpelier around 12:30 pm, we powered east through Maine, mainly in the rain. Primarily on back roads, we passed though many small towns, some scary, definitely haunted abandoned lake campgrounds, saw lots of moose crossing signs and no moose. By the time we got to Augusta (4:30), it was  dark and raining heavily. We…

Montpelier, VT — 11.12.15

We arrived in Montpelier from Concord around 11:00 am. It was chilly and raining lightly, but otherwise lovely. We parked across from the old Pavilion Hotel, now home to the Governor’s offices and the Vermont State Museum. We climbed the front stairs and met a very nice lady at the entrance to the museum. When she asked if…

Concord NH – 11.11.15

We arrived in Concord NH after dark and the Bell is not lit, but I was impressed with the flash on the iPhone 6. Reminds me of NE in the snow. Beautiful town. Looking forward to exploring more tomorrow.   

Albany NY – 11.9.15

The Liberty Bell replica in Albany NY is located inside the State Education Building across the street from the Capitol. You need to schedule a tour to see the bell up close, but some very nice guards let us in and gave us a quick look around. Everyone we met in Albany was exceedingly nice….

Bismarck, ND — 7.22.14

I took a slight, 200 mile diversion on a business trip to take in the North Dakota Bell. It resides in Century High School in Bismarck. No, I’m not practicing my mime moves, the Bell is protected behind plexiglass.

Cheyenne, WY — 3.23.14

Dawn and I finally got to the Wyoming Bell (the closest one to our home) in March on our way back from birding in Nebraska. It was a beautiful, quiet Sunday in Cheyenne.

Denver, CO — 7.22.12

My quest to see all the bells started, accidentally, with the Denver Liberty Bell replica. In 1996 I moved from Philadelphia to Colorado. The following year, I was walking downtown from my apartment in Capitol Hill and decided to cut through the park across from the Capitol building. I came upon a sight as familiar as it was…

Hartford, CT – 1.5.12

The Connecticut Liberty Bell is located in the State Capitol building in Hartford, CT. The building is architecturally stunning, filled and topped by large sculptures of the state heroes and heroines. This bell has been adorned with a replica pained cracked. Date of Visit: January 5, 2012 Address: Connecticut State Capitol (inside), 210 Capitol Avenue,…

Perth Amboy, NJ – 1.3.12

The New Jersey Liberty Bell can be found in Perth Amboy. The building in the background is the oldest City Hall in continuous use in the United States. It was built during 1714-1717 or 1718, burned in a fire in 1731 and rebuilt again in 1745. It was again burned in 1765 or 1766, and…

Des Moines, IA – 12.29.08

Date of visit: December 29, 2008 Location: Iowa State Capitol, Grand Ave. and E. 12th St., Des Moines, IA

Annapolis, MD — 8.7.07

Flying into Baltimore on our way to visit my folks in Delaware, we stopped off in Annapolis Maryland to bag the bell. It’s on the beautiful campus of St. John’s College.

Washington, DC – 4.4.07

It’s not easy to get close to the real Liberty Bell on the White House grounds, so this was the best we could do. This oversized Liberty Bell lives by the bus station in downtown DC.

Pierre, SD – 12.23.05

Tom and Rocky – South Dakota State Capitol Date of Visit: December 23, 2006 Location: 500 East Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD

Dover, DE – 8.13.06

Date of Visit: August 13, 2006 Location: Delaware State Capitol of the First State. The building is called the Delaware Legislative Hall. Intersection of Court Street and Legislative Mall, Dover, DE

Saint Paul, Minnesota — 1.18.04

Date of visit: January 18, 2004 Location: Minnesota State capitol – 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Saint Paul, MN. Ava Frances Ringerud and the Minnesota bell. Temperature: -20 degrees farenheit  

Nashville, Tennessee — 12.5.03

Nashville, Tennessee Liberty Bell Replica Date of visit: December 5, 2003 Location: Tennessee State Capitol, 600 Charlotte Avenue, Nashville, TN