Our spontaneous road trip to the Willa Cather Seminar at Smith College that led to the unplanned side trips to Rossville and Hoopeston (See my January 20 & 27, 2012 posts) resulted in other impromptu visits to authors' homes and historical sites, and when we wandered off the planned route as far as Gettysburg, I just had to go to Wernersville. Having made none of the research preparations I should have, I convinced my husband that it was nevertheless an opportunity we should not miss. As it turned out, we crowded more into our brief visit to Wernersville than I could have imagined if I had planned the visit for weeks.
The next morning we had breakfast at the Red Plate Diner and met Reading Principal Joe Torchia, who was having breakfast with his daughter in the booth next to ours. When he overheard us discussing whether to order scrapple, he introduced himself and praised the local pork specialty so enthusiastically that we had to try it. I fear scrapple may be an acquired taste, but meeting him and his daughter in the pleasant surroundings of the diner was a great start to our day.
Despite a light rainfall, we wandered the old cemetery, located at St. John's (Hain's) Church, finding William Werner's grave and many other Werner aunts, uncles, and cousins buried there. The history of this church is too rich and wonderful for me to share in this post, but next week I will tell you about our unexpected discoveries when we stepped inside the church.