Hard to believe I launched this site half a decade ago today. As with any milestone it is time to reflect on the past five years of how my content has transformed and grown.
There are currently over 7000 of you following along between email subscriptions and social media platforms. This is roughly the digital equivalent of me standing on stage of a sold-out Santander Arena every time I publish something…but I try not to think about that too much.
The first article I ever posted was on the Sinking Spring Drive-In. The object of my own affectionate nostalgia. The feeling intrigued me.
Back in the first few years it was mainly screenshots of newspaper articles and ads I found interesting. This almost immediately led to the conception of “On this Day“; a series of Reading Eagle articles of past significant happenings that occurred on the date of posting.
Ultimately I consider the pandemic to be the catalyst in the direction Berks Nostalgia has taken since.
Summer 2020 I pumped out the largest fully comprehensive series I have ever done – maybe thats ever BEEN done – on the history of secondary education and the formation of local school districts. I spent that entire summer with my head in old yearbooks, spending all of the free energy I could muster cranking out articles on each institution. A new dimension to the hobby? A diversion from an uncertain outside world? Why not both?
Two years later and the world is no less uncertain though we seem to be winding down with the pandemic and jumping straight into the next global crisis without skipping any beats.
Defunct places have always been the main focus but more recently I have been expanding to profiling people. Specifically people who were the basis of local lore and legend.
How much can I find out about who they were? How much of the legend can I prove to be true? The process of piecing together their lives, and the thrill I get solving that mystery is the direction I currently find myself gravitating.
All the hours I have spent – writing, shooting video, digging for information – are an endless grind which often leave me burned out by the time the piece is finished, but…
Professionally it has led to making connections and collaborating with local businesses and organizations.
Personally it has been a way to satisfy my fascination with the way hyper-local culture creates our foundation – and continues to remain rooted so deeply within us for the entirety of our lives.
The amount of people who have contacted me to tell me they have long since moved away but consider Berks home is astounding. Almost as much as it is flattering that they are grateful my blog can provide them a little slice of it.
Thank you to those of you who have reached out to me to tell me you enjoy what I do. I don’t always get the opportunity to respond but I do read and appreciate every single email.
Whether you have been here since I was finding my footing with interesting newspaper clippings or joined somewhere along the way since, thanks. I hope you find you like where we are going.
A goal for 2022 is to hit 1000 Youtube Subscribers – so if you haven’t yet, head over to Berks Nostalgia’s youtube page and hit the Subscribe button.
While your at it follow us on Instagram too
Great memories from my youth. I see links to your posts here and there on twitter. You have a ‘Berks Nostalgia’ account to follow/promote there?
No Twitter page, sorry!
Keep up the great work!
Alexa, you are a Godsend.
Love your stories/a digital Passing Scene. Great work.
Thank You. I now live in Florida but spent most of my life in Berks County. The info you provide brings back many wonderful memories. I appreciate your efforts.
I don’t think you realize how many memories you have brought out from us older people. The pride we all had for our neighbors and neighborhoods.
When you do your new posts and emails you never fail to bring a smile to my face.
Thank you for all the great memories
Your blog is like Don Draper’s pitch to Kodak for the Carousel Projector. “It takes us to a place we ache to go again”. Thank you for sharing all of your hard work with us. The memories and the reminiscing of our early days in Shillington are some of the best conversations we have had over the last few years.
Wow, this might be my favorite compliment thus far. Love Mad Men…thanks so much!
I really enjoy your articles. The past has always fascinated me. Thank you for all of your history and hard work.
Congratulations on your efforts. I really enjoy the things that pop up on “Berks Nostalgia” So many entries bring back fond memories. Also, since I grew up in the neighborhood you come from, it’s especially nice to read your commentary about that particular niche of Berks County.
I moved to NC 4 years ago but still love reading the old stories. History is so fascinating. Keep up the fantastic work but don’t forget to take care of yourself!