Nine is Fine
by Cate Murway
“Did you ever know that you're my hero,
and everything I would like to be?
I can fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings”
Albert Daniel, Delhaas ’58 and Marita Catherine [Conlin] Adamson, Gloucester Catholic H.S.’59, NJ/ BCCC/Temple U. Elementary Ed. have successfully raised Nine children in the Borough in their loving home on Wood Street. They met when Bert was in the Robert W. Bracken Cavaliers and Marita proudly wore the colors of maroon and gold and white as one of the Belles of St. Mary’s in the Drum & Bugle Corps, one of the few "All Girl" Drum and Bugle Corps in the History of Drum Corps.
Marita prayed the “No Fail Novena to St. Joseph” for guidance as she was dating another young man when she met Bert. She recited the same prayers for Nine days in supplication and then Nine days in thanksgiving and “then on the 18th day, there he was!”
Bert enthusiastically shared, “Best thing that every happened to me. Wouldn’t be where I am today without her. I’m glad I won!”
“Thank you, thank you,
thank God for you, the wind beneath my wings.”
“Berto” was born on Lincoln Avenue, here in Bristol upon the Delaware, to William and Adele Adamson. His dad worked as a short order cook and his mom was a waitress at the Bristol Diner [current location of the bank on Pond Street]. His family relocated to West Bristol when he was 5 or 6 years old. At the tender age of Nine, he became a spirited “drummer boy”. “He played a good snare drum and worked hard”, according to fellow Cavalier, Arthur [Art] John Younglove. “He’s a hard working guy; a good guy. He would do anything for you!”
His love of this percussion instrument continues. Bert shares his passion for playing the drum and is committed to sharing his magic, one beat at a time, while he teaches the Bracken cadet alumni corps at the Lower Bucks County Senior Citizen building. He also works with the Reilly Raiders Drum and Bugle Corps of Willow Grove and the
Archer-Epler Musketeers, a Senior Drum Corps based in Upper Darby. His athletic endeavor was wrestling during H.S. in his Junior and Senior years in the 112# and 120# weight classes. His only brother currently lives in Nashville, TN.
Marita, who played a brass instrument, the French horn, was the next to the oldest in her family of 2 brothers and 2 sisters. Her father, Edward expressed his creative imagination on the violin and her mother, Catherine [Miller] Conlin played one of the most familiar musical instruments, the piano. Marita has two remaining siblings. Her sister, Ann Franzen resides in Tabernacle, NJ and her brother, Paul Conlin is a retired federal marshal in Ohio.
Their Nine children are all St. Ann School and Bishop Conwell and Bishop Egan H.S. grads: Mark, BE ’80; Ann Marie, BC ’82; Mary Jane, Bernadette, Patricia, Joseph [President of the Little League], Michael, BE ’88; Matthew, and John Paul. Bert nodded, “Barefoot and pregnant”. She said, “I never went barefoot, no.”
They settled in their home on Wood Street in late January 1964 to be closer to Bert’s work. Bristol upon the Delaware was a perfect location! One can get here by train, by boat, or by car!
Marita is convinced. “It’s a beautiful town with tree lined streets, friendly neighbors, Spurline Park, Grundy Library, all within walking distance.”
When they moved here, they didn’t need two cars. There were corner grocery stores and the Acme, where Rite Aid is located and an A& P where Selecto Market now stands.
Bert was making grinding wheels at Allison-Campbell, which pioneered the development of machines and wheels used throughout the world for cutting all types of materials. He later was employed steel coating at the Litho-Strip Corporation in Fairless Hills and then worked in 3M in Bristol Township. Bert’s last career until his retirement was at Rohm and Haas as a kettle operator for paint base emulsions. He still proudly wears his red WOII t-shirt, commemorating one of his 3-year periods without an OSHA industrial injury.
Marita has been teaching 2nd grade for 22 years at St. Ann School. “Terrible 2’s?”
“Our kids got a very good education at St. Ann’s. Time to pay back!”
She has had the privilege of witnessing an annual transformation; that of her students!
Marita is able to tailor the academic growth of each student so that his/her personal journey is optimized.
Grandparents Day was fun! They made oobleck, a fictional form of green precipitation invented by children's author Dr. Seuss. Initially the cornstarch and water mixture acts like a viscous liquid but applying pressure quickly will make it appear to be a solid for a short time. And yum! Everyone gets to taste it!
The Adamson couple has instilled self-reliance and leadership skills in many children as Cub Scout and Brownie leaders. They worked unselfishly with the CYO basketball and
Borough softball and baseball teams. Bert was a head umpire for the Babe Ruth League and assigned all the umpires. He was also a member of the K. of C. Council #906.
“I grew up with my children. Whatever they were involved in, we were involved in.”
“It must have been cold there in my shadow,
to never have sunlight on your face.
You were content to let me shine, that's your way.
You always walked a step behind.”
Family traditions are important, especially Christmas Eve Mass and dinner together.
Seafood is not a favorite so one year they shared an “untraditional” 7 “phony” fishes dinner including quasi-gummy chewy red Swedish fish candies, fish shaped pepperoni, Pepperidge Farm Goldfish® crackers, a whale shaped cake and some real shrimp.
Son, Mark makes the lasagna!
This summer, they entertained Nine grandchildren in the Endless Mountains in Wyoming County with blueberry picking, the fireman’s fair and fun at Lake Jean. The youngest grandchild, Liana [parents are Michael & Kim] was almost 2, an adopted special needs baby from China and the eldest was Shane, at 14 years old. They prepared a Thanksgiving feast and invited their neighbors!
They have 18 grandchildren and a great grandson, Callen who is almost one.
Bert and Marita are neighborhood role models.
They are helping a woman, Andrea J. [Snyder] Richardson, Dobbins Trade School ’58 who has just finished radiation therapy for cancer. Favorite trips for Marita and Andrea are treks to their cabin in the mountains in October and often shore trips to Cape May. They shop together at the Cape May wicker factory and they found a Ben Franklin 5& 10 in Troy, PA!
“They are like family. The best neighbors and best friends you could ask for. Just great people!” shared her husband, Kenneth Perry Richardson, BHS/BE class of ’62, an appliance and electronics warehouseman.
“So I was the one with all the glory,
while you were the one with all the strength.
A beautiful face without a name for so long.
A beautiful smile to hide the pain.”
When the Adamsons eat out, it’s at Charlie Karp’s Pub. “We love Karp’s!” Bert orders the delicious Veal Parmesan and the festive crème de menthe parfait. It’s the fried flounder for Marita! “Of course, R&R bagels… for bacon, lettuce and tomato soup!”
Their book of choice is “Anna’s Boys” by William Michael [Bill] Pezza, BHS ’65.
“It’s an awesome book about small town America; an historical fiction.” They have given copies as gifts to their friends and family.
They really enjoyed the quartet of clean-cut high school chums musical comedy, Forever Plaid at the BRT!
“It might have appeared to go unnoticed,
but I've got it all here in my heart.
I want you to know I know the truth, of course I know it.
I would be nothing without you”.
Bert shared, “Wind Beneath My Wings. That’s my favorite. That’s my wife!”
“Did I ever tell you you're my hero?
You're everything, everything I wish I could be.
Oh, and I, I could fly higher than an eagle,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings,
'cause you are the wind beneath my wings.”
[Italicized lyrics "Wind Beneath My Wings" by Bette Midler]
To recommend a Bristol Borough Character to be spotlighted:
American Heritage Dictionary
1.Moral or ethical strength. 2.A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013 4:00 am
Marita C. Adamson passed away Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at her home.
She was 72.
Born in Philadelphia, the daughter of the late Edward and Catherine Conlin,
she had been a Bristol Borough resident for the past 50 years.
Mrs. Adamson retired from St. Ann School after 22 years of teaching.
She was a den mother to Cub Pack 127; she started and founded the Girls Club of Bristol,
was a Girl Scout Leader and was a Second Grade Prep teacher for St. Ann Church CCD program.
She is survived by her husband, Bert Adamson; nine children, Mark Brehaut (Barbara), Annmarie Cappuccino, (Keith Conrey), Mary Jane Emery (George), Bernadette Perrong, Patty Abdalla (Mike), Joe Adamson (Missy), Michael Adamson (Kim), Matthew Adamson (Brandie), and John Paul Adamson; 18 grandchildren, Andrew (Kali), Mark Thomas, Julieann, Laura Ann (Freeman), Megan Ann, Becca, Kyra, Emma, Alex, Ethan, Liam, David, Nicole, Daniel, Shane, Michael, Matthew and Liana; and one great-grandchild, Callen. She also is survived by a brother, Paul Conlin, a sister, Ann Franzen (Rick); and many beloved nieces, nephews and godchildren. She was preceded in death by her brother, Daniel Conlin, and her sister, Katherine Kirsch.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend her memorial Mass 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at St. Ann Church, Bristol Borough. There will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Margaret R. Grundy Memorial Library, 680 Radcliffe St., Bristol, PA 19007 or St. Mary Cancer Center, 1201 Langhorne-Newtown Road, Suite 1, Langhorne, PA 19047. Wade Funeral Home, Bristol Borough www.wadefh.com
Heaven has another angel! She was the best mother in law a girl could have! Love you mom! May you rest in peace!
Missy Gonzalez Adamson
Condolences to my best friend and her family!!! Mrs. A was truly an amazing person!!! I still remember her science labs from 2nd. She will live on in everyone's life that she touched in her own special way!!! I love you all!!!
So sorry for you and your families loss. She will be missed by many. Thinking of you and the family. Love you
God doesn't tell anyone how long they're going to have on this earth and there's no guarantee that we will be here tomorrow. All we can do is make the most of each and every day, creating lifelong memories of the good times we have with family and friends.
Well tonight we lost one of those individuals responsible for creating a lot of those memories in my childhood life.
Well today we lost her to a better place, but the memories she leaves behind, are the ones that live within each and every one of us that ever grew up or spent time in the Adamson household! Thanks to her, all of those childhood memories were possible... and that's something which will never die.... They will live forever! Rest in peace Mrs. A... Xoxoxo
Ralph DiGuiseppe III
I am so very sorry for your loss.. there just are no words.. your mom was a sweetheart..
My thoughts and prayers are with you, Joe, and your family. I'll never forget in my younger years going to her house after school and doing the many fun activities. Great memories! May God be with you all!