Stinky is waiting by the teleportation tunnel for Periwinkle’s arrival. He’s made certain neither Raleigh nor any of the other Kitties Blue are camped out inside. He doesn’t want a repeat of Periwinkle’s last arrival. He doesn’t have to wait long for Periwinkle to come tumbling out into his waiting paws. After several minutes of whisker kissing, Stinky takes Periwinkle’s paw and leads her back into the tunnel. She doesn’t even have the opportunity to ask him where they are going.
When they arrive at their destination and leave the tunnel, Periwinkle is happy Stinky has told her to dress warmly. “Wow, Stinky, it is really cold here. We could have saved this adventure for a warmer day. By the way, where are we?”
Arriving in Philadelphia
Stinky replies, “We are in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I am sorry it is so cold. It is going to warm up to 48 degrees today, but I know that’s cold for you. Today is Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, and as we’ve never been here before, I thought we should check out the places that were meaningful in his life.”
“Is this where he was born?” Periwinkle asks.
“No, Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1706. However, where we are standing, which is called Franklin Court, is where his house stood while he was serving in the Continental Congress. And it is where he died in 1790. The steel “ghost structure” behind us outlines the footprint and design of his home.”
“I wish the house was still here. It would have been fun to go inside,” remarks Periwinkle.
“We’ll get to visit the inside of many of the buildings we’ll visit today. We need to visit Carpenter’s Hall next,” Stinky tells Periwinkle.
“This was the site of the First Continental Congress. It also once was home to Franklin’s Library Company and the American Philosophical Society (APS) founded in 1743. They are now located elsewhere in Philadelphia. The Library Company served as the nation’s original subscription library. And the purpose of APS was ‘to promote useful knowledge.’ It now exists next to Independence Hall and serves as a library and museum.”
“Are we going to Independence Hall?”
“Yes, Periwinkle, Let’s head there now.”
As the tabbies enter the building, Stinky tells her that Independence Hall was originally known as the Pennsylvania State House. They find two rooms on the main floor. On the east side is Assembly Room, where the colonial legislature and Continental Congress met. Stinky tells Periwinkle, “This is where the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution were signed.”
“Wow, that was a pretty big deal. It gives me goose bumps to realize I am standing in the room where those important things occurred” says Periwinkle.
After looking around, they head to the other side of the building to what was the courtroom for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Stinky informs Periwinkle, “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court met here throughout the 1700s. The building was nearly demolished in the early 19th century, but it was purchased by the city of Philadelphia and preserved.” Stinky then suggests they head back outside and visit Christs Church Burial Ground where Mr. Franklin and his wife Deborah are buried.
Christs Church Burial Ground
“Why are all those pennies on Franklin’s grave?” asks Periwinkle.
“People toss them there for good luck,” Stinky tells her.
“The sounds kind of silly to me, but I guess if I had a penny I’d do the same,“ Periwinkle replies. “By the way, where is the church?” she asks Stinky.
“It’s a few blocks away. Let’s go there now,” Stinky replies.
“Stinky, please get down. It is cold out here, and I want to go inside. I really thought you were going to behave yourself, as you hadn’t tried to climb on anything else.”
Stinky doesn’t say anything but jumps down and takes Periwinkle’s paw to take her into the church.
“I am definitely happy to be inside again where it is warm. And this is really a beautiful church. What can you tell me about?” asks Periwinkle.
Stinky explains that Christs Church was founded in 1695 and was the first parish of the Church of England in Pennsylvania. The current building was constructed between 1727 and 1744. The chandelier has been in use since it was installed in 1740. The bells were brought from England in 1754. The baptismal font is from 1300 and was donated by All Hallows-by-the-Tower Church in London. Franklin and his family worshiped here and had their own reserved pew—#70.
After looking around a bit more, Stinky suggests that they make their way to their last stop of the day—the Liberty Bell.
The Liberty Bell
Stinky tells Periwinkle a little about the bell. “The Liberty Bell was originally at the Pennsylvania State House (Independence Hall). The original bell was ordered in 1751 from the Whitechapel Foundry in London. That bell cracked on the first test ring. It was melted down here in Philadelphia and cast into this new bell. No one recorded when or why this new bell cracked. It’s thought that a narrow split developed in the early 1840s after almost 90 years of use. The city decided to repair the bell in 1846 prior to George Washington’s birthday holiday. The wide “crack” you see in the Liberty Bell is the repair job. It was created using a method called “stop drilling.” Unfortunately the repair was unsuccessful. The bell never rang again. The inscription on the bell reads, “Proclaim Liberty Throughout All the Land Unto All the Inhabitants thereof.”
“Stinky, this has been a great trip. I really enjoyed seeing all these places, and once again I learned a lot.”
“I’m happy you enjoyed yourself. Are you ready to head back to my house for a snack and a visit with my fursibs?”
“Oh, yes. Let’s go,” replies Periwinkle.
Stinky takes Periwinkle’s paw and they enter the teleportation tunnel.
After arriving at Stinky’s house, the tabbies enjoy a snack.
When they finish, Periwinkle visits with Stinky’s fursibs. Finally it is time for her to return home. The two share lots of whisker kisses and paw hugs. Then with a wave, Periwinkle enters the teleportation tunnel and is gone in a whoosh.
Stinky heads to the bedroom to nap in a sunpuddle and dream about Periwinkle.