Posted by: Pam, at RML | May 28, 2020

Ready to go colonial and leave this coronavirus era? The TRAILER is here!

What does a stay-at-home librarian who lives across the lane from the Main Line doyenne of 18th-century domestic arts do with her spare time?

First, you get inspired by someone in your neighborhood because you can’t leave it right now. The “domestic arts diva” is none other than author Clarissa F. Dillon, Ph.D. and you get an idea to follow her over to the 1696 Thomas Massey House where you know she volunteers, tending to the 18th-century garden there. You love history. And wouldn’t it be fun to film Clarissa in the garden and maybe in the house, too? And what a coincidence that Clarissa had taught in Radnor Schools for 24 years!

Life could get interesting here…and there, too.

You remember reading an unforgettable story in The Philadelphia Inquirer about Clarissa, written by Virginia A. Smith titled One Cool Colonial. You hoped she would go along with your idea because you sense how much she loves getting dressed in her “period clothing” as you often see her getting in her car, heading out to a “gig” somewhere. And you noticed it NEVER failed to stop traffic on Buck Lane. You even made a point to cross the street and stare at her from head to toe and giggle a little. You ended up talking about chickens, her pickled purslane, pickled radish pods and her portable still. You just knew that you were two peas in a pod.

So, of course Clarissa said yes!

I told Clarissa I would ask Tom Ellis, my podcast creator of Winsor Room events, if he would be interested in meeting us at the Massey House to film Clarissa as she planted beans. All we needed was a nice day.

Well, weeks later now I have something to show you. I admit I don’t know how many short episodes we will film in the future. We are having so much fun — Clarissa is planning the content– I am calling myself the director and Clarissa is my star.

This is not-for-profit so I pay Clarissa with eggs from my hens and she is happy. In return, I get pickled this and pickled that…and blackberries in syrup for my waffles!

At this point, all we have is this trailer that I learned how to make using Vimeo. I have gained confidence here and have decided to make future videos using my mobile phone. I am still working on the sound…

I hope you will join me “sometime” in June for Episode 1.

I can’t wait for you to travel back in time with me to a beautifully restored 17th-century house where Clarissa is gardening in 18th-century style. But really, I can’t wait to see you again in our real world.

Thank you for watching!

Pamela and Clarissa

Super 8 Trailer: One Cool Colonial: Clarissa Dillon at The 1696 Thomas Massey House (cop (copy) (copy) from Pam at Radnor Memorial Library on Vimeo.


  1. I will be watching! Thank you!


    • Thank you, Lovely Libby, well of course you will, Bryn Mawr alumna! All roads leading me back to Excavating Memory… giving me all sorts of ideas here! xoPam


  2. Looks good!


    • Sara! My precious beta tester…thank you for your input. I love the fact that Emily worked at Massey House. I am already thinking (hoping?) people will come out of the proverbial woodwork here (poplar, I think) to visit with Clarissa and get grubbing in the garden, maybe?


  3. This is so much fun! I look forward to the June installment! So creative, Pam..thanks for all you do to keep us connected! Ellen Epps



    • Ellen, thank you. A labor of love with Clarissa. Need to get back to picture posting soon. But just the thought of going backward in time is very appealing! Hope all is good. xoPam


  4. I can’t wait for the first episode. I love gardening and history. And Clarissa is one cool colonial! I wonder if people who belong to Radnor Library’s “How does Your Garden Grow” group might want to see this.


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