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Monday, January 23, 2012


SWEET KNOWLEDGE--Early last year, decided to complete my Masters Degree. I’m one course short. By chance, I discovered an institution of higher learning based in Pennsylvania that would enroll me with little or no advance notice. Since PA is home state to my wife’s mom and my dad, we decided to combine higher education with vacation time.

Ahead is a short digression: Because my father was an orphan, losing his parents illnesses pandemic to rural coal mining areas of Pennsylvania in the 1920s, he seldom spoke about his childhood. But before I launched into family reunion chatter, we fortified ourselves with a visit to Hershey, PA, a quaint town where the Hershey’s chocolates are made. Chocolate being the number one on our food group pyramid. In fact, our family crest is in Latin and roughly translated is kindly pass the Reese’s pieces.

Meanwhile, first day of class at Hershey’s University, proved to be our last. The post-graduate program there is only an hour long. Time flies when you’re on the grounds of the famous chocolate factory. If you pass the class, which is basically a hand to lips chocolate tasting course, you will have your Masters Degree (see image).

Frivolity aside, one of the serious sidebars of visiting Hershey, PA is knowing that the Hershey chocolates factory founder gave virtually all of his fortune and name to creating the Milton Hershey School, a free boarding school K-12 for financially strapped families. The co-educational school was founded in 1918 and operates today in Hershey, PA with 2,000 students on campus.

Orphans make up a large part of the enrollment. The school provides them with a world-class education, meals, clothing, a nurturing home, health care, counseling and career training for all. Dad would have loved it there.

A wonderful filmmaker, Catherine Wade made a documentary at the 100th anniversary of the founding of the school. It’s an hour long but I’ve only gone three minutes into the film without crying. Please view as much as you can. Click following address into your search engine:

Hershey’s Chocolate World (factory tour):
Hershey Gardens:
Hotel Hershey:
Milton Hershey School: www.mhs-pa-org/

Captions: Hershey Gardens in winter. I figured anyone can show a summer shot, but in San Diego we need to remember snow. Alumni reunion hug at Milton Hershey School, 2010 and Hotel Hershey (Marriott: 4 stars).

Credits: This blog was based on a blog feature that first appeared on San Diego Home/Garden Lifestyles website: www.

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