You Shouldn’t Have to Worry About a Structurally Sound Pipeline

June 2016, Vol. 243, No. 6

NEW HOPE, PA–“Jeff,” she whispered huskily into this sleepy head, interrupting a most pleasant dream. “Did you hear something in the room? Do you think it might be Emily?”

“I really don’t know Janet,” I quietly mumbled to my jittery wife, who often awakes at the slightest touch or sound. You’d think that after 11 years of living with me, she’d be used to anything. But no….“Call Ghostbusters or go back to sleep and I’ll check it out in the morning.”

“No,” she answered. “I’m scared. You need to get up right now and properly investigate.”

So I rolled out of our extra deluxe bed in the middle of the night ready to do battle, grabbed  a powerful L.E.D. flashlight I got at the API Pipeline Conference, and went hunting for the ghost of Emily, or any of the other various other apparitions that are said to live in The Logan Inn.

We decided months ago to take a badly needed vacation in touristy New Hope, a small town located on the Delaware River about an hour north of Philadelphia. I really hadn’t done a lot of research when I booked our room at The Logan Inn, a small hotel and tavern built in 1727 by John Wells, New Hope’s founding father. Leave it to my dependable and detail-oriented spouse to do the homework.

We learned that the owners of what was once called the Ferry Tavern gave George Washington and his troops a place to camp, eat, drink and tend to their wounded, while stashing their dead in the basement until winter passed when they could be properly buried. This was when they crossed the Delaware on Christmas night in 1776 and in a surprise attack captured the Hessian mercenaries guarding Trenton, giving the Colonials a badly needed victory

Popular theory suggests that the entities of two Colonial soldiers roam the Logan: one was thought to be dead and carried down to the basement. He awoke, cried for help that no one heard, and succumbed to his wounds. They say he saunters out dressed in full uniform, marching to the beat of a drum, and leaving a cold air pocket after disappearing into the bar, dining room or basement. The second fellow is said to come out on the second floor with only his body showing. Possibly he was beheaded in battle, lore tells us.

The apparition of a Hessian solder either killed in battle or on the tavern’s property is also said to reside in the basement. And we learn that the entity of the notorious Aaron Burr, who often frequented the inn, also comes back to visit in the afterlife.

But it’s the ghost of Emily Lutz that’s concerning us. Our third-floor room is directly over Room 6 where this lady, who was the mother of a previous owner of the inn, resided before dying of old age. They say that her “glowing apparition” has been seen in Room 6, the dining room and ladies bathroom, often wearing a long, old-fashioned dress, preceded by the aroma of lavender. In her room, she likes to adjust the heat, nudge guests and sometimes move their luggage around. An eerie creaking sound emanating from dead spots on our bedroom floor is a bit unnerving. Or maybe I’m just imagining things.

I believe that Emily was in our room and overhead Janet and I discussing the pipeline business, for the next morning, I spoke to the innkeeper who noticed that we were from Houston. Her fiancé happens to be working on an LNG terminal in Australia, and figuring that we might be connected to energy, she asked us about natural gas and pipelines. She lives along the path of the proposed PennEast pipeline which would bring natural gas south from the Marcellus into New Jersey. She’s been getting plenty of misinformation from those opposed to the pipeline, and asked me for clarification.

“Is it dangerous and does that fracking release bad things into the atmosphere?”

“The truth is that you should never have to worry about a properly constructed and maintained pipeline. The industry is heavily regulated and does it best to ensure safety. Once it’s in the ground, you’ll never know it’s there, but the operators will 24/7. They’re also working hard to minimize, if not eliminate, leaks with better materials, inspections and leak detectors,“ I explained.

She seemed relieved by my comments. I hope so. Perhaps thanks to Emily we made a convert.

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