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James Michener, Doylestown Pennsylvania

Today, February 3, is James A. Michener’s birthday.  I’m sure you’ve heard of him.  He’s the guy who wrote more than 40 novels.  You may be wondering what this has to do with overhead or garage doors.  Well… nothing actually.  But Mr. Michener was born in Doylestown Pennsylvania, located just 15 minutes from our shop in Bedminster.  We here at Steich Overhead Doors are proud to serve our Doylestown neighbors for over 30 years.   We love Doylestown and we want to celebrate the birth of one of its native sons in our blog.

james michener doylestown pa

This is an early photograph from Michener’s Pennsylvania years.

Now James Michener is an American treasure, having written large sprawling novels about Hawaii, Texas, Alaska, the Caribbean and many other places.  We are wondering, however, why he didn’t write a saga about his birthplace?  Maybe part of the reason is that he wrote he did not know who his biological parents were or exactly when or where he was born. He claimed he was raised a Quaker by an adoptive mother, Mabel Michener, in Doylestown.

He did graduate from Doylestown High School in 1925 and attended Swarthmore College, just down the road a ways, where he played basketball and graduated with highest honors.  He later taught English at Pottstown, our neighboring borough in Montgomery County.

He attended Colorado State Teachers College (now the University of Northern Colorado), and the school later named the library after him.  I’m thinking we need to start a petition to name something in Montgomery or Bucks County for him.  Maybe if something was named after him, he would have donated more money to this area instead of The University of Texas, where they created the Michener Center For Writers. Seriously, let it be known that he did upon his death in 1997 at age 90 leave most of his estate and the copyrights of his books to Swarthmore College.  There is also the James A. Michener Art Museum located in Doylestown.

Michener served in the US Navy in WWII, spending time in the South Pacific on various missions.  It has been said that he got these missions solely due to the misconception by his base commanders that he was the son of an Admiral of the same name.  Just goes to show you what’s in a name.  That’s why we were thinking of changing our company name to “Michener’s Overhead Doors”.  What do you think?  (Just kidding of course.)

Well, anyway, all his time in the south Pacific led to his first book Tales of the South Pacific.  (Why not Tales of Southeast Pennsylvania we ask?)  You know they turned that book into the Broadway musical and movie “South Pacific”?  We can only guess what that musical would have looked like based on his time spent in his early and formative years in Doylestown.  Mitzi Gaynor singing “Some Enchanted Evening in Bedminster.”

That’s our tribute to Mr. Michener.  We do admire him and don’t want you to think we are poking fun at an American Pulitzer Prize winning author. We are proud to call him a native son and we love living and working in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Next blog…back to things you need to know about your garage and garage door.  And if you live in the area, and need anything garage door related give us a call here at Steich Overhead Doors.  (not Michener).