Due to the coronavirus, the last interview I had the opportunity to do face-to-face was in March 2020. In the upcoming weeks, one of the 126 weekly interviews that were previous published will be shared. This story was originally published on Oct. 22, 2017.
Ryan Conroy was born in Phoenixville after his parents moved from Royersford to his great grandparents’ house on High Street. He graduated from the Phoenixville Area High School in 2000. He belongs to the new millennium of “go-getters.” Ryan recalls the revitalization of the Colonial Theater being his first awareness to Phoenixville’s upswing.
Ryan's expertise is writing and photographing his love of history and all things that are connected. He is currently the chairman of the Historical Society of the Phoenixville Area. He is the society’s media guy. The society is known for its walking tours throughout the town. Quarterly meetings are open to the public. The society is housed in the old Central Church at Church and Main streets. For research and browsing, it is open Wednesday and Fridays from 9-3 and the first Sunday of the month from 1-4 p.m., along with being open for “First Fridays.”
A funny twist is Ryan from Phoenixville and his girlfriend, Marissa met at a St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Jim Thorpe, Pa. It seems Marissa was about to move to Phoenixville from Bridgeport Pa. So that fateful day 3½ years ago blossomed. They live with their two cats, Sadie & Blue, near his parents. Also, living on the “north side” is sister Brittany and her family.
Active in many of the town’s events along with checking out the eateries and breweries, it is an easy walk over the “high bridge” into town. With all things going on in his life, he finds time to go to work for Lockheed Martin in King of Prussia.
Ryan is very proud of his ethnic background of Polish-German-Irish-with a little Hungarian thrown-in. He is very active in the Polish Club — living across the street from the facility. He recalls the good food he found in his family’s kitchen while growing-up and the time he spent there. The house was filled with multi-generations of family. The kitchen offered a variety of foods — especially Polish and German.
RED BEET EGGS
(For 3 dozen in one-gallon jar)
3 doz. hard-boiled eggs
3 cans sliced red beets
sweet onions (optional)
black pepper (optional)
Hard boil eggs & allow to cool. Pour enough sugar in jar so that it just covers the bottom (about ½” to ¾”). Pour in just enough very hot water to dissolve sugar – stir until water is clear. Add contents of two can of sliced beets along with the juice of third can. Toss in a pinch or two of whole cloves – add vinegar to taste. Usually pour some vinegar in & start tasting it; it is good when it’s still kind of sweet, but at the same time it gives you a “twist in your jaw” (you’ll know when you taste it). If adding onions, slice them very thin & toss them in mixture.
Add all the peeled hard-boiled eggs you can fit in the jar (should fill to the top) – if there is space add remaining red beets from third can. Seal top place in refrigerator. If you are using a tightly sealed gallon jar – place the jar in the refrigerator upside-down for the first day then flip it upright on the second day & continue to keep upright until the day of serving. Usually should soak for at least three days.
UPDATE: Ryan and Marissa were married in 2018 and bought a house in Royersford in 2019. Sadly, Marissa passed away in May of 2020 from her valiant battle with cancer. Ryan is thankful that he and Marissa were able to spend the time they had together. He asks that this article be dedicated in her honor. Ryan is still on the board at the Phoenixville historical society and now also on the board at Spring-Ford Area Historical Society.