Andrew Hubsch

In 1684, Andrew’s Quaker ancestors arrived to farm their New World acreage, joining a Welsh Tract frontier epic already in progress.  Fully thirteen Pennsylvania generations later, after decades of Main Line residency, Andrew now narrates America’s rich, manifold saga, as it unfurls in this modest, remarkably pivotal locale.

A former journalist and magazine editor, Andrew couples native knowledge with an historian’s discernment for illuminating detail.  The MERION MERCIES series is infused by Andrew’s abiding, blood connection to a region that fostered the nation.  Under his exquisite care, broader events and public lives dovetail with intimate awarenesses.

Take Maria von Trapp and family, Austrian refugees whose post-Sound of Music escape brings them to Merion Station for several years.  There, the adolescent children struggle to adapt:  wearing lederhosen and dirndls to school, while honoring their Tyrolean heritage, makes blending-in difficult.  Harder still, the youngsters become the breadwinners, the family’s wealth forsaken in flight.  Meanwhile, American appliances and measurements prove a further challenge for Maria, beyond exile or mastering a new language.  All else lost, the penniless Baroness wishes but to cook for her husband and adopted brood.  Thankfully, a chance friendship with a German-American hausfrau eases the transition.

For Andrew, these layers of hometown history are present-tense and personal, affirming the continuum between yesterday and today.

The ridgeline Lenni Lenape trail, now blacktop.  The Friends meeting house on the corner, dating from 1695, where he routinely worships.  The stagecoach inn a few doors down, from 1704, where he busses tables as a teen.  His Eagle Scout service project site, Mill Creek, which powers American industry for 200 years before the advent of the steam engine, grinding colonial grain, watermarking Republic currency, manufacturing Deringer pistols and Nippes rifles.  Across the street from his elementary school lives Pennsylvania’s then-governor; meanwhile, on that same school’s playing field, the Commonwealth’s charismatic junior U.S. Senator dies in a plane crash a few years later.

Everywhere, intersections and overlays between eras, between local events and larger, more worldly currents.

The canopied streams and streets carry the echo of sachems, pioneers, enslaved Africans, Founding Fathers, indentured servants, presidents, barons, rail touts, astronauts, laureates, American dreamers.  Deeply imbuing the present, the past resonates in MERION MERCIES.  And though the landscape has been plowed and re-plowed over the centuries, Andrew remains attuned to these places, people, and their stories, a gracious steward tending a vibrant, living history.

As a newsboy for nearly a decade, Andrew delivered the Main Line Times (weekly) and Philadelphia Evening Bulletin (daily), slinging neighborhood papers while riding hands-free on his Sears Free Spirit bike.  All that newsprint seeped into his marrow, and a journalism career followed.  For years, Andrew edited various monthly magazines in England and Stateside before entering the retail end of the Manhattan publishing world, where he launched numerous trade bestsellers as a bookstore manager, national book merchandiser, and online editor.  MERION MERCIES is the fortunate, culminating meridian of this lifetime of personal, professional, and academic experience, all in service of America’s saga.

With his wife, actress Vashti Ramsaroop, Andrew now lives in the Midwest, regularly returning home to his Welsh Tract roots, above the falls of the Schuylkill.