April 30, 2007. We did not publish a Benton News Sunday, and so we missed wishing Laurie Kline Lamoreaux a happy birthday. Happy anniversary today to Howard and Nancy Leh, Central. We have had great difficulty in uploading a web page from our travels in North Carolina, and although we succeeded Monday night in finding a way of doing it, we are not at all sure if our efforts will last long. We apologize for the inconvenience, and appreciate the hundreds of emails telling us that things were not right.
The smallest town in the United States is here in North Carolina, a town incorporated in 1924 so that two brothers could shoot dogs that bothered their chickens, although it was also true that Duke Power Company would only bring electricity to incorporated areas. Anyway, in the exact middle of the town was a chicken incubator, situated somewhat like Laporte in the exact middle of Sullivan County. The square town is called Dellview, 37 or so miles west of the Charlotte Airport, with each side of the square 1,500 feet long. At one time, the population of the town was down to one--and she was the Mayor, the police chief and a member of the town board.
For four days we have been going up and down hills to find a stage where the specific performer we wanted to hear was performing, and by Sunday evening when MerleFest 2007 ended we noticed that the stairs got a lot steeper, our knapsacks got heavier and all events were farther away. Everything is stretched out from last year, something done when no one was looking. But when I commented on it, nobody else seemed to believe me.
Many of the performances were given at an audio level where the few people my age who attended could not hear. When I asked about it, the smart "A double" just mouthed a reply. Entertainers who used to be my age now seem much younger than I am. Many didn't even recognize me, and I have known for years who they were.
Marcia Kay and I head away from Wilkesboro, North Carolina, this morning, and we hope we don't run into the kind of drivers we encountered coming down. Watching the rear-view mirror, I saw cars swerving all over the road. Those drivers just drive entirely too fast.
It is hard to figure what the world is coming to. Look at clothes. I buy everything oversized and yet things fit much too tight. An "XL" must have been redefined when they started bringing in clothes from China, what with all those smaller people and all.
A reader asked how I sent out the Benton News in email from North Carolina. I normally use Microsoft Outlook. The wireless signal that I can occasionally find hiccups when I try to send email. I have explained the reason before, but basically my local provider, EPIX, requires the outgoing SMTP to be correctly configured. If the user is using an ISP other than EPIX, it is necessary to use the correct outgoing SMTP of that ISP. The ISP here in North Carolina does not provide their outgoing SMTP.
If you use a desktop email software to manage your email, you might want to consider web-based email. As the name implies, webmail is a way to send, receive and manage email via the internet. Instead of using traditional email software resident on your computer, you go to a website, login, and do your email by way of your browser.
Webmail is both secure and offers everything that a desktop email program offers--an address book, customized folders, spell check. Webmail has no software to install or maintain, which eliminates a possible source of spyware and virus attacks. Webmail saves space on the hard drive, since all email folders are stored online with the webmail provider.
With webmail, email is completely independent of your ISP--choose a new Internet provider and keep your webmail address. You can access it from any computer in the world with an internet connection. With webmail, you can check or send email at the library, the coffee shop, a hotel, or a friend's house.
You must be online to use webmail. You can't download all your mail, disconnect, and then read messages or compose replies offline. Some webmail providers allow you to connect to your account with a POP3 (regular desktop) email client. Webmail doesn't have extras like stationery, email templates, a dictionary or special formatting features. Free web-based email is worth what you pay for it, especially in the areas of storage limits and availability.
The three most popular webmail providers are Hotmail, Yahoo Mail and GMail. Hotmail offers a maximum of 1GB of storage and a maximum attachment size of 10MB. For an additional $19.95 a year, you can raise your storage limits to 4GB with a 20MB attachment size. Yahoo Mail provides 1GB storage and 10MB attachments. You can upgrade to 2GB and 20MB for attachments for $19.99 per year. Google's GMail service offers 2.8GB of storage and 10MB attachments. EPIX, a popular ISP in the local area, provides webmail, which is the only way that I can currently send the Benton News.
Webmail may not be ideal for dialup users, but it's easy to use and easily accessible. It gives you access to your email from anywhere. At the moment, it is the only reason that you can read the Benton News.
Saturday, April 28, 2007.
The fourth annual Village Sampler and Fun Auction is Sunday at the Benton fire hall. Food will be featured from local restaurants from 4-6 PM. The auction starts at 6. The restaurants participating include Creekside Family Restaurant, the Hoboken Sub Shop, Market Square Restaurant, the Old Filling Station and The Old Filling Station Catering, Kristi's Kafé, the Central Park Hotel, Red Rock Country Store, Strevig's Catering and Strevig's at VFW, Benton Women's Club and Pepsi of Berwick. To buy tickets, visit the thrift shop on Route 487 or by calling 925-6972 or 925-0163.
Ruth Diltz, Hughesville, has a marriage license for a John M. Scott, Wilkes-Barre, to Blanche Laubach, Benton. The couple was married at Wilkes-Barre on September 20, 1920, by C. B. Klinetob. Ruth is puzzled why the document was in her attic. Can anyone help?
• Secretary of Agriculture, Dennis C. Wolff, Millville, was confirmed by the state Senate this week.
• Don't get overly excited when you hear about Benton Township and an effort on the part of filmmaker Paul Sorvino to create a film production studio at the former Corning Inc. site in that township. Remember that there is a second Benton Township in the state--in Lackawanna County. Mr. Sorvino finished filming The Trouble with Cali in January in Lackawanna County.
• We continue to pull our hair out by its roots over our inability to deliver a useful web page or send email or receive cell phone calls while we are here in North Carolina.
• Wilson Ferguson, Lake Makoma, will speak on the history of Eagles Mere at the May 21 meeting of the North Mountain Historical Society.
Lake Makoma was created in 1888 as a tourist attraction to rival the developing resort at Eagles Mere. These hopes were dashed during a flood in November, 1926, when a 35-foot section of the earthen dam washed out, leaving a stump-filled Sullivan County bog with a stream flowing through it. New investors bought the assets of the Lake Makoma Company in 1927 and bought additional land, reconstructed the dam, drilled a deep well for a lake area water system, and began to aggressively sell lots. Older cottages at the lake date from these actions of the "New Lake Makoma Co." Several cottage owners created the Lake Makoma Association in 1958, sold shares, bought the lake and the remaining unsold land. The Lake Makoma association is managed by a board of directors elected by shareholders. Lake Makoma is 27 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, via Route 220.
One of the stories out of the MerleFest came by way of by David Powell, Bethesda, Maryland. Some readers may remember David from when he flew his airplane to the Benton Airport to attend the O.A.T.S. Festival a few years back, then slept overnight under the wing of the airplane. David brought his new girlfriend with him on that trip. When she fully grasped that their accommodations for the night would be outside on the grass of the airfield, she concluded that the grass would be greener elsewhere and David now flies alone.
David attended one of the harmonizing workshops on a stage at the MerleFest, one in which seven singers sang together in perfect pitch. After the thunderous sound of the applause subsided, a guy at stage right came to the microphone and announced to the audience that since the audience was attending a workshop the performers would take questions from the audience. Someone in the audience blurted out, "Yeah, what exactly is harmony? What is a chord?"
One of the seven singers volunteered to answer the question by saying something to the effect that harmony is where "you sing one note and then you sing another note that goes along really well with that note." The man who asked the question then inquired, "well, how do you know what note?"
From the stage came the reply that "well, there are two notes and they sound good together and sometimes there is a third note that sounds good together, too" and somebody else said "that's a chord" and somebody else asked "what makes a good chord?" The stage response was that "I was born in the Primitive Baptist Church, so I don't know a thing about chords." Each person on the stage admitted they didn't know anything about chords or harmony and over the next few minutes it became perfectly obvious to the entire audience that the singers didn't know a thing about music--but golly could they sing!
In fact, what the immensely talented singers had learned were shape notes, a system of music notations designed to make congregational singing easier. Shape notes in various forms have been used for several hundred years for singing sacred music in the Southern United States. Many feel that shape notes can be learned more quickly and easily if the music is printed in shapes that match up with the "solfege" syllables with which the notes of the musical scale are sung. Solfege is a technique for the teaching of sight-singing in which each note of the score is sung to a special syllable, called a "solfege syllable" (or "sol-fa syllable"). The seven syllables normally used for this practice are: Do, Re, Mi, Fa, So (or Sol), La, and Ti (or Si).
I'm tard! (Tard is Southern for "pooped out, tired." Friday at the MerleFest, the first show on the 13 different stages began at 9:30 in the morning and the last show was scheduled to end at 12:05 this morning. There were 70 different shows during the morning and afternoon hours with 39 in the evening. The best known artists were on the main stage.
April 27, 2007. It is Arbor Day. Birthdays today include Bea McMichael and Charles Wodrig, both of Stillwater. Bill and Carla Lee celebrate their wedding anniversary. There are 55 days until the official start of summer.
The potential for a bomb threat was enough to call out a bomb-sniffing dog and the police Thursday at the Benton Area Middle/High School. Nothing of an actual threat nature was found following a search of the school and of incoming backpacks.
Something like 3,204 people live in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. So what happens when another 85,000 people show up and clog up the telephone circuits, the internet, cable television, the highways, the restaurants? Don't ask! If you tried to get on the Benton News web site Thursday, you'll understand. If you are waiting for an email from me, you'll understand.
I sat in the rain Thursday night at the MerleFest listening to the magic sounds of the Cherryholmes Family, one of the fine groups coming to the O.A.T.S. Festival in June of this year. The family came out of poverty in Southern California to the top of the bluegrass field in what seemed like months. The IBMA 2005 "Entertainer of the Year," Cherryholmes has been taking the bluegrass world by storm. Starting with the bald-headed father with a Richard Savage beard, the remarkable father, mother and four children (ages 14 to 22) travel throughout the United States an average of 300 days a year in their vintage 1960 GM 4104 bus/home.
Caleb Bradham was known as Doc because he liked to whip up remedies in his pharmacy in New Bern, North Carolina. He made tonics for problems with coughs, constipation, dog mange and cramps and in his drugstore soda fountain he came up with refreshing drinks for his customers that he created himself. His most popular beverage was something he called "Brad's drink," made of carbonated water, sugar, vanilla, rare oils, pepsin and cola nuts, something that he thought would make him rich.
His customers liked "Brad's drink," created in the summer of 1893, so he decided to turn over the drugstore to an assistant and hit the road peddling the syrup he used for his new drink. He paid $100 for the rights to use the name Pep Kola and within ten years the drink was sold in 24 states and Doc was a rich man. In 1902, he officially formed the company in the back room of his pharmacy, and applied to the U.S. Patent Office for a trademark. The year 1903 was a good year for the company following the introduction of the slogan, ""Exhilarating, Invigorating, Aids Digestion." By 1907, the company was selling more than 100,000 gallons of syrup per year.
Doc's problems began shortly after World War I when the price of sugar hit the roof. He invested in sugar just before the price dropped by a fourth and he lost his company and had to return to work in the pharmacy. The company went bankrupt in 1923. The formula and the rights to the use of the name were bought up during receivership. Sold a few times, the drink began appearing again in the 1930s after Doc had passed away. The pharmacy that Doc owned is now known as Hearnes' Jewelry Store and a plaque on the building identifies it as the birthplace of the drink that was renamed Pepsi Cola in 1898 after the pepsin and cola nuts used in the recipe.
The Loft Candy Company bought Pepsi Cola in 1931, but didn't do well with the product and even offered to sell it to rival Coca-Cola, who refused to bid on the company.
In 2007, PepsiCo during their first quarter increased revenue 19% and operating profit 29% in their international division and the stock appears to be an excellent long-term investment in the consumer product sector. PepsiCo International's results were up 13% increase in snack volume and a 7% increase in beverage volume. Overall, PepsiCo increased revenue and operating profit 9% on 4% overall volume growth. The company owns familiar brands Dole, Quaker, and Tropicana.
April 25, 2007. Happy birthday today to Alan Lamoreaux and Nathan Schlichter and a happy wedding anniversary to Frank and Sylvia Vincent.
People have been asked for years to count the "Fs," but in case you have never done it here comes a quiz. We'll give you the answer at the end. Simply count every "F" in the following text:
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE
SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTI
FIC STUDY COMBINED WITH
THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS...
Yesterday morning as I huffed and puffed around the hills near Blowing Rock, North Carolina, a town at nearly 4,000 feet of elevation, I thought that the next time I am recycled I should start out dead, move toward an old-age home feeling more like a spring chicken every day until they told me to hit the road because of my excellent health. I would spend years kicking back to see places as wonderful as the hills of North Carolina, eventually taking in a pension, after being a productive member of the work force working long enough for everyone to say "what a fine fellow he is" and then really enjoy my retirement with a small dose of promiscuity, alcohol and jobs that don't amount to a hill of beans. I would work hard all through my college and primary school days, become a kid with no responsibilities other than an occasional lawn mowing, ending up as a baby full of knowledge and wisdom and maybe for the first time in as long as memory serves someone will look at me and say "isn't the little bugger cute."
As I walk around the hills of North Carolina, I came across some neat tee shirts, including these...
• Reintarnation is coming back to life as a hillbilly.
• It's bass kicking time.
• Paddle faster--I hear banjo music.
• Beware! Dog can't hold his licker.
I am writing today from Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the home of Tysons Food and Lowe's and the once-a-year home of the Merlefest. If Wilkesboro sounds vaguely familiar, it could be that you remember reading once upon a time about the story of two lovers, Tom and Ann. Ann was 14 at the time, so it caused a stir. Tom went away to war and while he was away the beautiful Ann Foster married James Melton. When Tom came back from the war, he and Ann resumed their relationship, although Ann remained with her husband. Meanwhile, Tom took a hankering, as they say around here, for Ann's first cousin, Laura Foster.
Laura suddenly disappeared. Meanwhile, Tom decided that a fast trip to Tennessee was in order, but he was soon found and returned to the Wilkes County jail until Laura was found in a shallow grave with a knife piercing her heart. Some suspected that it was Ann who did the dastardly deed.
But Tom was the one who went to trial. He was defended by a viscous and usually very victorious lawyer named Vance, a Zeb Vance, former Governor of the state. With little to go on except circumstantial evidence, Tom was found guilty and in front of 3,000 friends and neighbors was hanged on May 1, 1868, shortly after the end of the Civil War.
Eventually, syphilis was narrowed down as the probable reason for the murder, and it wasn't long until Tom, Laura, Ann, James and a woman who lived with Ann became infected with the disease for which at that time there was no cure. If this was the reason for the murder, it was probable that Tom Dula got it from Laura, who shared it with others.
No one got the Benton News in those days, so the story began to spread by ballad and slowly evolved from a tragic story until the Kingston Trio got their hands on it in 1959 and turned it into The Legend of Tom Dooley. The old Wilkes Jail is now a museum, but is still a popular destination for the folk music set who only know the Kingston Trio version of how those events unfolded.
If you counted three "Fs" during the quiz that you took at the top of the page, congratulations, you fail. The same applies if you counted four "Fs." There are six F's. If you are still having problems, we'll help you in the last paragraph of this posting.,
Here in the south, a typical breakfast consists of frying pork in some manner, then combining the pork with eggs, grits, a hot biscuit and coffee. In fact, I noticed that the Mason-Dixon line seemed to be the divide between warm toast or cold bread and a hot biscuit. In fact, making good biscuits is a characteristic of a Southern cook, along with her ability to fry a chicken, and boil rice and a good cup of coffee.
Here in the hills of North Carolina, cold bread is only served to someone not liked. When I asked for bread at lunch recently, I was handed a loaf of cornbread which is sometimes also called "johnny cakes." When the cornbread is wrapped in corn husks and baked in hot ashes, it is called "corn pone."
The brain has difficult processing "OF." If you didn't find the six "Fs," take another look at the word "of."
April 25, 2007. Happy birthday to Janet Kriebel and Rebecca DePoe. Happy anniversary to John and Charlotte Sibly.
The Village Sampler and Fun Auction is rapidly approaching--April 29 starting at 4 in the afternoon at the Benton Area Fire Hall. A listing of the majority of items has been published in the Benton News. The people who attend will get the chance to bid on the first, the only, LIFETIME FAMILY MEMBERSHIP to the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center. This will be membership NUMBER ONE. A family membership will cost $399 annually, so here is your chance to save some big money and have the satisfaction of knowing you bought the very first membership to our new center. A family is defined as parents and dependent children. Of course, two adults without children (yet) would also quality. The winning bidder will have until May 4, 2007, to complete the purchase.
Only 300 tickets are available. Tickets for the sampling of food and the auction are $10 each.
Allison Deitrick, daughter of Rod and Tiffany Deitrick, Pine Grove Mills, turned 2 on Sunday, April 29. She is the granddaughter of Buck and Judy McHenry, Stillwater, and the late Robert and Jean Deitrick, Benton. Allison has three siblings: Taylor, 12; Ryan, 11; and Jenna, 3.
The word "Supper" somehow dates back to the word "soup," and in our early history meant little more than some soup and a piece of bread eaten just before retiring.
Most of what I know about church suppers comes from the "eating side" rather than the "preparing side," but this article isn't from my usual perspective of eating. It is about the ladies and the men--all volunteers--who assemble in the basement of white-steepled churches, and peal potatoes and mix up the vegetables and make the cole slaw and take the cranberry sauce out of the containers and put the pork roast in to bake. It means numerous varieties of pies and several versions of cakes.
The men arrange long white tables in some sort of rational order that varies with the event. The Lions or Kiwanis Club when they meet in a church, for example, might get a set-up in a "U" shape, while a meal following a funeral might take the shape of long, neatly arranged rows to facilitate consoling conversation. A "church supper" takes whatever form will hold the most people while allowing the servers and the eaters to move about the room in a safe manner.
Biscuit dough gets rolled, the chickens basted frequently, meat neatly carved into perfect rows, huge pots of coffee turned on at exactly the right moment, the gravy bubbles up and the flavors began to simmer and the smells of country cooking spreads throughout the building and out the open windows.
The kitchen that is the nerve center of the meal is usually far from modern, and by some standards isn't even as functional as it could be. Well, true, the sink can take three men doing the dishes at the same time, and there is still plenty of room for conversation and laughter and the satisfaction of friends working together. The scene is like it could have taken place years ago. In fact, the women of the church have been putting on events like this for generations, including what once were called "penny dinners," similar to the event attended by my parents at the Central M.E. Church a few days before I was born, a meal, I am told, that consisted of ham and eggs and meat loaf. The churches over the years have put on buckwheat cake and sausage suppers, turkey suppers, oyster suppers, picnic suppers, and a whole lot more. Many begin at 3 in the afternoon, following the practice started in this country during the American Revolution of eating the evening meal between 2 and 4 so that the farmers could attend and still get the evening chores finished. They would then have their "supper" when they retired, a "pick-me-up" of soup and some bread.
You may have recognized that we were writing about the local Christian Church, but the same applies to all the other churches of the area, such as the monthly (open to the public) breakfasts put on by the local Methodist church. This past weekend, for example, chicken barbecue was served at Zion UCC Church, and a secular version of a church dinner--one prepared by volunteers from local fire companies--took place with roast beef served at the Lightstreet Volunteer Fire Co., ham at the Fairmount Township Fire and Ambulance Co., and fish at the Sugarloaf Memorial School Building. The yearly supper at Waller started out as a fish supper and has migrated into a ham supper.
Feeding people as an aid to the community is part and parcel of living in rural Pennsylvania, whether the main course is fried chicken, baked ham, chicken and dumplings, or pork and sauerkraut. The church supper possibly originated from meals during the earliest days of the harvest when during the summer beef and pork would go bad in a day, chicken in a few hours, and milk would curdle in an hour. The Indians actually played a part in church suppers, since Indians introduced colonists to new and more interesting foods, including succotash, clam chowder, hominy, corn pone, cranberry sauce, even baked beans. In Virginia, the Indians came up with what became Smithfield ham. Many of these items are staples of a church supper to this day.
A version of the church supper came along with the box-lunch era which both made money and roped in a boyfriend or girlfriend to boot. The young, eligible women of the church would learn their mother's time-honored recipes, then pack up servings of food for two in a box, then auction off the box to the highest bidder with the church getting the proceeds and the young lady often ending up marrying the young man lucky enough to have the amount of money needed to be the high bidder.
Within the Amish community, men and boys often gathered to raise a barn, while the women would gather to throw a lavish feast for the hungry men. Here in the North Carolina hills where we are camping, people tell me that turkey pot pie suppers are popular for the church suppers, while east of this area toward the Atlantic Ocean fried oyster and ham dinners have traditionally been popular. No matter the location, the servers are always friendly, the portions ample and well prepared. The chances are that you will never go wrong when you pull up in front of a hand-lettered sign that proclaims "church supper tonight."
April 24, 2007. Happy birthday to David Laubach and happy anniversary to Donald and Dottie Rabb.
Wayne E. Fink (April 21, 1946-April 22, 2007) died Sunday at his Elmdale Road home in Benton, following a brief illness. He was 61. Born in Berwick, he was a son of the late Willard and Clara Mae (Learn) Fink. He was educated in Benton Schools and attended the Benton United Methodist Church. He and his wife, Patti L. (Smith) Fink, would have celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary on June 10. Wayne was employed as a service man for Deacon Equipment, Buckhorn, and was a former owner of Finky’s Welding with his son. Wayne also worked at the Little Lumber Company and was an original owner of the Benton Sports Center. Surviving are his wife, Patti, and their two children, Brian W. Fink (Jennifer), Tunnelton, Indiana, and Brenda May (Ron), Hanover Twp. There are four grandchildren and a brother, Eugene Fink, Jonestown. A visitation will take place Thursday, April 26, at 5 PM at the Benton United Methodist Church with a memorial services following at 6 PM at the Church. A fellowship meal will follow the services in the Church Social Hall. Burial will be in the Raven Creek Cemetery at the convenience of the Family.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Benton. The Tuesday Press Enterprise will carry the complete obituary.
St. James Church, Bendertown is having their Annual Yard Sale, Saturday, May 26. from 8-2, serving hot dogs, soup, beef BBQ. Also featuring a bake sale and homemade ice cream--Vanilla, Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Red Raspberry. Yard sale tables are available for $10 inside or outside. Call 925-5486 or 864-3001 to reserve a table or place an advance ice cream order.
A study recently conducted by the Agricultural Research Service, USDA, confirmed that a kitchen sponge can harbor some pretty nasty things--things like foodborne pathogens, yeasts and molds. The ARS tested different methods for reducing risks from harmful microbes hiding in reused sponges.
They created very dirty sponges by soaking them at room temperature for 48 hours in a solution made from ground beef and lab growth medium to attain a high level of microbes (20 million per sponge).
They then treated each sponge as an average housewife might treat her sponge, by either soaking the sponges for three minutes in a 10% chlorine bleach solution, soaking in lemon juice or deionized water for one minute, heating in a microwave for one minute, run in a dishwasher operating with a drying cycle--or left untreated.
Between 37 and 87% of bacteria-- enough bacteria to potentially cause disease--were killed on sponges soaked in the 10% bleach solution, lemon juice or deionized water--and those left untreated.
Microwaving sponges killed 99.99999 percent of bacteria present on them, while dishwashing killed 99.9998 percent of bacteria. Sponges treated in a microwave oven or dishwasher were found to harbor less than 1 percent (0.00001%). Between 6.7 and 63% of yeasts and molds survived on sponges soaked in bleach, lemon juice, deionized water or left untreated. Microwave heating and dishwashing with a drying cycle proved to be the most effective methods for inactivating bacteria, yeasts and molds on sponges. These simple and convenient treatments can help ensure that contaminated sponges don't spread food borne pathogens around household kitchens of today's busy families.
A strike of a disruptive nature could affect summer classes at Bloomsburg University and other state universities as the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties expires June 30. A vote scheduled for later this week will determine whether a strike is called
The Alumni Banquet/Program is Saturday, May 26, 2007, in the high school cafeteria/auditorium.
April 23, 2007. Happy anniversary today to Jack and Nancy Laurer. Birthdays on this date include poet and playwright William Shakespeare, 1564; 15th U.S. President James Buchanan, 1791; and Illinois politician Stephen Douglas, 1813. Today is the feast day of St. George, the patron saint of England.
Buster, our male Bichon, loves this ditty by an unknown writer and asked us to reprint it...
There once was a feisty young terrier,
Who liked to bite girls on the derrière.
He'd yip and he'd yap,
Then he'd leap up and snap;
And the fairer the derrière, the merrier.
Some may laugh, of course, when I say that we are camping in the south. After all, if you live in Alabama or Georgia or someplace that is "really" south, Virginia may seem like a place that is really north. But from Back Home in Benton, PA, we are really in the south--well, at least in the south side of the Old Dominion State. It is very southern here, much more southern than the part of North Carolina we'll be in tomorrow or the part of Tennessee we'll be in next week. It is much more southern than eating in Antonine's or Galatoire's or Brennan's in New Orleans.
We judge all this, of course, by listening to the people talk their "propah" talk when they tell us where to find the Cracker Barrel Restaurant, where we can rip into a mess of grits for breakfast Monday. And speaking of breakfast Monday, don't forget to head up Pelican way for the North Mountain Historical Society breakfast with featured speaker Robert Webster.
Robert Allen Burkhart (July 14, 1965- April 21, 2007) died Saturday at his Berwick home at 1670 S. R. 93. He was 41. Born in Muncy, he was a son of Ralph Burkhart, Jr. and Martha J. ( Adams) Gower, Orangeville. Robert was employed by K Fab, Berwick. Surviving, in addition to his mother, are a son, David, and a daughter, Tonya; a sister, Candy Jo Boccardo, Stillwater, a brother, Daniel Burkhart, Delaware, and his maternal grandmother, Sarah Ford, Benton. He was preceded in death by twin sisters in 1977. Private graveside services will be held at the convenience of the family under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc,. Benton.
April 22, 2007. It is the birthday of Jeff Kelsey and Theresa Hilley and the wedding anniversary of Frank and Barbara Edson.
On this date in...
• 1864, the U.S. Congress mandated that all coins minted as U.S. currency bear the inscription "In God We Trust." The action was taken by the Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, who received many appeals during the Civil War urging that the United States recognize the Deity on United States coins.
• 1913, The Times of London advocated a change in the construction and maintenance of roads. The paper noted that a reasonable average width of a main road was 18 feet, but wheels of vehicles using the roads touched only about 6 inches of the surface. To save resurfacing expenses for the entire 18 foot width, the paper offered the solution that roads be laced with four plates (two in each direction) to take the wear from the wheels.
• 1970, future presidential candidate Henry Ross Perot, Dallas, reportedly lost $450 million in the stock market.
• 1985, researchers from Washington and Lee University concluded that Martha Washington was worth 29,650 pounds when she and George were married, about $5.9 million in today's dollars.
• It is hard to believe that over 50 years ago today the televised Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began. In 1964 on this date President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair. The 37th president, Richard M. Nixon, 81, died on this date at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke.
We heard that a local man called the Bloomsburg barracks of the Pennsylvania State Police and told them that he needed his "finger printed." That reminded me of the story about the elderly couple who ate at another couple's house. After they ate, the wives left the table and went into the kitchen. The two gentlemen were talking, and one said, "Last night we went out to a new restaurant and it was really great I would recommend it very highly."
The other man said, "What is the name of the restaurant?"
The first man thought and thought and finally said, "What is the name of that flower you give to someone you love? You know... the one that's red and has thorns."
"Do you mean a rose?"
"Yes, that's the one," replied the man. He then turned towards the kitchen and yelled, "Rose, what's the name of that restaurant we went to last night?
This is probably as good a spot as any to retell one of our favorite Abraham Lincoln stories, this one about his ancestry. The President said, "I don't know who my grandfather was and I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be."
The web site for Kristie's Kafé, www.kristieskafe.com, is now up and running. The hours are listed on the index page. The web site also mentions the wi-fi hotspot, the free book exchange, and the local artist gallery. The monthly acoustic jams will start when the antique mall opens. The beverages are listed, as well as the sandwiches and sweets. The Kafe is at 230 Main Street, 925-2222.
The Ol' Country Barn is hosting both a Summer Festival and the Fall Pumpkin Festival this year. The summer festival will be June 23 and 24 from 10 AM to 5 PM. There will be crafters, antiques, food, with free parking and free door prizes.
Term of the Day: "For the duration."
The expression came from documents signed by each draftee and enlistee during World War II that specified an enlistment for the duration of the war, actually "for the duration and six" meaning for the duration of the war plus six months. This is in contrast to enlistments for fixed periods, such as two or four years.
The web version of the Benton News goes on vacation today for the duration. The email and web versions will continue to be published but only at irregular intervals. We will spend tonight beside the Barter Theatre, the state theatre of Virginia, after we attend a play which is a "love story with singing’ and stuff" set in Bunyan Bay, Minnesota. The story takes place on the coldest day of the year and cantankerous bar owner, Gunner, wants to sell the business and move to Florida, but his wife wants to stay. Bernice, the pretty waitress, wants to pursue a singing career, but her fiancé, Kanute, wants her to stay home. When a fast-talking, good-looking salesman promises to bring romance into their lives through the magic of karaoke, all heck breaks loose! .
We will then head into the mountains near Boone, North Carolina, for a few days before dropping down to a remote site near Wilkes Community College for Merlefest 2007, the annual festival in celebration of the music of the late Merle Watson and his father Doc Watson. The music is strictly bluegrass, contemporary acoustic, Celtic, blues, folk, old-time, Cajun, jazz, and singer-songwriter. We suspect that between 80,000 and 90,000 will attend this year, so you can see getting a phone line there will be just about out of the question. We'll tell you about things when we get back on line.
Part of the Benton Girl's Basketball Team
preparing for the kick-off parade in Benton Saturday
April 21, 2007. Ken Druckenmiller celebrates his birthday today and Philip and Laurie Edson celebrate #17 of wedded bliss.
There are lots of things going on this weekend, especially if you like good food. On Saturday, you can have chicken barbecue from 4 PM at Zion UCC Church, or roast beef from 4 PM at the Lightstreet Volunteer Fire Co., or ham at the Fairmount Township Fire and Ambulance Co., Sweet Valley, or fish at the Sugarloaf Memorial School Building. If a Night at the Races is your cup of tea, head to the Shickshinny Legion about 6:30 PM. One of the nicest things going on Saturday is the Benton Little League Opening Day Parade this morning at 10 o'clock. The parade will begin at the fire house and the players and their coaches will move up Main Street, then out Mendenhall Lane to the ball fields. Come out and give the kids a hoot and a holler! On Sunday, the monthly Firemen's Breakfast, is on from 7 AM to 1 PM at the Benton Fire Co.
Take the time to sit back and watch a sobering assessment of where the world is heading. Head over to www.glumbert.com/media/shift .
Some may remember when in August, 1964, an active group of alumnus of the old New Columbus Male and Female Academy formed a non-profit organization to restore the academy to its original appearance. New Columbus Academy, for those not familiar with it, has been part of the local landscape since 1856, the same year that Pennsylvanian James Buchanan was elected President of the United States. The Academy has also been known over the years as the New Columbus Academy and Normal Institute (Columbus Male and Female Academy). The intent in 1964 was to maintain the building as a social and recreation center and a museum for people of New Columbus and surrounding communities.
The academy had been used as a public school after the academy was discontinued. In the 1950s, the consolidation of schools left the building empty. At that time, the school board voted to convey the structure for public use and preservation to the New Columbus Academy Memorial Hall, Inc.
The people who were instrumental in returning the building to the way it once was should be remembered. They include the following trustees and officers: Donald Boston, Stillwater, treasurer; Lawrence Chapin, Peoria, Illinois, Lawrence Coughlin, Kingston; Harold Hayman, New Columbus; Herbert Jamison, St. Michaels, Maryland, President; Lawrence Kellogg, White Plains, New York; Carl Stevens, New Columbus; Mrs. Ralph VanEpps, New Columbus, Secretary; Harold Yaple, New Columbus, vice-president; and Mrs. William Yaple, Sr., Bendertown. All of these people were descendents of early Academy alumni or were students in the building when it was used as a public elementary school.
A start-up budget of $6,000 covered painting and repairs, installation of a well, toilet facilities, and grading and planting of grounds for festivals and community picnics.
The New Columbus Academy
The local area can be very happy with the Benton Antiques, Etc. and its owner, Chris Lattrell. The lovely antique mart which opened July 10, 2003, has transformed Benton into an important antique center. The area will get kicked up a notch or two on or about May 10 when Chris opens a second antique mart across the street in a building tentatively known as the Old Bakery Antiques and Company. It is a lovely building, with Kristie's Kafé now open and serving excellent coffee and desserts. Dan Hess, Shickshinny, did a remarkable job of improving the building and deserves a lot of the credit, too.
Garrison Keillor tells the story of the pig who walked into a bar and ordered ten beers. He drank every one of them, then asked the bartender, "Where's the bathroom?" The bartender told him where to find it.
Fifteen minutes later, another pig walked in and orders 25 beers and drained all of them. He asked the bartender where the bathroom was and the bartender told him where to find it.
Fifteen minutes later, a third pig walked in and orders 50 beers and drinks all of them. The bartender asked him if he needed to use the bathroom, and the pig exclaims, "No, I'm the one who goes 'wee wee wee' all the way home!"
One of the very nice auction items for next weekend's Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center Village Sampler was donated by the Ol' Country Barn off Route 487 north of Benton. It is one complete set of limited edition plates of Jamison City. The last set of these plates that I saw at auction brought $300. Each plate shows a picture of items of interest to the Jamison City area, and on the back there is a description of the place. There is a plate with a picture of the Bloomsburg and Sullivan Railroad pulling into the Jamison City station. There is a picture of the "Y" bridge, the Central Park Hotel, the Sugarloaf Township Three-Year High School, the Proctor Inn, the Elk Grove Hotel, and a Jamison City Area Centennial Plate from July 1-4, 1989.
The Nathan McKenzie documentary of the history of the Bloomsburg & Sullivan Railroad, originally contained in this section, is now filed under the FEATURES section of the Benton News, where a limited number of pictures are posted. When we get more time, we'll add to the list.
April 20, 2007. Happy birthday to Richard Sutliff and Richard Lehet.
Have you even noticed that when you have lots of time, you can find a parking space in front of the building you are visiting? When you are in a hurry, that will never happen. Isn't it strange that in the movies when the hero is paying for a taxi he always has exactly the right change? Or that when creepy music plays on a movie soundtrack, someone always closely investigates what is going on? Or that in the movies, if someone starts dancing or singing, everyone in sight does the same thing. Or that in the movies, lipstick never rubs off even after a passionate love scene or after escaping from an underwater adventure. Both in reel life and in real life there are things like first impressions that happen only once. An example of something that will only ever happen once comes up this year at three minutes and four seconds after 2 AM on the 6th of May; i.e., the time and date will be 02:03:04 05/06/07 .
Quote of the Day:
"The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once."
. May 12, 2007. The Fairmount Springs United Methodist Church will hold an old-fashioned ham supper from 4 to 6:30 PM. Plates will be piled high with scalloped potatoes, corn, Harvard beets, pickled cabbage, applesauce, homemade apple butter and homemade bread and homemade pies. There will be coffee and punch. You can call 864-3726 or 256-3491 if you need more information. It is seven bucks for adults; children 3 to 10 pay $3 and if you are too young to read this it is free. You can get take-outs, too!
Starting Tuesday of next week for a period of undetermined length, the Benton News will only be delivered on those days when the spring flowers aren't blooming, when the horizon is covered with rain and the performers are unable to perform. I apologize for this inconvenience, but the interruption won't last long. If you would like to listen to Merlefest, you can if you have XM satellite radio. The satellite service will broadcast from the 12 concurrent stages of the event on two channels: X Country and Bluegrass Junction. You can also link to http://flink.livedownloads.com/collections_merlefest.asp to receive a free download of tunes from MerleFest.
I have mentioned Firefox as a browser many times, and I have mentioned the use of a Firefox extension several times. It is one I love and use daily. It is free, of course. The extension, when downloaded and installed, keeps track of daily routine websites and opens them in tabs. The extension is called Morning Coffee and lets you organize websites you like to read by day and open them up simultaneously as part of your daily routine. This is really handy if you read sites that update on a regular schedule (like the Benton News). If you use Firefox, head here to download it.
Here are some more auction items for the Village Sampler...
Ocean City, MD Penthouse Condo, 4 days and 3 nights off season, donated by Jim & Ruth Vance
Antique Child's Dress, donated by Diane Laubach
21" doll made in Italy, donated by Diane Laubach
A Longaberger Ribbon Canning Basket--2003, donated by Sharon Little
A Certified Residential Appraisal of single family dwelling in Columbia County, donated by Joselle Confair, Appraisal Associates of PA
Two Camouflage helmets -- Adult XL, donated by Dave and Jean MacDermott, M&M Repair
Washington DC Tourmobile, 2 all day tickets, donated by Tourmobile Sightseeing
A Stained glass panel -- cardinals design, donated by Rich Kisner
$50 Gift Certificate for Chiropractic Services, Dr. Kylie Neiderhiser Kennedy
Bloomsburg Fair 1994 Official Model Truck, donated by Sally Brewington
18 holes of Golf with cart, donated by Mill Race Golf Course
At the auction for the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, one of the items is a weekend in a private Manhattan Brownstone Apartment on W. 75th Street, New York. The private apartment has one bedroom, a sofa bed and a loft and of course includes a modern bath and kitchen. It is located between Columbus and Amsterdam and is a block and a half from Central Park. Attractions in the area include the Museum of Natural History, the Historical Museum, many shops and restaurants. Lincoln Center and Tavern on the Green are within walking distance. The apartment is on the 4th floor and is a walk-up. The steps number 54. Strong legs are advised. On street parking is available. Date to be determined by mutual agreement. No smokers, please. The apartment was donated for the auction by Elsie Buyers.
The article by Nathan McKenzie about the former Bloomsburg & Sullivan Railroad originally was in this section. Nathan's history of the Bloomsburg & Sullivan comes from a paper he wrote for a course at Bloomsburg State College in 1975 and is contained under FEATURES.
April 19, 2007. Today is the birthday of Jim Kelsey.
Many of the auction items for the upcoming Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center auction are now listed here. Joyce Letteer has donated some of her wonderful sticky buns for sale at the auction. She'll give a gift certificate good for a pan of sticky buns that will feed about 15. She'll need a week's notice to whip them up, but think of the excitement when your guests gather 'round the table and sink their teeth into this delicacy. Of course, it does remind us of a story.
A middle-aged soldier reported to a military base during the Second World War and was expected to undergo a full medical and dental examination. He had the medical checkup as soon as he reported for duty, but neglected to visit the camp dentist. A few weeks later a messenger arrived at his office and asked when they could expect him to report for the dental check. The man took out his false teeth, gently placed them like old friends in an envelope and scribbled a note to the dentist, "Please have these back by coffee break--we could be having sticky buns!"
Bob McKelvey, Cape May, New Jersey, was once stationed at the Benton Air Force Station and rented an apartment from John Mather. Our recent mention of a Franklin stove reminded him of when "there was a fancy cook stove in a field" which was "located just out side of town on the right side when driving toward Bloomsburg. The stove was in the middle of the field, and was always a puzzle to me why it was there." Bob wrote because we had mentioned hunting season and he reminisced about the pictures "in the paper or TV of a cow with COW painted on the sides."
• April 21, 2007. The Beaver Creek School Consignment Auction is held in Washingtonville the third Saturday of April and the first Saturday of September. From the Danville exit of I-80, turn left on Rt. 54 west. Travel the five miles to Washingtonville and take the first right in the borough. Then take the first left toward the PPL coal-fired generating plant. The auction is about a mile past the plant. The auction is 22 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, via Millville.
• April 28, 2007. The Bloomsburg Renaissance Jamboree will be held on Saturday, April 28, in downtown Bloomsburg.
Bravo! Brands Inc. announced that it will introduce a milk-based sports drink this summer called Slammers Sport Milk, developed in response to evidence that suggests milk can play an important role in post-exercise recovery and rehydration. Slammers Sport Milk is said to have the same rehydration capabilities as sports drinks. Slammers Sport Milk will be sold in ready-to-drink 14-ounce bottles in chocolate, vanilla and tangerine-orange and will be available at retail locations as early as July.
April 18, 2007. Happy birthday today to Devona Albertson, Denise Hack and to Ruth Kline. Ruth turns 83 today. She is always happy when her birthday rolls around, since on that day she is only three years younger than hubby Dayne. On his birthday, he turns four years older than her.
Some words we don’t use enough and some words are overused. "Please" and "Thank You" come to mind for the first, and "okay" could apply to the second. The word "okay" can be used as five different parts of speech: adjective ('It was an okay day'), adverb ('My truck only runs okay'), noun ('My wife gave her okay to buy a new truck'), and verb ('She okayed the project'), and interjection ('Okay!'),
The Bloomsburg & Sullivan Railroad ran from Bloomsburg through Benton. An extension from Benton to Jamison City provided railroad service northbound beginning in November, 1888. When the train reached Central, a series of "Y's" in the track permitted the northbound engine to switch off to another track, then back up through yet another switch and rejoin the main track via a third switch, but following this series of maneuvers the engine was heading in the opposite direction. This series of "Y's" was located near its more well-known cousin, the "Y" or "Back" bridge, a 76' covered bridge built in 1887 that burned and is no longer on Stevens Hill Road.
In Central, the track to Jamison City split with a spur heading through the community of Elk Grove then to the Emmons area where Parvin Kile at the time had a hotel serving lumbermen, hunters and occasionally a tourist or two. This railroad spur served the Pentecost Lumbering Company, gently following the west branch of Fishing Creek from Central to Emmons. The railroad was used in order to ship lumber and bark south to Central, then transferred its loads to the Bloomsburg & Sullivan tracks into Jamison City. You can see a picture of what we think was one of the switches by heading here.
The railroad was the same gauge as the Bloomsburg & Sullivan so that the logs brought down from the Elk Grove and Emmons areas could then be pushed up another set of tracks to the mill in Jamison City. Bill Mather said he was told they would bring "16 cars down to Central, and they would push eight cars at a time into Jamison City." As Bill told the story of the runaway train car, "they were loading lumber onto flat cars just above the Pelican" and "whoever was loading the logs went to move it and it was pretty well loaded and it got away from them. And so then right down the track it went. Well the way the track was right out it went onto the track of the Bloomsburg & Sullivan" proceeding south toward Benton.
I asked about the grade from the Brass Pelican area into Central, and Bill said there was "more of a grade there than you would think." He continued his story, "Well, anyway, right down it want on the backside of Central and right down through Grassmere." Bill said it went "clear down to the Boy Scout camp." Meanwhile, the northbound train just left the Benton station. "They tried to get word to them to stop the train." They didn't get the message to the Benton station in time and the northbound train was steaming north while a runaway flatcar loaded with logs was out of control heading south.
Somewhere behind Camp Lavigne, as Bill Mather tells the story, the engineer on the train felt a rumble on the track and he knew that something was coming toward them. "Imagine that!," Bill exclaimed, "Pulling a steam engine and he knew that something was wrong. He couldn't see anything coming, but he threw the train into reverse and the engineer jumped behind the boiler." Bill described how the lumber was loaded and how it came off when the two forces collided. Bill summed it up by saying that "it just cleaned that engine." Bill said "There was no record of anybody being hurt. The engineer and the fireman were not hurt because they got in behind the boiler."
Picture courtesy of Jim Laubach. The picture is from a post card from Katherine Chapin, and was entitled "Wreck at the Wye in Central," date unknown. This shows several coaches and perhaps an engine off the track near one leg of the wye. Jim Laubach also provided one additional picture, originally published in the Morning Press Fifieth Anniversary Sesquicenntennial edition in 1952 with a picture of a train wreck supposedly in 1902 on the B&S. However the locomotive # was 4128, which Jim says doesn't sound like any of the B&S's engines. According to R&LHS Bulletin 118 (1968), which listed the B&S locomotive roster from #1 (1887) to #10 (19??). There were no engines of that number, even second hand ones. The picture is of a large crane in the picture which could have been on the PRR or DL&W.
To test the credibility of Bill's story, I set out from the site of the old train station beside what is today Fifth Street and drove to Emmons. Using the 2007 version of a Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) program known as Microsoft Street and Trips, I traveled north to the former town of Emmons, slightly north of where the log train supposedly began its slow roll toward Camp Lavigne. I wanted to see how much grade there actually was. I should disclose that different elevations could be recorded on different GPS systems. My elevations were taken at street level.
The elevation at the former Benton train station was 662 feet above sea level. At Emmons, the elevation was 1,256 feet, a difference of 589 feet. Assuming the rail car began rolling about the Brass Pelican Restaurant (an elevation of 884 feet) or at the Sullivan County line (1,095 feet), the car would have slowly but surely picked up speed through Central (884 feet), through Laubach's Station (approximately 818 feet above sea level. The present road where the old Guava post office was located is at an elevation of 853 feet). By the time the car reached the iron bridge on Camp Lavigne Road, the elevation was 757 feet. Once the car picked up speed, it certainly was possible to develop quite a roll.
The Emmons area later became the site of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp, but before that lumbering was the primary occupation. The Jamison City Tannery had men working near Emmons. A man by the name of G. W. Littie had a general store, and he had the contract to peal the bark and stock the logs. According to a history of Davidson Township, Sullivan County, he employed up to 300 men, running three lumber camps at the same time. Today, only a parking lot for hunters and numerous apple trees mark the spot.
Passenger trains during the height of the railroad made three round trips each weekday, leaving Jamison City around 5:30 in the morning and the last one arriving in Jamison City at 8 PM. The telegraph came along in the fall of 1889, and in 1905 the Northern Central Telephone Company completed its lines from Benton to Jamison City. The railroad permitted growth and development throughout the Fishing Creek Valley through the logs and lumber from and animal hides to Jamison City, mine ties and props from Forks and paper products from two paper mills along the route.
This is a former covered bridge in Central. Thomas Kipphorn identified the bridge as a single span Burr Truss with five upright posts before the center post for a total of eleven. That would make it over 100' long.
The stone abutments of the bridge are still in place, and in fact a cottage is built on the foundation on the west side of Fishing Creek. The covered bridge was replaced by a new bridge in 1934.
For the record, here is the official description of this long-gone covered bridge:PA/38-19-100x
(County #154)- It was a single span Burr Truss. The dimensions are unknown, but given the amount of vertical posts in the truss (eleven in each truss frame), the clear span was in excess of 100'. Earlier sources had indicated that the stone abutments were still in existence on the upstream side of the road. In reality, there is a cottage built on the western abutment, with it's access road being part of the original road alignment. The eastern abutment is also still in existence. The covered bridge was replaced in 1934. It was located in Sugarloaf Township on an old abandoned section of Central Road about 150' upstream from the present bridge, oriented east to west and lining up with Stevens Hill Road (T757), which led to the former "Y" Covered Bridge (PA/38-19-22x) about 1/3 mile to the east-southeast. When the covered bridge was still standing, it was Route 16. By 1941, it was Route 154 and now, its SR4049. Central Bridge
41° 17.53'N / 76° 22.32'W
The biggest buyer of California wines in the world and the largest purchaser of wine and spirits in the United States is planning a third try at privatizing all or part of the state's stores that sell wine and spirits. We're talking about the state of Pennsylvania, of course. The Senate Republican Policy Committee will hold a hearing beginning Wednesday morning at 9 AM to gather information about the selling of the state stores.
April 17, 2007. It is the birthday today of Blanche Getz and the day for filing your state and federal tax returns.
Benjamin Franklin died on this date n 1790. This remarkable man was a printer, publisher, author, inventor, scientist and diplomat. He invented a stove which is still manufactured. The lightning rod and bifocal eyeglasses originated with his ideas. He helped establish a fire company, a library, an insurance company, an academy, and a hospital. He is responsible for the quote "Genius without education is like silver in the mine." Also on this date, in 1961, about 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in a failed attempt to overthrow the government of Fidel Castro. In 1964, Ford Motor Co. unveiled its new "Mustang" model.
. While country music is the most popular radio format in America, many readers also enjoy listening to jazz. On your computer, an excellent multi-channel jazz radio station can be found at http://accujazz.com/.
. As many predicted, it is now all but certain that slot-machine gambling in Pennsylvania won't bring in enough revenue to allow school districts to cut property taxes for the 2007-08 school year.
. A 40 acre farm and an 8 acre parcel will be offered at public auction on Saturday, June 2, at 691 Knouse Road near the village of Derrs. The land and a two-story farm house and shed with something like 20 acres of farmland and 20 acres of wood land was the property of Ruth J. Heath. Antiques and collectibles will also be sold.
Anger is that feeling that makes your mouth work faster than your mind.
The 2007 Benton Area Schools Hall of Fame Inductees will take center stage at the Alumni Banquet May 26, 2007. Induction of new members of the Hall of Fame will take place at that time. The inductees selected for this year are Eloise Marinos, Andrew Vincent, and Christine Stackhouse Thomas. The honorary inductee is Richard Sibly.
. Eloise Marinos, AIA/NCARB, North Canton, Connecticut, a Benton graduate in the Class of 1977. Eloise is an architect whose work encompasses historic preservation and residential, commercial and public-use structures. She received an associate of Applied Science Degree in Art and Design from the Rochester Institute of Technology, a Bachelor of Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with advanced courses at SUNY Albany and the Fashion Institute of Technology, with a Master of Science Program in Structural Engineering from the University of Connecticut. She now owns her own firm in North Canton, Connecticut, specializing in general architectural practice. Her accomplishments in the field of architecture and historic preservation are impressive.
. Andrew Vincent, Colorado Springs, Colorado, served as class president in 1981, participated in multiple clubs and activities, lettered in three sports, and was selected to the PA All-State Soccer Team. After graduating from Bloomsburg University, he was commissioned in the Air Force and earned "Distinguished Graduate" honors during Navigator Training. He spent 13 years as an Instructor WSO in F-111 and F-15E fighter aircraft including combat missions over Iraq and Bosnia-Herzegovina and was responsible for training hundreds of students. He spent the final years of his career working on the development of GPS-guided weapons and then exploiting National Capabilities at the Space Warfare Center. At one point he oversaw the development and fielding of 17 weapons programs worth $3.5B. Major Vincent retired in 2005 as a Master Navigator with 2000 flight hrs. Andrew is now employed by defense contractor CollaborX, Inc. at Schriever AFB, CO. and is currently working on applications and techniques to improve the accuracy of precision-guided weapons.
. Christine M. Thomas, RN MSN DNSc, Royersford, Pennsylvania, a nurse for the past 20 year who has provided compassionate care to adults with cardiac and respiratory disease and as a nurse educator for the past 14 years has trained nurses to provide competent and compassionate nursing care. Christine is a 1983 graduate of the Benton Schools. She earned her doctorate from Widener University in 2004 and currently serves as the Curriculum Committee Chairperson at West Chester University. She serves as a test-item writer for the National Council of State Boards of Nursing.
. Richard Sibly (December 5, 1905-April 26, 1996), will be inducted as an honorary member of the Hall of Fame. Mr. Sibly graduated from Old Forge High School, received a two-year teaching certificate from Bloomsburg Normal School in 1932 and a Bachelor's Degree and his elementary teacher's certification from Bloomsburg State Teacher's College in 1934. He received a Master's Degree in School Administration from Bucknell University. He began his teaching career in Sugarloaf Township following the jointure in 1954 and retired in 1971 from the Benton Schools after a teaching career that spanned 41 years.
It is not always possible to provide a completely accurate accounting of something that happened in the past. Take for example the case of Herodotus, a Dorian Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BCE often regarded as the "father of history," who right up front in his history of the Persian Wars opened with "according to the Greeks" and "according to the Persians." So we're going to tell a story Wednesday that is "according to people who should know..."
An Illinois reader asked if I could help him understand all the fuss about reptile dysfunction. Sorry, we're out of time for questions for this edition.
Susan Elaine (Heckman) Roberts (November 9, 1966-April 16, 2007), 40, died Monday at her home on Kearkuff Road, Born at the Bloomsburg Hospital, she was a daughter of Cathlene (Houser) Heckman, Bloomsburg, and the late Dean Heckman. A graduate of Bloomsburg High School, she had been employed at Scranton Commons at Bloomsburg University until poor health forced her retirement. She and her husband, Richard J. Roberts, would have celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary on August 3. Surviving, in addition to her mother and husband are her children Kathleen B. Roberts and Andrew R. Roberts, both at home. A sister, Bonnie Heckman and a brother, Dwayne Heckman, both of Bloomsburg, also survive. Funeral services will be held Friday at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. Burial will be in St. Gabriel's Cemetery. A viewing will be held Thursday from 7 to 9 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home.
April 16, 2007. Today is the birthday of Sam Dressler, Frank Robbins and His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. It is also the wedding anniversary of Randy and Denise Hack. Welcome this morning to the opening of the new offices of Rick Grassley, a structural engineer, in Benton Township in the old butcher shop on Route 487. The name of the company is North East Consulting and Construction Management, Inc.
Today marks the 232nd Patriot Day Celebration in honor of the famous midnight ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes that occurred on April 18, 1775 and which honors the start of the American Revolution in 1775, immortalized in the poem and in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Paul Revere's Ride, The annual running of the Boston Marathon also takes place on this day.
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "Concord Hymn"
. Congratulations and best wishes to Grace Mae Feola and Tyler Weslee Hartman in their planned May, 2008, wedding.
. Mozilla has an update for Firefox 2. Users with automatic updates enabled should have had the new version automatically delivered and installed. You can check by selecting Help / About Firefox from within Firefox. If your version number is less than V220.127.116.11, update manually from here.
. The National Park Service cares for nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational national parks sites across the nation. Beyond national parks, the National Park Service helps communities across America preserve and enhance important local heritage and close-to-home recreational opportunities. Grants and assistance are offered to register, record and save historic places; create community parks and local recreation facilities; conserve rivers and streams, and develop trails and greenways. Go to www.nps.gov/ to find a national park in any state of the union.
• Need a birth record? You can go here, download the request form, and perhaps MOST importantly, attach a little note saying you want the "entire file, whatever is legally permissible." Enclose a check for $10 and a copy of your driver's license. Thanks to Ron Hontz for this tip.
Rep. Karen Boback maintains an Capitol office in Harrisburg at 141B East Wing, 717 787-1117, in Mountain Top at 7844 Blue Ridge Trail, 570 868-7780, and in Sweet Valley at 5315 Main Road, PO Box 333, 570 477-3752. Additionally, on the last Friday of each month from 9 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon Rep. Boback will have a person available locally to help with state matters. Ann Houssack will be on the second floor of the Fire Hall on Friday, April 25. Rep. Boback serves on the Committees serving Aging & Older Adult Services, Agriculture & Rural Affairs, Children & You, and Liquor Control.
The familiar Verizon advertisement using the words, "Can you hear me now?" is taking on new meaning as scientists are rethinking "colony collapse disorder" (CCD) that has spread to a reported 24 states. CCD refers to the loss of the bee population that range between 50 and 90% of a hive population. A hive's inhabitants suddenly disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature workers. The honeybee mystery could disrupt the food supply by affecting some 90 cultivated flowering crops like almonds, apples, cranberries and watermelons. The often seen statistic is that every third bite of food ingested by Americans was pollinated by a single species--bees--for pollination
Beekeepers blame everything from a new virus or parasite to pesticides and genetically modified crops. Without explanation, bees from hives vanish in a matter of weeks without a trace, and to add to the strangeness of the situation, the parasites, wildlife and other bees that normally raid the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse to go anywhere near the abandoned hives.
A new theory has recently surfaced about the CCD. First we'll mention that a study shows a link between poor sperm in men and the number of hours a day that a man uses his mobile phone. Doctors believe the cause could be electromagnetic radiation emitted by handsets. The house sparrow appears to be disappearing from cities heavy with electromagnetic waves arising out of increased number of mobile handsets. Some results are showing a positive correlation. A question now raised is whether mobile phones are wiping out our bee population. Some scientists are claiming that radiation given off by mobile phones and other hi-tech gadgets is a possible answer to the abrupt disappearance of the bees that pollinate crops.
The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with bees' navigation systems, preventing the home-loving species from finding their way back to their hives. A limited study determined that bees refuse to return to their hives when mobile phones are placed nearby.
Penn Pilot is an online library of digital historical aerial photography for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Using the interactive map provided on this website, you can browse, view, and download more than 40,000 photos covering the Commonwealth from 1937 to 1942. Penn Pilot can be found at /www.pennpilot.psu.edu/ .
Albert F. Wood (April 12, 1953-April 14, 2007), 54, Keller Hollow Road, Benton (Divide) died Saturday at his home. Albert was born at the Bloomsburg Hospital, a son of the late D. Richard Wood and Helen Marie (Fritz) Wood. He attended Benton High School and graduated from Columbia Montour Vocational Technical School in 1971. Mr. Wood had been employed for 28 years as the body-shop manager at Liberty Chevrolet, Bloomsburg. Surviving are his wife, Mary Anna (Keeler) Wood with whom he would have celebrated his 34th wedding anniversary on September 8, and his Mother-in-Law, Permilla Keeler, Bloomsburg. The couple had two children: Melissa A. Miller (Shawn) and Richard C. Wood and a Granddaughter, Landree Wood, all of Millville. Albert had nine brothers and sisters: James Wood (Sandy), Forks; Irma Jeanne Vansock, Divide; Elaine Honse (James), Lightstreet; Raymond Wood (Sandy), Orangeville; Judy Search (Art), Benton; Mary Gay Kline, Berwick; Richard D. "Dick" Wood (Tina), Benton; Helen Ruth Rupert (Ray), Bloomsburg; Charles "Chuck" Wood (Dolly), Benton. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his Father-in-Law, Clayton Keeler. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. with burial in the Waller Cemetery. A Visitation will be held Tuesday from 5 to 8 PM and Wednesday from 1 PM until the time of the service at 2.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the April 15 edition of the Press Enterprise
April 15, 2007. Happy birthday today to Jennifer Malhoyt, Ken Bond and Jeff Andrysick. The number of fishermen on Fishingcreek for opening day seemed to me to be down from previous years. Today is T Minus Two Days.
Quote of the Day:
"The income tax has made more liars out of the American people than golf."
The weather forecast for today reminds me that marriages are made in heaven. But so are thunder, lightning, tornadoes and hail.
A reader complained about his browser window having unnecessary filler information to the point that he had trouble seeing the screen. This has a simple solution, both in Firefox and in Internet Explorer. Push down on the F11 key at the top of the keyboard to get a full-size screen. The F11 key is a simple toggle. Hit F11 again and you'll return to normal. Ah, go ahead and try it.
A book that lots of people praise, but rarely read, is known as a "classic."
The series on the Jamison City Tannery was originally published in this section. Note that the article in its entirety can be found under the FEATURES Section.
A smile is a curve that can set an awful lot of things straight.
From the Benton Borough Council meeting Monday, April 9...
. Cars are parking on Main Street between 12 AM and 6 AM in violation of the posted "No Parking" sign. Police will follow up.
. The Borough has a dog-waste problem with pet owners not cleaning up after their pets.
. Kids are hanging around the Market Street Laundromat at late hours. The Borough curfew for these kids is 10 PM Sunday through Thursday, and 11 PM on Friday and Saturday.
. Borough street sweeping will take place in "early May."
. Columbia County prison work-release personnel will begin work on the park clean-up in the near future. Council gave approval to have picnic tables placed by the gazebos for use until park repairs are finished. The park bathrooms and buildings will be repainted.
. The recent skateboard incident inside the Christian Church was discussed. The town of Bloomsburg has a Skateboard Ordinance, but Council will hold off on a local skateboard ordinance until after the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center opens the skateboard park. If, at that time, the problem still persists, Council will look into the situation further.
. Police Chief Randy Karschner reported that PennDOT will place a sign on Route 239 and another south of town asking drivers to be mindful of Amish traffic in the area.
Spring plowing on the Benton Township farm of Jacob and Fannie Smoker
Picture courtesy of Dayne Kline
April 14, 2007. Happy birthday today to Pat Truskoloski, Red Rock, and to Judith Scavone, the always helpful head of the First Columbia Bank, Benton. On this date in 1865, actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth and President Abraham Lincoln both attended a performance at Ford's theater and in 1912, on the fifth night of its maiden voyage, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. About 1,500 people lost their lives.
With Sen. Barack Obama raising about $25 million and Senator Clinton pulling in about $26 million and Mitt Romney giving both these Democrats a run for their money by coming up with $23 million, it is beginning to look as though we are going to get the best president that money can buy.
We often don't give praise where praise is due. Look at the Post Office in Benton. Busy people race into the building to get a little warm air and some spirited conversation. They pick up their mail and linger a bit for a snatch of conversation, then reluctantly head out into the cold air. A town about the size of the Borough is Ochopee, Florida (pop. 950), along U.S. Highway 41, near the Tamiami Trail and Ten Thousand Islands. The nation's smallest post office, a 62-square-foot building, about the size of a child's playhouse, originally the shed for a tomato farm, is located in Ochopee in the middle of the Big Cypress National Preserve, between Miami and Naples, Fla., along U.S. Highway 41. The Ochopee mail carrier drives 132 miles every day, making 350 stops to serve nearly 950 residents along the route. Some readers may remember the post office in Beach Haven, Pennsylvania, which might actually have been smaller than the one in Ochopee.
It will be nice to be back in the hills of North Carolina where the waitresses all seem to know me. Well, at least, they call me "Hon" or "Shug" and they serve up huge portions of collard greens with cider vinegar on them and all the iced tea is simply "sweet tea." They don't even put those little packets of sweeteners on the tables.
The concept of buckwheat is so ingrained (excuse the pun) in our history that we often take it for granted, while people outside of the upper Fishingcreek Valley probably never know of the grain. Buckwheat grew easily on ground freshly converted from woodland to farmland, and was often the first crop planted and even after three generations the crop continued to be planted and harvested. Most farmers had at least one field of buckwheat. A common way of infuriating the lady of the house was to call her a "buckwheater."
The article on the Jamison City Tannery, originally published in this section, has now been moved to the FEATURES section.
• Rodney Howard Faux (March 9, 1943-April 12, 2007), 64, of Lower Raven Creek Road, Stillwater, died Thursday at the Bloomsburg Health Care Center. Born in Bloomsburg, he was a son of the late H. Larue and Elizabeth (Pettit) Faux. He had been employed by TRW as an inspector. Surviving are daughters Christie M. Kressler (Kevin), Orangeville and Julie A. Karol (Chris), Harbeson, Delaware, along with ten grandchildren and a sister, Jeanne Cole-Roberts, Yorkville, NY. Burial services will be private and under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc.
• Cora Ellen Campbell, Sweet Valley, wife of the former owner of the Benton Roller Mills, Dana Campbell, died Tuesday, April 3, 2007, at Hospice Care Of The Visiting Nurse Association, Wilkes-Barre. Mrs. Campbell was born and grew up in Noxen, the daughter of the late John E. and Ellen Victoria Space. She operated the Frances Slocum State Park Watercraft Concession for 15 years. She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Dana Campbell; a son, Thomas Campbell, Muhlenburg; a daughter, Robyn Smith (Mark), Sweet Valley; and grandchildren Christy Harrison (Richard), Sweet Valley; Gary Campbell, Sweet Valley; Larry Smith (Janette), Shavertown; Tanya Konopinski (Kevin), Sweet Valley; Corin Smith, Sweet Valley; Allison Smith, Sweet Valley; and five great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a son, Dana Gary Campbell. The funeral was Friday from the Curtis L. Swanson Funeral Home Inc., Hunlock Creek. Interment was in the Maple Grove Cemetery, Pikes Creek.
I watched a man rubbing a rabbit's foot dangling from his belt. I don't understand why he felt it would bring him good luck. After all, it didn't work for the rabbit.
You ain't seen nothing, as someone once said, 'till you see four-year old Hunter Hayes and his rendition of Jambalaya. See what I mean by going here.
Friday the 13th day of April, 2007, the kind of day that gives me paper cuts when I open a get-well card, a day considered to be unlucky, although there is no historical reason why the linking of Friday and the 13th is considered bad luck. Have you noticed that luck always seems to favor the guy who doesn't need it? Before it slips my mind, Brian Stedman has a Friday the 13th birthday today.
Today may be unlucky, but I can't say the same for the month. April ranks right up there with the best of all months, and, yes, I know, this April could end up being the coldest in the state in 113 years and, yes, I know that Sunday is supposed to bring another Nor'easter to the upper Fishingcreek Valley. Although I am not sure if it will be true this year, April most years signals the end of a long cold spell and the breaking out of the spring yellow colors, the transition from winter into summer, a time to head into the world of warmth I so love. Today, as an example, only 59 days remain until the official start of summer. Dandelions pop out of the ground, waiting for me to combine them with some well-cooked ham and enough vinegar to give them taste. Still a month or more away is the hurricane season and the pain and the suffering it causes.
During this third week of spring, there are signs of new life everywhere. The same goose--well, it looked like the same goose--that chased me last fall when I strayed too close to his pond did the same thing Monday as I poked around the edge of his water world. It is a time, as we heard a few days ago, to "spring forward" and stop thinking the negative thoughts about the weather.
April is the time of the year when in Wilkesboro, North Carolina, the bluegrass music rolls off the hills as the Merle Watson Music Festival begins. Back Home in Benton, PA, toward the end of the month is the annual Northern Columbia County Community & Cultural Center auction. It is the time for the Tastee Creme at the bridge to reopen. It is the month when Chester Johnson and the Foggy Mtn. Grass come to the Upper Raven Creek Road for a bluegrass concert. It is the time to move from the indoors and the comfort of the couch to the outdoors and the joy of spring.
April is the month when a bunch of both necessary and strange things are honored, making April the month when things like Alcohol Awareness, Cancer Control, Emotional Overeating Awareness, Holy Humor, and International Twits are honored, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, National Kite Month, National Pet First Aid Awareness Month, Straw Hat Month and my favorite, Southern Belles Month.
We just finished Laugh at Work Week, National Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, the Alcohol-Free Weekend and National Garden Week. We are heading for National Coin Week and Cowboy Poetry Week, National Library Week, National Volunteer Week, International Whistlers Week, National Karaoke Week, National TV Turn-off Week, and Buster and Chloe's favorite, the National Scoop the Poop Week from April 24-30.
And in April, we have April Fools Day, US Air Force Day, Palm Sunday, Reconciliation Day, Passover, Good Friday, No Housework Day, World Health Day, Easter, Commodore Perry Day, Barbershop Quartet Day, Walk on Your Wild Side Day, a favorite of mine which is Husband Appreciation Day and one I hate Income Tax Pay Day, Earth Day, World Cow Chip Day, Red Hat Society Day, and Take Our Daughters & Sons to Work Day, among many others.
The Esber Recital Hall at Penn State University becomes a small English village Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 for the comedic opera Albert Herring. The opera takes place in a small English town in 1950 with young Albert Herring rebelling against the expectations of his mother and society. Bendertown native and graduate student Alanna Bath is Props Head and is cast as Lady Billows for tonight's performance. Tickets are $14 and $4 for students.
Because of the negative weather forecast for Sunday continuing into Monday, the North Mountain Historical Society third Monday of the month meeting has been moved back a week for this month only. There will not be a History Buffs meeting Monday at the Brass Pelican. It will take place on Monday, April 24. Bob Webster will speak on the subject of "Life on the Home Front During World War II." Please tell your friends.
An Air National Guard unit from Fort Indiantown Gap is leading a mission to construct roads and fences and install lights along the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona, according to Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Chris Cleaver, public affairs officer for the Pennsylvania National Guard and spokesman for the adjutant general and the 20,000-member Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard. Col. Cleaver is the son of JoAnn Walk, Benton, and Fred Cleaver, Forks. Col. Cleaver was the keynote speaker last Memorial Day at the dedication of the veteran's memorial beside the Columbia County Farmer's National Bank. The guardsmen are rebuilding two miles of a dangerous roadway on the west side of Nogales, paving two other roadways, installing fencing along the border and installing lighting in a densely populated area along the border in Nogales as part of Operation Jump Start
The article that originally was published in this space has been moved to the FEATURES Section under Tanneries at the bottom of the page.
April 12, 2007. Today is the big FIVE-OH birthday of Deborah Hess.
Isn't it strange that the early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese?
Didja hear about the three men who were talking about how they had assigned duties to their new wives? The first man married a woman from Tennessee and bragged that he had told his wife she was going to do all the dishes and house cleaning. He said it took a couple days but on the third day he came home to a clean house and the dishes were done.
The second man married a woman from Florida. He bragged that he had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes and the cooking. He didn't see any results the first day, but it got better the next day. By the third day, his house was clean, the dishes were done and he had a huge dinner on the table.
The third man married a girl from Pennsylvania. He told her that her duties were to keep the house clean, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed and hot meals on the table for every meal. He didn't see anything either the first day or the second day but by the third day most of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye; enough to fix himself a bite to eat, load the dishwasher and telephone a landscaper.
A map of water open to fishermen on Fishingcreek is now located at the Benton Dam. Additional kiosks have been placed at Kocher Park, south of the Orangeville Bridge, north of Forks, the parking area at the intersection of Routes 487 and 54, and the Camp Lavigne parking lot. A grant from the Columbia Montour Visitors Bureau helped fund the project. Locally, the Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Club was one of the sponsors of the project and funded one of the kiosks.
The open streams of Fishingcreek and the Hoboken Sub Shop
You can see a Japanese version of Rube Goldberg machines by going here.
The Pennsylvania Taxpayer Service and Information Center can be contacted by taxpayers with personal income tax questions by telephone at 717 787-8201 or through the online customer service center available through the department's Web site . The traditional April 15 deadline for filing and paying federal income taxes has been changed to April 17 this year.
The article that originally was published in this space has been moved to the FEATURES Section under Tanneries at the bottom of the page.
April 11, 2007. Happy birthday to Bud Allegar, Taylor Remphrey, and Dorothy Kocher. Ron and Sheila Thompson celebrate their wedding anniversary today.
Need to set your clock? The official U.S. time can be found at www.time.gov/ .
• Greenwood Friends School will hold a kindergarten screening at 9 AM Thursday. Families with kindergarten-age children (age 5 by September 1) may register their children by calling the school at 458-5532. Greenwood Friends School, a pre-kindergarten through grade 8 school, was founded in 1978 as an independent Quaker school and is accredited by the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools. Busing is available.
• The dreaded April 15 happens this weekend. This year it falls on a Sunday and the following day, Monday, April 16, is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia. The same law that taketh away says that filing and payment deadlines that fall on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday are timely satisfied if met on the next business day. Any IRS form, instruction or publication that currently shows an April 16, 2007, due date should now be read as April 17, 2007.
• The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center annual Village Sampler and Fun Auction takes place Sunday, April 29. There is food and an entire afternoon and evening of entertainment for a $10 admission at the door. Tickets can be purchased by calling 925-6972 or 925-0163. Donations of items for the auction can be dropped off at the temporary Center office on Main Street or by calling one of the above numbers.
We often stop and look back at some year, usually for no special reason. We'll do that again today, as we look at the year 1942, the year William Cuthbert Faulkner wrote The Bear, which contained a single sentence of 1,800 words. It was the year of the announcement of the promotion of Captain William Confair to the rank of major in the medical corps of the United States Army at Camp Meade as chief of medical services in the 1,100 bed hospital. The movie Casablanca opened in New York and President Roosevelt introduced gasoline rationing.
In 1942, for the first time, we had on our grocery shelves Dannon Yogurt, Kellogg's Raisin Bran and Hunt's Foods. On people's minds were daylight saving time, air raids and sirens, lights dimmed on Broadway, blackout drills and saving wastepaper. Reading was difficult as most on the home front were donating paperback books to victory book rallies across the country. Women started wearing trousers, as pants sales rose five times over 1941 because of factory work. Service flags, many with eight stars, adorned windows, representing the eight million Americans overseas.
Plan to attend the North Mountain Historical Society's April meeting on the third Monday of this month to hear what it was really like on the home front during World War II and in 1942.
Locally in 1942, the Chevrolet garage was known as S.& F. Chevrolet, Inc. and could be reached at phone 47-R-2. Insurance was often supplied by D.D. & R.W. Linskill, milk came from Thunder Bird Dairy Farm owned by Ralph R. Smith and from the Grant Brink Dairy. Fishing tackle came from--where else--Pharmacist R. W. Rabb. "XXXX" didn't stand for the grossest of pornography, it stood for the Standard Blend Flour from the Benton Roller Mills. Hervey O. Long fixed your Philco, RCA and Zenith radios; Ray Keeler fixed your eyes; and Joe Dalto and J.H. Knouse fixed your meals when you ate out. Shoes came from Sam Viti in Shickshinny and the women's apparel came from Nellie Welliver in Berwick and tractors came from the "John Deere Farm" of John U. Breece.
There along the creek awinding the senior class dedicated the Black and Orange to Frank Brink, a teacher of science, mathematics and social studies. L. R. Appleman, the teachers and the Board of Education (Glenn Hess, Eli McHenry, Grant Brink, Thomas Cole, T.C. Smith, Norton Cole, T. Carl McHenry, Frank Yost, H.W. Belles, and Jay McHenry) produced a great class. The senior girls basketball team won six and the Columbia County Girls' Outdoor Basketball Championship. The Black and Orange soccer team, all seniors but one, were only defeated twice during the year. The boy's baseball team ended the season with a game average of .700.
It was the year Back Home in Benton, PA, that these seniors were graduating from high school: Charles Appleman, Roy Kindig, James Kline, June Keller Jacobs, Betty Laubach, Florence Raski Sands, Betty Sieg Ward, Lillian Yost Edson, Naomi Young Deutschle, Eugene Ash, Robert Brown, Royal Conrad, DeBary, Gayle Harrison, Buddy Hartman, Dale Herrittm, Elery Hess, Carl Shultz, Marjorie Chapin Williams, Ethel Crossley Kelsey, Lois Doty Stackhouse, Alma Golder Kindig, Gladys Hartman Shareck, Jean Perry Walters, Marie Reed Gochenaur, Marian Shannon Hay, Jean Shultz Stackhouse, Isabella Strauch Yost, Betty Yocum LeVally, Ruth Ashelman, Jean Beishline Kindig, Eva Mae Gallup Kessler, Carrie Hess Whitenight, Evelyn Keefer Young, Alice Kindig Hess, Eveh Klinger Green, Betty Laubach Ash, Martha Remphrey Kline, Madaline Joy Wagner Arter, Arlene Wright Bogart, George Wesley Depoe, Dean Good, Robert Houseweart, Theodore Laubach, Wayne Long, Andrew Pavalonis, Harold Plastow, Warren Rhinard, Nicholas Shook, Kenneth Stackhouse, Collins Edgar Toms, Edward Tunaitis and Wayne Yaple.
Here is a look at the Class of 1942 as they met for their class luncheon yesterday at the Market Street Grill.
Left side, from the back forward: Elery Hess, Gladys Laubach, Lois Stackhouse
Right side, from the back forward: Ethel Kelsey, Kenneth Kelsey, Roy Whitmoyer, Jr., Evelyn Young, Alice Hess
The article that originally was published in this space has been moved to the FEATURES Section under Tanneries at the bottom of the page.
April 10, 2007. We celebrate the birthday of David DePoe and Bridget Andrezee today.
. June 2, the Main Street auction at the home of Ruth Sutliff Phillips. This auction will feature quality Pennsylvania furnishings and antiques. The real estate will be offered at noon, and features a four-bedroom house with detached garage.
. April 12. The Benton Women's Club invites you to join them and bring a friend on Thursday, April 12, at 7 PM for the next meeting at the LR Appleman Elementary school library. The guest speaker will be Dotty Moore with a presentation on "Preserving your Family Heritage."
. Wednesday, April 11. Tune into the season finale of "Til Death" starting at 8 PM to see what Kristen Ritter describes as an "extremely ridiculous dance move that u won't want to miss." The show is on FOX right before American Idol.
April 9, 2006. Happy birthday to Lou Kwasny, Central. On this date in 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, bringing the Civil War to its end. Grant had written to Lee saying that continuing to fight was hopeless. Lee responded, "Though not entirely of the opinion you express of the hopelessness of further resistance on the part of the army of Northern Virginia, I reciprocate your desire to avoid useless effusion of blood, and therefore, before considering your proposition, ask the terms you will offer, on condition of its surrender." Take the time to read more of the resultant encounter between Grant and Lee and the end of the Civil War at www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/appomatx.htm .
• April 21, 2007. The Zion United Church of Christ is having their annual chicken barbecue meal on April 21. The meal is open to the public, starting at 4 PM. Homemade pies will be featured. The meal and vegetables will be on the table. Take outs will also be featured, if desired. The price is $7.50 for adults and children 6-12 eat for $3.50. It is free for those under 6. Zion United Church of Christ is located 1/4 miles south of Zaners Bridge near the township shed for Fishing Creek Township.
• June 2 and 3 and October 20 and 21, 2007. Used book sale at Columbia Mall, sponsored by the Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library.
Quote of the Day:
"My problem lies with reconciling my gross habits with my net income."
John McHenry, Camp Hill, celebrated his 55th birthday Sunday and was treated to a Montgomery Pie, a Pennsylvania molasses pie with a twist. I'll betcha most readers have never had a delicious piece of Montgomery Pie, and probably none as good as the one his wife, Marsha, made for him. See, John, there are benefits to growing old...
The Benton Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, Church Street, Benton, will provide additional services beginning Sunday, April 15. A new service will be added at 8 AM each Sunday. The Sunday School will begin at 9 AM and the regular Sunday service will take place at 10 AM.
April 15-21 is National Library Week, a great time to join up on the annual membership drive of the Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library. That organization depends a lot on your membership. Peg Root, 925-2408, is the Treasurer of the organization. Give Peg a call today and get involved. Memberships cost $5 for a family or an individual. A patron cost is $10. Gifts given to the Columbia County Traveling Library to purchase a book in memory of a loved one, or to honor a birthday or a special event in the life of a family member, are most welcome. For more information, call the library at 387-8782..
The article that originally was published in this space has been moved to the FEATURES Section under Tanneries at the bottom of the page.
April 8, 2007. Charlotte Sibly, John McHenry and Ken Dressler celebrate birthdays today. Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain in 1513 on this date. On this date in 1935, Congress approved the Works Progress Administration (WPA), President Franklin Roosevelt's national works program to relieve the economic hardship of the Great Depression. More than 8.5 million people worked on 1.4 million public projects before disbanding in 1943. On this date in 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's record, For lovers of trivia like Richard Casey, the pitcher was Al Downing. Don't forget that April 14 is the opening of fishing season locally.
It is Easter, the day Christians remember that Jesus rose from the dead. After crucifixion, a large stone was rolled over his tomb. When followers arrived at the tomb to honor Jesus the stone had been moved and all that remained was the cloth that wrapped Jesus' body. The story relates that Jesus' body was no longer in the tomb and that he had risen from his death. An angel near the tomb told his followers of the miracle of the resurrection. As the Bible described it, when Jesus rose from the dead, Christians received new life after death. Easter celebrates this belief and is the last day of the 40-day Easter season. The date of Easter is determined by a formula involving the full moon. Jesus was crucified under a full moon, so the full moon has become the regulator of the date of Easter.
We always liked what Edgar A. Guest had to say about wisdom, and so we'll repeat it today...
This is wisdom, maids and men:
Knowing what to say and when.
Speech is common; thought is rare;
Wise men choose their words with care.
Artists with the master touch
Never use one phrase too much.
Jesus, preaching on the Mount,
Made His every sentence count.
Lincoln's Gettysburg address
Needs not one word more nor less.
This is wisdom, maids and men:
Knowing what to say and when.
Buster and Chloe ask if you remember love. Whether you do or don't, head over to http://doyourememberlove.com/narration.html and be refreshed.
Bee aware that emails now circulating that purport that a copper penny applied to the sting of a hornet or other flying pest counteracts their bite is a honey of an idea. There is no truth to it, however. The term "copper penny" applies to those 97.5% zinc and 2.5% copper (copper-plated zinc disks) that we once put on a train track.
We love the origins of words. Here are two examples.
. Tyrone, 126 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, West on I-80 and South on I-99. "As the story goes," an early pioneer family camped near where the town now stands, had two horses, a gray and a roan, and at night the wife, worried about the nervous nature of one horse, instructed her husband to "tie roan." And, yes, they settled there, and, yes, the name stuck.
. Bellefonte, a town of 6,395, about 95 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA, nestled three miles south of I-80. We'll start out again "as the story goes." An old Pennsylvania-German farmer put a bell on one of his cows and turned the herd loose to graze on the side hill outside of town. The cows came home that night, but the bell was nowhere to be found. That autumn, while squirrel hunting, the farmer found the bell. "Ya wohl!" There in the bushes "wass that bell fount!" The town was later christened Bellefonte to commemorate that event.
In fairness, we consulted the Bellefonte official web site in order to determine if the story was true. We got a little different story. It was named, "so the story goes," during a visit by the French statesman Talleyrand after he saw the enormous spring from which flows about 13.5-million gallons a day. He exclaimed, "La belle font!" (beautiful spring) and that was an appropriate name for the town.
We recall the story of the history of the towns of Tyrone and Bellefonte to illustrate a point. We keep getting mail asking for us to explain this or explain that and we have to point out that we are not historians or genealogists. We have to remind readers that "in the early days" settlers did not sit around writing down the origins of things and who did what to whom and why that was this and this was that.
From what we can tell, it was not until about the time of the American Centennial in 1876 that amateurish authors started running madly about recording information about previous generations. Often names and places would be used and then reused by other writers without a real shred of truth in any of it. The readers didn't know, the writers sometimes didn't get very careful about separating myth from folklore from fact. Many of the histories of the last part of the 1800s were written by men paid to insert nice things about the person being written about. More myths grew on the myth pile, making it difficult to draw the line between fact and fiction. Dates copied for a family bible, for example, are generally quite accurate--so long as the birth occurred more than nine months from the date of the marriage! We side with the old Scottish proverb that "Error can go around the world twice while truth is putting on its boots."
In the case of the origin of the name of Bellefonte, had we not mentioned that there were two versions of the naming of the town, most readers would have accepted either version as a version of the truth. We don't know which is the truth, but found both in different sources.
Now have we ever told you how the name Waller came about...
With hope and love, we wish you all a very Happy Easter.
April 7, 2007. Happy birthday to George Welliver, Bloomsburg. There are 75 days remaining until the official start of summer.
Just two years ago at this time, rivers and streams were returning to "normal" following major flooding of the area, which was either worse or not as bad as Hurricane Ivan--depending on how far you lived from water. Statewide, more than 5,715 homes were evacuated, including homes in Shickshinny and West Nanticoke. This morning, most in the state are waking up to below freezing temperatures, with similar prospects for Easter Sunday.
Please keep Leonard Mott, a familiar face at the old Little Lumber Company, in your continuing prayers.
There isn't any doubt that in our future a woman will be elected President of the United States. I don't think this will happen in 2008. Hilary seems to be the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, but major hurdles are ahead with the rest of American voters. By the time the election rolls around in November, 2008, this country will have had a Clinton or a Bush in the White House for 20 years, and if you count the time that George Bush served as Vice President during the administration of Ronald Reagan, that time extends to 28 years. Think of the number of years for the Clinton/Bush dynasty if at some time in the future Chelsea Clinton and Jenna Bush make a run for the Presidency!
The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center will present the music of John Russo, a singer/songwriter, composer and producer, at the fourth annual Village Sampler and Fun Auction Sunday, April 29. There is food and an entire afternoon and evening of entertainment for a $10 admission at the door. Food from local restaurants will be served from 4-6 PM. The auction starts at 6. This hugely successful activity brings together food vendors, live music, and the entertainment of a fast-paced auction conducted by Jim and John Vance. It is held at the Benton Volunteer Fire Department, and if the past three years are any indication, the available seating will sell out. The list of auction items will be published in the near future. To buy tickets, visit the center's temporary office at 255 Main Street or its thrift shop on Mill Street. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 925-6972 or 925-0163.
World War II, fought between the Allied Powers and the Axis Powers from 1939 until 1945, resulted in the deaths of an estimated 72 million people from 70 different nations making it the deadliest conflict in human history. The war had a significant impact on people Back Home in Benton, PA, and throughout the United States. Bob Webster will be the featured speaker on the third Monday of April at the North Mountain Historical Society meeting at the Brass Pelican Restaurant, Elk Grove. Bob will tell about Life on the Home front During World War II. Life at home during the years 1940-1945 was significant to the outcome of the war effort. Pig parts and buckwheat cakes go on the tables about 8 in the morning, and by 9 or so there will be a blessing and some announcements and the speaker will begin. There is no charge for the lecture and it is open to the public. We'll see you on April 16, for this interesting lecture.
Didja know that...
• The state Senate and House of Representatives will remain on Easter and Passover break next week, returning to session on Monday, April 16.
• Effective with the May 15 primary, voters in Fishing Creek Township will cast their ballots in the St. James Community Center, 433 Zaners Bridge Road.
• You can round and square dance tonight from 8-11 PM at the Jerseytown Community Center. The very talented Masters' family provides the music.
• The cold and blustery weather that arrived Wednesday will persist at least through Monday.
• Garrison Keillor tells about the expectant father at the hospital walking the halls and pulling his hair out. When the doctor walked in and congratulated the father on becoming the father of a new baby girl, the man blurted "Oh, thank goodness, she won't ever have to go through what I just went through!"
• Mary Chapin Carpenter will appear at the F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre, at 8 PM, April 24. Tickets are $30, $35 and $40. For more information, call 826-1100. Gordon Lightfoot will appear April 21 at 8 PM at the F.M. Kirby Center. Tickets are $34.50 and $42.50. April 26-28 at the Kirby Center you can see The Molly Maguires Musical presented by WVIA and Burke Productions. Tickets are $30 to $65.
• About 125 otters were released into sparsely populated, densely forested, mostly publicly owned areas like the Pine Creek Valley in the northern part of the state over the past 20 years. The playfulness of these carnivores is one of their trademarks, as shown at www.youtube.com/watch?v=epUk3T2Kfno .
April 6, 2007. We celebrate the birthday of Stephen Hess, Lower Raven Creek Road. On this date in 1789, George Washington was elected the first president of the United States, the only president to be unanimously elected. George Washington received 69 votes. John Adams was elected Vice President with 34 votes. Wonder what these two men would think of today's dash for the cash: Democrat Barack Obama raised $23.5 million for his presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton brought home the bacon to the tune of $20 million (the other $6 million she raised limited to use in the 2008 General Election if she wins the Party nomination), and former Massachusetts Guv Mitt Romney had a $21 million haul. Of course, the question is why would anybody want to be the next occupant in the White House?
It is Good Friday, the Friday on which the Church keeps the anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. I have never figured out why the day is called "good." The phrase "good Friday" does not appear in the Bible and neither does the word "Friday." The only day of the week given a name in the Bible is the 7th day, the Sabbath. The other days are designated as the first, second, third and so on. It could be from "God's Friday" (Gottes Freitag) or from the German "Gute Freitag," although our local German authority, John Herbert Laubach, told us once that the Germans call Good Friday "Karfreitag."
If you receive an attachment with an extension of .pps, it is a document created with Power Point. If you do not have the Microsoft Program Power Point on your computer, you can still download and install a free Power Point viewer by going to http://tinyurl.com/5y728
• The final nine episodes of the Sopranos begins April 9 at 9 PM.
• Northwest All-Stars will meet up in a WBRE-TV and WYOU-TV Charity Basketball Game, 7:30 PM, April 14, at the Northwest High School gym. All of the money raised will benefit the FLT building project in Shickshinny. The Historical and Preservation Society of the Greater Shickshinny Area and the Business Association of the Greater Shickshinny Area co-own the building and are in the process of raising money for renovations to make a community center and museum to display the historical artifacts of the area. Cost is $5 for adults and $3 for students. Refreshments will be available along with a 50/50 raffle.
• The Benton Women’s Club will sponsor an AARP Driver Safety Program for adults over 50 on May 9 and 10, 2007. Drivers over 55 will qualify with their insurance company for at least a 5% discount upon completion the course. “No Tests!” Both husbands and wives must attend the course in order to obtain the certificate. The class will be held at Christ the King Catholic church from 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM both days; and the Benton Women’s Club will provide coffee, doughnuts and lunch! The course will be taught by Terry and Nora McDaniel. The cost is $10 per person, and all must bring their driver licenses and a pen or pencil. The class is limited to 35 participants. For reservations or more information call Barbara TODAY at 925-6242.
Having a simple cup of coffee with friends my age involves a great deal of listening, much of which is about the aches and pains people experience. It isn't just them. I contribute to the conversation, too. While I do care about the ills of humanity, there are some things in my life that simply should be changed if I could just have a "do-over." Talking about aches and pains is one of them. There are others, too...
I would not have gone to work on those days I had the creeping crud, thinking that the job couldn't get along without me while I spread germs to fellow workers who then got sick and took days off while I had to end up doing their job and my job. I should have listened more to the concerns of those around me, and never have wasted anyone's time by talking about the concerns that affected only me.
My house should have been open to everyone at any time, rather than insisting that visitors come only when it was properly manicured. I should not have worried about tracking in dirt and should have worn shoes in the house. I should have lit the fireplace more often, made and shared more spaghetti, read more good books, asked Father more questions about the "old days" and found out about my grandparents I never knew. I should have talked more with brother Dayne about what it was like in the twenty years he was around and I was not.
I should have watched less of the make-believe world of Hollywood and television and participated more in the drama of real life. I should have dressed up more and not worried about whether my suit would age faster than I did. I probably should have shaved my beard, although the one time that I did my secretary looked at me with a puzzled look on her face and asked "Did you get new glasses?" I grew the beard back beginning the next day.
I should have shared the ice cream I saved for special guests. I should have given some to everyone who came in the door, since it eventually got freezer burn and had to be thrown out. Rather than secretly thinking that it was a task best performed by a person of the opposite sex, I should have done the dishes, run the vacuum and washed the windows more often. I should have spent more time on country roads and less time on the interstates. I should have had more children and been a better father and a better husband.
I should not have put off all the opportunities I had to kick back and communicate when I thought my schedule was too full to cram it in. I should have listened more and talked less. I should not have worried about offending anyone, since it appears I have offended more people close to me than people at a distance. I should not have worried about what others have or where they are going or what they are doing. I should have concentrated on the blessings I had, the relationships I built, the ones I love.
Sadly, do-overs may happen to some people at some age, but I fear my opportunity to change is behind me.
Kenneth R. Day Sr. (Aug. 18, 1941-April 3, 2007), died Tuesday at his home at 390 St. Gabriel's Road. He was 65. Born in New Windsor, Maryland, he was a son of the late William R. and Mary M. (Jenkins) Day. He lived in Vincentown, New Jersey, for 39 years and in Sugarloaf Township for the past two years. He was last employed as a truck driver for Wholesale Outlet, Waterford, NJ, where he worked for 15 years. He served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. Surviving are his wife, the former Joan A. Weisman; daughters: Brenda L. (James) Calhoun, Hammonton, NJ; Sandra L., (Christopher) Haug, Orangeville; sons Kenneth R. Day Jr. (Lynn), Mardela, MD; Kevin D. Day,Vincentown, NJ. Funeral services will be private Saturday in the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home, Benton. There will be no calling hours.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, where a complete obituary can be found in the edition of April 5.
April 5, 2007. Today is the birthday of local firefighter, emergency medical technician, and Bloomsburg University student James Albertson, who turns the big TWO OH. Penny and Randy Fritz celebrate their wedding anniversary today. It is the birthday today of Booker T. Washington, former principal of the Tuskegee Institute, which eventually grew into a University. A favorite quote of his was "You can't hold a man down without staying down with him."
Today is Holy Thursday or Maundy Thursday, the feast or holy day on the Thursday before Easter that commemorates the Last Supper of Jesus Christ with the Apostles. It is followed by Good Friday. On this day, four events are commemorated: the washing of the Disciples' feet by Jesus Christ, the institution of the Mystery of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper, the agony of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, and the betrayal of Christ by Judas. The Benton Christian Church will hold Maundy Thursday Services this evening at 7. Everyone is invited.
Prayers are needed for Marcia Worley (daughter of David and Kay Kline), Dover, Pennsylvania, a patient in the Hershey Medical Center.
The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday evening, April 5, from 7 to 9. The public is invited to join members and guests as they learn about the ‘Beautiful Berchtesgaden’ region of Germany’s Bavarian Alps. Society Member Shelby Deutschle will share stories and a video. As always, socializing will precede and follow the meeting. The GHSSV meeting will be held at the Degenstein Library, 40 South Fifth Street, Sunbury. For more information, please feel free to contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer, 374-7730.
Many computer users safeguard their computers by setting their password in the name of a loved one, child or pet, often with a number thrown in to slow down evil doers who might gain access to their computers. Frequently the same password is used in multiple applications. The user might as well hand over their entire wallet, including their ATM pin number. Once one password is determined, the hacker essentially has access to everything, since most use the same password for all services and web site.
Take the time now to complicate your passwords, make them impossible to remember, and use a different one for each web site. Use a combination of lower case and upper case letters with numbers thrown in. Don't use names, phrases or words. The more random the password and longer it is, the longer it takes someone to crack it using password crackers.
Keep track of all your passwords in an encrypted file and keep it backed up on a USB key and/or PDA. Once you have all your passwords encrypted safely, you only need to remember the one password for it and can then copy and paste your password each time you need it.
Mac users have Keychain which is included in Mac OS X. If you're a Windows user, eWallet syncs with most PDAs and Smartphones. You can download it, for a fee, at www.iliumsoft.com/site/ew/ewallet.htm .
Don't let your browser store your passwords as most malware emails those stored passwords to the malware author immediately upon infection.
April 4, 2007. Robert Hough, 70, Orangeville, a retired dairy farmer from the Cambra/New Columbus area, celebrates his 70th birthday and Fawn (Hubler) Jolly and Guy Hubler celebrate their 41st birthday today.
We take for granted that our roads will be plowed if it snows and that, although delays may ensue, we can go where we want about as fast as we want. I remember a story dating back to January, 1911, that shows it wasn’t always like that. Icy roads and generally bad conditions were blamed for an accident near Divide in which a portable engine and boiler belonging to R.T. Smith & Son, Benton, was badly damaged and the horses hauling it and the men in charge narrowly escaped serious injuries.
Ray McHenry was in charge that day. The outfit was being moved from Rohrsburg where it had been used for lumbering "to the mountain" where it would be used for another lumbering operation. The engine and boiler were pulled by six horses with several men also assisting Mr. McHenry and all the men were on the wagon when the accident occurred.
Near Divide, the engine skidded and the outfit and the horses turned upside down and slid over a five-foot bank. Somehow, the horses survived without serious injury, although they were cut up and had minor injuries. The engine and boiler didn't fare that well, with damages estimated at $200--a substantial amount in those days. It took all day for the men to winch the engine up the bank using block and tackle.
• Christine’s Karaoke will be at Spencer’s on Route 118 Friday night starting at 9 PM.
• The Wyoming Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross will be at Northwest Area High School, 243 Thorne Hill Road, Shickshinny, Monday, April 23, 8 AM-2:30 PM.
There are certain highways in the Keystone State that I think are just a hoot. Routes we like to travel include but are not limited to...
• Route 45, which was part of an old turnpike built between 1829 and 1829. The building of the turnpike was an important event in the development of the Buffalo Valley and Mifflinburg. That road today makes for a lovely ride to the State College area.
• Route 6, which cover the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania, traveling over rolling hills, the forests of the mountains and through historic small towns, through eleven counties stretching over 400 miles.
• A tour of Columbia County Covered Bridges, an open-ended loop of eleven covered bridges dating back to the nineteenth century, with a visit to Ricketts Glen State Park and its more than 20 waterfalls, ending up Back Home In Benton, PA.
• Lancaster Valley Amish Country from Morgantown to Lancaster, with stops at the Landis Valley Museum and Ephrata Cloister. Be prepared to share the road with the clip-clop of horse hooves and whir of buggy wheels.
• Pine Creek Valley from Route 220 to Morris, a 42.8-mile drive up Pine Creek Valley and back and forth over Pine Creek, through Black Forest, Slate Run, and across Little Pine Creek. An overnight stay at Petticoat Junction Campground has always been one of my favorites.
There are certainly other outings of note, thanks to the work of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) in reconstructing our state's highways. As byways become highways and its state routes become interstates, another route is improving greatly. We're talking about Route 15 from New York state south into the Williamsport area.
From the north, Route 15 runs from Painted Post, New York, through the center of the state parallel with the Susquehanna river until just south of Harrisburg, where it veers to the right and enters Maryland just north of Emmitsburg, then meanders south toward Georgia, stopping in Walterboro, South Carolina, for a total of 794 miles. Lets take a little time today to examine the northern end of Route 15 and the ongoing construction to turn this leg into Interstate 99.
I can't talk with absolute certainly about the completion of 158 miles of a highway that meets interstate standards as 1-99 was intended. The highway was designed to stretch from Presho, New York, south to Williamsport. Funding for the northernmost section in New York from Watson Creek north to Presho is pending.
The remaining 153 miles of interstate grade highway from Watson Creek south to Williamsport is scheduled to be open to traffic in November, 2010, with seven miles from Tioga, PA, to the New York border and an additional mile of connector highway in New York from Watson Creek to the Pennsylvania border scheduled to open in November, 2008. The highway from Williamsport to Tioga is open to traffic, with a small section at Lawrenceville not yet open for traffic.
The one-mile connector road in New York from the Cowanesque River to Watson Creek should be complete by November, 2008, at the same time that the Pennsylvania highway from Tioga north to Lawrenceville, PA, will be finished. No date has been set for completion of the five miles from Watson Creek north to Presho, since the New York Department of Transportation is not expected to let the initial contracts before 2009 and construction will take several years after that.
A two-mile section of the highway (from the Pennsylvania Welcome Center at Tioga) of the seven mile stretch from the Welcome Center to the New York border is complete except for some plantings and minor paving work that will be finished in the spring.
The contract for upgrading 7.5 miles of current dual highway to interstate standards between Buttonwood south to Trout Run will he let in August this year. It is expected to he open to unrestricted traffic in late 2010, thus completing the 1-99 expressway from Watson Creek to Williamsport.
Interstate 99 will continue its route south from Williamsport toward the Pennsylvania turnpike, and we'll look at that section in a future article.
Our weather is about to take a turn for the worse. We enjoyed a day in the mid-60s Tuesday, but rain will settle in with the chance of snow by Easter. The cold front that sweeps in Tuesday will stick around through the weekend with the probability it will end up being cold enough that the hens will have to lay their eggs standing up.
A brush fire March 30 in the Hollywood Hills near the 20 building, 1,151 apartment Oakwood complex close to Universal City required five helicopters and about 200 firefighters to battle the afternoon blaze. Two teens, ages 16 and 17, apparently started the fire. For more than 90 minutes, the fire chewed through thick, dry vegetation, threatening apartments and even the Hollywood Sign. Oakwood is often used by actors as a temporary home while they seek their fortune. Los Angeles has had slightly more than two inches of precipitation this season, rather than the 13-plus inches normal by this time. Actress Krysten Ritter is a resident of Oakwood Apartments. Her boyfriend, Benji Lysaght, was able to get all their stuff out. Krysten was not home at the time.
April 3, 2007. It is the birthday of Helen Raski and Kim Fantanarosa. Charlotte (Hubler) Kingsbury is 39 today. Her younger brother and sister, Jeff and Jennifer Hubler, are 36 (yes, they are twins). We'll also mention that tomorrow, April 4, Fawn (Hubler) Jolly and Guy Hubler will celebrate their 41st birthday. In case you were not counting, that's three Hublers on the third and two on the fourth.
Keep Robert Kelsey in your prayers as he recuperates from pneumonia in a hospital outside of Langhorne, Pennsylvania, and remember Bill Hiscox who is too stubborn to see a doctor but certainly sounds like he has the same thing. Keep Eleanor Sands in your prayers as she recovers from a fall and remember Max Hartman as he slowly recovers from recent major surgery.
Didja know that 3,042 of Pennsylvania's state government employees earn a yearly salary of $100,000 or more? The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported it.
We are pretty fussy about our coffee and mostly drink Starbucks. Monday was opening day for Kristie's Kafé in the Old Bakery at 230 Main Street and we stopped in for a cannoli and an espresso knowing that Starbucks bought a company known as Seattle's Best in July, 2003, and that Kristie would serve only the best coffee.
Kristie and Scott Schaffer serve Seattle's Best Coffee at the newly opened Kristie's Kafé and I found it to be excellent and the atmosphere simply delightful. Pam Thomas on the left, with Scott and Kristie Schaffer. This picture, courtesy of Harold Ackerman, shows the interior brick color and looking to the left and rear is the inside of the Old Bakery Antique Mart in its final construction phase.
Let me try to describe the Old Bakery and the location of Kristie's Kafé in the not-yet-opened antique mart in the building. There are a pair of doors in the front of the building that will be used to access the antique mart (or the Kafé when the antique mart is open). There is a ramp on the south side of the building that leads directly into the Kafé (or also into the antique mart when it is open). There is a door leading from the parking lot in the rear of the building into the antique mart (and into the Kafé when the antique shop is open). The antique shop will open for business about the first of May, and until then it is necessary to enter the Kafé via the side door on the south of the building via a handicap ramp. All parking for the building is accessed from Church Street.
The Kafé is in the middle of the first floor on the south side and seats about 13, although there are additional tables and chairs in the antique mart while can be used after that portion of the building opens. The Kafé is painted a brick or terra-cotta color and as Kay would say, it is "cute as Christmas."
The Old Bakery Antique Mart has a wide set of stairs leading to the second floor, and cathedral ceilings on both the first and second floors on the north side. The antique shop will sell "higher-end" antiques and is outfitted with closed-circuit television, gas fireplaces and a lovely old store counter. A number of pieces of antique furniture are strategically placed around the building, although no sales of antiques are taking place yet as construction work continues on the second floor.
On Monday afternoon, I examined a supply of exchange books, and tinkered with the laptop computer via the free wireless connection. The tables were pleasant and we soon got into a real-estate discussion with realtor Pam Thomas and a discussion of an "over 60" softball league being formed in Benton, which we soon will tell you more about.
If you have never had caffè espresso but like coffee it is time to give it a try. Espresso is a concentrated coffee brewed by forcing very hot, but not boiling, water under high pressure through coffee that has been ground almost to the consistency of a powder. The drink is strong, but is served in smaller sizes than a regular coffee. I drink mine with the contents of a packet of Sweet and Low and highly recommend it. Espresso can be mixed into other coffee-based drinks, such as lattes, cappuccini, macchiati and mochas, and Kristie has them, too.
So what about the menu? The menu is limited at this point, but sufficient. There are breakfast meals somewhat akin to a McDonald's egg McMuffin and there are breakfast wraps. There are paninis and wraps for lunch, lots of excellent sweets like cheesecake, tiramius, carrot cake, parfaits, brownies, cinnamon rolls and pirouettes. Kids can get peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or turkey sandwiches, etc. If you have a question, call 925-2222. Kristie is open 7 to 3 daily and 8 to 3 on Saturday, closed Sundays, but will probably open Sundays once the antique mart is open for business.
Jakarta long the kids or leave 'em home?
--Dick Sutliff, Aurora, Illinois, formerly of Benton, as quoted by Garrison Keillor
The Columbia County Traveling Library will be at the Rainbow Hill Preschool today from 1:20-1:45 PM, then move to the Little Tiger Teachery from 1:50-2:10, will head up to park beside the Central Hotel from 2:30-3:30 PM and end the day at the Benton Riverside Market from 4-6:30 PM. Tomorrow the Bookmobile will visit the L.R. Appleman Elementary School from 8:45-12:45 PM; Benton Head Start from 12:45-1:15 and the Benton High School from 1:15-1:30.
Didja ever stop to realize that the most common elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity?
It is funny what diverts the minds of men my age. Listening to Fox News yesterday, the name of Anna Nicole Smith came up a lot. Well, yes, she was a beautiful woman who lead a tragic, screwed up life, but in my book she was no Marilyn Monroe, who, by the way, would have been 81 June 1.
Quote of the Day:
"Oh, I just want to be wonderful."
--Marilyn Monroe (1926-1962)
Norma Jean Mortenson (also known as Norma Jean Baker) became a major sex symbol as actress Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s appearing in minor roles and in commercially successful movies like Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), and There's No Business Like Show Business (1954).
I remember seeing my first Marilyn Monroe movie at the Family Drive-In Theatre on Route 11, Bloomsburg. The memory of waiting for the lights to go down, then seeing trunk lips pop open and kids leap from the back ends of cars, gasping for fresh air, is still strong in my mind. The sound at a drive-in back in those days was poor, the picture quality wasn't the best and car windows were often covered with layers of dust. It was a far cry from today's high definition television, but a big improvement over the first theatre of its kind in New Jersey where a simple bed sheet was the screen and a 1928 Kodak projector on the hood of a car was the projector. A radio behind the screen provided the sound. The enterprising guy who came up with the first drive-in lined up cars on his driveway and put blocks under their front wheels. He actually got a patent for his idea, and drive-in theatres were on their way.
In 1934, the first drive-in theater in Pennsylvania opened in Orefield, near Allentown, at Shankweiler's Auto Park, and is actually the oldest surviving drive-in in the United States. Again, films were projected onto bed sheets hung between poles. Something like 5,000 drive-in theatres sprung up by the end of the Second World War, not only in Bloomsburg, but along the Susquehanna near Edwardsville, and in Hunlock's Creek and Danville to name a few. Pennsylvania today has 34 operational, permanently constructed, commercially operated drive-in theaters according to the folks at United Drive-In Theatre Owners Association.
The process was simple. We would drive in, nose the car's front end up on the mound taking great care not to damage the fins on the back of the car, roll down the window slightly and fasten the scratchy speaker to the window, grab a drink and some popcorn from the refreshment stand and act like we were interested in what was on the screen. Cars had bench seats back then, none of these bucket seats that are common today. Heating systems may not have been as good then as they are today, since steamed-up windows were common, especially during the horror movies when dates often slid closer together for protection from the boogie man on the screen.
For those who remember those days at the drive-in, we'll remind you that the "World's Oldest Virgin," Doris Day, is 83 this month, Julie Christie and Ann-Margret are 66, Ursula Andress is 71, Brigette Bardot is 73, Kim Novak is 74, Liz Taylor is 75, Shirley Temple is 79, Gina Lollobrigida is 80, and Jane Russell is 84. Now, don't you feel young again!
April 2, 2007. Today is the birthday of Congressman Paul Kanjorski. Scott Thomas turns 56 and his mother-in-law Avis Young McHenry celebrates her 86th birthday. Tonight's full moon is known as the "Full Pink Moon," and takes its name from wild ground phlox, one of the most widespread flowers of spring.
There is a new game somewhat akin to basketball, it appears, judging from the March 26 edition of the New York Times. In a column about a basketball game in which the netting pulled off the rim, a reporter wrote, "As the ball passed through the net, it pulled some of the string away from the rim. After everyone did double-takes, the officials stopped the game for about 10 minutes and the net was replaced by a man on a stepladder."
Didja hear about the police officers who found Grandma staggering and thought that she had been drinking? They stopped to drive her home, loaded her into the police cruiser and one of the officers got in the back seat with her. They asked Granny where she lived. All she would say, as she stroked the arm of the officer in the back seat with her was "You're passionate." Each time the question was asked, she gave the same answer. The officers got upset at her answer, stopped the car and snarled at her for not answering the question. Her response was truthful and short: "I keep trying to tell you. You're passin' it."
Here are some more tools we recommend for your work space at home...
• Drill press, a fixed style of drill mounted on a stand or bolted to the floor and useful for yanking flat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chest and flings your Pepsi across the room, splattering it against the freshly stained heirloom piece you were drying.
• Wire wheel, cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under the workbench. Also removes fingerprints and guitar calluses from fingers.
• Electric hand drill, used for spinning pop rivets in their holes.
• Skil saw, a portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.
• Belt sander, an electric-sanding tool commonly used to convert minor touchup jobs into major refinishing jobs.
• Welding gloves, heavy-duty leather gloves used to prolong the conduction of intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
• Oxyacetylene torch, used for lighting flammable objects. Also handy for igniting the grease inside the wheel hub.
• Table saw, a large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood projectiles for testing wall integrity.
• Radial arm saw, a large stationary power saw primarily used to scare neophytes into another line of work.
• Craftsman ½ x 24-inch screwdriver, a very large pry bar with an accurately machined screwdriver tip on the end opposite the handle.
• Trouble light, sometimes called a drop light, the home mechanic's private tanning booth, a good source of vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, not otherwise found under cars after dark. Its main purpose is to eat up 40-watt light bulbs making it somewhat problematic as to whether the word "light" is appropriate to describe this gizzie.
• Air compressor, a machine that converts energy from electricity to a impact wrench that grips rusty bolts in order to round off their heads. Effective also to snap off lug nuts.
• Pry bar, a tool used to crumple the metal surrounding a clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50¢ part.
• Damnit tool, any tool that you throw across the garage while yelling "damn it." It is usually the next tool that you will need.
It is April Fool's Day, Sunday, April 1, 2007. Happy birthday in Mount Morris, New York, to Dorothy Passamonte and happy wedding anniversary to snow birds in Florida Phil and Jackie Malhoyt.
• April 21, 2007. Lions "Over 80's" dinner for anyone living in the Benton Area School District. Call Allan Harvey to register. 925-1018.
• April 29, 2007. Lions Annual Walk-a-Thon. Call Harry Baker for pledge sheets. We'll provide more information on this in the coming days.
If you are looking for a place to "serve" and meet new friends, consider joining the Lions. For information call Lions Secretary, Frances Baker, 864-2735.
Didja know that...
• What later became the Union Gospel Tabernacle first opened its doors in 1892 because of Riverboat Captain Thomas G. Ryman. He had the Union Gospel Tabernacle built so that Christians in Nashville could have a non-denominational place to worship and hold evangelistic meetings. The Tabernacle later became known as the Ryman Auditorium when it became the home of the Grand Ole Opry in 1943. In 1974, the Opry was moved to a new and larger home at Opryland.
• Eighteen counties in the state were allowed to start fishing for trout Saturday, but the rest of the state has to wait until April 14.
Son David and I recently drove across the United States--well, from Southern California to Western New York--consuming huge amounts of liquids if for no other reason than to fight off the boredom of endless miles of interstate traffic. We had some excitement, of course, as we huddled for the night in Amarillo on the edge of a fierce line of twisters, and there was that Lincoln Town Car episode in Oklahoma where suddenly a car went sideways in front of us on ice-covered I-40 narrowly missing a tractor trailer and spinning into the ditch just feet from our menagerie of cats and dogs and thingies and people. And there was the matter of two blown tires on the trip and the replacement of one that appeared like it was going to bite the big one soon. And it was topped off by the drive down the lane to the New York house about midnight the last day of the trip--just hundreds of feet from home--where an unseen low-lying limb broke a skylight over the bathroom on the motor home. When we arrived in the house, it was time for another drink--a well deserved one---and the first one that I had since the last time that I quit drinking.
I suspect that between the two of us, we drank a case of diet soft drink on our four-day pavement pounding. Any dentist will tell you that teeth and soft drinks don't mix, even for a short period of time. The combination will cause dental erosion and eventually lead to significant enamel loss. There is an exception, according to the March/April 2007 issued of General Dentistry, which reports that root beer products are non-carbonated and do not contain the acids that harm teeth.
Diet soft drinks are generally taken to be harmless, with more drinkers believing that the sugar content is gone or at least low. Diet drinks contain phosphoric acid and/or citric acid and still cause dental erosion, although to a lesser degree than their sugared counterparts. If you must drink soft drinks, consider doing it with a straw so the liquid slides right down the gullet avoiding contact with the teeth. Remember that non-colas cause a greater amount of erosion than colas, because of the citric acid in non-cola drinks.
With tongue in cheek, so to speak, we suggest that you might as well drink straight battery acid, because that would not be as hard on your teeth as some colas. Some soft drinks are comparable to battery acid, which leads us into our next topic. Our recent trip across the country generated tons of email, and one in particular made us start thinking about things we take for granted which others across the country "don't know from nothin' about." Today and tomorrow, for the benefit of those who might benefit from this information, I'll tell you a little about some common tools.
A tool box should contain some rather standard tools, including...
• Pliers--used to round off bolt heads and to quickly create blood blisters.
• Vise-grips, generally used after pliers to completely round off bolt heads. If nothing else is available, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
• Hacksaws, which transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal your future becomes.
• Tweezers, tools for removing wood splinters and wire-wheel wires.
• Phillips screwdrivers, normally used to stab vacuum seals under lids and for opening old-style tin oil cans and splashing oil on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to strip out Phillips screw heads.
• Straight screwdrivers, tools for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert common slotted screws into non-removable screws.
• E-Z out bolt and stud extractors, tools ten times harder than any known drill bit that neatly snaps off in bolt holes thereby ending any possible future use.
• Hose cutters, tools used to make hoses too short.
• Hammers, originally used as weapons of war, but nowadays used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit. Experienced home-handy folks primarily use it to make gaping holes in walls when hanging pictures.
• Mechanic's knifes, used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard cartons as well as seats, vinyl records, liquids in plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work clothes.