The Benton News Archives for December, 2003
December 31, 2003
Lord, what fools these
The line of life is
a ragged diagonal between duty and desire.
life is a story that is telling itself in the living.
The best things
in life are free; and, they are also priceless.
It is New Year's Eve, the last day of 2003. We'll gather tonight--those of us who can stay awake--to attempt to sing Auld Lang Sine, all the time wondering what the words "old long since" really meant when Robert Burns wrote them back in 1788. Just remember it means something like the "good old days," days worth remembering.
Take a minute out of your evening and think back at the days worth remembering that happened to you and yours during the year. Then take a moment and pick a year at random--say 1952--and try to remember three things that happened to you that year. Many of us won't be able to remember a single thing "off the top of our head." So tomorrow, during the football games and the parades, take a moment to take the year's photographs and separate them and label them. How many pictures do you have that are only, say, five years old with people on them you now can't recognize?
The celebration of the new year dates to the Romans in 153 B.C.
The Romans calendar put the new year in the spring, and the passing
of the old and the bringing in of the new year was celebrated April
1 in much the same fashion as we do it today. The Iroquois Indian in
this country marked the end of the old year and the start of the new
one with their version of a yard sale. They gathered clothes, furnishings,
and household utensils, uneaten corn and other grains, and tossed them
onto a huge bonfire to light up the night. Dutch settlers probably brought
the December 31 celebration to America.
Since we won't publish tomorrow, New Year's Day, we'll mention that Frank and Brenda Conrad will celebrate their wedding anniversary tomorrow, and attorney Bill Kreisher will celebrate his birthday.
Bill and Karen Boston spend a frigid night in Big Bend National Park and "near froze to death. Our furnace ran all night." Yesterday they were in El Paso and they will sip a Champaign on New Year's Eve in Deming, NM.
Randy Hess is back in Nashville after spending his Christmas vacation with parents Al and Pat Hess. Randy helped his parents sort pictures of the group "Al Hess and the Tumbleweed Ramblers." Aren't scrapbooks great? Randy makes great music with Trace Adkins' and their new album, "Comin' on Strong," is really coming on strong, selling 62,188 units during its first week on sale.
Now that Democrat Ed Rendell is the Guv, Pennsylvania State Treasurer Barbara Hafer has switched her Party registration from Republican to Democrat. The move comes as no surprise in that she did not endorse Republican Mike Fisher in 2002.
Leave the big books at home! The FBI has notified police departments to be alert for persons carrying an almanac as it might be used somehow for terrorist acts.
From the Request Department comes this...
Luzerne County's majority commissioners voted yesterday to adopt a General Fund budget of $143,190,655 that imposes 8.1 mills of new taxes. The drastic increase will require court approval for an additional 5 mills beyond the maximum allowed by the Third-Class County Code.
Didja ever think that George Washington is the only man whose birthday is a legal holiday in every state of the United States?
Steve Spurrier resigned as head coach of the Washington Redskins yesterday, walking away from the most lucrative coaching contract in the NFL a few hours after he denied that he had resigned and a few hours after the release of the press release by the team. His salary? He had three years of a five-year, $25 million contract, remaining, but he won't be paid any of the $15 million remaining on his contract.
Do what you will, this
We try to report mostly positive things here at the Benton News,
but we make a few exceptions with our year-end review of actual magazine
articles for the year 2003...
The meaning of the Chinese phrase gong hay fot choy is "Wishing you a Prosperous New Year" and although we'll say it in English we mean the same. Have a wonderful new year.
We'll chat next year.
"A smooth sea never made a
December 30, 2003
I do not refer to myself as a housewife
for the reason that I did not marry a house.
Between a man and his wife nothing
ought to rule but love.
Try praising your wife, even if
it does frighten her at first.
The little woman is bigger than
My ancestors didn't come over in
the Mayflower -- they met the boat.
|December 30, the
364th day of 2003. There is one to go in 2003! The very first California
freeway, the Arroyo Seco Parkway, officially opened on this date in 1940
connecting Los Angeles and Pasadena.
The January thaw is underway even before the month arrives. The icy mess that was the camper's exit to the open road thawed a lot yesterday and we ventured out the ice-covered lane, filled the tanks with water, and started our preparations to tackle the freeways of California. It is a balmy 37° at press time, far from the predicted high for the day. New Year's Eve will be our last publication of the year and for the duration. We'll resume when we come to a wide place in the road and we can take the time to collect some news. We'll collect our thoughts much later! And the weather in California? A snowstorm closed nearly 150 miles of Interstate 5 in California and Oregon yesterday stranding hundreds of travelers.
The forecast locally for New Year's Eve is partly sunny and mild, with highs around 42 and lows around 28. New Year's Day will be another partly sunny day, with highs around 40 and lows around 25. Friday's forecast is about the same, possibly a bit cooler.
Writer Rudyard Kipling was born on this date in 1865 in Bombay. He was educated in England, but then he returned to India to work. He was involved in the work of the Imperial War Graves Commission, and King George V became a personal friend. Kipling died three days before his King. In his lifetime, he declined most honors offered him, including a knighthood, the Poet Laureateship, and the Order of Merit, but in 1907 he had accepted the Nobel Prize for Literature.
The tradition of a baby to signify the new year began in Greece around 600 BC. Their tradition at that time was to celebrate their god of wine, Dionysus, by parading a baby in a basket, representing the annual rebirth of that god as the spirit of fertility. Early Egyptians also used a baby as a symbol of rebirth.
Out with Germanic features and in with style. Ford is trying to shake up its poor quality and image, and the stock market shows the results of that (The stock closed at $16.16 yesterday). It will be interesting to see what shakes out from the change in approach for the car maker. It is interesting that in their press release they essentially didn't say anything about saving money in the process.
We have to wonder what happened. Six months ago, Philadelphia projected a surplus of $500,000 for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2004. This morning's Philadelphia Inquirer reports the city is facing a projected $144 million budget deficit, and city agencies will have to trim the fat by up to 9% next year.
Justin E. Lockard, 20, 665 Market Street,
was sentenced Monday on
There is a great view from the Blue Ridge Parkway, near mile marker 412 near Ashville, North Carolina. From that spot, looking toward the west, is the 6,030-foot Cold Mountain. Charles Frazier received a Pulitzer Prize for the novel of the same name, and now the movie is playing in local theaters and is a winner all the way. The film has a magnificent cast including Renée Zellweger, Nicole Kidman and Jude Law (in that order). Joining those superstars are director Anthony Minghella and the production crew from the movie The English Patient.
Before you head for Cold Mountain based on the beauty of the movie, however, remember that the movie was shot mostly in Transylvania, Romania.
Cold Mountain is partly about the homeward journey of a wounded Confederate soldier who walks away from his bed in a coastal Confederate hospital in order to reunite with Ada Monroe, his cultured, Charleston-bred prewar sweetheart and partly about the life of Ada, left alone in the mountain terrain to survive on her own following her father's death from tuberculosis. Ada befriends Ruby, an intrepid drifter, played by Renée Zellweger, who helps her keep up her late father's farm. At this point, Zellweger should be a definite for an Oscar for best supporting actress.
The picture has received 8 Golden Globe nominations including Best Picture. T-Bone Burnett, the veteran producer behind the Grammy-winning O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, corralled an equally glittering ensemble for Cold Mountain. The CD is available for $13.49 from Amazon.com.
Dig a hole, dig a hole in the meadow,
The Times Leader this morning reports that The Downs at Pocono plans a Hollywood-themed casino, if state lawmakers agree on an expanded gambling proposal next year. The newspaper reports that the Downs and three other horse racetracks in Pennsylvania are banking on the legalization of slot machines to save their horse racing businesses.
There once was an old man of Lyme
One hundred years ago, the age of the inventor was overtaking the Industrial Age. There were only 8,000 automobiles in the United States in 1903, and there were only 144 miles of paved roads. The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph. The first car crossed the country from May 23 to July 26, accompanied by a chauffeur, just to win a $50 bet.
The telephone was in 8% of the homes in America in 1903, but there was no bargain rate for calling long-distance. The 800 toll free and 900 pay-per-call services were not even thought of. A three-minute call from Denver to New York City cost $11.
In the air, the Wright Brothers in December of 1903 didn't do too badly--if you call 12 seconds and 120 feet "good."
The average life expectancy in the U.S. was 47 one hundred years ago and people like Typhoid Mary (Mary Mallon, a cook, blamed for a typhoid fever epidemic in New York city) didn't help. Fourteen percent of the homes in the U.S. had a bathtub, but many women only washed their hair once a month and either borax or egg yolks substituted for shampoo. Ninety percent of all U.S. physicians had no college education, attending instead "private" medical schools more interested in the "almighty dollar" than in quality of education. An estimated 95% of all births took place in the home.
Death came mostly from pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease and stroke. One hundred years ago today, about 600 people died when fire broke out at the recently opened Iroquois Theater in Chicago.
Morphine could be bought over the counter at corner drugstores.
Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee were more populated than California, while Las Vegas had a city population of 30. California was the 21st most populous state in the Union, with more people living in Scranton than Los Angeles!
Workers earned 22¢ an hour, or between $200 and $400 per year. A dentist earned $2,500 per year, a veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year, and a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
Sugar cost 4¢ a pound, eggs 14¢ a dozen, and coffee 15¢ a pound.
The Wizard of Oz premiered at the Majestic Theatre and Enrico Caruso debuted at the Met in New York City. Suffragette Susan B. Anthony was big news, and limericks were the rage. Sweet Adeline was hot at the Pops. Boston upset Pittsburg 5 games to 3 in the first World Series.
One in ten adults in this country couldn't read or write, and only 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school. Former Columbia County Superintendent of Schools, Ray Cole, was 14 years old and one of the 6% who graduated from high school. His dad, Ezra, was laboring as a mechanic at the Tannery in the village of Jamison City, then nearing a population of 500 people. Caroline Geiser McHenry donated a plot of ground first used as the Presbyterian Church in 1903. Eleven years later, on May 16, 1913, fire gutted the building. The Bloomsburg and Sullivan Railroad was going full bore in town. Samuel S. Harvey was postmaster of the Benton Post Office.
The murder rate was 230 for the entire United States in 1903.
"When you are right, no one remembers; when you are wrong, no one forgets." - Irish proverb
December 29, 2003
Take the diplomacy out of war and
the thing would fall flat in a week.
"In skating over thin ice,
our safety is in our speed."
|December 29, 2003, the birthday of inventor Charles
Goodyear, born in 1800. Rubber at that time was messy stuff which
froze bone-hard in winter and turned glue-like in summer. Goodyear accidentally
dropped a mixture of rubber and sulphur on a hot stove, and that led to
the development of the process of vulcanization, which made the invention
of the automobile possible.
It is also the birthday of Andrew Johnson, the 17th president of the United States, born in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1808, in a two-room log cabin to nearly illiterate parents, Johnson grew up in poverty, was apprenticed to a tailor as a boy, but ran away. His wife, Eliza, improved Johnson's reading ability at the age of 17 following their marriage. He is credited with once saying, "It's a damn poor mind that can only think of one way to spell a word," a motto we live by here at the Benton News. With the assassination of Lincoln, the Presidency fell upon this old-fashioned southern Jacksonian Democrat of pronounced states' rights views. He was strongly opposed to secession, which made him the enemy of many southerners.
It is the custom in many countries to wish friends a "Happy Birthday" on January 1, rather than wishing them a "Happy New Year." New Year's day is nicknamed "Everyman's Birthday," the day when everyone becomes a year older, whether it's their actual day of birth or not. The same practice is observed in horse racing. No matter when a race horse is born, all horses "become" a year older on New Year's Day, although we haven't a clue why this is.
Delbert R. "Shorty" Bogard,
80, (Feb. 13, 1923-Dec. 27, 2003), 11 West Creek Road, Benton, died
Saturday at the Bloomsburg Hospital. He was born in Dixon, IL, a son
of the late Benjamin Nelson and Mable Alice
Two articles that reporter Chris Krepich wrote about the Benton Foundry, a local institution since 1863 and the Benton area's largest employer, appear in today's Press Enterprise. Chris wrote the articles after he attended the Benton News breakfast at the Brass Pelican with Benton Foundry owners Fritz and Jeff Hall. The newspaper has given us permission to print the article under FEATURES, and we'll do that a day from now so as not to affect the paid readership of the paper.
Phyllis Potter wrote that she had a triple by-pass in June and husband Hap Potter was hospitalized in December with severe congestive heart failure. Hap's doctor said he had to go to assisted living until spring. Phyllis says that she visits him twice a day and lives less than a block from Hap in a retirement living apartment. Hap has been a regular at Patterson Grove each summer for years.
If you want to teach yourself about your car's engine or review basic physics or learn how to write your own web page, go to http://www.free-ed.net/. This site offers free online courses, tutorials, study guides and lessons in 120 academic and vocational/technical topic areas. The courses are simple and straightforward and best of all they don't require homework.
Our question of the day is what are two pints of strawberries after they are eaten by persons singing? Think about it and rather than keep you in suspense, we'll give you the answer following the next two paragraphs.
In January of 1955, two town boys were injured one Sunday afternoon when their bobsled grazed a tree and crashed into a lumber sled in an adjoining field, requiring admission to the Geisinger Hospital. Jared Ketner, then 14, was admitted to the hospital with a possible fracture of the skull and severe scalp lacerations which required seventeen stitches to close. Ketner, who was doing the "steering," hit headfirst. His scalp was cut almost from ear to ear. Philip Shultz, then 14, suffered a severe bruise of the right hip and possible fracture of the right hip and thigh. Shultz was thrown from the bobsled when it hit the tree. The accident occurred on the farm of David Floyd, West Creek, where the boys were hurling on a bobsled they hastily handcrafted from two sleds and a piece of lumber. Out of control, the bobsled sideswiped a tree and then smashed into a large lumber sled. The sled and two sets of parents were a total wreck. Both boys moved on to other sports and abandoned sled building.
We also recall the December, 1954, accident at the northeast abutment of the concrete bridge near Yost's restaurant about three-thirty in the morning. Alex Ash and Robert Baker had a close one that morning!
The strawberries are a quart-et (eaten).
Verse of the Day:
A web site specializing in language named what it called the top word, phrase and name of the year on Thursday rather than on January 8 as we said yesterday. All words came from the war in Iraq. "Embedded" was the top word of 2003, on a list where in recent previous years "chad," "Ground Zero" and "misunderestimate," and "Shock-and-awe" scored high. "Weapons of mass destruction," "spider-hole" and "Ahh-nold" were very popular phrases in 2003.
We have asked this question before and got no comments. So we'll ask it again. We saw a reference to a road survey from Port Nobe to a mill and aqueduct at Benton. We recognize that prior to 1800, the local language and spelling and meaning sometimes gets lost in the translation, so these words may not mean exactly what we think they mean. Any help from readers?
Nasdaq 100 Heatmap is updated once every minute. This Nasdaq 'heatmap' is great for spotting what is moving in the market. Significant color changes show what stocks are on the move. You can also move your mouse over a company cell to see an intraday pop-up chart.
"Never murder a man who is
When things go wrong, don't go with them.
December 27, 2003
"Lead us not into temptation.
Just tell us where it is; we'll find it."
"Never murder a man who is
"Committee - a group of men who keep minutes and waste hours." -Milton Berle
| December 27, 2003.
We missed the birthday Saturday of Chris Dawson,
owner of the Old Filling Station, not a nice thing to do when one hits
the magic age of 45. Today is the birthday of the 28th president of the
United States, Woodrow Wilson, born in Staunton, Virginia, in 1856. His
Fourteen Points, incorporated into the Treaty of Versailles, laid the
foundation for the League of Nations.
The celebration of the new year is the oldest of all holidays, first observed in ancient Babylon about 4000 years ago. Babylonians celebrated the beginning of a new year although they themselves had no written calendar.
John M. Cregar Jr., 71, (Aug. 14, 1932-Dec.
27, 2003), Dotyville Road, Stillwater, died Saturday at the Bonham Nursing
and Rehabilitation Center, Register. He was the son of the late John
Mark Cregar Sr. and Margaret (Grover) Cregar and was born in Blairstown,
NJ. He married Doris Marian Johnson Jan.
2, 1953. He was a retired horse trainer and at one time had a harness
racing stable at the Bloomsburg Fair Grounds. He is survived by wife,
Doris; son, John M. Cregar III of Somerville, Mass.; son, Glenn
R. Cregar of Stillwater; daughter, Charlane Choquette of Tucson,
Ariz.; grandchildren, Nicole Cregar of Williamsport, Kamie
Cregar of Stillwater, Devon Choquette of Tucson; one great-granddaughter;
sisters, Mrs. Harold (Marilyn) Ramsey,
Benton, Mrs. Roy (Janet) Miller of Cookstown, N.J., and Margaret (Peggy)
Cregar of Fullerton, CA. He was preceded in death by his parents. There
will be no public visitation.
Word of the Day: "mess."
The American Dialect Society tracks new words added to our vocabulary each year, words like "spider hole," "embed," and "SARS." The word of the year will be announced January 9 in Boston by the dialect society, which has been monitoring the use of our English since 1889.
The market for under performing cows culled from area dairy herds and offered for slaughter may be a mess Monday as places like Taylor Packing Plant, Wyalusing, reopens for business following their Christmas holiday. Other meat packing plants also could be affected. Taylor exports meat to other countries and some like Japan banned U.S. beef immediately after the announcement of the infected cow in this country. An ear tag on the slaughtered Washington state Holstein cow infected with mad cow disease shows the animal came from Alberta, Canada, part of a herd of 74 animals that was imported in August, 2001. Local farmers hope that the infected cow was an isolated case and that overseas markets, which account for 10% of the $3 billion U.S. beef industry, will soon drop their import bans. Watching beef consumption at the local stores and restaurants will be a good indication.
A two-part series on living with diabetes is currently running in the Times Leader. We should all take this silent killer very seriously. Read today's article when you get time.
The Redskins lost yesterday to the Eagles, 31-7, winning the NFC East title. Washington's closed the season at 5-11.
Lets take a second and look back on the year 2003. After all, it
is about over. The year was a pretty good year economically, better
than most expected. Health wise, many of us slid down the hill a bit.
A deer conference is coming up concerning "The Challenge of Overabundant Deer in Pennsylvania: A Call for Partners." The conference is scheduled for January 6 at the Harrisburg-Hershey Marriott at a cost of $35 per person. payable to "Deer Conference, 100 Wildwood Way, Harrisburg, Pa. 17110. Speakers will include Gary Alt, supervisor of outreach and technical services in the game commission's Deer Management Section and Dennis Wolff, secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture.
"It's just a job. Grass grows,
birds fly, waves pound the sand. I beat people up."
December 27, 2003
A good recipe for having friends is to be one!
Everytime you give another a "piece of your mind," you add to your own vacuum
If all you exercise is caution, you really have reached middle age
May you live all the days of your life!
|December 27, the
361st day of 2003, with four days left in the year. Nancy
Leh, Central, celebrates her birthday today, the same day that
ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts celebrates hers. Maria von Losch
was born on this date in 1901. Most knew her as actress Marlene Dietrich.
By the time that stores closed last night, the Christmas items were in short supply. There seemed to be "many happy returns of the day" and there were lines outside of some stores before they opened. The people who work in retail establishments slept soundly last night! The final sales picture will be released January 8 when the nation's retailers report their December sales results, but local stores seemed to be having a good year. Last year, the week after Christmas accounted for almost 12% of holiday sales, and if the number of gift cards exchanged in our family this year (in lieu of actual presents) is any indication, this could be a bigger week than last year. The gift cards, which stores sold in record numbers this year, made what was once the traditional day for returning unwanted gifts into a day for buying wanted stuff.
In 1968, Apollo Eight and its three astronauts made a safe, nighttime splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on this date. This was the first manned mission to orbit the moon and achieved the first men in lunar orbit. The crew of Frank Borman, Bill Anders and Jim Lovell were named Time Magazine's Men of the Year. The decision to go to the moon was made in May, 1961. President John Kennedy set the goal in a speech to Congress and the American people. He said he believed the United States, before the end of the nineteen-sixties, should land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth. He said no other effort would be so important to the exploration of space and he said no other effort would be so difficult or cost so much to do.
On this date in 1845, Dr. Crawford Williamson Long used anesthesia for childbirth for the first time, when he delivered his own child in Jefferson, Georgia.
A man was shot by his hunting partner Friday afternoon in Ross Township, Luzerne County, on the first day of the regular flintlock muzzleloader season, which runs through January 10. The hunting partner attempted to shoot a deer and ended up shooting the victim in the shoulder with the projectile exiting through the victim's other shoulder. The victim whose name had not been released at press time was taken by ambulance to a LifeFlight helicopter then transported to Geisinger Medical Center, Danville.
A fire fueled by gas burned the JC Chinese Restaurant in the 100 block of West Front Street, Berwick, Friday morning. The building was a total loss.
A downpour starting on Christmas Day in the San Bernardino Mountains of California brought a torrent of waist-high muck, boulders and tree trunks from hillsides that had been stripped of vegetation by wildfires in October and November. With nothing to hold the soil in place, trees, mud and rocks slid down the hillsides. Seven were found dead and nine others are missing. We mention California this morning because we plan to start the engine on New Year's Day and head for that state for a short vacation from the Pennsylvania winter. Our reporting from Back Home in Benton, PA, will be limited to that information that you provide to us and occasionally some observations from the highway. Please keep in touch and we'll do the same.
From the Some Might Remember Department...
An article on the sports page of today's Press Enterprise
says that "the highlight of the first half for the Benton girls
basketball team may have been when freshman Lauren
Marinos sang the national anthem prior to tip-off. Because for
the next 16 minutes, it was a disaster." Benton went on to lose
the game to the Bucks 48-42. Benton will play Sullivan County tonight
at 6. All the sports schedules are on the side panel, under the listing
for the Benton Area Schools.
Yesterday the Pennsylvania Insurance Department disapproved Blue Cross/Blue Shield's request to increase non-group subscriber rates from 5.3 to 12%. The decision affects approximately 70,000 non-group recipients of health insurance in Northeastern Pennsylvania who may not have to pay more for their coverage in 2004.
A strong earthquake in southeastern Iran killed "at least 20,000 people" (Washington Post) in and around the city of Bam early Friday. The Philadelphia Inquirer put the figure closer to 5,000. The earthquake registered at a devastating 6.7-magnitude level at a time when almost all of the city's 80,000 residents were in bed on the Muslim day of rest. Officials estimated that 60% of dwellings collapsed, killing thousands instantly and injuring as many as 30,000.
We hope that your New Year is healthy, happy and surrounded by loved ones. As we approach the end of another year and reflect back on our trials and tribulations, let's also take a moment to be thankful. Remember that living is a lot like licking honey off a thorn.
is bliss--Tis folly to be wise."
December 26, 2003
we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer."
|December 26, 2003.
Last year at this time, we were concerned with the foot of snow on the ground. The storm dumped 16 inches in Susquehanna County, 19.7 inches in Wayne County, more than two feet in Albany. Across the state, more than 100,000 customers in central and eastern Pennsylvania lost electrical power. This year we are hoping for temperatures above 50° for the next three days.
Today Boxing Day is celebrated in Australia, Britain, New Zealand, and Canada. The name has nothing to do with fights between family members or getting rid of all traces of Christmas or with returning unwanted gifts to the stores they came from. The holiday's roots go back to Britain, where Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen's Day. The origin of the holiday are found in an old custom of wealthy estate owners giving gifts or money wrapped in boxes to their servants and those who worked for them. Servants were needed on Christmas Day, but often given a rest the next day. In Australia, usual Boxing Day activities include surfing. Christmas comes in the middle of summer. St. Stephen was the first Christian martyr, having been stoned to death for blasphemy. Can't place the name St. Stephen? Think of the Christmas carol and the words about Good King Wenceslas' gifts of flesh (meat), wine, and firewood made to a poor man whom he observed struggling through the snow "on the Feast of Stephen."
"Second Christmas" was an old custom of celebrating the day after Christmas as a secular holiday. The day's activities included shooting matches, games of chance, and blindfolded wheelbarrow races.
Charles Babbage, the man who invented the "Difference Engine," which could perform large calculations with the turn of a crank, was born in London on this date in 1792. He later tried to build a steam powered analytical engine about the size of a locomotive, but never got it to work. Nevertheless, he is credited with inventing the calculating machine, and also the speedometer and the locomotive cowcatcher.
There is an article in today's Press Enterprise about Steve, Tuck and Rich DuMond and friend Tony Rodney taking their annual dip in Fishing Creek at Stillwater yesterday.
Edwardsville had a blue-light special Christmas Eve
in an open but unmanned Kmart on Route 11. Store workers accidentally
left the store unlocked after they finished work and went home about
Here is something for you to stick under your refrigerator magnet: The annual Fly Fishing Show at Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough, MA, runs from January 16-18. And what fly fishing show with an all-star line-up would not include Benton's Barry and Cathy Beck? Well, not this one! Barry and Cathy Beck, Fishy Fullum, Jack Gartside, Joe Humphreys, Mike Lawson, Dick Talleur and others well known in the fly fishing business will be there. Admission is $12 a day. For the full itinerary and directions, call 800-420-7582.
Columbia County Sheriff Harry A. Roadarmel Jr., 69, died Wednesday following a bout with cancer. Roadarmel was a graduate of the present Bloomsburg University, served 19 years on the Bloomsburg Fair board, a crime and arson investigator with the state police, and was in his fourth term as the Columbia County sheriff.
Term of the Day: Chewing the Fat.
|December 25, 2003, only six days from the year 2004.
Start working on your resolutions.
the night started simply:
The Gospel of Luke tells us that Joseph and Mary had to travel to the city of Bethlehem for a census and to pay taxes. And while there, Mary gave birth to her firstborn son whom they named Jesus. So, as prophesied, Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a descendant of King David. There were shepherds watching over their flocks at night. And the angel of the Lord came to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very frightened. Then the angel said, "Don't be afraid: for I bring good news of great joy, for all people. Today a Savior was born for you which is Christ the Lord." And the child grew, becoming strong in spirit; and the grace of God was on Him. Jesus matured, increasing in wisdom and in favor with God and man.
St. Francis of Assisi had the story acted out by setting up the Nativity scene in 1224 with the baby Jesus in the manger and the animals standing by, a practice that soon became a Christmas ritual.
I heard the bells, on Christmas Day,
#1 USC Trojans vs. #4 Michigan Wolverines
The University of Southern California is taking on Michigan and it all happens at the Rose Bowl. We are actually very happy that Penn State isn't playing in Pasadena on New Year's Day. We remember being there when Penn State made it to the most uncomfortable stadium in the world (in our opinion). We vowed then never to go back to that stadium. USC's last Rose Bowl appearance was in 1996 when the Trojans bested Northwestern 41-32. Michigan participates in its 18th Rose Bowl game, the most of any Big Ten school and second only to the Trojans in all-time appearances in the "granddaddy of all bowl games." Previous Rose Bowl matchups between the two powerhouse teams include the games of 1948, 1970, 1977, 1979, 1989 and 1990. The game will be broadcast nationally by ABC Sports and ESPN Radio.
On December 8, 2003, President George W. Bush signed into law the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement and Modernization Act of 2003. This legislation provides seniors and people living with disabilities with a prescription drug benefit, more choices and better benefits under Medicare. Anyone interested in getting more information can call 1-800-Medicare or visit the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services website at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/medicarereform/ .
In most of the world, one cow testing positive for Mad Cow disease would not even be reported. But in this country, one Holstein is making news across the country and around the world. Every slaughterhouse that kills animals for sale must have U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors on site and that is how the bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE, was found in Washington. Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture Dennis C. Wolff released a statement yesterday that he was confident of the safety of the state's beef supply.
We should point out that an editorial in the Christmas edition of the Washington Post reminds readers how Christmas is celebrated in Saudi Arabia: By a trip to jail, if you try it outside. According to the most recent State Department report on religious freedom, the public practice of any religion other than Islam can result in "arrest, imprisonment, lashing, deportation, and sometimes torture."
Out in Pittsburgh a thief stole a woman's car and her purse that contained $200 and credit cards, but later returned the car with a letter of apology. Newspapers were quick to write "Spirit of Christmas" stories, but later realized that the car probably had been used to commit three other crimes. So much for Christmas spirit.
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
During the second weekend of July, 1972, the first steps were taken to end the "age-old problem of the filth, the smell, the eternal fire and smoke and the eye-sore conditions caused by the Benton Dump." A county-wide landfill was promised, and it necessary to close the dump on the Dug Hill, a site used by Benton Borough residents for years. Seven other municipalities also used the dump site for a small amount each month, and a maintenance man controlled dumping when the facility was open.
The estimates to cover the dump to specifications of the Department of Environmental Protection after dumping stopped ran as high as $15,000. Then, as now, funding was not available in the local budget. Local municipalities joined in the expense of closing and covering the dump.
The project got the work underway with as much volunteer labor, equipment and materials as possible in order to keep costs as low as possible. Work sessions were held evenings and weekends to haul in fill to cover the refuse and dumping became very restricted.
Two Pennsylvania DoT trucks hauled and Richard Bender and Harry Young, both state employees, donated their time as drivers. Benton Township and Jackson Township also each provided a truck and Frank Sleinruck and Robert Yorks, donated their time as drivers.
Robert Sands, town council's flood aid coordinator and vice mayor of Benton Borough, provided a loader and operated it. LeRoy Spencer loaned a power shovel and Floyd Savage operated it, loading shale provided by Paul Hartman from his pit west of town. Robert Myers donated time and Benton Township Police Chief Delbert Doty directed traffic. Benton Borough Police Chief Claude Lewis operated the town's back-hoe and loader in fashioning a cover and dumping ramp, with Mayor James Dildine joining in the planning of the cover-up activities.
The entire project was planned and arranged by J. Robert Sands and Councilman Richard Bender. Closing the Benton dump required hundreds of loads of berm materials and shale. There is much more to this story and perhaps some day we'll get around to telling it.
|December 24, 2003.
Twas the night before Christmas,
The Night Before Christmas combined celebrations of St. Nicholas Day and Christmas, focused attention on children and for the first time represented Santa Claus as a husky human with Harry Potter powers who traveled through the air on a sleigh pulled by eight reindeer. The poem was a boon to merchants, and they pushed the Santa idea. Christmas advertising campaigns began as soon as Thanksgiving turkey was settled in the stomach, and early Thanksgiving Day parades were promotions for Christmas shopping. Franklin Roosevelt set the annual date of Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November in 1939--at the urging of the business community to ensure a four-week shopping season. Christmas sales now account for more than 50% of their annual sales.
Santa Claus comes from Sinter Klaas, the Dutch name for Saint Nicholas. Klaas was a bishop in Southwest Turkey in the 4th century and became the patron saint of children. In Hungary, children leave boots out for St. Nicholas to fill with presents; in Germany, Switzerland and Belgium, a man in bishop's robes listens to children's prayers and gives presents. In Holland, St. Nicholas rides on a white horse, tossing gifts down chimneys. In Holland, children are visited by St. Nicholas on December 5, and on Christmas Eve they are visited by Santa Claus, the "American Christmas Man."
School districts across Pennsylvania are breathing a sigh of relief following the passage of a $1-billion tax increase bill and the signature by the Guv. The plan includes money for all 501 school districts in the state. School districts received no state funding this school year because of the Harrisburg budget battle. The bill includes money for all day kindergarten and restores some money for drug and alcohol treatment programs and libraries. The extra spending will hit our pocketbooks via a 10% hike in the income tax. The General Appropriations bill includes a plethora of other spending bills that make up the "non-preferred" appropriations list.
George Bush can breath easier now... Ralph Nader announced yesterday that he would not be a presidential candidate for the Green Party next year.
The first reported instance of mad-cow disease on American soil sparked a rash of selling in shares of beef-related companies like McDonalds Other companies expected to be hit today are Rare Hospitality, Wendy's, Outback Steakhouse, Tyson Foods, and Smithfield Foods. The news prompted Japan, South Korea, and Singapore to immediately ban U.S. beef imports. Americans have been eating almost any meat except beef for the past several months as prices have skyrocketed and now abstention will become more than an economic matter...
California became a state on September 9, 1850. The state had no electricity and no money, almost everyone spoke Spanish, and there were gunfights in the middle of the streets. Isn't progress wonderful!
For someone who grew up "on the turn" coming into Benton, the reconstruction of Route 254 and Mill Street in 1971 and 1972 was a big deal. We can still remember hearing the squeal of tires as some of Benton's now-older residents (and some deceased citizens) raced north into town perhaps forgetting that a narrow bridge would greet them as the road suddenly narrowed near where the Steve Shannon Tire store is today.
Others older than this writer may remember back to about 1940 during the building of the first "hard top" road from the Sugarloaf Township line to the farm of the Roy and Susie Hess on the present Sokol Quarry land below Benton. The road was one of the first macadamized roads built in rural Pennsylvania. Italian hand-labor laid a stone base under the macadam surface, then placed large stones on end and drove them into place with heavy sledge hammers.
Clair C. Hock, Inc., Bloomsburg, began work in March, 1971, on the reconstruction project of Route 254 from the uneven road surface where the Reading Railroad crossed route 487 a half-mild south of the Benton Borough line at the Bub Laubach farm to the intersection of Main and Market Streets, Benton. Doyle Klinger, now retired and living on Main Street, was the general foreman. He remembers the snow was still on the ground when the project started and several of the recollections in this article are from Doyle. The reconstruction replaced a narrow, box-culvert bridge crossing of a small stream that hugged the hill west of the former Harry Hiscox property, now the home of Chuck and Kay Chapman, widened and straightened Mill Street and replaced a culvert bridge in front of the present Ted Whitenight home, provided a parking lane and improved drainage on Mill Street, widened the present bridge over Fishingcreek and modernized the intersection of Routes 239 and 254 in front of the Benton Roller Mills to meet updated traffic junction standards.
In July, 1970, the house of Dayne and Ruth Kline on route 487 below Benton was taken by the state in order to facilitate the widening of the highway. At that time, they moved from "the farm" to their present home beside the Benton School System Administrative offices. An old arch bridge once spanned the Benton Roller Mill race in front of and about 50 feet closer to Ted Whitenight's home. The pool under the bridge was a recreational site for fishermen for many years, until the race was blocked with fill above the mill, after diesel powered engines were installed for power at the mill. Ted Whitenight remembers that he at one time pulled crayfish from under the bridge, but said that when he moved to Mill Street in 1964, the race had been sealed and only water runoff came down the race. That older bridge had been replaced by the time of the road construction in 1971 and 1972. The highway department covered an estimated 75' of pipe under the present route 487 in order to take away the "race" runoff.
The debris and shale from the removal of about 100 feet of the bank across from the Robert Kline home was used at the Benton dump and at a site Clair Hock bought in Maple Grove. Trucks of municipalities joining in the operation of the refuse disposal site were used to haul the fill material to the dump property. Some shale was stock-piled in Maple Grove for later use.
A thousand probabilities do not make one fact.
Don't brag. It's not the whistle that moves the train.
December 23, 2003
Christmas is the season when you buy this year's gifts with next year's money.
A handful of common sense is worth a bushel of learning.
|December 23, 2003.
On this date in 1823, the poem A Visit from St. Nicholas by Clement
C. Moore was published in the Troy, NY, Sentinel. National Broadcasting
Company went coast-to-coast on this day in 1928.
Scattered snow is forecast for Christmas Eve, and heavy rains will make traveling unpleasant on both Wednesday and Thursday. But lets forget about that and concentrate on the songs that celebrate everything from winter wonderlands to chestnuts roasting on an open fire to coming back home for Christmas. Songs like Irving Berlin's White Christmas and Sammy Cahn's & Jules Styne's Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! and Mel Torme's Christmas Song and Meredith Wilson's It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas and Silver Bells and Silent Night and--well, you get the idea...
I'm dreaming of a white Christmas
Late on Christmas Eve, a stationary lander is scheduled to arrive on the frigid surface of the planet Mars as part of the U.S. Mars lander program. Britain's Beagle 2 will look for possible evidence of past or present life. Within weeks, larger and more sophisticated U.S. landers, code named "Spirit" and "Opportunity," will lumber across the planet's surface at a turtle's pace to examine for evidence that Mars could have supported life. The missions focus on studying the clues left by water, an essential element of life.
Rosa (Hoyt) Young, 89, North Bendertown Road, Stillwater, died December 22, 2003. She was the widow of William B. Young, who died Nov. 26, 1994. Services will be private and held at the convenience of the family with burial in St. James Cemetery, under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home Inc.
The House passed a three-part package raising personal-income taxes for the first time since 1991. Spending was increased, funding was restored for the state's 501 school districts, but nothing was done to reduce local property taxes. The tax increases include a hike from 2.8% to 3.07% in the personal income tax, a delay in the phase out of the Capital Stock and Franchise tax on Pennsylvania businesses, raising the tax on cigarettes by 35 cents a pack, a new tax on cell phone use and interstate landline long distance calls and about $30-million a year in fee increases. The gaming bill died. The Guv is scheduled to sign the measure this morning. Sen. John Gordner, R-Berwick, was one of 19 senators to vote against the bill.
Our forest ecosystems could take another direct hit from an introduced
species like the chestnut blight, Dutch elm disease and the gypsy moth.
Mathew Rabb, Clarkstown, contributes an
article under FEATURES about the
possibility of a widespread attack on one of our great tree species.
Mathew reminds readers about the damage done to the American chestnut
trees in 1950 from a fungus that came from Japan. The elm tree was almost
eradicated by the Dutch elm disease simply because of a single log that
traveled through Pennsylvania causing a loss of two-thirds of the elm
population. The Asian longhorn beetle has been around since 1996 and
is a serious threat. Take the time
now to read this interesting article.
Today's Arcadia Word of the Day:
Readers sent in several Pennsylvania sayings that we didn't think of a few days back when we posted some examples. June Hartzell wrote that her "father would go out on the porch, look north, and say "looks like it is rainin up the "crick" and Grandma would stop and say "we're going up the "crick" to the farm, "wanna" go? John Kline, formerly from Orangeville, helped June's Grandma wall paper and "told her a paint and paper won't help that stain, your 'ruff' is leaking."
The old timers always did their "warsh" on Monday. There were no baths, people would just go warsh. Other readers sent in these sayings: "rattle your bones," looked "a gift horse in the mouth," "six-a-one, half dozen of the other," "Don't make me no nevermind," we had both "Katty-wonkered" and "Katty-wompus," a reader said she had a car once that ran both "Whopper jawed" and "doggy." "I'll be jiggered!" "dingaling," "ding dong." "Scare the pants off." "See a man about a dog," "sticky wicket." We got both "awful sweet" and "awfully dear."
Quote of the Day:
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed fuel
economy rules Monday for large pickups and sport-utility vehicles that
could lead to better gas mileage. Automakers now must meet an average
fuel economy standard of 27.5 mpg (miles per gallon) and light trucks
(pickups, SUVs and minivans) must meet an average of 22.2 mpg in the
Early printing and newspapers in Benton
Newspapers are unable seemingly
to discriminate between a bicycle accident and the collapse of civilization.
Edward E. Ortis was the pastor of the Benton Christian Church from 1870 to 1876, and if our records are correct came to Benton from Nova Scotia and later moved to a church in Bloomsburg. He used a small printing press to publish a religious magazine, The Messenger and Laborer.
In the same time frame, William H. Smith constructed a building for the purpose of running a "tinware business" and he and E. E. Orvis began to publish a weekly newspaper called the Independent Weekly.
With our computers and modern technology, we forget the logistics of printing with an ancient relic like the hand press. If you are ever in Washington, DC, there is an 1860s A.B. Taylor and Company "Washington" Hand Press, weighing a hefty 1,500 pounds, on display at the Smithsonian Institution's printing exhibition, believed to be the last surviving 19th century Trenton newspaper press. Of several hundred originals, it is one of perhaps a dozen or so that are still in working condition.
Editor Smith, in order to get subscriptions, offered to take farm produce in payment. The newspaper Mountain Echo of Shickshinny poked fun at Smith by saying that "Editor Smith of the "Independent Weakly" got peeved because one farmer brought him only small potatoes for his subscription.
William Smith was handicapped with "defective eyesight, poor hearing and also lame," but did much to put Benton on the map, especially with the game of baseball. One account of a baseball game between Laporte and Benton reported that the Benton team went to Laporte" in the Benton stage" and "Bill" Smith was umpire. The outcome was quick: "the Laporte boys put it all over the visitors." In the early 70's a game between the Benton team and a "team of young farmer boys from Jackson township" was interesting. High boots were worn in those days, but in order to run the bases faster the Jackson boys discarded their boots and played barefoot.
Smith eventually moved his newspaper to Milton, but his paper burned in a Milton fire in the 1880s. Some benefactors in Philadelphia associated with the newspaper The Record bought Mr. Smith a printing press and type and "in a few days he had, Phoenix-like, risen from the ashes and was one more publishing his paper at Milton in a freight car on a railroad siding."
"Marriage is the only union
that cannot be organized. Both sides think they are management."
December 22, 2003
You can't make footprints in the sands of time by sitting down.
Always keep your head up, but keep your nose on a friendly level
Parents who are afraid to put their foot down have children who step on their toes
The man who never makes mistakes loses a great many chances to learn something
|December 22, 2003. Winter arrived
at 2:04 AM Eastern time this morning, and typical of Winter, our 22°
at press time was a tad chilly! We hold with Sinclair Lewis that "Winter
is not a season, it's an occupation." There are 89 days until the
official start of Spring.
On this date in 1968 the 82-man crew of the United States intelligence ship "Pueblo" were released after being seized by North Korea. The USS Pueblo, which was attacked and captured by the North Korean Navy on January 23, 1968, was the first United States Navy ship to be hijacked on the high seas by a foreign military force in over 150 years.
Al, Jean and Jeremy Lumpkin provided the music for the residents of the upper Fishing Creek valley last night at the beautifully decorated Presbyterian Church in Benton. Bob Keller aided with the mandolin, while Al was responsible for vocals, mandolin and several autoharps. Jean did vocals and played the guitar and son Jeremy played his new bass. The enthusiastic audience enjoyed singing along with several of the Christmas songs.
Following the unfortunate death of "Willie" Hosking, 33, on December 13, 2003, his family asked that contributions in his name be sent to Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center. Eleven letters with contributions for the Center were received in mail picked up at the post office yesterday.
From the "Goes Around Comes Around" Department comes this...
A new roof on the Stillwater covered bridge cost $7,000, according
to county commissioner and president of the association Chris
Young in a Press Enterprise article today. In another
Press Enterprise article, the newspaper said that the Bloomsburg
hospital expects to lose $1.4 million in its 2003-04 fiscal year, a
$1 million improvement over the previous year.
Didja know that the poem "The Night Before Christmas" was originally titled "A Visit From Saint Nicholas?" The poem was written by Clement Moore for his children and some guests, one of whom anonymously sent the poem to a New York newspaper for publication.
We often forget how easy the trip from Bloomsburg to Benton is. We dodge a few potholes, we mumble under our breath at a few deer, we sway as our car's wheels "find the groove" in the road, we slow to 35 through the town of Orangeville, we casually look at the McHenry home in Stillwater that was erected by Daniel McHenry the fourth on the site of the original log cabin built by Daniel McHenry the first in 1783, and we smile at Benton's beautiful Christmas decorations as we arrive Back Home in Benton, PA. But think for a second of the hardships faced by people like hunter and trapper Daniel McHenry as he made his way up what is now known as Fishing Creek valley from the then-frontier town of Bloomsburg almost 220 years ago.
Daniel McHenry eventually purchased over a thousand acres of land
from the state following the Revolutionary War. In the earliest patent,
dated 1793, Daniel paid 20 pounds--less than 10C per acre--as consideration
for 800 acres of what was known as "Manchester Manor." This
and succeeding tract purchases extended from the "Pealertown"
The historian for the McHenry family is Vinniedee Hippensteel, Berwick, who spends hours upon hours typing obituaries and marriage license numbers into her future book on the "Clan Henry" (McHenry). Her goal is to have the McHenry book ready for the family reunion in August. When Vinnie was in Ireland doing family research, she purchased all the books that she could find about the O'Neil family and the history of the McHenry Family, books that could never be found in America. The dedication that Vinnie Hippensteel shows to her family and heritage is unheard of today.
Vinnie's great grandfather, Matthew Lowery, who went by "M.L.," was chief of police in Berwick for many years, and his Civil War diary is a matter of great pride to her.
The Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society will be closed December 23 to Jan 2, 2004, partly, we suspect, so that Vinnie can stay home and celebrate the three family birthdays that fall on Christmas Day--all McHenry lines, of course. We suspect that Vinnie will be right back at a Society table doing family research as soon as the holidays are over.
A law dating from September lowered the legal blood-alcohol limit to 0.08%, with substantial penalties for people who are busted for driving under the influence. Drivers with second and subsequent offenses of driving under the influence of alcohol will have their licenses revoked for at least a year, and face an additional year of driving with a restricted license. The courts can also order the restricted license for people who have been nabbed once.
We've given this information before, but readers continue to ask about where to get a copy of Microsoft's PowerPoint viewer.
. for the PC, download from http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/2000/Ppview97.aspx .
for the Mac, download the PowerPoint viewer at http://tinyurl.com/6pqx
Both versions of the PowerPoint viewer are free.
The state's first limited flintlock deer season was held in 1974, and 65 deer were killed. By 1977, hunters took 866 deer during the season. In the first statewide hunt in 1979, hunters killed 2,459 deer. For this year's hunt, 175,419 muzzleloader licenses were sold through November 17, up 8% increase from last year.
The North Branch Land Trust and the Noxen Historical Community Association, Inc., will be hosting an open house in January to highlight the Noxen Train Depot and the old Noxen School. The NBLT is restoring the depot built in the 1890s, replacing the roof and siding, rebuilding the chimney and collapsed waiting room, and making foundation improvements. When the project is completed, the depot will be used as a museum. The Noxen School building was given to Noxen Township by the Lake-Lehman School District to be used as a community building and is expected to be placed on the National Historical Registry by the Pennsylvania Historical Museum Commission Bureau for Historic Preservations.
Still Christmas shopping? We continue to recommend the purchase
of digital cameras. If a camera triggers your "buy button"
and you want to get 8 by 10 printouts of your shots, get a 5-MP camera
with the same or better optical zoom. If not, get a 3-megapixel camera
with 3x optical zoom. There are five different storage cards being sold
in digital cameras, and two make sense: CompactFlash and SD Cards. The
former are the cheapest and easiest to find, but larger than other card
formats. Buyers looking for smaller cameras will do better with SD Cards,
more money but they are supported in other devices like handhelds, laptops
as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
"The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it." --Benjamin Disraeli, born on this date in 1804.
December 21, 2003
|December 21, 2003,
a day away from the official start of Winter and ten days from 2004. Don't
forget that the Jerseytown Bluegrass Jam starts at 10 AM today, and tonight
Al and Jean Lumpkin and Friends will be at
the Benton Presbyterian Church with their Christmas program.
The Mayflower landed at Plymouth "Rock" after completing
its three-month voyage from England on this day in 1620, (There are
two primary sources written by the Pilgrims describing the landing in
Plymouth in 1620: William Bradford's journal Of Plymouth Plantation
and the 1622 book popularly known as Mourt's Relation. Both simply
say that the Pilgrims landed, and neither mentions any rocks in the
landing. The first references to Plymouth Rock are found over 100 years
after the actual landing.) The Mayflower carried furniture, guns and
bibles, along with pigs and goats. William Bradford, later the governor
of Plymouth Plantation, wrote that the Pilgrims found nothing but "a
hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men."
On this day in 1988, Pan Am World Airways Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 258 passengers and crew, plus several people who were on the ground at the site of the crash.
Term of the Day: "loggerhead."
Pennsylvania is the only state in the nation that hasn't completed its 2003-04 budget--almost six months after the state's July 1 budget deadline. The state Senate yesterday came out of loggerhead and finally approved a $1.3 billion tax increase, including a 10% income-tax hike, but didn't bring slot machines to the state. The Senate approved a 35-cent per cigarette pack increase as part of budget bill, with 25 cents going towards helping doctors pay for medical malpractice insurance claims, and 10 cents in place of a higher income tax boost. The Senate deal must next be approved by the House of Representatives and signed by the Guv.
The New York Times yesterday included an article about pork, amusing pet projects from among the more than 7,000 "earmarks" inserted into the omnibus spending bill the House recently passed. Examples: $50 million for an indoor rainforest near Iowa City, $225,000 to repair a small-town pool a congressman clogged with tadpoles when he was young, and $500,000 for a program at the University of Akron called "Exercise in Hard Choices" to examine the hard choices involved in Congress' budget decisions. But, wait. Maybe it isn't so amusing! It is, after all, our money.
There will be an early-morning glaze on the eyes of some people on St. Patrick's Day in 2013, the next time that day falls on a Sunday. The state Senate Friday approved a liquor bill allowing hotels, restaurants, airport bars and golf courses to start selling booze at 7 AM on a Sunday, if that Sunday happens to be St. Patrick's Day.
"We were obliged to sleep in the same room without curtains or any other screen, and our sheets they were so dirty I felt afraid to sleep in them." --Margaret Van Horn Dwight, writing of her experiences traveling across Pennsylvania on a stage coach in 1810.
Pennsylvania has its own version of English. Here are some examples:
We'll continue with our list of Pennsylvania's version of English
at another time. How
'bout sending us your favorite state slang . Remember that you "daresn't"
forget that we usually don't pronounce the "T" when we say
In the Thomas Nast cartoon that first depicted Santa Claus with a sleigh and reindeer, he was delivering Christmas gifts to soldiers fighting in the Civil War. The cartoon, entitled "Santa Claus in Camp" appeared in Harper's Weekly on January 3, 1863.
The driver is safer when the roads are dry; the roads are safer when the driver is dry.
December 20, 2003
Don't tell your friends about your goiter operation: "How are you" is a greeting, not a question.
A good example is the best sermon.
Itching for what you want doesn't do much good. You have to scratch for it.
Don't forget that you are a part of the people some of the time.
An admission of error is a sign of strength rather than of weakness.
December 20, 2003. Don't forget to include the music of Al and Jean Lumpkin and Friends at the Benton Presbyterian Church Sunday night. It is always one of the musical highlights of the holiday season.
Viola M. Yost, 77, (March 7, 1926-Dec.
19, 2003), Center Street, Benton, died Friday at the Bloomsburg Hospital.
She was born in Jackson Township, a daughter of the late Phillip Raymond
and Dorothy (Ball) Yost. She was raised by her aunt, the late Bertha
(Yost) Arbogast. She spent her entire life in the Benton area. Viola
was a member of the Benton United Methodist Church. Funeral services
will be at 11 AM Monday in the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home, Benton.
Interment will be in Waller Cemetery. Friends may call Monday from 10
to 11 AM.
We like to turn the pages on old newspapers to see names and events
from the past. We'll do a little of that today...
Solomon Boscov arrived in Reading in 1912, purchased $8 worth of merchandise, and headed off into the surrounding countryside to peddle his wares, exchange merchandise for meals and exchange chores for lodging. Within the year Boscov made enough money to buy a horse and wagon and increase his inventory. Boscov established his first store at 9th and Pike Streets in Reading, and, as they say, the rest is history. Solomon Boscov, passed away in 1969.
Sky King Airlines will offer four nonstop flights to Orlando and two to Myrtle Beach, SC, from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport beginning March 1. The announcement came as announced passenger figures for November showed a 22½ % decline.
More than 20,000 entries were submitted to the "Penn a Phrase for Pennsylvania" contest, which closed Wednesday. Finalists were to be selected by Dec. 24, but that selection has been pushed back to an unspecified date.
Nancy Bocskor will appear on CNN Sunday, December 21, around 11 AM (EST) to talk "about the Bush campaign, open Senate seats in the South, the disarray of the Democrats and whatever else may come up." Nancy is a former student of Dr. John Herbert Laubach. Her association with John dates from the mid-seventies. She is an Arlington resident. She will also appear on C-SPAN on Friday, January 2, from 2:30 to 3:45 PM. She teaches a class on event planning at American University's Campaign Management Institute, and C-SPAN will cover it.
Today in 1865 is the day many believe was the birthday of Maud Gonne, the woman who inspired William Butler Yeats to write many of his poems and plays. He once said of her, "[When I met her] the troubles of my life began."
"When you are old and gray and full of sleep
We understand the advice on aspirin bottles, which tells users with tension headaches, "Take two aspirin" and "Keep away from children."
a try. It is the new web site for the only incorporated town in Pennsylvania.
We don't understand what happened to coasting? We used to coast every night for two months in a row on every hill surrounding Benton. We suspect that "progress" had something to do with it.
We'll now continue with some history of the town of Berwick. Please remember that information about Berwick comes from various sources, but primarily the Centennial History of Berwick, Penna. published by R. S. Bowman in the Berwick Independent August 18, 1886. All quotes are from this source. This history, like much of what we publish in the News from Back Home in Benton, PA, includes personal comments and opinions. We will soon include this history in a longer version on this web site, under FEATURES.
Bostian Seybert was the first farmer in the area, and lived two miles above Berwick in Salem Township near the place Bowman called "Swamp." Seybert's wife nearly died once when a mountain lion attacked her at the door of the house. The dog died in the ensuing fight, but his wife lived.
Evan Owen was called a "Squire," a title applied to a justice of the peace, local judge, or other local dignitary of a small town who would settle disputes between parties. Every bear killed was brought to him, and he divided it equally between the citizens. He built a grist mill along the river, "expecting the Susquehanna to run it, but "she was bent on meeting the waters of the Chesapeake, and paid no attention to the mill. It was therefore abandoned."
"There were two fisheries along the river, one called 'Tuckey Hoe,' and the other 'Jacob's Plains.' Shad were 'seined' (a fishing net that hangs vertically in the water, having floats at the upper edge and sinkers at the lower) by the wagon load, and a load could be obtained for a barrel of salt. The most beautiful shad were sold at four cents a piece, and six cents was an enormous price."
The largest shad caught here weighed nine pounds. Bowman wrote that butter brought six cents a pound, and calico from thirty to fifty cents per yard. "The residents all went to the river to do their washing, and left their kettles hanging along the shore the whole year around. Pewter plates and wooden spoons, knives, forks, and bowls were used then, a tin cup being unknown. Church-going maidens would carry their shoes within sight of the church, and then slip them on till after service, then pull them off and walk home barefooted."
"Seven yards of calico made a dress, and was looked upon as silk is now. Now it requires from twenty to thirty yards of the latter for a dress, with a trail as long as the lingering rays of a comet. Sun bonnets were worn then, and not as now, a patch on top of the head with artificial posies and streamers of ribbon. The mails were carried then on horseback over rough roads and through meandering paths; the mail carrier always blew his horn upon approaching the post office. Bowman wrote that "The first frame house built in the place was the frame house of B. R. Crispin's, opposite the Odd Fellows' Hall (in today's terms, that would be on Front Street across from the Berwick Theater). The second one was on the lot occupied now by the Y.M.C.A. Hall. The first brick building was the old Methodist Church, now occupied by S. K. Heller as a dwelling. The first church was Quaker, a log building that stood on Second Street."
Judge Mack started a foundry at Foundryville cast plows and later built a furnace there.
Two steamboats were built on the west branch, one called Cordorus, and the other Susquehanna and Baltimore. The S & B was intended to run up the north branch, but during her first attempt she exploded in May, 1826, when she got to the Berwick Falls. Four people were killed or died of their injuries.
Robert E. (Eugene) Kline (1897-1985), former R. D. 3 mail carrier, is shown in his garden in September, 1972.
The shiny material between his tomatoes is linoleum, carried onto his property below Benton by the swirling waters of Fishing Creek following the flood waters of Hurricane Agnes. The graden producted excellent tomatoes and the area had the only linoleum mulch. The mulch lasted for years, too!
The love of the land rubbed off on grandson, Robert E. (Edward) Kline, shown below. This picture was taken just below Benton along route 487 on land where his grandfather once lived.
Today, Robert and his wife Margie can often be seen selling produce along route 487. Christmas trees are selling well at the moment.
Robert Edward Kline
"He who knows nothing, doubts
December 19, 2003
The writer in America isn't part
of the culture of this country. He's like a fine dog. People like
him around, but he's of no use. . . .
America is a land of opportunity
and don't ever forget it.
I bet after seeing us, George Washington
would sue us for calling him "father."
|December 19, 2003.
Our overnight low of 28° was nothing compared with the temperature
in Yellowstone National Park of 59° below zero F, the lowest temperature
on record for December in the United States set on this date in 1924.
On this date in 1843, A Christmas Carol was first published in England, the story of Ebenezer Scrooge learning the Christmas spirit of generosity from three ghosts who show him his past, his present and his future. Charles Dickens got the idea for the book in late October of 1843 and finished it in time for Christmas that year. It became a huge bestseller.
Quote of the Day:
Dean P. Kile, 66, (Aug. 13, 1937-Dec.
16, 2003), 545 Zaners Bridge Road, Stillwater, died Tuesday following
an automobile accident just above Orangeville in which his wife, Gladys
Cook Kile, was injured. Mr. Kile was born in Sugarloaf Township,
a son of the late Leo and Ernestine (Parsons) Kile. Mr. Kile graduated
from Benton High School in 1955 and from Bloomsburg State Teachers College
in 1962. He served in the U.S. Army from 1957 to 1959. He taught biology
in Hammonton, NJ, while he got his master's degree. He taught vocational
agriculture at Benton High School starting in 1970 until his retirement
West Pittston businessman Louis Pagnotti III, 49, who commandeered a Mother's vehicle occupied by her two children on I-81 in August 2002 and drove it to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, put criminal charges behind him Thursday. Pagnotti entered guilty pleas to two counts of recklessly endangering another person and one count of unauthorized use of the Dodge Caravan belonging to the children's parents, both second-degree misdemeanors. Pagnotti is president of Pagnotti Enterprises, which operates coal-mining operations in the Hazleton and Wilkes-Barre area, and which controls lands owned by the Reading Railroad in Benton Borough and Benton Township and points south to Bloomsburg.
Lorena Bennett plans to retire from Merck Research Laboratories on February 1, 2004, and hubby Bill will retire from Merck once their New Jersey home is sold. They look forward to living full time in their lovely log home on Sunny Hillside Road, overlooking Benton.
Healing, but in need of prayers...
We could use your help, if you attend Church in the upper Fishingcreek valley. Check the CHURCH section of this web site for your Church. If our information is not up to date, please have your contact person update the information. Please help us help you...
Prairie Home Companion is again live this Saturday from "N.Y., NY, the city so nice they named it twice," with soprano Renee Fleming and pianist Fred Hersch, and pianist Emanuel Ax. The Hopeful Gospel Quartet--Linda and Robin Williams, Mollie O'Brien, and GK--will also be there. And here is a Garrison Keillor joke, to get the grouch out of your git! A man walked into his doctor's office, a banana in one nostril and a carrot in the other. He had a piece of celery in his right ear and a potato stuck in his left ear. He told the doctor that he felt terrible. The doctor immediately diagnosed the situation, saying "Your problem is obvious. You're not eating right."
We like to mosey around and poke into the history of local towns. We started on Berwick yesterday, and we'll continue with that town today.
We have taken information about Berwick from various sources, but primarily the Centennial History of Berwick, Penna. published by R. S. Bowman in the Berwick Independent August 18, 1886. All quotes are from this source. This history, like much of what we publish in the News from Back Home in Benton, PA, includes personal comments and opinions. We will soon include this history in a longer version on this web site, under FEATURES.
Bowman's history of Berwick justified the location of the town as "a wise selection, with perfect drainage, and in all respects a more beautiful site for a town than any other along the whole shore of the historical Susquehanna." Bowman hedged his writing, however, with a note that a Front Street "with a lawn reaching to the river would have made a much prettier town."
Bowman wrote, "A market house was erected in 1805 in the center of Market Street, between Second and Third, supported by square timbers and underneath there was space sufficient to hold market and drive horses and wagons. The building was devoted to school purposes and occupied, also, for preaching and public assemblies, elections, etc. The glasses in the windows were of a greenish cast, thick in the center, and were called "Bull's eye glass," and though they admitted light, yet it was almost impossible to distinguish objects."
Bowman spoke to the difficulty the town experienced in getting goods from Reading, Easton and Mauch Chunk on horseback and on foot. Staging east was by Phillip Abbott, and by the Norton Brothers between Northumberland and Wilkes-Barre. A trip by team to Philadelphia was said to take two weeks. The local shoemaker, John Smith, measured customers in Berwick, then walked to Mauch Chunk and got the boots made and brought them back.
We'll continue with the Berwick history as time permits.
From Buster and Chloe and the other third of the staff of the Benton News, we wish you and your loved ones a warm and happy holiday season.
John Unbewust picking up Golden Guernsey milk at the dairy farm of Dayne and Ruth Kline, just below Benton. The house and this barn were demolished in 1970 when route 487 into Benton was widened.
The white building in the front of the barn was the milk house. The house was to the left of the picture and route 487 was behind the photographer's back.
This picture dates from about 1961.
|Photo courtesy of Zane Unbewust|
John Unbewust also picked up Golden Guernsey milk from Bub Laubach, Wayne & Lundy McHenry, the Joseph Sutliff farm (now owned by the Kreibel family and then farmed by Donnivan Bender [father of Virginia Yorks]), Eli McHenry, Alvin Sutliff, Chris Wolfe's (father of the current Secretary of Agriculture for Pennsylvania) farm near Millville, Darwood Laubach (Orangeville), and the Charles Smith Thunderbird Farms. The 100% Guernsey milk was and is ideal for manufacturing dairy products and results in delicious and creamy ice cream, butter and cheeses. The Guernsey cow is known for producing high-butterfat, high protein milk with a high concentration of beta-carotene.
The 1961 International shown above made the trip over route 309
to Foremost Dairies in Philadelphia with many loads of milk in the bulk
"People believe everything
that you tell them, except when you are telling the truth."
Analyzing humor is like dissecting
a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it."
December 19, 2003
There are some days I practice
positive thinking, and other days I'm not positive I am thinking.
It has been my experience that
folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
Saki said, "A little inaccuracy sometimes saves a ton of explanation."
Everyone can keep house better than her mother until she tries.
December 18, 2003. On this date in 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery, was declared in effect. On this date in 1957, The Bridge on the River Kwai opened and went on to win seven Oscars.
Viola Yost, Center Street, was taken by ambulance to the Bloomsburg Hospital shortly after 10 this morning. She was found unconscious on the floor of her apartment.
We had heavy rain in the morning yesterday, and that turned into snow in the afternoon, blanketing most area roadways in white for portions of the late afternoon and evening. Winter may not begin until Monday, but don't look for much relief if the long-range forecasts are correct. Travel this weekend should be relatively smooth, except for some snow showers Saturday.
Jean Hess Albertson, owner of Jean's Country Kitchen, Orangeville, had a full house yesterday as "The Adventurers" came to call. The members of the United Methodist Charge of Orangeville under the leadership of Pastor Darwin Goshorn were enjoying food and fellowship when we spotted them. The Orangeville charge consists of Kitchens, Jonestown, Asbury, Rohrsburg and Orangeville Churches. Jean's Country Kitchen is a unique place to pick up your last minute Christmas presents, things that you just won't find in Wal-Mart. How 'bout a hand saw hand painted with a picture of the Twin Bridges or of the vacant McHenry House in Stillwater? The Indian murals painted by Diane Derr are worth seeing and it is hard to beat the price of the food. The restaurant is at the location of Betty Hayman's former restaurant, Nana's.
The White House is urging Americans to send holiday messages to the men and women of the Armed Forces stationed around the world at Christmas. It is easy, just go to http://anyservicemember.navy.mil .
The Columbia County Farmers National Bank will lose a faithful and dedicated employee and the town of Benton will lose a friend who has always gone the extra mile for everyone. Gloria Miller announced her retirement from banking effective January 30, 2004. Gloria presently is an Assistant Vice President of the bank and the Assistant Branch Manager of the Benton Branch of the CCFNB.
Gloria has been involved in banking for over 40 years, and first came to the Benton Bank in 1987.
Gloria isn't one to sit around, and will start walking to work at
the State Farm Insurance offices of her younger brother, Rick
Megargell, Orangeville, after she retires from her bank position.
We wish her the very best in all of her new endeavors.
The Sullivan County commissioners adopted a final $3.3 million county budget for 2004 that includes a 5% increase in the county real estate tax rate.
Peter Appleman lived directly below Benton and Appleman's Sugar Grove, called "Camp Fishingcreek" or "Appleman's Bottom" was the spot where 1,000 of "Lincoln's United States Troops, Cavalry, and Mounted Artillery" camped in ready for the arrest of about 70 local residents.
Appleman attended the Christian Church, on the hill beyond the Market Street covered bridge and across the road from the Benton cemetery, at the location but not the building where Dr. and Mrs. Andrew Pollock now live. A "protracted" meeting at the Christian Church, similar to an evangelistic meeting, attracted the attention of the Appleman family.
William Heacock once wrote that "The good wife of Peter was getting ready to go to the meeting and suggested to Peter that he clean up before he dressed and also wash his feet. He demurred at the last suggestion, but got ready and went to the service with the rest of the family, the men sitting on one side of the church and the women on the other. The subject of the preacher on that occasion was the Feast of the Passover and his text was taken from the gospel of St. John, the 13th chapter, and when he read the 8th verse: "Peter sayeth unto him,, thou shalt never wash my feet," it was as much as Mrs. Appleman could do to restrain her sensibilities all through the sermon."
Planning your garden for next year? "Ivory Crisp," a compact, round potato makes "perfect" potato chips or french fries according to the Agricultural Research Service of USDA (US of Agriculture). When fried, Ivory Crisp chips brown evenly to a light-golden color because of the potato's balance of starch to sugar. This favorable ratio helps prevent the unattractive dark spots and burnt flavor that can occur when frying potatoes with a higher amount of sugar.
Ivory Crisp keeps its desirable ratio of starch to sugar even during cold storage. Ivory Crisp originated from a seedling produced in North Dakota's potato breeding program. In Oregon, it was selected for further study in that state and for tests in Idaho, Oregon and Washington as well. Last year, scientists determined that Ivory Crisp was ready to offer to growers.
We are very happy to know that Eric Jost is Back Home in Benton, PA, from his USMC assignment in 29 Palms, CA. His next duty assignment is in Hawaii for three years. Eric was very instrumental in the construction of this web site, for which we will be forever grateful.
Funeral arrangements for Dean Kile have not yet been announced by the McMichael Funeral Home.
Travel to northern Pennsylvania from Reading and Philadelphia came
through Berwick. The Owens road, built by Evan Owens in 1786, brought
early settlers from Mauch Chuck to Berwick. As early as 1804, Owen was
commissioned to lay out a turnpike to Easton as the Lehigh & Susquehanna
turnpike was under construction in the area of the present village of
Conyngham. The turnpike was a huge improvement to the old Owens Road
and four-horse Concord coaches could pass over the road. Lots
were sold along the turnpike and farms and taverns, "entertainment
for man and beast," sprung up at measured intervals. Several Pennsylvania
towns take their names from taverns, which functioned more as rest stops
in their day.
The Home Depot in Buckhorn is now open for business. Business was brisk last night for their preview opening in what they called their "Neighborhood Night." The store is located off I-80 at the intersection of routes 44 and 42. Their phone number is 570 387-8429.
We loved listening to the little boy singing "Olive the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names."
Marriage is a wonderful invention;
but, then again, so is a bicycle repair kit.
December 17, 2003
Yes, sir. I'm a real Southern boy.
I got a red neck, white socks, and Blue Ribbon beer.
It was never intended by the Founding
Fathers that the President of the United States should be a ventriloquist's
dummy sitting on the lap of Congress.
Los Angeles could be described as a circus without a tent!
December 17, 2003. On this date in 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright went on the first successful manned powered-airplane flights on the outer banks near Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville took off in his machine, built up a speed of about 10 mph, rose to about ten feet, and landed immediately. They made two more attempts, then Wilbur took over. Flying straight into the wind for nearly a full minute, the machine covered 852 feet. After Wilbur landed and got out of the plane, it rolled over necessitating months of repair.
Dean P. Kile, 66, Zehners Bridge Road, Stillwater, died last night about 5:25 PM when he was thrown from his red Honda SUV when it crashed just north of Orangeville. Kile was reportedly driving himself to the hospital for heart-related problems. His SUV sheared off a utility pole on the east side of route 487. Kile's SUV then rolled over three times when it hit the snow-covered embankment along the north-bound lane, ejecting him from the vehicle and throwing him 196 feet away.
Gladys Kile, a passenger in the car, was removed using hydraulic rescue tools to open the driver's door. She was taken to Geisinger Medical Center by ambulance and remained at the emergency room. She for about a year ran the antique center in the former C. A. Edson & Sons building, Main Street.
PPL customers in Orangeville, Orange Township,
Lightstreet and Scott Township lost power for about two hours as crews
worked to replace the snapped electric pole. Traffic was rerouted around
the scene at Rohrsburg Road and Charmund Road.
Back Home in Benton, PA, we are just cleaning up from the latest nor' easter to blow through the area. Snow is still piled 8+ feet on the parking lot at D. R.'s Quik Mart, and virtually all dirt roads are snow covered. Now we hear about rain, and plenty of it, starting today. Or, did they say rain and snow? North in Bradford County, the forecast is snow, on top of the ten inches they still have on the ground. Drive carefully today! Don't make the news!
Bobby Helm's song Jingle Bell Rock entered the pop charts for the first time on this date in 1957. If you haven't bought your Christmas presents yet you had better start coming up with excuses or get out there and do it.
At Christmas, play and make good cheer,
The groundbreaking for the middle/high school took place a year ago at the Benton Area High School. The progress in the past year is significant.
I think of my wife, and I think of Lot,
We will repeat a story from some time in the past. Alex Colley was quite a character. He worked for a long time on a perpetual motion machine, using leaden bullets to make the thing go. He was demonstrating this invention to several of his friends one day. They were skeptical, but he had plenty of hard cider which he was handing around in a tin cup. "Doc" Butt, the lone Republican of Jackson township, was one of the group. As Alex handed him a cup of the cider he said to "Doc," "I think it would run if I had heavier weights." "Doc" replied, "I don't believe it would run if you used pumpkins." "All you get," says Alex, as he jerked back the tin cup of cider he was just handing him."
The Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center announced last evening that over $400,000 has been raised from pledges, donations and grants. The money will be used in various ways to bring the Center to the residents of the northern Fishing Creek valley and surrounding areas. A cash gift from the PPL Corporation was recently received in the amount of $3,500, the second gift received that that community-minded organization.
Kay Hoosty summed up the progress of the Center when she quoted someone by saying, "When faced with the impossible, act like you can't fail. When going after Moby Dick, bring along the tartar sauce." It has been an uphill battle to raise funding for the Center. The Board of Directors of the Center are now entering the grant-writing phase of the project. Do you have an idea for the Center? Send it to the Center. Have you made a commitment to the Center to preserve our heritage and our artifacts? Please consider doing it today.
Santa will arrive Saturday, December 20, at 1 PM at the North Mountain Fire Company for the Children's Christmas party for ages to 12. Each child will receive a Christmas present and the whole family will receive refreshments. One exceptionally good girl and one good boy will receive a new bicycle from Santa along with their present. The North Mountain Fire Company and The Royal Order of Raccoons are sponsoring the event.
The cost of using a cell phone is going up. The New Orleans Saints' wide receiver Joe Horn was fined $30,000 for his cell phone celebration Sunday in the end zone after the second of his four touchdown receptions as The Saints routed the New York Giants 45-7. Speaking of football, in 1933 on this date the Chicago Bears defeated the New York Giants, 23-21, in the first world championship football game.
On a local note, VERIZON is now offering a Audio-Vox camera phone for $99 after rebate. Snap and send unlimited digital pictures to the email of your choice (until March, 2004 when it drops to 20 per month free). The tri-mode camera is ideal for this area because of its reception ability.
Natural gas prices soared by nearly 50% within the past three weeks, and like some price hikes we've seen before, analysts "were not sure what caused" the sudden and steep increase in wholesale natural gas prices. Expect residential heating costs to soar. What happened to analysts that know what is going on? Do the terms "price gouging" and "market manipulation" come to mind? The situation puzzled Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who said he couldn't understand why prices would soar when gas inventories are above average for this time of year.
Do you remember December in the year 1954 when the first one-million-watt television station in the world was inaugurated? The station was WBRE-28 and the celebration was at the Hotel Sterling, Wilkes-Barre. Dedicatory exercises followed the luncheon at the station's television tower atop Wyoming Mountain on East End Boulevard. Beginning January 1, 1955, WBRE became the basic NBC station for "Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, Williamsport, Allentown, Easton, Bethlehem" and Back Home in Benton, PA.
The winter solstice is one of the two times each year that the Sun is at its farthest point from the equator and appears to stand still. This year, it occurs on December 22 at 2:04 AM EST. Lets hope this year we only get snow in the fall, and we have a mild winter.
Saddam Hussein has been released in doll version. Americans can now buy a heavily bearded doll resembling the defeated dictator. The doll comes complete with shaggy beard and an ace of spades T-shirt--a reference to the U.S. most wanted deck of cards.
New Albany residents are waking up shaking their heads this morning. The New Albany Borough Council passed their 2004 budget last night, raising property tax by 1 mill, increasing the sewer rates and increasing by 46% the cost of picking up a bag of garbage.
The Wilkes-Barre Wal-Mart Supercenter is scheduled to open in April
near Wachovia Arena. The existing 119,446-square-foot Wal-Mart building
in Wilkes-Barre has been for sale for months. The price? About $4.9
million. The Bloomsburg Wal-Mart site was just sold to Tractor Parts
Co., now on the East side of route 11, for $1.7 million.
Age is something that doesn't matter,
unless you are a cheese.
"Think left and think right,
think low and think high.
"I love criticism just so long as it's unqualified praise." --Sir Noel Coward
December 16, 2003. It is the birthday of Anna Pennington (Mrs. Ross Pennington), Third Street, and Robert Keller, Dotyville, plus it is the anniversary (in 1773) of the Boston Tea Party. In 1944 on this date, the World War II Battle of the Bulge began as German forces launched a surprise counter-attack in Belgium. It seems that all the newspapers today were telling the "hole" story.
It is the birthday of the man who wrote 2001: A Space Odyssey, this writer's favorite movie of all time. The next time that we watch it will make the 13th time. The author, Arthur C. Clarke, was born in Somerset, England, on this date in 1917. The story is set in the present day, but in a world where humans can fly through the solar system. Astronauts head toward Jupiter when they receive a mysterious signal, but their mission is thwarted when Hal, the spaceship's computer, tries to take control.
At least 100,000 additional senior citizens in Pennsylvania could
become eligible for prescription drug assistance because of a new state
law which takes effect Jan. 1 that increases income limits. Sen.
John R. Gordner (R-27) is urging seniors to contact his office
to find out if they now qualify for the state's Pharmaceutical Assistance
Contract for the Elderly programs, commonly known as PACE and PACENET.
The law raises the income limits for PACE and for PACENET, a related
program for seniors with higher incomes.
Those were the days, as Archie and Edith would say. We enjoyed reading a newspaper report of how Hobie Whitenight homered in the 11th inning of a game in the early 1950s, so we'll mention a couple of other things about the game. The article says that "Albert Casey's Benton Tri-County League won a tight eleven-inning game from son Robert Casey's Columbia Country All Stars at Benton Park by the score of 5 to 4." The article says that "Whitenight with two doubles besides the game clinching blow," led the hitters on both sides. Joe Franczak started for the local team and allowed 8 hits over 8 innings. Names like Kline, Whitenight, John Spencer, Fritz, Chapin and Wenner were the stars of the game.
An inscription on the metal bands once used by the U.S. Department of the Interior to tag migratory birds was changed. The old inscription read, "Wash. Biol. Surv." A letter from an Arkansas camper to the Department of the Interior in part said, "While camping last week I shot one of your birds. I think it was a crow. I followed the cooking instructions on the leg tag and I want to tell you it was horrible." The bands are now marked "Fish and Wildlife Service."
The Google Toolbar increases your ability to find information from
anywhere on the web and takes only seconds to install. When the Google
Toolbar is installed, it automatically appears along with the Internet
Explorer toolbar. This means you can quickly and easily use Google to
search from any website location, without returning to the Google home
page to begin another search. Go to http://toolbar.google.com/
and follow the instructions.
A reader asked what we mean by a "second cousin twice removed." We'll look at "Removed" first. This means that the two people being compared are a different number of generations away from their common ancestor. The other part of the phrase, 'first cousin,' 'second cousin,' 'third cousin,' etc., describes the relationship of two people who are/were in the same generation.
There is no "removed" used for people with the same grandparents. They are simply first cousins. Similarly, two people whose first common ancestors are the same great-grandparents are second cousins.
But, if Jack's grandmother is Jill, while that same Jill is great-great-grandmother to Claudia, then Jack and Melissa are 'first cousins twice removed.' This is because you have to go back two generations on Claudia's family tree to find the "first cousin" of Jack. Put another way, Claudia's grandparent is first cousin to Jack, so Jack and Claudia are "first cousins twice removed."
|You can now enjoy the nostalgia of radio in MP3 media,
all free, at
http://www.radiolovers.com/allshows.html . There's a very comprehensive list of old shows that will make entertaining listening. Give it a try.
You can just never tell what you'll find under your Christmas tree!
Monica Diltz, in a rare moment out of the kitchen, enjoys a story at the "Storyteller's Session" at the Brass Pelican Restaurant December 15, as part of the North Mountain Historical Society's December meeting.
Picture courtesy of Richard Shoemaker
"If you want to make enemies,
try to change something."
That they may have a little peace,
even the best dogs are compelled to snarl occasionally.
December 15, 2003
|December 15, the
349th day of 2003, with 16 days left in the year. In 1944, a single-engine
plane carrying bandleader Glenn Miller disappeared over the English Channel
while en route to Paris.
William L. "Willie" Hosking, 33, (Dec. 5, 1970-Dec. 13, 2003), 151 Barchik Road, Benton, died Saturday at home. He was born in Morristown, NJ, a son of William M. and Paula C. (Girdler) Hosking, Hidden Hollow Farm, Benton. Mr. Hosking assisted his parents with the operation of Hidden Hollow Farm as a trainer and coach and was a partner with his father in their carpentry and masonry business. Mr. Hosking was 6-foot, 8-inchs tall. He had a great love for horses and was an accomplished horseman. Hosking graduated from Benton High School in 1989.
Surviving, in addition to his parents are his sister, Christine
Rovito, Pensacola; and his maternal grandparents, George W. Girdler
and Suzzane (Knox) Girdler, also of Florida. He was preceded in death
by his paternal grandparents, William W. and Louise A. (Mount) Hosking.
Memorial services will be held Friday at 7 PM at the McMichael Funeral
Home Inc. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory
to the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural
Center, Box 305, Benton, PA 17814.
Want to fly to Orlando from Harrisburg International Airport for $69? Order your tickets before December 31 from TransMeridian Airlines . The bad news? The airline isn't quite ready to take off. The tickets will have to be used in the future. Normal one-way tickets on TransMeridian will cost between $79 and $199.
Two quick tips for Microsoft Word users...
The streets of Benton yesterday were filled with snowmobiles, ATVs, garden tractors, snow blowers, tractors, and end loaders. It was a day for ice-scrapers, shovels and blowers, snow-ball fights, snowmobiles and other outdoor activities. The town was saved from serious snowfall. About six inches of snow fell by the time the sun went down yesterday (even as far north as Towanda, while Wilkes-Barre only got about 3.5 inches. Tunkhannock got about a foot of snow. Pittsburgh got from 5 to 9 inches of snow.) Sleet then took over, making everything very slippery. The theatres in Bloomsburg closed, and other stores were hard pressed to find people to work. There were lots of accidents, including one in South Centre Township where a jackknifed tractor-trailer dumped roughly 32,000 pounds of liver all over Bloomsburg Carpet's parking lot, closing part of route 11 for six hours. Monday will be cloudy with scattered snow showers and north-east winds blowing at 15-20 mph. At 6 AM, there is still an announced two-hour delay for the area schools.
Frank Yost and Bernard Wolfe posing with the large "Michigan" deer shot at the Glass Creek Hunting Camp Cabin in either 1925 or 1928.
Frank Yost later had the head mounted and it hung in his home for many years.
George D.Yost started Yost's Restaurant, now the Hoboken Sub Shop. George was a blacksmith, later sold farm machinery. His shop was close to where Becky Green's house is now. Frank Yost took over the restaurant in 1940. Bernard Wolfe was a banker in Towanda.
Just when you're beginning to think
pretty well of people, you run across somebody who puts sugar on sliced
Beware of the person who can't
be bothered by details.
Although we have neither the interest nor the time for genealogy-related matters, many of our readers have a huge interest and so we'll devote a couple of paragraphs to the subject. If you don't give a hoot for your second cousin twice removed, skip to the next section.
The use of the Internet for genealogy covers the spectrum of mailing
lists, USENET newsgroups, WWW and email. Lets cover these one by one:
Robert Parks provided a list of some
of the "Hottest" sites on the net:
If the subject of genealogy is of interest to you, the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society currently plans to conduct another workshop in the spring. Feel free to email Bonnie Farver to sign up for the genealogy workshop when offered.
|From Left: John Hughes,
Brian Wenner, Tom Yurko
and Russ Hughes following a competition in
John Hughes won four PIAA titles, his brother Russ and Yurko won two and Wenner won one.
The 1989 State Champions
|John Hughes won four PIAA titles in 1989. Today John is The Pennsylvania State University Assistant Wrestling Coach. On December 14, the Press Enterprise featured the four-time PIAA champion at Benton High School and three-time All-American and NCAA Champion at Penn State.|
December 14, 2003. Chase Kline celebrates his birthday today. Stop by the Old Filling Station and say hello to Chase on his birthday. We are facing up to 12 inches of white stuff today. Currently Back Home in Benton, PA, there is a freezing rain falling.
Floyd T. "Butch" Craft Sr.,
65, (Jan. 18, 1938-Dec. 12, 2003) Elk Grove, died Friday morning at
the Berwick Hospital Center. He was a son of the late Floyd Craft and
Helen (Siler) Craft. Mr. Craft attended Royersford High School and served
in the U.S. Navy. Surviving in addition to his wife, Edith, are his
two children: Mrs. Benjamin (Kelly) Welsh, Muncie, IN, and Floyd T.
Craft Jr., of Denver; six grandsons; and two sisters: Sally Cauffman,
Royersford, and Viola Oehlenschlaeger of Conneaut, OH. He was preceded
in death by a daughter, Crystal Delaney; two brothers: Warren and Calvin
Craft, and by a sister, Elaine Lutcavage. The family services are private.
Contributions may be made to the Salvation Army. Arrangements are under
the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home.
Garry Ritter's daughter, Krysten Ritter, recently walked down the red carpet with Julia Roberts for her new movie Mona Lisa Smile. Academy Award®-winner Julia Roberts heads the cast featuring Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Marcia Gay Harden, a drama about one woman's desire to enrich the lives of her students.
|We know that Krysten had a huge smile for grandfather
Harry Ritter, as he celebrated his birthday
We forgot Harry's birthday and Wilbur Kocher's birthday (December 11) when we switched computers to go out of town. Wilbur is also recovering from a recent double hernia
We wish both of these men a belated Happy Birthday.
| And speaking of the name "Kocher,"
Bette Palmer wrote after she saw a recent reference to Guy Kocher
and the "Michigan Deer" on this web site. Guy was her great
uncle. Bette is the granddaughter of Guy's brother, George. Bette started
her family genealogy a couple of years ago, and she would love to communicate
with anyone about Kocher genealogy. Contact us and we will put you in
touch with Bette.
Sue Herbine writes that she is currently uploading all the persons buried in Jerseytown Cemetery to www.findagrave.com. Sue says that there are 656 names on the list and currently has 229 listed that she was able to place at least a minimal biography based on information from her own research or the research of others from the web. Sue continues to add names and dates. She invites readers to check the site frequently and if you see a name you know and you know information on the family please contact her so she can provide more details on the person. Also please feel free if you have family pictures to place them at the memorials. This is a very ambitious goal, especially since Sue lives in Florida. Sue says that "My goal is to have this cemetery be a complete source of research information as well as a lasting memorial to those who have gone before us."
Readers Gene and Andrea Crossley wrote from Florida that it was interesting about the Christmas trees that "smell like Florida tangerine trees." Gene said that "Down here in Florida, we do everything possible to get a tree that smells like a Christmas tree from "up North"!
From the "Why That Old Codger!" Department comes this...
The Lehigh Canal will be 175 years old next year. The section of the canal from Mauch Chunk (now Jim Thorpe) to Easton was completed in 1829 and permitted two-way navigation of the Lehigh River for transportation of anthracite coal to cities like Philadelphia. Lehigh Coal & Navigation Company (LC&N) was one of the companies that forged the United States into a major industrial nation.
Coal was loaded on rafts and floated to the Delaware River. The trip was downstream only and the rafts were later disassembled and sold as lumber in Philadelphia, and the boatmen walked back to Mauch Chunk much as early workers walked back to New York state via the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike after floating down the Susquehanna River.
Construction of both the Lehigh Canal and the Mauch Chunk Gravity
Railroad began in 1827.
Carol Vance is a well-known Benton
personality and author of books like Fish and Fowl Cookery, and
others. Her recipes are always delightful. Some samples: "Cordy
Swinton's Creamed Bluegills," "Joanie's Wet Bottom Shoo-Fly
Pie," and Nig Raney's Jalapeno Pimento Cheese."
The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.
We sometimes forget about the beauty of Penn's Woods.
December 13, 2003
The man who didn't want his wife
to work has been succeeded by the man who asks about her chances of
getting a raise.
Nothing can be more contemptible
than to suppose Public RECORDS to be true.
America--the best poor man's country
in the world.
Washington is a city of people
doing badly what shouldn't be done at all.
|December 13, 2003.
The Benton News that we prepared and sent out from the road this morning
got eaten by the AOL goonies, and so we'll substitute this for today's
news. We'll be back to normal Sunday.
Pennsylvania Game Commission officials believe they have captured the black bear that mauled a former Benton man in his back yard Monday night. Wildlife conservation officers caught a 268-pound female bear near the Huntersville-area home of Clifton (Kip) Watts, 44. Watts was treated at Muncy Community Hospital for puncture wounds and bites to his back after the attack Monday evening. Kip is the son of Geraldine Yost Laubach and the late Glen Watts. The bear also severely injured a pet cocker spaniel. Officials say Watts' girlfriend, Lauren McClain, let the dog outside, not knowing that a bear was rummaging in the garbage can just outside the door. The bear attacked the dog, and when Watts tried to rescue it, the bear charged. Lauren somehow got the door closed and probably saved Kip's life. The bear's head and shoulder was in the room and on Kip. The animal could have been attempting to protect cubs. The nine-year-old bear was also trapped three years ago for causing property damage, but made its way back to the area. The two cubs were also captured, and all three bear will be moved to the wilds of Cameron County about 100 miles away.
Word of the Day: eavesdrop.
Annual Reports at http://yahoo.ar.wilink.com/asp/YAH1_search_ENG.asp are available from Yahoo Finance for over 3,500 companies.
Market closed? To make ½ cup brown sugar, mix ½ cup of granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon of molasses. To make baking powder, stir and sift together 2 parts of cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda and 1 part cornstarch. Or wait until morning to do your baking...
Many graduates of the Benton Area High School have made substantial contributions locally, statewide and nationally and will be recognized through the continuing Hall of Fame program of the Benton Area School System.
The Hall of Fame recognizes the outstanding contributions of graduates of Benton Area High School by honoring success and excellence while inspiring present and future students. The Hall of Fame seeks to engender a tradition of pride and history to relive, celebrate and motivate.
During the 2003 alumni banquet, Hall of Fame living inductees Dr. John Herbert Laubach, Class of 1947; Percy Brewington, Jr., Class of 1948; and William C. Follmer, Class of 1952, were honored. Four deceased alumni were inducted: L. Ray Appleman, honorary graduate; Dr. Frank C. Laubach, honorary graduate; Russell M. Shultz, Class of 1920; and Dr. Ralph Sterling Johnson, Jr., Class of 1944.
Nominees must have graduated from the Benton High School or a predecessor of the Benton High School. The nominee must have excelled in his or her career, and/or has achieved statewide, national, or international recognition. Nominations may be presented on behalf of a candidate who is deceased. If a nominee is not selected, his or her nomination will be retained and re-evaluated for future consideration. Nominations must be postmarked by February 1, 2004.
Additional information and nomination forms are on the side panel of this web site (under Benton Area Schools) and at http://www.bentonsd.k12.pa.us/ .
About the year 1830, Savilla Pealer started a Bible class in the old Stoker school house in Fishing Creek Township, which eventually developed into the present Zion Sunday School. Mrs. Pealer could be considered the founder of the Zion Sunday School, and perhaps the founder of the local Reformed Church, as the Sunday School eventually gave rise to preaching.
The first regular Reformed service was held in 1842 by Rev. D. S. Tobias in the old Stoker school house. Previous to these services, the few Reformed families of the area worshipped either at the old McHenry log Church located west of Orangeville or at the old log Church at New Columbus. About the winter of 1843, Rev. Tobias was assisted by Rev. Loader in holding protracted meetings. People came from "near and far" in sled loads. During the revival a number of people became the founders of the Zion congregation.
The Stoker school house was used from 1842 to 1857 for preaching,
and the congregation, without a Church organization, was served by Rev.
Tobias, H. Funk and W. Goodrich. On February 17, 1857, Zion Church was
dedicated, and on the following Saturday Zion was organized with 30
members, principally from Orangeville and St. James congregations.
December 12, 2003
Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it. Hannah Arendt
It's all storytelling, you know.
That's what journalism is all about. Tom Brokaw
| Friday, December 12, 2003. Can
you believe that Christmas is less than two weeks away, Winter is only
ten days away and the new year is only 19 days away? The golf tee was
patented by George Grant, Boston, 105 years ago today. Ol' Blue Eyes Francis
Albert Sinatra (1915-1998) was born on this date.
On Sunday, December 14, at 8 PM on the Biography Channel is a 2-hour special, as the channel counts down the 10 most significant people of the year 2003.
The Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) has launched a new program called the Quality Early Education Loan Forgiveness program. The PHEAA will forgive a maximum of $3,300 per year of loan debt for three years for Pennsylvania residents who earn a degree in early childhood education or child development. The applicants must meet certain criteria. In an uncanny smoking mirrors way, the PHEAA said that the program would be implemented "at no cost to taxpayers."
Term of the Day: "Battery."
The United Sportsmen Camp 271 in Huntington Mills holds their annual
coyote hunt on Martin Luther King weekend every year. This years
hunt will begin on Friday, January 16th, with a start time of 6:00 AM.
The hunt will conclude on Sunday, January 18 at 1:00 PM. Cash prizes
will be awarded.
Didja know that in 1930 the first women flight attendants were required to weigh no more than 115 pounds, be nurses, and unmarried?
Q. Why does Santa wear red underwear?
A little ditty about Jack & Diane opens today at the movies with an aging man (Jack Nicholson) who realizes that his latest chase (he is not from deer hunting country!) is, frankly, young and that her mom (Diane Keaton) would be more interesting, insightful and probably sexier, too. "Something's Gotta Give" is the name of the movie. If you long for a little age-inappropriate behavior Nicholson-style, this may be the movie for you.
The North Mountain Historical Society meets Monday at the Brass Pelican restaurant, Elk Grove, and the subject is story telling. Breakfast gets underway about 8:30 and the story telling begins about 9:15.
A letter to the editor of the Benton Argus written 103 years
ago from Kansas City will have special meaning Monday, as the writer
was certainly telling a "story." The letter went like this:
Down in Bloomsburg, you could catch to train and be off to see the world in 1891. The Philadelphia & Reading Railroad advertised that they burn hard coal and there "is no smoke." The July 1, 1891, schedule for trains leaving Bloomsburg for New York, Philadelphia, Pottsville, Tamaqua, was weekdays 11:45 AM. For Williamsport, weekday's, 7:35 AM. For Danville and Milton, weekdays, 7:35 AM, 3:20, PM. For Catawissa, weekdays, 7:36, 11:45 AM; 12:21, 5:00, 6:11 PM.
December 11, the date in 1936 that Britain's King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in order to marry American divorcee Wallis Warfield Simpson
"Almost any man knows how to earn money, but not one in a million knows how to spend it." - Henry David Thoreau
Good morning. Today is Thursday, December 11, 2003.
John R. Blackburn, 41, (July 22, 1962-December
9, 2003), 160 Campbell Road, Benton, died December 9, 2003, in Sugarloaf
Township from injuries sustained when his pick-up truck ran head-on
into a tree on St. Gabriel's Road and burst into flames. Mr. Blackburn
was a son of Richard and Martha (Nichols) Campbell, Benton and Richard
Blackburn, Shickshinny. Mr. Blackburn was a heavy equipment operator
and had been employed by Harold Iddings of Benton for several years.
He was a member of the Raven Creek Presbyterian Church.
Here are a couple of questions you can ponder. The answers are at the end.
1. On a standard traffic light, is the green on the top or bottom?
Around the area...
The reprint of the paperback book, A Quiet Boomtown: Jamison City, Pa. 1889-1912, has 36 photographs and 180 pages, including endnotes for each chapter, an appendix listing residents in 1892, 1893 and 1901, and an index.
The Wall Street Journal today talks about fake Christmas trees going upscale, accounting for 70% of the trees found in U.S. homes. The WSJ tested a Martha Stewart Everyday tree handcrafted from goose feathers, and gave a "thumbs down." The tree had a "too-perfect triangular shape and aggressively green color." The tree apparently looked too real to be a fake!
State Attorney General Mike Fisher joins the U. S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals, the same one that includes the Guv's wife, Midge. Fisher was recently confirmed to the federal appellate court. Fisher has asked Rendell to appoint his top deputy Jerry Pappert to complete his term thru 2004...
The Pennsylvania Association of School Business Officials yesterday released a survey showing that at least 133 districts have borrowed money or plan to do so because they haven't received state basic education subsidies yet. Across the state, short-term borrowing exceeds an estimated $250 million as state legislators continue to wrestle with the education budget.
"All modern American literature comes from one book by Mark Twain called Huckleberry Finn." --Ernest Hemingway
December 9, 2003
|Good morning. Today is Wednesday, December
9, 2003. Actor-director Kenneth Branagh is 43 today.
We like the advice attributed to Will Rogers, "After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut."
The Sunday before Christmas, Pastor Al Lumpkin and wife Jeanie with son Jeremy on the bass will entertain the Community at 7 PM at the Presbyterian Church. This is always one of the highlights of the Christmas season and should not be missed. We'll remind you again, but please put it on your calendar. The wonderful singing voices of Rev. Lumpkin and Jean doing the old hymns and carols from the hills of Kentucky will brighten your holiday. The program combines ancient hymns from Europe and Appalachian carols with contemporary songs of the season.
Presidential politics is certainly upon us. For several years, the three factors at the top of the list for winning a party's presidential nomination are Iowa, New Hampshire and money, Counting the past 7 elections, 13 of the 14 major party nominations have gone to a candidate who won Iowa or New Hampshire or both. Things are changing somewhat this year, in that New Hampshire (22 delegates) is probably inconsequential and the three most important factors in winning the nomination are Iowa, money and February 3, when six states host primaries. At this writing, it appears as though the leading candidates for both parties are certain of the nominations.
In an area where we have fruit, Finns, people, and mountains named "Huckleberry," we ought to know more about the derivation of the word. Settlers who came to this part of the country from Europe found several native American plants that provided small, dark-colored sweet berries which reminded them of the English bilberry. The dialect term "hurtleberry," whose origin probably has something to do with the word "hurt," comes from the bruised color of the berries. Very early in this country the word became corrupted to "huckleberry."
Early settlers loved the fruit as a staple ingredient in foods and
medicines. They incorporated the berries into their diets, eating them
fresh off the bush and adding them to breakfast dishes, soups, stews,
and many other foods. Huckleberries are small, dark and rather insignificant
and the word became a synonym for something humble or minor, or a tiny
amount. "He was within a huckleberry of being smothered to death,"
was written about a hapless soul in 1832. Later the word evolved into
something inconsequential, as when Mark Twain named his famous character
Huckleberry Finn to convey that he was a boy "of lower extraction
or degree" than Tom Sawyer. Comparisons in literature can be found
in "a huckleberry to a persimmon," the persimmon being so
much larger and establishes the image of something tiny against something
substantial. There's also "a huckleberry over one's persimmon,"
something just a little bit beyond one's reach or abilities. ("David
Crockett: His Life and Adventures" by John S C Abbott, 1874: "This
was a hard business on me, for I could just barely write my own name.
But to do this, and write the warrants too, was at least a huckleberry
over my persimmon.") The word came to be given as a mark of affection
or comradeship to one's partner or sidekick. One would becomes a willing
helper or assistant, as in "True to Himself," by Edward Stratemeyer,
dated 1900: "'I will pay you for whatever you do for me.' 'Then
I'm your huckleberry. Who are you and what do you want to know?'"
The first department store Santa was James Edgar, who, during Christmas seasons starting in 1890, wandered about his Massachusetts store--called the Boston Store--dressed as Santa Claus and talking to the children of customers.
Term of the Day: "Battery."
"The well of Providence is
deep. Its the buckets we bring to it that are small."
December 9, 2003
"Having committed political
suicide, the Conservative Party is now living to regret it."
Most of us spend too much time
on the last twenty-four hours and too little on the last six thousand
We learn from history that we do
not learn from history.
|December 9, 2003. On this date
in 1907, Christmas seals went on sale for the first time with proceeds
going to fight tuberculosis. Keep Wilbur Kocher in your thoughts today
as he faces surgery in the Berwick Hospital.
Congratulations to Dennis Threlkeld, president of the Benton Area school board, who has completed his first year in office, and looks none the worse for wear.
State Sen. John Gordner, R-27, was just elected and will face a challenge in the spring primary election from a Shamokin physician, Dr. Wayne Miller. Miller owns the Miller Family Health Center, Shamokin, and has never run for office. Miller is the first Republican to announce a primary challenge to Gordner, but Northumberland County Controller Chuck Erdman and Elizabethville Mayor Mike Brown tried to get the party endorsement this summer and are probable to run. Gordner defeated Democrat Kent Shelhammer to win the seat in November, but is only filling the last few months of Helfrick's term.
The preliminary state figure for the 2003 bear harvest is 2,995, somewhat short of the record harvest in 2000 of 3,075. Seventeen of the 2,995 bears were more than 600 pounds. County harvest results for the three-day season, including 2002's actual harvest results (in parentheses), are: Lycoming, 200 (224); Luzerne, 103 (67); Sullivan, 86 (28); Columbia, 41 (41); Lackawanna, 37 (27); Susquehanna, 37 (22); Northumberland, 11 (5); and Montour, 1 (0).
Word of the Day: Flashlight.
The budget for Sullivan County will increase by a reported 8.6% in 2004 and along with the budget the tax rate will increase by 5%. Sullivan County receives money from federal and state grants, but this funding is expected to decrease by almost $125,000 in 2004.
The Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Association consists of a group of sportsmen and conservationists concerned with the preservation of trout water and public fishing in Fishing Creek and its tributaries, along with other streams in the area. The club is also involved with area hunting and other outdoor sports. Assets include the nursery where 25,000 brown, brook and rainbow trout donated by the Pennsylvania Fish Commission are raised each year from fingerlings to 10" to 12," then stocked in local fishing waters and provided for various area fishing derbies. The yearly cost for the fish food is in the neighborhood of $2,000. The club also owns 39 acres along Fishingcreek which is open to public fishing, and they maintain a rifle and trap range. The organization recently acquired an additional parcel of land along the Dug Hill.
The Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Association maintains a membership of 500 to 700 members. Membership is open to any individual and club activities are open to the public. The Association is a member of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's clubs and represent Columbia Country Sportsmen at their meetings. The Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Association is currently involved in the Pennsylvania Landowners and Sportsmen (PALS) program which is dedicated to keeping streams open to fishing by cooperating with landowners who experience littering and other problems with fishermen. Along with distributing literature to fishermen, the club also provides garbage bags to fishermen, providing and posting "Fishing Permitted" signs to landowners who may prohibit hunting but permit fishing. The club is also involved in the Fish Commission's "Adopt a Stream" program.
Bodies of water normally stocked by the Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Association are Fishing Creek, East Branch, West Branch, West Creek, Green Creek, Raven Creek, Huntington Creek, Pine Creek, Kitchen Creek, Little Fishing Creek and Briar Creek.
Fishing derbies stocked include the Mill Race, Benton; North Berwick club; Ashley; Bloomsburg; Millville, PP&L; and First Church of Christ, Bloomsburg.
Annual events include the Sportsmen's Banquet held on the last Saturday in January and the Fishing Derby which is held the first Sunday in June. The derby is for children 5 to 12 years of age, begins at 1 PM and provides prizes for all the children. All of the children are assured of catching lots of trout.
Monthly meetings are held at the VFW building one mile north of Benton on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 PM. Current dues are $5 pr year.
"I find life superior to anything
I could invent."
"Poetry is like fish: if it's
fresh, it's good; if it's stale, it's bad; and if you're not certain,
try it on the cat."
Mark Twain once said that "wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."
December 8, 2003.
Last night's spectacular (one-night away from) full moon, the Long Night Moon, illustrates a fact very vividly for us; i.e., the full moon is always opposite the sun. When the sun takes a high path in summer, the full moon rides low. When the sun takes a low path in winter, the full moon rides high. In the northern hemisphere, tonight's full moon is called the Long Night Moon because our nights are long, and the moon is up for many hours. If you are reading this in the southern hemisphere, you are having short nights and a full moon that rides low in the sky. If tonight is as bright and clear as last night, you will see a bright object near the moon--the planet Saturn. Incidentally, the moon rose at 4:21 yesterday afternoon and set this morning at 7:13.
We are throwing a quiz this morning. What is the shortest day of the year? A simple question. But think about the answer, it isn't as easy as you think. OK, OK, we'll give you a clue. It has nothing to do with the winter solstice. Answer at the end.
Jerry Seinfeld will be at the F.M. Kirby Center February 28, 2004. In 1989, Jerry teamed up with stand-up colleague, Larry David, and created the Seinfeld Chronicles for Castlerock Entertainment. The show later turned into the hit TV series "Seinfeld" on NBC. The last episode aired in 1998 after nine successful years.
A number of people have written that they are not receiving the email version of the Benton News. Because of spam filtering, there are currently 58 readers of the email version that have their Benton News blocked by their ISP.
Term of the Day: "Battery."
The winter solstice occurs this year on December 21 at 8:14 PM EST, and is the day with the fewest hours of daylight. The shortest day of the year, however, is the first Sunday in April when we turn our clocks forward to go on Daylight Saving Time. When we move the clock forward, we subtract an hour from the day. Therefore, that day is only 23 hours in length.
Some husbands seem to know all the answers. Of course, these same men have been listening for years.
Don't drive as if you own the road. Drive as if you own the car.
December 7, 2003
"Begin to be now what you
will be hereafter."
Life is a little like a ladder. Every step we take is either up or down.
Nothing we do gives us more leisure time than being punctual
It is smart to pick your friends, but don't do it to death.
December 7, 2003. The Benton News was not published Saturday, December 6, 2003.
We'll give you a quick rundown of things that happened over the weekend. There were local accidents, the result of too much alcohol in the system. Elaine and Jimmy Laubach celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary December 6. It snowed. In fact, it snowed hard! A local man brought a couple of guns into his home while he was under house arrest, and the judge decided to add another 30 months to his prison term as a result. A pry bar and a Pepsi machine tangled at L & K Mills. The pry bar won. A 13-year old girl was struck at the corner of Everett and Main Streets by a silver four-door sedan driven by a "female with shoulder-length blonde hair." A number of Army National Guard soldiers will be heading for Iraq soon. The Benton Borough Zoning Officer, Kip McCabe, is one of them. Geisinger Health System's Web site, www.geisinger.org, received the 2003 eHealthcare Leadership Silver Award at best e-business site.
On this day in 1941, Japanese bombers attacked Pearl Harbor. Soldiers at Pearl Harbor detected a large number of planes heading toward them and telephoned an officer to ask what to do. The officer replied that they must be American B-17s returning to the base, and he told the soldiers not to worry about it. Franklin D. Roosevelt called December 7, "a date which will live in infamy."
Samuel Clyde Hess, 52, (April 14, 1951-Dec.
6, 2003), 198 Shannon Hill Road, Benton, died Saturday while hunting
in Benton Township. He was a son of Mary (Wenner) Hess, Forks, and the
late Robert E.J. Hess. He married Candace (Candy)
Vansock September 19, 1981, and they have two children. Candy
is a former waitress at the Kozy Korner Restaurant and is currently
employed by CCFNB in the Light Street office. Mr.
Surviving, in addition to his mother and his wife are his two children, Samuel E.J. Hess and Samantha Morgan Hess, Benton. He is also survived by siblings Mrs. Larue (Dora) Charles and Robert J. Hess, Berwick; Mrs. R.J. (Donna) Savage, Bloomsburg; Mrs. Davis (Roberta) Albertson, Shirley Albertson and Sharon Hess, Orangeville. He was preceded in death by his father.
Funeral services will be Tuesday evening, December 9, at 6 PM at
the McMichael Funeral Home, Benton. Visitation will follow the service
until 9 PM at the funeral home. Interment will be private at the convenience
of the family.
We don't want to be picky about the Christmas trees that you use to decorate your home this holiday season, but if you want a tree that smells like citrus you would be very happy with a concolor fir. These trees are bringing $20 to $25 locally, while blue spruce is fetching about $16. There are several local tree farms where trees can be hand picked and cut for about $10. Concolor firs have two-inch-long soft, fragrant needles. The smell is the big draw. Your living room can smell like a tangerine from Florida this holiday season with just one concolor fir.
Concolor firs are usually found in the forests of California, Oregon, Colorado and northern New Mexico. Fraser firs grow in the mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. Douglas firs grow throughout the Pacific Northwest. Blue spruce comes from Colorado. Only the white pine in indigenous to Pennsylvania, and the branches of that tree are rather weak for use as a Christmas tree.
The life of St. Nicholas is, like the lives of many saints, shrouded in mystery. We know that he was the bishop of Myra in Lycia, part of Asia Minor, during the fourth century. He is credited with saving three sisters from lives of ill repute by throwing bags of gold into their house (some say down the chimney; others say through the window) to provide for their dowries. In many places in the United States and abroad, children still hang their stockings by the chimney or place their shoes by the window for St. Nicholas to fill them with presents and sweets on the night before his feast day.
Somehow we seem to be on the list to receive unverified email about
all sorts of things. The latest is about the fabric softener Bounce.
If one were foolish enough to believe all the claims in the email, one
would think that with the use of Bounce one would never again see a
mosquito, never get West Nile virus, never have ants again--oh, phooey,
just go to http://www.snopes.com/spoons/oldwives/skeeters.htm
and read why the claims are a bunch of baloney!
Arcadia Word of the Day:
A reader wrote that now that food has replaced sex in his life, he can't even get into his own pants.
We recently advertised that we were giving away some very nice pictures
of Mary A. Gearhart.
We are very happy that these photos will end up where they will do future generations good.
We continue to receive considerable donations on behalf of the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center of very valuable items. Please consider donating those items that need preserving to the Center. If the item is not of interest to the local area, we will do everything that we can to make sure the material gets to where it can best be used.
And just in case you didn't do it when you first read it, please go back and visit the Montour County Genealogical Society web site.
Composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart died in Vienna, Austria, at the age of 35 on December 5, 1791.
"I've never been poor, only
broke. Being poor is a frame of mind.
In seed time learn, in harvest
teach, in winter enjoy.
Our severest winter, commonly called
5, 2003. On this date in 1933, national Prohibition came to an
end as Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the
Constitution, repealing the 18th Amendment. In 1957, many Canadian and
U. S. radio stations banned the playing of Elvis Presley's Christmas album.
Presley's image incensed many who believed he shouldn't be singing religious
Somehow we, for the second consecutive year, forgot the December 3 birthday of Betty Kelsey Miller, Grove, Oklahoma. But we won't forget today's birthdays of Robert Kelsey (celebrating by hunting at Painter Den) and Linda Lee Kline (celebrating near a Florida golf course), both former Benton residents. Bob and Linda share their birthday with singer Little Richard, 71.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that 2003 is on its way to being the third hottest year on record. It also "marks the 27th consecutive year that average temperatures have exceeded historical averages."
Locally, we are also close to setting records for precipitation, although with the temperatures that we are having now there won't be a whole lot more rain. We are on the verge of a good winter storm, with snow and cold and hazardous driving. Have you ever noticed that the bad weather actually improves some people's dispositions? People do for others, are kinder both to strangers and to waitresses in restaurants, and jollier in general. Husbands and wives even have something to talk about.
A year ago today, snow was falling in Washington, D.C., and a local
winter storm warning called for four or more inches. A year later to
the day, the same thing is happening again.
Advice from a hundred years ago...
Term of the Day: "Fix."
A real estate sale that could make transportation history comes up December 17. Consolidated Freightways will sell its Wilkes-Barre distribution facility on Rocky Glen Road--220 properties with an appraised value of more than $400 million. The Wilkes-Barre facility, a 24-door cross-dock distribution facility on 3.5 acres, has been closed since September 3, 2002, when the 74-year-old company filed for bankruptcy.
We seem to collect things of the past. People frequently drop off wonderful tidbits of history and we assemble them into neat piles and later organize our thoughts and do something with the material. We recently received a box of wonderful photos of a Mrs. Mary A. Gearhart, born in Montour Country January 10, 1881. She died May 7, 1962, at the age of 81. She is buried in an unidentified Odd Fellow's Cemetery. If anyone would like the collection of excellent family photos, email us.
Through December 2, hunters have taken 2,952 bear and still had four more days of extended season in Wildlife Management Unit (WMU) 3D to topple the state record of 3,075 bears set in 2000. Columbia County had 41 bear kills in 2002 (36 in 2001), while Sullivan had 28, with 36 in 2001. Hunters took a dozen bears that exceeded 600 pounds during the three-day and extended bear seasons in 2002. This week, three bears exceeding 800 pounds were taken in Pike and Monroe counties. The largest was an 864-pound male bear taken in Pike County.
The Benton Grange will have a covered dish and meeting Wednesday, December 10, 2003. The covered dish will be at 6 PM and the meeting will follow. It will be held at the Benton U.M. Church, Benton. For additional information, call Rick Posey @ 925-2124 or Brian Bower @ 683-5472. A great Christmas present is a Pennsylvania Grange Cook Book, which is also available by calling the same numbers.
BTE is presenting A Christmas Carol, the Charles Dickens classic, adapted by ensemble member Elizabeth Dowd and directed by Daniel Roth. The production will continue through December 21.
I would like to electrocute everyone
who uses the word "fair" in connection with income tax policies.
The reward of energy, enterprise
and thrift -- is taxes.
I see a good deal of talk from
Washington about lowering taxes. I hope they do get 'em lowered enough
so people can afford to pay 'em.
|The benefits that come with living Back Home in Benton,
PA, come at a price. And the price is going up for living in the Borough--property
tax bills will increase about 10% next year. The 3-mill increase will
generate about $24,000 and is earmarked to "fix the Benton Dam, build
a new borough hall and repair streets," according to the Press
Enterprise, quoting council President Karen
It is evident that the Benton Dam needs some attention, and the Department of Environmental Control pointed that out recently. The last time that major repairs to the dam were made, funds were raised by public contribution.
The town hall is now vacant. The police department has moved from the town hall to the second floor of the Benton Volunteer Fire Station. With no heat, no water, and no bathroom in the town hall, the move makes sense. The modest rent that the firemen are charging seems more than fair.
The town's $239,210 budget includes a new borough hall on "airport" land owned by the Borough at the end of Everett Street. The Borough is seeking a $100,000 loan for forty years from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at a preliminary interest rate of 4.75%. Using Devore Division, we calculate that the total interest paid over 40 years would be $123,563.77, if the interest rate were never to change. The interest rate, however, does change monthly, based on the U.S. treasury bill rate. The range of interest rates possible for the town hall was not immediately available.
The Press Enterprise reports that plans for the $100,000 project were recently approved by the state Department of Labor and Industry. Engineering fees for this building and other town functions are reaching the $25,000 stage, and next year $10,000 is budgeted for engineering fees.
At the town council meeting Monday night, Council added (as they have for several years in a row) $5,500 to the budget to purchase and install a new furnace for the borough hall. About $20,000 has apparently been accumulated since 2001 in this manner. It was not immediately clear if this money would be used for the stated purpose or for contingency purposes or if the funds will reduce the loan amount or be additive to the value of the construction.
Using money budgeted in the same fashion, Council agreed to bring Back Home to Benton, PA, a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria police car to replace the 1994 cruiser with 90,000 miles on it. Council budgeted $4,500 for each year since 2001 in order to purchase the police car without a loan.
Councilwoman Susan Shultz caused a proposed meeting reimbursement figure to be rolled back from $50 per meeting to $15. Since the $15 per meeting is paid to each council person per ordinance, an increase would require a rewrite and readvertisement of the ordinance.
The present town council will have one more meeting before the new members of the board, Grant Little and Mike Klem, come on board. Council members Susan Shultz and Arden Getz are leaving council, and like all members of the community who volunteer their time and expertise they deserve our thanks. The December 19 meeting will adopt the budget and impose the tax discussed Monday night.
The Benton Area School Board
Benton Area School Board members, from the left, first row: Evy Lysk, Phillip Edson, Nichole Shultz, Rick Posey. Second row, from the left: Dr. Andrew Pollock, Superintendent, Dennis Threlkeld, President of the School Board, Robert Zettle, Lanny Conner, and Harold Ackerman. Geraldine Newhart was not present.
At the school board meeting December 4, 2003, both Dennis Threlkeld and Andrew Pollock expressed their optimism and enthusiasm for the upcoming school board.
December 4, 2003
We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret. Ambrose Bierce
The trouble with being virtuous
is that you can't tell your friends about it afterwards
Never horse around at night if
your wife sleeps with a colt under her pillow.
A man who does not know what to
do with his hands should not try to play poker.
The latest dance should be called the horse walk because there is quite a bit of wagon behind.
December 4, 2003. Get your outside work out of the way today, since adverse weather is forecast for Friday and Saturday. We guarantee to give readers the straight scoop on the weather. Just log on Monday and we'll tell you what happened! Start checking web sites for ski conditions. Shawnee Mountain at Shawnee-on-Delaware, for example, plans to open Saturday with four to five trails and two or three lifts in service.
The Thanksgiving vacation will be over for the State Legislature next Monday, but don't expect them to hang around long. We all hope that it will be a productive session with a resolution of the budget squabble between the Administration and the State Senate. The two chambers will meet the first three days of next week and three days the week of December 15 before shutting down until January.
On Sunday, December 7 at 9:30 AM, the Benton Presbyterian Church concludes this year of Centennial Celebration with a service of Rededication. Founding Fathers and members since 1903 will be honored by the congregation. Pastor Alan O. Lumpkin invites relatives, friends, and former members to participate in this special service. The history of the church will unfold as congregants solemnly read the rolls from the first Dedication, up to the present time.
And mark your calendar for Sunday, December 21, for the annual evening music program headed up by the Rev. Alan Lumpkin. Jean Lumpkin and perhaps a surprise guest will accompany Rev. Lumpkin. This evening of music in the Presbyterian Church is one of the most looked-forward to evenings of the Christmas season. The evening is free and very entertaining. Please attend.
Term of the Day: "cloud."
Upper Dauphin School District set a deadline of February 1, 2004, for an emergency shutdown of its schools if a political stalemate in Harrisburg continues to hold up more than $4 billion in state subsidies. The closure would affect 1,400 students.
Quote of the Week:
During Tuesday night's performance by Garrison Keillor at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre, he referred to Captain Billy's Wiz Bang, a term we remember from Professor Harold Hill asking the mothers of River City if their sons were memorizing jokes out of Captain Billy's Whiz Bang. But few of us remember the popular humor magazine of the 1920s and early '30s.
After serving in World War I, Wilford H. "Captain Billy" Fawcett in 1919 began printing a mimeographed pamphlet pecked out on a borrowed typewriter, a bulletin of barracks humor for disabled servicemen in a veterans' hospital. He published 5,000 copies and gave away copies to wounded veterans and friends. A wholesaler started selling it and by the mid-20s, Whiz Bang's circulation was around 500,000.
The magazine frequently included a picture of Fawcett bedecked in uniform, and the byline of early issues read, "This magazine is edited by a Spanish-American and World War veteran and is dedicated to the Fighting Forces of the United States and Canada." The title "Whiz Bang" was the nickname for a World War I artillery shell. The magazine included statements like "AWOL means After Women or Liquor."
"Panther fizz" was his expression for liquor. Questions like, "What can I do to avoid falling hair?" (Step to one side) were asked and answered. Many of the jokes were chauvinistic by today's standards.
Favorite topics, contained in a section entitled "Drippings from the Fawcett," were later muted by the repeal of Prohibition and the lengthening of women's skirts, which Captain Billy described as "an awful come-down."
The following is an example of the style of writing: "Well, Whiz Rangers, here we are watching another year drag its tail around the corner. And what a year! The Almighty Dollar has shrunk worse than Maggie's rayon bloomers the day it rained at the Elks' Picnic; jobs have been scarcer than a stenographer on the Virgin Islands; the stock market has remained flatter than a sailor's roll after three days in port; the wets have lined up against the drys and the drys have lined up against the bars, and the only relief the farmers got was in the Smokehouse," a euphemism Fawcett used for an "outhouse."
It's better to love a short man than never to love at all.
Jokes frequently concerned "flappers" or "chickens" (women), and were very chauvinistic by today's standards. Standards for women's dress and behavior changed after World War I as women bobbed their hair, hiked their skirts from the ankle to the knee, and discarded corsets. Whiz Bang loved jokes about scanty costumes, such as "We call her bridge table because she has bare legs and no drawers." Some examples are:
Rose's are red.
The use of cosmetics, which before the war was mainly restricted to aristocrats, actresses, and prostitutes, became universal. Captain Billy described a flapper setting out on a date:
"Her hair was bleached, her eyebrows penciled, her lips painted, her cheeks rouged, her eyes belladonnaed, her nose powdered, and when she entered the car with him, even her mind was made up."
The Charleston replaced the waltz and the two-step, and even that had a verse...
My girl was feeling bad,
Circulation eventually slowed by competition from the more sophisticated Esquire Magazine, founded in 1933, the worst year of the Great Depression.
Captain Billy's Whiz Bang was the great grandfather of the National Lampoon and other humor magazines. The magazine was a mirror of contemporary society in the Roaring Twenties. Fawcett eventually built a successful magazine line with True, Cavalier, True Confessions, and Mechanix Illustrated. Fawcett eventually turned to paperbacks producing the Fawcett Gold Medal line. "Captain Billy" Fawcett died on February 7, 1940.
"Horse sense is what a horse
has that keeps him from betting on people."
Middle age is where your narrow waist and your broad mind begin changing places.
December 3, 2003
Sign seen on a Taxidermist's window: "We really know our stuff."
Anyone who is mistaken for a moose and shot is probably better off anyway.
Definition of Vegetarian:
|December 3, 2003. There
are 28 days left in 2003.
An 86-year old hunter was found safe yesterday afternoon after having the misfortune of getting lost on North Mountain. Three inches of snow covered the ground and bitter cold was the order of the day in Sullivan County Tuesday afternoon. Mahlen Michael had been instructed by his hunting companions to tie a pink ribbon in the area he was hunting, and to fire two shots in the air if he got lost. Michael apparently did not do this after he became lost, and when his friends went to find him, he had left the area where he had last been seen.
Thirty-one hours and two and a half miles from where he entered the woods, wearing only the clothes on his back, Mahlen Michael, Lititz, was found in the Cherry Ridge area shivering in a small ravine, his gun frozen solid, unable to fire. He has hunted the woods at the top of Grassy Hollow since 1948, but this was the first time that he spent the night in the low teens in the woods. Michael headed for the Bloomsburg hospital for a checkup, but he was treated and released. Fifty weary members of the search party gladly went home to get some much deserved rest. Michael hunts from a hunting cabin he owns near Nordmont.
Hillsgrove Volunteer Fire Company was called out around 8 PM Monday to find another lost hunter in the area, and that hunter was also later found.
Which leads us to the question of how lost hunters find their way in the woods? By listening to the tree bark! Sorry! Well, what about this? Doe season in Pennsylvania used to end of Wednesday. A church minister asked during Wednesday night services who had bagged a deer. No one raised a hand. The minister said, "I don't get it. Last Sunday many of you said you were missing because of hunting season. I had the whole congregation pray for your deer." One hunter groaned, "Well, it worked. They're all safe."
We heard about the fellow that ate dinner with Arcadia friends, the menu being southern fried possum. When he heard the menu, he suddenly remembered that he wasn't hungry, saying that he knew opossum tasted just like chicken, but that he didn't like chicken. The cook told him that not all possum tasted like chicken, but this particular one did since it ate 13 of her chickens before ending up in the frying pan.
Head on over to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menu-internet.htm to get Federal Trade Commission information about the internet or to complain about something on the Internet.
The popular Benton Carnival will be held at the end of July and the beginning of August this year. And now it is official: the carnival has moved to the Benton rodeo grounds from the Benton Park.
You can find the upcoming schedules for Wachovia Arena, Wilkes-Barre, by going to http://www.firstunionarena.com/ .
Garrison Keillor appeared at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts Tuesday night and an audience of 1,700 people were delighted at his stories and humor and music, all provided without benefit of scripting. Keillor is the star of the popular radio show, A Prairie Home Companion on NPR, National Public Radio. The show's setting is Lake Wobegon, and his radio show can be heard Saturday evenings (and often again Sunday evening as a repeat).
Next time you can't figure out a file extension, go to the database at http://extsearch.com/ . Although not everything is covered, if you need help with your computer try http://www.computerhope.com/oh.htm .
Term of the Day: "Fast."
Banker Paul E. Reichart, 65, Orangeville, is now the Democratic candidate for the state representative seat vacated by John Gordner. Reichart will face Republican candidate Dave Millard in a special election January 27. Reichart has been a banker for 43 years. He is the former CEO of Columbia County Farmer's National Bank, and still retains the position of Chairman of the Board. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center, among many other similar positions. Bloomsburg Councilman George Turner serves as Reichart's campaign chairman. The winner of the January 27 special election will fill John Gordner's term until its expires at the end of next year.
Here are some information about deer which you may find interesting:
The Benton United Methodist Church will hold a Festival of Lights on December 14, at 7 PM. An adult and a children's choir will be featured, along with vocal soloists and musicians. It is free and open to the public.
Senior citizens who live within the Benton Area School District are invited to a free meal Sunday from 1 until 3 in the middle/high school cafeteria. Baked ham, scalloped potatoes, green beans, salad and all the trimmings will be featured. Reservations are requested, but not necessary. Call 925-0944. The food is donated by the area merchants and from donations from the school staff.
The Benton Volunteer Fire Department will not hold their monthly buckwheat breakfast in December. The popular breakfasts will resume in January.
Oh, what a goodly and a glorious show;
Get that Christmas tree into the water. A freshly cut tree can consume a gallon of water in the first 24 hours.
December 2, 2003
"It's not that I'm afraid to die, I just don't want to be there when it happens." --Woodie Allen
Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
|December 2, 2003. Please switch to
your winter driving mode, the official start of Winter will be here in 20
days! A year ago more than 50 cars tangled during a snow squall with whiteout
conditions and black ice. Traffic was backed up on I-81 for 23 miles following
the crash that happened shortly before 10 AM.
At this writing, authorities are still looking for an 85-year old hunter at the top of Grassy Hollow in Sullivan County. The man was hunting on state game lands near some open fields two miles from the entrance to lands owned by Painter Den Club. The overnight temperatures reached a high of 25°. For those familiar with that part of the mountain, the area the hunter most probably would be in would be described as the "top of the Quinn Trail."
We could go on and on about deer killed yesterday, but will mention only the two very nice racks on the buck shot by local sure-shots Collin Edson, 12, and Zane Kelsey, 13, first-time kills for both. The Pennsylvania buck and doe season runs through December 13.
Flames raged through a log home just off route 118 at 403 Old State Road, Ross Township, yesterday. Helen Stryjewski was believed to be inside when Sweet Valley fireman announced that a body had been found about 7:45 PM last night. State police had not released any details at this writing and findings are not expected until later today. The fire was first noticed about 12:30 PM yesterday, brought under control about 2:30 PM and completely extinguished by 7 PM. Old State Road reopened for traffic about 10:30 PM last night.
A reader provided this photo of a lard can from the former Carter Bache farms. What can you tell us about it?
Make sure that you include the Camp Lavigne Road and route 118 area in your night-time driving schedule. The ponds across the street from the home of Rev. and Mrs. Howard Leh are beautifully illuminated.
Didja know that the first written examination for game protectors was given in 1924. Bear cubs in the state were first protected in 1925. The first "camp limit" was put in effect in 1917 (and then subsequently removed in 1950). The first purchase of state game land was in Elk County in 1920, when 6,288 acres were purchased at $2.75 per acre.
Beaver were responsible for flooding much of the low land on North Mountain in Sullivan County. Many lakes and ponds formed on the mountain can attribute their formation to the beaver that were found by the hundreds when the first settlers arrived. Painter Den Pond and Ganoga Lake, however, are believed to be of glacial origin.
In the 1890's large catches of trout were reported above Jamison City, but these ceased before 1900. Fishing Creek below Jamison City at that time was polluted by tannic acid. Trout caught in Fishing Creek after 1905 had been stocked south of Central. The Wayne County Hatchery, Pleasant Mount, Pennsylvania, on May 28, 1906, sent a shipment of brook trout to Jamison City on the train.
A dedicated reader wrote us with a "A message for all communities." She wrote, "This is a plea to help support and maintain all of our local fire departments, for they are the ones who are on call 24 hours a day and will drop anything to help out the other person. Please, when you see that your local fire company or a fire company from a surrounding area holds a dinner, carnival, or breakfast please try to attend, to at least support them in their efforts to raise money, not just for themselves, but to benefit all of us in the end. They can be there for us, let us be there for them! Thank you, a concerned reader to this email news. Thank you." Please check UPCOMING EVENTS on the side bar for schedules.
Once every other week or so we get the question on how to handle the >>> marks on email. A FREE program called EMail Stripper by Oscura Software is available at http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm . When you want to forward an email, open the program, click on "Strip It," copy it again, minimize EMail Stripper and paste it into a new email to send. It is very easy, and the person receiving the email will appreciate it.
Sophie Watts should be kept in your prayers today. She is a patient in a local hospital.
Strangest Quote of the Day:
The recently opened Endless Mountains Gallery in Red Rock wish to thank the many Benton area neighbors who have taken the time to stop by and welcome the new gallery/gift shop. Jim and Jean Parcher, resident artists and proprietors, very much appreciate this friendly kindness from the community.
State College police have received 29 reports since August 25 of what are defined as "sexual attacks," up from nine incidents during the same period last year--three times the number of sexual assaults in State College compared with the same period last year.
California is the state with the highest population (35,116,033), compared with New York which has a population of 19,157,532. Pennsylvania ranks sixth with 12,335,091. Wyoming is least populated with 498,703.
Jumbled Quote of the Week:
Stumped for Christmas presents? Consider a three-megapixel digital camera, which makes a 4-by-6 print as clear as a print from a single lens reflex (film) camera. In November 2000, a digital camera cost in the neighborhood of $875. This year, the average price is down to $284 and many retailers offered the cameras for $99 over the Thanksgiving weekend. DVDs are being purchased in droves, but please remember that the DVD you buy will most probably come from a Chinese manufacturer churning out cheap electronics en masse.
Isn't there something strange about ticket sales for Dr. Seuss' the Cat in the Hat hitting $77 million while every review says the movie is terrible?
December 1, 2003
Mist and rain in November make for a beautiful December.
Technology has provided us with an efficient way of going backwards
He who hesitates is sometimes saved
A statesman is a politician considered safe enough to name your local school after
There are lots of things in life that money can't buy, but just try buying one of them without money
|December 1, 2002. The Benton Area
School System remains on holiday today, the first day of buck season.
The email came in innocently enough, just another email from a reader who stumbled upon the Benton News web site. But this one from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida had a special ring to it. The writer, Joe Mitchell, cautiously inquired about the Mitchell family from the Fairmount Springs area, saying that he would like any information available on the family of 17. Hobe Whitenight, their mail carrier who retired 13 years ago, provided some information.
Pat, Zella Seward's grand daughter, wrote within minutes of receiving yesterday's Benton News. Zella was a past owner of the corner store (Seward's Store) at Red Rock. Pat wrote that "Mrs. Mitchell would come to the store as soon as she received her check for the month and buy enough groceries for her family to last for the whole month. With 17 children, that amounted to quite a grocery order and probably helped to keep my grandmother in business!" The reader went on saying that Mrs. Mitchell was a caring mother, remembering that Mrs. Mitchell would come up to the store and use the phone to inquire about some of the children.
Sheila Brandon, webmeister of the Lower Luzerne County site, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~lowerluzernecounty/ , then thoughtfully proceeded to pour out the genealogical background on the family and that was forwarded to Joe Mitchell.
The response by the readers of the Benton News is appreciated.
Mark Twain once said that a Classic is "a book which people praise and don't read."
Term of the Day: "Son of a Gun."
"Ours is a stable marriage.
Two brooms hanging in the closet decided to marry. After the wedding, the bride broom said to the groom broom, "I think I'm going to have a little whisk broom!" "Impossible!" said the groom broom. "We haven't even swept together."
Think that you are a fast writer? See if you can write as fast as this guy...
Paul Harvey was born and raised in Tulsa, and began his radio career while he was still in high school. After graduating from the University of Tulsa, he worked as an announcer, a program director, and as a station manager. He went to Hawaii in 1940 to cover the U.S. Navy and was returning to the United States from that assignment when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Paul Harvey enlisted in the Army Air Corps, where he served until 1944.
Paul Harvey has broadcast from Chicago since 1951, when he began his coast-to-coast "News and Comment" on the ABC Radio. In 1976, Mr. Harvey began another series on ABC radio entitled "The Rest of the Story," highlighting forgotten or little known facts behind stories of famous people and events. These programs can be heard every Monday through Saturday on the largest one-man network in the world, consisting of over 1200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations, and 300 newspapers.
Paul Harvey is hard to hear for those of us who live Back Home in Benton, PA. Don't worry any longer if you're not near a radio to get your daily Paul Harvey fix. Tune to http://www.paulharvey.com/ and you can hear the stream via Windows Media Player or Real Player. He can also be heard on WILK 980 AM, WILK 105.1FM, WHP580AM, and WEEU 830 AM.
A reader said that we always seem to surprise her with articles that pop out of nowhere. She asked what we are working on. Well we are working on an article on the activities of the Ku Klux Klan, one with many pictures that date from 1890 when the barn and the house that preceded the O. B. Savage barn got caught up in a tornado, we're working on an article that traces the differences in the social and economic development of the Susquehanna River basin towns of Berwick and Bloomsburg, the lower Columbia County development in areas like Catawissa and Centralia, and the development of small towns in northern Columbia Country like Orangeville and Millville and Benton. One county, three diverse paths to where we are today. An article in preparation talks about the Fritz family history in the area, and another documents the slow decline of certain native trees of the area. If you would like to contribute your thoughts to any of these articles, send in your email now.
Chances are that by the time you read this someone bagged a buck, probably sometime around 6:35 AM. One almost-13 hunter told us last night that "if it is brown, it is down!" Buck season has been around longer than most hunters can remember. The last time there was no buck season in the state of Pennsylvania was 1935.
The PGC (Pennsylvania Game Commission) was created by an act passed in 1895. In 1895, with only a few hundred white-tailed deer in the entire state, the Game Commission inaugurated conservation measures calling for the protection of the forests from fire, a system of fully protected game refuges and legal protection for the female deer. By 1925 the woods had grown to a point where the ground growth, and hence the supply of deer feed, was greatly reduced. In a few more years, an ever increasing deer herd was being faced with a decreasing food supply which lead to serious consequences.
Ted Vesloski, a former law enforcement supervisor of the North East Region at Dallas, told us in 1987 that the first stocking of deer in Pennsylvania occurred in 1906, when 50 deer were brought in from Michigan. Ted Fenstermacher reminds us "that, in view of the great herds of deer that had earlier roamed Pennsylvania, stocking deer must have seemed like the proverbial carrying of coals to Newcastle." But, when one considers how many hunters claimed to pass the 1,000 deer mark in our area, one realizes the later dearth of the herd was not surprising. Gigantic piles of antlers by some pioneers' homes were common and the hunters were proud of them. Some Benton area men were professional hunters and they would load big sleds with the choice parts of deer and, using oxen, would haul them to cities."
Guy Kocher, now deceased, gave us this account of the stocking of "Michigan Deer" about 1911. He was about eight years old when the deer were brought into Jamison City. It was such an event that school was dismissed when the train came into town. The deer arrived in crates and then were loaded on horse-drawn sleds. There were about a dozen deer on that occasion and they were taken up Blackberry Hollow at the north end of Jamison City and released "pretty well up the old lumber road." He said he and some of his friends followed for quite a distance. Another time, Frank Edson and Francis Reed watched the stocking of about two dozen Michigan deer. The crated deer were loaded on horse-drawn sleds, taken up Grassy Hollow to Lewis Falls, following the Quinn Trail to the Jordan Lumber Camp (today known as Kinney's Clearing), where the deer were released.
Roy Evans once recalled for us seeing about twelve deer in individual crates loaded on railroad cars near the train station in Benton around 1915. The train continued to Jamison City where the deer were transferred to horse-drawn sleds and taken up Blackberry Run for release. Roy said J. C. Knouse was one of the first in this area to get a buck following the opening of a legal season after the deer were stocked. J. C. got his deer in the West Creek Gap area. With J. C. on that hunt were Josiah Ash, Harold Hartman (then 12 years old), Jacob Knouse and Ray Coleman.
The Benton Argus reported that the first 25 of 200 deer from Newport, New Hampshire, were received in Jamison City in March, 1916. "When they arrived," Keith Schuyler reported, "there was three feet of snow on the ground, and the deer were held over for an extra day." We have also found newspaper clippings that indicate the first stocking took place in 1913.
In addition to the deer previously mentioned, domestic deer from preserves were released according to the following years and numbers supplied by the Game Commission: 1923-24, 8; 1924-25, 21; 1925-26, 8; 1926-27, 12; 1927-28, 12; 1929-30, 3.
Harry Miller of Jamison City was appointed the first
game protector for Sullivan and Columbia Counties June 21, 1915, and was
credited for covering about twenty-five miles of local roads and forest
trails daily on foot.
The News from
Back Home in Benton, PA, is copyright © David
R. Kline, 20022003. All rights reserved. Contact the author for
reproduction requests. Comments and feedback are always welcome.