Benton News Archives
for February, 2004
February 29, 2004
|It is leap-year day, February 29, 2004,
the 60th day of 2004, the extra day that we give to February every four
years to keep the calendar and the seasons in line since the earth orbits
the sun in 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds. There are 20 days
until the official start of Spring. Richard Strauch is 19 years old today.
Jimmy Dorsey was born on this date on leap year day in 1904 in Shenandoah, PA, Hugh Hefner introduced the world to the Bunny Girls when he opened his first Playboy Club in Chicago on leap day 1960, Tokyo was rocked by an earthquake on this date in 1972, and Trudeau stepped down after 15 years as Canada's Prime Minister on this date in 1984.
Women are given special dispensation by everyone but their fathers one day a year and may propose marriage on February 29, a custom believed to have originated in Ireland when St Patrick granted women permission to propose on leap years. Go for it, girls!
Have you bought your dog license for 2004? Remember that all dogs three months or older must be licensed. An annual license costs $8, while a lifetime license costs $51. Spayed or neutered animals are eligible for reduced license fees of $6 annually or $31 for a lifetime license. Discounts are also available to senior citizens or people with disabilities.
Copies of trout stocking lists are available at Sen. John R. Gordner's
district offices in Bloomsburg, Millersburg, Mount Carmel and Shamokin
The Class of 2006 is holding a basket bingo bonanza at 1 PM today in the Benton Volunteer Fire Hall. There are $20/20 games; specials, raffles, refreshments and door prizes.
The Monday morning edition of the Benton News may be a tad late. We
do not answer phones, touch a computer or even think non-associated thoughts
the night the Oscars (The 76th Academy Awards (8:30 PM, ABC)) are handed
out. It is the one night of the year that we don't leave our TV sets and
we'll go to bed very late. We aren't too excited about some of the races
this year, but we are very much in favor of Charlize Theron and her role
in Monster (don't come back and suggest that we said we liked the
movie, we said we loved the actress!) and Renée Zellweger for her
role in Cold Mountain. We predict that both of these women will
Go for the Gold! Others to watch include director Peter Jackson, and actors
Sean Penn and
A Wal-Mart employee announced that "We are under contract to go in up there pending excavation and legalities." He was talking about a new 203,000 square feet Lewisburg Wal-Mart Supercenter with a drive-through pharmacy, a vision center and a tire and lube express center, plus a full offering of groceries. The tentative date to begin construction on the new store is September of this year with the project completed and set for a grand opening in late summer or early fall, 2005. A Sheetz convenience store and an Applebee's will be located adjacent on route 15.
We extend our best wishes to the couple following the announcement of the engagement of Misho Vance and James Phillips. Misho is the daughter of Jim and Ruth Vance, Orangeville, and granddaughter of Betty Ruckle, Benton. The prospective groom is the son of Eugene and Joan Phillips, Dallas, and is an associate professor at Luzerne County Community College. The big event takes place August 14.
So you think that English is easy!
In any discussion of the things that are outstanding about the Borough
of Benton, the Benton Town Hall, originally called the Benton Opera House,
comes to mind. The vision of a refined building dating from the 1850s
rapidly fades from thought as the things that are wrong with the building
come to mind. The building is steeped in history. For example, in March,
1852, a performance of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin
used live bloodhounds on stage for the performance. Countless dances were
held on the second floor and the whole building would swing and sway with
the dancers. The building has long been used for voting, and for meeting
of scout troops and garden clubs and other civic-minded events. But all
these things are in the past. The building now sets cold and dark and
We applaud the Historic Benton Preservation Society under the direction
of Carl Stuehrk for at least coming up with a plan to save that Old Chestnut
of a Town Hall, willing to think enough of the community to do their part
in making the old new again at a price this town might be able to afford.
Nothing wears us out quite as much as hanging on to uncompleted tasks
When we say that we were wrong about something we are really only saying that we are wiser today than we were yesterda
|February 28, 2004. Happy
birthday today to school directors Evy Lysk
and Rick Posey celebrating along with Charles
Durning, Mario Andretti and Bernadette Peters. We also need to mention that
somehow we forgot the birthdays of Jeff Watts
on February 21 and his mother, Geraldine Yost Laubach,
on Monday of this week, the 23rd.
The first U.S. railroad chartered to carry passengers and freight,
the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Co., was incorporated on this date in
Doris M. (Wiant) Harvey, 75, (Nov. 22, 1928-Feb. 26, 2004), Bethel Hill Road, Sweet Valley, died at home Thursday. She was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, the daughter of the late Charles and Jessie Wiant. She graduated from the University of Montevallo, Alabama, taught at the Huntington Mills Elementary School, was a certified Lay Speaker for the United Methodist Church, and ran a Wednesday bible study group in her home and had a Bible study and prayer group at the State Correctional Institution at Dallas. She was a member of the Bethel Hill United Methodist Church and served as a director of the youth group. She also was a Sunday School teacher. She provided important historical information to the people of the Luzerne and Columbia County area. Her husband, Herbert Harvey, and her brother, W. Lloyd Wiant, proceeded her in death. Surviving is her daughter, Bonnie Lukesh, Forty Fort; and sons: Douglas, Grove City, Ohio, and Duane, Sweet Valley. There are nine grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held 11 AM Monday from the Clarke Piatt Funeral Home Inc., Hunlock Creek. Interment will be in Bethel Hill Cemetery, Sweet Valley. Friends may call 6 to 9 PM Sunday. Memorial contributions may be made to the Patterson Grove Campground, c/o Joan Franklin, 26 W. Creek Road, Benton, PA 17814.
Geisinger Health Plan and Bloomsburg Hospital have signed a two-year contract, adding the hospital back on the insurer's list of approved providers. The 6,000 or so patients of GHP can again soon get health care and services at Bloomsburg Hospital. Read the story in today's Press Enterprise.
A mass-mailing worm is on the loose again, arriving in email as a .ZIP attachment. When run, the virus emails itself to addresses it steals from the infected computer, spoofing the "from: field" with one of the harvested addresses. The virus does not mass-mail itself to addresses that contain @avp., @hotmail.com, @microsoft, @msn.com, local, noreply, postmaster@, and root@. The virus also attempts to terminate the process of several security programs. An infected email can come from addresses you recognize. The message body will be empty. The email will contain a randomly named binary within a .ZIP file (~16KB). If your computer is not running an up-to-date virus protection program, please turn off your computer and work on your income taxes until you have computer protection.
We usually don't put whole letters in the Benton News, but we make
We are writing this letter to inform you of our overwhelming support for a grant submitted by The Columbia County Housing Authority for the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center. The people behind this project have talked with you several times, so we assume you know that this project will serve the entire northern part of Columbia County as well as the western Luzerne, and southern Sullivan Counties.
This area of the counties mentioned have no facilities of this type. The center will have a gymnasium for the public, an exercise room for the elderly, and a weight room for everyone. One of the most important features will be that the Senior Center, now housed in the Benton Township building, will move into this center and have access to a commercial kitchen as well as the library and museum. The center will also have a computer room where after-school tutorials will be conducted.
The folks behind this project have done everything you and John Gordner have suggested to strengthen their application. They have raised over $400,000--itself a feat that none of us who know the county expected. In our opinion, this in itself demonstrates the need for this project. The people are solidly behind them.
We hope this letter will strengthen your case when you argue for the funding to make the center a reality. Perhaps it would help if we and a representative from the housing authority could accompany you to meet with Secretary Yablonski.
If there is anything else we can do to assist you, please call us immediately.
A great substitute for experience is being a teenager
We never know what we can do until we give it a try
May your neighbors respect you,
Harrisburg's Farm Show Complex is home to a pair of expositions this weekend. The 30th Pennsylvania Home Builders Show runs through March 7. Adult admission to the show is $7. More than 350 exhibitors will be at the show, which also features an expanded Garden Faire and Designers' Expo. If you're more into horses than houses, the second annual Pennsylvania Horse World Expo is ongoing until Sunday at the complex. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the show. Seminars on topics such as horse-keeping technology, marketing and management, saddle fitting and trail riding will be offered. More than 450 vendors will provide visitors with information on barns, equestrian vacations, horse training and breeding. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 10-14.
We have added Clifton E. Moore to our service people list. Moore is a combat meteorologist stationed at Barksdale AFB Louisiana. His address is SrA Moore USAF, Regional Operations Manager 26 OWS/WXC, 865 Douhet Drive, Unit 128, Barksdale AFB, LA 71110. Moore's parents are Stephen and Elaine Moore, Stillwater.
|A person from out of state, whose name is not really important, was
doing her daily Google and stumbled upon our site. Admitting she had never
been in Pennsylvania, she nevertheless wanted to know more about the East
and our state, intrigued by some of the things she read about things Back
Home in Benton, PA. She asked if we would identify our favorite Pennsylvania
towns. We'll do that publicly here. We start with our own hometown--and
wherever your home town in Pennsylvania is would be where you would most
likely start, too. We would love to hear from you about your favorite town
in Pennsylvania. Make sure that you tell us why it is a favorite.
Our favorite towns are Wellsboro, Lewisburg,
Jim Thorpe, Bellefonte,
Hershey, New Hope,
and Lititz. We don't seek an argument here,
but our rationale is as follows:
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod one night,
The old mill house on route 239 just before it let loose and moved slowly across the road to a temporary resting place beside the former Norton Cole Mill.
It is interesting to note that the spectators wore hard hats, while the workers mostly wore straw hats and black clothes.
|The house came to rest in this temporaty resting place, looking lonely and unhappy.|
|This is a before picture of the locaton of the mill house.||This is an after picture of where the mill house was located for about 200 years.|
The mill house is finally off the ground, resting comfortably under its cradle.
Much of the house rested on a double-walled foundation, under which a beam jutted into the hillside to keep the house from tipping. When this beam was severed and the frost in the ground loosened, the house reluctantly gave way to the move.
Picture courtesy of Robert Parks
The man who believes he can do something is probably right, and so is the man who believes he can not.
"Nostalgia isn't what it
used to be."
February 27, 2004
Time doesn't heal, but it does make a hurt bearable.
We all smile in the same langauge.
February 27, 2004. We celebrate the birthdays today of Ora Karns and Lynn Watson, and they share this date with actress Joanne Woodward, 74; actress Elizabeth Taylor, 72, and consumer advocate and wanna-be President Ralph Nader, 70. On this date in 1991, President George Bush declared a U.S. victory over Iraq and announced that combat operations would cease at midnight in the Persian Gulf War. On this date in 1900, Rochester, accumulated 43 inches of fresh snow. In 1997 on this date, divorce became legal in Ireland. "Mr. Rogers," then 74, died of cancer a year ago today. Fred Rogers, a Pittsburgh Presbyterian minister, hosted the award winning public television show "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood" for 32 years.
Doris M. (Wiant) Harvey, 75, Bethel Hill
Road, Sweet Valley, died at
There will be no school for students of the Benton Area Schools on March 4 and 5, except for seniors scheduled to give their graduation projections March 4.
A Fly Fishing Show March 6-7 at the Ontario Convention Center in sunny and warm Southern California will feature all aspects of fly angling, from travel to casting, fly-tying, tackle, techniques, guides and boats. There will be 24 programs and several conservation organizations attending. Barry and Cathy Beck, Benton, are featured speakers.
About once a week we get on a kick to preserve family history and we are climbing up to the podium right now. Skip to the next paragraph if that is not a subject of interest. If you want to print out some family pictures, we suggest you consider the obvious.
Microsoft Word is a fine program to use for printing your photos. Rather than messing with unfamiliar photo programs that only let you print one photo per page, use Word to assemble your photos and save paper when sharing pictures. Just plunk down a bunch of photos on one page, adjust their size, add some names and dates and places (so if you end up cooked like Cousin Claude you will know who the pictures are), print the page, put the pages in a binder and you have an instant photo album and an instant history lesson for future generations.
To insert a photo into a Word page, just choose Insert | Picture | From File and bring the photo you want from your hard drive.
Word is excellent at keeping the resolution when you resize photos on the page. Click to select the photo and drag on a corner handle to change the size of pictures you need to print. This technique is great for printing a lot of smaller copies to pass around to friends.
As an aid, we offer a few questions and answers dealing with Healthcare
Maintenance Organizations (HMOs)...
This is the final weekend of the season for Grand Ole Opry performances at the Ryman Auditorium. Next weekend through October, the show will originate at the Grand Ole Opry House. The show will return to the Ryman in November for a four-month winter run.
Garrison Keillor asks "What happens if you play country music
backwards?" His answer, "You sober up, get a job, and your wife
Term of the Day: Ampersand.
A letter that itself was a word, such as "A," or "I," or "&" [and]) was preceded in the recitation by the Latin phrase "per se" ("by itself") to draw the students' attention to that fact. The daily ritual would end "X, Y, Z and per se and." The phrase slurred to "ampersand" by children who normally were challenged by games like Huckle Buckle Beanstalk, and the term crept into common English usage.
The ampersand symbol "&" is a stylized rendition of the Latin word "et," meaning "and." Proofreaders reading copy aloud to one another still pronounce the ampersand symbol "et" to distinguish it from the actual word "and."
An attempt was made Thursday to move the mill house, across from what was once called the Norton Cole Mill. The original mill was erected by a Mr. Black, the same man who later built the Shannon mill, about the year 1800. The actual age of the mill house in not known.
Norton Cole was born in 1871, spent around 67 years in the mill, and died in 1962 at the age of 91. Ledgers, grind stones and many of the tools associated with the mill were sold at public auction in 1965, but if you click here you can see a lot of what the mill still has to offer.
|The 1989 250 ton crane from Styer Construction Co., Turbotville, straddles route 239 in the picture on the left. In the picture on the right, the old miller's house digs in as the crane prepares to lift the house up and over the road to its temporary quarters in a field beside the mill.|
|Megan Dardanell, a news anchor from channel 16, interviews Ron Wing about the move. Ron was quoted as saying, "I told my friends to come over with a dust pan in case it breaks up over the highway."||The crane and its operator patiently wait for the lines to be in place in order to begin the move.|
Hours were spent Thursday, February 26, trying to move the house. It was finally determined that several beams under the foundation of the house were solidly dug into the hill. A chain saw finally sawed through the beams and the house was free to move from its foundation. Before the move began, however, two large raccoons made a hasty exit from under the house.
Benton resident Allen Hess didn't get very excited about the move. He came to look at what was going on, saying "I just came to watch it move. I didn't have anything else to do. This was the action around town for now."
|After hours of trying, the house was moved about four feet and at 4:30 PM everyone decided to quit for the day.||The eventual location of the miller's house will be on the mill race bank, about 100 feet North of the existing mill.|
|Bob Parks took many excellent pictures of the house move and they are posted here. Please note that all of the pictures Bob Parks took are copywrited.|
"The wise make proverbs and fools repeat them." - Isaac D'Isra
February 26, 2004
If a politician found he had cannibals among his constituents, he would promise them missionaries for dinner. H. L. Mencken
Life is a long lesson in humility.
|February 26, 2004.
If you are going to have maple sugar, start tapping your trees now.
An estimated 30,000 horse owners in Pennsylvania read the Pennsylvania Equestrian, published 8 times a year.
If you have a few minutes today take this quiz at to see if your speech patterns favor the North or the South.
Term of the day: "hornswoggle."
Internet Hoax of the Week: The Appleby Hoax
EMAIL: My name is Bill Palmer, founder of Applebees. We'll give a $50 gift certificate to anyone who forwards this email to 9 of their friends. FACT OR FICTION? FICTION. There's no way anyone is going to pay people money just for forwarding an e-mail. We checked the Applebee's Web Site for this answer, but subsequently it went down, possibly from an overload of people checking out the validity of the claim, possibly from irate people who wanted their $50.
Federal regulators and lawmakers are applying pressure on broadcasters by revisiting their indecency standards, delaying live broadcasts so they can delete offensive material and telling parents how to block specific programs. The first major program to be affected was Howard Stern's show, suspended Wednesday by Clear Channel Radio.
In Isaiah 53:5, probably written 700 or so years before the birth
of Jesus, warnings came that God's servant would be wounded and whipped
and the Mel Gibson movie, The Passion of the Christ," is all about
that coming true, sometime around 32 AD. The movie is sort of a "Lash
Wednesday." We suspect that many in the theatre where we saw the
movie Wednesday were not quite prepared for the graphic depiction of Jesus'
anguish in the 12 hours before His crucifixion as He is kicked, beaten,
lashed and flogged, with spikes driven through His hands and feet.
How many of you remember when the only television station that could
be received in Benton was WNBF, channel 12 out of Binghamton? How many
of you can remember back to March, 1955, and these television stations?
If you can remember these stations, you probably will remember Tom Powell, president of The Associated Press Broadcasters Association in the late 1960s. He died Tuesday in Scranton at the age of 76. Powell started at WGBI radio in 1947 as a disc jockey and on June 7, 1953 was the first person to appear on a telecast originating in Scranton after WGBI's owners started WGBI-TV. He went on to spend more than 30 years as a television reporter, anchorman, news director and editorialist, mostly at WDAU-TV, now WYOU-TV, Channel 22.
Parents: if your kids go to the the Benton Area Schools, your kids homework assignments are available at www.bentonsd.k12.pa.us and are available via the side panel of this web site.
Lettin' the cat outta
the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin'
If you look like your passport picture, you probably need the trip
Though we travel the
world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us or we find
Travel, in the younger sort, is a part of education; in the elder, a part of experience. --Sir Francis Bacon
2004. Today is Bob Sands' birthday.
On this day in 1950, Your Show of Shows debuted on NBC in the Saturday
9-10:30 PM time slot. The weekly series starring Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca,
Carl Reiner, and Howard Morris was ninety minutes of original comedy performed
live in front of an audience, without the use of any cue cards or teleprompters.
Writers for the show included Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and
Neil Simon. The show achieved some intimacy by placing the camera on the
stage for the first time.
Frederick V. Berlin, 86, (Dec. 14, 1917-Feb. 23, 2004), Berwick, died Monday. Mr. Berlin was the owner and operator of Berlin Greenhouses, Berwick, and of Berlin Mobile Home Park, Benton and other locations. He is survived by his wife, Ann and three sons: Wayne F. Berlin, Huntingdon, Rod V. Berlin, Berwick, and Fred C. Berlin, Berwick; one sister, Geraldine Romeo, Berwick; two brothers: George Berlin, Berwick, and Charles Berlin, Berwick
Some civic-minded people in Scranton are hoping to illuminate the
historic 67-year-old "Scranton The Electric City" sign atop
the Scranton Electric Building and are trying to raise about $180,000
for the project. PPL Corp. kicked in $30,000 toward the campaign, and
others are helping out.
For those hooked on tobacco, an cheap alternative to the expensive
brands is to smoke cigarettes manufactured offshore or to smoke "off-brands"
not covered by the national settlement with Big Tobacco. As Big Tobacco
companies increased their prices to offset the settlement expenses, off-brands
stepped in selling much cheaper. A carton of off-brand cigarettes costs
in the range of $12, compared to $30 or so for a carton of something like
Winstons. Sucking on cigarettes is an expensive habit and for those people
concentrating on their outgo of money, switching to the off-brands makes
sense to some people who insist on smoking..
We confused a reader the other day when we talked about the Census of 1790 counting three-fifths of a person. She asked if we could briefly explain. Well--yes and no! We can explain, but we can't be brief. The Constitutional Convention was big on liberty and equality, but the Southern states made it clear that would not join the Union if slavery was not accepted. Nowhere in the Constitution is the word slavery found, but it is referred to in three places.
Blacks in the state of Pennsylvania were occasionally allowed to vote,
but whatever power they had slowly melted away through the era of the
Dred Scott decision in 1857. In case you forget, the Supreme Court through
the majority decision of Chief Justice Roger Taney stated that the Construction
was written only for whites and that blacks, free or not, could never
be citizens. Cheers came from the South and boos came from the North at
this decision, but it was not until 1863 that the Emancipation Proclamation
freed slaves in the seceding states. In 1865, the 13th Amendment ended
slavery in the United States and three years later with the 14th Amendment
full rights of citizenship were granted to "all persons born or naturalized
in the United States." And the 15th Amendment in 1870 added the "regardless
of race, color, or previous condition of servitude" and the 24th
Amendment in 1964 abolished the poll tax making it clear that "we
the people," meant all the people and not just those who were more
than three-fifths of a person.
Dayne Hartman tells us from Florida that he has not seen Witty Ear LaTear, but suspects that they likely could be found at a flea market.
One of our favorite places to be is Santa Ynez, CA. Except today that is not the place to be! The forecast is for 4 to 8 inches of rain.
"There are two kinds of people
who never amount to much: those who cannot do what they are told, and
those who can do nothing else."
February 24, 2004
Diligence is the mother of good luck. Benjamin Franklin
When your mother asks, "Do you
want a piece of advice?" it is a mere formality. It doesn't matter
if you answer yes or no. You're going to get it anyway.
My mother loved children - she would have given anything if I had been one. Groucho Marx
My mother buried three husbands - and two of them were only napping. Rita Rudner
Men are what their mothers made them. Ralph Waldo Emerson
|February 24, 2004.
Today is Shrove Tuesday, better known as Mardi Gras, and it is happy birthday
time for Dr. Donald Rabb, Darl
Dressler and Madge Hinchcliffe, who
share their birthday with CNN news anchor Paula Zahn, 48. Rudolf Diesel
received a German patent on this date in 1893 for an
engine that burned fuel oil rather than gasoline and differed from the
gasoline engine in that it used the heat of compression in the cylinder
rather than a spark to ignite the fuel.
Shrove Tuesday is also known as "Fat Tuesday" or "Mardi Gras," a day of preparation for Lent. The name "shrove" probably came from the word "shrive" or confess. It takes place on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent). The tradition in the church of having pancake suppers and the secular tradition of just plain partying comes from the practice of feasting before the fast.
Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras go hand in hand. "Gras" is French for fat and "Mardi" is French for Tuesday. The annual festivities start on January 6, the Twelfth Night Feast of the Epiphany, when the three kings are supposed to have visited the Christ Child. The climax comes on Fat Tuesday, which always occurs on the day before Ash Wednesday. Parties and parades continue until Lent begins at the stroke of midnight tonight. Mardi Gras is scheduled to occur 46 days before Easter. Since the actual date Easter occurs on changes yearly, Mardi Gras can happen on any Tuesday between February 3 and March 9.
The word "carnival" comes from the combination of the Latin words "carne" and "vale," meaning "meat" and "farewell." Mardi Gras carnivals are a farewell to meat before Lent begins.
And for the Germans of the area, we can't forget "fasnacht, "a yeast-raised potato pastry that's deep-fried like a doughnut. Fasnachts were originally made and served on Shrove Tuesday to use up the fat that was forbidden during Lent. They're diamond-shaped and often have a slit cut down the center before frying. They first appeared in Pennsylvania, though there is some argument whether the actual origin is German or Dutch.
A reader convinced us that bread is the root of all evil, reminding
us that more than 98% of convicted felons eat bread and that about half
of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below
average on standardized tests. When bread was baked in the home, the average
life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably
high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow
fever and influenza ravaged whole nations. Bread is addictive. Deprived
of bread and given only water to eat, men have begged for bread after
as little as two days. Bread often leads to "harder" items such
as butter, jelly, peanut butter and even cold cuts. Bread is baked at
temperatures as high as 400° Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill
an adult in less than one minute. Most American bread-eaters are not able
to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical
It wasn't this way on the Steel Pier. Canonsburg-native Bobby Vinton, 68, collapsed during a performance Sunday night in Lancaster at the American Music Theatre. A number of Benton residents have seen Bobby perform at his opulent dinner theater in Branson.
The Uniform Construction Code becomes law statewide on April 8. The code requires that homes be built to nationally recognized standards. The code will regulate construction, alteration, maintenance and demolition of structures. Third-party inspections will be done to ensure that work meets the codes. Building and remodeling could be turned on its ear in the post-April 8 timeframe. Its most noticeable effect locally will probably be its impact on the pocketbook.
Ralph Nader is making Democrats nervous again, remembering back to the last presidential election that was decided by only 537 votes in Florida where Nader pulled in 97,488 votes and probably only a few of them from George W. Bush. This year's election could be a lot closer than some suggest, so we expect to see action in a few states to keep Nader off the ballot.
The Press Enterprise published the list of honor students at the Benton Area Schools in today's edition. Take a read, and then make sure that those achieving students are remembered by you.
There are a limited number of seats available for the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown March 4, 5, 6 and 7 in the elementary school multipurpose room. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students. Tickets are available by calling the high school at 925-2651.
We enjoyed reading the warning issued by Bob Thomas about fellow cardiac inmate Witty Ear LaTear and "his woman" from the French outpost of Stillwater. The warning was to Dayne Hartman about Witty Ear arriving in Florida, a place where many of us now wish we were when we see the white stuff outside.
We were rummaging through some old letters and got to thinking about
"what Mother used to say." The older crowd may remember a couple
of these and the younger crowd can skip to the next paragraph...
Birthday boy Donald Rabb recalls that Dr. John Brittain Laubach,
the dentist father of Dr. Frank C. Laubach, had an "ancient drill
powered by a foot treadle very similar to an old sewing machine which
transferred the power to turn a small red cotton "string" up
to the drill to drill the tooth." Don wasn't very happy getting a
tooth filled in Dr. Laubach's office, a slow and painful process. Don
only recalls making one trip to his office, which was on the second floor,
rear, of what many now know as the former Horace Harrison IGA Market.
If only I had a little humility I
would be perfect.
February 23, 2004
Our greatest glory is not in never
falling but in rising every time we fall."
What you will do matters. All you
need is to do it.
When you are outside, a house should look like a house. When you are inside, it should feel like a home.
|February 23, 2004.
Today is the wedding anniversary of Dick and Janet
Kriebel and the birthday of Bill Bailey.
Jimmy Laubach was born in 1933. It is also
the birthday of baroque composer George Frideric Handel, born in Germany
in 1685. We mention Handel because of The Messiah, probably his most highly
esteemed work, entirely written in an intense twenty-four day period in
Following severe fighting on the Japanese island of Iwo Jima, the flag was raised on Mount Suribachi on this date in 1945. As the flag was being raised, Navy Secretary Forrestal stood on the beachhead and when he saw Old Glory waving in the breeze, he reportedly said The raising of that flag on Surabachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years. This day has special significance to School Board President Dennis Threlkeld, whose father served on Iwo Jima.
Buster recently heard us talking and wanted everyone to know that
although some might say that man's ability to use language to communicate
is what makes him the dominant species on the planet, Buster concludes
that it is our ability not to be afraid of the vacuum cleaner that makes
We enjoyed the handwritten sign that said, "Would The Person Who Took The Step Ladder Yesterday Please Bring It Back or Further Steps Will Be Taken."
Is your Windows XP running slowly or strangely? Try this. Run Windows XP "Repair Installation" by inserting the Windows XP CD into the CD-ROM drive. Shut down the computer. Wait 60 seconds and turn the computer back on. A screen that says "To Boot From CD press any key" will appear. Press any key. The first option reads something to the effect that to "Install Windows XP" press enter. At the next screen press the "R" key. Windows XP will now attempt to repair the current Windows XP installation. None of the current settings, programs, or documents should be lost, and this could save you a large repair bill.
Some find it strange that a house in Benton found to be in violation of zoning ordinances and subsequently condemned is suddenly rented without benefit of repairs being made or Zoning Hearing Board review. How does this happen?
If you can't annoy somebody, there's
little point in writing.
Feburary 22, 2004
I have yet to see any problem, however
complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not
become still more complicated.
Give me a lever and place to stand,
and I will move the world.
The only thing I like about rich
people is their money.
We are here to help others, but what
the others are here for I cannot say.
You're born with intelligence, but
not with ethics.
|February 22, 2004. On this date in
1732, the first president of the United States, George Washington, was born
at his parents' plantation in the Virginia Colony. Poet and playwright
Edna St. Vincent Millay was born on this date in 1892. She published her
first poetry the year she graduated from Vassar (1917).
Millay, whose friends called her "Vincent," often published under the pseudonym Nancy Boyd, led what was called "a notoriously Bohemian life," allegedly had numerous love affairs and wrote her poetry mostly in traditional sonnet and ballad forms. She once wrote that she was "very, very poor and very, very merry." Millay was bisexual but married and the couple acted liked two bachelors, remaining "sexually open" throughout their twenty-six-year marriage. Her husband died in 1949 and Edna St. Vincent Millay died the next year, in 1950. The reports were that she had been up all night drinking coffee and reading proofs of a translation of Virgil's Aeneid. She went downstairs to pour herself a glass of wine, felt faint, sat down on the stairs and died "quietly of a heart attack with a glass of wine in one hand and a page of poetry in the other."
"My candle burns at both ends;
Spot Fetcher Bush, 14, (March 17, 1989-February 21, 2004), a brown-and-white English springer spaniel known as "Spotty" to her famous master and mistress, was "put to sleep yesterday at the advice of her veterinarian. Spot was born in the White House, the only pet to live in the White House twice. Spot was named for Scott Fletcher, a former shortstop for the Texas Rangers, the baseball team her master once owned. Spot was a puppy of Millie, moved to the governor's mansion in Texas and then returned to her birthplace for the inauguration in January 2001. Her career included amusing newsmen, chasing birds and grasshoppers, and she loved retrieving tennis balls that her master hit with a tennis racquet. Her master claimed that she was "a good runner," "a great water dog" and she "understands where the hedges are." She was, however, more of a Momma's Dog and followed the First Lady everywhere. Spot was the "Senior Fellow" among canines in the White House. Spot aged noticeably during her second tour at the White House, and recently began walking into doors and has had a series of strokes recently, including one this week.
White House press secretary Scott McClellan issued the following statement: "The president and Mrs. Bush and the entire Bush family are deeply saddened by the passing of Spot. A loyal and loving companion, Spot was a beloved member of the Bush family for nearly 15 years. She will be missed."
Spot is survived by life partner Barney, a Scottish terrier, a gift
from Christine Todd Whitman, then governor of New Jersey. Spot will be
buried at her beloved Texas ranch.
One of the Internet virus seems to be dying down but there is probably one lurking in the wings to take its place. We hear that the delivery success of the Benton News is improving. If this is your first issue in a few weeks, sorry! Blame it on the lower species who write viruses--the only species of subhuman that's actually below the spammer. Have we mentioned that you should never buy anything from a spammer--EVER?
The Sons of The American Legion Post 495, Shickshinny, will hold a "Night At The Races" April 10 at 7 PM at the American Legion Post on route 239 near Shickshinny. The cost is $10 per ticket, including food and beverage. For tickets, call 683-5472 or 542-5262.
Tonight at 9 PM will be the last time you'll see Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha on "Sex in the City" before the reruns begin. This is the last episode.
A reader took us to task on our idle comment that a duck's quack does echo, contrary to claims we saw on an email trivia list. The reader wrote, "I hate to disagree with you but I did see on a show called Myth Busters that they did perform several experiments with a lot of technology and they did discover that a duck's quack has NO echo. I believe that particular program is on the Discovery Channel. They tested it in valleys, on water and in mountains."
We didn't have access to either a duck or a canyon to prove or disprove this quackery but we knew that sound waves are sound waves so we called Bob and Shirley Keller who live up the valley in Dotyville, owners of about six ducks and a goose. We patiently listened to their ducks, hoping to prove or disprove the theory. The answer quacks us up! We didn't have a recorder to make a "duck tape" but as we sat in the cold having "soup and quackers" we certainly heard an echo from the ducks. We then consulted the Internet, turning to http://www.acoustics.salford.ac.uk/acoustics_world/duck/duck.htm . Same answer. A duck quack produces an echo.
So--have you heard the one about the enormous alligators that live in New York City's sewer system?
Brandon B. Schupp, 17, became the 44th Benton Area Boy Scout to make Eagle, following in the footsteps of brother Travis, 20, and father Jack, 48. Accolade after accolade fell on the broad shoulders of Brandon at ceremonies at the Benton Volunteer Fire Station last evening. Letters of praise were read from the President of the United States, the Army and the Marine Corps, County Commissioners, and various Boy Scout dignitaries. Pennsylvania Senator and Scout Executive John Gordner attended and congratulated Brandon. Rep. George Hasay wrote a letter and sent a representative.
Brandon met 325 different requirements in order to make Eagle, earning 22 merit badges.
Go to http://www.usscouts.org/eagle/bsfamous.html to read the distinguished list of Americans who have made Eagle Scout.
During the awards ceremony, Brandon heard a portion of the 1938 Handbook for Scoutmasters quoted, "The badges which accompany his advancement and which the Scout wears on his Uniform are not to show that he has "passed certain tests, "There should be no past tense implied! On the contrary, each badge cries out "I can, right now and here!"
Brandon led troop #51 as Asst. Sr. Patrol Leader, Sr. Patrol Leader, and Jr. Asst. Scoutmaster. He served his community by building a tricycle track, sandbox, bench and landscaping for the head start program.
Following the ceremony Eagle Scout Brandon Schupp, his Boy Scout Leader
Father Jack and his proud mother, Audrey, and well over 100 people sat
down to eat and congratulate Brandon.
Clark Byers, 89, painted some 900 barns in 19 states over three decades with catchy slogans such as "To miss Rock City would be a pity." Mr. Byers died Thursday.
Rock City is a roadside institution, a collection of buildings constructed from stone atop Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, TN, on the Georgia border. It was opened by Garnet Carter, the man who invented miniature golf. Garnet Carter set up a putting green on Lookout Mountain and experimented with using pipes and rocks on a small course. His Tom Thumb miniature golf course was hugely popular and miniature golf courses opened all over the country. By 1930, more than 25,000 miniature golf courses were in place around the world and the Carters were multi-millionaires.
Byers painted the Southern barns with a "See Rock City"
advertisement on them making the collection of barns perhaps better known
than Rock City. Byers started painting barns beginning in 1937 and over
the years he braved slippery roofs, flashes of lightening and a charging
bull to paint barns in the rural South. He used black paint that he said
was virtually fade-free and painted the barns for free. The barns will
live on like Burma Shave signs for years. Think of Clark Byers when you
see the next painted Southern barn.
"Success is outliving
"All of us have moments in our lives that test our courage. Taking children into a house with a white carpet is one of them."
We have a friend who says she is on two diets at the same time because she wasn't getting enough food for just one.
"I find that the
harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
Here is the test to
find whether your mission on Earth is finished: if you're alive, it isn't.
|February 21, 2004. Erma Louise Fiste
was born on this date in 1927. She became a columnist for the Dayton Journal
Herald after graduating college, soon changed her name to Erma Bombeck
and became a full-time mother. When her three children were in school, Bombeck
returned to the Herald at the age 37 because she "was too old for a
paper route, too young for Social Security, and too tired for an affair."
She wrote the best-selling novels, The Grass is Always Greener over the
Septic Tank and If Life is a Bowl of Cherries, What am I Doing in
the Pits?. Bombeck, then 69, died April 22, 1996, at a hospital in San
Francisco after earlier undergoing a kidney transplant.
The Press Enterprise Church of the Week is the Benton Assembly of God, 3686 State Route 487, Stillwater.
Traffic on route 239 will be disrupted Monday morning near the former Norton Cole's Mill as John Lapp, Turbotville, attempts to lasso a century-old residence using a cable suspended from a crane. The crane will attempt to lift the house to an altitude of up to 100 feet in the air, and deposit it over electric lines, moving water and cars. The crane will set the house down a couple of times and will move under electric lines and across the West Creek steel bridge before it completes its three-stage journey to deposit the house in its temporary resting place in the middle of a field beside the historic West Creek Mill, which we describe under FEATURES as part of the Mills of the Area series. Front and back porch roofs were dismantled Friday in preparation for Monday's move, and a few trees were taken down. We suspect that we'll see lots of our friends and neighbors watching the progress Monday. If you miss the excitement, we'll update the web site to keep you part of the action.
We often wake up early in the morning and think "Horsefeathers, we haven't written anything for the Benton News." We fly from bed and fling some coffee in the pot and check our incoming email for outlandish things--things like emails that claim a duck's quack does not echo--and peck something out. Yesterday was a good example, We said about Ansel Adams...that he was a perfectionist and only produced about twelve new images a year that he felt satisfied with.
A loyal reader got very wrathy with that sentence. The reader, who
shall go nameless, wrote, "Nothing tears at the very fiber of my
being more than the misplaced 'only.' I have labored diligently for the
past several years to correct this glaring error in the English language."
He continued, "If old Ansel had only produced, etc., that means he
did nothing else. Didn't brush his teeth, didn't eat, didn't have sex,
didn't drive. The 'only' belongs immediately after the verb (except in
rare instances) in a given sentence. Therefore, Ansel produced only, etc.,
and did other things too.
And, by the way, contrary to those foolish, endless and incorrect emails that go around, of course a duck's quack echoes! If you don't believe it, get that duck away from the middle of the pond and take him to the hills.
Buster and Chloe think that it is normal that people talk to their pets, and asked us to mention the woman who pulled into a parking lot, allowing her collie to remain on the back seat of the car. The woman walked away pointing her finger at the car and saying emphatically, "Now you stay. Do you hear me? Stay!"
A driver who was parking his car nearby gave the woman a startled look.
"I don't know about you, lady," he said. "But I usually just put my car in park."
We recently wrote about the year 1903, and mentioned the start of construction of the Panama Canal, Ford's first "Model-A" and the Wright Brothers first flight. Some things we didn't mention: The average life expectancy in the US was 47 years, there were about 8,000 cars in the US and only about 150 miles of paved roads, there were more people in Alabama, Mississippi, Iowa, and Tennessee than in California. Sugar cost four cents a pound. Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen. Coffee cost fifteen cents a pound. We rarely knew of knee or hip problems, and the five leading causes of death were pneumonia and influenza, tuberculosis, diarrhea, heart disease and stroke. About 6% of all Americans had graduated from high school, even though marijuana, heroin and morphine were available over the counter at the local drugstore.
We recently mentioned Wilson Ferguson's
talk about Sullivan County in the period 1750 to 1850, and a reader asked
about how the makeup of an area was really determined back in those dark
ages. Lets take a quick look at the nation's first census, dating back
to 1790. A deputy marshal of the U. S. District court rode through counties
and asked questions, like how many free people were in the household and
what sex and color they were. Questions included how many free white males
over 16 were in the household and how many under 16. How many slaves?
The name and address of the head of the family. There were no questions
about religion, place of birth, occupation, income or quality of life
and except for separating the men from the boys asked no questions about
age. The census simply counted heads, and it took 18 months to do it.
The total in the country according to the census was 3,929,214, of which
about 19% were black and most of those were slaves and therefore according
to Article 1, Section 2, of the Constitution, each was counted as three-fifths
of a person. Philadelphia was the second largest community in the United
States in 1790 and Northern Liberty, PA, was the sixth largest.
"Money can't buy you happiness,
but it does bring you a more
"Forgive your enemies, but never
forget their names."
Begin challenging your own assumptions.
Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every
once in awhile, or the light won't come in.
No gut. No glory.
Thinking is like loving and dying.
Each of us must do it for himself.
Men who borrow their opinions can
never repay their debts.
The world we have created is a product
of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking.
February 20, 2004. We overlooked the 47th wedding anniversary yesterday of Jean and Ray Foust, Benton, and we left home yesterday without our birthday list and so we apologize to those whose birthdays we are forgetting. It is the birthday today of photographer and conservationist Ansel Adams, born in 1902, the most famous landscape photographer of the twentieth century. Adams loved Yosemite National Park and his quality of photographs of that beautiful park have not been equaled to this day. A perfectionist, he only produced about twelve new images a year that he felt satisfied with.
The vacant Bloomsburg building at the corner of Main and Market Streets
will soon come alive with a new Italian restaurant called "La Fontana,"
meaning "the fountain." Two people with Benton roots, Christine
and Dena Hess, sold the 105 W. Main Street building for $390,500
according to papers filed at the Court House yesterday. Read the entire
story in today's
Press Enterprise. Bloomsburg would be sitting pretty now if someone
could find a use for the old Capitol Theatre.
The schedule for the Friday Night Opry and the Grand Ole Opry for this weekend can be found here. Regretfully, the schedule is incorrect on the Country Connection page on the side panel. We are not able to correct that page at this time. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Dr. Wilson Ferguson, Lake Mokoma, was the featured speaker Monday, February 16, 2004, at the North Mountain Historical Society meeting at the Brass Pelican, Elk Grove. Dr. Ferguson spoke on settlement patterns in early Sullivan County and concentrated on the period 1750 to approximately the time when Laporte, the county seat, was incorporated.
Sullivan County was created March 15, 1847, and was named for Senator Charles C. Sullivan who took an active role in passing legislation to create the county. Laporte, the county seat, was incorporated in 1853 and was named for John LaPorte, Surveyor General of Pennsylvania from 1843-1851.
Dr. Ferguson, quoting T.J. Ingham, author of the History of Sullivan County, read what the county was like during this 100-or-so year period. "The country at this time, between the north and west branch of the Susquehanna river, was an almost unbroken wilderness, consisting of dense forests of heavy timber trees, thick tangled growths of laurel bushes, windfalls full of tall blackberry briers, and dark, dreary swamps containing alders, tamarack bushes, and coarse grass. This wilderness of woods, rocks, hills, mountains and streams was well peopled with wild animals, such as deer, elk, bears, wolves, panthers, catamounts, wild cats--to say nothing of the smaller inhabitants, such as minks, beavers and foxes. There were also serpents, such as rattlesnakes, copperheads and blacksnakes.
Dr. Ferguson also read from writings dating back to around 1850. One writer noted that "When I first passed through Sullivan county, in 1850, the most of it was a primeval forest; but old settlements, like islands in a sea of woods, were scattered through it. Around the Forks, and in Elkland, Fox and Hillsgrove were old farms, free from stumps, with stone fences and old buildings. In Shrewsbury, separated by miles of dense woods from the Forks, was a settlement which seemed to have been finished forty years before. A thread of small farms along Muncy creek and some old farms along North Mountain and at Elk Lick constituted Davidson; while far away from these settlements, and separated from them by lonely wildernesses, was the township of Cherry. The new county-seat, Laporte, was a mere stumpy clearing, with a few small buildings, surrounded by miles of dark woods."
Although Dr. Ferguson touched on all the townships in Sullivan County,
we paid most attention to Colley, Cherry and Davidson and we'll touch
briefly on them.
Minutes of the North Mountain Historical Society are filed under FEATURES at the top of this page. Pictures from most sessions are included.
We need to add a postscript to our earlier report about the bridge at Norton Cole's mill. PennDOT announced that the OFFICIAL detour route for highway 239 during the construction phase will be Route 239 to Route 118 to SR4049 to Route 487. SR 4049 is locally known as the Camp Lavigne Road. Those familiar with cow paths and back roads will seek shorter, alternative routes.
PennDOT will include some "alignment" work at the North end of the existing bridge and will lower the grade by over six feet which should greatly improve the "sight" distance. At the South end of the bridge, the horizontal curve will be improved.
Ron Wing, owner of the house on the outside of the curve beside the former Norton Cole mill, reports that he signed a contract with an Amish firm Wednesday night to move the house from its present location. The house will be braced on the inside and lifted by crane on Monday, January 23, to an adjacent field. s
The house will eventually be placed on a foundation and moved to a location on the old mill race North of the mill.
We'll share some information about the house on route 239 beside the former Norton Cole's Mill that will be moved later this month. Harry Warner, Akron, Ohio, provided some of the history of the house. We wrote that the house was owned by Norton Cole and Harry can trace its history back to 1936 when Raldo and Thelma Warner moved in after being married earlier that year. Harry cannot trace the history of the house before that. Harry recalls that the end nearest the creek was over a hundred years old and remembers that rooms had plank walls when Raldo put in an archway between the living room and dining room in the early 50's.
Raldo and Thelma lived there until Norton Cole died in 1962. The house remained empty until sold after Thelma's death in '64. Harry recalls that the house was rented when the Benton Radar Station was active.
Raldo and Harry installed electrical service about 1952 and had used kerosene lights and battery-powered radios prior to that, Water was carried by the bucket from a hand-dug well via a hand pump on the back porch. An electric pump was installed sometime after Harry left for the Air Force in 1956. Hot water was never installed that Harry knew about. As Harry was growing up, there was only one faucet in the kitchen. An outhouse on the bank at the edge of the woods served all the occupants who lived there from a pit Harry grudgingly dug in the 1950s. Harry recalls that as a child he had a specially sized and lower-level seat "because no one wanted to have to pull me out."
The house is so close to the road that from the north end of the porch the family could step directly onto the macadam. On the second level, Harry could step out of his bedroom window and be in the woods.
The open-grate deck bridge was built in 1932, and we are attempting to find a picture of the covered bridge that was there before that. Harry always enjoyed watching the road crew dig out the tar covered planks ("4 by 10"s") and replace them when they rotted out. The bridge was always dangerous as there was a negative crowned curve coming down the hill that tended to throw cars across into the wrong lane. There was a stone abutment on each end of the bridge that was about three feet above ground, three feet wide and 8 or 10 feet long. Harry "remembers a few accidents, especially when excessive speed, and/or drink and/or slippery road was involved. The steel railing was always bent and scratched on the house side. The steel grating that was installed in 1954.
Harry's favorite memory of the bridge is of Norton Cole as he crossed the bridge every night just after 5 PM and around noon on Saturdays when he closed the mill for the day.
The state has designated the North Branch of the Susquehanna River
as Pennsylvania's 2004 featured River of the Year. The North Branch begins
in New York and flows into Pennsylvania in Bradford County near Sayre,
winds through Wyoming and Luzerne County in a 100-mile stretch through
the Endless Mountains Region.
February 19, 2004. Today is the birthday of Jamie Rabb and of Frank Conrad. There are 30 days until the official start of Spring, and the "almost above freezing" temperatures get us quickly in the mood for warmer weather. On this date in 1945, 30,000 or so U.S. Marines landed on Iwo Jima, where they began a month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces.
Here is the lineup of candidates running for state and federal offices
following Tuesday's deadline for submitting nominating petitions to get
on the primary ballot...
On the Internet...
The song goes "girls just want to have fun," and the same applies to twenty or so women of that "certain age" of the local Red Hat Society who donned red hats and purple dresses to eat ham and drink tea Wednesday afternoon at the Benton Sub Shop. Even Becky Green, owner of the Sub Shop, raced from the kitchen in time to enjoy the "dis-organization" of some ham and humor with "the girls."
Membership in the Red Hat Society is limited to women age 50 and older. Younger women have formed their own pink hat and lavender dress clubs, donning the red hat (and purple dress) when they reach that certain age. The motto of the Society is greeting middle age with verve, humor and elan. Members wear purple dresses and red hats and most clubs are comprised of a limited number of women with similar interests.
"I hear and I forget. I see
and I remember. I do and I understand."
February 18, 2004
After all is said and done, more is said than done.
February 18, 2004. Betty Ruckle is 85 today and, yes, she is the same lady for whom "Grandma Betty's Apple Dumplings" are named. If you have never tried them, call 781-3882 and order a couple of boxes.
Don't forget that there is a movie to watch tonight at 9 PM Eastern on Lifetime. And if you forget what that movie is, buy a copy of today's Press Enterprise where an excellent article by Chris Krepich tells all about it. Ah, heck, the movie is Sinners Need Company, based on the 1947 novel The Sure Hand of God, by Erskine Caldwell. The film will air on the LIFETIME channel at 9 PM. Benton native Yvonne Lenbergs was executive producer of the film and daughter Ellen Lenbergs was set designer.
Dale Earnhardt Sr., then 49, died from injuries suffered in a crash at the Daytona 500 two years ago on this date.
Doris Harvey remains a patient in the Geisinger Hospital.
This year, there are five Sundays in February. Do you know what happens on the last one? The 76th Annual Academy Awards will be held that Sunday night, three weeks earlier than usual. We do have a favorite actress and she will present at the awards ceremony. Renée Zellweger will present and is nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Cold Mountain. Last year, she was nominated for a Best Actress Oscar for her role in the Best Picture winner Chicago and in 2001 she was nominated for her leading role in Bridget Jones' Diary.
February can have five of any particular day of the week only in a leap year since in an ordinary year, February has exactly four weeks, so every weekday occurs exactly four times in the month. To have five Sundays in February, it must be a leap year, and the first day of February must be on a Sunday. In the past, this has happened every 28 years; i.e., 1976, 1948, and 1920.
Good morrow, Benedick.
Threading a needle? Moisten your finger with spray starch or hair spray and apply it to the end of the thread. It will stiffen just enough to make threading easy.
Bob and Joyce Gordon are Back Home in Benton, PA, after outwitting our winter for a month with other snowbirds in the Orlando area. From other sources we hear that the Florida population is rebounding for the first time in three years. We have never heard a snowbird not say "It is good to be home" when they arrive Back Home to Benton, PA.
Sue Thursby reminds us that the collectibles from Christ the King Church can be picked up today up today from 3 to 6 PM at the Benton United Methodist Church. The next project in this popular series is the original bandstand at the Benton Park. Sue needs a good picture of the bandstand if anyone can loan it to her.
The volunteers of the Benton Area Food Bank committee who were on duty Tuesday, February 17, at the Benton United Methodist Church.
Volunteers from the Benton Council of Churches assist the Columbia County Human Services distribute food to needy people of the Benton area. The program is Federal and state funded and serves about 70 households monthly. Recipients are qualified by income level and by proximity to the Benton area. Other food banks operate in Jackson Township, Greenwood, Bloomsburg and Berwick.
Back row, from the left: Shirley Fullmer, Food Bank Coordinator Peg Krum, Bernard Shultz, Bill Thursby. First row, from the left: Eleanor Klementik, Darlene Shelly, Carolyn Watson, Lynn Watson, Whittier Letteer
|Peg Krum, from the Waller United Methodist Church, is the local program coordinator and says that the success of the program is dependent on many individuals and organizations.|
|Those who might want to check their qualification to receive food from this source can stop by the Benton United Methodist Church on the third Tuesday of each month from 9-11 AM. Contributions in the form of money can be sent to Peg Krum, P. O. Box 63, Benton, PA 17814.|
Civil War research lead Patty Matthews and Sheila Brandon, members
of the Plymouth
Historical Society, to the task of preserving burial records for the
local Veterans Office.
||Both Sheila and Patty, along with Pat Hillon of Harvey's Lake and Elaine LaGreca of NY, are co-owners of a free Yahoo website called The Courthouse Gang, which provides look-ups of obituaries, wills, and marriages at the Luzerne County Courthouse and the Osterhout Library. This service is for out-of-town people with connections to Luzerne Co., who can't get to the area to do their own research.|
|Bottom row, from the left: Sheila Brandon, Patty Matthews. Standing, from the left: Mike Meehan, Ray Mazzarella.|
February 17, 2004
camel is a horse designed by committee."
February 17, 2004. It is the 63rd wedding anniversary
of John and Zane Unbewust. We ran into them
in separate places over the past couple of days and asked them when they
got married. John said 1941 and Zane said 1940. When we pointed out the
discrepancy, John threw up his hands and simply said that it has been
so "%$#&^ long I just can't remember." Neither have seen
daughter Yvonne and granddaughter Ellen's movie that premiers Wednesday
night on the Lifetime channel, and they are very excited about it. We'll
tell you more about the movie and share another story about the couple
after we have pecked out a couple more paragraphs.
Jared and Amy Dressler proudly announce
the birth February 16 of daughter Gianna, weighing in at 7 pounds, 13
ounces and 21 inches long. She is actually a pretty good size for having
a mother who weighs less than 100 pounds. Gianna is the granddaughter
of Grover and Debby Dressler.
The Benton Rodeo rides into town July 13 through the 18th, 2004. We'll talk about both the music and the entertainment. First the music. The old bandstand that has blinded performers for so many years--did we mention that this is the 20th anniversary of the Benton Rodeo?--will soon be replaced with one that is twice as large and will face South instead of West. In fact, it will even have two dressing rooms. Construction should begin as soon as this cold and miserable weather takes a hike. The new bandstand will be approximately where the Dodge trucks were sold in prior years.
And the other news comes from the Lone Indian Chief who will bring
his Native American culture to this year's rodeo and combine it with the
art of Roman Riding. The Lone Indian Chief is also known as Will Powell,
and he let us know that he begins his performance astride two fourteen
year old paint horses, Ghost Dancer and Lakota.
|Will began his Professional Career with the horses in 1985
and demonstrates that all riders can fulfill childhood dreams. Will and
his team of paint horses will combine showmanship, a beautiful wardrobe
complete with full Indian headdress, and the rare art of Roman Riding to
give the Benton rodeo spectators a thrill and excitement they will never
Will and his trained horse presents several dance maneuvers, and ends the performance by "Ghost Dancer" walking on his hind legs.
In 1999 and 2002, Will performed with his Roman Team during an opening for the National Finals Rodeo held in Las Vegas, Nevada. And what is Will doing this Winter? He is a paralegal in his wifes law practice.
Set your TIVOs now for Sinners Need Company, based on the controversial novel The Sure Hand of God, by Erskine Caldwell. The novel sold over two and a half million copies. The film will air on the LIFETIME channel at 9 PM Wednesday, February 18, 2004. Yvonne Lenbergs was executive producer of the film and daughter Ellen Lenbergs was set designer.
Sinners Need Company is the story of Molly Bowser, a widow who wants to save her teenage daughter Lily from the kind of life Momma Molly was forced to live. Momma wants to pull this off by snaring Lily a rich, respectable husband. Molly experiences one misadventure after another with results that range from hilarious to moving to tragic, but never predictable.
Our fingers are loosened up so we'll share a John and Zane Unbewust story. Back about 1948 or 1949 after they had purchased the old homestead from John Unbewust, Sr., Zane told John to back the old dump truck up to the side of the house and she and sister Pat started heaving things out of the attic into the truck. The attic was full of generations of odds and ends and she made quick work of that "stuff."
Shortly thereafter she decided to open up some of the rooms and took the initiative with a sledgehammer and knocked out a wall and even had daughter Yvonne breaking through some of the wooden lathe in the wall.
When John arrived home, he got a bit excited and said, " #%^$@ woman, this could have been a load-bearing wall and the whole house could have come down." Her reply was pure Zane, "Well it didn't did it!"
One time son Mac didn't respond fast enough to Zane's famous whistle to come home. Zane grabbed him and paddled him good only to discover that she had grabbed his playmate, Brooks Sutliff, now a car dealer in Harrisburg, by mistake and had just punished the wrong boy. Mac says that he still can't enjoy a football game because every time they blow the whistle he looks around to see if his Mother is whistling for him!
Didja know that Pennsylvania has the largest rural population in the United States? Didja know that Benton's famous son-in-law's movie "Fargo" translated in Chinese means "Mysterious Murder in Snowy Cream?" Didja know that on this date in 1801, the House of Representatives broke an electoral tie between Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr, electing Jefferson president and making Burr vice president? Didja remember that the Benton Area Class of 2006 will host basket bingo February 29 at the Benton Volunteer Fire Hall? Didja know that Sen. John Gordner got in "cold" water yesterday when a ceiling pipe in his office burst flooding several office rooms with one to two inches of water? Didja remember that the firemen are serving buckwheat cakes Sunday at the fire hall? Didja know that friends of Willie Hosking contributed $1,545 in his memory to the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center? And didja know that exciting announcements will be coming from the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center in the immediate future? Lets save that for another day... Have a toasty Tuesday!
Business card courtesy of Kelly Yost
How many of you can remember the Harry Hess Store on Main Street, Benton? Harry had a hotel over the general store. The sign for the Hess Hotel can still be seen on the building.
"Education's purpose is to replace
an empty mind with an open one."
February 16, 2004
Faults are the easiest things to find
|February 16, 2003. Today
is the birthday of Mabel Lawson and
of Richard Jost. Forget about going to the
banks or to school or to the post office today! This is President's
February is the birth month of two American presidents...
We honor Washington, Lincoln, and forty other presidents (Richard Sutliff reminds us that Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President, with Benjamin Harrison between Cleveland's terms. He was kind of a girthy fella but we still can't count him twice) on the third Monday in February and call the holiday President's Day. This observance dates to the Monday Holidays Act of 1968, which became effective in 1971. But, just to confuse you, the Office of Personnel Management still officially refers to today as Washington's Birthday, but it is popularly and legally known at the state level as President's Day.
Six years to the day that his father won NASCAR's first race of the season, Dale Earnhardt Jr. roared to a victory in the Daytona 500 Sunday, pulling off a masterful pass of Tony Stewart with 19 laps remaining and holding on for the win.
If you create a shortcut to your favorite folder it will save you time to navigate to it each time. Create a desktop shortcut to your favorite folder this way: Click Start | My Computer to open Windows Explorer. Locate the folder that you want to create a shortcut by navigating through the list then right click on the folder and select Send To | Desktop (Create Shortcut).
The temperature outside at press time is 3°, "long johns" weather. But where did that funny name come from? The name originally referred to the winter underwear issued by the Army, the ones that create that itching sensation that soldiers remembered from the war. The terms conjures up a vision of a soldier swelling his chest, flexing his biceps and strutting around like a Banty Rooster or like John L. Sullivan (1858-1918), the last of bare-knuckle champions and world heavyweight champion from 1882 to 1892), after whom these practical long johns are named that we are so happy to put on these cold Winter mornings.
A fire apparently started in a wood-burning stove did substantial damage to the exterior of the Mill Street home of Bob and Margie Kline last evening about 7:50 PM. Firemen found a cracked fly liner, but that could have been caused by the heat of the flames.
Everyone was evacuated and there were no injuries, although there was smoke, water and fire damage.
The temperatures hovered around 16° outside as firemen from Benton, Millville, Orangeville and North Mountain responded with axes, foam and water.
Bob and Margie first heard noise, something like running water, in the wall behind the wood-burning stove about 7:30 PM. They soon saw smoke coming from a light-fixture and immediately called for help.
The inside of the house was saved from serious damage, but the exterior was chopped up quite badly in order to get to the flames inside the wall. The living room of the house had black walnut paneling milled from a tree that had grown on the property for over a hundred years, and that was saved. The house had new carpet, furniture and electrical. Orangeville fire chief Bob Sutcliff, a carpenter and home-improvement contractor, had completed the renovations for the Klines. The Orangeville fire company responded with their rescue truck.
|The house had been a two-room cabin on the farm of Robert and Evelyn Kline in the late 1930s, and numerous additions had been made to the structure, especially since Robert and Margie Kline purchased the house about 1985. Daughter Tara Lane, 14, and sister Kay Emily Kline also reside at the property.|
"In questions of
science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning
of a single individual."
"A pint of sweat,
saves a gallon of blood. "
February 15, 2004
If your outgo exceeds your income, then your upkeep will be your downfall.
|February 15, 2004.
If you see Ted Fritz, tell his to have a Happy
Birthday. Ted celebrates his birthday with comedian Harvey Korman, 77, and
if we go back a few years, with Suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906).
Today is the birthday of Italian astronomer and the father of physics,
Galileo Galilei, (1564-1642), born in Pisa in 1564. He developed the idea
for the pendulum clock when he observed a bronze lamp swinging, and noticed
that the swings, whether through a large or small arc took place in equal
or nearly equal times. He wrote that all objects, regardless of their
density, fall at the same rate through a vacuum. He invented the pump,
the hydrostatic balance, and the refracting telescope. He studied the
earth's moon, verified the existence of the four moons of Jupiter, observed
a supernova, and discovered sun spots. He provided evidence for Copernicus'
theory that the earth revolves around the sun, which had been declared
heresy by the Inquisition. Pope Urban VII told him that he could write
about it as long as he treated it as merely a mathematical theory. But
Galileo continued to openly support the theory and in 1634, his book Dialogue
Concerning the two Chief World Systems was banned and burned by the
Church, and he was forced to renounce his beliefs. As he signed his prepared
declaration that the earth was stationary, he whispered, "And yet
it moves." From 1633 until his death, he lived under house arrest
in his home in Florence although he became Professor of Mathematics at
Padua where his lecture hall held 2,000 students. He was still full of
ideas for new inquiries when he "was struck down by fever."
He died in January of 1642 when he was 78.
Esther E. (Cragle) Rhinard, 81, Jonestown, died Saturday, February 14, 2004, at the Millville Health Center. Her husband Warren W. Rhinard, died April 29, 2003. Arrangements will be announced by the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Benton.
Many students attend the L. R. Appleman School, and some may not know about the man for whom the school is named. L. Ray Appleman was the oldest child of the marriage of Samuel Francis Appleman to Nellie Hess. He was born February 16, 1885, and was named Leslie Ray Appleman. He died February 9, 1963, just a week short of his 78th birthday. He married Emma D. Strauch on December 3, 1908, and they had two daughters, Ruth and Kathleen. Samuel and Nellie had six other children: Edith Florine Appleman, Reuben Glen Appleman, John Burr Appleman, Sarah Ellen Appleman, Ethel Vee Appleman and an unnamed child born in November, 1887, who only survived for twenty days.
So time moves on and so do we,
A nice feature of Microsoft Word is the ability to return to the last place where an edit change was made. Shift+F5 returns you to that point and subsequent Shift+F5 key combinations will toggle through the last three edit locations.
Faced with falling patient demand, intense local competition, a difficult insurance environment, and stresses from other financial factors, the Bloomsburg Hospital is in its fifth year of unprofitable operations. Standard and Poor's has lowered the hospital's rating to a "BB-" on $15.99 million in bonds issued by the Columbia County Hospital Authority. The hospital will proceed with a planned $3 million remodeling project knowing that it faces a difficult job of raising investor money. Read the entire story in today's Press Enterprise.
Spam keeps right on coming, prompting the Federal Trade Commission to issue a report on the latest scam on the Internet, a site collecting email addresses on behalf of spammers. A web site claims to offer an email version of the federal do-not-call registry. The "Do Not Email Registry" suggests submitting email addresses to stop getting junk email, but apparently the fox is guarding the chicken coup and the collected email addresses end up in the hands of spammers. The site has no affiliation with the government, even though its Web address might suggest it does. The ".us" domain was once reserved for local governments and schools, but it now can be used by businesses and individuals in the United States.
Seventeen of the 20 most attended sporting events in 2003 were NASCAR races, and we wish that we were attending one today. Not, mind you, for the race so much, but for the weather in Daytona Beach.
"How do I love thee? Let me
count the ways."
February 14, 2004
"Human beings must be known
to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known."
"Golf is very much like a love
affair, if you don't take it seriously, it's no fun, if you do, it breaks
your heart. Don't break your heart, but flirt with the possibility."
"After the verb 'to Love,' 'to
Help' is the most beautiful verb in the world."
|February 14, 2004.
It is the wedding anniversary of Bill and Elaine Rogers.
Herman Hollerith (1860-1929) founded the Tabulating Machine Company in 1896. Herman Hollerith's Tabulating Machine Company and the Computing - Tabulating - Recording Company merged in 1911 under the name "the Tabulating Machine Company." On this date in 1924, that company and additional merger companies became the IBM Corporation.
Glenda C. (Conner) Glassmire, 88, died
February 11, 2004, in Langhorne. Born in Benton, she graduated from the
former Bloomsburg State Teachers College with a degree in elementary educations,
and had lived in Langhorne since 1960. She was a teacher in the Bristol
Township School District for 41 years, where she taught kindergarten,
first and second grades. Mrs. Glassmire was preceded in death in 2001
by her husband, John W. Glassmire Jr. She is survived by her son, John
W. Glassmire III of Langhorne, a sister, Phyllis Conner of Cockeysville,
MD, and a brother, J. Hubert Conner of Media. Services and interment will
Love is in the air. Your sweetheart is waiting for her Valentine's present. Stop reading this drivel, tell her Ti amo and get that present wrapped now. Be a hero! If you do this one small favor, Spring will be here in five weeks. If you don't do it, Spring won't be here for another 35 days.
And why do we even have a day like this, you ask? Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. February 14 was a holiday to honor Juno, the Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses and she served double duty as the Goddess of women and marriage on the night before the Feast of Lupercalia. Roman girls would put slips of paper with their names on them into a clay jar, and the boys would choose their partner for the festival by taking a slip from the jar. This was one of the few times girls and boys were allowed to socialize, and the dancing and games often evolved into courtship and marriage. In this country, husbands and boyfriends give their lover gifts of things like roses, chocolate or fine jewelry.
There are many versions of the origin of Valentine's Day. One version has it originating from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on this date in 269 A.D. An old legend says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for his friend the jailer's daughter, signing it "From Your Valentine." Other versions hold that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius, who had Valentine jailed for defying him. Pope Gelasius I set aside February 14 to honor St. Valentine in 496 A.D.
In the United States, Esther Howland is credited for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's to the joy of companies like Hallmark. In this country, an estimated 1 billion Valentine cards and 50 million roses are sold to celebrate this event each year. According to U.S. candy manufacturers, Americans shell out more than $1,105 million each Valentine's Day on candy.
Oft have I heard both Youths and Virgins say,
It's the birthday of the inventor of the typewriter, Christopher Latham
Sholes, (1819-1890), born in Mooresburg, just off the present I-80 on
Montour Ridge, 32 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA. He grew up in Danville.
He designed the keyboard so that all of the letters in the word "typewriter"
would be on the top row, thinking that this would impress skeptical customers.
The first machine had a few problems, since it only wrote in capitals
and was heavily influenced by the workings and appearance of the sewing
machine. Sholes layout of the letters on a keyboard, QWERTY, is still
in use today.
The February 16 meeting of the North Mountain Historical Society will feature a talk by Dr. Wilson Ferguson, Laporte, on settlement patterns in early Sullivan County. Dr. Ferguson will attempt to answer questions like what was the area which later became Sullivan County like before European settlers got there? Who were these early settlers? How did they get to Sullivan County? What did they do after they arrived? The History Group meets on the third Monday of each month at the Brass Pelican restaurant. Breakfast is available from 8 AM and the discussion begins about 9:15. The public is invited. There is no cost, except for any food or drink that is ordered.
Bogus emails known as the "Bear Virus" were circulating yesterday which attempted to lure users into deleting perfectly innocuous, standard Windows files from their systems. The target file was JDBGMGR.EXE, a Java Debug Manager program used by the Microsoft Java runtime engine, part of a standard Windows installation and is not a "virus." The icon for this file is a graphic of a bear. It is OK if you deleted the file, since only programmers who use Microsoft Visual J++ 1.1 to develop Java programs feel warm and fuzzy toward it. If it is not there, your PC will still work unless you are a Java developer.
First time he kissed me, he but only kiss'd
"Life has taught
us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward
together in the same direction."
February 13, 2004
"Heaven has no
rage like love to hatred turned,
"A friend is one
who knows you and loves you just the same."
would like to live as we once lived, but history will not permit it."
February 13, 2003. Yes, it is Friday the 13th! Happy birthday, Nancy Kline. Have you arranged your Valentine's Day cards and presents yet? Remember the adage: They do not love that do not show their love. And start thinking about Sunday night when it could get into the double digits BELOW zero!
Glenn H. Tripp, 79, (Sept. 1, 1924-Feb.
11, 2004), Tripp Road, Benton, died Wednesday at the Wilkes-Barre General
Hospital. He was a son of the late Harry and Affie (Evans) Tripp. He was
self-employed in the excavating business. He was a military scout in the
U.S. Army during World War II, serving in the Battle of Normandy, Northern
France, Rhineland Ardennes and Central Europe with the 8th Armored Division,
receiving the Bronze Star and a Purple Heart. He was preceded in death
by his sister, Betty Hall. Surviving are his wife of 57 years, the former
Beatrice Bonham; daughters Ronna Dzoch, Benton; Lori Harvey, Sweet Valley,
and Penny Crockett, Benton; a son, Kenneth Tripp, Stillwater; six grandchildren,
four great-grandchildren; sisters: Irma Pettitt, Savona, NY; Barbara Shiers,
Benton, and Anna Brandon, Sweet Valley; brothers: Lee Tripp, Portersville,
and Earl Tripp, Kingsley, Michigan. Funeral services will be held 11 AM
Saturday from the Clarke Piatt Funeral Home Inc., 6 Sunset Lake Road,
Hunlock Creek. Interment will be in Mossville Cemetery, Fairmount Township.
Friends may call on Saturday from 10 AM until the time of service. In
lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Fairmount Township
Ambulance, 671 State Route 118, Sweet Valley, PA 18656 or to a charity
of the donor's choice.
Prayers are needed for Doris Wiant Harvey,
76, local historian, journalist and museum curator from Bethel Hill. Doris
just returned from Ohio visiting with her son Doug over the holidays and
this past Wednesday was sent to the Geisinger Hospital and diagnosed with
lymphoma. Doris has always been active in the Harveyville Methodist Church
and Patterson Grove Campground. Doris' parents were Charles and Jesse
Wiant who ran the Wiant museum at the foot of Bethel Hill. She and husband
Herbert lived in the old Harvey homestead on Bethel Hill. (Herbert died
in 1998). Doris has a wealth of historical knowledge about our area and
has always been thoughtful to answer any questions that individuals inquired
about the history of lower Luzerne and northern Columbia Co region, local
business', and families that influenced and settled in the local townships.
Many will remember Doris for her writings in the Suburban News.
Paul Reichart, former Chairman of the Board of the Columbia County Farmers National Bank, will seek the Democratic nomination for state representative in the May primary. His opponent will be incumbent Republican David Millard.
Are you thinking of running for office in the April 27 primary? You have until close of business Tuesday, February 17, to get your petitions properly filled out, notarized and filed with the Department of State, Bureau of Elections.
As we mature, we dust less and read more, we spend quality time with our family and our friends and take on new interests involving cards and television and good food. We worry less about things undone. We concentrate more on sharing the good in our lives, the stories of our family, the mementoes that have come down through the generations, the white fudge that Cousin Connie gave us. We tend to try to look as though the world has treated us well. We are not as bad as Father was twenty years ago, when he donned a white shirt and tie to go to Kozy Korner for a cup of coffee, but we tend to avoid the tattered jeans and flannel shirts that we once wore regularly. Looking prosperous seems to make paying $32 for a fill up at the gas station seem more acceptable.
We use the terms "around to it" and "someday" a lot less, because if it is important to do sometime it is important to do it now. We see too many of the things that can only happen to other people happening to us, and we are starting to think that maybe we won't buy green bananas, either. We'll go at the drop of a hat to eat buckwheat cakes or Thai food or Mexican food or Vietnamese food. We'll get those little notes written that we have been putting off, and we plan to visit those far-off friends and revisit those haunts we used to love.
Each morning as we start the day we know it will be special and each
minute and each breath a gift from God.
Tonight on the Friday Night Opry, which you can listen to directly from the side panel of this web site, will be the Osborne Brothers, 8:30-9:00; Ralph Stanley, 9:00-9:30; Old Crow Medicine Show, 9:30-10:00; Del McCoury Band, 10:00-10:30; Jesse McReynolds & the Virginia Boys, 10:30-11:00. All times Eastern.
Rite Aid Corp. reportedly has offered up to $4 billion in cash and stock to acquire the Eckerd drugstore chain.
We had to smile when we read a high-school essay about Valentine's Day that included this sentence: "She grew on him like she was a colony of E. coli and he was room-temperature Canadian beef."
Ellen Lenbergs continues to get rave reviews for set design at Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in the play that opened February 6, "Red Herring." In the play, sets depict simple and effective apartments, a pier, and a bridal shop. Between scenes, the stage darkens and stage hands, dressed like detectives in black suits and hats, come in with flashlights and search under the bed and around the set as they move out the bed and move in the kitchen table or the desk and chair. If you want a funny play about nuclear espionage, triple romance, and false clues ("red herrings") and if you want to see six actors playing 18 roles, this is for you.
This is another example of a way to start a sentence with the word
"this" and end it with the word "that."
We recently wrote about the "Gentlemen's Club" that once
stood at the
Ann Harris Brandt, Mifflinville, the
granddaughter of the man who
a good love letter, you ought to begin without knowing what you mean to
say and to finish without knowing what you have written."
February 12, 2004
"Mr. Lincoln was
an extremely strong man when in the Right -- the most sincere & powerful
man I ever saw. His sincerity was all over his face, integrity & honor
All I am, or can be,
I owe to my angel mother.
And in the end it's
not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.
As I would not be a
slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.
|February 12, 2004. Sen. Arlen
Specter, R-Pa., is 74 today.
Major Rod Dietrick reported Monday to the Joint Military Intelligence College as Department Chairman and Professor of Information Warfare. The Joint Military Intelligence College is part of the Defense Intelligence Agency located on Bolling AFB, DC. Mother Jean Dietrick is very proud.
Honest Abe! It is the birthday today of the sixteenth president of
the United States, Abraham Lincoln, born near Hodgenville, Kentucky, in
1809. He had little formal education, heading off instead to work on a
Mississippi River cargo boat as a "friendless, uneducated, penniless
boy, working on a flat boat." He settled in New Salem, Illinois,
a town of about 300, helping to manage a general store, worked as a surveyor
and postmaster, tried debating, read books on grammar and rhetoric and
studied to become a lawyer.
Take the time to think about the fact that dinosaurs survived for
almost 150 million years--75 times longer than humans have now lived on
earth. And while you are thinking about things that don't mean a hoot,
consider the days of the week.
Will voting for dogcatcher be far behind? A company called Broadjam Inc., a provider of Internet and desktop tools for musicians, record labels and publishers, will create and implement an online voting mechanism for the Academy of Country Music. ACM will move its voting process onto the Internet for its annual awards show in May. ACM members will cast votes online via a secure third-party site on the Internet. Members will be able to stream instantly and listen to the music they're voting on during the final rounds of polling in various categories, including song of the year and video of the year.
Didja know that Emily Dickinson wrote more than nine hundred poems, of which only four were published during her lifetime?
February 10, 2004
"The National Civilian Conservation Corps, not a panacea for all the unemployment, but an essential step in this emergency..." ~ President Franklin Roosevelt
|February 11, 2004. Today is Lisa
Another month, another virus. The fast moving MyDoom is driving everyone bonkers. Email users must learn to filter out messages containing *.EXE, *.PIF and *.SCR extensions and be very careful of *.ZIP extensions, but enough people executed the virus to create havoc for the rest of us. MyDoom collects addresses from text files, the Windows Address book (*.WAB), from HTML files, from other sources and even makes them up, using common first names and domains it finds in the files it scans. The virus sends messages to and/or from bogus addresses and antivirus programs blocks delivery, creating a heavy load on already swamped servers by sending notification to a falsified address that they sent an infected message.
Bob continues, "After we moved lower down to winter camp in Mimbres, NM, we sent trucks to town every other Saturday night. Still a long haul of more than 8 hours round trip. As I recall, the gals in Silver City crossed to the other side of the street when they saw us. We lived in squad tents in Beaverhead up 'til about mid October when everything froze up and we had to build fires under the D8 Cats in order to warm up the oil enough for the pony gasoline engines to start the main diesel engine. Many a day we started out from camp in tee shirts and dungarees, and by the time we reached the job site a couple of thousand feet higher, we were wearing every available piece of clothing we brought with us. In Mimbres, we lived in barracks heated by a pot-bellied wood stove at each end of the building. We drove those damn cats from Beaverhead down to Mimbres camp. It took almost a week, as there was no such animal as a lowboy to trailer them on."
There were about 25,000 local enlisted men, popularly called LEMs, who trained unskilled enrollees to go from a city life to a life of using an pick and shovel and axe. Bob Maynes recalls that "Many camps did have LEMs who were recruited from the immediate communities and served in the camp. Usually in a camp of 150 or 200 men who came from all over the country, there were four or five LEMs. The LEMs were effective in reducing any fears of the local populace that there were a bunch of roughnecks being dropped in their neighborhood. The other 200 or so were sent from out of the state and had a tough time going AWOL.
Bob Maynes recalls that enlistments were for six months and guys did "Go over the hill." No penalties were attached if the guy made it home, but if he was picked up enroute there, he was returned to camp and stood for a court marshal. The usual sentence was hours of extra duty around camp on weekends. Extra duty was ordered for fights, pranks, insubordination, etc. Bob remembers that he "Had some myself."
FDR tried to make the Civilian Conservation Corps permanent in April, 1937. Congress refused, but extended the CCC as an independent agency for two more years.
In 1939, storm clouds forming over England and France impacted the economy of the United States. Jobs became more plentiful, and interest in and applications for the CCC declined. Also in 1939, the Federal Security Agency (FSA) consolidated several offices, service and boards under one Director. The CCC merged into the new organization and Fechner was told to report to the Director, FSA. Fechner resigned in protest, but later withdrew his resignation. In December of 1939, he had a heart attack and died on New Year's Eve.
The new Director, John T. McEntee, had been Fechner's assistant, but soon got in trouble with Harold Ickes, Department of Interior. The Corps remained popular, but as in 1936, the President tried again to scale back operations, but vote-conscious Congress added $50 million to the CCC's 1940-41 appropriation and kept the 300,000 enrollees.
The era and prestige of the CCC soon was over, however, as the defense of the country moved to the top of the priority list. Unemployment was gone. Some Congressmen called for termination of the Corps and by the summer of 1941 the Corps was in serious trouble with fewer than 200,000 men in about 900 camps. Defense of the nation was top priority following Pearl Harbor. Any federal project not directly associated with the war effort was in trouble and Congress recommended the Civilian Conservation Corps be abolished by July 1, 1942.
The Corps was actually never abolished. In 1942, Congress just didn't fund it. Congress did provide $8 million to liquidate the agency. The full Senate confirmed the action by voice vote and the Civilian Conservation Corps passed into history.
A total of 194,500 Pennsylvania citizens served in the CCC nationwide. The value of the work completed by the CCC nationwide is estimated at $8 billion and it is estimated that "Roosevelt's Tree Army" was responsible for planting an estimated three billion trees from 1933 to 1942.
February 10, 2004. On this date in 1996, an
IBM computer called Deep Blue beat world champion Garry Kasparov, a machine's
first victory under classic tournament rules.
There will be a public auction of Metcalf Steel Services, 400 Smith Street, Benton, starting at 9:30 AM, Tuesday, February 10. The auction includes a 2003 Ford F-550 truck 4x4 with snowplow and flatbed, a 30' gooseneck trailer, a welding truck with boom, a Peterbilt road tractor, four forklifts, many welders, tooling, drills, nail guns, band saws, scaffold, ladders, steel.
David Millard became a member of the State House yesterday after winning the Special Election January 27 to fill the House seat vacated by Berwick's John Gordner. Millard, the 108th Member of the Republican Majority Caucus in the House, was appointed to the House Committees on Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Children & Youth, and Commerce.
Registration for Little League is Thursday, February 12, from 5:30 to 8 PM in the Benton Elementary School lobby.
Didja know that Scarlett O' Hara, Margaret Mitchell's Gone With
the Wind lead character, was originally given the name Pansy?
"Puttin' up a first-class privy," author Charles "Chic" Sale wrote, is something that the "average man don't think about. It's no job for an amachoor, take my word on it." Lem Putt, the title character in a little book called "The Specialist," uttered those words in 1929. Sale wrote tales about a rural carpenter and his privy-building. He wrote about an outhouse under an apple tree: "There ain't no sound in nature so desconcertin' as the sound of apples droppin' on the roof." Or digging the waste hole: "It's a mighty sight better to have a little privy over a big hole than a big privy over a little hole." Building them sturdy was the best policy: "you've got to figger on...that Odd Fellows picnic in the fall."
There are many fine outhouses scattered around, and we talk about some of them, including one that was two-stories tall, in an article under FEATURES. Making the list of local ornate outstanding outhouses was a four-unit one in Orangeville. The outhouse proudly stood behind a club house frequently used by Col. Ricketts and a group of well-heeled men from the Wilkes-Barre area.
The clubhouse had a dining room, a formal bar, a hotel-sized kitchen and a reported ten bedrooms--each originally with its own outhouse. Facilities were also available for service personnel.
Mrs. Chamberlain remembers Schuyler as a "gentleman, but an epileptic," a man his wealthy Wilkes-Barre family wanted out of sight. The late Fred Keller of Orangeville accompanied Schuyler on many trips to exotic places of the world. Former Press Enterprise columnist Ted Fensteremacher once described Schuyler and his continuous smoking of expensive cigars, saying of one of Schuyler's vests that it had "ten pockets--some for cigars, and one, so help us, holding a metal ash tray."
After the club disbanded, Schuyler made the club house his permanent home. Kate Kayle, who cooked for the club, stayed on to cook for Schuyler and later Mr. and Mrs. Ray Fritz helped in the house. All the outhouses were removed, except for the four-holer, which was kept.
Schuyler died about 1941, according to Mrs. Chamberlain's records, and the house stood empty for a few years until Frank C. Harris, elected secretary of the Brian Creek Insurance Company in 1933, moved the insurance company to the location. Later, the insurance company purchased the property from Harris, erected a steel building and made the location its home office. A picture of the building as it exists today can be found at http://www.briarcreekmutual.com/. The insurance company tore down a barn and the outhouse, but neighbor Marqueen Bankes remembers that she was offered the outhouse free and didn't take it.
One of my bygone recollections,
'Twas a place to sit and ponder
The Emergency Conservation Work Act didn't mention either education or training of the CCC ranks, but in 1933 President Roosevelt appointed Clarence S. Marsh as Director of Education. By 1934, education and training both became part of the CCC experience. More than 40,000 enrollees were eventually taught to read and write and did it mostly on their own time. Only in the later years of the program was training given during normal working hours.
From 1933 to 1942, over three million young men enrolled in the CCC, including 250,000 who were enrolled in about 150 all-black CCC companies. Early in the program, some camps were integrated, but the Army and CCC administrators succeeded in getting integrated CCC camps disbanded in July, 1935, holding that "segregation is not discrimination." That rule remained in effect through the remainder of the program.
The national economy was always a problem for President Roosevelt. He tried cutting back the number of camps and enrollees in order to balance the federal budget, but budget reform during the period that the Corps was so popular didn't work. No one wanted camps closed in his area. Both Republicans and Democrats rallied to reverse Roosevelt's policy.
Using official agency figures, the Corps built 3,470 fire towers, 97,000 miles of fire roads, spent 4,235,000 man-days devoted to fighting fires, and planted more than three billion trees.
In 1935, Roosevelt created the WPA (Works Progress Administration) which was similar to the CCC but used local people who lived at their homes rather than in a camp as the CCC group did. Many roads, buildings and bridges were built in Pennsylvania State Parks using WPA people.
A tragedy hit the CCC during a hurricane on Labor Day in 1935 when three CCC camps consisting of 684 veterans on the Florida Keys got caught up in hurricane. The official report listed 44 dead, 238 missing or unidentified dead, and 106 injured.
Many of those joining the CCC organization never had been more than a few miles from their home, few had been beyond the borders of their state. Many never returned, instead choosing to remain near their camps in new communities they soon called home. The men fell in love, married, raised families and put down community roots. For those who did return to their community of their youth, they came a better man than when they left. Many returned home to tell of their experiences, and many more extended their enlistments.
Life in a CCC camp was a six-day a week work routine. Camps came to life after the evening meal was over, when the men kicked back, relaxed and had fun. Each camp had a building that was a combined dayroom, recreation center and canteen. In this building, Ping-Pong and poker, cokes and occasional beers were part of the evening ritual.
Winter clothing covers many second helpings.
Smooth seas do not make
I can't understand why
a person will take a year to write a novel when he can easily buy one
for a few dollars.
February 9, 2004
The whisper of a pretty
girl can be heard further than the roar of a lion.
February 9, 2004. Happy birthday today to Kay Emily Kline, 49. The official start of Spring is 40 days away and with the outside temperature in the single digits this morning, it can't come too soon for most of us, although almost 2,000 people visited the Eagles Mere Ice Toboggan Slide and 4,000 piled into Winterfest 2004 at Alparon Park in Towanda Sunday. On this date in 1964, The Beatles made their first live American television appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
For those waiting for the movie Lost in Translation to arrive
in Bloomsburg, we recommend that you either buy it or rent it. Sofia Coppola's
offbeat film with Bill Murray, which counts a best-picture bid among its
four Oscar nominations, debuted on DVD Tuesday. The movie does contain
sexual scenes and obscenity.
Enterprise reports that children under 18 are no longer allowed
out after 10 PM on weekdays and 11 PM on weekends, according to a new
Borough curfew ordinance enacted February 2. The curfew runs from 10 PM
to 6 AM Sunday through Thursday and 11 PM to 6 AM Friday and Saturday.
Violators will receive a written warning for a first offense, but could
be fined up to $300 the second time.
Today's Press Enterprise reports on a Shamokin man, Mike Garcia, 28, who shot a Northern Idaho cougar recently that is almost 9 foot long, weighed over 200 pounds and had a 17-inch skull. Read the entire article in the February 9 Press Enterprise, learn more about scoring the size of cougars for a trophy on Boone & Crockett here, and check under FEATURES for a history of mountain lions in this area.
The 2004 Pennsylvania trout season opens Saturday, April 17. Want
the details? Go to
We headed down to Mitrani Hall at Bloomsburg University yesterday to hear the Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus with Sergey Kondrashev, Principal Conductor, in an all-Russian program featuring piano soloist Yuri Rozum, now permitted to play with the orchestra outside of Russia. The program featured Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture for chorus and orchestra, a marvelous piece composed in record time between October 12 through November 19 in 1812. The orchestra and chorus also performed a number of other Pyotr Ilich Tchaikovsky numbers including Marche Slave.
We were especially interested in the program because a family friend from Moscow, Tatiana Vichnevskaya, is a member of the chorus. The enthusiastic audience called Kondrashev back from the wings three times before letting the group exit the stage. As the audience filed from the auditorium, we made our way to the back-stage area. Tatiana was well known but hard to find in the large group. We stumbled into a hallway serving as a changing room before we learned to walk backwards rapidly. We followed a sign that "roughly" was lettered XOP HCEKUYUKGI, found Tatiana and exchanged warm hugs. She had not spoken in English in a very long time and much in the way of gesturing and facial expressions were needed to communicate at first.
Our conversation with Tatiana made us very much aware of the old story that goes something like this. A person who can speak three languages is called trilingual. A person who can speak two languages is called bilingual. A person who can speak one language is called an American.
Yuri Rozum autographed a Russian-language CD where he plays all Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, and he ended the signature with the words, "with love." Buster and Chloe fear that Marcia Kay won't wash dishes for a week!
We watched as three huge buses pulled away within 15 minutes after the concert ended, security taking no chances on anyone lingering in the state of Pennsylvania without permission.
We have been doing a lot of reading about President Lincoln lately, and thought that this story was interesting. An elegantly dressed young Virginian assured Lincoln that he had done his share of hard work in his lifetime. Lincoln was amused by this, and said: "Oh, yes; you Virginians shed barrels of perspiration while standing off at a distance and superintending the work your slaves do for you. It is different with us. Here it is every fellow for himself, or he doesn't get there." And speaking of "every fellow for himself," it is time to get back to our discussion of the tough old guys who made up the CCC.
Goin' down to the Greyhound station
Don't it make you want to go home?
"Anything one man
can imagine, other men can make real."
Didja know that about a million people visited the Pennsylvania Cabela's store in its first month, and 7 million are expected in its first year.
Staff reporters Chloe and Buster asked us to remind you that the 128th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show takes place Monday and Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. It will be broadcast on the USA Network.
When it's winter in Pennsylvania,
You can tell you're in Pennsylvania
The weather here is wonderful,
It is a very small world made up of fleeting moments. Ken and Ethel Kelsey were driving in their camper and stopped on a four-lane highway in Land-of-Lakes, Florida, when suddenly they were aware of a driver of a car making a turn in an adjacent lane yelling frantically at them. They immediately feared the worst, but their fears went away when they realized that they were seeing Dick and Pat McHenry Braaten as they turned at an intersection. The couples never even got a chance to exchange words as they sped off in opposite directions, but at least they all got to see friends from Back Home in Benton, PA.
Quote of the Day:
We enjoyed reading an advertisement for the Elk Grove Inn, which said that it is a "Great place when you find it." You can find it by calling 925-2584.
There are times when a man has to do what a man has to do.
David Albertson and Ronnie Robbins in 1982, sunning on the Benton Dam.
The Waller neighbors missed their opportunity to visit Florida, but caught some "rays" when a chance sunny day hit town.
The boys catching a "cold one" while enjoying a relaxing afternoon.
Dave Albertson does not remember a winter since these pictures were taken that the ice on the spillway of the dam was so thick.
The boys passed on a suggestion that they try it again 22 years later.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission says that four inches of ice is the absolute minimum for one person with gear totaling no more than 200 pounds, while 8- to 11-inches of ice will support a car or a light truck.
February 8, 2004
Part II of the Series on the CCC
|February 7, 2004. Happy birthday today to Tammy Prosey. Country
singer Garth Brooks is 42 today. Can you remember the mass hysteria when
the Beatles first arrived in the United States on this date in 1964?
Pennsylvania's 14 state-owned universities and the state's faculty
union have reached a tentative four-year agreement, subject to ratification
by both sides. The faculty will get broader health benefits, but no salary
increases in the first two years and a 3% salary increase in the final
two years of the pact. Professors would contribute toward their health
benefits, but would receive prescription drug benefits for the first time.
Didja know that when you eat the fish "orange roughy" you are eating a fish whose average age on the plate is between 30 and 50 years?
Prosecutors filed paperwork Friday to seek the death penalty against Hugo Selenski, accused of killing several people whose bodies were buried in his yard. The prosecutors also filed charges against Selenski's aunt and cousin for harboring a fugitive when Selenski made his recent prison break.
The historic and beautiful St. Michael the Archangel Church in Glen Lyon will be demolished. There is an excellent picture of it in today's Citizens Voice.
Are you older? Do you want a job? The world's largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot, plans to hire about 35,000 people this year for its 1,700 stores. AARP plans to train workers and help them apply for Home Depot positions in plumbing, landscaping, kitchen and bath and other areas.
A reader used the term "Sam Hill" in an email and set us wondering who the Sam Hill Sam Hill was. We actually didn't figure it out, but conclude it is a way of not cussing in front of ladies. We tend to believe that the reference is to Col. Samuel Hill, Guilford, Connecticut, a man who perpetually ran for office, but we were not able to actually find that he actually even existed so we believe that the term was just a personalized euphemism our puritanical ancestors used for "hell," a lot like the word "blazes," "heck," and "Hoboken." The term was popular as we were growing up when Father needed to clean up his language in the presence of ladies. We'll close on that note, before someone asks where in tarnation did "tarnation" come from!
February 6, 2004
A man's home is his castle, in a
manor of speaking.
Shotgun wedding: A case of wife or
Reading while sunbathing makes you well red.
In democracy your vote counts. In feudalism your count votes.
|February 6, 2004. There
are 43 days until the official start of Spring. The snowplows are running
this morning and we are promised rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow. Winter
school closings and delays seem to be a part of life in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Former President Ronald Reagan is 93 today.
We talked yesterday about the derivation of the name "Benton"
and about Thomas Hart Benton. We mentioned some of the various towns and
counties in the United States that are fortunate enough to share our name,
and received several emails on the subject.
Yvonne Lenbergs, a Benton native, announced
yesterday that the LIFETIME movie channel will premier the film, The
Sure Hand of God, based on the novel by Erskine Caldwell. In true
film fashion, the movie industry changed the name to Sinners Need Company.
The film will air on the LIFETIME channel at 9 PM, Wednesday, February
The Sure Hand Of God was adapted from Erskine Caldwell's novel of the same name, and sold in excess of two and a half million copies. Caldwell's themes were centered around social injustice, some of the same issues we wrestle with today. The film tells a story of survival and overcoming tremendous odds. Set somewhere in the rural South, the dramatic-comedy explores the challenges that strong-willed single mothers had to overcome, faced with judgmental small town attitudes. The story is a real pleaser, a great looking film with a terrific cast. Set your TIVOs now!
Hearings on the Guv's fiscal 2004-05 budget before the Senate and House Appropriations committees get under way February 23.
A reader asked about the state's uniform construction code (UCC) which
requires that towns like Benton monitor construction projects. You can
read about the UCC at
The Benton Lions Club has returned to their regular meeting schedule on the first and third Thursday of every month at the Benton Christian Church. The meetings start at 6:30 PM. Anyone wanting to find out more about becoming a member may attend a meeting or call the Lions president, Harry Baker, 570 864-2735.
Readers tell us that they continue to receive false warning messages indicating that the I-Worm/Mydoom virus was sent from their email address. This happens because the I-Worm/Mydoom virus changes the address of the sender of the infected email, making it difficult to identify the actual sender of the virus, and therefore difficult to notify the sender that his computer is infected. Usually the virus displays a different email address from that of the actual sender of the infected email. When the infected email is detected by the anti-virus system on the receiving computer, a warning message is often sent concerning the infection to the address that is indicated as the sender of the infected message, even when the email was NOT sent from this address. Keep your anti-virus protection up to date!
It is time for the annual Ice Follies at Painter Den Club, and the first wave of participants left Thursday.
Top row, from the left: Lee Fritz, Gordy Acornley, Buster, Chloe, Max Wanich, Darlene Moss.
Bottom row, from the left. Seth Eyer, Dale Sellers, Don Eyer, David Moss.
|February 5, 2004.
Happy birthday today to sixth grade teacher
Walker Rilk and to Allison Cross. Allison
also celebrates her wedding anniversary to Dr. Ken
Cross today. And congratulations to Ken Cross, returning to his dentistry
practice on a limited basis following his bypass surgery. Comedian-actor
Red Buttons is 85 today.
There are 44 days until the official start of Spring, but there is no sign of it arriving. Last night was another mess for traveling and although the weather will be fine through the day today, the sunshine will give way to clouds, with snow beginning to fall sometime around midnight tonight. It should start in the form of snow, then turn to sleet and freezing rain.
The Benton Water Department reports that 115,000 gallons of water were pumped through the system in Benton yesterday, down from 190,000 gallons a day before, following the insertion of the valve at the corner of Two and a Half Street and Market Monday.The goal is to get the water usage down to about 90,000 gallons a day. Some of the water consumption is coming from water running through faucets to keep from freezing, but there are still leaks in the system that need to be found. If you suspect a leak, please let the water department know as soon as possible. Pennsylvania America in Milton is the group who needs to know about the leaks.
Mark your calendars. The schedule for speakers for the next four months
for the North Mountain Historical Society is as follows:
Kelly Yost is looking for performers for this summer's music fest. If you have a suggestion, let us know.
The Local Trivia Question of the Day:
Seen On an old post card sent from Red Rock, PA:
Quote of the Day:
The culinary magazine Saveu, tells in its current issue about a Danville-area family spending a cold day making sausage. Vincent Varano of Heather Hills and his family are included in the current issue of the magazine.
Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858) of St.
Louis was born near Hillsborough, Orange County, NC, on March 14, 1782.
He was a a brother of Elizabeth Benton Mendenhall, wife of Eli Mendenhall,
Benton. He was a Democrat, a member of the Tennessee state senate in 1809;
U.S. Senator from Missouri, 1821-51; and a U.S. Representative from Missouri
1st District, 1853-55.
Allow your friends to be themselves
Friendship involves forgetting what one gives and remembering what one receives
February 4, 2003
Failure gives us the opportunity to begin again
What we see often depends on what we look for
Wednesday, February 4, 2004. The outside temperature is hovering right above the freezing mark at press time, but we remember the old English proverb, "A February spring is not worth a pin."
Poor robin redbreast,
On this date in 1789, electors unanimously chose George Washington to be the first president of the United States. On this date in 1974, newspaper heiress Patricia Hearst was kidnapped in Berkeley, CA, and 20 years ago today singer Karen Carpenter died in Downey, CA, at age 32.
On this date one hundred years ago, the second major fire to hit the
Bloomsburg State Normal School campus resulted in an estimated $25,000
worth of damage to the employees' dormitory. Ths dormitory had been completed
in 1895, and also held the music conservatory and laundry. The building
was repaired, and renamed North Hall in 1908. It became the men's dormitory
until New North Hall (now Northumberland) was completed in 1960. After
that, North Hall contained only faculty offices and locker rooms for teams
using the nearby athletic field, and was torn down in the summer of 1966
to allow for the construction of the South Hall dormitory, now Luzerne.
The first campus fire completely destroyed the main dormitory building
on September 4, 1875. The building was later rebuilt as Waller Hall.
The Benton Borough Town Council meeting was held Monday night. Some items not previously reported by the Benton News include the resignation of Council Member Mike Ruane in mid-January. Former Council member Alton Getz was named as his replacement.
A group led by Philip Shultz attempted to get Council to reconsider using the existing Town Hall for some purpose. The Council, however, adopted a motion (two votes opposing: Klem and Little) to construct a building on the airport grounds that will be used for a town hall, dependent on acceptable financing. The previously discussed 40-year financing was discarded and local banks will be asked to consider funding of the project.
Ed Kocher, zoning officer in Benton Township, is under consideration for the office of zoning officer in the Borough.
John Kerry picked up victories in five states yesterday and the Democratic presidential race, for practical purposes, may well be over. It appears almost certain that Kerry will be the Democratic nominee for President and will run in November against President Bush. We felt, therefore, that we should revisit a former Pennsylvania resident, Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Teresa Heinz Kerry was born in Mozambique and is fluent in five languages. After studying in South Africa and Switzerland, she moved to the United States to work for the United Nations. She married Senator John Heinz in 1966, with whom she had three sons. She lost her husband and Pennsylvania lost a Senator in a plane crash shortly after their 25th wedding anniversary.
She was asked to run for her husband's Senate seat, but instead became chair of The Howard Heinz Endowment and the Heinz Family Philanthropies, part of the nation's largest private foundations. The Heinz foundations are involved in environmental, arts and educational issues and in the lives of young children.
She first met John Kerry by introduction from her late husband at an Earth Day rally in 1990. They began dating in 1993, and were married in 1995. She holds 10 honorary degrees and last September she received the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal for Humanitarianism for her work protecting the environment, promoting health care and education and uplifting women and children throughout the world. She was recently elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
The Huntington Mills United Sportsmen would like to thank the 83 hunters and the people who came to breakfast for the 2004 coyote hunt. The winners included Ron Taylor who bagged a 42-pound male; Bob Cragle got a 41 1/2 pound male; Jeff Cragle for a 41 pound male. Four females were shot, ranging in weight from 36 to 31 pounds.
The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission voted January 20 to increase rates for trucks by nearly 43% beginning August 1. Starting this summer, 80,000-pound commercial vehicles running the entire 359-mile length of the Turnpike will pay $150.75, compared to $105.55.
The International Institute for Sport and Olympic History in State College, a fledgling organization in Pennsylvania with little money but big dreams for a 300-acre museum and library, is trying to auction one of sculptor A. Thomas Schomberg's three Rocky statues on eBay. Since it's a nonprofit, the group says it will "give away" the statue to the first person to donate $3 million (the starting bid on eBay).
|There is a mountain of mail and email to be reckoned with Back Home
in Benton, PA, and for those who are expecting a response from this end
please be patient. One reader's question was especially interesting, however,
and my response follows. The question essentially asked about the most interesting
happening on the 6,500 mile trip to the Left Bank and back.
There is so much in Death Valley, California, to remind the visitor of the reference in the 23rd Psalm about "the valley of the shadow of death." Death Valley is so dry that men have died for the lack of even a drop of water, there is almost no relief from the relentless sun and as Simon and Garfunkel put it, the "sound of silence" is everywhere. The valley gets an average of about 1.68 inches of rainfall per year and the mesquite tree needs to put down a tap root almost 100 feet into the ground to survive. Heat in the valley rose in 1913 to the second highest temperature ever recorded in the world--134°--and the same year dropped to a cold 15°. The valley floor drops to 280 or so feet below sea level at a place called "Badwater," the lowest dry land in the Western hemisphere, where temperatures at your feet can approach 200° in the heat of the summer. Fifteen miles away on the western flank of the valley, Telescope Peak soars 11,000 or so feet above sea level and ever since 1848 when prospectors looking for a shortcut to the California gold fields finally started up the Western slope of the valley travelers have looked back and called it "Death Valley."
The most interesting part of our trip, in my opinion, was our journey out of Death Valley. Picture this. We are in a motor home weighing about 32,000 pounds plus or minus depending on whether we had eaten one or two baloney sandwiches, and we had a Jeep tagging along behind, and we had four people. We slowly drove through the village of Stove Pipe Wells and started up the western side of the valley on route 190, watching through the side windows as the salt planes got smaller. We realized how out of place we were here in this beautiful valley, how we could not survive even a day if something failed. But we were leaving and nothing could let us down now.
The multicolored mountains of the Panamint Range lay ahead of us to the West, and we ticked off each thousand feet of climb through the remains of the ice age. We could look down on what is called the Race Track, where 600 pound boulders can be traced as they slide across the level desert during a rain storm unaided by any human being. After what seemed an eternity, we reached the top and we could see the mountains many miles to the west of us, mountains that contained the national parks of Yosemite and Sequoia and King's Canyon. We started down, our Jake Brake engaged, our six-speed transmission in second, our nervous fingers gripping the steering wheel. We were soon to escape Death Valley, unlike so many early pioneers.
The driver of a passenger car would not get to see much going down. The driver of a caravan almost 60 feet long gets to see nothing on that trip. The road is advertised to be six miles of a minimum 6% grade, with few places that go more than a hundred feet or so before doubling back. We quickly went to the red line on the engine, we gingerly applied the brakes, we nursed the caravan around the hairpin curves, we started smelling brakes, we watched the tachometer bouncing off the stops, we felt the motor home lunge as it automatically upshifted to keep from taking the pistons through the top of the engine, we heard the wind whistling on the windows, we quickly double checked our seat belts and made a promise that we would not miss Church on Sunday, the smell of brakes much too hot now filling the interior. And then we saw the obstacle in the road!
A California state trooper parked in the exact center of the road, waving for us to stop. Fat chance! We zipped by at about 45 miles an hour, our first experience at running a roadblock! We soon realized why the blockade. Directly in front of us were about 40 large vehicles, part of a movie studio filming in the area ahead of us. We put the movie production a little behind as we roared through, actors and technicians heading for the side of the road. The trooper apparently thought that we had learned our lesson, and didn't even bother to come to the bottom of the mountain and give us a ticket or a lecture. The rest of the trip was calm compared with this.
Too often our words hide what we are really thinking
Inexperience is what makes a young man do what an older man says is impossible
The rest of our days depends on the rest of our nights
February 3, 2004
We should not count a man's years until that is all there is left to count
It does not do one much good to have a driving ambition if that person is on the wrong road
|February 3, 2003, with
46 days remaining until the official start of Spring. There is a winter
storm advisory for much of northeastern Pennsylvania today, with a mix of
sleet and freezing rain and snow. We have added a national weather map to
the opening screen of the Benton News during this adverse weather.
The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified on this date, giving the federal government the power to impose and collect taxes on income. Rock and Roll starts Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson died on this date in 1959, following a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa.
Betty Rabb Helwig has a birthday today and she shares her birthday with writer Gertrude Stein, born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania in 1874, and with Norman Rockwell born in New York City in 1894.
Betty also shares her birthday with novelist James A. Michener, born in 1907. He is known for books about space, Hawaii, Israel, Colorado, Spain, the Caribbean, Maryland's Eastern Shore, South Africa, Poland, Alaska, Mexico, and even about being a county chairman in Bucks County. His parents abandoned him soon after he was born, and he was adopted shortly after birth by a poor widow named Mabel Michener.
Surviving with few resources and little to eat, they moved from house to house in Doylestown, sometimes in the middle of the night. Michener's classmates and even a teacher tormented him about his thrift-store clothes and toeless sneakers with tangled laces. His foster mother read to him and he grew to love old-fashioned novels.
Michener enlisted in the Navy in 1943, and the next year he was sent to the South Pacific. After his Navy plane crashed, he decided that he would become a writer and stayed up much of each night writing what he called the Tales of the South Pacific to show young men what life in the military was like. The manuscript, typed on old envelopes and the backs of letters from his foster mother, was eventually given to Random House without retyping. Published intact, Tales of the South Pacific won the Pulitzer Prize in 1947 and two years later, Rodgers and Hammerstein made it into the musical South Pacific.
Michener sold more than 75 million books in his lifetime. Find out more at http://www.achievement.org/autodoc/page/mic0int-1 .
Quote of the Day:
We heard from the Hartman Brothers last night, two very different
California is up to something again. Now that Arnold Schwarzenegger has become governor, Gray Davis has taken up acting. And remember Tom Laughlin, 72, the actor with martial arts skills and the star of the "Billy Jack" films? Laughlin is one of 13 candidates running against President Bush in the Republican primary. In 1992, Laughlin, ran for president as a Democrat.
A tanker truck leaking "some kind of acid" at the I-80 Mifflinville rest stop led to about a thousand people being evacuated from their homes and wreaked havoc on traffic yesterday. Both lanes of a 16-mile stretch of I-80 between the Conyngham and Mifflinville exits closed for about eight hours, and traffic was funneled onto Route 93 somewhat akin to stuffing 6 pounds of horse feed into a five-pound bag. Traffic was backed up a reported 25 miles.
The Merck Foundation awarded the Montour County Recreation Authority a $111,000, multi-year grant to build a covered bridge across a section of Mahoning Creek. We think it would be a fine idea if the company would cough up some money to help preserve some of the fine old covered bridges we now have.
The polka was originally a Czech peasant dance, developed in what was known as Eastern Bohemia, and generally credited to a peasant girl by the name of Anna Slezak about 1834. She came up with the steps one Sunday for her own amusement. It was composed to a folk song "Strycek Nimra Koupil Simla," meaning "Uncle Nimra brought a white horse." Anna called the step "Madera" because of its quickness and liveliness. The dance immediately became popular in the ballrooms of Prague. The name Pulka" is Czech for "half-step," referring to the rapid shift from one foot to the other. We can all see the picture in the ballroom of the man with his right arm behind the woman parading her around, both suffering slightly from what appears to be arthritis. Fast "mall walking" would be a good way to describe it. Bobby Vinton is singing in the background.
So where did polka dots come from? When the polka phase was in full swing (no pun intended), a period often called "Polkamania," many products came on the market, many of which didn't have much to do with the dance, such as polka hats, polka gauze, polka curtain ties, and polka-dotted fabrics. The polka-dot pattern became popular, especially with the tie-wearing crowd.
Think back to a previous generation watching the Lawrence Welk show on television and listening to a Red Barons game from "the Valley" on the radio, chomping down a couple of Mrs. T's Pierogies visualizing the ballroom dance for couples in 2/4 time.
Strike up the music
Jack Taylor, owner with his wife, Kay, of Lincoln Log Homes, was diagnosed with a form of leukemia in September just before Fair. Jack has undergone two of the chemo treatments which have caused the leukemia to go into remission but the effects have done other damage to him. Jack is waiting to be called for the third treatment to begin. In case you look at the well-done web site the Taylors have, http://www.jackandkay.com/main.html, and decide to run over and look at the selections that are available for a log home from a company that is celebrating their 20th anniversary in the Columbia County area, we suggest that you call for an appointment.
"Each problem that
I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems."
February 2, 2004
It is groundhog day. Phil from Punxsutawney saw his shadow this morning, which means six more weeks of winter weather, according to a German legend. The tradition is rooted in a superstition that if a hibernating animal casts a shadow on the Christian holiday of Candlemas, winter will drag on. If no shadow is seen, legend says spring will come early. Over a 60-plus-year period, the groundhog has accurately predicted the coming of spring only 28% of the time." We now hear that groundhogs that pop from their dens in early February are probably looking for sweethearts, not shadows. And what's more, the girl groundhogs invite the boys in for a visit.
Anyway, Richard Sutliff points out that there's always at least six
more weeks of Winter. Spring this year arrives March 20, six weeks and
five days away. So much for the woodchuck theory.
It was an exciting night around the R-rated Super Bowl in Reliant Stadium, Houston, as Adam Vinatieri ended the game with a boot. Vinatieri kicked a 41-yard field goal with 4 seconds left to give the New England Patriots their second NFL championship in three seasons with a 32-29 victory against the Carolina Panthers. It is doubtful that MTV will ever produce another half-time show following singer Justin Timberlake tearing off part of Janet Jackson's top, exposing her breast, and this R-rating added to "riveting" and "remarkable" sum up Super Bowl XXXVIII.
James Dickey, born on this date in 1923, speeded up our recent trip through Georgia. We had a momentary flash of his book (and subsequent movie) entitled Deliverance, and like the carpenter driving the truck, we "put the metal down" as we drove through the backwater towns of Georgia. The 1970 book Deliverance told about four men trapped together on a white-water canoe trip on the Cahulawassee River in the Georgia wilderness, and the movie adaptation that followed introduced fine banjo music. Deliverance was nominated for three Academy Awards in 1972 including Best Picture and Best Director. Dickey played the sheriff in the movie, by the way.
And speaking of our westward jaunt, we arrived in Camp Hill at 11 AM yesterday, about 6,500 miles in 31 days.
The 2005 budget will be released today. The Washington Post estimates that President Bush's "$2.4 trillion budget for the fiscal year that begins in October will leave the government $521 billion in the red. But by trimming domestic spending and eliminating up to 65 federal programs, the White House expects to cut the deficit to $237 billion by 2009."
Old Doctor: No, sir. I never have a patient die on my hands--never.
Here is a simple exercise for smokers. When you get up each morning, Take your cigarettes from the pack and toss them on the floor. To smoke a cigarette, reach over without bending your knees and pick one up with your own two hands. If you haven't the breath or energy to do this, you didn't need it to begin with.
We read a note dated 1892 which went like this...
The fourth annual Northeast Regional Coyote Hunt concluded yesterday with 667 hunters participating in the hunt. The event encompasses Luzerne, Lackawanna, Wyoming, Susquehanna, Wayne, Bradford, Pike and Sullivan counties. We don't have a final tally, but with the hunt nearly over, 21 coyotes, the heaviest weighing 44 pounds, were harvested. The heaviest coyote weighed in received a $2,000 prize.
Russia is in love with imported American hot dogs. They are consumed at breakfast, lunch and dinner, frequently sliced lengthwise, fried in butter and dished up with bread, cheese, and smoked fish. In 1996, Russian imported nearly $76 million worth of American cured-meat products. And in case you wonder about the name "hot dog," we consulted the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, who told us that "The term "hot dog" was coined in 1901 in New York City at the Polo Grounds, home field at various times for both the New York Yankees and the Giants. On a chilly April day, concessionaire Harry Stevens was losing money trying to sell ice cream and cold soda. He sent his salesmen out to buy up all the "dachshund" sausages they could find, along with rolls to put them in. "
Soon his vendors were selling hot dogs from portable hot-water tanks, shouting "They're red hot! Get your dachshund sausages while they're red hot."
Hearst Newspapers cartoonist Tad Dorgan, working on deadline and short on ideas, [a little like the situation we find ourselves in this morning, when we resort to talking about hot dogs] observed the vendors and hastily drew a cartoon of barking dachshund sausages nestled in their rolls. Not sure how to spell "dachshund," he simply scrawled the words "hot dog." His drawing became a hit, and so did the hot dog's connection with baseball. So, for want of a dictionary, an American icon was born.
We get our share of miracles in life, but they are frequently not the ones we pray for.
We have arrived at the "this, too, shall pass!" age of our life. We can only do what we can do, but we can sleep at night and then do it all over again tomorrow.
February 1, 2004
"Show me a good loser, and I'll
show you an idiot."
"I have everything now that
I had 20 years ago, except now it's all lower."
February 1, 2004. Happy birthday today to Brooke Benjamin and Clint Kline. Today would be a fine day to head on over to the Philadelphia International Auto Show or up to Eagles Mere and take in the toboggan slide. It is open 10 to 6 today. The Press Enterprise has a couple of articles on the slide in today's paper. The slide has been in use for 100 years as of this year, using plans designed by Capt. E. S. Chase to honor a request from his grandchildren. The first rider actually burned out the seat of his pants riding in a heavy iron scoop shovel, but you can rent one of the 55 toboggans so your back side won't be at risk.
Joan A. Martenas, (May 7, 1949-Jan.
31, 2004), 54, passed away Saturday. She was a daughter of the late Allen
and Blanche (Davis) Beaver, attended Bloomsburg High School, and was employed
by Wise Foods, Berwick, and Fishingcreek Transportation, Orangeville.
She was a member of Benton, Millville and Orangeville Fire companies.
From our history...
The commonwealths new driving-under-the-influence law takes effect on Sunday, a day when many people will be traveling to attend Super Bowl parties. The new DUI law, which the Guv signed on Oct. 1, creates stronger deterrents to drunken driving in Pennsylvania. The law increases punishments on the basis of the drivers blood-alcohol level and carries more severe penalties for repeat offenders, doubling fines in some cases and imposing longer jail terms. Make today a Super Sunday. Don't drink and drive.
Speaking of the Super Bowl, the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots go head to head this afternoon and you can see it on CBS, along with the half-time show with Janet Jackson, Sean "P. Diddy" Combs, Kid Rock and Nelly and a "mystery group." We'll miss the game this year as we complete almost the last leg of our Western jaunt. We'll arrive in Camp Hill about the time of the kickoff after spending last night at Fort A. P. Hill in Virginia.
One of the things we pick up on the CB between the cursing is highway information. From the "heard on the CB department" comes word that the revenue officers are enforcing a new 55 mph I-81 speed limit around Carlisle calling it behavior modification: "the tickets separate motorists from their money."
A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation press release indicates that "beginning February 1, the Pennsylvania Departments of Transportation and Environmental Protection will implement federally mandated vehicle emissions inspections in Lancaster, Lebanon and York counties for most gasoline-powered vehicles from 1975 and newer. The testing program will bring Pennsylvania into compliance with federal air-quality standards. Emissions inspections will be required once a year during the time of the annual safety inspection." Reminds us of the saying, "As California goes, so goes the nation."
Some of us remember filming family events in 8mm. Most of us are familiar with VHS camcorders, and we especially remember an early model that came in three parts, connected by a cable. Later models became smaller and easier to use, eventually moving into the DVD-R camcorder category. The newest small camcorders, Panasonic's D-Snap SV-AV100 and the Fisher FVD-C1 CameraCorder, use 512-megabyte SD Cards about the size of a postage stamp to record video. These camcorders weigh something like six ounces and make you feel like you are in a James Bond movie. The flash memory can upload movies to a computer in seconds.
They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles.
--The Pied Piper of Hamelin
| The Pied Piper Restaurant
was a favorite stopping place in Maple Grove over the years and we include
a view of the restaurant under FEATURES, in the article on the O.
B. Savage Farm. We seem to recall that the strange name for a restaurant
came from ownership by the Piper family at one time.
The story of the Pied Piper comes from a famous German folk tale retold by Robert Browning in his poem The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The piper in this case was an itinerant musician who offers to rid the town of pesky rats. The town fathers accept and the piper plays a magical tune which lures the rats out of houses and into the river. The rats all drown. The town fathers, however, refuse to pay the piper, whereupon he plays another magical tune and leads all the town's children to some unknown place like Michael Jackson's ranch.
We assume that most readers would not recognize a Piper that was "Pied" if one walked in the door right now. So where does the "Pied" come in? The piper was outlandishly dressed, in Browning's words, in a long coat from heel to head ... half of yellow and half of red."Pied" means two-toned and comes from the black and white "magpie" bird.