January 31, 2007. Happy birthday today to Allie Becker, Ray Kisbach and Nancy Smith Shea. There are 48 days remaining until the official start of Spring.
At last, a bumper sticker for both parties. A New York bumper sticker is pleasing both Democrats and Republicans. The sticker reads, "Run Hillary Run." Democrats are placing the bumper sticker on the rear bumper. Republicans put it on the front bumper.
• Friday, February 2, is "Wear Red for Women Day" to raise awareness about heart disease--the number one killer of women.
• February 10 and 11. The popular gun show returns to the Benton Fire Company.
A reader asked why I even mentioned Windows Vista in a recent article, noting there didn't seem to be much reason to purchase the new operating system from Microsoft. Actually, there are improvements galore, including...
• The Start Menu speeds up finding things.
• Fast USB sticks speed up the system
• Program-independent volume control
• Parental controls will keep Mom and Dad happy
• Easy to check for updates and solutions to problems
• Guided help improves interactive learning
• Wired and wireless network management is easier
• More stable video driver
We liked the thought for today attributed to students at Texas A&M University which holds that political correctness is a doctrine fostered by a minority and promoted by the press which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.
The State Senate Public Health and Welfare Committee meets today to discuss legislation to ensure smoke free workplaces and public places in the commonwealth. The bill would prohibit smoking in all workplaces and public places, with exceptions for private residences, private social functions, and tobacco shops.
A husband read an article to his wife about how many words women use a day--estimated at 30,000 compared to a man's 15,000. The wife interpreted his remarks as "because we have to repeat everything to men..." The husband then turned to his wife and asked, "What?"
From the Pork Comes to Pennsylvania Department comes this...
An environmental assessment study successfully completed leading to passenger rail service between Scranton, the Poconos and New York City on 90 miles of rail between Port Morris, New Jersey and Scranton. Next, the Feds need to raise $550-million to fund the project. We wonder what important services will go unfunded for this project.
If you enjoy woodworking, you'll love the Woodworker’s Journal Resource Digest – Online. It contains all the tool information that you need--heck, it is a complete source of woodworking products, woodworking supplies and woodworking information, including articles on tools.
Lois Elaine Fine McHenry, (August 20, 1925-January 27, 2007), 81, formerly of Benton, York and Danville, died Saturday at the Masonic Village, Elizabethtown. Lois was born in Kingston, Luzerne County and graduated from Benton High School in 1943. She was a member of the Benton Christian Church, the Benton Nut Club, the Manchester Garden Club, and the Masonic Village Red Hat Club.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William Fine and Jessie Norton Fine Hess, and her step-father, Herman M. Hess. She was also preceded in death by her husband of 63 years, Ira Ricketts McHenry. Surviving are her daughter, Dr. Irene Elizabeth McHenry and husband Randy Granger, Philadelphia; her son, John Jay McHenry (Marsha), Camp Hill; grandsons Michael McHenry Koehler and Matthew Blair McHenry; step-grandchildren Willa and Gordon Granger; and her sister, Jessie Margaret Whitenight (Hobart), Benton; as well as nephews and nieces.
A memorial service in celebration of Lois’ life will be held at 1 o'clock Sunday, April 15, 2007, at McMichael Funeral Home, Benton, with nephews Thomas Morris, Sr. and Robert Kelsey officiating. Following that service, interment will occur at the Benton Cemetery.
--Obituary provided by the family
January 29, 2007. Kristine Karns turns 34 today and down in Stillwater Whittier Letteer celebrates his birthday. We neglected to mention the news on Camp Lavigne Road when Lea Litwhiler turned sweet 16 on the 23rd.
Thought for Today...
Prayer is asking for rain. Faith is carrying an umbrella.
Today we traveled again, moving from Palm City to Fort Myers via Arcadia, Florida. A few years ago I had an appendix attack in Arcadia and was not able to get medical attention, so my feelings toward that town are not the best. Do you know, for example, what they call Hee Haw in Arcadia? Documentaries. It is the town where the legal drinking age is 24, so they can keep alcohol out of the high schools.
Ruth J. Heath (May 1, 1921- January 28, 2007), 85, Knouse Road, died Sunday at the Orangeville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Ruth was born and died in Jackson Township. She was the daughter of the late Walter and Mamie (Hagenbuch) Heath. Ruth worked for the former Dockey Shirt Factory and later for Milco Industries until her retirement in 1986 following 35 years of service. She graduated from Benton High School as a member of the Class of 1939. She attended the Philadelphia School of Bible (now the Philadelphia Biblical University) for three years. She is survived by a number of cousins. Funeral services will be held Friday at 2 PM with viewing before at the Jackson Baptist Church, Derrs. Burial will be in Jackson Cemetery.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. A complete obituary will be published in the Press Enterprise on January 30.
About a year ago, we stopped giving tips for readers who were still using Windows ME, as well as Windows 95 and 98. Most readers now use Windows XP, but soon even XP will be obsolete. Starting tomorrow, the implementation of the follow-on to XP begins. Windows Vista for the general retail consumer kicks in tomorrow when sales begin. Somewhat like American car manufacturers who offer many options, Microsoft will offer four different consumer versions: Home Basic, Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate.
The Home Basic version is designed for casual email and Web surfing and is a bit shy on fancy graphics capabilities. Media Center permits integration into your home entertainment system or the document sharing support for Word and Excel. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the full retail package is $199 while the suggested retail for the upgrade is $99.95.
Home Premium is the version that readers will probably eventually purchase. This version adds support for the new “Aero” desktop graphical experience, the Windows Media Center home entertainment functions for working with music, video, and pictures on your big screen TV and does support document sharing with Windows Meeting Space. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the full retail package is $239; the upgrade is $159.
The Business version removes the home entertainment components (Media Center) and adds business related features such as business backup services as well as a hardware diagnostic “warning” system. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the full retail package is $299 while the suggested retail for the upgrade is $199.
The Ultimate version is for those who want all of the business features with all of the home entertainment features. It is the only consumer version that incorporates its “BitLocker” Drive Encryption technology to comply with data privacy regulations, such as doctors and dentists. The suggested retail price for the full retail package is $399 while the suggested retail for the upgrade is $259.
Readers who want to upgrade their existing computer may have to wipe out the entire hard drive and start from scratch. Windows XP Home users can perform an in-place upgrade with any of the new versions of Windows Vista, but those running Windows XP Pro can only perform an in-place upgrade with Vista Business and Vista Ultimate. If you have XP Pro and want to install Vista Basic or Vista Home Premium, you will have to perform a clean install (remove the existing version of Windows).
If you have anything other than Windows XP or Windows 2000 (Windows 98, ME, NT) you will also be required to perform a clean install.
If you currently run Windows XP Media Center Edition, you can only perform in-place upgrades with Vista Home Premium or Vista Ultimate.
Hold on. We aren't done yet! Unless your machine was built in the last six months, you'll need a RAM upgrade. Vista is said to be RAM hungry, so plan on upgrading to 1 GB if you want the system to perform at its best! Grim, isn't it!
January 28, 2007. Cathy Cole Hartman was born on this date in 1964. It is also the birthday of Ellen Lenbergs. You may be wondering why this edition and the one for Monday were late in arriving in your inbox. The cruise ship turned into the Voyager of the Sneeze and I simply crashed after arriving back in Miami.
There does not seem to be any correlation between my illness and the 300 or so passengers and crew on board the Queen Elizabeth 2 who have fallen ill from a gastrointestinal illness in the past two weeks. The ship docked in San Francisco Wednesday with 1,652 passengers on its 25th silver jubilee round-the-world cruise, a 110-day marathon that sets the passengers back $65 000 per person for the full trip.
The crew of the Voyager was extremely diligent in maintaining cleaning and disinfection procedures. During the California docking, the Queen Elizabeth 2 was vacated by most passengers so "additional cleaning and disinfection" could be carried out. The ship is now heading toward Hawaii.
The culprit for much of the illness is a norovirus that has been causing severe stomach illness across Canada and the northeastern U.S. It has affected hospitals, nursing homes and other health facilities, hitting patients with severe diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps. The virus is suspected to be a new strain of Norwalk, a virus within the norovirus group. Cruise ships are ideal breeding grounds for noroviruses because of the close quarters.
Beyond the usual advice of thoroughly washing your hands and doing it often, there is no clinical way to prevent norovirus.
Big changes are taking place in the life of Kristie's Kafé, 3694 Suite E Route 487, Stillwater, www.kristieskafe.com. On Friday, February 2, from 5 to 8 PM, there will be free Acoustic Jammin', but then the lights go out on the popular coffee bar featuring Seattle's Best coffee. Saturday, February 3, will be the last day of business at their Stillwater location. They will be moving to Main Street, Benton, in a few weeks, taking up residence in the old bakery across from Antiques, Etc.
Am I the only one who thinks there is something very wrong in the following? Ford Motor Co. is now operating at its largest annual loss in history. That loss equates to almost $24,000 a minute or about $12.7 billion a year. Ford also announced that the company would plow about $10-million more into its NASCAR investment and will pay bonuses to company executives (who got them into this mess).
Want to try a Bible trivia game? The good thing about it is if you get the answer wrong, nobody knows but you and God! It not only tells you the correct answer, but gives reference where to find it. Great game to keep your biblical knowledge refreshed or for you to learn something new.
Here is Garrison Keillor's Joke of the Day...
Did you hear of the poor fellow who drowned at work in a vat of varnish? It was a terrible end, but a beautiful finish!
Thought for the Day...
The mind is like a television. When it goes blank it is a good idea to turn off the sound.
January 27, 2007. Writing today from the Voyager of the Seas while waiting to disembark in Miami, Florida. Today we celebrate the birthdays of Tami Letteer and Dexter Ribble, and they celebrate with Polish-born Hyman George Rickover.
Rickover was born in 1900, immigrated to the US at the age of six, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1922, received his Master's Degree from Columbia University, served on active duty with the United States Navy for more than 63 years while serving under 13 Presidents, and rose to the rank of Admiral. As director of the Naval Reactors Branch, Rickover developed the world's first nuclear powered submarine, USS Nautilus (SSN 571), which went to sea in 1955.
Adm. Rickover directed all aspects of building and operating the nuclear fleet. Prior to Nautilus, submarines were powered by a combination of batteries (for submerged operations) and diesel engines (for surface operations and recharging the batteries). The need for air to run the diesel engines and the noxious fumes from the diesel engines meant that subs could only operate on (or near) the sea's surface, making them vulnerable to the enemy.
Rickover was exempt from the mandatory Navy retirement age due to his building of the United States Navy's nuclear surface and submarine force. Admiral Rickover died in July, 1986, and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. At the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, students still rub Rickover's nose on a bust for good luck before tests.
I remember the first time I sat in Admiral Rickover's office. It was certainly a moment of worry, not knowing what this important Naval officer would ask--or pull. The chair to which he directed me had one leg sawed off about half an inch shorter than the other three, so that I had difficulty sitting level. The chair was primarily used for new recruits to the submarine force, to test their ability to function effectively in an unexpected situation. Should I pretend to not notice my inability to sit level, or should I tell the "great one" that his chair was askew--a fact that certainly he knew? Several of my answers to questions were momentarily disrupted when my chair would suddenly tilt to starboard as I scootched uncomfortably!
I fondly retain a memorandum he wrote on January 20, 1970, to the Chief of Naval Material, commenting on a proposed instruction on the subject of "Human Factors." Paragraphs 3, 4 and 7 are quoted below, in order for readers to better understand the man.
3. "It appears that the HUMAN FACTORS "program" is another of the fruitless attempts to get things done by systems, organizations, and big words rather than by people. It contains the greatest quantity of nonsense I have ever seen assembled in one publication. It is replete with obtuse jargon and sham-scientific expressions which, translated into English from its characteristic argot--where this is possible--turns out to be either meaningless or insignificant. It is about as useful as teaching your grandmother how to suck an egg."
4. "Those who compiled the instruction demonstrate a lack of knowledge as to how work in this real world is actually done. They assume that engineers who design naval equipments have no awareness that these are to be operated and repaired by average human beings, and for this reason, they need the guidance of Human Factors "engineers." With the elucidations such "engineers" will give, the simple everyday problem will become incomprehensible."
7. Those of us who are compelled to work with ordinary people and with real technical problems do not have time to become familiar with rarified and abstruse words such as you have used in your memorandum. Therefore, it would be most helpful if, in future, you write memoranda to me in ordinary English."
Adm. Hyman Rickover probably contributed more to the postwar defense of the United States than any other single man. Several chiefs of naval operations tried to fire him and more than one president tried to retire him, but the feisty Rickover never changed his beliefs.
Happy birthday, Admiral...
We have a pop quiz for you today and we'll provide the answers at the end of this session. Let's get right to the questions...
1. Why did the wife of King Henry the 8th wear gloves?
2. How many feet are in a fathom?
3. Which city is farther north, Paris or Montreal?
4. What was the name of the sister ship of the Titanic?
5. What year followed 1 B.C.
6. How many colors are in a rainbow?
7. What part of the human body increases up to 8 times its normal size when excited?
8. In 1900, the Borough of Benton had a band with eighteen members that met each Monday and Friday nights for practice. O. E. Sutton was the leader. What was the name of the band?
9. What was the name of the construction company that built the "Dug Road" leading toward Cambra from Benton?
10. What was the name of the Benton garage that sold Ford Model "T's," and later Fordson tractors and Lincoln cars.
Mother often said...
We betcha that you'll recognize some of these sayings that we attribute to all mothers. When you were bad but you didn't think that your mother knew it, you were often surprised when she would say "A little "birdie" told me!" or "All I do is follow you around, picking up after you like some maid."
When I didn't listen mother would often say, "Am I talking to a brick wall?," or "Look at me when I'm talking to you." When I wasn't productive, she would say "Don't you have anything better to do?" When my room got a little too messy, she would say "I'm not your maid!" When mothers were not exactly sure about something, they often said, "Are you lying to me?" meaning "you are lying to me."
When mothers issued a command, it meant "As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say." Mother often barked, "Close the door! You don't live in a barn." When things got really bad, she would issue the warning, "Don't make me get up!" and a favorite was "Don't run in the house," which was somewhat akin to "Don't talk with your mouth full!" which often was followed by "Don't walk away when I'm talking to you!"
When mothers talked around a subject, they often said, "Beds are NOT made for jumping on." A favorite of Mothers was "Do you think I'm made of money?" with a related statement that "money does NOT grow on trees." "If it were a snake, it would have bitten you" was something Mother often said, and I have noticed that Marcia Kay says it, too. "I'm not going to ask you again" usually resulted in being told and not asked. "Isn't it past your bedtime?" was a way of telling me that it was beyond my bedtime. "What did I say the FIRST time?" was often uttered about the third time a topic was heard. "When you have your own house then you can make the rules!" and "Who died and left you boss?" were popular.
"Where do YOU think you're going?" was overused around our house. But mothers often had lots to worry about, and when they did they often said something like, "Call me when you get there, just so I know you're okay" or "Did you brush your teeth? Did you comb your hair?" "When will you be back?" was asked just before she said good-by with the order "Be good" and "Don't stay up too late!" "You could have called" was usually said the following day. Ten years after I married, Mother would still leave the outside light on for me when I would go out at night.
Mothers issued warnings, too, like "I hope someday you have children just like you," frequently uttered following "Pick that up before somebody trips on it and breaks their neck!" "I'm doing this for your own good" was popular with the mother crowd and so was "Turn that racket down!" "Don't make me come in there!" was usually obeyed, since because of whatever we were doing, we did not want her in the room.
Mothers worried a lot about things, especially a reprimand. "This hurts me more than it hurts you" was usually a true statement.
Mothers loved to reminisce, usually beginning "When I was a little girl" and often the same story was told several times. Mothers usually thought that we had a short memory, and "Who do you think you're talking to?" was often thrown our way, as was "Wipe your feet!" as if we weren't told that every time we slopped the hogs and headed for the house.
Mothers often tended to exaggerate, as in "You kids are trying to drive me crazy!," "Don't use that tone of voice with me!" and "If I've told you once ... I've told you a thousand times." Mothers also tended to issue commands that were never enforced, such as "If you don't clean your plate, you won't get any dessert" and "If you don't stop crying, I am going to give you something to cry about!" "Don't EVER let me catch you doing that again!" had special meaning.
"Go ask your father" meant "yes," except that she did not have final authority. Language had to be used carefully or we got this: "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all." "Go to your room and think about what you did!" meant a short stay in our bedroom and an opportunity to read a favorite book. I rarely thought about what I had done! If mother was hard pressed to explain something, she usually said "You'll understand when you're older" and if she did tell us something that we ignored she would say "How many times do I have to tell you?" and when she really meant business she would say "I'm going to give you until the count of three."
When we got a little too rough on the "town kids," Mother would tell us in a voice loud enough to be clearly heard by the town kid, "Now, say you're sorry...and MEAN it!" She often was forced to say "Watch your language!" If one of the kids we beat up on was like his father, Mother would--after the dust settled--say "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree," a reference to the way the kid's father behaved himself in Mother's time or if a kid wasn't as good as she thought the boy should be, should would say "You can't judge a book by its cover."
We betcha that even the kids of today have heard their mothers say a few of these.
Answers to today's trivia quiz...
1, Anne Boleyn, wife of King Henry the 8th, wore gloves because she had six fingers on one hand.
2. There are six feet in a fathom.
3. Paris is farther north than Montreal.
4. The Olympic was the name of the sister ship of the Titanic.
5. The year 1 A.D. followed the year 1 B.C.
6. There are seven colors in a rainbow.
7. The pupil increases up to 8 times its normal size when excited.
8. In 1900, the Benton Cornet Band had eighteen members and met each Monday and Friday nights for practice.
9. The Lane Construction Company built the "Dug Road" leading toward Cambra from Benton.
10. The Laubach Motor Company was the name of the Benton garage that sold Ford Model "T's," and later Fordson tractors and Lincoln cars.
January 26, 2007. Writing today from the Voyager of the Seas somewhere between Haiti and the United States
Today's topic is a little dreary and won't be for everyone, so before we begin take the time to head over to www.binnick.com or to www.creativemakergifts.com to see some of Stefania Binnick's artwork. Steven and Stefania Binnick live on St. Gabriel's Hill Road.
Life at sea involves a lot of sun and fun, although my old Navy buddies might not agree. Because of a continuing problem with skin cancer, the sun part is no longer fun for me. While others are duplicating the color of a lobster, I have been cleaning out my email's inbox. I could spend days more doing that, but it is evident that I accumulated a ton of email from something recently written about computers that are loaded up with unnecessary processes. I didn't provide sufficient advice on cleaning up the mess.
I can't come up with a short, concise answer that will solve all problems every time, but here are some thoughts that will at least help you decide if you can do the job yourself or if you need to consult a professional. My first thought is that for some of the readers who have written a professional solution is the only answer since a professional will be able to solve problems quicker than a casual computer user can wade through all the possible solutions. These professions wrestle with problems like this every day and for them there are no new problems and no new solutions. There are many things that you can do, however, to reduce the number of processes you have running in your Windows XP, 2000, and NT computers.
We'll start with the basics. Look at the list of processes that are running on your computer by clicking on the "Processe"’ tab in the Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Del). Here you'll enter a new world of strange names that are followed by words like "system," "local service," "network service" or the name of the current user. Generally speaking, those items with either "local service" or "network service" should be left alone, since they are core to the Windows process. Generally speaking, the items listed as "system" or the "current user" are the buggers that you want to banish. Now your work begins, but thanks to our old friend Google the work is time consuming, but not all that difficult.
You can find out what each of the processes do by searching the process name in Google. Try one. Search Google for "svchost.exe" and you find it is a process (Microsoft Service Host Process ) that is part of Windows. Leave it alone.
Some of the processes will tie into specific programs known as "spyware" or "adware" that can be uninstalled. In those cases, you may be able to head over to the Control Panel and remove them through the Add/Remove programs section if there is an uninstall option. If you want to keep the program, but don't want it to start up each time you push the GO button on your computer, look at the options or preferences of that program to tell it to no longer load at startup.
Programs that promise to clean up your computer will not only clean up but will clean out your computer. They will most likely remove something that is necessary and cause your computer to become unstable or will remove something that you specifically want and won't even have the courtesy of asking you if you want it. If it comes upon something it doesn't recognize, it doesn't bother to Google an answer. It may just skip over "malware" that should be removed. Just as there was no Fountain of Youth," there is no one program that will cure all your computer's ills. The pond life that writes the code for hideous programs like adware and spyware know far more than you and me about hiding a solution to the problem. Which brings us back to where we started. I won't recommend a specific professional to help with your specific problems, but if you email me I'll gladly provide the names of several local professionals who have helped me when I bog down.
Technology isn’t for everyone. Some have natural technical competence, some can't program their old VCR clicker, some get confused when they get outside the confines of email. For most of us, professionals are frequently necessary to get us out of a sticky problem. For many others, a resource like Quomon may be able to come up with the right answers to your questions. For additional information on the subject of slow running computers, head here.
Didja know that...
• Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
• When we say we'll be back in a "jiffy," we usually aren't. A "jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.
Thought for the Day...
He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.
January 25, 2007.
David Crosby and Graham Nash will headline at F.M. Kirby Center, Wilkes-Barre, on Wednesday, March 28. Longtime creative partners David Crosby and Graham Nash bring out the best in each other as they did in the group Crosby, Stills & Nash, and in Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. Tickets are on sale for $35 and $47.50 through the Kirby Center Box Office, Ticketmaster, Gallery of Sound and Boscov’s.
A common conversation starter on the Voyager of the Seas is a version of "where are you from." I rise with the chickens and often occupy a table in one of the dining rooms very early in the morning before most arise. The members of the wait staff are not busy at that time in the morning, and love to stop and tell me of their home countries and ask of mine.
The men and women who wait on the tables, clean the walls and windows, and tidy up the rooms are all first rate! Without a shadow of a doubt! None are Americans, or at least I haven't found any. They are recruited from the third-world nations of the world, taken from a life with no future, given the promise that they would see the world, and signed up to serve for an extended period of time with an opportunity to step onto land once a week or so for a matter of a couple of hours. Most work 11 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week, six months at a time. At the end of six months, they are given a two-month vacation. They are then free to return to their home country. None complain, none grumble, they all wear what appears to be genuine smiles.
Many make their way to my table to ask about GHz and GB of RAM. They talk of their dream to own a laptop someday, of being able to email their families in Brazil or Romania or Ecuador, of being able to Google into the cherished treasures of their country or learn more of ours. They dream of going home, of eating the food native to their county, of being in the embrace of a loved one. They delight in telling me of their family and their country. And they ask of mine.
When I tell them that I am from the United States and specifically from Pennsylvania, I have been asked by a man from Romania if we have vampires there, probably a reference to Transylvania. They love to hear a little of the history of the state. I tell them that we were one of the 13 original states and about the Declaration of Independence and how the Battle of Gettysburg was the turning point of the Civil War. I tell them of William Penn and how being from "Pee-Ay" is the same as being from Pennsylvania, why we would eat a sub when their only reference to that word is that of a contraption that intentionally sinks. I tell them how scrapple is made and they tell me of similar recipes in their country. I patiently try to order a dippy egg and can't communicate the concept. I try to explain to people with last names at least 17 letters long how to pronounce words confusing to them, words like Monongahela and Shickshinny. I watch the confusion in their faces when I accidentally use words like "Djeetyet" that are legal Back Home in Benton, PA, but not used in their world. They want to know about the Pennsylvania Dutch and are always inquisitive about snow, mountains and life in the United States. They are dedicated to the concept of never ending and demanding work dealing with impossible people, and are grateful when someone shows an interest in their lives and dreams.
Chances are, you won't meet any of these people of a ship's wait staff in what you do today, but--hey, what the heck--show an interest in someone's life and dreams. See what a difference it makes in your day...
January 24, 2006.
One of the jokes making its rounds on the Voyager of the Seas is about the man and his wife who had been married 50 years. The man reminisced that he once had a cheap apartment, a cheap car, slept on a sofa bed and watched a 10-inch black and white TV. His thoughts were obviously elsewhere when he told his wife that every night he slept with a hot 22-year old brunette. Not knowing when to quit, he observed out loud that now they have a nice house, nice car, big bed and plasma-screen TV, but he is sleeping with a 70-year-old grandmother. Suddenly snapping back to reality, he told his wife "It seems to me that you are not holding up your side of things."
His wife thoughtfully and frankly told her husband to find a hot 22 year old brunette, and she would make sure that he would once again be living in a cheap apartment, driving a cheap car, sleeping on a sofa bed, and watching a 10-inch black and white TV. Aren't older women great! They really know how to nip a mid-life crisis in the bud...
We were able to receive email while docked in St. Thomas, but could not send email except via the EPIX WebMail program, a slow and cumbersome method of communicating. We apologize to readers who have sent us email, since basically we are unable to respond to the questions at this time. Outlook is filled with email to send when I can determine the correct outgoing SMTP of the wireless connection I can find.
One of the questions I received involved the Voyager of the Seas. Simply put, the reader asked how we liked the ship and if we would recommend it. Simply answered, yes! The ship is relatively new (built in 1999 at the Kvaerner Masa-Yards, Inc., in Turku, Finland). The current sailing is at capacity, with about 3,300 on board. That means, according to the management of the ship, each day about 22,000 meals are prepared, including the ones for the crew. On the desert side, the company plans 63,000 each week and prepares 49,000 appetizers. For the meat-eaters, 14,000 steaks go on the grill each week. Here are some other statistics for each week of the year: 75,000 pounds of pork, 3,500 pounds of lobster, 75,000 eggs, 1,500 eggs, 1,200 gallons of milk, 1,400 quarts of ice cream and 64,000 pounds of fresh vegetables. The food, the service and the atmosphere are top shelf.
Today we are docked 45 miles or so from St. Thomas in the port of Sahn Hwahn, or as we pronounce it Back Home in Benton, PA, San Juan. We are in the capital and largest city in Puerto Rico. The city is named after San Juan Bautista--Saint John the Baptist-- and is the oldest European settlement in United States territory. San Juan was founded by Spanish colonists back in 1521 and is the oldest city in Puerto Rico. San Juan has a population bordering on 2 million, about half the population of Puerto Rico.
January 23, 2007. Lea Litwhiler is 16 years old today. There are 55 days remaining until the official start of Spring. Writing today from St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.
• Kristie's Acoustic Jam is Friday night from 5-8 in Stillwater. Admission is free.
• Christine's Karaoke is coming up Saturday night is the Jamison City Hotel from 9:30 to 1:30. Christine will be celebrating her 34th birthday weekend.
• The monthly breakfast of the Benton Fire. Co. is Sunday morning from 7 to 1 in the afternoon. The meal includes a full breakfast menu and all-you-can-eat buckwheat cakes or pancakes. Cost is $6 for adults and $3 for children ages 6-12. Children under 6 eat free.
• Benton United Methodist Church hosts their popular ham supper Saturday from 4-7 PM. The full meal costs $7.50 for adults and $3.50 for children between the ages of 6-12. Children under 6 are free.
According to the Tuesday Press Enterprise, popular dog groomer Connie L. Robbins, 54, died Monday, January 22, 2007, at Jeanes Hospital, Philadelphia. Connie was married to W. Dean Robbins, 74 Robbins Road, Stillwater. Funeral arrangements will be announced by the Benton office of the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home. Consult the Press Enterprise for funeral arrangements.
Kenneth L. Fritz, (Jan. 10, 1930-Jan. 21, 2007), 77, Sones Hollow Road, Benton, died Sunday evening at home. A native of Jackson Township, he was a son of the late Ivan and Helen (Young) Fritz. He was a graduate of Benton High School. His wife, Audrey M. (Hummell) Welliver Fritz, passed away Feb. 3, 2006. His foster brother, Randy Hoffman, survives, along with sister-in-law, Joan Gilbert (Keith) Waller; a brother-in-law, Raymond Hummell and his wife, Arlene, of Mays Landing, N.J., and numerous cousins. Funeral services will be 2 PM Wednesday with viewing before at the McMichael Funeral Home Inc., Burial will be in the Waller Cemetery.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise where a complete obituary can be found.
The 2007 Huntington Mills United Sportsmen Coyote hunt went over very well. There were 62 applications for the hunt. There were 12 coyotes brought into the weigh-in station. The top dog was taken by Kile Belles of the Shickshinny area at 43 Lbs. and that brought him a 1st prize of $450. At the breakfast, the organization served 107 people.
January 22, 2007.
So you think that you are busy! Have you ever considered the plight of your temporary internet files? Didja know that every picture you look at on your computer, every midi you listen to, every flash file you view--well, heck, we'll just say it: virtually everything that you look at on the internet is stored in your temporary "internet files" folder. For this reason, and we recognize that others will disagree, we always restart our computer at least once a day. A healthy restart for your computer is a little like a dish of prunes for you.
You can open the temporary internet file anytime you like and you'll see a record of your internet surfing for any particular browsing session. Don't let that folder get clogged up with junk and slow down your computer. Clean up your temporary internet files at least once a day--or set Firefox or Internet Explorer to delete them automatically upon the closing of your browser. You can find the temporary internet files on your C drive under documents and settings\'your user name'\local settings\temporary internet files.
• January 27. White Gold: The Lost Art of Harvesting Ice. Learn about the life and times of the "Ice Miners" as historian and author Peter Tomasak tells stories of their lives using vintage film footage of some of the last ice harvesting in the 1920's. Susquehanna Riverlands, Route 11, near Shickshinny. 7 to 8:30 PM. 542-2306.
• September 14, 15 and 16. The Red Hat group will be part of a group of about 200 members meeting at the Best Western Country Cupboard Inn, Lewisburg, for a whole bunch of fun and games. There will be women's' barber-shop singers, karaoke, shopping, and lots of food and fun including a sock hop at the Silver Moon Banquet Hall. Sunday morning, bell ringers will perform. Prizes will be awarded throughout the weekend. A $60 fee will secure your reservation. The deadline for this fee is April 15. Make your check to North Central PA Red Hat Weekend and mail to Carol Rogers, 116 Locust Street, Montoursville, PA 17754. Include completed registration information and a self-addressed stamped envelope. Upon receipt of your confirmation number, your room reservation must be made by mail, directly with the hotel. Room reservations will not be accepted by the hotel without your confirmation number. Room reservations must be completed by August 18. Red and purple or lavender and pink regalia is required. Please contact Jackie Malhoyt, 925-2722, for more information or if you want the registration form.
Writing today from St. Thomas aboard the Royal Caribbean ship, Voyager of the Seas
January 21, 2007. This edition of the Benton News comes to you from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, and is "after the fact." We apologize for the late delivery, but the ship we are on has upped internet access charges to $.50 a minute. We have chosen to wait until we arrive at St. Thomas to send and receive email and uplink the web version.
We thought that we were traveling a great distance as we head for Caribbean waters, but we think that Geraldine Laubach traveled a greater distance in her recent trip. She arrived in Germany from Back Home in Benton, PA, on January 19 following a flight from Philadelphia to Heathrow Airport, outside London, where the passengers of the airplane remained on the runway for an hour because of wind blowing up to a reported 70 miles an hour. Geraldine said that "The plane felt like you were in a rocker." Son Jeff met Geraldine in Frankfort. Following a fast Audubon trip, they arrived in Herforst where Jeff teaches at the Air Force base in Spangdahlem.
The Royal Caribbean ship Voyager of the Seas left the port of Nassau promptly at 1 PM Saturday, January 20, with about 3,300 others plus Marcia Kay and I and Bill and Loretta Hiscox, heading toward the port of St. Thomas. We spent Sunday morning looking at "strawtings" the natives tried to pawn off on us. Because I have no cell phone, internet or email service, I haven't a clue what is happening Back Home in Benton, PA. Strange, I started the Benton News so that I could keep myself and others informed about the local goings-on, and here I am not knowing what is going on in the world. True, I tune in CNN International, the only news program available on the ship's television, and I can tell you about the storm damage in Indonesia and the continuing hostilities in Iran, but there is a definite lack of United States coverage.
The morning was beautiful. I was up when the rising sun swept over the island of New Providence, the island where Nassau is located, the capital of the Bahamas. For those who don't know, Nassau is only 150 miles off the Florida coast at Palm Beach and is one of about 700 islands that make up the "family" of islands known as the Bahamas. It is one of the smaller islands, but it home to more than half of the 350,000 people who are residents of the Bahamas.
Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1492, but didn't stay long when he concluded there was no gold. Puritans landed in the Bahamas about 150 years later. These English Puritans sailed from Bermuda, and settled on the Bahaman island of Eleuthera. Pirates swarmed over the islands and the waters of the Bahamas for many years, including an evil doer known as Blackbeard. This scoundrel, also known as Edward Teach, looked somewhat like a former Shakespearean actor who became our former local Congressman, Dan Flood. Blackbeard had a flair for the dramatic, at times braiding hemp fuses into his long hair and then setting them on fire so he would look more dramatic. His ship was known as Queen Anne's Revenge. He eventually moved to a North Carolina inlet where he set up a thriving business extracting tolls from passing ships. A British naval force ended that in a battle that ended with Blackbeard's head dangling from the bow of the ship.
The island had both prosperity and down times for the next 200 or so years until Henry Flagler sailed into port and made the island a resort. That lasted until World War I came along and sailing the Atlantic was prohibited.
When we boarded the Voyager of the Seas, we signed lots of fine print, and somehow I think I agreed that I would gain ten pounds by the time we returned to Miami. The ship is loaded with people who say they are my age, but look much older. These are the people who spend the day walking the ship trying to find out where the Metamucil is on tap.
I did not come on this cruise to see the islands of the Eastern Caribbean, I did not come on this cruise to win 25,000 at the slots, or to dance until dawn under the stars. I came to take a much-needed vacation and to see how much human skin can stretch in 7 days.
When Marcia Kay and I and ship mates Bill and Loretta arrived at dinner the first night aboard ship, I was asked if I needed help finding my seat. I said that I didn't, I would just look for the fat man. I always end up sitting beside the fat man, especially when I fly. We sat family style, eight to a table--Kay and I, Bill and Loretta, two dowagers from Florida and a transported New Jersey couple now living in Florida. One table mate had made the Alaska cruise this summer--seven days, three nights. We started the first meal with delicious Italian cooking. The only problem with Italian food is that 14 hours later you're hungry again and when we come back tomorrow we'll continue our adventures on the high seas and explain what happened 14 hours later.
January 20, 2007. Dayne and Ruth Kline celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary today and since we won't be with you for the next seven days, we'll tell you about some other birthdays and anniversaries coming up. Dick and Janet McHenry are having a wedding anniversary Sunday and Louise McGarigle celebrates her 87th birthday. Also coming up...
Monday, January 22, Sally Brewington and Jenifer DiLossi have birthdays and Ed and Dorothy Kocher celebrate a wedding anniversary.
Tuesday, January 23. Robert Lewis, Jr. has a birthday.
Thursday, January 25, is the birthday of Penny Fritz.
Friday, January 26. It is David Hilley's birthday.
It may be that I am simply a slow learner, but I just recently discovered the advantage of the free program known as Picasso2, an outstanding program for the manipulation of pictures on your computer. You might want to give it a try by going to Google.com and downloading it from there. I cannot give you the exact link since I can't access the internet at the moment.
I had a number of photos that I wanted to store on disk, plus Max Hartman wanted me to have a copy of a video of the Carnival Victory cruise to Nova Scotia for those who were going on the September 7 cruise I recently wrote about. It was off to the store to pick up CDs and DVDs.
For those of you who copy CDs and DVDs, here is a reminder of what you need to have to make copies...
• CD-R CDs come either individually packaged, or in bundles of 50 or 100. They are good for backups and for making portable slide shows, family photo albums or transporting data from computer to computer. CD-R disks hold about 650MB of information. A CD-R disk properly stored in a case should last 50 or so years. CD-R disks are good in any computer with a CD-ROM drive and can be played in most CD players. Each CD-R disk is good for one writing, then it passes to its new life as target practice for your 30-06 or you can throw it away.
• CD-RW disks run the cash register up a bit more than a CD-R, but you can write and rewrite data on the disk. You can backup your files, add other files or make changes to files already on the disk. People tell me they have made changes to these disks 40 or so times before they stop working. A disk created with CD-RW disks on one computer cannot always be read on another computer--frequently, in fact, from laptop to desktop computer--and sometimes can't even be read on the same computer if the CD was not properly closed. Experiment with your computers and with these CDs before backing up something really important. A thumb drive or data stick might be a better approach for backing up certain applications.
• DVD-R and DVD+R disks can be used if you have a DVD burner installed in your computer. A drive that burns CDs is not sufficient to burn DVDs. DVD+R and DVD-R disks are different formats of the same thing, something like Ford and Chevrolet or Beta and VHS. If you have a computer with a DVD burner, make sure you know what format it is before you buy disks to support it. DVD-R burners can not use DVD+ R disks and versa vice. Buy the type of disks designed for your drive, unless you have one of the few computers that will handle both types.
The walls of the Community Center will begin to be erected starting Monday. A Director has been named for the center. Rob Hutchison started to work on Monday and is hard at work in his new office. You will find him at 255 Main St., Benton. His phone is 925-0163.
Luzerne County commissioners unanimously voted earlier this week to take ownership through eminent domain of the 68-year-old coal-processing Huber Breaker, Ashley, along with 26 surrounding acres. The commissioners plan to make Huber into a museum and park complex. It is one of the last remaining anthracite coal breakers in the United States.
Freshman U.S. Rep. Chris Carney, D-Dimock, Wednesday was assigned a seat on the Highways and Transit subcommittees. Carney will be able to work to secure funding for the Central Susquehanna Valley Transportation project in the Shamokin Dam area of Route 15.
The coyote hunt is ongoing through Sunday at the Huntington Mills United Sportsmens' Club. For information, call 256-3933 or 683-5472.
If you have problems with spelling, you might want to try tinySpell, a small spell-checking program that automatically spell checks a selected word that is copied to the clipboard. You can also set tinySpell to check your spelling on the fly while you are typing and alert you by sound whenever it detects a misspelled word. The program runs in the system tray and suggests correct spellings via mouse click menu or hotkey. There is also a private dictionary and an auto-replacement feature.
Almost everyone in the world has access to the internet. If you don’t have Internet access at your home, you can get it this spring at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center or if you are traveling at most libraries or at a cyber cafe. The internet has opened up a whole new world for people to communicate and to educate, but it also has brought out the nasties.
Most computers ship with Microsoft's browser, Internet Explorer. This browser has its share of internet vulnerabilities and exploits and is the one the evil doers attack. There are alternatives, like Opera, Safari and a free program that gets acclaims every day, Firefox.
Firefox blocks spyware, adware, and blocks virus attempts. There is no way for the Firefox browser to download something without your approval, an option not available with Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer relies on ActiveX, which is not part of Firefox.
Firefox offers downloads that will accelerate access speeds, stop java script, virus scan on links, download embedded videos into your desktop, offer weather forecasts in your browser, and much more. In the default version you can clear cookies, cache, sessions, and passwords without ever leaving Firefox. You can customize Firefox with pumpkins at Halloween, for example.
I always try to give 100% at work...
12% on Monday,
23% on Tuesday,
40% on Wednesday
20% on Thursday,
5% on Fridays
We'll be back with you on Sunday, January 28, when we return from Labadee, Haiti, Miami, Florida, Nassau, Bahamas, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, following a seven-night Eastern Caribbean cruise aboard the Voyager of the Seas.
January 18, 2007. Happy birthday to Bill Boston. There are 61 days until the official start of Spring.
We have chatted bfore about The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Initiative, which at the moment is simply a prototype of a laptop computer known as "XO." The computer is intended to bring isolated tribal villages into the Information Age, with the ultimate goal of offering one to every child on the planet.
Compared with a typical laptop that consumes 40 watts of power, the XO is designed to use three watts to browse the internet. In a tribal village, where does this power come from? The power supply for the computer is the person using it. The XO has a yo-yo-like generator that can be pulled with either by hand or by foot. The XO is shooting for between two and five minutes of computing for every minute spent generating power.
The computer includes an innovative "mesh" networking technology that automatically connects every child in a village to each other, as well as to any internet connection that might be available, as in the case of a satellite link or cellular connection. The mesh can link XOs up to 600 meters (one-third of a mile) apart.
The screen of the XO can operate in either color or black and white. Black-and-white images are viewable clearly in bright sunlight, ideal for rural villages where many activities occur outside. The laptop also has a video camera and built-in speakers.
The XO runs a pint-size version of the Linux operating system, since neither the Microsoft nor Apple operating systems were compact or secure enough. The goal of the computer is less than $100 per unit, which the initiative hopes to achieve as soon as the year 2008. The computers will begin shipping this summer, with a goal of delivering 5 million units the first year.
We are currently in Palm City, Florida, where it is 84 degrees. We are not having success with finding internet connections; in fact, I am parked in the lot of a Latter-day Saints Church feeding off their wireless connection. Beginning Saturday, it will get worse, as we leave the country for a week and will not have an access to phone, internet or email. We are taking the laptop with us and we'll write when we have time, and send it along when we return to the United States.
With about half of California's navel orange crop destroyed by a cold snap, the wholesale price of the fruit soared even here in Florida where oranges (and tourists) are the state's lifeline. Consumers will soon be paying more for avocados, carrots and lettuce, too, as temperatures 7 to 10 degrees below normal will result in more crop damage. Navel oranges locally were selling for 50 cents each at the local Publix Food Market.
Fresno County, California, recently had 19 degrees and son, David, recently lost all water to the house, barn and pastures in Santa Ynez, California, when the low hit 22 degrees.
The Web Gallery of Art is a searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1100-1850), currently containing over 16.200 reproductions. Commentaries on pictures, biographies of artists are available. Guided tours, free postcard and other services are provided for the visitors.
January 17, 2007. Happy birthday today to Glenda Watts Friend and Happy Anniversary greetings to Grant and Mary Conrad (their 61st).
If you are having trouble reading something on the screen and have a scroll wheel on your mouse, you can increase print size by holding down the "Ctrl" key on your keyboard while you scroll forward with your mouse.
Allen and Shirley Roberts are traveling this winter and are currently in Brownsville, Texas, where the weather is "COLD" with rain. Former big-game hunter Allen has now switched to fishing for Mako sharks and recently lost one that "deck hands said was approximately eight feet long weighing about 200 pounds."
For parents of children who will be 5 years old before September 1, 2007, and are planning to attend kindergarten in the fall of 2007: Please call the L.R. Appleman Elementary School office to pre-register your child. You can call 925-6971 between 8 AM and 8 PM. Registration will take place on February 8. The child's birth certificate and social security number will be required at time of registration.
If your computer is running like molasses this morning, you should check to see how many processes are running in the background. To do this, close any open programs, click on the Start button then on Run and type "taskmgr." The Task Manager will then open. There will be tabs across the top, but look at the bottom left corner for the Processes. If the number is above 35-38 for desktops and 38-42 for laptops, you will likely benefit from a cleanup of your computer. The higher that number is the more valuable a cleanup will be as these processes rob your computers ability to perform your desired tasks.
If you clean up your operating system and leave all your programs and settings as they were, plus adding additional RAM if you want a Ferrari instead of a Volkswagen, you can generally bring a two- to three-year old computer back to a life substantially cheaper than buying a new computer, especially if your primary use is the cruising the internet and sending email to Cousin Claudia. Remember that the price you pay for a new computer is only the beginning of your expenses.
According to a January 15 article in the Danville News the Commonwealth had the most auto-deer collisions in the United States between June 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006—a sizeable portion of The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's estimated 1.5 million annual deer-vehicle collisions.
The Benton Argus for this date in 1935 reported that the J. C. Knouse Service Station, "At the Bridge," was selling Tydol gasoline. The Benton Shoe Rebuilders, in the "Ernest Hess Bldg." (now the site of the Colonial Pharmacy) "guaranteed satisfaction with perfect shoe building." Men's half soles were $.85 and "the same for ladies at $.65." Albert Casey was serving lunches and meals at the Blue Plate Café. J. P. Laubach was selling "famous Reading Anthracite" to anyone who would call 30R2. The Benton Store Company was selling their "ribbed union suits for men at $1.29, and reduced their blankets to 79 cents each. The Columbia County National Bank, T. Carl McHenry, Cashier and M. D. Pennington, President, promised to "serve you with the most modern, yet conservative practices in Benton."
January 16, 2007. Compared to the blowout that announced the arrival of Ed Rendell at the Capitol four years ago, The Guv's inauguration for his second term as Pennsylvania's 45th governor today will be mild. Oh, sure, there will be a parade of more than 5,000 people from all 67 counties and about the same number for the inaugural ball. But that is pretty big-time stuff compared with the lamplight inauguration in Windsor County, Vermont, in early August, 1923.
On August 2, 1923, Warren Gamaliel Harding died, the victim of a mysterious illness he got while on a cross-country trip. John Calvin Coolidge, Jr., 51, (July 4, 1872-January 5, 1933) suddenly became the thirtieth President of the United States. A telegram arrived at White River Junction, Vermont, the evening of Harding's death, at 10:30 PM--at what the Vermonters called "God's Time." A telegram operator cranked up his Model T and delivered the wire to Coolidge in person, slowed only by a flat tire he had on the way.
When the awakened vice-president heard the news, he slipped his black shoes over his white socks, adjusted his other attire appropriate to the hour of the night and dictated a statement, ending with the words, "It is my intention to remain here until I can obtain the correct form for the oath of office, which will be administered to me by my father, who is a notary public, if that will meet the necessary requirement."
The Commander of the local American Legion post arrived at the Coolidge house, and grasping the hand of the man who would shortly become President, said, "The country is without a President, Mister Coolidge: The United States has no President, no President. The country should never be without a President."
At 2:35 AM on August 3, 1923, in the flickering candlelight of Cilley's General Store, the same building where he was born, Calvin Coolidge asked for a drink of Moxie, reached into his pocket and paid the owner of the store $.10 for the drink. He stood in front of his father, Colonel John C. Coolidge, a justice of the peace and a notary who was attired without "tie or collar" and repeated the oath of office in his Vermont accent. It began, "I, Calvin Coolidge, do solemnly swear..." It was all over at exactly 2:47 AM. He did not embrace his wife or say anything to anyone in the room, other than "Good night."
The next morning, the President left a dollar bill as a tip for one of the wait staff, stopped at the burial spot of his mother and proceeded to the train station in Rutland. A special railroad car was waiting to transport the President to Washington, D.C. The President curtly told the traffic manager for the railroad that "You're not running any special train for me!" Upon his return to the nation's capital, the swearing in was repeated.
A year later, the President was elected on the slogan "Keep Cool with Coolidge." Chief Justice William Howard Taft administered the oath of office to Coolidge on the East Portico of the Capitol. This time the event was broadcast to the nation by radio. "Silent Cal" never ran again and announced that decision with typical terseness: "I do not choose to run for President in 1928."
Until his father's death, he usually returned to his boyhood home during the summer months. In 1924, the upper floor of the store his father operated at the time of Calvin's birth served as his summer office.
Several buildings of Coolidge's youth are maintained at the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, 351 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA. The town lies northeast of Albany off route 7. It is six miles south of U.S. 4 on VT 100A, about the center of the state. The site is open from late May to mid October.
Grace Anna and Calvin Coolidge were complete opposites personality-wise. She was talkative and fun-loving and Coolidge was quiet and serious. Coolidge once handed her a bag with 52 pairs of socks with holes in them. Grace's reply was "Did you marry me to darn your socks?" Without cracking a smile and with his usual seriousness, Calvin answered, "No, but I find it mighty handy."
The January meeting of the Fishing Creek Femme Fatale Chapter of the Red Hat Society will meet Wednesday, January 17, at the Market Squire Restaurant at 2 o'clock. The menu is bacon and cheese Quiche, salad, dessert and beverage. Price is $9 including tax and tip. You can also order off the menu. World War 2 Veteran of the US Marine Corps Gloria Sugg, Danville, will be a special guest. The chapter is open to new members and guests are welcome. Proper attire of a red hat and purple outfit are required.
Quote of the Day:
"Computers can figure out all kinds of problems, except the things in the world that just don't add up."
The United Sportsmen of Huntington Mills will host their annual coyote hunt at the United Sportsmen Club house at the corner of Waterton Road and Cann Road, Huntington Mills. Hunting begins at 6 AM Friday, January 22, 2007. Weigh-in times are Friday, January 19, 6 to 9 PM, Saturday, January 20, 3 to 9 PM, and Sunday, January 21, 9 AM to 1 PM. Applications and registration fees are available from United Sportsmen Camp 271, P. O. Box 85, Huntington Mills, Pa 18622-0085. Sunday breakfast is served from 9 AM to 1 PM.
Despite being in "hibernation," Pennsylvania's black bears are giving birth to their young at this time of the year. The cubs weigh less than one-half pound, according to the Pennsylvania Game Commission. The Momma bears do not urinate or defecate while dormant.
There will be a free movie night at Benton United Methodist Church on Friday, January 19, at 6:30 PM. The movie is Eight Below, about two Antarctic explorers who are forced to leave their team of sled dogs behind. The movie is outstanding. For questions, contact Janet English, 925-2417.
January 15, 2007. There are 64 days until the official stat of spring. Just after noon on this date in 1929, a son was born to the Reverend and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr., in Atlanta, Georgia. He became the nation's most famous civil rights leader and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. The nation honors his memory today.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Quote of the Day:
"The means by which we live have outdistanced the ends for which we live. Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men."
--Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
On this date in 1943, the world's largest office building was completed in Arlington. The structure covers 34 acres of land and has 17 miles of corridors. The building is the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Defense Department. The building is twice the size of the Merchandise Mart in Chicago, and has three times the floor space of the Empire State Building. The National Capitol could fit into any one of the five wedge-shaped sections. Approximately 23,000 employees, both military and civilian, work in the building each day.
And Didja know that on this date in 1946, the state of Georgia had three governors in office at the same time? This is how that came about. The "Wild Man from Sugar Creek," Eugene Talmadge, died in 1946 before he could be officially placed into office, but determined to have a Talmadge in the Guv's job, the legislature swore in his son Herman, 33. Two others wanted the same job, and the battle was on. The acting governor, Ellis Arnall, decided that since Herman had not run for office, he couldn't hold the seat. Herman knew a good thing when he saw it, so he moved into the outer office of the Governor and boldly told the sitting Governor that he could hang around if he wanted to. The Governor reminded Herman that as a "pretender," he was welcome to visit. When the Guv went for a coffee break or whatever it is that Governors do, Herman switched the locks on the office of the Governor and the sitting Governor was now on the outside looking in. Tear gas and the sound of a firecracker in the office had everyone in a tizzy. Now hold on, it isn't over yet! M. E. Thompson was the newly elected lieutenant governor, and conveniently someone swore him in as Governor (which reminds me of the General who, in the face of certain defeat, declared victory and retreated).
Herman was livid and would not budge. He used the argument that since his father had died before taking office, Thompson had no grounds for succeeding him. Until the Guv resigned in Thompson favor, Georgia could legitimately claim that at one time they had three Governors at the same time. When the matter came before the George Supreme Court, Thompson became the new governor. Talmadge was elected as governor of Georgia in 1947. He served until 1955
D. Jean Kocher, (March 17, 1925- Jan. 12, 2007), 81, Mifflinville, a graduate of Benton High School in 1943 and the mother of singer Lacy J. Dalton, died at home Friday. Three husbands preceded Jean in death: Richard E. Byrem, Kenneth E. Embry and Doyle E. Kocher. Two sisters, Doretha Albert and Sarah Adams, also preceded her. Surviving are daughters: Jill L. Anderson (Lacy J. Dalton), Nevada; and Randy Jo Laubach (William), Mifflinville. Memorial services will be held on Thursday at 7 PM in the Bloomsburg Dean W. Kriner, Inc. Funeral Home on Market Street. There will be no viewing, but friends may call from 6-7 PM.
--Obituary from the Press Enterprise, where a complete obituary can be found in the January 15, 2007, edition.
The New York harbor froze over completely and was sealed for five weeks beginning on this date in 1780. Temperatures in Loma, Montana, set a record on this date in 1972 for the greatest change in a 24-hour period. Temperatures went from 54° below zero F on January 14 to 49° F on January 15. On this date three years ago, the local area had 1 to 4 inches of snow on the ground, and overnight temperatures below zero in places with a 20 mile wind. Yesterday, driving south, I needed to turn on the air conditioning about 20 miles north of Richmond, Virginia.
Have you noticed that Government regulations are like salad dressing--you usually get too much or too little!
And speaking of too much, is anyone else fed up and sick of Donald Trump, the rich guy with a strudel on his head, and his on-going feud with Rosie O'Donnell? Couldn't America's most famous businessman be more of a gentleman? It seemeth to me that responsibility would be a byproduct of wealth and fame. A man like Mr. Trump should at least treat women properly. The thin-skinned Trump did not respond to any of O'Donnell's points, calling her a "slob," "disgusting," and "an animal." We agree that there are plenty of thorns in Rosie's personality, but...
Have you bought your dog license for 2007? Remember that all dogs three months or older must be licensed.
Quote of the Day:
"There will never be a bigger plane built."
--a Boeing engineer talking about the Boeing 247 in 1932. The twin engine plane had a capacity of ten.
January 14, 2007.
The annual ham supper of the Benton United Methodist Church is coming up on January 27 from 4 to 7 PM. The meal will consist of ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, string bean casserole, pickled cabbage, Jell-O salad, home-made bread like Mother used to make, pie or cake, and iced tea, hot tea or coffee. The price is $7.50 for adults, $3.50 for children between the ages of 6 and 12 and the kids five and under eat free. Take outs are available.
• The slots parlor near Wilkes-Barre known as Mohegan Sun paid out $31.3 million on wagers of $34.8 million during the first week of 2007. Put another way, for every dollar spent on gambling at Mohegan Sun, $.8994 was returned to the gambler. This sounds to us like a pretty poor way of investing money. It will be interesting when the figures are released to determine how much of the roughly 10¢ on the dollar actually goes to the people the lottery is supposed to help.
• A reader commented, "...toll roads. I'm in favor of them. You use 'em, you pay; you don't use 'em, you don't. Seems fair to me." Whaddya think?
• An 87-year-old reader emailed that he really had a great time on Upper Raven Creek road last night listening to bluegrass for the first time. He gave the bands very high marks. I regret that I was not able to sit in.
• The N4C Thrift shop is open every Saturday until spring, run by volunteer Anna Marie Mazucca. Stop in and meet her. She works in Bloomsburg at a flower business during spring.
When I talked with Al Senavitis, the wood-carving artist recently written up in the Benton News, I asked why he had carved the carnival depiction now on display at the Lebanon Historical Society. He said that he had grown up watching carnivals being constructed and had a deep fascination with them. As projects like Disney World came along, he realized that eventually the carnival would go the way of the rest of the world, and he wanted to preserve a bit of it. Otherwise, he said, the kids of tomorrow will miss out on a bit of fascination from the past.
Al is exactly right. What a difference there is from "back then" to the way it is today and the way that it will most likely be in the future. For example, many of our friends are complaining about leg and hip problems, but think back to your parents and your grandparents. We never heard about those kinds of problems then--thanks to exercise and hard work. Kids in the past built slingshots, as well as forts and cabins in the woods. They went sleigh riding and even rode down ice-covered hills on pieces of tin and flat-bottomed shovels. They went fishing with their fathers and helped with the chores and raised a pet cow and showed it at the Fair. But lets not talk about the past, lets look at the present and at the future.
As people make more money, they acquire more stuff. Too many workers must have higher salaries and as a result they sacrifice time with their families.
Obesity rates among children are dangerously high. An estimated 8 million children in this country are diagnosed with mental disorders and a startling number have depression problems on top of that. Throw into the equation the problems with kids attributed to restlessness, inattention, high activity levels and day-dreaming which we lump under the heading of Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
Today's children are often missing out on the joys of previous generations, as evidenced by their lack of physical fitness and the prevalence of hyperactivity and attention deficit. Turn off that television and divert the kids from the video games. When the weather permits, head for the mountains, or pick a mess of peas or learn to milk a cow or feed a goat, or attend the annual ham supper at the Methodist Church.
What about the future? If no one teaches the children of today about the values we knew growing up, who will teach tomorrow's children? How will tomorrow's children know the sound of a whipperwhil or a nightingale? Or how to clean catfish, or tame a skunk, or pick elderberries and experience the joy of eating a slice right out of the oven or smell ferns after a rain, or treasure the sounds of a thunderstorm rolling through the mountains.
The world of our children will be different from the world we know today. The statistics are that in less than five years, 77 million baby boomers in this country will hit retirement age of 65, but a significant number will have to continue working to survive. That will impact our children as they look for gainful employment. As our children and grandchildren reach their working years, many will have to leave this country to find employment overseas. What we assume to be basic today will change in the future. Some places in China now use more water than is available, and in fact reports are that the country now consumes more than the United States in basic commodities of food, energy, meat, grain, oil, coal and steel. And as we head even more into the future, keep your eyes on India, a democratic government that is basically fluent in English. The impact of these two countries will be felt on the kids of tomorrow, as well as the unknown num-nums of the world who feel that terrorism does someone some good.
Take the time to teach your kids the difference between the tracks of a rabbit and a squirrel, the joy of an outdoor sunrise service on a Easter Sunday, the agony of white-tailed deer making runways in the snow half way up to their stomachs, or the thrill the first time that the kids cross the mighty Mississippi. You will find there is a marked improvement in academic achievement, career development and personal responsibility if you can just devote more time to them. Kids can't do it all by themselves. We have to pitch in and help. It starts with you.
We'll be in touch again very soon on down the road...
January 13, 2007. Stephen Foster died on this date in 1864. The song, Camptown Races, which he wrote, was inspired by the five-mile horse race that ran between Wyalusing and Camptown. The "camptown" was a temporary workingmen's living arrangement along with a rag-tag mix of horses.
A woman with Benton connections, Karen M. Carpenter-Palumbo, 44, has been nominated by Gov. Eliot Spitzer to serve as Commissioner of the New York Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse. Karen will have about 7,800 people working for her. Her nomination is subject to confirmation by the Republican-led state Senate. She has been New York state's vice president of the American Cancer Society since 2004 and served under Mario Cuomo as assistant secretary to the governor for human services. Karen lives near Albany with her husband, Robert Palumbo, a hospital administrator at Albany Medical Center, and their two children: Kyle, 10, and Kyra, 7.
Karen is the daughter of Gerry Carpenter, retired from the insurance business in the Elmira, New York, area, and is related to Ed Carpenter, a former game protector in the area, now buried in the Benton cemetery. Gerry's father was Harold Carpenter and Charles S. Carpenter was his grandfather and the brother of Ed Carpenter. Charles Dwight Carpenter and Sophia Diltz are the parents of Charles S. and Ed Carpenter. Charles S., Charles D. and Sophia are all buried in Dushore. Gerry made a trip to Benton last summer. We spend an enjoyable afternoon talking with Monica Diltz and her cousin, Dick Diltz. The many Diltz relatives in the upper Fishingcreek valley wish Karen much success.
About this time each year we get on our high horse about something. Today it is about the use of a word that seems to be only used locally. The word is "darsn't." [aux. v. DAIRS-unt]. Darsn't is a first cousin of shouldn't, wouldn't, couldn't and the ever popular daren't. If you darsn't do something, then you dare not do it, or there will be unfortunate consequences. For those of you who never got your feet wet in Fishing Creek, here is an example. "I told that boy, he darsn't swim below the dam, but did he listen?" This curious slang is perhaps now almost unique to the Benton area, but in the nineteenth century it could be heard throughout much of the entire United States, especially in the deep south. It is obsolete slang, but is quite expressive and it does give us a clue where the person who said it has been dangling his toes...
And speaking of words, if you analyze "wedlock," it looks like it means "locked into marriage," but wedlock is simply the state of being married. A child born to parents who are not married is said to be born out of wedlock. Near synonyms include marriage, matrimony and an obsolete word, confarreation [(Con*far`re*a"tion], which meant a form of marriage among the Romans, in which an offering of bread was made in the presence of the high priest and at least ten witnesses. Actually, the second syllable of the word comes from the Old English suffix "-lac," meaning an action, or "what is carried out." The Old English root "wedlac" was originally from old German "wathjam" (pledge), which led to German "wetten" (to wager) as well as English wed, wedding, engage, wage, and wager, all of which have a lot to do with commitment and fulfillment of promises.
After 45 years in Gillette, Wyoming, former Benton resident Nancy Smith Shea has moved to Great Falls, Montana, following in the footsteps of other Benton boys like Donnie Ward, and Tom and John Conner. Nancy is in a beautiful gated retirement village ten miles from her son. In September, the Great Falls Shea family will visit with daughter, Jill McHenry, the first trip ever to the east for most of the family.
For those who can't place the former Nancy Smith, she was the daughter of Ross Smith, a former carpenter who once worked for Ken Kelsey. During part of that period, I also worked for Ken as a summer job while attending college. Ross was responsible for cutting my carpentry career short, when he surveyed my progress laying a floor in a house then under construction for Emerson Stoneham, now owned by Emerson's daughter, Becky Green. Ross gathered his lanky frame to its full height as he observed me on my hands and knees struggling to get the floor laid. He watched for awhile, then before turning to walk away, told me in a stage whisper, "you don't know sickum." Ross was correct then, and I can still tell you that I don't know "sickum" to this day about carpentry, about plumbing, about--well, some day when we have more time, I'll tell about many more things I don't know about.
Marcia Kay and I are in the motor home seeking warmer weather, with only occasional access to the internet. Over the coming weeks, our visits will be shorter and less informative, but we do promise to keep our eyes open in the areas where we visit. We'll keep in touch.
January 12, 2007. Happy birthday today to Ray Kishbach and Walt Lysk and radio talk host Rush Limbaugh.
• The Sutliff family has long been involved in the sale of automobiles, but their Ford world will soon get a bit smaller with news from The Patriot-News that Sutliff Capital Ford, Harrisburg, the former site of "Francis for Fords" is being bought out by Ford Motor Co. and will close at the end of the month. Greg Sutliff is owner of Sutliff Capital Ford and principal owner of The Sutliff Auto Group. Greg continues his ownership of eight other car dealerships in the state.
• Wegmans Food Markets Inc. plans to buy liquor licenses for its 11 Pennsylvania stores in order to sell takeout beer. The store eventually wants to sell beer, wine and spirits for consumption in the stores' cafes. Wegmans now has a restaurant liquor licenses for five of its Pennsylvania stores.
• Lois McHenry is in the health care center at the Elizabethtown Masonic Village and cards and greetings are needed. Lois remains in the same room on the third floor of the Washington Building, part of the Masonic Health Care Center. Her phone number is 717 367-1121, extension 15681, and for the time being cards can continue to be sent to her old address at Room 410, Daman Building, Masonic Village, Elizabethtown, PA 17022.
• Congratulations to Billy Pasukinis named today as the Press Enterprise boys soccer MVP. "There was likely no player in the area, in either girls or boys soccer, that was as valuable to their team as Pasukinis was," according to the article in Friday's newspaper.
Have you ever thought of all the things that kids don't know anything about? For example, a first-grader would be amazed at a device that makes a humming sound, has keys like a computer but doesn't have a monitor, that creates letters when keys are pushed. They wouldn't have a clue what to call what we know as a typewriter. These kids would not understand the sounds the machine makes, would giggle with joy at the bell when the carriage zooms back to the starting line, would soon have dirty fingers from the paper roller, and would be amazed that it could actually type their names.
The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center on Mill Street continues to receive many items that baby boomers no longer want or need--not actually typewriters but gizzies that are still functional but that are no longer wanted. One person's trash is another person's treasure, as they say. We suspect that a trend is developing. People from an older generation know that they waited until late in life to downsize, while the current trend appears to favor starting earlier.
We aren't talking here about the young working generation, the ones who buy into a lifestyle that requires two breadwinners in a family, the families whose head of the household is under 40, the ones who want spiffy and shinny. For this generation of working Americans, big is beautiful, the larger the house the better, the one with the most toys wins. We are talking about the gradual reduction of living space needed for the empty nester and for the older generation, the ones who see the value in old things from a previous era.
The Thrift Store is getting books by the drove as this apparent downsizing gains momentum. Antiques and artwork that are no longer needed show up as the frills of former living get paired down. In our own house, the new rule is that if we haven't used it in a year, it is outa here! If it doesn't pass the tests of "do we need it," "do we love it," and "do we use it," it is gone. Out with that cute chicken that lights up, the duplicate set of lawn rollers, the badminton set and the hardly worn shirts marked "Large."
We have said goodbye in recent weeks to James Brown, Gerald Ford, Saddam Hussein, Augusto Pinochet and Jeane Kirkpatrick. Now it is time to bid farewell to relics from the past from our house.
This reduction of inventory isn't going to affect the type of person that Garrison Keillor recently wrote about--the young men in Panera Bread and in coffee shops who stare at computer screens with wires coming out of their ears, peering at "that encyclopedia of the pathetic" known as MySpace or YouTube while watching someone make an idiot out of himself while playing a tuba as he ice skates.
Garrison laments that nobody has shown this generation that opening a newspaper is classy stuff. As a kid, I always read in the Morning Press about Prince Valiant, a beautifully illustrated story of a young prince in Medieval Europe. As a high-school student I always turned to the adventures of The Phantom when I first opened the paper, the first man I ever heard about who wore skintights and didn't have pupils. I haven't ridden a bus lately, but when I first started out in the working world I rode an O. Roy Chalk bus from Virginia to Washington, D.C., my head buried in the Washington Post. The few minutes before the official starting time of my job were devoted to a spirited discussion of what had been read on the way to work. Today, the best we can hope for is "what did Snedeker say the weather was going to be?"
In Garrison's piece, he described a man at a laptop as "a man at a desk, a stiff, a drone," hunching forward as he watches a video of a fisherman falling out of the boat. We see an adaptation of this when we walk the campus of Bloomsburg University, with avalanches of kids whose heads are down looking at their phones, thumbs pumping as they send photos or write instant messages or play online games.
Garrison notes that newspaper readers are swordsmen, wranglers, private eyes. Some buy a couple of newspapers and devour them as a beagle would a bunny. The newspapers give these people a sense of importance in the world, a worldly look, a look that portrays knowledge of being well-rounded. For me, I'll just keep plodding forward and hope that Garrison just keeps on sharing his impressions.
January 11, 2007. Happy birthday today to Jack Gulliver.
• US Airways made it less expensive Wednesday to fly in and out of Harrisburg International Airport. Walk-up fares have been reduced as much as 56%, and advance purchase fares have been cut by up to 42%. The move is an attempt to break into the lower prices offered by discount carriers flying from Baltimore International. A listing of the HIA fare reductions can be found here or by calling 800 428-4322.
• The Celebrity Artist Series at Bloomsburg University's Haas Center for the Arts, Mitrani Hall, returns Friday, January 19, at 7 PM with the family program Inflated Egos, starring the Fred Garbo Inflatable Theater Company. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students and children. Tickets and information are available at 389-4409. The box office is open Monday through Friday from noon to 4 PM.
• Like bluegrass music? Try El Cumbanchero as played by the Tuttle kids, Michael (8) and Sullivan (10) on mandolin and guitar, backed by sister Molly. Go here. If you really want to hear how it is supposed to sound, go here.
• Take the time to go to here to read about comet C/2006 P1 (Comet McNaught). the brightest comet in 30 years. It will make news in the coming days.
Charles W. Owen, Jr., (October 26, 1934-January 8, 2007), 72, Dover, New Jersey, formerly of the Benton area, died Monday at St. Clares Hospital, Dover, NJ. Charles was born in Mordansville, Greenwood Township, a son of the late Charles William Owen, Sr. and Ruth Elizabeth (Bray) Owen. Surviving are his wife, Shelby J. (Westmoreland) Owen, Chatsworth, Georgia, and children Vickie Owen, Chattanooga, Michael Owen and James Owen, Chatsworth, Georgia. Two Benton sisters also survive: Dorothy Fritz (Douglas) and Ethel Litwhiler (David). A sister, Shirley Lamoreaux, lives in Bloomsburg. There are also two brothers, Russell Owen, Stormville, NY, and Theodore Owen, Westbrook, CT. Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at 3 at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. following a 2 PM visitation. Burial will be in the Waller Cemetery.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the Press Enterprise for Jan. 11, 2007.
• Larry Hayman is again in the hospital, just over a year since his last ordeal that kept him in the Geisinger for 92 days. He is at the Bloomsburg hospital this time with a similar problem as last year. Larry has a rare blood disorder (Antithrombin III (AT-III) which causes blood clots; they lodge in his intestines and cause the intestine to form a loop and then twist & die (called intestinal ischemia). Prayers that he will not need further surgery would be appreciated. Larry's wife, Bert (Bertha) could use a prayer about now, too.
• Leroy Knouse is scheduled for kidney removal on January 26 in Tampa, Florida. Please pray that every thing will go well. Leroy's wife, Eileen Creveling Knouse, managing with a broken wrist, could stand to have a prayer thrown in.
In the spring of 1957, the senior class of the Benton Schools gathered at an amusement park in Moosic known as Rocky Glen as a way of having friends and classmates unwind from twelve years of study. The class decided not to go to a culturally enriching place like Baltimore's Inner Harbor, or New York City, or Colonial Williamsburg, or Washington, D.C., or up the Eastern seaboard of the United States to Nova Scotia, places members of the class learned about in class, including the geography class Dayne Hartman taught.
Members of the class and their advisors rode the 55-foot roller coaster known as the "Mighty Lightnin,'" the "The Million Dollar Roller Coaster." They crashed and kaboomed on the "dodgem" cars that were later acquired by Knoebel's Amusement Resort, Elysburg. There was a merry-go-round and a Ferris wheel, "The Hey Dey," "The Tumble Bug," "The Whip," "The Cuddle Up" and "The Caterpillar."
We remember that day in May in 1957 when the senior class climbed into the yellow school bus and went to Rocky Glen. Rocky Glen may not have been as exciting as a trip to Nova Scotia, but it certainly brings back fond memories.
The Benton Area High School Class of 1957 will celebrate their 50th class reunion this summer and have arranged a cruise to Nova Scotia and other ports for the class. A few cabins are still available and readers of the Benton News are invited to go along. The seven-day cruise is on the Carnival Victory, a ship with a nine-story Seven Seas Atrium, four swimming pools, a wide variety of delicious dining options, lots of entertainment, a casino and spacious staterooms.
The trip begins September 8 from Back Home in Benton, PA, by bus to New York City from a central parking location in Benton. The Victory sails from New York City at 4 o'clock on the 8th, and returns to New York City at 8 AM September 15.
The ports of call are New York, Boston, Portland, Maine, Saint John, NB, Canada, Halifax, NS, Canada, and back to New York. Two days are spent at sea.
There are "inside" cabins, "outside" cabins and balcony cabins. The rates are $705, $855 and $1,005.*
* Rates (U.S. dollars) are per person, based on double occupancy. Government fees/taxes and optional air transportation are additional for all guests. Rates are subject to availability and may change without prior notice. Restrictions apply. Port charges did go up $10 as of January 1, 2007.
--The dreaded fine print!
For those who will be making the trip, it is necessary to get a deposit of $250 a person before February 5, with the final payment due before the end of June. Optional travel insurance is available for approximately $68 a person. The insurance would cover you in the event of sickness, bus delay, etc. When you book, you can either be assigned a cabin, so that you will be adjacent to a friend, for example. Or you can float on rooms, meaning that your cabin can be anywhere on the ship, but the latest people on the ship get the lesser rooms. By booking now, we could be upgraded to better rooms by doing this. It is your choice. All rooms are based on two per room.
Cabins will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. It is necessary that I hear from you IF you would like more information or if you have questions. I can be reached by phone at 570 925-6974 or by email via the Benton News.
January 10, 2007. Birthdays today include Eleanor Kocher who turns 95 at the Orangeville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Alecia Schlichter celebrates her birthday today. On this date in 2003, Rick Henderson opened his car-repair business in Bob Sands' old GLF building on Fifth Street.
The rumors of a MAJOR store addition to the Buckhorn Mall, which should result in a major upgrade of the shopping center, get more realistic each day. Look for an announcement soon...The hours of operation of the N4C Thrift Store on Mill Street have changed for winter: 10 to 4 Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The store will be closed Saturdays...It is wonderful to have Verizon cell-phone coverage all the way through the Borough of Orangeville, in the recent past a "no-talk" area...The Columbia County Historical Society has 7,463 photographs in its collection. The annual meeting of the Society is coming up April 21 with Stephen Couch the featured speaker. His topic: Centralia, the Other Fire. ...Gasoline prices continue to be the best in the area, with regular, unleaded selling for $2.109 and $2.169... Christine’s Karaoke will host Karaoke at Kameeo’s in Benton Friday night starting at 9:30 and at the Millville Legion Saturday night starting at 8. The Legion is open to the public...Penn State has finished in the Top 25 in the last 32 years during Joe Paterno's 41-year tenure as head coach. Penn State finished the 2006 season at No. 24 after starting the season at No. 19. Penn State upset Tennessee 20-10 at the Outback Bowl to finish the season 9-4....
A person who picks up a couple of forked sticks, a branch from a peach tree, a clothes hanger or metal rods and points them at the ground in an attempt to find water is known as a dowser. The objects he holds are known as divining rods, or dowsing rods or doodlebugs. We aren't talking about an exact science here, since dowsing isn't based on anything scientific. Nevertheless, it works and don't bother asking us how it works. And don't ask us what special powers some have to make it work and why others can't make it work even using the same sticks and standing in the identical spot as a good dowser.
When the dowser is above water, the rod either points downward or if two rods are used, the rods will cross. Whatever electromagnetic or geologic force makes the rods bend has never been understood. We found scores of examples of dowsers who indeed found the water, and most readers can add more stories of this nature. Carl Kocher, who ran the local water company before it was purchased by the Borough, was an excellent dowser and used his art every day to find buried water lines. Men like Leroy Hess and Walter Horne were well known at "smelling" water and frequently verified the same spot for drilling. Larry Hess, Roy Evarts, Miles Cole, and some men associated with local well-drilling companies are a few of the many men who can "witch."
A scientist would probably doubt the claims of finding water. A scientist may cite statistics showing that dowsers do little better than chance, that drilling a well almost anywhere in an area where water is geologically possible will result in finding water. And it is also true that water may be found by a dowser on certain days in certain locations and on other days in certain locations water won't be found.
Scientists who would attempt to argue with local residents about the power of "witching" would be drummed out of town. We have seen dowsers predict the depth of the water source and the yield of the well to within 10 or 20%. Lucky guess? We think not. We are a Doubting Thomas about most things, but we still conclude that dowsing often works, but haven't a clue how or why.
We are convinced that the dowsers we know are not finding water on the basis of the lay of the landscape or other geological features. There might be electromagnetic gradients that result in different electrical properties of the rock under the ground that we don't understand. If a dowser is hypersensitive to subtle electromagnetic gradients we would think that a geological instrument would also be able to detect it.
We would be happy to know what you think about the subject.
All this talk of water reminds me of the doctor who drove out in the country to see a farmer. The doctor washed his hands at the well before he entered the house. Somehow the crank backfired on him and the rope pulled him down into the well for about 20 feet. Luckily, the farmer's daughter saw him and rescued him. We can all profit from this experience. A doctor should take care of the sick and leave the well alone.
A poem sent north from Florida by Grant Conrad arrived at a very appropriate time. I had just visited an old friend in a nursing home, and had thought back to Father's final days. He had suffered a stroke and lay helpless in a gloomy nursing home room unable to communicate. Father had a steady round of visitors, who would stay for five minutes and tell him the events of the day, the high points of the week, always in a one-sided conversation. Visitors would invariably say to someone what a shame it was that Father's life had to come to this. Father remained unable to communicate.
A day came when a document needed signing and brother Dayne and I called in three doctors to witness the signing. I explained what he was signing to Father, but of course received no response. I then picked up his right hand to have him form an "X" on the paper which the doctors would witness. To my complete astonishment, Father with the force of a dowser's wand took the pen and as clearly as he had ever done it signed his name of his own volition. Father was still very much his own person, he just could not communicate verbally.
That story being told, here is the poem Grant sent us. It is entitled, Look at Me.
Look At Me
What do you see, nurse, what do you see?
A crabby old man not very wise
Uncertain of habit-with far away eyes.
Who dribbles his food and makes no reply
When you say in a loud voice "I do wish you'd try."
Who seems not to notice the things that you do
And forever is losing a stocking, a shoe.
Who unresisting or not, lets you do as you will.
With bathing and feeding the long day to fill.
Is that what you're thinking? Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse, you're not looking at me.
I'll tell you who I am as I sit here so still,
As I rise at your bidding and eat at your will.
I'm a small child of ten with a father and mother.
Brothers and sisters who love one another.
A young boy of sixteen with wings on his feet.
Dreaming that soon now a lover he'll meet.
A husband soon at twenty; my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
At twenty-five builds a secure happy home,
A man of forty my young now all grown,
But my woman stays beside me to see I don't mourn.
At fifty once more babies play at my knee,
Again we know children my loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me, my woman is dead.
I look at the future, I shudder with dread.
For my young are all busy rearing young of their own,
And I think of the years and the love I have known.
I'm an old man now and nature is cruel
'Tis her jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body it crumbles, grace and vigor depart.
There is now stone where I once had a heart.
But, inside this old carcass a young man still dwells,
And now and again my poor battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life all over again.
I think of the years all too few-gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, nurse--Open and see.
Not a crabby old man, look closer.
I look forward to seeing you again when we meet on Thursday.
January 9, 2007. It is the birthday of Tom Fought, Jr. and the anniversary of Jack and June (Boudman) Gulliver. On this date in 1913, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, was born in Yorba Linda, CA. The sun will rise at 7:30 AM today and set at 4:55 PM this afternoon Back Home in Benton, PA.
Mark "Mitch" Wayne Mitchell (April 21, 1962- Jan. 6, 2007), 44, Grand Prairie, Texas, passed away Saturday. He was the youngest of 17 children. He proudly served in the Marines. He was preceded in death by his parents Herman and Hazel Mitchell, Fairmont Springs; older brother, Frederick, Ephrata; and brother, David Mitchell, killed by a drunk driver shortly after returning from a tour of duty in Viet Nam. David is buried in Fairmount Springs. Survivors include his wife of 22 years, Pam Mitchell; children, Steven, Matthew, Amber and Michael; mother-in-law, Billie Rice; brothers and sisters, Dannie R. Mitchell, Patrick Mitchell, Sheldon Mitchell, Joe Mitchell, Walter Mitchell, Richard Mitchell, Ted Mitchell, Mary Mitchell Fine, Madeline Mitchell Wright, Luther Mitchell, Clara Mitchell Kuba, Delores Mitchell Milunic, Ruth Mitchell Thompson and Carol Mitchell Greco. The funeral will be held at 10 in the morning Wednesday in Bean-Massey-Burge Chapel, Grand Prairie. Burial: Moore Memorial Gardens in Arlington. Visitation: 6:30 to 8:30 PM Tuesday at Bean-Massey-Burge Funeral Home.
Readers of the Benton News know that we have been writing about the mystery surrounding the carved carnival depiction currently housed in the Lebanon Historical Society. We were not able to find either the artist or the Fair that the carving depicted until reader Dave Miller unraveled the mystery for us Monday. Dave sent us an email telling about the Senavitis family who moved to this area from Levittown, PA, via Shenandoah Heights, PA. They bought the Waterwheel Campground from Al Reynolds in 1973.
Master wood carver Al Senavitis is very much alive and lives at Dick and Sandy Lehet's Mobile Home Park just North of Benton on Route 487. After receiving Dave Miller's email, I stopped and chatted awhile with Al. The wood carving was built by Al for his own "use and pleasure." Al told us that the mystery carving was the first carving that he had done. The second was sold to a museum. Someone from California bought the second carving and took it out west. Al completed two carvings of the scope of the carnival depiction.
Al reminisced, "I decided I would build it for my own purpose." He was resourceful, adding "Any little time that I had I put into building it. I liked to do it." He kept busy, noting that "I made many, many things. A lot of them are in museums--west coast, down in Florida. I used to make covered bridges, all kinds of amusing items."
Al got his start because of a small stream that flowed in front of the campground along with several springs around the property. He began making little grist wheels "where the grinding wheel would go round and all." Campers would line up by the stream watching the carvings operate. He began making farmhouses, he made a barn, later made some barns and a doll house and a train station for some people in Danville.
He made the carving of the carnival and took it to the Bloomsburg fair where he won first prize in an arts and crafts contest. It was not Al's intent to depict any fair or carnival in the project. His brother later sold the carnival carving to a lady who exhibited it at Stoudt's Antique Mall, Route 272, Adamstown. It may have also had a stop at Peddler's Village. When the owner passed away, the carving apparently was donated to the Lebanon museum.
Al did a lot of carving for Ed Campbell that ended up in the village scenes in the former Heritage House Restaurant on Route 487 between Lightstreet and Orangeville. Al proudly told me that "I was the one who built the buildings for him. I also made barns that were unfinished and built a train station for him."
Al, who will be 82 next month, retired in 1962 and started building and carving things.
The carnival carvings depict couples not just holding hands. One couple has her hand on her boyfriend's arm, with his other hand in his pocket. Another couple is holding hands as they swing in their yard. One woman is shown grabbing her husband from behind. One man, depicting a friend who lived near the golf course in Benton, is approaching a stage where a band is playing. All of his carvings show extraordinary detail, including a man peering through a hole in a woman's bathroom, his attention diverted from a woman about to strike him on the back of the head with a broom.
Al was quite excited that the carving might end up in Benton and be on exhibit in the museum. He never did it for the money. "It was never the money," Al thoughtfully said, his eyes fixed on the table in front of him. "I think I did it so my kids would know that I was busy after Margaret died." Al's wife of 47 years, Margaret Murphy Senavitis, 67, died September 15, 1993, after serving as the official hostess of the Wagon Wheel Campground for 20 years.
Al and Margaret had seven children whose names all started with the letter "D: "David, Danny, Dianne, Denise, Donna, Deloris and Donald. Al, during a high level of frustration, told his wife, Margaret, that "if we have any more, I am going to name it 'Damnit!'" Al says that his oldest son often asks, "Dad, why did you name all of us with the first letter 'D?'" Al admitted that "After while it gets confusing."
Al wistfully gazed out the window and admitted that "I don't have the facilities to do it any more or otherwise I would still be doing it," a reference to the carving of people, places and things.
Al is eager to see his carving again and hopes that the local Center acquires it. He agreed to stop at the completed building and meet people as they came to see the carving. He looked forward to sharing the story of each of the 160 or so people shown in the carving. We very much look forward to that, too.
A Trash to Treasure Sale will be held Saturday, Jan. 13, from 8 AM to 1 PM in the Kehr Union Multicultural Center. The sale will include donated clothing, electronics and household items as well as surplus computers. All proceeds benefit the Columbia County United Way.
The location of the early homes in our area was determined by the qualities of soil, transportation and an adequate supply of water. Farm buildings were located close to a supply of water, even if that meant a drive of some distance from the traveled road. The early Germans wrote that "husbandmen seek the convenience of meadows and water before they erect their houses." Water was often carried to the house from springs either by pails in each hand to maintain balance or by use of a yoke placed over the shoulders of the person carrying the water--often a woman, since carrying water was considered "women's work." The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center has a donated yoke for its museum display, in case you aren't familiar with a water-carrying yoke.
In some cases, log cabins were built directly over a water supply so the family could last out an Indian raid, and it provided a "spring house" for cool supplies of milk, cheese and butter. Since the log cabin was alien to the fragile wigwams of the Indians and easily constructed using only an axe and a saw, this worked well in some cases.
During periods of a lot of rain, as we just experienced with the flood watches in effect for the Eastern seaboard, an adequate supply of water is no problem. Water simply soaks into the ground until it reaches a level that it can't penetrate and collects in the aquifer. The old wells on our property simply go down to the water table and--presto--we have all the water we need, until the dryness of the summer sets in. But water doesn't collect everywhere under us in our valley. It tends to flow in steams underground, much as it does above ground and is sometimes 500 feet below where you are sitting at the moment. In fact, someone who had the time to count water droplets estimated that 85% of all the water on the planet exists underground.
So how do we find the underground streams of water that flow through sand, gravel and broken rock during the dryness of the summer months? Underground water may be small as in Fishingcreek at Central which flows underground during the dry, summer months, or huge, such as Pittsburgh's Wisconsin Glacial Flow, or cave rivers, such as the River Styx and the Lost River in Kentucky's Mammoth-Flint Ridge cave system. .
Most aquifers are more like underground lakes. Largely arid Texas, for example, has aquifers under an estimated 81% of its surface. Aquifers don't necessarily refill quickly, as in the water under the Sahara desert that could be as old as thousands of years older than the birth of Christ.
There are people who claim that they can detect underground streams and when we get together tomorrow, that is the subject we'll discuss. Witchcraft, electromagnetic waves or--well, we'll get into it during coffee tomorrow.
January 8, 2007. Elvis would be 72 today. Three years ago on this date, Max Hartman and I were traveling from Kingman, Arizona, to Las Vegas, via the Hoover Dam. A little over a week from now, Marcia Kay and I, along with Bill and Loretta Hiscox, will be traipsing over the only icebergs in the Caribbean, charge out to Amiga Island and the Bay of Acul to the spot where Christopher Columbus actually discovered the new world in 1492 where we intend to sip a Malfini Punch in the Canoe Bar in the shadow of Nelli's Tower. We'll tell you what country we'll be in during a future edition, but we'll tell you up front that the internet rate there is $.30 a minute, so you won't hear much from us until "after the fact."
How 'bout those Eagles! Sunday they came out on top over the Giants 23-20, as the Philadelphia team moves within one victory of their fifth trip to the NFC championship game in six years.
During Saturday's muzzleloader hunting at Painter Den, eleven hunters fired off thirteen shots on one drive. When the smoke cleared and the hunters could see again, Budd Fritz cupped his hand to his forehead to see how many deer had been killed. When he finished his survey, he remarked, "if those deer had been Indians, we would all be dead now."
The Lykens Valley Bluegrass Boys and Like Father Like Son will present a January 13 concert at 6 PM at the Raven Creek Community Hall on Upper Raven Creek Road. The price of admission is $8 at the door. There will be food available. For more information, call 925-5790. Concerts like this one will continue on the second Saturday of the month through April.
Seeing Dave Hampton, 44, of Like Father, Like Son at Raven Creek is far less expensive than heading to New York City May 12 at 2 o'clock when he appears in a Carnegie Hall Family Concert with the group Straight Drive. This will be an up close and personal chance to listen to the former head of the David Hampton Band play his guitar, mandolin and his bass.
Many in the local area know Dave as an excellent electrician and together with Kay Stanton have made many a house in the upper Fishingcreek Valley beautiful. Kay, wonderful with a brush, a roller, wallpaper--or even with a quip, "smiled when she told us of a recent interview with a local newspaper in which she told the reporter that she was "in charge of wardrobe," meaning that she "did the washing and ironing." By the time the article hit the papers, her job had been redefined as "manager," a term she decided she likes and still uses.
Quote of the Day:
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."
--Theodore Roosevelt, one hundred years ago. To view the actual letter, go here.
The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center hired an administrator Sunday with 20 years experience in program development, funding and directing community-wide programs. His name is Robert D. Hutchison, "Rob" to those who know him.
Rob has served as the administrator of leisure services for the City of Temple, Texas, including all program and facilities at Temple's Wilson Recreation Center, Clarence Martin Recreation Center, Sammons Senior Center, Lion's Pool, Walker Pool and Clark Pool and the complete renovation of a racquet club into a full-service fitness center.
He has directed numerous adult- and youth-sport leagues. He has coordinated numerous special events including a parade at Christmas with over 175 lighted units, a Fourth of July celebration that drew 65,000 visitors, and the Cinco de Mayo and Heritage Train Festival in Temple. He was responsible for a $9.6 million budget in Temple.
Prior to moving to Texas, Rob was the Recreation Supervisor for the City of Kent, Ohio, Parks & Recreation Department for over 20 years.
Rob commented that "This is a blessing for me because it gives me the opportunity to continue in a career that I have long pursued and that I have missed the last couple of years."
Rob had just begun a promising assignment two years ago in Florida when two successive hurricanes redirected his career. He then moved to Pennsylvania and has resided in the state since.
Rob begins his assignment January 15, and will be moving to the local area at that time. He would possibly have come sooner, but his sister-in-law, Chris Renz, is on Jeopardy Monday night and a party is planned in her honor. We are not allowed to tell you how she did on the previously recorded show, but we'll cheat a little and tell you that you'll see her Tuesday night at the same time and channel (locally WBRE-TV [NBC], 7:30 PM)
January 7, 2007. Happy birthday to Danielle Deitrick. On this date in 2002, the Borough had 14" of new snow on the ground, a sharp contrast to the 91st Pennsylvania Farm Show which opened Saturday with one thing missing: "farm show weather." We often have snow and temperatures that hover around the freezing mark during the farm show. The temperature Back Home in Benton, PA, at daylight Saturday was 60°.
We published Sunday's edition at mid-day and received a complaint from a reader, who said that he checked the email when he couldn't sleep last night and the Benton News was not in his inbox. He then went to the back porch (at 4:30 AM) and Frank Gould had delivered the Sunday Press Enterprise, laying it carefully on a table. We often hear how diligent Frank is in his service to the Press Enterprise. A tip of the hat to you, Frank!
Several in the area are bothered by colds during this mild weather. At the Brass Pelican, manager Monica Diltz has a bad cold and has lost her voice. One of her employees told us that none of the employees "mind that very much."
In ancient Rome, the common cold was "doctored" by sipping a broth made by soaking an onion in warm water. In Pennsylvania in its early days you might have relied on pennyroyal tea or some concoction made from sage, coltsfoot or bloodroot. In grandma's time, lemon and honey was a favorite to treat a cold. In extreme cases, a hot toddy with rum was said to make the user feel better--and the more rum the better the user felt!
Lets look at a specific case. A man in his late 60s was out riding on December 12, 1799, a day marked by wind, rain and cold weather--a fairly typical December day. He quickly ate when he returned home, then changed out of his wet clothes and retired to his study with a cup of tea and prepared to write long into the night. When he finally came to bed, he reportedly uttered the lines that form today's quote of the day:
"I came so soon as my business was accomplished. You well know that through a long life, it has been my unvaried rule, never to put off till the morrow the duties which should be performed today."
The next morning, he had a sore throat and decided to stay inside, but in the afternoon went out and marked trees for cutting. By evening he was horse, and about 3 in the morning he awakened his wife to tell her about his chills. He was having trouble breathing and speaking. At daylight he was unable to drink the mixture of molasses, vinegar and butter that he was given by his concerned wife. A hastily called doctor extracted a pint of blood, soaked the general's feet in hot water and wrapped his neck in a salve-dipped towel. Hot compresses, mustard packs, various gargles and inhalations didn't work.
Dr. Craik, his long-time friend, drew more blood, or as his wife's grandson later reported, "bleeding was attended to." Knowing that he was dying, he told his wife, "These are my wills--preserve this one and burn the other." He then directed that his "corpse be kept for the usual period of three days." On December 14, the Father of our Country died.
What killed George Washington? Was it pneumonia or was it the common cold, brought on by excessive blood drawing and other remedies? The remedies suggest that Washington himself thought that he had a cold. Two hundred years later, we are not much closer than Washington was to the cure for the common cold.
The account of George Washington's passing was based on the writings of George Washington Custis in The Death of George Washington, 1799, EyeWitness to History. Martha Washington's grandson was then 19 and had been adopted when he was less than a year old by Washington.
Many people today still rely on a reliable family remedy when they feel a "cold coming on." We consulted a family "remedy" book and find that herbal teas get top billing, including teas made from peppermint, mint and sage. Garlic was often used, as was licorice and lemon. One remedy called for molasses and Jamaica ginger, a teaspoon every hour. Onions and butter on the chest had some merit in early local remedies, and even red onions tied around the bedpost were said to work. Chicken soup is still thought to clear mucus from sinus passages. Other old wives tales involve washing out the nose with water and soap, cod-liver oil and iodine. A Lancaster inventor once discovered that wearing a cloths pin on the nose starved off the common cold, but the Food and Drug Administration didn't see fit to approve it as a cold remedy.
A cure for a cold that we saw at a local hunting camp once was to hang a hat on the bedpost and start drinking. When the person saw two hats, they were to stop drinking. Actually, alcohol has long been though to be of some help with the common cold. Advocates say it dilates small blood vessels in the skin and reestablishes circulation in the mucous membranes of the nose.
We can still remember with disdain Mother's treatment of ear aches that we often got. She blew cigarette smoke in our ear! How we hated that!
Vitamin C has long been popular, but we couldn't find much conclusive proof of it doing much good. In fact, too much vitamin C can lead to undesirable side effects.
With proper use of nonprescription drugs, cough, sinus congestion, runny nose, and other symptoms of colds can be kept in check. While these nonprescription drugs may relieve certain symptoms they will not cure any of these conditions.
Please keep Leroy Knouse and his wife Eileen in your prayers Monday, as they consult with Tampa, Florida, doctors about health issues with Leroy. Eileen recently fell off a ladder and broke her wrist, so both of them are under the weather.
In Pennsylvania, we have the towns of Cross Roads, a borough in York County; Roadside, near Waynesboro; Columbia Cross Roads, north of Troy; and the almost forgotten areas of Buffalo Cross Roads and Lees Cross Roads. The word "roads" originated in the past tense of the Old English verb "to ride," although spelled differently. "Road" meant a journey on horseback, and evolved over the years to a ride with hostile intent, from which "raid" originated, an old Scots form of "road." "Inroad" is a derivation. Ride also referred to a ship riding the waves in the harbor sense of the word; i.e., a ship riding at anchor in a sheltered harbor. Shakespeare was the first known user of "road" as a route via land to get from one place to another. The word forms the basis for the adage that there are no roads in the core of London, as indeed there are not. All the highways were named before the word "road" even entered their language.
If you enjoy researching the derivation of words, you might head over to World Wide Words, a source we used for the above paragraph. Although it does have a decidedly English bent, it is a fascinating place to spend an afternoon
Jim Powlus found a tagged goat on the west side of Fishing Creek, just north of Stillwater. It is white with brown markings, but not friendly and he can't get close to it. Actually, the critter is "getting Jim's goat" by leaving trail markers all over his porch and yard. If you know the owner, please call Jim at 854-4248.
January 6, 2006. Today is celebrated as Epiphany, sometimes known as "Three Kings’ Day." Epiphany is the climax of the Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas which ended January 5. It is the day that follows the Twelfth Day of Christmas, meaning that last night was Twelfth Night. This is an occasion for feasting--but, then, when isn't!. The Christmas season begins with the First Sunday of Advent and concludes with Epiphany. The Sundays between Christmas Day and Epiphany are sometimes called Christmastide. In some western traditions, the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday.
The 91st Pennsylvania Farm Show opens this morning, with one thing missing: "farm show weather." We often have snow and temperatures that hover around the freezing mark during the farm show. The temperature Back Home in Benton, PA, at daylight this morning was 60°.
The Sunday, January 7, edition of the Benton News will be distributed as an evening edition. We are trying to get you in the mood for the spastic editions that will begin a week from now, but we'll tell you more about that next week.
When the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center opens next spring, many readers will recognize some items of historical significance that were originally housed in a building in Pleasant Valley known as the Wiant Museum. The museum was located five miles from Huntington Mills on the Harveyville-Bethel Hill road, hardly the place where one would expect to find a museum.
Charles R. Wiant was a school teacher in the area when he was young, but passed a Civil Service examanation for fish culturalist. He moved to Mississippi and began a 33-year career with Federal fish hatcheries. During his career, he was in charge of ten hatcheries in four states. He had an interest in Indian artifacts and he and Mrs. Wiant amassed a collection of beautiful arrowheads of jasper, quartz and other brilliant material. They collected over 8,000 wampum beads and a wide variety of spearheads and other artifacts. Everything of a historical nature went into the museum.
Mr. Wiant was also an expert taxidermist, thanks to a German chemist he met in Mississippi. His collection included a number of mounted items, often positioned in an action pose, and was donated to the Pennsylvania Game Commission in July, 1999. Guns were a popular item in the museum, including guns from all the World Wars and the Civil War. Ledgers and post cards from local hotels were collected. Snakes, a whale's tooth, rocks and fossils, and a leaf butterfly were some of the items contained in the Naturalist's Corner. Items of interest from the Wyoming Massacre and the Civil War were prominently displayed.
After his retirement, Charles and Jessie Wiant moved back to the local area and displayed the items that they had collected, including some of the items that had originally been in his father's store in Pleasant Valley (Bethel Hill) known as the W.C. Wiant General Store. They started with a couple of rooms in their home, then later expanded through the construction of a large room. Even that was not large enough to display the collection. The Wiants loved explaining their many museum pieces to visitors during the years 1956 to 1979 when it was open. The Wiant Museum maintained a large collection of local historical items. The daughter of the Wiants, Doris Harvey, continued with private appointments at the museum for many years after her parents passed away. Sheila Brandon in part created the website for the Lower Luzerne County because Doris Harvey donated many photos from her collection. Many readers will remember Doris Harvey from the excellent articles she authored for the County Impressions.
Quote of the Day:
"Yea, though I walk through the valley of laziness and deficit spending, I will fear no evil, for my Government is with me; its doles and its vote getters, they comfort me. It prepareth an economic Utopia for me by appropriating the earnings of my grandchildren. And I shall dwell in a fool's paradise forever."
--Doris Harvey, October 18, 1979
We'll pass along a Garrison Keillor story, about Ole and the mall. It seems that Ole was out Christmas shopping in the mall when he met his friend Sven outside a jewelry store. Sven noticed that Ole had a small gift-wrapped box in his hand and asked, "So vat have you yust purchased den, Ole?"
Ole replied, "Vell you know it's time to buy Lena's Christmas present, and when I asked her dis morning vat she vanted for Christmas she said, "Oh, I don't know my dear Ole; yust give me someting vit a lot of diamonds in it."
"So vat did you get her?" Sven asked.
Ole replied, smiling proudly, "I bought her a deck of cards."
In the Thursday edition of the web version of the Benton News, we showed a mock-up of a carnival, a creation of "Al Senavitis, Benton, PA." John Blanda, executive director of the Lebanon County Historical Society, had provided pictures of the carved wooden carnival to Mayor Jan Swan and Jan had passed them along to us. We are a little hazy on exact details, but it appears that the Lebanon County Historical Society had promised it to the Columbia County Historical Society a number of years ago, but the Society did not have the room to adequately display it. The carved work resides on a 91 inch x 49 inch x 30½ inch-high platform table on the balcony of the Lebanon facility. The background stands 20½ inches above the platform.
Mr. Blanda noted that "Given the item's connection to Benton, and lack of connection to Lebanon, our Museum Committee would probably not object to deaccessioning the item."
When we asked for information that any of our readers might have, we were not expecting the outpouring of responses.
Barry Lewis wrote that he believed that Al Senavitis "lived across from the Benton Foundry on the township road. He had a daughter named Donna who was in school at the same time I was." June Hartzell remembered that the Senavitis family owned the Wagon Wheel Campground across from the Benton Foundry, and thought that it was the former Frank Harrington property. June wrote, "Mr. Senavitis had a work shop in the old post office-store building." June and her daughter Jen "remember seeing some of his models; he had some in the barn rec room." According to June, he had four daughters, all names began with a D," but she no longer knows where any of the family resides. June does remember that both Mr. and Mrs. Senavitis have passed away and Matt Seward told us that the Senavitis house is now torn down.
The handwritten accession book on file at the Lebanon County Historical Society notes that there are "Many carved wooden figures of people, approximately 166; figures represent people in Benton; exhibit won first place in the Arts + Crafts Hall at the Bloomsburg Fair; sold for $1,300 at the Reistown Craft Fair; the carnival was constructed in 1983 when the creator was 58 years old."
A close examination of the photos of the exhibit indicate that the carnival was not the Benton Carnival. Mr. Blanda told me that the model might depict a Willow Grove Fair, but there is no written documentation to that effect. I called the Willow Grove Volunteer Fire Company who said that they do not have a carnival or a fair, but indicated that the Lions Club of Willow Grove does have a fair. I called the listed representative of the Lions' Club, but it turned out he had expired. The Chamber of Commerce put me in touch with Joe Thomas of the Upper Moreland Historical Association, Willow Grove, thinking that the fair might be the former Willow Grove Park, a Victorian-era amusement park, which put the town of Willow Grove on international maps. In its heyday, tens of thousands visited the Park daily for world-class concerts by John Philip Sousa and for the amusements, including roller coasters, toboggan rides and two carousels. The former park was transformed into a shopping center in 1982.
Mr. Thomas' opinion: the depiction was not a fair in Willow Grove.
At this writing, we have a local artist with an unknown subject, created for an unknown person, of uncertain value Back Home in Benton, PA. Because of the local artist, we are inclined to include it in the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, if the Lebanon Historical Society decides to part with it. We look forward to you stopping at the Community Center when it opens. We'll tell you then whether you'll get to see the display up close and personal or whether you'll have to trudge to the balcony of the Lebanon Historical Society to see it. Stay tuned.
January 5, 2006. Today is the eve of the Epiphany, observed in some branches of Christianity as concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas. At one time, it was observed as the last day of the Christmas festivities and a time of merrymaking.
Happy birthday today to Pennsylvania State Senator John Gordner of the 27th Senatorial District, Pennsylvania Governor Edward G. Rendell, George Remphrey, John Kogut, Adam Worley and Joe (Brooks) Sutliff.
Pennsylvania's Role in the Development of the Washing Machine...
When we stroll through the Laundromat on Market Street and as we look in our own laundry rooms, it is hard to believe that in the mid-1800s some wives still pounded their clothes on rocks in a stream to wash away dirt, sometimes used sand as the "cleansing" agent and finished the process with elbow grease, a hard twist and a good wind.
Washing clothes became a mechanized endeavor centuries ago when women began stirring clothes around during the washing process with a stick or with a paddle. The high-tech washing machines of today swish as a refinement of that early idea. Gone are the contraptions of the 19th century, thanks to persistence--and the help of electricity and motors to run the washing machines.
Didja know that two of the first washing machines were invented in Pennsylvania, both by men with the name Smith? Back in 1858, Hamilton E. Smith, Pittsburgh, jury-rigged two paddles turned by a hand crank that agitated both the water and the person using the machine. The manual unit was operated by turning a crank that rotated paddles on a vertical shaft inside a tub. The idea didn't click with housewives, because it was harder to wash with this gizmo than with a conventional washboard.
The second Smith who saw the need to get his wife out of the laundry room was Moravian-pastor-turned-industrialist Stephen Morgan Smith who marketed a washing machine that he built for his wife, the first washing machine to be commercially produced in the United States. He built a factory in York where he produced the Success Washing Machine and the Success Clothes Wringer. He did quite well at the product, but was very philanthropic and gave too much of his money away. He had to start over again in life, this time making hydraulic turbines, blades and other parts of the hydropower business, eventually becoming one of the largest in the world. The company was later purchased by Allis-Chalmers and is now owned by York Manufacturing.
Electricity came along in 1906 and out in Chicago an inventor filed a patent for an electrically-powered machine. The Hurley Corporation began manufacturing and marketing the product in 1910 as the "Thor." The wooden container included a paddle driven by an unprotected electric motor mounted below the tub. Newer and safer washing machines came on the market whereby dirty clothes were dumped in the top and were washed by rotating or reciprocating paddles. In 1937, the Bendix Aviation Company began producing a machine that rotated in the horizontal plane, with washing going in through a watertight door at the front.
Some of us used to be afraid of things that went "bump in the night," but we got over it and moved on. But some we know haven't quite leaped the hurdle of technology. Some feel that the pace of technology is leaving them behind, even though it is revolutionizing our work, our lives and our free time. Some will remember the difficulty we all had programming a VCR, or hooking up the first home entertainment system with television. Start calling technology by its name, just as you would address a person you know by their name. TVs are LCD or Plasma. Broadband is DSL or cable modem. VoIP means Voice over IP. Learn what role gizmos, devices and gadgets have. What does a wireless router do and what related devices and accessories are needed to connect? A wireless router manages internet access, network administration and security, and wireless connectivity for multiple computers. A user needs a wireless adapter if he has a wireless router. The wireless adapter allows a desktop to communicate with the wireless router. Understanding what devices do and their relation to other devices is important. Know what device you need when you adopt technology. If you intend to build a wireless home network through your high speed internet from the ISP you need to connect both your desktop and laptop to the internet. Learn the language and learn more about technology. Scan the list of technology terms here. Technology isn't going away! Welcome to the 21st century.
Experience is the thing you have left when everything else is gone.
• The Pennsylvania Farm Show opens January 6 and runs until the 13th. As you work your way in to the main entrance, you'll have to spot the 800 pound butter sculpture in the Main Hall of the Farm Show Complex & Expo Center, Harrisburg.
• Have you noticed that one nice thing about egotists is that they don't talk about other people.
• Dean Kelchner is recovering very well from knee surgery, and we suspect he'll show up at the CCFNB soon.
Help! We are trying to identify the hand-carved mockup of the Benton Carnival shown below. It was carved by "Al Senavitis, Benton, PA," the year is unknown. Four of the pieces are automated.
The Third Annual Burns Dinner is coming up. Go here for more information.
January 4, 2006. Amy Remphrey, Kelsey Lee McGarrigle and Nick Chabra celebrate birthdays today.
On this date in 1809, Louis Braille was born. He lost his eyesight at the age of three following an accident while playing with an awl in his father's harness shop. Braille was a creative person, learning to play the cello and organ as a boy. In 1821, Braille was at a school for the blind and a soldier showed him a code system he had invented. The system, called "night writing," had been designed with dots and dashes for soldiers in war trenches to silently pass instructions. The army code was slow and cumbersome and Braille developed a simpler scheme using six dots and no dashes. His tool for making the dots was the same instrument that destroyed his eyesight--the awl. The position of the different dots represented the different letters of the alphabet. His work was not widely recognized until after his death at the age of 43 of tuberculosis and even at the Royal Institution, where Braille taught, braille was not in the course of instruction until after his death.
The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will hold its January meeting at 7 o'clock this evening at CareerLink, 713 Bridge Street, Selinsgrove. The public is invited to join members and guests as they explore "The Castles of Ludwig II." Society Member Shelby Deutschle will provide a presentation and video about the Bavarian Castles built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria. A short business meeting will be held before the presentation. Refreshments will be served throughout the meeting. As always, socializing will precede and follow the meeting. For more information, contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer, 374-7730.
The North Branch Bird Club will be hosting a free presentation by PA Game Commission Wildlife Biologist Kevin Wenner on Tuesday, January 9 at 7 PM in the Agricultural Center on Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg. The presentation is entitled, "PA Game Commission Barn Owl Initiative: Helping the Farmer's Friend." Wenner will discuss the current efforts to assess barn owl populations across the state and how biologists are helping landowners make their property more attractive to the owls through nest box and habitat improvements. Become involved and hear more about the current status of the barn owl in Pennsylvania at this presentation.
Some people make a tremendous impression on young kids. There are teachers who to this day are still referred to as "Miss Helen," a person of influence we sometimes read is known as "Miss Manners," and some of our old girlfriends we know as "Miss Steak."
One of the people who influenced my early years was a World War I nurse who has been dead for the past 60 years. Her name was Lillian May Kline, both a World War I nurse and a personal nurse to the Rockefeller family, an old lady when I had my last memory of her frail frame, her smiling face and snow-white hair. She lived at the time of her death on Mill Street, a victim, I remember Father saying, "of consumption," a term once applied to a person who seemed to be "wasting away to nothing," often bothered with a nagging cough and fever. Tuberculosis was called "consumption," and this was the illness that probably caused the end of Lillian.
Lillian was a daughter of John S. and Mary Elizabeth Appleman Kline, lived at Maple Grove on what later became known as the "Harry Troy farm" until she entered nurse's training in New York City, a monumental move out of this area for a young girl. She became a reserve nurse from February 1, 1918, to August, 1919, in the U.S. Naval Hospital at Cape May, New Jersey. Lillian served as a "nurse nanny" to perhaps the richest American family in history--the Rockefeller family--for fourteen years. She was especially fond of the young Winthrop Rockefeller (May 1, 1912-February 22, 1973), the fourth son of John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller. Winthrop later served as the first Republican governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction.
Winthrop was known as "Win" to family and friends. Lillian called him "Winnie," although few locally ever knew if she did that to his face.
For additional information about the growing up years of Winthrop Rockefeller during Lillian Kline's service to the family, see John L. Ward's two biographies: The Arkansas Rockefeller (Louisiana State University Press, 1978) and Winthrop Rockefeller, Philanthropist: A Life of Change (University of Arkansas Press, 2004).
After serving the Rockefeller family, Lillian worked for the Welfare Island Hospital in New York until she retired in 1936.
Lillian Kline with her nephew, John S. Kline, Stillwater.
Photo courtesy of Robert and Betty Lewis.
Before her retirement, she asked her brother, Sam Kline, to oversee the construction of a new home, now owned by Wilson and Sharon Lynn. Sam Kline and his wife, Luella, lived two houses north on Mill Street.
Doyle, Nell and Bruce Sutliff rented Lillian's house for a number of years, a convenient location for Doyle to walk across the street to the Sutliff garage to go to work. Lillian eventually moved to Mill Street, Benton, although she "wintered over" in Virginia for many years with a nurse friend, Ruth Pendleton and husband, Warren.
Ten or so years ago Bob and Nina Baker and I were in Florida and we visited what was then a cultural and community center in Ormond Beach, but was at one time known as "The Casements," named, I suppose, for the many casement windows in the building. John D. Rockefeller bought the house for his winter residence in 1918. In this house is where Will Rogers allegedly once remarked after a game of golf with Rockefeller, "I’m glad you won today, Mr. Rockefeller. The last time you lost the price of gasoline went up!" Rockefeller died in his sleep in 1937 and two years later the Rockefeller family sold The Casements. When Bob, Nina and I visited the property, I saw a picture at the bottom of the stairway leading to the second floor of Lillian Kline tending to Mr. Rockefeller. Her face is as vivid to me today thanks to that photograph as it was as a kid when I would stop at her house to have a piece of strawberry pie served on a lace doily. I suspect that the photograph still hangs on the wall.
A 1963 photo of Miss Lillian Kline
Photo courtesy of Robert and Betty Lewis
Lillian was active in the Christian Church of Benton, especially when it came to missionary work and the teaching of vacation bible school. Although she was a private person and would never have done it for herself, Winthrop Rockefeller purchased a window for the local church engraved with Lillian's name and it proudly resides in the Christian church to this day. She was proud of her affiliation with the Daughters of the American Revolution and with the Columbia County Historical Society. Her braided rugs and her gardening were treasures. Lillian died 42 years ago on July 25, 1964, and is buried in the Benton Cemetery.
--Thanks to Robert Lewis and Dayne Kline for their assistance in preparing this article.
January 3, 2006. Tonight is a full moon known as the Old Moon. To some Native American tribes, this was the Snow Moon, but most applied that name to the full moon in February.
On this date in...
1871, oleomargarine was patented for use as a butter substitute by Henry Bradley. Margarine came into its own during World War II because of its durability in long-range shipping and storing. Some readers may remember when oleomargarine was white and was sold in plastic bags with a color tab inside the bag. The tab would be broken and the yellow color would be massaged through the oleomargarine. It was once illegal to sell margarine that looked like butter. Regular margarine must contain 80% fat. The remaining 20% consists of liquid, coloring, flavoring and other additives. Soft margarine is made with all vegetable oils, while whipped margarine has had air beaten into it. There are also many reduced-fat margarines on the market today, with from 25% to 65% less fat than regular margarine. There's even fat-free margarine, the ingredients of which include gelatin, rice starch and lactose. We mention this subject in light of the announcement that pastries and other foods sold at half of Starbucks Corporation's U.S. outlets will be free of artery-clogging trans fats starting this week.
1957, the world's first electric watch was introduced in Lancaster by the Hamilton Watch Company. The idea of a watch which never needed winding was an instant hit to the 1950s consumers, but by 1969, when production ended, more advanced technology made the Hamilton Electric obsolete.
Quote of the Day:
"Deny it to a king? Then happy low, lie down! Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown"
—William Shakespeare (Henry IV, Part II), perhaps writing about Philadelphia Republican John Perzel
Pennsylvania lawmakers and lawmakers-elect descended on Harrisburg for swearing-in day Tuesday, during the convening of the 2007-2008 legislative sessions. Marcia Kay and I attended the swearing in of Karen Boback of the Pennsylvania 117th Congressional District at noon in the State Capitol of Pennsylvania. The Capitol is the home of the Pennsylvania General Assembly with chambers for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania and offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and other state officials.
The Hall of the House is a beautiful setting for the swearing-in. The state Capitol was inspired architecturally by St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. An October, 1906, edition of the Harrisburg Star Independent noted that President Theodore Roosevelt declared the building to be the "most handsome state Capitol I have ever seen and I don't believe that there is a finer on earth." The swearing-in took place amid marble, sculpture, murals, gold leaf and stained glass.
Following the swearing-in began the swearing at as Democratic State Representative Tom Caltagirone, Reading, supported Philadelphia Republican John Perzel rather than Democrat Bill DeWeese for Speaker of the House, which would mean that a 102-101 Democratic Majority State House would have a GOP Speaker.
Following two parliamentary challenges to rulings by the temporary presiding officer, Republicans in the State House lost a struggle to keep John Perzel as Speaker of the State House.
In a move that this country boy certainly didn't fully understand, the Speaker's position did not go to Greene County Democrat Bill DeWeese as DeWeese nominated Dennis O'Brien, a Republican from Philadelphia, to undermine GOP Speaker John Perzel, who was trying to win re-election with the help of Democratic State Representative Tom Caltagirone. O'Brien won the Speaker's position in the new Session by a vote of 105-97. Nearly all House Democrats and a half-dozen Republicans voted out Perzel in electing O'Brien.
The state Legislature ran into trouble in July of 2005 during a middle-of-the-night vote of pay raises ranging up to 54% that led to a political backlash for many legislators and a Supreme Court justice. Perzel took the heat for the pay raise and for losing Republican control of the House.
The losers in the situation were the House Democrats, Perzel and DeWeese. The Democrats will lose much of their majority clout before having a chance to wield it. This is the first time Republicans elected a speaker from the minority caucus in more than a century. Democrats have been out of power for 12 years.
During some free time, we enjoyed chatting with Dick Culver, Sweet Valley, about topics like hauling milk, politicians and events of the upper part of the state. We wished that we would have had more time to stop to see Sen. John Gordner or Rep. Dave Millard.
Anyway, former Rep. George Hasay's office has a new tenant in Rep. Boback, even though she will soon be reassigned to a different office suite. We not only saw her sworn in, but we got to see state politics played out. As a result, we have decided to stay Back Home in Benton, PA, and leave politics to others.
January 2, 2007. Sandra Kelsey celebrates her birthday today.
The Press Enterprise reported school-comparison figures in their Tuesday edition as presented in Standard & Poor's analysis of school districts, www.schoolmatters.com, and specifically of the Benton Area School District. Benton (and Southern Columbia) students did best on standardized tests in 2006. In 2006, Benton scored the highest in math and second in reading in the district. With the exception of 2004 when the high school moderation took place, cost of educating our youth was well under the state average.
One of the nicest electronic Christmas cards we saw came from Rail Europe. Head here, then pick a destination. Have your sound on.
Didja know that...
. when the Dug Road leading out of Benton Borough toward Huntington Mills was under construction, back at the beginning of September, 1926, one of the pieces of construction equipment owned by the Lane Construction Company was known as a "Lynn caterpillar truck." As the "digging out" of the side hill continued on the road from Benton to Cambra, a caterpillar truck driven by Joe Bond slipped over the bank and tumbled about 125 feet. The driver jumped from the out-of-control vehicle, but was only slightly injured. To show the quality of construction at that time, the truck was pulled to the top of the hill, placed on its wheels, dents pulled, and the engine fired up and the truck placed back in service. At the time of the accident, the driver was dumping his load of dirt when the embankment gave way.
. During the fall of 1926, the Lane Construction Company, a company out of Meriden, Connecticut, finished the laying of concrete on the "Dug Road" about October 1. When the concrete was finally ready to be poured, the crew made good time. On Monday, September 13, 80 years ago, cement was laid on the Mill Street side of the new Benton Bridge to the old bridge site, across from the present Hill Street. That concrete work was finished by Tuesday evening. Wednesday and Thursday of that week the road was laid as far as what was then known as the McHenry pasture grounds, a short distance down the hill from what was then the Harry Laubach farm.
. Large crowds walked to the construction area each day and we found several tributes to the construction superintendent, Charles Way, and the "working organization" of the Lane Construction Company. The company apparently had a policy of training all employees "in the art of road building," and the company had "all the latest road building machinery." Two steam shovels were used to excavate the steep side hill.
. The Benton Argus crowed, "With the completion of the cement road it will make Benton one of the biggest trading centers in this part of the state and the farmers and hucksters will have improved roads to the coal region where they have a large market."
We know how hard it is to get help on a volunteer basis, and so we are truly amazed when we read about the size of some of the events that took place in the area over the years. The road builders and the local residents back in 1926, for example, loved the game of baseball. While many worked from daylight to dark during the week, the weekends were time for relaxation and the sport of baseball. On Saturday, September 11, 1926, in a break from watching the completion of the new "highway to the coal region," the Borough was celebrating the fourth consecutive year the Benton A.A. were the "County Champs." On Saturday the local team won the final game of the series at the Bloomsburg Athletic Park by a score of 12 to 3 over Clyde Croft's Berwick nine. R. W. Rabb was the manager of the local team and a crowd of more than 2,000 saw the locals "knock the ball to all corners of the lot." Benton scored one home run when "Jones hit for the circuit." The ball "rolled near the flag pole and was momentarily lost in the grass by Bender." By the time the Berwick player found the ball, "Jones was almost to the plate."
The Honorable John AJ Creswell was the first Postmaster-General, appointed by Ulysses S. Grant. He served until July, 1874. Creswell reorganized the postal department, proposed a postal savings system and a postal telegraph. The Penny Postcard came about during his term as a way to speed up postal traffic.
Sending a postcard through the mail for a penny was a way to the outside world for farm families in the early 1900s. Writers could send their regards via the cards so long as a rural mail carrier with a horse and wagon, or a local post office, could pick up or deliver.
The U.S. government began issuing plain, penny postal cards in 1873. One side of the card was reserved only for the address of the person receiving the card. Cards that were privately produced and sent through the mail required a two-cent stamp.
Beginning in 1898, private mailing cards were allowed to use one-cent postage, instead of the previous two-cent rate. Private printing firms were allowed beginning in 1901 to use the words postcard or post card, instead of printing the previous authorization on a card. One side was still reserved for the address.
Rural Free Delivery (RFD), the service by which the United States Postal Service delivered mail directly to residents in rural areas, became an official service in 1902. Areas petitioning for RFD service were required to show that accessible roads existed for the delivery of mail. The increasing demand for better rural roads and mail service created closer links between town and country.
Postal history was made in 1907 when U.S. Post Office regulations allowed privately produced postcards to have a divided back side. The left half was reserved for the message and the right half for the name and address. The front side could be used for a photograph, artwork or advertising.
Collecting and sending picture postcards became popular as high-quality German printing techniques were produced for the American market. Cameras became more affordable for the general public, which helped with the availability of photographic postcards. Photographers, such as the Kemp studio in Benton, were able to take black and white images that could be printed and sent through the mail as postcards.
Postcards were proudly displayed in decorative albums. The study and collecting of postcards is termed deltiology. Collecting postcards is a hobby that continues to this day. During 1907 to 1915 seemed to be the golden age of postcards, and that didn't end until the World War I years. Just a simple day trip to Bloomsburg would trigger a postcard to the folks Back Home in Benton, PA.
Postcards were turned out showing railroad stations and trains, stores and products sold by stores, monuments, courthouses, post offices, schools, libraries, streets, rivers, bridges, hotels, stores, county fairs, parades and community events.
A nice way of spending time looking at penny postcards from around the United States is by going here. If you get hooked on penny postcards, you might want to consider buying some from the selection here or at Antiques, Etc., Main Street. You might also go here for U.S. Postal Cards. A postcard is intended for writing and mailing without an envelope and with the addition of a stamp at a lower rate than a letter. The post card is distinguished from a postal card in that the postage is pre-printed on the latter, while a postcard requires a stamp and is privately produced.
January 1, 2007. Attorney William Kreisher, Bloomsburg, celebrates his birthday today, and Frank and Brenda Conrad, Lebanon, celebrate their wedding anniversary. Country singer Hank Williams Sr., died of a drug and alcohol overdose on this date in 1953. During the early morning hours on New Year's Day, while traveling through West Virginia on the way to a show in Canton, Ohio, Hank Williams died in his sleep in the back seat of his Cadillac limousine at the age of 29. Daughter Jett is well received today singing her daddy's songs. In 1966 on this date, all US cigarette packages began carrying the health warning, "Caution: Cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health."
Happy New Year to All Readers of the Benton News.
Garrison Keillor and the Prairie Home Companion crew did a great job with their live New Year's Eve broadcast from Nashville's Ryman Auditorium. I taped the show and intend to watch it again when I don't have to squint through the toothpicks holding my eyelids open.
A reader sent in some resolutions that he intends to keep. He says he is going to read less, put on at least thirty pounds, watch more television, procrastinate more, spend more time at work, start buying lottery tickets at a luckier store and will read more, including learning what the word "resolution" means.
Politically, it is out with the old and in with the new. Out are U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. and U.S. Rep. Don Sherwood, R-Tunkhannock Township. Sherwood and Santorum lost costly races. A Democrat and political newcomer, Chris Carney, took over Sherwood’s primarily Republican district. Santorum lost to Bob Casey Jr. George Hasay, R-Shickshinny, retired and Karen Boback, 55, is taking his place. Karen blanketed Benton Borough just as though it was essential to her winning the election. She seemed to contact almost every registered Republican in the 117th District and never overestimated her chances of winning. The retired high school teacher must give credit to winning by more than a 2-to-1 margin over Shickshinny police officer Fred Nichols to the grass roots campaign to get-out-the-vote. .
Hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvanians get a raise beginning today as the minimum wage goes up for the first time in nearly ten years. The rate goes from $5.15 per hour up to $6.25. The rate will jump to $7.15 per hour on July 1.
In case we ever throw a quiz about the 15th President of the United States, here are some facts: James Buchanan (1791-1868) was born in a log cabin at Cove Gap, near Mercersburg. He graduated from the Old Stone Academy, Mercersburg, and Dickinson College, Carlisle, Class of 1809. His accomplishments:
• PA House of Representatives 1815-1816
• US House of Representatives 1821-1831
• US Minister to Russia 1832-1833
• US Senate 1834-1845
• Secretary of State 1845-1849 under President Polk • Minister to Great Britain 1853-1856 • President of the United States March 4, 1857 to March 3, 1861
The monthly meetings of the Benton Borough Council have been changed to the second Monday of each month. The January 8 meeting will be held at 7 PM at the Benton Fire Hall. A reader suggested that police protection for the Borough would be a topic of discussion and that Borough residents who wanted to express their thoughts on police protection should email the Borough Secretary or attend the meeting in person.
A Fly Fishing Show arrives in Denver, Colorado, Friday through Sunday, weather permitting, in an attempt to shake the winter doldrums. The show at the Pavilion Building of the Denver Merchandise Mart will feature Barry and Cathy Beck, who will provide separate demonstrations. Barry will lecture Friday and Sunday on taking better digital photographs and Saturday on tactics for larger trout. Cathy will demonstrate casting techniques all three days.
Pop the balloons to welcome in the New Year.