January 31, 2009. There are 334 days remaining until the end of the year. It is the birthday of Allie Becker, Nancy Smith Shea, Ray Kisbach and Ron Salsman. Rev. Al Lumpkin and Joselle Confair are both patients in the Geisinger Medical Center, both recovering from surgery Thursday. Both are said to be doing well.
Didja know that...
• The crushed potato chips at the bottom of a bag are good collected and saved in a tightly-closed container for use as toppings on a casserole?• Cheese will stay mold free if you put a couple of sugar cubes in your cheese container?
• A slice of fresh bread laid against the cut edge of a cake will keep it from drying out?
• A lemon which had become hard and dried out will refresh somewhat when placed in a hot oven for a few minutes?
• Milk-chocolate mint wafers on top of cupcakes fresh from the oven make an excellent frosting?
• A small funnel will help separate egg whites from the yokes? Crack the eggs on the funnel. The whites flow through; the yolk will not.
Verizon Wireless now has four cell towers on line to increase coverage and capacity in the areas of Sweet Valley, Red Rock and Hunlock Creek, including Ricketts Glen State Park. Coverage has been increased along Routes 29, 118, 413 and 487. Service has not improved within the borough of Benton. A cell tower was authorized for the Benton area, but a permit was never taken out by Verizon for its construction. Whenever a reader of the Benton News talks with a Verizon representative, the status of service to the Benton area should be asked. Verizon Wireless added 1.4 million net new customers nationally during the fourth quarter of 2008. The company claims to have more than 80 million customers. Where is Verizon support for Benton?Verizon Wireless will introduce a new Verizon Hub on February 1. The system features a new touch-screen home-phone system designed to replace old-style home phones with a souped-up home communications system, bridging wireline and wireless connectivity in one simple service. The company claims that the phone will work on any broadband connection--whether supplied by Verizon or DSL, high-speed cable or any other high-speed service provider, but I would suggest you ask detailed questions before you sign up. Verizon Hub does use VoIP. The device will cost $199 after a $50 rebate, require a two year contract--and will require a $34.99 Verizon Hub and Digital Voice service plan.Didja ever realize that when a woman really loves a man, he can make her do anything she wants to do?Quickies...• We know there are both Yuengling and Steelers fans in Tampa. Luckily, there is a satellite Yuengling brewery in Tampa.
• Krysten Ritter's new movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, opens February 13. There is an interview with Krysten about her new movie here.• The Commonwealth could receive $1.3 billion for highways and bridges and $245.4-million for mass transit from this week's spending--oops, stimulus--bill passed by the House. The money would go for repairs to 428 bridges and the repaving of 872 miles of roads. We get a lot of email from readers who feel the debt the federal government is incurring won't offset any good that could come from the stimulus package.
• There are rumors of the Guv raising cigarette taxes and taxing chewing tobacco and cigars to, as Mother used to say, "make ends meet." The taxing of natural-gas drilling is apparently being considered too.
• Time magazine has an article on banking in its issue of January 29 which says that since the TARP passed in October, Treasury has invested $165 billion in the nation’s eight largest banks. Those banks are now worth $418 billion less than they were four months ago and taxpayers' preferred shares are worth $20 billion less. The government’s annualized rate of return on its investment in the nation’s largest banks is -1,096%. Goodness! Bernie Madoff only lost 100% for investors.
• Pictures from Life magazine have been posted. The archive dates to the 1860s but mostly covers the 20th century with images of historic topics. Marilyn Monroe, NASA missions, JFK’s assassination, past Olympics, surfing in the 1960s and on and on are all available for browsing. It’s a fascinating look back through history. Take the time to have a look here.
I have been told that there is no such thing as luck. But it seems to me that the harder a man works the more of it he gets.Didja know that...• Columbia county furnished wagons as well as missionaries for Africa? In July 1910, Edward Buck, Millville, finished a wagon which he then shipped to Kongo, Africa. Bert Young, Unityville, had been in Kongo for almost two years and was home on a visit. He needed a hand wagon strong enough to carry several hundred pounds and had Mr. Buck make him one. The wheels were buggy wheels cut down to about twenty inches. Otherwise, the wagon was made along the lines of the Millville farm wagons. A related story about Appleman and Long Wagons built in Benton can be found here.
• Toads invaded Columbia County in July 1908? The Philadelphia Inquirer put it this way: "Many sections of Columbia County this morning gave evidence that the community was being visited by a veritable Old Testament plague of toads." According to the write-up, "toads by the millions fairly covered every place upon which they could get a footing. They were so thick on West Berwick pavements that pedestrians were compelled to take to the streets. Much of the same condition existed in Bloomsburg."
• The year 1900 was a bad year for forest fires in Columbia County? The Philadelphia Inquirer said it this way: "The forest fires in Columbia County are still raging with unabated fury. the residents of Catawissa Valley have succeeded in saving the large mill and valuable timber land. The Knob Mountain near Orangeville is on fire, and the constables, with gangs of men, are having considerable trouble in keeping the flames away from the dwelling houses."
• In June, 1909, many Columbia County schoolma'ams had to agree to stay single? The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader noted that "so many Columbia county teachers have abandoned their schools in the last school term to enter the state of matrimony" that a number of school boards are compelling female-school teachers to sign a new ironclad agreement they will not marry during the period they are engaged to teach.
• In 1913, a bill making it a misdemeanor for any physician or surgeon to practice while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of any drug was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Charles E. Shaffer, Columbia County. A bill made it a misdemeanor to sell anthracite coal by short weight. Another bill prohibited officials or employees of counties, cities, boroughs, etc. from taking part in election affairs. Another bill empowered conductors or motormen to arrest on sight any person guilty of disorderly practices on street cars. Another bill provided for the discharge from prison of persons after they have been confined two years or more for the desertion and non-support of their wives or children or for noncompliance with any court order relating to the support of dependents.
• In 1907, the scarcity of lumber drove the Columbia County Commissioners to seek other material for use in the construction of county bridges. Three new bridges in the planning stage "will not have a stick of lumber in them, but will be built almost entirely of concrete," the Commissioners proudly announced. One of the bridges built in 1907 was in Fishing Creek township, an arched culvert; another in Benton township, 27 feet long. The third bridge was in Madison township.
January 30, 2008. It is the birthday of Georgia Bashline, a Sweet lady now living in Hughesville. It is also the 74th birthday of historian George Holdren, Millville. Former vice-president Dick Cheney has a birthday today.
The District 4 Team Tournament pitted Benton wrestlers (10-1) against Mifflinburg (7-6) with Benton coming out on top 47-23. Benton and the seven other winners will advance to the quarterfinals Saturday at Milton. Saturday's quarterfinals will begin at 11 AM with the winners meeting in the semifinals at 1:30. The winners of the semifinals will meet in the title match at 6 PM and the two finalists will also secure a spot in the state-team championship, which will begin Tuesday, February 3. The Press Enterprise for January 30 contains lineups.On January 30, 1798, during the administration of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, about the time that Abigail Adams was hanging her laundry in the East Room of the White House a few blocks away on Pennsylvania Avenue, the central legislative body of the United States turned into a spitting match.Republican Rep. Mathew Lyon (VT), insulted Connecticut Federalist Representative Roger Griswold, who in turn pounded the Vermont Republican's head and shoulders with a hickory walking stick. Lyon responded by spitting in Griswold's face, a reprehensible act even for a member of Congress. Later, Griswold came at Lyon with a club. Lyon grabbed fire tongs from a fireplace. The fight was on.Members of Congress divided along party lines and in a properly partisan manner cheered on distinguished Representative Lyon and distinguished Representative Griswold as the parties whacked away at each other. The sergeant-at-arms broke up the fight. Congress debated the expulsion of Lyon for "a violent attack and gross indecency," but failed to marshal a two-thirds majority to expel Lyon for indecorum.
Congress adjudicated the case along party lines, much as it did in our modern Congress with the $819 billion economic spending--oops, stimulus--package. One Congressman was called the "victim and gentleman," the other the "culprit and coward." The Congressional scandal exacerbated the ideological rift between the Federalists and the Republicans. Partisan politics came alive. This was not the last time that the Congress got mired down with acrimony and partisanship, but it was the last time that fire tongs and spitting were the weapon of choice. You can read more about the event which happened on this date in history by turning to http://etext.virginia.edu/journals/EH/EH41/Neff41.html .The continuing cold weather reminds me of what W. C. Fields said on the subject: "He secured a position on an ice wagon/Where his collateral was soon frozen."An attempt by the Associated Press missed the mark when it tried to shorten an excellent Press Enterprise article by Mike Lester in the Wednesday (January 28, 2009) edition of the paper. The AP article--at least in the newspapers I read, the Danville News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Lebanon Daily News and the Express Times published in the Lehigh Valley--highlighted that the deer was a "neighborhood pet." The only negative aspect of the killer of the deer in the AP version was to indicate that he shot it from his van window. The abbreviated AP version did not mention that Eric Crebs "initially denied killing the deer," later provided a "written admission," that he shot the deer in a safety zone bounded by six residences and then drove away. The shortened version of the story provided by the AP will certainly bring the "an albino deer is just another source of meat" people out of the woodwork.We'll go back in time to 1931 today, visiting the "Voice of the School," the Vox Ludi, the name of the annual yearbook of the Benton Schools Class of '31. You'll recognize some of the names of the members of the class: Unora Mendenhall, Ora Karns, Larue Steinruck, Vivian Treasure, Carola Cole, Louise Shannon, Robert Unbewust, Pauline Seward and Kermit Shultz. The man many called "Dump," L.R. Appleman, headed up the faculty, with the assistance of Blanche Shultz, Ward "Andy" McHenry and Mrs. Ward "Eppie" (in later years, she used her real name, "Esther") McHenry, Alice Pennington, Alvin "Sut" Sutliff and Charles "Charlie" Smith. Ross Harrison led the high-school orchestra.The school in 1931 had a number of clubs. The "College Prep Club" was headed by Unora Mendenhall (she was a senior, not a teacher). There was a dramatic club, a Future Farmers of America club, a gun club, a vocal club, and a camera club. Can you imagine having a gun club in schools today?Twenty boys played baseball and they wound up having a championship team. The girls basketball team followed in the steps of the 1930 team which won the county championship by losing only one game for the season. There was a boys basketball team, but scores like Bloomsburg 51, Benton 0 dampened spirits. In a track meet held the previous year, Benton became county champions.The local businesses that supported the yearbook included Benton Bank, A.R. Pennington, C. P. Follmer, Glendale Farms, T.C. Smith, George D. Yost, Warren Thompson, Benton Bakery, Cooke's Billiard Parlor, Guy C. Miller, Benton Hatchery, Ralph R. Smith and Grant Brink. "Yost's Rest Rooms," at the location of the present Hoboken Sub Shop, provided "gas, oil, lunches." The Benton Bakery sold a "malt-milk loaf" for 9 cents a loaf."You are dreaming of high school days
that have faded in your view;
And music burdened measures
Of laughs you listened to
Are now but angel echoes--
O, have I spoken true?"
--Unora Mendenhall, writing in Vox Ludi, '31There is a new digital plague on the internet which was programmed by an unknown person to do unknown things. Millions of personal- and business computers are now infected. Read more here.Didja ever think about the way our Commonwealth taxes tax? Pennsylvania taxes cigarettes, then applies the state sales tax to the cigarette tax.Readers have been asking about the fiber optic cable being run from Millville to Benton by Metrocast installers currently working on Mill Street. The Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit (CSIU) applied for an Act 183 E-Fund grant last year on behalf of local-school districts choosing to participate in the grant opportunity. The districts will receive a 50 Mb fiber connection to PenTelData of which is 10Mb of internet bandwidth, 5Mb VLAN connection to the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, and the additional 35 Mb bandwidth will allow room for growth in the future. The 5 Mb VLAN connection will allow the district to connect to Internet2 (often referred to as UCAID (University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development) resources through the CSIU. Districts will also receive funding for a new internet router, funds for software and training for technology staff. Benton is the last district to be connected. The fiber-optic line needed to be run from Bloomsburg via Millville. The district was to connect by July 1, 2008, but because of the long-fiber installation (from PenTelData through Service Electric Cable and finally through Metrocast), it was postponed. The new target for completion is the end of February. Students and staff alike are anticipating tripling of internet bandwidth.
The following is the current enrollment in the Benton Area Schools: kindergarten, 61; grade 1, 54; grade 2, 57; grade 3, 49; grade 4, 53; grade 5, 60; grade 6, 68. There are 402 enrolled in the elementary school. Grade 7 has 48; grade 8, 61; grade 9, 50; grade 10, 53; grade 11, 58; grade 12, 67. There are 337 enrolled in the middle- and high-school. Forty-seven are enrolled at Vo-Tech. In the alternative-school enrollment, there are four from Benton and ten from Northwest. The total for the district is 743, not counting Northwest or Vo-Tech students.
Go to http://www.lordsprayermovie.com/ to view the Lord's Prayer Movie.Bloomsburg Hospital’s Benton laboratory will expand its hours from 6 AM to noon, Monday through Friday, beginning February 2. The Benton laboratory is located in the rear of Cole’s Barber Shop building at 4354 Red Rock Road. Appointments are not necessary. On the same day, Bloomsburg Hospital will open a laboratory at 480 Central Road, Bloomsburg, next to the AAA. The lab will operate from 7 AM until noon, Monday through Friday for routine blood work. The lab is located within the Orthopedics and Rehabilitation office which houses orthopedic surgeon Dr. Martinez and Bloomsburg Physical Therapy Associates.
January 29, 2009. It is the birthday of Kristine Karns, Argil Posey and Whittier Letteer. Rodeo members: don't forget the Rodeo Association meeting at 7 tonight. Snowplows and drivers got their exercise yesterday. It will probably be Sunday before the temperature gets over the freezing mark. Keep Rev. Al Lumpkin and Joselle Confair in your prayers as both face surgery today.
Do you need something to keep you busy? How about buying the Elk Grove Inn with its associated bar and restaurant? All fixtures, equipment and PA liquor license are included. There is parking for more than 80 cars. There is a large unfinished upstairs area. The present owner will train a new owner. The asking price is $385,000. Call Bruce at 784-4499 or 951-9616.
• Congratulations to Nicole Clemson, 17, Dallas, crowned Queen of the 52-person competition for the Pennsylvania State Association of County Fairs.
• As a local person found out Wednesday, if you get stuck without chains, sand or kitty litter, floor mats from the car will get you out of a pinch.
• We don't have room for a Civil War story today, so here is an (alleged) true prayer of a Unitarian preacher in Massachusetts during the Civil War: "Oh, God, we pray thee to bless the rebels. Bless their hearts with sincere repentance. Bless their armies with defeat. Bless their social condition by emancipation."
• The House Wednesday evening passed an $819 billion economic stimulus package 244 to 188. No Republicans voted for the bill, and twelve Democrats voted against it. One upset Republican referred to "aroused citizenry." I thought that is what came out of Swedish movies!
The following are the (condensed) minutes of the Benton Borough Council meeting of January 5, 2009,as recorded by Kay Yankovich, Borough Secretary. Attending were Dan Hartman, Allen Hess, Dan Jankowski, Jan Jankowski, Michael Klem, O. Grant Little, Mayor Swan, Bryan Getz, Randy Karschner, Ed Kocher and Kay Yankovich. Ron Roberts, Dan and Sharon Hess also attended. Grant Little, President, called the meeting to order at 7 PM.
Items of interest...
• Officer Michael Kreischer has received his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice and Criminal Justice Administration and will be pursuing his Bachelor's Degree with Penn State University.
• Stillwater Borough has decided not to renew its contract with Benton Borough for police services.
• Ron Roberts asked Council to consider making Park Street from Route 487 to Market Street one-way and making Market Street from Park Street to Route 487 one-way. Ron is a crossing guard for the school and has seen drivers pull onto Route 487 from Park Street without being able to clearly see if they are pulling into the path of an oncoming vehicle. Council agreed to look into the matter.
• A survey is being completed for the Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs responding to the Borough’s needs for infrastructure, office site, etc. The Mayor, PennDOT Engineer Greg Dibble, and Dan Hartman have been compiling necessary information for the survey. This information will be important in determining possible future funding for the Borough.
• The application for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds is due next month. This application will ask for funds to complete Park Street.
• The Open-Records Policy for Benton Borough must comply with Act 3 of 2008 as enacted by the Pennsylvania General Assembly. Kay Yankovich, Borough Secretary, was named as Open Records Officer. She will be responsible to be present when public records are examined and to charge reasonable fees for duplication of public records.
• The Walls and Fence Ordinance was passed as presented. The ordinance will not affect property owners who currently have walls and fences. These properties will be considered grandfathered. Fences around swimming pools (Section #9). must follow the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code.
• All fundraising activities of the Benton Volunteer Fire Department for 2009 were passed according to Ordinance No. 154.
• Columbia County Sanitary Inspection office: Dan Hartman was appointed with Josh Price alternate.
• Solicitor: Tom Leipold
• Auditor: Lewes, Barlett, and Klees, $2,650
• Engineering Firm: Bassett Engineering
• Borough Secretary: Kay Yankovich, at a salary of $33,000.
• Maintenance Supervisor: Bryan Getz, at the rate of $15 an hour
• Zoning Officer: Edwin Kocher, at a rate of $11.50 an hour
• Police Officers: Michael Kreischer, Gene Barrett, Harold Morris, Fred Westover at $11.35 an hour and $15.20 an hour for Randy Karschner, Chief of Police
• Benton Borough Zoning Hearing Board: Jan Jankowski, Mel Beck, Lynn Watson, Chairman.
• Borough Surveyor: Frank Beishline
Dan Hartman reported that Benton Township has a snowplow for sale at a cost of approximately $600. If the plow fits the Borough truck, he would like Council’s approval to make this purchase. Council directed Dan and Bryan Getz to make a decision on the purchase based on their findings.
Dan Hartman questioned if any development had occurred with the school regarding the athletic-field lease. Grant stated that Gary Powlus, Superintendent, Benton School, has spoken with the school solicitor and found that the school would find a maintenance/use agreement acceptable. This will be discussed further at a later date.
No proposal(s) has yet been received from the group of individuals who requested the airport remain open. They had been asked to develop a plan for the continued operation and management of the airport. The plan must meet FAA guidelines for plowing and maintenance. The proposal must make the airport cost-free to the borough. Grant indicated that there is insurance coverage. Mike asked that Council members provide him their suggestions/ideas for the future use of the airport. Grant directed the committee to contact the individuals who want the airport to remain open, and advise them to submit their plan of operation.
Dan reported that a $400 grant has been awarded by the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation for the purchase of radios. The radios he would like to purchase cost between $650 and $700. When he is ready to purchase the radios, he may need council to approve the additional funds.This will be discussed at a future meeting.
A mother whose son stayed home from school in yesterday's terrible weather told me that her son remained in the shower so long that she didn't know if he was studying to be a doctor or a tea bag!
Leslie Ray Appleman (February 16, 1885-February 9, 1963) was the oldest child of the marriage of Samuel Francis Appleman to Nellie Hess. He married Emma D. Strauch on December 3, 1908, and they had two daughters, Ruth and Kathleen. Mr. Appleman, who simply used his initials "L.R.," was a graduate of the Bloomsburg Normal School, and received a Master's Degree from Bucknell University.
Mr. Appleman was a teacher for forty-nine years and supervising principal for forty years. He was one of the best-known and respected educators in this area. Mr. Appleman was active in the community and the school. He guided many successful projects and gave so much of his time that there was little life for himself. He never delegated a job that he could accomplish himself. In his later years, it was necessary for him to ease up for reasons of health, but he continued to do more than his part.
Mr. Appleman began his career as a teacher in a one-room school in Central. He taught the next two years at Waller and later moved into the Benton system to teach for forty-six years. From the time he started in the classroom until his retirement, he missed only one year and that so that he could take additional classes at the Bloomsburg Normal School.
Mr. Appleman saw the Benton school system "grow up." When he began his teaching career, there were about two hundred youngsters in the schools. When he retired, there were about seven hundred from Jackson, Benton Borough, Benton Township, Stillwater and Fishingcreek.
He became the supervising principal in 1912 and three years later Benton added a vocational education program to its curriculum. When he retired, there were six county high schools with vocational agriculture programs, but Benton set the pace.
It was in 1927 that the Benton borough and township formed a joint board. With that step, the present Benton school was constructed, replacing the old frame building.
In 1951, the territory cooperating in public education in the northern end of the county was expanded when Jackson, Stillwater and Fishingcreek joined to form a joint board with Benton borough and township. (I do not know when Sugarloaf joined, but it might have been at the same time). The board then expanded by constructing an elementary school building and named the school in his honor.
When Ray M. Cole, a former superintendent of schools, organized the Columbia County Athletic Association, Ray was one of its strongest boosters. He served as head of that organization several times. His counsel had much to do with the fine balance that the association observed between academic work and athletics. In several instances, he provided the guiding light to get athletic programs to work.
He was exceptionally popular with his students and held the friendship of thousands who respected his accomplishments as the man in charge of the Benton schools. He always considered his students as "his boys and girls."
Ray Appleman was inducted into the 2003 Benton Alumni Hall of Fame of the Benton Area Schools on May 24, 2003, at the Benton High School Alumni Banquet.
"During a Senior Latin class, a pupil asked Mr. Appleman why he didn't play golf. He replied, "I tried it once, but I found that when I put the ball where I could see it, I couldn't reach it and when I put it where I could reach it, I couldn't see it."
--from Vox Ludi, '31
Ramona Jean (Lechleitner) Bonham (November 22, 1928-January 28, 2009) of the village of Register, who with her husband, James K. Bonham, Sr., operated the Bonham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for more than 30 years, died Wednesday at the Bonham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 80.
Ramona was a daughter of Oliver and Sarah (Davis) Lechleitner. She was born in Huntington township, attended grade school in Register and graduated from Huntington Mills High School in 1947. In her younger years, she worked at the former Dockey Shirt Factory, Benton, and at Benscoter’s Children Home, Register.
Surviving are her husband, Jim, her son, James K. Bonham, Jr. (Shirley); grandchildren James K. Bonham, III (Shannon), Julia Gregory (Stephen, Jr.) and Jeremy B. Bonham. There are four great grandchildren. Brothers are Clayton Lechleitner (Pearl) and Robert Lechleitner (Grace), all of the Register area.
She was preceded in death by her parents and by siblings Edith Ross, Leo Lechleitner, John Lechleitner, Margaret Cain, Albert “Buck” Lechleitner, Glenn Lechleitner and Jim Lechleitner. Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 31,, 2009, at 11 AM at Calvary Bible Chapel, 362 Hunlock-Harveyville Road, Hunlock Creek (Muhlenburg). Burial will be in the Dodson Cemetery, Southdale. A viewing will be held Friday evening from 6 to 8 at the Calvary Bible Chapel and Saturday from 10 AM until the time of the service at the church.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the Press Enterprise in its edition of January 29, 2009.
January 28, 2009. It is the birthday of Cathy Cole Hartman, Jo Marie Shaffer, Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta and Ellen Lenbergs. If you ordered subs from the Benton Christian Church, don't forget to pick them up this afternoon after 4. Well, at least we can say the "dirty snow" is finally gone, although it will be back as soon as this fresh batch of snow melts. At 6 AM, there was approximately two inches of accumulated white stuff on the ground in the borough. At 9 AM, there was about three inches and freezing rain began falling. Benton Area Schools are closed today.
An "adults only" Valentine Dance will take place at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center on Friday, February 13, from 8 PM to 10 PM. Dance to the music of DJ Silver Fox,with his range of musical treats to satisfy all ages and tastes. Enjoy a drink at this BYOB (beer and wine only) function while you feast on a wide array of home-cooked treats, assorted desserts, and coffee or punch. Bid the winter blues goodbye. Admission for members of The Center is $5; $10 for non-members. Tickets are available at the front desk of The Center. For additional information call 925-0163.Eric Benjamin Crebs, 26, faced citations and fines totaling $2,500 for violating multiple sections of Title 34, the Game and Wildlife Code, when he walked into the District Magistrate's office, Millville, Tuesday morning. He walked out of court with the requirement to pay fines of $2,300 plus costs and a probable three-year suspension of his hunting privileges. Eric Crebs, according to the case presented by PGC Conservation Officer George Wilcox, shot an albino-button buck inside a safety zone near four houses off Pied Piper Road east of Maple Grove on December 11, 2008. A single shot was fired from inside a van parked on Pied Piper Road. The driver of the van, who had a suspended license, was seen lowering his gun and driving away from the dead deer. He headed toward lower Raven Creek Road in a van with one North Carolina plate and one Pennsylvania plate. Crebs was not represented by counsel. Crebs pleaded guilty to all but three counts. He was found not guilty of only one count--that of not wearing sufficient color orange--although he originally admitted he wasn't wearing orange in his truck. He later recanted that portion of his story. The January 28 edition of the Press Enterprise provides complete coverage of this story.
The January, 2009, Issue of Backpacker Magazine announced its 2009 Readers’ Choice Awards for “50 States, 50 Hikes.” The hike named the best in Pennsylvania is the Falls Trail Loop in Ricketts Glen State Park.
Ricketts Glen harbors Glens Natural Area. Take the Falls Trail Loop and explore the Glens and its series of wild, free-flowing waterfalls, each cascading through rock-strewn clefts, old-growth timber and diverse wildlife in this ancient hillside. The 94-foot Ganoga Falls is the highest of the named waterfalls. Ricketts Glen is comprised of 13,050 acres in Columbia, Luzerne and Sullivan counties.
Ricketts Glen State Park has 26 miles of trails ranging from fairly easy to very difficult, with the unique Falls Trail Loop being the most popular. The full loop of this trail is 7.2 miles if hiking both the upper and lower sections. To see the majority of the waterfalls, a 3.2-mile loop can be taken by going on Highland Trail and the Glen Leigh and Ganoga Glen sides of the trail. The trails follow along 21 beautiful waterfalls ranging in heights from 11 feet to 94 feet. The scenery is well worth the effort. The terrain is rocky, can be slippery, and descends steeply on both the Ganoga and Glen Leigh sides. Hikers should take extra precaution with trail conditions, wear proper footwear, stay on the trail, and be in good physical condition. The Falls Trail Loop is closed during the winter except for properly equipped ice climbers and hikers.
The park is 17 miles north of Benton on PA 487. The section of PA 487 from the intersection at Red Rock to the Lake Jean area of the park is a very steep road and should be avoided by trucks and motor homes. Large units should enter the park from PA 487 south from Dushore. Visit www.PAparks.com or call toll free 888-PA-PARKS, 7 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday for State Park information and reservations. For information on nearby attractions or accommodations contact the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau at www.itourColumbiaMontour.com or call toll free at 800 847-4810.Didja know that a homeowner who doesn't itemize will be able to get an additional standard deduction up to $500--$1,000 if he jointly files--for state or local real-estate taxes? Before, you could only take a deduction for these taxes if you itemized. This should help the elderly and others who have paid off their mortgages and no longer have mortgage interest to deduct. That deduction often is the kicker for itemization. Thanks to Ron Hontz for this tip. Other tax suggestions are at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28641708/ .What a difference a year makes in the money a family has--and the same for companies. Take PetroChina, an oil company largely owned by the Chinese government. A year ago it became the world's biggest listed energy group, surpassing ExxonMobil. Russia then said through the chief executive of Gazprom, the Kremlin-controlled gas monopoly, that it would soon have the world’s largest energy company. The credit crisis took care of those boasts. By the end of 2008, ExxonMobil again found itself on top.Melly Norton will tell the assembled group in the June 15, 2009, North Mountain History Group meeting about the Dushore Founder's Day celebration. In early August, it is the 150th anniversary of the "founding" of Dushore. The Sullivan County Council on the Arts will present a play at the Founder's Day celebration and Melly will present the first act of that play at the Brass Pelican for the benefit of the History Buffs. The storyline is the Frenchman at the spring in Dushore. He was given land as a reward for his efforts for the queen (i.e. French Asylum in Bradford County). The play is being done with a history scribe writing, reading and thinking out loud to introduce each scene. The first act has the Frenchman talking to "critters," children made up as squirrels, rabbits, deer, bear. The lead in, the scene and the lead out will be filled with other history of Dushore and copies of early photos.The play celebrates the 150th anniversary of the borough with the name "Dushore," but activity has been going on in that crossroads community from around 1794, when Dushore's founder Aristide Aubert Dupetit Thouars settled a plot of land along the Little Loyalsock.
The annual Dushore Founder's Day, August 8, 2009, marks a sesquicentennial, if not of the Founder, at least of a kind of founding. The play put on by the Roving Historical Theater in Dushore will dramatize its history, its continuation, and its early alignment with the French Asylum near Wyalusing, a possible refuge for Marie Antoinette.A visit to northwest North Carolina would not be complete without a stop at 5,946-foot-high Grandfather Mountain, http://www.grandfather.com/ . McKesson ("Keith") Blalock was born on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain in 1836. Sarah Malinda Pritchard was born nearby in 1842. Keith and Malinda met in a one-room school they both attended. Their families had fussed at each other for 150 years, but they fell in love.Just as loyalties were divided in our own area during the Civil War, North Carolina mountain folk sometimes had divided support of the Union or the Confederacy. Malinda originally sided with the secessionists. Keith opposed the election of Abraham Lincoln, but was an ardent Unionist. Keith married Malinda but had the choice of hiding for the duration of the war or getting to Kentucky where he could join the Union. His solution was to join the Confederacy--then desert as soon as he got close to Union lines. Malinda insisted that she wanted to "stand by her man." She cut her hair, wore loose-fitting clothing, and enlisted with the Confederate forces as "Sam" Blalock, claiming that she was Keith's younger brother.
The two were assigned to the 26th North Carolina Regiment and were sent to New Bern in eastern North Carolina. "Sam" was wounded in battle and doctors soon discovered that "he" was a "she." Keith purposely rolled in poison oak or sumac, which Army doctors concluded was an unknown disease. He was given a medical discharge April 10, 1862. The two returned home. Confederate agents later found Keith healthy and said he had to re-enlist or be penalized under the draft law. The Blalocks fled up Grandfather Mountain where they lived somewhat as a "Bonnie and Clyde" team with other draft dodgers until a recruiting party found them and wounded Blalock in the arm. The couple fled to Tennessee and joined Col. George W. Kirk's guerrilla operations into the North Carolina mountains. Keith served for a time as a Union recruiting agent, became a leader in the “Watauga Underground Railroad,” which helped Union prisoners escape from the Confederate prison in Salisbury, North Carolina. He guided those men through the mountains and safely into Tennessee.
Keith ordered the execution of an uncle who sided with the Confederacy, lost an eye in a shoot-out with a neighbor, and his stepfather was murdered by Confederate vigilantes. Blalock then killed the man who had told the vigilantes where to find his stepfather. Malinda died in her sleep in 1901 at the age of 59; Keith died at Hickory in a handcar accident in 1913 at the age of 77.
The couple was the only husband and wife to have fought side by side--and on both sides of the Civil War. Learn more of this story by heading to www.geocities.com/Heartland/Prairie/3332/keith1.htm .
January 27, 2008. It is the birthday of Marqueen Bankes, Tami Letteer, Megan DePoe and Dexter Ribble. Other birthdays on this date include composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Hyman George Rickover.
• For those of us who recognize that we are getting older, head tohttp://llerrahmusic.com/anagingexperience.htm and prepare to accept it.
• The Orangeville Library has reduced its books to half price. Nothing is priced more than 50 cents. Paperbacks are 10 for 50 cents. The staff of the library is getting ready for a move of the facilities and have lots of bargains.The sale will be ongoing during library hours: Monday, 2-8; Tuesday, 5-8; Wednesday, 2-8;Thursday, 5-8; and Saturday 9-1.
Cashtration, according to the Washington Post's Mensa Invitational, is "The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time."
The subject for the April 2009 North Mountain Historical Society meeting will be The Great Land Grab of 1793, and will be presented by Bill Baillie, President of the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society. Much of the land in the Bald Mountain area (Columbia, Lycoming and Sullivan counties) was first surveyed and taken up in 1793. The surveyor and owner was General William Montgomery, founder of Danville, who acquired rights to about 100 tracts averaging 400 acres each. Later, these lands were part of the auction of a half-million acres of the bankrupt millionaire John Nicholson of Philadelphia--lands which sold for just 2¢ an acre. The shady deals and huge losses are strikingly reminiscent of the mortgage-based investments of 200 years later which led to our 2009 recession.It wasn't where one would expect to see Federal troops that August day in 1864. The Civil War engagements were taking place far south of Bloomsburg, with skirmishes in Frederick County, Maryland, and in Strasburg, Shenandoah County, Virginia. The sight of eight calvarymen, forty infantrymen and two pieces of artillery in Bloomsburg August 13 created quite a stir, especially among the abolitionist movement which wanted the issue of slavery ended. The hatred of the Democrats of the area was evident, to the point that riot and bloodshed was a possibility once the protection of the Federal troops arrived.As fast as a horse could travel to spread the news, in true "Paul Revere" style, the announcement was made north to Stillwater the same day--the purpose of the troops was to burn and destroy when they marched north through the upper Fishingcreek valley. Word of the impending march into the peaceful valley spread from house to house. A meeting was hastily called at the Benton Township barn of John Rantz. Most of the men were armed, but resistance to the Federal troops was not an option, unless the Federal troops opened fire--at which time it would develop into every man for himself.On the following Tuesday, a military organization known as the "Department of the Susquehanna" arrived in Bloomsburg with 250 additional troops under the direction of Major-General Couch. The "Department of the Susquehanna" had been created by the United States War Department to protect Harrisburg and the southern part of the Commonwealth. Its stated goal was to deny the Confederate army access to the Susquehanna River.The men were in the upper Fishingcreek valley because they paid to stay home by having someone fight in their behalf (a permitted activity), because they were deserters and had not answered their draft call, or because they were old and infirm. Many of the men formed squads and went off into the night to await the developments of the coming day as Federal forces arrived.The troops in Bloomsburg dismantled their tents on Sunday morning, August 21, and began marching north to what they considered the seat of the "Fishing Creek Rebellion." As evening arrived on the first night, the troops camped at what they called "Strucker's Bottom." The following morning, residents of the upper Fishingcreek valley awakened to find armed soldiers marching in a hostile fashion to find dissidents.What followed is known by several names and is unparalleled in American history. A basic version of what many call the "Fishingcreek Confederacy" is available on Google Books. The story can be experienced up close and personal during the weekend of July 25-26, 2009, at the Benton Town Park. There will be many wonderful events taking place, including Tom Jolin in a presentation on Civil War Era Music on July 25 at 11 AM. Tom Jolin plays traditional American music, mixing vocals with the hammer dulcimer, banjo, button accordion, harmonica and more. In addition to Civil War music, there will be re-enactors, authentic food of the period, horses, cannons church services as would have taken place in that time period and much more.The project is to recreate or re-enact many of the key events that took place in 1864 in the area, employing a variety of media, locations, and activities in order to educate, entertain, and enlighten an audience consisting of history buffs, curiosity seekers and families who want something for their children rather than mindless entertainment. This event should appeal to a wide range of Pennsylvanians because the events of 1864 were of an extremely important nature regarding the history and culture of the area.Over the coming weeks, we'll attempt to educate you about the Civil War, both in its local involvement and its national scope. In Wednesday's edition, when the kids from school will probably get a snow day, we'll tell you about the only husband and wife to have fought side by side--and on both sides of the Civil War.
January 26, 2009. It is the birthday of David Hilley, Allen Strauch, Marie Hornberger, and Eugene Ribble. Today is Republic Day in India, one of the three national holidays of that country. It is Australia Day down under. Add Rev. Al Lumpkin to your prayers as he takes a few weeks off from the Benton Presbyterian church while he faces surgery Thursday. Our local temperatures won't get above freezing before Thursday and the "nuisance" snows will stick around until then.
It happened on January 26...
• in 1838, the first prohibition laws in the United States were enacted in Tennessee, making it a misdemeanor to sell "spirituous liquors" (alcoholic beverages) in taverns and stores. Anyone convicted of retailing these beverages were fined at the "discretion of the court" and the fines used to support public schools.
"There is a crying for wine in the streets. All joy is darkened. The mirth of the land is gone."
• In 1905, the Cullinan diamond, the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found (it weighed 1.26 pounds), was uncovered in South Africa. The Cullinan diamond is mounted in the head of the "Sceptre with the Cross," and is on display at the Tower of London.
• In 1998, a former President of the United States proclaimed that he "did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."
• In 2004, a sperm whale exploded in Taiwan from a build-up of gas in the decomposing mammal after being loaded on a trailer in a process which took 13 hours, three cranes and 50 workers. The event was not as entertaining as the time in 1970 when Government got in the act in Oregon. A dead 45-foot whale was blown up by the Oregon Highway Division to get rid of the rotting carcass. The Highway Department, blazing a new trail in blowing up whales, injected the rotting carcass with a half-ton of dynamite and let it rip! "The blast blew the blubber beyond all believable bounds," a television reporter later said. Splats were heard everywhere, even wiping out the camera recording the event. A car a quarter of a mile away was crushed as whale blubber fell to the ground. The video of that episode is hilarious. A number of people later suggested that the Oregon State Highway Department provide an estimate to do the same for the U.S. Capitol building.
Whales blowing up are of little concern locally, but the potential for a natural-gas explosion is a matter taken seriously. An explosion January 1 shattered an 8-foot concrete slab from a water well in a house near Route 2024, Dimock Township, possibly set off by a spark from an electric motor. Four water wells in Susquehanna County were found to contain a level of natural gas considered unacceptable to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection. About 20 households south of Montrose were advised of gas trapped in the wells. The homeowners have been encouraged to vent their water wells. Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, a Houston driller, voluntarily trucked in water for the families that were inconvenienced. Natural gas is not poisonous but can pollute water wells.
• Most who read the Benton News are surprised by the lack of news. To compensate, readers could visit www.newseum.org/todaysfrontpages/flash/, simply click on a city and see the front page of the newspaper of that city.
• Didja realize that in four months, the financial crisis wiped out over $6 trillion of Americans' savings. Figures from Money Morning are that the average retiree with $175 thousand invested has now lost $52,500.
• Jim and Dotty Moore have another of their delightful videos for your viewing at www.joyinthemorningetc.com/test-page2.html. This one is for all the Steelers fans out there as the team heads for the Super Bowl next weekend. The bird in the video was filmed out the Moore's front door.
• On-lookers are warming up their engines in anticipation of the first two natural gas wells to be drilled in Columbia County. Both are anticipated to be "vertical" wells, or "test" wells.
• The Annual Fishing Creek Sampler, sponsored by the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, will take place at The Center on the last Sunday in April at 4 PM. Mark April 26 on your calendar now! Items for donation will be accepted at The Center or by calling 925-0163.
• The District 4 Team Tournament will see Benton wrestlers get action Wednesday night at 7. Unbeaten Montoursville (10-0) is the top seed. Second-seeded Troy (14-1) and third-seeded Benton (10-1) do not know who they will meet in Wednesday's opening round. The winner of tonight's Mifflinburg (7-6) at Southern Columbia (16-9) match will take-on Benton Wednesday. The eight winners from Wednesday will advance to the quarterfinals Saturday at Milton.
The Rev. David Diehl, Pastor, The Benton Christian Church, Third and Church Streets, Benton, finished his sermon Sunday, then slowly and sadly told his congregation that "there are certain things that a pastor does not want to tell his congregation." Rev. Diehl paused, then continued, "I have come to the decision that I will be leaving your congregation May 31." Rev. Diehl recently turned 70 and said to the hushed hundred or so worshiping that "I feel like it is time."
Rev. Diehl became the full-time pastor of the Benton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on Sunday, November 7, 2004. He served as interim pastor for two years. He is the son of a minister, a graduate of Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville. Rev. Diehl has been a Hospice Chaplain and Spiritual Counselor, and served for six years as the pastor of Hamline Church Fellowship. Rev. Diehl and his wife Carolyn have not finalized their plans for their retirement years. His leadership in the church will be missed.
January 25, 2009. Don't forget the firemens' breakfast at the fire hall this morning or the birthdays of Penny Fritz and Virginia Cole. The artist reception for Benton Borough Mayor Jan Swan takes place today from 2-4 PM at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The public is invited.
For readers who have not met Skidboot or his master, David Hartwig, head here. Buster and Chloe watched the video and said something to the effect, "Holy Frijoles, this dog is good." I didn't have the heart to tell them that Skidboot passed away shortly after the video was made.Current energy-market forces for natural gas can be forecast based on the fourth-quarter earnings transcript of Slumberger, the world's largest (and most technical) well-logging and in-field technical-advisory service provider. The earnings report is quoted in part: "The sharp drop in oil and gas prices due to lower demand, higher inventories and the belief that demand will erode further in 2009 as a result of reduced economic activity, is leading to rapid and substantial reductions and an expiration in production expenditure. At current prices most of the new categories of hydrocarbon resources are not economic to develop. It would also take time for inflation to be removed from the system and to bring refining and development costs more in line with lower oil and gas prices. We therefore expect 2009 activity to weaken across the board, with the most significant declines occurring in North America natural-gas drilling..."On this date in 1858, Felix Mendelssohn's Wedding March became a popular wedding recessional after its public debut at the marriage of Queen Victoria's daughter, Victoria, to Friedrich of Prussia. With such beautiful and meaningful music, it is obvious that Marie Antoinette's wedding didn't have the advantage of hearing this beautiful music.Marie's husband became King Louis XVI in 1774 and she became Queen of France at the age of 15. From Marie Antionette's diary at the time of her wedding, she wrote that "on Sunday she had supper" and slept at a friend's house. Monday, she had an interview. Tuesday she "supped at La Muette. Slept at Versailles." The day of her wedding, Wednesday, her entry read simply "My marriage. Apartment in the gallery. Royal banquet in the Salle d'Opera." Her entry for Thursday notes seeing an opera and Friday she went on a stag hunt. The rest of the week wasn't much more exciting for her. The next day she went to a "dress-ball" and attended "fireworks." The following entry notes that she got indigestion. So much for keeping diaries and for marriage French-style.Marie soon alienated the French court and the French nobility and within a decade most of France hated her. People started calling her "Madame Deficit" as France entered a period of hard times in the late 1780s, characterized by poor harvests and hungry people. France's support to the American colonies during the War of Independence from Great Britain from 1778 to 1783 had been hard on its economy. Commoners stormed the Bastille. Members of the royal court began leaving the country. Marie and Louis attempted to leave France disguised as commoners. They were caught at the French-Austrian border and were forced to return to Paris, then thrown into jail. In December 1792, King Louis XVI was tried for treason, convicted and executed on the guillotine. Marie Antoinette was beheaded.The history of the French Revolution is full of plots, and plots within plots, for the escape of Louis XVI and his family from their captivity. The true secret of these plans is buried with their originators. There is nothing to indicate the intent of those loyal to the royalty. The closest to the truth is found in veiled allusions to the King and Marie Antoinette making an escape to America. The escape never happened, possibly in part because of the Queen's distrust of all her friends.
But hold on now, there is a Pennsylvania connection to all this! It is in Bradford County, about ten miles south of Towanda and 54 miles north of Back Home in Benton, PA, on some 1,600 acres known as Azilum or Asylum, a place of refuge from the dangers of revolution. Pennsylvania Senator Robert Morris, financier of the Revolution, and his partner, John Nicholson, Pennsylvania's comptroller general, arranged for the purchase of the land for the French nobility. The land was within the disputed district claimed by Connecticut as well as Pennsylvania.
Some feel that Marie Antoinette and her children were intending to come to "Azilum" if they made it out of France alive. There are fragmentary records of a plan to have been carried out on July 14, 1792, to transport the King and Queen to America and to Asylum to serve as the "Queen's Retreat," a place where hunting parties, dancing and music and playing games, late breakfasts and long dinners could take place as they did in France. Log houses went up, good roads were built, ground was broken for food production, crops planted. In the center was a two-acre market square where shops opened. A town plot took up 300 of the 1,600 acres. Streets were laid in a gridiron from that point. The street leading from the Susquehanna landing to the square was 100 feet wide.
Many refugees came to Azilum up the Susquehanna from the south. Many were citizens of France who had fled to Philadelphia to escape imprisonment and death for which their loyalty to Louis XVI marked them. Some were from France's West Indies colony of Santo Domingo (Haiti).
The French influence can still be felt through names such as Frenchtown, Asylum Township, Laporte, Coudersport, Roulette and Dushore.For more information about Asylum, go here. For more on the French influence in the area, attend the North Mountain Historical Society meeting at the Brass Pelican restaurant June 15, 2009. The Sullivan County Council of Arts will present the first act of their Founder's Day Celebration on "the Frenchman at the Spring." The man was given land for his efforts to secure land for the queen at Asylum. Melly Norton wrote and provides the dialog.
• Congratulations to the Millville Fire Company for its $166,250 Firefighters Grant to purchase a vehicle.
• Does your house run with precision? Take a look at the U.S. Navy Presidential Ceremonial Honor Guard, if you want to see real precision.
• An email is making its rounds claiming that Swiffer WetJet is akin to "antifreeze" or a "compound one molecule away." A similar email made its rounds a few years ago making claims about margarine being a "molecule away" from plastic. The current emails warn of danger to pets. There is no truth to the claim. Visit www.snopes.com for additional information.
January 24, 2009. It is the birthday of Jeff Lynn and the 25th birthday of the Macintosh computer. Birthdays on this date include Ernest Borgnine, Ray Stevens, Aaron Neville, Sharon Tate, Neil Diamond and Oral Roberts. On this date in 1848, James W. Marshall discovered a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in northern California , a discovery that led to the gold rush of '49.
It was about this time of the year in 1865. President Lincoln was collecting his thoughts for a second inaugural speech. William Tecumseh Sherman begins moving north into South Carolina after regrouping in Savannah for a month. The Confederate forces were considering making Robert E. Lee General-in-Chief of the Confederate Army and the 13th Amendment was in review by the U.S. House to emancipate the slaves. Some newspapers began writing about something that happened the previous summer. A London-born fellow by the name of Alfred James Reach had left Brooklyn where he had immigrated to earn money in Philadelphia. His profession was that of "second-baseman" and in 1864 he left the champion Brooklyn Eckford club to play baseball for the Athletics of Philadelphia. His inducement was "expense money"--$25 a week "in season."
The Brooklyn newspapers and fans wanted to boycott the sport. Heck, it was a gentlemen's game and playing for money was going to ruin it. The problem was that it was soon determined that other players were getting paid "under the table." When the editorials began appearing, other players thought that the idea of playing for money was far superior to not playing for money. Starting with these actions, baseball turned professional.
Al Reach didn't make it into anything like a Hall of Fame although he played twelve seasons for the Athletics as a left-handed second-baseman. He helped them win the first professional baseball pennant in 1871. When he retired from playing in 1875, he helped found the Philadelphia Phillies franchise and served as team president from 1883 to 1899. Later, he formed a sporting-goods company, which he sold to Spalding in 1889.
People working in the financial sector get paid better than any other professional class, according to an article in the New York Times.
It is possible to get both an education and religion in a church. Take the little boy who said to her mother, "It's a lady!" The mother asked the little boy to be quiet, quietly saying that she knew the person was a lady. The little boy looked puzzled, "But, Momma, you just asked Daddy what this object was coming down the aisle."
We could all use a burst of patriotism from time to time, and nothing does it better than when John Wayne explained why he loved America at http://sagebrushpatriot.com/america.htm.
Didja ever notice that when you put the two words "The" and "IRS" together it spells "Theirs."
George W. Bowman (December 22, 1940-January 23, 2009), Country Estates Lane, Berwick, and formerly of Benton, died Friday at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Wilkes-Barre. He was 68. He was a son of Oley Benjamin Bowman and Edith Mae (Smith) Bowman Eckrote. He was born in Benton, served his country in the U. S. Army from 1958 to 1964, worked for the Benton Foundry and later for Fritz Wood Products. He was preceded in death by his wife, Betty (Fritz) Bowman on August 20, 2000. Surviving are his children G. Scott Bowman, Benton; Steven L. Bowman, Berwick; Tammy S. Noss (Daniel), Mifflinville, and Gary L. Bowman, Berwick. Also surviving are eight grandchildren; his companion, Kay Konderchek, Berwick; and siblings Grace Swank, Tampa, FL, Frank Bowman (Jan), Berwick, Carl Bowman (Mary), Delaware, Drucella Bancroft (Ken), Ft. Walton Beach, FL, John Bowman, N. Tonawanda, NY, Dean Bowman, Berwick, David Bowman (Michele), Almedia, Ed Bowman (Doris), Benton and Eleanor “Sis” Young, Danville. In addition to his wife and parents he was preceded in death by his brother, Howard Bowman, and by siblings in infancy Ada and Richard Bowman. Funeral services will be held Tuesday, January 27, at 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Waller Cemetery with military rites accorded by a joint-veterans group. A viewing will be held Monday evening from 6 to 8 PM at McMichael’s and Tuesday from 1 PM until the time of the service.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home
It was all heart when Rep. John Murtha offered during a Fox News interview to house Guantanamo detainees in U.S. prisons, including in his Western Pennsylvania district. The problem is that there isn't a federal prison in Murtha's district. By the same token, readers from out of the area are welcome to come Back Home to Benton, PA, to bask in our tropical weather. The only problem is that we don't have any...
Cold, winter weather again visits the area with the word "frigid" back in our forecast for tonight. The "very cold" weather will stay with us through next Tuesday.
For readers who are fishermen, here is something to get you thinking of next spring when fishing season opens and warm weather returns. There are also a few fishing terms for those who don't fish.
FISHING: A disease without a cure, catching but not contagious. A disease once known only to small boys and grandfathers, savages who lived moe than a mile from a grocery store, and village ne'er-do-wells. The disease has now spread to presidents, people who don't even keep the fish and a couple of million others.
LIAR (as used in the fishing sense): a term used by anglers to describe other anglers, often associated with the loss of memory about length.
FISHING CAMP: a place to wear out half-used clothes and eat half-cooked food, fight insects and act macho. Usually busiest between midnight and daylight. Often spoiled by those who want to fish. Rarely found in the "lower 48," but still popular in Canada and along certain streams known for a high fish population.
BAIT: a word used by fishermen so as not to be understood by those who do not fish, denoting a beverage carried to counteract the effects of cold, heat, and snake bites.
PLUGS: Imitations of bugs, animals, bananas and pickles.
ROD: A fancy name for a fishing pole that costs over $100. Rods are sold by weight; i.e., the lighter the pole the heavier the price tag. The object of a pole is to have it snap in half during the actual catching of a huge fish, an event of great distinction. Also see LIAR above.
REEL: a gizmo designed to come apart, get loose, out of order, or snarl at critical times.
FISH LINE: Expensive string used on a reel, which often snarls, snags or breaks, thereby providing an alibi for not actually producing the whopper that got away.
WHOPPER: a term used to describe fish that get away. Associated words are "whale," "dozy," "grandfather," and "Long-as-your-arm."
CREEL: part of a trout fisherman's uniform, this frail wicker basket can hide worms, lunch, rain gear, and occasionally a small trout. Also see BAIT.
WADERS: An effective way of carrying large amounts of water from the creek to the shore. Also an effective way to keep feet warm while walking along the shoreline in the summer and cold while doing the same in winter. Waders hold more water than boots, and are more effective in putting out camp fires.
FLIES: an imitation in feathers of nothing a fish has ever seen, usually with a fancy name. Much desired during the off season by closet moths.
WORMS: crawly things used to insert over a fishing hook, a staple in the diet of many fish who learn early how to delicately remove them from fishing hooks. Often pondered by spouses who wonder how fish can taste so good when their major meals come from things like worms.
January 23, 2009. It is the birthday of Lea Litwhiler, Robert Lewis and David Shaffer.Quickies...
• Do you like freebies? Try http://www.afreebieempire.com/ .
• "BJ" is a graduate of Benton High School in 1981 and left a note on the Benton News Blog to have her classmates contact her. Unfortunately, my alumni list is not traveling with me at the moment and "BJ" did not leave her full name or contact information. An attempt will be made to get friends in touch when I return to Benton.
• It appears that gas-drilling rigs are moving into the Unityville area.The North Mountain Historical Society didn't have a speaker for February, but Carol Sones Shetler, a Lycoming-county native residing in Montour County, the president of the East Lycoming Historical Society, Hughesville, volunteered to speak. Her subject will be "A Tribute to Local Blacksmiths." Carol's presentation will be at the North Mountain Historical Society meeting, Monday, February 16, at the Brass Pelican Restaurant, Elk Grove.Carol's trek in history began in 1980 while researching family genealogy, which resulted in a 1984 publishing. Since 1999, Carol has been a correspondent writing human-interest stories for The Luminary, a weekly newspaper covering the Hughesville, Muncy and Montgomery areas. This journalism endeavor provided an opportunity to meet individuals who have retained amazing amounts of history experienced during their lifetimes. Many are prime examples of "older is better."
Carol combines history with quilting. Many of her projects are inscribed with local names or scenes of historical significance. One of the props for her tribute is a quilt featuring the anvil pattern, listing dozens of local blacksmith names.
Also included are four verses of the poem, The Village Blacksmith, by William Wadsworth Longfellow. Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.
Carol will bring an 1860s ledger used by blacksmith Isaac DeWalt, and a photo of Hurley Temple, Clarkstown, whose clients included the speaker's late father. The presentation is not how smithys worked, but who they were, their location, birth and death dates and other bits of information.Carol is a direct descendant of George Sones who arrived in Sullivan County about 1840 and for whom Sonestown is named. Her great-grandfather, Edmond Jefferson Sones, rests in Jackson Baptist Cemetery near the village of Derrs. In addition to Sones, her other ancestral lines include Ball, Carr, Gardner, Hill, Houseknecht, Lowe, Ritter, Smith and Unger.
The frigid weather in February could draw down storage of natural gas for the year, according to the January 19, 2009, Natural Gas Review, but prices probably won't rally from their deflated levels. The storage levels as the end of the high-usage season ends appear bearish for prices. It appears that where gas prices will begin when the replenishment season begins is open to debate. The impact on the local area could be significant as relates to gas-land leasing.
An article about a couple waiting for $21,000 in natural gas-leasing money seven months after signing a lease with GFI Oil and Gas, Williamsport, hit a gusher with a number of local residents. The article appeared in the Thursday, January 22, edition of the Press Enterprise.The story illustrates why land owners should be represented by a leasing agent that is working only for their interests. Many leasing agents lead landowners to believe that they are representing the land-owners interests. This is often far from the truth and can lead to inherent conflict of interest attendant to such representation. Leasing agents hired by and paid by and responsible to developers--names like GFI, Elite, Robinson/Ardent--tend to have their allegiance with the people who pay them, not with the land owners.A related inverse concept is that of an "Exclusive Buyer Broker" (EBB) in a real-estate brokerage office that represents buyers only. Historically, real estate contracts written "in agency" (meaning represented for a fee by a licensed real-estate agent) requires the payment of a fee (such as 6% of the selling commission) to the listing agent when the sale completes. If the listing agent is paid the entire fee by the seller (which he normally shares with the selling agent), the allegiance of all concerned tends to be with the seller of the property. After all, the seller is paying the bill. Terms, conditions and clauses which should be included for the benefit of the buyer are frequently omitted. A buyer broker arrangement can level the playing field for the buyer of real estate. A leasing agent in gas leasing whose allegiance is solely to the land owner can also level the playing field.In the case of natural-gas leasing, the gas-drilling company or the buyer's agent for the gas-drilling company too often writes the contract, uses language only a Harvard-educated attorney can understand, includes "fine-print" which can end up detrimental to the land owner or is so ambiguous that if it ever came to litigation would be tied up for an inordinate amount of time. I have reviewed numerous gas-leasing contracts where the land owner didn't have a clue what the words in the contract meant. I only knew that the words were in English, but the sentences were not. I did know the mumbo-jumbo language was not in the land owner's favor.The actual rights of landowners in the leasing of natural gas land will depend on the actual language of the contracts signed. Attorney Loren Bly notes that Chesapeake Energy uses similar language in all of its transactions--to make payment on their Sight Draft/Order of Payment "subject to the approval of the agreement associated herewith (the Lease Agreement) and title confirmation by Chesapeake." This is an express reservation to CONSIDER acceptance and do the title review within 90 days after the lease and sight draft are signed. Atty. Bly normally requires payment at closing or shortens the time of "acceptance" by an independent search of title and gets a preliminary title approval by the land agent which sends the documentation directly to the developer for signing and payment issuance--a 30-45 day process.The problem is one of the "rock and a hard place" at the moment. The landowner can ask a company like GFI for a document terminating the recorded Memorandum of Lease, if the landowner chooses to clear their title to their oil- and gas reserves. Following that, the land owners will be able to renegotiate--but there are virtually no active-leasing programs at the terms stated in the original GFI documents.The economy has caused developers to cut back on any lease-acquisition program in the shale formations throughout not only our area but the entire country. The current gas price for the week (down at this writing $0.42 per million Btu (MMBtu) or $5.47) is below the total marginal-development costs for the development and completion of the wells AND associated pipeline infrastructure.When natural gas prices again exceed $6.50/mcf or more for a month, local leasing interests should return although prices should be lower for the bonus and royalty payments. Lease prices will increase as prices rise. The good news is that this area is still the lowest leasehold-cost region of any major shale deposit throughout the entire Marcellus Fairway.In the coming weeks and months, just as we have been recommending to those who want to invest in the stock market, we advise an "eyes-open-wide" policy on contracts signed for gas leasing. Watch for slow payments as the leasing companies, often known as "middlemen," review in the background if contracts should be honored. Watch for clauses which are recommended be changed, even though the land owner has signed the contract. Watch for leases recorded in the court house even though the element of consideration "the actual changing hands of the partial or full-payment amount" has not taken place. As the Press Enterprise article noted, the leasing companies are finding it difficult to obtain capital, and drilling tends to be taking place in locations where finding gas is virtually assured.
January 22, 2008. It is the birthday of Jennifer DiLossi, Chris Vincent, and Sally Brewington. Ed and Dorothy Kocher celebrate their wedding anniversary. Enjoy the warming weather today and tomorrow; the weekend will return to cold temperatures. Chicago could experience lows of minus 2° (12° below normal) and New York may drop to 12° (14° below normal) by January 25. Our temperatures could be ten degrees below normal.
On January 22, 1959, the Susquehanna River burst into a mine shaft north of Wilkes-Barre, killing a dozen men and spilling billions of gallons of water into coal mines. The Knox Mine disaster occurred at the Knox Coal Company's River Slope mine near Pittston. The Knox mining company dug a mine tunnel closer to the Susquehanna River than allowed by state regulations. The Susquehanna crushed the mine's ceiling and forty-five workers were trapped and twelve died. The accident drove a stake through the heart of what remained of the anthracite industry in northeastern Pennsylvania, sending the region into an economic tailspin from which it has yet to fully recover.
Have you noticed that the older we get, fewer things seem worth waiting in line for?
Anyone attempting to do family research should read the following. Thousands of people have sent letters and emails to the state legislators and the Guv in support of having the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania make its death certificates more than 50 years old become open records. Additionally, other states have made these records available online, and this is also requested of the Commonwealth.
At last count, there are 159 organizations that have endorsed this cause with about 24 others who are in the process of writing letters of support. The support ranges from genealogical clubs to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and include several national organizations. But this will not happen without help. The more people and organizations that support this effort the more likely it is to succeed. Should this effort fail, genealogists could be stuck with the present archaic and restricted system for decades to come.
There are approximately 6.7 million death certificates held by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania from before 1960. This is a mountain of genealogy data that is under the current restricted system. Greater access would make genealogical research in Pennsylvania considerably easier. Additional information on this subject is available at http://users.rcn.com/timarg/PaHR-Access.htmDidja realize that the easiest way to find something lost around the house may be to buy a replacement?Ambulance calls was the subject of Wednesday's praise session. Today is the turn for the Benton Fire Company. In 2008, the fire company responded to 118 calls including 41 vehicle accidents, 21 structure fires, and 17 brush fires. The top responders for the year were:Chris Sholley - 90Harold Morris - 86Mike Poust - 77Andrew Funk - 72Dan Jankowski - 71Dave Albertson - 68Cindy Matthews - 68Jim Matthews Jr. - 60Ed Musser - 59Fred Westover - 55James Albertson - 52Ron Robbins - 45Democrats and Republicans spoke Wednesday of the sense of awe as they grew to appreciate the enormous symbolic importance and historic nature of the inauguration of President Obama as our 44th president.Quickies...• O! Bama! Where is thy bounce? My prediction of an Obama bounce in the stock market turned out to be a fizzler.
• What a little present will do for a person. When the Rooney family gave President Obama the "game ball" from the Steelers' win over the Ravens, the President indicated that he will be rooting for the Steelers in the Super Bowl.
• Didja know that Idaho is the fourth-largest milk-producing state, with Pennsylvania in fifth place in the lineup of top dairy states? Dairy Herd Management provides this information.
• The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center will host a Super Bowl Party on Sunday, February 1, starting at 6 PM. Everyone is welcome to come and enjoy the game with friends, neighbors and fellow football fans. Please bring a snack or beverage to share with all attendees (alcoholic beverages are not permitted). The Center will have its fresh popcorn for sale and will be using their wonderful serving cart for the first time. The party is free, but donations will be accepted.
• The popular Joy in the Morning inspirational column written by Dotty Moore ran in the Press Enterprise for nearly 21 years. Joy in the Morning is now an online magazine. The web site www.joyinthemorningetc.org is the new home for the Joy in the Morning. One of the highlights of the web site is the online winter video which you can see at www.joyinthemorningetc.com/close9.html
• Tammy Stackhouse, LPN, Millville, recently accepted the position of Clinical Liaison for the Bloomsburg Health System. Tammy has more than eighteen years of experience in a healthcare setting. She will act as a link between Bloomsburg Health Care Center, a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, and surrounding referral sources. Bloomsburg Health System is composed of Bloomsburg Hospital, Bloomsburg Health Care Center, Bloomsburg Physicians Services and Columbia Montour Home Health and Hospice.Rep. Ron Marsico, R-Dauphin, intends to reintroduce legislation involving small games of chance; i.e., punchboards, daily drawings, weekly drawings, raffles and pull-tabs that offer no more than $500 for a single winner. The legislation would increase payouts for a single winner in small games of chance from $500 to $1,000; increase the payout limit of $5,000 per seven-day period for small games of chance to $20,000 per seven-day period; eliminate advertising restrictions on small games of chance; and treat winning tickets for reporting purposes in accordance with IRS regulations. Clubs, churches, fire companies and other organizations use small games of chance to raise money for charitable purposes. The legislation passed the State House last session but was never brought to a vote in the Senate.
Timothy P. Rentschler (February 19, 1962-January 20, 2009), a self-employed air and water balancer, died Tuesday at his Huntington Mills home. He had suffered from diabetes and cardiac complications for most of his life. He was 46. He was a son of the late Rev. Carl and F. Louise (Harrelson) Rentschler and was born in Mifflinburg. Tim was a member of Stillwater Christian Church. An accomplished musician, he often served as a pianist for various churches when needed. He also played the trumpet. He is survived by his widow, Donna M. (Ibach) Rentschler, his daughter, Melody S. Rentschler, at home; a brother, David C. Rentschler (Karen), Hohenwald, Tennessee; his step mother, Sonja Rentschler, Sewell, New Jersey, and numerous nieces and nephews. A celebration of Tim’s life will be held Saturday, January 31, at 1 PM at the Stillwater Christian Church.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be in the Press Enterprise in its edition of January 22, 2009.
Bradyn Michael Mohr, infant son of Sean M. Mohr and Tanya Cratty, Sweet Valley, was stillborn Monday, January 19, 2009, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. Survivors include his parents and grandparents Sheri and Robert Strachan, Sweet Valley, and Brian and Kim Mohr, Waller. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home.
January 21, 2009. It is the anniversary of Dick and Janet McHenry and the birthday of Louise McGarigle, Bellefonte. He wasn't the first man to die from a gunshot outside a saloon in California, but Carl Dean Switzer was a celebrity and that makes news. It was 1959 on this date. The police report simply noted that the deceased was a former child actor. Actually, he was a former member of the "Our Gang" comedies, usually simply known as "Alfalfa" as one of the "Little Rascals." Learn more by going here.
We tend not to give credit where credit is due. When you see the following people, all volunteers with the Benton ambulance, please tell them how much their service is appreciated. Thirty-seven medically-trained volunteers contributed throughout the year. These volunteers responded to 320 calls in 2008. The top call-runners for the year were:
James Albertson - 128
Cindy Matthews - 104
Mike Poust - 94
Chris Sholley - 91
Andrew Funk - 75
David P. Bardo - 43
Harold Morris- 37
Ed Musser - 30
Rob Conner - 30
Dan Jankowski - 28
Josh Price - 25
Didja ever think that when your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall?
• The size of the Pennsylvania state deficit this year is about what is predicted for next year. That being said, the state may have few options, outside of a dreaded-tax increase.
• Florida guests and residents are shaking in their boots. The Tampa area had cold weather last week, and it is colder this week. There was a freeze watch in effect last night for Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties, while inland Hillsborough County had temperatures in the 30s. Snow was a possibility last night. The last time snow stuck to that Florida ground was January 19, 1977, when temperatures dropped to 27°. The temperature did drop to 27° this morning at The Villages.
• The Chris Robinson Oil/Gas Group will hold a meeting for all group members on Tuesday, February 3, 2009, at 7 PM. The meeting will be held at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. Due to limited seating, please bring a chair. This is an important meeting and all group members are urged to attend.
• She just can't stay away! Becky Stoneham Green made an unannounced visit to her beloved Sub Shop Tuesday afternoon and whipped out three trays of macaroni and cheese. So much for following doctors' and daughters' orders...
Quote of the Day...
" ....help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right."
--Rev. Joseph Lowery, during the benediction at the end of the swearing-in ceremony at the U.S. Capitol
Didja realize that experience is what you get when you do not get what you want?
Columbia County Commissioner David Kovach, Berwick, was the featured speaker at the North Mountain Historical Society meeting January 19, 2009. He provided a PowerPoint presentation on the subject of the twelve-ton Stewart Tank, produced at the former plant of the American Car & Foundry Co., Berwick.
What follows are the minutes of Commissioner Kovach's talk, which he entitled Tanks for the Memories. Next week, we'll tell you a little about the brains behind the success of the ACF, a man who lived with his family in Benton, the "Berwick Plant Boss," who built three additions to the plant, opened an ordnance department, produced flint-shelled armor plate for tanks and kept his workmen employed around the clock, seven days a week. His name was Guy C. Beishline. His home in Benton was the 4-G farm, adjacent to the tranquil waters of Fishingcreek north of the Borough.
Commissioner Kovach outlined the origins of the Jackson & Woodin Manufacturing Company, Berwick, founded in 1861, and traced the business development of the company through its foundry stage of producing plows and plow castings, kettles, progressing into heavy wagons and farm implements. In 1899, Jackson and Woodin was merged with twelve other freight-car manufacturing companies to form the American Car and Foundry Company and became ACF's Berwick Plant. Jackson & Woodin was once the largest freight-car manufacturer in the eastern United States.
Commissioner Kovach made the following points:
• One out of every eight armored vehicles produced in the United States during World War II was built at the ACF in Berwick.
• Beginning in 1940 and extending through April 17, 1944, the Berwick ACF produced 365 M2A4 tanks, 4526 M3 light tanks (gas) and 1,283 light tanks (diesel-powered). The plant also produced about 1,000 M5A1 tanks. In total, the plant produced 15,224 tanks. The plant turned out twelve-tonners at the rate of two to five a day.
• Commissioner Kovach spoke of his excellent relationship with Tom McLaughlin, a member of the Board of Directors of the Berwick Historical Society, in attempting to return a Stewart to Berwick.
The tanks with its four-man crews had four 30-caliber machine guns, a .50-caliber machine gun for use against aircraft and a 37-mm. cannon. Drivers drove the tanks for 35 mile an hour trial runs on Berwick streets before delivery. The Stuart saw battle with every Allied Army in the war because of its unique ability to "Shoot and Scoot." Even enemies who captured the tank used it in some capacity.
Commissioner Kovach and Mr. McLaughlin were able to secure an engine of a Stewart for Berwick. The 850-pound engine is currently in Berwick awaiting the rest of the tank!
At exactly noon Tuesday, as directed by the Constitution, one day after commemorating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., the United States welcomed its first African-American President, Barack Obama. A swearing-in ceremony at 12:06 PM was filled with pomp and pageantry in front of the U.S. Capitol and under the bluest of blue skies.
Over the course of time, we suspect that the fights of the past year will resurface and the same talking heads will repeat the things we have heard before. We can only hope that the poorly-thought-out utilization of our tax money can be reversed during the coming years. In administrations following the inauguration of George Washington in New York in 1789, speeches, finger-pointing, compromises and covering-up have taken place--and yet we live in the greatest country in the world. President Obama swore to "faithfully execute the office of president of the United States." The American people will hold him to that oath.
The president will lead a country in financial turmoil worse than at any time since the Great Depression. He has wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. A staunch ally, Israel, is under siege by its enemy. Iran is a country hell-bent to acquire a nuclear arsenal. North Korea has leadership which is suspect. A terrorist organization continues its dedication to attacking the United States. Years of cheap money has created problems in stock, housing and commodities and produced excessive debt for consumers, businesses and financial institutions. Unsound financial thinking and sloppy regulation have contributed to the problem.
With the problems just outlined in mind, the Reverend Antonio (Tony) Aja, Louisville, Kentucky, offered this prayer for the new President and the country he serves. It is reprinted in part...
Our Heavenly Parent – You created a diverse world full of color and shapes and sizes. Because of your love for this world and its creatures your presence and care have always been present. Scripture gives witness to God-sightings, both of divine and human nature. Through your chosen people, though imperfect, we have seen and experienced snippets of your ultimate desire for justice and peace for Creation. Throughout human history as well many men and women, regardless of their birth or religious faith, have reflected your desire for justice and compassion in this world. They have given credence to the fact that we dare not place boundaries on your love, compassion or power.
Then perfection came in human form as Jesus of Nazareth. The God-human gave us a final look into the future, where all will seat at your table and partake of a magnificent banquet of final reconciliation. At that meal all of us will be Black and White and Red and Latino and Asian and gay, together in solidarity, giving praises to you our Maker.
Today, in this United States of America, an exodus event took place. Another imperfect human being will be sworn in as President. For many he embodies in his own persona that diversity that you created and blessed. Your Good News no doubt influenced his vision for this nation and the world in the streets of Southside Chicago and Trinity United Church of Christ. As President, Barack Obama will continue to deliver his message of change, hope and mutual responsibility. We know that he will make mistakes and disappoint us as well. But he will stand tall because others dreamed dreams of freedom and justice for all. He took the Oath of Office because a King and others of his generation paid the ultimate price.
So today we pray for Mr. Obama, his wife Michelle, and his beautiful, innocent daughters, for wisdom, patience, perseverance, and above all health and safety. We pray that you would continue to inspire him and that he would listen. We pray that his plumb line would be your Word, your Gospel and your own example in Christ’s life, death and resurrection rather than the expediency of safe partisan politics and popular, palatable answers to complex problems.
Moreover, help us O God, to recuperate our own passion for change, justice and mutual responsibility so that together we could join our new president in the quest of peace and reconciliation in our nation and the world. Set aside our own cynicism and apathy. Give us your Spirit of risk-taking; set aside our fear of stepping out in faith, and restore our desire to re-create the world you envisioned, full of colorful glory and peaceful relationships.
January 20, 2009. It is the birthday of Carolyn Hartman and Brittany Raymond. It is the day in which we inaugurate the 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, the first African-American President. Temperatures were in the single digits this morning, but remember that we are adding 15 minutes of daylight each week, two minutes each day. Spring officially begins in 59 days.
Officials at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, announced February 18 that William Graham Tullian Tchividjian, 36, a grandson of Billy Graham and current pastor of the Margate, Florida, New City Church, has been asked to become the second pastor in five decades at the Fort Lauderdale church following the death of its founding pastor, the Rev. D. James Kennedy, in September 2007 at the age of 76. The two churches have begun the process of evaluating the possibility of consolidating.Didja ever think that the word "politics" comes from the Latin "Poli," meaning "many" and "tics" meaning "bloodsucking creatures?"The Founding Fathers crafted the Constitution in the form of a republic, but not a complete democracy. Only members of the House of Representatives were directly elected by the people. Property and religious-voting tests were requirements in many jurisdictions. For further reading on this subject, read Article II of the Constitution discussed here.The Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia gave the powers of the president only scant attention. The president can require Cabinet members to give him their opinions in writing; he can convene a special session of Congress "on extraordinary occasions" and may set a date for adjournment if the two houses cannot agree on one; he receives ambassadors and is commander in chief of the armed forces; he has a veto on legislation (subject to a Congress override). He has the power to pardon. The president has the specific duty to give regular reports on the state of the union, and to "take care that the laws be faithfully executed."
The president and the Senate can make treaties, and to appoint federal judges and other "officers of the United States," including Cabinet members.
Madison wrote that it "would rarely if ever happen that the executive constituted as ours is proposed to be would have firmness enough to resist the legislature." The office of the president as we know it today bears little relation to that prescribed by the Constitution. When the soon-to-be president stands before the American people today and is asked if he will swear to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America, he will give the answer he has rehearsed and which so many presidents have used before him. "You betcha!" Then, like almost every American president since John Quincy Adams, he will ignore it.
Alexander Hamilton, writing under the pen name "Pacificus," wrote in defense of the first words of Article II of the Constitution: "The executive power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America." Hamilton argued that Article II gave "a general grant of power" to the president. His argument was that Congress was limited to its enumerated powers, but the executive could do literally anything that the Constitution did not expressly forbid. The powers that Hamilton wanted for the president existed outside the Constitution.Andrew Jackson was the first President elected who was not from either Massachusetts or Virginia. He refused to communicate with President Adams, who moved out of the White House the night before the inauguration and was nowhere to be seen on Inauguration Day. Crowds that day trashed the White House as mobs stormed the residence of the president. Jackson's reception turned into chaos as the White House filled beyond capacity; some guests climbed through windows to gain access. Drinks were spiked orange punch, made by the barrel and served by the pail. As doors from the preparing area opened, the mob rushed the waiters, breaking glasses and spilling pails of drinks. Jackson was nearly crushed. His aides got him out of the White House through a window and he safely walked six miles to John Gadsby's City Hotel (the current address is 134 North Royal Street), Alexandria, Virginia, where he spent inaugural night.Writing a speech as important as an inaugural address has been a struggle for a number of presidents, especially in the days preceding speechwriters. Washington's first draft of his inaugural address was seventy-three pages of policy recommendations, often devoted to assuring the American people that he didn't intend to establish a dynasty. James Madison reviewed the speech and deleted the part about the dynasty.
Jackson's inaugural speech was called "disgraceful" by his advisors and they rewrote it entirely. William Henry Harrison filled his inaugural address with references to ancient republics, which Daniel Webster deleted, noting: "I have killed seventeen Roman pro-consuls as dead as smelts."
Lincoln's draft of his first inaugural was reviewed by his incoming Secretary of State, William Seward, who scribbled a new ending, "I close. We are not, we must not be, aliens or enemies, but fellow-countrymen and brethren." Lincoln tinkered with the revision, saying "I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearth-stone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature."
Franklin Roosevelt's first inaugural included words by Louis Howe, who added, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Sorensen wrote much of Kennedy's inaugural speech. Jimmie Carter wrote his own forgetable inaugural speech. Ronald Reagan gave basically his standard speech with his brand of skillful delivery. Clinton asked for advice on his speech from a number of people. Hillary Clinton later said, 'He's never met a sentence he couldn't fool with."Didja ever think that if con is the opposite of pro, Congress must be the opposite of progress?Commissioner David Kovach was the guest speaker at the North Mountain Historical Society January meeting Monday morning. The minutes of that meeting will be included in the Benton News in the Wednesday edition, followed by related articles on subsequent days.
Here is the schedule for upcoming speakers for the History Buffs...
February 16, 2009, North Mountain Historical Society, speaker to be announced. If you have a suggestion for a speaker, please let Jim Vance or David Kline know.
March 16, 2009, North Mountain Historical Society, Meg Geffken, educator and oral interpreter, appearing and speaking as Amelia Mary Earhart, the author and American aviation pioneer who went missing over the Pacific Ocean July 2, 1937, during a solo trans-global flight attempt. She was pronounced dead January 5, 1939. She had been the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. The timing of the presentation at the Brass Pelican will be slightly in advance of the premier of the movie of her life entitled Amelia, staring Hilary Swank and Richard Gere. The opening date of the movie has not been announced.
April 20, 2009, North Mountain Historical Society, Bill Baillie, President of the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society.
May 18, 2009, North Mountain Historical Society, Dick Holcombe, Dushore.
June 15, 2009, North Mountain Historical Society, Wilson Ferguson, Secretary of the Sullivan County Historical Society.
July 20, 2009. North Mountain Historical Society, George Turner will speak on the subject of "After They Were Arrested," a discussion about what happened to the 44 who were arrested as part of the insurrection in the upper Fishingcreek Valley often referred to as the "Fishingcreek Confederacy."On the upcoming events page on the Benton News, there are currently over 100 events taking place in the local area in the coming months. Keep current by checking this page often.Many in the local area head for warmer climate this time of the year. Florida is a popular destination. Arizona has its choice spots, too. One favorite is in Chandler, Arizona, where you can almost feel your arteries clogging as you head to the Heart Attack Grill. You can learn more by going to www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=4632991n.
January 19, the 18th day of 2009, the third Monday in January. There are 60 days until the official start of spring. Snow remains in the forecast today and Tuesday. Today is a federal holiday in observance of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and civil rights leader dedicated to nonviolence. Dr. King is the only American besides George Washington to have his birthday designated a national holiday. Streets are snow-covered. Drive carefully.
An undetermined number of people--but certainly more than a million and a half--will be in Washington tomorrow for the inauguration of the 44th president, Barack Obama, and to hear him utter just 39 words. If the number of people increases by a third, a cell-phone catastrophe is possible. AT&T and other companies assure their customers that equipment has been enhanced to accommodate the expected load, but I have experienced blocked and dropped calls inside the Beltway in the past. It happens. With the number of text messages and pictures sent from cell phones, cell-phone service may be a problem.I have fond memories of attending the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan with brother Dayne on a balmy, 50° day, the warmest inauguration on record (Reagan's second inauguration was the coldest).One of my joys these cold winter days is my authentic Russian Trooper hat (bear fur) purchased in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I catch the dickens when I wear it and am the subject of constant comments, but the fact is that at -20° my head was warm as toast! I suspect that if I were in Washington Tuesday--which I won't be--I could peddle that hat for twice what I paid for it.
The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) has an alarming report, www.cbpp.org/3-13-08sfp.htm, on the number of states with fiscal difficulty. In the current fiscal year, $80 billion in deficits are expected for the states and the CBPP projects that the sum of all the deficits could reach $145 billion. The CBPP projects the deficit through 2011 of $350 billion. OK, OK, I realize that none of us can understand the enormity of these figures, but remember that nearly every state has a law which forbids deficits--unlike the Federal Government--meaning that each of them must lay off state workers, cut spending on construction projects and education, libraries and health services. Guv Rendell said it this way: "There are no sacred cows." The Guv said Thursday at the Farm Show that Pennsylvania's 2008-09 budget shortfall could reach $1.9 billion. Pennsylvania is the only state drilling for natural gas without an extraction tax at the wellhead. Expect that the new state Legislature will correct this and use part of money generated to protect the environment and the balance going to the general economy.
Our friends on the left bank in the state of California are especially vulnerable. Using figures put out by that state, California could run out of money, even if that state cut virtually every service.
Cities generally don't have a requirement to balance their budgets, so expect them to cut and borrow, borrow, borrow to survive. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter last week said the city now faces "at least" a $108-million deficit in the current fiscal year and the shortfall of more than $1-billion in the five-year financial plan. Nutter proposed and City Hall introduced seven bills to allow Nutter to cut salaries of the Mayor and his staff and cabinet, eliminate 220 existing jobs, 600 unfilled jobs and 2,000 seasonal jobs, reduce all police overtime and cut the force, cut five fire companies, close eleven branches of the Free Library and cut hours at the rest, end support to the Mummer's Parade and more.
Here is the bottom line for states and cities: there will be new borrowing and new red ink, coupled with job losses in both the private sector and in government. Offerings of municipal bonds will increase at exactly the time when the biggies in the banking industry have to dump their bonds to stay afloat. Following that, expect municipal bond defaults.
Start now to chart your course for 2009 and subsequent years as relates to what you just read. You'll personally wind up a winner whether these predictions are correct or not. Keep yourself depression-proof.
Quote of the Week:
“I want to be realistic here, not everything that we talked about during the campaign are we going to be able to do on the pace we had hoped."
--President-elect Obama on ABCs "This Week with George Stephanopoulos"
• Those of us who once lived in or near Washington, D.C., love the giant pandas in the National Zoo. Friday, the two decided to mate--unsuccessfully. Semen from Tian Tian was inserted into Mei Xiang's uterus artificially (there may only be one day a year when a female panda is actually able to conceive). The famous couple has one cub, Tai Shan, also a product of artificial insemination. The gestation period is variable, from 90 to 185 days.
• Just when we think that the days of highly-paid executives may be behind us, look what Yahoo agree to pay its new CEO Carol Bartz: the base salary is a reported $1 million, plus an annual equity grant equal to $8 million in stock this year, followed by a $10 million grant of 25% cash, 75% stock. Oh, yes, there is also four weeks of vacation and some trivial stuff thrown in. Then there is the annual bonus worth between two and four times her base salary. If the value of the company goes up, there are stock options for 5 million Yahoo shares.
• High salaries don't just come to CEOs. Cole Hamels was the World Series Most Valuable Player and had an impressive 4-0 record with a 1.80 ERA in five postseason starts last season. Hamels got his reward Sunday as the 25-year-old left-hander received a three-year, $20.5 million contract with the Phillies.
• Captain Erica Feola met Vice-President Elect Joe Biden on a flight out of Baghdad, Iraq. Erica is on her second tour in Iraq. She is with the 10th Mountain Division, Ft. Drum, NY. Erica is the daughter of Joe and Lorraine Feola, Benton, and a 1992 graduate of Benton High School.
For Marcia Kay and I, nothing beats a night at the movies. We love to go to the Midtown Cinema on Reily Street, Harrisburg, where "art films" abound and movies are released before making their splash at main-line theaters. We get to see all the foreign language movies, both the good ones and the bad. At the Academy Awards, when everyone else ignores the best foreign film, Kay and I know all about it.
The year 2009 started out slowly but gained momentum with some excellent movies. Usually I think I know the winners in the major categories, but this year is an exception. How do you compare Slumdog Millionaire with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button or The Reader or The Wrestler? I loved the acting in Frost/Nixon, but was not overboard on the movie. I thought that Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino was a marvelous movie (language not withstanding), maybe his best. Heath Ledger was out-of-this-world good, but I am getting too old to vote for the movie. I haven't seen Doubt, Revolutionary Road or Milk.The 2009 Huntington Mills United Sportsmen Coyote hunt is in the books.1st Terry Long 41 # Male2nd Fred Dyroff 40 1/2 # Male3rd Bob Brown 39 1/2 # Male4th Tedd Nevel 38 1/2 # Male5th Jeff Cragle Jr 35 1/2 # Female6th Jeff Cragle Jr 31 1/2 # Female7th Chris Parnell 29 1/2 # Female8th Chris Parnell 28 # Female
The Arizona Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 32-25 for the National Football Conference championship. The 18-point halftime lead of the Cardinals turned into a 1-point deficit in the fourth quarter. The Cardinals took a final lead, 32-25, with 2 minutes, 53 seconds left in the fourth on an 8-yard touchdown pass. The Cardinals will face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Super Bowl. The Cardinals have never played in the Super Bowl. The Eagles have played in the Super Bowl twice, losing to New England in 2005 and losing to Oakland in 1981. Both teams won only nine games in the regular season.
The Steelers outhit and outplayed the Ravens behind Ben Roethlisberger in the AFC Championship Game by beating Baltimore 23-14 Sunday. The Steelers, NFL champions three years ago, will meet the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl in two weeks in Tampa. Ravens running back Willis McGahee was carted off the field after taking a hard hit to the helmet by Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark. The play occurred with 3:29 left in the game. McGahee scored both Baltimore touchdowns.
January 18, 2008. It is the birthday of Bill Boston. In 2006 on this date, the average price for regular, unleaded gas Back Home in Benton, PA, was $2.31 and $2.35. Last year, the prices locally were $2.999 and $2.939. Yesterday, prices were $1.799 and $1.939. Streets are snow-covered. Drive carefully this morning. It is about 35° warmer this morning than it was Saturday morning.
Congratulations to Lance O. Diehl, president, and O. Grant Little, treasurer, recently appointed officers of the Columbia County Community Development Authority. Columbia County Commissioner Dave Kovach will be the featured speaker Monday at the North Mountain Historical Society's January meeting at the Brass Pelican, Elk Grove. Commissioner Kovach will talk about the Stuart tank, known by the Army as Light Tank M3 and Light Tank M5, built at the Berwick ACF where more than 15,000 of the tanks were made. Buckwheat cakes will be on the table about 8 AM and the slide-show presentation will begin about 9 AM. The program is free and open to the public and everyone is invited.
The idea isn't new. The Philadelphia Inquirer in its edition of December 23, 1889, described the toboggan slide at "New Irving Hall," Eleventh and Fitzwater streets, Philadelphia. On opening night, an estimated 1,500 people bought admission tickets and about half that number took a ride on the 1,300 foot toboggan track which included a 150-foot tunnel. Locally, we have used toboggans for years--although lately we have been motorizing them and calling the conveyance "snowmobiles." But the granddaddy of all the toboggan rides will always be in Eagles Mere, 24 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA.
The Philadelphia Inquirer in its edition of January 24, 1903, extolled the toboggan slide at Eagles Mere as the entertainment for the "Eagles Mere winter colony." The article described the ice as "fourteen inches thick, cut from the lake and laid up Lake avenue," According to the article, electric lights lined the entire course. Coaster sleds were used, each holding fourteen people. The tobogganers coasted "half way across the lake, making a quarter mile in twelve seconds."
Buoyed by the success, the next winter local men and boys built a toboggan slide as soon as the ice became a foot thick. They used hand saws to cut the ice and teams of horses to carry blocks of ice to the foot of Lake Avenue where construction of a slide began. The first step in building the slide was marking out the ice field by starting from the shoreline about 25 feet, then heading 140 feet parallel to the bank, marking and then scoring the ice. A 45° angle was made at the corner and a line stretched for 40 feet, marked, then a line drawn in the middle of the field. The marker then made lines 22 inches wide the length of the field. The making of the blocks of ice took many steps of cutting the blocks loose, loading them on trucks and elevators, hauling, unloading, and placing the ice. Today, snow is packed along the slide, or a fire truck sprays water on the slide. The slide is then grooved two inches deep and 22 inches wide, cleaned and tested for safety. According to the Eagles Mere Slide Association, in 1976 nine pickup trucks drove 225 miles to carry 888 ice blocks weighing 113 tons to build the slide.
The toboggan slide was ready for its first run in January 1904 using lights from electricity generated at Hunters Lake. Harry Stevens was chosen to take the first ride. There was no sled available, so Harry decided that his chariot would be an iron scoop-shovel. Onlookers gasped as he sped down the steep incline followed by a cloud of smoke. By the time he reached the ice on the lake the rear of his pants had completely burned through. Rides that first year continued until the middle of March.
Most kids today know the inside and outside of a computer, but sliding down a hill on snow has little appeal. For the old-timers, we know what fine sport it is! Few actually know the thrill of loading a herd of people on a bobsled or toboggan and heading hell-bent down the hill and through the snow.
The origin of sledding is unknown to me, but folks have been sliding and bumping down hills for years before I was born. They often fell from their sleds, but got up with smiling faces. The introduction of the toboggan made life a lot more tolerable for the lovers of winter sports.
In Canada, where they probably would not have minded the -18° in the Borough or the -21° just south of the Borough Saturday morning, the pastime is popular because there are hills and plenty of snow to cover them. Some say that toboggoning was originated by Indians in Canada. The original Indian word was "Oda-boggan," and their original toboggans were flat, large sleds made of birch bark or hewn from a tree and turned up on both ends on which Indians pulled deer or bear over the soft snow. A sled with runners would have sunk in the soft snow. The Indian simply patterned the toboggan after the snowshoes worn in the deep snow. British officers stationed at Montreal made tobogganing into a sport as they coasted down Mount Royal, north of Montreal.
The toboggan of today turns up at one end only and is made of several strips of wood. As kids, we often tried to make toboggans; the family finances would not permit the purchase of one. Fashioning a board a quarter of an inch thick and sixteen to twenty inches wide was not an easy job!
The best toboggans are about a foot longer than the person riding it is long. The wood is planed and sandpapered smooth and varnish or shellac added to the underside. Some hardwood an inch thick or so is added to the bottom. A couple of strips of hard wood about four feet long form a rail along the edge of the toboggan. A couple of leather straps go through eight holes bored in the board, two in the right front, two in the left rear, and so on.
As I once mentioned in the Benton News, toboggans are frail--proven when Dayne Sharek guided a Whizzer of a toboggan on a jump across "Grant Brink's road." The toboggan was mostly good for firewood after the attempt failed.
A toboggan is much more comfortable and safer than a bobsled, but doesn't handle bumps well. A toboggan needs a smooth surface. A "chute" or a "slide" such as the one at Eagles Mere is sometimes a mile long. The slide at Eagles Mere is laid up with blocks of ice and is labor intensive to build. A "sliding fee" is charged; the Eagles Mere fee in 1929 was ten cents to use the slide. The 2009 fees have not been announced.
Historically, the chute is simply a wooden gutter or trough and up to two feet wider than the toboggan. The sliding surface is often simply snow, packed about two inches thick, then flooded and allowed to freeze. At Eagles Mere, you'll be safely inside a channel or guide, but as a kid it was necessary to steer the toboggan by leaning and by using the foot. The person who steers reclines at the rear with one foot under the body and the other extended to drag the heel or toe on the ice. Girls often curled up with a blanket before they began their descent of a hill, and frequently made an attempt to snuggle close to the best-looking boy on the sled.
The curl in the wood at the front of the toboggan was made by steaming the wood or soaking it in hot water. Although I once tried it, the curl of the wood was far from graceful!
Is there danger? Other than to the heart and the fingers and toes because of the cold, there probably isn't at Eagles Mere. It wasn't always that way. The Philadelphia Inquirer in its edition of February 15, 1889, mused "Maybe the toboggan business could be brought under the law prohibiting travel at a higher rate than seven miles an hour. A mile in half a minute is too fast." And there was the story reported in the Wilkes-Barre Times in its edition of August 14, 1915, about Madeline Morse, 7, who longed for a toboggan ride. She spread soap on the veranda roof of her parents' home to make a toboggan slide. She failed to catch the eaves and fell fifteen feet. The condition of the girl on arrival was not recorded.
The Eagles Mere Tobogan Slide in the Endless Mountains of Sullivan County.
Located on Route 42 in Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania
The Eagles Mere toboggan slide opens to the public today, the Press Enterprise reports in its January 17 edition. The newspaper includes pictures of the construction of the slide in the article entitled "On thick ice at Eagles Mere." Call 570 525-3244 for slide schedules or visit http://eaglesmere.org/
Norman L. Hayman (February 12, 1923-January 16, 2009), died Friday at his home at 182 Paragon Farm Road, Shickshinny. He was 85. He was a son of Harold H. and Edith A. (Doty) Hayman. He was born in Fishing Creek Township, was a 1941 graduate of Benton High School and spent his entire lifetime in the Town Hill/New Columbus area. He was a school-bus driver in the Northwest Area School District for 43 years, and drove until 2008. He also played tennis until he was 75. He was a farmer and operated a sawmill. He was preceded in death by brothers Quentin D. Hayman, Arthur L. Hayman, Homer D. Hayman, and sister, Alice E. Runyan. Surviving are daughter Linda Ann Costello (Rev. James), Detroit, Michigan; son, Gary L. Hayman (Connie), Shickshinny; five grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter. Funeral services will be Tuesday at 11 AM in the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Benton. Interment in Dodson Cemetery, Southdale. Friends may call at the funeral home on Monday evening from 6-8 PM.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, where a complete obituary can be found in its edition of January 17, 2009.
January 17, 2008.
It is the birthday of Glenda Watts Friend. It is also the 63rd wedding anniversary of Grant and Mary Conrad. The couple was married at 7 PM in the Templeman Reformed Church, Rexmont, Pennsylvania, the first couple to be married in the church in 55 years. Grant was home on leave from the Navy, "just back from the South Pacific." Grant and Mary plan to "come north" (from Florida) this summer if all goes well. Temperatures in the Borough overnight ranged from a minus 18° to a minus 14°.
Two brothers died on this day in 1874 in the same bed. Few brothers were ever closer than the Bunker brothers, a name they took when they came to America. P. T. Barnum introduced them to the American public by the first names that their parents gave them when they were born in Siam (present-day Thailand). Chang (meaning "left") and Eng (meaning "right"), were xiphopagus twins, joined by a small band of cartilage at the sternum. They were later joined at the altar by two sisters, Adele and Sarah. The brothers had problems with each other, but fighters can also be lovers, and the four of them produced 21 children, 10 for Chang and 12 for Eng. Chang drank heavily, and loved to sing and tell jokes. His brother, Eng, was sober and intense in a Calvin Coolidge way. Chang died of a heart attack, Eng died hours later. The fused liver of the brothers, the only organ the twins shared, is preserved at the Mütter Museum, 19 South Twenty-Second Street, Philadelphia, to educate future doctors about anatomy and human-medical anomalies.
On this day in 1935, The Benton Argus included information about the J. C. Knouse Service Station, "At the Bridge," which sold Tydol gasoline. The station was at the present location of the Uni-Mart. 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 served lunches and meals at the Blue Plate Cafe. J. P. Laubach sold "famous Reading Anthracite" to anyone who would call 30R2. The Benton Store Company sold its "ribbed union suits for men at $1.29, and blankets for 79¢ each.The Orangeville Library holds a book sale starting at 9 o'clock this morning. Books are $1 or less. It will be ongoing during library hours, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 2 to 8 PM, Thursdays from 5 to 8 PM, and Saturdays from 8 to 1. The sale will last until January 31. The sale is taking place to make room for the new library "on the other side" of the building. Construction begins at the end of January.A new eight-week Weight Watchers program began Thursday night at 6:30 at The Center and will continue until March 5. Fifty-six people joined Thursday and interested parties can join next Thursday. If you would like to learn more and weigh less, contact Phil or Jackie Malhoyt, 925-2722. Cost is $88 prepaid per person, with $1 each week going to The Center. Payment can be by cash, check, Visa or Master Card.The results of an economic study in Columbia County during the period 1870-1900 are being reviewed by George Holdren, a volunteer from Millville and member of the Board of Directors of the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society. The late nineteenth century saw dramatic changes in regional economic growth including iron and steel and coal industries which contributed to Pennsylvania's lead in manufacturing and energy. A compliment to these emerging industries was the grain and dairy trade in a slowly increasing population spread. There was a lumber industry which was slowly getting off the ground in northeastern Pennsylvania.The study was a sort of census of population and housing, along with agriculture and other occupations. The study recorded the number of acres owned by residents and the value of that land. The study is handwritten and the final product of the study is unknown at this time. Only the "raw data" as recorded by the "census" taker is available, but that information is interesting. Here are some examples, first from Benton Township. These figures are from twenty years apart, first in 1851 and second in 1871.In Benton Township in 1851, there were 119 farmers (with two others indicating their occupation was "agriculture.") Twenty years later, there were 147 farmers in the township. Using the format of showing 1851 first and 1871 second, there were two doctors, dropping to one doctor twenty years later. Innkeepers, 1 and 1. There were four "millers in 1851 and six in 1871 as the need for grain for farmers increased. There was one "millright" in each year. Laborers were 47 and 23, a classification not very well defined. Sixteen said they were "infirmed" in 1851 and four said the same thing in 1871. There were seven blacksmiths in the township in both years with one shoemaker in 1851 and five twenty years later. Other occupations included salesmen (1, 0), dentists (2, 1), painter (1, 1), merchant (1, 5), gunsmith (1, 1), saddler (1, 1), carpenters (6, 7).Similar findings were recorded in Fishingcreek Township in 1871; i.e., there were 166 farmers, six "smiths," two teachers, one innkeeper, one peddler, one County Commissioner, a millright, three tanners, twenty carpenters, three shoemakers, six millers, two masons, six merchants and one minister.In Sugarloaf Township, using figures from 1872, there were 99 horses and 233 cows for the 102 farmers and 45 laborers. In 1896, there were 233 horses as the era of logging arrived in the upper Fishingcreek valley, but there were only 12 more cows than there were in 1872. Farmers in the years 1872 and 1896 remained relatively level at 102 and 109 while laborers went from 45 to 106. There were no hotelkeepers in Sugarloaf until 1885; the number jumped to six in 1895 and eased back to four in 1896.At some point in the future, we'll return to look at more of this data from a century ago.The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, often referred to as "the Wall," recognizes the service and sacrifice of all who served in Vietnam, both living and dead. President Jimmy Carter signed the legislation to provide a site in Constitution Gardens near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., completing three and half years later with a memorial for those who served in Vietnam. The "Wall" is an inspirational place. Whether you have been there or not, head tohttp://home.comcast.net/~singingman7/TNOTW.htm and remember our Vietnam veterans.
A new weekly, two-hour radio show and video webcast debuts February 20 on WSM-AM, 650 khz on your radio dial and on www.wsmonline.com. It is called Back to the Barn, and adopts the variety-show format of radio programs such as WSM’s Opry, the longest-running live radio show in history. The show will be broadcast on Friday nights from 10 to 12:30. The title refers to an early name of the Opry, which was called WSM Barn Dance during its evolution in November 1925. Listen live to WSM by heading to http://players.eonstreams.com/FastAim/Player/Player.php?PlayerID=308
The Pennsylvania Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) helps those with low income pay their heating bills through home-heating energy-assistance grants. Information is available at www.dpw.state.pa.us/ServicesPrograms/LIHEAP/ .
Circuit City Stores Inc. announced plans to liquidate its 567 U.S. stores after failing to find a buyer willing to bail out the struggling retailer, which has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Going-out-of-business sales begin this morning at Circuit City. About $1.8 billion in retail inventory will be liquidated in sales lasting six to eight weeks. The decision to liquidate will put an estimated 30,000 people out of work in the U.S.
January 16, 2009. Happy first anniversary to the McBride Memorial Library, 500 Market Street, Berwick.
Baby, it's cold outside, the coldest since January 2004, and this weather is expected to hang around through Saturday. It was too cold to ski in places in Minnesota and Vermont Wednesday. International Falls, Minnesota, saw temperatures drop to -38° with a wind chills 15° colder. Lee Remley recorded a -4° at 11:45 PM January 15. Friday morning saw -7° in Dotyville and -10° in the Borough.
It's the birthday of poet Robert Service, born in England in 1874. Most know him for his poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew and The Cremation of Sam McGee and other works about life as he perceived it among the sourdoughs in the Yukon. He was a bank teller when he lived in Whitehorse and often recited poems at church socials. He sold a couple of poems to the local newspaper. Few poets are more fun reading.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did seeWas that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.
The Defense Manpower Data Center is distributing standardized Department of Defense (DoD) identification cards under the Civilian Retiree Card Initiative for civilian employees who are retired from the DoD in order to establish identity and affiliation with DoD. Anyone who needs further information on this subject is welcome to email me at dkline (AT) epix.net.Didja ever notice that your popularity depends on how you treat your friends--and how often?
One of the memorials to Blaine Long which will be delivered at his memorial service next Wednesday will be a letter send by Tom Yeager to Blaine's daughter, Mary Rundle. Tom and his wife own land near Richard and Sandy Lehet on Fritz Hill and look forward to building a log home after Tom retires from the Air Force. Tom was moved to write the letter in recognition of the kindness Blaine showed for Tom's father during his final weeks before he passed away in April. Tom points out that since his father passed away, "Bobby-T," Walt Leonard, and Blaine have moved on." Tom is "beginning to think that my Dad is recruiting all of his buddies from the VFW because he misses them!" Tom wrote a few hours before he was set to deliver an F/A-18 to Oceana NAS in Virginia Beach. Tom will be back to earth and "in the area on leave for two weeks in April" and perhaps you'll get to meet him then.
Bernie Shultz has fond memories of former teacher, Dayne Hartman. Thursday afternoon, Bernie was reminiscing about the bitterly cold night when he and Dayne were "at the hunting cabin" eating souse and drinking beer. Bernie got very serious and told Dayne that he hadn't disclosed something to anyone else, but would tell him. Dayne got very quiet. Bernie began slowly, explaining how the cold made him feel and that he thought that he had the beginning signs of heart failure. Dayne listened carefully, not saying a word. Finally, he looked over at Bernie, the first time he had been able to look him straight in the eyes. "Bernie," he began, "is there any chance you would leave me your truck?"
• Take the time to meet our 44 presidents by going here. The music is great, too.
• If you are traveling through Dushore, there are maps of Sullivan and Eastern Lycoming County snowmobile trails for sale at the Sullivan Review office.
• Are you having trouble remembering to do things? Perhaps ReSnooze could help. Go to www.resnooze.com and try it. You can get free emails sent to you as reminders.
• The Benton High School Alumni Banquet and induction of members into the Benton Area School District Hall of Fame takes place Saturday night, May 23, 2009. Nominations for inclusion in the Hall of Fame must be postmarked not later than February 1, 2009, for consideration. Nomination forms are available at www.bentonsd.k12.pa.us.
• The Harrisburg Patriot-News reveals that students at the Pennsylvania State University and the 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (SSHE) could pay more for their college education next year. The Patriot-News reports that Penn State could raise yearly tuition $650 next year, up to $13,665, and SSHE students could see their tuition increase to $5,572, a $214 increase. Tuition-increase predictions are dependent on how much money the schools get from the state in the current budget-deficit climate.
Before we write another word, we'll apologize to our friends who are attorneys. An elderly woman came to an attorney for the drafting of her will. The attorney's bill was $100. She gave him a $100 bill without noticing that a second $100 bill stuck to it. Immediately, the ethical question arose in the attorney's mind: "Do I tell my partner?"Didja ever notice how beauty is sometimes only in the eye of the beer holder?
Michael A. Brady (June 9, 1951-January 15, 2009), Dairy Barn Hill Road, Stillwater, died Thursday at the Bloomsburg Hospital Emergency Room after being stricken ill. He was 57. Mike was a son of the late Russell and Ruth (Doolan) Brady. He was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and a 1969 graduate of Hamilton High School in New Jersey. Following graduation from high school, he entered the US Marine Corps. He was a carpenter and contractor in the upper Fishingcreek area. Surviving are his companion, Mary Ellen (Temple) Freed; daughters Lori L. Peterson (Noah), Shickshinny, April D. Brady, Bloomsburg, and Amy L. Brady, Shickshinny. Also surviving are his grandchildren Angela, Blair, Alexis, Courtney, Olivia and Emma. He was preceded in death by a son, Robert J. “Rob” Brady, on July 21, 1994. Memorial services will be held Friday, January 23, 2009, at 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. A combined veterans group will conduct military honors.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home, Benton. A complete obituary will be published in the January 16, 2009, edition of the Press Enterprise
January 15, 2009. There are 64 days until the official start of Spring. Just after noon January 15, 1929, a son was born to the Reverend and Mrs. Martin Luther King, Sr., in Atlanta, Georgia. The son became the nation's most famous civil-rights leader and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Friday's overnight temperatures are expected to dip below zero.
Quote of the Day...
"Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better."
--Harry S TrumanQuickies...• The corn crop in 2008 in the United States was 12.1 billion bushels, according to USDA’s Crop Production 2008 Summary. U.S. growers produced 2.96 billion bushels of soybeans, up 11% from 2007.
• Some have trouble navigating to the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society, www.colcohist-gensoc.org/, because of the URL. Here is a simple way. Simply type Columbiacountyhistory.org into your browser and you'll go directly to the site.
• The Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center's Thrift Shop on Mill Street has an ALL NEW inventory as of today. Stop in and take a look.
In an effort to provide information to parents and community members regarding health and nutrition, the Benton School district is offering sessions and discussion groups on wellness and healthy lifestyles. The activities are open to the community, parents and students and will include regular discussion groups, speakers, activities and access to information through web-based programs. The activities will take place at the Middle/High School on Tuesdays between 6 and 8 PM. Anyone interested in being a part of the discussion group may sign up in the Middle/High school library on Tuesdays from 6 to 8 or in the elementary school library on Thursdays from 5 to 7 PM. The program and associated activities will run until the end of the school year. The Benton Area School District provides this service to the community, as part of a grant provided to the district from the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation and Berwick Health and Wellness Trust.
One of my favorite stories about moonshiners comes from the area just north of Asheville in an area known as the Big Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. I first heard of the story from an issue of the Nashville American published in October 1906. The story was about Betsy Sims, 22, "the best looking gal in the mountains, queen of the moonshiners," who was in jail at Columbus, a mountain town in Polk County, North Carolina.
According to the newspaper account, Betsy was as "daring and well-versed a woman, both in the ways of making whiskey and of selling it, as one could find." She had a "killing pair of eyes, bright and well-filled cheeks and hair." She sold contraband whiskey from the time she was 16. Stories were told of the prowess of Betsy. She was a heroine and her name became synonymous with courage and cunning. A certain ring of romance attached to her because of her youth and beauty. She was the Daisy Mae of 1906!
According to the newspaper account, older moonshiners began to look up to her and even idolize the plucky girl, who all her life was taught to believe that the selling of whiskey was a noble act and that "revenuers" were a group of people sent to be oppressors of the people. This seemed to be the backbone of Betsy's point-of-view as she made corn whiskey in the shaded and well-hidden hollows in the mountains.
Each year, Betsy became more and more daring and more beautiful. She became very bold in her making and selling of whiskey and going to and from her stills. The North Carolina authorities finally decided enough was enough. They sent three deputy sheriffs for Betsy. Taking their lives in their hands and carrying huge revolvers, cartridges and Government badges in their jackets, they set out to find and arrest Betsy. The deputies located her on foot near the South Carolina line and tried to take her without drawing attention to the event. The men didn't look like friends when Betsy spied them, so she hot-footed it for the state line.
She crossed the state line in a flash and thinking that she was safe stopped running. The deputies didn't stop to admire the South Carolina countryside and kept on coming. They grabbed the girl about a hundred yards inside the South Carolina line.
Betsy was about out of breath, but had enough left to call out for help. Out of the bushes came five tough-looking moonshiners, any one of which would have died for Betsy. Betsy was packing a "good-sized revolver" poorly concealed by a checkered apron on her waist, but her moonshine friends made no concealment of the pistols they had in their hands.
The moonshiners let the deputies understand that they were willing to pay cash for Betsy's appearance at court and that they were "willin' to put up $25 in greenbacks" if Betsy could be set free with the promise to "appear at C'lumus next term."
The deputies thought it over and decided it would be wise to take the cash. Betsy left with her friends, looking back at the officers, her eyes sparkling with defiance and the roses "in her cheeks deepened until they were like little peonies." Her face was framed in a pink sunbonnet so commonly worn during the week by mountain girls of that era.
There were three indictments against her on the charge of violating a Federal statute by selling unlicensed liquor, but she continued to plea to get the cases continued, with the help of a lot of moonshiner friends. She always put up a cash bond for appearance. She soon had invested $200.
The judge looked at her record and the damage she had caused in the Carolinas in open violation of the law. Betsy must have thought that things wouldn't go right, because she failed to show up for the trial. She was eventually found at the home of a moonshiner, brought back and tried and the judge decided to make an example of the girl by sending her to jail at Columbus for four months.
The moonshiners were dumbstruck. Betsy to them was a charmed person. One of them in an outburst of admiration, said that she would "come clar" and that "no jedge an' jury can tech her, in my min'." Betsy wasn't done.
The jail at Columbus was an old-fashioned barn of a structure, three stories high made out of brick. When Betsy first arrived at the jail, a man by the name of Chalmers was there on his way to the penitentiary to serve twelve months for manslaughter. He had been involved in a mix-up when a fellow mountaineer got slain with a knife and was "gittin' off light," as the newspaper put it. Betsy was jailed on the second floor. The prisoner Chalmers was on the floor above. A crude flight of steps led through the second to the third floor through a well-locked trapdoor of wood.
The weather was cool and there was a fire in Betsy's cell. She enlisted the aid of Chalmers in the project of getting her out of jail. The two were allowed to talk and exchanged pleasantries when the jailer was listening and talked escaping when his attention was elsewhere. She took a "chunk of fire" and set the stairway on fire. Chalmers made his way to the second floor, then made a hole through the side of the jail while Betsy made a rope out of blankets and bedding. Chalmers with true gallantry decided it would be best if he got out of jail first by testing the blanket rope. Out he went and flittered away.
Betsy was heading out the hole when the jailer returned and hauled her back into the room. The judge ordered that she be placed in the strongest cell in the jail and at the next term of the court she was to be indicted for an assault with intent to kill. Her moonshiner friends made threats that she would not stay in jail long, but county authorities vowed to hold her--and did.
Iva Mae (Spencer) Conner, State Route 487, Benton, died Tuesday, January 13, 2009, at the Berwick Hospital Center. She had been in failing health for the past several years. She was a daughter of the late Bruce and Lena (Beishline) Spencer. Iva Mae was born in Fairmount Township where she attended Fairmount Schools and later graduated from Huntington Mills High School. She once worked for Milco Industries, Benton, and the Catawissa Shirt Factory. Later she owned and operated the former Robyn Anne Dress Shoppe, Main Street, Benton. Iva Mae was regarded as Benton School District’s biggest sports fan. She was active with sports programs in the school and the community for many years. She made hundreds of knit black- and orange hats for Benton’s athletes. The gymnasium in the L. R. Appleman Elementary School, Benton, is named in her honor. She was a long-time member and past president of the Benton Area School Board as well as the Columbia Montour Vocational Technical School Board.
Iva Mae was an avid golfer and was a member of the Berwick Golf Club and the Mill Race Golf Course. She had seven holes-in-one during her golfing career and had won the Women’s Golf Championship at the Berwick Golf Club. She was a Past Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star.
Surviving are her husband of 45 years, Robert F. Conner; a son, Robert F. “Rob” Conner II (Angela), Benton; grandchildren Michael and Brenna Conner; and siblings Erma Zubris, Cambra; Betty Flanagan, Ohio; Marian Remley, Divide; Barbara Bonham (Paul), Mossville and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by siblings John Spencer, Evelyn Comstock, Roy Spencer, Ray Spencer, Paul Spencer, Nola Taylor and Ruth Wagner. Funeral services will be held Monday at 10:30 AM at the Stillwater Christian Church. A viewing will be held Sunday evening from 6 to 8 PM. Burial will be in the Stillwater cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Benton Area High School Athletic Program, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. A complete obituary will be published in the Press Enterprise in its edition of January 15, 2009.
Ice skating in front of the home of Iva Mae and Bob Conner, State Route 487, at what is often called the Edson Dam or the Brewington Dam over Fishingcreek, north of Benton Borough. The picture is courtesy of Gaye Beishline Moser, Okeechobee, Florida, and was taken when her father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Guy Beishline, owned the 4-G Farm on the east side of Route 487. The day this picture was taken was apparently a day about as cold as we can expect locally through the early part of this weekend.
V. Blaine Long (December 11, 1939-January 14, 2009), Benton Manor Drive, Benton, died Wednesday at the Bloomsburg Health Care Center following a battle with cancer. He was 69. Blaine was a son of Leo Adam Long and Vera Alma (Hall) Long. He was born in Bloomsburg. He was raised by Carl and Helen Kessler, North Street, Benton. He was a 1957 graduate of Benton High School where he played in the band. Blaine's career over a thirty-year period was as a sewing-machine mechanic at the former Dockey Shirt Factory, Dol-Ang Manufacturing, Milco Industries, Crystal Fashions and Nordic Gear. He retired in 2001.
Blaine was a member of Oriental Lodge, No. 460, Orangeville; Caldwell Consistory, Bloomsburg; the Order of Eastern Star; and the Berwick Archery Club. He also served as a Benton fire policeman. He loved singing and playing bluegrass music, specifically the bass guitar in a band known as The Pennsylvania Mountain Boys. He also played with Joe Feola and with Al and Pat Hess. He loved to participate in muzzleloader and Indian gatherings (he played the part of the Indian). Surviving are his daughter, Mary C. Rundle (William), Unityville; grandchildren Renee, Cody and Sara; one great grandson, Bryan; siblings Velma Charles, Unityville; Fay Kessler, Danville; Miles Long (Lyvera), Muncy; Gladys Funk (John), Reading; Ruth Ann Beagle (Larry), Almedia, and by a number of nieces and nephews as well as his four-legged Pomeranian companion, Lola. Memorial services will be held Wednesday, January 21, 2009, at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent in his name to the First Columbia Bank and Trust, Benton, to help defray his final expenses.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will appear in the Press Enterprise in its edition of January 15, 2009.
J. Milnor Roberts Jr., an advertising executive promoted to the rank of major general in the Army Reserve who served as chief of Army Reserve from 1971 to 1975, died Jan. 2 at Virginia Hospital Center. He was 90. Maj. Gen. Roberts was an Army combat veteran of World War II who participated in the Normandy invasion and the Battle of the Bulge. Survivors include his wife of 13 years, Priscilla Bruce Roberts, Arlington County, Virginia; four children from his first marriage, James M. Roberts III, Burke, Virginia, Mary Lee Newman, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Deborah L. Gillespie, Woodlands, Texas, and Todd Roberts, Benton. There are eight grandchildren. Additional details are available from the edition of the Washington Post of Tuesday, January 13, 2009; Page B05.
January 14, 2009. Get ready for the second coming of the glacial age as temperatures dip to about 11° tonight with some nuisance snow. Thursday and Friday morning the temperature might not go below zero, but will come close. Friday could see a high of only 12°.
Quote of the Day:
"I have seen a better mood at funerals."
--Mike Jackson, president of AutoNationQuickies...• There are a total of 439 operational nuclear-power plants worldwide, with 35 currently under construction. The top five users of nuclear power are the United States with 104 plants; France, 59, Japan, 55, Russia, 31; and South Korea, 20. Go here to find all the nuclear plants in the United States.--The European Nuclear Society
• For the convenience of readers, the seminars on natural-gas leasing on our UPCOMING EVENTS page are highlighted in blue.
• The Susquehanna River Valley Visitors Bureau, the Tourism Promotion Agency for Snyder, Northumberland, and Union counties, has released its free “2009 Visitors Guide.” Call 1-800 525-7320 to get your copy.
• How 'bout these statistics! The 51-member Weight Watchers class at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center is eight weeks into the program. The group lost 486.5 pounds since the class began.Things always look good for Pennsylvania, but consider this...• AFC finalists Pittsburgh and Baltimore met twice in the regular season. The Steelers defeated the Ravens 23-20 in overtime in Pittsburgh in week 4 and 13-9 in Baltimore in week 15. That win clinched the AFC North for the Steelers, who should be a 6-point favorite this weekend.
• Philadelphia played Arizona on Thanksgiving night. McNabb threw for four touchdowns as the Eagles won 48-20. Brian Westbrook had two rushing touchdowns, two receiving touchdowns and 100-plus rushing yards. They should be a three-point favorite Sunday.Readers seem to like to hear about North Carolina when I make my trips to that state, and little captures the imagination more than the concept of running from the law and the making of illegal whiskey.She was only a whiskey maker, but he loved her still.Didja know that the term moonshiner got its name from night runners who smuggled brandy from France under the cover of night in order to add a degree of safety to an illegal operation? In this country, it meant someone who made illegal liquor. The term bootlegger came about from those who sold the contraband and often hid the whiskey in the top of their loose-fitting boots. Moonshiners modified their automobiles to achieve high speeds to get away from federal agents. These races became forerunners for stock-car racing and evolved to what is known as NASCAR today.
A newspaper known as the Anaconda Standard, discussed moonshining in its edition of June 2, 1901: "It's cornmeal when it goes in and it's proof liquor when it comes out. It's keep your eye on guard 24 hours a day and come out at the end of the year as poor as the respectable farmer, your neighbor. Moonshine whiskey is what they call it here in North Carolina and it happens in the country "where there ain't no ten commandments and a man can raise a thirst."
The moonshiner was as shrewd as a Harvard graduate, although most were actually rather uncouth and disheveled. They didn't trust anyone, including their best friends and distant members of their own family. They keep their guard up 24/7. Every knock on the door was treated as though a revenue officer was on the outside wanting to come in, although rarely did revenue officers catch anyone in the act of making whiskey.
Often there were only two paths into a still. If the officers of the Government came in one way, the operators went out the other. It also appears as though there was a code between the right side of the law and the wrong. If the officers simply destroyed the whiskey and the still, everything went OK. If the officer felt he had protection and license to completely destroy the moonshiner, usually the Government ended up hiring a new officer.
According to figures provided by a tourist bureau in North Carolina, during the year 1900, 1,965 illicit distilleries were seized by revenue officers within the United States. Of this number, 673 were located in Georgia and 483 in North Carolina.
Ever since Sir Walter Raleigh bartered whiskey, whiskey has been manufactured, legally and illegally, in the United States. The mountaineer's father made whiskey. He was brought up to think that the Government had no right to tinker with his supply of spring water or his crop of corn. He wore home-made clothing, cooked his food in his fireplace, and ate the same coarse, unappetizing meals his father ate. His main crop was corn; cotton wouldn't grow on the sides of the hills. He probably grew some cabbage and his fruit trees thrived, but there simply wasn't a money crop. They made "mountain dew" their money crop.
Uncle Sam could never dislodge the thoughts of making whiskey from the minds of these mountain people. There were few transgressions in life outside of illicit dealing in whiskey and hiding all guilty parties. The moonshiner never allowed any quarter from those on the other side of the law. He had a great ability to be a good marksman. Although the guns he used were never state-of-the-art, he could hold out against the repeating Winchesters of the revenue officers.
There have been songs and stories about the moonshiner. Before I spent time in the mountains of North Carolina, I pictured him somewhat like O.B. Savage--somewhat picturesque, raw-boned and grizzled, who simply wanted to make a "little licker" on his own land using his own spring water and corn mash. From Hollywood productions, I deduced that officers of the law took their lives into their hands every time they headed into the hills to find a moonshiner. I concluded that during the period when moonshine was being made in quantity, the crooked distributors of whiskey hired the best attorneys they could find, the saloon-keepers paid a tariff for protection and took whatever punishment the law handed out without a whimper, but the moonshiner got even with his rifle.
When we get together Thursday, I'll tell you about "the best looking gal in the mountains, queen of the moonshiners," sort of a "Daisy Mae" from 1906, with a "killing pair of eyes, bright and well-filled cheeks and hair." She was a moonshiner from the age of 16. She has an interesting story to tell.
January 13, 2009. Stephen Foster died on January 13, 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.Quickies...• Here in North Carolina there is only one sport. No one gives a hoot that Pennsylvania has two teams heading toward the Super Bowl. The sport here is racing cars. A student at the NASCAR Technical Institute asked out of the blue if I needed my oil changed. He said he would get credit for it. I only had to buy the oil. I declined his offer, but asked how he gets his racing experience. He said this weekend he was going "to do the Dragon's Tail" in his recently-modified Firebelch 500. I didn't understand what he meant until he showed me the video of the North Carolina highway where apparently the police look the other way.
• A reader told me that I reminded him of a politician who once began a speech by saying, "Fellow citizens, it is my business to talk." "Yes, cried someone in the audience, "and your place of business has not been closed in the past twenty years."
• The Vietnam War cost about $684 billion, the Korean War cost about $403 billion. The 2009 federal deficit will be $1.186 trillion--and that is 5.5 times larger than the Louisiana Purchase.
• Krysten Ritter keeps on getting national exposure. A feature with some very flattering pictures of Krysten appears in the January/February 2009 issue of C Magazine, http://www.magazinec.com/, the “Young Ingenues” portfolio.
• Didja ever stop to think that "stressed" is simply "desserts" in reverse?
• Yahoo is now on my "hit list." Without my knowledge or consent, Yahoo removed my google search bar from Firefox and substituted Yahoo as the search engine.
Parliamentary procedure is a set of guidelines for conducting business at meetings and public gatherings. This is important because it allows everyone to be heard and make decisions without confusion. Many clubs/organizations are confused about the correct way to use parliamentary procedure at meetings. A meeting coming up February 10 will include how to properly implement parliamentary procedure without complicating the process. The meeting will take place at Central Columbia High School Auditorium from 6 PM to 7:30 PM. Admission is free. Refreshments will be provided by the Columbia County 4-H Council. Snow date will be February 24, 2008.
Leo R. Niedzwiecki (Bear) (October 25, 1950-January 12, 2009) died Monday at the Bloomsburg Hospital after being stricken ill at his home at State Route 118, Benton. He was 58. The word "Niedzwiecki" means "bear," and the family uses the name "Bear" in the local area. Leo was a son of Peter and Antoinette Bear Niedzwiecki and was born in Kingston. He was a graduate of Lake Lehman High School. His parents also live in rural Benton. He and his widow, Barbara J. (Rosencrans) Niedzwiecki would have celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary on May 1. Leo owned and operated Bear Fuel and Excavating Service, Inc., Leo Bear Trucking, Inc. and H20 To Go, Inc., all of Benton. He was known for his strong work ethic and always went the extra mile to satisfy his customers. Surviving, in addition to his wife and parents, all of Benton, are his children Tracy L. Bear Niedzwiecki (Bernadine), Peter John Bear Niedzwiecki, and Leanne N. Bear Niedzwiecki; two granddaughters: Braeden and Coveyn Bear Niedzwiecki, all of Benton; and a brother, Edward Bear Niedzwiecki, of Kudu, California. He was preceded in death by a sister, Leona Gittens in 1998. Funeral services will be held Friday, January 16, 2009, at 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., with viewing taking place for two hours preceding the service.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the Press Enterprise in its edition of January 13, 2009
Beatrice M. Pritchard (February 27, 1918-January 10, 2009), Wood Street, Nazareth, and formerly of Third Street, Benton, from 1950 to 1962, died Saturday at the Kutztown Manor, Kutztown, where she had been a guest since September 2008. She was 90. Beatrice was a daughter of the Grant and Alice A. (Brobst) Stackhouse. She was born in West Pittston and was a graduate of the former West Pittston High School. She was employed the by F.W. Woolworth Co., Easton. Beatrice was a former member of the Benton United Presbyterian Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, William K. Pritchard, on June 1, 1977, and by a son, Ronald B. Pritchard, on Oct. 16, 2008. Surviving are a daughter, Alice Anne Karns, Reading; two grandchildren: Michele S. Hill (Michael), Birmingham, Alabama, and Edward W. Karns, Copperas Cove, Texas; two great-grandsons, and a sister, Louise Steele, Bend, Oregon. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2 PM with viewing preceding in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc., Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Benton. Interment will be in the Benton Cemetery. --Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, which includes a complete obituary in their edition of January 12, 2009.
January 12, 2009. The Benton News was not published correctly in its web version Saturday and was not published Sunday in either web or email versions. The web-hosting site is unable to uplink before Monday. When the system is repaired, we'll return in a web version. Keep Rosalie Harrison in your prayers as she heads for Geisinger Hospital for a catscan today preliminary to the remove of a pollop from her throat on January 23.
In the meantime...Sunday, January 11, we missed the birthday of Deb Dressler and Jack Gulliver. Monday, January 12, is the birthday of Sheila Malenovitch, Ray Kishbach, Walt Lysk, Janet McHenry, Bert Ritter and radio-talk host Rush Limbaugh.Didja know that California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura are both former actors who have made movies together? They were both in Batman and Robin in 1997. In 1987, they were in Predator and the Running Man.
Need some diversion? Head to www.regiftable.com/RegiftingRobinPopUp.html.
Congratulations to the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers!
• The Giants won the Super Bowl last year, but Philadelphia did them in this year in the playoffs as they failed to score a touchdown, lost out on two fourth-down runs and didn't make two of five field-goal attempts as the Eagles defeated them, 23-11.The Eagles will play the Arizona Cardinals next Sunday in the National Football Conference championship game in Glendale, Arizona, for the right to go to the Super Bowl.
• The Pittsburgh Steelers showed off their great defense to a non-charging team from Sand Yiago which completely self-destructed. The Steelers put it to the Chargers, 35-24. The Steelers are up against the Baltimore Ravens next Sunday. The Steelers beat the Ravens twice this season.This Benton News originates today from North Carolina. The lady who carried the unfortunate title of "the virgin queen," Elizabeth I, sent Walter Raleigh to explore the New World and granted him "unknown lands" north of Florida. Always the gentleman, Walter named the land Virginia in honor of his queen's chastity. King Charles I in 1629 split Virginia in half and gave land from the Albermarle Sound south to Florida to Sir. Robert Heath. The name of the new territory became Carolina, from the Latin form of the ruler's name. When Charles II took over things, he divvied up the land to eight of his lords. The territory was still too big for efficient management, so in 1711 holdings were split into North Carolina and South Carolina.The folks in North Carolina we have been talking with are far from discussions of the $6 trillion of housing wealth or the $8 trillion in stock that has vanished into thin air. I haven't heard a single comment about $700 billion of TARP money dispensed without an apparent lick of oversight or about Bernard Madoff, who without a whole lot of help destroyed more wealth than any single individual in history.North Carolina had at least one person like Bernard Madoff who lived on the south side of the law. The man was John Romulus Brinkley, born about 1885 in Jackson County, North Carolina. This man was possibly the King of American medical quacks, a man who acquired his education by mail, a man who did not finish his secondary-school education.
He first worked as a snake-oil salesman. He dyed some water and said that it was did wonders for sexual vigor. With a partner, who actually was a former armed robber, he formed the "Greenville Electro Medical Doctors." He tried being a rural doctor in Arkansas, then bought a medical diploma for $500, which allowed him to move to and practice in Kansas. Texas and Connecticut granted his a medical license, too.
By 1918, he offered men a treatment to restore their virility by implanting a "Toggenberg goat gland" into the patient for a fee of $750. Brinkley maintained that the goat was the most sexually potent of all the animals, obviously having never met a rabbit. He claimed that he knew how to transfer goat testicles to men. This was big bucks for the "doctor," who performed the procedure on a number of well-heeled patients and the word spread bringing more and more business his way. A childless man tried the procedure and nine months later there was a child. It was great publicity for Brinkley. By 1927, an estimated 500 men a day shelled out $750 to get their pre-Viagra fix. He built a 50-bed hospital. He bought a radio station, cranked the power to a thousand watts and told listeners what a powerful product he had. Letters began arriving at the rate of 3,000 a day--so many that he built a new post office to handle the avalanche of mail. The price of his goat-testicle procedure rose to $1,500.
The bubble burst when the secretary of the American Medial Association exposed the sham and his medical and broadcasting licenses were revoked. Brinkley liked the good life and decided to run for Governor in 1930 in order to replace the State Medical Board. He didn't win, so he ran again in 1932 and 1934. He tried running for the United States Senate from the state of Texas, but was beaten by Lyndon B. Johnson.
He then built the most powerful radio station in the world--500 thousand watts--and scammed people from a base in Mexico. Some claim that he made $12 million between 1933 and 1938. It got ugly by 1939 as the IRS got him on back taxes, patients began winning on malpractice suits and his radio guests started sounding more and more like representatives of the American Nazi party. The Americans eventually convinced the Mexicans to shut his radio down in 1941. Brinkley soon after had a heart attack, lost a leg and died the following year of heart failure.
There are many conflicting stores of this strange man, mostly because he published his own biography in which everything was greatly distorted. If you would like to read more about the man, turn to www.matthewmusial.com/brinkbio.htm.
I get distracted too easily! I was going to tell you about the Tar Heel state. What I mostly hear about here in North Carolina is NASCAR. The police cars are black with black and white "finish-line" markings. Floor tile in many restaurants is black and white.Restaurants include a bowl of grits (or country gravy) with each breakfast and corn-beef hash, country ham, livermush and bologna are popular. The lunch menu often includes hush puppies, corn nuggets, "bittenballen savory balls," grilled chicken-breast club, and hamburger steak soaked in sautéed onions and gravy. Vegetables include black-eyed peas, baked apples, sweet-potato casserole, pinto beans, okra, cabbage, greens, tater tots and fried squash.
January 10, 2009. It is the birthday of Eleanor Kocher, 96. Eleanor is a resident of the Orangeville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. Alecia Schlichter celebrates her birthday today.The local area can expect snow Saturday; after all, it is the start of the Farm Show today and adverse weather always travels with the Farm Show.Today in history...
. On Jan. 10, 1776, Thomas Paine published his influential pamphlet, Common Sense.
. In 1911, temperatures dropped 47 degrees in 15 minutes in Rapid City, South Dakota.
. In 1920, the League of Nations was established as the Treaty of Versailles went into effect.Shoo-fly pie
And apple pan dowdy
Make your eyes light up
And your stomach say "howdy.
And apple pan dowdy
I never get enough
Of that wonderful stuff.
--Author unknownQuickies from the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center...• The North Mountain Art League will display artwork for the months of February and March in the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. Local artist, Pam McHenry, will display her artwork in August and September.• The Center has purchased a projection system and a popcorn machine. Movies for adults and children will be held at a time and location to be determined. A kitchen crew is needed to help serve hot dogs, popcorn and drinks; call 925-0163 to volunteer. The first movie to be shown is Treasure Island.• Patrons of the library at The Center are reminded that books with yellow dots may not be removed from the library/museum.• The Library/Museum committee determines what incoming donations will be accepted or rejected. The first donation date will be Saturday, January 31, 2009, from 10 AM to noon. Thereafter, donations will be accepted the last Saturday of each month or by appointment if necessary (924-0163). Diane Laubach will be present at the Center during the Saturday donation time.Didja ever think that trouble are like babies? They only grow if you nurse them.If your travels this winter take you through Mount Dora, Florida, stop at a wonderful little shop known as Yesterdaze Antiques, owned by relatives of Ruth Kline and Ken Kelsey and others in the local area. The relative is Gene Crossley, who, with his wife, Andrea, own the antique shop and the train display inside the shop. Gene has 30 years of experience as a member of the Train Collectors Association and holds clinics on trains on his own. Gene is the son of the late Audrey and Earl Crossley. Gene's grandfather was Jess Crossley, who lived in a house on the former Roy Hess farm about where the Sokol group is now located on Route 487 south of Benton. Gene's mother's sister is Ruth Kline, Green Acres. Gene's father's sister is Ethel Kelsey, Fifth Street. The vintage-train display will be up through January. Yesterdaze Antiques is open on the weekends from 10 AM to 5 PM.From our files...
In October, 1945, Weldon L. Everett and James Vance of Wyoming purchased the Market Street store building formerly occupied by H. W. Belles from Mrs. Minnie Knouse, Benton, and started remodeling the building for use as a meat market.
Miss Jessie Fine become the bride of Leonard Wenner in 1945. Proud parents were Mr. and Mrs. Herman Hess, Grassmere, and Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Wenner. Jessie at the time was in the Cadet Nursing corps, class of 1947, at the Geisinger Memorial Hospital. For the honeymoon, they drove to York to visit Mrs. Wenner's sister and brother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Ira McHenry.
Linda Lee Kline, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Kline, escaped serious injury when she fell from the moving car of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. Hartman in March, 1946. Linda Lee was standing by her mother on the back seat of the car. She pushed against the door handle and when the door flew open, Linda Lee tumbled out. The accident happened near the Orangeville bridge and the little girl was immediately taken to the Bloomsburg Hospital for X-rays. She had bruises and brush burns of the face and hands, and at the time was wearing a heavy snow suit, which saved her from more serious injury. Linda was recently in Benton for the funeral of her sister-in-law, Nancy Shannon Kline.
On February 22, 1946, Joe Dalto purchased the Ray B. Keeler building on Main Street. The building consisted of two storerooms and a dwelling. Mr. Dalto used the entire first floor for a confectionery and restaurant and Mr. Keeler moved his justice of the peace office and watch repair to another building. The Main Street building was purchased earlier this week by Mr. and Mrs. John Hittle.
On March 30, 1946, Lillian and Betty Jane Yost became brides in a double ceremony at the Benton Presbyterian Church. The grooms were Ensign Lester J. Trout and James Edson. Rev. Barber performed the ceremony. Betty Jane's maid-of-honor was sister Geraldine Yost. Lillian's maid-of-honor was Isabel Yost.
Dr. Charles S. Sentner opened his office in Benton September 3, 1946. The Argus mentioned that it suspected he would stick around, because he purchased the "Ginter residence and office."
In a unanimous vote of 87 school directors in 1946, Ray M. Cole was renamed head of the Columbia County Schools, a position he had held since 1933. Words like "outstanding" and "no contest" were used to describe Mr. Cole, but in typical Columbia County style, the secondary headline was "Salary is Set at Minimum."
A local ex-soldier lamented in a May, 1946, letter that "The Army says I can't wear my uniform after I arrive home because I'll be impersonating a soldier. The stores say I can't buy a suit of clothes because they haven't my size. The police say I can't go on the streets naked because it is against the law. I would gladly stay off the streets, but I can't find a house to live in and with the shortage of lumber I can't buy a barrel. Having been wounded, the Army won't take me back because I'm not physically fit."
January 9, 2009. 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 92nd Pennsylvania State Farm Show moo-ves Saturday to the Farm Show Complex, Harrisburg. Admission is free, but it will cost $8 per vehicle to park and ride the shuttle bus. The show runs through January 17.There is some amazing digital art entitled "Women in Art," available at www.artgallery.lu/digitalart/women_in_art.htmlAlthough the local area won't be heavily represented January 20 in Washington, D.C., understand that "inside the beltway" will face unprecedented bridge- and road closures as officials strive to control security and handle the throngs of visitors expected for Barack Obama’s inauguration. Driving into the District on Inauguration Day will be virtually an impossible task, with cars prohibited from traveling on all bridges that cross from Virginia into the city. Cars will be banned along nine miles of Interstate 395 northbound from the Capital Beltway to the 14th Street Bridge; on eastbound I-66 inside the Beltway; and both ways on the George Washington Memorial Parkway from the Beltway to the bridge. If you make it into the city, parking will be severely limited near the inaugural events. Charter buses and limousines with Muslim drivers will make up most of the moving traffic in the city.Federal regulations take place on February 10 as part of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act which require all products intended for children 12 and younger to be tested for lead. Thrift and consignment stores will be adversely affected, as well as those who patronize these stores. The Los Angeles Times reports that certain items sold by thrift and consignment shops that a child cannot get to will be excluded from the legislation.
Walter E. Leonard (November 1, 1941-January 4, 2009), Elk Grove Road, Benton, passed away Sunday at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Hospital, Wilkes-Barre. He was 67. Walt was a son of Frank and Genevieve (Zoltek) Leonard and was born in Quakertown. He was a 1959 graduate of Quakertown High School. He then entered the US Navy for four fours serving on the USS Forrestal and USS Intrepid and was in Fighter Squadron 74. He retired from Ametek U. S. Gauge, Sellersville, in 2003 after 41 years of service. He then moved to his retirement home in Elk Grove. Walt was a member of the Benton V.F.W. where he assisted with military funerals for area veterans and participated in Memorial Day and Veterans Day parades. He served as an instructor for the Pennsylvania Game Commission Hunter and Trapper Education program for nearly 30 years, mostly at the Milford Township Fish, Game and Forestry Association. Surviving are his former spouse, Sue (Schrantz) Leonard, Quakertown; his companion, Rose Zimmerman, Benton; a daughter, Yvonne Leonard, Quakertown; a son, Jeff Leonard (Brenda), Red Hill, PA; and two granddaughters. Also surviving are sisters Rose Marie Vargo (Donald), Quakertown, and Gerry Crouthamel (James), Sellersville. Memorial services will be held Saturday, January 17, 2009, at 1 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. Military honors will be accorded by a combined Veterans group. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Benton V. F. W., P.O. Box 463, Benton, PA 17814; Christ United Methodist Church, 605 Camp Lavigne Road, Benton, PA 17814 or to the PA Game Commission Hunter Trapper Education Program, or you may plant a tree, bush or flowers in his honor.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be included in the Press Enterprise in its edition of January 9, 2008.
January 8, 2009. The Benton News will be sparse until the middle of next week as Marcia Kay and I head to the largest city on the eastern seaboard between Philadelphia and Jacksonville. I'll tell you more about it late in the week.
Elvis Aaron Presley would be 73 today. He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi, in 1935. At the age of twelve, he learned to play the guitar but never learned to read music. His favorite music was gospel, a product of growing up in a religious family. He probably didn't intend to become a professional musician. He studied to become an electrician, but got a job as a truck driver. In the summer of 1953, he recorded two songs for his mother--after he scraped up four dollars. Producer Sam Phillips got a copy of the recording of the "hillbilly music and recorded "That's All Right, Mama." The song played on the air and 6,000 copies of the song were sold in Memphis the second week it was released. When he appeared on the stage for the first time, he was so nervous that his leg shook--and so did the girls watching. In his career, he made the top 100 with 149 different songs.Quote of the Day:"Every time I think that I'm getting old, and gradually going to the grave, something else happens."
--Elvis PresleyCongratulations to the owners of the McDonald's Restaurant on Route 11, Shamokin Dam. The Golden Arches signs turned off one night in the middle of December, the restaurant closed and the next day it completely disappeared. The lot was empty. No longer could a happy camper pick up a Big Mac with its 540 calories, 29 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbohydrates and 25 grams of protein and it was impossible to get its delicious, crunchy, tasty and full of salt french fries with 610 calories, etc., etc., etc. A 230-calorie Sweet Tea was out of the question. Campers were happy Wednesday, however, when a new, super-sized McDonald's opened at the old location in what must come close to setting a record for opening a new McDonald's "from the ground up."
The topic will be Marcellus Shale Activity: Regulatory Requirements in the Susquehanna River Basin, and will be presented by Mike Brownell, Chief, Water Resources Management Division, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, at the Fishing Creek Watershed Association meeting January 12 at 7 PM at the Columbia County Conservation District, 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg. Questions can be directed to 784-1310, extension 123.
January 7, 2009. It is the birthday of Danielle Deitrick. Clifton "Kip" Watts turns 50. Last year at this time it was 60°, but in 2002 we had 14" of new snow on the ground. This morning is just not pretty. Drive carefully! Keep Wayne McMichael and Clair Harvey in your prayers today as they go under the knife for hip/knee replacements and continue to keep Blaine Long in your prayers. Have you addressed your card to Blaine yet? (Bloomsburg Health Care Center, Room 207, 211 E 1st Street, Bloomsburg 17815) Joselle Confair was scheduled for a knee-replacement operation Thursday, but her surgeon broke his foot and her surgery has been put off to January 29.Quickies...• Google maps at maps.google.com now includes a tool which expands its 360° street-level images of byways to Northeast Pennsylvania. It is now possible to navigate streets on the screen. Most of the images are in West Scranton, Moosic and Old Forge--handy for those times when you just have to have the best pizza made! Other major routes are available. The views come from a periscope-like camera mounted to the roof of a car. Don't expect the car to roll through Benton's streets with today's yuckky weather.
• Didja ever wonder what ever happened to the old country and western singers and the old western movies? Go to www.oldfortyfives.com/thoseoldwesterns.htm and reminisce.
• The law is that people must start taking annual withdrawals from their IRAs in the year after they reach age 70½ based on their life expectancy and their IRA account balance as of December 31 of the previous year. Because so many people's account values have shrunk since December 2007, their withdrawals are based on a balance that at least in part has gone away. Congress has passed a law suspending the annual withdrawal requirement for 2009.
• Congratulations to Lisa Makara, the new Director of Marketing at Bloomsburg Health System. She comes to the position with 19 years experience in the healthcare and marketing fields. She has a Masters degree in Health Science, with a concentration in Wellness Promotion and a certificate in Community Health Education. Makara is active in several community organizations as Chairperson for the Columbia County Alzheimer’s Memory Walk, Co-chair for the Columbia Montour Women’s Conference, Co-chair for Action Health - Aging and Wellness taskforce, and a team leader for Bloomsburg Hospital’s Rod & Custom Cruise-In. Makara enjoys spending time with her daughters Kyra and Elyse and husband Richard.
Didja ever wonder about the derivation of names of things we like to eat? Here are some examples...• Oh Henry! The peanut, caramel and fudge candy bar may have been named after a boy who flirted with girls in the plant that made the candy. It could have been named after the short-story writer William Sydney Porter, a man who loved a twist of plot and who wrote using the pen name O. Henry. It is also possible it was named for Tom Henry who began making the candy in 1919. Nestle owns the company today; the candy is manufactured in Smith Falls, Canada, by The Hershey Company.
• Salisbury Steak. Dr. James H. Salisbury was a physician during the Civil War and concluded that diarrhea suffered by the troops could be controlled with a diet of coffee and lean-chopped beefsteak. He felt that fruits and vegetables should not be eaten by humans and was a primary cause of heart disease. His belief that most diseases were a result of an unhealthy diet resulted in his developing a hamburg patty which came to be known as Salisbury Steak.
• Clementines. The orange-like fruit on store shelves through February was named for a French monk in Algeria, Père Clément Rodier, who created the hybrid of the Mandarin and Seville oranges to create Clementines. The normally seedless fruit, a cross between a sweet orange and a Chinese mandarin, comes from Spain, Morocco and other parts of North Africa.Didja ever notice that it is easier to avoid temptation as we grow older? Temptation seems to avoid us as everything starts to wear out, fall out or spread out.
The Pennsylvania General Assembly was in session Tuesday for the purpose of swearing into office two hundred and fifty-two men and women. Twelve Republicans and fifteen Democrats took the oath of office for the first time in the state House of Representatives. Five Republican freshmen and two Democrats were sworn in on the Senate side. Democrats hold a 104-99 majority in the House. Republicans control the Senate 29-20, with one vacancy as a result of the death of Sen. Jim Rhoades, R-Schuylkill.
In the 2009-2010 legislative session, women fill 37 of the 253 seats in the state House of Representatives and Senate, including Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming), our local state Representatives. Dr. Boback is commencing her second term representing the 117th District in the House of Representatives. The upcoming term will be challenging because of a projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall.The Council of the Borough of Benton will hold a special meeting open to the public tonight at the Borough Building, 150 Colley Street, Benton, for the purpose of conducting a public hearing on three requests for variances from the requirements of the Borough's Outdoor Furnace Ordinance in accordance with Section 3.D and the applicable provisions of the Local Agency Law. The names and addresses of the applicants for the variances are as follows:Brad and Karen Reed, 200 Main Street, BentonRodney Pennington, 20 Sunny Hillside Road, BentonRodger English, 245 Main Street, Benton
On December 13, 2008, Benton native Bryan Remley, Petty Officer First Class, Newport News, Virginia, reenlisted in the U.S. Navy. His proud father, Jeff Remley, held the bible as retired Admiral Edward Giambastiani, former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, swore him in. This intimate ceremony followed directly after the Christening Ceremony of Bryan's ship, the PCU New Mexico, a nuclear submarine on which Bryan serves as an Engineering Laboratory Technician. Giambastiani's wife Cynthia served as the ship's sponsor and delivered a quick blow with a champagne bottle, ensuring the vessel's safe operation. The ceremony was held in the Newport News Ship Yard where the submarine is undergoing final preparations before its commissioning, scheduled for October 2009. Mr Giambastiani swearing Bryan in. Commander Mark Prokopius, the commanding officer of PCU New Mexico is on the right. Jeff Remley, Brian's father, is in the background.
January 6, 2009. It's the birthday of Joan of Arc (1412). Biographer Carl Sandburg was born (1878). He was a struggling poet until a publisher suggested that he write a biography of Abraham Lincoln. His Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years, published in 1926, was Sandburg's first best-seller. George Herbert Walker Bush married his sweetie Barbara Pierce in Rye, New York (1945). The first diesel-engine automobile trip completed (1930). The trip was from Indianapolis to New York City, 792 miles. The total cost for the fuel was $1.38, less than a gallon of diesel costs today. Which leads me to the question of why regular, unleaded gasoline is selling for $1.549 in Camp Hill and almost twenty cents a gallon more here.
Quickies...• Roland "Tombstone" Burris went to Washington Monday as part of the Illinois political freak show. Most readers know he was warmly greeted and then slow-rolled to the Senate office that Gov. Rod "Dead Meat" Blagojevich so kindly offered to him. John Kass, a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, whose words are quoted above, writes a daily column on things Illinois. He is an excellent source for the continuing saga of watching Tombstone go to Washington. For drama, this must be somewhat akin to having all your future in-laws appear onThe Jerry Springer Show. If you enjoy the continuing drama being played out in Illinois politics, I suggest you bookmark the daily columns of Mr. Kass at www.chicagotribune.com.
• Poodwaddle, Poodwaddle.com, is a site you might enjoy. It is a search engine site you can customize by creating your own dictionary, thesaurus, encyclopedia, maps, calculator, games, and more. The "World Clocks" on the website, www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf, show a number of worldwide births, deaths, rates of infectious diseases, etc.
• The 2009 64-page Visitors Guide from the Columbia-Montour Visitors Bureau is now available. A total of 135,000 copies will be distributed to prospective visitors. People come to our area for a variety of reasons--hunting, fishing, hiking, the O.A.T.S. Bluegrass Festival, Bloomsburg University, the Benton Carnival, Fishingcreek Heritage Days (a celebration of what many call "The Fishingcreek Confederacy"), antiques, covered bridges, Knoebels, the Bloomsburg Fair, the Iron Heritage Festival, the Benton Rodeo. The annual Visitors Guide includes a pull-out map and a section entitled “Nature at Its Best.” This four-page section includes detailed information on state-game lands, state parks, area trails, and key birding and fishing locations. Read A Bridge to the Past, which provides a brief history of the Stillwater Covered Bridge and excerpts from its visitors log book. Learn about beds and breakfasts in the upper Fishingcreek valley. You can download a copy by going to http://www.itourcolumbiamontour.com/brochures.aspx or pick up a free copy of the Visitors Guide at 121 Papermill Road, Bloomsburg.
• The state legislature holds its ceremonial first day of the 2009-2010 session today at noon as new members are sworn in--just in time to tackle the thorny issue of rising revenue deficits. This year’s $28.3 billion budget is down to $27.7 billion. The Guv is used to getting billion-dollar budget increases; a revenue drop of about a billion will cramp his--and our--style!
• Congratulations to the University of Pittsburgh's undefeated men's basketball team--ranked number one in college basketball for the first time in school history (Associated Press and USA Today rankings).
• Lets hope we aren't heading for another disappointment like last weekend when our state football teams from Penn State and Pitt both lost their bowl games. This weekend, it is the Philadelphia Eagles against the New York Giants and the Pittsburgh Steelers against the San Diego Chargers. Go Eagles! Go Steelers!
• The end-of-week release of the national payroll numbers has most investors on edge.
• Want to know more about the parade, inaugural balls, tickets to the swearing-in, transportation, and more about the upcoming inauguration? Go to http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Election_2008.shtml#vgn-inauguration-2009-vgnIn the summer of 2004, shortly after Dave Kovach became a Columbia County Commissioner, he and Tom Mclaughlin--friends from childhood, both growing up just two blocks from the former ACF building--began searching for a Stuart tank, known by the Army as Light Tank M3 and Light Tank M5, to bring back home to Berwick where more than 15,000 of the tanks were made. The two men found one, but "it got away." Since the men began their search, they have discovered a lot of history about the Stuart and the ACF where they were made. The tank had a huge effect on Berwick and the whole region because of the war effort.On the third Monday of January, following breakfast, Commissioner Kovach will bring an enjoyable slide show to the Brass Pelican restaurant where the North Mountain Historical Society will meet. The slide show shows some history of the Stuart and of the ACF, and the efforts of the men to bring one home.Didja ever notice that when a man is wrong and won't admit it, he always gets angry?The questions keep coming about the kind of year 2009 will be. It is not difficult to figure out things domestically, but the rest of the world has to be factored into the equation, too. Take a look overseas where growth is sputtering for many nations--and that does not bode well for our country. Our recession has spread globally. The implications could be catastrophic.
Take a look at a couple of big players and some small ones.
Russia: The tailspin in the price of Russian crude oil is hurting the country. The price has gone from about $140 a barrel for crude from the Urals to a little over $32 a barrel. Russia will be unable to balance its budget with revenue like that. The country is starting to hemorrhage; the stock market is down 72%. Transneft, a Russian state-owned oil transporter and one of the largest companies in Moscow, is down from $2,025 in January 2008 to a recent low of $270. The real estate market of the country is falling--fast and hard. Ford, Renault and Volkswagen are halting production in the country. Unemployment could hit 10% The ruble has been devalued eleven times in two months. Without a substantial higher price for crude oil, the country will be unable to reverse the trend. Watch for an unhappy society and political upheaval next. It is possibly more than a recession for the Ruskies. It may be the "D" word.
China. The country was growing by leaps and bounds. A decline as fast could result. The country counts on exporting two-fifths of everything it produces. The price of stocks, the number of imports and foreign investment in China are down. Small business is shutting down. They are trying an economic stimulus package, mostly for the cement and housing sectors, but it could end up with the same results as happen in this country. Other sectors are hard hit, too. Cars, airlines, shipbuilding, real estate--just some of the Chinese industries in deep doo-do. Like Russia, social unrest resulting from unemployment could come next.
Other nations... India is going through a lull in exports and forcing companies like Tata Motors to shut factories. Japan is experiencing new lows every day on its stock market and old standbys like Toyota are reporting losses. The unemployed are relegated to tent cities. Brazil can't sell its cars. The debt crisis is worldwide. The recession is spreading worldwide.
January 5, 2009. It is, according to English Folk custom, the Twelfth Night. The end of Christmas merrymaking in the English tradition has arrived. On Twelfth Night, it was customary to toast one another from the wassail bowl. "Wassail means "Be in good health."
It is the birthday of 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.
A Scottish custom on the first Monday of the new year was to give children and servants a small gift known as a handsel for good luck in the new year. The tradition of a housewarming gift to someone moving into a new house comes from the "handsel." While we're on this subject, you should turn to www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/music/12days.asp to find out if the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas" was a secret code used by persecuted Catholics.
Why is summer like the letter N? Because it makes ice nice! Regretfully, we will probably see some notso-nice ice in the next three days.
During the height of the election in November, Janice Dietrich wrote from Florida and asked about some political terms, including "Majority Leader," "Whip" and Speaker of the House. I didn't have the answers, so I asked Rep. Paul Kanjorski for help. He provided the following information.The Majority Leader is the second-ranking official in the United States House of Representatives. Congressman Steny Hoyer of Maryland's Fifth Congressional District is the current House Majority Leader. The Office of the House Majority Leader was created in 1899 following the growth of the House membership from 105 in 1800 to 356 by 1899. The House Majority Leader is chosen by the majority party's membership prior to the convening of a new Congress. The responsibilities of the Majority Leader are whatever tradition requires--although there are certain specific responsibilities that the leader does have; i.e., scheduling of legislation for floor consideration and the planning of daily, weekly and annual legislative agendas. The Majority Leader polls members of the house to gauge attitudes on the issues of the day, urges his party members to support or defeat a particular piece of legislation and announces his party's policy messages to the media and public. The Majority Leader closely monitors the opposition party's parliamentary maneuvers.The "Whip." This term came from a British term "whipper in," the person responsible for keeping the foxhounds from leaving the pack. The term dates to the late 1700s in the House of Commons. The term in this country came along in 1897 when a "Whip" was appointed to help keep track of party members. The Majority Whip today mobilizes the party vote on important legislation and acts as a liaison between members and the leadership of the majority party. The Majority Whip provides members with a report known as "The Daily WhipLine," which outlines the daily activity on the floor. You can sign up for a daily email on this subject by going to http://majoritywhip.gov/. The Majority Whip "gets the vote out" by making sure members are on the floor for important votes.The Speaker of the House, second in the line of succession to the presidency after the Vice President, is elected by fellow members to preside over the House. The Speaker is the Representative for his or her district, a leader of his or her party, and the leader of the House as a whole. The party that holds a majority of the seats in the House will elect a representative of their own party to serve as Speaker. The Speaker calls the House to order, administers the oath of office to House members, presides over debate, recognizes members to speak on the floor, and preserves order. The Speaker can delegate that power to another member of Congress, set the legislative agenda, and head the appointment process for the chairs of the various committees and subcommittees in the House, including conference committees which negotiate final versions of legislation.Quickies...• Didja ever think the goal of Detroit has not been to produce the car Americans really want it, but rather has been to make a profit? It is easy to build a Firebelch 500, a gas-chugging polluter. It isn't so easy to build a car that gently sips gas or does away with gas entirely.• The pretty lady on the cover of he January/February 2009 edition of Philadelphia Style magazine, http://phillystylemag.com/ is Krysten Ritter, 26. Read an interview with Krysten at http://phillystylemag.com/PS_JN09_066_REA.html in which she tells about moving from the hills of Pennsylvania to a her starring role in Confessions of a Shopaholic. (opening February 13, 2009). Krysten has just finished a comedy for Dreamworks titled She’s Out of My League. Much of the movie was filmed in the Mellon Arena, home of the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey team, and in other locations in the Pittsburgh area.Quote of the Day:"The lines have fallen until me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage."
Kennard A. (K.D.) Decker (March 20, 1939-January 2, 2009), 156 Fredna Avenue, Montgomery, passed away Friday in the Gatehouse at Williamsport. He was born in Montgomery, Lycoming County. He was the son of the late Nevin and Gladys (Bastian) Decker. Kennard was the husband of Nancy E. (Rhone) Decker. In addition to his wife and family in Montgomery and Allenwood, he is survived by a sister, Diane Koons, Benton. Funeral services will be conducted from the Galen R. Betzer Funeral Service, 108 North Main Street, Muncy, PA at noon on Tuesday, January 6, 2009, with viewing preceding.
--A complete obituary can be found in the Muncy Luminary in its edition of January 4, 2009.
January 4, 2009. 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.
It is the birthday of Nick Chabra, Amy Remphrey and Kelsey Lee McGarrigle.
The former Kunkle House, Jonestown, was severely damaged by a recent fire which apparently began in a chimney of the building. The residents of the house were Alice Morris, her son Mike and his wife, Bobbi. Several readers asked for additional information on the historic building. The following is information on the Kunkle House, compiled by Dawn Dominy.
It is believed that blacksmith Elias Kunkle built the home around 1870. Elias was married to Elizabeth Dreisbach. Although none of the couple's biological children survived into adulthood, their adopted daughter Mary Atta Pealer did. Elizabeth Kunkle also considered their servant girl, Elizabeth Chapman, a daughter.
The Kunkle family operated the home as dinner- and bed-type establishment. Guests could have dinner and then take one of the upstairs rooms for the night. It has been said that the Kunkle House served very fine food. The home’s location on the Susquehanna & Tioga Turnpike gave it, as well as the rest of Jonestown, a great opportunity to provide services to weary travelers. Two of those noteworthy travelers were R.S. Bowman and W.E. Linville who visited on their way to Albany, New York in July 1904. They were the postmaster and council secretary of Berwick at that time. Charles Hoyt had his final meal there in February 1914. He dropped dead on the floor during dinner.
C. Donald and Carrie Hess were the next owners of the home. Although there might have still been an apartment located upstairs, it was while the Hess family owned the home that it ceased being a hotel. The Hess family also owned the Jonestown General Store for a brief period in 1945. After realizing they had little knowledge in the operations of the general store, they sold the store to Donald’s niece, Mildred, and her husband Robert Norman.
On January 1, 1968, Clayton Sr. and Ethel Crist purchased the Kunkle House. In addition to Ethel’s daughter, Florence Kingston, the couple had eight children Clayton Jr., Denise, Alice, Joyce, Jackie, Ralph, Larry and Mike. After Clayton Sr. and Ethel passed away, their daughter Alice continued to live in the home with her son, Mike. Alice then married Robert Morris and the couple continued to live in the home. Mike later married and his wife Bobbie moved into the home. The cost of heating the home was high so the family removed the third story of the home to save money. On April 24, 2004, Robert Morris passed away from a brain aneuroism. Alice, her son, Mike,and daughter-in-law, Bobbie, continued to live in the home.
The Crist family lived in the home until December 27, 2008, when the home caught fire due to problems with the chimney they were using for a wood-burning stove. Alice was inside when her brother Mike, who had come from his home for his mail, saw the fire. Mike and a brave firefighter were able to escort Alice out of the house in time. Crews from Orangeville, Benton and Summerhill responded to the fire. They rushed to run water hoses from Huntington Creek to the blaze. However, flames were already shooting out the side of the home by the time they could get a stream of water on the blaze. Once the fire was extinguished the family was allowed to go back inside their home to survey the damage. The third floor was nearly completely gone, as was a large part of the second floor. The first floor has extremely heavy water and smoke damage. At this time, the family is thinking of tearing down the home.
This is only a brief history of the Kunkle House and its inhabitants. Additional information on the history of the Kunkle House, those who lived there, and all of Jonestown will be available when the book entitled Jonestown Remembering Yesterday is published. Dawn Dominy, who is the unofficial historian of Jonestown and a resident of the village, is writing the book.
Kathleen Arcuri takes over a writing assignment today. Her article is entitled WINTER REDS
For some, the winter landscape looks bleak, draped in shades of brown, gray, and white. Of course, there’s the relief of evergreen accents, but this too can become part of the darkening gloom of the winter palette.
However, beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, for those able to appreciate the punctuation marks of rosy sumac in the hedgerows; bright red barberry, winterberry, and shrub dogwood in the garden; and crabapple trees draped with ruby fruit dotting the lawn. So let’s explore some of the cheerier hues of the polar landscape, and you too may look anew at our winter wonderland.
Take sumac. The wild variety, Rhus glabra, seen throughout the countryside, has strikingly handsome rose-red seed heads, a fuzzy candelabra shooting skyward. Although you may not want to introduce this onto your property, as it quickly becomes a rampant invader, please do enjoy this beacon of winter color on walks and drives along our rural byways.
Next, think barberry, often overlooked in garden design because it comes with serious thorns and leaf-trapping dense growth. But come late winter, the brilliant red berries, sparkling against a sea of snow, nourish color-starved humans. Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii, is one of the sturdiest, particularly well-suited to northeast Pennsylvania’s frigid winters. Use for hedging or as an accent in the shrub border, but mostly plant this stalwart for its magnificent long-lasting berry garlands.
Then there’s winterberry or deciduous holly (Ilex verticillata). A medium-sized shrub, growing to ten feet or more, the female of the species is loaded with shiny red berries through winter, given a male somewhere in the neighborhood (even a common American holly will do). This densely-growing native can be used for massed plantings or as a single specimen, and does best in moist acid soils with full or part sun.
For a different approach to winter color, the red-twigged dogwoods (Cornus alba ‘Siberica’ and Cornus sericea) are just the ticket. Rather than a fruiting display, you get a colorful sculpture of deciduous branches spreading out from the base. For brightest red, prune back heavily every other spring, and you’ll be rewarded with a dramatic foil to the dull grasses or white snow of winter.
Finally, check out some of the disease-resistant crabapples (Malus spp.) now being offered at nurseries. ‘Prairie Fire’ is especially desirable, with its four-season appeal -- magenta spring flowers, burgundy leaves, and ruby-red fruit lasting through winter. Our own Stoney Acres offers this hybrid and was kind enough to donate a large specimen to the Community Center auction last spring, for some lucky gardener.
Still not sure what to choose to get a little color into your drab winter life? Well, there’s always red chokeberry (Aronia arbutifolia); bittersweet (Celastrus scandens); hawthorns (Crataegus spp.); some of the roses with red branches and fruit (Rosa rugosa, Rosa blanda, Rosa virginiana); and the American or European cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum or Viburnum opulus).
If none of this works for you, pour a large glass of vino rosso and curl up in front of the fire. And have a Happy New Year!
--Kathleen Arcuri. For more of Kathy's writing, go to http://skymeadowcottage.com/index_files/page0007.htm.
The obituary of Janet R. Knouse Beck Zenyuk (February 15, 1934-May 8, 2008), 74, was not included in the Benton News on the appropriate date and is included here as a matter of record for the next three days. On Wednesday, it will be removed and inserted in the archives for May 2008. Janet lived on Knouse Road, Benton. She died at the Grandview Health Homes, Danville. She was born in Jackson Township. Janet was a daughter of Frederick George Knouse and Erma Elizabeth (Hartman) Knouse. She was widowed by her late husbands, Richard L. Beck who died July 16, 1973 and William R. Zenyuk who died July 26, 1989. Janet was a 1952 graduate of Benton High School. Years ago she had been a supervisor for Milco Industries in Millville. She was also a former owner and operator of the Benton Variety Store. From 1983 through 2007 she was the owner and operator of Janet’s Krazy Kone, operating throughout the fair circuit and based in Red Rock. She was survived by her children Frederick L. Beck , Darlene Miller, Millville; Sheila E. Schu (Thomas), Lancaster; Brenda K. Young (Shawn), Bloomsburg; and step-son, Joseph P. Zenyuk, Watertown, NY. Her sisters are Jacquelyn J. Hack (Harold) and Patricia A. Gordner (Rodney), both sisters are from Millville. Janet is also survived by her many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Along with her parents and husbands, Janet was preceded in death by her brother, LeRoy G. Knouse and Terry Franklin Knouse and her sister Linda J. Sellers. Her funeral service was Thursday, May 15. Interment was in the Jackson Cemetery.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home
Nancy Lee (Shannon) Kline (February 13, 1934-January 3, 2009) passed away Saturday at her home at 427 Main Street surrounded by her family, following a ten-month battle with lung cancer that metastasized into bone cancer. She was 74. She was born in Benton. Nancy was a daughter of the late Paul and Frances M. (Davis) Shannon. She lived at her present address in the former Dr. Golder home for 39 years. Nancy graduated from Benton High School in 1952 and from the former Geisinger Hospital School of Nursing in 1955. That summer she began her professional career at the Philadelphia Veterans Administration Hospital. In 1956 she joined the nursing staff at the Geisinger Medical Center where she worked for 20 years, until they stopped using part-time nurses. Nancy then joined the staff as head day-nurse at the former Char-Mund Nursing Home, Orangeville, where she worked until it was sold. She the joined the staff at the former Dent Nursing Home, Lightstreet. From 1980 until her retirement in 1986, she worked for Dr. Wright and Dr. Harasym in Bloomsburg. Following that she served as a substitute nurse for the Benton Area School District. Nancy attended the Benton United Presbyterian Church for 53 years and served as secretary-treasurer for the ladies-service circle for many of those years. She was also the church representative to the Benton Council of Churches. Nancy and her husband, Huber L. Kline, would have celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary on May 12, 2009. In addition to her husband, she is survived by a daughter, Laurie L. Lamoreaux (Alan J.) , Darnestown, Md.; a son, Scott P. Kline, Benton; two grandchildren: Shannon Sara Lamoreaux and Shane Paul Kline; three sisters: Marian O'Brien, Flemmington, New Jersey;Esther Vincent and Anne Fantanarosa, both of Benton; and a sister-in-law, Linda Kline, Clearwater, Florida. She was preceded in death by a sister, Shirley Parsell. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday at 11 AM in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc., Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Benton. Interment in Benton Cemetery. Friends may call on Monday from 6-8 PM. The family will provide flowers.
--Obituary courtesy of the Kriner Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be in the Press Enterprise edition in its edition of Janaury 3, 2009.
January 3, 2009. It is the birthday of Rayellen Kishbach Giles.
Mark McGarigle generally finds a positive way to look at life. He points out, for example, that there are only 42 days until the official start of "spring training," the day that pitchers and catchers report. He told me that is "the Official Start of Spring," which any baseball fan would know. Mark hopes to "live through another eternity, from the last day of the World Series to the first day of spring training." Go Phillies!Krysten Ritter sent along the latest trailer for the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic, which hits the big screen February 13. You can see the trailer at www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkY2vb1b35k.
It was Father's idea, so I don't see how I ended up getting the blame. There was a branch, which Father thought could be made into an excellent slingshot. Besides, it would cost him less money than the Red Ryder Daisy BB gun I wanted from Neil Harrison's store on Main Street. But BB guns were the hot ticket just after the war ended, and that is what I really wanted.
I remember Father saying the BB guns looked a lot like they did before the war. They still had their cast-iron cocking lever. They had a fixed rear sight. Along with a Lightning Guider sled, they were what every boy wanted. The BB gun was something I had to have!
Because he controlled the purse strings, Father was very convincing. He had some saying about boys on the farm needing slingshots, although I have long forgotten the exact words. Mother retold the story of David and his sling taking care of Goliath and I dreamed of puffing out my chest, filling my pockets with pebbles, and going for long walks through the "bottom," an area filled with interesting targets. I was hooked, although I think I can remember pulling a hissey-fit just to let my parents know that it really was the BB gun that I wanted. With Father, it was going to be a slingshot or nothing.
"Ah, gwan," Mother told me reassuringly, knowing that her son would never do anything wrong.
Neighbor Bub Laubach wasn't so sure. He pointed out that Philadelphia had banned slingshots in the 1880s and Wilkes-Barre banned them in 1901. School children going to class back then were examined for slingshots before they could enter the schools. Probably some hippy teacher made the mistake of bending over at the wrong time with the wrong end pointed toward the class. I considered doing that, too. I was a very corrupted child!
Father helped me cut the branch to a length he felt would be right for my young hands. Then he took an inner tube I used for floating in the creek, which came out second best in a battle with a sharp rock. I carefully cut the inner tube into equal lengths to make the stretchy part of the sling shot. I was in business. The first target I can remember was a robin. It was also the last target I remember. Somehow I got my rubber crossed and the pebble went wide of its mark. There was also something about a window with a goonie hole in it. My career with a slingshot was short-lived. Mother was aghast! Father was livid!
Mother said to Father, "I told you so." Father mumbled something about not ever letting me use his car, but since it would be another ten years or so until I was old enough I didn't think he would remember.
If I had ever realized how good one can get with a slingshot, I never would have given mine up. Take the time to watch a video on the art of shooting a slingshot by going to http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=9ieWrWLjii0. You just might get hooked, too.
A reader asked what I have planned for the new year. I'll share the answer I gave to her. There are two "larger" projects in the mill. One is a history of the local area community by community, which I started a couple of times but haven't finished. I have an article on the duties of our elected politicians, but it puts me to sleep when I write it and I worry about what it will do to anyone who wants to read it. I keep starting an article on local involvement in the Ku Klux Klan, but think better of it and put the article in the drawer. One of these days, I'll dust it off and finish it. The second "larger" project is about the community of Hillsgrove, specifically to go back in time in the life of the Hillsgrove General Store.
Researching the Hillsgrove project was actually rather simple. First, I had complete cooperation from the current owners of the store, David and Danielle Strack, Route 87, Hillsgrove. Second, I had access to the Sullivan County Genealogical Web Page, www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pasulliv/, a creation of Bob Sweeney, a descendant of the large Sweeney family of Cherry Mills and Ringer Hill in Sullivan County. Third, I had help from the Sullivan County Historical Society via Nancy Spencer.
Bob has assembled a team of devoted genealogists, family historians and lovers of local history to contribute and preserve the stories and information on the site. This team includes Carol Brotzman, Larry Pardoe, David Bailey, Lyle Rockwell, Joyce Ingerson, Cindy Coppock, Mike Clarke, and many more. They also have a close working relationship with the staff of the Sullivan County Historical Society and Museum, Laporte.
Their focus is on histories of families, annotated photo collections and recovery and publication of bibles, original records and written histories. Among the artifacts reproduced on the site are the original land deed for the religious community of Celestia, the Wentzell and Warburton family bibles, and a complete transcription of Egles Notes and Queries for this area. The site includes 428 historical folders and at least 5,000 historical photographs. Original documents, where possible, are donated to the SCHS after transcription.
Bob Sweeney holds his doctorate in American history from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh and is the CEO of Challenger Corporation, www.chall.com/company.htm, a medical-publishing firm based in Memphis, Tennessee.
January 2, 2009. It is the birthday of Sandra Kelsey and Ruth Frey. There are 77 days until the official start of spring. Snow showers today; ice tomorrow. Did I mention I am ready for Spring? Becky Green is home from the hospital as of Thursday evening. Please continue to keep Nancy Kline in your prayers.
The upper Raven Creek road owner of a a Jack Russell Terrier is looking for his dog. The dog is mostly white with a black patch on the right eye and right shoulder, with some color on his ear. The dog answers to the name "Zadie" or "Piglet." If you know anything about this dog, call me at 925-6974 or email me and I'll put you in touch with the owner immediately.Quickies...• Dallas has had a string of bad luck. The latest business to close was the Uni-Mart at 300 Memorial Highway. In October, the Mark II Family Restaurant closed after 37 years in business.
• The annual Bogert holiday party was held at the Lighthouse in Lightstreet on Sunday. Ernest, Stanley, Guy, and Donald Bogert and Florence Burgess, Ruth Johnson, and Becky Wolfe of the first generation were there with five of their spouses. Others from the second, third, and fourth generations also attended. The Bogert reunion at one time met in the New Columbus Academy where all of the first generation family once attended school.An interesting article in the Times-Leader told of Larry Wolfe, Shickshinny, and the bear he shot. The article can be found here, but if you don't have the time to read it, here is a summary. Larry was hunting on the Earth Conservancy property in Conyngham Township. When he looked over a steep hillside, he came across a bear. He had four shots he could make and connected on three of the four. He followed the blood trail until dark, then went home for friends and flashlights. The group followed the tracks to a small cave with an opening about two feet wide. Larry didn't know if he was allowed to remove a bear from the cave so he called the Pennsylvania Game Commission who, upon investigation, agreed the bear was shot before going into the cave and could be removed, but advised the hunter of safety issues involved. Larry nervously crawled through the cave about 30 yards before his flashlight focused on the bear. The cave ran downhill, but he tied a rope to the bear's hindlegs and seven hunters began to pull--and continued to pull for the next seven hours. At 10 PM, the bear slowly slid out of the cave. PGC officials estimated the live weight at 677 pounds, the fourth heaviest bear killed in the state this fall.Moses VanCampen holds special interest to older residents of the upper Fishingcreek valley because of the former Main Street hotel named in his honor. A book by Rogan H. Moore, The Bloodstained Field: A History of the Sugarloaf Massacre, September 11, 1780, includes a great deal of information about the Indian fighter. It recounts VanCampen's "miraculous" escape from his sleeping captors," how he released others held prisoner by the Indians, and how the group hastily built a raft and floated down the Susquehanna River to Fort Wyoming.The book goes into detail about the punitive raids from the Iroquois as the stage was set for the skirmish on Little Nescopeck Creek known as the Sugarloaf Massacre. Portions are devoted to the Tories along the Susquehanna between Berwick and Catawissa, and of Capt. Daniel Klader who traveled from Stroudsburg with a company of 41 Northampton County militiamen to contain the Torries. The company never made it to their destination. Fifteen soldiers died when they were ambushed by Seneca Indians and Tories along the Little Nescopeck Creek in what is now the borough of Conyngham. The violence reached its bloodiest point in 1788 when 226 people were butchered in the Wyoming Massacre in what is today Wilkes-Barre.The Rose Bown has been the setting for a number of strange events. Roy "Wrong Way" Riegels played for the University of California, Berkeley football team team from 1927 to 1929. Riegels ran--you guessed it--the wrong way in the 1929 Rose Bown. Caltech students succeeded in altering the University of Washington’s halftime flip-card routine during the 1961 Rose Bowl in order to read “CALTECH” in a Rose Bowl game between the Universities of Washington and Illinois. The 100,000 or so spectators suddenly realized that the team names on the electronic scoreboard had changed to Caltech and MIT, with the scoreboard showing Caltech comfortably in the lead. The students had only regret: they had also rigged a tape recorder to play the Caltech theme song "Ride of the Valkyries" over the public address system, but the volume had been set too low to be heard.This was not a good weekend for Pennsylvania football. Oregon State toppled a top-ranked team with lots of help from fearless freshman Jacquizz Rodgers. The number 24 Beavers defeated No. 18 Pittsburgh 3-0 in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas. The lone score of the game came on Justin Kahut's 44-yard field goal.
Southern California--a perfect 9-0 in its last nine games vs. Big Ten opponents--beat up Penn State 38-24 Thursday in the Rose Bowl. Mark Sanchez passed for 413 yards and four touchdowns. Joe Paterno has led Penn State to 34 bowl games, but only two of them took place in the Rose Bowl and I was lucky enough to be there to see the Nittany Lions defeat Oregon 38-20 in 1995. I enjoyed the 1995 game much more than the 2009 version.
Irma M. Pettitt (July 20, 1931-December 19, 2008), Route 415, Savona, New York, passed away recently at the Steuben County Health Care Facility, Bath, New York. She was 77. Irma was born in Skinners Eddy, Pennsylvania, to Harry and Affie (Evans) Tripp. She married John Pettitt on Oct. 22, 1949, in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. She is survived by her husband and by four daughters and one son. She had sisters, Anna May (Dale) Brandon, Sweet Valley, and Barbara Shiers, Benton. Burial was in Seaman's Cemetery, Savona.
--Obituary courtesy of Phillips Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Corning.
Virginia C. (Moll) Farrell (April 15, 1936-January 1, 2009) died Thursday at her home in the Berlin Trailer Court, Benton. She was 72. Mrs. Farrell was born in Philadelphia. She was a daughter of the late Albert and Anna Mae (Sourbrian) Moll. Surviving is her husband, James W. Farrell, an accomplished piano player who frequently entertains at the Benton Methodist Church. Children include Virginia Mae, Melvin, David, Lydia, Barbara, James and Susan Marie. There are several grandchildren. Surviving siblings include Hank, Alberta, Mary and Anna. She was preceded in death by a son, Allan, in infancy. Mrs. Farrell donated her body to science. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Benton.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the January 2, 2009, edition of the Press Enterprise.
Charles K. "Chuck" Shannon (July 14, 1927-December 30, 2008), died Tuesday at his 265 Main Street home after being seriously ill since September. He was 81. Chuck was born in Weeksbury, Kentucky. His parents were James L. and Gussie (Mosley) Shannon. He served with the Air Force for 27 years, retiring with the rank of master sergeant in June 1972. He saw service in both World War II and the Korean War. Following his retirement to Benton in 1972, he was employed at the former Harold's Market, Maple Grove and later worked at the Mill Race Golf Course for 11 years. He is survived by his widow, the former Eileen C. Smith, and by sons Jeffrey L. Shannon (Kathy) Crane, Missouri, and Richard T. Shannon, Bloomsburg. There are three grandchildren: Jared Shannon, Brianna Shannon and Logan Shannon. Funeral services will be held Saturday at 3 PM in the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Benton. There will be no viewing. The family will provide flowers.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, where a complete obituary can be found in its edition of January 1, 2009
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, where a complete obituary can be found in its edition of January 1, 2009
January 1, 2009. It is the birthday of attorney William Kreisher, Bloomsburg, and the wedding anniversary of Frank and Brenda Conrad, Lebanon. Marcia Kay and I toasted the New Year in Camp Hill last night. She had rye and I had whole wheat. There is only one thing worse than going out on New Year's Eve--and that is staying home. We didn't want to be like the man who passed out about the same time as the old year or like the couple who misplaced things in the new year--like New Year's Day!
I lifted up my spiritsand had some fruit of the vineAnd kissed me a loved oneand sang Auld Lange Syne
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."
Two Thousand and Ninelooks okay but not greatBut it's still a reliefto be rid of '08
Speaking of duds, didja know that Milk Duds got its name when the manufacturer could not produce a perfectly spherical candy? Each lopsided piece was considered a "dud."
There are some things we can count on in 2009. We expect that real estate prices will continue to fall in line with the economy as the stock market heads in the same general direction. The stock market ended 2008 with blue chips falling 34% for the year, the S&P 500 plummeting 39% and the Nasdaq dropped 41%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the year at 8776.39 and there is every prospect that the Dow could fall another thousand or two before it levels off. The year 2009 will be remembered mostly, I suspect, as a year in which existing stock holdings should be sold on rallys. The year 2009 will see more of our country's financial institutions requiring bailing out. Interest rates can't go lower, so expect them to go higher--a lot higher. We have a national debt that is too high for this country boy to understand: $10.6 trillion. Heck, I can't even understand the national debt increasing at a rate of what someone computed to be $3.49 billion a day. This country is now up to $34,723 in debt for every U.S. citizen. The activity with the printing presses is eventually going to send inflation and long-term interest rates higher. Don't expect energy prices to stay low for long. Gas hit $4 a gallon during 2008; on December 30, I paid $1.799 for regular, unleaded gas in New York state and on December 31, I paid $1.499 in Camp Hill. Expect prices to come back in 2009.Quickies...• The First Columbia Bank & Trust Co. is collecting pet products and supplies to benefit PA Pets, SPCA, Animal Resource Center, Mostly Mutts, Greyhound Rescue and Purrfect Love. Food, treats, leashes, litter and toys are being collected, as well as monetary donations in the form of checks. The collection begins Friday, January 2, and continues through Saturday, January 31. Donations are being accepted at each of the community bank branches of the First Columbia Bank & Trust Company.
• Attention local coyote hunters: coyotes are back in the Bendertown/Asbury area.
• Temperatures for the next couple of days will range between "brisk" and "cold."
• Rose Bowl coverage begins at 4:30 on ABC. The game begins at 5 PM. Go Penn State!
With less money to go around in 2009, many old songs could be recycled. Here are some suggestions...
Bobby Darin ---
Splish, Splash, I Was Havin' a Flash
Ringo Starr ---
I Get By With a Little Help From Depends.
The Bee Gees -- -
How Can You Mend a Broken Hip.
The First Time Ever I Forgot Your Face.
Johnny Nash ---
I Can't See Clearly Now.
Marvin Gaye ---
Heard It Through the Grape Nuts.
A Whiter Shade of Hair.
Leo Sayer ---
You Make Me Feel Like Napping.
Helen Reddy ---
I Am Woman, Hear Me Snore.Just know that the New Yearwill bring a new signAnd believe in yourselfand it will all work out fine