The Archives for the Benton News
for July 2009
July 31, 2010. It is the birthday of Richard Rhoads. On this day in 1792, construction began on the first building to be used only as a United States Government building, the United States Mint in Philadelphia. Covert Action takes the stage tonight at the Orangeville Carnival. Today is the last day for "Out of Sight ... Out of Murder," a mystery and comedy, presented by the Bloomsburg University Alumni Players at 3 and 8 PM in Carver Hall. Buy your tickets at the door.
It was on this day in 1930 when The Shadow radio program first aired. The show became one of the most successful pulp-novel series in the 1930s and 1940s and ran for 21 seasons. The show starred a mysterious narrator of a weekly mystery show called the Detective Story Hour. The shows were narrated by James La Curto, and later Frank Readick Jr., using the name "The Shadow." The narrator became very popular and began narrating for the Blue Coal Radio Revue (The term "Blue Coal" was a trademarked brand of anthracite from the Glen Alden Coal Company sprayed with a blue dye before shipping to distinguish it from its competitors) and Love Story Hour during 1931-1932. The fourth season of The Shadow radio show featured Orson Welles, 22, who stayed with the show until 1938. The Shadow could "cloud men's minds so they cannot see him." The Shadow's alter ego was Lamont Cranston and his leading lady was named Margo Lane who knew the true identity of The Shadow. Over the years, many actors and actresses would assume the roles of The Shadow. It is still possible to find glow-in-the-dark rings given away to those who listened to the show. Listen to an episode here and learn more about The Shadow by going here.
Word of the Day:
A term originally applied to well-to-do travelers on steamboats who sat on the decks amid the high-fluted funnels. Terms with similar meanings include hoity-toity, pompous, arrogant and egotistical.
• The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is sponsoring a driver-safety program for senior drivers. The eight-hour class is divided into two four-hour sessions on Tuesday August 17, and Thursday, August 19, from 5 until 9 PM in conference room one inside the main entrance at Bloomsburg Hospital. There is a $14 registration fee payable to AARP. AARP members receive a $2 discount. Attendees must register and complete both sessions in order to receive a course certificate. Those who complete the class will receive up to a 5% automobile-insurance discount for three years. Seats are limited. Please call John at 784-8545 to register. AARP members should give their membership number to receive the discounted fee.
• Penn State's Ag Progress Days, Pennsylvania's largest outdoor-agricultural exposition, takes place August 17-19. This popular event is sponsored by Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences. The event is held at the Russell E. Larson Agricultural Research Center at Rock Springs, nine miles southwest of State College on PA Route 45. Learn more here.
• The Wall Street Journal in a recent article proclaimed 2010 as very possibly the worst year in the history of motion pictures and then went on to name "Dinner for Schmucks" the worst film of the year.
• The U. S. Energy Information Administration says that natural-gas prices are mixed, with some markets up slightly and others down slightly. At the New York Mercantile Exchange, futures contract for August delivery at the Henry Hub climbed about 6% since the previous Wednesday. Natural gas in storage is about 9% above the 2005-2009 average.
• We wish Dave Albertson the best as he sheds his responsibilities with the Benton Volunteer Fire Company. Dave until recently was President of the local firefighters and has been a member of the fire company since 1978. Luther Spiece becomes the new president and we wish Luther the very best in his new role in the fire company. Changes in the fire company come at a time when drilling for natural gas in the local area begins in earnest and the need for trained responders increases. Local police and firefighters are often the first on the scene of an incident during natural-gas drilling.
• I never did understand the meaning of certain "highfalutin" words. Tom Ridge, former governor of our Commonwealth and the nation's first Department of Homeland Security secretary, will serve as strategic adviser to an industry group led by companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus-shale formation. His group will be paid $75,000 a month for "public outreach, education and coalition building." Heck, for that amount I'll happily build some coalitions and reach out for the public.
July 30, 2010. Chloe, a Bichon Frise with no last name, is 11 today. Others celebrating include Cory Lee and Shirley Fullmer. There are 54 days until the official start of Autumn. You'll be happy with the weather today and Saturday, and the following two days won't be too bad, either!
• The Northern Columbia Quilt Guild meetings will resume its meetings on September 27, the fourth Monday of the month. Meetings will take place the fourth Monday of each month, except December's meeting will be on Monday, December 13. There are no meetings in July or August. The quilters meet at the Stillwater Christian Church Fellowship Hall, Wesley Street, Stillwater. Doors open at 6 PM for registration. Meetings begin at 6:30 and last until 8:30 PM. For further information, contact Joanne Riley, 925-2563 or Jackie Parks, 925-6498.
• WGRC, a contemporary Christian Radio Station in Lewisburg is attempting to place a radio tower in Benton in order to bring Christian-orientated programming to the upper Fishing Creek valley. Activities to further this goal include a concert in the Benton town park August 21 from 4:30 to 9 PM. Five bands will perform: Water's Edge, the Randy Fisher band, the A.W.E. Band, the Second Coming Band and Last Days Worship. There will be a Chinese auction from 4:30 to 6 PM. There will be lots of food available. A motorcycle ride will begin at the town park August 21 with the main pack leaving at noon. Registration is from 11:30 to 1 PM or you can preregister at www.wgrc.com/ . The price is $18 per ride and $15 per passenger. The ride will be a picturesque journey through Rickett's Glen, Dushore and Laporte. Everyone is welcome at this rain or shine event. The station currently operates at FM 91.3 out of Lewisburg, 90.7 and 107.1 from Williamsport, 90.9 from Lewistown, 91.9 in Pottsville, 101.7 in State College and 107.7 in Bloomsburg and streams live on the internet here.
Didja ever think that how you lose or keep your hair
depends on how wisely you choose your parents?
We'll poke around with some words we heard as a kid growing up in the upper Fishing Creek valley. Perhaps you have heard some of them too.
EASY. A word meaning that obtaining money is not hard to do. An example is "That bank is easy" or "That store is easy on credit." It became an obsolete term in the last year.
MEADOW. Grass land which produces feed for cattle. A similar word, now rarely heard, is "upland," the opposite of meadow.
'TAINT. An abbreviation for it is not, heard earlier this week in the Kozy Korner restaurant.
HALF COCK. An expression borrowed from sportsmen for a person who attempts something in a hurry without adequate preparation and consequently fails.
HANKERING. Strong desire; longing. It is probable that your grandfather took a strong hankering to your grandmother.
YOU DON'T SAY. A substitute for "indeed" or "really." An example is "Mr. Jones fell out of the second floor window of his house." "Your don't say!"
RAFT. In a broad sense, timber and fallen trees floating in rivers until they dam up in shallow places and block further passage. Sometimes used as a localism to mean a large quantity. As used on Fishing Creek, boards tied together as a float and supported by inner tubes preliminary to upsetting and getting soaked.
CHUCK. To throw a short distance using a quick and dexterous motion. Teri Castle used the word "chuck" at work once, while cleaning out the lunch-room refrigerator. Chuck Musitano told her teasingly, "Hey, Chuck is not a verb, it’s a noun." Teri now always says toss it out, not chuck it.
CAHOOTS. A word used only in its plural form, meaning something in partnership of a nefarious, questionable or unethical nature. "Collusion" is close in meaning.
BARGE. The word has two nautical meanings; i.e., it is applied to a flag officer's boat or highly decorated vessel used for ceremonial occasions. The second usage refers to the flat-bottomed work boat which is hard to maneuver and difficult to control. And from this word comes the term "barge in."
While some will disagree, on these hot summer days nothing beats a cold glass of lemonade. My favorite recipe for lemonade is simple. Take 12 lemons, three cups of sugah (this is a Southern recipe, you know), five quarts of water, and lots of ice cubes. Thinly slice four of the lemons and set them aside. Roll each of the remaining lemons, unpeeled, against the countertop with the palm of your hand to release the juices. Slice each lemon in half and squeeze the juice into a large pitcher. Add water and sugah, stir until the sugah is dissolved. Add the sliced lemons. Pour the lemonade into tall glasses filled with ice. This recipe makes about 20 eight-ounce servings.
Arla Mae Miller remembers the tradition of her family's reunions from many years ago. Arla recalls, "The women always took enough lemons and sugar for their family and then my mother and two of her sisters used them to make a large batch of lemonade in a big granite kettle." In recent years, a few younger families started bringing iced tea and eventually the making of lemonade came to an end. But even those we thought would stick to the tried and true recipes of the past are wavering! Arla admits that "Country Time Lemonade Mix is good with a few fresh lemon slices added."
July 29, 2010, the birthday of Ruth Gillespie Taylor, formally of 2½ Street, Benton. Ruth, at 102, continues to be "sharp as a tack," plays bridge and claims to have "no aches or pains." Her son, Larry, Louisville, KY, says her mobility is only slightly less than last year. Her address is Nottingham Retirement Village, Neitz Street, Northumberland, PA 17857. The Benton Rodeo Association meets tonight at 7 at the rodeo grounds. We'll flush out the weather system this morning with some rain as a Canadian cold front arrives, then settle in for more seasonable weather for a few days.
• For those of you who drive weekend mornings in search of garage sales, take heart at the find of one man. Go here for the story.
• The Press Enterprise reported in its July 28 edition that Williams Production Appalachia LLC filed a notice of intent with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission for approval to use up to 4 million gallons of water per day for drilling of natural gas wells on the S. Farver 1V drilling pad in Dotyville. The paper also disclosed that the liquor license from the former Elk Grove Hotel is being considered for transfer to a 6,000 square foot Japanese Restaurant planned for opening this fall in the former Kmart plaza on Route 11. The Elk Grove Hotel has been closed since 2007.
• The popular Press Enterprise Tuesday feature, Northside Beat, is now being written by Mike Lester, 387-1234, extension 1311. Gary Pang has moved to the layout desk.
Younger readers will seize the topic of today's revisit with the past and associate it with the political rascality of crime and rottenness of politicians on both sides of the aisle. The subject for today is "whitewash," but not about covering up--"whitewashing"--a misdeed. It is about the material that in the past adhered to the surface of buildings, fences and trees to which it was applied. Farmers and fruitgrowers made good use of whitewash in various ways, but first and foremost, lime is an excellent means of sanitation.
Some may think that farmers paid little attention to beauty, and that the only thing they had time to do was work. While there may be a grain of truth in that, they also had an eye for making things look nice. Consider nature in its full spring attire with the farmer's fields carpeted in green, the air fragrant with blooms and blossoms, the gorgeous views of the upper Fishing Creek valley available in a 360° world, the smell of fallen rain bathing the earth in moisture. The world around the farmer was beauty. The farmer and his wife cleaned up the rubbish that accumulated on a farm, the house was kept white-glove clean as a sign of the "prosperity" of the farmer and the outbuildings were whitewashed. Whitewash was the cheapest way to cover barn walls and when applied to fences and buildings changed the appearance from dingy and dull to bright, clean and inviting. A few mornings with a whitewash brush (whitewash took much of the day to dry and was rarely applied late in the day) and the farm turned into a sanitary place of beauty.
Whitewash is a preparation of lime, water and salt. Brother Dayne liberally used whitewash in his barn and I remember--rather vaguely, I admit--the rainy days when he would take a bushel of quicklime slaked with gallons of water. The mixture would go into a covered barrel until the steam stopped rising. He stirred it a couple of times to keep it from scorching. Some rye or wheat flour was mixed with cold water (the flour kept the whitewash from rubbing off), then mixed with a couple gallons of boiling water. Some rock salt was dissolved in boiling water, then all the ingredients were poured into the barrel and stirred again. The result was a paint-like solution that could be applied with a brush. The mixing of lime and water created heat and the whitewash was applied while it was hot. Germs were either burned to death or suffocated when encapsulated.
I once walked through a barn with a girl from the city and she soon asked if there wasn't a way I could get rid of the "disagreeable odor" that was present in the barn. This lovely creature suggested that we should train the cows as she trained her dog--to do its business outside. Had the barn been better whitewashed, the stable smell might have greatly dissipated. In hindsight, it probably is better that she felt the barn didn't smell good and by association didn't want any more to do with me
Many farm wives were as happy whitewashing as a boy is with a new puppy. I have visited farms where for months after whitewashing it was impossible to brush against fences, walls or anything else within reach without the lime leaching onto your clothes. The strategy employed by Tom Sawyer was once tried on me, but it didn't work. Remember Aunt Polly punished Tom by making him whitewash the fence in front of her garden. He knew he would be the laughing stock of the neighborhood when other boys saw him working. When Ben Rogers came by eating his apple, Tom--well, heck, it probably has been years since you read Tom Sawyer. Take the time now to read the section in Google about whitewashing by going here.
I knew about the keen thinking of Tom Sawyer in getting the fence whitewashed, but I didn't have any friends who hung around the barn with me. I was out of luck. I had to apply the lime solution by myself. It started out fun to slop pints of whitewash on walls in a big old barn with no one around. The part that was covered with whitewash was in my daydreaming mind beautiful like a bride in a white wedding dress. Little did it matter that some of the liquid went on me, recast one Golden Guernsey to a milky white, and brightened up a second-cutting bale of hay and the handle of a manure fork. My hair took an especially hard hit. But the job was getting done and with each masterful stroke of the brush no portion of the siding was overlooked, no cracks left unattended, no barn flies not covered over or spiders not rendered powerless. I expected no less than statements of admiration for the work accomplished and half suspected there would be some mild applause when I finished. That thinking lasted all of five minutes.
The first visitor to the barn decided that whitewashing was a more complicated operation than I was making it out to be, muttering something about getting it covered around the corners. The woman took the brush away from me even though I was doing what I thought was a splendid job. Brother Dayne later muttered that nothing was done right unless he was involved. It was very discouraging. But the truth of the matter was that after proclaiming that others could do the job better, these same people worked at it for a few minutes and then found excuses and went elsewhere, leaving me to finish the job..
Life is somewhat like whitewashing a fence. Everyone complains about it, most think they are better at it than those who are doing it, and unlike the immigrant who spends 24/7 bending over to pick cauliflower or broccoli there simply are too few Americans who would stoop to making a living doing that. We love to argue about how to do things when most of the time we haven't a clue, but when everyone pitches in and helps the job gets done and everyone is happy. And that is the lesson I learned from my short career in whitewashing.
July 28, 2010, the birthday of Rich Scavone and Lee Ann Kline, and the wedding anniversary of Jason and Jennifer DiLossi. Jacqueline Lee Bouvier (1929-1994) was born on this date in 1929 in East Hampdon, Long Island. She graduated from George Washington University, then worked as the Washington Times-Herald's "inquiring photographer." Jacqueline met the young congressman from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, in 1952. On this day in 2002, nine coal miners were rescued after being trapped 77 hours in flooded Quecreek Mine, Somerset, Pennsylvania. The McNett Country Band performs tonight at the Orangeville Carnival. Keep Don King in your prayers. Don is a resident at Bonham Nursing Home.
Printing on a McHenry whiskey bottle:
Printing on side:
"REWARD. We will give $100.00 for evidence leading to the detection of any one refilling the McHenry bottles with any other whisky or adulterating the McHenry Whiskey in any manner or for selling something else and calling it McHenry when McHenry is asked for."
Rohr McHenry Distilling Co.
Printing on back:
"This whiskey is the product of selected Rye and Malt pure mountain spring water and scientific distilling with years of perfect aging in charred barrels in heated warehouses and coming direct from us it brings to you the finest & purest Whiskey made, and costs you no more than the other brands.
• McHenry whiskey fans continue to talk about the $770 that a full bottle of McHenry whiskey brought at the Park Street sale Saturday.
• Congress passed the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act in 2003. This legislation lowered the maximum tax rate on qualified-dividend income and long-term capital-gains income to 15% (5% for taxpayers in the 10% and 15% marginal income-tax brackets, dropping to 0% for these taxpayers in 2008). As originally enacted, these changes were effective through January 1, 2009. In May 2006, Congress passed the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act. This legislation extended the dividend and capital gains tax reductions through 2010. Before these measures were enacted, capital gains were generally taxed at a maximum rate of 20%. Without additional action by Congress, long-term capital gains and qualified dividends taxes will revert to 20% after 2010. Let your representative in Congress know how you feel on this issue.
• All those who think it unfair to raise taxes while the state spends tax money on projects like the Arlen Specter Library in Philadelphia and the "John P. Murtha Center for Public Policy" or a hotel for $10 million or authorize "walking-around money" of $300 million, raise your right hand. Didja know that if spending had been held to inflation over the past eight years, we would have ended the fiscal year with a surplus rather than a deficit (even without federal stimulus money)? The Commonwealth's total operating budget grew from $45 billion to $66 billion since 2003.
• Watch for stories over the coming months about what is believed to be a prehistoric cave buried under a culm bank in Shickshinny near the Shickshinny/Salem Township line. The cave was once referred to as the "Shickshinny Ice Cave" and written about in Volume 19 of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society’s Proceedings and Collections, published in 1926. I visited an ice mine in Coudersport many years ago--little more than a shaft hand-dug into the earth in a fruitless search for silver. The shaft trapped the cold. The heavy, cold air of winter sinks under the warmer air in the pit. In summer, the outside air is warm, but the heavier cold air in the pit is unable to escape. Ice was in the shaft in summer, but nowhere to be found in winter.
• A bill that is not likely to endear Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY 15th District) to the American people is HR 5741 IH which has been referred to the House Armed Services Committee. The bill is similar to the peace-time draft our country once had, except with this bill women as well as men will be subject to the draft for two years. There won't be any college deferments or paying to stay out of service. Draftees will be able to fulfill their obligation in a civilian capacity, as long as it is related to national defense or homeland security. Those who have served in the military are exempt. The bill only allows actual induction into the military during a declared state of war, something which has not happened since WWII. Rangel's bill does not elect to call the people forced into Government servitude by the names that Hitler used: jugend proper, for older boys 15-18 years of age; Deutsches Jungvolk for ages 10-14; or Bund Deutscher Mädel for the girls.
• A Stephanie Spiece Memorial Golf Tournament will take place Saturday, July 31, at Mill Race Golf Course. Stephanie graduated from Benton High School and was attending Bloomsburg University majoring in special education. Stephanie lost a two-year battle to oral cancer last June at the age of 21. Stephanie's parents, Carl and Ann Spiece, have started a scholarship fund at Benton High School in her honor. All money that is raised in this tournament will benefit the scholarship fund. Hole sponsors are needed! Anyone interested in being a hole sponsor, or donating to the tournament in any way, should call 683-6041.
A popular attraction at Heritage Days at Benton Park over the weekend was the quilting tent run by a number of very enthusiastic women. Deb Dressler put together a history of quilting which was passed out to those interested in the subject. Quilting came to Europe from the Orient when Crusaders discovered how comfortable the Turks were with two or three thickness of fabric “quilted” together under their armor. Early colonists in America concerned themselves with survival and used less-expensive woven blankets rather than high-priced quilts. Dull colors characterized quilts in the 1700s, with indigo the top color for more than a hundred years.
Colonists combined wool and course linen into "linsey-woolsey" for use as bedcovers or warm outerwear. The homespun linen or cotton was woven to match the size of the linsey-woolsey piece, and the two were basted together with a thin pad of natural unwashed wool between, then stretched over four stout sticks. The designs for quilting included baskets of flowers, leaves, ferns, feather wreaths, diagonal lines, basket weave, waffle and pineapples.
If you would like to be part of the quilting group in the local area, please get in touch with me and I'll help you find someone locally who can tell you all about the activities of the quilting group.
It was one of those conversations that spring up when there isn't anything else to talk about. Leon Robbins was telling about Niter, the mineral form of potassium nitrate, commonly known as saltpeter, which his father used for problems relating to inflammation of the blatter. He told how he "fixed dogs up" using camphorated oil. He used camphorated oil on himself from time to time, mixed with turpentine--good for rheumatism and a remedy for bronchial colds if it was rubbed on the chest. Father used to call camphorated oil a "Winter medicine."
Well, yes, although camphorated oil soothed muscle aches and pains and helped relieve coughs, there was a toxicity problem when it was combined with alcohol. Old-timers often used it as a "pick-me-up" until they discovered it was really a "lay-me-down" when liver damage came about. The FDA banned camphorated oil in 1980 after reports of poisoning through accidental ingestion and skin absorptions. Topical creams--Ben-Gay, Aurum Gold Analgesic, Vicks Vapo Rub and Vicks Vapo Steam--contain as much as 11% camphor, but have been deemed safe by the FDA. Larger percentages are poisonous when ingested and can cause seizures, confusion and irritability.
Peter Edward "Bear" Niedzwiecki (January 22, 1918-July 25, 2010), co-developer of Bear Fuel Service and Excavating, Inc. and adjacent gas station on Route 118, passed away Sunday at his home near Red Rock mountain (rural Benton). He was 92. He was born in Glen Lyon. He was the son of John and Alexandria Jankowski Niedzwiecki. He was raised with four brothers and two sisters on a farm near Broadway. Pete was self-employed for most of his working life, employing a crew in the timber industry, supplying props and lumber to the coal mines. As mining shut down, he transitioned to an owner/operator of a school-bus route in Ross Township. He also established a custom excavating, coal and fuel-oil business with his son, Leo. This business continues into the third generation, operated by his grandsons. (Barbara Niedzwiecki once explained that Niedzwiecki is a derivative of the Polish word niedzwiedz, meaning "bear." The family name was pronounced "Nedge Vege ski" but everyone knew the family as "Bear."
Pete is survived by his loving wife of 70 years, Antoinette. Pete and Antoinette Venetski married in 1940 at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Lake Silkworth. They lived in Broadway, Sylvan Lake, where they began to raise a family before moving to the Red Rock mountain area. Pete is also survived by sister Jenny Kutz, Sylvan Lake, son, Edward Niedzwiecki, Camarillo, California; Barbara Bear (Leo), Benton; grandchildren Loreen Auchus-McGill (Thomas). Euclid, Ohio; Rachelle Weed (Michael), Sacramento, CA; Tracy Bear (Bernadine), Peter John Bear, and Leanne Bear, all of Benton; great-grandchildren Braeden and Coveyn Bear, Benton; Alexandria and Peter McGill, Euclid, Ohio. His daughter, Leona, and son, Leo, predeceased him in death.
The funeral will be held Thursday at 9:30 AM from the Curtis L. Swanson Funeral Home Inc., Pikes Creek, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 AM from Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Lake Silkworth. Interment will be in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Cemetery, Lake Silkworth. Friends may call Wednesday from 5-8 PM. Memorial contributions be sent to the Columbia-Montour Home Health and Hospice, 410 Glenn Ave., Suite 200, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
July 27, 2010. It is the birthday of Polly Baker Pitcock, Jackie Evarts, Kathaleen Glasgow Shannon, Gary Beach, Jon Crawford and Luanne Chorba Wren.
On this day in 1953, United States, China, North Korea and South Korea signed an armistice agreement, ending the Korean War. The Korean War Veterans Memorial was dedicated on this day in 1995 in Washington, D.C. The pet and toy parade in Orangeville forms tonight at 6:30 and moves at 7 PM. Expect sunny and hot temperatures through Wednesday.
• Thanks to Bob Parks and Deb Dressler, more pictures of Heritage Days have been posted. They can be found here.
• Eleanor Stewart graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in Visual Communication. She created a music video for the classical music work "Hoedown" from the Rodeo Suite by Aaron Copland. It is a stop-motion animation in which various cowboy characters come to life from the musical score. What she created didn't deluge her with job offers, but is worth a visit here.
• Josiah Craig Peterman was born July 22 at 6:05 PM at home near Joplin, MO, under the care of a midwife. He was 8 lbs., 11 ounces and was 20-1/2" long. Josiah is the son of Rachel and Craig Peterman. I first ran into Craig Peterman when he was living in West Virginia in October 2005. At the time, I was struggling to come up with an acceptable concept of "hardpan." Craig told me that the term hardpan was used on his family's farm in Lycoming County as a description of the "ground that gets hard after years of plowing the same depth. In other words, if you plow the same depth each year, the ground immediately under that depth gets very hard--like a clay base--in other words, hardpan." Craig's sister and husband live on Main Street in Ruth Sutliff's former home. Craig delivered mail in Benton as a substitute carrier for a few years around '02-'04 under postmaster Gary Strauch. Gary and Rachel own and operate Peterman's Upholstery , their full-time business. The couple have three children: Hannah (5), Elizabeth (4 in Oct.) and Josiah.
• On Sunday, August 1, 2010, Rev. Dr. David Mansfield will begin ministry at the Benton Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ) located at Church and Third Streets, Benton. Rev. Mansfield will be joined in ministry by his wife, Cathy. Rev. Mansfield earned his BA degree in Bible and Ministry in 1974, a second BA degree in 1976, a Master's degree in 1990 and a Doctorate in Ministry in 2003. The Mansfield's have performed missionary work in Zambia from 1977 to 1983 for the Salvation Army. They previously served the Huntsville Christian Church, Dallas, and Fairhill Manor Christian Church, Washington, PA. They currently serve as co-chairs of the PA Region Spirituality Committee. Rev. Mansfield has produced videos on several subjects, including the life of Thomas Campbell, founder of the Christian Church, Disciples of Christ. Worship services at the local church are 8 and 10 AM.
• The dumpster for the post office found its way to Church Street Sunday morning and parishioners of the adjacent church had to return it to the post office parking lot again. The matter was referred to the state police. The dumpster is now chained to a concrete car bumper. The borough continues to need the watchful eye of the community to get this and other vandalism under control.
Chloe, our female Bichon Frise, is our dedicated and constant companion. She turns 11 Friday and agreed to write a few lines to let you know how her advancing age is treating her. Chloe's report follows:
"Leader said I need a subject for what I write. I don't know much about subjects so I will just tell you what I want to say. A man is a dog's best friend and therefore has certain responsibilities toward his pet. Man is bigger than his dog and the dog is at his mercy. Most of the time, man walks on only two of his legs which makes him look taller and what is worse and more of it is that man always looks down on his pets thinking he is superior to us. Because he only uses two of his legs to walk, he has the other two free to pick us up and mess up the hair on our backs.
"Common sense would tell you that dogs are supposed to eat all the time, but Leader only gives me one or two meals a day. And the meals he feeds me are for the birds! They aren't the same as Leader and Mother eat and they should be. Either baloney or roast turkey or smoked brisket would work for me, although steak that is too well done isn't my favorite. And what gripes me is that a cat never listens to man, yet it gets fed twice a day. And I have seen the same with fish. They don't know sickum, but they get lots of food.
"Our disposition is such that we need a soft bed on which to sleep, or a cushy chair would do if it was out of range of the television. Mother often interrupts my naps and moves me to the carpeted floor or moves me outside where I am exposed to heat or cold or wind.
"Thanks to my superior reasoning--I am related to the wolf, you know--I take no offense to Leader being more powerful or that he is able to climb ladders and trees. He once told me it was time for a bath. I told him in my dog language to go ahead and take one! (A little dog humor there.) I patiently take my turn doing things in which I excel in order to throw Leader off the track. I have found that in order to train Leader, I have to use psychology and have given up on using common sense. We have a saying in the dog world: 'you can't teach an old man new tricks.' Leader simply refuses to learn how to bark and when he tries to bark he simply looks and sounds stupid. I can't understand a thing he is trying to say.
"But even dogs can do silly things. I have a friend--Snowflake, she lives on the street where Leader lets me wee--who for the first year of her life liked to gnaw on books on the lower shelves of a bookcase at her house. Her master finally gave up man-solutions and wisely raised the books to a higher shelf. Snowflake kept getting taller and devoured the books on the raised shelf. As the years went on, he built higher shelves out of reach, but Snowflake kept getting the books. The books finally were taken to the attic and Snowflake gave up her book-eating habit. Her master, by the way, gave up reading.
"Leader looked at something on that television he sits in front of and found out that I'll be the equivalent of 60 this year. (Editor's note: a dog-year to human-year calculator is available here.) I may not be as big as he is, but I work twice as hard. I'll continue to be a playmate to Leader, but we'll never be on the same intellectual level. He is such a slow learner. He does not even have a schnozzle on the top of his head. I plan to completely ignore Leader on my birthday--although really I should do something different on this special day."
July 26, 2010, the birthday of Callie Madelyn Hess, Christopher Ackerman, Ronald Mark Caldwell, Brooke Laubach, Bill Lenhart, Mark Caldwell, Grace Feola and playwright George Bernard Shaw. Shaw's most famous play is Pygmalion, about a cockney girl who learns to pass as a lady. It was the basis for the musical My Fair Lady. On this day in 1948, Babe Ruth made his last public appearance as he attended the New York City premiere of the film, The Babe Ruth Story. Ruth's physicians allowed him to attend the picture because "it might do him good." Hordes of police protected him from the crowd gathered to welcome him, but under terrific physical pain he was able to remain in his seat for only 20 minutes. Three weeks later, the Bambino died after a two-year struggle with throat cancer.
• Verizon Wireless customers in rural areas in 79 service areas will soon be AT&T customers. AT&T is activating its service on a market-by-market basis and integrating the two disparate networks. Verizon Wireless customers locally who want an iPhone are a bit jealous, since Pennsylvania is not involved in the transaction.
• This is going to be a catch-up week. I am going to try very hard to see what kind of wood the top of my desk is made of, walk to the Tastee Creme and have one of their delicious sundaes, watch a movie on television and perhaps take the time to see a movie on the big screen. I would like to write something much as the retiring editor of the Boston Daily Star once did: "Any one wishing corn hoed, gardens weeded, wood sawed, coal pitched in, paragraphs written, or small 'chores' done with dispatch and on reasonable terms, will please make immediate application to the retiring editor."
• The potential that natural gas drilling could poison drinking water and threaten public health prompted a congressional subcommittee Friday to approve a $1 million federal study of how "fracking" for natural gas would impact the Delaware River and its watershed. The full House committee will now look at the matter before it goes to the U.S. House of Representatives for a vote, and then move into the Senate to be signed into law.
• Tornado warnings and heavy downpours in the area were a worry Saturday night, but vender tents, sandwiched between the Union forces to the North and the Confederate forces to the South, made it through the night with no problems. Hard rains kept attendance down Sunday at the Heritage Days festival. Rain with threats of high wind ended the festival in mid-afternoon and caused the 4 PM vesper services to be cancelled. A large tree in the park fell during a particularly hard downpour, but the tree fell across Fishing Creek and not into the occupied areas of the park. George Turner talked about the fire of July 4, 1910, from the safety of a park pavilion during the height of the storm, but was forced to move twice in order to stay dry and spoke louder than we have ever heard him speak before. His talk was as well received as any talk he has ever given in the upper Fishing Creek valley where he has contributed so much of his time and knowledge. Pictures from Sunday's Heritage Days are available for viewing, downloading and emailing by going here.
• Volunteers are needed to help clean up Benton park and move chairs and other items out of the park. Anyone who can volunteer to help Monday morning is asked to assemble in the town park at 11 AM.
The Benton News often strays from the path of good news to wander in search of interesting language. Not bad language, perhaps, but interesting nevertheless. We love to find misassociated infinitive phrase items like the one a May edition in the Daily Item: “A 57-year-old Lewistown man has been charged with stealing $500 raised by middle school students to purchase porn videos from an Internet site.” Maybe we should applaud the Lewistown man for keeping porn away from the children! And why were the kids buying porn in the first place? It wasn't until an interior paragraph that full disclosure came out: the thief wasn't the kids. Richard Sutliff, a (retired) radio news anchor in Chicago, always said that if you couldn't figure out the correct way to write something, give up, start over and say it a different way.
Rob Hutchison, Director of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, remarked after the heritage festival was over, "The Heritage Days were great, but I believe that we are missing more of the heritage of the Fishing Creek Valley. I have lived here for only 3 years and I believe that there are more artists of all disciplines, more crafts men and women, more youth organizations, more businesses, and more non-profits that can add their own unique sights, sounds, tastes and information to the festival next year."
I chatted with an out-of-state visitor at Heritage Days who read about the festival in the Benton News and decided to make her first-time visit to Benton. She was somewhat in awe of the use of Indian words in our area. Heck, this area isn't unique! Indian terms are found in every state in the Union--words such as Susquehanna, Mississippi, Ohio, Roanoke, Chattahoochie and Alabama. From the Indian also comes canoe, hammock, tobacco, moccasin, barbecue, hurricane and pow-wow. Towns, rivers and lakes named before the Revolutionary War often used aboriginal names.
Following the war, a burst of patriotism found new words for new counties and towns using the names of distinguished statesmen and soldiers. Along came Washington and Jefferson counties. In New York, popular names include Adams, Jay, La Fayette, Hamilton, Madison, Pinckney, Putnam, Pulaski, Schuyler, De Kalb, Steuben, Sullivan, Gates and Wayne.
Our great language has taken many twists and turns to come this far. People without a great deal of education struggled to be understood in the spelling of their own names (my family name began as "Clyn," moved to "Cline" and ended as "Kline"). Words were often invented to express ideas (backwoods, breadstuffs, bottoms, clapboard, corn-shucking, clearing, diggings, dug-out, husking, prairie, prairie dogs and prairie hen, sawyer, salt lick, to name a few) These words were then passed on to their children, as is often pointed out on the Benton News, and eventually become permanent and provincial. The localisms were used by stump-speakers at political meetings, and eventually reached the floor of Congress where they were soon quoted by newspapers and begin to take their place in the colloquial use of the people. Many of the words found a place in dictionaries and become part on our language.
Names popped up during a classical period when words such as Athens, Troy, Palmyra, Utica and Rome emerged. There was a period where Biblical names were popular: Jerusalem, Goshen, Bethpage, Bethlehem and Sharon are examples. There are towns named after countries, such as Mexico, Canton and Cuba. Distinguished men such as Milton, Chesterfield and Marlborough have towns named after them. The name of Pennyan is said to have been manufactured by the first settlers, part of whom were from Pennsylvania and the rest from New England, by taking the first syllable from "Pennsylvania," and the last from "Yankee.
The Old West gave us lots of words and terms; i.e., flash in the pan, bark up the wrong tree, pull up stakes, fizzle out, among the missing, tucker out. Along with those from the South, we get words such as awful, powerful, monstrous, dreadful, mighty, almighty and all-fired.
Sunday, July 25, 2010. Betty Sieg Ward Brewington turns 86 today. It is also the birthday of Annie Lukashewski, Rachel Banaszek, Bill Beishline, John Deeter, Ramona Diltz, Cindy Kriner Thompson, and Ruth (Chapin) Hilley. It is the wedding anniversary of Robert and Margie Kline. That bright light in the evening sky is the "Full Buck Moon," sometimes known as the "Thunder Moon" because of the frequency of thunderstorms during this time of the year.
• Natural gas prices rose in the lower 48 states during last week. The Henry Hub natural gas spot price rose 31 cents, or 7%, during the week, averaging $4.70 per million Btu (MMBtu). Working natural gas in storage increased to 2,891 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of Friday, July 16, according to the Weekly Natural Gas Storage Report.
• "What goes around comes around" was one of Father's favorite sayings. If he were alive today, he would say exactly that about Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY 15th District). Rangel wants to remain a U.S. Representative for a 21st term and faces a primary September 14 against state Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV (D), whose father, the late Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Rangel defeated to win his seat in 1970. How history repeats itself! Representative Rangel, a 40-year member of Congress and the House’s fourth most-senior member, faces a House trial in which four Democrats and four Republicans will rule on the findings. The House ethics committee will lay out the specifics Thursday, but things continue to look bad in the public opinion department for Congress. Democratic control of the House could be determined by the outcome of the trial. If found guilty, Rangel could be expelled from office, censured or reprimanded, the least severe punishment. Rep. James Traficant (D) of Ohio was the last member of Congress to be expelled. Traficant, charged with taking bribes and filing false tax returns, served a seven-year sentence. Ethics allegations against Rangel include use of a rent-controlled apartment as a campaign office, failure to report income, and a pledge from an oil executive to make a donation to a Rangel foundation.
• Heritage Days resumes at 11 AM today at the Benton Town Park. Highlights include the talk by Professor George Turner at 1 PM and the Artillery Demonstrations at noon and 3 PM. The play performance in the high school auditorium is at 2 PM. Vesper Services are at 4 PM. Pastor Calvin Miller will be the speaker. There will be music by the Masters family and Kurt Strunk, a gospel musician. Bring a lawn chair.
• Pictures from the Saturday version of the Heritage Days are posted here where they can be downloaded, copied, printed or emailed. Our thanks to Dave Stemrich for some of the photos, as well as for the following story...
Dave Stemrich, Rohrsburg, somehow got rooked into the role of "northern agitator" in dealing with the Yankee encampments hosted by Thompson's Independent Battery C of the Pennsylvania Volunteer Light Artillery and the Confederate encampments of the South Mountain Artillery of Central Pennsylvania during the Heritage Days celebration Saturday.
The term "northern agitator" was first used when Dave approached the Confederate tent area where tents were being raised early Saturday morning. It was a typical Confederate camp. The tents were laid out in a "go-as-you-please fashion" and dimly lighted. The soldiers sat around in a time of sociability and reminiscence. They looked dog-tired. One younger soldier had removed his foot-gear and was walking back and forth through a mud-puddle as if to remove the boredom. The men were finishing breakfast and they had a lot of food left. so they asked Dave to stay for breakfast. Dave has never turned down a free meal in his life and agreed. When his breakfast was over, the Confederate troops asked Dave to go "up and offer the troops in the Union encampment some breakfast." If the "blue guys" wanted to come down, there was food left.
Dave thought to himself "that was very nice." Then the guys wearing the gray added, "they are the guys up in the corner with the tents in the nice, neat straight lines and wearing blue and they look like they have a stick up their #$#. That is the message that I would like you to take."
So Dave headed back to the Union side with the message. When he arrived, that side was putting up their tents in regular order as definitely prescribed by Army regulations. The ones not yet in uniform did not permit their pictures to be taken when they were not in their military dress. Dave gave them the message--after all, he had eaten breakfast with the Confederates, he could hardly not deliver their message to the opposing side. One of the officers said, "Please tell the gentlemen that we respectfully decline their invitation, that our breakfast is just about ready--and that we will be down shortly for their guns!
Dave then trudged back to the Confederate side. An officer on that side asked, did they sent back a message?" Dave noticed that breakfast was being held and was still on the table. Dave said, "they respectfully decline. They cannot come down."
The officer asked, "did they just say no?"
Dave responded, "no, he said, 'I respectfully decline.'"
The officer said, "that's nice." He thought for a second, then asked, "Did he say anything else?"
"Yes he did," Dave said. The story continued, but at this point I stopped taking notes on the conversation.
It was an interesting morning! And it was an interesting day. We hope to see you at Heritage Days today.
July 24, 2010, the birthday of Austin Kelsey and Kelly Vandergrift. Kelly is 46 today and has found time to attend Kaplan University online pursuing courses in psychology. She has made both the Dean's List and the Presidential List. This summer, she has a 100% grade average in one class and a 99.4% grade average in the other. Way to go Kelly and Happy Birthday. It is the wedding anniversary of Kevin and Faith Schlichter. It should be a wonderful day in the park as Heritage Days begin in full force. If you feel like you are warming up, simply head for the air-conditioned auditorium and watch the play.
The national health-care reform bill--the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA)--became law on March 23 and will eventually affect the daily lives and bank accounts of every American.
You say you are not worried about what happens to your taxable income? Do you receive any dividends? Consider this. The U.S. Congress reduced the federal-tax rate in 2003--the rate paid by individual taxpayers on qualified dividends. That rate since 2003 has been set at a maximum of 15%. Unless legislatures extends it, the lower rate will expire at the end of this year and maximum rates on some dividends could rise to as high as 39.6%. Shareowners of companies that issue dividends would receive lower after-tax returns on their investments each quarter if current tax rates expire. Senior citizens on fixed incomes would be affected, as well as the market value of dividend-paying companies by making the companies less attractive to new investors which in turn would make it more difficult to attract the equity companies need to grow. If this is a concern to you, contact your federal policymakers.
Quote of the Day:
"We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilization."
• Phillip James Shultz entered the world July 22. PJ is the son of Peter and Sharon Shultz, was 22½ inches long and weighed 8 pounds, 14 ounces. He is the grandson of James and Catherine Duff, Kilsyth, Scotland, and Phillip and Susan Shultz, Market Street.
• Pictures of the Benton Heritage Days town-park setup from Friday, the day before the show began, are available for viewing here.
• For McHenry buffs, there is a public auction at 9:05 this morning at 480 Park Street next to Benton High School at the home of William and Alberta McHenry. A good deal of McHenry memorabilia and collectibles will be auctioned. Those attending the auction are requested to park in the rear of the property and enter from McHenry Alley in order to accommodate the traffic on Park Street. The house is on what "old-timers" would refer to as the "Dixon property. The Benton Area Schools has purchased the property. William and Alberta are moving to the former Ruth Welch property on Mendenhall Lane.
Here is the weekend schedule for the Benton Heritage Days at the Benton Town Park...
Music: (times are subject to change)
9:15 AM, Raven Creek, bluegrass and gospel
9:45 AM, "old-time music, banjo and fiddle
10:30 AM, Benton Beauties
11 AM, Greenwood Valley Boys, bluegrass
Noon, Pat Hess and Friends, old time country
1 PM, Dave Catlin and company, bluegrass and country
2:15 to 4 PM, open bluegrass jam
4 PM, Raven Creek
Play performance in the high school auditorium: 11 AM and 3 and 7 PM
Presentation of the Fire of 1910 by George Turner: 9:45 AM and 1 PM.
Saturday Artillery Demonstrations: noon, 5 PM and 8 PM
Artillery Demonstrations: noon and 3 PM.
Play performance in the high school auditorium: 2 PM
Presentation of the Fire of 1910 by George Turner: 1 PM.
July 23, 2010. On this day in 1904, the ice cream cone was introduced at the World's Fair in St. Louis. A man sold waffle-like pastries in a booth next to an ice-cream vendor. The ice cream vendor ran out of dishes, so scoops of ice cream were added to the cone-shaped waffle pastry. The men sold it under the name "ice cream cornucopia."You may have heard that St. John's Wort was good for something. Actually, it is an old remedy, named for a saint that was beheaded. Its roots--so to speak--come from Germany. St. John's Wort bleeds red when you crush it. The old timers said that when the flowers were put in tea, nerves would be calmed and depression eased--something like nature's Prozac. The dried herb does cause increased sensitivity to the sun. St. John's Wort is an expectorant, analgesic, antibacterial and antiviral and some consider it a remedy for sore throats and cold symptoms.It is said, according to a story we once heard, that when the Bloomsburg and Sullivan railroad first rolled up the Fishing Creek valley to Benton and beyond that live stock occasionally strayed onto the tracks and were killed. Each time a cow or horse lost its life, the owner put in a claim for damages, and in each case asserted that the dead animal was of full-blooded, valuable stock. The president of the railroad discussed the situation with a railroad attorney and concluded that "nothing improved the quality of livestock so much as crossing it with a locomotive."Facebook says it now has 500 million members, making it equal to the size of the world's third largest country. Facebook had about 150 million members in January 2009. The social network began in a Harvard dorm room in 2004. A movie titled The Social Network depicting the rise of the company will be released this fall. See the trailer and consider joinging the local Facebook frenzy by looking for "Bentonnews" on Facebook.com.Tuition is going up for state universities, which serve 117,000 students, including Bloomsburg, California, Cheyney, Clarion, East Stroudsburg, Edinboro, Indiana, Kutztown, Lock Haven, Mansfield, Millersville, Shippensburg, Slippery Rock and West Chester.Didja ever think that if you have to explain something
you probably shouldn't have said it in the first place?
The 83rd annual Orangeville firemen's carnival begins today and continues to Saturday, July 31. The Robin McNett Band is on stage tonight.
Part of the events of Heritage Days at the Benton town park Saturday and Sunday are vespers service for the Benton Fire Co. at 4 PM Sunday, sponsored by the Benton Council of Churches. Pastor Calvin Miller will be the speaker. There will be music by the Masters family and Kurt Strunk, a gospel musician. Bring a lawn chair. Vesper services are at the park--not at the fire hall.
A free WILK FM 103.1 newsradio app is now available. You can now listen to WILK Newsradio’s original talk programming anywhere in the world! Listen in the background while you perform other tasks on your iPhone. Get it here.
The Friday edition of the Benton News was published late because of a busy day Marcia Kay and I had Thursday. We drove to Shanksville to see the progress on the construction of the future site of the memorial to United Flight 93, then drove to Indiana, Pennsylvania, to watch the Athens/Camp Hill nine- and ten-year old kids play their hearts out in the state baseball eliminations. Camp Hill pulled in a first-inning run, but Athens responded with four runs and went on to win 7-4. It was 11:30 PM before we reentered the borough limits and were too tired to peck anything out.
The Athens area pulled together to field their team. Their 12-year olds were in Hughesville in state eliminations. The 9-10 year-olds received a hero send-off from Athens. Chesapeake Energy Corporation and a Athens car dealer paid for the hotel rooms for players and their parents and for the meals while in Indiana for the double-elimination.
The food we had to eat when we were growing up was never considered "fast food." Mother cooked and we ate when Father finished his second job, before he started the evening chores of milking the cows. We would sit down together at the dining-room table and if we didn't like boiled spinach or something that was served we would be allowed to sit there until we did like it. We mostly wore Levis and shorts in those days—except jeans were not allowed in school back then—and shoes in the summer were unheard of, except at Sunday School. Our transportation was as good as the one-speed bike we peddled—all thirty pounds of it—and swimming at the dam after we got the lawn mowed was just heaven and running to the railroad bridge so we could jump off as the B & S approached was grand sport.
We never had television in our house while we were growing up, but the summer we graduated and moved away from home a set with a piece of blue, green and red colored plastic over the screen appeared at the house and never seemed to shut off during the afternoon hours just as the radio never turned off at night when the Phillies played. I can still remember an announcer droning in the background something about "deceit, jealousy, rage, avarice, amnesia…these are typical traits that hover around Mary Noble Backstage Wife." And then there was the story of Young Widder Brown, a 30 year-old mother, who "struggled to raise her children without the small town mentality that came with living in Simpsonsville." And there one about how the world squirms or something like that.
We cleaned lima beans on the porch, picked strawberries and sold them on the street with the largest ones always on top, and never had a clue that spinach could be eaten without being boiled. We didn't know what "subs" or pizza pie was, or what a clean car looked like after Father finished his delivery of mail on R. D. 3. We grew up embarrassed with Mother for waiting for the phone to ding, then watching in horror as Mother lifted the receiver and listened in. Sometimes her eyes got real big, and she would raise a finger as if to say, "Don't you dare say a word right now; I am listening to something big..." We always had lots of high butterfat Golden Guernsey milk and we fed our pumpkins, neighbors and ourselves with it. We plucked huge icicles from the rocks across from our house and made wonderful ice cream in the winter and dreamed of it all during the next summer. Our homemade freezer was lined with buckwheat hulls for insulation. Once, for Mother's December 5 birthday, Father gave her a hand-cranked ice cream maker. For Father's Day the next year, Mother gave it back to him.
We kept a horse named "Lady" and got in serious trouble once for yelling at Lady when she got scared by a fast moving car approaching from the rear on a dusty dirty road. After yelling some unkind things to our horse "Lady," the lady in the car got out and chewed us up one side and down the other, thinking she was the lady we were saying unkind things about. For spending money, we tried delivering newspapers until we found out that it had to be done as they say now "24/7" and we were not allowed to sleep in ever. We swept cobwebs from barn ceilings and hauled manure and stacked hay and straw—anything to make some money for the Farmer's Picnic or the carnival or just for a VMP (vanilla ice cream, topped with marshmellow and peanuts) at the Kozy Korner restaurant. Now that we think it over, we'll take slow food over fast food any day...
July 22, 2010. It's the birthday of poet Stephen Vincent Benét, born in 1898 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He was one of the most popular poets of his day, and today he's remembered for his epic poem about the Civil War, John Brown's Body, which he wrote in 1928 about the 1859 episode in which anti-slavery activist John Brown led 21 men on a raid of the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, and seized the armory to provide for his militia. His plan to arm slaves with the weapons he and his men seized from the arsenal was thwarted, however, by local farmers, militiamen, and Marines led by Robert E. Lee. Within 36 hours of the attack, most of Brown's men had been killed or captured. Brown was captured and later hanged. Benét's poem was one of the best-selling poems of all time, 15,000 lines of rhymed verse, telling the story of the Civil War from beginning to end. Benét made a fortune, but he lost most of it in the stock market crash of 1929.The National Motorists Association ranks Pennsylvania number 31 in the country in likelihood of issuing speeding tickets. Florida ranked first in the nation. Our neighbors in Shickshinny get an honorable mention. Take a look at the speed trap information for that Luzerne County borough.Please support the Heritage Days Celebration this weekend in the Benton Town Park. Learn about the fire which took place a century ago by listening to George Turner and more about the celebration this weekend from the Executive Director of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, Rob Hutchinson, as they appeared on WVIA. You can hear it here. You should also visit the web site for The Center at http://www.n4cs.org/ .
There is an informative booklet on the 1910 Benton fire available at the festival information desk that will have more details of the fire and names of some of the people involved.
Russ Seward had four maps mounted for viewing at the Heritage Days celebration. The maps date from 1913 and are drawn to scale based on the census of 1910, which was completed a few weeks before the fire which took place on the Fourth of July that year. Don't miss viewing the excellent copies of the maps which were recently located at the Penn State Archives by Russell. The booklets show locations of many businesses and homes that existed in 1910. A booklet describing the Benton Fire of 1910 will also be available. It has many names of those affected by the fire.
It is only through an appreciation of its rich and varied past that Benton's rich and varied present can be understood. Please support this important, local endeavor.
The heritage of those to come lies in the richness of county life, the fertility of the land and the generosity of the country people. Those of us who live Back Home in Benton, PA, want the peace and solace of the country, the hillsides and the open fields. These are such simple things to want, yet they are so rich and good. These can be yours, but to have them you must plan with love. You must build with peace and harbor with humility, you must walk with respect for your own kind and with nature now and for generations to come.
A child should live where he can make a friend
Of every barnyard creature
And learn about all growing things
With nature for his teacher.
He should live where he can race the wind
And feel the kiss of sun
And walk barefoot in the grass
Or wade from Fishing Creek into a quiet run.
A child should romp and play
In woods and hills and fields to trod,
He'll learn the secrets of the earth
And catch a glimpse of God.
Beatrice M. Hess (August 29, 1916-July 20, 2010), a quilt maker with the Millertown Homemaker's Group who gave away many of her products to the needy and homeless, passed away Tuesday at her home at 103 Asbury Road, Orangeville, where she had spent much of her life. She was in failing health for several months. She was 93. She was born in Ross Township, Luzerne County. She was a daughter of Ralph and Helen (Edwards) Swisher. She resided in the Asbury area of Fishingcreek Township for much of her life.
Beatrice was preceded in death by her husband, O. Edward Hess on January 19, 1993; by a daughter, Elaine A. Hess, on March 22, 2004; by three brothers: Robert Swisher, Bryce Swisher, Donald Swisher; and by sisters Laura Taylor and Maude Ale.
Surviving are sons Franklin D. Hess (Nancy), Asbury, (rural Orangeville); Robert R. Hess (Sandra), Benton; four grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary Lutz, Berwick; and a brother, Edward Swisher (Joanne), Farmington, New Mexico.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday morning at 10 in the Kriner Funeral Home, Benton. Interment will be in St. James Cemetery, Bendertown. Friends may call on Friday from 6-8 PM. The family will provide flowers. Memorials may be sent to the Asbury United Methodist Church, c/o Nadine Steward, treasurer, 233 Mountain Road, Orangeville, PA 17859.
July 21, 2010.We'll get the negative out of the way first. Vandalism is a problem in the borough. On Monday, just to use a "for-instance," flowers were torn out of a flower bed at the corner of Third and Church Streets. The dumpster at the post office was moved for the third day in a row from its location (It ended up on Third Street Tuesday morning) and two stop signs were ripped out of the ground. One stop sign was thrown onto a roof of the "Brewington Building" at the Benton Christian Church and the other carried up a fire escape to the second-floor. A neighbor saw two "teens" about 3 AM at the rear of the church, one with long blond hair. State police at Bloomsburg were notified. The incidents are under investigation. Please help do your part to catch and apprehend those responsible.We can't say enough good about the 2010 version of the Benton Rodeo, and neither can others. Watch what WNEP, Channel 16, had to say by going here. You can view pictures of the Benton Rodeo by going here where you can view the pictures as a slideshow, or email or download the pictures. The pictures are courtesy of Bill Neiswender, Catawissa, owner of B and L Hauling, one of the venders at the rodeo. Bill can be reached at 594-6081 if you have action pictures you would like taken. The aerial shots of the rodeo were shot from the Super Cub plane of Dick Karschner piloted by Rick Farwell.The cowboys who ride the bulls, rope the calves, navigate around the barrels, wrestle the steers, ride either bareback or with a saddle on what cowboys calls a "bronc" and are responsible for the many other aspects of the rodeo have headed for distant points. Some went home with well-earned rodeo-prize money. Some will be stiff and sore for weeks, others will eventually make it to the Calgary Stampede and the "big-time." The amateur-rodeo performers who appear at Benton earn an estimated $30,000 a year, but set their sights on becoming professionals where the yearly take can approach a million dollars.As the cowboys ride off into the sunset, as old western movies liked to suggest, an important aspect of the upper Fishing Creek valley ends for another year, although future hopefuls from time to time ride into the arena and practice for the day when they can ride in the center ring. The Benton Rodeo is a "big deal" for the economy and the status of Benton, but pales when compared with an event that occurred on July 4, 1910.As most of you know, a century ago a large portion of the borough burned--nearly twenty merchants and several industries, along with a number of houses. The changes which occurred as a result of that fire altered the community in its physical appearance, its main entry into the village from the South, was the reason for the construction of the Benton dam, and altered the future economic importance of the upper Fishing Creek valley.
The account of the 1910 Benton Fire is contained in an article entitledThe Benton Fire of July 4, 1910 written by George A. Turner. The article first appeared in 2002 in Carver, a Bloomsburg University publication. Under a new title, A History of the Benton Fire of 1910: One Hundred Years Later, new information and a few editorial changes are presented. Locations of houses and the occupants and owners of the houses are provided. Professor Turner gave his permission to the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center to use his article and volunteers of The Center led by Robert Parks prepared a booklet on the fire.
In addition to the booklet, this year's annual Fishing Creek Heritage Days will provide the opportunity to hear historian George Turner tell the story of the fire. Turner will speak at 9:45 AM and 1:30 PM Saturday, July 24, and at 1 PM. Sunday, July 25, in a pavilion in the park. You can also listen to Mr. Turner discuss the fire by going here to listen to an interview with Erika Funke of WVIA.
Heritage Days are sponsored by the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center. Admission to the event is free.Fishing Creek Heritage Days is a family-oriented program that lets participants more fully understand the important and authentic events that have shaped our past and guide our future. Activities last year included Civil War re-enactments; a theatrical production by Fishing Creek Players; artillery demonstrations; a lecture by George Turner relating to the Fishing Creek Confederacy; authentic period music and food; and much more. If you need more information about the activities that will take place this weekend, call 925-0163.
The Fishing Creek Players will perform Damaged Trust four times over the weekend on the Benton middle/high school stage. The play was written by M.R. Daniels who also serves as artistic director and designed the set and costumes. The play is directed by Brandon Hartman. Performances are Saturday at 11 AM, 3 PM and 7 PM and Sunday at 2. There is an admission charge for the performances.
Damaged Trust is a sequel to M.R. Daniels' 2009 play, The Dividing Line. The new one-act play continues the story of some of the characters you met last year in that production. It deals with a young couple, several weeks after the arrest and imprisonment of the Benton townspeople. This couple finds themselves highly affected by the betrayal of their neighbors, and learn the value of trust. The production will take place on the stage of the Benton High School.
The weekend will also include Civil War re-enactments, abundant amounts of food and drinks provided by local churches. There will be arts and crafts. A great deal of music will characterize the Saturday activities. Here is the Saturday lineup of music, but please note that times are subject to change...
9:15 AM, Raven Creek, bluegrass and gospel
10 AM, "old-time music, banjo and fiddle
10:30 AM, Benton Beauties
11 AM, Greenwood Valley Boys, bluegrass
Noon, Pat Hess and Friends, old time country
1PM, Dave Catlin and company, bluegrass and country
2 to 4 PM, open bluegrass jam
4 PM, Raven Creek
July 20, 2010. It is the birthday of Lila Melan, Dan McGarigle and Wayne McMichael. Scott and Dori Doty celebrate their wedding anniversary.It was on this day in 1944 when the staff of a major global operation met with the CEO in an "off-site" location at Wolf's Lair field headquarters in East Prussia. Some on the board were not happy following the aggressive diversification orders issued from the top. Things were not going well. On the East, efforts were stalemated and in the West, where things seemed previously to be quite secure, gains were slipping away. The CEO knew things were going badly, but didn't realize his board was planning a hostile takeover.
The CEO stepped from his Mercedes to attend what he thought would be just another meeting. His underlings, all generals, had other ideas following the decision to wage war on two fronts--to the East in Russia and to the West where more than 500,000 had fallen and 25 generals were prisoners. Adversaries of CEO Adolph Hitler had landed at Normandy 44 days before. The board resisted taking drastic action until German tactician Erwin Rommel, the "Desert Fox," agreed to the plot, although he didn't exactly jump into the fray with enthusiasm.
A briefcase containing the Fuhrer's flawed fatal fireworks was placed under a window--but on the wrong end of the table. The bomb went off, but Hitler received only a superficial wound, and Rommel was forced to take poison. The Germans lost their best commander, kept their worst strategist and saw the arrest of about 7,000 people by the Gestapo and the assignation of nearly 5,000 Germans.The staff of the Millville Carnival would like to thank everyone who came out to support the carnival and would like to thank the community for its contributions to the carnival through donations and volunteer time in the stands. Jeremy Reese, 2nd Assistant Chief of the Millville Community Fire Company, stressed that "community support is one of the main reasons for the success of the carnival." There is no way to gauge the attendance because of the free admission, but there was a great turnout every evening. With the heat experienced during the week, the Christian Church iced tea and Sunset ice cream served by the Little Fishing Creek Rod and Gun Club were very popular items this year. Jeremy remembers that he personally drank three large cups of iced tea on the afternoon of July 5. The carnival sold out of popcorn and caramel corn and there were folks buying caramel corn to send to friends and family across the country as far away as Colorado and Iowa. The dates for the 2011 carnival will be July 1-9.
• The local Red Hat group meets Wednesday afternoon, July 21, at The Sub Shop at 2. The subject will be wine tasting.
• There is an anticipated opening at the Benton Area School District for a Life Skills Aide, a part-time position, paying $7.25 an hour. No benefits. Send letter of interest and current clearances to Penny Lenig-Zerby, Superintendent, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814. The deadline is July 28, 2010. This is an equal-opportunity position.
• The Benton Area School District is in need of substitutes in all areas: teachers, nurse, aides, cafeteria and maintenance. Please send a letter of interest and clearances to Penny Lennig-Zerby, Superintendent, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814.
• The stands were filled every night of the Benton Rodeo and by all measures the event was a great success. Harry Ritter watches the fireworks every year and said that the "ker-boom factor" was the best ever this year (Monte Hittle credits the low ceiling [cloud cover]). One woman from Broadheadsville lost her wallet in the parking lot. An unidentified man about 25 years old found the wallet and brought it to the rodeo office and dropped it off, then hurried into the rodeo to watch the show. Sandy Lehet called the owner's home and left a message about the wallet being found. The wallet contained $450 in cash. The woman drove back to Benton the next day to pick up the wallet. Who says the people in the upper Fishing Creek valley aren't the best!
The excitement is building for the second annual Heritage Days celebration at the Benton park. Here is some of what to expect:
Music on Saturday:
Old-time fiddle and banjo, old-time country, bluegrass, gospel and patriotic music, featuring Bill Bailey, banjo; Jean Mosich, fiddle; The Benton Beauties; Pat Hess and friends; Dave Catlin and company; The Greenwood Valley Boys; Raven Creek Band and a bluegrass jam.
Food Venders and Menu
Waller United Methodist Church: hamburgers, cheeseburgers, hot dogs, cheese steaks, sodas.
Benton United Methodist Church: Bar-B-Que sandwiches, chips and youth group face painting, ice tea, ice coffee.
St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church: meat-ball subs, crafts and history.
Benton Lion’s Club: bottled water, peanuts.
Smokehouse Bar-B-Q: baby-back ribs, brisket, pulled pork, smoked sausage, french fries, roasted corn, cole slaw, baked beans, Southern sweet tea.
Audrey’s Castle: chicken tender basket, fish basket, shrimp basket, french fries, sweet potato fries, fish sandwich, soda, coffee, fruit slushie, chocolate milk.
HillBilly Kettle Korn: kettle korn, Catawissa soft drinks, freshly squeezed lemonade, beef jerky strips.
And what is a festival that honors our heritage in the local area without critters? There will be the...
Whitenight Family Farm, offering hand-milking demonstrations, small farm animals (chickens, ducks, maybe a calf). Agricultural information.
Lucky’s J’s Miniature Donkeys: miniature donkeys and perhaps a couple of newly borns.
At a festival, you need some Arts and Crafts, and they will be there, too; i.e.,
Northern Columbia Quilt Guild. The quilt guild will have demonstrations and displays reflecting quilt blocks and techniques popular from the Civil War era to the early 1900s. Available will be blocks for a "Signature Quilt" to be signed by Heritage Days attendees for a small fee. The blocks will be pieced together and sold in a raffle at a later date.
Henny Penny’s Country Store. Quilt-related items, herbs, and spices.
Black Bear Pottery. Handmade pottery.
Worthington Acres Alpacas. Alpaca yarn, fabrics, clothing and spinning demonstrations.
North Mountain Art League. Art work from several art league members will be for sale, resource materials regarding the art league, and some art work exhibited.
H & P Embroidery. Machine embroidery items. Handcrafted wall hangings, jewelry, baby bonnets, dishcloths.
Mary Rajkiewicz. Handcrafted jewelry.
J & S Gegwich Antiques. Antiques, collectibles and miscellaneous items.
Earth Shine. Felted wool pet beds, Monster Scrubbie wash mitts for kids and adults, crocheted wool cell-phone bags, cotton market bags.
One of a Kind Design by Paulette. Jewelry and bird houses.
Ol’ Country Barn. Assorted crafts, baskets, and other merchandise from the Ol Country Barn
Gifts of Wood and Fabric. Wood-turning pens, magnifying glasses, fishing lore, quilting and sewing items and embroidery.
Samantha M. Andes. Handmade stained-glass jewelry
Brandy’s Crafts and Toys. Crocheted, knitted, embroidery, beadery, plastic canvas and wooden items.
Kathy Ball. Scented soy candles, heat packs, linen sprays, and sugar scrubs.
Hands on Recovery. Recycled jewelry and accessories from soda cans, soda tabs, magazines, bottle caps, record bowls and clocks, soaps and bath salts, magazine gift bows, recycled-paper notecards, soda-can picture frames, candy-wrapper jewelry, Worry dolls from Guatemala, finger puppets from Peru, coin purses, earth-friendly socks, tie dye t-shirts. Many items are made by folks with disabilities.
When editions of the Benton News are thrown together quickly, bad things happen. Take the Monday edition, as an example. After four days of riding 4-wheelers, fishing, eating too much, napping but getting little overnight sleep, I tried to quickly write a Monday version. It was a disaster! First it was the poor use of our language and, perhaps as a consequence, the web site would not cooperate and remained down for about a day.
Noting that others have had their share of problems when writing in a hurry, here are a few of my favorite mistakes from others: an advertisement in a newspaper offered a wheel barrel for sale and another listed the price of Aunt and Roach Killer and yet another gave away a liter of pups. Another described a birthday party for ten little fiends. One near-fatal accident sent the driver into a "comma." A mention of a form of entertainment was spelled "collide-o-scope." Without an editor looking over my shoulder, it is hard not to make tiepografical errors!
Sending out the Benton News is somewhat like what printers experienced with typesetters when minding their "p's" and "q's" was important. Typesetters had to carefully pick out the letters that might be stored upside down. The p and the q printer's blocks could easily be confused and works would get printer puite botched uq.
A brochure once proclaimed that North Carolina had more golf curses in its state than any other. A lawyer typed instructions to his staff to find a bright young girl to serve as his office deceptionist. A sports writer once wrote that a home run bounced off a poet in the upper decks. The worst may have been the man on a business trip who sent an email to his wife: "Having a wonderful time. Wish you were her."
July 19, 2010. It is the birthday of Fred Houseweart, Pamela Thomas, Michelle Wech, Carl Spiece, Lois Remley-Rhinard-Stere, Margie Kline, Kermit Moss, Bob Hess, Bruce McMichael, Alice Allegar and former-Pennsylvania Governor Bill Scranton.
Snuggled between when the Republicans nominated Dwight Eisenhower and the Democrats nominated Adlai Stevenson to replace Harry Truman for the office of the President, an event occurred on this day in 1952 that made headlines around the world and rivaled tabloids stories of today. The subject was aliens taking over the most powerful nation in the free world. Radar at National Airport picked up a batch of bogeys bothering the bureaucrats in the White House, Capitol building and the Pentagon. A half dozen radars showed what was best described as unidentified flying objects cruising in a circle about 150 miles an hour over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Air-traffic control asked pilots to check on bright lights above the White House. When one plane moved toward the area, three of the blips took off at a speed that showed up on the screen at a reported 3,000 mph. The Air Force scrambled planes and the remaining blips vamoosed at the same radar speed. The press picked up the story, but the White House press office tried to pooh-pooh the sightings and similar sightings later that week. Another mysterious sighting took place in Washington July 25. An Air Force jet was scrambled but as it approached the object, radar screens showed the object pulling away up to seven times the jet's fastest speed. The sightings were confirmed by ground, airplane radar and visual reports from pilots sent to validate the objects. The Pentagon called the sightings "weather inversions."
"Way back in the late 1970s (1978 or so)," a reader of long standing with me who asked not to be identified, was in the Air Weather Service stationed at Elmendorf AFB Alaska. The Weather Service "caught one of those silvery white disk-shaped 'Weather Phenomena' on weather-satellite photos as it zoomed up from the base." As recalled thirty years later, "it came in from the west over Cook Inlet, maneuvered slowly about the 270 runway for several minutes, long enough to get just about everyone who was paying attention--from the weather tower, to the air traffic controllers in their tower, to the guys in the weather station, and the MAC and SAC and TAC guys on air strip scurrying about." About the time it had everyone's attention "it took off straight up towards the weather satellite then stationed over Alaska." For a "weather phenomenon," it was "pretty impressive, self-steering, totally unaffected by wind speed and direction, flew at a speed in excess of several hundred mph, and had a surface temperature as measured by the satellite as it zipped past it of 3,000 Kelvin's." The major in charge of the satellite station showed the satellite pictures the next day and swore everyone to secrecy, then locked those nifty shots in his bottom desk drawer.
• It could take half a day to pick a quart of huckleberries "on the mountain" this year. As Father would say, "pickings are slim." But, oh, boy, what flavor!• The state Senate will meet for a total of ten days in September and October before breaking for the remainder of the calendar year, with no lame-duck sessions after the November 2 election. A ceremonial session will be held on November 18 to elect the next President Pro Tempore.
• Natural gas futures have fallen 19% this year as analysts predict that supplies are sufficient to meet demand in our sluggish economic. Gas continued its decline after Baker Hughes, Inc. reported the number of U.S. drilling rigs rose to the highest level in almost 17 months. The company reported 859 horizontal rigs in production.
• Is your vegetable garden finally going gangbusters now that we’ve gotten some rain? The Benton Food Bank could use any extras. Recipients are always very appreciative of all the beautiful homegrown foods added to their normal rations of dried and canned goods. In fact, some of the folks from the Senior Center check back at the end of the morning to see if there is anything left for them. Please be generous, and drop off your donations of vegetables, eggs, herbs and flowers at the rear of the Community Center on Tuesday between 8 and 9 AM. Thank you as always to all the gardeners who bring such nutritious fare.Bloomsburg University Alumni Association will hold its 15th annual show, Out of Sight...Out of Murder, in six performances July 23-July 31. The play is set in a gloomy guest house in rural Vermont, and focuses on a mystery writer whose plans for a new thriller go hilariously awry when the characters in his mind take on a life of their own and no longer behave in quite the way he thought they would. The play, suitable for all ages, will be presented in beautiful, historic Carver Hall on the Bloomsburg University campus. Shows will be Friday and Saturday, July 23 and 24, at 8 PM; Sunday, July 25, at 3 PM; Friday, July 30, at 8 PM; and Saturday, July 31, at 3 and 8 PM. General admission tickets are $7; students and seniors, $4. All tickets are available at the door. For more information, phone the Bloomsburg University Alumni Association, 389-4058 or 800-526-0254. This is the Alumni Players' 15th summer show under the direction of James H. Slusser (1990, '92, '04), Bloomsburg. Members of the cast include Bloomsburg alumni Audra Hearity dePrisco, '95, Bloomsburg; David P. O'Brien, '73, Lightstreet; Jim Sachetti '73, Bloomsburg. Rounding out the cast are Mark Lehnowsky, Shickshinny; Nicole Merkel, Elysburg; Michelle Lunger, Buckhorn; Kathryn Sweeney, Washingtonville, and Seth Chamberlain, Bloomsburg. Sets are by Randall Presswood, director, performing arts facilities and programming at Bloomsburg University; costumes by Karen Anselm, professor of theater at BU; sound by Jeremy dePrisco, Bloomsburg.
Our vacation in a remote section of Sullivan County is over. We are back to reality and the world of television, the internet, phone service--and stores where the necessities of life are available. The lack of some of those things for a few days focused attention on things that need changing. The changes that I am contemplating came to me as an epiphany of sorts. Let me explain...In days gone by when people lived far apart and not close to stores, every hook-and-eye, every button and piece of braid, odd keys and nails and string and wrapping paper and pasteboard boxes and picture frames was worth saving, You never knew when one of these things would be exactly what you need. Back in those days, it was a serious problem to be miles from a door hinge or a pane of glass. But nowadays there is no need for this sort of thrift. A wilderness of boxes and paper in the attic is a fine place to start a fire, and a finer place for a nest of mice.
Most readers probably won't remember Charles Dickens' Bleak House, a novel filled with lots of minor characters and sub-plots and a closet which is similar to a storage space in the house occupied by Marcia Kay and me. The closet was in the home of Mrs. Jellyby. Dickens' book described what came tumbling out of the closet when it was opened: "bits of moldy pie, sour bottles, Mrs. Jellyby's caps, letters, tea, forks, odd boots and shoes of children, firewood, wafers, saucepan-lids, damp sugar, odds and ends of paper bags," the list went on endlessly. Some readers will also remember the infamous closet owned by Fibber McGee and Molly.What the Jellyby and the McGee closets contained were exaggerations as relates to your closets or mine--but in principle it isn't that outrageous.It distresses me greatly when wonderful reminders of the past are thrown out. I was invited to the attic of a local lady. It was a sight to see. She probably never threw anything out in all the years she lived in the house. As soon as something went out of fashion, it was transferred to her attic. Most of what was in the attic was too old to be of use and too new to be classed as an antique. One of these days, her daughter or perhaps a complete stranger will be called on to clean out her attic--and what a job that will be.On the top shelves, in the cellar and in the attic there was an accumulation of stuff that never should have been kept--whatnots, picture frames, old shoes, a worn-out umbrella, Christmas bows and wrapping paper from "back in the day," several broken chairs, hundreds of keys, Mason jars from when canning was popular. All these items probably had a slight possibility of continued use, but actually not one of them ever was or ever would be used. She never could bring herself to have a grand cleaning-out of all these things, and by-and-by she died and the job fell on those who survived. So why is it that we hang onto things that we no longer need? The clothes hang in our closets, getting more and more out of fashion, dusty and moth-eaten--and in many cases they have shrunk when we try them on years later.There have been years of leisure in my life in which I had time to sort out the closets in my house. I could have sold some of it, given some away and thrown away the rest.My top shelves are piled with boxes and it comes as a real surprise when I open them and find things that I have looked for. I keep piling stuff into the closet, like Mrs. Jellyby and Fibber McGee, and one of these days I'll pass on and leave the dirty chore for somebody else. Why do we think that it is better to shirk our work and pass it on to others after we are dead and buried than to leave it to be done by others while we are still living? It is important to move the stuff on so that your heirs and assigns won't be bothered by all of it.It is important to save the things that are really valuable, especially if it grows in value as time goes on, but that isn't true of the stuff tied up in paper and packed in boxes that clutters up the storage room, the stuff that could be tossed aside without a second thought.
When we have a day when it storms, start a task that somebody someday will have to perform. The rule is that if you can't use something now, it is time to give it to somebody who can. Don't keep anything on the chance that you may be able to use it the next year.
Now comes the hard part. I'll have to get Kay to agree to get rid of all this stuff...
Rev. Charles A. Longnecker (May 13, 1926-July 17, 2010) passed away Saturday at his Knoxville, Tennessee, home. He was 84. He was born in Chicago, Illinois. He was a son of Robert D. and Margaret (Osbold) Longnecker.
Rev. Longnecker served as a missionary pastor with the American Sunday School Union in Wisconsin for 7 years. He then joined the American Mission for Opening Churches (AMOC), and served for 28 years. During this time he pastored two village congregations in rural New York for 7 years, after which he pastored at White's Church, Peacock Corners, and Faith Bible Church, between Lightstreet and Orangeville, for 7 years. He then founded Bible Baptist Church with the objective of teaching the Bible based on Biblical principles. The church met in a former bakery on Everitt Street, Benton, before relocating to a Benton Township location on Route 239 in 1978. Rev. Longnecker served that church for 13 years. From Benton, he and his wife traveled to Kenya as missionaries with CHRISTAR Ministries (formerly International Missions) for 7 years. He was in the ministry from 1952 until 1995 when he retired. He was currently a member of West Park Baptist Church, Knoxville, Tennessee.
He and his wife, Dorothy M. (Ewing) Longnecker, would have celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary on August 10. Surviving, in addition to Mrs. Longnecker, are his sons and daughters-in-law: Mark and Nancy, Daniel and Cheryll, Timothy and Deborah, Joel, Nathan, Eric and Maureen; daughters and sons-in-law: Linda and David Duke, Virginia and Kermit Minnick, Jan and Daniel Belles; Grace and Robert Henrie; Sharon and Robert Wittke; Patti and James Pollock; Jill and Mark Carson; 34 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren; brother and sister-in-law, Herbert and Wanda Longnecker; and sister-in-law, Joyce Longnecker.
He was preceded in death by brother, Fred Longnecker, and daughter, Gail (Longnecker) Belles.
The family will receive friends Thursday evening, July 22, from 6-8 at the McMichael Funeral Home. A private graveside service will be held Friday morning at 10 in Berwick. A memorial service will be held at 2 PM on Friday, July 23, at the Bible Baptist Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to CHRISTAR (Mission to East Indians and Orientals), Box 14865, Reading, PA 19612-4865. For online condolences or to sign the online register book, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, July 16-17-18, 2010.July 16, the birthday of Billie Jo Creveling, Jennifer Moreno-Perez (Jenn Babb), Wendy Laubach and former governor Dick Thornburgh. There is breakfast at the rodeo grounds beginning at 7 AM, the Robin McNett Band mounts the stage for its first show at 5 and fireworks at the Benton Rodeo tonight at 11 PM.July 17, the birthday of Melvin Parks and Sheila Gilbert. Happy second anniversary to the First Columbia Bank & Trust Company, which merged with the Columbia County Farmer's National Bank on Friday, July 17, 2008. Breakfast begins at 7 AM at the Benton Rodeo grounds and the "Run for Leukemia Cure" begins at 8. The Special Kids Roundup begins at 10; the group Crossfire begins its first show at 5. Don't forget the ice cream festival at Waller Memorial Hall from 4 to 7 PM.July 18, the birthday of Chelsea Lamoreaux, Grover Dressler, Cathy Goode, Melinda Goode, Nancy Baker Traubitz and Allison Nicole Kocher. Ranch Rodeo takes place at 11 this morning. The Bull-A-Rama is set for Sunday at 7:30.
On the 16th of July 1941, in its 39th season, a 56-day streak came to an end. It was the hitting streak of "Joltin’ Joe," an outfielder for the New York Yankees, a man you would recognize as Joseph Paul DiMaggio. The streak didn't begin as much, but by this day in 1941 the subject was more important that any talk of Hitler, the Battle of Britain or Hideki Tojo's moves in Manchuria. And, why not, no one in Americas's game had ever hit safely in anything like 56 straight games! America hung on every pitch and it reached its climax in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland team drug out their two best pitchers--Jim Bagby and Al Smith. The first time up, "Joe, Joe DiMaggio" smacked a shot that somehow the Cleveland third baseman, Kenny Keltner, robbed of a hit with a play that brought the entire stadium to its feet. Later in the game, Joe hit another shot that normally would go into the record books, but there was Keltner again and put him out. The game ended and so did DiMaggio's streak. But Joe came back in the next game and hit safely for the next 16 games. The team finished the season 101-54, winning their 12th pennant, finishing 17 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox. Joe wasn't even the best hitter in the league that year. A fellow in Boston by the name of Ted Williams ended the season with a batting average over .400--but that's a story for another day.
Wednesday, July 14, and Thursday, July 15, 2010. Expect the weather this week to be either sunny, hot and humid, sunny and hot, or sunny. There is also the possibility of showers this morning and again on Saturday.July 14, the birthday of Reyden Hoffman, Terri Adams, David Albertson and Edith Hartman Witchey. Today is the wedding anniversary of Robert and Betty Lewis. Team sorting takes place tonight at the rodeo at 7:30. For more information about the rodeo, call 925-6536 or www.bentonrodeo.com. Erika Funke, WVIA-FM, will interview Professor George Turner about 11 AM about the fire a century ago which devastated much of Benton. It will make it to the web site as a podcast late in the day Thursday.July 15, the birthday of birthday of Mary Travelpiece, Carolyn Diehl, Elaine Rogers, Pat Threlkeld, Karl Myers and Keith Harvey. Brian and Lydia Becker, Camp Hill, celebrate their wedding anniversary. On this day in 1828, a log building was consecrated as St. Gabriel's Church by Bishop Henry U. Onderdonk. The church conformed to the rites of the Protestant Episcopal Church. Country Express comes on the stage at the rodeo tonight at 5. The rodeo begins at 7:30.
• For those of you who love Alaska, Max Hartman recently returned from a trip and has posted pictures of Alaska here.
• For those interested in natural-gas drilling in the Marcellus, you might go to a site run by the University of Pittsburgh. It is hosted by the Foundation for Pennsylvania Watersheds, an environmental group that funds local projects aimed at protecting the state’s waterways. The site is www.fractracker.org/ .
• There are more and more bluegrass fans in the area each year. But didja ever hear it played accompanied by a farm tractor? Well, if not, go here and have a listen.
• A Columbia County Land Owners Coalition group meeting takes place Thursday, July 15, from 7 to 8 PM.
• I never met a goose I liked, and apparently those in the know at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park feel the same. (Brad Cole calls them "rats with wings.") Every single goose in the park--about 400 of them--was gassed to death last week in order to reduce the goose population around airports.
• Dontcha feel sorry for the hard-working people in the state House of Representatives? Their fall legislative session includes three weeks in September, a week in October and two weeks in November as the last days in the current two-year session of the General Assembly. The state Senate will not return to session following the November 2 general election.
• A web site is raising money for Marines who have been wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan and need help with family expenses that are not covered by the government. Melissa Harvey was a Marine and she will be participating in two events this fall to raise money for the cause. Check out this site and please donate if you can to a very worthy cause.
• Recent rants have been about the state borrowing money for cockamamie projects when it can't come up with money to fix roads. The "Arlen Specter Library" at Philadelphia University and the "John P. Murtha Center for Public Policy" are examples of self-aggrandizing projects of nothing but pork spending. There are other projects of similar unneeded stature: Highmark will get a new facility, St. Marys will get a new hotel, grants will go to unnamed businesses. Well, sure, just as we borrow to buy a car or house, government has the right to issue bonds to build new facilities, schools and roads. But what gives them the right to dole out money to politically-selected companies and special-interest groups and then send the bill to the taxpayers and extend the expense over to their children? The debt service in the General Fund nearly tripled from $350 million to $975 million in the current budget under the current Guv. Is it any wonder that more residents jump off the sinking ship and relocate to other states than come into the Commonwealth each year? As a voter, what are you going to do about the out-of-control debt spending that plagues Harrisburg and holds back the state economy?• The 98th annual Wenner-Beishline-Kropp reunion will be held August 15 at Ber-Vaughn Park, Berwick. in the pavilions lower side number 11 & 12 at 1 PM. Bring your favorite covered dish. There will be games and a picture taken of the group at 2 PM. For information, call Madelon at 875 9622 or Lisa at 204 3798.Nina Ford, Huntington Mills, is the recipient of the Volunteer of the Quarter recognition at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. Nina is a long-time supporter of The Center. She loved everything about the place from the first time she set foot in the door. She has great ability to meet and greet people and thrives when she is around people. She has been excellent at training new volunteers at The Center. The newly trained volunteers in turn carry forward a love of community service and share the dedication of Nina. She has been married for 37 years. She met her future husband, Ralph Ford, at a CB jamboree in Cecil County, Maryland. The couple have five children and are grandparents to Kaitlyn, Austin, Max and Logan locally and have five grandchildren in other states. Nina's career was in home health and she was a dietary aide at the Bonham Nursing Center and Clear Brook Lodge prior to that. After she retired, she "could not stand the thought of being alone all day--so I thought why not volunteer." Nina reflected on what she said, then commented "I did and here I am." Nina is "grateful to be honored by the N4C'S" and felt honored to be named. In turn, the patrons of The Center thank Nina for her commitment to the community and her dedication to professionalism.
The 26th version of the Benton Frontier Days and Championship Rodeo begans Tuesday night and continues through Sunday.
Dusti Lynn Crain McCall, an award-winning trick rider, is taking time off from riding in Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede on her paint horses Royalty (Royal) and Big Fella (Fella). Dusti is the lead roman rider at the Dixie Stampede. Dusti will be the darling of many local girls who started riding horses when they were kids. Dusti began her rodeo career at the age of 5 when she started barrel racing and carrying the America flag at her father's rodeos. She saw her first Dixie Stampede at the age of 8 and began saving her money to buy a "trick saddle" for herself. Her career had begun.
She practiced with her horse, Chief, until her family gave her a shot at riding in a rodeo. Her first performance went perfectly and her trick-riding career was off the ground. She moved on to county fairs, other rodeos and larger venues in Illinois, and soon she had every weekend filled with performances. She won the International Professional Rodeo Contract Act Showcase in 2005 with her roman-riding act, and the next year she became the lead roman rider at the Dixie Stampede where she currently performs in more than 700 shows a year.
Expect the unusual from Dusti Lynn. She sometimes performs barefooted, and like Dolly Parton, likes to perform in glittering outfits. She often rides two horses at the same time, practices the Chinese splits and has been known to dismount by somersaulting from the back of her two horses.
The Benton Rodeo will feature the nationally recognized rodeo-clown act of Hollywood and Boogerhead. The father-and-son team have been performing since 1984. The job of rodeo clown Clifton Harris, Micanopy, Florida, professionally known as "Hollywood," is to protect the riders. For those who have never seen a rodeo, the rodeo clown distracts the bull and provides an alternative target for the bull to chase. His "clowning around" provides entertainment for the crowd between rodeo events. A rodeo clown typically comes into the ring on foot, wearing bright, loosely fitting clothes before the bull is left loose. If a rider is injured, the rodeo clown gets between the bull and the rider, throws his hat, shouts and otherwise distracts the bull until the rider can vamoose from the ring. Some rodeo clown rely on jumping into a large padded barrel when the bull chooses to chase him rather than the rider. Injuries to rodeo clowns are common, so please keep the well-being of Hollywood and Boogerhead in mind throughout the rodeo.
Clifton Harris often appears as Quick Draw McGraw and Dino the Rope-a-Saurus where he rides a six-foot inflatable dinosaur. His son, Brinson James, professionally known as "Boogerhead the Rodeo Clown," joins his father doing trick roping.
July 13, 2010. It is the birthday of Huber Kline, JoAnn Karschner and Phil Edson, along with bluegrass singer Rhonda Vincent. It is Rodeo Week Back Home in Benton, PA.On this day in 1863, ten days after the Union victory in the Battle of Gettysburg, draft riots began in New York. The riots became the largest civil insurrection in American history apart from the Civil War. There was no general military draft in America until the Civil War, but because of a military-manpower shortage, the government began America's first military draft on Saturday, July 11, for all U.S. males between 21 and 45, including all males of that same age group who happened to be aliens intending to stay in the U.S. Conscription nurtured substitutes, bounty-jumping and desertion. Many in New York who were drafted were Irish immigrants who had fled the potato famine in 1848 and who worked 14 hour days digging sewers for less than one dollar a day. The Irish were ticked off that rich kids legally bought their way out of the draft by paying $300 as a "Commutation Fee." The "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War" notes that of the 249,259 18-to-35-year-old men whose names were drawn, only about 6% served. Some who were drafted immediately lost their jobs to newly freed slaves. Three days of burning, lynching and civil disobedience began on this day. If you wish to read more on this subject, go here.Quote of the Day:
If the Arabs put down their weapons today, there would be no more violence. If the Jews put down their weapons today, there would be no more Israel.
--Benjamin NetanyahuIf you are like everyone else in the world, you haven't a clue whether the stock market will go up or come down. Last week in the market was a good example. There were wide price swings and whatever opinion you wanted on the future of the market was available somewhere. Father would have called it "talking out of both sides of their mouths." The public debt is too high for the good of the country, unemployment is too high and a continuing credit crunch will soon affect most of us. In our own state, we rank near the bottom nationally in the growth of jobs, personal income and population. When the market moved up last week, it was because of expected optimistic retail sales while at the same time Goldman Sachs and Citigroup cut their forecast for Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Target and Macy's because of high unemployment, weak consumer confidence and virtually no demand for new homes. We all have our opinions. Recognizing that free opinions are worth exactly what you pay for them, my opinion is that economic recovery will be virtually nonexistent in 2010. Those who predict the market in the coming months will help create some very wide swings.
A friend has a problem. A few of his friends receive multiple emails appearing to be from him--except he didn't send them. He doesn't know anything about them. What has happened can be a lesson for all of us. It is probable that someone was fooled into opening a malicious file attachment that turned into a virtual "Typhoid Mary." The infected computer began silently sending out emails to everyone in the address book. The messages are sent with a "spoofed" sender in the From: field that is randomly chosen from the infected computer’s address book.
The hacker knows that by randomly choosing someone in the address book, it’s likely that others will be acquainted and the recipient will think that the file attachment is legitimate since it appears to be from someone they know. Eventually the person receiving the email will discover that the message is tainted and warn the purported sender that their computer is infected, when in fact it isn't.
This spoofing technique makes it very difficult to figure out who actually sent the message and to let the infected party know that they have been compromised.
Watch for poor grammar or misspelled words. Many hackers are foreigners and do their best to replicate the English dialect. Generally speaking, you can sort out suspicious messages simply by carefully looking at the subject or message-body text.
Assume that all file attachments are dangerous. Never open files without prior knowledge of its content if the files are .EXE, .ZIP, .COM, .VBS. .JSE or .BAT extensions. Never!
If you send file attachments of pictures, consider instead of sending pictures via email, post them on a public or private photo sharing site as is done on the Benton News via the free program picasa found on the Google home page, flickr.com or shutterfly.com and send a simple message with an invitation to view the images online.
Google Docs is a free online collaboration site which also eliminates the need to remember who has which version of a document. You can also establish an account at box.net or drop.io as a private online file sharing system with your trusted friends.
For additional reading on this subject, go here.
• Some boys found a terrier puppy while they were swimming at the dam Monday. He was taken to the vet who determined that the pup is not microchipped! Call 801 721-4546 if you can help find the owner
• The Orangeville Library is hosting a Chef Bingo at the Orangeville Fire Hall November 7. More than $2,300 in Pampered Chef products will be awarded. Tickets are on sale from now until July 31 at a reduced rate of 2 for $35 (single tickets are $20). If you have any questions, please call the library at 683-5354. Buy your tickets today and save! After July 31, tickets will again be available from November 1 up until the day of the bingo at $20 per ticket. All money raised will go directly to the library. There will be a food stand and lots of extra prizes!
• Turkish Taffy is back. The chewy nickel bar that lasted for a two-hour movie at the Ritz Theater, including the news and the Superman serial, started on Coney Island with a batter of corn syrup and egg whites that was cooked and then baked. Woolworth stores began selling the candy, breaking it into eatable pieces by whacking it with ball-peen hammers and selling it by the pound. In addition to vanilla, the candy came in chocolate, strawberry and banana. The company was purchased by Tootsie Roll Industries, which stopped making the candy in 1989 when it phased out the product. But now Bonomo's Turkish Taffy is back to launch a new attack on poorly anchored teeth and loose fillings. The old instruction was to "Freeze it, crack it and nurture it 'til it softens before chewing." The same guidance applies today.The expressions of my youth stick with me like oil to the frying pan. For example, I still use the ward "bard," as in Lee "bard my trailer to move some wood." When I lived on the farm, anyone more than 60 years old was an "old coot." Father referred to my boyhood friends as "cut-ups." Anyone who didn't wear bluejeans was a "farner," someone from a "farn" country. Father had memory problems back then (which I seem to have inherited), often referring to a specific part on a broken tractor as a "doohickey," meaning it was some kind of a thingamabob, a term that the employees of Neil Harrison's store always recognized when the part was replaced. If I ate with brother Dayne and Babe, "dinner" meant the noon meal; at home, dinner was in the evening. My job as a kid was mostly to "fetch" things, an abbreviated way of telling someone to go, get and bring back."Bless yore heart!" was one of Mother's favorite sayings, used when she wanted to thank someone for something nice that had been said. Although not used in our family, "et," the past tense of "eat," was popular. My friends got in a "fix" quite often, meaning they got in trouble, which would wear Mother to a "frazzle." "Dang," a word thrown in for emphasis, was popular. After leaving Benton, the word "polka" wasn't heard from for twenty years, which is strange considering the number of times I went to "Plimmit" to dance. Father referred to local drinking establishments as "beer gardens," places where Stegmaier beer could be purchased from the cooler under the picture of the Pope. If someone was cheap, Father called them "chinchy." He also frequently used the local word "hafta," a long version of "must."Greetings were typically "hire you," and were uttered in order to determine the health of the person spoken to. "Hi'Ya!" was reserved for friends frequently met. "See'Ya!" was a favorite way of parting. And with that, I pass along a ""See'Ya!" until next we meet.
July 12, 2010. It is the birthday of Diane Belles Kline. Ethan Wary turns 20 today in Alaska. It is the wedding anniversary of Joseph and Tammy Prosey. Julius Caesar is on the birthday list today, born in Rome around 100 B.C. The month we are in was called Quintilis until Julius came along and the month was renamed July in his honor. Caesar was a Roman dictator and in the year 47 B.C. fought a brief war for the kingdom of Pontus in Asia Minor. Caesar is the guy who was said to have uttered the line, "Veni, vidi, vici": "I came, I saw, I conquered." It is the birthday of American essayist and poet Henry David Thoreau (1817), born David Henry Thoreau, author of Walden; or, Life in the Woods (1854) and the essay Civil Disobedience (1849). He began his Harvard studies at the age of sixteen. At the age of twenty-seven, he built a small cabin on the edge of Walden Pond, near Concord, and wrote about his time there. Thoreau kept a journal, and wrote, "Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something."
• Today's touch of patriotism honors the veteran. Go here and feel good about the watchdogs of our nation.
• The Columbia County Traveling Library bookmobile resumes service in Benton Tuesday, July 13, with stops in Central and at the Country Fresh Market on Route 487. The library schedule published at www.cctlibrary.org will be updated in the near future.
• Richard Sutliff described downtown Chicago on LaSalle Street in the financial district this weekend as "Transformers 3" films through August 23. John Malkovich and Frances McDormand will appear in the sci-fi action flick. Ms. McDormand is the daughter of Rev. Vernon McDormand, Everett Street.
• Jim Laubach has returned home from the Brandywine Hospital after a week's stay for the return of a blood clot for the third time and a Bakers cyst. Jim worries that his recovery will keep him from the 2010 Bloomsburg Fair.
• It is going to be necessary to cram 30 hours a day into my schedule through Sunday. The Benton News will only be published as time is available until next week. I regret the inconvenience.
I lived on a farm when I was a pup. To go anywhere back then seemed like a "fur piece." I "purt near" never left the soothing waters of Fishing Creek, intending to stay "rye-cheer," but I eventually moved away and never returned to life on a farm. Back then, I didn't know much about cities like "Canned Coon" in Mexico. It was during this time that I first encountered what Father called "Eye-talians," people who came to this country from "Itly." It was also during this time that I developed a love for Italian cooking. In fact, one of these days, I'll include one or two of my favorite Italian recipes.
I am used to sitting down in a restaurant and having the waiter or waitress greet me with a question. "What do you want to drink?," is a fairly familiar greeting in the places I frequent, although in one local restaurant the waitress simply approaches the table, gets her pencil from behind her ear and stares at the front window until I mumble what I want. No questions asked, none expected.
This weekend two cousins and I headed for South Philadelphia and Popi's Italian Restaurant on S. 20th Street before the Phillies game began. Most of the clientele are repeat customers who are greeted like family members and the place seemed to be taken up with local athletes, journalists and sports announcers. I had never been in Popi's before, but I'll never forget the greeting I received. My cousins were known in the restaurant, but I was an outsider. But not for long! The waiter glided to the table and extended his long arm in a gesture of friendship. In a voice from somewhere behind his dark glasses, as if it came from a stage on Broadway, the waiter boomed, " Benvenuto a Pepi's. Il mio nome è Johnny Di Pasquale (Welcome to Pepi's! My name is Johnny Di Pasquale.) I have never seen a waiter introduce himself to a total stranger before.
The Eric Festival held in the Benton Park Saturday turned out to be a great day. Rain was pouring at 5 AM, but groups began to set up about 8:30 in the morning after the rain stopped. The music continued until 11 PM. Festival organizers sold about 2,700 tee shirts and proceeds netted a little more than $3,000 to help with medical expenses for Eric Hess.
Organizer Sharon Remphrey thanks everyone who helped in any way, and extends a huge thank you to Kelly Yost who was responsible for getting the bands to agree to do the concert. John Kogut "ran his buns off going back and forth hooking all bands into the system." Harry Ritter donated his guitar. Local Eric Insurance agent Alan Harvey was one of many who took a chance on winning the guitar. Alan did win the guitar and is giving it to his daughter who wants to learn to play the instrument.
There are approximately 350 booklets made up by the organizers yet to sell. This booklet, with its earthy title of "Shits & Giggles," is a compendium of Benton sayings. There was laughter throughout the park as people read the booklet after they purchased it. The booklet is $2 and available from Sharon Remphrey.
The group Ravencreek, joined on stage left by Rick Marcera.
Photo courtesy of Dean Marshall.
Photo from the 2010 EricFest held Saturday in Benton Park.
Robert Eugene Kelsey (December 5, 1946-July 8, 2010), Langhorne, Pennsylvania, a man of God who loved his church and his family, passed away Thursday in a battle he lost to cancer.
Bob was a graduate of the Benton schools in the class of 1964. He was a graduate of Bloomsburg State Teachers College with a Bachelor of Science degree. He held a Masters of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, Indiana. Bob served the Benton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) as its minister from 1976 to 1979. In addition to Benton, he served pastorates at Jones Chapel and Kokomo in Indiana, and New Kensington and Levittown in Pennsylvania. He worked in the field of adult probation and parole in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, from 1985 to 2009 until he retired as Deputy Chief. He was active in Pennsylvania Association on Probation, Parole and Corrections for 20 years, and the Adult Chiefs Association for 15 years. With his wife, Sandra, and his brother, Jim, under the watchful eye of his father, Ken, Bob began renovating the former Stillwater one-room school house as a future summer retreat.
He loved hunting and fishing and was an active member of Painter Den Club. Bob was as good with a gun as he was a camera. At Painter Den, he served as the photojournalist of the hunt. He carried his father's 300 Savage rifle, but didn't bother to mount a scope, relying primarily on his camera. His Polaris Ranger provided transportation around the property and protection for his lungs.
He will be greatly missed by his loving wife of 42 years, Sandra K. Wenner Kelsey, his children Brent Kelsey (Barbara), Huntingdon, PA; Marnie McGarrigle (David), Langhorne, PA; Randie Cimino (Dante), Newportville, PA, his beloved grandchildren Dillon, Kelsey, and Jordin McGarrigle, and Aiden and Natalie Kelsey. He is also survived by his mother and father Ken and Ethel Kelsey, Benton; his siblings Sandra Hess (Robert), Jim Kelsey, Ron Kelsey (Cheryl), Jeff Kelsey (Sandra), and Lynn Sutton (Ken); his in-laws Jessie and Hobart Whitenight; sisters-in-law Linda Morris (Thomas) and Trudie Welliver (Howard), many nieces and nephews, members of the United Christian Church of Levittown, and many colleagues, associates and friends.
Relatives and friends are invited to Robert’s memorial service on Tuesday morning, July 13, at 10 at Bucks County Korean Presbyterian Church, 1550 Woodbourne Rd, Levittown, where a service will be held at 11 AM. A service will also be held at a later date at Benton Christian Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Robert’s name to The United Christian Church, 8525 New Falls Rd, Levittown, PA 19054. Dunn-Givnish Funeral Home, Langhorne, is in charge of arrangements.
Gerald D. Stevens (January 3, 1933-July 9, 2010), Benton, died Friday at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, where he had been a patient for the past 11 days. He was 77. Gerald was born in Benton Township. He was a son of Paul S. Stevens, who died May 6, 1997, and Madeline C. (Karns) Stevens, who died March 1, 2010. He attended Benton High School. He worked with his father during his younger years and later drove a car carrier. He was also employed by the Magee Carpet Company, Berwick Forge and Fabricating, the Strick Corporation and Poloron. He last worked as a security guard.
Surviving are sons Scott A. Stevens, Benton, and Eric D. Stevens (Amy), Berwick. There are three grandchildren: Cole Stevens, Karla Haile and Corey Hutchinson; a great grandson, Braylon Conner Hutchinson; a sister, Marilyn S. Fritz, Stillwater, and a number of nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death in 1975 by a daughter, Kimberly Stevens.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 2 PM with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Benton Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Columbia Montour Home Hospice, 410 Glenn Avenue, Suite 200, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. For online condolences or to sign the register book, please visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, 2010.July 10, the birthday of Bill Megargell, Cindy Pennypacker, John Weaver, Denise Kline, Eugene Laubach, Carol Arnhold and Susan Louise Cole and the third anniversary of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. It was three years ago today that the Board of Directors of The Center "took title" from the Columbia County Housing Corporation.
July 11, the birthday of Terrie Sidinger, Lawrence Shaw and JoAnn McHenry Walk. It is the wedding anniversary of Robert and Mollie Hough.
State champion wrestler Eric Hess will be honored at the Benton town park Saturday. Admission is by donation and it all takes place from 10 AM to 11 PM. You need to bring your own chair and be prepared for good music and a good cause. There will be lots of food: chicken-finger baskets, cheesesteaks, build a burger, beverages. There will be a dunking tank to dunk coaches, teachers and others. Flea marketers are invited to set up. Bring your own tables. Donations are accepted for vendor rent. The lineup of entertainment is impressive...
• 10 AM, Waters Edge
• 12 PM, Covert Action
• 3 PM, Crossroads
• 4 PM, Ravencreek
• 4:30 PM, John & Sandy Kogut
• 7 PM, Mystery Fyre
• 9:30 PM, Plumb Crazy/Taylor Kogut
• David and Teresa Wojton, Stillwater, have a new grandbaby: Zachary David Wojton, 6 pounds, 6 ounces, 19 inches long, born July 8, 2010. The proud parents are Christopher and Candice Wojton, Berwick.
• The Bloomsburg Fair succeeded in booking another grandstand show I won't attend. The British Columbia "post-grunge" rock group, Theory of a Deadman (also known as "TOAD" and sometimes as "Theory"), will appear at the Bloomsburg Fair Friday night of "Fair Week." The group will probably wade into the theme song to World Wrestling Entertainment's No Way Out 2006 pay-per-view concert, but even with that strong incentive to attend, I'll pass, thank you. Take a listen if you are not familiar with the group.
• Benton's Heritage Days are rapidly approaching on July 24 and 25. These are the days when those who love the upper reaches of Columbia County gather to celebrate their heritage. Each year this festival increases in size and with the increased size comes the need for additional volunteers to make it all work. Volunteers are needed for the weekend of July 24 and 25. If you are able to find an hour or two to help out, it would REALLY be appreciated. Please check your schedules and see if you can spare just a little bit of your time. If you can help, please call Ellen Hall at 864-3856 or email echall AT epix.net.• Speaking of counting your blessings, didja know that the Marcellus is among the top five in betting on natural-gas production? The five includes the Barnett in east Texas, Haynesville in Louisiana, Fayetteville in Arkansas, and Woodford in Oklahoma. Investment bankers Barclays Capital writes that they expect Marcellus gas will surpass Arkansas and Oklahoma production by the end of 2012 and compete with the Barnett by 2020.• The Fishing Creek History Club met at The Center on Tuesday, July 8. The group will have a table of Benton memorabilia at the fundraiser for Eric Hess in Benton Park Saturday. The next meeting will be Tuesday, August 3, at 7 PM at The Center. Those interested in the history of the northern end of Columbia County are encouraged to attend.• The Benton Frontier Days & Rodeo is rapidly approaching. It begins July 13 and continues through July 18. The rodeo features nightly entertainment, fireworks, American Professional Rodeo, food, crafts and more. The rodeo, which begins at 7:30, has been voted Best in the East. Benton Rodeo grounds are located off Route 487 on Mendenhall Lane, Benton. Contact 925-6536 with questions. Dusti Lynn Crain McCall, Tennessee, will be this year's specialty act. Hollywood Harris and Boogerhead, Micanopy, Florida, will perform as rodeo clowns.• A recent rant on the Guv's "Walking Around" money in the state budget made the inbox sing. In case you came in late, in the middle of the longest economic downturn since the Great Depression the Guv will be able to dole out $600 million for development projects across the state and name $302 million in projects for approval by him or the next governor. including $10 million to build a hotel, funds to redevelop a Tasty Baking facility, build a library in honor of Sen. Arlen Specter and construct something called the "John P. Murtha Center for Public Policy." The Guv will rake in the money from bond money, not state General Fund revenue, with one-third of the money bestowed on his hometown of Philadelphia and four surrounding counties. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says the 48 projects that the Guv came up with in 24 counties and Philadelphia will cost taxpayers up to $963 million over 20 years. The Guv justifies these excursions into the absurd by saying they will create "thousands of jobs." These projects tend to overlook programs that are being cut, pension costs that are rising, federal stimulus money drying up and issues that real Pennsylvanians consider important. It will be interesting to see what candidates Corbett and Onorato do with the money that the Guv doesn't get spent before he leaves office.
David Mahlon Strauch Sr. (March 8, 1931-July 5, 2010), Hinsdale, Illinois, a Division I First-Team All-American in 1952 when he played soccer for Duke University, passed away Tuesday in Illinois following a long illness. David was the only All-American to graduate from the Benton schools. He was 79. He was the son of Mahlon L. and Helen Strauch, the former proprietors of the Benton Bakery. David was an Eagle Scout in the local scout troop. He began playing soccer and baseball at the age of 12 and played high school and Tri-County baseball as pitcher and catcher. He graduated with honors from the Benton Area Schools with the class of 1949.
He was a graduate of Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, with the class of 1953. While at Duke University, he played for three years and was a First Team All-American in soccer as selected by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the National Soccer Coaches Association of America--the first soccer player from Duke University to be accorded this honor. He was captain of the Duke soccer team in its best season in its history through the year in which he played and scored 15 goals in the university's eight-game season. He also played the position of inside left on an "All-Southern" team composed of teams south of Philadelphia.
He was a veteran of the United States Army where he also played soccer for Company A, Signal Overseas Communications Battalion, and played in 25 soccer matches for the United States. He once wrote to his father that he was thrilled "to create good-will for the United States" through his soccer playing. He wrote that soccer was building good-will and showed Americans in a good light. He was invited to play for the Yokohama Country & Athletic Club while he was in Japan. He wrote to his father that he was treated like a king, and the entire population of towns would come out to watch a match where he and his teammates were treated like "major-league baseball players." His favorite sports, classmate Ted Whitenight remembers, were tennis and squash. He was a long-time member of the Salt Creek Tennis Club, Hinsdale. His career was in sales.
David is survived by his wife, Bonne, and children David (Dianne) Strauch Jr., Katharine (Bradley) Hipp and Charles Richard Strauch, all of whom live in the Hinsdale area, and brother Richard Strauch, San Diego. He was the proud grandfather of Stephanie, Elizabeth and Abigail Hipp. A memorial service will be held July 11 at Community Presbyterian Church, 38 N. Prospect Ave., Clarendon Hills, Illinois 60514. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Wellness House, 131 N. County Line Rd., Hinsdale, IL 60521. For additional information, call 630 323-6522.
Thursday, July 8, and Friday, July 9, 2010.July 8, the birthday of Bill Hess, Joan Franklin and Harold Steinruck.July 9, the birthday of Al Labonte and Bill Rogers.
Fishing Creek Heritage Days are rapidly approaching. Saturday, July 24, from 9 AM to 8 PM, and Sunday, July 25, from 11 AM to 6 PM, a festival begins in Benton Town Park that celebrates the diverse and significant heritage of the Fishing Creek valley by providing festival goers with assortments of local food, lore, arts, music, demonstrations, crafts and history. There is no admission fee for festival visitors.
The festival will give non-profits and businesses in our community...
The opportunity for non-profits to do fund-raising activities by selling its unique food vending, crafts, arts or demonstrations.
The opportunity for organizations and businesses to share information with the public.
There is a sequel play written and produced by M.R. Daniels and the Fishing Creek Players. Performances will be Saturday and Sunday in the Benton Middle/High School auditorium as a sequel to the "Dividing Line," the popular play presented last year during Heritage Days. This year's version is entitled "Damaged Trust."
The festival includes...
Food Vendors: Waller United Methodist Church, Benton United Methodist Church, Smoke House BBQ, Audrey's Castle, Hillbilly Kettle Korn, Benton Lions Club and St. Gabriel’s Church.
Arts and Crafts Vendors: Miscellaneous arts and crafts ranging from jewelry , hand-made wood items, and scented-soy candles.
Additional: Alpacas, miniature donkeys, cow-milking demonstrations
Artillery: The Civil War artillery is back from Thompson’s Artillery Battery "C." A new addition this year is the South Mountain Horse Artillery.
Lectures: Professor George Turner will provide lectures on the borough of Benton as it existed a century ago when the community was faced with a devastating fire. The lectures are on Saturday morning at 9:45, and Saturday afternoon at 1:30. Sunday, the lecture will be in the afternoon at 1.
Entertainment: on the stage throughout the festival.
Play: Damaged Trust is a one-act play written by M.R. Daniels as a sequel to last year's Heritage Festival production. It takes place during the Civil War, when the government sent troops to Benton to collect those they thought were spreading traitorous comments and encouraging draft resistors. The soldiers roused 100 men from their beds at the crack of dawn, had a short selection process in a local church, then marched 45 of those men to Bloomsburg--some still in their nightshirts--without charging them with anything. The men were shipped to Philadelphia by train, then imprisoned at Fort Mifflin prison, still without benefit of a hearing. The event, known locally as the Fishing Creek Confederacy, left scars in the minds of the townspeople and damaged the trust they had in the government and each other.
Damaged Trust is directed by Brandon Hartman. The actors are Jennifer Welliver, Jerry Arcuri, Kevin Hickman, Kathleen McKenzie, Grace Filohoski, Colleen Schultz, TJ Schultz, John Schultz, Sean Christian, Geraldine Laubach, Olivia Zeitler and Gerri Anne Laubach. The setting is a local general store, several weeks after the townsmen were taken away. Damaged Trust is a production of Fishing Creek Players, a community-theater group under the auspices of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, and will be performed on the stage of Benton Middle/High School, Park street adjacent to Benton Park, during the Heritage Festival, July 24 (11 AM, 3 PM, 7 PM) and July 25 (2 PM). Admission to the play is $5 for adults, $3 for kids and seniors, and you can get a $1 off per person coupon at The Center. Performances are Saturday at 11 AM, 3 and 7 PM and Sunday at 2 PM. Tickets for the play are $3 for children and seniors and adult tickets are $5.
Thursday I am at the Kutztown Folk Festival and Friday night I watch Phillies baseball at Citizens Bank Park. Through next weekend, I'll be hiding in the mountains of Sullivan County. The Benton News will check in from time to time.
• Scott Maguire's recovery from brain-tumor surgery is progressing. He had a benign tumor removed and he has regained his vision as daily progress takes place. Saturday, at the former Bub Laubach farm, Scott and Janice held a barn sale with "attendance exceeding expectations." They had a record number of vendors and for the first time, a food vendor, who sold out of food by the end of the day. The sale is in its third year and it seems to keep getting bigger and better. Look for additional activities at that location when Scott is back to 100%.• Nina Ford admonished me saying that "a person should never show their undies." She was referring, of course, to the web version of the Benton News where the daily Quickies column has been retired in favor of "Benton Briefs." The column remains in the email version, but has been retitled "Benton Briefs" in the online version.• The area is losing a good man as James Albertson, 23, the ambulance supervisor for the Benton Volunteer Fire Company, moves to Linchicum, Maryland, to take a position with General Dynamics Advanced Information Systems as a Specialist in Forensic Technology. James will be missed at the Brass Pelican and with the ambulance crews.Afternoon temperatures should inch down from the past several days to the 92° range and there is a possibility of afternoon thundershowers Thursday through Saturday. By Sunday, temperatures should be in the mid-80s. Perhaps an official drought warning has not been officially issued, but the area is in a full-fledged serious situation with the lack of water and warm-water temperatures.
The state of Fishing Creek is not good. The delivery Wednesday of the fingerlings to the Fishing Creek Sportsmen was delayed because of the temperature of the water. Wednesday afternoon at the golf course, the water temperature was 75°, too warm for fingerlings three to five inches long coming out of spring water at the hatcheries.
Let's take a look at Fishing Creek. With the searing temperatures of the past few days, coupled with low water, the rocks in the creek are heated to a temperature where walking in bare feet is almost impossible. The heated rocks warm the water and the fish are not able to find enough deep pools to be in water comfortable enough for them. The potential for thundershowers this afternoon will help a great deal, but will have an adverse effect on the repair to the Benton dam which is slated to begin now that the water level in the dam is down. Two contracts for repair have been awarded.
There isn't much water in Fishing Creek and as the weeks go on there will be less water. Williams Production Appalachia, LLC filed a notice of intent with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission to use 4,000,000 gallons per day of water for drilling and development of natural gas wells in Sugarloaf Township. Complete details were not available at www.srbc.net/wrp/Search.aspx at presstime, but the consumption of that much water right now would devastate the fish population of Fishing Creek. Bill Johnson checked with the Susquehanna River Basin Commission and found that Williams now has permits to draw water from three sources, None are in the local area. Other than agriculture, no one is permitted to draw water from Fishing Creek at this time.
Public water in the town of Bloomsburg probably will not be affected because of its location at the confluence of Fishing Creek and the Susquehanna River and the ability of United American Pennsylvania to draw water from multiple sources.
The amount of water being withdrawn from Fishing Creek during these extreme drought conditions is a matter of concern. The regulations on how much water can be sucked out of the stream are available for review at www.srbc.net/policies/policies.htm. The 10,000 gallon per day limit for agriculture use has to be tempered by available water in the stream and the need to keep crops from turning into an economic nightmare.
Farmers, well drillers and others cannot take any amount of water they want at any time. To do so would create an environmental concern for the health of Fishing Creek with water flows, water temperature, fish kill and insect life.
On Monday, July 5, I made a stop North of Benton Borough to see how much water was being taken from Fishing Creek for agriculture use. Pictures showing muddy fields and irrigation practices during this period of extreme drought are available for viewing at http://picasaweb.google.com/bentonnews/Irrogation# . We suggest that you monitor stream usage and report any apparent violations of water consumption.
And while we're discussing violations of the public trust, we have to comment on the vandalism in the borough Monday night or Tuesday. The flower barrels at the bridge over Fishing Creek were stripped of all flowers in a deliberate act of vandalism. As with the case with Federal and state governments, there isn't enough money to go around and a simple act of destroying flowers costs the tax payers each time it happens.
The Guv can't seek reelection because of term limits, but he is leaving behind something so we can remember him. He had to sign a budget before he left office. The $28.05 billion budget that the Senate approved Saturday on a vote of 38-12 and that the House passed 109-86 and that the Guv signed Tuesday does not ask for a sales-tax or income-tax increase, but will give future generations heartburn because of accounting tricks it contains for borrowing money for pork-barrel projects. Borrowing for pork-barrel projects isn't new--it was authorized in 1993 with a debt limit of $700 million--but the version in the new Pennsylvania budget has been raised to a smidgeon over $4 billion. There is also some separate legislation that authorizes some new debt projects: $10 million for the "Arlen Specter Library Project Center Allocation" at Philadelphia University and $10 million for Johnstown for the "John P. Murtha Center for Public Policy" and--excuse me while I clear my throat--more than $90 million in projects for which the recipient isn't even named. It is called "Walking Around Money." In total, the Guv gets to handpick nearly $300 million of $600 million worth of economic-development projects as parting gifts to Pennsylvania. The budget has other problems, too! It counts on getting $2.7 billion in federal aid that the U.S. Congress hasn't even passed and probably no one in their right mind thinks the state will ever get.Quotes of the Day:
"A billion here and a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking real money."
"Given the drop in state revenues, this is a good budget for the people of Pennsylvania, despite a difficult economic climate that has adversely impacted every state in the nation. At a time when most other states are either cutting funding for education or keeping it the same, we are investing in the future by providing additional funds to continue the strong academic progress that our students have made over the past seven years."
--Governor Edward G. Rendell
Ten members of the Unbewust family gathered in Los Angeles in June to celebrate a graduation. Ellen Lenbergs, granddaughter of Zane Unbewust, received her Masters in Fine Arts in Theater, Film and Television at UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles). In academic circles, Ellen's degree is referred to as a "MFA in TFT at UCLA!
Ellen is known locally for her scenic-design work at Bloomsburg Theater Ensemble where she was Artist in Residence for many years before returning to matriculate at UCLA. She lived in Bloomsburg and maintains many ties and friendships in the area.
Ellen's thesis work at UCLA was a major opera design, "Flight," based on the same incident (a refugee stranded in an airport) as the Tom Hanks film The Terminal. Her work received very positive reviews and was reviewed in the Benton News earlier this year. She is currently working on initial-design plans for another opera. She plans to teach.
Zane was reported to have been spotted all over the UCLA campus and other locations of interest to visiting grandmothers.
As the Argus was fond of saying, a "good time was had by all!" Congratulations, Ellen!
Tuesday, July 6, and Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Expect temperatures in excess of 90° through Friday and only a scant chance of thundershowers Thursday afternoon.July 6, the birthday of Erin Hess Ackerman, Joe Prosey Jr., Herbert R. Fritz, Michael Gordon, Jan Jost, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and former President and author George W. Bush.July 7, the birthday of Jessica Kitchen Lewis, Carolyn Remley and Kristen Kriebel. Ringo Starr turns 70. It was on this day in 2005 when the legislature passed and the Guv signed a pay raise for all three branches of state government. The action resulted in major public opposition and triggered calls for reforms and a Constitutional Convention.
• The low water of Fishing Creek coupled with the high temperatures are creating a problem for fish in the streams. As rocks become overheated, the stream temperature rises to dangerous levels for the fish population. Saturday, the temperature recorded at the golf course was 72°. The situation becomes more of a problem Wednesday when trout are to be delivered to the Fishingcreek Sportsmens Club. The shipment consists of 10,000 brook, 10,000 brown, 10,000 rainbow and a hundred Palomino trout.
• An hour and twenty minutes northeast of Benton, fifteen miles north of Tunkhannock, is the village of Dimock. The current edition of Vanity Fair, a Condé Nast magazine usually concentrating on matters of pop culture, fashion, and politics, includes an article on Dimock, and includes a lengthy video from Dimock. The article reminded me of the classroom demonstrations where methane from a natural-gas line is connected through rubber tubing to a small funnel. The funnel is then put into a petri dish with a bubble solution. Gas is slowly sent through the soapy water until lots of bubbles form. The bubbles when shaken will rise into the air. The bubbles are then ignited with a lighter. You can see a demonstration here.
• There is a lot of activity planned for the upper Fishingcreek valley before fall arrives. There is the Eric Fest 10 AM to 11 PM Saturday night, the Benton Rodeo, the Heritage Days celebration for Benton and more. We'll tell you about all of them in the coming days. Taylor Remphrey will be Back Home in Benton, PA, on July 25 and will say hello to his many friends at his mother's house at 475 Main Street starting at 7 PM. Bring your own lawn chairs and maybe some munchies to share and welcome Taylor home. The Eric Fest is all donations. The music starts at 10 AM and continues until 11 PM. Flee marketers can set up starting at 8 AM. Bring your own table. There will be great food, including homemade ice cream. John and Sandy Kogut, two of the many musicians for Eric Fest, have a great sound system and are excellent. Complete details coming up.
We are smack dab in the middle of a heat wave as temperatures all around us Monday reached the 100° mark, which makes me think back to the days growing up south of Benton--down around the rocks, as we used to say back then. There wasn't any air conditioning, of course, and one summer I told Mother that if she didn't do something about the heat I was going to leave. At ten years of age, there really wasn't much danger of that happening, but I meant it. I never did handle extreme heat and extreme cold very well.
The heat of midsummer reminds me of my rambunctious youth, corn growing, sounds of frogs croaking in the eddies, white powdery mist rising from the pools of water in the woods, newly mowed hay and the faint smell of a skunk that tangled with a neighbor's dog. It reminds me of working at breakneck speed to get the hay into the barn as thunderheads began to darken the sky. I remember going to bed at night dog-tired after a day of haying. Shortly after the last red rays of the sun disappeared over the hill West of the house was my time to call it quits for the day. We didn't have computers and the number of bales of hay and straw were recorded as in a daybook on a wall inside the barn door using a thick pencil saved from the T. C. Smith Lumber Company. I remember the pains of poison ivy, bee stings and "cow itch." I remember the joy of picking elderberries and huckleberries and raspberries in my tin pail, and then keeping the berries cool in the spring house. I remember the pies Mother made from the berries. Didja ever think that growing up healthy makes old age possible?
Huckleberries and milk were my breakfast cereal, my white toast was homemade and full of air bubbles, my jelly of choice was elderberry. I ate huge quantities of boiled rhubarb and sugar, drank tons of sweet tea, picked quarts of string beans and lima beans and pole beans. I remember how pretty little girls were with their pigtails and freckles. I used words not often heard now: "awfully," "biddy" (as in "little biddy chicken"), "bobby-Q" (roasted pork), "cattywampus" (when something went awry or when the world was askew), "farmen" (which is how our family made its living) and "hafta" (Today's word is "must").I remember going bare footed the entire summer, even to the point of walking along the railroad tracks on cinders left over from a bygone age. I wore shorts held up by suspenders and rarely anything from waist up--except for Sunday when Mother made me put on a "good shirt" and a pair of long pants, socks and shoes in order to sit through Sunday school where we always seemed to sang Little Brown Church in the Vale. I remember Father listening to the Phillies games at night, but remember that we couldn't get Bloomsburg radio stations on our Philco after twilight. I remember "sneaking a sit" on Father's rocker. I remember looking for "odd jobs" to fill in the few hours of spare time I had each day. I remember getting my hair cut "on the square" by barber Guy Miller and remember him telling me that the chain hanging from a ceiling register was to string boys up who squirm when they were getting their hair cut. I remember floating Fishingcreek on an inner tube peering into the water for "suckers," a bottom-feeder fish with a fleshy mouth and thick lips that point downward so that it could forage for food along the gravelly stream bottom. I haven't a clue what happened to all the suckers from those days..
I can see, hear and smell the midsummer from those daysjust as clearly as I can recall the winter days of my youth--the smell of buckwheat cakes, wood smoke and bacon frying in the iron skillet, skating on Paul's pond and toboggan runs on Hiscox hill. I can see the steam coming from the noses of two horses Father once had--Hootch was one of the names, but I no longer can remember the name of the other one. In fact, I am starting not to remember much at all.
The heat of midsummer nowadays means something very different from the days of my youth. There are the pains of advancing years. The leg pains are the worst, I suppose, but shortness of breath comes in a close second. Throw in the pains associated with the wrists, neck and shoulders and I become a well-rounded wreck of a human being. There are other problems, too, although I forget now what they are. Actually, that is the problem. I forget things. Have I ever mentioned that? My keys, my wallet, my cell phone--lost about half of each day. I lose my car at Walmart. If someone touches my cluttered desk, I am lost for a week. I know exactly how many inches down a certain piece of paper is and if I can't find it I head directly into a hissy fit. I like my food exactly like Mother made it--don't put sour creme in my mashed potatoes, don't not use buttermilk to make buckwheat cakes, don't substitute Sweeta for sugar and don't offer me a "pink package" to sweeten my tea. Don't offer me bracciola simmered in tomato gravy.
Some of the words from my youth are still remembered and I'll mention a few in a coming edition before I head off for the Kutztown Folk Festival to refresh my memory about the customs of the Pennsylvania Germans.
July 5, 2010, the birthday of Chad Hartman, Michael Gordon, Keith Yorks, Jesse Whitenight and Harry McClure. It is the wedding anniversary of Edd and Terrie Sidinger. Pictures of O.A.T.S. 2010 are available for viewing here. The pictures can be shown as a slideshow, downloaded or emailed.
• A reader suggested that with the death of Senator Byrd, the West Virginia senior senator and coal-energy supporter, coal and the railroads that haul them could be in deep trouble, while the shale business could really become huge in the northeast. He could very well be right in his thinking.
• After your eating fest over the holiday weekend, please don’t forget your friends and neighbors from the Benton Food Bank, who often don’t have ready access to an abundance of food, especially of the fresh and home-grown variety. Drop off your donations of vegetables, eggs, herbs and flowers at the rear of The Center on Tuesday morning between 8 and 9.
• R. B. Powell, 71, a recent performer at The Center, was here for the O.A.T.S. festival. His idea of exercise when he wasn't picking was to see if he could ride his bicycle to the top of Red Rock mountain as part of a 30-mile bicycle ride in preparation for a triathlon. He made it to the last curve at the top when he met a bicycle coming down the mountain. The two talked and R. B., who said "there was nothing left of my legs," decided to turn around. Like the American general who declared victory and then retreated from battle, R.B. quit the mountain and with the other cyclist rode to Jonestown and then back to Benton.
• The O.A.T.S. festival goers love the Benton area and were happy to discover Smokehouse Bar-B-Que and other good eating in the area. My cousin, Mark McGarigle, Edgewater Park, New Jersey, attended the O.A.T.S. festival because he didn't "have much of anything else to do" before he heads into knee-replacement surgery next Wednesday. Mark did just fine for his first festival. It was like pushing mercury when I tried to get Mark to "give it up" for the day when after midnight Saturday he was still whooping and hollering while listening to the Bluegrass Brothers on the main stage. He also got a taste of country cooking at Saint James Church and the delicious breakfasts served at the Benton United Methodist Church on the first Sunday of each month.
• The lack of water in the area is a problem. Several garden owners say they won't get any sweet corn this year because of the dry conditions. You have to feel sorry for the large farmers. Farmer Moofie, for example, planted 300 acres of cauliflower and broccoli in the local area, and has about 500 acres of sweet corn planted in the county. The fancy daylilies grown at 441 Cemetery Hill by Peter and Dorothy Winther usually flower from mid-July to mid-August. This year, the flowers are in full bloom. Dot shares her garden with visitors and permits people to walk through the wonderful gardens where thousands of blooms will greet you. Take the time Monday when you don't have to work and see the flowers.
Thanks to Chris Vincent for mentioning the two local men who died on the same day in the same mortar platoon in the Battle of Ia Drang in the first major battle between the United States Army and the North Vietnamese Army during the Vietnam War. The soldiers were Private First Class Ralph W. Brown (July 17, 1942-November 17, 1965), 23, rural Benton, and Private First Class Donald E. Crane (September 29, 1941-November 17, 1965), 24, Stillwater. The men were in the battle that was written about and had a movie made about it--both titled We were soldiers once...and Young. John Wharton remembers being inducted from the same draft board in March 1964 as a number of those who died from Philadelphia. "Most of the guys who died were draftees from Pennsylvania and Delaware, all inducted in December/January 1963/64--who were getting out of the army in 30-60 days," John recalls.
PFC Brown was an assistant gunner with the 3rd squad of the mortar platoon. His parents owned a farm in Jackson Township. He became the second Columbia County soldier to die in action. PFC Crane was an ammunition bearer also assigned to the mortar platoon. Both soldiers served in the 2nd BN, 7th CAV and were killed during the battle of Ia Drang near LZ Albany. The two soldiers were part of the reinforcements that were rushed in to save LTC Moore's 1st BN, 7th CAV at LZ X-Ray.
Ralph Brown was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, The Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with "V" device, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm. Brown was buried with full military honors in the hilltop cemetery near the Salem Evangelical United Brethren Church, Unityville. His casket was carried by members of Millville American Legion Post escorted by an honor guard from the Army's Indiantown Gap Military Reservation and included an eighteen-gun salute and "Taps." His wife, Vicki, later remarried but died in 1980 at the age of 35 of a heart attack. She is buried next to Ralph.
Crane was awarded the Bronze Star with "V" device, the Purple Heart, the Good Conduct Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal, the Vietnamese Military Merit Medal, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and a number of weapons-qualifications awards. The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign War Posts from Shickshinny provided the color guard for Crane. A firing squad and a bugler from Red Rock Air Force Base participated in providing full military honors. He was buried in the Sorber Cemetery at Reyburn, near Shickshinny, next to his mother who had passed away earlier in the year--a funeral he had been unable to attend because of the buildup of forces for Vietnam.
If you would like to read more about these two outstanding Americans and the circumstances surrounding their war years, go here.
If you would like to know more about others who died in the service of their country during the Vietnam War, visit the web site for the Vietnam Wall, Washington, D.C. After you get to the site, click on a state. When it opens, scroll down to the city and the names will appear. You might begin by locating Ralph W. Brown from the preceding story. Start by finding Benton. When names appear, click on their names and you should get a picture of the person or their biography and medals.
I have used Google Voice for some time and feel it is safe to offer my recommendation on the program to readers. Do you have multiple phones? Perhaps a home phone and a cell phone? Or perhaps a home office and a cell phone? Or perhaps you would like to have a second phone number free. Google Voice is a web-based platform for managing communications. There are many uses. It gives one number to ring all your phones, voicemail that works like email, free calls and text messages to the U.S. and Canada, low-priced international calls and more. Google Voice is free to the public with no invitation required from Google to sign up. The program integrates voicemail in your Gmail account, lets you use it with your existing phone number and much more. Google Voice can let you see your voicemail by simply opening your email. Shortly after someone leaves a voicemail on your Google Voice number, you'll receive an email showing who called, an automated transcript of the voicemail, and a link to play the message. You can click the link to listen to the message right from your computer. More than a million people now actively use Google Voice. Check out the Google features page to learn about everything Google Voice can do. Here is an example. Let's say that Granny Gertrude and all of Cousin's Claudia's clan live in Kentucky. You can get a free Google phone number near where they live. To call you, Gertrude would call that number and your phone would ring on your cell phone, home phone and office phone. Simply pick up any of your phones and start talking.
Perhaps one swallow does not a summer make, but invading armies of ruby-throated hummingbirds certainly do. Lure them to your garden with some of their favorite nectar sources, and you will have instant entertainment with their feisty territoriality and aerial acrobatics.
A sugar-water feeder is a reliable provisioner for these summer visitors. But why not use the feeder as a “Drop in and Stay a Spell” sign, and something to get these little bundles of energy through hard times when other food sources are in short supply? Then add a variety of nectar-producing plants all around your home for a more interesting dining experience – rather like the difference between MRE grub and the fare at a five star restaurant. But do consider several important features when creating their floral feast.
First, select plants with different bloom times, to provide nourishing nectar sources throughout the season. Here at Skymeadow Farm, flowering quince, creeping ajuga, and bleeding heart roll out a welcome in late April, as the migrants arrive from southern climes. Flowering crab apples provide the second course -- followed by evening primrose, wild blue phlox, weigela, giant nepeta, hostas, bee balm, petunias, scarlet runner beans, Mexican sunflowers, and oh so many other tasty treats throughout the summer months. Then along come rose-of-Sharon and Joe Pye weed for dessert.
Plants of differing heights should also be on the menu in your hummingbird garden. These individualists have varying preferences, some feeding low to the ground, others high fliers foraging in the tree tops. So make sure you include blooming ground covers; flower beds teeming with front-of-the border shorties to statuesque backdrops; flower-filled pots and barrels and hanging baskets on patios, decks, and balconies; climbing vines laden with bloom; and flowering shrubs and trees from dwarf to majestic.
And make sure that not all offerings are within eyesight of each other, as these little warriors are more likely to dine in peace when their competitors are out of view. Mix it up color-wise too. Red may be an important draw early in the season, but other flower colors also entice them to sample the fare -- particularly pink, rose, orange, purple, and even white. Tubular blooms generally trump rayed ones; and single forms of a species are preferred over flouncy doubles. Finally, annuals may attract more hummers, with their long bloom time, but perennials assure that next year’s repeat visitors will find some familiar offerings on the menu.
Rubythroat.org lists the top ten native hummingbird plants, several of which are excellent in the home garden. But each region boasts favorites of its own. Here giant nepeta, with purple tubular flowers from late June until September, is our most reliable hummingbird magnet. What do the hummers in your garden enjoy most? Email Kathy at karcuri AT epix.net and help develop a top-ten list for northern Columbia County. Then we can be sure these little birds with the big attitudes will visit each year to brighten up our summers. And a few swallows would also be useful to scarf up all those pesky mosquitoes!
Saturday, July 3, and Sunday, July 4, 2010. Temperatures under full sun should reach 90° today. Close your house windows early and keep cool.July 3, the birthday of Frank Vincent, Sandra Kelsey, Christina Savage Guillen and Dimi Marinos. The gifted ice-cream makers at St. James Church, Bendertown, begin serving at 4 PM. Today is the start of "Dog Days," the 40 days or so days generally considered the hottest in the Northern Hemisphere, originally named for the days when Sirius, the Dog Star, rose around sunrise. Dog days to the superstitious people of an ancient time marked a season of burning heat, blighting drought and desolating pestilence, somehow associated with the rising of the brightest star in the sky. Dog days to folks like my parents simply indicated a period, like the one to come in the next forty or so days, when fog and moisture were common and when combined with the midsummer heat and a somewhat lifeless condition of the atmosphere produced a season of general uncomfortableness. The concept of dog days was scratched on a piece of paper I found from the year 1916: "During Dog Days the ponds hereabouts will all be covered with a green slimy skum, the wether will be sticky and hot and the muskeeters and flies will stick to a persons hide closerna brother, as the saying goes, or closern a flannel shirt which has shrunk up and is too dadblamed tite. Flies and muskeeters aint the only things that sticks tite in Dog Days neither--during Dog Days buro drawers sticks titern a bung in a barl and sometimes doors and winders sticks so tite they can't be got open. A person is going to feel hot and miserable and out of sorts but there don't seem to be no way to pervent Dog Days from making their regular appearaance about this time every yr."July 4, Independence Day, the birthday of Pat Bankes, Rachel McKeel, Joe Curtin, Matt Crusan, Forest Fronheiser, Pat Bankes--and of America. Knoebels Park is 84 years old today. It is the wedding anniversary of Don and Loraine Foote. It was a hundred years on July 4 that the village of Benton suffered one of its most disastrous fires. Read more on this subject in the July 4 edition of the Press Enterprise. On this day in 1776 in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress committed the treasoness act of voting to dissolve its connection with Great Britain by formally declaring independence from England. A document to this effect was signed August 2, but not circulated until January 1777 following battles at Trenton and Princeton when it actually appeared that Americans might win the war. John Adams put it this way in a letter to his wife, Abigail:"Yesterday the greatest Question was decided, which ever was debated in America, and a greater, perhaps, never was or will be decided among Men. A Resolution was passed without one dissenting Colony 'that these united Colonies, are, and of right ought to be free and independent States, and as such, they have, and of Right ought to have full Power to make War, conclude Peace, establish Commerce, and to do all the other Acts and Things, which other States might rightfully do... This . . . Day . . . will be the most memorable Epoch, in the History of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated, by succeeding Generations, as the great anniversary Festival. . . . It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."The Declaration of Independence ...We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.Quickies...• Natural gas spot prices have decreased across the lower 48 States with declines of as much as $0.68 per million Btu (MMBtu). The Henry Hub natural gas spot price fell $0.37, or about 7 percent, averaging $4.53 per MMBtu in trading June 30. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration.
• The Sullivan Review of June 30 includes an article on the proposed 30-inch 200 to 250 million dollar MARC-1 natural-gas pipeline which will connect the Tennessee Gas Pipeline near Wyalusing to the Transco Pipeline east of Picture Rocks. The pipeline will pass approximately three miles east of Dushore and will cross Route 487 approximately one mile southeast of Dushore in the Route 220 corridor. Construction is expected to begin in June 2011.
• The O.A.T.S. bluegrass festival continues through Sunday. The schedules are available at www.oatsfestival.com/schedule . In and around Benton, many are listening to the festival at FM 89.5. Saturday night from 6 PM until midnight, present a certificate to enjoy an evening of bluegrass at the special rate of $10 offered only for Benton-area residents. The rate is per person. Coupons are available from various Benton merchants and at the OATS gate. Sunday morning worship services will be headed up by the local group known as Ravencreek, composed of Joe, Loraine and Grace Feola, with special assistance Sunday from the Benton Beauties, Mark and Mary, and others. Pictures of O.A.T.S. 2010 are available for viewing here . The pictures can be shown as a slideshow, downloaded or emailed.
• Saturday there will be a barn sale and flea market along route 487, a half mile South of Benton, featuring antiques, tools, fishing equipment, retired license plates, old movie posters, glassware and household items. Food is available on site.
• We didn't have the time to include everything for the regular Sunday edition. A supplemental Sunday version of the Benton News will be issued sometime during the day Sunday.
Thursday, July 1, and Friday, July 2, 2010. The Out Among the Stars bluegrass festival begins Thursday and based on the number of people who showed up Wednesday as our country fights in two wars, has a 9.7% unemployment rate and an environmental catastrophe in the Gulf Coast, bluegrass remains the focus of attention over the fourth of July weekend.July 1, the birthday of Brandon Prosey, April S. Carter, Kelly O'Brien Gavin and Frank Mika. July 1 is the day in 1863 when the Battle of Gettysburg began when an estimated seventy-five thousand Confederate soldiers and about ninety-five thousand Union soldiers met. The O.A.T.S. bluegrass festival begins tonight. The lineup is the Forgotten Mountain Boys at 6 PM; Remington Ryde at 7 and 10; Hillbilly Gypsies at 8 and 11; and Stained Grass Window at 9 PM.July 2, the birthday of Tracy Watkins Fritz, Dennis Threlkeld, David Chapin, Holly Green, Donna Cristia Moros and Deborah McHenry. It is the wedding anniversary of Tom and Jackie Becker, Brian and Tracy Hess and Bill and Agnes Hess. Jerry and Peggy Laubach celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary today. The O.A.T.S. festival continues starting at 10 AM with Coal Country Express. At 11 AM, Chester Johnson & Foggy Mountain Grass mount the stage for the first of two performances Friday (the second is at 6 PM). At noon and at 8 PM, Louie Setzer & The Appalachian Mountain Boys are up. The afternoon performances include Stained Grass Window at 1, the Hillbilly Gypsies at 2 and 7, Steep Canyon Rangers at 3 and 8, Balsam Range at 4 and 10, and Hickory Project at 5 and 11. For more info, download the OATS Festival Flyer (pdf) .The fine folks at the 11th annual Out Among the Stars bluegrass festival extend an invitation to twilight performances Friday, July 2, and Saturday, July 3, at 6 PM until midnight. Present a certificate to enjoy an evening of bluegrass at the special rate of $10 offered especially for the Benton-area residents. The rate is per person. Coupons are available from various Benton merchants and at the OATS gate. Questions? Call Lucie at 394-6914.The Civil War lasted three days less than four years. During the bombardment of Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, the first battle of the Civil War, no one was killed and as the Union forces surrendered they were allowed to safely return to the north. The hostilities immediately took a downturn. As states seceded from the Union, President Lincoln and Confederate President Davis called men to arms, one to preserve and defend the Union, the other to do the same for the South. From the time that the boys on the farm enlisted in 1861 until peace was signed at Appomattox in 1865, there were more than a million casualties.The Civil War was fought over a huge expanse of land--from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, battle lines penetrated as far South as New Orleans, Tennessee and New Mexico. The coastline along the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico was especially hard to defend.On the first day in July in 1863 and extending through July 3, Generals George Meade and Robert E. Lee met on the battlefield in Gettysburg. There were 23,000 casualties from the North and 28,000 casualties from the South at Gettysburg. Casualty figures are approximate. The figures include killed, wounded, missing and captured. The figures are the generally accepted estimates.Quickies...• Benton United Methodist Church coffee mugs are available for $5 each. This fundraiser will support the ongoing Ministries and Missions of the Benton United Methodist Church. For more information or to place an order, contact Pastor Calvin Miller at 925-6858.
• A recent article about gathering-line easements included some verbiage that was incorrectly stated. I wrote, "If you "don't play the game," you may find the pipeline company will employ the right of eminent domain to condemn the land as a last resort." Gas companies do not have the right of eminent domain for gathering lines. They do have eminent-domain rights for interstate-transmission lines which have received the approval of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and intrastate-transmission lines which have received approval from the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. The error is regretted.
• There will be a blood drive at the L.R. Appleman Elementary School, Park St., on Tuesday, July 20, from 2 to 7 PM. The blood drive is sponsored by The Benton Council of Churches. Donors in July will receive a free (tax additional where applicable) carton of Friendly’s ® Ice Cream.
• Don't forget to have a slice or three of Pappa Johns pizza served by the Benton Rodeo Association or sample some of Kay Campbell Stanton's delicious food at the O.A.T.S. festival. And include the worship services Sunday morning with Joe, Grace and Lorainne Feola and friends.• The movie "Gasland" has been mentioned on the Benton News a number of times. Mail continues to pour in either singing the praises of the movie or debunking it. Natural gas must play an important role in the coming years and honest discussions about the subject would be wonderful. Instead, there seem to be a stream of half-truths emanating from both sides of the issue. I recently asked the same questions to representatives on both sides, expecting that the responses would be helpful in an article I planned to include on the Benton News. The questions I asked were not the questions that either side answered. The opinions offered remain one-sided and biased. My recommendation: listen with an open mind to both sides of the questions relating to environmental safety in the fracking process and draw your own conclusions. You can start by viewing Gasland playing intermittently on HBO through next year or by purchasing the DVDs which will go on sale in December of this year. Or for the other side of the coin, you might turn here and listen to what America's Natural Gas Alliance has to say.
• Stocks staggered to the end of a dismal second quarter Wednesday in another low-volume session. It would appear that events are posed for soaring unemployment, falling home values and a new round of banking and credit problems. The market is down nearly 1,200 points in two months in trading characterized by 200-point-plus down days. The stimulus money is about used up and the economy doesn't seem to be able to make it on its own. Almost one in four Americans are living without a paycheck and job growth is non-existent now that Census jobs are petering out. Retail sales are falling. Foreclosures are increasing again. Banks are wringing sweat from their palms. States like California and New York are at the end of their rope. We gasp when we realize that our debt is far in excess of either Portugal or Greece. We worry about interest rates that could soon begin to rapidly rise. Is a "long" position in the stock market a place where you want to be at the moment?
Didja ever notice how new boats find old stones?