The Archives for the Benton News
for July 2011
The nation may have moved a few inches away from crunch time. Or not. Friday night, the Republicans passed legislation that so perfectly fit the suit the Tea Party wears that it had no chance of ever passing Senate muster or Presidential signature. The Senate turned it down flat. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives did an "eye-for-an-eye" Saturday when that body rejected Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's plan to raise the nation's debt ceiling. Republican congressional leaders indicated Saturday afternoon they were close to reaching a deal with President Obama to raise the nation's debt limit and avoid what would be an unprecedented national default. But wait! Harry Reid later in the day Saturday indicated that GOP claims of new progress on a debt ceiling deal are "not true." and that "the process has not been moved forward." The latest is that something will be voted on today at 1 PM.
Rumors spread that cuts are being offered, including one cut which would avoid funding "future wars with countries where no war is contemplated." The deal apparently includes a smoking mirrors clause where the president has to ask for additional borrowing authority, but to deny it would take a two-thirds vote. There is apparently a promise that both bodies will vote on a balanced budget amendment at some time in the immediate future. All this is subject to change by the light of tomorrow. Democrats in the Senate who are up for reelection will vote against it, plus a couple of dozen from the Tea Party. House Republicans will generally vote no.
In the meantime, America's economy is at a crawl, the political deadlock in Washington could send the nation back into a recession, Presidential Obama's approval rating is 40% (Gallup) down 10 points from June, the approval rating of Congress is terrible and few say they will vote for any incumbents in the next election. Defense spending climbed 7.3% in the second quarter and if the dire predictions come true for the coming week the military would probably be some of the first who would not get paid. As Mother used to say, we "are in a mell of a Hess." To top it off, The Financial Post reports that Apple has more cash on its latest earnings report than the U.S. Treasury has for an operating balance (Not an "apples-to-apples comparison, obviously). Congress has until 12 AM on August 3 to raise the debt ceiling or face potentially dire economic consequences. All of the above may be overtaken by events by the time that you read it.
General admission to the air-conditioned Gross Auditorium in Carver Hall is $8; seniors and students, $4; tickets sold at the door. The play is suitable for all ages. This is the Alumni troupe's 16th summer show under the direction of James H. Slusser, Bloomsburg. The cast includes Bloomsburg University alumni Audra Hearity dePrisco, '95, Bloomsburg; David P. O'Brien, '73, Lightstreet; Jim Sachetti, '73, Bloomsburg; Jeffrey E. Sherman, '95, Frazer; Nicole Merkel, Paxinos; Mason and Michelle Lunger, Buckhorn; Seth Chamberlain, Buckhorn; Kathryn Sweeney, Danville, and Jessa Wood, Orangeville. Set design is by Randall Presswood, manager of performing arts facilities at Bloomsburg University; sound by Jeremy dePrisco.
Indians knew about oil in Western Pennsylvania and used it by skimming the black mixture from streams as an ingredient in medicine and in concocting their war paint. White men made feeble attempts to use the oil they found on creeks, but they didn't get enough to make their endeavors profitable.
By 1891, Pennsylvania produced more than 31 million barrels of oil. Storage was an initial problem. What to do with all that oil? Initially, round, wooden tanks ranging in size from 50 to 1,500 barrels kept barrel makers busy. Barrel factories sprung up. A new problem then arose. How would the oil be taken to market?
Didja know that the Transportation for America coalition reports that 26.5 percent of all bridges in the Commonwealth are structurally deficient? That equates to 5,906 bridges, the highest number in the nation.
wife, Diane M. (Lewis) Buzalewski, with whom he would have celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary on August 12. Also surviving are his sister, Linda J. Kolasinski, Reading; a brother, David J. Buzalewski (Grazyna), Leesport; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Deb and Jack Rinker, Muncy, and his mother-in-law, Priscilla A. Lewis, Proctor, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his first wife, Joann L. (Wityczak) Buzalewski, in 1989.
www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .For online condolences, please visit
Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, 2011. The Orangeville Carnival continues through Saturday.
July 29. The Deane Center for the Performing Arts, Warehouse Theatre, Wellsboro, presents a free Brown Bag Concert specially designed for children and seniors. Bring a sandwich or snack and enjoy the music noon to 1 PM. WatersEdge will play with the band "The Wrecking" from Portland, Maine, tonight. "The Wrecking" is part of a campaign called "Not For Sale" which works to end slavery/human trafficking in the world. "The Wrecking" is currently on tour to raise awareness about this important cause. The free concert will take place at the Milton First Baptist Church at 7 PM. For more information about the campaign, click here and for information about "The Wrecking" go here or here.
July 30, the twelfth birthday of Chloe, one of our two family Bichon Frize dogs with no last name. Others celebrating include Cory Lee and Shirley Fullmer. The auction of the home of Matt Raski takes place.
Didja know that York, Pennsylvania, was one of the nine capitals of the United States? The Continental Congress met in York from September, 1777, to June, 1778, when it only had about 1,800 residents and not quite 300 houses. The nation's first capital was Philadelphia, but in December, 1776, as British forces advanced, the Continental Congress moved to Baltimore and returned to Philadelphia in March, 1777, when the military situation stabilized. In September with Philadelphia close to capture, Congress moved to Lancaster for a day before concluding that the British were approaching that city. The delegates then moved to York on the west side of the Susquehanna River. While in York, Congress approved the final draft of the Articles of Confederation.
Becky and Carl Fritz found a very small fawn colored Chihuahua on Colley Run Road with no collar or identification. Contact me if any reader knows anything about this dog.
Golfers--didja ever think that he who has the fastest cart never has to play the bad lie?
Greenwood Friends School has been a Quaker School for Preschool to Grade 8 since 1978. Greenwood Friends School teaches children to think critically, creatively and compassionately. The school provides a challenging and supportive academic environment, guided by the Quaker principles of peace, integrity, equality, community, simplicity and service. Free transportation is provided from Benton, Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Millville, Danville, East Lycoming, Muncy, and Warrior Run school districts:
The Emerald Ash Borer, which causes damage to Pennsylvania's $25 billion hardwood industry, has been found in 21 Pennsylvania counties. The Pennsylvania Agriculture Department Emerald Ash Borer survey crews began hanging more than 2,000 triangular purple traps from ash trees in eastern Pennsylvania in May. The traps are designed to attract flying adult beetles to help detect further spread. Crews will continue to monitor the traps all summer and remove them by the end of August.
Typically, the Emerald Ash Borer beetles will kill an ash tree within three years of the initial infestation. Adults are dark green, one-half inch in length and one-eighth inch wide, and fly only from early May until September. Larvae spend the rest of the year beneath the bark of ash trees. When they emerge as adults, they leave D-shaped holes in the bark about one-eighth inch wide.
The invasive Emerald Ash Borer beetle was first detected in Pennsylvania in the summer of 2007 in Butler County, and has since been found in 20 other counties, including Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Bedford, Centre, Clarion, Cumberland, Fulton, Indiana, Juniata, Lawrence, Lycoming, Mercer, Mifflin, Somerset, Union, Washington, Westmoreland, Huntingdon and Wyoming counties.
The wood-boring beetle is native to China and eastern Asia. The pest likely arrived in North America in wooden shipping materials. It was first detected in July 2002 in southeastern Michigan and neighboring Windsor, Ontario, Canada. In addition to Pennsylvania, the beetle is attacking ash trees in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
More information about Pennsylvania's Emerald Ash Borer detection and consumer education efforts, including weekly survey results, can be found here by searching "Emerald Ash Borer."
People who suspect they have found Emerald Ash Borer beetles should call the Pennsylvania Agriculture department pest hotline at 866 253-7189.
The Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society and the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center will host a genealogy fair on Saturday, October 22, in the gymnasium of The Center at 42 Community Drive, Benton, from 10 AM to 2 PM. The purpose is to encourage more people to explore their family history. All ages are welcome to attend. There will be demonstrations of what is available at the different historical societies, such as the websites of the societies, microfilm, paper sources and sale items. The Fair will offer demonstrations of digital photography and restoration, photo preservation and framing.
If your organization would like to participate by having a table with a display or a demonstration promoting what your society has to offer, at no cost to your society, this is your chance. You can also have limited sales of books and materials. There will be a table and chairs provided, along with internet and Wi-Fi available. Electricity is available on request. The Center will have a menu for a light lunch. Interested parties must register by October 8 with Bonnie Farver at the Society from 9 to 3 or at other times at 759-2968. You can also email the historical society at researchATcolcohist-gensoc.org.
Didja know that a funnel cake is loaded with 760 calories?
In my "declining" years, decisions are limited to mashed or fries, slacks or blue jeans, walk or drive to the post office. A few other decisions get thrown in from time to time, but usually nothing weighty. Until today. But I'll tell you about that some other day.
Didja know that since 2005, "Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful" has surveyed 55 counties identifying 5,759 illegal dumpsites containing an estimated 17,088 tons of trash. Want to know more? Go here. Here are some county totals:
There were 159 dumpsites identified, containing 1,724.125 tons of trash. Sixty-three % of the sites were active, and 75% of the sites were located in a rural area.
There were 6 dumpsites identified containing an estimated 6 tons of trash. Sixty-seven % of the sites were active and all were in a rural area.
There were 39 dumpsites identified, containing 382 tons of trash. Ninety-two % of the sites were active, and all of the sites were located in a rural area.
There were 50 dumpsites identified containing an estimated 106.75 tons of trash. Eighty-two % of the sites were active and all were in a rural area.
July 28, 2011, the birthday of Gertie Reidinger, Rich Scavone and Lee Ann Kline, and the wedding anniversary of Jason and Jennifer DiLossi. Heads up for a thunderstorm this afternoon and evening. The Orangeville Carnival continues tonight.
The United States Postal Service could have a $8 billion deficit this year as mail volume declines. The agency is considering closing 3,653 of its 31,871 post offices--but not postal service. The question of which post offices on the Post Office Study List will survive and which will be closed will be answered in the coming months, with the first closures starting in January. The list of potential closures is here and includes Hillsgrove 18619, Lairdsville 17742, Lopez 18628, Mildred 18632, Shunk 17768, Aristes 17920, Beach Haven 18601, Cambra 18611, Benezette 15821, Driftwood 15832, Morris Run 16939, Slate Run 17769, Waterville 17776 and Spruce Creek 16683.
Hughesville is considering a compressed natural gas fueling stations for cars and trucks. The facility would be located at River Valley Transit, 1500 W. Third Street, and be operational by May 2012. With gasoline selling in the neighborhood of $3.750 for unleaded regular, the CNG would be a bargain for about $1.85 a gallon.
While many crusade for "no new taxes," revenue can actually increase in strange ways. The Patriot-News reports that the Commonwealth's Transportation Funding Advisory Commission is suggesting a statewide expansion of traffic-light cameras. Other communities say the cameras don’t make roads safer, but the cameras can provide much-needed revenue.
Responsible individuals to uphold the Constitution, make the laws of the United States, attend a minimum of one regular annual meeting of Congress and make occasional trips to Washington, D.C., ratify treaties and confirm important presidential appointments. Anyone can apply. Experience is not needed to qualify. You don't need to be a lawyer, a college or high-school graduate or even have your GED, although courses in backbiting and bickering would be helpful and a commitment to shove democracy down the throats of nations around the globe would set well with your colleagues. You must not worry about working with 261 millionaires or concern yourself that you will probably retire a very rich person. The median wealth of a House member in 2009 was $765,010 and for a senator it was $2.38 million. Of these congressional millionaires, 55 have an average calculated wealth in 2009 of $10 million or more, with eight in the $100 million-plus range.
The starting salary is $174,100 a year. You will receive Social Security benefits, a 401(k)-like plan that "matches" up to 5% and a full pension--after you have five years on the job--payable when you retire at the age of 62 or at the age of 50 if you worked 20 years--or at any time after you worked 25 years. You'll collect nearly 44% of your six-figure salary, depending on how long you worked. Learn more details about the job description of a Congressman, the qualifications for holding the job, details of elections, responsibilities and duties, salary and checks and balances on the job.
Choose from 10 different full-coverage health plans, even if you have a pre-existing condition. You can visit a doctor at your place of employment or exercise in a gym for free, drive a company car with unlimited free gas and park it free at two local airports. Most flights anywhere in the world are free and you'll get to keep up to $3,000 per trip of what you don't spend on your trip. There is more than a month of paid vacation each year and most work only three days a week. Congressmen are free to use insider information about an industry or stock in order to buy or sell stocks.
You must be at least 25 years old and have been a United States citizen for at least the last nine years. There are 435 members of the House of Representatives and 100 Senators and at the next election should be an ideal time to run.
When you leave office, you can continue spending Political Action Committee money on whatever you would like to spend it on and can spend it until it is gone. Most perks are not taxable. Living expenses while away from home are subject to a special tax deduction of $3,000 to offset living expenses.
Congressional elections are held every two years. There are elections for a third of the Senate (who sit for six years) and for all of the House of Representatives who all stand for re-election after two years. These mid-term elections are held two years into a president’s term in office.
There are no term limits. If elected, you'll probably vote with most other members of Congress not to impose term limits. Your job should be safe for a good long time. A mass departure of current job holders hopefully will leave office during the next election as a result of their inability to resolve the current debt-ceiling fiasco.
July 27, 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. Expect sunny and about 84° today.
The two female German Shepherd dogs which were lost in the Nordmont area and last seen full of porcupine quills were located and returned Tuesday to their owners, Phil and Laurie Edson. Jeff Hubler of the PA Game Commission notified the owners that the dogs were seen in Lopez in a field near the state game gate around 2 PM Monday, 15 days after they went missing, and 14 days since they were last seen--full of porcupine quills--by the gas seismic crews near Nordmont. Donna (Pollock) Work, Lopez, organized Lopez residents to start looking and to call the Post Office if the dogs were seen, then they would call Donna. Small towns are the best!
At 6 PM Tuesday, Donna received a call from a lady (name unknown ) in Lopez that she had caught the dogs and had them in her garage. The dogs needed immediate medical attention, so Donna and her husband Andy took them to the veterinarian (Dr. Shoemaker) in Dushore.
Phil, along with John and Nate Watson for moral and physical help, headed to Dushore. By the time the Benton group arrived in Dushore, Dr. Shoemaker and his granddaughter Katy had the dogs sedated and were pulling porcupine quills from the dogs. The dogs had more than 200 quills between the two--and the quills had been in them for 14 days.
The dogs are now home, and with rest and lots of protein, Dr. Shoemaker says they will be fine.
Thanks to all that helped to find them and a special thanks to Donna and Andy and the people of Lopez.
ESPN will televise 54 Little League International Tournament games next month. Each of the eight U.S. region finals will be televised by ESPN or ESPN2. ESPN and its family of networks will televise each of the eight World Series Championship games live. The Little League Baseball World Series championship game will culminate the coverage of the 2011 International Tournament on August 28 at 3 PM on ABC as the U.S. and International Champions meet to conclude the 16-team, 11-day tournament in South Williamsport. Seventeen games of the Little League Baseball World Series will air on ESPN 3D. The games that will be televised on ESPN 3D also will air on either ESPN or ESPN2. All games of the World Series will be shown in high definition.
During my growing-up years, Grand Poobah Politicians like Dirksen and Johnson and O'Neill would make late-night deals and under-the-table compromises by strong-arming the opposition. This is not the way it is with the current debt-ceiling kerfuffle in Washington. There are only a few moderate party leaders and most of the party big-wigs aren't trusted. Deals can't even be cut within the same party. Farmers all know that you have to pack a hay wagon evenly when you come down a hill, but the current crop of politicians only pack the hay on one side or the other of the wagon. The result isn't pretty...
The hard-liners in the Republican party want to keep federal taxes at its lowest in more than six decades. The top marginal tax rate for individuals is lower than it has been in 73 of the past 78 years. The Democrats in Washington want to prevent domestic spending cuts--even on useless programs. They want to protect the current form of Social Security and Medicare even though the two programs as constituted are unsustainable. How can a married couple making about $100,000 a year after paying in about $110,000 in Medicare taxes receive more than $300,000 in benefits from the Government before they die? What kind of math is that? Medicare requires the government to pay bills presented for specified services to eligible beneficiaries. There are few incentives built into the system so that providers deliver care efficiently or effectively. Costs vary widely from one provider or area to another. The government has no way to restrain the total cost of the program. There are major opportunities to slow the growth of Medicare spending and for the program to provide leadership in improving health-service delivery. Medicare is going to sink the budget.
The Benton News last had an article about Michael S. Mastroianni in its edition of April 16. Michael, within days of the Japanese earthquake and its subsequent damage to multiple nuclear reactors, was recruited by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to join a team of fellow Pennsylvanians in Japan. Their assignment was to go into a "hot" area close to the crippled reactors and set up a treatment center for radiation-related injuries.
The Japanese government, specifically the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication, recently expressed its gratitude to several Pennsylvanians who staffed a clinic and camp for radiation evacuees outside the Fukushima exclusion zone in late March and early April with a civic award presented on behalf of the outgoing Prime Minister. Michael, on behalf of the team, indicated that they "are all very grateful for the gesture and the hospitality the Japanese people showed during our mission there."
Michael and all seven members of the team left friends and family to materially aid disaster victims at no small risk to themselves. In order to give you a better idea of the contribution made by the team, here are some entries from his daily log.
"I was last in Tokyo's Narita Airport six months ago. If someone had come up to me then and told me what the next half year would be for me and the world, I would have laughed. Now, at the end of it, I must laugh anyway. It is either that or cry.
"For one thing, I certainly did not think I would have experience in treating radiation sickness and burns because of a nuclear-generating station that is leaking poison into the ocean and the air. Many of the Shirakawa evacuees began showing (or revealing that they had been experiencing) symptoms after they were brought to Sendai through more than ten times an acceptable dose of radiation. The potassium iodide medication had done its job well; in fact, we were treating more patients for side effects of the medication than radiation sickness. But there were several people with skin reactions and vomiting after they stopped taking it. The Pennsylvanians kept looking at each other as they treated patients, saying "Alara" under their breath. It had meant "as low as reasonably achievable." We now used it to mean "at least airborne radiation alights." Unfortunately, radiation was the least of our problems.
"Ryan, the critical care fellow who I met at MediShare in Haiti, reminded me of many things I have come to expect in good pediatricians. As I remember from my time at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, the specialty requires patience and fortitude bordering on the infinite, as well as accepting that your best and worst days will be due to work. In short, you need to stare Death in the face and honk his nose.
"Hiroko is the pediatrician serving our camp. Her practice was destroyed by the earthquake; she barely escaped the tsunami with her life. She lost many patients and has many more staying with us. Most of them are very well attended to; the children are given first priority by everyone here. Hiroko gets the right of way even when walking to the water tank. She bows and smiles, even to her young charges, and creates explosions of laughter and joy by puffing up her cheeks or grinning intently. She almost never speaks but translates the demands of children into the demands of Japan better than I could ever think to. During a quiet moment, I taught her how to make an origami frog to entertain the children. In return, she showed me a new intubation technique.
"I was called to a room in the school for a body removal. When I arrived, Hiroko was standing just inside, speaking softly to a woman brimming over with tears. The woman held a bundle that had been her child a few moments earlier. Hiroko began to cry as well; I assumed she was enacting sumimasen, the art of expressing apology (Miruyama-san had demonstrated it to me once in an exaggerated display when he acted like a minor infraction of his duties as host had brought great dishonor on his family). I waited in the door, hands clasped and head bowed, until Hiroko gestured for me to come in and take the body. I handled it as gently as if it was still alive. I remembered this child. He had been declining in health despite the formula we made out of powdered biscuits and milk. I didn't know why he died.
"When I returned to Hiroko, she was still crying. I had no idea what to do.
"The idea of her actually crying had never crossed my mind. Then I thought of her last three weeks. Her home and practice had fallen into ruins. She nearly died. The children she loved and protected were dead and dying. She was standing between them and Death, and Death won again. It was too much to contemplate. With nothing to offer in comfort, I began crying with her.
"One more child died later that morning and six were critically ill with a respiratory ailment that presented as a cold and then grew quickly worse. I was selfishly worried for a time that it was the same thing Masumi and I had been working through. It turned out to be catastrophically simple: pneumonia. It shouldn't have surprised us, with the weather and air the way it is. As soon as Hiroko said it, my heart sank. I wanted to hit myself for taking azithromycin that could have medicated two infants. But it was too late. I used the remainder of my pack to medicate the most critical child and got on the comm system to find more.
"An hour later, an infant stopped breathing after he had spent more than an hour wheezing around a lower airway obstruction. I got to show Hiroko a frontier intubation (I did one in Haiti three weeks ago), using a cable inside a nasogastric tube to get past the obstruction. She looked disgusted at the process, but it succeeded in opening the airway and returning some color to the poor boy's face. He still had some fight in him.
"The medical kit I had carried in Haiti was with me and it held enough azithromycin powder for oral solution and erythromycin tablets to mount a decent one-day attack on the illness, which had then forced ten people into our makeshift ICU (formerly our office; we moved to a tent outside the school). Masumi and I went farther into Sendai to pick through the remains of a pharmacy that had collapsed and been pushed inland two streets from where it had previously stood. A detachment of Hiroshi's troops came along and began blasting through the wreckage in search of what had been the dispensary. Masumi and I stopped dead as the men shifted a large piece of concrete. A woman lay crushed under it. The troops froze until the master sergeant ordered two men to remove the body and continue on. We never found any usable drugs.
"The troops left but Masumi and I continued to the airport. I kept hearing the poetic way that Joel had set the conditions for the evacuation of Shirakawa: "kore ijo kono chi de shinde iru" - "no more dead on this ground." I spoke to a lieutenant in the U.S. Marine 3rd Logistics Group at the small tent base in the airport parking lot. I suggested that I would be interested in joining the Naval Reserve Healthcare Program if the Marines had the drugs we needed. He looked at me as if Captain Bligh had just landed, haggard and scrawny, at his dock. Then he spoke to a quartermaster and sent me back to the school, saying he would do his best.
"Then the waiting began. Any soldier can tell you the wait before a battle is worse than the battle itself. All of your skills are for naught, and you end up playing out in your head all the ways you can fail. Hiroko, Masumi, Gary, Kathy and I all sat in and around the ICU. Occasionally, one of our twenty patients' vital signs would plummet and a couple of us rushed in to stabilize them. The rest of us just sat stunned, waiting to see if it would work. We never felt relieved, but we never felt devastated either.
"Hiroshi came in at one point and said he was getting medication sent in from his base on Hokkaido. It was a day away. It would never arrive in time. Joel kept coming by to ask if I had gotten any word, always looking like it was his fault that we hadn't been more prepared. I'm lucky I'm not the leader; anyone would have done the same thing, but he's the one who would have kicked himself for it.
"With less than eight hours until we were slated to leave, the U.S. Marines came through, delivering a case of erythromycin and replenishing our stocks of azithromycin, ciprofloxacin and all the other vital antibiotics to fight the major medical ailments our patients were facing. In sixteen hours, we only lost one patient: an 86-year-old asthmatic. All the children were alive, even if three were still critical. Patience had beaten Death.
"The Marines also donated three pallets of MREs (Meals Ready to Eat - emergency rations, also known in grunt lingo as "Meals Refused by Ethiopians"). Anything was an improvement after three days on World Health Organization high-energy biscuits. I had almost traded my helmet for a Canadian MRE (salmon!), which would have been quite the sacrifice as the helmet saved my head some trouble during the excavation of the pharmacy. It wasn't ridiculous to wear it after all.
"At five in the morning, an Indian emergency response team on an extended mandate from the Japanese Government arrived at the school and reported to Joel. As he explained our situation to their commander and introduced him to Hiroshi and Masumi (our "military liaison" and "local logistics chief"), I helped the rest of the Pennsylvanians pack and clean up. The floor of the ICU had been littered with broken ampules and spent tubing; Hiroko and two volunteers had swept it all up in a minute, as they still had nothing to do but wait.
"I paid my respects to one of the best pediatricians I have ever met with a paper frog folded out of our mission plan, as well as a drawn diagram of how to make it. Hiroko bowed to me and held my hand for a moment, saying "watashi tachi wa tengoku no irikuchi ni tatte" - "we stand at the threshold of heaven." It is a reference to an ancient legend about the guards of heaven, who decide whether or not a soul gets in. It is not judgment of quality but judgment of time. One is refused entry if it is not one's time to die. In that dark classroom, we were the guards, and our verdicts were accepted.
"Gary and Kathy had the same look that I saw on the faces of departing crews at MediShare in Haiti. They were smiling and laughing with wide eyes and lingering expressions of extremity, barely containing their shock at what they had seen and done. I sat with them for a few moments as the Indians and the Japanese rushed around with new supplies and equipment under the direction of Hiroshi, who had already said his solemn farewell. I traded insignia with the master sergeant; he wore my paramedic patch and I wore his regimental shield. He saw me, pointed to his shoulder and gave me a smile and a thumbs-up. Hiroshi was not pleased but said nothing about it. Oh, well, captain. War is hell.
"Masumi was already busy shifting supplies to a central depot, something we never had the time or organization to create. I waved to him and he stopped his truck, got out, came up to me and did the South Philly handshake I taught him. Then, unexpectedly, he gave me a hug. "Uchi," he said - it is the word for insiders. I could not imagine a higher compliment.
"We got a flight to Ibaraki Airport and took a bus to Narita Airport, both outside Tokyo. It was the only time any of the Pennsylvanians got to act like tourists. We stopped for photos of the scenery, bought a few souvenirs for people back home and then rushed to the terminal. I left another page of our mission plan, rendered useless in its third day by changes of venue and unending confusion, in the shape of a swan at the small Origami Museum in the terminal. The keystone, a symbol of Pennsylvania, is showing on one of the wings. Let that be our remaining legacy.
"I am now sitting at the departure gate, eating sushi from the airport restaurant and wearing fatigues given to me by the Japanese to replace my ruined clothing. I can feel sleep crawling up my body and preparing to take me. In less than a day, I will be home. I hope that, on the way, I dream of things getting better quickly here as this battered country gets the help it needs. I hope that, when I wake up, it is true."
July 26, 2011, the birthday of Callie Madelyn Hess, Christopher Ackerman, Ronald Mark Caldwell, Brooke Laubach, Bill Lenhart, Deborah Joyce Brooks, and Grace Feola. The Columbia County Traveling Library bookmobile will be in Benton at the Country Fresh Market today from 4-6:30. Come out and learn about this free service offered to country residents.
Didja know that the Suburban News newspaper now offers an online internet subscription? Subscribers of the newspapers can receive the Suburban News and all its free advertisements each Tuesday evening via the internet (before it reaches the newsstands). Pick up a copy of the newspaper for more details.
In the 1890s when Sullivan County was the place to be to beat the heat of the big cities, stories were often told of the settlement at Celestia high on a peak on a mountain neighboring Eagles Mere and the attempt of Peter Armstrong to escape the payment of taxes by deeding the real estate to God. In 1850, Peter Armstrong of Philadelphia purchased 181 acres of land in an unsettled part of Sullivan County to establish a village in which committed Christians could lead lives of pure spirituality which would prepare them to witness Christ's return to earth. By 1860, Armstrong's holdings had expanded to 600 acres, and an active but small community had been established. The summer boarder would take time from boating and swimming to go to Celestia to see the remains of the water ways and the mill that was operated. Many tourists, especially the lawyers, hunted up the record of the curious deed.
The History Buffs will meet at the Brass Pelican restaurant August 15 for a breakfast meeting to hear Dr. Wilson Ferguson, retired college history teacher and Secretary of the Sullivan county Historical Society speak on the subject of "Celestia: God's Village in Sullivan County." Dr. Ferguson will discuss in some detail the origins, history and outcome of this holy experiment, including Peter Armstrong's transfer of the title for the land to God. Breakfast at the Brass Pelican is available from 7 AM and the presentation will begin about 9 AM.
There will be a WWII "Victory in the Pacific" tribute from 10 AM to 5 PM August 6 at the War Memorial Museum, Sonestown. Memorabilia and weapons from the Pacific War will be highlighted as well as U.S. home-front regalia, Japanese war souvenirs, exhibits pertaining to the dropping of the atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, and WWII victory celebrations. Veterans and their families who served there are encouraged to bring their own related memorabilia and stories to share for the day. Display tables are available upon request and additional information about the event can be accessed by calling 570 482-2610. Please come out to remember and help us pay tribute to those who fought and also those who died to preserve our freedoms.
Flea Markets and Garage Sales...
• Stillwater flea market. The flea market will be held at the Stillwater Borough Park on August 20 from 8 AM until 3 PM. There is no set-up fee or limit to space, just show up and set up. St. James Church will again be selling its homemade ice cream. The first Stillwater flea market was held in 1999 as part of the borough's centennial celebration. Anyone wishing more information can call 925-6153.
• Cambra Annual Yard Sales. Cambra will hold its annual community-wide sale August 6.
The Monday edition of the Press Enterprise quoted "an anonymous blogger" who speculated that Williams ran into trouble at the exploratory Martin gas well and that the well is "a bust." Keep in mind that Williams has significant acreage in northern parts of the state which require action in the near-term before leases expire. Acreage around the Martin well has several years before activity is needed. Williams Partners L.P. announced Monday that it increased its regular quarterly cash distribution its unitholders receive to $0.7325 per unit, a 9% increase over the partnership's second-quarter 2010 distribution of $0.6725 per unit and a 2% increase over the partnership's first-quarter 2011 distribution. The quarterly cash distribution will be payable August 12, 2011, to unitholders of record at the close of business on August 5. Williams Partners plans to report its second-quarter 2011 financial results after the close of market on Wednesday, August 3. The package to be released at that time will include the second-quarter earnings news release; investor presentation on the quarterly results and outlook; analyst package; and data book.
Anticipated Spanish Teacher. A full-time permanent middle/senior high-school position. Pennsylvania certification in Spanish required. Send letter of interest, Pennsylvania standard application, resume, transcripts, three recommendations, copy of PA teaching certificate, Acts 34, 114 and 151 clearances to Mrs. Penny Lenig-Zerby, Superintendent, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814. Deadline August 2, 2011. EOE
The doo-dads we have become accustomed to for record keeping are a far cry from the sticks our ancestors called "tallies" which were used to keep accounts. At one time in our history, our ancestors "kept score" and "kept tally," but most of us don't know the origin of these words. The words were once exact synonyms. A score was a scar or notch on a tally stick, while tally comes from the French "tailler," to cut, whittle or notch.
The tally was a plain stick, in which notches or mother marks were cut. These notches showed the quantity of goods sold or the amount of money loaned. When a man loaned a sum of money, a stick was broken and the creditor and debtor each took a part. When the time for payment came, the man who had the stick which fitted exactly to the stick held by the creditor received the money. The tally stick was used in many business transactions. When the marks on the tally were satisfactory to both the buyer and the seller, then the stick was split down the middle and the buyer took one piece and the seller took the other piece. Two sticks never break in exactly the same shape, so there was never any dispute about who had a right to the money.
When the time for payment came, whoever had the piece of stick that fitted perfectly to the piece held by the debtor was the one who claimed the money. If two pieces of the broken tally-stick tallied, no further proof was asked.
Records of elections were kept on tally sticks until 1826 in the English House of Commons. In October 1834, an overheated stove in which useless and discarded tallies were being burned in the House of Lords' Chamber and destroyed both houses of parliament. In the resulting conflagration, both Houses of Parliament were destroyed. Read more on this subject by going to http://travellinghistorian.com/parlia.html .
Locally, farmer's crops were measured by tally sticks. American Indians used record sticks, a variation of a tally stick, to keep tribal history of good buffalo years. lean years, droughts and births and deaths. Lenni-Lenape Indians in this area called the record sticks they used "gandigesh," meaning sacred stock. It would be interesting to know how many tally sticks have been found hanging in barns in the local area with the finder having no knowledge of what he had.
The Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society, 225 Market St, Bloomsburg, is sponsoring a bus trip to Fort Mifflin and Philadelphia on Saturday, September 10, 2011, with a Fort Mifflin presentation on Wednesday, September 7, by Prof. George Turner in the multi-purpose room of Wesley United Methodist church, Market and Third Street, Bloomsburg, using the Third Street entrance. He will be speaking on emphasis on the Columbia County Civil War prisoners.
A King Coal air-conditioned and restroom-equipped bus will leave the parking area by the empty store near Big Lots, at Route 11 and Central Road at 7 AM. Planned arrival at Fort Mifflin is 10 AM, where there will be a guided tour with a cannon demonstration. The group will then arrive at the historical area of Philadelphia about 12:30. From 12:30 to 5 PM, lunch and individual touring is on your own. The bus will leave at 5 PM to go to Quakertown for dinner before returning to Bloomsburg about 9 PM.
A map and tour sites will be provided upon request. Further information is available by calling Linda Childs, 317-4011, or the Society at 784-1600
The trip for society members is $45; non-members $50, includes bus and admission to Fort Mifflin.
Reservations are necessary by August 27. Make checks payable to CCHGS, mail to P. O. Box 360, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
The property at 250 Fifth Street, Benton, owned by Rose Zimmerman caught fire and burned on January 26, 2011. The Enforcement Code Officer for Benton Borough, Ed Kocher, condemned the frame, two-story structure in action dated February 15, 2011, in accordance with borough Ordinance 165. Monday night, the borough council concurred 7-0 that the structure is dangerous and voted to have the demolition by owner be complete within the next 30 days.
A rental trailer parked on the lot with the burned house is currently obtaining water illegally by hose from the basement of the condemned building. Over the past years, the property has not had its water bills paid by several owners in the same family. The Water & Sewer Authority has lost nearly $20,000 in unpaid revenue, according to a member of the authority in attendance. Tune in 30 days from now and get the next chapter.
July 25, 2011, the birthday of Betty Sieg Ward Brewington, 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. Didja know that July is National Ice Cream Month?
If you signed a natural-gas lease at a lowball price, head here and read the article.
Thanks to all the gardeners who have contributed to the Benton Food Bank. Forrest and Rosie Fronheiser and John and Charlotte Sibley made a donation of 100 neatly packaged pints of blueberries at the Food Bank Tuesday. The recipients were extremely pleased, talking of berries on breakfast cereal and snacks for children, never mind the pies that some of the older folks were envisioning.
Before I assumed my status as a seasoned citizen, my childhood lasted much longer than most. There are fond memories of heading into the woods to eat wild strawberries, into the fields to eat peas off the vines and into the mountains to eat huckleberries.
I can't think of a better place
To bring up a little child
Than on a farm with its animals and trees
And all its flowers growing wild.
I was raised in such a setting
Beside Fishingcreek where water ran free
Sweet smelling lilacs and flat-topped mayapples
Shaded by an old walnut tree.
My favorite was elderberry, always sour,
Good in wine or Mother's delicious pie.
The wild roses grew by the roadside
Providing security for birds as I walked by.
The grape vines hung from branches,
Nature's swing for little folks.
The buttonwood trees along the creek
The stately maples and the magnificent oaks.
We loved our stream called Fishingcreek
Rocks on the bottom, but clean and clear,
Where we learned to fish and swim
When the summer arrived in mid year.
What could give us a better education,
What could provide more fun and charm
Than living and remembering your childhood
In as wonderful a place as a farm?
When I "was a grown' up," my fingers and my lips were usually covered with the berry-stained juice of freshly picked raspberries and huckleberries. Huckleberries--an old fashioned way of saying hurtleberry--isn't really a berry; it is a fruit with a hard pit (which makes it a "drupe." Many people simply call huckleberries wild blueberries, but their skin is tougher and their flavor is stronger than a blueberry.
Now is the time to put on your pickin' boots and head to the mountains of Sullivan County to gather the berries. You probably need the exercise. You'll certainly see some wild critters (two of our group were picking huckleberries ten feet from a bear Friday when all parties suddenly realized that it would be best to leave the area quickly). What is this time of year without a purple-stained set of fingers and teeth! I can attest that the crop this year is wonderful. As one of our youthful fellow pickers from North Carolina said this weekend, "This is the first time I've been in a huckleberry forest."
Ed Campbell remembers picking huckleberries was his way to earn a few extra bucks. Harry Campbell had about half an acre of swamp across the road from Jean Stackhouse's barn. Ed could trade one quart of berries for a large bottle of Big Ben's soda. A truck came by the Raven Creek farm every Thursday peddling fruit and vegetables.
Being away from all electronic communications for almost a week makes one want to take the few snatches of the outside world and try to make some sense of it. Not having talking heads pontificate about our national events actually makes it easier to understand solutions to our problems. One of the issues that I found interesting to contemplate as I ate huckleberries and walked through mountain trails was that of our next president.
Why would anyone want to be the president of the United States at a time when the nation has the potential of heading into bankruptcy? But clearly there are those who want to run. On the Democratic side, the incumbent wants to return to the White House. On the Republican side, the field seems to be wide open, but isn't.
It isn't clear to me how many Republicans will end up running for President, but if we learn from history most don't have a chance of being elected. If we simply go back as far as Teddy Roosevelt to learn our history lesson, it is clear that only Governors and Senators make it to the White House, plus men who come out of a war looking good as Dwight Eisenhower did and vice-presidents who scoot in (such as George H.W. Bush). (Herbert Hoover was an exception. He attained that office thanks in part to his role as U.S. Food Administrator and Secretary of Commerce). It was back in 1880 when someone from the House was last elected president. There is a second and less important rule--the candidate has to be not too recently elected but can't hang around too long and get stale before running.
Quote of the Day:
"The challenge of history is to recover the past and introduce it to the present."
If history repeats itself, there is no doubt that a former Speaker of the House doesn't have a chance of being elected nor does a Texas representative nor does a Minnesota representative with only six years of national exposure. Neither does a pizza executive with no public service regardless of how you slice it. There is a former Senator from Pennsylvania who was elected to the Senate 18 years ago, but doesn't quite measure up on the "freshness rule." There are a couple of others who may be running/may not be running, but I can't figure that out.
So it boils down to about three on the Republican side that, based on the lessons of history, can be elected. There is the man out in front from Massachusetts, Mitt Romney, although many consider him "yesterday's news"; Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty who was elected in a "Blue State;" and the moderate former governor of Utah Jon Huntsman, all of whom have 8 to 10 years of experience under their belts since being elected. But the trend seems to be away from experience; i.e., George W. Bush only had six years of experience and Barack Obama only had four years of experience. If someone could drag New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to the presidential race, his three years of experience might be the ticket!
Enough of this subject, I have huckleberries to eat.
Ronald S. Thompson (September 16, 1936-July 22, 2011) died Friday at his Kiles Road home in Stillwater. He had been in ill health for the past several years. He was 74.
Ronnie was born in Bloomsburg. He was a son of Carlton E. and Florence (Schiffner) Thompson. He graduated from Benton High School in 1954, then joined the U. S. Army, achieving the rank of SP4. He served two years in the Army Reserve and two years of active duty with one year and 10 months of that in Munich, Germany. Following his Army discharge, he was a heavy-equipment operator and later worked for the Bruce Charles saw mill for 20 years. He recently drove a school-bus van for Brewington Transportation, Benton. He attended the Raven Creek Presbyterian Church.
He and his wife, Sheila J. (Harrison) Thompson, celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary on April 11. Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his children Laurie E. Cooper (Ross), McDonough, Georgia; Lisa J. Benjamin (Tom), Stillwater; Toby L. Thompson, Benton. There are 9 grandchildren: Gabrielle, Garrett, Michaela, Austin, Christy, Kayla, Brooke, Colton and Sage; 3 great grandchildren: Clay, Callie and Amelia. Also surviving are his mother-in-law, Lavenia Campbell, and a nephew, Larry K. Thompson, Jr., both of Benton. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by granddaughter Elise Cooper in 1988 and by brothers Larry K. Thompson, Sr. on December 12, 1996, and Tommy Thompson, who died in childhood.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 11 AM with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home. The Rev. Gary Emrick and Ross Cooper, his son-in-law, will officiate. Burial will be in the Stillwater Cemetery with military honors accorded by joint veterans group. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Raven Creek Presbyterian Church, Upper Raven Creek Road, Benton, PA 17814. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Pictures taken at the Benton Rodeo Wednesday are available for viewing as a slideshow and can be printed, downloaded and copied by going here. Pictures taken Friday night at the rodeo are here for copying, emailing and printing and here to view as a slideshow. Pictures taken Saturday night at the rodeo are here for copying, emailing and printing and here to view as a slideshow. The bull riding Sunday night slideshow pictures are here and the pictures for printing and emailing are here.
Tuesday, July 19, through Sunday, July 24, 2011. Wednesday, Kay and I and our extended families will head into the mountains where we will not have any internet service through Sunday. I will have limited phone service via occasional voice mail. I apologize for the inconvenience--well, no I don't. I need a vacation. The local area will be sweating in a heat wave this week, as temperatures climb to 90° through Wednesday--96° on Thursday and 98° on Friday. More than 40 states will have temperatures in the 90s or above through the course of the week.
July 19, the birthday of Fred Houseweart, Pamela Thomas, Michelle Wech, Carl Spiece, Lois Remley-Rhinard-Stere, Chad Eckroth, Margie Kline, Kermit Moss, Bob Hess, Bruce McMichael, Georgette Hummel, Alice Allegar and former-Pennsylvania Governor Bill Scranton. Gardeners are asked to drop off fresh food donations at the Benton Food Bank after 8 AM Tuesday. Thank you for your support of this important program.
July 20, the birthday of Lila Melan, Sue Barchik, Dennis Harvey, Thomas Cundiff, Dan McGarigle and Wayne McMichael. Scott and Dori Doty celebrate their wedding anniversary.
July 21, the day in 1861 that the first major battle of the Civil War took place at what was called the Battle of Bull Run Creek at Manassas Junction, Virginia. Under the command of Major General Irwin McDowell, United States Federal troops attacked Confederate troops led by General Beauregard. With the help of General E. Kirby Smith and General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, the Confederates managed to hold back the Union troops. Many spectators came to picnic while the battle with 60,000 men fought for more than ten hours.
July 22 the birthday of Josiah Craig Peterman, Paul Bogart, Gloria Miller and Kate Little Schlichter. It's the birthday of poet Stephen Vincent Benét, born in 1898 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
July 23, the birthday of Laurie Cooper, Bonnie Young and Jamie Vincent.
July 24, the birthday of Austin Kelsey, Emanuel Blavakis and Kelly Vandergrift. It is the wedding anniversary of Kevin and Faith Schlichter.
The yearbook supplements for the Benton Area Schools 2011 yearbook are available for pick up in the high school office on Monday through Thursday, between 8 AM and 3:15.
WatersEdge will open for Christian pop band "FFH" on Sunday, July 24, at Grace Covenant Community Church in Middleburg. Doors open at 5:30 and the concert starts at 6 PM. For more information about the event, go here. For tickets, ticket pricing or for additional information, contact the church at 570 837-5809 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2011 version of the Benton Rodeo was highly successful. The acts were good, the dialogue quick and lively, the bulls were brutes, the Mutton Busters hung on for dear life, there was no rain, no accidents and no one was disappointed with the rodeo. On July 23, there is a benefit for MS which is known as "BAMS," Bands Against MS, from 3 PM to 9 PM. The rodeo will serve food for the event. The next meeting will be on July 28 at 7 PM at the rodeo grounds.
From the "How Does She Do That" Department come a video of Bulgarian gymnast Boyanka Angelova (which YouTube falsely labeled as the granddaughter of Nadia Comanecci, a former Romanian athlete). The video is worth watching here.
Camp Victory, Millville, is the beneficiary of this year’s BMW Motorcycle Owners of America (MOA) International Rally at the Bloomsburg Fairgrounds, July 21-24. The BMW MOA will present a check to Camp Victory at the rally’s awards ceremony on Saturday, July 23. The check will be a summation of all contributed monetary donations collected from the BMW MOA Charter Clubs.
Camp Victory is the host site each summer for more than 30 partner camps held for children with chronic illnesses and physical and emotional challenges. The Millville camp was established by Denny and Lois Wolff in 1987 when they donated 35 acres of land and created the Nicholas Wolff Foundation, named for their son who was born with liver disease.
Dennis and Lois recruited friends and with an initial grant from Lions Club International they built a 125-acre, wheelchair-friendly facility. The site now includes hiking trails, a climbing wall and ropes course, sports fields, 12 sleeping cabins, two dining/recreation halls, a wheelchair-accessible swimming pool, a universally-accessible tree house, three open-air pavilions, an outdoor stage, a chapel, a welcome center and a comprehensive medical building called the “Med Shed.” Camp Victory is home to more than 1,300 children each year who have medical and emotional challenges including cancer, autism, hearing loss, bereavement, obesity, skin disorders, dwarfism, kidney disease and heart disease.
The article about Michael Mastroianni, promised for today, will be published in the next edition of the Benton News.
The sport of bird hunting is significantly better because of a man who called Benton his home and whose property today is utilized in much the way that it was used when it was a center for bird hunters.
The man was Richard S. Johns (January 22, 1915-February 1, 2005). He grew up in Kingston, the son of Dr. Robert G. Johns, a bird hunter, and Mary T. (Williams) Johns. He attended Wyoming Seminary, Forty Fort, and lived his early years in Wilkes-Barre and Dallas. He loved hunting and fishing along the Susquehanna, but his true love was hunting grouse and woodcock with bird dogs. The setter was the only dog which most hunters considered to be a bird dog, but Dick won his first field trial at the age of 16 with a pointer. By the time he reached 25, he had won numerous field trials with an assortment of dogs. When he died at the age of 90, he was a nationally recognized dog trainer specializing in field trials.
Dick was a staff sergeant during World War II. He initially served in an artillery unit and during that service received the Bronze Star for saving wounded men under fire. He later received the Purple Heart for wounds he received from white phosphorous. Dick was an accomplished horseman and when spare time presented itself he formed a cavalry unit using captured German horses and equipment under the direction of General Terry Allen. Field trial magazines note that Dick was responsible for the last mounted cavalry charge of the United States Army. It took place at the end of the war when he led a cavalry charge against enemy soldiers.
In his off hours in Germany, Dick located some German Shorthaired Pointers and hunted partridges and pheasants in the fields of southwestern Germany. His superior officers recognized his hunting skills and asked him to take them on bird hunts. He bought two German Shorthairs and while he was stationed in Germany for a year after the war was over, Army officials gave permission for him to ship the dogs to America.
Dick continued to import German Shorthaired Pointers as the foundation stock for his kennel. His Field Champion dogs all won in the open shooting dog circuit, including the National German Shorthaired Pointer Association (NGSPA) National Championship in 1961 and 1963.
Dick lived in Dallas before moving to Benton in 1950. His Benton home was an 18th century house with lots of land so high on a hill that it seemed to touch the sky. The land was perfect for bird hunting. The house and kennel were surrounded by partially cleared farm land and hills that gently rolled away toward Fishing Creek a mile down a dirt road. There were dense woods, hedgerows, unpicked corn, open fields and all the food supply that birds would ever want. It was from this location that Dick devoted his life to sporting dogs and trusty horses including importing German Shorthairs from Germany, England and Ireland.
To his home came dogs from all over the United States and Canada. Dick trained them to hunt grouse, woodcock and quail. Roy Evarts and Dick's brother, Bob, built a building to house dog kennels and his office. It was here that he hung his many trophies. It was in this building where he spent most of his time when at home.
Dick Johns was the first major Shorthair field trial professional in the East. He authored a book on German Shorthaired Pointers, served as president of the old Pennsylvania German Shorthaired Pointer Club, and as presided of the NGSPA Region 2 Championship, was active in the eastern German Shorthaired Pointer Club, the Columbia county Pointer and Setter club, and for several years was on the board of Directors of the national German Shorthaired Pointer Association.
Dick was never found lacking when it came to sponsoring field trial activities or working for field trial organizations. In addition to judging local trials for all breeds, he judged the National German Shorthaired Pointer Association Championship five times, the National German Pointing Dog association Championship twice, as well as the German Shorthaired Pointers Club of America National Championship twice.
Dick devoted 65 years of his life to the development of gun dogs, spent nearly as much time as a participant in the sport of bird dog field trials and graced his many friends with magnificent dogs, sportsmanship and enlightened insight.
The love Dick had for his retreat high on Johns Road has returned with the opening of Wild Flower Boarding Kennels, owned and operated by Janet Fester and Janet's son Chad Antolik. The interior and exterior of the kennel have been refurbished over the past three years. The kennel, which is fully licensed and insured, is now open for business with 15 runs and another 15 runs to open in the near future. The kennels are open all year for boarding. There is a bedding system for cold days and a cooling system for warm days. The dogs are fully protected from the elements with a fully extended roof over the runs. Each has its own spacious run with access to an inside quarters with each having a raised bed off the floor. The phone is 925-6171. The Benton News will include pictures of the kennels at a later date.
July 18, the birthday of Chelsea Lamoreaux, Roberta Albertson, Rebecca Fausey Myers, Grover Dressler, Cathy Goode, Melinda Goode, Nancy Baker Traubitz and Allison Nicole Kocher. Keep Sam Hess, a victim of head injuries, in your prayers and keep Sheldon Smith in your prayers as he goes through surgery today. Monday and Tuesday should hit 93° and 90° with thunderstorms both days.
The Fishing Creek Investment Club is composed of members from the local area who want to learn more about investing, stock sectors and various companies--with an objective of making a little money. The club has been in existence since September 2002. It recently made a "return on investment" to members and reduced the current value per member to about $2,200 as an incentive for additional people to join. The club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 7 PM, usually at the home of David Kline. Members contribute $100 per month and are provided with a complete accounting of all club assets and expenses and are encouraged to nominate and justify new purchases. New members are welcome at the net-asset value per member, plus a one-time fee of $25 to defray miscellaneous expenses and the current month's assessment of $100. The club's investments are currently approximately 23.93% ahead. Compare that to your favorite money-market fund! Call Edward Cole, Jr., 925-6907, President, or David Kline, 925-6974, Vice President, for additional information.
Bloomberg News cites Energy Department statistics that U.S. gas production rose 0.5% to a record 78.58 billion cubic feet a day in April from 78.16 billion a month earlier. Net U.S. exports to Mexico rose 53% from April 2008 to April 2010. Read more here.
The name "Williams" has become a household word in the Upper Fishing Creek Valley as it has in other parts of the United States where natural gas is involved. The company through its various segments produces, gathers, processes and transports natural gas. The company is heavily into the storage and transportation of natural gas through an extensive network of 15,000 miles of pipelines, including the Transco pipeline a few miles North of Benton and its local control center at Transco Station 520, built in 1992 near Divide. In the company's exploration & production division, the "Martin Well" is of local interest as part of Williams Production Appalachia .
The Williams website says little about its intention to separate the company's businesses into two stand-alone, publicly traded corporations. The company's exploration and production business will be spun off from the main company through an initial public offering (IPO) in the third-quarter 2011 and in 2012 contemplates a tax-free spinoff to Williams shareholders of its remaining interest. Informal discussions with company officials indicate that the timeline for the spin off may have moved back a little.
Concurrent with the spin off announced earlier this year, the Williams quarterly dividend increased 60% and the company plans an additional 10 to 15% increase for the quarterly dividends it will pay a year from now, according to the company web site.
After the spinoff, Williams shareholders will have ownership in both Williams' natural gas pipeline assets and an independent exploration and production company with interests in both North and South America. The resultant exploration and production company will be one of the largest independent producers of natural gas in the United States with acreage positions in the Marcellus and Barnett Shale, the Arkoma Basin and North Dakota's Bakken oil play and in the Rockies with Piceance, Powder River, San Juan and Green River. The company will have a controlling interest in Apco Oil and Gas International Inc. It will have South American reserves and production in Argentina and exploration and production in Colombia.
The exploration and production side of Williams' business has a 99% drilling success rate. The results achieved at the Martin Well are officially under "evaluation," but clearly the company does not drill without a high expected chance of success. Further public explanation of what is taking place at the Martin well is limited by the securities laws of the United States. The company must abide by SEC rules which prohibit filing resource estimates. What happens next with the Martin Well and other drilling within the Williams community is not certain. What is rather certain is that it won't be Williams that drills new wells in the Marcellus. Look for one of the big energy companies to arrive on the scene in hot pursuit--and we rather suspect it will be a new player to the Marcellus.
This was about the time of the year that Father would fill his coal bin for the winter. He always asked Frank Houseweart to bring a certain kind of anthracite coal from "the coal region." Father didn't want any part of the coal which came from culm banks "up the river" which had been washed into the Susquehanna by rain. The coal, which was lighter than rock and shale, rolled down the river and lodged in certain places. It was then dredged up and placed into "coal floats."
In the front of our old house in the basement level there was a small window which served as a coal "shoot" dropping coal into the "coal bin" into what we called a "cellar," and today is known as a basement. A metal slide hooked to the back of the coal truck, then extended into the cellar through the cellar window. The coal was shoveled into the coal truck, shoveled out of the coal truck into the basement, and then shoveled once again to fill "coal buckets" to carry to the first floor where a coal stove in the living room kept the house warm and a coal stove in the kitchen provided the cooking. Warmth to the second floor was via a heat pipe to the master bedroom. A central furnace was eventually added, but the shoveling of coal remained the same.
A full diner pail and a full coal bin were once marks of prosperity.
The addition of a central furnace to a house was a major event, but not as much as the addition that my grandfather made with the addition of "indoor plumbing." Father told me about the structural changes that were made to the house to accommodate a commode. Before the flush toilet came along, members of the family plodded to the back of the lot or the rear of the property to the white building with the crescent on the door. The distance from the house varied from house to house. The outhouse was rarely placed on the East side of the property. Behind the outhouse was a bag of air-slaked lime to make the trip a little less odoriferous. You can learn more about outhouses by visiting the "outhouse" page under Features.
You may wonder why this subject even came up. A few days ago, I wrote about the "wash day" which always took place on a Monday. After that column had digested for a few days, someone asked why I didn't say anything about the ironing process "back then." When I started thinking about how ironing was done when I was a kid, I thought about other conveniences that have come along in my family's lifetime.
There isn't much that I remember about the day that Mother would do the ironing. I do know it always was a Tuesday. What needed ironing--and as I remember everything needed ironing--was first "sprinkled," then rolled up and neatly piled in a "clothes basket and it would stay there until Tuesday arrived. Mother would get out her ironing board. Her mother had used "flat irons" heated on the kitchen stove. Mother used her mother's flat iron to keep a pesky door open and at night to insure that the same door stayed shut. I used the flat irons to crush English walnuts that grew beside the shed. Today, flat irons work to keep the books in my library from falling off the shelves.
When we come back tomorrow, the last day we'll publish the Benton News this week, we'll discuss a local sportsman by the name of Dick Johns. If you have any stories about Dick, please send them in now. And using Dick as a jumping-off point, we'll take a look at his property today and see how his original dog kennels are being used as the Wild Flower Boarding Kennels. We'll also catch up with Michael Mastroianni who is now home from Japan after receiving a testimonial medal on behalf of the seven Pennsylvanians who put themselves in harm's way within the danger radius around the Fukashima nuclear plant last March and April. There will be another ceremony when the medal is presented to the entire group in Harrisburg and is put on display there.
Edward Schmidt (November 30, 1917-July 14, 2011), Stillwater, died Thursday at his home in West Deptford, New Jersey. He was 93. He was born in Mountaintop. He was a son of Paul and Maud (Helwig) Schmidt. He proudly served his country working as an employee of the U.S. Navy. For thirty-three years he was a designing electronics engineer at the Philadelphia Naval Base.
On February 22, 1941, he married his wife of seventy years, the former Ruth V. Letteer. He is survived by his wife and by his son, Edward Scmidt, Maryland. His grandsons are Edward L. Schmidt; Aaron P. Schmidt and Daniel J. Schmidt. His surviving great grandchildren are Aaron E. Schmidt; Austin E. Schmidt, Alexis A. Schmidt and Gabrielle Griffis. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and five brothers and sisters.
A funeral service will be held Wednesday, July 20, 2011, at 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home, with one hour of visitation preceding the service. Interment will be in the Stillwater Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to a charitable organization of the donor's choice. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
July 16 & 17, 2011.
July 16, the birthday of Billie Jo Creveling, Jennifer Moreno-Perez (Jenn Babb), Theresa Kubasek-Schumacher, Wendy Laubach, former governor Dick Thornburgh and Mabel L. Whitenight. Mrs. Whitenight is 90 today and she will celebrate with family and friends at the Jonestown Methodist Church from 2 until 5 PM. Share in the memories of a near century with Mabel and her seven children: Donald C. Whitenight, Jr., Jeannie Hunsinger, Weldon Whitenight, Sherrill Confair, Beverly Ribble, Dee Raski and Penny Fritz. Mabel was married to Donald C. Whitenight, Sr., a former employee of the ACF and Berwick Forge and Fabricating until he retired. He also worked in coal mines when he was unemployed or laid off. Donald passed away in June 2009. Donald and Mabel lived in Jonestown for more than sixty years. Mabel was a stay-at-home mother until later in life when she worked in Grants and the Berwick Ribbon Factory. Mabel is a member of the Jonestown Methodist Church. She has 15 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild. Whisperin' Bill Anderson celebrates a half century as a member of the Grand Ole Opry today.
The Lycoming County Fair runs through July 23 and offers food for nearly every palate and a wide array of entertainment on the grandstand, free stage and pavilion. There is homemade ice cream tonight at Waller Memorial Hall thanks to the Waller United Methodist Women. It takes place between 4 and 7 PM. There is homemade ice cream, bean soup, hamburg barbeques, hotdogs, pies, cakes and drinks. There is butt-pounding horse riding tonight at the Benton Rodeo.
July 17, the birthday of Melvin Parks, Amanda Potoeski, Brenda Hess Paul, Brenda Moser-Steinruck, Theresa Berger and Sheila Gilbert. Happy third anniversary to the First Columbia Bank & Trust Company, which merged with the Columbia County Farmer's National Bank on Friday, July 17, 2008. It was on this day in 1938, that a pilot named Douglas Corrigan asked permission from the Civil Aviation Authority to fly from New York City to Ireland. His request was denied on the grounds that his plane was in poor condition. He took off for California, then suddenly banked sharply to the east and headed over the ocean. He landed in Ireland, and when he touched down complained that they flight was a result of a faulty compass. No one believed his excuse. He lost his pilot's license, but was treated as a hero when he returned to New York where more than a million people came out for a ticker-tape parade honoring "Wrong Way" Corrigan.
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 to drive to the top of cemetery hill and stroll through the gardens.
St. Gabriels Church has removed its organ from the worship area and would like to donate it to anyone willing to come and take it away. It is completely self-contained and in playing condition. Anyone interested should contact Sam Ganshaw at 752-1931.
On July 20, the local Red Hat group will have a progressive lunch, starting at the Sub Shop at 11 AM for appetizers, then to Nancy Myers' for lunch, then on to Barbara Craig's house for dessert. Geraldine Laubach will drive and there will be others to drive. In the event of bad weather, meet at Becky Stoneham's house.
Congratulations to First Columbia Bank on receiving a 5-Star Superior rating from BauerFinancial, Inc., Coral Gables, Florida, for the last nine consecutive quarters. First Columbia Bank & Trust operates through 13 offices in Columbia and Northumberland counties.
The governor's Marcellus Shale Advisory Commission voted Friday to recommend levying a generic impact fee on Marcellus gas drillers to offset the impact of drilling operations on local communities.
After watching "American Idol," a number of men mentioned that Jennifer Lopez would do just fine if shoes had to be parked under a bed somewhere. Now comes word that after seven years of marriage, Jennifer and Marc Anthony will end their marriage. After seven years of marriage, it's over for Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. according to People Magazine.
Jimmy Fallon noted that the Treasury Department is shifting from paper to electronic savings bonds next year. But don’t worry--the electronic bonds will be just as worthless as the paper ones.
Marisa Whitenight, recently recovered from a spider bite which resulted in a fever of 105° for five days and a temporary inability to walk, says that "you don't have to go far from the main road to see nice fish." Robert Whitenight backed out of his driveway on Savage Hill when a beautiful rainbow trout fell from the sky. An eagle had scooped the trout out of Fishing Creek, but was subsequently attacked by two birds who wrestled the trout away from the grasp of the eagle.
The Thrift Shop on Mill Street needs a dehumidifier. Anyone have an extra one?
July 14 and 15, 2011. Enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures through Sunday.
July 14, the 195th day of 2011 with 71 days until the official beginning of Fall. It is the birthday of Amy Fornwald Crist, Ruth Ann Allegar and Donald Trump and the wedding anniversary of Will and Sherry Jones. It is the third anniversary of Black Bear Pottery & Fine Art, Main Street. Proprietors are Frank and Sandy Trainor.
July 15, the birthday of Duston McElwee, Allen Turner III and David J. Baker. Indians called the full moon which will be displayed beautifully in our clear sky tonight the "Full Buck Moon" for the growth that is now forming on male deer. The July full moon was sometimes known as the Thunder Moon, because of the frequency of thunderstorms during this month.
Have you thanked a member of the military today? Learn more by going here.
The weather promises to be a winner through Sunday as tall, slender cowboys and cowgirls arrive for the 27th Benton Rodeo which begins in earnest tonight. The local rodeo is often called the best rodeo east of the Mississippi River--and it isn't just the locals saying that! The Championship Rodeo and Bull-a-Rama brings strangers from all over the United States and Canada as riders attempt to ride half ton bucking broncos and Brahma bulls weighting nearly a ton for as long as their arms don't separate from their shoulders.
Saturday morning there will be a rodeo run. You can register for the run by going here. The cost is $14 for the 6-mile run and $12 for the fitness walk. A 3.5-mile walk and kids fun run is $8 to enter. All proceeds benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of America.
There is also a "Kids Roundup" Saturday morning, with free activities, a petting zoo and lunch provided to all children with special needs and their guests. During the roundup, funds will be raised to benefit the Danville Child Development Center, E.O.S. Riding Center, Camp Victory and Little People of America.
It doesn't cost anything to come to the rodeo grounds, but parking is $2. Adult admission to the rodeo and Bull-a-Rama on Mendenhall Lane off Route 487 is $14 for reserved seating or $12 general admission. Children ages 4 to 12 pay $11 reserved seating or $9 general admission. Children under 3 are free. Come early if you will arrive from the South via Route 487 (detour in Orangeville) or from the East via Route 239 (detour a mile and a half East of Benton).
The weekend schedule is as follows:
- Friday: Entertainment by Tommy Guns Band, 5–10 PM. Championship Rodeo, 7:30 PM
- Saturday: Rodeo Run for Leukemia Cure, 8 AM. Special Kids Roundup, 10 AM. Entertainment by Frank Wicher Band, 5-10 PM
° Sunday: Entertainment by Tune Master (DJ), 5-10 PM, Bull-a-Rama, 7:30 PM
Picture courtesy of Benton Rodeo
Mark Grabowski was a member of the Benton High School class of 1979. His son, Jim, a former Southwest Baptist University basketball star, just finished his third season in Europe as a professional basketball player. This season his team won the CNB1 championship of Portugal. Jim was also named most valuable player and had an outstanding year. You can read more by going here. Mark now lives in Missouri and is director of security at a university there. Sister Cathy Grabowski Kline, class of 1985, lives in Berwick and teaches elementary school there. Mark's parents, Ronald and Carol, lived next to Miles and Esther Little for thirty years, and now live near Carol in Berwick. Brother Doug lives on Mill Street.
Andy Borowitz proposes a "No Politician Left Behind" law which would pay congressmen on the basis of performance. Politicians are against the law because few congressmen would ever have to be paid. Congressmen get paid now even when they storm out of budget negotiations in a hissy fit. Under this new law, the rule would be no budget, no paycheck. The idea of being paid per accomplishment drew howls of protest from lawmakers, many claiming that if the law were enacted it would result in their financial ruin.
The situation in Washington is absolutely crazy. It was the last straw when Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell proposed that President Obama could raise the national debt ceiling without GOP support. Monday night, the President talked about new programs that he wants to start as if there isn't a spending problem in the country.
“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people
who are putting us on
or by imbeciles who really mean it.”
A Benton Community Soup Kitchen will begin offering a free meal to the residents of the Benton community on the third Saturday of each month. The meal will take place at the Benton Christian Church on Third and Church Streets, Benton, from 11:30 to 12:30 during the lunch hour. The Community Kitchen is a project supported by the Benton Council of Churches. For information call 925-5201. The Waller United Methodist Church will host the September 17 lunch; the Women's Club of Benton will be in charge October 15; the Benton Christian Church will take over November 19; and First Columbia Bank will handle December. As always, the Upcoming Events page of the Benton News will provide complete details as they are finalized.
There were a number of people who asked about the coiled tubing at the Martin Well. Learn more about the subject of coiled tubing by going here.
Readers have asked about the new social network that integrates with Picasa now in beta from Google. The social network is not available to everyone at this time; it is offered by invitation only. When more invitations to join have been issued, I'll explain how Google+ works and walk you through the initial setup. If you'd like to be alerted when Google+ is made public, go to plus.google.com.
While Americans seem to be waiting for the development of a reliable natural-gas powered automobile, the vehicles are certainly taking time getting here. Honda plans to sell its Civic GX natural gas vehicle nationwide in the US by the end of next year, and Chrysler has announced that it will make natural gas vehicles in 2017.
For those fearing the possibility of water contamination in Fishing Creek, the rumors were welcome. For others, the news was potentially devastating.
The major story in the local area is the status of the Martin well near St. Gabriels Church. Rumors have been flying for months about first how much natural gas was in the Marcellus shale under our local area and the efforts made by Williams Production Appalachia LLC, Tulsa, Oklahoma, to extract gas locally. The company also is drilling for natural gas in other Pennsylvania locations, as well as location in Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania. Williams has leases for thousands of acres in Columbia County and hundreds of acres in Luzerne County and is the owner of the pipeline adjacent to the Martin Well, which is essential to getting the gas to market. The directional leg of the Martin well was under Camp Lavigne and extending north.
Williams maintains a low official profile on what takes place at the well site, but when the word leaked out that gas was measured at 2,200 psi immediately after fracking, hopes for a strong presence of natural gas increased. There were no reports of water contamination, no problems with pollution, no spills, no industrial accidents, no problems with wastewater disposal. The concerns that many people had seemed to fade away.
Faces turned grim within days as pressure dropped to almost nothing. The anticipated flaring of the well didn't occur. The pipeline from the wellhead to the transmission line was not built. The rumor mill started up comparing what was happening to the problems that EnCanada had with the now-closed well near the Ricketts Glen Hotel. Speculation was that the local well was on the wrong side of the edge of the Marcellus shale. EnCanada was the only gas company to drill in Luzerne County, but its two exploratory wells were not able to produce natural gas in commercial quantities, and the company ceased operations in Luzerne and Colombia counties dashing the hopes for revenue to its more than 25,000 acres in the county.
Despite requests for a public statement on the status of the well, Williams officially remains mum. It seems certain that the company would not have drilled its directional leg (horizontal line) until it had a good report via core samples and drill-cutting analysis as to gas content and thickness of the Marcellus. Core samples should have confirmed the presence in the organic-black shale (gas bearing) of the Marcellus, although during the vertical drilling core samples taken in the Hamilton Shale were initially thought to have been made in the Marcellus.
Costs for the well have not been released, but are assumed to be well in excess of $5 million. The well is apparently being closed at the present time and prospects for the future for the Martin well and for other wells contemplated immediately north of the borough are unclear.
Operator error is a probable conclusion for the present condition of the Martin Well. The question is now whether the company will limit its losses and not chase the problem. That decision will impact job opportunities and future gas revenue for the local area. There is an old oilfield maxim, "Limit your losses and don't chase a problem."
Tuesday, July 12 & Wednesday, July 13, 2011. The weather yesterday and today reminds me of Florida, which in turn reminds me to play some cute music for you. Simply head to www.youtube.com/embed/7KhSMKfU8HE?rel=0 (Some readers will have to cut and paste into your browsers) for some lively Florida music. And what is going on with the rain? It seemed to rain every time I went outside, and suddenly it is as dry as a joke told by a Republican. We need rain, and might get some relief either today or tomorrow. And while we are gripping, we have to ask why when we get two new gas stations in Benton we are asked to pay $.20 a gallon more for unleaded gasoline than neighboring communities. And, heck, while I am on a roll, why is it that three people who don't even live in Benton would want to come in and tear apart the stage in the Benton Park? Two of the people who tore up the park were just visiting at the Berlin Trailer Court. Three of the four were 18 years or older. An alert resident phoned the police and the four were apprehended; two are facing 150 hours each of community service and two are facing 100 hours of community service each. Borough Council did the right thing last night; i.e., they concurred in paying the responsible neighbor $100 for turning in the mischief makers and helping to bring them to justice.
July 12, It is the birthday of Diane Belles Kline, Brenda Dulaney, Roxanne Patton, Ethan Wary, Henry David Thoreau, the author of "Walden" and the essay "Civil Disobedience," George Eastman, the man responsible for the Kodak camera, lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II of Oklahoma, South Pacific and The King and I fame, and Julius Caesar, born in Rome a hundred years before the birth of Christ. It is the wedding anniversary of Joseph and Tammy Prosey. The Columbia County Traveling Library stops at Rainbow Hill Preschool from 1 to 1:25 PM; Little Tiger Teachery from 1:35 to 2 PM; the parking lot of the Central Hotel from 2:30 to 3:30 PM; and at Country Fresh Market, Benton, from 4 to 6:30 PM. The rodeo begins tonight in the form of the "Fun Horse Show" at the rodeo grounds with music tonight and Wednesday night by Tune Master Entertainment. Parking is FREE, and admission to the grounds and the show are free. Get full details by going to www.bentonrodeo.com .
July 13, the birthday of Huber Kline, JoAnn Karschner, Michele Mancini Brock, Terri Cappola, Phil Edson and bluegrass singer Rhonda Vincent. It was on this date 41 years ago that Richard Sutliff became an employee of WGN Continental Broadcasting Company at the ripe young age of 35. Who would've thunk it--a farm kid from a village of 110 people winding up on a 50,000-watt clear channel radio station in the nation's third-largest metropolitan area? For the benefit of the Millville area folks, the Columbia County Traveling Library stops at Columbia Village from 10:45 AM to 11:20 AM and at Girton Manufacturing from 11:30 AM to 12:30 PM. It is day two of the 27th Benton Rodeo with the 3D Barrel Race tonight. Free admission and parking tonight.
Dale Ruckle, formerly of Millville, now a resident of Plano, Texas, listened to "At The Top" with Christopher Oreille Sunday morning. Dale was thrilled when the host introduced a "young man with the last name of Fricke from Benton, PA" who played a "pipe organ." Eric is preparing music for a summer camp program in Maine. He is the music director for two weeks before he starts St. John's College, Annapolis, MD, August 25. He is trying to get ahead on college-reading materials and going over his ancient Greek, plus reading for enjoyment along with playing his piano and organ. He is hoping to be allowed to play the organ at the Naval Academy. And, yes, he makes radio appearances...
The Benton Area School District is accepting applications for Assistant Boys High School Soccer Coach and Assistant Boys High School Basketball Coach. Send letter of application and current Acts 34, 51, and 114 to Joe Goode, Principal Middle-High Benton Area School District, 400 Park Street, Benton, PA 17814. The deadline is July 15, 2011. EOE.
A North Carolina reader will make her first visit to Benton later this month and asked if I would recommend a place to visit "to see some local historical sights." One such place that I have never mentioned is 45 minutes from Benton where the North and West branches of the Susquehanna come together, a location that more than 250 years ago was an important frontier outpost. Before any of us white guys arrived in the area, the location was a meeting place for Indian councils and was known as Shamokin. The Indians came to that important settlement by birch-bark canoes and by foot over trails through dense woods.
The British built Fort Augusta (1756-1794) and named it for Her Royal Highness Princess Augusta Sophia, daughter of George III. Its purpose was to keep the French from spreading its influence east of the Appalachian Mountains. The French learned of the fort and sent a bunch of bad guys from Venango on the Allegheny River down the West branch. When the French arrived, one look told them to head home--that the fort was too far along to take. Funny how an English fort with a wide river at its front and a swamp at its rear and a "straight-up" mountain nearby changed the history of our area--without ever actually engaging in a skirmish. The fort provided protection to settlers living "up the river." The fort stood as a sentry to the valley from the time of the French and Indian wars until the close of the American Revolution. The fort was taken down in 1794. A replica of the fort stands today at 1150 North Front Street in what is now Northumberland County in the borough which today we know as Sunbury and which for reasons long since forgotten has streets with the same names as downtown Philadelphia; i.e., Walnut, Spruce, Pine, etc.
Sunbury was laid out some distance south of the fort in 1772. Sunbury is the headquarters of the Northumberland County Historical Society . The Society's museum of historical and archaeological artifacts is at Fort Augusta from the French and Indian War through the American Revolution, as well as items of significance to the history of Northumberland County and a genealogical library of material on early families in Northumberland County and surrounding counties.
Across the river is "Nory" and the former home--dating from 1794--of the man who first isolated oxygen, Dr. Joseph Priestly, the man you want to thank when soda cans open with a popping sound thanks to carbon dioxide. The borough's name comes from Northhampton, England. For an overview of the area, including the Shikellamy Lookout and the Shikellamy State Park, go here.
Fort Augusta is celebrating its 250th anniversary this week. On Saturday, July 16, there will be food and activities from 10 AM to 7 PM at the Hunter House Museum at Fort Augusta. There will be strolling musicians. The museum will show original Hunter documents and items from various archaeological digs. Fort Augusta is a mile north of Sunbury on PA Route 14.
Didja ever think of what it would be like to be inside a car during a Japanese tsunami? Probably not. For those of you have contemplated this weighty issue and wondered what would happen, go here. And speaking of Japan and tsunamis, remember how Michael Mastroianni pitched in to help out in Japan? He is in Japan now as a guest of the country to receive an award for what he did in that moment of crisis.
Williams Production Appalachia requested permission from Sugarloaf Township to put a holding pond behind the Martin well site on the Weaver property off Route 487 in the vicinity of St. Gabriels Church. A driveway permit was denied for this project. The driveway would be off San Gabriel Hill Road near a 90° curve. The entrance to Route 487 was considered dangerous to township supervisors.. Traveling south toward Benton at a speed of 55 mph on Route 487, a driver would have approximately five seconds to stop after the intersection comes into view. A water truck would take more than 5 seconds to pull out of San Gabriel Hill Road intersection either going right or left and that could result in vehicle and truck accidents.
The Columbia County Traveling Library will hold an “open house” in its Bookmobile at the Benton Rodeo on Saturday, July 16, and Sunday, July 17, to encourage more Columbia County residents to take advantage of the free public library on wheels. Folks can take a look at the bookmobile and register for a library card. What’s not to love? It’s free—folks just have to return the books on the date stamped.
The Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA) will come yee-hawing into town Thursday with rodeo professionals from all over Canada and the United States riding their hearts out. Championship rodeos take place Friday and Saturday nights and there will be a "Bull-A-Rama" Sunday. Dusti Lynn Crain McCall, Hollywood Harris and Boogerhead will provide entertainment.
Joseph Glen Halderman, Sr. (May 29, 1919-July 11, 2011), a highly decorated veteran of World War II who was wounded in action in the European Theater in December 1944, died Monday at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after being stricken ill at his home on State Route 254, Orangeville. He was 92. He was born in Fishing Creek Township on Savage Hill, a son of John and Lela (Keller) Halderman. He attended the Savage Hill School and graduated from the former Orangeville Normal School. He proudly served his country in the U. S. Army in World War II as a Technical Sergeant in the 40th Tank Battalion, 7th Armored Division. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the European African Middle Eastern Theater Ribbon with Three Bronze Battle Stars, the American Theater Ribbon, the World War II Victory Ribbon and the Bronze Star Medal.
Mr. Halderman worked on the family farm on Savage Hill, then worked part time for the Orangeville Post Office. He became a rural-route carrier for Orangeville R. D. 1 until he retired in 1981. He was an active member of the Stillwater Christian Church and once served as a Deacon. He was a member of the Rural Carrier's Association, the Millville American Legion and the Orangeville Sportsman Club.
Mr. Halderman was married to Vee Maxine (Hartman) Halderman for 42 years until her death in 1989. For the past 21 years, he was married to Isabell (Bogart) Halterman Halderman. Also surviving are his children Joseph G. Halderman, Jr., (Sheila), Orangeville; Catherine Halderman Breech McManus (Jack), Palmetto, Florida; Sandra Halderman English (Andrew), Benton; step sons Walter Halterman (Betty Jean), Fort Mill, South Carolina; Glenn Halterman (Deb), Bloomsburg; 11 grandchildren; 13 great grandchildren, and a brother, Dean Halderman (Marion), New Smyrna Beach, Florida.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 14, at 11 AM with viewing preceding at the Stillwater Christian Church. Burial will be in the Laurel Hill Cemetery, Orangeville, with full military honors accorded by a joint veterans group. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Columbia Montour Home Health, 410 Glenn Ave., Bloomsburg, PA 17815 or to the Building Fund of the Stillwater Christian Church, 42 Wesley Street, Stillwater, PA 17878. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Joe Dalto purchased the Ray B. Keeler building on Main Street on February 22, 1946, and an era of fine eating at moderate prices began.
At the time, the building consisted of two store rooms and a second-floor dwelling. Mr. Keeler moved his justice of the peace office and watch repair to a building adjacent to the bridge over Fishing Creek. Mr. Dalto used the entire first floor for a confectionary and restaurant. On Friday and Saturday nights, Joe served deviled crabs, lobster and clams. The restaurant later was run by Blanche and Bill Fausey.
The building was under the ownership of Donald and Laura Gould for a time with a bicycle shop in the rear of the building. In 2009, Mr. and Mrs. John Hittle purchased the building at 120 Main Street on the "square."
Several stores have occupied the building since 2009, including Lexie's Loft which sold clothing, small housewares and other re-sales as a consignment store. The Main Street building is now a thrift store operated by Shirley Hittle.
Picture from July 2011
The building to the south of Joe Dalto's restaurant is now owned and operated as a business by optometrist Dr. John Hutnik. Guy Miller operated a barber shop in the building for a number of years, followed by Jim Harvey who cut hair there until the end of September 1981. On October 1, 1972 through October 1, 1981, Ed Cole rented the building for the purpose of cutting hair. Owners of the building during that period included Steve Letteer, Dennis Mika and Jim Harvey. The Bloomsburg Hospital owned the building during the period Dr. Rothermel maintained medical offices in the building. Ed Cole built the building where his present barber shop is located on Route 487 in Benton Township in 1981.
Prior to the Benton Fire of July 4, 1910, the Exchange Hotel occupied a position of prominence at the corner of Main and Market Streets. A service station came along next, and was run by several people, but primarily by Eugene Bardo who bought the building in 1952 and operated a garage in the building until the building was sold in 1994 to David Kline.
The building was converted in 1994 into a restaurant which operated under the name of the Market Street Cafe for a number of years.
Picture from July 2011
Scott and Janice Maguire purchased the building in February 2001 and continued operation as a restaurant. In September 2007, the restaurant operated under the direction of the Maguires until the property was sold at auction.
The building was sold to Bill Yanchik in September 2007, the owner of the Benton Coins and Collectibles, which he was then operating on the East side of Route 487 at 99 Main Street. In July 2011, This building continues as a coin shop in July 2011.
Thanks to David Miller, Palm Bay, Florida, a grandson of Nettie and Guy Miller, for the two vintage pictures.
July 10, the birthday of Bill Megargell, Cindy Pennypacker, John Weaver, Denise Kline, Eugene Laubach, Carol Arnhold and Susan Louise Cole and the fourth anniversary of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. It was four years ago today that the Board of Directors of The Center "took title" from the Columbia County Housing Corporation.
July 11, the birthday of Shelby Fritz Brown, Terrie Sidinger, Lawrence Shaw and JoAnn McHenry Walk. It is the wedding anniversary of Robert and Mollie Hough.
A number of women tend to read the Benton News, judging from email and phone calls, but today many will drop off and tend to other business. The reason is simple. I am going to take a little time to write about washing clothes. Specifically, I am going to talk about washing machines--old washing machines. Gads, even the thought scares me!
It was always on a Monday when families a hundred years ago did their washing. Back in "grandmother's time," the long, narrow wash boiler was placed over the two front lids of the wood stove in the kitchen and filled from the spigot in the sink. The hot water was carried to the wooden tubs and the "waste water" was carried to the sink in the "scrub buckets." The washing machine was the shape of a round-bottomed wooden tub supported on four reinforced legs. The hot water and the garments to be washed went into the tub and an agitator swished the clothes back and forth.
This process was a lot easier than using a "wash board." Men in the house loathed that old machine as splinters came off the wooden sides. If you have never had a splinter in your long johns you may not fully understand. I suppose that the term "ants in your pants" somehow came from this source! The women didn't fully like the process either, since dirty spots didn't come clean and had to be hand washed.
Eventually, real washing machines came into the picture. The early ones had a sprocket wheel and upright hands which the woman rocked back and forth. Women generally read a book while they did the laundry. A water-powered machine came next. Water pressure powered the machine. Back then, "city water" was not metered as it is today. The electric washing machine that came along years later further refined the process.
The subject comes up following my Friday visit to the Kutztown Folk Festival where 200 of the nation’s finest juried craftsmen demonstrated their skills. One of the most popular exhibits was of a Maytag washing machine powered by a gasoline engine that not only washed clothes, but made butter while the clothes cleaned. The machine was made by Enterprise Grinder, Philadelphia. Other attachments to the washing machine turned it into a sausage and hamburg grinder. A flat belt ran to a gizzie which charged dry-cell batteries while the clothes got clean.
The Kutztown Folk Festival. is where Viola Miller first introduced the world to funnel cakes 61 years ago. This is where you can see a 900-pound ox get roasted and slow-cooked over an open fire. This is where you can buy pig snouts, scrapple, sausages, tongue, pickled pigs feet and lots of other unique Dutch “treats” at the Festival Farmers Market. This is where following eating your morning cereal, you are told that your cereal is "all." This is where you eat until you "ouch" at the Women's Guild of Zion's Church, Windsor Castle, Pennsylvania. This is where more than 2,000 traditional quilts, many made by area Mennonite women, are displayed. Prize-winning quilts are auctioned at the end of the annual July event. This is where you can learn all you would ever want to know about the history of washing machines.
By looking at the pictures, you'll realize that at Kutztown you can learn about farm life and about being a child on the farm, learn some of the quaint games of the Pennsylvania Dutch, see demonstrating craftsmen let people in on their trade secrets and learn about the herbs that cure. At the festival, you can sing old American songs in Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, and hear PA Dutch humor, customs and traditions told by the best there is.The Kutztown German fest takes place at the Kutztown fairgrounds. There are historical re-enactments, antiques, collectibles, folklife demonstrations, folklore, five stages of entertainment, music, dancing, children's activities and plenty of Pennsylvania Dutch food.
The Kutztown Fairgrounds are at Route 222 between Allentown and Reading, 109 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA via I-80 and I-476 to route 222.
Here are some farmer's proverbs from the festival...
If a farmer starves, it's his own fault.
Rain before seven, sunny by eleven.
A sunny wedding day means a happy marriage.
One should not work on the day they marry, or else they will work all the rest of the days of their married life.
A bad beginning means a good end.
When the stars glitter brightly, there will be cold weather.
When there is no woman in the house, there is something missing everywhere.
He understands as much about the matter as a pig does Sunday.
There is plenty of singing, too. Here is an old favorite of the Pennsylvania Germans...
Dawn in de walley, de walley so low,
Hank yer het oafer, hear de vint blow,
Hear de vint blow, dear, hear de vint blow,
Hank you het oafer, hear de vint blow.
Writing dis ledder, containing schree lines,
Answer my quvestion, vill you be mine?
Vill you be mine, dear, vill you be mine?
Answer my quvestion, vill you be mine?
Roases luff sunshine, wilets luff dew,
Anchels in heffen, know I luff you.
Know I luff you, dear, know I luff you,
Anchels in heffen, know I luff you.
The "pletch" was popular at the festival. It went like this...
I pletch allechintz to de flack uff de Unided States uff America ent to de repullic fer which it stance, von nation unner Got, indiwisiple, viss liperty ent chustice for all.
After these formalities were out of the way, the command "Koom Essa" sounded, meaning "come running" for a "good and plenty" meal. Talk about church suppers. It was "Wunnerlich Gut!" The church stand at the festival where Marcia Kay and I ate-- Zion's Church of Christ, Windsor Castle--served the noon meal to more than 900 people a day since the festival began--down about a hundred a day from last year.
Surviving are her children Karen Hess (Gary), Orangeville; Barbara Birt (Erle), Williamsport; Karl Ash (Joan), Orangeville; grandchildren Debbie Sokol, Amandy Strzempek, Leonard, Lyle, Seth and Karl Ash, Jr.; Mark Gordner and Vicki Lawson. There are ten great grandchildren: Andrew, Megan, Jason, Ethan, Sam, Brienna, Gunnar, Braydon, Andi and Aimee.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Victor Freas Ash, on February 1, 1992; by a daughter, Dorothy Marie Gordner, in April 2004; brother, Ernest Hess; sisters June Laubach and Hazel Hartzel and three step brothers, Walter Pealer, Russell Pealer, Edward Pealer; and a step sister, Gertrude Pealer.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 10 AM at the Asbury United Methodist Church. Burial will be in the Jonestown Cemetery. A Viewing will be held Monday from 6 to 8 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Asbury United Methodist Church, c/o Nadine Steward, Treasurer, 236A Mountain Road, Orangeville, PA 17859. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
There is a sidewalk sale going on at Stoney Acres Nursery through July 25. Buy two and get the third half off of Wigelia, hydrangeas and butterfly bushes. The nursery is also offering a vase of alstromeria for $16.99.
Yes, I failed my sleep apnea test. Yes, further tests are planned.
The Space shuttle Atlantis blasted off from Kennedy Space Center Friday, the final launch of NASA's thirty-year space-shuttle program. The orbiter, along with Endeavour, Discovery, Columbia and Challenger, have collectively carried humans more than a half a billion miles in orbit around the Earth. A catalog of the Space Shuttle program's missions, including a picture of each mission’s patch., is available here.
A walking trail, a mile-and-a-half around the Millville School District, is planned to eventually be an area for recreation and outdoor education. This fall the School District expects to seek bids for the project's construction, including benches and orientation kiosks lit by solar panels. An adjacent wetlands area will permit education on a variety of wildlife and environmental processes. The trail will connect the District's soccer stadium and ball fields. The public trail will cost about $180,000 with 80% of the cost arranged through the Pennsylvania Recreational Trails Program.
The annual McHenry reunion takes place Sunday, July 24, at the Benton Volunteer Fire Hall, Colley Street, Benton. Meet and greet your McHenry relatives in a large indoor air-conditioned room. For the second year, a McHenry trophy will be available. The meal will be served at 1 PM. Please bring a covered dish. The meat, place setting and beverages will be provided by the committee. There will a contained for cash donations to cover expenses at the reunion. There will be door prizes, games and bingo. the original McHenry book will be for sale, as well as the McHenry Connection book and the George McHenry book. One of the raffle items will be a McHenry gallon jug. Please RSVP by JULY 15 to the Reunion Committee in care of Vinnie Hippensteel, 1805 Steel Street , Berwick, PA 18603-2553, 752-7467. Other contacts include Nancy Fricke, 925-6123, Barbara McHenry, 925-6641, and Bill or Sandy Schamberger, 752-4309. All McHenry descendants and guests are welcome.
Certain permits for natural-gas drilling will be looked at more carefully by state environmental regulators as a way of quieting a complaint by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation. Impacted will be drilling-related activity in our part of Pennsylvania along the state's "high quality" and "exceptional value" waterways." The department will require a stricter review if drilling and related activities create the potential to pollute a waterway or if a well pad is on a flood plain.
The Times-Leader reports that two natural gas power plants--about 800 megawatts of electricity each--will be built in Northeastern Pennsylvania beginning next year. Moxie Energy, Vienna, Virginia, plans to build new combustion-turbine plants in Asylum Township, Bradford County, and Clinton Township, Lycoming County. Both sites are surrounded by the Marcellus shale. Power produced at the plants would be delivered first to local utilities first, then to utilities further away.
It very well may be our greatest invention. On the other hand, it probably wasn't an invention at all. Whatever our native tongue might be, our language is concise and clear (to us). We can say what we mean and others will understand, compared to staff reporter Buster who has been trying to tell me something for the past 15 minutes and I haven't a clue what he is saying. Possibly that is the problem--our language is going to the dogs! Old English was beautiful, but it was complicated with its case endings and Shakespearean dialog. Italian and French were relatively simple to learn, compared to Latin which we never could learn to speak despite what Mr. Ketner taught us.
We grew up with the term spinster, or old maid if that term is easier to understand, meaning an elderly woman who never married. The term is often applied to women beyond the normal age for marriage. The word became common during the early 19th century when spinning cloth was a job often given to unmarried women as a way to earn their keep in the home. Visions of a busty busybody feeding her cats comes to mind.
In the United Kingdom any woman never previously married used to be categorized as a "spinster" on a marriage license, regardless of her age at the time the license is issued. A never-married man was simply listed as a "bachelor." In Australia, young single people meet and socialize in rural areas at events known as Bachelor and Spinsters Balls, often simply called the "B & S." A B & S--not to be confused with Bloomsburg and Sullivan--often includes dinner, drinks, a recovery breakfast and live music.
"Spinster" is no longer a part of the British government's vocabulary. The Civil Partnership Act permits a form of civil ceremony (not a marriage, mind you, but a civil partnership). England has a Registrar General's office who came up with a replacement word to fit the new situation. The word is simply "single," and describes the status of both men and women who haven't before been through either ceremony.
Joe was a member of Christ United Methodist Church, Central. He and his wife, E. Helen (Stover) Stackhouse, celebrated their 47th wedding anniversary on June 27. Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his children, Dr. Christine Thomas (Theodore), Royersford; Joe Stackhouse (Lori), Hughesville; Susan Chapin (Tim), Benton. There are 7 grandchildren; one great grandson and a brother, Edward Stackhouse (Carol), Levittown. Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, John Stackhouse.
Funeral services will be held Saturday at 11 AM with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in St. Gabriel's Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Christ United Methodist Church, c/o Rev. Howard W. Leh, 605 Camp Lavigne Road, Benton, PA 17814. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
July 7, the birthday of Jessica Kitchen Lewis, Carolyn Remley, Kristen Kriebel and Ringo Starr. "Country Memories" brings country music back to the Millville Carnival stage at 7.
July 8, the birthday of Bill Hess, Joan Franklin, Randy Albertson and Harold Steinruck. "Memory Lane" plays oldies tonight at the Millville Carnival. You may remember the group under its former name: "Shama Lama." The first show is at 7 PM.
The Benton Area School District is accepting applications for the following positions:
Assistant Boys High School Soccer Coach
Assistant Boys High School Basketball Coach
Send letter of application and current Acts 34, 51, and 114 to Joe Goode, Principal Middle-High Benton Area School District, 400 Park Street, Benton, PA 17814. The deadline is July 15, 2011. EOE.
The highest rate for leased natural gas is currently $4,750 an acre plus 21% royalty (figure from Susquehanna County).
Those in Al Gore's court who hold with global warming often wonder why global temperatures aren't cooperating by rising. The answer may be surprising. Burning coal with a high sulphur content, as used extensively by China, produces hazy clouds which reflect sunlight back into space.
The U.S. Department of Education's "College Affordability and Transparency Lists" notes that at the main campus Penn State's in-state tuition rate is $14,416 and University of Pittsburgh's in-state tuition is $14,154. The national average is $6,397. Tuition at both universities is expected to rise because of 19% less funding from the state compared with the 2010-11 state budget.
Gerald "Jerry" Arcuri, a retired communications industry analyst and currently the principal analyst of Skymeadow Communications, a marketing and consulting firm for the computer and communications industries, is the Volunteer of the Quarter for The Center. Jerry prepares the press releases that go to newspapers, public service bulletin boards, TV, radio and The Center's internal messaging system. He has prepared many of the flyers for The Center and writes the quarterly newsletter. He is active with the Fishing Creek Players and appeared in two plays (last year's Heritage Days' "Damaged Trust" and this year's "The Curious Savage."
Jerry and his wife Kathy moved to the local area from the Philadelphia suburbs of Narberth in 1994. They planned to retire on Shultz Hollow Road when they bought their property in 1988 but moved here permanently well in advance of his retirement.
Jerry is a graduate of Villanova University, Drexel University and holds a MBA in marketing from Temple University. He was a Russian linguist stationed in Japan from 1970-1974 during his Navy career.
Congratulations to Jerry and to all of the volunteers who devote much of their time to the betterment of The Center.
Kay Taylor sent me some of her memories as a child and to her remembrances of those days I'll add some of my own. When I was a pup, I got my hair cut by a barber named "Guy" inside a room no bigger than 15' by 15'. A single barber pole outside announced the location of the shop at Main and Market Streets. All haircuts were done the same way. All the men looked the same when they left the shop--they had a part on the left side, a razor cut around the ears in the shape of a half moon, a wave in the front resembling water breaking on a beach and all the men had a certain smell from the "slickum" that glued the hair into a permanent shape. Crew cuts were popular during the hot summer months.
Haircuts were few and far between back then, but essential when New Year's Day rolled around. I don't mean the day in the middle of the winter when we put on the funny hats and made silly resolutions about losing ten pounds during the coming year. It was the real New Year's Day when we began school at the end of the summer, the day we tucked two Eberhard Number Six pencils ground to a perfect point or the wonderful ball-point pen that wrote in six colors into our shirt pocket, put on matching socks, and marched off for the first day of school and a new crop of girls coming to school for the first time. I was a poor student. In first grade, I came home and told Mother that my teacher was "Mrs. Bluebird." Mother finally called Ray Appleman to find out who my teacher really was. Mother explained before I left for school the next morning that my teacher's name was Mrs. Robbins.
The rule when I grew up was found in the old proverb "Spare the rod and spoil the child." Child-rearing is different nowadays. The current philosophy is "Use the rod and go to jail." Direction was a bit distorted at times. Father once told me, when I was probably six years old or so, that if I didn't "straighten out" I would not be able to have my own Golden Guernsey when I was 12. Good grief! I didn't want a Golden Guernsey at any age. Or a Holstein, for that matter! Other kids my age were told by their parents that if they didn't "straighten up" they couldn't go to college when they graduated from high school. Heck, they didn't care! We were having too much fun!
When I was a kid, I thought that Uncle Sam was somebody's uncle. I thought that the moon was made out of green cheese. I thought that Santa Claus actually lived at the North Pole (which I assumed was some sort of special electric pole). I didn't know any baseball team other than the Phillies.
When I was a kid, half my friends drank their milk unpasteurized and the other half got their mile delivered to their doorstep in glass milk bottles. All bottles, including soda and beer, were taken back to where we bought them and recycled. Some of us had never seen an escalator or an elevator. We mostly wore hand-me-downs, blended our food by hand, watched television on a picture tube the size of an iPhone screen, mowed the lawn with a push mower, walked miles to school, never heard of knee or hip problems. We swam in the creek, drank from the creek and often relieved ourselves in the creek. We knew when Joe Dalto's restaurant was open and didn't need to check the hours via a gizmo on a Wi-Fi network.
We loved to be in plays where we could sing, prepare a monologue, do cartwheels, tell jokes or simply improvise. I had no illusions of becoming a doctor or lawyer, a biologist or a radio announcer. My son, David, was even worse. When he was about six, I asked him what he wanted to be when he grew up. He was at the time in love with Fishing Creek and the millions of round rocks that line the creek bed. He replied that he would like to be a "rock salesman" when he grew up.
We walked or rode our bikes everywhere. I remember Father's stern warning that when I rode to town where there were no sidewalks I was never to ride (or walk) on a road without sidewalks unless I walked on the left or "wrong" side of the road, facing oncoming traffic.
When I was a kid, I loved the sound of the word "haberdasher." I heard that Harry Truman was one, and although it was unpopular at the time to say it out loud, I liked the man. Bart Pursel in Bloomsburg and Bernard Raccusin in Shickshinny were "haberdashers" in my mind and I loved going to both stores.
When I was a kid, I loved the annual Farmer's Picnic, held on a hot Wednesday once each year. I remember helping to pick up the multiple pies that the women of the community donated for the food stand. I remember the Benton Volunteer Firemen had their wonderful picnics in the Benton Park and it was there that I climbed the fence to watch Tri-County baseball and paid good money to watch professional wrestling and donkey basketball and "cow-chip" bingo. I loved to throw the baseball toward a bull's eye so that school teachers who sat suspended over a vat of water would drop into the drink. I usually had the misfortune to win a watermelon at some game of chance and then had to tote it around all afternoon. Sometimes I won a heavy bottle of lime cloud or cream soda made by the Catawissa Bottling Company and had to carry that for the rest of the afternoon.
We loved to meet strangers and have them become friends as we talked about the draft, drinking, sex and baseball. We wore horn-rimmed glasses, dressed like squares, eway ovedlay otay alktay inway igpay atinlay osay atthay onlyway ourway oseclay indsfray andway evernay ourway arentspay ouldway understandway usway. (Translation: "We loved to talk in pig latin so that only our close friends and never our parents would understand us.")
Halloween was a special time. The goal of Trick or Treat was to collect and eat as much candy as possible. Some of our records still stand. Tricks were sometimes necessary. Soaping windows, stringing toilet paper and lifting a VW Beetle onto the porch at the Hotel Moses Van Campen or onto Guy Miller's barber shop porch were favorites.
My hording days began when I was a kid. I found political buttons, some with "I Like Ike," others with "All the way with Adlai." I didn't like politics, but I did like buttons. As the years rolled on, I collected "Come Clean Geraldine," Fritzbusters," and "Mondale Eats Quiche."
Living beside Fishing Creek was what I loved best about being a kid. Eddie Baker, my neighbor "across the creek," and I made raft after raft--and they all sunk. We peered into the cool water and tried to grab hold of suckers, we swung into the creek thanks to grape vines, we made paths through the underbrush and had certain trees to climb. Coffee grounds were dumped on well-tilled soil and we collected huge night crawlers by the gobs. Father and I caught catfish when we went "to the mountain" and I called them bullheads. Fishing would begin just after dark in the gentle, warm stillness and lasted until the mosquito population reduced our weight by about a pound.
It would be great fun to go back and be a kid again, to sleep until 10 in the morning, to swim in the dam, to not wear shoes except to church, and to do some things differently than we do them today. Regretfully, that is not possible. Tonight I spend the night taking a sleep-apnea test to confirm that I pause breathing at night. I have decided that if I do not feel better with whatever treatments are prescribed as a result of the test I am going to listen to those who want me to have heart-bypass surgery. I may never be a kid again, but I would certainly like to feel like one again...
July 6, the birthday of Jacob Payton, Erin Hess Ackerman, Angela Dobbs Mitcheltree, Ken Ben Russell, Joe Prosey Jr., Herbert R. Fritz, Michael Gordon, Jan Jost, former First Lady Nancy Reagan and former President and author George W. Bush. Route 239 about a mile and a half east of Benton will present minor problems beginning this morning because of the bridge replacement over Raven Creek. The contractor, Don E. Bower Inc., will install a detour which will last until mid-September. Traffic will be detoured onto Lower Raven Creek Road and then to Route 487, then back to Route 239 in Benton.
Natural gas is a fuel which is relatively clean burning, significantly less expensive than oil and provides a domestic source of energy that creates jobs and tax revenue to states and royalty income to landowners. Marcellus Shale, a subject which some hate and others with a financial interest accept, added 44,000 jobs in Pennsylvania in 2009, contributed $389 million in state and local tax revenue, over $1 billion in federal-tax revenue, and nearly $4 billion in value-added to the state’s economy. ExxonMobil and XTO Energy provide information "About Natural Gas," on a new website. BP does about the same on its BP Statistical Review 2011 .
I, for one, am happy that the July 4 celebration is over. My body temperature is slowly coming back to normal levels after four days of baking in the summer sun at the O.A.T.S. Festival. Great weather for a bluegrass festival--but certainly hot!
The bluegrass get-together continued its tradition of running like a well-oiled machine with a spectacular job by its huge volunteer force and its many supporters. Continuing last year's trend, the day passes increased while the number of campers decreased slightly (my observation--not official figures). Visitors came from all over the country, and two--Jim and Wilma--flew in from Newberg, Pennsylvania, in their light plane and tented on the side of the runway. The couple enjoyed Benton and the festival so much they plan to return to the fly-in at the airport this fall. The more traditional bluegrass music was presented on the main stage, while energetic, progressive music went to the new stage where groups including the youthful Doerfels played. Pictures taken at the 2011 O.A.T.S. Bluegrass Festival are available for viewing as a slideshow . The pictures can be emailed, copied and printed by going here.
Didja ever think it strange that the people who can't take the time to do things right
always have the time to do it over?
On the second day of the battle at Gettysburg, E. Lee Remley's Great Grandfather Peter Miller--born in Sonestown, later moved to Waller and is buried in Waller--fought in the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg, according to one of the family's historians, John Becker. Although the term "Peach Orchard" means little to most of us today, its significance in the Civil War justifies historians to capitalize the term just as they do with "The Angle" and with "Little Round Top."
Peter's unit, the 141st PA Volunteer Infantry, took more than 50% casualties. At the end of the second day of fighting, July 2, 1863, the Confederate advance had been repulsed and the Union position was secure, but the roll call showed every other man missing. One half of the 141st had been killed or disabled in that brief engagement. The Peach Orchard was the scene of terrible fighting during the second and third day's battles. It was at the Peach Orchard that General Sickels, contrary to orders, moved his Excelsior Brigade" and prevented Lee from turning the left flank of the Union army.
Peter Miller joined the Hundred and Forty-First Regiment from his home in Sonestown. Seven companies of this regiment were recruited in Bradford County, two in Susquehanna and one in Wayne. The men, none with military experience, assembled at Camp Curtain. The group of men immediately began marching toward Washington, D.C. to aid in the defense of that city. After the Confederate raid on Chambersburg, the regiment moved to White's Fort, Falmouth and other locations. Peter fought at Chancelorsville.
The 141st PA Volunteer Infantry began heading toward Gettysburg on June 11. When it arrived at Frederick, Maryland, the troops were greeted by residents with flags and cheers. The troops arrived in Emmettsburg on July 1 just after dark. They men were not allowed to light any fires and were not allowed their evening cup of coffee after their long march. At dawn the next day, the troops formed into lines of battle with columns of regiments doubled in the center. The Sixty-Third moved to the front of the line, a certain position of death. Other brigades moved to Emmettsburg Pike beside the Peach Orchard, only to find themselves sprayed by the Confederate artillery. The 141st temporarily detached from the main line of the brigade and supported batteries occupying the Peach Orchard. They were suddenly the most exposed part of the whole field as the enemy prepared its major assault of the day in order to break the Union lines. Their only salvation was that they were in a "cut in the road" which lead to Round Top" and as such were somewhat shielded from the fire or the regiment would have been completely annihilated.
For tonight's reading before you fall asleep, take the time to read the history of the 141st by turning here , the "History of Pennsylvania volunteers, 1861-5," prepared by Samuel P. Bates.
For a collection of Civil War photographs, go here.
Janell E. (Lamoreaux) Karas (June 23, 1959-July 2, 2011), Mill Street, Orangeville, died unexpectedly Saturday at the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. She was 52. She was born in the Berwick Hospital. She was a daughter of Shirley M. (Sterling) Lamoreaux, rural Orangeville, and the late Glen L. Lamoreaux, who died April 28, 1990. Janell was a 1977 graduate of Benton High School. She was a former employee of the Klingerman Nursing Home and the Columbia Life Insurance Company. For the past 21 years, she was the office manager for Dr. David Ball, Bloomsburg. She was a member of the Asbury United Methodist Church.
Janell and her husband, Phillip J. Karas, celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary on July 1. Surviving, in addition to her husband and her mother, are her children Logan J. Karas, and his fiancée, Jamie Whitenight, Orangeville; Klae M. Karas, Bloomsburg; and Thea G. Karas, at home. Also surviving are her two brothers and a sister Philip T. Lamoreaux (Barbara); Nadine C. Steward (Ron), all of rural Orangeville; Kevin D. Lamoreaux (Holly), Stillwater, and a number of nieces and nephews.
Along with her father, she was preceded in death by a sister, Lisa (Lamoreaux) Remley, who died July 8, 2008. Private graveside services will be held at the convenience of the family at Laurel Hill Cemetery, Orangeville. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Asbury United Methodist Church, c/o Nadine Steward, 236A Mountain Road, Orangeville, PA 17859. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Clyde Eugene "Gene" Phillips (May 5, 1927-July 2, 2011), formerly of Market Street, Benton, died Saturday at his home on W. Pebble Lane at Stony Brook Circle, Orangeville, following a lengthy illness. He was 84. Gene was born in the Raven Creek area of Benton Township. He was a son of John R. and Margaret (Fritz) Phillips. He attended schools in Benton and Canton and graduated in 1945 from the former Scott High School, Espy. He proudly served his country in the U. S. Navy during World War II and was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Victory Medal.
For 28 years he worked as a weaver at the Magee Carpet Company, Bloomsburg. He was later employed by ARGO and Durabond where he retired in 1992. He was a charter member of the Benton V. F. W. and a former member of the Raven Creek Presbyterian Church.
He and his wife, June W. (Young) Phillips, were married November 13, 1948. Surviving, in addition to his wife, are his children Carlton E. Phillips (Elberta), Linglestown; Dennis L. Phillips (Kathy), Berwick; Alan Jon Phillips (Robbin), Bloomsburg; Beth Ann Musselman (Robert), Stillwater; 7 grandchildren, 7 great grandchildren and a brother, Keith Phillips, Orangeville. He was preceded in death by his parents and by siblings John Phillips, Sheldon Carl Phillips, Catherine Benkoski, Harold Phillips and Edith Yorks.
Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 10 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge with military honors accorded by a joint veterans group. A viewing will be held Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to Columbia Montour Home Hospice, 410 Glenn Ave., Suite 200, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
July 3, the birthday of Frank Vincent, Sandra Kelsey, Christina Savage Guillen and Dimi Marinos. The Benton Presbyterian Church will not have a worship service today. Rev. Lumpkin will hold a musical worship service--"Songs of the Spirit"--at the bluegrass festival beginning at 9:15. You can listen in, if you can't attend in person, by tuning to 89.5 on your FM dial. The Benton United Methodist Church will host a fellowship breakfast Sunday morning at 8. All are welcome.
Today is the start of "Dog Days," the 40 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 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
Sunday at 9:30 learn about the "Magic of the Mountain Laurel," by taking a nature walk in the wooded woodland of Rickett's Glen State Park. Death and destruction comes to every forest, but Mother Nature has a wonderful way of healing all wounds! Meet at the Visitor's Center with your vehicle to drive to the trail entrance.
Rachel McKeel, Joe Curtin, Matt Crusan, Forest Fronheiser, Pat Bankes--and of America and of Knoebels Park. It is the wedding anniversary of Don and Loraine Foote. It was on July 4 in 1910 that the village of Benton suffered one of its most disastrous fires. On this day in 1776 in Philadelphia, the Continental Congress voted 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. The first celebration of Independence Day took place a year later in Philadelphia. Celebrations didn't become common until after the War of 1812, and in 1870 Congress passed a law declaring it a federal holiday., Pat Bankes,
Take a "Woodpecker Walk" through the wilds of the woodlands at Rickett's Glen State Park beginning at 9:30 Monday. Meet cavity-nesting birds. Meet at the three-bay parking lot just past the cabins by the large new information sign.
An estimated eight million American manufacturing workers have lost their jobs over the past 30 years as multi-national corporations moved their factories off-shore. A web site dedicated to buying American is worth taking a look at. You might specifically look at American gasoline .
in the Navy rather than trying to find a job in our struggling economy resulted in the Navy now deciding who gets to stay. Sailors completing their first enlistment are staying in the Navy at a rate of 72% even though it is difficult for them to move through the ranks because not enough people are leaving. The Navy will convene a retention board this summer to review roughly 16,000 records and choose 3,000 sailors to leave the service earlier than they had planned. With more than 270,000 enlisted sailors serving today, that means 6% of the force will be evaluated and 1% separated.
The afternoon temperature Sunday in Yuma, Arizona, will probably be about 109 degrees, down from 117 degrees Saturday. Why do we mention this? Because Yavapai College assistant women's basketball coach, Regina Schlichter, has accepted a coaching position with Arizona Western College in Yuma. Regina coached the Yavapai Roughriders for six years.
On July 5, Matthew Opdyke, a professor from Point Park University, will present the past year's results of the Coldwater Heritage Partnership study on Fishing Creek watershed and discuss implementation of the study's findings. The meeting is at 7 PM at the Fishing Creek Sportsman Association clubhouse in Benton across from the VFW.
Andrew Hoke has updated his Berwick Railfan Photo Gallery . His collection of train-related photographs for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone who enjoys trains is worth a visit.
Dorothy and Peter Winther have a new web site to show off their fancy daylilies. The best color for the flowers is from mid-July to mid-August. We'll remind you when the peak of the season has been reached. This beautiful series of gardens can be visited any time any day.
Public Service announcements are welcome on the Benton News, so long as they are submitted not to interfere with my afternoon nap. Please give me a few days to get them cranked out. Along the same line, I smiled at the Eugene, Oregon, story published in its local newspaper, the Register-Guard in which it was reported that Lane County would spend $250,000 "publicizing its tight financial picture in hopes that voters in November will approve higher taxes for public-safety services." Is this America or what?
Congratulations are in order to Jean MacDermott for her promotion to the position of Vice President and Commercial Lender/Business Development Officer of First Columbia Bank & Trust, Co. Jean has more than 24 years of banking experience in Columbia County. She will continue working out of the Benton Office at 200 Market Street, Benton. Jean has held various positions within the organization including Customer Service Officer, Loan Processor and Assistant Community Office Manager. Jean is a resident of Benton. She is a graduate of Benton High School and Harcum Junior College. She is a member of St. James United Church of Christ and is active in the Benton Lions Club. Jean and her husband David have one son, Keith.
On the first Sunday of each month, we include an article by Kathy Arcuri on a subject involving gardening. July's article is titled "Get Hip with Hyssops."
"A stampede is on out West! Breeders are busy jazzing up their native hyssop plants (botanical name Agastache), creating a variety of bold colors and interesting fragrances just waiting to liven up your perennial bed.
"Anise hyssop has been familiar to gardeners since the 1800s, with its blue flowers and licorice scent. But there are actually over thirty varieties of hyssop, most native to the southwestern states. These members of the mint family thrive in sunny well-drained spots and bloom from mid-summer to fall. Their sturdy angular stems bear tooth-edged leaves and are topped by whorls of tiny tubular flowers. Unlike other mint relatives, hyssops tend to behave themselves, growing in slowly spreading clumps.
"Some of the newer cultivars dazzle with sun-kissed southwestern colors, such as coppery orange, coral pink and raspberry. More traditional varieties feature softer shades of lavender, blue, rose, apricot, and white. Hummingbirds tend to visit the hotter hues, while butterflies and bees hover around the pastel shades. If the colors don’t grab you, the sensational scents certainly will--everything from root beer and bubblegum, to of course licorice and mint. Heights range from a diminutive 18 inches to a towering five feet, offering lots of design possibilities.
"Once established, hyssops are sturdy and low maintenance. However, they resent heavy soggy soil. So try planting on a south facing slope or in a raised bed; incorporate some course sand or gravel; place the crown slightly above the existing soil level; mulch with more sand or gravel; and leave the stems standing through the winter.
"Also, start your love affair with hyssops by sampling one of the varieties recommended for the Northeast. Agastache ‘Blue Fortune, probably the hardiest of the hybrids, is a “robust, non-stop bloomer,” growing 3 to 4 feet, with powder blue flower spikes and a licorice scent. Agastache cana or hummingbird mint, 2 to 3 feet tall, sports prolific raspberry flower spikes with a scent of bubblegum. Agastache ‘Rosita’ is a splendid compact version of A. cana. An Asian variety, Agastache rugosum or Korean hyssop, is another good choice for the wetter Northeast, at 2 feet tall, with deep violet-blue flower spikes and an intense minty scent.
"But if you’re adventuresome, and plant with care in just the right setting, you might flirt with other recently “minted” hyssops -- like Agastache ‘Ava,’ High Country Gardens’ all-time best seller, 4 to 5 feet tall, with raspberry blooms and a fresh herbal scent. Or if your color palette embraces orange, try Agastache ‘Orange Flare’ or Agastache ‘Desert Sunrise.’ Also keep an eye on new hybrids coming on the market, as this stampede has apparently just begun.
"These and other exciting hyssops can be found at the following mail-order nurseries: Heronswood Nursery, High Country Gardens, Plant Delights Nursery, Streambank Gardens and White Flower Farm. The birds, butterflies, and bees will thank you for your efforts. And fellow gardeners will declare you hip indeed with these easy-care, sensual delights."
Mill Race Golf Course will charge $30 with golf cart today and Monday, July 4. Call 924-2040 for tee times. The film version of the Broadway musical comedy "1776"will be shown tonight at The Center. According to the musical, in the days leading up to July 4, 1776, Continental Congressmen John Adams and Benjamin Franklin coerced Thomas Jefferson into writing the Declaration of Independence as a delaying tactic as they tried to persuade the American colonies to support a resolution on independence. As George Washington sends depressing messages describing one military disaster after another, the businessmen, landowners and slave holders in Congress all stand in the way of the Declaration, and a single "nay" vote will forever end the question of independence. Large portions of spoken and sung dialog are taken directly from the letters and memoirs of the actual participants.
More than 200 local residents attended the O.A.T.S. bluegrass festival last year using "Twilight Tickets." These tickets are available again this year for local residents at many local stores. With proof of residency, they are also at the gate Friday and Saturday nights. Come out and enjoy good music.
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 Jerry and Peggy Laubach, Tom and Jackie Becker, Brian and Tracy Hess and Bill and Agnes Hess. On Day 2 of the battle at Gettysburg, General Meade who arrived at Gettysburg at midnight the night before, expected the Confederates to attack from the northeast and he heavily fortified Culp's Hill. The forces in gray were unable to dislodge the Union forces. The attack from the south was at Devil's Den, the Wheat Field and the Peach Orchard. Bayonet to bayonet, the Union troops were pushed back as blood flowed everywhere. Day 2 positions at the end of the day were about the same as the previous day. The Union forces tataled about 90,000 while the Confederates were about 75,000. General Meade considered a retreat, but his generals convinced him to stay and fight.
The O.A.T.S. festival continues beginning at 10 AM. Christine's Karaoke will be at the Jamison City Hotel tonight from 9-1. The Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum, Sonestown, will pay tribute to those veterans who fought and served in the Vietnam War. For information, call 482-2610.
Warren will have all his hiking gear with him, give some expert trail advice, and answer any questions you may have about his amazing hiking adventures!At 7 PM is a presentation "The Call of the Wild--Adventures on the Appalachian Trail," presented by Warren Renninger, a two-time Appalachian Trail walker. He will bring his slides to the comfort of the Visitor's Center seats at Ricketts Glen State Park.
A number of people have sent the article recently published by the New York Times on natural gas, and most were slanted heavily in favor of the writers thinking on the subject. A response which does not appear to be as biased in favor of the anti-drilling forces is here.
There once was a pervert named Weiner
Who had a perverted demeanor
Forced from the Hill
For acting like Bill
Now Congress is one wiener leaner
Notice is hereby given that the Stillwater Borough will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, July 5, 2011, at 6 PM in the Borough Building. The purpose is to consider three applications for conditional use/variance requests.
1. Submitted by Melinda Caldwell of 57 Wesley St., between St. Rt. 487 and Stillwater Borough 100-year flood area. To erect a 8 foot wide x 14 foot long x 8 foot high wood utility shed.
2. Submitted by Christopher Lorson; (owner: Mary Zehner) of 3779 St. Rt. 487 and Fishing Creek, Stillwater Borough 100-year flood area. To erect a 24 foot wide x 36 foot long x 10 foot high pole barn with metal roof.
3. Submitted by Frank & Linda Robbins of 48 Wesley St. between Fishing Creek and Stillwater Borough 100 year flood area. To erect a 12 foot wide x 24 foot long x 10 foot high pre-built utility shed.
On the same date, following the hearing, Council intends to act on these applications.
Stillwater Borough Council and Secretary Lola Kline
Email: johnandlola@ epix.net
Local computer services company, MePush Inc., will collect unwanted computers, printers, cell phones and other technological devices on Thursday, July 14, from 1 to 4 PM at their Bloomsburg office location in the Regional Technology Center at 240 Market St., Bloomsburg. All computers and equipment will be refurbished and donated to the tornado victims of Joplin, Missouri.
My opinion of Facebook is that it is the internet version of "30 Seconds," only slightly worse. On "30 Seconds," people get slammed by others who usually don't sign their names. Facebook is a massive invasion of privacy, but sinks to a low that cannot be tolerated. Yes, on Facebook people sign their names, but do we really know who lurks behind the emails? Messages on Facebook entice you to read the text. Facebook users have seen subjects such as "OMG I cannot believe it!!!!!!" or some other attention-grabbing notice. As Facebook users read what their friends say they "cannot believe," they in fact have logged onto a huge pile of spam. Hackers phish for your log-in information, hijack your account and spam your friends. They claim that an app allows you to post a "dislike" to someone will instead download and install malware on your computer. Facebook users are invited to watch the video on how Facebook malware is contracted, how to avoid it and different ways to remove it by heading here.
What don't you know about yourself? Well, you may not know the answer to that question. But there is a way to find out. Simply go to www.wdyl.com/# and type in your name (or type in the name of someone or some place you love). You'll go to a new Google web site called "What Do You Love?" The page that opens will simply have a Google search box. Type in your name (and if you think it necessary the town and state where you live). Back will come information from Blogger and Picasa as well as from books, news, photos, shopping, Google Maps, discussion groups, etc.