Archives of the Benton Benton News
May 30, 2006. The Columbia County Traveling Library's Bookmobile will be at Riverside Market today from 4 to 6 PM.
The Memorial Day holiday was a quiet, restful time Back Home in Benton, PA. We watched as kids floated their tubes down Fishingcreek and we listened as fishermen told us that the stream was too low to be good fishing, we ate from wonderful covered dishes and we saw the aftermath of a casserole of baked beans get dumped on the front seat of a new green Subaru automobile, although I'll be nice and not mention my sister-in-law's name. We wonder how many people actually observed the day as it was meant to be observed! It was nice to have a holiday where presents were not expected. We remember Valentine's Day when a lady we know said that she wanted something to protect herself and something she could drive. Turns out her husband bought her a hammer and nails.
A leisurely ride down Fishingcreek
The Lincoln Memorial is in Washington, D.C. opposite the Washington Monument. On this day in 1922, the memorial was dedicated. The Lincoln Memorial, with Doric columns on the exterior and Ionic columns on the interior, was built from marble from Colorado and Tennessee and limestone from Indiana. The ceiling beams are bronze. Engraved stone tablets in the south chamber shows Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and in the north chamber his second inaugural speech.
For those of us who live off the beaten path, the saying that "the grass is greener on the other side of the fence" usually doesn't apply unless we actually have farm animals trying to get at the alfalfa just outside their reach. Yesterday as we were tanking up our Firebelch 500, we chatted with a couple from New York state who were excited about our gas prices. They told me about crime and high prices and noise and congestion of where they live in the Elmira area.
The couple would love to have a small property in the country. I asked about giving up theaters, museums, restaurants and the other trapping that come with the rat race. To them, the grass was greener...
Living in a two gas-station town where the gas prices are consistently kept competitive has its good points. But not all two gas-station towns are as lucky. Take Needles, California, for example, a town adjacent to the Colorado River and on the way to Los Vegas. Regular unleaded gasoline spiked over the Memorial Day weekend at $3.99 a gallon at both the Shell and Mobil stations. Yet everyone keeps their gas tanks filled. After all, starting across the Mojave Desert with less than a full tank is just pure risk. The national average price of a gallon of gasoline is $2.86 per gallon, up about 75 cents from last summer and 17 cents from last month. California's average price of unleaded is $3.26.
About a week ago, Jim Laubach noted that "I don't see much about the great Bentonians of years past such as from the 30,40 and 50's including Bob and John Brewington, M. Doyle and Ross Pennington, Miss Helen, Unora Mendenhall, Mary Hartman, Marcella Hess Ash, Frank Klase, Mahlon Strauch, Ross and Horace Harrison, T.C. Smith, Jim Dildine, Bob Sands, J. Paul Laubach, Dr. Frank, Karl Fritz, Ray "Dump" Appleman, Doc Laubach, and so many more too numerous to mention." Jim goes on to say that "With their efforts and great dedication, Benton grew to become a great hometown to all of us, young and old, who, although scattered to the four winds, have dipped our feet in Fishing Creek, and in one form or another have or will return home. Over the years, the town and school of Benton have sent out a good number of great sons and daughters into the whole world.
Since Jim made his request, we'll attempt to comply. For the past week, we have been working on a project along the lines of what Jim asked for. So far, it isn't turning out well. We end up with more questions than we have answers. If anyone could loan us family scrapbooks or photos our job might be made considerable easier.
In the meantime, late this week we'll be tracking the final days of Moses Van Campen, a soldier in the American Revolution who underwent experiences which completely epitomize the sufferings of so many for the liberty they won during the eight terrible years of the Revolution.
Moses Van Campen contributed as much as any American during that struggle, in the property he lost, by the death of his relatives, the hardships of Army life, his suffering and imprisonment, the terrors that he faced in battle or in the silent forests where the savage foes lay in wait. Van Campen was of significant help in the Fishingcreek valley and nearby. Yet more than 60 years after he enlisted in service to the nation, when the man was in his 80s, he had to turn to the Congress for assistance.
We'll keep you posted from the road as we head for New York state and the final resting place of this great soldier.
Oren Helbok and Sara Baker, Unityville, recently made doors for the Greenwood Friends School's science laboratory. Oren made the doors from Pennsylvania maple while Sara, a potter, made the inlaid ceramic tiles.
Joe Hittle, a reader from 30 miles south of Des Moines, is a 4th Great Grandson of George Michael Hittle. He is attempting to obtain some information on his family in Fishing Creek Valley from pre 1790 through about 1835.
The Hittle family was very much a Lutheran family when it "came to the valley." Joe thinks "what I'll find was that it got there before the Lutheran Church did." While George Michael (Jr) was a staunch Lutheran, the ONLY record of him at church in the valley was in 1805 when he traveled to Mahoning Township Lutheran Church and received communion on the First Sunday of Pentecost. Frederick and Catherine's family are found in St. Paul's at Catawissa, as regular participants, but none of Michael's family are. And yet, the original Canby church may well have been Michael's final church home. The Hittles came to the Fishingcreek Valley from old Northampton County (present day Lehigh) after their father, George Michael Hittle (Sr) died there in 1786. He is buried at Western Salisbury Union Church, just north of Emmaus.
Marvin Albertson tells us that Oscar Hittle was his grandfather. His wife was Grace Hittle on his wife's side of the family. They lived in the Stillwater, Asbury and Millertown areas. They raised 14 children, two of which are still alive: Kenneth, Raven Creek Road, and Oscar, Danville. Devona's parents were Alfred R. and Carmen E. Hittle. Oscar and Grace Hittle's children were: Margaret, Ruth, Thomas, Oscar, Molly, Kenneth, Fred, Max and Leitha.
Joe asks the following questions...
• Does anyone have any information what church was associated with Vanderslice Cemetery near Buckhorn?
• Does anyone have any clue where "Michaelsburg" was in the 1820's?
• Are there still people in the Columbia County area that can demonstrate or document any genealogical links to either George Michael Hittle, George Frederick Hittle or Catherine (Hittle) Knappenberger whose wills were probated between 1828 and 1830 in Columbia County?
• Does anyone know the parents of Michael and Mary Hittle, parents of Sylvester and George W. Hittle who are buried near the south edge of the cemetery at Canby Lutheran?
• What is the history of Canby Lutheran, especially earlier than its "reorganization" in the 1850's? Joe tells us that "Canby might be a settlement name or a family name, but the church is in Millertown about five miles north of Bloomsburg, and also four miles west and a little south of Orangeville." According to the files at the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society it was "reorganized" in the 1850's. If it was "reorganized," what was the story behind the original organization?
Can any readers help?
May 29, 2006. It is the birthday of Kevin Karnes, Rohrsburg. It is the day set aside to honor the veterans of the United States. It is Memorial Day. Let us spend the day honoring those who died serving their country.
Some say Memorial Day originated when organized women's groups in the South decorated graves before the end of the Civil War. A hymn published in 1867, Kneel Where Our Loves are Sleeping, by Nella L. Sweet, carried the dedication "To The Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the Confederate Dead."
Reader Bruce Hall pointed out that the earliest documented account of Decoration Day took place in Boalsburg. A woman named Emma Hunter, whose father commanded a regiment at Gettysburg, placed flowers upon his tomb when she met a woman named Mrs. Meyer who was placing flowers on her son's grave. The two women agreed to meet the following year and once again decorate the graves. Over the years, other townpeople joined in and decorated graves in the cemetery. Folks in Boalsburg celebrated Monday with a festival culminating in a 6 PM ceremony of remembrance in the same cemetery the ladies visited in 1864. The Federal Government gives credit for the idea of Memorial Day to Waternloo, New York, who celebrated for the 140th time this weekend, even though there is documented proof of other towns having similar celebrations before Waterloo. President Lyndon Johnson officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day in Waterloo, New York, May 5, 1968.
Sunday about 2 PM, a Memorial Day parade slowly made its way down Main Street, circled west on Market Street to the Columbia County Farmers National Bank parking lot, turned left and wound around the bank until it came to rest beside the Veteran's Monument just off Main Street. Fred Long, a member of the Benton High School Class of 1940 and Commander of the VFW Post 8317 adjusted his microphone, looked around at the assembled veterans and announced that "we have joined together to pay tribute to the Veterans of the United States," render honors to the dead and dedicate the monument. Following a service at the monument, the parade proceeded up Cemetery Hill.
Fred Long explained about the foresight of Robert Baker for bringing the monument to fruition, and introduced Bob's widow Nina, and the members of Bob's family assembled at the site. He thanked CCFNB for donating the site, maintaining a light on the monument and mowing the grass around it. Post 415, American Legion, Shickshinny, was recognized. Commander Long then instructed the crowd to "stand proudly" for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by the Benton High School band under the direction of Jennifer Welliver.
Commander Long mentioned the grim statistic that last year an estimated 600,000 veterans died and in the current year the figure could rise to 660,000. He closed with a simple God Bless the United States.
Photo courtesy of John Kogut
Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Christopher T. Cleaver, public affairs officer for the Pennsylvania National Guard and spokesman for the adjutant general and the 20,000-member Pennsylvania Army and Air National Guard, was the keynote speaker.
Lt. Col. Christopher Cleaver
Lt. Col. Cleaver graduated from Bloomsburg University in 1983, holds a degree in strategic studies from Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, and a master’s degree in communications and public relations from Temple University, as well as being a graduate of numerous Air Force schools. He ended his active duty service in 1990 and joined the Pennsylvania National Guard that same year. Lt. Col. Cleaver is an avid outdoorsman and fly fisherman. Lt. Col. Cleaver and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Lebanon County with their two children.
Lance Diehl, President, Columbia County Farmer's National Bank and John Bitler, Post 8317 Chaplain, also spoke. A letter was read from former post commander, Grant Conrad, a man whose dedication to Memorial Day and the local VFW is legendary.
Picture courtesy of John Kogut
Bob Maynes pays his respect to his fallen comrads at the Benton Cemetery
Many will remember back in 2003 when American Long Rider Gene Glasscock, then 68, along with his horses Frank and George, rode through Benton and stopped to chat with us.
Gene was riding 20,000 plus miles on a three-year continual journey that took him to all 48 state capitals in the continental United States. He spent the night at Woodrig's Nursery that Memorial Day weekend and the following night he bedded down at Harvey's on Bethel Hill Road during his ride from Harrisburg to Albany. Now Gene has his own web site, www.geneglasscock.org/, where you can follow his current ride. Too busy to check on him? The bottom line is that the grandfather of 39 is now in Texas, the state where at Christmas children sit on Santa's lap and ask him what he needs, the state where Toyotas are sold so that oilmen can get around in their limos.
The children's fishing derby comes up at Mill Race Golf Course June 4 starting at 1 PM. Children 12 and under can fish with almost guaranteed results and it is all free. Didja know that the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission annually raises roughly 4 million adult trout in a "catchable size" at eight of the state's 13 active hatcheries. In the state, nearly a million fishing licenses are issued. No state fish hatchery is more popular than our own fish hatchery at the Mill Race Golf course, maintained and run by the Fishingcreek Sportsmen's Club.
Verda M. (Fullmer) Gensel, 99, (May 6, 1907-May 27, 2006), 609 Hill Road, Shickshinny, died Saturday. She was born in Southdale, Huntington Township, a daughter of the late Daniel and Carrie B. (Carey) Fullmer. She attended the Huntington Township School and was a graduate of the Huntington Township High School. She was preceded in death by her husband, James V. Gensel, and a brother, Raymond Fullmer. Surviving are her son, Howard Gensel (Mary), Southdale, and by two grandsons. Memorial Services will be held Saturday, June 17, at 1 PM at the Stillwater Christian Church. The burial will be private in the Dodson Cemetery, Southdale.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home, Benton. A complete obituary will be published today in the Press Enterprise.
May 28, 2006. Over in Rohrsburg, Kim Karnes is celebrating her birthday today. Robbie and Randy Karschner celebrate their birthdays today, Robbie first since he was the first born of the twins 39 years ago. Scott Wary has a birthday today, his 46th. The firemen gather around the buckwheat batter this morning at the fire station as they prepare breakfast. Stop by for their monthly belt stretcher.
The Alumni Banquet of the Benton Area High School took place for the 101st time last night, this year under the direction of Alumni President, Sandy Kogut. CAB Catering provided the dinner, a combination of both roast beef and chicken, complete with all the trimmings. The Jazz Band performed under the direction of Jennifer Welliver.
Veterans in the audience were recognized and a moment of silence was offered to those serving currently in the armed services.
Scholarships totaling $4,500 were handed out to Kayla Savage, Joseph Schultz, Justin Meyer, Stephanie Spiece, Seth Ash, Sara Bowman, Jacquelyn Evarts, Amanda Lockard, Bryon Wilhite, Mick Steward, Travis Lamoreaux, Janice Keeney, and Christina Verbyla. Scholarships have been handed out by the Alumni Association for the past 50 years, beginning with the Class of 1956.
The Hall of Fame inductees came forward one by one and accepted the enthusiastic applause of the audience and wished the graduating class well and thanked a whole list of people. Some examples...
• Greg Fritz was from the bicentennial class of 1976, and reflected on his school years and his days as a lifeguard, his awe at a school taking the first two days of hunting season as a holiday, of being an Eagle Scout, his memory of helping Dick Kriebel on the farm and picking potatoes for Sterling Fritz. He remembered the "cider jug" games with Millville and being in the class play, Mash.
• Kerry Fritz accepted the Hall of Fame award for his deceased father, Sterling Fritz. He recalled his father's career, including his 23 years on the school board and his becoming the first president of the Columbia County Vo-Tech School in 1970.
Photo courtesy of Richard Shoemaker
• Pier Holcombe recalled receiving a letter signed by Louise Hess who enclosed Pier's report card found behind a second floor urinal. The report card included a "D" from Mary Hartman, and Pier went on to recall how that turned his objectives in that area around and related the importance of English throughout his engineering and management career.
Pier paid tribute to Mary Hartman, Unora Mendenhall, Ray Appleman ("A man who looked like he never got a full night's sleep), Warren Ketner and Donald Rabb.
Photo courtesy of Richard Shoemaker.
• John "Mackie" Unbewust came next, a graduate in 1964 who went on to a career in civil engineering. He recalled how he and his best friend, Brooks (now "Joe") Sutliff, strung up a wire between their two houses for use as a telephone. They even fashioned a dial tone. They eventually realized that their mothers used the phone more than they did, beginning when the boys left for school. They were in the newspaper business, charging a penny for their one-page newsletter. They created a boiling shed and went into the sap business, earning "Mac" enough money to buy his first baseball glove.
John recalled their rocket-building days, especially their first attempt at launch attempted from the basement of Brooks Sutliff's parent's house. Luckily, the "weight to thrust" ratio wasn't quite right and the house was spared a hole through all three floors, although the two boys needed a lot of cleaning up after the misfire.
• Carol Vance, a member of the Class of 1956, an educator for 28 years, was escorted to the stage by her grandson, Austin Wary, a member of the graduating class of 2006. She stressed how her life has been a series of circles, and related how she ended up Back Home in Benton, PA, after telling her mother that she would never do that.
• Laurie Kline Lamoreaux, a member of the 1975 graduating class, was a deferred induction from the 2005 Hall of Fame program. Laurie stressed the importance of her work at the Vaccine Research Center at the National Institutes of Health. She said that AIDS was first identified in the USA in 1981 and the epidemic has spread to every part of the USA with more than one million people now living with HIV in the USA. The disease has moved into fourth position as a killer of Americans.
Laurie thanked Helen Kent Karns, her first grade teacher, Richard Sibly, Unora Mendenhall and Ted Whitenight.
Photo courtesy of Richard Shoemaker.
The Sunday edition of the Press Enterprise contains additional detail of the Saturday evening's events.
Watching all the alumni trek Back Home to Benton, PA, made us think of kids in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Go to www.peteyandpetunia.com/50sKids/50sKids.htm to see what we mean.
"Just over the hill" from Benton, as we like to say around here, is the crossroads Luzerne County community of New Columbus and their historic Academy.
Construction of the Columbus Male and Female Academy began in 1855. The Academy was dedicated in August, 1856. James Anderson, Boston, Massachusetts, was hired to be the Academy’s first principal. Students attending the Academy came from surrounding communities including Town Hill, Jerseytown, Lightstreet, Espy, White Haven, Mauch Chunk, Rock Port and New Columbus. Most students entered two-year programs in preparation to become teachers.
According to the 1859-1860 catalogue, 162 students were enrolled, 63 females and 99 males. The names Fritz, Santee, Reed, McHenry, Kressler, Hess and Harrison are just a few of the listed. Students could choose to board in the basement of the Academy or find room and board in town costing $1.50-$2.00 per week. The principal at the time was Prof. H.D. Walker.
The calendar year at the Academy was divided into four terms of eleven weeks each. Courses and tuition for an eleven-week quarter included Normal Department $6; Higher Arithmetic, Natural Sciences, and Single Entry Book Keeping, $5; Common English Branches, $4; Model School, $3. According to the catalogue, the Model School "receives pupils whose age and attainments are below the standard of Academic study and labors so to encourage and instruct them, as to show what children are capable of doing, and what Public Schools may be and ought to be." The Normal Department "offers to persons of both sexes wishing to qualify themselves to become teachers."
The catalogue also addresses the issue of discipline. "The Discipline is mild, but firm and impartial. Every encouragement will be given to the orderly and studious, and due allowance be made for youthful indiscretions, yet the lawless and refractory cannot long remain among us."
Religion was not overlooked. The catalogue mentions two churches located in New Columbus as well as four others in nearby communities that students could attend. According to the catalogue, "it is expected that they will attend Divine Service once every Sabbath, also Bible Class."
In its thirty-nine years of operation, an estimated 1,500 students received an education at the institution. In 1895 it was sold to the New Columbus School Board and used as a one-room public school until 1952.
The New Columbus Academy Memorial Hall was formed in 1964 primarily to preserve the building for its historical importance.
Each fall members of the Academy gather for an annual-dinner meeting. Many members are descendants of former students at the Academy. The building also contains a small museum on the second floor. It is also used for borough council meetings and an election polling place for borough residents. The building is frequently rented for family reunions, showers and annual Christmas parties.
A board of twelve directors is entrusted with the future of the Academy, but the fact that the building continues to exist today is a tribute to the many members and friends of the Columbus Male and Female Academy.
Photos courtesy of Carlton Young
The quaint little borough of New Columbus has reason to celebrate the 150 years of the New Columbus Academy and to observe the Academy's sesquicentennial, a music festival will be held Saturday, June 3, from 1 to 7 PM.
The outdoor event is open to the public. Performers at the concert will include Randy and Brent Birth, Harold Yaple, Touch of Brass, The Feolas, Jerry Goss, Al and Pat Hess, Laura Shaffer, Drue Zeiser and Dave Slusser.
In addition to the musical entertainment, historians Jack Shultz, Nescopeck, and Scott Kuchta representing Company K, 81st PA, will be present. Dressed in their Civil War attire, they will provide information about this important time in the history of our country; a time shared during the early years of the Academy.
Delicious food will be available all day long. Hot sandwiches, homemade soup, and the famous Academy ice cream will be part of the menu.
Erla J. Robbins, 75, (July 28, 1930-May 26, 2006), 3634 Route 42 Highway, Unityville, passed away Friday. She was born in Jordan Township, Lycoming County, a daughter of the late Thomas and Alma Kessler Rider and graduated from Hughesville High School. Preceding her in death were her husband, Norman Robbins, and her son, Donald Robbins. She is survived by sons Thomas (Kathy), Muncy Valley and John (Shirley), Benton; and by daughter in-law, Tisha Robbins, Benton; and three grandchildren. Services will be held Wednesday at 10 AM at Bunnell Funeral Home, Inc., 179 E. Main St., Millville. The family will receive friends Tuesday from 6 until 8 PM. Burial will be at Talmar Cemetery.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, where a complete obituary can be found in the May 27, 2006, edition
Saturday, May 27, 2006. Hobe and Jesse Whitenight celebrate their wedding anniversary today.
Yard sale weekend is now here, from the entire Borough of Benton to members of St. James U.C.C Church who are holding a collective yard sale Saturday starting at 8 AM at the Church Community Hall, to scattered sales throughout the various Boroughs and Townships, to the Central and Jamison City area and on up to Sweet Valley. It is bargain time! All the sales that will take place today remind me of the shoe salesman who had to pull almost all his shoes out of their boxes for the customer to try on. Finally, the salesman asked, "Mind if I rest a minute? Your feet are killing me!"
• Chicken Barbecue, noon-7:30 PM, Benton Fire Hall, $7/adults, $3.50/ages 6-12.
• Ice Cream, Bake and Yard Sale, 8 AM-2 PM, St. James UCC, Stillwater.
• Yard Sale, beginning at 8 AM on Central Road, Sugarloaf. Lunch and bake sale. Benefits Christ UMC.
• N4C Thrift Store, opening 8 AM with bargains for everyone. 925-5377.
• Ice Cream Social, 4:30-7 PM, Town Hill UMC, 417 Town Hill Road, Shickshinny.
• Car wash at the CCFNB, Main and Market Streets.
• Yard Sale, 7 AM-1 PM, Hamline Church, Route 239.
• Gregory Fritz, Sterling Fritz, Pierson Holcombe, John M. Unbewust and Carol Vance will be inducted into the Hall of Fame tonight at the 101st High School Alumni Banquet. Laurie Kline Lamoreaux, a member of last year's Hall of Fame, will be recognized.
And when the shopping is done, remember the reason we celebrate this weekend. Remember the veterans!
Benton High School Class of 1956
The Fifty-Year Reunion Class
Row 1 (left to right): Joanne Hess, Patricia (Smith) Moss, Genevieve (Dickson) Yacko, Esther (McMichael) Franklin, Dorothy (Laubach) Hess, Gloria (Hess) Harvey, Janice (Whitenight) Vose, June (Sterling) Hess, Louise (Westover) Long.
Row 2: Marion Smith, Betty Jane (Zimmerman) Smith, Judy (Parks) Bogart, Marjorie (Sweet) Shoemaker, Lily Mae (Houseweart) Boudman, Carol Vance, Nancy (Heath) Myers, Susan (Holcombe) Rhoads, Nancy (Baker) Traubitz, Gloria (Starr) Saab, Lee Hayman, Robert Conner.
Row 3: Elaine (Williams) Parks, Shirley (Hess) Dodson, Carole (Griffith) Zeisloft, William Houseweart, Franklin Knouse, Ario Sweet, Arthur Search, Dexter Ribble, Bruce Parks.
May 26, 2006
Picture courtesy of Richard Shoemaker
The Benton Class of 1956 celebrated their 50th reunion with a banquet at the Danville Elks May 26. Thirty-one classmates attended with their guests. Four classmates of the 43 graduating are deceased. Many told of fond and hilarious memories, sharing stories to make an enjoyable evening. Some traveled from Florida, Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and far places of P)ennsylvania.
Fab Finds is a new antiques and collectibles blog that serves as a guide to antiques in eastern Pennsylvania. You can find antique events in the eastern Pennsylvania, antique articles of note, coverage of major antique events nationwide and small towns worth a visit.
Mildred L. (Morris) John, 92, (July 5, 1913-May 26, 2006), 95 Sunny Hillside Road, Benton, died Friday at home. Born in Nordmont, she was a daughter of the late Ernest Eugene Morris and Cora Elizabeth (Strauser) Morris. She attended Nordmont Schools and Benton High School and worked for the former Carter Bache Farms. She was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Edgar John, on February 9, 1961. Three children survive: Ronald L. John (Gail), Orangeville; David Earl John (Melodie), Berwick; Carol A. Stackhouse (Robert), Benton. There are two sisters, Eva Thomas, Benton, and Betty Jean Pavalonis (Albert), Raven Creek. She was preceded in death by siblings Kathryn Hess, Sylvia Honse, Melvin Morris, Harold Morris, Earl Morris, Eleanor Dobbs and Ione Hiller. Funeral services will be Wednesday at 11 AM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. Burial will be in the Talmar Cemetery. A viewing will be held Tuesday evening from 6 to 8 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home.
For some, it is what people don't know about each other that makes them good friends. For others, old friends are cherished; after all, where can you find a new friend that has stood by you as long as the old ones. Some people are their own best friend, and therefore have little time for other friends. But the true friends are around when you need them--not just when someone needs you.
We'll tell you about some old friends who gather twice a year, each fall in some far-flung city somewhere in the United States and each spring in Elk Grove. Specifically, we'll tell you about a group of retired Air Force officers who have convened each year since 1971 at a cabin known as Pappy's Retreat on Elk Grove Road. We had the opportunity Thursday to sit down with the group who took time off on the "best day for fish biting of the week." The men are all retired Air Force officers, one a Light Colonel, the rest Full Colonels. The men retired in the 1980s, and their relaxation time now involves golf and fishing and gathering with their friends.
The men are Richard Hartman, Shalimar, Florida and owner of Pappy's Retreat, Elk Grove; Joseph S. Pizzuto, Lewiston, New York; Johan Bayer, St. Charles, Illinois; Owen Kittilstad, West Chester, PA; and Ronald Burnett, Roundup, MT. The men all met while on active duty in Washington, DC, as Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineers. They like to refer to themselves as "BEES." The men were all in the same field, but at different locations--like the Forrestal Building, NASA Headquarters, the Pentagon, or worldwide in locations like Wiesbaden, Germany.
The men were all Air Force Bioenvironmental Engineers. They were all part of a 180-person team that was established after the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) was signed into law by Richard Nixon. The law required that prior to taking any "major" or "significant" action a Government agency--like the Air Force--must consider the environmental impacts of that action. The law required that an environmental impact statement be written for all major federal actions which may have a significant impact on the environment.
from the left, Johan Bayer, Joseph Pizzuto,
Dick Hartman, Ronald Burnett and Owen Kittilstad
The friends who gather yearly in Elk Grove include...
• Dick Hartman, 67, who lives half the year in Shalimar, Florida, in the panhandle of Florida, 1,162 miles from Elk Grove via I-81, a drive that takes him through Charlotte, and through Atlanta and Montgomery--or an airplane flight from Ft. Walton Beach to Wilkes-Barre via Atlanta. Shalimar is nestled between Panama City Beach and Pensacola. and just north of Fort Walton Beach. Dick was born in the old "Sara Tubbs place," a former postmistress of the long-gone Elk Grove post office, in a house that is no longer there. All that remains is the foundation from the root cellar.
Dick was a son of Bruce and Martha (Force) Hartman, a grandson of Clyde and Helen (Tubbs) Hartman. Pappy's Retreat is on the south side of the West Branch of Fishing Creek just across from where he was born. Dick's father and his mother met at the old Red Rock dance hall, and, as they say, the rest was history.
Dick has been a lifelong fisherman.
Dick's father, Bruce, worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps and illustrated most of the publications that came out of "Camp 104, Benton" where the 341st company published the bi-monthly publication of the local CCC.
• Joseph Pizzuto, 72, a native of Chicago, lives in Lewiston, New York. 269 miles from Elk Grove and just north of Niagara Falls, New York, in the heart of the "snow belt." Joe appeared to be the most serious of the group and the one with the least amount of protection from the sun as the rays beat down on the top of his head. Joe is very intelligent, but seems to take the blunt of the jokes both about golf and fishing.
• Johan Bayer, 72, lives in St. Charles, Illinois. 698 long miles from Elk Grove and just west of Chicago via Route 64. Johan is known as a "quiet leader," preferring to remain in the background while getting the job accomplished. Johan became chief of the BEES after the retirement of Owen Kittilstad.
• Owen Kittilstad, 78, lives the closest to Elk Grove. He lives in West Chester, PA, 152 miles away. The town is west of Philadelphia. Owen is the person who first contacted the Benton News. He had been a reader of the Benton News "for years" and sent an email suggesting I stop by and meet the men. Owen first heard about the Benton News from his daughter, Karen, when she and Brad Cole, Annapolis, worked together in the Northern Virginia office of Grubb & Ellis. Karen loves to visit her father at "Pappy's Retreat" and fly fish. Owen was also the chief of the BEES while on active duty.
• Ronald Burnett, 68, comes the longest distance, from a town called Roundup, a town 1,909 miles away in Montana. Roundup is north of Billings and the town of Klein. Ronald actually always flies to Elk Grove following a puddle-jumper route from Billings to Salt Lake City, to Atlanta, to Wilkes-Barre.
Two other friends, Dominick Maio, Sterling, Virginia, and John Coughlin, Norfolk (via San Antonio), missed the Elk Grove retreat this year. John, for example, was in the hospital for tests to "prove that the doctors were wrong" about a diagnosis they made of him. They both plan to be in Elk Grove next spring.
When it was time to leave these five pleasant gentlemen each of them in their special way reminded me that it is "important to keep your good friends." They will reconvene in Seattle this fall with their spouses, and next spring, the week before Memorial Day, they'll head for Elk Grove where they will again seek out the golf courses of the area and will revisit their favorite spots where the rainbow and brown trout hide. They will eat like kings from the meals that Dick prepares for his guests each night, and they'll talk about old times. What more could friends ask for?
Dick Hartman waiting for friends to arrive
at Pappy's Retreat, Elk Grove
Friday, May 26, 2006. Hall of Fame Inductee Carol Vance celebrates her birthday today, the same day that Yvonne Unbewust Lenbergs turns 65. Laura Gould and Linnea Holdren have birthdays today, too. Nevin and Deb Dressler celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Want to see pictures of the reopened Twin Bridges. Go to http://coveredbridges.org/dedi2/TOC.html . Take the time to read about the opening and the attractive park adjacent in Friday's Press Enterprise. Technically, Vermont has a twin-covered bridge, but it ain't nothin' like ours! The Vermont bridge is on dry land these days and is used as a storage shed, but was originally a 63 foot long town lattice truss built in 1850.
Don't forget the chicken bbq at the Benton Fire hall Saturday from noon till 7:30 PM. Adults $7, children 6-12, $3.50 Take out orders are available. Food will also be served during the indoor yard sales today and Saturday. The firemen will be serving Dave's homemade bean soup, hamburg bbq, and hot dogs, along with drinks. Drop in, browse and relax with a bowl of soup and a sandwich.
Saturday, May 27, and Sunday, June 4, are Fish For Free Days in the Commonwealth. Anyone--not just license holders or youth under the age of 16--can legally fish in Pennsylvania From 12:01 AM to 11:59 PM both days, no fishing license is needed to fish in Pennsylvania's waterways. Fish For Free Days provide a fun way to spend a day with the entire family. The May 27 Fish For Free Day was specifically designated to coincide with the Memorial Day weekend. The June 4 date is part of the observation of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 3-11.
How is this for a way of solving several problems at the same time? Dig a moat the length of the USA-Mexico border. Raise the levees in New Orleans with the dirt from the moat. Put marauding Florida alligators into the border moat.
A rapid way of achieving notoriety in this world is to do something slightly different. John F. Kennedy did it early on with his hair, Einstein did it with his intellect, Dolly Parton did it with her--well you get the picture. I did it recently in Camp Hill when I drove the official vehicle of the Benton News to a restaurant. There must be something that attracts people about driving a yellow buggy with three wheels while two dogs barked at every "mousy" they saw.
I have seen somewhat the same thing with vintage trucks, especially ones with running boards. Police love to stop and put one foot on a running board, a feat not permitted by the current batch of Firebelch 500s now running the highways. There is a coolness factor that a Plymouth will just never conjure up, for example. It is just a uniqueness thing, something that not everyone will understand.
Anyway, I hadn't driven for more than six blocks before I saw the unmistakable vehicle of a policeman following me. He signaled me to pull to the side of the street and stop. I gently lowered the brim of my hat so no one would recognize me and proceeded to fumble around for the necessary paperwork to prove that I wasn't mounting a terrorist invasion. The policeman was much more polite than any I ever met before professionally and didn't ask for any identification. He simply asked in as gentle a tone as a gruff man could muster up whether I would consider selling the vehicle, which I call a "GO-4." Here is a man of the law, on "company time," trying to buy the wheels right out from under me. He didn't ask the mileage or how it rode or whether I was having a mid-life crisis, or what happens if I hit three mosquitoes at the same time. It was strange how much I liked the guy compared with some other police I have met under similar circumstances!
Wednesday we chatted about John Godhard and included an essay by June Hartzell on the subject. We were not prepared for the onslaught of comments that the subject produced. We recommend that you read Polly A. Laubach-Eckrote's 2000 book entitled, John Godhard, Benton's Grandfather as a follow-up to June's writings.
Polly's findings are that she found no proof to "support the idea that John Godhard "moved" to the Cole's Creek area and started St. Gabriel's Church." Other than the connection via his descendents and the possibility of some financing of the church through him, he had no connection to St. Gabriel's Church. Godhard owned land at Cole's Creek, but there is no evidence that he lived there. He died in 1797 in Montour [a.k.a. Mahoning] Township in what is now Columbia County, then Northumberland County on a family farm owned by the Laubach family, a granddaughter, Anna Laubach, wife of Christian Laubach. Polly tells us that the farm was in what is now the Buckhorn area, not far from today's Columbia Mall along Route 42. The Laubach family moved to the Benton/Cole's Creek area after John Godhard died.
If you have more interest in the subject, take the time to read Polly's web site where she has John Godhard's will and related items. Polly has researched this line for years, and has found quite a few discrepancies in the Godhard "legend."
Some of the First Settlers of the Forks of the Delaware is a book Polly found in the Marx History Room, Easton Public Library, Easton, PA. The book contains many references to John Godhard's descendants, as well as mentioning John and Sophia Godhard at one of their grandson's baptism.
John Herbert Laubach had similar memories of the baptisms in the family. John Laubach tells us that "Gotthart first came to my attention in a baptismal document known as a 'Fraktur,' written in German in beautiful handwriting which I was then able to read." The document was brought to John by former Bentonian Florence Knowles. The baptismal document was dedicated to Paul Hess, the newly born son of William Hess. Johannes and Sofia Gotthart were mentioned as God Parents of Paul. The writing declared that the baptism took place in 'Eston,' which John presumed was Easton, an area of much German settlement.
John Goddard was also known to John as "Johannes Gotthart," and was listed in the German diary of John Christian Laubach by that name, while he was living with John Christian and his wife, Annamarie, in November of 1794.
Wilkes-Barre's status as the smallest city in the United States with two independent, daily newspapers may not last much longer. Both a Dallas, Texas, private equity firm that owns the Fort Worth Business Press and rival publisher Citizens Voice are considering the purchase of the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, according to reports published in that newspaper. The Times Leader is one of 12 Knight Ridder newspapers up for sale. In an editorial today, the Times Leader worried that an acquisition by The Citizens' Voice would lead to a shutdown of the Times Leader. The Citizens' Voice was started in 1978 by striking Times Leader workers.
You can't find a department store in center city Philadelphia following the Tuesday closing of the old Strawbridge & Clothier store, recently simply called Strawbridge's. The store will eventually reopen as Macy's department store.
May 25, 2006. Happy birthday today to Brenda Conrad and congratulations to American Idol Taylor Hicks.
This weekend will be the area-wide garage sales, and tables were set up Wednesday night on Mill Street in ready for the opening bell. Saturday will be a madhouse, with huge sales from the Thrift Store and continuing throughout the Borough and the surrounding Townships.
Gas prices Back Home in Benton, PA, continue to be the lowest in the area. The lowest price for regular, unleaded gasoline Wednesday south of Benton and north of Harrisburg was $2.729. Wednesday evening prices in Benton were $2.679 and $2.599.
Jim and Jean Parcher regretfully announce that due to health concerns they must close their Endless Mountains Gallery this summer. Starting Memorial Day weekend all gift and gear inventory will be placed on sale at 50% off. The gallery will be open weekends and holiday Mondays from 10:30 to 5 until all inventory is sold. The Parchers want the community to know that it has been a huge pleasure to have served the Benton area and tremendous fun getting to know the many wonderful people who patronized their gallery/gift shop. They do intend to continue their art projects and sales through their web site, www.parcherart.com, presentations in the Ricketts Glen Hotel and Jamison City Hotel restaurants and by participating in local art and craft shows. The gallery property on Rt.118 in Red Rock is also being placed on the market. They wish to thank everyone for their friendly visits.
Our neighbor to the north is Sullivan County, frequently referred to as being in the "Endless Mountains" of the Appalachian range. Federal and State Governments own more than a third of the county land in the form of state parks, timber and game lands.
The Loyalsock Trail runs through the largely undeveloped terrain, one of three pockets of land on the northeastern seaboard considered "extremely rural" by the Federal Government. The mountains support a large variety of alpine plants and at times about as many bear as people. The county has one traffic light (the Route 87/220 intersection, Dushore). The nearest movie theaters and shopping malls are a 40-mile drive. Sullivan County's population is under 7,000, clustering in small towns and villages at the base or tops of mountains. There are some farms beside the creek-bottom land in the valleys.
Sullivan County has several museums, including...
. Sullivan County Historical Society Museum, Courthouse Square, Laporte. Open from mid-June through Labor Day, Thursday through Saturday from 1 to 5 PM.
. Baldwin House Restoration, across from the museum in Laporte.
. Celestia, unrestored site of 19th century religious community, 1 1/2 miles west of Laporte on Route 42. Self-guided tour maps are available at Historical Society museum.
. Endless Mountains War Museum, Sonestown, open by chance or appointment. Call 570 482-2610.
. Eagles Mere Museum, across from Dewire Center, Eagles Mere.
. Eagles Mere Conservancy, driveway leads from parking lot at the Outlet pond on Route 42. Nature activities and hikes.
We mention Sullivan County because we had planned to take readers of the Benton News on a Sullivan County hike from Lewis Falls to Sullivan Falls when game commission roads were open to the public. We waited for "warm" weather, then the streams became too high for walking across without getting soaked. With regret, we will cancel the hike until sometime this fall.
To remove glued-on labels from new glassware, use a cloth to rub a bit of peanut butter over them. The labels should wipe off easily.
The Term of the day: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
--E. M. Wright, 1913.
"Ait a happle avore gwain to bed, an' you"ll make the doctor beg his bread."
We turn now to a guest writer, June Bartholonew Hartzell, 80, Benton, who presents solid arguments why an age-old story of the local area may not be entirely true. June is a woman who would love to save historic places, and especially would like to get "crews to clean up every cemetery in the county and put markers at intersections so people could find them." June says that she has directions but "there are several I never did find. And some are in deplorable condition," cemeteries like Goss, Vanderslice, and the original Town Hill cemetery. A neglected grave is terrible and a whole cemetery is even worse. They are all somebody's ancestors."
The article that June chose to write about was John Godhard. June goes to battle with JH Battle, an editor of endless numbers of historical references. Battle took his information from family stories, and William Baillie, President of the Columbia County Historical Society reminds us that "he should always be read with a lot of skepticism." June writes...
"John Godhard is an enigma. Most of the biographies are based on the entry about him in "The History of Columbia and Montour Counties" by Battle written in 1887, pages 224-225. 'A wealthy farmer whose name was John J Godhard. He was an Englishman, a patriot and a member of the Episcopal Church. His wife had died previous to the time at which this history commences, leaving her unfortunate husband to support, protect and educate a large family of daughters.' Then nearly one hundred years after Godhard's death Edwin Barton quotes Battle's entry in his book "200 Years Ago in Columbia County," page 63.
"Ever play "telephone?" After an item is repeated several times, the end result is wrong. I think this is what happened to stories of John Godhard. After several generations the family stories about John grew and grew.
"Fact #1. His wife left him a large family of daughters. I found
three: Anna Maria, Anna Catherine and Elizabeth. His will names these daughters and several granddaughters. Did they mistake the granddaughters for daughters?
"Fact #2. Battle calls him a wealthy Englishman and whomever wrote the will for John calls him a yeoman. Was he English? Kenneth Yocum called all the early settlers by the German names. Yeoman is of German origin. Yeoman could have been well-to-do as they were a cut above laborers and not "gentry" but owned land. He lived in the "Drylands" in Northampton Co., an area of mostly Germans. He signed any documents with a cross. A wealthy man, seems to me, would have been able to write his name. In the early days Englishmen did not have to register when they came to America.
"I never found a ship list with John's name. It is possible he was born here in the early 1700's as his first daughter was born in 1739. There is a John Godhard listed in a book "First Settlers of Ye Plantations of Piscataway and Woodbridge, Old East New Jersey 1608-1660", Pg. 75. With the date of his first child this can't be our John, possibly his parents?
"It is true he sold his lands in Northampton and bought land in what is now Columbia County. The only place I found he lived was in Montour Twp. with a granddaughter, Anna Laubach, wife of Christian Laubach. He died here in 1797.
"Fact #3 The story goes he helped plan and build St. Gabriel's Church. The history book gives a list of early settlers that founded the church. John Godhard was not on the list. The church was started in 1810, finished in 1812, dedicated in 1828.
"A party called 'Family Compact' by John came to this area to scout out land to buy. I doubt John was with them. He would have been quite old to make such a trip on horseback. The scouts returned to Northampton County with good news about the land. John sold his plantation and bought land here and probably came with the wagons and households in 1794. I don't think he was ever in what is now known as Sugarloaf Twp. I am sure with big families, talk would have included plans for a church and school to be built soon after they got settled. So did he help plan the church? Needed a spy around the evening campfire to know for sure.
"You can draw your own conclusions. It is a fact he owned land here, his granddaughters settled here. He may have talked of a church and school when planning to move here. I never found a physical description of John Godhard but he must have been quite a man of wisdom and management. I did read he was influenced to move here by his son-in-laws William Hess and Ezekiel Cole, husband of a granddaughter, who was a Ranger in the Revolution and had scouted here during the war. Regardless of the stories, fact or fiction, he is an ancestor to be proud to hang on one's family tree."
When we gather for our morning cup of coffee Friday, we'll talk about some reinforcing arguments for what June presented, and we'll mention any dissenting views on the subject.
David Slavick is a candidate for State Representative in the 109th Legislative District in Columbia County. David's father, Richard Joseph Slavick, was raised in Berwick and is the son of Dmitri "Nick" Slavick and Mary Slavick. David was born and raised in Stillwater, a daughter of Sandra Brewington Slavick, and the granddaughter of Sally Brewington, Benton. Sally Brewington, in fact, has 21 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. The Brewington family is a well established name in the local area. In addition to Sandra, other siblings you'll recognize are Robert, Sharon, Sally, Richard, Sheila, Suzanne and Stephanie. The entire family gathers in Benton for Easter and Thanksgiving.
David attended St. Columbia Elementary, Bloomsburg, before moving to Berwick where he attended the Holy Family School and Berwick Area High School. David was graduated from Ursinus College and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, where he graduated with a Juris Doctor, Law, May, 2004.
If you live in Columbia County and want to know who your current legislator is, go here.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006. Happy birthday to Mollie Hough, Orangeville. Tomorrow at noon the Twin Bridges and the Twin Bridges Park will reopen. Drop by and take a look.
Happy birthday today to the grandstand in the Benton Park, and to better understand that event we go back exactly eighty years to this date in 1926 when all the boards had been cut and the nails pounded and the big opening baseball game of the season with Bloomsburg was an eagerly awaited Memorial Day event just a few days off.
To get the details of the event, we went to Lightstreet where we talked with Bob Casey, one of the local authorities on baseball played "Columbia County style." Bob's father, Albert Casey, who lived in Benton, played third base in the game--on the Bloomsburg side. But all that gets confusing, so we'll start over--at the beginning.
To tell the story, we'll move ahead to Memorial Day and ask you to put yourself in a baseball mood. After all, the Benton team had won the pennant for 1925 by beating Berwick, Bloomsburg and Shickshinny and certain standards had to be maintained in the new season with the new grandstand! But all ended well, as the Benton team hoisted the pennant from the previous year and in front of a reported 2,000 fans scored six big runs to beat the Bloomsburg team. We'll pick up the dialog from the Argus...
"One of the largest crowds that ever witnessed a base ball game in the county saw Benton take advantage of Bloomsburg's loose playing to score three runs in the first two innings, saw the home team hit the ball hard for three more runs in the eighth and then saw Bloomsburg stage a ninth-inning rally that was good for two runs but which lacked the punch to carry through to victory." The Argus called the local team the "strongest team in the history of Benton."
The Argus called the grandstand back of the home plate "modern" and praised how it came through its "baptism under fire." The paper reported that under the stand were dressing rooms for the home and for the visiting teams and were even equipped with "shower baths and lockers." "Fans were amply protected from foul balls by a wire netting especially made for the grandstand," the newspaper article continued. According to the paper, the grandstand "had a capacity of 500 and at least that many people watched the game from that stand." Along the sidelines, the Benton fans filled the bleachers forcing the visiting fans from the lower end of the county to find a "place of advantage on the ground" as they arrived at the ball diamond after the Bloomsburg and Sullivan railroad made it "up the valley."
How did the Benton team do so well, you ask? For one thing, they relied on the pitching ability of Herbert Bolger, imported for the game from Altoona, a former star of the Susquehanna League during the 1923 season. In fact, names in the Benton area don't change a lot from year to year, but there really aren't a lot of names you'll immediately recognize from the player's list: Charles, Dennis, Mitchell, "Guss" Snyder (from Bloomsburg), Koval, Cope Lee (from Bloomsburg), Bolger. Frank Girton (from Bloomsburg) and Cole. The Bloomsburg team included "Curley" Eveland, who later played for Benton. So much for town loyalty!
The grandstand and the bleachers were "gaily decorated" by the Croft Decorating Company of Berwick in the "National colors" and "made quite an appearance" even though there wasn't time to paint the grandstand before the game.
The grandstand has withstood minor skirmishes with vandalism and fires and wood rot over the past 80 years, but its biggest test came during the afternoon of July 13, 2005, when a violent storm hit the Benton area with winds estimated to be in the 70 mph range. The Benton Park was virtually destroyed and the grandstand was damaged extensively. This spring, the Tom Benjamin Construction Co. replaced the roof and made other minor repairs. The sturdy old building is ready to last for another 80 years. But we doubt that we'll ever again see 2,000 fans watch Benton play baseball.
You may have heard about the man who told his significant other that they couldn't afford beer anymore and he would have to quit. Then he caught her spending $65 on makeup. And he asked how come he had to give up stuff and she didn't. She said she needed the makeup to look pretty for him. He told her that was what the beer was for. I don't think the couple will get back together.
Lisa Zeveney Urie just returned from a field trip with her nine-year old son's third grade class, where they took part in the Living American Flag. On the grounds of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, they and 3000 other school children held colored cards over their heads to form a giant American Flag. Lisa says that it is "a very patriotic experience and one which most of the children will not soon forget." When this was written, the flag from May 24, 2005 was still displayed but we expect by the time you read this the 2006 flag may be shown.
The movie version of Garrison Keillor's radio show A Prairie Home Companion is coming to theaters on June 9 thanks to director Robert Altman and writer Garrison Keillor. The story is said to be about a fictitious radio variety show that has managed to survive in the age of television. Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan, Kevin Kline, Woody Harrelson, John C. Reilly, Virginia Madsen, Tommy Lee Jones and Garrison Keillor star. Please don't call me on the evening of June 9. I won't be home.
Term of the Day: You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Old people or people with long experience find it difficult to learn new ways; they are unwilling to change.
--John Fitzherbert, 1523, "Treatyse Moost Profytable for Husbande Men." "The dogge must lerne when he is a whelpe, or els it wyl not be, for it is harde to make and olde dogge to stoupe." These words evolved into "It is hard to teach an old dog tricks" and continues to evolve along the same lines.
Dust if you must...
But bear in mind,
old age will come and it's not kind.
And when you go, and go you must,
you, yourself, will make more dust.
It's smart to pick your friends, but not to pieces.
If you're not the only person using your computer, you should make sure that Microsoft Internet Explorer doesn't keep information that you'd rather not have others see. To do this, choose Tools|Internet Options. When the dialog box opens, click the Advanced tab. Now, scroll down to the Security area and select the check box labeled Do not save encrypted pages to disk. Click OK to close the dialog box and save your changes.
Term of the Day: "I MAY BE WITTY, BUT THE AUTHOR WHO WROTE SNOWBOUND WAS WHITTIER."
--A popular saying in the Stillwater area, but actually referring to John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-92), poet, writer, abolitionist and politician. His most famous poem was Snowbound (1866).
The archives from May 9 to May 23, 2006, were lost when for reasons unknown to me I hit the delete key. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
May 10, 2006. Tod
ay marks the half century mark for Audrey Schupp. Happy birthday, Audrey! Joe Savage also celebrates his birthday today. The elementary schools' Great Beginnings concert will take place tonight in the Richard E. Martin Auditorium of the Benton Middle/High School.. The Elementary Chorus and Elementary Band as well as soloists and ensembles, will perform. Jennifer DiLossi and Amy Clink direct. The free concert begins at 7:30 PM.
Lois Pealer Remley, 77, a graduate of Benton High School in the class of 1947, passed away Saturday, May 6, in Rochester, New York. Lois lived at 184 N. Avenue, Rochester, New York 14626. Her son, Paul, and daughter, Rebecca, had previously passed away from cystic fibrosis. She is survived by her aunt, Belva Hess, and by cousins, Sandra (Kile) Caflisch, Andrew Caflisch and Janet Beck; brothers-in-law, Carl (Betty) Remley, Lee (Carolyn) Remley; sisters-in-law, Lois Stere, Mary Jones, Marion Remley and Jean Becker; along with many loving and devoted friends. Her memorial service will be held this evening, May 10, at 7:30 PM in the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, 4343 Mt. Read Blvd., Rochester, NY.
--Obituary from Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, May 7, 2006, where a complete obituary can be found
The attendance for the four days of MerleFest 2006 reached 82,618. The 20th anniversary of the festival will be held April 26-29, 2007, on the campus of Wilkes Community College.
A memorial service for Helen Smith Gammon will be held at St. Gabriel's Church on Saturday, June 10 at 1 PM. All are welcome to attend.
News from the Community Center...
• When we last checked, the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center (N4C) auction had 102 items and growing. The catalog will be produced at the end of the business day May 15. All donations must be received by that time or they will fall into the "too late to classify" classification.
• The steel for the N4C building has been placed on order. The bidding for the foundation, steel building assembly, and site work should be awarded sometime in June with construction in July. As the building is being assembled, design will continue with the remainder of the bids coming out in July or August.
• Tickets for the auction are now in limited supply. Call David Kline, 925-6974, or Diane Laubach, 925-5199, to reserve a ticket.
God could not be everywhere, so therefore he made mothers.
We were thrilled to see the announcement of the March 19 marriage of Julie Ann Allsup and Dylan Thyme Edson in Las Vegas. Julie is the daughter of Derrell and Emilie Allsup. Dylan is the son of Frank and Barbara Edson. The couple resides at 370 Casa Norte Drive, Building 20, Apartment 2155, Las Vegas NV 89031.
Want to make some dough?
Here is a plan to try:
Buy stock when they are low,
Sell them when they are high.
The Goss Cemetery, Harveyville, is one of the earliest in this part of the county, although it has been neglected for nearly 100 years. Stones date back to the early 1800's. The cemetery may have been the original Harveyville United Methodist Church Cemetery. It is now overgrown with brush and in poor condition. A few years ago, boy scouts and prisoners worked on the cemetery, but it has gone downhill since.
The cemetery is near the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast, a short distance from the Patterson Grove Campground.
Courts ordered that Huntington Township maintain the cemetery at least once a year, but that has not happened in the last 50 years or more. Some of the stones are in very poor condition and almost weathered smooth. The cemetery is overgrown with thick brush and trees. The ground is covered in debris.
Donations to help defray the expense of cleanup would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to Sheila Brandon, 1335 State Route 118, Sweet Valley, PA 18656, or Sheila can be reached by phone at 570 477-1538. Donations will be used to purchase brush killer, gas for chain saws, etc.
The following surnames appear in this cemetery: Bonham, Chapin, Davenport, Dodson, Fuller, Goss, Harrison, Kramer, Long, Myers, Preston, Rogers, Sarver, Seward, Thomas, Trescott, Westover and Wilson. There are several Revolutionary soldiers buried in the cemetery, along with many of the earliest settlers of Huntington Township.
May 9, 2006. Today is the birthday of E. Lee Remley, 73, and Ethel Hack, formerly of Stillwater, now living in Berwick. These two fine people celebrate the day with actress Candice Bergen and singer Billy Joel.
On the mend...
• Avis McHenry is currently a resident of the Bonham Nursing Home. She receives therapy every day and her family hope to bring her home to Cambra by the end of May. Avis had her spirits lifted Thursday when her sister-in-law, Doris McHenry Young, and niece, Susan Young, visited. They live near Brandon, Florida.
• William Bailey (Alice Allegar's uncle), 16 East Village Road, Newark, DE 19711.
• Jake Janney, Highlands Care Center, Laporte, PA 18626.
• Marion Bovill (Grace Stowe's Mother), % Susan Astenberg, 2419 Wabash Avenue, Northfield, NJ 08335.
• Eleanor Laubach, Bonham Nursing and Rehabilitation, 477 Bonneville Road, Stillwater, PA 17878.
• Allen Chapman (brother of Chuck Chapman), Middletown, CT.
President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation on this date in 1914 asking Americans to give a public expression of reverence to mothers through the celebration of Mother's Day. Carnations have come to represent Mother's Day following President William McKinley's habit of always wearing a white carnation, his mother's favorite flower. What are you planning to do to celebrate all of the mothers in your life this Sunday?
The moon never beams without bringing me dreams
Of that wonderful mother of mine;
The birds never sing but a message they bring
Of that wonderful mother of mine.
--Clyde Hager, lyrics.
The first cartoon appeared on this date in 1754 in The Pennsylvania Gazette published in Philadelphia. The cartoon was part of an editorial by Benjamin Franklin commenting on "the present disunited state of the British Colonies." Readers have all seen the cartoon, entitled "Join or Die." The drawing is of a snake, chopped into eight pieces. Each of the pieces are labeled with the abbreviation for one of the colonies. The message was that the colonies’ continued failure to join together would result in their eventual doom.
Back in 1980 on this date, 35 motorists were killed when a Liberian freighter rammed the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, causing a 1,400-foot section to collapse.
The month of May received its name from Maia, the Roman goddess of spring and growth. May was once the third month of the year, but was later changed by the Romans to the fifth month, with 31 days. Gardens are beginning to sprout, even though the temperature in the Borough Sunday morning dipped to 31°. Appropriately, the full moon on May 13 is called the Full Flower Moon, with the Full Corn Planting Moon and the Milk Moon also used over the centuries. What a nice night it will be on May 13 to walk along the dike of Fishingcreek humming "Moon River."
Pennsylvania could shine again during the running of the Triple Crown. Barbaro, a muscular dark bay who is unbeaten in six career starts, is a Chester County horse trained by a Berks County native. The horse easily won Saturday's Kentucky Derby by 6½ lengths. The trainer, Michael Matz, an Olympic equestrian silver medal in 1996 once survived a 1999 passenger jet crash that killed 112.
Rumors swirl about the pending sale of Rolling Rock to Budweiser, and the possibility that the sale would just "buy the brand name" and that the brewery could move out of the state to another brewery already owned by Anheuser-Busch. So is Rolling Rock a Pennsylvania beer? Well--Rolling Rock is brewed in Latrobe. Latrobe Brewing is a unit of Labatt Breweries of Canada, which is owned by Brazil's AmBev, 81% controlled by InBev, a publicly traded company headquartered in Belgium.
Christine's Karaoke will be at Kameeo's on Route 487 Friday night from 9:30-1:30.
How many older readers remember the motto of 4-H Clubs, "My head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger services, and my health to better living."
From the north end of the county...
• The United Methodist Women of the North Mountain area will hold their election day soup and sandwich sale at the Sugarloaf School House from 8 AM to 7 PM on May 16. The ladies of the church will have vegetable beef soup, chicken corn soup, ham and bean soup, hot turkey sandwiches, and the usual fare of drinks.
• The Sugarloaf Men's Group is dedicated to service to the Sugarloaf Township community. The group meets at the Brass Pelican the third Saturday of each month. The group sells homemade ice cream and holds other fundraisers to support the area. During their Memorial Day yard sales, for example, they'll be selling homemade vanilla, chocolate, peanut butter, strawberry and pineapple. The men will make the ice cream on Tuesday, May 23.
• Didja know that the Sugarloaf Memorial Schoolhouse is available for rent for parties, weddings, meetings and other occasions? Call Bill Mather, 925-6277, for more information.
• Last year the Christ United Methodist Youth Group sold 478 peanut butter eggs. This year's sales were up by 1,300 eggs. Way to go!
May 8, 2006. Happy birthday to Alexa McCourt and Randy Hess today. The 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born near Lamar, Mo, on this date in 1884.
What's it worth? With a Ph.D. in art history, experience as a museum curator, and as a certified art and antiques appraiser, Dr. Lori is the person to ask. On Saturday, June 24, from 1 to 4 PM, Dr. Lori will appear at the Fort McClure House, sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution, Fort McClure Chapter. It will cost you $5 to get in and $10 for each item appraised. Food and lunch will be available. If you don't know Dr. Lori, watch her on WNEP-16's "Home & Backyard" program Saturdays at 7 PM. The Fort McClure House is half a mile west of the Bloomsburg Town Park along the Susquehanna River.
Alan Sigurd Larson, 83, a member of the U.S. Merchant Marines during World War II died Tuesday at the Berwick Hospital Center. Al attended the Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy, worked as a boat builder and moved to the Benton area in the 1960s after completing a five-year boat trip through the Caribbean with his family. He lived at 2872 Rohrsburg Road, Benton. His former wife, Eleanor "Poppy" (Popovich) Larson, died Oct. 14, 2004, and a son, Mitchell I. Larson, died in June, 2003. Six children survive: Michael A. Larson (Susan), Key West; Laura A. Campbell (Douglas), Jacksonville; Mark E. Larson, Key West; Matthew H. Larson, Benton; Lynne E. Larson, Alexandria, VA; Lee A. Manson (Thomas), Key West. Contributions in Al's memory may be made to the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center, P.O. Box 305, Benton, PA 17814.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, where a complete version can be found in the edition of May 4, 2006
Times were not good back in 1932. Over two million people were unemployed in the United States. Life expectancy for a man was 53.6 years and about a year more for a woman. The average annual earnings was $1,236. The Dow Jones average hit a high of 100 and a low of 67. A drive from New York to California took 13 days. The country had something like 87,000 miles of paved road.
The nation did the only thing they could think of when times were bad--they danced. They did the swing, the jitterbug, the Susie-Q, the rumba, the conga the shag, the Lindy Hop, the boogie-woogie and the Big Apple.
Many out-of-work people during the depression years participated in continuous motion derbies known then as Dance Marathons, little more than human-endurance contests in which couples danced almost non-stop for hundreds of hours competing for prize money. Marathon dancing was part of the craze of the day, along with breaking records set in flagpole sitting, mountain climbing and aviation.
Dance marathons, sometimes called walkathons, were partially staged endurance contests and they were quite popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Audiences paid to watch contestants dance around the clock. They competed for prize money and for publicity. The eligibility for the marathons wasn't difficult; anyone who could stand the fatigue and had the endurance could enter. One of the best--and for a time THE best--was a Stillwater man, Art Boston.
Marathon music was usually slow, with a change to the tempo thrown in to keep everyone awake a couple of times an hour. Rules were simple: dancers had to dance the type of music being played. One dancer could sleep as long as the other one moved the partner. Both partners had to stay on their feet. Some marathons required that both stayed awake. They were fed, standing at a chest-high table, 12 times per day.
As the contest droned on, during the first week rest was often a half hour. During the second week, rest was limited to fifteen minutes. As officials and participants tired rest time dropped to three minutes and finally for the grand finale no rest was permitted. Marathons in towns the size of Benton were done on a smaller scale with dancing for sixty minutes, followed by a fifteen-minute break. Other variations existed.
The marathon consisted of a emcee, a phonograph player or a band, nurses and a doctor, and a couple of cots. Some contestants danced professionally, some just entertained the paying customers. Occasionally a partner would switch with another contestant if the partner dropped out, quit or fell asleep. Dance marathons were eventually outlawed in many states after some contestants died.
Art Boston, later a berry farmer from New Columbus, and his partner were winners at a 1932 69th and Market Street dance marathon in Philadelphia. At the time, Art Boston was the reigning world champion marathon dancer.
Art Boston looking pretty good for having danced for 139 straight days,
a total of 3,337 hours.
Art remained as world champion until beaten by Franklin Lane and Ruthie Smith in a dance marathon of 3,501 hours (145 days) set at the Million Dollar Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on October 19, 1932.
The Guinness Book of Records lists the longest dance marathon as 5,152 hours, an endurance record that ran from August 29, 1930, to April 1, 1931.
If you want to know more about dance marathons, read Horace McCoy's 1935 novel entitled They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, later made into a 1969 film with Jane Fonda and Gig Young.
|Art Boston went from winning trophies in dance marathons to becoming a pioneer in American aviation, a part owner and a performer in an aerial circus, and he owned Boston Farms outside of New Columbus.
His son, Bill Boston, still maintains the blueberry bushes so well known in the production of the Boston Farms' jelly. But that is a story for another day...
Art Boston and partner. At a 1931 Marathon dance, Bronx Winter Garden Theatre, 1874 Washington Ave. (above E. 176th St.), New York. The theater later became the Garden Cathedral of Prayer.
May 7, 2006.
The Benton United Methodist Church will hold their popular election day luncheon--a soup, bake, and garage sale rolled into one--on May 16 from 9 AM to 3 PM. Lunch is served in the main dining room beginning at 11 AM and continues until 2 PM. The menu includes vegetable beef, ham and bean soup, hot dogs, hot dogs with sauerkraut, hamburger barbeques or ham salad sandwiches, broccoli salad, pie, cake, coffee, lemonade or iced tea. Food is available as take outs, too.
It is hard to figure. On our recent trip, the lowest price that we paid for regular, unleaded gasoline was in Winchester, Virginia, at $2.729. Saturday in Camp Hill, we paid $2.899. When we arrived Back Home in Benton, PA, we found that the regular, unleaded gas prices were $2.639 and $2.719. I know now what fight manager Joe Jacobs meant when in 1935 he saw the opening game of the World Series between the Detroit Tigers and Chicago Cubs. It was a cold day, and when Jacobs was asked what he thought of baseball, Jacobs replied, "I should have stood in bed." Maybe we should have stood Back Home in Benton, PA.
Many computers requiring repair got in the shape they are in as a result of adware or spyware, often simply by the user clicking on an email link or downloading a file from a website, email or an Instant Message. That one simple action can bypass all of the security and protection software that you have added to your computer.
Teenagers are a lot of the problem. Teenagers often drive their computer like an ATV on a back road, fearlessly and recklessly. Computers soon become overburdened with unnecessary and hidden programs. Don't believe it? Look at your toolbar and see how many programs are running
Computers used by teenagers are often in ill repair simply because of the carefree approach to everything they come across on line. While the teenager's computer is being repaired and they sneak over to their parent's computer, it won't be long until other computers show the same symptoms and run like old computers. The user was the only difference; the security programs did their best to keep the computer safe, but the user made the difference.
If someone in your household file swaps (Kazaa, WinMX, eDonkey) and downloads lots of screen savers, surfs in gambling or adult content sites, exchanges files with unknown people, or opens attachments in emails that are not known content files, there will soon be trouble. And just as you can't spot a person with high cholesterol just by looking at the physical condition of the person, it is impossible to spot websites that are engaging in deceptive adware/spyware practices.
Somewhere between "should" and "must" is the need to download these two free programs or equivalent to protect your computer. We have talked about these two products many times in the past, and today is our quarterly rant on the subject. For those of you who have the product, please make sure you run them regularly.
1. Ad-Aware scans RAM, registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data-mining, advertising, and tracking components and will maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web. Get the program at http://www.download.com/3000-2144-10045910.html . The free program is by Lavasoft. Be aware that there is a similar product called "Noad-aware" that costs about $30 and does about the same thing. Remember NOT to click on every pop-up that comes up!
2. Spybot - Search & Destroy. The program is available at www.safer-networking.org/en/download/ and is necessary to scan for spyware, adware, hijackers and other malicious software.
Are you a TV junkie? Go to www.tvguide.com/listings/ and set your lineup for daily TV watching.
A linguistics professor was lecturing to his class. "In English," he said, "a double negative forms a positive. In some languages, though, such as Russian, a double negative is still a negative. However," he continued, "there is no language wherein a double positive can form a negative." A voice from the back of the room piped up, "Yeah. Right."
Have you noticed that once you've seen one shopping center you've seen a mall.
Tired of using the Benton News as your home page? Are you looking for a home page for your computer, appropriate for your children or grandchildren? Try Yahooligans at www.yahooligans.com/ . Yahooligans is wonderful for encyclopedia searches, something kids want. For all others, we recommend using the Benton News as your home page.
The early bird gets the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.
To see the items donated for the upcoming Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center auction Sunday, May 21, head over to www.northerncolumbiaccc.org/auction.htm .
The admission to the auction includes food from The Old Filling Station, The Benton Women's Club, the Market Square Restaurant, Cakes by Donna, Hoboken Sub Shop, Ricketts Glen Hotel, Kristie's Kafe, The Central Park Hotel, Creekside Restaurant, Country View, Heritage House, Red Rock Corner Store, Benton Meats and Fish, and The Pepsi Distributor of Berwick.
There will be an entire afternoon and evening of entertainment for a $10 admission. This hugely successful activity brings together food vendors, live music and the entertainment of a fast-paced auction conducted by Jim and John Vance. It is held at the Benton Volunteer Fire Department, and if the past two years are any indication, the available seating will sell out.
Tomorrow we'll tell you what to do if you acquire a wonderful antique at the auction or if you have a "priceless antique" in your collection. We'll tell you how to figure out exactly how much it is worth.
May 6, 2006. Karen Boston has another birthday today, although she will claim she doesn't. Alica Stackhouse, Pine Center, celebrates her birthday today. Parents Dick and Marge Shoemaker, along with husband Jeffrey and kids Matt, Shelly and Glenn Byron plus various pets, wish Alica a Happy Birthday.
It was on this date that the first postage stamps were issued in 1840 and on this date in 1954 medical student Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile during a track meet in Oxford, England, finishing in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds. On this date in 1937, the German dirigible Hindenburg burned and crashed in Lakehurst, NJ, killing 35 of the 97 people on board and a Navy crewman on the ground.
If things go according to plans, there will be changes made to the Benton News by the end of next week. We'll mention them next week.
There's a very quick way to get to a URL using the Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Address Bar. Just type in the domain name and press Ctrl + Enter. For example, if you want to visit Time Magazine, you don't have to type in http://www.time.com/time/ . Instead, just type in "time" (without the quotes) and press Ctrl + Enter.
After 156 years of good times, Williams Grove Amusement Park may not open this summer.
"Not only did a single blonde not die, no one was even paralyzed or raped."
--Howie Carr, a Boston Herald columnist, describing the latest misadventure of Rep. Patrick Kennedy
Feel like a hike at Ricketts Glen? Take a strenuous, 6.5-mile loop on steep trails past 21 rushing waterfalls. Meet in the lower parking lot, Ricketts Glen State Park, Route 118, Sunday at 10 AM. Sponsored by the Sierra Club, 596-3384.
We think that the beginning of the poem goes like this: "Well, here I sit, broken-hearted..." We know for certain that the end of the poem goes like this...
"In fact, now I lay me down to sleep,
With bottles of whisky at my head and feet.
If I should die before I wake,
Give those bottles a helluva shake.
--A late-night mid-west reader, who was trying to "figure out which Medicare Prescription Part D would be the most advantageous" for him.
Have you even wanted to know, from the crow's perspective, how far two places are apart? Go to: www.indo.com/distance/ . This service uses data from the US Census and a supplementary list of cities around the world to find the latitude and longitude of two places, and then calculates the distance between them (as the crow flies). It also provides a map showing the two places, using the Xerox PARC Map Server. For example, this service says that the distance between Benton and Bloomsburg, as the crow flies, is 14 miles (22 km) (12 nautical miles), the initial heading from Benton to Bloomsburg south-southwest (195.7 degrees), initial heading from Bloomsburg to Benton is north-northeast (15.7 degrees). Well, now, hold on. We aren't done yet! The service tells us that Benton is in Columbia County, at 41:11:42N 76:23:07W, the population (1990): 958, the elevation is 800 feet. For Bloomsburg, we get about the same information: Location: 41:00:08N 76:27:25W, Population (1990): 12439, Elevation: 530 feet.
"I have a simple philosophy. Fill what's empty. Empty what's full. Scratch where it itches."
--Alice Roosevelt Longworth
The addition to the Benton Taste Freeze was a popular place at this time in 2002, filled with customers enjoying the new 20' by 16' deck and its multisided addition extending toward Fishing Creek. Budd and Betty Fritz did a nice job of extending the deck and many ice cream lovers patiently waited for warm weather so they could sit on the expansive deck.
"Q.T." is simply an abbreviation of the word quiet. In the late 1800s, quiet came to mean "clandestine," or "secretive" (e.g., "I'd like to have a word with you on the quiet."). Sometime later, it was reduced to the slang "Q.T."
We are almost Back Home in Benton, PA, and we understand now why a bicycle can't stand on its own (because it is two-tired). On this trip, we saw a picker play his guitar behind his head and heard hours upon hours of great music. We saw mountain shacks with $10,000,000 views, and we saw mansions with the energy consumption each year of the Borough of Benton. But no place will look quite as good as home.
The first Internet book, the only site that has published a reference length work integrated with the net, with more than 2000 intra-site links and more than 2000 external links and 700-odd pages about the Internet and its main applications, should be required reading for everyone who wants to know more about the internet. Go to http://livinginternet.com . This is a site to bookmark.
We like to highlight area people from time to time, people who stand out in their field, who contribute to the community, who have achieved in life thanks to their own hard work and their own ability. Today we salute Devona (Hittle) Albertson, District Sales Manager for Stanley Home Products/Fuller Brush, Jonestown. She is a director for sales for most of Eastern Pennsylvania, described by a high-school classmate as "modest, but hard working." She recruits new dealers, runs seminars and works with many different women.
Devona's representatives work as self-employed dealers. The women do a lot of clubs, churches, schools, scout troops and fire companies as fund raisers for the organizations. She keeps dealers informed with monthly seminars and a monthly news letter,
Devona works with new dealers and those experiencing problems. Her business is 40% call in from people who know the products. Devona sells over 400 products from both companies. You can see some of the items she distributes at the upcoming Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center auction where she has donated a premium lasagna pan filled with fabulous Stanley and Fuller Brush products.
Devona says that she has had a lifetime of enjoyable work. She and her husband, Marvin, have made many friends through the years, and put four of their six children through college.
For those of you who like tennis, go here and play it on the Benton News.
May 5, 2006. It is Cinco de Mayo, a date of great importance for the Mexican and Chicano communities. It marks the victory of the Mexican Army over the French at the "Batalla de Puebla," a symbol of Mexican unity and patriotism.
There is an old fashioned ice cream festival at the Millville Christian Church starting at 4 PM today, complete with pies, soups, sandwiches and hot dogs. Everything including the ice cream is homemade.
The annual Sounds of Spring concert happens Saturday, May 6, at 7 PM. The concert features the high school Concert Band, Concert Choir and Mixed Ensemble and Jazz Band. Tickets are available at the door. Donations are $3 for adults and $1 for students. Jennifer DiLossi and Jennifer Welliver direct.
We have always love the derivation of names, which we'll get into in a moment. First, the subject reminded us of a story from high school. A local mother was knitting one night as her daughter read a book on the meaning of names. As the mother continued knitting, she thought of all the boys who were calling on her daughter.
"Mother," the young girl said, "It says that Phillip means 'Lover of Horses,' and James means 'Beloved.' I wonder what George means?"
"I hope, dear," replied the mother, "in light of the alarming way that you and George have been carrying on, that George means business."
So now we'll get down to business and look at the derivation of local names, copied as written from a late 1930s Shickshinny Mountain Echo...
Shickshinny--This name, like many hereabouts, is of Indian origin and signifies "Where the five mountains meet." The formation of the mountains was noticed by the true American and he gave this locality, which was the point at which the Indian trail left the Susquehanna [River] for the West Branch [of the river], the name of Shick-a-shinna, which was modernized into Shickshinny by the Yankee settlers.
Mocanaqua stands as perpetual reminder of Frances Slocum who was stolen from Wyoming Valley during the struggles of the early settlers. The Indians called their little captive Mocanaqua, which means "little bear."
Koonsville was formerly known as Arch Bridge. The stone-arch bridge crossing Shickshinny Creek was the only one of that kind in this section for many years. It was barely wide enough for the passage of a single wagon, and if a driver was reckless enough to shift his quid from one side to the other in going across, he was liable to go into the water. The "narrowness" of the bridge was the cause of a legislative enactment requiring Union Township to increase its width. There was no penalty attached and the bridge never grew in width until the Union Turnpike was built when the turnpike company doubled its width. When the post office was established the name was changed to Koonsville for William Koons who lived for many years at that place.
Reyburn bears the name of one of the late President Garfield's physicians. The post office came into being about the time of Garfield's death and the people not having a suitable name, the department gave the name of Reyburn to the post office.
Beach Haven was named in honor of Nathan Beach, one of the Connecticut settlers, who came to Salem in 1773 and had already located land in Beach Haven before the township was organized at Windham, Connecticut.
Conyngham Township was set off from Hollenback in 1865 and bears the honored name of Judge John N. Conygham.
Wapwallopen, a jaw breaker to the uninitiated, is of Indian origin, its English equivalent being "The place where the messengers were murdered." Who the messengers were and who murdered them is not recorded.
Fairmount Springs was first known as Fairmount Township post office but afterward assumed the present name owing to a fine spring on the property of Justice B. P. Smith. The township name came from the elevations-fairmount.
Hollenback was taken from Nescopeck in 1845 and named for Matthias Hollenback.
Hunlock's Creek took its name from Jonathan Hunlock, who located at the mouth of the stream and was driven out by the Indians in 1778. He returned three years later, from whom sprung the family bearing that name.
Huntington Township bears the name of Samuel Huntington, of Windham, Connecticut, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. Huntington is one of the "seventeen certified townships" laid out by the Susquehanna Company and previous to 1776 was known as Bloomingdale Township.
Nescopeck, in the Indian language, is "deep black water." The township and borough get their name from the creek and [the] creek from the color of the water. If the aborigine could return and look upon the water in the creek now he would see how much better he built than he knew. The town occupies the site of the village of the Delaware Indians.
Hardpan is another one of the "didn't know it was loaded" cases. Several appropriate names were sent to the department when the post office was asked for, among them Dodson Chapel by which the locality had been known for some time. Hardpan was tacked on the tail end and partially as a joke. When the papers for the new office came the least desirable of all--Hardpan--was the name of the new office.
Town Line is just what the name indicates. The place is located on the township line dividing Huntington and Union Townships.
Ross was formed in 1842 from Union and Lehman [Townships] and named for William S. Ross, one of the Judges of Luzerne.
Salem was the town in Windham County [Connecticut], from which the Salem settlers came and bestowed the same name on their new home.
When the paper mills were built at Hublersville by the Koons brothers, the name was changed to Huntington Mills. J. K. Hubler owned the store and mill for several years and the place bore his name. The post office was not established until some years after the name was changed to Huntington Mills.
Waterton was named by the Watson brothers who succeeded Jared Harrison in the mercantile business at that point. In order to secure a post office H. D. Watson carried the mail from Shickshinny free for several years. The route was finally extended to Forks and compensation granted.
James G. Jones gave his name to Jonestown the place where he opened a store near the junction of Huntington and Fishing Creeks. The post office was Fishing Creek.
The residents of New Columbus desired to do honor to the discoverer of America when the place was named but there already being a Columbus in Warren County the word, "new," was required as a prefix before the town could be christened by the postal authorities.
Cambra is probably a contraction of cranberry. The oldest people frequently call it Cranberry from the cranberry swamps that are located nearby.
Register is a selection of the post office department. Pine Creek, Westover, other names were chosen by the applicants but the odd name of Register came out of it. --H. Derr Kleintob copied the original document
May 4, 2006.
Didja know that...
Pennsylvania's Center for Dairy Excellence recently reported that Pennsylvania's overall milk production has increased for 18 consecutive months, and that production per cow per day is up by several pounds.
The mother of Groucho Marx liked to insist that her 20-year-old boys were all thirteen so that they could travel by rail on discounted fares. Upon hearing their supposed ages, one train conductor quickly responded, "That kid of yours is in the dining car smoking a cigar. And another one is in the washroom shaving." The coy Minnie simply shook her head and retorted, "They grow so fast!" We tell this story, because Mother's Day is right around the corner. Have you thought of what you are getting the significant mother in your life on the day set aside to honor Mothers?
Chris Young, President, Columbia County Covered Bridges, Assn. Inc., announced a ribbon cutting at the Twin Bridges Park for noon on Thursday, May 25. The bridges have been repaired from the storm damage sustained two years ago. The park area has been re-graded, picnic tables added and a play area has been added for younger children. The toilets have been redone and there is water and electric available for activities. The Twin Bridges County Park is available for use by the general public and any larger organization wanting to have an outdoor event. The Josiah Hess Covered Bridge and its "new sign" are only two miles from the twin bridges. Follow the signs.
Tours of the Pennsylvania State Archives will take place at 10 AM and 2 PM on May 6 and 20 and June 3 and 17. Staffers will introduce visitors to the workings of the Archives and provide descriptions of the vast holdings of government records and documents. The highlight of the tour will be an up-close look at the State Charter in its vault. Land and prison records will be on view as will Civil War records. Reservations are required; call (717) 787-5989.
At 2 PM on Sunday, May 7, a program, The Welsh Dragon Tongues, will be presented through stories and songs by Beth Phillips Brown and Jodee James, depicting basic facts about Wales, Welsh history and culture, and the role Welsh-Americans played in Pennsylvania's history. The program is free and open to the public and will be held in the visitors' center at Eckley Miners' Village. Call (570) 636-2070 for more information.
May entertainment at Kristie's Kafe, Stillwater, includes Tom Beaupre and Garratt Lowe from to 8 PM on the 12th, Raven Creek from 6-8 PM on the 19th and an open mike from 6-8 PM on the 26th. Come to listen to the talent, or come to show Kristie your talent.
Caleb E. Hoyt, 84, the owner of Hoyt's Fuel Service, Broadway, from 1972 until he retired in 1989, died Wednesday at the Bonham Nursing Center, Register, where he resided for three weeks following three months of hospitalization at the Geisinger Hospital following a heart attack and heart surgery. "Keppie" (Feb. 28, 1922-May 3, 2006), 5063 Route 487, Benton, was born in Benton Township, a son of the late Milton I. and Rea (Chapin) Hoyt. He resided in Luzerne County at Broadway from 1947 to 2005, when he moved to his Sugarloaf Township home with his wife, the former Joyce M. "Sue" Metcalf. Keppie served with the U.S. Army during World War II.
In addition to his wife Sue, four children survive: Jackie Lee Shaw (Lloyd), Springville; Pamela K. Holland (Richard), Hagerstown, MD.; Peggy Louise Fink (Harry), Broadway; Kris L. Hoyt (Tammy), Broadway; 10 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. Carl Dean Hoyt, a son, died on Nov. 4, 2002; by Keppie's two sisters: Bertha Boston and Rosa Young; and two brothers: Sterling J. Hoyt and Lloyd B. Hoyt, have died.
Funeral services Friday will be private at the Dean W. Kriner Inc. Funeral Home. There will be no viewing. Interment with military honors will take place in Bloomingdale Cemetery, Luzerne County.
We recently mentioned an old Southern ballad, I Am My Own Grandpa, which brought several reader comments, including one to the right of center and one to the left of center. One comment was about the nonsense song, Polly Woolly Doodle and the other about Amazing Grace, one of the first songs performed by Carter and Ralph Stanley.
Amazing Grace, as most of you know who have glanced at the bottoms of your Sunday hymnals, was written by John Newton (1725-1807), but there are things about old John that you might not know. John had a tough beginning. Born in 1725, he went to sea at the age of nine as an orphan. He deserted from the British Navy, but was captured, placed in irons and publicly whipped. He signed on with a slave ship carrying human cargo from Africa to America. Whipping ahead to when John was 23, his ship almost went down in a violent storm, and he turned to God and began studying the Bible, while becoming a captain of his own slave ship. At the age of 33, he gave up the life on the high seas and became a minister in the Church of England. Legend has it that he still wore a sea captain's uniform, carried a Bible in one hand and a cane in the other. While serving as pastor of a church in Olney, England, he composed Amazing Grace. Perhaps the best known hymn in America today, it was originally known as New Britain or Harmony Grove. Newton's lyrics sum up the Christian doctrine of Divine grace and loosely came from the text of Ephesians 2:4-8.
"Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.
Just as I headed for bed Wednesday night, an email came in from a reader asking who Ralph Stanley was. Oh, dear! This man is an American bluegrass musician. Ralph Edmond Stanley grew up in southwestern Virginia, learning to play the banjo claw-hammer style from his mother. With his older guitar-playing brother, Carter, the brothers formed the Stanley Brothers Band in 1946 singing traditional country music and primitive church music. The Stanley Brothers and their band, the Clinch Mountain Boys, were active from 1946 to 1966 when Carter died. Ralph's work was featured in the 2000 film O Brother, Where Art Thou? Ralph Stanley was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor in 1992 and is usually referred to in the bluegrass world by the title, "Dr. Ralph Stanley," simply an honorary degree from Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee.
May 3, 2006.
Harry Ritter was happy when he read about the play that we see this afternoon in Abingdon, VA, on the life and times of Carter and Ralph Stanley. It turns out that Harry's mother was born in McClure, Virginia. Harry remembers that "To get there we had to go Clintwood (VA) first," the home of Dr. Ralph Stanley and the present location of his museum. Harry wanted us to go to Clintwood yesterday to find a Dennis Reedy book "about life & times in that area." Mr. Reedy wrote a book entitled WM Ritter Lumber Co. Family History Book. Harry wanted me to look at that book, as well as "The W.M. Ritter Lumber Co. Inc. (Romance of Appalachian Hard Woods 1890 50 Years of Service 1940). These books and others are supposed to be in The Jonnie B. Deel Memorial Library in Clintwood. We wanted to do just that, but the trip in the motor home over route 142 from Mountain City, North Carolina, to Bristol, Tennessee, played us out yesterday. Next trip.
We missed Eric Jost's 22nd birthday on April 30, 2006, and we apologize for that. Eric taught us how to use the programs necessary to prepare and uplink the web pages for the Benton News and for that we shall always be grateful. Erik is serving as a network administrator at Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii, but has been on medical leave following surgery for repair of a torn rotator cuff.. He married a California girl, Krystal Carrasco, November 17, 2005. Eric, Krystal and their Lab/Terrier pup named Kai live on base. His work address is CSSG-3 HQ CO S-6, KANEOHE BAY HI 96863, and if you write after May 15, address the letter to CPL Erik Jost, as he is getting promoted on or about May 15. Erik is now taking courses to qualify for Cisco networking certification.
We will update the Servicemen section of the Benton News when we have a reliable internet connection next week, and will include Eric and the Laubach boys--LCpl Jesse at Camp Lejeune, and LCpl Jared at Kaneohe Bay HI. As long as we are in the update process, this will be our periodic call for churches, businesses, service people, and organizations to email with changes to information that you would like shared about you. We can only publish what you give us.
We received an email asking about logging with helicopters on North Mountain. We'll share our response with other readers. In October 2000, the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources signed up helicopters for logging at Ricketts Glen State Park. In 2001, the same company, Carson Helicopter Services, Inc., Jacksonville, Oregon, was contracted by Dwight Lewis Lumber Co., Inc., Hillsgrove, to cut and remove trees from state game lands 57.
The Game Commission divided the area into eight blocks, a total of 471 acres, and marked the timber to be sold. Lewis Lumber ended up with approximately 850,000 board feet from the $216,565 contract. The "salvage-cut" contract stipulated that trees had to be removed by helicopter to avoid environmental damage.
Fifteen cutters downed the trees. Helicopters then moved in and five guys (known in the business as "hookers"), secured the logs for liftoff under the huge Sikorsky Super-61 helicopter, capable of lifting 11,000 pounds, transporting the logs to the landing area two air-miles away. The cost for the whirly-bird? A dollar a second while the blades were running. After an hour of flying, the helicopter returned to the landing area to refuel. The 66-foot, twin-engine helicopter burned a reported 165 gallons of fuel an hour.
At the landing area, the two pilots in the Sikorsky released the hook, and the cables and logs dropped. The helicopter then rose up again, disappearing over the ridge to pick up another load. With the two-mile flight, the helicopters averaged 70 to 80 thousand board feet (MBF) a day. A log loader picked the trees up and placed them on a pile where the "knot bumpers" began measuring and marking the logs. Trucks slowly carried the logs seventy miles to the sawmill in Hillsgrove.
Have you noticed that a mother-in-law who is willing to baby-sit
doesn't make a lot of mistakes.
A reader asked if I had heard any good "sayings" while in North Carolina. Well, yes. Here are a couple I enjoyed, retold as best as I can remember them...
* The cheese done slipped off her cracker.
* She looked like she was passin' a peach pit.
* He don't know gee from haw.
* My dog never met a man he didn't lick.
* He fiddled like the strings were still in the cat.
* Don't litter: spay and neuter. (On the bumper of a car)
And we have always loved the story of being "My Own Grandpa" which originated here in the south. We haven't a clue who wrote it, but here it is...
"I married a widow with a grown daughter. My father fell in love with my stepdaughter and married her, thus becoming my son-in-law. So, my stepdaughter became my mother because she was my father's wife."
"My father's wife gave birth to a son. He was, of course, my father's brother-in-law and also my uncle, for he was the brother of my stepmother."
"Accordingly, my wife was my grandmother, because she was my father's mother. I was my wife's husband and grandchild at the same time. And since the husband of a person's grandmother is his grandfather I am my own grandpa."
Tuesday, May 2, 2006.
We'll start off today mentioning where we are in North Carolina, whip back to Benton and discuss the golf course and head to Towanda to discuss historic buildings. We'll then discuss two people influential in many people's lives: 'Cappie' Reece and Ivan Bond.
A reader, confused by recent, quickly written articles on North Carolina and our stay in Bluegrassic Park, asked for more information on where we are in North Carolina.
Monday we were in the Snake Mountain area of North Carolina, which climbs to about 5,000 feet, only a short distance from Deep Gap, where Doc Watson makes his home and old-time music is all that is heard. This is the Watauga and Ashe County area of northwestern North Carolina where the New River begins its flow north into Virginia, flowing through Galax and Radford, then flowing into West Virginia and ending at Gauley Bridge where the New and the Gauley Rivers join as the Kanawha, later flowing into the Ohio and then the Mississippi Rivers. This is a place where the music of the movie Deliverance would fit right in. For younger readers, Deliverance dates back to 1970, the story of four men our of the suburbs of Atlanta who take their canoes down the fictional Cahulawasee river in Georgia.
We suspect that a little moonshine gets made up here in the mountains, if there is any truth to the story that we heard about three tenant farmers who brewed a little. Times hadn't been good and all three were down in their luck a bit, but they were a couple jugs of white lightening ahead. The first farmer said that when he sold his brew, he was going to buy his wife a new sewing machine. The second farmer said he was going to buy his wife a new washing machine, the kind that "runs on itself." The third man hadn't said a word. Finally someone asked Zeke what he was going to do for his wife. Zeke thought for a minute, then said, "Pass me the jug. I ain't out of debt yet!"
Mornings here include a breakfast of salty county ham, served family style, often served with fried apples and breath-stopping coffee. Rocking chairs pose Cracker Barrel style on porches of the houses along the road..
Monday we passed down a tree-lined country road, noting a man and his wife walking, although we didn't see an actual destination for the next couple of miles. The man lifted his arm and waved his finger as if to say "Hi'Ya!", acting as though we were old friends. Maybe he knew something I didn't. Maybe we were long lost relatives...
Planning to be in the Towanda area? Towanda Borough has a wealth of historical buildings. There is the Christini house at 1 York Avenue, which was built in 1812 as a tavern and inn. There is the Bradford County Courthouse, which was built in 1896 for $200,000. and is always worth a visit just to see the windows. There is the house at 100 Bridge Street, which was built in 1816 and which was the home of one of the first settlers of Towanda. These buildings are just a few of the 441 buildings in Towanda's Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
The Mill Race Golf Course is off to a wonderful start for the season. Jim Hartkorn has the course in wonderful shape. The greens were aerated two weeks ago. Anyone wishing to have a tournament or outing should call soon to make sure your date can be arranged. Their kitchen is open from 11-4, Tuesday through Sunday.
A letter "To the Editor" of the Press Enterprise written in 2002 is worth reprinting today. The subject of the letter was "Born to Teach -- Mrs. Capitola Pennington Reece," about a fourth-grade teacher many readers will remember. The letter read...
"My best year in Benton Elementary School was fourth grade, 1951 to 1952, with 'Cappie' Reece who made learning fun. We had activity centers before that became part of teacher training, such as a grocery store to learn math, spelling bees, a game known "Go to the Head of the Class, and special projects if you finished your seat work. I remember making a castle from cardboard boxes and painting it. Drawing was a favorite activity. She taught the 'three Rs,' as well as geography, health, and phys ed. She would jump rope with us at recess. She handled rainy days indoors by providing board games, ball and jacks, pick up sticks etc.
"Experiences for public speaking stemmed from free educational materials which we obtained by mail. Demonstration speeches derived from these materials. We also read a favorite story to the class."
"Mrs. Reece did not need to stress discipline. She handled the 'class talker' by placing him or her beside her desk. Special occasion parties were great. Each of us volunteered to bring something good to eat, Christmas being the best of all with a gift exchange. I became an elementary teacher with Mrs. Reece as my role model."
Dennis Threlkeld knew his own Dad exactly 23 years and 1 month, before he passed on from cancer. Dennis met his future father-in-law, Ivan Bond, in March, 1983, exactly 23 years and 1 month ago, before he passed on. Dennis wrote a eulogy for Ivan for the funeral services Sunday night in which he noted the irony in the lives of his father and his father-in-law. Dennis called Ivan "a rare man," a man who lived with integrity, "a man who knew good character when he saw it in a person and who "lived his life with more honesty and character than any four other men I have ever known."
Dennis recalled the year Ivan fell off of a ladder and broke both of his heels while helping his son Kenny build a shed. Ivan was severely injured. Dennis said, "After many months of recuperation, it was time for his week at Painter Den. He loved Painter Den with all his heart and would never miss any time up at camp. Well, two broken heels were not going to stop this man. So--up we went to fish, eat and explore. Ivan could not be held down. He convinced me to go on a ride with him in his jeep. Down the (Susquehanna & Tioga) turnpike we went until we came to a log across the road. Back up? Not Ivan! We tried to go around the log, and in doing so came down hard and broke a tie rod. Now, we were four miles back in the woods, and I had no idea where I was at the time, and he couldn't walk. We tried to work on that Jeep for over 3 hours, to no avail. We didn't know it but everyone back at camp was worried sick by now and ready to call for a search party, but Ivan wasn't worried one bit. The sun was going down and I knew I heard a coyote howl, and here was Ivan talking about spending the night in the woods!"
Dennis remembered that suddenly Ivan had an idea! Ivan remembered that Dennis "had a buck knife, so we took it, cut down a branch and whittled it down until it fit just right into the hollow tie rod ends. We still needed something to keep the ends from coming apart. Ivan gave me a funny look, looked down and said, "Take off your belt"! He used my belt to strap the wheel to the frame and somehow we drove out like that, much to the relief of the family back at the cabin and one concerned yet amazed son in law. From that day forward, He always seemed to find a way to work on something and make it right. That was my friend--that was our father--that was Ivan."
Dennis concluded that Ivan "will be greatly missed by everyone and I feel overwhelmed at the thought that I won't see Ivan or hear his voice again, until we meet in heaven. But his presence is felt even more today than ever before. He will continue to shine his light on each and every one of us. Every time you see a beautiful whitetail buck, or see a farmer out on a tractor in a field, you will see Ivan. Every time you see some lone fisherman out on Painter Den pond you will see Ivan. Just as the farmer leaves his footprints on freshly plowed soil, so too has Ivan left his footprints on our hearts, and just as the farmer plants seeds that will nourish us with food, so too has Ivan planted seeds on our souls to nourish us in the days to come without him. That will be Ivan's legacy, and that's what makes him so special. That is what made him my friend, that is what made him so dear to us all."
May 1, 2006.
Our motor home pulls out of the civilized world this morning, defined as a place having both cell phone and internet service, even if it is not dependable coverage. It is one of those mist mornings so prevalent in the south. We head into the mountains for the Blue Ridge Parkway. As Tennessee Williams once wrote, "There is time for departure even when there is no certain place to go."
The only certain place we will visit today is the memorial to Moses Cone, a businessman and nature lover who, like David Thoreau, "went to the woods" because he wished to live deliberately. The Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone, North Carolina, winds through the forest and meadows of Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. The place we stop is Flat Top Manor, the former home of Cone. Moses supplied Carolina textile mills and their general stores with groceries, often accepting payment in marketable fabrics rather than hard cash.
Moses and his brother, Ceasar, moved from groceries into textiles. By 1891, the brothers established the Cone Export and Commission Company, a firm which acted as the selling agent for southern mills. A few years later, the Cone brothers moved their headquarters to Greensboro, NC. In 1895, the brothers built a mill, calling it "proximity," because of its nearness to fields of cotton, warehouses and railways. Proximity Manufacturing Company made Moses H. Cone into "the Denim King," although corduroy, flannel, and other fabrics came off the production lines. Eventually, the renamed Cone Mills had more than 30 plants.
Moses Cone did not have good health and his fondness for nature played a part in his move to the Blue Ridge. When he was 40, Moses and his wife, Bertha, began buying more than 4,000 acres, including Flat Top Mountain.
Cone created a mansion, a 20-room "Flat Top Manor," imported whitetail deer from Pennsylvania and then protected them. The governor of Pennsylvania and Cone's friend, Gifford Pinchot, himself a noted conservationist, aided in planting white pine forests and hemlock hedges. His tenants grazed his sheep, milked his milk cows, a carbide plant provided gas for lighting and cooking. Stables, barns, and carriage houses were built, as well as miles of carriage roads, 10,000 apple trees were planted, and eventually a bowling alley was constructed.
Cone, who somewhat resembled our former Congressman, Dan Flood, sported a full handlebar moustache and parted his black hair right down the middle. He dressed in knickers when he supervised his workers and at night he wore his tie and vest smack in the middle of the Blue Ridge. He gave the local schools four dollars for every one dollar raised by taxpayers. He donated the money to start the present Appalachian State University and served on the school's original board. Moses Cone died in 1908 at the age of 51. The U.S. Government now owns the house and what was his land and it is open to the public. It is our first stop today, our only certain stop, our third visit to this part of the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Our travels for the next several days will take us into the Blue Ridge mountains, far from the internet and cell phones. We will rejoin you when we can find a reliable internet connection, or when we arrive in Abingdon, Virginia.
Abingdon is a center for the arts. Actor Robert Porterfield founded Virginia's State Theatre, the Barter Theatre, during the Depression of the 1930s. The name "Barter" comes from the former practice of accepting "35 cents or the equivalent in produce" as the price of admission. During the theatre's first season, this method of trading "ham for Hamlet" netted $4.35 in cash, two barrels of jelly, and an estimated collective weight gain among the actors of more than 300 pounds. Wednesday, we'll see Man of Constant Sorrow, the story of the Stanley Brothers, Ralph and Carter, at the Barter Theatre.
Business is what, when you don't have any, you go out of.
George Ketner, a 1954 graduate of Benton High School and son of Warren Ketner, former Benton High School Principal, will be Back Home in Benton, PA, for the first time since his 40th reunion, for a few days about May 26 and 27.
"Make hay while the sun shines."
--A Saying Southerners Like to Claim
As many in Benton know, seasonal allergy symptoms continue through March and April. In April, May and June, the grasses pollinate. Mild allergy symptoms include itchy, red, watery eyes, sneezing, runny or blocked nose, sinus pressure and chronic headaches. These symptoms can lead to wheezing, asthma, shortness of breath, poor exercise tolerance or even a fatal asthma attack from pollen. It will all be over at the end of June!
We have been remiss in not keeping readers posted on the upcoming Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center auction. Donations of items to be auctioned are still needed and in the near future we'll acquaint you with many of the items that will be auctioned off.