May 31, 2010, the 151st day of 2010. Today's high will be about 15° above normal--perfect for dipping in the waters of Fishing Creek. There is a 30% chance of showers or thunderstorms, but little accumulation. It is the birthday of Dimi Marinos, Helen Steinruck and Harry Watts. It is the day when we celebrate the veterans of the United States, but more about that later.
On this date in...
. 1884, a patent for "flaked cereal" was applied for by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Kellogg accidentally left a pot of boiled wheat. When it was put through a rolling process, each grain of wheat emerged as a large, thin flake. When the flakes were baked, they became crisp and easy to prepare as a breakfast when milk was added. His brother, Will Keith Kellogg, assisted his brother, and in 1906 created the Battle Creek Toasted Corn Flake Co.
. 1889, in a river valley 185 miles southwest of Back Home in Benton, PA, a neglected dam pelted by driving rain led to a catastrophe in which 2,209 people perished and Johnstown was nearly wiped off the face of the earth.
. 1922, the Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. 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. It is a favorite stopping place for Washington tourists.
The Memorial Day holiday Back Home in Benton, PA, will be a quiet and restful day. Some kids will float their tubes down Fishingcreek and there will be a few fishermen on the streams and there will be wonderful baked goods and outdoor cooking. Banks, government offices and restaurants are closed, as Father used to say, "tighter than a drum." Didja ever wonder how many people actually observe the day as it was meant to be observed? It is nice to have a holiday where presents are 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.
If we are going to honor the veteran today, we should know a little about the person who has defended our country over the years. We have often told how the Union and Confederate soldiers dressed during the Civil War.
His coat was e'er so much too short,The Federal government allocated $42 per year to its soldiers during the Civil War. The average infantryman wore a cap, an overcoat, dress coat, trousers, shirts, drawers, socks, coat, trousers, shirts, drawers, socks and shoes. He was issued a woolen and a rubber blanket. Then, like now, the fighting men (and women) who serve our county look very much alike.Today he is likely to be 19, the average age, full of muscles, not old enough to buy a beer but old enough to make the supreme sacrifice for his country. He has never collected unemployment insurance, only recently graduated from high school and will soon be joined by another round of young men who graduates in the current class. He probably never has seen more than a half dozen of our states--but has traveled half way around the world. He may have excelled in athletics in school, probably spend time fixing up an old wreck of a car which became his pride and joy. His high-school sweetheart says she is going to wait for him to return from overseas, just as her grandmother did with her grandfather during the Second World War, but it often doesn't quite work out that way in the present generation. What is "music to his ears" is the occasional exposure to the sounds of hip-hop or what those of us from an older generation would call rock and roll or the sharp reports of a 155mm howitzer.
His pants a mile too wide,
And when he marched could not keep step
However much he tried.
He doesn't weigh what he did at home--but he doesn't eat his mother's home cooking! His spelling leaves something to be desired, partly because his past letter writing consisted of texting. His letters to his "girl" back home and to his parents consist of an occasion email. He is able to field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in the dark. His rifle is kept clean and he uses his weapons as easily as he uses his hands--while retaining the ability to use his hands like weapons. He can recite statistics from a machine gun or grenade launcher, perform first aid with the skill of an EMT, dig either a foxhole or a latrine without complaint, then on orders will march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march again. Every order is obeyed instantly. He wears one set of fatigues and washes his other set to keep it clean. He can cook his own meals and attend to his own medical needs. He is willing to save your life or to take your life.
He makes about half what a civilian would make and works twice as hard. He has seen more suffering and death at his young age than many of us "more seasoned" have. He isn't ashamed to break down in tears when a buddy is lost in combat. He snaps to attention at the sounds of the National Anthem and would glare at anyone who didn't stand at the sound of the music, or remove their hat or stop talking. He pays a high price for our freedom, as did his father, his grandfather and those in previous generations who fought for our country.
Today is Memorial Day, once was known as Decoration Day. It is a day set aside to commemorates U.S. soldiers who died in military service. It is an observance which was enacted to honor Union soldiers of the Civil War and expanded after the First World War. It is a day when we pay the soldiers--men and women--our highest gratitude, respect and admiration.Quickies...• Natural gas prices for the week ending May 26 were lower at markets across the lower 48 states according to the Henry Hub spot price: $4.19 per million Btu (MMBtu), a decrease of $0.09 compared with the previous Wednesday.
--Reported by the U. S. Energy Administration• BP hopes to contain the flow of oil from the Gulf leak with a "lower marine riser package," or cap. The operation would involve removing a broken-drilling pipe, or riser, atop the blowout preventer and capping the valve with a siphon that would take the oil to the surface. There is no guarantee that this will work--let's just hope that it doesn't make the situation worse. The situation is developing into as big a war as the United States faces anywhere in the world.
• Gasoline prices continue to drop. Friday the national average was $2.749 a gallon according to AAA.• Marcia Kay and I planned to be in Hammondsport and Mount Morris, New York, over the weekend and camping beside a lake in Northern Pennsylvania for the rest of the week. Our motor home decided to balk at the idea as we drove from State College north on PA Route 220. Between Lock Haven and Woolrich, the rig gave us trouble and we spend Sunday afternoon in the right lane of a four-lane highway until a tow truck hauled us out of our dilemma.
May 29 & 30, 2010. Watch for the heat Sunday and Monday. Lets hope for some moisture relief Saturday or Tuesday.May 29, the birthday of David Slavick, David Croiter, Kevin Karnes, Leslie Townes Hope and John F. Kennedy. The borough could use about three traffic lights for today to support the number of people who will be walking the streets of Benton looking for bargains. Yard sales extend north to the Christ United Methodist church in Central from 8 AM to 2 PM, where homemade ice cream will be featured.
May 30, the birthday of Nina Baker, Tanya McHenry, and Brandon Schupp. It is the wedding anniversary of Bill and Adele Confair. Krysten Ritter will be back on "Breaking Bad" tonight on AMC at 10 PM. (Check local listings). Krysten says "It was so great and so fun to be invited back. I love this show and all the wonderful actors especially my man Aaron Paul." The monthly breakfast is at the Benton fire hall from 7 AM to 1 PM.
The Sullivan County Historical Society is starting another summer season. From June 3 until the Saturday of Labor Day, the museum will be officially opened on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 1 to 5 PM. The museum complex is located behind the Sullivan County Courthouse on Courthouse Square in Laporte. From Route 220 turn onto Route 42 and at the top of the hill you’ll see the courthouse. Turn left onto Muncy Street and then left again onto Meylert Street (you’ll have just circled the square). This summer the museum is having a memorial brick sidewalk installed from Muncy Street for more easily accessible handicapped access. Bricks are available at $50 each with an application of desired wording.
The inception of the society/museum began in 1932 with the incorporation of it in 1956. Many items have been gifted to the museum through the years for display and research. In 1988 a new wing was built onto the 1890s original building. By 1995, the Baldwin House property was obtained with its yards and gardens beautifully arrayed in plantings of the 1850 to 1880 period. And eventually a large barn and wagon shed were added for outside artifacts and their displaying. The society is proud to boast that its existence is thanks to a totally volunteer staffing effort. People from in and around the community put forth the effort needed to present visitors with as much background to the history of the people of Sullivan County as can be obtained. The archival research area of genealogy hosts more than 400 family histories.
Should you wish to volunteer, visit on an off day or contact the society for more information. Call 946-5020 and ask for Melanie Norton, Custodian/President. Melly can also be reached at 924-3027, or email the museum at sullymuseum AT chilitech.net. Failing all that, just stop in if you see to “open” sign in the window.
• The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, June 3, at 6 PM at the Jack Treas Pavilion on the Old Trail, Shamokin Dam. The GHSSV will hold its annual summer picnic featuring German American and German food, along with socialization. Members and guests are invited for this free event. Bring a German American or German dish or two to share, as well as your own place setting and beverage. Contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer at 374-7730 for more information.• At the risk of offending some who feel differently about illegal immigration than I do, here is a tongue-in-cheek dittie by Ray Stevens.• The pulled pork sandwich from Smokehouse Bar-B-Que served at the Benton Farmer's Market is absolutely wonderful. Many readers will remember Bill and Barb Schnitzler from the days when they operated the butcher shop north of Benton. They took some time off to head south to learn the art of making barbecue and ribs. They tried the vinegar-based sauces of east North Carolina, the combination of ketchup and vinegar from the center of the state, and the heavier ketchup base of western North Carolina. In North Carolina, the barbecues usually include cole slaw--shredded cabbage marinated in cole slaw dressing of mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar and spices. The cole slaw is served "on the side" or piled on top. Combine the sandwiches with the homemade ice cream available at the local farmer's market and you have a feast! Try it Saturday.• Sunday is the dedication of the veteran's brick walk and flag pole at The Center (N4Cs). The ceremony begins at 5 PM with a reception to follow in The Center. The high school brass quintet has been added to the program and will play before and after the ceremony. The area around the flag pole has been paved with bricks naming patriots who have served in all U.S. wars, including those who protected our country from harm between wars. The Center honors relatives and friends from the past and loved ones in the present. You will see bricks of patriots from as far back as the Prince Phillips War more than 100 years prior to the American Revolution--all the way up to men and women who are in the service and protecting us today. Make it a point to attend.• It was a fine day April 24 at the Italian Festival in the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia when 30 members of the Opera Company of Philadelphia and principal cast members of La Traviata performed a large-scale "flash opera." I suspect that you won't be able to watch without breaking into a smile! Turn here for the event. It goes to show that a little Verdi makes any Italian meal a little better...• The 1989 Exxon Valdez spill of 11 million gallons into Alaska's Prince William Sound held the previous title as the worst U.S. oil disaster according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) . In the current environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the USGS used both the amount of oil on the surface and BP's underwater video to estimate that 12,000 barrels to 19,000 barrels a day are spewing from the damaged well. The amount of oil spilled since April 20 could be as high as 29.5 million gallons.
Maxine B. (Hagenbuch) McHenry (May 3, 1920-May 28, 2010), Stillwater, died Friday at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, after being in failing health since March. She had her 90th birthday on May 3. She was born in Stillwater. She was a daughter of McHenry "Mac" Hagenbuch and Letha (Richie) Hagenbuch. She worked as a secretary at the Lancaster livestock yards in her younger years and later worked for the Berwick Ribbon Factory. She was an active member of the Stillwater Christian Church where she had been a Sunday School teacher, served as a Deaconess and assisted with daily vacation Bible school, the clothing give-away and with publication of newsletters. She served as a Democrat committeewoman for Stillwater borough for many years.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jack W. McHenry, on May 28, 1983, by a brother, Franklin O. Hagenbuch, and by a sister, Eleanor Hess. Surviving are her children Franklin Richard "Dick" McHenry (Janet), Enterprise, Alabama; Mary Lee Evans, Stillwater; Daniel T. McHenry and Lynne Cresswell, Stillwater and Surfside Beach, SC, and Jacalyn M. Lindner (Jeffrey), Stillwater. There are ten grandchildren: Beth McHenry and Eric McHenry of Ft. Walton Beach, Florida; Michaelene Bason (Bill), Berwick; Marcus Evans (Darcy), Shamokin Dam; Travis McHenry (Cathryn), Anaheim, California; Seth McHenry (Katlyn), Murrels Inlet, SC; Casey McHenry, Benton; Devin Cover (Ron III), Stillwater; Kelsey and Cassidy Lindner, Stillwater. There are 7 great grandchildren: Ashton McHenry, New Orleans, Louisiana; Nicholas McHenry, Anaheim, CA; Zachery and Tyler Ferguson, Danville; Zerick, Lyric and Reagan Evans, Shamokin Dam.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11 AM with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in the Stillwater Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the building fund, Stillwater Christian Church, 42 Wesley Street, Stillwater, PA 17878. For online condolences or to sign the online register book, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
May 28, 2010. It is the birthday of Scott Wary, Pam Karnes, and twins Randy Karschner, Derrs Road, and Robby Karschner, Austin Trail. There is a benefit fundraiser for the Eric Hess family Saturday with everything from breakfast sandwiches to hot dogs, hamburgers, potato chips, candy bars, cupcakes, and Pepsi products at 99 Main Street, home of the Century 21 Covered Bridges Realty offices. There will be food available (sponsored by the Acornley family) at the First Columbia Bank to benefit Eric Hess. At 510 Market, Bryan Hart will be selling Benton Wrestling State Champion T-shirts, 2009-2010 Season Highlight DVD's ($5, also includes the District IV Team Duals Championship Highlight Film), and gun raffle tickets. Get your car washed at D.R.'s on Saturday by the Benton Youth Wrestlers who are doing a fundraiser for their program! There is a great deal happening over the upcoming three-day weekend. Go to www.bentonnews.net/events1.htm for the upcoming events. Phil Malhoyt is missing all the fun as he recovers at home from shoulder surgery. The thundershowers we were supposed to get Thursday turned out to be fizzlers. Oh, well, we will get some cooler weather out of it.No one was funnier than Ma and Pa Kettle. There is a sample of their humor here.
A close second was with Paw and Pearl. Here is an example of their humor...
Paw: What is it, Pearl?
Pearl: How do you spell Rat?
Paw: R-A-T, I reckon.
Pearl: Naw. I mean rat...like in rat now.
Paw: Well, lemme see...uh...R...
Pearl: I'm rattin' a letter to my boyfriend, Maynard, to tell him to come home from college rat now...
Paw: How come?
Pearl: Because Maytag's got the warshin' machine he's been wantin' at a sale price.
Paw: I didn't realize you could rat, Pearl.
Pearl: I can't, Paw.
Paw: I don't reckon it matters much.
Pearl: Naw...'cause Maynard don't know much how to read.
Paw: You say Maynard's in college, Pearl?
Pearl: Yes, sir...he's in medical school.
Paw: What's he a-studyin'?
Didja ever think that age is a matter of mind over matter? If you don't mind, it doesn't matter.
A grandson who recently visited left the local area with an unseen passenger--a deer tick. Buster and Chloe came home yesterday from a romp in the woods with a tick on each of them. It is the height of the tick season. The dogs are well safeguarded by doggie protection, but ticks climb on them even though their ride may be short. The scary part of the tick problem is the high percentage of ticks which test positive for disease-causing organisms which can lead to serious complications.
It is possible that any tick you encounter is carrying the Lyme-disease bacteria! Ticks are out and about from April through October, but mid-May through mid-July represents the period of greatest activity for the nymph stage of the tick and this is the period of the highest risk for disease transmission to people. Ticks can't fly, but they do settle in tall grass and bushes as they wait to attach themselves to a passing person or animal.
If you have to be in wooded or brushy areas, use tick repellents containing DEET or permethrin. Repellents containing up to 30 percent DEET can be used on the skin or clothing. Permethrin-based products, which are only applied to clothing, are effective and can last through several washings. Ticks climb from the ground, so apply repellent below the knees. Wear long pants and light-colored clothing and "stay on the path." When you get home, check your body carefully for ticks and get them off you as quickly as you can.
Lyme disease got its name in the early 1970s from pediatric-arthritis outbreaks in Lyme, Connecticut. The number of Lyme disease cases in Pennsylvania has increased every year over the past five. Lyme disease symptoms include fever, headache, chills, muscle pain, joint pain and fatigue and an expanding rash. The red bull's-eye rash, which appears in the tick-bite area within three to 30 days, is one of the earliest symptoms. Not everyone with Lyme disease develops the rash. The disease can result in joint swelling, nervous system problems or heart problems. Flu-like symptoms may also occur during the early stages of the disease. Later stages of Lyme disease can involve arthritic, cardiac and neurological complications. If detected early, it can be easily treated by antibiotics. Not all tick bites will result in disease. The disease cannot spread from person to person.
If you are walking in areas where you think ticks are likely, wear long-sleeved shirts and long-legged pants, socks, closed toed-shoes and a hat. Tuck your pant legs into your socks or boots and your shirt into your pants to keep ticks from getting under the clothing. Use repellents. Check yourself and others for ticks on the body and scalp. Use a tick and flea collar for pets, and check your animals periodically. After an outing, wash your clothes and take a shower.
Remove a tick with a pair of tweezers as close as possible to where it is attached to the skin. Grasp its head as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out with steady pressure. Don't twist, squeeze or burn the tiny tick. Fluids from the tick can transmit disease, so protect your fingers with a tissue. After removing the tick, treat the area with antiseptic. Write down the date of the removal. Any flu-like illness within 2-14 days after the bite could mean the start of a tick-carried disease. See a doctor at the first sign of flu-like symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that only one in every 10 cases is reported. In Pennsylvania, there were almost 8,000 cases reported in 2009. If you believe the statistic that only one in 10 are confirmed, we probably had nearly 80,000 cases of Lyme disease. The status of the grandson, you ask? Taking treatments "just in case."
May is National Lyme Disease Awareness Month. For more on the subject, head here.
• A memorial service for Cornelia E. MacDermott, who died December 18, 2009, at the Berwick Hospital, will be held at 11 AM Sunday in St. Gabriel's Church on Route 487 north of Benton after the regular Sunday worship service. A reception will follow in the church social hall. Mrs. McDermott lived at 1543 State Road 239, Stillwater PA. Memorials may be sent to the Luzerne County Historical Society, 49 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701, or the Osterhout Free Library, 71 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre, PA 18701. Arrangements are being handled by the Kriner Funeral Home.
• A memorial service for Helen J. (Deiter) Harvey who died March 12, 2010, at Emmanuel Nursing Center, Danville, will be held Sunday in the Stillwater Christian Church at 1 PM. A reception will follow in the church social hall.
May 27, 2010. It is the birthday of Jane Ackerman, Ron Igoe, Anne Northridge, William Sarge, and the wedding anniversary of Hobe and Jesse Whitenight and Scott and Julie Lyons. The flea markets of the area are coming alive in anticipation of the weekend. A number of choice spots on Mill Street were set up Wednesday. Expect beastly hot with thunderstorms until Friday when a cold front arrives bringing with it temperatures in the lower 70s. Enjoy the full moon tonight.Didja ever consider that Thanksgiving is a daywhen we pause to give thanks for the things we have.Memorial Day is a day when we pause to give thanksto the people who fought for the things we have.Much of last summer was spent getting rid of poison ivy. This year, the perennial native plant is back stronger than ever in the shape of a shrub or a small tree or just as a vine. Its short-stemmed and oval-shaped, small, fragrant, yellowish green three-leafed shape makes no attempt to hide. The oily poison of the ivy penetrates the pores of the human skin and develops hosts of tiny itching blisters which turn into burning and swelling. The plant can cause itching, redness, bumps and blisters that finally break and ooze. The poison ivy is somewhat like the thistle and the thorn--it protects itself without being destroyed, a step more advanced than most plants. The poison ivy wages its war without first being eaten.
If you think you've come into contact with poison ivy, wash carefully and immediately with soap and water. Regretfully, after you get poison ivy, it is almost too late to do much about it. A mild reaction can last one week to ten days, and a severe reaction three or four weeks. Here are some suggestions...
. Slice black trash bags to make long sheets, then put the sheets over poison ivy plants and weigh the bags down with rocks so no light can get to the plant. The poison ivy will die about a week later and you can remove the bags. You can do the same thing by thoroughly wetting newspapers and completely covering the plants so no light gets to the plant. Pouring boiling water on the plant will kill it.
. Morton salt poured on poison ivy on a sunny day will kill the plant.
. It is a waste of a good drink, but you can mix an ounce of vodka and two cups of water in a spray bottle. When saturated, the vodka dehydrates and kills the ivy. Twenty-mule-team Borax applied directly to the roots will also kill the plant.
. Put on a pair of rubber gloves, place your hand and arm inside a trash bag and use the bag as an enormous glove to pull the poison ivy out by its roots. Remove the trash bag inside out, leaving the ivy inside. Tie the bag securely and get rid of it in the trash. Hose down the gloves sufficient to remove the urushiol.Learn more about poison ivy by going here. There are home cures for poison ivy, none of which ever did much for me, but others will "swear by it." Arm & Hammer baking soda in a paste with water, Cascade dishwashing powder scrubbed on the affected area, Cutex nail-polish remover applied within 30 minutes, Carnation nonfat dry milk, Epson salt, white vinegar, Listerine, Preparation H, and Windex with ammonia--all home remedies. My recommendation: see a doctor.Quickies...• The 105th annual Benton alumni banquet takes place Saturday, May 29, at the Benton Area Middle/High School. This will be the 25th reunion year for the class of 1985 and the 50th reunion year for the class of 1960. Bissinger's Catering, Bloomsburg, will provide the catered meal. Carole J. Zeisloft, class of 1956, David Laubach, class of 1956, Unora B. Mendenhall, class of 1931, and Rodney L. Pennington, class of 1964, will be inducted into the Hall of Fame.
• Sharon Remphrey has been in the "hair business" for nearly 40 years. She feels that it is time for a change. She closes her doors June 10 and begins a new career as an activities' aid at Grandview Health Homes, Inc., 49 Woodbine Lane, Danville. Sharon is selling her salon equipment, supplies and products at this weekend's sales. Stop at 475 Main Street Friday and Saturday for some real bargains and to wish Sharon the very best in her new career. Sharon thanks everyone who has supported her for the last 38 years. Please keep her in your prayers as she begins a new career.
• Members of the Class of 1968 will turn 60 this year. They plan to celebrate August 15 at 2 PM at the home of classmate Tom Kline on Sunny Hillside Road. Linda Bronson is trying to find members and former members of the class of 1968. Those who can help plan the party or can come should contact Tom Kline at 925-5492.• Facebook currently has nearly 200 different privacy options and 50 privacy settings. If you put things on the internet that you don’t want others to see, be prepared to suffer the consequences.• Why are some things so hard for me to understand? Under Mexican population law, Article 67 reads, "Authorities, whether federal, state or municipal, are required to demand that foreigners prove their legal presence in the country, before attending to any issues." Arizona will have a similar law taking effect July 29 which will require police to check documents of people they "reasonably suspect" to be undocumented. The law will make Arizona the first state to demand that immigrants meet federal requirements to carry identity documents legitimizing their presence on American soil. Father would have said, "what is good for the goose is good for the gander."• Williams (NYSE: WMB) announced Tuesday a major acreage acquisition of 42,000 net acres that nearly doubles the company's exploration and production holdings in the Marcellus shale in northeastern Pennsylvania. The purchase increases its holdings in the Commonwealth to 94,000 acres, according to published reports by Bloomberg. The latest purchase was from Alta Resources LLC and its partners for $501 million, representing about 1.2 trillion cubic feet of potential natural-gas reserves. Williams reports that it will invest about $55 million this year for drilling, completion, seismic and facilities costs. The company claims that expenditures will increase to between $100 million and $200 million by 2012. Williams is no stranger to natural gas. The company started operations in 1908. Williams purchased Transco Energy Company in 1995. Local exposure to the company first began when the Transco pipeline was constructed a few miles north of Benton. The company and its employees have long been a good neighbor. The area breathed a sigh of relief in July 2007 when a federal jury convicted Michael C. Reynolds, 49, Wilkes-Barre, of providing material support to terrorists and other charges. Reynolds was accused of trying to work with al-Qaeda to target the Williams natural gas refinery in Wyoming; the Transcontinental Pipeline north of Benton and a former Standard Oil refinery in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.• Do you want to know who owns a parcel of land in Columbia County? Do you need to know how many acres are in your property? Do you want to know how many feet your house is from your property line? Do you want to know the property assessment on your property? Do you want to find out who the pillywigger is who owns the property two doors down? Find out this and much more by heading here.• A reader suggested that I dispense good advice in the Benton News as a way of consoling myself for no longer being able to set a bad example.• The Benton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church Street, Benton, will welcome its new pastor, Rev. Dr. David Mansfield, on Sunday, August 1. Rev. Mansfield has been the senior pastor at Fairhill Manor Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), 351 Montgomery Avenue, Washington, PA, since 2002. Rev. Mansfield is joined by his wife, Cathy, a women he calls "my partner in ministry." Rev. Mansfield served as a missionary in Zambia and as a pastor since 1977. Rev. Mansfield has a "special interest in visual media and strives to communicate God’s message through multi-media and multi-sensory worship." He can be found behind the pulpit as well as behind a camera, a love since his college days. He enjoys the outdoors, with an emphasis on photographing nature and practicing the art of fly fishing. Our location adjacent to Fishingcreek should be an ideal location for the Mansfields. You can listen to one of Rev. Mansfield's 2010 sermons by going here.
Quote of the Day:
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
--Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss)
May 26, 2010. It is the birthday of Gary Souder, Carol Vance, Yvonne Unbewust Lenbergs, Tom Fundock, Russell Hack, Laura Gould, Linnea Holdren, Connie Gardner and Lukas Hamilton. Nevin and Deb Dressler celebrate their wedding anniversary.
Sunday is the dedication of the veteran's brick walk and flag pole at The Center (N4Cs). The ceremony begins at 5 PM on May 30, with a reception to follow in The Center. Inside The Center, visitors will see other beautiful work completed by Joe Entero and his "brick shop kids" from the Job Corps Center. Much of the appeal of The Center comes from this group.
The veteran's memorial brick walk is quite unique. There is no known place in the entire country that has paved around the flag pole with bricks naming patriots that have served in all U.S. wars, including those who protected our country from harm between wars. The Center honors relatives and friends from the past and loved ones in the present. The Center is dedicated to volunteerism and service. It is only fitting that those who served and sacrificed to make it all possible are commemorated. You will see bricks of patriots from as far back as the Prince Phillips War more than 100 years prior to the American Revolution--all the way up to men and women who are in the service and protecting us today.
The program will include the following...
High school brass quintet
Dedication of the Flag Pole...........VFW Honor Guard
Guest Speaker..................................Mr. Jesse Turner, State Commander of the American Legion
Pledge of Allegiance................................................All
Rev. Al Lumpkin............Dedication of the brick walk
Representative of 117th District...........Karen Boback
Music...........................................The Benton Beauties
Representative of 109th District...........David Millard
Columbia County Commissioners.............Chris Young, Bill Soberick and David Kovach
Mayor of Benton...........................................Jan Swan
President of The Center (N4Cs)....................................Craig Merluzzi
Benediction and Consecration ........ Rev. Calvin Miller
Closing Comments............................Chuck Chapman
High school brass quintet
Reception and refreshments in the Center
Michael Edward Golder (December 14, 1934-May 15, 2010), a member of the class of 1953 of the Benton schools and former aerospace engineer for TRW in Southern California and in the Bay Area of California, died from the effects of cancer in Anderson, South Carolina. He was a graduate of the Sugarloaf four-room schoolhouse (two grades in each room, plus the home economics room with vocational and agriculture in the basement) and attended the Benton schools. He is survived by his wife Renee, sisters Sue Fisher, Peggy Wood Smith and by nieces and nephews. He had four children--Michael, Edward and Paul, plus a daughter--by a previous marriage, and the children reside in California, Michigan and the state of Washington.Quickies...
• Today's humor comes from stand-up comedian John Pinette. Watch it here.
• Photos of a natural-gas well in the Marcellus shale are available for viewing here. The photos were taken in Troy, Pennsylvania, at a Talisman Energy USA site, a company that says it plans to invest more than 1 billion dollars in Pennsylvania gas before the end of 2010.
• The local food bank is in need of volunteers for the third Tuesday of each month to help carry heavy bags of food to cars. The food bank needs paper and/or plastic bags. The Plant-A-Row program has started and the first fresh food giveaway will be June 15. Keep this in mind as you plant or harvest your garden.
• Anyone looking for a last minute gift for a birthday, anniversary, wedding or just a gift consider a cook book from any of the seven churches in the council. The sale of these cook books helps with council helping people in need such as the fuel fund which is no longer receiving help from Berwick Health and Wellness. This program is in question without community help.
• The Vacation Bible School will be held this year at the Benton Christian Church, corner of Third and Church Streets from June 14 through the 18 with closing at Benton Town Park on Sunday evening at 5:30 PM before the Kingdom Kidz Puppet Show--for all ages--at 7 PM. The Benton Food Bank will be the mission project of the week. Help fill a wheelbarrow with canned goods. A fun-filled week at the County Fair--with live farm animals one night--is in store for children ages 4 years to 6th grade.
• There will be a bloodmobile July 20 from 2-7 PM at the high school. If you haven't donated blood before, be a first-time donor and you could help save a life.• A vesper service in the park will be July 25 at 4 PM. Come out and support the local fire company, hear music and speakers plus enjoy refreshments.
• Kerry Fritz works for USAirways as a pilot and flies out of Philadelphia. He now flies to ten European destinations. Beginning June 1, USAirways will fly non-stop from Philadelphia to Anchorage, Alaska, every afternoon at 4. Alaska is a popular destination for people from the Benton area. Kerry notes that the best fares are out of Harrisburg to PHL than to ANC.
May 25, 2010. It is the birthday of Brenda Conrad, Lebanon, PA. Expect very warm weather through Thursday.Didja ever notice that people want the aisle seats,
the back of the church and the center of attention?Quickies...• The Benton United Methodist Church is collecting items for cleaning buckets that are used for floods and other disaster clean up. These items will be shipped to Mission Central in Mechanicsburg for distribution in the US and abroad. There have been many disasters lately and if people in the area want to participate in helping others, this may be a way. To fill a bucket is quite expensive, but families could go together and provide the needed items in the kit. Items may be dropped off at the U. M. church side entrance in the mission box.• The FFA is participating in a big way this year in the community yard sales in Benton. All proceeds will go to its fifth trip south to help with hurricane repairs. There are 17 going this year. They will be stationed at New Orleans, LA. The FFA will set up at Doug McCracken'sMain Street house and his new neighbors were gracious enough to lend their porch! The FFA will serve breakfast sandwiches and later in the day will have hot dogs, pulled pork and hamburger BBQ, as well as baked goods and a variety of other foods. There will also be lots of yard-sale items. Doug McCracken will have a "Special." If you buy $5 worth of yard-sale items, you will get a free bird feeder.• Sometimes what seems unworkable works. Take the government, for example. On a different subject, here is a solution for cleaning up the terrible oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Take a look here and see what you think...
• Dave Albertson, President of the Benton Fire Company, would like to thank all the people who organized and helped at the bluegrass benefit show at the Raven Creek Community Center. Dave extends a warm "Thank you to the Lykens Valley bluegrass band and Straight Drive band for playing to the sold-out crowd." He also thanks the community who responded, paid admission and bought food to benefit the Benton and North Mountain fire companies. These fire companies fought a March blaze on upper Raven Creek Road. "Our fire company usually meets people during their worst moments such as fires, accidents and illness," Dave said. "It was very rewarding to have people like Kay Stanton and David Hampton care enough to put on this bluegrass show as a way of showing their gratitude." Thanks to all for a great show.• There aren't many good movies released, or at least I don't find them. The last movie I really liked was "The Blind Side." A new movie called "City Island" made me laugh out loud a number of times--and that usually doesn't happen in a movie. The movie is not as wild as the trailer makes it out to be. It is one of the few movies that I would see a second time. As for Babies, see the trailer and skip the movie.A campground has long existed in an old sugar-maple grove between Fairmount and Huntington Townships, where Kitchen's Creek enters Huntington Creek, five miles southeast of Ricketts Glen. The first camp meeting took place there in 1868 at Headley's Maple Grove. The Headley Grove campground was renamed the Patterson Grove Campground on August 26, 1878. It became a camp-meeting ground of the Methodist Church.
The name for Patterson Grove was in honor of the mother of a wealthy businessman of New Brunswick, New Jersey, Ezekiel Montgomery Patterson. The mother, Mary Denison Patterson, had been a church supporter in that area for fifty years.
By 1885, the grove had 160 tents, cabins and other buildings, each from two to six rooms. Some had verandahs and other "outward adornments." The grove had from 1,000 to 1,500 residents during the two weeks at the camp meetings. Sundays, according to articles that we have read, the number could swell to 10,000.
Daily services began with prayer at 5:30 AM, then came family worship at 7, experience meetings at 9, preaching at 10:30, children's meeting at 1:30 PM, missionary meeting at 3, song-and-praise meeting at 4:30, prayer meeting at 6, and preaching at night. The revival in 1892 was typical. "Early in the morning and all through the day the road leading to the camp was lined with wagons buggies and vehicles of every description (which) were hurrying to fill up the tents." On Sunday, August 28, "1,300 people were staying at the grounds. Those who came through the gate plus those who were staying at the Grove totaled 9,000, and 1,300 wagons passed through the gate."
Within a week of the close of the meeting in 1893, the campground burned. "A destructive fire occurred at Patterson Grove last night," stated the Wilkes-Barre Record. Everything was burned to the ground and the handsome grove of maples is ruined. Between 200 and 300 cottages were destroyed." In fact, every cottage burned, valued about $300 each. The boarding house did not burn. Arson was suspected but never proved. Rebuilding was a must! The building of the preacher's tent, a place for singers and auditorium was awarded to a Henry Zigler for $75.
Hal A. Kemp, Benton, operated the photograph gallery on a year-to-year basis from 1895. On May 26, 1900, the trustees voted to grant him the "use of the ground, to erect a suitable building for a photo gallery, for five years at a rental of ten dollars a year. Renewed in 1905 for another five years, the rental fee only climbed slightly. In 1912, they voted to charge him "$5 for the privilege if the weather turned out as bad as in 1911."
Patterson Grove Camp Meeting Association is a religious, nonprofit corporation. The sole governing body is the Board of Directors/Trustees, elected each year by the members (lease holders) of the corporation. The current members of the Board of Trustees are: J. LaRue 'Bud' Harvey, President; Harold 'Ozzie’ Oswald, Vice-President; Lynn Shaw, Secretary/Treasurer; Pastor Bill Gibson, Edie Rees, and Linda Shypulefski.
The Benton area has always played an important role in the Patterson Grove experience. In addition to Lynn Shaw, here are others from the local area you may know: Rebecca Whitenight, Ron and Deb Harvey, Beverly Smith, Joan and Paul Franklin, Calvin and Tirina Miller, Tom and Tiffany Kester, Paula Noss, Josh Fritz and Sandy Fritz. Others from the area currently involved in various ministries at the Grove include Ken & Charlotte Varker, Butch and Miriam Johnson, Carol and Gary Davenport, Paul and Kay Yankovich, Helen Masters and Philip and Lori Edson.
All of the worship and evangelistic services, Vacation Bible School (ages 4-18), Bible study, and Saturday-evening concerts are open to the public. Daily camp meeting event times: Vacation Bible School, weekdays at 9:15 AM; youth group study, weekdays, 9:30 AM; adult Bible study, weekdays, 9:30 AM; evening prayer circle, Memorial Cottage, 6:30 PM; each evening camp meeting service, 7 PM. Other public events throughout the summer include flea market/craft show, pig roast, spaghetti supper and chicken & biscuit dinner.
For additional information, consult the Patterson Grove Centennial book published in 1968, edited by Richard S. Patterson. For information on the activities which will take place at Patterson Grove this season, including the intense two-week period in August that permits concentrated focus on growing as a Christian, turn to the Upcoming Events page of the Benton News, www.bentonnews.net/events1.htm .
May 24, 2010. It is the birthday of Pamela Vincent, Matthew Musselman, Micah Metz, Mollie Hough, Ron Robbins, and--gasp--the 70th birthday of Phillip Shultz. If you are reading today's Benton News in Canada, you are having a holiday in honor of Britain's Queen Victoria who had a whole era named in her honor. It is Victoria Day in Canada (except for Quebec). Watch that early morning fog today and brace yourself for hot weather beginning Tuesday.Didja ever think that the businessman who shoots golf over one hundredQuickies...
is neglecting his golf,
and if he is shooting below one hundred
he is neglecting his business?
• An extremely difficult quiz (for me) on the geography of the middle east is available here. The quiz involves dragging the name of a county onto a map of the middle east and getting it in the correct location. There is no score and no time limit to take the test. It is a great learning tool--although what I learned was that I didn't know much!
• Afraid to speak up? Afraid to say what is on your mind? Head here and change your mind. it illustrates how we can show our gratitude to those who serve without having to buy anything, or donate any time or money, and regardless of our political point of view.
• The English language is a tough nut to crack. When I was just a pup, I could not pronounce "horse" and pronounced it "hearse." You can imagine how that got me in trouble. I vaguely remember a conversion which took place at John Mather's grist mill in the days of my youth, as I munched freshly baked Bachman pretzels which John brought back after he delivered flour to the Bachman factory. Someone said he would be "jiggered if the whole world hadn't gone crazy" for the modern high-toned language. The man was talking about Jay McHenry, a man known to my family as "Dad Backer," who apparently had said something in a previous conversation about a moratorium of some sort. The man was complaining because in "his day, they wuz funeral parlors" (not a moratorium).
• The lead paragraph in a piece in Saturday's Press Enterprise said it all: "Our lawmakers in Harrisburg have been accepting millions of dollars from natural gas firms that want to explore the Marcellus Shale." The article cited a publication from the group Common Cause titled "Deep Drilling, Deep Pockets: The Campaign Contributions & Lobbying Expenditures of the Natural Gas Industry in Pennsylvania." The natural-gas industry gave $2.85 million to political candidates in Pennsylvania between 2001 and March 2010, and since Pennsylvania began requiring lobbyist reporting in 2007 the industry spent $4.2 million on lobbying . You'll read denials from politicians about the articles from both sides of the political aisle so read it for yourself here.
• The Class of 1975 of Benton Area Schools will hold its class reunion August 7 at Lamoreaux’s Grove, Orangeville, starting at 2 PM with a covered-dish dinner at 5 for class members and significant others. There is a cover charge of $25 per couple for a pig roast with Jerry Laubach doing the cooking. Drinks and cake will be provided along with table settings. Please bring a covered dish to add to the day. Bring a lawn chair and be ready for a good time. The class needs some help with a few class mates for contact information: Barb Smeltzer, Kathy Farewell, Kathy Hickey, Mark Larson, Sam Silvetti and Eddie Evans. You can contact Rich at piedpiperrich AT yahoo.com with information. Please RSVP to Richard Litwhiler, 25 Pied Piper Road, Benton , PA 17814. The reunion committee consists of Rich Litwhiler, Tom Hess, Darla Kocher, Sue McHenry, Jerry Laubach and Randy Laubach.
• Why is it that regular, unleaded gasoline is selling in the Camp Hill area between $2.609 and $2.659 when the price in Benton is so high? A year ago, the Benton area prices were the lowest in the state.
• It won't be long until the poison-ivy covered tree beside the bridge over Fishingcreek in the Borough is taken down, along with a butonwood tree in roughly the same location. Thanks to persistence from Mayor Swan and the efforts of DeP, the trees will come down without cost to the borough.
Before you buy a new computer you need to consider how you will get the old programs transferred to the new computer (you also need to protect the data on your old computer so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands). You will need the original installation disks for the old programs to install them on the new computer. If you don't have the disks, you will have to buy a current version or find a used version for sale so that data you created can be opened. You can essentially forget about the companies that claim they have a solution to this problem--for a price--if you simply buy special software and cables from them. Expect computer stability issues using this approach.
If you are upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7, Windows Easy Transfer lets you transfer profiles, files and settings from Vista or Windows XP to Windows 7 system. Learn more here.
Getting data from the old computer to the new computer can also solve the concern of making sure your old data doesn’t end up in the wrong hands. Remove the old hard drive and put it into an external USB enclosure. Simply google "hard drive, external usb enclosure" to find one you like. The company that sells you the new computer can also take care of this for you.
After the old hard drive is in an external enclosure, plug it into any USB port on the new computer and start transferring the files you want over to the new computer. After you have everything you want off the old hard drive, you can reformat the old hard drive for use as an external drive or as a backup drive or clean the hard drive and reuse it.
Ryan Brewington provided information on a site to download and install many free applications--Reader, Flash, Firefox, iTunes, Skype, Picasa and others--to your Windows-based computer and have them all spyware/adware free. The application includes all the popular software. It is found at www.ninite.com .
I stumbled on the following poem, which doesn't tie into much of anything, but I liked it and decided to include it in today's edition. I do not know the author's name.
Under a spreading chestnut tree
A stubborn auto stands
The Smith an angry man is he
With trouble on his hands.
The carburetor seems to be
The cause of all his woe,
He tightens half a dozen bolts. But still it doesn't go.
He sits beside the road to give
His brain a chance to cool
And ponders on his training at
The correspondence school.
And then he starts his job once more
And just by chance 'tis seen
The cause of all his trouble is
He's out of gasoline.
May 22 & 23, 2010. Temperatures will be in the low 70s for the weekend.May 22, the birthday of Mark Fritz, Chris Sholley, Cindy Spangler, Patty Young, Hiram Brewer and Jenna Nicole Deitrick. It is the anniversary of Tim & Shelly Charles.May 23, the birthday of Bruce Gilbert and Tom Kline. Lisa and Randy Gordner celebrate their wedding anniversary. A free concert at The Center (N4Cs) at 2 PM Sunday by Deborah and Jonathan Hutchison is highly recommended. Call 925-0163 for more information.
Buddy A. Savage (February 2, 1928-May 20, 2010), Leola, Pennsylvania, died Thursday at Hospice of Lancaster County, Mount Joy Center. He was 82. Buddy was born in Benton. He was the son of H. Floyd and Etta Mae Everett Savage. He was a heavy equipment operator for E.B. Abel, Inc. and retired in 1993. He proudly served his country in the US Army Air Force from 1946-1949. He was a former Worshipful Master of Benton Lodge #667, F&AM, Benton.
Buddy would have been married to Malina Noutch Savage for 60 years on June 24. Surviving besides his wife, are children Nadine Landis (Samuel), The Villages, Florida, and Neil Savage (Nancy), Manheim. There are three grandchildren: Scott Savage (Sara), Dana Stauffer, Brian Stauffer, and one great grandson, Drew Tice. Buddy was preceded in death by a brother, Edward Floyd Savage (July 3, 1938-July 8, 2002).
A memorial service will be held at the Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home and Chapel, 3110 Lititz Pike, Lititz, Pennsylvania on Monday, May 24, 2010, at 2 PM. Interment will be private. Friends may pay their respects to the family at the funeral home on Monday from 1-2 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Buddy’s memory to The American Diabetes Association, 3544 N. Progress Ave. Suite 101, Harrisburg, Pa 17110. To send online condolences, please visit www.SnyderFuneralHome.com .
The Class of 2010 will hold its commencement exercises on Friday at 7 PM in the Richard E. Martin Auditorium at the high school on Park Street. The class members who are possible graduates are Rodney Albertson, Sierra Elise Andes, Chris Barbaro, Karyn Elizabeth Berkebile, Rheanna Elizabeth Blackburn, Amanda Lynn Bogert, Joseph D. Carswell, Christopher Michael Castillo, Michael Ray Colwell, Madison Conner, Larry Crawford, Rebecca M. Davis, Tyler Michael DeMott, Jesse Derrick, Kevin Daniel Doud, Dustin James Farver, Lacey Sue Floyd, Dayton William Hess, Eric Tyler Hess, Becca Katelyn Hughes, Eric E. Jankowski, Benjamin Douglas Jordan, Max S. Klem, Bret Lamoreaux, Tanner A. Lamoreaux, Alyssa Ann Lockard, Samantha Magni, Devon Andrew McMahon, Dylan Michael Murray, Krystina Joanne Naugle, Cody W. Pawelski, Evan Thomas Petersen, Jacob Ray Reabuck, Gena Marie Remphrey, Michael T. Rhone, Justin Everett Ridall, Joshua R. Robbins, Catherine Marie Roberts, Kathleen Blanche Roberts, Shelbi Marie Roman, Jordan Robert Savage, Cody Shadle, Adrianna Kole Stahl, Alexander R. Stalford, Kaitlyn Stanton, Kimberly Hope Stauder, Robert Kyle Stevens, Morgan Britni Steward, Christopher Alan Thomas, Evan Tyree, Chelsea Wenner, Jeremy Mitchell Whalen, Calvin Ernest Wolfe, Samantha K. Yeager, Emily A. Young, Jesse A.Young, Jr. and Logan Jay Zeitler.
May 21, 2010. It is the birthday of Ruth Buckwalter and Colleen Bender. Darl Bender Haines celebrates her 80th birthday. Darl grew up in Benton, lived on the Sutliff farm on Route 239, graduated with the Benton Class of 1947 and moved to Catawissa in 1956. Birthdays that fall between today and June 21 are said to fall under the astrological sign of Zodiac associated with the constellation Gemini. Dean and Laura Christian celebrate their wedding anniversary. It should be sunny, warm and nice today, cooling Saturday and Sunday, and warming again Monday.There was a time in the history of the world that the Brits, French and Spanish fussed and fumed about things, while the Dutch busily built ships to carry merchandise and let other countries duke it out. Each ship had an allowance for the needs of the ship, the officers and the crew during the voyage and for the purchase of the goods to be brought back. The more money the ship sailed with, the better the cargo that could be purchased and the more money that would be available for distribution when the ship arrived in its home port intact--assuming that everything went according to plan. But ship captains often skimped on money spent providing for the health and well being of the crew--things like fresh fruit, good drinking water, a little grog for those special occasions that come up, etc. Actually, the crew had little or no control over what they were fed or how much they were fed.
English sailors came up with a novel spin. Their major compensation came at the end of a voyage and then only by the random price for cargo in the port when they arrived. The sailors tried to find a way to match their efforts to their ship's success. Their major supply of food was beans and salt pork. What didn't get eaten was rendered by the cook into a tallow which those on the ship called slosh or slush. This slush was used to make candles to fuel lanterns, or to grease capstans, masts or blocks. Sailors found that some ports into which they sailed lacked animals and thus folks there needed the tallow or slush to make their own candles and soap. The money that was gained from the sale was used by the crew for needed repairs that the bean-counters didn't think of or wouldn't pay for. And so a special account was established from the slosh which became known as the "slush fund." Congress had a special fund--a slush fund--after the U.S. Civil War, outside of the regular operating budget, that was often used for bribes and other corrupt purposes. The term "pork-barrel" probably comes from about the same beginning.
Those in the stock market Thursday could use a slush fund today as stocks sank nearly 4% following a stream of negative news out of Europe. The S&P 500 finished down 12% from its April 23 closing high. The index ended below its 200-day moving average, a sign the momentum downward should build. The 1000-point dive in the Dow two weeks ago and yesterday's 376-point slide in the Dow is a clear signal.
Didja ever think that someday you'll be old enough
to want to turn out the lights for reasons of economy
rather than for reasons of romance?Quickies...• An article in the May 10 edition of the Wall Street Journal is worth revisiting. The title is "Shale Gas Will Rock the World." The article discusses the impact of shale discoveries on wind, solar, nuclear and biomass energy in terms of the energy-independence argument for renewables.• The Kingdom Kidz Puppet Ministry from St. Andrew's U.M. Church, Milton, will be in the Benton town park June 20 at 7 PM. The group will present a program entitled, "New Again." The Kingdom Kidz are well known in the central and southern Susquehanna valley, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland.• Fishing Creek Players will produce Damaged Trust, a one-act play by M.R. Daniels, at the Heritage Festival in Benton July 24 and 25. Auditions will be at The Center (N4Cs) at 5 PM Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23. There are roles for men and women of all ages and two children, aged 8-12. At that time, there will be signups for helping in other areas (props, set, ushers, costumes, etc.) and extra people are needed to read counterparts for those auditioning. If you are interested in this group in any way, please attend!• CountryFresh Market, Route 487, north of the borough line, will provide food and beverages during the annual yard sales in Benton May 29 and will set up at the Century 21 office at the corner of Main and Market Streets. Proceeds will be donated to support Eric Hess as he battles Hodgkin's lymphoma. The food stand will be manned by employees of Century 21.• Take a look at the new laptop computer that the Germans have rolled out by going here.
• Congratulations to Benton Area Schools' May King and Queen, Logan Zeitler and Catherine Roberts.
Picture courtesy of Countryfresh Markets• Teresa Wojton at Whispering Pines Camping Resorts thanks everyone who kept her in prayer during her recent gall-bladder surgery. Teresa is now home and doing well.• The vacation Bible school at the Benton Christian Church will take place June 14-18 from 6 to 8:30 PM for children from four years old through the sixth grade. The Benton Food Bank will be the mission project of the week. Canned goods will be collected to fill "A Wheelbarrow Full of Kindness." Vacation Bible school is sponsored by the Benton Council of Churches.• The Center (N4Cs) will feature a concert by Deborah and Jonathan Hutchison, which is free and open to the public, Sunday at 2. The Hutchison’s musical style is broad—ranging from rock to classical, with folk, R&B, jazz, and gospel in between. Each musical selection features the duo’s trademark vocal harmonies. Their songs of hope and celebration uplift, celebrate life, and encourage listeners to join in. Getting their start as winners and headliners at the 1973 Northeastern Intercollegiate Folk Festival, the Hutchisons have continued to perform in clubs, coffeehouses, churches, house concerts, schools and on college campuses nationwide. In 1986 they appeared on the main stage of the Kerrville Folk Festival. Their music is often heard at Earth Data celebrations, peace and justice rallies, conferences, interfaith events and benefits for community groups. Along the way, they have produced five albums of original music. The concert takes place at the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center, 42 Community Drive, Benton. Call 925-0163 for additional information.• The American Red Cross, the Benton Lions Club and the Benton Women's Club had a goal of 56 pints of blood Thursday at the drive at the Northern Columbia County Community & Cultural Center. Sixty-three signed in, three were rejected and 60 donated blood. The community is to be congratulated on another successful blood drive.Didja ever think that it would be so hard to be fit as a fiddle when we're shaped like a cello?
May 20, 2010. It is the birthday of Walt Dietz, Robyn Travelpiece Hack, Ed Vandergrift, Lauren Marinos and Joe LaBonte. No showers are expected until possibly Sunday, with daytime temperatures in the upper 70s to lower 80s until then.
• WVIA radio (89.9 FM) broadcast an Erica Funke interview with Deborah and Jonathan Hutchison Wednesday preliminary to their free Sunday concert at The Center, N4Cs• In layman's language, here is the difference between a heart attack and cardiac arrest. A heart attack takes place when a blood vessel that takes blood to your heart is suddenly blocked. Without a blood supply, the heart muscle stats to die. A cardiac arrest takes place when your heart stops pumping blood through your body for whatever reason. There might be a problem with the valves in your heart or an abnormal heart rhythm.• The North Mountain Firemen's Carnival takes place this summer August 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14, 2010. Write these dates down or bookmark the upcoming events page.
Computers have a habit of slowing down, much as we slow down as we advance in years. A major reason for the computer slowdown is the number of programs that start when your computer starts. Many programs loaded on computers want to start when the computer is turned on--often for the benefit of others and not for you. When you install a new printer, digital camera, mapping routine or other software, someone attempts to take advantage of you not paying attention while keeping pillywiggers out. The more programs that you allow to be installed, the more your zippy new computer acts like it is slogging through molasses. In addition to the programs that are legitimate and above board, there are evil doers lurking who want to jump on your computer's bandwagon and use some oomph from the operating system. It is cheaper to keep this stuff out than to clean it out later. Readers have told me that after they bought a new computer, within a year of bogging their old one down, their new computer bogs down. They say they loaded the same programs on their new computer as they had on their old computer. They simply keep pushing "next," "next," "next" as they install without having a clue what they were doing.
Let's say you get a Firebelch 500 computer and you are ready to load all that software you have on the shelves from previous computers. You'll have a choice of "custom" or "recommended" installation of the software. Well, heck, if the company recommends that you install in a certain way, shouldn't you do it? Well, probably not. If you choose the "custom" option, a screen will display what would have been installed using the "recommended option." If the software is for the printer, you'll see that the printer driver software, a quality-assurance customer-feedback program, and a Yahoo! toolbar would have been installed using the "recommended" option. You need one out of the three items; two of the three items will contribute to the bogging down of the computer with the installation of two unnecessary programs. There aren't many programs you'll ever install that you won't be able to navigate using the "custom" or "expert" installation option. Remember that all installations are different and you will probably get slightly different responses when you install your favorite programs.
While we are on our soapbox, carefully consider demands that you do a free upgrade to the latest version of a program. You'll get more than you bargained for. If you get an unsolicited email saying "We're helping businesses like yours! Free Trial. Get started" with a little thingie to push for something that is free, don't do it. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" applies here. Don't even think of loading pirated software on your computer. If what you are asked in an installation isn't understood, simply cancel until you can talk to someone who can help. Feel free to contact me on Skype (user name "bentonnews") or call another computer user and talk it through.
We'll continue this subject in the future. There will be some suggestions for installing absolutely free software on your computer and we'll have a session on free video between computers using the free program called Skype.It is always interesting to see how facts are interpreted. We see this every day with politicians. The old saying that there are two sides to every issue should be replaced with the thought that there are probably three sides to every issue. Here is an example. A "party line" these days is to not blame hydraulic fracturing for causing contamination of drinking water, unless it can be proved that the fracking process was the "sole" cause of contamination. The argument is being advanced that if water wells become contaminated from water seeping through cracks in the well’s protective casing under pressure during the fracturing process, it would not be the problem of the fracturing process because the cracks may have existed prior to the fracturing process and would be attributed to the construction of the well. If you doubt the validity of the proceeding, bear in mind that there is yet to be a single case where fracturing has been proven to have contaminated a supply of drinking water.
Since 1941, the Bookmobile of the Columbia County Traveling Library has made library services available to all Columbia County residents. During that time the library has relied heavily on state aid for financial assistance, information sharing and other cooperative library programs. Your library now faces a serious problem because of a decreasing amount of money to finance the level of service which children and adults of our area have come to expect. While county funding remains constant at two-thirds of their total budget, the state budget to support the bookmobile activities in Columbia County has been cut a devastating 20%. The library has no way of maintaining the current level of service without an infusion of about $6,000.
Please help the traveling library continue the success of the library program. Their only alternative to fund raising would be the elimination of services. Please be a supporter of the library. Make a tax-deductible contribution today. Make your check payable to the Columbia County Traveling Library and send to 15 Perry Avenue, Bloomsburg, PA 17815, or donate on-line by going here. Thank you for your donation.
I've traveled the world twice over,
Met the famous, saints and sinners,
Poets and artists, kings and queens.
Old stars and hopeful beginners.
I've been where no one has been before,
Learned secrets from writers and cooks
All with one library ticket
To the wonderful world of books.
Alyce M. Uhrich (August 4, 1950-May 17, 2010), a former resident of the Forks area of Fishingcreek Township, died Monday at the Cleveland (Ohio) Clinic. She was 59. She was born in Bloomsburg. She was a daughter of Janice M. (Breece) Yost, Orangeville, and the late Pennington D. Yost. She was a 1968 graduate of Benton High School. She was a former member of the Zion United Church of Christ, Forks. Alyce lived in Medina for more than 25 years, last living at 806 E. Washington St., Medina, and was last employed as an aide in a nursing home. She was talented in art and music and sang professionally with various bands.
Surviving, in addition to her mother, is her companion, Scott Tollafield, Medina; a son, Jason Pileski (Cheryl), Harrisburg; siblings William R. Yost (Patricia), Yorktown, VA; Elaine Fisher (Richard), Orangeville; Elizabeth "Libby" Snyder, Bloomsburg; Katherine Kocher (Wayne R.), Benton; Jeffrey C. Yost, Orangeville, and a number of nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be private and held at the convenience of the family. Interment will be in Zion Cemetery, Forks. There will be no calling hours. Arrangements are by the Kriner Funeral Home, Benton. To sign the guest book or to send a message of condolence, please go to www.krinerfuneralhomes.com.
May 19, 2010. It is the birthday of Marvin LeValley, Joyce Letteer, Bob Edwards and Bob Milnarik. It is the wedding anniversary of Ginny Mazzei and Carl J. Chimi.Quickies...• Want a house with geothermal heating and cooling in a 55+ community Back Home in Benton, PA? Consider Bailey Park, a development of 44 custom-built homes currently in the building phase. Choose two or three bedrooms, one- or two-car garages. Have no worries with landscaing, lawn mowing or snow removal. Prices start at $179,900 for the base model on base lot. Optional features are available. Learn more at http://baileypark55.com/ .
• Didja know that the Pennsylvania College of Technology archery team is now ranked second in the nation? Texas A&M took top team honors. Danny Wido, a sophomore from Shickshinny, was an individual national champion in the men’s compound.• Unofficial results of Tuesday's primary are available here .• Open auditions for the play "Damaged Trust" by M.R. Daniels will be May 22 and 23 at 5 PM at The Center, N4Cs. The play will be performed at the Heritage Festival on July 24 and 25. Experienced or inexperienced actors and actresses are welcome to audition! Come to either or both days!
• Orangeville Library has lost a true friend of the library. Sue Shultz, assisant librarian, passed on May 16, 2010. She will be missed. There will be no library hours on Wednesday, May 19. Kids night will be postponed till May 26.• Fans of the Philadelphia Inquirer will be happy to know that it will become the first newspaper in America to offer print in 3-D experience in its Sunday, June 13, edition. A section will be enhanced for 3-D viewing using the standard "3-D glasses." The Playboy edition might be more interesting.
• Those who wish for more economy in government should read the editorial at www.scrippsnews.com/node/42183 .
Pennsylvania's primary elections are now over. Democrat Mark Critz won a special election in Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district winning over Republican businessman Tim Burns. Critz will serve out the term of Rep. John Murtha, who died in February. Dan Onorato easily won a four-way race for the Democratic nomination for governor and state Attorney General Tom Corbett took the Republican nomination. Former House speakers John Perzel, a Philadelphia Republican, and H. William DeWeese, a Greene County Democrat, are both awaiting trials on state charges that they had used public staff and resources to conduct political campaigns. They were both easily returned to office.
All but one of the 28 contested House and Senate incumbents seeking re-election came away winners. Rep. Kanjorski in the 11th Congressional District won after 13 terms and 26 years in office. Kanjorski will face Republican Hazleton Mayor Lou Barletta in the November general election.) In Kentucky, Secretary of State Trey Grayson was soundly defeated by Tea Party favorite Rand Paul. Rep. Joe Sestak topped Sen. Arlen Specter, who is 80 years old and has served since 1980 in the Senate, in the state's Democratic primary. Low voter enthusiasm and turnout in Philadelphia was a contributing factor. Sestak will face former Rep. Pat Toomey (R) in the general election.The granddaddy of all incumbents was in Pennsylvania's 11th District when Rep. Daniel J. Flood served 16 terms. He received an astonishing 97% of the vote in the 1970 election.When virtually anyone in Benton--regardless of party allegiance--wanted something between 1945 and 1980 that was under the control of the House Appropriations Committee, they called Congressman Daniel Flood. Rep. Flood was directly responsible for federal spending on social, educational, labor and welfare programs, and his influence spread into national defense as well.Let's face it, the man was responsible for the Veterans Administration Medical Center, the V.A. building, the extension of the dike system for Forty Fort and Swoyersville, the Luzerne-Dallas highway and a host of military reserve centers and armories. He influenced decisions regarding the Panama Canal. There is even an elementary school in Wilkes-Barre named for him--but, heck, there is also a skills center, an apartment complx, and industrial park. When he took charge of the 1972 flood recovery, he announced, "This is one Flood against another." And indeed he did take charge. He is credited with bringing $1,024 billion to the valley in grants and loans.His success came in large part because of his role on the appropriation committee for Health, Education and Welfare and the Department of Defense. His claim was that two-thirds of the annual federal bueget passed through his hands.Outside of the valley and away from the adoring eyes of his constituents, his popularity was less. An Army Colonel friend of mine when I lived in Arlington, Virginia, headed up the fuels desk for the Department of Defense. It was his job to make sure that all military installations had fuel to heat the barracks, fill the tanks of the trucks and Jeeps with diesel and gasoline--well, you get the picture. He had a very responsible position with the DoD.Once when brother Dayne visited Arlington, I introduced him to my Army friend. Dayne was always proud of his upper Fishingcreek valley background and it didn't take him long to mention where he lived. The Army Colonel perked up his ears and said he knew exactly where Dayne lived--he lived in Dan Flood territory!He then proceeded to tell Dayne how Flood got legislation passed requiring U.S. military barracks in Europe to be heated with anthracite coal. And where does anthracite coal come from? Bingo! The Wyoming Valley. He told Dayne how many tons of coal was delivered to Europe each year, but that natural gas and oil heated the barracks at half the cost of the anthracite. The Army disposed of the coal sent to Europe after it arrived in Europe--I never asked how and the Colonel didn't volunteer the information. The military then proceeded to buy the cheap natural gas and oil for fuel. But back home in the valley, there were lots of people telling how great Flood was for convincing the military to use anthracite.
Many readers have never heard of "Dapper Dan" Flood and would would not quite know what to make of the former Shakespearean actor who wore white linen suits, silk top hats, and dark, flowing capes on the floor of the House. He had outstanding oratory skills and was a genius at getting things done.
Flood got tangled in a web of arranging federal contracts and found himself embroled in an investigation by the U.S. Attorney General and the House Ethics Committee. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the Federal campaign laws by taking payoffs from five people. He passed away at the ago of 90 after serving in the House of Representatives for 31 years.For more on the life and times of Dan Flood, consult Daniel J. Flood: The Congressional Career of an Economic Savior and Cold War Nationalist, which you can read here.
May 18, 2010. It is the birthday of Cecile Houseweart, Yonah X and Ronnie McHenry.. Happy anniversary to Jeff and Brenda Hubler and Don and Betty Miller. It will be a little on the wet side until Thursday and Friday when the temperature heats up.It is primary election day in the Commonwealth which should lay out some clear choices for the November election. Polls are open from 7 AM to 8 PM. The question is whether Pennsylvania joins the electoral change sweeping America; i.e., get rid of the old and bring in the new fellows. Will candidates with the most money, party support and on-the-ground organization--Arlen Specter, Pat Toomey, Rep. Kanjorski, Tom Corbett and Dan Onorato--win? Will five-term Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter hold off a Democratic primary challenge by U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak? Will fledgling grassroots movements, usually lacking in money but high in spirit, prevail? Will a Republican incumbent from Philadelphia with part of his anatomy in the proverbal wringer of legislative scandals--John Perzel--survive the primary process while being charged with corruption? What about Democrat Bill DeWeese in about the same mess? What about the special election to fill the House seat vacated by the death of Rep. John Murtha (D), which will end up being sliced and diced at the national level for what it probably will say about the November election. Republican Tim Burns is trying to turn that race into a referendum against national Democrats.Holding your tongue and wishingDidn't make anyone great.The good Lord makes the fishing,But you have to dig the bait.Quickies...• To see the Democratic ballot in Columbia County, go here. Thomas J. Anderson is not on the primary ballot, but is seeking nomination for the position of Representative in the General Assembly for the 109th district. Thomas' wife, Joanna owns a daycare center in Benton. He is asking voters to write in his name, Thomas J. Anderson, during Tuesday's primary to be listed as a Democrat on the November ballot.• To see the Republican ballot in Columbia County, go here.
• Unofficial results of today's primary will be available here after the polls close today.• The seventh annual reunion of "The Walnut Street Gang" will take place Sunday, June 13, at 1 PM at the Millville town park. In case of inclement weather, the group of old friends will meet at the Bartlow Family IH building at Walnut Street. Bring lawn chairs, a covered dish, your beverage and table settings. If you have any pictures or other memorabilia from the days on Walnut Street, bring them with you. Contact Harry Watts at 458-6005 or Marlene Shultz Harvey at 925-2641 if you have questions. If you know of a former "Walnut Street Kid," invite them to attend.
• Columbia Montour Home Health and Hospice is the recipient of a $94,755 grant awarded by the Highmark Foundation through its Highmark Healthy High 5 initiative. The Columbia Montour Home Hospice (CMHH) Bereavement Program will be able to expand on services provided through Camp Courage and Little Brave Hearts, camps that serve grieving children and adolescents, ages 4 to 18 years, who have experienced the death of a significant person in their lives. To learn more about the CMHH Bereavement Program, call 784-1723 or 800 349-4702 or visit the bereavement camps website .
• Today's music of inspiration comes from the music of Amazing Grace in the black keys which you can find here.• A few days ago, the web version of the Benton News included an article about Rosalie Hunter Harrison, as well as a picture when she and three others spelled out the word "Shickshinny" at a Baltimore concert. An alert reader pointed out that Rosalie is the daughter of a very talented musician, Elmer Hunter, now deceased. Elmer was from Nordmont, but from his early days until his death he and his wife Bernadyne Goss Hunter and four generations of his family lived in the Fairmont Springs/Mossville area. Elmer's grandfather, George Hunter (1851-1938), had what was called "shaking palsy," the degenerative disorder of the central nervous system characterized by tremor and impaired muscular coordination which today is generally known as Parkinson's disease. George's hands shook constantly and he required two canes for support when he walked. Just as current research tends to indicate that riding a bicycle calms the Parkinson patient for up to two days, using a rifle tended to calm George's nerves. During one hunting expedition, George was able to shoot nine squirrels out of ten in a corn field--and he was using a rifle. When a skeptic suggested that he couldn't do that again, George pulled out his trusty rifle and shot a chicken that was enjoying itself in the family garden!
• When I was growing up, conversations about the "good storekeepers" included a reference to George Post in the Cambra Store Company building where the Fairmont Springs post office was located. Fairmont Springs, named for all the springs in that area of Luzerne County, was in the middle of nowhere, yet had a store and post office. The first post office was established when a man by the name of Jeremiah Britten took office in the store building in 1836. A name familiar in the Benton area was Pennington, and Jonathan C. Pennington became the postmaster in 1837. Other notable postmasters included the father of Col. Ricketts, Elijah G. Ricketts. Two Penningtons then followed: Alexander R. Pennington, beginning December 28, 1874, and Horace G. Pennington, who was actually born in the post office building, beginning November 8, 1904. Penningtons many readers will remember--at least by name--followed. Alexander Pennington had a son, Murid Doyle. M.D. Pennington took over in 1909. Doyle later moved to Benton and operated a general store on Main Street.
Jonathan Laubach was the post office's first rural carrier, which he did for many years from a motorcycle.
Here is a picture of Jonathan on his motorcycle with sons J. Paul and Edward. There were four brothers--Paul, Carl (died in infancy), Edward and Emerson in that order, and all were raised in Fairmont Springs.
Photo courtesy of Jim Laubach.
Guy Smith came along in 1925 and he moved the post office across the street when Tom Lutz bought the store. The post office moved to the old stone house which once served as a stopping point on the Susquehanna and Tioga Turnpike. George Post moved the post office back to the store in 1929 and remained as the postmaster of Fairmont Springs until it closed in 1936. Postal carriers carried many strange things, we suppose, but a common item was to carry a plow point from Berwick to that post office over Jonestown Mountain--and it was done on foot. The old store is closed now, but would have lots of good stories to tell if it could just talk.• The first step has been taken in coming up with new regulations to protect the Commonwealth's drinking water from contamination when drilling begins for natural gas. The 20 members of Pennsylvania’s Environmental Quality Board approved regulations that will limit the total amount of dissolved solids that can be discharged in wastewater from natural gas drilling in the state’s Marcellus shale. The regulations now must be reviewed by the House environmental committee and its Senate counterpart, as well as Pennsylvania’s Independent Regulatory Review Commission.
May 17, 2010. It is the birthday of Tina Posey, Franklin Newhart, Emily Terri Marie Notestein and the wedding anniversary of Robyn and Dean Hack. On this day in 1792, the New York Stock Exchange was established at Merchants Coffee House, at the corner of Wall and Water Streets, when twenty-four stock brokers and merchants signed the "Buttonwood Agreement." This set of rules relating to securities transactions was named after the buttonwood tree under whose branch dealers and brokers had previously met. See you at the Brass Pelican, Elk Grove, for History Buffs this morning.Didja ever think that bad decisions make the best stories?Quickies...
• A music fest to support Eric Hess is planned for July 10 at the Benton park from 10 AM to 10 PM. There will be a flea market (bring your own table). There will be food stands, a dunking tank for wrestling coaches and wrestlers from around the Commonwealth and "Eric t-shirts" for sale. The event will be financed by your donations as you enter the park. An artist-autographed guitar will be raffled. There will be a number of musical groups, including Covert Action, Mystery Fyre and more. For questions, call Sharon Remphrey 925-6445 or Kelly Yost.
• A representative of State Representative Karen Boback will be at the Northern Columbia Community and Cultural Center, 42 Community Drive, Benton, from 9 AM to 3 PM June 25.
• Northwest Area High School presents the comical musical "Little Shop of Horrors" in the Northwest High School auditorium June 4, 5 and 6, 2010. The production will take place on Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5, at 7 PM and on Sunday, June 6, at 3 PM. Tickets are $3 for students and $6 for adults and are available at the door or from cast members.
Didja ever notice that our friends from childhood
have a certain power over our minds
which friends acquired later in life rarely can attain?
It rarely happens any more, but in the days of my youth when Evelyn and Sue and Ruth and Naomi and Pearl and others sat in the kitchen of one of the houses occupied by these strong-willed ladies there would be a time of present-giving, a time much like a lodge meeting where their husbands would sit in ritual and be with friends with a common purpose. As these women gathered, perhaps on the occasion of a birthday, I sat in when the ladies gathered at our house. Homemade bread was perfectly timed to come from the oven a few minutes after the women arrived and I can smell that aroma to this day. Currant jelly was a popular topping for the bread. There would often be milk pie for dessert, a simple concoction made from milk, flour and sugar. Hot tea in the winter and pitchers of sweet tea in the summer rounded off the supply of food and drink, except for a "layer cake" when the occasion was a birthday.
One of the purposes of "getting together" and "visiting," as Mother called it, was for the exchange of presents, perhaps a box of strawberries from the garden, extra coffee filters from when Ross or Horace Harrison had a "two-fer" sale at one of the IGAs, a knitted doily to keep marks from table tops, a jar of elderberry jelly, a cast-off blouse--or maybe just a piece of gossip gleaned from accidentally listening in on the party line of the telephone.The women all had things in common--they all lived in the upper Fishingcreek valley, their children went to the same school, they had about the same income, their husbands had something to do with agriculture and they had daily telephone calls to each other.
Conversations began in midsentence, as though they had just returned to the living room from getting something from the refrigerator.The presents were exchanged, opened one at a time, thoroughly discussed and commented on, stories told about why the present was "perfect." When all the words about the present had been expressed, it was time to move to the next gift and the process was repeated. In the summer, the women retreated to the back porch and two would sit on the green porch swing, while the rest would sit on massive, back-breaking, wooden chairs and talk about how it was "back then" when they were growing up. The discussion then moved to the events of the previous day and executed in excruciating detail in a verbal-diary fashion; i.e., "Bob got up to milk, told me he had to mend fence before he left for the mail route and the cow in the third box stall is coming in heat..."
Sentences were rarely completed before what was being said prompted someone else to jump in with a related thought. When the events of "yesterday" were finished, the "girls" moved to the current day and then tackled the thorny events of the following day. One woman pulled out her knitting, but continued to talk as though she was free of distractions. The talk among the women was therapy. They finished in sisterly-like friendship exchanging confidences and discussing subjects of mutual interest with details of someone's lumbago, a special pair of shoes, an upcoming springtime wedding, a husband's tiredness, what to get for a daughter-in-law for a birthday. They talked about going to Doyle Sutliff's garage to see the new Chevrolet cars on the day that the covers came off and Doyle could show the new models.
The gathering would disperse soon after one of the women declared that it was a "darn shame that we have to ruin two households with men like this," a jarring return to reality, but said in a half-serious, half-comic way, not as a declaration of intention. She had probably uttered the same words in a previous marriage.
It was obvious that the women felt a special relationship with their friends. They planned the events and the location for their next meeting. The women expanded their rings of friendship, like the age of a tree, as the years passed. Each meeting was immersed in friendship with a person of the same sex, a pure communion of spirit.
Their meeting of the day ended when it was time to feed the chickens, or to prepare the milk cans for the evening milking or get supper ready for Father when he came in from the field. As quickly as they had gathered, the women who were there for life for each other headed back to town from their meeting with the most interesting friends they had who had just helped them hurdle some difficult challenges of life and who had made motherhood a little easier. Over the years, one had gained a lot of weight, one had lost a son in the war, one didn't hear much of anything. Still, none gave it a thought that they had changed one iota or developed any eccentricities. Their friendship was all that mattered.
May 16, 2010. It is the birthday of Jeri Bandell, Ron Strauch, Cecile Steiner Martin, Marlene Harvey, Ethel Horne and Harold Hess. Harold is 94. If you would like to send him a card, his address is Rockwell Center, 32 S Turbot Avenue, Apartment 123, Milton PA 17847-2450. His wife, Esther, is in Manor Care Nursing Home, Sunbury. Look for a beautiful day today.Quickies...
• Today's comedy segment comes from Ernie Kovacs, which you can see by going here.
• Didja know that the second longest highway in the United States goes through our state? The highway connects Bishop, California, to Provincetown, Massachusetts. Think about what highway it is and we'll tell you a little about it later in our Sunday report.The summer would not be the complete without the annual Millville Fire Company Carnival, which this year runs from July 2 through July 10. This is the 81st version of the local carnival and features free parking, free admission and free entertainment. The fire company owns the merry go round, Ferris wheel, kiddie cars, kiddie swings and the train. The firemen make sure that ticket prices are affordable. There are games for all ages to enjoy. Food includes carmel corn, French fries, cheesesteaks, cotton candy, hot sausage, hamburgers, hot dogs, popcorn. peanuts. sno cones, ice tea, ham sandwiches, clam chowder, wings, chicken sandwiches, nachos, rib sandwiches, ham and bean soup, ice cream, pizza and ice-cold Catawissa sparkling beverage. There is a shuttle bus available each night from Woolcock Oil. The parade is July 5 because of the 4th being on Sunday. The parade theme is the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts and Smoky the Bears 65th birthday. Pets are not allowed on the carnival grounds, except for pet and toy entrants on June 30.
The lineup of entertainment at the Millville Carnival includes...
July 2, Friday. Joe Bonson and Coffee Run; first show, 7 PM (country).
July 3, Saturday. Mudflaps (oldies); first show, 7 PM. There will be chicken bar-b-que available.
July 4, Sunday. no carnival , but vespers at 7 PM.
July 5, Monday. Independence Day parade. The parade forms at 9 and moves at 10:30. This year's theme is the hundredth anniversary of the Boy Scouts and Smokey the Bear’s sixty-fifth birthday. There will be an all-you-can-eat breakfast at the cheesesteak stand from 7 to 10 AM. The breakfast is $8. Entertainment is by the Folk Justice Band (oldies); first show, 6:30 PM. There will be a patriotic low-level fireworks show at 10 PM on the little-league field.
July 6, Tuesday. Covert Action (variety); first show, 6:15 PM. Pet and toy parade forms at 6:30 PM and moves at 7 PM.
July 7, Wednesday. Greenwood Valley Boys (bluegrass). First show, 6:30 PM.
July 8, Thursday. Country Memories (country), first show, 7 PM.
July 9, Friday. Shama Lama (oldies), first show, 7 PM.
July 10, Saturday. Music by the group "Alive and Well" (classic rock), first show, 7:30 PM. The "regions largest fireworks display" will take place at midnight by Pyrotechnico.
Pennsylvania state officials decided in 1807 to have a highway cut through the mountains in order to get to the western side of our Commonwealth a little easier. The road meandered through 394 miles of wilderness, and connected each county seat in northern Pennsylvania from Scranton to Erie. The highway passes through towns with familiar names including Millford, Scranton, Towanda, Coudersport and Warren. The Pennsylvania portion of the highway ends at Pennline on the state's western border. The highway connected industries in the western part of the state with railroads in the eastern part. Villages began to prosper and farmers cleared the hillsides, built farms and raised their families. The highway became part of the national highway system in 1925. In 1953 it was formally dedicated as the Grand Army of the Republic Highway. The part in Pennsylvania replaced Route 7, also referred to as the Roosevelt Highway in honor of Theodore Roosevelt.From the east, the highway begins in Provincetown, Massachusetts. It enters the Commonwealth from Port Jervis, New York, crossing the Delaware River in Pike County at Matamoras, the easternmost community in Pennsylvania. It meanders somewhat parallel to the New York-Pennsylvania border until it exits the state 20 miles west of Meadville, then continues across the United States to Bishop, California, a total of 3,205 miles. The highway passes through the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California.Although the route roughly follows I-80 to its south, the long, slow path of Route 6 across Pennsylvania yields great scenery and interesting towns as contrasted to the congested highways the route follows in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The route into Provincetown is now designated Route 6A and in the off season is a quiet and scenic highway.Didja ever notice that some people can always be counted on for making the best,instead of the worst, of whatever takes place?We all have some friends to whom we instinctively carry every one of our griefsassured that if anyone can help us, they can and will.Some people have a drink and then seem to "spill their guts" to a bartender they have never seen before. Others do the same to the whole world when they get on Twitter or Facebook. What follows isn't for everyone because of what you may find if you head to a new program known as Openbook . This site shows virtually every public comment ever made on Facebook and you don't even have to be a member of Facebook to read it. It isn't necessary to go to Openbook. Trust me when I say that the language can be quite different from when Mother played Canasta in the afternoon.When I opened the site, it took me to the phrase "cheated test" as the opening screen. Every time "cheated test" was used on Facebook, it showed up with a picture of the person who wrote those words as well as in what context the words were written. If you are a teacher, you might want to check for your students in this section. Let's say you are on Facebook and write something intimate about a person. The intimate words suddenly become spread around the world with your picture. If you write that your next door neighbor, Jacob Smith, is a pillywigger, expect it to appear on Openbook if you search for the keyword "pillywigger."While it may have been wrong to say it in the first place, it is certainly wrong that this information is searchable within Facebook--let alone outside of it.
Openbook is a public-search service that Facebook released on April 21, 2010. You don’t have to be logged in to Facebook to use Openbook, nor do you need to have to have an account. It is intended to draw attention to the information that Facebook makes publicly available about its users. We would love to see Facebook restore privacy to their site so that this website and others like it no longer work. Keep in mind that your innocent Facebook rants and postings are showing up all over the internet for everyone to read. Wag your tongue accordingly...
Monday morning, the North Mountain Historical Society, known as the History Buffs, will meet at the Brass Pelican restaurant, Elk Grove, as presenter Bill Baillie, a retired English professor, president of the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society and author of four books on Columbia County history, talks about "who do you think you are." The hit NBC TV series "Who Do You Think You Are" shows the excitement and surprises that can arise when you begin to trace your family history. (Sarah Jessica Parker discovered an ancestor connected to the Salem witch trials.) This presentation will feature three local examples of intriguing discoveries in tracing ancestry, including a local militia general whose family’s military history stretches back 1000 years, a canal boatman who “got religion” and changed his tavern to a teetotalers’ inn, and a Puritan refugee from England who founded Stratford, Connecticut. The coffee will be on the table before 8 AM and the discussion gets going about 9 AM. The program is free and open to the public.
May 15, 2010. It is the birthday of Cheryl Kelsey, Lorraine Feola and Shawn Barrett. Courtney Bronson Gutjahr received eight stitches in her head as a result of a fall, but she is happily on the mend.
Frank and Linda Robbins celebrate their wedding anniversary. Rosalie and Arden Harrison celebrate their 46th wedding anniversary. Rosalie was in a coma in the ICU in Hershey Medical Center at the time of their anniversary last year. She had a ventilator down her throat and was tied to the bed for three weeks. A year later, Rosalie "feels like a walking miracle. Her parents were married 62 years and had her grandfather lived one more day they would have been married 57 years. Her great grandparents were married at least 50 years. Rosalie says, "So I now hope for mine too. Just got to gain some weight." She now weighs 110 pounds.
Rosalie has a sense of humor. Here is a photograph taken at the Jeff Foxworthy show in Baltimore. Rosalie's youngest daughter, Judy Harrison, is "shick," Rosalie is "shinny," daughter Christy Hogbin is "red" and Loreen Auchus McGill is "necks."
Quickies...• Get limbered up for a Square Dance Jubilee at the Jerseytown Community Center June 6 from 2 to 6 PM, hosted by the Masters' Band with calling by Leon Johnson. There will be other callers, round and square dancing and food will be available. Admission fee. Call 584-3836 or 864-3618 for additional information.• Didja know that Benjamin Franklin suggested the original design of the lowly and common penny? The government minted the first ones in 1787. The US penny was named after the British penny or pence. Pennies in the US were first pressed in copper. The penny of 1793 from Philadelphia was a chain design. The pennies of 1793-1796 were called the large cap coins. Paul Revere supplied some of the copper for the one-cent coins minted in the 1790s. Congress passed the Act of March 3, 1865, authorizing the use of "In God We Trust" motto on our coins during Lincoln's tenure in office. The Lincoln one-cent coin came along in 1909, the 100th anniversary celebration of Abraham Lincoln's birth, and the coin for the first time became a portrait coin. The coin shows two wheatheads in memorial with the denomination and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Curving around the upper border is the national motto, E Pluribus Unum, which means "Out of Many, One." There are more one-cent coins produced than any other denomination. Armed with the information you just received, combined with some common cents, please see if you can identify the real penny from the list here.• Natural-gas spot prices increased for nearly all markets in the lower 48 states last week, with price hikes ranging between 6 and 30 cents per million Btu (MMBtu). The Henry Hub spot price ended May 12 at $4.18 per MMBtu, 18 cents higher than the preceding week. Natural gas in storage increased to 2,089 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of May 7. As of last Friday, inventories were 18.4 percent above the 5-year average (2005-2009). (Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration)• The subject of giving up personal freedom was as important 62 years ago as it is today. Take a look at the subject in cartoon form from 1948 by going here.• The USS Pampanito lives out its life at Pier 45, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco. The USS Pampanito (SS-383) is now a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine museum and memorial. Pampanito sank six Japanese ships and damaged four others during World War II. The submarine was featured in the film Down Periscope. Pampanito is much as it was in late summer, 1945. Take the time to visit the submarine by going here. Put your mouse on the pictures and drag for a 360° look. Pretty impressive for a 65-year old!
The Chinese auction and bake sale for Eric Hess, held Friday at the First Columbia Bank, was a resounding success, thanks to the churches of the area and the kindness of local residents and businesses who contributed items for the auction and donated baked goods. Thank you to everyone who stopped at the bank to purchase auction tickets or baked goods. Please continue to keep Eric in your prayers. from L, Karen Musitano, Barbara Henne, Dorothy Kocher
Special thanks go to the individuals and businesses who contributed, including D.R.'s, Brass Pelican Restaurant, Vicky Mitchell, Benton Coin Shop, Hoboken Sub Shop, Creekside Restaurant, Benton Sports Center, Bob & Margie Kline, Dotty Moore on behalf of Christian Growth Ministries and Wings of Joy Publishing, Whispering Pines Campground, Strevig's Restaurant, Deb Brewington, Eric, Kelly, Carly and Max Kocher, Harvey Insurance, Ali's Restaurant, Chuck Musitano, Karen Musitano, the Balloon Man, the Benton Antique Shops, Kim Keller and Dorothy Kocher.
May 14, 2010, the birthday of Eugene Bardo, Jr., Starlett Grassley, Chuck Wodrig and Jackie Davis. On this date in 1607, the first permanent British settlement in North America was established at Jamestown, VA, by the Virginia Company charter. The colonists were led by Captain John Smith for their first two years in the settlement. After Smith left the colony in 1609, only 60 out of 500 survived the harsh winter. The arrival of fresh supplies from England in the spring fortified the colony and enabled it to endure for several years. As the mortality rate rose and the prospect for profit fell, support waned and the charter was revoked in 1624. Virginia became a Crown colony. Today is the warmest we'll see through Monday.
• It is time to "Plant a Row" and "Raise a Chick" for the Benton food bank. Starting June 15, your garden-fresh produce and chicken eggs will be most welcome at The Center. Drop-off is between 8 and 9 AM on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Let’s surpass our generosity from last year and make sure that all our food-bank neighbors have the healthful benefit of locally-raised food.
• Want a $959 car? Well, you might not be able to find one like that anymore, but take a look here to see how a car that sold for that price was in production for 19 years.
• It is interesting that the Pennsylvania Senate Democratic primary now looks as though former heavy favorite Sen. Arlen "My change in party will enable me to be re-elected" Specter is an even-money bet in his race Tuesday against Rep. Joe Sestak.
• Don't forget the one-day special event Bull-A-Rama Saturday, May 15, beginning at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available at the Benton Rodeo Ticket Office at the rodeo grounds. Ticket office opens at 5 PM. Bring your family and friends. The 26th Annual Benton Rodeo 2010 will run from July 13-18 at the Rodeo Grounds.
`• The annual meeting of the Benton Rodeo Association took place Thursday night at the fire hall. Speaking for the association, Dave Elliot thanked the sponsors, which included PaPa Johns Pizza, Randy and Jessica Hurst; Bear Fuel, Tracy and Bernie Bear; Zeisloft Dodge, Dave and Sue Elliot; Moorestown Mill, Brian O'Keefe; Deanna Mae Advertising, Diana Mae Considine; Benton Coins & Collectibles, Bill Yanchick and Laura Steimer; TPC Power Center, Dave Broadt; Williams Gas, Eric & Barb Wanner; Konopinski, Inc., Brian & Jennifer Konopinski; Sundance Vacations, Natalie Cassarella; Sokol Quarries; Hoyt Fuel Service, Chris Hoyt; H & K Propane, Randy Karschner and Debbie Barns; Pepsi; Country Fresh Market; First Columbia Bank & Trust, Rick & Judy Scavone; Fishing Creek Veterinary Clinic, John & Casey Shonis; Steve Shannon Tire & Auto Centers, Dan & Betty Lou Stoneham; L & K Mills, Charlie & Betty Litwhiler and Rich & Beth Litwhiler; and Mill Race Golf & Camp Resort.
• The Federal Government spent more in April--the month when tax dollars are supposed to fill the coffers--than it took in. Our boys in Washington posted an $82.69 billion budget deficit in April as compared to a surplus for April for 43 of the last 56 years.
The reading public expects certain things from the mainstream media. The San Francisco Examiner is no exception. Heck, the Examiner has been published continuously since its founding in 1863 as the Democratic Press, a pro-Confederacy, pro-slavery paper opposed to Abraham Lincoln. William Randolph Hearst is perhaps its most famous owner. The editorial page of the newspaper should be rock-solid, so let's examine the editorial page in its edition of May 13, 2010. You can find the page on the internet here if you wish to read the entire article. Here are some statements made by the newspaper...• "Enviros are mobilizing in a campaign to stop hydraulic fracturing." "Fracking has been used for decades in Texas and Oklahoma, but, now that it is also being used to unlock massive natural gas resources in Pennsylvania and New York, the radical enviros have joined with their allies in government and the media in a national campaign to discredit it."
• "Last month, The Denton Record-Chronicle uncritically reported accusations by enviros that fracking and other natural gas activities in the area around Dish, Texas, caused unsafe levels of such chemicals as benzene to be detected in local residents."
• "The Texas Department of State Health Services announced results of its own testing of Dish residents, and we discovered something entirely different: biological test results from a Texas Department of State Health Services investigation in Dish, Texas, indicate that residents’ exposure to certain contaminants was not greater than that of the general U.S. population." Those results are available to read here.
• "In Dish, we found no pattern to our test results indicating community-wide exposure to any of these contaminants,’ said Dr. Carrie Bradford, the DSHS toxicologist who led the investigation." "The only residents who had higher levels of benzene in their blood were smokers." "Many of these compounds are found in a wide array of commonly used products."
• "The same phenomenon is seen in Pennsylvania as energy firms begin exploration and production in the Marcellus Shale deposit. The economic benefits to both areas are only now beginning to be measured." Take the time to read the entire San Francisco Examiner op-ed piece here and come to your own conclusions.
For the benefit of the "enviros" who read the Benton News, keep in mind that the Examiner doesn't have a horse in this race.
Helen (Pyatt) Hellriegel died Tuesday, May 11, 2010, at Bonham Nursing Center, Stillwater. She was 81. She was born in Plainfield, NJ, and was a graduate of the North Plainfield high school. Helen was employed by Somerville Lumber before her retirement. She was active with the Women's Evening Circle, the Moose Club, the 101st Airborne and the Military Order of the Purple Heart. She lived in South Plainfield for 74 years before moving to Stillwater to be near her daughter. She was a member of the Hamline Church Fellowship. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred, in 2003. Surviving are her daughter, Doreen Karns, and her husband, Bruce, Stillwater.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 17, 2010 at 9 AM in the First Baptist Church of South Plainfield, 201 Hamilton Blvd., South Plainfield, NJ. Interment will follow in the Franklin Memorial Park, North Brunswick, NJ. A visitation will be held Sunday, May 16, 2010 from 1-3 PM at the McCriskin-Gustafson Home for Funerals, 2425 Plainfield Ave., South Plainfield, NJ. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in her memory to the Columbia Montour Home Hospice, 410 Glenn Avenue, Suite 200, Bloomsburg, PA 17815. Local arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home.
Marie A. Morgan (November 13, 1932-May 9, 2010), Stillwater, died Sunday in Suwanee, Georgia. She was 77. Marie was born in Kingston. She was the daughter of Donald and Mary Mayernick Parrish. She was a graduate of Kingston High School and received her master's degree in Education from Bloomsburg State Teachers College. She lived in Bristol Township and taught kindergarten and elementary school in the Bristol Township School District for more than 40 years before moving to Stillwater in 2003. She was currently active in the Benton Women's Christian Group. She taught Sunday school and had been active in the Lutheran Church Community in Levittown, PA. She was an active volunteer at The Center's thrift store, Mill Street. She was a member and past secretary of the Benton Women’s Club.
Surviving are her husband of 53 years, Carl R. Morgan; children Carl M. Morgan (Mary), Douglas, AZ; Bradley Morgan (Donna), Arden, NC; Donna Biondich (Bob), Alpharetta, GA; grandchildren Joshua, Jason, Christopher and Nicole Morgan, Sarah and Matthew Biondich and Jay Tobias; brother, Hubert Parrish, Key West, FL, and numerous nieces and nephews. Preceding Marie in death was a brother, Donald Parrish.
Funeral services will be Monday, May 17, at 10 AM in Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 813 Wyoming Ave., Kingston. Interment will be made in Mount Greenwood Cemetery, Trucksville, Pa. Family and friends may call Sunday from 5 until 7 PM at the Harold C. Snowdon Home for Funerals Inc., 420 Wyoming Ave., Kingston. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Marie's name to the charity of the donor's choice.
May 13, 2010. It is the birthday of Libby Lewis, Nancy McClure, Kathi Taylor, Bob Conner, Charles Wodrig, Lauren Elizabeth Andrysick, Sandra Baker Fritz. Karl & Mary Myers celebrate their wedding anniversary. Please keep Courtney Bronson Gutjahr in your prayers. She is in Moses Taylor hospital following a fall. It was cold again last night, but we are heading toward a beautiful Sunday.Quickies....• The Guv announced that the State had signed a re-lease for natural-gas drilling to the tune of $120 million on 32,895 acres of state forest land in Centre, Wyoming and Bradford counties. The lease is with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.• The Pennsylvania Senate approved legislation Tuesday to establish state licensing of plumbing contractors. Senate Bill 288 establishes a State Board of Plumbing Contractors. This new organization will establish fees, fines and civil penalties. It creates the Plumbing Contractors Licensure Account. The State Board of Plumbing Contractors would be created to issue licenses, develop regulations and administer the provisions of the law. Senate Bill 288 would establish minimum standards that individuals who provide plumbing services must meet. The bill's stated primary purpose is to protect the public health. The bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Association of Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Contractors as well as local plumbing unions. The costs of implementation, administration and enforcement of the provisions would be covered by the fees set by the Board, as well as the fines and penalties deposited into a restricted account. Senate Bill 288 now goes to the House of Representatives for consideration. The bill is certain to have many who dislike it.• Being nice to the hand that feeds you may cost some money, but apparently brings in big rewards. It has come to light that campaign contributions and lobbying efforts made by the natural-gas industry have enriched the coffers by $2.85 million for Pennsylvania political candidates between 2001 and March 2010. A recently completed study indicates the industry has spent $4.2 million on lobbying since Pennsylvania began requiring lobbyist reporting in 2007. Attorney General Tom Corbett has received six times more campaign money from the natural-gas industry than any other gubernatorial candidate, according to a study reported in by the Pittsburg Post Gazette.• The deadline for the next brick order at The Center (N4Cs) is June 30, 2010. There will not be as many bricks this time, so getting them engraved will not be such a long process. A deadline must be set so the engraver can schedule his time.
• Smartphones are the hot item at the moment. ATT is racing to beat Verizon to the upper Fishingcreek market which has long been dominated by Verizon. A number of people locally have said they are waiting for the iPhone, which operates currently only on the ATT network. But market researcher NPD Group now reports that Verizon Wireless aggressive promotions for Motorola's (MOT) Droid smartphone have lifted first-quarter sales of smartphones based on Google's (GOOG) Android operating system above sales of Apple's (AAPL) iPhone for the first time. Android-powered phones accounted for 28% of all smartphones sold in the U.S., exceeding Apple's 21 % share during the quarter, NPD said. Research in Motion's (RIMM) BlackBerry models led the category with a 36% share.
• Many have told M.R. Daniels that "they M.R. good actors she had in the play Dividing Line. In Maryland, if you ask what those objects are swimming on the water you'll get the instant response, "M.R. ducks." All that reminds me of the famous story about the day when President Lincoln was walking with Secretary Seward. Lincoln's attention was directed to a sign along the sidewalk bearing the name "T. R. Strong." "Well," said the President, grinning, "It may be that T. R. Strong, but coffee are stronger."
May 12, 2010. It is the birthday of Jack Schupp, Carolyn Watson, Patti Malhoyt, Ron Kelsey, Daniel W. Mitchell, and baseball player Yogi Berra. It is the wedding anniversary of Bill & Barbara Repko.The movie Gasland, winner of a special jury prize for documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, was shown in the Community Arts Center in Williamsport Tuesday night in advance of its HBO premiere June 21 . Josh Fox produced this documentary about natural gas by visiting drilling sites in 24 states. He attended the showing and both introduced the movie and took questions at the end. The movie opened much in the same way that the natural-gas issue began locally. A gas-drilling company offered Fox a great deal of money per acre to lease his property for purposes of drilling in the Delaware Water Gap. The promise was that drilling is safe, won't disturb his land or pollute the water.
That claim comes into dispute when on a cross-country road trip, he meets family after family who found out that during drilling their water made them sick from the toxic chemicals forced into the well to fracture the rock and release the gas. What comes out of the well contains known carcinogens, volatile hydrocarbons and chemicals which never should be in the water. Evaporation in a holding pond in order to let it all evaporate also has dire consequences, including tap water ignited by a match, cattle that died and vegetation that withered, and water wells that blew up.
The Williamsport meeting sponsored by the Responsible Drilling Alliance took place a day after an accident at a natural-gas rig in Dimock claimed the life of a worker from a Colorado company, a subcontractor for Cabot Oil & Gas. The Caliber Casing Oil Field Service employee was hit on the head with a pipe Monday morning while working at a site in the natural-gas field about 20 miles south of Binghamton. He was flown by helicopter to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Wilkes-Barre, where he died Monday afternoon.
The Center (N4Cs), 42 Community Drive, Benton, will feature an afternoon concert by consummate musicians Deborah and Jonathan Hutchison on Sunday, May 23, at 2. The concert is free and open to the public. The duo sings harmonious tunes somewhat reminiscent of Woodstock using the guitar, flute and piano with a bit of a jazz flair. The singers, songwriters, and recording artists in the Christian tradition provide vocal harmonies, singing of God’s love, of faith and struggle, the need for community and the call to service in the world. The Hutchison’s musical style ranges from rock to classical, with folk, R&B, jazz and gospel thrown in. Each musical selection features the duo’s trademark vocal harmonies. Their songs of hope and celebration uplift, celebrate life, and encourage listeners to join in.
They got their start as winners and headliners at the 1973 Northeastern Intercollegiate Folk Festival, and they continue to perform in clubs, coffeehouses, churches, house concerts, schools and on college campuses nationwide. Their music is often heard at Earth Day celebrations, peace and justice rallies, conferences, interfaith events and benefits for community groups. Along the way, they have produced five albums of original music. For further information please call the Center at 925-0163.Quickies...
• The "Quilting Guild" will be part of Heritage Days in the park in late July. The group will display antique quilts as part of its booth. Do you have an antique quilt which could be borrowed? If you have any that you would be willing to share for two days, please call Deb Dressler, 925-6226, or e-mail dressler AT epix.net. The quilts will not be left outside overnight and will be supervised at all times. The group would also be willing to display unfinished quilt tops or ones that are well worn. If you personally don’t own any old quilts, but know someone who does, please let Deb know who to contact.
• The "American Idol Live" concert tour will be at Hershey's Giant Center July 15 at 7:30 PM. Aaron Kelly will be there, as well as Didi Benami, Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus, Katie Stevens and Tim Urban. Tickets are $76, $66, $51 and $41. Tickets can be purchased at the Giant Center box office, 800-745-3000, HersheyEntertainment.com or Ticketmaster.com. For more information on the tour including planned locations, go here.
• Jeanne Koniuszy, a McHenry descendent, is interested in the books on Tracking Yesterday by Ted Fenstermacher. Any readers have one for sale?
• A number of readers asked how to see Betty White who appeared on the last Saturday Night Live. Go here.
A recent article in the Benton News about the tragedy which occurred on the paper mill dam section of Huntington Creek in Huntington Mills prompted a lot of email. Sheila Brandon, one of the most knowledgeable people we know about the lower Luzerne County, was quick to provide additional information about what happened on a Thursday afternoon, May 10, 1910, in Huntington Mills. Twelve members of the junior and senior classes at the private Huntington Mills Independent School prepared for an afternoon of boating at Paper Mill dam. Some of them would graduate the following week and this was their final outing as schoolmates.
Ruth Bonham, 17, was a talented musician and a senior anxious to pursue a musical career after leaving school. Ruth's friend, Maud Sutliff, 18, had also passed her examinations and would be part of the graduating class of 1910. Robert Minnich, 19, the senior-class president, was going to exchange gifts at commencement with Carolyn Koons, 17. They became sweethearts during the last term at school.
The dam was owned by the Koons brothers. At the turn of the century, it was 100 feet wide and 20 feet deep. Its idyllic setting and close proximity to the school made it a popular picnic and boating sport for local children. The boating party met shortly after lunch that May afternoon and boarded a scow and a rowboat.
The scow, carrying six of the students, sprang a leak and began to take on water. One of the girls began to bail it out with a small can. They were near shore and could row in easily. Things were going well until the boy rowing said jokingly, "Look out or we'll all drown." This frightened one of the girls so badly that she fainted. The people in the rowboat brought their craft alongside the scow to remove her, and the five others boarded as well.
The overcrowded boat sank to almost water level, became unbalanced, capsized and the young people were thrown out. The boat shot away from them and they were left helpless in the water. Only half of them were able to swim. The girls, weighted down by the heavy skirts and petticoats that were the fashion of the day, sank quickly. The boys tried to help but were themselves dragged down. Robert Minnick made it to shore safely, but went back to try to save Carolyn Koons. He reached her and held her above water for a while, but one of the other desperate girls clung onto him and all three went down. They were later found together at the bottom of the creek.
Roy Dodson, 16, the only other boy who drowned that day, had been afflicted with a crippling condition for many years and had never been able to go in the water. His brother, George, was able to make it to the shore, but wasn't strong enough to help the others. Madeline Good, 16, almost saved herself. She came close to shore, her head well above water, when either from fright or exhaustion, she fainted and fell backwards. Iris Davenport, 17, and Rachael Thompson, 16, couldn't be rescued in time.
The screams and shouts of the terrified young people attracted the attention of Derr Klinetob who was working in a field near the dam. By the time he reached the scene, only Maud Sutliff's body was on the surface of the water. The other seven victims had disappeared from view. Maud's body was still warm when Klinetob pulled her to shore. He worked to revive her until a doctor arrived, but the effort was in vain. By the time the other boats and grappling hooks could be brought to the dam, all that remained to be done was to recover the bodies and take them to their homes. The tragedy shocked and devastated Huntington Mills and surrounding communities. Nearly everyone had a friend or relative among the victims.
The week following the drownings, the week that would've seen the graduation of Ruth Bonham, Maud Sutliff and Robert Minnich, the week that Carolyn Koons would've presented her beau with a pair of gold cufflinks and a scarf pin, was instead a week of mourning and funerals.
The spring flowers that would have been presented to proud high school graduates and their friends were instead heaped on their coffins.
The Paper Mill dam is long gone from the banks of Huntington Creek. The dam disappeared during a 1975 flood.
Monday and Tuesday, May 10 and 11, 2010.
May 10 is the birthday of Audrey Schupp, Joe Savage and former U. S. Senator Rick Santorum. There will be sun today, but then the following few days will include moisture.
May 11 is the birthday of Steve Letteer and Janet Whiston.
Our Luzerne County neighbors in Huntington Mills faced an unbelievable nightmare a hundred years ago--May 10, 1910--when eight students drowned in a Huntington Mills pond shortly after one of the party jokingly remarked, "Look out, we'll all drown!"
The drowning accident which cost the lives of two boys and six girls occurred on the mill dam at Huntington Mills. The young people, pupils of the Huntington Independent school, were boating when the drowning occurred, according to the May 13, 1910, edition of the Wilkes-Barre Times.
The last names of those who died are familiar names in the local area. The dead included Maud Sutliff, 18, Town Line; Caroline Koons, 17, Harveyville; Ruth Bonham, 17, Town Line; Iris Davenport, 17, Waterton; Madaline Good, 16, Waterton; Rachael Thompson, 16, Town Hill; Robert Minnick, 16, Koonsville; and Ray Dodson, 16, Huntington Mills.
The kids who escaped included George Dodson, Fairmont township; Jay Koons, Harveyville; Darious Whittsell, Town Line; Charles Bell, Fairmont Township.
According to newspaper accounts, Ruth Bonham, one of the victims, was bailing water from the scow, one of the boats which contained half of the students, when the boat tipped over.
• Do you wear your seat belts? Take a look at http://embracethis.co.uk/ and embrace life.
• The word "lo" is a shortened version of the word "look," and is frequently used as a way of saying "look, behold! as in "lo and behold." The first use of the word was in the Bible (King James version, Genesis 15:3) where the phrase "And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir." Didja know that the first internet message between two computers connected via the ARPANET (sent in 1969) simply said "lo?" The meaning of messages sent via the internet has been declining ever since! The word that was intended to be sent was not "lo," but was "login." Only the first two letters were successfully sent before the system crashed--thus beginning a long history of computer crashes.
• Don't expect to see much of Aaron Kelly, 17, this summer. He'll be on a city tour with Andrew Garcia, Casey James, Crystal Bowersox, Didi Benami, Katie Stevens, Lee DeWyze, Michael Lynche, Siobhan Magnus and Tim Urban. Tour locations are shown here. Want to keep in touch with the tour? Subscribe here.
• Congratulations to Prom King and Queen Eric Hess and Emily Young...
Didja ever think where our local roads go?
• Pennsylvania Route 254 is an 30-mile state highway going through Northumberland, Montour and Columbia counties. The western end of the road is at PA 405 in Milton. The eastern terminus is at PA 487 at Maple Grove, south of Benton.
• Pennsylvania Route 487 is a 63-mile north–south state highway running from PA 61 in Shamokin Township, Northumberland County, to PA 87 (near its intersection with US 220) in Dushore. In Bloomsburg, After its brief concurrency with PA 118 north of Benton, PA 487 goes up the steep grade of Red Rock Mountain and then runs beside the main entrance of Ricketts Glen State Park.
• Pennsylvania Route 239 is an 36-mile state highway located in Luzerne, Columbia and Lycoming counties. The southern terminus is at PA 93 near Briggsville. The northern terminus is at PA 42 in North Mountain.
The second week of May is "See Pennsylvania's Covered bridges" week. But didja know about the mover and shaker responsible for our covered bridges?
Theodore Burr (1771 to 1822 or 1824, depending on which source you use) was a Connecticut inventor who was credited with the Burr Arch Truss bridge design for his US Patent No. 2769 in 1817 for his arch and truss bridge design. Burr, a cousin of vice president Aaron Burr, built a grist mill and a dam to power the mill in Oxford, New York. He then built a stringer bridge across the Chenango River in Oxford in 1800 to get farmers to his mill. His Oxford home today houses the Oxford Memorial Library.
Burr built the first bridge of any size--New York's Waterford Bridge--in 1804 to cross the Hudson River in New York. The long-span bridge used a timber truss with arches and was wrapped in handmade pine-plank siding with a shingled roof. The bridge lasted almost 105 years until fire destroyed it in 1909. His design came to be known as the "Burr Arch Truss," and used two long arches anchored on abutments on either end sandwiching a multiple kingpost structure.
Theodore Burr built nearly every bridge that crossed the Susquehanna from Binghamton to Baltimore in those days. His successful career made him the most distinguished architect of bridges in the country. The arches of modern bridges can be traced to Theodore Burr and those who came after who studied his designs.
Between 1811 and 1818, Burr designed, constructed or supervised five bridge crossings of the Susquehanna River. The first four were in Pennsylvania at Nescopeck Falls (Berwick), Columbia, Harrisburg and Northumberland. The last was the 4,170 foot Susquehanna River bridge near Port Deposit, Maryland.
There are three covered bridges in Sullivan County built using his truss design. Three covered bridges remain in Sullivan County at Forksville, Hillsgrove and Sonestown. There is one covered bridge in Bradford County at Luthers Mills, off Route 6 north of Towanda. Columbia County has twenty covered bridges, including the Josiah Hess, West and East Paden bridges.
May 9, 2010, the birthday of E. Lee Remley and Ethel Hack. There is a good probability of frost tonight, and it won't hit 70° again before Wednesday.
A military-memorial ceremony to pay respects to those who have served and to honor the men and women of all branches of service will take place at the N4C’s on Sunday afternoon at 5, May 30. Rep. Karen Boback will be on hand to participate, as will Representative David Millard, Columbia County commissioners and dignitaries from the American Legion. The local VFW honor guard will attend. A reception will follow in the game room and in the senior center. More than 120 bricks commemorating the many who have served will surround the flag pole at the N4Cs. Their stories will be on display in the library.It is Mother's Day. What higher praise could we give to mothers than Abraham Lincoln gave when he said, "All that I am or hope to be I owe to my mother."
We breathed it then, we breathe it still,
More dear than sister, friend or brother;
The gentle power, the magic thrill
Awakened at the name of mother.
Most children who grew up in my era heard the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments from their mothers before they were able to read. Henry Clay's last words at the time of his death were "Mother, Mother, Mother." Author Thomas Gray placed the following inscription on his mother's remains: "the careful, tender mother of many children, one of whom had the misfortune to survive her." Mothers are the queen of the castle, a friend like no other, required to think once for themselves and once for each child.
The Irish say that a man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest. Mothers somehow understand that their job is to teach their children to be useful. They devote their lives to their young children, sleeping near them, dressing them, making sure the food they get is nutritious. They read, talk, play and walk with them and are their companion and guide in all things at all times. They are a confidant, and are willing to listen to the children, no matter how trivial the conversation. They know to send their children to bed happy, and a goodnight kiss and a shared prayer is important.
For many of us, the most important piece of furniture in our homes as we grew up was the rocking chair. It was probably an old chair if you were the youngest in the family; the chair, after all, had gently rocked your older brothers and sisters as it did for you. The one is our house made a creaking noise, but thinking back it was like music. The chair was just high enough for me to climb onto to reach into Mother's lap where I could deposit all my hurts and worries. It was where the old lullabies were sung and where singing made a sick child better. That old chair stopped rocking many years ago, and I don't even know where it is today.
Our mother's lost her youthfulness,
Her locks are turning gray,
And wrinkles take the place of smiles--
She's fading every day.
We gaze at her in sorrow now,
And though we've never been told
We can feel the weary truth--
Our mother's growing old.For many of us in the upper Fishingcreek valley, our mothers are in a grave high on a hill overlooking a beautiful village and a beautiful stream of water, near the place where we grew up, studied and prepared for whatever life dished out to us. A slab of granite or marble marks the place where we laid her to rest scores of years ago. Take the time today to stand by your mother's grave if she is no longer alive and think of the many kindnesses she extended to you. Think of when you'll be reunited. The spot where your mother is buried has little meaning to the stranger who passes by, but should continue to be dear to your heart. The ravages of time may show on your houses and personal belongings, but should never be forgotten as relates to your mother.
Mother's Day is an occasion when we honor the women who brought us into this world, tucked us each night after we said our prayers, applied the Band-Aids to our boo-boos, introduced us to the concept of going to church, helped us with our homework, instilled a sense of decency and love of our country, passed approval on our first love, was always there when we raised our kids and was still there when our grandchildren came along.Today is the day when we put her on the pedestal she deserves, when we practice togetherness with her whether over the internet or the telephone or in person. It is a day when other distractions melt away so that you can reconnect and truly enjoy each other's company.
This past week was a hard week for residents of Market Street, Benton, a week when two dearly loved mothers were lost and one dearly loved father lost his battle with cancer. All of this happened in a 24-hour period. Rev. Dr. Donna Laubach Moros sent along an eulogy for one of the mothers, Florence Kocher, part of which we'll share with you.
Donna, a former resident of Benton, told of how "some of the spirit of her life" came into her path. Donna remembers Florence as a "Bible-carrying Presbyterian lady" (the kind all evil doers hide out from). She "taught the women of the church in Benton, and my grandmother Clara was in her class, after Mrs. Confair could no longer do so. My mother Dorothy was sometimes there too, when the spirit moved her to get out of bed on Sunday morning. Florence did not view my mother as an unredeemed sinner. She saw her as a creative coconspirator."Donna's mother, Dorothy, "being an outsider in Benton, decided she wanted the community to be involved in something creative in order to shut down the gossip machine. She opened a tap-dancing school and invited George Thomas to give classes. Florence enrolled daughters Shirley and Kay. Donna, "being a bit chubby, needed it for the exercise." Florence helped Dorothy with the costumes. Both had worked in dressmaking and factory sweat shops that sprang up.
Donna credits women like Florence and Dorothy as the reason she became an ordained PCUSA pastor. Florence taught her that "carrying a Bible did not cut you off from the community around you." Donna eventually became a bible-carrying lady in Venezuela, Colombia and Spain. This story is different from that of Dr. Frank Laubach and his son Robert. This is not a guy story. It is about Florence Irene, and her Bible-carrying band who spread out around the country and the world. "Thank God for her life, for her rebellion, for her faithfulness to her faith and her family. We will all miss her, and her friends, like Dorothy."
Laura Danielle Laubach (February 11, 1982-May 6, 2010), Market Street, Benton, died Thursday in Huntington Township, Luzerne County, from injuries sustained in a motor-vehicle accident. She was 28. She was born at the Bloomsburg Hospital. She was a 2000 graduate of Benton Area Schools and was a full-time student at ITT Technical School of Criminal Justice, Dunmore. She was a member of Christ the King Roman Catholic Church, Benton.
Surviving are her parents, Rodney and Diana (Whitenight) VanPelt, and Daniel C. and Tracy Laubach, all of Benton; her son Matteo Douglas Taylor, 3, the love of her life; a brother, Craig D. Laubach, Carlisle; a sister, Jessica J. VanPelt, serving in the U. S. Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio; a half brother, Daniel S. Laubach, Benton; a step brother, Joey Dunn; step sister, Robin Bardo. The grandparents are Ted and Marisa Whitenight; Kate Starr and Jack Laubach, all of Benton; Rodney and Donna VanPelt, Orangeville, and Jerry and Sally Boone, Millville, as well as numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
A prayer service will be held Wednesday at 11 AM at Christ The King Catholic Church, Mendenhall Lane, Benton. Burial will be in the Benton Cemetery. A visitation will be held at the church Wednesday morning from 9:30 to 10:45. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to a trust fund for her son, Matteo Douglas Taylor, c/o First Columbia Bank and Trust Company, P. O. Box 503, Benton, PA 17814. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. For online condolences or to sign the online register book, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
May 8, 2010, the birthday of Randy Hess, Alexa McCourt and Mariah Krygier. The 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was born near Lamar, Missouri, on this day in 1884. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 5.7% for the week, the S&P 500 was 6.4% lower and the Nasdaq finished the week 8% lower. Watch for frost Sunday night.Yesterday we discussed the Roving Historical Theater, the theatrical arm of the Sullivan County Council on the Arts, and their presentation of “Northwest Passage,” a play exploring the heritage of Fox and Elkland Townships in Sullivan County. We didn't have room to mention Fox Township, and we'll pick up from that point in today's edition. Joseph Hoagland established the first grist mill in what came to be Shunk. Warned of an impending Indian massacre in the Lycoming Creek valley, he fled to the Muncy area with his family, and later reached the isolated peace of the Endless Mountains.
Ben Hatch stars in the play as Pemsit, who has only recently learned of his Native American background and wanders the roads in search of his heritage. Along the way he stops at the homes of Rosemary and Lemuel Bedford. Stopping for the night with Emma and Ellsworth Hatch, Pemsit, along with the Hatches’ daughters, hears the highly unlikely--but true--tale of the "skinned woman." He also visits the Baumunk general store in Shunk, where he encounters store co-owner and former school teacher Caroline Baumunk, skunk-hunter extraordinaire Harlan Baumunk, clerk Clara and Clara’s two daughters.
Flashbacks to early 19th century settlers focus on Dutchman Joseph Hoagland and wife Hannah and their two daughters; Edward Eldred and wife Mary, with their guest Frederick Ambley; plus grist-mill builders James Ecroyd, Jess Haines and Joel McCarty. Many of the early settlers were members of the Society of Friends and a later scene (1819) features Quaker evangelist Ellen McCarty and friend William King.
Another salient feature of the northwest area in the mid-19th century was the "Underground Railroad," which ferried slaves from the South into New York state and, eventually, Canada. This topic is covered on the hectic 1850s wedding day of Thomas Pardoe and Margaret Molyneux. The wedding, conducted by the Rev. William Brane, is saved from misfortune by the quick thinking of Margaret’s cousin, Liza.
The play closes with the meeting of Pemsit and Lenape elder Crazy Crow, who introduces Pemsit to some measure of his heritage. “Northwest Passage” will be performed in the Endless Winds hall, Route. 154, Shunk, May 28 and 30 (Memorial Day Weekend), and June 5. Tickets are $7 in advance ($8 at the door) for adults, $1 for students 12 and younger and free for preschoolers. For more information on the play and other Sullivan County Council on the Arts programs, call 928-8927, email infoATsullivanarts.org or visit online at www.sullivanarts.org.
• Action in the local cell-phone industry has picked up greatly. The permitting process is now complete for the tower north and west of the Borough and construction can proceed. Thursday night the application of New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC, doing business as AT&T Mobility was approved via the Zoning Appeals Board for a tower east of the Borough, near the Benton Cemetery. This tower will be 286' high to the top of the lights. Construction will take place on 10,000 square feet of land at 359 Cemetery Hill road, township route 675, leased from Michael and Christine Klem. The structure to be erected on the 100' by 100' fenced equipment compound will include a 280' self-support tower and an 11.5' by 20' equipment shelter. Utilities will be provided by underground conduits from service poles on Cemetery Hill road. Vehicular access will be via a 12' gravel driveway extending from Cemetery Hill road and running parallel with the East boundary of the Benton Cemetery. Issues had been raised relating to tower height and water runoff and at the hearing two residents spoke against construction of the tower according to plans being pursued. A 250-foot cell-phone tower for AT&T use is under construction on the grounds of Little Fishing Creek Rod & Gun Club north of Millville in Pine Township. Verizon is expected to also become a user on that tower. The same company erected a tower on the Ortman family property near the intersection of Dutch Hill road and Christy Hill road, Madison township.
James Dwight Dick (September 2, 1932-May 2, 2010), Burlington, North Carolina, died Sunday in the Hospice Care Center of Alamance, Burlington, NC. He was 77. Born in Kingston, James was a son of the late James and Florence Dobbie Dick. He was a graduate of Wyoming Seminary School of Business. James was a U.S. Army Veteran of the Korean War. He was employed as sales representative for Eugene Chermin. A former resident of Trucksville and Jacobstown, NJ, James lived in Burlington, NC, for the past three years. He was a member of the American Legion and was very active in his church communities in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and North Carolina, and especially active in the Wyoming Methodist Conference. Surviving are his wife, the former Carolyn J. Everett, a member of the graduating class of 1954 of Benton Area Schools. There is a son, Dwight James Dick, Cherry Hill, NJ; daughter, Kimberly Smith (John), Burlington, NC; grandchildren, Johnathan, Samantha, Nathan and Alyysa Smith; sister, Dawn Riutta (Ed), Iron Mountain, Michigan; as well as several nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 11 AM Saturday in the Jackson Baptist Church, 353 Derrs Road, Derrs, in the church where he and Carolyn married. Interment will be made in Waller Cemetery, Waller. Family and friends may call Friday, from 5 to 7 PM, at the Harold C. Snowdon Funeral Home Inc., 140 N. Main St., Shavertown.
Ronald James Williams (December 12, 1932-May 6, 2010), Market Street, Benton, died Thursday at his home following a lengthy illness. He was 77. He was born in Utica, New York. Ron was a son of Reginald R. and Agnes (Gaffney) Williams. He proudly served his country for 30 years in the U.S. Navy as a Seabee and earned many medals including the Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, Rifle Marksmanship Award, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Antarctic Service Medal and the second award, National Defense Service Medal with a bronze star; the Vietnam Service Medal with two bronze stars and the Navy Unit Commendation Ribbon. He had made five tours to Antarctica in Operation Deep Freeze and had also been involved in the Cuban missile blockade. Following his retirement from the U. S. Navy, he worked as a photographer and was a security officer for Providence College, Rhode Island. He was a member of the Benton Christian Church, the Benton VFW and the Shickshinny American Legion.
Surviving are his children Jay Williams (Pam), Hephzibah, Georgia, and Beth McMichael (John), Benton; a brother, Bruce Williams (Lois), Nichols, NY; sisters Jeri Horvath (Jack), Laurie, Missouri; Margaret Cotner (Wayne), Shreveport, LA; Karen Oleksik, Utica, NY, an aunt, Margaret Gaffney; grandchildren Christine Williams, Kathy Williams, Donald McMichael and Jamie McMichael; four great grandchildren and a number of nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 10, at 3 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home. A combined veterans group will conduct military rites at the funeral home. Burial will be at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery. A viewing will be held Sunday from 6 to 8 PM at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the American Cancer Society, Columbia County Unit, 1948 E. Third Street, Williamsport, PA 17701.
May 7, 2010. It is the birthday of Gerald McHenry, Mike Geary and Leona Bardo--and Jenny Joseph, a woman who wore purple when she got old. Today is an excellent time to pick up your herbs, vegetables and flowers at the Benton fire station during their flower sale from 9 to 6 through Saturday. We wish Bonnie Farver a rapid recovery following her ride to the hospital in the ambulance following a fall outside the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society where she is Executive Director.Quickies...
• The picturesque Benton dam is not something the area wants to lose. To date, about $40,000 has been raised to help keep the aging structure healthy. Benton Mobile Concrete has laid rip rap along the West wall of the retaining wall South of the dam. The February flood did additional damage to the dam, but a new wall is being built along the road.
• Benton lost two neighbors yesterday. The two lived across Market Street from each other. Laura Laubach, 28, was killed in an automobile accident on Route 239 in the Huntington Mills area. Ron Williams passed away following a long career in the military service of his country including tours of duty in Antarctica. Ron lost his battle with cancer.• Just when we hear that things are picking up we got a double dose Thursday with the Dow average losing 998.5 points before ending down 348.63 points at the 4 PM close of trading in New York. It ended the day at 10,519.49, a two-month low. And there was the news about the government-controlled mortgage finance company Freddie Mac, which needs an infusion of another $10.6 billion from the U.S. Treasury after losing $6.7 billion in the first three months of 2010. Unexpected? Not quite. Freddie has hit the public till for $51 billion to stabilize so home loan rates don't shoot higher. And then there is Fannie Mae, Freddie's larger sister, expected to report its losses today. For more on the troubles the mortgage company operating under U.S. conservatorship is causing for America, turn here.• The Benton Farmers’ Market, 4365 Red Rock Road, will be reopening for its third season on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. A new vendor--Colonel Ricketts Hard Cider Winery--has been added this year for wine tasting and selling. All of the vendors from prior years will be returning except the baker. The farmer's market needs to find a baker with a certified kitchen to come to the farmer's market. If a reader knows of someone, please call Benton Farmers’ Market, 925-2690.• Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts, probably the greatest right-hander in Phillies history, died Thursday in his Florida home from natural causes. He was 83. Mr. Roberts pitched 19 years in the major leagues, the first 14 with the Phillies (1948-61). He also pitched for the Baltimore Orioles (1962-65), Houston Astros (1965-66) and Chicago Cubs (1966). He had a 286-245 career record with a 3.41 ERA for 676 games (609 starts). His Phillies record was 234-199. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1976.• Twin brothers Joshua and Caleb Fritz conceived the idea of "Water's Edge" not only a band, but as a ministry. Water's Edge ministers in a variety of ways. They perform at churches, played at summer youth camps, wrote and performed an original Christmas cantata, and self recorded and produced their first demo album, "Into The Promised Land." The group added percussionist Emmanuel (Manny) Graham during the summer of 2009. Water's Edge recently entered a national song competition. The link that you can click on to vote for their song is here. This song contest is not specifically a "Christian" song contest; the group will also be competing against secular artists. The top five finalists are chosen solely on the number of votes that are cast for their song. If you like Water's Edge and its music, follow the link, then click the button that says "Download." Fill out the short form with your email. Click "Continue to Download" at the bottom of the screen (an email will then be sent to the address you provided). Check your inbox for the email titled "email@example.com (it may be filtered to your spam/bulk mail depending on your email settings), open it, and click on the blue link! That's it--you've just voted for their song, "Into The Promised Land!"• Bob Kelsey says that all of his radiation and chemotherapies are complete. His Tuesday's CT scans "show no evidence of disease." Bob's comment: "Wow!" This past weekend was a significant change in his abilities. The inflammation from radiation is diminishing. He "began drinking enough fluids to sustain adequate hydration, and began to experiment with eating again." He started with yogurt on Monday, soup on Tuesday with fresh fruit, and then jumped to a burger on Wednesday, and last night went out to eat at a restaurant for the first time in months. He says that "I don’t eat much, eat slowly, and nothing really tastes good, but that will change. It is fun playing with food. It is fun having energy again."A treasure of the local area is in New Columbus, seven miles from Benton. It is the former Columbus Male and Female Academy, which dates back to its dedication in 1856 about the time that the American Party (which from high school we remember as "Know-Nothings") met in Philadelphia to nominate Millard Fillmore as president, the same year that Pennsylvanian James Buchanan was elected President of the United States. The Academy has also been known over the years as the New Columbus Academy and Normal Institute (Columbus Male and Female Academy).
The academy was used as a public school after the academy was discontinued. In the 1950s, the consolidation of schools left the building empty. At that time, the school board voted to convey the structure for public use and preservation to the New Columbus Academy Memorial Hall, Inc. From 1896-1952 the Academy educated an estimated 1,500 students.
The people who were instrumental in returning the building to the way it once was should be remembered. They include the following trustees and officers: Donald Boston, Stillwater, treasurer; Lawrence Chapin, Peoria, Illinois, Lawrence Coughlin, Kingston; Harold Hayman, New Columbus; Herbert Jamison, St. Michaels, Maryland, President; Lawrence Kellogg, White Plains, New York; Carl Stevens, New Columbus; Mrs. Ralph VanEpps, New Columbus, Secretary; Harold Yaple, New Columbus, vice-president; and Mrs. William Yaple, Sr., Bendertown. All of these people were descendents of early Academy alumni or were students in the building when it was used as a public elementary school.
New Columbus is an interesting community. John Koons located in what is now New Columbus borough in 1819, and was involved with the Nanticoke & Hughesville and the Susquehanna & Tioga turnpikes. He became postmaster of New Columbus in 1836, and in 1858 became involved in the building of the New Columbus Academy and Normal Institute and built the Wyoming Valley canal in the Shickshinny area. The Pennsylvania Canal Company eventually ran the North Branch Canal from Wilkes-Barre to Northumberland from 1869 to 1901. Anthracite coal became the largest revenue producer of the canal, although Bloomsburg and Danville shipped its share of iron.
The first road laid out in the township was the one through the Huntington Creek valley, but other roads were soon surveyed and built. The Nanticoke and Hughesville Turnpike company received a charter in 1836 to build a road from Nanticoke Falls through New Columbus to Hughesville. The Union Turnpike Road company was formed in 1875, and chartered in 1876. The charter allowed the company to extend its road from Shickshinny to Fairmount Springs.
The Columbus Male and Female Academy was once the major asset of the borough of New Columbus. It was funded by issuing 152 shares at $10 each, "subscribed and paid for by seventy-two persons." D. L. Chapin and John Koons were prominent in founding the educational facility which became instrumental in establishing the township as an independent school district. New Columbus became an organized borough in 1859.The building is now used as a social and recreation center and a museum for people of New Columbus and surrounding communities. It is preserved as a historical building by members and friends of the New Columbus Academy Memorial Hall. Celebrate local history! Become a member of the New Columbus Academy Memorial Association. The association is looking for new members to continue to preserve this piece of local history. Individual and family memberships are available. We appreciate anyone willing to donate their precious time to help at festivals and fundraisers. Please email newcolumbusacademyATyahoo.com or contact Jennifer Evans Naugle on Facebook for information about becoming a member or hall rental.
The Roving Historical Theater, the theatrical arm of the Sullivan County Council on the Arts, will present “Northwest Passage,” a play exploring the heritage of Fox and Elkland Townships in Sullivan County. It is the fourth of a planned series of eight history plays, each of which examines the background of a particular county community and each of which is performed in that community. This year’s play is built around the progress of a Lenape Indian, Pemsit (his name in Lenape means “Wanderer”), making a slow journey on foot during the Depression. As he stops along the way, he collects tales and historical recollections. This traveler is loosely based on a character mentioned by older county residents.
There is the tale of skunk hunting at the turn of the 20th century, when a single pelt could bring the equivalent of a week’s wages, but its taking was often accompanied by rather odoriferous side effects. There is also the mysterious “skinned woman” of Fox, whose skeleton and tanned hide resided for many years in the office of Dr. Randall in Forksville. There were two murders suffered by one extended family over a period of thirty years. One of the villains had the unusual name of Elmer Ellsworth Washington Tinkelpaugh. Pemsit also meets the most prominent of Elkland’s initial settlers, Edward Eldred, whose "hotel in the middle of nowhere," Liberty Hall, served as the lone resting spot for travelers along the Genesee Road to New York state. Eldred was also a justice of the peace, the prime moving force for the creation of Elkland Township, and a land agent for Joseph Priestley, who owned immense tracts throughout the western sector of what is now Sullivan County. Eldred’s docket, on display at the Sullivan County Historical Society Museum, Laporte, is one of the major detailed records of the county’s early days.“Northwest Passage” will be performed in the Endless Winds hall, Route. 154, Shunk, May 28 and 30 (Memorial Day Weekend), and June 5. Tickets are $7 in advance ($8 at the door) for adults, $1 for students 12 and younger, and free for preschoolers. For more information on the play and other Sullivan County Council on the Arts programs, call 928-8927, email infoATsullivanarts.org or visit online at www.sullivanarts.org. We'll continue this discussion about Fox Township in Saturday's edition.
May 6, 2010, the birthday of Karen Boston and Alica Stackhouse.
Florence Irene (Burwell) Kocher (September 18, 1914-May 5, 2010) died Wednesday at the Bonham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Stillwater, where she had been a resident for sixteen months. She was 95. She was born at Pleasant Valley Farm in Warriors Mark, Huntington County. She was a daughter of James Allen Burwell and Mary Beulah Randolph. She was a member of the Benton United Presbyterian Church where she taught Sunday School for 44 years. She was secretary of the Benton Water Supply Company for 25 years. Florence and her husband owned what is today the Benton Municipal Water Authority from 1955 until it was sold to the Borough of Benton. She also worked at Milco Shirt Factory, Benton, and the Harveyville Dress Factory. She was the widow of Carl P. Kocher, who died January 28, 2000, following a marital union of 62 years. She was preceded in death by siblings Thelma Jeanette Burwell Gault, Dorothy Viola Burwell, James Allen Burwell, Jr., Rosella Mae Burwell Glenn, Gerald Randolph Burwell and George Carl Burwell. She is survived by sisters Faye Winifred Burwell Igou, Friedens, PA, and Miriam Ethel Burwell, Showlow, AZ. Also surviving are children Shirley Irene Keller (Robert), Dotyville, Marcia Kay Kline (David), Benton, and Edwin Allen Kocher (Dorothy), Benton. Also surviving are 9 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren and 1 great great grandchild.
Funeral services will be held Monday, May 10, at 11 AM at the Benton United Presbyterian Church with her minister, the Reverend Allen Lumpkin, officiating. A viewing will be held from 10 AM until the time of the service at the church. Burial will follow in the Benton Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Benton. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Benton Presbyterian Church.
To sign the online register book or for online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Thought for the Day:
"Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while."
• Tara Baker, Benton, is one of three finalists in the www.wgrc.com talent contest. You can listen and vote until Thursday evening. As you have done so well for Aaron Kelley, how 'bout listening and voting for Tara. Go to this link for the podcast which tells you how to vote.
• Ellen Lenbergs did the set design as a UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture student for the west-coast premier of the opera "Flight." It was a huge project and very well received. The opera magazine L.A. Opus called the set design "stunning, sleek and modish, suggestive of a chirpy but empty optimism." Read more here.
• The Fishingcreek Sportsmen's Association registered 332 children last year in an effort to introduce a sport which could stay with them for their entire lives. On Sunday, June 6, the 2010 version of the annual children's fishing derby will take place adjacent to the Mill Race Golf Course.
• Aaron Kelly will be coming home to Sonestown. He was voted off American Idol Wednesday night.
We began a series Wednesday on things we felt were absurd, and readers by the drove responded with their pet peeves: the "Royal Flush Toilet Seat," faucets that stuck to walls, fake dog doo doo marketed under the "Dogonnit" brand, goofy teeth, finger rings that squirted, exploding golf balls, celluloid ears, dippy birds, dribble glasses and much more. Several readers mentioned "Whoopee Cushions," an inflatable latex balloon that "let out a Bronx cheer" when someone sat on it.
The object of these novelty items was to get the reader's attention. An absurd item would be flashed in front of him that seemed to fill a void he previously didn't know he had. The object was to sell the product on first glance and quit and hide under a stone when the product didn't live up to what was expected. The items appealed to the child in all of us. The only value of most of these items was to the manufacturer and the seller, both of whom had the incentive of profit. The ultimate user often got some laughter out of the item--until it fell apart.
The Eureka Trick and Novelty Co, was a source for this kind of product. Was this a flash-in-the-pan outfit? Not hardly. The store took up a 4,000 square foot building in 1882. The Franco-American Novelty Company, New York city, was a popular place to buy novelty items. The Richard Appel Co., New York, came to this country from Germany, prospered, sold, then fell on hard times when it was discovered that its new owner, Alfred Rosenberg, was found guilty at Nuremberg on four counts of war crimes and was sentenced to death by hanging. This company produced spoons that melted in your mouth. The H. Fishlove & Co., Chicago, was known for its "World's Smallest Receiving Set," which opened to show a miniature metal commode. The company sold various versions of giant "specs," including the "Hollywood Super-Specs" and the "Spectaculars" giant glasses. The Johnson Smith & Co. catalog, was an excellent source of this kind of item and for "things you never knew existed .
Brent Kelsey always wanted a pair of x-ray glasses, often known as "X-Ray Gogs." These were eyeglass frames with double cardboard inserts containing dyed red guinea-hen feathers. An earlier version of these glasses was called "X Ray Spex" and the version that preceded that was the "X-Ray Wonder." Profits from X-Ray Wonder, incidentally, helped fund organizations such as the Aryan Nations and the Ku Klux Klan. These glasses were somewhat akin to "Dazzle Eyes," which gave the wearer the appearance of false, distended orbs in rapid motion.
M.R. Daniels knew the "Wonder Voice Thrower" that we mentioned Wednesday as a bird whistle. She still has a box of them and tried one as recently as a few months ago. M.R. can still make it shriek an "ear-splitting bird call, wolf whistle or chirping guaranteed to drive you nuts, as it did my mother." Her dad raised rabbits, was a show judge and set up a booth at state fairs with all kinds of educational material and pamphlets on rabbits. Being sort of a showman in his own right, he used the whistles to get attention and start a spiel on rabbit breeding. He often had little kids thinking the sound came from the rabbit. M.R. liked to use it as she was growing up to make her friends think she could whistle.
Brent Kelsey provided a site with copies of comic book advertisements which hawked "things you never knew existed." In addition to comic books, these advertisements ran in tabloids, the supplements that came out in the Sunday newspapers, hobby magazines and Popular Mechanics magazine.
A popular item continues to be rattlesnake eggs. Teresa Wojton at Whispering Pines Camping Resorts has a healthy supply of rattlesnake eggs for sale. The label reads "Caution keep in cold place to prevent eggs from hatching."
Roy Davis has a set of clicking teeth--"just wind them up and they chatter away." Roy used to pull them out of his pocket at parties just for laughs. He did that one evening at his folks, and his Mom did not think it one bit funny (God rest her soul). She kept her teeth in a glass at night.
One of my favorite items was what looked like a snack can but harbored a "snake" that sprung out of the can when the top was unscrewed. The snake was a coiled metal spring "snake" covered with flimsy cloth. An aunt had one at her house in Beach Haven and the can was one of my favorite toys. I also once had a pair of Mortimer Snerd teeth with a huge overbite and at some time in my life I had "magic snakes" from Vincent's Market which when lighted formed a coiled, black serpentine ash which looked something like a snake. Mother kept "Dan Dan the Drinking Man" on the window sill for many years. This hypnotic gizzie drank from a glass of water after its head was immersed in the water and in a sort of perpetual motion fashion continued to bob up and down as if drinking.
May 5, 2010. It is Cinco de Mayo, a date of great importance for the Mexican and Chicano communities, the day that celebrates the victory of the Mexicans over the French army at The Battle of Puebla in 1862. The Mexicans were outnumbered two to one, but they inflicted an estimated 1,000 French casualties and forced a retreat to the gulf coast. The city was renamed Puebla de Zaragoza after the Mexican general that led the effort. It is the birthday of Keith Gilbert.Quickies...• There will be a Knights Of Columbus Texas Hold’em tournament in the Valley Pizza shopping center on Saturday, May 15. Doors open at 4 PM. The starting time is 5 PM. There is a limit of 50 players and you must be 18 and older. Money raised from this event goes towards church and community. No new players will be admitted after 6 PM. The buy-in cost is $50. The first prize is $500, and all other prizes depends on how many people play. Contact Joe Flite at 925-6928 with questions.• Win or lose, I have long been a fan of the Washington Redskins--and of any team which plays the Dallas Cowboys. Now the Cowboys have a Sicko on their team, following the signing of Scott Sicko from the University of New Hampshire. I remain a Redskins fan!• A recent trip to North Carolina and back home to Benton, PA, resulted in gasoline prices that showed no clear pattern. The lowest price for regular, unleaded was $2.699 and the prices increased the farther North I came. The Harrisburg area prices, for example, are generally around $2.859. And then there is Benton...• Some road trips cost more than others. Here is a free road trip where you can see America the Beautiful. Go here to see what I mean.• Aaron Kelly was the opening singer on American Idol’s "Frank Sinatra" week. The Sonestown singer didn't let his country background show as he belted out the Sinatra classic "Fly Me to the Moon." Randy Jackson loved Aaron’s performance. Ellen rarely has much of substance to say, and joked that "the piano was a little pitchy." Kara thought that the performance was "good," but not as good as last week and that Aaron should "learn a little bit more charisma." Simon the Spoiler backed her up on it, noting that "if Frank was a lion, Aaron was just a mouse." Coach Harry Connick said, "I love Aaron--he's got such a sweet voice. He's a great guy, and I wish him the best." My guess is that Aaron will return; my desire is that Ellen would leave.• The Fishing Creek Historical Club is a newly formed club that would welcome new members. A definite meeting night has not yet been established. The group met Tuesday night at N4Cs. The next meeting will be Monday May 17 at 7 PM at N4Cs. The group is working on a presentation regarding the July 4, 1910, fire in Benton. The presentation will be made at the fire hall during their carnival in June. Anyone who wishes to help or has information, pictures or articles regarding this fire please attend the next meeting or call Kathy Wells at 925-0336. Nancy Meyers, the temporary chairman, can be reached at 458-6919. Fran Stitz, the temporary secretary, can be reached at 458-6972.I came across an old box of stuff that should have been thrown out years ago. One of the things that I found was something that should have been made illegal years ago. It was a "Wonder Voice Thrower," which never worked even after I spent hours trying to make it work when I was old enough to know better. The box gave precise directions; i.e., "Soak in water until fully saturated, then place on your tongue with reed nearest the teeth and the finished side of leather upward. Hiss gently at first. Keep on increasing the hiss for a louder sound. Then practice talking and other imitation of birds and animals." The printing on the paper envelope was done in 1950.There were other gizmos that were pawned on the American public in years gone by. Do you remember the funny dribble glass? Remember the gag tags, a series of cut-paper tags with a white string attached? They had cute little sayings on them, such as "With a little effort you could be a real stinker," "Hands off! I am spoken for," and "Oops, I burped." Do you remember "the funniest joker's novelty ever invented?" It was the "Joy Buzzer," a round cast-zinc and tin self-winding gizzie that was hidden in your palm until you shook hands with someone. There were snakes, snake eggs, rubber mice, X-Ray gogs, the "Scientific marvel of the century," sneeze powder, Hollywood Super-Specs and the Beatnik Beard.All these items represented hucksterism at its finest--items made of poor quality, material, of questionable use, taste and necessity. Lets face it! Who needs "The Dying Pig," or rubber puke, or an enormous vibrating eye? There are probably many other items in this same category. If you can think of any, send them in.
May 4, 2010, the birthday of Vernon McDormand, Jen Reichenbach and Lynn Sutton, as well as singer Randy Travis. Aaron Kelly appears on American Idol tonight. FOX 56 WOLF, serving more than 580,000 households, will be at the Sonestown Inn Wednesday, May 5, from 8 PM as the results come in for the voting. The station will broadcast reactions live on the 10 PM Fox local news. Expect more seasonable weather through Friday.Quickies...• The computer system that the Census Bureau uses to manage its door-to-door count of the U.S. population is "not as stable as it needs to be" and is prone to crash, government officials say. The system is known as "Paper Based Operations Control System" and follows the census bureau's now scrapped plans to use a handheld-computer method that ended up costing more than $700 million but did not operate adequately. Returning to paper-based method boosted the cost of the census by about $3 billion that using the handheld computers was supposed to have saved. Wait until the government computer experts tackles the health-care system.• On Monday, May 10, the Fishing Creek Watershed Association invites you to attend a public meeting at 7 PM in the Columbia County Conservation District office downstairs meeting room. Speakers include Bloomsburg Christian School students on their studies of Fishing Creek and Jerry S. Walls, AICP, Professional Planner on "Water Dogs," a group of citizens committed to watching Marcellus Shale companies for environmental impacts. Water Dogs are volunteers who choose a water area to monitor--either backyard streams or favorite fishing or boating spots. They observe and document impacts on water quality due to gas drilling.• Want to bring back some memories of a car you once loved. Click www.lov2xlr8.no/broch1.html and you can call up the brochure for that car.
• Snyder County has a new comic music video, which you can see here. (For those of you who don't know, Snyder County's eastern border is the Susquehanna River. The county is surrounded by Union, Northumberland, Juniata and Mifflin Counties). We wonder if the folks who sing in Columbia County will produce a video to compete with their neighbors to the South...
• MerleFest 2010 attendance over the festival's four days exceeded 76,000 people from Thursday, April 29, to Sunday, May 2, according to information supplied by the festival organizers. MerleFest is the primary fund-raiser for Wilkes Community College and funds scholarships, capital projects and other educational needs. A significant part of MerleFest's mission is to give back to the community. The outreach program Thursday saw about 20 artists at MerleFest giving performances at local schools. In addition, on Friday morning, over 3,200 school children from Wilkes and surrounding counties were invited to attend the festival and flooded the event grounds. MerleFest 2011 will take place April 28 to May 1. I am going to start taking naps now to get rested up for it.
• Huntington Valley Volunteer Fire Co. will hold a Mother's Day breakfast buffet May 9 from 8-12 at the Fire hall on Route 239, Huntington Mills. For more information, contact Douglas Thomas, 441-1561.
• Didja ever think that you should spend a night in your guest room to see how accommodating it is? It just might be that you need new pillows or the mattress turned. Does the guest room have a small alarm clock? Make up a welcome basket with toiletry essentials of soap, shampoo and toothpaste. A good piece of chocolate would be a nice addition.
• It is time for rhubarb when the stalks get about a foot tall. For second-year and older plants, take no more than one-third to one-half of the stalks. Leave behind five or more healthy stalks with leaves to soak up sunshine so the plant can store energy to keep producing. Leaves are high in oxalic acid and will make you sick if you eat them.
May 3, 2010, the birthday of Lynn Shaw.The Magee Center at Bloomsburg University hosted the "Business Plan Competition 2010" which resulted in six finalists competing for $40,000 in cash prizes according to a press release from Kelly O’Brien Gavin, Director, Greater Susquehanna Keystone Innovation Zone (KIZ)
This year ProZee Concepts, Joseph and Tammy Prosey, took the first place purse of $20,000 in cash to begin production and sales of their "creeper" light product. Learn more about this product at www.prozeeconcepts.com/ , Joe, 41, and Tammy, 39, live on Ridge Road. He is a Ford master tech and has worked for Independence Ford, Bloomsburg, for ten years. Tammy works for Bloomsburg Hospital as an LPN. They have two boys, Joseph Prosey III, 19, and Brandon Prosey, 14. They moved here from Annapolis, Maryland, in 1991. The couple have been married 19 years. This is Joe's first attempt at inventing something. He has always had an inventive mind but this is the first item he has really worked on.
Susquehanna Yacht Manufacturing got second place in the competition and received $15,000. Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC was the third-place winner with $5,000.
As part of this prize the winners must locate their business in Central Pennsylvania. All winners are local businesses and are looking to create and grow their businesses and products to help our regional economy.
The I-80 corridor from Hazleton to Lewisburg has available space and resources to assist business development with new and existing companies. For information on this program and others, contact Kelly O’Brien Gavin by calling 570 245-0096.
The news about the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig which caught fire, burned for two days, then sank in 5,000 ft of water in the Gulf of Mexico, is very depressing. Eleven workers on the rig are presumed dead. The rig belongs to Transocean, the world’s biggest offshore drilling contractor. The rig was originally contracted through the year 2013 to BP as part of the Macondo exploration well. The rig costs about $500,000 per day to contract. The full drilling spread, with helicopters and support vessels and other services, rings the cash register at about a million dollar a day to operate. The rig cost about $350,000,000 to build in 2001 and would cost much more if it were to be replaced today.
The rig represents the cutting edge of drilling technology. It is a floating rig, capable of working in up to 10,000 foot -deepwater. The rig is not moored; anchors are not used. A triple-redundant computer system uses GPS data to control powerful thrusters that keep the rig on station within a few feet of its intended location at all times via a process known as Dynamic Positioning.
The rig had apparently just finished cementing steel casing in place at depths exceeding 18,000 ft. The next operation was to suspend the well so that the rig could move to its next drilling location, the idea being that a rig would return to this well later in order to complete the work necessary to bring the well into production.
Formation fluids of oil and gas apparently got into the wellbore and were undetected until it was too late to take action. With a floating drilling-rig setup which moves with the waves, currents, and winds, all of the main pressure-control equipment is on the seabed--the uppermost unmoving point in the well. This pressure-control equipment--the Blowout Preventers--are controlled with redundant systems from the rig. In the event of a serious emergency, there are multiple panic buttons to hit, and even fail-safe deadman systems that should be automatically engaged when something of this proportion breaks out. None were apparently activated, suggesting that the blowout was especially swift. The 200- to 300-foot high flames were visible up to about 35 miles away.
The well continues to flow oil, which gathers at the top of the water as a slick. The remotely operated vehicles--tethered miniature submarines with manipulator arms--work underwater while the operator sits on a vessel. They have been trying to close the well but have been unsuccessful so far. Pollution-control vessels are attempting to skim up the oil. A parallel attempt will be made to move a second rig to drill a fresh well to intersect the out-of-control well. A fluid will be injected in an attempt to stop the flow and bring the well under control--but this will take months. A similar spill took place last year near Australia in what was known as the "Montara Spill."Please keep all affected people in this disaster in your prayers. This disaster could shut down the whole coastal economy of a number of states. Sunday evening talk shows said the spill may surpass the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster which poured 260,000 barrels of crude into the waters of Alaska.
--gathered from various news sources, believed to be accurate
• Take time from what you are doing to pay tribute to the veterans. Head to www.nragive.com/ringoffreedom/index.html .
• If you hear strange sounds coming from Market Street, it could be the sound of someone learning to yodel. "Yo-di-o-de-lay-ee." Well, no, I probably won't ever sing the "Cowboy's Lament" as beautifully as Wily and the Wild West, a Montana group at the MerleFest. I did find out that high-pitched yodels are not as hard to create as I thought they would be. "Hey-di-yo-de-o-e-hay-de-e." Yodeling is simply breaking the voice from the natural sound of your voice to a head voice, a falsetto voice. Try it. That's right! Get me off the hook! Sing the word "yodel" with your natural voice, add the letter "A" in a natural voice, then the letter "E" in a falsetto voice, then add a "T" at the end. "Yodel-A-E-T." Please confine your practice to the shower or the inside of your car with all windows rolled up and I will return the courtesy.
• For a short video of the MerleFest which concluded Sunday evening, go here.
• There are five remaining contestants on American Idol," including the odds-on local favorite Arron Kelly, plus Crystal Bowersox, Lee DeWyze, Casey James and Michael Lynche. Arron is well-known in the Endless Mountains of Pennsylvania. He lives just 20 miles from Benton, although we know that after the current "Idol" finishes its run, Aaron won't be around here much any more. Get ready to watch Tuesday night and be prepared to cast your vote.
Richard Edwin Mitchell (March 31, 1958-November 2009), 51, Papillion NE, retired USAF drill instructor, will be honored and remembered at the family gravesite in Fairmount Springs cemetery on Saturday, May 15. A USAF honor guard will conduct a military ceremony beginning at 10 AM. All friends and family, local and distant, are welcome to attend the memorial service.
Richard was born to Herman T. and Hazel E. Mitchell, Fairmount Springs Township, Luzerne County. Richard was a 1976 graduate the Milton Hershey School, Hershey. He is survived by brothers Dannie R. and Sheldon R., both of Elizabethtown; Herman T., Zion Grove, PA, Walter R., Radcliff, KY; Patrick J., Landisville, PA; Joseph A., Cocoa, FL; and Luther A., Lancaster, PA; and six sisters: Ruthie H. Thompson of Somerville, TN; Carol Greco of Grand Island, NY; Delores J. Milunic of Lancaster, PA; Mary A. Fine of Ashley, PA; Madeline K. Wright of Marietta, PA; and Clara M. Kuba of Hazelton, PA; and an ex-wife, Marivic Ibarra Mitchell of Glenwood, IA.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Herman T. and Hazel E. Mitchell, and three brothers: Frederick H., Ephrata; David, Fairmount Springs Twp,; and Mark W., Grand Prairie, TX.
May 2, 2010. MerleFest ends this evening. It is the birthday of Alice Strauch, Lori Lenhart, Guy Roberts and Abigail LeValley and the wedding anniversary of Bruce and Darla McMichael. The Sunday edition was delayed because of high usage on cell-phone circuits in the Wilkesboro area.I've noticed some things here at the MerleFest, especially that I am not noteworthy. My musical ability is nil. Some people I've met before at the MerleFest have names that now escape me, but that is OK, since these same people forget that they have ever met me! They tell me I look "great," and I can almost hear them utter under their breath "for your age." Actually, everyone mutters. Yellow is a favorite color of many of these people--their hair and their teeth especially. A number of them have spots on their clothes, but I realize that I do too.People my age tell the truth. Ask them if what you are wearing looks okay and they'll tell you the truth. The ten pounds they wanted to lose should be about twenty pounds and they probably have a better chance of losing their car keys than they have of losing the twenty pounds. The married people my age rely on their significant other to fill in voids in sentences and what one forgets the other remembers. Many once worried that their children would never get married; now they worry about whether they will stay married.It seems that the things in life I once cared about are the things I no longer care about--but I do care that I no longer care! I own more clothes that don't fit than do fit. I tend to use more four-letter words, such as "what" and "when." At my age, I realize that I'll never be good for anything again, and I start with golf! Restful sleep comes best on a reclining chair during the 6:30 news, not in my bed at night. The celebrities in People magazine are mostly unheard of by me. Now that MerleFest is almost over I have to say that going out is good, but coming home is better! By the time I was old enough to know my way around, I had nowhere to go.
The monthly gardening column from Kathy Arcuri follows...
One of this year's trends is the BIG perennial, an attention getter at the back of the flower border, an exclamation point as a stand-alone landscape feature, a show stopper anywhere.
Perennial growers often stick with old favorites, like coneflowers, daisies, and iris. Shade gardeners opt for astilbes, bleeding hearts, and foxgloves. These are all fine mid-border choices, but this leaves the rear of the garden barren, without any dramatic punctuation or backdrop. And the wow factor of a large presence at eye level goes missing all together. So let's examine some statuesque possibilities, all natives, to elevate our gardens:
. Actaea racemosa, formerly Cimicifuga (bugbane, black cohosh, black snakeroot), with its deeply cut astilbe-like foliage and bottlebrush white floral spikes to eight feet, blooming summer into fall.
. Baptisia australis ( blue false indigo, redneck lupine), a spring-blooming fountain of purple lupine-like spikes - growing to five feet tall and six feet wide. Baptisia alba (white false indigo) is even taller, to seven feet, with bright white flowers. These legumes add foliage interest even when the flowers are spent, but deadhead for tidier appearance.
. Boltonia asteroids (false aster), a five-foot cloud of small white, pink, lilac, or purple daisies with yellow centers, blooming in late summer. For a well-behaved profile, select a cultivar like 'Snowbank,' and pinch the stems back by half in early summer to avoid staking.
. Coreopsis tripteris (tall tickseed), very hardy, with bright green foliage, and sunny yellow brown-eyed daisies all summer, to seven feet.
. Eupatorium maculatum (Joe-Pye weed), for moist conditions. Large mauve puffballs appear in late summer to early fall, often on purple stems. 'Gateway' is a particularly refined variety, to six feet; or try award winning 'Atropurpureum,' a whopping nine-feet tall.
. Heliopsis helianthoides (false sunflower), a buttery-yellow daisy mid-summer to fall, on sturdy three- to six-foot branching stems. 'Summer Sun' and 'Prairie Sunset' (with its charming red eye) are popular cultivars.
. Phlox paniculata 'Shortwood,' an unusually tall variety discovered recently in a Pennsylvania garden of the same name. This excellent ornamental grows to four feet, is mildew resistant, and bears glowing pink flowers in mid-summer.
. Thalictrum (meadow rue), a difficult-to-classify genus of plants from around the world, including North America. Depending on variety, this diverse perennial grows in sun to part shade, rising to ten feet, in floral froths of white, yellow, pink, or lilac - blooming late spring to mid-summer. 'Black Stockings,' with its jet black stems and bright mauve flowers, is especially nice with its six foot profile. Or try 'Splendide,' nine feet of dangling lavender flowers.
. Veronicastrum virginicum (Culver's root, Bowman's root), with white, pale pink, or bluish-purple flowers waving elegantly above deep green attractive foliage, blooming mid-summer to early fall, to seven feet. Plant in moist soil conditions, in sun or part shade.
So put a rush on your perennial order this spring, plant the bareroot arrivals in the recommended soil and light conditions, and enjoy the show as these towering beauties rise above the crowd - sometimes taking awhile to settle in but growing taller year by year.
May 1, 2010, the birthday of Jay McHenry, Stillwater--number SIX ZERO for Jay. It is the first anniversary of Brian Bower's retirement. Today is known as "May Day." Temperatures could go higher than the mid-80s locally today, higher than what we'll have in North Carolina. Rain and showers could dampen through Tuesday in Pennsylvania.Quickies...
• The cell tower west of Millville went up in a hurry! We wish someone would prod the ones under consideration for Benton along.• Several readers asked how I went from not have reliable Verizon cellphone service to being able to whip out the Benton News in half an hour or so. David Powell, Rockville, Maryland, introduced me to a travel router called a CTR500 Mobile Broadband unit that connects an activated USB or ExpressCard modem into a secure WiFi network. The unit optimized signal strength and I was back in business.• Today's MerleFest lineup will include performances by Elvis Costello and The Sugarcanes, Steve Martin with The Steep Canyon Rangers, Peter Rowan, Tony Rice, Dehlia Low, Nation Beat, Jim Lauderdale and Scythian. The Hillside Album Hour, hosted by The Waybacks and a special performance by Doc Watson and friends will culminate in a tribute to Merle Watson. The Midnight Jam will takes place hosted by Zac Brown, with Sonia Leigh and Levi Lowrey. The jam will feature The Duhks, The Greencards, Peter Rowan, Dierks Bentley.• The four-day MerleFest at Wilkes Community College contributed $12.8 million to the Wilkesboro area last year and because of the weather that figure might actually go up this year. Pictures of MerleFest 2010 can be viewed here where they can be downloaded, copied or emailed. They can also be viewed as a slideshow.• Rhonda Vincent rolled into Wilkesboro, North Carolina, Thursday, in her Martha White tour bus, Taj Mahal tore up the stage with some blues as a special favor to his old friend Doc Watson and country/jam Zac Brown Band--perhaps the dominant force in country music today--brought in an opening day record crowd for MerleFest. Zac Brown played classic rock guitar. The group needed four tour buses and several trailers to haul his entire group, which is Atlanta based.• I wish I had their energy. A group known as "Nations Beat," specializing in the Brazilian rhythms of maracatu, arrived in Wilkesboro at 2 AM Friday from a gig in Phoenix, then played a two-hour set at the Main Street Pawn and Loan show broadcast live from 7 to 9 AM Friday. You can see some of the pictures of this early morning performance by going to Facebook.com and selecting "The Hometown Opry" from the friends list. At this point, I would have taken a short nap. But not this group of energetic people! They then appeared on the Watson Stage from 11 to 11:45, the Hillside Stage from 2:15 until 3 and they then hosted the "World Dance Party" from 10:30 PM until 12 AM.
Connie Hatch, a transplanted Alabama native now living in Elkland Township, Sullivan County, remembers her family church in Alabama from the 1960s, a brick building with the bathroom--a one seater--outside at the rear of the church. Connie remembers that "a normal process in the South was to check for snakes and spiders before sitting down."Air conditioning was via a hand-held "church" fan. During the summers, "women fanned themselves and the large fans that swept over the congregation kept the air stirred." The church Connie attended had a (raised) basement where the Sunday School rooms were located; the basement was never referred to as the basement--it is always "downstairs."The church was entered by a short walk up the steps to the main part of the church. The outside entry to the downstairs was in the back, down a couple of stairs to get to the door. A tall staircase inside up front to the left was the other way to the downstairs.
The church didn't have any heat and it did not have a stove. Other smaller churches (made of the clapboard wood or board and battin) had wood or coal stoves about half way along the congregation. Connie explained, "But, once again, this was the South: more important to keep cool because of the hot season being longer."
As for music, Connie remembers that for a "lot of songs, parishioners glance at a word or two but don't really need the book. The song director before the congregation started singing, said, "Let's turn to hymn number so and so and sing the first, second, and last verse." She contrasts that to local churches where "all the verses are sung which is why I have to glance at the lines. Usually the first and last verses were known by heart at many, many Southern churches."At lunch Friday, I shared a table with an elderly man while we both enjoyed a North Carolina pulled pork sandwich "with slaw." After a little proding, he told me how life had been so hard for him that at one time "the Mississippi River only flowed twice a week." On the subject of music, he told me about "one-note songs." He said that his rural church did not have a piano until about 50 years ago. A person would lead the singing by going up the scale until he reached the note where he wanted the congregation to sing. He would then hold that note until everyone in the church harmonized. The leader would sing louder than the general congregation and the music would begin.There was no formal leading of the singing, since hand gesturing was frowned upon as focusing the attention on the leader and not the congregation. The man stopped, assuming that I didn't understand what he was talking about. He clarified what he had said to tell me that there was no "choir director" back then.
Anne M. Pembleton (December 19, 1920-April 29, 2010) died Thursday at her home in the Talmar area at 478 Beach Glen Road, Benton. She was 89. She was born in Shelton, CT. She was a daughter of Nicholas and Alexandra (Warrion) Honas. She was a 1938 graduate of Shelton High School. She worked at the Chance Voight Aircraft factory, Stratford, CT, then joined the U.S. Army to serve her country during World War II. She made a crossing of the Atlantic under the threat of attack by German U-Boats. She was in Italy on D-Day. It was during her service in Cairo, Egypt, that she met her future husband, Robert W. Pembleton, Sr., US Navy, and they were united in marriage after returning home in 1946.
During her 49 years of married life, she lived in Wilkes-Barre, Cleveland and Willingboro, New Jersey, during which time she raised seven children. After her husband retired in 1989, they took up permanent residence at Talmar. Anne was preceded in death by her husband on April 1, 1995, and by a son, Robert W. Pembleton, Jr., on October 15, 2009. Surviving are children Deborah (Paul W.) Haden, who resided with her; Janet (Frank) Smolenski, Burlington, NJ; Richard Pembleton, Atlanta; Mary Anne (Russel) Novak, San Diego; Meg (Wico) vanGenderen and Chris (Rosemarie) Pembleton, all of Mt. Laurel, NJ. There are 13 grandchildren; two great-grandsons; a sister, Esther Angelini, CT; and other relatives.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Monday morning at 11 in Christ The King Catholic Church. Interment will be made in the Wesley Chapel Cemetery, Talmar. Friends may call at the Kriner Funeral Home on Monday from 9:30 to 10:30. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Christ The King Catholic Church, P. O. Box 297, Benton, PA 17814.