November 30, 2005. Phyllis Young Harrison celebrates her birthday today.
It is nice to see Dexter Ribble in such a good mood. The reason is simple: daughter Carol Ann and her husband Clayton (Butch) Sherman spent a week with Dexter, up from Louisa--one of the best fishing sites for bass, bluegill, and crappie in the state of Kentucky. The couple made it home safely, and it was nice to have them Back Home in Benton, PA.
A slow-moving cold front walloped its way into the area overnight, bringing high winds and heavy rain. Our unseasonably mild temperatures of yesterday disappeared as colder air and lots of rain arrived. After Tuesday's high temperatures in the lower 60s, today should be a full 20° cooler and there is a chance of snow Thursday night.
Don and Betty Miller made a trip Back Home to Benton, PA, this summer and brought with them two ninety-year-old books on the history and biographical annals of Columbia and Montour Counties. We haven't had a lot of time to look at them, but we leaned back in our recliner Sunday morning and pored over pages of interesting things. Here, for example, is a description of the Borough in 1915. We quote,
"The Benton of the present day, despite the ravages of several disastrous conflagrations, is a smiling little town, set in level swards of meadow land, and one in contemplating its level and tree-embowered aspects, from the heights of the adjacent hills, is instinctively reminded of Oliver Goldsmith's "Sweet Auburn, Loveliest Village of the Plain." Beautiful Fishing creek passes through the heart of the place, sparkling down the gentle incline of its course on the way to the broad Susquehanna. At one place the beautiful stream passes along the base of a majestic and pine-clad slope, at another it dances through a verdant meadow, or perchance slips quietly and musically along beside a well-traveled thoroughfare. The physical environments of Benton are of peculiar charm. No craggy masses rear their lofty tops to the skies. The scenery is unmarked by the grandeur of sublime heights or the varying contrasts of sylvan dells and bold precipices. On the contrary, the surrounding hills are of gently undulating nature and the broad plateau of its setting sweeps in straight lines to their bases. Wooded slopes climb to the top of the sun-kissed hills and well-tilled fields, particularly during the days of harvest, which ripen into colorful charm the varying hues of their fertile garmenture, and bring out the perspective of a scenic picture, exquisite, which lingers long on the memory."
"Sweet Auburn! Loveliest village of the plain,
Doris H. Appleman, (May 5, 1927-Nov. 27, 2005), 245 Church Street, Benton, died Sunday at the Bloomsburg Hospital. She was born in Benton Township, a daughter of the late Cleaver B. and Leah B. (Ash) Hess. She was a 1945 graduate of Benton High School. She was employed by Milco Industries Inc., Bloomsburg, and the former Benton Shirt Factory for 42 years before she retired in 2002. Doris was preceded in death by her husband, Parson Jack Appleman, a brother, Robert O. Hess, and by a sister, Ethel B. Davis Dietterick. Sister Betty Shultz, Warminster, brother, Larry L. Hess, Benton, and nephews and nieces, survive. Memorial services will be Friday at 1 PM in the Kriner Funeral Home, Benton. Interment will be in Benton Cemetery. There will be no viewing.
We enjoyed seeing the reference to the group calling themselves "ROMEO," or "retired old men eating out."
A reader from Huntington Mills told us that she met "a lady from New Orleans who is staying with family in the Berwick area, until her home is once again livable." The reader told us a familiar story, one often emailed to us by people from out of the area. She said that the New Orleans lady and her husband had come to Benton and eaten breakfast at a place called Uncle Daves. The reader asked if we knew about the place. Whenever buckwheat cakes are involved, we know!
Around the Town...
He bought the former McHenry House that dated to 1886 in February, 1920, and operated that hotel for a number of years before he sold it in 1928. The McHenry House burned in June, 1931.
Knouse then built the Hotel Moses Van Campen where the McHenry Hotel had been and the hotel opened for business April 1, 1933.
November 29, 2005. Today is the birthday of Robert Edward Kline and tonight the Columbia County Model Railroad Club meets from 7-9 PM at 255 Main Street. Stop in and see what is going on.
Benton resident Abby Merluzzi, 10, was nominated to serve as a representative in the People to People Student Ambassador Program . If all goes well, she'll be traveling with a group of other students from across the state and country on a trip to Australia and New Zealand. During this trip, she'll be representing her school, her town and her country, while learning about herself and another country and its culture. The People to People Program promotes peace through understanding and is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
David Klementik is the son of Eleanor Klementik, Third Street. He retired in 1996 as a captain in the Naval Reserve, is a leader at the Somerset County Chamber of Commerce, Windber Medical Center and Windber Research Institute. He has been a lawyer for 26 years and will join the bench in early January, 2006. The war is really getting messy. We understand that the Taliban Minister of Immigration, Mohammed Omar has now warned the United States from a cave somewhere in Pakistan that if military action against Iraq continues, Taliban authorities will halt United State's supply of convenience-store and gas-station managers. Cab drivers could be next.We heard about the woman who was asked if her husband was broadminded. "Yes, yes he is," she replied. "That's all the skunk thinks about."
When I stop to reflect on my life, the happiest times of my childhood were not vacation, parties or recess--although on the first day of school, I did tell Mother that I learned more in recess than in class! The happiest times were those hours spent sitting around the kitchen table.
The kitchen table was where it happened! Aunts, cousins, and family would sit and talk for hours after working their many daily jobs. It was the dessert at the end of the day, the reward for hard work, the coming together of the family, the warm welcome and something good to eat for anyone who stopped by.
We talked and laughed at that table. We would "freeze the pile" in the game of Canasta and turn over each card in desperate search of the left and right bowers in the game of "500," and cheer when someone got a "roundhouse" in the game of pinochle. We loved to buy Park Place and Boardwalk, and acquiring the "green" properties were usually a key to our winning in the game of Monopoly. At that table, we ate Mother's milk pie, made almost daily from unpasteurized Golden Guernsey milk, and devoured her ham spread from the Mason jar that we knew awaited us in the refrigerator when we came home from school. But conversation was the special appeal of the kitchen table--the talking, sharing of thoughts and ideas, hopes and concerns, reliving the funny things that could only happen to a family Back Home in Benton, PA.
We would talk over dinner as we lingered over dessert, then it was back to work until late in the evening or if the Phillies were playing it was time for Father to turn the lights out in the living room, lean back on his favorite reclining chair, light up, kick back and listen in complete darkness to his favorite team. Mother would retire to her room and read magazines or a book. I filled my evenings with things usually not involving schoolwork. But at some point in the evening, we would all gather around the kitchen table again for more conversation, a glass of cold milk, a last piece of milk pie.
I was educated at the table by the warmth of family. I received an education about the world and how to think about it. I absorbed attitudes--not information--that linger with me today. There was no pontification or preaching, and yet I learned a great deal about life.
I understood the hopes and concerns of all my relatives, the Man in the White House, the state of the world. I heard about failures as well as successes, since there was never any need to impress. Embarrassment came easy, as I learned from honesty, openness, their empathy and their insight.
Perhaps this is why I choose to go through life meeting a variety of people of different ages and interests, rather than sticking with only people of one kind. My relationship with adults as I grew up makes me seek out older people. My days at the kitchen table made me realize that there is no one right way to live or to think.
When my parents passed on, I received a set of beautiful "his and hers" chairs which I cherish to this day. They were, I was lead to believe, the most "important" pieces in the house. What was really the most important piece in the house--the old kitchen table--is long gone. Apparently I didn't learn as much around that table as I should have, since I no longer even know what happened to it.
November 28, 2005. Start planning for the 2006 version of the O.A.T.S. Bluegrass festival, Back Home in Benton, PA, June 29 through July 2, only seven months away. Take a look at the lineup and plan to attend.
Congratulations to Jim Edson, 82, and Pat Boyle, a mere Spring chicken, who tied the knot on November 22, 2005. We wish the couple our very best.
Today is the first day of buck season, the best hunting day of the season simply because of the large number of hunters participating. Pennsylvania Game Commission statistics indicate 40% of the overall firearms harvest, and 54% of the buck harvest, take place on opening day. The weather is hardly cooperating, although local merchants are happy with the rainy Monday. Hunting is not expected to be any better than it was last year and the rain should bring some hunters in from the woods to the warmth and enjoyment of some of our local restaurants. The Kozy Korner Restaurant enjoyed the early hours of the first day of hunting season, with every table and all seats at the counter filled by 4:45 this morning. We can vouch that the mountain roads in Sullivan County were very slippery Sunday night, so drive carefully.
There are fewer deer in many parts of the state, although all reports are that the proportion of older buck has increased. That is the same tune that we hummed last year, the worst hunting season in memory. Of course, you have to decide if you will see it from the buck's perspective or the hunter's perspective! Over 400,000 whitetail deer were killed last year, of which an estimated 124,410 were buck. Combined with the first Saturday of the season, the Tuesday hunt of the first week and ending up with the last Saturday of the season, these four days accounts for about 3/4 of all the deer shot during the season.
Around the Town,
The Exchange Hotel was at the intersection of Main Street (then known as Second Street) and Market Street, Benton.
The Exchange Hotel as viewed from in front of the present Presbyterian Church. The covered bridge entrance into Benton would be behind photographer Kemp's back. Market Street veered left of the hotel and Second Street turned right in front of the hotel.
At that time of this picture and for most of the period that the Exchange Hotel was in operation, Market Street followed the same route as it does today. Second Street at that time began at Market Street and ran North through the Borough following the present route. There was no road that went South from the intersection of Second and Market Street. That road came along when the concrete bridge over Fishingcreek was built.
Built in 1872-73, the "Exchange Hotel" prospered until it burned in the virtually uninsured $300,000 fire of July 4, 1910, along with 38 houses, 48 barns, the post office, bank, People's Department Store, Odd Fellows hall and other commercial businesses.
The hotel had two main sections. The front part was reported to be 30x40 feet, three stories high with seventeen rooms, and a public hall or ball room. The outside of the hotel was very ornamental and very attractive. The back part of the hotel was an addition to the main building and was approximately 30x35 feet in size, two stories high, with four rooms, three below and one above. A kitchen 14x18 was in yet another addition. For the convenience of traveling guests and the horses that brought them to Benton, a barn 40x50 feet was nearby.
Hiram Hess married Olive McHenry, daughter of Elias McHenry, in October, 1849. Mrs. Hess was reported to be an excellent cook, and for "forty miles around the people come to partake of her buckwheat cakes." The History of Columbia and Montour County reports that "No lady in the State knows better than she the wants of the traveling public, and the house is kept in perfect order. The bar is always supplied with the choicest wines and liquors."
Hiram Hess was born in 1821 in Centre Township. He married and moved to a 108 acre farm he and his wife purchased near Stillwater where they lived until 1872 when they moved to Benton and began "keeping hotel" across the street from the eventual location of the Exchange Hotel. They began business as the Exchange Hotel in 1873.
In 1864, Mr. Hess partnered with E. J. McHenry and purchased the "flouring-mill" at Stillwater, operated it there two years and then sold out.
In 1878 he bought 105 acres two miles South of Benton, on Fishing Creek, and in 1880 twenty-two acres adjoining acres in Benton Township. In 1884, they erected the "finest, house and barn between Bloomsburg and the North Mountain, costing upward of $3,000." This farm was later known as the Roy Hess Farm, but over the years people realized that the value of the property lay below the ground rather than in farming the ground. The property is today owned and mined by Sokol Quarries, Inc.
Hiram and Olive Hess had two children:
The story of the Exchange Hotel ended on July 4, 1910, when much of the town of Benton burned. You can read George Turner's account of this fire under FEATURES above.
The chances are that the next time you see a Hess from the Benton area, they can add more to this story. We, as always, invite you to share your stories about anything written in the Benton News.
November 27, 2005. Happy birthday to Hope Miller and happy annivesary to Wayne and Mary Baker.
Buck hunting begins in Pennsylvania Monday as evidenced by all the orange flitting through the area. To learn more about deer information from the Game Commission, head over to www.pgc.state.pa.us/pgc/cwp/view.asp?a465&q150279 .
During the years that the Benton Argus published a weekly newspaper in the Borough of Benton, a regular feature was a column entitled Around the Town. The content of the column varied, but frequently told humorous anecdotes of town and local residents. Starting with this issue of the Benton News, we will resurrect the Around the Town column in a different format. We'll simply meander around town and stop at different houses and attempt to provide a brief history of that residence and some of its residents. We welcome comments from readers. We'll begin today on Center Street at the house that was next to the old Argus office.
Around the Town, today stopping on Center Street.
We don't get gushy about many movies, but we saw Walk the Line Saturday night, the story of the "Man in Black," the amazing Johnny Cash, and the important love interest in his life, his companion of 35 years and the hidden strength behind the man, the equally amazing Grammy-winning singer Valerie June Carter, known to most as June Carter Cash. In not-so-typical Hollywood fashion, the two stars of the movie were signed 18 months before filming began and rehearsed the movie for six months before shooting began. Each day the two actors had two hours of vocal training with their coaches and a four-hour recording session in a sound studio. Stars Reese Witherspoon had to learn to play the auto harp and Joaquin Phoenix the guitar.
A Delaware family will never forget Ricketts Glen State Park after spending Thanksgiving night in below-freezing temperatures. Mr. and Mrs. Bill Seyfert, their daughter and four grandchildren rented a cabin, then decided to take a walk on a woods trail. When darkness set in, the family stayed together and built a fire. The next morning, Bill found his way to the park-ranger station. A rescue team found the rest of the family shortly before noon and brought them out of the woods. Their walk had taken them about five miles from the cabin. We don't know the temperature on North Mountain when daylight arrived Friday morning, but we had 14° on Market Street in Benton that morning.
For those who want to give the perfect Christmas present, here are two suggestions...
November 26, 2005. Robert Goulet, Rich Little and Tina Turner celebrate birthdays today. Don't forget the round and square dancing at the Jerseytown Community Center tonight and every Saturday night from 8 to 11 PM. The Masters Band will be there with Leon Johnson doing the calling.
Starting Monday and coinciding with the beginning of buck season, the Benton News distribution schedule will be--well--spastic during the next two weeks. Distribution will return to normal following deer season.
Google has a search tool for access to academic material. Google Scholar allows anyone to search for keywords in theses, technical reports, university Web sites, and books. This service is free of charge and allows you to search from medicine and physics to economics and computer science. The search results are ranked by order of relevance, rather than by the number of hits. The project involved broad co-operation from academic, scientific and technical publishers to improve indexing of restricted-access material. Some publications may require a subscription to the publishing website to be read but short extracts should be available. Alice in Wonderland, which we mentioned previously, is still in copyright and is not completely available on Google Scholar.
Monday, November 28, eatin' hours for the first day of buck season:
. St. Martha's Church, Fairmount Springs, holds a all-you-can-eat big-game breakfast today from 8 AM to noon.
Some may think that bear season is over, but in both Columbia and Sullivan County bear hunting with a bear license is permitted during the first week of deer season.
Christmas is coming, the banks are getting fat,
"Black Friday," a term that implies that we all flocked to stores to mourn the excesses of our country, is past us as the nation's retailers ushered in the 2005 holiday shopping season with come-ons of deep discounts and expanded hours during what Snopes calls the "fifth" biggest shopping day of the year (behind the four days comprising the two weekends before Christmas. According to the folks at Snopes, the day when holiday sales peak depends upon which day of the week Christmas falls, but the highest sales day is usually either the last Saturday before Christmas or December 23). Black Friday, as most of you know, is the day some say retailers operate "in the black" for the first time in the year. If they can't make it from here to the end of the year, they just ain't gonna make it!
Although retainers who read this will send us hate mail, we still advocate not escalating your consumer spending. Act like a person with no cash to spare. Don't be one of the "Ready, Set, Charge it! People. Don't act like our Federal Government's excessive spending and certainly don't do it all on credit. Budget for what you can and spend that.
We had the good fortune of hearing the Benton Christian Church choir Sunday morning, now under the direction of Craig Shultz. The group sounded great and we suspect that Craig had a lot to do with the sounds coming from the Chancel Choir. Craig and his wife, Nicole, and sons, Mark and Kyle, live on Ridge Road, Benton.
The Benton Area "Operation Katrina" organizers thank everyone who participated in any way in the delivering the truck-load of food, water, juices and drinks, cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items, school supplies and paper products and the new generator to Louisiana. The truck was nearly full, and included $10,208 of donations. The Benton Area School students contributed $3,300 alone! Dick and Joann Karshner initiated the idea, gave the use of their semi-truck and drove it South. Many area churches, businesses and people contributed man-hours and money to make this project a success.
Readers with fast internet connection may enjoy the latest Jib-Jab presentation of Santa Clause. It can be found at www.jibjab.com/Home.aspx . If you can't find a way to laugh about what's going on, life will seem a whole lot more unpleasant than it should be.
Many will remember the ceramics business of Marie Kingsbury and her brother Robert H. Fritz. Robert once worked as a chemist for American Stores, Philadelphia. After retirement and a move back to the Sugarloaf area, the couple took basic ceramics lessons from Mrs. Barney Miller, Nescopeck, and advanced lessons from other instructors. The couple housed their operation in a stone building off Route 11 and sited it beside a lovely pond where wild animals were fond of gathering, including a wild turkey named Mable. The stone was all native to that part of Columbia County.
Although the Fritz Pottery was not heavily advertised, word spread of the quality of the product and customers would purchase hand-painted items or unfinished pieces to complete themselves. The potters clay that chemist Fritz prepared was well regarded by ceramic enthusiasts throughout the United States.
Genuine Fritz pottery can be identified because of the distinctive marking of "AL-MA-RO" somewhere on the piece. "AL" stood for Marie's husband, Almond Kingsbury; "MA" for Marie; and "RO" for Robert.
|November 25, 2005. It is the birthday of Iva Mae Conner.
Ira Ricketts McHenry (March 22, 1913-November 24, 2005), 92, passed away at 10:45 Thanksgiving morning. Ira was born in Benton in his parents' home on Main Street, and graduated from the Benton School System in the class of 1932. His marriage to the former Lois Fine survived until his death. Ira and Lois were both residents of the Masonic Home, Elizabethtown, PA, and had lived in York, PA, for many years and in recent years lived in Danville. Ira was preceded in death by siblings Elizabeth "Betty" (formerly married to Herb Phillips; they have two sons, James (Jimmy) and Jack Phillips. Jim was inducted into the Benton High School Hall of Fame). Brothers Jack and James (who died May 19, 2005, in Windsor, NY) are also deceased.
Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this writing, but tentatively there will be a memorial service at Elizabethtown Masonic Home on December 10. Details will be provided when available. It is possible that a service will held in Benton in the spring for interment at the Benton cemetery with scattering of ashes at Painter Den Hunting Club, possibly the weekend of April 1. Painter Den was long a favorite recreation spot for Ira, and he was an honorary member of the organization. Ira and Lois have two children, Irene Elizabeth and John Jay McHenry, Camp Hill, who were both present with their father in Elizabethtown at the time of his passing.
Ira was the son of a well-known undertaker in Benton, James Whurley "Jay" McHenry and Irene Fox McHenry. Jay was born in Benton in 1889, the son of Ira Ricketts and Elizabeth Fowler McHenry who at one time operated the Ira R. McHenry & Son Burial Association. Jay was a cashier with the Columbia County National Bank and held the position of assistant cashier. Jay served on the Board of Directors of the Benton School District and followed in his father's footsteps as an undertaker, owning the McHenry Funeral Home on Main Street, Benton. Jay was affectionately known as "Dad Backer" to his many friends. Jay and Irene were long associated with the Benton Christian Church, and for years "Mrs. J's Class" was the favorite Sunday School Class of many of the older members of the congregation.
The Wall Street Journal, not usually known as a paper catering to things outdoors, reported on an interesting situation developing with wild turkey--not the turkey of the bourbon variety, but the bird we so often see in flocks in the upper Fishingcreek Valley. According to the Journal, naturalists are predicting that the turkey could become aggressive toward humans as it adapts to suburban life and could become the next form of "nuisance" wildlife, much like the whitetail deer and the Canada goose.
The rationale, according to the paper, is that flocks of wild turkeys have a pecking order and if the birds are around humans they can include people in the pecking order. Lordly males think that humans are a subservient life form, especially when a human turns their back on the bird.
For those who think turkeys are just little woods critters, the bird can reach four feet in height, weight 25 pounds or so and for short stretches can run at 20 miles an hour. When birds get too bossy, the newspaper article suggested that an umbrella should be poked at the bird or an umbrella or a broom might work. Spraying them with a garden hose is another alternative. Turkeys, like cardinals, are not self-aware, often pecking at windows as if encountering a rival.
Ruth Cavanaugh, a reader from Staten Island, told us about a flock of wild turkeys in Staten Island on Seaview Avenue off Father Capodano Blvd. Ruth says there are approximately 100 wild turkeys which have made the grounds of the Mental Health Center and the Staten Island University Hospital their home, near the beach off Raritan Bay. Ruth writes, "The city has posted a 'Turkey Crossing' sign on Seaview Avenue near the Mental Health Center, which has a very large lawn area with some small trees, which the turkeys seem to consider their own territory. The turkeys often are seen running across the four-lane boulevard from the Center to some woods across the street, and to the beach area nearby. There have been several articles about them in the local Staten Island Advance. So, it seems that the person who 'predicted' that turkeys would find suburban life to their liking, doesn't know that here in New York City, we already have some of these critters moving in!"
This is a reminder that the Foster Young Farm is posted for NO HUNTING or TRESPASSING. Anyone caught trespassing will be prosecuted to the fullest.
|November 24, 2005. Today's birthdays include Paxton DePoe and Agnes Hess. Bill and Janet's Beishline's 51st wedding anniversary is today. Ron and Alice Strauch of Waller celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. They were married on Thanksgiving of 1960.
It is Thanksgiving Day, a white Thanksgiving Back Home in Benton, PA. The snow begain falling locally about 10:15 Wednesday night and at 5 AM Thanksgiving morning there was an accumulation of about two inches. Temperatures near 35° through the morning hours resulted in much of the snow melting, although snow showers are forecast for the afternoon and evening hours.
What we know as Thanksgiving originated in two holidays known as the Harvest Home feast and the formal day of thanksgiving ordered by church or government authorities in gratitude for a particular event. Thanksgiving Day began in 1621 at Plymouth Colony, when the Pilgrims gave thanks for their survival and a good first crop. President Lincoln in 1863 set aside the last Thursday in November for a national celebration of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day was permanently fixed in 1941 by a Congressional decree as the fourth Thursday in November.
If there is a lull in the day for the children or grandchildren, you might send them here and let them figure out which came first, the chicken or the egg. Adults can have a good time here, too!
Want to learn more about computers? You can learn the Internet through an Internet tutorial by AARP (American Association of Retired Persons). You can learn how to create and organize favorites, how to make text larger, how to customize your browser, how to capture Internet information, and much more. Each lesson contains written information along with pictures of what you actually see on the computer screen.
We figured out why 129,000 packages of Pennsylvania-made stuffing are being recalled. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration claim that the reason is that labels of "Martin's Famous Dutch Taste Potato-bred Soft Cubed Stuffing" don't disclose that they may contain wheat and dairy products. We suspect that the packages would have stayed in the consumer's homes if they had just been correctly called "filling."
It is Thanksgiving, but Christmas is right around the corner. And what could be better to capture the spirit of Christmas than seeing a timeless classic presented by The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble in the Alvina Krause Theatre. The play "Miracle on 34th Street" comes to the BTE stage beginning November 25 and will run through December 22. The show is presented as an Thursdays at 7 PM, Fridays at 8 PM, Saturdays at 2 and 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. Ticket prices are $8. This performance will be performed as a "live" 1940's-style radio show over imaginary WBTE radio. Don't know the play? A nice old man claims to be Santa Claus but is institutionalized as insane. A young lawyer defends him by arguing in court that he is the real thing. Want tickets? Call 570 784-5530 or go to the BTE web page.
As regular unleaded gasoline prices dip under $2 a gallon in several parts of the state (the Lancaster Wawa had $1.959 and others were matching that price) we noticed that as of Wednesday afternoon regular unleaded gas prices ranged at about an average of $2.07 for 25 gas stations we looked at. B.J.'s warehouse in Camp Hill was selling at $2.039, Sheetz in Shamokin Dam at $2.079, several stations in Bloomsburg at $2.099. D.R.'s QuickMart was 2.139.
Preliminary figures indicate that 2,875 bear are history at the end of the second day of the Pennsylvania bear hunt. Pennsylvania Game Commission employees processed 854 black bears on Tuesday. One of the biggest bear shot was a 638-pound male taken by James R. Donahoe, Danville. The bear was shot in Davidson Township, Sullivan County, a county where 76 bear have been shot so far this season. The top bear harvest county in the state after the first two days was Lycoming County, just West of our area, with 222.
A Cumberland County man was injured by a 320-pound black bear he had shot and was trying to recover in a rare hunting accident. The man was swiped by the injured bear and bitten twice during the encounter, which occurred in Huntingdon County. It died at the hunter's feet shortly after he had been bitten the second time. The hunter was treated in a Huntingdon hospital, then released. The bear was shot three times with a .444 Marlin. The hunter then approached to within 15 feet and shot the animal again in the chest. The bear leaped to its feet and wrapped his paw around the hunter's hip and clawed him. This is the first reported incident in Pennsylvania where a hunter was attacked by a bear he was trying to recover.
We will now release our fearless Thanksgiving forecast and advisory. In the morning, turkeys will thaw early and later warm to about 190° in the oven. The kitchen will turn hot and humid. Squalls are possible with the cook if disturbed. Sometime in the late afternoon, a cold knife will slice the turkey leaving an accumulation of a glaze to several inches of mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce creating slippery spots. The recently issued weight-loss alert has been cancelled for the day. Some unexpected wind is also possible. As the day wears on, turkey and appetites will diminish and taper off. Turkey will drop to a temperature hovering around 34° in the refrigerator. The weekend forecast is for high pressure to develop to eat the leftovers. A flurry of activity is expected as hunger again sets in. A warming trend is expected as soup suddenly appears. By late in the week, we can expect that the only remaining wish is in the bone.
November 23, 2005. Bob and Kathryn Maynes celebrate their 59th wedding anniversary today. It is also Bob's 84th birthday. Bruce Jankowski turns 52 today. On this date in 1945, most U.S. wartime rationing of foods ended, including meat and butter. In 1963, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed November 25 a day of national mourning following the assassination of President Kennedy.
The Thanksgiving Eve Church Services will be held tonight at 7 PM at the Derrs Christian Church.
We have tried to extract the weather forecasts from various weather sources for the Thanksgiving holiday and so far none of them have been correct. We'll therefore revise our forecast again, and say that we expect the skies will be overcast through Thanksgiving, with periods of possible rain and periods of possible snow with long stretches of darn cold weather. No further weather reports will be issued.
The Alfa Youth Group of the Benton United Methodist Church will hold a clothing giveaway in the Fellowship Hall on Saturday, December 10, from 9 AM to 3 PM. Items include clothes, shoes, coats and more. This is a great opportunity to find great stuff for the winter season and for gift giving.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission announced the Monday preliminary harvest of bear at 2,026. This figure put the opening day totals in excess of all bear shot in entire bear seasons as recently as 1999. The 2005 first-day preliminary harvest total compares with 1,573 in 2004; 1,454 in 2003; 1,348 in 2002; and 1,812 in 2001. Locally, Monday morning around 9 AM Max Wanich harvested the first black bear at Painter Den Hunting Club in over 70 years. The bear was estimated at about 300 pounds, male, a real beauty! To show the strength of the bear, Rod Pennington told us that after it was shot, the bear glomped down on a tree limb about 4" in diameter and bit it in two. Jim Harvey also shot a bear Monday morning, which dressed out at 154 pounds. Robert Rabb shot a bear East of Jamison City.
Farmer's Almanac Advice for Today:
Here is a partial listing of restaurant hours over the Thanksgiving holiday:
. The Classic Grill, Market and Main Streets: Thanksgiving meal, turkey and trimmings, Tuesday night. Closed Thursday and Friday.
Headwaters Gallery is located five miles north of Benton on St. Gabriel's Hill Road. Signs will direct you from Route 487 north from Benton. At the gallery are displays of Barry and Cathy Beck Outdoor Photography, Jack Monroe Wood Carvings, Stefania Luciani Binnick Oil Paintings, Steve Binnick Photography, and pottery, books, and unique gift items. Holiday hours are Saturday, November 12, Sunday, November 13, Saturday, December 10, and Sunday, December 11. Times are 1-5 PM; otherwise, hours are by appointment or by chance. 877 278-5638.
November 22, 2005. Sharon Remphrey celebrates her birthday today. Clair Harvey was born on this date in 1932 and Kelly Yost was born on this date in 1960. Barry and Sylvia Harrison are celebrating their 33rd wedding anniversary. Don't forget the Thanksgiving Eve Services coming up in two days at the Derrs Christian Church.
What were you doing on this date in 1963 when President Kennedy was shot to death in Dallas? I remember that I was in a Government warehouse at Olmstead Air Force Base, Middletown. Others were watching the soap opera "As the World Turns" when the bulletin flashed from Dallas. CBS News didn't have anyone to man the announcer's chair, but the voice of an unseen person announced that President John F. Kennedy had been gravely wounded during a motorcade through downtown Dallas. The network soon broke in again as Walter Cronkite, wearing partially rolled-up, white-shirt sleeves, a loosened tie, no makeup, and black glasses, read the dread wire copy: "Ladies and gentleman, the President of the United States is dead." Cronkite, disbelief written all over his face, looked at a studio clock, wiped tears from his eyes and told an unbelieving nation that President Kennedy had died while undergoing emergency surgery at Parkland Hospital. Texas Gov. John B. Connally, in the same limousine as Kennedy, was seriously wounded. Lee Harvey Oswald, suspected of assassinating the president, was arrested. President Kennedy would have been 88 years old had he lived.
What a difference a year makes. We suspect that Penn State's Joe Paterno, 78, whose AP fourth-ranked, 10-1 team defeated Michigan State Saturday has an outside chance of being named the National Coach of the Year. Paterno and his staff like son Jay Paterno and offensive coordinator Galen Hall and senior quarterback Michael Robinson, are doing a super job this year. Robinson has accumulated 26 touchdowns, although about one shot away from gathering Heisman recognition.
. There will be a country craft open house at the home of Mahlon and Donna Fritz and the home of Chris and Sue Farr on Friday, November 25, and Saturday, November 26, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Donna will be featuring "Folk-L-Points" and Chris and Sue Farr will offer original gift choices in time for holiday giving, featuring local scenic Christmas tree ornaments, slabwood Santas and Snowmen. Follow the signs off Route 254 at Bowman's Mill Road in Greenwood Valley.
Staff reporters Buster and Chloe often write a short column for the Benton News, usually of an upbeat nature. Today's column by Buster, regretfully, shows some fraying around the edges, an indication of problems with their relationship. I'll let Buster tell the story...
|Ron was less than excited Monday morning when he discovered that the bear had eaten and clawed its way through a 17" Goodyear Wrangler tire on his pick-up truck.|
Ron was in no mood to have to put on his spare in order to drive his truck, nor did he expect that he would have to bring the tire into Shannon's Tire Service to buy a replacement tire. Information on all this is sketchy, since Ron went away with a new tire and headed directly for the woods where he probably won't reappear until just about dark. We don't know if Goodyear provides warranty service on tires mangled by bear. We suspect that the tire was run over a dead animal on the road Sunday and the bear was attempting to scrape up a meal, then planned to "retire" following his "tiring" day.
Picture courtesy of Richard Shoemaker
|November 21, 2005. Terry and Terri O'Connell celebrate their wedding anniversary today and Goldie Hawn--gasp--turns 60. November 21 is the 325th day of the year, with 40 days remaining in the year. We'll let you do the math on how many shopping days remain until Christmas. It was a sad day on this day in 2001 in Benton, as our music man Rick Martin was laid to rest in Numidia.
Quote of the Day...
And speaking of Geraldine, we should tell you that Jerry and Gerri Newhart celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary today. Dick Kriebel, Gerri's brother, gets the credit for introducing them. Back in the beginning stages of K-dale farm there were two employees, Owen Hess and Gerald Newhart, who took a hankering to Dick Kriebel's sister--Geraldine Kriebel--and to Janet Buckwalter Keiebel's sister--Deborah Buckwalter--who would come to the farm to visit. The rest, as they say, is history. Dick Kriebel notes that "on the third-floor door of their chicken house remains a teenage-day heart that says 'Deb & Jr.'" Dick notes that he is "not sure those two young men enjoyed milking cows, but I do believe they enjoyed the weekend family visits."
Good luck to all the hunters who head for the hills to bag a bear during the season which opens today. Good luck to everyone who needs work done in local places of business for the next three days and during the two weeks that follow.
We always seem to tell the same true story as hunting season begins, about a hunting trip that took place 75 years ago at Painter Den Hunting Club. The group did not have a cook. The group devised an emergency plan. Every day they played a round of poker dealing cards face up. The player with the highest hand was the designated cook for the day, with the proviso that if any other person complained during that period about the cooking, the cook should be relieved of his job and the person who bellyached would get the cooking detail.
An attorney from Bloomsburg got the first day's high cards and the job of cooking. The man had never even boiled a potato in his life. The meal he prepared was completely inedible starting when he threw the spaghetti pasta into cold water. A portly and prominent person proved pompous--in a moment of forgetfulness he leaned back and roared, "This is the damndest stuff I ever ate!" Suddenly, remembering the arrangement, he stiffened right up and quickly exclaimed "But I do like it. Gee, how I do like it!"
With Thanksgiving coming up this week, we will try to make sense out of the terms turkey filling, turkey stuffing and turkey dressing. When we put as much as we can into a turkey, we have "filled the turkey." Stuffing in the middle ages was known as farce, and that word came from Latin and French words that meant "to stuff." A "Farce" was a short, lighthearted play stuffed in between lengthy religious productions to keep the audience from nodding off. Forcemeat and farce referred to a spiced chopped-meat mixture, and the term is still applied to the making of sausage. The term stuffing did not appeal to the upper crust of the Victorian era, and the term "dressing" came into fashion. The terms stuffing and dressing are used interchangeably, with stuffing most frequently used in this country in the South and East. "Back Home in Benton, PA, most say "filling," or at least the well-dressed members of the Benton Christian Church congregation said that Sunday morning as they filled their bellies until they were stuffed at their church Thanksgiving meal.
An obituary for Helen Gammon is not currently available. We can tell you that she will be cremated and some sort of appropriate remembrance of her in Columbia County will be held this summer with burial at St. Gabriel's. Helen was able to live pretty much as she wanted up to the last week. It wasn't easy with her shortness of breath and dragging the oxygen tubing around with her. Only ten days ago, her grandson, Michael, was asking for some family history and she was able to print it out for him from her computer files. The past week was difficult. When she finally realized that she would no longer be able to direct her life, she decided that was not her style and stepped on into her next adventure.
And while we are talking about sickness, we should mention that prayers are needed for Jim Johnson, who has cancer; and for Charlie Shannon, a patient in Geisinger Hospital; and for Allen Roberts who will have a hip replacement early in December; and for Ira McHenry, who has pneumonia; and for Larry Hayman, who is finally home. Except for four days, Larry was in the hospital since August 24. Doctors almost lost Larry three times and each time the doctors were amazed he pulled through.
Want to identify someone from Pennsylvania?
|November 20, 2005. Happy wedding anniversary today to Earl and Joann Heimbach.
On this date in...
One of our daily pleasures is to open email or regular mail and find a treasure of a note from someone, and over the years none have ever pleased us more than to read the notes sent to us by Helen Gammon. We have visited her in Chandler, Arizona, and researched with her Back Home in Benton, PA. We have listened to her reading and re-reading many of the 1800 or so letters written by her great-great Grandmother Ann Peterman--letters Ann wrote to her stepson William Bartleson Peterman who lived in Sugarloaf Township. We would be deeply appreciative when Helen would send us an email or call on the phone to tell us that something we had said made something she had never understood suddenly become crystal clear. And then the obscure thing that we had written about would suddenly be translated by Helen into a long story about where James Peterman's land or Jonathan Colley's original tracts were located in 1792-1796.
And so tears misted our eyes during the Penn State football game Sunday when the call came that Helen passed away minutes before on the couch of her home in Chandler, a victim of cancer and suffering from shingles. Helen was in her 80s, clear-headed, observant, critical of assumptions not proven, intolerant of any noise created while she was doing her genealogical research, wonderfully sharing of things historical, a dear friend and a true researcher. Her last request of me was only two weeks old. "How about putting it on your 'To Do' list," she wrote. "Even though I probably shall never see it, I hope someone will shine some light on it." Don't worry, Helen, we'll shine some light on it soon!
For everything there is a season,
The offices of the newspaper were in the former residence of an editor of the paper, James Wilson, at 322 Market Street, Philadelphia. Wilson was a grandfather to Woodrow, the 28th President of the United States. Under the name, Pennsylvania Packet and General Advertiser, the newspaper was the first newspaper published daily in United States, starting in September, 1784. The newspaper, which tended to be abusive to Federalists, continued to publish until 1822. The General Advertiser later became The Aurora and General Advertiser.
We give you all this information since we intend to revisit the paper from time to time and we wanted you to know that this is not just a "quack" newspaper, although it was a staunch and vocal anti-Federalist paper mocking Presidents George Washington and John Adams equally. One of the things catching our eye was this advertisement, which introduced us to a word we didn't know. The advertisement read...
"Six cents reward. Ran away from the subscriber on the 17th instant, an apprentice, named William McGonigle, between 19 and 20 years of age, a cordwainer by trade. John Thomas, November 20, 1812."
The English term "cordwainer" means shoemaker. The term cordouan, or cordovan leather, comes from this word. The first "Cordwainers," or shoemakers, in America came to Jamestown, Virginia, about 1607. Captain John Smith was a Cordwainer and his settlement was in part supported by profits made in the English shoe trade.
By definition, a cordwainer works only with new leather, where a cobbler works with old. Cobblers are repairers, and over the years were frequently prohibited from making shoes. The term "Cordwainer" is derived from the Spanish city of Cordoba, celebrated for silversmithing and the production of cordouan (cordovan) leather, called "cordwain" in England.
Tropical Storm Gamma, the 24th named storm of a record-setting Atlantic hurricane season, is drifting northward toward Florida with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Gamma could disrupt the Thanksgiving celebrations in South Florida. We don't wish in any way to minimize the terrible effects of so many people this year as a result of "weather incidents," but when we checked with friends in Florida, we found them "at the ready:" several have FEMA's number in their speed dial, they buy "C" and "D" batteries by the case, are addicted to Spaghetti Os, have repainted their houses to match the plywood covering over the windows, are on first-name basis with Home Depot checkout clerks, live on streets that are designated "no-wake" zones, own three or more large coolers and have milk jugs filled with water in their freezers. Several have taken recent vacations in Georgia and Alabama and a couple of the wives are in love with men who have huge chainsaws. They can name three or more meteorologists who work at the Weather Channel and often watch the show on their battery-powered TV, which they consider a home entertainment center. Children's first words are often "hunker down." We wish our many Florida friends the best with Tropical Storm Gamma, but we know they are ready for yet another crisis.
Joe Paterno and No. 5 Penn State whooped Michigan State 31-22 Saturday to claim their first Bowl Championship Series bid and their first Big Ten title in 11 years.
Have you noticed that...
We saw these terms on the internet and will pass them along...
November 19, 2005. Happy birthday today to John McHenry Unbewust.
On this date in 1863, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address as he dedicated the national cemetery at the site of the Civil War battlefield. The only flaw in his words came with his prediction, "The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here..." There were only two-hundred and seventy-one words and the pronoun "I" was never used! The speech followed the main-event oration of Edward Everett. A Harvard graduate--later its president--Everett was a Greek professor, a former governor of Massachusetts and ambassador to England. An audience of possibly 18,000, including Lincoln, congratulated him on his stunning delivery. Everett later wrote to the President, I should be glad to flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.
The Gettysburg Address began Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. The speech ended with Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
It is pop quiz time, again! Here is the question; the answer is at the end of today's rant. What was the name of the nation's first coast-to-coast highway that ran from New York to San Francisco? Here are two clues. Most of you have traveled portions of the highway and, yes, it goes through Pennsylvania.
Garrison Keillor defines a computer as being a labor-saving device that generates more work only quicker.
The Welsh both as immigrants and as Welsh-Americans have played important roles in the history of the United States and Canada. Seventeen signatories of the Declaration of Independence, four signatories of the Constitution and eleven Presidents were of Welsh ancestry including Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The Welsh were prominent in early settlements and in the industrial development of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. There are an estimated two million Welsh in the United States.
The life-sized statue of a fly fisherman with a young boy and girl is much closer to reality today with only about $500 more to be raised. It appears as though the statue will become a reality by the time of the opening of next spring's trout season in mid-April. The $4,000 statue will set on a number of large rocks native to Fishingcreek and will be erected beside Market Street at Main Street, near the Kozy Korner Restaurant. Brian and Paul DuMond, Stillwater, are the artists responsible for the statue. Contributors to the project will receive a framed certificate. Contributions can be sent to Benton Community Beautification Fund/Statue, Columbia County Farmers National Bank, P.O. Box 503, Benton, PA 17814, Attn: Dean Kelchner.
The Benton Volunteer Fire Co. is still trying to get photos of local heroes for the Christmas tree at the fire hall. Hero photos can be sent to Charity Robbins, 704 Mendenhall Hill Road, Benton, PA 17814.
The Lincoln Highway was the nation's first coast-to-coast highway from New York to San Francisco. In 1912, when Carl Graham Fisher proposed the highway, there were something like a million automobile owners in the United States and most of them ended up stuck in the mud and snow of winter and hard rain. In rural America in 1912, there were no roads as we know them today, except for spindly little things that crept away from railroad stations and centers of market and commerce to neighboring grist mills or towns and then disappeared into rows of fences and other travel obstacles. And the thought of going from one state to another was absurd.
|November 17, 2005. Happy birthday today to Cindy Becker.
On this date in...
It is always good to remind readers about the semipro league in which Ed Allegar played. A host of players who made it to the major leagues started in the Southern Association (or as it was often called, the Southern League) during their careers, men like Ty Cobb and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. Teams tended to come and go, but Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, and Macon played with other teams from Nashville, Memphis, Chattanooga, Birmingham, Bristol and Jacksonville. A similar league was the South Atlantic League, also known as the Sally League. Ed even pulled in a Most Valuable Player award while playing minor league baseball, but as a member of the Giants farm club there just were not enough openings to bring him to the majors. Ed now lives in Jamison City, is a retired teacher from the Benton Area School System and is married to the former Alice Sutliff.
Yesterday was certainly a day of contrasts. Following a week of all sunshine, no visible clouds and temperatures in the upper 80s, we boarded a big bird in Santa Barbara under the light of a beautiful full moon and via San Francisco flew into Chicago to find temperatures of 24 degrees with snow falling. After our connecting flights to Harrisburg was deiced, we did the bump and grind and flew into the relative warmth of our home state. All that being said, there ain't no place like home!
Hershey ate onions and carrots and celery and combinations of all those, and finally decided that beet sherbets tasted the best and he added them to the menu at his Hershey Hotel. Now for the man who gave the world the Hershey bar and Hershey kisses to make a mistake like that was unthinkable, and patrons who tasted the beet sherbet actually gagged from the terrible taste.
Milton Hershey had three lifelong passions: chocolate, children and cigars. Hershey is said to have smoked eight to 10 cigars a day until his death in 1945 at the age of 88. A former CEO of the company later said that Hershey simply had burned out his taste buds and could not taste or smell a thing.
By the time Hershey died, his company owned an estimated 65,000 acres in Cuba. The manager of the Hershey Havana operations regularly sent his boss boxes of cigars with Hershey's picture printed on the cigar bands. A much cheaper brand of cigars made in York was sold around the Hershey area with a "Hershey" band. They were sold for five or six cents apiece in the town drugstore, at the golf course and at Hershey park and were known as the Hershey Invincible, Hershey Park Golf Club Special, Hersheytown and Havana Perfecto brands. Until the early 1980s at Hershey park, cigar rollers made cigars at a kiosk in the craft area and sold the hand-rolled products to park patrons.
Norman Vincent Peale once addressed students in the Hershey school auditorium and asked, "How many of you would like to have millions of dollars someday?" The children all raised their hands. "And, how many of you would, 25 years before you die, give it all away to strangers?" After seeing that not a single hand was raised, Peale looked over his shoulder and said, "Hershey did just that." But he could never give sell or give away his beet sherbet.
Quote of the Day:
November 16, 2005. David McHenry and Mikelanne McHenry Welliver celebrate their birthdays today.
Pennsylvania's three-day black bear season opens Monday and runs through November 23. The PGC anticipates a 2005 harvest of up to 3,000 bears. Others say that the record of 3,075 bears, set in 2000, could be exceeded since the six largest bear harvests in Pennsylvania history have been recorded over the past seven years and all exceeded 2,500 animals. Officials also say there is an excellent chance for at least one bear exceeding 800 pounds to be taken. Only six 800-pound bears have been documented by the agency over the past 25 years. The PGC estimates about 14,000 bears remain in the state. Top bear-producing counties in 2004 were just a short drive from Back Home in Benton, PA in Lycoming (244) and Luzerne (138) counties.
Didja know that Pennsylvania has 15 airports to connect you with the world outside the Commonwealth, linking you to flights on more than 19 domestic and international carriers? Learn about your flight options from local Pennsylvania airports. You can link directly to the airports or to the airlines that serve them and compare rates, learn about low-cost parking, and check out other great amenities. Pennsylvania's new Web site, http://iflypa.com/ , encourages the use of in-state airports
Our stay in the Santa Ynez Valley of California has come to an end. We have reunited with dear relatives, revisited those places that are so special, dined with old friends, sampled the local wines in an effort to lower our cholesterol and will soon say goodbye to family and friends. Around these parts, people say that travelers come over the mountains and a peacefulness settles over them like an old quilt. Over the years, many have come and many have stayed.
The list of present and past residents of the valley is impressive: Gene Autry, Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Art Linkletter, James Stewart, Edgar Bergen and James Arness lived here. Dean Martin bought a ranch, but didn't stay. Dean was an avid golfer and applied for membership in the Alisal golf club, but was turned down because he was an actor. Johnny Mathis bought a property nearby. John and Bo Derek arrived in the early '70s. Bo--and her many facelifts--is still here. James Arness purchased 100 acres. Film personalities Yvonne De Carlo and Rona Barrett lived here, Band leader Doc Severinsen is a next-door neighbor, Cheryl Ladd, John Forsythe. Fess Parker of Davy Crockett fame now owns hotels and wineries locally. Michael Jackson owns a side of a mountain and keeps the local courts busy, but just splashed out $1.5 million on a new mansion on his own quarter-acre private island in the Amwaj chain off the coast of Bahrain where Jackson has been living since being cleared of child sex abuse. He will live there with his three children Prince Michael, Paris and Prince Michael II. It is not yet known if Jackson now plans to sell his Neverland ranch in Santa Ynez. Others in the area include Jimmy Connors, Bruce Jenner, Kelly LeBrock, Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., singer David Crosby, Ellen DeGeneres and Whoope Goldberg.
The most famous of the local residents, Ronald Reagan, owned what historically was called the Rancho del Cielo and the locals called the Tip Top Ranch. While not in the Santa Ynez valley, it overlooked the valley from its location where Refugio Road breaks over the mountain and heads down to the Pacific Ocean. The ranch has a colorful history that traces back to Spanish settlers and the original adobe house dates to 1871. A son of one of the original owners of the ranch wrote that the area was once overrun with bandits and outlaws. One bandit was reputed to pass through the area, rob the settlers, and cut their throats. The son said that he once dug up six silver dollars and a skeleton buried under an old oak tree.
What became the Reagan ranch was sold in 1941 for $6,000 and became known as the Tip Top Ranch. The Reagans bought the 677-acre ranch in 1974 for a reported $527,000 near the end of Reagan's second term as governor of California. Reagan christened the property "Rancho del Cielo," or "the Ranch in the Sky." Reagan and a ranch hand remodeled the adobe house, knocked out walls, redesigned the kitchen, tore out the screen porch and replaced it with a family room, then climbed on the corrugated roof and installed a tiled one. The ranch was declared the Western White House in 1981 and was the site of a historic visit by Mikhail Gorbachev in 1992. Countless other dignitaries have visited over the years.
Temperatures in the Santa Ynez valley for the past two days exceeded 85 degrees and we shudder at the forecast for Back Home in Benton, PA, for tonight. The "S" word is in the forecast. It will be quite a contrast.
November 15, 2005. Ken and Dorothy Wilson celebrate their 51st wedding anniversary today. It all started when Ken asked his fellow college classmates if anyone would like to go ice skating after school. Dorothy said she would, and they have skated through life together ever since. Look toward the sky tonight at the full moon. Both colonists and Algonquin Indian tribes called the November full moon the "full beaver moon" since it was time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze. Please keep Charles Holdren in your prayers.
We recently received an email from an old friend who said that he read a Forbes Magazine report that Marsha J. Evans, President and CEO of the American Red Cross received a salary for 2003 of $651,957 plus expenses; Brian Gallagher, President of the United Way, receives a $375,000 base salary, plus numerous expense benefits; and The Salvation Army's Commissioner Todd Bassett receives a salary of only $13,000 per year (plus housing) for managing this $2 billion dollar organization.
As our readers know, we try to determine the validity of emails like this, so we wrote to Barbara Mikkelson, the owner of www.snopes.com. After a week or so, Barbara wrote back to us saying, "Financial figures for these organizations are difficult to compare directly for a number of reasons. The United Way of America, for example, is not one large organization, but a body that coordinates 1,400 independent local United Way member organizations, each separately incorporated and governed by local volunteers. As well, the Salvation Army is classified by the Internal Revenue Service as a "church or convention or association of churches" and is therefore not required to file Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) reporting with the IRS." If a super sleuth like Ms. Mikkelson can't figure it out, we suspect that the email is basically a figment of someone's imagination.
Robert F. Norman, 90, a former owner of a country store in Jonestown, and who played an active role in Orangeville leadership and in the Bloomsburg Fair Association, passed away Monday, November 14, at Wesley Village, Jenkins Township. He was 90 and a resident of Dallas. He was born in Wilkes-Barre, a son of the late William and Katherine Eydler Norman and was a graduate of Shickshinny High School. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Joan Wilson; brothers Howard, Francis, Charles, William and Clement; and sisters Catherine Savage, Emily Norman and Ruth Davis. Surviving are his wife of 67 years, the former Mildred Hess; daughters: Katherine "Kate" Dickson (Donald), Dallas (formerly of Benton), and Patricia (John) Dorshimer, Mahwah, NJ; a brother, Russell, Wilkes-Barre; grandchildren and great-grandchildren along with numerous nieces and nephews. Friends may call Tuesday 6 to 9 and funeral service will be Wednesday at 11 AM from the Richard H. Disque Funeral Home Inc., 672 Memorial Highway, Dallas. Interment will be in Mt. Greenwood Cemetery, Trucksville.
We dug deep into our savings once to hire an attorney so we have a little experience with costs of legal representation. Consider the considerable (financial) fortune of Saddam Hussein. The Wall Street Journal reported that approximately 1,100 lawyers have left Saddam Hussein's defense team out of fears for their own safety. Don't feel bad for Hussein--he still has 400 lawyers on the payroll!
Stand back! Here comes the atlatl, a weapon that struck fear in the hearts of Spanish conquistadors, The atlatl (pronounced "ott-lottle") dates to the stone age. The weapon propels a 4- to 6-foot-long hunting dart. Scientists who track this sort of thing claim that the atlatl was used by American Indians 12,000 years ago and they were used more than 20,000 years ago in Europe. The PGC is now considering adding the atlatl to the arsenal of Pennsylvania's hunters. The commission could vote to legalize its use as early as January although it is unclear to us which animals atlatlists may be allowed to hunt. If the commission gives preliminary approval in January, a final vote in April could clear the way for atlatl hunting in Pennsylvania sometime next year.
Seniors in Pennsylvania, starting today, can choose which of the many government-sponsored prescription drug plans is right for them. Enrollment for 2006 begins today and runs through May 15. Benefits begin January 1 The prescription drug benefit is new to Medicare, which until now only covered hospital and outpatient care for seniors.
When darkness sets in tonight, we'll have a full moon that is the perfect end to a wonderful (but wet) day, but when darkness sets in over the French Quarter and the central business district of New Orleans tonight, the darkness will seem like a blanket over the eastern half of this city. The signs of progress seen during the day soon disappear since about 40% of the homes in New Orleans do not have electricity following Entergy New Orleans bankruptcy filing September 23.
Following this dismal picture of New Orleans, lets change our glance to south Mississippi where former Jamison City resident Philip Grant Nickolai lived for over half a century. Phil is discouraged enough with what nature can bring to south Mississippi to move.
As a result of Katrina many people are displaced, their homes and businesses totally destroyed, their homes and buildings condemned and the bulldozer put to them. Many are living in tent cities. In the case of Katrina the damage was so comprehensive and covers such a vast area that it will require something like three years to get back to anything near "normal" for many. Others who were displaced will not return. The income tax base is crippled. In many places there are no buildings or housing, there is nothing to tax except the now vacant property. Communities are running out of money and have cut payrolls. The local governments are wondering where money is going to come from to rebuild.
Phil has long liked the long, warm summers and short, mild winters of south Mississippi. He has no "attachments," no property. He chooses older folks for friends and they have all died. All of his family is dead. He no longer has a relation with a "church family." He been away from other places he has lived so that if he returned he would be a stranger. Some he knew in those places have moved away or have died.
Many have to "begin again" after Katrina. Phil laments, "If I move somewhere else I will just have to begin again. I am having a problem trying to decide where to go."
Moving is more in Phil's thoughts now than ever before, just as Phil remains in our thoughts as he and many others continue struggling with their problems in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina.
|November 14, 2005. We were thrilled Sunday to spend the afternoon with Bill and Karen Boston.
On this date in 1972, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above the 1,000 mark (1003.16) for the first time in its 76-year history. A year ago on this date, the market closed at 10,539. At the close of trading Friday, the Dow Jones closed at 10,686.04, its highest close since Aug. 3.
The American Legion Post 495 will hold a "Night At The Races" Saturday, November 19, at 7 PM at the American Legion Post on State Route 239 between Shickshinny and Huntington Mills. You can pick up a ticket at the door for a $10 donation. Food and drinks are with your ticket.
Mayor Swan is excited to have a life-sized stainless steel sculpture of a fly fisherman with a young boy and a young girl, sculpted by Brian and Paul DuMond, Stillwater, ready for next spring's fishing season. The sculpture will set at the corner of Main and Market streets, on the south (Market Street) side of the Benton Sports Center building. The statue will be an excellent way of attracting tourists to the area. Contributions continue to be needed for completion of the statue.
The nation's oldest national agricultural organization is the National Grange with clubs in local communities in 37 states. Its members are dedicated to agriculture and rural America. The organization began after the Civil War to unite private citizens in improving the economic and social position of the nation's farm population.
The National Grange is a fraternal order also known as the Order of Patrons of Husbandry, which is what the "P of H" on the organization's logo means. The Order of Patrons of Husbandry was born December 4, 1867. The seal for the Benton club was inscribed January 29, 1874. The National Grange was one of the first organizations to admit women to membership on the same basis as men.
The farms, the communities and the people of the local area in 1874 when the Grange began operations would be vastly different from the present generation. The average farm of that era was small by today's standards and almost devoid of machinery. Man and his beast provided power for everything connected with his farm.
Rohr McHenry was instrumental in establishing a series of Grange banks and planned these banks in each state, tied to the agricultural side of business. Grange banks attempted to loan money at rates lower than other commercial banks but Grange activities proved unsuccessful because of lack of capital.
The Benton Grange #88 will be closing as of December 31, 2005. When the Grange closes operations in the Benton area, Grange members will donate money and artifacts to the community through the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, the Benton FFA Parent Club and the Benton Park. The Benton FFA Parent Club will receive $15,000 for the students to use for projects each year. The club will be able to draw down $1,000 each year. The Benton Park will receive $15,000.for playground equipment. The balance of the money in the account, an undisclosed amount, will be going to the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The NCCCC will also receive most of the artifacts from the Benton Grange for its museum.
It is wonderful to know that the long history of service to the community by the Grange will continue after the organization closes its doors for the last time. The men and the women who carried on the goals of the Grange until all chance of survival were exhausted are to be congratulated for their foresight for the future of the Benton area.
November 13, 2005, the birthday of Betty Zane Unbewust, Dick Karschner, Lucie Hartzell, Donald Ribble (52) and Maria O'Brien. The breakfast buffet at the North Mountain Fire Co. is this morning from 8 AM until noon. The price is $5 for adults and $3 for children. The wall of the Vietnam Veterans Memoral was dedicated on this date in 1982.
We heard about a cowboy walking down a Santa Ynez street with a pet dachshund. Someone asked him why a cowboy would own that kind of dog and he said that somebody had told him to get a long little doggie.
We read in an Associated Press article that the Army is developing chewing gum for combat soldiers too busy to brush. The gum will contain a special bacteria-fighting agent to prevent plaque, cavities and gum disease and will retain its bacteria-fighting ability and flavor for 30 minutes to an hour. Of course, we remember the US Army purchases of the $800 toilet seat, the $500 coffee maker and the $400 monkey-wrench. We hope that they Army does this right...
We have told this story before, but we'll recycle it. The story originally was told to us by Richard Shoemaker. We chatted with Richard Savage, Berwick, a son of O(rville) B(artley) Savage, and grandson of Moses Savage, who figures prominently in the story. Richard Savage remembers hearing this story from his family as he was growing up. You'll have to pay attention or you'll get confused, since we are talking about a couple of "Orvilles" and a couple of "Moses Savages" in this story.
To get you in the right frame of reference, we'll start by reminding you that O. B. Savage once owned the former Hulme farm below Benton.
If you are lost this early in the story, take the time to read about the barn under FEATURES. O. B. Savage had a son, Richard, and that is who we are talking about when we say that he heard the story when he was small. O. B. Savage's father was (also) named Orville and his grandfather was Moses Savage, named, possibly, for his uncle who also had the name "Moses." This uncle is who the story is about. Now aren't you glad we told you to pay attention!
Moses Savage--and we are talking about the uncle--went to seek his fortune in California during the gold rush of 1848. Moses Savage returned from California in the winter of 1857 and a Bloomsburg man, William H. Gilmore, drove Moses to Rohrsburg where Savage intended to spend the night in a hotel just West of Rohrsburg Corners before reuniting with his family the next morning. William Ager was the proprietor of the hotel. The hotel is now gone.
Both W. W. Parker, Rohrsburg, and Savage's nephew, called Moses Savage (now we are now talking about O. B. Savage's grandfather), and gave the same accounting of the following story. We researched the story from old Morning Press and Columbia County Historical Society documents.
A Benton relative of the uncle Moses stopped at the Rohrsburg Hotel and saw someone who looked like Moses sitting near a stove. No one was expecting Moses to return from California unannounced, but the stranger looked so familiar that he asked if the man might be Moses. The proprietor of the hotel did not acknowledge that the man was Savage. The Benton man went home, but thought about it through the night and returned in the morning. The proprietor of the hotel told him the next morning that the man was a "drummer" and not Savage. Mr. Gilmore, however, confirmed that he had driven Savage to the hotel, but no trace of Savage was ever found. Gilmore's story was that Savage intended to surprise his relatives with the fortune that he had made in gold, and that he had much of it in valises he carried with him. O. B.'s father Moses later said that a man by the name of John Black showed him blood on the floor of the hotel when it was razed and that valise frames were found in the basement. The gold never turned up, and neither did Moses. A short time later, the well of the hotel was filled in. A man by the name of Parker claimed that people had stopped liking the taste of the water than came from the well.
The Savage family never had the money to look into the whereabouts of Moses Savage or to press for an investigation. Controversy swirled when the proprietor of the hotel announced that he was going to California to seek his fortune in gold. He apparently was not gone long, but when he returned he had gold and that apparently made a lot of people in the Rohrsburg area talk about the mysterious disappearance of Moses Savage. The properties in California owned by Savage turned up as sold and the deeds had been signed, although the Savage family felt that they had been forged.
Fact or fiction? There is fact in the story and there may be some fiction. Most probably, we'll never know what the fate was of old Moses Savage.
|November 12, 2005. We celebrate the birthdays of Dr. Andrew Pollock, Kevin Schlichter, and the Brass Pelican Restaurant today.
On this date in 1986, just down the road a piece from the former town of Emmons and the village once known as "Baumtown," near the runoff of Peterman Run, Elk Run, Bloody Run and Painter Run, Clyde "Jug" Albertson opened a restaurant under the direction of manager Monica Diltz. Monica stirred in her favorite buckwheat cakes, let them raise overnight, threw some Pennsdale sausage and some homefrys on the stove and a tradition of "bucks" and sausage was born. In fact, the original buckwheat cake batter is still in use today, and with each day the cakes get better. We still remember the sign we saw there about 15 years ago when we drove our snowmobile to the front door. It read, "You have to go up this road a long ways to beat our prices." In fact, you have to go up that road a long ways to do anything...
Other good eating today and Sunday includes...
The Fishing Creek Femme Fatale Chapter of the Red Hat Society will meet at The Hoboken Sub Shop Wednesday at 2 PM for Thanksgiving dinner. Price is $8.95 and includes tax and tip. The chapter's new Queen Mother, Barbara Craig, will be crowned, Guests are welcome and the chapter is open to new members. Proper attire is required; i.e., a red hat and purple outfit. The 2006 dues of $2 are payable and will be used to renew the chapter with the National Red Hat Society.
Dan Mitchell, Ventura, California, emailed me several times before we boarded the big bird for California, telling us about scenic drives and generally extolling the virtues of Southern California. Dan's grandfather was Herman Mitchell, who lived near Fairmont Springs and with his wife, the former Hazel Parkinson, had 17 kids on their small farm. Dan's family lived all over the area including Mossville, Huntington Mills and Shickshinny. For several years they lived near Waller when he was a kid back around 1968 or 69. His dad, Frederick H. Mitchell, worked at the Benton Foundry. Dan, his brother Fred, and sisters Bonnie and Hazel, attended Benton grade school. Fred, Jr. played on the Ed's Esso baseball team. Dan said that he hopes to come back to the hills of Pennsylvania in a couple years, We hope that it won't be that long for us...
Dan told us about a recipe for Tri-Tip that he said will knock your socks off." Beef tri-tip is a term generally not found Back Home in Benton, PA. What Californians call tri-tip is generally ground into hamburger or cut into cubes and sold as soup meat back East, not because it wasn't good, but because there is only one per animal and butchers considered it a waste of display space to sell the tri-tip by itself. Tri-tip is relatively inexpensive, very flavorful and is a favorite with many Californians. The tri-tip roast or steak (also called a triangle roast) can be found at the bottom of the sirloin. It has a great flavor, and tends to be lower in fat than most other cuts.
One of our favorite places to buy tri-tip here in California, in the little town of Los Olivos, is a cute little restaurant that we have written about before. Outside of the tri-tip, its main claim to fame is that when the restaurant is closed, the public is advised of that fact by virtue of a simple sign posted outside of the restaurant. The sign simply says "SHUT."
|November 11, 2005. It is Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, commemorating the signing of the agreement that ended World War I on November 11, 1918. The name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. The day is a way to honor all the men and women who have served in the armed forces of the United States.
OK, OK, so we have some excellent cooks in the area. I am just not one of them. But assuming that others are also "preparation challenged," here are two suggestions...
Thanksgiving is coming up, and Cook's Illustrated came up with www.turkeyhelp.com to answer all your questions about making your Thanksgiving meal memorable. There are recipes, new equipment recommendations, shopping sources, and both a video and photo essay on how to carve a turkey. Buster and Chloe are licking their chops--oops, drumsticks--at the mere mention of this site.
The second suggestion is for those people that have some strange food things in their cupboard, things that sounded good when you went to the exotic food store, but have never been opened, used and which have no probable future use. Google gallops gallantly getting gourmets going on groceries gathering--well, you get the picture.
Here is how it works. Find about three goodies in your cupboard that aren't going away. As an example, I looked in the freezer and found some elderberries that I had popped in the freezer, found some lemon rinds from some lemonade I made and a little whipping crème left over from a rice-pudding topping. Pop over to Google and type in the ingredients and the word following with a comma and the word "recipes." Have Google search, then wait for the results to pop up. The engine will make its rounds for recipes that incorporate your otherwise unusable stuff. I ended up with a recipe from www.recipezaar.com/41007 for elderberry soup, a meal that disposes of three things I wanted gone. Although it sounds like it would be best served at a Mahjong tournament made up of contestants who don't mind staining their partials, it turned out good.
A charming web site for children who are short in stature is now up and running under the direction of Joyce Davis, Mill Street. Joyce is the national director of Camp Little People which is physically located at Camp Victory, outside of Millville. Camp Little People dates back to 1997 when Joyce Davis, mother of a child with a type of dwarfism known as achondroplasia, founded the camp and began planning weekends for children like her daughter, who wanted to get together with her friends. Camp Little People was a far cry from the weekend tenting parties Joyce once hosted in Mill Street backyards for the children and their families. The Davis' back year had the pool and the job Johnny's from Starrs, L.V. Horn's yard had the shade and Sharon and Wilson Lynn's backyard had the room for all the tents. Many area businesses made donations of service or products.
We are writing from California today where the "sko'ta" is the latest fad. Oh, sure, there are a few Hummers and lots of white pick-up trucks and loads of SUVs, but what is really gathering steam in the cities is the "sko'ta." A Vespa VBB 150 scooter certainly turns heads and gathers respect among the under 10 m.p.g. crowd.
The classic motor scooter is practical in a world of gasoline selling over $3 a gallon where using a gallon waiting to get out of a California traffic jam in common. According to the L.A. times, over 96,000 new scooters were sold last year, Most of the sales were in California to baby boomers, but we guarantee you that the way California goes is the way that the rest of the country will go in a year or so.
The vehicles in vogue here are not the Hondas, Yamahas or Kymcos, but are the vintage Vespas and Lambrettas, scooters that get between 50 to 100 miles per gallon. Most new scooter models range from $1,600 to $5,000, about the same price as for the vintage bikes.
Scooters are often seen parked between cars or on the curb, and they can wend their way through traffic. Traffic accidents are a problem and rain and snow would be a problem. When we return Back Home to Benton, PA, we suspect we won't see another one until Spring.
|November 10, 2005. Happy 230th Birthday today to the United States Marine Corps! Semper Fi! Happy birthday today to Frank Beishline, who shares his birthday with theologian Martin Luther, the man who sparked the Protestant Reformation and a man who wrote an article on religion about every two weeks--about 60,000 pages--during the adult years of his life. His writings totaled something like 20% of everything published in Germany at the time. The official start of Winter will be here in 41 days.
It is time again to start thinking about the annual Hall of Fame nominations for the outstanding graduates of the Benton Area Schools. The school will be requesting nominations in the very near future. Please be thinking of who you feel would be worthy. The committee that evaluates the graduates does not write the nomination requests, and so it is important that the justification for the candidate be complete and thorough. The nomination form is on the side panel under the Benton Area Schools on this web page.
We notice that politicians here on the Left Bank are about the same as they are back East. California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's agenda following this week's special election appears in disarray. In true political fashion, the Guv announced that he would recapture voter confidence by firing some of his political advisors.
. New Columbus Academy
Prayers are needed for...
November 9, 2005. Budd Fritz and Christopher Kelsey celebrate their birthdays today. The church buckwheat cake and sausage supper starts at 4 PM today at the Christian Church.
Yesterday was a hometown-focused election day, a nice change of pace from the Bush-Kerry brawl of 2004. At this writing, we don't have complete returns, but in the Borough of Benton, Mayor Jan Swan was reelected with 122 votes with 42 votes cast for Rick Henderson. On Benton Borough Town Council, for the two-year term Mike McCormick was elected with 122 votes. For the four-year term, John Herbert Laubach received 101 votes, John Jankowski received 124 votes, Allen Hess received 86 votes and incumbent Ron Roberts mounting a write-in campaign received 73 votes. Neither Ron Roberts or Dan Hartman received enough votes to be elected.
In other balloting according to the Press Enterprise, Bruce Hess, R, received 212 votes to Patriot's Voice member Robert Ridall, D, 144 votes. In Benton Township Gerald Houseweart, D, appears to have edged out the incumbent Richard Ashelman, R, 136 votes to 131. In Jackson Township, Ronald K. Robbins, R, easily won. Over in Millville, it appears as though Ronald Welliver, Charles W. Confer, John R. Henrie and Lori J. Laubach were elected to town council. The unopposed candidates are not included. We regret that we don't have the results of all balloting.
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
The Saying of the Day: "Measure Twice Cut Once."
An anonymous donor has offered a challenge to match any cash or check donation to the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center up to $100,000 between now and December 31, 2005. The donation must represent "new" money that comes in during that period.
I pitched something between a hissy fit and a conniption fit Tuesday when I was unable to define to the satisfaction of someone who was lost just where "yonder" was. I came up with the general direction, but not the specific route. Things went down hill from there when I attempted to specify how long "directly" was, as in "if you come directly from the clump of trees toward town" and so I changed my approach to something different, and that didn't work either. I told the driver that where he wanted to be was "just down the road" and threw in the term "by and by." Now at this point things really went downhill. We finally got off the subject of directions, this lost driver and I, and discovered that we were related by marriage and that opened up another complete line of discussion about what took him to the South in the first place and how much I liked grits and how much he liked buckwheat cakes.
We had to smile when we came across the old father-son advice dispensed many years ago in an exchange of letters. The son was getting his steam up over a local girl and wrote to his father saying that he planned to take the girl out for the evening to see a movie. On the way home he planned to buy her an ice-cream soda. The son wondered if it would be OK to give her a kiss when they parted for the evening. The father wrote back, saying, "No, George. You've done quite enough for her."
Some may remember when...
Knobby Walsh was the boxer's manager and best friend, modeled after a Wilkes-Barre cigar store owner. Smokey, a valet, was depicted as a shuffling, subservient black man until the early 1940s when the character disappeared from the strip. Joe was in love with and married Ann Howe, a daughter of a cheese tycoon. The birth of his daughter Joan was a national event.
The Wilkes-Barre Chamber of Commerce tells us that the man "he based the Little Max character on is now a prominent businessman in Wilkes-Barre." Elsie Byers tells us that Little Max was Max Bartikowski of the jewelry store, a next door neighbor of Ham Fisher.
Fisher farmed out the strip to a number of assistants, but only he draw the faces on Joe and Knobby, so the assistants would always leave blank features on those two characters. One of Fisher's illustrators was Al Capp, the pen name for Alfred Gerald Caplin, who created L'il Abner after ghosting Joe Palooka for Fisher for a time. Shortly after working on a sequence involving hillbillies for Fisher, Capp began developing Li'l Abner and the two soon parted company.
Beryl Louise (Davis) (Houseweart) Laubach, known to former patrons of Horace Harrison's store, Harold's Market and Benton Pharmacy where she clerked and remembered as the former wife of Stanley Houseweart and Alfred "Bub" Laubach, died Sunday, November 6, 2005, at the Bonham Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 85 and lived at 4095 Maple Grove Road, Benton, in the former residence she shared with "Bub" Laubach. Beryl was born March 26, 1920, a daughter of the late Harry and Pearl (Force) Davis. She was preceded in death by her two husbands: Stanley Houseweart who died in 1957 and Alfred "Bub" Laubach who died in 1999. She was a 1937 graduate of Benton High School. Surviving are her two children: George W. (Betty) Houseweart, Allentown and Judy R. (Thomas) Wenner, Benton, and grandchildren Susan E. Houseweart, Laguna Beach, California; David G. Houseweart, Glendale, Arizona; and Jason T. Wenner, Bendertown. Friends will be received Thursday, Nov. 10, 2005, from 1 until 2 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc.. Her funeral service will begin Thursday at 2 PM following the visitation hour at the funeral home. Interment will be in the Benton Cemetery.
|On November 11, pause to remember and honor those who have served their country. We deeply appreciate the sacrifice these men and women have made.|
|Tuesday, November 8, 2005. It is the birthday of Joe Feola today.
Get out and cast your ballot!
And after you vote, stop at the...
We loved the handwritten note from Betty Brewington, Indiantown, Florida, who wrote telling us that her son, David Ward, connected her with a computer shortly after she arrived in Florida. Betty doesn't send email, so she relied on communicating via a hand-written note. She is recovering from a "weather event," something that we call a hurricane--the fourth one she has been through in 18 months. Sons David and Don, her granddaughter and her grandchildren all live within 20 miles of Betty so she is well cared for. For Betty's many friends who might want to drop her a note, she lives at 15940 SW Indianwood Circle, Indiantown, FL 34956.
We'll now return to our discussion of the first yearbook ever published in the Benton schools. It was published in 1917 when the graduating members of 1918 were Juniors.
The Benton High School class of 1918 wrote in their yearbook The Filibuster that during their Sophomore year they broke all "precedent for keeping late, or rather, early hours, when we enjoyed a sleigh ride to Myer's sugar camp at Elk Grove, starting at 8 PM and returning at 6:30 AM." An unidentified upperclassman scoffed and said, "hic est aliquid novi," but "we, rising above his spirit, made that one of our cherished mottoes and proverbs, and have lived up to it ever since."
The school held "freshmen receptions" during those days of education in Benton. This class, however, did something a little different. In their sophomore year as they held the reception for the incoming class the class president used "ten pounds of sugar to sweeten thirty freshmen and the juice of eighteen lemons." The result, the yearbook noted, was that the freshmen class was forever "noted for its sweet disposition."
The girls held food sales as a result of their class in "cookery." On February 1, 1917, the class held a "Contest in Expression," in the M.E. Church on Main Street. Mrs. Vining trained the contestants. "Financial and social results" were achieved and as a result the class was on a "sound financial basis." The yearbook noted that "our position as an important factor in high-school life was assured."
The arrows show where trees were dedicated (note black arrows) in memory of Benton School students who died during World War I. During a memorial service April 25, 1919, the trees were designated as memorials to pneumonia victoms Meryl Phillips, a Red Cross nurse, and Rufus Polk Hartman, who died while serving in the U.S. Navy; and Doyle Hess and George Remley, members of the U.S. Army who killed in action during the Argonne Forest campaign. These four died during World War I.
It is interesting that in the school history contained in the Filibuster there was some confusion as to when the high-school building was built. (The school under discussion was not the school that most of us remember.) The class tracked the first high school (of record) in the school back to Clyde Hirleman who was principal in the "middle eighties" with about 45 students. The first class graduated in 1887 and in 1890 the school was discontinued.
In 1903, the high school was reorganized under a three-year course. Mr. Beare was the principal. Mr. Albert was principal in 1910 and Mr. Champlin was principal in 1911. L. Ray Appleman was elected to the job in 1912. The first class to graduate and the first to complete a four-year high-school course was the class of 1916.
Benton Grammar School, 1916.
In 1916, vocational training was added to the curriculum of the school and the school became known as a first grade vocational high school, with courses in agriculture, wood-working, homemaking and household arts. As outlying districts began sending more students to Benton, enrollment increased from 27 in 1906 to 110 in 1917--a far cry from the 758 students enrolled today.
|Monday, November 7, 2005. Today is Richard Bardo's birthday as well as Lorenna Bennett's birthday. William Appleman, a farmer in Benton Township was one of many citizens seized by soldiers on the morning of August 31, 1864, because of his opposition to the federal draft. Appleman died on this date in 1883 when he was 73. On this date in 1874, the Raven Creek Church building was dedicated. The Reverend David Diehl became the full-time pastor of the Benton Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on this date in 2004.
Terry Griffith, 62, underwent surgery Sunday to open the first of two blockages in his heart. He is apparently recovering well at Christiana Hospital, Wilmington, Delaware.
There is good eating ahead!
We are getting excited about driving California Highway 154, one of the most beautiful stretches of highway in California and one of our favorites in the United States. On the Left Bank, it is known as the San Marcos Pass Road, a 32-mile section of highway from Highway 101 in Santa Barbara to Highway 101 north of Los Olivos. The road goes up and through the Los Padres National Forest, the Santa Ynez Valley and past Lake Cachuma. It's a historic road basically following an original stagecoach route and is now designated as one of the most scenic highways in the entire country. We'll be stopping and staying awhile in Santa Ynez.
The Susquehanna Valley Welsh Society will host an evening of song, with Welsh-American Van Wagner, on Wednesday, November 16 at 7 PM. The setting is the Mahoning Presbyterian Church. Church and Ferry Streets, Danville. Admission is free, and all are welcome to attend. There will be a Te bach (little tea) after the performance. Visit Van's Website at www.vanwagnermusic.com .
"..life's a song my friend that's been written for us,
The Honoring God and Country services at the Benton high school Sunday night was a rollicking good time, thanks to the community participation of the Council of Churches, the Catawissa Military Band and a speech by Col. Randall Marchi, Commanding Officer of the 28th Infantry Division (Mechanized) Artillery Brigade. Thanks to the talented piano playing of Alan Hack, a well-chosen choir and the responsive audience, patriotic songs like an Armed Forces Medley, America the Beautiful, America and Amazing Grace filled the auditorium.
Commissioners David Kovach and Chris Young, as well as Representative David Millard, attended and joined with the citizens of the Upper Fishing Creek Valley in singing and giving praise to the veterans serving One Nation Under God. The Catawissa Military Band gave full measure, playing both before and during the services.
The Catawissa Military Band has been popular in this area for the past 125 years or more. The band was organized in 1878 when a number of players employed in the Reading Railroad shops broke off from an earlier group, the Union Brass Band. The new organization was originally known as Lewis' Band, after Archibald Lewis, the founder, first President, and solo cornetist. When the band was incorporated in 1879, the group officially adopted the name Catawissa Silver Cornet Band. For the first 35 years of its existence, C.H. Smith led the group. There was even a training school for the band in the form of a Boys Band organized by Prof. J.T. Berger.
If you really want to get technical, the band goes back even further than 1878 because it was an offshoot of two others bands in Catawissa, both playing before the Civil War. The names of the bands? Hold on, the names aren't your run of the mill names. The first was the Yapyaws, all shop employees of the Catawissa Railroad. There was also a German brass band known as the Guttersnipes.
We like to write from time to time about the way things were and we'll do that this morning with the year 1918. There were a number of familiar names in the graduating class and although you won't recognize all of the names, we'll list them: Cleora Fritz Fritz (Treasurer), Alice Fritz Knecht, Joseph Haney, Herman Hartman, Mildred Hess Harrington, Marea Hess Laubach, Marcella Hess Ash, Loren Hess, Leiand Hess, Frank Hosier, Doris Hummel Hosier, Harold Klinger (Class President), Ella Laubach, Eva Laubach Galloway, Beatrice Miller Longenberger, Sara Appleman, Dr. Clayton Mather, Dr. Earl Peterman, Ruth Taylor Keller, Gilbert Travelpiece, Helen Newman Ash (Secretary), Zeil Albertson Castle, Ruth Yocum McHenry, and Guy Hess.
The Class of 1918 had six students from the Borough and the rest came from the surrounding Townships and most from outside of town walked one to four miles each way over country roads for each day of high school from 1914-1918.
As Juniors, this class inaugurated a long-standing tradition in the high school--the yearbook. The first yearbook for the Benton Schools was published under the editorship of Earl A. Peterman, with Cleora W. Fritz as assistant editor. Following a hot political topic of the year 1917, the yearbook was named The Filibuster. The name filibuster means an attempt to obstruct a particular decision from being taken by using up the time available, typically through an extremely long speech. In 1917 a rule allowing for the cloture of debate (ending a filibuster) was adopted by the Democrat-controlled Senate at the urging of President Woodrow Wilson.
The Forward and Dedication of the "Filibuster" read, "We sincerely hope the Filibuster will build a foundation which will stand the test of time and on which the future classes may build their ideas, which will lead to a greater success in their work." The faculty of the school, however, had some reservations about an undertaking like a yearbook, and they inscribed in the yearbook "The staff ardently hopes that our readers will not scrutinize nor criticize our work to any great extend, so as to discourage the good qualities of our Student Body, but rather tend to encourage and thus increase the interest in this work. With this view in mind, the increase in interest and a much larger and better book is sure to follow." The class "decided to dedicate the first volume of the Year Book of the Benton High School, published in the year of 1917, to our principal, L.R. Appleman."
In 1918, the class adopted an original song, We'll Remember Thee, which became the high school song for some years after. On the national level, Food Administrator Herbert Hoover called for one meatless, two wheatless and one porkless days each week. Oh, and did we mention that in order to conserve energy in 1918 the nation had to endure four lightless nights a week and each person was limited to two pounds of sugar a month.
In 1918, the faculty of the school included L. R. Appleman, principal; Robert C. Wiggins, supervisor of agriculture; Russ Nuss, supervisor of homemaking; Blanche Shultz, assistant supervisor of homemaking; Earl Laubach, science and mathematics; and Leh Robbins, English.
Academic subjects were taught in the old school building which also housed the grade school. Vocational subjects were taught in the second-floor rooms of the Benton Bank building and in other rented quarters around town.
Members of the Board of Education of Benton Schools in 1918 were William C. Hosler, president; T.J. Coleman, vice president; T.C. Smith, secretary; L.F. Hartman and P. G. Shultz.
We'll give you some insight into the class and the town when we get time for a coffee break again on Tuesday morning at the same time and same place.
|November 6, 2005. November 6 is the 310th day of the year (311th in leap years), with 55 days remaining before we have to remember to correctly write the new year as 2006. If you use September 23 as your autumn starting point, there are 88 days in a fall season. We are considered halfway through the fall (autumn) on November 6. The God and Country Service is at the auditorium in the Benton Area High School tonight and Charles Hartzell celebrates his birthday today.
We also celebrate the 15th birthday of the World Wide Web this month. Back in November, 1990, a researcher in Europe at the CERN Particle Physics Laboratory, Tim Berners-Lee, developed the first web server and web browser. He called the server "httpd," and the browser was called WorldWideWeb. It all ran on his NeXT cube and worked exclusively on the NeXTstep operating system. The original WWW grew mainly out of the academia world, where source code was traded freely in the interest of promoting learning. The "View Source" feature, available in all browsers today, grew out of this environment.
If a new network were created to make the existing World Wide Web as we know it today "more better," special interest groups would certainly lobby to encumber it with legal restrictions and establish controls over the creation and distribution of content. The internet as we know it is a wonderful resource, although we will be the first to admit that there are "bad apples" who spoil it for the great majority. We would guess that any "more better" internet would fall on its face in bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo, and so we applaud the academic geeks who came up with the system we now have. A replacement system developed with Government oversight would probably never be an improvement to what we have today.
One thing to watch for. There is a furor by commercial interests over technology like Voice-over-IP (telephone service that uses the Internet as a global telephone network), possibly heading toward legal action. The internet was developed on the principle that the network does not care what bits are sent over it and that is exactly what made the World Wide Web so popular. Corporate interests are trying hard to undo this principle.
The Columbia-Montour Chapter of the Barbershoppers under the musical direction of Dale Thomas did the area proud Saturday night at their 38th annual showcase of barbershop harmony, which they called, "Strolling Through the Park." Featured were groups like, "Gentlemen's Blend," "New Found Sound," and the Susquehanna Valley Chorus and Quartets. Sharing the stage with these wonderful musicians and holding their own every step of the way was the Benton High School Choral Ensemble under the direction of Jennifer DiLossi. As one of the Benton singers told us after the show, "Miss DiLossi makes it all fun!" The nervous kids were soothed a bit before the show opened when the group, "Gentlemen's Blend," walked into their rehearsal room and sang their last song of the show for the group. The kids responded by appearing before the enthusiastic audience when it was their time singing all the songs but one from memory! This group--kids and teacher--is special! The Barbershopper of the Year award went to Dale Thomas, Musical Director.
We don't know if we should thank Ed Stevens for the sweet corn or if we should thank the ladies of St. James's Church for the sweet corn. Both certainly get a lot of credit for serving the wonderful creamed corn at the pork dinner at the church Saturday night. Frankly, it was the best we ever ate.
The Benton News will be having one of our periods again during the coming weeks, and so expect some disruption. We are heading to California--after we vote--the same day that Gov. Schwarzenegger faces a tough fight. He supports a referendum that makes it easier to fire teachers and it appears likely to be defeated. We will only be doing limited reporting as we head to the Left Bank of the United States for a family visit, specifically to the northern Santa Barbara County that was once a favorite getaway for Ronald and Nancy Reagan.
The former President liked to relax at his ranch chopping wood, clearing brush, building fences and riding horses. He shared the simple pleasures of the ranch with guests like the Queen of England and Mikhail Gorbachev. The entire ranch, along with the historic adobe ranch house, is now owned and preserved by the Young America's Foundation. Everything was in place exactly as it was when the Reagans lived there.
Kay and I will enjoy our time relaxing at the ranch of David and Heidi Kline . Our reports will be shorter through Monday, then they will arrive at irregular intervals because of the time difference. We will be operating from Laptop Lillian and so for email readers who do not receive their copy of the Benton News, simply email us and we'll send you a copy and make sure that you are added to our "damaged" mailing list that Lillian has.
Hunting, fishing, drawing, and music occupied my every moment. Cares I knew not, and cared naught about them.
|Nationally, hunting is having a problem, just as declining membership in many organizations is creating a problem for their survival. The number of hunters is down 7% since 1991, according to a recent U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey. Juniors from 18 to 24 are down over a third in the same period. Nationally, the number of hunting licenses has been essentially flat from 2001 to 2004. Locally, hunting may be down as much as 40% over the past five years, according to a consensus of hunters getting their ears lowered Saturday morning in Ed Cole's Barber Shop. Jay Yorks said that a reason is that "younger ones aren't hunting and the old ones can't get around like they used to." Clair Harvey, President of the Fishing Creek Sportsmen's Club, feels that hunting is down at "least 30%," saying that "fathers aren't hunting," and that the "wildlife isn't there on the state game lands." Clair also made the point that most hunters don't have sufficient land to put on "drives," the way we used to hunt. There are few ringnecks and rabbits, although the turkey population is good and the deer populaton is "spotty."
The reason that hunting is having a hard time may be that contrary to rumors that spring up from time to time, guns will never be taken away in this country but our wildlife, its habitat and our access to it is. There just isn't as much land available for hunting as there once was. There is a gradual spread of real estate development and with it comes the posting of land and the "No Trespassing" signs. All-terrain vehicles roar past as we level our gun sights, and the fish and the game disappear. New, confusing and complex rules are added all the time on how, when and where game can be shot. License fees are increasing and one local bird hunter gave us interesting statistics on hunting birds in New York state vs. Pennsylvania.
On the positive side, the Bush administration has started 67 new hunting programs on national wildlife refuges. Locally, the Fishingcreek Sportsmen's Club has long attempted to purchase land along streams in order that fisherman have access to streams and to promote tourism to the area. Recently, a conservancy group--the Williamsport-based North central Pennsylvania Conservancy--started to place easements on privately-owned land in order to preserve it for future generations. The Conservancy plans to add easement language on Fishingcreek Sportsmen's Club land along Fishing Creek to ensure that the public has access forever to the creek. An initiative in the Pennsylvania legislature would permit children of any age to hunt deer, turkey and other game alongside of their parents or other adults.
So what is ahead for hunters and fishermen? Clair Harvey feels that "it is headed downhill and it's got me worried." He feels that the reduced number of hunters is opening the door for the "anti-gun crowd."
|Saturday, November 5, 2005. Connie Dressler Fulton had bile duct surgery Friday. She came through the operation fine, although she will be in ICU for a time.
We often refresh our memories of Jamison City, the Elk Tanning Co., its vat house and drying rooms, the Central Pennsylvania Lumber Company, the acid factory, the hotels, the log trains that shuttled between Emmons and Jamison City and the Bloomsburg and Sullivan trains that steamed to Bloomsburg and back, the rows of identical, dark red houses of the section known as Germantown and the saw mill workers who lived in the section known as Hoboken. But we rarely associate Jamison City with a brass band, and yet the town had one--a good one, by all reports.
The Citizens Band of Jamison City was a twelve-piece musical group consisting mostly of brass instruments, with the addition of a drum and a bass drum. The make-up of the band was somewhat like a Salvation Army band. The instruments included the two drums, alto horns, some coronets, a tuba, two trombones, two baritone horns.
The United States loved their brass bands during the late 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century. Composers like the March King John Philip Sousa and Karl King wrote many pieces for them. Most towns had their own bands that put on weekend music concerts, and played at Farmer's Picnics and carnivals. In some towns large factories would often have a band. Today, the United States boasts a number of professional brass bands, including Pittsburgh's River City Brass Band.
In the picture, the third man from the left is Ezra Skow, Betty Fritz Victory's uncle, a man who lived in Jamison City and Bloomsburg. This picture was apparently taken before Ezra went into World War I in 1917. Charles A. Laubach, Sr., former advertising manager for the Berwick Enterprise, played in the band when he was a boy.
• Benton Area School Board
|• Benton Borough/Jackson Township, four-year term (vote for two): Phillip Edson, D/R, Nicole Shultz, D/R.|
|• Benton Township/Sugarloaf Township: Robert Ridall, D, Bruce Hess, R. Write-in: Robert Zettle, R. Vote for one.|
|• Fishingcreek Township/Stillwater Borough: Lanny Conner, D/R|
• Benton Borough
|• Mayor: Richard Henderson, D; Janet Swan, R.|
|• Member of Council, two-year term: Michael McCormick, R.|
|• Member of Council, four-year term: John Herbert Laubach, D; Allen Hess, R; John Jankowski, R. Ron Roberts, R, Daniel Hartman, D, write-in. Vote for three.|
|• Tax Collector: Carolyn Remley, R.|
• Benton Township
|• Supervisor, six-year term: Gerald Houseweart, D; Richard Ashelman, R.|
|• Tax Collector, four-year term: Cathy Gordon, D/R.|
|• Auditor, six-year term: Glen Ashelman, R.|
• Fishingcreek Township
|• Supervisor, six-year term: Randall Laubach, R.|
|• Tax Collector, four-year term: Shirley M. Good, D|
|• Auditor, six-year term: George Wech, R.|
|• Judge of Elections: Rick Posey, R.|
• Jackson Township
|• Supervisor, six-year term: Justin Moyer, D; Ronald Robbins, R.|
|• Inspector of Election: Shirley Fullmer, D; Cindy Hittle, R.|
• Sugarloaf Township
|• Supervisor, two-year term: Edd Sidinger, III, R.|
|• Supervisor, six-year term: Jerry E. Laubach, R.|
|• Tax Collector, four-year term: Shirley Lockard, R.|
|• Inspector of Election: Virginia Temple, D; Mary Ruth Holmes, R.|
• Stillwater Borough
|• Member of Council, four-year term: James P. Kline, Jr., D. Earl W. Weaver, Sr., D/R. Four to be elected.|
The Amish have a saying, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." Why is it that when something makes that much sense we ignore that advice?
The seasons change gradually and continually.
A philosopher once said that it is good to remind ourselves every day that we will eventually die. And as we approach the end of things, which is better to do one last time, sit in front of a computer or take a long walk among the trees?
Let us all enjoy this Fall and this beautiful day Back Home in Benton, PA.
Friday we said that the former Fritz Hill School was still standing. A reader promptly asked to see what it--sob--looks like today.
|Michele Gould saw the story about the plight of the Fritz Hill School and immediately emailed to say that she had some ideas (excellent ones, by the way) on how to raise some money to preserve the school. We suspect that this subject is not yet over.|
|November 4, 2005. It is the birthday of Carley Jane Kocher, Casey McHenry and Jeannette Hartman. Connie Dressler Fulton faces bile duct surgery in Rochester, New York, this morning. Please keep Connie in your prayers. There are 47 days until the official start of Winter and two days until the God and County Services Sunday night at the Benton Area School auditorium.
• Louisiana got a wake-up call when they opened their mail recently. The state received a bill from FEMA for an amount--$3.7 billion--that is about half of the state's annual budget for its portion of disaster relief costs.
Little has molded the character of the early inhabitants of the upper Fishing Creek valley more than the country church and the one-room country school.
Betty Fritz Victory identifed all the students. They are:
1. Ivan Huff
2. Robert Fritz
3. Arley Comstock
4. Arthur Comstock
5. Hildred Davis
6. Corola Cole
7. Mary Kile
8. Melvin Smith
9. Josephine Marr
10. Eleanor Hess
11. Lizzie Davis
12. Teacher, Peggy Fritz
13. Elzada Comstock
14. Orval Comstock
15. Ezekiel Marr
For more information on one-room schools in our area, visit FEATURES at the top of this page. Look for the section on the one-room schools.
|Those of us who grew up on a farm know that we ate hearty and well. We worked hard and ate hard and our storage rooms were filled to last until the Spring. Although to a large extent storing of provisions had passed by the time I came into the world, our cellars still contained apples, potatoes, turnips, barrels of cider and barrels of sauerkraut, and a big supply of lard. Elsewhere was stored apple butter, dried onions, garlic, peaches, apples, and dried herbs. We had our pickle jars and jars of preserves and we had our salted or smoked bacon and venison. Other families had the same in mutton and beef.
Meat was the staff of life for most farmers. Early farmers who "milked" their livestock until about all life was gone from the animal, survived on our native animals like deer, bear, turkey, grouse and squirrel. Meat was everywhere in the wild and hogs that foraged in the woods for practically all their food was a cheap way of getting fine meat.
For those of us who were Pennsylvania Germans, butchering in late November was a big event. It took place when the days only reached about 40° and the pasture was too far gone to provide good feed for the animal. Feed would be withheld for a day before the butchering, just to make the job a little easier. The person who did the dastardly deed, often to the accompaniment of crying from younger members of the family, would draw their .22 until they mentally connected a line from the top of each ear to the opposite eye. Where the lines crossed is where the bullet entered.
The event began as soon as the morning chores were over. A huge fire would be built and the pigs that weighed 200 to 250 pounds would be butchered, scalded to make the hair easier to remove and hung up so the innards could easily be removed. The rest of the day would be spent in cutting up meat, making sausage, liverwurst and scrapple, rendering lard, and then moving the ham and the bacon to smoke houses. Everyone who helped butcher took some meat home and some meat was shared with the more unfortunate of the area.
I was actually too young to help much with butchering, but I did form definite opinions that remain with me to this day. Pig ears and tail might be good to flavor a pot of beans. Hooves might be good for something for someone. Blood sausage, head cheese, souse (ears, head and feet cooked together) and lungs might be your cup of tea, but for me I chose to skip these pig parts.
Advertisement from an issue of the Benton Argus in 1913
|There isn't any point of continuing this subject. Somehow I have worked up an appetite for a stack of cakes topped off by some sausage. We'll continue this some other day. "Times a-waistin'," as Snuffy Smith often said.
|November 3, 2005. Whittier and Joyce Letteer, Stillwater, celebrate 54 years of marriage today. Doug Pennington celebrates his birthday, his 12th, and looks forward to his first day of hunting Saturday. Dan McHenry celebrates his birthday.
Bible Baptist Church, "up the dug" from the Route 487 and Route 239 intersection (next to the Benton Township Building), will be hosting missionaries during its Month of Missions starting Sunday, November 6, through Sunday, November 20. Sunday School starts at 9:15 AM, Morning Worship Service is at 10:30 AM and the evening service is at 7:00 PM. For more information, contact Pastor Paul Moseley, 925-2592.
We didn't fare well with accuracy in recent editions of the Benton News.
. A reader pointed out that "Claud" Sutliff was misspelled in the original dedication program of the Sugarloaf Consolidated School back in 1927. We recognized that the spelling was suspect, but we faithfully followed the original spelling. The reader validly made that point that "Somebody makes a mistake; nobody corrects it; years and years later someone repeats the mistake and it goes on and on." The correct spelling was "Claude" and we have corrected the web page. The reader then gave us an example of why correcting past mistakes is important. The reader wrote that he remembers reading Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnaped when he was a kid and swears it was spelled with a single "P." He continued, "And everybody spelled it kidnap, kidnaped, kidnaper, kidnaping. But today it's almost always spelled with two Ps I think one P is sufficient, especially first thing in the morning."
. Michael Lehet commented on a column earlier this week that mentioned Michelangelo and how he lay on his back to paint the Sistine Chapel. Michael just finished reading Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling, and commented that "One of the major obstacles that Michelangelo and his team encountered was how could they erect scaffolding so they could paint the ceiling. It was more than 60 feet from the bottom of the ceiling to the floor of the chapel, so they couldn't erect regular scaffolding. Someone suggested they "hang" from the ceiling. There was no way that they could suspend the scaffolding from the ceiling, because that would have involved placing ropes/tiedowns into the ceiling itself and there would be no way to cover those areas up after the scaffolding was moved. What they actually ended up doing was building a curved bridge from one side of the chapel ceiling to the other that matched the profile of the ceiling and used the sides of the chapel as support. This way they didn't have to rely on support from the ground or ropes from the ceiling. With the curved bridges they were able to actually stand upright and paint just like they would do if they were at ground level."
. Donald Rabb offered some addition information about Prof. George Keller, following our article about him appearing at the 1938 Farmer's Picnic. Don writes, "When I took George Keller's Appreciation of Art course in the fall of 1940, he asked if I were Doc Rabb's son." Don asked how the professor knew his father. Keller said that Doc Rabb and Percy Brewington came down to ask him to bring his collection to exhibit at the Farmer's Picnic. Keller told them that he did not have the money to rent a big tent. Doc Rabb said that they would get the money for him and that he should bring his collection of animals to Benton. The professor told Donald that he grossed $3,000 that one day and he got $2,100 for a year teaching at BSTC. He was very grateful that Doc Rabb set him up in the park in 1938.
Over coffee on Wednesday morning, we heard of some new ailments that had never occurred to us. One of the ailments was a finger that shot straight out without warning and without provocation, and then it would not clench for an hour or so. Another was a wrist bone that suddenly "acted up." At the next table, a man interrupted his coffee drinking to tell us about his "trick knee," which prompted someone else to tell us about the new trick he had just taught his dog. We listened to these conversations and knew that it was the onslaught of old age, the same reason that keys carefully laid on the dining room table are found on top of the TV set and the TV clicker is found on top of the dining room table. A wallet carefully inserted into a rear pocket is found under the driver's seat in the car. A happening from "outside forces?" Methinksnot! It is the advent of a new stage in our lives--growing old.
The Benton Grange # 88 met at 6:30 PM Wednesday at the home of Brian and Ann Bower. This might be the last meeting of the Benton Grange. The local grange has an enthusiastic membership, but more members are needed in order to make the organization a success.
We now return to the Pacific saga as recorded by Bob Maynes.
On December 15, 1944, the invasion of Mindoro began. The clear weather allowed the full use of American air and naval power, including six escort carriers, three battleships, six cruisers and many other support warships against virtually no Japanese resistance. Even the ensuing landings went unopposed. The 1,000 defending Japanese, along with some 200 survivors from ships sunk off Mindoro en route to Leyte could do little.
Chepachet sailed on to fueling operations in Lingayen Gulf on January 11, when she aided those ships which had just carried out the successful assaults there. Bob wrote, "the beach was still covered with smoke and the DDs and the DEs are throwing shells at it. It actually looks like civilization at last." At night the Japanese would swim out under boxes and throw grenades at the ship until they would be killed by rifle fire. They sent motor boats with torpedoes and dynamite to ram the ship. Every Japanese plane that flew over attempted to dive bomb one of the estimated 1,000 American ships tied up. The weather was so rough on January 11, that Bob almost washed off the ship as he slept on deck in his hammock. On January 15, Chepachet reported at newly won San Fabian for station tanker duty, which continued there and at Mindanao until June 4.
The oilier then put to sea for the Borneo operation, sailing to Tawi Tawi for staging. From June 21-26, Chepachet was at sea fueling the bombardment group which carried out an intensive preparatory pounding at Balikpapan, and on June 30, the oiler returned to Balikpapan for the assault the next day. She remained off the Borneo coast until July 19, supporting the assault and occupation, then returned to Subic Bay for operations in the Luzon area until the close of the war.
Chepachet aided in occupation and redeployment operations throughout the Far East with station duty at Jinsen, Korea; Hong Kong; Okinawa; and Tokyo until December 9, 1945, when she sailed for Pearl Harbor. She returned to Yokohama January 29, offloaded her cargo, and sailed for home February 4. She arrived at San Francisco February 21. Chepachet was decommissioned May 16, 1946, and in July, 1950, was transferred to the Military Sea Transportation Service for service in a noncommissioned status.
Chepachet received two battle stars for World War 11 service.
Robert Maynes, of Lehetville, just north of Benton, organized a reunion of former shipmates in September, 1998, and the group convened in Rhode Island at--well, you guessed it. The reunion took place in Chepachet. Bob told the assembled group of men what they all knew in World War II--there was no need for life jackets in their line of work riding an oil tanker, but if they ever were hit, a parachute would come in handy. At that reunion, the brass bell tolled 53 times.
In 1931 and 1932, the girls of the Sugarloaf Consolidated School played basketball in a two-year high school league that included Fishing Creek, Center Township and Madison Township, and possibly others.
Basketball was played outside, where the parking lot is now located.
Girl's Basketball at the Sugarloaf Consolidated School, 1931
First row, from the L: June Hess Sones, Gwendlyn Ruckle, Letha Peterman Smith, Pauline Comstock Houseweart, Rhoda Laubach Cole
Seond row, from the L: Hester Plastow, Clara Hess Mika, Madelyn Kile Funk, Dorthea Stout Mather
Picture courtesy of Cinda Hartman, Berwick
Girls Basketball at the Sugarloaf Consolidated School, 1932.
In 1932, the girls basketball team was the conference champs. The team show above was under the skillful direction of Earl "Pops" Laubach.
Members of the team were, from the L, first row: Dorothea Stout, Hester Plastow, Gwendlyn Ruckle, Pauline Comstock, Ruth Yocum, Isabele Rickmer, Clara Hess Mika.
Second row, from the L: Margaret Yocum, Sara Achanley (sp?), Blanche Pavalonis, Alice McHenry, Katherine (?), Earl Laubach
The Guv has announced that Pennsylvania is taking "aggressive steps to clean up its rivers and streams, improve parks, revitalize abandoned industrial sites and protect open space and preserve farmland." The announcement indicated that the state is investing $65 million in environmental projects. Locally, Ricketts Glen State Park is slated to receive $2.4 million for park development, including "replacing a bathhouse and two comfort stations in beach, day-use, and organized group tent areas, including utilities; and developing trailhead parking, comfort stations and trails at the Lake Rose area."
|November 2, 2005. On this date in 1947, Howard Hughes flew the Spruce Goose on its only flight. The government contracted with Hughes Aircraft Company to build a behemoth long-distance plane that could take off and land on the water. Designed to hold 750 fully equipped troops or two Sherman-class tanks, the wingspan was longer than a football field and it was powered by eight huge propeller-powered engines. Hughes could find little metal to build such a plane and the war ended before the H-4 was completed in 1946. Congress, with no tolerance for waste or incompetence outside its own halls, ordered Howard Hughes to prove that the plane could fly. With Hughes himself at the controls, the craft took off and reached an altitude of 70 feet traveling about a mile before landing.
Upcoming musical events...
Thanksgiving comes right before Christmas and right after Halloween and the election. We will be ever so happy to concentrate on Thanksgiving rather than the election. We remember that our parents would collect some of their favorite people on election day and we can remember them talking about the Dewey/Truman election. After voting, the women would all collect some of their favorite casseroles and the men would collect some clear beverages with names like "O.B. Special" and head into the mountains with their radios. They would head up Grassy Hollow road and out of the view of the rest of the world. They all headed for Painter Den, up in Sullivan County, and there in the flickering light provided by carbide lamps would listen intently to the radio and the results of the election. The broadcast on election night began at 8 PM Eastern Standard Time and ran until after midnight. Various announcers would read the bulletins as they came in. The evening was always a smashing success, even if the election came out differently from what was wanted.
There was a lot of mischief going on Monday night. In Carlisle, a woman wielding an 8-inch butcher knife chased a friend around about midnight, possibly as a joke, but the knife was covered in fake blood and looked very realistic. Police charged the pair with disorderly conduct. Several reports of mischief in the Borough were also reported Monday night.
Southern Columbia outkicked the boys of Benton 17-5 as Columbia won 3-1 in the match-up at Millville Tuesday to get a second straight berth in the PIAA tournament. Harry Schlichter had 10 saves at the goal. The boys of Benton had a great year in soccer and we congratulate them for that.
John Hopkins will discuss the history of logging in the area at the North Mountain Historical Society meeting Monday, November 21, at the Brass Pelican Restaurant. John, an experienced forester, will talk about "the boom years" of Jamison City, Elk Grove, Ricketts and the surrounding area and how that era of logging, sawmilling and tanning leather has effected our forest environment today. He will also touch on the current state of our local forests and forest industry in comparison to a hundred years ago.
I'm saving stamps and foreign coins
We are taking a one-day break in the story written by Bob Maynes about his Pacific experiences during World War II. We'll return to it Thursday.
A reader dropped off a tintype and asked if I could estimate the age of it. I won't pussy-foot around with the answer: I haven't a clue when it was taken and my only clue is to attempt to research the style of clothing the man in the tintype wore. Tintypes were so popular that they were used up to the World War II. A tintype, for the benefit of younger readers, is a direct positive photograph on black-enameled iron plates. This photograph process was an outgrowth of the collodian method of making negatives on glass invented by Frederick Scott Archer in 1851. The photos were exposed and developed inside the camera in a developing tank reached through a light-tight black sleeve. After development, the plate was rinsed in water and mounted in a cardboard folder and given to the customer. Although primitive by today's standards, thousands of these photographs remain.
Some may remember and some may have heard that in...
We are indebted to Dorthea Stout Mather for her contributions to this article. You will see more of Dorthea in Thursday's Benton News as we look at some of the activities of the school in 1931 and 1932.
| November 1, 2005. Gloria Milnarik and Ethel Kelsey celebrate their birthdays today, and Ethel and husband Ken also celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary today. We hate to see Ken and Ethel sell their fine Ford Class C motor home that has given them so many hours of winter fun over the years, but it sets on Fifth Street with a "For Sale" sign on it.
On this date in 1512, Michelangelo Buonarroti's paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican were revealed to the public for the first time. Michelangelo painted the frescoes while lying on his back on a scaffolding. Michelangelo's painting were based on the Old Testament, including the famous center section, The Creation of Adam. The painting took four years.
Many houses in Benton looked ominous, forbidding and spooky last night as a record number of trick-or-treaters walked the town's streets on a perfectly wonderful Halloween night. A crush of kids and their parents with the fright stuff marched through the Borough streets, hands outstretched, wearing their fright-night decor. Rarely were two alike.
Our favorite question of the night came from a woman with two little children as she anxiously looked West on Market Street and quickly inquired, "Are there lotsa houses down this way?"
The fact that dead men don't tell tales
Many readers will remember and others may recall when...
Omar Ellis Snyder, (May 5, 1917-Oct. 30, 2005) a Unityville/Lairdsville man with ties to the local Ritter family, died Sunday at the Bloomsburg Hospital. He was 88. He was born in Moreland Township, Lycoming County, to the late John S. and Anna L. (Smith) Snyder and worked as a chemist for the Atlantic Richfield Refining Corp. He is survived by his wife Leona E. (Rupert) Ritter, and children David Snyder and daughter, Dr. Louise Snyder Shive; two stepsons: Bert (Eileen) Ritter, Belleview, FL, and Dr. Earl (Rose) Ritter, Bloomsburg; one sister, Clara Douty; grandsons and great-grandson; step-grandchildren Dena Hess and Dr. Matthew Ritter, Bloomsburg, and Linsay Guevarez, Virginia; and step-great-grandchild, Jona Ritter. His first wife, the former Betty McKenzie, died in 1983. There are five brothers and three sisters: Chester Smith, Clinton, Dewey, Ralph and Albert Snyder, and Edna Cahn, Elizabeth Dyer and Louise Snyder. The service will be 11 AM Wednesday at Moreland Baptist Church, Muncy, with interment in Moreland Lutheran Cemetery, Muncy. Friends may call at the church from 10 to 11 AM Wednesday.
Have you ever noticed that some men make fools of themselves when they fall in love, and others don't have to go to that much trouble.
The story of the U.S.S. Chepachet as recorded by Bob Maynes in his World War II diary that originally appeared here has been moved to the FEATURES section.