October 31, 2008. Rick Wilson and Rod Vincent celebrate their birthdays today. It is fitting that today is Halloween, because this October has been one of the scariest months on record. Yesterday's news was that the U.S. economy has shrunk--hardly a surprise to anyone. The blue-chip measure ended 189.73 points higher, up 2.1%, at 9180.69.
Happy All Saints Day, or Happy All Hallows'(meaning hallowed or holy) Day, the day we normally call Halloween. The observance is based on a Celtic holiday called Samhain marking the death night of the old year and the end of the harvest. November 1 became known as All Saints Day, or All Hallows Day, and honored Christian saints and martyrs based on the Medieval belief that dead saints regularly intervened in the affairs of the living. On All Saints Day, churches put bones of the saints on display and held mass for the living. On All Hallows Eve, "Soul Cakes" were baked and set on doorsteps for the poor, bonfires were lit and lanterns carved from turnips to ward off ghosts of the dead.
The annual Benton, Millville, Shickshinny and New Columbus Borough Trick or Treat and the Stillwater Christian Church "trunk-or-treat" takes place tonight. Dressing up in costumes and scurrying from door to door for treats dates to the Middle Ages when the poor would beg door to door, receiving food in return for offering prayers for the dead on All Souls Day. Shakespeare wrote about the custom in Two Gentlemen of Verona in a reference to "a beggar at Hallowmas." Like the Halloween parade, this is a big night in the Borough.
For those readers who do not know if they are "too old to Trick or Treat," here are some guidelines. If you get winded from knocking on doors or if you have to have a kid chew the candy for you or if you only use high-fiber candy, or if you lose your balance and fall over when someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you might want to skip Trick or Treat this year. If people say "great James Carville mask" and you're not wearing a mask, or when the door opens and you yell "Trick or--" and can't remember the rest, or if you have to choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece, or if you go as a Power Ranger and need to use your walker, we suspect that you should skip Trick or Treat this year.
Last night was "trick-or-treat" night in Camp Hill. On Market Street in Benton, with a large parking lot across the street from my house, something around 200 pieces of candy in one form or another, are passed out on trick-or-tret night. Sixteen stopped for candy last night in Camp Hill.
This is the first anniversary weekend celebration of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The festivities begin with a "Monster Ball" open to the public tonight from 7 to 11. The Monster Ball will have music, dancing, a costume contest and soft drinks. Everyone is asked to bring a tasty Halloween treat to share. The celebration will continue on Saturday noon to 6 PM, and Sunday noon to 4 PM with an open house for the public. There will be anniversary cake, cider, ice tea, coffee and finger foods for refreshments. The Center will be open to the public with informational tours.
Saturday night at 7, "String Theory" will present a benefit concert at the Raven Creek Community Hall. There is no admission charge. There will be refreshments, and proceeds from desserts, coffee and an offering will go to the benefit of Camp Krisland supporting camping for children. "String Theory" is made up of Jeanie and Rev. Al Lumpkin, Warren and Ann Fisher, and Judy Ellis. The same group will perform at Christmas at locations like the Benton Presbyterian Church. Saturday evening's music will include the sounds of Appalachian old time, Celtic, bluegrass, and a bit of folk music, along with some spiritual music.
This is a skimpy edition. I am out of town, but my email was not turned off in Benton, so I am not getting any email where I am. All my email is being dumped in Benton while I sit in front of my laptop expecting something to arrive. Nothing. That email situation will basically remain that way until I return to Benton on election day.
It is the day after the broadcast of the radio program "The War of the Worlds," which took place on the eve of Halloween, October 30, 1938. The broadcast sent a million and a half readers into a tizzy. The effects of that broadcast were still being felt on Halloween day. Orson Welles, 23, took the book by H.G. Wells and broadcast the general idea of the book in a series of bulletins interrupting regular broadcasting.
Orson Welles had explained the premise of the program when the program began broadcasting about 9 PM, but not that many initially tuned in, choosing instead to listen to Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Welles weaved in and out from music to bulletins, and then back to the broadcast. One man who lived near Grovers Mills, New Jersey, got so frenzied that he took his shotgun outside to defend his family and blew the town water tower to smithereens. You can read more about that episode here.
The Governor of Pennsylvania offered troops to the Governor of New Jersey after he heard the broadcast. Panic ensued into Halloween Day in some places. The rumor began that the burning garbage dumps in the meadowlands of New Jersey were proof of the Martians burning, looting and killing.
The program was replayed in 1947 via Radio Quito for the citizens of Ecuador, who promptly panicked at the rebroadcast of Welles’ script. Eventually the natives found out the truth about the "War of the Worlds." In turn, they marched on the radio station and burned it to the ground killing one broadcaster. You can listen to the actual broadcast by heading here.
Good photography is always a pleasure. The photos at http://www.deyoungoutdoorphotography.com are no exception.
When we say that we are going to "talk turkey," we mean that we are going to say nice things, we are going to speak agreeably and frankly and directly to the heart of the business at hand. Before we get down to business, however, we take the time to wonder if the expression of talking turkey had its origins around the Thanksgiving table or if native Americans and early colonists had a slight altercation over something as simple as a wild turkey. One explanation that we heard suggested was that a colonist and a native American went bird hunting and agreed to share their kill equally. At the end of the day, four crows and four turkeys had been bagged. The colonist tried to divvy up the spoils by saying, "here’s a crow for you" to the Indian, then keeping a turkey to himself, giving another crow to the Indian, and so on. At this point the Indian very reasonably protested, saying "you talk all turkey for you. Only talk crow for Indian."
The Weight Watchers Group at The Center can be proud this morning. Last night at weighing, the group had lost 167 pounds over last week. With the determination of this group, we betcha each week will improve. We'll tune in next week and see how they are doing. In the meantime, as a member of the class or not, forget those second helpings! Another class forms in January for those who missed out on this capacity class.
October 30, 2008. Congratulations to the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies, the winner of the 2008 World Series--the first for the team in 28 years. The Phils finished off the Tampa Bay Rays 4-3 in three innings to win the World Series on Wednesday in a suspended Game 5 Version A nearly 50 hours after it started. The bottom line for the series: Phils 4, Rays, 1. The next national championship comes with Penn State!
A major Orangeville fire late last night had firemen scrambling from all over the county as the Main Street Pizza Shop building burned, catching two apartments and an adjacent house on fire. The October 30 Press Enterprise noted that "Benton crews used fire-suppressing foam to fight the flames." Demolition equipment was called to clean-up the mess. The building was the former site of the Orangeville Fire Company.
There will NOT be a meeting of the Benton Rodeo tonight. The next meeting will be Jan. 29, 2009 at 7 PM at the Benton Twp. Building. There will be a work day on Sunday, November 2, at 1 PM to winterize the rodeo grounds.
The Fed slashed its benchmark rate Wednesday to 1%, a four-year low. The Dow industrials swung in nearly a 450-point range after the Fed cut rates, posting both its intraday high and its low in the last 15 minutes of trading. In the final 12 minutes of trading--from the post-rate-cut high to the closing bell--the Dow nosedived by an alarming 372 points! It ended down 0.8% at 8990.96. The reaction came as investors realized that rates can not fall below zero, no one can force banks to lend money, or make consumers borrow or make people spend money.
The Benton Halloween Parade float winners were
• First, First Columbia Bank
• Second, Robert Chamberlin & Friends
• Third, Country Fresh Market
• Fourth, Stoney Acres nursery
The Benton Lions Club thanks everyone who "came out and braved the cold weather, thanks to all who made the parade a success again this year, and thanks for their help and donations."
You can play a game of Halloween hangman by heading to www.dedge.com/flash/halloween/.
Didja ever notice that you accept what I say more readily if you know that Benjamin Franklin or Abraham Lincoln said it first?
Pennsylvania Game Commission officials announced tests conducted on a knife allegedly used by Samuel Fisher, 42, Lancaster County, indicated that Fisher did not shoot a mountain lion October 9. Using data from a police helicopter equipped wih thermal imaging cameras and search dogs and samples collected from multiple sites at the incident, investigating officers announced that they found no evidence of mountain lion hair or scat or tracks at, around or in the vicinity of the alleged incident. Charges may be filed against Fisher for making false or fraudulent statements.
The local I.O.O.F. lodges, the former Benton Lodge #667, F&AM, the Odd Fellows Lodges, the local grange, the short-lived "Stag Roister D'Oister" and other exclusive men's organizations had a role in the history of Benton and have often been discussed in the Benton News, but the Benton area has never had a "Groundhog Lodge."
Groundhog Lodges began in the Allentown area with the first lodge (Nummer Ains) formed in 1933. In their first big lodge meeting the following year, 275 showed up from Lehigh, Northampton, Bucks and Berks counties. The following year, more than 600 attended.
Lodge names are unusual; i.e., Lodge #2 on da Schibbach, Souderton, Lodge #5 on da Schwador im Bind Bush, Pine Grove. All the lodges have adjacent to their numbers the name of a river or creek, because the animal they honor prefers a place by a stream of water. Groundhog Day is a big event in the lodges, simply called "the day" by the members--der Dawg in Pennsylvania German. It is the single day of the year when the Grundsow informs his dedicated watchers when winter will end by issuing his Wedder Barichda, his weather forecast. Stirring music is played and a ten-foot tall papier-mâché groundhog is wheeled into the room. A proclamation is then read, worded to fit the weather conditions that predict the following six weeks.
A meeting of a Groundhog Lodge is roughly in the following order: First is the moment of silence, the Ruichy Minut, followed by a group sing of America in dialect, a pledging of allegiance to the flag of the United States, a reading of the minutes, and an oath-swearing ceremony. The men stand, raise their hands and take their Ferbinnerrei, or annual oath. Songs are usually sung in the dialect and a few of the larger lodges have their own bands. Competitors in the weather-forecasting business are scoffed at, such as the Calendar Woman or the wooly caterpillar. A huge meal follows, made up of a salad with hot-bacon dressing, apple butter and cottage cheese, a main course with all the trimmings, with "goose wine" (water) to drink, following by "belching mints." The festival speech ends the evening.
The purpose of the evening is to perpetuate Pennsylvania Dutch traditions and the groundhog is merely the catalyst for the occasion. Because the dialect is the key to the evening, penalties are assessed to those who slip up and utter a word in English. What is with this critter called a groundhog?
The groundhog is sometimes called a whistle pig by the French Canadians because the critter occasionally whistles when it is startled. Around Hudson Bay, you'll hear it sometimes called a "thickwood badger" and in Alaska it is sometimes called a "tarbagan." It is often called a woodchuck. It is short-legged, heavy set and is generally a dirty brown. Regardless of what it is called, the groundhog lives, as they say in California, in pretty remarkable digs.
Its burrow is dug in the slope of a hill or by the side of a big stone--or where a horse might step. The critter makes an excavation twenty or thirty feet long which descends four or five feet from the entrance to his home, then gradually rises to a large round chamber where the groundhog family sleeps and bring up their young. The little ones are born three to eight at a time.
Farmers sometimes break into one of the critter's holes when he makes the mistake of traveling directly over his opening, although the farmer is not likely to feel as unkindly toward the groundhog as when farmers used horses. The legislators of New Hampshire at one time hated the animal so much that the state put a 10¢ bounty on the hide. Hunters don't go after them because the fur is worthless and the meat is not exactly palatable. I asked a number of hunters if they ever ate groundhog and many of the older ones said they had. I then asked when the last time was they had it. The usual response is "when I was a kid." Yeah, right! If it was so good, how come you haven't eaten one in fifty years?
I was told that "Woodchuck can be quite tasty if disguised properly. My mother makes a nasty woodchuck stroganoff. In fact not too many years ago she was challenged by her preacher that if she served him any type of wild game he would know it. She took him up on this challenge and made woodchuck stroganoff which she not only served to him, but also to lots of other people who attended a church fellowship meal. Her preacher found it to be very tasty and wasn't aware of what he ate until the following day when it was brought to his attention at church. I understand he found no humor in this and was rather upset with her."
Except for being a nuisance, the groundhog doesn't much bother anyone. He is strictly a vegetarian and loves clover and grass. He generally stayed out of Mother's garden, enjoying instead open fields and rocky hillsides. The first rains that fall after the farmer finishes his first crop of hay brings up a new stand of grass. The groundhog seems to fall in love with eating the young tender hay during the latter part of August and the beginning of September. The animal becomes increasingly fat and inert. About the end of September or perhaps a bit later, the animal goes into winter quarters and it doesn't come back out to face the world until the middle of March. Allen Hess says he has seen them up to the beginning of deer season.
I can't think of a more remarkable example of a hibernating mammal. It doesn't lay up a store of provisions as does the squirrel. The food that it eats is not available in the winter, so the groundhog must sleep or he'll starve to death. It disappears with regularity within a few days of the autumnal equinox and remains underground until about the time when the sun cuts the plane of the equator at the vernal equinox. Often the weather is still very warm when it retires for the winter. And in the spring it often makes an appearance in March when snow is still on the ground. It is forced to make long treks to find patches of grass not covered by snow. The animal is thin, a mere shadow of his size the preceding fall.
Scientists have studied the animal during the term of hibernation. Physical waste is minimal, its heart beats very slowly and its breathing can only be detected by some sort of delicate instrument. Even pet groundhogs kept in a house follow the same rules of hibernation. Groundhogs in the south, however, do have periods of waking up when it goes out to get something to eat. The hibernating is simply a device of nature--one of the mysteries of nature--to insure that the animal can get along without food when there is no food to be had. If he didn't hibernate, the species would become extinct.
I suspect that there isn't a use for the groundhog that is worth mentioning. The same goes for porcupines, but that is a story for another day.
Warren A. Ertwine Jr. (Nov. 15, 1940-Oct. 27, 2008), 67, died Monday at his home at 929 Fowlersville Road, Berwick. He was 67. He was a son of the late Warren A. Ertwine Sr. and Izora Viola (Hosler) Ertwine. He was born in Berwick and was employed as a North Centre Township supervisor. Surviving are his widow, Mary Ellen (Boston) Ertwine, with whom he celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary on July 2; daughters: Deborah A. Hayes and Karen L. Miccio, both of North Centre Township; and three grandchildren. Also surviving are his siblings David C. Ertwine, Harrisburg; William W. "Woody" Ertwine (Alice), Benton; Darlene K. Moss (David), Raven Creek; Donna L. Stiger (Marvin), Waverly, New York; Cynthia E. Howey (Peter), Stroudsburg. Funeral services will Friday morning at 11 o'clock with viewing preceding at the Kelchner-McMichael Funeral Home Inc., 119-121 E. Third St., Berwick. Burial will be in the Pine Grove Cemetery, Walnut Street, Berwick.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise in its edition of October 29, 2008. A complete obituary is available at that source.
October 29, 2008. It is the birthday of Amy Bierbach, Randy Hack (his 50th) and the woman responsible for the mural in the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, Dianne Derr. In 1929, this day became known as "Black Tuesday, generally remembered as the beginning of the Great Depression. Within three years, more than 100,000 businesses had failed and 13 million people were out of work. Sixteen inches of snow fell at Tobyhanna in Monroe County Tuesday. The Borough of Benton did not get any snow, but higher elevations received substantial amounts.
The Energy Information Agency defines "wet" natural gas as "A mixture of hydrocarbon compounds and small quantities of various nonhydrocarbons existing in the gaseous phase or in solution with crude oil in porous rock formations at reservoir conditions. The principal hydrocarbons normally contained in the mixture are methane, ethane, propane, butane, and pentane. Typical nonhydrocarbon gases that may be present in reservoir natural gas are water vapor, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen and trace amounts of helium. Under reservoir conditions, natural gas and its associated liquefiable portions occur either in a single gaseous phase in the reservoir or in solution with crude oil and are not distinguishable at the time as separate substances. Note: The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Accounting Standards Board refer to this product as natural gas."
• A refrigerated-processing plant is under construction in Washington County to handle "wet" natural gas from Marcellus Shale drill sites which must be separated prior to shipping to homes via natural gas pipelines.
• The Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society will begin assembling a pictorial history of Columbia County early next year. Readers who have photographs which they feel are candidates for inclusion are encouraged to contact the Society. Only pictures in which all photographed can be identified will be accepted.
• On election day, voters will be asked whether federally mandated upgrades of aging water and sewer systems should be handled by local ratepayers, or whether the state should help to more fairly distribute the cost. The ballot will ask that question in a more convoluted manner. State funding will help spread the cost of the environmental improvements and will help with the economy. What about the Feds, you ask? Well, it is true they forced it on the state and should shoulder some of the responsibility. Regretfully, that issue is not addressed on election day.
• The monthly rodeo meeting will be Thursday at the Benton Township building at 7 PM.
• Breath of Heaven is a Christmas musical production to be presented by the North Mountain Community in the Village of Central at the North Mountain Fire Co. grounds December 5-6. The live Nativity production begins at 7 PM with beautiful music, live animals, realistic outdoor sets and original designed costumes. After the free production, enjoy complimentary hot chocolate, cookies and warm up by the bonfire. Bring all of your family, friends and neighbors. Witness the Christmas story first hand! You’ll be glad you came! For more information call 925-2034.
• The Halloween Bag of Poo is back at http://minibytes.mondominishows.com/poo/affiliates/play.asp?Affil=iwon&W.
• The historical reading of the Whitmore Saga sponsored by the Columbia County Historical Society last night in Bloomsburg drew 75 people, including three brothers who are direct descendants. Interestingly enough, Garry, Dennis and Larry all spell their names "Whitmoyer" today and are descended from Grover "Whitmire." For additional reading on this subject, buy W. M. Baillie's book, The Whitmore Sage, Tales of Five Indian Captives or Medicine Maid: The Life Story of a Canadian Pioneer by Elizabeth L. Hoople.
Three descendents of the Whitmore family attended: from L, Garry Whitmoyer, Clarkstown, Dennis Whitmoyer, Benton, and Larry Whitmoyer, Lycoming County (with a Millville address).
The S&P is more than 25% below its 200 day moving average. That extreme is historically very rare. The S&P would have to rally 40% or more to get back to the 200 DMA. Sharp rallies have occurred within weeks of similar, but rare, prior occurrences. There are more signs of extreme oversold conditions. A final plunge would wrap this up into a buyer's market, but we may need a lot more than emotion to achieve it. There seems, in my opinion, a compelling case for a rally in the near future. The Fed is widely expected to cut its benchmark interest rate Wednesday, possibly to as low as 1%, to combat a still-darkening economic outlook. The Dow industrials surged 10.9% to 9065.12 in anticipation of a rate cut resulting in the sixth best daily percentage gain in the Down in the history of the index. Don't get excited! Let the big boys play for awhile before you jump in the market.
Quote of the Week:
"Given the financial damage to date, I cannot see how we can avoid a significant rise in layoffs and unemployment."
"For several months past, a story was circulated in the streets contiguous to, and among the people living opposite, a certain church, which is not more than a mile from the old theatre, in this city, that, about the "witching hour of night," a number of invisible spirits haunted that church, and held a kind of ambulatory conclave in the body of that building, where, although no ghostly visitors had actually been seen by any of the terrified believers..."
--National Inteligencer, September 4, 1839
A church dating to 1869 is tucked away in Northwest Madison Township just off the road between Muncy and Millville on Katie's Church Road, near the intersections of Katy's Church, Ridge and Ant's Hill Roads. The Church is known as Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 347 Katy's Church Road, Muncy Hills.
On November 1, members of the church will hold a Fall Fest at the Church offering soup, sandwiches, deserts and drinks from noon until 5 PM. The congregation did so well at the last festival that they were able to purchase a security system for the church, necessary because the church has been a past target of vandalism. Renovations will continue to preserve this Church and your participation will insure its continued future. Perhaps we should explain...
Halloween stories often tell of haunted churches and cemeteries. The ghost story which originated in what is known as Katy's Church is one of the best. The story has a couple of variations, but is about a young girl by the name of Katy VanDine who became pregnant out of wedlock, was rejected by her religious community, and eventually hung herself in a tree next to the church out of her shame of the pregnancy. The story became a magnet pulling visitors in hopes of a supernatural sighting.
One version of the story suggests that if you stand on Katy's grave in the VanDine Cemetery adjacent to the church and knock on an adjacent tree, a ghostly figure of a young girl is supposed to walk down a hill toward the tomb where the person is standing--so long as it is the night nearest to the autumnal equinox known as the harvest moon. The chance of this story being true is about as possible as either presidential candidate balancing the Federal budget during his initial four years in office.
Vandalism has been a problem for the church over the years. Some claim to have found dead animals on the floor, symbols painted on the walls, a young girl has been heard crying inside the Church. Vandals have broken into the church and sprayed graffiti on the walls and floor. The fenced cemetery was desecrated despite the watchful eye of neighbors and police. A few years ago, someone pulled the doors of the Church from their hinges. A pew was cut away and removed. The words "Katie's Back" was written on the front of the building. The suspect(s) returned the next day (June 16, 2005) and broke into the church again. Over the years, the church was popular with the teen crowd who "dared" others to visit the church in the dead of night. Mischief was the result.
The subject was the object of a 2002 book, Katie's Church, by L. A. Flick, Bloomsburg, www.amazon.com/Katies-Church-L-Flick/dp/1563152894, from SterlingHouse Publishers, Incorporated. The story is somewhat different from the preceding paragraphs. In the book, a boy and his mother move to Talmar, where a hundred years before a young girl named Katie was hanged to death in the local church and her mother was murdered. The boy investigated the legend and encounters Katie's spirit, trapped in the place of her death--unless someone can solve the murders, bring the killer to justice, and release Katie's soul. The boy takes up the dead girl's cause, then finds out there are other secrets hidden in Talmar.
The VanDine Cemetery is next to Immanuel Lutheran Church, commonly known as Katy VanDine's or Katy's Church. The Church and cemetery are located on Wolf Hollow Road near the intersection with Ants Hill Road north west of Jerseytown in Madison Township. The church dates to 1869 when it was part of the Lairdsville Parish.
So is all this true? Beats me. But, hey, it is Halloween. Anything is possible! But you have almost a year to worry about things: the Harvest Moon took place on September 15, just before dawn. There were no reported sightings of Katy this year.
In game five of the World Series, the Rays' B.J. Upton slid into second, then, with two outs in the sixth inning, Carlos Peña lined a single into left field to score Upton. The run tied the game, 2-2, and gave the umpires an opening to halt a rain-drenched contest at 10:40 PM. The World Series is led by the Phillies, three games to one. The game, which was suspended 31 minutes after it was stopped, will be resumed "when the health and welfare of our players is protected as much as it can be," according to commissioner Bud Selig. That might mean the 45,940 subjected to the Monday deluge will be seeing the end of the game Wednesday night.
Phillies lead 3-1
Game 1: Phillies 3, Rays 2
Game 2: Rays 4, Phillies 2
Game 3: Phillies 5, Rays 4
Game 4: Phillies 10, Rays 2
Game 5: Phillies 2, Rays 2, 6th inning
Game 6*: Wed. at Rays
Game 7*: Thurs. at Rays
* -- if necessary
October 28, 2008. It is the birthday of Emma Lou (Funk) Savage (who later in the day was taken by ambulance to the hospital with "chest pains") and Bill Gates of Micro$oft fame. It is the wedding anniversary of June and Alvin Lynn It is also the anniversary of the dedication of a copper lady dressed in robes who stands at the entrance to New York harbor, the Statue of Liberty. GO PHILLIES!
It has been 79 years since the day in 1929 known as "Black Tuesday" (which took place on October 29), the day brokers walked through the the doors of the stock exchange at 11 Wall Street thinking that the record selling of the Thursday before had been blunted by an emergency buying pool from New York's six largest banks. President Hoover and others had assured America that the economy was sound: "The fundamental business of the country, that is production and distribution of commodities, is on a sound and prosperous basis." John D. Rockefeller, the world's richest man, was quoted as saying, "My sons and I are buying common stock." (This is much like the long-term viewpoint that Warren Buffet recently tried to promote through an op-ed piece in the New York Times when he could not pull his fund's money without causing a huge worldwide panic. Everything is premature until the election November 4 and until the global community sets up some checks and balances on the global economy.)
As stock brokers began reading overseas wire services on Black Monday in 1929, they learned that foreign markets were falling. From the opening gong there was nothing but sellers. Selling slowed at mid-day but when no buyers showed up by 1 PM institutions began dumping stocks. The market closed with its greatest loss in history to that date. The next day, Tuesday trading was even more frenzied. When an early rally failed, many thought the bottom would fall out of the financial world. The Exchange leadership considered closing the exchange, but a rally began and they decided to stay open and tough it out. The rally held and the volume shattered all previous records.
Black Tuesday was the worst by three key measurements: total losses, total turnover and the number of speculators ruined. Orders marked "must sell" liquidated at any price in order to get more cash to back the record loans behind the falling stocks. On the New York Stock Exchange, the estimated loss came to $9 billion. For the month, the total was $16 billion.
It wasn't de ja voodoo all over again Monday, but it was a nail-biter all the way. The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day with a 203.18 loss to 8175.77. During the day, there was a triple-digit intraday gain at one point, then slid about 423 points from its daily high with more than a third of its decline coming in the final ten minutes of trading.
Monday is often prone to selloffs and the last Monday in October is the champion in that department. If you look at years 1857, 1907, 1929, 1987 or 1997, you'll realize that panic selling is not new for either the 27th or the 28th day of the 7th lunar cycle. These panics all took place at this time in October!
Aspire to inspire before you expire!
Didja ever think that you can't be much on looks when you can go trick-or-treating or be in a Halloween parade dressed as is?
Tonight is the Halloween parade in Benton sponsored by the Benton Lions Club. The Benton and the Millville High School bands will march, as well as the Catawissa Military band. There are very nice prizes for a number of categories (first prize is $70; second, $60; third, $50; and fourth, $40). Haul out that float or dress up the kids and the pets and participate in the Halloween Parade to compete for one of twenty prizes at $10 each and thirty at $5 each. The lineup begins at 6:30 PM on McHenry Alley at North Street. The parade moves at 7 PM. Rep. Karen Boback promises to be in the parade. The Waller United Methodist Church will have a food stand at the Halloween Parade. The menu includes hot dogs, sauerkraut, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Hamburg BBQ, chili, vegetable soup, ham and bean soup, apple dumplings, pie, coffee, hot chocolate, soda and water.
Parades have not always been as quiet as the one will be in Benton tonight. In the years when "superstition reigned supreme and witches held high carnival" as the Philadelphia Inquirer described Halloween parades in 1909, parades began their march with the local band leading the parade, followed by hundreds of children and a few grownups, many of them masked and in costumes, marching to an accompanying din produced by "tin pans, copper boilers and 'squawkers.'" When the parade reached the park, bonfires and dozens of carbon lamps would be ignited and burn throughout the evening. On a platform erected in the middle of the grounds, the boys and girls "ducked" and "forked" for apples, scrambled for peanuts, boxed blindfolded and in barrels and participated in other contests.
After the contests were over, the children were divided into groups, according to age, and games were played. For the finale, everyone was invited to join in dancing. Most did.
In 1907 in Hazleton, the parade on Halloween night attracted "clubs, secret societies and the people in general" had a "demonstration such as the region has never witnessed," according to the Philadelphia Inquirer in its edition of October 23 of that year. The paper indicated that the "young men participated" along with the "girls from the local factories and some of the stores were in line with costumes appropriate for the event. The factory girls made the finest showing."
In Hazleton in 1908, the Halloween parade didn't start until 9:30 "so as not to interfere with business in the local stores." The Halloween parade in Allentown in 1911 was the "largest ever held" up to that time. The Philadelphia Inquirer estimated the number of marchers who were children at 8,000. There were fourteen divisions, each headed by a band. All the paraders were in costume. The same year, more than 5,000 took part in Hazleton's first "Hallowe'en" mummer parade.
In Harrisburg in 1921, the police banned the use of masks in Halloween parades. It caused a storm of protest, but the police held their ground.
Didja ever notice that on Halloween, little girls get to dress up in Mommy's old clothes? Boys can't wear Daddy's old clothes because Daddy is still wearing them.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Bloomsburg, is where the Whitmore Saga will be presented tonight at 7 o'clock by the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society, under the direction of Board Member Malinda Price, with the help of a few friends.
Voters who wish to vote by absentee ballot in Pennsylvania must make sure their county has received their applications by 5 PM today. Eligible absentee voters include military and overseas citizens, students attending college away from home, people traveling for work-related business, and individuals with illnesses or disabilities that prevent them from getting to the polls. Applications and specific guidelines for voting absentee are available at http://votespa.com/. The deadline for most voters to return an absentee ballot is 5 PM October 31, the Friday before the election. Military and overseas voters ballots must be postmarked by November 3 and received by the county boards of elections by November 12.
John A. Hess, Sr. (February 22, 1944-October 26, 2008) died Sunday at his home at 906 Route 220, Muncy Valley. He was 64. He was a son of the late Robert A. Hess, Sr. and Beulah (Goss) Hess. He was born in Wilkes-Barre. He spent most of his life in the Benton area and was a logger by trade, working with his father and later with his sons. He is survived by his wife, Diana L. (Hummel) Hess, with whom he celebrated their 24th wedding anniversary on April 13, and by his sons John A. Hess, Jr. (Penny), Orangeville; Bryan J. Hess, Benton; Jody L. Hess, Orangeville; and his daughters Michele McCarty, Mocanaqua, and Tracie Carter, Harveyville. There are numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. A brother, Robert A. Hess, Jr. (Debbie), Raven Creek, and three sisters also survive: Karen Reichenbach (Donald), Benton; Irene Eckroth, Virginia, and Charlotte Huntingdon, Boyertown. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by an infant son, Randy, and by an infant brother, Randy. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 PM with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. Burial will be in the Bethel Hill Cemetery, Fairmount Township.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the October 28 edition of the Press Enterprise
October 27, 2008. It is the birthday of Charity Robbins who celebrates her birthday on the same day as former President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt. He was born in New York City in 1858 and was the first American to win a Nobel Prize (in 1906). It was on this day in 1787 when the New York Independent Journal began publishing a series of eighty-five essays by Publius, the pen name of Alexander Hamilton (who became the first secretary of the Treasury), James Madison (the fourth president of the United States) and John Jay (the first chief justice of the United States). The essays, known as the Federalist Papers, urged approval of the U.S. Constitution. A year ago, the concrete floor of the gymnasium in The Center had cured to the proper level of humidity in order for the gymnasium floor to be installed.
We try to be upbeat, but it is a Monday in October! Look at 1987 when on Friday, October 16, stocks cratered. The following Monday, stock markets around the world absolutely plunged. In a single session, the Dow lost 22.7%. And to illustrate my point, look even farther into the past.
From 1926 to 1929, the market indices moved up nearly 400% as easy credit terms from banks and stock brokers fueled the buying frenzy. A few days ago, we told you about Black Thursday--October 24, 1929--and we mentioned "Black Monday" when trading volumes were near 9.25 million shares and market confidence declined sharply. By the end of the day, the market was down another 13%, leading to October 29, 1929, "Black Tuesday"--but that is a story for another day.
The emphasis today--another Monday--has to be on what could be another down day on the stock market. Hold on tight as triple-digit index moves may be around for a while as they were last Monday when the Dow Jones Industrial Average broke its eight-day (2,400 point) losing streak with a 936-point gain, its largest ever recorded. There are eight days until the election which, regardless of the victor, will give the country a new direction, new attitude, and (hopefully) renewed confidence.
Declining energy and commodities prices should help with the inflation picture, which will help the consumer and allow the U.S. Federal Reserve to better focus on the struggling economy. Stocks tend to be leading indicators and often begin to rise even when the economy remains in the midst of a recession. But before we start humming Happy Days are Here Again, lets review the year for stocks by looking at the Dow Jones Industrials. The year 2007 closed at 13,264.82, the end of September closed at 10,850.66, the Friday close was 8,852.22. That is a 33.27% drop since the beginning of the year.
Kelsey Evans was a student ambassador to Europe with the People to People Program this summer. Ninety percent of the funds she raised in order to make the trip were donations from Benton citizens. She raised over $6,000 for her trip. Kelsey promised to have a "thank you dinner" for all of her sponsors, but Kelsey's mother was released a week ago Sunday after a two-week hospital stay. The party has been postponed until late November at The Center. People have been very generous and the family is anxious to share her pictures and stories with everyone, and to thank sponsors face to face. Invitational postcards will be in the mail soon.
The 1983 World Series was called the I-95 series as the Philadelphia Phillies played the Baltimore Orioles. Fans only had to travel 105 miles via I-95 between the two cities. The Orioles had a season record of 98-64 while the Phillies were 90-72. The Orioles beat the White Sox in the AL pennant series and the Phillies beat the Dodgers to win the NL pennant. The Orioles had future Hall of Fame players Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer and Cal Ripken, Jr. The Phillies Hall of Famers were Joe Morgan, Tony Perez, Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton. The 1950 Phillies were affectionately known as the "Wiz Kids" for the average age of the players of 26. (In contrast, the 2009 Phillies are sometimes known as the "Wheeze Kids" because of their average age of 32.) Pete Rose was 42, Tony Perez was 41 and Joe Morgan was 39. All three players had won the World Series before when the played on "The Big Red Machine" in Cincinnati during the '70s.
The first two games were played in Baltimore at old Memorial Stadium. The teams took turns winning a game with the Phillies winning game 1, 2-1, and the Orioles winning game 2, 4-1. The series moved to Philadelphia for the next three games and the Orioles took care of business sweeping all three games by the scores of 3-2, 5-4 and 5-0 to win the World Series 4 games to 1. The Phillies had a dismal team batting average of .195 for the series.
--As always, Mark McGarigle is the consultant on the Phillies. Our apologies to our Florida readers who have complained that we are biased toward the Phillies. We admit that we are!
Life isn't fair. When I tried out for baseball, I couldn't hit a curve. Now that I play golf, I can't stop hitting them.
• A total of 626 were served at the Saturday Sugarloaf Fish Supper.
• Didja ever wonder why the outdoor temperature clocks in the Borough all tell a different temperature? Try this. Look at the outside temperature registered in your car as you drive north on Main Street from the Fishing Creek Bridge. You'll find outdoor temperature readings at the First Columbia Bank, probably the highest reading of all the readings you'll take on this trip. Then look at the temperature shown on the temperature gauge on the outside of the Old Filling Station. Continue north past Sutliff Motors to Countryside Market. I suspect that there will be 5 to 6° difference between the high and the low temperatures.
• Listening to the politicians promise the moon with eight days until the election, I am reminded of articles which began appearing in December 1930 promising that the "depression is over." The Dallas Morning News, for example, rattled on that "depressions, according to those who have studied on them, have a habit of starting in the fall of the year and continue on an average of thirteen months." The paper noticed that the "last affliction" started in October 1929 and "the thirteen months have passed." Puffing out their chests for being all-knowing, the paper stated "Figure it out for yourself, the depression is over."
• The Zelma Dell estate auction was Saturday in Forks. The property is back in the Cleaver family after 30 years. It was purchased by Joel and Lona Smith of Upper Raven Creek Road. Lona is the oldest daughter of Bill and Esther Cleaver. The Smiths are on a roll as Joel Smith and brother-in-law Gerard Zoltowski bagged a 53" bull moose weighing 955 pounds in New Hampshire the previous Saturday!
• How 'bout Joe Blanton, the Phillies pitcher, hitting his first home run and doing it in the World Series!
Didja hear about the sign on the lawn at a drug rehab center which said "Keep off the Grass?"
Elizabeth V. "Betty" Evans (July 1, 1922-October 26, 2008) died Sunday at her home at 489 State Route 93, Orangeville. She was 86. She was a daughter of Carl H. and Bessie V. (Snyder) Kline. She was born in New Columbus and was a 1940 graduate of Benton High School. She worked for the Columbia County Farmers National Bank office in Orangeville for 35 years, retiring in 1987. Surviving are her husband, A. Max Evans, with whom she celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary on September 5, 2008; daughters Beverly J. Fisher, Bloomsburg and Bonnie J. (John) Eschbach, Danville. There are four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, two step-grandchildren and one great-great-grandson. A brother, Harmon C. Kline, Ronks, also survives. A daughter, Barbara J. Tedesco, preceded her in death on July 24, 2003. Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 2 PM in the Dean W. Kriner, Inc., Funeral Home, Two and a Half Street, Benton. Interment will be in the Laurel Hill Cemetery, Orangeville. Friends may call Tuesday from 6 to 8 PM.
--Obituary courtesy of the Dean Kriner Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the Monday edition of the Press Enterprise.
A fall picture of the O. B. Savage Barn
In Saturday sports activity, the Phillies took a 2-1 lead in the World Series as catcher Carlos Ruiz got the winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning giving the Phillies a 5-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. In other state sports, third-ranked Penn State beat No. 10 Ohio State 13-6 to extend its winning streak to nine straight. Quarterback Pat Devlin scored the go-ahead touchdown on a one-yard run. The first-seeded Benton Tigers defeated the eighth-seeded Sullivan County Griffins 5-2 at Millville in the quarterfinals of the District 4 tournament.
October 26, the 300th day of 2009. It is the birthday of Chandlee Stowe, Ann Lewis (of Ric-Mar Restaurant fame) and Senator Hillary Clinton. It is the wedding anniversary of Bill and Nancy Fricke and Chandlee and Grace Stowe. It is the anniversary of the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The 360 miles long, 40 feet wide, and four feet deep canal was built to connect the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes. The Gunfight near the O.K. Corral took place at Tombstone, Arizona, on this day in 1881. It's the birthday of the gospel singer Mahalia Jackson, born on this date in 1911. The temperature could hit 60° tomorrow, with a cold front arriving later which could lead to snow showers Wednesday.
This is the beginning of a new day which you have been given to use as you will. You can waste it or use it for good. What you do today is important because you are exchanging a day of your life for it. When tomorrow comes, this day will be gone forever leaving in its place something you will have traded for it. Use today for gain, not for loss; good, not evil; success, not failure. Don't do anything that will make you regret the price you paid for today.
• The Center is looking for players for its "18 and over" basketball league now forming for play on Tuesday nights. A "30 and over" league will play Thursday nights and players are needed for this league, too. Volleyball plays are needed for the Wednesday night play. Call Center Director, Rob Hutchison, at 925-0163.
• Abraham Lincoln had things about right when he wrote that "You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves." He had some other classics, too, like "You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong," and "You cannot build character and courage by taking away men's initiative and independence."
• The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001) will speak at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts on Tuesday, November 18. Tickets are $20. Learn more by going here.
• Nomination forms for the 2009 Benton Area Schools Hall of Fame will be mailed to all alumni before the Christmas holidays. This year's nomination deadline is February 1, 2009. Be thinking of your nominations and the rationale for the nominations now.
• The Benton Boy Scout Troop 51 will participate in the first-aid meet at Columbia Montour Vo-Tech November 14. They will be participating with two teams. Last year the local Scouts went all the way and one team came home in first place and the other team came in fifth in competition with all the Boy Scout troops in the surrounding area. Wish the local boys luck so they can hold onto first place this year as well.
• Have you heard of the Australian Lyrebird? It is able to mimic many sounds. Take a look here to meet this unusual bird.
The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is offering up to $10,000 as a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect who robbed the U.S. Post Office, 250 Third Street, Benton. The post office was burglarized between the hours of 4:30 PM October 22 and 6:45 AM October 23. Contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at 877 876-2455, but take no action on your own to apprehend the person or persons.
We all remember something from our youth which gives us a great deal of pleasure. It might be the smell of an apple pie or a freshly baked loaf of bread as it came from Grandmother's wood stove, the first time we saw a live concert, our first girlfriend or boyfriend or the first kiss associated with that relationship. There are many memories like that in my rapidly diminishing store of happy thoughts, but one sticks out as these things often do, important to one person and not important to others.
The memory was a daily event in the former Bloomsburg newspaper, the Morning Press. No it wasn't the Passing Throng, or the pictures on its pages of how the "upper crust" in Bloomsburg lived, or what beer parties were taking place on Lightstreet Road--it was a tale of a kid's hero, a man whose true identity was never known or even much hinted at--it was the superhero of the Marvel Comics The Phantom, the first masked man to appear in the comics back in 1936 when Lee Falk created him.
There was the constant struggle over good vs. evil, wonderful fights (which as a youth I thought was an essential part of life, a position I now consider one of my dumbest decisions in a long line of dumb ideas), and some weighty and complex plots for North Africa in the 1930s. The Phantom was always my favorite make-believe character--far and away better than "Mandrake," Flash Gordon, Daredevil, The Hulk, Flash Gordon, Captain America or Bill Boston's look-alike Price Valiant. Superman and Batman were a close second and third, but the Phantom was lord of the jungle as far as I was concerned as he fought headhunters, pirates and other evil doers.
Reading the Phantom was the first thing that I would look at in the Morning Press each morning as I grew up, a chance to relax before school, an opportunity to get my mind off cows and hauling manure and school.
The Phantom will be getting a modern update in the form of a new comic book series "The Phantom: Ghost Who Walks," scheduled for release in February 2009. The look of the character won't change, just the stories that he's featured in, although I suspect that the first son of each new generation will carry on his father's tradition after his predecessor's death. The new comic will be inspired by world events.
The first release of the series will have the Phantom in modern day Northern Africa, saving lives when a fanatical terrorist group aiming to become high-profile martyrs targets a U.N. peace-keeping mission.
The Phantom appeared in two movies, one in 1943 and another in 1996, but nothing stirred the imagination as did the comic pages of the Morning Press. Relive your youth by opening the Press Enterprise to the comics section and take a look at the current Phantom as he works his way though his latest crisis.
October 25, 2008. It is the birthday of the Director of the Community Center, Robert D. Hutchison, a man most in the upper Fishingcreek Valley call "Rob." It is also the birthday of the Windows XP computer-operating system, released by Microsoft on this date in 2001.
World Series Revisited...
In the 1915 World Series the Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4 games to 1. During game 2, President Woodrow Wilson was in attendance making him the first president to see a World Series game. It was the second year in a row that a Boston team beat a Philadelphia team. The Braves, who are now in Atlanta, beat the Athletics, who are now in Oakland, by the score of 4-0 for the first series sweep. Fenway Park was open at the time but the games were played in the new Braves ballpark because there were 10,000 more seats. The Philadelphia home games were played at the old wooden ballpark "Baker Bowl." The Red Sox had future Hall of Fame players Harry Hooper, Herb Pennock, Tris Speaker and Babe Ruth. The Phillies had Grover Cleveland Alexander, Dave Bancroft and Eppa Rixey.
Game one was won by the Phillies 3-1. Game two went to the Red Sox 2-1 when the Sox got a ninth inning run. Game 3 went to the Red Sox again 2-1, with the Sox getting another ninth inning run. Game 4 went to the Sox again by the score of 2-1. Game 5 went to the Sox 5-4 as they scored 3 runs in the eighth and ninth innings to end the series. Where was Brad Lidge! Babe Ruth was not much of a factor in this series. The 18 year old pinch hit one time in the first game without a hit.
The Rays are a very young team this year with an average age of 27.4 years yet they are the sixth youngest team in history to play in the World Series. The youngest teams in history are:
1914 Boston Braves 25.9 years
1911 NY Giants 26.0 years
1970 Cincinnati Reds 26.5 years
1912 NY Giants 26.7 years
1912 Boston Red Sox 26.8 years
2008 Tampa Bay Rays 27.4 years
--Thanks for Mark McGarigle for the World Series research
Didja ever notice that with the good comes the bad? Take, for instance, the tumbling gas prices. Investors question whether or not the momentum behind fuel-efficient vehicle production can remain strong. At two bucks a gallon, how many will be willing to shell out an extra $10,000 or so for better fuel economy?
Rep. Karen Boback (R-Columbia/Luzerne/Wyoming) writes that "I am so proud of the Benton Area School District for the commitment it has made to using alternative energy sources. As traditional sources of energy increase in price, I would encourage other organizations and businesses in the 117^th District to consider adding alternative sources of power to their future energy plans." Dr. Boback was responding to the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority approval of more than $2.2 million in Alternative Energy Investment Fund grants to develop and expand biomass energy-related operations in Pennsylvania. The Benton Area School District received $350,000 through the program to develop a biomass-fueled boiler. This is the second grant for the district, which also received $350,000 last year for the $1.3 million project. A company in Clearfield County will receive $269,801 to replace a fuel-oil powered steam system with a biomass-powered system that will consume 600 tons of waste wood annually. In Northumberland County, IntelliWatt Renewable Energy was awarded $150,000 to develop a 12-megawatt biomass-fed power generation facility.
Rep. Boback's satellite office in the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center, 42 Community Drive, Benton, will be open Friday, November 21, from 9 AM to 3 PM. Rep. Boback's satellite and full-time office schedule is available online at www.repboback.com/.
Daylight saving time ends at 2 AM, November 2. Daylight Saving Time was first introduced in the United States during World War I. The time change was enacted to provide more light in the evening hours. This year, Daylight Saving Time started on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
Didja ever think that elections are held in November because it's a good time to pick out a turkey?
John Orlandini, former president of the Board of Directors of the Luzerne County Historical Society, author of Indians, Settlers, and Forgotten Places in the Endless Mountains, has copies of his book available from Gisela at the Mountain View Barn Antiques, 958 State Route 118, Sweet Valley. The antique shop is open all year on Saturdays and Sundays, or call 477 2483 for weekday hours.
The slowly moving procession of Dawson Geophysical Company trucks from Midland, Texas, drew an interested crowd as their "thumpers" continued to slowly move up Fishing Creek valley. Dawson Geophysical provides seismic data-acquisition services. The company acquires and processes two-dimensional (2-D), three-dimensional (3-D) and multi-component seismic data for its clients, ranging from major oil and gas companies to independent oil and gas operators. Its clients rely on seismic data to identify areas where subsurface conditions are favorable for the accumulation of hydrocarbons and to optimize the development and production of hydrocarbon reservoirs. In fiscal 2007, its only product and all of its revenues were derived from 3-D seismic data acquisition operations. The company operates 3-D seismic data acquisition crews in the lower 48 states of the United States and a seismic data-processing center.
Dawson Geophysical "Thumper Trucks" slowly moving north.
This picture was taken Friday afternoon at the Mill Race Golf Course
Tuesday evening, Ann Diseroad discussed local women's activities and contributions to the Union war effort and soldiers' responses to them in a lecture at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Social Hall, Iron and Main Streets, Bloomsburg. Her talk drew 80 people. The evening was sponsored by the Columbia County Historical & Genealogical Society.
Tuesday night of next week, The Whitmore Saga will be presented at the same location, also sponsored by the Columbia County Historical Society. Regretfully, author William Baillie has been called out of town on a family emergency and Ann Diseroad will step into the narrator's role for this production. Additional information is available on the Upcoming Events page. I have spent several days in the area of the former Little Beard's Town, in western New York, where one of the Whitmore children captured by the Indians was taken.
This is a strange election. We have one candidate who has done the work of two men--Frank and Jesse James. There are two things that I don't like about one candidate--his face. Millions of dollars have been contributed to help elect two-bit politicians. A number of candidates say they stand on their records. I suspect that is so no one can examine their records. The way voters were signed up, a ward leader ought to be able to predict the outcome of an election six weeks before the election takes place. Enough of this. I hate political jokes. Too many get elected. And on a serious note, I hope that I never see another election period as long as the one which will mercifully end on November 4, 2008...
Didja hear about the 100’ x 70’ replica of the Shepard Fairey Barack Obama Hope poster now residing in a field in Shickshinny? Artist Jim Lennox, his wife Hilary Ross, and thirteen other artists, are responsible.
October 24, 2008. It is the birthday of Elwood Erney, Gloria Mincemoyer and Dale Ruckle. It is the wedding anniversary of Robby and Jody Karschner.Quickies...
• The Pennsylvania Game Commission's 2009 calendar ($8.95, plus tax and shipping) is available toll-free from the Game Commission at 888 888-3459.
• Thirsty for a cappuccino? Go here for a free one good through the end of October.
• Not a lot has been heard locally from energy consultant Jackie Root since the early days of the Marcellus excitement. Some Cambria County landowners found out Wednesday that interest has cooled with some drilling companies for the Marcellus Shale natural gas. Jackie told landowners that some leases expected to bring in $2,000 an acre were only bringing $200.
• The first meeting of Weight Watchers in Benton Thursday night at The Center was an overwhelming success with 46 joining the local group--more than belong in Berwick! Several additional are expected to sign up next week. Because there are so many participants and because the leader has no support staff for the "at work" type of program, weigh-in will start at 6 PM for all future meetings.
Three bleak days--Black Thursday, Black Monday, and Black Tuesday--are frequently used to describe the collapse of stock values in 1929. Black Thursday took place October 24, 1929, but the absolute downturn took place on Black Monday and Tuesday, October 28 and 29, 1929, when consequences of a lasting nature took place.
We need to understand the way the economy was back then. The Dow had made a record high just a few weeks before at the tail end of a bull market, but suddenly the market seemed to sputter and lose its momentum. The market opened and within half an hour prices began to drop. The tape began to lag behind. By noon, the reporting of transactions was nearly an hour and a half late. To speed the reporting, digits were deleted. As an example, "Radio" which had opened at 68 3/4 showed on the tape at 8 3/4. Prices were moving so fast that the price was not 58 3/4 but 48 3/4 on its way to 48 1/4 before it would bottom in the afternoon at 44 1/2. The exchange began publishing "flash" prices of selected securities on the slower moving bond tape.
By the time afternoon arrived, falling prices caused an emergency meeting at J.P. Morgan with the heads of all the big banks: Citibank, Bankers Trust, Chase, Guaranty Trust, First National and the House of Morgan. They pledged over $30 million. There was a slight rally, but the market began falling again at the close as the tape ran four hours late on a volume of 12 million shares. The bottom fell out of the market five days later and four months later banks began to fail. The end of the "Roaring Twenties" and the beginning of the Great Depression had arrived.
A rally in the last half-hour of trading Thursday left the Dow industrials up 172 points at 8691.25. Blue chips traded in a 550-point range during the session, including a nearly 276-point loss at its low.
The Phillies grabbed the opening game of the World Series and it was all joy in Mudville early in the day Thursday. If the Phillies lose this series it will be their fifth series loss. The four losses were in 1915 to the Boston Red Sox, 1950 to the New Your Yankees, 1983 to the Baltimore Orioles and 1993 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Notice anything in particular? All the losses were to teams that are currently in the American League East division.
The Phillies lone championship was in 1980 when they beat the Kansas City Royals. The highest scoring game in World Series history took place with the Phillies going against the Blue Jays on October 20, 1993. The game was won by the Blue Jays 15 to 14 in front of 62,731 at Veterans Stadium. Mark McGarigle was one of the many disappointed Phillies fans. The Fightin' Phils had a 14-9 lead after 7 innings and then the Jays got 6 runs to take the lead. Mariano Duncan came up to bat 6 times in that game for a Phillies record. In 1980 Mike Schmidt hit in all six games. Lenny Dykstra hit 2 homers on October 20, 1993 and Milt Thompson had 5 RBI in the same game. Phillies pitchers have thrown six complete games in all their series.
--Mark McGarigle is behind the collection of World Series information
Didja know that the Pittsburgh Alleghenies played their first National League game in 1887? Baseball was thriving in the eleventh year of the National League. Batters got four strikes this year and were allowed to take first base when smacked by a ball. In New Orleans, manager Abner Powell offered "Ladies Days" to fans. Two years later, the Pittsburgh Alleghenies became the Pirates after "pirating" second baseman Louis Bierbauer away from the Philadelphia Athletics.
Exposition Park in Pittsburgh was the National League's host for four games of the first World Series in 1903. The Boston Americans walked off with an upset victory over the Pittsburgh Nationals in this inaugural baseball fall classic. The Bostonians captured the series, five games to three, scoring a 3-0 triumph in the eighth and final game. Players like Cy Young and Honus Wagner played, but Patrick Henry Dougherty was the standout for Boston, hitting two home runs in the second game. Fans for the first time realized that the American League was more than just a refuge for players who defected from the older circuit.
October 23, 2008. It is the birthday of Shirley Ritter and David Chapin. It is the wedding anniversary of Richard and Jan Jost. Stocks tumbled to five-year lows Wednesday as investors fretted with the outlook for the global economy following a raft of disappointing profits and outlooks from major
companies. Energy and materials company shares were sharply lower, with Exxon Mobil down almost 10% and Boeing Co's shares down 7.5% after the aircraft maker reported a steep drop in quarterly profit. GO PHILLIES! U.S.What do the following towns have in common: Dayton, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Bangor, Hartford, New Haven, Phoenix, Stamford, Urbanaand ? Answer at end. Newark
The largest red fox I have seen in years ran across the road in front of my car Wednesday night in Piffard, New York, on the property of rodeo organizer Sam Swearingen.
The Benton Water and Sewer Authority is considering selling treated effluent to companies drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. Because of possible higher usage of the local sewage treatment plant in the future, this could be an excellent way of increasing income for the plant while lowering expenses.
There have been lots of questions about the wire being strung beside Route 487, about the vehicle-mounted system now in the
area for generating seismic vibrations and the signs along the highway warning of seismologists working to determine the deposits of natural gas in the Marcellus deposits under our area. Stillwater
As the truck which carries the ground-impact weight works its way north, it should soon be a familiar sight around
remaining here until testing is complete. A weight is raised on the truck, then released with a "thump" as it impacts with the ground. Geophones are placed to receive the seismic signal from the impact of the weight. The data is then looked at by measuring instruments as the thumping continues as the truck slowly moves from spot to spot. Benton
An older method of obtaining the information was through the use of dynamite. In the few times I have personally seen dynamite used, I was scared to death, possibly from watching too many "B Grade" movies and seeing the undependable nature of the explosive. Signals bounced back following seismic exploration are detected by geophones and then analyzed by specialists.
According to the October 23 edition of the Towanda Daily Review, there is an interest in building a small treatment plant in central Bradford County for processing fluids from natural gas drilling. This plant would either discharge the treated water directly into the Susquehanna River or "pre-treat" the fluids before sending them along to the Towanda Municipal Authority’s existing sewage treatment plant, where it would be further treated before being discharged into the Susquehanna.
Quote of the Day:
"The budget should be balanced, the Treasury should be refilled, public debt should be reduced, the arrogance of officialdom should be tempered and controlled, and the assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed lest
become bankrupt. People must again learn to work, instead of living on public assistance." Rome
, 55 BC Cicero
Dayton, Atlanta, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Norfolk, Bangor, Hartford, New Haven, Phoenix, Stamford, Urbanaand Newarkare all towns in state. New York
The 1926 World Series was played in Yankee Stadium and
Sportsmans Parkin . The Yankees record was 91-63 and the Cardinals were 89-65. Both teams featured future Hall of Fame players. The Cardinals had Rodgers Hornsby as the player manager (Rodgers being his mother's maiden name) Grover Cleveland Alexander, Jim Bottomley, Chick Haffey, Jessee Haines and Billy Southworth. The Yankees countered with manager Miller Huggins, Earle Combs, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzari, Herb Pennock, Waite Hoyte and the famous Babe Ruth. St Louis
In game 1, the Yankees were 2-1 at Yankee Stadium, Game 2 went to the Cardinals 6-2. Game 3 was played in
with the Cardinals winning 4-0 for the only shutout of the series. Game 4 went to the Cardinals 10-5 in the see-saw series. Game 5 went to the Yankees 3-2 in 10 innings and Game 6 moved bake to St Louis with the Cardinals coming out on top 10-2. The final game was also in New York . The Yanks took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on a Babe Ruth home run. The Cardinals answered right back in the top of the fourth inning with 3 runs. The Yankees pecked away with another run in the 6th inning making the score 3-2. In the bottom of the 9th inning with the score still 3-2 the Yankees first two batters grounded out. This brought Babe Ruth to the plate and he worked his way on with a walk. On the first pitch to Bob Muesel, Babe Ruth took off for second base and was thrown out for the final out to end the series and give the St Louis Cardinals the Championship 4 games to 3. After the game manager Miller Huggins asked Ruth asked what he was thinking with trying to steal. Ruth replied "I thought I'd fool the catcher!" Huggins said "Hell, Babe ,you fooled everybody but the catcher!" To this day it is the only time the World Series ended with a runner being thrown out to end the Series. New York
--World Series information courtesy of Mark McGarigle
October 22, 2008. It is the birthday of Charles Parks, Almedia, and the 25th wedding anniversary of Ed and Susan Cole. Someone heard Ed ask Susan if he should kill a chicken for tonight's anniversary meal. Susan fired right back with the question, "Why blame a bird for something that happened twenty-five years ago?"
On this day in 1879, Thomas Alva Edison (February 11, 1847-October 18, 1931) wrote careful and detailed notes about a vacuum and a special filament to make the world's first incandescent light bulb (October 21 sometimes gets the credit for this invention, but the actual date was never recorded, only when he dated the notes). Joseph Swan produced an incandescent bulb in England a year earlier. Edison claimed that was just a laboratory oddity and for the next twenty-two years Edison and Swan duked it out with no one making money. Then came Edson's Sunbury connection.
Edison's name conjures up visions of a scientist, a businessman and an inventor with 1,093 U.S. patents to his credit. His formal schooling was limited to three months in Port Huron, Michigan. Although Edison may have been one of the most important people to live in the last 1,000 years, our purpose is not to convince you of his importance as an American. You can turn here to learn about the man. But we would like to tell you about his Pennsylvania connection.
Edison made his mark in our state in Sunbury, the county seat of Northumberland County, 40 miles southwest of Benton. Many will remember that Edison located in Menlo Park, New Jersey, where he perfected the incandescent lamp in 1879. A year later, he lit all the streets and a number of the buildings with electricity. Within a few years, he had several plants up and running furnishing electricity through an expensive two-wire system. Edison experimented with a three-wire system and in 1882 Edison and some associates located an experimental plant in Sunbury and one in Mount Carmel, both near the state's anthracite coal fields.
The Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Sunbury, standing only three miles from today's Sunbury Steam Electric Station was chartered April 30, 1883, to supply the electrical needs of Sunbury. Similar companies were chartered for Shamokin in 1882 and in Mount Carmel in 1883. Like all "start-up" companies, raising the money for the company was difficult, but it was accomplished and Edison came to Sunbury as chief mechanical and electrical engineer. He directed the building of the plant as a "hand-on" worker.
The plant was on Fourth Street in what was once known as the 2,400 square foot "old gas house lot" at the northeast corner of Fourth and Vine streets. A dynamo was installed in the red, one-story frame house. Space was divided into the engine and dynamo room, a boiler room housing a Babcock and Wilcox type boiler and an office and meter room. The total capacity of the plant was about 650 10-candle power incandescent lamps. (A foot-candle of light is the amount of light that a birthday cake candle provides one foot away. A lamp that produces 10 foot candles of light means at one foot from the lamp, 10 foot candles of light will be produced.) The wattage of a light of 10 candle power is 0.188 watts, that is one hundred eighty-eight thousandths of a watt.
Three overhead wires were strung from the plant along Spring run to Woodlawn Avenue and then to Fourth Street and then down Fourth to Market Street.
Engine problems with their Babbitt bearings, probably from the lack of oil, caused a meltdown on the night of July 3, 1883, when the plant was turned on. The town remained dark. The next night, on the Fourth of July, Edison's experiment worked and Sunbury lit up as promised for their Fourth of July celebration. The electricity was supplied by the first three-wire system for commercial direct current lighting. "Cannon crackers" heralded the event, although admittedly the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge just six weeks before got more publicity.
Sunbury's City Hotel was the first building to be lit with Edison's three-wire system. Within minutes, the Central Hotel also became illuminated by 12-candle power lamps and the Northumberland County Democrat of July 6, 1883, gushed that the "light was very brilliant," something of a "beauty in the eyes of the beholder" statement. The City Hotel was renamed The Hotel Edison and goes by that name today.
Edison lived at the City Hotel while construction was underway. Newspapers of the time described him wearing a "stiff derby and a Price Albert coat." Because he was hard of hearing, he rarely talked to anyone, helping, he said, to make him concentrate better.
There is some dispute about how long Edison lived in Sunbury after the plant went operational, but it is said that he kept in close contact after he left the area.
Edison's hardest task was not to develop the invention, but to convince people to want to use electricity for illumination rather than gas. The local gas company in Sunbury did everything in its power to discredit Edison. Log chains were sometimes thrown over the wires as a disruptive tactic. Bankers were nervous about the system because of the high cost of building.
A house on the square in Sunbury, then owned by the Hon. William Dewart was the first house illuminated by electricity in the town. Electric lights were suspended from the ceiling and a light switch was at each light. Mrs. Dewart was short, unable to reach the hanging switches, so a man by the name of Sidney Bateman, an employee of Edison, made a crude wall switch. This switch was the first ever made or used, and was the forerunner of our modern light switch.
Two men from the area bought the plant from Edison in 1885, giving Edison one-fourth of the stock and bonds of the company. It is interesting to note that the original investors never made a dime from their stock, and even the stock given to Edison turned out to be worthless. The company was later sold by the sheriff. It eventually became part of the Pennsylvania Power and Light Company .
The original dynamos ran continuously for 20 years and were later shipped to the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 and were eventually donated with the original steam engines to the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia. The Shamokin Steam Electric Station built in 1900 to replace the original was shut down 22 years later and its load transferred to PP&L's less expensive and newly installed system.
William E. Hecht, writing for PP&L, said that in 1883 there were no insulators and so electric wires were often affixed to gas fixtures with either tape or string. Lamp sockets dangled from beneath gas burners. Wire, known as "underwriters' wire," was often cotton covered, then soaked in paraffin or coated with white lead paint. Many called it "undertakers' wire."
The Northumberland Electric Railway, a 3.2 mile electric street railway between Northumberland and Sunbury, and the invention of the trolley wheel, were results of Edison's work in Sunbury.
The last known visit of Mr. Edison to Sunbury took place in 1922, 39 years after Edison last stayed in what was then known as the City Hotel. His achievements were honored at the City Hotel during the community's sesquicentennial. The community dedicated a plaque at the front entrance of the Edison Hotel on the Market Street side of the building during Edison's visit. The significance of the work of Mr. Edison in Sunbury is that the system worked.
Quote of the Week
"I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1802
The 2008 version of the World Series begins today in Florida staring two lovable losers, the Phillies and the Rays. During their last season, Philadelphia became the first club to register 10,000 franchise losses, while the Rays finished last in the American League East nine of the past 10 seasons. But, hey, we love to root for the underdog, so this should be an exciting series.
The term "World Series" started in 1903 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Pilgrims having at it. That game was characterized by the remarkable fairness of the immense crowds in both cities. There was no anti-National League sentiment at the Boston games and there was no anti-American League feeling in Pittsburgh. There only seemed to be earnest and loyal support in both places. On paper, both teams were evenly matched. In the box and behind the bat, Boston was the stronger. Three games were played in Boston and four in Pittsburgh.
The World Series players this year are from all over the world. The Rays boast the youngest player in pitcher David Price. The Phillies have Jamie Moyer, born in November 1962. The Rays have players from Missouri, California, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Illinois, Australia, Germany, Cuba, Venezuela, Dominican Republic and Japan. The Phillies have players from Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, California, Pennsylvania, Florida, North Dakota, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Washington, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Panama, Dominican Republic and Japan. California is represented by 12 players, 7 Phillies and 5 Rays, with Japan and the Dominican Republic with two each.
The Tampa Bay Rays will attempt to keep their march from worst in the league to first going. Tampa Bay won a franchise high 97 games this season. Not since the Atlanta Braves in 1991 has a team reached the World Series one year after posting the worst record in Major League Baseball. Tampa Bay has history on its side as the American League teams have won 13 of the past 17 World Series games. The Rays and Phillies have also played 15 inter-league games over the years with the Rays winning 10.
Left hander Scott Kazmir (12-8) is likely to start tonight in game one at the Ray's Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg against Philadelphia lefthander Cole Hamels (14-10).
Heading into the World Series, the Rays have won 21 of their last 23 games while Philadelphia is 20-5 over their past 25 games. This is the first time in the World Series since 1993 for the Phillies, who won it in 1980. Philadelphia is coming off six days' rest after beating the Dodgers 5-1 to win their best-of-seven series in five games. The Phillies come into the World Series having hit 214 home runs this season, the most by any National League team entering a World Series.
Twenty-four members of the teams are younger than the network ESPN and seventeen of those players were born during the Reagan administration (1981-89). Thirteen were born after compact discs were introduced in October 1982. Seven of the eight starters in the World Series are younger than 30. The Rays have 15 players who weren't even born the last time the Phillies clinched a World Series title in October 1980. Their star third baseman, Evan Longoria, was just 8 years old the last time the Phils were in the Series, in 1993. The Phillies have eleven players under 30.
--Phillies information courtesy of Mark McGarigle
A Special Meeting of the Benton Area School Board of Directors was held on Monday, October 13. At the meeting the Board of Directors approved the following substitutes: John Martin, Business Certified; M. Elaine Smith and Melody Rhodes, pending receipt of clearances, Aides; Jacob Evans, Custodial. Approved on first reading Policy #249 – Bullying – Cyberbullying. This replaces current Policy #249.
The regular monthly meeting was held Monday, October 20. At this meeting, the Board of Directors covered the following items: Jeff Kelsey and Gary Powlus gave an update on the biomass project. Mr. Powlus announced the district received a Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority grant in the amount of $350,000. The school district has received a total of $700,000 in grants for the project. The list of FFA trips was approved as presented. Approved increases in coaching salaries and a merit-pay scale. Approved the Pennsylvania State Athletic Directors Association Athletic Coach Performance Appraisal form as the evaluative tool for the merit pay scale. Approved upgrading the remaining nine Micro-tech units in the elementary building to Terminal Equipment controllers. Approved the addition of the administration office, middle/high school auditorium and maintenance building in the PPL Investment Grade Audit. Approved soccer field improvements. Approved leave for Stephanie Zenzel. Accepted the resignation of Jane Long, full-time cafeteria worker. Approved Jane Long for the cafeteria substitute list. Adopted on second reading Policy #249 – Bullying – Cyberbullying. Approved transportation contracts for the 2008-09 school year.
October 21, 2008. It is the birthday of Robert Rabb and Kathleen Harvey. David and Linda Bronson and Pat and Dennis Threlkeld celebrate their wedding anniversaries.
History isn't always real clear. Sometime around this day in 1457, the Parliament under King James II of Scotland issued a law banning the game because it was interfering with his soldier's archery and horsemanship practice. The king felt that people had grown too frivolous and the country was falling from greatness because people were neglecting the national defense. Legislation of a higher morality was his solution to the problem. The legislation was about as effective as prohibition was in the United States.
Ball and stick games were not exactly new. The Romans played the game of Paganica, chuiwan was played by the ancient Chinese, chole by the Flemish in the middle ages, jeu de mail by the French and Pall Mall by the English. A game of colf (sometimes spelled "kolf") was played by the Dutch in the 13th century and as trade developed between Scotland and Holland golf became the offshoot of colf. Golf was first played in Scotland. Earlier games did not involve putting a ball into a hole in the ground. This is the game that King James II decided to outlaw. Today, ministers would like to do the same thing. Each Sunday, there are men all over the United States with their heads bowed, some to pray, some to play golf.
• Let's go "PHILLIES"! The Rays and the Phillies will face off in the World Series. Lets hope that the spring training games are not an indicator of what may happen in the Series. The Rays won 6-4, 9-1 and 3-1 while the Phillies won just once, 4-2.
• The Guv announced Monday that nearly $12 million in alternative clean energy projects will create at "least 1,200 full- and part-time jobs and attract nearly $118 million in private investment" to the Commonwealth. "We are investing in Pennsylvania businesses and organizations that are committed to the development of clean-burning home-grown fuels and renewable energy sources," he said of projects approved by the Pennsylvania Energy Development Authority. In Columbia County, the Benton Area School District received $350,000 to "further develop a biomass-fueled boiler project by constructing a boiler housing and piping system. The completed project will provide an estimated 80 percent of the district's heating requirement, avoiding use of 42,644 gallons of fuel oil and reducing emissions by 88 percent or more." During these wonderful autumn afternoons, take a walk to the corner of McHenry Alley and North Street and watch the progress and the structure to house the unit rises out of the ground.
• The Wyoming Valley Civil War Round Table will hold its monthly meeting on Thursday, November 13 at 7 PM at the Daddow Isaacs American Legion, Rte. 415, Dallas. David and Eileen Patch, Endwell, New York, will appear in first person in Civil War garb to portray President Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln in an original play written by Eileen. The historic couple, allowed to revisit the earth, will "recall" incidents from their past lives. This is a group that is interested in the history of the Civil War where informational programs are presented. It is not a reenactment group. New members and guests are welcome.
• If you find an error in today's edition, please understand that it is there for a purpose. Our goal is to print something for everyone. Some people are always looking for something to criticize.
• The Borough of Benton will pick up leaves daily that are piled along the curb and raked into a pile. Please do not blow leaves out into the street.
• There will be a benefit horse show October 26 for Kathy and Gene Barrett who lost their Orangeville barn and hay to fire on August 11. The show is on Saturday beginning at 10 AM, rain or shine. It will be held at the Benton Rodeo Grounds. Food available! You can ride all day for $20. For questions, call Christy, 925-2543; Jen, 256-7991; or Rose, 925-5299.
Don't have a fax machine but want to send a free fax in the Uniter States, Canada or Puerto Rico? Try FaxZero, http://faxzero.com/. You do need a computer connected to the internet and you must have a valid email address. Type what you want sent and copy it to the clipboard. FaxZero program is web-based, which lets you fill out the fax form easily. Put in your email address in the correct box and type the confirmation code. Paste in your message which you previously copied to the clipboard, or type it in now or attach a file from Microsoft Word (an extension of .doc), or an Excel spreadsheet (an extension of .xls). When you are ready to send, press the Send Free Fax Now button!
You'll receive a confirmation message on your email address. When you click the link in that email, your fax will be transmitted. An email confirmation will come back to you confirming that the fax was delivered, or that it failed for some reason. What is the catch, you ask? There is advertising on the cover page--a small price to pay for not investing in a fax machine and software, supplies, a fax telephone line and paying long-distance charges. You can only send two free faxes a day, three pages per fax. There is a FaxZero premium service for sending more per day or to eliminate the advertising on the cover sheet.
Our family always grew much of our food. We never bought bread from a commercial bakery. Nothing could beat the taste of Mother's home-made bread as it came from the oven, then smeared with gobs of butter. There was never margarine on our farm! We had plenty of rhubarb and asparagus; we grew huge amounts of lettuce, onions, and radishes, peas, green beans and lima beans. There were potatoes, cucumbers, sweet corn, strawberries, tomatoes and pumpkins. Combined with good home-cooked meals, living was sweet indeed.
In season, apples and peaches came from neighboring farms. The black walnuts in the pasture got raked to the dirt road, then driven on and stomped on to get their hulls off. In the dead of winter, I cracked the shells with a small ball pien hammer and picked out the meat to eat on home-made ice cream made with icicles that we pulled from "the rocks" across from our house at the south end of Benton. Our cows were Guernseys, our chickens Leghorns--first and foremost for eggs then for Sunday or unexpected dinner. Butchering when the cold weather set in resulted in bacon and ham hung to cure in our smokehouse.
Food always seemed best when it was silo-filling time. There was something about blowing silage up a pipe into silos where it fermented and climbing to the top of the silo to stomp the silage into level measures that brought out the hunger in a young boy. There was something too about rigging the John Deere to a pulley belt and to the threshing machine. I was always in deep awe that the belt didn't fly off.
I think that I remember two huge horses that Father had when I was too little to help on the farm. To a little tyke, they were enormous and powerful as they pulled the hay wagon to the barn where a hay lift lifted the contents of the wagon into a stack in the barn. The horses might have belonged to a neighbor, but I think they were ours.
I remember a milk tester came around. Floyd was his name, I think. He was a big burley man, a man we treated with kid gloves. The evening meal was always special the nights he would stay for dinner after doing the testing. He must have been confident with us, because he always drank the milk raw.
If you didn't attend the lecture by Melony Norton at the North Mountain Historical Society Monday at the Brass Pelican, you may be wondering why I would mention any of this. Mel gave an interesting presentation about genealogy in which she suggested that each of us contact the oldest person we know (the implication being that the person wouldn't be with us much longer; none of us know how long we'll be here) to find out information about those who came before us. I thought that was a good idea until--darn, it wasn't 30 seconds until someone came up and asked me a question!
Mel's advice was to write down memories of our youth, and that is what I have done. She was making the point that it "is more than your "begets," more than just when you were born, when you die and a lot in between." It takes more than the information you see when you go to a cemetery. Mel made the point that there is a lot of life in between those dates. She suggested that we should head to the "missing link we could have gone to" to find out the very information that we are curious about. Most of us didn't listen to Grandpa tell all those stories about how they got the farm, what he did with his kids, you didn't remember the stories about your great great-grandmother who made the "best" bread pudding in the world, or how she raised thirteen kids. Without these stores, you only have the begets, the story between the dates is missing.
From this beginning, you can start with a paper trail. The paperwork should start with "your immediate." Start with your parents. And then their parents. And then their parents. Don't jump in with a computer program on genealogy. Don't go that route yet. Simply start with a blank page, perhaps with something as simple as 3" x 5" cards. But start.
George O. Lewis (
- August 8, 1943 October 19, 2008), formerly of Linglestown, died Sunday evening at the Bloomsburg Hospital Emergency Room after being stricken at his home on Elk Grove Road, Benton. He was 65.
He was a son of the late Paul and Mary (Deiter) Lewis Hildebrand. He was born
in . Mr. Lewis had been employed by Sutliff Chevrolet for 33 years until his retirement in August 2003 when he moved to Elk Grove. He and his wife, Carrie E. (Hetrick) Lewis, would have celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on November 3. Surviving, in addition to his wife, Carrie, are his daughters Brenda Heckert (David), Mechanicsburg; Cindy Drawbaugh (Daniel), Marysville; Linda Zerance (Zebadiah), Harrisburg . There are five grandchildren. Miranda, Dylan, Conner, Tyler and Eli; a brother, Kenneth Lewis, and a sister, Dottie Irvin, both of Duncannon. Graveside services will be held Newport Saturday, October 25,at the in Duncannon. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Hill Church Cemetery . Benton
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary will be published in the October 21 edition of the Press Enterprise
October 20, 2008. Keep Beatrice McMichael in your prayers as she recovers from pneumonia. Erica Feola deploys overseas today. Happy birthday to Bill Johnson and Edward Lee Cole, and to Monica Diltz who will have 50 or so for breakfast as the North Mountain Historical Society piles into the restaurant this morning. While there, ask about her birthday cake. We actually don't know if she has any, but--hey--it never hurts to ask!
"If you don't see what you're looking for, you've come to the right place."
--Sign in an optometrist's office
• Have you ever noticed how those we think are friends turn out to be something less? Take the deal that the Iraqi government and the China National Petroleum Co cooked up involving 87% of Iraq’s current total revenue of oil. The deal renegotiated a 1997 agreement between China and Iraq made when Saddam Hussein was still around. According to a New York Times article and other sources, China will pay in cash. There are long-term implications for the United States with this agreement. China will assist Iraq in building a power plant in a country where electricity is in short supply. Saudi Arabia has estimated reserves of 264 billion barrels, according to the Energy Information Administration www.eia.doe.gov/ , more than the oil reserves of both Iraq and Iran. This gives China a solid footing in that region, whether they ever actually make any money on the deal or not. It brings in the Chinese technical advisors and workers. Meanwhile, Iraq is negotiating service contracts with American companies on one-year increments.
• It was six years ago today that the Ames Department Store in the Buckhorn Mall closed.
• There are 66 days remaining until Christmas and 73 days until the new year. It seems like it will be an eternity until the election is over.
• Eric Fricke's 16th birthday is October 30. His address is Eric Fricke, UNCSA, Box 437, 1533 S. Main Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27127-2188.
• The Chris Robinson gas leases signed at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center last week were for $2,850 per acre and 17% royalty on a five-year term (minus agent commission). Citrus Energy reduced the "buy" area and the amount they were willing to pay for Fairmount Township two days before closing. The new figure was $2,000 per acre with a 17% royalty. All property owners in Fairmount Township were notified in advance and given the option to take that deal or wait for the new deal coming for all of the other members of the Robinson Group. Agent did not make commission on the bonus payment for Fairmount, but will get commission when the royalties start. The Robinson group had a donation jar at the information table on their meeting night. They have collected $1,775 at meetings and donated every penny to The Center. They also collected over $2,000 at their lease closing last week. This money will be donated to The Center and the Benton Fire Company in the near future.
• The Chris Robinson Oil & Gas Group will hold a very important meeting on Wednesday, October 22, at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The meeting starts at 7 PM. Group representatives will be at the center at 6 PM to accept agent contracts and answer any landowner questions. Chris Robinson and Jack Sordoni will be at this meeting to update group members and other landowners with interest in joining the group. The discussion will center around the current-lease negotiations. Please bring a chair due to limited seating in the gym.
A Benton odyssey recently ended for a Ft. Myers, Florida, couple who dreamed of this area "when the leaves fall" and "when the grass is green." When they found out that the "old swimming hole was right in town, that the farms were visible from town, and the people were salt of the earth," they were hooked. The couple found a place in Benton which was perfect for their needs. They decided to do a reverse mortgage on their home in N. Ft. Myers and pay for the house in cash. Then disaster struck in the form of Lehman, Bear Stearns and...
The Florida banks are not doing anything that requires them to write a check. Even a perfect credit score didn't make a difference. No reverse mortgages. To anyone. Then the stock market crashed (if "crashed" is too strong a word for you, pick a word you like better) and the couple's IRA went down 40%. Running two households suddenly became unrealistic. Reluctantly, very reluctantly, the buyers notified the sellers of the Benton house that they were unable to buy the house and the deal was cancelled, the good-faith down payment forfeited, the dream of sharing Benton's pastoral pleasures gone.
With obvious deep distress, the Floridian lamented, "In any event, I will continue to read Back Home in Benton, and dream what could have been." They spoke very highly of the neighbors in Benton who "might have been," they spoke of Jackie from the Brass Pelican and Chris and Dennie of the Old Filling Station. The couple, in their 70s, had worked all their lives living "fairly frugally in their retirement." Now they fear that the country won't recover in time to do them much good. Our hearts go out to them. They sound like they would have fit in perfectly with the rest of the salt-of-the-earth people in Benton.
For the September North Mountain Historical Society meeting, Stephen A. Runkle, Consulting Hydraulic Engineer, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, was the guest speaker. His topic was Native American Life in the Central Susquehanna River Basin. The Susquehanna river basin comprises 27,500 square miles, the water from which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The Susquehanna is the largest river on the eastern seaboard. The speaker pointed out that bodies of water were of particular importance to the Native Americans because they were used for transportation and their villages were built adjacent to the water. Mr. Runkle's talk began historically in the period about 400 years ago. Mrs. Runkle was in Native American winter clothing. He showed pictures as life was in the 1600s at the time explorers arrived.
Our state is peppered with Indian names which readers often find hard to pronounce, names like Wallenpaupack, Nockamixon, Cowanesque, Conewingo, Chillisquaque, Otwego, Tioga, Canandaigua, Cayuga, Erie, Seneca, and even more common names like Shickshinny, Catawissa, Lackawanna, Wyoming, Nescopeck, Towanda and Shamokin--to name just a few. All these names have their origin in the language of Native Americans. Much of what we know today about these Native Americans can be traced to the writings of interpreter Conrad Weiser and French Jesuit priests who established missions among the Five Nations (later Six Nations) and to Moravian missionaries who lived and spread the Christian gospel among the Delaware during the 18th and 19th centuries: the Reverends John Gottlieb Ernst Heckewelder and David Zeisberger, and Count Nickolaus Ludwig Graf von Zinzendorf.
The speaker concentrated most of his talk on the Susquehanna River, which took its name from the Iroquoian name of Ga’-wano-wa’-na-neh Gehunda, meaning "Great Island River" and the Algonquian name interpreted to mean "Long, Winding River." Native American names generally reflect food and medicinal sources, raw materials for shelter and tools, items of tribal, cultural and religious significance, and occurrences found in nature.
We know a great deal about animals like deer, bear, elk, mink, otter, raccoon and wolves because of the Native Indians. The same applies to potatoes, cranberries, grapes, plums, nuts, hemp, various types of wood, and medicinal plants.
Native Americans were responsible for naming mountains, valleys, gaps, rock formations, forests, swamps, wetlands and bodies of water and frequently used prefixes and suffixes to define words. The suffixes of Delaware words Mahoning, Wyoming, Poquessing, Minisink, and Assinnissink use either "ing" or "ink" to signify "at the" or "the place of."
The Indians tanned their deerskin cloth using the brains of deer, making it "as soft as cotton flannel." Pieces of cloth were sewed together using the sineau of the animal. Earrings were fancier on the men than on the women. Mr. Runkle described the summer and winter outfits of both male and female Native Americans, but declined to show the summer outfit of the women due to the heart conditions of some of the males in the audience. For about nine months out of the year, the women wore wrap-around deerskin outfits, with perhaps some moccasins, in the village. When the women would venture into the brush, they would wear leggings. The northern tribes wore full-body paint with wooden-slatted body armor for going to war. After two generations, the Indians had firearms and dropped the use of the body armor. Heading into the Revolutionary period, Indians plucked hair from the top of their heads except for a thin bead of hair running from the top of the head down the back of the head. They slit their ears and wore earrings and nose rings. The men wore more jewelery and more makeup than did the women. The face painting used a lot of red and black, the red coming from roasted okra and the black from charcoal applied with bear grease. Buck tails were dyed red.
The Iroquois were the predominant Indian north of our area. The lower Susquehanna basin was mostly Delaware or Lenape. The name of our local "Fishing Creek" came from the Delaware name for the creek, "Nameesiponk," "It tastes fishy."
Steve Runkle's presentation was outstanding and his lecture enthusiastically received. We hope that Mr. Runkle can make a third visit from his Mechanicsburg home to the North Mountain Historical Society at some point in the future.
October 19, 2008. It is the birthday of Joey Sue Laubach and Carole Whitenight. Christy Gould-Richart's kidney surgery went well. Carol Holdren says that doctors were "able to remove the right kidney and the left kidney has already compensated for the loss of the right one." She now looks forward to six weeks of rest. Marjorie Sweet Shoemaker is "recovering well" at the Orangeville Nursing Home in the rehabilitation wing, room 320, following knee-replacement surgery. Hubby Richard "hopes to have her home soon." Ora Karns, 94, is recovering in room 227 of the Bloomsburg Health Care Center, 211 East First Street, Bloomsburg 17815, following a fall. Begats! Begats! Begats! is the title of Monday's free talk at the North Mountain Historical Society. The speaker is Melanie Norton, representing the Sullivan County Historical Society. Breakfast is at 8 AM, the speaker begins at 9 AM or when the last buckwheat cake has been consumed. The program is open to the public.We have a pop quiz today about things Pennsylvania. Answers at the end...
Q 1: Where was frontiersman Daniel Boone born in 1734?
Q 2: Uniontown, Shunk's Misery and Slocum Hollow were early names of what present-day city?
Q 3: The former community of Blindstown is now known as what?
Q 4: What Carbon County community was once known as "the Switzerland of America?"
Q 5: What is the northernmost city in Pennsylvania?
Q 6: "Growing fat" is the meaning of what Indian place name in our own county?
Q 7: Scrabbletown, Skunktown, Coalville, Peestone, Hightown, Hendricksburg, Newton, Alberta and Nanticoke Junction were prior names of what community?
Q 8: Which Pennsylvania city is named for two members of the British Parliament?
Q 9: What did William Penn first want to name our state?
Q 10: In 1940, the first Army Jeep was built. In what city was it built?
I enjoy having coffee with the boys. It certainly isn't the coffee that I enjoy--like the real truth, good coffee is hard to find. What I do like is the conversation with people I have grown to understand, people whose opinions I value even though they are often different from mine. I value the thinking that analyzes the troubled times in which we live. I enjoy the compassion for family and friends. It is very different from the opinions heard on television and in news print.
It might just be that it is the height of a very long political season, but checking out a "statement of fact" by the age-old test of common sense doesn't seem to work for politicians this year. It is very hard to distinguish between statements of fact and statements of opinion. The fact about fact is that it is hard to sort from all the chaff. I often head to www.factcheck.org/ to determine what is true and what is a distortion, but often am not sure of the difference between fact and fiction; i.e., while one candidate calls it "welfare," the other calls it "reform." Factcheck.com uses terms like "twist," "false and misleading," "falsehoods," "nonsense." The analysis of a speech often is peppered with statements like, as an example, "candidates were not 100 percent accurate," or "each made false claims about the other's health-care plan," or "twists words." Don't these guys realize that election time will roll around again?
In our brief national history we have shot four of our presidents, worried five of them to death, impeached one, and hounded another out of office. And when all else fails, we hold an election and assassinate their character.
--P. J. O'Rourke
I'll continue enjoying coffee with the boys. These guys are genuine America. They tell it like it is. The truth meter can be seen in their eyes. They have no problem calling a spade a spade. Many of them would make good presidents. Trouble is, none of them want the job. Truth is, none would ever be elected...
My reaction to the coming of cold weather is an indication of my growing older. There was a time in my life when the approach of winter was a thrill for me, the years of building snowmen and forts, of riding down Hiscox Hill on my Lightning Guider, of attempting to "jump" Grant Brink's road on a toboggan (which resulted in the last ride that tobaggon ever made), of skating on ponds on the property of Bubb Laubach and Paul Hartman. In those days of my youth, that was living.
But I am not as young as I used to be and the arrival of cold weather seems just a bit colder than it did last year. I would rather sit in front of the fire than lead the charge across the rapidly cooling out-of-doors. The active and athletic years of my youth have been replaced with contemplative and contented years of today. My years are paralleling my old dog, Buster, who at one time would attack the world, while today when he senses a cat prowling around outside the house at night simply issues a warning growl, rolls over and heads off into dreamland. Perhaps he no longer trusts me--thinking that if he were let out he might be forgotten and not left back in. Perhaps the wisdom of old age is setting in. Perhaps it is best if we simply forget the minor affronts of life.
It is a bloomin' shame that the skunks who brought on the melt-down in our credit system aren't under investigation leading toward a possible stay in the hoosegow! How is that for saying they are guilty before they are even tried! The problem is that most won't ever be found guilty. They will hire the Johnnie Cochrans of the world, use the golden parachute money they got, thumb their noses at the rest of the world trying to pay their bills while their retirement account evaporates. Their attorneys who represent these sleezebags will argue that their clients probably didn't know that their bad business practices would cause harm.
There is a lot of blame to spread around on this complicated issue. But lets take a look at the caliber of men we are talking about. We'll start at the top. Henry Paulson is the President's leading policy adviser on a broad range of domestic and international economic issues. He was a former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. He has helped arrange the fire sale of Bear Stearns to JPMorgan Chase, watched Lehman Brothers collapse, and helped organize Merrill Lynch's acquisition by Bank of America. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley remain as bank-holding companies.
I'll probably be accused of a "spread-the-wealth" suggestion when I recommend that starting with Paulson, a couple members of Congress and the CEOs of companies that have recently skizzled the American public take their salary in the form of $1 a year, as Lee Iacocca did when he agreed to take over Chrysler Corporation in the 1970s. Let these money-grabbing CEOs and others who have raked in the golden parachutes show their good faith to the American people.
Answers to our pop quiz follow...
A 1: The Daniel Boone Homestead is at Baumstown, southeast of Reading. Daniel Boone's ancestors migrated from England with other Quakers. His father, Squire Boone, (1696-1765) left Devonshire for America in 1713 with his brother and sister to help decide if the entire family should emigrate. From Abington in present-day Montgomery County they sent favorable reports back home and the remaining Boones arrived four years later.
A 2: Scranton has been called by lots of names. Some claim its first name was Capouse, named after the chief of the Munsee tribe, from which Muncy takes its name. It has also been called Slocum Hollow, Deep Hollow, Unionville, Harrison, Lackawanna Iron Works and Scrantonia. The city was eventually named for George and Selden Scranton who came from New Jersey in 1840, bought most of what is now downtown Scranton for $8,000 and began to smelt iron. The first Scranton in America was John Scranton, a Puritan who landed in Boston in 1637 and originally came from Guilford, England. William Scranton II served as Pennsylvania governor from 1963 to 1967.
A 3: Blindstown was the name used until 1895 of what is now known as Larksville in Luzerne County.
A 4: "The Switzerland of America" is the name once used by the community of Mauch Chunk. Today the town is known as Jim Thorpe, a community with rows of ornately trimmed Victorian homes and quaint shops lining the winding streets. The towns has two mansions straight out of a gothic novel, and one, some claim, is haunted. A train station is in the middle of the town. It is a must-see location in the state--but we don't recommend the weekends this time of the year if you hate crowds of people.
A 5: Erie is the northernmost city in the state. The design of the city is very much like that of Washington, D.C.
A 6: "Growing Fat" meant an Indian place name in what is now Catawissa. Take the time to visit or read about the 63-mile long Catawissa railroad which had three tunnels, eight bridges and trestles.
A 7: The name Ashley has been used since 1810. Prior to that, the community was called Scrabbletown, Skunktown, Coalville, Peestone, Hightown, Hendricksburg, Newton, Alberta and Nanticoke Junction. Ashley is a borough of about 2,780 people in Luzerne County.
A 8: Wilkes-Barre, the county seat of Luzerne County, is named for two members of the British Parliament, John Wilkes and Isaac Barre. The city was formally incorporated in 1871.
A 9: William Penn first suggested "New Wales" as the name of his North America grant, the largest grant ever made in the United States. Although Penn had chosen the name New Wales for his province, the king of England called it Pennsylvania in memory of the deceased admiral who was William Penn's father.
A 10: Karl Probst, an engineer working for American Bantam Car Company in Butler was the father of the jeep. In response to a request for bids from the Army, Probst led the design and manufacture of the prototype jeep in Butler, completing it in just seven weeks. The first Jeep was delivered to Camp Holabird, MD, on September 21, 1940.
Bravo to the Press Enterprise for its exhaustive coverage of admitted arsonist Chester Cyphers in Saturday's edition. Cyphers was caught while setting a field fire on April 16 in Muncy Creek Township. A Warrior Run fireman had been paralyzed while fighting a fire Cyphers set. Cyphers admitted to setting up to 25 fires in Montour, Columbia, Northumberland and Lycoming counties. Cyphers faces 242 years in prison and $305,000 in fines after accepting responsibility for setting two barn fires.
Meanwhile, a barn blaze on Wagner Drive, Hemlock Township, leveled a barn Friday afternoon in an unrelated event. Firemen were dispatched back to the fire scene again Saturday afternoon. A number of barn fires this summer in the Orangeville area has area firemen on constant watch.
Ronald B. Pritchard (Sept. 21, 1940-Oct. 16, 2008), formerly of Third Street, Benton, and Wood Street, Nazareth, died Thursday at Manor Care Nursing Facility, Easton, where he resided since May 2001. He was 68. Ronnie was a son of Beatrice M. (Stackhouse) Pritchard, a guest at Kutztown Manor, Kutztown, and the late William R. Pritchard. He was born in New Holland. He was a 1959 graduate of Benton High School and resided there until 1962, when he moved to New Jersey. He resided in Nazareth since 1970. Surviving, in addition to his mother, is a sister, Alice Anne Karns, Reading; a niece; a nephew; and two great-nephews. Graveside services will be held on Tuesday at 1 PM in the Benton Cemetery. There will be no viewing. The Dean W. Kriner, Inc.,Funeral Home, Benton, provides the arrangements.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise, where a complete obituary can be found in its edition of October 17, 2008
October 18, 2008. It is the birthday of Mike Minjack and Roy "Butch" Colley and the wedding anniversary of Richard and Jan Jost. Woolies and snuggies will be the order of the day as the coolest days of the fall arrive. A freeze watch is in effect for Sunday morning as lows dip to around 31° in Benton. This will end a run of truly beautiful fall weather with temperatures in or near the 70s. The next chance of rain will be Monday night or Tuesday as another cold front rolls through the area.Didja know that the live Friday- and Saturday-night Grand 'Ol Opry performances are on XM Channel 11 along with classic broadcasts of he Opry and archival performances? The "Eddie Stubbs Show" on WSM-AM is featured five times a week on XM Channel 10.
November 1 at 7 PM, String Theory will present a benefit concert at the Raven Creek Community Hall. There is no admission. There will be refreshments, and proceeds from desserts, coffee and an offering will go to the benefit of Camp Krisland supporting camping for children. String Theory combines interesting instruments, hammered dulcimer, mountain dulcimer, bouzouki, guitar, autoharp, guitar, banjo, bass and (maybe) mandolin. The group is made up of Jeanie and Rev. Al Lumpkin, Warren and Ann Fisher, and Judy Ellis. The same group will perform our Christmas presentations at locations like the Benton Presbyterian Church, including a sixth member, Jeremy Lumpkin, on bass. This evening of music will include the sounds of Appalachian old time, Celtic, bluegrass, and a bit of folk music, along with some spiritual music. Everyone is invited. String Theory contributed one song to a recent holiday album produced in the Danville/Lewisburg area, and copies of the CD will be available.
Didja ever think that you might be getting so old that your friends in heaven would be worried that you didn't make it?
On November 4, you will have the opportunity to vote for candidates of your choice. Residents of Benton Borough will have the opportunity to cast their ballots for a number of candidates. Readers in other jurisdictions will have slightly different voting opportunities. In order for absentee ballots to be counted, the voted ballots must be back in the county elections office by 5 PM on Friday, October 31. The Benton ballot offers the following choices:
• Straight party vote. You will be able to vote a straight-party ticket for the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, the Independent Party or for the Libertarian Party.
• President and Vice-President of the United States:
• Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Democratic Party
• John McCain and Sarah Palin, Republican Party
• Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez, Independent Party
• Bob Barr and Wayne A. Root, Libertarian Party
Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a four-year term:
• John M. Morganelli, Democratic Party
• Tom Corbett, Republican Party
• Marakay J. Rogers, Libertarian Party
Auditor General of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, a four-year term
• Jack Wagner, Democratic Party
• Chet Beiler, Republican Party
• Betsy Summers, Libertarian Party
State Treasurer, a four-year term
• Robert McCord, Democratic Party
• Tom Ellis, Republican Party
• Berlie Etzel, Libertarian Party
Representative in Congress, 11th Congressional District, a two-year term
• Paul E. Kanjorski, Democratic Party
• Lou Barletta, Republican Party
Senator in the General Assembly, 27th Senatorial District, a four-year term
• John R. Gordner, Republican Party
Representative in the General Assembly, 117th Legislative District, a two-year term
• Russ Bigus, Democratic Party
• Karen Boback, Republican Party
Ballot Question: Vote Yes or No
Do you favor the incurring of indebtedness by the Commonwealth of $400,000,000 for grants and loans to municipalities and public utilities for the cost of all labor, materials, necessary operational machinery and equipment, lands, property, rights and easements, plans and specifications, surveys, estimates of costs and revenues, feasibility studies, engineering and legal services and all other expenses necessary or incident to the acquisition, construction, improvement, expansion, extension, repair or rehabilitation of all or part of drinking water system, storm water, nonpoint source projects, nutrient credits and wastewater treatment system projects?
George A. Turner, Bloomsburg University professor emeritus and former president of the Columbia County Historical and Genealogical Society, will give a talk Thursday evening, October 23, at 7 on the Fishing Creek Confederacy for the Orangeville Public Library at the Orangeville United Methodist Church. The public is invited to attend this free program.
When the Civil War began with the attack on Fort Sumter, the initial reaction in Columbia County, as well as in the North, was a spirit of bipartisanship among Democrats and Republican to support the Lincoln administration in dealing with the crisis. Within a few months, this sense of unity evaporated among many Democrats. They became more critical and increased their opposition to President Lincoln’s wartime policies. The Democrats who adopted this position were called Peace Democrats. However, many Republicans preferred a negative term, "copperhead," a poisonous snake.
After three years of war, with no end in sight, casualties and the cost of the war continued to grow. Opposition in the Columbia County, particularly in the northern townships, reached a feverish point by mid-August 1864. The federal government decided to send several hundred troops into the Benton area to suppress anti-war sentiments and opposition to the draft. Military, not civil, authorities arrested forty-four men and imprisoned them in Fort Mifflin located south of Philadelphia on the Delaware River. This was a significant and difficult time in the history of Columbia County. It was a contentious and polarizing political environment, which fostered a number of important concerns about constitutional and civil liberties issues.
By calling this affair the Fishing Creek Confederacy, Prof. Turner will explain why the name is misleading and creates a misrepresentation. Did these citizens support the Confederacy? He will answer this question and identify the various factors that gave rise to the Peace Democrats and their political agenda in challenging the Lincoln administration.
For all those who love history, turn to www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~pasucomu/, the newly established web site for the Sullivan County Museum website. Nancy Little Spencer, site administrator, reminds visitors to "Please be very patient, this site, like Rome, won't be built in a day." Check back often to see what's new.
Sophie Ada (Miller) Watts (March 13, 1924-Oct. 15, 2008), formerly of Cemetery Hill Road, Benton, widow of George T. Watts Jr., died Wednesday at the Orangeville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was 84. She was a daughter of the late John Haughton Miller and Laura Van (Buskirk) Miller. She was born in Huntersville, was a 1942 graduate of the former Muncy Creek High School and a 1945 graduate of the Bloomsburg Hospital School of Nursing. She was at one time a nurse at the State Industrial Home for Women in Muncy and at the Danville State Hospital. She retired in 1979. Sophie is survived by her stepson, James Wellington Watts (Priscilla), Catawissa; granddaughters: Angela Kuipers (Paul), Bloomsburg; Jennifer Vincent (Jeff), Catawissa; and great-grandchildren: Caitlin Boudman, Noah Kuipers and Lake Kuipers, as well as three nieces. Along with her parents and husband, Sophie was preceded in death by her siblings: Helen O'Conner; Reuben Miller; and Thelma Crevelling Funeral services will be held Saturday morning at 11 with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home Inc. Burial will be in Lemons Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Benton Christian Church, Benton, PA 17814.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary is published in the Press Enterprise in its edition of October 17, 2008.
October 17, 1008. The Benton News was not published Thursday, October 16, 2008, so we didn't tell you about the birthday of Tina Burt and John Unbewust. October 17 is the birthday of Pedro Coen, son of actress Frances McDormand and filmmaker Joel Coen. He is the grandson of Rev. Vernon McDormand. David Keller also celebrates his birthday today.
The Benton United Methodist Church will host their third annual Thanksgiving meal on Thanksgiving Day at noon at the church. There is no cost and everyone is welcome. Please let a member of the congregation know if you will be attending in order to have enough food.
We are a little late in saying this, but congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies for beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1 to win the National League pennant. It will be wonderful to have the Phillies participate in the 2008 World Series beginning next Wednesday. The Phillies were last to the World Series in 1993, when they lost to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Phillies only World Series title win came in 1980.
Harold Ackerman has a photo exhibit at Wachovia Securities, 31 E. Main Street, Bloomsburg, until the end of October. Take the time to stop in and see his delightful photography. Their office is open 9 to 4.
Want to see what the Williamsport Sun-Gazette has published on the subject of gas leasing? Head to http://extras.sungazette.com/naturalgas/.
Term of the Day...
A very young bird with a high ratio of white to dark meat, characteristically juicier and more tender than older chickens. A chicken sold at market in the spring was known for its fresh flavor. When applied to people, it refers to someone in his or her youth.
Hobie Whitenight remembers that, as a former rural-mail carrier, he delivered unusual items including human ashes, bees, queen bees and baby peeps. Baby chickens, or "peeps," were bought from the local GLF, or delivered by the mail system starting in February. As the young birds transitioned into "spring chickens," the females began laying eggs in mid-summer. After a few years, they went into a "molt" and no longer produced eggs. When their value as producers was over, they were taken to the back yard, usually by the women on the house, and their heads were chopped off using a sharp axe. A number of readers have commented about seeing Fanny Smoker, the mother in the Amish household on Route 239 north of the Borough, whacking the heads off chickens in her backyard at this time of the year.
Spring chickens often got a bad rap when they arrived on huckster's wagons in the cities of the east. Often the chickens arrived with craws loaded with corn, sand and broken pieces of sandstone. Patrons of the hucksters often claimed that they had to buy not only the chicken but the contents of its gullet (all at the same price). I enjoyed reading an undated article in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader about chickens getting loaded down with sand and stone once they arrive in town. The chicken arrived in Wilkes-Barre hungry and thirsty, according to the article, then were fed a meal of mostly sand. Obviously, the chickens were sold by weight.
Mother would kill a chicken when company conveniently and unexpectedly arrived about dinner time. Without as much as a whimper, she would take an axe and chop the head off a chicken. Chicken McNuggets were not an option then! When the death knells were over, she would pick the pin hairs off the birds (which she referred to as "dressing the bird" plunk the still warm bird into the boiling water of what she called the "frying kettle." How she grabbed a chicken and lobbed off its head only seconds after the proud bird was strutting around the property is unknown to me. I also remember that this was a job Father never did. I suspect that his son would have problems wringing necks and whacking off heads, too...
The anticipation was half the fun. The planning was intensive. The preparation, exhausting. It was the annual outing to the hunting cabin in Sullivan County for the "couples" pinochle group, the tenth time in as many years that the card players left the comfort of their own homes to "head into the mountains" where there is no cell phone service, no internet, no email, no morning newspaper, no Fox News, CNN or HBO. The trip required careful planning to accommodate everyone--no chicken allowed for one person, coffee creamer needed for another, don't forget the chestnuts, bring the tallys for keeping score, make sure everything important was thought out and packed. Each couple compiled detailed lists of their needs, boxes of food packed, each ingredient for the meat loaf considered and added to the boxes. It wasn't just up to the women in the household. The men had responsibility, too. Following orders from one of the wives, two of the men went over the list before leaving Benton--cards, fishing gear, walking shoes, cameras.
Lunch was a simple sandwich and chicken noodle soup--oops, darn, we forgot! We weren't supposed to have anything chicken. An afternoon walk was disrupted when stones got in same sandals. The carrot-cake dessert for the evening meal was in the refrigerator in Benton, the card game delayed for almost an hour because of spirited discussions of the future of the Phillies and the qualifications of Presidential candidates. Finally, it was time to get down to business. Deal the cards. Wait--who brought the pinochle decks? It turned out that no one did. How do you have a card game without cards? Next year, we know we won't forget the cards, but suspect we'll forget something.
The Benton High School Class of 1945 met on Monday, October 1, at Creekside Restaurant, Orangeville, for a lunchtime reunion. Harold Kessler, Roy Beishline, Helen Beishline, Ernest Bogert, Edna Bogert, Evanna Litwhiler Kessler, Ethel Fausey Horne, Lena DePoe Tunaitis, and Ralph Good attended the luncheon.
Seated are Leah Plastow Litwhiler and Eugene Litwhiler. Roy, Ernest, Evanna, Ethel, Lena, Ralph, and Leah are members of Benton High School Class of 45. The rest are the lucky spouses!
Paul Edward Myers (Aug. 17, 1937-Oct. 15, 2008), owner and operator of Myers Custom Millwork, Millville, a resident of Dotyville Road, Benton, died Wednesday. He was 71. He was a son the late Truman R. and Anna L. (Johnson) Myers. He was born in Hughesville. and was a 1956 graduate of Hughesville High School. Paul married Z. Elaine (Harrison) Hartman Myers March 25, 1988.Along with his wife, he is survived by his children: Paul E. Myers II (Beth), New Milford; Christian M. Myers (Valerie), Muncy; and Tamara S. Hutson (Michael), Hughesville. His step-children are Rick Hartman (Sherry), Sugar Notch; Rochelle Mitchell (Bob) Bethlehem; Michelle Brewer (Tim), Uniondale; and Pamela Karnes, Benton. He is also survived by 13 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; a nephew, George Myers, Millville; two siblings: Howard Myers, Anderson, Indiana, and Adda Clark, Silver Spring, MD, and many nieces and nephews. Paul was preceded in death by his brothers: Harry and George Myers, two infant sisters and a niece, Louise Myers. Friends will be received, Sunday, Oct. 19, from 6-8 PM at the McMichael Funeral Home Inc., 4394 Red Rock Road, Benton. The funeral service will be held Monday, Oct. 20, at 11 AM. at the funeral home. Interment will be in the Raven Creek Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the L.R. Appleman School Library, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home. A complete obituary is published in the Press Enterprise of October 16, 2008
Jay C. Lindenmuth, Maple Tree Road, Catawissa, died Oct. 14, 2008, at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. He was 83. Jay is the last surviving member of his immediate family. He is survived by his wife, the former Helen M. Beishline, a former secretary to Warren Ketner and L. Ray Appleman in the Benton School System. Helen was originallyfrom Bendertown. The couple observed their 58th wedding anniversary on Oct. 7, 2008. Funeral services will be held Saturday, Oct. 18, 2008, at 11 AM from the Allen R. Horne Funeral Home, 193 McIntyre Road, Catawissa. Burial will be in St. Paul's United Church of Christ Cemetery. Friends will be received Friday, Oct. 17, 2008, from 6-8 PM at the funeral home.
--Obituary courtesy of the Press Enterprise of October 16, 2008. A complete obituary is included it that edition.
October 15, 2008. On this date in 1905, President Stephen Grover Cleveland wrote an article for Ladies Home Journal in which he said, "We all know how much further women go than men in their social rivalries and jealousies...sensible and responsible women do not want to vote." This seems like a strange stand because of Cleveland's sex-scandal. A woman by the name of Maria Helpin accused Cleveland of fathering her son out of wedlock, a charge that 280-pound Cleveland admitted might be true, since he once had had an affair with Helpin. Cleveland was elected in 1884, and lost in 1888 when he ran for reelection. In 1892, Cleveland won against Harrison making Cleveland the only President to come back from defeat and be reelected after losing the office.
When an email arrives in your inbox telling you that "You've received a postcard from a family member" and that it is a "postcard from Hallmark" err on the side of thinking that it is a virus--it probably is. Although emails are circulating which say the "Hallmark" email will "burn the whole hard disc of your computer," and that "CNN classified it as the worst virus ever," that isn't true. What is true is that the Hallmark email quite probably contains a virus. Learn more at www.snopes.com/computer/virus/postcard.asp. My rule of thumb is that if you can't confirm from a real human being that they personally sent you a card, hit the delete button without opening. That takes more time than I can usually muster. I normally hit the "delete" key upon receipt.
We previously mentioned the daily nonstop service to Orlando International Airport which begins November 20 from Harrisburg International Airport, but it is worth mentioning again. Service begins in five weeks. Book your flight directly from www.airtran.com/Home.aspx.
The Benton Firemen will resume their monthly buckwheat cake and sausage breakfast on Sunday, October 26, at the Benton fire hall. There will be "all-you-can-eat"buckwheat cakes plus a full breakfast menu. Adults $6 and children 6-12 $3. Serving hours are 7 AM to 1 PM. The firemen look forward to seeing all their friends again.
Take the sun and sky and clouds of June
And gather all the flowers of July together,
You still won't rival for even a minute
The joy of October's bright blue weather.
Jim and Dottie Moore created a new video for their close to home page which you can view by heading to www.joyinthemorningetc.com/close6.html. The video is an afternoon stroll at Lake Jean–Ricketts Glen State Park in all its fall finery. You'll get a sense of peacefulness as you take in the multicolored trees. Concentrate on the mosaic patterns that twinkle and reflect on the lake. Fall is a great time of the year to enjoy another of God’s seasons. When you visit their web site, don't be in a hurry to leave. Take a look around.
It is good to see gas prices from $2.899 to $2.999 again in the local area.
Dan McGarigle is a person who always enjoyed learning how things work. Dan lived in Benton for a few years from about 1993 to 1996 and is now retired in El Segundo, California, where working in his woodworking shop occupies most of his time. Recently, a crew of guys working on a telephone pole by his house caught his attention. They were installing a black fiber optic cable for some new TV service. Dan got a scrap of the cable from them and examined it. What he found was interesting...
The outside hard plastic covering of the cable was about three-quarters of an inch in diameter. Inside it was a flexible, rippled aluminum tube that gives the main strength of the cable so it can reach 75-300 feet from one phone pole to the next. The cable is delivered on big reels of 5,000 feet of cable. Inside it are eight insulating tubes.
Inside each insulating tube are twelve fiber-optic cables that are nine one-thousandths of an inch in diameter. That is 0.009". These are the glass cables that carry the light waves that make up the signal. There are 96 fiber optic cables in the eight bundles of twelve cables. In the United States only about 17% of the cable's capacity is used.
Each of those 96 cables can carry at least 12-25 Million Bits Per Second. That is more than enough for TV, Internet and Telephones on only one of the 96 cables. Each of the 96 cables is just nine one-thousandths of an inch in diameter, about the diameter of two or three human hairs. At the center of the cable is a very strong rope of fiberglass that provides the inner strength of the whole cable.
Almost all the fiber optic cable in the U.S. is made by the Corning Glass Works, Corning, New York. Corning has informative web pages at http://www.corning.com/opticalfiber/library/tutorials.aspx.
Dan created this photograph on the hood of his car, in the California sun, with an 8 1/2" x 11" piece of paper background and his computer for the text. Corning created the cable
Corning (GLW) closed Tuesday on the NYSE at $13.49.
October 14, 2008. This edition is sent out early. I am going to try to reload Windoze XP on two computers tonight, and the chances of that going smoothly are low. I would rather send this out early than not be able to send anything out later. Happy birthday today to Kris Karl, Bellefonte. It is the birth date of William Penn (October 14, 1644-July 30, 1718), the son of a British Admiral, the founder of Pennsylvania.
It is a new week and the New York Stock Exchange closed up 940 points. Proceed carefully before being fooled into plunking much money into the market. Our financial system is very sick. The stock market is only the thermometer. Remember that as traders are fond of saying, even a "dead cat" will bounce if dropped from high enough up! There is much more to be flushed from the system before "happy days are here again." Early morning buying came from foreign buyers (banks were closed in the United States) and domestic buyers joined the frenzy in the afternoon.
Bear Stearns was bailed out and stocks rallied for a few days. A $160 billion economic stimulus package stopped the free fall for a few days. A $700 billion "bailout" plan didn't ripple the market. The administration and G-20 finance ministers worked on a new solution this weekend and the market staged a wonderful rally hoping that the bloodbath is over. Did I mention that the patient is very sick? I would recommend that you stay on the sidelines and let the "big boys" play with their marbles for now.
Didja hear about the man who retired with a million dollars? He worked hard all his life, skimped, saved, went without, invested in the stock market. Then an uncle died and left him a million dollars.
On this day in 1912, former President Theodore Roosevelt, the presidential candidate for the Progressive Party, was stumping to regain the highest office in the land in an effort to unseat Taft. The Republicans supported Taft, the incumbent, forcing Teddy to form his own party. The press renamed Teddy's Progressive Party the "Bull Moose Party" after Teddy said he felt as fit as a bull moose. Have you heard that story? If not, you will now.
Before a campaign speech in Milwaukee, Teddy was shot at close range by saloonkeeper John Schrank. Schrank reached between two people trying to shake the candidate's hand, and fired a bullet straight into Teddy's chest. Aides ran to Roosevelt and urged him to go to the hospital, but there wasn't any blood around the bullet hole and because politicians love to give speeches, he proceeded with his speech. The 32-caliber bullet failed to mortally wound Roosevelt because its force was slowed by a glasses case and 100 pages of manuscript in the breast pocket of Roosevelt's heavy coat--his evening speech. Schrank was immediately arrested and reportedly offered as his motive that "any man looking for a third term ought to be shot."
Now don't get me wrong, I am not an advocate of shooting presidential candidates--or anyone else for that matter--but Schrank did have a point. Even today there is a national outcry against incumbents in Congress and the White House. The subject of term limits often is heard. In a true thinking society the voting booth should take care of incumbents. Regretfully, it often doesn't.
The exact figures aren't right at my grasp, but we probably send 90% of politicians back for another term. Robert Carlyle Byrd, the senior United States Senator from West Virginia has been in office since January 3, 1959. That is pretty close to 50 years. Then there are John Dingell, Daniel Inouye, Ted Kennedy, John Conyers, Ted Stevens, Dave Obey Charles B. Rangel and Bill Young. Daniel John "Dan" Flood, the flamboyant Democrat who served Wyoming Valley and as far south as Benton, didn't leave office until he was censured for bribery and resigned from the House in 1980--and he went into office in 1944 and served for all but four of those years. The Congressman rarely even had serious opposition. Congressman Paul E. Kanjorski was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1984.
Not many really believe that the Founding Fathers intended to make a lifetime job for these guys, although they probably never thought that Congress would exempt itself from labor law, equal opportunity, OSHA, Social Security and any liability. Elected officials need to be reminded that ours is a government by the people. While we can't throw out the incumbents who don't represent us--we can't throw out the guy who represents someone else--we have the right to vote for or against those who do represent us. Congress changes every two years because it is supposed to reflect the current mood of the people! The Senate changes slowly. If voters return 90% of Congress to office, they can't be considered responsible for shouldering the responsibility given to us by our Founding Fathers.
On November 4, vote for whomever you feel would be the better officeholder in the office of President and members of the Congress. But please think long and hard before you vote for the incumbent of either party. Let the nation know that incumbents are not above the law and that they must answer for the economic mess the country is now in.
I now climb down from the podium, but will have to tell you the rest of Teddy's story. Remember we were telling you that the former president walked to the podium and pulled his speech from his inside jacket pocket. He realized that the bullet had gone through all 100 pages of the double-folded speech, then penetrated four inches into his chest. The former "Rough Rider" pulled the bloodstained manuscript from his breast pocket, triumphantly telling the audience, "You see, it takes more than one bullet to kill a Bull Moose." He spoke for fifty minutes and then was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered there was no blood around the wound because the papers of his speech sealed around the bullet in the bullet hole. Teddy served as the 26th U.S. president from 1901 to 1909. Democrat Woodrow Wilson beat him in this election and Shrank, pronounced insane, was carted off to a mental hospital where he died in 1943.
October 13, 2008. It is Columbus Day. Remember that the banks and the post office are closed. It is the birthday of Bill Danilowicz, Art Search, Jan Swan, Mary Gaye Kline, Rose Zimmerman and Jill Byrum, known better as Lacy J. Dalton. Tomorrow night is the Full Hunter's Moon and last night was a moonlit night. Get out tonight and have a walk in the full moon. It is the first anniversary of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. It was a year ago on this day that the grand opening of The Center took place beginning with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, followed by a potluck dinner, a concert of patriotic music by the Brush Arbor Choir to honor the individual veterans of the area. There were speeches by dignitaries and tours and music including the John Russo Trio and the Brewgrass Grandes headed by Joe and Lorraine Feola.
The handwriting was on the wall when calls to landsmen with Chief Gas & Oil confirmed that their company was immediately pulling back unsigned natural-gas leases. Chesapeake Energy Corp. revealed its co-founder and chief executive, Aubrey McClendon, was "forced to sell substantially all his shares to meet margin calls," according to a Wall Street Journal article. McClendon owned about 33.5 million shares--valued at over $2 billion--as of Sept. 30, but was forced to sell 31.5 million of those shares--94% of his holdings--for $569 million. In Allegheny County, the Pittsburgh Airport Authority learned Thursday that natural-gas companies were not currently interested in meeting its proposed terms for the right to drill on 9,300 acres of Pittsburgh International Airport and county airport land.
The words when read locally were grim and to the point. The Columbia County Landowners Coalition told their members Sunday that "The offer before us with the Energy Company has been withdrawn because of events beyond our control. With the economy having taken a downturn and impacting many companies, some energy companies are not offering new leases or, in some cases, are offering lower prices than originally agreed upon."
Organizers added a note of optimism, saying "The Columbia County Land Owners Coalition will continue moving forward as the economy and offers dictate. Understand, however, that if you have signed a letter of commitment with us, you are not bound to us. That was purely a requirement to satisfy this particular Energy Company, and we have no intention of restricting any choices you may feel led to make, apart from us."
Organizer Bruce Anderson noted, "We remain united, and look to the future and all its potential. Our next meeting is Thursday October 16, 2008." Bruce said that he wants to let everyone know at the meeting what happened to slow down the signature process.
Arthel L. (Doc) Watson, Deep Gap, North Carolina, is recovering from two major surgeries this year. North Carolina friends write that Doc had lung cancer, but that in a recent operation all the cancerous tissue was removed and that Doc is doing well. Don taught himself the chords to "When the Roses Bloom in Dixieland" on a borrowed guitar when he was thirteen, and his delighted father bought him a $12 Stella. He later picked up some chords from a fellow student at Raleigh School for the Blind. In Deep Gap, he played with neighbors and family, including fiddler Gaither Carlton, his future father-in-law. Rosa Lee Carlton and Doc were married in 1947. They became parents of two children, Merle and Nancy Ellen.
The next time you have a chance, stop at the Hughesville Public Library, 146 South 5th Street, 584-3762. Be sure to strike up a quiet conversation with the staff. They have the answers to the most difficult questions.
Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Buster, Chloe and I took a walk through the autumn leaves Sunday. Buster and Chloe, for those who have been paying too much attention to the upcoming election and no attention to the Benton News, are Bichon Frise dogs who dominate the household of Marcia Kay and I. We were looking for mousies, the term that the dogs use to understand the concept of seeing something move which should be chased. The subject came up of what the dogs had been hearing about, known as the 'Emergency Economic Stabilization Act," which readers will recognize as HB 1424. Some simply refer to it as the "Bailout."
The one-sided conversation began with me explaining that a whole lot of people borrowed a whole lot of money to buy houses. The dogs didn't understand money so I equated money to Kibbles 'n Bits and explained that it took a whole lot of Kibbles n' Bits. We had been walking for half an hour at that point, so a "whole lot of Kibbles n' Bits" sounded darn good to them.
I continued, lamenting how the national economy had affected everything from local gas leases to the presidential election to neighbors on our street. I explained the situation in terms they would understand. I told them about the Jack Russel terrier down the street who wanted to borrow a cup of Kibbles 'n Bits and promised to repay the loan a year later with three cups. Buster and Chloe weren't impressed. They had experience with that dog and knew him to be a bad risk. I then asked them what they would do if they were me and a human asked to borrow 100 cups of Kibbles and would repay 250 cups a couple of years later. They knew humans were good and dogs they didn't know were bad, so they both suggested that I take the deal. They apparently felt that the dog would eat up the loan and not repay it while the human had lots of Kibbles and the loan would get repaid.
I went over the first 112 pages of the 451 page "bailout" bill line by line. I tried to treat them as humans in my explanation...
• The Treasury can buy up mortgages, using Kibbles 'n Bits, on huge dog houses (apartment buildings). Buster chimed in that people who own these buildings don't usually have their apartment buildings taken away.
• I explained about the new bureaucracy that would be formed known as "regulators" who can make changes to large chunks of Kibbles 'n Bits (mortgages), including giving the dog house away. I told them that these regulators would stick around until the last of the Kibbles was repaid.
• I explained that the total number of Kibbles that could be given away was 11,315,000,000,000. I explained that we went over the $1 trillion debt limit when a man by the name of Reagan was president. I explained how the father of our current president termed a phrase "Voodoo Economics" and how our nation borrowed a trillion in just one day.
• I explained how we suspended the law that made banks show the real value of their assets on their books, even if there wasn't any value. I told the dogs about forming a commission to decide later what banks could show to their shareholders if they showed something other than the true value of their assets.
• I explained how the FDIC published a new protection for the Kibbles up to $250,000 per account for the next 15 months, but that they were not going to adjust the insurance for new risks. The law only told the FDIC to change the number from $100,000 to $250,000, but didn't permit anything else.
Explaining the situation was getting harder. I tried an approach where a human gave ten dogs, all animals that Buster and Chloe did not know, a cup of Kibbles each with the promise that the loan would be repaid with three cups of Kibbles in three years. I said that the man would give the paper that explained all this to another human in exchange for more Kibbles. They liked the idea at first, then realized that a dog was repaying the loan, they didn't know the human who owned the paper and the human they trusted who made the original loan was nowhere to be found. The more they thought about it, the more they realized that dogs who got the loan would eat the Kibbles and have nothing to repay when the loan came due. They realized that if they just got ten cups back, not the thirty they hoped to get, they would only break even. But what if none repaid? What a dilemma for Buster and Chloe. I still was not about to give up on explaining the "bailout."
I told them that as Leader I would step in and give them the cups of Kibbles they needed to repay the loans to the dogs from whom they had borrowed. They loved it, until they realized that I had to borrow Kibbles in order to pay off other dogs and that meant that I wouldn't have any money to buy them biscuits they loved to eat at the end of their walks. I explained that they should not worry because there were powerful men in powerful places who looked out for all of us and would make sure that everyone got their Kibbles back. They wanted to bite the man who made the first loan but we were not able to remember who that was. They realized they were out of Kibbles, had no one to bite, had no more money to buy any more Kibbles, agreed to fix the blame on the shoulders of the yellow cat on the next block and continued on our walk, all the while keeping our eyes open for mousies and lamenting that there would be no biscuits waiting at the end of the walk and probably no Kibbles to eat next week. It was a sad walk indeed.
It wasn't over yet, I explained. A couple more laws were passed on the same vote, one of which gave energy tax breaks for wind, clean coal, biofuels, geothermal, and others. The steel industry gets credits for plug-in vehicles, money was tossed to the black-lung trust fund, and companies that make home appliances that recycle gray water came out good.
The next bill passed at the same time gave special tax breaks for restaurant and retail depreciation, rum from Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands, businesses in American Samoa, mine-rescue training, businesses on Indian Reservations (read "casinos"), railroad tracks, motorsports racing facilities (read "NASCAR'), employees of companies affected by Hurricane Katrina, companies investing in Washington D.C., wool producers, film and television production, manufacturers of wooden arrows, people who won suits against Exxon for the Valdez incident, and for buying farm machinery.
The Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 was passed, which requires all health insurers to cover mental health treatment just as they would physical illness. I'm not sure how long this bill has been trying to get passed, but Senator Wellstone died in October 2002.
The dogs knew better than to run away, but occasionally glanced at each other as if to say "lets get on with it." I continued, telling what else got passed, including funding for schools, roads, weed control, forest ecosystems, improved cooperation among Federal agencies and the Oregon & California Railroad. It made sure that the states of LA, CA, OR, PA, SC, SD, TX and WA would be paid for Federal land in those states. I couldn't explain what happened to the other states with Federal land. There was something that required the Bureau of Land Management to accept a minimum of 50% of timber-logging contracts over the next three years. The amounts set out in the "Mine Reclamation Fund" were doubled. The new law had a "Katrina relief bill" to include the states of IL, IA, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, NE, and WI--and then gave "Katrina Relief" to "anyone" "affected" by Hurricane Ike.
Late yesterday, the dogs told me they have lost their appetites for any more walks this week.
October 12, 2008. It is the birthday of Corey Becker, Camp Hill. On this day in 1997, singer John Denver, 53, was killed during his maiden flight in his new plane when it crashed off Monterey Bay. He was the pilot and only passenger. Authorities were unable to identify the mangled body, and it was only through fingerprints that it was confirmed the following day that Denver was the victim. Watch the fog this morning. Go Phillies tonight in game 3. It was No. 6 Penn State 48, Wisconsin 7.
Every school child in this country knows that at 2 AM on this date in the year 1492 a sailor on board a tiny ship known as the "Pinta" cried "Tierra, tierra!" Italian-born Cristoforo Colombo, 40, arrived at his Bahamas landfall from the port of Palos in southern Spain on his first voyage. His three ships were the Santa Clara, named after the Saint, but which the crew nicknamed Niña, the 69-foot Pinta and the 85-foot Santa Maria. Over the ensuing years, cars, mattress sales, and even streets and whole cities were named in his honor, much to the chagrin of people with names like "DeSoto" and "Cabot." The stories about Columbus range from the good (going bravely where man had never gone, navigating an unknown ocean), to the bad ("discovering" an inhabited land that he thought was India), to the ugly (theories of him being syphilitic and his crew learning to suck smoke from burning sticks introduced by natives Columbus called "Indians").
Admiral Cristóbal Colón, his new name in Spanish and his honorary title bestowed on him simply because it appeased Columbus and didn't cost the court of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella any money, had little trouble convincing the Spanish Sovereigns to finance a second voyage, this one with seventeen ships, over a thousand men, and horses, sheep, and cattle. Columbus, however, became increasingly ill and nervous, a cough developed and his log mentions his aching bones.
Although Columbus was Spain's greatest explorer for the Crown of Castile, he returned to Spain in chains from Hispaniola after the Queen's commissioner found seven Spaniards hanging in the colony of Isabella.
Columbus did not actually reach the mainland of what is now North America until his third voyage in 1498, the first voyage where women were allowed to sail with the men.
In 1503, attempting to return home from his fourth journey and still looking for a strait linking the Indies with the Indian Ocean, Columbus did find gold by trading for it with natives of the present Panama. Columbus desperately needed the gold to repay his loans. Off the coast of Cuba, Columbus and his ships were hit by a storm, and the ships finally had to be beached in St. Anne's Bay, Jamaica. In 1503. Jamaica was not a Spanish colony and with no one to rescue them, they were marooned. One of Columbus' captains rowed a canoe to Hispaniola where he was imprisoned for seven months. Meanwhile Columbus had his share of problems when half of his men staged a mutiny, which he eventually put down. Columbus was rescued in 1504, returning home to Spain on November 7, 1504, his last voyage complete.
Columbus, 54, died in the spring of 1506 believing that he had found the Indies and China. It wasn't until 1513 that it was discovered that the western lands were not Asia. An edition of Ptolemy's Geography displayed the land mass as two continents. Columbus had been mislead by the Romans' 1,400 year-old calculations, which underestimated the circumference of the earth. Still, the anniversary of this date in 1492 is celebrated throughout the Americas and in Spain and Italy.
And since we talked about geography so much today, we should tell you that the high school systems across the country could do more with that subject. Don't believe it? Try this! Place the state by playing geography with your family.
Old age is when you still have something on the ball
but you are just too tired to bounce it.
The first of the Sugarloaf fish suppers was held on July 16, 1938, at the Central Methodist Church. Prices were $.25 each for children and $.50 for adults. The next fish supper will take place at the Sugarloaf School House on October 25.
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me,
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
--Emily Brontë (1818-1848)
• Bill Gates is the latest victim of the free falling economy. The Microsoft founder is no longer at the top of Forbes list of the 400 richest Americans, which he held for the past 15 years. Billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who somehow made $8 billion during the free-fall of the last month on Wall Street toppled Gates according to new figures released by Forbes magazine. Gates' vast fortune fell $1.5 billion to $55.5 billion in the past month, according to the magazine. Forbes recalculated its list of the 400 richest Americans in light of the economic downturn and plunging stock market. Four members of the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame held positions 4 through 7.
• The New York Times in its edition of October 11 reported that General Motors is in preliminary talks about a possible merger with Chrysler via Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns Chrysler. The talks began more than a month ago, and the negotiations are not certain to produce a deal. Don't expect this to be completed soon.
A thirty-five acre field of pumpkins, or "pumkins" as some of us lazy ones say, on the farm owned by Richard and Janet Kriebel and farmed by Brian Campbell. This field is directly behind Strevig's Restaurant. This will be the big week for disposing of the pumpkins. Fifty-one tractor trailer truck loads are due to be shipped to Sam's Club and Wal-Mart stores via six distribution sites on the east coast during the coming week.
October 11, 2008. This is the start of the three-day weekend for some and the lines at the gas stations filling up with $3.059 and $3.099 regular, unleaded gasoline were long. It is the birthday of retired teacher Beatrice Marie Roberts, the wedding anniversary of Philip and Susan Shultz and the wedding day of Peter Broich Shultz and Sharon May Duff. Don't forget the activities this weekend at the 'Ol Country Barn. Consult the Upcoming Events page for everything happening.
The Dow had its worst one-week wave of panic selling since 1929, the worst week in its 112-year history, and its most volatile day ever with a 1,000 point swing, eventually declining 128 points to 8451.19. Around the world, stock markets are in full-scale economic and financial meltdown. Who knows when it will stop? Certainly no one I personally know. There are factors at play here way over most people's heads. For example, yesterday Singapore decided to abandon its strong dollar policy and seek a policy aimed at pushing its currency lower to pump up export growth.
• PPL Corp filed with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Friday to build a new nuclear power reactor at the existing Berwick plant. PPL will call the plant Bell Bend. The NRC review of the license application is expected to take up to four years. Unit 1 at the Susquehanna plant come into operation 25 years ago and unit 2 in 1985.
• Have you met Challenger, the bald eagle? If not, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfevfJNDuIg&eurl=http://www.eagles.org/aef and learn more about the bald eagle cared for by the non-profit American Eagle Foundation. In early 1989, Challenger was blown from its nest during a storm, and was hand raised by the people who found him. He experienced too much human contact at a very young age and became highly "human socialized." As a result, Challenger thinks he's a person.
• Didja ever know that some wag said the word "we" should "only be used by royalty, newspaper editors, or persons with parasitic infestation?" We will try to be more careful in the future.
An old saying that I am fond of using during these turbulent times is "When the paddy wagon comes, it takes the good girls with the bad," a reference to a police wagon of the 1920s. The current economic times is hurting companies like Chesapeake Energy Corp. who, according to the Wall Street Journal, is "scrambling to sell assets and cut costs. Gas prices which were at a high of $13.577 per million British thermal units in July closed Thursday at $6.825 and Friday at $6.535 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. As a result, Chesapeake is dramatically cutting back its high-cost land-leasing program. Chesapeake and other companies leased millions of acres of land, recently at sky-high prices, and counted on being able to borrow money and sell shares to get the money to drill it. Chesapeake's shares reached $69.40 on July 2, up 77% from the start of the year. Its shares closed at $16.32 on Friday.
As the economy retrenches, the "paddy wagon" in the gas-drilling business takes everyone along for the ride; i.e., the drilling company, the landowner and the facilitator we know as the "broker." The broker is much like the executive of a large corporation. Oh, they may not spend $440,000 on a lavish party, but consider the impact of their taking .5% of a royalty lease over a 15 to 20 year period. Let's say your royalties are $150,000 a year. The broker would get $7,500 a year and over a twenty-year period that adds up to $150,000.
Leases under consideration in the local area need to be reviewed by an attorney prior to signature. Some leases have a $5 per acre shut-in with no limit on the amount of time the well can be shut-in. What this means is that the drilling company could drill on you to extend the lease and never put the well in production. You could end up receiving only $5 a year. Other leases being circulated in the local area have $25 per acre shut-in fees with twelve-month limits on shut-in.
How many times have landowners been told to have an attorney review their lease before signing? Wonder how many landowners did that? We suspect that there will be howls by landowners who don't do it for years to come.
Susan Southard, is a USDA Soil Scientist in Davis, California, eleven miles west of Sacramento. She is the liaison for soil-survey work on National Parks throughout the Nation. Formerly known as the Soil Conservation Service, her agency is now known as the USDAs Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). the agency has "lead responsibility for conducting soil surveys nationwide for the purpose of creating soil maps that provide information on soil types for their best uses and limitations."
Susan does much more than conduct soil mapping on parks across the nation. She remembers her visits Back Home to Benton, PA. "My most vivid memories with my grandfather and my mom are visits to Painter Den and enjoying simple hometown events in Benton, she wrote in an email recently. "I remember autumn walks in the woods with my mom and 'Paw-paw,' as we called my grandfather." "Paw-Paw," also known as Earnest Hess, was a rural mail carrier for many years operating out of the Benton post office. The family lived in the former house which is now the pharmacy on Main Street. From her grandfather, Susan learned about nature. "We collected moss, lichens and Virginia creeper for terrarium winter gardens with carefully placed miniature porcelain animals that created an idyllic green-forest scene to enjoy when snow was on the ground outside."
Many remember Sue's mother, Dorothy Hess Burlew, a woman mentioned in the article about a club a number of local girls once were members of an organization known as the Nut Club.
Susan is responsible for database management and interpretations for the 272 National Parks, Monuments and Historic Sites in the NPS system, assuring consistency with standards set up by the National Cooperative Soil Survey.
Because there are more living creatures in a shovelful of soil than there are human beings on the planet, Susan has a large task in front of her. The California State soil, the San Joaquin Series, is among those included in a historic new exhibition at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. The exhibition, entitled Dig It! The Secrets of Soil, will remain on display in the Nation's Capital through Jan. 3, 2010. Thereafter, it will travel to 10 museums nationwide until 2013. Susan has been part of the 11-member design team for the past four years.
For more information about the traveling exhibition, visit www.sites.si.edu/soils. Additional information about "Dig It! The Secrets of Soil" is available at http://forces.si.edu/soils. The National Museum of Natural History is located at 10th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. in Washington, D.C. Admission is free.
There is still a lot of the country girl in Susan. She remembers slipping on a rock in the middle of Fishing Creek and "deciding to scream until someone came back and got me." She helped at the candy stand at the Farmers Picnic with Carl Fritz and got "nervous about whether I could count and return customers' change correctly. I feel I probably messed up a couple times," she remembers. She fondly recalled the firemen's parades at carnival time, and the double-oared rowboats at Painter Den. She remembers trying to match the rhythm and pattern of the other rower in the boat and from that beginning she was inspired to "compete with my intercollegiate rowing team while in college." The appreciation of nature learned from her grandfather and her mother formed an inspiration "in pursuing a career in natural resources and conservation."
Her work in soil science takes Susan to many parts of the country. Her role as a national liaison to the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Park Service as well her committee work with the soils exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. is due in part to influences from childhood experiences Back Home in Benton, Pennsylvania. Learn more about Susan by going to http://www.ca.nrcs.usda.gov/news/dig_it_exhibit.html.
October 10, 2008. It is the birthday of Loraine Hartman, Don King, Dottie Rabb, Frank Edson, and Jerri Ann Danilowicz. Jerri Ann and her cousin, Frank Edson, were born on the same day, weighed the same and sisters Lillian Edson and Geraldine Watts had beds next to each other at the Geisinger Hospital. This was the last day in 2007 to hit 70° and the day after the Dow closed at 14,164.53 a year ago. The DOW closed at 8,579.19 yesterday.
Thursday was one of the ugliest market sell-offs in decades. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 2,271 points from the last day of September through yesterday's close. The Standard & Poor's 500 index had its steepest six-day plunge since 1987, and plunged another 7.6% yesterday. It has lost 38% so far this year! The Dow Jones Industrial Average Index free fell during the last half hour of trading to close down a jaw-dropping 679 points. Morgan Stanley (MS) was down 25.89%, closing at $12.45, even as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) planned to invest $9 billion in the bank in exchange for 21% of its equity. Ford Motor Company (F) closed at $2.08, while General Motors (GM) shares were down $1.34, or 19%, to $5.57. On the other side of the coin, those who shorted in ETFs like Ultra Short Financials Pro Shares (SKF) made almost 21% on their money yesterday. The U.S. Federal Reserve said total borrowing rose to $430.87 billion Wednesday from a record $409.52 billion in the prior week. Total average daily borrowing also climbed to $420.16 billion from a record $367.80 billion in the prior week. There is every reason to believe that the free falling will continue and possibly worsen today.
The party's over
It's time to call it a day
They've burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away It's time to wind up
The masquerade Just make your mind up
The piper must be paid
Didja know that Marcellus Shale, technically the Marcellus Subgroup of the Hamilton Group, Marcellus Member of the Romney Formation, is named for an outcrop near the village of Marcellus, New York, 185 miles due north of Benton, 15 miles west of I-81 near Syracuse?
Flu-shot clinics are coming up October 15 and October 29 at the Benton Hospital Lab Site, behind Ed Cole's Barber Shop. The hours are 8 AM to noon. Call 784-1723 to make an appointment. Only Medicare Part B or $25 in cash will be accepted. The flu season runs from November to April, with most cases between late December and early March. Getting the shot before the flu season is in full force will give the body a chance to build up protection from the virus.
Didja notice that the state of the nation has suddenly shifted the concentration of the American people from "Desperate Housewives" and Britney Spears?
We'll finish up with the old expressions today. We'll come back to this subject from time to time as I either remember or hear expressions like the following:
mighty small potatoes and few in a hill: of small consequence. "Bob is mighty small potatoes and few in a hill."
down to the oil: A direction indicating a blacktop road
rate: right. "Come in the house rate now."
darsn't, a first cousin of shouldn't, wouldn't, couldn't and the ever popular daren't. If you darsn't do something, then you dare not do it, or there will be unfortunate consequences. "I told that boy, he darsn't swim below the dam, but did he listen?" This curious slang is perhaps now almost unique to the Benton area, but in the nineteenth century it could be heard throughout much of the entire United States, especially in the deep South. The word was often used in writings we see from the local area. Today, the word is occasionally uttered by older people in the southern and Appalachian states. It is obsolete slang, but is quite expressive and it does give us a clue where the person who said it has been dangling his toes...
nooning: Intermission for rest in the middle of the day. "The hired man took an hour for nooning."
sweetened water: a drink served during haying time, mostly water, but ginger or molasses added.
contribution-box: a wooden box with a long handle in which the church collection was taken. "Put a dollar in the contribution box."
Whet the appetite; to sharpen the desire for. "The odor of pumpkin pie whets my appetite."
In the holler: in between a row of trees or small valley
davenport: A sofa. Many romances began here. Some ended here.
Mike DiLeo suggested that local folks "would know you’re not from the area if you say Bloomsburg vs. Bloom or Berwick vs. Burik."
We've all heard of bricks, but not quite like you'll hear about later this month when "brick" refers not to what it is, but how it's made. The term has to do with a manufacturing process for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro lines of laptops. Apple will build the notebook out of a single piece of carved-out aluminum--a brick--using a process they described in a patent as "enclosure parts that are structurally bonded together to form a singular composite structure." Screws will be minimized or eliminated. Seams joining different pieces of metal would disappear.
Didja hear about the man who met his wife at a travel bureau? She was looking for a vacation and he was the last resort.
It was never easy! Father once told me that he and other boys gathered chestnuts this time of the year by fastening a stone to one end of a line, then they would throw the stone over a tree limb to be shaken, and, when it came down, would grab hold of both ends of the line and fairly shake the limb bare of everything it contained. This certainly was not a lot of fun for the one who did the shaking. I can image that some of the boys would increase the number of burrs that fell by a handful now and then.
I found an article in the New Haven Register from October 13, 1879, which contained interesting advice on chestnuts. It said, in part,
• There is nothing more soft and delicate to the touch than the inside of a chestnut burr; nothing that we touch more delicately than the outside of the same burr.
• It is folly to throw a walking stick into a chestnut tree. It will not induce "what grows up to come down." Nothing short of a railroad tie will knock off the chestnuts."
• "The chestnut interferes materially with the gospel plan of salvation. One chestnut will draw a larger congregation than any clergyman ever preached to."
• "Three pints of chestnuts is a good day's work for a party of four."
• "The man who has the backache by reason of carrying home a bushel of chestnuts is yet unborn."
• "The little tail at the end of the small end of the chestnut is supposed to be the handle by which it can be pulled from the burr. It is a mistake. It is the deceptive bait by which you get your fingers pricked badly by the burr."
• Chestnuts are like fish. They bite best on Sundays.
• The best chestnut finder is the worm. He devotes his hole time to it.
• Young women should not eat chestnuts; they produce sore lips and alter the course of true love.
With that background on the subject of chestnuts, it is time to pop some into the microwave and remember the wonderful taste. Becky Westover generously gave me several bags and I also bought some from Jim and Pat Edson, Main Street. Jim sells them, by the way, out of a cooler on his front porch. The way I prepare them is to have a sea-salt shaker nearby, then make a small "X" on the side of the chestnut and pop five uniformly sized nuts at a time into the microwave. I turn it on full power for a minute and four seconds. When they come out and have a chance to cool a bit, I take the outer covering off the nut and sprinkle them with some salt and drop them into my mouth. Nothing is better. Refrigerate the ones you don't consume. Position a pack of matches at an appropriate location in the bathroom.
Congratulations to the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Guv for signing legislation into law Wednesday to curb inhumane commercial dog-breeding practices.
A bill also passed both houses and headed to the Guv to "protect" state residents from home improvement scam artists. If signed, the bill would require home-improvement contractors to register with the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection. That office would provide a toll-free number for consumers to check on a contractor's registration status. All work in excess of $500 would be covered by home-improvement contracts which would require the enumeration of the time frame for completion and the total costs involved.
October 9, 2008. It is the 26th wedding anniversary of John and Sandy Kogut. Today is the day selected at random to honor Leif Erikson, who led the first Europeans known to have set foot on North American soil over a thousand years ago--about 500 years before Christopher Columbus stumbled upon the new world. Learn more at www.mnc.net/norway/LeifErikson.htm. Many will remember that on this date in 2005 the Operation Katrina drive was held with the Stillwater Christian Church raising $4,700 from the congregation, the elementary students of the Benton Area Schools raising $3,300, contributions left at the collection point were $373, and $950 was collected as a contribution for fuel costs for the trip south. The Dow closed at 14,164.53 exactly one year ago today.
.Both the Columbia County Landowners Coalition and the Chris Robinson Oil and Gas Group have now agreed to sign on to drilling for natural gas in the local area. Both groups are $2,850 per acre and 17% royalty. A difference is that members of the Columbia County Landowners Coalition, representing about 60,000 acres, do not know at this time who will be drilling on their land. There are other differences which must be carefully examined and considered.
It is a beautiful fall with none of that 90° stuff we had a year ago today. The fall foliage is at 100% of its beauty in the higher elevations. Peak colors should occur in the local area about the middle of October. The cooler temperatures will signal deciduous trees to stop producing chlorophyll which will expose other leaf pigments which create the brilliant reds and purples seen in maple, sassafras, sumac, and some oak.
Would you like to start your own business? There is an excellent opportunity for people in the Susquehanna Valley area.ASET Solar, a company that Kelly Gavin helped get started, won the Business Plan competition last year. Its first prize was $20,000, the jump-start that its solar company needed.
There is akickoff event coming up for those who wish to attend. Call Kelly at 764-1690 so she can get a count for the dinner. Learn more at www.gskiz.org/index.php.
Quote of the Day:
"All I'm looking for is a guy who'll do what I want, when I want, for as long as I want, and then go away. Or wait nearby, like a Dust Buster, charged up and ready when needed."
The Bookmobile of the Columbia County Traveling Library visited its regular schedule of stops for nine days during September. The Bookmobile staff resumed stops at schools, daycare centers and pre-schools. There was no Bookmobile service during the week of the Bloomsburg Fair. The fall book sale sponsored by the Friends of the Columbia County Traveling Library has been postponed until the fourth weekend in April 2009.
Everyone in the Northern Columbia area is invited to the first anniversary weekend celebration of the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center. The festivities begins with a "Monster Ball" that will be open to the public on Friday, October 31, from 7 PM to 11 PM. The Monster Ball will have music, dancing, a costume contest and soft drinks. Everyone is asked to bring a tasty Halloween treat to share. The celebration will continue on Saturday, November 1, noon to 6 PM, and Sunday, November 2, noon to 4 PM with an open house for the public. There will be anniversary cake, cider, ice tea, coffee and finger foods for refreshments. The Center will be open to the public with informational tours.
As have many good stories over our lifetime, this one starts out "In the beginning." Luzerne County was taken from Northumberland County in 1786 in the midst of a great depression following the Revolution. The newly created county was huge. It included the present Lackawanna, Wyoming, Susquehanna, and part of Bradford County--all of which would eventually be made into independent counties. Huntington Township was in the southwestern part of the county. In July, 1813, part of this township was split off to form Union Township. In 1842, portions of Union Township and adjacent Lehman Township merged and became Ross Township.
The history is by way of introduction to Cramer Hook and Pleasant Hill--areas now collectivey known as Sweet Valley, named for its sugar-maple trees. When a post office was authorized in 1847, residents were told that they would have to decide on a name. The residents agreed on "Sweet Valley." If the history of Sweet Valley is something that you would like to know more about, turn to what Ron Hontz has written on the subject which you can find at http://ronhontz.com/historical-articles/historyofsweetvalley.htm.
Weight Watcher meetings will be Thursday evenings at the Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center with weigh-in starting at 6:30 PM and a meeting at 7 PM. The first night, the leader will hand out the materials and information needed to follow the program. The eight-week session begins October 23 and will run through December 18 (Thanksgiving is on a Thursday so they extend it one week).
This is an "At Work" program; memberships are closed after the second week which would require participants to wait until the next session to start. Current, prepaid members of Weight Watchers in Columbia County can join this group and receive a refund from the other group. Members outside Columbia County must pay the local fee. Another eight-week session begins January 8 and run through February 26, 2009.
Let's return to the list of old expressions that were/are used in the upper Fishingcreek Valley. They include...
hatch up: to bring against. "My mother-in-law hatched up this plot against me." This term is similar to "cook-up," to devise. "My mother-in-law cooked up a scheme to make me wash the dishes."
quite a few: a good many. "We picked quite a few huckleberries." While this may sound like an imprecise measurement, husbands and wives seem to understand it.
heft: the bulk of or the weight of. "Check the heft of the walnuts on the table." Rarely heard today.
dear: high-priced or extravagant. "Audrey is a dear cook." Sometimes used in the sense of "precious," as in "Johnnie is a dear child."
cellarway: An entrance to a cellar from an inside room. "The milk is kept in the cellarway."
coalpit: a hole in the ground where charcoal was made in former days. "Alder wood was burned in the coalpits a hundred years ago."
hummock: the mound of turf and grass, often formed over stones in a pasture. "The Holsteins grazed around the hummock."
Injun meal: corn meal. "Put a cup of injun meal in the bowl."
maple-molasses: An early version of maple syrup. "We ate maple molasses on our buckwheat cakes."
We'll finish with these old sayings in tomorrow's version of the Benton News.
October 8, 2008. Happy birthday to Donald Baker and to Marissa Whitenight (her second this week, thanks to poor handwriting on my part).On this date in 1871, The Great Fire of Chicago broke out at the barn of Catherine and Patrick O'Leary when Mrs. O'Leary's cow kicked over a kerosene lamp. Or was Daniel "Peg Leg" Sullivan responsible? The fire traveled quickly on the West Side, jumped the Chicago River traveling at speeds estimated up to 30 mph at times, while sending fire and superheated air into the air. By October 10, more than three square miles in the heart of the city were destroyed, property damages were $200 million, about 100,000 people were homeless, and nearly 300 were dead.
One dark night, when people were in bed,
Mrs. O' Leary lit a lantern in her shed,
The cow kicked it over, winked its eye, and said,
There'll be a hot time in the old town tonight.
On this day in 1956, a pitcher with an 11-7 record, Don Larsen, threw the ball 97 times to pitch a "perfect" game in the World Series. The Yankees started him in the second game of the Series, and the Dodgers blew him away in the second inning. It was time for the fifth game. Larsen faced Sal Maglie, the Dodger's famous "Barber," who into the fourth inning retired 11 Yankees in a row until Mantle homered. Larsen now had a lead, but it took a bunch of miracle saves by the likes of Mantle, Carey and McDougald to save a hit. In the ninth, Furillo was the first out with a shot to deep right. Campanella grounded out. Dale Mitchell pinch hit for the pitcher and got a called strike one, swung and missed for the second try, fouled one out and got a called strike three to put Larsen is an immortal classification. It goes to show you that we all have a big one coming. We hope that the administration hits a home run soon on the economy. We wish the same to the Philadelphia Phillies as they trudge toward the World Series.
Didja ever think that when college graduates enter the work force today, an A.B. degree mostly means that the holder has mastered the first two letters of the alphabet?
After watching the stock market Tuesday, down 508 points, it is now evident that I have entered the snapdragon part of my life. Part of me has snapped and the rest of me is draggin'!
It is always exciting to open email from readers from "out of the area." They often cautiously ask questions about the area, and usually know more than they let on that they know. They usually tell me something about the area that they have learned somewhere, then ask multiple questions. Two emails were like that today. The first asked for a picture of the local area so they could see what the leaves look like now. The second asked if I would include more expressions of the local area. I'll oblige with both on the web version and with the expressions on the email version. Here are some of my favorites, actually rather commonplace, that I remember used by Father.
Burying-ground: cemetery. "The burying-ground was along Towanda Creek." Towanda Creek, "where we bury the dead," referred to the Nanticokes who buried their dead along that creek. A Munsee village was located at the mouth of the creek during the Revolution. Earlier, a Susquehannock village was located there.
Mad as hops: angry. "The children made her as mad as hops." We have no idea what the plant "hops" would have to get mad about. Today, we just get "hopping mad," the kind of mad kids get when they "hop" on one foot, then the other.
Douse: roll. "The boy was doused in the snow." Dousing in cold water was also once used to bring on a fever for treatment of illness.
Gee: direction given to oxen to turn to the right. "Gee to the right." Last night's debate was an example of Sen. McCain pulling "Gee."
Haw: direction given to oxen to turn to the left. "Haw to the left." Last night's debate was an example of Sen. Obama pulling "Haw."
Snoop: to pry into one's affairs in a derogatory way. "That woman is always snooping around."
Meeting house: church. "The meeting house is across the street from the Millville High School."
Tetched: feeble-minded or weak-minded. "That child is tetched." The word is probably a local form of "touched," and often referred to someone with mental problems.
We'll return to some of these expressions Thursday.
Didja ever wonder whose idea it was to put an 'S' in the word "lisp?"
The majestic ruby, amber, and gold leaves that blend to create the vibrant colors of fall are arriving. The mountains of Sullivan County were beautiful Sunday with their browns, reds and yellows. To know more about the trees that produce the colors of our fall, visit www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/commontr/. Here is a scene from the Waller area, thanks to Bruce McMichael.
Didja ever think that when Uncle Sam plays Santa Claus, it is usually the taxpayer who ends up holding the bag.
Robert Leroy Snyder (February 21, 1933-September 30, 2008), Nordmont, formerly of Benton, was buried Monday morning at 11. Bob was 75. He was a former manager of the Benton Municipal Water Authority and prior to that he was the licensed sewer and water plant operator at Ricketts Glen State Park. Dorna Harriman, co-owner of the Country Friends Cafe, Muncy Valley, a woman Bob always fondly referred to as "Granny," noted that Bob didn't come to the restaurant for his customary two meals a day and she and Lisa Myers, the co-owner of the restaurant, formerly the Vail Family Restaurant, drove to Nordmont and found Bob's lifeless body, which was carefully guarded by his faithful companion, a very hungry Brittany Spaniel, Yeager.
His friend and co-worker Bill Verbyla, Mooretown, remembers Bob was instrumental in the Fishing Creek Sportsmens Club. He was a twenty-year veteran with the United States Air Force where he was an airplane mechanic. He was very instrumental with in-house training for trail rescue at Ricketts Glen before the passage of the EMT law which requires that the rescue must be carried out by a licensed EMT. Caroline Yockavitch has worked for 21 years at Ricketts Glen State Park, much of that time with Bob. She fondly remembered that Bob frequently brought "little goodies" for her. Bob loved to both hunt and fish, always with Yeager at his side when he was hunting birds. He loved to share his hunting stories and his devotion to the outdoors. Yeager is currently under the care of Caroline.
Bob had two sisters, both deceased, and two brothers, Tom and Jim, both residents of Shamokin. Graveside military services were accorded by the U.S. Air Force and by members of Sonestown Legion Post #601 at the Cherry Grove Cemetery, Nordmont, with Deacon Joseph Roinick, officiating. Country Friends Cafe provided a beautiful luncheon for the funeral party of his many friends. Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the P. Dean Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water Street, Dushore.
October 7, 2008. It is the birthday of Brian Laubach and Josephine Wilson, Maple Grove, her 64th. There are 75 days until the official start of winter. Richard Sutliff will be Back Home in Benton, PA, on Saturday, October 11, for an extended visit. Florence Kocher is expected to be released from the Berwick Hospital this afternoon.
As the days become shorter and darkness descends earlier each day on the hills of Pennsylvania, an ominous world opens for some as the chilling winds rip the leaves from our trees, opening up a world of strange sounds and unexplainable events. It is a perfect time for the dead to tell their stories. On Thursday, October 9, the Wyoming Valley Civil War Round Table will host Ed Dubil, Harveys Lake, the co-founder of White Dog Ghost Chasers, an organization which started following the first hearing of stories about the ghosts of Gettysburg from a retired park ranger. Ed will tell some of the stories that abound in American haunted history in advance of the TV show, The Ghost Soldiers, in production for the military channel. For more information, please consult our Upcoming Events page.
Quote of the Day:
"No ghost was ever seen by two pair of eyes."
We continue to receive emails asking when an event is going to take place. Upcoming events are listed on the Upcoming Events page. If you get in the habit of consulting this list of events, you'll learn that this week, for example, men can get free prostate examinations, landowners can sign up for the Robinson Natural gas bonanza, there is a free, open house of a new greenhouse, you can exchange potted plants with the County Cultivators, hear ghost stories, learn how to protect rural roads from heavy truck traffic, eat homemade ice cream or go to a ham supper or join the fun at the Ol' Country Barn for the pumpkin festival, go to the Sonestown Heritage Festival or the 28th Sullivan County Fair Festival, listen to Covert Action while eating homemade baked goods, or hear the Music of Daybreak. There is more, too, but for that you'll have to head to the Upcoming Events page.
We began on a chilling note. Now lets turn to a second issue that currently puts fear into people. What is money and how does it work? This is too large a topic for me to tackle, especially when you can think of all the financial questions you might want to ask. You can look up the answers yourself at http://wfhummel.cnchost.com/.
Concerns with the global economy and the ability of anyone to cure it sent stocks into a downward spiral Monday with the Dow industrials falling 369 points to end the day at 9955.50, the first close below 10000 since October 2004. The S&P 500 slid 3.9% and oil prices dipped below $88 a barrel. At the state level, a prediction yesterday coming out of the Senate Appropriations Committee was that the Commonwealth would start off $2.5 billion in the red. All this is a continuation of last week when the government brought out a $700 billion spending plan to avoid panic in financial circles while about a trillion dollars in wealth was wiped out in five days of stock and bond trading.
The old world has changed. Gone is cheap credit. Greed has gone away it appears, replaced by outright fear. Some homeowners are forced to give up their homes and that tailspin puts property prices into a more rapid descent. Credit-card holders are maxed out in many cases with consumer debt and that is affecting the people who issue the cards. Unemployment rates are rising while retirement assets are spinning out of control downward. The "smart" money managers tell us not to panic, but to ride out the storm. At some point we have to jump off the merry-go-round!
Too pessimistic, you cry! Well, you do the math. There are something like five and a half trillion in toxic residential mortgages in our country and about two and a half trillion in toxic commercial mortgages. How will we patch things up with the $700 billion bailout? Governments in Europe had to step in and rescue five banks. Oh, and did I mention there is an estimated twenty and a half trillion dollar consumer and corporate debt? It will be ever so interesting tonight during the presidential debate to see if the presidential candidates skate around this issue by diverting voters into questioning the ability of the opponent instead of giving the American people some answers. Enough of this grim stuff...
Didja hear about the little boy who stood in the foyer of a church staring up at a large plaque covered with names and small American flags? The six-year old had been staring at the plaque for some time when the minister walked up, stood beside the little boy, and quietly said good morning. The boy asked what that was on the side of the building. The minister explained that it was a memorial to all the young men and women who died in the service. They stood, saying nothing, eyes glued on the large plaque. Finally, the little boy, his voice barely audible and trembling with fear, asked, "Which service, Reverend, the 8 or 10:30?
Does this sound familiar? The year was 1859 and in an obscure Pennsylvania town the first well was drilled which ushered in untold wealth during a period of booms and bust. In one of these Pennsylvania towns, a piece of land, valued at $2 million was soon worth only $4.37. In one of the rural towns of Pennsylvania, the first well, in the middle of a dense woods, hit big--and within months there were four flowing wells, producing one third of the total output of the region. The place, one visitor wrote, "smells like a corps of soldiers when they have the diarrhea." A farm that had been virtually worthless a few months earlier was sold for $1.3 million in July and resold for two million dollars in September. That month, an previously unidentifiable spot in the wilderness became a town of fifteen thousand people, as the New York Herald put it, dealing with "liquor and leases." Another wrote that there is more "vile liquor drunk in this town than in any of its size in the world." But the town also had acquired two banks, two telegraph offices, a newspaper, a waterworks, a fire company, scores of boarding houses and businesses, more than fifty hotels, and a post office that handled more than five thousand letters a day--the third busiest post office in the Commonwealth.
The well production ended like a biblical plague a few months later as abruptly as it began when the wells began to run dry. The barrels holding the drilled fluids suddenly were worth more than the fluids they contained. Thousands fled the town desperate for new opportunities. The overnight town was instantly deserted. Fires either burned the buildings or they were torn down or used for firewood. A parcel of land that sold for $2 million in 1865 fetched $4.37 at auction thirteen years later. You ought to read more about this remarkable event in the history of our Commonwealth, which you can find by heading to www.phmc.state.pa.us/ppet/drake/page3.asp?secid=31.
Fermented apple juice has been from time immemorial one of the most celebrated of the milder type of exhilarating beverages. The name "cider" comes from the Hebrew "sichar," indicating that the sons of Noah were not unacquainted with this liquor. The Greeks and Romans were fond of it, and Charlemagne in one of his "capitularies" ordained 12 good rules to be followed in making cider.
Cider is considered by physicians to be an especially wholesome drink. Over the years, it has been recommended as an antidote to excessive meat eating and for rheumatism, gout and other diseases. Apple cider is more delicate than either beer or wine. It requires a proportionally greater care in the making. For making good cider the fruit must be fully ripe but not overripe. Cider can be made from summer, fall or winter apples, but as a rule only fall apples are used for this purpose.
The first pressing of the "Antanitis family" cider, part of the Benton Farmers' Market, took place Friday. The pressing was under the guidance of Bob Wenner, Bendertown, the original owner of the press. Jugging and cleaning ended around 8 PM with everyone smiling from the great taste which came from the mix of apples suggested by Bob Wenner.
Not knowing how much they would sell, the Antanitis family pressed half of the apples. Jugs sold rapidly Saturday at the Farmers' Market, so Bob and Robbie went back to pressing the rest of the apples. The rest were sold at the Sugarloaf Fish Supper.
The Antanitis family will have cider every weekend, when the barn doors are open. There is also a self-service stand in front of the house. It is NOT pasteurized so that it needs to be kept cold. The cider can also be frozen, but drink a little out of the container before freezing so the expanding doesn't cause the plastic to break. Some say the key to fresh taste is to COMPLETELY thaw the contents and then give it a shake.
Thank goodness that the old connotation of cider is gone. Take the story I found in the Tulsa World of September 9, 1920. It seems that in North Tuscaloosa, Oklahoma, a little church, back from the public road in a grove of big red oak trees, was without a pastor one Sunday morning. When the congregation assembled, the man who led the flock in spiritual matters was absent. The sheriff had taken him to Tuscaloosa and put him behind the bars of the county jail on the allegation that he was about to turn a couple of apples found souring in his orchard into apple brandy, the sweetening for which was discovered in his blacksmith shop in the shape of a barrel of blackstrap molasses. Two stills were found close to the house. The preacher had to make bond before he could fill his pulpit the next Sunday.
Didja know that almost three out of five US households have broadband access. One in 12 still has dial-up service. As for the number of internet users per 100 people, the US, formerly number 2 in the world in the year 2000, is now number 19.
--Christian Science Monitor
It happened on October 11, thirty-nine years ago, when a black-haired local boy, still wearing some of his baby fat and always displaying his mischievous smile, went to Lancaster to tie the knot with a German girl, Susan Broich, the first to tame the adventurous young man. He was little more than what some would call a "wee lad" as you'll be able to tell from the following picture. The groom was Philip Shultz. John Herbert Laubach provided the music for the wedding. Thirty-nine years later to the day, Philip will don a pair of kilts and with Susan participate in a Scottish ceremony of marriage between their son, Peter Broich Shultz, 37, and Sharon May Duff, 33, a Scottish lass known in part for her elegant Scottish high teas, such as the one upcoming at Caldwell Consistory on Monday, December 1, as part of TreeFest.
Philip Shultz, on the right, taking a puff, shortly before he got married. The person on the left was not identified.
October 5 and October 6, 2009. This is a consolidated edition of the Benton News. First, the birthdays: on Sunday, Dr. Bob Siguenza and Carol Lehet celebrated birthdays. It is the birthday Monday of Robert Zeitler.
There are 29 days remaining until election day and candidates' signs are far fewer than they were last year at this time for the local elections. Local elections seem to be more fun! At least during local elections, candidates remember our names. This year, letters from candidates begin, "Dear interested voter." Voters seem to know something first-hand about the local candidates, while at the national level we mostly know what the "talking heads" tell us about the candidate. We don't hear what the candidate will do to get out of the economic mess we are in. We only hear what the candidate says the other person will do. One thing all the candidates seem to have in common is sincerity, whether they mean it or not!
Last year at this time, I mentioned the candidate by the name of Jose who ran for a minor office and won. He then found a local political boss who mentored him and he ran for a higher office and won, this time by a landslide. He ran for Congress and won and then for the Senate and won. When his mentor saw he wasn't as happy as he should have been, he asked what he could do for the politician. The politician asked if his mentor could do one more favor and he received a positive response. The politician quietly asked, "Could you help me become a citizen?"
Didja ever think that growing old is somewhat akin to being penalized for a crime you haven't committed?
The Benton Area School District received $350,000 for a biomass-fired boiler-heating system designed to heat the elementary, the alternative school and the middle/high school buildings using a renewable-fuel source. The head-start and administrative buildings will not be heated by the biomass system.
Because Benton is the first school district in the state to receive such a grant, the project has become the focus of considerable attention. The design is such that a wide range of burnables can be used, including sawdust. An intent of the project was to supply and process fuel from the local area.
The "fuel pit" of the plant is now under construction on McHenry Alley at North Street, northwest of the high-school building as an add-on to the maintenance building.
The building should begin to show progress as it rises "out of the ground" in two weeks. The "plant" arrives on site at the end of November from the manufacturer, Advance Recycling Equipment, Inc. The target for initial operation is the end of December 2008.
The excavation for the heat lines from the maintenance building to the elementary school will be started this week in trenches five feet deep by five feet across. The trenches will contain electric lines, plus a "supply line" and a "return line" each four inches in diameter encapsulated in two inches of insulation. These lines will supply hot water. They will be about four feet below ground level.
Planners of the flexible-fuel system estimate that the school can replace 37,000 gallons of heating oil a year using local biomass materials of native grass pellets, wood and corn pellets to provide 80% of the district's heating needs. The project will produce a savings in heating at the schools while providing revenue to local farmers producing biomass like corn, loggers producing wood pellets, and to local mills to dry and prepare the corn and wood into usable pellets.
Burning shelled corn (corn pellets) and burning wood pellets produces roughly the same amount of heat (8,000 BTU/lb). Corn produces more ash and therefore has a higher maintenance factor, but locally could probably be obtained cheaper than wood pellets. Burning corn can be up to 82% efficient, compared with efficiency for wood pellets of about 75%. Sawdust is less efficient.
Switchgrass is a three-year crop. Some local farmers who took land out of production two years ago to begin raising switchgrass are quietly raising concern about whether the grass will be a viable crop next year. A working prototype of a pellitizer for switchgrass is not yet available locally. There are currently no pellitizers locally for wood pellets. A pellitizer is not needed for burning corn.
Have you had problems in the past with mice getting in your house? Assume that the problem will soon be back as the nights get colder. Mice do carry diseases and germs.
Great fleas have little fleas
upon their backs to bite 'em.
And little fleas have lesser fleas
and so ad infinitum...
Mice are mostly nocturnal. Try to find the place of entry and close that off. Steel wool works fine to fill in around water pipes. Remember that a mouse needs only a quarter of an inch opening to squeeze through. We suggest that you head for the garden or your health-food store before the first frost and bring in some peppermint leaves. Crush the leaves and put them in an old pair of panty hose and put several in various drawers. Dryer sheets work, at least for a few months. The electronic sound-emitting devices do not work well, according to people who have bought them.
Didja ever notice how some minds work like lightning? One brilliant flash and it is gone.
As the beautiful fall days settle in, take the time to walk along the dike north of the Benton dam as townspeople did at this time in 1936. The charm of the Borough of Benton drastically changed for the better following completion of construction of the dam and the dike by the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA). Construction didn't go as scheduled. Heavy spring rains raised the level of the creek and about forty feet of the center of the dam washed out.
As you walk along the dike this fall, imagine what it would be like to have the dike and the dam wiped out today in a single stoke. At the north end of the dike system, across from the present high-school and middle-school building, heavy rains in 1936 washed around the dike where construction was not as far along as near the dam.
As the dam gave way, the level of the creek dropped upstream, but the damage had been done. The basement of the high school was flooded and school had to be cancelled for a week. Don Rabb remembers that the family dog woke the family up in the middle of the night when flood waters suddenly lapped at their back door. The torrent of water spilling over the area where seconds before the dam stood created havoc with the stream bank below the dam and with homes on Market Street near the present Park Street. In that area were homes of Lee and Sara Kline and Sara Kline's father, John S. Baker, who lived in the brick house that later was owned by Lee Yost and now occupied by Maralee Yost. Across the street was the Presbyterian church and the manse for the church. The retaining wall along the creek crumbled in a flash.
A California reader, tongue in cheek, wrote that Friday he "went to buy a toaster and was given a bank as a free gift."
Jennie S. (Reese) Garrison (October 15, 1922-October 3, 2008), Pealertown Road, Orangeville, died Friday at the Millville Health Center where she had been a patient since July. A daughter of the late Martin Luther and Iva (Herring) Reese, she was born in Berwick. Mrs. Garrison was a past president of the Benton V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary. She was preceded in death by her husband, Glenmore P. "Pete" Garrison on June 19, 1998. Surviving are her children Bonnie L. Heintzelman, Stillwater, and Glen W. "Butch" Heintzelman (Marge), Benton; two grandchildren, four great grandchildren, two great, great granddaughters, a brother, Elwood "Bud" Reese, Bloomsburg. There are three sisters: Thelma McAfee, Berwick, Joyce Rex, Berwick; Hope Klinger, Benton; a step daughter, Cindy, and two step grandchildren. In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by an infant sister, Hazel. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at 11 AM with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home. Burial will be in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge.
--Obituary courtesy of the McMichael Funeral Home
October 4, 2008. Happy birthday today to Stephen Becker, Camp Hill, and happy anniversary to John and Paula Deeter and Grace and Chandlee Stowe.
On this date in...
• 1931, Dick Tracy first appeared in the Detroit Mirror. Chester Gould originally called the comic strip "Plainclothes Tracy" and drew steely eyes and 45 degree angles to portray the face of Dick and his girlfriend, Tess Truehart.
• 1939, a barber named Pierino from Canonsburg (near Pittsburgh) recorded That Old Gang of Mine with the Ted Weems Orchestra, Eventually the singing barber went solo on radio, television and stage as Perry Como, and recorded for RCA Victor for more than four decades.
• 1957, the Soviet Union became the first nation to go into space when it launched a 184-pound satellite that meant "companion" or "fellow traveler." The satellite went into orbit 500 miles above the Earth from Kazakhstan, staying in orbit for about three months. The launch caught the United States off-guard and got the attention of the world. Most viewed the launch as a sign that Russians were ahead in the race to create intercontinental ballistic missiles and soon would be setting up a military base on the moon. Don Martini remembers that our side had been working on a 23-pound satellite with a 3.5-pound payload for the International Geophysical Year under the auspices of the Navy using the Naval Research Laboratory's Vanguard launch vehicle. The Vanguard was later referred to as the Civil Service Rocket; i.e., it didn't work and you couldn't fire it! On November 3, 1957, the USSR launched its second satellite weighing 1120 pounds carrying an ill-fated dog named Laika. Don was in the USAF flying B-36s at Biggs AFB, El Paso, at the time. About a month after the Sputnik I launch, Don was given a "volunteer" assignment to establish a group for observing satellites and reporting the sightings to the Smithsonian Institution. The launch of Sputnik resulted in the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
• 1957, ABC-TVs Leave It to Beaver premiered with Jerry Mathers playing the Beaver, Hugh Beaumont playing Ward Cleaver, Tony Dow as big brother Wally, and Barbara Billingsley as mother June Cleaver in a version of Americana completely alien to life Back Home in Benton, PA. June did the housework in three strands of pearls, dresses right out of J. C. Penney's, wearing makeup, stockings with a black seam down the back side, and heels.
• 1970, rock singer Janis Joplin, 27, died in Hollywood of an overdose of heroin.
Quote of the Day:
Buy on Rumors, Sell on News.
--A trader's explanation of what happened to stocks on Wall Street as they sold off into Friday's close following a vote by the House of Representatives to approve the Treasury Department's $700 billion bailout package.
Information from tax returns are filed for the candidates...
• Sarah Palin and her husband, Todd, had a combined adjusted gross income of $166,000 in 2007.
• John McCain reported $852,000 in household income in 2007. His wife, Cindy, showed $6 million of income in 2006.
• Barack Obama, and his wife, Michelle, reported income of $4.2 million last year, including $3.9 million from book royalties.
• Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, reported $320,000 in adjusted gross income last year.
--Data compiled from the Wall Street Journal and other sources
Benton was featured on Channel 16 Thursday night as school superintendent Gary Powlus gave the evening news a tour of the site of the new furnace now under construction. The furnace will burn a combination of fuels, including wood, corn or prairie grass.
Readers of Gray's Sporting Journal will enjoy a photographic journal by Barry and Cathy Beck in the current issue. The article is entitled "Messing with Texas Bass."
A recommendation earlier this week to back up your hard drives resulted in a number of people asking how to do that. Let's first assume that you have your files in order--making sure that they are located in "My Documents" in the Documents and Settings folder or other central location. Then head here and follow directions.
Many of us forget about the wonderful shortcut that combines the Ctrl key and the letter "Z." If you delete something and discover as soon as you do it that you shouldn't have, use control and the z key and it comes back!
A reader asked about getting a copy of "Natural Gas Exploration: A Landowner's Guide to Leasing Land in Pennsylvania." Pennsylvania residents can get a copy free through county Penn State Cooperative Extension offices, or by contacting the College of Agricultural Sciences Publications Distribution Center at (814) 865-6713. The publication also is available at www.cas.psu.edu/spotlight/gasprimer08_web.pdf.
Didja know that locally the sycamore tree is usually called a buttonwood tree, supposedly because the wood was used to make buttons? The name comes from the Greek word for broad. The sycamore is also known as a buttonball, an English plane tree, water beech and Virginia maple. The bark flakes off in irregular patches because of the fast growth of the tree and has three colors: the outer is light gray, the inner is pale tan, and there is a greenish or chalky white color. One Ohio sycamore is 129 feet tall and measures 48 feet around the trunk. The leaf of the sycamore is as much as ten inches long, with three to five teeth, and can grow to be 500 years old although from about 200 years on it is hollow in the center. A few years ago, we timbered some land south of Benton and an extremely large buttonwood tree was cut. The center of the tree was hollow, and about 20 feet of the tree was taken to Iola where a play house was constructed on top of the tree truck, with access to the tree house via a ladder inside the trunk. The interlocking grain of the tree makes it nearly impossible to split. The wood is used for rolling pins, butcher blocks, saddletrees, shipping crates and violin backs.
Many "old-timers" will tell you that they can predict the severity of the winter based solely on the bark of the buttonwood tree. Father once said that his father told him that if the bark of the tree was thick and dark this time of the year that the tree was protecting itself from the anticipated wintry elements. I suspect there was little validity in this prediction.
Didja ever think about what happens to the dirt that a chipmunk takes out of the ground when he digs his hole? You will never see a pile of dirt around the hole of a chipmunk's home. So where does the dirt go? What does he do with it? If you attempt to dig a chipmunk out of the ground, you'll find that you can easily follow the chipmunk's hole but he can burrow about as fast as you can dig the dirt away.
October 3, 2008. Grant Gault and Eleanor Sands celebrate their birthdays today with Roy Uwe Ludwig Horn, usually just known as "
," of Siegfried & Roy fame. The reunification of East and Roy took place on this date in 1990. West Germany
From the "How Not to Train a Dog" comes this...
"Ah well! I am their leader, I really ought to follow them."
--Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin
Andre Maurois said it a little differently. He wrote, "The most important quality in a leader is that of being acknowledged as such."
The Friday edition of the Press Enterprise reported a win-win for the First Columbia Bank and for
. According to the newspaper, the county is considering the purchase of the First Columbia Bank building adjacent to the courthouse. The recently merged First Columbia Bank would find a larger location to handle their banking business. Columbia County
The Friday edition of the Benton News was late to be distributed. When I am on the road, I use a laptop which has become somewhat contrary. At times, it simply crashes, shutting down completely in an instant. I can restart the computer, but once started the computer keyboard will not work. I then have to remove the battery or unplug the computer and let it run down until it turns off. When some time passes and the computer cools down, the keyboard will again work.
I began pecking away at writing the Benton News last evening about the time that Sarah Palin and Joe Biden came out of the wings and shook hands. About the time that I faintly heard the words, "Nice to meet you," and "Hey, can I call you Joe," the computer crashed. I got to hear the line "Say it ain't so Joe, there you go again …" and the entire debate without having to multitask. The showdown in St. Louis showed Gov. Palin's ability to deliver talking points and pivot to an attack on Barack Obama regardless of what moderator Gwen Ifill was asking. She was a little short on talking points. Sen. Biden delivered crisp, clear and short (for him) rebuttals that began with the words "That charge is not true" instead of, say, "Governor Palin is lying." I don't think that the debate will change a lot of minds about the ultimate outcome of the election, but both were skilled debaters and the vacation from writing the Benton News during that time period was appreciated.
PPL divested themselves of their natural gas distribution and propane subsidiary to UGI Utilities, Inc.,
for a reported $268 million. The two subsidiaries represented about 1% of PPLs earnings last year. It looks like they are trying to "get their ducks in a row" to build another nuclear reactor. Valley Forge, PA
Tonight is a historic vote in the U.S. House of Representatives to see if it can spend $700 billion it doesn't have in addition to the $592 billion it spent since last August when the financial crisis began. Hey, if you are broke, what is a couple more billion? The money will have to come from the taxpayers or from investors in this or other countries. Get the IOU ledger filled up, eh! And what if investors can't be found for the entire amount? The Federal Reserve will start up the printing presses. The choice is debt or funny money.
But, wait! We hear that the Treasury is promising that any money made on the purchase of worthless paper will be used to pay down the national debt. Remember that falling real-estate prices were partially what got us into this mess. For the Treasury to make a dime, prices have to go up to more than they were when the original mortgages defaulted. Look at housing sales in the cities. Count in the interest on the IOUs. Don't count on much very soon. There won't be any profit in my lifetime...
Men 50 and older will be able to get their prostate screened in October.
is hosting free prostate screenings by board certified urologists on October 7, 9 and 14. It takes place on the second floor of the Medical Arts building from 5-7 PM by Dr. Anuj Chopra on the 7th, Dr. Aldo Suraci on the 9th, and Dr. Raj Chopra on the 14th. The screening will include a Prostatic Specific Antigen (PSA) blood test, rectal exam, and erectile dysfunction evaluation. According to Dr. Suraci in a press release, "By using both the PSA blood test and rectal prostate exam, we are able to more accurately diagnose prostate problems. Early detection and diagnosis are extremely important." Appointments are not necessary. For information or questions, call 387-2015. Bloomsburg Hospital
A weight-loss group is forming on Monday, October 6, at 7 PM, at the
. The propose of the meeting is to form a weight-loss group in Northern Columbia Community & Cultural Center . The organizers, Phil and Benton Jackie Malhoyt , are trying for a weight watchers meeting at The Center on a weekly basis starting within the next two weeks. Call 925-2722 for more information
October 2, 2008. It is the birthday of Jackie Becker, Camp Hill, and comedian Groucho Marx.
Karen Boston got through her second day of pain following her knee surgery at the Bloomsburg Hospital, but all reports are that she be back on the walking circuit soon.
A college grad lands a job as a financial journalist in New York City to support where she nurtures her shopping addiction and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur. This is loosely the story line of Confessions of a Shopaholic, by Sophie Kinsella, soon out in a movie version with Krysten Ritter. You can see the trailer at http://buzzsugar.com/1913671.
Didja figure out yet that the only foolproof path to wealth is inheritance?
The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will hold its October monthly meeting on Thursday, October 2, from 7 PM to 9 PM at the Degenstein Library, 40 South Fifth Street in Sunbury. The public is invited to join members and guests as they enjoy a presentation of "Pennsylvania German Immigrants and Native Americans." The presentation, by Society member Jim Stutzman, is in celebration of German American day, held annually on October 5 of each year, as proclaimed by the United States Congress. The presentation will focus on the interaction between 18th century German Immigrants and Native Americans in Pennsylvania. Refreshments will be provided. For more information, please contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer at 374-7730.
The Class of 1937 of Benton High School and a spouse of a former member met for their annual get-together at Painter Den Wednesday. Attending were...
Pierce Ashelman, Greenwood Township, 89, father of two, grandfather of three and great-grandfather of four. Herman Pennington, 89, Orangeville, father of two, grandfather of two. Helen Kent Karns, 89, Benton, mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of three. Theresa Hartman, Benton, 89, mother of three, grandmother of four. M. Ruth Kline, Benton, 84, mother of five, grandmother of six and great-grandmother of one.
Four graduates of the Class of 1937 of Benton High School, hosted by Ruth Kline, wife of a former classmate of the four, Dayne Kline, gathered in reunion at Painter Den Wednesday to reminisce about the "old days."
Pierce began his education in a one-room school built in 1875 known as the Pine Grove school which was situated in a grove of pine trees on Lower Raven Creek Road.
The building is still standing. It was closed when the Benton jointure was formed in the late 1970s. Pierce went to the first three grades in that school.
Pierce Ashelman remembered that Mildred Karns, his third grade teacher, didn't like the "hand-me-downs" that Pierce had to wear, especially a cape that a dentist had given him after the dentist tired of wearing it. Pierce had difficulty getting in and out of the winter cape and his teacher tired of having to help with that chore. The teacher finally made a crack about the cape which didn't sit well with the third grader who told Mrs. Karns it was better than the "barn bags" she wore which she purchased at the "barn bag" store owned by Barney Keller (now the Bakery Antiques, Main Street). Pierce felt that his remaining days in the third grade were more difficult after that exchange.
The conversation began with a question to Herman Pennington about where he began his elementary school education. Firmly grabbing the seat of his chair as if what would follow would take a while, he replied in a commanding voice, "Well, I'll tell you."
Herman spent the first eight years of his education in the Asbury school, a building no longer recognizable. In fact Herman later purchased the school property and tore the building down, using much of the wood to construct his own house. Herman went from the Asbury School to the school then known as Fishing Creek Union High School. Phoebe Pennington Appleman was his teacher and often the driver to get students to school, stuffing kids in the rumble seat after filling the inside of her car. In inclement weather, when the rumble seat was too exposed to the weather, the kids sometimes piled into the trunk which would be held open by a stick. Theresa Yost Hartman, a neighbor and fellow classmate, nodded her head in agreement.
Theresa remembered others riding in the back of the car included her sister, Mercia, and Frances Hess, a deceased-class member. Pierce only had happy memories of those rides, as he smiled and slowly shook his finger saying "better than walking" the three-mile jaunt from where he lived. Spreading his hands apart as a fisherman would measure a large fish, Pierce noted "ruts this deep." Then he added, "no bottom to them." Theresa Hartman quickly added, that Phoebe Appleman was the "only female coach of a boy's basketball and baseball team in the state of Pennsylvania."
Helen Kent (Dixon) Karns began her education and went all twelve years in Benton. She clearly remember the white school she attended during her elementary years. It was located about where the present cafeteria of the middle/high school is now located. She remembers walking from West Creek on Mendenhall Lane to the school with her aunt Helen Mendenhall, a third-grade teacher in the school. Her classmates chimed in remembering how the two would arrive at school covered with snow. After graduation from high school, she and fellow classmate Theresa Yost Hartman went to the Bloomsburg Normal School, both graduating after four years with a degree in elementary education. At that point, Theresa chimed in saying, "They taught me everything they had!" Helen taught for 28 years, four in the Orangeville elementary school and 24 at Benton. Both Pierce Ashelman and Helen were on the staff of the high school yearbook, the Black and Orange of 1937.
Theresa Mae Yost Hartman, graduated from the Benton schools where she took the Academic course and participated in minstrel shows in her junior and senior years and was an active basketball player. She was a graduate of Bloomsburg State Teacher's College. She taught in the local elementary schools from 1962-1983.
Back row, from left to right: Herman Pennington, hostess Ruth Kline, Pierce Ashelman
Front row, from left to right: Helen Kent Karns, Theresa Hartman
October 1, 2008. It is the birthday of Carla Lee, Donald Baker, Tara Lane Kline and Gerald Kocher. Former president Jimmy Carter turns 83 today. It is the wedding anniversary of Ted and Helen Fritz. On this date in 1958 NASA began operations, replacing the NationalAdvisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA).
Websites of interest...
• Discover what your handwriting tells about you by visiting http://tul.com/.
• Want to call someone and tell them something, but don't have the nerve? Let www.getmooh.com/ do the dastardly deed.
Didja notice that events of recent days disprove the adage that the best time to buy anything was six months ago? One way to tell when the economic crisis is over is to watch the length of women's skirts. It always seems like when women's skirts get shorter, prices go up. That bears watching!
Harry E. 'Gene' Runyan, formerly of Snyder Road, Pottstown, died Saturday, at Sanatoga Center, Pottstown. He was 93. He was the widower of Alice E. Hayman. Graveside services will be held Saturday at 11 AM in the Dodson Cemetery, Huntington Township, Luzerne County.Officiating will be his son in-law Steve D. Spacek, and his nephews the Rev.Arthur Lee Hayman and the Rev. Franklin F. Hayman. There will be no viewing. Arrangements are by the Dean W. Kriner Funeral Home, Benton.
Didja ever think that wealth can't buy happiness? Ask any poor person.
Now that we are at the beginning of a new month, it would be an excellent time to "back up your hard drive." Frankly, it is just too late after the hard drive has failed and files can no longer be retrieved. As a minimum it is good practice to burn one of the backup folders to a CD-R or DVD R disk once a month (or more frequently). Once on a CD or DVD, files will not be affected by a virus.
Didja ever think about the difference between salary and income? A salary is what is paid to you for what you do. An income is what is paid to you for what your father used to do.
Roses can sometimes be red
And violets are generally blue
For it's not in the rhyming
But all in the timing
That makes a dumb limerick true
Weight Limit Ordinances, known as the "Motor Vehicle Weight Limitation and Bonding Ordinance of Benton Township” and the "Motor Vehicle Weight Limitation and Bonding Ordinance of Sugarloaf Township” are essentially the same, although some words will vary to accommodate individual requirements.
The proposed ordnances could be adopted at a special meeting for Benton Township on October 15 at 3 PM and for Sugarloaf township at a special meeting on October 15 at 9 AM. The ordinances will impose restrictions as to the weight of vehicles operated on certain township roads.
Office hours for Sugarloaf Township are daily 7 AM to 10:30 AM, 925-6031, and for Benton Township daily from 11:30 AM to 3 PM, 925-6166. Call the township offices if further information is required.