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Issue Home October 1, 2002 Site Home

Along The Way... With P. Jay
Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago
Straight From Starrucca
Barnes-Kasson Corner

Along The Way... With P. Jay

More Déjà vu In The Courthouse

Oh, no! Not again!! Say it isn’t so!!!

Ah, but it is. Susquehanna County Commissioner Gary Marcho staged another of his infamous disappearing acts last Wednesday. This time, Marcho Man was a no show at the regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of County Commissioners. With Commissioner Cal Dean visiting his hospitalized wife, Commissioner Lee Smith waited until 10:15 (the meetings are supposed to begin at 10 a.m.) and then canceled the meeting.

Where was Mr. Marcho? Courthouse sources said he was camping at the Bloomsburg Fair. The 148th Annual Bloomsburg Fair began on September 21 and ended on September 28.

In case you are not aware of it, in January of each year, the Board of County Commissioners prepare a schedule of their regular public meetings. They even advertise the schedule so that county residents who are interested in attending the meetings will know the meeting dates. Mr. Marcho voted affirmative on the schedule as did the other commissioners, an indication that, barring an emergency such as happened to Mr. Dean, the commissioners would attend all regular meetings.

The date of the Bloomsburg Fair is also advertised well in advance, so that Mr. Marcho knew that the commissioners would be meeting on the Wednesday of Bloomsburg Fair week. If he wanted to attend the fair so badly and even to camp out at the fairgrounds, he could have scheduled his visit to the fair before or after the Wednesday meeting. Obviously he did not do that.

And, who becomes the fall guy when any of the commissioners embarrass themselves or the county? Well, in this case it is a fall girl –Chief Clerk Suzanne Brainard. Mrs. Brainard held up well under questioning from the press and the public concerning Mr. Marcho’s conspicuous absence.

"I heard from Gary yesterday," Mrs. Brainard said at one point. "He was out of town and he asked me if Cal (Commissioner Dean) would be at the meeting. I told him I didn’t know."

Later she said, "He’s (Mr. Marcho) out of town. There is nothing in his appointment book to indicate where he is."

Commissioner Smith noted that the absence of Commissioners Marcho and Dean not only caused the cancellation of the regularly scheduled meeting, but also a 9 a.m. meeting with the Assessment Board.
Apparently Mr. Marcho doesn’t realize that his nonchalant attitude toward his position is not only embarrassing to him, but also to Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans who appointed him to fill the unexpired term of the late Joan Stalter. Judge Seamans was well aware of Mr. Marcho’s absenteeism during the final year of his second term in office and probably discussed it with Mr. Marcho. Apparently the smooth-talking Marcho Man convinced the judge that he would make himself more available this time around. He hasn’t.

The Republicans are becoming fed up to here with Mr. Marcho’s shenanigans. The relationship between GOP Chairman Ivan Burman is strained, to say the least. And from their behavior toward each other at public meetings, it is obvious that there is no love lost between Lee Smith and Gary Marcho. I have had conversations with some pretty influential Republicans around the county and many of them are saying, "no más!"

For several weeks, PENNDOT crews have been working on the road between Dundaff and West Clifford. They have signs that read, "Expect Delays" and I get stopped periodically for two or three minute durations.

Last Wednesday was the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I was en route to Montrose when I came upon the work crew. The flagman’s sign was turned to the stop side, so I stopped and waited…and waited…and waited. After five minutes, I blew the horn and the flagman put up five fingers indicating, or so I thought, five more minutes. After ten minutes, I blew the horn again and the flagman approached my car.

"It’s going be another 15 or 20 minutes," he said. I turned around, backtracked and took another route. "Why," I said to myself, "didn’t that flagman tell me 10 minutes ago that this delay would run into overtime?"

Experience in driving on state roads has me convinced that, before they are hired, PENNDOT work crews must complete a course in "How to Aggravate Motorists." But this was ridiculous. Many states have laws regarding the length of time a road crew can detain traffic. Then again, I keep forgetting that Pennsylvania is a commonwealth and not a state and that PENNDOT crews work in two modes, slow and slower.

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Slices of Life

Lessons Learned From An Artichoke

Now that the summer flowers have vanished except for a few languishing blooms, and I have planted no fall flowers, it is a pleasure to look out my kitchen window and see one huge plant of what looks like golden sunflowers. However, I know it is the product of the stubborn Jerusalem artichokes that refuse to give up squatter’s rights in my garden. I don’t even recall where the first ones came from. Probably someone gave them to my husband who was always willing to try anything. I do recall that they stayed neatly at the lower end of the garden for years, and we would harvest a few to eat. They look like a potato, but having tried eating them in that fashion; boiled, baked, and mashed, we found we didn’t care for them. But when we sliced them raw for salads and stir-fries, they were delicious. They keep well when refrigerated, so we ate them all winter. And all was well.

But, when the energetic garden-spader left us, and we started rototilling that big area, the tubers that had not been harvested got cut up by the tines of the machine and pieces re-distributed throughout the entire garden. I think every piece grew!

When the plant first appears, it can be pulled out. But they get tenacious, with powerful root systems. If they are not eradicated within a couple weeks, they have dug in for life – or until the gardener goes after them with a spade. I’ve had them grow at the point where two pieces of mulch-covered black plastic came together.

Very early this spring I dug some renegade roots for a friend who wanted to grow them. I gave him all the warnings. I’ve got to check back and see how they are coming along. His whole back yard may be full by now.

I deliberately saved the plant that is blooming now. It was at the edge of the garden and not likely to get dragged around, and I do want a few artichokes for winter. The tallest flower-topped stalk must be ten feet high. Several other branches range from four to seven feet. I went down and photographed it yesterday when the sun was shining. I will frame that picture and it will brighten up the house when sunshine becomes scarce this winter. It will remind me that artichokes, like good friends, will hang in there even if you ignore them. You can forget to write or call, forget birthdays, get wrapped up in projects, but when you come together again, you still read each other’s minds, enjoy the company, and care more than either of you ever realized.

And that sunny picture will also remind me of the honor in tenacity. "Don’t ever give up," it will say. "Just dig your roots in, and no matter what adversity comes along, hold your ground. You may sway in the wind, but you are well-grounded and you will prevail. You will be tall and strong and beautiful. And you will brighten the lives of those around you."

So says the golden artichoke.

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100 Years Ago – 1902-2002

SUSQUEHANNA: On Friday night, four tramps entered the building occupied by the Erie airbrake inspectors in the West Susquehanna yards and took possession. The airbrake inspectors were out working and when they came in found the tramps asleep on the bunk. The tramps were told to move on. Failing to go, and after a lively disagreement, the police were called and they were placed in the borough jail. On Saturday they were arraigned and sent to county jail to serve a 20 days' sentence. AND: Charles Graves, a New York artist, is making sketches for a series that he will call "Child Studies," and is using as models Susquehanna boys and girls.

FOREST LAKE: Our new stage driver, Mr. Winner, is well liked, and the harder it rains, the louder he whistles.

MONTROSE: Bruce Tyrell, a young man who has resided in this place for several years with his grandfather, A.J. Brewster, will leave in a short time for Toppenish, Yakima County, Washington, where he will clerk in a store on an Indian reservation; the store being under the supervision of his father, LeRoy M. Tyrell, a former merchant in this place. This location is in one of the most fertile regions of the Northwest, fruits of all kinds being successfully grown, and it will be no doubt a most desirable place in which to reside. Bruce has many friends in this place who will greatly regret his departure, but as he is a lover of athletic sports, hunting and fishing, his new home will probably prove most agreeable.

HARFORD: This is phenomenal year for fruit in Susquehanna county, especially apples. A recent visit to the fruit farm of George R. Ressiguie confirms this fact. His extensive apple orchards are bending under their loads of as fine fruit as one could wish to see, and containing several thousand bushels, will not only tax the owner's resources to secure before the freezing winds of the late autumn shall injure the crop, but also to get the fruit to market, as farm help is scarce. The loss of corn to the Susquehanna county farmer will be more than made up in cash received from fruit.

LAKE VIEW/SUSQUEHANNA: A strange fatality seems to have followed the family of the late Jacob Boldt, a German farmer, who a few years ago came from Scranton and purchased a little farm near Lake View, in Jackson Twp. The family consisted of himself and wife and adopted son. All seemed to be well with these hard toiling people until one fatal day the son, while raking hay, his horse ran away and he was thrown to the ground. A foot penetrated his skull, producing an injury that caused his death. Selling the farm, the bereaved father and mother removed to Susquehanna and in a few months the wife was taken with a fatal illness. In a short time she passed away. To complete the chain of fatalities, on Wednesday, of last week, Mr. Boldt, the only remaining member of the family, was killed by a D & H passenger train at Scranton. The funeral at Scranton closed the last act in a life drama at once tragic and only ending when the last victim had passed unto death, and that in a terrible manner.

GLENWOOD: Michael Cadden, a prosperous farmer, of this place, took a herd of young Jersey cattle to the Maitland Fair, which took first premium, also a crock of butter which took the premium and was made by Mrs. Cadden.

SOUTH GIBSON: T.J. Manzer has just received a Heebner Superior leveltread power thresher and cleaner, built in Lanesdale, Pa; also one of their ensilage cutters, 16 in. cut, with 34 ft. elevator; it will cut and elevate 60 to 70 tons in 10 hours, with Earl Manzer as captain and his fine team on the tread. We timed one load and it was judged to be over one ton, was cut and elevated into the silo in less than 7 minutes and the knives were dull at that.

LENOXVILLE:The mysterious poisoning of two good horses belonging to Vernan White, a young farmer living near this place, has caused quite a sensation here. One morning several weeks ago Vernan went to the pasture to get his horse and found it tied to a stake and dying from the effect of poison the effect of poison administered by some unknown person or persons. This was a hard blow to the young man as he had but the one, and used it to haul his produce to Scranton market, and not only was it a hard blow, but a surprise as well, as he did not believe he had an enemy in the world who could even wish him such hard luck. One week ago last Saturday he purchased another horse and fearing harm would befall this one also, he took the precaution to lock it in the stable for the night. On going to the barn the next morning he found where some contemptible sneak had forced an entrance through a window and, after feeding the horse poison, in order to be sure and finish the dastardly work, had cut one of its fore legs so it would slowly bleed to death, and turned it loose in a field near the barn, where it would have access to water, which hastens the work of poison. There are many conjectures as to who could be the perpetrators of this heinous crime, but as yet their identity is not known. We hope, however, that the time is not far distant when they may be apprehended in their dirty work, and punished to the full extent of the law.

RUSH: R.D. Wilcox has refitted his cider mill at the Mineral springs. He is ready to receive apples at any time.

SILVARA [Bradford County]: O.D. Culver, while working in the field, saw what appeared to him like a cloud of smoke near his barn and sent his hired man to see if it was fire, but he found to his astonishment an immense swarm of flies. They extended down the street and over the hill to the Wilbur place. The swarm was so dense it was an annoyance to teamsters as they drove through. Mr. Culver said they could not do the milking until the flies had settled. On passing down the street the next morning the ground was literally covered with them.

NEWS BRIEFS: Two soldiers were accidentally shot this morning [in Olyphant] while examining a revolver. Both are members of Company G, of Montrose. The men were in their tent when the shooting occurred. Private Rutan held a loaded revolver in his hand and was examining the weapon when it suddenly went off. The bullet passed through the third finger of his left hand and then struck Private Byron Hawley under the right eye where it became imbedded. Dr. Gunster extracted the bullet and dressed the injuries of both. The shooting was reported to Colonel Watres and as a result he immediately ordered all revolvers in the possession of privates taken up. All has been quiet since. AND: A singular accident occurred at the Cortland county fair. A woman fainted on the Ferris wheel when at the highest point, about 30 ft. from the ground. Her false teeth fell out, striking a lady below in the face, cutting her nose open and inflicting an ugly gash in the cheek.

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CONCERNING VICTORY PARK: Since it has been known that the Strider-Teskey American Legion Post has purchased Victory Park, several readers have asked, "What is the Legion planning for the property?" Right now - nothing. But, we (I being a member of the Post) have discussed the possibilities of several projects. Will it be the same as it was years ago? It could be. But time will tell. We are looking into the feasibility of several things to do. It will take time. We do not plan to start tomorrow, next week, or next month. But we are going to do something and we need to work out plans prior to "breaking ground." So, when we are able, we will let the public know what our intentions are.

ELECTION NEWS: October 7 is the last day to register for the General Election and also the last day to change parties before the November election. October 29 is the last day to apply for civilian absentee ballots. All ballots must be received by the County Board of Elections not later than 5 p.m. November 1. Polls will be open on November 5, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Susquehanna is in the 111th District, along with Ararat, Auburn, Bridgewater, Brooklyn, Clifford, Gibson, Harford, Harmony, Herrick, Jackson, Lathrop, Lenox, New Milford, Springville, Thompson, Forest City, Hop Bottom, Lanesboro, Montrose, New Milford, Thompson and Union Dale.

HOW NICE: Now we have both Pennsylvania candidates for governor that are going "all out" to honor the veterans of Pennsylvania. What a nice gesture. So, either way (us) veterans can’t lose. But, let’s wait and see if the candidate that wins will keep his promise. It has been known that candidates forget what they promised - once in office. Sure hope Democrat Ed Rendell or Republican Mike Fisher (whoever wins) will keep their promise.

RON McINTOSH, Journalism Teacher: Ron, a former Susquehanna resident, has been teaching at the Independence (Kansas) Community College since 1992. He has a BS - Empire State College, State University of New York; MA - Pittsburgh (Kansas) State University. A graduate of Susquehanna Community High School, he pursued the field of journalism, writing for many area papers including the Susquehanna Transcript, the Scranton Times and at one time worked on papers in Florida and Washington, PA. He also promoted sports - of all kinds - while a resident of the community. At ICC, in addition to teaching journalism he is the paper’s (Buccaneer) adviser. Recently, the faculty at ICC were asked, "What do they think is most important about education?" Ron’s answer, "I think an education should be a journey into a land that interests you and gives you jewels to keep and save for the rest of your life. Learning is, in my opinion a venture that never stops."

VETS COMING HERE: Service veterans from the Wilkes-Barre Medical Center will be guests of the Susquehanna American Legion Post on Thursday, October 10, at 11 a.m. The Post will honor the vets - all war casualties - with a breakfast, lunch, gifts and live music.

Veterans of all wars are urged to attend and mingle with the guests. They enjoy talking to other war vets, as was the case during the last get-together. Remember the date: October 10 at 11 a.m.


Keep it clean: Don’t put out garbage until pickup day; don’t throw table scraps out back for animals to eat; don’t add fruit or vegetable wastes to your compost pile; and clean your barbecue grill regularly. If you feed pets outdoors, consider placing food dishes inside overnight. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.

Keep your distance: If a bear shows up in your backyard, stay calm. From a safe distance, shout at it like you would to chase an unwanted dog. If the bear won’t leave, call the nearest Game Commission regional office or local police department for assistance.

Eliminate temptation: Bears that visit your area are often drawn there. Neighbors need to work together to reduce an area’s appeal to bears. Promptly report road-killed deer to ensure their quick removal. Ask area businesses to keep dumpsters closed and bear-proofed (chained or locked shut).

Bats in the Attic: Homeowners occasionally find bats roosting or rearing young in their attics. When this type of discovery is made in the summer, it’s best to wait until late fall to remedy the situation, according to the Game Commission. Trying to exclude bats from your attic in summer may lead to bats trapped in the attic. They may eventually work their way into your living quarters in their efforts to escape. Waiting until fall, when bats head to winter hibernation sites, eliminates this risk. Placing a bat box outside may help ensure the bats don’t try to access your home when they return in the spring.

Check Please! If you dog is barking, or cat is clawing at the door to get in, try to determine what has alarmed your pet. But do it cautiously, using outside lights to full advantage and from a safe position, such as a porch or an upstairs window. All unrecognizable outside noises and disturbances should be checked, but don’t do it on foot with a flashlight. Black bears blend in too well with nighttime surroundings providing the chance for a close encounter.

Susquehanna County WCO James P. McCarthy, Hallstead: One night around 3:00 a.m., a young opossum looking for an easy meal entered the home of Phoebe Shoemaker through the dog door. After eating some dog food, the opossum apparently became tired and decided to go upstairs to bed. When the opossum entered the bedroom he met Phoebe’s dog Lucky. A few seconds later, Phoebe was awakened by the sounds of Lucky and the opossum getting to know each other a little better. Since that night, the opossum has been evicted and Lucky now has to ask to go outside, but Phoebe said she can still sleep soundly knowing Lucky is on the job.

Licenses: Beginning Monday, November 4, hunters may apply over-the-counter for unsold antlerless licenses in all counties.

A Laugh – Coach: "Do you understand what cooperation is? What a team is?" Child: "Yes." Coach: "When a strike is called or you are out, you don’t argue, curse or attack the umpire - do you understand that?" Child: "Yes." Coach: "Good, now go over and explain it to your mother."

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Straight From Starrucca

Attending Flo and Jim Wheatley’s annual picnic at their home in Hop Bottom, Saturday, September 21, were ugly quilters who gather here each week: Eleanor Buchanan, Myrle Bradshaw, Marguerite Kennedy, Beth Evans and Charlotte Sidorski, accompanied by husband, Ed. It was reported there was enough delicious food to serve an army. The Wheatley’s were founders of "My Brother’s Keeper," who make the quilts for the homeless and are known nationwide.

A very interesting program of the senior citizens last week was a session on old-time remedies with Ruth Lunt in charge. Some of the remembrances for treatment of bee stings were: apply mud poultice, apply vinegar to stop the itching and make a paste of meat tenderizer to control swelling. If any of you have some strange remedies, drop me a line. We hope to make a booklet of them.

The old red house in Starrucca, one of the oldest, is no longer red but stained a solid brownish gray with a cream trim, and looks very nice with a cupola on top. The Corrigans have done a beautiful job in restoring the house. A lot of hard but satisfying work has gone into the restoration.

The front of the former Haynes store now has an extended front to enclose the steps, and windows ready to put in.

Ruth and Bob Lunt have returned from a visit to Colorado to visit relatives.

Virginia Upright and Betty Powers made a business trip to Eynon recently.

Ruth Lunt and I made a visit to the Wayne County Historical Society recently and viewed the ice harvesting exhibit. I donated a pike pole used in the process to the museum. A good bit of the exhibit came from Mr. Griffis, who was a former resident of Susquehanna.

Lillian Buck and Mary Lou Pursel, Stevens Point, made a trip to Harrisburg the weekend of the 21st, to tie up loose ends of the coming marriage of Blaine Buck to Ranee Pursel. October 19 will be the big day, when the ceremony will take place at the Strasburg Inn, Strasburg, PA. More later.

October 5 is the big day for the ladies of the Methodist Church, when they will be waiting to serve their roast pork and dressing dinner to the public. Takeouts at 4:30 and dinner at 5. Get there early if you want to sit at first table.


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Barnes-Kasson Corner

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Breast Cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States. In the year 2000, 182,000 women will be diagnosed with this form of cancer and another 43,300 will die from breast cancer. In this form of cancer as in all others early detection is a pivotal factor in survival rates.

Women should talk with their doctor about factors that can increase their chance of getting breast cancer. Women of any age who are at higher risk for developing this disease should ask their doctor when to start and how often to be checked for breast cancer. Breast cancer screening has been shown to decrease the risk of dying from breast cancer. Women can take an active part in the early detection of breast cancer by having regularly scheduled screening mammograms and clinical breast exams (breast exams performed by health professionals). Some women also perform breast self-exams.

A screening mammogram is the best tool available for finding breast cancer early, before symptoms appear. A mammogram is a special kind of x-ray. Screening mammograms are used to look for breast changes in women who have no signs of breast cancer. Mammograms can often detect a breast lump before it can be felt. Also, a mammogram can show small deposits of calcium in the breast. Although most calcium deposits are benign, a cluster of very tiny specks of calcium, called micro calcifications may be an early sign of cancer. Studies show that mammograms reduce the risk of dying from breast cancer. Most doctors recommend that women in their forties and older have mammograms regularly, every 1 to 2 years.

Many women who are diagnosed breast cancer want to take an active part in decisions about their medical care. They want to learn all they can about their disease and their treatment choices. However, the shock and stress that people often feel after a diagnosis of cancer can make it hard for them to think of everything they want to ask the doctor. Often it is helpful to prepare a list of questions in advance. To help remember what the doctor says, patients may take notes or ask whether they may use a tape recorder. Some people also want to have a family member or friend with them when they talk to the doctor -- to take part in the discussion, to take notes, or just to listen. The patient's doctor may refer her to doctors who specialize in treating cancer, or she may ask for a referral. Treatment generally begins within a few weeks after the diagnosis.

There are many treatment options for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Surgery is the most common treatment, your doctor will sit down with you and explain all the risks and benefits of each surgical procedure. Radiation therapy is another form of treatment for breast cancer. This is the use of high-energy rays to kill off cancer cells. In some cases depending on the size of the tumor, radiation therapy will be used after surgery to destroy any left over cancer cells. Chemotherapy is also used in the treatment of breast cancer. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to fight off cancer cells. In the case of breast cancer several drug combinations can be used.

Rehabilitation is a very important part of breast cancer treatment. The health care team makes every effort to help women return to their normal activities as soon as possible. Recovery will be different for each woman, depending on the extent of the disease, the type of treatment, and other factors. Exercising the arm and shoulder after surgery can help a woman regain motion and strength in these areas. It can also reduce pain and stiffness in her neck and back. Carefully planned exercises should be started as soon as the doctor says the woman is ready, often within a day or so after surgery.

The diagnosis of breast cancer can change a woman's life and the lives of those close to her. These changes can be hard to handle. It is common for the woman and her family and friends to have many different and sometimes confusing emotions. Having helpful information and support services can make it easier to cope with these problems.

Information for this article was obtained from

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