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Issue Home November 5, 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

Franks Comes Away Looking Like A Hot Dog

While you were reading last week’s Transcript, did you notice something conspicuously absent? I certainly did and I got a couple of phone calls from others who also did. Think about it for a moment.

Times up. In case you didn’t figure it out, I will tell you that the Democrat Party leadership in Susquehanna County goofed again. This time it was big time. With the election of a new governor on the line, Democratic County Chairman Joey Franks came out of this election looking like a hot dog.

While the Susquehanna County Republican Committee put ads in all of the area newspapers supporting Mike Fisher, Mr. Franks did not have a single ad urging the electorate to vote for Ed Rendell. What a terrible way for Mr. Franks to make his election debut as leader of the county’s Democratic Party.

Political buffs around the county tell me that Mr. Franks was rather upset with Mr. Rendell’s campaign committee because they selected their own county campaign coordinator and apparently it wasn’t someone whom Mr. Franks relishes. Well, la-de-da, Mr. Franks, pick up your marbles and run home. The Rendell Campaign Committee actually did you a favor, Mr. Franks, by recruiting a Democrat to handle his campaign in the county. Finding Democrats in Susquehanna County is difficult enough, let alone finding one that would work as hard as Barney Wilkins did for Ed Rendell not only in Susquehanna County, but also throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.

By this time, it has become increasingly evident that the leaders of the Democrat Party in Susquehanna County do not subscribe to the values and principles of their Party. I get the impression that the current crop of Democrats on the top rung of the political ladder haven’t the slightest idea as to what their political party stands for. More than likely they have never heard of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s "New Deal" that brought an air of confidence and optimism to the Democratic Party and rallied the people to his side of the political spectrum.

I was surfing the Internet the other night and came across a web site for the National Democratic Party. On one of the pages the heading read, "Profile of Democratic Party." Underneath it was a box that simply read, "Party: Under Construction." I would assume that to mean the profile was being put together. But, wouldn’t it make a nice theme for a new beginning of the Democratic Party in Susquehanna County?

Oh, yes, Democratic Minority Commissioner Cal Dean did put a Rendell bumper sticker on the back windshield of his car but only after I mentioned in my column that he never publicly supports Democrats. The Rendell sticker, incidentally, did not mention the candidate’s political party.

By contrast, the Republican Party in Susquehanna County continues to thrive under the capable leadership of Ivan Burman. Mr. Burman has engineered some activities that have moved the party into a new dimension in county politics.

Do not believe that there are splits in the Republican Party because you see numerous GOP candidates for county commissioner. On the contrary, giving the voters a choice demonstrates the Party’s belief in open primary elections and it is healthy not only for the party but for the electorate.

"We have people coming forward who have good credentials," Mr. Burman told me. "I will assemble my executive committee for an interview (of the candidates) to know what they are all about and what they can do for the county. Will we endorse in the Primary Election? Absolutely not. We have to remain neutral."

During the campaign, the six or seven Republican candidates will do all they can to capture one of the two GOP nominations for county commissioner. It might get a little rough and maybe even a bit dirty. But you can bet when it is over the two surviving candidates who will carry the Party banner into the Fall election will have the full support of the party faithful.

As this is being written before Tuesday’s election, I have no idea of the outcome so I will just say congratulations to all the winners.

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Slices of Life

Halloween Contemplations

This could be called "things to do while you await the next batch of trick or treaters." I’ve learned from previous years that this is not a time to do dishes, as you no sooner get your hands in the suds than the doorbell rings again. So this year I got ahead of the game by eating early and doing the dishes right away.

It’s also not a time to do anything that takes concentration because it will be broken repeatedly. So I’m sitting here at my dining room table contemplating if it’s really time to re-paper the walls, and what to do about the sagging ceiling where the plaster has come away from the lath and the only thing holding it up is several layers of wallpaper and paste. With no decision made about that, my mind wanders off to the carpet.

Looking through some old household records recently, I discovered that this present wall to wall carpet dates from more than thirty years ago! Now that is some endorsement for that particular manufacturer. It still cleans up well and I like it, even if the pattern is dated, but I think it has to go.

Also on my mind as I wait for the next ghost is Mrs. Morris. I can’t get over how much calmer she is this year as these two hundred plus kids come and go. At one point she bolted outside, but immediately changed her mind and scurried back to safety. I recall other years when I’d have to lock her upstairs so she wouldn’t be out in the dark as cars roared in and out. Sometimes she would manage to escape and I’d worry about her welfare until the hubbub finally calmed down and she’d feel safe enough to come to the door again. But tonight she has settled in near my chair and hasn’t paid much attention to the comings and goings.

I’m wondering if the candy is going to hold out. Gone are the days when the neighborhood children walked door to door. Now its carloads, and I learned early on tonight that they were not into coming in and discussing who was behind the masks.

I happen to live next to a family whose members take Halloween as a vacation day from work to prepare the elaborate and scary layout that both attracts and repels Halloweeners of all ages. I get lots of spillover traffic, but my place is boring with only a pumpkin for decoration.

I’ve read a cookbook between groups, as that doesn’t take much concentration. I’ve decided on ham and cabbage soup, oatmeal bread, and apple pie with a rich lard-based crust. You can tell that I ate dinner early, can’t you?

I’ve even started three manuscripts, all of which bogged down and went nowhere. One needed more factual information and who can call anyone when the doorbell keeps ringing? Another was just facts on a page and didn’t come together as a real story.

So, here I am telling you more than you ever wanted to know about my Halloween night. A hundred and eighty and counting---

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100 Years Ago – 1902-2002

BRANDT: Several citizens of Brandt will apply for a charter for an intended corporation, to be known as the Brandt Clay Product Co.

SUSQUEHANNA: Corse and Winans, photographers, have formed a co-partnership. AND: The bell at the tower of the Susquehanna Universalist church, which has not been in use for several years, has been purchased by a Kingsley church congregation.

SILVER LAKE: Miss Lydia Hill pleasantly entertained her Sunday school class of young men, and Mrs. Alice Rodgers' class of young ladies, at her home Friday evening, Oct. 31. Games wee indulged in. Light refreshments were served by Miss Hill, assisted by Mrs. Carrie Meeker and Mrs. Bell Hill. All reported a very enjoyable evening. Those present were Daisy Bramfitt, Lydia Rodgers, Lucia and Ruth Meeker, Luella, Georgia and Emily Hill, and Andrew Martin, George Palmer, Floyd Jenner, Charles Rodgers, Chalmers and Lincoln Bramfitt.

BROOKLYN: The Brooklyn High School is one of the best of its kind in Susquehanna Co. Prof. M.W. Stephens, with three able assistants, have charge of about 100 students. Brooklyn supports, besides this school, three churches and for 35 years has not had a license hotel. A good place to send your boys and girls for preparatory education.

FOREST CITY: The Forest City News last week entered on its sixteenth year. AND: Although the collieries of the Hillside Coal and Iron company are again in operation, there is much grumbling among the men over the fact that the non-unionists are retained in the places they have filled.

HALLSTEAD: The American Chair factory is filling an order for thirty-six Morris chairs for a western hotel.

HARFORD: Miss Hattie Chamberlain has accepted a position with Lazarus Brothers, prominent Wilkes-Barre merchants, to attend to their advertising. She is a graduate of the Page-Davis School of Advertising, of Chicago, and goes to that city very well recommended as an "ad" writer.

THOMPSON: There is little likelihood that the trestle on the Jefferson division of the Erie, near Thompson, will ever be filled in. A large force of men have been at work on the project all summer without any appreciable success. Over 5,000 carloads of earth and rock have been dumped into the cut and apparently lost. Much of it has sunk out of sight and the rest carried some feet from the trestle by the quicksand on which it was dumped.

MONTROSE: A person standing in front of the Republican [newspaper] office may count nearly 70 separate wires, either telephone, telegraph or electric. This, however, is only a part of those already in use, and many more are being strung. An extra crossbar is being placed on the poles leading to South Montrose, Dimock and Springville and poles for the Brooklyn branch are being set. Besides this the telephone line along the tracks of the Montrose branch of the Lehigh Valley has just been completed. Montrose has a network of wires which is seldom seen in a place with three times the number of inhabitants, and the service received from both local and long distance companies is unsurpassed.

SOUTH MONTROSE: The Aid Society will meet with Mrs. A. Wells, Nov. 13. Every lady to bring thimbles and something to eat. Dinner will be served. A general invitation to all of the gentlemen to bring hammers and help re-shingle the church sheds.

GREAT BEND: The Alonzo Hatch Electric Photo Musical Co. is billed to be at Kistler Opera House, Saturday evening, Nov. 15.

RETTA, Auburn Twp.: The dedicatory services of the church will be held on Saturday, Nov. 15, beginning at 10 o'clock. The services will be in charge of Dr. Sweet, assisted by Dr. VanCleft and others. An oyster dinner will be served by the Aid Society at Robert Stevens', near the church, the proceeds of which will be used to finish the indebtedness. The pulpit furniture, a gift of Mrs. Jennie Brundage, nee Wilcox, of Scranton, was received on Saturday.

UNIONDALE: A party of witches gathered at the "Band Hall" on Hallowe'en, found themselves out-witted by other witches, and instead of stalking abroad for mischief, were kept prisoners until too near morning for witchery. Good!

FOSTER [Hop Bottom]: Mystery [still] surrounds the strange death of H.F. Lord at Scranton. Lord was brought to this city from Mt. Pocono on the 1o'clock train, horribly mangled and in a dying condition. No one seemed to know how or when the accident occurred, and little information could be obtained from the railroad men. Up to this time nothing suspicious developed in the case, which was regarded as a plain accident. Upon notifying the family, however, questions have arisen which cannot be answered. Upon the person of his father, his son found a check for $200 given by J.L. Crawford, president of the People's Coal Co.

Developments would show that the deceased drove to this city last Thursday with a load of farm products from his place at Foster. Seven days were consumed in the sale, together with that of his team of horses purchased by Mr. Crawford on Saturday. The products realized about $40. Mr. Crawford stated that the deceased was accompanied by a man named Henderson, also of Foster. Nothing has been heard of Henderson since the death of Lord.

After the sale of the horses, Lord left, presumably for home, with about $240 in his pocket. Whether he was accompanied by anyone is unknown. He went to the Lackawanna depot and boarded a south-bound train for Mt. Pocono, in the directly opposite direction for home. That was the last trace of him obtained until he was picked up on the railroad track, a short time later.

Why he should have gone south instead of north to his home is mysterious. When found, but little currency was left on his person. Friends and relatives suspect foul play. What deepens the mystery is that fact that Lord owns a quarry in Foster, the operation of which involved considerable litigation some time ago. Lord received a $4000 settlement. A motion for a new trial was made and strange to say, the decision was to have been made yesterday. Lord was 54 years of age and is survived by three sons.

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DO YOU LIKE Being Deceived? Well, I don’t! I recently purchased a box of dry cereal. After opening the box I discovered it to be far from being filled. So, I got me a ruler, measured the box, it measured just 12 inches high. I then measured the contents – right on the nose – only seven inches high in the box. Are we paying for the box? Must be. How can the distributors get away with that? Aren’t they suppose to adhere to "some kind of a rule?" Yes, it tells us on the box how much is inside, but why do they try to "trick" us with a box 12 inches high and contents only 7 inches high, irregardless of what the box states is inside. How many of us look at the ounces? When we see a big box, "Oh, boy, I’m going to get one of them." What a surprise when you open it.

A REMINDER – Next summer – starting in July – Susquehanna will celebrate – in great style – its 150th birthday. The committee is working hard to stage "a party you will never forget." At the present time the committee is looking for news items of the past 50 years or so. They are also soliciting box ads for their centennial book. For more info call Mary Jo Glover 853-3657 or Pam Hennessey 853-4538 or Lou Parrillo 853-3835. In the near future we will publish a tentative list of the events for the eight-day affair.

SPREWELL Wants his money back – Latrell Sprewell, of the NY Knicks basketball team, wants the money back he was fined. He was fined for not reporting a broken finger and for missing a workout. He was fined a total of $437,000. He wants most of it back. He was also given a one-game suspension that cost him $137,000. Can you just imagine ANYBODY worth that much money just to play one game of basketball. (It’s ridiculous, the amount of money paid to "any one" person.)

IS COLUMBUS DAY A Disgrace? According to several national newspaper stories Christopher Columbus was a "very mean" paisano, and (with his men) after reaching America, tortured, enslaved and murdered Taino people who welcomed them with open arms. A priest, Bart Las Casas, a friend of Columbus, soon turned on Columbus for his treatment of the Indians. The priest wrote, "Everything done to the Indians was unjust and tyrannical." "Then why," asked a noted columnist, "don’t the Americans of Italian descent choose two immigrants – one male, one female – and name their special day after a real hero and heroine?" A good idea. Any good names in mind?

YOUNG HUNTERS Essay Contest – Young hunters, age 12 to 18 from throughout Pennsylvania are reminded that entries for the PA Game Commission’s Youth Essay Contest must be postmarked no later than November 30, 2002. The contest theme is: "What ‘hunting heritage’ means to me." Prizes will be awarded to the 12 to 15 and 16 to 18. Essays must be printed or typed, double-spaced and no more than 300 words. Mail to: PA Game Commission, Hunter Education Youth Essay Contest, 2001 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110–9797.

BRIDGE COMMITTEE Meets – The committee "overseeing" the condition of the Susquehanna County Veterans Bridge met at the Susquehanna American Legion Post on October 17. The committee meets periodical to discuss the condition of the bridge.

After a light luncheon and the Pledge to the Flag, the meeting, under the chairmanship of Tony Napolitano took place. Minutes of the May 16 meeting were read and approved as was the report of the treasurer. It was also reported that a new flag pole was replaced, along with Christmas flags.

Attending the meeting were: Chairman Tony Napolitano; Chuck Glidden, acting secretary; Evan Price (representing Sandra Majors); Howard Singer; Lois Singer; County Commissioner Lee Smith; John Bronchella, county veterans officer; and Carol Rockwell.

THEY KEEP COMING – To my good friends: Sincere thanks for the lovely cards and congratulations regarding my recent testimonial hosted by American Legion Post 86. Jack McMahon of Susquehanna; Eugene Baker, Hornell; Charles Mango, Scotia, NY; Dr. and Mrs. Nat Feldman of Clarks Summit; John and Pia Mango of California; Tommy and Fortune Pagano of Saddle Brook, NJ; Frank and Peggy Farina of Florida.

PURPLE HEART STAMP: American military men and women who have been awarded the Purple Heart for battlefield sacrifices will be honored on cards and letters starting next year when the US Postal Service issues the Purple Heart stamp. The design is in development and should be released in a few months.

The 37-cent stamp will be a First-Class definitive stamp, meaning it will be a "mail-use" stamp available for an indefinite period rather than the customary year-long sales period generally used for commemorative stamps.

The stamp was recommended for issuance in 2004 but Postmaster General John E. Potter decided to include it in the 2003 stamp program.

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Straight From Starrucca

The community was saddened last Thursday morning to learn of the death of full-time resident of Starrucca, Francis Swartz. Francis was the son of Gusta and William Swartz, married to Marie Downton, and was predeceased by a son, Donald. Five other children and an extensive family mourn him. Funeral details not available as yet.

Recently, the Girl Scout Troop from Starrucca went to Camp Archbald to help Brownies and Junior Scouts from other areas learn about native American culture. Those attending were Danielle, Cindy and Shannon Williams, Wendy Bohannon, and Ashley Ripa. They enjoyed teaching Indian games, building a teepee, and told about medicine men and other items relating to Indian life.

There were thirty-three Christmas shoe boxes collected at the Baptist Church and sent off to missions. I received a newsletter from missionaries in Albania, saying they have signed up for 5,000 of these Samaritan Purse shoe boxes. This is a program sponsored by Billy Graham’s son and boxes are distributed worldwide.

John Keyser had the misfortune to fall off the roof of the second story of his house, fracturing a bone in his upper arm, and resulting in soreness throughout his body. He doesn’t let a little thing (?) like that bother him and has gone back to work with his arm in a sling.

The Methodist Church closed as of the last Sunday in October and will open again Palm Sunday. Parishioners are welcomed at the Thompson Church, where worship starts at 11 a.m.

Some uncaring persons have dropped off three beagle hound dogs. The nuns have adopted one, the Corrigans sheltered another, but it has disappeared along with the third one, and the Corrigans are sick about it. If anyone sees these hounds, contact Donna Corrigan.

Daughter Nancy and husband, Don were up a week ago Monday and got me "battened" down for winter. I hope the lawn has been mowed for the last time.

The attendance at the Halloween party was down from other years, but the young ’uns had a good time. Prize winners were: scariest, Ashley Smith as a skeleton; original, Jessica Smith as Lady Gwenivere; best, Sidney Martin as Eyore; funniest, Taylor Bennett as a little pig. Door prizes were won by Miranda Rhone, Marty Swartz, Jody Slocum, Myrtle Hargett and Jessica Smith.


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Barnes-Kasson Corner

Physical Activity and Weight Control

With the holiday season almost upon us many people will be thinking of ways to take off those extra holiday pounds. Regular physical activity is an important part of effective weight loss and weight maintenance. It also can help prevent several diseases and improve your overall health. It does not matter what type of physical activity you perform--sports, planned exercise, household chores, yard work, or work-related tasks--all are beneficial. Studies show that even the most inactive people can gain significant health benefits if they accumulate 30 minutes or more of physical activity per day.

Physical activity helps to control your weight by using excess calories that otherwise would be stored as fat. Your body weight is regulated by the number of calories you eat and use each day. Everything you eat contains calories, and everything you do uses calories, including sleeping, breathing, and digesting food. Any physical activity in addition to what you normally do will use extra calories. Balancing the calories you use through physical activity with the calories you eat will help you achieve your desired weight. When you eat more calories than you need to perform your day's activities, your body stores the extra calories and you gain weight. When you eat fewer calories than you use, your body uses the stored calories and you lose weight. When you eat the same amount of calories as your body uses, your weight stays the same. Any type of physical activity you choose to do--strenuous activities such as running or aerobic dancing or moderate-intensity activities such as walking or household work--will increase the number of calories your body uses. The key to successful weight control and improved overall health is making physical activity a part of your daily routine

For the greatest overall health benefits, experts recommend that you do 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic activity three or more times a week and some type of muscle strengthening activity and stretching at least twice a week. However, if you are unable to do this level of activity, you can gain substantial health benefits by accumulating 30 minutes or more of moderate-intensity physical activity a day, at least five times a week. If you have been inactive for a while, you may want to start with less strenuous activities such as walking or swimming at a comfortable pace. Beginning at a slow pace will allow you to become physically fit without straining your body. Once you are in better shape, you can gradually do more strenuous activity.

Moderate-intensity activities include some of the things you may already be doing during a day or week, such as gardening and housework. These activities can be done in short spurts--10 minutes here, 8 minutes there. Alone, each action does not have a great effect on your health, but regularly accumulating 30 minutes of activity over the course of the day can result in substantial health benefits. Some examples are raking leaves, mowing the lawn and walking up and down stairs instead of taking the elevator. Aerobic activity is an important addition to moderate-intensity exercise. Aerobic exercise is any extended activity that makes you breathe hard while using the large muscle groups at a regular, even pace. Aerobic activities help make your heart stronger and more efficient. They also use more calories than other activities. Some examples of aerobic activities include, swimming, bicycling and jogging.

Whether your goal is to control your weight or just to feel healthier, becoming physically active is a step in the right direction. Take advantage of the health benefits that regular exercise can offer and make physical activity a part of your lifestyle. Always remember to consult your physician before starting any new weight loss activity.

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