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Issue Home December 24, 2002 Site Home

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

Along The Way... With P. Jay

Some New Year's Resolutions

Not many people make New Year's Resolutions today and statistics tell us those that do usually break then within the first month. Therefore, it appears that resolutions are only for pretend or just for fun.

With that in mind, and as a means of welcoming in the New Year with a smile, we present a list of resolutions that we would like to see the following individuals make:

Chief Probation Officer Jeff Shoemaker: In 2003, I resolve to score a hole-in-one.

Commissioner Gary Marcho: In 2003, I resolve to attend every regular and special meeting of the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners.

Deputy Sheriff Donald Bennett: I resolve to install a couple of loud speakers in my car and to get some fur for the dash.

County Treasurer Cathy Benedict: In 2003, I resolve to try to understand a point of view that is different from my own.

Commissioner Lee Smith: I resolve to skip desert at every other dinner and luncheon that I attend in 2003.

Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans: Starting in 2003, I will speak directly into the microphone when I am on the bench.

Linda Cole, Prothonotary's Office: For 2003, I resolve to…on second thought, I resolve not to…

Chief Clerk Suzanne Brainard: In 2003, I resolve to distribute only those computer-generated documents from the commissioners' office that have earned the Good Mousekeeping Seal of Approval.

First Assistant District Attorney Jason Legg: I resolve not to use this slogan in my campaign, "Elect me as district attorney and criminals in Susquehanna County will not have a Legg to stand on."

Jury Commissioner Robert Chamberlain: I will strive to live each day as if it were my 50th birthday.

Shari Whitney: I resolve to put a sign on my office door in 2003 that reads, -Hist. Rec. stands for historical records not hysterical recorder.

Commissioner Cal Dean: I resolve not to use an oxymoron in 2003. They aren't very good workers anyhow.

County Auditor George Starzec: I resolve...I resolve to...I resolve to, uh...I resolve to get my, er...I resolve to, uh, get my, er...ah forget it!

Marlene Estelle, juvenile probation: I resolve to take a nice long vacation in 2003 and to visit something important, -like the world's largest ball of twine.

Al Smith, the Probation Department's answer to Ralph Lauren: I resolve to only wear jeans that are two sizes too small and to use a chain or rope for a belt.

Patrick Daly, Judge Seamans' law clerk: I resolve not to eat cloned meat.

And finally, we offer a traditional New Year's Toast, just in case you are called upon to make one and you don't know what to say:

"Here's to the bright New Year

And a fond farewell to the old;

Here's to the things that are yet to come

And to the memories that we hold.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

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Slices of Life

How Much Is Enough

It’s been a bad week for sweet attacks. And apparently I am not the only one who can’t keep her hand out of the cookie jar. Talking with some friends tonight at dinner, they were singing the same tune. So was my daughter, who had spent the afternoon baking cookies for gifts. That was what started my cookie binge; baking for gifts for the holidays. As long as sweets in any fashion aren't around I don’t crave them (much). But let me get one taste and my willpower vanishes.

We were laughing tonight about how long it takes a frozen cookie to thaw, and the fact that they taste pretty darn good frozen!

Cookies are seductive and misleading because they advertise themselves by their smallness. I say to myself, "It’s not like I’m eating a big piece of cake – or worse, a piece of pie a la mode. It’s only a little cookie." But little cookies pack a wallop of sugar and fat, and one is never enough. And in no time the scales become the enemy again. Today as I was ringing the bell for the Salvation Army, I had time to ponder the gap between those of us fighting the scales and those who literally worry about where their next meal will come from. And it makes me ashamed at my own lack of control.

If you are familiar with the Christian religion, you will remember the story of Saint Francis, the rich young man who gave away all that he had. Then there is the story that Jesus tells, where in the last days the nations will be gathered before Him. He will separate them into sheep and goats. The sheep are those who saw the plight of the hungry, thirsty, naked, sick and lonely, and did what they could to help them. The goats saw the same unfortunates and did nothing. They will be judged according to their actions. For He says, "When you did it to the least of these, you did it to me."

Are we really being asked to care for everyone in need? To give away everything? I have a hard time balancing that against responsibility for my own care. Is there a happy medium, like give some but keep enough for your own needs?

Whatever the answer is, I know I err on the side of keeping more than I need. The cookies are a small example of my indulgent way of life.

With the lottery payoff recently being in the millions, I paused to think what I would do with a million dollars. You can be sure I would give lots of it away. But does that count as good if you also keep a few hundred thousand? Interesting that that big payoff comes during the Christmas season.

The Christmas message is sweet and easy to receive – a baby in a manger, beautiful angels announcing goodwill to all, worshipping shepherds scurrying to the manger bed. But the message is also hard. "Give it away," that innocent baby says. "Give it all away." And then he does exactly that. For what more can one give than his life? And the voice whispers, "Cookies, my dear girl, are not the indulgence you need to forego. It’s much, much more than that."

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100 Years Ago – 1902-2002

FOSTER [Hopbottom]: The pumps which have supplied water for the D.L.& W. tanks for years, are no longer in operation. There being such a heavy grade there, trains stop at other places for water.

HARFORD: Mrs. Cooper was very agreeably surprised one evening last week by finding a load of wood in her yard which had been left there in the moonlight. She is very thankful for the same.

ELK LAKE: Mr. Justin took the Elk Lake school children for a sleigh-ride on Friday to Dimock. They were served with refreshments by their teacher at the home of B.E. Crisman. They report a good time and a vote of thanks was extended to Mr. Justin for his kindness.

RUSH: A Public Ball will be held at the Rush House, New Years night, Jan. 1, 1903.

SOUTH MONTROSE: Tuesday morning, between the hours of five and six, the horse barn on Guy E. Wells' farm caught fire from the overturning of a lantern and was burned to the ground. The animals, as well as the most valuable farming equipments were saved, although the fire spread very rapidly.

JACKSON: The North Jackson Methodist church is being reseated and repaired. AND: Wheaton Denney, after an absence of 35 years in Wisconsin, is visiting here. AND: What was perhaps the largest funeral held in North Jackson in many years was that of Mrs. Grant Bryant, Saturday afternoon, Dec. 20th. This estimable woman died at her home here Thursday morning, Dec. 18th, after an illness of 4 days, with paralysis of the bowels. She leaves a husband and five little children to mourn. She was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Stoddard of Lake View. The funeral was held from the Methodist Church at 2 p.m., Revs. French of Thomson and Kelly of Jackson, officiating.

HALLSTEAD: The Hallstead chair factory will be doubled in size and capacity.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Street Commissioner announces that people, who persist in throwing ashes upon the highway during sleighing or at any other time, will be dealt with promptly for violating an ordinance of this borough. AND: On Tuesday evening the Sunday School of the Presbyterian Church held its Xmas exercises. An admission of one or more potatoes was charged. The proceeds were distributed among needy people.

MUD LAKE [Silver Lake Twp.]: Friday evening, Dec. 19, was the scene of a very pleasant gathering, when a number of young people from Birchardville and Mud Lake gathered at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Ansel Rodgers. Dancing was indulged in; music furnished by Messrs. Hill, O'Day and Donovan, violinist, with organ and flute accompaniment. Lunch was served about midnight.

GREAT BEND: Dr. E.P. Hines is the only physician on our side of the river, at present, and he has success in his practice.

LAKESIDE: Floyd Perry and wife have gone to Florida to spend the winter.

UNIONDALE: Among the Xmas shoppers who visited Carbondale on Saturday were Mrs. F. Westgate, Mrs. C. Mills, Mrs. A.H. Smith and Edith Smith.

FOREST LAKE: D.H. Wheatcroft is very sick with erysipelas in his head. AND: On Friday night last a sleigh load of 19 from this place attended a dance at Mr. and Mrs. A.T. Rodgers' at Mud Lake. A splendid time is reported.

BROOKDALE: H.F. Adams says he has a chair that was taken out of the Fort at Wilkesbarre when it was burned by the Tories and Indians at the time of the great massacre. [He] Also has a cow-bell that was bought by his grandfather soon after the Revolutionary war. Mr. Adams' father, Jeddiah Adams and wife, came from Connecticut to what is now called Hallstead, when there were only three houses there, and by marked trees through what was then called Beach Woods. Mr. Adams says he has a record of the Adams family since the year 1535, and some of them held office under the King of England; also, relatives to John Quincy Adams.

MONTROSE: Merchants offer the following for Christmas: A.B. Burns has boxing gloves, fencing foils, Indian clubs, punching bags, ping-pong sets, foot ball and Whitman's holiday candy and cut glass olive dishes; horse blankets at J.E. Barney's; soap-stones, ribbons for fancy work at Ryan's; confectionery, cigars, various brands of the best tobaccos, pipes at T.F. Kelly's; all the late copyright books W.H. Turrell's. Remember that Sprout & Brewster have oysters, clams, crackers, etc., also family and party supplies.

BINGHAMTON: When under-sheriff Worthing returned to the city last last night with Fuller, he also brought with him James Casey, who is charged with grand larceny in the second degree, and who was captured in Cohoes. Casey is alleged to have been an accomplice of Frank E. Durfee in drugging and robbing James A. Curley, of Flynn [Middletown Twp.], Pa., last Saturday night, of about $445. Casey pleaded not guilty and the examination was adjourned until Friday morning at 9 o'clock.

WELSH HILL: O.C. Jones had a merry party out for a sleighride, Saturday.

LYNN: The marriage of Miss Mame Sheldon of this place to H.E. Grow, of Towanda, occurred at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher Sheldon, Dec. 18th.

NEWS BRIEFS: More than fifty girls are studying scientific farming in the Minneapolis College of Agriculture, says an exchange. Perhaps that is to be the future plan for inducing the boys to stick to the farm instead of going to town. These educated girls will make no mistake in picking out the cow that gives the buttermilk.

AND: A Virginia clergyman wants a law passed prohibiting sweethearts from kissing each other unless they first secure a certificate from a physician, pronouncing them free from disease, under penalty of a fine. The enforcement of such a law would start a revolution that the standing army would be unable to suppress.

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SEEMS LIKE I’m Outnumbered! Maybe! Only time will tell. After reading the report of the Susquehanna Community School Board meeting in the Transcript, it really seems like I’m in the minority wanting our school sports to stay "as is."

The school directors voted 6 to 3 in favor of seeking a merger between Susquehanna and Blue Ridge of New Milford. I agree with the person who said, "Let’s see if there’s interest on both sides." (Good enough.)

Will the school (Susquehanna) honor the wishes of those who are not in favor of the merger? (That is, if they are in the majority.) I really understand that several of the sports rosters are "thin." Is there a reason that more students are not interested in sports? Do the players get along with each other?

(In my next article of this column, a mother complained of fans – our own fans – ridiculing the Sabers, when they should be encouraging them. Could be that’s part of the reason, for the "light" turnouts.)

Like school director Jack Downton remarked, "If the merger action is being take due to the low number of students who are participating in these activities, couldn’t the situation be addressed here in the district before proceeding (with the merger)?" Not a bad idea.

Yes, I realize that "large" rosters could hold down many injuries, but if something could be done to entice more students to participate in sports, etc., would be a feather in the cap of the school personnel. Is it worth a try?

MOTHERS Really Upset: It has come to my attention that during the past high school football season, several local fans were ridiculing the young Sabers for losing "so much." In talking to one of the mothers – who has a son on the team – she said, "It was a disgrace to hear some of our local fans – some are parents of the players – ridiculing them, yell at them because they didn’t perform the way ‘they’ wanted them to. That’s no way to treat the young kids. They need your support, not your ‘bad-mouthing’ the children. I know for a fact," she said, "that my son, and the sons of all the other mothers and fathers did the best they could. Best of all, they never gave up. For one, I am proud of all of them."

THE END IS NEAR! Solicitation for "complimentary ads" for the upcoming anniversary of Susquehanna Borough and its memorabilia book will end on Tuesday, December 31. We must get the contents of the book to the printer. It takes quite a few weeks to get the ads together, along with columns of history of the community during the past 50 years or so.

If you want to be part of history, act now. You can fax your complimentary ad to Susquehanna Borough, (570) 853-5080 to the attention of Lou Parrillo. Ads start at $30. Tell us how big an ad you want, we will do the rest after receiving the fax. Better hurry, for there will not be a "grace" period. (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.)

DOES PETE ROSE Belong in the H of F? No way, I say! He may have earned enough credentials on the baseball field to belong in the Hall of Fame. But no way has he earned enough credits after he was given a "life sentence" to stay out of baseball. Do you know the night he was given the "life sentence" the greedy Rose set up camp and was selling his autographs for at least $40.00.

I heard on TV a few days ago, at a "selling session" he was offering some of his sweat shirts – get this – for around $700.00. Not even Babe Ruth asked that much. A few years ago, while at a Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, Rose – plus several other former major leaguers – set up camp in Cooperstown, selling autographs.

I asked one customer how much a Rose signature cost him. His answer, "I paid $35.00 for this one." This is only part of Rose’s greed. Oh yeah, he was also charging children $50.00 to autograph their bats. He didn’t even provide the bats. My vote is a big no. How about you?

HUNTING SAFETY TIPS: Always control the muzzle of your firearm. Point it in a safe direction and keep it under control at all times. Handle every firearm as though it were loaded. Check any firearm you hold to see if it is loaded. Anytime firearms change hands, keep the actions open. Also, remember that it is illegal to have a loaded firearm in, on or leaning against your vehicle. Be sure of your target and what’s beyond. Never shoot at a flash of color, sound, shapes or anything you "think" is a deer until it is plainly visible and you can positively identify it. Never shoot at a sky-lined deer or any time you are not certain what lies beyond your target. Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire. Never walk about with your finger inside the trigger guard. Insist that everyone in your hunting party handles their firearms safely. Never "scope" anything but your intended target. If you need to confirm something moving through the brush or field, use binoculars, not your rifle scope. Always carry a whistle, matches or lighter, and some first-aid materials for emergencies. Carry a compass and know which direction you need to travel in if you become disoriented. Wear layers of clothes so you can adjust to changes in temperature or weather. Wearing too much could cause you to overheat and perspire; too little leaves you cold and shivering. Both will make you uncomfortable and can affect your judgment and accuracy. When moving about before dawn, don’t load your firearm until you reach your deer stand and until legal shooting hours.

COMING OUT of church, Mrs. Peterson asks her husband, "Do you think that Johnson girl is tinting her hair?"

"I didn’t even see her," Mr. Peterson admits.

"And that dress Mrs. Hansen was wearing," Mrs. Peterson continues. "Really, don’t tell me you think that ‘s the proper costume for a mother of two."

"I’m afraid I didn’t notice that either," Mr. Peterson says.

"Oh, for heaven’s sake," Mrs. Peterson snaps. "A lot of good it does you to go to church."

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Straight From Starrucca

Getting into the Christmas spirit, the quilters for the homeless joined the senior citizens for their monthly meeting, Thursday, December 19 at the Baptist social rooms. Eighteen people enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the accompaniments. At the business meeting, it was decided the workers would get together at D’Agati’s on Monday night the 23rd and assemble the luminaries to be placed Christmas Eve.

The lucky winner of the quilt raffle was Jennifer Mroz of Susquehanna. Fourteen plates of cookies were made up for the shut-ins and all in all everyone had a good time.

Not many deer were taken. Eleanor Buchanan told me her fourteen-year old great-granddaughter brought down her first buck – an eight-pointer. Ashley Smith was a very proud and happy girl.

The Downton family en masse attended the wedding of Shawn Hadden, son of Barb and Ralph Hadden, Hancock, to Sue Koziol, daughter of Shirley and Stanley Koziol of Susquehanna, at the Thompson Methodist Church, Saturday, December 14, with Pastor Brian Lucas officiating.

Reception was held in the Starrucca Baptist Church social rooms. The couple returned to Siler City, NC where they will make their home.

Sorry to report that Gary Williams is home under hospice care. Heartfelt concern goes out to the family.

Not too much news to report. Everyone is trying to beat the 25th deadline. Neighbor meets neighbor in the stores, wishing each a happy holiday.

The town looks very festive. Every home on the square has candles in the window and elsewhere lovely outdoor and window decorations. The nuns even have candles in their attic windows. How much nicer it will look with the luminaries on Christmas Eve.

Hope you all have a joyous holiday and it extends over into a New Year filled with many blessings.


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