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Issue Home February 25, 2003 Site Home

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

Along The Way... With P. Jay

GOP Primary Heating Up

Added Interest

The Republican Primary Election in Susquehanna County has become a bit more interesting.

Ellen O’Malley of Montrose turned a few heads at the recent Republican Lincoln Day Dinner with her announcement that she will enter the GOP primaries as a candidate for county treasurer. She will be challenging incumbent treasurer, Cathy Benedict, for the right to advance to the general election under the Republican Party banner.

"I think we need a change there," Ms. O’Malley said in answer to my question of why she is running. "In addition," she added, "I play well with others."

Also at the GOP Dinner, a seventh Republican, Bill Wolfe of Union Dale, announced his candidacy for county commissioner. You may recall that I recently said there are eight candidates. I was wrong. There are seven so far.

Like all GOP functions in this county, the Lincoln Day Dinner was a huge success, although there were gripes from many attendees who said the quality of the public address system was lousy. Each candidate was given three minutes to declare his/her intentions to seek elective office and give reasons why they feel qualified to hold it.

"You couldn’t hear half of what they (the candidates) were saying," one person in attendance told me.

For some reason that no one can explain, poor public address systems seem to be the trend here in Susquehanna County. Either that or the total lack of a PA system at many public meetings makes it impossible to hear the proceedings. Ever try to hear the judge or the participating attorneys in the large county courtroom?

Besides incumbent Commissioner Lee Smith, Republicans seeking to become commissioners include Fred Baker of Springville, James Jennings of Brooklyn Twp., Tom Jurista of Silver Lake Twp., former commissioner Jeff Loomis of Bridgewater Twp., Mayor Roberta Kelly of Susquehanna Depot, and William (Bill) Wolfe of Union Dale.

Dean Done Did It

I was not there to hear it myself but some Democrats couldn’t wait to tell me about the latest snafu by Minority Commissioner Cal Dean. And they are wondering whether it was wishful thinking or a Freudian slip when Mr. Dean told the executive committee of the Susquehanna County Democratic Party that he was seeking the Republican nomination as a candidate for reelection. I am told that, after quickly correcting himself, Mr. Dean promptly spoke of the successful election of "Governor Ridge."

A Freudian Slip (according to Sigmund Freud) results from "the operation of unconscious wishes or conflicts and can reveal unconscious processes in normal healthy individuals."

Finally, some needed room

The Susquehanna County Sheriff’s department has been given some breathing room. After working in cramped quarters in the courthouse for years, the sheriff, his deputies and his office staff finally have room to move around without bumping into a piece of furniture.

Sheriff Lance Benedict shares an office with his chief deputy, Andy Borowicz, but it is quite an improvement over the conditions that former Sheriff Dick Pelicci was forced to contend with for years. And the sheriff can now have some privacy when someone wants to consult him in private.

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Slices of Life

The Promise

It’s a perfectly glorious day! Maybe by the time you read this we will be back to winter, but today is the reprieve we’ve all been looking for. The sun is bright, reflecting off the piles of snow that are shrinking under its intense gaze. The icicles, hanging long and dangerous from my roof, are dripping steady and some of the shorter ones are completely gone. The sky is clear and blue. This is the time of year when we start sending up prayers that our roofs won’t leak. Yes, I truly believe that God cares about my roof. I also think God sends a beautiful day like this during the intense cold and snow just to give us hope and stamina to face the next six weeks or so of winter.

The flowers know that spring is not far away. A few weeks ago, while rooting around in the basement for some lost thing, I came across two flowerpots with green shoots emerging. I remembered that I had put them down there after Easter last year, planning to set out the tulip bulbs in my flower garden when summer arrived. Well, you remember summer; all that heat and baked soil. So my good intentions never got carried through and now I have two pots that know it’s almost spring. I brought them to the kitchen and started watering and feeding them. Also, still lying on my kitchen counter was a large bulb from who knows where. So I planted it in another pot. I could almost see these plants growing. I’d get up in the morning and they would look like they had shot up an inch at least. I could tell right away that one pot was tulips by the broad leaves. The other looked more like a daffodil leaf. But I didn’t remember anyone giving me daffodils.

Suddenly, the tulip had two buds. I was expecting them to be white, but I could see color emerging. Then I remembered that the tulips I’d gotten as gifts from a friend were white, and the orangey/pink tulips were from my son and daughter-in-law. The blooms didn’t get very big, but bloom they did, and lasted a long time. The mystery bulb from off the counter turned into a paper-white. That, however, presented two mysteries. Number one was where had it come from? If my husband were still with me, I would not have been surprised, because he was like a squirrel – always bringing odd things home. The other mystery was the smell. I kept sniffing all around that corner for whatever was musty -smelling. A little like day-old garbage, but not exactly. Dank, strange smell. My coffee-drinking neighbor sat at my kitchen table and said, "Oh, you’ve got a paper-white. They’re so pretty, but nasty smelling, aren’t they?" Riddle solved. I’ll put up with the smell.

The other pot of green stems gets taller every day, but doesn’t look like it’s going to bloom. I may never know what it is.

Sunshine and flowers are great. But, then, I got another pleasant surprise. Lying in bed very early in the morning while it was still dark, I heard a cardinal outside my window. It must have been sitting in the hydrangea bush. I didn’t realize that they would sing before the sun started to emerge. I decided he had come by to wish me a good day and I was grateful.

So, hang in there, folks. Winter is on its way out. The promise is everywhere around us.

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100 Years Ago – 1902-2002

KINGSLEY: A horse belonging to Urbin Sloat became unmanageable, broke away and ran for nearly eight miles up the D.L.& W. tracks, crossed the culvert safely on the way, passed three trains and was not even scratched or bruised, says a Brooklyn correspondent.

MONTROSE: A tramp coming from the direction of New Milford passed through here Wednesday going in the direction of Rush, and when later in the day suspicion was aroused by his answering almost identically to the description of a murderer who was wanted in Elmira, several of our officers of the law started in pursuit. County Detective Perigo and Chief Tingley captured the man at Stevensville and brought him to Montrose and yesterday morning it was found, upon being given a hearing before Justice Courtright that he was not the one wanted and was allowed to go. He was a genuine "hobo" and gave his name as Floyd Jackson. When captured he said he had been fasting for two days, so on the return trip he was given a good "feed" at Hotel Haire, and as Sheriff Brush treated him well he didn't fare badly after all.

LAKEVIEW: C.G. Course has placed a telephone in his house.

ELK LAKE: E.E. Stevens is cutting some very fine poles for the new telephone line running from Montrose to this place.

NORTH JACKSON: Intelligence has reached Charles T. Belcher of the death of his only brother, John Belcher, which occurred in Denver, Col., January 3d, 1903. He was born in Jackson in June, 1850, and removed to Colorado in early manhood. He was appointed deputy sheriff of Jefferson county and later was elected to the office of sheriff. He was an active Republican and an intimate friend of Senator Teller. At the time of his death he was a member of the Rocky Mountain Detective force and stationed at Denver.

FOREST LAKE: The Slatter Brothers extend their thanks to their neighbors and friends who have been so kind in cutting and drawing wood for them.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: A young lady of this place, returning from Birchardville one day last week, came in contact with something spitting fire. Supposing it to be a wild cat she whipped up the horse and escaped without serious injuries.

NEW MILFORD: While Dr. D.C. Ainey was being driven along a road east of New Milford, by his driver, Ben Tewksbury, in turning a corner the sleigh was upset and Mr. Tewksbury was dashed head-first against a tree, making him insensible, in which condition he remained till the next day, when death ensued. He was about 65 years old. It was not at first supposed that Dr. Ainey was much injured, but later it was discovered that he had received a broken rib though he is able to be around.

BROOKLYN: There was much excitement in town over the election of collector of taxes-both candidates made an active canvass of the town before election which resulted in a tie vote between N.C. Packard (R) and W.I. Bunnell (D). Each received 89 votes. Since election each has been canvassing the town with petitions for appointment. What will the harvest be? Party lines have been buried in Brooklyn and the blanket ballot is of no use in holding the voter in line.

ARARAT: The blizzard got here just in time for election but howling of the wind was no comparison to the howling of the old bosses when they found that the Democrats and Prohibs had made a sweep. Consequently the G.O.P. flag is at half-mast. Men can't carry the votes of other men in their vest pockets in this part of the state. It may do for little towns like Harrisburg, but it won't do for Ararat.

GLENWOOD: Marvin Barber and Loren Stephens have sold their timberland to the acid factory company which will make business brisk in this vicinity for the next two years. AND: Miss Susie Sprague was storm-stayed at her sister's [home] in Lathrop and on reaching home found her fine collection of houseplants frozen down.

STEVENS POINT: Near the close of 1902 there was a collision at Rowlands between two coal trains and several cars and a caboose were burned up. It was thought one of the trainmen, David T. Spears, was burned to death, but nothing was ever found of his remains, although diligent search was made. Recently, while two boys were digging in the debris they found the remains of a gold watch, which the father, who lives here, fully identified as having belonged to his son, as he had given it to him for a Christmas present. This seems to settle all doubts as to the death of Mr. Spears, about which there has been some mystery.

NEWS BRIEF: (continued from last week) "Galusha Grow and the Homestead Law." Over forty years have passed away since Grow's great law became a reality and go where you may in our western states and territories, you will find startling evidence of the wisdom of the homestead law. On the banks of the Mississippi, in the vast forest and plains of the northwest, on the borders of Mexico and by the shores of the inland seas, are the marks of its influence and proofs of its magic power. The farms which it has created from the Blue Ridge to the Sierra Nevadas and on to the Golden Gate have become the homes of some of our greatest men. The hopes of those firesides mingle with the progress of a happy yeomanry. The fertile valleys of our western rivers resound with the harvest songs of the homestead reaper. The prairie plowman recounts the blessings which it has showered upon his race, and the cowboy, in his lonely watch on the Colorado, chants the toilers' anthem of "Free Homes For Free Men."

Such is the character and the work of the great citizen who is about to disappear from the arena of active public life. The industry with which he has labored for the public good; the dignity with which he has borne political adversity; the modest but firm demeanor which he has shown in high offices of trust: the disdain with which he has looked upon the bossism of commercial politics; the firm hatred which he has shown to all forms of political immorality and, above all, the absolute faith he has kept with his friends, his country and his reputation, rank him high among the republic's greatest sons-the peerless champion of American husbandry. The Washington Post, Jan. 24, 1903.

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HEARD and READ concerning gasoline: Read a headline in the Press/Sun Bulletin, "Rising gas prices hit Tier motorists hard." The high prices are not only hurting the Tier, but every community in the country – including the Three Boroughs. Why? Heard on a "call-in" station out of Binghamton, "Why is gas so high here, when it is at least ten cents cheaper in the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre area?" And "Why," another asked, "do the gas stations always raise their prices together?" (Not only that, but, they always raise the prices – in many places – the same amount and keep gallon prices the same. Would you say they all contact one another, when they read in the paper or hear it on TV and radio that war is near, and up go the prices, while the flow of oil is just as much "then" as it is the time they raise their prices? Are we being taken, not only by the big oil dealers, but also by our very own stations? Why is gas in Susquehanna, as of February 10, $1.65, when its only $1.55 in Scranton and it’s always a few cents cheaper in the Great Bend area than here. Traveling through Binghamton, granted, the prices are higher than here, so that also tells me that the service stations call each other: "Hi, ya, friends, we are going to jump the gas prices another 5 cents tomorrow - and then in a few days a couple of more cents." According to several newscasts, there is no reason to keep raising prices, for at the present time the shortage is not critical.

DOES Steinbrenner "Own JETER?" Since when can an employee be told "how to live his social life?" Talking to another sports fan he upheld Steinbrenner saying, "He (Mr. S.) pays Derek Jeter’s salary and has a right to tell him what to do and not do." Granted, Mr. S. Can probably protect his investment by forbidding him or her not to jump out of a plane, forbid him to race cars, forbid him to play football, etc., but no way in "my book" can he dictate his social life. Let’s put it this way: can you tell an employee who works for a contractor, a grocery store, a newspaper, or any other profession how to conduct his social life? (Can you be told how to conduct your social life?) We will have to tell Mr. S. that slavery was abolished years ago. But you all know Mr. S., "I’m the boss, and don’t you forget it." Jeter’s manager, Joe Torre said, "If Jeter wants to socialize, let him, as long as it doesn’t interfere with his baseball playing."

PAY COLLEGE Athletes! Governor Mike Johnson backs a legislative proposal to pay Nebraska football players. "Paying the players would be above board and straight-forward," Johanns said Wednesday. "College football has become a multi-million-dollar industry that should do much better for its athletes." The bill would take effect only if three other states that have teams in the Big 12 Conference pass similar laws. What do our readers think of the idea?

GAME REPORT (WCO) James McCarthy, Hallstead: I was patrolling a known Bald Eagle feeding area with one of my neighboring officers when he said, "Look at that eagle." I looked up and saw about 100 crows taking flight. I began to seriously doubt his bird identification skills until I saw the adult Bald Eagle he was talking about perched in a nearby tree.

WELCOME Aboard, Scotty: A day doesn’t go by that the Susquehanna Transcript doesn’t receive a subscription from a "new" family. The latest subscribers are the Scotty Gow family of North Carolina. Many of the older Little League fans will remember Scotty and his brother, Jerry of Susquehanna, as the nucleus of the 1951 Moose Lodge team that captured the championship that year. Locally, Scotty is the son of Mrs. Ruth Gow and the brother of Jesse Gow, who now and then (when not hitting another golfer with a ball) plays a pretty good game.

JOHNSON Rewarded: Randy Johnson, the most dominant lefty in baseball today, was recently honored at the annual baseball writers dinner, as he was presented an award by one of the best "ole time" left-handers, Sandy Koufax. Koufax said about Johnson, "One, he’s very tall, and two, he’s very good."

HUNTING "Don’ts" – No one may: use state lands for personal use; feed animals any food; have alcohol on game lands; operate a vehicle on game lands; target shoot with firearms, or any device similar. A group of more than ten can organize except for trapping or hunting.

ILLEGAL KILL: Under a law, a hunter charged with killing a deer illegally is subject to a one-year license revocation– unless they can prove it was a BIG mistake.

MORE ON GAS DEALERS: No doubt the outlook for war looks bad, oil is scarce and the gas prices keep going up and up. Is that a reason for the gas dealers to raise their prices every time they hear "there’s a gas shortage?" Where is the reasoning when gas stations jump their prices "like the small numbers are going out of style." Just this past week (Feb. 9 on) the prices were $1.64.9. Let’s say on a Tuesday – two days later it went up to $1.66.9. Did the dealers get a new supply of gas between "that" Tuesday and Thursday? We, the public, do not have much to say about the prices, but we sure as heck dislike being taken by the dealers. Again, why are gas prices here always (about) 10¢ higher than many other places? Things are tough enough for commuters (workers) going back and forth to work in this terrible winter, but they also have to dig deeper (for gas) to get to work.

CONE is BACK: David Cone, out of baseball last year, is back. He has signed a minor league contract with the NY Mets, hoping to get back in the majors. Cone had a no-hitter when he played for the Yankees a few years ago.

BASEBALL TRIVIA: (A) What two Arizona pitchers were named MVPs of the 2001 World Series? (B) Who was the winning Yankee pitcher in game 5 of the 2000 World Series vs. the Mets? (C) Nolan Ryan is the all-time leader for no-hitters and strikeouts. How many Cy Young awards did he win? (See answers at end of column.)

A MAN DIES and goes to heaven. A week after the funeral, his wife hears a voice.

"Mary, it’s me! I’m up here in heaven."

"How is it up there, John?" the woman asks.

"It’s great, Mary. Golf every day, gin rummy every night, and I always win. Just think - if it hadn’t been for that stupid oat bran, I could have been here ten years ago!"

A WOMAN WALKS into a post office and sees a middle-aged, balding man standing at the counter methodically placing "Love" stamps on bright pink envelopes with hearts all over them. The man then takes out a perfume bottle and sprays the envelopes. Her curiosity getting the better of her, the woman approaches the man and asks what he is doing. "I’m sending out a thousand valentine cards signed, ‘Guess who?’" the man answers.

"Why?" the woman asks.

"I’m a divorce lawyer."

TRIVIA answers: (A) Curt Shilling and Randy Johnson; (B) Mike Stanton; (C) None.

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Straight From Starrucca

Several residents have received letters from Fabco in Jessup, PA, stating that they have been awarded the contract for replacing the bridge in Starrucca and would like to test the water of those near the bridge.

Glad to report that two of our residents who were hospitalized a week ago are now home and doing fine. Bucky Mead was relieved to be home from Mercy Hospital in Scranton and the lights were on again at Doris Davidson’s when she was discharged from Barnes-Kasson.

Cindy Brown and two sons, Brian and Nicholas, Sunderland, Mass., spent last week with her father, Charles Levchak.

Brett Upright, Mary Pat and Johnny Costello called on his parents, Virginia and Carl Upright last weekend.

Dennis Corrigan (restorer of red house) will have an exhibit of three-dimensional surrealistic assemblages and puppets in Easton, PA on March 15. He has six items to exhibit. (Must state that wife, Donna put in many hours of restoration, also.)

Barb and Roger Glover motored to Camp Hill last Thursday to visit brother, Douglas and wife, Millie who hasn’t been feeling the best. They were accompanied by Dave and Marilyn Czapnik. All couldn’t help but notice the old barns that have caved in, and were shocked to see the Northern Wayne Firehouse in Lakewood had collapsed – a total loss.

Last Thursday night, a week ago, Wendell Swartz took the couple who had bought forty acres of land from him to Walton, NY to an auction house that originally had been an old foundry. Wendell said it is huge and is only partially renovated, but very nice and much more convenient than the old auction house.


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