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Issue Home March 18, 2003 Site Home

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

Along The Way... With P. Jay

Smith Slips Into First Place Ahead Of Pelicci

Well, Lee Smith has done it!

With his performance at last week’s meeting of the Board of County Commissioners, Lee moved into first place on my all-time list of Top Ten Politicians. For the longest time, Lee was stuck in second place behind Sheriff Dick Pelicci. Without a doubt, Dick is one of the cleverest politicians I have ever met.

What did Lee do at last week’s commissioners’ meeting to forge into first place ahead of Dick Pelicci?

For openers, he took a shot at Gov. Ed Rendell because the governor did not attend a dinner in Harrisburg where he was supposed to be the guest speaker. And, of course, since it was a dinner, Lee was there.

"The speaker for the night was supposed to be our new governor," Lee said. "One of his secretaries got up and said the governor sends his regrets but he could not make it. We had a video instead." (Score one point for Smith for the take down.)

Lee then held up a booklet on travel tourism and pointed with pride to the back page where an announcement proclaimed that the I-81 Welcome Center in Susquehanna County was coming soon. (Score another point for Smith managing to steal the credit for a project that was initially fostered a decade ago by then Commissioners Warren Williams and John Blachek.)

And then the clincher.

Lee said that he was approached by people at that dinner who told him that the governor was at an event the week before and no one from Susquehanna County inquired about the Welcome Center.

"That was on the agenda, Lee," Cal Dean said.

"Was it brought up?" Lee asked. "Why didn’t you bring it up?" (Score another point for Smith on the reversal.)

"No, I did not bring it up," Cal responded, "because I was at the head table and he (Gov. Rendell) was fielding questions from the audience."

"Did you bring it up to the governor?" Lee continued. (Score another point for Smith on the press.)

"No I did not," Cal replied. "Why didn’t you attend? Governor Rendell answered questions for four and one half hours." (Score one point for Cal Dean.)

From here it would appear that Democrat Cal Dean would have had more success approaching Democrat Gov. Ed Rendell on the issue than Republican Lee Smith. (Score another point for Smith for getting the most mileage out of the issue.)

The five points Lee picked up were enough to move him ahead of Dick Pelicci by one point.

How did Dick Pelicci stay at the top of the heap for years and years? Consider this:

After his first couple of terms, the Republicans threw in the towel and conceded the Sheriff’s office to a Democrat. This, in a county where Republicans hold a comfortable voting margin at the polls. And yet, in the 20-plus years that Dick Pelicci held the office of Sheriff, he was reelected most of the time without opposition from the Republicans.

The Democrat Party in Susquehanna County is so fearful of Republican candidates, they do not run anyone for row offices (treasurer, recorder of deeds, prothonotary. coroner, district attorney, and now sheriff). The only elective county offices where you can find a Democrat on the ballot is where the office is mandated (minority commissioner, minority auditor, and jury commissioner). However, Democrat Dick ran unopposed against what was an even stronger GOP machine than exists today. And that explains how he stayed on top of my Top Ten Politicians list for years and years.

My top ten list? Sure, you can see it. 1- Lee Smith; 2- Dick Pelicci; 3- Evan Price; 4- Charles Lemmond; 5- Ann Smith; 6- Ivan Burman; 7- Sandra Major; 8- Catherine Benedict; 9- Calvin Dean; 10- Roberta Kelly.

Posthumously – 1- Isabelle DeWitt; 2- Harold Westcott; 3- Carmel Sirianni; 4- Jack Masters; 5- Henry Prince; 6- Don Caterson; 7- Shirley Rosendale; 8- Josephine Marshall; 9- Joseph Walsh; 10- John Fitzgerald.

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Slices of Life

Sugar Snow At Last

Watching the snow coming down this morning, I’m reminded that it’s maple syrup time and this is sugar snow. I’m not sure why it got that name, but it could be for the same thing I remember from my childhood; drizzling boiling maple syrup onto a bed of fresh, fluffy snow where it would harden into long strings of a delightful maple confection that we picked up with our fingers and navigated to our mouths. Being on the farm with lots of animals running loose, whoever skimmed the layer of fresh snow off the top of the drifts had to make sure it wasn’t yellow snow.

Molded maple candy is a bit too sugary-intense for me, and while I would eat it when I was really craving sweets, I would prefer something more diluted. My very favorite maple products are mixed with nuts. Those packages of maple walnut candies that hang in cellophane bags on racks in stores are my favorites. I think they are basically ground walnuts inside a maple sugar shell, flat on the bottom and mounded on top. The texture and taste make them delicious. I can go through a whole bag at one sitting. Therefore I rarely buy them.

The other maple product I could get addicted to in short order is the maple walnut topping. You probably know that one, too. Walnut halves in maple syrup. Great on ice cream or by the spoonful!

One year for Christmas I received a plate of assorted cookies that contained tiny maple cookies with a brown butter icing. I begged for the recipe.

"Oh, it’s in Betty Crocker’s cookie book," my friend said. Having bought that book at a yard sale, I started searching the pages, but to no avail. Nothing resembled those delicious cookies in any way. So I asked again.

"Yes, that’s where I got it," my friend repeated. But then she added that these were a take-off on two recipes and not the size that the cookbook pictured. As many excellent cooks and bakers do, this baker had amended the recipes to her own (and my) taste. I have yet to get the recipe right. And, who knows. Maybe that baker never made them the same way again. I certainly know that I’ve made things that I never could duplicate.

It will soon be time for the maple promotions. I am intrigued by the creativity that goes into merchandising products. As the trees are tapped and start to run, advertisements begin to appear touting maple festivals that boast parades, wagon rides to the woods to see the collection operation, spinning and weaving exhibitions, and the sale of other crafts. There will be petting zoos, food concessions, including maple hot dogs, donuts and other non-maple edibles.

Last year’s festival weekend weather was abysmal. Cold and mud were predominant, and freezing weather had shut off the sap run, as I remember. But when we come near the end of winter, especially a winter as intense as this one, we will use any avenue to spring. And it can’t be far away, as the sighting of robins is being reported with hope and enthusiasm.

The world turns slowly, but the days rush by. It will soon be time to substitute lawn mowers, rakes and hoes for your snow shovels. Yeah!

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100 Years Ago – 1902-2002

HARFORD: It is reported that Henry Jeffers has purchased the Soldiers' Orphans' School buildings and will have them removed. He has an offer of $500 for the boys' dormitory.

FOREST LAKE: The recluse of Forest Lake township, old Michael Sullivan, who for many years has lived in a hut on the hill above the St. Joseph Church, was buried on Wednesday. The last few days of his life he was cared for by Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan-his nearest neighbor.

LENOX TWP.: The boiler in the Crawford saw mill, at the foot of Pine Hill, blew up Tuesday morning of last week, wrecking the mill and badly injuring and scalding Daniel Rought and his son Jule. The latter died from the effects of the explosion the following Thursday morning and grave doubts are entertained for the father's recovery. At the time of the catastrophe the younger man was filling the boiler with water and was thrown 150 feet, landing in a creek, while his father was buried under the debris. The boiler was an old one and it is thought the water got too low, so that when the cold water was turned into the highly heated boiler it was unable to withstand the suddenly increased pressure. Two other men, Messrs. Crawford and Barber, were in the mill at that time, but both escaped unharmed.

GLENWOOD: There will be busy times here this summer. The old hotel is being fixed up for a boarding house. The prospects of Glenwood look bright for the future. Anything that will give it life and prosperity will be welcomed. It will be like the young lady who went to the forest to pray for a man, when a owl sitting up in a tree sang out, "Who?" "Who?" "Who?" She hallooed, "good Lord, anybody." So anything that will give activity to this place will be welcomed.

MONTROSE: When Jacob Titman went to milk his cow last Wednesday morning, he found that during the night she had got cast, and so badly disabled that she died. This is serious calamity to Mr. and Mrs. Titman, for this cow furnished the supply of milk for themselves and three neighboring families. They can ill afford such a loss and they have the sympathy of all who know them. [Jacob Titman was a Civil War veteran, serving with Co. K, 187th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers. He was one of the guard of the martyred President Lincoln.]

NEW MILFORD: A drowning accident occurred at Moon's pond New Milford township, on Friday. A child of Mr. and Mrs. William Felton, aged 3 years, fell into the water and was drowned before it could be rescued. A second child of the same parents, aged 5, narrowly escaped a like fate.

FAIRDALE: P.L. Shelp was a pleasant caller at this office Wednesday. Mr. Shelp intends removing to Binghamton where he has secured a fine position with the Stickley & Brandt Furniture Company.

ARARAT: Cecil Pocock of Bayonne, N.J., is spending a few weeks at Leonard Baldwin's in search of health.

LITTLE MEADOWS: A grange was organized here on Saturday night by Hon. A.C. Barrett, with 28 members. Thus it seems that Hon. A.C. can find time to circulate among the farmers and boom up the grange, as well as attend to his legislative duties. It is said that the farmers are more enthusiastic in grange matters by reason of the insurance rates on farm property and they hope to be able to secure better rates through the instrumentality of the grange.

LAWSVILLE: Otis Chaffee sold horse, buggy and harness one day last week. He is going to visit his son at Los Angeles, Cal. AND: The road is nearly impassable from here to Conklin. In fact, roads are in terrible condition everywhere. We hope spring is here and that the mud will soon be dried up.

BROOKLYN: C.A. Courson has begun sawing out the large stock of logs, which he bought of E.L. Weston. The sound of the whistle three or four times a day is a welcome sound in this quiet town. AND: M.W. Palmer is putting in a bathroom and plumbing his house with all modern improvements. Will have hot and cold water all through his large and elegant house (the old Col. Frederick Bailey homestead, of whom his wife is a grand-daughter).

HALLSTEAD: Work at the silk mill is now heavier than at any time since first the mill was built. The force of employees is larger and the amount of work turned out far exceeds that of the old plant. Last week a large consignment of materials and machinery was received. Among the new equipment received were four new looms.

SOUTH AUBURN: The new Methodist church will be dedicated on Thursday, March 19.

SUSQUEHANNA: The subject of a borough building is again agitated. AND: Charles Ball is still seriously ill with typhoid fever. AND: The widow of the late Michael Hines of the Oakland side will receive $2,000 from the Modern Woodmen. Michael Hines sustained fatal injuries in the Erie shops, while at work with a hydraulic jack.

RUSH: In 1865 there were 12 schools in Rush Township; in 1901 there are 44. The tax levy in 1865, 3 mills; in 1901, 3 mills-and one mill building tax. Average cost per month, per pupil in 1865, 65 cents and in 1901, $1.87.

NEWS BRIEF: Anna, daughter of the late Joseph Drinker, died at Edgemont, Pa., Feb. 25, 1903, after living the life of a recluse for 13 years. Her age was 76 years. Her father was the owner of a great tract of land in Susquehanna county, known as the "Drinker Tract," and lived for a long time in a big house on South Main St., Montrose. Joseph Drinker, a brother of Anna, shot W.H. Cooper, the banker, several years ago at Montrose, after brooding over fancies as to the way he thought Cooper had handled Anna's estate. Drinker was tried for murder and the jury rendered a verdict of insanity. Drinker was sent to an asylum and died there about six years ago. Anna had the body taken to Rockdale, Pa., where her own body now rests. She was a gifted writer and many of her poems were published under nom de plume of "Edith May." The greater portion of her life, however, was spent in an asylum.

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"CRASH" Laid To Rest: Howard Singer of Hallstead, who passed away February 27, was affectionately known as "Crash" to his many, many friends, not only in the Hallstead area, but throughout the county and the state. He was one of the most active veterans in the service clubs that he belonged to, the American Legion in Hallstead and the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Great Bend. He was laid to rest Tuesday, March 4.

He served in the Korean and Vietnam wars, was Sergeant of Arms at the State Legion level and was once employed as a policeman. Funeral services were held in Johnson City, NY, with a Mass offered in St. James Catholic Church, March 4. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery.

In addition to the many dignitaries at the funeral and graveside, including Honor Guard and Rifle Squads, were Strider-Teskey Post 86 members Roger Williams, Frances Cole, Dennis Fiske, Brett Cresse, Arthur Trynoski.

Forming the Honor Guard at the entrance of the Church were John F. Kanavy, Jr., 15th District Commander, Gouldsboro, PA; Past Vice Commander, Jack Bennett, 15th District of Hallstead Post 357; Past 15th District Commander, Mandy Miraich; Commander Ralph Allen, Post 254, Montrose; Scott Darling, 15th District Commander, Legion Post 86, Susquehanna; Louis Parrillo, Second Vice Commander, Susquehanna Post 86; and Marvin Blachman, SAL, Detachment of Pennsylvania, Aide-to-Commander of Montrose.

"SCROOGE" Steinbrenner: George S. may be loose with his money to sign "untried" players with plenty of millions of dollars, but is blind to the fact that he has one of the best second basemen in the majors –Alfonso Soriano. But did G. S. do right by him? No way! In today’s market, he insulted Alfonso with a mere $170,000 raise to $800,000 for this season. Can you imagine that. All Soriano did was, hit .300, 39 homers, 41 steals and 102 runs-batted-in in 156 games. Good Ole George!

BOB HOPE Nears 100: Bob Hope, who entertained thousands of American soldiers during the past wars, will celebrate his 100th birthday on May 29. A book, "Bob Hope’s Life In Jokes" will be one of his birthday presents.

MARRIAGE, Then Jail: In Pittsburgh a judge – prior to the groom’s trial – married Edward Saunders and his fiancee, then later sentenced him to 12 months for stealing. Saunders was taken to prison. His wife went home.

"LOCAL" Bowlers Bowl High: Two Binghamton bowlers, Jim Thomas and Jeff Ripic – known to local bowlers, placed high in the American Bowling Congress tourney in Knoxville. As of March 6, they combined to bowl 1402 in the doubles, for second place. Thomas, in the singles, is in fifth place with a 778 series and eleventh in all events with a 2,072 pinfall.

WORTH REPEATING: "God grant me the serenity to accept things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference."

TAXES, TAXES, TAXES: So, a person wrote to a newspaper, "If the government and its ‘employees’ and all of the states in the country (especially our elected politicians, etc.) would stop raising their salaries every time they sneeze, there would be no need to raise taxes."

Just think how much taxes the professional athletes have to pay. Sure they earn BIG salaries, but the government takes a huge slice every year. They make so much money from the millionaires and billionaires (or do they), that it would seem that taxing the "little guy" should be entirely eliminated. The constant raising of taxes curtails the many activities senior citizens (with a fixed income) are accustomed to doing. Does the government care? No way! They even ignore the handicapped veterans; some who are living on the streets, others just about "making it."

COUNCILWOMAN Upset: Binghamton Council member, Theresa Palleschi, refuses to sit in one of the twelve newly-purchased soft cushion chairs. Why? She said, "I don’t think you should buy something for yourself in a year when you raise taxes." She still sits on her old, metal chair.

DID YOU KNOW: The Yankees won World Series in consecutive years during 1927-1928, 1936-1939, 1977-1978 and 1998-2000. Also Cal Ripken, Jr., played in 2,478 consecutive ball games, a record in the American League. Steve Garvey holds the NL record. Bob Turley was the first Yankee to win the Cy Young Award. Willie Wilson went to bat 705 times in 1980, a record. Don Baylor holds the record for being hit by a pitch, 267 times. Lou Gehrig’s 23 grand slams is still a record. John Vander Wal had 28 pinch-hits in 1995. A record.

READ THIS In a National Magazine: Home rules: if you sleep on it, make it up. If you wear it, hang it up. If you eat off it, clean it up. If you open it, close it. If you empty it, fill it up. If it rings, answer it. If it howls, feed it. If it cries, love it.

MORE QUOTES: Baseball Fever by Earl Wilson – For the parents of a Little Leaguer, a baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into innings. By Don Baylor – In baseball you can’t let losing carry over to the next day. You’ve got to flip the page. By Norman Vincent Peale – Life is a blend of laughter and tears, a combination of rain and sunshine. By Cicero – Of all nature’s gifts to the human race, what is sweeter to a man than his children?

BOWLING ALL-STARS: The All American Bowling team for 2002 are: Walter Ray Williams of Florida; Brian Voss of Atlanta; Parker Bohn of New Jersey; Doug Kent of Newark; Chris Barnes of Dallas. Second team: Jason Couch of Florida; Robert Smith of California; Norm Duke of Florida; Pat Healey, Jr. of Mexico City; Pete Weber of St. Louis. Senior all stars: Bob Glass of Kansas; Pete Coture of Florida; Mark Roth of New Jersey; Steve Neff of Florida; Bob Chamberlain of Michigan.

NEVER TOO LATE: Walter Spuz, 79 years old, recently bowled games of 269, 299 (leaving the 10-pin) and 231 for a 799 series in Michigan. His average was 191 prior to the "big one."

VFW "SONS" ELECT: At a recent election of the Sons of the VFW of Musa-Stiles Post 6223, Great Bend, were: Commander, Gary Hendrickson; Sr. Vice Commander, Everett Benedict, Jr.; Vice Commander, Don Horvatt; Quartermaster, Aubrey Elberct; Assistant Quartermaster, Rick Franks; Adjutant, Lonnie Fisher; Chaplain, Al Anderson; Sergeant of Arms, Art Trynoski.

FUEL Assistance: You may be eligible for fuel help. Check the following figures; a family of one, income $11,961; two, $16,119; three, $20,277; four, $24,435; five, $28,593; six, $32,859. (For each additional person, add $4,158.) Eligible are home owners and renters who are on low or fixed incomes whose yearly income before taxes is at or less than the above figures.

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Straight From Starrucca

Four of our local children were chosen to be in County Band, held in February at Blue Ridge. Shannon Williams playing tenor sax; Danielle Williams, trumpet; Natalie Piercy, baritone and Caitlin Piercy, French horn. Congratulations, girls on your musical achievements.

Sue Ellen Lynch, Sayre, PA spent the weekend recently with brother and sister-in-law, Kirk and Alice Rhone.

Julie Haggart’s three daughters, Mashawna, Mikayla and Myra spent a weekend with their uncle, Jeffrey Rhone in Delhi, NY.

Steve and Virginia Williams, mother Gale and siblings enjoyed a supper get-together and ended the evening bowling.

The local Girl Scouts are seriously checking out their finances to see whether or not they will have enough to go white water rafting in West Virginia in June.

The administration board of the Methodist Church met at my house last Monday night to set up a program for the coming months. The church opens again Palm Sunday at 9:45 a.m.

The Spirited Seniors of Starrucca met last Wednesday with eleven present. Charlotte Sidorski won the door prize. The business meeting was concerned with ideas for enrichment and entertainment for the group for our next meetings.

Clarence Smith called me the other day to tell me he had seen a flock of robins and a woodchuck scampering over the snow up on Little Ireland. Must be warmer up there than down here in the valley, where we haven’t seen bare ground since Christmas.

Son, Nelson, wife, Phyllis and granddaughter Rebecca came down from Little Falls, NY, and spent the weekend. Son Dan was down from Center Village, NY last Thursday and took me to Honesdale. What a slippery mess the roads were in! Slewed around a bit, but arrived without incident.

Paul and Bridget D’Agati took advantage of a bus tour, sponsored by the Lake Como Odd Fellows to Turning Stone, on an Indian reservation in New York State. Though they went by bus they came home on cloud nine. Paul had won a considerable amount of money playing bingo.


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